Extended Deans Council Meeting
May 15, 2013
Note: At times, issues of confidentiality may require that some items discussed in these meetings be excluded from these minutes.
Members: Members: Dave Caudill, Rich Cole, Tom Currin, Steve Hamrick, Ruston Hunt, Yongli Ma, Thomas Nelson, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt, Becky Rutherfoord, Zvi Szafran
Item 1. Updates
Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:
May 14, 2013 Board of Regents Meeting Report:
- New Programs – Our degree program proposals in Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering Technology were approved.
- Also discussed was how the Affordable Healthcare Act would affect the University System of Georgia. Most faculty and staff are already covered, and the current policies meet all requirements of the act. There will be some penalties assessed regarding people who elect not to be covered, but the cost is minimal.
- An MS degree in Computer Science to be delivered by MOOC was approved for Georgia Tech. Total cost to students to complete the degree would be circa $7,000. Courses would be free for those who want simple access. There will be a nominal fee for certificates of participation. Tuition would be charged for those who want to be assessed and receive credit.
- There is a draft plan to assign campuses to new “subsectors” based on fraction of programs offered at the masters degree level. This will be reviewed in the summer.
Item 2. End of Semester Wrap-Up
The following were raised as end-of-semester issues:
- Reappointments are a problem, as the peer committee members are no longer on campus and deadlines are approaching.
- Contracts had not yet gone out for next year—they need to be sent out earlier as a matter of course.
- It may be necessary to end the practice of giving out live diplomas. We are the last campus in the USG to still do so.
- Searches are progressing for the Library Director and for the Director of International Programs.
- Summer enrollments were down about 10% at this point. [It has since become even with last year.] There are no changes in the summer course pay policy for this year—all is the same as last year, with averaging and full pay for 18 students. The question was raised as to whether there is any specific marketing done for summer—No. Permanent schedules that push some demand to summer is a partial fix for this problem.
- We need to have a “functional equivalency” policy to address the issue of course substitutions where the proposed substitute is not equivalent to the required course, but fills the same function and is acceptable to the department. For example, a course in advanced Biology would not be equivalent to a course in advanced Chemistry, but might be acceptable as a functional equivalent [an advanced science directed elective] by the department. Steve will prepare a draft proposal.
Item 2. Discussion of Online Campus Forum
At least two more forums will be held on the Online Campus prospectus—one later in the summer and one in the fall. The Distance Learning Task Force will be asked to participate in “fleshing out” the prospectus, to make suggestions, and to raise any concerns. There are several open questions that have yet to be addressed, and work will continue to address them. Deans are encouraged to ensure that their faculty know that input is welcomed, and all issues will be appropriately vetted. Concerns that have come up include:
- Will this result in loss of departmental control of their programs? [--No. Departments will have the same control they currently do.]
- Will it be more lucrative for a faculty member to teach online? [--A budget draft is being developed that will clarify this issue.]
- Will departments be required to participate? [--Departments offering online programs will be better off in the online campus model, since more revenue and support resources will flow to them. Again, the budget draft will clarify this.]
More discussions about the online campus prospectus will be held in future ALC and Deans Council meetings, as well as open forums and other venues.
Item 3. Georgia Tech MOOC Online Program
A discussion was held on what effects the Georgia Tech MOOC MSCS program might have on SPSU’s MSCS program. Dean Reichgelt felt it would have little effect. Most students in SPSU’s program are international students who have to take resident courses for visa purposes. The MOOC version would not meet their needs. Courses offered by MOOC raise questions about transferability and accreditation. The consensus was that MOOC delivery of degree programs will serve a narrow band of students, and we should continue to monitor what is happening on other campuses.
Item 4. New Business
- Steve will develop a draft proposal on “functional equivalence”
- The Deans Council will review the reappointment schedule and see if it can be approved.
Future Agenda Item(s):
The meeting adjourned at 3:40 PM
Note: Debbie Patrick was on vacation. These minutes were taken by Steve Hamrick.