May 5, 2005 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Clipper Room, Shriver Hall
The Steering Committee:
Dr. Matthew Roller (Chair) - present
Dr. Hilary Bok (Vice Chair) - present
Dr. Kevin Hemker (Secretary) - present
1. Dr. Roller Called for the Approval of the March 1st 2005 minutes, asking if there were any comments or corrections regarding the minutes posted online?
Hearing none - the March 1st minutes were approved with all in favor.
2. Dr. Roller introduced Dr. Nicholas Jones, Dean of WSE to discuss his goals and priorities as new dean of WSE and to present a comprehensive review the Whiting School's past year.
Dean Jones said that after nine months, it was great to be back and spoke about the amount of work that still needs to be done regarding the future goals of WSE. He referred to his New Zealand heritage and likening his position as Dean to the skipper of a high performance racing yacht, stressing that times of great achievement were often balanced by "stormy weather" and infrequent crew and/or spectator complaints.
Dean Jones said that WSE is currently going through a fast- track strategic planning process. He said that there has been a sense of urgency to the process and that that the chairs of WSE's 9 departments and 15 centers have offered a great amount of input during a series of planning dinners and meetings. Dean Jones said the current strategic plan is built on a strategic planning process developed 5 years ago and said that a first version of the current plan will likely be drafted this summer.
Dr. Jones said that the school has adopted the vision statement: "Leadership through Innovation" and said that leadership continues to be the focus of the current strategic planning process. Dr. Jones went on to say that he was anxious to see WSE move up in contemporary university rankings saying that he thought WSE had a realistic crack at the top ten and could certainly be in the top 15.
Dr. Jones spoke of the numerous education initiatives WSE has underway and contrasted the opportunities extended to the undergraduates of JHU with those of his former employer, The University of Illinois. Dr Jones said that while both schools offer undergraduate research opportunities, the scale to which JHU offers these opportunities is unparalleled and distinguishes the university from its peers. Dr. Jones said he has challenged representatives of WSE, Krieger and the school of Nursing to build on these undergraduate opportunities. Dr. Jones said the Krieger School has been a "clear partner" in this endeavor and cited a recent meeting with Dr. John Bagger that focused on developing creative opportunities and solutions regarding physics education at JHU.
Dr. Jones said his office is looking into enhancing the full-time graduate education program, noting the success of the Engineering Programs for Professionals (formerly the PTE program). Dr. Jones said the EPP program not only generates big revenue, but provides WSE with many industry outreach opportunities.
Regarding research, Dr. Jones said WSE is doing extremely well across the board and noted the extremely high rankings of BME and DOGEE. He also cited collaborations between mechanical engineering and computer sciences, robotic sciences, electrical and computer engineering, and the nanotechnology efforts being pioneered across departments and schools.
Dr. Jones also said the newest building in the south quad expansion will allow the university to institutionalize this collaborative research. Dr. Jones said that one anchor of the new building, the Institute for Mathematical and Computational Life Sciences, will provide many new opportunities for interdepartmental and inter-institutional collaborations.
Dr. Jones spoke briefly about the need to market this initiative and to gain potential development prospects for the new building. He also cited WSE's continued need to raise funds for faculty retention and recruitment as well as methods of raising more unrestricted gifts for the school in order to fund the many "novel, cross-disciplinary ideas" posited by faculty members. Dr. Jones said that like Krieger, WSE is constantly challenged to come up with competitive financial aid packages to bring in the "best and finest" students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Dr. Jones cited the recent large donation by Willard Hackerman and the scholarships that were created in his name, but went on to say that we must find more creative ways to partner with Krieger to bring in revenue and relieve the long-standing space and monetary tensions between the two schools.
Dr. Jones went on to talk about WSE's need to develop greater interaction with industry saying that "our interaction with industry, for a world class school of engineering, is really not what it might be." Dr. Jones said that there are plenty more opportunities to strengthen the bonds between WSE and local and national industry.
Dr. Jones ran through departmental statistics for the past year, saying that undergraduate enrollment stands at a little over 1200, a little bit down from last year in terms of matriculation, but said the school has "turned the corner" and expects a "healthy size" class next year.
Dr. Jones spoke about the "spring" that WSE put on Biomedical Engineering a few years back, saying the incredible demand for the major threatened to undermine the quality of the program. However, Dr. Jones said the resulting overflow ended up in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; noting a marked increase with the matriculation of freshman students from ~50 to ~100. The "flip-side" of this matriculation boom, according to Dr. Jones, is reflected in the Computer Science department which has seen a significant drop from 266 students in 2001 to 120 students this past year.
Dr. Jones said that there are 640 graduate students this year, which reflects the continued growth of recent years, and noted that the EPP program now has approximately 2,100 students enrolled in masters programs and continues to generate large revenues for the school.
Dr. Jones noted that 1/3 of applicants admitted to WSE are female, a percentage he hopes to increase. However, he said that the 1/3 percentage is "good by national standards".
Dr. Jones said the school currently has 115 full-time faculty and 25 non-tenure track faculty and noted that the school should be adding 5 new faculty members in the fall if hiring searches are successful. Dr. Jones noted that the WSE School budget is currently at $120 million and will end this year with a "little bit of a deficit".
Dr. Jones went on to say that research expenditures have grown at a compounded rate of 17 percent over the past 6 years and are currently at around $46 million a year. Dr. Jones also noted that $25 million of that money comes from within the departments and $21 million from centers, reflecting a shift in recent years from a departmentally oriented division to one that is almost 50/50 in research funding.
In development, Dr. Jones said WSE will likely exceed this year's goal of $10 million, saying that the overall fundraising for the years is "sitting around $13 million" and is expected to reach around $15 million.
Dr. Greg Chirikjian asked if there is any data available regarding students who express an interest in BME and the numbers allowed into JHU but not the BME major.
Associate Dean Andrew Douglas said that last year's data showed a yield down about 10% from the expected enrollment rate based on our standard model. In addition, about 30 current freshmen applied to transfer into the Biomedical department and half (15) were accepted. Dr. Douglas went on to say that the university had to continue to make it clear to applicants that there are many wonderful bioengineering opportunities if accepted to JHU, but not to BME.
Dr. Jones added that while JHU has a top ranked Biomedical Engineering department, there is a "bioengineering theme that permeates the whole school" and noted that there are plenty of opportunities for students interested in bioengineering at JHU in other departments such as Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
3. Dr. Roller introduced Adam Falk, Interim Dean of KSAS, who presented a brief review of the Krieger School's past year.
Dr. Falk described the school as being in "the middle of a transition" and stressed that the partnership between WSE and KSAS has been very rewarding throughout this transition.
Dr. Falk went on to speak about the numerous awards members of Krieger's faculty have received over the past year, including a Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award (Michael Fried), the election of two faculty members to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (John Irwin, Peter Olson), and the conferring of a Draper Medal (Charles Bennett) and 3 Guggenheim Fellowships (Andrew Cherlin, Eckart F”rster, Christopher Sogge).
Dr. Falk also spoke at length regarding Krieger's ongoing recruitment efforts saying Krieger has offered six faculty positions to African American applicants, highlighting the schools commitment to diversity.
Regarding incoming and current students, Dr. Falk again spoke about Krieger's commitment to diversity and opportunity, noting the school's admissions offer to 19 Baltimore young scholars recipients, and went on to speak of the ongoing challenge of providing competitive stipends to current graduate students. Dr. Falk said that KSAS continues to offer new incentives for applicants and said that the school continues to work on the Center for Africana Studies and is in the process of recruiting a director.
Dr. Falk spoke about the temporary appointments he has made as Interim Dean. Dr. Falk said that Gabrielle Spiegel will be chair of the History Department and one of two acting chairs taking care of the duties of the Dean of Faculty. Her responsibilities will focus on appointment, promotions and retention in the department. The other Dean of Faculty responsibilities will fall on Dr. Steven David who will hold the title of Vice-dean for Centers and Programs.
Dr. Roller asked about the status of the long-standing course schedule re-crafting project. Dr. Falk said that his office is reconfiguring course schedules and mapping them to open classrooms. Dr. Falk said that the leadership of the committee was unresolved and said the Dean's office would have to seriously re-consider the schedule issues next year.
An unidentified faculty member asked about the latest faculty count for each department. Dr. Falk spoke at length about the ways each department counted its active staff, part-time staff and staff on leave. Dr. Falk said that there has been a drop in open positions from about 25 to 12, saying that here has been a modest growth in faculty over the past four or five years and that the number of faculty has gone up ten percent in past two years. According to Dr. Falk, the number of faculty was 275 this fiscal year including tenure track faculty (vs. low 250's two years ago).
4. Professor Ben Hobbs of Environmental Engineering and Doug Poland of the Department of Chemistry discussed the proposed reforms in Academic Council term length and give a status report on the new tenure and promotion system.
Dr. Poland said currently, the school at large elects 2 people to 5 year terms and the council appoints 2 people for 1 year terms. However, in recent years it has been difficult getting faculty members interested in the 5 year terms. In response, the council has decided to reduce the length of the 2 school elected term from 5 years to 4 years and to increase the terms of the two council appointed positions from 1 year to 2 years. This, according to Dr. Poland, would allow the council to maintain its diversity in departmental representation.
An unnamed faculty member asked Dr. Poland to comment on the trend of two year members being elected to four year positions once their appointed terms expired. Dr. Poland said that the council has considered putting a 6 year cap for all members serving on the board top assure that a steady rotation of members occurs from year to year.
Dr. Hobbs spoke about the recent changes in tenure rules and the transition period from the old system to the new system.
Dr Hobbs outlined a number of "big changes" in the tenure rules. The first change, according to Dr. Hobbs, is that the timing for tenure will be at the associate level in the long term. Dr. Hobbs also said that the liaison between the department and the Ad hoc committee will no longer play the role of a departmental representative, but will be a conduit for information only. A third change in the rules stipulates that the Ad hoc representative and departmental chair will not come before the academic council together, allowing for more "frank" input from the ad hoc representative.
Finally, Dr. Hobbs went on to talk about the transition from the old system to the new system saying that up to July 1st , faculty members will be able to opt for the old system versus the new system. After July 1st, those that opted to stay in the old system may have the opportunity to switch to the new system with permission from their respective Deans.
Finally, Dr. Hobbs spoke about this years considerations for tenure, saying that currently there are six faculty members eligible for tenure; four for full tenure and five associate professors who want to go up for tenure at the associate level.
Dr. Hemker asked if there has been a discussion over the "bars and levels" regarding the new tenured associate position, pointing out that the new tenured associate is somewhere between a tenured full and an untenured associate position. Dr. Hemker wanted to know if there is some "individual interpretation" being placed on the definition of "associate professor". Dr. Hobbs said that for tenured associates, the definition has "not changed in the long run". In the short term, Dr. Hobbs said those professors coming up for a tenured associate position will make the decision to pursue tenure based on the confidence they have in their own abilities, publication history, second project readiness, etc.
Matt Roller asked if this reluctance to go for tenure as associate professors may lead to a prejudice against them when they finally do pursue tenure. A handful of specific questions regarding specific tenure procedures (i.e. questions regarding letters, departmental references and Ad hoc committee timetables) were asked and clarified by Dr. Hobbs.
5. Dr Roller asked if there was any new business.
None responded. Dr Roller moved to close the meeting, which was seconded by Dr. Hemker.
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