Faculty Meeting Minutes
April 30, 1999
President Roth called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The approval of the April 9 faculty meeting minutes will be held over until the May 19 faculty meeting.
President Roth informed the faculty that Sue Bender, Acting Dean of the Faculty, was not present at today’s meeting because she was traveling on College business, and Professor Tad Kuroda would act as parliamentarian in Professor John Thomas’ absence.
President Roth thanked Helen Patti, who is retiring at the end of the academic year, for her 29 years of service to the College in the Registrar’s Office. She also saluted Allan Crocker who retired from Skidmore last March after 27 years of service in the Development Office as Director of the Parents’ Fund. She also thanked Frances Hoffmann, who served in the Dean of the Faculty’s Office during the 1998-99 academic year and who will be leaving at the end of June. She also thanked Claire Demarest, who has served as Executive Secretary in the Dean of the Faculty’s office for the past year.
President Roth announced that because this faculty meeting is earlier than usual, there would be no report from Admissions. Mary Lou Bates will update the College via e-mail.
In order to be sensitive to the needs of all students, All College Council (ACC) has decided to cancel classes on Yom Kippur, the highest holy day of the Jewish faith, during the 1999-00 academic year. Yom Kippur will probably be accommodated during the 2000-01 academic year as well, but President Roth couldn’t promise that the College would be able to accommodate the holiday in successive years, explaining that it is much harder to accommodate Yom Kippur when it does not fall on a Monday. To accommodate the holiday, the 1999 fall semester has been reconfigured. The Monday study day will be switched to the preceding Friday; Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12 will remain study days; and Monday, December 13 will be a class day followed by two more study days.
Speaking on behalf of ACC, Dean Pat Oles also commented that this is a strong, positive change as well as a commitment to diversity and thanked the President for considering this change.
President Roth discussed the ten-year staffing study, which the faculty received as a handout. The study was done in response to the question at a previous meeting about the relative increases between faculty and non-faculty employees at Skidmore. The study showed over the ten-year period that generally there has been a small increase of the faculty and a small diminution of the non-faculty staff. President Roth went on to say that the College has added seven tenure lines since 1990. Since some faculty members didn’t remain employed, the net increase is actually four new tenure lines. A question was asked about how Skidmore compares with our peer institutions, and the President replied that we could try to find out that information. In regards to the number of tenure lines at Skidmore, there are 182 (or 183) positions at the College. (That figure will be confirmed.) She explained that when reporting to AAUP, Skidmore reports that there are about 156 tenure lines. This number is lower than the 182 (183) figure because the College only reports the number of faculty who are continuing, full-time faculty (so tenured faculty who are administrators and those sharing tenure lines don’t count in the AAUP figures).
A question was posed about whether or not Skidmore needs growth in the tenure lines. The President stated that that is an important question, but the answer shouldn’t be automatically "yes" as we have lots of other institutional issues that have to be balanced. She stated that this is too complicated an issue for rapid discussion at this meeting, but she would be delighted to have a longer conversation at some point in the future.
President Roth said that she hopes to have information for the faculty about deployment of enhancement dollars and next year’s salaries at the next meeting (May 19th) and hoped that the faculty salary letters will be going out in two to three weeks.
The President announced that Ken Hapeman would be retiring from CITS the summer of 2000. He will stay with Skidmore for a year or two longer in a partial position to support AIMS during the Oracle transition. As a consequence, the search for a new Library Director has been suspended until next year. A task force will be put together over the summer to look at the rapid changes that have occurred in information technology and to consider the entire area of information resources at the College.
There was a question about the effect distance learning would have on institutions like ours, and Professor Arnush proposed that faculty members discuss this serious issue at a future meeting.
Professor Barbara Black asked whether there would be an opportunity for the faculty to see what other departments are proposing as they submit their plans to the curriculum committee for reconfiguration. The President said that that has been discussed at Academic Staff, and information will be shared. Some proposals will be coming in before the fall, and it may be possible to share some of them over the summer.
