WPI Class of 1998
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WPI Alumni Association Leadership Council Meeting
March 6, 2004

Attended by Keith A. Pray and Jeevan Ramapriya
Notes by Jeevan.

  • Steve Rubin - Changes at WPI, Vice Chair Board of Trustees
    • Operating Challenges this Year
      • The endowment is valued currently at around $300 million, and the funds performance has been improving.
      • The operating budget of approximately $100 million per year
      • Had a short fall of $5 million over the past two year. This situation precipitated the reduction in force of staff members in February (layoffs).
      • Steve applauded the President for making the tough decision to reduce staff and set WPI's financial standing in order before he handed the rains over to the new president.
    • Presidential Candidate Search
      • The search has been narrowed down to 3 finalists from the original pool of over one hundred by the search committee.
      • The finalists will be visiting campus and the president should be chosen before the new fiscal year starting in June/July.
    • Marketing Campaign
      • Steve talked about the approach and the results achieved so far by the marketing campaign.
      • It was said that the main focus of the initial marketing advertisements were meant to influence Parents and Guidance councillors, not directly potential students.
      • He said that the marketing campaign it has been hard to get at the target audience. Nationally, of the 1.4 million students taking the SATs, 9% have expressed interest in Engineering. Locally, in Massachusetts that percentage drops to 7%, translating to roughly 2500 target students annually.
      • Surveys have been conducted to judge the awareness of the Boston and Hartford areas and research were presented to the leadership council.
      • Steve discussed the goals for the marketing campaign including:
        1. (1) Increasing WPI's awareness
        2. (2) Increasing the selectivity of our admissions process. The results were positive in these goals. Selectivity rose by 7%
      • Specific items that challenge our appeal to perspective students included: Location, Financial Aid and Breath of Courses available.
    • Miscellaneous
      • Jack Carney, the current provost, will be leaving WPI at the end of the calendar year.
  • Peter McDermott - WPI Alumni Association 5 year Master Plan
    • Talked very briefly and went over a few points that were in the draft of the WPIAA 5-year master plan.
    • They are soliciting feedback so we are going to see if we can get an electronic copy that we will forward along to the board.
  • William Colehower - Campus Master Plan
    • He is a representative from the architecture firm Shipley, Bulfinch, Richardson, And Abbot. (I think that they were the company that did a lot of planning with the Campus Center.)
    • There were 4 priorities that were the focus of this company's work and presentation
      • Admissions and Financial Aid building
      • Parking facilities
      • Academic/Laboratory improvements and expansion
      • Athletic and recreation facilities
    • The campus master plan executive summary was approved last week by the Board of Trustees. This summary is more of a directional set of goals rather than a blueprint for specific construction.
    • Keith or I could forward any documents if people would like to see more of the specifics. It may even be on a web site somewhere.
  • Orders of Business
    • The slate of candidates for fill the vacancies of the Alumni Association were approved they are:
      • President Frederick Costello '59 2nd term
      • President Elect Morgan Rees '61 2nd Term
      • Treasurer/Clerk Stephen Hebert '66
      • Secretary Beth Howland (WPI Staff)
      • Member At Large Naomi Boatright '03 1st Term
      • Trustee Representative Karen Bean '86G 1st Term
      • Funds Board Members at large Joseph Bronzino '59 and Peter Tunnicliffe '74
      • Trustee Search Committee George Abdow '53
  • Other notes
    • Association Endowment stands at 1.5 million
    • This endowment is 50% restricted and 50% unrestricted
    • Rate of return is about 5% producing about $80,000 a year to operate the Alumni Association
    • THE GOATS HEAD IS STILL MISSING AND IS A MAJOR CONCERN OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. There was talk about finding the mold and producing another maybe in the future if nothing changes. GPS was suggested for the future

by: Keith A. Pray
Last Modified: March 9, 2004 5:36 PM
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