April 14th, 1997
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Time: 4:15 pm
- Present: President Stephen Lewis; Deans Shelby Boardman, Mark Govoni, Clem Shearer; students Victor Chedid, Andrew Johnson, Kristina Kendall, Josh Rising; Professors Steve Durbin, Bill Titus, Catherine Zuckert; staff persons Doug Foxgrover, Jill Tollefson; Alumni Board Observer Alan Thiel
- Absent: Student Eric Whittington; Professors Charles Carlin, Jerry Mohrig; Trustee Observer Katherine Youngblood
- Guests: Students Kate Gratiof, Jordan McEntyre, Bill Martin
- Secretary: Christine Fletcher
- Keywords: budget aproved, mellon foundation, virtual classrooms, calendar, reaccreditation,
The minutes for the March 10, 1997 meeting were approved without corrections by a voice vote without dissent.
President Stephen Lewis reported the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees approved the operating budget passed by College Council at the March 10, 1997 meeting. The "Assuring Excellence" campaign has now received commitments of over $105 million and the Alumni Annual Fund continues to report total commitments of 20-25% more than the 1995-1996 year. President Lewis described a $350,000 grant awarded to Carleton by the Mellon Foundation for use in information technology incorporation into teaching spaces.
President Lewis also noted the burgeoning national interest in the viability of virtual classrooms and universities and concerns for what this trend may mean for the future of Carleton and other similar colleges. He discussed the need to use new technology effectively while maintaining the unique and personal aspects of Carleton academics. He noted that other institutions regard Carleton as a good model with respect to this sensitivity.
Dean Shelby Boardman informed the Council that ECC will soon send a ballot to faculty to determine support for different proposed calendars. Faculty will be asked to choose between three different options for each of two sections of the year -- from August to December and from January to June. For the fall section there are three calendar options being considered: the current schedule, a schedule with a fall term starting and ending later, and a schedule with a later beginning of term accomplished by shortened reading day and exam schedules. For the winter and spring section, the options are: the current calendar, a schedule with a longer Spring Break and shortened reading days and exams, and a schedule with an earlier graduation accomplished by shortened reading days and exams. Faculty responses will be gathered and presented with student opinions for consideration and a vote by the faculty during the May faculty meeting, after which any decision will be brought before the Council for action. Dean Boardman explained that some faculty need to have a longer summer to facilitate research opportunities, and clarified that an adjustment to shorten reading days and exam schedules would require reassessment of the nature of exams.
Student Victor Chedid questioned Dean Boardman about the exact changes proposed to exam and reading day schedules and the effects that such a change might have on the learning difference population at Carleton. Several possibilities were discussed including self-monitored exams and a shift toward less importance being put on the final exam.
Update on Assessment
Dean Boardman updated the Council on two ECC sub-committees examining student speaking and student reading. These committees are addressing issues at Carleton of connections between reading and writing, and assessments of formal, classroom and informal speaking, as well as reviewing the possibilities for making the Writing Requirement more comprehensive. The concern was voiced that any addition to the Writing Requirement should be prevented from becoming an unmeaningful and resented graduation requirement.
Update on recreation Center Planning
Dean Mark Govoni shared his impressions of the Wednesday, April 9 community meeting about the recreation center plans and process, summarizing that the meeting was a very successful opportunity to gain community input. Although opinions were diverse, some of the predominant feelings expressed at the meeting included a sense of discomfort with the timing and pacing of the process, real concerns for maintaining the integrity of the arboretum, as well as considerable support for the recreation center. Dean Govoni informed the Council that work is being done to incorporate these concerns into future action and that the architects are currently working on some alternatives, while the College also deals with the project budget issues. He said that he intends to hold a similar public meeting before the end of the term to present the alternatives.
Student Andy Johnson inquired as to the nature of the timing of an actual decision, to which President Lewis replied that he foresees that enough issues will have been resolved to make a decision by the end of Spring term.
Issues were also discussed regarding the long-term planning effects of building the recreation center in its proposed location and potential impact on admissions.
Dean Shelby Boardman explained to the Council that the College is required to perform a self-study in order to be reaccredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and that this offers an opportunity for the College to learn more about itself in the process. He is forming a committee of faculty, staff, students, alumni, administrators and trustees to frame the self-evaluation process and resulting discussion about Carleton and goals for the future.
Student Victor Chedid expressed the student wish that there be more President's student office hours with more extensive publicity. President Lewis replied by saying that he has office hours regularly and that they are advertised across campus and in the NNB.
Mr. Chedid also raised a student concern of retention and matriculation of students of color at Carleton, and of increased representation of minorities in the faculty. Dean Boardman and President Lewis discussed Carleton's progress in these areas including actions taken by Admissions and the Alumni Board to attract more multicultural students to Carleton, and the desire within academic departments to hire minority faculty. President Lewis discussed national trends of low percentages of multicultural persons attaining PhDs and the high demand for multicultural employees compared to the relatively small population. Dean Shearer commented that Carleton's numbers for retention and matriculation of minority students are encouraging, but that the College needs to focus on attracting more minority applicants. The general feeling was that this is still a major area on which Carleton needs to focus.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.