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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

12 April 2006, 2:00 pm, Flowers Hall 313
(Approved at LAC meeting on 19 April 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: Lynne Bourgeois, Dennis Dunn, Yvette Morales

1. LAC minutes of 4/5/06 approved (Senior Lecturers positions, faculty-authored books, strategic plan revisions and San Antonio classes, equity and budgets, graduate scholarships policy, CAD update).

2. Congratulations. To Drs. Susan Day (SOCI) and Jim Garber (ANTH), both named as members of a Class and Lab Scheduling Task Force for the Facilities Committee.

3. Solution/s to achieving 120-hour degree programs. Ms. Yvette Morales presented and reviewed handouts that listed current and projected hours required to complete Liberal Arts undergraduate programs. She stated that Liberal Arts programs must address state legislation mandating that all degree programs, except those with special requirements for certification or licensure, may require no more than 120 credit hours, although students may choose to undertake longer programs such as those with double or dual majors or minors. Council members agreed that Liberal Arts programs may meet the requirement without reducing the Texas State core. Dr. Luizzi and other chairs emphasized the importance of the existing core as a means of assuring shared knowledge and skills among Texas State students. Dr. Hennessy observed that cutting core electives would reduce graduate enrollment since many graduate students rely on teaching core classes to support their studies. Dean Ellis presented to the Council an article in the Austin American-Statesman (4/10/06) wherein The University of Texas at Austin expressed its commitment to strong core requirements. After discussion, Dr. Suckling proposed and Dr. de la Teja seconded a motion that Liberal Arts Council supports absorbing the legislated cuts in program hours by reducing the number of required electives rather than the university’s core because 1) cutting the core would undermine the university’s culture and commitment to offering a broad, multidisciplinary educational experience, 2) training to become critical thinkers and fine communicators in speech and writing is essential for our students, 3) attending to students’ physical education addresses important health concerns, and 4) offering freshman seminar responds to the needs of a large population of first-generation students. The Council supported the motion unanimously, by acclamation.

Ms. Morales also presented a handout from the Provost’s office detailing the effects of Texas legislation for students enrolling in an excessive number of undergraduate hours at Texas State or other Texas public universities. Beginning Fall 2006, all hours beyond the number permitted at a student’s initial enrollment (including hours for re-taking failed classes, withdrawals, and academic bankruptcy) will be charged at the non-resident tuition rate. Moreover, Ms. Morales informed the Council that beginning Fall 2006 Texas State will institute a new fee to replace eliminated state funding for courses students attempt three or more times.

4. Staff timesheets and overtime. Dean Ellis reminded chairs to review staff timesheets carefully and to be judicious in assigning and allowing overtime hours.

5. Diversity of applicants for faculty positions. Dean Ellis distributed a handout identifying the diversity among applicants for faculty positions in each college. She encouraged the Council to strive to achieve diverse applicant pools.

6. Development Advisory Board. Dean Ellis sought the advice of the Council regarding a handout being developed to promote the College of Liberal Arts. Chairs noted a number of faculty achievements that should be revised. Dean Ellis indicated that the suggestions would be incorporated in a revision.

7. CIA job opportunities. Dean Ellis presented a handout outlining a variety of careers available in the Central Intelligence Agency that require backgrounds in Liberal Arts programs.

8. CAD update. Dean Ellis reported to the Council a presentation made to the Council of Academic Deans by Dr. Eric Reno, President of Northeast College in San Antonio (4/11/06). The first phase of a new campus north of San Antonio should open this fall, presenting teaching opportunities for our graduate students. Following the presentation, Provost Moore indicated his hope that Texas State may provide graduate programs at the College as part of a San Antonio-area MITC, after the new campus is built in 2008.

Announcements:
• 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: Deadline for budget spreadsheets
• 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.
• Monday, May 1: Deans are to report equity decisions to the Provost
• Wednesday, May 10: Deadline for chairs to forward 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 https://scholarships.hacu.net
• Wednesday, May 31: Deadline for the College to finalize and approve department policies for the employment of faculty without terminal degrees in the discipline.

Around the table

Dr. Grayson reminded chairs to provide her with information to be presented at Liberal
Arts Awards Day.