November 6th, 2001

  • Location: Sayles-Hill 251
  • Present: Deans Elizabeth McKinsey and Stephen Kelly; Professors John Ramsay, Cathy Yandell, Sarah Hurst and Jack Goldfeather; Students Jessica Yarnall, Luke Peterson, Benjamin Lum, William Galush and Kenechi Ejebe; Staff Persons Sam Demas and Tonya Smith; Alumni Observer Ann Iijima
  • Absent: President Stephen R. Lewis; Dean Mark Govoni, Professor Martha Paas, Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger
  • Guests: Professor Steven Drew
  • Secretary: Christine Lee
  • Keywords: Education and Curriculum Committee, ECC, Budget Committee

Approval of Minutes

The College Council minutes for the meeting of October 8, 2001, were approved unanimously in a voice vote.

Report from Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC)

Professor Steven Drew, the co-chair of the ECC, reported on the progress that the ECC was making on its review of the end of the term schedule and the self-scheduled exam option. Throughout this term, the ECC has been examining student opinion surveys taken in the spring term of 2001 and statistical data on the availability of the self-scheduled exam option over the past two academic years. The ECC has also written a Carletonian article and held an open forum for students, faculty and staff earlier this term to gain feedback regarding this issue. Furthermore, the ECC is creating a faculty survey that will be sent to faculty members in early winter term. Professor Drew explained that although the ECC recognizes that it may be premature to do faculty surveys at this point since we haven't seen all the benefits of the system yet, particularly the lengthened spring break, the ECC has decided to move forward with its review due to the urging of many students. The ECC hopes to make recommendations to the faculty by the end of the academic year. Specific issues such as the efficacy of self scheduled exams considering the costs associated with proctoring exams and the limited number of classes offering this option and the need for another reading day to relieve stress versus the need for lengthened spring and summer breaks to rejuvenate faculty, staff and students are issues that have been debated and will continue to be debated. Another possibility includes scheduling exams on Sunday so students can have two consecutive reading days. Students would be able to request not to have exams on Sunday for religious reasons just as certain students can request not to have exams on Saturday for religious reasons within our current system.

Budget Committee Update

Dean Steve Kelly reported that although it is difficult to calculate Carleton's financial status in the midst of falling interest rates and inflation and a fluctuating endowment, there are certain issues that will affect the budget: financial aid, the comprehensive fee, and the renovation of pre-Depression buildings. The differences between the March 2001 balanced budget and the October 2001 revised budget is primarily attributed to the increased number of students which increases the net tuition revenue but also increases the amount of financial aid and additional costs across the board. The added draw on the endowment voted by the trustees after the approved budget process to make changes to faculty and staff salaries also represents another change on both the income and expense sides. The overall net gain was $232 thousand which is less than expected based on the increased number of students. Carleton has also been moving forward on its goals for diversity within the student body with this year's freshman class having a 20% domestic diversity rate and a 4% international diversity rate. Both the Carleton in the 21st Century report and the retreat for trustees, faculty, staff and students last February reaffirmed the goal of attracting and admitting the most talented and diverse students as Carleton's top priority. However, Dean Kelly explained that there is an expense to achieving a goal of 25% diversity. Carleton spends about $6, 000 more in grant aid on students from the "diverse" categories than they do on majority students, because these students, on average, come from families with fewer resources. After Carleton has achieved a 25% diversity rate with a need sensitive rate of 10%, then the model of financial aid growth assumes that financial aid will grow only 1% above any increase in student fees. However, in order to balance the budget in future years and keep the draw on the endowment at 4.5 %, all the funds for as-yet undesignated programs would have to go towards diversity initiatives in financial aid, in lieu of other new initiatives. Fortunately, for most of the past ten years, the College has been prudent and drew less than the authorized 4.5% of the endowment. The dollars that weren't spent were returned to the fund so as to mitigate the effects when we draw more than 4.5%.