SSE Executive Committee Meeting

February 25, 2011
8:00 AM – 10:00 PM


Present: Altiero, Gaver, Chen, Pratt, Koplitz, Nelson, Heins, Kalka, McGuire, Ruscher, Tasker, McPherson, Schmehl, Wee, Oertling, Engleman, Parker

Guest: Cunningham

Several Items

The group discussed a number of items including:

  • Spring Semester Events — Science and Engineering Week in March; SSE and Health Sciences Research Days and Board of Advisors events in April; graduation events in May
  • President Cowen presentation at SSE Faculty Meeting — Project 2020; faculty and staff hiring; capital campaign; capital projects; DMC budget model; Tulane Empowers
  • Professor of Practice Positions — proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook; voting privileges in Newcomb-Tulane College; reappointment and promotion policy
  • Laboratory Safety — scheduled audit of compliance with environmental and occupational health and safety regulations
  • Strategic Plan — departments' plans are due immediately; the first draft of the School plan should be available shortly after March 4


Mike Cunningham, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT), distributed a flyer on the newly-established Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT). This flyer contained information on the history of the center, its mission, its objectives, and its desired outcomes. The center has been established to implement the university's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) in association with SACS accreditation. The four core elements of the center are classroom engagement, research engagement, experiential engagement, and social innovation engagement. There was an extensive question and answer period during which Mike addressed a number of issues including support for evaluation and assessment, conference support, faculty development, partnering with alumni, facilitation of grant writing, and teaching assistant mentoring.

Graduate Studies

Russ Schmehl, Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, reported on the status of doctoral recruiting and urged all of the programs to send out their offers as soon as possible if they have not already done so. There was an extensive discussion regarding the effective use of teaching assistantships in doctoral student financial aid offers.

Undergraduate Studies

Beth Wee, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, reported on the new service learning course for undergraduate students engaged in research. This semester's pilot course is focused on health-related research and it will include guest lectures on communicating science and engineering to the public. The deadline for nominations for Tulane 34 awards is fast approaching and nominations should be submitted to Beth's office. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible.


Annette Oertling, Assistant Dean for K-12 STEM Outreach, reported on this year's Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF) which was held on February 24. She also reported on the inclusion of K-12 STEM education activities in the Tulane Empowers fundraising campaign. Dean Altiero said that an endowed fund is being established to support the SSE K-12 STEM Outreach office.


Kat Engleman, Senior Director of Development, announced that a second development officer has been assigned to the School of Science and Engineering and her name is Nicole Graas. At the suggestion of the SSE Board of Advisors, industry sector alumni groups are being established. The first group, representing the energy sector, is now organized and active. The next group to be created will be in the health sector. A new Development section for the SSE website is being designed and will be incorporated into the website soon.


Sandy Parker, Assistant Dean for Finance and Personnel, reminded the group that staff annual evaluations are due on February 28. These evaluations are to be completed online and submitted electronically to the Workforce Management Office with hard copies to the SSE Dean's Office. Dean Altiero said that all SSE staff members who earn an evaluation score of 3.0 or higher will receive a 2.5% raise this coming fiscal year. Faculty raises will vary based on merit considerations, the average raise being 2.5%. It was agreed that postdoctoral fellows will receive 2.5% raises and that these raises will take effect in accordance with grant cycles rather than the fiscal year.

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