September 5, 2008
President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. President Glotzbach asked if there were any amendments to the May 14, 2008 Faculty Meeting minutes. Hearing none, he announced that the minutes were approved.
[The full text of the president’s remarks may be accessed at http://www.skidmore.edu/president/speeches/]
The President welcomed everyone back to Skidmore and thanked all those who worked so hard to launch the academic year. He noted that, aside from one minor incident, we have had a tremendous opening and he recognized the hard work of the faculty and staff. President Glotzbach acknowledged that there is much work that happens behind the scenes and wanted to highlight an example of that by reading a letter he received from the parents of a student. The parents praised the work of the Office of Student Academic Services and the Dean of Studies Office for their child’s academic turnaround after their collaboration assisted in identifying a learning disability that had gone undiagnosed for years. The President indicated that this was just one example of the positive effect of collaboration among different offices.
President Glotzbach introduced Rochelle Calhoun, the new Dean of Student Affairs. Dean Calhoun thanked everyone for their warm welcome to Skidmore and expressed appreciation for all those who assisted in helping to open school so well. She noted her commitment to a continued creative collaboration between academic and student affairs and indicated that the best way we can serve our students is to be student-centered and student-focused in the way that we do our work. Lastly, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association (SGA), Dean Calhoun offered their regrets for being unable to introduce themselves at this meeting but noted that they are excited to work with everyone and will introduce themselves at the next faculty meeting.
President Glotzbach noted the work done over the summer, which included a major renovation at Wilmarth Hall, the relocation of the credit union and the creation of three new classrooms in its place, and the reconfiguration in the same area of five other classrooms and offices. The President showed a PowerPoint presentation concerning the construction progress of the new Zankel Music Building and commented that this is the biggest project we have ever managed. The President also noted that the Zankel Music Building should be ready for use in January 2010 and will be dedicated in the Fall of 2010. The President concluded that the Zankel Music Building will be a signature building on campus and the new home of the Music Department. The building will also be an important College resource, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs has convened a working group to look at how the new building can be used as a resource for the College as a whole.
President Glotzbach then introduced Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, who gave a report on this year’s incoming class. Dean Bates advised that the new class on campus and in London totals 652 students, which is 6 higher than our target of 646. As she reported last spring, this was the most competitive year in our history; we admitted only 24 percent of the regular-decision students in March. In trying not to exceed our target, Admissions was aggressive in predicting an increase in yield of 1 ½ percent; however, we actually experienced a drop in yield of 3 percent, which left us, initially, about 70 students short of our on-campus target and 10 shy of our London goal. Dean Bates noted, however, that in having only accepted 24 percent of the Spring applicant pool, we were left with the strongest wait-list ever, comprising students that would have been top admits not that many years ago. After May 1, Admissions filled the remaining spots from the waiting list bringing a final acceptance rate of 29 percent. Dean Bates reported that our summer melt was lower than in recent years, which resulted in the class being slightly over target.
Dean Bates advised that the new class is 61 percent female and 39 percent male; that 62 percent attended public high school and 38 percent attended private or parochial schools; and that 39 percent were accepted and enrolled through early-decision. She further noted that this is the second most diverse class in our history, with 21 percent of students self-identifying during the admission process as students of color (which compares to 23 percent last year). The wait-list activity affected the diversity numbers since there were not many students of color on the waiting list. Dean Bates showed a PowerPoint presentation comparing the academic strength of applicants over the last 5 years (see attached). Dean Bates concluded by introducing new colleagues, Lisa Rinaolo, Associate Director of Admission Operations, and Jakob Navarrette, Associate Director of Admissions.
President Glotzbach went on to note that this will be the fourth year of the implementation of our Strategic Plan and commended the faculty’s contributions to the positive changes we are seeing overall. He discussed the concept of strategic literacy. Skidmore’s commitment to shared governance means that certain key strategic choices must be made collaboratively, in the context of our Strategic Plan. Accordingly, those who participate in decision-making must understand that the choices they make have consequences and, above all, that making wise strategic choices requires us to embrace an institutional perspective that transcends individual or group interests (narrowly defined).
President Glotzbach concluded by commenting on what inspires him most in his work at Skidmore: our students and their achievements. By way of example, He spoke of four recent graduates: Jonathan Brestoff, our first Goldwater science scholar, who is now enrolled in a joint MD/Ph.D. program; Vaughn Greene, a HEOP student who is now attending pharmacy school; Kabuchi Banfield, who learned of Skidmore through the Harlem Boys Choir and who had his choice of jobs in the financial services industry; and Claire Davenport, a single mother who once lived in a battered women’s shelter and is now going to attend Albany Medical School. There are many similar stories at Skidmore, and the President acknowledged that members of the faculty know many more such stories than he. But how we foster the growth of our students makes the President proud to be at Skidmore. He looks forward to working with the faculty and staff of the College to have another productive year, one that will move us closer to the future we envision together.
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan Kress welcomed everyone back to a new academic year, especially those who have been away on sabbatical leaves and those joining this community as new colleagues.
Interim Dean of Special Programs, Jeff Segrave, welcomed everyone back for the new academic year and reported on the programs of Summer, 2008. Although he doesn’t have a final tally on numbers, Dean Segrave noted that we had a very successful summer and maintained our busy, vibrant summer campus. Among the highlights of the summer were the Martha Graham Dance Company, which showcased many of our students on the stage at SPAC; the Jazz Institute, which featured Terence Blanchard, incoming McCormack Resident, and American Spanish Jazz great, Arturo O’Farrill; the Writer’s Institute; the Young Writer’s Institute; several conferences, including the Society of Dance History Scholars; and a studio summer art program featuring many highly-acclaimed visiting artists, including the internationally-recognized, Polly Apfelbaum.
Dean Segrave noted that the number of undergraduates enrolled for the summer term was 224, which is higher than in recent years, and that there were approximately 50 collaborative research students on campus; their work culminated in a summer symposium organized by Mark Hofmann. Dean Segrave also noted that we had an extraordinary successful MALS seminar delivered by Karen Kellogg (Environmental Studies) and Mark Youndt (Management and Business).
Dean Segrave announced two upcoming residencies in Special Programs: Yoram Meital, the Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence this Fall, who is a senior lecturer in Middle East studies from Ben-Gurion University and will be teaching classes in history and government; and Terence Blanchard, the McCormack Artist-Scholar in Residence, who will be here on September 15 and 16 to work with students through the Office of the First Year Experience and will return in the Spring to offer a concert featuring several pieces from his CD (the summer text for first-year students).
Dean Segrave concluded by noting that the UWW working groups have been working hard all summer to determine if there is a workable and feasible model for UWW that is academically sound, administratively efficient, and financially self-supporting. Dean Segrave acknowledged Deborah Meyers, who is serving as Interim Director of UWW for the coming year; he is grateful to her for assuming this position.
Dean of the Faculty, Muriel Poston, welcomed new and returning faculty. Dean Poston announced the following promotions granted by the Board of Trustees: John Brueggemann to Professor; Pat Fehling to Professor; Michael Mudrovic to Professor, David Vella to Professor; Janet Casey to Visiting Professor; and Maria Lander to Associate Professor. Dean Poston also announced the new department chairs and program directors (see attached) and welcomed eight new tenure track faculty: Lei Bryant, Mary Campa, Tonya Dodge, Reubén Graciani, Masako Inamoto, Jackie Murray, Michelle Rhee, and Kenji Tierney—as well as all new visiting faculty (see attached).
Dean Poston thanked the Dean of the Faculty staff, particularly Beau Breslin and Michael Ennis-McMillan, for their work on new faculty orientation. She announced that this year’s new faculty orientation will be different in that there will be a seminar program involving a faculty learning community. This program will include new faculty, those in their second year, as well as more senior colleagues holding tenure track, tenured, and contingent faculty appointments. The program will focus on pedagogy with respect to Skidmore’s aspirations for student learning; research and scholarly development; the importance of citizenship and opportunities for contributions to the Skidmore community; work/family balance; and institutional support.
Dean Poston also announced the following: 1) a project to be undertaken by Phyllis Roth, which will examine the ways that our retirees might contribute to Skidmore and that Skidmore might be responsive to the needs of our retirees; 2) an audit of our curricular and co-curricular offerings being undertaken by Winston Grady-Willis, Director of Intercultural Studies, in conjunction with Student Affairs, with respect to Goal Two of our strategic plan—intercultural and global understanding; 3) the implementation of the writing-in-the-major initiatives being undertaken by Beau Breslin and colleagues; 4) the Responsible Citizenship Task Force to be co-chaired by Paty Rubio and David Karp; 5) the development of the science plan which is entering its next stage and will begin community discussions around the three pillars of scientific literacy, the science major, and the connection of the sciences to the humanities, arts, and professions; 6) Cori Filson, Director of Off -Campus and Student Exchange, has sent out an announcement regarding the short-term study abroad program proposals; and 7) Michael Ennis-McMillan, Dean of Studies, along with his collaborators, is continuing work on our sophomore retention initiative, which is funded through Teagle.
Dean Poston concluded by thanking Michael Ennis-McMillan for his good work in coordinating the advising of our first year students and also acknowledged the efforts of Ann Henderson and the Registrar’s Office for assuring that first year students were successfully registered for classes. Lastly, Dean Poston passed on the request of Claire Solomon ’10, this year’s SGA Vice President for Academic Affairs, for departmental representatives for SGA’s Academic Council.
Ruth Copans, College Librarian, introduced Andrew Krzystyniak, Science Librarian, who comes to us from Sage, and Kathryn Frederick, the Systems Librarian, who comes to us from Elmira.
Director of the First Year Experience, Beau Breslin, reported on the FYE orientation this Fall and thanked Allie Taylor and Chris McGill for all their good work. Orientation was conducted differently this year, and Beau’s office will conduct a survey of the first-year students, peer mentors, and Scribner Seminar instructors to determine whether the new orientation program worked. Beau noted that this year there were far fewer issues related to homesickness and academic/advising problems.
VPAA Kress announced that Matt Hockenos, Shirley Smith, and Mason Stokes were teaching at Union College this Fall under the Mellon Faculty Exchange Program; and Chris Duncan (Studio Art), Bradley Lewis (Economics), and Mark Walker (History) from Union—and Meika Loe (Sociology and Women’s Studies) from Colgate were teaching at Skidmore. VPAA Kress also introduced Annika Jakobsson (Social Work) as this year’s STINT Fellow and postdoctoral fellows, Krista Bywater (Sociology) and Alicia Saylor (Neuroscience). VPAA Kress urged all faculty members to take the opportunity to meet the newly appointed members of the faculty.
VPAA Kress also announced that the new Faculty Assessment Coordinator is Sarah Goodwin and indicated that she would be sending a letter to the community about the appointment and the new assessment structure for Skidmore.
VPAA Kress also introduced Debbie Peterson, the new Executive Administrative Assistant in the VPAA office.
VPAA Kress took up the topic of strategic literacy introduced by the President, noting that we are an institution defined by our commitment to “both and.” This commitment fuels our creative energy but it also poses challenges. We are very good at addition, averse to subtraction, though sometimes capable of division. But our propensity to add confers a special responsibility on those of us in Academic Affairs to be judicious and mindful of the time of all of us, the workload of all of us—and to focus even more carefully on academic planning. She said that academic planning would be a priority this year—even as Academic Affairs took up many other important projects and initiatives (Assessment, the Science Plan, Arts Administration, projects in Special Programs and the Tang, Zankel, and the Center for Faculty Excellence).
On behalf of the Committee on Academic Standing, Michael Ennis-McMillan, Dean of Studies, read the following resolution into the record regarding College Honors and Departmental and Program Honors for the August 2008 Graduates (see attached):
A) Resolved, that the Faculty of Skidmore College approve 9 students from the Class of 2008 who completed requirements in August: 6 students for cum laude distinction; 2 students for magna cum laude; and 1 student for summa cum laude—as presented at the September 5, 2008, Faculty Meeting. (Note: the 9 additional students brings the total to 299 students or 49.8% based on a total 2008 class size of 600 students)
B) Resolved, that the Faculty of Skidmore College approve Departmental and Program Honors for 5 students from the Class of 2008 who completed requirements in August—as presented at the September 5, 2008, Faculty Meeting. (Note: the 5 additional students brings the total to 195 students or 32.5% based on a total 2008 class size of 600 students; 10 students received honors in two majors.)
The motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.
John Brueggemann, on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee (“FEC”), introduced the following three (3) motions (see attached):
1. The Faculty Executive Committee moves that Part Six, Article VII, Section C, Number 2, a and b and c be revised as follows.
Add new second bullet to all three sections (complainant and respondent and witness will not have the right to . . .)
· record the proceedings
2. The Faculty Executive Committee moves that Part Six, Article VIII, Section B be revised as follows:
Old language: If circumstances warrant, the College reserves the right to extend any processing time periods identified in this policy.
Proposed language: If circumstances warrant, the College reserves the right to extend any time periods identified in this policy.
3. The Faculty Executive Committee moves the adoption of the 2008-2009 Faculty Handbook.
Note: Parts One-Five were previously adopted 11/2/07. Part Six was previously adopted 2/29/08. The complete list of Faculty Handbook changes is available at the Governance website in pdf format.
With regard to the first motion, a question was raised by a faculty member concerning the type of recording permissible. VPAA Kress called on Barbara Beck, Director of Human Resources, who indicated that note-taking was permissible but that mechanical recording was not acceptable. Another faculty member questioned whether those with disabilities would be permitted to use recording devices if they were unable to take notes by hand. John noted the comments and advised that a friendly amendment will be made to the motion. All three motions will lie over until the next meeting.
John Weber, Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum & Art Gallery, announced continuing and upcoming events, including the Amy Sillman show, co-organized with the Hirshhorn Museum; the Dario Robleto show, co-organized with the Frye Museum; a Dunkerley dialogue with Amy Sillman and Ian Berry; and a Dunkerley Dialogue focused on the Maya Murals show, featuring Skidmore graduate, Heather Hurst ’97, Stephen Houston, and Susan Bender. John also introduced Megan Hyde as the new Curatorial Assistant, who has joined us from the Art Institute of Chicago. John concluded by announcing a faculty seminar starting this spring and made possible by a grant from the Mellon foundation.
President Glotzbach encouraged those teaching first-year seminars as well as their students to attend the receptions at the Scribner House next week and invited the community to the reception being held today at Scribner House from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.
Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant
Executive Administrative Assistant