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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2014


Liberal Arts Council

 2 April 2014, 2:00 pm, FH 230


Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy

Recording: Associate Dean Lucy Harney

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

Guests: Lydia Plath, Jon McGee, Manda Anderson, Ken Grasso


1.  Exchange agreement with Canterbury Christ Church University:

Dr. Lydia Plath, Academic Director of the North American Study Abroad and Exchange Program in History and American Studies for Canterbury Christ Church University, was introduced to Council members by Jon McGee, who is the Texas State liaison for this student exchange program, set to begin in fall 2014. Dr. Plath offered a general description of the program and outlined the various academic disciplines and courses available to Texas State students. She and Jon discussed with Council members various aspects of the exchange, including housing accommodations, financial assistance, balance of enrollments with international students, and future possibilities for graduate students. Jon asked Council members to help promote the exchange program among their students. Dean Hennessy noted that Michael Nava and PACE Dean Daniel Brown might help inform freshmen of the exchange while they are still in the planning stages for their degrees.

2.   Liberal Arts advising information:

Manda Anderson, director of the Liberal Arts Advising Center, distributed information concerning the advisors’ walk-in policy for students. This system of offering students same-day advising was piloted in 2012 and has been very successful, with hundreds of students seeing advisors on short notice on designated days. Walk-in days have improved the center’s efficiency by decreasing the instances of extended waiting periods for appointments, and by reducing the amount of time advisors lose when advisees cancel appointments. Manda reminded chairs to send her any information appropriate for the flat-screen TV in the advising center lobby. Vicki Brittain noted that UAC departments could likewise use their flat screens to disseminate advising information.

3.  Program change proposals from Geography:

Rich Earl distributed and reviewed proposed changes to the majors in Urban and Regional Planning and in Resource and Environmental Studies, to the minors in Nature and Heritage Tourism and in Geology, and to the undergraduate certificate in Environmental Interpretation. After discussion Council members unanimously approved the proposals.

4.  Program change proposal from History:

Mary Brennan distributed and reviewed proposed changes to the required courses for the M.Ed. in History. After discussion Council members unanimously approved the proposal.

5.  DAAA event:

Dean Hennessy updated Council members on the Liberal Arts distinguished alumni event in JCK on April 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

6.  Awards day:

Dean Hennessy reminded Council members about the awards day for Liberal Arts students, which will take place on April 10 in the Alkek Teaching Theater at 6:00 p.m.

7.  Other business:

Dean Hennessy commented on the revised PPS 7.15, addressing the annual evaluation of endowed chairs, endowed professors, and University professors. He will send around a copy of the message from the Provost’s office dealing with these procedures.

Around the Table:

Dr. Grayson reported on the status of Graduate College scholarships to be awarded for 2014-2015 in Liberal Arts.

Craig Hanks and Mary Brennan announced that Rebecca Raphael (Philosophy) and Nancy Berlage (History) have been awarded NEH summer fellowships for 2014.

Susan Day announced an April 7 presentation and discussion on schizophrenia with Robert Whitaker and Thomas Liffick, M.D.


The meeting was adjourned.