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Liberal Arts Council Minutes

30 September 2009, 2:00 pm, FH 230

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

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

Guest: Jennifer Grant

1. LAC minutes of meeting on 23 September 2009 were approved.

2. Congratulations: To Dianne Rahm (POSI) for being selected to take part in the Journalists and Experts Alumni Program 2010, a joint venture of the Koerber-Foundation and the Fulbright Commission. Dr. Rahm will travel to Berlin, Hamburg, and Copenhagen to participate in the 2010 program.

3. Liberal Arts in the News: (a) The University web site announced that, as part of this year’s Common Experience, Dan Lochman (ENG) is organizing a lecture (“Strategic Empathy and the Arts: The Novel-Reading Mind”) and book signing by Dr. Suzanne Keen related to her recent book, Empathy and the Novel, to be held 10/5, 4 pm, Alkek 7th Floor. (b) The University web site announced the symposium on the history of Mexican-American education in Texas, which was sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, the History Club, and the Department of History on 9/28.

4. Calculating GPAs (DARS Audit): Dean Ellis and Jennifer Grant (Director of Advising for Liberal Arts) reviewed the process by which advisors in Liberal Arts hand calculate GPAs for several hundred students each semester to determine their eligibility for graduation. This calculation includes all courses in the major, including extra coursework. By contrast, GPA calculations provided by the DARS degree audits exclude courses that exceed the requirements for the major. Liberal Arts is the only college in the University to perform a separate GPA calculation. In order to align the calculation process in Liberal Arts with that of other colleges, it was moved to adopt the DARS GPA for Liberal Arts students. The motion was approved unanimously, with one abstention.

Dean Ellis reported on her recommendations for five Liberal Arts distinguished alumni candidates for this year from the following departments/programs: International Studies (2), History, Political Science, and English. All applications will be made available for LAC review. Chairs will have the opportunity to advocate for other candidates at a future LAC meeting. The dinner honoring the distinguished alumni will be held at the Headliners Club again this year.

5. Strategic Plan Updates: Council members provided updates related to new and current academic programs and distance learning initiatives for the Liberal Arts Strategic Plan. Chairs were asked to provide updates for the rest of the Strategic Plan at the next LAC meeting.

6. Requests for New Faculty Lines (HO): Dean Ellis distributed the compiled results of LAC members’ rankings of requests for new faculty lines. Requests were ranked in the following order: 1. Anthropology (tenure-track line for Cultural Anthropology); 2. Political Science (tenure-track line for the MPA, senior lecturer); 3. Modern Languages (tenure-track line for Spanish) and History (tenure-track line for Public History); 4. Sociology (1.5 senior lecturers); 5. Political Science (3 GIAs, 1 GTA) and Psychology (6 GIAs); 6. English (3 GTAs); 7. International Studies (3 GIAs); 8. Philosophy (2 GIAs); 9. History (tenure-track line for Sub-Saharan Africa).

Dean Ellis will forward these requests to the Provost.

7. PIC: Dean Ellis announced the formation of a Principal Investigator Council (PIC) to provide a forum to discuss issues related to the application and administration of grants and contracts. Britt Bousman will serve for Liberal Arts along with a second representative to be appointed by Dean Ellis.

Around the Table:

At the request of Dr. Ogletree, chairs reviewed their processes for determining merit.

Dr. Grayson announced that there will be no student speaker or Alumni Association speaker for commencement beginning this semester. There will be a welcoming statement from a representative of ASG.

The meeting was adjourned.

• October-November: Off-site SACS review
• 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