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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

8 April 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230
(Approved at the 22 April 2009 meeting of Liberal Arts Council)

Presiding: Dean Ann Marie Ellis
Recording: Associate Dean Daniel Lochman
Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Dennis Dunn, Bob Fischer, Nancy Grayson, Michael Hennessy, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Shirley Ogletree, Philip Suckling
Guest: Yvette Morales

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 3-11-09 reviewed and approved (updates from Graduate College, comments on student learning outcomes, curriculum issues).

2. Congratulations. (a) To James McWilliams (HIST), who has been named the 2009 recipient of the $50,000 Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. (b) To Gene Bourgeois (HIST and Associate Provost), winner of the 2009 Outstanding Academic Advising Administrator award, presented by the Texas Academic Advising Network. (c) To departmental chair Phil Suckling and the Geography faculty, who have received approval from the College of General Education to include two meteorology courses to the natural science component of the core curriculum. (d) To Dr. Sandra Mayo and the Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies, for successfully changing the program name from U.S. Ethnic Studies to Diversity Studies. Congratulations to Dr. Mayo and the Center also for the successful launch of a new electronic periodical, Journal of Women and Gender. (e) To Carole Martin, Ulrich Bach, and Tanya Weimer (all MODL) for organizing the Tournées International Film Festival & Symposium, March 23-April 9. The event screened more than twenty films and included discussions led by many other Liberal Arts faculty. (f) To Gregg Andrews (HIST) for bringing to campus Gina Loring and a “slam poetry” program to close out March celebrations of National Women’s History Month and Diversity Month. (g) To Joseph Yick and Elizabeth Bishop (both HIST), each receiving awards to support summer research projects. (h) To Cyrus Cassells (ENG), featured as a “rising star” on the Texas State home page for his new collection of poetry on World War II resistance to fascism. (i) To the large contingent of English faculty (Paul Cohen, Rebecca Jackson, Jaime Mejia, Michael Noll, Stephanie Noll, and Octavio Pimentel) and MA and MARC students (Jenna Allen, Andrew Besa, Gina Guzman, Yazmin Lazcano, Blanca Loya, Sarah Olivas, and Bettina Ramon) who presented papers at the 2009 Conference on College Composition and Communication in San Francisco. (j) To Debra Monroe (ENG), who has received the Foundations of Excellence Award for outstanding teaching, from the Student Foundation. (k) To Steven L. Davis, graduate of the English BA and MA programs, since 1997 Assistant Curator of the Wittliff Southwestern Writers Collection, and author of one book and editor of two others; he will be inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters April 17-18. (l) To December 2008 German/Geography graduate Jessica Spangler, who has received a Fulbright to study in Germany, to Valentina Glajar (MODL), the student Fulbright program advisor and to the selection committee. (m) To Geography graduate students Xingjian Lu (First Place in the Student Paper Competition, Ben Zahn advisor), Jiao Wang (Nate Currit advisor), A. Case Watkins (Ron Hagelman advisor), and Clayton Whitesides (David Butler advisor), all of whom won awards at the recent American Association of Geographers conference.

3. Liberal Arts in the news. (a) US News and World Report (3/23) cited William Ruger (POSI) as co-author of a study ranking the states according to degrees of freedom. (b) The recently published book by Susan Morrison, Excrement in the Middle Ages, has received favorable comments in the 3/9/09 issue of The Medieval Review and the February issue of the scientific journal Practical Gastroenterology, the latter recommending the book to gastroenterologists interested in the history of human waste and physicians interested in biomass, biodiversity, and the interactions of intestinal flora with the human body. (c) The Russian news magazine Smart Money (3/10) interviewed Dennis Dunn (HIST) concerning US-Russian relations. (d) The University Star (3/31) interviewed Faculty Senators Sally Caldwell (SOCI) and Steve Wilson (ENG) regarding a recent emendation of the writing intensive requirement. (e) In the same issue, The University Star interviewed Debra Monroe (ENG) concerning the relation of effort to quality in the determination of student grades.

4. The Dean’s Thanks: To Pam Lemoine, Ann Friou, Matt Greengold, Emily Edwards, and all others who helped to plan and set up the successful Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni fundraising event at the Headliners Club in Austin.

5. Review of 2009 Liberal Arts Awards Day and Distinguished Alumni Event. Council discussed two recent College events. Concerning Awards Day on 2 April, discussion concerned this year’s good student participation and thoughts about increasing the level next year. Ms. Morales and chairs discussed reasons for some mis-sorted award certificates and possible alternative venues for recognizing students’ achievement and concluded that the current format should continue since it is efficient and well organized. The Dean and several chairs commented on students’ and parents’ expressions of appreciation for the ceremony. Council discussed ways to simplify the calculation of GPAs to determine students eligible for the Dean’s Excellence Awards. Members noted that Karen Bryson, administrative assistant in English, has provided Kathy Scott, the Dean’s administrative assistant, and the departments with procedures outlining how to use spreadsheets to simplify the calculations. Concerning the Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni event on 3 April, the Dean expressed her thanks to all for their support. Council commented favorably on the Dean’s detailed planning, the quality of the arrangements, and the pleasant experience of meeting the distinguished alumni, learning about their achievements, and hearing the positive influences of Texas State and Liberal Arts faculty.

6. Proposed Fitness and Performance policy. Council discussed a proposal circulated by the Graduate College, outlining policies and procedures for students who have difficulty completing graduate programs due to social, emotional, or other causes. Council discussed the proposal and expressed concerns that Dean Ellis will convey to Dean Willoughby.

7. Representatives for the Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council. Dean Ellis and Dr. Grayson proposed enlarging the number of students on the Advisory Council to assure representation at meetings. Dr. Grayson pointed out the usefulness to the Dean of the advice provided by student members of the Council and of the Council as a means of communicating College decisions to student leaders. Council unanimously approved Dr. Grayson’s recommendation that the 2009-2010 Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council consist of any elected Associated Student Government officers from Liberal Arts as well as two (rather than one) representative from each department.

8. Curricular procedures. Dr. Lochman distributed a handout identifying College procedures for the review of course proposals during the regular cycle. He will forward an electronic version of the same to departmental chairs.

9. Faculty-authored book lists. Dr. Lochman distributed handouts with information about criteria and formats for submission of 2008-2009 lists of faculty-authored books. He will submit the same in electronic form to Council members. He asked that chairs forward to him (dl02) and to Emily Edwards (ee1072) spreadsheets using the new format by May 15 so that the lists may be reviewed and compiled prior to the College’s June 1 deadline for submitting the composite list to the Provost’s office.

Around the Table:

The Dean announced that she is pursuing questions about private gifts; will be working on several chairs’ required four-year summative evaluations; and is requesting that chairs not submitting summative evaluations forward to her reports according to the usual format, which she will forward to them.

• Beginning January: Staff appraisals (deadline April 15)
• 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
• Tuesday, April 24, 5 pm: Deadline to submit proposal for one-time Equity and Access funds to Dr. Cecilio Barrera at
• By Friday, May 1: Submit all Mini-session PCRs to Jamie
• Monday, May 4: Last day of classes, Spring 2009
• Monday, May 11: Deadline to submit proposal to, in order to participate in the Summer 2009 Technology Integration Workshop, to be conducted August 3-7, 10-14. For information, see the ITS website.
• By Friday, May 15: Submit all Summer Session I PCRs to Jamie
• Friday, May 15: Deadline to submit department-specific survey items to accompany Undergraduate and Graduate Alumni Surveys; forward survey items to Susan Thompson in the Institutional Research Office.
• Friday, May 15, 5 pm: Deadline for departments to submit lists of faculty authored books (from summer 2008-May 2009) to and
• Friday, May 15, 6:00 pm, Strahan Coliseum: College of Liberal Arts
• By Friday, May 29: Submit all Summer Session II PCRs to Jamie
• Friday, May 29: Department chairs review and approve 2008-2009 student learning outcomes results, action plans, and evidence of improvement
• Monday, June 1: Deadline to submit Liberal Arts list of faculty-authored books to the Provost
• 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.
• Wednesday, August 19: Liberal Arts Retreat
• 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