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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

March 27, 2013

Ballroom A


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, David Stone, Denise Stover, Mark Sugalski, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, and Tim Zeigler


MEMBERS ABSENT:   Renee Butler, David Caudill, Lance Crimm, Tom Currin, Mark Nunes, Dawn Ramsey, Denise Stover, Mark Sugalski, and Tim Zeigler


GUESTS:  Lee Webster - UITS



Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Community Service – Faculty, staff, and students who have done community service have been asked to send the details to Dave Cline.
  • Survey – reminded everyone to complete The Chronicle's Great Colleges to Work For 2013 Faculty/Staff Survey.
  • Prospectus for Biotechnology was kicked back by the System Office because of program duplication (KSU).  Szafran stated that SPSU will respond that Biotechnology fits within our mission and ask them to reconsider.
  • Environmental Science and Environmental Technology – we were asked to answer a number of questions about these proposals by BoR staff—this is normal for this point in the process.
  • Rose Street property – we are still waiting for the FDIC.
  • Capital Budgets – the VPAA’s Office has signed off on approximately $500,000 in purchases.  Three small Engineering departmental requests are pending.
  • Faculty Searches - reminder that no search can be concluded until funding for next year’s positions is obtained, unless the position is a carryover from last year or a replacement position.  All new positions are on hold pending information on the budget.  The USG budget will not be finalized until the State budget is approved.   
  • Shared Services Committee – is putting out an rfp for a software package to handle personnel and payroll and will establish a user's group to evaluate the proposals.
  • David Stone - online degrees that have been authorized have not been maintained well on the BoR web site - each campus should review.  David needs to know the campus person responsible for reviewing these.  David also recently attended a RACDE (Regents Advisory Committee on Distance Education) meeting and shared briefly some of the topics discussed at the meeting: 
    • state authorization for online programs
    • Columbus State was awarded funding through the Gates Foundation to develop a reduced-cost accelerated program.  They had hoped to implement it next fall but it did not meet the BoR’s cost requirements so it is still in progress
    • eCore - has a free open source e-book available for students
    • MOOCs continue to be a topic of discussion
    • prior learning assessment
    • problems with data collection for distance learning
    • Albany State contracted with a private company and is having issues
    • Gov. Deal is developing a K-12 taskforce to look at improving education but did not include representatives from the University system.
  • Budget – our small capital project for Building D has made it into the House and Senate budgets but must still be approved by the Governor.   Some end-of-year money will go toward completing the Building I1 project.
  • Construction Management -  once again distributed SPSU safety glasses to various student groups
  • Becky asked Steve to move registration out another week – he agreed to look into doing this
  • Science Olympiad – was a big success.  Many students attended as well as many SPSU volunteers.



Item 2. Approval of Minutes

The minutes of 2/28/13 Academic Leadership Council meeting were approved with the addition of David Stone’s name to the list of members.  This has been corrected.  Szafran reminded the Council that minutes from all Council meetings are posted on the Academics website (http://spsu.edu/vpaa/meeting_minutes/index.htm ), and podcasts are posted at http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4dcgi/podcasting/mobile.html?channelID_str=464421843.



Item 3.  Report on Classroom IT Infrastructure

Lee Webster, UITS, did a presentation on a collaborative initiative throughout the University to try to get away from traditional classrooms and incorporate new technology.  Lee talked about what they do (UITS) and what support they provide to the classrooms.  He talked about learning environment and different teaching modalities and the existing classroom technology and what has been learned since initial installation that can be improved.  He suggested the University remove unnecessary technology and secure technology so it can't be tampered with. UITS will be testing a classroom next fall and with the hopes that it will be functional by late spring.  Extra space needed for data closets will be found by eliminating special purpose labs thus freeing up space.  It was suggested that UITS needs faculty input before implementing new technology in classrooms.  UITS will take over replacement costs of bulbs, etc. used in the classrooms instead of departments being responsible.  Issues with Echo 360 were discussed and Lee stated that they are looking at bringing support for this on campus.  Szafran stated that as we create space for faculty to upload learning objects, we need a way to share these with colleagues and have them be evaluated, and to give serious credit for creating them for promotion and tenure.  Szafran stated that we will need to have a discussion about this in the near future.



Item 4.  Status Report on Tech Fee

Dave Stone stated that the Tech Fee Review Committee should have a report of funded items ready soon.  He gave a budget report for the next several years for ongoing projects and stated that after ongoing projects are covered for this year it will not leave much for new projects.  Szafran told the chairs to talk to their dean if something is not funded by Tech Fee and they feel it is important to see if can be funded by the VPAA down the road.



Item 5. Online Evaluation of Courses

Szafran reported that the Faculty Senate has given up on moving student evaluations of faculty online and suggested that Szafran create an ad hoc committee to continue the work.  It was suggested to appoint Jack Duff to the ad hoc committee since he's been working on this.  Szafran asked for other suggestions for ad hoc committee members but stated his inclination is to ask each dean to nominate one or two faculty to take this on.  It was suggested to add Dave Stone to the committee.  He asked if anyone sees issues beyond the creation of an instrument.  Comments from the Council:

  • faculty so far have not be able to agree on questions
  • how do you make students participate
  • how would faculty get results  
  • online evaluations don't work
  • Alan will forward the list of questions from the last committee
  • many departments use supplemental questions for more feedback in addition to SIRs
  • may get faculty resistance to new instrument
  • check with Alana about legality of withholding grades pending completion of evaluations
  • there are numerous ways to reward students who do the evaluation


Item 6. New Business

  • Promotion & Tenure – all promotion/tenure decisions have been announced and faculty notified with exception of one packet that apparently did not reach the VPAA’s Office.  Szafran asked the chairs to send a list of all faculty going up for promotion and/or tenure to the VPAA Office at beginning of process so that they will know which packets to expect.   He also stated to always keep copy of each packet in the department and in the dean’s  office.
  • Summer Pay – Szafran stated that the Senate will be making a recommendation on summer pay and he expects that it will be the same as last year's recommendation.  Our new attorney is concerned about the lack of summer contracts, which we have never had.  Szafran would like to implement contracts this for this year but definitely by next year.
  • Summer Enrollment – Hamrick stated that enrollment is off by 20% over last year.  Szafran suggested that departments market summer courses heavily to their students and to make sure only truly needed courses are offered in the summer.  Hamrick also talked about new Federal financial aid restrictions that prohibit financial aid paying for courses repeated more than once or passed with "D" or better thus causing students to have to pay out of pocket for certain repeated courses.   Szafran told the Council to remind faculty to be mindful when giving "D"s when a "C" or better is required for certain courses. 
  • Bob Homer – reminded the Council that some departments still owe him information.
  • Ronny raised concerns about lack of faculty office space.  Szafran and Prigge are working on securing space in Norton.



Action Items



Future Agenda Items



Meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM