Stetson University Trustees change investment policy

Also approved: campus plans, new graduate programs

TrusteesOnTheRock_2014_400x256Stetson University’s Board of Trustees, pictured, approved a change in the university’s investment policy in alignment with the University’s recent decision to become a tobacco and smoke free campus. The University will no longer directly invest in tobacco company securities.

“This decision is an outgrowth of Stetson’s commitment to its values,” said Stetson Vice President and CFO Bob Huth. “By choosing to restrict investment of certain university funds, we are putting our values into action, which is an important component to the full Stetson experience.”

The Board reviewed and approved the fifteen-year campus plans for Stetson’s four campuses recommended by the university’s Facilities Committee. The plans identify various facility projects to be undertaken in the near and mid-term.

Two new graduate degree programs also were approved:

  • The J.D./LL.M. in Advocacy degree program at Stetson University College of Law will begin in spring 2015. It offers a joint-degree program, allowing qualified students the opportunity to earn both a J.D. degree and an LL.M. degree in advocacy from Stetson in as little as three years.
  • The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Social Justice degree program offered in Stetson’s College of Arts and Sciences will support educators in meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of all students, including students considered at-risk. This program is designed to help educators better understand and serve the marginalized segment of children in the United States who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level when family homelessness is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.

Two significant gifts to the university by longtime Stetson supporters committed to the university’s success and significance were celebrated in separate ceremonies on campus:

WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning has been endowed by Stetson University Trustees David and Leighan Rinker. The dedication ceremony was held to honor them and their family’s long-standing investment in Stetson’s future. While Stetson’s recruitment of international students and the study abroad programs are most well-known, the newly endowed WORLD (World Outreach, Research, Learning and Development) Center seeks to recognize, connect, increase and support the other ways in which Stetson University is able to internationalize the institution and gain global recognition.

The Hollis Family Student Success Center, the latest endeavor in a long history of support and service of Stetson by the Hollis family, will be the hub of learning in the heart of the Stetson campus. The Center will allow the various functions of Stetson’s Student Success program into one high-visibility, high-traffic location: Stetson’s duPont-Ball Library, on the second (mezzanine) level. It will focus on empowering students with the academic, social and financial know-how to succeed and to live a life of significance.

Four new members of Stetson University’s Board of Trustees, elected previously, attended their first trustee meeting. They are Susan Morris ’69, Troy Templeton ’82, MBA ’83, Robert Pocica ’75 and C. Scott Bruin ’75. Their photos and bios are included in the University’s Board of Trustees website.

The Trustees received information on Title lX and participated in an information session about what the university has done and continues to do to be compliant with the requirements of Title IX, with the focus on ensuring a safe environment for faculty, staff and students. Leading the discussion was a panel of experts, including Stetson’s General Counsel Mark Alexander, Partner, Alexander DeGance Barnett; Professor of Law Peter Lake, who serves as Director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy; and Douglas Onley, Senior Claims Counsel, United Educators.