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Dec 1 2017
Skidmore College will become a smoke-free campus in 2019.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

I write to inform you that Skidmore will become a smoke-free campus on January 1, 2019. The new policy will apply to all members of the Skidmore Community and to guests who visit the campus.

The new policy was developed following an extensive, year-long review of the current smoking policy by the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee's Subcommittee on Student Affairs, in collaboration with the Safety in the Workplace Committee.

The subcommittee's recommendation was based on views expressed by the campus community, which were gathered through community meetings and two surveys that had approximately 1,600 participants. In addition to reviewing Skidmore's current smoking policy, the committee also examined the smoking policies at the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the United States.

The new policy states as follows:

Purpose: The purpose of the Skidmore College Smoking Policy is to provide the community with a healthy, respectful working and learning environment by limiting the potential exposure of students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the effects of secondhand smoke and by reducing the risk of fires on campus.

Policy: Skidmore College is a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus. Smoking of any substance is prohibited on College property including grounds, enclosed bridges and walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots. Smoking of any substance is also prohibited in all owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled College structures and buildings including near exits, windows, or ventilation intakes. This includes, but is not limited to, indoor/outdoor classrooms, studios, balconies, roof tops, hallways, public and private offices, college vehicles, residential facilities, break rooms, restrooms, administrative buildings, dining facilities, and athletic venues. Prohibited tobacco products include, but are not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, all smokeless tobacco products, and e-cigarettes. There are no exceptions to this policy.

The policy was unanimously approved by the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC) on November 3, 2017. An implementation working group has been formed to guide the introduction and application of the policy. The members are:

  • Peter von Allmen, Professor of Economics
  • Cerri Banks, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Laura Goodwin, Assistant Director for Benefits Administration, Compliance and Wellness
  • Wendy LeBlanc, Managing Director of Operations and Conferences
  • Diane O'Connor, Director of Campus and Media Relations
  • Tayler Salvatore, President of Student Government Association
  • Wendy Walker, Prevention Coordinator

Glens Falls Hospital has agreed to partner with Skidmore to implement the policy.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns please contact Dean Cerri Banks.

Nov 15 2017
Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore is dedicated to the principles of creativity, opportunity and independence, with an ambitious fundraising goal of $200 million by 2020.

Dear members of the Skidmore community,

This is an extraordinary moment for Skidmore College.

President Glotzbach with students
Creating our future together

Learn about the Campaign’s priorities and how
your support will make a difference. Also view
the video that celebrates Skidmore and the
power of creative thought.

Our students are stronger than ever, going on to win prestigious fellowships, enroll in the finest graduate schools, and secure career-building first jobs.

Our faculty are celebrated for their pedagogy and research. They're regarded as true mentors and teachers by our students, while successfully competing for grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and other major funders.

In recent years, we've transformed our curriculum and created exciting new academic programs and student-life initiatives. We've constructed award-winning residential and dining facilities and instituted environmental practices that have garnered national recognition for our commitment to sustainability.

Acclaimed venues like the Frances Young Tang '61 Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and the Arthur Zankel Music Center are drawing attention from across the globe.

Today, Skidmore is seizing this moment—this position of strength—to launch Creating Our Future—The Campaign for Skidmore. This ambitious effort to raise $200 million will build on our reputation and provide the resources to ensure that creativity, collaboration, and community flourish at the core of everything Skidmore does.

A key priority of Creating Our Future is the construction of the Center for Integrated Sciences, which will house all 10 of our departments and programs in the physical and life sciences. Its innovative design will foster collaboration across these and other disciplines, transforming teaching and research at Skidmore.

In addition to the CIS, the campaign will help Skidmore connect more students to paid internships, collaborative research, and experiential learning opportunities that prepare them for successful careers and life after graduation. It will allow us to offer more scholarships and financial aid to deserving students from all backgrounds so that we may continue to foster an inclusive community. It will also strengthen the Tang Museum's capacity for creative exploration, fund crucial improvements to our athletic facilities and programs, and increase support for the Skidmore Fund, which helps underwrite everything the College does.

We are grateful and humbled that more than 19,000 donors have given a remarkable $145,346,214 to the campaign since its "quiet phase" began in 2013. This includes a record-breaking 28 commitments of $1 million or more.

We now invite you to consider a gift of any amount to one of the campaign's funding priorities—or to any other area of the College that's important to you. We encourage you to visit the campaign's website to learn more about the priorities and how you can participate in Creating Our Future.

This evening, nearly 400 alumni, students, faculty, parents, and friends gathered in New York City for the College's annual dinner honoring members of the Presidents Society. The event also served as a formal jumping-off point for the "public phase" of the campaign. We are planning additional campaign launch events in cities around the country and on campus this Spring and Fall, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Now is the time for Skidmore to embrace its great potential. Together, let's seize this opportunity to create the best possible experience for our students and to develop them into productive global citizens.

Together, we will create our future.

Nov 6 2017
This is a message from the New York Six Consortium Presidents related to H.R.1.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

Please find below a message from the New York Six Consortium Presidents related to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives. More information on the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium may be accessed here.

November 6, 2017

We write concerning the bill introduced last week in the U. S. House of Representatives, H.R. 1, which includes provisions that will have significant negative impacts on those seeking degrees at the nation’s private colleges and universities and on the operation of these important institutions themselves. These additional financial burdens would be imposed at a time when colleges and universities are working hard to contain their costs to make higher education affordable for all young Americans.

First, by eliminating the Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, the bill hurts families who are saving for their children’s college educations in the hope of providing them with the means for a successful future. Further, eliminating deductions for student loan interest will make it even more difficult for recent college graduates to gain financial stability early in their careers, and it could serve as a disincentive for students to pursue a college degree.

The bill also proposes taxes on certain private college endowments, the income from which funds millions of dollars in financial aid in our six institutions alone, thereby ensuring access and affordability for students from all walks of life. Finally, this bill would eliminate the ability of private institutions to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance new construction, thus increasing the cost of upgrading facilities such as classrooms, science labs, and student housing.

These elements of H.R. 1 are, quite simply, opposed to a bipartisan commitment to the value of higher education as a critical element of individual and collective advancement. To eliminate key financial incentives and benefits that ensure a student’s college of choice is within reach is to eliminate students’ freedom to seek higher education on their own terms. To tax endowment income will only make it harder for the broadest range of students to attend these important institutions.

We ask you to reject these provisions of H.R. 1 in the interest of maximizing educational opportunities for students so that our communities and our country will benefit from their future achievements and prosperity for generations to come.


Stephen Ainlay, President, Union College
Brian Casey, President, Colgate University 
William Fox, President, St. Lawrence University 
Philip Glotzbach, President, Skidmore College 
Gregory Vincent, President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 
David Wippman, President, Hamilton College

Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Nov 3 2017
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Michael T. Orr as Skidmore's next Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 16, 2018.

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Michael T. Orr as Skidmore's next Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 16, 2018, following a national search to fill this critical leadership position.

Michael brings to Skidmore extensive experience as an administrator and academic leader. Since 2011, he has served as the Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lake Forest College with oversight for all aspects of the college's academic program. During his tenure, he has led a number of initiatives, including completing the current strategic plan, revising the general education curriculum, coordinating the planning for a $43 million expansion and renovation of science facilities, and preparing for the college's recent successful reaccreditation review.

Michael was also responsible for hiring approximately one-third of all full-time faculty members and assisted the college in raising over $3 million in foundation support, including a $500,000 grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation for science equipment. In 2013, he helped establish the Institute on College Futures, an annual two-day seminar on the economic challenges facing liberal arts colleges for faculty leaders at member institutions of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.

Before joining the administration of Lake Forest College, Michael was a faculty member for more than 20 years at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. During his tenure at Lawrence, he served multiple terms as chair of the Department of Art and Art History and chaired a variety of university-wide committees, including the Committee on University Governance; the Committee on Tenure, Reappointment, Promotion and Equal Opportunity Employment; and a Trustee Task Force on Student Residential Life.

An accomplished educator, he was awarded Lawrence's Young Teacher Award, Freshman Studies Teaching Prize, and the University Award for Excellence in Teaching. Michael spent the 2009–2010 academic year at Macalester College as an American Council on Education Fellow, one of only 39 selected nationwide. In 2010-11, he was appointed as the Special Assistant to the President for Strategic and Financial Planning.

A scholar of late medieval English illuminated manuscripts, Michael earned his bachelor's degree in art history at University College London, UK, and his master's and doctoral degrees in art history at Cornell University. He is co-author of three volumes in the Harvey Miller series An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII, c. 1380 – c. 1509 and has published a range of other articles and book chapters on English medieval art.

Michael is eager to join the Skidmore community, and is "looking forward to working with Skidmore's talented faculty and staff in furthering the college's educational mission." He continues, "I am particularly excited at the prospect of helping the college implement its new Strategic Plan, including contributing to the planning for the Center for Integrated Sciences and assisting with the launch of the revised general education curriculum. Above all, I am eager to begin collaborating with Skidmore's outstanding faculty in supporting and sustaining their work as teachers and scholars."

Michael succeeds Beau Breslin, who has served as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2012. Beau will step down from the position on December 31, to return to the faculty in January 2018, and Crystal Moore, Associate Dean of Faculty, will serve the Interim Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the spring semester until Michael assumes his role in July 2018.

During his time as Director of the First Year Experience, Acting Dean, and Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (DoF/VPAA), Beau Breslin has provided exemplary administrative service, which was always shaped by his vision of liberal education and his deep commitment to Skidmore. As DoF/VPAA, Beau helped to guide the College through a strategic planning process, a successful reaccreditation effort, the revision of our General Education curriculum, planning for the design and funding of the Center for Integrated Sciences (CIS), the hiring of nearly one-half of our continuing faculty members, and the development of an effective faculty diversity hiring initiative that has become a national model. Above all, he served as the strong voice of the faculty within the senior administration. For these significant contributions, he deserves both our thanks and our praise.

Let me also express my appreciation to Associate Dean Crystal Moore for her willingness to serve as Interim Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs during the coming spring semester. In this role, Crystal will provide continuity in the Dean's Office and will facilitate the transition of Michael into his new position at the College.

Additionally, I'd like to acknowledge our national search firm, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, for identifying and presenting numerous well-qualified candidates, and I would like to express my deep appreciation to our dedicated search committee, which included Denise Smith (Vice Chair), Cerri Banks, Marta Brunner, Amon Emeka, Tim Harper, Christine Merrill, Viviana Rangil, Henry Jaffe '18, and Kali Villarosa '18.

Please join me in welcoming our new colleague Michael T. Orr to the Skidmore community.


Nov 1 2017
I am deeply saddened to inform you that the truck attack in New York City took the life of a recent Skidmore graduate, Nicholas Cleves '16.

An incident of terrorism that takes the lives of innocent people anywhere in the world touches each of us in our fundamental humanity. But the effect is more pronounced – and far more personal – when our community is directly linked to such a horrendous event.

I am deeply saddened to inform you that yesterday's truck attack in New York City took the life of a recent Skidmore graduate, Nicholas Cleves '16. He was 23 years old and living in New York, working as a software engineer, analyst, and web developer. At Skidmore, Nicholas was a Computer Science major and Physics minor, and studied Italian. He also worked as an IT Help Desk assistant and astronomy tutor.

Our hearts go out to Nicholas's mother, Monica Missio, who is a member of the Skidmore class of 1981, the other members of his family, and his closest friends. At moments such as these, we realize anew how powerless are our words in the face of profound grief. Even so, we reach out to offer our thoughts and prayers, along with the hope that knowing that others are also touched by this loss may provide at least some small measure of comfort.

For anyone who needs support, Counseling Services may be reached at 518-580-5555. As a reminder, all employees may utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which may be reached at 518-793-9768. Wilson Chapel is open from 9:00–11:00 p.m. today; 8:00 a.m.–2 p.m. Thursday; and 12:00–2:00 p.m. and 6:30–10:30 p.m. Friday.

When confronted by a seemingly endless series of tragic and absurd events, we naturally react first with sadness and then anger, and those emotions motivate us to take action to confront such senseless threats to public safety. However, our best actions – whether individual or political ones – are guided not just by emotion but much more by reason. As a college community especially, we need to reflect not just on the acts of violence but on their causes and, above all, on the most effective ways to prevent them in the future.

Ultimately, we must retain our faith in the future – of our nation and the world. In commenting on New York City's decision to hold yesterday's Halloween Parade as planned, as a symbol of normalcy and determination, NBC commentator Peter Howell praised the City's commitment to remain "defiantly optimistic." I hope we can embrace this attitude ourselves, remaining defiantly optimistic, even when challenged by events such as the needless death of a promising young member of the Skidmore family. The future, ultimately, is what we make it to be. And we must remain committed to this essential work.

