The Weekly Blab
Volume 3, Number 7
February 8, 2009
It’s been a while since the last Blab—it seems that I always slow down with these in December and January, when the office is buried in paperwork. My late New Year’s resolution will be to try to get back to more or less weekly.
What’s Going On
Lots of things are going on right now with regard to new degree programs. We’ve heard back a few questions about the Accounting B.S. and M.S. proposals, and have responded (Thanks Jennie and Ronny!). Hopefully, the proposals will show up on the March Board of Regents Agenda. We were invited to submit a full proposal for the Information and Instructional Design M.S., which we have done (thanks Keith!) and are awaiting word. We were also invited to submit a full proposal for the Game Design B.S. (which has also gone downtown, thanks Jon!), and for the Political Science B.S. (which is almost ready for review—I just got the proposal, thanks Tom and Tom!).
With regards to Engineering, Tom Currin and I met on the 10th with our colleagues at Georgia ‘Tech. I am hopeful that we will soon hear some positive news from them—the demand study that we recently conducted was largely positive, and the meeting was largely positive as well. On the 19th, Lisa and I go downtown to discuss how to move forward in the area of Science Education.
Lots of things are also going on regarding more administrative matters. The Academic Plan (which also contains the Graduate Academic Plan) has moved on to the Faculty Senate, who will be discussing it on Thursday. The new Faculty Workload Proposal will be discussed at the GPC on Tuesday, as it relates to graduate faculty. The proposal on Streamlining Evaluations will be moving to the Senate soon. These three plans constitute a lot of work by a lot of people, and I thank them for their efforts.
As was mentioned in my memo earlier today, the faculty chairs and deans are currently involved in developing responses to a number of budget scenarios, so that whatever happens, we will have a plan to deal with it. I have distributed some spreadsheets that will (hopefully) be useful in planning. Please help them to formulate responses that allow us to make the necessary cuts, while protecting our academic mission and our students to the maximum degree possible.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve completed and sent back our responses to the SACS Off-Campus Team. We’ve also completed our QEP proposal, whose title is “Engaged Communities: Engaging Entering Students through Learning Communities”. You’ve all no doubt seen the article about the QEP in the most recent Sting. And, all of the templates (both new and revised) are now posted.
Lots of things are going on about facilities on campus, too. I’m sure everyone has noticed the parking garage going up. To help with the parking crunch during the construction, SPSU has entered into an agreement with the Union Hall to allow us to park there, beginning this past weekend. This adds some 300 additional spaces, which I’m sure we all agree are badly needed. The bonds for the Engineering Technology Center and Architecture Studio Building addition just sold a few days ago, so construction should begin very soon on the ETC.
Work is happening quickly on Burruss Auditorium, with new fixed tables and rolling seats being installed as we speak. The Auditorium will have a capacity of about 165, and will be a much better potential teaching space than Burruss was formerly. The seating in H-200 will also be replaced in the near future. A new Biology lab has been “split out” on the first floor of Building E, and soon will be equipped with new benchwork. Construction is also taking place on the second floor of E, consolidating a piece of the hallway, an office, and room E220 into a new laboratory. These changes will add some much needed capacity to our campus.
When It Rains, It Pours
I know you’ve all heard that the chance that a slice of bread will land butter-side down is directly proportional to the price of the carpet. Well, here’s a corollary. The chance of a pipe breaking in a room is directly proportional to the amount of paper goods that are in that room. During our last cold snap, we came home from shopping on Saturday evening and Jill heard water running. Searching around, we ultimately found that a pipe had separated in the “Comic-Book Room”, a room behind the garage that I use to store a large hunk of my collection, and water was cascading over the comic book boxes. After shutting off the water in the house, I had to shift about 50,000 comic books out of that room into the garage and re-box them, to get them out of their old boxes which were soaked. The good news (if there’s good news here) was 98-99% of the comics made it through alright, since they were in plastic bags and the boxes are somewhat waxed. The bad news was that they took up every square inch of space remaining in the garage, and will now need to be boxed again when I get some new comic boxes. I’m taking this as a sign from above, saying “cut back on the collectables”.
Today’s Trivia Challenge
For no reason whatsoever, today’s trivia challenge is about geography. First person to get all correct gets their choice of either a Bill Evans CD—“Sunday at the Village Vanguard” or a Paul Revere and the Raiders CD—“Just Like Us!”
Bonus: You win both CD’s if you correctly answer the following:
What is the smallest country on earth (defined as an entity that has official recognition as a country by another country)?
No looking on the internet, now!