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Academic Leadership Meeting Minutes

December 4, 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, Nancy Colyar, 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, Mark Sugalski, Linda Sun, John Sweigart, Zvi Szafran, and Tim Zeigler




GUESTS:  Lee Webster



Item 1. Approval of Minutes from October 30, 2013

Minutes from October 30, 2013 meeting were approved.



Item 2. Presentation from Allison Perez from the Education Advisory Board

Allison Perez, our consultant from the Education Advisory Board, introduced herself and gave a brief introduction to her presentation "Getting the Most from your Membership".  She talked about the Education Advisory Board and our access to the Academic Affairs Forum.  Allison is also working with Mike Foxman in Fiscal Affairs and Ron Koger in Enrollment Services providing services similar to those being offered in Academic Affairs.  She shared best practices gained from working with other universities and institutions and went through the EAB website.


  • Is research being done on how to increase retention/success rates for Physics majors specifically?  Allison responded that she is not sure but will look into it. 
  • Is there research on shared governance specific to academic affairs?  Yes, research is being done in this area.
  • Research briefs can be requested in any area/topic.  Contact information for Allison:

Allison Perez

Senior Manager

Member Services



General questions can be directed to Allison; custom research projects should be sent to Zvi for review first.



Item 3.  Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Accreditations - ACBSP - went well, accepted their report but waiting for final response per Ronny Richardson.  NAAB - submitted annual report and statistical report submitted today.  Visit will be right after spring break in March.  
  • Hiring of new faculty - recommendations from the deans have been consolidated.  It was recommended that Zvi talk with Ken Harmon before going forward.  They will meet on January 6th along with both presidents.  They will also discuss new degree programs.
  • What is next year's tenure process going to look like?  Zvi is going to send out something official tomorrow but wants to make sure KSU agrees with what he is sending out.  Harman and Papp agreed that we can use our current process for next year.  How can we be assured that it will be an all SPSU process since some involved may not be here?  Zvi stated that we will have to make do and is encouraging early deadlines to get things completed before the merger is final.  Zvi allowed three schools to have faculty submit packets late.  Some are still in progress.
  • Staff hires – a hiring freeze was in effect for a few weeks pending prioritization of positions.  Szafran announced that the CCE administrative assistant and the student advisor in CSE have both been approved.  Also approved was the budget person for fiscal affairs that will work closely with Academic Affairs.  The Director of International Programs and some others are on hold.  Have applicants been notified?  Yes.  KSU must also bring their list of potential new faculty hires to the joint meeting as well.



Item 4.  Issues Related to Consolidation (ongoing agenda item)

Implementation Team - met this morning.  Julie Newell, Wendy Kallina, Renee Butler, and Jill Brady, all members of the Academic Leadership Committee, have been appointed to the Implementation Team.  Julie gave her impression of the meeting and stated she felt positive after the meeting.  Julie stated that the team’s first priority is to develop a mission statement, determine what the new institution should look like, be, and do and how it should be structured.  Julie sees this as an opportunity to look at the overall structure and make needed changes.   One goal is to enhance the quality of education and have little or no impact on the students.  The Implementation Team is made up of 14 SPSU and 14 KSU employees.  Julie is looking for suggestions from all and stated that Dr. Papp stressed that the committee needs to protect the history, traditions, and name of Southern Polytechnic.   Becky Rutherfoord stated that for SACS she is already coordinating with KSU and will have input from the SACS representatives from the consolidated schools.  Becky also mentioned that Dr. Rossbacher decided there will be no 5th year report and is sending a request to SACS to give us a one year extension which is standard.  Becky stated that there is much work to do for SACS and will require a visit at some point.

Shared services - should go more smoothly than in past consolidations.  Zvi asked if money was saved from the consolidation and was told that shared services did not study this but money was saved on personnel costs and spent on signage.   Chairs asked for the list of issues/questions associated with the consolidation.  Zvi has already sent it out to the deans and asked them to share with anyone who would like to see it.



Item 5.  Results of the faculty “Classroom Technology Survey”

Lee Webster attended the meeting today to share the results of a survey sent to faculty about their classroom needs.  He compared the results with the current inventory in the classrooms and information available in Ad Astra.  Lee showed statistics of room utilization based on Banner registration data and went through the questions on the survey and responses from the faculty.  Lee stated that he can send out the presentation to the Council members.  Webster also stressed the importance of adopting a BYOD model for classrooms.  Questions should be sent to Webster.

Bob Homer – Stated he is populating the various mission statements, accrediting agencies, goals, accomplishments, etc. and will be getting in touch with various departments in the near future to make sure degree programs, etc. are listed correctly.



Item 6.  Using Cognos, Intelligent Agents, and Related Tools to Inform our Actions

Szafran stated that he wants to make this discussion a regular part of these meetings.  Han started the discussion and talked about data mining to see if reports were available to help identify the number of students who graduate.  He used various web reports to help identify factors that would show why students drop out or perform poorly and came up with options to provide supplemental help for those students and other ways to improve overall success rates in their courses.  Han shared the data he has collected and what he plans to do to meet his school's goals.  He also talked about encouraging students to take math courses elsewhere as a way to raise success and graduation rates.  Concern was raised that by doing this students will also take other core courses elsewhere therefore potentially hurting our core class enrollments.  Additionally, it was commented that just because students take courses elsewhere and do well does not insure that they have met the learning outcomes of our comparable courses.  It was asked if EAB might be able to design a customized report to help with this.  Han stated that we have the data available. It was asked when Cognos training will be available for department chairs and is this being used at KSU as well.  Szafran stated that this training is forthcoming.  Han stated that KSU is not using Cognos but they use something similar.



Item 7.  New Business





Action Items




Future Agenda Items