February 11th, 2003
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Present: Deans Mark Govoni, Stephen Kelly and Shelby Boardman; Professors Jack Goldfeather, Martha Paas, John Ramsay, Kim Smith and Dana Strand; Students Luke Hasskamp, David Gold, Dan Farmer, Alex Cook and Hubert Cook; Staff Persons Lois Perkins and Andrea Nixon.
- Absent: President Robert A. Oden, Jr; Alumni Observer Neil Chaffee; Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger
- Guests: Controller Beverlee Decoux
- Secretary: Christine Lee
- Keywords: 2003-2004 Budget, Student Disciplinary Records
Approval of Minutes
The College Council minutes for the meeting of January 13, 2003 stand approved without corrections.
Student Disciplinary Records
By a vote of 14 in favor and 1 against, the College Council approved a change regarding the length of time a student's disciplinary records are retained. Under the old policy, the Dean of Students maintains formal disciplinary records for all violations for six years following separation from the College. Informal disciplinary records are destroyed immediately after separation. The proposed policy recommends the following changes: records of disciplinary status up to and including disciplinary probation are maintained until graduation or until two years after withdrawal from the College; records of disciplinary suspensions, both academic and nonacademic, are maintained for five years; and records of expulsion are kept for ten years.Preceding the vote, Dean Govoni reiterated the rationale behind the proposed changes, particularly the desire to hold students accountable for their actions while enrolled at Carleton without subjecting students to "permanent punishment" by maintaining records of suspension and expulsion indefinitely. Dean Govoni also quickly summarized the policies of ten other colleges and explained that there is no clear consensus among colleges regarding this policy area, but the proposed changes are within normal parameters. Professor Paas restated her prior concerns and suggested that the College should keep disciplinary records of expulsion indefinitely, because students are held responsible for their academic performance and should be equally responsible for other types of behavior, especially serious offenses that have consequences for the entire community. Professor Kim Smith responded that the expulsion itself and the permanent demarcation on the transcript is a sufficient consequence. Similarly, Professor Jack Goldfeather reasoned that if a student failed a course, the only permanent record would be the transcript, rather than the tests and papers that substantiated the grade. Dean Govoni explained that in the event of an expulsion, the transcript would be coded as a "disciplinary dismissal" and a suspension would be coded as a "withdrew." Professor John Ramsey contended that disciplinary actions do reflect on character, but the notation on the transcript for expulsions only should be sufficient. After the vote, Dean Govoni concluded by stating that if the College's attorneys made any substantive changes, he would bring the changes back to the Council.
Approval of 2003-2004 Operating BudgetThe Operating Budget for 2003-2004, as presented by Dean Steve Kelly and Controller Beverlee Decoux, was approved unanimously by the College Council. Due to a three-year decline in the economy, the College has had to readjust spending to the new lower endowment base for the long-term financial viability of the College. Dean Kelly explained that the economic and market downturn has led to a lowered anticipated return on the endowment, lowered estimates for the Alumni Annual Fund, and a plan approved by the Board of Trustees to lower the endowment draw to 4.5% within three years. In order to maintain momentum in student aid, to fund the health insurance increases, and to allow for a small salary increase above inflation for faculty and staff, freezes in most discretionary spending and small cuts in the supplies, equipment, building maintenance, utilities, debt service, travel, field trips and training budgets were made. Dean Kelly also announced that the student comprehensive fee will increase 6% to narrow the gap between Carleton's fee and the average fee for other schools in our comparison group, thus maintaining our market position in relation to our competitors. Dean Kelly assured the Council that the 7.9% increase in scholarship aid and Carleton's commitment to supporting the full demonstrated financial need for admitted students will offset the increase in comprehensive fee. In response to Professor Ramsay's question regarding lowered state funding, Dean Kelly explained that although government support dollars have decreased, Carleton is less impacted by this change than other colleges and universities in Minnesota. Overall, Dean Kelly concluded that current economic conditions require prudent planning, but the Budget does not assume any drastic changes in programs or staffing levels and maintains the goals elaborated by the Carleton in the Twenty-First Century report. Dean Kelly thanked the Budget Committee and the Board of Trustees for their hard work and thoughtful deliberations, and Professor Paas emphasized that this was a very fair budget that encouraged everyone to share the burden of the economic downturn. The Budget will be sent to the Board of Trustees for approval at the March 20, 2003 meeting.
The meeting ended at 5:20 p.m.