FEBRUARY 13, 2004 (POSTPONED FROM 02/06/04)
President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:44 p.m.
President Glotzbach asked if there were any objections to the approval of the December 5, 2003 Faculty Meeting; hearing no objections, the minutes were approved.
President Glotzbach recognized the following faculty accomplishments: Dan Coleman, Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program gave a paper entitled, “Knowing the Box You Think In: Disciplinary Study and the Liberal Arts;” Professor Kyle Nichols gave an invited talk entitled, “Sediment Generation and Water Supply: A Case Study of the Panama Canal, he gave a paper entitled, “The Life of Piedmont Sediment: Sediment Tracing Using Cosmogenic nuclides;” and also together with a collaborative research partner, Robin Wiles-Skeels, presented a paper entitled, “Quantifying the Effects of Land-Use and the Change on the Hydrology of a Water-Supply Watershed, Saratoga Springs, New York; and he is also the author of “Quantifying Urban Land Use and Runoff Changes Through Service-Learning Hydrology Projects.” Professor Paty Rubio published a paper “Diamela Eltit y Lotty Rosenfeld: análisis de una colaboración artística,” she also published, “Constructions of the Self: The Personal Letters of Gabriela Mistral” in Gabriela Mistral, the Audacious Traveler. Professor Murray Levith, published an essay, “Richard III: the Dragon and St. George,” and a review of his piece on The Merchant of Venice was described by the reviewer as among “the best.” Professor David Karp just finished a book, Restorative Justice on the College Campus: Promoting Student Growth and Responsibility, and Reawakening the Spirit of Campus Community. Professor Holley Hodgins received funding for an NSF proposal. The title of the grant is “The Relation of Motivation to Self-Aspects, Openness, and Performance.” Professor Steven Millhauser’s The King in the Tree was rated among the “Notable Books of 2003” by the New York Times Book Review. Professor Reg Lilly has published a translation of Reiner Schürmann’s Broken Hegemonies. President Glotzbach also mentioned the recent Salamagundi conference, coordinated by Bob Boyers, Peg Boyers and Carolyn Forché, that was held at Skidmore with students even attending on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
President Glotzbach also mentioned that there is still a need for LS1 participation for next year. He reminded everyone that LS1 remains at the center of the first-year experience and that cooperation and participation by everyone are needed to assure that the first-year experience is successful. President Glotzbach reported on the recent Board of Trustees Budget and Finance meeting held in New York City on Wednesday, January 28. Traditionally, a Budget Workshop is held at this time each year. The Infrastructure Committee and the Investment Committee also met. Positive news from that meeting is that Skidmore’s endowment is now at $171 million. The Budget and Finance Committee considered initial budget work and is moving toward a preliminary budget to be considered at the February meeting. Five budget parameters were endorsed: 1) stable student body size, 2) a 4.9 percent increase in tuition and fees (to $39,510), 3) a 7.4 percent increase in the financial aid budget, 4) an increased compensation budget which includes a reasonable general salary adjustment (total compensation budget is $59,804,000), and 5) a 16 percent increase in the capital budget. Cost sharing for health care benefits will need to be increased next year. There is also a need to adjust the College’s contribution to the retirement plan. More details will be available after the February Board meeting.
Skidmore is also moving forward with a $33-million bond issue for the purpose of addressing campus residence issues. The bond will fund the creation of approximately 350 new beds, (proposed site near Scribner Village), to bring more juniors and seniors back to campus and to update the dining halls. Skidmore will be selling Moore Hall.
Pat Oles, Dean of Student Affairs explained the need for a Residence Life Plan. Skidmore is currently seen as a fragmented community, there have been numerous complaints, particularly by students, about the use of Moore Hall. Once a student is placed in Moore Hall, oftentimes they do not make the effort to come back to campus for socialization or participation in activities. The dining rooms are a source of segregation of sorts where upper class students eat off campus or in their rooms, relegating lower class students to the dining halls. Low interest rates at this time are favorable for a bond issue. Documents will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their February meeting including past planning documents from architectural firms, RFP’s (requests for proposals), etc. The current RFP has been answered and a firm is being considered.
President Glotzbach continued with his report addressing two key retirements. Jon Ramsey, Dean of Studies and Associate Dean of Student Affairs will retire at the end of May 2004, and Karl Broekhuizen, Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer will also retire at the end of August 2004.
