Extended Deans Council Meeting
January 15, 2014
Note: At times, issues of confidentiality may require that some items discussed in
these meetings be excluded from these minutes.
Members: Jill Brady, Dave Caudill, Rich Cole, Nancy Colyar, Tom Currin, Ruston Hunt,
Thomas Nelson, Iraj Omidvar, Jeff Orr, Nikki Palamiotis, Jeffrey Ray, Han Reichgelt,
Becky Rutherfoord, Zvi Szafran
Guests: Dianne Payne, Public Relations
Item 1. Updates
Dr. Szafran updated the Council on the following:
- Prior Tenure Credit – Szafran explained that in an effort to realign our policy on
prior tenure credit with the Board of Regents’ policy, faculty were given a one-time
opportunity to apply for 1-3 years of prior tenure credit. Varying years of credit
were given to those qualifying faculty thus changing their tenure clock. Szafran
explained the consequences as it relates to pre-tenure review and the tenure clock.
It was decided that those receiving 1 year of credit would be required to do pre-tenure
and those receiving 2 or 3 years would not be required. The BoR does not allow early
tenure action but does allow early promotion. Our policy states that faculty going
up for promotion to associate professor must have tenure or be going up for tenure.
This is being waived for this year.
- Registration Process Update - Jill reported that drop/add is closed (as of Thursday)
and waitlists are being processed. She commended all of the new staff in Business
and Finance for all their hard work. Initially dropped over 200 students and now
it is less than 20. Talked about some of the problems being experienced and encouraged
all to spread the word especially when it comes to adhering to deadlines. Szafran
suggested e-Core as an alternative for those who can't get into classes at SPSU. The
Registrar, Bursar and Financial Aid are working closely together to solve issues.
Szafran reported that the numbers for spring are up approximately 5% and this is
our largest enrollment for spring semester ever. Students who have been attending
classes but have not paid will be dropped even if they can pay after the deadline.
- Graduate Studies - Nikki reported that new student enrollment is up 14%, returning
students down by 1 student.
- End of Year Money – is currently under review and spending priorities are being established
especially infrastructure items
- News - AJC article reported that BestColleges.com ranked SPSU 25th on the website’s
list of 50 public “Colleges with the Best Return on Investment” (ROI). U.S. News
& World Report has ranked SPSU number eight in the nation for the Best Online Graduate
Computer Information Technology Programs.
- Currin – raised concern that Dobbins will close because of limited workforce availability.
- Some talk about possible raises in the next budget.
Item 2. Consolidation Issues
- Szafran stated that we have been encouraged to continue initiatives we're working
on and to continue to move forward, especially in those areas that do not have a counterpart
at KSU. Duplicative items should probably be discussed with relevant personnel at
- Department Chair searches at KSU – the process has been slowed down and all search
committees will have representation from SPSU and any SPSU faculty that would like
to apply may do so.
- New Faculty Orientation - Julie Newell and Becky work together to do new faculty orientations
and one of the topics covered is faculty initiated withdrawal. They have been told
by Legal Council that faculty should not be initiating withdrawals for students. Jill
is working with Alana to sort out the options and issues. Szafran stated that Becky
and Julie should encourage all new faculty to watch for email updates on this topic.
- Jill reminded the deans that she needs the feedback on course lists from the departments
- Working Groups - 81 working groups have been established and co-chairs named from
KSU and SPSU for each committee. The first meeting will be soon and the work these
committees will be doing will assist with SACS efforts as well. Szafran offered
to keep everyone informed about the progress of the committees that he is chairing.
- Mission Statement - Concern raised that SPSU may not have sufficient input into the
creation of the new university's mission. A draft of the vision and mission was discussed
earlier this week and is in revision already. Currin encouraged all to read the consolidation
website daily and to submit suggestions. He also noted that things are moving along
at a fairly rapid rate.
- Promotion and Tenure - Zvi talked about recent conversations with KSU about promotion
and tenure, faculty and staff issues, etc. and options for handling the consolidation
of policies. Any differences in policies between the two schools on promotion and
tenure will have to be integrated over a period of time to allow faculty the opportunity
to meet the new policy. Zvi stated that our P&T policies are not all that different
from KSU's. KSU's processes are more departmentally oriented rather than more broadly
disseminated to the school level. KSU has different categories of faculty as well.
Han noted that KSU does not have a two-no rule for P&T. The P&T working committee
will be addressing these policies and procedures. Regarding staff, they want to keep
layoffs to a minimum. Clear processes need to be made on how this will be handled.
Decisions are supposed to be based on placing staff in the best fit for the future
not what fits the current universities now. Nikki brought up concerns that staff
are starting to look for other employment opportunities because of the uncertainty
and also that KSU is trying to find positions for certain SPSU staff at their institution.
Questions about these types of issues should be submitted via the suggestion box.
Clarity regarding the senior leadership structure should be complete by mid-February
which may help alleviate some of these concerns. KSU has been very receptive to concerns
raised by SPSU and have made efforts to address/correct situations of concern.
Item 3. Infrastructure and Capital Needs
Sam Conn - capital budget and Library project - Sam talked about infrastructure improvements
needed in the Library at an estimated cost of approximately $380,000. Sam stated
that the challenge is where to get the money needed to do this. Also need infrastructure
updates in Building G which may take priority over the Library. Sam and Zvi have
been working together to come up ideas for ways to fund these. Consensus was to move
forward with the Library project.
Item 4. Volunteers wanted for Affordable Learning Georgia
A New Initiative, Affordable Learning Georgia, needs to two representatives from SPSU
to serve on their committee. One representative will be a champion and the other
a Librarian. They also and need suggestions for volunteers from the faculty. This
group is trying to raise awareness about the high cost of textbooks and the many alternatives
available. Brichaya suggested that an instructional designer may be a good choice
since they work closely with faculty and are very aware of different teaching material
options available. Szafran suggested that a faculty member would be best. It was
suggested that a faculty member in New Media Arts might be a good fit. Ultimately
it was decided that Zvi will send out an email to all faculty asking for a volunteer.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Tom Nelson.
Item 5. New Faculty Hires/Replacements
New hire paperwork - Zvi asked that anyone who has not turned in their paperwork for
new faculty hires to get it in as soon as possible.
Item 6. Beginning of Discussion on Capital Budget
Capital Items - asked all to bring forward capital item needs following the procedures
used in the past and explained that process for those who are new. Jeff Ray offered
to share his spreadsheet with Nancy Colyar. Szafran also reminded all to have departmental
requests ready to go so that they can be executed quickly if funding is available.
These prioritized lists are due mid-February.
Item 7. New Business
A question was raised about how students are updated about consolidation information.
Jill Brady replied that Ron Lunk is not sending mass emails to students about consolidation
updates but rather students have been told to view the website and the school's Facebook
Future Agenda Items:
Meeting adjourned at 3:46 PM