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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

23 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, Nancy Grayson, Vince Luizzi, Jon McGee, Shirley Ogletree, Mark Carter (for Philip Suckling), Bob Fischer, Mike Hennessy

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 16 September 2009 were approved.

2. Congratulations: To Gary Hartman (HIST) and the Center for Texas Music History for receiving a Telly Award for excellence in non-commercial television programming for an episode (“Cheatham Street Warehouse Class of ’87”) of their PBS series, Texas Music Café. In addition, the second book in the Center’s John & Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music (Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound) won an Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research from The Association for Recorded Sound Collections.

3. Liberal Arts in the News: The University web site announced that Anthropology will host a two-day workshop (Oct. 10-11) on Mayan hieroglyphs inscribed on stone monuments from Quiriguá, Guatemala.

4. Requests for New Faculty Lines: Chairs distributed hand-outs and outlined their requests for new faculty lines. Requests were aligned with program growth and strategic planning.
• Anthropology: 1 tenure-track line
• English: 3 TA lines
• History: 2 tenure-track lines (Public History and Sub-Saharan Africa)
• Modern Languages: 1 tenure-track line (Spanish)
• Philosophy: 2 GIA lines
• Political Science: 1 tenure-track line, 1 senior lecturer, 1 GTA line, and 3 GIA lines
• Psychology: 6 GIA lines
• Sociology: 2 senior lecturers
• International Studies: 3 GIA lines
Dean Ellis reported on the distribution of Target of Opportunity lines for the University. Liberal Arts received two, in Geography and History. Approval of around twelve new tenure-track lines is anticipated. Revised score sheets for tenure-track faculty lines, lecturers, and TAs/IAs will be sent to chairs; they should be returned to Lucy.

Dean Ellis noted that Liberal Arts faculty have done a remarkable job in encouraging and mentoring students to collaborate on research and to write and present their work at conferences. However, funding student trips to conferences has become a serious fiscal issue. While the number of Liberal Arts majors has increased substantially, the amount of funding over the past three years has only gone up from $7,000 to $8,000. To date, we have over $5,000 more in travel requests than we can fund—and it’s only the beginning of the fiscal year. (We fund at $200 for graduate students per out-of-state trip and $100 for undergraduates.)

Chairs discussed how current operating budgets for departments and supplements for research were being handled. Dean Ellis advised chairs to consult Jamie Donaldson with budget questions.

Dean Ellis commented on the practice for calculating student GPAs in Liberal Arts. This issue will be taken up at a future LAC meeting.

5. Strategic Plan Updates: Council members provided updates related to Program Maintenance for the Liberal Arts Strategic Plan. Chairs were asked to provide updates through section A.3-4 at the next LAC meeting.

6. Policy on Student Civility and UPPS 04.04.46 on Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment: Dean Ellis announced that Drs. Luizzi, Grayson, and Day will draft a comprehensive policy on student civility for the Liberal Arts web site.

Dr. Grayson distributed the UPPS relating to discrimination and harassment.

7. Study Abroad: Dean Ellis briefed council members on a meeting (9/22) among herself, James Andrews, Isis Gomez, Lucy Harney, Dan Lochman, and Jon McGee. Issues included possible proposals for having departments run study abroad programs and other concerns of Dean Ellis and directors of faculty-lead programs. Lucy will draft a memo outlining these concerns.

Dean Ellis reported on University enrollment statistics for this fall including a 6% overall enrollment increase and the fact that the University is within 1% of having a sufficiently high Hispanic enrollment to qualify as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Dean Ellis commented on issues related to SAT scores and high school class rank as they relate to admissions and retention.

Council members discussed University and College plans for Professor Jimmy McWilliams’ Presidential Seminar and reception. Dr. de la Teja will arrange the presentation of research and Liberal Arts reception.

Around the Table:

Dr. Day noted that the Sociology department has been exonerated in an OCR suit filed by a student.

Dr. De la Teja announced History’s upcoming symposium on Mexican-American education (9/29).

The meeting was adjourned.
• 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