February 5, 1999
Interim President Roth called the meeting to order at 3:45 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the December 4, 1998 meeting were approved as written.
President Roth mentioned that she had asked John Thomas to serve as "official unofficial" parliamentarian for the faculty meetings this spring.
The report on Admissions will be deferred until the March meeting when Mary Lou Bates will be on campus.
The President reminded the faculty that Commencement this year would be on Sunday, May 23 at SPAC. Also, she reminded the faculty that Jeff Segrave would be delivering the Moseley Lecture at 8:00 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium on February 18.
At the October meeting of the Board of Trustees, a resolution was approved to recognize David Porter’s presidency and to accord him the rank of President Emeritus. The resolution and the language are attached to these minutes. (See Attachment A.)
David Moses ’84 and his family have established the Daniel Balmuth Fund for Jewish Studies at Skidmore in honor of Dr. Daniel Balmuth, a retired faculty member, who had a great influence on David Moses’ life. The fund has been established to ensure a continued focus on Jewish studies at Skidmore. Income from the endowment will support visiting lectureships and residencies, and will be administered in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
President Roth spoke about the presidential transition. She will be sending an e-mail to the entire Skidmore community outlining current transition planning. Joanne Yepsen, Presidential Transition Coordinator, is now located in Palamountain 413. She is happy to answer questions or transmit messages or requests to Jamie Studley. Jamie will be on campus February 23-28 and will meet with the Board and a number of people in the Skidmore community while she is here. The focus of these meetings will be on governance issues. At its October retreat, the Board spent a great deal of its time talking through and developing plans for a more effective use of Board time on campus – most notably they have begun to feel increasingly estranged from faculty and students, and also feel that there is some redundancy and "empty form" in some of the meetings. They also spoke about the structure of the Board Book itself. With the Board dealing with its own governance issues as well as the CFG dealing with faculty governance, it seemed to make good sense for Jamie to spend time with folks on campus focusing on governance process and issues. She’ll be meeting with the Board, CFG, student leaders, President’s Staff, Sue Bender, representatives from the union and of those offices with impending leadership decisions.
Jamie Studley’s inauguration will take place on September 25, 1999, with likely activities on September 24. It will be held on campus, and the celebration will probably be initiated with an academic symposium, which may focus on liberal arts education and the liberal arts community. President Roth will announce members of the Inauguration Committee in her campus-wide memo next week.
President Roth reported on the January Board meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board in New York City. The Budget and Finance Committee received a balanced preliminary budget for FY2000. It assumes, on the income side, an opening enrollment of 2,150 and a comprehensive fee increase of 4.9% (a 4.5% increase was projected). On the expense side, the budget assumes a general salary adjustment as projected at 3%, a pool equivalent to last year’s for promotion and equity adjustments, and a financial aid pool projected at $12 million including the built-in, four-year annual $200,000 increase begun four years ago. A refined budget will be presented to the Board in February, and if accepted, we promise full detail for a fully balanced budget in May.
The President announced that the reception after the faculty meeting will officially inaugurate the new interim faculty/staff club at Lucy’s. She thanked those people who had major roles in bringing this club to fruition: Mike Hall, Jon Neil, Fred DiMauro, Don Roques, and Lishan Yau.
Bob Kimmerle of College Relations introduced Jeff Caron, who has joined us as College Webmaster.
Robert DeSieno announced that Ellen Levy is this year’s Distinguished Visiting Fellows in Arts and Sciences, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation grant; Professor DeSieno encouraged the faculty to take advantage of Ellen’s presence and the lecture series she has created for us over the course of the semester.
Eric Weller gave a quick review and update on where the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) is with respect to this year’s agenda concerning reconfiguration, assessment, and all-college requirements. Professor Weller reminded the faculty that CEPP and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty circulated a draft memo last November on reconfiguration and assessment, and since then a number of things have occurred. A team, consisting of David Porter, Phyllis Roth and Ann Henderson, visited the State Education Department to get a read on their potential reaction to Skidmore’s reconfiguration plans. Professor Weller asked Ann Henderson to speak about that meeting.
Ann said that the team met with Gerald Patton, Deputy Commissioner of Education, and Barbara Meinert (who works in the office of Quality Assurance) to discuss Skidmore’s plans. Their response was encouraging and enthusiastic. As the College establishes guidelines for reconfiguration, they will be shared with the appropriate people at State Education, who will provide feedback. Establishing these early lines of communication should be very helpful.
Professor Weller reported that CEPP has been meeting weekly and held a one-day retreat on January 20 at the Surrey Inn to discuss the variety of issues centering on reconfiguration, assessment, and all-college requirements. The main task for CEPP is the redefinition of the all-college requirements. The Committee on Academic Standards and Expectations, a subcommittee of CEPP, has been developing the guidelines for curriculum as we promised the State Education Department we would share. Professor Weller asked Gordon Thompson, Chair of Academic Standards and Expectations, to report on the subcommittee’s work.
