April 12th, 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 Ellen Cutler, Robert Hochman, Ruby Hou, Aaron Mysliwiec, Megan Spears; Deans Robert Bonner, Elizabeth McKinsey, Clement Shearer; staffpersons Martha Meier, Ann Ness; alumnus Steve Soderman
  • Absent: Trustee Charles Johnson
  • Guests: Voice Editor Diana Anderson; Assoc. Dean for Institutional Research David Brodigan; Assoc. Dean of Admissions Kevin Brown; Miguel Cordova, Admissions; Ben Endres; Matt Engel, Carletonian; Admissions & Financial Aid Committee Chair Professor Roy Grow; Director of News Bureau Joe Hargis; Ben Johnson; Rebecca Louisell; Professor Jerry Mohrig; Chris Rohrbacher; Director of College Relations Jim Shoop; Chris Snowbeck, Carletonian editor in chief; Max Stein; Dean of Admissions Paul Thiboutot; Angela Wissman, Carletonian managing editor
  • Secretary: Marge Symens
  • Keywords: president travel, AFAC,

President Stephen Lewis called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m. The Minutes from the March 8, 1993 meeting were approved with the following correction to the attendance listing on page one:

present: ... alumni alumnus Steve Soderman

1. President's Report

President Lewis reported that during his travels over spring break he saw a number of alumni, parents, and friends and also during that time $700,000 was received in capital campaign commitments, including $600,000 from two foundations toward the Center for Mathematics and Computing.

President Lewis commented on the volume of Council business this spring term. Today's biggest agenda item is a report from the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee (AFAC). Copies of the committee's written report were distributed to members and the Council took about ten minutes to review its contents. President Lewis hoped that the Council would get a good start today on the airing and discussion of issues, to the satisfaction of both the committee and the campus community. The issue would not come to closure today but is targeted for closure at the May 10 Council meeting. President Lewis commended Professor Roy Grow for his leadership and the AFAC for their comprehensive efforts and campuswide involvement and participation in the issues.

2. Committee Reports

Admissions and Financial Aid Committee (AFAC)
Committee Chair Professor Roy Grow expressed his appreciation to the committee, noting they were a wonderful, hard-working committee to chair. He also commended all others from the campus community who have been a part of their efforts.

Professor Grow said the sizable document includes information to help understand the process that the Committee went through and to provide sufficient background material and supportive data to promote informed discussion. The Committee report presents a series of unanimously agreed-upon recommendations and a series of conclusions about the recommendations.

Professor Grow talked briefly about the series of conclusions that the Committee reached (as noted in the white pages) and then proceeded to the recommendation, which moves in a careful and limited way for the last portion of an entering class away from need-blind admissions and toward, as warranted, a greater degree of need-sensitivity. He called attention to the charts (yellow pages) which contain updated data and projections. He reiterated that the financial aid issues being discussed are real. The Committee, from examination of the charts, came to the conclusion that there has been a real shift in the last number of years in the College's financial aid patterns and that these shifts have had a

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

major impact on our budget which, in turn, has influenced the College's goals and mission. The second conclusion reached was that the changes were not a result of choices and decisions made by the College but from external factors--economic, family income, saving rates, increase in non-traditional families, tax change implications, etc. (Reference was made to Chart 5 and the year-to-year financial volatility in the financial aid pattern.) Professor Grow emphasized that the Committee believes none of this volatility is a function of a gradual increase in multicultural students or a gradual change in the income base of the student body nor will the solution to the problems the College is facing come from a reduction in multicultural students or students from low-income families. Rather, the College must come to grips with and figure out ways to handle the volatility in the financial need of the middle and upper-middle income families in the process of admissions. The third conclusion reached, as the Committee searched for options, is that a number of options (among those listed in the blue section), formulated from campuswide input, were considered unsuitable for Carleton, ineffective for the problems faced, or unworkable. Professor Grow referred to several options as examples.

Professor Grow said the options that appeared most suitable to the College's goals were narrowed to Numbers 2 and 7 (blue sheets), which involve increasing the work study/loan part of the aid package and/or using need-sensitive criteria for the last portion of the entering class. Citing Career Center figures and last year's AFAC proposal, he said Carleton is pretty much where it ought to be in terms of its loan packages, and the committee moved in unanimously support of Option 7, recommending the application of need-sensitive criteria to a small percentage of the entering class when warranted by budget considerations. The growth in the financial aid budget would be maintained at about 10 percent per year. The committee feels this option allows the College to keep those goals it values the most--- goals that include academic excellence, recruiting an exceptional student body, and increasing diversity in the student body and the curriculum.

Dean for Budget and Planning Clem Shearer noted that a 10 percent growth in the financial aid budget is still a significant growth and felt that today's recommendation does not compromise the College's policy of admission on merit and promise nor is the College abandoning its basic policy of need-blind admissions. Not mentioned in the report, he added, were the efforts of the committee to consider various suggestions on ways to maintain the current need-blind policy. Suggestions ranged from "just raise more money," which is unworkable as the financial aid budget, if left functioning as is, would out-pace any amount of money that has ever been able to be raised, to "relating need-blind to the building or capital campaign," which has no relationship, as money contributed specifically for the building program would not be directed into the financial aid budget, and, again, the growth in the aid budget outstrips the budget of the building program. Another concern on campus was that the College would lose its egalitarian nature if a change in the need-blind admissions policy was made. Dean Shearer said that the College has not lost sight of that goal and that reference to efforts by the College toward an egalitarian nature, of which need-blind admissions is just one of several factors, is included in today's report.

Discussion followed by Council members and visitors at this time. Professor Chang-tai Hung asked whether the application of need- sensitivity in the new policy would dramatically affect the makeup and diversity of the student body and if a diverse, multicultural student body could be maintained and assured. Professor Roy Grow's response focused around the consensus in the committee that the biggest threat to achieving and preserving those goals would be a failure to come to grips with the budget itself. If an effective financial aid budget is not in place, the College would be hindered in its efforts to meet the goals of diversity on campus and in recruiting those who would make up the student body to that end. Dean of Admissions Paul Thiboutot supported that view, adding that application of need-sensitivity to a small percentage of the entering class will not affect the College's larger, overall goals toward diversity. Multicultural students are admitted all along the admissions process; application of today's recommendation may affect a few multicultural students, along with others offering diversity in academics, athletics, music, etc. He noted that it is not a matter of trade-offs between those needing aid and those not needing any but in the amount of aid needed and that determination of need is not strictly socioeconomically based. Dean Thiboutot said some candidates under early decision may be deferred if we think we will look at them on the basis of what their need- sensitivity would be in the regular pool, adding that early-decision candidates presently are either accepted, denied, or deferred for further consideration.

Professor Deborah Appleman asked how determinations, as mentioned in the second paragraph of the recommended policy on the Summary page, would be made as to when need-sensitivity criteria would be applied. Professor Grow explained some of the variables and factors and the process involved, emphasizing that determining admissions and the amount of financial aid required by the entering class is much more an art than an exact science. In response to Ms. Megan Spears' inquiry, Dean Thiboutot, Professor Grow, and Mr. Steve Soderman contributed explanations and comments as to how the recommendation may relate to and affect the "wait list."

Dean Robert Bonner referred to the fourth point on the first (Summary) page of the committee's report and suggested using a more forthright phrase than " (4) Limits the average ... financial aid budget to, say, say, say, 10% a year," in defining the College's policy goal. President Lewis commented on Point 4 in general, noting that projections over the next 10-12 years include about a 10 percent increase in financial aid. He said the College will stay in financial equilibrium provided more money is raised than has been raised heretofore, adding that the projections are based on that premise. Effective and increased fund raising in this decade will be vital to the College's fiscal stability. President Lewis said he would not want to see the recommendation's figure go higher than 10 percent; projections indicate that should be the upper limit. He acknowledged that the word "say" could possibly be eliminated but that there should be some assumption to work with. President Lewis said that framing a year-to- year financial aid budget is, as the committee said, an art not a science, and it is important to have some leeway for the variables and unpredictability in it. He added that the aid budget, within the recommendation, will remain the most rapidly growing budget expense item, and these projections emphasize the primary importance of Carleton's strong financial aid program in order to attract the kinds of students it wants. Professor Grow also commented on the difficulty of stipulating a specific figure while retaining some flexibility for expected year-to-year fluctuations.

Discussion on admissions and financial aid issues among members and visitors continued and included: the relationship between capping the aid budget increase at 10 percent and guaranteeing that no more than 15 percent of the entering class will be admitted on need-sensitive criteria; the logistics behind arriving at the 10 percent figure; the potential cumulative effects on the budget when staying within proposed guidelines; the need to stay within a yearly 10 percent or less increase in the aid budget and the repercussions and effects on the operating budget if there isn't a cap; AFAC's monitoring and evaluating of the policy; what happens if projections do not happen; etc.

President Lewis thanked the committee for their efforts and the information provided to Council today. Discussion will continue on admissions and financial aid issues at the next meeting.

Committee on diversity and Campus Climate (CODACC)

President Lewis reported on a conversation with Professor Mary Easter, committee chair, prior to the meeting. The committee is in the process of putting together their final report, due for completion next week, and will formally report to the Council at the next meeting.

President Lewis shared some information about the student discussion groups that took place the early part of spring term, mentioning that attendance at these meetings was disappointing. From eight scheduled meetings, total attendance was about twenty-five students. Professor Tisdale added that it's very hard to conclude anything [positive] without more interest and participation and that the meetings represented a lot of time and commitment on the part of those who coordinated, advertised, invited, and facilitated the meetings.

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

Dean Bonner, chair, referred members to the recently distributed draft of SSRR information that has been worked through and processed in committee discussion. Dean Bonner explained briefly how this information fits into what they are doing and how, in addition to rethinking some of the processes, they are trying to bring together the different parts of the handbook---policies, procedures, Code of Conduct, and various systems, such as the Academic Standing Committee, Judicial Hearing Board, Appeals Board, etc. Today's draft defines terms and gives jurisdictional statements, statements of conduct, and sanctions.

Dean Bonner hopes to move the process along, providing additional text to Council members as it is generated to give ample opportunity for feedback and evaluation. When a more complete draft is formulated, it will be shared with other interested parties beyond the Council.

A brief discussion took place after Professor Cathy Yandell questioned the appropriateness of the word "classroom" in the "Faculty member" definition on page one. Dean Elizabeth McKinsey suggested substituting the word "instructional."

Discussion also ensued as a result of alumnus Steve Soderman's remarks about Number 21 under "Prohibited Conduct." He felt it was too inclusive and could be interpreted to mean prohibition of such basics or essentials as hair dryers and shavers. Professor Yandell also sparked conversation when questioning Number 14 under "Prohibited Conduct," regarding firearms and fireworks, and its application and legality in all situations. Professor Kettering remarked on the vagueness of Number 24 under the same category.

Work on the SSRR will continue and Dean Bonner hopes to have more information for the Council at the next meeting. President Lewis thanked Dean Bonner and the committee for their work.

Budget Committee

In the absence of Dean Clement Shearer, chair, who had to leave early for another engagement, President Lewis informed the Council that the committee did not have a report but that they will be making a particular effort to look at various kinds of administrative expense categories.

President Lewis brought the meeting to a close. A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 6:00 p.m.