1.2 Summary of Recommendations

The CAP unanimously puts forward the following recommendations:

Excellence in the student cohort by achieving the broadest possible applicant pool:

  • We recommend that talented students from less affluent backgrounds be more vigorously recruited (recommendation 1), that our proportion of non-US students enrolled be increased from about 6 to 8 percent (recommendation 3), and that entering classes be increased by 15-25 students to accommodate these changes (recommendation 5).
  • We recommend that the Trustees seek funds to meet the additional aid burden of matriculating less affluent students (recommendation 1) and of need-blind admissions for non-US students (recommendation 4), and that they consider significant reductions in the loan burden of all our students (recommendation 2).

Curricular innovation:

  • We recommend that the faculty be gradually increased by at least 18 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to meet the priorities explained in this report, and that those FTEs be allocated upon recommendation by the CEP, possibly in halves or quarters (one FTE is roughly equivalent to 4 courses), primarily to departments committing to offer courses that meet the following college-wide curricular needs:
    • New interdisciplinary ventures and other forms of cross-departmental collaboration [5 FTEs] (recommendation 6);
    • Global or transnational studies [2.5 FTEs] (recommendation 7);
    • Targeted “opportunity” hires that invigorate or enrich the racial, cultural, gender, and/or intellectual diversity of the faculty [2 FTEs] (recommendation 9);
    • “Intensive writing” courses [2 FTEs] (recommendation 17);
    • Initiatives aimed at improving the quantitative literacy of students, particularly “intensive” sections of gateway courses in quantitative disciplines [2.5 FTEs] (recommendation 19).
  • We recommend that 4 of the 18 FTE increase be reserved to strengthen the ability of some departments to contribute adequately to Amherst’s current curriculum, including in the creative and performing arts (recommendation 8).
  • We recommend that all students be required to take at least one course designated as Writing Attentive (recommendation 18).

Co-curricular program enhancement:

  • We recommend increased funding for the Amherst Academic Interns program and for student research through the Office of the Dean of the Faculty (recommendation 13).
  • We recommend significantly expanding opportunities for community service and for summer and January internships and developing ways of linking that experience to curricular work (recommendation 14 and 15).
  • We recommend that the College provide need-based support to encourage students to enroll in intensive summer language programs in the USA and abroad (recommendation 16).

Excellence in faculty scholarship and pedagogy:

  • We recommend that the faculty formally adopt a policy that requires the soliciting of teaching evaluations from all students in all classes (recommendation 20).
  • We recommend that all assistant professors be assured of a year of sabbatical leave at full salary after reappointment (recommendation 10), and that the existing program of Senior Sabbatical Fellowships be expanded to: cover as much as two semesters of leave at full after six years (recommendation 11); accept proposals for contributions to pedagogy; and support all qualified faculty who apply (recommendation 11).
  • We recommend that a faculty innovation fund be created to support pedagogical projects of faculty at all ranks (recommendation 22).
  • We recommend that the College create a staff position to support sponsored research and to assist faculty in grant applications (recommendation 12), and that the administration devote more resources and staff time to supporting programs in pedagogy, including programs to help teachers at all ranks (recommendation 21).