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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

6 December 2006, 2:00 pm, FH 313

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Frank Barrios, Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Frank de la Teja, Robert Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Philip Suckling.
Guests: Marianna Korby, Stacie McGee, Yvette Morales

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 11/29/06 (Human Resources update and discussion).

2. Congratulations. (a) To MFA fiction graduate Erin Pringle, who was recently nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize and interviewed on KUT radio, Austin (11/15). (b) To Mitte Chair Tim O’Brien, whose book The Things They Carried provided the title and lead sentence for an article in TIME magazine (11/13).

3. Program support from the Graduate Enrollment Coordinator. Stacie McGee offered a detailed review of services designed to increase graduate enrollments in Liberal Arts. She asked that chairs review the list with their graduate program advisers and forward requests for services to her. The Dean and Council thanked Ms. McGee for her thorough presentation and for the assistance she is offering graduate programs in the College.

4. Internships / Career Center. Yvette Morales, Director of the Academic Advising Center, presented and discussed a list of opportunities for student internships at government offices and noted an effort to develop job shadowing of alumni. Ms. Morales observed that, although most governmental internships are not currently paid, some may be in the future. Marianna Korby, an advisor at the new Liberal Arts Career Center, distributed a flyer identifying services offered there, and she outlined Career Services’ offerings for Liberal Arts majors. She invited faculty and students to visit her office at FH 313 (245-1301) to learn more about this new service. Dean Ellis and the Council thanked both guests for their helpful information.

5. Proposed alternative test (IELTS) for English Language Proficiency. Dr. Fischer reported on a discussion with Dr. Janis Schiller, Director of Texas State’s Office of Intensive English and review of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Dr. Fischer recommended that the College support the use of IELTS as an alternative to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in order to measure English language proficiency. Following discussion, Dean Ellis asked Dr. Lochman to report to Dr. Willoughby the Council’s unanimous approval of both tests.

6. Comments for Human Resources from Liberal Arts staff. As a follow-up to the previous meeting’s visit from Human Resources personnel, chairs reported on the following concerns expressed by staff: a) Many staff need equity adjustments, and the chairs hope that equity adjustments will be enacted soon. b) Administrative assistants must devote increasing amounts of time to perform newly required procedures and processes. On this matter, Dean Ellis proposed that the College could provide some relief to departmental staff by asking the Liberal Arts Budget Specialist to undergo workshop training on behalf of the entire College to prepare documents for underutilized vendors (HUB), seldom required in Liberal Arts. The Dean will determine whether Ms. Jamie Tiemann may assume that responsibility.
c) Staff hope the University will increase the number of hires in order to manage
increased workloads. d) Staff object to the increased cost of parking permits.

7. CAD update:

a. Texas State CVs. The Dean reminded chairs that faculty are to update curriculum vitae submitted for annual review. She suggested that faculty who have not done so should transition to the University’s current format. This change is especially important for faculty going up for tenure and promotion.

b. Summer budgets. Dean Ellis reported on preliminary budget figures for Liberal Arts departments for summer 2007. She asked each department to provide her by January 10 a schedule for the summer, including names of faculty and estimated costs, so that the College may refine the summer budget.

c. SACS report for the Graduate College. The Dean reported that the Provost plans to contact departments again to verify qualifications of faculty teaching graduate courses.

d. Emerging STARS Program. The Dean announced that during summer 2007 Texas State will host 150 STARS (formerly PASS) students. Participants will be housed in Arnold Hall and receive free textbooks, tutoring, and mentoring. The Department of English is to play a significant role in this program. The program’s effectiveness will be assessed as the cohort progresses through courses in subsequent semesters.

e. Other: Dean Ellis noted that she is seeking to hire someone to help college grantspersons as their administrative assistant. In addition, Dr. Mimi Tangum, formerly with the English Department and Office of Sponsored Projects, has agreed to work for the College as a consultant in Washington, D.C., for pre-award activities. The Dean will forward a spreadsheet listing faculty interests to Dr. Tangum, who will use it to inform Liberal Arts faculty of pre-awards and help them prepare for meetings with program officers. In discussion with Dean Ellis, Dr. Tangum observed that NEH research grants that involve collaborative work across departments yield large awards.

Announcements:

• Late November: Nominations for Outstanding Women Graduates due to mcgs@txstate.edu or MCGS, Flowers Hall, Room 336
• Thursday, Friday, December 7: Deadline to provide Dan Lochman and Stacie McGee updated policies for admission to graduate programs
• Friday, December 15, 2 pm, Strahan Coliseum: College of Liberal Arts Graduation
• In January: IT to provide online system with template used last spring to submit student learning outcomes and methods of assessment
• Wednesday, January 10: Annual Review cycle begins, ending by March 1
• January 16-25: Review of faculty in first year contracts. Recommendations due to Dean by February 2
• Friday, January 26, noon: Deadline for College course proposals; bring to the Dean’s office
• Wednesday, January 31: Deadline for faculty to submit recommendations to their Dean and staff to submit recommendations to their VP for the Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award (PPS 04.04.36).
• February 5-16: Deans share college plans with chairs and faculty
• February 19-23: Deans present draft college plans in open forum
• March 2: Provost presents draft academic plan in open forum
• April 9-13: Draft of revised and extended University plan presented to University community
• Thursday, April 19, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: Liberal Arts Awards Ceremony
• Wednesday, April 25, 2 pm, FH 313: Liberal Arts Council meets to review measurements of learning outcomes
• May 30: President’s Cabinet approves division plans and University plan
• By June 30: Chairs and directors to submit results and any needed follow-up actions to the Dean for review