April 27, 2009

Volume 3, issue 34
April 27, 2009
The Fountain

Campus team monitors swine flu situation

Over the weekend, President Bridges sent a campus-wide e-mail about a potentially dangerous public health situation -- an outbreak of swine flu that has taken lives in Mexico and has spread to at least five U.S. states. In case you missed it, click here to read the message.

Coffee with the president highlights

President Bridges celebrated good news at the staff coffee Tuesday, April 21. He congratulated the remarkable work done by the admission staff, noting the numbers look even better than in January. “There were more than 400 people at the admitted student day, and the energy level was astonishing,” he said, adding that there are more than 20 students on the wait list with perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Other good news:

  • The men’s tennis team won its conference championship for the second year in a row.
  • Sean Gehrke, assistant director of residence life and housing, received a major grant to study spirituality in college students.
  • The Sherwood renovation project is going well; thanks go to Dan Park and John Porchowsky for their efforts.
  • Professor Tim Kaufman-Osborn was appointed to become the next dean of faculty/provost.

News about the budget:

  • The budget challenges remain the same.
  • This year’s operating budget shortfall and next year’s reduction in endowment payout are being addressed by postponing some faculty searches, eliminating some staff positions, tightening department budgets, and decreasing meals and travel expenditures. It is hoped that the college will end the year with a balanced budget by continued savings and everyone pitching in to continue to conserve resources and identify cost-savings measures.
  • It still appears that the college endowment will be down about 30 percent for the current fiscal year. This likely will result in lowering of the endowment payout for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, and staff are working on financial modeling of that scenario.
  • President Bridges gave an update on the pending recommendation to convert skiing from a varsity to club sport. The Trustees are reviewing the issue and a final decision will be announced soon.
  • While there are no plans to make additional changes for the remainder of this year, the college is continuing to research areas where cost-savings could be implemented in the future.
  • The president urged staff members to join him at the Staff Appreciation event, Wednesday, June 3, at 2 p.m. in the Young Ballroom (Reid Campus Center). Refreshments will be provided.

We got to work green

By all indications, Friday’s Get to Work Green Day was very successful, said Cindy Matern, director of human resources. More than 80 staff and faculty members had reported their green status by mid-afternoon Friday. Check next Monday’s edition of The Fountain for the results of the prize-drawing.

Mark your calendar for Staff Appreciation and Faculty Awards events

The Personnel Advisory Committee is gearing up for the annual Staff Appreciation Event. Economic times have created budget challenges that have necessitated some changes to the program for this year. The event will be held Wednesday, June 3, at 2 p.m. in the Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center. In addition to the presentation of the Janice Abraham Awards, new employees will be introduced, retiring staff will be recognized and Years of Service awards will be presented. President Bridges will share comments, and desserts and beverages will be served. Staff will not be expected to return to work following the event.

Also – all staff are invited to the Faculty Awards presentation event, set for Tuesday, May 12, 4-6 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom. Recipients of the faculty teaching and advising awards will be announced and retiring and 25-years-of-service faculty will be recognized.

Faculty accomplishments

Elyse Semerdjian, assistant professor of history, will deliver the opening keynote address at a conference on “Islam and Sexuality" to be held at the University of Chicago, May 2. Her paper, titled “Ambigious Sexuality/Sexual Ambiguity: How do you Solve a Problem Like Muhammad?” explores the eighteenth-century shari’a court case of a youth accused of intimately associating with his male companions. The conference is sponsored by The Lesbian and Gay Studies Project, The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, and The Center for International Studies Norman Wait Harris Fund. Papers from the event will be published in a special issue of Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture.

An invitation to “Take Back the Night”

A “Take Back the Night” march and rally on Thursday, April 30, from 7 to 10 p.m. in Reid Coffeehouse is the final event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students, who invites faculty and staff members to participate. “‘Take Back the Night’ is an opportunity for members of the Whitman community to visibly support an event that promotes safety (a green dot) and makes a statement against sexual violence (a red dot). This event is a simple, yet concrete way for all members of our community to actively demonstrate their commitment to safety and to make a visible, united stand against sexual violence.” (Green and red dots are part of a new program against violence. The program will be discussed in an upcoming issue of The Fountain.)

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Tuesday, April 28
Music: “Shawn’s Kugel,” a Klezmer band from Seattle, will present a workshop at 4 p.m. in Hall of Music 127 and a concert at 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music. Klezmer music is a culturally-infused type of music inspired by Jewish liturgy and chants. Contact wheeleln@whitman.edu or kaufman@whitman.edu with questions.

Tuesday, April 28
Lecture: Ryan Crocker ’71, former Ambassador to Iraq, and David Schmitz, Robert Allen Skotheim Chair of History, will have a conversation about the Iraq War, “The events for which the Iraq War will be remembered have not yet happened.” 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Wednesday, April 29
Recital: Whitman Hall of Music presents: Jesus Vasquez, senior composition recital, 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall. x5232.

Wednesday, April 29
Lecture: “Love Canal 30 years later: What have we learned and where do we go from here?” presented by Lois Gibbs, executive director, Center for Health, Environment and Justice. 7 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. 522-4389.

Wednesday, April 29
Lecture: Visiting educator Jeffrey Nugent from the University of Southern California will discuss Aging and Economies throughout the World. Nugent has done research in the fields of development economics and institutional change. He has worked with organizations that include the World Bank and USAID. 7 p.m., Olin 130. Contact mascarr@whitman.edu for information.

Thursday, April 30
Rally: Take Back the Night March and Rally, 7-10 p.m., Reid Coffeehouse. x5208.

Friday, May 1
Recital: Whitman College Hall of Music presents: Liz Fry, flute, and Laura Curtis, piano. 4 p.m. Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. x5232.

Friday, May 1
Concert: Whitman College Hall of Music presents: Flute Choir spring concert, 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall. x5232.

Saturday, May 2
Guitar workshop: Whitman College Hall of Music presents: John Stowell Jazz Guitar Workshop, 2-4 p.m., Hall of Music Room 127. x5232.

Saturday, May 2
Recital: Whitman College Hall of Music presents: Alex Abrams senior cello recital, 7:30 p.m. Chism Recital Hall. x5232

Sunday, May 3
Recital: Whitman College Hall of Music presents: Student piano recital with Rachel Wishkoski and Joanna French, 3 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. x5232.

Save the dates!

Thursday, May 7, through Sunday, May 10; May 21, 22, 23
Musical: Harper Joy Theatre and the Department of Music present “She Loves Me” – book by Joe Masteroff; music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Budapest, 1930: In an elegant parfumerie two clerks, Georg and Amalia, constantly squabble during their workday, unaware that they are passionate pen pals by night, having answered the same lonely-hearts ad. For information, reservations and ticket prices, call the Harper Joy Box Office at (509) 527-5180. 8 p.m. Thursday, May 7, through Saturday, May 9, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 10. 8 p.m. for Thursday, May 21, through Saturday, May 23. May 23 performance is a benefit for the Whitman College Drama Club; season tickets and Whitman passes may not be used for admission to this production. Alexander Stage.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

I believe I promised the promise of Spring a few weeks ago. One never tires of being right. Last week Professor Mitch Clearfield, brought his students out to the warm light of the season with the sunbathers, the kids and the blossoms in the amphitheater. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Swine Flu
Coffee Highlights
We Got to Work Green
Staff Appreciation, Faculty Awards
Faculty Accomplishments
“Take Back the Night”
Coming Events
Parting Shot

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at thefountain@whitman.edu. Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain