SSE Faculty Meeting Minutes

212 Lavin Bernick Center
May 8, 2013
4:00 PM

Present: Agnew, Ahsan, Altiero, Aung, Baker, Boudaba, Caruso, Chen, Chrisey, Colombo, Cronin, Dancisak, Daniel, Darwin, Dawers, Di, Dohanich, Dotson, Gasparini, Gaver, Gilbertson, Godbey, Golob, Hall, Hebert, Heins, Herman, Hopkins, Inglis, Jacobsen, Jayawickramarajah, Johannesson, Kaplan, Koplitz, Lockman, McPherson, Mettu, Mislove, Mitchell, Molix, Mullin, Muneoka, Murfee, Nastasi, Norton, O’Connor, Oertling, Parrish, Parsley, Pascal, Patterson, Pratt, Ruscher, Schrader, Schuler, Shakov, Sherry, Sigler, Talbayev, Tasker, Thien, Varela, Venable, Walker, Wee, Wei, Wenk, Wietfeldt, Wyland

Guests: Bernstein

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meetings of 27 February 2013 were approved unanimously.

Provost Michael Bernstein

Provost Bernstein reported on the activities of the past academic year. In his remarks, he elaborated on progress on strategic planning, revision of the faculty handbook, revision of the undergraduate core curriculum, promoting faculty achievements and awards, offering faculty development programs and workshops, and appointment of faculty to endowed positions in social entrepreneurship.

In the question and answer period that followed, the Provost was asked about the status of the graduate program reviews, enrollment projections for the Fall of 2013, and the economic outlook for higher education in general and Tulane University in particular. He went into great detail on the challenges faced by the university as it plans its budget for next year and beyond.

School Updates

Dean Nick Altiero briefed the group on progress toward completing the School’s ten-year strategic plan. He said that the plan that is currently envisioned will require significantly more revenue and that the School will have to be quite aggressive in the next university capital campaign in order to fund its initiatives. He said that, additionally, the School needs to explore sources of revenue beyond undergraduate tuition, research funding, and fundraising. He mentioned, as examples, targeted masters programs, expanded summer school offerings, intellectual property licensing revenue, and off-site and on-line offerings.

Committee Reports

Dean Altiero reported that the minutes of all SSE Executive Committee meetings are posted to the School’s web site and he would be happy to address any questions regarding the actions of the committee.

Bob Pascal, Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, reported that ten cases had come before the committee this past year and stated that recommendations on all cases had been completed and communicated to the dean.

Jerry Shakov, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, reported that minutes of all SSE Curriculum Committee meetings are posted to the School’s web site and he would be happy to address an questions regarding the actions of the committee.

Jeff Tasker, Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, reported that the committee had met in March and that the minutes of that meeting were posted to the School’s web site. He then elaborated on two issues that had come before the committee. The first had to do with tuition rates for non-matriculate special students where it had been agreed that they would be charged 50% of the normal graduate rate per credit. The second had to do with service of non-tenure track faculty members on doctoral dissertation committees where it was concluded that professors of practice and research professors may serve on doctoral dissertation committees but may not serve as director of the dissertation committee.

Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Chair of the Grievance Committee, reported that no grievances had been brought before the committee this past year.

Fred Wietfeldt, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented a slate of candidates for the SSE Promotion and Tenure Committee, the University Senate, and the University Graduate Council. There were no additional nominations from the floor. A paper-ballot election will now be conducted to fill these positions. He also reported that the Nominating Committee had filled all other committee assignments for 2013-14 with the exception of committees of the University Senate. He will consult with the SSE representative to the Senate Committee on Committees, Tom Sherry, regarding those appointments.

There were no reports from representatives to University or Newcomb-Tulane College committees.

Proposed Amendments to the SSE Constitution and P&T Guidelines

Dean Altiero outlined the background behind the proposed amendments to the SSE Constitution and SSE Promotion and Tenure Guidelines that were being brought to the group for a vote at this time. He also reviewed the process that had been used to develop the wording of these amendments. It was moved and seconded that the proposed amendments to the SSE Constitution be approved. After some discussion, the amendments passed on a voice vote with two audible dissentions. It was then moved and seconded that the proposed changes to the SSE Promotion and Tenure Guidelines be approved. A friendly amendment was included that clarified that un-tenured faculty members cannot vote on decisions involving the awarding of tenure. After some discussion, the proposed changes passed on a voice vote with two audible dissentions.

Old Business

There was no further old business.

New Business

There was no new business.

Dean Altiero asked the faculty to recognize two colleagues in attendance who will be retiring at the end of the current year: Ron Parsley (Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Annette Oertling (Biomedical Engineering and Office of the Dean). Other retirees not in attendance who were then recognized included Jim McGuire (Physics and Engineering Physics) and John Liukkonen (Mathematics).

Finally, the dean briefed the group on upcoming Commencement activities and, in particular, noted the graduate diploma/hooding ceremony/reception on Friday, May 17, and the luncheon/reception for graduating SSE undergraduates to be held between the Unified Commencement and the Newcomb-Tulane College diploma ceremony on Saturday, May 18, and he wished everyone an enjoyable and productive summer.


The meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM.

Minutes by Wayne Reed.

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