GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

 

FALL MEETING OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE & CALLED MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

 

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2002, Student Center Theater

 

MINUTES

 

1.      The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies (Robert McMath) opened the meeting at 3:05 PM and offered the following comments on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:

 

a.       In light of the State’s recent political transformation, President Clough has been meeting with key political leaders from around the State.  Both the Governor-elect and the State Legislature are supportive of higher education in general; Mr. Perdue previously served as Chair of the Higher Education Committee of the State Senate, and as a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. 

b.      All Georgia Tech Departments have been asked to prepare for a 1% reduction in the current fiscal year budget; at this point, this is an exercise, but there is strong indication that State budget “hold backs”/cuts made during the year will be made permanent when the Legislature convenes.  Because of our “diversified” budget and strong research revenues, we have been able to absorb most of the State budget cuts centrally, without significant impact on the operating units. 

 

A question was asked as to whether GT had any representatives at the November meeting of the Board of Regents when the new GTREP programs in EE & ME were presented; the Vice-Provost responded affirmatively, and indicated that GTREP has had strong support in the State Legislature.  A follow-up question was asked regarding GT’s reaction to the new Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering approved by the Board for Southern Tech; Dr. McMath indicated that GT continues to monitor such developments.

 

2.      The Vice-Provost called for approval of the minutes of previous meetings, all of which have been posted on the web -- Combined meeting of the General Faculty Assembly and Academic Senate (September 17, 2002), and Fall meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly (October 8, 2002).  The minutes were approved without dissent. (see Attachment #1 below for web site reference)

 

3.      Dr. McMath called on Dr. Marc Smith, Chair of the Statutes Committee to present a “first reading” of modifications to the Statutes/Bylaws related to increasing the size of the Student Honor Committee and formation of a new Committee on Academic Integrity (see Attachment #2 below for web site reference). Smith indicated that these modifications are based on the recommendations of the Academic Misconduct Review Committee (Chaired by Dr. Cheryl Contant), which were approved by the Faculty at the September 17, 2002 meeting. 

 

a.       The first modification presented by Smith involves Section 2.8.1.7. (e)(1) of the Bylaws; it triples the size of the Student Honor Committee to twelve elected faculty, six undergraduate students, and three graduate students (see exact wording in Attachment #2 below).  The second modification involves Section 2.8.1.7. (e)(2); it deals with the establishment and composition of “hearing panels” to hear individual cases of alleged dishonesty (see exact wording in Attachment #2 below).

 

A comment was made that the proposed hearing panels’ composition can result in hearing panels with an equal number of faculty and students (3 each) as opposed to a faculty majority (as is the case with the current Student Honor Committee); a follow-up question was asked as to whether such composition would be acceptable.  Smith responded that such composition is indeed possible and that the proposal provides flexibility to accommodate scheduling; a comment was made that student members of the Honor Committee are generally “harder” than faculty members. A concern was raised regarding the use of the words “and tried” in the proposed wording of Section 2.8.1.7.(e)(2) [“…shall be heard and tried by a Hearing Panel…”] since the hearings are not “legal trials.” Smith indicated that the wording [“hear and try”] is consistent with the wording used in the old version of the Statutes.  It was suggested that the words “and tried” be removed; others, including Smith, concurred. It was moved that the General Faculty approve the recommended changes to the Bylaws dealing with increasing the size of the Student Honor Committee and formation of Hearing Panels [Sections 2.8.1.7.(e)(1) and 2.8.1.7.(e)(2) (as amended)].  The motion was approved without dissent. 

 

b.      Smith presented the recommended change in the Bylaws dealing with the creation of a new Standing Committee on Academic Integrity [Section 2.8.1.7.(p); see exact wording in Attachment #2 below).  The composition of the proposed Committee is described in Section 2.8.1.7.(p)(1) [three elected faculty, Chair of Student Honor Committee, one undergraduate student, one graduate student, and Chair of Student Honor Advisory Council].  The proposed duties and responsibilities of the committee are also described [Sections 2.8.1.7.(p)(2) through 2.8.1.7.(p)(6)]; these include: (1) assessing and benchmarking the nature of academic misconduct at GT and elsewhere, (2) examining, assessing, and recommending programs to enhance academic integrity at GT, (3) continually reviewing and providing recommendations for improvement of the GT Honor Code structure/procedures, (4) recommending alternate dispute resolution procedures, and (5) working with the Student Honor Advisory Council to promote the Student Honor Code.

