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Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs
 

FACULTY MEETING

November 1, 2002
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Jamienne Studley called the meeting to order at 3:41 p.m.

MOTION:

A motion was made by President Studley to approve the October 4, 2002 Faculty Meeting minutes. The motion was seconded and passed with all in favor.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Studley announced that since Lary Opitz was not present to act in the capacity of parliamentarian, Tad Kuroda would be standing in for him until Lary arrived.

President Studley then spoke about her resignation as President of Skidmore, which she submitted the previous Tuesday, October 29, 2002. She spoke of her plans for the future and looks forward to working with the faculty this term and next. President Studley hopes to leave the College in an optimal position when the new president assumes office.

President Studley expressed that she will always care about Skidmore, the faculty, and the students. Her present goal is to make Skidmore as strong as possible and to advance the goals that have been previously set. She continued that this is a time of uncertainty and constraints, but together she hopes to find the wisest way of using what Skidmore has and to build upon those resources.

President Studley continued that she desires to set the stage for a successful campaign. She addressed the issue concerning the effect her resignation and the current financial climate might have on the present campaign. President Studley explained that in the "silent phase" of a campaign the goal is to raise between 50 to 60 percent of the resources targeted, but that present economic circumstances may mean a longer silent phase than originally anticipated. This reflects a change in the timetable but not in the program or dollar goals.

President Studley also stated that she wishes to establish strong academic leadership at Skidmore before she leaves. She has been working with CAPT and Dean Joseph to develop a satisfactory arrangement for Dean Joseph to assume full Board appointment as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty (removing the qualification of interim). In September, she commenced discussions with CAPT regarding consideration of a process, other than a national search, that would lead to Dean Joseph’s full appointment by the Board of Trustees and, at the same time, provide legitimacy and credibility to his selection. President Studley and Penny Jolly,Chair of CAPT, consulted with Jack Ling, Director of Affirmative Action, regarding the affirmative action goals and policies of the College and of the realities of a national search. On September 30, Jack Ling granted a waiver of a national search if it was determined by faculty that this was a wise step. While Dean Joseph has been strongly committed to a national search, under the present circumstances, he is now open to allowing President Studley to forward his name for recommendation to the Board of Trustees if that is the will of the faculty, the will of CAPT, and her own determination, after Dean Joseph has had discussions with the Board of Trustees. This action would recognize Dean Joseph's talent, CAPT's and President Studley's efforts, and Dean Joseph's extraordinary commitment to Skidmore.

President Studley concluded by stating that there is a lot of work to do this year. Skidmore needs to embrace positive change and to move forward.

DEAN OF THE FACULTY'S REPORT

Dean Joseph began by providing a report on the Academic Vision meeting that was held the previous Friday (October 15, 2002) with the Board of Trustees. Chairs of academic programs and program directors were invited as part of Academic Staff to discuss the process of formulating an academic vision. The session provided the Trustees with an idea of how difficult the process will be. The discussion was a lively one with equal participation between the chairs and directors as well as the Trustees and there appears to be a sincere interest in continuing the discussions.

Dean Joseph continued with a series of announcements.

• There were several changes in title: Derek Nystrom, Lecturer in the Department of English, now has the title Visiting Assistant Professor and Kyle Nichols, Visiting Instructor in the Department of Geosciences, now has the title Assistant Professor.
• There were changes of the occupation of Chair in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
• Dean Joseph publicly expressed his thanks to Giuseppe Faustini who is stepping down as chair to take a well-deserved sabbatical. Professor Faustini served for five years this last term having served for that department before.
• Dean Joseph announced that in January, Patricia Rubio will begin serving as the new chair for the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department.
• Dean Joseph advised that Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, John Brueggemann, would be joining the Dean of Faculty's Office in January as the new associate dean. His official title will be Associate Dean of Faculty Development.

SARAH GOODWIN:

Dean Goodwin began by expressing her gratitude for Professor Brueggemann's acceptance of the position. It is unclear at this time what his responsibilities will be, but they will be worked out over the coming weeks. Dean Goodwin also advised that the number and the quality of the candidates for the position impressed her. She further expressed her gratitude to those who were also willing to do the job which only strengthened her conviction that we have an extraordinary sense of community and team spirit here at Skidmore.

