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

FACULTY MEETING

May 15, 2013
Gannett Auditorium

MINUTES

President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
 
President Glotzbach asked if there were any corrections to, or comments regarding, the minutes of the Faculty Meeting held April 26, 2013.  Hearing none, he announced the minutes were approved.
 
PRESIDENT’S REPORT
 
President Glotzbach thanked everyone for a great year.  We have faced a few challenges, but overall it has been a very good year for the College. 
 
Admissions/Enrollment Update
 
Mary Lou Bates, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, provided an update on the status of the incoming class.  VP Bates happily announced that the Class of 2017 is fully enrolled.  The target range for the total class, including on-campus and London, was 625-665; if summer melt projections hold, we anticipate opening at about 665 (630-635 on campus and 32-34 in London).  VP Bates noted that enrollments for London came in light this year; thus, Admissions has been in touch with all students who are enrolled for on-campus asking if anyone is now interested in London.  Right now, there are 3-4 students who are considering it.  Our London target has been 36, and we have been above that for a few years (a couple years ago, we were at 32).
 
Opening with 665 on campus will put us about 15 over our budgeted enrollment, and that will provide some over-enrollment funds.  Since we changed our budgeted enrollment from 2,280 to 2,330 (essentially moving those students who were here up into the budget), we have had relatively very little below-the-line funds.  Financial aid allocation for the first year class was $9.4 million out of the $39 million total financial aid budget.  At this time, it is anticipated that we will be about $350,000 over the $9.4 million allocation.  Until all the upper class renewals are completed, we don’t know how that will fit in with the total financial aid budget, but we do know that if the $350,000 isn’t absorbed by the total budget, it will be covered by the over-enrollment revenue.  VP Bates noted that the spring yield projection was pretty much on target in meeting our budgeted enrollment, which was 650.  A decision was made to admit about 20 students from the waiting list who didn’t need financial aid because next year we are going to confront the largest first year target in our history.  Since those students are now built into the budget, by bringing in another 15-20 now, it will bring us to the higher end of that range and will make it a little easier next year. 
 
Although summer melt always impacts the final figures, the statistics for the incoming class are as follows:
 
  • 39 percent male and 61 percent female (which is similar to recent years).
  • 40 enrolled for Opportunity Program (met our target; last year we were 3 over). 
  • 7 enrolled Porter scholars (our target was 5-7). 
  • 4 enrolled Filene scholars (our target was 4). 
  • 7 enrolled S3M Skidmore Scholars.
  • The median SAT is identical as last year at 1,240. 
  • The percentage of domestic students of color is 21 percent (down from last year’s 24 percent but up from 2 years ago of 20 percent).
  • Although we admitted more students of color (about 100 more), the yield on our discovery program was down this year.  This year, we enrolled 55 percent of the students who attended the discovery program verses 67 percent last year. We had fewer New York City students attend; however, last year’s discovery program coincided with the New York City school vacation schedule, and this year it didn’t, which may have had an impact.  We also had a record number of students from California, but typically our yield farther away is lower.
  • We had a record number of international students; right now, we have 61 enrolled, which is 9 percent of the class (last year in the spring, we were at 9 percent, but summer melt brought us down to 8 percent by the time we opened in September).  This includes 10 United World College students, and we needed 9 to meet our goal of 40 (if we have 40 or more UWC students on campus, we get $20,000 per student instead of $10,000).  We also have 8 students who are taking advantage of our intensive on-campus ESL summer workshop.
 
VP Bates concluded by noting that our challenge next year will be to replace the largest class in our history.  With a record number of applications this year of nearly 8,300, it is way too early to have any sense of what next year’s applicant pool will look like, but so far the number of on-campus visits is up somewhat from last year.  Next year, Admissions will be transitioning to a paperless selection process.  VP Bates thanked everyone for all their support and everything they do to help bring in the class.  A round of applause was given to VP Bates. 
 
President Glotzbach thanked VP Bates for her update.  He then acknowledged all the work that has occurred this year by many different people: the great progress that has been made in science planning; working with the Board to lay the foundation for the next comprehensive campaign; the final stages of the Scribner Village replacement project; the terrific Academic Summit in January, part of the year-long effort to launch the process of creating our next Strategic Plan; the initiation of the new IGR minor; a very strong year in the arts again – with many wonderful exhibitions and performances; very productive collaborations in shared governance; a great year in athletics; and another good year in teaching and learning, as capped by the Honors Convocation that recognized, as we have come to expect, the quite impressive performances of our top students; a reformatted and very successful academic festival; and the upcoming celebration of the Periclean Scholars, those students elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and those students earning honors in Athletics and other areas.  For the most part, the discussions that occurred around our alumni honorary degree recipient were healthy and respectful, and President Glotzbach thanked everyone for the roles they played in those conversations as well.
 
President Glotzbach next mentioned all the work that has been done with regard to diversity and inclusion this year.  He praised those who have worked so hard to increase the diversity of the faculty this year – our faculty recruitment represented a spectacular effort and a great success.  He also thanked those who have signed up for the upcoming “Teaching in the Multicultural Classroom” workshop, noting that it is important that we all develop skills that are needed to deal with our changing classroom, and these workshops are a good start.  President Glotzbach believes that we have made significant progress as an institution in this area, but he still hears too many compelling student narratives that tell us we have a distance to travel before we are both comfortable and sufficiently adept in dealing with issues of diversity – especially race, but other dimensions as well – both in our academic work and in conversations around the campus.  President Glotzbach believes that we are at a place similar to where the academy was at the early 1970s regarding gender as a variable of analysis in our understanding of the social world.  Today, gender is everywhere across the curriculum – you cannot get through the Skidmore curriculum without encountering issues of gender, how gender factors in our understanding of who we are.  President Glotzbach believes that we need to get to that point with regard to race, as another key social factor in the dimension of identity.  We need to get to the place where we – and our students – can have fruitful and rigorous conversations about competing models of understanding this key issue.  Then, maybe, the next frontier is class. 
 
These conversations are all part of the larger two-part discussion about talking across difference and understanding identity.  President Glotzbach reminded everyone that the latter inquiry began with the Socratic injunction to “know thyself,” it has a history and continues today as a legitimate, and in fact, a major theme in liberal education.  He also recalled that just a few months ago, it was reported that the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) had surveyed our curricular offerings and concluded that we simply lack the curricular resources sufficient to support a revised general education requirement dealing with diversity and intercultural issues.  President Glotzbach challenged the faculty to look at our courses, to see where we might strengthen them by broadening the range of analysis to include race and to develop additional courses dealing with difference so that in the near term CEPP can arrive at a different conclusion.  He believes this objective is within the reach of this faculty, and he indicated his support in working with Academic Affairs to provide additional resources to support this challenge.
 
In concluding, President Glotzbach thanked the members of the faculty who served this year in leadership positions, as members of committees, tasks forces, department chairs, and program directors, and for all the different things that the faculty have done in their teaching, research, supervising student research, other projects, mentoring of students and one another, writing letters of recommendation – the faculty are truly at the heart of our enterprise.  President Glotzbach also thanked the folks in Student Affairs and Athletics for all the good work they have done with our students in the co-curricular contexts that are also so important to student development.  Finally, he thanked the student SGA leaders. 
 
President Glotzbach acknowledged the Board of Trustees, in general, and Chair Linda Toohey, in particular.  Ms. Toohey has made a demonstrable commitment to collaboration within shared governance, just one indication of that commitment is the fact that she has attended many of our Faculty Meetings this year.  He acknowledged her work as Chair and invited her to share a few thoughts.  
 
Ms. Toohey thanked everyone for allowing her to attend the faculty meetings this past year; they have been very interesting and have been very helpful to her to have a better understanding of the central role the faculty play in the college in educating our students.  She is very impressed with the collegial environment and the deep respect and trust the faculty have among themselves and also with the administration.  She assured everyone that the Board also has deep respect and trust in the excellent work the faculty is doing, and offered her thanks.  A round of applause was given to Ms. Toohey. 
 
Lastly, President Glotzbach thanked the administrators who regularly attend these meetings – members of the President’s Cabinet, folks from Admissions, Finance and Administration, including the Human Resources division, Advancement, and many others who provide the crucial support for the work that the faculty does.  There are too many to mention but he thanked everyone in Academic Affairs, in particular, DOF/VPAA Beau Breslin.  A round of applause was given to President Glotzbach.
 
Thereafter, President Glotzbach opened the floor for questions.  In response to a question concerning the possibility of a sidewalk around the entire loop road, Michael West, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer, reported that there are plans for a sidewalk around the entire loop road; it is hoped that this project will be accomplished within two years.  Thereafter, a request for clarification of a report on class caps that was given at a prior meeting was made.  DOF/VPAA Breslin noted that this issue is about whether or not the course enrollment caps are at the appropriate level and whether they are fulfilling their intended function.
 
DEAN OF THE FACULTY AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS’ REPORT
 
DOF/VPAA Breslin expressed his gratitude to everyone for all their hard work this year.  He echoed President Glotzbach’s sentiment that this was a terrific year.  He stated that the work the faculty does is central to our function and is done spectacularly well.  He is deeply grateful for the work that is done in the classroom with the students as well as well as the work with each other, on committees, and on scholarship.  He is proud to lead this wonderful group of faculty.
 
DOF/VPAA Breslin reported on Goal 3 of the Strategic Plan, in particular, the work that Professor Janet Casey and her team is doing on the AVD/Civic Engagement project.  They have held many retreats this year with almost 70 faculty rotating through the retreats.  He thanked Professor Casey for leading the effort, Associate Dean of the Faculty Karen Kellogg for representing the DOF/VPAA office, and the civic fellows: Charlene Grant, Natalie Taylor, Rik Scarce, Josh Ness, Kim Frederick, Lei Bryant and David Howson.
 
Thereafter, DOF/VPAA Breslin highlighted the work that is being done over the next few weeks:
 
  • The faculty workload working group, being led by Professor Mary Odekon, has met approximately four times to narrow down our focus on the way we think about faculty workload.  The working group will meet at least one more time early in the summer and have a conversation about what we want to try to accomplish over the summer. 
  • Partnering with Pat Romney and Associates, a workshop will be held on “Teaching in the Multicultural Classroom” to help faculty to understand what it means to teach in an increasingly diverse classroom.  This is a pilot program, and if it is successful, we will continue the program rotating in different faculty on a yearly basis. • An inclusive hiring workshop will be held on June 3 for those departments who are searching for tenure line faculty members.
  • An academic staff and chairs/program directors meeting will be held on May 22.  The non-faculty academic leaders will meet from 9-1 and the chairs and program directors will meet from 12-5. In this meeting, we will discuss all the different issues that affect the work that we do. It is hoped that by showing chairs and program directors different data and how things impact each other we can come up with some collective direction of where this institution wants to go.  For example, we will talk about budgets, course caps, course releases, internships/independent studies, chairs compensation, and the work of the faculty workload working group.  Hopefully, there will be enough information provided so that we can start to make rational choices about the directions we want to go as a faculty.  
 
In concluding, he thanked the faculty again and wished everyone the best of luck over the summer in doing their own work.   A round of applause was given to DOF/VPAA Breslin.
 
CONFERRAL OF DEGREES AND HONORS
 
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees. Dave DeConno, Registrar, read the following resolutions into the record (see attached):
 
RESOLVED, that the faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree to 388 students of the Class of 2013 to be awarded on May 18, 2013.  
 
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Science degree to 174 students of the Class of 2013 to be awarded on May 18, 2013.
 
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree to 21 students of the Class of 2013 upon satisfactory completion of the degree requirements by August 31, 2013. 
 
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Bachelor of Science degree to 5 students of the Class of 2013 upon satisfactory completion of the degree requirements by August 31, 2013.
 
The total number of graduates of the Class of 2013 is 605 as follows: 17 for January completion, 562 for May completion and 26 for August completion.
 
There was no discussion, and the motions were voted on and passed with all in favor.
 
All-College and Departmental Honors.  Corey Freeman-Gallant, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy and Advising, read the following resolutions into the record (see attached):
 
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College approve College Honors for members of the Class of 2013, as presented at the May 15, 2013, Faculty Meeting: 66 students for summa cum laude distinction; 75 students for magna cum laude distinction; and 205 students for cum laude distinction.  (Note: including January 2013 graduates, 353 of 605 students [58.3%] in the class of 2013 will receive College Honors). 
 
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College approve Departmental and Program Honors for 204 students from the Class of 2013, as presented at the May 15, 2013, Faculty Meeting. (Note: including January 2013 graduates, 207 of 605 students [34.2%] in the class of 2013 will receive Departmental or Program Honors; 23 students will receive honors in two majors).
 
Dean Freeman-Gallant noted that if the new criteria passed by the faculty a few years ago were in effect, just under 30 percent of the class would receive College Honors.  Thereafter, the motions were voted on and passed with all in favor. 
 
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Degrees.  Associate Professor Maria Lander read the following resolution into the record (see attached):
 
RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Skidmore College recommend to the Trustees the granting of the Master of Arts degree to five students. 
 
There was no discussion, and the motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.
 
OLD BUSINESS
 
On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), Professor Barbara Black read the following Motion (see attached) that was introduced at the April 26, 2013 meeting:
 
MOTION: In order to codify the use of electronic polling technology for voting, the Faculty Executive Committee moves that the following changes be made to the Faculty Handbook (Part Two, I, “Faculty Meeting By-Laws,” Article VI, “Taking Votes”):
 
OLD LANGUAGE
 
A. The Faculty Meeting shall vote by ballot on any motion to change the curriculum or Part One of the Faculty Handbook if at least one voting member makes such a request. On all other motions, the Faculty Meeting shall take a vote on a motion for a ballot vote.
 
B. The Faculty Meeting shall otherwise vote by ayes and nays. Any member, however, can demand a rising vote (standing vote or a division of the assembly). This vote must be counted. In the case of a tie vote (ballot) the Chair may vote with either side. If the Chair chooses not to vote, lacking a majority, the motion is defeated.
 
C. The members of the Faculty Executive Committee shall tally all votes taken by a show of hands or by ballot, except in cases where the motion before the Faculty Meeting comes from the FEC. In the latter instance, the Chair shall appoint up to six faculty members to make the count.
 
NEW LANGUAGE
 
A. The Faculty Meeting shall vote by ballot, using electronic polling technology.  In the event of a technology failure, an ayes and nays vote will be taken, either by voice vote or—under circumstances determined by the Chair—paper ballot.
 
B. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair may vote with either side.  If the Chair chooses not to vote, lacking a majority, the motion is defeated.
 
C. is deleted.
 
Lengthy discussion was held concerning pros and cons of voting by electronic polling technology.  Some faculty members held the position that voting has been done by hand, voice and secret ballot for years without documented problems.  Other faculty members voiced support of the new system because of previous concerns over issues of quorums, efficiency and anonymity.  Other faculty members supported the new technology but were concerned with possible failure of the new technology and the possibility that some votes could be made by non-voting members.
 
After concerns were made over the process that would occur in the event of a technology failure, a friendly amendment by FEC was made as follows (amendments in bold and underlined):
 
NEW LANGUAGE
 
A. The Faculty Meeting shall vote by ballot, using electronic polling technology.  In the event of a technology failure, an ayes and nays vote will be taken, either by voice vote or—under circumstances determined by the Chair—paper ballot.  The members of the Faculty Executive Committee shall tally all votes taken by paper ballot, except in cases where the motion before the Faculty Meeting comes from the FEC. In the latter instance, the Chair shall appoint up to six faculty members to make the count.
 
B. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair may vote with either side.  If the Chair chooses not to vote, lacking a majority, the motion is defeated.
 
C. is deleted.
 
Thereupon, a motion was made and seconded to amend the Motion as follows (new language in bold and underlined):
 
NEW LANGUAGE
 
A. The Faculty Meeting shall vote by ballot, using electronic polling technology.  In the event of a technology failure, an ayes and nays vote will be taken, either by voice vote or—under circumstances determined by the Chair—paper ballot.  The Faculty Meeting shall vote by paper ballot if at least one voting member makes such a request.  The members of the Faculty Executive Committee shall tally all votes taken by paper ballot, except in cases where the motion before the Faculty Meeting comes from the FEC. In the latter instance, the Chair shall appoint up to six faculty members to make the count.
 
B. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair may vote with either side.  If the Chair chooses not to vote, lacking a majority, the motion is defeated.
 
C. is deleted.
 
The amendment to the motion was voted on and passed by majority vote.
 
Thereafter, an amendment to the motion was made and seconded as follows (new language in bold and underlined):
 
NEW LANGUAGE
 
A. The Faculty Meeting shall vote by ballot, using electronic polling technology.  In the event of a technology failure, an ayes and nays vote will be taken, either by voice vote or—under circumstances determined by the Chair—paper ballot.  The Faculty Meeting shall vote by paper ballot if at least one voting member makes such a request.  The members of the Faculty Executive Committee shall tally all votes taken by paper ballot, except in cases where the motion before the Faculty Meeting comes from the FEC. In the latter instance, the Chair shall appoint up to six faculty members to make the count.
 
B. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair may vote with either side.  If the Chair chooses not to vote, lacking a majority, the motion is defeated.
 
C. Members of IT shall take all due caution to ensure that clickers find their ways into the hands of voting members.
 
After brief discussion concerning the burden of IT having to ensure that clickers are provided only to eligible voters, the amendment to the motion was voted on and defeated.
 
Thereupon, after brief discussion concerning the use of ayes and nayes, the Motion, as amended, was voted on and passed. 
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
There was no new business.
 
REPORTS
 
Dean of Special Programs.  Paul Calhoun, Dean of Special Programs, provided a report on the residencies held for artists and scholars during the academic year – ACJW, singer/songwriter, Howard Fishman, choreographer Karole Armitage, and music producer Don Was.  This coming fall, we have ACJW, theater director Anne Bogart will be the McCormack Resident, and Sujatha Baliga, a restorative justice expert, will be the Carr Lecturer. Also, a delegation of six faculty members from Ben-Gurion University will be here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence Program.    Dean Calhoun also announced that he will be issuing calls for proposals for more Carr Lecturers and for interdisciplinary performances at Zankel, and he encouraged everyone to generate ideas and lead residencies to ensure that they meet academic agendas.
 
Dean Calhoun provided an outlook for this year’s summer programs, noting that our budget for revenue is up about 10 percent, which is a result of a combination of modest increases in both head count and fees.  Our conference business has shown an increase; however, our arts institutes and summer sessions may be down a bit, but we are still taking registrations, especially for the July summer session. Dean Calhoun also highlighted Saratoga ArtsFest, noting that this year there will be three significant events at Ladd Hall as part of ArtsFest.  Dean Calhoun displayed this year’s summer events brochure and encouraged everyone to take one as they left the auditorium.
 
Dean Calhoun announced that the new events scheduling and management system is now installed for virtually every space on campus, and the system can be accessed from the calendar page on the college website.  The next steps will be to add event set-up details, catering services, and media services. Finally, the program will link the event to the college web calendar automatically.  Dean Calhoun stated that this process was started back in 2006 to help solve, to a large extent, our perceived problem with conflicts.  Theresa Polson, college calendar coordinator, has prepared a document which lists every date in the calendar for this past academic year where there has been a major event scheduled, and she has highlighted every situation where there was more than one event on a single day and also where there were major events on consecutive days.  This file will be made available so that everyone can see where there were problems.  However, upon careful review, it did not appear there were very many problems with conflicts this year.  While the new software is called EMS, there is a conflict with the name, and Dean Calhoun encouraged everyone to forward any ideas to him for a new name for the system.
 
Thereafter, Dean Calhoun recognized the work of MALS director for the last four years, Professor Mike Mudrovic, who will return to the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; he then introduced Jacquie Scoones as the new director of MALS.  A round of applause was given.
 
Lastly, Dean Calhoun thanked everyone in Special Programs and reminded everyone that their mission is to serve the faculty.  If there are any suggestions to enhance what is happening over the summer, or to enhance the campus or the academic residencies, please let his office know.
 
Faculty Executive Committee.  Professor Barbara Black provided an overview of the Committee of Committees Report (see attached).    Brief discussion was held concerning the disagreement between CEPP and FEC regarding a summer working group to begin the re-evaluation of the all-college curriculum, and Professor Black provided a background on the disagreement.
 
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
  • Professor Janet Casey announced the programming events, co-sponsored by the Tang, surrounding this summer’s reading of The Other Wes Moore.  On September 16, Mr. Moore will speak in the evening at Zankel and will also conduct a short class session on September 16 in the Classless Society show in the Tang with three classes that are working closely with that show.   In addition, on behalf of the reading committee, Professor Casey invited the community to participate in the website that will be developed over the summer by providing a short written response to the book that can be published online.  Professor Casey will send an email with further details.  Lastly, Professor Casey indicated that the reading committee will also be holding a discussion in the week or two before classes for FYE faculty begin to help them think about how to approach the book with their students. 
  • President Glotzbach encouraged faculty to attend the post-commencement reception on Saturday, May 18 from 2-4 in Murray Aikins.
  • President Glotzbach invited everyone to the reception at Scribner House on Friday, May 17 from 5:00-6:30 for parents and graduating students.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Debra L. Peterson
Executive Administrative Assistant

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