Deans Council Meeting
September 5, 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
Item 1. Updates
Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:
- John Boyer and his associate will be on campus for a presentation on September 24, 2012. The reception will be at 5:00 PM followed by his talk at 6:15 PM. Szafran talked briefly about his upcoming visit and stated more information will be forthcoming.
- Senior Vice Chancellor Visit – Houston Davis will visit campus on Friday, September 7th. He will meet with Dr. Szafran from 8:30 – 9:30 mostly about RACAA items, from 9:30 – 10:15 with personnel involved in online learning, and then at 10:15 with the deans. Szafran asked the deans to send suggestions for topics to discuss with the Vice Chancellor.
- New Degree Programs – Szafran reported that the DPS prospectus is complete and ready to submit and the two environmental degree prospectuses are up on Sharepoint for review. The M.S. in Civil has been returned to Sam Beadles for minor revisions. Szafran has asked the Board about the possibility of having an abbreviated approval process for new degree programs when an approved minor is already in place and is waiting for a response.
- Senior Staff discussions:
- Market study – Cooper is doing a new market study on the “perceptions of SPSU” in industry, the community, and with guidance counselors, etc.
- Risk assessment plan – Dr. Rossbacher is head of the risk assessment committee in the USG. Separate bi-weekly meetings to deal with strategic issues will be added.
- OS&E and travel – Szafran sent the adjusted spreadsheet to the Budget Office and asked if everyone has seen their new budget. Most are not able to use I-Strategy but Tom Currin reported that the funds have been allocated in his school. Zvi was asked to talk to Bill Prigge about training on I-Strategy and to find out what permissions may need to be changed so that the deans can see their departments’ budgets. Arthur and Megan are doing training on I-Strategy. A chair has asked to see the formula by which the extra OS&E funds were allocated and distributed. Szafran stated that this is a decision to be made by the dean.
- Parking/walking issue – Jeff Ray reported that the walkway stepping stones leading to the building from Lot #30 are unsafe and have caused several accidents resulting in injuries. Ray also stated that there is a need for more lighting and safe parking for faculty/staff on the west side. As it stands now this is a dangerous and serious situation. Zvi will talk to Bill Prigge about the unsafe walkway, lack of lighting, and other concerns for the west side of campus.
- History of the Pennsylvania Railroad – Al Churella has written a book on the history of the Pennsylvania railroad up to World War I and it is due out on October 12th.
Item 2. Deans Job Description
The deans reviewed the job description for the academic deans and all approved. Zvi will send the academic dean job description to Human Resources.
Item 3. Deans Role in Budget Process
Szafran asked if the deans had any questions or issues regarding the budget process. One dean noted that Szafran announced in the Academic Leadership Council Meeting that OS&E budgets were remaining the same and would not be cut because of recent budget issues but in actuality some departmental budgets were decreased by the dean. Other comments:
- Graduate assistant budget – Ray would like Nikki to send him a monthly budget on his graduate assistants. Nikki will send out monthly graduate assistant budgets to the deans. It was also asked if graduate assistant money can be moved to OS&E. Szafran stated that money can be moved to OS&E from the graduate assistant line but cannot be moved the other way because there are other costs associated the graduate assistants than just their stipends.
- Part-time faculty budget – Szafran stated that all departments have a line item for part-time faculty salaries. The deans stated that they cannot see this and need to know what their departments’ budgets are. Szafran stated he is willing to share his spreadsheet. The deans want to be able to see this information through I-Strategy. Should there be a percentage cap on the number of part-time faculty being used? Szafran stated that most are in Arts and Sciences and this is being addressed. Future agenda item – discussion on the appropriate level of part-time faculty in each department.
Item 4. Deans Role in Faculty Hiring
The deans have expressed that they would like to be more involved in the role of making faculty offers and as the University grows everything can’t be handled at the VPAA level. Further, they stated that most school deans make offers to potential faculty. Szafran stated that he has no problem with the deans making offers as long as:
- Szafran meets with all candidates as in the past
- All EEO paperwork has been approved through Human Resources BEFORE an offer is made
- Szafran is involved in decisions regarding failed searches and what to do with money as it relates to temporary hiring, etc., and is given regular updates on the status of searches
Future agenda item – reappointment procedure – Does Dr. Szafran need to see all positive reviews? The P&Ps are confusing, faculty need training. Becky is providing training on reappointment, promotion and tenure, and pre-post tenure review. Are there unofficial departmental policies versus official P&Ps on these subjects and if so Szafran would like to see them.
Item 5. e-Core
Russ Hunt shared data regarding registrations in online SPSU courses and in e-Core courses to see how they are complementing or competing, etc. with each other to see how best to go forward with online education. The data shows the number of SPSU students taking e-Core and should be used to make a strategic plan for offering online classes. It was suggested that we need data on how students are doing in current as well as subsequent e-Core classes to get true picture. Russ Hunt will work with Kelly Peyton to see if data can be pulled to show subsequent course success rates of students taking e-Core classes. The salary for a part-time faculty member to teach e-Core is $3,600 plus the University receives a portion of the revenue.
Future agenda item: Tuition differential discussion
CLEP & DSST – Hunt stated that we accept both of these tests for some courses and that our website should list what tests we do accept. What should our strategy be for e-Core? It was suggested that we list e-Core after our own courses fill. Hunt stated this can be done. The Council also talked about our students taking transient classes through Georgia Highlands for half the cost. Szafran stated that we need to know the magnitude of the problem and that we need to collect data on subsequent success rates for courses taken at Georgia Highlands by our students, especially in Math courses since they are critical to most majors. Szafran asked if this is something he should bring up to the Chancellor and all agreed yes, since this could potentially be a risk to the SIS and ET departments. Zvi will check Kelly Peyton for magnitude data for SPSU students taking transient courses elsewhere. He further suggested that we need to build out our graduate programs and concentrate on them. More to follow on this subject.
Item 6. New Business
Nelson is looking at student success rates for each faculty member and asked if any of the other deans were doing this as well. Other deans are looking at this as well.
P&P Teaching Effectiveness – Szafran reminded the Council to use the words “noteworthy” and “satisfactory” appropriately according to the P&P, and to use more than SIRs to evaluate their faculty.
Zvi will talk to Bill Prigge about the unsafe walkway, lack of lighting, and other concerns for the west side of campus.
Zvi will send the academic dean job description to Human Resources.
Russ Hunt will work with Kelly Peyton to see if data can be pulled to show subsequent course success rates of students taking e-Core classes.
Zvi will check Kelly Peyton for magnitude data for SPSU students taking transient courses elsewhere.
Future Agenda Item(s):
Part-time Faculty - Have a discussion on the appropriate level of part-time faculty in each department.
Reappointment procedure – Does Dr. Szafran need to see all positive reviews?
Online tuition differential discussion