February 15th, 1994

  • Location: Sayles-Hill 251
  • Time: 4:15 pm
  • Present: President Stephen Lewis; Deans Elizabeth McKinsey, Clement Shearer; Staffpersons Ann Ness, Martha Meier; Professors Deborah Appleman, Clara Hardy, Richard Keiser, Stephen Strand, Cathy Yandell; Alumni Observer Duane Schrader; Students Ruby Hou, Ben Johnson, Megan Spears
  • Absent: Dean Robert Bonner, Trustee Observer Jack Eugster, Students Jason Hannan, Sundar Srinivasan
  • Guests: Jewelnel Davis, Beverlee DeCoux, David Risk, Jennifer Brennan, Jane Zawadowski, Nick Boebel
  • Secretary: Amii L. DeHarpporte
  • Keywords: board of trustees, stament on diversity and pluralism, pluralism, diversity

President Lewis called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m. The minutes of the January 24, 1994 meeting were approved with the following change in the third paragraph of the President's Report: "...the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Committee..."

1. President's Report

President Lewis summarized the activities of the Board of Trustees during its visit to campus the previous week. Michael Armacost '58, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former Ambassador to Japan and to The Philippines, was appointed as a regular member of the Board. The Board voted to rescind the 1978 restrictions related to investments in South Africa. Tenured appointments were offered to Julie Neiworth, Psychology; Gail Nelson, Mathematics and Computer Science; Gregory Blake Sm ith, English; and Qiguang Zhao, Asian Languages and Literature. Ground was broken for the new science building and faculty presented information to the Trustees about their goals for the facility. The Trustees participated in a lengthy discussion concerning their role in fund raising and other functions of the College. Further, student presenters informed Trustees about Richter and Larson Fellowships, the Model UN, Carleton vocal groups, and Carleton's lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. An ad-hoc com mittee chaired by Trustee Jack Eugster also met to discuss systems for rating colleges and their treatment of Carleton.

The President also reported that several discussions have been held with a variety of groups concerning the draft of the College's Statement on Diversity and Pluralism. He expects a redraft will soon be brought to the College community at large. The Pew Roundtable group will meet within the next few weeks, and the Alumni Board is engaged in discussing how alumni can better assist students in their post-Carleton transition.

President Lewis then invited David Risk, Co-Chair of the Committee on Student Life (CSL), to address the CSL's discussions of alcohol use. Risk noted that widespread student interest in the alcohol issue was sparked by the banning of alcohol delivery to campus and by Dean Bonner's draft of a proposal that would have utilized fire codes to restrict keg use to common areas and limited the number of persons allowed to gather in student rooms. The proposal, Risk noted, attracted such attention that 220 studen ts attended the first CSL meeting after the draft was made public. The proposal has been removed from consideration.

These events, Risk reported, motivated the Dean of Students to charge a Subcommittee responsible for drafting a policy concerning alcohol use and abuse for CSL action. The Subcommittee formulated five values to frame the discussion of alcohol use at parties. They include the affirmation of parties that 1) allow fellow students to sleep and study, 2) respect facilities, 3) respect state and federal laws, 4) facilitate healthy choice making, and 5) are fun. He noted that the final wording for the fifth val ue has not been finalized. The Subcommittee also proposed changing the current party form required of party hosts from a fill-in-the-blank format to open-ended questions. He stated the intent of the change is to foster the five values laid out by the Subcommittee and to encourage students to reflect on the impact parties have on the floor environment.

The Subcommittee then proposed a floor standards model of policy-making to deal with alcohol use. Such a model would give floors the ability to tailor their policy to the atmosphere and expectations of floor members concerning parties and kegs. Such floor policies would be reviewed by Hall Directors to ensure that they uphold the five values set out by the Subcommittee. Further, the Subcommittee has taken enforcement under consideration, although it has not been fully discussed as yet. A possible avenu e is a "two-strike" policy, which would condition the privilege of hosting parties on past performance meeting floor standards and would allow one misstep before the privilege to host parties is revoked. Risk noted that the components of the proposal, such as the party form revision, the two-strike policy, and the floor standards model, could go into effect separately. He said the CSL held an open forum last week, attended by three students, to discuss the proposal. He said he interprets the lack of atte ndance as tacit approval of the ideas embodied in the proposal.

In response to a question from Ben Johnson, Risk reported that the floor standards would affect student behavior only inasmuch as student behavior affects other floor members. Risk responded to questions from Martha Meier and Megan Spears by saying that the CSL has discussed holding all-dorm discussions of the proposal, as well as using the CSA Senate as a liaison for the CSL to gather student feedback. Professor Rich Keiser questioned the mechanism for conflict resolution in judging whether parties meet floor standards, and Risk noted that the CSL has been considering a proposal for a hall-based judicial system that would be equipped to mediate such student concerns. He expects that the alcohol use policy proposal will be moved out of committee to the Council by early spring term.

