The last College Faculty meeting of the year was less like a faculty meeting and more like nursery school.
Professor of Mathematics Susan Colley opened the meeting with a report from the College Faculty Council, half of which she delivered in verse, in concert with Dean of the College Clayton Koppes.
Rivaling the genius of Green Eggs and Ham, Colley began: "I do not like that CFC. I do not like it Dean so mean," and ended, "I do so like that CFC, thank you, thank you, Dean so mean." Needless to say, this got the meeting off to buoyant start.
The CFC proposed legislation upping the normal four-year faculty appointments to five years for academic programs. Colley said the CFC hopes this move will help to provide more continuity in programs.
Director of Admissions Debra Chermonte also spoke to the faculty, reporting the current figures in this admissions cycle. The report was not in verse, but she felt she still made people smile.
"The results are terrific," Chermonte said. With applicants up eight percent on the year, the college has managed to lower its admit rate to 57 percent. Chermonte reported that the admit rate has fallen 15 points since 1995. "It's only the sixth time in 20 years that we've dipped below the 60 percent mark," she said.
As of Tuesday, the college had yielded 589 first-years and 25 transfers. With a target enrollment of 595 first-years, they are slightly low, but they expect that margin to close.
Chermonte also was happy with the quality of the class. With an average SAT score of 1333 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.5.
She also addressed the concerns about gender balance, saying this admissions cycle they have pulled the female: male ratio closer to 60:40.
The students of color numbers are currently standing at 36 African-American students, 22 Latino students, 27 Asian American students and six Native American students.
At this point, the yield is at about 28 percent and Chermonte expects that number to grow over the summer to 30 percent.
Capital campaign director John Hayes followed Chermonte with a report on the status of the quiet phase of the Capital Campaign. "Oberlin is definitely on an upkick," Hayes said. "The campaign progress to date continues to show that."
As of April, the campaign had raised $58.4 million, which is also the target figure for the launching of the public phase of the campaign. The Board of Trustees will approve the public phase in their June meeting.
"The announcement will probably occur toward the end of the summer in preparation for the next term rather than this past term," Hayes said.
The CF then recognized their members who are retiring this year with a warm applause. Professor of Biology David Egloff, Professor of African American Studies Calvin Hernton, Professor of German Sidney Rosenfeld and Professor of French Viktoria Srupskelis will all be officially retiring, though will still participate in the college to a limited extent.
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 24, May 14, 1999
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