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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

5 November 2008, 2:00 pm, FH 230
(Approved at the 10 December meeting of Liberal Arts Council)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Dennis Dunn, Bob Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Shirley Ogletree, Philip Suckling
Guest: Emily Edwards

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 10-22-08 reviewed and approved (IT updates, development of data warehouse, endowments, SACS update)

2. Congratulations. (a) To Geography MS student Xingjian Liu, second-place winner of the paper competition, and to PhD students Clayton Whitesides and Elaine He, first- and second place winners of the poster competition at the recent meeting of the Southwest Division of the Association of American Geographers. (b) To the Liberal Arts Career Counseling Team led by Karen Julian, who reports that more than 131 students attended their October 28 workshop, “Learn the Basics—Applying to Graduate School.” (c) To Lawrence Estaville (GEO), who is to receive the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in International Education for 2008 in recognition of his implementation of the 2006 International Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference and interests in study abroad. He will receive the award November 12 at NAFSA’s Recognizing Achievements in International Education event, Alkek 105/106, 3-5 pm.

3. Containers for tenure and promotion materials. The Dean announced that the College has obtained containers of a standard size for the use of faculty who apply for tenure and promotion. Because faculty applying this year may already be using similar containers for departmental review, the College this year will pilot the use of the containers only at the College level. The Dean will make the containers available to departments that wish to try them this year.

Dr. Hennessy proposed that, after the current academic year, applicants for tenure and promotion will fill only one container of the standard size with selections of their best work. Dr. Day seconded. Following discussion, Council unanimously approved the motion, which is to take effect AY 2009-2010.

4. CAD update.

a. Proposal to revise length of final examinations. Dean Ellis distributed a handout from Associate Vice President Michael Heintze proposing changes to the schedule of final examinations. Council discussed various lengths of time for examinations (2 or 2.5 hours) and the possibility of Saturday examinations. Council also considered the possibility of extending classes an additional week and using the added class sessions for final examinations. Dean Ellis will report the discussion to Drs. Heintze and Bourgeois. Chairs are to report discussions of possibilities with their faculty to the Dean.

b. PPS 7.02: Faculty Hiring—Diversity and Search Committees. Council reviewed a revised policies concerning faculty hiring, particularly a section concerning diversity of search committees. The revision specifies that, during the hiring process, departments must explain in a memorandum how the composition of each hiring committee ensures diversity. Council unanimously supported the principle as well as the proposed change in procedure. Dean Ellis specified that in future departments should include for each search a memorandum that includes the following statement or one to like effect: This search committee has been assembled with attention to diversity of career status, gender, and ethnicity.

c. PPS. 8.11: Performance Evaluation of Non-Continuing Adjunct Faculty. The Dean reviewed a draft of a new PPS concerning performance evaluation of non-continuing faculty. She stated that all departmental policies must reference PPS 8.11 in their departmental policies concerning evaluation of faculty. They are to include the following statement or one to like effect: All non-continuing faculty will be evaluated at least once annually. By Wednesday, 11/19, chairs are to forward revised departmental policies Pat Heath (ph09).

d. SACS: Student learning outcomes and documentation of data. Dean Ellis introduced a graduate assistant, Ms. Emily Edwards, of the Department of Psychology, who has assisted with revision of student learning outcomes and methods. Council expressed its gratitude for her help.

Dean Ellis reported that she and Dr. Cathy Fleuriet, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, have discussed what to include in reports of the results of current assessments, mapped to newly revised methods and outcomes. Dr. Fleuriet will forward to Dean Ellis information from SACS that clarifies what needs to be included in the assessment format regarding “evidence of improvement.”

At CAD, Dr. Fleuriet announced that departments must gather samples of assessment data from Round Rock and correspondence courses as well as from courses offered at the San Marcos campus. Council members noted that in many instances existing outcomes and methods already assess the outcomes of majors who enroll in courses at Round Rock and in correspondence courses. Departments that offer correspondence courses for general education or distance education courses are to obtain samples of assessment data in accord with newly revised assessment methods. For each general education course offered through correspondence, chairs should forward to Mr. James Andrews, Director of Extension and Correspondence, a syllabus that specifies the course’s student learning outcomes. The Dean stated that, as for those who teach general education courses on campus, all who teach general education courses through correspondence must provide syllabi (or an online link to the same) that specify student learning outcomes. Dean Ellis also reported that Ms. Gaye Korenek, who maintains the faculty roster for SACS review, requests that departmental statements justifying faculty with non-terminal degrees include statements of the dates of prizes, awards, or other significant accomplishments. Also, chairs must ensure that faculty who have been promoted or who have finished a degree update their vitae in the Texas State University format; these should be forwarded to Pat Heath (ph09), who will replace the outdated vitae with the revised updates.

The Dean reminded departments that they must ensure that data relating to outcomes are collected and assessed.

e. Student tuition hearing. Dean Ellis summarized the results of a recent hearing concerning assessment of student tuition in AY 2009-2010. If approved by the Board of Regents and legislature, increased tuition will allow the University to increase the number of scholarships and faculty resources. Departments that have not already done so should inform the Dean of positions required to meet growth due to increased graduate and undergraduate enrollment.

f. M & O allocations. Dean Ellis noted that colleges and departments demonstrating growth may receive an increase in M & O. She also noted that the University has made significant progress in accurately recording research expenditures.

g. Other: Dean Ellis distributed copies of a directive from the Provost specifying that, as of spring 2009, the University no longer will include students’ nicknames on Texas State diplomas. She also distributed a revised table layout at Bobcat Day.

5. NEH: Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities. The six chairs of humanities departments in Liberal Arts met with the Dean to discuss the extension until January 20, 2009, of a call for proposals and possible future changes to procedures.

Around the Table:

Dr. Luizzi, chair of the search committee for the position of chair of Psychology, announced that Liberal Arts chairs are to meet visiting candidates at the times and places below:

•Todd Shackelford, Monday, November 10, 2 pm, FH 230

•David Saarnio, Wednesday, November 19, 8 am, Crystal River Inn

•James Bray, Monday, December 1, 2 pm, FH 230

Dean Ellis emphasized that chairs should arrange to meet each of the candidates.

Dean Ellis announced that furnishings for FH 230 are on order.


•Thursday, November 6, 3-4:30, ELA 245: Dean's Open Door for faculty
•Tuesday, November 11, 7 pm, Centennial Hall: Liberal Arts and the Department of Anthropology sponsor a lecture by Carolyn Boyd on rock art of the Lower Pecos
•Monday, November 17: Deadline to submit forms and recommendations to the Dean for tenure-track faculty in the second year
•Monday, November 17: Deadline for recommendations from personnel committees to departmental chairs
•Thursday, November 20: Chairs to have notified tenure-track faculty in the second year of the results of departmental action
•Monday, December 1: Deadline for chairs to submit tenure and promotion recommendations to the Dean
•December 1: Check FARS online review process for calendar year 2008 (Marc Turner has already re-set the system)
•Thursday, December 18, 2008, FH 230: Liberal Arts Holiday Luncheon
•Friday, December 19, 2 pm: Liberal Arts Commencement
•Friday, January 16, 2009: Deadline for departments to mount proposals to change, add, and delete courses on LA Curriculum 2008-2009 TRACS site
•Tuesday, January 20: First day of classes, Spring 2009
•Friday, January 30: Recommendations to nominate faculty for the Mariel Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award due to dean
•Friday, January 30: Recommendations to nominate a staff member for the Mariel Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award due to director/chair/dean
•Friday, January 30, time TBA, FH 230: College Review Group meets
•Friday, February 13: Deadline to submit nominations for Presidential Awards for Excellence to the Dean
•Friday, February 13: Applications for Presidential Upper Level Scholarships due to departments
•Friday, February 13: Faculty and staff nominations for the Mariel Muir Mentoring Awards due to respective vice presidents
•Thursday, April 2, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theatre: Liberal Arts Awards Day
•Monday, May 4: Last day of classes, Spring 2009
•Friday, May 29: Department chairs review FY 2008-2009 student learning outcomes results
•Wednesday, June 10: Offline learning outcomes results due to the Dean
•By Tuesday, June 30: Student learning outcomes results approved by Dean and uploaded by the Dean's office
•By Friday, July 31: Learning outcomes action plans and evidence of improvement due online. Lock-down date for SACS materials.
•In September: University Strategic Plan Progress Report completed
•Thursday, September 10: Compliance certification due to SACS
•Wednesday, September 30: Program Student Learning Outcomes revisions reviewed by chairs/directors
•October-November: Off-site SACS review
•Friday, October 30: Program Student Learning Outcomes revisions to be reviewed by deans
•Monday, February 8, 2010: Quality Enhancement Plan due to SACS
•January-February: Texas State responds to off-site review
•March 22-25: On-site SACS peer review conducted
•December 1-7: Review by Commission on Colleges