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Skidmore College
Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs


September 11, 1998
Gannett Auditorium


President Porter called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. 


The minutes of the May 1, 1998 and the May 13, 1998 meeting were approved as written. 


President Porter talked about the process of review for administrators who sit on President’s Staff. On consultation with CAPT and CFG, it was decided that the review would be suspended this year for Chris Hoek, who is leaving the College to take another job. We will use the current year to review the process, with the expectation of resumption next year.

The President announced that Tom Lewis, Professor of English, won an Emmy Award in the "Best Historical Programing" category for his television documentary, "Divided Highways: The Interstates and the Transformation of American Life." He received a Peabody Award last May for the same documentary.

The President gave the Admissions report. He reported that, last year, Skidmore had the highest number of applications ever (5,443). Acceptance rate was 49%; SAT scores were 30 points higher for applicants and 20 points higher for students who were enrolled (with the median at 1,200 this year, which is the highest ever). The class includes 40% early decision students (35% last year), 39% male students (38% last year), and 11% students of color (the same as last year). Inquiries and campus visits are up for the Class of 2003. Financial aid will continue to be a challenge even though $20 million in endowment has been added through the recent campaign. There are 2,188 students enrolled this year. President Porter thanked Mary Lou Bates, Robert Shorb and Kent Jones for this year’s exceptional class.

The President talked about the Board’s approval of a bond issue for about $10 million to finance a series of projects discussed last spring: the Starbuck Student Services Center; the reconfiguration of space in Palamountain Hall; a series of projects in Case including a multicultural center and a faculty/staff lounge; the Filene expansion; and the walkway transitions between the upper campus and the museum.

The President also reported that the campaign raised a total of $86.5 million. The goal was $78 million. Almost 40% of this year’s entering class are funded by college aid, and the entire student body is funded at 37%. There are eleven new endowed chairs. The Annual Fund for 1997-98 raised $3 million; the Parents Fund raised $500,000; participation in the Annual Fund was 43%, which is also a record. President Porter thanked the Development/Alumni Affairs staff for their fine work. He also thanked the on-campus community for their support: campus campaign final figures are $1.25 million, with 555 people making commitments.

The President reported that in August the Board of Trustees unanimously authorized moving forward with the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery even though that facility will be more expensive than originally anticipated. Construction costs are now estimated at $9.1 million; of this amount, approximately $7.5 million has already been pledged, another $1-1.25 million is in the pipeline, and the remainder will be made up from unrestricted campaign funds. As context for this decision, the President cited the fact that the campaign had significantly exceeded it’s goal. Ground breaking will be this coming spring, and the building should be completed at the beginning of the academic year 2000-01.

The President reported on the transitions that have or will take place at Skidmore. As of July 1, Joan Dayton became the Chair of the Board of Trustees; Phyllis Roth, currently Dean of the Faculty, will be Interim President of Skidmore starting in January. The President also took this opportunity to introduce his immediate staff: Phyllis Roth, Dean of the Faculty; Chris Hoek, VP of Development and Alumni Affairs; Pat Oles, Interim Dean of Student Affairs; Karl Broekhuizen, Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer; Don McCormack, Dean of Special Programs; and Kent Jones, Dean of Enrollment and College Relations. Chris Hoek, Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs, will be taking another position at the end of the calendar year. Marny Krause will be the Acting Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs after Chris leaves. Susan Bender will be Acting Dean of the Faculty while Phyllis Roth is in the President’s office. 

The President announced that we have fourteen endowed chairs, including eleven added during the campaign.

  • The Class of 1948 Chair for Excellence in Teaching
  • The Robert Davidson Chair in Art
  • The Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum/Art Gallery
  • The Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History, Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • The F. William Harder Chair of Business Administration
  • The Kenan Chair of Liberal Arts
  • The Charles Lubin Family Chair for Women in Science
  • The Joseph C. Palalmountain Jr. Chair in Government
  • The Quadracci Chair in Social Responsibility
  • The Courtney and Steven Ross Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • The Tisch Chair in Arts and Letters
  • The Ella Van Dyke Tuthill ’32 Chair in Studio Art
  • The Zankel Chair in Management for Liberal Arts Students 

In addition to the chairs listed by Dr. Porter, Phyllis Roth, Dean of the Faculty, announced, "The David H. Porter Chair at Skidmore College" to celebrate the accomplishments of Skidmore’s fifth president, David H. Porter. 


Phyllis Roth introduced the new members of Skidmore’s faculty including the new F. William Harder Chair, William Edwards, and the Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Felice Frankel. (See Attachment A.) Also introduced were those members of the faculty who have returned from leave as well as Fran Hoffmann who has returned to Skidmore College for a year as Acting Director of Institutional Research and Acting Associate Dean of the Faculty. Susan Bender was introduced as the new Associate Dean of the Faculty. Phyllis also thanked Bob DeSieno for his role as Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty for Faculty Development plus his important additional roles on several committees this year.

Karl Broekhuizen introduced Tracy Roberts, Accounting Manager, and who is a new member of Financial Services.

Pat Oles, Dean of Student Affairs, introduced the following people new to his staff:

  • Sister Rosemary Sgroi, Catholic Chaplain
  • Dolores Wilson, Nurse Practitioner, Health Services
  • Patricia Bosen, Nurse Practitioner, Health Services
  • Kathleen Buckley, Chaplain, Student Affairs – Now is full-time
  • Tom Barkley, Substance Abuse Counselor

Ann Henderson introduced Joe Stankovich, Research Associate, Registrar’s Office.

