cooperation with an outside organization or agency. Planning and implementation
of COA-sponsored activities takes place in consultation with key administrators,
appropriate faculty, and interested students. Members of the Board of Trustees
regularly participate in sponsored non-credit activities, as presenters or by
offering organizational assistance.
An excellent example of a COA-sponsored activity during the 1986-87 academic
year was the International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology, which was
held at COA in October. The event was coordinated by faculty member Dr. Richard
Borden, the current president of the Society. Scholars from 27 countries
convened at COA to share knowledge across cultures and disciplines , and to
explore the goals of this new field. The conference provided an extraordinary
opportunity for COA students and faculty to mingle intellectually with 180
visiting scholars, each of whom brought to the campus a unique perspective and
background in the field of Human Ecology. Among the worthwhile outcomes of the
Published abstracts of formal papers and presentations
New contacts and opportunities for COA stiidents seeking academic
An introduction to scholars who could potentially serve as visiting
faculty members and lecturers
Recognition of College of the Atlantic as a center for the study of
Other examples of COA-sponsored or co-sponsored workshops held in recent
years include the following:
Seminar on "Ethical and Economic Issues of Investment in South Africa."
Part ic ipants : 24
Purpose: To discuss problems facing South Africa and America's
economic ties with that country
CQA Event Sponsor: Dr. Stephen Andersen.
Artist-In-Residence, featuring Abby Shahn.
Purpose: To stimulate the artistic abilities of the COA/MDI community
COA Event Sponsor: Susan Lemer
Outside Co-Sponsoring Organization: Maine State Commission for the Arts and
MDI Health Risk Study.
Participants: 700 families
Purpose: To determine the health habits of MDI residents
COA Event Sponsor: Dr. Louis Rabineau and student Dan Winkler
Outside Co-Sponsoring Organizations: MDI Hospital; Cooperative Extension
"Whales on Wheels," COA Natural History Museum Outreach.
Participants : 90 schools and organizations , 300 children and other
participants each year
Purpose: To present a workshop on the natural history of whales
COA Event Sponsors: Vicki Nichols, Keith Goodrich.
"As You Like It" by William Shakespeare.
Participants : 240
Purpose: A production of COA Theater Production class
COA Event Sponsor: Lucy Bell Sellers.
"Depot" by Laura Ensler.
Directed by Joanne Woodward
Purpose: To promote an understanding of the dangers of
COA Event Sponsor: Charles Hesse.
All of the activities outlined above fulfill the College's objectives
concerning COA-sponsored non-credit activities, i.e., that such activities will
(1) serve to enhance the College's reputation, (2) provide opportunities for
faculty and student intellectual enrichment, (3) provide income or be financially
self-supporting, (4) strengthen the College's relationship to outside
organizations and agencies with whom the College shares common interests, and (5)
provide COA students with an opportunity to develop organizational skills as they
are invited to participate in the planning and management of COA- sponsored
programs. > • ^
College of the Atlantic operates a very full siimmer program that includes
three weeks of Elderhostel activities , a six-week program for high school and
elementary school science teachers, and co- sponsorship of special conferences and
workshops. The College's educational mission and geographic location are ideally
suited to attract participants for intensive short-term educational programs that
have an environmental orientation.
The centerpiece of our summer program is the Field Studies By The Sea
program for high school and elementary school science teachers. Beginning in the
summer of 1980 with 12 participants, the College now enrolls 145 teachers from 22
states for the summer session. Participants register for one intensive two -week
workshop per session, and classes meet from 8:30 to 3:30 (or longer) for ten days
of instruction. Most workshops are taught by COA faculty, although the faculty
roster is svj^plemented by visiting scholars in selected topics. The purpose of
the program is to give participants a fresh perspective on teaching in the
sciences and in the environmental field.
College of the Atlantic does not formally offer its undergraduate credit to
participating teachers in Field Studies By The Sea. Three graduate credits are
awarded through the University of Maine College of Education and Division of
Continuing Education as per a memorandum of understanding between College of the
Atlantic and the University.
The Field Studies By The Sea program has benefited the College in several
- Participant evaluations of the program consistently applaud the quality
of COA instruction and the program as a whole. The positive impression made on
practicing high school teachers and other educators strengthens COA's reputation
in a sector of the education conmunity from which the College wishes to attract
- Service to high school and elementary teachers through the Field Studies
By The Sea program reinforces the College's mission to encourage ecologically-
oriented interdisciplinary studies.
- The program provides COA faculty with an opportunity to e/cperiment with
innovative curricula and to work with students
possessing an advanced level of preparation and subject orientation.
