CH 221 Organic Chemistry I lecture section 3 contact hours
CH 221L Organic Chemistry I lab section 4 contact hours
CH 222 Organic Chemistry II lecture section 3 contact hours
CH 222L Organic Chemistry II lab section 4 contact hours
Tenure Stream Search in Organic Chemistry
Welcome to the homepage for our open rank tenure stream search for a new colleague who can teach organic chemistry. We highly encourage and invite applications from individuals from a wide range of experience levels and backgrounds to apply.
The job ad has all the critical information for applying, so please do not feel obligated to read everything here. However, we know people have different levels of mentorship support when applying for faculty positions. In addition, we know not everyone starts this process with the same understanding of what the job of a tenure stream chemist at a small liberal arts colleges entails. Our goal with this page is to be transparent and to help support you in applying, in keeping with our commitment to equity and inclusion. Please find below answers to frequently asked questions about:
- the search process,
- on the job: teaching, collaborative research, and service
- support provided to faculty
- general information about Skidmore, the Department, and Saratoga Springs / Albany, NY metro area
Review begins September 15, 2022.
If you have additional questions, please contact the search chair, Associate Professor Kelly Sheppard via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Due to a phased retirement, a department member becoming full-time as Associate Director of Environmental Health & Safety on campus, and a tenure track member of the department moving for family reasons, coupled to high demand for chemistry courses and collaborative research experiences, the Chemistry Department at Skidmore College is searching for a tenure stream faculty member at any rank who can teach in our organic chemistry sequence and other courses in our curriculum, develop a vibrant experimental research program emphasizing synthetic chemistry with undergraduate collaborators, mentor and advise students, and participate in departmental and college service.
A Ph.D. in chemistry (e.g., specialization in organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, or polymer chemistry) or a related field (e.g., chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, or materials science) with the expertise to teach organic chemistry. We are searching for a colleague, at any rank, who can i) successfully teach in a supportive, equitable, and an inclusive manner Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry II as well as advanced electives, courses at the 100-level as needed, and on occasion a Scribner Seminar or a STEM oriented Bridge Experience course; ii) develop a vibrant and productive experimental research program emphasizing synthetic chemistry that actively engages undergraduates in a welcoming and supportive manner; iii) mentor and advise students from diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and interests; and iv) participate in departmental and College-wide service. Enthusiasm for and knowledge of equitable and inclusive teaching, mentoring, and advising practices to support a diverse student population are essential. We encourage applications from individuals with identities historically minoritized in the sciences and who have experience working with diverse student populations. Successful applicants should highlight any experiences and expertise related to supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational community throughout their application materials.
The required materials are as follows:
- Cover letter –The letter should concisely summarize your qualifications for the advertised position, which will be expanded upon in your C.V. and statements (teaching philosopy, research plans, and equity & inclusion); why you are interested in the position; briefly overview your teaching and research interests especially in an undergraduate liberal arts setting; and how you will effectively engage with a diverse student body as a teacher, advisor, and mentor.
- Curriculum Vitae –The C.V. should highlight all your qualifications for the position. In addition to
your degrees earned, positions held and employment history, teaching and research
experiences, publications (denote undergraduate student co-authors, if any), presentations
(denote undergraduate student co-authors, if any), awards, and funding, please do
include any other experiences, backgrounds, and expertise you find relevant for the advertised position especially if they relate to supporting
a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational community. These could include:
- expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion
- service to your department, college, field, and or community
- professional development (trainings, workshops, classes, and or conferences attended related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, teaching, mentoring and advising, scientific outreach and communication, science policy, writing grant proposals, managing a group, etc.)
- experiences and expertise mentoring and advising students
- leadership roles
- science policy experiences and expertise
- experiences and expertise in scientific outreach and communication
- Statement of Research Plans – The research statement should clearly and concisely articulate the research program you plan to run at Skidmore and, in particular, the research project(s) you plan to undertake with undergraduates. Please do keep in mind, your audience (the search committee) won’t be experts in your subfield. Keep discussions of your previous work clear and concise with a focus on highlighting your qualifications and why you will be successful in the research program you are proposing. Be sure to describe the role of undergraduates in your research project(s), how you plan to recruit and support a diverse undergraduate research group using equitable and inclusive practices, potential journals to publish the work in and conferences to present at, potential external sources of funding, and a list of major equipment needs.
- Statement of Teaching Philosophy – The statement should clearly and concisely convey your teaching values, beliefs, and goals based on your experiences and training. Informed by relevant literature, experiences, and training, you should also articulate the methods you will use in your courses to achieve your goals for student learning, how you will assess student learning, and plan to continue to develop as a teacher. In the process, given our diverse student body, articulate how you plan to teach in an equitable and inclusive manner both in the classroom and in the laboratory. As the statement is informed by your experiences and training as well as relevant literature, it should be self-reflective as you demonstrate how purposeful you are about your teaching. Please also denote the courses you are interested in teaching including electives you want to develop.
- Equity and Inclusion Statement – The statement should clearly and concisely state how you will contribute to an equitable and inclusive community in the department, at Skidmore, and/or in the field. In the process, you should articulate in your statement your expertise, experience, training, and plans related to diversity, equity, and inclusion to expand upon what is in your other statements.
- Copies of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts scanned into one PDF.
- Names, affiliations, and contact information of three professional references –References will be contacted at a later stage in the search process. They should be able to speak, with evidence, to your qualifications to teach in our curriculum in an equitable and inclusive manner, productively run an experimental research program involving undergraduate students, mentor and advise a diverse student body, and engage in service.
The any rank/open rank search means we can hire a new tenure stream colleague at any experience level. We have NO preference for hiring at any particular rank. We welcome and encourage applications from individuals at all levels of experience. For those who are in an untenured position (e.g., graduate student finishing their Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow or associate, visiting assistant professor, lecturer, instructor, or untenured assistant professor), we can hire at the Assistant Professor level. For those who are currently at the Associate Professor or Professor rank at another institution, we may hire at your current rank.
If hired at the Assistant Professor level without prior experience, the typical tenure process lasts six years, with a third-year review, unless you extend your tenure clock (please see the Skidmore College Faculty Handbook, Part I, VIII.E.4.d). Specifically, your first year is a probationary year as part of a three-year contract. The chair will write annual review letters each year until you are tenured. At the end of the fall of your third year, you are evaluated by the Department and the Dean of Faculty’s Office for reappointment for another three-year contract. At the start of your sixth year, you submit your tenure binder for tenure review by the Department, external reviewers, the Appointments and Tenure Committee, and the Dean’s Office. Most candidates (~90%) are successful at tenure review. If not, you can appeal. If you are not reappointed or not tenured, you are given a terminal one-year contract.
If hired at the Assistant Professor level with previous employment as a full-time teacher-scholar at another academic institution, you may become a candidate for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor as early as the beginning of the fall term of your fourth year of full-time service as a faculty member at Skidmore, dependent on the number of years of previous full-time teaching at other colleges or universities. The credited number of years of prior service, which you use at your discretion, will be included in your written contract, in consultation with the Department Chair and the Dean of Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Please see Part I, VIII.E.3.b of the Skidmore College Faculty Handbook for additional details and information.
If hired at the Associate Professor or Professor level, without prior tenure at your previous institution, you may choose to become a candidate for tenure at the beginning of the fall term of your fourth year of service as a faculty member at Skidmore (please see the Skidmore College Faculty Handbook, Part I, VIII.E.3.d).
For those previously tenured, the Skidmore College Faculty Handbook(Part I, VIII.E.3.d, page 125) does provide the possibility to hire with tenure “[w]hen institutional needs or priorities require it”. The Dean of Faculty/Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the Department Chair must present the case to the Appointments and Tenure Committee (ATC) for hiring with tenure prior to an offer being made. ATC deliberates the case to the qualifications stipulated in the Faculty Handbook.If you are not tenured at hire at Skidmore but were tenured at your previous institution, you may choose to become a candidate for tenure as early as the beginning of the fall term of your second year of service as a faculty member at Skidmore (see Skidmore College Faculty Handbook, Part I, VIII.E.3.d).
Tentative timeline based on previous inclusive searches we have conducted is below.
Please note, we may alter based on the number of applicants - we will update this
page as warranted. Last updated July 27.
|Review of applications begins by subcommittee||9/15|
|Inclusive pool built from application pool by subcommittee||9/27|
|Review of inclusive pool by subcommittee||9/27-10/07|
Inclusive short list developed by subcommittee & sent to Dean
|Questions e-mailed to candidates on short list||10/11 (tentative based on Dean's response)|
|Responses due from candidates to questions||10/17|
|Whole committee reviews short list||10/11-10/21|
|Develop interview list & sent to Dean||10/24|
|References contacted of relevant candidate(s)||Nov.|
|Offer extended||Late Nov.-Dec.|
They will be 3-4 follow-up questions to the materials submitted that provide the candidates on the short list an opportunity to provide more details related to their teaching and research as well as on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Based on previous searches, below is the tentative process for the campus interview.
It may be refined. We will update the website if it does and inform the candidates
interviewing on campus. The full search committee are all members of the Department plus one additional faculty
member at Skidmore who isn’t in the Chemistry Department. The campus interview is
spread over two days. Candidates typically arrive the afternoon before the interview
and leave in the late afternoon/early evening on the 2ndday of the campus visit but that is not set and we will work with your schedule. Our
wonderful administrative assistant, Tania Becker, will make the hotel reservations,
assist you in making other arrangements for your visit, and get your expenses reimbursed
as quickly as possible. We are committed to ensuring that our campus visits are accessible
and humane, and we will be able to accommodate any needs you may have with Tania.
Tania is not involved in hiring decisions.
In addition, we acknowledge the challenging choices surrounding attending academic interviews during a global pandemic. Our COVID-19 protocols will be at least as strict as those required by Skidmore College at the time of your visit, but we will also discuss with you prior to your visit your preferences with respect to masks and indoor dining.
- Meetings with faculty members on the search committee (40-50 minutes, either with individual faculty members or pairs of faculty members). Often, the first meeting of the day is over breakfast.
- Teaching demonstration (25 minutes with 10 additional minutes for questions) Candidates will be informed well in advance about the topic and about the room the demo will take place in, relevant sections of textbooks, what level to aim for, and what knowledge you can assume the students have.
- Research talk (45 minutes with an additional 10 minutes for questions) – The talk is primarily focused on research you have conducted but also includes an overview of your research plans with undergraduates at Skidmore. The introduction of the talk should be geared for a second-year undergraduate before going into details of your work. Do keep in mind most members of the search committee are not experts in your sub-discipline. As you move back out to conclusions, bring it back to the level of a second-year undergraduate student. It is useful then to spend 10 minutes on the research you would like to do at Skidmore with undergraduates. A Skidmore student in the Fall semester of their second year would either be in Organic I or Organic II. Please let the Search Chair, Kelly Sheppard, or Tania Becker know if you have specialized A/V needs.
- Lunch each day with groups of students (1 hour and 10 minutes on each day with Chemistry majors and minors).
- Meeting with the Director of Sponsored Research, Mary Hoehn (30-40 minutes).
- Meeting with the Dean of Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Michael Orr (30 minutes).
- Meeting with the Associate Dean of Faculty for Diversity and Faculty Affairs, Janet Casey (30 minutes).
- Meeting with the Associate Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Kara Cetto Bales (30-40 minutes).
- One dinner maybe with search committee members (might be revised depending on COVID-19).
- One dinner with faculty members outside of the Department who are not involved in the search (might be revised depending on COVID-19). This dinner with faculty members outside the Chemistry Department is private and a chance for you to learn more about the College and life in the Capital District of New York. The search committee never hears about this dinner, and it is not part of the decision making process.
- An exit interview with the Department Chair, Juan Navea, and or Search Chair, Kelly Sheppard, (30-40 minutes).
Skidmore College requires all students and employees to be vaccinated, including boosted, unless exempt due
to a medical accomodation or a sincerely held religious belief. Currently, 98% of
students and 98% of employees are vaccianted. When the local area is at the CDC low
or medium community level, Skidmore is mask supportive but optional. However, faculty
members may require masking in classes, laboratories, and their offices. Staff members
may also require masking in their offices and students in their own rooms. Masks are
also required in Health Services and the Counseling Center, and for indviduals on
days 6-10 following testing positive for COVID-19. Students and employees with disabilities
can also request reasonable accomodations. We will update this information in accordance
with changes to Skidmore's COVID-19 policies.
For your visit, our COVID-19 protocols will be at least as strict as those required by Skidmore College at the time of your visit, but we will also discuss with you prior to your visit your preferences with respect to masks and indoor dining.
You will need to complete your doctorate by the start of the position (September 1, 2023).
We know how busy everyone is and the added stress that reference letters can add to the process. We also know that letters can add bias to the search process. Accordingly, we do not ask for reference letters (aka letters of recommendation). Please do NOT have reference letters sent to us. We will not read them. Instead, we ask that you provide the names and professional contact information for three professional references. We may contact them at a later stage in the search process.
You will be primarily teaching in our organic chemistry sequence (CH 221 Organic Chemistry I and CH 222 Organic Chemistry II), lecture and lab, for your teaching load of 18 contact hours per academic year (please see below for more details). In addition, you may also on occasion teach in our one semester general chemistry course, CH 125 Principles of Chemistry (CH 126 in the Spring), lecture or lab, or our preparatory chemistry course, CH 115 Fundamentals of Chemistry, lecture or lab, depending on need. About every 2-4 years, you will teach an advanced elective (300-level) in your area of specialty. This could be Advanced Organic Chemistry, or a special topic/new course you develop. About every 5-10 years, you will also be asked to teach a Scribner Seminar for the First Year Experience (please see below for more details). There is the possibility of teaching a Bridge Experience: Power & Justice course (please see below) if you so desire and we have the teaching capacity. Once in a while, you may also teach our senior seminar (CH 377 in the Fall and CH 378 in the Spring). You may elect to supervise the Peer-Led Team Learning mentors for Organic Chemistry in a given semester, which earns you 1 contact hour per semester supervised. Please see Department Courses for course descriptions.
