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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

11 March 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230
(Approved at the 8 April 2009 meeting of Liberal Arts Council)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Susan Day, Dennis Dunn, Lucy Harney for Bob Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Jeff Gordon for Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Shirley Ogletree, Philip Suckling
Guest: Sandhya Rao

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 2-25-09 reviewed and approved (strategic planning, endowments, learning outcomes and methods, curriculum issues).

2. Congratulations. (a) To the Texas Center for Music History and Gary Hartman (HIST), who co-sponsored a Western Swing Concert. Dr. Hartman’s band, Lone Star Swing, joined members of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys before a capacity audience in the LBJ Student Center ballroom. (b) To Walter Wright (POSI), who received the 2009 Susanne C. Adams Award from the Texas Association of Mediators. The award recognizes exceptional and outstanding efforts to promote or further the use of mediation in Texas.

3. Liberal Arts in the news. (a) US News and World Report (3/5), Science Daily (3/5), and University of Florida News (3/5) all featured the results of a study of the impairment of older adults due to drinking, co-authored by Natalie Ceballos (PSY). The authors are scheduling a series of interviews on radio and other media. (b) The University Star (3/10) featured the Texas Geography Student Research Symposium on 3/6, with quotations by student presenters Tara Noah and Veronica Urzua and reference to Regents’ Professor Byron Augustin (GEO), who delivered the plenary address. (c) The University Star (3/10) also reported on the development of a Faculty Senate Honor Council charged with revising the University’s Honor Code; the article cited the views of Council chair Rebecca Bell-Metereau (ENG) as well as Faculty Senate members Steve Wilson (ENG) and Sally Caldwell (SOCI).

4. Updates from the Graduate College. Dean Ellis welcomed Dr. Sandhya Rao in her new position as Assistant Dean of the Graduate College. Dr. Rao visited Council to learn about issues important to Liberal Arts. Chairs noted the need for (a) an increased number of graduate assistantships; (b) graduate assistant salaries competitive with those offered nationally; (c) additional scholarships to offset tuition costs and better compete with programs in states that reduce or waive tuition; (d) accurate DARS reports; and (e) better publication of the consequences to financial aid when graduate students drop below a full load after the twelfth class-day. Council also expressed a need for more efficient communication between the Graduate College and program advisers, more rapid processing of applications particularly in competitive programs, and cross-training of Graduate College staff to avoid delays due to absent personnel.

Dr. Rao drew attention to the upcoming Graduate Research Symposium on March 26. It will feature concurrent sessions of graduate student papers, as well as poster presentations and a plenary session with Texas State faculty presenting issues related to professions. Dr. Rao noted that this year’s symposium features twenty-five student papers and that, in the future, she intends to expand that number and enhance our national reputation by attracting students from universities outside Texas. Dr. Suckling suggested that the Graduate College might coordinate the date of its symposium with similar events hosted by departments: Geography recently hosted its own symposium, with students attending from universities such as Texas Tech and Sam Houston State, as well as high school students. Dr. Rao stated that she is planning a Graduate College newsletter that will highlight events such as the Symposium and provide information about alumni.

Dean Ellis and Council thanked Dr. Rao for considering the views of Liberal Arts programs and providing helpful information.

5. Liberal Arts Academic Plan, 2009 Update. Item will return to agenda when all chairs are present.

6. Comments on student learning outcomes. Dr. Lochman distributed materials received at a meeting of the Council of Associate Deans for Academic Assessment. These included critiques of Liberal Arts programs’ assessment outcomes and methods for 2008-2009, following their review by external consultants last fall. Chairs and directors are to review the comments and address them as they develop action plans and revise outcomes and methods for the 2009-2010 assessment cycle.

7. Civility Statement. Council reviewed a draft statement on civil behavior for the College of Liberal Arts. A subcommittee including Drs. Day, Hennessy, and Luizzi presented and led a discussion of the draft policy. Dr. Day noted that many policies related to civility already exist; the College policy brings these together in a single place. After discussion, Council unanimously approved the statement following and directed that it be forwarded to Ms. Ann Friou, Liberal Arts’ Communications Consultant, with the request that it be placed on the college website:

College of Liberal Arts
Statement on Civil Behavior
“Creating a Culture of Learning”

A Culture of Learning
A culture of learning requires that all members of the university community act in ways that promote intellectual and moral growth. Texas State’s Honor Code states what it means for us to be conscientious, respectful, and honest:

Being Honest
The College of Liberal Arts joins the university in its strong endorsement of academic honesty and follows the university’s policy for dealing with acts of dishonesty:

Being Conscientious and Respectful
The College of Liberal Arts also supports the university’s commitment to civility. Conduct that is not conscientious or respectful undermines a culture of learning, just as acts of dishonesty do. The following university policy gives examples of unacceptable conduct and sets out ways of responding to such conduct (responses may involve a faculty member, Student Justice, or the University Police Department):

The College of Liberal Arts expects that students will practice civil behavior both in the classroom and in all academic spaces.

Council noted that course syllabi can link to the statement.

8. Curriculum issues: signatures and final revisions to course proposal forms. Dr.
Lochman distributed Liberal Arts course proposals for 2009-2010 for chairs’
signatures and final edits. The forms are to be forwarded to the Curriculum
Coordinator by April 1.

Around the Table:

Dr. Grayson announced the Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Students in Liberal Arts.

• Beginning January: Staff appraisals (deadline April 15)
• Friday, March 13: Deadline for applications for the Multicultural and Gender Studies Women’s Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students; find application details at the website for the Center for Multicultural and
Gender Studies
• 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 Liberal Arts Presidential Award nominees to turn in 3-inch binders to the Dean’s office
• Thursday, March 26, 1-4:30 pm, JCK 1100: Vice Presidents and Director of Athletics’s Open Forum on planning
• Thursday, March 26, 5 pm: Automatic “W” deadline
• Monday, March 30: Applications for Presidential Upper Level Scholarships due from departments to the Dean’s office
• In April: University SACS Open Forum
• Wednesday, April 1: Completed course proposal forms due to Jennifer Jahns in JCK 1040
• Wednesday, April 1, 2 -3:30, JCK 623: Budget Training for Liberal Arts Council
• Thursday, April 2, 6 pm, Alkek Teaching Theatre: Liberal Arts Awards Day
• Friday, April 3: Distinguished Liberal Arts Alumni / Alumnae event
• Monday, April 6: Stephen Sheeley, SACS Liaison to Texas State, on campus
• 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