Dr. Philip A. Glotzbach
President of Skidmore College
Philip A. Glotzbach became the seventh President of Skidmore College on July 1, 2003. A philosopher, academic administrator, and spokesperson on issues of higher education, he joined the College following eleven years at the University of Redlands in southern California
Community Message About Hurricane Irma
September 11, 2017
Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
Our thoughts are with the millions of residents of Florida, the Caribbean, and all other areas affected by the devastating wind and rain brought by Hurricane Irma. Skidmore’s current student body includes students from cities across the state of Florida and the broader region, and a number of our alumni and friends have been affected as well.
Many of us too have family members and friends who are dealing with disruption to their lives and businesses. Late last week, Alumni Relations & College Events reached out to our Florida and Caribbean alumni community to offer support. Student Affairs has also contacted our students from these areas, and our Office of Advancement is communicating with our students’ families.
For millions of residents forced to evacuate and seek safe shelter because of Hurricane Irma, as well as the many residents of Texas who continue to rebuild after the flooding damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey, the need for assistance at this time is critical.
Our colleague Michelle Hubbs, Director of Community Service Programs, is leading Skidmore’s effort to help. Michelle is working with The Giving Circle and other Saratoga area community organizations and businesses to organize the delivery of much needed items. The #WeGive2Trucks supply drive will fill two tractor trailers with critical supplies for affected individuals. We encourage you to do anything you can to assist this effort, which continues through tomorrow. For more information on supplies needed and for details on how you can assist, visit The Giving Circle website. Along with you, Marie and I will continue to hold the millions of affected families in our hearts and minds.
I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that today our thoughts are also with the families of those affected by the September 11 tragedy. We continue to honor the legacy of the brave first responders and the innocent victims whose lives were lost on that fateful day sixteen years ago. We encourage you to take a moment today to pause for remembrance.
Philip A. Glotzbach
Opening the Academic Year
September 5, 2017
Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
I am delighted to see everyone returning to campus, and I am very pleased to welcome our new faculty and staff arrivals and, of course, our new students – both those who have transferred this fall and members of the terrific Class of 2021. This incoming class stands at 665 students, selected from more than 10,000 applicants. Once again, nearly half came to us through Early Decision, and our overall acceptance rate was just 25%. The class makeup includes students from 35 states, 25% domestic students of color, 13% international students, and 17% first-generation students; 42% of the class is receiving Skidmore financial aid. We open the semester with 721 course offerings, with many more independent studies, individual lessons and co-curricular experiences. The new class has already begun meeting in 44 Scribner Seminars, two of them for the 25 students enrolled in the first-year program in London.
Since May's Commencement, we have hired over a dozen staff members, 11 tenure line professors and 24 non-tenure track positions (lecturers, visiting assistant professors, artists in residence, instructors, etc.). As you saw from my communication last week, Sean Campbell will be joining us mid-October as our new Collyer Vice President for Advancement, replacing Michael Casey, who left in the spring to become vice president at Trinity College. Let me express my thanks to Kim Verstandig, who has served as interim Vice President. Sean will come to us from University of Chicago Medicine.
Searches for two other cabinet positions have made good progress over the summer. We have identified our top candidates for the position of Vice President for Communications and Marketing, and final interviews will occur shortly. As most of us know, Beau Breslin will return to the faculty in January, following six and one-half years of excellent service as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (DoF/VPAA). The search for our new DoF/VPAA is moving along well. I expect us to complete that search this fall. I am also pleased to announce that Crystal Moore will serve as interim in this post, beginning in January 2018, if our new DoF/VPAA is not able to take up those duties until the summer of 2018. Currently Associate Dean of the Faculty, Dean Moore will work this fall with Dean Breslin to assure a smooth transition in this important office. I am grateful for the participation of all the staff, faculty, and students who have contributed to each of these searches.
In other news from Academic Affairs, a number of faculty members have been advancing the development and shaping of the General Education curriculum that was endorsed by the faculty last spring. The Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) will oversee this work in the coming academic year, as new courses are created, new pedagogies introduced, and new major and minor requirements determined.
The Center for Integrated Sciences (CIS) remains our top institutional facilities priority again this year. Along with our active fundraising for this project, we have made good progress on the ground, including preparation for new access roads, utility line and pipe relocations, and other site preparations. This work will continue through the fall semester. Planning has also been under way, in consultation with a firm specializing in this work, for siting customized trailers to house classrooms, labs, and offices that will be displaced by the construction process. We expect to complete all permitting, site preparation, and relocation by early 2018.
Our rich array of summer programs brought in a wide range of artists, scholars, young athletes, and community members from Saratoga Springs and beyond. Among the events made possible by the Stewart's Signature Series were collaborations with SITI's summer workshop to present a play mounted by the Suzuki Company of Toga, Japan; a Selected Shorts program featuring works by authors from the NYS Summer Writers' Institute; the Jazz Institute's celebration of its 30th anniversary with Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human, to benefit the McCormack Jazz Institute Scholarship Fund; and the Stephen Petronio Dance Company, which paired with artist Janine Antoni as our McCormack Visiting Artist-Scholars. And, of course, more events presented by Special Programs, from lectures to concerts to residencies, will continue through the academic year.
We will continue the Office of the President's "Community Dialogue Series," and will soon be announcing our special guests for the fall semester. We know there will be many other campus guests, speakers, and other exciting initiatives, including the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery's activities around the exhibit States of Incarceration and the Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning's hosting of the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) Players, who will provide two interactive performances related to conflict and climate in the classroom, just to mention a few.
Work continues on development of a Black Studies program, the Social Justice space planned for Case Center, and other initiatives around welcoming and belonging. We continue to implement our Strategic Plan with its four goals:
I. Integrative Learning
III. Health and Wellness
As I wrote to you a few weeks ago, our educational mission and fundamental values center on understanding, inclusion, and supporting responsible citizenship. I look forward to a year during which we live these values and model them for one another. I very much appreciate your participation in all our efforts to strengthen our campus community.
For now, I wish you the best as you settle into a promising new semester.
Statement on DACA
Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
Please find below a message from the New York Six Consortium Presidents related to the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The message may also be accessed by clicking this link.
September 5, 2017
We write to express our deep concern about President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). That program benefits some 800,000 young people for whom the United States is home, and who are valued and productive members of our society, as students, employees, community members, and taxpayers.
As presidents of institutions that increasingly reflect the remarkable diversity of our country, we witness daily the tremendous benefit that the presence of immigrants brings to our communities. DACA beneficiaries have been outstanding students on our campuses; their presence has enriched the learning environment for all of our students. We fear that the end of DACA will make our campuses, our communities, and our country less successful and culturally robust.
We hope you will support swift legislative action to codify the principles of DACA so that those who qualify for its protections may live in this country free from the fear of deportation, enabling them to continue to contribute to the economic and cultural well-being of our nation.
We are proud to be part of upstate New York communities that have embraced immigrants and refugees from all corners of the globe for many decades. They are our students, our colleagues, our neighbors, and our friends. Supporting legislation to retain the protections of DACA “will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hopeful society this world has ever known (George W. Bush).”
Stephen Ainlay, President, Union College
Brian Casey, President, Colgate University
William Fox, President, St. Lawrence University
Philip Glotzbach, President, Skidmore College
Gregory Vincent, President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
David Wippman, President, Hamilton College