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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

16 September 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230

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

Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Dennis Dunn (for Frank de la Teja) Nancy Grayson, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Shirley Ogletree, Philip Suckling, Bob Fischer, Mike Hennessy

Guests: Beth Wuest, Nico Schüler, Emily Edwards

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 9 September 2009 were approved.

2. Liberal Arts in the News: (a) Sandra Mayo (MCGS) was interviewed by the San Antonio Express-News (9/6/09) regarding her recent work on San Antonio playwright, Sterling Houston, including her edited collection of his plays, High Yello Rose and Other Texas Plays (2009). Dr. Mayo also published a review in Texas State’s Texas Books in Review (CSSW/SRHC) of Coleman A. Jennings’ Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences. (b) The University web site announced that Texas State has received the 2009 National Marrow Donor Program's Collegiate Award for our immensely successful drive to register bone marrow donors, organized by the Texas State Cancer Awareness Month and Community Outreach Committee; committee coordinator Lawrence Estaville (GEO) was interviewed, and he and committee co-chair Angelika Wahl (GEO) will travel to Minneapolis to accept the award on November 6.

2. QEP/PACE: Dr. Beth Wuest and Dr. Nico Schüler gave an overview of the “Personalized Academic and Career Exploration,” which is being proposed for SACS’ required Quality Enhancement Plan. They distributed a flier that indicates the central initiatives, goals, and outcomes of QEP/PACE. The QEP (which must focus on student learning) will be a focus of the on-site SACS review (March 23-25, 2010), along with other key accreditation pieces such as general education student learning outcomes and faculty records. If the QEP is approved, implementation will begin in 2011. A progress report on the QEP will be due five years after approval is granted.

• PACE Initiative #1: The PACE Center, to occupy the first floor of the UAC, will provide academic advising, career counseling, and mentoring to all (approximately 4,000) freshmen. The Center will house approximately 20 advisors, 2 career planners, a mentoring coordinator, a director and assistant director, technical support staff, 1 or 2 graduate assistants, and 4 or 5 student workers. The anticipated ratio of students to service workers is 300:1. Some concern was expressed that students may have a difficult time adjusting to much higher advising ratios after the freshman year, after having been habituated to such personalized attention.

• PACE Initiative #2: University Seminar will be redesigned to include more classes and materials devoted to career and academic planning. Students will also engage in self-assessment activities of various kinds, including self-reflection papers. The teacher student ratio (currently 1:30) will be lowered to 1:20.

• PACE Initiative #3: College liaisons and graduate students will work with PACE to organize activities related to academic and career planning as appropriate for specific colleges.

• PACE Initiative #4: Technological enhancement: Students will have access to an electronic portfolio. Advising records will be converted to an electronic format which will enable transfer among majors and advising offices; the electronic advising system will be linked to the new SIS (student information system). These technology resources will be available to all students.

Drs. Wuest and Schüler asked chairs to share information on QEP/PACE with their department faculty. Dean Ellis will request fliers for all Liberal Arts teaching faculty.

4. Follow-up to item from last LAC meeting: Dean Ellis confirmed the administration’s policy regarding denial of requests for early tenure/promotion; such denials will not prejudice subsequent requests for tenure/promotion.

5. CAD Update
• CLA Institutional Report: Dean Ellis has copies of the results of the College Learning Assessment administered to 100 Texas State freshmen and 100 seniors. The results are somewhat difficult to interpret.

• H1N1 Flu: Instructors should not require a clinic note for students who say they have the flu, should be flexible with absence and make-up policies, and should advise students to contact the Dean of Students if they fall ill.

• PPS 5.04 Start-up Funds: Language has been struck from PPS 5.04 and hiring contracts that stipulated specific external funding expectations for new hires receiving start-up funds, although faculty receiving start-up funds are expected to write grants.

• Graduate Enrollment Planning Follow-up (HO: LA Graduate Program Growth): Graduate enrollment growth for the university is around 15%; growth in Liberal Arts is even greater. The Provost voiced support for adding faculty lines in Anthropology and Political Science based on their graduate program enrollment growth for the previous five years. Some questions were raised about the accuracy of some data on the hand-out. Chairs should check their enrollment numbers and forward any corrections to Dean Ellis. The President’s stated goal for graduate enrollment is 25% of total student enrollment; at present University graduate enrollment is at around 12%. The Provost indicated that TA/IA lines will be considered low-priority compared with tenure/tenure-track lines. Dean Ellis encouraged departments to go ahead with requests for non-tenure track lines if they feel these positions would best meet their departmental needs. Dean Ellis commented that Spanish needs a tenure-track line to reduce the high percentage of adjunct faculty in Modern Languages.

6. Learning Outcomes – Status Report: LAC welcomed Ms. Emily Edwards, who will work on learning outcomes and graduate recruitment. Dean Ellis distributed a poll to determine which programs will undergo no changes this year in learning outcomes. For all other programs, changes should be sent to Emily by 9/21 in a word document with tracked changes or as a hard copy with written corrections. Chairs will be given the opportunity to respond to Dean Ellis’ suggestions (where necessary) before outcomes are uploaded to the Academic Affairs web site.

7. New Masters Programs and Graduate Certificates: Dean Ellis distributed a table containing questions from the Provost addressing potential for growth in graduate programs. Chairs were asked to complete these questions (for grad¬uate programs only) and to call Dean Ellis to discuss their responses by 9/28/09.

The feasibility of offering early graduate school admission to undergraduates was discussed. Dean Ellis will seek clarification on this matter.

8. New Faculty Lines: Dean Ellis asked that chairs send her by 9/28/09 their requests for new faculty lines (including lecturers, GTAs, and GIAs); chairs are asked to use the format provided by Dean Ellis at the 9/9/09 LAC meeting.

Around the Table:

Dr. Hennessy reported that, at the recent CAD/C of C meeting, the Provost commented favorably on the value of the College of Liberal Arts in bringing funding to the University.

Dr. Ogletree reminded Council members of an event to celebrate the Psychology Department’s 40th anniversary as well as honor its founder, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Theron Stimmel. (9/21, 3:30, FH230)

Dr. McGee announced that the University will adopt federal reimbursement standards for travel expenses.

Dean Ellis noted that a waiver is required for purchasing food with a P-card, but not when using a private credit card.

Dr. Fischer noted that travel vouchers should be on line soon, which should speed reimbursements.

Dr. Ellis reminded chairs that if someone signs a document for the chair in the chair’s absence, the signatory should not be the creator of the document to be signed.

Dr. Grayson thanked those chairs who have forwarded her appointees to LASAC and LAGradSAC.

The meeting was adjourned.


• Monday, September 21: Revisions to Academic Affairs Learning Outcomes, Methods, and Missions for 2009-2010 due to Emily
• Friday, September 25: Student appointments to LASAC and LAGradSAC to Nancy Grayson
• Monday, September 28: Forms for requests for new faculty lines due to Dean Ellis
• Tuesday, September 29, 2-3:30, Alkek 105/106: Faculty Development Presentation: “Making Assessment Efficient: Refining Test Construction and Data Collection”
• Wednesday, September 30: Revisions to Academic Affairs Learning Outcomes, Methods, and Missions for 2009-2010 reviewed and approved by chairs/directors
• Wednesday, September 30: Revisions to General Education Learning Outcomes, Methods, and Missions reviewed by chairs/directors prior to approval by the Dean of University College and General Education Council
• October-November: Off-site SACS review
• Thursday, October 1, 5:00 pm: Deadline to submit nominations/applications for Piper Professor (
• Wednesday, October 7, 5 pm: Deadline to submit proposals for Research Enhancement Grants (
• October 10: Strategic Plan Progress Report completed
• October 15: Deadline for receipt of applications for Faculty Development Leaves by the office of the Faculty Senate (
• Friday, October 30: Revisions to Academic Affairs Learning Outcomes, Methods, and Missions reviewed and approved by deans
• Friday, October 30: Revised General Education Learning Outcomes, Methods, and Missions reviewed by Dean of University College and General Education Council
• Monday, November 2, 5:00 pm: Deadline to submit Library Research Grant proposals (
• January-February: Texas State responds to off-site review
• Monday, February 8, 2010: Quality Enhancement Plan due to SACS
• March 23-25: On-site SACS peer review conducted
• May 29: 2009-2010 Academic Affairs Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results reviewed/approved by chairs/directors
• June 15: 2009-2010 Academic Affairs Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results audited by Associate Deans for Academic Assessment
• June 30: 2009-2010 Academic Affairs Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Results reviewed/approved by Deans
• December 1-7: Review by Commission on Colleges