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February 15, 1999
1. The minutes of February 8, 1999 were approved.
2. Professor Ken DeBono, chair of psychology, discussed the external review of the
Psychology Department. He noted two problems with the review. First, the reviewers did not
complete the report until a year after the review. Second, the clinical psychologist on
the team was unable to come at the last minute; consequently, a clinical perspective is
missing in the report.
Professor DeBono said that the review process had led to reconsideration of the
structure of the major. He pointed out that the size of the faculty and the lack of
physical resources made it impossible to have more laboratory courses as the report
suggests. He pointed out that the average grades in the department of tenure line faculty
are 2.58 and that the average grade of freshmen is 2.4. He noted that one-fifth of the
graduates last spring were either psychology majors, ID majors, or minors and expressed
the need for more permanent faculty to handle this load. The current tenure line faculty
number is 6 1/2; previously, they were eight. The most glaring curricular gaps are in
experimental psychology, especially the psychology of learning or cognitive-neuro
psychology and in social psychology dealing with cross cultural or interrracial issues. A
question was raised about the appropriate use of multiple choice exams. Prof. DeBono
explained that they were used almost exclusively in the introductory courses especially
when the enrollments were 50 and over, and that, if one looks at the testing literature,
forced-choice tests are proved to be more reliable tests of learning than many other
means. Changes proposed by the department include allowing only one independent study to
count toward the major. The success of the psychology major is to a degree indicated,
Professor DeBono reported, by the large number of psychology students who continue to
Annual Giving, Alumni Relations and the Office of Grant Support are in temporary
quarters in North Colonnade, awaiting the move within a year to the restored Abbe Hall
(formerly known as Parker-Rice) at Lenox Road and Union Avenue, not 27 Terrace Lane as
stated last week.
George Schiller, claims/payroll coordinator in human resources, has authored an
article on the safety program he helped start in the housekeeping department in the
newsletter of the New York State College and University Risk Management Group. For each
month without an accident, four members of each unit are eligible for a $25 gift
David Cossey, executive director of OCS, was quoted in a recent article titled
“Liberal-Arts Colleges Worry About Computer Support and Staffing” in the Chronicle
of Higher Education. The top issue, identified by 41 of the 58 members of the
Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges, was support for campus computing. The problem, he
said, was “increased expectations” by students and faculty at a time when most
colleges “don't have enough people” to respond.
Paul Rieschick, director of administration and senior development officer in
College Relations, was re-elected to his fifth two-year term as treasurer for Council for
the Advancement of Secondary Education (CASE) District II at the annual district assembly
in Hershey, Penn.
Robert Sharlet, Chauncey Winters Professor of Political Science, has published
“Legal Transplants and Political Mutations: The Reception of Constitutional Law in
Russia and the Newly Independent States” in East European Constitutional Review
(Vol. 7, No. 4, Fall 1998). The journal also appears in Russian translation in Moscow. The
article focuses on the differential attractions of American and European constitutional
norms, and how, in particular, Western doctrines of separation of powers have fared in the
Russian and other post-Soviet constitutions. In December, he also delivered a guest
lecture to the Russian Legal Reform Seminar at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton
That's Mandeville Gallery Curator Rachel Seligman playing “Camptown
Races” and other selections on the violin in WNYT-TV reporter Steve Scoville's
story on “Twelve Years a Slave,” the current exhibit in the Nott Memorial.
Scoville visited the Nott recently to assemble the story of Solomon Northup, a free
black man who in 1841 was kidnapped into slavery. Among Northup's many talents was
music; he was a gifted violinist.
So when Scoville was on campus last week, it seemed natural to use period violin tunes
as background for the piece. Seligman, herself an accomplished violinist who plays with a
number of area ensembles, was glad to oblige.
But they needed a quiet room with good acoustics to record the music. After some
thought, Seligman and the TV crew went to the basement of the Nott to a space that fit the
bill perfectly: the ladies room.
No word yet on where Seligman plans to play next.