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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

26 September 2007, 2:00 pm, FH 313
(Approved at the 10-31-07 meeting of Liberal Arts Council)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Frank Barrios, Vicki Brittain, Mark Busby, Susan Day, Frank de la Teja, Dennis Dunn, Robert Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Sandra Mayo, Jon McGee, Philip Suckling

1. Approved LAC minutes for meeting on 9/5/07 (State Department internships, Career Services for Liberal Arts students, avoiding low enrollments, students’ grade appeals, CAD update).

2. Congratulations: (a) To Kerrie Lewis (ANTH), who has been awarded an Instructional Technology grant. (b) To Nancy Wilson (ENG) and the English department’s Writing Center, which drew 189 students from 29 instructors to a student workshop on writing in-class essays. (c) To Mary Brennan and Rebecca Montgomery (both HIST), who together organized the first History Test Preparation Workshop, which drew 150 students preparing to write in-class essays.

3. Liberal Arts in the News. (a) The University Star (9/12) featured the Katherine Anne
Porter House and quoted Writer-in-Residence and MFA graduate Michael Noll. (b) Frank de la Teja (HIST) was quoted in the Austin American-Statesman (9/14) about the authenticity and value of a letter purported to have been written by Davy Crockett and purchased recently by the State of Texas. (c) The Victoria Advocate (9/21) reported on a presentation by Dagoberto Gilb (ENG) to an overflow crowd of students and community members at an event sponsored by the American Book Review Reading Series. (d) Mark Busby’s new book, John Graves, Writer, received an enthusiastic review in Bloomsbury Review (8/1).

4. 2007 Update to Liberal Arts’ 2004-2012 Academic Plan. Council members reviewed a
draft update of the Liberal Arts 2004-2012 Academic Plan. They are to submit any additions or changes to Dr. Lochman as soon as possible, with a final draft to be forwarded to the Office of Development and Assessment on October 1.

5. Reach for the Stars campaign. Dean Ellis encouraged Council members to seek an
increased rate of participation and discussed ways of doing so. Some departments have an expectation that faculty should contribute a certain amount to discretionary accounts or other funds. Chairs ought to be involved in seeking collaborative departmental support for departmental functions that cannot be charged to University accounts, and the Reach for the Stars campaign offers a means to do so. Campaign leaders are to receive their packets on October 1. October 26 is the last day to turn in gifts to the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC); November 14 is the last day to give to the Reach for the Stars campaign. See for additional information http://www.ua.txstate.edu/Office-development/Faculty---Staff-Giving-Off-season.html.

6. Meetings open to Liberal Arts graduate students. The Dean raised a question on behalf of a Liberal Arts departmental graduate student group interested in inviting graduate students from other Liberal Arts departments to attend social/intellectual functions. Council members suggested that Ms. Stacie McGee, the Liberal Arts Graduate Enrollment Coordinator, might serve as the point person to work with such organizations. Council unanimously supported the principle of expanding opportunities for social and intellectual interaction among graduate students and recommended that the proposal be reviewed by the Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Council.

In addition, the Dean reminded Council of an upcoming visit by Joseph L. Brown, a Texas State alumnus who is now Assistant Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs and Diversity Programs at Stanford. He will answer questions about applying to graduate programs on 9/28, 2-4 pm, in Lampasas 502B.

7. Responses to students’ grade appeals. Council reviewed a series of handouts offering several versions of departmental and College procedure statements governing students’ grade appeals. After discussion, Council agreed to post on the Liberal Arts website a policy that most Liberal Departments will follow, together with policies unique to a few other Liberal Arts departments. Dr. Lochman will revise the text of the general procedures and forward it and those from other departments to Ms. Friou, Liberal Arts Communications Consultant.

8. CAD update:

a. Classes on Fridays. The Dean asked Council to help catalog academic activities taking place on Fridays given the change in teaching schedule for many classes. Members listed the following activities that occur on Fridays: classes and labs; regular meetings (departmental, graduate faculty, undergraduate faculty, search committees, Academic Program Review, personnel committees), Liberal Arts student advisory councils, Faculty Advisory Council, and Study Abroad Council, thesis and dissertation defenses, and orals; meetings for research and writing of independent study projects, theses, and dissertations listed in the course schedule, mentoring of students, students’ use of the Writing Center and other supporting services.

b. Mandatory electronic grade reports. Dean Ellis reported that Liberal Arts needs to do much more to increase the number of faculty filing electronic grades, with other colleges recording a much higher submission rate. She noted that the Provost is uncertain whether electronic grade reports will be mandatory this fall, but she indicated they will almost certainly be mandatory in Spring 2008. Dr. Day asked whether chairs may receive reports of the number of faculty who have filed electronically. The Dean replied that such reports are not now available, but administrative assistants could help track grade submissions. In some cases, chairs and/or administrative assistants will need authority to enter grades on behalf of professors. Council noted that electronic reporting by per course adjuncts will likely always be a problem for Liberal Arts. Dr. de la Teja suggested that information about electronic grade submission should be made part of the CATSWEB packet for new hires. The Dean stated she will forward a memo to the Provost’s office with the comments of Council members.


Around the Table

Dean Ellis reminded Council of the Cambodian exchange program and an upcoming visit by Sister Luise Ahrens, a contact for Texas State programs in Cambodia, who will be available to speak to interested faculty and students Friday, October 5, 11:30 am to 3 pm, in Lampasas 407. Dr. Day inquired about Cambodian students’ abilities in the English language, and Dr. Dunn replied that most students at Royal University are competent in English.

Council discussed the new withdrawal policy, with automatic Ws ending on October 23 and no withdrawals from individual classes thereafter, in most cases. For information about the new withdrawal policies, see PPS 4.09 online at http://www.txstate.edu/academicaffairs/pps/pps4/4-09.html. Dean Ellis suggested that Ms. Yvette Morales, Director of the Advising Center, should forward the policy to all Liberal Arts students. Faculty should be reminded of the policy and encouraged to mention it in classes.

Announcements:

• By Friday, September 28: Programs report to Beth Wuest revisions of learning outcomes and/or methods of assessing learning outcomes, based upon 2007-2007 results
• During September: University Strategic Plan Update completed, with progress on University goals submitted to President’s Cabinet and published on Texas State website
• During October: SACS Annual Update. Forums for questions and answer sessions about progress toward SACS reaffirmation
• Monday, October 1: Deadline for College to report updates to College plan to Ms. Lisa Garza, Director of University Planning and Assessment
• Tuesday, October 2, 3-4:30 pm, Derrick 111: Dean’s Open House (for Faculty)
• From Monday, October 8, through Thursday, November 8: Departmental personnel committees review untenured faculty in their second contract year; recommendations due to chairs by Monday, November 12
• By Monday, October 8: Faculty submit sixteen copies of Developmental Leave applications to the chairs for review and approval. Instructions and application forms are found at http://www.txstate.edu/academicaffairs/pps/pps8/8-02.htm
• By Wednesday, October 10: Faculty submit sixteen copies of Developmental Leave applications to the Dean for review and approval.
• Monday, October 15: Deadline for forwarding sixteen copies of Developmental Leave applications, signed by chairs and deans, to the Faculty Senate and for emailing a 100-word abstract to bi01@TXSTATE.edu
• By Monday, October 15: Email Nancy Grayson the names of faculty appointed to Graduate Scholarship Committee and Presidential Upper-Level Scholarship Committee. Also, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology will each appoint a faculty member to the University Scholars Committee
• Wednesday, October 17, 2:00, JCK 623: First GAMS training workshop: for dean, associate deans, chairs, directors, and selected administrative staff.
• Monday, October 22, midnight: Last day for students to drop a course with a “W” assigned
• Tuesday, October 23, 5 pm: Last day for students to drop a course but remain enrolled in at least one hour
• Wednesday, October 24, 2-4 pm, Alkek 119: Second GAMS training workshop for up to twenty Liberal Arts grant writers. Chairs are to forward names of participants to Kathy Scott (ks02@txstate.edu)
• Tuesday, October 30: Student Learning Outcomes and Methods Assessment Revisions completed in academic departments
• Thursday, November 1, 3-4:30, FH 313: Dean’s Open House (for Staff)
• Friday, November 2, 9-10:30 am, FH 313: Liberal Arts Faculty Advisory Council meeting
• Thursday, November 15: Departments’ and chairs’ recommendations for untenured faculty in second contract year due to the Dean
• Monday, November 26, 3-4:30, ELA 245: Dean’s Open House (for Faculty)
• Thursday, December 1: Chairs submit recommendations for tenure and/or promotion to the Dean
• Friday, January 18: Deadline for departments to add proposals to add, drop, or change courses to the TRACS site, “LA Curriculum”
• Friday, January 25: College Review Group meets for final recommendations and vote
• February 9: Dean submits recommendations for tenure/promotion to Provost