SSE Executive Committee Meeting

April 30, 2007

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM


Present: Altiero, Burdsal, De Kee, Gaver, Heins, John, Kalka, Koplitz, McLachlan, McGuire, McPherson, Muneoka (for Mullin), Nelson, Parker, Ruscher, Tasker

Absent: Engleman

Updates and Loose Ends

There was one clarification to the graduate tuition policy discussed at the previous meeting. It was agreed that students enrolled in 4+1 programs would be charged 35% of full time tuition for one academic year and, if needed, would be allowed an additional 1⁄2 academic year to complete the degree without additional charge. After this grace period, tuition would be charged at 35% of the graduate tuition rate per credit.

Gary McPherson briefed the group on the status of space reallocation associated with the renewal plan. The main units affected at this time are the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Center for Computational Science, and the Coordinated Instrumentation Facility. In the long- term, the Department of Mathematics will be relocated to the Science and Engineering complex, as will the Army and Navy ROTC units.

Daniel De Kee reviewed the efforts of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in the area of graduate recruiting. This will be a top priority in the coming year. A list of graduate recruiting initiatives can be found in the GSC minutes of January 11. At the top of that list is to enhance departmental web sites (see below).

There are still some funds available for faculty travel. Requests should be directed to Daniel De Kee.

Commencement Staffing

The School of Science and Engineering diploma ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 19, at 4:00 PM, in the New Orleans Arena. This will be preceded by a party at Mulate’s Restaurant. While many staff members have volunteered their time to assist with these events, more staff volunteers are needed. It was agreed that all non-exempt staff who work on May 19 would receive one day off in return.

Web Sites

There was a lengthy discussion about the importance of departmental websites and the need to improve their quality and currency. The University will be unveiling a new web site this coming fall and a new system for the maintenance of websites across campus. Nick Altiero told the Department Chairs that, at their individual meetings with him this summer, they will go over their websites to discuss improvements, consistency, and plans for continuous website maintenance.

Changes to Faculty Annual Activity Reports

A number of changes to the “Annual Report of Faculty Activities” form have been suggested by faculty members. These were reviewed and most were approved. Nick agreed to make the changes in the form prior to the reporting of 2007 calendar year activities (due February 1, 2008). The new form will be made available on the web.

Emergency Plans

The group discussed the status of departmental emergency preparedness plans. It was emphasized that all plans, including contact lists, must be updated in time for hurricane season which commences on June 1. These emergency plans will be posted to the web but the contact lists will be password protected.

Promotion and Tenure Issues

The group discussed several concerns that have been raised by faculty members following last year’s promotion and tenure cycle. In particular, the following issues were addressed:


  • Can a faculty member up for promotion request that a particular individual not be contacted for a letter of evaluation? Yes, this provision is already included in the school’s promotion and tenure guidelines in section G.
  • How is a candidate’s participation in interdisciplinary multi-investigator grants taken into consideration? The candidate can include in the dossier a letter from the principle investigator outlining her/his role in the project.
  • Disciplines have different cultures regarding the ordering of authors on journal articles. If there is any confusion about this, it is incumbent upon the department chair to clarify the rationale behind the ordering of authors in the candidate’s dossier. Wherever possible, a description of the candidates contribution to a multi-authored paper is also helpful.
  • There was some confusion last year regarding promotion and tenure process deadlines in the new School of Science and Engineering. These have now been clarified and they are listed in the promotion and tenure guidelines document on the web.
  • Nick agreed to meet with each of our assistant professors individually in the fall to discuss promotion and tenure issues.

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