The University Record, October 8, 2001

LS&A Meeting Roundup

By Martin May

LS&A Dean Shirley Neuman outlined the accomplishments of the College this past year and the goals for its future at the LS&A Faculty Meeting Oct. 1.

Neuman praised the year’s successes, presented faculty awards, discussed the bottom-line budgeting model and updated faculty members on progress of the College’s fund-raising campaign.

Neuman noted the College’s success rate on offers to senior faculty this past year was 50 percent, up from 25 percent the previous year in spite of a more rigorous examination and approval process. The College also recruited nine of 50 undergraduate Bentley scholars—one of the most prestigious merit scholarships for talented prospective undergraduate Michigan residents.

Neuman presented awards to faculty members Hartmut Rastalsky, Timothy McKay, Kalli Federhofer, Eugene Kraus and Deborah Mahoney. Rastalksy, assistant professor of Germanic languages and literature, received the Matthews Underclass Teaching Award. McKay, assistant professor of physics, was presented the Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award. Federhofer, lecturer in the Germanic Languages and Literature Department, was honored with the Excellence in Concentration Advising Award. Unable to attend were Krause, professor in mathematics, and Mahoney, faculty adviser in the Honors Program, who both received the Excellence in Concentration Advising Award.

Neuman praised interdisciplinary progress in the Center for Afro-American and African Studies, the Program in American Culture, and the Women’s Studies Program. She also said she is pleased with the favorable curriculum review of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP).

All departments and programs in the College will now operate on “bottom-line” budgets, said Neuman. This will give departments and programs greater fiscal autonomy. “Departments that spend their resources wisely will do well,” Neuman said. Areas that will determine a department or program’s success include increasing student enrollment, seeing top graduate students choosing to attend the College, and receiving appropriate levels of external funding for research. Departments fulfilling these criteria “can expect an increase of resources to them over the next year,” Neuman said. “Those that trace a reverse trajectory will be faced with harder times.”

Neuman asked for long-term planning from the units in establishing priorities and strategies. “Long-term planning requires thought and leadership from departments and programs, from their chairs and directors, and requires them to achieve consensus about their direction.” Long-term plans will be reviewed by the LS&A Executive Committee and, in some cases, external reviewers.

Neuman said that last year’s drop-off in campaign fundraising revenue cannot be solely attributed to the economic climate. A new assistant dean of development has been hired, along with more development staff. Campaign priorities are now confirmed and printed materials, such as the LS&A Magazine, have a new look. Neuman hopes the year’s fundraising total will be above $21 million.

Funds from the campaign will be used to create 50 new endowed positions, to provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students and to support several new programs, including Organizational Studies, the Program on the Environment, the Joint Economics and Mathematics Actuarial Program and the Honors Program. Funds also are needed to support programs in the arts and writing, and capital improvements for the Frieze and Kraus buildings, and the museums.

Addressing issues of faculty appointments and promotions, Neuman said that the Executive Committee will ask those making tenure decisions to consciously take into account all of the faculty member’s work and to consult fully with all units participating in joint appointments.

Neuman also spoke of the responsibilities and duties of faculty members. She closed saying, “I urge the new faculty to set an example to your elders to engage in faculty governance.”