Professor Tom Denny spoke about his deep concern about the whole reconfiguration process. He stated that this is a divisive issue, and he has anxieties about the lack of full-campus debate. President Roth stated that she understands the stress surrounding this issue, but since Sue Bender has been closer to the issue over the past few months, President Roth would prefer to discuss it with Dean Bender present.
Professor John Brueggemann presented the following motion that has lain over since the April 9 meeting for CAS (Committee on Academic Standing):
MOTION: That students be limited to two withdrawals during their college careers. The Committee on Academic Standing will review exceptional cases (for example, personal and health problems) to determine if additional withdrawals should be permitted.
After a long discussion about the pros and cons of this motion, the question was called with a majority of faculty voting to call the question.
The motion was voted on and carried.
Professor Weller presented the following motion for CEPP that has lain over since the April 9th Faculty Meeting:
MOTION: CEPP moves that the following wording be substituted for the parenthetical sentence of the second paragraph on page 47 of the College Catalogue under the heading FOUNDATION REQUIREMENTS Expository Writing:
(Those students who need to take EN 103, "Writing Seminar I," as preparation for meeting this requirement must do so by the end of their first year.)
The motion was voted on and carried.
Professor Mark Hofmann for CAPT (Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Tenure) presented the following motion that has lain over since the April 9th Faculty meeting: (There are two small changes in italics Section 7 from the motion that was presented on April 9.)
MOTION: The Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Tenure moves that Part I of the Faculty Handbook be revised as described in the following list of changes:
(Note: language to be deleted from the handbook will be in square brackets; [deleted language]. Language to be added is underlined; language to be added.)
1. Part One, I The Faculty.
1. THE FACULTY
The faculty consists of all full and part-time teaching and library personnel and those in shared appointments holding the ranks defined in Part One, IV Appointments to the Faculty, Topics A (Tenure-track Appointments), B (Pre-tenure-track Appointments), C (Non-tenure-track Appointments [, 1 Library Faculty, 2 Artists-in-Residents, and 3 Writers-in-Residence]). The rights and privileges of faculty members vary according to type and status of appointment. These rights are defined in various parts of the Handbook. See in particular Part One, Article IV Appointments to the Faculty, Part One, Article VIII Tenure, Part Four, Benefits, Part One, Article XIX, Faculty Governance, and Part Two, Article I Faculty Meetings, Topic A on voting rights.
[b. In case of a positive recommendation,] The department must present clear and decisive evidence [--including letters from full-time colleagues and those holding shared appointments in the department concerned who are in at least their third year at Skidmore, and (where appropriate) program directors, and a cover letter from the Chair -- of] concerning the individual’s professional [high] quality and the department’s [great] need for the candidate’s particular abilities in its projected programs.
(subsequent sections c.-j. will need to be renumbered as b.-i.)
4. Part One, VII Reappointment, Topic E. Reappointment of Teaching Associates
During the second and third year of service, Teaching Associates will be evaluated. Each department shall follow its established procedures for evaluating candidates for reappointment and promotion. The Chair will file these procedures with the Dean of the Faculty and make them available to the candidate well in advance of the evaluation. These procedures must be in accordance with the principles of academic freedom and must ensure that the standards for continued service are considered.
The procedures for the second year review shall follow the procedures described in the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article VII Reappointment, Topic A Reappointment of Full-Time Tenure-Track and Library Faculty [appointed as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor] to Professorial Ranks, 1, a, b, c [and 2, a and b]. The procedures for a review in the third year of a three year contract shall follow the procedures described in the Faculty Handbook, Part One, Article VII Reappointment, Topic A Reappointment of Full-Time Tenure- Track and Library Faculty to Professorial Ranks 2 a. If the department and the Dean of the Faculty differ, the Dean of the Faculty will convene an ad hoc group, consisting of the Chairs of other departments with teaching associates, who will provide an additional perspective. The Dean makes the final decision.
On or before March 1 of the second year or any subsequent year, the Dean of the Faculty shall remind those appointees in the final year of their contracts that their contracts terminate at the end of that academic year.
[1. On or before March 1 the Dean of the Faculty shall remind one-year appointees that their contracts terminate at the end of that academic year.
2. On or before December 15 of the second year or any subsequent year, the Dean of the Faculty shall remind appointees that their contracts terminate at the end of the academic year.]
3. The CAPT has the responsibility of securing information with respect to the candidate’s teaching competence, professional accomplishment, and service to the academic community. Sources of this information include:
[d. Administrative Officers;]
d. [e.] Sources suggested by the candidate under consideration including Administrative Officers, the Coordinator or Director [or Chair] of a program or Chair of a department in case the candidate has taught in an interdisciplinary program or department other than the one in which he or she holds an appointment;
(Subsequent sections e.-h. will have to be renumbered as d.-g. Changes in this section will necessitate changes in CAPT’s operating code. An updated operating code will be distributed at a later date.)
7. Part One XIV Appointment and Review of department Chairs, Topic D Obligations Pertaining to Department Chairs, 3.
3. Personnel: The Chair is responsible…The Chair renders guidance and assistance to faculty in every way possible. The Chair keeps untenured faculty apprised of their progress through the tenure system through annual letters of evaluation. Each year nontenured faculty meet with their respective Chairs to discuss the content of their annual letters of evaluation. Continuing part-time faculty shall also receive annual letters of evaluation. Tenured members of the department shall normally be evaluated every three years on a schedule determined by the Chair and coordinated with the individual’s and the department’s sabbatical cycle. The Dean of the Faculty shall keep a record of tenured faculty members’ evaluation cycles, and remind department Chairs when evaluations are due. [The results of these evaluations shall be transmitted in writing to the Dean of the Faculty and the individuals concerned. These evaluations do not become a part of any individual’s permanent file, and may become part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, promotion, or tenure only at the request of the candidate.] The annual letters of evaluation shall be transmitted to the individuals concerned and a copy will be sent to the Dean of the Faculty’s office no later than August 31 following that academic year. These evaluations are to be kept on file in the individual’s department and in the Dean of Faculty’s office. Only the individual, the Chair and the Dean of the Faculty may have access to these evaluations. [They are intended to be of guidance and use for self-improvement only.]
This motion was voted on and carried.
Tad Kuroda for CFG (Committee on Faculty Governance) presented the following three motions that have lain over since the April 9th Faculty meeting: (Brackets capture words to be removed and bold indicates words to be added.)
CFG MOTION 1: The CFG moves that the current description for Athletic Council contained in the Faculty Handbook 1998-99 be revised as follows:
The CURRENT description of function reads:
Function: To recommend to the [All-College Council] policies regarding the Skidmore athletic program, including the determination of the scope and level of competition in intercollegiate, club, and intramural sports; eligibility rules; establishment of priorities for the athletic program; and such other matters as may be brought to the Council’s attention by the Athletic Director or by any of the constituent groups of the college community. All meetings will be open and advertised in advance.
The NEW description reads:
Function: To recommend to the Dean of the Faculty policies regarding the Skidmore athletic program, including the determination of the scope and level of competition in intercollegiate, club, and intramural sports; eligibility rules; establishment of priorities for the athletic program; and such other matters as may be brought to the Council’s attention by the Athletic Director or by any of the constituent groups of the college community. All meetings will be open and advertised in advance.
The motion was voted on and carried.
CFG MOTION 2: The CFG moves that the current description for Benefits Committee contained in the Faculty Handbook 1998-99 be revised as follows: (There is a small change from the motion presented on April 9th which is in italics.)
The CURRENT description of membership reads:
Membership: The Committee will consist of three members of the faculty, three members of the support staff, and three members of the professional staff, to include the Associate Dean of the Faculty and Director of Human Resources. The faculty members will be elected to three-year terms. The support staff and professional staff will determine their own methods for selecting their representatives. Undesignated members will serve three-year terms. The Committee will include the Director of Financial Planning and Budgeting as a non-voting member. The Committee will annually elect a chair from among voting members of the Committee.
The NEW description reads:
Membership: The Committee will consist of three members of the faculty, three members of the support staff, and three members of the administrative/professional staff, to include the Associate Dean of the Faculty and Director of Human Resources. The faculty members will be elected to three-year terms. The support staff and administrative/professional staff will determine their own methods for selecting their representatives. Undesignated members will serve three-year terms. The Committee will include the Director of Financial Planning and Budgeting (or an appropriate alternate selected by the Office of Business Affairs) and the Assistant Director for Benefits Administration as non-voting members. The Committee will annually elect a chair from among voting members of the Committee.
This motion was voted on and carried.
CFG MOTION 3: The CFG moves that the current description for CAFR contained in the Faculty Handbook 1998-99 be revised as follows:
CURRENT description of membership:
Six members of the faculty, none of whom is on the CAPT, the CAPT Review Committee, the CAS, or the Diversity and Affirmative Action Committee, at least two of whom are untenured at the time of their election and two tenured, each to serve a three-year term and each from a different department; and no more than six students, selected by SGA.
NEW description of membership:
Six members of the faculty, none of whom is on the CAPT, the CAPT Review Committee, the Tenure Review Board, the CAS, or the Diversity and Affirmative Action Committee, at least two of whom are untenured at the time of their election and two tenured, each to serve a three-year term and each from a different department; and no more than six students, selected by SGA.
This motion was voted on and carried.
Professor Michael Arnush thanked the faculty for making the Academic Festival a success. He invited the faculty to develop Honors courses for the Spring ’00 and beyond and asked them to participate in a one-day workshop on May 17 at the Surrey from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The workshop will focus on a number of questions related to the preparation, delivery and assessment of Honors Forum courses.
Professor Tad Kuroda placed two motions on the floor for CFG to be voted on at the May 19th meeting:
CFG MOTION 4: The CFG moves that the current description for Curriculum Committee contained in the Faculty Handbook 1998-99 be revised as follows:
Membership: Six faculty members, each from a different department, at least two of whom are tenured, elected to serve three-year terms; the Associate Dean of the Faculty; and two students selected by SGA. Non-voting members of the committee are the Registrar, and the Dean of Studies. An elected member of the Committee shall chair a self-determined majors subcommittee composed of other members appointed by the Curriculum Committee to represent a reasonable range of academic disciplines."
New Description (In the text below, brackets capture words to be removed and bold indicates worlds to be added.)
Membership: Six faculty members, each from a different department, at least two of whom are tenured, elected to serve three-year terms; the Associate Dean of the Faculty; The Director of Liberal Studies; and two students selected by SGA. Non-voting members of the committee are the Registrar, and the Dean of Studies. A[n] faculty [elected] member of the Committee shall serve on [chair a] the self-determined majors subcommittee, composed of other members appointed by the Curriculum Committee to represent a reasonable range of academic disciplines."
CFG MOTION 5: The CFG moves that the following text be adopted as a preamble to Part Two: Faculty Governance of the faculty Handbook for 1999-2000:
Skidmore College is committed to the principle of shared governance. Shared governance recognizes (1) the unique role that faculty plan in institutions of higher learning by virtue of their special knowledge, experience, interests, and values and (2) the relationship between faculty participation in governance and the protection of academic freedom.
Faculty governance provides the principal structure through which faculty members express their views and inform college policy. Faculty governance is (1) especially concerned with those subjects for which faculty members have primary responsibilities: academic freedom, academic standards, educational policy and curriculum, faculty status, and self-governance, (2) also concerned with those subjects in which faculty members have a major interest and share responsibilities with other constitituences: financial policy and planning and institutional planning.
