Big Changes in the ‘Gate Ways

It has been a year of change at Colgate.

Most visibly, Colgate is undergoing two major construction projects. The renovation and expansion of Case Library has continued to progress, despite challenges along the way. The 52.2 million dollar project has relocated library resources to the new LASR system, as well as “Case @ JCC,” located in James C. Colgate hall.

Additionally, construction on the 45 million dollar Robert H.N. Ho Science Center began this year. The science community at Colgate has excitedly been anticipating this project, which will offer a number of state-of-the-art science facilities such as a five-chamber greenhouse, a Clean Room to allow work on the scale of nanotechnology and a Visualization Laboratory that will allow 3-D images to be projected onto a dome.

After Dean of the College Adam Weinberg’s resignation in December, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Economics Jill Tiefenthaler has led an 11-member search committee to fill the position. After narrowing the field from about 70 candidates, the committee has held on-campus open meetings with four finalists including Debra Kanai DeMeis, Dean of the College and Professor of Psychology at William Smith College; Shirley Ramirez, National Director of Operations for The Posse Foundation; Dawn Williams, Dean for Community Development at Seton Hall University; and Charlotte Johnson, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at University of Michigan Law School.

Colgate lost several members of the community this year. Former University President Vincent M. Barnett, Jr., passed away on February 11 at the age of 92. He served as the 10th President of Colgate in the 1960s, overseeing numerous construction projects and fundraising initiatives, as well as the 1967 Board of Trustees decision to admit women.

Colgate also lost Edgar W.B. Fairchild Professor of Literature Emeritus Frederick Busch on February 23 and Professor of Computer Science Laura Sanchis on April 9. Busch taught at Colgate from 1966 to 2003 and was responsible for the development of the creative writing concentration within the English Department, among other accomplishments. An avid researcher, Sanchis joined the Colgate faculty in 1989, serving as department chair in addition to teaching numerous classes, including a well-received course on cryptology.

On a more positive note, several generous donations from alumni have funded the Harvey Picker Institute for Interdisciplinary in Science and Mathematics to encourage interdisciplinary research, the Robert H.N. Ho Hong Kong scholarship which will offer financial help to a top student from Hong Kong beginning with the Class of 2011, and an anonymous 10 million dollar gift received on April 6 that will support the Case Library and Ho Science Center construction projects, as well as Colgate’s strategic plan.

Colgate students are also set to benefit from this spring’s changes to the Physical Education (PHED) requirement. Starting next fall students will only be required to earn two PHED credits for graduation, though these credits can no longer be satisfied through self-improvement and life-skills courses.

Additionally, the Student Government Associate (SGA) has worked to revise the constitution, reorganizing the body to be more attuned to student’s needs. Thus far, however, the SGA has failed to ratify the new constitution.