Faculty       Chairs/Directors    
Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs


April 3, 1998


President Porter called the meeting to order at 4:4l p.m. 


The March 6, l998 faculty meeting minutes were approved as written.

President Porter called on Ginger Zielinski, student representative from Benef-Action. Ms. Zielinski asked the faculty to participate in a walk sponsored by Benef-Action to benefit the March of Dimes. This five-mile walk will be held on April 25, l998.

President Porter introduced Jack Ling, the newly appointed Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer.


The President announced that a lecture entitled "Celebrating Cultural Diversity: Friendship and Change" is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium on April 9, l998. This lecture, organized by the Native American Student Association, will be given by Sally Roesch Wagner and Tillie Black Bear.

The President also announced that there will be a reception in honor of Beverly Becker, the Interim Affirmative Action Officer, on April l3, l998 at 4 p.m. at the Surrey Inn.

David Porter reported that IPC is currently focusing on issues of compensation; at the same time FPPC is trying to move from our current plan of a 3.5% general increase to a 4.5% general increase. He reported that it appears that we will go ahead with a bond issue keeping in mind our need to balance campus improvements and appropriate compensation for our employees.

President Porter introduced Joan Dayton, Chair of the Campaign, and then announced that the campaign has reach $80 million. He went on to say that 72% of the faculty and 50% of all employees at Skidmore participated in the campaign for a total pledge of $8l0,000. He said that we will continue with the campaign even though we have surpassed our original goal. We hope to get 50% participation of the alums before we end the campaign. He recognized Joan Dayton, Trustee and Chair of the Campaign, and Christine Hoek, Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs, and Ms. Hoek’s staff, for their efforts in bringing this campaign over the top. 


Murray Levith, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, reported that the Presidential Search Committee finalized the position description for the new president. He asked everyone to submit nominations; the deadline for nominations is May l, l998. The position description will be placed on the Web.

Penny Jolly, for Standards and Expectations, reported that the academic departments have had discussions having to do with how we can challenge our students, how much do we challenge them, differences among l00-, 200-, and 300-level courses, syllabi, and grades. She went on to say that we have learned from department chairs that there seemed to be some confusion regarding mental and physical health policies. She called on Judy McCormack, Director of the Counseling Center, to report on the policies for students with psychological or physical health problems. Ms. McCormack said that they work very hard with students who are having difficulty to help them meet the standards and expectations that are set for all students. They are not to be excused from completing their assignments; it is up to the students to negotiate with their professors to find ways to continue their studies. Occasionally we may recommend that a student take a medical leave of absence. Sonya Kiszka, Director of Health Services, said that she would not write medical excuses for the students. She pointed out that she has medical leave pamphlets available in Health Services that explain who the students need to contact and what they need to provide to the professor when they are ill. If a student has been ill, she will occasionally act as an ombudsman to help the student negotiate the demands of a course with the professor when the student isn’t able to do this on his/her own.

Michael Arnush, Director of the Honor Forum, announced that 3l students of the Class of 200l have been accepted as members in the Honor Forum and that nine honors courses have been accepted for the fall. These students will have the opportunity to pre-register. We will be inducting another 30 students from the incoming class. He went on to say that we will need courses for next spring. We will be considering the honor course proposals not accepted for the fall for the spring semester instead, as well as considering the possibility of continuing a sequence of honor courses in certain disciplines for the fall and spring semesters. The faculty is invited to participate in a workshop planned for May ll-l2; the goal of the workshop is to decide precisely what an honors forum course is. He asked the faculty who will be teaching honors forum courses in the fall and those who proposed courses for the fall to attend as well as all other interested faculty. Faculty attending the workshop will receive a $500 stipend. The Honors Forum Council will be working with student clubs and organizations and academic departments and programs for the Honors Forum and Honors Forum Council to support the kinds of events that we put on throughout the year.

Reginald Lilly, for Institutional Planning Committee (IPC), reported that IPC has been discussing eight topics (see Attachment A). 


William Standish, for the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS), presented the following two motions that have lain over since the March 6, l998 faculty meeting:

MOTION #l: Beginning with fall semester l998, the minimum semester grade point average necessary to achieve Honors on the Dean’s List shall be 3.40 (see Attachment E in the March 6, l998 faculty meeting minutes). 

This motion was voted on and carried unanimously.

MOTION #2: Beginning with the Class of 2002, students must meet the following minimal standards for continuation at Skidmore College(see Attachment F of the March 6, l998 faculty meeting minutes). 

This motion was voted on and carried unanimously. 


Vasantha Narasimhan, for the Committee on Faculty Governance (CFG) presented the following motion:


The Committee on Faculty Governance moves that for the following committees, the membership descriptions in Part II, Faculty Governance, be changed to allow library faculty who are in their seventh or subsequent year to stand for election or appointment as equivalents to tenured faculty. 

In each case the words, "or library faculty who are in their seventh or subsequent year" will be inserted when the committee membership specifies that "x number tenured" faculty are members of the committee. In addition, where committee membership specifies a certain number of untenured faculty, the language will be changed to read, "untenured teaching faculty or library faculty in their first six years…..

For example: committee on Faculty Governance

Membership: six Faculty members elected to serve three-year terms, at least two of whom are tenured or are library faculty in their seventh or subsequent year…

The committees to which this motion applies are: CAFR, CAS, CEPP, CFG, Curriculum, FPPC, and IPC. Excluded are CAPT, CAPT Review, the Tenure Review Board, and the Tenure Appeal Committee"(see Attachment B). 

This motion will lay over until the May l, l998 faculty meeting. 

Grace Burton, Chair of the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (CAPT) made the following three motions:

MOTION #l: Part I of the Faculty Handbook will be amended to include the following as Part I Section X.A.l.b.: By March l5 the Dean of the Faculty shall provide Department Chairs with a list of faculty in their departments who have been at the rank of Associate Professor for seven years or more (see Attachment C).

MOTION #2: Part I, Section X.A.2.c. will be deleted and replaced with the following (changes in bold): For the rank of Professor, the appropriate terminal degree (or its professional equivalent) normally is required. Promotion to this rank shall be granted to faculty who have shown continuing excellence in teaching (or, in the case of library faculty, librarianship); distinguished achievement attesting to further growth in scholarly, creative or professional work; and significant involvement in the affairs of the College. [Continuing involvement in the affairs of the College, also expected, is considered supportive of the two principal criteria.] (See Attachment C for this motion in its entirety.)

Part I, Section V.A will be amended as follows (changes in bold).

Decisions to reappoint, promote, or tenure faculty members at Skidmore are based on the quality of their credentials in three areas: performance as teachers, achievement as scholars or artists, and contribution to the welfare of the college community beyond the classroom. Teaching of high quality is paramount, the primary criterion for retention or advancement; no degree of excellence in scholarship or artistic achievement, no record of unusual productivity will compensate for unsatisfactory teaching. Yet high-quality teaching is but one of [two principal] three criteria, and alone will not suffice. Skidmore seeks to develop and retain first-rate teacher-scholars whose professional achievements beyond teaching demonstrate a will and capacity to make significant contributions to the arts or to learning in the appropriate field. [In addition] Skidmore also expects faculty members to assume responsibility for the common life of the institution in ways that are commensurate with their interests and roles and with the institution’s purpose. [Though community service is not a central criterion for reappointment, promotion, or tenure, Skidmore deems it a necessary one, given the conditions and the consequences of teaching at a small liberal arts college.] (see Attachment C).

MOTION #3: Part I, Section IV.B will be amended as follows (changes in bold):

Visiting Instructor: Appointments to the Position of Visiting Instructor will be made with the understanding that appointees must receive their doctorates or the equivalent terminal degree by [August l5] October l5 following their second year at Skidmore in order to move onto tenure track-lines. By May l in the second year of service such appointees must show evidence that the degree is or will be completed by [August l5] October l5. If this condition is met, the department shall determine whether or not the appointee should be offered a tenure-track position. Neither professional accomplishment beyond the completion of the terminal degree nor community service shall be applied as criteria in this decision. Appointees who fail to complete the degree by [August l5] October l5 following their second year shall receive contracts for a third and terminal year at the College. Exceptions to this date may be granted when the Dean of the Faculty judges there are procedural circumstances beyond the candidate’s control (see Attachment C).

These motions will lie over until the May l, l998 meeting for a vote, 


Respectfully submitted,


Renate Knapp
Executive Secretary
Office of the Dean of the Faculty