Meeting of February 11, 2003

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center



Members Present: Allen (Arch); Boyd (Stu. Servcs); Chameau (Provost); Clough (President); Evans (GTRI); Henry (OSP); Horton (GTRI); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Mark (CoC); Marr (Psy); Peterson (ECE); Swank (GTRI); Warren (EDI); Alexander (Staff Rep); Michaels (G. Stu); Jackson (for Massey, U. Stu); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).


Members Absent: Agrawal (ChE); Telotte (LCC); Uzer (Phys.) 


Visitors:  Hunt (Prov. Office); May (Pres. Office); McMath (V. Provost); Rosser (Ivan Allen); Realff (TFE)


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


a.       We are closely tracking the State Legislature’s progress on both the “amended budget” and the 2004 budget.  There are several items important to Georgia Tech, including increments for maintenance funds and the equipment budget.  The original budget submitted by the Governor would cause our Undergraduate Learning Center project to be delayed for a year; the House may add some things in, which may help put that back on schedule.  On Thursday (02/13/03), the President will testify before the House Budget Subcommittee; will address budget items of interest to GT -- equipment money (to benefit GTRI and other campus units); increasing GTREP funding (Governor’s original recommendation does not include any funding increase for GTREP); and enhancing the formula funding which would benefit Georgia Tech because of our increased enrollment.  The President will also testify before the Senate Higher Education Committee, where he will give a general presentation on matters of concern to Georgia Tech, along with a summary of our accomplishments and contributions.


b.      Governor Perdue has asked the President to lead a Task Force to examine the State’s Telecom needs and how best to contract them out.  The State had previously attempted to consolidate all its telecom needs into one contract; it was bid twice-- both times received only one proposal; the Governor has cancelled the contract.   The Task Force will begin its work tomorrow, starting with a meeting with the Governor. There are about 15 members on the team, including several GT alumni.  Original way of contracting may not have allowed us to create the telecom environment we have been able to create on campus.  The Governor is aware that Georgia Tech can provide test beds and advanced technology to the State because of the nature of our institution; we have an opportunity to help the State in this critical area to make sure that all of us can get the best Telecom services. 


c.       At the Federal level, we are pleased with the President’s recommendations which will increase research funding for physical sciences and engineering; will significantly increase the NSF budget -- 15% per year over the next five years; additional scholarship programs may be set-up to encourage US students to do PhD research in physical sciences and engineering which is viewed as an emerging problem.


d.      As a follow-up to the concerns voiced at last week’s faculty meeting regarding our website, the Provost has had discussions with Bob Harty (Director of Institute Communications & Public Affairs); they have come up with ways to address these concerns.


The Provost elaborated on the website issue; discussions have also been held with OIT; they recognize that there are some structural issues that need to be addressed; -- the current search engine will be replaced with Google.  The concerns raised by the faculty have heightened OIT’s awareness of the problems; work is in progress and will be addressed in the next few weeks.  The Provost also indicated that, counter to comments made following last week’s faculty meeting, the cost of preparing the GT website was nearly an order-of-magnitude lower than what was claimed (~$100k versus $1M) which is not excessive for such a task.  The President commented that they did a good job by interviewing many people ahead of time to see what everyone wanted in the website, and incorporating the survey results into the final product.  A concern was raised about “pop-ups” which appear when the GT directory is used; the President indicated that Bob Harty should be made aware of this problem and that we should get rid of “pop-ups.”  A question was raised as to whether the website has a virtual tour of the campus; the President and the Provost responded affirmatively and indicated that it has received a national award.  There were no other questions for the President.


2.      The Chair called for approval of minutes of the January 14, 2003 meeting of the Executive Board; he commended the Secretary of the Faculty on the depth and accuracy of the minutes.  The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1 below).


