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

FACULTY MEETING

September 5, 2003
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

President Glotzbach began with a warm welcome back to the faculty members. Lary Opitz was acknowledged as returning parliamentarian for the faculty meetings of the 2003-04 academic year. President Glotzbach thanked Mark Huibregtse for filling in while Professor Opitz was on sabbatical last spring.

MOTION:

A motion was made by President Glotzbach to approve the May 14, 2003 Faculty Meeting minutes. The motion was seconded and passed with all in favor.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Glotzbach thanked everyone for the exceedingly warm and generous response that he and Marie have received from the Skidmore community. President Glotzbach considers the president’s home the “living room of the campus,” and he and Marie enjoyed having faculty members at Scribner House the previous Tuesday evening. There will be many more opportunities for faculty members to attend these gatherings, and he hopes everyone will attend. President Glotzbach told the faculty that Skidmore College is in very good shape. The strength of the faculty is a major underpinning of Skidmore’s strength. One positive indicator can be seen in admissions applications up from 5,600 to 5,900 since last year. Skidmore maintained its selectivity in enrolling this year’s class by admitting 46 percent of the overall number of students who applied. Skidmore stands at about the same ranking as last year in the USNews and World Report.

President Glotzbach is very encouraged by the work Chuck Joseph, members of CEPP, and others have been doing with the Academic Vision. Plans for this year include placing more flesh on the structure of the Strategic Plan. Internally Skidmore needs to have a clear articulation of what the goals are for the next five to ten years. That articulation is needed for external reasons as well. The “Creative Thought Matters” theme is going to become increasingly prominent. Everyone should be able to talk about what the phrase means to Skidmore’s external audience especially since the capital campaign will be geared up to successfully identify donors willing to give Skidmore the financial resources it needs to move forward. The phrase is an internal challenge as well: What does it mean in the curriculum and across the disciplines?

President Glotzbach then addressed the issue of the budget. Presently Skidmore has a balanced budget this year, which stands at approximately $86 million. The budget is “technically” balanced because it does not show a deficit; however, there are still some challenges to be faced this year due to significant rising of costs. The current budget does not contain an allowance for a General Salary Adjustment (GSA). President Glotzbach stated that a budget that does not contain an allowance for a GSA couldn’t be considered a balanced budget. Although he cannot promise a GSA for
next year, President Glotzbach expressed his commitment to endeavor to return a budget next year that includes a reasonable GSA. Balancing a budget also includes building improvements and maintenance. Capital equipment expenditures were reduced substantially despite the fact that there appears to be a lot of activity on campus this past summer.

In Skidmore’s budget this year, there is approximately $57 million in compensation expenditures that includes wages and benefits. Last year that figure was approximately $54 million. Even without a GSA, the amount of money Skidmore expended on salary and benefits increased by approximately $3 million. This increase included expenditures for two new faculty lines, promotions, adjustments in pay, and union-worker mandated increases all amounting to approximately $800,000. The remaining amount, approximately $2,200,000, resulted from increases in costs of
benefits and health care. The financial aid budget for students this year increased approximately 10 percent, but that increase still left a shortfall of approximately $300,000. Because of this shortfall, financial aid awards were calculated differently by means of changing the mix of parent loans and other remedies.

Moody’s bond rating of Skidmore increased from A3 to A2. This is a good indicator of financial stability in the college. Moody’s ratings are not only based on financial reports but are also based on the kind of institution, student applications, trends in admissions, management of the institution, the position of the institution nationally, together with other measures.

The last budget year, 2003, has been closed out; the audit has not been completed; and the balance from last year is about $6,625. President Glotzbach noted that even though information is available to different groups and committees, people still feel information is not being communicated as effectively as it could be. There is also suspicion that numbers change in mysterious ways. President Glotzbach stated two commitments: 1) Skidmore will continue to have a transparent budget process and it will be made more transparent where that is possible to do so; 2) that faculty
members will be able to have confidence that the entire process is working well and that the right kinds of decisions are being.