Skidmore is on the semester system, (i.e., there are two semesters per academic year). Faculty members teach 18 contact hours per academic year (average 9 contact hours per semester). Typically, this means each semester you will teach 2 or 3 courses depending on the combination of classes taught each year. Contact hours are defined by how many scheduled hours per week you meet with students for a class. For example, CH 221 Organic Chemistry I lecture meets three times a week for an hour each class session for 3 hours total per week. Accordingly, each section of CH 221 lecture taught counts as 3 contact hours towards your teaching responsibility. The lab for CH 221 meets for 4 hours each week so each section of lab taught counts as 4 contact hours towards your teaching responsibility. Tenure stream faculty in their first year at Skidmore typically reduce their first year teaching responsibility by earning a course release of 3-4 contact hours. If you teach over 18 contact hours in a given year, you can have a reduced teaching responsibility in the following year. For example, if you teach 19 contact hours one year, the next you could teach 17 contact hours. Overload pay is also possible in lieu of averaging with the next year, though discouraged.
For the advertised position, you will be mostly teaching in the organic chemistry sequence (CH 221-222). The contact hours for those courses are as follows:
CH 221 Organic Chemistry I lecture section 3 contact hours
In addition, you may also teach in the 100-level sequence and every 5-10 years in the College’s First Year Experience: Scribner Seminar program (please see below for more details) along with advanced (300-level) electives every 2-4 years. There is a possibility of teaching a Bridge Experience: Power & Justice course (please see below)if you so desire and the department has the teaching capacity to offer one for a particular semester.
CH 115 Fundamentals of Chemistry lecture section 3 contact hours
CH 115L Fundamentals of Chemistry lab section 3 contact hours
CH 125/6 Principles of Chemistry lecture section 4 contact hours
CH 125/6L Principles of Chemistry lab section 3 contact hours
SSP 100 Scribner Seminar 4 contact hours
CH 323 Advanced Organic Chemistry 3 contact hours
CH 351 Special Topics in Chemistry 1-4 contact hours
May decide to develop a new course(s) 1-4 contact hours
Special topics/new courses vary depending on how the course is designed and scheduled.
Occasionally, you may also teach Senior Seminar in Chemistry and Biochemistry (CH 377 Fall or CH 378 Spring). In addition, you may choose to supervise peer-led team-learning (PLTL) for an organic chemistry course.
CH 377 Senior Seminar in Chemistry and Biochemistry 1 contact hour
CH 378 Senior Seminar in Chemistry and Biochemistry 1 contact hour
HF 200 PLTL for Organic Chemistry I 1 contact hour
HF 200 PLTL for Organic Chemistry II 1 contact hour
CH 221 Organic Chemistry I and CH 222 Organic Chemistry II are each offered both in the Fall and the Spring. PLTL for Organic Chemistry is also offered both semesters. Two electives are offered each academic year. Typically, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, or two in the Spring. The elective offerings rotate to provide students multiple electives over their time at Skidmore.
- In the Fall, 1-2 lecture sections of CH 221 Organic Chemistry I are offered with 2-3 lab sections. For CH 222 Organic Chemistry II, it is 1 lecture section and 2-3 lab sections.
- In the Spring, 2 lecture sections of CH 221 Organic Chemistry I are offered with 3 lab sections. For CH 222 Organic Chemistry II, it is 1 lecture section and 2 lab sections.
Lecture sections at the 100-level typically have caps of 28-32 students depending
on how many lecture and lab sections are offered. For organic chemistry lectures (CH
221 and CH 222), the lecture caps are 26-32 students. The 300-level lecture only courses
have caps of 18.
Lab sections have a cap of 16 students unless limited by instrumentation, equipment, and or room size. CH 221 Organic Chemistry I Lab typically has a cap of 16 students per section. CH 222 Organic Chemistry II Lab typically has a cap of 14 students per section given instrumentation needs and the project nature of the lab.
No. For CH 221 and CH 222, students must enroll in both lecture and lab at the same time. For grading purposes, they are considered one course.
All first-year students at Skidmore College must take a Scribner Seminar their first semester which is the centerpiece of the FYE program at the College. The FYE is mainly designed to provide students a solid foundation for college, stimulate intellectual curiosity and challenge perceived notions - all aimed at cultivating each student as a whole person though a liberal arts education. The faculty member teaching a Scribner Seminar serves not only as the instructor for the course but also as the mentor and academic advisor for the students enrolled in their seminar (capped at 16-19 students, depending on the size of the incoming class and how many seminars are offered) until the students declare a major. Students must declare a major by the spring of their second year at the College. The FYE also includes orientation and a summer reading with follow-up discussions, speakers, and other activities throughout the academic year related to the reading. Co-curricular activities are also planned through the FYE program.
The Scribner Seminars also have a peer mentor who serves as a role model and informal advisor to the first-year students in the seminar. The faculty member selects the peer mentor who receives training to help them successfully support first-year students.
The Scribner Seminars themselves are interdisciplinary courses only for first-year students centered around distinguishing the types of questions asked by different disciplines, critically reading and interpreting evidence, distinguishing the evidence and methodologies of different disciplines, considering complexities and ambiguities, making connections, recognizing choices and examining assumptions, formulating conclusions based on evidence, developing communication skills, and relating the course to their educational goals. In that framework, faculty members design their own seminars typically based on their own intellectual interests and passions. In addition to the 3-credit seminar, each Scribner course involves a 4th credit hour meeting time where students learn specific academic skills and college survival strategies to help them make a successful transition (both academically and socially) to college. Faculty may elect to run these sessions entirely themselves, hand off these discussions to the peer mentor, coordinate with other offices on campus to help deliver this programming, or some combination of these.
As the Scribner Seminars are capped at 16-19 students, typically 45 Scribner Seminars are offered each Fall. The Chemistry Department contributes one Scribner Seminar each year. Amongst the tenure stream faculty members, we rotate who teaches in the Scribner Seminar program each year.
Below is a list of Scribner Seminars that have been offered by Chemistry faculty members since 2009.
- Coming of Age: Food, Drugs and Sex after the Biotech Revolution taught by Kelly Sheppard (2012, 2022)
- In The Lab and On The Screen: Selected Scientific Topics and Their Portrayal In Film taught by K. Aurelia Ball (2018, 2021)
- Climate, Science and History: Walking Through the Climate Records taught by Juan Navea (2015, 2020)
- Eating Through History: The Science of British Food taught by Kimberly Frederick (2019)
- If The Elements Could Talk taught by Steve Frey (2017)
- Molecules That Matter taught by Ray Giguere (2016)
- Under the Influence: Alcohol in Science and Society taught by Reba Howard (2014)
- Water: Society, Science and the Arts taught by Judy Halstead (2012)
- Forensic Science and Criminal (In)Justice taught by Kimberley Fredrick (2011)
- Human Dilemmas taught by Ray Giguere (2010 and 2013)
- The Hudson: Society, Science and the Arts taught by Judy Halstead (2009)
In Bridge Experience courses students learn about how to interrogate the nature of power & justice through the lens of identity (e.g., race & ethnicity, sex, class, disability, gender expression, sexual orientation, and or religion) and how inequality in the distribution of power & justice have affected individuals, groups, and communities in the contemporary United States. In addition, in the Bridge Experience students are asked to reflect upon their own positions in their respective communities and on campus, and connect their study of power, justice, and identity to other areas of their education and to the world beyond the classroom. As such, Bridge Experience require students to engage in a project that not only require students to demonstrate a critical understanding of power, justice, and identity, but also learn how to communicate and share their insights with a broader audience. The course cap for Bridge Experience courses is 20 students.
Bridge Experience courses started being offered in the Spring of 2021. The Chemistry Department has developed and offered two Bridge Experience courses.
