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


February 1, 2013
Gannett Auditorium


President Philip A. Glotzbach called the meeting to order at 3:34 p.m.


President Glotzbach asked if there were any corrections to, or comments regarding, the minutes of the Faculty Meeting held December 7, 2012. Hearing none, he announced the minutes were approved.


President Glotzbach welcomed everyone back for the spring semester. He reported that the Board of Trustees' annual budget workshop was held on January 22, 2013; at that meeting, the main budget parameters for next year's proposed budget (FY '14) were reviewed. The Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC) has been considering the parameters as well, and we will present them to the full Board at their upcoming meeting in February. Following the February meeting, President Glotzbach will host a community meeting to discuss them with the campus community.

Thereafter, President Glotzbach introduced Mary Lou Bates, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, who provided an update on this year's admission. Dean Bates reported that Admissions is experiencing a very good year. Since our record pool of 7,400 applications in 2008, followed by an economic downturn resulting in decreased pools, we have received a record 8,100 applications this year. This compares to 5,700 applications received last year -- an increase of 40 percent from last year (the bottom of a 4-year decline in applications) and an increase of 10 percent from our record in 2008. Clearly, this is a result of a number of initiatives launched in the last few years, including a new website, great housing, increased outreach to students, slideshows of the campus being shown to prospective students, utilization of a student search service for seniors, sending follow-up mailers to students, translation of 15 webpages into both Spanish and Mandarin, contracting with outside firms to match up students, use of social media, and organized live chats with Admissions and Financial Aid staff. In addition, our supplement to the common application was reduced by eliminating the additional short answers. Dean Bates believes this also had an impact on our increased pool. This year, 33 percent more students started an application to Skidmore, and our conversion rate on started applications went up to over 80 percent.

Dean Bates also provided statistics with regard to this year's pool:

  • 68 percent applied for financial aid, compared to 65 percent last year;
  • the international pool has more than doubled with 1,450 applicants, compared to 650 last year;
  • 69 percent of the international pool applied for financial aid;
  • 600 more applications from domestic students of color were received;
  • 30 percent of the pool are domestic students of color;
  • early decision applications are up 12 percent (those are students whose first choice is Skidmore);
  • 40 percent of the class will be enrolled by the two early decision rounds.

Dean Bates concluded by noting that this year's class target is 590-650 on campus and 36 in London. The challenges in enrolling this year's class will be reviewing all the applications and predicting the yield. We want to come close to our target, but under our target, and manage up from the waiting list. Last year, we went to the waiting list for about 35-39 students. Other challenges Admissions is facing are demographics, and Admissions is already working with a student search firm to address this challenge. A round of applause was given to Dean Bates and her staff for their tremendous work in recruiting this year's class.

Following Dean Bates' report, President Glotzbach reported on the Academic Summit held in January. He thanked those who participated, especially for investing a day of their time and for the very high quality of the conversations that occurred. These discussions were lively and produced quite a few ideas that deserve to be explored further. President Glotzbach offered special thanks to those who led the planning -- DOF/VPAA Beau Breslin, Professor Barbara Black, and Associate Professor Michael Arnush -- and indicated that he looks forward to seeing what comes from the conversations that day. In concluding, President Glotzbach stated that this meeting was an important prelude to the conversations to come as we begin our work leading to our next Strategic Plan; while the IPPC will have the lead responsibility in this process, it will create opportunities for a broad range of voices to be heard.


Beau Breslin, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, congratulated Dean Bates and her staff for their terrific work in Admissions. He then welcomed everyone back for the spring semester, especially those faculty members returning from sabbatical. Thereafter, DOF/VPAA Breslin also reported on the Academic Summit that was held in January noting that the engaged conversation was terrific and the presenters did a great job with the mini presentations that allowed many of us to think about those ideas. Ultimately, he noted, the goal is to get some good ideas out of the academic summit and promised to distribute the notes from the table sessions to the faculty and staff.

Thereafter, DOF/VPAA Breslin reported that he, President Glotzbach, and Paty Rubio, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Personnel, Development, and Diversity attended the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He stated that President Glotzbach was the plenary speaker at the conference and did a spectacular job in what was a great moment for Skidmore. Some of the topics of the panel discussions at the conference included faculty-staff workload issues, eLearning, and sustainability. By attending this conference, DOF/VPAA Breslin realized that Skidmore is truly in a great place at the moment. Although Skidmore does have some challenges, there are other schools that are challenged by resources in ways that we are not challenged. He came away from the conference not only proud but delighted and relieved.

In concluding, DOF/VPAA Breslin reminded everyone that this year's Moseley Lecture, to be given by Professor Bernie Possidente, will be held on February 20. An email announcement will be forthcoming, and he urged everyone to attend.


On behalf of the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP), Associate Professor Michael Arnush provided background information that led to the proposed revision of the current Dean's Card and the motion that was introduced at last month's meeting as follows (see attached):

MOTION: The Committee on Educational Policy and Planning (CEPP) proposes replacing the current "Dean's Card" with a new form, to be implemented as soon as technological and logistical issues can be surmounted (see attached for proposed Dean's Card).

