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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

7 June 2006, 2:00 pm, FH 313
(Approved 2 August 2006; revised 3 August 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, Britt Bousman for Jon McGee, Theron Stimmel, Philip Suckling.
Guest: Elizabeth Denton

1. LAC minutes of 5/17/06 approved online, 5/26/06 (departmental policies for hiring faculty who lack terminal degrees, CAD update, curriculum issues, migration of Texas State websites).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Geography faculty Brock Brown and Rich Dixon, two of only eight university faculty nation-wide who are to receive the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award for 2006. (b) To Debarun Majumdar (SOC), whose student Amber Dean received the 2006 Outstanding Master’s Student Paper Award from the Southwest Social Science Association. (c) To Susan Morrison (ENG), interviewed regarding her study of medieval cultural taboos on two radio programs in Germany, Funkhaus Europa (Radio Bremen, 5/9/06) and Deutschlandfunk (5/11/06). (d) To Scott Johnson (Media Tech, ENG), featured in a lengthy article and interview in The University Star (6/1/06) concerning his authorship of four horror novels.

3. 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar Program. Dean Ellis circulated information concerning the Fulbright lecturing and research programs. The deadline for applications for 2007-2008 is August 1. Interested faculty should contact Dr. Beth Wuest until Dr. Ruth Taylor returns to campus at the end of July.

4. Incentive Compensation for Externally Funded Sponsored Programs. Dean Ellis presented new policies governing distribution of compensation for externally funded sponsored programs (PPS 5.06). She emphasized that the policy provides a generous stipend as an incentive to faculty who buy out at least 25% of their salaries in a fall and/or spring semester and at least 50% of their summer salaries.

5. Nominations for August Commencement Speaker. Dr. Grayson asked the Council to nominate students to speak at August commencement. Nominations are due to the Dean’s office on or before 6/27/06. A faculty committee will interview nominees on 7/11/06 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in the Provost’s office.

6. Provost’s Retreat. Dean Ellis reported on issues discussed at the Provost’s Retreat, held on June 1. The Council reviewed their relation to Liberal Arts and will discuss them more fully during the Liberal Arts Retreat, scheduled for August 8, 2006, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

a. Graduate programs. The Provost strongly emphasized an expectation of increased graduate enrollments. The College will identify and implement best practices for recruiting students and marketing graduate programs, establish IA and TA responsibilities and prepare graduate students to fulfill them, create partnerships for graduate programs with area organizations and agencies, and review and revise enrollment targets. Dean Ellis reported that the Provost is considering the redesign of graduate brochures and seeking referrals of successful graduate students who may be featured in promotions.

b. Retention. The Provost announced that the University will redouble its efforts to retain students, with a focus on retention in the sophomore year. The Provost noted that the University is limiting the growth of the 2006-2007 entering class to 3% and consequently must retain members of that cohort.

c. Round Rock. The Provost noted the success of the Round Rock campus. Dean Ellis explained that the University should do even more to increase programs and enrollments there. If new health facilities are constructed in the area, programs such as Health Psychology may offer graduate programs or certificate programs at that location. Liberal Arts programs that focus on the workplace may also develop degrees and certificates at Round Rock, especially curricula designed for graduate students. Dean Ellis noted that the University also supports the development of online courses, particularly at the graduate level.

d. New PhD programs. The Provost announced the University’s interest in
developing doctoral programs, prioritized as follows: (1) Public Administration; (2) Health Care Management Research; (3) Physical Therapy; (4) Forensic Anthropology; (5) Materials Science; (6) Applied Sociology; (7) Music, with a multicultural emphasis that offers opportunities for collateral studies in linguistics, Sociology, and Modern Languages, (8) Theater History; (9) Developmental Education; (10) Research and Program Evaluation, centered in the College of Education. Dean Ellis announced that the College will form a planning group consisting of chairs, representatives from the Graduate College and Provost’s office, graduate program directors and other parties interested in the development of doctoral proposals.

e. Study Abroad programs. The Provost noted that the University is investigating ways to better advertise Study Abroad programs, with only 500 Texas State students now participating in such programs annually. Dean Ellis noted that the Liberal Arts Study Abroad Council will consider this and other issues in 2006-2007.

f. New academic building. The Provost has indicated that state funds will likely be allocated to construct the undergraduate academic building in San Marcos and a second building at Round Rock. The University and the College will begin to plan for the building at the San Marcos campus by reviewing needed space.

g. External grants / contracts. The Provost emphasized that the University will focus on establishing new targets for external support, identifying areas of need, and reporting on ICR expenditures.

h. M & O increases. Dean Ellis announced that Liberal Arts will contribute to the University’s Assessment of M & O distribution by analyzing College allocations and needs. The College will suggest variables related to M & O costs (e.g., the number of majors, full-time faculty, total SCH, academic centers, doctoral programs, and accredidation fees) and assist the Provost’s office to develop an algorithm that accounts for them.

