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Vice President’s Staff Meeting Minutes
April 5, 2012


Dr. Hicks, Dr. Lemons, Dr. Laub, Dr. Mickles, Judy Graves, Will Sandidge, Walter Krug, Linda Rodriguez, Mike Danos, Cindy Wallin, Dr. Fronheiser, Susan Beasley, Mary Evans and David Lightfoot

Agenda Items:

Dr. Hicks: PC’s needed for Collaborate. 

Dr. Hicks said that one thing that struck him when they were going over the class schedules is how many faculty are taking interest in and wanting to do Collaborate classes, either as a total class or part of a class. He said that it is absolutely essential that we nail down the PC’s needed for Collaborate. He said one thing to keep in mind is that we are starting out requiring students to attend Collaborate classes at an Off-site Center or here on the main campus. He said that he has heard that there are a lot of people who think that after the first semester or first year, this may not be the case. He said that after that initial semester or year, we may let students take these Collaborate classes from their homes using their own computers. He said that as we talk about computers needed for Collaborate classes, we should keep in mind that this may be a short-lived need.

Dr. Hicks handed out some data regarding computers and explained what they were. Walter asked if students out in rural areas will have the speed of internet they need to connect to the Collaborate classes from home or are they going to need to go to an Off-site Center to access them. Dr. Mickles said that we cannot assume that students have computers that are up-to-date and can connect to the Collaborate classes.

Dr. Hicks asked what our needs are for computers for Collaborate classes and can we teach these classes with the current facilities that we have. Walter said for Appomattox no because the computer lab will be used for other things and cannot be used for Collaborate. He said that he would like to see them have some additional computers put in the Compressed Video room that are dedicated to Collaborate because if there is a class going on in the computer lab like BUS 226 or ITE 115, then a Collaborate class could not be held at that time. David pointed out that they only have one lab, so they cannot go anywhere else. Basically, Walter is asking to take the Compressed Video room and put computers in it for Collaborate classes. Dr. Hicks asked how many computers he would need. Walter said initially, he would like 4-6 with 6 being ideal.

Dr. Hicks pointed out that Collaborate classes will be synchronous and therefore, will need to be able to provide for interaction with all of the various students at the same time. He said that we should be thinking about limiting the number of students that we allow into the Collaborate classes to make sure that their educational experience is effective and efficient. Everyone agreed that the class size should be limited. Dr. Hicks asked how many should we limit the classes to. Dr. Mickles said that since we have not tried this methodology before, maybe we should limit the students to 18. Cindy said most of the classes that she has taught via WebX or Collaborate have had 20-21 students in them. She said that she would recommend limiting the Collaborate class size to no more than 22 in any discipline because of the interaction that is required of the professor with the students. Dr. Mickles said that she thinks limiting the Collaborate classes to 18 in the beginning would be best because no other faculty, other than Cindy, have taught in this method and do not have experience with it.

Cindy pointed out that the instructors teaching Collaborate will need dual monitors to manage the class. Cindy also said that those teachers who need to be able to write, should be allowed to use a PC tablet.

Susan said that she thinks some of the instructors will need some hand-holding in the beginning, during the first semester. She said that they could set up an instructor station in the back room in distance education that Collaborate teachers could have the option of teaching their classes from.

Dr. Hicks said that we need to determine how many computers we have available for Collaborate classes and is that number sufficient to teach the classes without adding computers in the Compressed Video rooms. Susan said that she has an issue with support and would like the students to be near or in the distance education area so that they can provide support to the students.
Will said that he requested 8 computers previously. He said that if the classes are going to be limited to 18-20, he will not need 10 computers because Bedford will not fill that many slots. He said that Bedford may fill 6 slots at the most. Will said that he requested 8 computers from David but he would gladly take 10.

Dr. Lemons pointed out that having computers at the Off-site Centers is not for the long-term so a huge investment in computers is not necessary. He said the goal is for students to take Collaborate classes at home.

Mike said that they would like 6 additional computers at the Amhest center.

Will said that the data does not tell the whole story because they tell students who are interested in Early College that there are dedicated computers for them to use at certain blocked-off times. He said that Bedford has 50 applications for Early College.

Linda said that they need 7 computers at the Altavista center.

Susan said for the main campus she does not really know the exact number of computers needed to put in one of the old Compressed Video rooms. Everyone thought that 12 would be a good number to have here on the main campus.

Cindy pointed out that the counselors need to know about these Collaborate classes and their dynamics so they are prepared for when students start enrolling in them.

SACS Monitoring Report:

Dr. Fronheiser said that he is still working with faculty to complete the SACS Monitoring Report and he has reserved time to write on Friday and Saturday.  

Non-agenda items:

Dr. Hicks said that the President has asked him to chair a task force regarding faculty evaluations. He said that he asked the chair of the faculty association to find one full-time faculty from each division as well as one adjunct faculty from each division to serve on this task force. He said that he would also like each dean, Joey and Leticia to serve on the task force. He will look at everyone’s schedule and call the first meeting next week.

Dr. Hicks asked if there were any other items to discuss and since there were none, he dismissed the meeting.  

Handouts from this meeting can be found at the following link: (defunct link)
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