For tenure and promotion, the Faculty Handbook lays out that teaching is the primary
criterion of the three review criteria (teaching, research, and service) with research
a close second (a split of 50% teaching, 40% research, and 10% service) with the understanding
that we are an undergraduate institution, so we do not expect the same productivity
as a research university. Based on a Research Corp study of primarily undergraduate
institutions (PUIs), faculty in the physical sciences on average publish 0.5 papers
per year at PUIs with variation depending on discipline and subfield.
For Chemistry at Skidmore, all tenure-stream faculty members in the Department engage in hypothesis driven research with undergraduate collaborators and are provided research laboratories to carry out that work. Research is therefore part of our teaching and mentorship of students. New faculty members are provided with start-up funds to set up their labs and operate them for the first three years at Skidmore. Renovation of a laboratory space is covered through a capital request the Department makes and does NOT come out of your start-up funds. Beyond start-up funds, faculty research programs are sustained by a combination of internal (e.g., department funds, capital requests, and internal grants) and or external sources (e.g., funded research grant proposals).
The Chemistry Department tenure-stream faculty have collaboratively drafted a Scholarship Statement that describes how we define “scholarship”, the relative value of different types of scholarly activities, and the factors that impact research progress that need to be accounted for. These guidelines are used to contextualize language from the Skidmore Faculty Handbook in the consideration of candidates when hiring, third-year review, and evaluating faculty members for tenure and promotion. These guidelines are also used by the Department Chair in annual reviews of pre-tenure faculty members.
During the academic year, students may earn academic credit for conducting collaborative research. Students enrolling in CH 171 for 1 credit are expected to spend 3-5 hours per week on research, while students enrolling in CH 271 for 2 credits are expected to spend 6-8 hours per week on research, and students enrolling in CH 371 for 3 credits are expected to spend 9-11 hours per week on research. When writing a senior thesis, students may enroll in CH 385 for 4 credits and they are expected to spend 12-14 hours per week on research and writing their thesis. CH 171 and CH 271 are graded pass/fail while CH 371 and CH 385 are graded on the A-F scale.
You may also have a paid student assistant carryout research. A student who is paid cannot receive academic credit for those hours of research, though splitting is possible. For example, if the student does 12 hours of research a week, 5 hours paid then the other 7 hours can be for 2 credits (CH 271). Student assistants may be paid out of the Department budget, but that does mean less paid student assistance for preparing laboratory courses and grading. Paying student assistants can also be built into the budget of external grant proposals.
Students conducting research at the 300-level must present either at a conference or on campus. In the Fall, they may do poster presentations as part of our end-of-semester celebration. In the Spring, students seeking departmental honors write a thesis and orally present it to the Department during Academic Festival, while other research students have the option of presenting orally or a poster during Academic Festival. The presentations flow into our end-of-the-academic-year celebration.
During the summer, students doing collaborative research are paid a stipend and are provided room and board. Funding comes from internal grants, start-up funds, or external grant funding. The Department also has limited funds to also pay for summer collaborative research and is working with Advancement to build a larger departmental pool. For the internal awards, the collaborative research can be 5 weeks, 8 weeks, or 10 weeks long. Students are expected to spend 35-40 hours per week on research. The application deadline for the internal awards is typically the first week in February. The Director of Faculty-Student Summer Research organizes multiple meetings during the summer to provide a cohesive experience for students. First, all collaborative research students across campus meet to learn about the other projects on campus. The second meeting has faculty and students discuss challenges in research. The final meeting is a research symposium where students present their research either as posters or as talks. As a follow-up, Skidmore participates in the New York Six(NY 6) Undergraduate Research Symposium held in September, which enables students to present their work to a wider audience and to hear about research by undergraduates at other NY6 colleges.
To compensate faculty during the academic year for mentoring students in collaborative research, Skidmore has the HELIOS program. Faculty members earn HELIOS credit for each academic credit of collaborative research supervised each semester. For example, if you supervised 3 students in CH 171, you would earn 3 HELIOS credits (3 students X 1 credit/student). If you supervised 2 students in CH 371 level research you would earn 6 HELIOS credits (2 students X 3 credits/student). At the end of academic year, your HELIOS credits are tallied. At that point, you have a choice of either cashing the HELIOS credits for a stipend ($115/credit) or banking the HELIOS credits. When you have banked 60 HELIOS credits, you qualify for a reduction in your teaching load one time by 3 contact hours (15 contact hours instead of 18), a course release of 3 contact hours. You may only take a HELIOS course release once every three years (twice per sabbatical cycle). Additional credits beyond that are compensated at $115/credit. During the summer, faculty members who supervise collaborative research through the internal grants are compensated with a modest stipend. A faculty member can build into the budgets of external grant proposals (e.g., to the National Science Foundation) a summer salary (e.g., equivalent to two months of your 9-month base salary).
Funding for collaborative research comes from several sources.
- Faculty start-up packages (negotiate for what you need to be successful in starting your research program at Skidmore for up to three years – instruments/equipment needed, consumables, chemicals, services, and to pay undergraduate researchers a stipend & to cover their room & board over the summer- contact department chair, Juan Navea, or search chair, Kelly Sheppard, about those costs)
- Departmental operating budget (including common items like gloves), indirect funds, and funds from donors
- Capital & minor project budget requests(equipment and instruments over $1,000)
- Internal awards for summer faculty-student collaborative research (FSSR and Schupf)
- Faculty Development awards
- External grant awards (e.g., NSF, NIH, ACS-PRF, Research Corporation, the Dreyfus Foundation, etc.) – The Office of Sponsored Research helps in applying for and administering funded grant proposals.
Each fall the Department invites students in chemistry courses at all levels to attend our Research Open House. As an incentive, we provide food and refreshments. At the Research Open House, we briefly introduce our research and then open our research spaces so our current undergraduate researchers can talk with interested students. Students are also encouraged to meet with faculty to further discuss interests. Students then fill out an interest form. As not all interested students might attend the Open House, we also send out via e-mail the interest form along with links to faculty research interests. Once students turn in the interest forms, we look them over as a Department and maximize how many students take part in collaborative research including when interests align matching students with faculty outside the Department (e.g., Biology, Geosciences, Neurosciences, Environmental Science, and Physics). We also encourage students we teach and advise to participate in collaborative research and point out it is a high-impact learning experience as well as that summer research funding includes room and board is covered with students earning a stipend on top of that. We highlight how anyone can be a scientist.
Our Peer-led Team Learning mentors and Peer Academic Coaches also encourage other students to participate in collaborative research. We also make collaborative research a central feature of our end-of-the-semester celebrations. In collaboration with the tour guides in admissions, we have worked on getting the message out that collaborative research is for everyone and students can start as early as their first year in college.
During the academic year and summer, it varies by faculty member. There is no set
size or expectation. Faculty members determine the size of their groups based on the
nature of the projects, faculty member availability given other responsibilities,
student interest, safety concerns, and or funding. Currently, the size of the groups
during the academic year average around 6-7 students (range 2 to 18) with an average
of 3 students at the 100-level (1 credit per semester, 3-5 hours per week), 1-2 students
at the 200-level (2 credits per semester, 6-8 hours per week), and 2 students at the
300-level (3 or credits per semester, 9-11 or 12-15 hours per week). Research groups
tend to be larger in the Spring than the Fall as new students sign-up after the Fall
Research Open House for the subsequent semester to start research.
During the summer, it is typically 0-6 students per lab, depending on the nature of the projects, faculty and student availability, and funding.
Skidmore’s federal F&A (indirect) cost rate is 64% of direct salaries and wages. The return policy is for 20% of the indirect costs to be returned to the department and 10% of the indirect costs to be returned to a research account for the P.I. to support their scholarship.
As a small liberal arts college, Skidmore College faculty members have a substantial
role in supporting students as academic advisors and governing the college through
departmental and all-college service. We rely on our tenure-stream faculty members
to provide most of this service in accordance with their rank (i.e., Assistant Professors have lower service expectations than Associate Professors,
especially during their first couple years at Skidmore). With regards to the three
criteria for tenure (teaching, research, and service), teaching is the primary criterion
with research a close second, while service is expected at a modest level (a split
of 50% teaching, 40% research, and 10% service). Faculty members who are promoted
from Associate Professor to Professor are "expected to play a leading role in the
service that sustains the college community".
Service typically is categorized as follows: departmental service, college service, advising, being references for students & alumni when they apply for opportunities and awards, and service to the field. Departmental service, college service, and advising are detailed more below.
Service to the field can include reviewing manuscripts and grant applications, being an editor or associate editor for a journal, being an officer in a professional society or on one their committees, helping plan or chair meetings, mentoring beyond Skidmore, consulting, and outreach into the community. Like with other service, the expectations for service to the field are much lower for new Assistant Professors than more senior colleagues, and is often to the extent desired by the faculty member.
As a small liberal arts college, we get to know our students well. Accordingly, we serve as well-informed references for our students. For those applying to graduate programs, awards & scholarships, and internships, faculty members write letters of recommendation. For job applications, it can be talking with an employer, answering standard questions through an electronic form or via e-mail, or by writing a letter of recommendation.
To help run the Department, all full-time faculty members engage in departmental service with a higher expectation for the associate chair and especially the chair. We have monthly department meetings that all full-time faculty members not on leave (e.g., pre-tenure research leave, sabbatical, and parental leave) are expected to attend when they are able. We rotate each semester who takes minutes (first-year faculty members are exempt from taking minutes). All full-time faculty members have equal voice and vote in department meetings. We have six standing department committees (Curricular Assessment, Safety, Awards, Department Event Planning, Instrumentation & Capital Requests, and Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility) that meet about 1-4 times per semester. Additional responsibilities as needed are taking part in ad hoc committees, job searches, supporting the chair and associate chair in ACS accreditation (every six years) and departmental self-studies (every ten years), and personnel decisions (required of tenure-stream faculty members in at least their third year of service at the College). Additional roles can also include overseeing the Chemistry Placement Diagnostic or the department webpage as desired.
The shared governance model at Skidmore means the faculty play a central role in shaping the procedures and policies on campus especially as they relate to academic affairs. Pre-tenure assistant professors in their first two years at Skidmore are not expected to serve on the all-college governance committees. In their third year, they are expected to put their name into the ad hoc pool to serve as a fill-in on governance committee for a faculty member on leave or on ad hoc working groups. The year after their pre-tenure research leave, Assistant Professors are expected to contribute to an all-college governance committee (typically a three-year term). All other tenure-stream faculty members are expected to serve a three-year term for all-college governance once per sabbatical cycle (i.e., one three-year term per seven years). Additional opportunities to serve the college as desired include serving on the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) or a college safety committee (e.g., Radiation Safety Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the College Safety Committee), facilitating a Scholarly and Creative Endeavors work group, and helping craft institutional grants. As noted above, such college service is not expected early in a faculty member’s career.
Faculty in their first year at Skidmore typically do not advise students and aren’t
expected to do so. A tenure stream faculty member in Chemistry most years advise 4-12
students per year. Students must declare a major by the spring of their second year.
When they declare, they get an advisor in the major. Advising loads tend to be higher
in the Spring because of that. When another faculty member goes on pre-tenure leave
or sabbatical, their advisees get distributed to other members of the department.
As academic advisors, we meet with our advisees at least once a semester. We help students deal with challenges they are facing acdemically & let them know about resources they have available (e.g., Student Academic Services, Peer Academic Coaches, Counseling Center), plan out their course schedules, making sure they can graduate on time by fulfilling the requirements of the major and general education curriculum, explore their interests, discuss with them and encourage them to explore opportunities (e.g., collaborative research, internships, studying abroad, etc.), and think about their next steps after Skidmore. For career planning, we often will review resumes and talk job options while encouraging use of the Career Development Center and Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) for those interested in careers in the health professions. For those students going onto graduate school, academic advisors along with research mentors help students figure out which schools to apply to and how to assemble their application materials as well as provide feedback on those materials.
Prior to declaring a major, students have their Scribner Seminar instructor as their academic advisor.Thus, when you teach a Scribner Seminar your advising load increases that year and the subsequent year until those students declare a major by an additional 16-19 students.
The Office of Academic Advising provides support to faculty members in terms of advising and helping students. If you elect to be a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC), you then have an additional responsibility of advising 15-25 pre-health students through their pre-health tracks. HPAC service is not required nor expected. It is one of many service options you can pursue if you so desire. Kelly Sheppard is currently chair of HPAC. Ray Giguere has served on the committee for several years.
- Competitive start-up funds and a research lab to support your scholarship. Regarding start-up, you should negotiate for what you need in your first three years to be successful. Please discuss with Department Chair Juan Navea or Search Chair Kelly Sheppard. The $100,000 to $150,000 range has been typical of late. Research space in the Center for Integrated Sciences is next to the other Chemistry research spaces, and is a short walk to the 400 MHz NMR spectrometer as well as the SAIL facility and your office. The space has a glove box and fume hoods. If your space needs renovation, the Department puts in a capital request that covers that cost. Those renovation costs do NOT come out of your start-up funds.
- Furnished office with computer (choice of Mac or PC). The College has site licenses for software including ChemDraw, MS Office Suite (Word, Power Point, Excel, OneNote, and Outlook), Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Box, Adobe Creative Suite, Mathematica, Gaussian, R-Studio, and SPSS.
- In the annual departmental operating budget, $500 are set aside for each faculty member to cover societal memberships, buying books, paying for subscriptions, and other professional obligations and development. Additional funding can be requested.
- In the Dean of Faculty’s Office, the Travel to Read/Travel to Represent program funds a faculty member up to $1,600 a year for professional travel (e.g., to conferences). The funding covers travel, registration, hotel, and meals. Additional funding can be requested.
- Internal grants to fund collaborative research projectswith students during the summer (student stipend, faculty stipend, student room & board, and small amount for supplies). The Chemistry Department is building a departmental endowment to also help fund summer collaborative research with students.
- Scribner Library Open Access Grant Fund to help pay for open access publication fees.
- Scribner Library has access to a wide range of chemistry journals including those published by ACS.
- Faculty development and initiative grants provide support to faculty to begin new projects or enhance current work (curricular pedagogy and scholarship).
- Student Travel to Present program funds students presenting and attending conferences. The funding covers travel, registration, hotel, and meals.
- In terms of indirect costs from external grant awards (rate: 64% of salaries and wages funded through the award), 20% of the indirect costs go back to the Department to support research activities and 10% of the indirect costs go into an account line for the PI to use related to supporting their research.
- Skidmore College has an institutional membership to the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), which enables faculty members to join for free.
- A course release in the first year so instead of 18 contact hours the first year, you teach 14-15 contact hours. The release gives you more time to prepare for your courses and to set up your research lab.
- Intergroup Relations (IGR) provides workshops for faculty members to address racial conflict and other diversity related issues in the classroom as well as on campus and in their lives. Three chemistry faculty members have taken part in IGR training.
- The Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning(CLTL) runs a New Faculty Learning Community to provide a mentoring network for new faculty members. Additional mentoring programs run through the CLTL include for First Year Experience: Scribner Seminar, as well as for teaching in general. CLTL also provides training for faculty members as they take on leadership roles (e.g., chairing a department).
- The CLTL also runs a number of pedagogy workshops and career discussions to help support faculty members. The CLTL also maintains a link to additional resources. Particular emphasis of the CLTL has been building an inclusive educational community on campus.
- The CLTL also has mini-grants to “support events and projects that seek to enhance diversity and inclusion-related pedagogical efforts within the Skidmore College community.”
- The Science Faculty Discussion Group provides an opportunity for science faculty members to support one another and discuss lab management, mentoring of students, applying for grants, and their research across disciplines.
- Scholarly and Creative Endeavors Work Groups provide a supportive community of scholars/practitioners across disciplines through the sharing of writing, research, and creative portfolios. Groups discuss scholarship and creative work at various stages of the process, successes and challenges in the classroom and in scholarship, leadership opportunities, career transitions, and mentoring. The CLTL pays for the groups to meet over lunch once a week.
- Sponsored Research Office supports developing, writing, and submitting grant proposals as well as managing funded proposals.
- Black Faculty/Staff Group strengthens the relationships amongst Black faculty and staff; builds community and outreach to students, educates and engages with the community on issues related to race, the Black experience, and anti-racism; develops relationships with Black community members off-campus, caucuses with other communities of color on campus, and strengthens relationships with allies.
- Faculty Handbook, Chair/Director Handbook, and Faculty Development Handbook.
- Collaborative and supportive departmental environment.
- Departmental scheduling to reduce the number of different courses you teach each semester, especially for new faculty members, as well as to reduce the number of new course preps before going up for tenure.
- Clear departmental personnel policies and procedures for tenure.
- Departmental peer class observations focused on developing as a teacher.
- Departmental repository of practices and resources regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and access.
- Departmental repository of example grant proposals, materials for organizing and managing your research group, teaching students how to write and present, and writing letters of recommendation.
- Paid student assistants to help prepare laboratory courses (e.g., make solutions, prepare small equipment, test protocols, etc.) and/or grade homework.
- The Department maintains a Scholarship Statement to communicate to new faculty members, the Appointments & Tenure Committee, and the Dean of Faculty’s Office, scholarship expectations and norms for chemistry programs at small liberal arts colleges.
- Pre-tenure faculty members may take a pre-tenure research leave during their 4thyear for one semester at full pay or for the full-year at half pay (grant funding can cover the other half). Faculty members may take a sabbatical after six full years of service since their pre-tenure research leave or last sabbatical (i.e., if a faculty member takes a pre-tenure research leave in their 4th year then their first sabbatical will be in their 11thyear).Full-year Sabbatical Enhancement Award enables 60% of salary with a full-year sabbatical or pre-tenure research leave.
- Skidmore provides parental leave(birth parent/primary caregiver 1 paid semester off and non-birth parent/non-primary caregiver one course release).
- Extension of the tenure clock (Faculty Handbook VIII.E.4.d, page 126) for childbirth, adoption, or personal hardship.
The base salaries for faculty members are for the 9-month academic year (September-May) paid out biweekly over 9 months your first year (September-May) and over twelve months the subsequent years (June-May). Base salaries for new faculty members are determined by several factors including years of prior experience and market forces, especially for in-demand fields. Skidmore does make public to the Skidmore community the minimum starting salaries for new faculty members. Recent tenure stream hires in Chemistry typically have been hired with 9-month salaries above the minimum taking into account experience after earning their doctorates and the job market for chemists. Please discuss with the Department Chair, Juan Navea, and Search Chair, Kelly Sheppard.
Minimum starting salary, assistant professor - $72,588
Minimum starting salary, associate professor - $86,400
Minimum starting salary, professor - $106,590
Note – The College’s contributions towards retirement are on top of your base salary (see Retirement Benefits for more details) after a year of employment at Skidmore. If you are already participating in a retirement plan at a qualifying institution, the year employment requirement maybe waived. If you are under 50 years old, Skidmore contributes the equivalent to 11% of your base salary to your retirement plan. If you are 50 or older, Skidmore contributes the equivalent to 12% of your base salary towards your retirement. Employees are not required to contribute to the retirement plan but can if they so desire up to the maximum determined by the IRS each calendar year.
Base salaries can be supplemented. If you have external funding, you can build in summer salary. For example, a few members of the Chemistry Department have NSF grants that pay two-months of summer salary (to calculate the two-month salary multiple the base 9-month salary by 2/9). In addition, internal awards for summer collaborative research pay faculty a modest summer stipend if they aren’t already being paid for summer research. Supervising students in collaborative research during the academic year can earn you an additional stipend each year (or a course release every three-years) based on the number of credits supervised (please see the HELIOS program for details). Advising or teaching a course over the summer can also earn you an additional stipend. Faculty members who take on administrative roles can also earn a stipend (e.g., associate chair) or an additional month of salary (e.g., chairing the Chemistry Department, which also comes with two course releases).
The College provides a number of competitive benefits to faculty and staff. The summaries below are for general information. Please read the HR Benefits pages for key details. Please also see the Domestic Partnership Benefits Policy.
- Health Care Benefits
- Dental Benefits
- Life and Dependent Life Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Retirement Benefits– College contributes the equivalent to 10% (under 50) or 11% (50 or over) of the employee’s base salary towards the employee’s retirement plan and contributes an additional equivalent to 1% of salary towards the retirement plan in lieu of retirement health benefits (11% total if under 50, 12% total if 50 or older). The contributions are on-top of your base salary. Employees can contribute on top of the College’s contribution up to the limits set by the IRS. Employees are eligible for the contributions to the retirement plan after 1 year of employment; the year requirement may be waived if the employee worked previously at a post-secondary, degree-granting institution or a qualified research organization considered tax-exempt under code 501c(3) of the IRC, and the employee has participated in their previous employer’s 401(a), 403(a) or 403(b) basic retirement plan.
- Tuition Benefits(Internal– up to 100% of tuition cost for dependents attending Skidmore; Skidmore participates in the Tuition Exchange Program; and External Tuition Benefits)
- Faculty Parental Leave
- On-site childcare (spots do fill-up quickly)
- Free and green transportation optionsincludes free rides on Capital District buses with Skidmore ID and free bicycle rentals also available. Resources for arranging carpools. In addition, two of the campus parking lots have electric-vehicle chargers.
- Downtown Purchase Discounts
- Professional Development
Skidmore College is a selective, private liberal arts college founded on the principle of making connections between theory and practice, between the mind and the hand. Skidmore College started off as an all-women’s institution in downtown Saratoga Springs, NY. Skidmore moved to its current location on the northern edge of Saratoga Springs next to the North Woods in 1961 and began admitting men in 1971. Currently enrolling over 2,650 matriculated students, Skidmore is committed to teaching students to be active participants in our world who approach problem solving from particularly creative and interdisciplinary perspectives. An example of this educational paradigm is our Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, which has earned a national reputation for pushing beyond the boundaries of a traditional college museum to develop cutting-edge, exhibition-based pedagogies across the curriculum, including Molecules that Matter originated and co-curated by Ray Giguere in chemistry. Skidmore College’s slogan is Creative Thought Matters to “capture the central role that creativity plays on campus, not just in the arts but also in fields such as science, business, communications and the social sciences”.
