Combined with


Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 3:00-5:00 pm

Student Center Theater





1.      President Bud Peterson called the meeting to order at 3:07 P.M. and apologized that he would need to leave the meeting early to attend a Georgia Tech Foundation Executive meeting at which John Carter was retiring as President of the Georgia Tech Foundation.  He served for fourteen years and was the first and so far only President.  President Peterson offered the following additional announcements:

a.       The President’s annual Spring Update had been published.

b.      Four of the past U.S. Secretaries of Defense participated on campus in a panel moderated by Mr. David Gergen on April 23, 2013, the day of this faculty meeting.

c.       The Student Alumni Association just announced a gift of $30,000 to the Georgia Tech Band.

d.      The recent Georgia legislative session provided many investments benefitting Georgia Tech, including $5 million for equipment in the Engineered Biosystems Building, $1.87 million for refurbishment of the Chapin Building, $49 million for other major maintenance and renovation system-wide, and $96 million for formula funding to the University System of Georgia (USG).  A carry-forward bill was also passed

e.       The USG decided on a 7% increase in tuition for the coming year for Georgia Tech, the largest in the USG.  This would still leave us less expensive than the tuitions charged by a list of peer institutions.

f.       Georgia Tech and the other institutions in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) had just assigned television rights to the ACC [through the 2026-27 season].  The President stated that this and similar deals were aimed at stabilizing athletics conferences.

g.      The President and Provost were in the midst of holding town halls with schools and colleges.

h.      In light of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, security precautions had increased at events around Georgia Tech.  The President urged those attending to call campus security (404-894-2500) if they saw something suspicious.  Other tools he recommended were the Georgia Tech Emergency Network Service (GTENS) and the Jacket Guardian app. 

Dr. Peterson turned the meeting over to Provost Rafael Bras, who continued with further announcements:

i.        Dr. Bras welcomed two new deans.  Dr. Paul Goldbart had recently been appointed Dean of the College of Sciences, and Dr. Steve French had been selected as Dean of the College of Architecture.  Dr. Bras warmly thanked the search committees responsible for the recommendations leading to these appointments. 

j.        The Provost reminded those present to complete the required Board of Regents ethics compliance certifications and annual conflict of interest statements.  Progress was also expected on annual performance evaluations for all faculty and staff.

k.      There would be an opportunity for Mini-FIRE grants (i.e. Fund for Innovation in Research and Education) to support interdisciplinary collaborations by faculty. 

l.        Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at Georgia Tech were off to a good start.  Approximately 330,000 people had signed up for the courses so far. 

m.    Spring Commencement ceremonies at the McCamish Pavilion were planned for May 3-4, 2013.  A celebration of these commencements for all participants would be held from 3-5 pm on May. 3 on the Tech Green.  Speakers at the undergraduate ceremonies on May 4 would be Mr. Tom Fanning, CEO of the Southern Company, and Mr. Kevin Riley, Editor of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.  The speaker at the graduate student ceremonies on May 3 would be Dr. Ruth Simmons, President Emeritus of Brown University.

2.      Provost Bras called on Mr. Michael Kirka, outgoing president of the graduate student body at Georgia Tech, to introduce new student leaders.  He introduced Mr. Arren Washington who was recently elected to succeed him.  Mr. Washington said that he was a fourth year PhD candidate in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  The faculty thanked them both with a round of applause. 

3.      Dr. Bras received a motion to approve the minutes of the February 19, 2013 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate (Attachment #1).  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.

4.   The Provost then called on Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Registrar, to present the candidates for the spring commencement.  She stated that the spring list of degree candidates had been reviewed and revised as necessary and she moved to approve it.  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.

5.   Dr. Bras then asked Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to present a second reading of a proposed new edition of the Faculty Handbook She presented and followed closely the material found in Attachment #2.  The Faculty had also been provided with websites showing the current and proposed new editions of the Faculty Handbook.  Ms. Balsam ended by making the motion shown on slide 19 of Attachment #2The motion was seconded and passed without dissent to adopt the new edition of the Faculty Handbook as specified above.

The Provost thanked the Statutes Committee for handling this difficult challenge. 

6.   The Provost received a motion to approve minutes of the Faculty Benefits Committee meeting of 2/25/2013.  (See minutes in Attachment #3).  The motion was seconded, and approved without dissent.

7. .Dr. Bras called on representatives of Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty to present minutes of recent meetings and any 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 #3 below and so that text was not repeated here.   The following outlined the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to present summaries of the committee’s recommendations.

a)   Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (IUCC): (Prof. Laura Hollengreen, Vice-Chair) 2/26/13, 3/12/13, 3/19/13, 4/2/13, 4/16/13
Action Items:  From 3/12: Modern Languages – 2 new courses; CETL – re-approval of 6 courses; Business – 3 new courses; College of Sciences – approval of COS subject code for cross-disciplinary courses, not incl. Special Topics; Offc. of Intl. Education – update to the International Plan list of approved courses; CoA-Industrial Design – modification in the BS degree in Industrial Design involving changes in course requirements and strengthening attention to 3 focus areas + 14 new courses.  From 4/16: Psychology – modification in the BS degree in Psychology limiting the number of special problems courses that can be counted to satisfy degree requirements; Math – modification the Minor in Mathematics limiting the number of special problems courses that can be counted to satisfy minor requirements; Offc. of International Education – modification in International Plan Foreign Language Requirement requiring that courses to satisfy this requirement must be taken for a letter grade; HTS and LMC – new Minor in Science, Technology, and Society; Physics – modification in the BS degree in Physics to add an Astrophysics concentration option + 3 new courses & 1 deactivated; Applied Physiology – 4 new courses; Biology – 2 new courses; CoA-Architecture – modification in BS degree in Architecture involving course requirements; Business – modification in the BS degree in Business Administration involving course requirements + 2 new courses + 2 deactivated + change in the name of the Certificate in International Management to Certificate in International Business along with changes in course requirements.  Prof. Hollengreen explained the above using Attachment #3a

