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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

August 28, 2013

Q 202


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, Jill Brady, Renee Butler, David Caudill, Richard Cole, Lance Crimm, Tom Currin, Meg Dillon, Ameen Farooq, Alan Gabrielli, Bob Homer, Ruston Hunt, Andrew McMorran, Yongli Ma, Thomas Nelson, Julie Newell, Mark Nunes, Iraj Omidvar, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Phil Patterson, Hassan Pournaghshband, Dawn Ramsey, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt, Ronny Richardson, Tony Rizzuto, Becky Rutherfoord, Raj Sashti, Khalid Siddiqi, George Stickel, David Stone, Denise Stover, Mark Sugalski, Linda Sun, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, and Tim Zeigler







Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Budget - regarding faculty hires – Szafran discussed the cycle for the budget, especially the formula funding cycle and how it affects hiring, etc.  This year's budget is flat; enrollment is up 5.5% thus requiring the addition of more sections.  Budget looks worse next year because the number of institutions with increased enrollment went down last year.   Faculty hires – we probably won't know until later in the year and may not have any new money for faculty hires for next year. Encouraged chairs to establish highest priority faculty needs and share with their deans.
  • Biotechnology degree proposal – are in the President's Office and will go downtown soon. The System Office has asked for more information on our proposed HIT BAS.  No news on our DPS.
  • Library Director search - in the interviewing stage right now.
  • Director of International Programs – ads have been placed; Szafran hopes to have conclusion by November and the new person in place in January.
  • Early Warning is due date is next week - notice will go out today from the Registrar's Office.  Szafran told the Council to encourage their faculty to be serious about this and be on time.  Data shows that these types of interventions do help students.  Noel Levitz, consulting firm is here on campus to share information about student success.
  • Cross Cultural Committee meeting is tomorrow at 2:30.  Szafran announced numerous on-campus events and encouraged all to attend.
  • PSLSAMP 8th Annual  Conference Oct. 10-12; looking for judges
  • Faculty Athletic Representative - need a replacement for Mark Stevens; tenured full-time faculty with interest in intercollegiate sports
  • OS&E and travel budget distribution - until last year was replicated from the previous year. Szafran changed the process last year and with help from the Deans, they came up with formula to determine budgetary allotments based on multiple factors.  Szafran talked about how this was done last year.  He also stated that it appears that the budget office reverted back to the way the budget was allocated the year before last instead of how it was allocated last year.  This will be corrected and we will continue to use the formula into the future unless there is an objection.


Item 2. Start-up Issues

Start-up issues - Noel Levitz mentioned that the top thing that would lead to an almost instant increase in retention is to register students for the fall before they leave in the spring.  Szafran stated he would like to change this for next year.  Comments/issues from the Council:


  • Becky - last minute orientation for transfers, late admits, etc. was done in the past but not this year and wants to see this reinstituted.  
  • Many have issues with students being dropped because of financial aid.  Szafran stated there have been ongoing discussions about balancing BoR regulations and Business and Finance and Student Enrollment Services procedures.  Students need to pay for their classes when tuition is due.  We are not used to dropping students for non-payment but students need to be accountable.  Jill Brady talked about the process and how it will change.  Tony Rizzuto requested a short one-page instruction sheet explaining the steps students need to take to ensure fees are paid on time.  
  • Suggested to make the time between phases shorter  
  • Nelnet?  Not sure how it is working but Jill stated that the students who participated in this program were not dropped.  Hunt stated reservations about the loan program and the possible negative impact if students do not repay as required.  Not sure if this program is a problem solver or problem shifter.
  • For planning purposes, notification of the number of students anticipated enrolling during phase III would be helpful.   If the departments were notified, they could make better decisions about canceling classes or not after phase II.  
  • Suggest fee payment be delayed until the end of phase III.  
  • Benefit of registering in spring for fall would help with advising since advisors are more available in the spring than in the summer.  
  • Problems with budget deadline for spending coming so early. Some department lost money last year. Even though the paperwork was in on time, all of it was not processed until the next fiscal year.   Zvi  stated that there is limited staff to handle all of the last minute departmental requests and  suggested that a stamp with the received date could be used to ensure that those who get their paperwork in on time gets processed in the current year’s budget.
  • Phil – the help lab in Building G has no wireless – Zvi asked him to meet with him about a possible work around.


Item 3.  Space Issues

Szafran stated that money is available to do renovations on Building D.  The Math department and Georgia Highlands will be impacted the most.  Zvi talked about the timeline for construction, where faculty will be housed temporarily, future buildings to be renovated, etc.  He stated that we’re being forced to schedule classrooms more efficiently.  He discussed the room utilization report prepared by Leigh Ann showing the class times heavily used and times underutilized.  Szafran recommends shuffling classes in the heavy use time slots to the lesser used time slots.  Leigh Ann will be working with each department and gathering information.  Comments/questions from the Council:


  • It was asked if the Building D renovations could be done in phases.  Zvi does not think that would work.  Also suggested was using temporary facilities on campus.  Szafran stated that this has been discussed in Deans Council but there is no space to put these temporary units without taking away parking therefore not deemed a good idea.  
  • Knock down K and put trailers on the slab?  The Board of Regents review process does not allow any work to be done without permission and they have not given us permission to take down K. 
  • Centralize classroom utilization with input from the departments with attributes required.  Leigh Ann will be coordinating this and working closely with the departments.  
  • Georgia Highlands will schedule their own classes in the classrooms we identify.  
  • If we go to shared classrooms, who will be responsible for costs associated with replacing bulbs, batteries, whiteboard markers, furniture, etc.  Some of these things are shifting to UITS.  Zvi suggests holding back 10% from all budgets to cover these costs.  
  • Concern that lack of ownership of the classroom will cause problems when equipment does not work, has been changed from its regular configuration, etc. who will be responsible for fixing the problems?
    Zvi - if the faculty are assigned to the appropriate rooms this should not be happening.  Big issue for night classes when equipment or software does not work and no one available to help.
  • Invite Sam to next Deans Council meeting to discuss potential IT issues.
  • Bring your own device?  Working toward that but a long way off.
  • Julie stated that she is using her assigned classrooms very well but needs small space for small classes instead of using large classrooms for a few students.  Zvi suggested using conference rooms for these classes.  
  • Zvi stated that when scheduling, stay away from the peak times when possible and share specific requirements with Leigh Ann when she meets with the department.  Look at last spring's schedule and adjust as necessary. Look at circumstances where classes must meet in certain rooms, etc. and be prepared to discuss this with Leigh Ann.
  • Zvi suggested considering offering Saturday classes.



Item 4.  Establishing Two New ad hoc Committees

Szafran stated that we need to establish two ad hoc committees.  One committee needs to be established to review new degrees to be added and one is needed to review our evaluation instrument.   For the latter, he suggested two representatives from each school and Jack Duff and David Stone. It was suggested that is too many people by Meg Dillon.  Ronny – need to pilot getting the online course evaluations to work before going forward.  Only a 2% response rate for online.  Need to work on both simultaneously per Zvi. Szafran again asked how big the committees should be and all agreed that two from each school plus Jack Duff and David Stone.  Szafran stated that we need a mix of faculty, deans, and chairs.

It was suggested by two deans that the list of new degrees for the academic plan should be made up of the deans and only after the strategic plan is finalized.  Establishment of this ad hoc committee will be postponed until that point. 


Item 5.  Graduate Faculty Status

Szafran stated that there have been some issues regarding the new procedure for the awarding of graduate faculty status.  Some of those concerns included:


  • There is no box on the cover sheets for chair to check approval or not – Szafran stated that we can add a box
  • There no procedure to handle chairs/deans.  Should the dean review the chair and Szafran review the deans?
  • The procedure is not clear about how to handle those caught in between milestones - P&P states GPC would review until the next milestone
  • Why is there a P&P - when hired give graduate faculty status.  Szafran responded that not all departments are not letting us know to give grad faculty status at hire
  • Leave it at the school level
  • SACS has guidelines for teaching at the grad level - masters and 18 hours in the discipline and if person does not have this there should be a justification letter.
  • No correlation between teaching load and eligibility to teach graduate courses.
  • Is recommendation of this body to send resolution to GPC
  • Becky suggests we recommend this policy be changed and not go through senate or GPC.  This should be done administratively.  The P&P no longer references the GPC so to send this back to the GPC does not make sense.
  • Change this policy to an administrative policy.  Those with a Ph.D. would be deemed to have graduate faculty status, others should be approved by their chair and dean by letter to give them graduate faculty status until the next milestone.  Zvi suggested that he draft a new document for review.  The majority were in favor and this was approved. 



Item 6.  New Business




Action Items

Zvi will draft a new administrative document regarding graduate status for review.



Future Agenda Items



Meeting adjourned at 3:58 PM.