November 11th, 1996

  • Location: Sayles-Hill 251 - 4:15 p.m.
  • Time: 4:15 pm
  • Present: President Stephen Lewis, students Victor Chedid, Andy Johnson, Kristi Kendall, Josh Rising, Eric Whittington; Professors Charles Carlin, Stephen Durbin, Jerry Mohrig, Bill Titus, Catherine Zuckert; Deans Clem Shearer, Mark Govoni; staff- persons Jill Tollefson, Doug Foxgrover; Alumni Observer Salimah Majeed; Trustee Observer Katherine Youngblood.
  • Absent: none
  • Guests: Professor Cathy Yandell
  • Secretary: Gretchen Dee
  • Keywords: discover carleton, calendar, think

President's Report

President Stephen Lewis began by briefly updating the Council on the October meeting of the Board of Trustees. He announced the Assuring Excellence campaign kick-off event in the Twin Cities on October 26 was a huge success, as was the Discover Carleton on-campus celebration the following day. In addition, response to similar kick- off events had been excellent in Boston, New York, Washington, and other cities. Professor Cathy Yandell and other members of the Council complimented President Lewis on the quality of the events.

Approval of 1998-1999 Academic Calendar

Dean Elizabeth McKinsey reported that because of the calendar change discussion the Council has never approved a calendar for 1998-1999. She stated the need for a tentative calendar so that faculty and staff could begin to make plans. She presented a draft of a 1998-1999 academic calendar that followed the model established by the 1996-1997 academic calendar. This model set the beginning of New Student Week on a Thursday, the beginning of classes on the following Wednesday and established the last exam day of the first term as the Saturday before Thanksgiving. She briefly reminded the Council of the advantages of such a model, which include allowing parents of new students easier access to College offices at student drop off, and providing for easier and less expensive travel for students and faculty before the holiday. Student Eric Whittington questioned what impact proposed changes in the current calendar/course load debate would have on the proposed 1998-1999 calendar and suggested a disclaimer be included in the final draft. Dean McKinsey stated that no significant changes currently being discussed would have an impact on the 1998-1999 calendar, but agreed that a disclaimer in case of small changes would be appropriate. The Council discussed what might be included in such a disclaimer. Dean McKinsey motioned to approve the 1998-1999 calendar. Motion seconded. Motion approved by a voice vote without dissent

Calendar/Course Load Discussion Update

Dean McKinsey updated the Council on the progress of faculty discussion of possible calendar change. According to McKinsey, there were three proposals discussed: maintenance of the current calendar, a split winter term, and a ten-week ten-week seven-week, or a ten-week seven-week ten-week calendar. According to a straw poll taken at the faculty meeting, there was no clear consensus among the faculty as to which proposal it preferred. When asked to rank preferences, the faculty was evenly divided between the current calendar and the split winter term. However, the option of two ten-week one seven-week term calendar received many third-place votes and overall did not appear popular with faculty. Dean McKinsey told the Council that the ECC was inclined to drop that proposal from serious consideration because of low support. According to McKinsey, the current goal of the ECC was to continue discussion on the calendar and look towards the question of faculty teaching load. Dean McKinsey reported she had put forward the option of an accelerated sabbatical program that would not disrupt student rhythm. She told the Council the ECC had also discussed playing with reading days and the exam schedule in order to lengthen Spring Break. Professor Catherine Zuckert raised her concern about the current practice of ending courses on the last day of class and not utilizing the scheduled exam period. Student members of the Council shared their various experiences with exam schedules, final exams, and final papers. Most agreed that a balance was usually struck among the due dates for required tests and papers at the end of the term.

Student Josh Rising questioned whether an accelerated sabbatical system would result in more visiting professors or fewer professors and slightly larger classes. Dean McKinsey answered that an accelerated system would result in a combination of both. She calculated the costs of such a system would be about $50,000 for additional leave replacement faculty, and 14 courses lost per year. Discussion ensued about the costs and benefits of such a system.

Recreational Facility Update

Dean Mark Govoni stated that recent conversations about the recreation center had revolved around larger issues of campus planning. He reported progress on the facility was currently paused as certain issues needed to be addressed before the project could move forward. He listed the topics of discussion as: the relationship of the building to everything else; present and future dining issues particularly the state of the Goodhue dining facility; housing in relationship to dining and road access; infrastructure issues; parking and parking facilities; Lyman Lakes; and the relationship of future development to the new facility. Govoni stressed that the implications of decisions made today could reduce options in the future.

Think Update

Dean Govoni quickly summarized the events that had occurred in response to a series of inflammatory anonymous signs posted around campus commonly ending with the phrase Think. After College Council issued a statement urging the person or persons rsponsible to come forward, a group of students claimed responsibility in a letter distributed campus wide. Subsequent discussion occurred including a student forum sponsored by multicultural peer counselors. Discussion occurred about the recent attention given to issues of multiculturalism on campus as a result of the incident, the recent convocation by John Ahearn the author of Whose Art is It, and the range of response to the notes conference set up by the original Think group. Discussion moved on to future discussion of diversity on campus. Govoni mentioned that the group had lanned a term-long series of posters that they have'nt used. They discussed putting up a bulletin board with the completed series at the library or in Sayles as a discussion focus. Council members agreed that the community must continue discussion and seek new forums to express thoughts and ideas.

President Lewis moved to adjourn. Council dismissed.