February 22nd, 1993

  • Location: Sayles-Hill 251
  • Time: 4:15 pm
  • Present: Professors Deborah Appleman, Chang-tai Hung, Alison Kettering; students Carleton Crawford, Ellen Cutler, Aaron Mysliwiec, Megan Spears; Deans Robert Bonner, Elizabeth McKinsey, Clement Shearer; staffpersons Martha Meier, Ann Ness
  • Absent: President Stephen Lewis; Professors Robert Tisdale, Cathy Yandell; student Robert Hochman; Trustee Charles Johnson; alumni Steve Soderman
  • Guests: Committee Chairs Roy Grow, Mary Easter; Dean Paul Thiboutot; Kent Crossley (Carletonian)
  • Secretary: Marge Symens

Dean Elizabeth McKinsey called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m. The Minutes from the February 9, 1993 meeting were approved as written.

1. President's Report

In the absence of the President, who is out of town on College business, Dean of the College Elizabeth McKinsey chaired the meeting. There was no report on behalf of the President and the meeting proceeded to committee reports, as noted on the agenda.

2. Committee Reports Admissions and Financial Aid

Professor Roy Grow, chair, distributed a draft handout compiled from a committee brainstorming session. It reviews Carleton's current need-blind admissions and fully funded financial aid policies and lists a range of options under four categories for consideration in addressing the escalating growth in financial aid costs.

Professor Grow said that in the past couple of weeks, the committee strove to gain a sense of what options are available. He senses that as the committee continues to work its way through all the available information and data, it has become even more committed to defining a sense of the problem and where the solution lies. He felt he could speak for the committee in saying that they feel the problem is not a result of the College's attraction and recruitment of more non-majority students or from some policy within the College but, rather, that the real source of the problem is in the massive "dislocation" within our core constituency, defined loosely as middle-income majority students. Within the past decade and especially during the last four to five years, these students and their families have been particularly affected by all the forces reshaping our society, which ultimately affect financial resources and capabilities and subsequently the ability to pay increasing college costs. Professor Grow noted that currently more students need financial aid and in greater amounts. (Charts distributed at the last meeting showed that close to 60% of incoming freshmen need financial aid and the average amount given is well over $8,000.)

Professor Grow explained that the handout before Council members is a continuum of possible options and is the result of the committee's attempts to confront and work through the problems and determine solutions for the longer term. The suggested options would affect the two related but separate policies: need-blind admissions and fully funded financial aid.

Professor Grow briefly reviewed the ten options given on the handout, noting that the committee has not yet discussed the options in depth but only identified the possible range. The committee will further review information and define the options, review their feasibility and workability on an individual basis, and weigh the costs and benefits before reporting back to the Council. Professor Grow expects the list to be trimmed as the committee nears the final-recommendation stage. He invited further input and options from Council members.

A brief discussion took place on the availability of financial data, etc., in determining costs and benefits of the options; loan limits; loan repayment responsibilities; and related matters.

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

Committee on Diversity and Campus Climate (CODACC)

Professor Mary Easter, chair, reported that about half of the scheduled faculty conversations on diversity and campus climate issues have meet and the discussions are going very well. Two more groups will meet tonight and four groups will meet on Wednesday, February 24.

Professor Easter said that many kinds of concerns have surfaced and the committee has received a lot of positive feedback from group participants. A general report will be prepared summarizing the kinds of issues people want to talk about. She added that the exempt staff held a meeting last week and reports from that are very positive. Student meetings begin this evening and the biweekly staff will hold their meeting next week. Professor Easter noted that the committee is in the process of trying to schedule a convocation date in which campuswide discussion, in the form of diversified smaller groups, can take place.

Professor Easter added that in addition to implementing discussion groups, the committee is continuing to compile a large-scale, skeletal list of the College's existing major efforts toward diversity. Information on the most recent efforts toward diversity has been solicited from various departments and offices around campus. This information will be included in the committee's second status report. A third and final report, in draft form by the end of winter term, will go beyond the diversity list to include the committee's recommendations and point of view. Professor Easter said that their recommendations will be based on all that has been discussed, all information gathered, the substance of all group conversations, and on the committee's own perception and assessment of strengths and weaknesses in diversity efforts on campus. The committee will reflect and contribute both the community's and its own point of view to diversity deliberations.

Budget Committee

Dean Clement Shearer distributed a 1993-94 Operating Budget Summary handout and presented a progress report on efforts toward committee recommendations on the 1993-94 budget. The committee's approach to budget deliberations and decisions is based on the various budget- related hearings, examinations, and discussions held by the committee during winter term and a careful examination of income projections and budget requests. After an initial evaluation, departmental budgets have been returned to division heads for further examination and definition of areas for reduction. The budget process is still active and today's handout is an indicator of where it is heading as work continues toward a balanced 1993-94 budget. The budget is expected to be in more final form by the next Council meeting.

Dean Shearer reported that during the last two meetings the committee has looked at the spending trends of academic, administrative, student services, and other broad spending areas. They found a general trend of decreasing Education and General (E&G) funds for instructional purposes relative to some non- academic purposes. Dean Shearer added that the size, factors, and sources driving trends are not always well understood; trends need to be questioned and evaluated for use in the decision-making process. He said the committee's review of E&G figures for the last 17 years (1975-1992) showed a drop in the instructional share of funds from 55% to 44% and a growth in administrative costs from 21% to 27%. However, Dean Shearer noted that instruction in 1975 is not the same as in 1992; some would argue that computing services and library materials, services, and technicians are integral to the curriculum and instruction and, thus, the academic support and instructional columns could be added together. Further examination, he said, showed that the budget for academic support, primarily computing and library services, has actually grown by more than 600% during the 17-year period and adding these figures into the traditional instructional costs would show about a 6% decrease in the academic share of the E&G budget, from 63% to 57%.

Dean Shearer commented on another growth area, the FTE. He explained that of the 41 additional FTE since 1988, seven are funded from the capital campaign and seven are supported by soft money. Of the remaining 27, eight are in the faculty ranks, five in academic support, nine in student services and administration, and five in the service department. He noted that much of the FTE growth has resulted from strategic goals set in the "Priorities Report," or recognition by the Board of Trustees, or others that the College needed to improve fund raising and alumni support and to hire faculty in some critical areas. Dean Shearer said it has been suggested and he agrees that FTE growth should result from a deliberate consideration of the College's needs and the impacts of additional faculty or staff and that there ought to be a goal within which FTE growth is considered. He also said there is a need to look at the forces that drive FTE, determine appropriate, affordable growth, and avoid falling into the trap of reducing staff, trying to do everything and in the same way, doing them less well, and soon asking ourselves where we went wrong.

Dean Shearer mentioned that at the invitation of the Pew Higher Education Research Program, the College will be part of an informal discussion group looking at a range of issues and examining the fundamental premises of who we are, who we serve, and how well we satisfy the social demands being faced. The group will not form policy but will enable participants to better understand those things that drive budgets and the educational process and financial and long-range planning.

Dean Shearer referred the Council to the Budget Summary handout. He noted that the figures resolve the deficit and commented on the four priority areas carefully reviewed: financial aid; compensation and compensation growth; library materials, books, and periodicals; and computing needs (academic computing estimates have not been included to date). These four areas are those that to some extent are controllable and that have some growth in them. Dean Shearer feels the figures will change some in response to further suggestions by division heads, and a final version will be available for the next Council meeting. A brief discussion time on various budget figures and issues followed Dean Shearer's presentation, including on the aid budget and government policy; the government's proposed energy tax and its subsequent effect; changes in projections; student wage rates and determination of increases and factoring in financial aid packages; etc.

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

Dean Robert Bonner, chair, distributed minutes from committee meetings on February 10 and 17. He commended the Carletonian for its efforts in keeping the campus apprised of committee issues and discussions.

Dean Bonner reported that the committee soon will be generating SSRR text to frame the sections on rights in residence and student records. The text, written under the guidance of legal counsel Karin Wille, primarily will be clarification of practices that have developed in the implementation of the present policy rather than significant policy changes. The section on student records will be rewritten to incorporate more fully the dictates of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment).

Dean Bonner noted that the minutes from the February 17 meeting reflect some of the ongoing discussion points and disagreements about organizing the judicial hearing process. There continues to be lack of consensus on the authority and jurisdiction of the dean within the judicial process and it is likely, because of the lack of agreement, that the committee will offer split recommendations and present both majority and minority reports. Dean Bonner said the committee is in agreement about having a hearing officer. The officer would likely be a presidential appointment for an extended term as a non-voting chair of the Judicial Hearing Board. The officer would be actively involved in the training of those working within the College's judicial system and superintend the entire hearing procedures. Dean Bonner felt that the time commitment for the hearing officer was comparable to that needed for a significant committee assignment.

Dean Bonner said the committee is moving ahead as planned and legal counsel will begin working on the text. The goal is to have a document ready for approval by the Board of Trustees at their May meeting, so it can be included in the student handbook for fall 1993.

Dean McKinsey noted that the next Council meeting (and last one of winter term) on Monday, March 8, will include a 1993-94 budget recommendation for action and a mandated report from both CODACC and the ECC.

The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.