Board of Trustees looks for new members after five leave

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GW’s highest governing body, the Board of Trustees, will add an uncertain number of new members to their ranks this spring, replacing five long-standing members that are set to leave at the end of this fiscal year on June 30, Chairman of the Board Russell Ramsey said.

Vice Chairman Lydia Thomas, Trustees Michele Hagans and Ray Oglethorpe and Alumni Trustee Zoe Beckerman are approaching their term limits, and long-standing Trustee Pat Gurne plans to retire after this year. There is an additional vacancy on the Board after Alumni Trustee Jeanette Michael died on Nov. 28.

“These exemplary trustees have brought vision and leadership to our Board. They are tireless advocates for GW, our programs and missions and hold key positions on critical Board committees. They will be missed and will be hard to replace,” Ramsey said.

Members of the Board are looking for potential new members, and names will be submitted for debate at the February meeting, Ramsey said.

“Then other trustees and senior members of GW start to have conversations, it’s a process, just to determine fit, people who we like and people who want to be a volunteer and people who want to add their intellectual capitals and time and their love to the University,” Ramsey said.

The current board consists of 24 charter trustees and seven alumni trustees. Although there are 11 open spots, it has not been decided how many new members will be elected at the May 2010 board meeting. Once elected, the new members would begin their term in early July.

“According the University’s bylaws, the maximum number of trustees that may serve on the Board at any given time is 42, which is composed of 35 charter trustees and seven alumni trustees,” assistant secretary to the Board William Carnago said in an e-mail.

Students interviewed said they would like the Board to elect members who are familiar not only with GW, but also with D.C.

“[Someone] who know the ins and outs of the University. Alumni would be great,” sophomore Kelsi Browning said. “People who have connections in D.C. would be good as well because they can act as liaisons for the University-at-large.”

Junior Kevin Duncan said the Board should add members who are experts in areas where GW is attempting to grow.

“I’d like to see a mix of alumni and people with expertise in specific areas that the school wants to expand and develop in,” Duncan said.

Ramsey said putting a student on the Board – something the Student Association last pushed for in 2005- has not been discussed, but Duncan said he had suggestions that only a student would be aware of.

“We also need more funding for student theatre. From the shows I’ve been to, we could use some renovations,” Duncan said.

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