MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL OF ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS
1:30 p.m., Monday, November 13, 2006, in Lyceum 200
PRESENT: Dr. Staton, Deans Hopkins, Reithel, Eftink, Lee, Wells, Wilder, Rholes, Chitwood, Sullivan-Gonzalez, Pate, Mr. Dru Ashoo for Mr. Anthony Yuen, Dr. Fant, Dr. Clark, Dr. Gates, Dr. Gispen, Dr. Canty, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Schiferl
ABSENT: Dean Burnham, Dean Davis, Dean Buntin, Dr. Donna Davis, Mr. Putta, Dr. Angle, Dr. Hall
ALSO PRESENT: Shad White
1. Reaction to Undergraduate Council Minutes of October 6, 2006 (see Attachment #1).
On a motion by Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez and a second by Dean Hopkins, the Council unanimously approved the Undergraduate Council Minutes of October 6, 2006.
2. Creation of a Department of Public Policy Leadership
The Council took up the establishment of a new Department of Public Policy Leadership. Dean Hopkins made a motion that the University create the department and Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez seconded the motion. In the ensuring discussion, Provost Staton indicated that the Department of Public Policy Leadership would be aligned with the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. The Department will offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Leadership, and Dr. Robert Haws will serve as department chair. Dr. Haws will step down as Chair of the History Department and will assume his new duties on December 15, 2006. The motion was approved.
3. Other News
Provost Staton introduced Shad White, Treasurer of the Associated Student Body and Chair of the Textbook Task Force that is investigating the affordability of texts for students. Mr. White had presented the Task Force’s conclusions to the Executive Management Committee on Monday morning, and was invited to also do so to the Council. In addition to the general charge to the Task Force for research into reducing the cost of textbooks for students, a document outlining “Tips for Saving Money on Textbooks” was created to provide freshmen students with information to realize economies in textbook purchasing. The Task Force has raised money in a T-shirt sale to provide an ASB Book Award for a series of small scholarships that will be awarded to low income students by the financial aid department. The Task Force has also asked for the endorsement of the Faculty Senate (no response as of this date) and has contacted the IT Department to implement the placement of ISBN numbers into a student-accessible online database.
Mr. White stated that, on average, a student spends $898 per year on textbooks. That price constitutes 26 percent of the cost of tuition at an average four year university.
The Task Force’s recommendations for the Mississippi Legislature is to pass a bill publicly acknowledging the problems, pass a bill to address the bundling problem, and to urge the Legislature to form a group to investigate a text book rental program. Such an action as the rental program would be controversial, but the students will work with Dr. Andy Mullins to go forward. Other issues were recommended for action by faculty, University administrators, the Faculty Senate, and for the Associated Student Body. (see Attachment). Further discussion revolved around awareness of the problem, putting the ISBN numbers on line and inserting the ISBN numbers in the course booklet. Dr. Kathy Gates suggested the formation of a small working group to continue taking some action.
Dr. Gates announced that work on standardizing a form for privacy in student records is going well. Teacher evaluations opened on Friday. Recent email problems were the result of SPAM.
Dr. Ann Canty mentioned that the articulation guides are in the process of being updated by IHL, and the deadline for submission to IHL is December 1, 2006, with a copy to the Provost Office.
Dr. Maurice Eftink and Stephen Monroe are engaged in meetings with the graduate students on health insurance. Dr. Eftink also announced that the SACS Committee on QEP Topic Selection has been formed and is meeting regularly. Dr. John Winkle is Chair.
4. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
All items approved by Chancellor on December 14, 2006.