Trustees convene in fall session

by Shelby Harding

The Board of Trustees came to Whitworth Oct. 9-11 for the fall gathering which included tasks to approve new board members, discuss ways to increase alumni involvement and find solutions for the budget gap.

The trustees voted on potential nominees for new board members and nominees for the Doctorate of Divinity award during the first meeting Thursday.

Stu Stiles, a member of the institutional advancement committee, presented information from surveys conducted over the summer as well as financial information.

Greg Orwig, vice president of admissions and financial aid, briefed the trustees on recent admissions shortfalls and presented new strategies to avoid future shortfalls. The admissions office has begun the application campaign six weeks earlier than last year, and will target more out-of-state students with increased communication efforts to reduce the amount of students who cancel enrollment, Orwig said.

Brian Benzel, vice president of finance and administration and Jason Thackston, board member, discussed the budget shortfall and ways vice presidents and other faculty members are working to decrease the deficit.

The university anticipates a $1.6 million deficit for 2015, although the budget should be balanced in 2016, Thackston said.

Whitworth vice presidents are looking for $270,000 in budget cuts to assist in alleviating the budget gap for the upcoming year.

It will be important for the university to bring a balanced budget in 2015, Taylor said. It will be a difficult task but a task that needs to be done, and will also be a great opportunity, he said.

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