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

FACULTY MEETING

April 30, 2010
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

President Glotzbach asked if there were any corrections or comments to the minutes of the Faculty Meeting held April 9, 2010. Hearing none, he announced the minutes were approved.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Glotzbach acknowledged the end of the academic year as a time of mixed emotions as we celebrate the accomplishments of our students through Academic Festival and Honors Convocation and the departure of our seniors. He noted it is also a time of sadness as we honor our colleagues who are retiring from the College. This year, those retiring have a combined 146 years of service. He acknowledged the passing of Dorothy Height, who was one of the most influential women in the national struggle for civil rights. He reported on Ms. Height’s accomplishments as cited by the Washington Post, including her role as president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, and a key figure in the struggles for school desegregation, voting rights, employment opportunities and public accommodations. In 1994, President Clinton awarded Ms. Height the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Admissions Report. Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions, reported on the status of admissions for the incoming class:

Dean Bates indicated she will have more information available on the incoming class when we meet next and thanked all those faculty members for their participation in helping to recruit the new class.

Retiree Celebration. On behalf of the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Skidmore Research Colloquium, Professor Pushi Prasad invited everyone to celebrate the scholarly, literary and creative accomplishments of those colleagues that will be retiring this year on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Pondhorff Room with a reception immediately following in the Galant Room in the Library. Professor Prasad will be sending an email with further details shortly.

Faculty Development Committee. On behalf of the Faculty Development Committee, Professor Roy Ginsberg announced that the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Service Award is Phyllis A. Roth, Professor of English.

President Glotzbach announced that the final report from the IPPC synthesis group on the internal, on-campus Town Hall meetings will be available on the website shortly. He noted that he and Barbara Krause have prepared a report of what has been accomplished during the first five years of the Strategic Plan, which will also be available shortly. Finally, in collaboration with the cabinet and IPPC, President Glotzbach has been working on a mid-term report, drawing upon all the town hall meetings (off-campus, on-campus), the Strategic Plan, and numerous other conversations. This report points toward the next five years of the Strategic Plan and will be available shortly for further discussion. He noted that the current draft of that report will be discussed at the Academic Staff Retreat on May 7, 2010 and expressed the hope that everyone will review the report once it is available.

President Glotzbach concluded by announcing that the Board of Trustees has granted him a sabbatical commencing November 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011. During this time period, VPAA Susan Kress will serve as acting President, Dean Muriel Poston will serve as acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Dean Paty Rubio will serve as acting Dean of the Faculty. Given the conclusion of the current campaign and the mid-point of the Strategic Plan, President Glotzbach believes this is a good point to step back and think about the future direction of the College. He noted he is very grateful for the support of the Board of Trustees and indicated his confidence in VPAA Kress and Deans Poston and Rubio as well as the remainder of the Cabinet during his absence.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS REPORT

VPAA Kress thanked everyone for all their hard work this academic year. She thanked President Glotzbach for his support of Academic Affairs and expressed appreciation for the hard work of her staff: Muriel Poston, John Weber, Ann Henderson, Jeff Segrave, Justin Sipher, Ruth Copans, Erica Fuller, and Sarah Goodwin. She also thanked the chairs of the governance committees: Dan Hurwitz, Faculty Executive Committee; Gove Effinger, Committee on Appointments, Promotion & Tenure; Tim Harper, Curriculum Committee; Erica Bastress-Dukehart, Committee on Educational Policies and Planning; Grace Burton, Committee on Academic Freedom & Rights; Roy Ginsberg and Monica Raveret-Richter, Faculty Development Committee; and Adrienne Zuerner, Institutional Policy and Planning Committee. She also acknowledged the Zankel Study Group and the Assessment Steering Committee; Winston Grady-Willis and the Committee on Intercultural & Global Understanding; Paul Arciero, Athletics; Kate Graney, Committee on Academic Standing; Crystal Moore, Institutional Review Board; Bernie Possidente, Health Professionals Advisory Committee; David Vella, Honors Forum Council; and Kim Marsella and Erica Fuller, Campus Environment Committee. She noted that there were many more to thank for their service and that it was important that we now had a service award.

VP Kress concluded by reminding everyone that the Academic Staff retreat will be held on Friday, May 7, 2010. At this retreat, we will hold the final installment of Skidmore 101 for the year and focus on academic planning for the next five years. President Glotzbach’s Strategic Renewal document will be one of the framing documents to be discussed at the retreat along with the Town Hall Synthesis Report and other relevant documents. An invitation to the retreat has also been extended to the chairs of major committees, the membership of CEPP, and the Science Working Group. VP Kress said she looked forward to opening an important strategic conversation that would continue into next year.

Dean of the Faculty

Dean Muriel Poston expressed her appreciation and acknowledgment of the work of all the departments and programs for their academic leadership and for their contributions to the College over the past academic year. As we endeavor to meet the economic challenges facing the College, the faculty have sustained their commitment to teaching and learning, not only in the classroom but outside the classroom, through independent studies, undergraduate projects, senior theses, advising and the multitude of ways that will be exemplified in the upcoming Honors Convocation and Academic Festival. She also acknowledged the way in which the departments and programs have continued to enhance the curricular framework and the efforts that are made to continually address changes within disciplines. She was pleased to note that over half of the departments have completed the writing requirement in the major; while we have some work to do, it is an amazing accomplishment given that this proposal was adopted not long ago.

Dean Poston acknowledged the transitions as department chairs and program directors are completing their terms: Karen Kellogg, Environmental Studies; Chris Page, Management & Business; Pierre von Kaenel, Mathematics & Computer Science; and Sue Bender, Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work.

Dean Poston also thanked Michael Ennis-McMillan for his service as Dean of Studies/Associate Dean for Academic Advising for the past four years. He has served the College in extraordinary ways – through the careful and thoughtful work in advising students and providing resource and policy expertise for faculty with regard to student advising matters. He has also helped to define and clarify the work of the Office of Academic Advising and its interactions with many units across the campus. Michael’s collaboration with student affairs, particularly Student Academic Services, has helped our students, from the very best students to those who have struggled to succeed academically. His work with our partner institutions through the Teagle Sophomore Initiative has helped us to focus on those critical transitions that enhance student performance and intellectual development during their time with us. Under Michael’s leadership, we have enhanced internship opportunities, expanded the breadth of the student opportunity program, and created a post-baccalaureate merit scholarship effort that has helped some of our very best students apply and become finalists for these very prestigious awards. A celebration of Michael’s work will occur later this semester.

Dean Poston thanked those that had submitted nominations for the position of Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Office of Academic Advising and announced that Corey Freeman-Gallant has agreed to serve as the next Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Advising.

Dean Poston concluded by thanking all the ad hoc groups that have worked on various projects this year, with special thanks to the Science Working Group, the Space Planning Working Group, and her staff: Paty Rubio, Beau Breslin, Cori Filson, Bill Tomlinson, Barry Pritzker, David Howson, Loretta Greenholz, and Ann Henderson, who serves ex officio.

Dean of Special Programs

Dean of Special Programs Jeff Segrave provided an update on the University Without Walls program. After 19 years of service in the program, Sally Stebbins will be retiring; in addition, current Director Deborah Meyers will be retiring in December, 2010. Dean Segrave announced that Kirstin Mishkin will serve as Director of the UWW program during spring, 2011, noting her stellar educational credentials and experience. Dean Segrave indicated that 50 students remain enrolled in the program, and, by the end of this summer, we expect to have 31 still in the program. By the end of May, 2011, when the program officially closes, we will have 10 students, 8 of whom will have had their programs approved and will be working on their final projects; it is likely that only two students will need some additional coursework. Kirsten Mishkin’s assumption of the directorship of UWW will ensure a seamless transition and the continuation of UWW’s efforts (with the support of the UWW Committee) to sustain excellence even as the program closes. Special plans are being made to celebrate the UWW program.

Dean Segrave thanked his directors, Sharon Arpey, Jim Chansky, Michael Mudrovic, Wendy LeBlanc and Deborah Meyers, and the rest of his staff in Special Programs for all their work this year through the significant changes that have taken place in the office.

Retirements

VPAA Kress offered some general remarks on the retirees.

Cori Filson acknowledged the work of Joan and Angel Berenguer, directors of the Skidmore in Spain program, and their dedication to the excellence of our students over the past 30 years.

Professor Gove Effinger, 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 30, 2009 in recognition and celebration of their distinguished service and achievement (see attached).

Professor John Brueggemann delivered a tribute to Professor Susan Bender; Professor Chris Page delivered a tribute to Professor Mary Correa; Professor Katie Hauser delivered a tribute to Professor Rob Linrothe; Professor Mason Stokes delivered a tribute to Professor Phyllis Roth; Professor Mary Crone Odekon delivered a tribute to Professor Bill Standish; and Professor Monica Raveret-Richter delivered a tribute to Sue Van Hook. President Glotzbach expressed his appreciation for the retirees this year.

OLD BUSINESS

Faculty Executive Committee

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Dan Hurwitz read the following Motions (see attached) that were introduced at the faculty meeting held March 9, 2010:

Motion: FEC and CAPT jointly move to insert the following text (italic type) into the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article VI (p. 106):

VI. EVALUATIVE CRITERIA FOR CONTINUED SERVICE AND ADVANCEMENT IN RANK

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). This language would appear right at the end of the new text proposed in the first motion offered.

Although reappointment, promotion, or tenure should not be considered as a reward for administrative or committee work, the skills, counsel or vision so demonstrated may answer real needs. These and other aptitudes or achievements may strengthen a candidate’s cases.

There was no discussion and the Motions were passed with all in favor.

Committee on Academic Standing

On behalf of the Committee on Academic Standing, Professor Kate Graney read the following Motion (see attached) that was introduced at the faculty meeting held April 9, 2010:

Motion: CAS moves that the College Honors criteria be modified and moves that the Skidmore College Catalog be amended as follows:

Old Language:

College Honors: Seniors with distinguished academic records may graduate cum laude (3.40–3.66 GPA), magna cum laude (3.67–3.79 GPA), or summa cum laude (3.80–4.00 GPA) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Academic Standing and with the approval of the faculty.

New Language:

College Honors: Seniors with distinguished academic records may graduate cum laude (3.650-3.749 GPA), magna cum laude (3.750–3.899 GPA), or summa cum laude (3.90–4.00 GPA) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Academic Standing and with the approval of the faculty.

Discussion was held concerning the merits of using GPAs (as opposed to defining a percentage of the class) to award honors. Associate Dean of the Faculty Michael Ennis-McMillan noted that the GPA is consistent with past practice for other awards and offers students a clear target for attainment. There being no further discussion, the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.

On behalf of the Committee on Academic Standing, Professor Kate Graney read the following Motion (see attached) that was introduced at the faculty meeting held April 9, 2010:

Motion: CAS, acting on behalf of the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Advising, moves that the Dean’s List Honors criteria be modified and moves that the Skidmore College Catalog be amended as follows:

Old Language:

Honors are awarded to each matriculated student who satisfactorily completes at least fourteen semester hours of credit by the regular grading deadline and who achieves a 3.40 to 3.66 GPA for that semester. Highest Honors are awarded to each student who satisfactorily completes at least fourteen semester hours of credit by the regular grading deadline and who achieves a 3.67 or higher GPA for that semester. (A grade of Incomplete, which temporarily places the credits earned below fourteen, makes the student ineligible for the Dean's List, even if the Incomplete is resolved successfully.) (GPA calculations are made to three decimal points.)

New Language:

Honors are awarded to each matriculated student who satisfactorily completes at least fourteen semester hours of credit by the regular grading deadline and who achieves a 3.650 or higher GPA for that semester. (A grade of Incomplete, which temporarily places the credits earned below fourteen, makes the student ineligible for the Dean's List, even if the Incomplete is resolved successfully.) (GPA calculations are made to three decimal points.)

In response to questioning at the last faculty meeting concerning the implementation date of this policy, Associate Dean of the Faculty Michael Ennis-McMillan noted that it is difficult to manage two dean’s lists; therefore this proposal will be implemented before the one pertaining to College Honors. There being no further discussion, the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor

On behalf of the Committee on Academic Standing, Professor Kate Graney read the following Motion (see attached) that was introduced at the faculty meeting held April 9, 2010:

Motion: CAS moves that a grade of “L” be introduced for courses affected when students are granted medical and personal leaves and moves that the Skidmore College Catalog be amended as follows:

New Language (to be inserted on p.49 of the College Catalog after the entry for WF)

L, Leave : A student who is approved for a medical or personal leave during the semester is assigned a grade of L for all classes that semester for which a grade has not been recorded by the Registrar’s Office at the start of the leave. No credit is given for courses assigned an L.

Discussion was held concerning the use of the grade “L,” which would only be given in the event that a student is approved for a leave for a whole semester and would not be used for a single class. In discussing the effective date of this policy, a friendly amendment was suggested to indicate the effective date of implementation would be the fall, 2010 semester. There be no further discussion, the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.

Committee on Educational Policies and Planning/Committee on Academic Standing

Professor Erica Bastress-Dukehart, on behalf of CEPP and CAS, read the following Resolution (see attached) that was introduced at the April 9, 2010 faculty meeting:

Be it resolved that:

• The Faculty vote regarding the degree list is related specifically to the affirmation that the students on this list have met all academic requirements for the awarding of the degree. No asterisks should appear if the student has met all academic requirements.

• The documents generated for the Faculty Meeting therefore include a note as follows:

The names on the list represent those students who have completed or are expected to complete by August 31 all the academic requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees; names of students who are not expected to complete their academic requirements until August 31 are marked with an asterisk. Students who have not met all other requirements (including financial, academic integrity, and social integrity obligations) may have the diploma withheld.

• the students’ names appear in the Commencement Bulletin in the same manner as they do in the documents for the Faculty Meeting, and that the Commencement Bulletin include a note as above.

There was no discussion and the Resolution was passed with all in favor.

Curriculum Committee

On behalf of the Curriculum Committee, Professor Tim Harper read the following Motions (see attached) that were introduced at the April 9, 2010 faculty meeting:

MOTION: That the English-French interdepartmental major be eliminated.
MOTION: That the English-Spanish interdepartmental major be eliminated.
MOTION: That the English-German interdepartmental major be eliminated.
MOTION: That the English-Philosophy interdepartmental major be eliminated.

There was no discussion and the motions were voted on and passed with all in favor.

NEW BUSINESS

On behalf of the Committee on Appointments Promotion & Tenure, Professor Gove Effinger introduced the following motion (see attached):

MOTION: CAPT moves that the following paragraphs be added to Part One, Section IX. Tenure, D. Criteria for Determining Length of Service, of the Faculty Handbook (page 116):

4. Regular, full-time and shared position untenured faculty members with one or more years of service may request an extension of the tenure clock for:
· Childbirth or adoption, or
· Personal hardship.
This option is available whether or not any type of leave is involved.
The maximum number of tenure clock extensions permitted per faculty member is two one-year extensions, regardless of the circumstances, during the probationary period.

Childbirth or adoption:
An eligible untenured faculty member may elect to have the tenure clock delayed for one year for a birth or adoption of a child occurring within the probationary period. The request should be made in writing to the Dean of Faculty near the time of the birth or adoption event and in any case no later than August 1st prior to the semester in which the tenure review is scheduled to occur. Upon receipt of the written request, the Dean of the Faculty will automatically grant the extension.

Personal hardship:
An eligible untenured faculty member may request to have the tenure clock delayed for one year when a personal hardship such as excessive responsibilities for elder or dependent care, personal illness or injury, or some other critical life situation significantly impedes the faculty member’s progress toward achieving tenure. Requests for delay of tenure consideration of this type shall be submitted in writing to the Dean of the Faculty through the department chair and are granted at the discretion of the Dean of Faculty. The request should be made near the time of the critical event and in any case no later than August 1st prior to the semester in which the tenure review is scheduled to occur.

Untenured faculty granted a lengthened probationary period for reasons of childbirth, adoption, or personal hardship will not be expected to have attained a higher level of professional accomplishment and/or to have performed more service than faculty with standard probationary periods.

In response to questioning as to why the proposed policy did not apply to first year faculty members, Dean Poston indicated that the first year is always probationary and it would not be certain that first year faculty members would be continuing in their positions. Professor Effinger noted that this policy was independent from the family leave policy. The committee indicated it would review the suggestion to include a provision that the option be allowed for first year faculty members who are continuing in their positions. The motion will lie over until the next meeting.

Curriculum Committee

Professor Timothy Harper, on behalf of the Curriculum Committee, introduced the following Motions (see attached):

MOTION: That the Government-Philosophy interdepartmental major be eliminated.
MOTION: That the History-Philosophy interdepartmental major be eliminated.
MOTION: That the Business-Mathematics interdepartmental major be eliminated.
MOTION: That the Psychology-Sociology interdepartmental major be eliminated.

There was no discussion, and the motions will lie over until the next faculty meeting.

Other

Professor Reg Lilly questioned the change in policy with regard to the hiring of tenure track faculty and requested that the administration forbear to implement this policy until a substantive discussion has taken place. Dean Poston responded that there has not been a change in policy in the hiring of tenure-track faculty and noted that when tenure track lines become available, every proposal sent to the Dean of the Faculty’s office for consideration is reviewed and evaluated; Dean Poston merely asked departments to make it clear whether they are seeking to hire in a very specific disciplinary way or whether the hire will provide a broader reach across departments and programs. After some discussion, President Glotzbach acknowledged that the appropriate place for continuing discussion of this matter is the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning.

REPORTS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The meeting was adjourned at 5:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant


 

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