SSE Executive Committee Meeting

January 10, 2008
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM


Present: Altiero, Burdsal, Gaver, Darwin (for Heins), John, Kalka, Koplitz, McLachlan, Diebold (for McGuire), McPherson, Nelson, Parker, Ruscher

Absent: Engleman, Tasker


Annual Faculty and Staff Review Processes

Faculty members must submit their annual activities reports to the Office of the Dean no later than February 1 and must attach an updated Curriculum Vita. Each Department Chair is to meet with faculty members individually during the first two weeks of February and then with the Dean before the end of the month to review all cases. The group reviewed the details of the faculty annual review process including calculation and assignment of faculty load, assessment of productivity, assignment of raises, and evaluation follow-up options.

Annual staff evaluations are due to the office of the Workforce Management Organization (WFMO) no later than January 31 and should therefore be submitted to the Office of the Dean no later than January 30. Each supervisor must meet with staff members during the month of January to conduct evaluations in accordance with the School of Science and Engineering staff evaluation process and to fill out the required evaluation forms. Each staff member is to be rated as “meets all job expectations”, “exceeds job expectations”, or “does not meet job expectations”.If a supervisor intends to assign either of the later two ratings to a particular staff member, he/she must first meet with the Dean to discuss. All staff members who receive a “meets all job expectations” rating will be eligible for a 3% merit raise. A staff member who receives a rating of “exceeds job expectations” may also be eligible for a merit bonus. A staff member who receives a rating of “does not meet job expectations” will receive no merit raise and a remediation plan will be developed.


Capstone Requirement

Each undergraduate degree program offered at Tulane University is now required to include a capstone experience approved by the Newcomb-Tulane College Curriculum Committee. Several of the programs offered in the School of Science and Engineering have already received approval of their capstone requirements but some are still pending and some have yet to be submitted. All programs that have not already done so were asked to submit capstone requirement proposals to Associate Dean Carol Burdsal no later than March 1. She will then work to secure approval of capstone requirements for all SSE undergraduate degree programs by the end of the current academic year. There was some discussion about what does and does not constitute an appropriate capstone experience.


Grievance Procedures

The University Senate Committee on Faculty Tenure, Freedom, and Responsibility (FTFR) has reviewed the current grievance procedures of the various Schools and has made a number of recommendations to provide more uniformity of practices. Dean Altiero summarized the FTFR recommendations and there was a general discussion on how the Constitution of the Faculty of the School of Science and Engineering might be amended to address these recommendations.
Altiero agreed to draft an amended section in the Constitution to be presented to the SSE faculty for approval. There will be a first reading of the proposed changes at the SSE faculty meeting of March 24 with a vote on approval scheduled for the SSE faculty meeting of May 7.


Professors of Practice, Research Professors, and Faculty Voting Privileges

There was a discussion about the rights and responsibilities of Professors of Practice and Research Professors in the School of Science and Engineering. The group came to the following conclusions.

  • There will be only two ranks for research faculty depending on seniority: Research Professor and Research Assistant Professor. The rank of a particular individual will be determined by the faculty of the home unit with approval from the Dean.
  • Professors of Practice should be granted voting privileges on all course and curriculum matters and should be eligible to serve on curriculum committees. Altiero agreed to draft a constitutional amendment to this effect to be first read at the March 24 meeting of the SSE faculty and voted on at the meeting of May 7.
  • Professors of Practice are reviewed in the second year of their three year appointments and it was agreed that these reviews should be conducted by the Committee of Tenured Faculty of the home unit and submitted to the Dean. The Dean will then submit the dossier, the review and recommendation of the departmental Committee of Tenured Faculty, and his recommendation to the Provost. The timeline is as follows: dossier to appropriate Department Chair or Center Director no later than February 15; recommendation to Dean no later than March 3.

Faculty Search Training Sessions

On January 22, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Institutional Equity will be presenting a workshop for the School of Science and Engineering that will focus on faculty searches, including legal and policy information, critical steps in the search process, and best practices. All SSE department chairs and chairs of current SSE faculty search committees are required to attend. There will be two offerings in an effort to accommodate everyone’s schedule.


Center and Institute Reviews

The University is in the process of identifying which of its centers and institutes will report to the Associate Senior Vice President for Research (ASVPR). The remaining centers and institutes will continue to report to relevant deans. For those centers and institutes that continue to report to the Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, a formal review process will be instituted. Under this policy, each center or institute will be subject to review by an external panel of experts every 5 years. Additionally each center or institute will be required to have both internal and external advisory committees.


Finance and Personnel Issues – Parker

Assistant Dean Sandy Parker reported on the plans of the University to introduce a new content management system for the web site. Rachel Hoorman, director of the University’s web site, will be meeting with departmental representatives to discuss the new software required for managing local content.


Research and Graduate Studies Issues – McPherson

Associate Dean Gary McPherson described the final round of competition for the internal Research Enhancement Fund. There will be two categories for this round: interdisciplinary, collaborative proposals involving multiple schools; and individual faculty proposals. Interdisciplinary proposals should be submitted to the ASVPR, Laura Levy, while individual proposals should be submitted directly to Gary as has been the practice in previous rounds.

Gary also reported on the appointment of task forces to explore research collaboration among the Schools of Science and Engineering, Medicine, and Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The following task forces have been identified: cardiovascular; genetics and genomics; cancer; infectious diseases; clinical; regenerative and restorative; environmental; neurosciences; population and community health; modeling and simulation; and materials for medical application. A list of task force memberships will be distributed to the group.


Undergraduate Studies Issues – Burdsal

Associate Dean Burdsal reminded the group that program learning outcomes are due March 1. She has provided each of the department chairs with suggested templates.

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