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Liberal Arts Council Minutes 2020

Liberal Arts Council

Via Zoom Meeting

3 June 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, Paul Hart, Bill Kelemen, Yongmei Lu, John Mckiernan-Gonzalez, Angela Murphy, Aimee Roundtree, Vicki Smith, Chad Smith

Guests:  Jeff Helgeson




The meeting began at 2:02 p.m. and was conducted using ZOOM.  All participants were present through their computer screens.  The minutes of 5.13.20 minutes were approved without dissension on a motion by Dr. Harney and a second by Dr. Grasso.


Dr. Chad Smith updated LAC on the Continuity of Education Work Group.  The fall schedule will not be changed per President’s Cabinet decision. Face masks will be required on campus, and they may be provided to faculty and staff.  Students will have to supply their own. An off-campus exemption form will be available for faculty who request schedule modifications from face-to-face for health, age, and other reasons; students may also pursue eligibility for off-campus instruction. Chairs will be informed about the process outcome, but will not be making the exemption decision.  Classes may have to meet a reduced-capacity (vis a vis seating) rule with a modified face-to-face classroom. Classroom technology will have to be upgraded in order to make this change. Student access to equipment/technology may be an issue.  Faculty members are encouraged to offer suggestions and alternative approaches for meeting this challenge of 50% or less occupancy while meeting other thresholds (e.g., for planned instructional time). Research and open labs will also have challenges in meeting various requirements. The process of dealing with students who refuse to wear masks was also discussed.  Many of these issues will come to the fore in Summer II classes.


Expenses related to the pandemic and its consequences should be reported as COVID-19 expenses.  Time spent dealing with COVID-19 issues should be reported in SAP as COVID time.


There is a short turn around for temporary funding requests.  Dean Brennan must receive the name of the person, percentage of time, and justification for hiring by Wednesday, June 10. 


Sririman wants to know about airflow problems in learning spaces.  Dean Brennan is required to submit a list, most to least problematic, of such rooms by Friday, June 5, 9 a.m.  Chairs are encouraged to submit lists garnered from faculty complaints or information.


Administrative appointments for Summer ’21 will be slashed by 40%.  Chairs should remind of notify affected faculty and potential alternatives (solutions) quickly. 


The Ballroom will be used for classrooms; therefore, events will have to be postponed.  Fall travel should be channeled through Ascot, if approved.


Forty-eight percent of all grades given were As.  EP grades made up only 2.5% of all grades.  Science and Engineering had 1233 EP grades the most of any college. 


Dean Brennan will offer a town hall meeting on Thursday afternoon.


Dr. Roundtree offered help with SOPs. 


Dr. Lu asked about work-from-home modifications for staff.  Dean Brennan noted that the University is not continuing widespread off-campus work.  Her office is gradually working through the issues of having offices that have limited space for social distancing. 


Manda asked when students would be made aware of new requirements.  She also asked what the plan will be for individuals when someone in an office test positive for COVID-19. Dr. Roundtree said only people in direct contact in shared spaces might quarantine. She also suggested that offices could make their own procedures.  No policy has been officially promulgated at this point.


The meeting ended at 3:53 p.m. 





Minutes 6.3.20 (DOC, 29 KB)