January 13th, 2003

  • Location: Sayles-Hill 251
  • Present: President Robert A. Oden, Jr; Deans Shelby Boardman, Mark Govoni and Stephen Kelly; Professors Jack Goldfeather, Martha Paas, John Ramsay, Kim Smith and Dana Strand; Students Luke Hasskamp, David Gold, Dan Farmer, Alex Cook and Hubert Cook; Staff Persons Lois Perkins and Andrea Nixon; Alumni Observer Neil Chaffee; Trustee Observer Louise Heffelfinger
  • Secretary: Christine Lee
  • Keywords: Early Decision, Student Disciplinary Records, 2003-2004 Budget

Approval of Minutes

The College Council minutes for the meeting of November 8, 2003 stand approved without corrections.

President's Report

President Oden began by acknowledging the hard work and concerted efforts of the Admissions Office along with alumni, faculty, staff and student volunteers in the recruitment effort thus far. Consequently, as of this date, the number of Early Decision applications has topped last year's record of 240 students with almost 300 applicants this year. 149 of the Early Decision applicants have been accepted, and their academic credentials are the highest ever of any early decision group, even higher than the average scores of last year's incoming class. In the general admissions process, the number of applicants has increased by 14.9% in comparison to last year's numbers at this time; thus, Carleton is positioned to match or even surpass last year's record number of applications. Particularly impressive is the 42% increase in the number of African American applicants. President Oden explained that one likely reason for this gain is the continuing success of the Carleton Liberal Arts Experience Program. Next, President Oden reported that despite a slow economy, the Alumni Annual Fund is running on schedule and is poised to meet their goal, a 3% increase from last year's totals. President Oden explained that fundraising is vitally important since Carleton's tuition only covers a portion of the actual cost of attendance, and the difference is covered by annual gifts and the income from the endowment. President Oden informed the Council that the next big fundraising campaign will begin within the next few years, and he plans to formulate a group of faculty, students, staff, alumni and trustees to compile a list of priorities for the campaign at the beginning of the next academic year. Next, President Oden talked briefly about the international situation and encouraged Council members to continue discussions in the weeks ahead and to consider the effects that it may have on the College, particularly for off-campus programs. Finally, President Oden reminded the Council of the Campus Master Plan and reported that consultants have been selected and they will be visiting campus to meet and discuss ideas with interested individuals.

Students Disciplinary Records

Dean Mark Govoni reintroduced his proposal to change the time period that student disciplinary records would be retained following the separation of a student from the College. Under the old policy, formal disciplinary records are maintained by the Dean of Students for six years following the separation while informal disciplinary records are destroyed immediately after separation. The proposed policy recommends the following changes: records of disciplinary status up to and including disciplinary probation are maintained until graduation or until two years after withdrawal from the College; records of disciplinary suspension, academic and non-academic, are maintained for five years; and records of expulsion are kept for ten years. Dean Govoni reassured the Council that all records remain confidential unless a student provides permission or there is a court order. Dan Farmer asked how common suspensions and expulsions were at Carleton and Dean Govoni responded that they were a relatively rare event with academic suspensions occurring most frequently, approximately 6 a year. Professor Martha Paas questioned whether keeping records for a longer period might help in terms of deterrence and the preservation of history. Luke Hasskamp also suggested keeping records of suspensions and expulsions for a longer period, especially since they occur infrequently and would not take up as much space. On the other hand, Dean Govoni explained that most records are not germane, that people tend to be uneasy about keeping records of youthful mistakes and that the suggested recommendations are in line with standards at similar colleges. Professor Kim Smith also argued that the College has a limited obligation to others to retain records past their usefulness to the College and that in cases of expulsion, the transcript will still note the existence of the expulsion even though there won't be any accompanying explanations past the 10 year period. After hearing comments on both sides of the issue, President Oden suggested putting this policy recommendation back on the agenda for the next Council meeting.

Budget Discussion

Dean Steve Kelly updated the Council on the budget and stated that he would have more exact numbers about certain costs like utilities and debt service for the next meeting. In terms of the Annual Alumni Fund, the news was encouraging. Although the Alumni Annual Fund did not meet its anticipated goal, the total amount raised was still higher than last year's numbers and it was closer to the goal than had been thought earlier in the fall. Dean Kelly explained that by carrying over all unused funds and all available endowment income from the prior year and by resetting both our expectations for the return on the endowment and the percentage draw over a three-year period to get down to 4.5%, the budget will be balanced. However, for the 2003-2004 academic year, all budgets will be flat except for financial aid which can't achieve its goal without an 8.1% increase and increased compensation for faculty and staff which results partly from insurance increases and partly to keep pace with inflation. In order to offset the deficit caused by these two increases, there will be relatively small cuts in the equipment, travel and entertainment budget and only the most necessary maintenance projects will be undertaken. Additionally, there will be three cuts in base budgets: Admissions Department will reduce its publications due to increased web recruitment, the Dean of the College Office will take advantage of technological efficiencies to reduce its budget and the recruitment and moving budget will also be reduced. Dean Kelly also encouraged departments to think creatively and to look for ways to keep costs down. The budget cuts will affect everyone, but Dean Kelly stated that the budget prioritizes people rather than things, and this is reflected in financial aid, student work, and compensation (salary and benefits). Professor Jack Goldfeather questioned whether the College was merely postponing the budget problem and whether it was depending too much on the endowment recovering quickly. Dean Kelly responded that the assumptions of endowment growth are based on a long-term outlook and that the endowment projection will fall from 8.5% to 7%. He also described contingency plans by senior staff to meet the constraints of a continued recession.

The meeting ended at 5:30 p.m.