Lambert to meet with BOT

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Today’s Baker University Board of Trustees meeting will be University President Dan Lambert’s last, as he is scheduled to retire this month.

“I’m going to do my report and do what’s expected of me in my current job,” Lambert said. “In my 19 years, I’ve done 60-some of these, and I will miss them a lot. I would be dishonest if I said there weren’t special dimensions to this meeting.”

Lambert said he recalls earlier years when the BOT had a private meeting room but no reception hall in the Collins House.

“We’d have people in every room and on every floor in the house,” Lambert said. “I’m sure they didn’t appreciate it, but I figured if you’re going to invite people on campus, they ought to be guests in the president’s house, so we did it.”

Aside from any sentimental aspects of the day as the university says goodbye to Lambert and welcomes President-elect Pat Long, the BOT will address a number of practical issues in preparation for the upcoming academic year.

As a primary issue on the agenda for the executive meeting to be held this morning, Vice President of Finances Jo Adams will facilitate conversation and official approval of the budget for the 2006-2007 school year.

However, she said she expects very little debate over the proposed spending projections.

“I talk with the finance committee about that every month,” Adams said. “They are very familiar with the process and with any issues we might face. Our goal is always to present them with a balanced budget.”

Adams said she will alsowelcome questions from BOT members at the morning session. She said she expects the usual questions, pertaining to such financial issues as projected enrollment, tuition and top expenses for 2006-2007.

Lambert said another major topic of discussion will be plans for the advancement of university technological systems, which is projected to be in place by July 1.

“Progress of the integration of the new information system will be of key interest to the board,” Lambert said. “It will be revolutionary not just for the administrative computer stuff but also for the students.”

Otherwise, Lambert said technicalities such as the blessing of graduates, corporate resolutions to allow university to do business within the next year and the approval of new members to the BOT will fill the rest of the day. Approved new members will become official at the end of the month when endorsed by the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church at the annual conference held on campus.

Lambert said he expects the day to run smoothly.

“Sometimes there isn’t much discussion. Sometimes there is,” he said. “I’ve never seen anyone bashful on raising questions on budget matters.”

Student voices will also be presented to BOT members through brief presentations by junior Ryan Boyer, student senate president, and senior Jen Thierer, editor of the Baker Orange, as the BOT members reconvene for a second session in the afternoon after a luncheon to be held at the Collins House.

Boyer said he will give his “usual spiel,” talking about goals for the upcoming year and newly elected officers.

“I think the elections have turned out really well,” Boyer said. “I’m especially excited about the new executive officers that are coming up.”

Overall, Lambert said he predicts a fairly standard day of events.

“It’s going to be a pretty typical meeting,” Lambert said. “I wish there were something more exciting, but there isn’t.”

Long will make an appearance at some point during the day to be officially acquainted with the BOT.

“I have great respect for my successor, and that makes it a lot easier to ride into the sunset,” Lambert said.