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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

20 September 2006, 2:00 pm, ELA 245
(Approved at the 10/4/04 meeting of 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, Fred Day for Philip Suckling.
Guests: Audwin Anderson, Mickey Autrey, Cecilio Barrera, Paul Cohen, Ann Friou, Jim Garber, Jerry Melbye, Cynthia Opheim, Paula Williamson, Steve Wilson, and other faculty interested in assisting in planning of doctoral programs

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 9/6/06 (effects of expanded staff workloads, grants and contracts, strategic planning, endowed chairs and professorships, LA Alumni Speaker Series, Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference; LA Study Abroad programs for 2007).

2. Congratulations: (a) (a) To Dagoberto Gilb (ENG), whose first-ever collection of works by Mexican American writers in Texas, Hecho en Tejas, is featured in the Special Collections publication, Keystone (Fall 2006). (b) To Sandra Mayo (MCGS), who contributed a feature in the same regarding the upcoming 100 Years of Latino Presence exhibit. (c) To Sandra Mayo, Frank de la Teja (HIST), and many others involved in arrangements and the successful opening of the Latino Presence exhibit on 9/15, with an excellent presentation by Dr. Raymund Paredes, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education. (d) To Paul Hart (HIST) and Ana Juárez (ANTH), authors of an article on the history of Latinos at Texas State appearing in Latino Presence: Celebrating 100 Years, a historical booklet and commemoration of this centenary.

3. Liberal Arts in the news: (a) Keystone (Fall 2006) mentions the History department’s Center for Texas Music History and its support of Special Collections materials related to blues musicians in Central Texas. (b) The October 2006 issue of Texas Highways quotes Carole Leezer (ANTH), Grant Director for the Center for Archaeological Studies, along with other archaeological experts in Texas.

4. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Initiative. Dr. Cecilio Barrera, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, distributed a handout describing a proposal seeking funding from the Department of Education for stipends of up to $2,400 per student for about twenty undergraduate students who have completed the sophomore year. The funds are to support research projects and help students develop an academic background and record to support future doctoral study. Dr. Barrera noted that the proposal requires and the program’s success depends upon faculty willing to mentor the award recipients. He therefore invites letters of commitment from any faculty member who has experience as a mentor and is willing to act as a mentor for a student in this program. Dr. Barrera noted that the McNair foundation fosters relationships with families of first-generation students, sponsors conferences and other forums for student presentations, and offers awardees the opportunity to conduct research at other institutions during the second year of the award. Interested faculty should contact Dr. Barrera at Council thanked Dr. Barrera for visiting with this information.

5. Fulbright Exchange Program. Mr. Steve Wilson, Associate Chair of the Department of English and the University contact for faculty interested in Fulbright programs, asked Council to encourage Liberal Arts faculty to apply for Fulbrights as senior lecturers and/or researchers (application deadline August 1). He urged prospective applicants to prepare much earlier, however, to benefit from his assistance and services at the Office of Sponsored Projects. He invited interested faculty to attend a workshop to assist with development of proposals on Thursday, November 9, 2-4 pm, in Alkek 105. He also informed Council of other Fulbright programs, including specialist assignments of three to six weeks and the Occasional Lecturers Program wherein Fulbright scholars from other countries in the United States may visit Texas State (see The Provost has set aside funds for Occasional Lecturers at our campus, but visitors for the current year must be contacted soon since they are now finalizing their itineraries. Those seeking information about Fulbrights may contact Mr. Wilson at Council expressed its gratitude to Mr. Wilson for this helpful information.

6. Space needs and undergraduate building. Dr. Vicki Brittain, Chair of the College’s Space and Building Committee, distributed handouts to departmental chairs and center directors providing a timeline and tables for assessing current and future space needs. Dr. Brittain observed that units of the College currently occupy thirteen campus locations; all units are to complete a survey that will project spaces needed through 2016-2017, in conjunction with strategic planning activities now underway. Chairs and directors are to revise previous projections and return revised documents to Dr. Brittain by October 18, following the presentation of their strategic plans to Liberal Arts Council on October 4. The updated survey of space needs will help the College plan for the new undergraduate building, pending the state legislature’s release of revenue bonds to fund it. Dr. de la Teja asked whether a simple list of the number of rooms needed will suffice, in place of detailed measurements. Following discussion, Council determined that space needs will be based upon estimates of the number of rooms needed of various types and the state’s square footage requirements for each type.

7. Website development and placing college and departmental policies online. Ms. Ann Friou, Liberal Arts Communications Consultant, discussed the status of the University’s selection of a content management system. Ms. Friou reported on a conversation with Mr. Mike Farris, Director of Educational Technology and head of the project to migrate existing University websites to a uniform content management system. Mr. Farris indicated that the Vignette system that was being field tested this year has been rejected and is to be replaced in December or January by a newer, more flexible system, named “Magnolia.” Instructional Technology (IT) staff will migrate all sites already developed for Vignette to “Magnolia.” Ms. Friou noted that a faculty member in one Liberal Arts department believes that any content management system will reduce functionality of third-party software and therefore has devised a system that mimics required features of the content management system while retaining functions required by his discipline. Mike Farris noted that such reports are useful since they help IT know what features to alter to make the University system more useful. Within two weeks, webmasters will receive passwords to edit sites through Ms. Fazia Rizvi, University Webmaster, and begin training; edited sites may go online in December or January. Ms. Friou has already received a password and, at a future meeting of Liberal Arts Council, will report on the new system. Dean Ellis asked whether the University was considering other systems; Ms. Friou replied that, according to Mr. Farris, “Magnolia” will be in use for at least the next two years. Council determined to invite Ms. Rizvi to a future meeting to demonstrate features of the new system.

On a related issue, Dr. Lochman asked the Council to consider updating Liberal Arts websites with web pages linked to program, departmental or college policies so that binders and paper archives files may be replaced. Dr. Day asked whether such sites could be protected; Dr. Lochman will check the feasibility of doing so.

8. Developing abstracts for PhD programs. Ms. Micky Autrey, Director of Curriculum Services, and Dr. Paula Williamson, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, visited Council to discuss the process and timeline for seeking preliminary authority to develop PhD proposals. Dr. Williamson identified criteria for doctoral proposals established by the Coordinating Board. These include lack of duplication at other state institutions; the need for PhDs in fields not better filled by holders of master’s degrees; the proposed program’s uniqueness in the state and/or nation; and an existing core of faculty with a record of high quality research. The Coordinating Board and University also consider the potential enrollments in the program and costs such as new faculty, staff, administration, and assistantships.

Dr. Williamson and Ms. Autrey explained that the process for seeking preliminary authority should be linked to ongoing revisions and additions to strategic plans. Dean Ellis emphasized that those planning to undertake a proposal within two or three years must present their intent to seek preliminary authority when chairs vet their plans to Liberal Arts Council on October 4. The Provost must review all proposals for preliminary authority prior to his March 2007 presentation of academic priorities within the University’s plan and prior to developing the academic budget.

Ms. Autrey emphasized that the current planning cycle extends through the next two reviews of the University’s Role and Scope, with the consequence that little opportunity exists to add doctoral proposals to the University plan through 2012 if they are not planned now. Dr. Williamson noted that departments not planning to seek preliminary authority by 2012 may nonetheless take steps in anticipation of a future proposal by making judicious hires, increasing scholarly activity, etc. Departments considering a proposal must allow two years from the time of the completion of the proposal (as distinct from preliminary authority) to implementation. Ms. Autrey will help departments calculate the budget for doctoral proposals as they seek preliminary authority.

Council and guests discussed issues related to the costs of doctoral programs, including factors such as travel for students and faculty. Dr. Opheim asked whether research assistants may be funded by sources other than grants; Dr. Williamson replied that to date proposals have not done so but that fact need not preclude programs from requesting funds for such positions if necessary for the proposed program. Dr. Opheim also asked whether a Graduate College guide for doctoral programs was still in effect; Dr. Williamson volunteered to review it, and Dean Ellis asked that copies be distributed to Liberal Arts departments. To conclude the discussion, Dean Ellis reiterated that programs considering development of a doctoral proposal before 2012 should be working to submit an abstract now.

9. CAD update

Dean Ellis reported on a day-long workshop related to the upcoming capital campaign. She emphasized the relationship between the campaign and the University’s desire to become designated as an “emerging research” institution, with the anticipation that the funding of endowed chairs achieved through the campaign will increase documented research expenditures, a criterion for this designation. She asked each program to inform her and Ms. Elizabeth Denton of a liaison knowledgeable about departmental alumni and/or research to assist with external funding and development projects for the College.


• Friday, September 22, 3 pm, Evans 245: Liberal Arts Study Abroad Council meets
• Wednesday, September 27: Names of graduate students who will represent department on Dean’s Liberal Arts Graduate Student Advisory Council due to
• Friday, September 29: Deadline for proposal for FY07 funding from the Texas State Parents Association; contact Marian Loep (ml02) for information
• Wednesday, October 4: Liberal Arts programs bring revised and extended Strategic Plans to Liberal Arts Council
• Saturday, October 7, LBJSC Ballroom: Bobcat Day
• Friday, October 13: Deadline to forward names of nominees for the ACE Fellows Program to Stacey Rodriguez; the deadline for the University to submit a nomination is November 1
• Saturday, October 14, 8:15 am – 5 pm, LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater, Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas: A Symposium; noon luncheon at LBJ Ballroom: 6-9 pm, LBJ Ballroom: Buffet dinner and silent auction for Latino scholarships
• Tuesday, October 31: Deadline to return recommendation grid for reduction of hours in degree programs to Dean Brown
• Wednesday, November 1, 2 pm, FH 313: Dean presents College plan to LAC
• November 1-4: Texas State hosts the Third International Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference
• Thursday, November 9, time and place TBA: Dean presents College plan to Liberal Arts faculty
• November 16-22: Deans present to the Provost 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