The University of Texas at Arlington
The Administrative Council met in regular session Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 2:15 p.m. in the University Center Guadalupe Room.
Introduction of New Members. President Spaniolo introduced new members to the Council: Donald Gatzke, Dean, School of Architecture; Michael George, Registrar; Krishnan Rajeshwar, Associate Dean, College of Science; Marcy Sanders, Executive Assistant to the President; James Spaniolo, President.
Enrollment Update. Dale Wasson, Associate Vice President for Student Enrollment Services, gave the enrollment update. It is still too early to accurately project graduate enrollment, but preliminary figures suggest increases in the neighborhood of 5% at the graduate level and another 2% for international students. At the undergraduate level, freshman applications are up by 30% and admissions are up by 20%. Due to changes in procedures, it is uncertain how much of the increase is due to increased applications or to improved efficiency. We think we’re up in the neighborhood of 5-6% in actual growth in admission decisions. Transfer applications are up about 70% and decisions are up about 30%. We will probably be up about 8-10% in transfers. Enrollment in the feeder community colleges in Tarrant and Dallas counties has been up significantly in the last two years.
We raised the admission requirements this fall and we’ll be proposing increased transfer admission requirements for the fall of 2005.
President Spaniolo pointed out that in addition to the increased admission requirements, the larger portion of the increased tuition package will also be going into effect in the fall.
SACS Update. Pam Haws, Assistant Vice President and Director of Institutional Research and Planning, reported that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) took the action of publicly saying that we were on probation at the annual meeting in December. After protests by the university and the UT system, they agreed to take the matter to the executive council of the Commission. The council met in executive session in March and rescinded the action of the Commission and said that as far as they were concerned, we had never been on probation.
The leadership team will begin training next summer for the next visit. They will be back in Spring 2007.
Information Technology Update. Suzanne Montague, Interim Vice President for Information Technology, spoke about the email system and the problems encountered recently. We had a hard drive that failed. Unfortunately, that hard drive had very important pointers and data on it. We had it configured to fail over to the backup system when it detected a problem. When it failed over, it brought corrupted data with it to the backup system. The backup system then detected a problem and failed back over to the primary system. We had what we call a “deadly embrace.” The system came down very hard. When we were able to restore the system, we were not able to get all of your email returned to your inbox. The data was not reparable because there was too much damage to it. It was a major wakeup call. We are going to work with vendors to develop a much more robust enterprise level version of the email system.
Sean Lanham, OIT Security Manager, spoke about Spam. In the corporate world, the CEO says to delete all spam. In higher education, we have to let email come through because of research and the different components we deal with. We also have academic freedom where we don’t want to limit students and our email system includes faculty, staff, and students. We are working with the UT System to come up with a solution. We were ready to purchase a product when our anti-virus vendor said they now had an anti-spam product which would be free. That product was installed last year but it did not meet our expectations. Our goal is not to delete spam. We do not want to take the approach of censoring people’s email. We want to put that capability on the end user. If you are having problems with a large amount of spam you can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Viruses also disguise themselves as spam. Within the past month, the amount of spam activity has tripled on campus due to viruses.
Remarks by the President. I’m very concerned that we have a reliable, dependable email system and we’re going to be working very hard on that over the next few months.
I’ve been visiting schools and colleges this week. I feel very invigorated, uplifted, and encouraged by the visits. The Provost and I were over visiting the School of Architecture today. They have just gone through a rigorous accreditation site team visit and they received glowing reports. I was so impressed by the displays of models and work of students. I encourage everyone to visit the School of Architecture to see the students’ works.
I’ve also met with the College of Liberal Arts, College of Education, and the School of Social Work this week. With each visit, I came away feeling really encouraged. We’ve got some tremendous things to be proud of here at the university. I consider it a part of my role as a new president to remind you of all the strengths we have. I want you to know how proud I am to be associated with you and this university.
Recorded by Janis Walkup.