Kudos to Williams for being transparent to faculty/students/staff/alumni about its plans for budget cutting. Consider:

Williams Budget Adjustment Summary (PDF)

Williams Budget Adjustment Presentation (PDF)

Fascinating stuff. My comments below:

1) My mistake! Those documents are for Swarthmore, not Williams. (Thanks for HWC for the links. The subterfuge was my idea.)

2) is Williams planning to be as transparent as Swarthmore? I hope so. The College made a big deal of the activities of the Ad Hoc Committee on Budget Priorities last spring. Did it ever issue a report? If not, does it plan on doing so? (I will e-mail Professor Bradburd and ask him.)

3) Recall our informative discussion of budget cutting possibilities from last spring.

4) Williams should be as transparent as any other leading liberal arts college in budget issues, as in all other things. I don’t demand (most days!) that Williams tell me more than Swarthmore tells its alumni. I demand that it tell me at least as much.

5) Do we have any readers that were at the November Faculty Meeting? The Record reported:

According to Lenhart, the October Board meeting is usually dedicated in part to a revision of the current year’s budget and discussion of the budget for the coming two years. “The net impact of all revisions this year was modest and the revised budget was approved,” Lenhart said.

Why not make that budget public?

At last week’s faculty meeting, Lenhart broached several options for bridging the spending gap, including reevaluations of faculty compensation, faculty benefits, the College’s commitments to loan-free financial aid packages, need-blind aid for internationals and spending on sustainability and the Williamstown community.

Did Lenhart have a written presentation at the meeting? Were handouts distributed to the faculty? All that information should be made public. The more transparent that Williams is, the more successful it will be.

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