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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

4 June 2008, 2:00 pm, FH 230
(Approved at the meeting of Liberal Arts Council on 25 June 2008)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Frank Barrios, Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Dennis Dunn, Frank de la Teja, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Philip Suckling
Guests: Elizabeth Denton, Stephanie Sonnier

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 5-14-08 reviewed and approved (Liberal Arts ceremonies, criteria for Liberal Arts awards, graduate scholarship policy, General Education Council election, revised Liberal Arts Learning Outcomes for General Education courses, low productivity programs, reporting internal grants, facilities update, CAD update)

2. Congratulations. (a) To Lydia Blanchard (ENG), named Distinguished Professor Emerita by the Texas State Board of Regents. (b) To Anthropology student Marta Salazar, honored as a Preservation Fellow by the Texas Historical Commission. (c) To Gary Hartman, for favorable reception and widening syndication of his “This Week in Texas Music History” NPR program, archived at http://www.TexasMusic (d) To the Center for Texas Music History, which has been involved in publishing three books to be featured in an exhibit on Texas history and culture at the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. (e) To Dagoberto Gilb (ENG), who has adapted the script of a documentary, WRIT WRITER, about Texas prisoner Fred Cruz and his plea for habeas corpus. The documentary is to air on PBS’s Independent Lens on 6/3. (f) To Barbara Trepagnier (SOCI), who has been invited to deliver a keynote address at the Fall 2008 dialogue on racism at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (g) To the eleven Liberal Art faculty who supervised twelve Honors theses completed in Spring 2008: Reiko Graham (PSY), Jeff Gordon (PHIL), Christian Conlee (ANTH), Charles Arnold (POSI), Arnold Leder (POSI), Randall Osborne (PSY), Carole Martin (MLAN), Susan Day (SOCI), Brit Bousman (ANTH), Kevin Romig (GEO), and Nancy Wilson (ENG).

3. Liberal Arts in the News. (a) Both The Dallas Morning News (5/6) and The San Antonio Express News (5/16) cited Fred Day (GEO) as an expert in population geography in stories about an increasing numbers of retirees moving to the Texas Hill Country. (b) The Weekly Standard (6/2) referred to Susan Morrison (ENG) as the author of a forthcoming book and organizer of pioneering sessions on waste studies at the 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies.

4. The Dean’s Thanks. (a) To Dr. Frank Barrios, who has served as Chair of the Department of Psychology for two years. He has accepted a position as Dean of Liberal Arts at Southeast Missouri State University at Cape Girardeau. (b) To Ms. Elizabeth Denton, former Liberal Arts Development Officer, who has accepted a supervisory position in the development office at the University of North Texas. The Dean and Council thanked both for significant contributions to the College and to Texas State and wished them well in their new positions.

5. Grants and contracts. The Dean distributed data received from the Provost, who asks Liberal Arts to increase the number of proposals in all categories, including public service. Dean Ellis stated the faculty must submit more grant proposals as a first step toward increasing external funding. She urged faculty to think outside the box and suggested that, in addition to encouraging applications to federal and state agencies, they should consider designing innovative projects such as symposia or workshops that may be supported by foundations, private donors, or other non-traditional funding sources. She emphasized that proposal writers must report all funding requests on the University’s Grant Administration Management System (GAMS) to ensure that the University, College and department receive appropriate credit for existing grant activity. Such accuracy is important in that it affects the institution’s research status and may influence State funding allocations.

Council discussed ways of increasing the number of proposals. For instance, faculty already holding grants may develop more by collaborating when writing and administering new proposals and by seeking the assistance of the Liberal Arts Grants Assistant, Stephanie Sonnier. Council members also discussed factors that impede faculty from writing grants; several reported a need to clarify faculty rewards for successful grants during tenure, promotion, and merit reviews. They emphasized the many demands upon faculty time due to emphases upon high-quality teaching, the increased number of undergraduate and graduate students, and conducting and publishing high quality research. Dr. Suckling reported that one successful Texas State grant writer has calculated that grant proposals require an average of 200 hours to complete, a heavy workload on top of mentoring doctoral students and other required teaching, research, and service duties. Dean Ellis agreed that the College must clarify how grants are credited in tenure and promotion policies. She will draft a revision of the section of the College tenure and promotion policy concerning grants and bring it to the next meeting of Liberal Arts Council. Although Liberal Arts departments have different needs for and access to grants, Council will work this summer to identify common features in departmental policies and develop a framework for a College policy. The Dean asked Council members to consider resources the College needs to achieve a higher level of external funding.

Several Council members emphasized that the University’s tenure and promotion policies must also clarify the value accorded grant writing. Dean Ellis will call this to the Provost’s attention.

6. Review of out-of-cycle course proposals. Dr. McGee presented two proposed courses for out-of-cycle review, ANTH 5105 and ANTH 5395. He explained that the courses are important additions to the Anthropology MA program in that they offer institutional affiliation for important off-campus experiences and required research. Council approved the proposals unanimously.

7. NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Grayson reported that Dr. James Housefield (Art History), current holder of the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professorship, has taken a position at another institution beginning Fall 2008. The search for his successor will follow the regular three-year cycle set to begin this fall. Council discussed the on-campus search committee’s role in selecting external reviewers, as well as procedures for external reviewers, the review by chairs of humanities’ departments (English, History, Modern Languages, and Philosophy), and the role of the entire Council. The Professorship honors outstanding teaching as demonstrated by creative and thoughtful course design, outstanding assignments, awards, and student success, as well as the promise and quality of the applicants’ proposed activities.

8. Progress report on Undergraduate Classroom Building. Dean Ellis presented slides of plans for the new Undergraduate Classroom Building, including the site location and projected elevations. Construction is to begin this fall with completion scheduled in the spring of 2012.

9. CAD update. Council discussed potential obstacles to future doctoral programs. Also, Dean Ellis reported that representatives from Northeast Lakeview College have visited CAD to discuss the possibility of creating a MITC in San Antonio. In following up on a question at the meeting, Dean Ellis has learned that Texas State presently has no articulation agreement with Northeast Lakeview College. Micky Autrey, Director of Curriculum Services, indicated that developing an agreement would become a priority should the University decide to participate in a San Antonio MITC.

Around the Table

On behalf of Dr. Bill Covington, Associate Vice President for Research, Dean Ellis asked Council to consider Liberal Arts faculty members that may be featured in next year’s annual “Research Profile,” a brochure highlighting funded research activities at Texas State.
Dean Ellis also asked chairs to inform her of faculty whose achievements should be featured on the Liberal Arts website or other Texas State venues.
Dean Ellis noted that, after the College completes the distribution of merit, she will assist chairs as they review plans for the coming year and consider how she might support planning. She also asks Liberal Arts programs to continue to consider ways of improving their quality.


• May 30-June 20: Chairs and directors review Program Learning Outcomes Assessment Results
• May 30-June 30: Chairs and directors review General Education Outcomes Assessment Results at the “General Education” site on the Academic Development and Assessment website
• June 2-July 30: Summer Session I
• Monday, June 16: Chairs/directors who have programs identified as low-producing are to notify the Dean whether they are to be deleted or retained (with justification)
• Monday, June 16: Deadline for chairs to forward to Dr. Lochman lists of faculty-authored books published from 1/1/08 to 5/31/08
• Monday, June 16: Deadline for proposals to Parents’ Association FY09 Funding
• Monday, June 23: Summer II PCRs to Jamie
• Monday, June 30: Second year Student Learning Outcomes Assessment reviewed by Dean
• Monday, June 30: Dean reviews and approves results of Program Learning Outcomes assessment and General Education Outcomes Assessment Results; deadline for Dean to request changes to departmental general education outcomes and assessment
• Tuesday, July 1: Deadline to submit request to use faculty-authored materials in the fall session (2008). For information on the approval process see
• July 7- August 7: Summer Session II
• Friday, August 1: Deadline for Fulbright applications for traditional lecturing / research grants and for Fulbright Distinguished Chair awards
• Wednesday, August 20: LAC Retreat
• Tuesday, August 26: Convocation and College’s Fall Faculty Meeting
• Wednesday, August 27: Fall classes begin
• In September: University Strategic Plan Update completed
• In September: SACS Leadership Team appoints QEP Task Force, with plan to be completed in December
• Thursday, October 30: Student Learning Outcomes and Outcomes Assessment Revisions completed in departments
• Friday, January 16, 2009: Departments to mount proposals to change, add, and delete courses on LA Curriculum TRACS site
• Friday, May 29: Department chairs review third year Student Learning Outcomes Assessment results
• Thursday, September 10: Compliance certification due to SACS