Board of Trustees Update, May 21, 2024

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College Community:

The Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees held its May meeting on May 10-11. During our meetings, we were excited to perform one of our favorite duties—approval of the Class of 2024 candidates for graduation. Saturday morning, during our plenary session, we heard an update on the College’s strategic planning efforts from President Harriet Nembhard. The board was delighted to see the progress made by the community thus far, and we look forward to learning more in the coming months.

Also on Saturday, we heard from four graduating seniors who shared stories of their experiences at Mudd as well as their plans for the future. Thank you to seniors Tanvi Krishnan (Physics/Computer Science), Nile Phillips (Mathematics/Computer Science), Matea Zelich (Chemistry/Biology) and Emma Zhang (Mathematics/Physics) for sharing your thoughts. We congratulate you and your classmates for your wonderful accomplishments and look forward to hearing great things from you in the future. We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to this year’s ASHMC President and Senate Chair, seniors Kayleah Tsai and Henry Hammer, for their work this past year and for sharing updates from the student body with the board during our meetings. We look forward to working with their successors Serena Mao ’25 and Shivani Manivasagan ’25 beginning in Fall 2024.

The board was also apprised of the campus climate and discussions surrounding HMC’s ties with defense companies. We look forward to working with students, faculty, and staff representing the views of the whole community as the Strategic Planning Task Force on Clinic and Corporate Partnerships charts a path forward on this important question. Like at many college and university campuses around the country, this has been a challenging time for the Harvey Mudd community. On behalf of the board, we thank the students, faculty and staff for their ongoing efforts to extend grace to one another and to make space for crucial conversations around these important issues. We are confident that by working together through the strategic planning process, we can ensure that Harvey Mudd continues to improve and meet the challenge of its mission now and in the years to come.

In addition, the board made several key decisions we would like to share.

Campus Improvements

  • The Physical Plant and Campus Planning Committee (PPCPC) approved replacement of the College’s Central Plant building automation system from the College’s Renewal and Replacement Reserve (RRR) program budget. The change is expected to save the College approximately $39,000 per year.
  • The PPCPC approved replacing the exterior walkway waterproofing and conducting some regrading to prevent water intrusion at Drinkward Residence Hall. Work is expected to be completed this summer.  
  • The PPCPC recommended and the full board approved expanding the College’s solar power footprint by moving forward with the installation of the Phase 2 Solar Photovoltaic Array Project. This project, partially funded from the College’s Green Fund, will add solar to the roofs of South Residence Hall, Linde Activities Center, Linde Residence Hall and to the perimeter of Linde Field. This is expected to increase the College’s solar energy production to almost 30% of the annual energy use campus wide.
  • The BFPC and Advancement Committee recommended, and the board approved, allocating residual funds received from bequests made by John and Florence Rae to the College for use in renovating the Green Room in the Joseph B. Platt Campus Center. Trustees also agreed with the administration that upon completion of the Green Room upgrades and after consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances, the administration should consider renaming the room in honor of the Rae family.

    John Bell Rae was founder and past president of the Society for the History of Technology and the recipient of that society’s highest honor, theLeonardo da Vinci Medal, in 1980. After teaching at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined Harvey Mudd College in 1959 where he taught courses in the history of technology and industry. Although he retired from Harvey Mudd in 1976, he continued to teach in the Executive Management Program of the Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) as a colleague of Peter Drucker. We greatly appreciate John and Florence’s service to the College as well as their generosity.

Trustee Actions

  • The board approved several recommendations for renewal of trustees and appointment of new board members. Unless otherwise noted, these actions are effective July 1, 2024.
  • The board reelected Jim Bean ’77 as chair of the board for a two-year term.
  • Trustees Albert Lee, Justin Peterson ’85, Autumn Preskill ’09 and Jessica Skon were reelected for three-year terms.
  • Obosa Obazuaye ’14 was elected to serve as a recent graduate trustee. Obosa graduated with a degree in computer science from HMC and earned a Master of Advanced Studies in Wireless Embedded Systems from UC San Diego. He currently serves as a software engineer for Viasat.
  • Bruce DePriester ’74 was elected to serve as an advisory trustee. He most recently served the board as chair of the Budget and Financial Planning Committee.
  • We say goodbye to the following trustees and thank them for their service to the College: Justin Christian P’25, Mike Curtis, Jason Fennell ’08, Scott Fraser ’76, Curtis Mewbourne P’25, Sunil Rajasekar P’26, and Lindsay Wray ’08.
  • Trustees voted to grant Mike Curtis and Jason Fennell ’08 emeritus trustee status.
  • Karen Morrison ’08 was elected to serve as a trustee for a three-year term as her term as a recent graduate trustee is ending.
  • The board approved the 2024-2025 operating budget.

Faculty Actions

  • The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) approved the promotion to full professor for Jim Boerkoel (Computer Science), Sharon Gerbode (Physics), Vivien Hamilton (Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts) and Talithia Williams (Mathematics).
  • The AAC approved the renewals for two-year appointments for assistant professors Heather Zinn-Brooks (Mathematics) and Anup Gampa (Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts).
  • The AAC approved the three-year reappointment for assistant professor Jamie Haddock (Mathematics).
  • All faculty actions above are effective July 1. We congratulate these faculty members and thank them for their continued service to the College.
  • In closing, we concluded the weekend by celebrating the College’s 66th Commencement and all the wonderful accomplishments of the Harvey Mudd College Class of 2024. On behalf of the board, we would like to congratulate our graduates and their families on this tremendous milestone.  We also are grateful to the many members of the HMC community who worked tirelessly to ensure that our meetings over the weekend and Commencement activities were successful. This weekend always serves to remind us why the faculty, staff and trustees of the College devote our time, energy and talents in service to the College. Our students and graduates are the College’s greatest impact on society, and we look forward to seeing how each of them makes their mark on the world.


Jim Bean ’77
Chair, HMC Board of Trustees

Laura Larson P’20
Vice Chair, HMC Board of Trustees

Michael Schubmehl ’02
Vice Chair, HMC Board of Trustees