IPC (Institutional Planning Committee) will be convening to address the Strategic Plan. The committee hopes by the end of the spring 2004 semester to have a more complete document ready. CFG (Committee on Faculty Governance) will be working on the faculty governance system and proposals for simplification. The goal is to work toward reducing the time commitments for faculty in the governance system. President Glotzbach will be working closely with both committees. The capital campaign has been officially relaunched. A search committee for the next Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer will need to be convened quickly so that this search can begin.
President Glotzbach read a letter from an alumnus to a cousin supporting Skidmore as a viable college option. The alumna expressed his appreciation for the type of education (interdisciplinary, diverse, tolerance for trying different things, critical thinking, etc.) he received from Skidmore.
DEAN OF THE FACULTY'S REPORT
Dean Charles M. Joseph began his report by mentioning the people who have returned recently to campus: from London: Professor Joanna Zangrando and Professor Linda Simon; from fall 2003 sabbaticals: Professor David Domozych, Professor Deborah Hall, Professor Holley s. Hodgins, Professor Steve A. Hoffman, Professor Sheldon Solomon, and Professor David D. Weis; and from a leave of absence: Professor Victor Cahn and Professor Catherine Domozych. The following changes in chairs and directors will take place for spring 2004. Chairs: Biology, David Domozych; History, Jennifer Delton; and Physics, Mary Crone Odekon. Directors: Latin American Studies, Viviana Rangil and Debra Fernandez for the Dance Program.
Dean Joseph stated that Jon Ramsey’s position is important and will need to be filled quickly. Professor Katie Hauser, chair of CFG (Committee on Faculty Governance) and the members of CFG will be working to give this position careful consideration. There may be some restructuring of the responsibilities of the present position. An interim director will be appointed next year in order to allow for careful consideration of possibilities and the implementation of a search.
Dean Joseph also extended thanks to Ian Berry and Gayle King, co-directors of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, for their admirable work and the commendable job they have been doing in the absence of a director. He also encouraged all faculty members to not only attend the wonderful exhibits at the Tang, but to also incorporate the museum into their curricula.
Sarah Goodwin, Associate Dean of Faculty, gave an update of the search for the next Dayton Director of the Tang. The Search Committee will be bringing the first of four candidates, Renny Pritikin, to campus on Wednesday, February 18. He will be giving a presentation at 2:45 p.m. in the Tang and there will be time for questions and answers. Fred Wilson, the Luce Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Object, Exhibition and Knowledge has a faculty seminar underway. Student events and project are also underway and will be announced later. The next pedagogy workshop will be led by Fred Wilson on Friday, February 27 at 3:30 in the Somers Room at the Tang.
Dean Joseph reminded everyone that the Edwin M. Moseley Faculty Research Lecture will be held on Wednesday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium. Professor Roy Rotheim will be giving the lecture entitled: “J.M. Keynes and the Struggle for Genius.”
Dean Joseph provided information on the Academic Vision Statement (ViSta). CEPP, (Committee on Educational Policies & Planning) is trying to move ahead inline with many of the national trends and they are still enfolding new ideas. Dean Joseph extended his grateful thanks to the members of the subcommittees. He also thanked Professor Gordon Thompson, chair of CEPP, for his leadership. Professor Thompson is very pleased with the efforts from the subcommittees.
Ray Rodrigues, Director of Assessment, gave a report on the National Meeting of AAC&U (Association of American Colleges and Universities) held January 21-24, 2004 in Washington, D.C. He attended the conference together with President Glotzbach, Dean Joseph, Dean Goodwin, John Brueggemann, Associate Dean of Faculty Development, Professor Thompson, Professor Ruth Andrea Levinson and Professor Michael Arnush. The conference included information on how to build a creative curriculum that meets the needs of today’s students. A session presented a case study of a college facing fiscally challenging times. Dean Joseph and others led the discussion that followed where it became evident that most schools are facing the same situation, some more drastically than others where lay offs of personnel have resulted. The main thrust of the session was not to let money influence important changes and not to let a lack of data on students delay plans, etc. There is an effort underway to try to create a Coalition on Liberal Arts Educators. Part of the purpose of this coalition will be to help determine and explain what happens when students receive a liberal arts education. The issue of the national push for standardized testing was addressed. Standardized testing could affect the ability of Skidmore students to receive financial aid. Other topics and discussions included: globalization, diversity, service learning, scholarship for teaching and learning. It is clear that assessment is no longer considered a separate entity and it is now being enfolded into all aspects of education.
