May 24th, 1993

  • Location: Great Hall
  • 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; staff person Martha Meier; alumnus Steve Soderman
  • Absent: Trustee Charles Johnson, staffperson Ann Ness
  • Guests: Frank Vinluan (Carletonian), Don Moore, Ben Johnson, Max Stein, Angela Wissman, Chaplain Jewelnel Davis, Professor Julie Klassen, Matthew Bane, Pawan Dhingra, Amy Bidwell, Brian Kettenring, Tara Reid, Professor David Appleyard, Professor Steve Strand, Chris Youngquist, Chris Rohrbacher, Miriam Kass, CODACC Chair Professor Mary Easter, Attorney Karin Wille
  • Secretary: Marge Symens
  • Keywords: codacc, new members, afac,

President Lewis called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m. The Minutes from the May 10, 1993 meeting were approved as written.

1. President's Report

President Lewis reported on the Board of Trustees meetings held on campus May 13-15. The Board had discussions on a variety of topics, including a substantive discussion on CODACC issues. Four new members were elected to the Board: Carol A. Barnett '86, Douglas W. Leatherdale, John H. Roe III, and Kathleen Ligare Rotchford '72.

President Lewis reported that the Board approved, with a clarifying modification, the recommendations in the Admissions and Financial Aid (AFAC) policy forwarded by the College Council. The following modification, number (4) on the Summary page, clarified an issue discussed both in the AFAC Committee and by the Council regarding a budget figure for the future:

"(4) Limits the average annual increase in our financial aid budget to, say, 10% a year, a figure as recommended by the Budget Committee and the College Council and approved by the Board of Trustees, currently set at 10% for 1993-94."

The Board expressed their appreciation for the efforts put forth on this issue by the Committee and all other participants: faculty, students, and staff.

President Lewis also noted that, as stated in Dean of Students Robert Bonner's memo of May 21, the Board of Trustees directed the Committee to Review the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SSRR) to conform to a certain standard in the construction of the code. Their directive is as follows:

"The Board of Trustees will consider changes in judicial procedures only if the powers of the Dean of Students to act in his own discretion (including the possibility of issuing a sanction) on matters which could be of legal consequence to the College are clearly established."

President Lewis expressed concern that this issue may be viewed by some on campus only from the perspective of litigation or potential litigation. He felt the more serious or substantive issue is, What is the College's responsibility and how is that exercised? Students, faculty, and staff, as well as parents, want to be assured that the College, usually in the form of a dean or administrative officer, can and will take appropriate action if inappropriate behavior occurs. The Board wanted to make sure that recommendations passed on to them would include authority for the Dean to act, as appropriate.

President Lewis reported the Board also approved a variety of infrastructure, circulation, parking, and landscaping projects and related funding. A brief discussion was held on the new "shallow lake ecosystem," a DNR recommendation, being implemented for Lyman Lakes.

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

President Lewis recounted that, as a result of the Board's resolution (2/93) to its Finance & Planning Committee urging that objectives set forth to raise faculty salaries to competitive levels among comparable schools be met, salaries for full professors were increased an additional $1,000, with the increase financed by gift income designated for that purpose.

President Lewis shared his observations on a number of things on campus reflecting incivility in behavior toward one another, including remarks in the Carletonian and increasing campus vandalism. He is concerned that certain aspects of the civility felt to be an important and integral part of Carleton is "fraying around the edges a bit" and encouraged those who are on committees and in other ways have opportunities to communicate to people to relay the importance of relating to one another in a civil fashion.

President Lewis reported that Professor David F. Appleyard was named the first Lloyd P. Johnson-Norwest Professor of Liberal Arts.

2. Committee Reports

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

Dean Robert Bonner, chair, referred the Council to the drafts distributed prior to the meeting, noting they will need approval by the last Council meeting, scheduled for June 1. Information included a 20 May 1993 draft of former Student Rights and Responsibilities (SSRR), suggested for placement into various sections in "Policies and Procedures," and a 7 May 1993 draft of policies and procedures regarding Education Records. The single sheet notice regarding Education Records will need approval by the last meeting, before going into the 1993-94 Handbook. Dean Bonner briefed members on the drafts, asking them to read the information and get back to SSRR Committee members with questions and comments before the next meeting.

Dean Bonner said he hopes to obtain Committee agreement and approval to change the "Student Disciplinary Code" to read "Student Judicial Code," on the premise that one can have a judicial process that does not result in disciplinary action.

Dean Bonner noted two other controversial areas in the 20 May 1993 draft. The first involves Article V, C, 2. on page 7 under "Judicial Authorities," which discusses the role of the Hearing Officer (HO). The Committee feels that having the HO chair the Judicial Hearing Board (JHB) offers vital continuity to the management of the judicial hearing process. In a CSA meeting, however, it was questioned whether it was appropriate to have the HO preside over both the hearings and the deliberations and whether adding another faculty person (as HO) would disturb the "balance of power." Dean Bonner said Committee response to the CSA was to suggest that the HO preside over hearings and be available for consultation during deliberations, but neither take part nor vote in deliberations of the JHB. He noted that Attorney Karin Wille pointed out a remaining problem: If the chair of the JHB is not a member of the JHB (as now written) and it goes into deliberations, then the JHB will be without a chair at the deliberation stage. Dean Bonner asked for Council discussion on the issue of disabling the HO as a presider or whether to re-establish the HO as a non- voting presider over hearings and deliberations. As it is written, the HO would preside over hearings but leave the group during their deliberations, remaining available for questions, etc. Dean Bonner advocates having the HO remain as president of the Hearing Board both during hearings and deliberations but some Committee members felt differently.

Mr. Robert Hochman shared his thoughts supporting exclusion of the HO from deliberations, questioning what the presence of a HO would add to deliberations that the other eight JHB members couldn't accomplish. He is concerned about the influence a HO could make on a decision. Dean Bonner felt that removing the person, charged with managing the process to a just verdict, at the point of deliberations could make things unnecessarily difficult. Dean Shearer questioned how the HO, charged with attesting to an entire procedure, could ensure that the procedure was adhered to throughout the entire process if excluded from deliberations. Mr. Aaron Mysliwiec used an analogy of our court system. comparing the HO to a judge who has care over a process, but the jury deliberates its own decision independent of the person who's custodian of the process, while retaining the right to ask questions about procedures, etc. SSRR member Professor Julie Klassen said she thinks of the HO more as an ombudsman than a judge and feels it's important that deliberations are not dominated by one group over another and that the HO should be present to ensure a fair deliberation process.

Attorney Karin Wille acknowledged that the issue could be argued either way and felt there was some value to Mr. Mysliwiec's analogy to the court/jury system. However, one of her concerns is whether the HO, if excluded from deliberations, would be as available and involved as a judge. She mentioned the importance of continuity to the process and noted that in the jury process, they have a foreperson who is to some extent in charge. Her experience with due process indicates that it is sometimes difficult to move things to a decision if there is no one to assume that role, either formally or informally. She sees the benefit of a HO in that regard, to simply keep the process moving. She said it also becomes an issue of trust. If the HO is seen as a positive force, as someone who will move the process along and help a decision be reached in an expeditious matter, then a HO should be present. If there's concern that the HO will inappropriately interpose him/herself into the decision-making process, even without a vote, then it may be better to exclude the HO. She added that a HO may be able to bring an objective perspective to the process. Dean Elizabeth McKinsey, Professor Chang-tai Hung, and Professor Alison Kettering offered their supporting views for including the HO in deliberations, each including comments on the issue of trust. Professor Deborah Appleman commented on the potential for problems of trust that can be particular to a small Midwest college such as Carleton.

Dean Bonner drew the Council's attention to Article VII, "Executive Authority," on page 13 of the 20 May 1993 draft, pointing out that the original first sentence from the SSRR was preserved and the rest is a newly written elaboration of the exercise of executive authority. The Article was written by Dean Bonner with help from the Committee and Attorney Wille. Attorney Wille agreed that it retains the essence of intent, clarifying and elaborating on executive authority without expanding power. Mr. Hochman commented on the absence of a provision in Article VII, discussed in Committee, covering the handling of emergency situations resulting from medical or psychological conditions. Dean Bonner responded that executive authority to handle a variety of situations included the response to medical- psychiatric situations.

The remaining issue was described in the cover memo included with the handouts. Responding to a May 5 draft of proposed SSRR revisions, the Board of Trustees issued a directive to the Committee requesting conformity to a certain standard in the construction of code:

"The Board of Trustees will consider changes in judicial procedures only if the powers of the Dean of Students to act in his own discretion (including the possibility of issuing a sanction) on matters which could be of legal consequence to the College are clearly established."

