At the beginning of the Board of Trustees meeting last Friday, Franklin College President Thomas Minar read his president’s report.
The report is an overall look at the big topics and expectations for the year and a look back at what was accomplished over the last academic year.
Below are the top five things you need to know about last Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.
1. The sexual misconduct policy has been revised.
Minar began his report by announcing the revision of the old sexual misconduct policy.
“It was really revised top to bottom,” he said. “The Board of Trustees, seeing the external environment around the federal government’s Title IX, asked the college to step back and review what our policies and procedures were on sexual misconduct on campus and in our community.”
The new sexual misconduct policy was adopted by the Board of Trustees in May, and they have spent the subsequent months establishing procedures on how to handle situations of sexual misconduct.
2. The college is building a new science center.
Last Friday, the Board of Trustees approved a plan for a new science center.
The plan was announced through an all-campus email by Minar.
“Obviously, from the perspective of the students and the faculty, it takes a dusty old science building and updates and renovates it,” Minar said.
The new facility adds nearly two-thirds more space than the current amount Barnes Hall offers.
“It’s going to be designed in a way that addresses today’s science learning needs,” he said. “More lab space and considerable student research space.”
Construction is expected to begin in June 2017.
3. The college is updating the curriculum.
As part of Franklin’s strategic plan, the Board of Trustees created a goal to have the school be nationally recognized for engaged and intensive learning.
“This is a historic strength of the college,” Minar said. “When the curriculum of the modern liberal arts college, Franklin College, emerged in the 1840s and 1850s, it had to do with two things: work and studies. The interaction between experiential and liberal education was embedded in who we were in the 1840s.”
4. The college is adding a diversity and inclusion center.
The college will soon announce the opening of a diversity and inclusion center that will be developed in the Napolitan Student Center.
“It’s something for all students,” he said. “It’s something for the entire community to highlight all the activities we do, some of which are about multi-culturalism, some of which are about globalism, and some of which are providing outreach and opportunities for peoples of other kinds of difference.”
An official announcement is in the making.
5. The college is seeing higher numbers of applications.
Minar said applications to Franklin College are up more than 20 percent compared to this time last year.
“It’s heartening,” he said. “It’s also way too early to know anything. It’s too early to know if that will hold, if it’s a blip, or if this year’s seniors in high school have better timing.”