2016 Spring Mastermind Group Meeting Proposed Content & Format

At the 2015 Fall Regular Meeting, it was decided that we should have a brainstorming session at the Spring Meeting and focus on a few selected topics of interest to the committee and the university.  The format and content of the meeting was left open for future development.  Let’s use this forum to discuss our options.

The agenda has been cleared except for the mandatory committee matters and I plan to dedicate the entire meeting to the meeting of the Mastermind Group.

From Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich:

The “Master Mind” may be defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.  At the next meeting, we will have as many as 15 industry professionals, 5 or so professors, many students and guests.  This is quite a mastermind group to work with.  I suggest that our definite purpose should be to improve the program by finding solutions to particular problems, by developing ideas for a future course of action, or something similar.

We may have as much as two and a half hours to dedicate for this purpose.  Perhaps we could pick 3 – 5 topics, and spend 30 – 45 minutes on each.  Perhaps we should set a timer so that we don’t go over time.  Perhaps we should sort the topics in order of importance and address the most important ones first, and dedicate more time to those.  Perhaps we should leave time for a “wildcard” or two at the end to cover topics that we may think of during the meeting.  Each topic should have a definite purpose, or desired outcome.  I feel that we should focus this time on brainstorming rather than receiving a presentation.

Personally, I think we should primarily leave it to the faculty to come up with topics for discussion, as they are most familiar with the needs (or weaknesses) of the program, but that shouldn’t stop members of the committee from making suggestions.  I recommend that members post their suggestions for topics in the comment form below, as well as suggest ideas for the format.  I suppose the format may largely depend on the number and nature of the topics that we come up with.  We have plenty of time before the next meeting to prepare, but let’s not wait until the last minute.

I am excited about this meeting as I am certain that it is going to be the most productive and informative yet.



  1. The TAMUCC GISC Faculty voted to discuss these four topics. These four topics were tied with the most votes:

    * Increasing undergraduate enrollment
    * Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    * GISC and GSEN Program name change
    * Subjects required to pass SIT/GISP

    The faculty are certainly open to feedback and suggestions about our selections.

  2. I keep thinking about the failure of the online degree. I still feel like online, or distance learning is going to be a growing trend and an important one. I know we have been over this recently, but perhaps we can work on a solution for that problem (which could simply be recruitment). I don’t mean to suggest that all topics suggested here should be covered. I am just posing another idea.

  3. I am in favor of discussing the (4) topics voted in by Faculty.

    Also to note, we halted a significant discussion regarding the equilibrium of Surveying and GIS courses per the current GISC curriculum, that we were to pick back up at the Mastermind meeting.

    With personal experience having gone through the program and the voices of the (8) graduates that we have employed; I strongly believe that there is equal concern, both past and present, regarding the curriculum.

    If this is a topic of discussion for the upcoming Masterminds, can we have the current curriculum emailed to the committee before the meeting?

  4. I spoke with Rick yesterday, and the faculty had a list of 12 possible topics for discussion. Based on the commentary during the meeting to pick 4 (which in my mind was a preliminary suggestion, not a settled agreement), they voted and submitted the top 4. I suggested that we should be prepared to discuss more topics, so Rick is going back to his list and is going to add more topics and prioritize them, and give a bit of detail on each. He will post that information here some time next week I believe. Ultimately, we will have to choose which topics to cover, and for how long. I may suggest that we also allocate time for other topics (or possibly wild cards) that the committee would like to discuss (such as that suggested by James). We should continue to discuss the matter here and make suggestions, and then during the early meeting, we will set set the format and pick the topics. You can go here and follow the links to see the curriculum on both the graduate and undergraduate programs: http://encs.tamucc.edu/

  5. Two topics:

    1. Observations from 2016 field camp:

    Most students were not prepared to operate field instruments.

    Students were lacking in fundamentals of boundary law and research

    2. Ongoing fee and salary disparities (outside curriculum, but shapes enrollment.)

    Private practitioners vs larger engineering, photogrametric, surveying firms

    Surveying rates lowered, often used as loss-leader/incentive for selling other disciplines’ work. There seems to be no practical countermeasure to this situation. Perhaps we just haven’t tried hard enough!

  6. I spoke with Rick this morning and here is the updated list of topics for the brainstorming session:

    1) Increasing undergraduate enrollment – recruiting
    2) Ethics and professional responsibility
    3) Curriculum – which would include discussion on subjects required to pass SIT/GISP (the original topic), principles of boundary location, James’ comments about equilibrium and Ken’s comments about field camp
    4) Emerging technologies
    5) Fee and salary disparities (Ken’s comments)
    6) Wildcard for anything that may come up during the meeting

  7. I agree with the list provided…

    Some suggestions:

    In regards to:
     Increasing undergraduate enrollment – recruiting
    If Esri can help here, would like to discuss our paid internship program. This would also help with skills for the GISP.

    Emerging technologies – The latest POB magazine presented the results of their GIS Integration study. More and More Surveying/Engineering firms are adopting the technology, especially cloud. WebGIS is a big part of this and I would like to discuss how we may be able to assist.

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