SSE Executive Committee Meeting

December 3, 2010

8:00 AM — 10:00 AM


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

Absent: Schmehl, Engleman

Guests: Ayoubi, Thompson

Update and Miscellaneous Topics - Altiero

Dean Nick Altiero went over the FY12 proposed operating budget assumptions that were presented to the Tulane University Senate on 29 November. The implications of this budget for the School of Science and Engineering were discussed.

The faculty evaluation process is about to begin. Faculty members are to input all 2010 calendar year annual report information into Digital Measures by 14 January 2011. The Digital Measures data will then be fed into the standard SSE annual report form and into a standard CV format. If a faculty member has not entered all of the information required to produce a complete CV, he/she should submit a hard copy of his/her updated CV to the dean’s office by the 14 January deadline. Department Chairs need to meet with each of their faculty members individually between 17 January and 4 February and then be prepared to discuss these evaluations with Dean Altiero before the end of February.

The staff evaluation process is also about to begin. Staff members must complete and submit their annual evaluation forms to their supervisors no later than 11 February and supervisors should be prepared to meet with their staff members individually to complete their evaluations by 25 February. Staff evaluations must be submitted electronically no later than 28 February with a copy to the SSE Dean's Office. It is anticipated that there may be a modest merit component in addition to the base raise for staff. A supervisor who has a staff member who has demonstrated extraordinary performance, as documented in the Performance Review form, may submit a short email to the dean for consideration of an additional merit component for that staff member.

According to the FY12 proposed operating budget, the Headcount Stabilization Policy will remain in effect. Nonetheless, the School will prepare both faculty and staff hiring plans in anticipation of an easing of this policy in the near future. Each unit was asked to include a faculty hiring plan and a staff hiring plan in its strategic planning material.

There was a discussion of steps being taken by the Workforce Management Office (WFMO) to assist in spousal/partner hires associated with faculty recruiting and retention.

There was further discussion of the guidelines for appointment of research professors in the School. Dean Altiero had agreed to draft a new guideline document for approval at this meeting but he is now awaiting further instructions from the Office of the Provost regarding University-wide standards for such positions.

The group also discussed appointment of adjunct professors in the School. It was agreed that there are three types of adjunct appointment: (1) an individual who is hired to teach a course because there is no regular faculty member available to do so, (2) an individual who is hired to teach a course because he/she has qualifications not normally held by a regular faculty member, or (3) an individual who holds a primary appointment elsewhere but significantly contributes to the unit in which the adjunct appointment is held. The School is taking measures to eliminate category (1) adjunct teaching appointments, limiting adjunct teaching appointments to category (2) insofar as possible. It was agreed that category (3) adjunct appointments would be encouraged where appropriate and that each individual appointed to such a position would receive a letter from the dean stipulating the term of the appointment (up to four years, renewable).

Career Services and Academic Advising - Ayoubi

Amjad Ayoubi, Executive Director of Career Services and Academic Advising, joined the meeting. He was accompanied by Barry Thompson, Director of Career Services. Dr. Ayoubi drew the attention of the group to the new Science and Engineering Career Services web site that focuses on the specific needs of science and engineering majors, including internship and job opportunities, and said that the Office of Career Services has now dedicated three staff members to the School of Science and Engineering. He asked the group to assist this effort by providing annual updates of materials for the site and by strongly encouraging SSE students to sign up for services provided by this office.

Dr. Ayoubi also made a presentation on the Tulane Academic Alert System. Through this system, an instructor can identify a student who is having difficulties in class using an online Academic Alert Referral Form. Once such a form has been submitted identifying the student, the course, and the academic concern, the student is notified via an alert email with a copy to the academic advisor for follow-up.

Undergraduate Studies - Wee

Following up on a topic raised at the previous Executive Committee meeting, Associate Dean Beth Wee outlined a pilot course that will be offered in spring 2011 that will link undergraduate research experiences to the tier 2 service learning requirement. This pilot course will be restricted to undergraduate students who are engaged in health-related research projects and it will be administered by Dr. Wee. Should this pilot course be successful, it is anticipated that the program will be expanded in the future to include courses focused on other research areas such as environment, energy, etc.

Dean Wee stressed the importance of faculty members handling cases of plagiarism and cheating in a consistent manner. She drew the attention of the group to Newcomb-Tulane College Code of Academic Conduct and the Unified Code of Graduate Student Academic Conduct and stressed the importance of faculty members including reference to these codes in their course syllabi and following the procedures set out by these codes when infractions occur.

Graduate Studies - Altiero

Associate Dean Russ Schmehl was unable to attend the meeting so Dean Altiero reported on his behalf. He gave an update on graduate applications for fall 2011. The group then discussed current efforts to recruit doctoral students and the potential role of the Board of Advisors Doctoral Education and Research Committee.

Dean Altiero also briefed the group on progress toward establishing training for graduate students in writing and teaching and expansion of English language training for international graduate students. The new teaching assistant mentoring effort in the Department of mathematics was also discussed.

Administrative - Parker

Assistant Dean Sandy Parker reminded the group that promotion and tenure dossiers are now due in the dean's office. The SSE Promotion and Tenure Committee is chaired by Professor Yi Ping Chen.

She also reported that the Office of Research Administration has now implemented a system for appropriate distribution of credit and indirect cost recovery on sponsored projects involving more than one school.

Faculty Meeting of 9 December 2010

There is a meeting of the SSE faculty scheduled for 9 December 2010 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM in room 212 of the Lavin-Bernick Center. Provost Michael Bernstein and Vice President for Research Laura Levy are on the agenda. Other agenda items will be as follows: a proposed amendment to the promotion and tenure guidelines that was deferred from the 2 September SSE faculty meeting, December degree certifications, and SSE committee reports and recommended actions.

Executive Committee Retreat of 5 January 2011

There will be a SSE Executive Committee retreat on 5 January 2011 from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM that will be entirely dedicated to the strategic plan. This meeting will be held in room 600 Lindy Boggs Center and lunch will be provided. Each committee member should be prepared to discuss the following topics in some depth: unit mission statements, undergraduate programs, graduate programs, research themes, technology transfer, community engagement including K-12 STEM education, faculty hiring, staff hiring, space and facilities including core facilities, diversity, global engagement, alumni relations, and financials including zero-based budgeting. Guidelines on zero-based budgeting will be distributed in advance of the meeting. Assistant Dean Annette Oertling asked that each department provide her with the name of a contact person to work with her on the K-12 STEM education area.

Spring 2011 Meeting Schedule

In addition to the 5 January retreat, the SSE Executive Committee will meet on 11 February, 1 April, and 6 May, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM, in 600 Lindy Boggs. The SSE faculty will meet on 23 February and 5 May, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM, in the Lavin-Bernick Center. President Cowen will be on the agenda of the 23 February SSE faculty meeting.

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764