GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

SCHEDULED MEETINGS OF THE ACADEMIC FACULTY AND
ACADEMIC SENATE

Combined with

A CALLED MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 3:00 P.M.

Student Center Theater

 

MINUTES

 

 

1.      Provost Gary Schuster, opened the meeting at about 3:05 P.M.  He began by introducing the outgoing presidents of the graduate and undergraduate student bodies, Linda Harley and Alina Staskevicius, respectively.  They in turn, introduced the just elected presidents for the year ahead, Anthony Baldridge and Corey T. Boone, respectively.  Ms. Harley and Ms. Staskevicius also thanked the faculty for their support.  Dr. Schuster conveyed his congratulations to Mr. Baldridge and Mr. Boone and warmly thanked Ms. Harley and Ms. Staskevicius for their service in the past year. 

Dr. Peterson had a few items of news to share with the faculty:

·         A first draft of the new strategic plan would be released soon.

·         Noting that the legislative session was running long this year, Dr. Schuster commented that the whole process to establish the university budget was delayed.  He added that part of the final determination would include a decision on possible tuition rises.  He expressed the expectation that much of this would be determined by the May 11 meeting of the Board of Regents (BoR).

·         Dr. Schuster noted that FY 2012 would hold additional challenges due to the end of the federal stimulus program.  The State of Georgia had replaced state allocations with federal funds during the period of the stimulus program and so would face funding gaps when the federal money was no longer available.

·         Another issue, not yet resolved in the legislature, was possible changes in the right to carry concealed weapons in such places as campuses.  Dr. Schuster said it was possible that no new law would be enacted, but if one were, it appeared that the only change would be to remove the stricture against guns in the thousand foot buffer around the campus provided by existing law.

2.      Dr. Schuster then asked for approval of the minutes of the February 16, 2010 meeting of the Academic Senate, General Faculty Assembly, and General Faculty.  He indicated that the minutes were published and posted on the faculty governance web site and that there were no known additions or corrections. (See Attachment #1 below for web site reference).   The minutes were approved unanimously.  

3.   Dr. Schuster asked Associate Registrar Craig Womack to present the candidates for the spring commencement.  Mr. Womack stated that the spring list of degree candidates had been reviewed and revised as necessary and he moved to approve it.  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.

4.   Dr. Schuster called on Prof. Sue Ann Allen, Georgia Tech’s Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), to present her annual report on the state of intercollegiate athletics at Georgia Tech.  Her presentation followed closely the slides contained in Attachment #2.  She stated that her review would emphasize academic aspects of the athletics program and commented that increased attention was being given to any barriers that might make it difficult for a student athlete to participate in particular academic programs, for example, for reasons of schedule conflicts.  She pointed out that the NCAA required a higher standard for eligibility to participate in athletics than the minimum necessary to be in academic good standing at Georgia Tech.  Dr. Allen explained that the data on Academic Progress Rates for 2007-08 was the most recent data released for publication. Only men’s basketball fell below the minimum requirements in this reporting period.  These deficiencies resulted in the loss of two scholarships but the program metrics were subsequently brought up so that scholarship numbers could be restored. In explanation of the different measures of graduation rates, Dr. Allen explained that the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) used by intercollegiate athletics was generally regarded as more relevant to student athletes than the standard federal graduation rate. She provided some updates to slide 16’s highlights of the athletics programs; notably:

·         In 2009, all football players except one were eligible to compete in the bowl game.

·         Georgia Tech’s men’s golf team won the ACC Golf Title.

·         Women’s tennis also won the ACC Title.

5.   Dr. Schuster called on Prof. Tom Morley (Task Force Chair) to present proposed changes in the Faculty Handbook concerning the definition of General Faculty at Georgia Tech.  Since some of these changes affect the Statutes and Bylaws of the Institute, this would be the first of two readings of the proposed changes, the second one coming at a subsequent faculty meeting.  Three documents were made available online to the faculty in advance of the meeting: 

Attachment #3a             copy of the slides Prof. Morley presented

Attachment #3b             a comparison of existing and proposed new language in the Faculty Handbook (also handed out at the meeting)

Attachment #3c             a preliminary listing of titles that would be included in General Faculty if the changes were ultimately approved.

