MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL OF ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS

1:30 p.m., Monday, March 7, 2005, in Lyceum 200

 

PRESENT:        Dr. Staton, Deans Hopkins, Eftink, Burnham, Davis, Wells, Stocks, Rholes, and Chitwood, Dr. Canty for Dean Reithel, Dr. Vaughan for Dean Lee, Dr. Sumrall, Ms. Bailey, Mr. Putta, Dr. Angle, Dr. Fant, Dr. Hall, Dr. Clark, Dr. Hallam, Dr. Gispen, Dr. Charles Gates, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Puckett

 

ABSENT:          Dean Reithel, Dean Lee, Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez, Dr. Kathy Gates

 

ALSO PRESENT:           Dr. Joseph Urgo, Dr. Noel Wilkin, Dr. Mark Wilder


             1. Residential Colleges. Dr. Joseph Urgo, Chair of the Provost’s Task Force on Residential Colleges, was present to discuss this issue with the Council. He summarized the visits the committee had made to Miami University, the University of Florida, and Murray State University, and the committee’s progression from thinking initially about establishing one or two residential colleges at the University of Mississippi to establishing a scheme of colleges that would include all students and faculty. He indicated two problems facing the more comprehensive proposal: the ban on co-ed housing and the size of some of our dormitories, especially Stockard-Martin. In response to a question by Dean Eftink, Dr. Urgo indicated that the committee believed that heads of the residential colleges should live in the colleges, as opposed to the arrangement at Murray State where heads only had offices in the college. Current university retention statistics were discussed along with the possible effects of a residential college plan on retention. Dr. Gispen wondered why a pilot program was not contemplated instead of the more comprehensive programs suggested by the task force. Dr. Urgo responded that a pilot program would not achieve the main benefits contemplated by the more comprehensive program. There was some discussion of whether our current capacity of housing was sufficient to accommodate the residential college plan proposed by the task force. Dr. Urgo reminded the Council that under the proposed plan, not all members of the colleges would be required to live in the colleges at any given time. In response to questions about possible additional expenses, Dr. Urgo stated his belief that the proposal contemplated additional expenses primarily in the area of released time for faculty heads. He suggested that current housing staff would support many of the needs of the residential colleges. There was some discussion of the practice at Murray State of awarding merit pay to faculty who participated in the residential college program. Dr. Urgo indicated that this was an attractive feature of their plan and thought that there would need to be some kind of incentive to encourage faculty participation. Dr. Gispen wondered whether incentives for participation in the residential college program would undercut our mission as a research university.


             2. 2005 Taylor Medalists (see Attachment #2). Dr. Mark Wilder, Chair of the Taylor Medal Selection Committee, was present to discuss the committee’s recommendation, which was approved by the Undergraduate Council, to award 48 Taylor Medals. In response to a question from the Provost, Dr. Fant indicated that the graduating class was about the same size as last year, at least as measured by the number of applications received at this time. Dr. Wilder indicated that the rankings were based on a composite of votes received by individual nominees from members of the Taylor Medal Selection Committee. Dr. Gispen stated that his sense from the Undergraduate Council was that members of the Council would be happy to receive guidance on the issue of how many Taylor Medals to award each year. The Provost indicated that the selection of these awards came from the faculty, and therefore, she was reluctant to suggest that guidance from the administration was necessary. She did wonder whether the idea of a Taylor Medal for each major might be more feasible than the growing number of Taylor Medals awarded each year. It was noted, however, that the strength of applicants from different majors might well be different. After further discussion and on a motion by Dean Hopkins and a second by Dean Wells, the Council unanimously approved the award of 48 Taylor Medals to the students listed in the recommendation from the Taylor Medal Selection Committee. The secretary subsequently inquired as to whether the process for reporting students with GPA’s eligible for a Taylor Medal nomination worked this year. The sense of the Council was that the process worked well.


             3. Approval of Minutes. The Provost announced that Chancellor Khayat has approved the minutes of the December 13 meeting without exception.


             4. Reaction to Undergraduate Council Minutes of February 4. The Council discussed the proposed change to the provision in the current Undergraduate Catalog concerning second bachelor’s degrees. Dean Eftink wondered how this new language would affect our reporting obligations with respect to degrees granted. Dr. Fant indicated that the transcript will show both degrees, although the diploma only shows the degree. Dean Chitwood noted that our current system does not seem to be able to reveal that a student is seeking two degrees at the same time. The secretary indicated that he would investigate this issue and try to see it resolved. After further discussion and on a motion by Dean Hopkins and a second by Dean Stocks, the Council unanimously approved the Undergraduate Council Minutes of February 4.


             5. Reaction to Graduate Council Minutes of June 17, October 29, and November 19. On a motion by Dean Eftink and a second by Dean Rholes, the Council unanimously approved the Graduate Council Minutes of June 17. On a motion by Dean Eftink and a second by Dr. Clark, the Council unanimously approved the Graduate Council Minutes of October 29. On a motion by Dean Eftink and a second by Dean Wells, the Council unanimously approved the Graduate Council Minutes of November 19.


             6. Proposed Policy on Privacy in the Electronic Environment (see Attachment #1). There was some discussion of the protection of social security numbers at the University. The Provost indicated that she thought the proposed policy addressed concerns about this issue. The secretary read to the Council a statement forwarded to him by Dr. Kathy Gates concerning the

support of IT for the proposed policy. After further discussion and on a motion by Dean Wells and a second by Dean Chitwood, the Council unanimously approved the Proposed Policy on Privacy in the Electronic Environment.


             7. Reports. The Provost asked the members of the Council to make any reports they thought might be useful to the other members. Dean Hopkins discussed two chairs which the College of Liberal Arts is attempting to fill. He noted that the Journalism position had been filled by Dr. Samir Husni, but that the Modern Languages chair was still open.


             Dean Burnham discussed an external review process that the School of Education is about to begin funded by the Hardin Foundation. This process will review all of the school’s programs as a preface to initiating a strategic planning process in the fall.


             Dean Chitwood discussed the search for a new HESRM chair and the school’s hiring of two new Communicative Disorders faculty.


             Dr. Angle announced that a search is under way for a new executive director of the Tupelo Center.


             Dr. Fant indicated that a provision for the on-line request of transcripts would go live by April 15.


             Dean Stocks questioned the Provost about the proposed 124-hour degree requirement. The Provost indicated that the University had until July to tell the IHL Board our plan for reducing most of our degree plans to 124 hours. But then we would have two years to implement this new requirement. The Provost indicated that at the March CAO meeting, the CAO’s from the various universities intend to discuss all planned exceptions to the 124-hour requirement. The Provost indicated that degree plans that exceeded comparable Florida plans might be difficult to justify, since the IHL seems to be using Florida programs as a benchmark. Dean Stocks also raised questions about degree program information on the web. Dean Hopkins suggested that much of this information be disabled, because it is not correct. Dean Eftink will investigate this issue.


             Dr. Vaughan indicated that Dean Lee was leading a delegation from Mississippi to the National Society of Engineering Educators meeting.


             In response to a question from the Provost, Dean Rholes indicated that library traffic is currently heavy.


             Ms. Mary Harrington briefly discussed work that her office is doing in connection with the study of retention at the University.


             The secretary distributed information from Dr. Kathy Gates (see Attachment #3) concerning student evaluations from fall, 2004.


             Dr. Wilkin indicated his appreciation to the Council for being permitted to attend meetings as a part of his training in the Academic Leadership Fellows Program within the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.


             Dean Wells informed the Council of upcoming events at the School of Pharmacy, including Pharmacy Weekend last weekend and the Hartman Lecture on May 4 to be delivered by Dr. Ed Thompson.


             Dean Eftink discussed the fall, 2004, student evaluations. He noted that the response rate had increased to 86 percent and that average answers to questions were remaining about the same. He noted that improvements had been made to faculty access to the student evaluations. He also noted that the one-page printouts of results had been disabled but would be replaced. Dean Eftink also briefly discussed the digital imaging project at the University being piloted with Institutional Research, Financial Aid, and the Graduate School. Dr. Gispen wondered whether digital imaging might be available for faculty willing to pay for the service. The Provost suggested that he contact the Publications Department to see if they might be able to assist faculty in this regard. Dean Eftink also described the policies directory on the University web site. He also noted that an I-grade reporting system available on the web might be ready as early as May.


             Dr. Canty noted that the Business School would be hosting an insurance symposium and a banking and finance symposium in the near future.


             Dr. Sumrall announced that members of the Council are welcome to attend meetings of the Faculty Senate.


             The Provost communicated news about the current legislative process and the possibility that IHL might approve a multi-year tuition increase. She also announced that the Law School had recently had its sesquicentennial celebration in Jackson.


             8. Adjournment. The Council adjourned at 3:10 p.m.



APPROVED by Chancellor Khayat on 4/26/05.