November 7, 1997
President Porter called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The October 3, l997 faculty meeting minutes were approved as written.
President Porter reported that the committee to review Karl Broekhuizen consists of Robert DeSieno, Chair; Marc-Andre Wiesmann; Susan Zappen; Tracy Barlok and Cornel Reinhart.
The President reported that at the October Board meeting, while the Trustees expressed their approval of the momentum at the College in admissions and the endowment, they were concerned that our endowment still lags behind our peers. They discussed Skidmore's vulnerability to stock market fluctuations as well as the market's impact on our donors and the families of our students. The Board also discussed whether we were budgeting enough for maintenance of the physical plant in order to avoid long-term maintenance costs.
The President reported that the Board of Trustees approved an additional $l.5M or a total of $7.5 M toward the construction of the Tang Teaching Museum/Art Gallery. The facility, as designed by Antoine Predock, could not be built for the $6M originally committed for this project. The Board felt that we could not scale back current plans without seriously compromising the design of the museum, slowing the momentum of the campaign, and undermining the confidence of donors who have already pledged support for the museum. In addition, the Board felt that this facility will have so positive and lasting an impact on the College that it would be short-sighted at this point to settle for something less than Antoine Predock's best-or what Skidmore deserves. In raising this additional money for the museum, we shall keep the overall campaign goal of $78 million but adjust the targets within that total, moving $l.5 million from the academic support component over to the museum component. The Board feels comfortable with this shift in that it sees the museum as providing academic support; in addition, the Campaign Committee feels that there may be more people willing to give to the museum than they are to academic support and that he would not be surprised if the campaign goes over the goal of $78M. If it does, we will restore the $l.5M to the academic support component. He added that he thought that if we do not move forward with the museum at this point, we could very well fall short of our goal. The President reported that the campaign has received another $3M in pledges, including a pledge for another endowed chair and another $500,000 toward the teaching museum.
PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH REPORT
Murray Levith, for the Presidential Search Committee, reported that the committee will be meeting November 20th to interview a short list of search firms. The second priority of this Committee will be to define the qualities that the Skidmore community is seeking in our next president. A charge to the Committee was distributed at the door (see Attachment A). Professor Levith invited everyone to contact the committee with their thoughts and suggestions on the qualities and talents they would like to see in Skidmore's next president by November 25th either by email or campus mail. Nominations will be solicited at a later date.
DEAN OF THE FACULTY'S REPORT
Phyllis Roth, Dean of Faculty, reported that the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees did review, without any dissent, the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook. The Board of Trustees approved the promotion of Christine Page to Assistant Professor as she has recently completed her Ph.D. requirements. The Dean of Faculty also reported that since the Board meeting Lisa George has completed her dissertation. She announced that the Board of Trustees has determined, in consultation with CAPT and student leaders, that David H. Porter will be the only speaker and honorary degree recipient at the l998 Commencement.
Jackie Azzarto, Chair of the Committee on Faculty Governance (CFG), presented two motions which had lain over from the October faculty meeting:
The Committee on Faculty Governance moves that the faculty adopt the l997-98 Faculty
Handbook which contains major revisions to Parts One, Two and Seven and minor revisions
to Parts Three, Four, and Five (See Attachment B attached to the October faculty meeting
This motion carried unanimously.
The following Faculty Handbook change at the request of FPPC:
Change Part I, Section XI.C.2-Leaves of Absence (see Attachment B for the complete language of this motion).
A discussion followed during which members of the faculty spoke about the history
of how this practice came about. The original intent was to help faculty on unpaid
leave by continuing their health and pension plans. The maximum contribution to the
pension plan is based on the actual base salary paid and does not include additional
pay for overload courses or summer courses. This motion is intended to clarify the
language in the Faculty Handbook so that it reflects the current practice.
This motion was voted on and carried.
Jackie Azzarto presented the following motion which has lain over from the May l4, l997 faculty meeting:
to eliminate the Admissions Committee and Student Aid Committee and to form a new committee called Admissions and Student Aid Committee which will assume all functions of the previous two committees (see Attachment K attached to the May l4, l997 faculty meeting.)
Kent Jones, Dean of Enrollment and College Relations, explained how the financial aid decisions and admissions decisions interact and said that these committees can function whether they are combined or separate. "We currently hold joint committee meetings on issues that overlap. The reality is that Skidmore is not able to fund every deserving student and need may become a factor in the final determination of a student's candidacy at Skidmore." Mr. Jones said that he thought the faculty committee structure should reflect the reality of how admissions and student aid relate to each other. He pointed out that a separate Admissions Committee may preserve some of the integrity of the admissions policies; however, a merged committee would "elevate the integrated thinking on admissions and aid and their relationship."
During the discussion that followed some concern was expressed that the merger of these two committees could compromise the integrity of the admissions process. Other members of the faculty pointed out that it did not make sense to admit students without considering their ability to pay. The faculty positions on both of these committees have typically been filled by junior faculty as a means for them to become familiar with the faculty governance system and this merger will result in fewer opportunities for committee participation for junior faculty. David Baum pointed out that this merger would only have a minimal effect on the junior faculty and said if anything the merger would upgrade the student aid committee from an appointed committee to an elected committee.
The question was called.
The motion to call the question was voted on and carried.
The motion was voted on and carried.
John Thomas asked whether this new committee would be considered a faculty committee since the membership will consist of six administrators, three faculty, and three students. Lary Opitz asked why no one from the Department of Physical Education and Dance could serve on this committee. Robert Shorb explained that the NCAA guidelines prohibit someone who coaches from the Department of Physical Education and Dance to sit on a committee that deals with admissions and financial aid decisions. Jackie Azzarto said that this merged committee would continue to be a faculty committee.
Mary Ellen Fischer objected to the question being called so early in the discussion. She felt that any issues on the floor of the faculty deserved a thorough discussion before the faculty voted.
David Baum, Chair of CEPP, reported that CEPP has changed the language in the Skidmore catalogue to describe what information technology and literacy will be at Skidmore College. The old language in the catalogue read as follows: "While not a specific requirement, facility with information technologies and with the retrieval and interpretation of information is fostered through courses that incorporate computer learning and through special workshops." The new language on page 7 of the catalogue now reads, "…facility with contemporary digital technologies and with the retrieval and interpretation of information is fostered through a series of courses that incorporate computer resources in the learning process and through special workshops." Professor Baum explained that when the faculty approved the curriculum changes, it was not intended that these courses provide proficiency in all information technologies but only modern digital technologies.
- Isabel Brown, for the Faculty Development Committee (FDC), announced that the names of the recipients for the Keck Fellows/Keck Scholars Awards will be sent to everyone on e-mail (see Attachment C).
- Pat Fehling, for United Way, announced that the United Way campaign is officially underway and asked everyone to make a contribution.
- Jim Chansky invited everyone to a reception at the Skidmore Computer Courses Institute in White Plains next Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. He also invited everyone to attend the Faculty/Staff Club reception immediately following the faculty meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Office of the Dean of the Faculty