SSE Executive Committee Meeting

June 13, 2008

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM


Altiero, Burdsal, Engleman, Gaver, Heins, John, Kalka, Mao (for McGuire), Meffert
(for McLachlan), McPherson, Nelson, Parker, Ruscher

Absent: Koplitz, Tasker


Updates and Follow-ups

Dean Nick Altiero announced that the ABET accreditation visit will take place on
September 14 – 16, 2008.

He also reminded the Department Chairs that he needs the names of AY09 faculty departmental representatives to the Undergraduate Studies Committee (appointed), the Graduate Studies Committee (appointed), the Nominating Committee (elected), and the Grievance Committee (elected).

SACS Preparation

Associate Provost Brian Mitchell joined the meeting to discuss preparation for the SACS accreditation visit scheduled for the spring of 2011. The discussion focused on the following subjects:

  • Entry of faculty CV and annual report information into the Digital Measures software;
  • Posting all course syllabi to the MyTulane BlackBoard system beginning in the fall of
  • Implementation of an online course assessment system by the spring of 2009;
  •   Development of departmental mission statements.

The Department Chairs urged an immediate implementation of the Digital Measures system so that the rest of the summer could be used for CV data entry. Brian asked that each department give him the name of a staff member to be trained on entering data into Digital Measures and he agreed to organize a training workshop in the near future. He also agreed to provide the group with detailed instructions on accessing and using Digital Measures.

In addition, Brian will distribute information on program and course objectives and outcomes and required syllabus formatting.

Doctoral Student Recruiting

Brian stayed for a discussion of recruiting of doctoral students. Nick reported that there was much good news about the incoming class such as higher average GRE scores and significant improvements in gender and ethnic diversity. However, there is going to be a rather significant decrease in the number of new international students. The subsequent discussion focused on this single issue, i.e. what measures can be taken to reverse this trend. Some of the recommendations were as follows: enlist the help of faculty members who have strong ties to specific countries or foreign universities; develop attractive financial aid packages consisting of competitive stipends and long-term commitments; create sabbatical opportunities for faculty members from foreign universities; establish summer internship programs that would bring both domestic and foreign undergraduate students to campus for research experiences; and review the current timetable for accepting foreign students and completing the necessary paperwork.

Technical Staff Needs

There was a discussion of staffing needs across the school in the areas of computing, laboratories, and administrative (most notably accounting). It was decided that a school-wide staff hiring plan needed to be developed to address these areas of need. Nick agreed to survey the departments and draft a plan.

Space Review and Planning

Nick and Associate Dean Gary McPherson will meet this afternoon with the university architects and representatives of the Christner firm to discuss space utilization in the School of Science and Engineering and near-term additions and renovations such as the Taylor Laboratory project. It is anticipated that a full space strategy plan will be need to be developed for the school. This will most assuredly be an agenda item for the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

New Business

There was a rather lengthy discussion of academic advising of undergraduates, particularly freshmen. Nick offered to invite Amjad Ayoubi, Director of Academic Advising in Newcomb- Tulane College, to the next Executive Committee meeting. The group agreed that this would be a good idea.

Future Meetings

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on July 14 at 8:00 AM. The annual SSE Executive Committee Retreat will on August 22, the day before freshman move-in day, from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

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