COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on our own campus, as well as on the broader healthcare system and the economy. While the college’s immediate response appropriately focused on the health and safety of our community, we will increasingly need to turn our attention to the impact of the crisis on the financial stability of the college. We have already witnessed a steep decline in financial markets, along with a dramatic increase in volatility. In addition, we expect increased levels of financial need on the part of students and their families, along with a slowdown in philanthropy, as both parents and alumni respond to economic challenges of their own.
Williams is fortunate to have entered this crisis in a position of financial strength, thanks to the generous support from alumni, parents, and friends of the college, the careful stewardship of resources, and a prolonged economic expansion. Nevertheless, stabilizing our finances will require identifying cost savings opportunities, making difficult choices, and being attentive to the impact any changes will have on our core educational mission. This committee will play a crucial role in helping us achieve financial stability while preserving, and potentially strengthening, the educational mission of the college. Recognizing that no committee can be truly representative of the many areas of the college, this group will act as a hub connecting to key committees, areas, and individuals on campus.
Advisory to President Mandel and Senior Staff, this committee will focus on the following key questions:
- In light of the economic circumstances, what changes are required to achieve financial stability?
- How should we allocate the required adjustments across broad categories of spending, including compensation, managers’ budgets, and infrastructure?
- Within each of those categories, how should we distribute changes to minimize the disruption to the educational mission of the college and our core commitments to areas such as educational excellence, student support, and access and affordability?
- As we consider progressively more severe economic scenarios, what progression of changes will allow us to protect the core priorities of the college without jeopardizing its financial strength?
- What core principles and priorities should guide these decisions?
- Crystel Frusciente, Maintenance Technician
- John Gerry, Associate Dean of the Faculty
- Danielle Gonzalez, Director of Human Resources
- Leticia Haynes ’99, Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- C.J. Hazell, Cook’s Assistant
- Todd Hoffman, Budget Director
- Sara LaLumia, Professor of Economics and chair of the Committee on Priorities and Resources
- Dukes Love (chair), Provost and Class of 1969 Professor of Economics
- Tiku Majumder, Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy, Interim President (2018), Director of Science Center, and member of the Faculty Steering Committee
- Maud Mandel, President and Professor of History
- Aria Mason ’21, Student
- Lisa Melendy, Athletic Director
- Christopher Nugent, Professor of Chinese, Chair of Comparative Literature Program, and Chair of the Curricular Planning Committee
- Essence Perry ’22, Student
- Fred Puddester, Vice President of Finance and Administration
- Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
- Eiko Siniawer ’97, Professor of History, and incoming chair of the Committee on Priorities and Resources
- Chris Winters ’95, Associate Provost