Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, July 23, 2018

AU Board of Trustees meets on AU's future

At the second meeting of AU's Board of Trustees this year on Friday, the board discussed its commitment to guide WAMU, the increase in programs in AU Abroad and the approval of AU President Benjamin Ladner's salary.

"There are a lot of hurdles, [mainly] the quality of the product," said George Collins, the chairman of the AU Board of Trustees, about challenges the University is facing. "And we've made great strides."

WAMU

An ad hoc committee, made up of five members that included trustees, has been meeting to assess the future of WAMU after mismanagement and financial struggles came to light last fall.

David Taylor, Ladner's chief of staff, has been serving as acting general manager for the station.

"I hear very good reports about staff morale and volunteers coming back to help," Ladner previously told The Eagle. "I think it's going pretty well."

The station is currently hosting an on-air fundraiser until March 5, with a goal of raising $800,000. According to Ladner's report, the fundraiser will be a "key indicator of whether the station has 'bounced back' from previous adverse publicity."

"How it integrates into the University is one thing that is being looked at," Collins said.

No decision was made regarding WAMU's future, as the board felt more information was necessary. Collins expects that one will be made at the trustee meeting in May.

AU Abroad

One of the most noticeable recent transformations of Ladner's 15 Point Plan, in which he outlined his vision for the University in October 2001, has come from the AU Abroad program.

In the report by Vice President of International Affairs Robert Pastor, Pastor stated a goal of "tripling the number of partnerships with foreign universities."

Recent partnership agreements for abroad programs include universities in Canada, Ireland, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and England. More than 28 programs have been proposed, including universities in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana and Jamaica.

Ladner's salary

Ladner's salary for the next year was also set during executive session, Collins said, although he refrained from commenting on the specifics of the package.

"He has put in 10 superb years here," Collins said of Ladner. "He is an asset."

When asked about rumors circulating on campus about Ladner leaving for another university, Collins said he commented that Ladner would be a very attractive candidate but that "Ben is happy here"


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