Dean Bonner said most members of the Committee believed the executive authority described in Article VII was sufficient to guarantee the flexibility enjoined upon them by the Board, that of giving the Dean of Students authority to act unimpaired at his own discretion. The central issue is addressed in the May 20 draft on page 10, Article VI, B., 2., c., "Proceed to Hearing," with the contents written in accord with the majority opinion of the Committee. Dean Bonner reviewed the procedure described therein. The majority opinion felt this particular sub-paragraph should stay as is and rely on the executive authority to provide the flexibility to respond. Dean Bonner said the minority opinion would be best represented by rewriting the Article to give the Dean discretion to hear and resolve cases or refer them to the JHB. This would meet the standard imposed by the Board. This puts discretion by the Dean of Students in the center of the judicial code, rather than in the executive authority, where due process and appeals are available. After much discussion and consultation in committee and around the campus, it is Dean Bonner's opinion that the College will be better served by the minority opinion and that it allows better management of the system. Among other things, it does not encourage deans and presidents to remove things from the judicial process and get them out under executive authority where there are no appeals, and it does not invite legal counterattacks on threshold decisions that bring into play the executive authority.

Mr. Hochman's concern with the minority-view proposal is that it would result in the elimination of the JHB as a practical body that actually decides cases. Professor David Appleyard also expressed concern about the role of the judicial system and governance system if the proposed method of discretion for the Dean is adopted, as well as how it would affect the victim or accuser. As discussion progressed, President Lewis cautioned against viewing whatever is adopted as a "Dean's system" over a "`community' system," since such a view encouraged an unrealistic notion that there was a "community" separate from the College as an entity Whatever system we adopt will be a "community" system. Professor Robert Tisdale asked where precisely was provision made to satisfy the directive of the Board of Trustees. Attorney Wille said that in her opinion the 20 May 1993 draft would not satisfy their directive. In response to Professor Julie Klassen's view that if the College has procedures in place and carefully follows those procedures, the College should not be liable for not following the process, President Lewis said that "due process" is not something the public (parents, injured parties, students) is interested in; they want to know what it is the College did, not about its hearing boards, procedures, etc. Therefore, accountability would fall upon a Dean, the President, or some administrative officer. As a practical matter, then, it comes down to what the nature of the case or alleged offense is and what kind of action will be followed. And, he felt College officers are looked to as the people responsible for making sure appropriate things happen.

A lengthy pro and con discussion took place on all facets of the proposed revised Article VI, B., 2, c. in the 20 May 1993 draft (see attachment), as it relates to the Board's directive. The role and point at which the Dean acts independently and the point of JHB involvement and corresponding advantages and disadvantages, as viewed by various members and visitors, were expressed and discussed. Dean Bonner recounted that the Board wants something in place from the Council ensuring that responsible parties of the College (in this case, the Dean of Students) have the capability to act when a matter of serious legal consequence, public policy, etc., requires something to be done. The Board is not implying that the JHB should be inactivated. It has made the determination, based on difficult past experiences, that something needs to be in place to provide the Dean with the flexibility to act on his or her own discretion on matters of serious legal consequence to the College. SSRR member Chris Rohrbacher, visitor, initiated a brief discussion on the definition of "serious legal consequence to the College," and its interpretation and application as it relates to the Dean's authority or JHB involvement. He felt it was important to discuss the language that is going into the policy rather than just the intentions of the Board and felt today's proposal could lead to the elimination of the JHB as an active body. As discussion continued, Dean Bonner commented that deans would continue to use hearing boards, even in, and perhaps because of, cases of serious legal consequences to the College, if the facts of the matter are in such dispute that the dean needs help in sorting them out. Also discussed was how the College and its responsibility for matters of legal consequence to the College is perceived, the availability and use of the appeals process, having an approachable system of appeal, the effectiveness of a Dean's discretion system or a judicial hearing system in reducing legal liability, and the perception of authority.

Attorney Wille spoke briefly about legal systems, noting that the best legal system is one which resolves complaints. She recounted those things which need to be in place: understanding of rules, communication of those rules, knowledge of sanctions, knowledge of what happens if sanctions are violated, and, then, being addressed today, what is done, what happens when standards are violated? She said at that point a system that effectively resolves that complaint needs to be in place, adding that it doesn't mean both parties will be happy. In her experience as legal counsel to several academic institutions, what the courts are going to look at is, Was the system accessible? Was there a quick resolution? and Was the resolution appropriate to the violation committed? And, Attorney Wille said, the courts are not as interested in "appropriate" consequences as they are in whether the consequences of violations have been clarified. And, in her experience with accessibility, she has found that committees tend to discourage accessibility. She has found that the prospect of going before a group of people, where the process will be more protracted, less confidential, and in some ways less predictable, because of the number of people involved, is more frightening than talking to an individual. A committee has a lack of clarity about it, and accessibility for the plaintiff is usually a function of what will happen to the person. She said she was not the one who would be able to tell whether the JHB does or does not do that well, but she can say from her experience that one individual in whom people have confidence usually enhances accessibility over a group of people that changes over time. She acknowledged that it might come down to the confidence/trust issue again. Attorney Wille reiterated that what the courts are going to want is accountability for appropriate and prompt action. This issue spurred another round of discussion of divided opinion on the role of the Dean and/or the JHB, with participation by Professor Klassen, President Lewis, Chaplain Jewelnel Davis, visitor Chris Rohrbacher, visitor Angela Wissman, Professor Appleyard, Professor Tisdale, and others. Dean Bonner restated the need for institutional flexibility, in dealing with a variety of potentially significant and challenging situations in an expeditious manner, by giving appropriate authority to the Dean of Students to act at his or her own discretion, as deemed necessary.

Committee on Diversity and Campus Climate (CODACC)

President Lewis, in the absence of Committee Chair Professor Mary Easter, who had to leave by 6:00 p.m. for another engagement, spoke briefly on behalf of CODACC.

A draft resolution for Council action was distributed to members prior to the meeting. It expressed Council appreciation to members of CODACC for their efforts; noted that the Dean of the College will continue to work with the Education and Curriculum Committee, academic departments, and faculty on issues pertinent to the curriculum; asked that the President, with assistance from designated others, prepare a draft statement with respect to diversity at Carleton; and requested that appropriate parties report to Council on a regular basis on progress being made on goals and recommendations. President Lewis said there was not enough time this term to work through each of the goals and recommendations in the CODACC report but that it was appropriate to get people working on some things, in particular, a statement of purpose and objectives on diversity at Carleton. He briefly summarized what could be included in such a statement and asked how the Council would like to proceed with this.

Dean Shearer shared some thoughts on the CODACC report, which he recently reviewed. He agreed with Professor Appleman's comments at the last meeting on its lack of direct challenge to the students. He commented on the "hostility" issue, spoken about in spring 1992, noting that much of it is interpersonal, among students or between students and other adults on campus. He opined that the recommendations do not speak to the climate of hostility. He felt that perhaps the CSA and other student organizations should have some responsibility to work with these matters and assess what can reasonably be expected from a college structure in addressing some of these issues. He feels this is something the Council needs to consider as it continues to discuss and assess the implications of the CODACC report.

A brief discussion ensued on how to proceed with the Resolution. President Lewis encouraged Council members to discuss the Resolution during the week, in preparation for its presentation for action at the Council's final meeting on June 1.

Budget Committee

Dean Clement Shearer commented on his report recently distributed to Council members reflecting Committee discussion on administrative growth. He views the report as a work in progress and said the Committee, as a whole, felt the report should have further review and more time provided for comments, questions, additional analysis, and discussion from faculty and others on campus. Dean Shearer noted that the small Committee membership and unavoidable absences by members restricts further progress on this report by the end of the term. To permit the report to be appended, if necessary, after further review, Dean Shearer suggested tabling further discussion until the fall, when the report could be revisited.

Professor Kettering supported Dean Shearer's statement about deferring further discussion on the administrative growth report until the fall. She commented on the Committee's small membership and how absences adversely affected Committee continuity and effectiveness. Presently, the Committee is composed of three administrators, two faculty, and two student members. Professor Tisdale suggested initiating invitations to other faculty and students to attend meetings and, if necessary, to consider changing the composite of the committee within the governance provisions. President Lewis noted that committee membership changes within the governance system can be made by agreement of the College president, faculty president, and CSA president.

The meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 1.