GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
MEETING OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE
AND A CALLED MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 3:00 pm
Student Center Theater
1. Provost Bras opened the meeting at about 3:06 PM and then provided the following remarks on matters of interest to the campus:
· He noted that Georgia Tech would be playing in the ACC football championship game on December 1.
· A search committee had been formed to fill the vacancy in the position of Athletics Director.
· A town hall meeting concerning online education initiatives would be held with faculty on December 6, 2012 at 11 a.m. in the first floor conference room of the Clough Commons building. This would be an opportunity for updates and for questions and answers about these initiatives. So far, approximately 150,000 students had registered for Georgia Tech’s offerings of online courses. These were all non-credit courses and those taking them were outside Georgia Tech.
· Searches were underway for new deans for the colleges of Architecture and Science. The goal was to be ready to make new appointments in summer 2013. Applicants so far looked promising. Dr. Bras encouraged the faculty to make additional recommendations of candidates.
· Dr. Bras stated that Georgia Tech was in the process of hiring new faculty to fill available positions.
· The admissions process was off to a good beginning:
o Applications were 10% higher than at the same point last year.
o Resident applicants were somewhat fewer than last year so far.
· Dr. Bras called attention to the Global Positioning Strategy recently published by the Vice-Provost for International Initiatives, Dr. Yves Berthelot.
· The Provost acknowledged there was uncertainty concerning future federal funding of research due to such things as possible sequestration but he expressed confidence that Georgia Tech would find a way through in good condition.
· A new day care center was recently opened near graduate student housing to add more day care capacity and serve those in the campus community who needed day care services for their children. Dr. Bras commended the great beginning with this new facility.
2. Provost Bras asked for the minutes of the October 23, 2012 meeting to be approved. He indicated that the minutes were posted on the faculty governance web site and no additions or corrections had been received. (See Attachment #1 below for web site reference). The minutes were approved without dissent.
3. Dr. Bras called on Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Registrar, to present information about degree candidates for the December commencements. Ms. Pikowsky reported that the lists of candidates for graduation had been reviewed by the colleges and her office and had been amended as necessary. She moved that the list of candidates be approved by the faculty. The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.
4. The Provost then called on Prof. Sue Ann Allen, who serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative, to give her annual report to the faculty. Her presentation followed closely the content of Attachment #2. After telling the faculty about transitions of new universities into relationships with the Atlantic Coast Conference, she reported late-breaking news that the University of Maryland had decided to leave the ACC soon and move to the Big Ten Conference.
Prof. Allen introduced Mr. Doug Allvine from the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and indicated he was responsible for assembling statistics about student athlete’s academic performance. Dr. Allen commented on the latest official but disappointing graduation success rate results for men’s basketball and football teams. She noted that these reflected four-year averages for cohorts ending with the class entering in 2005-06. The good news was that data on more recent cohorts (which cannot be officially released under NCAA rules) were showing substantial improvement. In contrast, the Academic Progress Rate metric was more reflective of current accomplishment, and men’s basketball had a perfect score for the most recent year.
Q. Did Tech have a goal for its graduation success rate? Ans. Tech wanted it to be as high as possible. Professional opportunities have complicated student athlete’s own goal setting and motivated them to set priorities on their transition to a professional career. Prof. Allen and Mr. Allvine noted Georgia Tech’s programs to support the return of former student athletes to complete their degrees during or after professional sports careers. Such cases did not usually show up in NCAA metrics but occasionally one of these returning athletes could earn a bonus point for Tech’s APR.
In answer to another question, Prof. Allen and Dr. Bras assured the faculty that the graduation success rate noted on slide 9 was viewed as unacceptable, but again that was a view in the rear view mirror and there were indications of substantial improvements coming.
5. The Provost asked Dr. Donna Llewellyn, Associate Vice-Provost for Learning Excellence, to propose some changes in the Faculty Handbook concerning Georgia Tech’s procedures for Academic Program Reviews. She explained that Georgia Tech did a review of degree programs once every five to ten years depending on the program. Currently written into the Faculty Handbook was the requirement that reports from these reviews went to the respective Institute Curriculum Committees. The Curriculum Committees then read the reports and prepared summaries of highlights for the Institute. Dr. Llewellyn stated that a recent reorganization of the Provost’s Office moved responsibility for Academic Program Reviews to the Office of the Vice-Provost for Learning Excellence; Dr. Llewellyn had been tapped to head that up. The Institute Curriculum Committees approached Dr. Llewellyn with a request for a change in the procedures such that they would no longer have central roles in handling Academic Program Review reports. Learning Excellence also had a goal to refine all procedures surrounding these reviews to be sure they efficiently served Georgia Tech’s needs for periodic reviews and improvements. The Vice-Provost’s Office for Learning Excellence was receptive to the curriculum committee’s requests for relief because program reviews often had little to do with curriculum matters and more to do with how well the programs were attracting and serving cohorts of students or with program resource challenges (such as facilities).
