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Academic Leadership Council Minutes


January 25, 2012


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


Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Board or Regents:
  • Budget – news is moderately good – formula funding has been restored in the amount of approximately $120,000,000 which should give SPSU approximately $1,200,000 unless the criteria for distributing these funds changes.
  • Aid – looking at ways to add more need-based aid for students
  • Capital Construction – scrutinizing projects very closely and have approved only a very few at select institutions
  • Raises – no raises are in the budget for next year
  • New Program Review – working on a new website for new program reviews
  • Engineering/Engineering Technology – each had the top student of the year
  • Future Cities – very successful this year.  Szafran thanked Dawn Ramsey and Tony Rizzuto for all their hard work as well as the many other volunteers that helped to make this event so successful.
  • Education Program – began teaching its first classes this semester
  • Bldg. E – construction is complete and the labs are being used
  • Bldg. J – Data Center is up and running.  CSE will host an open house on February 17th to celebrate its opening.
  • Bldg. I-1 –construction will start this week
  • Fulbright – SPSU will be hosting two additional Fulbright Scholars in February, 2012.
  • Promotion & Tenure – approximately 85% of the packets have been reviewed and forwarded to the President.  It is taking longer this year because of the large number of packets submitted.
  • Engagement Reports – are due on Monday – Szafran reminded the Council to make sure they are all turned in and on time and this should be treated seriously.
  • Online Course Assessments – due to Kathy Morgan by February 13, 2012.
  • Division of Engineering – became the School of Engineering effective January 9, 2012.  Currin announced that several existing department chairs have offered to mentor Engineering’s potential department chairs.
  • Civil Engineering Technology Department – moved from the School of ACC to the School of ETM.  For now, the School of ACC will now be called the School of Architecture and Construction Management (ACM).
  • BAS – seeing significant growth in the BAS IT.  Up from 85 students last year to approximately 150 this semester.  This is due mainly to our TCGS articulation.
  • Publicity – SPSU has had significant publicity recently
  • Polytechnic Summit – call for proposals is out.  Visit polytechnicsummit.org for more information.  All faculty and students are encouraged to submit proposals.


Item 2. SACS 5th Year Report

Bob Homer and Becky Rutherfoord talked about the SACS 5th Year Report and made the following points:

  • Need to develop a timeline for submission of the report
  • First activity in August of 2012 will be to establish a leadership/steering committee to start things off
  • Chairs need to make sure all faculty (full and part-time) credentials are up to date and that the faculty are doing their FCARS, etc.
  • Need to keep minutes of all meetings – advisory boards, regular department meetings, etc.


Item 3. QEP Issues

Becky Rutherfoord distributed a handout outlining problems identified so far with SPSU 1001.  The Deans Council met recently and talked about these problems and suggestions and felt this important to share with the ALC.  Rutherfoord stated the following:

  • This is the third year of the QEP – a two-year pilot was done in CSE (Learning Communities)
  • Current version of SPSU 1001 needs to go through the UCC
  • SPSU 1001 used to be free but financial aid required this course to be a billable hour so beginning this semester students were required to pay for it
  • If this is approved by the UCC, it will go to Steve for inclusion in the catalog
  • Departments have the flexibility to offer SPSU 1001 as a stand-alone or include the content in their orientation courses.  Both must meet the outcomes established.
  • SPSU 1001 will be offered live, online and by credit by exam
  • Departments have the latitude to waive the course under certain circumstances

Becky asked the Council to share ideas, additional issues/concerns, etc. with her and asked the Council for a consensus to move forward on this.  It was agreed by all with the exception of Honors.


Item 4. Improving RPG

Szafran distributed a handout of web reports with detailed explanations of what each does and how to get the data needed.  These reports will help the departments understand the data needed for RPG.  It was suggested to add a panel to one of the reports that would allow the option to choose what grade is considered successfully completing for a particular course, i.e., for graduate courses (where a B is the minimum acceptable grade).  Szafran asked the Council to send him suggestions for tweaking the reports.


Item 5. The Goal

The ALC discussed the book “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, recently purchased for everyone on the ALC.  The book focuses on efficiency, and relates to us as the USG is facing the necessity to increase efficiency by doing more with less.  Szafran stated that our first step should be to identify and reach a consensus as to our overarching goal. Suggestions/comments from the Council:

  • Our goal should be to graduate first-time freshmen.
  • Our goal should be to graduate increasing numbers of graduates prepared for the workforce and life.
  • Promotion/Tenure – should the focus be on how the faculty are meeting our goal?
  • Suggest this be a topic for the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.  Szafran agreed but feels Academic Affairs must address first.
  • Need data collection and analysis before discussion.
  • Have we chosen the right goal?  Does our goal match our students’ goals?
  • Reach out to industry to see what they want from our graduates.
  • Follow up with students who drop out to see why and offer encouragement and help to come back.
  • Exit interviews/surveys are helpful.
  • Many non-academic frustrations hinder student success.
  • Need to look at the quality of the students we’re admitting--What are Recruitment and Marketing doing to bring in students who will be successful?

Further discussion will occur at future ALC meetings.