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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2018

Liberal Arts Council Minutes

January 10, 2018

2:00 PM—Flowers Hall 230

Presiding: Dean Mary Brennan
Present: Council members:
Manda Anderson, Audwin Anderson, Susan Day (recording), Beth Erhart, Alberto Giordano, Ken Grasso, Craig Hanks, Lucy Harney, Bill Kelemen, John McKiernan-Gonzalez, Dan Lochman, Angela Murphy, Aimee Roundtree, Chad Smith.

Absent: Dennis Dunn

Guests: Paul Hart (for Dennis Dunn), Chris Murr, John Kocian, Deb Balzhiser, Gayle Bouzard (SOCI), Becky Deason (PSY), Trace Etiene-Gray (HIST), Jeremy Pena (IS), Sherri Mora (POSI)

Agenda Items:

Consider 11.29.17 minutes 


The minutes from 11/29.17 were unanimously approved on a motion by Dr. Kelemen and a second by Dr. Grasso.

Dr. Christopher Murr and John Kocian (systems analyst who administers BOSS) discussed the new system Bobcat Online Scholarship System with LAC. The system is designed to make the scholarship application, review, and disbursal process efficient for students and departments. The system is likely to be available to COLA departments “live” in August of 2018 for the 2019 if we begin soon. John Kocian is willing to meet with department representatives to discuss and implement the system.


Dr. Lochman and Dr. Deb Balzhiser notified LAC about the Writing Center’s proposed changes, most notably moving to the Library Commons as the University Writing Assistance and Research Center and assisting faculty, staff, and students at all levels. Ideas about this change were sought and offered. Dr. Roundtree asked about staffing models of writing centers. Dr. Giordano asked whether the university will adequately fund the project. He also suggested that the Center offer support for writing for websites. The proposal to strongly endorse the Center was unanimously supported in a motion made by Dr. Hanks and seconded by Dr. Grasso.


Dr. Harney offered a motion and Dr. Lochman seconded to have the Department of Modern Languages change its name to the Department of World Languages and Literatures. Dr. Sriraman had informed Dr. Harney that she does not need to send this proposal through the curriculum committees. The motion unanimously carried.


COLA policy for modern language policy substitution for students with disabilities was discussed. Dr. Roundtree moved and Dr. Grasso seconded a motion to allow Dr. Day to make minor wording changes in the policy. The motion was unanimously approved. The policy will be administered by the COLA Advising Center.


Dean Brennan asked whether the Texas state major GPA could be removed from the LA Honors certificate. Agreement was informally given to do so.


Dean Brennan’s items

Dean Brennan asked for a Chair volunteer for the University Distinguished Professor selection committee. Dr. Hanks volunteered.

Dean Brennan noted the following events for the spring semester:

Community Happy Hour—March 6, 5-7 p.m.

Meeting with Tenure-Track Faculty—February 2, 1:30-3 p.m.

Open Lunches FH 230, 11:30-1:00 Wednesday and Thursdays, beginning January 31st


  • Dr. Roundtree will be meeting with department faculty about IRB applications.
  • Dr. Harney asked about the University Distinguished Professor process.
  • Dr. Kelemen noted that Whitten Smart indicated that chairs cannot see faculty annual evaluations before they have been acted on by faculty committees. He will clarify Whitten’s email.
  • Dr. Erhart asked how departments handle faculty requests to be away from campus for extended periods. Dr. Giordano described the Geography Department policy for travel requests. Other chairs indicated that they did not allow faculty to be away from classes for more than a few days given that our first priority is teaching students. Discussion about a College policy ensued, but it was decided to handle the matter in departments.
  • Dr. Smith noted that the Latino/a minor has been approved, and that Dr. Gloria Martinez will direct it.
  • The issue of closed captioning was raised. Dean Brennan will ask the Provost about the status of this issue.
  • Dr. McKiernan-Gonzalez noted that the Jones Professor position will be opened. Departments may nominate more than one person.

The meeting ended at 4:07





1.10.18 LAC minutes (DOCX, 21 KB)