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Skidmore College
Honors Forum

HFC Minutes, Friday September 24, 1999


Amelia Rauser, Anita Steigerwald, Jon Ramsey, Phil Boshoff, Michael Arnush, Sue Bender, Tabatha Orthwein, Katie Cella, Kim Helms


Ruth Copans

The meeting began at 12:00 noon, Honors Forum Lounge, Ladd 204

  1. Discussion concerning appointing an HF student representative to the Academic Council was proposed and approved. HF does have curricular content and will continue to evolve considerably in the shaping & defining of this content. HF student should have detailed knowledge of HF, preferably an officer; involvement in SGA would be nice as well. Katie & Kim to introduce to HF and select a rep.

  2. Admissions: Tabatha introduced- as a guest to AY99-00 meetings. Tabatha identified several ways in which HF could become a valuable presence in the admissions process. Screening & panel discussions, open houses, prospective candidates’ days all should include an HF representative. A number of students were suggested as ideal for the panels. An HF student will be appointed as a representative for the October 11th and November 8th Prospective Candidates Days hosted by admissions. Specific HF outreach to High School seniors & guidance counselors in the form of letters, brochures and examples of HF activity i.e. Academic Festival brochure- showcasing HF achievements were discussed; Jon & Ruth to work with Tabatha on content of and amount of materials to be distributed to the High Schools. "Admissions Coffee House" to be pursued. Scheduled tentatively for late October- this event will give HF students an opportunity to familiarize the Admissions interviewers and counselors with Honors Forum

    • No further discussion regarding offering course scholarships for High School juniors & seniors. This project, initiated by Phil separate from the HF, has received endorsement from the Dean’s office and dovetails with the HF’s on-going efforts to attract more top students to the College.

  3. Curriculum: Brief discussion of auditing HF add- on. Specifically- a student intent on staying involved with HF even though disqualified, asked if auditing was an option. Unanimously agreed on no. Interaction & involvement would not be the same- HF courses not designed for this type of passive involvement. HFC agreed involvement with the many co-curricular events sponsored by HF could serve equally as well.

  4. Sue Bender spoke on the state of the curriculum. Think about how it should look. What do we want it to look like? HF successful in creating coverage across knowledge areas, with excellent coverage in the Intro courses. Upper level courses will continue to be a challenge as HF students move into 3rd and 4th year. Creating viable choices must be a priority in shaping HF. Does it look different from year to year? Do we want it to? Is there an ideal class size? Who can or should teach HF courses? HF will not take an official stand on who should or should not teach HF courses- this should be decided at the departmental level. Mechanism not in place for maintaining teaching standards. HFC to design protocol to guide in making personnel decisions, develop a consistent and lasting system of record keeping. Does the current personnel process apply to/ work for HF? Currently- the HF course evaluations are the only record of teaching standard. Options; Peer visitation

    • Incorporate a set of HF questions into standardized evaluation forms

    • Organize teaching portfolios

    • An in class assessment that speak directly to HF goals

    • HFC agreed to a Curriculum Retreat- the goal of which will be to discuss the curriculum in detail- flesh out 300 level courses. Date to be set at future meeting

  5. Events: HF events were prioritized and Amelia is working on getting a Fall schedule solidified.

  6. Communication was postponed due to time constraints- Ruth & Jon to detail communication efforts at Oct. 8 HFC meeting

  7. HF Lounge staffing issue to be addressed and resolved among HF students. The lounge needs to be staffed on nights and weekends, so that it can remain unlocked.

The Meeting adjourned at 1:00PM - next meeting scheduled for Friday, October 8th.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Burnham

Honors Forum secretary