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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2017


Liberal Arts Council

1 February 2017, 2:00 pm, FH 230


Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy
Present: Council members: Audwin Anderson, Mary Brennan, Susan Day (recording), Beth Erhart, Alberto Giordano, Ken Grasso, Nancy Grayson, Craig Hanks, Lucy Harney, Bill Kelemen, Dan Lochman, Chad Smith

Absent: Dennis Dunn, Britt Bousman

Guests: Angela Murphy


The minutes from 1.18.17 were approved without correction.


  1. President Trump’s seven-nation ban was discussed.  The university has communicated with the 22 campus members (18 students, 4 faculty members) who were affected by the ban. Questions about the ban should be addressed to Dr. Ryan Buck, the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs.
  2. Governor Abbott’s hiring freeze was discussed.  University administrators are seeking an interpretation of the freeze.
  3. Department strategic plans are due on 2.10.17.   Dean Hennessy will develop the College plan based on needs and plans that come forward from departments, who are encouraged to be idealistic even if the college plan will likely be more realistic.


  1. CAD Update

            Dean Hennessy provided information about items discussed in CAD on January 31, 2017.


  1. Family Campaign (HO): University Advancement has announced the plan for the Family Campaign, which will officially begin in late February.  Dean Hennessy will email previous department team leaders to ask if they will once again participate as team leaders.
  2. Occupations in Texas (HO): Dean Hennessy distributed a CAD handout of “fast-growing” Texas occupations, which would be relevant to chairs’ strategic planning for future degrees.
  3. Counter Offers:  Faculty members receiving offers from other universities should be informed that decisions about counter offers are made on case-by-case basis.  Guidelines for counter offers are being developed.
  4. Admissions Report: Transfer applications are lower than last year at this time, a predictable outcome of decreased community college enrollments.
  5. Research Support for Mid-Career Faculty:  Research support will be sought by the administration for mid-career faculty who may have been hired at a time when start-up funds were unavailable.
  6. Electronic Signature Process:  A new electronic signature process is being planned.
  7. Graduate Fair (2/13): Dean Hennessy asked whether departments were sending faculty to the Graduate Fair.  Everyone indicated that they were.
  8. Summer Incentive Scholarships:  The Graduate College will make incentives available for students who begin their graduate careers by taking courses in summer 2017 instead of fall 2017.  Departments must indicate that they will participate in this process by notifying the Graduate College by 2.15.17.
  9. One-Time Funding:  The administration has distributed one-time funding to the Commencement committee, The Graduate College (summer graduate scholarships), Financial Aid, and Admissions (for Cats Caravans).
  10. Vanguard Flyers: In a memo to the campus, President Trauth stated that she finds the recently posted racist flyers “reprehensible.” Posting of the flyers in unauthorized locations is vandalism. 
  11. Legislative Update: Appropriation bills in Texas House and Senate are different.  The House has begun with plans for a 4% across-the-board reduction in agencies’ budgets.  The Senate zeroed out all accounts, and has asked for new funding request justifications from all agencies.  The elimination of $18M in tuition set asides for needy students’ financial aid has been proposed. Hazelwood costs for Texas State, which has the most Hazelwood recipients and the second largest funding expense, are $17.2K. 
  12. Chair Perception Survey: Dean Hennessy noted the chair perception survey is under way.


Around the table:

            Dr. Keleman noted that the deadline for students to submit an application for Outstanding Liberal Arts Student to the College is later than for his department, creating an awkward situation for students.   He asked that the College set a deadline for departments, rather than students, to submit applications.  Dean Hennessy and Associate Dean Grayson agreed to this change, and Associate Dean Grayson agreed to make a pen and ink change to the policy.


            Dr. Brennan asked whether professors are obligated to give excused absences for Strutters to attend a donor dinner.   


            Dr. Lochman announced that Terence Cave, Emeritus Professor of French Literature and Emeritus Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford University, will present a lecture on Literature as Cognitive Environment on March 21, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. in Flowers Hall 230.


            Dr. Grasso announced that Bobby Inman, former NSA Director and former CIA Deputy Director, will make a presentation in Alkek 250 at 7:30 p.m. on 2.15.17.

Minutes 2.1.17 (DOCX, 111 KB)