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


April 28, 2006
Gannett Auditorium


Vice President Charles M. Joseph called the meeting to order at 3:40pm. Vice President Joseph asked if there were any objections to the approval of the March 31, 2006 Faculty Meeting minutes and hearing no objections, the minutes were approved. President Philip A. Glotzbach was not present at the meeting today as he was traveling on business.


Vice President Joseph began by saying that the real purpose of this meeting is to celebrate and recognize four of our colleagues who have determined to retire. Professor Lary Opitz, Chair of CAPT, then read the resolutions of those retiring. (See Attachment A) VP Joseph asked the assembly to signal their consent in acclamation by applause and they responded as such. VP Joseph then called upon the following colleagues to offer a few remarks about these retirees. Professor Jeffrey Segrave spoke on behalf of Professor P. Timothy Brown, Department of Exercise Science; Professor Pierre von Kaenel spoke on behalf of Professor Robert DeSieno, Department of Math and Computer Science; Susan Zappen, Acting College Librarian spoke on behalf of Associate Professor and Visual Resources/Arts Librarian Jane Graves; and Professor Raymond Giguere spoke on behalf of Professor Vasantha Narasimhan, Department of Chemistry.

VP Joseph continued by asking Vice President Michael Casey to announce the good news on behalf of the Advancement Office. VP Casey stated that we passed a milestone this week as the total from the Journey Campaign that ended in 1998 was at $86.5M and this week the figure was up to $88.1M so this is very good news for the College. There is still a very aggressive goal of $100M to reach by the end of May. There were $1.6M new gifts this week and there are many offers still pending. A $1.5M gift for Financial Aid will be received next week for the entire amount. We have received a number of other gifts from folks including gifts from younger alums, therefore everything is progressing very well. People are responding well to what is happening at Skidmore and VP Casey extended credit and thanks to the faculty for what happens in the classroom results in happiness of our parents and the alums. There is a Senior Family Gift initiative and we are at about $400,000 and are hoping to receive $500,000 - $600,000 total for that over the next few weeks. VP Casey sees this as a very strong endorsement of what faculty do in the classroom. The parents’ fund is perhaps the best one among our kinds of schools. VP Casey will do a more detailed report at the next Faculty meeting in May. VP Joseph asked the audience to applaud these efforts.

VP Joseph mentioned that everyone may have already responded to the online survey concerning faculty and staff contributions to the community, but if not, there is also a form available at the foyer table. He asked that folks complete this if they have not done so already and leave it in the return box on the table when exiting the meeting today or return to Bob Kimmerle in College Relations. Since many people are completing a study of Skidmore’s economic and cultural impact on surrounding communities, this survey will help us gage the contributions made by College employees in terms of community service, volunteerism and entrepreneurship. VP Joseph encouraged everyone to submit their responses so an adequate picture of this may be obtained.

VP Joseph also reported that based on the discussion we had at the last faculty meeting led by Senior Teaching Associate Susan Van Hook on behalf of the Campus Environmental Committee (CEC), conversations have continued in IPPC and rather than to discuss this at today’s celebratory meeting, he gave a brief update instead. In essence, IPPC has taken up conversations on environmental issues in a more explicit manner this semester with Senior Teaching Associate Van Hook’s presence on that committee. As a result of these discussions, the President’s Cabinet has pledged a study of the feasibility of possibly contracting a sustainability coordinator for the campus. The Cabinet will take up this issue over the summer months and the President intends to report to the faculty early in the fall semester.

VP Joseph encouraged everyone to attend the Community Meeting on Wednesday, May 10 in Gannett Auditorium, as President Glotzbach will discuss the budget and the future of the College. On May 4, the President, VP Michael West and VP Joseph are traveling to New York City to meet with the members of the Budget and Finance Committee and a few other trustees to review some of the budget projections before this information will be presented at the Community Meeting on May 10. The AAUP survey came out recently and the President and VP West will discuss this and other budget considerations on May 10 as well. It is understandable that many faculty may not be able to attend this meeting because of the end of the semester commitments, therefore anyone with questions may meet individually with VP Joseph and VP West. A written document detailing all this information will be available after the May 10 meeting.

VP Joseph gave a brief report on the work of the Assessment Task Force that reports to CEPP. The work for this semester has been concluded and a report has been filed with CEPP. The report will be circulated to the community in advance of the May 10 meeting. There will be an opportunity for questions at the final faculty meeting.

VP Joseph then asked Professor Kate Leavitt on behalf of the Faculty Development Committee (FDC), to announce that the Ralph Cianco Award of Excellence recipient is Professor Penny Jolly of the Art and Art History Department.

