New Faculty and Proposals at Faculty Meeting
A number of new staff appointments and proposals were announced at the monthly faculty meeting last Friday, Nov. 3rd. These appointments include Skidmore’s new chief fundraiser, new head of communications, and new dean of faculty. Professor Sarah Goodwin also announced that she will be stepping down as the Faculty Assessment Coordinator. The faculty also heard and voted on a number of changes to the way the college handles promotions and governance.
Skidmore’s new chief fundraiser will be Sean Campbell, who has been named the next Collyer Vice President for Advancement. As the individual giving managing director at University of Chicago Medicine, Mr Campbell lead a campaign that raised millions for the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Kovler Diabetes Center, and numerous other health programs. Before working for the University of Chicago, Mr. Campbell was the director of the parents and family association, leadership giving officer, and director of the leadership giving and donor program at Bates College. Mr. Campbell will be leading Skidmore’s fundraising as it gears up for its $200 million Creating Our Future Campaign in mid- Nov.
Martin Mbugua has been hired as the new Vice President of Communications and Marketing, the head of communications at the college. Before coming to Skidmore he was the Vice President of Content and Communications at Carnegie Mellon, and he has also worked at Princeton, Sydney University New York, the University of Delaware, and as a New York journalist in the wake of 9/11.
Dr. Michael Orr has been selected as the new Dean of Faculty, which was announced by the national search committee chair at the faculty meeting. Dr. Orr has a PhD in art history from Cornell University, and was previously the Dean of Faculty at Lake Forest College, where he oversaw a 43 million dollar upgrade in the college’s scientific programs. Before that, he was a professor for 20 years at Lawrence University. Dr. Orr is quoted on Skidmore’s website saying that he is “eager to begin collaborating with Skidmore's outstanding faculty in supporting and sustaining their work as teachers and scholars.”
Sarah Goodwin, the Faculty Assessment Coordinator since 2008, has decided to step down from her position after almost a decade. The administration is currently seeking nominations to fill this position.
In addition to new staffing announcements, a number of new policies and policy proposals were unveiled at the Friday meeting. The administration announced that it was reducing the required teaching hours of non-tenure track faculty to 18 credit hours per year, averaged over two years. Previously, tenured and tenure track professors were required to teach 18 credit hours per year, while non-tenure track professors were required to teach 20 credit hours per year. In order to make this fiscally responsible and budget-neutral, the administration says that it will work to reduce the number of part-time contracts that it issues. For departments that are overloaded and require their non-tenure track professors to work more than 18 credit hours per year, those professors will receive overload pay.
Beau Breslin also proposed an elimination of Part 1, Section 8, Subsection 2, a, iii of the faculty handbook to avoid any confusion about when an individual may stand for promotion. The proposal, having originally been introduced last month, was approved immediately.
Faculty Governance elections this year will be slightly modified this year. The Committee for Advancements, Proposals, and Tenure, CAPT, elections will take place first this year, and the elections overall will take a bit longer.
A new proposal for the reconfiguration of CAPT was also unveiled at the faculty meeting. According to the architects of the proposal, it was created in anticipation of a surge in candidates for tenure. The new configuration would increase the membership of CAPT to eight members, with two representatives from each of the four divisions of the college. Any promotion that comes before CAPT would be decided by five members of this group. The process to select which five members of CAPT would hear any given case is still up in the air. Should the group of five vote no, the promotion proposal would be reheard and decided by the full panel of eight. Should the full CAPT deadlock, the recommendation would be in favor of the candidate. This proposal comes after two open forums, one for untenured faculty and one for all faculty (it is still open to some amendment). The full, finalized proposal for the CAPT modification will be up for a vote next month.
Amy Frappier introduced a resolution asking the college to find ways to encourage the employment of spouses of faculty members, and to treat them equitably. While the resolution was introduced on behalf of a few dozen faculty members, none of them were willing to be named. The resolution will lie over for a month to allow for debate and input from the faculty body.
The proposal to modify CAPT and the resolution concerning faculty partners’ employment will be taken up again at the next faculty meeting, which will be in Gannett on Dec. 1st, 2017.