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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

18 February 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230
(Approved at the 25 February 2009 meeting of Liberal Arts Council)

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

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 1-21-09 reviewed and approved (Student Computing Proposals, student civility, graduate faculty policies, grants policy for tenure and promotion, graduate student and faculty lines, action plans)

2. Congratulations. (a) To Octavio Pimentel (ENG), who has accepted an invitation to serve as one of only three faculty on the National Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship Committee. (b) To Kate Spradley (ANTH), whose exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, “Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century,” went on display February 7. The exhibit features “bone biographies” of Africans who lived near Chesapeake Bay. (c) To Alberto Giordano (GEO), recipient of a supplemental stipend that will fund a developmental leave Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. (d) To Jon Lohse (ANTH), awarded a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to support artifact analysis and curation at Fairfield Lake State Park. (e) To Sandra Mayo (MCGS) and Elvin Holt (ENG), featured together as “Rising Stars” on the Texas State home page, with an accompanying article on their project to preserve the history of black theatre in Texas. (f) To M. Glenn Taylor, graduate of the MFA Fiction program, announced as one of five finalists for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Awards. (g) To Geography PhD student Nancy Tian, who has been selected as one of a limited number of applicants to participate in a summer institute in Redlands, CA, on the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) software and discuss how it may be used in classrooms. (h) To Christina Fleuriet of the Liberal Arts Advising Center, named February’s Advisor of the Month by the University’s Academic Advising Assessment Team.

3. Liberal Arts in the news: (a) The Autumn/Winter 2008 issues of Texas State’s Hillviews includes feature-length articles on the projects of faculty in Liberal Arts: Jim Kimmel (GEO), Barbara Trepagnier (SOCI), Kent Reilly (ANTH), Gary Hartmann and Gregg Andrews (both HIST). The issue also features recent books by Robert Gorman and Edward Mihalkanin, Howard Balanoff (all POSI), Richard Warms (ANTH), Frank de la Teja (HIST), and James McWilliams (HIST), as well as the donation by Dr. Grady Early to support forensic research and the naming of Lydia Blanchard (ENG) as a Distinguished Professor of English Emerita. (b) The Times Higher Education (1/15) favorably reviewed Susan Morrison’s recent book, Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer’s Fecopoetics, praising it as a “spry and sparkling study” of medieval culture that establishes the “contiguities of the Middle Ages and today.” (c) The University Star (1/28) featured the growth of Texas State’s Arabic program under the direction of Amjad Mohammed, in Modern Languages. (d) The Victoria Advocate (2/5) featured Ronald Hagelman (GEO), who presented a lecture at Victoria College on the economic and environmental effects of the construction of a proposed nuclear power plant. (e) The Valentine’s issue of the Poetry Foundation’s online journal features views on writing love poetry by Cyrus Cassells (ENG) and reprints a poem, “Beautiful Signor,” from one his collections. (f) An article in The University Star (2/12) quotes Phil Suckling (GEO) and faculty senator Steve Wilson (ENG) on the effects of the economic downturn on endowments that support scholarships.

4. The Dean’s Thanks: (a) To Grady Early, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Emeritus, who has donated funds to support graduate scholarships for students using resources at The Grady Early Anthropology Forensic Research Laboratory. At a dedication ceremony on January 23, Dr. Early was recognized for his many contributions to the Anthropology department. (b) To Margaret Vaverek and staff at Alkek Library who have discovered historical materials related to the College and its departments and have made them accessible on Texas State’s eCommons ( Recent additions include a 1933 text on writing by
English Professor Gates Thomas, Dr. Ralph Houston’s history of the English department (Rosemary for Remembrance, 1979), and a collection of commencement addresses with contributions by Dr. Houston, as well former chairs and faculty in History, Dr. Betty Jane Kissler and Dr. Emmie Craddock.

4. The Whole Mind: 2009-2010 Common Experience. (handouts) Dr. Heather Galloway, Director of Honors and co-sponsor of the 2009-2010 Common Experience, visited Council to discuss next year’s theme, “The Whole Mind.” Dr. Galloway explained that the theme draws upon a recent book by Daniel Pink, The Whole New Mind, which identifies social, economic, and cultural changes that signal a broad shift from the “information Age” to the “Conceptual Age,” with students having corresponding new needs to perceive patterns and opportunities, render and appreciate artistic and emotional beauty, craft narratives, harmonize seemingly unrelated ideas, empathize, understand subtleties of interaction, have the capacity to experience joy, and stretch to new heights for purpose and meaning. Dr. Galloway distributed copies of Pink’s book, which will be provided this fall to all incoming first-year students, and she summarized a recent presentation by Pink to the Texas legislature on the importance of arts education. Dr. Galloway offered ideas about how the theme might be realized by activities in Liberal Arts departments; Dean Ellis stated her belief that the College will find many ways to support the theme.

Dean Ellis led Council in thanking Dr. Galloway for her informative presentation.

