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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

1 March 2006, 2:00 pm, Flowers Hall 313
Approved at LAC meeting 3/22/06

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.

1. LAC minutes of 2/22/06 approved (facilities management, LA SAP training, curriculum issues, LA Presidential Award nominees, College policies).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Magda Hinjosa, Ken Grasso, Arnold Leder, and Ken Ward (POSI) and Rebecca Raphael (PHIL) for a well-received panel on the Danish cartoon controversy sponsored the Department of Political Science and Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society (2/21/06). (b) To all LA nominees for Presidential Excellence Awards (Teaching: James Pohl, Marilynn Olson, Victoria Smith, Sharon Miley; Scholarship/Creative Activity: Shirley Ogletree, Vicki Bynum, Britt Bousman, James McWilliams; Service: Gary Hartman, Teya Rosenberg, Irene Hindson, Sally Caldwell). (c) To David Butler (GEO), who is to receive the Association of American Geographers’ Outstanding Career Award from the Mountain Geography Specialty Group at the Association’s annual meeting in March.

3. CAD update.

a. Curriculum proposals. Dean Ellis congratulated the Department of History on the approval by CAD of the proposed graduate Certificate in Public History Studies. She also reported on preliminary discussion concerning development of an Honors College.

b. PPS 4.09: Schedule Changes, Drops, and Withdrawals. Dean Ellis reported that Michael Heintze, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, has proposed that administrative change forms not be accepted after “census dates” for various term lengths to be specified in revisions of PPS 4.09. Chairs discussed the implications of a second proposed revision that establishes the automatic drop date as the first working day after 60% of a semester is complete; thereafter, students could not drop without withdrawing from all classes. In the latter case only, instructors would assign a grade of “W” or “F.” To help students make informed decisions, faculty must return at least one major graded assignment prior to the drop deadline. Dean Ellis suggested that chairs may address questions regarding these proposed changes at the next meeting of the Council of Chairs.

c. Released classrooms. Dean Ellis reported that Michael Heintze also emphasized that departments must notify the registrar of all classrooms they have released.

d. Faculty Salary Market Equity. The Dean reported that the University will consider equity adjustments based on CUPA data once again in 2006. Because the President and Provost support the University’s merit system, this equity adjustment is likely to be the last. For 2006 only faculty who have been employed 100% both fall and spring of the current academic year are eligible for equity adjustments. Moreover, eligible faculty must have been hired before 9/1/03, when the University began hiring with starting salaries aligned to CUPA data, or hired later but with salaries below CUPA averages for their rank. The Provost’s office will soon provide departments with CUPA data for this year’s adjustments.

e. Merit. Dean Ellis also announced that for 2005-2006 the University will fund a 3% merit-only increase for faculty and staff (no performance). Eligible faculty and staff must have been employed at the University on 9/1/05. Dr. Fischer inquired whether the raise applies only to full-time faculty; Dean Ellis will make an inquiry. By April 1, the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of the Provost will distribute salary sheets; departments are to determine equity adjustments and merit increases by 5/1.

f. Lecturer / Senior Lecturer Conversions. Dean Ellis reported that the senior lecturer position will include a three-year contract and expanded duties. Chairs are to compile lists of senior lecturers in their departments and submit them to the Dean before forwarding them to Gay Korenek, Director of Faculty Records. Senior lecturers can be part- or full-time and must be considered appropriate for a three-year contract. Dr. Day and Dr. Hennessy observed some complicating issues. The Dean suggested that their concerns should be documented, if possible, and raised at the Council of Chairs.

g. Faculty Orientation in 2006. Dean Ellis distributed the Fall 2006 Calendar for Faculty Orientation.

h. Parking Fees. Dean Ellis noted that in 2006-2007 fees will increase for faculty, staff, and students.

4. Calendar for strategic planning, merit and equity. Dean Ellis established deadlines of April 1 for chairs to revise departmental strategic plans and May 1 for developing revised College goals for the Provost. The Provost has emphasized that planning should address the University’s need for program growth and development of masters’ and doctoral programs, as well as broad, interdisciplinary, cocurricular undergraduate programs (e.g., Common Experience and a proposed Honors College). Dean Ellis announced that her office will provide chairs with a format for listing departmental planning accomplishments in strategic planning. She asked chairs to identify their departments’ top three program goals and anticipated new faculty needs during the remainder of the planning cycle (2006-2009). She also noted that the planning review coincides with chairs’ annual review, which addresses in part departmental accomplishments related to the strategic plan. Chairs are to present their departmental priorities to the Council on April 19. The Dean will review the College’s priorities the following week with the Faculty Advisory Council and seek their input. During May, the Dean will communicate the College goals to the Provost and provide a report on the revised Liberal Arts Strategic Plan prior to a deans’ retreat in June. Once the Provost has reviewed our goals, they will be distributed to the faculty.

Following discussion, the chairs agreed to use the period between 5/1/05 and 4/30/06 as the basis for this year’s chair’s review.

On another issue related to annual review, Dr. Fischer and other chairs expressed concern about new procedures mandated by Human Resources, which complicate evaluations of staff.

5. Review of 2006-2007 University Scholar applications. Dr. Grayson distributed a handout to help the Council identify and understand the activities of College committees that screen applicants for undergraduate and graduate scholarships. In particular she noted that the Dean wishes members of the committee for University Scholars Scholarships to consist of representatives from three departments and the memberships to rotate annually. Dr. Grayson also noted that, due to growth in enrollments, this year the College can award a second University Scholars Scholarship.

6. Study Abroad update. The Dean reported on the results of the February 24 meeting of Liberal Arts Study Abroad Council. She will develop minutes for the meeting and distribute them to interested parties.


• 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 LBJ 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.
• Tuesday, March 7, 4:30 pm, Alkek, 7th Floor: MFA graduates Martha McCabe and Darren Defrain read and discuss their work.
• Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 pm, KAP House, Kyle: Gerald Stern and Anne Marie Macari read from their work.
• Friday, March 10, 5 pm: Deadline for documentation to the Dean’s office for eligible applicants/nominees for Outstanding Graduate / Undergraduate Students.
• March 10, 10:00 am: Deadline for LA Presidential Excellence Award nominees to submit binders to the Liberal Arts office.
• 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.
• Monday, March 20: Applications for Spring 2007 Faculty Development Leave due to departmental chairs (see PPS 8.02 for application, due dates, and information).
• Tuesday, March 21, 5:00 pm: Deadline for nomination packets for Student Commencement Speakers. Turn packets in to the Dean’s office.
• Thursday, March 23: Deadline for submitting applications for Spring 2007 Faculty Development Leave to the college dean.
• By Friday, March 24: LAC will evaluate and rank applicants / nominees for Outstanding Graduate / Undergraduate Student.
• By Friday, March 24: Departmental committees are to consider candidates for Upper Level Scholarships. For applications, information about the number of candidates allowed for each department, and other details, see PPS 6.05.
• Tuesday, March 28: Chairs complete selection of finalists for Student Commencement Speakers, if necessary.
• 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.”
• Wednesday, March 29: Nomination packets for Student Commencement Speakers are due in the Provost’s office.
• 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.
• Friday, April 7, 5:00 pm: Deadline to submit proposals for Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 lecturers or other activities sponsored by the University Lecturers Committee. Send proposals via email to Pat Heath (
• By April 12: Chairs should have begun the review process of untenured faculty in their second or later contract years (see PPS 8.01).
• Thursday, April 20, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: Liberal Arts Awards Day

Around the table

Dr. Lochman communicated to the Council reminders from Pat Heath about deadlines concerning faculty issues.

Dr. de la Teja announced that he is being named First Vice President of the Texas State Historical Association this year and will become President in March 2007.