Receiving approval to apply for over $97 million in grant funding was the main issue of the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The grant money would go toward building the new STEM building, the destruction of Holman Hall, asset renewal projects, renovations to the Science Building and Armstrong Hall, improvement of technology infrastructure and the purchase of academic equipment, according to trustee Jose Caballero.
“We might not get all of the money, but we’re going to give it a strong try,” Caballero said during his report of the Finance and Investment Committee. Even if the College is granted all $97 million dollars it is applying for, more money would still be needed to complete the projects and purchases.
Along with the approval of applying for the state grants, the progress of Campus Town and the increase in admissions numbers were addressed by President R. Barbara Gitenstein in her Report of the President.
According to Gitenstein, the Campus Town project is advancing, but slower than expected. The projected Fall 2014 opening of the project is no longer attainable due to several outside circumstances the College had over, including damage to the developer’s site from Hurricane Sandy and the deal with Barnes & Noble being harder than expected to reach.
The growing success of the winter term was also discussed. From the first year of the winter term to the second, there was a 100 percent increase in students; last year there were 85 students, and this year 180 students enrolled in the winter term.
The number of applications to the College has increased yet again, according to Gitenstein. There were over 11,000 applications for next year’s school year, a 8.25 percent increase from last year. The number of out-of-state applicants grew by 11 percent. There was a 6 percent increase in black applicants, a 12 percent increase in Hispanic applicants and a 34 percent increase in Puerto Rican applicants. Every school saw an increase in applications, with the School of Arts and Communications rising by 10 percent.
Board of Trustees secretary Eleanor Horne spoke about the most recent Town/Gown meeting during her report of the College Advancement Committee. She said that there was a lot to be happy about coming out of the meeting and that “the state of college advancement is strong and getting stronger.” The idea of a new neighbor-to-neighbor program, Lending a Paw, where students can do community service in the Ewing community, was discussed. There was also the suggestion to assign a student intern to the Ewing Township government to further strengthen the relationship between the College and the surrounding community.
The College is also adding two policies, the Protection of Children Policy and the Safe Campus Policy, according to trustee Susanne Svizeny in her report of the Audit, Risk Management and Compliance Committee. The first policy requires that any suspected child abuse be reported while the latter policy requires the College to follow the Cleary Act and report campus crime. These two additions are already laws followed by the College, but they are now under the College’s own set of policies as well.
The next public meeting of the College’s Board of Trustees, the annual tuition hearing, will be on Tuesday, April 16 at a time and location to be announced.