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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2013

6 March 2013, 2:00 pm, FH 230

Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy
Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney
Guest: Jamie Donaldson
Council Members: Susan Day, Vince Luizzi, Beth Erhart, Bob Fischer, Dan Lochman, Bill Kelemen, Philip Suckling, Dennis Dunn, Mary Brennan, Associate Dean Britt Bousman, Associate Dean Nancy Grayson
1.    Student-workers and part-time workers handling money:
Liberal Arts budget specialist Ms. Jamie Donaldson distributed UPPS 03.01.05 regarding “University Income Recognition and Associated Cash-Handling Procedures” and  reviewed University policies about conveying cash and checks on campus. Student-workers and part-time or temporary workers may assist with counting of money, but may not deliver cash or checks by hand. Offices can use a credit card machine for a fee.      
2.    Student recruitment by programs/departments:
Dean Hennessy distributed a hand-out from Texas State’s Office of Admissions and outlined several options to better integrate academic departments and programs in student recruiting efforts. Council members unanimously supported a plan to make faculty available on several Fridays per semester to meet with walk-in visitors. In addition, the Liberal Arts PACE advisor, academic advisors, and associate deans will assist in delivering presentations that will showcase Liberal Arts programs to prospective students and their parents.
3.   HR practices for grants; state auditors:
Texas State is currently undergoing a state audit focused on financial and payroll policies and procedures. Dean Hennessy distributed a hand-out from the Council of Academic Deans which addresses HR regulations for additional employment or compensation for employees. Any awards or additional compensation for work performed by non-exempt employees must be processed through the regular payroll system. All grant staff and PI’s should consult with Texas State’s Office of Human Resources if they have any questions. Council members were asked to share the hand-out with faculty involved with grants.
4.   Research Enhancement Program:
Dr. Bousman reported a decline in REP proposals from Liberal Arts departments and programs during the current cycle. As funding per college is allocated based on the number of proposals submitted, Council members are asked to encourage their faculty to submit in Fall 2013. Some questions arose as to whether the scoring rubric used for REP proposals in the College was appropriate for the varying types of projects proposed by Liberal Arts faculty.
5.  Liberal Arts honors criteria:
Dr. Day discussed the difficulty with using Banner to locate eligible students for the certificates of academic excellence awarded by the College each year. Dr. Grayson will chair a sub-committee including Dr. Day and Dr. Lochman to review the awards day criteria for possible simplification. Council members agreed that the Banner system is very cumbersome for the performance of this and other tasks. Dean Hennessy will convey these observations and concerns to Gary Springer and the Banner team.
6.   Graduate Enrollments:
Dean Hennessy distributed Liberal Arts program projections for graduate enrollment through fall 2015. Council members discussed factors that make it difficult to increase enrollments, such as inadequate funds for academic scholarships to assist out-of-state students, and for graduate stipends to off-set the state’s prohibition on tuition waivers. It was also noted that graduate students provide high-quality, economical instruction, while generating increased formula funding.
7.  Proposed changes to the course requirements for the MA in IS:
Dr. Dunn proposed course changes to the MA in International Studies. Council members unanimously approved the proposal.
8.  Liberal Arts Awards Day: possible later date:
Council members agreed to hold future awards day ceremonies for the College during the second week, rather than the first week, of April. Dean Hennessy will ask Dr. Breier in University Advancement if, in the future, chairs and directors can receive scholarship award amounts earlier, so that the program for the ceremony can be printed with the names of all recipients. 
9.  Other Business:
Council members discussed plans for the Distinguished Alumni event to be held on April 13.
Dean Hennessy announced that Ms. Pam Lemoine will retire on May 31. Pam organizes events for the College, raises donations for Liberal Arts departments and centers, and works extensively with the College Advisory Board. Dean Hennessy recognized Pam’s unique combination of skills and excellent work for the College, and noted that it will be a serious challenge to find someone to replace her.
Around the table:
Dean Hennessy conveyed the preference of Associate Provost Cynthia Opheim that memos to the Provost’s office be sent via email, where possible.
Dr. Day reported on progress toward conducting course evaluations online using ePortfolio.
The meeting was adjourned.