The working draft of The Plan for Mount Holyoke College 2003 was the main topic of discussion at the October 2 faculty meeting. A revised mission statement draft, which reflects changes suggested at the September meeting, was distributed and its merits debated.
President Creighton provided context for the draft document as a whole, and noted that the Educational Priorities Committee's (EPC) next step would be to develop a "principles" section "to clarify the common ground; the indisputable core of Mount Holyoke."
She reiterated that the reason behind the planning process is that "periodically, we should sit back and look at the College as a whole. Having a new president and a new millennium seems a good time to do this." This exercise lets the College "see what incipient strengths, and what opportunities, there are," Creighton said.
In other business, Creighton reported that the College's investment portfolio had a "strong performance" in fiscal year 1996. She also noted that current enrollment is below budgeted estimates by about forty people. The monetary implications of this shortage--caused by fewer transfer students enrolling and fewer students returning this year--are not yet known.
Dean of administration Wayne Gass reported that the College will replace the duplicating services currently provided through Office Services with a "preferred vendor" relationship with Copy Cat Print Shop, which will open a copying facility in the Village Commons. He estimated cost savings of around $32,000 a year. The change will mean that two employees in Office Services will be offered other jobs on campus when their current positions are eliminated at the end of December. The announcement prompted considerable discussion among faculty who wondered how the change to Copy Cat would affect service, price, and copyright requirements. The campus chapter of the AAUP issued a formal statement opposing the closing of Office Services.
College finances will be the focus of the November 6 faculty meeting. At the December 4 meeting, the key issue in the draft plan's educational priorities section--sustaining curricular balance and allocation of resources--will be discussed.