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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

October 9, 2013

Student Center Ballroom


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, Wendy Kallina, Alana Kyriakakis, 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


MEMBERS ABSENT:   Thomas Nelson, Julie Newell, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt


GUESTS:  Thomas Rotnem for Thomas Nelson



Item 1. Approval of Minutes


The minutes from the August 28, 2013, Academic Leadership Meeting were approved.



Item 2. Updates


Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:


  • Budget - continues to be tight for next year; no guarantee of new faculty hires; some possibility of raises.  A self-funded internal market adjustment has been approved for faculty and staff under the following conditions:  must be ongoing not separating, earning less than $100,000, not limited term, and must be full-time.
  • Taskforce established at BoR on MOOCs - Zvi has been appointed along with the faculty moderator Meg Dillon.
  • RACAA - part-time faculty and the affordable care act will be discussed at the meeting.  Some information has already been released in other meeting venues and will involve benefits-eligibility for part-time faculty.  Other topics to be discussed will include math pathways, accessibility issues for disabled or handicapped on-line students, faculty absences and the reporting of sick leave, and the faculty council resolution.
  • Biotechnology proposal has been posted and is under review.  Hopefully it will make the next BoR agenda; also looking into the DPS.
  • Announced the new Library Director, Nancy Colyar
  • Introduced Wendy Kallina – the new Director of Institutional Research
  • David Stone - gave brief updates related to distance education, MOOCs at Georgia Tech in pre-calculus, upgrades to D2L will be soon and more frequently, and the CTE will be offering D2L workshops.  
  • Mandatory advising sessions went well - evaluations were positive; not all faculty attended so additional sessions will be offered.  Dawn has a list of faculty who did not attend and will share it with the department chairs.  Szafran asked the chairs to remind their faculty that this is mandatory and they must attend.  More sessions on DegreeWorks will be offered on Thursday and Friday.  The BoR is interested in what we are doing with DegreeWorks.  Handbooks will be available.  Advisor assignment tool is now ready.  Training will be available for Go-to-Training - six sessions will be offered.
  • Raj Sashti - gave a brief update on International Programs happenings.
  • Khalid Siddiqi – Announced that Dr. Abaza has received two $1,000,000 grants
  • Ronny Richardson  - the Georgia Secretary of State will speak on campus October 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM  
  • ACBSP visit went well.
  • PSLSAMP annual conference is being co-hosted with KSU this year.
  • Education Advisory Board - Szafran recently attended a conference in Washington, DC, and shared a power-point presentation shown at the conference that he found relevant to topics of concern at SPSU.  Szafran will forward the presentation to the chairs to share with their faculty and reminded the Council that this is copyrighted material and may not be shared further.



Item 3 Graduate Faculty Status


Szafran distributed two forms and discussed the updated policy on awarding graduate faculty status.  The update was necessitated because of issues raised regarding the existing policy.  If approved, the revised policy will be sent to the President for approval and to the faculty as an FYI.  Only one council member was opposed to the new policy.  It was approved and will be implemented.



Item 4.  Academic Integrity Issues


Szafran announced that SPSU has joined the International Center for Academic Integrity and shared information on an upcoming conference and some of the topics that will be discussed.  Zvi will share a link with more information.  The Academic Integrity Policy needs to be reviewed as it is nearing the end of its three-year provisional time frame.  Szafran stated that there have been a small number of offenses over the three years and the first case this semester that needed to go before the Honor Council.  Comments/concerns relative to this policy?


  • The form needs to be modified slightly and is being done.  
  • Alana - how do we know if this is a first offense, second offense?  Zvi stated that Jill Brady makes a notation on the student's record so the chairs can check with her.  
  • The form does not indicate its proper routing.  This is being corrected and is also addressed on the FAQ on our website.  
  • Suspect that faculty are not fully utilizing the system if we only have less than three dozen students recorded to date.  
  • Where do the signed honor code forms go?  They should not go to the Registrar's Office and should probably be sent to the Dean of Students when we have a new dean in place.  Can we have a place in Banner to indicate the student has signed it and then destroy the form?  Alana responded that we should have them sign the form and input it into conduct software which we are looking into.  She stated there is value in having the form signed and suggested we have the honor code on every test.   Alana - form does not allow student to write out their side of the story - only check boxes.  Zvi - students may appeal and explain their side.  This will be discussed in the senate.



Item 5.  Balancing Advising Workloads


It has been brought up in the Deans Council meetings that some faculty have very few advisees and other have very large numbers.  Szafran asked the ALC how we might balance the workloads.

Comments/suggestions from the Council:


  • Object to other departments advising our students - but would like advisors available on the core.
  • Professional advisors were charged with core advising.
  • What type of advising are we talking about? Course advising, mentoring?
  • General education advising, etc. could be done by anyone.
  • Talking about reallocating students to faculty with lower numbers of advisees.
  • Hybrid advising does work.
  • We have professional advisors, master advisor training and don't see how it will help to farm students out to other programs for advising - need additional resources, course release time, etc.
  • Has study been done to determine how many hours of advising a student needs to help determine advisor workload?
  • Each department does advising differently.
  • From the perspective of a chair of faculty with an average of 20 advisees, what is the heaviest time period for advisors?
  • Focus on freshmen and graduating students and the rest follow a two year plan with minimal advising.
  • Need to make sure students are on track with their two-year plans.
  • Some of those with low numbers of advisees may have high numbers of students in courses.
  • Using limited term faculty for advising?  ETCMA is using theirs.
  • Advising and registration are two different things.
  • What will be gained by farming out students?  Suspect they will not receive the same in-depth advising they are currently getting.
  • Need to explore other options rather than overloading faculty.
  • Have a model wherein the professional advisors do group advising for a large number of students and those who need further advising see faculty or appropriate person to do further advising.
  • Encourage students to take more responsibility.
  • SPSU 1001 has a two year plan built in - students register for courses with pre-requisites that they don't have, and plan to take courses when they are not being offered - these two problems need to be addressed.  DegreeWorks must address pre-requisites.
  • Use technology to help students - DegreeWorks has bugs in it and future updates should help Banner and DegreeWorks work together better.
  • Student Handbook - do students have an obligation to seek advisement?  No, but they do have an obligation to make sure they are taking the correct courses.
  • Dr.  Sugalski sends out a mass email every semester regarding advising, two-year plans, etc.


The discussion on balancing advising workloads will continue in the Deans Council meetings.



Item 6.  New Business


  • Council of Graduate Degrees – the numbers are different from those presented in the slides; Tom will send link to Zvi.
  • Room assignments update?  Leigh Ann is working on this and will submit an update at the Deans Council in the near future.
  • Dawn talked about Military Appreciation Week events.
  • On October 24th there will be a New Media Arts lecture - Mark Nunes will be sending out an email.



Action Items





Future Agenda Items


The discussion on balancing advising workloads will continue in the Deans Council meetings.


Meeting adjourned at 4:15 PM