GAMBIER — Kenyon College employees had some of their questions answered during a forum held in Bolton Theater on Friday. College president S. Georgia Nugent and chairman of the board of trustees Barry Schwartz talked to the gathering, and responded to queries from the audience.
Schwartz, a Kenyon alumnus, spoke briefly about the way things were when he matriculated in 1966. He said the distinctiveness, magic, friendship and rigor that set Kenyon apart in those days sets Kenyon apart today. There are differences today, he added, including women students and more programs.
“Today we outsource a number of things we did internally when I was a student here,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said the Board of Trustees supports the administration’s decision regarding contracting with Sodexo to manage maintenance operations. He said it is consistent with what the board is trying to accomplish [with regard to finances] and the decision of the executive committee was unanimous.
“The administration’s choice to outsource facilities management is a good one,” he said. “It’s a fiscally responsible choice. It is potentially enhancing to our mission here in that we will have dollars that otherwise we wouldn’t have had to devote to our mission. ... It was done sensitive to the needs of a loyal and growing work force. ... Kenyon has limited resources; Kenyon has unlimited needs.”
Schwartz said Kenyon is financially sound but it is not flush. He said the administration could have chosen to raise tuition, reduced the work force or ignored maintenance and facilities needs.
June 15 forum