Oct 24 2017
In an uncertain world, it is reassuring to know that our campus community is well-prepared to work together effectively to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff.

Dear members of the Skidmore Community:

Let me express my thanks to our entire campus community for closely following the directions provided in the emergency alerts yesterday during the heightened security event on campus. It was an unnerving experience for many. Our Campus Safety team and campus administrators communicated regularly, provided clear direction, and took every precaution to keep students, faculty, and staff members safe and informed.

To recap yesterday’s events: At 12:35 pm, local authorities notified Campus Safety of a report of a man with a handgun in the woods off Daniels Road, approximately one mile from campus. During the following hours, Campus Safety Director Tim Munro and his team were in constant contact with New York State Police, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Saratoga Springs City Police Department.

As local authorities shared developments in the investigation, the decision was made at 1:55 pm to suspend classes and secure the campus as a precautionary measure. Once classes were suspended, students were instructed to return immediately to their residences, and faculty and staff were directed to remain within locked buildings. Campus Safety worked to ensure all campus buildings were secure, and all evening events and athletic practices were cancelled. Campus Safety and Student Affairs worked together to open the dining hall at 5 pm for students to eat dinner, and Campus Safety provided additional security around the dining hall.

At 6:19 pm, law enforcement informed Campus Safety that the subject of the alert was in custody, and the campus was able to resume normal operations shortly thereafter.

Clear instructions and updates were provided throughout the afternoon via Skidmore’s urgent notification system, which sends alerts to all enrolled campus community members via email, voicemail, SMS/text message, Skidmore homepage, and College Facebook and Twitter accounts. Students are automatically enrolled in this alert system based on registration information. For faculty and staff who wish to enroll, please visit the webpage.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Campus Safety, Student Affairs, Office of Communications and Marketing, and all members of the faculty and staff for their leadership, and to our students for remaining calm and focused during the situation.

In an uncertain world, it is reassuring to know that our campus community, in collaboration with local law enforcement, is well prepared to work together effectively to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff.


Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Oct 16 2017
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Martin A. Mbugua as Skidmore's new vice president for communications and marketing, effective November 1, 2017.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Martin A. Mbugua as Skidmore's new vice president for communications and marketing, effective November 1, 2017, following a national search to fill this important role. Martin is uniquely qualified to align the direction of Skidmore's communications and marketing efforts with the College's strategic goals and to effectively lead our dynamic team in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Martin brings more than 20 years of experience in journalism and higher education communications to Skidmore, most recently as assistant vice president for content and communications at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he has led the university's online news content, media relations, social media, and internal communications teams. Before joining Carnegie Mellon, Martin was director of media relations and university spokesperson at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.

Martin's experience extends to prior work as a journalist, editor, and writer, including as a reporter with the New York Daily News; U.S. correspondent for theDaily Nation and Standard newspapers in Nairobi, Kenya; and assistant editor at the Queens Chronicle in New York City. He also served as communications and marketing manager at the City University of New York's Murphy Institute and senior news editor at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.

Martin holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in government, politics, and international relations from St. John's University in New York City, where he also earned a bachelor's degree in journalism.

In this newly established role at Skidmore, Martin will provide strategic leadership and direction for all aspects of the college's communications and marketing efforts and serve as a key member of Cabinet. He will lead a team of 20 in the Office of Communications and Marketing to raise the awareness and reputation of Skidmore as a top undergraduate liberal arts institution.

Martin is eager to join our community to "enhance the sterling reputation and visibility of one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation."

Martin succeeds Debra K. Townsend, who served as interim vice president from June 2015 through July 1, 2017, and as a strategic communications consultant for the College dating back to 2001. Debra managed the "Creative Thought Matters" branding initiative and served three interim terms as head of communications at Skidmore. I thank Debra for her work and leadership with the Office of Communications and Marketing and for her tireless dedication and many years of communications consulting work with the College.

I would also like to commend the work of Andy Camp, Luke Meyers, and Diane O'Connor, who have provided interim leadership since July 1, while maintaining their myriad responsibilities as directors in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Additionally, I'd like to acknowledge our national search firm, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, for identifying and presenting numerous well-qualified candidates, and I would like to express my gratitude to our dedicated search committee, which included Mary Lou Bates, Ian Berry, August Bomer-Lawson '17, Lori Eastman, Wilson Espinal '17, Linda Hall (resigned), Eliza Kent, Diane O'Connor, and Idalia Sepulveda.

Please join me in welcoming our new colleague Martin to the Skidmore community.

Oct 4 2017
We are now in the second year of implementing our new "Strategic Plan: Creating Pathways to Excellence." This Strategic Action Agenda (SAA) is the second stage of the two-year implementation.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

I write to share "Defending Democracy: Strategic Action Agenda 2017-2018," which is posted on our strategic planning website. We are now in the second year of implementing our new Strategic Plan: Creating Pathways to Excellence. This "Strategic Action Agenda" (SAA) is the second stage of the two-year implementation horizon developed for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. This iteration reflects the progress made to date and identifies work to be completed in the current year. As you will recall from last year's SAA, it is organized on the basis of the four goals identified in the Plan, rather than in relation to administrative divisions of the College.

I am pleased to report that we have made significant strides on our strategic goals, and I am thankful to all of you who have contributed. As you will see in this year's SAA, I call upon all members of the Skidmore community to rededicate ourselves to our common educational purpose – especially as it relates to the concept of informed, responsible, citizenship. The preamble references the relationship between what we do at Skidmore and democracy, with specific reference to issues regarding free speech. All of these topics are very much on our minds these days, along with concern for the victims of the terrible hurricanes that have devastated parts of the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and a number of Caribbean islands, as well as those killed and wounded in the Las Vegas shooting.

We look forward to collaborating with you on this academic year's work.


Oct 2 2017
Many of us were dismayed to learn about the events that occurred in Las Vegas, NV. Our thoughts and prayers are with the dozens of innocent victims and the nearly 500 individuals who were injured...

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

Many of us were dismayed to learn about the events that occurred in Las Vegas, NV, last night, a senseless act that is being called our nation’s most devastating mass shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with the dozens of innocent victims and the nearly 500 individuals who were injured, their families, and the first responders who assisted those in need. We at Skidmore share in this grief, and the College is reaching out to students, families, and alumni who may have been directly affected.

This incomprehensible tragedy – which follows news of human crisis and devastation across Puerto Rico, the Caribbean islands, and the southeastern United States as a result of consecutive hurricanes – prompts us to mourn for all those who have experienced great loss.

Skidmore’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life today hosted any informal, non-denominational gathering in Wilson Chapel, and resources are available to students on an ongoing basis regardless of religious, spiritual or secular background. The staff of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is available to Skidmore students, staff and faculty members for spiritual counseling and pastoral care in times of grief, crisis, or introspection, and provides referrals to clergy and leaders of other faith traditions.

We also would like to remind our community of additional resources available in this time of turmoil. For anyone who needs support, Counseling Services may be reached at 518-580-5555. As a reminder, all employees may utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which may be reached at 518-793-9768. For information about other ways to assist with disaster relief, please continue to contact Community Service Programs.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings, the presence of hatred and violence in the American polity remains a national tragedy that we all must overcome together. As we continue with the new semester, please seek out occasions to support one another and strengthen our campus community. Thank you for your attention and your concern.

Kimberly "Kim" M. Verstandig
Sep 29 2017
I write to share the news that Kimberly "Kim" M. Verstandig, Interim Collyer Vice President for Advancement and Campaign Director, is leaving Skidmore as of October 19.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

I write to share the news that Kimberly "Kim" M. Verstandig, Interim Collyer Vice President for Advancement and Campaign Director, is leaving Skidmore to become Vice President for Advancement at Connecticut College in New London, C.T. Her official last day on campus will be October 19.

Having previously directed advancement programs at her alma mater, Bucknell University, as well as at Albany Medical Center and the Albany Academies, Kim came to Skidmore in 2012 as Campaign Director and was later also named Associate Vice President for Advancement. She helped coordinate the "quiet" phase of the Creating our Future campaign that launched in late 2013. When longtime Collyer Vice President for Advancement Michael T. Casey stepped down last spring, Kim agreed to serve as Interim Collyer Vice President during the search for his replacement. At the same time, she has been overseeing plans for the campaign’s public kickoff, to be held November 15 in New York City. Kim has worked tirelessly with our Board of Trustees, including the trustees on the Campaign Committee; many alumni and parent volunteers; individual, corporate, and foundation donors; faculty and colleagues across campus; and, of course, the entire advancement staff.

Michael Casey worked with Kim until his departure last spring for Trinity College in Hartford, C.T. He recalls her as "a wonderfully positive presence in the office." He adds, "She has done a tremendous job in planning and directing the campaign and has been an effective and trusted representative of the College with alumni and parents."

I heartily thank Kim for her dedicated service and leadership, including her willingness to add the interim vice president role to her myriad duties, during these critical campaign phases. We wish Kim and her family the best in her exciting new pursuits.


Sep 28 2017
We are inviting community members to an open forum on the CIS building project, where we will provide updates on funding and construction, and invite discussion.

Dear Members of the Skidmore College Community,

Over the summer the President’s Cabinet, the Board of Trustees, and many others on campus continued planning for the construction of the Center for Integrated Sciences (CIS), which is the College’s highest strategic priority.

Fundraising for the project has proved challenging; however, we are pleased to have made considerable progress. Just recently we received a commitment of $300,000 from a Skidmore family and a gift of stock totaling $2 million from another generous donor. In addition, I am earmarking $200,000 from my President’s Discretionary Fund, to move the needle by $2.5 million. Our total raised toward the CIS is now $43,077,907. That’s more than we ever have raised for a single building in Skidmore College history, but, of course, the CIS is the largest and most ambitious building project the College has ever envisioned.

On the recommendation of President’s Cabinet, I am most pleased to announce that this month, the Board of Trustees and the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC) endorsed the complete CIS plans as funding becomes available and the construction of the North Wing to be funded by gifts, operating funds, and debt. We are in the process of developing plans to follow up on the site work that has been in progress for several months and updating construction documents. Our goals include finalizing the documents, sending them out to bid, and doing further planning so we can begin construction of the North Wing next May. We are intensively developing additional funding and will begin construction on the East Wing as soon as resources allow.

This is a celebratory moment for the College. I deeply appreciate the partnerships—including the support of science faculty, members of the administration, and members of the Board of Trustees—that we have developed over the years of work on this most crucial priority. These partnerships will be even more important in the coming weeks and months.

We are inviting community members to an open forum on CIS, where we will provide updates on funding, construction, and other matters, and invite discussion. Please join us Wednesday, October 4 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall. We hope to see you there and thank you for your attention.

Sep 5 2017
An update on a wide variety of news and activities as we begin the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

I am delighted to see everyone returning to campus, and I am very pleased to welcome our new faculty and staff arrivals and, of course, our new students – both those who have transferred this fall and members of the terrific Class of 2021. This incoming class stands at 665 students, selected from more than 10,000 applicants. Once again, nearly half came to us through Early Decision, and our overall acceptance rate was just 25%. The class makeup includes students from 35 states, 25% domestic students of color, 13% international students, and 17% first-generation students; 42% of the class is receiving Skidmore financial aid. We open the semester with 721 course offerings, with many more independent studies, individual lessons and co-curricular experiences. The new class has already begun meeting in 44 Scribner Seminars, two of them for the 25 students enrolled in the first-year program in London.

Since May's Commencement, we have hired over a dozen staff members, 11 tenure line professors and 24 non-tenure track positions (lecturers, visiting assistant professors, artists in residence, instructors, etc.). As you saw from my communication last week, Sean Campbell will be joining us mid-October as our new Collyer Vice President for Advancement, replacing Michael Casey, who left in the spring to become vice president at Trinity College. Let me express my thanks to Kim Verstandig, who has served as interim Vice President. Sean will come to us from University of Chicago Medicine.

Searches for two other cabinet positions have made good progress over the summer. We have identified our top candidates for the position of Vice President for Communications and Marketing, and final interviews will occur shortly. As most of us know, Beau Breslin will return to the faculty in January, following six and one-half years of excellent service as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (DoF/VPAA). The search for our new DoF/VPAA is moving along well. I expect us to complete that search this fall. I am also pleased to announce that Crystal Moore will serve as interim in this post, beginning in January 2018, if our new DoF/VPAA is not able to take up those duties until the summer of 2018. Currently Associate Dean of the Faculty, Dean Moore will work this fall with Dean Breslin to assure a smooth transition in this important office. I am grateful for the participation of all the staff, faculty, and students who have contributed to each of these searches.

In other news from Academic Affairs, a number of faculty members have been advancing the development and shaping of the General Education curriculum that was endorsed by the faculty last spring. The Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) will oversee this work in the coming academic year, as new courses are created, new pedagogies introduced, and new major and minor requirements determined.

