Board of Trustees January 2023 MeetingFebruary 3, 2023
The Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees held its January meeting on Friday–Saturday, Jan. 27–28. We welcomed incoming HMC President Harriet Nembhard, who joined us for discussions with President Maria Klawe about plans for transitioning the leadership of the College over the coming year. It is our hope that we can all work together to ensure a smooth transition and to prepare Harriet to be successful once she officially begins her role as the College’s next president on July 1. During our board meetings, we discussed several topics and made some important decisions that we would like to share with the campus community.
During our Friday morning plenary, we enjoyed the opportunity to speak to a few of the College’s newest faculty members: Spencer Brucks (Chemistry), Whitney Fowler (Engineering) and Dre Helmns (Engineering). It was wonderful to learn more about their research interests as well as about what drew them to the Harvey Mudd College community. We thank them for joining us, and we welcome them to the HMC community. Members of the board also enjoyed the many other opportunities we had to interact with students, faculty and staff, including our dinner and lunches with students and faculty and our reception with staff members as well as our visits to classes and the makerspace. After spending the past few years meeting and learning remotely, it is wonderful for us all to be able to get back together to enjoy our normal campus activities.
As part of the Physical Plant and Campus Planning Committee (PPCPC) meeting, trustees received a report on damage to Physics labs in the Keck basement caused by water leaking through failed waterproofing and additional flooding caused by a car hitting a fire hydrant on Platt Boulevard. Repairs are underway, but unfortunately, the damage has led to challenges for faculty and students in the department. The trustees were sorry to hear about the flooding, and we would like to thank the Physics faculty as well as the staff in Facilities and Maintenance for all their flexibility and hard work in helping to address these challenges. Repairs are underway, and the damaged equipment will be replaced as soon as possible. PPCPC also briefly discussed upcoming needs for the air conditioning systems in some of the residence halls and heard a report about financial modeling for audio visual system maintenance.
The College’s master plan calls for a new academic building (AB2) to be constructed at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Dartmouth Avenue and a new residence hall to be built roughly in the area north of the Garrett House on the site of the basketball court. As we prepare for the leadership transition at the College and begin development of a new strategic plan and opportunities for our next fundraising campaign, the trustees consider both initiatives critical to the College’s future.
Upon discussion and the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee, the board unanimously approved Leah Mendelson (Engineering), David Seitz (Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts) and Brian Shuve (Physics) for tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor and approved David Nembhard (Engineering) for tenure and appointment at the rank of professor. The promotions and tenure appointments are effective July 1. We congratulate Leah, David and Brian and thank them for their service and dedication to our students. We look forward to welcoming David to the Harvey Mudd College community later this summer.
Trustees unanimously approved five candidates for graduation from the College. We are incredibly happy for each of you and proud of your many accomplishments while students at Harvey Mudd. We welcome you to the HMC alumni family and look forward to hearing more from you as you continue to progress in your careers.
In closing, I encourage you all to join the College community as we continue to celebrate the many wonderful accomplishments made under outgoing HMC President Maria Klawe. There will be several opportunities to celebrate Maria at Family Weekend, Alumni Weekend, various regional events and dinners as well as a larger on-campus celebration on the Thursday before commencement. Look for details about these events in your email in the coming weeks and months. I also hope you will join me again in congratulating Maria on recently being named the next President of the Math for America (MfA) organization. We know she will do amazing things in her new role, and we look forward to additional opportunities for the College to partner with her and with MfA in the future.
Jim Bean ’77
Chair, Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees