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College Council Meeting Minutes: November 15, 2019


Tower Room, Doty Hall

November 15, 2019


Iris Banister

Jill Yonkers Emmons

Gidget Hopf

Judith Hunter

Christian Valentino

Robert Wayland-Smith, Chair


Denise Battles, President

David Braverman, Interim Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Julie Buehler, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Gail Glover, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer

Roxanne Johnston, Senior Advisor to the President for College Advancement

Wendi Kinney, Senior Associate to the President

Christie Reed, Secretary to the President

Stacey Robertson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Susan Romano, Director of Financial Aid

robbie routenberg, Chief Diversity Officer

Amy Sheldon, College Senate


Kaitlyn Bertleff, Student Association

Alison Coggins ‘20

Joseph Cope, Interim Associate Provost for Student Success


Chair Wayland-Smith called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.

Chair welcomed attendees to the second fall meeting.

The minutes of the October 11, 2019 meeting were approved.

Chair wished to congratulate Hopf who is a finalist for the Rochester Athena Awards. Hopf thanked Geneseo for coordinating the nomination. Chair also wished to thank Banister for volunteering her time to participate in the on-campus interviews for the VP College Advancement finalists. Chair thanked the President for the luncheon.

Chair welcomed Bertleff to the meeting representing Student Association in Hansen’s absence.


Student Success Initiatives

Dr. Joseph Cope, Interim Associate Provost for Student Success

Cope provided an overview of the various resources provided to, and efforts direct at, student success. Data such as retention rates, persistence rates, and reasons for leaving are used as indicators of how the College is doing related to student success. Cope shared three main initiatives, connected to the access and success component of the Strategic Plan, that are examples of changes that are happening relatively quickly, and that have equity as a central component:

1. Navigate: campus early alert system

2. First year seminar for undeclared students

3. Tutor training program

Academic Peer Mentoring and the First Year Experience

Alison Coggins ‘20 Coggins,

who serves as an academic peer mentor, shared her background as a student at Geneseo and how she came to be a peer mentor. Coggins described her involvement with the INTD course for first year undeclared students and how it supports their success at Geneseo.


Bertleff serves as SA Vice President and presented an update on behalf of President Adam Hansen who is attending SUNYSA in Albany, NY. Topics of sustainability, support for transfer students, and SUNY enrollment will be discussed at SUNYSA. Bertleff provided updates regarding a special election, the intercultural dinner, Fall Fest, Student Senate, improvements to SOFIs (Student Opinion of Faculty Instruction), and collaboration with College Senate. Further, the SA is continuing work on developing a strategic plan and recently completed a student-wide feedback survey to assist with that work.


Sheldon provided updates regarding College Senate. Senate is looking at improvements to the SOFIs and addressing student food insecurity. Senate is appreciative of the invitation to be involved in the interview process for the VP College Advancement role. The senate chair and SA VP are meeting regularly which is leading to discoveries about student opinions and student needs.


Student Retention and Our Widely Important Goal Process

Stacey Robertson

Robertson shared how the book The Four Disciplines of Execution inspired the process of developing the student-retention-focused WIG (Widely Important Goal) in Academic Affairs.

1. Focus on the wildly important (prioritize above the whirlwind)

2. Act on lead measures (the most high-impact things that will help reach the goal)

3. Keep a compelling scoreboard (people play differently when they are keeping score)

4. Create a cadence of accountability (regular and frequent short meetings)


What is Growth Mindset

Joseph Cope

Cope engaged the Council in an activity exploring the concept of growth mindset.


College Council considered a proposed amendment to the Student of Code of Conduct, Code II.16.

A quorum was present to vote. The amendment was passed unanimously.


President Battles shared a variety of institutional updates:

Leadership Transitions and Recruitment

An overview of transitions and recruitment for the Vice President for College Advancement, Vice President for Student and Campus Life, and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer was provided.

Strategic Planning

Campus’ efforts continue, overseen by the SPG’s five sub-committees:

• learning

• access and success

• advancing the public good

• resilience and sustainability

• diversity, equity and inclusion

Implementation of the new planning platform, Nuventive, is underway. A preview of the dashboard reports provided in Nuventive was shown.

Budget Update

Work to enhance our financial health continues and cost containment initiatives have been implemented, such as our Strategic Hiring Protocol (now codified as policy), reducing campus memberships, revisiting cell phone allowance policy. Revenue-enhancement initiatives include:

• Student retention initiative (the earlier-referenced WIG)

• Academic program development, including proposed majors: Sociomedical Sciences (under NYSED review); Data Analytics & Sustainability Studies (discussion stage)

• Comprehensive fundraising campaign preparatory work

• Reintroduced intersession term

A progress report on our offerings and enrollment for January intersession 2020 was provided.

Schola Brevis Sessions

The Schola Brevis initiative was rolled out with the first two sessions held in the fall semester with the goal of informing and engaging the campus community in addressing major College challenges and opportunities.

• Student Success at Geneseo (Oct. 24)

• Geneseo’s Financial Sustainability (Nov. 13)

Spring sessions are anticipated, and will be informed by previously administered campus-wide survey and fall session evaluation results.

Other College Initiatives

An overview of Promoting the Respectful Workplace was shared. The policy and program, viewed as models, seek to ensure a foundation of civility and respect at the College and began as a grassroots effort through a college-wide joint labor-management process.


Battles highlighted a few of the many faculty, staff, and student achievements, awards, and recognitions received during the fall semester.


A brief discussion was held regarding the enrollment shortfall and actions being taken to address it.

A brief discussion was held on the profitability of new majors.


Chair Wayland-Smith invited and encouraged council members to participate in the on-campus interview process for the Vice President for College Advancement. Chair reminded council members to support the Geneseo Foundation. Chair feels strongly that the council should have a 100% participation, annually.

Chair wishes everyone a happy holiday season.

The meeting adjourned at 3:47p.m.

Denise A. Battles


Wendi Kinney

Recording Secretary