Dr. Llewellyn directed the faculty’s attention to a handout (Attachment #3) showing a comparison between existing sections of the Faculty Handbook concerning Academic Program Reviews and proposed changes. The main change was that review reports would now come back to the Deans, Provost, and Vice Provosts “to assist in making recommendations to the faculty and staff of the unit.” If curriculum changes were indicated, the faculty of the unit would prepare those recommendations which would go to the faculty curriculum committees. If space needed to be arranged differently, proposals would be prepared to go the office of space planning. In addition, the Executive Board would get a report of highlights so they could advocate for additional measures if necessary.
The proposal under consideration included changes in Section 46.1.2 of the Faculty Handbook, as well as changes to the charters of the Institute Curriculum Committees in Sections 5.6.7 and 5.6.8. The latter also included elimination of another duty of these committees to “study the division of curricula into Departments of Instruction and Centers, and the allocation of Departments of Instruction to Colleges.” It was not clear what was intended by these words, and it was felt it would be clearer to simplify the statements of the charter of the curriculum committees by eliminating these words.
Comment. The faculty was responsible for curriculum and should not give up that control. This proposal appeared to move the review process from the control of faculty into control by the administration. Ans. Dr. Llewellyn said there was no intention to take curriculum matters away from the faculty. If a given review identified problems that required curriculum changes, those needs would go to the appropriate faculty curriculum committees for their consideration. But so much of program review reports had to do with resources and facilities discussions. Those needed attention by someone other than the faculty curriculum committees. Dr. Ron Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty) reiterated that it was impossible for any curriculum change to be accomplished at Georgia Tech without going through the appropriate faculty curriculum committees and ultimately a decision by the Academic Senate. So if program reviews identified the need for curriculum changes, the faculty would be charge of what to do. He reiterated that the faculty curriculum committees wanted the proposed change in procedures. Furthermore, the Executive Board was faculty-led and mainly comprised faculty; they would still have oversight of the Academic Program Review process. Dr. Llewellyn said that the curriculum committees were welcome at all times to read the review reports which were posted on line. The recommended change was simply to remove the requirement that they read all of them and prepare summaries.
Q. Was the Academic Program Review process one that was an Institute requirement? Was it required by any accreditations? Ans. This was not driven by any accreditation. The Board of Regents (BoR) required Academic Program Reviews. Every undergraduate program had to be reviewed every seven years, and every graduate program, every ten years. The BoR did not specify what the review needed to cover, just that a responsible review be carried out and submitted to them. Georgia Tech was committed to using this system to support essential periodic improvement.
Dr. Bohlander explained that the proposed change in Section 46.1.2 could be voted on at this meeting, and if passed, would be immediately in force. The changes to Section 5.6.7 and 5.6.8 needed to have their first reading today and a second reading at the February 19, 2013 meeting of the faculty to be fully adopted, if passed, because these sections were part of the Statutes. In any case, if the proposed change in Section 46.1.2 was adopted, then Academic Program Review reports would no longer go to the curriculum committees and so the proposed change in procedures would be effective immediately. [For the record, the proposed changes in the Faculty Handbook were reviewed and recommended by the Statutes Committee and the Executive Board. That was confirmed by Ms. Balsam later in these proceedings.] Dr. Llewellyn moved that the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook in Attachment #3 be adopted. The motion was seconded and passed with one “No” vote.
6. Dr. Bras called on Prof. Ellen Zegura, Co-Chair of the Open Access Subcommittee, to bring a proposal for a policy and procedure for open access to faculty publications which if adopted would be added to the Faculty Handbook. Prof. Zegura presented the slides in Attachment #4a to summarize the case for the new policy and procedure. The recommended new entry in the Faculty Handbook was handed out as recorded in Attachment #4b, along with background material in Attachments #4c and #4d. Prof. Zegura explained that the Open Access Subcommittee was chartered by the Executive Board to operate under the aegis of the faculty’s Academic Services Committee. The subcommittee had representatives from all five colleges as well as GTRI. She noted that the policy developed was thoroughly vetted via town hall meetings and recommended for faculty approval by the Academic Services Committee and the Executive Board. [As Ms. Balsam noted later in these proceedings, the policy was also reviewed and recommended by the Statutes Committee for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook as proposed.] Prof. Zegura noted that open access to faculty articles would be provided at Georgia Tech by the Library using their SMARTech archive, unless an alternative external archive were chosen by the faculty member. She explained the main sections of the policy found in Attachment #4b using slides 15-17 of Attachment #4a.
Comment. A concern was expressed that a license to GTRC to archive an article could conflict with the license an author had to give to a journal, and that the faculty member would be liable for any license conflicts. Ans. The proposed license to GTRI would be non-exclusive. The library could assist the author in determining what the journal’s policy actually allowed and if there would be a conflict. If the journal had a problem with GTRC having this license, then the author could opt out of archiving. The act of archiving was not a new thing. The universities noted in Attachment #4a had met the same questions. Moreover, some federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health required archiving for all work they funded. But in the end, there would be some journals that were not yet ready to accommodate archiving and opting out would be an effective option in such cases. Georgia Tech could not archive faculty publications without at least a non-exclusive license to do so.
Q. Did Elsevier and ACS allow archiving with a one-year embargo without a corresponding page charge? Ans. Some journals did allow archiving only if page charges were paid. If the author had the resources to pay them and wanted to do so, then he/she could comply with the proposed archiving policy; if not, the author could opt out. The proposed optional one-year embargo was included as an option to make archiving more attractive to publishers. Someone checked and reported that Elsevier and ACS did allow archiving with provisions which included marking the archive copies to cite where they were published. The GT Library would ensure that was done.
Q. What resources were available to help an author act responsibly? Ans. Prof. Zegura said there was a service called SHERPA RoMEO (http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/) which tracked publishers’ policies and conveyed what was allowed in a consistent, easy to understand format. For example, the policies of Elsevier and ACS could be found in this way. If in some circumstance an article were posted to SMARTech in error, the journal would notify Georgia Tech and the article would simply be removed from the archive. Dr. Bras affirmed this guidance. He said publishers were progressively moving in the direction of accommodation of open access. There was momentum behind this trend.
Q. If there were already mechanisms to publish classified papers in the scholarly literature, why did classified papers have to be excluded from this policy? Ans. Access to classified publications was monitored carefully. Any mechanisms to publish classified work had to restrict access just to people with appropriate clearances. SMARTech did not have the mechanisms to provide such access controls.
Q. When submitting to journals, one often had to sign their copyright form before the article was accepted. How could the library help then? When it was time to submit for archiving, wouldn’t the option already be lost? Ans. One should get the library’s help at the time the copyright form needed to be signed anticipating possible needs to archive later.
Q. Were there any penalties to be imposed on a faculty member who neglected to opt out or to comply with the policy? Ans. Prof. Zegura said nothing would happen. Dr. Bras confirmed that and said the emphasis was just on getting Georgia Tech and its faculty members opportunities for wider dissemination, not on punishing those who did not seize this opportunity. He predicted that before too many years, open access would be the standard. Now beginnings were necessary to ensure Georgia Tech was in a leading position.
Q. In the future, would Georgia Tech or GTRC likely hold all copyrights? Ans. The intent was only for GTRC and Georgia Tech to have non-exclusive licenses for the purpose of archiving.
Q. Had the Library allocated additional staff to handle the increased load of archiving that will result from the proposed policy? Twenty to thirty papers per day could be submitted. Each would require care in evaluating applicable policies. This might require one to two FTEs of effort. Ans. SMARTech already existed so there would not be the cost of creating something new – just marginal costs. The library planned to have staff trained for the in-take process. However, the in-take process was relatively simple and most journals would be ones that would be encountered over and over again and so the library staff would gain familiarity. In time, some automation could become possible.
Q. Was SMARTech an indexed archive? Ans. Yes, SMARTech was indexed by Google. Articles would carry meta-tags to facilitate indexing.
Prof. Zegura made a motion to approve the proposed policy addition to the Faculty Handbook as recorded in Attachment #4b, to be effective January 1, 2013. The motion was seconded and passed with three “No” votes noted.
7. The Provost called on Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to report on a coming major revision to the Faculty Handbook. Her presentation was recorded in Attachment #5 and she followed the content of these slides closely. She stated that the purpose of the revision was to make the Handbook easier to read and use. Except for a few updates to keep pace with changes in titles at Georgia Tech, changes in BoR policies, and changes to reflect current practice, the coming revision would not introduce significant changes in policy. The focus was on increased usability. She ended with these key points:
· Faculty could review the proposed Faculty Handbook in the new format at the following website: http://dev2013facultyhandbook.gatech.edu/faculty-handbook. This site offered a cross-reference to the current Handbook, background information, and a link for feedback or questions.
· Town hall meetings, open to all faculty, would be held in January.
· The proposal to change to this new Faculty Handbook would be made in two readings at the February 19 and April 23, 2013 faculty meetings.
· The motion to adopt the new Handbook would have a safety-net provision: “New material will be noted for approval. Upon request, any omissions or substantive changes not noted at the time of adoption will revert to the provisions of the previous Faculty Handbook until the issue can be addressed and the 2013 Handbook corrected.”
There were no questions. Dr. Bras commended the Statutes Committee for moving Tech forward to a much simpler and easier to use Faculty Handbook.
8. The Provost then called on Ms. Nazia Zakir, Executive Board Liaison to the Faculty Benefits Committee, to present the committee’s annual report for 2011-12. The report was filed on the faculty governance website noted in Attachment #6 below and so this text was not repeated here. Then Dr. Bras asked that the following minutes be approved. Motions were made and seconded to that effect and passed without dissent.
Standing Committees of the General Faculty
a. Faculty Benefits – Ms. Nazia Zakir, Executive Board
Liaison, for Prof. Bettina Cothran, Chair
Minutes: 12/5/11, 1/23/12, 2/27/12, 4/9/12 & 8/27/12 ... No action items.
b. Statutes – Ms. Jeanne Balsam
Minutes: 11/5/12 No action items other than those already covered above.
c. Academic Services – Dr. Amy D’Unger
Minutes: 9/5/12, 10/9/12, 11/5/12 No action items other than one covered in agenda item 6.
9. The Provost then called on representatives of each of the Academic Faculty’s Standing Committees as follows. In most cases the representatives followed closely the minutes in the committees’ files on the faculty governance website noted in Attachment #6 below and so this text was not repeated here. The following was an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.
Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty
a. Undergraduate Curriculum – Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Committee Secretary
Minutes: 10/30/12, 11/6/12
Action items: From 11/6: Appl. Physiology – 1 new course.
A motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent to approve the above minutes and action items.
b. Graduate Curriculum – Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Committee Secretary.
Minutes: 11/1/12, 11/26/12.
Action Items: From 11/1: EAS – 1 new course; BME – modification of a PhD with a major in Biomedical Engineering, a joint GT and Emory Univ. degree, involving changes in required course particulars + modification in the MS degree in Biomedical Engineering, a joint GT and Emory Univ. degree, involving changes in course requirements + modification of PhD with a major in Biomedical Engineering, a Joint GT/Emory/PKU Program, involving changes in course requirements + 2 courses deactivated + 5 new courses. From 11/26: ME – 1 new course.
A motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent to approve the above minutes and action items.
c. Student Regulations – Prof. Chuck Parsons, Committee Chair; Mr. Tanner Marcantel, Assistant Dean of Students; Ms. Carole Moore, Assistant Vice-Provost; and Mr. Peter Paquette, Assistant Dean and Director of Student Integrity
Minutes from 9/13/12 and action item: Revised “Student/Student Organizations Alcohol Policy”. Motions were made, seconded, and passed without dissent to approve these minutes and action item.
Minutes from 11/1/12 and action items: Change in policies for Dead Week, and a change in the Student Code of Conduct involving protection for instructor’s intellectual property. Motions were made, seconded, and passed without dissent to approve these minutes and each action item.
Minutes from 11/15/12 and action item: Change in the Policy on Release of Information, creating criteria for release of information on code of conduct violations, depending on the seriousness of the matters of record. Motions were made, seconded, and passed without dissent to approve these minutes and action item.
d. Student Academic & Financial Affairs – Ms. Reta Pikowsky
Minutes 10/9/12: No action items.
A motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent to approve these minutes.
10 Dr. Bras adjourned the meeting at about 5:10 PM.
Secretary of the Faculty
February 16, 2013