December 4th Faculty Meeting: The Final One of the Year
This past Friday, December 4th, was the last faculty meeting before winter break. The meeting began with American Studies professor Greg Pfitzer announcing that Professor Mehmet Odekon will be receiving the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. After the announcement of the reward recipient, President Phillip Glotzbach discussed the great work Skidmore Cares has been doing this season, which culminated in a major event this past Friday,
After discussing the good work that has been taking place these past few weeks, Glotzbach asked for a moment of silence for the people who have been victims of violence, in attacks such as those in Paris, Colorado, and the very recent attacks in San Bernardino, California. After the silence he took a moment to discuss the special community that exists at Skidmore and that we should work to spread this peace beyond the walls of Skidmore, to the world at large.
Beau Breslin, Dean of Faculty, then spoke about what has been going on in his office. Eleven tenure tracks are currently being reviewed, and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, along with other Colleges and Universities, recently received a grant from the Teagal Foundation to host an experimental exhibit. The Tang experimental exhibition will take place in a year and a half and feature photographs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This exhibit will help foster conversations among schools and in classrooms, furthering the Tang’s reputation of being an exciting and unique museum. Breslin also announced that Katherine Graney is becoming the new Joseph C. Palamountain, Jr. Chair in Government (the government department endowed chair position).
A discussion of the Middle States Accreditation then began with Sarah Goodwin skyping in from Washington D.C. where she was at a conference about the Middle States. Skidmore did very well in providing a thorough and satisfactory assessment for the accreditation. There has, though, been a major review going on recently to make sure Skidmore can do the best possible throughout the rest of the accreditation process. The accreditation team is now working on their Middle States assessment. The most recent suggestion for additions to this assessment has come from students on Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding (CIGU). Their suggested additions included: increasing diversity training and requirements by integrating diversity, power, and justice in the curriculum, creating an Africana or Race and Ethnic Studies major, strengthening recruitment, retention and quality of life for students, faculty and staff of color, converting the Asian Studies major to Asian and Asian American Studies, and developing co-curricular or extracurricular workshops about diversity and inclusion to increase awareness about issues on and off campus.
Dave DeConno, Registrar, then brought forward a graduation resolution for the 19 students who are graduating at the end of this semester to be able to walk at May’s graduation ceremony. This procedural vote is done before any student is allowed to graduate and it occurs every semester. The resolution was voted on and was easily passed by the faculty.
Professor April Bernard later brought a motion before the faculty on splitting the current Mathematics and Computer Science department into two separate departments. The motion was passed by the faculty, and the split is being done amicably to benefit both departments.
Other new business that was brought up included the Creating Pathways to Excellence: the Plan for Skidmore College, 2015-2025. The faculty, at the next faculty meeting scheduled for February 5th, will vote on this.
There was then an announcement for the faculty about open classroom week happening February 22-26, allowing faculty, staff and administrators to sit in other classes and learn along side the students.