5. Planning. The Dean distributed a compilation of plans by Liberal Arts departments and centers for programs and hiring during 2009-2010. She emphasized opportunities for grants and contracts in all Liberal Arts programs. The plans from departments and centers will provide assistance as she prepares the College’s annual Progress Report for 2007-2008, related to the University’s Strategic Plan, 2004-2012. The Dean is also preparing to present the College’s five principal goals for 2009-2010 at the Dean’s Planning Forum, to be held February 27, 2:30 pm, Centennial Hall Teaching Theater.

6. Grants and contracts. Following upon the emphasis on planning for increased grants and contracts, Dean Ellis reviewed documents from the Office of Sponsored Projects showing the relative performance of the University’s Colleges in grants received, and she stated her goal that Liberal Arts will have a 20% increase in grants applied for and awarded during the upcoming academic year. Departments and faculty who contribute to meeting this goal are to receive additional support and merit awards. The Dean noted that two Liberal Arts departments will soon have policies to reward faculty for grant and contract activity, and she indicated that the College will develop an algorithm to reward faculty relative to factors such as the size, prestige, and source of the external funding.

7. New associate deans. The Dean announced the appointment of two new Associate Deans for 2009-2010, who will be joining Dr. Grayson this summer. Dr. Lucy Harney (Modern Languages) will assist with curriculum, planning, and assessment. Dr. Britt Bousman (Anthropology) will lead the College initiative to increase grants and contracts.

8. Curriculum issues. Dr. Lochman noted that two proposals related to program development had received unanimous approval at a recent meeting of the Liberal Arts Faculty Advisory Council and were ready for consideration by Liberal Arts Council. Drs. Suckling and Hennessy described the proposals briefly. Council voted unanimously to approve both proposals.

(a) Undergraduate / Graduate Certificate in Geography: Environmental
(b) 7000-level courses in English to support literacy tracks in two proposed
doctorates in Development Education

9. Stewardship of college resources. Dean Ellis urged Council members to review disbursements of graduate student funds and distributions of computers in the refresh cycle. She reminded departments and centers to provide receipts for all gifts and distributed a press release indicating the consequences of improper accounting of grant activities at a research institution.

Around the Table: Dean Ellis reported on several ongoing and new issues: summer budgets have been balanced; departmental websites can be linked to the College page as a way to feature outstanding awards and events; chairs especially should be aware of revisions to the University’s grievance policy and the policy concerning evaluation of deans. She noted that the Council of Academic Deans offered congratulations to Libby Allison, director of the MATC in English, whose development of a proposal to offer a substantial component of the degree through distance education led to revisions to the application form and procedures.

Dr. Ogletree reported that 15 students are preparing to graduate from the growing master’s program in Health Psychology this May.

Dr. Fischer commented on the use of online instruction in the United Kingdom, with a representative from the Open University, Jim Coleman, scheduled to speak at Texas State on March 26.

Dr. de la Teja urged Council to spread the word that a retired Apollo astronaut, Charlie Duke, will speak about the Apollo space program on April 7, 6:30 pm, in Taylor-Murphy 101.

Dr. Grayson noted that the deadline for applications for Outstanding Undergraduate
and Graduate Student Awards has been pushed back to February 26.

• Beginning January: Faculty online review (deadline March 1)
• Beginning January: Staff appraisals (deadline April 15)
• Friday, February 20, 5 pm: Deadline for chairs to review nominations for Liberal Arts Presidential Awards and complete ranking form
• 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
• Wednesday, February 25, 2 pm, FH 230: Liberal Arts Council meets
• Thursday, February 26: Deadline for departments / centers to provide Dean’s
office with the names and addresses of students to be recognized for
Academic Excellence at the Liberal Arts Awards Day ceremony
• Thursday, February 26, 5 pm: Revised deadline for departments / centers to forward one application / nomination packet for each Outstanding Undergraduate
and Graduate Student Award to the Dean’s office
• Friday, February 27, 2:30-5 pm, Centennial Hall Teaching Theater: Deans’ Forum, with 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
Teaching Award 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
• By Thursday, March 5: LAC to evaluate and rank applicants / nominees for
Outstanding Graduate / Undergraduate Student awards
• Friday, March 13: Deadline for applications for the undergraduate or graduate Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies Women’s Scholarship; the website of the Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies provides application details
• Wednesday, March 18: Deadline for applications for the 2009 Summer
Predoctoral Fellowship Program. Information and application details at
• Monday, March 23, 10 am: Deadline for nominees to turn in to the Liberal Arts office binders for Presidential Awards
• March 26, 5 pm: Automatic “W” deadline
• In April: University SACS Open Forum
• Thursday, April 2, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theatre: Liberal Arts Awards Day
• Friday, April 3: Distinguished Liberal Arts Alumni / Alumnae event
• Monday, April 13, 3-4:30, Derrick 111: Dean’s Open Door for faculty
• Wednesday, April 15: Staff appraisals due to Human Resources
• Thursday, April 16, 10-11:30, ELA 245: Dean’s Open Door for faculty
• Saturday, April 18, 10:15-12:15 pm, LBJ Student Center: Bobcat Day
• Thursday, April 23, 2-3:30, FH 313: Dean’s Open Door for staff
• Monday, May 4: Last day of classes, Spring 2009
• Friday, May 15, 6:00 pm, Strahan Coliseum: College of Liberal Arts
• 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