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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2020

Minutes—Liberal Arts Council

January 29, 2020—2:00 p.m.



Presiding: Dean Mary Brennan
Present: Council members:
Audwin Anderson, Manda Anderson, Susan Day (recording), Beth Erhart, Ken Grasso, Craig Hanks, Lucy Harney, Bill Kelemen, Yongmei Lu, Angela Murphy, Aimee Roundtree, Vicki Smith, Chad Smith

Guests:            Dr. Beth Wuest, Dr. Lon Olson, Dr. Twister Marquiss

Absent:           Paul Hart, John Mckiernan-Gonzalez




Dr. Beth Wuest and Dr. Lon Olson met with the Council to discuss accreditation, assessment and SACS.  Dr. Wuest reported that graduate outcomes assessment reports across campus are “spotty.”  Academic departments embed administrative assessment reports in outcomes assessment reports.  Outcomes assessment reports are among the top five reasons for SACS accreditation problems.  Our 2020 spring reports are what we will send to SACS-COC, and if we do not pass, we will have two years to fix the problems.  If we don’t fix the problems, we can be placed on probation.  To pass the standard, we must provide outcomes, results, and evidence of improvements derived from the results.  The improvements need not be great; they can be “teeny, tiny.”  The evidence of improvement box must tell a really good story.  Wise use of evidence to show improvement is the whole story.  


In reports, be sure, among other things, to list the number of students assessed, when they were assessed, their statuses (i.e., senior, major), improvements (results), and the reasons for (an analysis of) the results. We should use top two or three improvements and tie them to previous year’s action plan.  In action plans, we cannot report a plan to plan. We must report actions that will be taken to improve student learning.  Departments should not have 100% of students reaching expectations.  Outcomes should be phrased in terms of what students will be able to do.  IR data for administrative reports are available and can be done now.  The process, properly done involves “telling a good story.”


All reports due are by May 15, 2020


Twister Marquiss met with the Council to discuss the Common Experience.  This year’s theme is “Truth.”  Next year’s theme will be formally announced on June 1.  We have more events (158 in the fall) events than any other university.  Our Twitter following and major experience events (i.e. Common) set records last fall.  Temple Grandin and Amy Simmons (Amy’s Ice Cream) will be here this spring. 


“Dynamics” will be the theme for 2020-2021.  The proposal was originally submitted as Movement and it is sponsored by two doctoral students, Tricia Edgel and Stephanie Jarrett,  and professors Lynzy Lab and Brian Cooper.  The hope is to show students how they are influenced and how they can influence.  American Like Me, by America Ferrera, is likely to be the book used. 


The minutes of 1.22.20 were unanimously approved by a vote of the Council on a motion by Dr. Grasso and a second by Dr. Erhart after Dr. Kelemen noted the misspelling of Dean Brennan’s name, which was corrected.


Dean Brennan thanked LAC for their work at the CRG.  She hoped they liked the new format.

The response rate for administrative evaluations has been low; chairs were asked to encourage faculty to respond.


CAD update

Dean Brennan noted that a consultant who is helping with Texas State’s Clery compliance described a campus security authority (CSA) as someone who has some role in advising and supervising students outside a classroom. CSAs must report crimes known to them involving students that happen (only) on the campus.  (Title IX crimes must be reported regardless of where they happen.)  Clery Act reports should be made in a timely manner.  There is a website where reports are to be made. 


Dean Brennan reported that the administration is paying attention to potential problems related to coronavirus and that COLAs likely graduate enrollment is steady. 


Around the table

Dr. Roundtree asked to be invited to departmental faculty meetings this semester, preferably February or March, for branding discussions.



The meeting ended at 3:17.








Minutes 1.29.20 (DOCX, 20 KB)