The Center for Integrated Sciences (CIS) remains our top institutional facilities priority again this year. Along with our active fundraising for this project, we have made good progress on the ground, including preparation for new access roads, utility line and pipe relocations, and other site preparations. This work will continue through the fall semester. Planning has also been under way, in consultation with a firm specializing in this work, for siting customized trailers to house classrooms, labs, and offices that will be displaced by the construction process. We expect to complete all permitting, site preparation, and relocation by early 2018.

Our rich array of summer programs brought in a wide range of artists, scholars, young athletes, and community members from Saratoga Springs and beyond. Among the events made possible by the Stewart's Signature Series were collaborations with SITI's summer workshop to present a play mounted by the Suzuki Company of Toga, Japan; a Selected Shorts program featuring works by authors from the NYS Summer Writers' Institute; the Jazz Institute's celebration of its 30th anniversary with Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human, to benefit the McCormack Jazz Institute Scholarship Fund; and the Stephen Petronio Dance Company, which paired with artist Janine Antoni as our McCormack Visiting Artist-Scholars. And, of course, more events presented by Special Programs, from lectures to concerts to residencies, will continue through the academic year.

We will continue the Office of the President's "Community Dialogue Series," and will soon be announcing our special guests for the fall semester. We know there will be many other campus guests, speakers, and other exciting initiatives, including the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery's activities around the exhibit States of Incarceration and the Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning's hosting of the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) Players, who will provide two interactive performances related to conflict and climate in the classroom, just to mention a few.

Work continues on development of a Black Studies program, the Social Justice space planned for Case Center, and other initiatives around welcoming and belonging. We continue to implement our Strategic Plan with its four goals:

I. Integrative Learning
II. Access
III. Health and Wellness
IV. Sustainability

As I wrote to you a few weeks ago, our educational mission and fundamental values center on understanding, inclusion, and supporting responsible citizenship. I look forward to a year during which we live these values and model them for one another. I very much appreciate your participation in all our efforts to strengthen our campus community.

For now, I wish you the best as you settle into a promising new semester.


Sep 5 2017
This is a message from the New York Six Consortium Presidents related to the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

Please find below a message from the New York Six Consortium Presidents related to the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The message may also be accessed by clicking this link.

We write to express our deep concern about President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). That program benefits some 800,000 young people for whom the United States is home, and who are valued and productive members of our society, as students, employees, community members, and taxpayers.

As presidents of institutions that increasingly reflect the remarkable diversity of our country, we witness daily the tremendous benefit that the presence of immigrants brings to our communities. DACA beneficiaries have been outstanding students on our campuses; their presence has enriched the learning environment for all of our students. We fear that the end of DACA will make our campuses, our communities, and our country less successful and culturally robust.

We hope you will support swift legislative action to codify the principles of DACA so that those who qualify for its protections may live in this country free from the fear of deportation, enabling them to continue to contribute to the economic and cultural well-being of our nation.

We are proud to be part of upstate New York communities that have embraced immigrants and refugees from all corners of the globe for many decades. They are our students, our colleagues, our neighbors, and our friends. Supporting legislation to retain the protections of DACA “will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hopeful society this world has ever known (George W. Bush).


Stephen Ainlay, President, Union College
Brian Casey, President, Colgate University
William Fox, President, St. Lawrence University
Philip Glotzbach, President, Skidmore College
Gregory Vincent, President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
David Wippman, President, Hamilton College

Collyer Vice President for Advancement
Aug 31 2017
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Sean P. Campbell as Skidmore's new Collyer Vice President for Advancement, effective October 16, 2017.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Sean P. Campbell as Skidmore's new Collyer Vice President for Advancement, effective October 16, 2017. Sean currently serves as the managing director of individual giving at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Sean brings 18 years of fundraising and alumni relations experience to Skidmore. Since 2012 he has led a team responsible for raising millions of dollars in philanthropic resources for the University's Pritzker School of Medicine, research and clinical programs, Kovler Diabetes Center, and community health programs. Employed by the University of Chicago since 2007, he previously served for four years as senior director for the Midwest/Southern Regional Office, responsible for the Chicago Society—a leadership annual-giving program—major gifts, and alumni relations programs and events in greater Chicago and 25 states in the Midwest and South.

Earlier in his career, Sean spent 10 years in the advancement office at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, as director of the parents and family association, leadership giving officer, and director of leadership giving and donor programs during the college's largest fundraising campaign. Click here to view Sean’s complete curriculum vitae.

At Skidmore, he will lead 55 employees within the Office of Advancement, as they prepare for the public launch of the Creating Our Future campaign this November. The campaign is dedicated to the principles of creativity, opportunity and independence, with a fundraising goal of $200 million.

Sean succeeds Kimberly M. Verstandig, who has served as interim vice president since March, following the departure of Michael T. Casey, who stepped down to become vice president for advancement at Trinity College after 17 years at Skidmore. Kim will return to her previous role as Skidmore's campaign director and associate vice president for advancement. I would like to thank Kim for her excellent service and leadership during this critical campaign phase, while she also maintained her myriad duties as campaign director and associate vice president for advancement.

Sean is excited to join the advancement team and work with the Skidmore community to increase vital support for the people and programs that are at the heart of the College's mission.

I would like to compliment our national search firm, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, for identifying and presenting numerous well-qualified candidates, and I'd also like to express my gratitude to our dedicated search committee, which included Beau Breslin, Kelli Johnson, Maya Reyes '17, Jeff Seagrave (vice chair), Mike Sposili, and Kim Verstandig.

We look forward to welcoming our new colleague Sean to the Skidmore community in mid-October.

Aug 28 2017
Our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible winds, tidal surges, and unprecedented flooding being wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

Many of us have seen news coverage of the devastation currently being wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, effects that may extend in time to Louisiana and elsewhere. Our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible winds, tidal surges, and unprecedented flooding. Skidmore’s current student body includes students from Houston and other Texas cities, and a number of our alumni and friends live in the affected areas as well. Beyond that, many of us will have family members and friends who also are dealing with disruption to their lives and businesses. I believe that most—if not all—of us will be touched by this disaster one way or another. So please let us do what we can to lend assistance.

Alumni Relations & College Events reached out last night to our Houston alumni offering support. Student Affairs is partnering with Admissions and Academic Affairs to identify and reach out to our students from affected areas, and Advancement is reaching out to our students’ families. I’ve also asked that members of our Student Affairs staff share information regarding organizations that are engaged in providing relief to those most directly affected by this storm.

Along with you, Marie and I will continue to hold the many displaced families in our hearts and minds. Thank you for your attention and your concern.

Aug 16 2017
As we anticipate the start of our own new academic year, let us stand in solidarity with the members of the Charlottesville community, including those at the University of Virginia.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

Along with so many in our country and within the Skidmore community, I watched with dismay the hate-filled speech and threatening actions of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who gathered this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. That dismay turned to horror in witnessing news coverage of the resulting violence that took the life of one person, Heather D. Heyer, and injured many others. I also acknowledge the deaths of the two state troopers, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, who were monitoring the situation in Charlottesville.

These events reinforce the importance of our educational mission and the fundamental values we espouse: seeking first to understand; affirming the fundamental worth and dignity of all persons; and supporting responsible citizenship, democratic processes, and the peaceful resolution of differences. They also serve to remind us that the conflict between ideas of hate, bigotry, and exclusion, on the one hand, and love, tolerance, and inclusion, on the other, is not just abstract or theoretical. This conflict also plays out concretely both in our personal lives and in the collective social and political life of our nation.

Freedom of speech stands at the heart of our work as educators and in the political arena of any democratic nation. Upholding that freedom sometimes forces us to acknowledge the existence of views that not only are different from our own but that we find truly evil. We can uphold the right to affirm a particular point of view and, at the same time, we can vigorously critique it and hold those who embrace it accountable for doing so. Ideas do have consequences.

In an often-quoted statement, Dr. Martin Luther King said that the "arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." As Dr. King showed through his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, this process does not occur of itself. We all have a role in moving the moral universe we inhabit towards justice, and our actions help determine the speed at which this movement occurs. Let us rededicate ourselves to doing our part in accelerating this progress.

As we anticipate the start of our own new academic year, let us stand in solidarity with the members of the Charlottesville community, including those at the University of Virginia. At Skidmore, we will continue to create opportunities to engage with the issues that surfaced once again by the events of this past weekend. Let us also individually reach out to one another, and especially to our friends and colleagues who, through their social identities, legitimately feel personally targeted by the hate-speech and hateful actions that were so dramatically in evidence. It is our collective responsibility to create, both on our campus and in the larger world beyond our borders, the kind of open, respectful, inclusive, and just society we so fervently seek. 

May 26 2017
Skidmore made enormous strides this academic year thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff... I am thrilled and humbled by all that we have accomplished together.

Dear Colleagues:

After a weekend of inspiring events anchored by a joyous 106th Commencement, I write to congratulate you on an excellent academic year. Skidmore made enormous strides thanks to your dedication to our students.

Farewells and congratulations

We honored four distinguished faculty members who are retiring this year: John Cunningham, professor of art, whose talent in sculpture was shared with students for 50 years; Steven Millhauser, professor of English and holder of the Tisch Chair in Arts and Letters, a 1997 Pulitzer Prize winner who taught at Skidmore for 29 years; Mehmet Odekon, economics professor, who held the Tisch Family Distinguished Professorship, received a distinguished faculty service award, and taught for 35 years; and Pete Stake, associate professor of art, who has been with Skidmore for 31 years and whose paintings have been exhibited all over the world. Their service totals 145 years.

We also say goodbye to retiring staff members, whose service we celebrated on Tuesday. They include Lorraine Bittel, Larry Britt, Mary Cogan, Hunt Conard, Dennis Conway, Priscilla Eggleston, Ellen Eldredge, Ruby Grande, Barbara Hatlee, Joe Knapik, Alena Llorens-Myers, Tom Morris, John Myers, Jim Potter, Nancy Rudick, Sharon Shearman, Michael Tallman, Phillip Taylor, and Pat Wright. The work of these dedicated professionals totals over 1,000 years of service! I wish every one of you the very best in your new chapters of life.

This year's President's Awards for excellence, campus pride, and community service were given to Kim Frederick, professor of chemistry; Chris Breslin, of IT's user services; and the Counseling Center.

I would like to single out Collyer Vice President for Advancement Michael Casey, who leaves to become vice president for advancement at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. When he departs officially at the end of June, Michael will have served as vice president for 18 years. He has been a valued cabinet member and trusted advisor during my entire tenure at Skidmore. He will be missed by so many of us in the campus and alumni communities.

I also want to express my thanks to Debra Townsend, who for the past two years has provided outstanding leadership in helping us create a new Communications and Marketing Division. During this time she has given great service in her interim role and has been a valued member of the President's Cabinet. We will miss her as she returns to her consulting business.

Academics and admissions

The Board of Trustees last week approved faculty promotions including those of Kristie Ford to full professor of sociology, Andrew Lindner to associate professor of sociology, Peter McCarthy to senior teaching professor of social work, Erika Schielke to senior instructor in biology, and Beatrice Kendall to senior instructor in chemistry. The board also acknowledged many awards given to students, staff, and faculty, including a Fulbright for Kim Frederick and a Guggenheim for Heather Hearst.

Significant faculty action this spring now positions the College to rise even higher in the coming decade. Most visibly and importantly, the faculty adopted a new general education curriculum, based on data about what and how students should learn and centered on the concept that liberally educated students can integrate their learning from both curricular and co-curricular vantage points. Also approved was a change to the Faculty Handbook that eliminate the second-year review. Another change will allow departments and programs to hire faculty with tenure as needed, which will help us in our continuing efforts to enhance faculty diversity. My thanks to the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning for all its efforts to bring these important changes to successful conclusion.

The admissions office received a record 10,000-plus applications for the class of 2021. We are comfortably above our targeted class size of 660, with some of these students beginning in the London program. Currently the class is 42 percent male and 58 percent female, 24 percent identify as domestic students of color (up 1 percent over last year), and 13 percent are international students with citizenship from 47 countries other than the U.S. Approximately 42 percent of students will receive financial aid. Over half of our class came through Early Decision, and our selectivity rate is expected to be between 24 and 25 percent. I appreciate all of the efforts across campus that helped us attract these talented new members of our community.

Finances and capital projects

This year's budget is projected to have a modest surplus, and the board has approved the operating budget for fiscal year 2018, with revenues projected at $157.5 million and expenses at $157.0 million. Our endowment as of April 30 is estimated at an all-time high of nearly $360 million.

As we committed at the conclusion of last year's work with the Task Force on Divestment, the College's Investment Committee has been researching investment vehicles that deal exclusively with equities from “green” companies. The Committee has identified a promising option and is working to move a portion of our endowment to this fund. It is important to understand, however, that this fund may not be accepting new investments until after January 2018. I will provide further updates as information becomes available.

The board approved master plans and concept designs for the main campus athletic facilities and Van Lennep Riding Center. Permitting for the Valentine Boathouse is in process, with construction anticipated to begin in September for a June 2018 completion target. The board also accepted a generous gift of land from Margaret and Michael Roohan, and several trustees viewed the renovations and moves to North Broadway by Special Programs and Communications and Marketing. Renovations on the Spa dining area begin this month, with completion slated for early September.

This year saw significant progress on the Center for Integrated Sciences. The board approved preconstruction site-enabling work, now in progress. The study of temporary spaces and trailers needed for offices, dry labs, and classrooms is also under way, as is the construction permitting, which should be completed by December. A special board meeting will be held on July 25 to receive updates on the CIS project and make decisions that will further expedite progress. Please visit the CIS website for regular updates. Our advancement programs expect to end the year having raised $22 million to $23 million overall. In the ongoing Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore, we will exceed $136 million in cumulative gifts and pledges, which includes more than $20 million in new commitments. The Skidmore Fund is on track to reach its $7 million goal, with a slight uptick in participation. Gifts from parents will exceed $4 million, up $400,000 over last year, the Senior Family Gift Project amounted to more than $730,000 and the Senior Class Gift set a record of 94.6 percent participation. In addition to planning Commencement, Reunion, and other major campus events, the Office of Alumni Relations and College Events has planned and hosted more than 100 regional events and activities for alumni, parents, and friends.

Enhancing campus life

Student Affairs increased its orientation and leadership programs, advising 110 clubs that held over 800 events, many of them focused on our strategic goals of sustainability and diversity. In addition, the Office of Student Diversity Programs held important events recognizing our students of color, those who identify as LGBTQI+, and first-generation students. More than 50 percent of Skidmore students participated in community service this past year. In the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the expansion of the director position to full-time and the addition of a new coordinator allowed us to provide more services and support student-led initiatives including on-campus Catholic Masses, events for Muslim students and staff, and the renewal of Quaker gatherings at Wilson Chapel.

The Counseling Center and Health Services launched new programs including mental health first-aid training, a point of distribution (POD) for emergency supplies, and significant work with students on the topic of consent. Through the Career Development Center, 52 students were provided with internships throughout the country and around the world (including three at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab).

It was a very exciting year in athletics, with 15 of our 19 varsity teams participating in postseason competition and five teams earning berths in national championship tournaments. Our student-athletes also helped lead the “It's on Us” campaign to speak out against sexual assault. Most important, we honored more than 100 athletes whose GPAs exceeded 3.67 in the fall, and we expect similar numbers once spring grades are tallied.

In addition to the positive representational diversity in admissions demographics and faculty hiring, our diversity and inclusion efforts included three staff reading and discussion groups, the establishment of inclusion liaisons representing each of the College's divisions, all-campus screenings of the film Hidden Figures, the “In It” program of speakers and events, and movement on two significant fronts: discussion of a black studies program and the creation of social justice space, including the designation of the space in Case Center across from the current Intercultural Center. Going forward, we continue to work on improving our campus climate, strengthening our efforts to be a welcoming and inclusive community, broadening the initiatives and activities that fall under our diversity and inclusion umbrella, providing ally training, and highlighting College demographics in diversity analytics.  

External college relations

The Office of Communications and Marketing has ramped up its national coverage of faculty, staff, and student stories and is well into the planning and implementation phases of a new College website design and important admissions and advancement marketing initiatives, working in concert with the national college marketing firm Ologie. Several focus groups have been conducted to review these new initiatives, and they will continue through the summer. Communications and Marketing will also roll out graphic standards for the College this fall to help us adopt a more consistent visual identity as we continue to become better known. Thank you to the team members who worked so hard to achieve a new vision for this office.

The Office of the Dean of Special Programs (ODSP) celebrated the 10th anniversary of partnership with Ensemble Connect of Carnegie Hall, providing two weeklong residencies; sponsored five Jacob Perlow lectures; and collaborated with the Tang Museum on several projects. Its Skidmore Encore program for community adults aged 55 and over welcomed 335 enrollees for 21 faculty lectures last fall, and the office hosted several events on campus for local organizations.

ODSP teamed with the Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning to create a new faculty/guest residency that will give a faculty member an opportunity to develop his or her own semester-long project involving students in new ways. The first resident next spring will be Heather Hurst. ODSP staff spends much of the academic year planning for the summer, with the kickoff to the new season being a sold-out concert by the Manhattan Transfer on May 13. This summer will be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Two performances of The Trojan Women by the Suzuki Company of Toga, Japan, take place on June 2 and 3, and the house band from Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, appears on July 6. Batiste was a participant in the Skidmore Jazz Institute in 2004. In a new partnership with SPAC, our Zankel Center will host Simone Dinnerstein and the Havana Lyceum Orchestra's “Mozart in Havana” on June 20. We will also host a taping of NPR's Selected Shorts, featuring writers from our July New York State Writers' Institute, on July 22. Over the summer an estimated 4,000 people will come onto campus, and we will mount 65 total public events, most of them free. View more events on the ODSP calendar.

The Tang Teaching Museum continues to be a campus standout, with interdisciplinary exhibitions such as Sixfold Symmetry: Pattern in Art and Science, which featured the scholarship of nine Skidmore professors; a new lecture series, “Accelerate,” bringing diverse voices to discuss race and inclusion issues; and opportunities for students of all disciplines to learn from the Tang's permanent collection. In the fall, the campus and wider community debated the Constitution, gender, civic discourse, and the 2016 presidential election in an exhibition—A More Perfect Union featuring Mel Ziegler's Flag Exchange—that realized the museum as a vital town square. The Tang's Frances Day open house will be held July 15. View more events on the Tang calendar.

Finally, a brief update on our three President's Cabinet searches: The search for a vice president for communications and marketing is well under way, on track to make an appointment this summer. The search for a vice president for advancement has identified candidates and should complete its work before the new academic year begins. And the search for a new dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs is expected to be completed this fall.

These are just samples of our remarkably lively and productive year. As I review our Strategic Plan and the significant progress already have made on our ambitious two-year Strategic Action Agenda, I am thrilled and humbled by all that we have accomplished together.

Feb 16 2017
The "Community Dialogue Series" is designed to bring noted experts to campus to lead meaningful dialogues around significant issues that affect us as a community.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community:

As included in the Strategic Action Agenda (SAA) associated with Skidmore's Strategic Plan, I am announcing the first phase of a Presidential speaker series, which we are calling a "Community Dialogue Series," designed to bring noted experts to campus to lead meaningful dialogues around significant issues that affect us as a community.

