February 1, 2002
President Studley opened the meeting by welcoming back the faculty who have been on leave, as well as new students, transfer students, and those students returning from abroad.
Jamie also welcomed Chuck Joseph as new Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. His wealth of experience at Skidmore, his ability to be a strong leader and a wonderful listener will help guide Skidmore through the next eighteen months. President Studley stressed that, while Chuck is “Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty,” he has full authority of the position and the power to make decisions that come with the title. She feels that they make a good team in representing Skidmore to various constituencies, as evidenced in a foundation visit earlier in the week.
It was announced that the original timetable for the Strategic Plan will be revised and the target for a vote by the Board of Trustees extended to the May Board meeting. In the meantime, the months preceding the meeting will be used for discussion and revisions on campus and in conjunction with the trustees.
Agenda items for the upcoming Board meeting include:
Budget – In late January members of the Trustees on the Budget Committee reviewed the proposed budget and indicated their preliminary willingness to approve the “key parameters” as proposed. The President, in consultation with FPPC, will develop specific proposals to the Board in February.
The first of the four parameters is compensation. President Studley noted that she
understood employees’ most important goal in compensation this year is to preserve
the level of health benefits. The current proposed budget reflects an increase in
budgeted expense of $400,000 - $600,000 to continue to provide benefits at the current
level to employees and retirees. With respect to GSA (general salary adjustment),
one basic goal is to budget for a GSA above the cost of living; the proposed 3% GSA
accomplishes that, and together with increases in benefits, equity and promotion funds,
yields a proposed compensation increase of 4.3% By way of context, President Studley
explained that 39% of College expenditures are for salary and wages, plus
16% for benefits, for a total of 55% of the budget for salary and benefits. Skidmore’s priority and goal is to reward the current faculty and staff and to make Skidmore attractive to incoming faculty.
Enrollment – The goal here is to keep the intimacy of the College while at the same time recognizing that fee revenues allow Skidmore to support the teachers and programs that draw students. The enrollment goal is tentatively 2,163 net fiscal enrollment for 2002-2003. Skidmore’s retention rate (first to second year) has gone up this year by 5% points, which speaks to the increasing quality and relative standing of Skidmore.
Financial Aid – Financial aid is a critical component in retaining students as well, and we went from 28% to 40% of students receiving financial aid. The proposed budget for aid next year would be just under $15M, reflecting a continuation of current aid policies and a cushion in anticipation of effects of the economic and job downturn.
Comprehensive Fee – Last year Skidmore moderated its rate of tuition increase consistent with an institutional goal and because Skidmore was in danger of being at the top of the “most expensive places to go” list. In the last few years our comprehensive fee increased by 4.9%; 4.9%; 4.8%, and 4.5%. This year it does not appear possible to stay with an earlier target of 4.5%; instead the proposed budget includes a 4.75% comprehensive fee increase.
President Studley announced that $400,00 has been set-aside in the budget to meet strategic goals, consistent with the directions determined through planning. She also announced that, while two-thirds of colleges lost money in their endowments, Skidmore’s endowment has increased 4.8%. The faculty applauded the results achieved by the Investment Committee.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
There were suggestions from faculty for amendments and additions to the minutes of the December meeting. The changes were presented to the Parliamentarian and incorporated. The faculty chose to approve the minutes as amended without reviewing the proposed amendments. A revised copy of the minutes will be sent to faculty.
DEAN OF THE FACULTY’S REPORT AND DISCUSSION
Dean Joseph thanked the faculty and administrators for their kind words of support. Chuck thanked the members of his Office staff, with a special thanks to Susan Bender, Associate Dean of the Faculty.
- The Moseley Lecture will be given by Penny Jolly, Kenan Professor of Liberal Arts and Professor of Art History, on February 12, at 8 p.m.
- Tuesdays are “Brown Bag Lunch Days” with Chuck. He invited all faculty to have lunch with him, especially those he do not yet know.
- The new Associate Dean of the Faculty will be announced shortly.
- Tim Brown, Director of Athletics and Professor of Exercise Science, has been inducted into the Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors a coach can attain.
- Athletic Review Committee Greg Pfitzer, co-chair of the Athletic Review Committee (ARC), reported on the history and activities of the group charged with "familiarizing itself with the various athletics programs, their missions, costs, and benefits; with analyzing the extent of participation in each activity; with consulting with any and all relevant groups -- including, but not limited to, members of professional athletics staff, students, faculty in the Exercise Science and Dance programs, parents, alumni, admissions and advancement staff, members of student and academic staffs -- and to determine operations and perceived values, as well as any tension points requiring resolution, and to make recommendations regarding future directions of the athletic program." (This mandate was put to them by Dean Berman last fall.)
- Greg noted that ARC has organized itself in a series of subgroups aimed at general areas of importance relevant to the role of athletics at Skidmore, including Intercollegiate Athletics, Physical Activity Courses, Club Sports, Fitness/Wellness Programs and Intramurals. These groups are considering broad questions related to the scheduling of athletic events, academic and athletic expectations for the student athlete, workloads and recruitment of athletes. Greg reported that some of these subgroups would be holding open forums to get feedback from Skidmore Community members. The Athletic Council, chaired by Viviana Rangil, will be handling the gender-equity piece of the Committee's work.
- Greg also reported that ARC sent out a questionnaire to parents of current student/athletes and alums who receive the Athletics newsletter. The committee is currently analyzing the data with the help of Joe Stankovich and Ann Henderson in the interest of determining what former and current athletes are feeling about the role of athletics at Skidmore.
- Greg informed the faculty that a search is also ongoing for a new Athletic Director. The chair of the search committee is Kate Leavitt, Assistant Professor of Art History, and she and her committee have been working on an advertisement to be placed in the relevant journals next week. Kate has been attending the ARC meetings to gain more information.
- ARC hopes to have a report to Dean Joseph by the end of the term. CFGMark Huibregtse,
Chair of CFG, welcomed the opportunity to outline briefly some projects that the Committee
is planning to undertake this semester. These initiatives are in part responses to the special Committee of Committees meeting held on Monday, 21 January, and the faculty-only gathering held last Friday, 25 January.
The projects are:
* To increase faculty participation in the governance system;
* To ameliorate the perennial problems in the structure and functioning of the IPC and the FPPC;
* To establish a "governance staff" comprising the chairs of major committees and the VPAA/DOF;
* To consider further reforms of the Faculty Meeting and the establishment of regular faculty-only gatherings;
* To improve the availability and flow of information among the various constituencies of the governance system.
In the near future, CFG will be meeting with Dean Joseph to discuss these issues and to begin shaping formal proposals.
Chuck reminded faculty that at the base of our discussion about the plan is the relationship between student and faculty.
IPC members, Mary Crone, Grace Burton and Sandy Baum are continuing their work on a draft of the academic portion of the Plan. That draft will go before the Academic Staff Steering Committee, various committee chairs, the DOF Staff, IPC, and CEPP before it comes to the floor of the faculty.
The issue of the number of faculty lines requested in the Plan is being considered by the Dean of Faculty and various committees within our governance structure. Information, including financial implications, is being gathered and reviewed before a range can be announced. It is Chuck’s hope that we can settle this by the next faculty meeting.
Chuck announced that he asked members of President’s Staff to be available at this faculty meeting and at other times, to discuss questions from the faculty. He opened the faculty floor for questions. Issues raised and addressed by President’s Staff included the endowment, the GSA, hiring’s in advancement, and the Harder Hall classroom being considered by STEIS.
Professor Joanna Zangrando made the following Resolution for the University Without Walls:
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Board of Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree to two students and the Bachelor of Science degree to one student.
BACHELOR OF ARTS
Frances Maria Gabrielle
Ellen Iris Silver Klarer
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
David J. Stokle
- Susan J. Bender announced that the Academic Festival will be held May 1, 2002. She informed the faculty that this year’s Academic Festival will be organized by Linda Simon, Acting Director of the Honors Forum.
- Linda reminded the faculty to watch for potential projects and to encourage students to participate.
- President Studley invited the faculty to the Faculty/Staff Club for a reception in honor of Charles M. Joseph, Susan J. Bender, and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and
Dean of the Faculty