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President’s Message

by Michael Donner, PhD

There is a lot going on in the Center these days. The Visiting Professor Virginia Ungar will be arriving soon and the VP and Day With committees have been working hard and have come up with another intellectually rich and stimulating series of programs. The crown jewel of our programming, the Visiting Professor and Day With brings a lot of energy and excitement to the Center.

The Board and the Management Team have been working hard as well. At the October Board meeting, our new Treasurer Michael Harrington gave a report, describing the state of our finances as strong. Michael, the President of the Trust Department at First Republic Bank, noted that our financial assets are in good shape and noted that our building is an essential asset as well. It appears that our building has doubled in value since the purchase. In addition, SFCP has received a property tax exemption from the County that acknowledges our function as an educational institution. Not only should we be able to avoid property taxes in the future, we have received the first installment of a property tax refund! This will allow us to set money aside for the inevitable “rainy days” when we need a new roof, heating or air conditioning system. We plan to be here for a long time, and we will be better prepared for what we know (and don't know) is coming.

Message from the Board Chair

by Zach Cowan

The Formation of an ad hoc Transition Committee

I'd like to add a little bit of additional context to the discussion in the President’s message about the Board's recent decision to form an ad hoc Transition Committee.

At its October meeting, after a great deal of thoughtful discussion, the Board took three significant actions.

First, it formally approved the President's decision to hire an interim executive director to replace Jeff Miller. As you know from last month's newsletter, we were faced with Jeff's departure at the end of August and had limited time to act or to consult with the Board. Michael and I worked closely together, interviewed a number of candidates and hired Beth Schecter as interim executive director. In view of concerns that this should have been a Board decision, the Board took it up and passed a motion approving of the decision to hire her.

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