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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

10 May 2006, 2:00 pm, FH 313
(Approved at LAC Meeting, 17 May 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: Elizabeth Denton, Dennis Dunn

1. LAC minutes of 4/26/06 approved (update on IT, merit / faculty salary review, Liberal Arts Awards Day issues, Honor Code, research professorships, workload reports, elevator in Evans, Multicultural Curriculum update, CAD update, Liberal Arts Strategic Plan goals for 2006-2009).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Sociology graduate Dr. Ramiro Martinez, now at Florida International University, who, along with other nationally recognized sociologists, contributed to a National Public Radio program on the relationship of illegal immigration to the US crime rate. (b) To Drs. Vicki Brittain (POSI) and Marilynn Olson (ENG), who on 4/28/06 presented their results as principal investigators of projects supported by University College to improve the success of lower division students. (c) To Stacey Swann, a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing, who has been awarded a prestigious 2006 Wallace Stegner Fellowship that funds all tuition and expenses at Stanford University’s writing program. (d) To Michael Rutland, graduate of the English MFA program, Margo Singleton, and other current and former members of the English department’s Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society, whose San Marcos Young Writers Program has been commended by First Lady Laura Bush and featured in a front-page article in The University Star (4/26/06). (e) To graduating PhD candidates in Geography and to their research advisors: Fenda Akiwumi ( Dr. Butler), Ellen Foster and Xiaomin Qiu (Dr. Boehm), Kristine Egan (Dr. Tiefenbacher), Shuo-sheng Wu (Dr. Wang), Xuwei Chen (Dr. Zhan).

3. Liberal Arts in the news. A front-page article in the Austin-American Statesman (4/24/06) featured the political achievements of Chris Jones, POSI major and newly elected San Marcos City Council member.

4. Merit for extraordinary faculty and for chairs. In an item added to the agenda, Dean Ellis stated that the College’s merit pool recognizes the activities of Liberal Arts faculty whose extraordinary accomplishments advance Liberal Arts in ways that departmental review does not capture. She also distributed to chairs and directors guidelines for recording personal achievements as a part of their review for merit.

5. Strategic Plan Annual Updates due by May 25. Dean Ellis asked chairs and directors to add departmental notation (A, E, G, H, ML, PH, PS, PSY, S) before each inserted entry to the Strategic Plan Updates and forward completed departmental templates to Dr. Lochman so that they be compiled and subsequently forwarded to the Office of Institutional Advancement.

6. CAD update. Dean Ellis reported that the Provost reemphasized the University’s and the College’s top priority: increase graduate enrollments. She noted that the number of prospective Liberal Arts graduate students with incomplete applications is up 24% from last year, and she urged graduate programs to expedite review and completion of the applications. Dean Ellis stressed to the Council that graduate programs in Liberal Arts must increase admissions and enrollments in order to retain our new graduate assistantships. Drs. Willoughby and Perry plan to review trends in graduate enrollment over three years, with programs experiencing large increases receiving priority for new assistantships.

During discussion, chairs observed that graduate assistants’ awards have increased little over many years, contributing to the loss of some applicants to competing programs. Dr. Dunn noted that graduate programs at other universities have grown due to the development of five-year BA/MA programs; Dean Ellis urged him to consider developing such a program for International Studies, perhaps allied with Political Science. The Dean asked the Council to reassess recruitment efforts by reviewing course offerings and their rotation, assuring prospects that programs may be completed in two or three years, offering graduate courses during summers, developing graduate certificate programs, promoting the availability of courses and other desirable features on departmental websites, advertising more effectively, and expediting review of applications.

Dean Ellis reported that the Provost also discussed the need for increased graduate enrollments at the Round Rock campus.

7. Summer schedules. Dean Ellis requested that the Council members inform her of the dates of their off-campus activities this summer.

8. Migration of Texas State web pages. Dean Ellis discussed new templates that will be available to Liberal Arts departments and centers as we redevelop websites this summer. Representatives from Instructional Technology will visit the Liberal Arts Council meeting next Wednesday, May 17, at 3:00 pm, Evans 245. Chairs and directors are to invite departmental or center web designers to attend. They may find an example of the new template at the website for the Department of Physical Therapy ( The Dean also reminded the Council that Don Anders will photograph departmental activities on- or off-campus for websites and publications. Dr. de la Teja stated that the Department of History has begun to redevelop its site and will report to LAC on this project.

9. Faculty merit update. Dean Ellis asked chairs to send her a description of method used to calculate merit for 2006 and the number of eligible faculty reviewed.

10. Honor Code update. Dr. Grayson led a discussion of the Texas State Honor Code and the procedures set out in UPPS 7.10.01. Chairs emphasized the need to clarify policies and disseminate procedures to faculty.

11. Request for accessible facilities. Dean Ellis requested chairs to consider volunteering two medium-sized conference rooms (one equipped with a projector) and a third smaller room for Dr. Kent Reilly’s Caddoan Working Group, May 29 through June 4.

12. Liberal Arts policy for review of publications in foreign languages (returned to agenda). Dean Ellis reintroduced discussion of a policy for publications in foreign languages supporting an application for tenure or promotion. To assist the College Review Group’s assessment of such publications, the Council proposed and voted unanimously to support the following College policy:

Candidates who have a substantial portion of their scholarship written or published in a foreign language are obliged to provide an abstract of each work in English and a translation or independent scholarly assessment(s) of the same. Assessments may not come from interested parties, such as the candidate’s mentors, thesis/dissertation directors, or co-authors.

Dr. Grayson will add this statement to the College PPS on tenure and promotion.

13. Curriculum issue. The Council reviewed the MA in Applied Philosophy, reformatted according to new Coordinating Board requirements. The Council unanimously approved the proposed program.

14. Dean Ellis provided an update concerning spring commencement and distributed updated tables on the ethnicity of Texas State’s faculty.


• 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
• Wednesday, May 17, 2 pm: Fazia Rizvi to visit LAC
• By Thursday, May 25: Strategic Plan Annual Updates due to the Dean’s office. Forward completed templates to Dan Lochman, with departmental designation before each inserted entry (A, E, G, H, ML, PH, PS, PSY, S)
• 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.

Around the table

Dr. Lochman reminded chairs who have not done so to forward lists of faculty-authored books published from Fall 2004 through Spring 2006.

In reply to a question, Dean Ellis stated that Pat Heath will distribute final equity decisions soon.

Dr. Day indicated that she and Facilities Subcommittee co-chair Nancy Nusbaum intend to propose a MW, TTH schedule with Friday-only classes at the San Marcos campus. Dr. Day and Ms. Nusbaum will present the proposal at a future meeting of Liberal Arts Council.

Dr. Day also requested that computers for new faculty should be ordered now so that they will be available when they arrive on campus this summer, as early as July 1.

Dr. Luizzi reported that the University’s 120-hour committee has added another member from Liberal Arts, Dr. Hennessy. The activities of the committee have been temporarily delayed while the Coordinating Board considers the date the new policies are to be in force.