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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

29 March 2006, 2:00 pm, Evans 245
(Approved at LAC meeting on 4/5/06)

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, Philip Suckling.
Guests: Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs (GEO), Karen Bryson, Sandra Mayo, Yvette Morales, Brandi Simchak

1. LAC minutes of 3/22/06 approved (proposed changes to procedures for course withdrawal, CAD update, EEO training, workloads for new tenure track faculty, continuing and transfer scholarship applicants, applications for Professor of International Studies, graduate program learning outcomes).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Jerry Melbye (ANTH) for an excellent front page article in The San Marcos Daily Record (3/23/06) that praises his contributions to the new television series Skeleton Stories on the Discovery Health Channel. The article describes Dr. Melbye as a “living legend among the dead” and as one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists in the world certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. (b) To doctoral student Tom Nolan (GEO), working with Dr. Alberto Giordano (GEO). Mr. Nolan led an interdisciplinary team that discovered the exact battlefield location near Châtel-Chéhéry of Sgt. Alvin C. York’s amazing defeat of an entire company of German soldiers during World War I, an action that contributed to York’s becoming one of the most highly decorated soldiers in that conflict. A news release is featured on the Texas State website.

3. Liberal Arts in the News. (a) An article in The University Star (3/23/06) featured a four-day workshop, the Advanced Body Search and Recovery School, directed by Jerry Melbye (ANTH), and set out future plans for the development of a “body ranch” for forensic training. The workshop trained law enforcement personnel from around the state as well as Texas State students. (b) Instructor Kendall Kelly (ENG) contributed a “Faculty Focus” to Alkek Library’s newsletter Bookmarks (Spring 2006) on the increasing need for students’ bibliographic training and other library services in an increasingly digitized environment.

4. Millennials Go to College: A New Generation of Students. Dr. Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs, offered a presentation about college students who represent the “Millennial” generation (born 1982-2002). Dr. Smith outlined traits of this generation, contrasted them to preceding groups, considered implications of and possible institutional responses, and led a discussion of the relation of national data to students at Texas State. Chairs introduced a discussion of the implications of the new student population for faculty evaluation. Dean Ellis asked to return to this discussion at a future meeting. The Council and guests expressed their appreciation to Dr. Smith for her informative, helpful, and stimulating presentation.

5. Curricular issue. Following a discussion of hours required for minors in other disciplines, the Council unanimously approved a proposed change in hours required to complete a graduate minor in History.

6. Graduate program learning outcomes. Dr. de la Teja reported on discussions with representatives at the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and distributed a handout identifying outcomes and quantifiable measures that the Department of History has developed for its programs.

7. CAD update.

a. Prior service for tenure track faculty. Dean Ellis reported on the Provost’s proposal to revise procedures for tenure and promotion related to the number of years of prior service tenure track faculty may carry forward to their appointment at Texas State. In most cases, new faculty will use the full probationary period, but those who are prepared to do so may go up for tenure at an earlier date.

b. Teaching load for new tenure track faculty in Fall 2006. Dean Ellis reaffirmed that the Provost wishes new tenure track faculty at Texas State to hold a 2-2 teaching load during their first year, beginning in Fall 2006. All departments in Liberal Arts are to follow this directive in order to maintain a level playing field for our candidates.

c. Chair evaluations. Dean Ellis reported a higher rate of return of chair evaluations compared to previous years, with a faculty return rate of 61%.

d. Offsite programs. Dean Ellis observed that the Provost reiterated interest in offsite (especially graduate) programs at locations other than Round Rock. Dean Ellis asked chairs to consider such programs as they revise their strategic plans.

e. Workshop on regulation of technical and intellectual property rights. The Dean encouraged chairs to invite departmental representatives to a May 2 workshop on federal regulation of export of technical and intellectual property. Such regulatory control may be particularly useful to departments such as Geography and Anthropology, which rely on innovative technology for research.

f. Criminal background checks. Texas State has hired a private firm to provide criminal background checks for prospective faculty and staff hires and for students in programs requiring internships for licensure.

g. Faculty-authored books. Dean Ellis reported that President Trauth again wishes to receive a list of faculty-authored books published from Fall 2004 through Spring 2006. Listings are to meet specific criteria and follow a prescribed format (author(s), with faculty listed in bold if co-authored, title, place, publisher, date, and ISBN). Forward lists to Dan Lochman by May 10; a compilation will be sent to Stacey Rodriguez by June 1.

8. Staff overtime. Dean Ellis asked chairs to monitor scheduling to avoid excessive staff overtime. Jamie Tiemann, the Liberal Arts Budget Specialist, plans to contact each department regularly to assist departmental administrative assistants as they maintain accounts of departmental budgets.


• Thursday, March 23: Applications for Spring 2007 Faculty Development Leave due to the Dean
• By Friday, March 24: LAC to 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
• Wednesday, March 29: Nomination packets for Student Commencement Speakersare due in the Provost’s office
• Wednesday, March 29, 8:00 pm, LBJ Student Center Ballroom: Mr. Dale Petroskey, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, delivers the 8th Annual Grosvenor Distiinguished Lecture
• Wednesday, March 29: Continuing Education Office closed, to re-open March 30 following its move to the Clevenger House
• Friday, March 31: Deadline to submit student learning outcomes and measures for allundergraduate 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
• Tuesday, April 4, 3:00-4:00 pm, Evans 245: President Trauth holds a Faculty Open Door
• Friday, April 7: Materials for chairs’ annual reviews due to Dean Ellis
• 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 Wednesday, April 12: Chairs should have completed the review process (begun March 21) for reappointing untenured faculty in their second and subsequent contract years (see PPS 8.01).
• Monday, April 17, 1:30-2:30 pm, Evans 245: President Trauth holds a Staff Open Door
• Monday, April 17, 5 pm: Deadline for applications for the 2006 Hispanic Policy Network (HPN) Award. Applications are available at JCK 290. For other information, contact Ms. Patricia Prado, 245-2244.
• Wednesday, April 19: Dean Ellis will announce to LAC her top priorities for a revised Liberal Arts Strategic Plan.
• Wednesday, April 19, 3:00 pm, FH 313: Study Abroad Council meeting
• Thursday, April 20, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: Liberal Arts Awards Day
• Wednesday, April 26, 2:00 pm: LAC to review the revised Liberal Arts Strategic Plan
• Friday, April 28: Chairs to submit recommendations to the Dean for reappointing untenured faculty in their second and subsequent contract years.
• Wednesday, May 10: Deadline for chairs to forwards lists of faculty-authored books to Dan Lochman
• Friday, May 26: Deadline for Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities scholarship applications. For information, criteria, and an online application form, see
• Wednesday, May 31: Deadline for the College to finalize and approve department policies for the employment of faculty without terminal degrees in the discipline.