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Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs
 

FACULTY MEETING

April 29, 2005
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m.

President Glotzbach asked if there were any objections to the approval of the April 1, 2005 Faculty Meeting minutes; hearing no objections, the minutes were approved.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Glotzbach opened his remarks by recognizing Associate Professor Viviana Rangil’s recently published book, Otro punto de vista. Two Fulbright awards have recently been awarded to Skidmore students: one to Kelly Harkins ’04 for conducting research involving the analysis of a series of prehistoric skeletal remains in the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria; and to Katherine (Katy) Huss, a double major in German and Art History, who has been awarded a 2005-06 Fulbright to teach English in a secondary school in Hallobrun Austria. She is also this year’s recipient of the Consulate General Prize in German, the highest award Skidmore gives to a German student. Academic Festival is approaching, and President Glotzbach thanked everyone who has contributed to it. Saratoga Reads! has completed its year, and President Glotzbach thanked everyone who was involved in the project: Professor Phyllis Roth, Marie Glotzbach, Carolyn Anderson, Phylise Banner, Dennis Conway, Mary Lynn, Linda Hofmann, Lenora de la Luna, Mark Woodworth, Gove Effinger, Ginger Ertz, Steve Bohrer, Steve Dinyer, Bob Kimmerle, Laura Paul, Catherine Golden and the Saratoga Springs schools, together with the people who have incorporated the book Kite Runner in their courses. President Glotzbach congratulated Professor Phyllis Roth who was named Women of Distinction at a dinner sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the Adirondack Council on April 28, 2005. President Glotzbach also thanked those faculty members who are committed to teaching First-Year Seminars next year. The curriculum is outstanding and is indicative of the spectacular start forthcoming. New-Student Orientation will be restructured with a focus on sending a strong message that serious engagement and academic work is expected.

Pat Oles, Dean of Student Affairs, gave an update on the Athletics Director search. The Committee has concluded the search and has selected Gail Cummings-Danson for the position of Director of Athletics effective June 6, 2005. Gail is currently Associate Director of Athletics at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Pat thanked everyone who helped with the search. President Glotzbach also thanked Jeff Segrave for his service in his role as Athletics Director. President Glotzbach further mentioned that Skidmore’s athletic teams are having an exceptional
year. The Golf and Equestrian teams have qualified for nationals. The men’s Tennis team are Liberty League Champions. Women’s and men’s Lacrosse teams have qualified for the Liberty League Championships with the Baseball team being one or two wins away from qualifying for the same championships. One member of the club cycling team will also be going to nationals. President Glotzbach cautioned that this year’s success also means that a significant number of students will be traveling for sporting events during finals. He reminded everyone that the faculty retains final discretion over how student absences will be dealt with, and he asked for patience and flexibility in working with students to meet this challenge. It is the students responsibility to speak to their instructors and make arrangements before their competitions. Questions or concerns can be addressed by Jeff Segrave, Director of Athletics, or Kate Berheide, Skidmore’s NCAA faculty representative.

The Chronicle has released the 2004-05 AAUP salary data. Skidmore’s initial analysis has been completed, but despite the four percent General Salary Adjustment (GSA) provided in Fiscal Year 2005 in conjunction with the implementation of the first phase of Skidmore’s Compensation Framework, Skidmore did not make the progress expected. Current average salaries at Skidmore stand at approximately 95 percent of the median compared to our peer group. With regard to comparison of salary increases amongst Skidmore’s peer group, increases reported from
Franklin and Marshall, St. Lawrence, Bates, and Dickenson were an average of eight to nine percent which is very high; however, the national average salary increase was 2.8 percent, of which Skidmore was ahead. Skidmore was also above the national averages for salaries being in the 90th to 95th percentile. Skidmore compared on the national level better than it does with its peer group, but Skidmore’s peer group provides a better and higher standard of comparison. The one-time two percent bonus given this year was not included in Skidmore’s salary information used by AAUP. The first implementation of Skidmore’s Compensation Framework was a factor and included approximately $300,000 for market and equity adjustments beyond this Fiscal Year (FY) 2005’s four percent GSA. The Board of Trustees has approved a three percent GSA for FY 2006 and a one-year deferral of cost sharing of the increase in health insurance costs. President Glotzbach has asked Mike West and the Institutional Planning Committee (IPC) to reevaluate the formula used to calculate cost sharing for health insurance expenses and address issues in implementation of the costsharing plan. (The next stage of Skidmore’s Comprehensive Framework implementation (FY ’06) also includes funds for market and equity adjustments.) A full report will be provided to the faculty in the near future.

President Glotzbach discussed a new endeavor by a group of scholars engaged in the search for international peace. This group publishes the journal Common Knowledge (Duke University Press). A Common Knowledge Center is proposed “to put to use the particular skills of scholars in the work of achieving peace in the Middle East.” The current work of the group is to reconstruct the history of the Middle East, which they believe has been written from two opposing perspectives: an Israeli perspective and a Palestinian perspective. They wish to develop an intellectual
framework that will enable both sides to view themselves historically as part of a common situation. The group will hold its first meeting here at Skidmore with an open event on Friday, May 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for those who are interested.

DEAN OF FACULTY’S REPORT

Dean Charles M. Joseph opened his report by introducing John Anzalone on behalf of the Committee for Faculty Governance (CFG). Professor Anzalone announced that CFG will be releasing a final report regarding the past Presidential Search. He also announced that over the summer, a taskforce will meet to deal with the changes that must be made to the Faculty Handbook related to the split of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty position. The Committee of Committees will be meeting on Thursday, May 5 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Chairs of
committees are expected to attend, but any members of those committees may also attend. Professor Anzalone also reminded everyone that the last round of elections is underway and more people are needed. Dean Joseph introduced Mary Ellen Kokoletsos, who is joining the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs as the Executive Administrative Assistant.

Dean Joseph commented on the salary issues Skidmore is facing. He acknowledged that it has been a great pleasure working with Mike West, Vice President for Finance and Administration, who is working together with Dean Joseph to make progress in that area in an unprecedented way.

Dean Joseph continued by thanking all of the wonderful people who have contributed over the years to Liberal Studies 1, 2, 3, and 4, and more recently to LS 2. Liberal Studies 2 will continue through next year. The contributions of the adjuncts who have taught these courses over the years has made the offerings more robust and helped to enrich the curriculum. He also recognized Janet Pyryemybida from the Early Childhood Center and Department of Education who retired last October.

Many people are working very hard on the New Student Orientation event in the fall. The incoming class of 2009 will read Seamus Heaney's translation of Sophocles' Antigone this summer and participate in Burial at Thebes discussions. There is a need for faculty volunteers to participate in these small discussion groups to be held on Monday, September 5 from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact Associate Professor Michael Arnush, Director of the First Year Program.

Professor Mark Hofmann gave an update on the Dean of Faculty search. The third candidate, Dr. Muriel Posten, will be arriving on campus Sunday, May 1 and will stay through Tuesday, May 3. The open forum for her visit will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2 in Gannett Auditorium. Fuse Talk is up and functioning and is linked from the Faculty and Staff homepage. Feedback regarding the candidates should be submitted by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 4 via email at dof-dean-search-list or directly to any member of the committee. An open forum to discuss all three
candidates will be held on Thursday, May 5 at 11:00 in Gannett Auditorium. The Committee hopes to deliberate after Thursday’s open forum. Although the open forum to discuss the three candidates is being held after the close of the solicitation of input from faculty, comments and opinions will be accepted by the committee up until the time of Thursday’s open forum, but it is hoped that the bulk of input will have been received by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 4. The announcement of a new dean will not be made until the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (CAPT) has met to discuss certain details such as tenuring of the chosen candidate in the candidate’s department of discipline. Thereafter, the department will meet and weigh in. It is hoped that an announcement will be made a week to ten days after deliberations.

Professor Joanna Zangrando gave an update on the Dean of Special Programs search. The names of the finalists will be posted on Friday, May 6 on the Dean of Special Programs website. Feedback may be sent to the Dean of Special Programs Search Committee via email: sp-dean-search-list or directly to any member of the committee. Candidate #1 will be on campus May 8-10 with an open forum held on Monday, May 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Candidate #2 will be on campus May 11-13 with an open forum held on Thursday, May 12 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Candidate #3 will be on campus May 15-18 with an open forum held on Monday, May 16 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Locations for the open forums have not yet been determined. An email will go out to the community with further details.

Dean Joseph asked Professor Gerry Erchak as Chair of the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure to present a resolution to the assembly regarding retirements of three faculty colleagues.

BE IT RESOLVED, the faculty of Skidmore College expresses its profound appreciation and admiration for the following members of the Skidmore Faculty who have this year expressed their
determination to retire: Professor Tadahisa Kuroda, Department of History; Professor Elaine C. Rubenstein, Department of Biology; and Dean of Special Programs, Donald J. McCormack. The
faculty further resolves that the biographical highlights of these members contained in the Retirement Citation booklet distributed at this meeting be included in the Faculty Meeting Minutes of April 29, 2005 in recognition and celebration of their distinguished service and achievement. (See Attachment A)

Dean Joseph then asked the faculty members present to signal their assent and acclamation by applause in adopting the resolution. The following faculty members gave a brief synopsis of each of the retiree’s contributions: Associate Professor Jennifer Delton as Chair of the History Department for Tad Kuroda; Professor Monica Raveret-Richter, as Associate Chair for the Department of Biology for Elaine Rubenstein; and Professor Joanna Zangrando for Don McCormack. President Glotzbach presented gifts to the retirees.

REPORTS

DON McCORMACK, Dean of Special Programs

Dean McCormack wanted everyone to know he wasn’t actually retiring until August, but he thanked everyone for their kind words and was truly honored to be mentioned amongst the other retirees. Dean McCormack announced that Dan Coleman, Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program, is leaving the College at the end of the semester. Effective July 15, Assistant Professor Ericka Bastress-Dukehart has been named Acting Director of the program in the interim while a search for a new director is conducted. On a different note, as of January 2005, Special Programs stopped admitting students to The Computer Career Institute in White Plains and the program will close as of June 25, 2005. The purpose of the program was to give high-level, sophisticated job training to individuals in the information fields of technology and visual communication resulting in a non-credit certificate. The site director will make a final report to the Board of Trustees in May. There are approximately 29 enrolled students who will be permitted to finish their work. Career counseling and assistance with job placement will be provided to those enrollees through the summer. Dean McCormack thanked all of those who helped with the program. The summer arts calendar will be available by the next meeting.

ANN HENDERSON, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research

Ann stated that she was absolutely delighted that registration was completed and the new registration system was for the most part successful. Students obtained user logins, many even before coming in to register. Registration was conducted in Harder 101. Approximately eighteen students at a time were engaged and processed, as compared to the past number of three or four students at a time. Students felt that they could take their time and one-on-one assistance was provided when needed. Students stated that they enjoyed the process and were especially glad to know they could go back to their rooms to do further work on their registration process. For the most part, students learned and moved through the process rapidly. Students are remarkably facile with web resources and moved well back and forth between the master schedule, the system, department web pages, the catalog material, and handled making decisions well. It became apparent that students appreciate being in the driver’s seat, liked the independence the system provided, and responded very well to the responsibility they were asked to assume. Wait listing online was a major positive factor for students. The next challenge is to engage the entering first-year students over the summer and help them from a distance which is a further challenge. The first billing will be done in June which will include the financial aid package. Ann thanked the members of her staff especially, but also gave thanks to the Dean of Studies staff, the CITS staff, and to all faculty members for their patience, forbearance, and support. The President thanked Ann for all of her hard work.

