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Deans Council Meeting


July 25, 2012


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

Members:  Dave Caudill, Rich Cole, 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:

  • Echo 360 - Distributed the training schedule.  Desire to Learn workshops will be available for faculty – there have been requests for online in addition to live workshops.  Szafran asked for input from the Council:
    • Allow those that have completed TADL to take the workshop online
    • Those using Echo 360 are happy so the transition should not be too bad
    • Identify those faculty who should take “live” workshop and allow others to take it online
    • Leave it up to the faculty to choose
    • Have Brichaya send a list to each dean to help identify faculty who may need the live workshop.
  • New Degree Programs – the MSCE went downtown and Szafran will be sending in a batch of prospectuses soon.  Dr. Szafran is going to a Shared Services meeting and will try to see the Senior Vice Chancellor about some of our programs. 
  • Budget – will start advertising new faculty positions early for those who have early deadlines for advertising submission.  Szafran reminded the deans to get their paperwork submitted if not already done.  Szafran is also looking at the budget to see if he can increase the deans/departments budgets somewhat
  • New Construction – the University System is refusing any new construction requests.  Our proposal was returned for revision as an upgrade to the Mechanical Building.  No response to date.
  • Space – still trying to find space for new faculty.
  • Staff – new staff positions were discussed at the Senior Staff Retreat but not finalized.  Dr. Szafran will release details about the approved positions once he meets with the President.
  • Enrollment – looks solid – up 20% in new freshmen.  Szafran reminded the deans to monitor their core and introductory courses to be sure there are enough sections available.
  • RETP – Regents Engineering Transfer Program is phasing out
  • Lab Courses Online/Converged Courses – SPSU going after a Gates Foundation grant to support online/converged courses
  • Business Continuity Plan – SPSU has a plan in case of disaster and reminded the deans to make sure they have an online backup plan for all courses even if there are no plans to teach the course online.
  • Strategic Plan items:
  • Move 100% of accreditable programs to the highest level of accreditation.  SPSU has engaged a consultant to help.
  • Work toward showing program quality even for those that are not accredited
  • Need to identify resources needed for accreditation including course releases for faculty writing self-studies
  • Comprehensive Program Review – two questions need to be answered – deadline for chairs of accredited programs to complete this is the end of August.  All agreed.  For non-accredited programs the two questions will be part of their CPR.  Send to Bob Homer for posting.
  • Degree approval process downtown appears to be opening up again – Career and Counseling Center has asked to be kept informed about new degree programs.  It was asked if Environmental Engineering Technology is approved will Environmental Engineering be approved?  Szafran responded probably not.  He further stated that we need a University plan of where we want to go and what we want to offer and asked for input from the deans:
    • Doctorate of Professional Studies
    • Health Information Technology – strengthen into full program
    • BS in Health Sciences
    • International Business
    • Health Care Management
    • Digital Humanities
    • BACS – push harder in efforts to increase female students
    • CM – develop specialties to see where that may lead
    • MS in Architecture – approved
    • Interior Architecture
    • Construction Engineering to develop masters
    • MS in Mechatronics Engineering
    • MS in Mechanical Engineering
    • MS in Electrical Engineering
    • BS in Biomedical
    • Szafran asked about interest in Chemical Engineering?  Currin responded that it is expensive and generally has low demand/enrollment
  • ETM is interested in pursuing:
    • Environmental
    • Biomedical
    • Renewable Energy
    • Engineering Design Graphics
    • GIS/Geomatics
    • Technology Education Certification
  • Accreditation – Engineering is going for ABET accreditation for their masters programs
  • TCSG Articulations – need to develop a web report to track students’ progress
  • Nelson asked if we have documentation to support student and industrial demand for new programs and if there are resources available system wide to help identify what students want to major in.  Marketing/Recruiting will be sharing information they receive.  The Department of Education will also help by providing data collected in high schools by having freshmen choose a career path.
  • Industrial Advisory Boards – should each department have one?  Accrediting Boards require one per program not one per department.  Should information be shared?  Leave it up to the departments and deans.  Szafran suggested all consider having an IAB and gather information to share.  Some members may consider their contributions for the program only and not for the University as a whole.  IAB’s are program specific.  Consider for Arts & Sciences?  Based on the comments from the Deans, Szafran does not feel it is worthwhile to compile an IAB annual report but would like each dean to share information once a year with the Deans Council.
  • Grants – Szafran stated that we are getting more involvement from faculty and would like to give them a financial incentive to write grants perhaps in the form of seed money.  Szafran asked the deans to submit three sentences on this to him in the next few days.
  • Departmental incentives for cost savings – Han suggested that the discussion to talk about rewarding departments that are saving costs should be broadened and should include things the departments have done or are doing.
  • Part-time Faculty – Szafran reminded the deans to engage part-time faculty in their departments by inviting them to participate in departmental activities.
  • Enrollment Services Issues?:
    • No one in graduate studies, etc. after 6:00 PM
    • All Engineering students are being referred to Tom Currin when they should be directed to individual department chairs
    • Need academic events coordinator
    • Enrollment Services & Financial Aid are working to improve customer service; “marketing” how to stop blaming each other
    • Architecture has a You Tube video explain what they are about – great resource
    • How to make services on campus better?  Bring experts in to help, call other places and compare customer service, establish a peer group, use technology
    • Is Academic Affairs doing all that we can and need to be doing?  Department offices staying open later?  Faculty keeping office hours?
    • Need to differentiate between ETM and Engineering – many on campus do not understand the difference and get asked.  We need to prepare a script explaining the difference between the two and share it with the campus.
    • Have recruiters talk to our faculty about our programs.  ETM is putting together information about the differences in ETM and ENG for the recruiters.  Szafran stated this should be a collaborative effort between EMT and ENG.