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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

30 August 2006, 2:00 pm, FH 313
(Approved on 9/6/06 by Liberal Arts Council)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Frank Barrios, Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Frank de la Teja, Robert Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Philip Suckling.

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 8/16/06 (fall enrollment history and core requirements, travel allotments, facilities schedule and procedures for requesting allocations and alterations of spaces, revised policies for faculty without terminal degrees, flu plans, CAD update on strategic planning and graduate program growth).

2. Congratulations to sophomore Anna Kennedy, Political Science major, who has been named the first recipient of the prestigious Mitte Laureate scholarship, an award of up to $100,000.

3. Liberal Arts in the news: The Austin American-Statesman (8/11), San Marcos Daily Record (8/14), the San Antonio Express News (8/15) and University Star (8/30) reported plans by Dr. Ed Mihalkanin (POSI) to resign from the San Marcos City Council after ten years of service. San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz and other civic leaders praised his thoughtful service and dedication to the community.

4. Fall Faculty Convocation review. Dean Ellis asked the Council to critique this year’s College Convocation. Members reviewed this year’s brochure and reported that faculty praised the proceedings as well-paced, appropriate to the occasion, and informative. The Council discussed minor changes for future convocations, including possible improvements to development of the program and to seating arrangements.

5. Mentoring new faculty. Dean Ellis asked the Council to reinvigorate the mentoring of tenure-track faculty. She noted exemplary practices in the Department of English, where a committee appoints and guides mentors, encouraging them to meet regularly with tenure-track faculty, offer advice to aid their success, and assist in the preparation of materials for evaluative reviews.

6. Service expectations for senior lecturers. Dean Ellis introduced a discussion of the University’s expectation that senior lecturers perform service. Dr. Hennessy stated that he has introduced a change to departmental policies in order to clarify the service expectations of lecturers in English. The Dean asked chairs to remind faculty of this expectation and to make departmental policies clear.

7. One-hour thesis credit and financial aid. Dr. Brittain described the problem faced by a student enrolled in three hours of thesis credit but required to enroll in four hours to receive financial aid as a half-time graduate student. The Council discussed various solutions. Dr. Suckling noted that Geography offers independent study with variable hours of credit, and Dr. Day suggested that some students could complete a one-hour graduate assistant training course. Dr. Lochman will investigate procedures for proposing one-hour courses and forward the results to the Council.

8. University Scholars. Dr. Grayson reported that first-year University Scholars are now to be monitored for renewal by their colleges, raising the issue of the minimum GPA to be required for renewal. By consensus, the Council agreed that University Scholars must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

9. CAD update:

a. Enrollment report. Dean Ellis reviewed the Provost’s current enrollment statistics and noted that she anticipates continued emphasis upon the growth of graduate enrollments. To that end, she presented to the Council a proposal to hire a College of Liberal Arts Graduate Enrollment Coordinator. The Coordinator would be on contract for twelve months and would help departments to meet targets for graduate enrollments and the College to meet a goal of 3% overall growth in graduate enrollments during 2007-2008. After publication of this fall’s twelfth-day enrollments, chairs are to establish goals for SCH and headcount for each graduate program in Liberal Arts for one year, three years, and five years.

b. Classroom and class scheduling proposal. Dr. Day reported that President’s Cabinet will review a Task Force proposal for uniform class times. The Dean reported that the new schedule will probably be implemented during Fall 2007. The proposed schedule will concentrate classes in Tuesday-Thursday and Monday-Wednesday times, but it permits a flexible range of alternative scheduling possibilities. If the proposal is approved, Dean Ellis asked chairs to be sure to schedule some classes on Friday mornings. During discussion, Council members voiced concerns about a lack of rooms for lecture classes and labs at the proposed time slots. The issue will return to the agenda this October if the proposal is adopted for Fall 2007.

c. Revised Strategic Planning timeline. Dean Ellis reviewed an updated calendar for academic planning and established the following deadlines: on October 4 chairs and directors are to report to Liberal Arts Council on plans of departments and centers to revise and extend to 2012 their 2004-2009 academic plans; on November 1 the Dean will report revised and extended plans for the College to Liberal Arts faculty; and by November 16 the Dean will prepare to present College priorities to the Provost for discussion. The Council reviewed the sample program for a February open forum where all academic deans will present their college plans. The Dean also discussed formatting suggestions from Dr. Fleuriet, who suggests that colleges may choose to alter their plans as Planning and Assessment does for the University Plan, designating items as NEW, COMPLETED, or DELETED. Dean Ellis suggested that Liberal Arts departments and centers may add the designation MODIFIED. Council discussed the relation of departmental plans submitted in 2004 to those posted at the Planning and Assessment website ( Dean Ellis asked chairs to check the accuracy of plans on the University website.

d. Due date for final grades. Dean Ellis reviewed a handout detailing changes to the final grade schedule, as modified by a proposal from Dean Brown and approved by the Council of Academic Deans. She noted that, beginning this fall, faculty who submit grades electronically will have a longer time to do so than those who submit paper rosters and that online submission will probably be required in the near future. Dr. McGee suggested a wider distribution of instruction sheets for electronic grade reports so that faculty who cannot attend training sessions may use the online system.

e. Fall 2006 cancelled freshmen by institution. Dean Ellis reviewed statistics concerning institutions chosen by freshmen who applied but did not enroll in classes at Texas State.

f. Increasing staff positions. Dean Ellis noted that areas of the College that have experienced the greatest program growth may receive some additional staff support. Dean Ellis will work with the Council to identify the need for these staff positions.

g. Postdoctoral Research Associate positions. The Dean reported that the title has been approved.

h. Affiliation Statement – Texas State University System. Dean Ellis affirmed that the Board of Regents requires all documents to include a statement on a single line identifying Texas State University-San Marcos as a member of The Texas State University System. Campus publications are also to include the names and home cities of the regents and chancellor.


• Tuesday, September 5: Deadline for College to submit practices and policies for prolonged absences due to an epidemic or other ongoing emergency
• Wednesday, September 6, 2 pm, FH 313: Liberal Arts Council meets
• Friday, September 15: College and departmental reviews of degree requirements due to General Education Council
• Friday, September 15, 5-7 pm, Witliff Gallery: Latino Presence at Texas State exhibit opens; program featuring Dr. Raymund Paredes, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, begins at 6 pm
• Friday, September 22, 3 pm, Evans 245: Liberal Arts Study Abroad Council meets
• Wednesday, October 4: Liberal Arts programs bring revised and extended Strategic Plans to Liberal Arts Council
• Saturday, October 14, 8:15 am – 5 pm, LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater: Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas: A Symposium, including a noon luncheon at the LBJ Ballroom and a buffet dinner and silent auction for Latino scholarships, 6-9 pm, LBJ Ballroom
• Tuesday, October 31: Deadline to return recommendation grid for reduction of hours in degree programs to Dean Brown
• November 1: Presentation of plan to LAC.
• November 1-4: Texas State hosts the Third International Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference
• November 9: Dean to present plan to faculty
• November 16-22: Deans present colleges’ priorities for 2004-2012
• Late November: Nominations for Outstanding Women Graduates due to or MCGS, Flowers Hall, Room 336.
• February 5-16: Deans share college plans with chairs and faculty
• February 19-23: Deans present draft college plans in open forum
• March 2: Provost presents draft academic plan in open forum
• April 9-13: Draft of revised and extended University plan presented to University community
• May 30: President’s Cabinet approves division plans and University plan

Around the table

Dr. Lochman asked chairs to identify representatives elected to the Liberal Arts
Faculty Advisory Council
Dr. Suckling reported that geology courses and some instructors are to move from the Department of Biology to Geography, where the courses will continue to support the study of physical geography.
Dr. de la Teja reminded the Council of upcoming events related to the Tejano
Leadership symposium
Dean Ellis reported that each college will send two representatives to the University’s
Learning Assessment Workshops on September 6, 13, 20, and 29
The Dean also encouraged faculty planning to submit a grant proposal to attend
the workshop described on the Professional Development flyer, “Pre-Award
Services Available to the University Community,” Tuesday, September 12 (2:30-
4:30 pm) or Wednesday, September 13 (8:30-10:30 am)