Dean Joseph advised that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education evaluation is now moving into Phase I. Skidmore’s liaison with the Middle States Review Board is Elizabeth Sibolski. Ms. Sibolski has engaged in preliminary conversations with faculty members. She provided an overview of the process and assures that Skidmore’s accreditation has been strong in the past, and she foresees no future problems. Because of Skidmore’s strong standing, the Middle States Commission will allow the College to focus on a special topic this time rather than a comprehensive study.
Dean Joseph provided information regarding faculty development. The Dean’s Office
continues to move ahead with resources to fund faculty development, which is an issue
that is also articulated in a part of the new Academic Vision Statement. The recent
grant award from the Mellon Foundation will help support faculty development. The
Mellon grant monies will be used to support post-tenure faculty support such as serious
faculty development through sabbatical support, faculty exchanges within institutions
(two per year per institution), to supplement adjunct faculty support. Already there
have been inquiries by members of Union College seeking to teach at Skidmore. Another
element of the support of this grant is collaborations and workshops with the other
schools involved in the grant for the purpose of exchanging ideas. President’s Office
has pledged a total of $50,000 per year in matching funds to help enhance Skidmore’s
portion of this grant. The members of the joint grant (Colgate, Union, Hamilton, Skidmore)
may reapply in a few years for further funding. Dean Joseph provided information on
how the funds from this grant will be
distributed, and he will provide more details by email in the future. Dean Joseph will be working closely with the Faculty Development Committee and John Brueggemann, Dean of Faculty Development.
DON McCORMACK – Dean of Special Programs
D0n McCormack began by addressing financial issues of Summer Programs. The Saratogian recently mentioned that Skidmore realized one of its best summer programs; however, even at that time Dean McCormack had uneasiness regarding the finances of the summer programs and in October alerted the Board of Trustees about his concerns. Programs generated between three and four million dollars with a net of $191,000, but this was a significant drop from the previous year. Revenue can be increased through enrollment, etc., but expenses are very hard to control. The current formula used to manage summer finances may need to be modified in order to make the program more fiscally sound. The Summer Sessions program showed a weaker financial performance, but the faculty members who participate are doing an excellent job. Part of the reason for the weakness is that the summer curriculum is based on need rather than a timulating/creative menu of courses. However, if enrollments do not improve during this summer’s session, the program will have to be evaluated. The Board of Trustees recently authorized a new program under the auspices of Special Programs titled the “Endowed Visiting Artist-Scholar Residency.” The purpose of the residency is to ensure that the rich artistic and creative energy of Skidmore’s Summer Programs is brought to campus during the academic year to be shared widely with students, faculty, staff, and the local community. Dean McCormack mentioned many of the distinguished individuals who may come to campus; some of them are scholars, choreographers, writers, etc., with the first being Michael Ondaatje, author of the English Patient, who will be on campus from March 29 through April 2. President Glotzbach announced that the Trustees have named the program the “Don and Judy McCormack Endowed Visiting Artist-Scholar Residency.”
KATIE HAUSER – CFG (Committee on Faculty Governance) – report on Committee of Committees Professor Hauser 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, to assess the interactions among member committees and administration and to discuss ongoing issues and any problems in committee operations. The committee consists of any faculty representatives from CAPT, CFG, FPPC, Benefits, IPC, CAFR, Curriculum Committee, ACC, CEPP, CASA, the Faculty Development Committee, and two faculty observers. CFG is then required to inform the faculty at large of the issues raised by the Committee of Committees (Faculty Handbook, p. 212). Overall, the interaction amongst the committees and the administration had been overwhelmingly positive during the fall semester. There were two significant areas of concern: the Institutional Planning Committee (IPC) and the All-College Council were non-functioning in the fall. IPC met once briefly while ACC did not meet at all. The other concern expressed was the lack of public or official discussion of the replacement of the Dean of Studies upon Jon Ramsey’s retirement this summer. Full minutes of that meeting are available here.
GORDON THOMPSON – CEPP (Committee on Educational Policies and Planning)
Professor Thompson reported that Columbia University has advised that the Biosphere 2 program is no longer in existence; therefore, Skidmore is disaffiliating from the program.
There was no old business.
Professor Gordon Thompson, on behalf of CEPP and after giving a prelude to CEPP’s motion, read its motion on Academic Vision into the record. (See Attachment A.) The motion, having come from the committee, required no second. The floor was opened for discussion.
A concern was raised as to the processing of the vision statement; specifically, will
the faculty have a vote on a final document? Professor Thompson advised that the statement
would most likely be revised continually and come back to the faculty on a yearly
basis for their support. This year’s final version will be complete by approximately
April or May, and if not, then early next fall. A clarification of the purpose of
the motion was requested. Professor Thompson explained that CEPP is not looking for
thanks; rather they would like confirmation that the Academic Vision Statement is
proceeding in the correct direction. Another concern was raised as to whether this
is a vote for two separate issues, first-year experience and study abroad. Professor
Thompson clarified that the motion is not to address issues, but rather to confirm
direction. A separate motion on the first-year experience will happen next. Professor
Terry Diggory stated that he would be willing to agree with the four major components
of the statement, however, he would not be comfortable with agreeing with the subheadings
at this point because he did not feel they were adequately represented. He also expressed
concerns that the spirit of the documents does not seem to be directed toward education.
Professor Lary Opitz, as parliamentarian, explained that this motion will lay on the
table until the next meeting at which time it will come up for a vote. The debate
at hand is on the existing document and should deal with substance. A concern was
raised that perhaps the motion was not explicit enough and should be brought back
to the faculty body at next month’s meeting. A question was raised as to whether there
is a relationship between
the Institutional Mission Statement and the Academic Vision Statement. Professor Thompson advised that the committee did go back to it for history and continuity. A concern was raised regarding discussion at the first open forum when it was mentioned that the purpose of the Academic Vision Statement was supposed to present a unique plan for the future; however, the current statement could very well be used as a sort of template for many other liberal arts colleges. Where is Skidmore’s distinctiveness, and what is the purpose of such a generic statement? Professor Thompson advised that the original document has been boiled down many times. Perhaps Skidmore College needs to face the reality that it is becoming more and more difficult to be special or unique; however, it is very possible for Skidmore to be recognized as doing the very best job at what it does. Professor Opitz suggested that perhaps a rationale should be included to state the purpose and should the motion pass at next month’s meeting, that a final document at a future date will be presented to the faculty body for a vote.
The motion will lie over until the next meeting.
Professor Mary Correa, on behalf of the Curriculum Committee, read the committee’s
motion on the creation of a major in International Affairs into the record. (See Attachment B.)
motion, having come from the committee, required no second. Professor Correa advised that the International Affairs program will hold open fora to discuss the IA major proposal on
Monday, February 16 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, February 24 from 4:00-5:00 p.m., both to be held in the Intercultural Center. The motion will lie over until the next
Professor Hauser, on behalf of the Committee on Faculty Governance, read CFG’s motion
to clarify language in the Faculty Handbook regarding administrators who may attend
in faculty meetings into the record. (See Attachment C.) The motion, having come from the committee, required no second. The motion will lie over until the next meeting.
Professor Pierre von Kaenel, on behalf of the University Without Walls, made a motion
for the conferral of degrees. Resolved, that the Faculty of Skidmore college recommend
Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree to one student: Gayle Heath Mender, and the Bachelor of Science degree to two students: Jane Leighton MacNeil and Rolston Melford
Nickeo. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
There was no other business
Announcements were printed on the back of the agenda. (See Attachment D.)
- Professor Katie Hauser informed faculty members that CFG has received very few candidates for Round III elections. As of this meeting there were: zero candidates running for Benefits Committee, one for Faculty Development Committee, one for Honors Council, one for EMAP, and two for UWW. She encouraged all members to run for the openings on the committees, which have vacancies. In order to run, faculty members must submit their name to Professor Mary Stange by email by Wednesday, February 18.
- The Faculty Meeting Reception was hosted by the Business Affairs and was held at the Faculty/Staff Club.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
Colleen M. Kelly
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty