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February 17, 2001

Calvin Board Wraps Winter Session

The 31-member Calvin College Board of Trustees concluded its winter meetings today on the school's campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The winter meeting is one of three annual sessions for the Calvin Board. The Board also meets annually in October and May.

Tenure interviews are always a highlight at the February Board meeting. This meeting was no exception. A dozen professors were interviewed for and granted tenure, including Daniel Bays (History), Curtis Blankespoor (biology), Donald DeGraaf (Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sport), Fred DeJong (Social Work, pictured above), Mark Fackler (Communication Arts and Sciences), Cheryl Feenstra (Nursing), James Jadrich (Physics and Science Education), Lawrence Molnar (Physics), Karen Saupe (English), Judith VanderWoude (Communication Arts and Sciences), Matthew Walhout (Physics), Wayne Wentzheimer (Engineering) and Richard Whitekettle (Religion and Theology).

The Board interviewed and approved for reappointment an additional 20 faculty members and ratified seven administrative reappointments, including Provost Joel Carpenter for a five-year term and Vice President Henry DeVries for a two-year term.

Another significant topic of discussion was the financial side of the college, including the setting of tuition and room and board rates for next year and the approval of an overall budget. Calvin's overall budget for 2001-2002 will be $68 million. Almost $61 million in revenue will come from tuition and fees. Tuition will be $14,870 (up from $14,040) and room and board will be $5,180 (up from $4,890) for a total cost of $20,050. Both the tuition and room and board increases are 5.9 percent or 2.5 percent over the 3.4 percent cost of living increase in 2000.

Calvin vice president Tom McWhertor notes that Calvin will award over $15 million in financial aid in 2001-2002 and that over 90 percent of the student body will receive some form of financial aid, making the actual cost to attend Calvin far less, in most cases, than the $20,050 figure. In fact, the average need-based award at Calvin next year will be over $11,000.

"We have been named a Best Value by U.S. News & World Report for several years running," says McWhertor, "and that's for a couple of reasons. One is that our tuition and room and board charges are well below the national average for four-year private colleges, even more so when you look at schools that are comparable to Calvin academically. Second, we have a strong financial aid program which serves our students well."

Calvin's Board also approved 18 sabbatical requests, 10 Diekema Fellows (named for former President Anthony Diekema and awarded to younger faculty) and five Calvin Research Fellowships.

Sabbaticals include computer science professor Earl Fife (to study computer security), Michelle Loyd-Paige (to write a book on black clergywomen), and LeRoy Stegink (to investigate what it takes to get adolescents to study). Diekema Fellows include Cheryl Brandsen (to study end-of-life care) and Marjorie Lindner Gunnoe (to study adolescents and biological, step and non-custodial parents). Calvin Research Fellows include Roy Anker (to do two books on film and religion) and Lawrence Molnar (to study Saturn and its rings).

On the curriculum side of the Board meetings approval was given for a new minor in Asian Studies. The Board approved the new Core Curriculum for Calvin College, putting the final stamp on a document that has been years in the making. The new core will begin to be implemented in the fall of 2001. And the Board approved the development of a Calvin College Nursing Program which would replace the present Calvin-Hope nursing program.

The Board also attended a special Faculty/Board dinner where Calvin's Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching was given to professor of education Tom Hoeksema. He is the ninth winner -- dating back to the award's inception in 1993 by then-president Anthony Diekema. The award includes a one-of-a-kind medallion and provides the winner with a significant financial stipend thanks to the George B. and Margaret K. Tinholt Endowment fund, set up at Calvin by an anonymous donor in honor of George Tinholt, a former member of the Calvin Board of Trustees.

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Contact Phil de Haan.