September 18th, 2006
- Location: Sayles-Hill 251
- Time: 4:15 pm
- Present: Staff Members Cris Jensen, Rob Oden, Austin Robinson-Coolidge, and Hudlin Wagner; Faculty Members Deborah Appleman, Carol Donelan, Victoria Morse, Sam Patterson and Mary Savina; Students Ali Khaki, Erica Martinez, Andy Navratil, Wade Thompson, Jim Watkins, and Jessica Goad; Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger
- Absent: Staff Members Scott Bierman and Fred Rogers; Alumni Observers Lee Mauk and Sara Anderson
- Guests: Kristine Cecil, Vice President of External Relations
- Secretary: Jessica Goad '07
Approval of Minutes
The minutes from Monday, May 15 2006, were approved unanimously.
President Rob Oden began the meeting by introducing the College Council and its function on campus. His first order of business regarded the capital campaign, which is currently moving from its “silent stage” into one which will go public in May with various celebrations and discussions of its goals. These goals include: financial aid, increased endowment support for the faculty, the arts center, and international matters such as Off-Campus Studies and international student aid. The working goal is $300 million and currently we have raised $128 million. This is approximately the amount at which the previous capital campaign concluded, and hopefully it will be at $150 million in time for May. It was a good summer for the campaign, with both the Alumni Annual Fund and Parents’ Fund exceeding their goals and the receipt of a large grant from the Star Foundation for international student aid. President Oden also discussed progress on the arts center, noting that it would not just be for traditional arts but for the study of the role that the arts play in learning. The Arts Planning Committee produced a report ten months ago entitled “Shaping the Consciously Creative Campus,” but it has moved into a second stage, that of programming shapes and spaces and the search for a director of the center and an architect. Lastly President Oden listed items to be before the College Council this year including parking, a comprehensive ResLife plan, a report from the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, and continuing sustainability issues. President Oden invited committee members to suggest agenda items.
Diversity Initiative Group (DIG)
Professor Carol Donelan, a member of DIG, reported to the Council on the items in front the groups’ next meeting. She began by describing its purpose and statement on cultural and institutional commitment to diversity. Many of DIG’s agenda items from last year will be continued, most importantly the new diversity statement which was approved at DIG’s previous meeting. It will be presented to the larger community this year. Also, DIG is interested in a comprehensive campus climate survey in order to assess how and begin discussion about the actuality of life at Carleton for minority groups. Finally, Professor Donelan noted that Raj Sethuraju, the new Director of Intercultural Life, will give a report to DIG concerning educational programming for the year. Professor Donelan will keep the Council informed of the groups’ progress.
Student Requests for College Funding
Dean Hudlin Wagner prefaced her talk by noting that this conversation began last spring when students were frustrated by not understanding how to obtain funding to travel to academic conferences. Historically, the Dean of Students office has been able to send students to leadership and competitive conferences, but there has been lax oversight in the past and thus funding was inequitable. The process has grown so that many offices co-sponsor events, leading to the erroneous perception that there are many funds available. The DOS does not have a large designated budget, only the Leadership Grant Fund, money for large community initiatives of a collaborative nature such as Party Crew, a budget for academic teams, and a travel grant fund. Challenges to equally distribute these funds are great, in addition to funding of start-up initiatives like the Lens.Kristine Cecil, Vice President of External Relations, then spoke to the related problem of student fundraising methodology and its adverse affect on the work of her office. The concern is that the number of student approaching alumni with the intent of raising money for their initiatives has increased without explicit support from the College. Cecil described the elaborate and sensitive process of asking alumni for money, and noted how independent student contact confuses and angers alumni and prevents the fundraising staff from doing what will most benefit the college. So, she suggested text changes to the CSA website and that student groups be more transparent about the various places from which they receive funding.
Jim Watkins and other students observed that this fact must be made clearer to students and that a dialogue on appropriate ways to solicit funds should begin. Compiling the various resources for funding and publicizing this list would also help to decrease the problem. Other ideas that were discussed included re-evaluating the structuring of student groups, a policy to put into writing or on the web, and a potential liaison between student groups and the office of External Relations. It is important to be explicit about the protocol for requesting student funds.Curricular Initiatives
The scheduled meeting time for the College Council meeting had expired, and thus Professor Mary Savina agreed to postpone her report until the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.
Respectfully submitted,Jessica Goad ‘07
College Council Secretary