February 9th, 1993

  • Location: Sayles-Hill 251
  • Time: 4:15 pm
  • Present: President Stephen Lewis; Professors Deborah Appleman, Chang-tai Hung, Alison Kettering, Robert Tisdale, Cathy Yandell; students Carleton Crawford, Ellen Cutler, Robert Hochman, Aaron Mysliwiec, Megan Spears; Deans Robert Bonner, Elizabeth McKinsey, Clement Shearer; staffpersons Martha Meier, Ann Ness; alumni Steve Soderman
  • Absent: Trustee Charles Johnson
  • Guests: Tricia Cornell (Carletonian), Chaplain Jewelnel Davis, Committee Chairs Mary Easter and Roy Grow, Dean Paul Thiboutot
  • Secretary: Marge Symens
  • Keywords: board of trustees, enrollment and admissions committee, financial aid issues, carletonian

President Lewis called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m. The Minutes from the January 25, 1993 meeting were approved as written.

1. President's Report

President Lewis reported on the Board of Trustees' meetings on campus this past weekend. The Board received updates of ongoing activities, including the capital campaign, fund raising, admissions and enrollment, and the operating budget. The Board held an extended discussion on financial aid issues following a presentation by the Council subcommittee on admissions and financial aid. The issues also were discussed by Board members in the Enrollment and Admissions Committee and Finance and Planning Committee meetings and at the full Board meeting on Saturday morning. The Board is very interested in the issues and looks forward to forthcoming recommendations from the College Council for any changes in policy to be implemented by the Office of Admissions. The Board emphasized the importance of full discussion and understanding of the issues by both on- and off- campus constituents and alumni.

The Alumni Board, on campus recently, had suggested filming a discussion on financial aid issues, similar to theirs, during the Board of Trustee weekend. On Saturday afternoon, February 6, a discussion and Q & A session on admissions and financial aid issues by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees was videotaped. It will be distributed directly to leadership alumni, and all Carleton parents and alumni will be notified of the video's availability. The video ends with an invitation by Alumni Association President Beth Boosalis Davis for viewers to comment on the issues. Both edited and unedited versions of the video will be available for use on campus. President Lewis thought the discussion was quite lively and candid and covered all the relevant issues and points.

President Lewis reported that the Board's Committee on Community Life and Concerns had a productive meeting with a group of students, focusing primarily on multicultural issues on campus.

The Board also formally approved promotion to tenure for eight faculty members: Professors Deborah Appleman (currently a member of the Council), David Bice, Cynthia Blaha, Ann Braude, Joseph Byrne, Marion Cass, Mark Kanazawa, and Mark McKone. Additionally, Professor Chang-tai Hung (also a current member of the Council) was appointed to the newly endowed chair, the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor of Asian Studies.

President Lewis noted that the three presidents of the College, faculty, and CSA wrote a joint letter that was published recently in the Carletonian inviting people to become informed about the issues before Council, to take advantage of open meetings and available information, and to share their opinions.

* These minutes are unofficial and subject to correction and final approval at the next meeting.

2. Committee Reports

Budget Committee

Dean Clement Shearer, chair, expressed his appreciation to Beverlee DeCoux for filling in for him at the last meeting. He reported that the budget process is continuing and that the committee is conducting a series of hearings. At their last meeting, committee members had a good discussion with representation from the FAC, SAC, and Exempt Forum on compensation issues, which included an FTE audit. Their questions, comments, and discussion provided a good perspective on compensation issues and will be included in budget considerations by the committee. College Librarian John Metz will be attending the next meeting. Hearings will be completed by the end of the month and targeted budget work will become more defined. Dean Shearer anticipates additional input from the Comptroller and further identification of areas for possible reduction.

President Lewis commented about a rumor on campus, possibly stemming from the "level-funding" budget requests that went out, that there will be no salary/benefits increases this year. He felt it was important that Council members and the Budget Committee convey the message to people, early in the season, that salary/benefits increases have been included in the budget.

Admissions and Financial Aid Committee

Chair Professor Roy Grow gave a brief interim report on committee activity to date. Since the last Council meeting, the committee has compiled an informational series of charts and tables on budgets, grants, aid, fee income, family income, projections, comparisons, etc. It attempts to help answer the questions: What is happening to the College? Where are we? and What does the data show us? The handout has been distributed and used in several meetings attended by committee members.

Professor Grow gave a brief overview of the handout's contents. He related one trustee's comments, upon reviewing the tables, that we're really not debating whether we're changing our policy, our policy is actually changing from under us: The demographic base is shifting. Continuing, Professor Grow said the question faced, then, is not how do we change our policy but what do we do just to stay where we want to be, if, in fact, that's possible. Professor Grow expanded on possible reasons and trends effecting changes in the student body demographics. The committee at this time has no policy change recommendations to offer; they are continuing to gather and process data and hold discussions and hearings. He asked Council members for their input at this stage.

Admissions Dean Paul Thiboutot commented that at their last meeting and also in the Board of Trustees' Committee on Enrollment and Admissions, the committee looked at the marketing and recruiting implications that might occur from any change in policy and reviewed research data on how different families, based on income background, react to the various characteristics of Carleton. Two conclusions from the research data are that there is much greater price sensitivity among families with incomes of $60,000 and higher than probably realized (Chart 4) and that the issues on attracting students in general might have more to do with location, perceived quality, and other kinds of issues than what might be the financial aid policy or package. The committee will continue to look at these issues and will next look at issues of student diversity and ethnicity and at campus community reaction to any change in policy. Dean Thiboutot noted that subtle, not major changes, could achieve objectives.

Dean Shearer commented that the committee seems to be working well together and is attempting to adhere to the timetable laid out by Professor Grow at the last meeting. It is hoped that the Committee can complete their work and make any recommendations for change before the beginning of spring term. Dean Shearer clarified that the College is not talking about cutting back on financial aid but setting objectives for steady but controlled growth. Efforts will continue to seek additional input and promote discourse on the issues.

CSA President Aaron Mysliwiec said that a student group is organizing to become involved in the admissions and financial aid issues. He also noted the need for clarity and forthrightness of any information about the issues communicated to the campus community.

President Lewis remarked that when the Alumni Board was on campus, several alumni from the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s commented that they hoped nothing will happen to change the basic character of the College because it was so good when they were on campus. And, President Lewis noted, the share of students on financial aid during the '60s was much lower than in the '70s and much lower in the '70s than in the '80s, and much lower in the '80s than it is now, but all had the sense that it was just right when they were here. He cautioned against forming conclusions at this time about what the effect of any change would do to the fundamental nature and character of the College. The need to do something is persuasive, since the College cannot keep on increasing aid at the rate it has in recent years. The College needs to determine the sensible thing to do, given its objectives. Making any shift should be done in light of Carleton's commitment to access, diversity, and excellence in the student body. President Lewis encouraged everyone interested in these issues to become acquainted with all the information available on the issues.

Discussion, questions, and opinions on the various admissions and financial aid issues followed at some length. Professor Grow cautioned against a tone to discussions implying that the Committee has already focused on a specific policy; they have not gotten nearly that far.

Committee on Diversity and Campus Climate

Professor Mary Easter, chair, reported that they expect to hear yet from some departments which have indicated their interest and intent to respond to CODACC's invitation to share their prioritized list of concerns and ideas on diversity and campus climate issues to help facilitate CODACC conversations and deliberations. Academic departments are reporting successful meetings on the issues and the committee is generally encouraged by the response and interest shown from other sectors of the campus. The committee feels they are engaged in a process where no singular point will define the end results and conclusions.

Response by the faculty to invitations to discussion groups on diversity and climate issues has been very positive. Professor Easter feels they are well into the process and invites suggestions from the Council on how to continue to move forward, beyond reaction to the first status report, a measure of CODACC's experiences during fall term, and toward accomplishing their mission.

Professor Easter reported that CODACC currently is compiling a second status report. Plans for their final status report, by the end of winter term, will include a basic listing of the various categories, programs, offices, efforts, etc. supporting diversity and campus climate at Carleton. During spring term, CODACC envisions having a separate committee charged with conducting interview-type meetings with the supporting groups, to gain a more complete understanding of how existing efforts work.

Student discussion groups are scheduled to begin the week of February 22, and faculty meetings begin Thursday, February 11. Staff discussion groups are still being formulated. Because of time constraints, interaction between the focus groups is not planned.

Professor Alison Kettering commented on the advantage that child care provisions could have toward maximum attendance at the meetings and the need to continue efforts implemented by CODACC into the future. She said that during her department's discussions, it was suggested to set aside a Convo time for discussion across campus on diversity/climate issues. Professor Deborah Appleman added that a conversation between CODACC and the Carletonian may be useful for promoting a positive working relationship and constructive reporting on committee activities.

Committee to Review Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SSRR)

Dean of Students Robert Bonner introduced today's action item for Council consideration: A resolution to abolish Part IV (Section 33) of the current Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities in its entirety. Dean Bonner explained the committee's rationale behind the motion, noting that it is contradictory to the recently revised Section 24 and, therefore, potentially confusing in establishing jurisdiction of the Code. He noted that the intent addressed in its last sentence would be retained in the revised SSRR. The motion was passed by unanimous voice vote.

Dean Bonner reported that their committee was not able to meet with the Board of Trustees' Committee on Community Life and Concerns because of time constraints. The Board Committee informally supported the need and purpose of the revision of the SSRR. Board member Attorney Mark Steinberg urged the College to reduce as much as possible its engagement in the quasi-judicial business because of the legal risks it carries. Dean Bonner closed by briefing the Council on the committee's schedule of upcoming meetings.

Dean Elizabeth McKinsey noted that this term the ECC is discussing ethnic studies issues and multicultural education issues that were raised in spring '92 and charged to the committee for discussion by the Council. Council members are invited to attend the meetings and/or contribute their comments and suggestions into ECC deliberations.

President Lewis, in closing, thanked committee members and participants for their ongoing efforts. He invited Council reaction to the recently distributed President's Report, as given to the alumni at Reunion '92.

At 5:50 p.m. a motion to adjourn was made and seconded. The next meeting will be Monday, February 22.