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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

5 April 2006, 2:00 pm, Flowers Hall 313
(Approved LAC meeting 4/12/06)

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.
Guest: Yvette Morales

1. LAC minutes of 3/29/06 approved (presentation on Millennials, curricular issue, program learning outcomes update, CAD update, staff overtime).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Dick Boehm (GEO), Judy Behrens and other faculty and staff in the Department of Geography for hosting a well-received presentation by Dale A. Petroskey, President of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, at the Grosvenor Center Lecture. (b) To all student groups representing Liberal Arts at Bobcat Build, including Pi Sigma Alpha (POSI), Alpha Lambda Delta (PHIL), Baha’i Club (ENG advisor), Sigma Tau Gamma, Sociology Club, National Association for Environmental Professionals (GEO advisor), and Psi Chi (PSYC). (c) To Steve Wilson (ENG), who has been chosen to receive the Texas State Alumni Association Teaching Award of Honor.

3. Senior Lecturers. Dean Ellis distributed a memorandum from the Associate Provost indicating that, beginning Fall 2006, programs must name non-tenure-track faculty as “Senior Lecturers.” These faculty will hold three-year, annually renewable contracts, regardless of degree credentials.

4. Faculty-authored books. Dean Ellis distributed a handout from the Provost and reminded the Council to forward to Dan Lochman by May 10 a list of faculty-authored books. The list is to include all books that Liberal Arts faculty have published from Fall 2004 through Spring 2006. Listings must follow criteria and guidelines distributed by the Provost’s office.

5. Strategic Plan revisions and graduate classes in San Antonio. In responding to a memorandum from Dean Ellis, the Associate Provost has confirmed that a Texas State initiative encouraging new enrollments at locations other than San Marcos, Round Rock, and Austin begins Fall 2006 and seeks increased enrollments (especially graduate enrollments) at new off-campus locations. Departments electing to offer such off-site programs must obtain prior approval from the Associate Provost and, depending upon the percentage of courses in the degree program offered, must have notified SACS six months in advance. Dean Ellis encouraged Council members to consider programs suited to such locations as they revise Strategic Plans.

6. Equity and budgets. Dean Ellis presented chairs with spreadsheets detailing departmental allocations of equity funds to be distributed to faculty. Similar spreadsheets for lecturers are forthcoming. The Dean presented guidelines for distribution of funds within the College, and the Council discussed issues related to the correctness of allocated amounts and procedures for distribution. Dean Ellis asked chairs to review their spreadsheets to ensure that no eligible faculty are omitted. Any omissions are to be reported to her and to Pat Heath immediately

7. LA Graduate Scholarships. Nancy Grayson presented the Council a handout with information pertinent to a possible change in policies that guide allocations for scholarships awarded to graduate students in Liberal Arts. After discussion, the Council voted to continue the existing policy by not limiting the amount of scholarship funds available to each student applicant, as some other Texas State colleges have done.

8. CAD update.

120-hour Degree Limit: Dean Ellis reported that State of Texas legislature passed HB 1172 in the fall of 2005. It requires currently enrolled students to complete degrees of no more than 120 credit hours, with exceptions only for those students seeking formal accreditation or certification in programs such as education, social work, and physical therapy or other programs requiring licensure. Dean Ellis announced that Vince Luizzi and Yvette Morales have been nominated to serve on a committee that will work with the Provost to find ways to reduce the required number of hours by reviewing degree programs as well as core and elective requirements. Ms. Morales indicated that, whatever the solution, the College will need to inform students of changes so that they may make plans and avoid unnecessary tuition and fees for courses no longer required. In reply to a question from Dr. Day, Dean Ellis explained that the change results from directives from THECB and SACS. Ms. Morales reported that many other universities in Texas have already established a 120-hour limit, so our adjustment will aid transfers.

Changes will affect students who post degrees as of Fall 2008. Dr. Ron Brown, Dean, University College, is chairing a committee with a representative from each college. The committee will make recommendations to the Provost after reviewing the core curriculum and possibly recommending reducing it from 46 to 42 hours. Courses in the core particularly of interest for review are Communication 1310, Philosophy 1305, PFWs, and US 1100. The committee will also consider establishing a standard number of hours required for minors (i.e., 18 or 21 hours) as well as additional degree requirements.

The Council discussed other changes in the same fall 2005 legislation, including the creation of a substantial “excess hours fee” for students who have taken more than 30 hours beyond degree requirements due to withdrawing from and retaking courses and due to completing additional majors or minors (i.e., double majors, double minors). Students seeking dual degrees will be subject to the excess hours fee but only after the minimum number of hours required for the dual degree have been completed (i.e. 128 +30=158 for dual degree + 30 excess hours=188).

Ms. Morales will provide detailed information about the new policy on tuition for excessive undergraduate hours at the next meeting of the Council, together with an update from the Provost’s committee.

• 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: 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.
• 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.