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Academic Leadership Council Minutes

March 28, 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, Sam Beadles, 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, Andrew McMorran, Joyce Mills, Thomas Nelson, Julie Newell, Mark Nunes, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Phil Patterson, Dawn Ramsey, Jeffrey Ray, Nancy Reichert, Han Reichgelt, Ronny Richardson, Becky Rutherfoord, Khalid Siddiqi, George Stickel, Denise Stover, Mark Sugalski, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, Andy Wang, and Tim Zeigler




Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Dr. Szafran introduced the new CIO, Sam Conn.  Sam spoke briefly about IT Services and his plans for them in the future and their relationship to the campus.  He stated that the gas pipelines around campus are being replaced next week and are very close to the fiber optics lines.  He will be distributing a schedule of excavation and asked the Council to be aware that there could be an interruption in network service and if teaching during that time to be sure and have a backup plan.  He also stated that he is aware that the wifi needs to be redone and this is being addressed.  Conn announced that he has signed off on the EDP for Echo 360 and it is going forward.  He invited everyone to stop by for a visit and tour of IT.
  • Arthur Vaughn and Brian Ellis visited the meeting today to talk about end-of-fiscal year travel and to remind the Council about the need to follow the 10-day rule for getting their requests to travel in.  Arthur stated that they are working toward making travel simpler but needs cooperation from the campus in getting their paperwork in before their proposed trip and getting their expense reports submitted in a timely manner after their trip.  They are also working to secure a travel agent to help with up-front costs associated with airfare, hotels, etc.  There were complaints from the Council that the travelers are not receiving their approval copies back from Brian.  Arthur agreed that they would scan the approved request to travel and send it to the traveler and to the chair of the department.  He further reminded the Council that travelers should NOT hold off registering for conferences until the approval is received.
  • BoR – some new policies are causing unexpected consequences according to Szafran.  There was an issue submitting the prospectus for the Civil degree.  The online system does not work will some browsers and there is a limit of 650 words for the prospectus.  Szafran will send out instructions for writing a prospectus.
  • Budget – The House and Senate have both passed the budget but there is no word yet on tuition increases, fees, etc.

Summer revenue and expenses will be divided between the two fiscal years this year resulting in more end of year money but for this year only.  There will be another 2% budget cut for this year and next even though revenues are up slightly.


Item #2.  Complete College Georgia

Szafran attended a summit in Athens, GA, on Complete College Georgia.  This initiative is being supported by the Board of Regents and asked all USG institutions and TCSG’s to send a team to the summit.  Two goals of this initiative are to increase graduation rates and to increase the graduation numbers.  Each institution must submit a plan for accomplishing these goals to the System Office.  A short summary is due by April 15 and the final plan is due by June 1, 2012.  Szafran stated that Complete College Georgia is in line with our strategic plan and distributed the team’s draft plan to the Council.  This draft was also given to Senior Staff for input.  The Council reviewed and discussed the draft and Szafran asked them to send him comments – either positive or negative.


Item #3.  Attendance at Commencement

It was discussed today that the distribution of faculty at both commencement ceremonies is not equal because of the large number of faculty in Arts and Sciences.  This leaves one ceremony heavily attended by faculty and the other not.  After discussion there was no clear conclusion on how to correct this but Szafran asked the Council to send him suggestions.  Szafran reminded the chairs that faculty are supposed to attend at least two graduations per year and that they should address those who are not participating. 


Item 4. New Business

  • Athens Tech has two new pre-ET degrees
  • Kia donated two Optimas to SPSU – one for ENG and one for ETM
  • Accounting conference provided a $1,000 scholarship
  • The CEO of Home Depot presented on campus to a large turn out
  • The WebBSIT was voted one of the best deals in online education
  • Dawn announced that April 17, 2012 is the deadline for DLR expense requests
  • CTE is having a wine and cheese reception on April 16, 2012
  • The Soldier to Scholar work plan was approved by the BoR and received funding
  • Polytechnic Summit – abstracts and proposals are due by April 23, 2012


The meeting adjourned at 4:19 PM