On Monday, February 5, 2024, the Brite Divinity School Board of Trustees gathered for a one-day meeting. The acting president's report was structured around presentations by persons who will provide various levels of leadership in the pursuits of the Long-Range Plan (LRP) approved by the board at its October 2023 meeting. This group included those responsible for programmatic spheres, the provision of oversight for student and community life, and the facilitation of our emerging multimodal ethos. Also involved were faculty members who gave insight into faculty’s considerations on financial priorities over the life of the LRP and beyond. The rich discussion among those present, addressed early steps to pursue goals, objectives, and strategies of the LRP, and provided an opportunity for the frank address of thorny concerns and realistic exploration of important dreams and imaginations.
The following actions were approved by the Trustees
Dr. Natalya Cherry was granted tenure and will be promoted to Associate Professor of Methodist Studies and Theology beginning in Fall 2024.
Dr. Timothy Sandoval, Associate Dean of Academic Administration, will be promoted to Professor of Hebrew Bible beginning in Fall 2024.
Dr. James Duke will be recognized as Emeritus Professor of History of Christianity and History of Christian Thought beginning in Fall 2024.
Reformatting of the Governance Handbook, along with the Student Handbook and the Staff and Faculty Support Manual. This will involve moving all content in these documents to our website. With the content live on the website, we could have a single entry for policies that apply to all three sources.
The addition of a statement at the beginning of Brite’s Title IX policy in the Governance Handbook: “Further revisions await the finalization of updates by the US Department of Education and attention to related state regulations.”
Identification of important assumptions regarding tuition and fees, salaries, Leibrock housing rates, and endowment spending draw that will inform budgetary targets for the Fiscal Year 2025. Finalization of this process will take place at the April 2024 board meeting.
An update was provided on the ongoing negotiations between Brite and TCU regarding the renewal of the Support Services Agreement. Along with addressing concerns regarding the basic cost of support services provided by TCU and their continued availability, there was discussion on the discontinuation of certain tuition benefits and the approach being adopted by Brite’s board in an attempt to ameliorate negative consequences for Brite personnel. The next meeting is in March 2024.
The board discussed hiring a Vice President of Business and Finance. The board recognizes that the situation is urgent, but the search process should not be rushed. A retired accountant will work with Ms. Cathy Caero to ensure stability until a new CFO is selected.
Saturday, November 2, 2024 was identified as the very likely date for the installation of President-elect Cady.
Finally, congratulations to the entire Brite community for a successful Ministry Week 2024. Thank you to the speakers, participants, volunteers and everyone who helped make it a success, especially the Lifelong Learning team. Recordings of the sessions and presenters' PowerPoints can be accessed from Brite’s website at https://brite.edu/ministry-week .