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Deans Council Meeting

April 3, 2013

 B 120



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


Members:  Rich Cole, Tom Currin, Ruston Hunt, Thomas Nelson, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt, Zvi Szafran


Members Absent:   Thomas Nelson, Jeff Ray


GuestsJoel Fowler, Faculty Observer; Andrew McMorran for Tom Nelson



Item 1. Updates

Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:

  • Staff Positions – have been prioritized and submitted and we will likely not get most but may get some. These positions will be discussed next Tuesday at Senior Staff and Szafran will keep the Council updated.  Faculty positions for next year will be finalized next Tuesday as well.  There is some money in this year's budget for high priority hires but they may have to take the place of other less critical hires if sufficient funding is not secured in next year's budget.  Szafran reminded the Council not to make any offers until approved by himself and President and all paperwork has been signed.
  • Budget - appears flat – the formula funding to be received is approximately equal to our cut.  Any increases will come from increases in tuition if approved and from growth if there is any.
  • Capital Budget - Additional departmental requests have been processed - still waiting for ACM.  Szafran reminded the Council to please put his spreadsheet code number on the departmental request to identify it as part of the capital expenditures.
  • Library Search – Szafran spoke to Sam Conn earlier today regarding the library search – Sam is waiting for nominations from the deans to serve on the search committee.
  • New Directors - International Programs and Honors directors have been discussed with Dr. Rossbacher and will be decided on Tuesday as well as some budgetary implications are involved.  
  •  Retirements and other faculty leaving – a recent audit deficiency was identified in Academic Affairs concerning faculty leaving and the University not knowing who has left.  It was decided that part-timers will stay in the pool until definitely parting ways with the University.  Full-timers retiring or resigning should notify the VPAA's Office as well as Human Resources.  Szafran stated that he has received two recommendations for emeritus status and reminded the Council to remember to do the paperwork in a timely manner so that proclamations can be prepared in time for the service awards
  • International Programs Director – Historically this has been a director position with 1/2 teaching responsibility and 1/2 administrative responsibility.  The search committee has suggested that this position be a full time administrative position. Szafran has suggested that it be a full-time administrative position but this has not been finalized.



Item 2. Discussion Regarding Minors

Minors – today’s discussion was about how different minors must be from majors and what is allowed (counting courses toward both minor and major) and where to draw the line.   Most minors are 6-8 courses.  The following are comments/concerns from the Council:

  • Computing and Software Engineering has learning outcomes for minors as well - if met they get the minor.  Suggests defining the minors by learning outcomes not by courses.  The learning outcomes of some majors automatically qualify the student for a minor without having to take additional courses.  Don't want to rely solely on learning outcomes for the award of minors - let the faculty and chairs decide.  Some schools award minors based on major coursework when the student completed the degree.
  • Currin cited the P&P states minor courses should be outside the major and not part of the major. Options and concentrations were created so students could concentrate in that particular area without having to take additional coursework.
  • Hunt - on the fence and can see both sides
  • The USG policy on minors does not allow for the use of courses in areas A-E to be used toward a minor
  • In favor of the majority of credit to be taken outside the major not just a gift for completing the major.
  • Come up with reasonable standard or give to senate to decide
  • P&P is taken directly from BoR - can't count Area A-E but can count area F.  How do we define a minor - extra work or body of knowledge in a major?
  • Why are we having this discussion?  
  • Do we need to have one policy?  International Studies has linked concentrations that are basically minors – and raised questions about how to handle this.
  • Let SIS work out their problem and let other departments where it is working continue as they are.
  • Any student should be able to get a minor without having to take additional courses outside the minor requirements (pre-requisites, etc.) and this probably only happens in math since different majors require different math courses.  Andrew thinks employers would like to be able to see what the student did to complete a minor.
  • Minors should be available to all majors with no prerequisites.  Leave to departments to decide?  Options, concentrations, and minors - need definition of each.  Minors are defined by the Board of Regents, concentrations are usually within the major, in SIS this is not true.  They offer certificates as well as options, concentrations, and minors.  Certificates are generally stand alone.
  • CSE likes the way they are doing minors.
  • The consensus among the Council appears to be to leave it to the departments except in certain cases.
  • How does degree works identify these?  If minors are identified by courses, then they are alright in degree works.  If outside the standard, may cause degree-works nightmare.

The Deans Council recommended that the current policy not be changed.



Item 3. Building Coordinators - Emergency Procedures

Andrew McMorran talked about the recent tornado drill that happened during a time when there were no math courses and only Georgia Highlands’ students were in Andrew's building.  He stated that the drill mostly went well but it would have been a bad situation if Math courses had been in session and could have potentially been a disaster.  Too many students would have been in that building.  Andrew asked if the building coordinators could redirect students to the student center in the future if there are too many students to shelter safely.  University Police were contacted and their response was that they cannot endorse the Math's department proposal and that they must follow GEMA recommendations, but were told building coordinators could redirect students if necessary.  Andrew’s concerned that if injuries happen and the recommended guidelines were deviated from, that building coordinators would be sued or held responsible in any way.  Zvi responded that he is fairly sure that insurance would cover everything and that the coordinators would not be held accountable and that most likely the University would be liable.

Andrew stated that building coordinators are volunteers and need guidelines and a statement that relieves coordinators from any liability by using their best judgment.  Since this issue has been brought to the attention of the campus, we should have a policy to address these issues.  Zvi will take this matter (building coordinator liability) to Senior Staff and University Police.  In the meantime, Andrew has recommended that his building coordinators not direct students away from building until this has been addressed.



Item 4. Promotion/Tenure Applications
Szafran stated that some faculty have not been consistently following P&P 803.05 when putting together their P&T packets, specifically when it comes to where to list scholarship and professional development items. This year there were a significant number of packets where this was a problem.  Szafran stated that scholarship is clear – it must be something in print (except for the fine arts) in order to be listed under scholarship.  It was suggested that this may be a mentoring issue and reminded the Council that Becky does workshops on this through the CTE.   It was suggested to make this an action for deans and chairs and to make the recommendation that the chairs (or designees) make sure packets are in order before they are sent to the peer committee.  Approved.



Item 5. Capturing SPSU Events

Szafran talked about the need to capture our story at Southern Polytechnic and cited the tech fee process as a good example we may want to follow with our capital equipment requests.   He explained that when one applies for tech fee purchase and is accepted, at the end you are supposed to report how this was purchase was used.  Szafran stated that he sees this process as a good thing to apply to other purchases as well and suggests we do this with capital equipment and end of year money to capture what we are doing that would be of interest to students and others.  Zvi noted that we are not doing the best job of highlighting what we as a University are doing.  Suggestions/comments from the Council included:

  • Create learning objects or projects that could be used in recruiting and other areas on campus 
  • CSE does monthly deans updates
  • faculty put things on their blogs, etc.  
  • Public Relations needs to be in the loop as well
  • Alumni magazine showcases the school    
  • Seeing more stories since the creation of the new web site 
  • Produce a year-end review book?  
  • All agreed that we need to highlight capital projects over $10,000 - stories, pictures, etc.  
  • capture when your faculty/staff/students do things



Item 6. New Business

  • Concerns were raised about insufficient communication on campus regarding consortiums, articulations, new degree programs, etc.   The P&Ps state that new degree proposals should be distributed to the deans and the VPAA for review before going forward.  It was suggested that by not always doing this we are creating problems among faculty and students that the deans must then sort out.  It was further suggested that we need to follow our P&Ps.  Szafran agreed that these should be circulated.  Dr. Currin also stated that preliminary proposals should go to the faculty senate before going to UCC.
  • A question was raised about where classes would be held during construction if Building D gets remodeled. Math faculty would like to be involved in the decision making.  Zvi is not sure how long the project might take at this time but expects it will be at least a year after funding is approved before the project could even begin so no decisions have been made at this time.  He assured the Council that all of the building occupants would have input when the time comes.



Action Item(s):


  • Zvi will take this matter (building coordinator liability) to Senior Staff and University Police.




Future Agenda Item(s):





Meeting adjourned at 3.42 P.M.