Broad participation by faculty on committees and task forces improves the chances that diverse expertise, interests, and perspectives will inform decision-making at the College. Such participation distributes the workload, encourages greater accountability, and conveys the message that all faculty are committed to protecting the welfare of the entire institution and advancing the quality of academic life across all the disciplines at Skidmore.
In order for faculty governance at Skidmore College to work effectively and equitably, it is therefore important that all faculty who are eligible to vote exercise that right regularly and that those qualified to serve on committees do so at appropriate times throughout their careers.
Professor Robert DeSieno reported for IRC (Information Resource Council) and summarized this year’s activities. The Council has written a policy about e-mail rights and responsibilities and passed this information on to CAFR, President’s Staff, and ACC. It is now on the web page at the College, and Professor DeSieno will send an e-mail message to inform the faculty where to find this policy. The Council received a recommendation to archive e-mail lists. There was a long debate, and the Council recommended against this proposal at the present time. The Council also devised a policy regarding intellectual property rights on the Internet. This policy is also posted on the web. IRC also discussed the modernization of the College’s database. This is a complicated task, and it will be completed approximately by the middle of the year 2000. Another issue discussed by IRC was the possibility of students being required to purchase computers. There were a variety of reasons to consider this requirement, but after deliberation, the Council recommended against it. The process is underway for the installation of a depot (in the virtual sense) to assist in the purchase of computers for departments as well as for individuals. Again, there is a web page devoted to this. There is an increasing interest and concern about consistency of web page design for the College. The Council has not made any decisions or recommendations at the present time; however, it is something that will be discussed in the future.
Professor Gary McClure gave the final report for FPPC (Financial Policy and Planning Committee). FPPC dealt with six items since his last report. FPPC did do a self-assessment and submitted it to CFG. A lot of questions were raised, which will be taken care of next year. FPPC also reviewed and accepted the capital budget, which will be submitted to the Board in May, and is also reviewing the domestic partners benefit proposal presented by the Benefits Committee. There were questions about the definition and scope of the report, and FPPC has temporarily returned it to the Benefits Committee for clarification. It will be submitted to FPPC before its final meeting of the year. FPPC has reviewed and agrees with the Vision Statement that had been prepared over the year by IPC. FPPC feels it is an important document for guiding our planning and strategic actions for the future. Finally, FPPC has been developing and is finalizing an actual operating code, which will be submitted to CFG.
In regards to faculty compensation, FPPC made two recommendations to the President for consideration. It recommended that faculty salary compensation be targeted in the middle third in each rank of our comparative group. FPPC doesn’t have any guidelines for determining non-faculty compensation, and recommended that an appropriate comparative group for the non-faculty positions be developed so those targets could be set for the non-faculty, non-union groups.
With an increase of 11.8 new positions, FPPC felt that procedures be put in place to guide the decisions on new hires for non-faculty positions. A sub-committee was created to explore this issue, and a questionnaire was sent to division heads to help it decide whether or not any changes need to be made.
Leo Geoffrion spoke on behalf of CITS and the Library and reminded the faculty about this year’s Summer Technology Institute that will take place the week of May 24. This institute helps faculty members to integrate technology into their teaching and research.
The Chair of CAPT, Mark Hofmann, made the following motion:
BE IT RESOLVED: The faculty of Skidmore College expresses its profound appreciation and admiration for the following member of the Skidmore faculty who has this year expressed her determination to retire. The faculty further resolves that the following biographical highlights be included in the minutes of the faculty meeting of April 30, 1999 – as recognition and celebration of distinguished service and achievement. (See Attachment A.)
Approved by acclamation.
Aldo Vacs invited the faculty and staff to a reception at the Faculty Staff Club in honor of Mary Ellen Fischer immediately following the faculty meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
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