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University of Houston - Victoria

President's Office


9:30 A.M., November 13, 2013
President's Conference Room
Meeting Minutes

Members Present:
Akins, Bashaw, Beran, Cass, Castille, Cobler, Dahlstrom, Di Leo, Faulk, Ferguson, Lambert, Litton, Mehan, Niroomand, Olukoya, Rice, Rutzen, Salazar, Smith, Tart, Thomas, and Walyuchow

Absent: Alcorn

Representative: Charles Alcorn, University Advancement

Guest: Val Walden

I. Organization Business

Dr. Akins moved and Dean Niroomand seconded to approve the minutes of October 23 as written.

II. Business

A. President’s Report—Dr. Phil Castille

  • President’s Annual Report & Excellences Awards Ceremony
  • Dr. Castille thanked the Marketing & Communications and Special Events departments for the wonderful annual report event, which was held for the first time off-campus at the Spring Creek Center. He also expressed his appreciation to the deans for their parts in making this a memorable event for the university and community.

  • Board of Regents Meeting & Retreat
    Dr. Castille said there was a brief meeting of the Board of Regents (BOR) prior to the BOR Retreat, and the only item that pertained to UHV was the approval of a MS degree in Computer Science. At the retreat, the System institutions’ Progress Cards were discussed, and UHV’s report was strong in all categories pertaining to student growth and diversity. However, UHV will need to make improvements in student retention, as this is still a weak category for us. As mentioned at the last meeting, the Chancellor will establish a “Blue Ribbon Task Force” to address diversity in higher education for the Greater Houston region. Dr. Castille has been asked to make nominations from UHV for membership on this group.

  • B. Policy Approval—Val Walden

  • F-4 Meal Expense Reimbursement
  • Ms. Walden shared a copy of the updated policy for Cabinet member’s review. The policy was mainly tweaked, to add a little more explanation to what is covered. Meal expenses for one day trips are not considered travel expenses and are not reimbursable. Overnight travel may be paid as referenced in UHV Policy F-1. Noted items were meals and/or refreshments provided for group meetings attended only by UHV personnel may be paid with discretionary funds only if the meeting is essential to the operation of the university and the meal and/or refreshments will expedite the proceedings. Payments for meals and/or refreshments provided for group meetings not meeting these criteria may only be made from donated funds restricted for such purpose, such as Unit of Excellence funds, if available. And an employee must submit a request for reimbursement to their department office no later than 60 days after the expense incurred. Reimbursement requests submitted after the deadline will be treated as taxable income to the employee.

    A motion was made by Dr. Akins, seconded by Mr. Walyuchow to approve the policy as written.

    Policy F-4 was approved by unanimous vote.

    C. Learning Communities—Dr. Keith Akins

    Dr. Akins reported that he, Dr. Mehan, and a few others had attended the First-Year Learning Communities Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The First-Year Learning Communities Program is a nationally recognized program which helps students make a successful academic and social transition from high school to university life. He said there are a variety of formulas that universities already have in place. He stated the general consensus was that you cannot run a first-year learning community by a committee. He said they addressed 2 basic models, Office of Community Learnings and different community directors. Other items discussed were QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) related. Students that fail in the fall semester would be required to meet in the spring semester to 1) one mandatory meeting with the counseling center, 2) have a meeting with every one of their faculty members every 2 weeks, 3) live on campus and attend required study hall, and 4) meet with 1 subject tutor at least once. Dr. Akins said he hopes to incorporate this into our learning community next year.

    Dr. Mehan also attended along with Dr. Sharon Bailey, Ashleigh Kellis-Carr, and Vera Akinkuotu and said there were approximately 300 in attendance at the conference. He and Dr. Bailey conducted a session on Virtual Learning Communities. He noted that currently there is work on establishing a Texas-wide learning communities consortium.

    Dr. Castille asked Dr. Akins to share ideas from a recent conference he attended with Drs. Cass, Lambert, Akins, Mehan, and Thomas. UHV’s QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) under development for our SACS visit in the spring centers on living-learning opportunities at UHV. .

    D. Academic Affairs Updates—Dr. Jeff Cass

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
  • Dr. Cass said UHV has received the THECB granting authority letter to proceed with offering a BS in Health Studies. He also said UHV’s Core Curriculum that was prepared by Professor Andrew Berg has been submitted to THECB and looks for the university to receive their approval any day.

  • SACS Liaison
  • Dr. Cass said Dr. Crystal Baird, our SACS liaison, will be on campus November 21-22 to visit about UHV’s upcoming SACS on-site review. Dr. Baird will be here to assist the university with questions/responses to our SACS report and Quality Enhancement Plan.

  • Advising
  • Dr. Cass said the deans and Student Affairs have been working on how to deal with student advising.

    --The Student Affairs office will advise all freshmen and sophomores that have taken up to 45 hours;
    --A sheet of contact is being prepared to assist everyone with directives;
    --By allowing Student Affairs to advise this will free up advising and help with transfer and graduate students; and
    --Two Student Success Coaches have been hired and another will be hired in the spring.

  • Personnel
  • Dr. Cass said the search committee will meet today for a final meeting for the University Advancement Annual Giving Director’s position.

  • New Programs
  • Dr. Cass said he and the academic deans have been discussing new programs and are looking to add a few more.

    Possible additions—
    --Education Technology, Building Concentration in C&I;
    --Political Science in the spring;
    --BAIS in General Studies;
    --BAIS in Health Studies;
    --DNP (first doctoral degree); and

    E. Facilities & Finance Updates—Wayne Beran

  • Groundbreaking
  • Mr. Beran confirmed the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the UHV Academic and Regional Economic Development Building will take place at 4:00 p.m. on November 20.

  • Facilities Committee
  • Mr. Beran said a committee of 8 people will be selected to serve on the UHV Facilities Committee. He will chair the committee and Dr. Cass will be the vice chair. This group will address the TRB requests this summer for the upcoming legislative session.

    Dr. Castille said Vice President Beran will serve as Chair and Provost Cass will serve as Vice Chair of this committee, which will assist with planning for the new Academic and Regional Economic Development Center building, for which we broke group early in December. The committee will also look at space-planning needs across the campus and offsite.

  • Student Payments
  • Mr. Beran said the way UHV has their student payments currently set up is very confusing. There were no routines for the students to follow—loans, meals, housing, etc. all were due for different percentages at different times. With the new proposed payment options that Jay Lambert, Denee Thomas, and Lois Lemke developed and he offered suggested edits, he feels students will know every month what is expected from them. He shared a handout that compared the current payment options to the proposed options. It was agreed that the proposed plan provided a more precise payment process. This new payment plan starts this spring.

    F. Student Affairs Updates—Dr. Jay Lambert

    Dr. Lambert thanked all those that came out and made the November 2 Jaguar Day a success. Trudy Wortham is working on a master notification list. This list will be used to make sure that we are sending out all government related mandated announcements in a timely manner. If you would like to add anything to it, please e-mail her. Trudy is also working on what we need to do in order to give students diplomas at graduation. This information will be presented in the near future.

    G. Enrollment Updates—Dr. Denee Thomas

    Dr. Thomas said at the next meeting we will be able to look at enrollment numbers, since registration opens on Monday, November 18. To date, we have received 1,029 applications for the spring. There is work to do to help more students complete applications and become accepted, particularly in the area of new graduate students. She said the ratios of students accepted to those who have applied range from 33% to 60% at present. The fall freshmen applications stand at 1,595, with 291 having been accepted. Applications are up 65% from same date last year, while accepted students are up 93% over last year. Percentage admitted is also up 3% from last year, same date.

    H. University Advancement Updates—Greg Rutzen

    Mr. Rutzen reported that the total of new commitments for this fiscal year is at $836,000. He said 6 weeks ago, Dr. Mehan introduced him to Dr. Sanjeev Bhatia and from that introduction; UHV has become the recipient of 2 endowed scholarships. One of the scholarships set up by Dr. Bhatia will be for first generation students and the second will be for honorably discharged military personnel.

    I. Update on SBA Dean’s Advisory Council—Dr. Farhang Niroomand

    Dean Niroomand presented an overview of the School of Business Administration that he had shared with his Dean’s Advisory Council. The school has transformed itself by increasing their presence in the Fort Bend area by branching out in the Katy and Sugar Land. SBA is a top rated business school and was awarded AACSB accreditation in 2005 and reaccredited in 2010. The school has received national recognition and ranking. The Princeton Review has consistently rated the UHV SBA as one of the top business schools in the US and number 2 as the Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students. The Fortune Small Business Magazine has also name UHV as the number three for Best Online Entrepreneurial Schools. The has ranked the School of Business Administration as number 4 for their Global MBA, number 17 for their Strategic MBA, number 6 for their BBA, and overall as an AACSB Accredited Distance Best Buy. Over the past few years, the UHV SBA program has had tremendous growth. Currently there are 45 faculty members with 40 faculty members’ officed at the UHSL campus. UHV’s SBA is now the second largest MBA program in Houston. Since 2005, the MBA program has grown from 575 students to approximately 900 today. The school’s Master of Science and Economic Development and Entrepreneurship is a unique and one of a kind program. The undergraduate program has grown from less than 500 students in 2009 to over 1,000 students today. Increased graduate enrollment produced a record number of graduates in the MBA and MSEDE programs with 244 for the 2012 and 2013 school year. They also graduated 314 BBA students. The school has a highly diverse student body with students from the Far East, Middle East, Europe, South America, and Africa. UHV students have the opportunity to study international business in China. School recently received a $600,000 contribution from Chairman Wu and his wife to establish the new Wu-Feng Center for International Business Education. One of the key initiatives in the SBA is the development of new programs to better serve the current needs of various industries in the greater Houston area.

    J. Other Items

    Dean Litton said the School of Education & Human Development will host the Trends and Issues in Bilingual and ESL Fall Symposium on November 21. The speaker for the event is Leonard Baca, director of the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education and a professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dean Litton said the SoEHD will be awarded the “You Make a Difference” award at the Victoria Independent School District Board meeting for our partnership with Stroman. He concluded by saying there would be a delegation from India on campus to discuss the school’s new program in professional coaching.

    Dean Tart announced that Marilyn Davis will be the guest speaker at the SoN Pinning Ceremony following commencement on December 14 at the Katy Merrell Center. She shared the Texas Board of Nursing composite pass rate scores for the SoN—first cohort 88.2%, second cohort 100%, third cohort 97.77% and the last cohort was at 100%. UHV received the highest first-time pass rate in the State of Texas at 97.3%.

    Dean Di Leo thanked Regent Hollingsworth for visiting UHV and touring our buildings. He also thanked Dr. Castille for the suggestion of the Political Science program.

    Mr. Walyuchow said he is 95% certain UHV will have a baseball game at the Constellation Field in Sugar Land this spring.

    Meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
    Submitted by: Kathy Walton