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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

10 January 2007, 2:00 pm, FH 313

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: Elizabeth Denton, Stacie McGee

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 12/6/06 (graduate program support, internships and Career Center, IELTS for English proficiency, Human Resources issues, CAD update).

2. Liberal Arts in the News. (a) The University News Service reports that Dr. Jerry Melbye and Anthropology’s proposed forensic research facility received widespread attention, beginning with a story in the San Marcos Daily Record (12/3) and continuing with articles in the San Antonio Express-News, Austin and San Antonio Business Journals, Business Journals in North Carolina, Milwaukee, and Phoenix, and The Washington Post. News of the facility was also reported by KVUE-TV and News 8 Austin. (b) The efforts of Ed Milhalkanin (POSI) culminated in the December opening of the LBJ Museum in San Marcos, an event covered by the San Marcos Daily Record, the Austin American-Statesman, News 8 Austin, and KVUE-TV. (c) The St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press announced that The Things They Carried by Mitte Chair Tim O’Brien (ENG) is the featured book in the community’s “St. Paul’s Reads” program.

3. Targets for graduate enrollments and grants. Council reviewed projections of and updated data for graduate enrollments, Fall 2006. Ms. McGee, Graduate Enrollment Coordinator, sought and received the Council’s approval to offer a number of services routinely in support of Liberal Arts graduate programs. With the exception of a few programs that already provide services, Ms. McGee will act on behalf of other Liberal Arts graduate programs in the following ways, based upon programs’ replies to a survey conducted last fall. She will
• invite Liberal Arts undergraduates with a GPA of 3.0 or above to apply to graduate college
• survey applicants who do not enroll
• forward responses from general mailings to program directors
• direct referrals from the Liberal Arts Advising Center to the Graduate College and/or Liberal Arts programs, as appropriate
• meet individual students for initial interviews and make referrals to program directors
• link potential applicants to faculty in areas of specialization
• send letters of encouragement after receipt of prospects’ applications
• provide information about scholarships as well as about the campus, city, and accommodations
• send letters following acceptance to welcome students and encourage enrollment
• maintain monthly contacts with applicants; if not yet enrolled, weekly until the end of the current enrollment period
• follow up with students who enroll but do not attend first class day
• solicit reasons for denying students as a way to document program needs and seek assistance from the administration
Following Ms. McGee’s presentation, Council discussed factors affecting graduate enrollments. Council examined data concerning Liberal Arts targets for grants submitted and funded through 2006. Issues related to grant activity will return to the agenda following receipt of current data about Liberal Arts grant activity.

4. Facilities and building programming. At a recent meeting of the Facilities Committee, Dean Ellis learned that the College will have approximately eight weeks to program space needs for the new academic building and that the University plans to break ground in Fall 2008. The Dean and Dr. Brittain, chair of the Liberal Arts building committee, have met to review the space requested by departments, centers, and other Liberal Arts offices. Council will consider these requests, additional needs, and priorities for occupants of the new building at a meeting of Liberal Arts Council scheduled 1/31/07.

5. Learning outcomes. Dean Ellis drew the attention of Council to new and/or ongoing goals for learning outcomes and their relation to the College’s Academic Plan for 2004-2012. She asked chairs to discuss with faculty departmental plans for existing and/or new goals and learning outcomes as they relate to the overarching goals that preface the college plan. Chairs are to report the results of departmental discussions of goals and learning outcomes to the Dean and bring them to the Liberal Arts Council meeting on 1/31. At the same meeting, Council will establish priorities to guide requests for new faculty lines, related to program growth.

6. Goals for the extended Liberal Arts Academic Plan. Dean Ellis reported that deans have been asked to focus on research, retention, and diversity in their presentations of college plans to the University community. She asked Council to review the College’s plan to ensure that it addresses these institutional goals.

7. Identifying promising grantsperson in Liberal Arts. Dean Ellis updated Council on the services of Dr. Mimi Tangum, who will assist the College in its grant work. Dr. Tangum has informed us that large NEH grants are available presently for proposals developed by interdisciplinary teams. On a related topic, Dean Ellis and Ms. Denton noted that a number of prominent citizens and alumni who represent diverse fields have joined the Liberal Arts Development Board.

8. CAD update. (a) Dean Ellis reviewed a list of upcoming workshops for faculty, chairs and administrators. She asked that Council members encourage faculty interested in writing grants to participate and that chairs attend workshops designed for them. (b) The Dean asked Council to consider and share ways to enhance the Presidential Seminar award, perhaps through alternative venues and rewards for recipients. (c) Dr. Heintze reported a large increase in the percentage of faculty reporting grades electronically, from 40% (Fall 2005) to 76% (Fall 2006). (d) Preliminary admissions data for Spring 2007 show a substantial increase in the number of first year and transfer students. (e) Council reviewed changes to PPS 8.01 (on evaluation of tenure track faculty), as proposed at CAD.


• In January: IT to provide online system with template to submit student learning outcomes and methods of assessment
• Wednesday, January 10: Annual Review cycle begins, to be completed by 1 March
• Wednesday, January 10: Departments submit summer budgets, including faculty names and costs, to Jamie Tiemann (jl40)
• Monday, January 15: Deadline for nominations for Presidential Awards; nominees to prepare supporting documents (due February 9)
• Wednesday, January 24, 2 pm, FH 313: LAC meets
• January 16-25: Review of faculty in first year contracts. Recommendations due to Dean by February 2
• Friday, January 26, noon: Deadline for College course proposals; bring to the Dean’s office
• Friday, January 26, 5 pm: Deadline for Student Computing Resource Proposals; Dr. Hassan Tajalli is Liberal Arts representative
• Wednesday, January 31: Deadline for faculty to submit recommendations to Dean Ellis for Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award (PPS 04.04.36) and for staff to submit recommendations to their vice president
• Saturday, February 3: Bobcat Day
• February 5-16: Deans share college plans with chairs and faculty
• Friday, February 9: Deadline for Presidential Award nominees to submit Liberal Arts documentation (nomination letter and cv) to the Dean’s office
• Friday, February 16, 1:00 pm, FH 313: Faculty Advisory Council meets to review course proposals
• Wednesday, February 19, 2 pm, FH 313: Liberal Arts Council meets; selection of Presidential Award nominees
• February 19-23: Deans present draft college plans in open forum
• March 1, Thursday: Deadline for nominees for all of the following: the LBJ Outstanding Senior Student Award, Sallie Barett Award, the Alumni Teaching Award, and the Walter Richter Award.
• Friday, March 2: Provost presents draft academic plan in open forum
• By Monday, March 19, 10 am: Liberal Arts Presidential Award nominees submit binders to the Dean’s office
• April 9-13: Draft of revised and extended University plan presented to University community
• Thursday, April 19, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theater: Liberal Arts Awards Day
• Wednesday, April 25, 2 pm, FH 313: Liberal Arts Council meets to review measurements of learning outcomes
• May 30: President’s Cabinet approves division plans and University plan
• By June 30: Chairs and directors to submit results and any needed follow-up actions to the Dean for review