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College Council Meeting Minutes: October 11, 2019


Tower Room,

Doty Hall October 11, 2019

PRESENT: Iris Banister

Melisza Campos

Jill Yonkers Emmons

Gidget Hopf

Judith Hunter

Robert Wayland-Smith, Chair

Adam Hansen, Student Association

STAFF: Denise Battles, President

David Braverman, Interim Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Julie Buehler, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Glenn Geiser-Getz, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Gail Glover, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer

Kim Harvey, Director of Admissions

Justin Johnston, Interim Vice President for College Advancement

Wendi Kinney, Senior Associate to the President

Christie Reed, Secretary to the President

robbie routenberg, Chief Diversity Officer

Amy Sheldon, College Senate

GUESTS: Celia Easton, Dean of Academic Planning & Advising

Julia Deacon ‘20

Valerie Desrosiers ‘21

Gary Dornellas ‘21

Theresa Hensler ‘22

Emily McNeil ‘22

Emanuela Scollo ‘20

Oliver Stordahl ‘22


Chair Wayland-Smith called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.

Chair welcomed attendees to the first fall meeting.

The minutes of the April 12, 2019 meeting were approved.

Chair Wayland-Smith invited President Battles to introduce new members of the leadership team in attendance at today’s meeting.


Social Justice, Theater, and Thinking at Summer Orientation

Dr. Celia Easton, Dean of Academic Planning & Advising

Easton presented about work done with students centered on diversity education supported by a SUNY Performance Improvement Fund (PIF) grant. The goal was to expand diversity education using theater as pedagogy, rethinking orientation presentations, expanding the curriculum, and sharing and bridging across the campus community.

Interactive Presentation: Knight Life Live

Julia Deacon ’20, Valerie Desrosiers ’21, Gary Dornellas ’21, Theresa Hensler ’22, Emily McNeil ’22, Emanuela Scollo ’20, Oliver Stordahl ‘22

The students performed two vignettes from the larger program Knight Life Live which is performed as a part of the summer orientation program. Theater is used as a catalyst for effective conversation on critical issues among the new, incoming students. The vignettes are performed and then the actors and orientation leaders hold a debrief with the new students.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Geneseo

robbie routenberg ‘05

routenberg shared a video testament of the Community Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. routenberg further shared the many and varied programs and initiatives offered across campus for faculty, staff, and students to enhance education around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Attendees are invited to save the date for the Diversity Summit on March 2, 2020.


President Battles introduced the new Student Association President, Adam Hansen. Hansen provided a few updates on the SA. The executive committee is working to establish a strategic plan with four identified areas of improvement and enhancement. SA has also focused on student health and wellness, such as purchasing software to evaluate concussions, offering CPR training, and contracting an athletic trainer to work with club sports and dance groups.


Chair Wayland-Smith welcomed Senate Chair Sheldon to her first meeting. Sheldon shared her personal testimony about her involvement in the Advancing Cultural Competency Certificate (ACCC) training. What she has learned has already changed the lens by which she views the work of the College Senate and the structures in place that may create power differential and disenfranchise attendees. Sheldon has already identified changes that can be made operationally to mitigate these. Senate has endorsed a change to the Student Code of Conduct regarding transmitting faculty work and the Council can expect to receive a request to take action on the proposed change.


Leadership Transitions and Recruitment

Battles introduced several new members of the senior leadership team, as well as acknowledged the upcoming departure of Gail Glover. Battles also provided updates on timelines for filling current vacancies.

Academic Year Kick-Off

Battles shared several highlights from opening activities of the fall semester which included New Student Convocation and Weeks of Welcome.

Enrollment Snapshot

Battles provided an overview of our incoming class, as well as our total student enrollment. Additionally, data related to the incoming student profile was shared. Further, information was shared about the declining number of high school graduates in New York, as well as other factors contributing to our enrollment challenges, such as fewer students attending area community colleges, and therefore fewer students transferring from them. Strategic Planning Battles shared progress made on a refresh of the College’s strategic plan which refines the desired outcomes and related action items of each of the four focus areas. The College is also implementing a new software platform, Nuventive, to manage the plan’s progress and share key performance indicators.

Budget Update

Battles offered an update on the recommendations which emerged from last year’s Expanded Budget Priorities Committee. Attention is being directed to those ideas categorized as either easy to do with an estimated financial benefit greater than $50K or easy to do with an estimated financial benefit less than $50K. Identified initiatives include: increasing intersession enrollment, increasing student retention, and reducing employee cell phone allowances. Other in-progress efforts were also mentioned.

Other College Initiatives

Updates were provided about:

 Upcoming Schola Brevis Sessions scheduled for October 24 and November 13.

 Campus Renovation Projects related to Sturges Hall, Milne Library, Fraser Hall, and College Circle.


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


Discussion was held with members of College Council asking questions of President Battles regarding Title IX compliance in athletics and downstate and bordering state recruitment efforts.


Chair thanked Emmons for attending the SUNY ACT Conference next week. Chair acknowledged the continued evolution of the Geneseo Foundation Board and that it is currently comprised of all Geneseo alumni. Johnston reported that the SGAA and Foundation Boards will both be meeting next week, in addition to hosting the President’s Gala. Chair invited members to provide suggestions for upcoming meeting presentation topics.

Reminder that our next meeting is November 15 and will include a luncheon beginning at 11:30am.

The meeting adjourned at 3:33p.m.

Denise A. Battles, President

Wendi Kinney, Recording Secretary