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

FACULTY MEETING

April 24, 2009
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:36 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

President Glotzbach asked if there were any corrections or comments to the April 3, 2009 Faculty Meeting minutes. Hearing none, he announced the minutes were approved.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions, provided an update on admissions for the incoming class. Admissions and Opportunity Programs hosted four successful Accepted Candidates Days in March and April. Dean Bates thanked everyone for their help this year during the admissions process; the admitted students are a strong group, and she believes the increased presence of the faculty was helpful. We are tracking a little ahead of last year and slightly behind two years ago. Next week will be a big week, and students on the wait-list have been asked to call if Skidmore remains their top choice. So far, Admissions has heard from 140-150 wait-list students. President Glotzbach also thanked the members of the faculty and staff who met with the candidates and their parents during their visits to campus.

President Glotzbach addressed the local press coverage of “420,” which he indicated was exaggerated, particularly with regard to the number of students involved. He stated that Campus Safety and Residence Life handled the situation appropriately. The College is attempting to have conversations with students so they can realize that this type of publicity is not in their best interests. He noted that it is important to acknowledge that, while some of the comments off-campus are extreme, they are understandable. He suggested to the faculty that they could help students understand their stake in the positive image of the College, should this topic of conversation come up with their students. President Glotzbach believes that a more accurate image of Skidmore is provided by the Academic Festival. He expressed his thanks to David Vella and the other members of planning committee. He also noted this weekend’s 19th Century Studies conference on happiness, with thanks to Barbara Black for her efforts in organizing the meeting.

President Glotzbach next provided an update on the budget. Next month, we will request that the Board of Trustees approve the proposed budget for FY 2010, and discussions will be held concerning the avoidance of potential deficits for FY 2011 and beyond. Thanks to the efforts of the Cabinet, the IPPC, and others, we have proposed a balanced budget for FY 2010, and we have managed to reduce the problems in the out-years from approximately $7-8 million to approximately $3.25 million. The FY 2010 budget does not include a GSA, and over-enrollment revenues will be used to augment other budgeted revenues. Preliminary planning for FY 2011 and beyond made it seem imprudent, if not impossible, to reduce the deficit if we did not maintain our student population where it is now and continue to count on over-enrollment funds; however, this decision is not tantamount to a final decision on the budgeted size of the student body.

As noted above, President Glotzbach indicated that even with all the budget cuts we have made to-date and the projected increases in revenue, we still will have a deficit of $3.25 million in FY 2011. We continue to look for savings and ways to enhance revenue, particularly in Special Programs. However, it will be difficult if not impossible to close this budget gap without further reductions in force. At this point, we have made a preliminary allocation of additional budget reductions to the various divisions of the College.

President Glotzbach has no doubt we will reach our student target for next year’s entering class, but he is concerned about the amount of financial aid that will be needed. We are currently expecting approximately 140 financial aid appeals from current students, and we have set aside $500,000 to accommodate those needs. Additional community meetings will be held after the Board of Trustees meet as well as a separate meeting for faculty.

In closing, President Glotzbach requested that everyone participate in thinking about how the College presently does business and how can we continue to offer fantastic educational opportunities in times of uncertainty. The kinds of opportunities we offer to our students – beyond what is available at more traditional liberal arts colleges – gives students a unique range of choices. Our understanding of the value of creative thought across the disciplines also represents a unique value, and the more we can do to emphasize this ability across the curriculum, the more we increase our value. We need to focus our time, energy, and financial resources on those things that increase our value and not do the things that do not have strategic importance.

President Glotzbach described a recent article in the New Yorker that discussed economic studies of past recessions. Its conclusion was that those businesses that focused just on reducing cost emerged from those recessions weaker than did those businesses that found ways to invest so as to increase their value. We need to decide how we are going to make strategic investment of our time, energy, and funds. If we do this well, then we will emerge in a stronger relative position. He indicated he is doing all he can to try to make the right decisions at this point and he is asking everyone to be part of this process.

President Glotzbach concluded by thanking everyone for a great year. What students say about what they are doing at Skidmore is inspirational, and this is because our faculty does a great job in working with them.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS’REPORT

Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan Kress thanked her senior staff – Ruth Copans, Ann Henderson, Muriel Poston, Jeff Segrave, Justin Sipher, and John Weber – for all their work this year on some difficult issues.

VP Kress expressed appreciation for everyone’s work with regard to service this year on search committees, task forces, College and department committees. She thanked the Faculty Executive Committee (John Brueggemann), Curriculum Committee (Tim Harper), the Committee on Educational Polices & Planning (Dan Nathan), the Committee on Academic Freedom & Rights (Alice Dean), the Faculty Development Committee (Kate Leavitt), the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (Sue Bender), the Committee on Appointments, Promotion & Tenure (Regina Janes), the Institutional Review Board (Crystal Moore), HPAC, Athletic Council, the Campus Environmental Committee (Kim Marsella and Erica Fuller)—and the many other study groups and committees that contributed so much to the College this year.

VP Kress provided an update of the budget process for FY 2010 and FY 2011. She noted that Academic Affairs received their target figures last week; since that time, she has met with her senior staff on Tuesday, an extended VPAA staff on Thursday, and then department chairs and program directors on Friday to address the budget deficit for FY 2011. She said that if we work together, we will be able to address our budget deficit and will come out stronger and more resilient. VP Kress indicated she is working on a memorandum addressing the budget situation which will be distributed to department chairs and program directors for their input; the department chairs and program directors will then be able to distribute the memo to their faculty to frame the work in their departments. At the academic staff retreat scheduled for May 8, the budget will be discussed in more detail.

VP Kress concluded by noting that she will be accepting nominations for the Class of 1964 Term Professor through Monday, April 27. This professorship had been dedicated to leadership in the sciences and is currently held by Corey Freeman-Gallant. The donors now wish to expand the description of the chair to include all disciplines and to honor a senior member of the faculty who has distinguished him or herself in teaching, scholarship and service.

Dean of the Faculty Report – Muriel Poston

Dean Poston thanked the academic departments and programs chairs for all their work over the past year. While there have been financial challenges this year and more on the horizon, she looks forward to working with everyone next year. Dean Poston thanked the program directors and department chairs who will be continuing next year and acknowledged the program directors and department chairs who will be transitioning: Gordon Thomas, Asian Studies; Erica Bastress-Dukehart, Law and Society; Greg Pfitzer, American Studies; Mary DiSanto-Rose, Dance; Joyce Rubin, Education Studies; Linda Simon, English; and Jennifer Delton, History.

Dean Poston announced that the Dean of Studies Office will be known in future as the Office of Academic Advising.

Dean Poston thanked Paty Rubio and John Weber for their leadership in the arts administration search committee and all the other colleagues participating in the search committee; four different and interesting candidates visited campus last week.

Dean Poston thanked the faculty and staff who worked on the Space Planning Group as well as Paty Rubio for her leadership.

Dean Poston concluded by wishing everyone a very restful and productive summer. She asked for everyone’s assistance and input during the summer as preparations are made for the next academic year.

Faculty Development Committee

Kate Leavitt, on behalf of the Faculty Development Committee, announced that the 2009 Ralph Ciancio Award, which recognizes a faculty member for excellent teaching, has been awarded to Mary Lynn of the American Studies Department.

Retirements

Regina Janes, on behalf of the Committee on Appointment, Promotion & Tenure, read the following resolution into the record:

BE IT RESOLVED, that 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:

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 24, 2009 in recognition and celebration of their distinguished service and achievement. (See Attachment A)

The Retirement Citation Booklet also includes biographical remarks about Margo Mensing, Associate Professor of Art, who does not technically meet the required number of years of service to qualify for retirement, but who has made significant contributions to the College and to the Department of Art.

Kate Leavitt delivered a tribute to David Miller, Richard Linke, and Margo Mensing; and Linda Simon delivered a tribute to Rajagopal Parthasarathy.

President Glotzbach expressed appreciation for the retirees this year.

OLD BUSINESS

A. Timothy Harper, on behalf of the Curriculum Committee, read the following motions (see attached):

MOTION: The Curriculum Committee moves to eliminate the Economics-Philosophy interdepartmental major.

MOTION: The Curriculum Committee moves to eliminate the Political Economy interdepartmental major.

MOTION: The Curriculum Committee moves to eliminate the Economics-French interdepartmental major.

MOTION: The Curriculum Committee moves to eliminate the Economics-German interdepartmental major.

MOTION: The Curriculum Committee moves to eliminate the Economics-Spanish interdepartmental major.

The motions were voted on and passed with all in favor.

B. Penny Jolly, on behalf of the Tenure Review Board, read the following motion (see attached):

MOTION: That the faculty approve the changes to the membership and procedures of the Tenure Review Board in the Skidmore Faculty Handbook.

The motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.

NEW BUSINESS

There was no new business. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

A. Pushi Prasad announced that the Skidmore Research Colloquium will hold a celebration in honor of faculty scholarship and creative work on May 11, 2009 in the library.

B. David Vella announced the Academic Festival will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2009. The program will be distributed on Monday, April 27, 2009.

C. Muriel Poston, Dean of the Faculty, invited everyone for a celebration of the retirees in the Tang Atrium. 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant

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