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

FACULTY MEETING

April 1, 2011
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

Acting President Susan Kress called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Acting President Susan Kress asked if there were any corrections or comments to the minutes of the Faculty Meeting held March 4, 2011. Hearing none, she announced the minutes were approved.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Acting President Kress noted that the community had experienced some difficult moments this year. She provided a brief report on the recent death of a Boston College student, Alexander Grant, who was visiting Skidmore friends and died in the early hours of March 6th after leaving a party at an off-campus location. There is an ongoing investigation into this matter, and we do not yet know what happened that evening. But, whether or not drugs or alcohol were involved, this issue brings to light other incidents involving drug and alcohol abuse on campus; and Student Affairs, under the leadership of Jen Burden, Director of Health Promotion, has been working to address these issues by providing students with research, education, and information on the consequences of excessive drinking and drug use. Both Acting President Kress and Dean Rochelle Calhoun have sent letters to the students about these issues, and the institution is reviewing its policies to determine if they need to be strengthened and increasing programming. The letter that Dean Calhoun sent to the student body will be shared with the faculty, and Acting President Kress urged the faculty to encourage their students to participate in the upcoming programs. Acknowledging that the problem of student drinking and drug use is a national issue, Acting President Kress said, as an institution of higher education, Skidmore can do better; in another initiative, Student Affairs is convening a small working group consisting of members of Student Affairs, the IPPC subcommittee, and the Bias Response Group to focus on student culture. Acting President Kress called on Dean Rochelle Calhoun to elaborate on the work of this group.

Acting President Kress also provided an update on the efforts to build a more open and tolerant campus climate (including another successful student-only meeting, faculty and staff discussion groups, and outreach to community leaders). She drew attention to recent posts in the Skidnews online comment boards that have become increasingly disturbing, particularly when individuals are directly and personally targeted. She said we needed to foster an intellectual and social environment in which we could disagree with integrity, civility, and empathy. She urged everyone to work together to encourage respect and civility in the community.

Dean of Admissions. Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions, provided an update on the incoming Class of 2015:

Dean Bates extended her appreciation and thanks to everyone for all the support in helping to enroll another terrific class. A round of applause was given to Dean Bates.

Faculty Development Committee. On behalf of the Faculty Development Committee, Associate Professor Pete Stake announced that the 11th Annual Ralph A. Ciancio Award for Excellence in Teaching has been awarded to Associate Professor Grace Burton. A sustained congratulatory round of applause was given for Associate Professor Burton.

Cabinet Q&A

A question was raised seeking clarification on the type of outreach to community leaders in response to campus climate concerns. Acting President Kress indicated that the outreach was made to community leaders in the City of Saratoga Springs; the first of these meetings was a community breakfast held March 31st. The second is a meeting of some Cabinet members with several city leaders on April 11th, and the third is a panel of international faculty and students hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on April 21st. Several more meetings are in the planning stages.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS’REPORT

Muriel Poston, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, discussed the post-legal draft of Skidmore’s Intellectual Property Policy (see attached) that was distributed earlier this week. The creation of this policy was triggered by a faculty colleague and a student working on a project in 2007-08 that had promising patentable opportunities. Inasmuch as the institution had no framework for addressing this matter, a committee was formed to develop such a policy. The committee looked at multiple policies from liberal arts colleges and comprehensive institutions to find ways to address patent issues; following their deliberations, the policy was reviewed over the last three years by several college committees, including Academic Staff, Science Planning Group, Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), Committee on Educational Policy and Planning (CEPP), Faculty Development Committee (FDC) and was finally brought to the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC) for endorsement. After a request was made for additional time to review the policy, Acting VPAA Poston indicated she will work with FEC to schedule an open forum to discuss this policy.

Acting VPAA Poston also indicated that a draft of the Standards of Business Conduct was distributed to academic staff this week, and she encouraged the document to be shared with department members. As this document will be discussed at IPPC shortly, Acting VPAA Poston encouraged feedback on this document.

Dean of the Faculty. Paty Rubio, Acting Dean of the Faculty, reminded everyone that the Discovery tour is scheduled to take place April 13-15, 2011. This is an important event, particularly as it links to the diversity initiatives of Goal II of the Strategic Plan. Last year, we had 145 students from 26 states visit the campus, of which 97 enrolled. Traditionally, 50 percent of the first year class of students of color attend this event. Dean Rubio thanked the faculty in advance for their participation in this event and encouraged everyone who was invited to the dinner to attend. Dean Mendez also thanked the faculty for their support of this program.

OLD BUSINESS

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Reg Lilly read the following motion that was introduced at the March 4, 2011 meeting (see attached):

MOTION: The Faculty Executive Committee moves to change the membership of the Faculty Executive Committee and its function in the following way:

“Membership: Six members of the Faculty elected to serve three year terms, together with the three elected faculty members of the IPPC.

As the last paragraph describing the function of the Faculty Executive Committee, add the following:

“The Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee and the faculty Vice-Chair of the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee shall meet regularly throughout the academic year so that each committee can be apprised of the other committee’s work.”

After discussion on the enhancements on faculty governance that this motion would create, the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Reg Lilly read the following motion that was introduced at the March 4, 2011 meeting (see attached):

MOTION: The Faculty Executive Committee moves to reduce the membership of the Faculty Executive Committee from six elected members to five.

After brief discussion concerning the chairship of FEC, the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.

NEW BUSINESS

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Reg Lilly introduced the following motion (see attached):

MOTION: To reconfigure and re-describe the Honors Forum Council in the following manner:

Function: The ongoing responsibilities of the Honors Forum Council include reviewing applications for membership and inducting new members, monitoring the eligibility standards for current members, planning and sponsoring academic and co-curricular events, developing a sufficient number of courses and co-curricular events for inclusion among the "honors" resources, communicating with the wider community of students and faculty regarding Forum opportunities and the achievements of honors (and other) students, and assessing the effectiveness of the Honors Forum in achieving its goals. Annually the Honors Forum Council will constitute the Periclean Scholar Award Sub-Committee as follows: one faculty member chosen from the Honors Forum Council and three members chosen in consultation between the Honors Forum Council and the Faculty Executive Committee. The four members of the Periclean Scholar Award Sub-Committee shall elect a Chair from their membership.

Membership: Four faculty, three elected for three-year terms and one who chairs the Council and serves as Director of the Honors Forum for a four-year term; the Associate Dean of Student Affairs; the Director of First-Year Experience and Assistant Dean of the Faculty; the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Advising; the Associate Dean of the Faculty; the President or a designated representative of the Periclean Honor Society; twothree students appointed from members of the Forum. , one student selected by SGA.

After discussion on student representation, a friendly amendment was made to indicate that two students will be appointed by Honors Council to serve on the Periclean Scholar Award Sub-Committee. After further discussion concerning the membership of the Honors Forum Council, another friendly amendment was made to specify that the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Campus Life be a member (as opposed to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs). The Motion will lie over until the next meeting.

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Reg Lilly introduced the following motion (see attached):

MOTION: That the college's CAFR reduce its faculty membership by one.

After brief discussion, FEC indicated it would provide proposed language for changes to the Faculty Handbook to go along with this Motion. The motion will lie over until the next meeting.

REPORTS

On behalf of IPPC, Professor Hugh Foley shared a PowerPoint presentation on role the IPPC plays in developing the College’s budget. He advised that IPPC is a college-wide committee that includes students, faculty, staff and administrators, and it serves as a sounding board for the President. Further, he noted that various polices are brought to IPPC, and it is IPPC’s responsibilities to make recommendations that influence the ultimate decisions that are made. He urged the faculty to trust those colleagues serving on IPPC to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the institution. A round of applause was given to Professor Foley for his presentation.

Thereafter, Mike West, Vice President for Finance, Administration and Treasurer, shared a PowerPoint presentation on the preliminary operating budget for fiscal year 2012. His presentation included:

Vice President West concluded his presentation by stating that to sustain the financial health of the institution, we need to meet our target for the entering class, maintain and improve retention and continue to find ways to reduce our expenses; the admissions picture is challenging with intense competition for students and increasing financial needs for families. The financial markets continue to be volatile and the fundraising environment remains difficult, and we must achieve our budget targets. Vice President West thanked everyone for their support during the recent economic crisis.

Vice President West welcomed comments and questions about his report:

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The meeting was adjourned at 5:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant


 

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