SSE Executive Committee Meeting

February 16, 2007

8:00 AM – 10:000 AM


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

Absent: Engleman

Strategic Planning Committee Members Present:
Walker, Muneoka, Mague, Törnqvist, Chambers, Fauci, Wietfeldt, Lockman, Lichtveld, Ginzberg

Strategic Planning Committee Members Absent: Papadopoulos, Aertker, Clements, Legeai

Strategic Planning

The Executive Committee was joined by the Strategic Planning Committee for the first hour of the meeting to discuss the strategic planning process. Nick Altiero and Michael Ginzberg brought the group up to date and reported that they had met with President Cowen the previous day and had presented him with an interim report. This report will be circulated to the members of both committees. President Cowen asked that Nick make a presentation to the Tulane University Board of Administrators on June 14.

Five task forces are being established to address at the following: (1) proposed academic programs in computing and information; (2) proposed academic programs in coastal science and engineering; (3) research initiatives in the area of health; (4) research initiatives in the area of environment; and (5) research initiatives in the area of materials and a proposed graduate program in Materials Science and Engineering. Members of the Executive Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee were each asked to select a task force on which to serve along with members of the School of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors and other invited individuals. Proposed questions to be addressed by the task forces were circulated and many suggestions for improvement were accepted. Nick also agreed to merge the proposals received from the faculty for research initiatives into pdf files that would be circulated to all task force members. The task forces will be charged with addressing the proposed questions in time for the next meeting of the SSE Board of Advisors, scheduled for April 13.


There have been some changes in the schedule of events for commencement weekend. There will now be separate school diploma ceremonies instead of a unified Newcomb-Tulane College ceremony. The School of Science and Engineering diploma ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, at 4:00 PM, in the New Orleans Arena immediately following the ceremony for the School of Liberal Arts. It has also been decided that the graduate hooding ceremony scheduled for Friday, May 18, will be cancelled and the graduate degrees will instead be awarded along with the undergraduate degrees at the Saturday afternoon ceremony. The schedule of events is now as follows: Newcomb-Tulane College Awards Ceremony on May 18, 2 PM – 4 PM; Wave Goodbye Party on May 18, 6 PM – 8 PM; Unified Commencement on May 19, 9 AM – 11AM; SSE Diploma Ceremony on May 19, 4 PM – 6 PM.    The SSE will host a party at Mulate’s Restaurant SSE Diploma Ceremony on May 19, 4 PM – 6 PM. The SSE will host a party at Mulate’s Restaurant between the Unified Ceremony and the SSE Diploma Ceremony with bus transportation provided from and to the New Orleans Arena. Details will be forthcoming.

April 12 has been designated as School of Science and Engineering Research Day. There will be a poster session at the Lavin-Bernick Center at 1 PM – 2PM and 4 PM – 5 PM on that date. The Outstanding Researcher Award Ceremony and Seminar will be held at the new Business School building at 2PM – 3 PM followed by a reception at 3 PM – 4PM on the building’s terrace. At 5 PM, there will be a reception at the Lavin-Bernick Center for the School of Engineering Board of Advisors at which faculty members who hold endowed positions and the donors who made those positions possible will be honored. The Board of Advisors meeting is scheduled for the morning of April 13.

Payson Center

The Payson Center currently offers the following programs in International Development: undergraduate coordinate major, MS in the School of Liberal Arts, PhD in the School of Public Health. They would like to establish a single academic unit that offers all of these degrees and have asked that the School of Science and Engineering consider housing such a unit. Eamon Kelly and Nancy Mock have offered to meet with the School of Science and Engineering Executive Committee to discuss this proposal. The general consensus of the group was that the School of Science and Engineering does not appear to be the most suitable school based on curricular content and participating faculty. Some members expressed the opinion that the AB Freeman School of Business might be the most appropriate host school. Nick Altiero agreed to convey this to the Payson Center and to offer them the opportunity to make the case for housing the unit in the School of Science and Engineering.

Faculty Start-up Packages

The group considered the question of whether or not to develop a standard start-up package for new faculty members. It was decided that this is not desirable and that it is preferable to negotiate each start-up package separately based on individual needs. It was agreed, however, that the following items could be considered for inclusion in a faculty start- up package: computer, printer and accessories; summer salary support for one or two years; graduate assistant for one or two years; postdoctoral scholar for some period of time; travel funds to conferences and/or agencies; laboratory equipment; technician support. Start-up packages can be structured over multiple years but cannot extend past the granting of tenure.

Research Faculty Appointments

This topic was discussed by the Department Chairs only. It was agreed that possession of a terminal degree is not a necessary condition for appointment to the position of Research Professor (or Associate Research Professor or Assistant Research Professor) in the School of Science and Engineering.    Appointment to the position of Research Professor (or Associate Research Professor or Assistant Research Professor) simply requires approval by the voting faculty of the academic unit in which the individual is to be appointed or, in the case of an appointment not associated with an academic unit, by the voting faculty members on the Executive Committee.

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