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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

19 April 2006, 2:00 pm, Evans 245
(Approved at LAC meeting, 26 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.

1. LAC minutes of 4/12/06 approved (120-hour degree programs, staff timesheets and overtime, diversity of applicants for faculty positions, Development Advisory Board, CIA job opportunities, CAD update).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Melissa Boettcher, a Communications major who received the award for best poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research Conference at Texas Tech University. The presentation incorporated the results of an Honors thesis directed by Randall Osborne (PSYC). (b) To Jay Arnold, double major in English and Philosophy, selected as Commencement Speaker for the College of Liberal Arts ceremony, Saturday, May 13, beginning at 2:00 pm. (c) To Steven Schooler, a student in Anthropology’s archaeology program, who has been named the 2006 graduate student recipient of the Mitte Foundation Circle of Excellence Award. (d) To the chairs, faculty and staff who submitted IT requests (LA Computer Lab, $19,258; GI Science Lab, $31,033; Writing Center, $16,987); all have been funded. (e) To the Search Committee and its chair, Frank de la Teja (HIST), for a job well done in hiring a new chair of Psychology, Dr. Frank Barrios, formerly of Northern Iowa University. Dr. Barrios begins his assignment on August 1, 2006.

3. Liberal Arts Awards Day. Dr. Grayson detailed events related to Liberal Arts Awards Day, 4/20/06. She outlined responsibilities of chairs during the ceremonies, sought advice regarding photography, and announced that the Council would soon receive copies of the program.

4. Budget development. Chairs discussed the budget sheets they had brought to the meeting. The Dean requested that the chairs examine the sheets carefully (a) to ensure correct information about faculty listed (excluding faculty hired for Fall 2006; faculty on half-time leave and replaced by adjuncts; and faculty who have completed a Partial Retirement Plan) and (b) to determine those departments whose sum for all named and unnamed adjuncts in 2006-2007 is less than the sum for 2005-2006 (Mod Lang, POSI, PHIL, PSYC, SOCI, and ENG). Several departments believed that their working figures seemed close to the proposed allocation (ANTH, GEO, and HIST).

5. CAD update.

a. Proposed change in deadline for grades. Dean Ellis described a proposed change in the deadline for submitting grades in fall and spring semesters, from Thursdays to the following Mondays. She noted that Ms. Yvette Morales, Director of the Liberal Arts Advising Center, believes the change would make notifying students on probation or suspension of their status and arranging for recognition of students graduating magna or summa cum laude at commencement ceremonies more difficult. Following discussion, the Council agreed by consensus that allowing more time for grading final examinations would help faculty and reduce the use of regular class time to complete portions of final examinations.

b. Deans’ retreat agenda. The Provost provided the Council of Academic Deans with an agenda for a retreat scheduled on June 1. Agenda items include graduate programs; distance learning; the 2/2 load for first year assistant professors; analysis and development plan for maintenance and operating; grants, contracts, and development initiatives; and faculty, staff and student diversity.

c. Tenure / promotion issues. The Provost requests more in depth analyses on reports of deliberations submitted by personnel committees and college review groups. He also emphasized the need for research to be published in national and international journals rather than state or regional venues. Dean Ellis also indicated that in the future all members of the Liberal Arts College Review Group will have an opportunity to review written comments reflecting their discussion before being forwarded to the Provost.

d. Review of chairs. Dean Ellis reported that, beginning this academic year, the Provost’s review of chairs will be based upon accomplishments reported in departmental updates to the Strategic Plan and their faculty evaluations. This year, Dean Ellis will also forward a memorandum to the Provost indicating her recommendations. Chairs should review their Strategic Plan updates in light of the policy.

6. Liberal Arts Strategic Plan goals for 2006-2009. Dean Ellis announced preliminary goals to be added to the current planning cycle. After reviewing the updated plans chairs have submitted, she outlined the following new goals for Liberal Arts:

a. A Center for Forensics and Body Farm proposed by the Department of Anthropology and a Center for Applied Research proposed by Sociology
b. Feasibility studies to identify benchmarks and procedures for developing doctoral proposals that may be developed during the next planning cycle. The studies would focus on possible doctoral programs in archaeology, rhetoric and composition, public administration, and sociology.
c. Improvements to facilities, including refurbishment of FH 230 as a conference and all-purpose room and renovation of seating, flooring, and infrastructure in FH 341. In addition, the College will seek by 2009 to advance preliminary plans for a renovation of the Psychology Building.
d. Increased maintenance and operating for the Liberal Arts office to offset expenses related to newly hired staff, rapidly increasing enrollments in the College and new College initiatives.

In addition, Dean Ellis developed a proposal with Dr. Suckling and Dr. Hector Flores, Dean of Science, to develop a proposal for a Mitte Chair in Water and GI Science, Mr. Andy Sansom.

Dean Ellis asked the Council to review the goals she has proposed and to discuss them and any additional recommendations at the next meeting of Liberal Arts Council.


• Wednesday, April 19, 3:00 pm, Evans 245: Study Abroad Council meeting
• Thursday, April 20, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: Liberal Arts Awards Day
• Friday, April 21: Brief proposals due to Instructional Technologies Support for grants to develop a multimedia project. GIT proposal forms are available at
• Friday, April 21, 2:00 pm, LBJSC 3-7.1: University Curriculum Committee meets
• By Monday, April 24: Department heads submit paperless recommendations for salary increases
• Wednesday, April 26, 2:00 pm: LAC to review the revised Liberal Arts Strategic Plan
• Friday, April 28, LBJSC 3-10.1: Dr. Vicki Brittain (9:30) and Dr. Marilynn Olson (10:20) report on their Grants for Opportunity for Success of First-Year Students
• Friday, April 28: Chairs to submit recommendations to the Dean for reappointing untenured faculty in their second and subsequent contract years
• Friday, April 28, 2:00 pm, FH 313: Faculty Advisory Council meets
• Monday, May 1: Deans are to report equity decisions to the Provost
• Wednesday, May 10: Deadline for chairs to forwards lists of faculty-authored books to Dan Lochman
• By Monday, May 15: Review of merit decisions by deans and vice presidents completed
• Friday, May 26: Deadline for Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities scholarship applications. For information, criteria, and an online application form, see
• By Monday, May 29: Vice Presidents review and approve merit decisions
• Wednesday, May 31: Deadline for the College to finalize and approve department policies for the employment of faculty without terminal degrees in the discipline.
• Save the date: The third international Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference will be held at Texas State University-San Marcos on November 1-4, 2006.