UNF Foundation Board meeting: Financial evaluation and Szymanski’s first report

Sam Chaney, News Editor

On Tuesday, June 5 the UNF Foundation Board convened for their fourth and final quarterly meeting of the fiscal year in order to review the outcomes of various committee meetings that had taken place throughout the morning.

The meeting began with a welcome and recognition by Foundation Chairman Vince McCormack, who introduced new UNF President David Szymanski for his first UNF President’s Report.

In addressing the Foundation, Szymanski stated how “thrilled” he is to be at UNF and proceeded to laud the University’s work with student-involved innovation.

“This is the future of the University, the future of collaboration,” Szymanski said. “Through that, we can solve problems that we couldn’t solve on our own. These things are happening here at UNF and we have even more opportunities to do those things. It’s exciting for me to begin thinking about this and think about buildings these bridges… that don’t exist anywhere else in the country.”

President David Szymanski addresses the UNF Foundation Board for the first time. Photo by Sam Chaney.

According to Szymanski, his tactics regarding how he handles his goals will change over time, though the goals themselves will remain the same. Szymanski attributed the eventual change in tactics to the “dynamic environment” that UNF is.

Following Szymanski’s presentation, Chairman Jason Burnett addressed the Foundation Board to report on the recent activity of the Governance Committee. In the process, three new Foundation Board members were nominated, including Marilyn Gilman, Tony Marinators and Jim Van Vleck. The Board voted in unanimous approval of all three individuals and proceeded to vote in approval to renew 12 currently-standing members for an additional three -year term. Finally, the Governance Board presented the proposed slate of officers for the upcoming 2019 fiscal year, to which the Foundation Board also approved.

Next, the Investment Committee was presented to the Board by Chairman Alan Hartley. According to Hartley, the UNF Endowment Portfolio was up to $108,587,965 as of April 30, meaning that the 2018 fiscal year has seen an endowment increase of approximately 7 percent. Additionally, the Board voted in unanimous approval to override the “underwater” policy on 13 current endowments. In other words, an endowment is “underwater” when the market value of that endowment is currently below its original value at funding. The Board also approved the annual endowment distribution rate at 5.9 for the fiscal year 2019 and updated the spending policy in order to clarify language in coordination with the current bylaws.

The Finance and Audit Committee presented next, led by Chairman Chuck Moorer. Moorer re-presented the 5.9 distribution rate for the fiscal year 2019, proposing a split between the operating and spending rates, which would be divided at 1.75 percent and 4.15 percent respectively. The Board voted in unanimous approval of this split.

Development committee by Vice Chair Chuck Ged then presented the Development Committee’s report, explaining that the Foundation Board Drive’s total commitment is currently at $292,589, or 82 percent of the overall goal. Current Board participation, according to Ged, is also at a total of 43 members, or 89 percent of the overall goal). Ged encouraged the remaining five Foundation Board members to complete their participation and, by effect, reaching the goal of the Foundation Board Drive.

Executive Director Ann McCullen presents her annual report to the Foundation Board. Photo by Sam Chaney.

Finally, the meeting concluded after Executive Director Ann McCullen presented her annual report to the Foundation. McCullen reviewed and lauded Board participation in the recent University Development and Alumni Engagement Division Retreat. She also formally presented the reportable revenue and donor participation for the 2018 fiscal year, stating that the current reportable revenue is at a total of $12,809,189 and that UNF’s donor base currently is comprised of 9,830 donors total.

The next meeting of the UNF Foundation Board has not yet been officially announced.

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