Faculty Discuss the Next Academic Year, Finances, and Skidmore in China in April 4 Faculty Meeting

Posted by Emily Singer

The Skidmore College faculty discussed upcoming changes and studies on the school in their monthly faculty meeting on April 4. The faculty listened to the College's plans for refinancing its $74.4 million debt, the latest statistics from Admissions for the Class of 2018 and voted to terminate the Skidmore in China study abroad program.

President Philip A. Glotzbach opened the meeting by calling Head of Finances Mike West to speak of the American Association of University Professors faculty assessment and data statistics, focusing on the salary data of professors, associates and assistants. West provided visual graphs which indicated that the College provides the average salary and benefits for faculty in comparison with our peer aspirant schools. The salaries of the faculty indicated that we are at a median level (nine out of 18) for full professor compensation benefits, not including retirement.

Glotzbach then discussed the College's efforts to refinance. Glotzbach stated that the College is currently $74.4 million in debt and will refinance $41.5 million over the next 10 years, which will ultimately save the school several million dollars. On the Moody's rating, the school has an A1 rating, which is very good for an academic institution, according to Glotzbach.

Regarding Admissions, the College received just over 8,700 applicants, a five percent increase in applicants from last year, and of these students, 34 percent self-identified as of color, 1,700 were international and 42 percent of accepted students will be on some form of financial aid.

37 percent of the students who applied were accepted, which, according to Glotzbach, is a larger number than most years due to the large size of the current graduating Class of 2014. Therefore, the school is accepting more students than usual to make up for the deficit in the fall. The first-year class, however, will not be exceed 700 students.

Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Beau Breslin announced the 60 new full-time faculty hired, which every current faculty member helped play a role in selecting.

Peter von Allmen, representing the Committee on Education Policies and Planning, said revisions to the all-college requirements are still underway. He then brought to the faculty a vote on terminating the Skidmore in China program, which cost the school too much money with few students interested. The faculty almost unanimously voted to terminate the program, thus beginning a search for a new program in another country.

The meeting closed with a discussion on changing the language of the Faculty Handbook concerning tenure and promotions. During this talk a governance reform proposal was posed, suggesting a new method of having more efficient, equitable and effective committees. The new committees would be restructured to work better for faculty, enabling greater changes to be done in a timely manner. 

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