Board of Trustees Discuss Employee Compensation, Alumni Affairs, and FY23 Budget

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Olivia Silvey ’25

News Editor

President of the College Joanne Berger-Sweeney provided an update on the Board of Trustees April meeting in an email to the campus community Wednesday, Apr. 13. Among these updates were a resolution honoring the loss of Jillian Hegarty ‘24, the Summit Strategic Plan, employee compensation study, the Trinity College Alumni Association’s (TCAA) report, and the FY23 budget.

Berger-Sweeney began her announcement sharing that the Trustees voted unanimously to pass a resolution honoring Jillian’s memory and recognizing the exceptional service and care that the College’s staff, faculty, and students provided to one another during this challenging period. Berger-Sweeney indicated that she was not present at the Trustees’ Friday meeting on Apr. 8, and that she, along with Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina, attended the funeral service for Jillian in St. Johnsbury, Vermont that day.

The Trustees opened its meeting with a discussion of its Strategic Plan for the College’s Bicentennial in 2023. The conversation centered around student and employee experiences, technology, information and analytics, facilities and deferred maintenance, and strategic marketing.

The Trustees also updated Trinity staff on the compensation study–which compares how Trinity’s employee compensation compares to other institutions in the marketplace–that is being conducted by Segal. She indicated that the next step in the study is to conduct an internal review of the proposed salary structure. Afterwards, the College will share the results and recommendations of the study with the campus community. Trinity did not respond to the Tripod‘s inquiries into the compensation study.

Berger-Sweeney indicated that the Trustees heard reports from the Faculty Secretary and leadership of the Trinity College Alumni Association (TCAA). President of the TCAA Executive Committee Jamie Szal ‘06 told the Tripod via email that the report highlighted the TCAA’s efforts to revive Trinity’s area clubs following their closure at the onset of the pandemic. Area clubs provide alums with an opportunity to meet and network in major metropolitan areas including Boston, Fairfield County, Hartford, Los Angeles, New York City, Southwest Florida, and Washington, DC.

Szal indicated that the effort to revive Trinity’s area clubs has been spearheaded by John Ellwood ‘65. “A subcommittee of the TCAA, chaired by John, has begun the work of reaching out to those alumni and who had been leaders of the area clubs we have identified as top priority cities prior to the pandemic for the purpose of getting more detailed information from those individuals about their continued interest in serving as area club leaders, and to discuss our hopes and plans for revitalization,” said Szal in an email to the Tripod.

Szal confirmed that the Trinity Club of Hartford has returned to regular in-person gatherings. Szal also confirmed that the TCAA held its inaugural Town Hall event in February, and she noted that it was well received. She indicated that the alumni did not express any particular concerns to the TCAA, but they did ask numerous questions regarding the TCAA and its role in serving Trinity alumni. Sza noted that there was significant interest among the alums in attendance in mentoring current Trinity students. “A substantially greater number of alumni volunteered to mentor students in the most recent mentorship class run by the Career Development Office than there were students who signed up, and alumni expressed disappointment in not matching with a student this round.”

Szal indicated that the TCAA hopes to hold a town hall every other month, and that the next one is scheduled for Thursday, Apr. 28. “Our hope for these events is to provide an opportunity for alumni to get to know members of the TCAA Executive Committee better; to have a chance to ask questions to the TCAA; to bring their thoughts, comments, questions, concerns, and ideas forward” said Szal.

Faculty Secretary Susan Masino told the Tripod that the faculty reported to the Trustees highlighted concerns of turnover at the College. “I suggested that perhaps we simply need to pay people more, but regardless we need to think about the ways to make our mission and our values more visible to retain high-quality dedicated people throughout our community,” said Masino in an email to the Tripod. She also indicated that the report addressed the rollout of the Trinity+ Curriculum and the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.

Berger-Sweeney announced that the Trustees approved the proposed FY23 budget: $137.9 million. She noted that the budget is still shy of the $140 million budget Trinity had at its disposal in FY20.

The FY23 budget will cover a range of items including: improved mental health services for students, enhancements to the College’s cybersecurity system, and the restoration of some of the COVIDrelated cuts to the College’s academic programs. Berger-Sweeney did not make any announcements about tuition, and the College did not respond to the Tripod’s questions regarding potential changes to tuition for the next academic year.

The print version of this article stated that Faculty Secretary Susan Masino did not immediately provide the Tripod with a summary of the faculty report to the Trustees. The print version of this article was developed before these comments were received.

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