The George Mason University Board of Visitors met Wednesday to discuss and update several endeavors that the university is currently undertaking.

One of the most important items presented at the meeting was an update on Mason’s efforts to establish a branch in Songdo, South Korea’s Incheon Free Economic Zone. According to the Songdo Task Force, Mason has not finalized the plans for the foreign branch because it has not received a post-five-year financial analysis from its Korean partners.

There is still hope amongst administration officials that the information can be gathered in time for a tentative March 2013 opening of the Songdo branch.

Another major talking point of the meeting was the budget for Mason’s athletic program. In a PowerPoint presented in part by Thomas O’Connor at the meeting, it was stated that only two percent of Mason’s budget goes toward athletics. This means that of the $858.9 million that Mason has at its disposal, athletics receives only $17.4 million.

It was also stated that Mason’s athletic program is not self sustaining; fully 75 percent of the combined athletic program’s revenue is generated through student fees, according to the PowerPoint.

The collaboration between Mason and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., was also mentioned at the meeting.

The institute is operating a zoo at Front Royal, the purpose of which is to protect endangered species.

“They have 3,200 acres in Front Royal,” said Daniel Clemente, vice rector of the Board of Visitors, who recently visited the zoo. “[There were] cheetahs living in their natural habitat, not in cages. All that was between us was chicken wire.”

Another item discussed at the meeting was the efforts of Mason graduate Zainab Salbi, who founded Women for Women International, an international women’s rights advocacy group.

The next meeting is planned for March 21.