February 2, 2007
President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:35pm. President Glotzbach asked if there were any amendments to the December 1, 2006 Faculty Meeting minutes. Hearing none, he announced that the minutes were approved.
The President’s report included the following:
- We have two new endowed chairs, the Class of 1962 Term Professorship and the Class of 1967 Term Professorship. Information is available through the Academic Affairs office and on the website. These come from the efforts of Advancement and the generosity of our alumnae from these classes.
- Jeanne Eddy and Professor Denise Smith gave a brief campaign update on behalf of the Campus Campaign Committee. Skidmore has raised over $125M towards our aggressive campaign goal of $200M. To date 36% of employees have contributed to the campaign and everyone is encouraged to participate in this campaign and may do so online at www.skidmore.edu/makeagift, by sending a contribution to a committee member or completing a form available on the table today. All gifts are welcome regardless of the amount.
- The deadline for regular admissions applications was January 15, but we have already set a record of 6,800 applications on file. We expect another 50 applications, which will bring us about 200 applications ahead of last year (this is 800 more applications from two years ago). Our class target this year is the same – 610 on campus and 36 in the London program. The decision letters will be mailed to all regular decision candidates on March 24. President Glotzbach thanked everyone that has participated in the admissions effort.
- President Glotzbach spoke about the second goal of the Strategic Plan that states we will challenge every Skidmore student to develop the intercultural understanding and global awareness necessary to thrive in the complex and increasingly interconnected world of the 21st century. This commitment is one of the most challenging for us in the Strategic Plan, as it demands us to change what we are doing or what we think of ourselves. If we want our students to emerge as leaders and not just observers, our students must understand this world and their place in it. Our job is to immerse them in that world and to prepare them for it: not just to survive, but also to thrive, lead, and create change.
- The underlying theme here is difference. Every one of our students needs to understand not just in theory, but as a matter of practical life skills, how to live and work effectively with persons whose life experience may have given them a radically different perspective on the world. Consider the following analogy: Few would doubt that our students need to have a better understanding of scientific principles – to achieve a basis level of scientific literacy. He suggested that there is analogous notion that pertains to intercultural and global understanding – intercultural literacy. Intellectually our students need to understand the key sources of difference in human affairs and their consequences, both private and public – most especially how these differences play out in the social world. They need intellectual competency to participate as informed, responsible citizens in the public policy discussions of issues relating to diversity and difference, both at home and abroad. They also will need this understanding on a practical level. That is, all of us need the interpersonal and social skills to interact comfortably, sensitively, and effectively with persons whose background and identity formation may be substantially different from their own. The capacity to make and defend value judgments within a pluralistic social and political context is a whole other discussion.
- President Glotzbach then commented on the crucial relationship of diversity within our academic community to our ability to help our students develop their own intercultural and global literacy. Each hiring search and each student recruitment class represents a potentially transformative moment in the history of the College. As we look to each pool of potential students, faculty members or other employees, we must affirm our commitment to increasing representation of specific targeted populations including but not limited to persons of color and those that bring international perspectives. We have begun these efforts and achieved a measure of success but we are not yet where we need to be. Accordingly, we must raise our expectations to increase not just our efforts but also our achievement, both employing our creativity and the best practices that we can identify whether from inside or outside our own boundaries. A revised and augmented version of this address is available on the President’s web page.
- President Glotzbach next stated that we have created three leadership positions within the College in the last few years to help us address this range of objectives more effectively than we have been able to do in the past. Those positions are: in Human Resources - Assistant Director of EOO and Workforce Diversity, Herb Crossman; in Student Affairs – the new Director of Student Diversity Services, Hilal Isler, was introduced by Dean Pat Oles; and a tenure track faculty position currently under search – Director of Intercultural Studies. The latter position was created to provide curricular leadership in relation to the second goal of the Strategic Plan and to help us think more effectively about our Culture-Centered Inquiry general education requirement. This position carries both regular faculty duties and administrative responsibilities. We expect the holders of these three positions to work closely together even though each has his or her defined areas of responsibility. We also expect these individuals to help us engage in conversations about curriculum, pedagogy, and ways of working together as well as dealing with substantive questions relating to intercultural and global understanding.
- He concluded by speaking briefly about leadership and that this entails us working together to accomplish goals that we could not achieve on our own. Specifically, we must not think that the holders of these three positions will do all the necessary labor themselves. We need to work together as a community to achieve the objectives identified in the Second Goal of the Strategic Plan.
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS REPORT
Vice President Susan Kress gave the following report:
- Special Programs Study Group. VP Kress announced the formation of this group and expressed her gratitude and that of Jeff Segrave, Interim Dean of Special Programs, for the numbers of folks who volunteered their services for this initiative; she and Jeff regard this as a signal of the importance of the conversation for the institution as a whole. She expressed their collective appreciation to all who were willing to serve. The charge is drafted, will be reviewed by some more groups and individuals, and then will be delivered to the group. In balancing the committee as a whole, she and Jeff selected those who brought a variety of experiences and perspectives. FEC advised in the selection of faculty members. The group is chaired by Jeff Segrave, Interim Dean of Special Programs, and staffed by Wendy LeBlanc, Assistant to the Dean of Special Programs. The committee consists of a broadly representative group of people: two administrators - Michael Thomas, Director and Associate Treasurer for Financial Services and Justin Sipher, Chief Technology Officer; two representatives from Special Programs - Jim Chansky, Director of Summer Sessions and Summer Special Programs and Sandy Welter, Assistant Director, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS); three faculty members - Tom Denny, Music, Linda Simon, English, Joanna Zangrando, American Studies, and one support staff member - Ginger Ertz, Outreach Programs Coordinator, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.
- Edwin M. Moseley Lecture. The second Moseley lecture of the year will be delivered by Roy Ginsberg, Professor of Government, on February 21 in Gannett at 8:00pm. The Moseley Lectureship is the highest honor the faculty confers on one of its own and is a celebration of the high regard we have for distinguished faculty achievements. Professor Ginsberg is a widely respected expert on the European Union, and his lecture is entitled “Exorcising the Ghosts of Europe’s Past? Fifty Years of European Integration.” Professor Ginsberg has also just published his fifth book, Demystifying the European Union: The Enduring Logic of Regional Integration, issued by Rowman & Littlefield, just in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the European Union in March 2007. VP Kress congratulated Professor Ginsberg on both these achievements.
- Endowed Chairs: VP Kress noted that it is very gratifying when alums show their gratitude to their own teachers and their commitment to the ongoing work of the faculty by endowing chairs in the name of their classes. In addition to the two new class chairs just announced by the President, the Palamountain and Kenan chairs will also be open this coming year. She thanked Steve Hoffman and Penny Jolly for their distinguished tenure in those chairs. In consultation with CAPT, she will be sending out a call for nominations. There are many distinguished colleagues worthy of these honors and we sometimes imagine they are so deserving that someone must have nominated them, but that is not always the case. She encouraged department chairs, in particular, to be sure to nominate those in their areas worthy of consideration. Nominations letters can be quite brief.
- Union Faculty Exchange: Next year will be the final year of our Mellon-funded faculty exchanges with Union. In the coming fall, we would like to send one or two folks to Union College. These exchanges have been very successful—and those who have participated have brought back glowing reports. Please contact David Vella, Murray Levith, or Phyllis Roth if you would like to learn more about their experiences at Union. This is an excellent way of complementing a one-semester sabbatical leave. VP Kress will send an email on Monday with further information.
- AAC&U: A team of Skidmore administrators and faculty members attended the AAC&U meetings in January—the largest team of any institution in attendance—and this is a tribute to the President’s sense of how important it is for us as an institution to keep abreast of national trends. VP Michael West came for the 2nd year running—again a model not followed by too many institutions—but having our CFO present at this meeting says something very significant about how we regard the importance of the academic mission and the collaboration of all members of the administrative team. The big news this year is the issue of a report entitled College Learning for the New Global Century, which sets forth essential learning outcomes and principles of educational excellence—and essentially directs us to focus our curriculum on big questions (both enduring and contemporary) in Science and Society, Cultures and Values, Global Interdependence, Changing Economy, and Human Dignity and Freedom. She hopes, along with Dean Muriel Poston, to bring this conversation to key constituencies in the College. Her participation at various panels on the new generation of faculty members convinced her that the theme she has been talking about regarding the pending retirement of our baby boomer generation and our ability to welcome and retain a whole new generation of faculty and staff is even more urgent. She hopes to continue discussing this “Two Generation” issue in future meetings of academic staff and elsewhere.
- There is much going on in all the academic areas and we continue to focus our energy on the themes established at the beginning of the year: leadership, diversity, community—and the necessary intersections among those three. She directed everyone’s attention to the handouts from the Tang and the newsletter Justin Sipher, Chief Technology Officer, has brought us from IT. She also talked about the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting and the strong presence of Academic Affairs on the agenda for this meeting.
- In conclusion, as the President indicated, this is her first meeting as the VPAA. She commented briefly on the search process and pointed out that any search process for a position as important as this one, raises institutional questions—and perhaps even institutional anxiety—about the future direction of the College. What does the candidacy of this or that person say about change and about institutional priorities? She hoped for the patience of the community as she learns this position and expressed her gratitude to those who have shown confidence in her. She said that she is energized by the generosity shown her and that her heart is in the work. She will need everyone to share that work with her and pointed out that FEC has just issued a willingness to serve for key committees. She encouraged everyone to think about how they will contribute to the College. She looks forward to setting the agenda with the other key members of the VPAA staff and with everyone else. She reminded everyone that her door is open to their visits.
DEAN OF THE FACULTY REPORT
Dean Muriel Poston gave the following announcements:
She welcomed everyone back and yielded her time to Professor Dan Hurwitz to report on the course reduction task force work. He indicated that he led a joint taskforce of the Dean of the Faculty office and the FEC to tackle the issue of course releases. The Faculty Course Reduction Task Force met numerous times to review the existing practice of course reductions and to devise possible alternatives. The recommendations attached are unanimously agreed upon by the task force members and these have been submitted to the Dean of the Faculty office for review. The Task Force Members are Una Bray, Beau Breslin, Mark Hofmann, Dan Hurwitz (Chair), and Mehmet Odekon. The members of the task force wish to express their appreciation to Sarah Goodwin for her contributions to their work. (See Attachment)
DEAN OF SPECIAL PROGRAMS REPORT
Interim Dean of Special Programs, Jeff Segrave gave the following announcements:
- He thanked the Special Programs staff and all who had welcomed him and helped make his transition as smooth as possible.
- He encouraged everyone to attend the McCormack Residency events taking place this coming week featuring the composer Richard Danielpour. Details on his residency are available on the red cards that were distributed today. Some of the events include the conversation between Professor Tom Denny and Richard Danielpour to be held on Tuesday at 4:30pm in the Tang; a panel discussion – Diversity in the Arts with faculty members to be held on Wednesday at 8:00pm in Davis Auditorium; and the luncheon discussion with President Glotzbach and Professor Sheldon Solomon to be held on Thursday at 12:00noon in the Murray-Aikins Banquet Room. Mr. Danielpour will be returning to campus again on March 23 & 24.
FEC – Dan Curley
Professor Dan Curley, Chair of FEC, presented the amended motion on the 2006-07 Faculty Handbook Parts one through Part 5 (See Attachment). All voted in favor to approve and the motion passed unanimously.
UWW - Professor Sheldon Solomon, on behalf of University Without Walls, made a motion for the conferral of degrees:
Resolved, that the faculty at Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree to three students: Melissa Kauffmann Largent, Sharon Beth Macchi and Laura Ruth Prevost; and the Bachelor of Science degree to two students: Anne B. Schnurmacher Novak and Jennifer S. Phillips.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously (See Attachment).
FEC – Dan Curley read the motion to approve Part six of the 2006-07 Faculty Handbook. (See Attachment)
CEPP - Beau Breslin presented two CEPP motions: (these will be voted on at March meeting)
Cardozo Law School - Beau Breslin (See Attachment)
Writing Motion – Matt Hockenos (See Attachment)
The President chaired a “Committee of the Whole” for 15 minutes to discuss the writing proposal. Discussion will be continued at the next faculty meeting.
Michael Arnush, on behalf of First-Year Experience spoke briefly about upcoming events and the Summer Scribner-Mellon Scholar Research Program. This program offers a wonderful opportunity to encourage collaborative research for students; they will make presentations of their work at Celebration Weekend and Academic Festival. He asked faculty to consider participating this summer. Funding is available through the Mellon grant. For information, please check the website: http://www.skidmore.edu/administration/dof/fac-dev/fdc/internal/SummFacStu-SMScholarResProg.htm.
- Jon Brestoff of SGA announced that the Academic Fair will be held on February 22 in Case Center, co-sponsored with the FYE office. Representatives from Academic Council will be on hand to help first-year students find what major best suits their interests. Presently, Academic Council represents about three-fifths of the departments and programs. Therefore about two-fifths of the departments are not going to have representation, so Jon will be asking department chairs and program directors to identify the best students in each major/department to help compile materials for first-year students. Jon Brestoff also spoke about GoogleFest 2007: a contest involving 32 teams of students competing to find obscure facts on the Internet (faculty are encouraged to submit obscure facts from their areas). The goal is to find information online; this also ties to the goals of information literacy that many faculty are working on. This event will be funded by the Masie Center, which is owned and presided over by one of our trustees, Elliott Masie. There will be prizes.
- Kate Leavitt, on behalf of FDC, congratulated the Faculty Development Grant recipients from the first two rounds in the fall, for the period January through August 2007. (See attachment)
- Ruth Andrea Levinson announced a new program this summer: Summer Service-Learning Internship Program. For information: http://www.skidmore.edu/career/
- Adrienne Zuerner announced the “Imagining Ourselves: A Global Generation of Women” symposium on February 10 at The Tang.
- John Weber, Director of the Tang Museum, announced upcoming events at The Tang and invited everyone to the community reception today.
The meeting adjourned at 5:05pm.
Respectfully submitted by,
Mary Ellen Kokoletsos
Executive Administrative Assistant
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs