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June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Chairs Meeting
June 19, 2012
2:30 p.m.

Building Stronger Programs and Departments

Members Present:   Don Melichar, Steven Moore, Michael Sawyer, Eric Tenbus, Mick Luehrman, Richard Herman,Vicki Orcutt, and Dean Nelson

1.   On-going Issues: 

  • Searches:  A few preemptive searches represent a strategic move to hold on to positions and to attract the best students.  Social studies – need supervisor for students in the field.  Music theatre needed to get a fill even though it was reported as no increase when program was approved. 
  • Film Festival:  Need to get the outline of film festival as soon as possible to the chairs – and to faculty.  We discussed the dates and what needs to be disseminated.  Dean Nelson wants the information out university wide with film titles and a brief description.

2.  Summer/Fall Enrollment:  Summer enrollment down less than anticipated.  Fall enrollment up substantially.  Dean thanked Drs. Herman and Tenbus for filling in for orientation.  Number of parents commented about how well it is being run.  Dr. Herman said a few parents wished they were coming!  Dr. Tenbus spoke about the fast turnaround and support for changed majors and thanked Jessica and Christine.  There were very few no shows with respect to attendance at orientation.  About a 6% increase in fall enrollment is anticipated.  Please monitor your courses, as they fill, consider opening more sections.   Dr. Moore went on to mention his concern about how the four-year guides are outdated on the web  and this brought up the concern of courses being deleted and departments whose  programs require those courses not being notified.  There was much discussion about the process and it was more about doing a search of the on-line catalog before deleting courses to ensure all programs get notified of the course deletions.

3.  Weaknesses/Strengths:  Dean Nelson is going to distribute the inputs to discuss commonly amongst ourselves.  Most identified priorities for funding.  We are working on three initiatives with Jason Drummond.  The easiest way is to have an endowed professorship or what English and Philosophy’s doing with guest artists.  Dean said “just think what it would be like if there was an infusion of interest and cash.” Dr.  Moore discussed bringing in Roger Oyster who is part of the Kansas City Orchestra.  Dean Nelson mentioned the need to introduce him to the community, get a profile on him and get the story out.  Dr. Moore is to get with Vicki.  Dr. Herman spoke about bringing in four guest artists next year and how it helps with recruitment and the fact they will come in for a relatively low cost.  He looks at 3-4 day residencies.  There was a bit of discussion over lodging guest artists and did the President have rooms at the university for these artists. 

4.  Priorities of the College:  Academic Programs/ Major Initiatives:  The Dean said we should be exploring foundation grants again.   Dr. Herman mentioned that the college has several areas we need funding for…what is the priority?  Dean Nelson said his focus has been on the Al Turki’s with respect to the Nance collection.  A change in President’s priorities allowed for a separation of the initiatives.  New outlook is easier to sell the current proposal to Aramco.  Upshot is connecting university with Kansas City and we are currently looking for space for the Nance collection.  Area being considered is just a block away from the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts.  If supported would elevate some resources for the University. 

Second initiative is Carnegie.  Dr. Luehrman liked Dr. Rogers’ proposal with respect to the location of the Carnegie bust.  Dean asked Dr. Luehrman to get proposal moving since Dr. Rogers is out for a couple of weeks.   There was also some discussion about the President’s Gala for 2013 and how we need to get a contract signed.  Advancement is committed to pay for the Gala.  Dean Nelson mentioned the need to work with the Foundation.

5.  Teaching/Learning Mentoring of New Faculty:  This will be more than HR, it will involve a workshop with teaching and learning, giving new faculty the opportunity to work as a team (3 day workshop).  Dean will distribute program.  This is a non-evaluative process and does not absolve department chairs of their mentorship responsibilities.  There was some discussion about the plan day schedule and many of the department chairs were concerned about the lack of time they have with faculty, particularly because of the scheduled time for the President to address campus.  It was concluded that Plan Days were for faculty to meet with department chairs and that this needs to be discussed with leadership. 

6.  Post Tenure Review:  The Dean asked the department chairs their opinion on post-tenure review.  Comments ranged from: 

  • “Been looking at it for 20 years and doesn’t tenure mean anything anymore?”
  • Faculty has to be working towards something for post-tenure review to be effective. 
  • Dr. Sawyer spoke about steps for rank and you reach full rank you keep it for five years. 
  • Need resources—what’s the carrot?
  • Has to be collegial
  • There has to be some way to fix a problem instead of just living with it
  • It is a two-sided process with goal incentives
  • There should be a system to address immediately before review if there are deficiencies.  Post tenure review is the wrong process
  • If someone doesn’t teach well it’s disastrous.  It is not intended to be punitive it’s accountable.
  • Tenure is for academic freedom not incompetence


Dr. Herman and Dr. Moore along with Dean Nelson attended the innovation campus meeting.  It will be the replacement for the current Summit campus.  There was a question on who would be the Director of the Campus?  Dr. Moore said he believes there will be increased administrative tasks.  The coordination is what concerns him more than the logistics.  Gen Ed courses come from MCC.  Scheduling the odd class over there will be easier.  ITV no major change.  Going to serve a totally new population—things have changed some programs will go in total. 

Dr. Sawyer and Dean Nelson attended the task stream meeting.  The blackboard package for HLC did not work out.  Currently we are without a solution.  Task stream was impressive before and still very solid with accountability assessments—central storage point.  Done correctly (little work) it should be easy.  Faculty update vs. paper and can do search.  Student learning assessment interfaces with banner and blackboard.  Works better if we go “all in.”  Need to purchase all three components; this will make our tasks much easier.  It was designed for higher education and has a planning component.  In addition it maps programs and demonstrates goal achievement.  It is adaptable.  Only component it is weak in the analytics portion.   The software would support course evaluations and CQIP information.  It also has all the standards.