 

A question was asked as to whether appointed members of the committee have the right to vote; Smith indicated that all members of the Committee are intended to be voting members. A follow-up question was asked as to whether the Committee will also have an Executive Board liaison; Smith responded affirmatively and indicated that the liaison members to all committees are appointed by the Executive Board.  A question was asked as to how the proposed committee differs from the ad hoc committee on Academic Misconduct Process Review recently appointed by the Vice President for Student Services (VPSS). Dr. Wilcox (VPSS) responded by indicating that the ad hoc committee has a very short time frame and a specific charge to look at the process, while the proposed new standing committee will continually look at these issues in general.  A follow-up question was asked as to whether or not we need a standing committee to do this function.  Smith indicated that creation of the committee was approved at the last Academic Senate meeting.  A comment was made that the functions of the proposed standing committee will be much broader than the short-term ad hoc committee established by the VPSS, especially the first, second, and fifth functions described in the proposed modifications to the Bylaws [Sections 2.8.1.7.(p)(2), 2.8.1.7.(p)(3), and 2.8.1.7.(p)(6)].  It was moved that the General Faculty approve the recommended changes to the Bylaws dealing with the creation of a Standing Committee on Academic Integrity [Sections 2.8.1.7.(p)(1) and 2.8.1.7.(p)(6) of the Bylaws (as presented)].  The motion was approved by a voice vote.  

 

The Vice-Provost thanked Dr. Smith and the entire Statutes Committee for their timely action on this matter.

 

4.      The Vice Provost called on Dr. Ron Bohlander, Chair of the Distance Learning Intellectual Property (DLIP) Subcommittee of the Academic Services Committee to report on the activities and recommendations of the Subcommittee.  Copies of Dr. Bohlander’s slide presentation and a line-by-line comparison between the current and recommended policies are attached (see #3 below). Bohlander indicated that the Subcommittee was formed in the Spring of 2001 (upon the request of the Executive Board) to address unmet needs in the intellectual property area of Institute policies (Section 5.14 of the Faculty Handbook) concerning the development of courseware, including digital courseware.  He pointed to the subcommittee’s membership; it represents a broad cross section of the campus community, and includes members with experience in the areas of distance learning and copyright law. Bohlander indicated that at about the same time, the Provost established the “Continuing and Technology-Enhanced Education Task Force” chaired by Jim Foley, which included some members from the DLIP Subcommittee. Additionally, a small group of faculty was tasked by the DLIP Subcommittee to revise Section 5.3 of the Handbook to incorporate the material removed from Section 5.14 dealing with distance learning and professional education. 

 

Bohlander indicated that the subcommittee has documented its activities; it established a web site: (http://www.dlip.gatech.edu).  The DLIP activities were focused on how the policy dealt with the application of copyright law to various types of intellectual property associated with courseware; they began by understanding the “legal boundaries,” and then examined best practices at other universities, analyzed the needs of the various GT stakeholders, and finally, drafted and refined the recommended policy.  He provided an overview of the recommended changes to the IP Policy -- rather than completely re-writing the policy, DLIP has integrated the needed changes in the copyright and digital courseware areas into the existing policy.  The proposed changes to Section 5.14 of the Faculty Handbook provide better uniformity in the application of incentives to different types of IP leading to commercialization, drawing on best practices from leading peer institutions, and clarifying the distribution of the rights and responsibilities among members of the GT community and the Institute; these revisions include: (1) pointing to the importance of IP associated with the creation of educational materials, (2) using the term “creator” to refer to either an inventor, or author, (3) using a unified distribution for sharing of revenue derived from licensing of all IP (based on the current distribution table), (4) clarifying the language for the application of traditional academic rights to copyrightable material, and (5) Providing a new section (5.14.8) on “fair use” and other protections relating to copyrights, which are not adequately covered in the existing policy --  most notable among these are: (i) affirming the right of IP creator(s) to make derivative works whether or not he/she is still employed by GT, (ii) providing GT the right to update educational materials, while involving the original creator(s) to the maximum possible extent, and (iii) acknowledging the students’ right to hold copyrights to their work, subject to reasonable use and the usual restrictions for sponsored work.  They also allow GT to protect its trademarks and “good name”, caution the GT community about respecting and observing the copyrights of others, and encourage parties to enter into written agreements when multiple collaborators are involved in the creation of copyrightable IP.

