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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2013

Draft Minutes

Liberal Arts Council

25 September 2013, 2:00 pm, FH 230


Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy

Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney

Council Members: Bill Kelemen, Ron Hagelman (for Alberto Giordano), Paul Hart (for Dennis Dunn), Mary Brennan, Beth Erhart, Vicki Brittain, Susan Day, Dan Lochman, Craig Hanks (for Vince Luizzi), Lucy Harney (for Bob Fischer),  Associate Dean Britt Bousman, and Associate Dean Nancy Grayson


1.   Approve minutes (9/11/13):

Members unanimously approved the LAC minutes from 11 September 2013.

2.   Learning outcomes fall cycle:

The proofing of student learning outcomes reports is nearly complete. Lucy Harney will contact each chair when program reports are ready for online review and approval.

3.   P-Cards:

Dean Hennessy distributed and reviewed an overview, prepared by Jamie Donaldson, of new policies for P-Card use. Council members may contact Jamie with questions regarding P-Card and other purchasing policies.

4.   Graduate enrollments:

Dean Hennessy distributed a chart indicating 2006-2015 graduate enrollments and enrollment projections by year for each Liberal Arts graduate program. In the coming months, chairs/directors will be asked to analyze the enrollment data and to refine projections, as part of the University’s goal of increasing graduate enrollments overall.

5.   Merrick funds:

Dean Hennessy distributed a draft memo requesting Merrick funds to award competitive academic scholarships to Liberal Arts graduate students across all programs. If approved, these funds will be awarded for AY 2014-15. Council members approved the request with minor alterations.  

6.   Other business:

Dean Hennessy noted that the University administration is planning to provide incentive scholarships to encourage graduate enrollments in summer 2014. He also confirmed that supplemental funding will be available for summer faculty salaries, if needed to boost graduate enrollments.

Dan Lochman commented that increased flexibility with waivers for minimum enrollment would further facilitate summer graduate enrollments.

Around the table:

Council members shared their approaches to training for faculty who deliver online courses.

Several chairs reported that tenure-track faculty are concerned about the increased emphasis on “impact-factors” in evaluation of faculty scholarship for tenure and promotion. Council members agreed that chairs, PCs, and external reviewers can help to address a candidate’s scholarly standing, particularly in fields where “impact” is variously measured. Other points of discussion: how to handle negative or absent external letters for tenure/promotion candidates, how to determine the status of a publication as refereed or invited, and the weight of grant work in the evaluation process.

Council members expressed concerns regarding increasing complications related to ODS services, as well as potential privacy matters involving the interaction of faculty with student athletes and the athletic academic advising center.

Mary Brennan distributed posters for the upcoming Humanities Speaker Series presentation: “Prince to Tyrant: What Changed Henry VIII?” with historian, author, and broadcaster, Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb, on 3 October at 5:45 in the Alkek Teaching Theater.


The meeting was adjourned.