VP Joseph also announced that after consulting with CAPT, the President has made two appointments to the Tisch Chair of Arts and Letters and the Class of 1961 Term Professorship. A memo will be sent to the community later today. The Tisch Chair of Arts and Letters is named in honor of Wilma Stein Tisch, a distinguished alumna from Skidmore in the Class of 1948, and Larry Tisch. The Tisch chair recognizes and celebrates Skidmore’s renown in arts and letters as it includes the departments in Humanities, Performing and Studio Arts. Occupants of the Tisch Chair are selected from nominations contributed by members of the Skidmore community. The holder of this Chair is expected to represent Skidmore’s faculty in excellence in teaching, scholarship, and creativity and will represent the institution both internally and externally as distinguished faculty ambassadors to the larger intellectual community. The recipient of the Tisch Chair of Arts and Letters is Professor Steven Millhauser of the English Department. The Class of 1961 Term Professorship recipient will be a tenured full professor currently at Skidmore. Candidates for this new professorship were invited from all academic disciplines and all were eligible for nomination. The recipient is expected to interact closely with the Advancement Office and the Class of 1961 for events on and off campus over the tenure of his/her appointment. VP Joseph was pleased to announce that the recipient of the Class of 1961 Term Professorship is Professor Denise Smith of Exercise Science.


Dr. Muriel Poston, Dean of the Faculty had a few brief announcements. As a follow up to Professor Kate Berheide’s announcement on behalf of the FDC, the Summer Collaborative Research Grant Awards were completed and this roster was distributed at today’s meeting. The grant recipients are a distinguished group of faculty and students that will be participating in research projects this summer. Dean Poston also acknowledged that because there were so many applications this year by very qualified candidates, the President’s office will be providing some additional funding in order to extend the number of offers that can be made. Dean Poston thanked the FDC for their hard work in helping to foster undergraduate collaborative research. (See Attachment B) There were twelve faculty searches this academic year of which seven were successfully completed. Several searches were suspended or deferred until next year, therefore there will be approximately the same number of searches going forward next year. Dean Poston thanked everyone for their efforts and express enthusiasm regarding meeting our new colleagues in the fall. There were also five program reviews this year that have all been concluded in Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Chemistry, Physics and Government. The recurring theme through all of them was the question of resources. These reviews were quite useful and the focus was also on what the strengths are at Skidmore – our interdisciplinary and our willingness to think about things outside the box. Dean Poston acknowledged that Associate Professor of Art History, Lisa Aronson has just received a $160,000 Getty Foundation grant in collaboration with a colleague at Alfred University to work on “A.J. Green: Artist Photographer of Niger Delta” of the nineteenth century and that Cynthia Evans, Director of the Foreign Language Resource Center has also received a grant from the Canadian government to work on the literature of Quebec. Lastly, with regards to Professor Timothy Brown’s retirement, there are several opportunities for post-season play this year, which means there will be the opportunity to celebrate the scholar athlete model. Dean Poston encouraged everyone to please be accommodating of their students that are selected for post season play in negotiating this delicate balance of their academic responsibilities and their responsibility as a scholar athlete.


There was no old business.



Professor Timothy Burns on behalf of FEC read the three motions for the Handbook Revisions. (See Attachment C). He stated that this is just a reading of these motions and there will be a discussion at the next Faculty meeting.

MOTION 1: Athletic Council revisions.

MOTION 2: Committees of the Faculty revisions.

MOTION 3: Committees of the Faculty and Honors Council revisions. 


Professor Lary Opitz, Chair of CAPT gave a report on the status of the VPAA Search Committee. He indicated that CAPT consulted with the President and the other members of the search committee that will be comprised of eight members including President Glotzbach as co-chair with a faculty member to be determined, Dean Muriel Poston, Dean Paula Newberg, four faculty members including Associate Professor Katherine Hauser, Professor Mehmet Odekon, Assistant Professor Dawn Riley and Associate Professor Thomas E. Phillips, and Jonathan Brestoff, Class of 2008, incoming VPAA of SGA. President Glotzbach will convene the committee shortly.

Professor Opitz also commented on the recent forum that was held about interdisciplinary programs and tenured track appointments. CAPT brought this to a forum to allow faculty to have an opportunity to discuss all the ramifications of this important issue, however there were less than thirty folks in attendance. CAPT will continue meeting and working with Dean Poston and it is expected that this issue will be brought to the faculty not as legislation initially, but so everyone can discuss this here on the floor of the Faculty meeting. After that discussion, legislation presumably if appropriate, will be crafted and come back to this body for further discussion and a vote. Professor Opitz clarified that although CAPT called that meeting, they are not making a proposal or writing that legislation right now and he has written to those that have expressed their concerns. Everyone will be hearing soon from CAPT and Professor Opitz’ successor, as he resigns at the end of May as Chair of CAPT, regarding this issue.

Petria Fleming, SGA President gave a report regarding the Integrity Board (IB). This will be her last report to the faculty as Dan Moran will be taking her place next year as SGA President. Yesterday, she sent to the faculty email list, a white paper that the SGA Senate approved on April 18 with a 23-2 vote with four abstentions. The SGA Senate felt very strongly that as the only SGA committee listed in Part Three of the Faculty Handbook – students have primary ownership in the Philosophies, Policies and Procedures of the Integrity Board. Students have had a rich history of ownership of the Integrity Board since 1925 and while SGA gave autonomy in 1990 with it’s split from College Governance Association (CGA), it had lost its strong representation in the governance of the College. Only this past fall has the SGA and the student body agreed to disbanding ACC approving finally of IPPC as it’s replacement. Realizing that the IB was in need of organizational reforms in 1998, an Honor Code discussion group was formed with SGA representation and it had overhauled its structures and philosophies of the IB. Yet, IB is an SGA Committee and the very least the SGA Senate should have voted upon these changes to the operating code. Additionally, structural changes ought to have been voted upon by CFG at the time, IPPC and the student body as mandated in Part Three of the Faculty Handbook. This fall FEC, IPPC and SGA had finally voted upon the structural changes that occurred to the IB in 1999. It is also important to note that the SGA Senate in approving this white paper will constitute a steering committee that will produce recommendations for an honor focus integrity training and procedures. Many students have expressed concerns with the theoretical and pragmatic conflict between restorative justice and honor at Skidmore. SGA is hoping that this steering committee will foster a rich discussion next fall as the SGA Senate votes upon the recommendations. Kelly Carr, the IB co-chair and Honor Code educator, Jonathan Brestoff, next year’s SGA VP for Academic Affairs and Petria will be at an open forum for students in hopes of getting initial comments for that steering committee. This forum will be on May 1 at 7:00pm in the Spa and as members of the community, SGA invites faculty to contribute to these conversations. Petria then asked if there were any questions as she was available to answer these now and there were none.


Professor Timothy Burns, briefly mentioned that the “willingness to serve” for CEPP is in need of a one year replacement. As everyone is aware, CEPP is the central body for the faculty for academic affairs in committee and it is such an important committee for faculty. Professor Burns encouraged faculty members to volunteer for this and offer to serve. The “willingness to serve” will be extended until Monday and then a ballot for this committee will be prepared.


  • Assistant Professor Tillman Nechtman on behalf of First-Year Experience announced that Gregory Williams, Life on the Color Line, The Memoir is the summer reading for the Class of 2010. Gregory Williams will be coming to speak on campus in September as part of a series of events that will be held across campus for that summer reading. A group of thirteen faculty members and the Student Affairs staff have gathered together and are working on putting that program together. That group is working with the Intercultural and Global Understanding Task Force, other students groups, departments and other communities across campus to put together that series of events. Contact Professor Michael Arnush with any suggestions or ideas regarding this. The FYE is encouraging students to read the summer reading and will be buying the books for the students and sending them over the summer so they will have these well in advance. Copies of the books will also be sent to faculty teaching Scribner Seminars, peer mentors and the faculty who will teach during orientation. In addition, the Class of 2010 is going to be receiving a homework assignment to complete in conjunction with the summer reading project. Professor Arnush is seeking fifty faculty and administrators to actually teach during orientation that will be held on Monday, September 4. Anyone interested in this should contact Chris McGill in the FYE office. Also, there will be a one-day, workshop on September 1st to prepare people for this.
  • John Weber, Director of the Tang Museum announced that the recent Luce conference was very successful. There were representatives of college museums and galleries from over forty-five institutions around the country and from twenty states. VP Joseph commented on how brilliant this was and congratulated John on his effort in bringing this together. The senior week symposium is coming up soon that Professor Raymond Giguere has organized and there will be nineteen faculty members speaking about molecules in a whole range of disciplines and about sixty faculty members will be participating. There are a number of shows still on view at The Tang and everyone is encouraged to attend. The senior art show is on May 12 and there will be 49 graduating seniors participating. It should be a great show with a wonderful collaboration with the Studio Art department. The Tang will be operating all summer long with several shows to be exhibited.
  • Professor Catherine Golden spoke on behalf of the Academic Festival on May 3 and encouraged all to attend. The number of presentations and diversity is outstanding this year. There are over 110 presentations with 300 students from first to senior year participating and some are doing more than one activity.
  • Associate Professor Susan Walzer spoke briefly about the Skidmore Employee Scholarship Fund. There will be an invitation to contribute to this fund and those interested may submit donations online or by check. They have not surpassed their target from last year’s campaign.
  • VP Joseph concluded with inviting everyone to attend the Retirement Celebration being held at the Surrey Williamson Inn, sponsored by the Dean of the Faculty office.

Meeting adjourned at 4:40pm.


Respectfully submitted by,

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