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

FACULTY MEETING 

February 3, 2006
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:35 pm. President Glotzbach asked if there were any objections to the approval of the December 2, 2005 Faculty Meeting minutes; hearing none the minutes were approved.
 
PRESIDENT’S REPORT
 
President Glotzbach welcomed everyone back and hoped their semester is going well. He expressed a sincere thanks to the Optimization Task Force. Vice Presidents’ Charles Joseph and Michael West have led this group very effectively and the task force has worked diligently since it was constituted in November under IPPC. The members of this task force have put forth a preliminary report that merits serious consideration and conversations will take place today at this meeting. President Glotzbach is very pleased to report that we have just received word of a $55,000 grant awarded by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for the support of the forthcoming Tang exhibit, Molecules That Matter. Professor Ray Giguere in Chemistry is the prime mover and principal architect of this effort and John Weber, Director of the Tang Museum has been working with him providing very important support and assistance. The President congratulated them on their work. The principal goal of this exhibit is to address the public perception of science especially related to the field of chemistry. The exhibit will open at The Tang, and then it will travel nationally including at the prestigious Chemical Heritage Society in Philadelphia. The idea of this exhibition grew out of a course called “Playing Nature”, organic syntheses and society 1900-1975 that Professor Giguere developed and nearly taught for ten years.
 
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
 
Vice President Charles M. Joseph spoke about the continuing Mellon Upstate New York Consortium Grant. Dr. Joseph encouraged everyone to take advantage of the Speakers Bureau which provides the opportunity to bring faculty from other schools for short stays and we provide a stipend for them. Also, faculty may be listed as part of the Speakers Bureau and teach elsewhere. Dr. Joseph referred everyone to the website for further information. The consortium was recently renewed for a secondary $500,000 grant through Mellon of which Skidmore receives about $150,000. The consortium is comprised of Skidmore, Union, Hamilton and Colgate. The Faculty Exchange program allows the opportunity to bring in faculty from the other three colleges in the consortium for example, last semester Professor Terry Weiner and Professor Jordan Smith from Union taught at Skidmore and Professor Murray Levith and Professor David Villa taught at Union. Next year Professor Phyllis Roth will be teaching at Union and we still have an opening for one more person to leave Skidmore next year to teach at one of the three schools. For the 2007-08 year, the opportunity is available for two of our colleagues to go to one of those three campuses. If anyone is interested in these opportunities, please contact Dr. Joseph. It is very easy to arrange this and there is a great advantage to having some new colleagues here for awhile. We also have a post-sabbatical development grant through the Mellon Foundation and there were eight awards that we have just made to colleagues that will use these grants next year to supplement their sabbaticals. The grant recipients are Professor Gove Effinger, Professor Hugh Foley, Professor Carolyn Forche, Professor Catherine Golden, Professor James Kennelly, Professor John Nazarenko, Professor Viviana Rangil and Professor Susan Walzer. Dr. Joseph encouraged everyone to take advantage of these opportunities while we still have this grant for a few more years. 
 
VP Joseph stated that there is a search beginning for a new Instructional Technologist in the Information Technology office as David Hamilton is leaving soon and going to Amherst College. Justin Sipher, Chief Technology Officer, will be in charge of the search and we are in the process of thinking about how to do this, the time table, the scope, the search committee and so on. An email was sent recently regarding this and there will be more information in the coming weeks. David will be missed and we thank him for his contributions to the Skidmore community. VP Joseph welcomed back the following faculty from sabbatical: Professor Denise Limoli, Dance; Professor William Lewis, Philosophy and Religion; Professor John Nazarenko, Music; Professor Pola Baytelman, Music and Professor Reginald Lilly, Philosophy and Religion. Also returning from Union through the Faculty Exchange Program of the Mellon Consortium grant is Professor Murray Levith.
 
DEAN OF THE FACULTY
 
Muriel Poston, Dean of the Faculty welcomed everyone back for the semester. Dean Poston asked everyone to join her in welcoming two faculty that we made a special effort in reaching out to this year, Deborah Lewis from Dillard University in New Orleans and Bruce Danner from Xavier University in New Orleans. As a result of Hurricane Katrina, Dillard and Xavier are having challenging times – they are back in operation but with a reduced faculty and a reduced student population. We are pleased to be able to offer them an opportunity to continue their scholarship to teach in the English Department this semester and she thanked everyone for supporting this initiative. Dean Poston expressed thanks to the faculty for nominating and encouraging Professor Mark Hofmann to serve as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for next year. There will be an appropriate thank you for Associate Dean Sarah Goodwin’s who will be going on sabbatical next year.
 
Dean Poston also indicated that the Dean of Studies nominations are still open until February 10 so everyone should be encouraged to give careful thought and consideration for their own interest or to nominate one of their colleagues. The advising of our students is critical to the success of our students, therefore this is a key position within the Dean of the Faculty staff. A reminder that the nominations for the Ralph A.Ciancio Award for Excellence in Teaching are due February 6 and Dean Poston suggested to consider nominating your colleagues for this as well. The summer collaborative research applications are due to the Faculty Development Committee (FDC) by February 21. Dean Poston encouraged faculty to think of ways in which they can engage their students in summer collaborative research. We are trying to raise the stipend level for the students so it can be cost effective for those that have not been able to take advantage of these opportunities so it is competitive with other summer research opportunities. Dr. Poston distributed handouts on the NITLE Workshop Descriptions and Pre-requisites as well as the NITLE schedule of opportunities for February and March (these are also available on the web). (See Attachment) NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education) is one of the Mellon funded collaborative opportunities that we are partners with. These workshops are fully funded for faculty to attend and we pay for this privilege to participate. This is being done in collaboration with Mellon funding for two more years and our decision on whether we will continue is based on the participation of our faculty so she encouraged faculty to participate in these opportunities. Anyone interested in applying, should contact Justin Sipher or Beth DuPont of IT and these are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. We have run some of the GIS workshops as that is one of our areas of expertise, but the others have been useful.
 
DEAN OF SPECIAL PROGRAMS
 
Paula Newberg, Dean of Special Programs called for nominations for the Director of MALS position at the December 2 Faculty meeting and received approximately a dozen serious candidates. She thanked everyone for their consideration. As of August 1, Professor John Anzalone will be the new MALS Director and the MALS Department is very excited about him joining them. He will also be retaining part of his seat in the Department of Foreign Languages and that is breaking a mold and starting a new model. She expressed thanks to Professor Paty Rubio for making this possible and to the Human Resources Department for helping with the whole process. The current Acting Director of MALS, Erika Bastress-Dukehart will be going on sabbatical next year. Dean Newberg announced that there will be a McCormack Fellow arriving in April, Neena Freeland and some may recall her from last year when she performed with the Ron Brown Company. She is a jazz singer that specializes in music about race and class and we’ve tried to connect this in some way with our Perlow Residency which will be going on approximately at the same time. Part of our calendar for her is filled, but some of you may be receiving calls in the next few weeks to be assured that we have adequately serviced the departments and the curriculum at the same time. We are already beginning to think about our residencies for next year and there will be open nominations from the College community for these. Contact Dean Newberg with any ideas or recommendations. 
 
OLD BUSINESS
 
FEC-SGA FACULTY JOINT RESOLUTIONS IN RESPONSE TO RACIST INCIDENTS
 
Professor Daniel Curley, on behalf of FEC, reported on the SGA-Faculty joint resolution in response to the racist incidence that occurred at the end of last semester. SGA modeled the faculty resolution then modified from it. FEC had hoped to have a joint resolution with SGA, however the word ‘anathema’ was used very strongly and many faculty were uncomfortable with this. FEC passed a resolution that did not address those who commit racist actions, just those that condemn racist actions themselves. It was suggested that FEC form a committee with SGA to see if a joint resolution could be formed. Professor Curley went on to read the resolution. (See Attachment) Professor Phyllis Roth asked if this resolution is to replace what was voted on at the December Faculty meeting and Professor Curley indicated that this is a supplement not a replacement. President Glotzbach asked that this Motion be voted on and it was approved unanimously. He thanked FEC and SGA for coming together on this resolution as it is an important statement. This information will be available on the College website.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
RESOLUTION
 
Professor Timothy Harper of Management of Business, on behalf of the University Without Walls program, offered the following resolution (See Attachment):
 
RESOLVED, that the faculty at Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the  Bachelor of Arts degree to four students and the Bachelor of Science degree to four students.

REPORTS
 
ADMISSIONS
 
Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, reported that it is just two weeks past the regular decision deadline and applications are up nearly 600 applications over last year’s record number. There are consistent increases from less than 1% last year to 4-5% this year. As of today, this year’s record of 6601 applications reflects a 10% increase over last year. The Admissions office is just beginning to read the applications therefore are unable to report on the SATs relative to last year. Early decision applications are up as well this year – up 12% in round one and round two, so this is a record of 444 applications. The median SAT for round one is consistent with last year’s, but round two has not been read yet so a report cannot be given on this yet. The class target for September 2006 on campus is 610 students and to enroll 36 students in the London Program. This compares with a similar target for last year in September but the actual enrollment for last fall was 659 which was the result of exceeding the target on May 1. The yield was higher than expected. The summer melt – the number of students we enroll in May, then for whatever reason, they change their minds.

Last year there were 26 fewer students who did that than the year before. The plan is to mail our acceptance decisions on Friday, March 24 – all regular decisions go out together. The Admissions office will be hosting three accepted candidates’ days in April and information will be sent soon. Dean Bates thanked everyone who gave so generously of their time for all of the on-campus hosting programs. President Glotzbach commented that these are very good numbers and that the yield is the key parameter right now so it is very important to do whatever we can to achieve this.
 
FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE
 
Professor Michael Arnush, Director of First-Year Experience asked everyone to delete number 25, Detective Fictions, Dark Designs on the Scribner Seminars listing for Fall 2006 that was distributed today as John Anzalone will not be teaching this. Professor Arnush reported that the first semester of the FYE has closed and the second semester with 660+ students has started, not seminar, but the follow up still continues. Collection of some preliminary data is taking place to compile a full load assessment a year from now as charged by CEPP. 

Students were surveyed about what time of day their seminar was and what impact that had on their enthusiasm about the course. The response was that early morning and late evening courses were not their preference and instead preferred courses during the day. When students enrolled in the summer, they were encouraged to give as many as ten choices and then the best consideration was given to optimize their placement with the help of IT. They were asked if the seminar they were scheduled for was one of their top choices. Their response was: 59% of students got their first choice, 14% got their second choice, 6% got their third choice and another 21% got their fourth choice or below. The key number is the first two which is about 75% of students were placed in their first choice of seminar. The students thought the courses were challenging and thought provoking. Professor Arnush encouraged everyone to join participate in the fall as they are operating at a very thin margin. The maximum that we can field is about 47 to 48 and that places pressures on departments, programs and challenges the chairs and the entire faculty. Fewer and fewer students can get their top choices when we have high numbers of students and not enough seminars. 
 
There was a workshop a few weeks ago for faculty from 2005 and for incoming faculty for 2006. The focus was on debriefing for fall, discussing various issues to help prepare the faculty to teach next fall, and on mentoring. Other issues being considered are assessment, looking at a random sampling of student essays from the fall and working on that throughout the semester. A report will be shared with faculty on the level of achievement of students in writing across the seminars, how successful they are in meeting the demands and expectations of faculty, assessment of the pressures that the FYE has put on staffing and department needs. Also an assessment plan on mentoring to the students is desired. For the spring semester we are putting together two series of
events that hopefully will attract students tied to race and racism, picking up on the resolution that was just passed to keep this issue in the forefront. The other focus is on the interest of Professor Ronald Seyb, the Ralph A.Cianco Award for Excellence in Teaching – the focal point is on free speech and censorship. Former State Assemblyman Tom Hayden will be here February 27 to speak about free speech, censorship and the war in Iraq.  Bob Edwards, formerly on NPR will be here March 30. Some unresolved things are clustering seminars and living learning experiences in the residence halls and work is being done on both of these and hopefully there will be information to share at the March Faculty meeting. There should be a stipend available for those interested in running summer workshops.
 