Mary Lou Bates introduced Angel Perez, who is a new Assistant Director of Admissions

Ben Price, Director of Facilities Services, introduced the following new people:

  • Fred DiMauro, Assistant Director and Senior Project Manager
  • Matt Baker, Supervisor of Mechanical Trades
  • Todd Bermann, Supervisor of Building Trades
  • Craig Richards, Housekeeping Supervisor
  • Peter Migliorini, Assistant supervisor, Housekeeping
  • Alex Gillman, Surrey Innkeeper
  • Jim Voorhies, Supervisor of Grounds and Transportation
  • Larry Krison, Project Manager
  • Don Roques, Project Manager

In addition, Ben introduced Rebecca Smith, who has been promoted to Assistant Project Manager.

Leo Geoffrion introduced the following people new to his staff:

  • Phylise Banner, User Services Trainer and Documentation Coordinator
  • Matthew Hasselbacher, User Services Consultant
  • John Sanders, User Services Consultant

Betty O’Connor introduced Robert Glasser, Program-Analyst and a new member of the CITS staff. 


Murray J. Levith reported that the Presidential Search Committee is right on schedule and candidates are being interviewed at the present time. A report will be made to the Board of Trustees at their October meeting on the progress of the search.

Don McCormack, Dean of Special Programs, reported that they had a very busy summer with no major problems. The programs ran superbly well with about 90 faculty members participating in the various programs during the summer. The Boys Club of Harlem was here for their eighth year. Don McCormack thanked the faculty and staff, especially Maureen Phillips, who will be leaving her position, after 18 years of loyal service to his Department and the College.

Michael Arnush spoke for the Honors Forum. Forty-five students were offered admission as Honor Forum students, 40 accepted. There are a total of 71 Honors Forum students (40 first-year students and 31 sophomores). There are 10-12 courses that are proposed for this spring and next fall. He hears from faculty members that they want Honors Forum courses, but Michael needs to hear from the faculty to determine exactly how many courses should be offered. He extended an invitation to the faculty to submit proposals for courses next spring and next fall as well. The calendar of events that the Honors Forum and Honors Council will sponsor this fall is full, and the spring calendar is already filling up. He reminded everyone that the 15th is the deadline for spring course revisions for Honors Forum. He will be getting back to the members of the faculty this semester about the one-credit and two-credit courses. They are discussing it with the Deans Office. 


There was no old business to discuss. 


Betty Balevic spoke for CFG (Committee on Faculty Governance) regarding the changes to the Faculty Handbook. (See Attachment B.) 


That the faculty adopts the changes to the 1998-99 Faculty Handbook.

This motion was seconded and will lie over for a vote at the October 2 meeting.

Betty informed new faculty members that they will receive copies of the Faculty Handbook, and other faculty members will receive the pages that have been revised. Betty reported that revisions to Sections 1 through 3 were voted on last year. Sections 4 through 7 include information about the administration, equal opportunity/affirmative action, other services of the College, and information about benefits. CFG found that there are clarifications that need to be put in the Handbook. Chris McGill, of the Dean of the Faculty’s Office, has provided a list of all the changes identified by section to academic secretaries. Betty thanked Sue Blair and Chris McGill in the Dean of the Faculty’s Office in getting all this material out over the summer.

Willingness-to-Serve ballots were sent in the Dean’s "welcome back" letter, and a final ballot will be sent soon in order to vote on these positions. Round 2 will be coming out some time in October, and Betty will share that information with you. There is a correction to the Honors Council opening—the vote will be for a three-year position and not a one-year position. 


  • Gerry Erchak spoke about Consilience. Earlier this summer he had sent a note soliciting interest in a Senior Week ’99 Colloquium on E. O. Wilson’s concept of and book by the title of Consilience. He thought it would be enjoyable and stimulating to examine these controversial issues, and a number of faculty members expressed interest in a discussion. Phyllis Roth encouraged him to proceed. He envisions the colloquium to be sort of a "Skidmore Family" discussion with no outside speakers. He asked members of the audience to let him know if they would like to help or if they have any ideas about getting students to participate in this discussion. He wants it to be low-key and fun.
  • Jack Ling, Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer spoke about Skidmore’s "Dialogue on Race." In April, Skidmore won recognition by the Association of American Universities and Colleges as well as President Clinton’s Initiative on Race for its work and contribution on diversity. As a result, Skidmore was nominated as one of 50 colleges and universities across the country to lead in activities related to dialogue on race. With funding from the Ford Foundation, a number of activities were launched this fall. The first event is the "Dialogue on Race" to take place September 28, at 8:00 in Gannett. It is an occasion for persons with different perspectives to speak about their thoughts on the issue of race. He welcomed all to participate.
  • Phyllis Roth said that members of the faculty would receive a request to participate in Mini-College, which will take place on Saturday, October 17. This is an opportunity for parents to come to campus and to get a sense of what campus and classroom life is like. It is a very successful event, and more participation is always needed. She urged all to think about participating in this event.
  • Phyllis announced that, as part of the Case Center renovations, there would be a faculty/staff club that should be finished some time in the middle of 1999. In the interim, starting Monday morning, September 14, we will have a faculty/staff club over at Lucy’s from 8:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. with coffee, tea, and newspapers. Lucy’s will be used as a faculty/staff club in the interim until the new faculty/staff club is finished. She hoped that the renovations and expansion to Lucy’s would be ready for full-day operation by the October faculty meeting, but certainly it would be ready for the November faculty meeting. There will not be a membership charge for faculty and staff during this interim period.

President Porter asked all who were present to join him at the reception at the Scribner House. 

President Porter adjourned the meeting at 5:08 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,



Claire C. Demarest
Executive Secretary
to the Dean of the Faculty