Annual Report 1996-1997

Serving on the Board at the beginning of this year were: Peter Becker (HIST), Chair; Paula Feldman (ENGL), Vice Chair; Ina Rae Hark (ENGL), Secretary; John Finan (VP for Business and Finance), Treasurer; Charles Jeffcoat (Facilities Management), Building; E. J. Newby (Development), Membership; John Gregory, Ombudsman; Richard Wertz (Business Affairs), Administrator; Tim Rast (C&G Accounting), Fiscal Officer; Marcia Welsh (MEDC), and Robert Beamer (PHAR). During the year, John Gregory, Richard Wertz, and Tim Rast resigned from the Board.

The Board held nine regular meetings a number of called meetings during the year, including one in May open to the entire membership of Faculty House. With Mr. Jeff Narr, the new general manager, in place, the Board dealt primarily with routine matters as well as with some problematic ones. Among the latter were membership fluctuations, the quality of food and service, personnel changes, and financial pressures.

Membership continued to decline during the year, going from a total of 237 to 2194. The decline was in part the result of the change in tax laws that prompted corporate members to drop their memberships. For another part it reflected the continuing low number of faculty members; only about 30% of incoming faculty join the Faculty House. The drops were also occasioned by a decline of the quality in food and service that had begun a year earlier and had the repercussions that could be expected. The Board notes that a recent change of chefs has produced an increase in the quality of food and expects that changes in personnel will soon provide the quality of service for which the House has been noted in the past.

The revenue flow mirrored the difficulties through which the House went, dipping into the red for some months, but eventually turning positive again, so that by the end of the year the House was in the black once more.

During the year an ad hoc committee of faculty appointed by President Palms looked in to the operation of the House and submitted its report to the President. The Board is currently studying the report.

An aesthetic change in the House effected by the Board has been the introduction of musical accompaniment at meal times more in keeping with the atmosphere of the Faculty House.

Respectfully submitted,
Peter W. Becker, Chair

This page updated 21 September 1997 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1997, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.