St. Mary's College Board of Trustees Meets, Approves New Major, Minors, Budget
The St. Mary's College Board of Trustees met on Friday, May 11, and approved two new minors in business and astrophysics, and a new major in women, gender, and sexuality studies (WGSX).
The new business minor is designed to complement a wide range of majors currently offered at the College. The business minor is consistent with the College's mission of developing a curriculum that serves all students; integrates theory, practice, and a student-centered ethos; engages students in a rigorous, experiential, flexible, innovative academic environment; and graduates prepared, responsible, and thoughtful global citizens and leaders. The learning objectives for the business minor are for graduates to demonstrate effective oral communication; demonstrate an ability to analyze business information; and demonstrate knowledge of the legal environment impacting business organizations.
The new astrophysics minor is the application of physics to the large-scale structure of the universe: the birth and death of stars, the formation of galaxies, and the origin and fate of the universe itself. In the last five years, the physics department faculty have developed the expertise to offer the program, and faculty and students developed instrumentation in the form of two radio telescopes which can be used for program support.
WGSX is a cross-disciplinary area of inquiry that investigates the social, psychological, biological, and cultural construction of gender, as well as the ways women and men locate themselves within gender systems. The goals and program outcomes of the WGSX major, reflected in its structure and requirements, are to engage students and faculty in distinguishing variations in gendered systems across culture(s) and over time; assessing how sex, gender, and sexuality are related to other social hierarchies and identity markers, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, class, and ability; critiquing how sex, gender, and sexuality shape aspects of our daily lives; and integrating values of inclusion, diversity, and equity in regard to sex, gender, and sexuality.
The College's Current Fund (Operating) Budget of $69.29 million for FY19 was also approved by the Board of Trustees. The approved operating budget reflects the stabilization of enrollment for the FY18-19 academic year with an anticipated 1,527 full-time undergraduate students. The budget is based on 1,424 full-time undergraduate students, excluding study abroad students, representing 98 percent of the estimated total enrollment.
Campus Safety Report:
Tressa Setlak, director of public safety, gave a campus safety update. Setlak stated that the increase in reported safety incidents received in 2016 and 2017, compared to previous years, shows that students now feel safe reporting incidents to Public Safety and are confident that incidents will be investigated. Of the 649 incidents reported in 2016, only 129 were Cleary-level incidents.
A number of safe-campus indicators were reviewed. Public Safety escort requests by students has decreased by 45 percent over the last 2.5 years, which, Setlak explained, shows students feel more comfortable walking from point A to point B on campus. Student initiatives that had previously been created are now being disbanded because they are no longer needed, including Nighthawks (student to student escorts) and the Public Safety Student Advisory Council (student-initiative that brought campus incidents before Public Safety).
Setlak reviewed a number of initiatives Public Safety has recently undertaken including the launch of the 911 Shield app, official branding of Public Safety vehicles and equipment, and updating policies and procedures.
Setlak also explained the Public Safety officers now receive a combined 68 hours of training compared to only 24 hours of training previously received.
Professor of Art Carrie Patterson discussed writing 24 lectures for The Great Courses Lecture Series program. The Great Courses are a series of educational classes offered to "surround the world's greatest teachers with a team of experts who collaborate on crafting a customized and entertaining educational journey."
Her course is titled "How to See," which Patterson describes as: "From the works of great masters to the architecture of great buildings and even the design of everyday objects, visual literacy enhances your appreciation and ability to describe the aesthetics of practically anything. These lessons teach you the principles of design as the vocabulary of art—line, shape, space, texture, color, and more—and how to see and evaluate them. You learn also how the arrangement of these principles affect the quality of design and art overall."
Patterson will begin recording the course in January 2019 and it will be available for purchase that summer.
During a special reception on the evening of Friday, May 11, the Board honored Charles "Chip" Jackson, who is retiring from St. Mary's College after 32 years.
Jackson has served as St. Mary's College of Maryland's vice president for business and finance since 2013. He oversees business affairs, facilities planning and operations, human resources, information technology, and government relations. Prior to this position, Jackson served as the associate vice president for planning and facilities and also as interim president for a short period during that time. As associate vice president for planning and facilities, Jackson led the college's master planning, design and construction efforts. His work led to multiple awards for architecture and sustainability initiatives.
He began his St. Mary's College career on September 1, 1986 as director of capital projects. Three year later, he became director of facilities before being promoted to associate vice president of facilities on March 1, 2000.
Jackson holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in business from Webster College.
Jackson will retire from St. Mary's College effective August 31, 2018.
St. Mary's College of Maryland Recognized by EPA as TOP green power user in the Capital Athletic Conference in 2017-18
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized St. Mary's College of Maryland as a Conference Champion in the 2017-18 College and University Green Power Challenge. St. Mary's College currently uses more green power than any other school in the Capital Athletic Conference.
Since April 2006, EPA's Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.
St. Mary's College beat its conference rivals by using more than 22 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 117 percent of the school's annual electricity use. St. Mary's College is procuring renewable energy certificates (RECs) from 3Degrees, and also generating green power from an on-site renewable energy system using solar resources. This commitment to green power demonstrates a sustainable choice that helps to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain, and regional haze.
According to the U.S. EPA, SMCM's green power use of more than 22 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes annually.
In the 2017-18 challenge, the 38 collegiate conferences and 109 schools competing collectively used nearly 3.6 billion kWh of green power. EPA's Green Power Challenge is open to any collegiate athletic conference in the United States. To qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least two schools that qualify as Green Power Partners, and the conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power. EPA will restart the 13th season of the College and University Green Power Challenge in fall 2018 and conclude it in spring 2019. For more information, visit: www.epa.gov/greenpower/college-and-university-challenge.
St. Mary's College Commemoration Update
The Commemoration Committee of St. Mary's College of Maryland is working with several common themes developed from its focus group work to help conceptualize the area where evidence of slave quarters was uncovered during an archaeological site survey on Mattapany Road.
According to Jeffrey Coleman, Commemoration Committee chair and professor of English and African and African Diaspora Studies program coordinator, the committee spent the past year discussing plans for a commemorative site. As part of its ongoing efforts, focus groups were conducted in November 2017 with members of the campus and local community.
Coleman explained that four themes emerged from these discussions: "The Past is Never Dead" (a quote from William Faulkner); "Resilience is the Quality that is the Result of Resistance and Perspective;" "Redemption;" and "Making the Invisible Visible."
The College is currently in the process of obtaining the services of a consultant to assist in the selection of an artist to create the commemoration installation. Once hired, the consultant will aid the College in creating criteria based on feedback from the November focus groups and the four themes. The criteria will help the College create and issue a request for qualifications to hire designers/artists and help in the selection process.
The College has identified an area of half an acre, adjacent to the archaeological site area, and along the path from the planned parking area to the in-development Jamie L. Roberts Stadium. This location is about 300 feet southeast of the intersection of College Drive and Mattapany Road.
The budget for the commemoration project is supported by $500,000 in Maryland State funds, with St. Mary's College funding the design effort.
In February 2017, St. Mary's College opened an exhibition in the Boyden Gallery that was intended to help educate students and the public about the College's relationship to slavery. The exhibition revealed for the first time a clear tie between slavery and St. Mary's Female Seminary. Later, during the completion of a survey of the site of the Jamie L. Roberts Stadium, additional evidence of slave quarters was uncovered.
Led by President Tuajuanda C. Jordan, St. Mary's College began exploring ways to commemorate the space by enlisting the input of the College community and external audiences. A committee was formed to commemorate the history of the enslaved people who once occupied these places. Headed by Coleman, the Commemoration Committee includes: Kent Randell, librarian and college archivist; Iris Ford, associate professor of anthropology; Garrey Dennie, associate professor of history; Ellen Kohl, assistant professor of environmental studies; Christine Wooley, associate dean of curriculum; Annie Anguiera, associate vice president of planning and facilities; and student Jada Ward '19.