Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2017
Liberal Arts Council
8 February 2017, 2:00 pm, FH 230
Presiding: Dean Michael Hennessy
Present: Council members: Audwin Anderson, Britt Bousman, Mary Brennan, Susan Day (recording), Dennis Dunn, Beth Erhart, Alberto Giordano, Ken Grasso, Nancy Grayson, Craig Hanks, Lucy Harney, Bill Kelemen, Dan Lochman, Chad Smith
The minutes of 2.1.17 were approved unanimously.
Curriculum proposal to eliminate the pre-major codes in Geography was approved unanimously.
The FY18 endowment distribution reports from University Advancement were distributed. Council members were encouraged to plan to allocate funds as appropriate. Questions about the distributions should be directed to Kimberly Garrett. The College has more than $20.5M in endowments and will distribute more than $666,000.
The endowment compliance reports for the current year (FY17) were distributed. Unspent amounts are shown in red and should be spent prior to August 31, 2017. At the end of the fiscal year, unspent balances in Development Foundation accounts (short ID numbers of 5 digits) will be returned to the fair market value (FMV) of the account and cannot be spent the following year. Unspent amounts in University accounts (longer ID numbers of 10 digits) roll forward to the spendable account for the next FY.
Council members were encouraged to spend funds as appropriate and to contact Kimberley Garrett with any questions.
- Hiring Freeze: Faculty searches for appointments beginning in FY18 should continue. Summer curriculum development stipends for new faculty, which are ordinarily included in summer budget proposals, may need to be paid in FY18. Waiver requests for hiring this spring must follow the format provided by Mr. Algoe; the impact on students and class offerings is an important criterion. Currently-employed student workers, graduate assistants, and faculty may continue during the summer semesters and are not subject to the freeze. New hires for the summer will require waivers and are likely to be included in a summer batch request (rather than from requests from individual departments and areas) related to offering summer classes. Dean Hennessy will continue to seek answers to questions about the freeze.
- Mental Health Statement on Syllabi (HO): A resolution from the Student Senate requests that a mental health statement be included in all syllabi. Discussion about the wording and impact of the statement ensued.
- Honors Theses Supervisors: Ordinarily, only Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors and Senior Lecturers may direct honor theses. However, those at other ranks may do so with approval from the Honors College.
- Undergraduate Research Fund (HO): The College’s Ann Marie Ellis Excellence Fund supports the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Fund (URF). Students should apply for URF awards (up to $1,000) by March 3, 2017. Application materials and submission instructions were distributed with the handout. An electronic copy of the application materials and submission instructions will be sent.
- Faculty Time-Use Study (HO): How faculty use their time is being studied at the University of Maryland. Support for participation was not forthcoming.
- New Online Location for Policies: A new location for UPPSs and PPSs will appear on 2.20.17. The policies will be searchable.
Around the table:
Dr. Kelemen – Chairs should disregard his earlier (2.1.17) concern about Qualtrix.
Dr. Brennan – The International Studies conference of the Obama Legacy was both excellent and very well received.
Dr. Anderson – The Curriculum Transformation workshop is now open for applications.
Dr. Giordano – Faculty and staff have voiced complaints about the new email system and Digital Measures. Problems with Digital Measures were discussed by the chairs. The low return rates for on-line student evaluations was also reported as a concern, an issue with which a number of chairs agreed.
Dr. Hanks announced a symposium on food and animal ethics this Friday and Saturday (Fisher@txstate.edu). The Stephanie Gilmore all-week residency about rape culture is scheduled during the week of February 13-17. In addition, Carrie Crisp, JD, formerly with the Legislative Council, will lead a discussion of the processes and issues of the Texas Legislature, each Friday 11:00 a.m. - Noon in Comal 116.
Dr. Lochman – The first winner of the $25K Clark fiction prize is Jim Shepard.
Dr. Grasso – Bobby Inman will be speaking Wednesday at 7:30 in Alkek Teaching Theater.
Dr. Harney – Faculty reviewers in her department are experiencing problems on Digital Measures. Tentative solutions were offered.
The meeting ended at 4:05.