Adjustments in the way Skidmore pays for benefits will have to be made. The Benefits Committee, under the leadership of Margo Mensing this year, deserves enormous credit for having taken on the very difficulty task of finding ways to restructure the way employees relate to the College in terms of benefits. Employees will need to do some cost sharing; we will have to pay a percentage of health care costs, and there must be other undesirable changes as well. Skidmore additionally needs to build confidence in the Trustees that it is doing everything it can to be fiscally
responsible. A lot of information will be disseminated over the next few weeks with opportunities to discuss it. In consultation with the College community, the administration must take specific recommendations to President Glotzbach, and ultimately President Glotzbach will have to own the final decisions. He expressed regret for the fact that there are things that will have to be done over the next few weeks and months that no one is going to particularly like.

As an indication of the changing climate for higher education, President Glotzbach remarked on a bill that has been introduced by Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon of Santa Clarita, California. The bill creates a national challenge in that it would impose limits on how much colleges can increase tuition. This bill is the result of national public opinion that colleges are irresponsible, spendthrift institutions. Skidmore must remain conscious that it will be under significant public scrutiny, and it will be more difficult to raise tuition in such an environment.
President Glotzbach reviewed some of the information and material he covered in his statements to new students and their families. He mentioned the Honors Forum students that will be attending this year and their backgrounds and accomplishments.

One hundred yeas ago Lucy Skidmore Scribner identified a problem: the young middle class women of Saratoga Springs lacked sufficient opportunities to acquire the skills they needed to escape the snares set by perfidious gamblers and horse racing aficionados (scoundrels such as Chuck Joseph and his ilk). President Glotzbach stated it was easy to joke about the matter, but the social needs of the time were quite real. Lucy Scribner’s response in founding the Young Women’s Industrial Club and her nearly thirty-year commitment to the evolving institution that became Skidmore College exemplifies the maxim that Creative Thought Matters. This year Skidmore will celebrate a century of accomplishment originating from the lesson that one person who is willing to exercise her mind and devote her energies to a worthy cause can indeed change the world. President Glotzbach stated further that nowhere does creative thought matter more than in the classroom, in the studio, on the athletic team, in the laboratory. Creative attention to the support of Skidmore’s students by the faculty as mentors, teachers, coaches, tough critics and most enthusiastic cheerleaders will matter profoundly in every student’s life. President Glotzbach concluded by saluting the faculty in celebration of their efforts.

DEAN OF THE FACULTY'S REPORT

Dean Joseph began by welcoming President Glotzbach. Many faculty members, chairs, and directors met with Dean Joseph over the summer, and he applauds everyone on the wonderful work that has been done over the last year. The faculty and staff continued on with heroic activities in moving forward during a difficult time. Dean Joseph welcomed back members of the faculty who returned from sabbatical. (See Attachment A.) He also welcomed back Phyllis Roth who has returned from London.

Appointments to endowed chairs were named: Professor Bernard Kastory, Department of Management and Business, reappointed to the William Harder Chair of Business Administration; Professor Steven Hoffmann, Department of Government, appointment to a four-year term as the Joseph C. Palamountain, Jr. Chair in Government; Professor Patricia Hilleren, Department of Biology, appointed to the Charles Lubin Family Chair for Women in Science. There are several other endowed chairs, totaling 15 in all, six of which are coming open at the end of the 2003-04 academic year. The Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery Chair was vacated by Charles Stainback this past summer and the search for a new director is under way. Chairs that will become open at the end of the 2003-04 year include: The Class of 1948 Chair for Excellence in Teaching, currently held by Professor Susan Kress, Department of English; The Robert Davidson Chair in Art, currently held by Professor John (Chip) Cunningham, Department of Art and Art History; The Quadracci Chair in Social Responsibility, currently held by
Professor Tom Lewis, Department of English; The Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History, and Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies, held by Joanna Zangrando, Department of American Studies; and The Courtney and Steven Ross Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies, currently held by Professor Terry Diggory, Department of English. Nominations will be called for within a week, and the deadline for nominations will be October 31, 2003.

Regarding Academic Vision, CEPP has been working on the outline for quite a while, and it is now available on the web. (See Academic Vision Statement on CEPP website.) Dean Joseph gave sincere thanks to Professor Pat Fehling for her work last year, and he thanked Professor Gordon Thompson for his work this year. The process began almost two years ago. Public discussions of the Academic Vision will happen on September 19 at the Special Faculty Meeting.

