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Expanded Deans Council Meeting


July 11, 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:  

GuestsSam Conn


Item 1. Updates

RACAA Meeting – Dr. Szafran talked about topics discussed at the RACAA Summer Meeting:

  • Complete College Georgia:
    • Need more accountability
    • Involve more of campus than just Academic Affairs
    • Need better defined data
    • Need data on high school students and readiness for college
    • Need money for faculty and student support
    • Need to look at institutional effectiveness more than institutional data
    • Need to look at gateway courses
    • Need to involve faculty now (despite the earlier short turnaround times).

It was stated that we need to get the information out to faculty about the importance of Complete College Georgia, PLA, TCSG articulations, etc. because it seems the information is not flowing and we must have faculty buy-in for any of these programs to be successful.  Additionally we need support from outside Academic Affairs for these programs.  Szafran stated that Student Services has a plan to increase the level of customer service, we need to have need-based financial aid, and that our recruiters need to actively recruit adult learners.  Our goal is to have 50% graduation rate for first-time, full-time freshmen. 

It was also stated that we need feedback from outside Academic Affairs as to what measures are being implemented to help retention and graduation rates, need better departmental websites with information about our programs, courses, syllabi, FAQ, etc.  Szafran stated that we need to look at improving gateway courses and that the Physics faculty have agreed to radically redesign their introductory Physics courses to help improve student success.

  • Priorities of the Senior Vice Chancellor:
    • Outreach to adult learners and developing our own USG teaching materials.  Encouraged using available learning objects as a way of saving students by requiring fewer textbooks.
    • Space utilization – the Chancellor stressed the need to use space more efficiently as capital project funding is backlogged and new projects are unlikely to be funded for years.  The System Office is working on metrics for new space and is approved will likely be based on the number of degrees produced per square foot.  Steve Hamrick is working on getting a web report that will show scheduling in all classrooms.  Szafran will distribute this for review by the deans to see how we stack up.  It was also suggested that we need to come up with a time-block policy for scheduling classes.  Tom Currin volunteered to come up with a proposal.
  • D2L Transition – the first test group has finished the training and it went well.  Training is now open to faculty.  The System Office will be polling campuses to see what additional modules they may want to add.


Item #2.  Discussion with Sam Conn on IT Issues of Mutual Interest

Sam Conn visited today’s Council meeting to present a briefing on IT happenings around campus.  He talked about:

  • An IT re-organization proposal to move toward providing better service on campus – will create three units within the Division
  • Expanding “cloud technology”
  • Separating out the SPSU network and creating a content delivery network for academic content, scholarship, digital learning, etc.
  • Creating an Academic research network for experimenting and research, etc.
  • Improving the campus wireless network over the next three years
  • Looking to increase staff in IT to provide faculty training for new technology
  • EDP approval process – is now handled by Jenny Rief with a goal of a 48-hour turnaround time for approval.  IT is also loosening requirements for purchasing consumables such as thumb drives, wireless keyboards, etc.

It was also expressed that we need a minimum computing standards documents for students so they will know what to purchase – Dr. Conn agreed this is a good idea and will provide one and post to the IT website. Dr. Conn closed by expressing his desire for feedback from the campus.


Item 3. Pay Issues – Part-time Faculty

Dr. Szafran clarified that the pay range for part-time faculty is $900 - $1,500 per credit hour and that cross-listed courses are counted as one course only.  There will be no pay increases for part-time faculty unless justified.  Szafran also reiterated the need to have permanent schedules in place to maximize enrollment in the summer.  Hamrick estimated that this summer’s enrollment is down 10%.