REPORTS

GOVE EFFINGER – Committee of Committees:

Gove explained that the Committee of Committees is a group that is assembled by the rules of CFG and assembles at least twice a year, sometimes more. It consists of any faculty representatives from CAPT, CFG, FPPC, Benefits, IPPC, CAFR, Curriculum Committee, ACC and CEPP. In order to have as full a discussion as possible at last Friday's meeting, CFG took the liberty of inviting representatives from CASA, the Faculty Development Committee, and the two faculty observers. Gove advised that in December's meeting, CFG would bring a motion to expand the membership of the Committee of Committees to include the last three groups. It is a useful forum and approximately 25 to 30 people attend.

PENNY JOLLY – Joint Meeting:

Penny began by advising that CAPT and CFG met together late Wednesday with Sue Thomas, President of the Board of Trustees. The meeting began with a joint meeting among CAPT, CFG, and Ms. Thomas. A confidential meeting of just CAPT and Ms. Thomas followed that. Penny then publicly thanked Ms. Thomas for her commitment and attendance at the meetings.

Penny continued by advising that the whole community owes gratitude to an earlier incarnation of CFG which was chaired by Tad Kuroda. The committee, which included Jackie Azzarto, Gary McClure, Vasantha Narasimhan, Mehmet Odekon and Mary Stange, put together the report on presidential searches dated May 19, 1999. The report is on the web on the governance web site. A hard copy was given to Ms. Thomas to share with the Board of Trustees.

The meeting with Ms. Thomas had two goals. The first was to gain information to share with faculty about how to proceed with regard to a presidential search. The other goal was to highlight for the Board of Trustees some of the faculty concerns regarding previous searches, particularly those noted in the CFG report.

Penny offered a summary of the discussions. The timeline of the search is of concern. President Studley's term ends May 31, 2003. Ms. Thomas advised that we need to launch the search as expeditiously as possible but there is no deadline. The need for finalists to visit campus was pointed out, and that if visits could not be accomplished by next May, visitations would need to wait until the fall semester. Ms. Thomas recognized that there would be certain "dead" periods during the search. She also stated that she thought a July 2003 appointment would be optimistic. Ms. Thomas advised that the board has a specific plan for filling the position after May 31, but she did not reveal the plan. The Board feels turning to an interim president would not be a problem.

The Search Committee itself was discussed. The board has not yet determined the size, the composition, or any other aspect of the Search Committee and the board has not made any appointments. Ms. Thomas did mention that she does expect to serve on the committee although she would not be chair. The last Search Committee was composed of 14 people plus one ex officio member: seven Board of Trustee members, an eighth Board of Trustee member ex officio, four faculty, two students and one administrative representative. For this Search Committee
the group recommended the following composition to Ms. Thomas: 16 people total: eight Trustees, four faculty, two members from administration/staff, and two students. Ms. Thomas advised that she would meet again later in November with either the Nominating Committee of the Board or the Executive Committee of the Board and that group will determine the makeup of the Search Committee in terms of composition and size and Trustee membership.

Penny further advised it is likely there will be a coordinator hired for the Search Committee and that the Search Committee itself will be responsible for interviewing and hiring a consultant. The Search Committee is likely to review things like the job description, advertisement, etc. The group then discussed the effects on the campaign. Ms. Thomas emphasized that the Board already recognizes that the campaign will be silent longer.

CAPT and CFG stressed three issues for concern. First, they encourage the Search Committee to bring more than one finalist to campus. Second, they noted the difficulty of conducting two simultaneous searches, one for a president and one for a Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Third, they pointed out the need for excellent communication between the Board and the campus constituencies. Penny asked for questions, and there were none. President Studley asked Tad Kuroda to take the chair for consideration of Motion #1.

MOTION:

Penny Jolly, on behalf of CAPT and CFG, read Motion #1: In Recognition of President Studley, from the Three Joint Motions from CAPT and CFG – November 1, 2002 handout. (See Attached.) Tad Kuroda advised that the motion came from two committees and, therefore, requires no second. He then asked for discussion; there was none. The motion was passed with all in favor.

GOVE EFFINGER:

With President Studley's resignation occurring last week, Gove advised that circumstances have changed and the need for stability has become greater. In that spirit, CFG and CAPT brought the present motion. There are two resolutions included in the motion. Gove sent this motion out by e-mail Thursday and asked for feedback. There have been reservations from a few people about whether this might be rushing into things. If it is determined that this motion is being rushed, CFG and CAPT would be willing to have the second part of the motion, the second resolution, lay over and be voted on in December. It was the wish of CAPT and CFG that both of the motions would be voted on by paper ballot. Dean Joseph was asked to leave the proceedings until voting on this motion was completed.

MOTION:

Gove, on behalf of CAPT and CFG, read Motion #2: Concerning Chuck Joseph and the Office of VAAA/DOF, from the Three Joint Motions from CAPT and CFG – November 1, 2002 handout. (See Attached.) President Studley asked if there were any questions.

A question was raised was this just a removal of the title interim or a regular appointment as if a search had concluded? President Studley advised that if she recommends Dean Joseph's appointment, the Board appointment that would follow would be to the position in full, not in an interim capacity. A further question was asked as to whether this would be until the new president comes in, and at that point, a search would be conducted? Gove answered that if the appointment happens, a new search for a Vice President would occur only when Dean Joseph vacates the position.

A question was brought up as to whether this was actually a motion or a resolution. If it was not a motion, a further determination should be made as to whether it is a policy decision, and if it is a policy decision, it should lay over until the December meeting. It was observed that no reason was offered as to why this had to be acted upon at today's meeting. Further, it was asked how typical it was for an institution to forego a national search for a Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, and what would the resultant message be to a new president coming in. Phyllis Roth responded to the question of what other institutions do. It was her experience in working with Northeast Regional Deans that a substantial proportion of deans from that group were from the inside, which is the practice of those schools. It was noted that if the faculty wants the message to the incoming president to be that they support Dean Joseph for the position with no hesitation, it might be better to have the matter lay over to resolve any ambiguity.

A point was made that this was the first time in recent history that Skidmore was thinking of appointing the chief academic advisor without a search process. A question was asked if there was thought of extending the interim term into the year 2004-05. It was also stated that removing the interim part of the title should only be done after an internal review process was completed. It was suggested that more details should be provided and an exploration conducted into whether there was any criticism of Dean Joseph in the community.

It was mentioned that the first resolution might make more sense as an addendum to the second resolution. That is, if it was decided that Dean Joseph would no longer be interim, then that would be the occasion to thank him for his service as an interim dean, not before that was determined.

It was noted that this motion was not a step that anybody wanted to take, it was not proposed lightly, and almost everyone would like to see a national search conducted. However, due to the present situation, accomplishing both searches simultaneously or, in the alternative, having an interim until after the arrival of a new president maynot be in the best interest of Skidmore and may indicate institutional instability. It was further noted that the first resolution was simply to recognize Dean Joseph's good qualities, leadership abilities, and accomplishments in such a short term. It would be impossible to do a performance review at this point since reviews normally occur after four years. A concern was raised that if the faculty is not ready at this meeting to offer their support to Dean Joseph, that he may choose to take his talents elsewhere. A comment was offered that it should be kept in mind that Dean Joseph didn't come asking for the change to be made but rather that it is felt that this is in the best interest of the institution.

It was asked whether Dean Joseph has indicated that he would accept the offer and that it shouldn't be assumed that he would be willing to continue. It was observed that Dean Joseph has already extended his term as interim by one year because he recognizes the difficulties of the institution, but to ask him to do that yet again under those terms would be unreasonable. President Studley answered that there were several steps that would have to be accomplished, but if all of the steps work out satisfactorily, and he is willing to have his name put forward, President Studley would be willing, indeed pleased, to do so. President Studley also mentioned that Dean Joseph would like to speak to the Board of Trustees prior to accepting an appointment. It was mentioned, the only thing the faculty has control over is their ability to unanimously ask the president to fulfill the requirements of the Faculty Handbook which is to simply nominate Dean Joseph to the Board so the Board might appoint him.  A question was raised as to why there were two resolutions rather than combining them into one. Gove answered that the group was trying to do two separate things. The first resolution was simply to express gratitude to Dean Joseph for what he has taken on. The second resolution is more substantive in that it says the faculty thinks it
would be in the best interest of the institution, in this case, because of the circumstances, to bypass a national search and let him be the dean of the faculty. Lary Opitz added further clarity of a parliamentary point stating that there are two different resolutions, but the motion requires one vote. The "and" between the two resolutions is consciously there for that purpose. The questions may be divided at the will of the body, but the goal is to have one vote.

Concerns were expressed regarding the message the faculty would give Dean Joseph if they did not support him at this time. If the faculty doesn't act expeditiously on the motion, they might give Dean Joseph the message that the faculty has doubts about his ability to lead.

It was pointed out that some years ago a national search was conducted and as a result, a good internal candidate was appointed dean. It was also mentioned that Dean Joseph has been a terrific advocate for the faculty at a time that they have really needed the kind of leadership he provides. A concern was raised that stretching the interim term may weaken the position of the dean, making it more difficult to bargain with the Board of Trustees on behalf of the faculty. It was noted that taking another month to let the motion lay over would not alter the feelings that most everyone had about Dean Joseph.

It was noted that a national search should not be thought of as an attack on Dean Joseph. This could be an affirming event in that Dean Joseph would know after a national search was concluded, he was chosen dean which might have more weight than if it was an internal decision. Penny answered that in light of the fact that the timing of searches is a crucial one, she didn't feel that Skidmore would be ready to be hiring a vice president in two years at the end of Dean Joseph's current term, especially if a new president had just come on board. Gove stated that Ms. Thomas was asked how she felt about this motion, and she replied she was personally very supportive of it and that the Board was very supportive of Dean Joseph. President Studley offered to provide information from two search consultants if that information would be helpful.

A faculty member reminded everyone that Eric Weller was appointed Dean of the Faculty without a national search, also under special circumstances. The faculty felt very strongly at that time that it was in the best interest of the faculty collectively and to the college at large if Eric stayed on as Dean of the Faculty. A question was raised as to if a whereas clause could be added to make the motion stronger indicating how highly the faculty prize the efficacy of a national search, but, nevertheless, feel that this is in the best interest of the institution. A concern was raised that it was most crucial how this appeared to the Board of Trustees; that although there are concerns about moving ahead too precipitously, the need to have a very strong faculty voice is reason for voting on this resolution now.

It was noted that sometimes the talent here at Skidmore is undervalued; yet if one of Skidmore's own were appointed, it may actually strengthen that internal candidate. It was pointed out that what Dean Joseph has been able to do in terms of uplifting spirits, changing morale, and his accomplishments in such a short time are good indicators and should be taken into consideration.

It was stated that for the last year many faculty members have been fearful that Dean Joseph would see fit to step down from the position, and this motion seemed to represent one way to avoid having that come to pass. A faculty member also referred to the latest dean search where four very-qualified candidates were brought to campus, and that Dean Joseph compares favorably to those candidates. A statement was made if Skidmore attracts a presidential candidate who looks at the strength of the dean of faculty and says, this is a good place with good academic leadership, Skidmore will have a good search. And conversely, if a presidential candidate finds too much strength in the dean of the faculty and does not want to come as president because of that, it would not be in the best interest of Skidmore to have that person as president.

The motion was called.

There were grammatical concerns with the motion. The term faculty will be stated as plural. President Studley announced that with the grammatical amendments, a call for the motion had been issued and asked if there was any further discussion. Gove stated that the matter of whether it was one motion or two had not been settled. Penny advised that it was one motion. The motion came from two committees and, therefore, required no second. Members of CEPP distributed paper ballots and served as tellers. While ballots were being distributed, President Studley read the two resolutions again and advised that a yes vote would be in favor of Motion #2.

President Studley announced the results of the paper ballot vote for Motion #2: 123 in favor, one against, one abstention. The faculty approved motion #2.

MOTION:

Lary Optiz made a motion to make the vote unanimous. The motion was seconded. President Studley asked for discussion. A question was raised as to what did this mean, how can you make a motion to make a vote unanimous when it wasn't unanimous? Lary explained that it would be by consensus of the body. It was agreed by the majority that the vote should stand. The motion was withdrawn. Dean Joseph was asked to rejoin the meeting.

MOTION:

Gove, on behalf of CAPT and CFG, addressed Motion #3: Concerning Faculty Representation on the Presidential Search Committee, from the Three Joint Motions from CAPT and CFG – November 1, 2002handout. (See Attached.) Gove explained the reasoning behind the motion and that it was the strong recommendation from CAPT and CFG that it be resolved at this meeting if at all possible. There was some confusion about the wording of the second sentence of the Rationale section. The "it" in the second sentence does not refer to the last presidential search but rather refers to the procedure for faculty to choose their representatives. Gove then read the motion. The motion came from two committees and, therefore, required no second. President Studley asked if there were any questions or discussion.

Paty Rubio wanted to know what the rationale was behind members of CFG not being able to serve. Gove advised that CFG feels that it may be involved in the search process especially in communicating with the Board of Trustees. Michael Arnush still was not clear why absenting members of CFG was necessary. He asked what kinds of communication would go on during that search that would somehow marginalize members of CFG. Gove was quite unsure about this, but it was the majority opinion of the members of CFG who were caucused that this should be the case. Roy Rotheim asked what the procedure was in the last search and that he would like to see members of CFG able to indicate willingness to serve on the Search Committee. Gove didn't believe that was spoken to in the report. A member of the faculty advised that CFG was not allowed to serve on the Search Committee last time due to the fact that CFG actually handled ballots. Flip asked why there was not a direct process to elect faculty representatives to the Search Committee rather than going through CFG. Gove explained the rationale for the two-step process is that a straight election could conceivably end up unbalanced in discipline representation. Paty continued that what bothered her most is that perhaps faculty members would not have run
for CFG if they had known they would not be allowed to take part in a search committee.

President Studley asked if CFG was considering a change to the motion to reflect the concerns above. Members of CFG took two minutes to discuss the question.

Gove announced that CFG accepts the suggestion to strike the portion of the motion that excluded members of CFG from serving on a search committee as a friendly amendment to the motion. CAPT agreed to the friendly amendment. Phyllis reminded the faculty that in priorsearches through the search that led to the appointment of President Porter, faculty members were selected by the Board of Trustees. Only in the last presidential search did the faculty elect their own candidates. Presently there is a collaborative spirit between the Board and the faculty that should be sustained. President Studley asked for any further comments or discussion. President Studley read the first item of the motion as amended:

1. CFG will solicit nominations (including willingness-to-serve, i.e. self-nomination) from the entire teaching faculty, except that current members of CAPT may neither be nominated nor nominate someone else.

The motion was passed with all in favor.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no old business.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was no other business.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALICE DEAN:

BILL FOX:

GOVE EFFINGER:

Gove wanted to remind everyone that on November 15th the first official faculty-only discussion session would be held in Emerson Auditorium at 3:30 p.m. Anyone who is CFG eligible is invited and strongly encouraged to attend. The agenda is not set at this time. The purpose of the meeting is to try to have an open discussion of the issues at present, but the presidential search will probably be a main topic. Gove encouraged everyone to go to the Governance web page and print out a copy of Committee On Faculty Governance Report And Recommendations On Presidential Searches, with implications for searches for all senior administrative ositions, May 19, 1999. (See: CFG Report on Presidential Searches, May 19, 1999)

ANDY KIRSHENBAUM:

PHIL BOSHOFF:

PAT OLES:

The meeting was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Colleen M. Sleezer
Executive Secretary
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
and Dean of the Faculty

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