Skip to Content

Liberal Arts Council Minutes

17 May 2006, 2:00 pm, Evans 245
(Online approval by Liberal Arts Council, 5/26/06)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Frank de la Teja, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Craig Hanks for Vince Luizzi, Richard Warms for Jon McGee, Theron Stimmel, Philip Suckling.
Guests: Ann Friou, Daniel Hemenway, Scott Johnson, Yvette Morales, Fazia Rizvi, Charles Robinson

1. LAC minutes of 5/10/06 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 the MFA program and its Mitte Chairs, two of whom have books listed on the New York Times’ “Best Books Written During the Last 25 Years” (5/21/06). Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried) and Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son) will both be on the MFA faculty in 2006-2007. (b) To Tom Grimes (ENG) for helping to coordinate events at the Katherine Anne Porter house in celebration of the inaugural issue of the Katherine Anne Porter stamp. (c) To Augustus Lumia (PSYC) and Texas State’s Behavioral Neuroscience Training Program, whose students received praise from Tom Cunningham in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (d) To Sven Fuhrmann (GEO) and his graduate class, whose GIS prototypes have brought state-of-the-art technology to the San Marcos system for dispatching emergency management teams. Both the Texas State homepage and the San Marcos Daily Record (5/12/06) featured this project.

3. Policies for hiring faculty without terminal degrees (due to the Provost by May 31). Several departments supplied drafts of policies for discussion and as examples. Chairs are to forward policies approved by departmental personnel committees to Dr. Lochman
by May 25.

4. Faculty-authored books. Dean Ellis distributed a preliminary list of books authored by Liberal Arts faculty from Fall 2004 through Spring 2006. She asked Council members to forward any corrections or additions to Dr. Lochman by Friday, May 19.

5. CAD update. (a) Dr. Lochman reported that Dr. Gayle Hutchinson, the A.C.E. Fellow from California State University-Chico, presented to CAD the findings of her research on the correlation between diversity language in departments’ and colleges’ mission statements and in courses’ learning outcomes at Texas State. (b) Dr. Lochman distributed a proposal from Dr. Michael Heintze to create and market an asynchronous summer program for 2007—a single summer semester that includes varied instructional schedules. The Council discussed logistical problems and questions that the Dean will present to Dr. Heintze. (c) The Provost noted that stationery and business cards bearing the University’s new logo are in production and should soon be available; in the meantime, offices are to deplete the existing stock of stationery and other materials. He also announced that the University’s marketing office is moving to Academic Affairs from Media Relations. In the future, academic programs and centers must receive approval for brochures and newsletters at the marketing office to ensure consistency of design, logo, and features.

6. Curriculum issues: Proposed changes and deletions in Geography undergraduate programs. The Council reviewed and unanimously approved proposed changes to the GPA for undergraduate majors (with minor revisions) and for pre-majors. In addition, the Council unanimously approved a proposed deletion of low-producing Geography BA degrees in Environmental Studies and Regional and Urban Planning. Students enrolled in these programs will either transfer to related BS programs or to the general BA in Geography.

7. Migration of Texas State web pages. Ms. Fazia Rizvi, University Webmaster, visited Liberal Arts Council to inform chairs and College and departmental web developers of the Web Steering Committee’s recommendation for and implementation of a Content Management System (CMS). The Committee has selected a Vignette system that will allow users without technical training to build and maintain websites. Ms. Rizvi emphasized that the new system permits easy entry of web content by non-technical users and will provide a more reliable and stable platform. Each college is to select a template establishing a uniform appearance for departments and sub-sites, with specialized navigation schemes for colleges, academic departments, and advising centers. For the present, research centers within departments will retain unique website designs. Each site will be developed and maintained by one or more content authors (trained by a full-time webmaster), who will develop and maintain each site. A content author will conduct an audit of existing websites and design a site to be approved by the college and submitted to the University webmasters’ administrative offices for analysis, adjustment, and deployment. Ms. Rizvi noted that Instructional Technology soon will schedule training sessions to support content authors’ activities for departments, centers, and some offices. At this time, the webmasters’ office cannot migrate sites developed by individual faculty.

Ms. Rizvi indicated that participation is now voluntary. Several Liberal Arts departments and offices (English, Political Science, Sociology, the Liberal Arts office and Advising Center) volunteered to begin the migration to the CMS this summer.

The Dean and the Council thanked Ms. Rizvi for her informative presentation.


• 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.
• Wednesday, June 14, 2:00 pm: Nancy Nusbaum and Susan Day to discuss at
LAC a proposal from the Facilities Subcommittee on use of classrooms
• Tuesday, August 8, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm: Liberal Arts Retreat
• 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.