SSE Executive Committee Meeting

February 22, 2008
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM


Present: Altiero, Engleman, Walker (for Gaver), Heins, John, Kalka, Mague (for Koplitz),
McLachlan, McGuire, McPherson, Nelson, Parker, Ruscher, Tasker

Absent: Burdsal Guest: Baisier

Report on Tulane Deans’ Council Meetings

Dean Nick Altiero reported on the Tulane Deans’ Council meetings of January 15 and February 19. Among the items reported and discussed were the following.

  • The School of Science and Engineering is one of four schools that have been identified to receive “faculty salary enhancement funds” this year, i.e. there will be raise dollars over and above the standard merit raise pool. The Office of the Provost will provide guidelines for the distribution of these funds and will then work with the relevant deans on the details of the raise distribution.
  • The Workforce Management Office (WFMO) is also working on a staff salary enhancement fund but this will probably not be ready for implementation until fall 2008.
  • The Office of the Provost has developed guidelines for the appointment and review of professors of practice and these have been posted to the web
  • Undergraduate applications for fall 2008 are at a record high. While the goal is to enroll 1400 freshman, the number could be significantly higher depending on the yield of admitted students. The Office of the Provost is monitoring the situation and will again institute a “freshman plan” if needed in order to accommodate the larger than expected class.
  • In preparation for the next SACS accreditation visit, all faculty curriculum vitae need to be on file and up-to-date. This will be accomplished through new software called “Digital Measures” and all faculty members will be expected to enter their curriculum vitae into this system by next academic year. Additionally, faculty will be expected to enter annual report information into this system beginning in January 2009. Also, beginning in fall 2008, every course syllabus must include a list of goals and expected outcomes.
  • The deans were briefed on the FY09 budget rules and procedures. The budget model for FY09 will be a partial decentralized model with transition back to a full DMC anticipated by FY11.
  • The Office of the Provost is developing policies and resources to assist departments in identifying employment opportunities for partners of faculty recruits and there will soon be a web site devoted to this issue.
  • Candidates for the positions of Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Dean of the School of Architecture will be visiting campus for interviews during the months of February and March.
  • On October 3, the University plans to celebrate the success of the “The Campaign for Tulane.” This is the Friday before Homecoming and thus the celebration will be held in conjunction with the Wave ’08 Reunion Weekend. All of the deans have been asked to hold their advisory board meetings at that time so that advisory board members can participate in the scheduled events.

Upcoming SSE Faculty Meetings

There will be two more School of Science and Engineering faculty meetings this academic year: March 24 and May 7. The group discussed the agendas of those two meetings, including introduction of new faculty members, AY09 elections, certification of degrees, and action items. Action items include the proposal to establish dual-degree engineering programs with partner institutions, amendments to the SSE Faculty Constitution, and changes to the SSE promotion and tenure guidelines. Nick distributed proposed changes in the constitution and promotion and tenure guidelines for discussion and further refinement. There will be first readings of all of these changes at the March 24 meeting with final votes to be taken at the May 7 meeting.

Academic Calendar

Margaret Walker, Executive Vice President of the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government (USG), serves on the University Senate Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) and is championing a proposal to introduce a fall break into the academic year calendar. She has asked if the School of Science and Engineering would have any objections to this calendar change. The group discussed this proposal and agreed that there are no objections as long as the fall break is scheduled in such a way that the total number of class sessions for the semester is not reduced.

Flexible Teaching Assignments

The group discussed teaching assignment policy. It was generally agreed that the assignment of courses should be left up to the individual department chairs, who are responsible for assuring that all courses are covered and that teaching loads are distributed among the faculty in a fair and equitable manner. A question was raised about whether or not a faculty member, who is not on sabbatical or unpaid leave, could be granted a semester without a teaching assignment. It was agreed that this could be done at the discretion of the department chair but that the faculty member should not be authorized to spend the semester off campus unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

Office of International Students and Scholars

Joanna Baisier, Associate Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), gave a presentation on “Visas and Employment for International Students, Scholars, and Faculty” and then addressed questions from the group. Her presentation and additional detail can be found at the website:

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