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


November 4, 2005
Gannett Auditorium


Vice President for Academic Affairs, Charles M. Joseph, called the meeting to order at 3:35pm. Dr. Joseph asked if there were any objections to the approval of the October 7, 2005 Faculty Meeting minutes; hearing none, the minutes were approved.

Vice President Joseph had no report to give except to introduce Muriel Poston, Dean of the Faculty and Paula Newberg, Dean of the Special Programs for their reports.


Muriel Poston, Dean of the Faculty distributed the College’s emergency procedures and reminded faculty to review these with their students at least once per semester. She announced that Sarah Goodwin, Associate Dean of Faculty is going on sabbatical next year, so a “call for willingness to serve” will be sent out to faculty soon regarding this position and to refer any questions to Dean Poston. The Director of the Skidmore in Paris Program, Alain Matthey announced his plans to retire at the end of his administrative leave on October 20, 2006, therefore Dean Poston is considering a new administrative structure for this position. She discussed how the Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs are working together to partner around the First-Year Experience and HEOP and also with regard to the Dean of Studies student academic services piece. Dean Poston is working to put a framework in place for both of those and seeks faculty support and comments. In the development of interdisciplinary programs, thought needs to be given so that the tenure track appointments meet the various needs of the interdisciplinary programs. With the help of the program directors, Dean Poston is putting together policy recommendations that will make allowances to span the expanses between the various interdisciplinary programs, those that need dedicated lines and those that need greater flexibility. In order to recruit the best faculty to work in those positions, we need to have clarity. She hopes to accomplish this next year with faculty participation.


Paula Newberg, Dean of Special Programs invited everyone to a reception following the Faculty Meeting today in the Dana Atrium. She reported that Special Programs is about to complete a community education program that goes on every August and thanked everyone who has participated in this in the past. Dean Newberg also invited all to attend Tuesday and Thursday sessions to hear their colleagues speak. Faculty members from different departments are invited to speak to the Mature Adults Program. They will soon be soliciting ideas for next year as well and would like to make this the locus for experimentation, new research and to talk about things that there may not be time for in the classroom. Also, many faculty have already spoken with James Chansky, Director of Summer Sessions and Summer Special Programs about summer school. There will not be huge changes in this first year but would like everyone to think departmentally, interdisciplinary as they begin to consider how to restructure the summer sessions. There will be a McCormack Residency in the spring with more details to follow. Dean Newberg stated that another program that will be implemented is “Teaching in China” and a home has formally been provided for this initiative in Special Programs. She encouraged faculty to seek students that may be interested in teaching in China after they graduate or any faculty members that may be interested in this as well. They will be exploring new ways to train people. Their office is trying to restructure Special Programs to fit well with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the outreach to faculty, and how to all work well together.


There was no old business to report.


On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), Professor Gove Effinger reported on the Faculty Handbook revisions. He indicated that FEC had hoped to have the completed Faculty Handbook 2005-06 for this meeting but only some parts are completed as it is a much more complicated process than normal. The Faculty Handbook is divided into six parts. Part One and Two are of the most interest to the faculty. Part One specifies Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. Part Two describes the Faculty Governance system and any changes have to go through this body. There are versions of each of these parts completed and he referred to these on the website. Part Three is the All-College Governance system that does not need to be approved by this body as it is approved by the FEC, IPPC and the SGA. If those three bodies agree to changes, they go into effect. There are a number of changes in Part Three and they are going through the process. Part Four is the Benefits Description. Daniel Curley, Assistant Professor of Classics, is working with Human Resources to make this section more readable, accurate and streamline the information. There are no changes in the substance of Part Four other than the format it is given. Part Five is Administration and close to completion. There are no revisions to Part Six this year since the Diversity Task Force will have numerous changes for this section next year.

Professor Effinger referred to the website to discuss the basic changes made to Part One and Two were the governance system and the split of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty that resulted in many changes. See Attachment A.

Professor Lary Opitz, Chair of CAPT, commented that the Faculty Handbook revisions are a result of many committees and individuals that have appropriately reviewed this information, however this is still open for questions.

Professor Effinger also said that nine people are needed for the committee elections coming up and encouraged faculty to seriously consider participating in this process.



Professor Matthew Hockenos, Chair of CEPP reported on how CEPP is addressing the restructuring of the Dean of Studies and Student Affairs issues and what CEPP intends to do in the future regarding this matter. As indicated at the September Faculty Meeting, CEPP will not be reviewing the process of the restructuring but in two or three years will do a thorough review of the academic services that each office provides and a rationale for providing those services in one office or the other. See Attachment B.


Professor Hockenos then offered an update on the Writing Task Force progress. He stated that last spring at the April or May Faculty meeting he announced that CEPP had established the Writing Task Force and charged it with gathering feedback from faculty and students on the teaching of writing at Skidmore and to make recommendations to CEPP. See Attachment C.


Professor Hockenos gave a brief report on the Fulbright Fellowship Program as the Fulbright Program Adviser. He encouraged faculty to play a more active role in identifying and advising those students who might be strong candidates to apply for a Fulbright grant or another external grant, such as those administered by Barbara Optiz in the Dean of Student Affairs Office. See Attachment D.


Michael Casey, Vice President for Advancement provided an update on the Comprehensive Campaign with a presentation of charts on campaign priorities, quick facts, ongoing strength and independence, academic engagement, access, diversity and achievement, campus environment and gift projections. This is a large project and program that has built community and has a shared purpose. The title of the campaign is Creative Thought. Bold Promise. See Attachment E.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, Charles M. Joseph recognized and congratulated Professor Jeffrey Segrave as the new holder of the David Porter Endowed Chair.


Sarah Goodwin, Associate Dean of the Faculty reported that there was a recent visit by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to Skidmore. The College goes through the accredidation process every ten years. The Middle States team reviewed hundreds of documents that were put together by Chris McGill, Administrative Coordinator of the First-Year Experience Program, Ann Henderson, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research and Joseph Stankovich, Associate Director of Registrar and Institutional Research. She recommended that faculty review this information on the Middle States website connected to the Dean of Faculty page. A written report was received from the Middle States team indicating that Skidmore passed all fourteen standards. We are involved in the process of writing a self-study now that will be read by the team when they come back in March and this will be made available publicly through this organization. We are accepting public comments on this document until November 15 and Dr. Goodwin will send an email with links to this website where faculty may continue to voice their comments.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, Charles M. Joseph thanked Dr. Goodwin for her hard work on Middle States. He then asked to have a motion to form a “Committee of the Whole” to discuss the Middle States self-study and all approved. He proposed to yield the chair to Professor Matthew Hockenos, Chair of CEPP to lead this discussion and Professor Lary Opitz, the Parliamentarian, suggested 30 minutes of an open discussion period. An additional ten minutes of discussions were approved for a total of 40 minutes.

At the conclusion of these discussions, Professor Hockenos reported that the “Committee of the Whole” met and discussed the topic of the Middle States self-study and adjourned.


Vice President Charles M. Joseph invited everyone to the reception following this meeting in the Dana Atrium sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Special Programs.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15pm.


Respectfully submitted by,

Mary Ellen Kokoletsos
Executive Administrative Assistant
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs