GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Combined Meeting of
THE GENERAL FACULTY ASSEMBLY & ACADEMIC SENATE
1. The President opened the meeting at and offered the following comments on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:
a. The Governor’s FY05 budget proposal includes a 3.98% reduction in the University System’s operational budget; it also does not fund the $33M requested by the Chancellor for additional health insurance costs, so that the effective total cut is 5%. A part of the health insurance costs will likely be covered from the reserves, so that the net cut will be around 4.5%. Every 1% cut in the University System budget corresponds to ~$2M cut in Georgia Tech’s State budget.
b. On the positive side, the budget proposal fully-funds “the formula,” which is important for GT because of our enrollment growth. Additionally, the Governor recommended full-funding of the MRR fund (Maintenance, Renovation, and Repair), which was only partially-funded last year. The increases provided by the formula and MRR funding will partially offset the budget cuts. The budget proposal also includes a 2% salary increase with a $1600 cap (i.e. full 2% for salaries up to $80k). The Regents and the Chancellor’s office may allow us some flexibility to handle special cases. The details will probably be provided in April.
c. The budget proposal does not provide ETACT funding (Equipment, Technology, and Construction Trust Fund) -- ETACT (~$15M/yr) was normally funded from the lottery; GT’s share was typically ~$3.5 to 4.0M/yr. We will be working with our colleagues from the other System universities to bring this issue to the attention of the Legislature. We are also concerned about funding for the GTREP program (GT Regional Engineering Program); it is important that GTREP receives special allocation funding because of its rapid growth (formula funding is based on enrollment data from two years earlier). We will likely address this issue with the Regents and Chancellor’s Office when the budget allocations are made.
d. The budget recommendation includes funding for five University System projects, which would move our Undergraduate Learning Center (UGLC) from #16 to #11 on the BoR list; additional capital construction projects may be recommended by the Legislature to energize the State’s economy, which would advance our UGLC closer to the top of the list.
e. Funding for the HOPE Scholarship program will likely be modified by eliminating payments for mandatory fees and books. They may also adjust the way the GPA is calculated. If a minimum SAT score were to be required, it would not impact Georgia Tech, since our incoming freshmen SAT scores are well above such limits.
f. At the Federal level, we are concerned about the recommended reduction in DOD basic research support for FY05. NSF will get a modest increase; there is strong bipartisan support for increasing the budgets for NSF and NIH.
g. The Promotion and Tenure review process for this year is nearing completion; we have an outstanding group of faculty going through this year. Nearly 75% of this year’s group has been involved with undergraduate research.
h. The total number of undergraduate applications is nearly the same as last year’s; the SAT scores are also essentially the same as last year’s. The number of applications from women and African-Americans is significantly higher. Applications are again down in the computing area, and are slightly lower for engineering; however, they are significantly higher for the colleges of architecture and sciences, and are slightly higher for Ivan Allen and Management. We expect to slightly increase the size of the freshman class (by about 200). Based on the applicant pool, we should be able to do so without diminishing the quality of our student body.
A question was asked as to
whether funding for the new “Cleanrooms Facility” is included in the budget
proposal. The President responded
positively. He indicated that funding
called for approval of the minutes of the
3. The President called on Ms. Leigh Bottomley to present an overview of Undergraduate Research at Georgia Tech. (A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached -- Attachment #2 below). Ms. Bottomley indicated that she works for Dr. McMath (Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies), who is teaching a class at this hour. She stated that in a research-intensive university such as Georgia Tech, undergraduate research allows the faculty to leverage their expertise and increase their interactions with students through teaching, mentoring, and direct involvement in their own research. She stated that GT undergraduates are becoming increasingly interested in research, and that the President has provided the resources to increase participation. Undergraduate research is done either for pay or for course credits, with some small amount of “volunteer research.” Many academic units now require a research component as a part of their degree requirements. During the 2003 academic year, nearly 1300 undergraduates enrolled for research course credits (either through undergraduate research courses in their degree programs or through the use of special-problem courses). Research for pay is somewhat more difficult to track; however there were nearly 375 students paid to do research by programs sponsored by different schools and colleges. She estimated that nearly 600 students are involved in research-for-pay on campus.
Bottomley stated that the majority of undergraduate research is done
through direct interactions between the students and individual faculty
members. However, some schools and
colleges (e.g. ECE and CoC) have well-developed programs; others (e.g. AE,
PTFE, EAS, and
Bottomley described several institute-wide undergraduate research initiatives, including the undergraduate research internship program (URIP) sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies, and the President’s Undergraduate Research Awards Program. URIP is a relatively-small, highly successful program (20-30 student awards per year, $1000 each) directed toward students who intend to pursue doctoral work by offering them the opportunity to do research and assisting them with their graduate fellowship applications. The President’s Undergraduate Research Awards Program (administered by Bottomley) is considerably larger, with ~200 student awards per year, each offering up to $1500 of research pay; nearly 130 applications are received each semester. Bottomley stated that a centralized web site (www.undergraduateresearch.gatech.edu) has been established, and that a part-time coordinator (Bottomley) administers the program in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. She encouraged faculty to visit the website for information regarding the program. She also indicated that a new faculty award has been established (Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award), which will be awarded for the first time this Spring.
Bottomley stated that new uniform course numbers for undergraduate research have been established and approved by the Academic Senate; 144 new course designators (2698 and 4698 – Undergraduate Research Assistantship) were created to track undergraduate research for pay. Similar to the Co-op courses, these are audit-only, “non-billable,” courses. Additionally, all schools/majors (except ECE) have established course designators to track undergraduate research for credit (2699 and 4699). These courses were created to supplement the special problems courses in order to clearly signify research activities. Bottomley indicated that by the end of this term all units will be using the course designators, which will make it easier to track the level of participation for both pay and credit. These courses will be reported on the students’ transcripts. The President commented that undergraduate research is a valuable part of teaching in a research university, inasmuch as it allows students to engage in independent, creative, work and encourages them to pursue graduate studies. He indicated that the program enhances our ability to attract outstanding undergraduates. He thanked the faculty for providing financial support to many of the students involved in research.
A comment was raised as to the reason for the difficulty in tracking the number of students who did research for pay (without the new course designators). Bottomley indicated that while we know the number of students on the payroll of the various units, many of them may be involved in activities other than research. A follow-up comment was made that many undergraduate students are employed by GTRI for a variety of research activities, and that those numbers (which may be very large) should be included in future presentations. Bottomley concurred. A comment was made that the REU program offers faculty with NSF grants additional support of up to $20k/year for undergraduate research; they simply need to fill out the paperwork. The President indicated that the Undergraduate Research Awards Program has been very successful (nearly overrun with applications) and that additional funds will be provided when the budget improves. The President thanked Ms. Bottomley for her informative presentation.
4. The President called on Ms. Teresa Crocker, Director of Security and Police, to present an overview of crime statistics and trends at Georgia Tech. (A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached -- Attachment #3 below). The President indicated that Chief Crocker made a similar presentation to the Executive Board last month and that the Board decided that it is important for the faculty to hear this information.
Crocker began her presentation by providing data on “Part-I Crimes” (i.e. crimes that have to be reported to the Department of Education) at Georgia Tech between 1997 and 2003. Part-I crimes include: murder and non-negligent manslaughter (none occurred at Georgia Tech), forcible rape (very few, possibly because of under-reporting), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson; the last four offenses are classified as “Property Crime,” while the first four are classified as “Violent Crime.” She explained the difference between “burglary” and “larceny-theft.” A total of 1,097 Part-I crimes occurred in 2003 (see attachment for number of different offenses), which represents a 3.9% reduction compared to 2002. While the number of burglaries was reduced by more than 50%, there were substantial increases in motor vehicle theft, thefts from motor vehicles, and bicycle thefts. Many thefts of/from vehicles occurred near the campus outer boundaries -- Curran Street Deck (59), Woodruff Lot (43), and Student center Deck (46). Nearly 40% of such crimes occurred in parking decks, 34% in parking lots, and 26% from vehicles on the street. The top vehicle stolen was the Jeep Cherokee (22), because these vehicles are easy to enter and start; it was followed by Dodge Minivan (6), Chevy Blazer (5), and Honda Accord (5).
Annual data for Part-I Crime at Georgia Tech between 1997 and 2003 were presented; they ranged from a low of 852 in 1997 to a high of 1248 in 2000. Crocker stated that while the total number of crimes in 2003 (1097) is significantly higher than the corresponding number for 1997 (852), it should be noted that the number of people on campus also increased significantly between 1997 and 2003. [The data should be normalized with respect to the number of people]. Out of 1097 crimes in 2003, 552 were vehicle-related. Over the 1997-2003 period, a maximum of one rape, 3 aggravated assaults, and twelve robberies occurred per year (one, two, and nine, respectively, for 2003). Part-I property crimes during the 1997-2003 period were dominated by larceny-theft, which ranged from 700 in 1997 to 1,029 in 2000 (919 in 2003). Data for burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts during the same period were also presented. Of the 76 burglaries reported to Campus Police in 2003, 26 occurred in fraternities/sororities (nearly half of which in only two fraternities), 14 occurred in residence halls, and the remaining 36 occurred in other campus buildings.
Of the 919 incidents of larceny-theft reported to the Campus Police in
2003, nearly half of them occurred from motor vehicles. Besides motor vehicles, areas with more than
35 incidents include the Campus Recreation Center (CRC), and the
Data for the number of law-enforcement officers per 1000 students at peer
and other institutions were presented; they ranged from a low of nearly one (U
Minnesota) to a high of ~14 (MIT and Yale) – for most schools, including
Georgia Tech, the number is nearly two.
Campus crime data for 29 peer institutions and other universities were
presented. These data were obtained from
the Department of Education website; they provide a consistent method for
comparison among different institutions.
Graphical data for the annual rates of violent crimes, property crimes,
and all crimes per 1000 students for the period 2000 through 2002 were
presented; among the universities examined are Cal Tech, Carnegie Mellon, MIT,
Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, NC State, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, and
Crocker described several initiatives undertaken by the GTPD to reduce
campus crime, including Adopt-A-Cop program in residence halls; increasing the
number of crime awareness/prevention programs; publishing crime data on the
GTPD website including photographs of arrested individuals involved in crime;
increasing crime alert e-mails (anyone wishing to add
his/her e-mail to the alert system should contact GTPD); increasing
crime awareness/prevention efforts in campus areas with high crime rates;
partnership with others to assist in crime prevention and reduction (e.g. SGA –
night walk); and forming a physical security team (led by Deputy-Chief Purcell)
to identify measures which can reduce crime in high-crime areas. She indicated that GTPD is currently seeking
National Accreditation (to be followed by State Certification). This will be
achieved in approximately two years. She
indicated that there are less than 600 agencies in the
Crocker indicated that there are 137 emergency telephones strategically located around campus, and that GTPD has recently received $25k from the Parents’ Fund which will be used to install 15 additional emergency telephones. By pushing the red emergency button, Campus Police is automatically notified of the location, and will respond (i.e. send an officer to that location) regardless of whether or not the person pushing the emergency button verbally communicates with the officer manning the desk. The Stingerette transportation service (operated by Parking and Transportation) operates till ; it provides service to faculty, staff, and students working late (call 404-894-9649).
Crocker concluded her presentation by indicating that everyone has a role to play in order to reduce campus crime. She indicated that GTPD has hired many new police officers, including two K-9 officers. She encouraged interested individuals to sign-up to be a part of the new campus safety committee, where people can share their knowledge to help the GTPD do things better. She also encouraged people to report inoperable exterior lighting through the websites of either the facilities department (www.facilities.gatech.edu) or the GTPD (www.police.gatech.edu). The President indicated that last year’s “safety walk” allowed us to identify dark areas around campus and areas with overgrown bushes; these problems were quickly corrected by the facilities department. He indicated that we will do the “safety walk” again this year, and encouraged faculty and staff to participate, along with the students.
A question was asked as to the reason why the person arrested several
times at the
A comment was made that the GTPD is to be commended for working with female
faculty and promptly addressing their concerns.
A question was asked as to how someone can participate in the new Safety
Committee. Chief Crocker indicated that
people can simply contact her or Deputy-Chief Purcell to be included on the
list. A question was asked as to the
possibility of issuing “trespassing warrants” for repeat offenders, so that
they would be arrested as soon as they set foot on campus. Crocker responded that this is done; however,
it takes at least two hours to get a person to jail, so this may not be the top
priority at times when the department is short on staff. She indicated that the situation would
greatly improve if arrangements could be worked out with the
5. The President called on Mr. Robert Furniss, Director of Parking and Transportation, to present an overview of parking and transportation issues at Georgia Tech. (Copies of the presentation and the handout distributed at the meeting entitled “Parking and Transportation Services Frequently Asked Questions” are attached -- Attachments #4A and 4B below). Frank Lambert, Chair of the Welfare and Security Committee, expressed the Committee’s appreciation to Mr. Furniss and Chief Crocker for their active participation in the Committee’s deliberations, and addressing the faculty’s concerns. He indicated that the Committee has attempted to address the faculty’s questions and comments regarding parking and transportation issues, and pointed to the handout entitled “Parking and Transportation Services -- Frequently Asked Questions” (Attachment #4B below) where answers to those questions can be found. The document was prepared by the Welfare & Security Committee, in collaboration with the Parking and Transportation Department.