i. Faculty issues. The Provost indicated that, beginning in Fall 2006, departments,
with the Dean’s concurrence, may implement a 2-2 load in the faculty’s first year of full-time tenure-track employment if it is appropriate and feasible. This recommendation is intended primarily for faculty very early in careers so that they may advance their teaching and research agendas. The University is investigating ways to encourage all tenure-track and tenured faculty to produce high-quality research published in first-tier venues. The Dean reiterated that all tenured faculty should actively pursue a research agenda unless they opt for a 4-4 teaching load during the academic year. Summer teaching should only be assigned to tenure-track or tenured faculty who are publishing or to those on 4-4 teaching loads. Faculty should reserve time to conduct research and write by not teaching both summer sessions.

Dean Ellis reported on a number of other issues discussed at the Retreat: (1) a need for the University Honors program to expand course offerings; (2) development and implementation of a bachelor’s degree in General Studies; (3) revision of the General Studies core requirements to satisfy the new 120-hour rule; (4) identification of ways for departments to inform students of internships and job opportunities; and (5) the possible relocation of the admission offices of the Graduate College. The Dean also reported that the Provost has approved a Mitte Chair in Water and GI Science and that Gail Ryser has been named Director of the University Testing Center. This summer, the College will develop a report on accomplishments fulfilling the eleven goals for Liberal Arts the Provost had established last year.

7. CAD update.

a. Class and class scheduling proposal. Dean Ellis reported that a facilities subcommittee led by Ms. Nancy Nusbaum and Dr. Susan Day, working with Dr. Michael Heintze, are proposing uniform beginning and ending times for classes across campus. all beginning at 90-minute intervals from 8:00 am through a final period starting at 8:00 pm. The proposal allows at least 15 minutes between each class period. Dr. Day explained the proposal, distributed a chart illustrating how the system would apply to courses meeting in various weekly patterns, and asked chairs to test the proposed system by applying it to courses they have scheduled for this fall. Chairs should bring the results of their test, including any problems and suggestions, to LAC early in July.

b. PPS 6.12: Faculty Service Awards. Dean Ellis reviewed the new PPS outlining types of service awards and procedures for bestowing them.

c. PPS 2.13: Academic Program Review. The Dean provided handouts proposing changes to policies and procedures for Academic Program Review, together with an attachment that schedules reviews through Spring–Fall 2012.

d. PPS 2.18: Curriculum Committee. Dean Ellis and Dr. Lochman distributed a new PPS outlining the structure and charges of the recently constituted University and College Curriculum Committees.

e. Threepeat fee / excess hours tuition. Dean Ellis noted that the University has established a new fee that redresses the loss of state formula funding for students who repeat the same class a third time. This fee is distinct from the legislature’s new requirement that undergraduates who complete more than 30 hours beyond their program requirements at Texas public universities must pay out-of-state tuition until the completion of their degrees. The Dean noted that the tuition increase for excess hours particularly affects students who transfer associate’s degrees from community colleges. Departmental and Liberal Arts advisors must warn students of this new penalty to prevent unexpected increases in tuition for excess hours and to avoid students’ having to withdraw due to the increased costs before they complete their academic programs.

f. Employees paid from grants. The Dean emphasized that chairs must ensure that grant managers in departments follow the University’s hiring practices. Questions should be directed to Dr. Gilda Garcia, Director of Equity and Access.

g. Graduate enrollment. The Council reviewed graduate admissions data as of 6/5/06. Growing the graduate program will be an important agenda item at the Liberal Arts Retreat.

h. Off-agenda: Balancing Budgets FY 2006-2007. Dean Ellis added to the agenda a discussion of the effects of faculty on partial leave during 2005-2006 upon the University’s calculation of departmental budgets for 2006-2007. In the future, the Provost’s office will restrict the use of funds for adjunct replacements. Vacant lines will be returned to the Provost, who will then allocate funds for replacements. In light of this change, the Dean outlined procedures to help departments ensure that the increasing number of enrollments and majors in Liberal Arts will have an adequate number and variety of classes scheduled for Fall 2006.

8. Added item. Elizabeth Denton, the Liberal Arts Development Officer, distributed a handout identifying Liberal Arts Development Board members, and she outlined the Board’s plan to meet with faculty in the College. She distributed a chart identifying all Liberal Arts endowments and their balances, asking chairs to verify their accuracy.

Announcements:

• Tuesday, June 27, 5:00 pm: Nomination packets for August student
commencement speakers due to the Dean’s office
• Thursday, June 29, 2:00 pm: LAC meets in FH 313 and then tours the new McCoy
Building
• Friday, June 30: Deadline for chair’s responses to the Provost’s Goals.
• Tuesday, July 3: Chairs complete selection of second finalist for student
commencement speaker
• 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
take place at Texas State University-San Marcos, November 1-4, 2006.