VP of Academic Affairs

» SPSU Home / Vice President Academic Affairs / Meeting Minutes / Deans Council

Deans Council

Deans Council Meeting Minutes



In Attendance:  Zvi Safran, Jeff Orr, Joyce Mills, Jeff Ray, Wilson Barnes, Han Reichgelt, Tom Nelson, Renee Butler (for Tom Currin), David Caudill, Becky Rutherfoord, Russ Hunt

1)  Updates

  • Opening discussion regarding the Texas Higher Ed “Solutions” with handout.  Discussion followed regarding the impact of this and similar, simplistic, algorithmic arguments to measure and improve education efficiency.
  • Discussion of the Center for Twenty-First Century Universities study by Rich DeMillo of GA Tech.  Discussion of new models of university education and the impact on SPSU.
  • Board of Regents is now accepting applications for the Chief Academic Officer.  They expect to begin interviewing for this position in the spring.
  • Board of Regents is proceeding with the acquisition and implementation of the Desire2Learn learning management system.  All schools will be using this except GA Tech.  The first, small group, will be implementing D2L in the Fall 2012.  The second, larger group, will implement in the early Spring 2013.  The remaining schools will implement in late Spring 2013.
  • Zvi shared issues discussed at the most recent RACAA teleconference, which included implementation of the new Board of Regents policy on new building proposals, and effort to identify and eliminate non-viable programs to save money and an examination of programs that are duplicated by the TCSG and USG offerings.
  • Russ reported that the new ELS contract is nearing completion.  This contract will be with SPARC.
  • Russ reported that SPARC held its first board of directors meeting on 10/4/11 and that SPARC is up and running and in the process of converting many of the functions of EU to SPARC.
  • Zvi reported that the Georgia Highlands is expected to be leaving campus in May of 2012 but, given the possibility that this might not happen, departments will have to plan the Fall 2012 class schedule with and without the space being opened up by Highlands.
  • Zvi reported that Faculty ads are in the process of being approved but that Deans and Department Chairs must remember that they do not have 1) the authority to hire or 2) the right to nag about when the searches may proceed.
  • Joyce reported that the new chiller installation is going well and is no schedule to be completed in about seven weeks.
  • Han reported that the CSE data center in J is proceeding and they hope to install the first servers by the end of the semester.
  • Jeff Orr made a request that the professional advisors be involved in midterm reporting and engagement reporting so that they can contact at risk students.
  • Becky reported that Bob Harbort has created a follow on to SPSU 1001 that he is calling SPSU 1002 that focuses on study habits.


2)  Missing Outcomes Data Reports--How we'll deal with these

Some Deans and Department Chairs have still not completed their planning and results reporting.  Anyone who has not completed these by October 14 will be required to attend a “party” at 2:00 on 10/14/11 wherein they will be assisted in the process of completing these documents.

3)  Common Template for Course Syllabi

The Council reviewed and discussed the template that was distributed before the meeting.  Becky received recommendations for wordsmithing and additions that she will incorporate and redistribute.  It was agree that this template would be treated as the minimum requirements to be included, with schools, and departments free to require additional material.

4)  Compensation for increasing efficiency--beginning a discussion on this subject

Discussion was had regarding the need to increase efficiency in the delivery of instruction to accommodate increasing enrollment, decreasing state funding and competition from low cost competitors.  Most of the discussion was couched in terms of questions to be dealt with.

  • Should we compensate differently for one large class versus a class of similar enrollment that is twinned?
  • What should be the threshold for:
    • paying extra compensation?
    • granting credit toward teaching load?
    • granting release time?
  • Should delivery format be a factor in determining compensation?  Synchronous versus asynchronous?
  • Should compensation be driven by student credit hours delivered rather than course hours?
  • What are the overall objectives?
    • To accommodate lack of space?
    • Reduce the total cost to deliver instruction?
    • Accommodate student preferences?
  • Should Fall and Spring compensation schemes be different from Summer?
  • When premiums are paid, who do they accrue to?
    • Faculty?
    • Department?
    • School?
  • Should the different approaches to increasing efficiency be voluntary or mandatory?
  • What do we do about our long-standing claim of small, intimate classes?
  • How will we handle the cost differential for distance classes?
  • Should we continue to provide one rate for distance classes even for out-of-state students?
  • What are the arguments for and against differential tuitions for programs such as Architecture?
  • Might we need to identify different models of delivery that have different compensation/incentives?
  • We need to make sure that we reduce costs and do not simply shift them elsewhere.

5)  New Business

  • Becky asked that Deans remind faculty of mandatory round two advisor training.
  • Han asked that we put the Academic Integrity Procedure on a future agenda.
  • Becky asked that we discuss the problem of faculty not participating in meetings.