     

Additionally, changes to Section 5.3 of the Handbook dealing with distance learning and professional education have been recommended.  These changes primarily update the various department names, etc., and recognize the greater flexibility in current practice -- most notable among these changes are:  (1) changing the title from “Public Service” to “Distance Learning, Professional Education, and Study Abroad,” which reflects the contents more accurately, (2) affirming the primary role of the Department of Distance Learning and Professional Education (DL&PE) in keeping track of registration and participation in distance learning courses, as well as their considerable role in the production and distribution of course materials -- the level of services provided by DL&PE is determined by agreement with the offering unit(s), (3) providing for the sharing of revenue from tuition and other sources, and (4) requiring/simplifying prior approval for faculty participation in outside professional education, and (5) allowing extra compensation to the faculty involved in professional & continuing education activities at rates determined by the offering unit(s).  The original “Study Abroad” section was not affected by the proposed changes since it is outside the scope of the subcommittee’s mission.

 

A question was raised regarding the list of peer institutions, whose policies were examined; Bohlander indicated that the list can be found on the DLIP Subcommittee website; it includes the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Stanford and Emory.  A follow-up question was raised as to whether we would have greater impact by making courseware widely available (similar to MIT), and if the policy distinguishes between courseware for continuing education and that for on-campus delivery.  Bohlander indicated that the policy does not distinguish between courseware developed for continuing education or on-campus delivery, and that it is up to the IP creator to decide whether or not to copyright the material or widely distribute it -- the policy provides guidance as to what the procedure will be if the creator(s) decide to license the material.  A question was raised at to what the GT policy would be regarding faculty “selling” their courseware through other parties; Bohlander indicated that the proposed IP policy does not deal with conflict of interest issues; these issues are currently being examined by another committee chaired by Gisele Welch of GTRI.  A follow-up question was raised regarding material created by others (inside or outside GT) which may be contained within the courseware; Bohlander indicated that IP creators should respect and observe copyrights of others in accordance with “fair use” doctrines in US Copyright law -- similar to publishing textbooks, etc., creators of IP to be licensed need to secure permission of the copyright holders.  A comment was made that if a course is offered on-line, the fair use policy allows us to use the material, in the same manner that it allows us to use it if the course was offered on-campus.  It was pointed out that there is an error in the revised Section 5.3, and that it should refer to MS degree in “Electrical and Computer Engineering” rather than “Electrical Engineering.”

 

It was moved that the General Faculty approve the recommended changes to Sections 5.14 and 5.3 of the Faculty Handbook as presented by the Distance Learning Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the Academic Services Committee.  The motion was approved without dissent.  

 

The Vice-Provost thanked Dr. Bohlander and the entire DLIP Subcommittee for their considerable efforts and outstanding contributions.

 

5.      The Vice Provost called on Ms. Sheila Schulte (Office of International Education) to present a report on tracking of foreign students and its impact on the admissions process; he indicated that Ms. Schulte has responsibility for leading GT’s international student support activities, including interfacing with INS and other Government Agencies.    A copy of the viewgraph used in the presentation is attached (see #4 below).  Ms. Schulte stated that she has given similar presentations (seven so far) to the students to inform them of the upcoming changes in regulations. She began by presenting a brief history of events leading to the current/proposed rules for tracking international students and visitors.  In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed; the truck carrying the explosives was driven by a person with a Student Visa; in response, Congress established a pilot program to track international students -- the program was implemented in the southeast; several schools in Georgia participated; the program lacked financial support for nationwide implementation until 9/11.  In October 2001, Congress provided INS with the funds necessary to implement the program nationwide, and asked that the program become a reality by January 30, 2003.    In May 2002, proposed rules for the tracking system were issued; system is to be called SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) -- we await issuance of the final regulations.