3.      The Chair called on Dr. Sue Rosser, Dean of the Ivan Allen College, to present an overview of the Georgia Tech ADVANCE Program; he noted that a presentation on the Reappointment Promotion and Tenure component of this program was given to the Board last Fall by Dr. Dave McDowell, and that Dr. Rosser’s presentation will provide an overview of the entire program.  A copy of the slides used in Dr. Rosser’s presentation is attached (Attachment #2a below); a copy of the tri-fold brochure distributed by Dr. Rosser is also attached (Attachment #2b below) -- the brochure provides a list of the Georgia Tech ADVANCE program team members, along with an overview of the program’s goals, strategies, and progress.


Dr. Rosser indicated that the Provost serves as the PI on this grant, which is essential because of the overall objective of the program, namely “institutional transformation.” She acknowledged the Program’s Co-PI’s, Director, and Coordinator.  The program is an NSF-funded $3.7M grant over a five-year period; currently in its second year.  Many faculty members have been involved in various aspects of the program; many of whom participated in the mini-retreat held last May.  The focus is on tenure-track women -- advancing women faculty to senior positions in Academia, as specified in the NSF program guidelines.  She pointed out that the program grew out of a series of NSF initiatives over the past several years -- in 1994-95, as Senior Program Officer for Women’s Programs at NSF, Dr. Rosser oversaw several programs, including: Visiting Professorships for women faculty, CAREER Advancement awards, women faculty awards, research planning grants, and a program for women and girls. A four-year program to preserve these opportunities for women and girls followed; it was entitled: “Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education.” At that time, NSF sponsored a conference (organized by Dr. Rosser) of Program Officers and Scientists and Engineers from the community to make recommendations for future directions; one of the main conclusions was that providing research funding for women investigators is not, in and of itself, sufficient to increase the number of women in science and engineering; an initiative focused at the institutional level was, therefore, deemed necessary; from that, the ADVANCE program emerged in FY 2001.  Hence, the primary focus of the program is “institutional transformation.” 


The grant received by Georgia Tech is aimed at creating a network of termed Professorships for women, institutionalizing a formal training process on tenure and promotion, gathering data on equity and advancement, holding leadership retreats, and enacting/strengthening family-friendly policies. Eight other institutions received ADVANCE grants in the initial phase, along with Georgia Tech:  New Mexico State, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, The University of Puerto Rico, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of California-Irvine, and Hunter College.  Several of the programs are similar to ours, inasmuch as they have institute-wide initiatives; others, such as the University of Washington, have programs concentrated primarily in one college (in that case engineering), with “buy-in” from the other colleges. The Hunter College program has a somewhat different focus because of the nature of the institution.


She described the termed Professorships established by Georgia Tech at the four colleges covering “NSF-approved” disciplines:  Engineering (Professor Jane Ammons); Computing (Professor Mary Jean Harold); Sciences (Professor Mei-Yin Chou); and Ivan Allen (Professor Mary Frank Fox).  She indicated that while Architecture and Management are not among the disciplines targeted by NSF for this program, the policies/gains to be had apply across the campus, consistent with the goal of “institutional transformation” -- the Colleges of Architecture and Management will benefit from the program through the family-friendly practices, the leadership retreats, as well as other policies, such as the tenure and promotion training aimed at insuring equity and removing subtle gender, racial, and other biases (as described in Dr. McDowell’s earlier presentation to the Board).  The first leadership retreat was held last May 9 and 10; additionally, most of the academic leadership of the institute, and women faculty meet with the Provost to update the faculty on progress.  This year’s retreat will be held in Stone Mountain on April 23 and 24; the panel will consist of members of our program’s external advisory Board, along with NSF Program Officer.  Next year, the third year of our grant, we will hold a National conference bringing together the ADVANCE participants from other institutions around the country [April 20-22, 2004 at Technology Square]. NSF is currently awarding another round of grants; the new member institutions will participate in the conference, which will also be open to others; GT will be a national model for the ADVANCE Program.


The fourth major part of the grant deals with a series of “family-friendly” policies, among which are: stopping of the tenure clock for tenure-track faculty, active service modified duties, the lactation center recently opened in the Administration building (another is planned for the student center; two others are planned for subsequent years), and the daycare facilities (these have been “in the works” for a long time and have been supported by both the Deans and the Provost). 


The final important part of the Project, one in which Georgia Tech is taking a National leadership role is “data gathering” to develop an “MIT-like” report to chart equity progress.  She pointed to the report prepared by Professor Nancy Hopkins and others at MIT (late in 99-00), which documented the discrepancies between men and women faculty at the MIT College of Sciences -- these encompass not only salaries, but also “start-up packages”, space for laboratories, and other “add-ons” such as foundation funds, etc. Such discrepancies may account for the differences observed sometimes between men and women in their careers.  As a result, their Dean called together Professors, Provosts, and Presidents from nine different institutions (including Berkeley and Harvard), who issued a statement regarding the presence of institutional and systemic discrimination against women faculty, and the need to correct such discrimination.  This is recognized as a Nation-wide institutional problem; so, a part of the ADVANCE program is aimed at collecting that data; Mary Frank Fox prepared that part of the Georgia Tech proposal; NSF was very impressed -- they decided to make it a core set of data to be gathered by all participating institutions.  Mary Hunt and Mary Frank Fox have worked very hard on this aspect of the Program.  Rosser praised the Provost and the President for their “up-front commitment” to release the data, which implies that if a problem is to be found, we would be committed to correct it.   


Dr. Rosser provided additional comments on the structure of the Georgia Tech ADVANCE program and the importance of having the Provost serve as the PI; she contrasted our upper administrative level involvement against the New Mexico State program, where a relatively lower-level administrator serves as the PI -- this significantly impacts the program’s effectiveness (given its institutional transformation focus).  She concluded by enumerating the various members of the External Advisory Board for the Georgia Tech program, along with their affiliations and areas of expertise. 


The President inquired about the Program’s milestones and deliverables required by NSF; Rosser indicated that the first annual report has been submitted to NSF and that Mary Hunt has taken the lead on that effort. The report includes the promotion and tenure data required by NSF.  Ms. Hunt elaborated by stating that there are twelve indicators required by NSF; ten were submitted in the first report; the other two will be submitted this year (the indicators include: years in rank, number of women in different areas, number of “general” versus “tenure-track” women faculty, composition of the promotion and tenure committees, trends in hiring start-up packages, etc.)  A base-line set based on the 2001 data will be compared against subsequent years’ data as we progress in each of the program’s five years. Among the other activities described in the report is the Active Service Modified Duties program -- a part of the family-friendly policies effort, which allows more flexibility in the faculty member’s schedule to be away from campus and do other duties (beyond teaching); the faculty generate proposals in consultation with their Deans or School Chairs and submit them to the Provost’s office for funding (so far, we have spent $78k on this program, which is more than twice the amount provided by NSF).  The Provost elaborated on the “deliverables” question; he indicated that we learned from earlier experience with a Sloan Foundation grant in which we had made specific commitments regarding enrollments, which turned out to be very difficult to meet; here, however, there are no numerical “target goals;” instead, it requires a “good-faith” effort, as well as a research program for data collection (which we ourselves would like to see), and creation of better “processes” (which we would like to have in place).  The only specific commitment we have made is related to funding of the four ADVANCE Professorships beyond the five years of support provided by NSF -- this gives us a five-year period to raise funds to endow those positions.  The President requested that a copy of the first-year report be sent to him. 


Rosser elaborated on the Provost’s comments by indicating that, nationally, the focus of the ADVANCE Program is to promote women towards full professorships, rather than recruiting and hiring of new people. The Provost added that while the program is focused on the advancement of women faculty, the aim is to benefit everyone on the Georgia Tech campus; he pointed to the work on eliminating bias from the RPT processes -- these changes will benefit men and women.  Additionally, our efforts to implement family-friendly policies will also benefit everyone. The President added that the married student housing to be re-built on 10th street will have a child-care center. This facility will relieve some of the pressure from the Home Park facility so that more faculty and staff would be able to use it.  If there is sufficient demand, the new facility will be operated as a full-scale day-care center; construction should begin in June and the facility should be operational by the end of next year. Dean Rosser indicated that we have many programs to help women faculty and undergraduate students; she is pleased that we are also creating programs to help graduate students, an area on which we had not focused in the past. 