Professor Thompson reported that Standards and Expectations meets with first-year faculty on a regular basis to inform them what standards and expectations we have at Skidmore. There are a variety of issues for first-year faculty members — the students’ abilities, how students’ time is being used outside of the classroom, meanings of letter grades, and the difference among 100, 200 and 300 level classes. Standards and Expectations has drafted guidelines for content and pedagogical process at the 100, 200, and 300 levels, and these have been forwarded to CEPP. The Curriculum Committee sees these distinctions as particularly important now as faculty members are rethinking their curricula. He announced that the Committee on Academic Standards and Expectations has organized a pedagogy workshop for Friday, February 19 at 3:30 in the Surrey entitled, "The Four-Hour Credit: Exploring the Possibilities." At this workshop, there will be a discussion about designing courses that carry four hours of credit. Departments in which such courses are already being offered will act as consultants. Professor Thompson requested that queries be submitted to him before this workshop.
Professor Weller reported that the Dean of Faculty and CEPP requested that Curriculum Committee consider reorganizing the way it handles its business so that it can spend more time on issues of policy and policy implementation. He asked Gerry Erchak, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, to speak about what that committee is doing.
Professor Erchak reported that the Curriculum Committee is trying to handle routine matters in a new way in order to find the time to deal with the deluge of reconfiguration proposals that the Committee expects to receive. The plan is to have the Registrar and the Dean of Studies, who are non-voting members of the Curriculum Committee, review materials prior to the Committee meeting and report their recommendations to the Committee Chair. The Chair may concur or disagree with the recommendations of the other subcommittee members and decide to take any proposal to the entire Committee. If there’s the slightest hint that something needs to be talked about by the full Committee, it will be discussed. The Chair will report to the full committee on all routine decisions made by the subcommittee. Reporting on all routine decisions will safeguard the decision-making process and also provide all committee members with a wider context for future, less routine decisions. The Curriculum Committee may disagree with the Chair and request further explanation or require a review and the Committee may modify or revoke the procedures being used.
CEPP plans to present its ideas about revising the all-college requirements at the academic staff retreat on Friday, February 12, 1999. Open meetings will be held in March, and CEPP expects to have a final proposal to move at the April faculty meeting to be voted on at the May business meeting.
Tad Kuroda spoke for the Committee on Faculty Governance (CFG). He reminded everyone that there is an important piece of CFG and faculty business that carried over from the fall term which is related to the presidential search. He reminded the faculty that CFG wishes to conduct a review of recent presidential searches, and it will work with CAPT and faculty members who participated in our most recent searches as well as others in the community. It is the CFG’s intent to proceed with that work this term and to prepare a report with recommendations in a timely fashion to be shared with the faculty before the end of the term.
Amelia Rauser spoke for the Honors Forum about the upcoming Academic Festival that will be held on April 28 and 29, sponsored by the Honors Forum and the Periclean Society. The idea behind this festival is to showcase all the best work that has been done by students at Skidmore during the 1998-99 academic year. Professor Rauser explained in further detail how the festival would be organized and requested that members of the faculty encourage their best students to submit proposals.
Peg Tacardon offered the following resolution:
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of Bachelor of Arts degree to seven students and the Bachelor of Science degree to one student for a total of eight students. (See Attachment B.)
The motion carried unanimously.
Eric Weller spoke about the proposal received by CEPP to establish a separate department of Classics at Skidmore College. He made the following motion for CEPP:
MOTION: That a separate Department of Classics is established at the College offering the interdisciplinary major program of study devoted to the exploration of the ancient Mediterranean world.
The Classics Program originated in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Over the past decade it has operated fairly independently. When three classicists from the College of New Rochelle, Hamilton College, and Oberlin College reviewed the Classics Program in the spring of 1996, the reviewers recommended giving the Classics Program at Skidmore separate department status. Details about this proposal are outlined in the handout that the faculty received before the meeting. An open meeting to discuss this proposal before it is voted on has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19 in Davis Auditorium.
- Mary Lynn spoke for the Faculty Development Committee (FDC). The Committee has awarded the AT&T summer grants, and a list is attached to these minutes. (See Attachment C.) She reminded the faculty that there are two important grant deadlines. One is February 8 for the faculty initiative grants, and the other is February 15 for the summer collaborative research grants.
- Leo Geoffrion spoke for CITS regarding the spring training workshops that were described in the handout. CITS is offering several workshops for faculty as well as staff. He also stated that CITS would be very willing to set up special workshops in addition to the published workshops.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Claire C. Demarest