 

Among the proposed requirements are:  (1) All schools which enroll F-, J- & M-Visa holders will have to re-certify to be approved by the INS to enroll those students (M-Visa is for vocational schools; GT has only F- & J-Visa holders).  In early November, GT submitted the information requested by INS for re-certification; the INS conducted a site-visit last Monday to review the files and tour the campus -- Ms. Schulte is certain that GT’s application will be approved -- notification of the approval is imminent and should occur before January 30, 2003.   (2) All I-20’s and DS-2019s (formerly IAP-66) must be processed with a new system; these documents are used by international students and visitors to obtain their visas and enter the US. The information will be inputted by GT into the SEVIS system and up-loaded to INS, who will issue and download the “bar-coded” forms. (3) Regular reporting of certain events (not yet specified; we await the final regulations); reporting is to be done electronically -- examples include whether the F- & J-Visa holders are registered for part-time or full-time enrollment; reason(s) for part-time enrollment; change in address; change in level of education; change in major, etc. Reporting is to be done on a weekly (or daily) basis depending on level of activity.  (4) The INS and Dept of State will have an electronic interface via the bar-coded forms, which the student/visitor would take to the US Embassy in his/her country to issue the visa; if the visa is granted, the form would be scanned upon entry into the US so that all agencies would have the same information.  

 

Georgia Tech is updating the Banner system, it will have SEVIS forms to help gather the information needed to up-load to INS to issue the I-20’s, as well as the information needed for the anticipated regular reporting requirements; the system is currently being tested.  We await the final regulations/details to inform the students and exchange visitors, as well as the INS approval, which is expected soon.  Once we are approved, we will stop processing I-20’s in the old manner and start processing them through the SEVIS system -- this would apply to both current and new students.  The final regulations will likely have a deadline in which all students (current & new) must have a “SEVIS I-20.”   Ms. Schulte briefly discussed the impact of the new regulations on the admissions process; she indicated that it is important for the departments/schools to provide accurate information to the Office of International Education and the Admissions Offices in order to get the I-20’s done in a timely fashion.  Getting visas is taking longer and longer, regardless of where the international student is from.  So, as soon as a student is admitted, it is important to send him/her the documents immediately, so that he/she can get the visa as soon as possible.

 

A question was asked as to whether the processing of SEVIS I-20’s by INS will be done manually or automatically; Ms. Schulte indicated that we have been informed that the process will be done electronically, without human involvement. A question was asked regarding students who return to their country for a visit and are then delayed for several months before they are allowed to return.  Ms. Schulte indicated that in these situations, many students are faced with random security checks -- while it is a serious problem, we do not want to make the students fearful of traveling or returning home to visit their families.  A follow-up question was raised as to the need to inform the faculty of what they can do (whom to contact) when one of their students is faced with that problem; Ms. Schulte indicated that she is willing to help in situations of this type, however, she is not sure how much influence we would have with regard to the random security checks.  The Vice-Provost indicated that it is important to inform the faculty, particularly the Graduate Coordinators, who may have to modify their process -- may not be able to hold the files and delay the admission decisions for a long time, since we may not be able to process their I-20’s (and they may not be able to get their Visas) on time.  A question was asked as to how these regulations will affect Visiting Professors.  Ms. Schulte indicated that SEVIS is currently for F-1 Visa holders (students), and that we are waiting for proposed regulations from the Dept. of State to determine how to process the J- Visa holders; it will likely be a similar system -- instead of issuing the DS-2019 on campus, it will be done by uploading the information to the INS, who will then issue and down-load the bar-coded form to us.  

 

The Vice-Provost thanked Ms. Schulte for her presentation and indicated that she is a resource available to the campus community on these matters.

 

6.      The Vice Provost announced that the business of the Called meeting of the General Faculty has been concluded and that the meeting is now convened as the Fall meeting of the Academic Senate.  He called on Ms. Jo McIver (Registrar) to present the degree candidates for the Fall Commencement.  The Registrar indicated that the list of degree candidates for the Fall 2002 commencement was sent to the Academic Departments.  It was moved that all candidates who complete their requirements by Noon on Wednesday December 18, 2002 be awarded their degree.  The motion passed without dissent. 

 

7.      The Vice Provost called on Chairs of Standing Committees of the Academic Senate to present their annual reports for 2001-2002. (All annual reports have been posted on the web-- see Attachment #5 below).

 

a.       Joe Hughes reported on the activities of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.  He indicated that the UCC met 20 times during 2001-02 to deal with curriculum requests and student petitions.  Most of the curriculum requests relate to new courses -- major actions include: recommending two new degree programs (Economics & International Affairs, and Global Economics & Modern Languages), as well as major revisions and re-naming of the degree in Textiles & Fiber Engineering, and offering of EE and ME degree programs through GTREP.  Other major actions include: approval of new courses to satisfy the Core Area B requirements, approval of report on assessment of general education, approval of 7-week summer term as a permanent part of the schedule, establishing the courses and process for internship programs; approval of guidelines for Study Abroad programs, and providing recommendation to modify Student Rules and Regulations regarding absences for religious holidays.  During 2001-2002, the UCC received 969 student petitions, including 282 requests for re-admission (versus 885 and 266 for 2000-2001).  Most petitions were handled by the Registrar under delegated authority or by a petitions subcommittee; however, the committee heard 16 appeals (versus 12 in the previous year) from students whose petitions had previously been denied. An area of particular concern is the increased number of requests for late withdrawal from courses or schools, and/or for a change to “W” of a previously assigned grade -- there were 191 petitions of this type last year.  A question was asked as to the percentage of these petitions which was approved; Hughes indicated that he did not know the exact percentage.

  

b.      Bill Green reported on the activities of the Graduate Curriculum Committee in behalf of last year’s Committee Chair (Nolan Hertel).  He indicated that the GCC met ten times; the main actions included approval of three new degree programs and one dual degree program, name change for one degree program, three 5-year BS/MS programs, and three certificate programs.  Other committee actions included review of 160 student petitions (and 3 appeals), approval of 54 new courses, deactivation of 8 courses, and review of six graduate programs for the Institute Review Committee for Assessment of Academic programs. 

 

c.       Paul Benkeser reported on the activities of the Student Regulations Committee.  He indicated that last year, the committee dealt with the following main topics:  (1) modification of change-of-major policy in the Student Rules and Regulations, (2) change in minimum GPA requirements, (3) Revision of the Student Bill of Rights, (4) Review of proposed Policy on Religious Observances, and (5) changes/additions to the Academic Honor Code and the Student Code of Conduct. 

 

d.      Miroslav Begovic reported on the activities of the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee.  He indicated that the committee met three times during the past year; the first two meetings were devoted to annual review of various functions, such as advising, admissions, and financial aid.  The third meeting considered an issue brought to it by a faculty member.  In addition, the committee monitored excused absences for student activities; the chair corresponded with the Executive Board regarding reviewing of grading policies; the committee has received a formal charge from the Executive Board to review this matter and will be acting on it this academic year -- Dr. Begovic invited those interested in contributing/participating in such review to contact him.

 

e.       Brent Carter reported on the activities of the Student Activities Committee during 2001-2002.  He indicated that the committee met four times during the past year.  Among the major actions are: (1) approval of the charter for one new student organization, and constitutional amendments for another organization; (2) approval of the Joint Campus Organization Committee policy revisions, and (3) approval of the Student Activity budget.  Reports were requested from several administrative units which deal with students; this year, the committee will decide on how to deal with such reports, which will be requested annually.   

 

f.        David Shook reported on the activities of the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee, in behalf of the Committee Chair (Ken Cunefare).  He indicated that the committee considered nine cases brought before it in 2001-2002, which is more than double the case load for the previous year.  Two the cases involved non-academic misconduct; they were found to be without merit and denial was recommended.  The other seven cases involved academic misconduct; for two cases, involving three individuals, the committee recommended that re-hearings be granted.  For a third case, the committee recommended reduction of the sanction.  The Committee recommended that the remaining four appeals be denied.

