11/12/19 Selectboard Meeting Minutes

Selectboard Clerk Felix, November 12, 2019

12 November 2019

Selectboard Meeting Minutes


Minutes are taken by Selectboard Clerk Felix and reflect to the best of my ability what happens during a meeting. If you have questions or comments please comment here or email selectboard@marlboro.edu.


Present: Seth, Felix, Izzy, Maggie, Ritu, Ariana, Charlie


Charlie: are we going to hold HSP elections in the middle of this year and elect a new HSP? …would be interested and willing to make my position year-long


Maggie: we should hold elections, I would bet you would be re-elected




(an Emerson journalist has emailed us asking whether someone from their paper could sit in on Town Meeting)


Maggie: next Wednesday there’s going to be a visit from Emerson admins (Nov. 20)


(Stephanie is here)


Maggie: the Provost and some faculty want to come…


Charlie: Patrick talked to me yesterday, said they might want to have lunch with Selectboard, I wouldn’t be able to be there if it was a lunch, they probably want time at Town Meeting to say something


Maggie: looped in with if the students want to come on that day… we seemed pretty unanimous of asking him to wait to come because we are working on processing


(Charlie is drafting an email)


Felix: and are we also going to say that they have to meet with us or come to multiple? it’s far to come multiple Wednesdays in a row but we should at least say they have to meet with us


(the general verdict is that we can’t stop students from coming this week, since TM is an open space, but it would be best if they don’t come this week, and if they come we want them to meet with us)




Seth: just sent minutes from the open meeting, which was entirely given over to merger stuff, Kevin and Richard talked a little at the outset about timeline and process, and I think the takeaway, the two themes that emerged from the opening were, “You have lots of questions as you should and we have very few answers,” they kept stressing the degree of generality of the nature of the agreement right now… the other was “we’ve got to figure that stuff out really fast,” so it’s reasonable to expect that people are going to have to make these decisions by the end of this term, whatever they can nail down about space, faculty, curriculum, students… four weeks, basically

Maggie: we all agreed that that work needs to be done in the next month


Seth: so that led to a long conversation about the things we wish we’d known and don’t know


Maggie: we have a list of questions

Seth: also a discussion of alum, social media friendly alum, a fear that a few might scuttle the whole deal because it violates their sense of the institution’s principles


Maggie: they think they’re helping, they think there are people here


Charlie: there’s a big post on save Marlboro page saying don’t mess this up for us


Felix: students don’t want the college to close, also want to go to school next year


Maggie: so leading into Kate getting the sense of the room, can faculty write an open letter saying we’re in favor of this process, and then get faculty who want to to sign it… even before I’ve been talking to students, how anxious they are about Facebook pages, is there a second open letter from students… or even a triple, a letter from staff… individuals are individuals, this isn’t going to be a unanimous thing, but


Ritu: but it needs to be done, there’s too much noise out there


Maggie: that’s what I think


Izzy: there’s something that’s in the works where we want to have students, staff, and faculty write a statement that’s out in the public so that the only thing that’s out in the public isn’t just from administration… sort of acknowledging that we might not all agree on the best option, but we can all agree we want to look out for each other’s best interest, we all want to fight equally hard so staff, faculty, students can all get as much as they can from the deal, write a list of more reasonable requests, have it be signed by everyone who wants to be part of it, commitment to looking out for each other


Maggie: can you share with us more what the goal of that is?


Izzy: we wanted to try and send it out to media sources, just this is a hard time on campus and we might not agree, but we want to stand by each other


Maggie: that list of things, who’s…


Izzy: we have a survey sent out to the community, and then we have meetings in the Dining Hall on Thursday, people who want to come to the meetings can…


Maggie: if we have demands, who are we addressing that to


Izzy: as a public request. we would like to try to find a way to have some space at Emerson that is community governed and used Robert’s Rules, some sort of smaller scale thing, for faculty possibly asking for assistance and help moving


Felix: and a lot of alums have been really supportive and really want to fundraise, I think when we have a better idea of costs we’ll have alums who want to cover that


Charlie: I think it would be a good idea to have these letters written, I can’t do it


Felix: we have students who are really active, I don’t think you have to


Seth: Kate Ratcliff was tasked with writing a faculty version… next thing is to resolve the idea of who’s empowered to make those decisions, have those conversations, the phrase that’s been used has been “working groups,” starting to take a clearer shape, five groups that Kevin described, one is curricular, current members of Curriculum Committee and Committee on Faculty… the thing that was getting more attention was “future of campus” working group, sensitive and complex problem, group needs to include faculty, students, staff, also Marlboro townspeople, alum, music festival people, eventually Emerson people, there isn’t a group for that, we need a TM election


Felix: I can get that going, I’ll try and add a category on Nook for merger stuff


Charlie: do you know details?


Seth: the number floated was 12


Felix: the minute you have details let me know


Seth: I’ll be asking for answers, I’ll let you know


(Senior Team meets later today… will ask then)


Seth: I don’t think Kevin and Richard had an answer and weren’t sharing, this was just coming up in the moment


Ritu: unrelated topic?


Seth: I think they envisioned these five groups, there would need to be folks elected for all




Ritu: do you know Ken, the IT Person, he was asking for support in a job fair, setting up talks with nearby institutions, is that something TM can set aside some time and space for, to push that or?


Maggie: I can share what Becky and Kate are working on… Kate’s putting together a slate of workshops and info sessions, there’ll be an announcement soon to staff, Kate’s still fleshing it out what it’ll look like, how to think about your skills more broadly, design your life, resume help, cover letter help, specific job fair, I haven’t heard


Stephanie: he suggested through Committee on Staff, meeting tomorrow for first time since announcement, we’re collecting any ideas like that


Maggie: my first thought that TM isn’t… Committee on Staff, administration, that seems like two already, adding TM to the mix…


(Tanner is here)


Charlie: should go to Committee on Staff first, if it’s a dead end there TM can do something


Felix: we haven’t had much time, they haven’t done something but that doesn’t mean they won’t… TM isn’t the right place




Charlie: is the staff distinguished service award still happening?


Stephanie: not tomorrow


Charlie: right now the agenda is very long because it was long already and more things got added to it… first we have an HSP address, I feel like I need to say something before we hop into TM… I want to talk about even though this is a trying time we’re still a community, we still have to be working together, we have seven months here, we have to live together and support each other in a way that’s not destructive to ourselves or the community


Seth: one thing I forgot from faculty meeting, ominous side note, Patrick said all current Marlboro students are welcome to transfer to Emerson, unless they have disciplinary black marks


Felix: came up in Dean’s Advisory Committee yesterday, specifically in reference to vandalism, reminding people there are still consequences


Charlie: anything else?


Seth: what’s the future of self-governance in IDIP or the institute?


Felix: something we should plan/fight for


Seth: if we decide what we want to carry through in the future, we the Selectboard have to do a lot on its behalf that’s accessible to people who aren’t us, we have to come up with a way to talk about it to Emerson people, something we might want to spend time doing next term, a large part of our work


Maggie: would be a good thing to loop in the Berkeley Beacon on


Felix: they seemed to really be into the community governance thing


Charlie: okay so, HSP address, Kevin wants time for an update on things, Patrick asked me to just put a standing transition update as a standing agenda item for Town Meetings to come, will just be someone on the task force every week


Felix: just putting it out there we need to keep having TM until the bitter end


(general agreement)


(Charlie lists off items…)


Tanner: budget, we’d have to look at Washer/Dryer in a different light, do we want to use it for capital improvement, rollover fund needs to be looked at differently, not rolling over to anything that will serve us in the same capacity, we can look at the whole budget differently, balancing the budget again isn’t as important, we can push it through as proposed, then do another budgety thing, and then decide not to make any changes to the budget, TM wouldn’t be forfeiting ownership of DH Crew Chief, Fire Chief, any of those things, doesn’t serve anyone in my department to try now to take ownership of that work


Felix: where does the money go at the end


Ariana: really invest into students, events, etc.


Felix: whatever we have at the end of the year should go towards supporting community member transitions


Maggie: one rather pressing line item would be TMSF, we are meeting tomorrow… should we stay at $14,500… if we think this can go towards helping students do what they want to do, it would be great if we can do that.


Tanner: the point of whether we would deliberate on the budget or not would be alternative actions, this money it’s our only opportunity to use it, it really would reflect our priorities, are we going to take $4,000 from TMSF to use in a different capacity, or do we let it sit there and have $4,000 less… we could encourage people to vote it down until we have time


Charlie: can we just take it off?


Tanner: it’s been read in, it’s Town Meeting’s


Charlie: we need to redo it, I think we should tell students not to vote for it so that we can re-look at it and make better decisions


Maggie: when you say not to vote for it, don’t do a vote or vote it down


(and then we go back to the already approved budget)


Seth: if you look at the big picture, if Marlboro has any leverage, it depends wholly on the size of the endowment, if we come up for a plan for self-governance and bring $0 with us, it’s going to be a lot harder than if we bring even $20,000… it’s tempting to spend it all, making the claim that we want to do that depends on being able to parse the accounting, they might just say it’s part of the endowment


Maggie: it’s in a separate account right?


Tanner: yeah… other institutions create space that have their own community governance, I don’t know how it’ll work, will everyone at the institute live together, if that was the case we could send money over to support programming, there are models in which those kind of things exist, and in that case it would be something to strongly consider


Felix: it seems like going back to our old agenda would be good, even if we need the money we don’t need as much rollover going forward


Charlie: I forgot about the W/D request we got… I don’t know if it can come tomorrow


Tanner: we’d have to propose a language change to how W/D fund works anyway


Charlie: request from Alex for $1,000 from W/D to cover application fees for students considering transferring to other institutions with preference to those transferring because Emerson is unaffordable


Tanner: I’d have to reread the language because it says right now it’s for capital improvements


Felix: so we should rewrite the language, what will serve the community is not improving buildings, instead helping people


Proposed Town Meeting Agenda:

  1. HSP address
  2. transition update
  3. HSP compensation deliberation
  4. budget deliberation
  5. committee reports
  6. announcements


(we will work on W/D language for next week)




(talking about having a new Head Selectperson, whether or not we have an election, whether we can vote not to have one…)


Charlie: I would be willing and interested in seeing this through to the bitter end


Maggie: the only thing I can find about W/D fund is that TM makes decisions about it… (nothing about capital improvements is in the bylaws that Maggie can find)


Tanner: we’ve also been finding, there’s got to be something wrong with where they pulled this language from, there’s stuff wrong with fire/safety… I’m convinced this capital improvements thing is there but if it’s not there then we don’t have to worry about it


Charlie: anything else


Felix: we’re seeing this through to the bitter end, we should continue, we should figure out how to continue this at Emerson even in the smallest way




Felix: I just wanted to bring into the space that there are a lot of conversations going on, students/faculty/staff are doing a good job, I don’t think Selectboard needs to do anything… just wanted to make people aware that some people are very loud


(Maggie is asking Izzy about her letter…)


Izzy: hopefully not going to clash with anything, just saying we want to look out for each other, these are some things that would make it easier




Seth: we would love to have the numbers/breakdown by constituency of working group membership


(talking about who would go to the meeting, Maggie can go for half an hour or so…)


(meeting adjourned)

Return to blog homepageEdit post


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)