Dr. Morley began by reminding the faculty that some titles were only temporarily added in recent years to the list included in existing definitions of General Faculty in order to provide appropriate access to portable retirement plans.  Now that the legislature had made portable retirement more widely available, it was time to revisit the definition of General Faculty.  Dr. Morley stated that all current members of the faculty would be grandfathered under proposed changes and no traditional academic members of the faculty would face any change. The Executive Board’s Task Force recommended a return to a definition of General Faculty consistent with what the Board of Regents called the Corps of Instruction and appropriate Administrative Officers.  But in addition to recommending a leaner and simpler definition, the Task Force was proposing a process for dealing with the details of which particular titles would have faculty status and how future titles would be assimilated.  Dr. Morley stated that while individuals currently holding faculty status would continue to do so under the grandfathering terms which have traditionally been part of the statutes, unit representation on the General Faculty Assembly would be calculated based only on those holding positions which would still be associated with faculty (without reference to grandfathering) and that would have an effect on the number of representatives from some units.  Dr. Morley explained that a list of Institute titles considered to have faculty status would be published by the Provost’s Office on a website and would be approved by the Executive Board and the President.  Slide 14 outlined those who would generally be included in faculty and those would not be if the changes were approved. Those who might feel they were misclassified would be able to appeal to the Executive Board.   Dr. Morley mentioned that there were many important people in the Institute who were not members of the faculty and discussions were underway about how to best provide them with channels of input on matters of common concern.

Dr. Morley asked for questions:

Q. Would going back to an earlier definition of faculty be the best way or would it be better to start from scratch and ask what was ideal?  Ans. Dr. Morley said that the faculty had already resolved to undo temporary additions to the faculty as soon as feasible.  Secondly, a change in process was needed to be able to keep up with ongoing changes in available titles.  He said the present process for assimilating new titles was murky and that it would be better to have an open and fair process for determining faculty status and to provide an avenue for appeals.

Q. If a title was no longer associated with faculty status, would it now accrue less vacation for new hires into that title? Ans. The Office of Human Resources would be working to mitigate that for new hires.  Persons now holding faculty status would not lose vacation privileges because grandfathering would protect them.  

Q. Would athletics affairs professionals lose their voice in the General Faculty Assembly?  Ans. Ultimately, yes.  A related question would be, what were appropriate alternative forums for that input?

Dr. Morley moved that the General Faculty

·         Adopt the proposed (attached) changes to the Faculty Handbook which effect a change in the definition of General Faculty at Georgia Tech; and

·         Have this change take effect on January 1, 2011.

It was seconded and Dr. Schuster asked for any additional discussion. There was none.  The motion passed without dissent.  Dr. Schuster thanked the members of the Task Force (listed on slide 1) for their dedicated work.  He stated that he felt that the proposal was a step forward and that further developments to provide staff with their own forum would be a welcome

 

6.   Dr. Schuster then noted the following minutes of Standing Committees of the General Faculty (from Attachment #4) needed approval: 

a)   Faculty Benefits Committee (Dr. Bettina Cothran). 1/25/10, 3/1/10. No action items.

b)   Statutes Committee (Dr. TyAnna Herrington). 2/8/10. No action items.

A motion was made, seconded and passed without dissent to approve these minutes.

7.   Dr. Schuster then called on the following Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty to present minutes and action items (from Attachment #4) for the approval of the Academic Faculty:

a)   Undergraduate Curriculum: (Dr. George Riley) 2/23/10, 3/9/10, 3/23/10, 4/6/10, & 4/20/10

Action Items:  From 3/9: BME – 2 changes in required courses; Architecture – 2 new courses.  From 3/23: ISyE – changes in course requirements for BS in IE; MSE – changes in course requirements for BS in MSE and PFE degrees.  From 4/20: ChBE – 1new course; LCC – 1course deactivated; Biology – change in chemistry requirements for the BS in Biology to match new chemistry courses offered; College of Engineering – 1 new course; approval of a request from Colleges of Computing, Engineering, Ivan Allen, and Sciences for a collaboration agreement with Georgia State University – this will make it possible for a Georgia Tech student to earn a BS degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Arts in Teaching at Georgia State; Chemistry – approved changes in pre-requisites and modification of degree requirements for BS in Chemistry and for BS in Biochemistry; ME – changes in requirements for minor and certificate in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering to accommodate new courses and reduce total hours for the minor from 18 to 15 hours; AE – new requirements for the BS in Aerospace Engineering to reflect new chemistry courses offered; CoC-CS – several course deactivations and changes in requirements for the BS in Computer Science; Management – 4 new courses, change in name of BS in Management to BS in Business Administration, a change to require that candidates for this degree have a concentration and changes in the concentrations offered and the requirements corresponding to each; Dept. of Career Services – 1 new course.

It was moved, seconded and passed without dissent to approve the above minutes and action items.

b)   Graduate Curriculum: (Dr. Julie Babensee) 3/11/10 & 4/15/10

Action Items: From 3/11: Architecture – 3 new courses; all Colleges – changes in information provided for Master’s Degree students in the Georgia Tech Catalog; guidelines were adopted for Special Topics Courses.  From 4/15: Architecture – 14 new courses, re-approval of the dual degree program leading to Master of City and Regional Planning and Master of Architecture, approval of a dual degree program in Master of City and Regional Planning and Master of Science with major in Civil Engineering or MS in Civil Engineering (Transportation Systems Engineering); Psychology – 10 new courses; ISyE – 12 new courses, new degree Master of Science in Supply Chain Engineering; ECE – new joint PhD degree with a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering with Politecnico do Torino (Italy); College of Computing – designation of Computer Science PhD and MS as 9-month instead of 12-month programs; Public Policy – 1 new course.

It was moved, seconded and passed without dissent to approve the above minutes and action items.

c)   Student Regulations Committee: (Dr. Jeffrey Streator) 3/3/10, 3/17/10, 3/31/10, 4/16/10

Action Items: From 3/17: Dr. Streator called on Mr. Chris Schmidt (Asst. Dean of Students) to explain the reason for a change of wording in the Registrar’s web site to clarify procedures in cases when a student was charged with a question of integrity in a course.  Under the new rule, a student would not be allowed to drop the course while the charge was under investigation and adjudication.  Without this change, students could drop the courses while deliberations were in progress, making sanctions moot.  From 4/16, there were two recommended changes: Dr. Streator explained that the first provided a change in the statement of policies concerning sexual harassment and related sexual misconduct involving students so that the policy statements were more consistent with the Student Code of Conduct and provided clearer definitions and options for reporting instances of sexual harassment.  The second recommended change was in the procedures for resolving conflicts in final examination schedules.  The new rule would make a student responsible for informing instructors in a timely manner (two weeks before the Monday of exam week) when there was such a conflict so that alternatives could be worked out.  This was needed because often the student was the only one with all the information to show there was a conflict.   Discussion recognized that it was not practical for an automated records system to perfectly flag conflicts without student involvement. It was clarified that this rule would first be used in the coming fall semester.

It was moved, seconded and passed without dissent to approve the above minutes and action items.

8.      Dr. Schuster asked if there was any new business.  Dr. Bohlander noted that this would be the last faculty meeting at which Dr. Schuster would participate as Provost.  He expressed the thanks of the faculty for Dr. Schuster’s service and the faculty added a hearty round of applause.  Hearing no further business, Dr. Schuster adjourned the meeting at about 4:35 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

October 11, 2010

 

Attachments:

 

  1. Minutes of the Meeting of the Academic Senate, General Faculty Assembly, and General Faculty on February 16, 2010.
  2. Report of the Faculty Athletics Representative
  3. Proposed changes in the definition of General Faculty
    1. Presentation
    2. Proposed changes in the Faculty Handbook
    3. Preliminary list of titles included in General Faculty
  4. Standing Committee Minutes