New Board of Trustees Members Elected

The Monmouth University Board of Trustees added four new members on Feb 26., bringing new faces to the University’s efforts regarding student planning. Patty Azzarello ‘86, John A. Brockriede Jr. ‘07, ‘10M, Christopher Maher, and Erik Matson ‘88M will bring their talents and experiences to the Board beginning July 1.

President Paul R. Brown said that in choosing new trustees, the Board believes, “There are many factors that make a good candidate for the board of trustees. The Board renews and refreshes itself with new members who each bring different strengths and areas of expertise they can share with the University to ensure appropriate governance.”

The new trustees are expected to enter their obligations by putting the greater needs of the entire university before any particular group or organization. As Brown put it, “An ideal candidate is willing to devote the time needed to attend not just regular meetings of the board, but also participate meaningfully to ensure that Monmouth remains strong, and demonstrate leadership so that we are constantly improving.”

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Henry D. Mercer III said that he is excited for the “fresh perspective[s]” they will bring to the group. Within the entirety of the Board, there are various committees and focus groups that handle certain tasks. The key in adding new members is determining where they will gel with existing members, according to Mercer.

The Board meets three times each year, in addition to a yearly retreat. “At a typical board meeting, each of the major functional areas of campus report on the accomplishments and challenges facing Monmouth.  We ask questions, sometimes tough questions, and provide guidance about matters that may impact the operations of the University.”

Mercer assured however that the Board does not act like a “rubber stamp for University initiatives, but as an active and participatory body with legal and ethical oversight responsibilities that we take very seriously.”

The hot-ticket item the President and Board are tooling with is the 10 month strategic plan that was set in motion Oct. 2014. Since October, “There were hundreds of hours of discussion in many different focus groups where almost every aspect of Monmouth University was put under a microscope.  Numerous surveys and requests for information and feedback were also sent electronically, eliciting a lot of very valuable information that helped to craft the overall vision for where we want to go,” according to Brown.

Mercer added that the strategic plan was not a trickle down one, rather, it started from the bottom of the campus and working its way up. Both Brown and the Board of Trustees have been, and continue to be supportive of the strategic plan emanating from the Monmouth Community.

Students have played an important role in the strategic plan, notably regarding Hesse Field and the Ciniello Family Bowling Center. Hesse Field can now be used by intramural athletes, a change Brown noted as only possible through student input.