May 16, 2007
President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 10:10 am. President Glotzbach asked if there were any amendments to the April 27, 2007 Faculty Meeting minutes. Hearing none, he announced that the minutes were approved.
The President’s report included the following:
- He indicated that the College is working with local law enforcement agencies regarding the recent phone call threat to the College so the appropriate action will be taken. The person who made the call was a 1990s graduate. There was no indication of any imminent danger or cause for alarm. Even so, a safety alert was issued to the College community.
- He made a brief comment about the reported rape on campus that occurred a few weeks ago. The matter is still under investigation by the Saratoga police. This case is very complicated and there are many confidentiality issues involved. Therefore, he cannot report any more details.
- He said we have had a wonderful year academically and in many other ways as well. He thanked the faculty for their hard work this year with students. He noted that the second year of the First-Year Experience had gone very well. It was also a successful year with governance, and he commended faculty for participating in various leadership positions. He suggested that the faculty ask themselves two questions about their courses for the fall as they break for summer and conduct their research and creative work: 1) What have I done to prepare myself, and where is it possible to enhance my syllabi, to make my teaching more effective in a multi-cultural classroom of the 21st century? 2) What have I done to assure that I am challenging my students effectively, especially given the increased strength of the Skidmore students?
- He invited everyone to attend the reception at Scribner House from 4:30-6:30pm on Friday to celebrate seniors and their parents.
- The President asked VP for Advancement Michael Casey to speak briefly. VP Casey indicated that he was going to introduce Dan Forbush, the new Executive Director of Strategic Communications, but Dan is currently dealing with the aforementioned safety alert, so VP Casey will introduce him at another time. The goal of the campaign is to be at $135M at the end of this fiscal year (May 31); we are at about $131M currently, and there are several gifts pending that we expect to hear about within the next week or two. Then we will start setting our goals for next year. We are working diligently to complete the fund raising for the Zankel Music Center so that we can move that project forward.
- Dean of Student Affairs Pat Oles introduced Mariel Martin as the Interim Director of Student Diversity Programs; she will start on June 1st. He also announced that Anita Steigerwald, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, will be retiring this year after working at the College since 1975.
- Mary Lou Bates gave a brief update on Admissions this year. For the Class of 2011, we received a record number of applications once again: 6,850 students applied (about 200 more than last year). Our class target was 646 (610 on campus and 36 in London). We projected a yield nearly 1.5 points higher than last year, and, as a result we admitted 200 fewer students. April was a difficult month, with deposits lagging throughout the month. The day before our May 1st deadline, we were still 200 short. The day after the deadline we still needed 100. We looked at our history of deposits in recent years and made the decision to go to the waiting list, knowing that other colleges were doing the same. Then we had an unprecedented surge from the original March offers, so we have over enrolled the class. If our summer melt holds, we will open about 40 over target, just a few more than last year; the London cohort is fully enrolled and on target. Our projection for overall campus enrollment in September is that it will be down slightly from total enrollment last year. Our final acceptance rate is 36% - the lowest in our history. That compares with 39% last year, 44% the year before, and 46%, the year before that. While our original yield projection for enrollment turned out ultimately to be accurate, we have come in over in our projected financial aid by about $700,000 as a result of more students accepting our offers. All of the students we admitted and enrolled from the waiting list were full-paying students, so there was no additional financial aid committed to them. The over enrollment revenue will cover the overage in financial aid. Right now the class is 40% male, 60% female. The median SAT is 1260, consistent with recent years. This will be the most diverse class in our history – currently 23% of the entering class of students are identified as students of color: 160 students of color are enrolled and that compares with 127 in September last year; this number includes 34 African American students (a number that has more than doubled since last year). We also enrolled a record number of international students; we currently have 21 and we opened with 18 last year. Dean Bates thanked everyone for their help and especially Joshua Woodfork, Kristie Ford, and Darren Bennett for their leadership in helping to address the diversity agenda this year.
DEAN OF THE FACULTY REPORT
Dean Muriel Poston gave the following report:
- She thanked Lisa Aronson for her work as the Acting Director of Latin American Studies and Joanna Zangrando for her work as Acting Department Chair of American Studies.
CEC Motion – Sue Van Hook – Resolution for Double-Sided Printing (See Attachment) All voted in favor.
Conferral of Degrees
President Glotzbach introduced Ann Henderson, Registrar and Director of Registrar and Institutional Research to read the following resolutions into the record:
RESOLVED, that the faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the
Bachelor of Arts degree to 383 students of the Class of 2007 to be awarded on May
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Science degree to 190 students of the Class of 2007 to be awarded on May 19, 2007.
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree to 23 students of the Class of 2007 upon satisfactory completion of the degree requirements by August 31, 2007.
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Science degree to 5 students of the Class of 2007 upon satisfactory completion of the degree requirements by August 31, 2007.
The total number of graduates is 573 for May completion and 28 for August.
The motion was voted on and passed with all in favor. (See attachment)
President Glotzbach introduced Mary DiSanto-Rose on behalf of the University Without Walls Committee to present 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 13 students and the Bachelor of Science degree to 20 students.
The motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.
President Glotzbach introduced Debra Fernandez on behalf of the external Master of Arts Committee to present the following resolution (See attachment):
RESOLVED, that the faculty at Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the
Masters of Arts degree to 9 students. Of these, 5 students receiving the Master of
Arts degree will do so contingent upon completion of all degree requirements by August
Dean of Studies, Michael Ennis-McMillan read the following resolutions regarding all-college and departmental honors. He thanked everyone for their assistance, especially Pat Choukeir, the new Senior Administrative Assistant in his office. He noted that one name was removed from the Cum Laude list.
