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

FACULTY MEETING

April 5, 2002
GANNETT AUDITOIUM

MINUTES

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Amotion was made to approve the February 1, 2002 Faculty Meeting minutes. John Anzalone, Chair of CAPT, clarified the CAPT promotion legislation, requesting that it lie over until April. He did not move it at the February Meeting. John would like the minutes to reflect that the CAPT legislation on promotion was proposed rather than moved.

The motion to approve the minutes as amended was seconded and passed.

John officially moved the CAPT legislation on promotion. It will lie over until the April 26th meeting (Attachment A). He reminded the faculty that the result of this legislative proposal would be to provide uniformity in several areas of the promotion process.

Anthony Holland, Associate Professor of Music, asked for clarification of CAPT’s decision not to discuss the legislation on promotion at today’s meeting. He thought it would be a mistake to wait until the April 26th meeting since some faculty may have come to the meeting today to discuss the legislation. President Jamienne Studley and College Parliamentarian John Thomas responded that the minutes had been approved as amended, and the motion would stand until the April 26th meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Mark Huibregtse, Chair of CFG, made two motions that will lie over to the next meeting. The first concerns the procedures for selecting replacements for members of CAPT when tenure or promotion cases involve faculty in the CAPT members’ own departments (Attachment B).

The second concerns the promotion of Artists- and Writers-in-Residence, and would change the current two-tier system (with one promotion to the Senior rank) to a three-tier system (with two promotions to Senior and Distinguished ranks) (Attachment C).

It was also announced that CFG has received a suggestion to provide a community meeting or forum to take place. CFG will take this under consideration and respond.

Mark asked the faculty to read, consider and respond to a CFG White Paper: Improving Participation in Faculty Governance, that was e-mailed to all faculty (Attachment D).

Tim Burns, for ACC, presented the Student Bill of Rights (Attachment E) for the faculty to read for discussion and vote at the next meeting. He summarized the motivation for the Student Bill of Rights, based on several incidents that prompted discussion of students’ rights with respect to speech, religion, and disciplinary proceedings. He stressed that this is not a formal motion for faculty approval, but the vote will indicate faculty support. Even without this document, the faculty abides by the statement from the AAUP blue book.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Studley began by advising the faculty that she would first discuss the Strategic Plan and the direction of the College. Mike Hall would then summarize the financial aspects of the Plan, and then the body would move into discussion.

Anthony Holland, Associate Professor of Music, rose to give “prior notice” as follows:

Madam Chair, I rise to give prior notice: Whereas the Committee on Faculty Governance is unwilling to put the matter forward, in accordance with our own bylaws as specified in Part II of the Faculty Handbook, under the rubric Faculty Governance, in the next Faculty meeting I will offer the following resolution for adoption:

Resolved, Inasmuch as this faculty has adopted the democratic principles of Parliamentary procedure for its full faculty meetings, and consistent with the authoritative body of literature and opinion regarding the extension of those democratic principles to include the activities of any committee which is a subset of the larger assembly, we hereby declare that these same democratic principles are to be carried down into department meetings college wide, providing all members of the faculty with certain rights recognized in those principles, including but not limited to:

The right to call for a vote in a departmental meeting.
The right to oblige the Chair of a department to act in accordance with the majority vote of the department, while still preserving the right of the minority to be heard, participate in debate, and vote.
The right to appeal the ruling of a department Chair and the right to overturn a Chair’s ruling with a 2/3 vote.
The right to invoke any parliamentary procedure already embodied in our own bylaws as stated in the Faculty Handbook.
The right to determine what defines a quorum in that department.
And other such rights as are consistent with extending the democratic principles and rules of order expressed in our own bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order.”

The motion was moved and seconded.

President Studley ruled that the motion was a matter of policy and therefore would hold over to the subsequent meeting unless a majority of the faculty voted to set aside the requirement. Professor Holland requested clarification of the procedure for waiving the hold-over requirement. Professor Holland moved that the provision be waived and the matter be acted on at this meeting. The motion failed for lack of a second.

Strategic Plan

President Studley stated that Skidmore College is strong, successful, and a magnet for faculty and students. She remarked that Skidmore has never been more respected, and stressed that the Plan creates the stage for Skidmore’s stars to shine. The focus of the main goals of the Plan is to celebrate Skidmore’s outstanding students and faculty. The financial investments of the goal include a strong commitment to adding faculty lines, creating academic space in the form of the new Filene building initiative, and student aid.

The College needs to focus on the fundamental building blocks. There are many other important items worth addressing; there will be tough choices to make, and the College will rely upon its leaders to implement the priorities. President Studley is eager to take the Strategic Plan to donors, alumni, applicants and the press to translate the success of the campaign into resources. The College will need to work together to be strong and successful.

DEAN OF THE FACULTY'S REPORT AND DISCUSSION

Dean Charles M. Joseph alerted the faculty to the list of the Faculty Development Initiative Grant Recipient and the nine Collaborative Research Participants, for Summer 2002 on the back of the agenda (Attachment F). He announced that Sarah Goodwin, incoming Associate Dean of the Faculty, will be directing the Collaborative Research Program for Summer of 2002. He expressed sincere appreciation for the outstanding job Susan J. Bender has done while she directed the Collaborative Research teams during her tenure as Associate Dean of the Faculty. A nice applause was given from the faculty to congratulate Susan Bender and all the grant recipients.

In response to a question from Dean Joseph, Mark Huibregtse announced that CFG will gather faculty opinion and be prepared to craft a resolution in support of the Plan to be voted on by the faculty within the next week or two.

Chuck spoke briefly about the Monday, April 5 meeting attended by CFG eligible members. He asked that questions be sent to him if clarification was needed. The purpose of the meeting was to articulate questions and concerns or endorsements and to bring some sense of consensus to the underpinnings of the Plan. Chuck strongly supports the Plan, and believes the faculty should endorseit.He stressed that it is time to turn attention and focus to those groups that will be responsible for devising a definitive timetable for implementation. He urged faculty to trust those in charge, not only the administrators, but also the committees and Deans that will help bring this Plan to reality.

Faculty were asked to read carefully the e-mail Michael Casey distributed (Attachment G). Chuck added that we need to permit Michael to do his job, and we need to have enthusiastic support to move forward.

Michael Hall, Director of Financial Planning & Budgeting, gave a brief overview of the cost and funding of the Strategic Plan (Attachment H). Mike gave the faculty background on the operating budget, and provided a context to better understand the plan. The Operating Budget total expense is $93.2 million, summarized as: salaries & wages 40%, benefits 16%, financial aid 14%, program supplies and services 13%, capital budget transfers 6%, debt service 4%, utilities 3%, contingency 1% and other expenses 3%.

The estimated costs of strategic initiatives are based on a model that simulates the phased implementation of the various initiatives over a ten-year “Build Up” period and then extends that model to simulate the annual “Steady State” costs.

The model constructed to simulate the incremental Campaign Cash flow suggests that an additional $29 million would be available during the ten year Build Up period. The annual incremental Campaign cash flow in the 11th year and beyond could be $2.0 to $3.0 million. To meet the full projected costs of the goals, the College would need to generate additional revenue. Possible sources include alternative use of unrestricted bequests, new revenue-generating programs (e.g. Off Campus Study), cost reductions/re-allocations, tuition and fees, and/or additional students. Initial estimates indicate that between $7 - $25 million might be available over the period from an acceptable mix of these alternative sources.

The floor of the Faculty meeting was opened for discussion of the Strategic Plan.

Mehmet Odekon commented on goal number three, in that the dollars of the campaign shows a shortfall of 2.7 million annually in the operating budget. He indicated that this is not taking in the initiative of goal number three. Diversity is not assigned a dollar value. He asked what do we do about them. How do we address that, and how we will prioritize those seven initiatives listed under goal number three. Should the residential halls or others be ranking higher than others? It would be helpful to understand the meaning of goal number three.

President Studley said that the items in goal three are not prioritized yet, and that community conversation will be required. Diversity is not separately funded but funds for faculty and for student aid are intended to support diversity activities in those areas. Other matters including residence facilities will be funded through allocation of the $90M operating budget.

Professor Gordon Thompson commented that he liked how diversity is handled in the Plan.

Paty Rubio, on behalf of the Committee of Diversity and Affirmative Action, endorsed the Plan.

Positive comments about the Plan included:

Areas that are still of some concern include:

No financial commitment to Goal #3 including a lack of support for Northwoods, which is used for classroom, research and recreational space. There are over 30 courses that utilize the Northwoods. Sue Van Hook stated that there is not enough attention paid to the environment when planning new construction, i.e., Filene. She suggested to do Filene “green” and save some money to support goal #3.

The degree to which compensation can be addressed and raised over the coming decade No strong emphasis on technology

Pay careful attention to prioritizing

Professor Jim Kiehl suggested that the order of the first two goals be reversed.

Michael Casey reported that the Board has not yet voted for the Campaign. There is no official goal in place yet, just a range. He reminded Faculty that the numbers we are striving for are aggressive and he doesn’t see raising the Campaign range at this time considering the present donor base and careful analysis of the giving potential. Professor Thompson asked how faculty could help make the campaign successful. When Michael goes out on the road, he talks about the faculty, and all that they are doing... teach, research, etc. Michael stressed that the best thing that Faculty can do is to do what they do best and do it well because we are all ambassadors of the College. He offered the opportunity for faculty to go on the road once the Campaign is in full gear and meet alumni and prospective donors. Mary Stange recounted a recent trip to San Francisco to meet alums and what a positive experience it was. President Studley also stated that faculty will be asked to be involved in the Campaign planning. She asked that everyone rally round the goals.

Lary Opitz enthusiastically embraced the plan but sees one problem, compensation. He believes promises have been broken in the past, and would like the administration to work with the faculty in good faith with a plea made to the Board of Trustees to investigate the possibility of a 5% GSA for faculty and staff. President Studley replied that she too would be pleased if resources permitted even larger compensation increases. She noted that a 2% GSA increase would consume half the lines or half the student aid goals in the Plan. She described several options for increasing compensation or satisfaction with it, including exceeding revenue goals and sharing the growth with employees (as at Wheaton College) and using benefits dollars more efficiently. She agreed with Professor Opitz that we should continue to seek ways to support salary increases but not in competition with the strategic goals.

Professor Holland argued that trust needs to be earned.

President Studley concluded by announcing that there will be student and division meetings in the next few weeks to discuss the plan and upcoming campaign.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


Respectfully submitted,


Patricia Ann Heritage

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

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