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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2013


Liberal Arts Council

4 September 2013, 2:00 pm, FH 230


Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy

Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney

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

Guest: Andrea Golato


1.   Visit with Graduate Dean Andrea Golato:

Dean Golato discussed various issues related to graduate studies:

·         Incentives to help increase summer graduate enrollment

·         GA appointments, financial aid, and in-state tuition eligibility

·         Efforts to increase graduate enrollments

·         Increased training and consultation for graduate advisors

·         Exception to the “nine-hour rule”

·         Research travel funding for graduate students

·         New competitive research funds for masters thesis students

·         Electronic thesis submission

·         Improved web and social media presence for graduate students and programs

·         Review of regulations governing graduate student scholarships (requested by Nancy Grayson)

2.   Curriculum cycle and CCC membership:

Lucy Harney reviewed the new fall cycle for course change requests. These requests must be uploaded to the 2013-14 Curriculum TRACS site by September 5. Chairs are asked to confirm their representatives to the Liberal Arts College Curriculum Committee as soon as possible. Chairs are asked to hold change proposals until the spring cycle, unless urgent.  

3.   Learning outcomes fall cycle:

Lucy Harney reviewed the deadlines for the fall learning outcomes reporting cycle. Chairs should send her program outcomes that have been changed since last year as a Word attachment by September 21. Please indicate changes. For program outcomes that are unchanged, Lucy will inform chairs when they should give online approval. No General Education outcomes reports should be supplied at this time.

4.   International events:

Lucy Harney distributed a hand-out and announced a series of events sponsored by the International Programming Committee for the benefit of our international students. Chairs are asked to help publicize these events to all students to encourage interaction among US and international students. All faculty are also welcome at these events, and are especially encouraged to attend the welcome socials, Thanksgiving lunch, and spring picnic.

5.   Faculty Accomplishments:

Britt Bousman distributed a summary of each department’s scholarly/creative activities over the last several years, noting certain general trends and the overall high productivity across the College.

6.   Research Enhancement Program applications:

Britt Bousman asked chairs to encourage faculty to apply for the Research Enhancement Grants this cycle. He noted that colleges receive funding for these awards proportionally to the number of applications submitted, and also that the number of grants awarded this cycle is expected to increase over previous years.

7.   Schedule for opening day of school 2014:

Council members began discussions regarding the move to a 2-day schedule for future beginning-of-semester meetings.

8.   Draft Procedures for Evaluation Chairs:

Dean Hennessy distributed a hand-out and reviewed proposed changes to the current policy and procedures for chair evaluation. Council members expressed various concerns over the proposed changes. Dean Hennessy will convey these comments and concerns to AP Opheim.

 9.   JFK Photo Exhibit:

Dean Hennessy announced that a photography exhibit featuring newly-discovered photos of John F. Kennedy will take place on the ground floor of Alkek from October 1 to November 9.

10.  Personnel change in University Advancement:

Liberal Arts development liaison, Sara Pfeifer, is resigning at the end of September. She will continue to work on College initiatives until she leaves. Other development officers will continue to assist with Liberal Arts priorities.

11.   CAD update:

      Dean Hennessy briefed Council members on recent CAD meetings:

·   Chairs are encouraged to participate in National Graduate Student Appreciation Week (April 7-13, 2014). Dean Golato will organize the participation of the Graduate College.

·   Hand-out: fall enrollment update

·   If the new core curriculum is approved, undergraduate degree programs will have to increase by three, possibly four, credit hours.

Around the table:

Susan Day and other chairs agreed that the instances of double-scheduling of classrooms has increased. Dean Hennessy recommended raising this issue with the Council of Chairs.

Council members shared strategies for registering students beyond classroom capacity to anticipate drops during the first several class days.


The meeting was adjourned.