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Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs
 

FACULTY MEETING

NOVEMBER 2, 2001
GANNETT AUDITORIUM

MINUTES

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

The minutes of the October 5, 2001 faculty meeting were approved as written.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Studley began the Faculty Meeting by recalling a meeting she had earlier the same day with the Board of Directors of a foundation in Auburn, New York, where she talked about the quality of Skidmore’s faculty and students and their spirit and commitment to Skidmore College. She is delighted to convey that story to our own candidates, students and prospective donors. She stressed that our degree of engagement and commitment to our current strategic planning effort exemplifies who we are and where we’re going.

President Studley reiterated that the discussion at the Faculty Meeting today will be part of a continuing discussion surrounding the Strategic Plan. She stressed that information and proposals will be cycled through the faculty, academic staff, faculty committees and other audiences until we have a comfort level with the final document.

DEAN OF THE FACULTY’S REPORT

Dean John Berman commended faculty and administrators for moving ahead with the Strategic Planning process.

He cited the recent integration of students returning from India as an example of Skidmore’s commitment to doing the right thing and moving ahead. Dean Berman acknowledged Rob Linrothe, Joel Smith, Jon Ramsey, Mike Hall, Don Hastings, Karen Marlin, Bob Shorb and Judy McCormack for acting quickly in returning students to campus and re-entering them into campus life after the semester was underway.

Dean Berman announced that the following faculty had completed their Ph.D.’s by October 15, 2001 and the Board of Trustees approved their promotion to the rank of Assistant or Visiting Assistant Professor:
Adam Yuet Chau, Luce Assistant Professor in Asian Studies
Millian Kang, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
William Lewis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Joylin Namie, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ayse Tuzlak, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion

Dean Berman reported on his recent meeting with the Board of Trustees. He and Sandy Baum, faculty representative, talked to the Board about why investing in faculty was such a high priority for Skidmore College and why it is the first item in the Strategic Plan. Dean Berman reaffirmed that Skidmore’s faculty are the heart of the institution and central to the process at Skidmore. The educational experience at Skidmore is almost entirely dependent on the faculty; the trajectory of the institution depends on the faculty. When speaking of national trends to the Board, Dean Berman reported an increase in expectations in the areas of pedagogy and scholarship. Those increased expectations are reflected in the fact that most disciplines now have special subgroups that report on teaching and have increased their emphases on the art and science of teaching. Technology must also be properly addressed as a major component when talking about innovation in the classroom.

When speaking to the Board about Skidmore College, Dean Berman stressed that the teacher/scholar model practiced here is unique to highly selective liberal arts colleges. Skidmore seeks a faculty committed to both teaching and scholarship. The direct effects of scholarship in the classroom are clearly evident. However, the indirect effects of scholarship in the classroom can be even more important. They are seen in the enthusiasm of faculty and in modeling the love of learning. Faculty are role models for their students. Dean Berman referred to the Middle States Periodic Review Report which outlines Skidmore’s progress throughout the last five years in Asian Studies, Neuroscience, Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies and the newly developed Honors Forum. All such interdisciplinary efforts are expensive when it comes to faculty time and, until now, Skidmore has done it with nominal increase in faculty positions. Now is the time to correct that situation. We are developing a plan with goals which can only be reached by increasing faculty numbers. He reported that the Board was attentive and that they understood the issues we are
currently facing.

NEW BUSINESS

On behalf of the Curriculum Committee, Professor Eric Lewis made the following motion:

MOTION

The Curriculum Committee moves that a major in Environmental Studies be created based on the proposal distributed to the Faculty.

The motion was seconded and will lay over for one month and be voted on at the December meeting.  Any questions regarding the pending proposal can be addressed to Judy Halstead, Director of Environmental Studies.

MOTION

On behalf of the Committee for Faculty Governance, Professor Mark Huibregtse presented the following motion:

Committee on Faculty Governance
Sense-of-the-Faculty Resolution, 2 November 2001
Whereas, the faculty of Skidmore College have a very special right and responsibility to provide input into the planning process, and
Whereas, the IPC’s schedule for discussing the current draft of the plan calls for input during this time period, and
Whereas, the faculty of Skidmore College gathered together on Friday, 26 October 2001 for the purpose of discussing the strategic planning document: Skidmore 2011: The Strategy for Skidmore: Ideas into Actions
As a result of that meeting be it resolved that:

• The faculty of Skidmore College urges that the final version of the planning document highlight:

a) the central goal of excellence in liberal arts and sciences education;

b) the necessity of a productive faculty of teacher-scholars; and

c) a streamlined and better-focused set of bullets that derives from the central goal and that makes clear the college’s strategic priorities for the next decade.

• The faculty commends the President for welcoming (on behalf of IPC) the work of the writing subgroup of Academic Staff that is currently engaged in drafting alternate language for the planning document along the lines recommended above, and the faculty requests that the sub-group’s proposed drafts be electronically distributed to the faculty for review and comment prior to the December 2001 Faculty Meeting, at which further discussion can occur.


The faculty stands ready to work with all parties to develop an exciting strategic plan that the entire Skidmore Community can support with enthusiasm.

MOTION

A motion was presented for the Faculty Meeting to move to a Committee of the Whole. At that point, the motion was seconded and passed. Dean Berman chaired the Committee of the
Whole.

MOTION

Upon conclusion of the discussion, Professor John Thomas presented a motion that the Committee of the Whole rise and report. The motion was seconded and carried with all voting in favor.

President Studley welcomed and embraced CFG's motion and was pleased with the conversation regarding the Strategic Plan. She explained that some important and fundamental themes were not explicit in the original document, and appreciates the discussion about improving the plan. As we move ahead with the planning process, as long as we continue in a productive and constructive way we will have a document of which we are all proud.

Professor Ginsberg asked about the effect of the shift of paradigm and wondered if the document needs to be totally rewritten. President Studley agreed that a complete review and recasting may be warranted. She has not yet reviewed the work of the subgroups, some of which are still working, and the specific information they have been able to obtain.

Professor Bray asked about the role of the Institutional Planning Committee in the Strategic Planning Process and asked if members of the IPC subgroups were appointed by IPC or if IPC reviewed the members of the subcommittees. President Studley reported that IPC saw a draft of the topics of the individual subgroups and an outline of their assignments. At the time they reviewed this information not all individual members of the subcommittees were chosen, but IPC had a sense of the composition by category of each subcommittee. President Studley, Dean Berman and Professor Huibregtse, Chair of CFG, discussed which individual members would serve on the subgroups. When speaking to the process of the Strategic Plan, President Studley reported that it was circulated to IPC as a group in late August. IPC met in September, when the draft was discussed and deemed worthy of circulation to the Skidmore community, subject to some revisions. All faculty members of IPC were present for at least part of that meeting.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no Old Business.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Respectfully submitted,

Chrisana Moore McGill
Administrative Coordinator

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