May 4, 2022
Dear Faculty and Staff,
The past 10 days have been an exciting time. Our final Camel Day for admitted students took place a week ago Monday and the Board of Trustees came to the College for their spring meetings three days after that. I will be sending a longer letter about the Board meetings shortly. For now, I wanted to report on two important outcomes of the weekend.
The first has to do with next year’s budget. The Board has passed the budget for FY 2023 that includes a 2 percent across-the-board salary increase and a 2.5 percent restoration of the College contribution to our 403B plan to 7.5 percent. The Board has also outlined a process for ongoing budget planning to ensure the longer-term sustainability of our business model—including the full restoration of the College’s contribution to retirement plans. This work will continue with two Board committees over the summer so that the full Board can discuss both the FY 2024 budget and the longer-term model when they meet again in October.
The second outcome of the weekend has to do with the Class of 2026. As you know, May 1 was the deadline for admitted students from next year’s class to inform us of their decision to enroll. I am happy to report that, in a year when we saw the largest application volume in our history, we also saw record deposits. By May 1, a total of 651 students had indicated their intention to enroll at Conn, a number that far exceeds our expectation. We knew predictions would be difficult given the uncertainty of the past two years, but this result defies all odds.
This new Class of 2026 is one of the most academically talented and diverse in the College’s history. And the students were drawn to this community—in large numbers.
We can read this as a sign that Conn’s reputation for academic excellence remains strong. It is a sign that our investments in Connections and in financial aid are making a difference. And, from what I observed, I would also say it is also a sign that your outreach and advocacy—especially during our most recent Camel Day events—was particularly meaningful for this class. I want to thank you for your generous welcome, just as I thank all our staff in admissions for their exceptional work.
At this point, we will do what we always do between May 1 and September 1: monitor the class to determine exactly how many students we can expect come fall. Because we believe that number will be higher than normal, we are now working through the curricular, housing, and programmatic requirements to support a larger class, as well as the financial implications. In concert with the Board’s focus this summer, we will also be working through the plan to reassess the pace of full restoration of the College’s contribution to the 403B.
Meanwhile, you can expect our anticipated list of summer projects to be longer to address classroom and housing capacity. And the deans will be working with individual departments and faculty to address expected course needs. We thank you in advance for your support.
Most importantly, we look forward with excitement to August, when we will welcome, with you, our newest Camels to this exceptional community.