Dean Goodwin mentioned that there were important announcements on the back of the Faculty Meeting Agenda. She also explained that it is usual practice to take the time to announce new faculty and in addition, their degrees and accomplishments. Due to time constraints, Dean Goodwin announced and welcomed the new faculty members who were present at this meeting. (For a full list of new faculty members, see Attachment B.)

Dean Brueggemann very briefly mentioned that upcoming deadlines for Faculty Development opportunities will be sent out in an e-mail and will also be posted on the Faculty Development web site. He encouraged all faculty members to send the committee their proposals.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW STAFF

Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions and Student Aid, announced two new staff members in her department: Nat Smitobol, a 1998 Skidmore alumna, as Assistant Director of Admissions; and Kathleen Cole as Assistant Director of Student Aid and Family Finance.

Pat Oles, Dean of Student Affairs, introduced new staff member Kimberly Erwin as Director of Multicultural Student Affairs.

NEW BUSINESS

MOTION:

Professor Katie Hauser, Chair of the Committee on Faculty Governance (CFG), made a motion on behalf of CFG to move for the adoption of the 2003-04 Faculty Handbook. The motion came from the committee and required no second. It is deliberative and, therefore, will be held over. Everyone should have received a copy of the Faculty Handbook which is also available at the Dean of Faculty’s web site. The list of changes is on the web as well. The motion will lay over to the October meeting. (See Attachment C.)

REPORTS

MARGO MENSING – Benefits Committee

Professor Mensing advised that the Benefits Committee web site is the best place to find information. The committee urges everyone to read the guiding principles of the committee. You will also find the April 7 Benefits Committee Report to the Financial Policy and Planning Committee (FPPC) which states the short-term goals for the current fiscal year. Also posted are the long-term goals. You can also review the survey results and Segal’s March 7, 2003 report. The website is located at:

http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/CFG/Committees/Benefits%20Committee/index.htm.

On September 19 President Glotzbach and Dean Joseph will address possible changes to benefit plans. Professor Mensing also announced a community meeting at 12:15 on Monday, September 22 to be held in Filene Auditorium.

MARY LOU BATES – Admissions

Mary Lou reviewed the statistics for the class of 2007. Students number 646: 611 were expected on campus and 611 arrived on campus with the remaining 35 students in London for the first semester. Gender ratio is: 41 percent men, 59 percent women; 12 percent are students of color, 36 percent are on grant assistance from the college. There are seven Porter Scholars in Math and Computer Science and five Filene Music Scholars. Thirty-five percent of the class enrolled under one of the early decision programs. The median SAT score of the enrolled students is 1260, up ten
points from last year; and further, last year was up 20 points from the year before. Selection for the class of 2008 is well underway. In July and August alone, Skidmore hosted over 3,000 students who came with parents and siblings.

There are new admissions publications. Mark Edwards and Company, a publications firm located outside of Boston, is helping Skidmore with research and shaping of messages. Gerry Schorin, Director of Strategic Communications; Peter MacDonald, Director of Publications; Mary Parliman, Senior Graphic Designer; and Bob Kimmerle, Director of College Relations have all been working very closely with Admissions. The new view book will be arriving in the next few weeks.

MICHAEL CASEY – Advancement

This was a difficult year for fund raising, but Advancement did reach its Annual Fund goal of $5.1 million. Overall giving was down slightly in terms of reaching the goal of $12.5 million, only $12.1 million was raised. Gifts from living donors were up over $2 million. Parents Fund raised over $800,000. The newly redesigned Skidmore web site is up and running. A new project of profiling students is underway, and Michael encouraged faculty members to keep this in mind because they want to start getting the profiles up on the web site soon.

The Centennial Celebration will be held in about a month. The event will begin with the arrival of the Trustees for the October Board of Trustees Meeting, a Trustee Reunion will be held, then Family Weekend, Inauguration and the Centennial Celebration.

DONALD McCORMACK – Special Programs

There was insufficient time remaining in the meeting for a report from Don. A report from Don will be included in a subsequent meeting.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was no other business

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The traditional announcements were printed on the back of the agenda. (See Attachment D.)

President Glotzbach announced that Convocation would immediately follow the Faculty Meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

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

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