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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

February 28, 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:   Sam Beadles, Lance Crimm, Andrew McMorran, Thomas Nelson, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Jeff Ray, Han Reichgelt, Ronny Richardson, Denise Stover, Raj Sashti, Mark Sugalski


GUESTS:  Alana Kyriakakis, University Counsel, Max North for Ronny Richardson



Item 1. Updates


Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:


  • Degree Programs – the Environmental Science and Environmental Science Technology proposals have been submitted to the Board of Regents.  Szafran received a request from them to reduce the credits down to 120 (from 123) for the Environmental ET program.  The Board is looking closely at any proposal that is over 120 credit hours.
  • BoR – has a proposal in draft regarding institution missions.  The proposals would allow 2-year colleges to offer limited 4-year programs, and 4-year state universities to offer limited doctorates.  This may be helpful to SPSU being allowed to offer our DPS.
  • Complete College GA and Adult Learning Consortium – Szafran noted that their focus has expanded from graduation and retention rates to include adult learners and prior learning assessment.
  • Audit – a recent on-campus audit of part-time and retired faculty found that some of these faculty had access to keys and other assets on campus but were not currently a member of our Corps of Instruction.  In most cases these faculty were allowed to keep their access even if not teaching in the current semester because they were expected to return the following semester.  To address this issue, it was decided that once part-time faculty are hired, they will remain in a “permanent part-time faculty pool” until the department decides that they will no longer be employed.  At that time they will be removed from the Corps of Instruction and all assets will be taken away.  At some point in the semester, most likely at finals, the chair of the department or his/her designee will be contacted by H.R. to determine if anyone (part time or retiring full-time) needs to be removed from the pool and assets taken away or adjusted.  It was suggested that terminating faculty be allowed to keep access to email for at least 30 days to tie up any loose ends they may have with their students.
  • Fulbright Scholar in Residence – the ETCMA department will have a Fulbright scholar in the fall
  • High Museum – In conjunction with the Frida Kahlo and Diego exhibition at the High Museum, several of Pegah Zamani’s Architecture students created architectural expressions of the homes of Frida and Diego.    The students’ works are displayed at the High.
  • Honors Director – the search for the new Honors Director has concluded and a recommendation made to the VPAA.  Szafran has made an offer.
  • Library Director – the search for a new Library Director will begin soon.
  • UTeach – a marketing consultant is on campus to help increase awareness/enrollment in our Education Program.
  • Chemical elements and other collectible items from an estate are on display in the Library.



Item 2. Approval of Minutes


The minutes of 1/30/13 Academic Leadership Council meeting were approved.



Item 3.  New University Counsel


New Legal Counsel – Dr. Szafran introduced Alana Kyriakakis, the new University Counsel.  Alana has a strong background not only in law but also in human resources.  She spoke briefly about her role and eagerness to work with everyone at the university.



Item 4.  RACAA


Szafran attended the RACAA (Regents Advisory Committee on Academic Affairs) meeting recently.  Topics of discussion at the meeting included:


  • Complete College Georgia – SPSU is required to submit a status report in June.
  • Prior Learning Assessment – SPSU has created a course to train faculty on how to do prior learning assessment.  All SPSU and Adult Learning Consortium faculty may attend the course and the cost will be paid by a grant.  Each department needs a designated PLA coordinator and training will be provided for them.  Dawn Ramsey stated that prior learning credit includes CLEP, military credit, transfer credit, etc., not just portfolio assessment.  No department is required to accept portfolios and may decide what they are willing to accept.  Most departments have PLA plans on the website.  Ramsey talked about the Military Taskforce and a survey they are planning for our students to help identify those with a military connection.  The survey is due to go out March 11, 2013.
  • TCSG – Szafran reminded the Council that all articulations must go through the VPAA and that under no circumstances are general studies articulations allowed.
  • Policy Review Taskforce – has been established to identify system policies that are considered impediments to students’ ability to graduate.  The VPAA at Kennesaw State University is heading the taskforce and looking for input.
  • Reverse Transfer Credit – if articulations with two year institutions are approved, giving reverse transfer credit might allow students to earn an associate’s degree benefiting not only the students but the institutions.  An example of reverse transfer credit might be as follows:
    • A student at a 2-year institution has completed coursework but not earned an associate’s degree
    • The student transfers to a 4-year institution
    • The student completes courses at the 4-year institution and transfers applicable courses back to their two-year institution completing the requirements for receiving an associate’s degree
    • The student receives an associate’s degree and the institution awarding the degree gets credit
    • The 4-year institution may also receive milestone credit for the student


  • Transfer issues – Are two-year USG institutions offering AAS degrees required to do the general education overlay?  Majority of them are not doing this.
  • Promotion raises – Szafran stated that SPSU is in the normal range when it comes to raises for promotion for faculty.  Summer pay varies among the USG but many of the smaller institutions pay flat rates regardless of whether the faculty member is full-time or part-time.
  • Extra Compensation – another minor audit finding clarified that extra-compensation should be used for staff if the following conditions are met:


  • Doing work outside the scope of their work and hours
  • Doing work outside their department
  • The employee takes leave time if work is performed during regular work hours


  • For faculty doing extra work it is considered a contract amendment, not extra compensation, and does not fall under the above restrictions.  Julie asked why full-time faculty don’t have summer contracts and will talk with Alana about this.



Item 5. Technology Enhanced Classroom Control Policy


This policy was shared by email with the Academic Leadership Council prior to today’s meeting for input.  The only concerns brought up were how non-SPSU faculty (ex. ELS) using these rooms would be notified of the new policy and the need for training for faculty using the equipment in those rooms.  Since there were no other concerns and there was no consensus on the policy at the Deans Council Meeting, this policy will go back to the Deans Council for further discussion.



Item 6. New Business


  • Bob Homer recently attended the RACEA recently and gave a brief update:


  • Comprehensive Program Review – talked about whether to continue to do these or not – SPSU does not have a choice because of SACS requirements.
  • Non-productive Programs – the BoR is looking at programs with little or no students to assess whether they should continue or not


Homer reminded the Council that he is missing the internal assessments/goals for many departments and will send out a reminder.  He also stated that they are looking for volunteers to assess other universities programs.  Szafran will be part of an accreditation team visit in Virginia in March.


  • Dawn reminded the Council that the deadline for TADL course designs or revisions is April 1.



Meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM




Action Items


Future Agenda Items