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The Weekly Blab 1.13

The Weekly Blab

Vol. 1, Number 13—January 8, 2006

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  Here we go with the lucky thirteenth issue of the Weekly Blab. Please—share your thoughts!  Bear in mind that some of the items that may appear here may later disappear without a trace upon further consideration, due to their preliminary nature!

 

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ITEM:  Enrollments

With Spring semester here, a young man’s fancy turns to enrollments (or something like that, anyway).  The “official” fall number wound up at 4207, which was an all-time high and an increase of 10.5%, which was the highest growth rate among 4-year USG institutions.  It was great hearing the Chancellor saying this at our December graduation.

 

Here’s the good news:  The final numbers aren’t in yet for Spring 2007, but as of 4 PM, we are sitting at an enrollment of 4180.  This number will likely rise a bit over the next few days and then fall a bit when we drop students for non-payment, but things look solid for being over 4000 this Spring, and we’re making bets on how much higher.  This would also be an all-time high for SPSU for a spring semester. 

 

Here’s some more good news:  The number of graduate students has also increased.  At the moment, it’s up about 10% to 513.  Since graduate students tend to register later than undergraduate students, this will likely climb a bit too.  The new graduate student orientation last Thursday was the largest I’ve seen, with 52 students there.

 

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ITEM:  Important Dates

I’d like to remind everyone that the Early Warning grades are due on January 23.  All faculty must turn in student engagement grades for all undergraduate students, as follows:

                        Engaged:          The student is attending, and participating appropriately                                                             (turning in assignments, participating in class, etc.)

                        Not Engaged:   The student is attending, but not participating appropriately

                                                (skipping assignments, not participating in class, etc.)

                        No-Show:        The Student is not attending class.        

Please note that if the student is not attending class, the correct grade is “No-Show”, not “Not Engaged”.

 

Mid-term grades are due on February 23, and are a choice of “Satisfactory” and “Unsatisfactory”. 

 

Final Grades are due on May 3 (by noon) for seniors, and May 7 (8 AM) for all others.  The last day to withdraw is February 27.

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ITEM:  Honors

SPSU had its first honors graduate last year, and two more honors students graduated this past December.  The honors program is growing each term, and I’m pleased to tell you that SPSU has now been accepted into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society.  We are the Georgia nu chapter, and the 386th chapter of Alpha Chi overall.   Dr. Mark Stevens (of the Department of English, Technical Communication and Media Arts) will be the chapter advisor.  Here is some basic information:

  • Alpha Chi is a general honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines.
  • Membership is limited to the top 10 percent of an institution's juniors and seniors.
  • Invitation to membership comes only through an institutional chapter. A college seeking a chapter must grant baccalaureate degrees and be regionally accredited.
  • Some 300 chapters, located in almost every state and in Puerto Rico, induct more than 11,000 members annually.

Alpha Chi is distinctive in that it involves members in all aspects of its operation: chapter officer leadership, student representation on the National Council, local chapter event planning, and presenting scholarly programs at regional and national conventions.

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ITEM:  Meetings

With the Academic Planning Process getting into full swing (see below), we have meetings a’plenty for the spring semester.  Here’s the tentative schedule:

 

Deans Council, Academic Leadership, Academic Planning Committee, and Academic Planning Steering Committee

Meeting Schedule, Spring 2007

 

January 10, 2007 – ALC – 2:00 PM

Ballroom “B”

January 17, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

January 18, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

M 100 “Lobby”

January 24, 2007 – Academic Planning Steering  – 2:00 PM

B 120

January 31, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

 

 

February 1, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

M 100 “Lobby”

February 7, 2007 – ALC – 2:00 PM

Library Rotunda

February 14, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

February 15, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

M 100 “Lobby”

February 27, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force

M 100 “Lobby”

February 28, 2007 – Academic Planning Steering – 2:00 PM

B 120

 

 

March 7, 2007 – NO MEETING—Spring Break

 

March 13, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

Ballroom “B”

March 14, 2007 – ALC – 2:00 PM

Ballroom “B”

March 21, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

March 28, 2007 – Academic Planning Steering – 2:00 PM

B 120

 

 

April 4, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

April 5, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

M 100 “Lobby”

April 11, 2007 – ALC – 2:00 PM

Library Rotunda

April 17, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

Ballroom “B”

April 18, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

April 25, 2007 – Academic Planning Steering – 2:00 PM

B 120

 

 

May 2, 2007 – Deans Council – 2:00 PM

B 120

May 3, 2007 – Academic Planning Task Force – 12:00

Ballroom “B”

 

What are all these groups?  Deans Council and ALC are as they have previously been.  Academic Planning Steering is the Deans Council, plus representatives from each school.  Your dean should have notified you if you are one of the school reps.  The Academic Task Force (as mentioned in the December 2 BLAB) is the ALC, plus the membership of the UCC, and one rep from the GPC for departments that have grad programs.  That’s one big committee!  I should mention that the Academic Planning Committee meetings are open to all who wish to attend (as are any of the others, for that matter).  We will try to take somewhat expansive minutes, so that everyone can have a real feel for what’s going on.

 

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ITEM:  Academic Planning

As mentioned before, the plans are for the Academic Planning Task Force to meet twice a month (more or less, schedule is above), for about 90 minutes per session.  I know that seems like a lot, but this is a serious undertaking and a 1 hour meeting per month just won’t cut it.  Assuming this structure works out well, in about a year we’ll send a proposal to the Faculty Senate to make the Task Force into a standing committee.

 

The Task Force will focus on at least the following issues (others to be added if needed):

  • Develop an overall plan for what SPSU will look like within 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year windows.
  • Develop hard time-lines for phasing in programs within context of the plan         
  • Develop financial models that consider costs of program phase-in, potential revenues, and uses for those revenues.
  • Prepare annual reports for affirmation and adoption.     

 

I’ll repeat a quote from Dean Gabrielli’s blog (who I thought put it very well): “The plan will not be a wish-list of new majors, but rather, it will consider priorities, resources, enrollments, and revenues, to create a blueprint for growth.  This plan will be driven by input at all levels.  Each department will work on a departmental plan in parallel with the development of the campus plan.  Because the departmental plan must agree with the campus plan, there will have to be a lot of communication in both directions between the departments and the task force.  This will be an iterative process, with priorities and goals at all levels being set, changed, and reset as the big picture is brought into focus.  The Steering Committee will set timetables, guidelines, and formats to make the process as efficient as possible.”

 

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ITEM:  Advising Task Force

You all might want to review that last BLAB with regard to the Advising Task Force.  Plans for how we’re proceeding are listed there, with a request for input into how it looks.  Since this has a real impact on faculty workload, we’d like to get as much input as possible.  The last BLAB can be accessed at the following link:

 

http://fac-web.spsu.edu/aa/The%20Weekly%20Blab,%201.12.htm
(new link = The Weekly Blab 1.12)

 

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ITEM:  Aviation Ground School

Here’s something that’s in very preliminary form.  The Naval Sea Cadet Corps sponsors an aviation ground school at Auburn University (in Alabama), which serves some 175 students per year between the ages of 15 and 18.  They would like to move the program to our campus this summer and thereafter.  They would basically be using some of our residence hall space and a few classrooms for two 12 day sessions in the summer.  Their program supplies all the instruction.  The students are obviously interested in things technological, and are good potential students for SPSU.  The folks at the Aviation Ground School are happy to advertise SPSU to their students and mailing list.  They are also interested in having us offer additional programs to this age group, if we want to, so I’ve got a mental image of some sampler on robotics or electronics or the like, which would serve as good feeders to our ECET and MET and Mechatronics programs.  Lot’s of other possibilities here, which I’ll bring up at various venues and see who’s interested.  As you might expect, Dawn Ramsey will be administering this program assuming the details get worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.  Stay tuned for more details.

 

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ITEM:  Renovations and Remodeling

Some of you may have noticed some renovations going on in the administration building.  The entranceway has been moved further out, and the first office in the admissions/ registrar suite has been opened to the outside.  The end result will be an Admission Office that is much more prominent and visible to potential students, who are constantly hunting for the office now.

 

Next on the agenda:  renovations to the library.  These will include expanding the archives space on the second floor (more than doubling it), putting a computer lab on the first floor (which will also be available for general use) and fixing the dome over the rotunda.  Work should start in about three weeks.

 

Work is proceeding on renovating the Elks’ Lodge building, and John Mills tells me it will look great when they’re finished.  Finally, funding for a significant upgrade to Building I was recommended by the Board of Regents for the FY08 budget.  If the Governor includes this $4.9 million “minor capital outlay project” in his recommended budget, and the General Assembly approves it, we can look forward to seeing this renovation sometime next year.  We should know later t his week whether Governor Perdue will recommend this project as part of his proposed budget.  A lot of politics will be happening between now and the end of the legislative session.

 

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ITEM:  Master Planning

This then brings us to the Master Planning Process, and to our identifying space needs on campus into the 5- and 10-year windows for the future.  Phase One of the process, where we determine how much space we have now relative to our needs and how much we’ll need based on growth estimates, is more or less done.  The bottom line is that we are short of appropriate quality space, to the tune of 121,000 sq. ft. now (academic core space), and will be short 266,000 sq. ft. in 2011 and 469,000 sq. ft. in 2016, assuming growth targets are met and there is no additional construction.  The number will be larger, of course, when housing and maintenance etc. are figured in.

 

This isn’t too shocking, as we all know we are a bit short of space now (including that buildings D, E, I, and K, among others, are not as good quality as they need to be), and that the problem grows worse as we grow.  We also know that we will need at least one major need building on campus within the next five years, and will need one or two more between 5 and 10 years from now.

 

Phase Two of the process will be beginning very soon, and involve where on campus the buildings should be.  We’ll be having broader meetings of the master planning group to address this, as well as some open forums.  We’ll also be talking about this (and other issues) at Deans Meetings and in the Academic Planning Group, among other venues.

 

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ITEM:  Comings and Goings

For those who don’t know, Prof. Richard Hahn retired at the end of fall semester.  Dick was with SPSU since 2000, and taught Speech in the Department of English, Technical Communications and Media Arts.  He was also our men’s soccer coach before soccer became a varsity sport.  Dick taught in the honors program, and also was a coach and judge with the forensics tournament, not to mention being a strong supporter of the athletic association and an advisor to a student fraternity.  I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing Prof. Hahn well on his retirement.

Also, please join me in welcoming Prof. Robert M. Thacker to our Business Administration Department.  Professor Thacker is an entrepreneur with a strong industrial background, including such areas as enterprise integration, process re-engineering, information system design, computer-integrated manufacturing, and software development.  He has worked or consulted for Xerox, IBM, Oracle, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Delphi, Allisons, Navistar, Delco Remy, Motorola, BellSouth, and McDonald's International, and been president of an engineering design-build firm providing services to the automotive, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, and aeronautics industries. Recently, he was principal of Thacker & Associates, L.L.C., an enterprise integration planning consultancy.  He is the author of numerous articles and a book on the subject of computer-integrated manufacturing and enterprise integration planning. Professor Thacker holds an M.S. in Technology Management from SPSU, and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in business and technology for more than six years.  He will also be serving as the Director of Business and Technology Integration for the ETM School.

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OK—That’s it for now.  Let me know your thoughts.  Also, let me know if there’s any topic you’d like me to address, and I’ll try to do it.

 

 

 

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