- The program provides supplemental income to COA faculty, ranging from
$300 for participation in an Elderhostel session to approximately $2,000 for
teaching a single Field Studies workshop. A total of $30,000 in supplemental
salaries will be paid in summer faculty salaries in 1987.
- The summer program provides six percent of the College's annual income.
As noted above, the College's distinctive educational mission and beautiful
location are ideally suited to summer programs. The summer program is prepared
to expand the stjmmer curriculum and enrollment as additional dining and housing
space are developed. Future and/or expanded summer programs would likely inclxide
(1) Additional Field Studies By The Sea programs for high school and
elementary school teachers. Modeled after the current program for science
teachers, these new programs would be offered to teachers in the arts and
(2) Pre-college Field Studies programs in environmental science for high
school sophomores, juniors, and seniors (three-week modules).
(3) In addition to credit courses for the audiences outlined above, the
College will expand the number of sponsored workshops and conferences.
The faculty is composed of regular full-time and pro-rata (part-time)
instructors. (An Institutional Faculty Profile in the Appendix describes the
composition of the faculty.) Visiting and adjunct faculty members are invited to
participate in the faculty meeting during their terms of actual service. The
Director of the Library also has faculty status . The faculty carries the central
responsibility for instruction and curricular planning at the College , and many
faculty members bear a portion of the administrative burden on a rotating basis.
Members of the faculty have neither rank nor tenure. Academic freedom and
program stability are maintained through the contract and review processes
described in the Personnel Manual (Tff) .
There are no departments at College of the Atlantic. All teachers belong to
the Faculty of Human Ecology, which meets weekly either in program groups or as a
whole, as determined by the faculty Dean, who convenes faculty meetings and
retreats. This weekly meeting is designed as a forum for matters of faculty
interest and for planning the curriculum, and is generally open to the community.
The faculty meeting does not make binding decisions per se, but its deliberations
are conveyed by representation to the appropriate College committees. The faculty
Dean regularly attends the Administrators and Chairs meetings to ensure that
faculty issues are presented in that forum as well.
Individual faculty members cooperate with colleagues in their program and
resoxirce areas in devising the most appropriate and effective means of pursuing
the College's mission. In this framework, faculty members design team or
individually taught courses. They are expected to attend program and faculty
meetings and to participate in curriculum design. In addition, they advise
students at all undergraduate levels, and they are expected to maintain
significant professional contact with others in their fields. The expectation is
that COA faculty members will master their individual areas of knowledge and will
interpret those areas to their students and colleagues in the cooperative
development of Human Ecology as a discipline.
Full-time faculty members hold the terminal degree in their field or its
equivalent in professional accomplishment. Pro-rata or adjunct teachers in
specialized areas may hold a degree below the terminal degree. All contracted
faculty members with the same degree of time in service to COA receive the same
salary. All contracted faculty have similar schedules and have equal
instructional standards and academic freedom protection according to the re-'n.ew
procedures in the Personnel Manual .
There is no separately organized graduate faculty at this point, but during
the summer of 1987 a group will begin studying the feasibility of advanced
studies in Human Ecology.
Pro-rata faculty have all rights and privileges accorded full-time faculty.
Their salaries and workloads are calciilated on a percentage basis. They
participate in resource area meetings and serve on all major committees, thougjti
ordinarily they are not asked to chair committees. Adjunct and visiting faculty
are welcome to participate in facvilty and area meetings during the period of
their instruction. Before and after that, communication is through the Chair of
the Academic Affairs Committee.
Each factilty member meets with a resource area group and one or more program
area groups to help plan the year-by-year and long-range curriculum. The results
of these meetings are reported to the Faculty Meeting and the Academic Affairs
Committee for final disposition. Academic policy is drafted by the Academic
Affairs Committee, which includes representative faculty from all resoiorce areas
and the Dean of the Faculty, ex officio. In addition, the faculty serve on all
College committees so that faculty have direct involvement in nonacademic policy
Evaliaation of faculty performance is lander the jurisdiction of the Personnel
Committee, and the Personnel Manual spells out the process in detail. Having no
tenure policy as such, COA conducts periodic reviews of all faculty members.
These reviews form the major evaluation points in a teacher's career and are
discussed in more detail in the chapter "Academic Program and Instruction."
The criteria for faculty performance are also detailed in the new edition of
the Personnel Manual . Specific areas of excellence may vary from teacher to
teacher, but all teachers must show competence in classroom teaching as judged by
a thorough examination of written and oral student evaluations and, in some
cases, classroom visitation by colleagues on the review committee. At COA,
students are involved in all levels of the personnel review process , and the
assessment of instructional quality is counted as one of their responsibilities.
Secondary criteria for evaluation may vary from review to review, and are
spelled out specifically in each case. They generally include collegiality,
contribution to the conceptional development of their program area and to the
discipline of Human Ecology, and research and publication. It is recognized that
the nat\jre of faculty contributions varies, but all faculty members are expected
to demonstrate an "area of excellence" which particularly distinguishes their
place in the intellectual community.
From the beginning College of the Atlantic has undertaken a conscious
experiment in faculty structure and policies. Realizing the dangers of
increasing academic specialization, the College has sought to re- integrate the
categories of knowledge and instruction through its non- departmental organization
and through its emphasis on multidisciplinary planning and the encouragement of
team teaching across academic fields .
To do this we have had to select our faculty with a particular eye on their
abilities as individuals to communicate with people in other disciplines. We
have had to provide an atmosphere that supports cooperative academic innovation
while always maintaining the quality of instruction offered to each student.
This means an optimal faculty/student ratio of 1:10, a relatively low teaching
load (a maximum of two courses per term) , and an intellectual exchange under
conditions of freedom and equality. For these reasons there is no rank or
hierarchy among the faculty, and no disciplinary boundaries; judgment on
intellectual and instructional competence is made by ad hoc review conmittees
composed of students and colleagues. The whole procedure is rare, if not unique,
in American education and after fifteen years has proved to be an appropriate
structure for a faculty of Human Ecology.
In keeping with the open-community concept at COA, faculty searches involve
as mary people as possible. After curricular need for a new position is
determined by the Academic Affairs Gonmittee, advertising goes out over a broad
spectrum of publications, and applicants are screened by search committees under
the supervision of die Personnel Gonmittee. The top candidates are brought to
Bar Harbor, where, in a series of talks and meetings, every community member has
the opportunity to see the candidates and make written comments to the search
These search and review procedures are designed for both widespread
community participation and rigorous compliance with the laws and principles of
non-discrimination. However, they are labor-intensive and highly demanding of
faculty time and energy. We are gradually trying to streamline the process while
maintaining the ideals behind it. For example, long-term faculty who are
performing successfully no longer have to have a comprehensive review every five
years. A minimal review for these "known quantities" eases the burden of the
Personnel Committee. We have also established the position of faculty'Dean since
the last full self-study. This liaison between the faculty and the President
further reduces pressiore on the Personnel Committee and its chair, but that group
continues to be habitually overworked in having to oversee all faculty searches
Since the last self- study the College has come through a difficult period
involving a fire, a financial crisis, and at least one complete administrative
turnover. The faculty survived this time relatively intact and sane, but it has
also taken on much of the operation of the College, including the major committee
chairs and the offices of Dean and Provost. Without adequate secretarial help
and demonstrably underpaid, the faculty finds itself with administrative
commitments that, if continued, could threaten research, morale, and the quality
of individual student attention.
Nevertheless, faculty loyalty to the institution remains high. Most of the
original and near-original faculty are still on campus, and several new or
replacement appointments have been made recently. The idea of a college-wide
faculty in Human Ecology, trained in different fields but working together
towards a common intellectual goal, has proved vital and durable. The review
process has combined with self- selective resignations to provide attrition,
opening new opportunities and providing change within a framework of overall
Professional growth opportunities are by no means automatic in Bar Harbor.
To overcome the problem of possible isolation, faculty have to take the
initiative, and many have. Several faculty are active in the new, international
community of Human ecologists, particularly through the Society for Human
Ecology. Others publish or are about to publish in their fields. Some have
achieved reputations in various art forms. The instructive aspect of this is
that the COA faculty carry out these activities without any "publish or perish"
pressure from the institution. On the contrary, the style here is, if anything,
to play down individual achievement in favor of group enterprise. Faculty
"production" has flourished in this non- competitive atmosphere.
However, the cancellation of leaves as part of the austerity programs of
1982-3, plus the increasing administrative demands made on faculty, have made it
harder to find the necessary time for research. As of this writing, steps are
being taken to restore the leave policy and the professional development stipend
for attending meetings. These steps should go a long way toward furthering
faculty development. The recent trend toward a five- course workload for full-
time faculty has provided a small additional boost toward professional growth.
The hoped-for increase in salaries may make outside employment for a few
individuals less crucial and increase the time for professional development. The
fact remains, however, that the COA faculty, in the absence of publication
requirements, have a visible record of extramural accomplishment in artistic and
scientific production, and particularly in the development of organizational
networks that place COA squarely in the growing field of Human Ecology.
Finally, it should be noted that the most fruitful mode of professional
growth at COA has always been the cross -fertilization of disciplines that takes
place among the diverse fields that make up Human Ecology. Most facility members
have experienced a quantum change in the direction of their own development as a
result of daily interchange and discourse with professionals in radically
different fields. This was the original intention of the single -focus faculty,
and it has taken place over the years in both formal and informal settings ,
whether in conferences, team teaching, or long after-hours conversation. After
fifteen years it may truly be said that a new discipline is emerging here through
this kind of contact, which will bear fruit both in the curriculum (e.g. , the
Core Course) and in publication.
