Scope2016 - page 16

So says
Creating Pathways to Excellence: The Plan for Skidmore College, 2015–
The new strategic plan, guided by President Philip Glotzbach (above, with in-
ternational students) and drafted by a collegewide task force with extensive input
from all constituencies, was approved by faculty, alumni, and trustees last spring.
With creative thought and action as its “primary lens,” the strategic plan states,
“To succeed in realizing this commitment to creativity requires the College to be a
special kind of supportive community—one in which the broadest possible range
of ideas is explored and critically interrogated, comprising persons who bring the
broadest possible range of personal experiences to their interactions.” Another key
motif in the plan (and in Skidmore’s concurrent re-accreditation process last year)
is integrative learning, a comprehensive process that engages each student across
disciplines, across all four years, and across modes of learning.
For Glotzbach and other college leaders, the new plan is already shaping every
decision they consider.
Skidmore parent
W. Scott McGraw,
a trustee since 2011, is the new
chair of the board. A longtime
advertising executive for the
Discovery Networks and CBS
Sports, he lives in Florida. He and
wife Cathy served on the Parents
Council when daughter Carolyn
was a student, and they led several
parent fundraising efforts. McGraw succeeds Linda Toohey, who
stepped down after four years as board chair.
Cerri Banks
is the new dean of
students and vice president for
student affairs. Formerly Mount
Holyoke’s VP for student affairs
and dean of the college, she
replaces Gail Cummings-Danson,
Skidmore’s athletics director who
served as interim VP. With a B.A.,
M.S., and Ph.D. from Syracuse University, Banks is a scholar
of multiculturalism and diversity in education. Her books and
articles address culturally relevant teaching and related topics.
Joshua Woodfork,
coordinator of strategic initia-
tives in the president’s office,
was named to the new vice
presidency for strategic plan-
ning and diversity. President
Philip Glotzbach says that
as Skidmore’s chief diversity
officer, Woodfork will help the
college address “the ongoing challenges that we must face to
become the inclusive and affirming campus community that
we want to be.” Earlier, at Trinity College, Woodfork taught
American studies and directed the Consortium on High
Achievement and Success .
The communications and
marketing office is now led by
a vice president. Consultant
Debra Townsend
is filling that
post in an interim capacity. She
has worked on several Skidmore
projects since 2001 and has
helped lead communications at
scores of institutions from Colgate and Bates to Washington
State and Rensselaer Polytechnic. The new vice presidency was
created to helped guide Skidmore in “an increasingly competi-
tive environment that demands even more effective communi-
cations and marketing,” says Glotzbach.
Defining the
“creativity imperative”
“We intend that our graduates carry with them . . . the capacity to deploy their
creative imagination in ways that advantage both them and the world.”
“We will seek new ways to become the inclusive, respectful, and healthy
community we must be.”
“We will encourage our professors to take pedagogical risks that empower students to
reach even higher levels of awareness and learning.”
Glotzbach: Erik Jenks ’08
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