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ALC Meeting

Academic Leadership Council Minutes


November 30, 2011


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

ALC MEMBERS:  Austin Asgill, Tom Ball, Bill Barnes, Richard Bennett, Renee Butler, David Caudill, Lance Crimm, Tom Currin, Venu Dasigi, Ameen Farooq, Pam Frinzi, Alan Gabrielli, Chan Ham, Steven Hamrick, Bob Homer, Ruston Hunt, Sonny Kim, Andrew McMorran, Joyce Mills, Thomas 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, George Stickel, Denise Stover, Mark Sugalski, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, Andy Wang, and Tim Zeigler


GUESTS:  Sylvia Carson, Max North for Ronny Richardson, Laura Palmer


Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • ARCHE Meeting – The major discussion points from the ARCHE Meeting this morning included:
    • Education is now being looked at more as a business not just an investment/expense—which allows us to ask for the state to invest in its growth like any other major business.
    • Atlanta Chamber of Commerce supports higher education and reported that thousands of jobs are going unfilled in the areas of Health IT, Cyber Security, and general technology.  Previously Atlanta was in the top 5 in job growth but has slipped to 24th (of 24 major cities) due to real estate and construction problems which heavily affect other major businesses such as banking, law firms, etc.  They also reported that there are two big industries that need graduates: supply chain logistics and global commerce, and two emerging areas of need include computing and bio sciences.  Atlanta also faces major issues with water, transportation, public education, and sports.  The Chamber expressed a desire to market partnerships with businesses and universities and stated that universities need more public outreach to businesses.  
    • Something that other colleges are doing is reverse career fairs, in which students set up displays about their majors, etc. and invite businesses to visit.  Interested departments to work with Career Services to set up something similar for their students.
  • Board of Regents – new leadership is prompting requests for information which in turn is slowing processes.  Formula funding may be back next year but will include a factor for graduation rates and may be adjusted for each campus.  SPSU reported a 5% increase in students; USG reported an overall 2% increase. 
  • Everyone should notify Public Relations about all news-worthy events and to be sure and capture these events with pictures and announcements both internally and externally.  For example, Construction Management students recently helped repair homes for those in need.
  • Workplace Satisfaction – Bob Homer reported that SPSU had 58% participation in the recent survey and that the results should be out soon.


Item 2. Online Orientation

Laura Palmer and Joyce Mills demonstrated our new online orientation.  It was suggested that admissions applications indicate whether the student intends to attend SPSU online or on campus so that reports can be run with that data.  It was also suggested that there are two categories of students who may need orientation online – those that are truly on-line students and those that can’t make it to the campus orientations.  While this orientation was specifically designed for on-line students, it could be used for those who can’t make it to campus.  A new committee is working on an on-line orientation for on-campus students as well.  One program is offering this orientation to their graduate students if they can’t make it to campus.  Nikki and David Stone are working on changing the application.  On-line orientation may also be useful for study abroad and international students.


Item 3. Implementing the New Academic Integrity Procedure

The new academic integrity procedure was approved at the last faculty meeting.  The procedure can be found here and currently includes the honor code, the two-page policy document just passed, and the form to fill out when there is a breach.  A FAQ is also being developed for faculty and students.  It is the faculty member who determines if there is a breach of academic integrity and if there is, the faculty member should use this procedure.  The guidelines for penalties were not part of the policy document, and that the Honors Council (to be appointed by Pam Frinzi) may write final versions of these.  Szafran asked the Council to send suggestions for committee members to Pam.  There will be three regular and two alternative committee members drawn from the faculty.  A campus-wide email will be sent about the new procedure, which will begin a two-year trial starting on January 9, 2012.  That we have an honor code and policy should also be included on all syllabi.  Szafran will send out sample wording for the syllabi and encouraged everyone to support and use this new procedure.


Item 4. Improving RPG

Szafran briefly discussed points from the departmental plans he received for improving RPG and stated that he would be willing to share the full plans with anyone who would like them.  He stated:

  • The plans were brief
  • Most focused on advising; important to make sure students know who their advisors are and that they are meeting with their professional advisor
  • Provide earlier support for students – especially freshmen
  • Departments said they are creating database of their students and tracking them
    • Kelly is generating a web report to track each student throughout attendance at SPSU and it will show if the student changed majors, dropped out, etc.
    • Need RPG rates per department.  Szafran distributed a handout that identifies several important web reports name/numbers and what data they can provide
    • All departments need to use the same metrics
    • Need to know how many students in cohort actually graduate – include all types of students


Issues raised in the discussion included:

  • DegreeWorks has given every concentration its own number making it difficult to pull data – helpful if it could consolidate by major but not by department
  • Need SAS or crystal reports instead of going to Kelly each time needed
  • We need to come up with a common set of approximately 10 metrics:
  • Not just first-time full-time freshmen for six years
  • Look at first timers and transfer students separately and all together
  • Look at course pass rate by individual courses
  • Look at grade distribution broken down by faculty member – Phil Patterson will send this report number to Zvi
  •  “The Goal” – Szafran is going to buy this book for each ALC member.  The point of the book is how to identify the central goal and how to accomplish it by removing bottlenecks.
    • Our strategic plan states that our primary goal is to increase the number of graduates, well prepared for the workforce and for life.
    • The process would be to look at the steps required to achieve graduation.  One then tries to identify the bottlenecks – both from internal and external causes.  Look at all factors that cause failure and find solutions to improve results.
  • Szafran asked the ALC to send additional items to him and to identify constraints and begin trying to correct them.


Item 5. New Business

  • What is the status of space utilization requests?  Szafran responded that all except requests for Building K and for new space have been forwarded to Facilities and that some have come back to him with estimates.  He asked that anyone who has not heard anything to email him with the details of the request and he will follow up on it.
  • DegreeWorks issues – bring up at Deans Council meeting and invite Tom Ball and Vanessa Bard
  • Security issues in Bldg. G – missing projectors.  Szafran asked for more information on this.  It was reported that certain classrooms in Bldg. G have to be kept unlocked to allow handicapped access from the elevator to other classroom on that floor.  This is leaving equipment vulnerable and needs to be addressed
  • Polytechnic Summit is scheduled for June 6-8, 2012


Meeting adjourned at  4:40   P.M.