Annual Report of the Academic Services Committee for 2005-2006


Submitted by James R. Sowell, Committee Chair

Senior Academic Professional

School of Physics


September 7, 2006


The following people served on the committee during the 2005-2006 academic year:


Carol Colatrella, LCC

Jeffrey Donnell, ME

Joseph Hoey, Office of Assessment

Nancey Green Leigh, Architecture

Maureen Kilroy, GS&R

Jim Sowell, Physics, Co-Chair

Myrtle Turner, GTRI, Co-Chair

Jane Weyant, CoE

Robert Braga, Executive Board 


The committee met seven times during the academic year to monitor infrastructure that supports research and teaching.  The topics covered at committee meetings included:


OIT: John Mullin (Associate VP for Information Technology) and Teshia Roby (OIT) gave an overview of the software resources that are available to GT faculty for classroom use.  Much of the discussion focused on planned changes to WebCT. 


Library: Dean Richard Meyer gave an overview of the Library’s approach to growth in the immediate future and outlined the environmental influences that govern that growth.   (a) The Library is implementing digital initiatives to collect, manage and protect increasing volumes of digital information.  One of these initiatives, the SMARTech digital repository, is now accepting contributions from the GT community.  (b) Dean Meyer pointed out that there have been no recent rare book acquisitions, as the Library has concentrated on staffing rather than acquisition.  (c) The Committee sent A Statement of Support Concerning the Funding for Academic Journals on behalf of the Library.


Bookstore: Rosalind Meyers (Associate Vice Provost for Auxiliary Services) opened the discussion by giving a brief overview of the development of Tech Square since it opened.  Jerry Maloney (Director of the Georgia Tech Bookstore) described the Bookstore’s efforts to keep textbook prices low.  He pointed out that the Georgia Tech bookstore’s gross margin on textbooks is fixed at 20%, which is well below the national average of 25% to 30%.  Further, the bookstore returns 10% to 11% of total sales to GT in support of the academic mission of the Institute. 


Academic Advisement: Dana Hartley, Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising, gave an overview of the role played by her office in support of undergraduate advising at GT.  (a) The FACTS system will be replaced by Crystal Enterprise.  For the most part, it will offer enhancements to the capabilities of FACTS.  (b) A complete listing of undergraduate advisors at GT’s different departments is available through their web page:

By accessing this address, any student can find an e-mail link to the academic advisor(s) at her department.  An on-line appointment scheduler is being developed, as is a new advising web page. 


Undergraduate Studies and Academic Affairs:  Vice Provost Anderson Smith gave an informal view of the goals of the Undergraduate Studies and Academic Affairs Office.  The main goal is to make it easier for students to obtain information about administrative procedures at GT, such as advising.  A long-term goal is to use the Undergraduate Learning Center and the Library as a central and convenient location for the tutoring activities that are now conducted in various places across campus. 


Distance Learning and Professional Education:  Nelson Baker, Associate Vice Provost for DLPE, gave an overview of the main units of DLPE, which are Professional Education, Distance Learning, The Language Institute, and the Global Learning and Conference Center.  He pointed out that Professional Education has more than 700 offerings, which generated around $12 million in the last fiscal year; most of those funds were returned to the units that presented the courses.