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Expanded Deans Council Meeting


May 30, 2012


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, Thomas Nelson, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt, Zvi Szafran

Members Absent:  



Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Year-end Issues – Szafran is trying to get all year-end paperwork signed and forwarded and is working on pre/post-tenure reviews, reappointment packets, etc.  He stated that the President put forth a tentative list for end-of-year priorities and that renovations to Building G are the highest priority for Academic Affairs.
  • Summer credit hours online are up by 22%
  • Becky Rutherfoord has agreed to serve as Interim Department Chair for IT in addition to her other duties.
  • Summer pay – Hamrick distributed the summer pay distribution list for review and asked how to determine if a chair has an overload.  It was also stated that some departments are prorating summer pay for their part-time faculty which is not consistent with previous years and from department to department.  Szafran asked for input on this.  Comments from the Council:
  • No problem with running small classes
  • Permanent schedule would help solve this issue
  • Running small classes in the summer is probably taking away from enrollment in the fall and spring
  • Szafran stated that if the class has less than 9 students the dean should talk to the chair involved


  • Students in an 8-week class have complained about their professor not showing up the first week of class and the following week class fell on a holiday.  Missing instruction for this many classes may cause a hardship for the students.  Steve and Han will discuss this issue.  Additionally, some Architecture students’ work was thrown away by Facilities.  Szafran and Steve Kitchen are looking into this to see how something like this can be prevented in the future.
  • Faculty contracts will be released soon.
  • Business Office – the close-out date changed by two weeks causing major problems.  Szafran will look into this.  EIF’s are due tomorrow.  Non-encumbered travel will come out of next-year’s budget.
  • Term start-up issues – Banner and Vista are experiencing sync issues – D2L should take care of this per Dave Caudill.
  • Web report issues – the deans and chairs need to work with Hamrick to correct.  Hamrick stated we need a plan to address these issues if we ever want our data to be correct.
  • Nelson spoke briefly about student success

Szafran encouraged chairs not to rely on SIRS exclusively but to use other methods.


Item #2.  Kickoff Schedule

  • This year’s kickoff schedule is similar to last year’s except for the addition of one day for orientation.  The schedule will be distributed to campus soon.
  • Becky Rutherfoord announced that new faculty orientation will be the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before kick-off week and will distribute the schedule soon.
  • Opportunities – IT is working to improved processes on campus and Szafran encouraged all to work with IT for any needs they may have.


Item #3.  Planning for Utilizing Increased Funding for Capital Budgets and Online Learning  Support

Szafran stated that additional capital is available to support on-line learning and that he is looking at problematic courses and would like to offer incentives to faculty to change the structure of certain courses to improve the success rates in those courses.  Comments from the Council on ways to use this additional funding:

  • Need to increase female enrollment
  • Use the money for mini grants for faculty – have them submit a proposal of what they will do to improve their courses to aid in retention and graduation
  • Develop online core courses to replace e-Core
  • Use DL seed money first
  • Can we discourage the advertisement of e-Core?  This can be manipulated somewhat in Banner per Steve.
  • e-Core pass rates are up significantly
  • invest in online students – need more support for online students – tutoring, customer service, evening and weekend support, etc.
  • could this money be used to start removing the online differential?  Hard to explain why we charge differently.  Our cost for online courses is considerably less than other online programs.
  • Need to look at the future when designing programs and look at restructuring existing courses to fit the model we think we will be using.
  • Need to have every service we have for campus students available for online students.
  • Cross training is needed for all critical areas – especially at the Student Services level.
  • What is the policy regarding paying for space and/or costs involved in hosting a conference on campus?  Szafran stated it is reasonable to pay for custodial/security personnel and will clarify the policy with Bill Prigge.
  • There is a perception from some faculty that online faculty are receiving preferential treatment.  Szafran stated that all courses should be treated equally whether they are offered online, onsite, or hybrid, and paid as such.  All new courses should be developed for multiple modalities, pass rubrics established, and pay faculty a small premium.


Item #4.  Complete College Georgia

Each dean spoke briefly on the progress in their area.  All agreed student support is critical and that the web reports are confusing.  Szafran stated he is working to create web reports that will give consistent and understandable data.


Item #5.  New Business

  • Science courses labs and lectures have been unlinked to provide greater flexibility for students.  Feedback from students indicates that they like this.  Tom Nelson will send out an email to remind everyone that this has been done.
  • Modularizing courses – Szafran spoke about the pros
  • Nikki – has employed a graduate assistant to create a graduate student council/organization and to  work on the bylaws.  The graduate assistant will be contacting departments for information and will be encouraging students to join.  Nikki hopes to have the meetings of this organization online as well as on campus for online students and asked the Council for support.
  • MSCE – Zvi is responding to questions about this proposed degree and hopes to have information soon.


Meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM