May 17, 2021
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
As we prepare to celebrate our class of 2021 graduates, I want to congratulate our extraordinary community of teachers, administrators, and students—artists, investigators, strategists, advocates, researchers, creators all. You have posited real solutions to issues around a pandemic, racial injustice, equity, and engagement. As many of you leave for the summer, you carry with you new models for building relationships, environments, policies, and most importantly, for making an impact.
I am particularly grateful for your dedication and generosity throughout this unprecedented academic year. Recognizing the significant sacrifices made by faculty and staff this year, the Board of Trustees has approved our recommendation to authorize several individual budget items related to compensation and benefits for the 2021–22 fiscal year. These include restoration of the salary cuts many staff took as part of the Institute’s pandemic salary reduction plan, funding to return many furloughed employees back to work, and funding to provide faculty with their contractual salary increase as well as full restoration of the faculty retirement plan contribution. While we wait to see what our fall 2021 enrollment levels will be, the board has deferred review and approval of the rest of the Institute’s operating budget until the fall, when it can be based on actual deposit and registration information.
The fall will bring our entire community back in a way that is both familiar and newly discovered, combining modes of learning, communicating, and building. We have continued to enhance our listening and our tools for incredible experiments rooted in design, reflective practice, access, and ethics.
I wish the best to our graduates and colleagues. And to all, have an incredible summer. I look forward to seeing you in August!
Be safe, be well.