The Colgate Scene
May 2003

Around the college

Peter Balakian, Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the humanities and professor of English, awaits actor and former school friend Ed Harris to finish an interview [0.15 MB PDF] with Maroon-News editor Jess Buchsbaum '03, for a bit of football in Balakian's backyard on a mild Friday afternoon in late March. Later that day, Harris held a conversation with students in Olin Hall and appeared as part of a screening of his Oscar-nominated film Pollock at the Hamilton Movie Theater.
JBHE ranks Colgate near top

Colgate was ranked third by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education in a survey of the nation's 25 top liberal arts colleges measuring success in integrating black students and faculty.

The ranking was based on a score composed from individual rankings of a variety of statistics, including relative success in attracting, enrolling and graduating black students and progress in bringing black professors to campus. Only Amherst and Williams Colleges ranked higher than Colgate.

The publication noted that Colgate has the "highest black student graduation rate in the country at 93 percent." The university was also noted for having "a very high black student yield this year." (Yield is defined as the percentage of students who accept an invitation to join the first-year class.) The ranking appears in the publication's winter 2002-2003 issue.

In its autumn 2002 issue, the journal highlighted Colgate along with Harvard and Amherst as one of the few academically selective institutions with a high black student graduation rate.

Outspoken conservative David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, spoke about politics and intellectual diversity in the Hall of Presidents in February, at an event sponsored by the College Republicans.
Administrative appointments

Several administrative appointments were announced during the spring semester.

Jack Dovidio, who had served as interim provost since 2001, will continue as provost and dean of the faculty through the 2003-2004 academic year. In this position he oversees Colgate's strategic planning process as well as the academic divisions. Dovidio is also the Charles A. Dana Professor of psychology.

Jill Tiefenthaler has been named associate dean of the faculty, effective July 1. Tiefenthaler, associate professor of economics, joined the faculty in 1991 and is currently serving as chair of the department. She has participated on many key committees, most recently the Financial Aid Working Group and the Strategic Planning Steering Group.

Dean of the College Adam Weinberg moved from interim to permanent status. Also an associate professor of sociology, Weinberg has served as co-director of the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (the COVE). Weinberg has worked on the board of directors of the Partnership for Community Development in Hamilton and helped launch the national community-based education effort Democracy Matters.

Secretary of the College Kim Waldron also moved from interim to permanent status. Waldron also serves on the Strategic Planning Steering Group and the Task Force on Campus Culture.

Mark Edwards, assistant professor of sociology, has agreed to serve as assistant dean of multicultural affairs for 2003-2004. Raj Bellani, who is currently serving in this position, will be promoted to the dean of the sophomore year.

2003-2004 budget set

The Board of Trustees approved a $114.9 million operating budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. The budget includes funds for new and continuing initiatives such as the reduction of class size and expansion of curricular opportunities, improvement of information technology services such as the installation of a more powerful website, facility improvements including a $5.9 million renovation of the O'Connor Campus Center (the Coop) and improvement of student services and social opportunities in the Village of Hamilton.

The trustees set tuition at $29,740 for the 2003-2004 academic year, a 5.6 percent increase over 2002-2003. Other student charges (room, board and student activity fee) vary depending on the choice of housing, meal plans, possible study group attendance and financial aid eligibility.

In the midst of challenging economic times, the university has been impacted by increases in employee healthcare costs and substantial increases in property and liability insurance. Despite the demanding fiscal setting, the university's endowment will provide an increasing level of support (totaling more than $21.5 million) next year to augment program initiatives. Moreover, the charitable support of alumni, friends and parents allows the university to navigate confidently through this less predictable economic environment.

Terry Rockefeller of Peaceful Tomorrows spoke about her recent trip to Iraq as part of a "Week Against War" held on college campuses across New York State. Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization of families of victims of 9/11 who are against war as a response to terrorism.
Faculty garner major fellowships

Colgate faculty members David Robinson and Lynn Staley have been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. These fellowships mark the fourth consecutive year that the NEH has awarded fellowships to two Colgate professors.

Robinson, an associate professor of history, is using his fellowship to further his research into the topic "Empires, History and Contested Borders in Eurasia."

Staley, Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the humanities in the English department, is using her fellowship to research "Chaucer, Richard II and the Search for a Symbolics of Power." Staley has also received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for the same project.

Ellen Kraly, professor of geography, received a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. The grant will allow her to conduct research in Australia on her project, "The `Protection' of Aborigines in Northern Territory of Early Commonwealth Australia: The Role of Population Data Systems."


Jon Habif '98, left, a former physics major and teaching assistant, catches up with Charlie Holbrow, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics, center, during a break from the two-day symposium held in March in honor of Holbrow's impending retirement.
McClennen honored with Kenan Chair

Professor of Geology Charles E. McClennen was appointed to the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair in Geology in February.

A member of the faculty since 1973, McClennen has served both as department chair and as division director of the natural sciences and mathematics; in addition, he has twice served as associate dean of the faculty.

McClennen's recent work on the canals of Venice has attracted international attention in the popular media, as well as in the scholarly community. He is currently serving as leader of Colgate's interdisciplinary science building project.

The objective of the Kenan chair is to support and encourage a scholar-teacher whose enthusiasm for learning, commitment to teaching and sincere personal interest

in students enhances the learning process and makes an effective contribution to the undergraduate community. The fund supporting the chair was established by the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust in 1972.

Downtown movie house

After the former owner of the Hamilton Movie Theater indicated that financial and management constraints would force the screens to go permanently dark, Hamilton Theater LLC (a limited liability corporation wholly owned by Colgate) has purchased the historic downtown property. Hamilton resident Chuck Fox '70, former owner/operator of Town & Gown Travel Inc., will manage and operate the theater.

"Because it is such an important and distinctive asset within the village for both our students and the community, we felt it was necessary to make the investment," said David Hale '84, financial vice president and treasurer. "We believe that the theater's operation can more closely coincide with certain student activity functions to provide a more vibrant social outlet for our students."

Peer educators recognized

In March, BACCHUS, the campus student alcohol peer educators group, won the Outstanding Chapter Award at the Area 11 Regional Conference at SUNY-Cortland. In addition, Vanessa Simpson '03 won the Outstanding Peer Educator Award.

BACCHUS has a presence at more than 700 schools throughout the country. Area 11 is composed of schools from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Nearly 250 individuals attended the regional conference this year.

Colgate is represented in two amicus curie (friend of the court) briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court defending the use of race-conscious admissions by the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

In one [1.4 MB PDF], Colgate joined with 28 other private, highly selective liberal arts colleges to sponsor a brief urging the high court to "consider the realities of admitting applicants, to serve a highly selective college's mission, in a society in which race still matters in determining a person's available opportunities and life experience, and the effects of discrimination and entrenched segregation still linger."

A second amicus curie brief [0.2 MB PDF], filed by the American Psychological Association, cites the research of Jack Dovidio, dean of the faculty and Charles A. Dana Professor of psychology.

Two different admissions policies at the University of Michigan are being challenged in two cases argued before the high court in April. One case challenges the university's law school admissions program, which tries to ensure a "critical mass" of African American, Latino and Native American enrollments by giving such applicants an automatic 20-point bonus on the school's 150-point "selection index." The second case challenges the university's undergraduate admissions policy, which tries to ensure a "critical mass" of African American, Latino and Native American enrollments by giving such applicants an automatic 20-point bonus on the school's 150-point "selection index."

The University of Michigan argues that its programs, which are similar to admissions policies at many other selective institutions, are designed to create educationally beneficial diversity in its student population. Opponents of the policies contend that that position is far too vague and open-ended a notion to justify the violation of whites' clear constitutional right to equal treatment under the law.

The two cases will affect affirmative action not only at public universities but also private universities, because federal law forbids racial discrimination by institutions that receive federal funding, as most universities do. The high court is expected to issue its rulings by July.


Francis Fukuyama, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of political economy at Johns Hopkins University, mingled with audience members before delivering "Our Posthuman Future," a lecture about the ethical questions surrounding the possibilities of biotechnological advancement, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and World Societies in April.
CEWS announces 2003-2004 theme

"Politics and World Religions" is the theme for the Center for Ethics and World Societies for the 2003-2004 academic year.

The center will be directed by Professor of Political Science Tim Byrnes, and will bring a number of distinguished visitors to campus, including Mark Juergensmeyer, director of global and international studies at the University of California -- Santa Barbara; Jose Casanova, associate professor of sociology at the New School for Social Research; Sabrina Ramet, professor of international studies at the University of Trondheim; Abdullahi An-Na'im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University and Rev. Charles Beirne S.J., president of Le Moyne College.

"Religion is a way in which literally billions of people try to make sense of their lives. Politics is the process through which these same people either govern themselves or are governed by others," said Byrnes. "The Center for Ethics and World Societies will attempt to illuminate the many and complex ways in which these two central elements of human life and human community intersect with each other."

The center was established five years ago, thanks to an anonymous gift, to bring scholars and figures on the world stage to campus, with a focus on a topic chosen for the duration of the year. Participants have included Nobel laureates Elie Wiesel and Wole Soyinka, and artists Alice Lok Cahana and Robert Barsamian. Lecturers for the 2002-2003 series, "Science, Technology and Values," included historian Francis Fukuyama, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan and author-businesswoman Carol Baroudi.

Lifesaving equipment

Colgate has recently purchased six portable automated defibrillators (PADs) and has been certified as a New York State PAD site under the supervision of Dr. Merrill L. Miller, director of health services, and Linda Maynard, a registered nurse at the health center and the CPR/PAD coordinator for southern Madison County. The PADs are located in campus safety vehicles, an athletic training room, the natatorium and the health center.

Colgate has six employees who are nationally certified CPR/PAD instructors, and during the last year several have been trained to use the PADs, including campus safety officers, athletic trainers, lifeguards and the health center staff. More staff will be trained in the future.

A donation from Joseph Mangin '50 made the acquisition of this life-saving equipment possible.

A PAD is a device about the size of a laptop computer that analyzes the heart's rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own.

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