Posted by Alex Brehm
College faculty and administrators convened on Friday, Feb. 4 for the first faculty meeting of the semester. The faculty discussed issues of bias on campus, in addition to more regular business such as college finances, enrollment and college policy.
Vice President of Finance Mike West, announced that due to the construction of the new Scribner Village apartments the college had the opportunity to refinance its portfolio of bonds. By restructuring its finances, the college achieved a "positive net cash flow of $700,000," he said.
The faculty voted to confer degrees to three University Without Walls (UWW) graduates and one graduate of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program.
Through UWW, Elizabeth Trever Buchinger and Sharon Lynne Clemmey earned Bachelor of Arts degrees and Julie Dianne Wray earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Ashley Lackovich earned a MALS degree.
An Admissions Office representative reported that the overall number of applications for enrollment at Skidmore is smaller this year than in recent years.
The representative reported that this trend is in keeping with the college's regular feeder states, which have begun to produce fewer high school graduates, she said. The rate of early decision enrollment is about the same as it has been in past years.
Like many interdepartmental majors before it, economics- sociology was flagged for removal from the college catalog. The faculty expressed the belief that interdepartmental majors do not serve students as well academically as a double major, or a major and a minor in the two associated fields.
President Kress gave a short account of the alleged assault at Compton's Restaurant in December in which four Skidmore students were implicated.
She moved on to say that she saw several biased or intolerant comments on various websites, a view she has expressed in a mass e-mail sent to students and faculty. She asked the faculty at the meeting to be cognizant of racial dynamics in the classroom.
Kress then opened the floor for general comments from faculty, ostensibly to hear more opinions about race, gender and other forms of bias on campus. One professor commented that the incident at Compton's Restaurant was one in a series of episodes that had eroded relations between the college and the surrounding residents.