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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

2 August 2006, 2:00 pm, FH 313
(Approved at 16 August 2006 LAC meeting)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Audwin Anderson for Susan Day, Vicki Brittain, Frank de la Teja, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Elizabeth Erhart for Jon McGee, Theron Stimmel, Philip Suckling.
Guests: Yvette Morales, Elizabeth Denton

1. LAC minutes of 6/7/06 approved (Fulbright Scholars Program, incentive compensation for externally funded programs, nominations for August commencement speaker, Provost’s retreat, CAD update, FY 2006-07 budgets, LA endowments and balances).

2. Congratulations. (a) To Britt Bousman (ANTH), recipient of the Presidential Excellence Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity, to be awarded at Fall Convocation. (b) To the following LA faculty, who will also receive Presidential Awards for outstanding achievements and be acknowledged for them at the LA Fall Faculty Meeting: Marilynn Olson (ENG), James Pohl (HIST), Sharon Miley (SOCI), Victoria Smith (ENG), Victoria Bynum (HIST), Shirley Ogletree (PSYC), James McWilliams (HIST), Gary Hartman (HIST), Teya Rosenberg (ENG), Sally Caldwell (SOCI), and Irene Hindson (HIST). (c) To Lawrence Estaville (GEO), who encouraged Texas State to host the third Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, November 1 to 4. The Higher Education Notes section of the Austin American-Statesman (6/23/06) highlighted this event as one that will draw scholars from around the world. (d) To Lijun Yuan (PHIL), whose book Reconceiving Women’s Equality in China has been nominated for the Levenson Prize for Books in Chinese Studies. (e) To Derek Wu, PhD graduate in Geography, and advisor Leo Wang. Derek has received a post-doctoral position funded by the US Geological Survey from The University Consortium for GIS. (f) To Audwin Anderson (SOCI), who is hosting a pre-doctoral fellow from Howard University this summer. (g) To Paul Hart (HIST), selected to serve as Texas State’s Presidential Fellow for 2006-2007.

3. Liberal Arts in the News. (a) In a letter to The University Star (6/14/06), former student Amelia Harris, USARJ G3, an antiterrorism / force protection officer, praised the Department of Geography for its “wonderful professors and their mentoring ability.” (b) Kent Reilly (ANTH) led a field school in the American South featured in a recent issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (c) Both the Austin American-Statesman (7/4/06) and The
University Star (7/12/06) ran front page stories about the field school at Aquarena Springs led by Britt Bousman (ANTH); KVUE TV news produced a spot on the same (7/1/06)

4. Core requirements and the 120-hour rule. Yvette Morales, Director of the Liberal Arts Academic Advising Center, reviewed handouts indicating the number of hours in the core currently and the General Education Council’s discussions of possible reductions to the University core. She identified courses in the core that could be cut and reported that the question of whether to cut the core at all came up at the Council and that no action has been taken. Her review of Liberal Arts programs shows that all can meet or come close to meeting the 120-hour rule without cuts in requirements to the major or the core, although other colleges may have difficulty in doing the same. Ms. Morales outlined the procedures the General Education Council’s recommendation will follow, with several opportunities for departments and colleges to respond to it. Liberal Arts Council reaffirmed its support for the core in its current configuration.

The General Education Council meets next on Monday, August 15.

5. Requests for the President’s and/or Provost’s attendance at events. Chairs are to complete a form indicating the dates, months, or seasons of events suitable for the Provost or President to attend during the upcoming academic year.

6. Draft Liberal Arts Policy for Faculty Credentials. Dean Ellis distributed and discussed a handout outlining a LA policy for faculty credentials. The item will return to the agenda at Liberal Arts Retreat.

7. Graduate enrollment. Dean Ellis reviewed current graduate enrollments and asked about methods graduate programs use to enroll accepted students and advised departments to implement such strategies for students admitted this fall. The Council discussed ways of improving such methods in the future, including having programs of a certain size being able to hire at least one graduate assistant to assist with paperwork and other activities.

Off agenda: Dean Ellis and the Council expressed their admiration of and appreciation for the excellent work and good cheer of Dr. Theron Stimmel, who ably served as acting chair for the 2005-2006 academic year.


• Tuesday, August 8, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm: Liberal Arts Retreat
• Tuesday, August 22, 9:00 am, Evans Auditorium: University Convocation; Liberal Arts Fall Faculty Meeting to follow immediately in Flowers Hall
• Friday, August 24, 6-8:30 pm: LBJ Welcome Back Picnic
• November 1-4: Texas State hosts the third International Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference

Around the table

Dean Ellis extended thanks to Audwin Anderson and Elizabeth Erhart for representing their departments at LAC.
Dr. Hennessy indicated that he will bring a packet developed for English IAs and TAs to Liberal Arts Retreat.
Dr. De la Teja announced that the Public History Certificate brochure is forthcoming
Dr. Brittain inquired about the need for per-course hires to attend the August 18. Personnel meeting.