Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,
Last week, the Pomona College Board of Trustees met on campus and held committee meetings and a strategic planning session. In the spirit of shared governance, the board committee meetings included faculty, students and staff and covered important topics for our community. I want to share several key developments with you.
Faculty Approved for Contract Renewal and Promotion and Tenure
First, please join me in congratulating the following faculty who were approved for contract renewal, promotion and tenure:
Tenure & Promotion to Associate Professor
Elizabeth Glater, Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Heidi Haddad, Associate Professor of Politics
Benjamin Keim, Associate Professor of Classics
Jordan Kirk, Associate Professor of English
Sara Olson, Associate Professor of Biology
Blerta Shtylla, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Guadalupe Bacio, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Chicana/o Latina/o Studies
Giovanni Ortega, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance
Carolyn Ratteray, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance
Moving forward on Rains and Oldenborg
A joint meeting of the finance committee and facilities and environment committee was held to discuss the next steps for two important building projects: the renovation of the Rains Center and rebuilding of Oldenborg.
I am pleased to report that the board approved the renovation of the Rains Center with a total estimated project cost of $55 million which will be funded with $29 million in donor gifts and $26 million through debt or the future renovation and construction account. Rains Center is home to physical education, student, faculty and staff wellness and to Sagehen Athletics. It is the one academic building on campus every student will utilize in their time at Pomona, either through their two required physical education courses, athletics or wellness activities.
I am grateful for the trustee leadership on this effort demonstrated by two lead gifts of $10 million each toward the construction of the new Center.
Also discussed was the future of the important teaching, learning and living that takes place inside the Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations. The board approved moving forward with the tollgate process to replace it. As many of you know from attending community meetings and planning sessions, there are some exciting new ideas about how to advance global education at Pomona and build on our highly-regarded programs. From its robust international speakers program, the intensive language halls and language tables to our study abroad and internship opportunities and interdisciplinary programs, the new Oldenborg will provide a 21st-century facility to influence the global future and serve as a center for our award-winning programs. A new residence hall featuring immersive language opportunities will also be part of the new development. Further discussions about a new Oldenborg will take place this spring and include faculty, students, staff, and trustees.
The final timeline for these projects is dependent on fundraising, revenues, city approvals and further discussions of the direction for the new Oldenborg. The renovation of Thatcher Music Building remains a priority and conversations about this project will continue.
The strategic planning committee met with trustees during the board meeting to gather ideas and suggestions for the College’s future. You can follow the work of the strategic planning committee on their website. Spring retreats for faculty and students are in the planning phase.
As we close out 2018, I thank you all for being part of the Pomona community and I am looking forward to working with all of you in 2019.
With best wishes,