The meeting of the Academic Board was called to order at 1515 hours.
AGENDA ITEM # 1: APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
AGENDA ITEM # 2: REMARKS BY MGEN GRINALDS
MGEN Grinalds asked department heads to relay to the faculty his appreciation for the superb job they are doing and for how well the academic year is going.
He then discussed the major challenges the College faces. The first is a public relations and admissions challenge. We must convince the public that we have an excellent academic program. Enrollment has declined in recent years as have the qualifications of entering students. Several steps have been taken to change this trend. First, the President pointed to the personal interest he has taken in the admissions operation and to the additional resources and support that have been provided. The Dean of Enrollment Management now reports directly to the President and meets with him a minimum of once a week. In regard to standards, MGEN Grinalds stated that the minimum acceptable levels for SAT scores, class rank, and physical fitness will remain constant. He had hoped to hold to a SAT score of 1000 but has been forced to back up to 920. Every exception to the standards set must be cleared by MGEN Poole. MGEN Grinalds announced that eighty to ninety qualified applicants have been invited to attend Scholars Day this year and reported that among the women who have applied thus far, the average SAT score is 1100.
Funding presents another challenge. CDF was unwilling to contribute $2 million to cover the assimilation budget for this year. The legal fees associated with the Faulkner/Mellette case could be as high as $4.7 million. In addition, the College faces other lawsuits and the financial impact of the performance measures implemented by CHE. The College will be working on establishing priorities and developing contingency plans. The President suggested that individual departments can contribute through their own fund-raising efforts. As time goes on, there will be a plan to integrate all the separate fund-raising efforts. Since this issue has surfaced in the past, several faculty members raised questions or made statements about departmental fund raising. LTC Staley asked about fund-raising for a modern language laboratory. LTC LeClercq announced that she was not independently attempting to raise money for a new wing to the Library, and LTC Fallon stated that the Civil Engineering Department is not independently trying to raise money for a departmental laboratory. They have merely answered questions posed by alumni who wish to contribute to such a facility.
At the conclusion of the President's remarks, LTC Staley voiced support for a stronger international studies program, a feature that would help with recruiting. He gave MGEN Grinalds credit for inspiring the increased activity in international studies that is currently underway.
AGENDA ITEM #3: REMARKS BY BGEN MACE
MGEN Poole introduced BGEN Mace who was present to address issues associated with the cadet lifestyle that are of concern to the faculty. He began by talking about the morning physical training (p. t.) requirement. He explained that the cadets need at least three sessions a week. Adjustments have already been made to the schedule (p. t. starting at 0600 rather than at 0545, for instance). BGEN Mace stated that he does not believe, nor do cadets in the chain of command, that p. t. is responsible for cadets sleeping in class. COL Baldwin disagreed, saying that it does affect fourthclass academic performance. He contended that he had noticed a difference at midterm when p. t. was canceled for a week. BGEN Mace stated that a bigger problem is poor time management. While the barracks are fairly quiet during ESP, there is a good deal of visitation going on. Cadets are not using ESP to best advantage and then stay up so late that they do not get enough sleep.
BGEN Mace stated his strong support for academics and said that he believes education comes first and military responsibilities come second. He pointed out steps he had taken to demonstrate his support, for instance canceling SMI and p. t. the week before final exams to enable cadets to use that Saturday morning studying. BGEN Mace indicated he would revisit the question of when (which days of the week, which hours of the day) p. t. is scheduled. In response to a question from LTC Wilson about why the students have to get up so early, BGEN Mace acknowledged that there is still some slack time in the morning schedule.
BGEN Mace pointed out the changes implemented this year have led to predictable complaints. His goal has been to restore core values. He sees improvements. For example, he pointed to the fewest class absences for freshmen and sophomores in several years.
COL White asked what changes can be expected in the treatment of fourthclassmen. BGEN Mace replied that the same intensity of training would continue until Corps Day at which time the fourthclass system will end and sophomore corporals will take on more responsibility.
In regard to attrition, BGEN Mace said he was thinking of re-implementing a mentoring system that would decrease incidents of hazing. Mace conceded there are still problems. At the beginning of the year, seniors served as mess carvers at knob tables. His plan is to integrate the knobs into mess with members of the other classes, but the upperclassmen like it separate, so there will be resistance. LTC Staley stated that in his experience the food is better this year.
LTC Fallon asked for more cooperation and support of academic field trips. He noted that the engineering accrediting agency criticized the Citadel's engineering departments for not sponsoring enough field experiences. Fallon requested that students be allowed to engage in community service or go on field trips during SMI. BGEN Mace pointed out that the SMI dates are indicated on the college calendar to help departments plan. He has attempted to hold the line on excused absences from SMI because there is so much competition for the time, with many academic departments and many campus clubs wanting to schedule activities. LTC Finch stated that academic trips should not have to be cleared by the military side of the College. LTC Wilson agreed and noted that some major events such as the Bridge Run and standardized exams are scheduled externally and occur on closed weekends. A compromise might be for students to stand early personal inspections. LTC Wilson pointed out that BGEN Mace had arranged this on at least one occasion. Mace agreed that this had worked and might be an answer in the future.
COL Askins complained about students missing labs and classes because of meetings with the Commandant. While Askins acknowledged that often students play both sides against the middle, sometimes they really have been detained in the Commandant's Office.
LTC Rembiesa asked about students' claims that they could not enroll in afternoon labs because of conflicts with military training. Representatives of the ROTC departments assured him this was not true. On another matter, COL Folley stated that the ROTC departments make every attempt to schedule physical exams for contract students around scheduled tests, but that the Air Force Base announces the available times to the College. He asked department heads to urge their faculty to require that students take all necessary steps to prevent scheduling conflicts.
LTC LeClercq asked about the findings of the recent government study that led to recommendations that military men and women be trained separately. BGEN Mace responded that his Office is looking closely at the findings.
COL Leon identified himself as a visitor to the Board meeting and then commented on the "bedlam" at mealtimes in the Mess Hall. He noted the lack of civility, the crudeness, the viciousness that he had repeatedly observed and asked MGEN Grinalds to set the tone for a change in the atmosphere. MGEN Grinalds agreed that a different atmosphere is needed but said it will take time. Seven years is the normal amount of time required for a change in culture to be accepted. The cadets have learned the behaviors they presently exhibit; it will take time for them to unlearn them. MGEN Grinalds identified three components of effective change: a philosophy, procedures to implement the philosophy, and supervision to ensure that the procedures are adhered to. The President maintained that some cadets are "captives of the past" and that there is "residual animosity" about changes in the system.
LTC Wilson stated that the faculty are concerned that so many of the best students leave. BGEN Mace agreed that there is an undercurrent of meanness that drives some students away, but he reiterated the point made by the President, that the negative atmosphere was not created overnight and cannot be fixed overnight.
CPT Boykin asked if yelling is considered acceptable in upperclass dealings with freshmen. BGEN Mace said that the cadre was taken to Parris Island this year before school started to observe professionals who lead effectively without such techniques. The cadets have been told that shouting is an example of negative leadership.
BGEN Mace expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to answer questions and engage in dialogue. MGEN Poole thanked BGEN Mace for attending the meeting and affirmed BGEN Mace's commitment to academics. MGEN Poole closed by stating his belief that we are headed in the right direction and must continue to work together to achieve our goals.
AGENDA ITEM #4: ANNOUNCEMENTS
LTC Carter announced that the College should receive the NCATE report in January. LTC Ozment announced that two recently acquired publications--The 1997-1998 Minority and Women Doctoral Directory and The PBS Adult Learning Satellite Service Programming Lineup for Winter/Spring 1998--will be on reserve in Daniel Library and urged departments to take advantage of these resources.
The meeting was adjourned at 1700 hours.
Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Women