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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

24 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, Chris Lehman, Hassan Tajalli

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 1/10/07 (targets for graduate enrollments and grants, facilities and building programming, learning outcomes, planning goals, Liberal Arts grantsperson, CAD update).

2. Congratulations (a) To Liberal Arts undergraduates Julianne Doyen, a Psychology major, and Jodi Flores, an Anthropology major, whose posters earned first and second place in the Fall 2006 Mitte Honors Thesis Forum and Poster Competition. (b) To Pat Shields (POSI) who has received the best book review essay award by the Burchfield Award Committee by the American Society of Public Administration.

3. Liberal Arts in the News. The Houston Chronicle (1/9) quotes Jerry Melbye (ANTH) as an expert familiar with the validity of forensic sculpture as a means of identifying a murder victim.

4. The Dean thanks (a) Steve Wilson (ENG) for judging the Mitte Honors Thesis Forum Poster Competition and (b) Marc Turner (PSY) for ongoing development and maintenance of the website for Liberal Arts’ Faculty Annual Review System.

5. Student Computing Resources proposals. Council and Dr. Tajalli, who represents the College on the Academic Computing Committee, reviewed Liberal Arts proposals for student computing upgrades. Dr. Tajalli explained the types of equipment the awards fund and suggested ways to strengthen proposals. After discussion, Council rated the proposals to assist Dean Ellis’s evaluation of them, prior to their being submitted to Instructional Technology.

6. Summer Budgets. While chairs had planned a 2007 summer session comparable to that of 2006, increased costs of faculty caused Liberal Arts to exceed the allocated budget. Dean Ellis asked chairs to plan to reduce summer expenditures and explain the consequences of doing so. Following a discussion of probable effects, the Dean asked chairs to report the following to her as soon as possible: a) the accuracy of 2007 allocations for summer, b) each department’s plan to address the budget reduction, and c) the likely effects of any proposed reduction.

7. Scholarships at Liberal Arts Awards Day, April 19, 6 pm, Alkek. Dr. Grayson presented a handout outlining procedures and deadlines leading up to Liberal Arts Awards Day, 2007. She also distributed copies of the program from last year’s event and reviewed its contents in order to consider ways to improve it. For the upcoming 2007 program, she requested that each chair report to her a) that the program’s first section will include only those awards distributed on the day of the Liberal Arts event and b) that the second section will list accurately all Liberal Arts awards together with all departmental awards actually funded and distributed. Council discussed ways of improving the distribution of awards.

8. Other: Dean Ellis added to the agenda several items. (a) She distributed a table of graduate-level SCH by course prefix for FY 2006 and Fall 2006; she will ask Institutional Research to provide comparable data for Fall 2005. (b) Council briefly discussed ways faculty may communicate inexpensively while abroad. (c) Dean Ellis noted that the meeting of Liberal Arts Council scheduled for January 31 must be postponed to February 7. Council will then review departmental plans to add, expand, or modify learning outcomes related to the College Plan and discuss needed additions or changes to existing programming for the new building. (d) The Dean will provide chairs with a template for requesting and justifying new faculty lines. (e) Dr. Lochman noted that the deadline to propose course additions, deletions, and changes may be extended until 8 am, next Wednesday, January 31. After that date, College staff may not be able to process course proposals before the Advisory Council begins to review them on February 7.


• In January: IT to provide online system with template used last spring to submit student learning outcomes and methods of assessment
• January 16-25: Review of faculty in first year contracts. Recommendations due to Dean by February 2
• Friday, January 26, 2 pm, Evans 245: College Review Group meets
• Friday, January 31, 8 am: Deadline for College course proposals; bring to the Dean’s office
• Wednesday, January 31: Deadline for the Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Awards (PPS 04.04.36); faculty are to submit recommendations to their Deans and staff are to submit recommendations to their VP
• Thursday, February 1, ASB Breezeway: Study Abroad Fair
• Thursday, February 1, 3:15-4:45 pm, LBJ Center Ballroom: Graduate College Information Seminar
• February 5-16: Deans share college plans with chairs and faculty
• Friday, February 9, 1:30 pm: Faculty Advisory Council meets to review course proposals
• Monday, February 19, 5 pm: Deadline for required documentation (nomination letter and cv emphasizing achievements in award areas) from faculty nominated by departments for Presidential Awards
• February 19-23: Deans present draft college
• Wednesday, February 21, 2 pm, FH 313: LAC meets; selection of Presidential Award nominees
• Thursday, March 1: Deadline for nominations for all of the following: LBJ Outstanding Senior Student Award, Sallie Baretta Award, Alumni Teaching Award, and Walter Richter Award
• March 2: Provost presents draft academic plan in open forum
• By Monday, March 19, 10 am: Liberal Arts Presidential Award nominees to turn in four-inch binders with supporting documents
• 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 Ceremony
• 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