2. Commitee Reports

Budget Committee:

Dean Shearer passed out a revised preliminary budget and noted that the first preliminary budget registered a gap of $2 million between requests and projected income, whereas the current preliminary budget gap is $300,000. A projected fee increase of 5.5 percent over last year will make for 2.5 percent real growth. Shearer stated in this first year of the new financial aid policy, the preliminary budget includes the resources to admit all but 15 students on a non-need sensitive basis, a calculation which is based on admissions projections on an average grant basis.

The budget will allow for inclusion of benefits with some growth in salaries, Shearer stated. He then passed out Professor Jack Goldfeather's analysis of Carleton's position relative to other colleges in faculty compensation, noting that Carleton does not yet fall within Goldfeather's delineation of the middle range. The analysis was presented to the Budget Committee by the Faculty Compensation Committee. Representatives from the exempt staff and biweekly staff also discussed compensation issues with the Budget Committee, stating that although relative to the market Carleton's compensation is above average, the yearly increases in compensation are not large enough. Exempt staff representatives pointed out that their group is a heterogeneous one and raised the issue of how to show appreciation when use of monetary rewards is untenable.

Shearer reported that the library budget includes maintaining the current journal subscriptions and meeting the purchasing goals for new volumes. Library automation will be funded by both the '93-'94 and the '94-'95 budgets. The computing budget will see real growth, both in academic and administrative capacities, and academic computing improvements will also be subsidized by a grant. The other budget items will not show growth, and many of them, such as utilities and debt service, are not discretionary.

Keiser noted that the two of the top three categories for growth in the budget are computing expenses. He questioned the necessity of such large increases and expressed concern that not enough oversight is being performed in assessing computing budgetary needs. Shearer responded that the computing budget does not meet computing budget requests, the overall goal is being absorbed over time, and is driven by productivity needs. He stated academic and administrative computing capabilities are limited by old software, poor networking, and old machines and cited a tradeoff between initial costs and longevity of technology. The current costs represent the amelioration of historically unmet computing needs. Shearer added that absorbing initial costs may save money in the long run. He cited the cost of not funding computing needs as higher than funding them, and added that it is possible that instituting new technologies could decrease hiring needs.

Shearer reported that the Budget Committee is looking to establish a long-range approach to improving efficiency and improving quality within the budget constraints. That includes questioning what priorities lie at the core of the institution, funding those efficiently, and eliminating extraneous spending. He said that the administrative budget may be an area ready for such reprioritization. Shearer noted that the Budget Committee feels that such a questioning process should begin in the spring, though the body that should be involved is as yet unclear.

Professor Steve Strand questioned how the current budget being presented to the Council differed from the January budget, and Shearer responded that more resources are being put into the financial aid budget. Strand then questioned whether the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee (AFAC) has been involved in the budget process and noted that he felt some members of the AFAC were disappointed that they had not been more included. Shearer stated that there was some question about whether the Council had ma ndated that the AFAC be involved in the budget process or whether it should review its results, and added that the point was moot because the AFAC had not met. Megan Spears noted that the AFAC had been reconstituted and had met last week. President Lewis said that the Council granted the Budget Committee power to recommend changes in the financial aid budget within the constraints set up by the Council, and that the role of the AFAC was to review such changes. Professor Deborah Appleman concurred and sta ted that she traced the source of anxiety about the financial aid budget to the original policy passed by the Council last spring. Shearer said he could now contact the AFAC since it is meeting again.

Strand then noted that the preliminary budget called for a real decrease in the instructional budget and questioned where such cuts were being made. Comptroller Beverlee DeCoux stated that the instructional budget has not actually been cut, but rather that the instructional budget is shrinking in real terms due to the real increase in other uncontrollable expenses, such as legal fees and insurance. Strand expressed concern that the tradeoffs could compromise the goals of the College and dismay that the i nstructional budget that has recently been flat had historically grown by 5-7 percent per year. McKinsey stated that the growth in the academic support budget could reflect increased expenses in areas such as computing and media services, as well as increased dependence on such technology. She suggested a broader definition of the "instructional" budget. President Lewis said that the construction of new buildings and the funding of computer needs rose out of faculty requests for space and technology that they felt outweighed other "instructional" funding. He noted that rapidly growing real budgets did not make such a tradeoff necessary throughout the 1980s. Strand reiterated his concern that the College will not be able to implement changes in programs and maintain instructional quality.

Ann Ness questioned whether the salary increases applied proportionately to faculty, exempt, and biweekly staff. Shearer responded that the Budget Committee budgets the increases in aggregate. Professor Cathy Yandell questioned whether the Budget Committee's thinking about the financial aid budget was influenced by studies comparing Carleton with other colleges. Shearer stated that the Budget Committee both compares the College to other schools and examines how Carleton is doing in our own right using d ata from prospective students who do not end up attending Carleton.

Spears moved that the meeting be adjourned at 5:57 p.m.