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February 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting Report

February 15, 2019

Dear Campus Community:

The Board of Trustees met on campus last week for our winter meeting. It was wonderful to see so many members of the Gallaudet community. The theme of our board meeting was Bilingual Mission, which is Priority One in our Short-Term Strategic Plan. I would like to share highlights from these three days.

The Bilingual Mission Framework Task Force gave a riveting presentation at Peikoff Alumni House. The video will be made available to the community shortly. On behalf of the Board, I want to commend the incredible work of co-chairs Dr. Jeff Lewis and Dr. Kristin Mulrooney and the Task Force members. We recognize the enormous commitment of time, energy, and passion that each member brought to this work. The Board looks forward to the next steps and intends to support President Cordano in integrating this work into all of our strategic priorities.

The Board had opportunities to engage various constituencies on and off campus. We visited the Signing Starbucks on H Street Northeast to see one example of how Gallaudet is creating a positive impact on the community and had the opportunity to meet students and alumni who work there. We hosted a luncheon with invited faculty, staff, and students at the Kellogg Conference Hotel and enjoyed three dynamic talks on the intersection between Deaf Gain and innovation. The Board, along with members of President Cordano’s executive team, also held an evening Cross-Cultural Conversation at Peikoff Alumni House.

I would like to take this opportunity to share actions and updates from our committees.

  • The Committee on National Deaf Education met at MSSD. After a presentation on bilingual teaching and learning strategies, we toured two classrooms and observed the application of those exciting strategies.
  • The Committee on Budget and Operations deliberated as a full Board and gave President Cordano a mandate to balance the FY 2019 budget with a $3.7 million contingency fund. More information will be shared during a campus presentation on March 6.
  • The Committee on Audit approved the FY 2018 audit assessment prepared by our accounting firm Grant Thornton. I am pleased to report that Gallaudet received a clean audit.
  • The Committee on Investment established a new endowment fund to be named “Sixth Street Property Fund.”
  • The Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion would like to commend the Office of EDI and the Bilingual Mission Framework Task Force on their strategic partnership.
  • The Committee on Academic Affairs received recommendations for professors emeriti recognition and honorary degrees.
  • The Committee on Student Affairs had the opportunity to bring questions on the visions of the interim Dean of Student Affairs and the SBG and GSA presidents.
  • The Committee on Trustees received a slate of nominees from the Gallaudet University Alumni Association for review.

The Board also passed a resolution to honor Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas), whose term expired in January, effectively ending his term as a Public Member of the Board of Trustees. Rep. Yoder was a friend of Gallaudet and a champion of the Deaf community. We are grateful for his eight years of service as a Public Member of the Board of Trustees.

As I close, I would like to thank Ms. Claire Bugen for her service as Acting Chair from last spring through last fall. I look forward to working with the Board and President Cordano in continuing Gallaudet’s strategic transformation.

I look forward to seeing you in May, when the Board of Trustees will convene on campus for its spring meeting and the University’s 150th Commencement.


Seth Bravin, ’95

Posted by Andrew Greenman | Posted February 15, 2019 at 2:28 PM


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002