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Saturday, March 9, 2024
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The Board of Trustees meet for the last time in the 2022-23 school year

New chair and vice chair named

American University students were not the only people on campus saying goodbye-for-now as the school year came to a close. The Board of Trustees also had their final meeting May 18 and 19. 

The Board highlighted the past success of the 2022-2023 year, pinpointed what the future of the University may look like and wrapped up outgoing chair Marc Duber’s final year.

The Board meets regularly to discuss the future plans for AU, and “contribute[s] to the Board's efforts to sustain and advance the University's mission, integrity, traditions, values, reputation as an institution extraordinarily committed to service to other, civility in human relationships, and devotion to the pursuit of knowledge and truth,” according to the Statement of Commitment and Responsibilities for the Board on AU’s website.

The “May 2023 Meeting Summary” discussed the success of the “more than 3,300” students graduating in the spring along with commencement speakers, which included Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Duber, who has just completed his second term as chair, is stepping down from the role and will remain a trustee. The newsletter thanked Duber, “for his remarkable leadership,” as he directed AU during the pandemic. Duber graduated AU in 1981 and is still highly engaged in the University community through the Executive Committee and Compensation Subcommittee.

Gina Adams will replace Duber as chair. Adams graduated from the School of Public Affairs in 1980 and went on to Howard University to receive her Juris Doctor degree. In 2018, she was inducted into the D.C. Hall of Fame and is the senior vice president for government and regulatory affairs at FedEx Corporation. She has been a part of the Board of Trustees since 2007 and has been a vice chair since 2019. The May meeting was her first chaired meeting. 

“Through collaboration, diverse perspectives, open dialogue, mutual respect, shared governance, and a commitment to mission, we can advance our strategic goals,” Adams wrote in the May summary. 

“As chair, I look forward to continuing to be a good advisor and thought partner to the leadership of AU as we tackle important issues such as attracting and retaining a diverse student body and top-notch faculty and completing our $500 million Change Can’t Wait campaign,” Adams told American University Magazine.

The new vice chair will be Charlie Lydecker, a 1985 AU graduate. He is the CEO of Foundation Risk Partners and in 2019 was appointed to the Board of Governors of the State University System by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

University President Sylvia Burwell updated the board “on the important progress made throughout this academic year,” according to the meeting summary.

Vice President Courtney Surls explained how the Change Can’t Wait campaign will meet the $500 million fundraising goal, as currently “more than $400 million” has been collected. The new building on campus along with increased funding for financial aid and equity and inclusive excellence, are all supported by the fundraising campaign.

The Board is also looking for the next Student Trustee-Elect. Here, students are given the opportunity to observe the Board’s meetings during their first year in this position. During their second year, students become an official Student Trustee, making them an integral part of the Board and their regular meetings. The application process recently ended. 

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be September 7 and 8.

This article was edited by Tyler Davis, Jordan Young and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis.

Correction: a previous version of this story stated that Marc Duber would leave the board after stepping down as chair. The story has been updated to reflect that Duber will remain a trustee. The previous version of this story also stated that Charlie Lydecker is a 1980 graduate. It has been updated to state that he graduated in 1985. 

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