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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

November 28, 2012

Library Rotunda


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, Stephen 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, Renee Butler, David Caudill, Lance Crimm, Joyce Mills, Jeff Ray,  Denise Stover


GUESTS:  Sarah Holliday


Item 1. Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the November 1, 2012 Academic Leadership Council Meeting were approved.


Item 2. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Program Updates – M.S. Civil Engineering was approved by the Board of Regents without comment.  The two Environmental prospectuses were approved.  Biotechnology will soon be submitted and the DPS is being reviewed by the System Office.
  • Budget – a further 2% cut is likely to occur; SPSU is prepared for this via a contingency plan so the cut will not affect the departments in Academic Affairs.
  • ETCMA received a $25,000 grant to support New Media Arts
  • Political Science students participated in the Model U.N. and did very well
  • D2L training will be available for graduate assistants and students assistants
  • Senior portfolio presentations in ETCMA is today
  • History 2911 – Julie explained the circumstances by which it may/must be taken because some advisors are somewhat confused by it
  • David Stone was offered congratulations for completing his Ph.D.
  • Zvi and Tom Nelson recently attended a STS 2400 class in which the students created a campus tour related to sustainability areas on campus.  Julie announced that signage with QRT codes will be going up to identify these areas.  Julie asked Mark Nunes to collaborate with her on the signs.
  • TRS – new retirement rules have prompted several early retirements for several faculty and staff.  Other faculty retiring include Richard Bennett, Director of International Programs, and Joyce Mills, Director of the Library.  The retirement reception for Rich Bennett will be at 11:30 on Monday, December 3rd, and Joyce Mills’ will be at 3:00 on Thursday, December 6th.  Tom Nelson will be convening a search committee to replace Rich Bennett.  Yongli Ma will step in as the Interim Director of the Library pending a search.
  • Becky Rutherfoord and Sarah Holliday met recently with Ron Lunk and others of his staff regarding a Service Learning Grant proposal that could yield $10,000 each semester if approved.  They want to tie this into our QEP and have put together a small group to work on this.
  • New Faculty Positions – budget has released the paperwork to Human Resources and the ads should be placed soon.  For searches in progress, Szafran reminded the Council to be sure Form D is completed and approved and a salary recommendation is submitted to him for approval.
  • Promotion/Tenure and Reappointment Packets – Szafran stated that some are still outstanding even though the deadlines have passed and asked that they be turned in as soon as possible.


Item 3.  Report on “State Authorization” for Online Programs

David Stone distributed a report on the Department of Education’s requirement that institutions offering fully online education to students in other states must comply with any regulations of that state to be compliant and operating legally in that state.  Stone talked about Federal and other issues and what the USG and individual USG institutions are doing to work toward finding a resolution.  The Board of Regents and University System of Georgia personnel have encouraged institutions to work with all states in which students are living that are enrolled in our online programs to avoid potential problems.  Each institution must handle state authorization individually because it is not legal for the USG to address this for the system as a whole.  The scope of state authorization extends as well to advertising and recruiting out-of-state students for fully online programs.  Szafran asked the deans and chairs to consider this when advertising and recruiting for fully online programs.  Stone will continue to work on this and provide updates when available.


Item 4.  Tech Fee Status Report

David Stone provided a brief update on the tech fee proposals submitted this year.  Forty proposals totaling close to $3,000,000 were submitted with only $120,000 available for new projects.  Nearly 70% of the proposals were related to infrastructure.  Szafran commented that the capital spending process will begin in late January and will be the same process as in previous years but will begin earlier this year.


Item 5. End of Semester Issues

Szafran asked if there are any end-of-semester issues that need to be addressed:

  • Final exam schedule – some faculty are still not choosing final exams if needed per Steve Hamrick.  Steve sends out an email each semester during the first week of classes explaining the final exam schedule and gives instructions to the faculty about what to do if they require a final exam.  Steve encouraged the chairs to remind their faculty to read and follow his email instructions to avoid problems with the final exam schedule.
  • Phased registration – is still causing issues for some chairs because they don’t know when to officially cancel classes or not.  Steve Hamrick stated that he might be able to adjust the third phase deadline and will work with Tom Ball on the dates.  Steve also announced that we have contracted with a company to provide an effective payment plan for students beginning with the summer semester.
  • Course registrations – Szafran asked the deans to look at course registrations now and add critical course sections and cancel those that are not needed.
  • e-Books – it was asked if it is permissible to use e-books instead of purchasing books through our campus bookstore.  It was suggested that departments should work with the bookstore on this and any other textbook-related questions or issues.


Item 6. Complete College Georgia

Szafran reminded the Council that the Complete College Georgia plan identifies those on campus charged with accomplishing the various strategies.  They include the Director of the ATTIC, Director of PSLSAMP, the Deans, etc.  Szafran asked the Council to be aware of the strategies and goals and stated that the System Office is serious about this initiative and that our budget process this year involves stating how the institution is doing with the Complete College Georgia Initiative.  Szafran will be collecting data from all the relevant areas to assess our progress.  Szafran spoke specifically about some of the points in the Initiative such as the importance of improving success rates in gateway courses and the early warning system.  He also stated that other units on campus should be addressing these issues as well.  It was also stated that there should be an individual identified that is responsible for providing information from each area.  Becky Rutherfoord agreed that we need to coordinate our work on CCG with our review of the Strategic Plan, and to make some of the goals more measurable.  She asked the Council to send suggestions to her.

It was also brought up that we need to have a policy about costs associated with hosting groups on campus and whether or not the department should pay for custodial services, etc., associated with the event.  Szafran will follow up with Bill Prigge about costs associated with extra-curricular campus events and who if anyone should be invoiced for these services.


Item 7. New Business

  • Withdrawal forms only require faculty signature.
  • SLEP – Nancy Reichert talked about the first Service leadership Endorsement Program conference here on our campus on March 22nd.  The call for proposals will be going out soon and she asked the chairs to keep this is mind and make sure faculty and students are aware of this and she will send out more information.
  • Teacher Education – George Stickel stated that the program is moving along well toward accreditation and has a site visit planned for January.
  • e-Core – Hunt talked again about drop/add dates for e-Core being out of sync with our deadlines and the problems it causes students.  He asked the Council to remind students to follow our drop/add deadlines whenever possible but if problems arise to see Cindy Knight.
  • Rose Street Property – Szafran updated the Council on the possible acquisition of the Rose Street property for possible expansion of the University.  He stated that it is a long and complicated process but is moving along and may possibly happen.  SPSU must report to the Board of Regents on how we would use the space and Szafran is looking for suggestions from the departments.  The deans will be collecting suggestions from the departments for utilizing the Rose Street property and will discuss them with Dr. Szafran.
  • Next Academic Leadership Council Meeting – is scheduled for December 19 but because we met today and because of the proximity to Christmas holidays, Szafran will decide if we need to meet and will let the Council know.


Meeting adjourned at 4:08 PM



Action Items

  • Steve Hamrick stated that he might be able to adjust the third phase deadline and will work with Tom Ball on the dates.
  • Szafran asked the deans to look at course registrations now and add critical course sections and cancel those that are not needed. 
  • Szafran will follow up with Bill Prigge about costs associated with extra-curricular campus events and who if anyone should be invoiced for these services.


Future Agenda Items