RESOLVED, that the Faculty at Skidmore College approve 3 students from the Class of 2006 and 169 students from the Class of 2007 for cum laude distinction: for magna cum laude distinction, 1 student from the Class of 2006 and 68 students from the Class of 2007; and for summa cum laude distinction, 37 students from the class of 2007 as presented at the May 16, 2007 Faculty meeting.
The motion was voted on and passed with all in favor. (See Attachment)
RESOLVED that the Faculty of Skidmore College approve Departmental and Program Honors for 4 students from the Class of 2006 and 165 students from the Class of 2007 as presented at the May 16, 2007 Faculty meeting.
A long discussion ensued, concerning whether a student majoring in Art History, who had been involved in the embezzlement of funds belonging to the Cycling Club, should receive Departmental Honors. Faculty members in Art History were divided as to whether they wished to propose the student for honors, but the Program Director had submitted the formal recommendation and had not withdrawn it. Michael Ennis-McMillan pointed out that, according to our current policies, we check for academic integrity violations, but not for social integrity violations; consequently, there may be other students on the honors list who have been charged with social integrity violations; the Committee on Academic Standing had determined that under current policy this student would qualify for honors.
President Glotzbach commented that we need to review our policies on integrity violations to determine whether we wish social integrity violations to be taken into account with regard to honors. Dean Ennis-McMillan pointed out that social integrity violations range broadly, and we would need to consider that in any future policy. Dean of Student Affairs Pat Oles remarked that most of the students with social integrity violations have returned to good standing in the college community and completed whatever sanctions were required of them. The President indicated that the students involved in the embezzlement will not receive degrees until they have completed any sanction requirements. It was recommended that we should consider implementing a new policy next year and not vote against honors for this particular student.
The President commented that we have a motion on the floor to approve the list and asked if anyone wished to make an amendment. Penny Jolly made a motion to remove the student from the honors list. Various faculty members were concerned about the precedent this would set. The motion did not carry, and the amendment was defeated.
The original motion was voted on and passed, with a few faculty members voting against it.
Dan Moran of SGA gave a brief year end report on SGA this year.
- The SGA constitution was reapproved.
- SGA also reported that the Integrity Board operating code now includes a review process involving both SGA and the administration.
- SGA has committed to a digital advertising program in Case Center and has allotted $2,000 to purchase plasma screen televisions. The hope is to reduce paper usage on posters and increase the effectiveness of advertising.
- The Academic Council took the initiative to institute a student/faculty discussion fund program, which allows students to invite faculty members to lunch, or the movies, or tea, etc., and charge the costs to SGA. These requests will be processed through SGA.
- A new position called the VP for Diversity Affairs was created. This structural change will bring SGA attention to diversity issues.
- The elections were the most successful that SGA has ever had this year. There were 1200 votes for round 1 and 600 votes for round 2. The new SGA President will be Jon Brestoff, Class of 2008.
President Glotzbach thanked Dan for his outstanding leadership this year.
Committee of Committees Report – Dan Curley read this report (see report attached). The FEC is charged with convening the Committee of Committees (COC) which comprises faculty members from FEC, IPPC, CAPT, CAFR, CEPP, Curriculum Committee, FDC, the Athletic Council, and any current Ad-Hoc committees who FEC believes will be helpful.
VP Kress thanked Dan Curley for his Committee of Committees report and responded as follows:
- CEPP membership: Initially she was persuaded that, given the VPAA’s and DOF’s responsibilities for academic policy and planning, both should be members of CEPP, the major academic planning and policy committee. The question was whether the VPAA could do his/her job without being seated on CEPP and indeed whether the faculty would want the VPAA to do his/her job without routine accessibility and accountability to that committee. Nevertheless, she wishes to take another approach for this year. She has proposed to CEPP that she receive the agenda and the minutes for each of CEPP’s meetings and that she be included in those meetings as appropriate. The latter has already happened to some extent this year; we can all review this procedure at the end of next year to see if adjustments should be made.
- Handbook: she endorses FEC opinion that the Handbook needs substantial work and that a single group should undertake the review to avoid the problem of piecemeal changes. The group should consist largely of faculty with members of the administration and SGA as appropriate. With respect to the ongoing work in Part 6, she has already asked FEC’s assistance in appointing faculty members to participate in that process.
- Faculty service: both she and Muriel appreciate FEC’s work on the service project (and other projects) and look forward to partnering with the committee. She does hope we can think more broadly about the value of ad hoc committees, advisory groups, and task forces, since they are a way of ensuring valuable faculty participation in specific and time limited tasks. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a service issue that needs to be addressed, and she hopes that the service project will do that.
- Space Allocation Committee: there were various questions raised in the President’s Cabinet about what the charge for that committee should be—and whether the committee would make or enact policy. The pressure of other business overtook the Cabinet before those questions were resolved. President’s Cabinet expects to bring that matter back to IPPC.
- Shared Governance: she said that she and Muriel would not ordinarily expect an invitation to Faculty Caucus meetings; however, when such an invitation can serve to clear up misunderstandings, particularly about interactions that the administration is involved in, and when such an invitation might advance the principles of shared governance, they might make that request again in the future.
VP Kress said, in reviewing the work of committees this year, she has been impressed by the dedication and hard work of this faculty and their commitment to the institution, adding that the annual committee reports will go some way towards revealing how much has been accomplished. She said members of the administration have brought many problems, questions, and projects to a variety of task forces and committees. She said that we need to find better ways to recognize this essential institutional work. In closing, she expressed her gratitude for all the contributions to shared governance.
Mike West – Report of the Vice President for Finance & Administration (see report attached).
Ian Berry announced the upcoming Tang Museum events.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:00pm
Mary Ellen Kokoletsos
Executive Administrative Assistant
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs