Faculty Learn Of 'Take Your Professor Out'
At the first faculty meeting of the academic year on Sept. 4, administrators discussed a new program which will provide students funding to take their professors out for meals. They also updated the faculty on the College's financial and academic standing.

Dean of New Students Frank Couvares announced the new program, called Take Your Professor Out (TYPO).

"Ben Lieber told me I should remind you it's not in the Mafia sense," Couvares said. He explained that the Dean of Students' office established TYPO so that groups of four to six first-year students could get together and ask their professor out to dinner at one of several moderately priced restaurants in town. "You can, of course, decline or accept," Couvares told the faculty. He said that the dean's office will supply up to $120 per group.

Couvares specified that TYPO funding is not open to upperclassmen, but he speculated that upperclassmen could participate in the dinners. "I suppose if the professor and the freshmen were willing, an upperclassman could come along and pay his or her own way," Couvares said.

Beyond TYPO, the deans focused much of the discussion on the incoming class, particularly on the increased financial aid going to the Class of 2004.

"It is a truly extraordinary year in admission: in the diversity of the class, in the credentials of the class, and, I might add, in the neediness of the class," said President Tom Gerety."

Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Tom Parker reported some of the group's statistics. "It is a class of firsts; it is a class of mosts; it is a class of highest percentages," Parker said, adding that this is the first class ever to have more females than males.

"It is a costly class," Parker added, citing the 48 percent of students on grant aid and the one percent on self-help. "A good deal of that growth is in the lowest income bracket," said Parker.

"There are too many people to thank among our faculty and staff here, but this was by no means an accident," Parker said.

On a disciplinary note, Dean of Students Ben Lieber announced an increase in cheating and plagiarism at Amherst last year. "We're not sure if this is an anomaly or the start of a trend," Lieber said. "We will ask the College Council to look into this issue. We will ask the faculty to comment."

Discussing finances, Chief Advancement Officer Michael Kiefer stated that the capital campaign had almost reached $210 million as of June 30 and will continue until June 30, 2001. "The College has exceeded its goals for the unrestricted endowment," Kiefer declared. He said the money will be largely focused on electronic communications.

Kiefer also welcomed a "new generation of philanthropists," which includes greatly increased numbers of women and people of color, he said.

"I want to put in my money and have a big impact," Kiefer said, describing the attitude of this group, which he called "change agents."

"You do have more kvetching," Gerety said of the group. "The best giver is an alum who cares but doesn't try to leverage that through gifts."

Treasurer Sharon Siegel said that the Mead Art Museum will re-open this February and that Fayerweather Hall will undergo construction starting the second week in December.

Siegel also said that Amherst is working on a "master plan" regarding dormitory renovation. "We find ourselves at a bit of a competitive disadvantage," she said. "Williams, Harvard and Yale have all taken on housing projects."

Gerety briefly addressed the problem of parking, in light of the recent controversy over the change in parking lots. "One of the sad realities of this increasingly suburban area is that we are seeing increasing dependence on the family car among sophomores, juniors and seniors," he explained.

The faculty also approved two new courses. They include Theater and Dance 25: "Contemporary Black Theater, 1950 to the Present" and a course titled "Visual Culture of Japan" for the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) at Doshisha University.

Issue 02, Submitted 2000-09-13 16:13:46