«MEETING OF THE FACULTY August 20, 2008 Orgill Room, Clough Hall, 9:00 am 1. Call to Order, Professor Darlene Loprete, Presiding 2. Report of the ...»
MEETING OF THE FACULTY
August 20, 2008
Orgill Room, Clough Hall, 9:00 am
1. Call to Order, Professor Darlene Loprete, Presiding
2. Report of the President
President Trout made the following remarks.
Welcome back! I hope you had a good summer. Here on campus, a summer
highlight for me was two very meaningful conversations with our Faculty
Governance Committee. The topic was academic leadership and who they felt would be the very best person possible to serve as our academic leader for the next two years. The result, as you know, was an invitation to Michael Drompp to serve as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. I’ll have a little more to say about how pleased we all are he said “yes” when I introduce him in just a few minutes.
I was reminded from those conversations of all the good that can happen when you simply sit down together and listen carefully to one another about what matters most to you. Candid, honest conversation…there’s really nothing better than that. I want to thank our Faculty Governance Committee for these conversations and for the spirit of collaboration that they represent. These are the kind of conversations that I want to have with you this fall. These are the kind of conversations that several years ago led to our ten planning task force initiatives – our Faculty Trustee Retreat at Orange Lake – our Vision for Rhodes – and so much of the progress we have made in creating an even stronger and more vibrant liberal arts college. The first two of these conversations are scheduled for September 2 and September 8. We hope to schedule enough of these meetings at different times to be sure everyone can attend. I want to be sure we capture what matters most to you, and that we take full advantage of all your insights and hopes for Rhodes.
This year I also will be calling upon a number of you for your help as we celebrate the completion of Spence Wilson’s tenure as our board of trustees’ chair. As most of you know, Spence has set a new tone for collaboration between faculty, trustees, and administration. He has led by example in so many ways. He personally funded our Orange Lake Retreat, endowed the Wilson Chair in Humanities and the Wilson Faculty Travel Fund. He also chairs of our Campaign for Rhodes.
There will be a reception following our Opening convocation next week in Hardie Auditorium. It will be an opportunity for us to welcome our new faculty colleagues and reconnect with everyone. Several of our local trustees plan to be there. I hope you will take this opportunity to introduce yourself to them. They are most interested in knowing you and more about your work with our students. It’s all part of this tone of collaboration our Chairman has set.
Also coming out of our trustee-faculty retreat at Orange Lake was a resolve to take full advantage of our city and region in creating learning opportunities for our students that would build on all the good work you do with them in the classroom.
One of my most vivid memories was everyone’s reaction to one of our retreat resource people – the former Board chairman of William College. We all hoped to learn from him how that fine college worked so well. What we learned was – “We’re Williams, we’re wealthy, you’re not.” Not a terribly helpful message. But it did inspire us to think about all our assets and one of them is being of the very few selective liberal arts colleges in a city. And we left Orange Lake with a resolve to augment our resources by taking full advantage of Memphis in every way that would add value to the academic experience here. And we really have. This strategy has brought us much success – you can see it in new opportunities for our students, new sources of financial support, and students from places where no one had heard of Rhodes before.
But every successful strategy has an unintended consequence. I do want to acknowledge that in our efforts to communicate all the rich learning opportunities being created for students beyond our gates we have sometimes lost our core message – that these opportunities are possible only because of our excellence in the classroom. That’s where liberal arts excellence at Rhodes is centered. As one of our trustees says, “That’s where the magic begins.” As Bill Evans, the CEO at St. Jude and another Rhodes trustee says, “We treasure our relationship with Rhodes because of what you do before a student comes to us.” It’s always the first part of our message to prospective students, and I want to be sure we reinforce that message during the year ahead.
You’ll enjoy hearing about our incoming class from Dave Wottle. You’ll be particularly pleased to hear about the academic potential of our incoming class and all the places where the Rhodes message has connected with very fine students.
Hopefully, the Class of 2012 will reflect a wonderful story one of our trustees shared last week. One of her Rhodes classmates was talking about her son’s encounter with a Princeton Dean…“that’s where they take a really good student and turn them into brilliant scholars.” We want to provide more opportunities this fall for you to hear directly from more members of the administration and how we can work together even more closely in the days ahead, e.g. Jenna Wade on the Campaign for Rhodes, Allen Boone on our current finances, our endowment, and our facilities. I do want to say a quick word today about our facility plans and our campaign.
The renovation of Burrow Hall is moving along nicely with occupancy scheduled for next semester. It is going to present new ways for how our community accomplishes its work… It is also a key next step in our academic space plan. This time next year we’ll see Modern Languages join the Department of English in Palmer Hall. The Dean of the Faculty and Academic Affairs staff will also be under one roof as they anchor the 2nd floor of Palmer where student affairs offices now reside. This will lead to a succession of moves that enable our academic space plans to become reality. I am also pleased to report that with two major financial commitments this summer we are close to completing funding for the Burrow renovation.
That’s all good news. What’s not good news is that construction is messy. Those of you have renovated a home know exactly what I mean. Please bear with us this fall.
We have maintained faculty and staff parking in the Buckman lot and have fenced off construction parking. We have added security at the North Parkway gate to help with egress onto the campus. Again, our plans are to have Burrow ready for occupancy in January.
The Campaign for Rhodes remains a top priority for me and the leadership of our Board. We continue to see positive responses to our story and our hopes for new support for students and faculty. We are particularly encouraged by the rapid growth in giving from an emerging giving constituency. That emerging constituency is parents of our current students. Our growing success is really a tribute to your wonderful work with our students in and out of the classroom, e.g. USA Today editor conversation about legacy admissions; first-year parent who made a $500,000 campaign gift and wants to do more – “what you have done for my son has been extraordinary.” What you do for all of our students in extraordinary. I hope you know how much I appreciate all your hard work. Thank you for all you do for Rhodes.
Let me close by going back to the highlight of my summer.
When I met with our Faculty Governance committee in June, we first talked about the qualities most important to us in academic leadership. We quickly agreed the two leadership qualities most important to us at this important time in the academic life of our college. Two key qualities: (1) the ability to listen and (2) the ability to make sound judgments especially in academic personnel decisions. Our colleague, Michael Drompp, embodies those qualities. To those of you new to Rhodes you should know that our Dean of the Faculty and Academic Vice President is an outstanding scholar, a very respected teacher, and someone who has served our college in extraordinary ways.
Michael, in your first two months, you have already done a great deal to demonstrate that you listen carefully. And in all you are doing, you demonstrate your deep understanding and respect for the academic values that make our community such a very special place. Please join me in thanking Michael Drompp for taking on this two-year appointment and for what he has already done to make us a better place.
3. Report of the Dean of the Faculty Dean Drompp expressed his appreciation for the well wishes that he has received subsequent to his appointment. He also outlined a number of items that will be on his agenda in the coming months. These include issues of faculty governance and evaluation, of communication within the College’s community, and of completing our work for the SACS review next spring. Dean Drompp then introduced Dean David Wottle who presented the profile of the entering class (see the attached).
4. Introduction of New Faculty, Professor Loprete Twenty-two of this year’s new members of the Faculty were recognized (see the attached), and each was asked to briefly introduce himself or herself.
5. The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 am.
ACKERMAN, BALDWIN, BANERJEE, BAUER, BIGELOW, BIRNBAUM, BLANKENSHIP,
BOSWELL, BRADY, BRECK, BREMER, BROWN, BRYANT, BUTLER, CAFIERO, CANON,
CAPPELLATO, CARDEN, CARDENAS, CARNE, CECCOLI, COLE, COONIN, DAGGER, A. DAVIS,
J. DAVIS, DOYLE, DROMPP, DUNWELL, EWING, FERNÁNDEZ, FINLAYSON, FISHER, FITZGERALD, GERECKE, GOLDBERG, GOTTLIEB, T. GRAMM, M. GRAMM, GRAY, GREMILLION, HAAS, HALÁSZ, HAMMOCK, HAN, HARTER, HATHCOCK, HAYNES, HILD, HILL, HOERL,
HOFFMEISTER, IBRYAMOVA, IVORY, JABBOUR, JACKSON, JACKSON-HAYES, JAMERSON,JANSEN, A. JASLOW, C. JASLOW, JETER, JILG, JOHNSON, JULIAN, KALTNER, KELLER,
KESLER, KIRBY, KOSTINA, KREITNER, KRUEGER, KUS, LAROSA, LINDQUESTER, LOPIPARO,
LOPRETE, LUQUE, LUSTECK, MALKIN, MARTINEZ, MASON, MATTSON, MAURER,McKENZIE, N. McKINNEY, MEYER, MILLER, MONTELIONE, MORELAND, MORRELL, MOURON, MUESSE, MURRAY, NASONG’O, NEWMAN, NEWSTOK, NOLLAN, NOVIKOFF,
OLSEN, PAGE, PANTER, PETTINAROLI, PETTY, PITTMAN, PLANCHON, POHLMANN, J.
RICHARDS, R. RICHARDS, ROBERTS, ROBINSON, ROMANO, RONAN, RUSS, SABLE,
SATTERFIELD, SAXE, SCIUBBA, SEATON, SHADE, SHAFFER, SHEARD, SHIRLEY, SICK,
SIMMONS, SMITH, STEEL, STRANDBURG, SWAN, TEREM, TERJESEN, THOMPSON, VERNON,
VEST, VIANO, WALTON, R. WATKINS, T. WATKINS, WETZEL, WILLIAMS, WIRLS, WRIGHT
• 35,894 inquiries • 3,884 applications were received • 1,904 students were accepted, or 49% of the applicant pool • 486 entering students, including 478 first-year students
Of the 478 members of the Class of 2012:
• 16 were valedictorians of their class; 12 were salutatorians
• Fifty-five percent ranked in the top 10% of their class
• Seventy-one percent had a grade point average equal to or above a 3.5, the mean GPA of the class is 3.73
• Composite standardized test scores for the class are impressive: the middle 50% range of SAT scores is 1200 to 1360, with a mean of 1280, and the ACT middle 50% range is 26 to 30, with a mean of 28
Honors and Activities:
• 29 were presidents of their student government or senior class; 26 were student government or senior class vice presidents; 17 were president or vice president of the National Honor Society • 96 were president of at least one high school club or organization • 30 were editors of the yearbook, school newspaper or literary magazine • 116 were captains of a varsity athletic team
Geographic and Racial Diversity:
• The Class of 2012 comes from 38 states and 6 foreign countries; from as far away as California, Maine, Vietnam, China, Romania, United Kingdom, South Africa and Belgium and as close by as mid-town Memphis (This includes 3 exchange students)
• The number of students by state include: Tennessee with 111, or 23% of the class, followed by Texas with 62, Louisiana with 32, Missouri with 29, and Alabama with 29
• Students of color make up almost 21% of the entering class with 41 AfricanAmericans, 39 Asian students, 14 Hispanic students, and 4 other minorities for a total of 98 minority students NEW FULL-TIME FACULTY 2008-09 Rachel N. Bauer joins the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures as Assistant Professor. Dr. Bauer received her B.A. from Duquesne University, her Masters in Spanish Literature from Purdue University, and her Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from Vanderbilt University. Her dissertation was entitled “Madness and Laughter: Cervantes’s Comic Vision in Don Quixote”. Prior to coming to Rhodes, Dr. Bauer served as Assistant Professor of Spanish at Meredith College. Her research interests include early modern comic literature, word play in Cervantes, journey and humor, baroque poetry, and narrative cartography.
Eric J. Breck joins the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science as Visiting Assistant Professor. Dr. Breck received his B.S. in Mathematics and Linguistics from the University of Michigan, his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University. His research interests include natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Prior to coming to Rhodes. Dr. Breck served as Instructor and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell and as a Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer at the MITRE Corporation. Dr. Breck received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowhip at the University of Michigan and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Clayton D. Brown joins the Department of History as Assistant Professor. Dr. Clayton received B.A.’s in both Asian Studies and History from Utah State University, his M.A.