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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

21 January 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230
(Approved at the meeting of Liberal Arts Council on 18 February 2009)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Dennis Dunn, Bob Fischer, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Shirley Ogletree, Philip Suckling
Guests: Jenni Small, Marc Turner

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 1-14-09 reviewed and approved (Liberal Arts Mission Statement, student mental health, endowments and case statements, CAD updates)

2. Congratulations. (a) To Alberto Giordano, Mark Fonstad, and Sven Fuhrman in Geographic Information Science (all GEO); Michelle Hamilton (ANTH) and the faculty in Anthropology; and Gary Hartman (HIST) at the Center for Texas Music History for being asked to make encore presentations to alumni and friends at 2009 Texas State Day, April 24. (b) To Lynn Denton (HIST), director of the Public History program, for organizing with the Texas Historical Commission an excellent two-day symposium, “Preservation and the Balanced Community,” and to Frank de la Teja (HIST) for a great keynote speech.

3. Liberal Arts in the news: (a) Alberto Giordano (GEO) will be featured in a Texas State ad scheduled to appear in the March 2009 Texas Monthly. (b) University News Service featured the Public History Program’s January 14-15 symposium on historic preservation. (b) The Los Angeles Times (1/5) favorably reviewed the album Undone: A Musicfest Tribute to Robert Earl Keen produced by the Texas Center for Music History; the reviewer commented, “If all higher-education programs were as lively and illuminating as this one, university enrollment would mushroom.”

4. Student Computing Proposals. Dr. Marc Turner, the new Liberal Arts representative on the Academic Computing Committee, summarized the Committee’s priorities guiding this year’s review of Student Computing Proposals. Council reviewed and rated five proposals presented by Liberal Arts departments and forwarded all to the Dean for her review.

5. Student civility. Dean Ellis cited recent events demonstrating the need for student civility in our classrooms. She proposed developing a College policy on standards and procedures to encourage civility. When developed, the policy will be added to the Liberal Arts page of students’ catalogs; advising sessions and electronic media may be used to obtain students’ agreement to adhere to the policy. The Liberal Arts website will be updated to clarify existing procedures for students who have complaints about instruction. The Dean asked Council to forward comments to Susan Day and Vince Luizzi, who are to draft a proposal with Michael Hennessy’s assistance. The proposal will return to a future Council meeting for review and approval. Action on the proposal must be prompt since approval is needed in March if policy is take effect this summer.

6. Graduate faculty policies. Dean Ellis reminded Council that Dr. Willoughby, Dean of the Graduate College, has called for a review of departmental policies governing applications and standards for graduate faculty. To provide a point of reference for this review, the Dean distributed the policy of the Department of English. The Dean asked each department to review its policy for applications to graduate faculty, compare it to the policy in English, and share it with other departments. On another matter, chairs noted that they lacked administrative approval of Fall 2008 Workload Reports; Dean Ellis will make an inquiry.

7. Grants policy for tenure and promotion. Dean Ellis recalled that Liberal Arts Faculty Advisory Council has discussed possible revisions to the College policy relating to funded, sizeable grants during review of faculty for tenure and promotion. Following discussion, she determined to return the issue to a future meeting of the Faculty Advisory Council.

8. College planning: graduate and faculty lines. The Dean asked chairs to forward to her the number of new graduate, staff, and faculty lines, if any, needed to address increased undergraduate and graduate enrollments. She urged Council to send her advice concerning this issue and others related to the College’s update of its planning priorities.

9. Learning outcomes: action plans. Council reviewed a handout and discussed SACS’s emphasis upon student activities in departments’ action plans.

Around the Table:

The Dean asked chairs to remind faculty and students that departments are to notify Ted McKinnon, Vice President for University Advancement, of all development activities; she also provided additional information concerning the Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumnae / Alumni event on April 3.

The Dean also reviewed general procedures for the upcoming meeting of College Review Group and discussed development issues.

Dr. Suckling inquired about the status of applications for 2009-2010 Professional
Development Leaves.

Dr. Hennessy commented on the recent discovery by Alkek library staff of a book
authored in 1933 by Gates Thomas of the English department, Getting and
Communicating Thought. The guide for use in first-year composition appeared
appeared in a scholarly journal and was subsequently published by Southwest Texas
State Teachers’ College. The book has been archived at the library’s
E-commons website.

• Beginning January: Call for proposals for University Public Lecture Series
• Beginning January: Faculty online review (deadline March 1)
• Beginning January: Staff appraisals (deadline April 15)
• Friday, January 9 to Monday, January 26: Departmental personnel committees
review untenured continuing faculty on first year contract (decision and
documentation due to Dean February 2)
• From January 10 to January 25: Departments vote on recommendations for
tenure-track faculty in the first year of contracts
• Wednesday, January 21, 2 pm, FH 230: LAC meets to review Student Computing Proposals: chairs bring twelve copies of descriptions and budgets of each proposal
• Friday, January 23: Deadline for College to submit Student Computing Proposals to IT
• Friday, January 30, 2-4 pm, FH 230: College Review Group meets
• Monday, February 2: Recommendations for Faculty Mariel Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award due to dean; recommendations for Staff Mariel Muir Excellence Mentoring Award due to director / chair / dean
• Monday, February 2: Deadline for departments to forward decisions and documentation concerning tenure-track faculty in first year of contract to the Dean
• Monday, February 2: Deadline for departments and centers to return to Dan Lochman updated templates showing progress in the University Plan, 2007-2008
• Tuesday, February 3, 2-5 pm, LBJ Student Center Ballroom: Graduate College Information Day for Texas State junior and senior undergraduates
• Tuesday, February 3: Chairs to inform in writing tenure-track faculty in the first contract year of departments’ recommendations and to place copies of letters in personnel files
• Friday, February 6, 3-4:30, FH 229: LA Faculty Advisory Council meets to begin review of course proposals in the regular cycle
• Wednesday, February 11: Dean to complete forms for untenured faculty in first contract year and submit one copy to the Provost
• 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: Staff nominations for the Mariel Muir Mentoring Awards due to respective vice presidents
• Friday, February 13, 3-4:30 pm, FH 229: LA Faculty Advisory Council meets to continue review of course proposals in regular cycle (if needed)
• Monday, February 16: Deadline to submit updates to College plans to Dr. Lochman
• Saturday, February 21, 10:15-12:15 pm, LBJ Student Center: Bobcat Day
• Monday, February 23: Deadline for College to submit updated University Plan, 2007-2008, to University Planning and Assessment
• Friday, February 27, place & time TBA: Deans’ Forum: updates to Academic Plans
• Friday, February 27: Deadline for nominations for the LBJ Outstanding Senior Student Award. Nomination forms are available at
• Friday, February 27: Deadline for nominations for the Alumni Association’s TeachingAward of Honor. Nomination forms available at
• Friday, February 27: Deadline for Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award. Nomination forms available at
• By Friday, February 27: Complete faculty online review
• Monday, March 2: Deadline for nominations for the Sallie Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman for 2008-2009. For information and nomination forms, see
• Wednesday, March 4: Deadline to forward applications for Texas State University System’s Regents Professor Award. Send to the attention of Dr. Cathy Fleuriet in the Office of the Provost
• Wednesday, March 18: Deadline for applications for the 2009 Summer Predoctoral Fellowship Program. Information and application details at
• In April: University SACS Open Forum
• Thursday, April 2, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theatre: Liberal Arts Awards Day
• Wednesday, April 15: Staff appraisals due to Human Resources
• Saturday, April 18, 10:15-12:15 pm, LBJ Student Center: Bobcat Day
• Monday, May 4: Last day of classes, Spring 2009
• Friday, May 15, 6:00 pm, Strahan Coliseum: College of Liberal Arts Commencement
• Friday, May 29: Department chairs review and approve 2008-2009 student learning outcomes results, action plans, and evidence of improvement
• Wednesday, June 15: Offline learning outcomes results, action plans, and evidence of improvement due to the Dean’s office for review by the Associate Dean
• By Tuesday, June 30: Student learning outcomes results, action plans, and evidence of improvement approved by Dean and uploaded to the SACS site by the Dean's office. Lock-down date for SACS materials.
• September 30: Revisions to Academic Affairs Learning Outcomes and Methods for 2009-2010 reviewed by chairs/directors
• September 30: Revisions to General Education Learning Outcomes and Methods reviewed by chairs’ directors prior to approval by the Dean of University College and General Education Council
• In September: University Strategic Plan Progress Report completed
• In September: Planning session for all departments undergoing Academic Program Review in 2010
• Thursday, September 10: Compliance certification due to SACS
• Wednesday, September 30: Program Student Learning Outcomes revisions reviewed by chairs/directors
• Wednesday, September 30: General Education Student Learning Outcomes and Methods of Assessment reviewed by chairs/directors prior to being approved by the Dean of University College and General Education Council
• October-November: Off-site SACS review
• Friday, October 30: Revisions to Academic Affairs Learning Outcomes and Methods reviewed by deans
• Friday, October 30: Revised General Education Learning Outcomes and Methods of Assessment reviewed by Dean of University College and General Education Council
• 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