EPAG Minutes

Thursday, March 2, 2006

8:00 a.m.

Humanities 309


Beth Cleary, Caroline Ettinger, Ellen Guyer, Andrea Johnson, Mahnaz Kousha, Gary Krueger, Ruthanne Kurth-Schai (Chair), Diane Michelfelder, Jayne Niemi, Peter Weisensel, Karl Wirth


  1. Minutes:  The minutes from the last meeting were approved as is.
  2. Study away:  Next week we will discuss the suggestions made at the study away lunch.
  3. Allocations:   We updated the list of potential allocation requests.  Faculty should come to the next meeting prepared to volunteer to summarize two departments. 
  4. General Education Subcommittees:  Ruthanne shared an email exchange with  Danny Kaplan (Faculty Assessment Coordinator).  In response, the evolving draft of an Addendum to the Implementation Recommendations endorsed by the Faculty was again revised.  The addendum, which outlines preliminary guidelines for the GES, is intended as a starting point for the subcommittees.  It is assumed that this document will continue to be revised over the next several years as the need arises.  The Committee further decided to revise the agenda to meet with Danny Kaplan (FAC) and Dan Balik (SAC) on March 9th rather than in April as originally planned.  The purpose of this meeting will be to come to consensus on specific assessment tasks to be completed by GES over the next 4 semesters (through Spring of 2008).  A preliminary draft of major GES tasks was shared on the whiteboard.  Diane reported that she has encountered difficulties in requesting two-year terms as she solicited volunteers for the Subcommittees.  The Committee agreed that while two-year terms are desirable, flexibility in term length is necessary to accommodate leaves, etc. We further clarified that the EPAG representative to each Subcommittee will serve as Chair to facilitate direct reporting to and from EPAG. 
  5. Allocations Preparation:  President Rosenberg and Lin Aanonsen joined the meeting.   Brian gave his perspective on things for us to keep in mind as we delve into allocations. We talked about allocations requests and how to ensure that they promote institutional priorities.  Everyone acknowledged that a broader plan could be useful in helping to focus future efforts in areas of need.   It would also be helpful to those who work with donors if EPAG could identify curricular areas for which the creation of an endowed position would be most desirable.   There was some discussion of what factors guide our plans for future programs, besides student demand and faculty interest.   Brian acknowledged that most allocated positions are replacements for existing, essentially unchanged positions and that reconfiguration will be incremental. Strategic planning that clarifies College  priorities, rather than providing year-by-year staffing details, would make any reconfiguration easier. In addition to continuing to strengthen fundamental areas of the liberal arts, Affirmative Action must be a higher priority. We need to improve our hiring and retention of a diverse faculty. A frank discussion on this topic engaging the entire faculty is necessary if we are to move ahead.  Affirmative Action is an important aspect of the mission of the college.  EPAG’ commitment to diversifying the faculty should be acknowledged during allocations deliberations. When asked to choose among building on current strengths, shoring up weak areas, or adding new programs, Brian responded that he believes in building on strengths and creating new strengths, as this approach benefits everyone.   There was more discussion of strengths, resources, targeted hires in anticipation of retirements, and the energizing effects of post-doctoral fellows among the faculty.


Adjourned 9:30  a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Jayne Niemi, Registrar