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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

15 February 2006, 2:30 pm, Flowers Hall 313
(Approved at Liberal Arts Council Meeting, 22 February 2006)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Frank de la Teja, Robert Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Theron Stimmel, Philip Suckling.
Guests: Elizabeth Denton, Dennis Dunn

1. LAC minutes of 2/1/06 approved (assessment of Academic Computing Proposals, program outcomes, measurements, and Academic Program Review, requests for new faculty positions, CRG follow-up, Presidential Upper Level Scholarship, SAP).

2. Congratulations. (a) To the MFA in Creative Writing for an effective public relations piece and award-winning posters. (b) To Tim O’Brien (MFA), Frank de la Teja (HIST), and Paul Hart (HIST), whose outstanding presentations at Texas State University Scholars Visit Days (2/10/06 and 2/13/06) inspired prospective high schools students and received positive comments from parents as well as deans and the Provost.

3. Program Learning Outcomes (off-agenda). Dr. Hennessy reported on the Learning Outcomes Workshop held on 2/15/06, which offered assistance for the selection of appropriate learning outcomes and effective direct or indirect methods of assessment. The Workshop also clarified that all academic programs are to establish outcomes and assessments this year, with measurements to begin during the next academic year.

In the following discussion, Dean Ellis announced that departments must review and update Liberal Arts student learning outcomes, which were last updated in April 2004. Dr. Lochman will forward relevant documents to Council members and program directors, who are to adapt existing assessment procedures for each program to a new requirement of five to eight learning outcomes, each having two methods of assessment. Chairs and program directors are to follow the format established by a template distributed by the Office of Instructional Assessment. The Council will review proposed program outcomes and methods of assessment on March 22, with a final draft due to the Provost by March 31. Dr. Day introduced a discussion of the definition of measures of assessment, and Dr. Hennessy offered examples and details from the Workshop.

4. Curriculum Issues

A. Proposed non-thesis option for MA in International Studies. Dr. Dunn explained the proposal for a non-thesis option, and the Council unanimously approved it. Dr. McGee introduced a discussion about the amount of thesis credit and alternatives in various disciplines.

B. Procedures for adding, changing, and deleting topics courses. Dr. Lochman reviewed a handout identifying current procedures for adding, changing, and deleting topics courses. The Liberal Arts Faculty Advisory Council will meet on Thursday, February 16, to review and approve curricular issues and to review resource allocations in the College.

5. Timeline for Strategic Plan updates. Following the discussion of Program Learning Outcomes, Dean Ellis announced that departments and programs are to review and update strategic plans in accord with a request from Dr. Cathy Flerieut. Before the April 5 meeting of LAC, chairs and program directors are to make revisions on the existing plan and forward them to the Dean.

6. Chair’s Annual Review (due March 1). According to revised policies governing annual review of departmental chairs, the Provost’s office will solicit faculty evaluations from chairs by March 1. Chairs are to document for the Dean their accomplishments in departmental management, implementing departmental strategies, and personal achievements. Dean Ellis indicated that the topic will returned to the agenda after the Provost’s office provides information on the timeline for faculty evaluation of chairs. Dr. McGee asked about the proportional weights assigned to chairs’ duties; Dean Ellis indicated she would forward to chairs the approach used in previous years and return the issue to the Council at a future meeting.

7. Graduate Student Scholarships and Fellowships. Dean Ellis provided a handout from the Graduate College listing the due date for applications for Liberal Arts Scholarships and Fellowships as March 1. In responding to her question of whether the Council would wish to change the due date as some other colleges have done, chairs expressed an interest in learning when students are notified of the outcomes of scholarship and tuition fellowship decisions. Dr. Grayson is to ask Dr. Willoughby when Liberal Arts students now find out about the results of their applications as a way of determining the best due date.

8. CAD updates.

A. Dean Ellis reported on the following items from 2/7/06 meeting of the Council of Academic Deans.

1). Don Anders has been asked to develop a photo bank available to all University publications, and he asks departments to help him identify the subjects, names, and/or dates of interesting shots.

2). The University is improving the ability to develop and mail formatted messages to conscribed email lists. Soon faculty who follow established criteria will be able to send out information about events to all majors in Liberal Arts.

3). Classes for administrative assistants who use Outlook are forthcoming. Dean Ellis also provided detailed advice to improve the efficiency of reviewing and handling emails.

4). Departments should anticipate the possibility of selected, needed equity adjustments related to CUPA data for faculty. CUPA data for doctoral programs may be available from the Office of Institutional Research. Faculty hired in the last three years and with a salary above the CUPA medians will not be included in equity adjustments.

5). Dean Ellis reported that the University is considering a plan to provide opportunities for grant-writing stipends for new hires in the first full summer after their hiring.

6). Chairs are to consider the possibility of converting longstanding lecturers to senior positions at some future point.

7). The University continues to examine the possibility of offering courses in San Antonio, in conjunction with Northwest Community College.

B. Dean Ellis also reported on the following items from the meeting of the Council of Academic Deans on 2/14/06.

1). The Provost announced new faculty lines, including a total of seven in Liberal Arts. A number of the other new lines went to new programs, with preference given to those exhibiting the largest growth in graduate enrollments. The Provost also announced eleven new GA lines for Liberal Arts.

2). The Provost announced a call for reassignment of three Mitte chairs. Candidates must be able to write and secure major grants.

3). All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend the Presidential Seminar at 3:00 pm on February 21, in Alkek 105-106. Dr. David Butler of Geography will present “Environmental Change and The Western Mountain Initiative.”

8. College Policies. The Council briefly discussed the two items below and determined to return both to a future agenda.

A. Employment of faculty without terminal degrees. Dr. Hennessy inquired whether the new policy from the Provost’s office applied to undergraduate as well as graduate instruction. The Dean replied that the policy seems to apply to both, although she will confirm her impression and provide a draft policy for the Council to consider at the next meeting.

B. Foreign language publications submitted for tenure and promotion. Regarding a draft policy to be considered as an addition to the Liberal Arts PPS on Tenure and Promotion, Dr. Luizzi suggested that the proposed requirement for comment on publications written largely or entirely in foreign languages and submitted to College Review Group should be invoked only when a certain proportion or number of scholarly or creative materials are presented in that form. In a response to a question, Dean Ellis affirmed that in all cases College Review Group will consider the quality of the publication.

• Beginning February 13: Eligible students may apply online for scholarships available from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU): for information about scholarships, their criteria, and application forms, see
• Thursday, February 16: Presidential Upper Level Scholarship applications are due to departmental offices. By March 24, departmental committees will meet to consider applicants.
• Thursday, February 16, 3:30, FH 313: Faculty Advisory Council meets to review Liberal Arts course proposals.
• Tuesday, February 21, 3 pm: David Butler delivers the Presidential Seminar.
• Wednesday, February 22: LAC will select nominees for Presidential Awards to advance to the University level.
• Friday, February 24, 2-4, ELA 245: Study Abroad Council meets with guests—Pat Cassidy, James Andrews and Isis Gomez.
• Wednesday, March 1: Deadline for departments’ recommendations of faculty to attend the 2006 Multicultural Curriculum Transformation Institute (May 15-19 and May 22-26). For additional information, contact Sandra Mayo at 5-2361 or at
• Wednesday, March 1: Deadline for nominations for the Teaching Award of Honor. Information and nomination forms are available at
• Wednesday, March 1: Deadline for nominations for the Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award. For a nomination form and information, see
• Wednesday, March 1: Deadline for nominations for the LBK Outstanding Senior Award. For information and a nomination form, see
• Wednesday, March 1: Deadline for nominations for the Sallie Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman Award. For a nomination form, see For information, contact the Dean of Students office at 5-2124.
• Wednesday, March 1: Deadline for nominations for the Walter Richter Humanitarian Award. For additional information, call 5-2371. For a nomination form, see
• Friday, March 3, 2-5 pm, Alkek 105-106: University Curriculum Committee meets.
• Friday, March 3: Deadline to submit applications for Undergraduate Student Awards to students’ major departments. Nominations for Graduate Student Awards are also due to the major department.
• Friday, March 10, 5 pm: Deadline for documentation to the Dean’s office for eligible applicants/nominees for Outstanding Graduate / Undergraduate Students.
• Monday, March 20: Departments and centers are to provide the Dean’s office with names and addresses of students to be recognized for Academic Excellence at Liberal Arts Awards Day ceremonies.
• By Friday, March 24: LAC will evaluate and rank applicants / nominees for Outstanding Graduate / Undergraduate Student.
• Wednesday, March 29, 2 pm, ELA 245: Dr. Joanne Smith will present to Liberal Arts Council “Millennials Come to Campus: A New Generation of Students.”
• Friday, March 31: Deadline to submit student learning outcomes and measures for all undergraduate and graduate programs to Dr. Fleuriet.
• Friday, March 31: Deadline for updates of strategic plans
• By Monday, April 3: Dean Ellis will name and convene a College Selection Committee to consider all departmental Upper Level Scholarship nominees in Liberal Arts.
• Thursday, April 20, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: Liberal Arts Awards Day

Around the table

Dr. Lochman explained a conflict in published due dates for submitting nominations for Presidential Awards to the Dean’s office. The College deadline to submit nominations is extended to Friday, February 17.
Dr. Grayson reminded chairs that requests for May commencement speakers will appear soon.
Dean Ellis reported that the Website Steering Committee will soon pilot a “new look” website for the College of Health Professions migrating to “new-look” website. The projected date for the migration of Liberal Arts’ website is fall 2006.