SSE Faculty Meeting Minutes

213 Lavin Bernick Center
May 3, 2012
4:00 PM

Attendance: Agnew, Ahsan, Altiero, Alvarez, Aung, Bart, Blum, Boudaba, Burdsal, Caruso, Cortez, Christenson, Cronin, Dancisak, Daniel, Darwin, Dawers, Di, Dotson, Flowers, Gaver, Gilbertson, Grayson, Godbey, Golob, Hall, Hebert, Hopkins, Jayawickramarajah, Johannesson, Jones, Kaplan, Khismatullin, Mitchell, Molix, Moore, Nelson, Norton, O'Brien, O'Connor, Papadopoulos, Parrish, Patterson, Perdew, Pesika, Popescu, Pratt, Reed, Rice, Richards-Zawacki, Robinson, Ruscher, Ruzsinszky, Schrader, Schuler, Shakov, Sigler, Talbayev, Tasker, Taylor, Thien, Törnqvist, Walker, Wee, Wyland

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of 14 February 2012 had not yet been posted so approval was deferred to the next meeting of the faculty.

University and School Updates

Dean Nick Altiero gave a summary of academic year 2011-12. There was an extensive discussion of the budget and the importance of indirect cost recovery to the financial health of the School. Indirect cost recovery this past year was significantly below the budgeted (expected) level and this has been problematic. All indications are that there will be improvement in FY 2012-13 but this is something that is of some concern. The Dean reiterated that the three primary components of the School's budget are tuition, research funding, and gifts (both unrestricted and targeted) and that indirect cost recovery is an essential component of research funding.

The Dean established three task forces this past year to advise on the following:

  1. Policies pertaining to Professor of the Practice appointments;
  2. Machine shop needs and administration; and
  3. Management of shared instrumentation.

He plans to act on the recommendations of these task forces during the coming year.

Year End Committee Reports

Nick Altiero, Chair of the Executive Committee, said that the minutes of all Executive Committee meetings held this past year have been posted to the SSE web site. He offered to answer any specific questions that the faculty might have about any issue addressed by the Executive Committee.

Ricardo Cortez, member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, reported on behalf of Committee Chair Mark Fink that all cases brought before the committee this academic year had been completed. Dean Altiero added that the last set of recommendations were submitted to the Provost on April 13 and some may therefore still be awaiting final action. Any candidate for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure who has not yet received notification of the decision can expect to be notified soon.

Jerry Shakov, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, said that the committee had not met since his last report to the faculty. The next meeting of the committee will be held in September. Minutes of all meetings held this past year have been posted to the SSE web site.

Jeff Tasker, Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, reported that the committee had met twice during the Fall 2011 semester but had not met during the Spring 2012 semester. During the Fall 2011 semester, it had jurisdiction over graduate course and curriculum matters but this charge has now been integrated into that of the Curriculum Committee. A major committee project this past year was establishing a more uniform standard across departments for admission to PhD candidacy. The committee also played a major role in the establishment of a scientific writing course for graduate students and they approved a MS degree program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Associate Provost Brian Mitchell reported on the new Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies that is located in Richardson Hall. This office will work closely with the Graduate Council and the Tulane Career Center.

W Godbey, Chair of the Grievance Committee, reported that there were no grievance cases this past year.

Kim O'Connor, member of the Nominating Committee, reported on behalf of Committee Chair Tom Sherry. She announced the names of faculty members who have been nominated for the University Senate, the Graduate Council, the SSE Promotion and Tenure Committee, and SSE Secretary of the Faculty. She then called for nominations from the floor for additional candidates to be placed on the ballot. It was noted that only two candidates had agreed to run for the two open University Senate seats so a third nomination would be highly desirable. There were no nominations from the floor and it was ultimately moved and seconded that the matter of a third University Senate candidate be referred back to the Nominating Committee. This motion passed and nominations were closed. A ballot will be prepared and the elections will be completed by May 11. Professor O'Connor said that the Nominating Committee had also named SSE faculty representatives for 2012-13 to other University and Newcomb-Tulane College committees and that the complete list has been posted to the SSE web site. Representatives to open positions on University Senate committees have not yet been filled as this will be addressed by the Senate Committee on Committees on which Professor Sherry will serve as the SSE representative.

Tim Schuler, Chair of the Alumni Relations Committee, said that the committee had not met since his last report. He said that this year's alumni awards had been presented to Ken Ford (Outstanding Alumnus), Angela Black (Outstanding Young Alumna), and Tommy Meehan (Outstanding Service Alumnus). A special Outstanding Alumna Award was presented to Lisa Jackson. The SSE Board of Advisors Alumni Relations Committee has recommended resurrecting the School of Engineering Hall of Fame as the School of Science and Engineering Hall of Fame with the first inductee being named next year.

There were no University or Newcomb-Tulane College committee reports.

Commencement Events/Activities

Dean Altiero went over the details of this year's graduation events with special emphasis on the events that involve faculty participation. The Graduate Hooding Ceremony is scheduled for 10:00 AM on Friday, May 18, in Dixon Hall with a reception immediately following in the Lavin Bernick Center. All faculty members who attend the hooding ceremony will be seated on the stage. The University "Unified Ceremony" will be held at the Superdome on Saturday, May 19, beginning at 9:00 AM and the Newcomb-Tulane College Diploma Ceremony for undergraduate students will be held at the Superdome at 3:00 PM. All faculty members who attend the NTC Diploma Ceremony will be seated on the stage. between these two ceremonies, the School of Science and Engineering has reserved the Claiborne and Iberville Club Lounge areas on the 200 level of the Superdome for a reception, luncheon, and "Toast to the Graduates." The Dean urged all SSE faculty to participate in as many graduation functions as they can but he placed special emphasis on the reception for the graduate students on May 18 and the reception for the undergraduate students on May 19.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

There was no new business.


The meeting adjourned at 4:48 PM.

Minutes by Wayne Reed.

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