SSE Executive Committee Meeting

November 17, 2006

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM


Altiero, McPherson, Burdsal, Parker, Gaver, Mullin, John, Koplitz, Nelson, Heins, Kalka, McGuire,Dohanich, Tasker

Absent: De Kee, McLachlan

General Comments

Altiero reported that we now have: 13 endowed chairs (5 are filled, 4 are vacant, 3 will be re-directed from CEE, EECS and ME, and 1 will be submitted for a BOR match); 5 endowed professorships (2 are filled, 1 is vacant, 1 will be re- directed from ME, and 1 will be submitted for a BOR match); and 4 early career professorships (all filled). A brochure is being prepared that will honor all of the donors and the faculty who hold and have held these endowed positions. Endowed chair positions are now 5 year renewable appointments, endowed professor positions are now 3 year renewable appointments and endowed early career (assistant) professor positions are now 1 year renewable appointments. It was agreed that we need to develop clear guidelines for the awarding and renewal of the early career positions.

Altiero reminded the group that all personnel actions must be directed through the dean’s office and not directly to the provost’s office or Human Resources.

Board of Advisors Meeting and Strategic Plan

There was a general discussion about the November 10 Board of Advisors meeting. Next steps were discussed. The next board meeting is scheduled for April 13 but there will be committee conference calls in the interim.

There was also further discussion about the cross-cutting inter-disciplinary themes. Altiero requested that each of the divisions submit the requested research matrix information by November 22 if at all possible and, in any event, no later than November 28. It was emphasized that the department chairs must cooperate with each other in this endeavor and should copy each other on the matrices that they are developing so that we can optimize the intra-divisional and inter-divisional themes.

Faculty Hiring

All of the departments have now been notified by the provost about approved faculty hiring for FY08. Altiero said that he would discuss the searches for these positions with each of the department chairs during their next scheduled individual meetings. The agreement with the provost is that we will handle all start-up costs within our existing budgets. This can be accomplished but it will require full cooperation of all units. McPherson outlined some of the measures that will need to be taken.

A question was raised about the load policy for professors of practice. It was agreed that, unless there are other teaching duties such as lab supervision or administration associated with the position, the teaching load would be 3 courses per semester.

Commencement and Awards Ceremonies

The university has decided that the unified commencement ceremony will be held as usual on Saturday (May 19) in the morning and would then be followed by a Newcomb-Tulane College diploma ceremony on Saturday afternoon at a time yet to be determined. There will also be a Newcomb-Tulane College awards ceremony at 4:00 PM on Friday (May 18) just prior to the Wave Goodbye Party, which will begin at 6:00 PM. There will be no School ceremonies but Schools are free to hold receptions for graduates if they so choose.

It was the consensus of the committee that the School of Science and Engineering should join with the School of Liberal Arts to hold a hooding ceremony for graduate students on the Friday morning, preferably on campus if an auditorium is available. It was also decided that the School of Science and Engineering would host a reception for all SSE graduates and their families on Friday sometime between the hooding ceremony and the Newcomb-Tulane College awards ceremony.

There will be no separate awards function for the School of Science and Engineering but departments are strongly encouraged to distribute awards at some sort of departmental ceremony. These would include undergraduate awards that are not presented at the Newcomb-Tulane College event as well as possibly awards for graduate students and faculty.

While faculty attendance at all commencement ceremonies is strongly encouraged, it was recognized that some level of “mandatory” attendance will be required. It was agreed that each department would have a minimum quota for each event and that the departments would determine who is required to attend. It was also suggested that purchasing caps and gowns for faculty members when they receive tenure might promote commencement attendance in the future.

Career Services

The Director of the Tulane Career Center, Amjad Ayoubi, gave a presentation on services offered by his office. He referred the committee to the website where there is information for students, employers, faculty, prospective students, parents, and alumni. There was an extensive Q&A exchange and Amjad offered to meet with the faculty of each department to further explain the many services now offered by the Tulane Career Center.

On the website, there is a section entitles “What can I do with a major in ...” and links to pages on each major with information on what the discipline is all about, skills, occupations to consider, possible employers, and professional organizations. The department chairs were urged to take a look at that site and to update information about their majors.

Teaching Load Policy

There was no time left for this topic. It will be placed FIRST on the agenda of the next meeting.

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