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

b)      Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC): (Prof. Jeff Jagoda, Vice-Chair) 3/7/13, 4/11/13
Action Items: From 3/7: Applied Physiology – 1 new course; LMC – modification of the PhD with a major in Digital Media involving changes in course and minor requirements in line with similar changes approved in 2012 for the corresponding MS degree; CETL  – re-approval of 7 courses.  From 4/11: HTS – modification in the MS degree in History and Sociology of Technology and Science degree involving changes in course requirements & 1 course deactivation; ECE – new Professional Master’s Degree in Sustainable Electrical Energy; ME, AE, & MSE – modification in the Certificate in Mechanical Properties of Solids involving 1) a change in name to Certificate in Mechanical Properties of Materials, 2) a change to allow both MS & PhD students to earn the certificate, and 3) changes in course requirements and options; CEE – 1 new course & 2 courses deactivated; CoC-IC – modification in the MS degree in Computer Science to add an option to concentrate in Human-Centered Computing; CoA-Building Construction – 1 new course; CoA – modification in the Master of Architecture professional degree, involving changes in courses offered and required; CoA-Industrial Design – participation in the MS in Human Computer Interaction degree, involving adding an industrial design specialty to the degree options. Prof. Jagoda explained the above using Attachment #3b.

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

c)   Student Regulations Committee (SRC): (Prof. Chuck Parsons, Chair) 2/14/13

Action items:  Changes in the policy for “Withdrawal from School and Readmission” and Rules and Regulations governing minors from the catalog.

Dr. Ron Bohlander (Secretary) facilitated the discussion by displaying the minutes of the above meeting on the screen.  Prof. Parsons explained that the first recommended change was to make clear that a student who was expelled was not eligible for later readmission.  On the other hand, when other students who were eligible for readmission applied, they must choose a program that was currently offered and would not have access to discontinued programs that might have been in force at the time of their earlier initial admission.  

Q.  If a student was readmitted and had previously earned credits in a program that was discontinued, could those be applied by exception to a new program?  Ans. Georgia Tech worked hard to help returning students adapt in that way.

Q.  Concerning the new rule about expelled students being readmitted, were students who received notice of expulsion informed that this meant permanent separation?  Ans.  Dean John Stein confirmed that students were notified that expulsion was permanent.  The questioner suggested that the wording of the rule be strengthened to make clear that expulsion was defined as permanent separation.

The second change recommended by the SRC was to clarify what undergraduate students needed to do in order to declare their intention to earn a Minor and the deadline for doing so.  By declaring a minor in a timely way, Registrar Pikowsky stated that Tech could then provide more timely guidance to the student about the courses needed to complete the minor.

Q.  If a student was unaware of this new deadline and had in fact met all the requirements for a Minor, could they still earn it?  Ans. Yes, no student who entered under the old rules but was unaware of this deadline would be turned away if the student met the Minor requirements.

Q.  Did this rule apply only to undergraduates?  Ans. Yes, the rule stated that.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the above minutes and action items. Two friendly amendment were proposed and accepted by those making the motion and second; namely,

·         That the rule concerning expulsion be improved to read “A student who is on expulsion, defined as permanent separation from the Institute, is not eligible for readmission.”

·         That the rule concerning the deadline for declaration of a Minor be improved to read “Students are encouraged to submit the completed form when they decide to pursue the minor but no later than the deadline for submitting the on-line application for graduation in the term preceding anticipated graduation.”

The motion as amended was approved without dissent.  [The Student Regulations Committee subsequently affirmed their acceptance of these amendments on April 26, 2013 and posted revised minutes documenting the improved rules.]

8.   Dr. Bras provided some concluding remarks.  He stated that he was very proud of the recent Arts Festival and of those who helped produce it.  He noted especially the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, which drew the attention of the New York Times. 

He said that by June, at the latest, there would be ten new pieces of art from a traveling exhibit brought to the Tech campus. 

Information was recently presented to the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee concerning the College of Computing’s wish to deliver an already approved online MS in Computer Science with an online platform usually used for MOOCs.  Dr. Bras noted that the IGCC and the Board of Regents had already approved this degree as an online offering.  Further information would be provided to the Board of Regents in their May meeting.

Hearing no further business, Dr. Bras adjourned the meeting at about 4:25 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

October 20, 2013


Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes:


  1. Minutes of the February 19, 2013 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate.
  2. Presentation on the recommended new Faculty Handbook
  3. Minutes of Standing Committees
    1. Presentation on the minutes and action items of the IUCC.
    2. Presentation on the minutes and action items of the IGCC