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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

January 30, 2013

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, Renee Butler, David Caudill, Richard Cole, Lance Crimm, Tom Currin, Meg Dillon, Ameen Farooq, Alan Gabrielli, Stephen Hamrick, Bob Homer, Ruston Hunt, Andrew McMorran, Yongli Ma, 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:   Austin Asgill, Sam Beadles, Renee Butler, Han Reichgelt, Becky Rutherfoord

Denise Stover, and Tim Zeigler


GUESTS:  John Bauer, Chris Bruno, Sylvia Carson, Stephanie Coleman, David Stone



Item 1. Jim Cooper - Marketing


Jim was unable to attend today’s meeting but sent a brief email to Dr. Szafran to read to the Council expressing Marketing’s desire to work with all units on campus to develop recruiting and marketing strategies.



Item 2. Chief Bauer – Severe Weather Alerts


Chief Bauer gave a short presentation about how the campus should respond to severe weather alerts.  Points included:


  • GEMA helped University Police locate and identify 86 safe shelters on campus.
  • Cobb County is the top county in the state for confirmed tornados.
  • Alerts have been updates and tested and there will be a campus drill next week in preparation for Tornado Awareness Week.  In an actual emergency he suggested that we:
    • Pay close attention to alerts
    • Go to designated areas
    • Stay away from items that could fall or otherwise cause injury
    • Do not use the elevator – use the stairs instead
    • Go to a bathroom or interior room if not able to reach safe shelter and cover your body to protect against projectiles
    • Stay away from windows and glass
    • If caught outside avoid trees, look for a gully or trench to lie in, get out and away from your car, and avoid low areas that could flood
    • Never try to outrun a tornado in your car
  • Peak tornado season is late winter into spring
  • Practice drill will be February 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM
  • After the drill, the Incident Management Group will convene to discuss the drill
  • Handicapped faculty, staff, and students on upper floors not able to reach a safe shelter should go to the bathrooms
  • Everyone should stay in place until the all clear has been announced; employees who wish to leave campus should be encouraged to stay and must take annual leave if they choose to leave.
  • Deans and chairs should remember to alert visiting faculty, guests, etc. in the case of a severe weather alert and also to add them to the Hornet Alert system if feasible.
  • Damage in a building may require relocating classes or using alternative teaching delivery methods.


Chief Bauer also talked about a timer app for cell phones that the University Police have developed.  The app can be set for a certain amount of time and if the person does not reach their destination within that time, University Police will be notified.  The Police are also working on a 911 app.


Item 3.  Stephanie Coleman – Faculty and Advising Websites


Stephanie Coleman came today to talk about faculty webpages and the advising webpage that should go live in March.  She stated that there are still faculty who have not created their webpage and encouraged the deans and chairs to review the list and encourage their faculty to get at least the minimum uploaded (biography and image).  She stated that Adeel Khalid’s webpage is an example of an exemplary webpage.  She reminded the Council that it was decided that full-time faculty be required to have a faculty page.  Stephanie stated that she and her staff are always available to help if someone runs into a problem. 


Stephanie is also working to get the advising webpage up to date and needs a list of all professional and faculty advisors as soon as possible.  She asked that this information be sent to Trish Buchanan and stated that their overall goal is to try to simplify things for students.  It was also suggested to have a FAQ that addresses how students find their advisors.



Item 4.  Chris Bruno - Nelnet


Chris Bruno gave a presentation on the Nelnet loan payment plan which will be made available to students soon.  Having short-term loans available to students will also help the University be in compliance with the Board of Regents policy that all tuition and fees be paid when due and not deferred.  Nelnet contracted with the USG and is administered by Nelnet, not the University, and offers interest free loans without a credit check.  Students are required to pay an enrollment fee of $50 per semester that they take out a loan.  The loan can be used for all educational expenses (those expenses that show up on the student’s Banner account) up to $6,500 per semester and must be repaid in full by the end of the semester.  Books are not covered by this loan.  Late charges and interest may be charged if payments are not paid on time.  Full information will be sent to all students.





Item 5. Approval of Minutes


The November 28, 2012, Academic Leadership Council minutes were approved.



Item 6. Updates


Szafran updated the Council on the following:


  • Albany State – received the go-ahead on their Bachelors in Logistics from the Board of Regents despite our objections.
  • Budget – BoR is cutting capital construction large projects and encouraging campuses to use existing space more efficiently.  Some small project money may be available for renovations.   The 3% cut this year will be extended to next year with a possibility of an additional 2% cut this year.  SPSU has a plan in place to cover this and it probably won’t continue into next year.  Formula funding can help offset the 3% cut next year as well. 
  • Faculty positions – the ads for new faculty positions went out in late December and early January.  Another ad will go out for failed spring searches and newly opened positions because of resignations/retirements.
  • Pay for part-time faculty – in an effort to pay part-time faculty in a more consistent manner, Szafran asked the deans to collect data from their departments regarding criteria and pay for their part-time faculty.  Szafran reminded the deans to be mindful that full-time faculty have not gotten a raise in five years.
  • Events – Future Cities was a success this year headed by Tony Rizzuto and many volunteers.  Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson was on campus for a lecture and book signing.  Over 300 were in attendance.  This event was brought to campus by the Cross Cultural Committee.
  • UTeach – visiting team visit went well
  • ET Student of the Year – went to David Peters, CET student
  • International Forum – Julie announced that information about the upcoming lecture series will be out soon and will focus on Japanese/United States cultural interaction.
  • Lectures – Current Economic and Educational Issues in South Korea – presentation will be February 14, 2013; Physics of Sports – presentation will be on February 4, 2013.
  • Construction Management Competition Team – selected to attend the National competition and received a $10,000 donation to help offset costs of attending.
  • Summer schedule issue – Orientations scheduled at various times have taken H 203 offline for the day even if it is only being used in the evening.  This is restricting the scheduling of summer classes in H 203.  Zvi will take the issue of scheduling orientations in H 203 thereby restricting its use for classes to the Senior Staff.
  • Online licensure – Dave Stone gave a brief update on the status of Online Licensure and distributed a map showing the states in which we have physical presence of our on-line students.  Stone stated that the law may also apply to out-of-state faculty teaching for us as well. Stone is unsure how this will affect recruiting. The compliance deadline is June 30, 2013.  More to follow.
  • Nelnet – Hunt expressed concerns about interest and missed payment costs and how this may affect some students and stated that students need to have full disclosure of potential costs before accepting a loan and need better information about other types of financial aid available.  Szafran will bring concerns from the Academic Leadership Council about undisclosed potential costs associated with a Nelnet loan to the Senior Staff.



Item 7. New Business


MOOCs – Szafran distributed an article on MOOCs (massive online open courses) by email for discussion at today’s meeting.  The Council briefly discussed the article and the following points were made:


  • What is the business model?  There is no business model
  • May have credentialing issues
  • Some schools are using this way of teaching to draw students in by offering one free class
  • Faculty are seen as the facilitator of information in this way of teaching




Meeting adjourned at 4:09 PM




Action Items


  • Zvi will take the issue of scheduling orientations in H 203 thereby restricting its use for classes to the Senior Staff.
  • Szafran will bring concerns from the Academic Leadership Council about undisclosed potential costs associated with a Nelnet loan to the Senior Staff.



Future Agenda Items