23 January 1997
MGEN R. C. Poole, COL H. W. Askins, Jr., COL J. M. Basel, COL M. A. Bebensee, LTCOL J. R. Blanton, CAPT M. L. Boykin, LTCOL R. R. Carter, COL S. D. Comer, LTC O. R. Emory, LTC D. J. Fallon, LTC A. J. Finch, COL J. W. Gordon, LTC A. W. LeClercq, LTCOL J. S. Leonard, COL W. J. Macpherson, COL I. S. Metts, Jr., COL D. H. Reilly, LTC P. J. Rembiesa, LTC P. E. Ross, COL J. W. Trez, COL D. H. White, COL R. A. White, LTC G. L. Wilson
The meeting of the Academic Board was held at 1515 hours on 16 December 1996, in Bond Hall, Room 333.
The Interim President of The Citadel, Major General R. Clifton Poole, SCM, opened the meeting. The minutes for the meeting of 26 November were to be approved at the next meeting.
The Interim President indicated that he wanted to report that so far, regarding the situation with the two women fourth classmen now in the news (J. M. Mentavlos, K. L. Messer), the newspapers were publishing the families' accounts. He stressed that COL Trez, the Commandant of Cadets, had called his (MGEN Poole's) house on that Thursday night, the 12th, and that the authorities had immediately been called in to conduct a multipronged investigation (SLED, FBI-Justice, and the Commandant's office). At this point we have suspended and put off campus an individual who was already in trouble. We have relieved temporarily seven members of the E Company chain of command.
The two women are taking their examinations in civilian clothes, and they have removed themselves from the Corps of Cadets.
MGEN Poole then discussed security measures and the schedule for locking the gates on campus at night, etc. He indicated that he had brought COL Trez along so that he could be ready to respond, since last time there had been lots of discussion of the 4th Class System. He would also ask COL Trez to attend the Faculty Meeting set for this Thursday the 18th.
COL Trez then made a lengthy general statement covering the current situation with the two women. LTCOL Finch asked how the Commandant had first learned of it, and COL Trez responded that it came from an off-campus alumnus.
Discussion followed COL Trez's presentation. COL Bebensee inquired about the issue of sophomores holding rank, and would it be reviewed? COL Trez responded with some historical data and observations. COL Askins stated that the idea that the Corps of Cadets can run itself is a fallacy; it needs adult leadership. COL Askins expressed the hope that we would take this incident and use it to take some concrete steps.
The Interim President stated that he had already informed the Board of Visitors that he would have them a formal proposal for adult leadership, and that he would have it ready in January.
COL Comer referred to the Strategic Planning Report and recommendations of 1988. COL Trez recited all the major studies that had been done in recent times regarding the 4th Class System. COl Gordon asked about the methodology employed at the service academies, and reiterated his view stated at earlier meetings that it was essential to have seasoned leadership available to help members of the chain of command gain positive feedback in their training of the 4th Classmen.
COL R. A. White stated that there had been a big rise this year in late papers/papers not being turned in. COL Trez responded that computers are a new diversion that detracts from ESP.
COL Metts stated that we were on the verge of addressing the challenge of recruiting better students. It will take three to five years of good recruiting effort to turn it around.
Discussion followed. COL Reilly stated that we need to look at the elements of the 4th Class System and recruiting and academics, and analyze it to see what all is connected. LTCOL Fallon warned of the dangers of being caught in a downward spiral, but that there was also a danger in lashing out. COL Trez stated that the academies have done away with 4th Class System-type training and replaced it with other stresses.
MGEN Poole stressed that, if we do not have a military role or function for the college, then we do not have a role in South Carolina. The College of Charleston is geographically very close to us. Two weeks ago we were doing well in the eyes of the world in carrying out our assimilation plan. COL Metts indicated that we do not know what parts of the system are wrong. MGEN Poole said that cadet academic officers and their chain are a good interface.
COL Metts emphasized that we have fallen short in two areas. These two areas are Planning and Assessment, and Off-Campus Graduate Offerings. We have twenty-four weeks to clean up these areas with follow-up reports. The problem in the off-campus offerings has to do with re-certification courses being given by non-Citadel faculty.
COL Metts discussed the new form and its array of pluses and minuses, and that these could not be given for undergraduates. LTCOL Ross states that those options begged for trouble, and that they probably should not appear on the form. COL Metts also discussed the "I" grade. Faculty members might come and talk with their department head in cases where they feel an "I" grade is warranted. Lengthy discussion followed concerning the circumstances in which such would be the appropriate grade, etc.
COL Metts indicated that we would take up this item at the next meeting.
COL Gordon distributed a proposed draft of the AY 1997-1998 calendar and emphasized key points about it (e.g., number of class days, break times, exams, etc.).
COL Macpherson expressed appreciation for faculty involvement at The Citadel.
The meeting was adjourned at 1715.
John W. Gordon
Dean of Undergraduate Studies