Mr. Furniss began his presentation by indicating that he joined Georgia
Tech nearly nine months ago; prior to that time he spent 25 years at the
Mr. Furniss continued his presentation by addressing frequently-asked questions related to transportation services; a near-verbatim transcript of his statements related to each of the questions can be found in Attachment #4B below. The questions addressed included: (1) Transit services available to faculty and their schedules and routes -- Tech Trolleys, Stinger bus, and Stingerette services; (2) Other transit services and improvements -- Kroger grocery shuttle, Global Positioning System, New transit signage, and air quality improvements; and (3) Motorized carts (safety issues for pedestrians and vehicular traffic) -- committee chaired by Chief Crocker to review and/or establish policies and procedures for their safe and effective use.
The President pointed out that everyone on campus, including him, pays for their parking fees, whereas in the past, there were many people who had free parking as a “perk.” Now everyone is sharing the burden in order to limit the costs to each individual. A comment was made that the Parking and Transportation department is to be commended for being more approachable than in the past. A question was raised regarding the Stinger bus stop on North Avenue at Cherry Street; while there is no left turn from Cherry Street onto North Avenue, some motorists still do so, which poses a hazard to people attempting to cross the street. Furniss concurred that this poses a hazard, and indicated that this problem is being looked at to identify a solution. A comment was made that last fall on the Mondays following football games, the parking lot next to MRDC was full of garbage. Furniss stated that his department will work closely with the facilities department to make sure that the lots and decks are properly cleaned after football games. The President indicated that the problem was even worse for Thursday night games, and that in the future, we will have no more than one Thursday night game per year. A comment was made that many of the arms on the parking lot entrance gates are frequently broken and replaced with very short arms, which allows people without permits to drive around them. Furniss indicated that many of the arms on the gates have indeed been broken; the shorter arms were used when the entire supply was depleted. New arms have been received, and will soon be installed.
A question was asked as to the long-term projections for parking fees (~five to ten years from now) beyond the $500/year “consolidation fee” level. A follow-up comment was made that this is an important issue for lower-paid staff who have been paying more for their health insurance and parking while receiving no pay raises. Furniss responded by stating that he cannot make any commitments as to whether or not we will need to raise the parking fees in the future. He indicated that parking has to be self-sustaining and that as we continue to replace surface parking lots with parking decks, we will acquire a large debt and deferred maintenance costs, which have to be paid. He indicated that the campus master plan calls for the construction of additional parking decks (3-4), and that he can only promise to manage his department’s operations as efficiently as possible in order to minimize increases in parking fees. He indicated that he will maintain an open dialogue with the campus community on this and other issues. The President indicated that it would be important to provide information on this issue to the campus community.
A question was asked as to whether or not one needs a permit when parking after hours near the library or in Peters deck. Furniss indicated that in order to accommodate students who want to use the library at night, parking without a permit is allowed (after hours) behind the library and in the lower level of Peters deck. However, people have to leave before the following morning to allow permit holders to park. The President commented that this was done to accommodate the increased student demand for using West Commons, particularly female students who may not feel safe walking there. A question was asked as to the long-term plans for Peters deck. Furniss indicated that according to the campus master plan, Peters deck will eventually be removed; this, however, will not happen until we have another deck to meet that demand. The President commented that that space was originally a park, which would be nice to restore. The President thanked Mr. Furniss for his informative presentation.
[Note added by the Secretary of the Faculty: Please send any additional questions/concerns regarding parking & transportation issues (beyond those addressed in Attach #4B below) to the Chair of the Welfare & Security Committee: email@example.com].
6. The President called for approval of the minutes of Standing Committees of the General Faculty which do not contain any action items, all of which have been posted on the web (see Attachment #5 below for web site listing of minutes of all Standing Committees)
The minutes were approved without dissent.
President called on Dr. Scott Wills (ECE), Chair of the Undergraduate
Curriculum Committee, to introduce minutes from the committee’s meetings and
action items therein. He indicated that the
minutes were published on the faculty governance web site and that a link was
provided from the formal agenda for this meeting. (See Attachment
#5 below). Wills indicated that
there are four sets of UGCC meeting minutes to be approved:
President called for approval of the minutes of the
9. The President called for any other business; hearing none, he closed the meeting at .
Secretary of the Faculty
Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes:
a. Presentation by Robert Furniss http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/ASGFA2004-020304-A-Attach4Awbpg.pdf
b. Frequently Asked Questions http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/ASGFA2004-020304-A-Attach4B.pdf