Combined with


Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 3:00-5:00 pm

Student Center Theater





1.      Provost Rafael Bras called the meeting to order at 3:05 P.M. and explained that President Peterson was travelling in Asia.  Dr. Bras offered the following news of interest to the campus:

a.       He stated that promotion, tenure, and critical reviews had recently been completed for academic faculty.

b.      Dr. Bras noted that measures for protection of students from sexual assault and violence would be covered later in the meeting and it was important that the community work together for such protection.

c.       Dr. Maryam Alavi has been named the new Dean of the Scheller College of Business, effective July 1.  Current Dean Salbu will then head a program on business ethics.

d.      At the recent Board of Regents (BoR) meeting a decision was reached to increase Georgia Tech’s in-state undergraduate tuition by 9%.  It was recognized this would lead to a need for increased financial aid to some families and adjustments were being made to accommodate this need.  Dr. Bras stated that increased tuition resources were important to the health of the Institute.

e.       The BoR also gave the Institute permission to consider granting salary adjustments for employees in the near future, something that had not been possible for several years.

f.       During the upcoming Spring Commencement ceremonies in McCamish Pavilion there would be a separate hooding ceremony on Thursday, May 1, for PhD students.  Commencement for MS and PhD students would be held on Friday, May 2, and for undergraduate students in two sessions on Saturday, May 3.  Speakers would be Admiral James "Sandy" Winnefeld (Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) for the MS and PhD ceremony, and Muhtar Kent (Coca Cola Chairman of the Board and CEO) and Ralph de la Vega (AT&T President and CEO) for the two undergraduate ceremonies.

g.      Preparation for the SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation was proceeding well.  A Quality Enhancement Program focused on service learning and sustainability had been selected and briefed to the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

h.      Work was proceeding to identify any truly temporary employees within the Institute in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act.  The Institute did not offer health insurance to such employees but they were eligible for health insurance from providers under the terms of the Act if the employees met the standard for temporary employees.  So it was important to make sure all temporary employees could meet the standard.

2.      Dr. Bras received a motion to approve the minutes of the February 18, 2014 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate (Attachment #1).  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.

3.   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.  Ms. Pikowsky noted there were over 2,000 persons graduating which were 200 more than last year. 

4.   Dr. Bras then asked Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee and of its Subcommittee on Faculty Definition, to present a second reading of a proposed revision of the Faculty Handbook dealing with faculty definitions and associated changes in faculty governance structures.  Dr. Bras noted that the faculty’s Executive Board had heard these proposals and endorsed them and the proposals had also been approved by the faculty when they heard them at the first reading in February.   Ms. Balsam presented and followed closely the material found in Attachment #2a.  Faculty members had also been provided with websites showing the current and proposed new editions of the Faculty HandbookMs. Balsam ended by making the motion shown on slide 29 of Attachment #2a.  The motion coming from a Standing Committee did not need a second.  The Provost asked for any comments or questions.

Q.  How would meetings of the faculty senates compare with current faculty meetings?  Ans.  Ms. Balsam stated that meetings like the current one for the General Faculty would in future simply be meetings of the whole Faculty (i.e. Academic Faculty plus Research Faculty).  Meetings of the Faculty Senate (i.e. a joint meeting of the Academic Faculty Senate and the Research Faculty Senate) would be an analog of today’s General Faculty Assembly meetings.  Future Academic Faculty Senate meetings would be similar to today’s Academic Senate meetings except that the definition of who could serve would be broader.  It was anticipated that the Research Faculty Senate would rarely meet by itself since business distinctly applicable to this group would rarely come up.  Dr. Ron Bohlander, Secretary of the Faculty, noted that the Faculty Executive Board could determine whether a special meeting of the Research Faculty Senate was needed and could make appropriate arrangements.  He said that in any case, having a Research Faculty Senate provided more visibility for Research Faculty and there would be more representation from Research Faculty in the Faculty Senate than there had been in the General Faculty Assembly. 

Q. Concerning the restriction on participation in faculty governance by temporary faculty, how was “temporary” designated or defined? Ans.  The restriction applied to job titles that included the word temporary or visiting or similar in the title.  Those positions were intended to have a limited duration from the outset of any employment. 

The motion passed without dissent to adopt the proposed changes in faculty definitions and faculty governance structures reflected in the draft Faculty Handbook as specified above.  This was agreed to be effective on July 1, 2014 to allow time for preparations.

Ms. Balsam continued to present another addition to the Faculty Handbook describing the different levels of Librarians and Archivists in the Institute and the criteria for hiring and promotion to those levels.  Her presentation of the recommended addition was documented in Attachment #2bMs. Balsam ended by making the motion shown on slide 4 of Attachment #2b.  The motion coming from a Standing Committee did not need a second.  The Provost asked for any comments or questions.  There was none. The motion passed without dissent to adopt the proposed changes specified in Attachment #2b.

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

5.   The Provost received a motion to approve minutes of the Faculty Benefits Committee meeting of 1/21/14 and 2/18/14 and to approve the minutes of the Statutes Committee of 2/7/14 and 4/4/14.  (See minutes in Attachment #3).  The motion was seconded, and approved without dissent.

6. .Dr. Bras next 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, Chair) 1/7/14, 2/25/14, 3/11/14, 3/18/14, 4/1/14, 4/15/14.

Prof. Hollengreen explained the following action items using Attachment #3aAction Items:  From 3/11: City & Regional Planning – modification to the certificate in Real Estate Development (new name) involving also changes in course requirements; ISyE – modification in the BS in Industrial Education degree involving the addition of an ethics course requirement, a minimum GPA requirement, and some changes in course requirements; Modern Languages – course title change, 4 new courses, and a modification in the BS in Applied Linguistics and Intercultural Studies involving changes in course requirements; AE – 17 new courses and a modification in the BS in Aerospace Engineering degree involving changes in course requirements; LMC – new minor in East Asian Studies; Biology – new certificate in Biologically Inspired Design; LMC – 2 new courses; ME – 1 new course.  From 3/18: Physics – new minor in Physics; Business – 2 new courses; Business – modification of a minor to give it a new name, Engineering and Business; Business and CoC – modification of the minor in Computing and Business (new name) involving changed course requirements and broader involvement across the College of Computing; CEE – 1 new course; CoC – modification of the BS in Computer Science, Approaches to Intelligence Pick in the Intelligence Thread, involving a change in course requirements; Modern Languages and General Education Subcommittee – change core attributes of 3 courses; Modern Languages – 1 new course; International Affairs – 1 new course. From 4/15: EAS – modification in the BS in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences degree involving changes in course requirements; LMC – changes in course numbers; HTS – deactivation of 20 seminar courses & change 2 seminar courses to be repeatable; HTS – modification in the BS in History, Technology, and Science degree involving changes in course requirements; CoC and LMC – change in the BS in Computational Media degree involving changes in course requirements; ME – modification in the BS in ME involving changes in course requirements; INTA – 11 new courses with core attributes, 8 of which were previously taught as special topics; INTA – introduction of a BS/MS Program in International Affairs through which students can earn both BS and MS degrees in five years; CoC – 3 new courses and a modification in the BS in Computer Science degree involving changes in course requirements; CoC – modification in the BS in Computer Science (Systems & Architecture Thread) involving changes in course requirements; Business – 5 new courses & deactivation of 1 course; Business – new Certificate in Business Analytics; Business – modification in the Minor in Leadership Studies involving a change in the name of one of the internal tracks to Business Track and changes in course specifications; Business – new interdisciplinary Certificate of Social Growth, Academic Enrichment, and Vocational Exploration to be offered by the Interdisciplinary Inclusive Postsecondary Academy.  

Concerning the last entry in the above outline, Prof. Hollengreen explained that this was a special interdisciplinary standalone program for disadvantaged students who would not ordinarily have access to college courses and a college experience.  She called on Prof. Terry Blum to explain this special program.  Prof. Blum stated that the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 encouraged that higher education opportunities be made available to cognitively and developmentally challenged persons.  There were now over 200 such programs in the US and Canada in response to this impetus, but there was so far only one other program like this in the State of Georgia.  The proposed Georgia Tech program was designed to serve up to about a dozen new students each year. Students would participate over a four-year period during which they would have the opportunity to earn a certificate.  In addition to special classes in the program covering fundamentals and life skills, admitted students would also be able to audit one regular class per semester.  Mentoring and advising was being arranged with faculty and students.  The costs of the program had been provided by external donors.  [See minutes for further details.]

Prof. Hollengreen commented that the work by the School of Aerospace Engineering noted in the 3/11 meeting was commendable for the coherence and thoroughness of the redesign of their curriculum.

In answer to a question, Registrar Reta Pikowsky said that all of the above was planned to go in effect for the fall semester but some of it was subject to approval by the Board of Regents who were primed to consider these matters expeditiously.

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

b)      Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC): (Prof. Victor Breedveld for Jeff Jagoda, Chair) 3/6/14, 4/10/14.

Prof. Breedveld explained the following action items using Attachment #3b.  Action Items: From 3/6: Office of International Initiatives – approval of cotutelle agreements with select institutions in France as a foundation for dual doctoral programs; CoC-CSE – 4 new courses; Business – 1 posthumous MBA degree.  From 4/10: EAS – 1 new course; CoC – 3 new courses; CoC – a posthumous doctoral degree; Psychology – 1 new course; ME – 1 new course; ECE – 6 new courses; ECE – modification in the PhD with major in ECE involving a change in course requirements; INTA – introduction of a BS/MS Program in International Affairs through which students can earn both BS and MS degrees in five years; Colleges of Business & Engineering and ChBE, ISyE and GTPE – new Professional Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Leadership (PMML). 

Q. Concerning work to be done under the cotutelle agreements with institutions in France, how would intellectual property (IP) be managed?  Ans. Georgia Tech would manage the IP of work performed by its students in the same way as with all other students and faculty of Georgia Tech.  This question was not addressed in the cotutelle templates which only covered the educational aspects of the doctoral programs.  The Provost indicated he would ask for a review of IP policies in relation to dual degrees, charging this question to the Executive Vice-President for Research, Steve Cross, and the Vice-President for International Initiatives, Yves Berthelot.

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

c)   Student Regulations Committee (SRC): (Prof. Chuck Parsons, Chair) 2/14/14, 4/9/14

Prof. Parsons explained the following action items using Attachment #3c.  He was also assisted by Registrar Reta Pikowsky; Georgia Tech attorney, Kathleen Gosden; the Women’s Resource Center Coordinator, Melanie DeMaeyer; Director of the Office of Student Integrity, Peter Paquette; and Prof. Jeff Davis, Chair of the faculty’s Academic Integrity Committee. Action items:  From 2/14: Changes in procedures for Graduation with Academic Distinction.  From 4/9: Changes in Policy on Student Sexual Misconduct; Revision of the current sanction model proposed by the Academic Integrity Committee; further changes in procedures for Graduation with Academic Distinction.  See also Attachment #3d for an open letter of support for the changes in policy on student sexual misconduct from the Undergraduate Judiciary Cabinet.

Ms. Kathleen Gosden explained that the proposed changes in the policy on sexual misconduct were occasioned by the passage of the Campus SaVE Act, in addition to the requirements of Title IX and Department of Education policies.  The legislation and regulations mandated training for employees dealing with cases, notification to both victims and respondents of actions under consideration, and clear statements of evidence standards and possible consequences if a respondent was judged guilty.  The Act stated that both the respondent and the victim may have an advisor of their choice.  Ms. DeMaeyer explained that other features of the recommended policy arose from a study of best practices in peer institutions.  The standard of sanctions now clearly stated what sanctions would be the normal ones to be considered first in cases with certain characteristics.  Secondly, students would not be involved in panels hearing evidence nor recommending judgments in cases involving sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence.  An appeals panel of three administrators was also established. 

Q. Did a student respondent need to be Mirandized if accused of sexual misconduct?  Ans. First of all, such proceedings were not fundamentally different from other misconduct proceedings in terms of the possibility that the activity might be subject to later criminal proceedings.  But the privacy of reports to Georgia Tech or of the actions Georgia Tech might take were believed to be protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Mr. Peter Paquette explained the recommended changes to the Academic Integrity sanctions model were from a joint proposal from his office and from the faculty’s Academic Integrity Committee.  The goal was to emphasize the opportunity for student learning from the actions taken after any first offense, but then would be more punitive in second or later offenses of the same type.  Thus suspensions for one semester and failure in the course in question were recommended for second offenses.  Prof. Davis said that the approach was to balance student rights with accountability.  For the first violation, the minimum grade penalty would be simplified and standardized to the student receiving a zero on the assignment. 

Q. Was it up to the professor if they wanted to report a violation of academic integrity?  Ans. Mr. Paquette said that a “faculty resolution conference” was still an option and in that case the faculty member could just issue a warning if they wished.  The recommendations for sanction standards applied just to matters referred to the Office of Student Integrity for resolution.  Mr. Paquette asked that a faculty member contact the Office of Student Integrity before and after having a conference.  Doing so before the conference would ensure that the student did not have another offense of this kind and was eligible for a faculty resolution conference.  Doing so afterwards would record that a problem had occurred and how it was resolved.

Q.  Were faculty required to give a student an alternate make-up assignment as part of their response to a first offense?  Ans.  No, that was recommended only in certain cases and would be worked out with the professor to make sure if it was feasible.

Q.  In cases of egregious plagiarism, could a stronger penalty be given for a first offense?  Ans. Mr. Paquette said that the Office of Student Integrity always wanted to hear the recommendations from the faculty member involved.  Then the Hearing Officer would also take into consideration any similar cases and precedent penalties.  Prof. Davis said that it was important for the Office to know about important aggravating circumstances that may require greater penalties.

Q. In the matter of counting violations, was the number of priors counted over one’s career as a student at Tech, or just within a given course? Ans. This would be applied over one’s career at Tech.  That was the reason why it was important to hear feedback from faculty resolution conferences.

Q. What was meant by being suspended for a minimum of one semester or of one year?  Was that satisfied by being suspended for what was left of the semester or year in which the violation occurred?  Ans.  The Hearing Officer had latitude to decide what was fair in the spirit of the regulation.

Q.  When a student was sanctioned with a one semester suspension and failure of the course in which the offense occurred, what would be the action in the other courses in which the student was enrolled?  Ans.  They would withdraw.

Q. Was a summer term defined as a semester for the purpose of these sanctions?  Ans.  The Hearing Officer would have to determine if a summer term would be involved in any aspect of the sanction.

Q. Did the recommended sanctioning model apply to graduate students as well as undergraduates?  Ans. Yes

Dr. Bohlander clarified that the faculty’s Academic Integrity Committee was charged with recommending what Georgia Tech needed to do to create an environment supportive of integrity, but the Student Regulations Committee was charged with the task of forming such recommendations into any needed rules and regulations.  Thus the two committees teamed up in bringing forth these recommendations.  The Office of Student Integrity in the Office of the Dean of Students and the Registrar’s Office also provided important contributions. 

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

d)   Academic Integrity Committee (AIC): (Prof. Jeff Davis, Chair) 10/30/13.  The work of this committee on the Academic Sanctioning Model was covered in the SRC report above and further explained by Attachment #3e.

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

8.   Dr. Bras asked to say a bit more about the important work on regulations concerning sexual misconduct and violence.  He stated that this matter was deeper than what could be expressed in regulations.  Some of the impetus for the improved regulations came from a whitepaper written by three women students from Georgia Tech.  As a result, President Peterson appointed a task force chaired by Chief of Staff, Ms. Lynne Durham, to make recommendations by August 1 of further steps for education, prevention, and victim support.  All on the Tech campus should work together to build a culture of safety for all. 

Hearing no further business, Dr. Bras adjourned the meeting at about 5:05 PM and thanked all for their contributions to the meeting.


Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

October 19, 2014


Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes:

  1. Minutes of the February 18, 2014 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate.
  2. Faculty Handbook matters:
    1. Presentation of changes in faculty definitions and faculty governance structures.
    2. Presentation of the addition of criteria for hiring and promoting Librarians and Archivists.
  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
    3. Presentation on the minutes and action items of the SRC.  The version linked includes a correction pointed out during the meeting to bring it into agreement with Attachment #3e.
    4. Open letter of support from the Undergraduate Judiciary Cabinet for the recommended improvements in the sexual misconduct policy considered by the SRC.
    5. Academic Misconduct Sanctioning Model briefing prepared by the AIC.