January 11th, 2000

  • Location: 2000 Sayles-Hill 251
  • Time: 4:15 pm
  • Present: President Stephen R. Lewis; Deans Mark Govoni, Stephen Kelly, Elizabeth McKinsey; Professors Deborah Appleman, Scott Bierman, Jennifer Manion, Stephen Strand; Students Alicia Hancock, Howard Kushlan, Nick Macarelli, Andrew Pierce, Cameron Smith; Staff Persons Gail DeGroot,Terry Metz; Alumni Observer Lee Mauk; Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger.
  • Absent: Professor Richard Keiser.
  • Guests: Dean Elizabeth Ciner
  • Secretary: Intisar Khanani
  • Keywords: y2k turnover, facilities,

Approval of Minutes

The College Council minutes of November 8, 1999, were approved in a voice vote without dissent.

President's Report

President Stephen R. Lewis began by thanking Staff Person Terry Metz, ACNS, the Business Office, Facilities, and Security for their excellent work in preparing the College for the Y2K turnover. He informed the Council that Vice President of the College Carol Campbell will be leaving in February after ten years at Carleton, and that a search is currently underway to find someone to fill the position. President Lewis indicated that Carleton has received another grant from the Mellon Foundation. The grant, $200,000, has been awarded to the Gould Library to integrate ways to use information technology and the library in the classroom. He also noted that the Annual Fund has increased 11-12% as of the end of December, and that applications for admissions have increased by 6 -7% as of this date.

Facilities Communications

Dean Stephen Kelly handed out a sheet of background information from last Spring's report of the Facilities Needs and Planning Committee concerning communication. He informed the Council that the recommended working group from Council had been formed, and had met with the Director of Facilities in order to review the plans for communication about facilities construction, renovation, and other campus changes. Since the group required faculty and student members from outside the Council, there was some difficulty in getting those members in time to meet the specified deadlines. Dean Kelly suggested that in the future the working group consist solely of Council members. He informed the Council that the working group had reviewed past forums, and has plans for future communication on the different individual projects. The handout summarized these efforts.

Proposal to Revise Schedule for Opening of the College

Deans Mark Govoni and Elizabeth McKinsey informed the Council that the short duration of New Student Week (5 days) this year caused a number of problems; this led to discussions about what can be done to lengthen it. Dean Ciner stated that a five-day week could not be sustained from an administrative point of view due to the need to administer and evaluate all placement exams, then advise and register the students. She noted that students had approximately one day to decide what classes in which to enroll for Fall term. This does not allow for much discussion with advisors, floormates, and family.

It was noted that during discussions of calendar reform, the decision was made to lengthen summer by starting Fall Term after Labor Day. One consequence of this was ending Fall Term two days before Thanksgiving instead of the weekend before. This period of time does not allow for a longer New Student Week, as the Faculty retreat takes place the day after Labor Day, with freshman arriving on Wednesday, and classes beginning on a shortened schedule on Monday. Nor is it possible to lengthen the term by a day, as this would require students to leave the day before Thanksgiving, which would make reaching home before the holiday difficult for students, faculty, and staff, and plane travel more expensive. The other option presented would be to allow the traditional first day of classes, Monday, to be devoted to registration and opening convocation, followed by a compressed A and C schedule on Tuesday. However, it was noted that the sciences depend on having lab periods during the first week, and this proposed start would cause problems with lab times.

Cameron Smith suggested that placement exams be sent to students over the summer, which would allow for more reflection time before registration, and would allow New Student Week to focus less on testing and registration. Nick Macarelli noted that a five-day week had seemed to be the right length of time for an orientation. Professor Strand suggested a five and a half day week, followed by a half day of classes, and noted that there may be a variety of options including placement testing over the summer break. Professor Strand made it clear that "borrowing" even small amounts of time from the first class sessions was a very unattractive option. A small group of faculty and staff will be examining alternatives.

Buildings Update

Dean Govoni informed the Council that there had been a ground breaking for the Dining Hall, which will provide 63,000 square feet of space. The opening date for the Rec. Center will be April 3, 2000, with staff training to begin in the third week of March. Plans are underway for the new housing project on the hillside below Musser. The nine houses will provide for 100 beds. Stadium parking will be expanded to supply space for the students living there. A ground breaking is planned for April, with completion estimated for January, 2001. The budget for the project is $5 million.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.