2012 Spring Regular Meeting Minutes

As always, thanks to Dee for recording the minutes.  We will not read these at the meeting.  Please submit changes now in the comment form below, or come prepared with comments at the meeting.  There will be opportunity at the meeting to discuss prior to approving the minutes.

AAC Minutes

April 27, 2012

Blucher Conference Room 104

Attendees:

AAC Board Members: William Bernsen, Keith McNeese, Dan Stone, Ken Gold, Shelia Steffenson, Brian Autio, Tim Alford – (Quorum declared)

Absent Board Members:  Brandi Lowe, Noela Garza, Davey Edwards, Jack Avis

Faculty:  Dr. Gary Jeffress. Dr. Stacey Lyle, Dr. Peter Kuntu-Mensah

Meeting called to order at 12:25 p.m.

Introductions:  All board members introduced themselves as did faculty, students, and staff in attendance.

Board Business

  1. Minutes for last meeting had motion to approve.  Seconded,  Minutes approved.
  2. Proposed amendments to bylaw
    1. Officer Terms – Motion to amend the officer’s terms to read:
      1. Section 3.01 – Chairperson [COMMITTEE APPROVED THIS VERSION]
        1. A Chairperson shall be elected from the membership of the Committee. The Chairperson shall serve for a one-year three-year term, with no term limitations, beginning at the fall meeting. The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings; shall represent the Committee as needed; shall establish rules of the meeting that will freely facilitate debate and decision-making; and shall indicate when a vote will be taken.
      2. 2) Section 3.01 – Chairperson [NOT APPROVED]
        1. A Chairperson shall be elected from the membership of the Committee. The Chairperson shall serve for a one-year term, with no term limitations a consecutive term limitation of two [or three] terms, beginning at the fall meeting. The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings; shall represent the Committee as needed; shall establish rules of the meeting that will freely facilitate debate and decision-making; and shall indicate when a vote will be taken.
      3. 3) Section 3.2 – Vice-Chairperson [COMMITTEE APPROVED THIS VERSION]
        1. A Vice-Chairperson shall be elected from the membership of the Committee. The Vice-Chairperson shall serve for a one-year three-year term, with no term limitations, beginning at the fall meeting. In the event of a vacancy in the Chairperson’s position, the Vice-Chairperson will succeed as Chairperson for the remainder of the Chairperson’s term, and the Committee shall elect a new Vice-Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall preside at meetings in the absence of the Chairperson and shall represent the Committee as needed.
      4. 4) Section 3.02 – Vice-Chairperson [NOT APPROVED]
        1. A Vice-Chairperson shall be elected from the membership of the Committee. The Vice Chairperson shall serve for a one-year term, with no term limitations a consecutive term limitation of two [or three] terms, beginning at the fall meeting. In the event of a vacancy in the Chairperson’s position, the Vice-Chairperson will succeed as Chairperson for the remainder of the Chairperson’s term, and the Committee shall elect a new Vice-Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall preside at meetings in the absence of the Chairperson and shall represent the Committee as needed.
    2. Officer Re-elections – Motion to amend reappointment to read:[COMMITTEE APPROVED]
      1. Section 3.04 Officer Reelction. An officer seeking reelection to a new term must so inform the committee.  The committee, while in session, must receive a motion and second for such officer’s reelection and, after discussion, if motion passes it shall serve as a reelection of said officer.  If no motion is offered or the motion fails, nominations and elections shall proceed as provided herein.
    3. Seconded, approved.  Approved wording to be posted on AAC website bylaws page.
  3. New Member Nominations-
    1. Ballots for new members (Stephen Blaskey, Sonia Gover, Michael Parma) had previously been sent to Billy Bernsen as board rule states.  Discussion and comments were held on nominees.  The Board voted by ballot.  All three unanimously elected. William Bernsen will notify the individuals.
  4. 2012 spring member reappointments
    1. There are 5 members who terms have expired, Shelia Steffenson, Mike Beavers, Brandi Lowe, Jack Avis, and Dan Stone.  All have agreed to reappointment except Jack Avis. The Board voted to reappoint all, including Jack Avis, with his consent.[JACK CONSENTED BUT HAS SINCE HAD TO RESIGN]
  5. Officer re-elections:
    1. Motion was made to keep Billy Bernsen and Brandi Lowe as Chair and Vice-Chair, no discussion, second.  Unanimously elected.

GISSO report: Given by Christine Drysdale, President of the student organization

Currently Member status is approximately 25 to 30 students who are in student organization.  Fifteen show up regularly to meetings. This year they have had a successful 5K fund raiser, attended the TSPS conference last Fall and each month some attend the local TSPS chapter meeting.  They try to get together for a hangout, study, talking session fairly regularly.    There is an upcoming Geospatial Intelligence conference and a couple of students will be attended.  As of now, the students had no questions of the Board.  Finances of the group were questioned by the Board but Christine reported that the 5k had over 100 participants and finances are in good shape at the current time.  .

University Updates –

  1. Houston Survey Program Closing – Rick Smith – have not had good contact with them, Austin Community college set up meeting in June regarding online program.
  2. Endowed Chair Position –  Dr. Gary Jeffress – reported.  Blucher Advisory Committee had previously advised us to focus on the Hydrographic Industry.  Since the University’s research efforts are focused on Gulf of Mexico and this fits in with what we currently do we are focusing our search in this area.  We have advertised in EOS, Economist, Hydro International, Chronicle of Higher Education, AUG, and GIS Jobs.  This process will take several months.  The position will be open until it is filled.  This is a 5 year appointment with ability for an extension and also coming in as a Full Professor.  Gary went on to explain more about Hydrography and give the board information stating that University of Southern Mississippi and the University of New Hampshire are the only other two campuses that have hydrography.  Long term strategy for the  Blucher Institute is capturing data of remote sensing, aerial imaging, etc. which we currently do well but we need to work on how this data can be turned into useful products using phone apps, etc.  A transit application that has already been developed by our student employees, which gives the Houston ship channel the water depth, current and predicting where the ship will be in current time and in the future event notification was explained.  We are look at expanding that idea of turning Geospatial Data into useful services.  Also the College of Science and Engineering  is recruiting candidates for Geospatial Computing, and Visualization positions as well.   When asked if a qualified candidate cannot be found what would be the plan, Gary told of an alternate plan to hire a Chair of Excellence which would be a one year position if Endowed Chair cannot be found immediately.
  3. Senior Project Presentation:  May 11, 2012, 10:30 a.m. at the Blucher Institute.  Capstone projects students will present their work.  All are invited to come to campus or we will also transmit live online.  Previous Internships presentations are currently online live.  URL’s  will be posted and sent to AAC for watching by Rick Smith.
  4. Enrollments:  Reported by Dr. Jeffrress – Undergrads 60, 23 Graduate active students.  Dr. Lyle said we still have a handful of students who have completed all their course work, and he and Dr. Jeffress have come up with a plan to have them write a paper in a peer reviewed journal that will substituted for a thesis.  When asked how many freshmen came new to the campus last Fall Dr. Jeffress reported 17 new freshmen which was one of our largest enrollments for freshmen and we hope to get a larger number this coming fall.  To help that increase,  we are offering a new core course in Physical Geography and we are hoping to recruit at least 5 or so students per year.  This course will first be offered in Fall 2012.   We have been very active with recruiting, attending Island Days and having the best attended “Touch of Class” sessions.  We are expecting our numbers to go up.  Also on recruiting, Lucy and Gary have both had papers accepted and are presenting in Hong Kong in June.  They are also using this trip for recruiting for Chinese nationals; which do not have enough Universities in China for all their students.  Many can afford to send children to America so Gary and Lucy will go to six campuses which already teach Geospatial Surveying and they will be recruiting there during June.  We have had our recruiting brochures translated into Mandarin and are working on a Chinese version of our webpages as well.
  5. Courses online:  We have 3 students who have taken GISC 1470 from TAMU-Commerce and we are moving in Fall 2012 to have all GIS courses, including our Certificate Course in GIS, open for online registration.  We hope to have all surveying courses online by Fall 2013.  The only problem we still concerned about are labs and how we are going to get the exact same labs taught to the online students.  We are still working on details of getting this done efficiently.   [****ACTION ITEM NO. 1:  It was requested by faculty that the Board consider what they think would be the best way to handle the labs for our surveying courses that are online.****] We are going up for ABET accreditation this year but we are not asking for online accreditation but we will tell them our plans to go online in 2013.  To be accredited under the same program for both in class and online you must be able to prove that all students are getting the exact same assignments and labs whether online or in class.  If they are not, you must get accreditation for the online program separately; this would be a very expensive issue.  Handouts we given to the Board showing a new “Program Assessment Process Audit Form” (#1) which is a general over-view that we are considering adopting for each academic year.  The Board was asked for feedback on this sheet.  They were also given a copy of the Program Specific Student Learning Outcomes matrix (#2) showing how each course maps back to the “Specific Program Outcomes” and the a-k ABET Outcomes (#3) for mapping each course to the required ABET outcomes.
  6. Dr. Jeffress gave an update on the request for additional faculty and for an instructor; since with the retirement of Dr. Loon, we currently do not have enough professors to teach both the undergrad and graduate courses.  He reported that it has been well received to add an additional faculty member but currently there is no budget for an instructor.  However, with that said he did state that talks are still in progress on this request.  He also reported on minimum number of students needed to hold a course.  Currently the number for undergraduates stands at 10 and for graduates 5.

Presentations of Course Over-View

As requested by the Board, the following courses were presented by the professors as to syllabus, outcomes, how this course fits into the flow-chart of classes, and End of course memos:

  1. GISC 1470 Geospatial Systems 1 by Rick Smith
  2. GISC 2470 Geospatial Plane Spatial Measurement I by Stacey Lyle
  3. GISC 3412 Geospatial Plane Spatial Measurement II by Peter Kuntu-Mensah
  4. GISC 4335 Geospatial Systems III by Lucy Huang

Discussion was held at end of presentations and the Board came to a decision to ask the faculty the following:

ACTION ITEM NO. 2: by Faculty:  At the next meeting of the AAC the board would like to see more presentations on 2 more classes which incorporate examples of (1) boundary reconstruction (2) baseline surveying (3) construction surveying (4) ethical and technical standards.

Questions were asked on coastal boundary surveying and if we do this type surveying. Dr. Jeffress reported that in 1999 we did as Padre Island was being developed.  It was suggested by Tim Alford that we continue to do so since it is a vital area and to take advantage of our location.  Dr. Jeffress stated that we are more than happy to do so but with the island developing we must have permission to go on most land and we have to be asked to do so; but we will jump at any opportunity we can.

A new organization was mentioned by the board called the American Petroleum Surveying Group (APSG).  This is a new surveying group developed by major oil companies and deals with Hydrographic Surveying for the Gulf of Mexico.  Dr. Jeffress said he will look into this group and see if they can be of support to the program.

A question was raised as to why the Surveying and Mapping course (BAS) was under the College of Liberal Arts?  Dr. Jeffress reported that the BAS does not require the higher math or calculus that is required by the College of Science and Engineering so therefore a true 2 + 2 agreement was reached with the College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. Lyle told the Board that he had started a new Endowment founded for Dr. Gary Jeffress.  He encouraged anyone who would like to contribute to this endowment for GISC/GSEN student scholarships to please feel free to donate.   He also told the Board that an honors society, Lamda Sigma has been started for students with an upper-division GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Only students can be members of this group but alumni can be associate members can join.  Membership is $15 lifetime for students and $25 lifetime for alumni.

Motion was made to adjourn by Ken Gold, Second by Dan Stone, meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Dee Edgar, Executive Assistant

William B

William

I am a Registered Professional Land Surveyor and work for a small land surveying and mapping business called Absolute Land Surveying, Ltd., located in Plum, Texas. I am a 1999 graduate of the Geomatics Program and was the 6th graduate overall of the Program. I am also a member of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveyors' Item Writing Committee that develops questions for the Board's legal and analytical exams.

4 Comments:

  1. Action Item No. 1 to be addressed in the early portion of the Fall Meeting.

  2. Action Item No. 2 to be addressed in the afternoon portion of the Fall Meeting.

  3. Pingback: TAMU-CC GISc AAC » 2012 Fall Regular Meeting Agenda

  4. Action Item #1:

    Apparently there is a college in denver colorado that has an online surveying program that handles it’s labs through proctors approved by the faculty, I was asked to do this for a student and I will bring all of the materials provided to me at that time.  I do not know if it is the best solution, but it may be a model that can be developed further.  I also do not know if that program is ABET accredited but i will find out before the meeting.

    Stephen

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