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Deans Council

Deans Council Meeting


July 6, 2011


Note:  At times, issues of confidentiality may require that some items discussed in these meetings be excluded from these minutes.

Members:  Bill Barnes, Dave Caudill, Tom Currin, Steve Hamrick, Ruston Hunt, Joyce Mills, Tom Nelson, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt, Zvi Szafran

Members Absent:   Tom Currin, Joyce Mills, Jeff Orr

GuestsRenee Butler for Tom Currin


Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran introduced the new Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Thomas Nelson.  Dr. Nelson spoke briefly about his career prior to coming to so SPSU and his future goals.  Szafran then updated the Council on the following:

  • Academic Programs - Five programs approved by the BoR – four in Education (STEM) and one in New Media Arts.  Several more in the works including a M.S. in Civil Engineering and possibly the DPS at some point in the future.  Szafran stated that there are issues to consider before moving forward with the DPS.  May require revision of our mission statement as we do not include doctoral programs, although the DPS is a professional degree.  Szafran is also unsure how the new chancellor would respond to a non-Ph.D. doctorate.  Middle Georgia is pursuing a Surveying degree.  SPSU agreed not to oppose it if it was presented as a surveying management degree, however, what they went forward with was a surveying degree with a minor in business.  SPSU voiced opposition but due to fiscal constraints this proposal will probably be on hold for the foreseeable future. 
  • Education – SPSU applied to be a UTEACH replicant and sought Federal funding to help support this program on our campus.  Four USG institutions applied; three were approved including SPSU.  George Stickel and Alan Gabrielli will be the co-directors of the grant with Georgia being over the education part and Alan working with the sciences.
  • Biotechnology– Gwinnett & Athens Technical Colleges are interested in articulations with us in Biotechnology.  SPSU is working to be the preferred partner for TCSG articulations.
  • Capital Expenditures - three capital projects were funded at year-end and included work on Buildings E, J, and I.  Additionally, some equipment requests went through as well.
  • Graduate Assistantships – Nikki announced that the online application process is almost ready to go live.  Nikki will load postings the first time and will be sending out information in the near future.  She asked that any available assistantships be forwarded to her so that she can have them posted by July 15, 2011.
  • Student/Graduate Assistant Pay – Russ Hunt will be working with Bill Prigge to update the pay chart for regular students and those being pay under a sponsored program.  Hunt is also checking to see if students being paid by sponsored programs can be paid any amount or if are they restricted to the limits set by Human Resources.  The SPARC is up and running.
  • The University of Georgia is researching policies on conflicts of interest and will be generating a best practices policy to share with the USG Institutions for implementation.
  • Enrollment – Hamrick announced that enrollment was up 4.6% last year and predicts a 1-2% increase for this year.  The eligible roster shows 500 more students than last year.
  • Adult Learning Consortium – SPSU recently became a member of the Adult Learning Consortium established to encourage former students to return to college and finish their degrees.  Szafran is hoping that our New Media Arts Degree will be helpful in this endeavor.  Szafran stated that the departments need to review courses to be sure they are acceptable.  Ten faculty are currently being trained to evaluate credit.
  • Graduate applications are down – the deadline has been extended to July 15, 2011.
  • Need to review our nepotism policy


Item 2. Online Exam Honesty

The Business Administration Department is concerned about cheating in their on-line courses and has approached Russ Hunt about Continuing Education proctoring their exams.  Hunt stated that while this can be done through them there are some issues to work out including but not limited to the following:

  • Number of exams per section to be proctored
  • Charge to the students for taking a proctored exam – how to collect
  • Build this cost into the distance learning fees for all students
  • Make the cost a lab fee for those departments who want to use the proctoring service
  • Consistency needed among the departments utilizing this service
  • Is it fair to force on-line students to come to campus to take exams

Dave Caudill stated that data does not support reports of rampant cheating and encourages that we investigate further before adopting a policy.  It was decided to poll the chairs to see how many of them would use proctoring in their courses before proceeding.  The deans are to bring the results back to the Council in two weeks.  Russ Hunt will share the e-Core proctoring policy and also stated that he would need several months’ notice if proctoring of this type will be needed.


Item 3. Formal Process for Mentoring Faculty

Dr. Szafran stated that there have complaints from faculty that they have not been receiving proper guidance on how to prepare their packets for reappointment, pre-tenure review, promotion and tenure review, and post-tenure review.  Additionally, there have been inconsistencies in committee reports and letters.  He asked how specific our policy should be regarding requiring classroom observations, requiring someone to review papers, where to count paper presentations, etc.  It was suggested that faculty review good packets and seek help from the CTE.  Szafran suggested we have an open forum next fall to talk about expectations, identify positives and negatives to avoid when preparing a packet, and provide more specific criteria for a good packet.  Additional comments/concerns from the Council included:

  • Concern about the composition of the school committees – departmental committees change but not always the outside representatives from other schools
  • Limit school committee participation to 2 years and then rotate to other schools – all agreed by way of internal agreement that the deans would begin doing this
  • Require new faculty to attend orientation?  Require them to attend other events to help them prepare for tenure?
  • Create instead a culture where attendance at such things is regarded as important – especially as a way to promote support for other faculty.  Szafran suggested the Polytechnic Summit as a good example as well as the lecture series in Architecture.  These functions are open to all faculty but many only attend functions in their own departments.  Szafran suggested each dean bring in high profile speakers, create speaker series, rotate faculty committees to give faculty greater exposure, create formal processes for events, and create publications to showcase student work.
  • Need a way to capture work by our graduate students – use to showcase SPSU and recruit new students
  • Morale is low – faculty are overloaded, no raises
  • What are we doing to celebrate our faculty?
  • Faculty are writing negative comments on their contracts


Item 4. New Business

It was suggested by a faculty member that the school order at commencement be rotated.  This was presented at an ALC meeting last spring and was voted down.  The ALC will meet on July 20, 2011.


Meeting adjourned at 4:15 P.M.