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Extended Deans Council Meeting

January 15, 2014

B 120


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


Members Absent:  


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 KSU.
  • 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 page.




Action Items:




Future Agenda Items:

Meeting adjourned at 3:46 PM