SSE Executive Committee Meeting

January 19, 2007

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM


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


General Comments

Nick Altiero gave a report on topics covered at the President’s Academic Advisory Council (PAAC) meeting of January 18, including: the status of freshmen recruiting, the status of the search for a Provost, the formation of a search committee for the Dean of Medicine, and the first phase of return to decentralized management to be implemented in fiscal year 2007-08.

He also said that it is time to set the number of teaching assistantships and stipend levels for academic year 2007-08. Department chairs have been asked by the Office of the Provost to submit their requests. Nick will work with the Provost to set the numbers, including the amount that will be provided for health care coverage.

This past week, the University Architect met with the Chairs/Directors of the Center for Computational Science, the Coordinated Instrumentation Facility, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Mathematics, and ROTC (Army and Navy) as well as the Educational Resource Center (ERC) and Financial Aid as all of these units will be affected by the moves involving science and engineering buildings that will take place next summer. All indications are that these meetings went very well and excellent progress was made.

Teaching Load Policy

Most of the meeting was devoted to teaching load policy for tenured faculty in the School of Science and Engineering. It was agreed that each Department Chair would discuss with his/her faculty what the definition of “research active” should be for their discipline. This definition would be based on a three-year rolling average of productivity in such areas as reviewed publications, external research funding, and doctoral advising. Nick will work with the Department Chairs to develop discipline-dependent, but consistent, definitions for the School. It was also agreed that the average teaching load for a research-active faculty member may vary by discipline but that it would either be one course per semester or three courses per year. Additional course “buy-out” would be allowed but all tenured faculty would be expected to teach at least one course per year. Faculty members who do not do any research would be expected to teach three courses per semester unless assigned administrative duties. Each academic year, each faculty member in the School of Science and Engineering will be assigned a load that consists of teaching, research, and administration/service. Each course taught during the academic year will constitute 15% of load and service will constitute at least 10% of load. The remainder of the assignment would normally be for research but could also include a significant administrative component.

Annual Evaluations and Raises

There was a general discussion of the process and timetable for evaluation of faculty and staff in the School of Science and Engineering. This included faculty merit raise policy and staff bonus policy. Department Chairs should plan on meeting with each of their faculty members individually during the period of February 1 – 16 and then with Nick during the period of February 19 – March 9 to discuss faculty evaluations and raises. Staff supervisors should plan on meeting with each of their staff members individually prior to February 1 and must submit all staff evaluation forms by February 15. It is not necessary to meet with Nick about staff evaluations unless the supervisor is proposing a bonus for a staff member whose performance has been exceptional or wishes to discuss a staff member who is not meeting job expectations. It was emphasized that bonuses would be given only in exceptional cases and that all bonus dollars must come from appropriate “soft money” accounts.

Graduate Hooding Ceremony

The group discussed the details of the Graduate Student Hooding and Recognition Ceremony scheduled for May 18, 9:30 AM, at Dixon Hall. This will be a joint ceremony involving the School of Science and Engineering, the School of Liberal Arts, and the School of Medicine.

Staff Participation in K-12 Events

The Director of K-12 Outreach in the School of Science and Engineering is Annette Oertling. Annette is looking for volunteers to assist with the FIRST Robotics Bayou Regional to be held on March 8-10 and the Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF) to be held on March 14-15. It was agreed that staff members who assist in either activity during normal working hours would not be charged vacation time.

Outstanding Research Award/Research Day

Daniel De Kee presented a proposal to establish the “School of Science and Engineering Outstanding Researcher Award” to be awarded annually. After some discussion, it was agreed that anyone can nominate a candidate simply by submitting a curriculum vitae and that the selection committee would consist of the Department Chairs and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research. The first award will be given on April 12 at a ceremony involving a seminar presentation by the recipient. April 12 will also be designated as “Research Day” and a School- wide research poster session will be organized. The School of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors meeting is scheduled for April 13.

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