Posted by Emily Singer
Faculty members discussed efforts to raise 220 to 240 million dollars for various renovation projects in the monthly faculty meeting on Nov. 1. They also continued their debate regarding the language of the Faculty Handbook in reference to tenured and non-tenured faculty. The meeting was led by Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs Beau Breslin in the absence of President Philip A. Glotzbach.
The recent visit of the Board of Trustees to the campus, which was extended a few days more than expected, involved much discussion of tenure, budget plans, and a campaign currently underway to raise the over 200 million dollars. This money support the College's plans for a new science center, a new admissions space, the Tang Teaching Museum, the college endowment, and financial aid for students.
The College will raise the money over the next six years, and 50 million dollars has been raised so far from generous donors, according to Mike West, Treasurer and vice president for Finance and Administration, who spoke on the tentative budget for the upcoming year. Other upcoming construction projects include the renovation of Case Center, for which the College is currently working with a consultant, but plans to begin the actual reconstruction won't start until after the new science center is completed.
Another heavily discussed topic for faculty members was the criteria standards for tenure, including how to improve the process of granting professors' tenure. Suggestions ranged from creating a process more effective in determining which faculty members receive the benefit of tenure, which is currently decided by the Board, and editing the language of the faculty handbook to be distinguished between the obligations of tenured and non-tenured faculty.
The Faculty Executive Committee brought forward revisions to the more out-of-date language in the faculty handbook, which resulted in a lengthy conversation amongst faculty members concerning whether faculty as a whole should be addressed in the book or if it should be categorized between tenured and non-tenured faculty. Several faculty members brought up concerns that faculty seemed to be treated differently and received different benefits depending on whether or not they had tenure.
Many faculty members were opposed to changing the language of the handbook without understanding the true difference between tenured and non-tenured professors, as well as whether it would be necessary to distinguish between them at all in the handbook. In the end, the majority of the faculty voted to table the motion indefinitely until the FEC rewrites their new propositions for the handbook to be discussed again at the next meeting.
Another policy under review is the College's general education requirements, which the Committee on Education Policy and Programming is discussing with the Student Government Association and various academic departments. In addition, the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee is working on a new Strategic Action Plan that will detail the various goals the College would like to see executed within the next 10 years. These goals include improving or altering various departments and improving the "transition and transformation" program the College runs to aid post-graduate students with linking their Skidmore College career to a job.
The meeting concluded with the FEC acknowledging the work of President Glotzbach and his wife Marie in the past ten years since they were inaugurated as head figures of the school, followed by a round of applause by the faculty.