Monday, September 26, 2016

ACA September 2016 General Meeting

Thank you to Moody College of Communication for sponsoring the September ACA meeting - a meeting filled with ways to encourage our campus community, our students, and ourselves to be more. Even though the meeting started a little earlier than usual, we hope you noticed the music at the beginning. Our ACA Vice Presidents are shaking things up a bit.

First up: Dr. Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President of Campus Safety and Security

Dr. Bob Harkins stated that his office has had two major tasks over the past several months - campus safety following Haruka Weiser’s death and the Campus Carry law which went into effect August 1, 2016.

Dr. Harkins provided many updates and clarification on the state's Campus Carry law. He directed ACA members to the Campus Carry website where his letter penned July 29, 2016 provides an excellent recap of his points of emphasis: He also directed ACA members to the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Campus Carry Policies and Implementation Strategies, and other details about Campus Carry law important to UT Austin Staff.

Many of you raised questions regarding the oral notice employees may provide to prohibit concealed carry handguns in their solely assigned offices. A recap of the committees decision is outlined below:

"University employees who are solely assigned to an office are permitted to prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office. If an employee chooses to exercise this discretion, he or she must provide oral notice that the concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited in the office. Oral notice is the only legally effective way to provide notice about the prohibition."

This decision is in the process of being fleshed out. Oral notice may be provided by phone, by office assistants, in classrooms or other spaces that convene large groups of students, and possibly by video although the legality of that form of notification is in question. Dr. Harkins confirmed that you may post signage inside your office (not in outside facing windows) prohibiting firearms; however, oral notification is still required.

Dr. Harkins briefly touched on the TX DPS campus safety assessment and outlined a few ways his office is meeting those concerns:
  • TX DPS found lighting and landscaping deficiencies which are being met in part through the efforts surrounding Waller Creek
  • SURE walk is now a joint effort from Student Government and Parking and Transportation Services (PTS)
  • The Be Safe safety education campaign started for the 2016-17 academic year and resources can be found on the Be Safe website:
  • Dr. Harkins asked ACA to encourage students to practice bystander intervention practices by reporting concerns to the police. 
Please contact Dr. Bob Harkins with questions or concerns at

Next up: the meeting sponsors, Moody College of Communication with Dr. Meme Drumwright, Associate Professor; Dr. Jennifer Jones Barbour, Lecturer; and Theresa Thomas, program academic advisor

Dr. Drumwright presented on Moody College's new major and a labor of love - Bachelor of Science in Communication and Leadership. This interdisciplinary major emerges from the Bridging Disciplines Program certificate in Ethics and Leadership after 12 years of hard work. The program is designed to prepare students to practice the art and science of leadership. The ethical implications of leadership are integrated throughout the program. For more details on degree requirements visit: Students who are interested can start with COM 301L, Introduction to Communication and Leadership with Dr. Jones.

According to Dr. Drumwright and Dr. Jones, students are seeing this as a major for entry into public policy, social justice, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and various other pursuits. At this time there is not cap to the number of student in the major. The College's goal is to have 50 students in the major by start of spring 2017; 100 by fall 2017. If you have a student that wants to apply they can do so through the College of Communication's Internal Transfer Process, but currently priority is given to Moody students.

Dr. Art Markman, founding director, Human Dimensions of Organization (HDO) & Dr. Amy Ware, Associate Director, HDO, presented on one of the College of Liberal Arts' newest majors the Bachelor of Arts in Human Dimensions of Organization (HDO).

The program started with a masters program in Human Dimensions of Organization before spinning off into the undergraduate program in the 2016-18 catalog. The field of study aims to teach people about people in the workforce - to understand people as individuals, groups, and cultures in order to work and communicate effectively. HDO helps students to realistically apply the skills they learn through the liberal arts to the workplace. For more information about the major, visit the HDO website:

At this time, HDO is an open major and students do not need to apply to the major before taking HDO 301- Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Organizations. Interested students can contact Jillian Sise, HDO Academic Advisor, for more information.

Next up: ACA Updates
The ACA Executive Committee plans to build more time into every general meeting for ACA to mix, mingle, and share with ACA Updates.

Kayla Ford, ACA President, led the charge with a call to be "more than a member" in her first address to the ACA membership as President. Her call noted that ACA General Meetings are more than a standing meeting; the meetings are an opportunity to come and connect with colleagues from across campus. As an organization gets larger, it is our job as members to make it feel smaller by connecting with each other on a small scale such as ACA committees or networking before the general meeting.

Opportunities from ACA Committees to be "More Than A Member":

Justin Brady-Joyner, ACA President-Elect, provided an ACA Advisory Council Update. The ACA Advisory Council consists of 10 or more members from different campus departments and aims to represent every advising community on campus. This year the ACA Advisory Council is working on a survey about retention, employment, etc. It is still in the works but keep an eye out for their outreach in the next few months. (update: Thank you to Justin Brady-Joyner for his service to the ACA Executive Board. He  decided to step down from his position as President-Elect due a change in job responsibilities.)

Don't forget about the R.O.A.D. Committee Certificate & Minor Update Day this Friday, September 30 in UTC 4.104 from 9am - 3:35pm. Check your email inbox for more information about this event from Josh Barham.

ACA Advising Event Committee, co-chaired by Susan Somers & Rose Mastrangelo, is moving away from the old Advising Expo format to a new format designed to help students learn more about the internal transfer processes, explore the new minors, and develop creative ways to promote new majors on campus. The event is scheduled for February. The Advising Event Committee needs more members to give this bigger, bolder event the support it deserves. Interested in joining? Check your email inbox for more information about this committee from Susan.

Aida Gonzalez, Chair of the Graduate Coordinator Network (the ACA of graduate programs on campus), asked ACA members to reach out to their undergraduate students about the GCN graduate school fair on Tuesday, October 11 in the Union (more information from Aida to come). Over 100 graduate programs from across the country will be available to meet with students. The Graduate School Fair is open to all students, freshman to seniors.

So many Kudos! You can find them on our website: ACA KUDOS!

We are bringing back ACA Member Spotlights and doing a spotlight or two during each meeting. This month we met two new College of Liberal Arts advisors (Meet Marc and Megan!), but we want to spotlight members from across Colleges, across positions, and across lengths of experience at UT Austin. Please consider nominating someone to spotlight.

If you still have not paid your ACA dues, please contact Sara Sanchez, ACA Treasurer, for more information about next steps.

Don't forget to join the FUNdraising committee at Space 24 Twenty this Wednesday, September 24 for our Welcome Happy Hour. The committee will raffle a $50 gift card to members donating to the  Student and Staff Scholarship fund.
The FUNdraising Committee set a $1,500 fundraising goal for the year. Help them reach it this Wednesday!