President Teresa Amott announced to the faculty Monday her personal goal to bring in half of the funding needed to renovate Alumni Hall, $5 or $6 million, by Founders Day.
During Amott’s monthly report to the faculty, she said the total of cash receipts and confirmed gifts for Alumni Hall still stands at $3 million, about the same level following two major gifts in October. She added that some five and six-figure gifts have been trickling in, but they will not be announced until Founders Day on Feb. 17.
“One of the things that is difficult with Alumni Hall is that we would like to get it in cash …” Amott said. “It’s much easier to get a pledge right now than to get someone to hand you cash, but we’re working on that.”
Amott also addressed general fundraising, mentioning that the Knox fund is up five percent from last year, but unrestricted bequests are down. Bequests, though, cannot be anticipated with accuracy.
Additionally, Amott said the budget deficit is down to $2.6 million.
Much of the meeting was occupied by a faculty discussion of a set of learning goals developed by the Curriculum Committee. The goals were overwhelmingly affirmed after much discussion, and they are expected to give momentum to the accreditation process.
According to Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde, the development of these learning goals should assist in the accreditation process while satisfying the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
“The question in front of us is, ‘Do you recognize in those learning goals the institution in which you work?’” Breitborde said. “Have we captured that? And if we have, this will enable the process of assessment to proceed, because we can then look at each one of these goals and look at the mechanism that’s in place to address it.”
Some faculty want to go through this exercise not only as a requirement for the HLC but also to evaluate the effectiveness of the decade-old academic program, which has yet to be comprehensively reviewed.
“When the not-so-new Knox was adopted 10 years ago, many of us who voted for that voted for it with the understanding that in about four or five years, we were going to come back and look [at the program’s goals] to see if they really work. But that has never happened … ” Professor of Biology Stuart Allison said. “I think we have much more important things to be talking about in terms of curriculum.”
Instructor of Journalism and Anthropology-Sociology David Amor addressed the specific language in the proposed goals, saying that “virtually all of the verbs in there are vague and don’t imply any level of achievement.”
“The assessment task … in a sense, forces the discussion,” Breitborde said. “It’s a discussion that, ultimately, we will have to have.”
Other concerns voiced about the learning goals pertained to the consideration of minors, the language requirement, experiential learning and the residential aspect of the college.
Due to an extensive agenda, the faculty may meet twice in February.