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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2012

28 September 2012, 2:00 pm, FH 230

Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy
Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney
Guests: Barbara Breier, Gail Randle, Catherine Jaffe
Council Members: Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Mary Brennan, Vince Luizzi, Kate Spradley (for Beth Erhart), Bob Fischer, Dan Lochman, Bill Kelemen, Philip Suckling, Dennis Dunn, Associate Dean Britt Bousman, Associate Dean Nancy Grayson
1.    Approval of minutes:
Minutes of the Liberal Arts Council meeting of 19 September were unanimously approved.
2.    Representatives from University Advancement:
Vice President for University Advancement, Dr. Barbara Breier, and Ms. Gail Randle, the development officer assigned to assist with Liberal Arts fundraising, addressed Council members regarding the advancement unit’s current structure and state-wide operations. Dr. Breier distributed a packet of informational materials designed to showcase the College of Fine Arts and Communication. A similar packet will be developed for all colleges on campus.  Ms. Randle noted that an increase in scholarships at all levels is a top University priority. Dean Hennessy distributed a list of the College’s signature programs and stressed that Liberal Arts funding priorities are to create new PhD programs, to strengthen existing graduate programs by increasing financial assistance for students, to endow chairs and centers within the College, and to enhance study abroad and other international opportunities for Liberal Arts students and faculty. Dr. Breier asked Council members to inform her office of the activities of alumni and other possibilities for donations.
3.   Phi Beta Kappa application process:
Dr. Cathy Jaffe updated the Council on the status of Texas State’s efforts gain a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. She distributed information regarding Texas State faculty who are members, as well as stipulations concerning eligibility, selection criteria, and comparative data of recent chapter application finalists. Dr. Jaffe asked chairs to assist with: 1) tracking our undergraduates to verify how many enroll in graduate or professional programs; 2) determining which new hires have Phi Beta Kappa membership; and 3) encouraging academic advisors to recommend rigorous course choices for students.
4.   Soliciting external scholarship reviews:
Dean Hennessy noted that the new deadline for faculty to inform chairs of their intention to apply for tenure and/or promotion is June 1 st. This will facilitate the process of soliciting external scholarship reviews. The dean’s office has examples of letters to potential reviewers. These are available on request (
5.    CAD update:
Dean Hennessy briefed Council members on the revised procedures for the Computer Renewal Program for faculty and staff. Council members received hand-outs detailing the features and departmental costs of the various computing options. Chairs will soon receive lists of those who are due to receive computers during this cycle. Dr. Bousman can assist with locating equipment that is past due from last year’s CRP cycle, and he is available to consult with departments with high faculty computing costs.
Dean Hennessy reported to Council members on an Associated Student Government proposal to provide travel grants to colleges to assist with student research.
The President has appointed task forces to examine enrollment patterns for both graduates and undergraduates. Chairs are asked to examine department data to identify areas that show a capacity for growth.
6.   Contact with the President’s office:
Dean Hennessy reminded Council members that faculty are not to contact the President’s office directly. They may contact the Provost’s office (5-2205). Invitations for President Trauth must be routed through the dean.
7.   Other business:
Dean Hennessy noted that applications for foreign travel must be submitted at least 45 days in advance of departure.
Around the Table:
Dr. Brennan reported that a call to the LBJSC director was successful in stopping commercial vendors from littering classrooms with advertisements.
Several Council members remarked that the deadline for students to apply for graduation (September 21) seems very early and wondered if a later date might result in fewer students’ failing to apply.

The meeting was adjourned.