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Academic Leadership Council

Academic Leadership Council Minutes

Student Center Ballroom

July 20, 2011


NOTE:  At times, issues of confidentiality may require that some items discussed in meetings be excluded from these minutes.

ALC MEMBERS:  Robert Glenn Allen, Austin Asgill, Tom Ball, Bill Barnes, Richard Bennett, Renee Butler, David Caudill, Lance Crimm, Tom Currin, Venu Dasigi, Ameen Farooq, Alan Gabrielli, Steven Hamrick, Bob Homer, Ruston Hunt, Sonny Kim, Andrew McMorran, Joyce Mills, Tom Nelson, Julie Newell, Mark Nunes, Ilseok Oh, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Phil Patterson, Dawn Ramsey, Jeffrey Ray, Nancy Reichert, Han Reichgelt, Ronny Richardson, Richard Ruhala, Becky Rutherfoord, Khalid Siddiqi, Denise Stover, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, Andy Wang, and Tim Zeigler


MEMBERS ABSENT:   Denise Stover

Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran introduced our new Dean of Arts and Sciences, Thomas Nelson, and updated the Council on the following:

  • SPSU chosen as UTeach replicating institution and granted $1.4 million in funding
  • David Veazie received an award in the amount of $455,000 for electron microscope equipment
  • Architecture building received a gold award from the Brick Institute of America for its use of brick on Building I-2
  • The new Chancellor is changing a lot of the initiatives started under the outgoing Chancellor including organizational structure changes, reporting lines, streamlining USG strategic plan, etc.  Will be meeting with the new Chancellor regarding our Surveying degree and the TCSG.
  • Contract wording will be changed to reflect what will happen to a faculty administrator’s salary in the event they revert back to faculty.
  • Last 5 degree proposals were approved at the BoR; others being submitted soon
  • State budget revenues are up 13% over last year.  No talk about further cuts at the state level however there are budget cut talks at the Federal level which may affect the states.  Possibly no raise again in FY 13.
  • Enrollment is predicted to be up 1-2%
  • Professor Oh has recruited a faculty member from Korea to teach/do research at SPSU for one year at no cost to the University
  • DoE received a $4.5 million dollar donation from Kawasaki in the form of robots


Item 2. QEP Update

Bob Brown has received a few complaints about problems with ENGL 1101; there is plenty of space but it is not distributed evenly.  Pre-register students by the end of the week and release the caps on classes by then as well.  Estimate the needed seats and release the other and notify Bob Brown by email and copy Mark Nunes.  Each department should respond to Bob by tomorrow by the close of business.


Item 3. Formalization of Processes and Activities

Szafran stated that capturing what we do here, i.e., Polychrome in Architecture, helps to advertise internally and externally as well as demonstrate outcomes.  Szafran suggests each department capture their own successes by some means (including International Programs, the Library, etc.) and will help with the funding.  We need better advertising of up-coming events, videos, still photos, write-ups, pod casts, etc.  Each Dean has agreed to one event per semester on a rotating basis.

Reappointment, pre/post tenure, promotion and tenure – some faculty still don’t know how best to prepare their packets.  Szafran is not suggesting that we change the P&P--just simplify the procedures into a more concise document.


Item 4. Agenda for Next Year

Szafran suggested the Council needs to review the Strategic Plan to make sure we are meeting or making progress toward our goals.  Topics for discussion:

  1. Are we meeting program review cycles?  Reminded the Council to get data to Bob Homer for posting on the website. 
  1. Accreditation for the Engineering Programs – The University cannot apply for accreditation until the first student graduates and to be careful when advising students that you have all the facts.  All programs are SACS accredited and many are additionally accredited by professional entities such as NAAB, ACSE, ABET, etc.  ABET will review only after the first graduate and if approved accreditation will be awarded retroactively as determined by the accrediting team.  Current students should be made clear on this process and that it would be a good idea for departments to notify their alumni when their programs receive accreditation. 
  1. Identify potential degree programs and to keep Deans Council in the loop when planning any new program.
  1. Retention/Graduation Rates – our graduation rate is currently 30% of first-time full-time students and is up from the past but is still too low.  The ALC should continue to look at ways to improve graduation and retention rates.  Our low graduation rating hurts us at the System Office.  We need to keep standards high, remove roadblocks, offer students additional support, take departmental SPSU 1001 courses seriously as this is a good tool to help students, etc.  Should we raise entrance requirements? 
  1. By December 16 each department should develop a plan to address the following:
    1. Improvement of department retention and graduation rates
    2. Identification of potential sources of additional revenue by department
    3. Identification of potential cost-saving measures and greater efficiencies by department
    4. Analysis of what department has done to engage part-time faculty in the life of the department and University and how it plans to continue
    5. Analysis of how department has done so far in increasing diversity within the department and how it plans to continue
  1. Increasing faculty participation in grants and contracts.  Look at ways to secure grants before asking for institutional funding; give faculty strong credit  for receiving grants in their reappointment, pre/post-tenure, and promotion/tenure packets; develop inter-institutional collaborations; piggy back with others; ask SPARC for assistance.  Encourage faculty not to be afraid of rejection but if it happens to view it as a learning opportunity.  It was suggested that all new faculty be required to sign up to receive grant opportunities through Russ Hunt.  Nancy Reichert stated that she worked this summer to develop a co-curricular leadership program and wants to identify what is going on across campus and would like feedback.  She will be sending email regarding this.


Meeting adjourned at 4:00 P.M.