When the Erskine College and Theological Seminary Board of Trustees met in October, one item of business was of particular interest to many alumni. In July, the Erskine Alumni Association Board had passed a resolution that sought to encourage improved relationships between the alumni association, trustees, and the ARP Church. At the October meeting, Erskine trustees adopted a favorable response to that resolution.
Highlighting several areas of fundamental agreement and cooperation between the alumni association and the board of trustees, the resolution requested concurrence from the trustees with the intent that, in the words of the resolution, “fears may be allayed, passions assuaged, and that healing may begin for the good of the evangelical mission of the ARP Church and the institutional health of Erskine.”
The Board of Trustees agreed, echoing the alumni resolution and highlighting several areas of shared commitment:
a warm and open community for a diverse student body from all walks of life, beliefs systems (college), and backgrounds; the twin pursuits of genuine Christian commitment and strenuous academic rigor that make Erskine unique; mission-appropriate application of academic freedom; mission-dedicated professors and instructors who are highly and appropriately qualified in their fields and are committed to academic excellence; mission-specific diversity within the Board, faculty, administration, and staff; the recommendation of trustees who are committed to the institutional missions and who are endowed with various gifts and represent diverse fields of expertise.
The response continues to note, “…we are joined and held together by the Institution’s missions. That which binds us in community with each other is far greater than that which separates.”
The theme of the meetings was “God as Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler.” Thursday devotionals were team led by Scott DeCiantis, associate dean of the college, Mark Nabholz, assistant professor of music, and Tameika Wideman, admissions recruitment coordinator. The Rev. Joey Donahue, trustee and pastor of Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, Bartlett, Tenn., led devotionals on Friday.
The board heard a report from Dr. Brad Christie, senior vice president for academic affairs and acting president. His report noted the successful recruiting year in the college and provided an update on progress in addressing items related to accreditation. Christie reported that the visit from the SACS special committee, which had occurred the week prior, had been very productive. He also pointed out that while some of the accreditation items will require more than one cycle to demonstrate full compliance, Erskine had made significant progress over the past year.
The Finance Committee reported a clean audit for the 2011-12 year and presented several revisions to policies regarding how endowment draws are approved, which the trustees adopted. The Finance Committee also asked trustees to prepare for significant discussions regarding long-term financial issues at its February meeting.
The Advancement Committee presented a $15,000 matching gift opportunity designed to facilitate more networking on the part of trustees and more introductions to new annual fund donors.