Meeting of September 24, 2002

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center


Members Present: Agrawal (ChE); Clough (President); Henry (OSP); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Mark (CoC); Marr (Psy); Peterson (ECE); Telotte (LCC); Alexander (Staff Rep); Michaels (G. Stu); Massey (U. Stu); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).

Members Absent:  Allen (Arch); Boyd (Stu. Servcs); Chameau (Provost); Evans (GTRI); Horton (GTRI); Swank (GTRI); Uzer (Phys.); Warren (EDI


Visitors:  Hall (Enrollment Services); Kilroy (Grad. Admissions); May (Pres. Office); McMath (Provost Office); Potts (Grad. Admissions)


1.      Larry Kahn (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:05 PM. and invited the President to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.  The President commented:


a.       President congratulated the new Chair (Kahn) and Vice-Chair (Marr) on their election; he invited them to meet with him to exchange views and discuss any issues they would like to bring to his or the Board’s attention. 

b.      President commented on the Resolution passed at the September 17, 2002 meeting of the Academic Senate and General Faculty Assembly regarding renovation of existing classrooms. He indicated that some of the information presented during the discussion was incorrect, particularly the statement that last year only $50k was expended on classroom renovations.  The President indicated that during the past five years, an average of more than $1M per year was expended on classroom renovations and technology upgrades (excluding amounts expended by individual units and nearly $200k per year for painting); half of the expenditures were made for information technology upgrades and the other half for improving the physical condition of the classrooms.  The anticipated expenditures over the next few years are expected to remain at that level (~$1M/year). The $50k figure quoted at the September 17 faculty meeting represents the amount given to Space Planning (Les Saunders) to respond to minor immediate needs (e.g. repairing an overhead projector) without seeking prior approval.


The President also indicated that by next Fall, 17 new large classrooms and five new auditoriums will be added as the ES&T, New Biomedical, and Technology Square buildings come on line.  This will reduce the load on existing, heavily-used, classrooms, so that they can be taken out of service and renovated.  The President commented that the resolution asked that more money be expended on classroom renovation; it also asked that a process be established to document which classrooms need to be improved; this has been done.  There are many older classrooms in a bad condition, a number of those are in such bad condition that it would cost too much to renovate them for classroom purposes; the intent is to convert them to seminar rooms or small meeting rooms.  There is still a great deal of work to be done on classroom renovation, and we will continue to work on it. 

The President asked Bob McMath for further comments; McMath described the process used to address this issue.  He indicated that over the past three years, the facilities office has done a systematic and ongoing analysis of the nearly 160 centrally-controlled classrooms, which documents their condition and provides a prioritized list of needed renovations.  He indicated that he chairs an ad hoc committee, which includes members from the Academic Services Committee, along with several other faculty members and representatives from OIT and Space Planning.  The ad hoc committee has looked at the analysis and blessed the prioritization suggested by the facilities office.  He also indicated that complete renovation of large classrooms often depends on the ability to take them out of service for a semester or more to be able to complete the renovations.  McMath indicated that he has briefed the Academic Services Committee on that issue.


There were no questions for the President. 


2.      The Chair called for approval of the minutes of the August 20th, 2002 meeting of the Executive Board; minutes were approved without dissent. (Attachment #1)


3.      The Chair called on Ms. Barbara Hall (Associate VP, Enrollment Services) to present an overview of the Georgia Tech undergraduate admissions process.  Ms. Hall indicated that for the class of 2002, there were 88,639 prospects, which resulted in 8,869 applicants (slightly lower than previous year), of whom 5,204 were accepted and 2,231 were enrolled; the goal was 2220 (later modified to 2,230).  Hall described the overall time line and indicated that the January 15 final application deadline is inviolate.  She enumerated the various sources of prospects and the strategies for dealing with them.  She pointed to the importance of campus visits, the role of alumni around the country in College day/night programs, on-campus group visitation programs, and “Connect with Tech.”  Women, high achievers, and minorities are especially targeted in recruiting, while the same admission criteria are used for all.  She then described the time line and strategies for dealing with applicants, including “Connect with Tech” invitations to women, high achievers, and minorities; letters to legacies, and high school visits.  She discussed provisional admissions to Georgia residents and legacies.  Hall explained the Admission Criteria; she indicated that high school GPA is the best predictor of success at Georgia Tech. An “Academic Index,” based on a re-calculated high school GPA and standardized test scores is calculated.  An “Expanded Index,” which includes the academic index, along with scores for both the personal statement/essay, and their honors/leadership activities, is also calculated.  Scores for these subjective data are provided by five readers -- retired AP English teachers and high school guidance councilors -- they are trained; scores are calibrated once a week.   The questions in the essay are prepared by the Psychology department. Hall then described the time line and strategies for accepted students, and the role of faculty, staff, and alumni in the process. In view of the time, Hall referred Board members to her presentation slides; a copy is attached to the minutes (Attachment #2).


