SSE Executive Committee Meeting

April 1, 2011
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM


Present: Altiero, Gaver/Walker, Chen, Pratt, Koplitz, Nelson, Heins, Kalka, McGuire, Ruscher, Tasker, McPherson, Schmehl, Wee, Oertling, Engleman, Parker

Unfinished Business

The group discussed a number of agenda items from past meetings that have yet to be resolved. These include: (1) policies concerning professor of the practice and research professor appointments; (2) training of graduate students in teaching, scientific writing and English language skills; (3) effective use of Digital Measures in generating faculty activity reports; (4) staff merit raise and bonus policy; and (5) graduate student recruiting and financial aid. There was additional discussion on each of these issues and the group agreed to further address them at the final two meetings of the current academic/fiscal year (scheduled for May 6 and June 17).


Dean Altiero went over the arrangements for a number of events that will be taking place in April and May. These are as follows:

  • April 6 - 8: Health Science Research Days, SSE Research Day (including the Outstanding Research Award and student poster session), SSE Board of Advisors Reception and Alumni Awards; SSE Board of Advisors meeting; departmental board meetings.
  • April 14 - 15: 11th Annual Tulane Engineering Forum; reception for forum speakers, sponsors, and volunteers; student poster session and K-12 robotics demonstrations.
  • May 11 - 12: Graduate Hooding Ceremony and Reception; Unified Commencement, Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony and Wave Goodbye Party. There will be a special toast with photo opportunities for SSE graduates and their families at the Wave Goodbye Party at Mardi Gras World on the evening of May 12.

Current Issues

Sandy Parker, Assistant Dean for Finance and Personnel, reviewed University purchasing procedures including the approval process for P-cards and T&E cards. She also briefed the group on the recently completed SACS review.

Gary McPherson, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Facilities, briefed the group on the timetable for demolition of the Taylor Lab and construction of Flower Hall, renovations in Stern Hall including new elevators, and renovation of the J Bennett Johnston Building downtown.

Russ Schmehl, Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, reported on SSE Research day logistics including the need for more poster judges. He also reminded the group that April 15 is decision day for students admitted to our graduate programs.

Beth Wee, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, reported on changes to the format for "Honors Monday" on April 11. She also announced an orientation session that has been scheduled for SSE students interested in Study Abroad. There was a brief discussion on the requirements for graduating students to earn "departmental honors."

Annette Oertling, Assistant Dean for K-12 STEM Education, described efforts to develop a strategic plan for the K-12 STEM education initiate. She is working with the Board of Advisors K-12 STEM Committee to develop this plan and has invited a number of external constituents and experts to join them. An endowment has been established to support K-12 STEM outreach activities in the School.

Kat Engleman, Senior Director of Development, reviewed the fundraising data to date including number of donors, total annual giving, and major gifts. She also briefed the group on communication documents including the new e-newsletter. She announced that the School now has a second Development Officer, Nicole Graas, and she described how she and Nicole will coordinate their efforts. There was a general discussion that included gift clearance forms, faculty involvement in fundraising, progress toward completion of Flower Hall fundraising, and using the SSE reception at Mardi Gras World to recruit graduating students to the alumni council.

Strategic Planning

The group discussed the School strategic plan. The timetable for completion of the updated plan has been modified but completion is still anticipated by mid July. The June 17 Executive Committee retreat meeting will be devoted almost entirely to finalization of the plan.

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