After receiving much feedback after the introduction of this Motion, CEPP has decided to withdraw this Motion.

In response to the feedback received on the proposed revisions, CEPP has made revisions to the proposed Dean's Card. On behalf of CEPP, Associate Professor Arnush introduced the following Motion (see attached) and described the new changes made to the proposed Dean's Card:

MOTION: The Committee on Educational Policy and Planning (CEPP) proposes replacing the current "Dean's Card" with a new form, to be implemented as soon as technological and logistical issues can be surmounted (see attached for proposed Dean's Card).

Thereafter, Associate Professor Arnush made a Motion to waive the normal layover period, which was seconded. Brief discussion was held concerning the Motion to waive the layover period. Thereafter, the Motion to waive the layover period to address CEPP's replacement motion at this meeting was voted on with the use of clickers and was passed by majority vote.

Thereafter, discussion was held concerning the proposed revisions made to the Dean's Card surrounding the deviation of the scale in questions 10, 21 and 22, the question concerning "learning experience", the reliance on the value of the ratings received on the Dean's Card by CAPT in tenure and promotion cases, the concern about the length of the form, the removal of category "n/a" from the form, the use of a 5-point rating system for questions 10, 21 and 22 as opposed to word ratings, the ordering of the questions asked and the mix of low inference to high inference questions,

A friendly amendment was made to remove question 22 "What is your overall learning experience in this course?" from the proposed revisions to the Dean's Card and to replace "good" with "average" in questions 10 "What is your overall rating of this course" and 21 "What is your overall rating of this instructor's teaching?" After consideration of the friendly amendment, Associate Professor Arnush indicated that CEPP would like to withdraw its Motion. He invited anyone who wished to see changes to the Dean's Card to send him an email with their suggestions by Monday, February 4 so that CEPP could discuss these changes at its next meeting.


Faculty Executive Committee

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Barbara Black introduced the following Motion (see attached):

MOTION: On behalf of the Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Executive Committee moves that the following sentences (here in bold) be struck from the Faculty Handbook (Part Two, II,F,5).


Function: To act for the Faculty in reviewing curricular matters including those which implement educational policy concerning all-College requirements; to generate recommendations concerning immediate and long-range curricular matters; to administer the self-determined majors program; to make recommendations to the Faculty concerning other curricular matters brought before it by faculty, students, and the Administration.

Membership: Six faculty members, each from a different department, at least two of whom are tenured, elected to serve three-year terms; the Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designated representative; and two students selected by SGA. Non-voting members of the committee are the Registrar and the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy and Advising. A faculty member of the Committee shall serve on the self-determined majors subcommittee composed of other members appointed by the Curriculum Committee to represent a reasonable range of academic disciplines.

Brief discussion was held concerning the events that led to the decision to make self-determined majors an interdisciplinary program. The motion will lie over until the next meeting.

Curriculum Committee

On behalf of the Curriculum Committee, Assistant Professor Sylvia McDevitt introduced the following Motion (see attached):

MOTION: The Curriculum Committee moves to eliminate the Business-Economics interdepartmental major.

There was no discussion, and the Motion will lie over until the next meeting.


Thereafter, Assistant Professor McDevitt announced two new minors in Chinese and Japanese.


  • On behalf of the Faculty Development Committee, Professor Alice Dean announced that the deadline for the Ralph A. Ciancio Award for Excellence in Teaching is March 1, 2013.
  • On behalf of the office of the DOF/VPAA, the Faculty Network, Associate Professor Michael Arnush, and Interim Chief Technology Officer Bill Duffy, Associate Professor Erica Bastress-Dukehart announced an upcoming event that will take place during the first two days of senior week, May 13‑14. This event is being called MasterClass and was organized in response to two of the Faculty Network’s most important goals: "to create a renewed and reinvigorated sense of community," and “to provide opportunities for faculty members to become students again.” This will bea community event where faculty, staff, and administrators come together to celebrate teaching at Skidmore. Associate Professor Bastress-Dukehart will send further information and an invitation to submit a proposal to teach a session shortly.
  • Professor Roy Rotheim invited everyone to attend the presentations of the students at the 3rd annual Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition to be held on Friday, February 8, 2013 in the Payne Room at the Tang.
  • Associate Professor Michael Arnush announced that the Board of Trustees of the American Philological Association has awarded David Porter the Distinguished Service Award. A congratulatory round of applause was given to Dr. Porter.
  • Paul Calhoun, Interim Dean of Special Programs, announced that this year's McCormack Visiting Artist-Scholar Resident will be Karole Armitage. Ms. Armitage will be in residency March 18-23 and will give her performance on February 23.
  • Paul Calhoun, Interim Dean of Special Programs, invited everyone to attend a reception immediately following the meeting in Murray Aikins.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:18 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Debra L. Peterson