Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs


February 7, 2003
Gannett Auditorium


President Jamienne Studley called the meeting to order at 3:43 p.m.


A motion was made to approve the December 6, 2002 Faculty Meeting minutes. The motion was seconded and passed with all in favor.


President Studley opened the meeting by speaking about the intended structure of this meeting. The meeting would proceed as usual; however, after the Dean of Faculty's Report, a motion from CFG would be made to move to a Committee of the Whole allowing for an open discussion of current concerns. President Studley continued by discussing the current financial situation, what the College is currently doing about it, and the College’s future plans. The quality of education at Skidmore should not suffer. The President then continued discussing a few specific financial issues. Expenditures have been cut to allow for a balanced budget this year. Plans are being made to control the budget in upcoming years. Program reviews will take place in order to make choices about what is or what is not working. In addition, benefits are being examined. Last year to this year, the College's cost for compensation of employees and retiree benefits increased 4.3 percent; this figure included a three percent general salary adjustment.  The estimate for this year to next year, the College's cost for employees and retiree benefits will increase 7.7 percent; this figure does not include a general salary increase. This demonstrates the imperative to control benefits costs. A positive for Skidmore is that the endowment continues to perform ahead of other institutions, Annual Fund continues to do well, and this year Skidmore has another record number of applicants. President Studley thanked people from CEPP, FPPC, Business Affairs, BenefitsCommittee and Dean's staff for their commitment to finding solutions and providing choices.


Dean Joseph gave an update of his pledge to develop an Academic Vision. He believes we need to move forward to develop an Academic Vision in spite of the current financial situation. Curriculum, Skidmore's concept of a vision, and Skidmore's identity have needed to be examined for some time. Realities of the budget need to be addressed over the next few years, and decisions will have to be made which will lead to a leaner, healthier program. He agrees that the purpose of the institution is to educate, and Skidmore needs to clarify that mission and build closer bonds between students and faculty. The Advancement team is enthusiastic about helping to build a stronger financial base. Dean Joseph also stated that in spite of his decision not to remain as Dean, the goals of current initiatives should not change. A united effort will help to prepare for necessary sacrifices and allow the integrity of Skidmore's future academic vision to go forward. He further stated that honest and open communication is more necessary than ever in order to identify solutions, and he cautioned that patience will be needed in these turbulent times.


Gove Effinger, on behalf of CFG, moved that the meeting now move to a Committee of the Whole. It was determined that the time limitation would be 35 minutes. No second was necessary. The motion was passed with all in favor. Committee of the Whole convened at 4:00 p.m. and concluded at 4:35. Mark Huibregtse then rose and reported that the Committee of the Whole had discussed the current and future financial situation of the College.


TERRY DIGGORY – Presidential Search Committee Progress Report:

Terry began his report on behalf of the Presidential Search Committee by reminding everyone who the representatives were: Carolyn Anderson, Mark Hofmann, Jeff Segrave, and himself. The Committee has been in continual contact with CAPT and CFG. The Committee has sponsored a number of off-campus meetings with alumni to obtain their input. The prospectus for the Presidential position is now posted on the Presidential Search web site. The Committee has received 70 nominations and 36 applications. Everyone is encouraged to submit nominations. The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for February 21. The Committee hopes that by mid-March they will have identified the top pool of candidates, by the second week in April to schedule preliminary interviews, and in early May to bring those candidates to campus. It is felt that the time frame appears to be realistic. The target number of candidates for the top pool is between 15-17. The possibility and rationale for an appointment of an interim was discussed. An interim would be appointed when and if the Trustees feel it is appropriate.

PAUL SATTLER – Curriculum Committee – LS1 Update:

Paul introduced Michael Marx to give a report on the proposed restructuring of LS1. A handout entitled, Liberal Studies 1: Human Dilemmas was provided (see Attachment A). Michael explained the process that has been used, although it is not yet complete, to review and consider the restructuring of LS1. A report was issued to the Dean of Faculty's Office, which then went to CEPP, and which has now been passed along to the Curriculum Committee. The aim was to change the way in which the course functions while remaining true to the principles of the course as being a foundation to the College. It was desired to slow down the pace of the course, narrow the focus, place more emphasis on classroom discussion, and to add the requirement of three papers being due throughout the semester. Michael thanked those individuals who taught the course in the past and encouraged others to consider teaching LS1.


There was no old business.



Pat Fehling, on behalf of CEPP, introduced a motion for the separation of the Chemistry and Physics Department. Pat read the motion into the record. (See Attachment B.) CEPP will hold two informational meetings so the proposal may be discussed prior to the next meeting. The meetings will be held: February 21, 11:15-12:00 and February 24, 2:15-3:00; both meetings to be held in the Intercultural Center. The motion will lie over until the March 7th Faculty Meeting.


Gove Effinger, on behalf of CFG, introduced the motion to Clarify Language on Teaching Loads. Gove read the motion into the record. (See Attachment C.) The purpose of the motion is to make  some minor changes to wording in the Faculty Handbook. Questions were asked and discussion ensued. The motion will lie over until the March 7 th Faculty Meeting.

RESOLUTION – Conferral of UWW Degrees:

Pierre von Kaenel, on behalf of the University Without Walls, presented a Resolution entitled, Candidates for the Degree. The resolution was read into the record. (See Attachment D.) There were no questions. The resolution was passed with all in favor.

RESOLUTION – Use of Honor Code Stamp:

Nick Merrill and Scott Minkoff, on behalf of the SGA, presented a Resolution entitled, A Resolution Requesting Academic Departments to Stop Using the Honor Code Stamp. The resolution was read into the record. (See Attachment E.) The purpose of presenting the Resolution was to give faculty a chance to think about the implications of the suggested changes and implementation. No action was desired at this time.


There was no other business.



  • Mason discussed the Kara Walker exhibit now installed at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.  He encouraged all faculty to look into the possibility of incorporating this exhibit into their classes. He also suggested that faculty should generally take advantage of Tang offerings more often.


  • The next Faculty-Only Discussion Meeting will be held February 21 at 3:30 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium. Gove encouraged everyone to attend.


  • Gove provided an update on the MellonCollaborative Faculty Development Grant in which Colgate, Hamilton, Union and Skidmore are participating. The initial planning grant was provided to begin to develop ideas and focus on certain issues. The development phase will come to an end in August when the steering committees of the four colleges will gather for a two-day retreat. At that point, an implementation grant will be written, and if that grant is successful, then there will be a more significant granting of funds. Mellon desires colleges to identify problems they are facing relating to the three phases of faculty career: untenured, just tenured, and senior-tenured faculty members. Gove will be contacting 48 members of the faculty to form focus groups to help provide data. The steering committee consists of: Paty Rubio, Susan Walzer, Pete Stake, Ray Giguere, Pushi Prasad, Ann Henderson, Joe Stankovich, Barry Pritzker, Stephanie Van Allen, Marion Terenzio, and Gerry Schorin. Gove is the coordinator of the grant.


  • The Moseley Lecture will be held February 12 at 8:00 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium. Rajagopal Parthasarathy, Associate Professor of English, will deliver the annual lecture entitled Writing Between the Lines: The Politics and Poetics of Translation.


  • Don announced an invitation to the faculty reception sponsored by Special Programs to be held at the Faculty Staff Club.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Colleen M. Sleezer
Executive Secretary
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
and Dean of the Faculty
2/14/2003 - 3:18 PM