MICHAEL ARNUSH, Director First-Year Program

The First-Year Program is in great shape with an outstanding curriculum. A handout of the curriculum was made available at the beginning of the meeting (see Attachment B). There are forty-eight faculty members (forty-six on campus, two in London) who will deliver the Scribner Seminars. Orientation is critical in that it offers a first-and-last chance to connect with students before they become involved in the rest of their college experience. The first contact will be during the Burial at Thebes discussions groups to be held at 10:15 a.m., Monday, September 5 when students will discuss a summer reading project – Seamus Heaney's translation of Sophocles' Antigone. Faculty members are invited to participate in these discussion groups. Copies of the text are now on sale in the Skidmore Shop and a series of materials will be prepared over the summer and will be available for those who wish to participate and help run the sessions. The idea behind this project is to engage students. An essay assignment will be due in August which asks the student to look backward and forward during their academic careers. The peer mentoring program is well in place with thirty-three peer mentors in place (thirty-two on campus and one in London). These students are eager to help support the seminars but need direction. A decision was made to locate students in a particular seminar in the same building, but not necessarily the same room or suite. Other institutions indicated this is a much more positive than negative
practice. For those planning to teach in fall 2006, a brief workshop will be held on June 16. Michael thanked all of those who supported the program. President Glotzbach thanked Michael for his hard work.

GORDON THOMPSON, Committee on Educational Policies and Planning

CEPP has been working on a policy to address withdrawals, failures, transfers, and First-Year student deferrals. Three committees have been involved: Committee on Academic Standing, CEPP, and the First-Year Seminar Committee. They have developed guidelines to implement over the coming year with the intent to assess, strengthen, and appropriately amend those guidelines. The Parliamentarian, Lary Opitz, asked if the committee should present this as a motion, to which Professor Thompson replied that it was CEPPs opinion that this report was in essence reporting an
internal set of implementation rules inclusive to the First-Year proposal and that no vote of approval was needed at this stage. CEPP asked for the faculty’s indulgence to let the rules govern for one year and then assess the success or failure of them at the conclusion of the year. This action was agreed upon.

Professor Thompson further announced that subsequent to the creation of an autonomous Department of Dance, the remaining entity created was Exercise Science and Athletics. After the recent moving of the Physical Activities Program to the Dean of Student Affairs Office, all that remained was Exercise Science. Although CEPP is charged with the creation or abolition of departments or programs, this is not the case in the present situation where the remainder of the split, Exercise Science, exists autonomously by default. CEPP acknowledged and reported that the Department of Exercise Science is now an autonomous department.

MATTHEW HOCKENOS, CEPP

Associate Professor Hockenos reported that CEPP has now created a taskforce to address student writing at Skidmore. The charge of the taskforce is to gather input and feedback from faculty and students on writing at Skidmore. The taskforce will inform CEPP of the results of the gathering of that input and feedback so that CEPP may then create a proposal to bring before the faculty for consideration. It is hoped the proposal will be presented at a faculty meeting late next fall or early next spring. The taskforce consists of six faculty members (Assistant Professor Lenora de la
Luna, Professor Gregory Pfitzer, Associate Professor Michael Marx, Associate Professor Katie Hauser, and Professor Judith Halstead) one administrator (Dean Joseph), and two students (Matthew Wilson ‘06 and a second student to be determined). Associate Professor Hockenos will chair the taskforce. Two groups of faculty will be assessing senior writing over the summer; they need more volunteers. In addition to gathering input from chairs, directors, faculty, and students, it is hoped that the taskforce will meet with the Expository Writing Program Committee to review the
information that they have collected. The taskforce will also research writing requirements at other colleges, especially at Skidmore’s peer institutions; the assessment results of senior writing will be evaluated; and information regarding writing in the First-Year Seminars will be included. The first meeting will take place in June.

President Glotzbach yielded the chair to Dean Joseph, who called upon Professor Susan Kress, Chair of the Institutional Planning Committee to address the motion on the floor.

OLD BUSINESS

MOTION:

Professor Susan Kress, on behalf of the Institutional Planning Committee (IPC), opened the floor for discussion of the following motion: The Institutional Planning Committee (IPC) presents to the faculty Engaged Liberal Learning: The Plan for Skidmore College: 2005-2015, specifically, the “Executive Summary” of the Plan and requests the faculty’s endorsement of the “Executive Summary.” (See Attachment C.) Professor Gordon Thompson, on behalf of CEPP, stated that the committee fully endorses the motion. Betsy Sheridan ’05, President of the Student Government Association stated that the Senate fully supports the Executive Summary. This motion was introduced at the last meeting. There was no debate; the motion was put to a vote and passed with all in favor.

NEW BUSINESS

There was no new business.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was no other business.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

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

and
Mary Ellen Kokoletsos
Executive Administrative Assistant
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty

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