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    Minutes of the Alum Board of Directors
    Louisville Seminary

    April 25-26, 2010

    Sunday, April 25

    In attendance:  Joel Alvis, Nancy Barkat, Leslie Belden, Bruce Berry, Marie Cross, Karen Devaisher,  Pearl Gillespie-Gray, David Gilmore, Skip Hansen, Roosevelt Haynes, Jud Hendrix,  Yena Hwang, Alonzo Johnson, Ann Laird Jones, Barbara McDonald, Andrew Miller, Donna Morton, Terry Newland, Ernie Newsom, Rick Nutt, Walt Sutton, Barb Tesorero, Wayne Yost
    Excused:  Jack Cormack, Kathy Westmoreland  
    Absent: Gail Neal  
    Faculty/Staff Resources:  Leah Bradley, Kilen Gray, Cheri Harper, David Hester, Judy Johnston, Lisa Kolb, Dale Melton, Michelle Melton, Dianne Reistroffer, Dean Thompson
    Guest:  Christine Coy-Fohr

    Meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m. Joel Alvis introduced student body president, Christine Coy-Fohr, who offered a wonderful opening devotional.

    The agenda for the meeting was presented and approved. 

    Report from the President 

    Dean Thompson announced the arrangements for the memorial service for Clint Morrison and invited alum board members to share their memories of studying under Clint.

    Dean commented on three markers (students, admissions, scholarships) which give reflection to his experience at Louisville Seminary. He noted that the student body consists of students who are ready and enthusiastic about meeting the spiritual and economic challenges of ministry in today's world. Admissions have been strong and Dean called on Cheri Harper to offer comments from that office. Cheri noted that the top seven recruits this year all committed to enroll at Louisville Seminary. This spring marks the second year in a row with double digit enrollments. Endowed scholarships have grown and Dean invited Dale Melton to provide additional information on this. Dale reported on scholarship growth and compared 2004 scholarship portfolio to the current 2010-11 distributions. Dale lifted up the generous contributions that Dr. Schaap has made through the establishment of endowed scholarships in honor his father's memory. The seminary financial life is doing well, but not without incurring the human cost of the elimination of 9 positions. The creation of the Black Church Studies program (a new program generated from existing income vs. new income) is an example of the seminary's creative process in deepening and strengthening its program from existing resources. Newly admitted students express that they choose to come to Louisville for a great classical education, racial ethnic diversity, a premier field education program and in response to the hospitality the campus is known for.

    Report from the Academic Dean

    David Hester indicated that the economic challenges, resulting in the loss of 9 positions, have necessitated in different staff/faculty members acquiring additional roles. David expressed gratitude for the work Dianne Reistroffer has voluntarily taken on as acting field education director, the work that Kilen Grey has engaged in through his service as associate dean for student affairs and his oversight of the book store, and the work that Lewis Brogdon has achieved in the organization of the Black Church Studies Program. David gave a quick overview of the Black Church Studies Program which provides a both a M.Div. degree concentration as well as a certificate program.

    David expressed his joy at being able to state that the accreditation process has been successfully completed. The Quality Enhancement Plan (helping men and women plan for ministry in a world of differences), which was one outcome of the accreditation process, gave birth to a new program, Doors to Dialogue (D2D) implemented by Cliff Kirkpatrick. In establishing this program, the Seminary recognizes that its graduates will increasingly provide ministry in communities in which new immigrant churches, churches of diverse Christian traditions and theologies, and religious communities whose traditions are other than Christian, are living side by side.

    David shared the D-2-D DVD with the group and acknowledged Michelle Melton's good work on producing it. David talked about Diana Eck's (former Grawemeyer Award recipient) work which further explains the religious diversity in our communities and encouraged us to view her work by visiting www.pluralism.org.

    Report from the Vice President for Seminary Relations 

    Dale Melton lifted up the work Leah Bradley has done with student placement and commended her for transforming the placement process that the seminary offers. Dale also noted Judy Johnston's work with the Seminary Fund and referred to the critical role that funds like Bookends play in a student's life. Dale presented a summary of the Seminary's current scholarships portfolio and discussed the impact of recent economic trends (see attachment).

    Alum Board Covenant 

    At last year's meeting, the Alum Board requested that an executive committee create a covenant for future board members. The executive committee met and drafted a covenant which was moved for approval by Joel Alvis, seconded by Bruce Berry, and opened for discussion. After various edits to items 4 & 5, motion regarding the attached covenant was approved.

    The Alum Board recessed for dinner at 6:10 p.m. after thanksgiving for our meal was offered by Pearl Gillespie-Gray. Following dinner, the board divided to meet as the following committees: Academic Committee, Communications Committee, Community Life Committee, Nominating Committee, Recruitment Committee, Seminary Relations Committee.

    At the conclusion of committee meetings, the board recessed for the evening.

    Monday, April 26

    In attendance: Joel Alvis, Nancy Barkat, Leslie Belden, Bruce Berry, Marie Cross, Karen Devaisher, David Gilmore, Skip Hansen, Roosevelt Haynes, Jud Hendrix, Yena Hwang, Alonzo Johnson, Ann Laird Jones, Barbara McDonald, Andrew Miller, Donna Morton, Terry Newland, Ernie Newsom, Rick Nutt, Walt Sutton, Barb Tesorero, Wayne Yost
    Excused: Jack Cormack, Kathy Westmoreland, Pearl Gillespie-Gray
    Absent: Gail Neal
    Faculty/Staff Resources: Leah Bradley, Kilen Gray, Cheri Harper, David Hester, Judy Johnston, Dale Melton, Michelle Melton, Dianne Reistroffer

    The board resumed its work at 8:05 a.m. as Joel Alvis led us in a morning devotion.

    President's Report

    Joel Alvis reported that through the course of the year three email votes were taken, all motions passed. Morgan Roberts and Dean Thompson were given honorary alum status and Terry Newland was elected to serve as Alum Board representative to the Board of Trustees.

    Report from the Alum Board Rep to the Board of Trustees

    Rick Nutt represented us at the Board of Trustees meeting. He commended the staff and faculty for their fiscal stewardship and noted that the Seminary budget ended the year in the black, in part due to faculty and staff diligence and hard work. In the short term future, the Seminary is facing the challenge of renovating the older residence halls. He noted that they heard presentations on D2D and reflected that D2D and the new branding supports the goals of the strategic plan. Rick noted that the quality of faculty's scholarly work remains high and invited Terry Newland to add comments. Terry Newland further discussed academic goals and noted that numerous trustee members have commented on what good work Rick has done on Trustees as our representative.

    Rick invited Karen Davaisher to report on behalf of the presidential search committee. Karen reported that in mid-October the search committee finalized the position description and profile and began to receive over 150 recommendations for 86 individuals. The seminary website has a page related to the search and Rick Nutt encouraged alum to visit that. Karen asked the Alum Board to be in prayer for the search committee and their process.

    Committee Reports (see attached copies of committee minutes)

    Academic Committee
    Karen Davaisher reported that Carol Cook, Chris Elwood, Marty Soards, Debra Mumford, and Doug Gragg will all be engaged in sabbatical study.  Leslie Belden noted that faculty are working to infuse new courses with theD2D goals. Accreditation for the Marriage and Family Therapy program is currently in process/review. There is a high rate of employment for graduates of the MFT program. Some discussion about the field education program revolved around the need for funding and the need to build endowed funds for that purpose.

    Communications Committee
    Written report of the committee's actions was distributed by Jud Hendrix. Jud lifted up gratitude to Michelle Melton for her work in the area of communications. Jud encouraged alum to join the lptspreach.ning.comsocial networking site. Jud moved from committee the recommendation for a procedure for an email vote. Discussion noted the complexities of including a board member who might not participate in email. The motion was approved.

    Community Life Committee
    Donna Morton distributed a written report. Donna highlighted disability issues, student groups, blood drive, pastoral care concerns (there are 4 spiritual directors for Presbyterian students), faculty contributions, and the need to renovate older residential halls. Dale Melton noted that it will be an additional $5-8 million to renovate the older residential halls. Discussion reflected on the perception that the current student body promotes a welcoming atmosphere, embraces an increased concern for one another and connection with each other, and has raised up excellent student leadership.

    Nominating Committee
    Ann Laird Jones distributed a written report and expressed gratitude for the support given by Leah Bradley and Dale Melton. Ann highlighted the creation of criteria for the selection of Distinguished Alum Award recipients and moved from committee a two tier approach for alum awards adding a First Decade Award alongside of the Distinguished Alum Award and specifying guidelines for the selection process. Motion passed. Ann moved from committee nominations for 2011 Distinguished Alum Award. Motion carried. Ann reported that the Nominating Committee will continue to work on a definition and guideline for granting Honorary Alum status.

    Recruitment & Admissions Committee
    Wayne Yost reported on increased enrollments that were directly related to successful recruitment efforts. Wayne commended Cheri for her work as a first point of contact in recruitment. Prospective students are attracted by smaller classes and course schedule flexibility (evening and weekend classes). Availability of MFT supervisors, space limitations, client numbers have resulted in a small reduction to numbers that the seminary can accommodate in the MFT program. Additional discussion noted the on-going need to increase enrollment of African-American students.

    Seminary Relations Committee
    Marie Cross distributed a written report and highlighted the committee's discussion about their role and committee goals in relation to the institution's wider fund raising efforts. She reminded the board that the Seminary's fiscal year runs from June 1 - May 31. An additional end of year reminder will be sent to donors. Marie moved from committee that Alum Board members be willing to contact a donor on behalf of the Alum Board to say "thank you" for their gift. Motion passed. Marie also moved from committee that Alum Board members be willing to contact one other alum during the next year in order to encourage him/her to contribute to the Seminary Fund and report back to Judy Johnston's office. Motion passed. The Board commends Dale Melton for his excellent work in this area. Rick Nutt reminded board members that they can contribute to the Seminary Fund via a monthly credit card charge.

    Other Business
    Joel welcomed Andrew Miller as our newest Board member and expressed gratitude to those board members who are concluding their service on the board: Jack Cormack, Karen Davaisher, Ann Laird Jones, Barbara McDonald, Rick Nutt, Kathy Westmoreland.

    Meeting Evaluation
    Joel solicited feedback on the overall meeting structure, etc. The Board commended Joel for his leadership and for building a spirit of camaraderie. It was noted that increased use of power point presentations might decrease our carbon footprint, although there would be a need to consider members with visual disabilities. It was suggested that written reports be reduced to statistical information and recommendations. It was noted that more time allocated for committee work might be helpful. Board members were encouraged to consider additional ways to communicate to other alum our insights and experiences gained from our visits to campus.

    Joel Alvis adjourned the meeting with prayer at 11:25 a.m.

    Dates for future Alum Board meetings:


        • May 1– 4, 2011
        • April 29 – May 2, 2012
        • April 28 – May 1, 2013

    Respectfully submitted,
    Barb Tesorero

    Scholarship Report
    Communications Committee Report
    Community Life Committee Report
    Nominating Committee Report (Distinguished Alum Award Program Guidelines)
    Seminary Relations Committee Report

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