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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

Minutes of the Liberal Arts Council Meeting
2 December 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney

Council Members: Nancy Grayson, Vicki Brittain, Shirley Ogletree, Philip Suckling, Bob Fischer, Vince Luizzi, Susan Day, Mike Hennessy, Frank de la Teja, Dennis Dunn, Britt Bousman

Guest: Milt Nielsen

1. Congratulations: a) to Valentina Glajar (MODL), Texas State’s student Fulbright Program Advisor Texas State was recently named a Top Producing Fulbright Institution by The Chronicle of Higher Education (10/19; Texas State was one of only four master’s institutions with an award rate of 100%, with both of our applicants receiving Fulbright fellowships for 2009-2010; b) to both Valentina Glajar and Steve Wilson (ENG), faculty Fulbright Program Advisor: Texas State’s Fulbright Program was mentioned as exemplary at the recent National Fulbright workshop in San Francisco; c) to Ollie Seay (PSY) for being appointed to Texas Health and Human Services Commission's Integration of Health and Behavioral Health Workgroup, which will be making recommendations to the Texas Legislature regarding policy, training, and service delivery to promote the integration of health and behavioral health services in Texas; d) to Dennis Dunn and the Asian Studies Board for hosting a dinner (10/22) and workshop (12/23) on Asian Studies involving donors, board members, and faculty from across the campus; e) to Pat Shields (POSI) who will be awarded the Faculty Senate’s Swinney Teaching Award at the 2010 University Convocation; f) to Jimmy McWilliams (HIST) for being honored as the 41st Presidential Seminar Award Recipient at a reception (10/27) in the JCK Reed Parr Room; g) to Ross King (IS Board of Advisors) for being honored as a Texas State Distinguished Alumnus at a reception hosted by Dennis Dunn and Dean Ellis in Flowers 230 (10/30); h) to Dick Boehm and Osvaldo Muniz (both GEO) for their participation (via Skype) as presenters for the Annual Research Forum of the British Sub-Committee of the International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education: “Learning from International Perspectives on Geographical Education” (10/17, U. of London); i) to Alberto Giordano (GEO) for being awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study the geography of the Holocaust; j) to Sasha Rangel (student, SOC/MODL) for receiving the Outstanding Achievement in International Education Award for 2009; k) to Nathan Pino (SOC) for serving as keynote speaker for 2009: Recognizing Achievements in International Education; l) to Rich Earl (GEO) for being selected to attend the AASHE Workshop as a representative of the Texas State faculty; the workshop, entitled “Incorporating Sustainability into the Curriculum,” will be held in January at Emory University in Atlanta; m) to Ben Arnold (POSI) and students Krystal Thomason, Jodee Bruce, Michael Dimitri, Elaine Sims, Mandy Domaschk, Javier Reyes, and Aimee Furry for awards and honors received at the Model Organization of American States student competition in San Antonio; n) to Lawrence Estaville (GEO) for being awarded the Distinguished Ethnic Geography Career Achievement Award by the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) by the unanimous vote of the Honors Committee. This is the highest honor bestowed on an individual specializing in ethnic geography and recognizes exemplary and continuous contributions in scholarship and service to ethnic geography over a professional career. He will be recognized for this award both in Washington, D.C. during the AAG meetings in April 2010 and in Binghamton during the 2010 REP V Conference in October.

2. Liberal Arts in the News: a) Valentina Glajar’s (MODL) co-translation of 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature Recipient Herta Müller is listed on the author’s bibliography on the Nobel Prize web site ( Traveling on One Leg / translated from the German, Reisende auf einem Bein, by Valentina Glajar and André Lefevere, Northwestern U.P. 1998; b) Texas State’s status as a Top Producing Fulbright Institution was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (print 10/19, also, posted on the University web site (10/21), and mentioned in the President’s newsletter: From the Hill (11/24); c) News 8 Austin (10/19 and aired a report in which Pam Showalter (GEO) was interviewed regarding the newly-established Texas State Flash Flood Laboratory; d) the University web site (10/22) announced that Alire Sáenz and Carmen Tafolla have been awarded this year´s Tomás Rivera Children´s Book award, given in honor of the Texas State Distinguished Alumnus (ENG/ED); e) novelist and endowed chair Tim O’Brien (ENG, MFA) published an essay (“Fenced In”) in the November issue of the Smithsonian magazine ( about his father, his youth, and a recent return to his home town. The University web site (10/19) announced Tim’s reading and book signing in the Wittliff Collections (11/3); f) the University web site (10/28) announced the “Poetry and Music Festival for Peace” hosted by Modern Languages and sponsored by Sigma Delta Pi (Hispanic Honor Society) in memory of alumnus Daniel Frouman (10/29) g) the University web site (10/29) announced that public history graduate students working with Dan Utley (HIST) are embarking on a long-term project to catalogue, record, and preserve oral histories and artifacts from people associated with the former Aquarena Springs Resort; h) the University web site (10/30) announced the poetry reading: “My Mind Has a Mind of Its Own” and live jazz performance hosted by English and the University Honors Program as part of the Common Experience (11/4, Lampasas); i) the University Star (10/29 “A Celebration of the Dead”) reported on an event in commemoration of the Day of the Dead (“Día de los Muertos: Celebración”) co-sponsored by Rincón Hispano Universitario (Spanish Club) and the University Honors Program (10/28, Lampasas); event organizer Beatriz Gomez (IS junior) was interviewed; j) the University web site featured Alberto Giordano (GEO) as a Rising Star, and the student profiles of Robert Hensley (IS) and Bliss Wilson (PSY); k) the University web site (11/3) and the Austin American Statesman (11/7) announced that Michael Collins, director of the Gault archeological site, will join the Department of Anthropology as a research professor; l) the University web site (11/4) and the University Star (11/5) announced that the Department of Anthropology and the Public History Program would sponsor a talk by author and archeologist, Thomas F. King, on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart (11/11, 7:00, TMH 101); m) the University Star (11/5) interviewed Dean Ellis about the University’s possible smoking ban (“Prospective Smoking Ban in the Works”); n) the University Star (11/5) announced that the English department would co-sponsor “Katherine Anne Porter, A Driving Desire,” a performance by actress Pennylyn White, at the Wittliff Collections (11/14, 7:00); o) the University Star (11/17) reported on ZZ Packer’s (ENG) recent reading from her short story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, at the Katherine Ann Porter House; she and English senior, Melanie Moore, were interviewed; p) the University Star published a report in which Jimmy McWilliams (HIS) was interviewed regarding his publications addressing the locally-grown food trend, most notably his recent book, Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (Hachette 2009); q) the University web site (11/24) announced that Sasha Rangel (student, SOC/MODL) received the Outstanding Achievement in International Education Award.

3. Grant/Contract Awards: Awards: a) Dick Boehm (GEO): grant funding from the National Geographic Society Education Foundation for a Texas 2009-2010 Alliance Planning Grant; b) Sociology graduate students Dorian Hinterlong, Nick LaLone, Jamie Hornbuckle, and Tina Villarreal (students of Dr. Jonathan Wivagg) submitted a winning grant to the Equity and Access Diversity Initiative; c) Jon Lohse (ANTH): grant funding from the Texas Historical Commission to conduct a cultural resources survey of Fort Griffin (State Historic Site), from the City of San Marcos to conduct an archeological study of Spring Lake Preserve, from the City of Kyle Parks and Recreation Department to conduct a cultural resources survey of the proposed Plum Creek Preserve and Nature Trail, and from the City of San Marcos to Survey Craddock Lane; d) Howard Balanoff (POSI): grant funding from the Swedish National Defense College for Professional Development Training

4. Faculty Workload Reports: Dean Ellis provided chairs with faculty workload reports and asked that they be distributed to faculty.

5. CAD Update:
• Dean Ellis has emailed the new UPPS regarding discretionary funding to chairs/directors and asked for their review and feedback.

• The mini-session will likely be eliminated effective 2011, which will provide a more efficient calendar as we adjust to two “reading days” before final exams.

• Due dates for semester grades will be Sunday after finals at 7 pm.

Chairs expressed concern over the ongoing alterations to the academic calendar, especially regarding the scheduling of class times. Dr. Day asked that chairs be consulted in this process.

6. Strategic Planning: Dean Ellis distributed and reviewed updates to the “Overarching Strategic Goals” of the Liberal Arts Academic Plan.

A. Provost’s Review of Master’s Degree Needs: Dean Ellis distributed compiled responses from chairs regarding predictions for social change in the future and suggestions for new graduate programs or certificates that would address these changes. Committee members helped Dean Ellis compose a tentative list of new graduate programs to correspond to these social trends: increasing globalization and internationalization, growing demand and capacity for distance learning, technological expansion, a wide-spread emphasis on sustainability, an aging population, increasing demand for career development, an ongoing emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism including a recognition of new social arrangements, an increasing demand for interdisciplinary skill sets, and a growing need to analyze systems and events for their ethical implications.

Chairs discussed the potential advantages and disadvantages of certificate programs. It was noted that graduate certificate programs can help recruit graduate students to master’s programs. Some concern was expressed that students in certain disciplines might confuse the academic certificate with a professional certificate. Chairs also noted the problems that can arise with interdisciplinary graduate programs when students without sufficient background enroll in graduate courses. Concern was also expressed that new graduate programs might provide undue competition with existing graduate programs.

Dean Ellis asked that chairs/directors email her before next week’s meeting those courses that might be appropriate for a prospective master’s degree in Liberal Arts. After further discussion on new graduate programs at the 12/9 meeting Dean Ellis will frame a memo to the Provost summarizing the committee’s process, predictions, and graduate program proposals.

B. Research Mission Statement, Outcomes, and Targets: Dr. Bousman distributed the Sponsored Programs Expenditure and Proposal Activity Report for Fiscal Year 2009 and the updated version of the Research Outcomes for Liberal Arts. He noted that, per Mike Blanda’s 2008 audit, the mission statement has been adapted to focus more explicitly on research, and performance targets have been included in each method.

The committee members approved the changes to the Research Outcomes document. Dr. Bousman will send the updated outcomes to Mike Blanda for review. After they have been uploaded to the academic outcomes web site, Dr. Harney will audit the document and Dean Ellis will approve the final version.

7. Review of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Application Materials for Byron Augustin: Committee members approved the forwarding of the recommendation of Dr. Augustin for the honor of Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

8. Political Science Proposal: Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training: Dean Ellis distributed the proposal and asked chairs to review for discussion on 12/9.

9. Departmental Policy on Converting Adjuncts to Senior Lecturers: Dean Ellis distributed the policy developed by Modern Languages and asked chairs to review for discussion on 12/9.

10. Instructional Technologies Update: Dr. Milt Nielsen distributed a hand-out (Semester Review of ITS) and briefed the committee on current and future initiatives of the office of Instructional Technologies Support.

Additional issues addressed by chairs and Dr. Nielsen included the feasibility of installing Netflix Viewer on classroom computers, the frequent need for software upgrades in English’s computer labs, video conferencing alternatives to Skype, and the plan to install Windows 7 on all new computers.

The meeting was adjourned.


Chair/Director/Faculty Deadlines:

• December 18: Deadline for nominations for Distinguished Professor Emeritus/Emerita
• January 15: Proposals for course changes, additions, and deletions due to TRACS site: LA Curriculum 09-10
• January 15: 2009 reports due to Academic Computer User Committee
• January 22: Deadline for requests for replacement of lab computers (consult Liberal Arts committee representative Marc Turner: 5-3159 or
• January 29: Deadline for nominations for Outstanding Student Employees
• January 31: Deadline for nominations for Mariel Muir Mentoring Excellence Awards
• February 12: Deadline for nominations for Presidential Awards for Excellence
• March 31: Dean completes FARS certification
• April 1: Deadline to apply to use faculty-authored materials in Summer 2010 (
• May 29: 2009-2010 Academic Affairs Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results reviewed/approved by chairs/directors
• July 1: Deadline to apply to use faculty-authored materials in Fall 2010 (


• December 17: Liberal Arts Holiday Luncheon
• December 19: Liberal Arts Commencement (10:00, Strahan)

Professional Development:

• May 21-25: Technology Workshop (w/stipend): Creating Your Online Course
• May 24-28: Technology Workshop: Technoshop
• August 2-13: Technology Workshop (w/$1,200 stipend): Integrating Technology (Proposals by May 11; information at

SACS Information:

• January-February: Texas State responds to off-site SACS review
• February 8: Quality Enhancement Plan due to SACS
• March 23-25: On-site SACS peer review conducted
• May 29: 2009-2010 Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results reviewed/approved by chairs/directors
• June 15: 2009-2010 Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results audited by Associate Deans for Academic Assessment
• June 30: 2009-2010 Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results reviewed/approved by Deans
• December 1-7: Review by Commission on Colleges


• December: Online Full-time Job Fair (
• December 2-3, 7-10, 14-17: Extended Walk-in Career Coaching (LBJ 5th floor Career Library)