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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

6 September 2006, 2:00 pm, FH 313
(Approved by Liberal Arts Council on 9-20-06)

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.
Guests: Nina Wright, Grant Specialist; Dr. Lawrence Estaville; Ms. Angelika Wahl; Elizabeth Denton, Development Officer

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 8/30/06 (review of fall convocation, mentoring new faculty, service expectations for senior lecturers, one-hour thesis credit and financial aid, University Scholars requirements, CAD update).

2. Liberal Arts in the news: (a) An article by Gary Hartman (HIST), “MusicFest Celebrates the Great Musical Traditions of the Southwest,” appears in the January 2007 issue of Musicfest Magazine and features activities of the Center for Texas Music History. (b) The University Star (9/5) featured online tutoring on campus, including the English department’s Writing Center. The Star quotes Nancy Wilson (ENG) and Technical Communications graduate student John Roesler, who discussed resources at the Writing Center website as well as Bobcat Chat, a personal online tutoring service designed to help students write and revise papers and prepare for examinations.

3. Effects of expanded workload for college and departmental staff. Council members presented and discussed activities that have been added to staff workloads since the previous staff workload study. The chairs discussed
concerns that, despite a large increase in the number of students, departments have received little (and in some cases no) increase in staff.

The Council identified three general areas of change that affect staff workload: (a) growth in the number of students, faculty, and administrative procedures; (b) an expansion in the number and complexity of graduate programs; and (c) increased demand for technological laboratories and equipment that require purchases, maintenance, record-keeping, and staffing, as well as expanded and renovated facilities.

The Dean will forward to the Provost specific examples of workload changes related to the number of students and the complexity of new procedures, together with a request for additional staff support.

4. Grants and Contracts, 2006-2007. Nina Wright, Grant Specialist, presented
handouts comparing Texas State’s, Liberal Arts’, and other institutions’ research expenditures. She led a discussion of ways she may assist departments and faculty to increase the number and award amounts of grants. In particular she noted that the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) hopes to increase both the amounts awarded and the number of faculty receiving research grants in order to receive the advantages of receiving the Coordinating Board’s designation as an “emerging research institution.” One way to increase the amount of awards classified as research (as distinct from “instructional” or “service”) is to classify them accurately, since 50% of grant activity (not 50% of the budget) determines the “research” classification. Ms. Wright agreed to create a “tip sheet” for the Council with specific suggestions of ways to increase research grants. She observed that the University intends to improve reporting to better document existing expenses related to research funding. To this end, OSP is investigating purchase of a pre-award software package designed to speed the process of writing and managing grants by providing notices of grant opportunities, assisting completion of pre-award tasks, and guiding management of awarded grants. Programs may contact Ms. Carolyn Pate of OSP or Ms. Wright to visit faculty meetings and provide information about grants, services, and notifications for federal grants via grants.gov. Ms. Wright asked Council to let her know how she can help.

Council discussed obstacles to grant writing and noted steps that would assist faculty who wish to write proposals find the time and resources to do so. Dr. McGee suggested that those seeking large grants might receive release time, research facilities, and support from staff or graduate students. Dean Ellis stated that she will include in the College plan targets for numbers and amounts of grant proposals. Liberal Arts will provide tables detailing the number and amounts submitted and funded last year. Dr. Suckling asked whether departments will receive separate data for research and contract funding; Dean Ellis will reply when she gains further information. The topic will return to a future agenda.

5. Strategic Planning.

a. Possible visits to departments. Following discussion, Council agreed that the College plan should be presented to Liberal Arts faculty by means of a report to the Faculty Advisory Council on November 9.

b. Format of plans. The Council discussed possible formats for departmental and center plans, including the matrix completed by some departments for the 2004-2009 Academic Plan and other variations. Pending further information, departments and centers may adopt any format so long as they mark items as COMPLETED, DELETED, MODIFIED, or NEW. They may opt to add an additional column to the template to extend plans through 2012 or simply add a list of newly planned items to the end of the existing document.

c. Curriculum. Dr. Lochman reminded Council that the University Curriculum Committee meets on Friday, September 8, and suggested that departments with course proposals send a representative to answer questions. He also requested that chairs and directors alert him early in the process if they plan major changes to curricula.

6. Endowed Chairs / Professors. Ms. Denton reviewed a handout listing the endowed giving levels and thresholds at Texas State, other Texas universities, and peer institutions. Dean Ellis discussed new levels of funding required to establish Texas State chairs, professorships, and other endowments.

7. Liberal Arts Alumni Speaker Series. Dean Ellis discussed the new Liberal Arts Alumni Speaker Series. Invited alumni will speak in either the Philosophy Dialogue room, (Psychology 130B) or to organized classes. She asked the Council and faculty to name accomplished Liberal Arts alumni who may represent their discipline and talk about the value of liberal arts education to their careers. The College will sponsor speakers throughout the year, beginning in October. She suggested that the first speakers will be drawn from the new Liberal Arts Development Advisory Board. Chairs should forward a prioritized list of future presenters to Ms. Denton.

8. Third International Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference. Dr. Estaville and Ms. Wahl presented information about this upcoming event, to be held November 1 through November 4. The Third International Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference is co-sponsored by Binghamton Univerrsity (SUNY), Howard University, and St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, and features hundreds of scholarly papers, posters, panels, workshops, and an ethnic art show. The global reach of the conference is demonstrated by registrants representing 98 U.S. universities and colleges, student affiliations representing 59 U.S. universities and colleges, and international faculty and student affiliations from 24 foreign universities and schools representing countries as diverse as Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, India, Nepal, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. Organizing Committee members and presenters include many Texas State faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Estaville stated that broad themes linking the five hundred presentations include quality education, healthcare accessibility, affordable housing, and immigration.

Dr. Estaville noted that all sessions are open and asked the Council and faculty to encourage students to attend and participate in discussions. Registration (completed online at http://REP-conference.binghamton.edu/) ends September 10 and is free to students; all registrants may attend seven free food events and participate in free workshops and field-trips. Student groups wishing to assist during the conference are encouraged to contact Keith Bremer or Joyce Lawson (jl06) and copy Ms. Wahl (al07).

The Council thanked Dr. Estaville and Ms. Wahl for their extraordinary efforts in bringing this event to Texas State.

9. Study Abroad programs in Liberal Arts, 2007. Dean Ellis distributed a list of fourteen Liberal Arts Study Abroad programs she has approved to date for 2007, as well as a proposed agenda for the upcoming Study Abroad Council meeting (22 September, 3 pm, LA 245) and draft minutes of 19 April 2006 meeting.

Announcements:

• Friday, September 8, about 3 pm, Alkek 105/106: Liberal Arts course proposals to be reviewed by University Curriculum Committee; meeting begins at 2 pm
• Monday, September 11, 6:30 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: “Join the Discourse Event” sponsored by POSI—film presentation and discussion of Gandhi
• Thursday, September 14, 6:30 pm, Centennial Hall Teaching Theater (Room 157): Filmmaker Martina Guzmán and Monique Velásquez present their documentary. The Bajio Project.
• 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
• Wednesday, September 20, 2pm FH 313: Liberal Arts Council meets
• Friday, September 22, 3 pm, Evans 245: Liberal Arts Study Abroad Council meets
• 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 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 mcgs@txstate.edu 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. Brittain noted that the University’s trial website system is being changed, with a number of alternative systems now undergoing review by the Instructional Technology Office. In the interim, departments should continue to use and update existing websites.

Dr. Grayson asked departments who have not done so to forward to her names of representatives for the undergraduate Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council.