The non- tenure contract system might seem vulnerable on the question of
academic freedom. It was field tested, though, in the difficult years of the
early 1980s, and did prove adeqioate as a defense against administrative
encroachment on academic freedom. However, the rights of faculty members to
speak out must be continually and vigorously maintained. The carefully detailed
procedures in the Personnel Manual ensure that teaching quality and the other
stated instructional criteria are the only ones that can be used in contract
reviews. The faculty member must agree to the terms, criteria, and priorities of
the review, and the College's "Academic Freedom Statement" must be followed.
Moreover, a new grievance procedure has been instituted to allow review of any
possible lapses in procedure. All in all, though it is not perhaps as airtight
as tenure in the area of academic freedom, adequate protection is offered to
regular faculty members on five-year contracts.
In cases of fiscal emergency, an ad hoc committee including the faculty Dean
must be formed to make any recommendation concerning layoffs or changes in
contracts. In practice, during the actual fiscal emergency of 1983-4, the Ad Hoc
Committee was brought into play, along with voluntairy cutbacks among the faculty,
to prevent any faculty layoffs in spite of severe personnel budget restrictions .
This combination of factors provides adequate protection for faculty against
vicissitudes of enrollment and income. It has allowed the curriculum and mission
to prevail against some serious, albeit temporary, economic downturns.
Over the last ten years, COA salaries have failed to keep tip with the
national average, partly because of the unranked structure of the faculty. This
was noted in the last self- study, and in 1986 a Compensation Committee was
formed, which reported preliminary findings to the Trustees in April. The final
report, to be delivered at the Trustee's Annual Meeting this summer, calls for a
new, higher range of faculty salaries to be attained gradually over the next
three years. (At this writing, the final report of the Compensation Committee is
not available. See the minutes of the Trustee's Annual Meeting, available in the
Team Workroom, for the final report and its disposition.)
If accepted and implemented, this new salary structure will bring COA
faculty salaries closer to the average of New England colleges, though there is
still progress to be made. The new salaries will provide needed relief and will
make the College somewhat more competitive in the market for new faculty.
Faculty members have long recognized the non-monetary benefits of employment
at COA, including the College's extraordinary sense of purpose and collegiality,
which go a long way in making up for a shortage of income. However, the College
must continue its commitment to competitiveness in salaries if it is to preserve
faculty morale. Adequate compensation will allow more time for needed
professional advancement, permit us to continue to bring well-qualified new
people into the faculty, and enable us to retain faculty members of proven merit.
Growth In numbers for the COA faculty seems imminent. With a planned annual
student enrollment increase of 10% and the maintenance of a faculty/student ratio
of 1:10, the number of full-time equivalent faculty should grow to 25 when the
enrollment has reached 250. These new teachers will prove an exciting stimuliis
to the development of the discipline of Human Ecology; they will also pose a
challenge to the energies of the current faculty in terms of search and review
Two crucial factors will be office space and clerical help. In the
projections made by the Campus Planning and Building Committee are several
alternatives for obtaining new faculty offices. These new offices should bring
welcome relief to present teachers and also create room for new arrivals. A
faculty secretary position has been planned for 1987-88. The job description for
this position includes some assistance for major committee chairs. The new
Director of Institutional Research, who is also budgeted for 1987-88, will
provide some much-needed administrative assistance to the President. This
assistance will provide some relief to faculty members who are now providing the
President with support on administrative matters. It is important not to draw
too -much instructional energy into administrative chores and the new arrangements
should help avoid this.
With energy freed for research and teaching, a consistent policy of support
for professional advancement needs to be developed. A temporary committee along
the lines of the Compensation Committee could be formed to articulate the
College's policy on research and publication and to offer support for these
activities. Professional advancement issues and a new leave policy will be on
the agenda for faculty meetings in the near future. In addition, the new library
will provide much-needed research space and support.
The salary reform mentioned above will phase in between 1987 and 1990,
returning a sense of professional worth and of growth and promotion that were
lost to some degree in the choice to maintain an unranked faculty. The proposed
spread of salary between new and experienced teachers can be accomplished by
using experience criteria that will avoid instituting a rank system. The
mandatory comprehensive review in a teacher's fourth year should ensiire a quality
check at this crucial point of a faculty member's career at the College.
More work needs to be done on the in-house improvement of teaching. With a
little less administrative work and a larger faculty, review teams should be able
to work with faculty members over a longer period of time to assist in carrying