November 9th, 1992
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Time: 4:15 pm
- Present: Deborah Appleman, Robert Bonner, Carleton Crawford, Ellen Cutler, Chang-tai Hung, Alison Kettering,Elizabeth McKinsey, Martha Meier, Aaron Mysliwiec, Ann Ness, Clement Shearer, Megan Spears, Robert Tisdale, Cathy Yandell
- Absent: Robert Hochman, Stephen Lewis, Trustee Charles Johnson, Alumnus Steve Soderman, Alumna Kit Naylor-alternate
- Guests: Kent Crossley, Chaplain Jewelnel Davis, Committee Chair Mary Easter, Kgomotso Matsunyane, Angela Wissman, Chris Youngquist
- Secretary: Marge Symens
- Keywords: president visits universities, qiguang zhao, students rights and responsibilities
In the absence of President Lewis, Dean Elizabeth McKinsey presided. The meeting was called to order at 4:20 p.m.
Minutes of the 10/26/92 meeting were approved with the following correction to the sixth line in the first paragraph on page three:
" ... supported the proposed amendment, citing Sections 40 and 41 Section 40.1 as a possible vehicle for addressing jurisdiction ...."
1. President's Report
In the absence of a report from the President, Dean McKinsey gave a report of the President's activities, as received from his office. President Lewis is presently in Tokyo, Japan, after several stops in China. He reports having a wonderful time, albeit at a tiring pace, and considers the trip very successful. He has visited universities and with alumni at each stop and with Professor Qiguang Zhao and the Carleton students in Tianjin on the Associated China Program. He also had opportunity to visit the business university in Beijing where Professor Roy Grow's China program has gone. He sends his greetings and expects to be back next week.
2. Committee ReportsCommittee on Diversity and Campus Climate
Committee Chair Professor Mary Easter reported that the committee is getting response to the requests sent to the faculty via department chairs, to the students through RAs and peer counselors, and to student organizations through the CSA asking for their input and priorities on what campus concerns and subject matters the committee should discuss. During winter term, the committee will begin scheduling a series of "invited conversation" meetings that will be open to the community and have time for comments and questions from visitors.
The committee has reviewed and discussed the video "A chance to Speak," preliminary to setting up guidelines for the grant competition to update the video. Members have been evaluating the activities to help identify their own agendas, to see how they can be incorporated into the committee's mandate and planned activities. Professor Easter said the committee is moving ahead but at this point would benefit from more publicity and visibility. The Carletonian is invited to attend the upcoming open meetings.
At this time, Professor Robert Bonner reminded the group that, under the new governance model, all Council subcommittees are expected to publish and circulate meeting minutes to the campus as well as to members of the Council. Discussion took place on workable ways to ensure appropriate distribution and circulation of minutes. Suggestions included using the NNB, Currently @ Carleton, Carletonian, and established distribution lists. It was also suggested that newly created subcommittees could be given a written notice of basic committee procedures, which would include the responsibility for publishing meeting minutes.
* These minutes are unofficial and subject to correction and final approval at the next meeting.
Dean Clement Shearer reported on some concerns that have been raised in the Budget Committee and in the Carletonian (e.g., "The Forgotten Folks," 11/06/92) about the kinds of students Carleton should be pursuing. He noted that a point of consensus on campus was that if the College wishes to keep its need-blind admission policies, its quality of academic programs, and its diverse student profile, the rate of growth in the aid budget will have to slow down. The article, he said, is neither accurate about admissions practices nor about what is being suggested. And it doesn't attempt to address the question that fiscal projections foresee: How can the College keep need-blind, quality, and diversity without going broke? Continuing, Dean Shearer said that College revenues come from three sources: student fees, gifts, and endowment income, and although endowment income and gift income have been increasing and are projected to increase steadily, their rate of growth will not offset the rate of growth being experienced in the aid budget. Net student fees, the amount left after financial aid is discounted, have been decreasing, in part, because of the inability of the middle class to keep up with rising college costs, the increasing number of relatively high-need students, and the shrinking proportion of our students who can pay our fees. So the aid budget is growing faster than any other item in the budget, causing us to forego expenditures for other important items--equipment, computers, library materials, etc.
Dean Shearer explained that the College maintains its need-blind policy for several reasons. It recognizes the importance of cultural, racial, language, economic, and geographic diversity to a total education and believes in meritocracy in admissions. And financial aid is needed to achieve this diversity. The importance of academic quality in achieving both a high-caliber and a diverse student profile may be less appreciated. Bright students can, and do, go elsewhere to obtain a good education, and some schools offer more aid than is financially needed to entice them. But, he added, many come to Carleton, most likely because of its very high academic standards.
Continuing, Dean Shearer said that despite the opinions of the Carletonian article, it is not being proposed to alter need-blind admission practices to favor any income group nor to "stack the deck" or otherwise sacrifice middle-income or low-income students for high-income students. In fact, he explained, it would be difficult to attract enough high-income students to substantially change the present student profile; the College is losing ground with middle- and high-income students and is increasing the number of relatively high-need students. It has even been suggested that Carleton is becoming known as a good college with full need-blind policies and, therefore, our applicant pool is weighted with such students. And, he said, what has been suggested by Len Wenc and David Brodigan in Budget Committee meetings and by others on campus is that to maintain control over Carleton's future, the overall applicant pool should increase to offset the effects of stiffer competition and to ensure that a reasonable number of applicants from families with the ability to pay a larger share of the comprehensive fees are getting into the pool. Dean Shearer felt that changes could be slight and made in a variety of ways; the College evolved to its present position over time with subtle losses of the middle class and equally subtle gains will correct it.
Dean Shearer commented that normally he wouldn't use this venue to respond to a published article, but he wanted the Council to have continued awareness of the pressures placed upon the College's aid budget and, in turn, on the rest of the budget. He mentioned that one means for reducing the loss of middle-class students in Minnesota is to address the state policy of heavily subsidizing all students from all income levels attending public universities or colleges. A reduction in subsidy for the wealthy would help those of lower or moderate means to attend public institutions and make private colleges a more realistic option for the middle class. Dean Shearer offered to furnish the necessary data to anyone wishing to write to state legislators in this regard.
In closing, Dean Shearer said there are few options available for the College, but one measure that has been suggested would be to increase the self-help portion to the amount it was in the past and to put the aid and self-help portions of a student's financial package at the same percentage. This measure will not offset the situation entirely but is one way to forestall more adverse financial conditions that could, as has happened at other colleges, necessitate sacrificing quality. And, other measures will need to be explored and discussed as well, to meet the continuing financial needs of the College.
Discussion followed on various aspects of Dean Shearer's report, including the decreasing number of middle-class students able to pay the increasing costs of college, the need to expand the applicant pool, and the implications. Dean Shearer noted that competition is keen among colleges, and some "second-tier" schools offer aid plus merit incentives to attract students, including those with ability to pay. Increasing Carleton's applicant pool is seen as essential to addressing its future financial needs, and small changes in the student profile (to where Carleton has been in the past), without substantially sacrificing diversity and while maintaining need-blind policies and high academic standards, are seen as potential resolutions.
Professor Robert Tisdale wanted to make clear that any assumption that financial aid is largely for students of color is totally erroneous and this distorted view should not proliferate. Dean Robert Bonner related several statistics about the changing student profile in the past few years, including that the majority of students who qualify for special assistance under our federal program for first-generation, low-income students are white and that there are diversity issues that do not mean racial or cultural issues. Professor Alison Kettering underscored Professor Tisdale's comments and said that the College's dedication to multiculturalism clearly does not mean that those are the only ones in need, and it is important that this misunderstanding not be continued. She added that she was misquoted in the Carletonian, which implied the opposite. Discussion ended with some points made by Mr. Aaron Mysliwiec and Mr. Carleton Crawford about the challenges faced by the Admissions Office in adding increased middle-class applicants to the pool, along with all the other criteria being considered to obtain the desired diversity in the student profile.
Committee to Review "Students Rights and Responsibilities" and "Code of Conduct"
Dean Robert Bonner distributed minutes from the Committee's last meeting (11/2/92) and moved to put back on the floor the tabled proposed amendment to Section 24 of the Statement of Students Rights and Responsibilities (SSRR), discussed in the last Council meeting. Carleton Crawford seconded the motion. Members reviewed the proposed amendment, included in the distributed minutes. Dean Bonner commented that the proposed amendment was tabled in response to Aaron Mysliwiec's question on whether the College was opening itself up to potential difficulties by establishing a possibly different jurisdictional standard in the SSRR than what was stated in the Sexual Harassment Policy. The Council had voted to table the motion and not proceed until legal counsel was sought.
Dean Bonner reported his consultation with Attorney Karen Wille on the issue, and she confirmed that the existing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault policies are already in conformity with the "Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities." In both cases, the question of whether the College's jurisdiction is to be extended is put into the hands of the Dean of Students. The disciplinary process would not begin, he added, without the Dean of Students making a determination that there is a case, and then what happens to it is prescribed. He said Attorney Wille believes that Sections 36.3 and 40.1 in the SSRR give the Dean of Students responsibility for initiating disciplinary proceedings and that the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment policies conform in that respect to the SSRR; i.e., the Dean has original jurisdiction in all disciplinary matters, and the determination as to whether a case will come into the disciplinary system is not a matter for appeal.
Dean Bonner reported that the Committee discussed at length in their last meeting a substitute motion for amending Section 24 submitted by Robert Hochman. Comparisons in the two amendments were debated. On the strength of the original proposed amendment, as amended in the last Council meeting, which allows the College to extend its jurisdiction, without making it mandatory, and includes the evidentiary determination as well as the judgment of the Dean, the amendment was approved in committee by a vote of 4-1. Today, then, the Committee is presenting their recommendation that the motion (back on the floor) be approved by the College Council. Discussion followed.
Mr. Mysliwiec related that student member Robert Hochman was not able to attend today's meeting but that he supports the motion passed by the Committee.
In response to several questions by Ann Ness, Dean Bonner confirmed that presently off-off campus students fall under the jurisdiction of the Northfield community and its laws and regulations, rather than the College's, in cases other than sexual harassment/assault. The proposed amendment represents a definite change, in that it broadens the scope and extends jurisdiction so that any behavior of a Carleton student, wherever he or she may be, is potentially of disciplinary concern to the College, subject to a determination by the Dean of Students.
Discussion points: It was restated that judgment calls must be made and that responsibility must be vested in someone, in this case, the Dean of Students....The degree of "surveillance" would not increase....The jurisdiction determination is not subject to appeal, but the disciplinary decision would be. The discourse took an interesting turn when discussion of visitor Chris Youngquist's comments clarified that the Sexual Assault Policy (p. 41, paragraph 1, Student Handbook) referred to the accused as a member of the campus community and included visitors as well as faculty, staff, or students when referring to alleged victims of assault on property owned or rented by Carleton. However, in the second paragraph on p. 41, referring to sexual assault committed anywhere other than on property owned or rented by Carleton, a reference to visitors is not included and implies that only alleged violations by community members against community members come under the jurisdictional reach and suitability clause. Professor Tisdale stated the importance of having jurisdictional coverage for assaults against non-members of the College community by members as well. Further, it was pointed out that the Sexual Assault and Harassment policies and the SSRR, as written, are not in agreement. Dean Bonner noted that the eighth line on p. 42 covers non-community members and limits College authority to when a student, faculty member, or staff member have been criminally charged.
Continuing, Dean Bonner suggested that today's motion be approved if it represents the kind of jurisdictional extension wanted and then reconsider the language in the Sexual Assault/Harassment policies, to have agreement with the SSRR. Dean Bonner agreed with Ms. Megan Spears comment that today's motion provides "blanket coverage" or application under which the Sexual Harassment/Assault policies fall. It was felt that today's motion would be operable, from a leg standpoint, even if the language in the Sexual Harassment/Assault policies needs to be reevaluated.
At this time, Mr. Mysliwiec moved to table the motion, to give the Council time to think out the relevant questions more thoroughly. Ann Ness seconded the motion. The hand vote was 5 in favor of tabling today's motion, 8 opposed, and 1 abstention.
Dean McKinsey asked Dean Bonner if the approaching end of term and winter break gave the committee a sense of urgency on the amendment. She said it is her understanding, as this issue is approached, that any decision today is not necessarily final and that the committee will continue discussions and make further refinements as deemed necessary. Dean Bonner agreed. He said that Attorney Wille generally opposed tackling the SSRR piecemeal but thought this issue was so important that she urged its consideration for approval immediately, while the committee proceeds with revision of the SSRR. From a legal standpoint, it is essential for the College to have agreement between Section 24 and the Sexual Assault/Harassment policies, but that can follow the passing of the proposed amendment of Section 24 on the floor.
A motion was made by Professor Alison Kettering to call the question to a vote. The motion to vote on the proposed amendment was passed by a hand vote of 8 in favor, 5 opposed, and 1 abstention.
The Council voted on the following proposed amended version of Section 24 of the "Statement of Students Rights and Responsibilities."
Section 24. Behavior of a student occurring anywhere other than on property owned or rented by Carleton will be of disciplinary concern to the College if, in the judgment of the Dean of Students, the behavior alleged would adversely and seriously affect that student's suitability as a member of the College community, and there is likely to be sufficient information on which the Dean can make a judgment whether a violation of College policy has taken place.
The hand vote was 10 in favor, 2 opposed, and 2 abstentions.
In closing, Dean McKinsey charged the committee to look very carefully at Section 24, within the context of their anticipated comprehensive review of the entire SSRR.
Dean Bonner commented on the committee's plans to continue work on the SSRR and Code of Conduct review. The committee will be reporting back to the Council on its activities.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m. The next meeting is January 11.