ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2013
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
- 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
- Becky asked Steve to move registration out another week – he agreed to look into doing
- Science Olympiad – was a big success. Many students attended as well as many SPSU
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
- 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.
Future Agenda Items
Meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM