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Deans Council

Deans Council Meeting


September 14, 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:  

GuestsSylvia Carson


Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Board of Regents – the new Chancellor announced this morning proposed changes to the way business will be conducted in the University System.  Capital project approvals will be fewer and will focus on rehabilitation of existing facilities, the new building process will begin with meetings at the System Office before drawings are done, and the Chancellor is considering consolidating campuses, sharing presidents, etc.  Szafran feels that SPSU is probably not at risk of consolidating with any other campus due to the unique nature of our mission and programs.
  • Benefits – Effective January 1, 2012, employees who are not working at least ¾ time will lose health benefits.  Human Resources is working with all areas on campus to identify those employees who may be affected.
  • Promotion/Tenure – Szafran spoke briefly about the changes to the Promotion and Tenure policy at the Board of Regents. He wants to postpone releasing our newly revised P&P on Promotion and Tenure until all changes from the System can be incorporated and our policies are consistent.
  • New Website – Szafran has been working on updating the VPAA web page and asked for input/suggestions.
  • Library – the Library is celebrating “banned” books and invited everyone to stop by.
  • Rubble House – is coming along well.  A media day is planned for next Monday.
  • Turkish Exhibit – will be on display for a couple of more weeks in the Architecture Gallery.


Item 2. Policy to Establish New Schools or Departments

Szafran asked for input from the Council on the policy to establish new schools or departments that he distributed earlier.  Comments/concerns/questions:

  • Is there a time limit between becoming a division and becoming a school?  Szafran stated that the policy originally stated a 3 year time limit but this was removed because the division may want to stay in that category for a longer period of time.
  • Why do we need a policy – why not just make a decision?  Szafran stated that we need a policy in place (it was suggested to call it “guidelines” instead of “policy”) since it won’t be an official P&P.
  • Does not address dissolution of departments
  • What happens if a department becomes a division leaving the remainder of the school too small?  Szafran stated that this would have to be addressed with input from the remaining departments.
  • Section 2, Paragraph B should state “school” not “division”
  • Why must there be at least one accredited program (at the highest level)?  Szafran responded that we must maintain high quality programs.  Han suggested alternative wording and will submit something to Zvi.
  • The Division of Engineering is losing credibility and needs to have a decision made soon about them becoming a School of Engineering.
  • It was suggested to pass this policy today with possible wording changes from Han.  Szafran asked if the council wanted to vote. All agreed. Motion to consider? – majority voted yes.  Vote to approve policy? – majority voted yes.  This policy was passed with majority vote.


Item 3. Evaluating Advising

Becky Rutherfoord brought three P&Ps to today’s meeting for discussion.  The policies are not consistent as to where advising fits into the annual faculty evaluation.  One policy lists advising under “Service” and another lists it under “Teaching”.  Szafran opened the discussion stating that the Council needs to decide where to put advising and determine how to define what a satisfactory rating will be for advising.  The Council discussed in length the value and definition of advising (although not all agreed) and came up with the following:

  • Change all P&P’s to reflect that advising should be evaluated under “Teaching” instead of “Service”
  • Becky will recommend that Faculty Senate approve and update the P&Ps
  • Becky, Han, and Tom Nelson will work on establishing 4-5 expectations of faculty advisors (minimal list) that chairs can use or add to.  This list will be used as the basis for determining “Satisfactory” on the faculty annual evaluation form.  These expectations will be given to every faculty member.
  • Advising will be addressed in writing in all faculty milestones – faculty annual activities report, annual evaluation, reappointment, promotion/tenure, and pre/post tenure reviews.  This process will become effective next academic year.


Item 4. Prior Learning Assessment

As part of the Adult Learning Consortium, our faculty have the opportunity to take a training class at no cost to the University.  A question was asked about what happens if a faculty member does not finish the class.  It would be the department’s responsibility to pay for the second class.


Next agenda item – application for the School of Engineering



Meeting adjourned at 3:40 P.M.