SSE Faculty Meeting Minutes

213 Lavin Bernick Center
October 3, 2012
4:00 PM

Present: Altiero, Agnew, Alvarez, Ashbaugh, Aung, Baker, Bart, Boudaba, Brown, Caruso, Chen, Chrisey, Christenson, Corey, Cortez, Cunningham, Dancisak, Darwin, Dawers, Derryberry, Di, Dotson, Gaver, Godbey, Golob, Hall, Hebert, Heins, Henry, Herman, Hopkins, Hyman, Jayawickramarajah, Johannesson, Kaplan, Koplitz, Lacey, Mao, McGuire, McPherson, Mettu, Mislove, Mitchell, Molix, Norton, O'Connor, Overstreet, Parsley, Pascal, Patterson, Perdew, Popescu, Pratt, Robinson, Ruscher, Ruzsinszky, Sanchez, Schrader, Schmehl, Schuler, Shakov, Sherry, Straub, Talbayev, Tasker, Thien, Törnqvist, Van Bael, Vasudevan, Venable, S. Wang, Wee, Wei, Wenk, Wietfeldt, Wyland, Zhao

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meetings of 14 February 2012 and 3 May 2012 were approved unanimously.

Approval of Voting Faculty

The list of voting faculty for 2012-13 was unanimously approved.

Recognition of New and Promoted Faculty

Dean Altiero announced the following promotions: Michael Cunningham (Psychology) to the rank of Professor, Bonnie Nastasi (Psychology) to the rank of Professor, Laura Schrader (Cell and Molecular Biology) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, Scott Grayson (Chemistry) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, Michael Blum (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, and Laurie O’Brien (Psychology) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. The following faculty members have been promoted to the rank of Senior Professor of the Practice: Heiko Jacobsen (Chemistry), Carol Zhang (Chemistry), Jerry Shakov (Physics and Engineering Physics), Julie Alvarez (Psychology), Thomas Hebert (Psychology), and Carrie Wyland (Psychology).

The Department Chairs then introduced the following new faculty hires for Fall 2012: Quincy Brown, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering; Sean Gifford, Research Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering; Susheng Wang, Assistant Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology; Ramagopel Mettu, Associate Professor in Computer Science; Brent Venable, Associate Professor in Computer Science; Carola Wenk, Associate Professor in Computer Science; Zhixiong Shen, Research Assistant Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences; Elizabeth Derryberry, Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Zhao Kun, Assistant Professor in Mathematics; Doug Chrisey, Professor and Jung Chair in Physics and Engineering Physics; Jang Wei, Assistant Professor in Physics and Engineering Physics; Michelle Sanchez, Professor of the Practice in Physics and Engineering Physics; and Courtney Baker, Assistant Professor in Psychology.

Election to the FTFR Committee of the University Senate

Fred Wietfeldt, Chair of the Nominating Committee, announced that an election needs to be held to fill the position of SSE faculty representative to the Faculty Tenure, Freedom, and Responsibility (FTFR) Committee of the University Senate. The Nominating Committee has identified three candidates for this position: Steve Nelson, John Perdew, and Jeff Tasker. There were no nominations from the floor. Ballots will soon be distributed to the academic departments and will be due back to the Office of the Dean no later than October 10.


Dean Altiero gave an update on the status of the School, including the following data: the total number of faculty is now 166; the number of full-time undergraduate students is 1743 and the number of full-time graduate students is 430; external funding received for research this past fiscal year was $22M and the number of invention disclosures was 21 with 15 new patents filed; the total number of donors was 1143 with total gifts/pledges of $6.14M. The dean also brought the faculty up to date on the Flower Hall project, power back-up, the J Bennett Johnston Building renovation, and the budget.

Erica Woodley

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Erica Woodley gave an overview of the Student Resources and Support Center. This center is a new umbrella unit that includes victim services, student conduct, legal assistance, grief assistance, etc. She urged faculty members to report any concerns about student behavior or any problems that a student may be encountering through the on-line reporting system.

Strategic Planning

Dean Altiero brought the faculty up to date on the University strategic planning process. He went over the timetable, the format, and the process that the School of Science and Engineering will follow leading up to a final document for submission to the Provost by the end of April. It was noted that the University Strategic Academic Themes are as follows: Community Enrichment through Global Engagement; Integrated Discovery; Place-Based Creativity; and Social Innovation. The University has asked each School to consider the following major trends affecting higher education: affordability and accessibility, the digital era, and globalization. It has also identified the following areas for improvement: improving undergraduate student retention and graduation rates; growing competitive research funding and overall faculty accomplishments and awards; increasing alumni giving and private support to the university; and increasing the size of the endowment.

Proposed Changes to the SSE Constitution and P&T Guidelines

Dean Altiero gave an overview of proposed amendments to the SSE Constitution and the SSE Promotion and Tenure Guidelines that would formalize the process for reappointment and promotion of Professors of the Practice. He said that he would distribute the proposed amendments in advance of the next SSE faculty meeting at which time he will request a vote for their approval.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Associate Dean Beth Wee announced that there is a new initiative called the Tulane Learning Community that is focused on retaining honors students at Tulane. They are seeking more faculty mentors to meet with small groups of honors students on a weekly basis. She also reported on a number of functions being sponsored by the Science and Engineering Council of Students (SECS) and urged faculty to participate in these events.


The meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.

Minutes by Wayne Reed.

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