Senate meeting addresses Quad surface, endowment

Matt Kelly

Quad walkways, health center space and the University’s financial future were all on the table last Friday as administrators, faculty members and students gathered for the opening University Senate meeting.

Following a wine and cheese reception to welcome the new senators, Rev. John Stack, O.S.A., University vice president of Student Life began the meeting with an invocation, praying for individuals of the University community. At the conclusion of the opening prayer, minutes from the May 2 meeting were unanimously approved.

An inquiry as to the status report on the durability of the porous concrete surface applied to the Quad’s pedestrian walkways was addressed to Rev. William McGuire, O.S.A., vice president of Administration. “While the drainage capability has exceeded our expectations, the current surface is clearly unacceptable,” McGuire said.

“We are analyzing the concrete and its constituent parts to determine the cause of the poor bonding and uneven surface. After the analysis, the concrete will either be replace or resurfaced.”

In addition, Stack detailed the organizations and administrative offices that would occupy space in the old health center.

After the question and answer session, new senators were formally introduced. The board welcomed Dr. Debra A. Arvanities, C&F senator; Dr. Barry Johnson, dean of the College of Engineering, Edward Bierer, of Part-Time Studies and Sandra Tolosky-Patterer ’93, alumna senator.

The University’s endowment was the next topic on the agenda. Senator John Elizandro, vice president for Institutional Development, and Richard Sieber, executive director of Budgeting and Auxiliary, outlined the University’s upcoming capital campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to increase the University’s endowment.

The endowment allows money from gifts and donors to be invested so it can collect interest. The money made off of the investment will increase the operating budget and go towards future programs.

Sieber compared the endowment to a household’s savings account. “We’re always spending less than we’re making so that the end continues to grow,” he said. Currently the University is in the “quiet phase” of this capital campaign, which involves looking alumni donations.

“The primary way an endowment builds is through donors,” said Stack. Donations generally come from an annual alumni fund or capital campaign. The last major financial campaign ended in 1997. The target date for the current project is 2007; the projection is $200 million.

Student Government Association President Maureen Holland thought the first Senate meeting went smoothly. “I think it went really well. We talked mainly about the endowment, which was good to know,” she said. “The endowment has really grown and that has resulted in a lot of improvements for the school.”

Holland acknowledged that the University can also partake in the Senate Meeting by bringing questions to the table. “The Senate is the decision-making body, so if anything is going to get done it gets passed through the Senate and students should know they have that avenue.”

The Senate will meet again on Oct. 25. At this time the motion from the Committee on Mission and Social Justice concerning disability access will be discussed. This motion, which was supposed to be addressed at the meeting, was postponed because the necessary information was not available in time.