 

g.       Cheryl Contant reported on the activities of the Student Honor Committee in behalf of last year’s Chair (Ray Vito).  She indicated that during the period of May 2001-May 2002, 503 cases were adjudicated by the Honor System, of which 484 cases were administratively resolved and 19 were heard by the Student Honor Committee.  Among the 503 cases, 308 were found to be “responsible,” while the other 195 were found to be “not responsible.” She enumerated the departments with the most significant number of cases during that time period; 24 different departments forwarded cases; seven students were suspended; two others had their graduation delayed.  For the Summer of 2002, 94 cases were adjudicated, of which 93 cases were administratively resolved and one was heard by the Honor Committee. Among the 94 cases, 56 were found to be “responsible,” while the other 38 were found to be “not responsible.” Fourteen different departments forwarded cases; two students were suspended.  Dr. Contant reported on more recent developments: (1) appointment of ad-hoc committees for CS cases, and (2) recruiting of alternates to serve on hearing panels (six students and 14 faculty members).  She indicated that as of 12/03/02, the Student Honor Committee has held 22 hearings involving 31 students, that the committee will be back on schedule, and that there are four cases scheduled to be heard next term. 

 

The Vice-Provost thanked Dr. Contant, the entire Student Honor Committee, including those who volunteered to serve on the hearing panels, for their outstanding effort in clearing the backlog of cases -- a remarkable accomplishment which makes it possible for a student accused of an honor violation to have a speedy resolution, which is essential to the working of the process. 

 

h.       Jim McClellan reported on the activities of the Student Computer Ownership Committee in behalf of last year’s Chair (Gregory Abowd).  He indicated that the committee met four times last year; the primary activity of the committee is to decide on the hardware and software to be required for incoming students.  The committee circulated information to the faculty soliciting input for new recommendations to be included; the committee coordinates with OIT in supporting the computer ownership and the types of site licenses which can be obtained in addition to the software/hardware recommended for the students to purchase.  The committee maintains a web site http://www.sco.gatech.edu which is updated to reflect important changes and considerations.  The committee prepares documents sent to parents of incoming students advising them of the hardware/software required to be purchased.  Additionally, the committee has been examining the cost of computer ownership, and will report its findings in the near future.

 

8.      The Vice-Provost called on Chairs of three Standing Committees of the Academic Senate to introduce minutes from their respective committee meetings and action items therein.  He indicated that these actions are being introduced at this time instead of the normal time (Spring term) in order to meet the deadline for the new catalog.  (All committee minutes have been posted on the web -- see Attachment #6 below).

 

a.       Joe Hughes, Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, indicated that there are five committee meeting minutes to be approved; three meetings were devoted to student petitions (September 18, October 9, and November 4, 2002; there are no action items arising from those meetings), while the other two meetings (October 16 and November 13, 2002) had action items requiring approval by the Academic Senate.  The action items from the October 16, 2002 meeting include:  minor changes in degree requirements for several programs, changes in the minor in modern languages, and new courses in AE, College of Architecture, and Internship.  The action items from the November 13, 2002 meeting include: changes in the degree requirements for a large number of programs (many of the changes are related to a new computer science course that has been added), approval of an undesignated BS degree for Architecture majors, approval of two new minors in Architecture, and new courses for various programs -- one of these courses, CS 1315: Introduction to Media Computation, was recommended as satisfying the General Education requirements for computer literacy, which would allow it to be used by degree programs which specify either CS1321 or a programming course satisfying the General Education requirements in computer literacy.  In behalf of the UCC, Hughes moved approval of the minutes of September 18, 2002; October 9, 2002; October 16, 2002; November 4, 2002; and November 13, 2002, and the action items therein.  A question was asked regarding the new computer science course CS 1315, and whether it is a “terminal course,” i.e. not a pre-requisite for other computer courses; Hughes responded affirmatively, indicating that the course is currently a terminal course; however, that does not preclude the possibility of developing subsequent courses in the future.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

b.      Bill Green, Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee, indicated that there are four committee meeting minutes to be approved (August 29, September 26, October 10, and November 14, 2002).  There are no action items from the August 29, 2002 meeting; action items from the other three meetings include:  approval of new courses, including two teaching practicum courses, changing options within programs (adding a non-thesis or a thesis option), approval of three new five-year BS-MS programs (AE, CHE, PTFE), and de-activation of several courses.  Additionally, it is proposed to “regularize” the rules for degree-seeking status for students who come from French engineering schools, in order to achieve consistency and fairness.  Also, the Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning has proposed new Professional Development courses -- Dr. Donna Llewellyn (CETL Director) has worked very hard to make these courses agreeable to everyone and put safeguards in place to make sure students do not “abuse the system.”   In behalf of the GCC, Green moved approval of the minutes of August 29, 2002; September 26, 2002; October 10, 2002; and November 14, 2002, and the action items therein.  In response to a question regarding the CETL courses, Llewellyn indicated that the courses are offered only on a Pass/Fail or audit basis; Green added that enrollment in these courses requires approval of both the home department and CETL.   The motion passed without dissent.

 

c.       Paul Benkeser, Chair of the Student Regulations Committee, indicated that there is only one set of minutes to be approved (November 15, 2002).  The minutes contain several action items related to proposed modifications to the Student Rules and Regulations.  The first modification pertains to Section VII.B.3 which deals with Removal of Deficiencies.  The proposed change clarifies the rule to eliminate a misinterpretation which caused the rule to be used in situations other than those for which it was intended. Graduating students who have a single deficiency are allowed to take an exam to remove that deficiency.  The rule was intended to address a deficiency created during the last semester before graduation, without having to enroll for another semester. However, some students were attempting to remove deficiencies which were created prior to the last semester.  The proposed modification explicitly states that the deficiency must have been created from the last term of enrollment in order for the re-examination policy to take effect. 

 

A comment was made that, in the past (prior to the rule change regarding final exam requirement for graduating seniors), the deficiency was to be removed prior to commencement, which allowed the student (if successful) to officially graduate at the end of that term.   Now, however, the re-examination may take place after the deadline for completing the degree requirements, which means that, if successful, the degree would be officially conferred at the end of the following term.  However, the student would get a letter from the Registrar indicating that he/she has completed all the degree requirements.  A question was asked as to whether there is any way by which the deficiency could be removed to allow the student to officially graduate in the same term.  The Registrar pointed out that such a scenario is highly unlikely, since the final grades are not due till Noon on the Tuesday after the commencement, and that the Registrar has only till Noon Wednesday to certify that all the requirements have been met -- So, it is highly unlikely that a student would be able to find out about the deficiency, schedule the re-exam, and pass it before the Wednesday deadline -- Only if all these actions are completed, would the student be able to graduate the same term.   A question was asked about the possibility of abusing the rule, whereby a student would not do any of the required work during the entire term, fail the course, and then simply take a “re-exam” to meet the graduation requirements.  It was pointed out that this requires the instructor to prepare a comprehensive exam, which he/she would not normally be required to prepare.  A follow-up comment was made that the nature of the re-exam is not specified, and that the instructor can simply require that the student turn in all required work.  Another question was raised regarding the nature of the re-exams for laboratory or project-type courses.  Benkeser indicated that the policy does not specify the nature of the re-exam; it was also pointed out that the original (Fail) grade stands even if the student “passes” the re-exam.  

 

Benkeser presented the second proposed change in the Student Rules and Regulations; the change pertains to Section XIII.E.3 (Graduation with Distinction), which deals with the timing of grades or grade corrections affecting the honors designation.  These grades are to be received and certified by the Registrar no later than noon on Wednesday following the commencement.  The change is being proposed upon the recommendation of the Registrar.

 

The third change pertains to Section XVIII.E (Potential Sanctions), which deals with disciplinary suspension; the proposed wording change states that the suspension may also include academic restrictions, including denial of transfer credit for coursework completed at another institution during the period of suspension.  A question was raised as to the use of the verb “may,” rather than “shall,” and who makes that determination; Benkeser indicated that the wording recognizes that not all violations require such sanctions, and that the decision is made in accordance with existing Honor procedures which ultimately lead to the Dean of Students’ Office. A question was raised as to whether such sanctions would be specified at the time of the suspension or afterwards; Benkeser indicated that such sanctions would, presumably, be specified at the time of the suspension.  A question was raised as to why the suspended student is referred to as “the accused;” it was pointed out that, in some cases, there may be an interim suspension before the case is heard (cases where the student is viewed as a threat); Benkeser indicated that such terminology is used repeatedly in this section of the Rules and Regulations.  A question was asked as to what it means for a “Student Organization” to be suspended; the Vice-Provost indicated that it means that such organization can not have any campus activities.  A question was asked as to whether we can prevent a suspended student from driving through campus, or going to a football game, etc.; others commented that while we may not be able to prevent a suspended student from doing so, we can impose such a constraint as a condition for his/her potential re-admission. 

 

Benkeser presented the last recommended changes in the Student Rules and Regulations, which pertain to Section XI (Cross Enrollment and Concurrent Registration); the changes were recommended by Dr. Hughes, Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.  These changes are intended to bring the GTREP and RETP programs within the rules.  The discussion focused primarily on the first item on the list of recommended wording changes, which states that “students who are enrolled at Georgia Tech may not receive credit for courses completed at another institution during the same term, unless prior permission has been obtained for cross enrollment, or concurrent registration as described in this section.”  A comment was made that if the School/Department for whatever reason agrees that it is in the student’s best interest to complete a course somewhere else, it should be irrelevant whether or not the course is offered at GT. Benkeser pointed to the second item on the list which is a part of the agreement with the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education, whereby a student can take a course at any one of these colleges/universities if the course is not available at a particular term at GT.  The Registrar pointed out that the rule prevents students from taking their math and physics courses at less demanding institutions.  A follow-up comment was made that registering for courses outside GT requires approval by the School/Department and that they should know what is best.  The Registrar indicated that there are exceptions to the rule, and that with the school/professor recommendation, students are allowed to do so (albeit not on a routine basis).   The Registrar also indicated that sometimes, approval is granted to accommodate time conflicts, including work schedules for students.  A comment was made that the minutes must include the Registrar’s remarks reflecting the fact that there are exceptions to these rules.  It was pointed out the modifications explicitly state that the same academic eligibility rules apply to both cross enrollment and concurrent registration; the latter was not explicitly stated in the past. 

 

The Vice-Provost pointed out that discussion of each of the various recommended changes had taken place along the way, and asked if the Academic Senate would like to vote on all the changes in one motion. A member requested that the Academic Senate considers the first item (Section VII.B.3:  Removal of Deficiencies) separately from the other three items (Sections XIII.E.3:  Graduation with Academic Distinction; XVII.E:  Potential Sanctions; and XI: Cross Enrollment and Concurrent Registration), which can be jointly considered; others, including the Vice-Provost, agreed.  

 

A motion was made to approve the recommended changes to Section VII.B.3 of the Student Rules and Regulations (Removal of Deficiencies), as described in the Student Regulations Committee meeting minutes of November 15, 2002.  The motion was approved by a voice vote.

 

A motion was made to approve the minutes of the November 15, 2002 meeting of the Student Regulations Committee, including recommended changes to the other three sections of the Student Rules and Regulations (Section XIII.E.3:  Graduation with Academic Distinction; Section XVII.E:  Potential Sanctions; and Section XI: Cross Enrollment and Concurrent Registration).  The motion passed without dissent. 

 

9.      The Vice-Provost called for any other business; a request was made to place an item related to Student Course Evaluations on the Agenda for the next Academic Senate meeting.  The Vice-Provost closed the meeting at 4:45 PM.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Said Abdel-Khalik

Secretary of the Faculty

December 6, 2002

 

Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes:

 

1.Minutes of Faculty meetings

    1. GFA & AS (09/17/02) http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/ASGFA-091702-Minutes-Amended092602wp.htm
    2. GF & GFA (10/08/02) http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/GFGFA-100802-Minuteswbpg.htm

 

2.Statutes Changes to increase size of Student Honor Committee and form a new Committee on Academic Integrity.

 

3.Report of the Distance Learning Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the Academic Services Committee.

    1. DLIP Recommendations (Presentation by Ron Bohlander).
    2. IP Policy Recommendation and Comparison with Current Policy
    3. Distance Learning, Professional Education, and Study Abroad Policy Recommendation and Comparison with Current Policy   I

4.Student & Exchange Visitor Information System

5.Annual Reports of Standing Committees for 2001-2002:  http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/CommittMin001-002.htm

6.Minutes of Standing Committees for 2002-2003: http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/CommittMin002-003.htm