The College employs 286 full-time faculty members and an additional 103 part-time faculty members with an 8:1 on-campus student to faculty ratio. Just over two-thirds of the full-time faculty members are tenure stream. The College’s 2005-2015 Strategic Plan laid out an ambitious goal of increasing the number of natural science majors by 50%. The College surpassed that goal with an increase of 90%. Currently, about one-third of all students major in the natural sciences at Skidmore.
The College’s 2005-2015 Strategic Plan also called on Skidmore to diversify its student body along with its faculty and staff. It has been successful in those endeavors as well. In 2007, just 10% of the graduating
class were domestic students of color and 1% were international students. Currently,
26% of students identify as domestic students of color, while 11% are international
students. Over the same timeframe, the percent of graduates who were Pell-eligible
increased from 11% to 19% of the student body. Currently, at least 16% are students
with disabilities based on those who have contacted Student Access Services. Based on a recent HEDS survey, 32% of students are LGBQ+ and 2% are transgendered
students. The College’s current Strategic Plan Creating Pathways to Excellence acknowledges we must do more than diversify our community; we also must be committed
to “fully embrace our individual differences (e.g., personality, learning style, life
experiences), as well as group and social differences (relating, e.g., to race or
ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability, as well
as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations).” It is a call for inclusive
To that end, in 2020 the College started its Racial Justice Initiative and recently opened the Wycoff Center, "a dedicated space to discuss, collaborate and think creatively about equity and inclusion." Skidmore is a founding participant in the USC Race and Equity Center: Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Alliance (LACRELA). Skidmore was recently funded a three-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant on Africana Studies and the Humanities: Transnational Explorations in Social Justice. In addition, Skidmore is a member of of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence 3 Initative. As part of that initiative, Skidmore with 14 other institutions are embarking on a six-year $8 million grant, Empowering Institutions to Develop DEIJA-Centered Systems for Teaching and Learning, to engage in cycles of inquiry to develop processes i) to evaluate teaching with a DEIJA-centered focus and ii) for data-informed improvement of DEIJA decision making and outcomes. Chemistry faculty are heavily involved in the HHMI IE3 grant with Kim Frederick serving as the College's program director and Kelly Sheppard leading the data-informed project at Skidmore.
Staring with the entering class in 2020 (graduating class of 2024), students are under a new general education curriculum that puts a greater emphasis on integrative learning both within a major and across the liberal arts. The goal is for students to make meaningful and productive connections among the courses, ideas, and experiences of a liberal arts education by being more intentional in this process. The new general education curriculum has four major components. 1) Integrations– moments where students are asked to be more reflective about their education and to make connections across disciplinary boundaries. The required integrative courses are the First Year Experience: Scribner Seminar, the Bridge Experience: Power & Justice, and the Senior Experience: The Coda. 2) Foundations– courses centered around developing the skills and competencies expected of a graduate with a liberal arts education. The required foundation courses are Applied Quantitative Reasoning, Global Cultural Perspectives, Language Study, and Writing. 3) Inquiries– courses centered on engaging students in particular approaches to studying our world and how we express ourselves. The required inquiry courses are Artistic Inquiry, Humanistic Inquiry, and Scientific Inquiry. 4) In the Major– a set of skills and literacies to be developed and refined through the major. The requirements in the major are communication (written and oral), technology literacy, visual literacy, and information literacy.
The Skidmore College Chemistry Department aspires to be a model of an equitable, inclusive, and accessible program that offers students a supportive and high-quality education in chemistry, integrated with the other liberal arts, for both majors and non-majors, and, in the context of being a primarily undergraduate institution, is productive in research that actively engages our students in our scholarship. We therefore fully embrace the teacher-scholar-mentor model as the hallmark of successful chemistry departments at small liberal arts colleges. Supporting each and every student through equitable and inclusive practices is an important departmental goal (please see our Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Statement and Action Items). The Department is accredited by the American Chemical Society and we offer two majors, i) a Chemistry major and ii) a Chemistry major with a biochemistry concentration as well as a minor in Chemistry. Please see our student learning goals as well.
Over the last few years, we have averaged 21 total majors per graduating class. About 94% of our majors take part in collaborative research during their time at Skidmore. After graduating, about 35% of our majors enter graduate programs in chemistry, biochemistry, or a related field. Another 31% enroll in graduate programs in health care, primarily medicine, while 8% choose other graduate programs including pursing an MBA or a JD. Of those who don’t pursue an advanced degree, they find employment in a wide range of positions in academia and industry as well as health care, sales, science education, and outreach.
Our majors mirror the diversity of the Skidmore student population if looking separately at race and gender with 25% of our majors being domestic students of color and 55% women. However, Black and Latina women are underrepresented as Chemistry majors compared to the College as a whole. In addition, our majors are more likely to be Pell-eligible than the overall Skidmore student body. With regards to S3M Scholars, a financial need-based scholarship for talented students interested in the natural sciences, about 8% of our majors are S3M Scholars compared to 3% of the students who major in the other natural sciences at Skidmore. Please read our Equity, Inclusion, and Justice statement and action items to see how we are supporting our diverse student body and seeking to do better.
We are currently comprised of 14 faculty members (7 tenure stream faculty, 2 instructors, 2 teaching professors, and 3 visiting assistant professors), covering the five main sub-disciplines of chemistry, plus two administrative assistants (shared with Biology) and an instrumentation manager (shared with SAIL). Many of our laboratory courses incorporate projects and have students design their own experiments in a cooperative fashion with their classmates. In the classroom, we use multiple active learning pedagogies including group work with worksheets such as Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), pair-sharing, small group discussions, clickers, and Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL). Many of us also use pre-course reflections to learn about our students and to get the students to connect their personal values with what we teach in our courses. We incorporate Universal Design for Learning and differentiated learning approaches. We have also designed more inclusive syllabi to be transparent, to better highlight strategies and approaches for success, and to communicate that we care and are here for our students. To cut back on the costs of taking chemistry courses, many of us use open educational resources (OERs) in place of traditional textbooks, including Chemistry from OpenStax for our 100-level courses. In addition, we do NOT charge lab fees.
Instrumentation and Equipment
The Department has multiple instruments for research and teaching including spectrometers (UV-vis, FTIR, Raman, and NMR), a GC, an HPLC, a gas sorption analyzer, a capillary electrophoresis system, a scanning spectrofluorimeter, an IC, microwave reactor, and a microwave sample digester as well as multiple rotary evaporators and typical other equipment (e.g., analytical balances, heat blocks, freezers, drying ovens, etc.) and glassware. The spaces are equipped with multiple fume hoods, including those that are ADA compliant, with one research space also having a new glove box. The recently purchased NMR spectrometer is a 400 MHz instrument with autosampler. The NSF funded SAIL has a GC-MS, an LC-MS, an FTIR, an atomic absorption spectrometer, an HPLC, an IC, an XRD, and XRF that are often used by members of the Department. Dr. Lisa Quimby serves as the instrument manager for both Chemistry and SAIL. SMIC houses a SEM, a TEM, two confocal laser scanning microscopes, and multiple light microscopes. Juan Navea and Kim Frederick were co-PIs of the College’s Sherman Fairchild funded proposal that is bringing in an additional $494,240 in new instrumentation to Skidmore College (2020-2025) including for a new Raman microscope and electron spin resonance spectrometer. The College uses the REMI Group to cover the costs associated with maintaining and repairing the instruments. The Department annually submits capital budget requests to purchase new equipment and instruments in addition to seeking external funding. The equipment and instruments are housed in the newly opened Center for Integrated Sciences (see next paragraph).
Center for Integrated Sciences
Skidmore has completed and is occupying the 118,000 square feet of new construction for the Center for Integrated Sciences (CIS), including the teaching and research spaces for the Chemistry Department (see next paragraph). The new construction wraps around the original Dana facility, which is now under renovation. Once the renovation of Dana is completed, the 10 Natural Science programs at Skidmore will be united in one modern, forward-thinking facility that has integrative learning and collaboration at the forefront with accessibility built-in and natural light to invite and welcome students into the sciences.
The Chemistry Department is located in the newly constructed wings of the CIS, so the Department is now entirely housed in modern spaces. Chemistry occupies the North (completed Summer 2020) and East Wings (completed Summer 2022) of the third floor of the CIS. The space in the North Wing includes the teaching laboratories for 100-level Chemistry courses (CH 115, CH 125, and CH 126) and synthetic chemistry (CH 221, CH 222, and CH 314) as well as the recently acquired 400 MHz NMR spectrometer with autosampler funded through a 2020 NSF MRI grant. The Chemistry research spaces are in the East Wing along with faculty offices and the teaching laboratory for physical and analytical chemistry courses (CH 232, CH 332, and CH 333). The Skidmore Analytical Interdisciplinary Laboratory (SAIL), which houses several instruments used by Chemistry, is also very conveniently co-localized on the third floor of the East Wing with Chemistry.
The Chemistry spaces are designed with team and active, project-based teaching laboratories
in mind (e.g., CUREs) including dry spaces for students to plan and discuss their lab work together. The
Chemistry research labs in the East Wing are designed with collaborative research
with students in mind to build community and encourage conversations while facilitating
high-quality specialized research. Research space is available for the new hire that
includes multiple fume hoods and a glove box.
The research and teaching laboratories and offices for the two biochemists in the Chemistry Department are a floor below, on the second floor of the East Wing, to be co-localized with the faculty members on the molecular and cellular end of Biology and Neuroscience.
The third floor of the North Wing of the CIS also houses Mathematics & Statistics. Environmental Studies & Sciences is located on the second floor of the CIS (North and East Wings) along with the ecology and evolutionary biology spaces of Biology (North Wing), the Skidmore Microscopy Imaging Center (SMIC) (North Wing), and Computer Science (North Wing). On the first floor of the CIS is Geosciences (East Wing), the rest of Biology (North and East Wings), the animal facility (North Wing), the Machine Shop (East Wing), and the IDEA Lab (East Wing).
The final phase of the project to renovate the original Dana facility started this summer. Once completed (expected summer 2024), Physics will move from temporary space in the Annex to occupy the third floor of the renovated Dana facility. Psychology will move out of the Tisch Learning Center to also occupy the third floor of renovated Dana. Health & Human Physiological Sciences will move out of the Williamson Sports Center to occupy the second floor of the renovated Dana facility along with Neuroscience.
Saratoga Springs, New York
Skidmore College is located in Saratoga Springs, NY with a population of over 26,500, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks just 30 miles north of Albany, NY. Saratoga Springs ranks as one of the best college towns(Travel & Leisure) with one of “America’s Greatest Main Streets” (Travel & Leisure). Money Magazine has ranked it as one of the nation’s top 100 places to live. The downtown is full of restaurants (top five in the US for restaurants per capita), shops, spas, and hotels. Caffè Lena, where Ani DeFranco and Bob Dylan got their starts, is downtown with Congress Park and a number of the mineral springs the city became famous for during the 19thcentury. The Saratoga Springs Farmer’s Market is downtown on Wednesdays and Saturdays (May-October) at High Rock Park. November-April, the Farmer’s Market moves indoors to the Lincoln Baths Building (Saturdays only). Just west of downtown lies the Beekman Street Arts District, which is home to additional restaurants, galleries, shops, and the historic Frederick Allen Lodge.
A major draw during the summer are the horse races at the Saratoga Race Track. The races go from mid-July through Labor Day including the Travers Stakes. Beyond horse racing, a number of annual events are hosted in the local area throughout the year including Saratoga First Night, Chowderfest, Victorian Street Walk, Summer Concert Series, road races, restaurant week, and wine festivals. On the southern edge of the city, is Saratoga Spa State Park where the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is located. SPAC is the summer home of the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. SPAC also hosts a number of Live Nation Concerts(Rock, Country, and Hip Hop) and events for families. SPAC is also the location for Skidmore commencement ceremonies. Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center also hosts a number of performances and events. Nearby is the Saratoga National Historic Park, site of the Battle of Saratoga, as well as Saratoga Lake. With the Adirondacks nearby, there are plenty of hiking opportunities. Lake George and Lake Placid are short drives away. For skiing, Whiteface and Gore mountains in New York are close-by as are Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont.
Capital District Metro Area
Saratoga Springs is part of the Capital District metropolitan area of about 1.2 million residents. Albany (the capital of the state of New York), Schenectady, and Troy form the Tri-City core of the region. The region boasts a number of museums, performance venues(e.g., the Egg, the Palace Theatre, Proctor’s Theatre, and the Times Union Center), and other attractions with a number of events throughout the year. CDTA runs buses throughout the region, including a bus stop at Skidmore which is free to ride with a Skidmore ID. Professional sports teams that play in the area include the Tri-City Valley Cats (minor league baseball), the Albany Empire (National Arena League Football), and the Adirondack Thunder (ECHL hockey).
Albany International Airport is served by a number of different carriers (United, Delta, Air Canada, Southwest, American Airlines, Allegiant, Frontier, and Jet Blue). The Capital District is also served by Amtrak(stops in Rensselaer-Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs) with service to New York City and Montreal (Adirondack Service) as well as Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls (Empire Service), Boston and Chicago (Lake Shore Limited), and Toronto (Maple Leaf Service). Cities in the greater region are easily accessible within three hours by driving, including New York City to the south, Rochester to the west, Montreal to the north, and Boston to the east.
Other colleges and universities in the area include:
- Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
- Albany Law School
- Albany Medical College
- Clarkson University Capital Region Campus
- College of St. Rose
- Excelsior University
- Hudson Valley Community College
- Maria College
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
- Russell Sage College
- Siena College
- SUNY-Adirondack Community College
- SUNY- Empire State College
- SUNY-Polytechnic Institute, Albany
- Includes the AlbanyNanotech Complex, partneships include IBM, Global Foundries, Samsung, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML, and Lam Research.
- SUNY-Schenectady Community College
- Union College
- University at Albany (SUNY)
Beyond the state government of New York and institutions of higher education, major employers in the region include:
- Skidmore Housing Forum
- Skidmore’s Local and Regional Cultural Resources Guide
- Relocating to Saratoga Springs
- Saratoga Springs Real Estate and Rentals
- Capital Region Visitors Guide
- Albany/Capital Region Seasonal & Specialty Guides
- Lodging in Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area
- Schools in the area: