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

FACULTY MEETING

February 1, 2002
GANNETT AUDITORIUM

MINUTES

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

In the near future, CFG will be meeting with Dean Joseph to discuss these issues and to begin shaping formal proposals.

Strategic Plan

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.

OLD BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Respectfully submitted,

Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and
Dean of the Faculty

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