October 14th, 1997
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Time: 4:15 pm
- Present: President Stephen Lewis; Deans Mark Govoni, Elizabeth McKinsey, Clem Shearer; Students Victor Chedid, Kristy Kendall, Kelly Knutsen, Jordan McEntyre, Bill Martin; Professors Scott Bierman, David MacCallum, Jerry Mohrig, Bill Titus, Chico Zimmerman; Staff persons Doug Foxgrover, Sandra Pieri; Alumni Observer Lee Mauk; Trustee Observer Thomas Colwell
- Absent: none
- Guests: none
- Secretary: Christine Fletcher
- Keywords: diversity, facilities, oberlin 50, 21st century committee,
The minutes of the September 15 meeting were approved by a voice vote without dissent with the following change: delete "in faculty meetings" from the first sentence of the first full paragraph on page two.
President Stephen Lewis began by introducing Trustee Observer Thomas Colwell '52. President Lewis remarked that he had asked Professor Bierman and Dean Shearer to update the Council on the progress of the 21st Century Committee and foster discussion from the Council, and reminded the Council of the concern raised last year of needing to reexamine the nature of discussions within College Council. He voiced his belief that the responsibility for creating conversational discussion rests with the entire Council. He proceeded to comment on a report issued by the staff of Minnesota's governor recommending the termination of support to liberal arts colleges and claiming that technical training is a more effective type of education. He noted that it is important to understand that this perception exists in the world, and the importance of being aggressive in presenting Carleton and the value of a Carleton education to the broader public.
Professor Dave MacCallum asked whether institutions similar to Carleton have ever lobbied for funds and governmental recognition for the importance of liberal arts education. President Lewis replied that Carleton belongs to many such organizations, including the Minnesota Private College Council, which is politically active in Minnesota with fund raising, lobbying and research. He also listed several organizations in Washington, D.C., including the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Dean Clem Shearer noted that there have been attempts to form a similar organization for highly selective liberal arts colleges. President Lewis spoke of the diversity of issues and concerns among colleges similar to Carleton. Kristy Kendall asked whether there was a need for student organization to facilitate representation of liberal arts concerns to government officials. President Lewis thanked her for the "offer" and said that he and others would work to take advantage of it. Professor Jerry Mohrig noted he believed that there were more effective college consortia in the past before the colleges of these consortia became more diverse.
Professor Scott Bierman raised the idea of Carleton sponsoring a symposium of similar institutions, perhaps analogous to the "Oberlin 50" group convened some years ago to talk about science education, to address some of these issues. President Lewis noted that some Carleton faculty members in the sciences had discussed creating such a body for the sciences, reconvening the Oberlin 50. Professor Mohrig reported that two years ago the AFAC had recommended that a consortia of liberal arts colleges to articulate the importance of liberal arts colleges. Dean Elizabeth McKinsey noted that in her experience there have been several attempts to form organizations such as those discussed, including the so-called Annapolis group working now. Dean Shearer and Professor Chico Zimmerman discussed the potential need for a more objective base outside of the actual institutions for increasing public understanding of these issues. Professor Bierman repeated his belief that there is real value in the perspective of members of the liberal arts community. [another unfortunately inaudible contribution from Dean Shearer] President Lewis concluded the discussion by saying that he would keep such a project in mind and continue to give it thought.
Dean Mark Govoni updated the Council on the progress of the Recreation Center. He reported on a values engineering seminar which occurred with the architects with regards to budgeting concerns. He noted that architects are in the final stages of design/development to resolve the remaining design issues before creating construction documents. He put the current estimate of total cost for the Recreation Center at about $13.6 million. A steering committee is currently discussing operational concerns of the building. Dean Govoni noted there is a group working on the Lyman Lakes area project, and a student initiative to develop a policy statement for green building construction at Carleton in the future. Kelly Knutsen asked about the details of the draft on green buildings; Dean Govoni noted the difficulty in resolving issues of green building techniques and increased cost of such techniques. Dean Shearer noted there didn't seem to be any problems with most of the guidelines contained in such a draft since they are largely beneficial to the College. Staff person Doug Foxgrover remarked that the concern for green buildings is a relatively new conversation on campus and expressed his interest that this discussion should continue in the future.
Dean Govoni noted the progress of the dining hall project has been slowed for consideration of closing all three current dining venues at Carleton and constructing one dining facility. He added that this idea is still only in preliminary stages of consideration.
Committee on Student Life Update
Dean Govoni reported that the agenda for CSL includes the status of interest houses on campus, as well as a discussion of the effect of need-sensitive admissions on retention and the socioeconomic profile of the student population. Other topics of discussion include the new dining hall project, indoor and outdoor lighting issues, cable TV in residence hall lounges, and violations of early morning quiet hours by construction crews. Bill Martin asked Dean Govoni to clarify what CSL was hoping to accomplish in the discussion of the need-sensitive policy that would not be covered under the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee. Dean Govoni explained that a member had expressed interest in discussing the issue, and that the discussion had generated substantial interest from many members of the Carleton community. Professor Bierman asked whether there was a mechanism in place to assess the effects of the implementation of the need-sensitive policy. President Lewis replied that the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee is involved in such an assessment, and Professor Mohrig noted a comprehensive review was to be made soon, about three years after the implementation of the policy.
Budget Commitee Update
Dean Shearer reported the Budget Committee had been examining issues of staffing at Carleton, discussing the future of work at Carleton and the implications on budgeting. He noted the existence and continued need of employees in departments who are classified as technicians or fifth-year interns, and the concern over the nature of these positions in the future. Professor Dave MacCallum added that the committee has spent considerable time discussing nonacademic faculty support, especially in the area of computers. He also noted the current trend of hiring some personnel on consultant levels instead of full-time employees to free up college FTE slots for higher priority functions. Professor Bierman described the need for support for specialized academic support people. President Lewis noted the need for continued opportunities for employee training. A general discussion ensued on the need to invest in employees as comparable to capital investment.
21st Century Committee MeetingDean Shearer reported since the last Council meeting there have been several community input sessions, and several more are planned as well. He said the committee will continue to be open to new ideas and feedback. Professor Bierman explained the list of terms contained in the mailing to the community from the committee were generated largely from the report from the Navigating the Nineties committee, with some added points from brainstorming of this year's committee. He stressed this list is still very much a work in progress. He also expressed his concern that there has been very little success in generating discussion from faculty, as well as the hope that the Council could find a medium for discussion through which to efficiently inform the committee. Kristy Kendall proposed that the Council might utilize a hold date to discuss the issues surrounding the 21st Century Committee. President Lewis expressed approval and asked Dean Shearer and Professor Bierman to provide the Council with a written update to foster discussion on that day. The Council agreed to meet on Monday, October 27th at 4:15 p.m. for further discussion.
President Lewis adjourned the meeting at 5:57 p.m..