In response to a question as to whether the number of applicants can be increased, Hall indicated that the size of the applicant pool can be significantly increased; however, additional staff/resources would be required to manage the process. A comment was made that the size of the applicant pool impacts college ratings; Hall stated that some schools have waived the application fee in order to increase the number of applicants.   A question was raised as to whether the “essay readers” burn out after a while, Hall indicated that they enjoy their job.  In response to a question regarding the formulas for the Admission indices, Hall indicated that the formulas are not secret, they are re-calibrated every year.  A follow-up question was asked regarding how the correlation is done; Hall indicated that grades for the freshman year at Tech are used in the correlation, and that 3 years of data have been collected and used.  The data suggest that the essay score is very important. 


A question was asked as to how students with learning disabilities are treated.  Hall indicated that their credentials are looked at in the same manner as everyone else; many do not tell us; if they send documentation before they are accepted, they are referred to the GT disabilities office to make sure we have all the services they need if they were to come to GT. A question was asked regarding how home-schooled students are handled, and whether their numbers are increasing.  Hall indicated that we have only about four home-schooled students admitted per year; they are required to take the SAT-2 in English, Math, and Science since we can not rely on the grading structure for these students; they also have to take an actual lab, usually at a Junior college. A question was asked as to whether the “yield” of enrolled-to-accepted students is consistent (~ 40%).  Hall responded affirmatively, and indicated that while the composition changes, the yield for female students is only about 28%.  She indicated that, with small amount of GTF funding, approaches similar to those successfully used to increase Hispanic students’ enrollment, have been used this year to increase female students’ enrollment. A question was asked as to how our admission indices/formulas compare to other universities.  Hall indicated that many institutions use only a computer-generated academic index because of the large number of applicants. 


In response to a question regarding the number of international applicants, Hall indicated that international students represent 5% of the total applicant pool and 4% of the accepted students; they are generally very highly qualified.  A question was asked regarding calibration of GPA from different schools within the State; Hall indicated the GPA for every applicant is re-calculated; attention is paid to that issue for schools in the Atlanta area; it is more difficult for schools from which we get very few students (one or two every few years).  A question was asked as to the extent of faculty input to the admission process.  Hall indicated that is a great deal of faculty input; she works with the different Colleges on what they are looking for, and by allowing them to have their own programs; the Associate Deans are usually the conduit for such input/cooperation. A question was asked about the resources required to increase the percentage of students in the upper end of the performance spectrum.  Hall indicated that we now have five in-State and five out-of State “full-ride” scholarships; last year we had three of the top ten students; this year we had eight of the top; we give only about 70 President scholarships; we lose many outstanding students who do not get these scholarships, since they can often get a “full-ride” somewhere else.  Hall indicated that the number of semi-finalists for the President’s scholarships will be reduced (from the current level of ~800) to avoid disappointment due to heightened expectations.  A follow-up question was raised regarding the resources required to increase the “economic diversity” of the student body by providing financial aid to accepted qualified students with serious financial needs.  Hall indicated that this is a matter of concern in light of increasing tuition; financial aid has not kept pace; a comment was made that the Co-op program helps; however, students enroll in the co-op program for more than the money.  Hall indicated that this year, we would have needed an additional $9M to meet the full financial needs of our students.  The Chair thanked Ms. Hall for her thorough and informative presentation.


4.      The Chair called on Ms. Maureen Kilroy (Asst Dean, Grad Studies & Research) to present an overview of Graduate Admissions and Enrollment Management; a copy of her slide presentation, along with the supporting data, is attached (#3 below).  Data for graduate enrollment in the various colleges over the past five years at both the MS and PhD levels were presented; total graduate enrollment increased by nearly 30% over that period with significant differences among the colleges.    Data for graduate applications and admissions over the past five years were also presented; for the 2001-02 academic year, there were 6,902 applicants, of whom 3,113 were admitted and 1,864 enrolled.  For the current Fall term there were nearly 8000 applicants. Among those matriculating this Fall at the MS level (860), 30% are international students; the corresponding fraction for the PhD level (457) is nearly 55%.  A list of new graduate degree programs approved during the past three years was presented. The role of Graduate Admissions was discussed-- essentially quality control; recruiting and admissions are done at the departmental level.  The process details were described; problems in data sharing between Graduate Admissions and the Academic departments were outlined, these make it difficult to predict enrollment figures ahead of time.  Enrollment management was then discussed; Kilroy indicated that enrollment management has two parts: (1) recruitment and admissions, and (2) retention and graduation.  For most peer institutions, attention is focused on recruitment and admissions, since they are generally interested in increasing their enrollment; here, we may need to limit enrollment.  In either case, enrollment targets are usually established and incorporated into the strategic plans. Other institutions have standing faculty committees on enrollment management, others have a high-level administrator (VP) in charge of enrollment management, and “budgeting” of student headcounts; some schools have financial incentives/disincentives to decrease the time to graduate. Kilroy called on Gail Potts (Manager, Grad Admissions) to discuss the results of an informal survey of other schools.  Potts indicated that there are two major actions used by other schools to control enrollment.  (1) Multi-year funding plans, where funds earmarked for graduate students support are distributed to the different departments in concert with the enrollment targets, and (2) Central processing of applications and admissions, in order to better manage and predict enrollments. Possibilities for enrollment management at GT were offered by Kilroy; most notable among these are: central determination of enrollment targets for each college, and requiring new degree program proposals to address the budgeting of student headcounts. 


Kilroy was asked whether Graduate Admissions is given an admissions “target number” to shoot for; Kilroy indicated that no such targets are given. A follow-up question was asked as to whether there is any coordination among those responsible for admissions at the unit-level; the answer was again negative.  Kilroy indicated that an E-Mail survey of the different units was recently conducted to determine their admission targets for 2003-04; nearly 25% of the units did not respond; for those who responded, the combined total ranged from1180 to 1233; most indicated that the targets are based on faculty resources, including funding, availability of advisors, and need for advisees; other reasons included class size, physical limits such as lab space, and historical/replacement levels. A question was asked as to whether our current “rolling admissions” approach is desirable? Kilroy indicated that rolling admissions are desirable for many units, particularly engineering, as long as they can accommodate the students who come in at times other than the Fall.  Kilroy was asked if statistics are maintained on the “quality” of incoming graduate classes (similar to data often quoted for undergraduates); she responded affirmatively; Graduate Admissions has to re-calculate every applicant’s GPA; the data suggest that scores are continually increasing. The President indicated that quality is being increased through financial incentives (President’s Fellow program) which grew significantly as endowment income increased; an even better package has been created to attract truly exceptional students (about 20 per year).  The Chair thanked Ms. Kilroy for her thorough and informative presentation.


5.      The Chair called on Bob McMath who presented a list of proposed alternates for faculty and student members on the Student Honor Committee to serve on hearing panels as a part of the plan to clear the backlog of honor cases currently pending.  The list includes 15 faculty alternates and six student alternates. McMath stated that this arrangement is permissible under the existing Rules and Regulations, and that with the approval of the Executive Board, these alternates can be empanelled to serve on the honor hearing panels. A motion was made to approve the list of proposed alternates to serve on the hearing panels for the Student Honor Committee (see Attachment #4 below).  A question was asked as to how the people on the list were selected.  McMath indicated that he, along with the current and former Chairs of the Student Honor Committee, approached people who had served on this and/or related committees in the past; they attempted to get participants from every College; they were able to do so, except for the College of Management; the student Government leaders assisted in the selection of student members. The list represents a seasoned group of people, who have a good idea about how the process works; some training will be provided.  A comment was made that at the Academic Senate meeting of September 17, it was thought that it may be difficult to get additional volunteers; the proposed list represents a very good response.  McMath indicated that with the large pool of members and alternates, the work load will be reasonable.  The motion passed without dissent.


6.      The Chair presented the proposed agenda for the Fall meeting of the General Faculty and General faculty Assembly to be held on October 8, 2002 (Attachment #5 below).  The Secretary of the Faculty indicated that the Distance Learning Subcommittee of the Academic Services Committee will not be ready to report at that time; the report was, therefore, removed from the agenda.  McMath indicated that the presentation on NCAA Academic Reform can be made by him, Gary May, or Bill Wepfer; for the time being McMath will be listed as the presenter.  The Chair indicated that the presentation on Export Control Act compliance will be short.  The proposed revised agenda was approved without dissent.


7.      The Chair called on Abdel-Khalik, who reported on appointments made to fill openings on Standing Committees using the procedure previously-established by the Board:


a.       Appointment of Tim Strike [GTRI] to fill the unexpired term [02-03] of Chris Nelson [Arch] on the Statutes Committee.

b.      Appointment of Jeff Donnell [ME] to fill the unexpired term [02-04] of Ronnie Roberts [ChE] on the Academic Services Committee.

c.       Appointment of Cheryl Contant [Arch] to fill the unexpired term [02-04] of Mary Lynn Realff [ChE] on the Student Honor Committee.


Abdel-Khalik also reported that based on the E-Mail ballot conducted earlier this month, Haskel Beckham [TFE] has been appointed to fill the unexpired term [02-03] of Anne Steinemann [Arch] on the Student Honor Committee.  The E-Mail ballot was necessary since that appointment does is not covered by the standing authorization established by the Board.


8.      The Chair called for any other business; hearing none, he closed the meeting at 4:30 PM.



Respectfully submitted,


Said Abdel-Khalik

Secretary of the Faculty

September 27, 2002


Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)


  1.  Minutes of the EB meeting of August 20, 2002.
  2. An Overview of the Georgia Tech Undergraduate Admissions Process  (Presentation by Barbara Hall)

3a. Graduate Admissions & Enrollment Management (Presentation by Maureen Kilroy)

3b.EB-092402-Attach3 Data

4. Proposed Additional Sub-Committees for the Student Honor Committee

5. Proposed Agenda for October 8th  Joint Meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly