November 4, 2011
President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:33 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
President Glotzbach asked if there were any corrections to, or comments regarding, the minutes of the Faculty Meeting held October 7, 2011. Hearing none, he announced the minutes were approved.
President Glotzbach reported on the Board of Trustees meetings that were held October 27-28, 2011:
- The Budget and Finance Committee conducted a preliminary review of the budget for fiscal year ’13 and approved the early release of funds to renovate Howe Hall and Rounds Hall;
- The Infrastructure Committee approved the early release of funds for Phase 2 of the Library/IT project;
- Special Programs reported on summer operations and discussed the work on the revision of its mission statement;
- Student Affairs Committee discussed admissions numbers; and
- The Board’s opening luncheon session included a discussion focused on several important external trends that can be expected to influence the environment in which the College will operate over the coming years, such as the national and global economic situation, changing demographics, etc.
President Glotzbach reported that the annual Friends of the Presidents (FOP) dinner was held this week at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The FOP is a group of major donors who donate at least $1,000, and many of them donate at much higher levels, a number of whom are in the Parnassus Society (those who donate $1 million or more). Last year, the College raised approximately $27.6 million, and the FOP was responsible for donating up to 90 percent of those funds. This annual event is a way to thank them and to provide an opportunity for them to hear how those funds are being used. As part of the day’s events, Sheldon Solomon gave a lecture on the psychology of terror, and Ian Berry gave a walking tour of Chelsea art galleries. In the evening, approximately 40 students and faculty members performed in the Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall with selections ranging from Mozart through a contemporary piece performed by Pola Baytelman and Jan Vinci.
The following day, a meeting of the President’s Advisory Council (PAC) was held on the topic of technology in education. The PAC is a group of young alumni who have potential to be leaders in various ways in our alumni population over the years, including providing financial support. President Glotzbach thanked Justin Sipher, Chief Technology Officer, who led the discussion as well as Associate Professor Kim Frederick, Professor Flip Phillips, and Associate Professor Karen Kellogg, all of whom participated in the discussion.
President Glotzbach also indicated that every year the graduating seniors and their parents organize a fundraising project known as the Senior Family Gift. This year’s target for the parents is $450,000, and they have indicated they will be directing those funds toward the Library/IT project. This is very inspirational, and it is a tribute to the faculty and staff and what happens here with our students.
President Glotzbach also indicated that the current “Strategic Action Agenda” (SAA) is available for review on the President’s website, and he encouraged everyone to take the opportunity to review it. He reminded everyone that the SAA is an administrative document that is created annually by President’s Cabinet in collaboration and consultation with the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee; it includes initiatives that we are proposing to complete this year to advance the Strategic Plan. At the September faculty meeting, President Glotzbach outlined the major themes of this year’s SAA: diversity and inclusion, science planning, and the civic engagement and transition and transformation initiatives. Thereafter, he opened the floor for any questions or comments regarding the SAA. Discussion was held concerning the revised mission statement for the Office of Special Programs; President Glotzbach noted that the College is not looking to radically change the mission of Special Programs and encouraged anyone who had any suggestions to forward them to Dean Paul Calhoun.
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS’ REPORT
Susan Kress, Vice President for Academic Affairs, expressed her appreciation to the newest members of her staff: Interim Dean of the Faculty, Beau Breslin, and Interim Dean of Special Programs, Paul Calhoun, for their rapid adjustment to their new offices. Thereafter, VP Kress displayed a memorial pamphlet that was created by Phyllis Roth, former Dean of the Faculty and Professor of English, and Bob Kimmerle, Director of Community Relations, that collects the tributes to, and remembrances of, Tad Kuroda; she encouraged everyone to take a copy. President Glotzbach also commented on the brochure, noting that Tad Kuroda was a remarkable faculty member here for a number of years who embodied so many of the values that are at the core of this college; he noted that it is wonderful to see the many tributes to him in the brochure.
VP Kress reported that she sent an Academic Affairs bulletin out toward the end of October to update everyone on happenings in Academic Affairs and indicated that she hopes to send out another bulletin toward the end of the semester. She also reported that she held two open meetings this past week. One of the meetings focused on the draft of the Intellectual Property Policy, and many good comments and criticism were received. Once these suggestions are reviewed, the policy will be brought back to the faculty for further discussion. The other meeting was held on the subject of academic planning regarding the 5-year plan for Academic Affairs; if anyone was unable to attend the open meeting and would like to see the PowerPoint presentation, VP Kress would be pleased to forward the presentation.
VP Kress also reported that the Board of Trustees approved the parental leave policy that was passed by the faculty at last month’s faculty meeting. In response to a question at the October faculty meeting about the Stop the Tenure Clock policy in relation to the parental leave policy, she indicated that a little more work has to be done on that matter, and she is hopeful she can report on that at the next faculty meeting. VP Kress also stated that Professor Sarah Goodwin along with Lisa Christenson, Assessment Facilitator, led a very successful assessment presentation, including a snapshot of some outstanding work in Art History, presented by Associate Professor Katie Hauser, and an exciting sampling of what we are doing with visual literacy from Professor Bernie Possidente in Biology, and Associate Professor Jordana Dym in History. VP Kress encouraged anyone with questions about assessment to contact Professor Sarah Goodwin.
VP Kress encouraged everyone to see the exhibit in the Schick Art Gallery called “A Resolution of the Arts and Sciences” inspired by Professor John Cunningham and carried forward by our students under the leadership of Rachel Fisher. The exhibit is beautifully curated by Associate Professor Peter Stake and Curatorial Assistant Rebecca Shepard. This show brings together the arts and the sciences in a very compelling and interesting way that speaks to who we are as a College with respect to arts and sciences and also brings together the excellent work of faculty, students and alums. The last day of the show is December 4. In response to a question concerning the funding for this project, Professor John Cunningham indicated that the students raised their own funds and established their own non-profit organization.
Dean of the Faculty Report. Interim Dean of the Faculty Beau Breslin reported that the Board of Trustees approved four promotions as follows: Pola Baytelman, Department of Music, from Senior Artist-in-Residence to Distinguished Artist-in-Residence; Michael Emery, Department of Music, from Artist-in-Residence to Senior Artist-in Residence; Kara Cetto Bales, Department of Chemistry, from Teaching Associate to Senior Teaching Associate; and Sara Stelmack, Department of Geosciences, from Teaching Associate to Senior Teaching Associate. A congratulatory round of applause was given.
Thereafter, Dean Breslin provided an update on the 11 tenure-track searches being conducted this year. He concluded by thanking VP Kress and President Glotzbach for their support as well as the faculty.
On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Associate Professor Barbara Black announced minor revisions to the 2011-2012 Faculty Handbook that were made since the revised Handbook was introduced. Thereafter, she read the following Motion that was introduced at the faculty meeting held September 9, 2011 (see attached):
MOTION: The Faculty Executive Committee moves that the 2011-2012 Faculty Handbook be adopted.
There was no discussion, and the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.
Discussion of CIGU Recommendations
A Committee of the Whole was formed to discuss the CIGU report and recommendations (see attached) as well as President Glotzbach’s response (see attached). Associate Professor Barbara Black was appointed as chair of the Committee of the Whole; a 20-minute time limit was set with the opportunity for an additional 20 minutes for discussion. At the conclusion of the meeting of the Committee of the Whole, Associate Professor Barbara Black reported that a discussion of the CIGU recommendations was held.
Following the Committee of the Whole discussion, President Glotzbach summarized some of the issues and concerns raised. He indicated his appreciation for the direct questions asked during the discussion and noted that, while a number of people said we are not very good about talking about these issues, he believed today’s conversation was a good step forward. He further indicated that the conversation about differences is an intellectually interesting one and thinks that we can have better and deeper discussions on this topic. While it may not be intellectually possible to resolve the contradictions in our thinking about race, ethnicity, class, gender, etc., it would be interesting to have more conversations amongst ourselves, and there are places to have these conversations, such as the faculty interest group model. The fact that we cannot fully resolve these contradictions, however, does not absolve us from the necessity of acting to improve our community – especially for our students.
President Glotzbach indicated that resources have been allocated toward addressing these issues in the past but we can and should find ways to allocate additional resources in the future. In fact, he indicated that he has asked CIGU to submit a proposal to him; further, he indicated his willingness to entertain any other specific proposals. With regard to support for international faculty, President Glotzbach indicated that, in fact, we have created a new position that will handle visa issues for international faculty and students.
In concluding his response to the Committee of the Whole discussion, President Glotzbach indicated that both the administration and CIGU would welcome further conversation about next steps. It feels to him that we are at a different place institutionally now, and we need to decide if we are going to take these issues seriously. Over time, we will see that we are succeeding when we hear different stories from our students. This is not a conversation about victimization but a conversation about empowerment. We believe that every student that comes to Skidmore can succeed, and it is up to us as a faculty and staff to make sure that we are doing the things we need to do in our classrooms to empower each one of our students to succeed. There are many voices that need to be involved in these conversations and we need to learn better how to have those conversations especially in the toughest moments. President Glotzbach avowed that he takes these questions seriously and will continue to work on them.
Thereafter, Professor Sarah Goodwin made the following Motion: “That it be known to Winston Grady-Willis that the faculty regret the loss of his presence on campus, wish to continue the work that he undertook here, and wish him well in his continuing work.” The motion was seconded. A friendly amendment was made to include Associate Professor Winston Grady-Willis’s wife, Lisa. Discussion was held on the precedent this motion would set. Thereafter, the friendly amendment was withdrawn. Upon questioning, Professor Goodwin explained her rationale for bringing this motion. Thereupon, a motion was made to amend the motion to add a sentence “and we also recognize the contributions made by former Dean of the Faculty Muriel Poston in this regard.” Discussion was held concerning these motions and the precedents they might be setting. Thereafter, Professor Goodwin withdrew the initial motion.
Committee on Educational Policy and Planning
On behalf of CEPP, Associate Professor Josh Ness reported that CEPP is evaluating the College’s culture- centered inquiry requirement. CEPP has shared a series of drafts of the proposed revision with and sought input from the chairs of virtually every department and program, individual faculty and students, and members of CIGU, and their next step is to seek feedback from the faculty at large. To this end, CEPP will host a faculty forum on Friday, November 18, 2011 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Gannett. In preparation for that forum, the proposal will be posted on the CEPP website, and the faculty will receive the proposal via email. CEPP is not asking the faculty to vote on the proposal at this time or at that meeting. Rather, the faculty is being asked to inspect CEPP’s work to date and provide input at the faculty forum or independently such that CEPP can refine proposal, bearing that feedback in mind.
Professor Sarah Goodwin reminded everyone that there are still funds remaining from the Teagle Grant to support assessment of student writing, and these funds need to be spent by the end of the academic year. She described the variety of uses for which the funds are available and encouraged anyone interested in using these funds to contact her as soon as possible.
- President Glotzbach displayed this year’s Beatlemore Skidmania T-shirt and encouraged everyone to attend the Beatlemore event being held November 11-12, 2011.
- John Weber, Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum, invited everyone to a reception in the Tang immediately following the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:11 p.m.
Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant