March 5, 2010
President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
President Glotzbach announced proposed changes to the minutes of the Faculty Meeting held February 5, 2010, as follows:
Under discussion of FEC motion #3: “ Further, he noted that if a committee elects to reduce its size, the proportion of faculty and other stakeholders on committees should remain the same.”
Should be changed to: “Further, he noted that if a committee elects to reduce its size, the proportion of faculty and other stakeholders on committees should be carefully considered."
President Glotzbach asked if there were any other revisions or changes. Hearing none, he announced the minutes were approved, as amended.
President Glotzbach introduced Roy Ginsberg who announced, on behalf of the Faculty Development Committee, that Professor Alice Dean from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has been chosen to offer the 2010-2011 Moseley lecture.
With a PowerPoint presentation, President Glotzbach provided an update on the Board of Trustees meetings held February 25-26, 2010. Actions taken by the Board include the approval of UWW and MALS degrees, tenure and promotion recommendations, sabbatical and other leaves, the elimination of the Government-Sociology interdepartmental major, changes to the Faculty Handbook, the purchase and deployment of computers and related equipment, honorary degree nominations and the major budget parameters for FY 2011.
With regard to our major budget parameters, our net fiscal enrollment will remain the same at 2,280; our net over-enrollment will be 80, which is 8 more than the estimated number for the current year. Our comprehensive fee will increase by 1.9 percent to $52,170, which is the smallest increase in over 25 years, and our financial aid budget will increase 5.4 percent to $32.453 million. We have committed to keeping our discount rate below 35 percent, and it will be at 34.1 percent for FY 2011. While it is beyond our control, we are hopeful that the small increase in the comprehensive fee will move Skidmore down the list of the most expensive schools. Our compensation budget is $75.810 million, which is 1.1 percent less than this year’s estimate (due primarily to retirements), and does not include a GSA. Of the compensation budget, salaries and wages account for $51.739 million and benefits account for $24.071 million. Transfers to the capital budget will be $7.050 million, which is an increase of 11.2 percent.
President Glotzbach also advised that the Board considered the plans for the replacement of Scribner Village. Plans for the replacement are evolving, and we are moving towards a good design; however, we have not settled on the design features and have not finalized the financing. By May, we will have a better idea of the design and cost figures. Additional details for the replacement of Scribner Village will be discussed at the upcoming community meetings.
President Glotzbach noted that the opening concert was held in the Zankel Music Center. The Music Department is settling into the building, and the performers in the hall are responding positively to the acoustics.
President Glotzbach concluded by announcing that the current Campaign has reached its $200 million target. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the College. President Glotzbach will discuss the Campaign further at our next meeting.
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS’ REPORT
Dean of the Faculty’s Report
Muriel Poston, Dean of the Faculty, announced that Professor Winston Grady-Willis, Department of American Studies, has been granted tenure. In addition, Professor Caroline D’Abate, Department of Management & Business, Professor Benjamin Givan, Department of Music, Professor Mimi Hellman, Department of Art History, and Professor Natalie Taylor, Department of Government, have all been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. This news was greeted with applause.
Professor Dan Hurwitz, on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), read the following Motion (see attached) that was introduced at the faculty meeting held February 5, 2010:
Motion: FEC moves that full-time Teaching Associates should attend Faculty Meetings and be eligible to vote and moves that the Faculty Handbook be amended as follows:
1) Insert the following text (italic type) into the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article XX (Faculty Governance) (page 131):
Faculty governance is carried out through decisions made at Faculty Meetings and through a system of committees of the Faculty as described in Part Two. Faculty Meetings, presided over by the President, are generally held on the first Friday of each month. All the faculty as herein defined are expected to attend Faculty Meetings and are eligible to vote: all full-time members of the Faculty (including those on phased employment) and faculty holding shared appointments at the rank of Assistant Professor or above, Visiting Instructors, Librarians, Artists-in-Residence, Writers-in-Residence, full-year full-time Lecturers, and full-year full-time Teaching Associates, the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, the Associate Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of Student Affairs, the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Advising, the Dean of Special Programs, the Registrar and Director of Institutional Research, the Senior Associate Director of Admissions, the Director of University Without Walls, the Director of Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program, the Director of Summer Sessions and Summer Special Programs, the Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, the Malloy Curator of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and such other administrative officers as may be appointed to the Faculty by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the President after consultation with the CAPT and with the concurrence of the Faculty.
2) Modify the current description of the Teaching Associate position in the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article V (Appointments to the Faculty), Section E (Non-Tenure-Track Appointments) (page 105)
2. g. Teaching Associate: Full- or part-time appointments that combine teaching and coaching or assisting in the delivery of the curriculum in a department or program. Promotion to Senior Teaching Associate is granted by the department according to departmental procedures and with the consent of the Dean of the Faculty.
2. g. Teaching Associate: Full- or part-time teaching members of the faculty. Teaching Associates principally collaborate with other faculty in the design and/or delivery of the curriculum in a department or program, and their primary responsibility is teaching. Promotion to Senior Teaching Associate is granted by the department according to departmental procedures and with the consent of the Dean of the Faculty.
3) Strike and insert the following text (in italics) in the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article VI (Evaluative Criteria for Continued Service), Section C (Non-Tenure-Track Appointments) (page 108)
3. Teaching Associates
The criteria for reappointment and for promotion are: (1) excellence in teaching and/or coaching; (2) professional growth that maintains currency and enhances effectiveness in the classroom, studio, or laboratory, or on the athletic field or court; and (3) service to the department/program and College.
4) Strike the following text from the Faculty Handbook, Part Two, Article I (The Faculty Meeting) (page 202):
D. Eligibility to Attend
1. Teaching associates, Departmental assistants, part-time faculty and administrators without faculty status are invited to attend and participate in Faculty Meetings, on a permanent or temporary basis, but without a vote.
There was no discussion, and the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.
Professor Dan Hurwitz, on behalf of FEC, read the following Motion revised (see attached) since its introduction at the faculty meeting held December 4, 2009. The motion was discussed at the faculty meeting held February 5, 2010; the request was made that discussion continue at the March meeting.
MOTION: FEC and CAPT jointly move to insert the following text (italic type) into the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article VI, Section A. (Tenure-Track Faculty), under Community Service (page 107):
Participation in faculty governance is another important option requiring skills and commitment that answer the needs of the College. In particular, and especially as it pertains to faculty with tenure, service in the seven core governance committees is critical to maintaining the shared-governance system that is central to the College’s institutional identity. Those seven committees are the Committee on Academic Freedom and Rights [CAFR], the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure [CAPT], the Curriculum Committee, the Committee on Educational Policy and Planning [CEPP], the Faculty Development Committee (FDC), the Faculty Executive Committee [FEC], and the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee [IPPC].
Professor Hurwitz indicated that there were some very important discussions about this motion since the last faculty meeting. FEC, however, determined not to hold a forum, believing that any substantive changes to the motion should be discussed at the faculty meeting. Discussion on the motion included the following:
- One faculty member expressed disappointment that that more faculty members did not see the advantages to being involved in the governance system, especially the opportunity to meet and interact with faculty from other departments. He further noted his belief that the emphasis on the Big 7 committees would not diminish the work of other committees but instead would create focus on service in its entirety, particularly service on faculty committees.
- One faculty member indicated that if the responsibility for service is a collective one, then the placement of the motion in a section about “Evaluative Criteria for Continued Service,” which speaks to the obligations of the individual, is confusing.
- One faculty member indicated his belief that, if the motion were to pass, the work done by some very important committees (even though they are not among the Big 7) could be even further marginalized. He cited the example of CIGU. He urged that we find other ways to encourage and increase participation in faculty governance without specifying these committees in the Faculty Handbook and creating hierarchies of service.
- One faculty member indicated his concern that a faculty member, whether they are junior or senior faculty, might make decisions to participate in a particular committee based on the belief that not participating in these committees will somehow not bring them the rewards (promotion) and respect of other faculty members.
- One faculty member believed the passage of the motion would send a message that only certain kinds of work are valued and rewarded. This motion is a game changer and is part of a larger cultural issue having to do with how faculty members see their relationship to the College.
After conclusion of discussion, a request was made for a paper ballot vote which was administered by CEPP. The votes were reported as 35 yes, 85 no, 3 abstentions. Thus, the motion was defeated. A subsequent recount indicated that the vote should have been reported as follows: 35 yes, 86 no, 3 abstentions.
Committee on Academic Standing
Professor Kate Graney, on behalf of the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS), introduced a proposal to allow the conferral of degrees in January for those students who have met all requirements for the degree (see attached). The initiative came from the Registrar’s Office and has been endorsed by CAS and CEPP. The proposal does not require a faculty vote, and no objections were raised. The proposal will go to the Board of Trustees for action in May with the expectation of implementation in the fall. The students who earn their degrees in December will still be considered part of the May graduating class.
Committee on Educational Policies and Planning
On behalf of the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP), Professor Erica Bastress-Dukehart moved that the meeting form a Committee of the Whole to discuss the Grade Appeal Policy (see attached). Professor Hurwitz was appointed the chair of the Committee of the Whole; a 20-minute time limit was set with a 10-minute extension at the discretion of Professor Hurwitz. At the conclusion of the meeting of the Committee of the Whole, Professor Hurwitz made his report, and then Professor Bastress-Dukehart, on behalf of the CEPP, introduced the following motion (see attached):
MOTION: That the Skidmore College faculty:
A) adopt the Grade Appeal policy stated below;
B) amend the Faculty Handbook to incorporate the policy as indicated below;
C) direct that the College Catalog be revised in accord with the policy, as indicated below;
D) recommend that the Student Academic Handbook and other print and electronic publications accord with and refer to the Grade Appeal Policy language appearing in the Faculty Handbook.
Discussion included questions as to whether the grade appeal policy will allow students to appeal any grade the student believes is unfair. Suggestions to amend the proposed policy included adding “Program Director” behind “Department Chair” and renaming the policy to specify failing grades. In response to a question about the practices of peer institutions, Professor Bastress-Dukehart indicated that the subcommittee reviewed a wide range of grade appeal policies at other institutions. Michael Ennis-McMillan, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Advising, urged everyone to consider this policy as we currently have no mechanism in place for students to appeal a failing grade. This motion will lie over until the next meeting.
Professor Gordon Thompson, addressing VPAA Susan Kress, questioned the role of the Dean of Special Programs in the operations of the Zankel Music Center as opposed to oversight by the Music faculty. VPAA Kress indicated that the Zankel Music Center is an institutional resource as well as the home of the Music Department. She noted that she was preparing to distribute the report prepared by the Zankel Study Group, on which the Music Department was represented by two faculty members, which addressed the necessity for collaborations both with regard to this building and the arts in general. VPAA Kress said that, if the Music Department had further concerns, she would welcome an invitation to a department meeting. A faculty member from another department requested that developments on this issue be reported to the faculty.
- Jeffrey Segrave, Dean of Special Programs, announced the submission of an application for a Creative Campus grant which focused on the issue of water. If the grant is awarded to Skidmore, the grant will span 2010 through 2012 and will bring in resident artists to intensify conversations and to enhance social activism around the issue of water. A decision on the grant will be forthcoming in August.
- David Vella, on behalf of the Honors Forum, announced that April 11, 2010 will be the deadline for proposals for the Academic Festival scheduled for May 5, 2010. He also noted that this year faculty members will be asked to confirm their sponsorship of student projects.
- Monica Raveret-Richter announced the formation of the Skidmore-Union Network, a collaboration between Skidmore and Union Colleges for faculty development opportunities for women faculty in STEM disciplines (see attached for further details).
- Rochelle Calhoun, Dean of Students, invited everyone to the Zankel Music Center for refreshments.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:27 p.m.
Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant