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SSE Executive Committee Meeting

October 2, 2009
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Minutes

Present: Altiero, Chen, Engleman, Walker (for Gaver), Sherry (for Heins), John, Kalka, Koplitz, Wietfeldt/McGuire, McPherson, Nelson, Ruscher, Schmehl, Tasker, Wee

Absent: Oertling, Parker

Guests: Cherrey, Woodley

FY09 Annual Report

Dean Nick Altiero went over the details of his annual report to the Provost, including faculty hiring, budget, undergraduate and graduate enrollment trends, research funding, fundraising, and outreach activities. He noted that there were three sections that could not be completed because of insufficient data: the sections on faculty accomplishments, employment of graduates, and student accomplishments.

The information on faculty accomplishments will be easy to generate once all faculty members are entering their accomplishments into the Digital Measures database system. It is imperative that, at minimum, information for calendar years 2008 and 2009 be entered by 15 January 2010. Since Digital Measures will be used to generate the faculty annual activity reports for those two calendar years, next year’s faculty evaluations (and raises) will be based on this information. It is expected that we will have full faculty participation by the January deadline.

Dean Altiero has contacted Amjad Ayoubi, Director of the Academic Advising Center, regarding the paucity of graduate employment data. Dr. Ayoubi has agreed to work with the School on developing ways to improve the reporting of employment status by graduating students. Data is needed for bachelors, masters, and doctoral graduates each year.

The School also needs better mechanisms for tracking accomplishments of both graduate students and undergraduate students. Associate Deans Schmehl and Wee are working on this aspect of the problem.

October 9 Board of Advisors Meeting

Dean Altiero went over the schedule of events associated with the October 9 SSE Board of Advisors meeting, including Homecoming events, and the agenda of the meeting itself. All Executive Committee members are urged to attend as many of the functions as possible and to participate in the Board meeting on the morning of October 9 and the subsequent luncheon with Board members and students. All Board of Advisors materials, including minutes and presentations, are now posted to the web in a section titled “Board WebCollab.” This web tool will be used to facilitate the work of Board standing committees and task forces.

Kat Engleman, Senior Director of Development, said that she would provide lists of the alumni who have signed up for Homecoming events to the relevant Department Chairs.

Student Resources and Support Services

Cynthia Cherrey, Vice President for Student Affairs, introduced Erica Woodley, Assistant Dean of Students and Case Manager for Student Resources and Support Services. Ms. Woodley gave a PowerPoint presentation about the Behavioral Intervention Team at Tulane and the mechanisms in place to recognize and respond to students at risk (i.e. in distress or crisis). The relevant Tulane web site is http://tulane.edu/concerns. This service applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Budget and Personnel Issues

Dean Altiero announced that there has been a reorganization of staff responsibilities in the dean’s office. Elizabeth Keith is now the Senior Program Coordinator for Graduate Programs and she will be working with Associate Dean Russ Schmehl. Maura Ryan is now the Program Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs and K-12 Outreach and she will be working with Associate Dean Beth Wee and assistant Dean Annette Oertling. Candy Guedry’s position is unchanged as Senior Program Coordinator for Events, Publications, and Alumni Affairs. Toni Hibbs, Executive Secretary, will have oversight of the work study students and will direct their attention to areas of greatest need.

Sandy Parker, Assistant Dean for Finance and Personnel, has requested estimated FY10 start-up package expenditures from all recently hired faculty members. This information has been requested by the Budget Office for planning purposes. The expenditure estimates are due on October 12.

AY11 sabbatical leave requests are due in the Office of the Dean on October 26.

Doctoral diplomas for all faculty and staff who have teaching assignments are due in the Office of the Dean by November 10. These are needed for the SACS accreditation review.

Graduate Studies Issues

Associate Dean Russ Schmehl reported that the School awarded 85 MS degrees and 33 PhD degrees in AY09. The School admitted 117 new students to MS degree programs and 84 new students to PhD degree programs for Fall 2009. Of these, 90 MS and 55 PhD students have enrolled.

The Schools of Liberal Arts and Architecture have now joined the School of Science and Engineering in using the Apply Yourself Application Network online application service. There have been a few glitches as this service has been implemented but they appear to have been remedied.

Dean Schmehl urged all of the departments to report any additional problems that might arise to him. Departmental faculty and staff who are involved in the admissions process will be receiving their login id’s and passwords soon.

There are a number of graduate fellowship opportunities (NSF, DOE, etc.) with application deadlines from November through February. Competitive candidates should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Dean (Elizabeth Keith). There was some discussion about the School applying for support from programs such as NSF IGERT and DoEd GAAN.

The Office of the Provost is again offering funds for graduate student recruiting activities. The deadline for submission of proposals is October 16.

As Dean Altiero said at the last meeting, the School must begin preparing for the transition back to a decentralized budget system. One of the areas that will be re-examined is the distribution of teaching assistantships and the TA stipend levels. Dean Schmehl is requesting information on TA stipend levels at peer institution (southern private universities with doctoral programs). He is also requesting suggestions for the criteria that should be used in the allocation of TA positions to the departments and programs.

Undergraduate Studies Issues

Associate Dean Beth Wee said that a special emphasis is being placed on getting more science and engineering students involved in Study Abroad. She asked that each department identify a contact person with whom her office can work. There will be a University-wide study abroad fair on October 28 and the School plans on organizing its own study abroad event later in the semester.

She also reported on information that is being added to the undergraduate section of the School’s web site, including a section on student accomplishments. The student accomplishments section should help address one of the reporting problems that Dean Altiero reported earlier.

Development Issues

Kat Engleman reported that she will be sending materials to the Department Chairs over the course of the next week, some of which will require quick feedback. One document that she will be sending is a draft of the School’s fundraising priorities. She emphasized that this is a draft at this point and all suggestions are welcomed. She will also be asking Department Chairs for the names of potential major gift prospects, especially in the core geographical areas that she regularly visits. She then described the stewardship program that involves thanking donors who have invested in the departments and programs of the School of Science and Engineering. She is assembling a list of donors by major and she will be distributing these names to the relevant Department Chairs.


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