Campaign Committee Meeting Addresses Possible Addition of New Residential Colleges

During the Yale Tomorrow Campaign Committee meeting April 9, committee members broke up into small discussion groups.

More than 130 Yale Tomorrow Executive Committee and Campaign Committee members met April 9 in New York City for a campaign update and to discuss how two prospective new residential colleges might affect Yale and the Yale Tomorrow campaign.

During the meeting, committee members heard presentations by Vice President for Development Inge T. Reichenbach, on the status of the Yale Tomorrow campaign, and by President Richard C. Levin, on issues relating to the possible addition of two new residential colleges.

In his address, Levin told the group that building two new residential colleges could add approximately 600 to 700 students to the student body, which is currently about 5,300 students. While the idea of adding residential colleges dates back many years, Levin said it should be seriously reconsidered now.

He noted that applications to Yale College have increased significantly in the last decade, to about 20,000 applicants annually, meaning that a large number of highly qualified candidates have not been offered admission. Increased enrollment made possible by new residential colleges would create opportunities for more students. “We know, we absolutely know, that we would not be making a sacrifice in the quality of the class,” he said. Another benefit of adding residential colleges is that a larger student body would require a larger faculty. “By expanding the College, we will have opportunities to selectively and strategically expand our faculty,” he noted.

Levin explained that two committees are currently evaluating the implications of the expansion. One is studying academics and the other committee is studying extracurricular and student life. He said the committees are will determine “whether this will change the unbelievably successful undergraduate culture of Yale. We have precious assets—we have an extraordinary sense of community, we have a student body that I think, feels attended to as well as any in this country. … We are at the top of the heap … We don’t want to dilute that.” To make sure that doesn’t happen, he said, the goal would be to “expand the resources commensurately with the growth in the population. If we do expand, we need to have more faculty, more library resources, more athletic resources, more extracurricular support resources, more student counselors, more health plan staff. Everything, everything needs to grow … to make sure that students in the future are given the same kind of support as students today.”

Following Levin’s address, Campaign Co-Chairs G. Leonard Baker, Jr. ‘64, Edward P. Bass ‘67, Roland W. Betts ‘68, and Susan M. Crown ‘80 offered their own perspectives on the possible addition of residential colleges. Committee members then broke into smaller groups to discuss the potential implications of adding the new colleges and to provide input and ideas on how the initiative might be incorporated into the overall Yale Tomorrow campaign.

(April 30, 2007)

April 30, 2007