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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2012

18 January 2012, 2:00 pm, FH 230

Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy
Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney

Council Members: Bill Kelemen, Dennis Dunn, Mary Brennan, Beth Erhart, Susan Day, Bob Fischer, Phil Suckling, Dan Lochman, Vicki Brittain, and Associate Dean Britt Bousman

Guests: Dr. Marc Turner (Academic Computing Committee) and Ms. Jennifer Grant (Director of Liberal Arts Advising)

1. Computer Proposals:

Dr. Fischer distributed hand-outs and presented Modern Language’s Academic Computing request of $26,400 to purchase 20 computers for the Nolle Media Center in Centennial Hall. These computers will help to complete upgrades to this open lab which serves thousands of students per year from across campus. Dr. Fischer noted that there is an increasing demand among students for more sophisticated software, much of which requires newer systems to operate. The department will purchase five additional computers for the media center with alternative funding.

Dr. Lochman distributed hand-outs and presented English’s Academic Computing request of $27,896 to purchase 22 iMac workstations for the Flowers Hall 120 computer lab. These computers will help to upgrade this lab which serves thousands of students per year from across campus. Increasing numbers of classes are also being held in FH 120. Ms. Grant noted that the advisors use this lab heavily, as well, for summer orientation. Dr. Turner recommended that this fact be noted in the final proposal. Dr. Lochman pointed out that the current computers are experiencing numerous problems and are soon to go off warranty. Five additional computers will be purchased for the computer lab with funds from departmental M&O.

Dr. Lochman presented English’s Academic Computing request of $2,199 to purchase a laser printer to replace the existing printer in the Writing Center in Flowers Hall. The Writing Center experiences the heaviest use of all labs in Flowers Hall, with an estimated 7,000+ students in Fall 2011. Dr. Lochman noted that the current printer breaks down frequently, leaving lines of students who need to print their work.

Council members voted to rank these proposals in the following order:

1. Nolle Media Center computers
2. Flowers Hall 120 Lab workstations
3. Writing Center printer

Dean Hennessy asked that final, signed proposals be sent to him by Monday, January 23. Unsigned proposals are due to Milt Nielsen by Friday, January 20.

2. FLSA Overtime:

Dean Hennessy announced that he would send around the FLSA report on overtime hours for departmental employees and reminded chairs that overtime in excess of 100 hours would be paid using departmental M&O.

3. Apple Luncheon:

Dean Hennessy reminded Council members of the upcoming Apple Luncheon on February 2 at 12:00 in Flowers Hall 230. Representatives from Apple, Inc. will give a presentation on their recruitment of Texas State students for their At-Home Advisor positions. Students currently employed in these positions will speak about their experiences, as well. Council members are encouraged to attend and to RSVP to Karen Julian by January 30.

4. CAD Update:

Stricter rules are now in effect regarding financial aid for students who fail to maintain their GPAs at the required level. Dean Hennessy noted that the College advisors and Associate Dean Grayson are working to apprise students of the new standards.

Deans have been advised that cash transactions for University business are to be strictly avoided. In cases where cash must be used, meticulous transaction records must be maintained.

5. Strategic Planning:

Dean Hennessy distributed hand-outs addressing the current strategic planning process (planning notes, Texas State’s 2012-2017 University Goals and Initiatives, formal instructions, and a sample template for use by academic units). Chairs and center directors are asked to submit draft plans to the Dean by February 20. Final department/center plans are due to Kathy Fleuriet by March 1. Department plans, which may build on initiatives from the previous planning cycle, will be viewed by four read-across committees to be appointed by President Trauth. Dean Hennessy will produce the Liberal Arts plan, which must articulate five College priorities, based on the 12 department/center plans. Chairs/directors are urged to consider fiscal constraints as well as current needs and anticipated growth in developing the plans for their units. Plan initiatives should be related to the five University goals. Read-across committees will pay particular attention to initiatives involving international efforts, research efforts, HIS efforts, and distance learning efforts. Issues discussed among Council members included continuing space concerns, the possibility of holding Saturday classes, and the feasibility of proposing new PhD programs in Anthropology and/or Political Science. Dr. Day asked that departmental plans be made accessible online to department chairs.

4. New Business:

Dean Hennessy will work with chairs to assist those faculty in each department who will help promote the University’s Family Plan fundraising drive.

The College is in the process of hiring a temporary employee to replace Emily Edwards in the office on a part-time basis, which will replenish the College M&O for the coming year.


Around the table:

Associate Dean Bousman will look into the specifics of House Bill 51, which provides matching funds for research donations to universities with “Emerging Research” status.

Dr. Kelemen inquired about advertising events, such as colloquia, to those outside the host department. Dean Hennessy suggested sending fliers to chairs with a request to forward to interested faculty. Dr. Harney will also include any such announcements in the Events section of the weekly Liberal Arts Reminders.

Dr. Day asked about the outlook for departmental M&O for the next fiscal year. Dean Hennessy will follow up with the Provost’s office regarding any potential cuts as well as the policy regarding unused funds.


The meeting was adjourned.