Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 3:00 pm

Student Center Theater


1.      President Peterson opened the meeting at about 3:07 PM and stated that he would need to slip out during the meeting in order to get on his way to a meeting in Washington, DC.  He provided the following remarks on matters of interest to the campus:

a)      The President noted a production by Georgia Tech students of a video sung by Maggie Bridges based on Taylor Swift’s song “Shake if off”.  The President also noted a social media initiative by Institute Communications called Full Circle through which stories about Georgia Tech’s global impact were disseminated.  It was particularly aimed at Tech’s students with international experience or backgrounds.  He stated that about 48% of Tech graduates have a meaningful international experience. 

b)      Georgia Tech presented the Ivan Allen Prize for Social Courage to Beatrice Mtetwas on November 13 for her contributions to the people of Zimbabwe.  She was the fourth recipient of this prize.  The $100,000 prize was made possible by an endowment donated by the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation.

c)      The Georgia Tech Capital Campaign was continuing to go well with a little over a year to go.  Eight-six endowed chairs had been funded so far toward the goal of one hundred.  About $55 million had been raised so far for the Tech Promise scholarship program, more than the original goal.  The overall campaign was rapidly approaching its $1.5 billion goal.

The President called on Provost Bras to provide additional remarks:

d)     Georgia Tech dedicated earlier in the day a new Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) Teaching Wall recognizing all faculty members who had been honored with Teaching Excellence Awards going back to the 1960s.  The commemorative Wall was located in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.  Those in attendance applauded the faculty in the room whose names were included on this Wall.

e)      The Provost stated that it was very important that the whole campus come to understand the proposed Quality Enhancement Plan that would be included in Georgia Tech’s accreditation reaffirmation effort.  This would be briefed later in the meeting by Prof. Ellen Zegura.  The site visit by the SACSCOC accreditation team was planned for March 2015.

f)       Provost Bras called attention to the fact that Georgia Tech had a new Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), Dr. Reginald DesRoches, who would present his first report to the faculty later in the meeting.  Dr. DesRoches also served as Chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

g)      Dr. Bras reported there were 8,427 graduate students in fall 2014, up 1,514 from the previous year and more than could be attributed to the approximately 1,250 new students in the Online Master of Science in Computer Science program.  He thanked Vice-Provost Susan Cozzens for her efforts in growing the graduate programs and also the College of Computing for their innovations.  President Peterson commented that the numbers of students in University System of Georgia (USG) institutions had generally been declining over the past several years.  This was the first year with an increase in enrollment in the system and 46% of the increase came from Georgia Tech.

2.   President Peterson asked for the minutes of the October 21, 2014 meeting to be approved.  He indicated that the minutes were posted on the faculty governance web site and no additions or corrections had been received. (See Attachment #1 below for web site reference).   The minutes were approved without dissent.  

3.   Dr. Peterson called on Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Registrar, to present information about degree candidates for the November commencements.  Ms. Pikowsky reported that the lists of candidates for graduation had been reviewed by the colleges and her office and had been amended as necessary.  She moved that the list of candidates be approved by the faculty.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.

4.      Dr. Peterson introduced Dr. Reginald DesRoches, FAR, to make his annual report to the faculty on Tech’s intercollegiate athletic program. Dr. Peterson noted that Dr. DesRoches succeeded Dr. Sue Ann Allen who previously served as FAR and had left for a post at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Peterson appointed Dr. DesRoches about six months ago and noted he had experience with the intercollegiate athletic program at Tech from his prior service on the Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) Board of Trustees.  Dr. DesRoches made his presentation as documented in Attachment #2 which he followed closely.  Highlights were the record of good progress in academic achievement in the men’s basketball and football programs, noted on slides 23-24, and the achievements of several individual student athletes, noted in slides 31-35.  Dr. DesRoches stated that the Guest Coach program was expanded to also cover women's basketball games.  In some closing dialog, it was noted that the business of NCAA athletics was changing due to recent challenges to the amateur status of student athletes.

5.      Dr. Rafael Bras took over presiding the meeting and called on Prof. Ellen Zegura (from the College of Computing), Co-Director of Georgia Tech’s proposed Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  She briefed the Senate on the QEP with the presentation in Attachment #3 and stated that the other QEP Co-Director was Prof. Beril Toktay from the College of Business.  Prof. Zegura’s presentation followed closely the attachment.

Q. Once the QEP was underway, what organization would be in place for coordinating and curating experiences? Ans. Prof. Zegura said there would be two phases.  The first phase would take place while the QEP was getting underway, when the infrastructure was being developed, and assistance given to faculty creating new learning activities.  Then there would be a sustaining phase.  The Office of the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education would have a central role.  A QEP Director in that office would report to the two faculty co-directors and to the Vice-Provost.  This position would take a leading role in the coordination and curation.  Dr. Bras pointed out that for the QEP to succeed its activities would need to be organic and an active part of each college.

Q. What steps would be taken to avoid duplicating efforts already in existence that were consistent with the QEP’s theme?  Ans. Prof. Zegura stated the plan was to recognize and leverage things already in existence and then focus new efforts on expanding from the existing base.  Dr. Bras emphasized that the QEP recognized it did not have to create completely new programs in all cases.  The desired end state was simply to diffuse the desired practices throughout the Institute. 

Provost Bras thanked Profs. Zegura and Toktay for their labor of love in developing the QEP. 

6.      The Provost called on Ms. JulieAnne Williamson, Asst. VP Administration& Finance, to present a progress report on Georgia Tech’s compliance with Board of Regents (BoR) policy on having a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus.  She presented the materials in Attachment #4 and was assisted by Ms. Rachel Pocklington, Institute Communications.  The prohibition on tobacco and smoke applied to the use of all tobacco products as well as electronic substitutes on all parts of campus.  There were no zones set aside where use of these products was permitted. 

Q. Was it normal across the USG to ban smokeless tobacco as part of compliance with BoR policy? Ans. Ms. Williamson said that was part of the national trend: institutions did not want to drive people from one hazardous product to another one.  Dr. Bras reminded the faculty that the decision to ban all of the prohibited products was a BoR decision with which Tech had to comply.

Comment.  It was difficult to advise employees who were addicted to cigarettes what they should do since there were no permitted smoking zones.  While enforcement was proceeding with a light touch, labeling smoking as a violation of General Work Rules made people anxious.  Response.  Dr. Bras said he understood the difficulty but that there was no practical way to implement smoking zones under BoR policy.  Ms. Williamson concurred – there was no wiggle room.  The implementation of the policy would be reviewed in six and twelve months.  Dr. Bohlander commented that the Institute had to be careful not to point to adjacent properties outside the jurisdiction of the ban lest a horde of smokers might descend on them.  That would not be courteous to that neighbor.

7.      The Provost then called on representatives of each of the Academic Faculty’s Standing Committees to present any minutes and action items requiring approval.   In most cases the representatives followed closely the reports in the committees’ files on the faculty governance website noted in Attachment #5 below and so there was no need to repeat the text here.  The following provides an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.  Where presenters utilized additional presentation materials, they are noted below and provided as attachments.

Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty

a.       Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (IUCC) – Prof. Laura Hollengreen (Vice-Chair) presented minutes and action items from the 2014-15 academic year so far, utilizing the presentation in Attachment #5a.  She stated that the Chair, Prof. Rhett Mayor, was conducting a meeting of the IUCC at the same time as this Academic Faculty Senate meeting so she was delegated to talk to the Senate.  There was just one set of minutes, from 11/4/14.

Action items: CETL – approval to allow CETL courses to qualify as free-electives; New Collaborative Program with Emory University – the BS/Juris Master program, a one-year degree earned after successful completion of 30 credit hours of Law School coursework; Math – 1 new course; INTA – 1 new course with social science and global attributes; LMC – 3 new courses, one with attributes; Study Abroad Subcommittee – 14 proposed study-abroad programs for spring.

Prof. Hollengreen moved for the adoption of the minutes and listed action items.  These were approved without dissent.

b.      Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC) – Prof. Victor Breedveld (Chair) presented minutes and action items from the 2014-15 academic year so far, utilizing the presentation in Attachment #5b.

Minutes:  11/6/14

Action Items: Music – 1 new course; AE – 1 new course; ISyE – modification in the MS degree in Supply Chain Engineering involving changes in course requirements; ECE & BME – 1 new course cross-listed; CEE, Biology, & EAS –program prospectus for a new PhD in Ocean Science & Technology; Building Construction, GTRI, & GTPE – prospectus for a new Professional Masters in Occupational Safety & Health Management; Applied Physiology, Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, EAS, Math, Physics, & Psychology new PhD with a major in Quantitative BioSciences.  The initial faculty for this would be drawn from the College of Sciences, with faculty from College of Engineering and College of Computing being added later.

Prof. Breedveld moved for the adoption of the minutes and listed action items.  These were approved without dissent.

c.   Student Regulations Committee (SRC) – Ms. Reta Pikowsky (Secretary) for Prof. Al Ferri (Chair) presented minutes and action items from the 2014-15 academic year so far, utilizing the presentation in Attachment #5c

Minutes: 11/6/14

Action items: i) Change in the deadline to withdraw from a single course to allow students two additional weeks in which to make an informed decision.  Students requested this change.  ii) Change in the rule about students checking email to accommodate changes in provisioning of student email accounts.  iii) Change in the academic renewal policy requiring at least three years (instead of five) of absence before readmissions.  The latter was changed in alignment with BoR policy changes.

Q. Concerning the change in which students can provision their email through gmail, have students been informed that Google has some rights in their emailed data?  Ans. Yes, that has been explained.  It was important to understand that forwarding to external email accounts had long been permitted to students, so the regulation was simply recognizing what had become the primary practice.

Ms. Pikowsky moved for the adoption of the minutes and listed action items.  These were approved without dissent.

8.      Dr. Bras adjourned the meeting at about 5 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

February 15, 2015




  1. Minutes of the October 21, 2014 meeting of the Faculty, Faculty Senate, and Academic Faculty Senate.
  2. The Faculty Athletic Representative’s Report
  3. Briefing on the Quality Enhancement Program
  4. Report of progress on Georgia Tech’s compliance with Board of Regents (BoR) policy on having a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus
  5. Minutes may be found at  
    1. IUCC presentation
    2. IGCC presentation
    3. SRC presentation