Faculty Meeting

October 1, 2008

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM


Attendance: Altiero, Aung, Bishop, Boudaba, Burdsal, Caruso, Chen, Christenson, Colombo, Corey, Cunningham, Daniel, Darwin, Dauns, De Kee, Didier, Diebold, Gasparini, Godbey, Golob, Hall, Hebert, Heins, Hopkins, Horwitz, Inglis, Johannesson, John, Kalka, Kaplan, Khismatullin, Kim, Koplitz, Lacey, Maclaren, McGuire, McLachlan, McPherson, Mielke, Mitchell, Molix, Moore, Muneoka, Murfee, Nastasi, Nelson, O’Brien, Olsen, Papadopoulos, Parsley, Pesika, Piringer, Pratt, Reed, Rice, Richards, Rosenheim, Rosencrans, Ruscher, Schmehl, Schrader, Sherry, Szechter, Tasker, Varela, Vincent-Finley, Wee, Wietfeldt, Wilson, Wyland

Guests: Bernstein, Cherrey


The minutes of the meeting of 7 May 2008 were approved unanimously.


The following new faculty members were introduced by their respective Department Chairs:

Damir Khismatullin – Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Don Richards – Visiting Professor, Biomedical Engineering
YiPing Chen – Professor and Chair, Cell and Molecular Biology
Ben Hall – Assistant Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology
Noshir Pesika – Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Rachel Vincent-Finley – Visiting Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Sarah Olsen – Visiting Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Norman Horwitz – Professor of Practice, Physics
Dae Ho Kim – Assistant Professor, Physics
Bonnie Nastasi – Associate Professor, Psychology

Provost Michael Bernstein
Provost Bernstein discussed the strategic goals for the coming academic year. In particular he addressed the following.

The University is about to launch three searches for leadership positions: Director of the Murphy Institute for Political Economy, Executive Director of the Newcomb College Institute, and Dean of the School of Law.

The Office of Academic Affairs has issued a request for proposals for “innovation and interdisciplinarity in graduate education.” This will be the first round of a three year program to identify new interdisciplinary doctoral programs.

There will be another round of the faculty salary enhancement program this year. This program is aimed at bringing faculty salaries at Tulane to a more competitive level. Last year the program focused on four schools, including the School of Science and Engineering. It will be broadened to include the other schools this year.

There will be a special emphasis this year on faculty development and quality assessment including mentoring of junior faculty and faculty evaluation processes. An office for teaching excellence will be established in the near future.

Preparation is underway for the SACS accreditation visit that is scheduled for the fall of 2010.

The Provost is working with the academic deans and the School promotion and tenure committees on identifying and advancing best practices for promotion and tenure evaluations.

There followed a lively question and answer period that focused on the accreditation process and on the criteria for establishment of new interdisciplinary doctoral programs.

Residential College

James Maclaren, Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, and Cynthia Cherrey, Vice President for Student Affairs, briefed the faculty on the professor-in-residence program. There will be four or five such residential colleges created over the next three to five years. Currently the only residential college with a professor-in-residence is the Wall residence hall and the holder of that position, Professor Chris Dunn, will be completing his term at the end of the current academic year. Interested faculty members are encouraged to apply for this position. The criteria for selection are a willingness to provide learning opportunities and enhancement of faculty-student interaction within a residential environment, full time faculty status (tenure preferred), active engagement in ones field of study in both teaching and research, willingness to invite and recruit faculty colleagues to residential college events, and support of the home department and dean. The appointment is for a three year term, renewable.

Nominating Committee Report

Tom Sherry, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented a list of faculty members to be approved for voting privileges for the 2008-09 academic year. This approved list will now be posted to the web at

Tom also reported on appointments to University-wide committees, a list of whom can be found at

School Updates

Dean Nick Altiero gave a report on the state of the School of Science and Engineering at the outset of its third year in existence. Some excerpts:

The total number of tenured/tenure-track faculty in the School is now 111, up from 95 in 2006 – 07 and 101 in 2007 – 08. The School is currently conducting 10 searches.

The total number of faculty in the School is now 146, including 23 professors of practice and 12 research professors. The faculty is 79.5% male and 20.5% female; with 21.2% of the faculty from ethic minority groups.

Undergraduate enrollment in the School is now at 1278, 51.4% of whom are female and 48.6% of whom are male. Of the domestic students, 24.9% are from ethnic minority groups. The majors with the largest enrollments are Psychology (246), Cell and Molecular Biology (234), Neuroscience (154), and Biomedical Engineering (122).

Graduate enrollment is now at 282 doctoral students and 92 master’s students. 54.6% of the graduate students are male and 45.4% are female. Of the domestic students, 19.4% are from ethic minority groups.

External funding for research in FY 2007-08 was $19.4M, $17.1M of which was from federal agencies.

Gifts received increased from $2.2M in FY 2006-07 to $3.6M in FY 2007-08.

The School is making excellent progress in achieving the goals laid out in its strategic plan Vision 2018.

The main issues discussed during the question and answer period were (1) diversity of the faculty, staff and student body, (2) space and facility needs, and (3) staff needs.


The meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM. Minutes by Wayne Reed.

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