SSE Executive Committee Meeting

February 17, 2012
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM


Present: Altiero, Walker (for Gaver), Chen, Robinson, Koplitz, Törnqvist, Blum (for Heins), Hyman (for Kalka), Mao, McPherson, Ruscher, Tasker, Burdsal, Wee, Oertling, Parker, Engleman

Undergraduate Issues

Beth Wee, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, reported on the February 15 meeting organized by Provost Bernstein to address yet another anticipated larger than expected freshman class. She said that she would coordinate SSE departmental requests for resources to cover additional lecture and laboratory sections. There was a discussion on the concept of hiring postdoctoral teaching fellows or providing cost shares for postdoctoral research fellows who are given teaching assignments.

Dean Wee informed the group that the Office of Financial Aid provides emergency funding for students with unforeseen financial difficulties brought about by the death or severe illness of a parent or other catastrophic circumstances. She said that she would provide more detail about this program and would be happy to forward requests.

She concluded by urging strong faculty participation in SSE Week activities during the week of March 19-23 and in Honors Weekend events on March 25-26 and April 15-16.

Graduate Issues

Carol Burdsal, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, drew attention to the "Graduate Student Tuition Scholarship Policy" of the School of Science and Engineering. The policy is posted on the SSE website.

Dean Burdsal also reported that the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in the Provost's office will be administering external reviews of doctoral programs beginning this coming academic year. Doctoral programs in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering will be reviewed during the 2012-13 academic year and programs in the Health and Behavioral Sciences will be reviewed during the 2014-15 academic year. The cycle will repeat every 7 years. Self Studies for the programs being reviewed this coming academic year will be due on November 1.

She concluded with an overview of the poster submission process and recruiting of judges for the following poster sessions: Tulane Engineering Forum on March 23, Health Sciences Research Day on April 11, and SSE Research Day on April 12.

K-12 STEM Outreach Issues

Annette Oertling, Assistant Dean for K-12 STEM Education, said that we are still in need of judges for the February 29 Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair. The need is particularly acute in the areas of environmental chemistry and materials science. The FIRST Robotics Bayou Regional is scheduled for March 15-17 in the Pontchatrain Center and this will provide an excellent opportunity for service learning hours for our students.

Dean Oertling then talked about summer offerings.In particular she reported that the SSE Curriculum Committee has approved one college credit hour for high school students who participate in the Tulane Science Scholars Program this summer. The course being offered is in Neuroscience but we need to consider broadening our offerings in the future. We will also offer teacher training on campus this summer under the auspices of the Core Element program.

Personnel Issues

Sandy Parker, Assistant Dean for Finance and Personnel, reviewed the faculty and staff evaluation processes. Faculty members should have entered their 2011 calendar year activities into Digital Measures and submitted their updated CVs by February 1 and the Department Chairs now need to schedule meetings with the Dean prior to the end of February. Staff evaluations must be submitted electronically no later than February 28 with copies to the SSE Dean's Office. Dean Altiero went over the raise process which will be the same as last year. Postdoctoral Fellow evaluations and raises will be on the same cycle as faculty and staff regardless of appointment date.

Development Issues

Kat Engleman, Senior Development Officer, reviewed how departmental endowments are handled. She also reported on a new alumni database, ADVANCE, that will replace Millennium.

Facilities Issues

Gary McPherson, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Facilities, gave an update on the construction of Flower Hall. He reported that we are on schedule for an October opening of the first and fourth floors of this new building. The middle two floors will be unfinished at this time, providing space for future growth.

Dean McPherson also stressed the importance of research indirect cost recovery to the budget of the School.

Other Issues

Dean Nick Altiero said that a report from the Task Force on Professor of the Practice Appointments is due at the end of April. During the summer, he will draft a set of policies to be considered for incorporation into the SSE Constitution and the SSE Promotion and Tenure Guideline documents. The group discussed how to handle Professor of the Practice reappointments and promotions in the interim.

Dean Altiero said that the School now plans to host its annual "toast to the graduating class" between the Unified Commencement and the Newcomb-Tulane College Diploma Ceremony on May 19. A room will be reserved at the Superdome for this event.

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