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


MARCH 2, 2001



The minutes of the February 2, 2001 faculty meeting were approved as written. 


President Studley reported that strategic planning, in general, and the distillation report, in particular, were discussed with the Board of Trustees during their recent February meeting. The Board picked out the same themes from the distillation report that have been heard across the campus: student-faculty relationships; respecting faculty time and increasing rewards; financial aid; and diversity, both representation and the interchange that takes place on campus.

At its February meeting, the Board passed a resolution on the key elements for developing the operating budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2001. The budget will be based on:

  • Opening enrollment of 2,147 students (which represents a net fiscal enrollment or average enrollment of 2,093);
  • A 4.5% comprehensive fee increase (reduced from 4.8%);
  • A financial aid budget of $12,925,000;
  • A compensation pool of $50,510,000 (up 5.6%) that includes a 3.5% general salary adjustment.

President Studley emphasized that Skidmore cannot do everything that it wants to do, but is able to do the things that matter most. The Board agreed to convene a small ad hoc group consisting of Board and faculty members (with at least one from FPPC) to understand the long-term structural financial balance of the College.

Based on President Studley’s reading of the distillation report, and IPC’s review of the report, three central working goals are emerging: enhance student-faculty relationships; strengthen the spirit and experience of community and diversity; closely link the student learning and living experience.

IPC will turn to the existing governance structure on campus to ask them to assist IPC in moving the planning to the next phase, which will be the identification and then selection of priorities and objectives. This is in line with the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Summer Study Group that the planning process rely to the extent possible on the existing governance structure rather than creating special groups for the planning process. Once the groups have listed their objectives and comments, IPC will discuss, merge, prioritize, and refine the lists into a working document. In early May, IPC and the Board will further refine and prepare the working document and send it to the extended Skidmore community for consideration and comment.

Regarding the core curriculum, President Studley will allocate presidential discretionary funds to support course development in cultural diversity and the creative use of the one-course requirement in foreign languages over the next two summers. 


Dean John Berman stated that money would be provided for workshops this summer and to develop courses to operationalize the new curriculum. Cultural diversity will be one focus; significantly changing a current course might be another.

He went on to say that the AAUP salary data is out and it will be looked at, digested and discussed with various committees.

On the handling of time, Dean Berman said that the most hectic part of the year is coming up and the administration is trying to free people to do the most important aspects of their jobs. One small change in freeing faculty’s time would be how the faculty is invited to events that are hosted by the administration (trustee dinners, admissions, alumni events, etc.) Faculty participation is valued, but we will do our best not to overburden people. 


Professor Mehmet Odekon, speaking for CFG, brought two motions to the floor, which were distributed earlier. (See Attachment A and Attachment A1.) These motions will be voted on at the April 6 meeting.

Professor Susan Kress, Chair of CAPT, introduced four proposals (Attachment B), which were sent over email. CAPT anticipates that these proposals will be voted on at the April 6 meeting.

Professor John Brueggemann said that CEPP is trying to figure out the best way to proceed in implementing the new curriculum. Last semester, as the committee worked toward developing the proposal for a new curriculum, CEPP did not include a specific plan for implementation. CEPP felt that a debate about implementation at that time was premature, pending the more urgent issue of the content of the new curriculum. That is, CEPP wanted to know what the new curriculum would look like before trying to figure out how to implement it.

Professor Brueggemann went on to say that CEPP consulted with CFG and asked the following question: "Based on the wording of the motion that was passed, which classes of students does the new curriculum apply to beginning next semester?" CFG’s answer was, "The new curriculum applies to all students beginning Fall 2001." Professor Brueggemann said that unless CEPP takes further steps, the default scenario for next year will be that all students will be under the new curriculum.

CEPP devised five scenarios on how it might proceed

  • Apply the entire new curriculum to all students
  • Offer students a choice between the old and new curricula.
  • Maintain the old requirements for all current students and apply the new requirements to next year’s first- year students and all classes thereafter.
  • Put next year’s first-year students and sophomores under the new requirements, while having the juniors and seniors remain under the old requirements.
  • Put next year’s seniors under the old requirements and have all other classes to be the new requirements.

Although there are pros and cons to all of the scenarios, CEPP thinks option No. 5 is the best solution. Professor Brueggemann then offered the following motion:


"CEPP moves that the all-college requirements for the Class of 2002 remains unaffected by the curricular changes voted in by the faculty in December of 2000."

Professor Brueggemann said that neither a layover nor the request of its waiver is warranted. He said that President Studley has concluded that the effective date, class, or method for launching the new core curriculum is not a "major matter of policy" and therefore is not subject to the conditions for being held over for a vote.

President Studley confirmed (in response to a question) that the motion is not required to layover. Only major matters of policy are required to lay over to another meeting unless waived.

Speaking for CFG, Professor Mehmet Odekon stated that after the December vote, the only curriculum in place was the new curriculum because there wasn’t an implementation plan included with the new curriculum proposal.

Professor John Thomas, Parliamentarian, also emphasized that at the time the motion passed at the December meeting, it became the core curriculum of the College.

There was some discussion about whether or not there was a conflict between a parliamentary ruling and the legal status of the College catalogue. President Studley read the statement on the front cover of the College catalogue, which gives the College the right to make changes.

Adam Abramowitz, the Student Government Association Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated that the SGA Senate passed a resolution supporting a policy of personal choice for the members of the classes of ’02, ’03, and ’04 concerning inclusion under the guidelines of the new curriculum. Mr. Abramowitz said that something needs to be done immediately because students will be registering shortly.

Professor David Weis offered an amendment to the motion:


"CEPP moves that the all-college requirements for the Classes of ’01 and ’02 remain unaffected by the curricular changes voted in by the faculty in December of 2000."

It was accepted as a friendly amendment, and a discussion ensued.

Professor Sarah Goodwin called the question. The motion to call the question was seconded, and it passed with a majority voting in favor.

Professor Brueggemann restated the amended motion:


"CEPP moves that the all-college requirements for the classes of ’01 and ’02 remain unaffected by the curricular changes voted in by the faculty in December of 2000."

A vote was taken by a show of hands. The motion passed with a majority voting in favor of the motion.

Professor Brueggemann read the second CEPP motion:


"CEPP moves that students in the classes of ’03 and ’04 who have already met the foreign language requirement according to the curriculum in place when they entered Skidmore will be deemed to have met the foreign language requirement under the newly adopted curriculum."

Professor Brueggemann reminded the faculty that a small minority of students (approximately 10 percent) who test out of the foreign language requirement do not continue the study of a foreign language.

After a discussion among the faculty, the question was called. The motion was seconded and passed with a majority voting in favor (by a show of hands).

President Studley clarified the effect of these motions. The new curriculum does not apply to current seniors or to next year’s seniors (’01 or ‘02). It will apply to ’03 and beyond. The second motion governs the effect of the passage of the language requirement by the classes of ’03 and ’04. 


On behalf of the Faculty Development Committee, Professor David Domozych announced that next year’s Moseley Lecturer would be Professor Penny Jolly.

Professor Phil Boshoff announced that the third annual Academic Festival would kick off on the evening of May 1 and run through the afternoon of May 2. Periclean Honor Society, Honors Forum, and the Student Government Association are pleased to be jointly sponsoring this year’s Festival. More information will be sent.

Michael Casey, Vice President of Advancement, invited everyone to the grand opening of the new Faculty/Staff Club and the dedication of the new Eric J. Weller Lounge.

Respectfully submitted,


Claire Demarest
Executive Secretary
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty