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Planning and pricing updates

Accessibility and value are two of the key issues recently addressed by Skid- more’s leaders to mark the halfway point of the 10-year strategic plan. In May the College announced the smallest price hike in more than 40 years: the comprehensive fee (tuition plus room, board, and other charges) was raised by just 1.9 percent. That rate— below both the general Consumer Price Index and the Higher Education Price Index—was made possible by budget tightening in offices and programs across the campus. The tuition move comple- ments yet another boost to the financial aid budget, which rose about 11 percent this year, to $34 million. More than 1,000 students are on Skidmore aid, which includes grants averaging $27,100 per year.

According to Mary Lou Bates, dean of admissions, its unflagging emphasis on accessibility and aid has helped the Col-

lege enroll an increas ing - ly diverse and accom- plished student body. This year, a record 26 percent of incoming freshmen are students of color, and the class is fluent in 20 languages. Enrolling strong stu- dents is one factor in the value equation discussed in the “Your Voice, Our Future” series of town-hall meetings held in 2009– 10. More than 200 trus - tees, faculty, staff, and


students took part, and nearly 500 alumni and parents joined sessions in eight cities from coast to coast. This spring President Philip Glotzbach issued “Strategic Renewal,” a 13-page document based on these conversations and many others. The document reframes the Col-


lege’s approach to achieving the goals of the strategic plan during its final five years.

Music in Motion, at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center, was one of more than 75 events that drew hundreds of watchers, listeners, and participants to

June’s SaratogaArtsFest. This year’s lineup included the acclaimed José Limón Dance Company, jazz trumpeter Brandon Lee, jazz pianist Warren Bernhardt, composer Richard Danielpour, Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, and fiction writer Alix Ohlin. Mixed in were dozens of other events for a range of audiences from seasoned culture vultures to young children, including studio open houses, artists painting in the streets, a panel discussion on cross-genre art collabora- tions, a theater benefit for an adoption fund, Skidmore faculty choreographers working with Danielpour’s music, and a day of circus, arts, and nature activities on Skidmore’s campus. —SR

The document describes the College’s response to the economic crisis, includ- ing a hiring freeze and early retirement initiative that reduced the personnel ros- ter by about 55 positions. It praises the 2009 “Goals for Student Learning and Development,” which “positions us to demonstrate in new ways the value of a Skidmore education through effective assessment that will encompass not only the undergraduate years but also the lives of our alumni.” And it discusses the key attributes—from curricular breadth and interdisciplinarity to the Saratoga Springs location—that set Skidmore apart from its peers. A section titled “Transition and Trans- formation” underscores a new commit- ment to better prepare students to plan and shape their adult careers. “We must become clearer about the knowledge, abilities, and skills they need to make this transition—and we can be more cre- ative in developing opportunities for stu- dents to acquire them across their time at Skidmore,” Glotzbach writes. And he reiterates Skidmore’s focus on developing student capacities that are critical to suc- cess beyond college: a high level of sci- entific literacy, community engagement and responsibility, and effective interac- tion across cultural differences. For more, see http://cms.skidmore .edu/planning.

FALL 2010 SCOPE 13



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