THE TANG MUSEUM
 
Professor Sue Bender reported that on April 7 and 8, The Tang Museum, in conjunction with the Luce Initiative, will be sponsoring a conference entitled The College Museum: A Collision of Disciplines, a Laboratory of Perception. All faculty are encouraged to attend. The conference is designed to bring together internationally recognized scholars, teachers, artists and museum personnel who will engage both with each other and conference participants. A wide range discussion will be held in the ways in which we can use our campus museum to promote critical thinking in our students, push faculty scholarships in new directions and encourage dialogue with our surrounding community about issues of mutual concern. The events we have planned on
Friday, April 7 include workshops organized by Skidmore faculty, faculty curated shows and a performance in the museum. There will also be a performance by the Theater department that will be responding to the Tang show And Therefore I Am. Everyone will be invited to a reception. On Saturday, there will be panel discussions and a dialogue between John Weber and Janet Cardiff about being engaged by the museum. Janet has created the main piece in John’s And Therefore I Am show. Also a dialogue between Fred Wilson, our resident Luce Fellow and Adam Weinberg, Director of the Whitney Museum will take place. There will be a cast of people coming from England, Germany, and across the country. For a specific schedule of events, contact Sue Bender.
In about two weeks a conference schedule and registration form will be sent to everyone. Registration is free for all Skidmore faculty, staff and students. There has been an excellent response from other campuses with interest in attending these events. The plan is to bring students into the conversation as well and a post-conference conversation is being planned for one of the Thursday open late nights to discuss what students thought of the conference and what are their own hopes and aspirations to interact with The Tang. John Weber, Director of The Tang Museum also commented that many calls have been received from all around the country from other colleges, universities and museums with interest in this conference. The Tang event cards were distributed to everyone at this meeting.
 
MIDDLE STATES
 
Sarah Goodwin, Associate Dean of the Faculty reported that Skidmore passed the accreditation standards last fall. Preparations have begun to prepare for the team visit on March 19-22. Those that will be meeting with the team, such as faculty members in leadership positions in various elective committees and those that have been involved in the self-study process, will be contacted soon. The itinerary has not been finalized yet but that is being put together. The team will be spending one and half days meeting with people on-campus then half-day conferring and writing their report which will be submitted before they leave. She thanked everyone that has been involved in this lengthy process. The report may not represent the consensus of all the community but it represents a confluence of many voices. President Glotzbach thanked the steering committee and Associate Dean Goodwin for the incredible work they have done.
 
OTHER
 
OPTIMIZATION REPORT
 
President Glotzbach sought unanimous consent to move to a “Committee of the Whole” to have a discussion for about thirty minutes on the preliminary report from the Optimization Group. (See Attachment) This discussion will be chaired by Associate Dean Sarah Goodwin. VP Joseph briefly stated that we are here to discuss how the report came to be, what the process is that we hope to follow, and then members of the sub-committee will join him on stage to answer questions from the audience. 
 
A brief summary of this is a result of a charge from the President and IPPC to the formation of this committee.  The committee was charged to look at a series of strategic questions regarding the size of the population of residential students and how important that is. The committee was asked to report back to IPPC in February and first conversation took place this morning with IPPC about the report. This meeting is the first opportunity to have a discussion with the community. At least one open forum or more if needed, will be open to the community as well. The goal is to do this as soon as possible and everyone will be notified in advance. It is important that people are heard as this is a very pivotal issue. The committee has met twelve times in the last couple of months. Dr. Joseph thanked committee colleagues for giving up their time over the semester break to deal with this important issue. A list of FAQ’s is included and several people worked on this including VP Mike West, Mike Hall, Director of Financial Planning and Budgeting and Joe Stankovich, Associate Director of Registrar and Institutional Research. 
 
There are three items that will be discussed specifically: whether or not the College should reduce our current residential student population to the originally budgeted target of 2150 students - recognizing the fact that we have been above 2150 for some time now, or to maintain our current student population of 2280, or the option of increasing our student population over the current enrollment by 100 to approximately 2380. It was recommended in the preliminary report that we look at the second of these options to maintain our current population. We want to recommend to IPPC and the community in this preliminary report to emphasize that we are looking at 2280, in maintaining our current enrollment. We aren’t talking about adding any students at this point. We are talking about the possibility of using revenue generated by the currently enrolled 130 students in such a way that can put into the operating budget. We are looking at about $2.8M in terms of lift – that is a figure that also has to be nuanced in some ways and he recommended asking VP West about this today. In the Strategic Plan we identified some very ambitious goals and one of them is about the competitive compensation package. This kind of addition of money that has been used as a surplus could be front loaded into an operating budget and that might help us there as well as some other places. We are not recommending that we return to 2150, although that is an option and we can discuss that. Our concern is that this would lead us in the wrong direction in terms of a loss of revenue at a moment when the College stands poised to move forward with a very aggressive strategic plan. We are also recommending that we not increase the enrollment by 100 at this point because we have not vetted that carefully enough and there are questions that would arise in terms of how that would actually affect us as a campus. We do believe that we have not answered that charge specifically enough and want to pursue that more in the future – we can discuss this further during the question and answer period today. Whether it is $2.8M or $10.8M there are choices that have to be made. In general, there are around five areas where we think we need help. As a consequence of either, what stands in the strategic plan is a goal or in terms in dealing with the over enrollment that we are currently trying to accommodate. We will look at the possibility of helping out with the GSA. 
 
We have a President and VP of Finance and Administration devoted to the idea of helping out more with our compensation packages and this provides us with one of several opportunities to do that. There may need to be some added staffing in Academic Affairs that would include infrastructure costs. We are short of classrooms in many ways. We have a supplies budget that is lagging in many ways and there are support systems, like IT that would help with the over enrollment of students that we have right now. The same goes for Student Affairs and Academic Affairs as cannot be separated as we have to look at needs in both of those areas very carefully. There is the huge area of financial aid. Dean Bates may be able to answer questions about that as this is something that we have to have constant attention focused upon. There is the future. We have to have some type of reserve in terms of making sure that we are not in the out years creating a financial strain but to make sure we have enough funds to enable us to move forward with that. We have received several suggestions from the community and encouraged everyone to keep suggestions coming to the email address that is posted. Over the last twelve meetings that the committee had, we had a very good exchange with the Chairs of FEC and CEPP. The report went to IPPC on Tuesday. We shared the report with IPPC and the whole community and with the committee governance structure as well – all committees have access to this report. We thought it was wise to submit this to both IPPC and the community with interest in getting the information out quickly. The understanding is that we could have larger conversations as well as committee conversations to vet the document more specifically in the coming weeks. We look forward to hearing what CEPP has to say about this but we welcome comments from everyone. We ask that all your comments be shared directly with the subcommittee of the Optimization Group so that we can keep IPPC apprised. Please submit all comments to the committee by February 24. Now that everyone has the report in hand, hopefully this will allow enough time for everyone to review and comment on. We hope to have more than one open forum before February 24. The subcommittee will be back again at the March 3 Faculty meeting to give an update. If our work is finished at this point, then we can make recommendations, but if there are concerns that need to be expressed, we will allow a reasonable time to address these, but soon after the March Faculty meeting. Then a final report will be issued to IPPC after the March 3 meeting and then IPPC will provide a recommendation to the President. The five main statements are: 1) we are not adding more students next year, 2) no decision has been made as this is a preliminary report – we need to keep the Board of Trustees informed on what we are discussing, 3) the Trustees may have us cut back to 2150, 4) we will continue to process your feedback over the next month and we will report back to you on March 3, and 5) the sub-committee will eventually need to continue to study the possibility of actually adding students. Our priority here is to provide the where-with-all to address the needs of our current class size and our community by releasing potentially available dollars into the operating budget. VP Joseph then invited his colleagues down to the stage for the “Committee of the Whole” discussion.

At the conclusion of these discussions, President Glotzbach reported that the “Committee of the Whole” met and discussed the topic of the Optimization Report and adjourned.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Professor Kate Leavitt announced the FDC Grant Recipients. (See Attachment)
 
Professor Leslie Mechem briefly discussed the Skidmore Employees Federal Credit Union opportunities.
 
Professor Michael Arnush invited everyone to a reception at The Surrey Inn today sponsored by the First-Year
Experience and the Dean of Studies office.
 
Meeting adjourned at 5:10pm.
 
Respectfully submitted by,
 
 
Mary Ellen Kokoletsos
Executive Administrative Assistant

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