The first three events in the ongoing series begin next week. They include:

The Contours of Free Speech on Campus
Featuring Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary, The Phi Beta Kappa Society
Wednesday, February, 22, 2017
Luncheon, 12:15-1:30 p.m., Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, 2nd Floor
This is a sign-up first come, first-served event with slots for students, staff, faculty, and trustees.

Immigration and the Future of DACA— Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Featuring David W. Oxtoby, President, Pomona College
Thursday, February 23, 2017
4:00-4:45 p.m., Gannett Auditorium
This event is open to all community members.

Institutional Values and Investment Decisions
Featuring David W. Oxtoby, President, Pomona College, and a Panel Discussion
Thursday, February 23, 2017
5:00-6:15 p.m., Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, 2nd Floor
This event is open to all community members.

We are also planning an event on the topic of diversity and inclusion for mid-April. I will share information about that event with you when the details are finalized. For now, I invite you to take the time to participate in these opportunities. Please bring your ideas and opinions as we learn from our speakers and each other. Thank you.

Michael Casey, Collyer Vice President for Advancement
Feb 16 2017
Michael Casey, the Collyer Vice President for Advancement, will step down this spring to become the vice president for advancement at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

I write to share the news that after 17 years with Skidmore College, Michael Casey, the Collyer Vice President for Advancement, will step down this spring to become the vice president for advancement at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

Michael came to Skidmore from Wesleyan University’s advancement office, following advancement positions at Franklin & Marshall and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Throughout our 14 years together, Michael has been a wonderful colleague and collaborator. As a new president, I benefited considerably from his experience and expertise in fundraising. He has also been a tremendous help to me in crafting speeches and other texts, and he has always taken an institution-wide perspective, pushing for excellence in all areas. He will be greatly missed.

Michael joined the Skidmore community in July of 2000 and built professional teams in the areas he supervised. During his tenure, the College raised more than a half-billion dollars for a range of initiatives including the construction of the Arthur Zankel Music Center. He also secured support for financial aid and academic programs including 15 endowed chairs and the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative, as well as facilities and athletics and student affairs initiatives.

From 2004 to 2010, Michael oversaw the "Creative Thought. Bold Promise" Campaign, which raised a record $216.5 million. In recent years he has overseen the quiet phase and public launch plan for the current effort, "Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore," which has already raised $132.5 million. He participated in the creation of several important volunteer support organizations such as the Friends of Skidmore Athletics and the President’s Advisory Council, helped shape the new Communications and Marketing Office in 2015, and played a lead role in the 2001 crafting and development of the College’s highly successful branding platform "Creative Thought Matters."

Michael has been deeply involved in the greater Saratoga Springs community, including service on the boards of the Waldorf School, the Convention and Tourism Bureau, SaratogaArtsFest, and the YMCA.

Michael shared with me the following thoughts to be conveyed to his colleagues: "It has been a great honor to serve Skidmore these past 17 years, and a real pleasure to work with so many wonderful volunteers, donors, staff, and trustees and to see their tremendous commitment to the College and, most important, to our students."

I am pleased to announce that Kimberly Verstandig, our campaign director and associate vice president for advancement, will assume the role of interim vice president on March 1, until we complete a national search for Michael’s successor. Kim, who has been at Skidmore since 2012, formerly served as executive director of alumni and constituent relations at Bucknell University, senior development officer at Albany Medical Center, and director of advancement at the Albany Academies. She holds a B.S. in business administration and an M.A. in education from Bucknell. I am grateful to her for taking on this important assignment.

Michael will continue as a transitional advisor to Kim and the division until June 1. He begins his new assignment at Trinity later that month.

Please join me in thanking Michael Casey for all he has accomplished on behalf of Skidmore and wishing him well in his new position. 

Jan 29 2017
Recent decisions and executive orders emerging from the Trump Administration touch all of us, either directly or indirectly.

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

Many of us have been following the recent decisions and executive orders emerging from the Trump Administration that sharply restrict both immigration and border entry for persons from a number of Muslim-majority countries and suspend the refugee program for 120 days. Several other related legal developments subsequently have occurred, and this remains a dynamic and evolving situation.

Currently, a significant contingent of Skidmore students, faculty, and staff come from scores of countries around the world, some of them from regions directly affected by these executive orders. But these political developments touch all of us either directly or indirectly.

As we await further decisions and developments, let me reaffirm our pertinent institutional values:

  • We reaffirm Skidmore’s membership in the international community of scholars, educators, and students within colleges and universities across our nation and throughout the world. It is our priority to foster in our students, as fundamental aspects of their liberal education, both intercultural awareness and global understanding. We actively recruit students from across the world, and we actively encourage all of our students to study abroad. It is clear that educated persons today must understand the myriad ways the countries and peoples of the world are increasingly interconnected and share a basic humanity, interrelated interests, and ultimately a common fate.

  • As our current Strategic Plan makes clear, Skidmore is also deeply committed to fostering inclusive excellence — affirming that our diversity makes us a stronger, more vibrant, and more creative community, provided we enable everyone to participate fully in our shared enterprise. Our international students are a key part of this vitality.

  • We have long been committed to policies of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin. We do not discriminate in staff and faculty employment or student Admissions or any other area based on a student’s immigration status. We comply with relevant legal requirements, but we do not otherwise seek or disseminate information about our students’ immigration status, and we strive to protect the privacy of all our students.

  • In times of difficulty, the Skidmore community comes together to support one another and to reach out, especially, to members who are in distress. This is a moment when we need to show solidarity with all our international students, faculty members, and staff members – especially those from countries affected by these recent developments. Personal expressions of care and concern can go a long way to reassure people that they are valued and, above all, that they are not alone.

Going forward, we will continue to closely monitor developments in national policy and their legal implications for the College. I am currently in Washington, D.C. attending the annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). I will speak to staff members at NAICU and directly with some of our federal legislators and their staffs to learn more about what we can do, and I will share this information with you.

For any community member who would like to discuss this further, please consider reaching out to the following offices: Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Students, Human Resources, Religious and Spiritual Life, Office Campus Study & Exchanges, Student Academic Services, and the Counseling Center.

This is an important time for all of us to listen to one another with compassion, seek understanding, and speak with respect for the multiplicity of beliefs and perspectives that characterizes a liberal arts college worthy of that title.