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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

November 1, 2012

Q 202


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, Sam Beadles, Richard Bennett, Renee Butler, David Caudill, Richard Cole, Lance Crimm, Tom Currin, Meg Dillon, Ameen Farooq, Alan Gabrielli, Steven Hamrick, Bob Homer, Ruston Hunt, Andrew McMorran, Joyce Mills, Thomas Nelson, Julie Newell, Mark Nunes, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Phil Patterson, Hassan Pournaghshband, Dawn Ramsey, Jeffrey Ray, Nancy Reichert, Han Reichgelt, Ronny Richardson, Becky Rutherfoord, Khalid Siddiqi, George Stickel, Denise Stover, Mark Sugalski, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, and Tim Zeigler


MEMBERS ABSENT:   Sam Beadles, Richard Bennett, David Caudill, Lance Crimm, Steven Hamrick, Joyce Mills, Thomas Nelson , Nikki Palamiotis, Dawn Ramsey, Nancy Reichert, George Stickel, Denise Stover, Tim Zeigler




Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Minutes – Dr. Szafran asked for a motion to approve the Academic Leadership Council Minutes from September 26, 2012.  They were approved with no changes.
  • Szafran reported on items discussed at the last RACAA Meeting:
    • Formula Funding - the Board of Regents is considering changing the way formula funds are distributed by shifting away from awarding funding based on increase in students to increase in graduates.  Funding would also be awarded on improvements in an institution’s baseline and not compared to other institutions, and also giving credit for increases in student credit-hour milestones (students completing 30, 60, 90, 120 hours).  This has not been finalized and is proposed to be implemented in phases beginning in the Spring Semester 2013.  Additionally, these changes would affect new funding only.
    • Taskforce has been created at the BoR to review policies that may hinder graduation.
    • MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses – the BoR is looking at this method of teaching.
    • Budget – Things will be good if there are no additional budget cuts.
    • Faculty Council – met recently with the major topic discussed being lack of raises for the last 5 years.  There were many complaints that it is difficult to retain faculty – some institutions have lost as many as 20% of their faculty in one year.
    • Complete College Georgia – Talked about statistics on high school students who attend/complete college—for every 100 students entering 9th grade, only 29 enter a four-year college (12 more go to 2-year colleges), and only 14 graduate within six years (2 more at 2-year colleges).  There will be a summit in February on the topic “Pursuing People’s Potential/Reaching Georgia’s Potential”.
    • New Degree Program Approval – the Board of Regents is making some changes to the approval process for new degree programs, but they shouldn’t have a big effect on us.
  • Desire 2 Learn – migration will be this spring.  The six institutions in the testing phase report it is going well and students find it easy to use.  Szafran asked the chairs to remind their faculty to allow time to review their courses for problems before the next semester begins.
  • Licensing of Online Programs – David Stone talked about the new licensure requirements for institutions offering online programs to students out of state.  All programs and certificates must be listed on the SREB website and the Georgia on My Line website.  See David Stone if you have any questions.
  • M.S. Civil Engineering – new degree proposal is on the November Board of Regents’ agenda.  The prospectuses for the programs in Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering Technology are on today’s Board of Regents’ agenda and we should have news soon.


Item #2.  Review of Chairs and Deans Roles in Academic Integrity Policy

Szafran reviewed about the development of the Academic Integrity Policy and Honor Code and asked Bob Brown to explain the steps and options available to faculty, the responsibilities of the department chairs and deans, and under what circumstances students can appeal.  More information is available on the SPSU website and can be found by searching “honor code”. 


Item #3.  Chairs and Deans Roles in Promotion/Tenure

Szafran stated that he and Dean Nelson have received a request from the Arts & Sciences School Peer Committee to address some issues they have been/are finding when reviewing packets for promotion/tenure.  The Committee found that some packets are being submitted with errors on the cover sheet, packets are being submitted with required items missing, or packets submitted in the wrong format, etc.  It was stated that the P&P and instruction checklist do not match because of recent changes and that the timeline specifically needs to be adjusted to allow time for packets to be sent to outside reviewers.  The Peer Committee request stated that it is ultimately the faculty member’s responsibility for submitting a proper packet but that the department chair should have the responsibility of reviewing the packet at least once to be sure it is correct and complete.  Szafran asked the Council if they agreed with this and they agreed that the chair should review the packet before it goes to the Departmental Peer Committee. 

A Council member also complained about the reappointment deadline dates and the ability to get them in on time because of understaffing issues.  Szafran reminded the Council that under certain circumstances reappointment packets may be handled in an abbreviated administrative way consisting of letters and a cover sheet.  This greatly reduces preparation time, paper, and review time.  It was asked if positive reappointments can stop at the dean’s level as previously discussed.  Szafran stated that this has not been approved and will be further discussed at the Deans Council. 

Meg Dillon pleaded with the chairs and deans to encourage their faculty on review committees to take their charge seriously when reviewing packets for promotion/tenure.  It was asked if faculty can add anything to their packet after the evaluative process has begun.  Szafran responded that it is not allowed. 

Szafran asked the Council for a motion to adopt the recommendation from the A&S Promotion and Tenure committee as operating guidelines.  It was approved.


Item #4. Prior Learning Assessment

Becky Rutherfoord distributed a proposed Prior Learning Assessment document and flowchart to be used when students request prior learning credit.  Becky talked about the different types of PLA credit and issues and stated that we need to have rigorous policies for assessment and need to reconsider how we charge for assessment.  This will be further discussed at the PLA committees, and will be reported out to the ALC.

Dean Reichgelt suggested that the document be changed to allow departments to decide if portfolio-based assessment could be used for courses in which a CLEP exam also exists.  There was broad consensus supporting this suggestion.  Becky was asked to add further clarification about “learning assessment”.  An additional suggestion was to put PLA 2000 online as a self-directed course for free then charge for the portfolio assessment, credit by exam, etc. Becky will take suggested edits back to the committee and distribute the handbook to Debbie for distribution to the Academic Leadership Council.   

Szafran asked the Council to approve the PLA process document in principle and it was approved.

Future agenda item:  Cost structure for PLA


Item 5. New Business

  • Becky Rutherfoord reminded the Council that they need the planning templates for this year; the SACS 5th year report is due in 1 ½ years and she and Bob Homer need the updated data.
  • M.S. Arch website is up; program is scheduled to begin Fall 2013.
  • Sustainability Steering Committee – Julie Newell reminded everyone that later this spring Earth Day falls on Monday and Arbor Day falls on Friday making it a great week to celebrate and showcase faculty and student work in this area.
  • Atlanta Science Festival Liaison – Dr. Rossbacher previously appointed Russ Hunt to this position.  The Science Festival is a week-long affair in Centennial Square.  He asked for volunteers to brainstorm ways for SPSU to participate.
  • Institutional Effectiveness Committee met this week
  • Consortium of Computer Sciences – SPSU is hosting this conference on our campus starting tomorrow.
  • Student Tech Fee proposals are due on the 16th.
  • Military Appreciation Week is coming up, starting on November 12.
  • Mini Grants procedure will be distributed soon.
  • Reminder that Academic Leadership Council is not being podcast.
  • D2L – Remind faculty that they will have no access to Vista after the D2L transition is completed.


Action Items



Future Agenda Items

  • Cost structure for PLA


Meeting adjourned at 3:45 P.M.