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Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Faculty Meeting

November 2, 2007
Gannett Auditorium


President Glotzbach was unable to attend this faculty meeting; therefore, Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan Kress chaired the meeting. Vice President Kress called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. and asked if there were any amendments to the October 5, 2007 Faculty Meeting minutes. Hearing none, she announced that the minutes were approved.


Vice President Kress gave an overview of the Board of Trustee meeting held on campus October 25 through October 26, 2007. Faculty Observers attended all of the committee sessions. Highlights of the meeting included the following

A proposal for Faculty Handbook, Part VI was not complete at the time of this meeting and work continues. Legal counsel will meet with the working group to assist with legal aspects of this portion of the Faculty Handbook. Committee members: Dan Curley, Mary Lynn, Dick Hihn, Barbara Beck, Herb Crossman, Barbara Krause, Muriel Poston and Susan Kress.

In other news, Dan Forbush, Executive Director, Communications, and others will develop a web page to recognize faculty achievements. The page consists of a three-part format: 1) Grants awarded, 2) Publications, and 3) Achievements.

A call for nominations for the Tisch Family Distinguished Professorship will go out next week and nominations will be due on or about December 3.

Roald Hoffmann, 1981 Nobel laureate, Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at Cornell University, and advisor to the Molecules That Matter exhibit at the Tang will explain the psychological dimension of chemistry and the connection he sees between arts and sciences during an illustrated lecture, Chemistry's Essential Tensions: A Different Look At A Science, at 8:00 p.m. on November 14 in Gannett Auditorium.


Muriel E. Poston, Dean of the Faculty, spoke about the recent North East Deans annual conference which was hosted by Skidmore College and was considered a success. Over twenty-two deans from liberal arts colleges in the North East attended. Dean Poston announced that she will be hosting First Wednesdays starting November 7 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in the Dean of Faculty’s Office. First Wednesdays provide an opportunity to stop by and talked to her without an appointment on the first Wednesday of every month.


MOTION: Associate Professor Curley, as chair and on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), moved that the membership statement for the Committee on Academic Standing (Part Two, Article II, Section F, number 13) be amended. (See Attachment A.) The motion, having been introduced at the October 5, 2007 meeting was discussed. The motion was put to a vote and passed unanimously.

MOTION: Associate Professor Curley, as chair and on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), moved that the faculty of Skidmore College adopt Parts One through Five of the 2007-2008 Faculty Handbook (see Attachment B). The motion, having been introduced at the October 5, 2007 meeting was discussed. The motion was put to a vote and passed unanimously.

MOTION: Associate Professor, Deb Hall, as chair and on behalf of the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP), moved that the Department of Art and Art History separate into two autonomous departments; namely, the Department of Art and the Department of Art History. An open forum will be held to discuss the proposal on Friday, November 16, at 9:00 a.m. in Emerson Auditorium. The motion, having come from the committee, required no second. Informational questions were addressed. Motions on matters of policy are required to lie over one meeting; therefore, this motion will lie over until the December 7, 2007 meeting. (See Attachment C)


There was no new business at this meeting.


Michael West, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer, reviewed the report he delivered to the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees. He also discussed the report he presented regarding the issue of retiree health care benefits. (See Attachment D for full report details.)

Vice President West then addressed several questions regarding this important issue. He concluded his report by stating that the IPPC and subcommittee continue to work very hard on the issue of retiree health care and propose to have a plan put in place by the end of the academic year. Mark Huibregtse, on behalf of the IPPC, requested that questions or comments be emailed to the faculty representatives on the committee: himself, Susan Bender, and Mehmet Odekon. An email will be sent out soon asking for opinions and input.


Vice President Kress announced that students in ES 351 – Urban Ecology are conducting a survey of Skidmore College’s collective carbon footprint. She encouraged all to take the time to fill out the survey and place it in the designated box on the way out of the meeting.

Skidmore continues its search for a sustainability coordinator. The position has been advertised and it is hoped to make an appointment before the close of the fall semester.

Jacqueline Shydlowski '09, is the new Vice President for Communications on the Student Government Association Executive Committee.

David Vella announced the annual Shades of Gray panel discussion which will coincide with the Focus the Nation efforts. The topic of the panel discussion is Global Warming and Skidmore Warming; the events will be held November 28 and 29 at 5:00 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium. He encouraged all to attend and show their support.

Justin Sipher, on behalf of IT, invited everyone to the Faculty Reception in Harder Hall.

The meeting concluded at 4:45 p.m.

Minutes submitted by:

Colleen M. Kelly,
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs