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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

7 March 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
Guest: Heather Galloway

1. Approved LAC minutes for the meeting of 2/21/07 (curriculum review, Presidential Award nominees, Liberal Arts awards, CAD update).

2. Congratulations: (a) To Vincent Luizzi (PHIL), who received a Fulbright to assist with the development of the Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. (b) To Frank de la Teja (HIST), named to a two-year appointment as the first Texas State Historian by Governor Rick Perry. He will lecture, consult with state officials, and encourage the teaching of Texas history in public schools. On March 10, he will become president of the Texas State Historical Association. (c) To Kathleen Peirce (ENG), who has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. (d) To Gregg Andrews (HIST), who has been invited by host Brigitte London to participate in a monthly show broadcast from Nashville, “All Star Spirit of the Outlaws,” on Thursday, April 5. (e) To Ben Zahn (GEO), Director of the Texas Center for GI Science, for the Center’s inaugural lecture and related events.

3. Liberal Arts in the News. (a) Announcements of Frank de la Teja’s appointment as State Historian have appeared in the Austin American-Statesman (3/2, 3/3), the San Marcos Daily Record (3/2), and the Fort Worth Star Telegraph (3/3). He has also been interviewed by the El Paso Times (3/2) and praised by Arnold Garcia, editorial page editor of the American-Statesman for his appointment and knowledge about Texas Independence Day (3/2). In addition, Frank has been interviewed for National Public Radio’s “Texas Matters” show (3/2, show #340); the program may be heard at /texasmatters.html. A direct link to the podcast is at (b) The New York Times (2/26) and subsequently The Daily Times in Pakistan (2/27) quoted Arnie Leder (POSI) regarding a controversial film on radical Islam, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

4. Graduate student reception. Dean Ellis led a discussion of ways to increase graduate students’ access to her and to the academic community in Liberal Arts. She suggested that the College might host a reception for graduate students during the fall semester or that she provide “open door” hours to meet with graduate students. Council will consider these and other possibilities.

5. IA/TA current and future preferences. Council reviewed a handout prepared by Stacie McGee concerning current and future preferences for IAs and TAs in Liberal Arts graduate programs. Dean Ellis asked Council members to report to her and to Elizabeth Denton names of students, alumni, or parents interested in establishing modest scholarships designed to support graduate students.

6. Status of Mitte Honors Program. Dr. Heather Galloway, Interim Director of the Mitte Honors Program, presented an overview of current participation and announced plans to develop the program as an Honors College. To increase student and faculty participation in an already large program, Honors plans to increase the enrollments in “Honors credit by contract” courses (non-Honors courses for which Honors students receive Honors credit following the approval of additional work) and the Honors’ independent study course. Dr. Galloway reported on data from Fall 2006, including the distribution of enrollments in Honors at Texas State. Liberal Arts had the largest percentage of students enrolled in Honors (18.3%) and the highest percentage of its students in Honors (4.7%). Dr. Galloway also reported on current recruitment and outreach programs, as well as innovations she has made to the Honors Thesis Forum. The Council thanked Dr. Galloway for her efforts on behalf of the Mitte Honors Program and for her fine presentation.

7. Awards Day follow-up. Dr. Grayson discussed ways to improve distribution of awards during Liberal Arts Awards Day ceremonies. Following discussion, Council members determined to notify students receiving awards to be present at the Alkek Teaching Theatre fifteen minutes prior to the beginning of the program in order to sign in and then be acknowledged during the ceremony. Dr. de la Teja will distribute to other Liberal Arts chairs a letter he has drafted to notify students of procedures to follow on Awards Day.

8. Dean’s updates on Development Advisory Board and Facilities Committee. (a) Dean Ellis announced plans to meet with the Liberal Arts Development Advisory Board, which has been expanded to include several new members. The upcoming meeting features three programs in Geography, a GIScience demonstration, and meetings with faculty and students. The Dean reminded Council members to suggest names of possible Advisory Board members to her and to Elizabeth Denton. (b) Dean Ellis briefed Council on a recent University Facilities meeting (3/6). The Centers for the Study of the Southwest and for Texas Music History, along with other programs related to Southwest studies (e.g., CASETA and the Center for Nature and Heritage Tourism), are to expand areas they occupy in Brazos Hall. The University has determined to proceed with plans for the new undergraduate classroom building without including the site of the Campus Christian Community. Dean Ellis suggested that plans for the new building should provide for future expansion and incorporate environmentally sound, “green” construction principles. She also announced that the University has dropped plans to expand the Pleasant Street parking garage due to bids that far exceeded estimates; nevertheless, North LBJ will be closed during Summer and Fall 2007 while a bus-loop is installed.

9. Other: (a) Council members received handouts with data from Pat Heath concerning Liberal Arts study abroad programs, faculty searches, supplemental travel accounts, and retirees. (b) Dr de la Teja inquired about the nominating process for Muriel Mentoring Awards. (c) Council briefly discussed the likelihood of merit awards this year and policies for distributing them.


• Friday, March 9, 5 pm, Dean’s office: Deadline for Applications/Nominations for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Students & for names/addresses of students receiving Academic Excellence Certificates
• By Monday, March 19, 10 am: Liberal Arts Presidential Award nominees to turn in four-inch binders with supporting documents
• Monday, March 19: Developmental leave applications due to department chairs
• Tuesday, March 20, 5 pm, Dean’s office: Nomination packets for Student Commencement Speaker due
• Wednesday, March 21, 2 pm, FH 313: Milt Nielsen meets with chairs regarding
IT (Drs. Barrios, Day, Fischer, Hennessy, and McGee)
• Wednesday, March 21, 2:30 pm, FH 313: LAC meets to review applicants/nominees for Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate students
• By Friday, March 23: Departments’ and centers’ Upper Level Scholarship Committees meet to consider candidates
• Monday, March 26: Developmental leave applications due to Faculty Senate.
• Wednesday, March 28: Applications from departments’ and centers’ Upper Level Scholarship Committees are due to the Dean’s office (see PPS 6.05, section 11, regarding number of applicants that may be forwarded); College Committee meets April 2-6 to review applications
• Wednesday, March 28: Nomination packets for Student Commencement Speaker due to Provost’s office
• Friday, March 30, 3 pm, Evans 245: Liberal Arts Study Abroad Council meets
• April 9-13: Draft of revised and extended University Plan presented to University community
• Tuesday, April 10: Dean forwards names for Upper Level Scholarship to the University Scholars Coordinator
• Wednesday, April 11, 2-3:30 pm, JCK 460: Liberal Arts Budget Development Workshop for FY08
• Friday, April 13: Deadline to submit applications for Hispanic Policy Network scholarships. See
• 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
• Friday, May 25: Deadline for scholarship applications for the Hispanic Association of College and Universities. See for information.
• Wednesday, May 30: President’s Cabinet to approve division plans and University plan
• By June 30: Chairs and directors to submit results of measurements of learning outcomes and to report any needed follow-up actions to the Dean for her review