A comment was made that women are becoming increasingly prominent in other fields such as law and medicine; yet they are still under-represented in science and technology.  A follow-up question was asked as to whether there any programs at GT to address that issue at the graduate and undergraduate levels?  Rosser responded by describing the Georgia Tech “WIST” program (Women in Science and Technology), which has a curricular component focusing on technical minors; in addition, there is a dorm for participants (first year had 24 students; second year had 48 students; now has 70 students) -- the dorm has graduate assistants supported by the Provost’s office; the program also provides faculty-student mentorship, outside speakers, etc.  She also pointed to the effort of Dr. Philobos, who heads the highly-successful Women in Engineering Program. She noted, however, that we do not have much activity for female graduate students, partly because graduate student recruitment is done at the school level, rather than at the college or institute level.  She indicated that, in light of the national interest in this issue (as evidenced by the activities of the National Academy of Engineering) she has had discussions with Dean Giddens on possible actions to take. NAE has had a long history of interest in this issue; NIH is also beginning to be interested -- we need more women (in proportion to their numbers in the population) to enter science and technology fields to support our workforce needs.  Georgia Tech has about 29% women in science and engineering, which has been somewhat flat -- this is very discipline- dependent; nationally, two decades ago engineering had about 7% women; it has now increased to about 19%, but the numbers have not been climbing as rapidly as they were at the beginning of that period.  In the computer science area, the numbers have actually dropped nationally from a peak of nearly 38% to about 20% now (Georgia Tech’s numbers are somewhat lower).  Rosser indicated that she is currently working with Dean DeMillo on this issue; we are also looking at bringing more “people of color” into the science and technology fields.  She indicated that one should look at the specific disciplines, and in some cases the sub-disciplines, to identify the areas where efforts are needed (for example, in Psychology 70% of the PhD’s are women). 


The President indicated that the National Academy of Engineering has hired a consulting firm to study this perplexing “plateau” problem; they are interviewing a number of people in leadership positions around the country to identify any “breakthroughs” (President Clough talked to them for two hours last week).  Dean Rosser indicated many people in Government, industry, academia, and the National Academies recognize this as a problem, to the point that some in Congress want to apply “Title IX” to get more women into science and technology.  The Provost indicated that the problem applies also to men; the percentage of male high school graduates who expressed interest in science and technology has declined from about 13% ten years ago to less than 9% last year.  A comment was made that anecdotal evidence of such a decline can be seen from the level of participation and the quality of the projects submitted to a recent science fair. 


Professor Mark indicated that, as the person responsible for PhD admissions to the College of Computing, he has had first hand knowledge of this issue.  Last year, CoC had about 550 applicants; this year nearly 1000 applied, but the number of female applicants is very low and is getting lower every year.  The college has aggressively recruited female students; the college (Jim Foley) is looking at developing new degree programs which may be more appealing to female students.  Rosser added that if one looks at the data for computing, the precipitous drop in the percentage of women started about 15 years ago, which seems to correspond to the time when computing was moved from colleges of liberal arts to colleges of engineering; so, the change of “environment” may have a lot to do with it; there are many women who are interested in “applications and use” aspects of computing versus “hardware and technology.”  So, orienting a new program towards “human-computer” interactions is likely to bring in more women, and would be a good strategy for the CoC.


A question was asked as to whether there are plans for the Colleges of Management and Architecture to also have ADVANCE Professorships similar to those supported by NSF in the other four colleges.  The Provost indicated that we are committed to do so using our own resources, and that this action will be implemented next year (because of current budget constraints).


A question was asked as to whether there are active collaborative programs in this area between Georgia Tech and Agnes Scott.  Rosser indicated that we have had limited interactions with Agnes Scott; we have had a more active program with Spelman, since we have also been interested in attracting women of color to science and engineering.  The President indicated that we have a dual degree program with Agnes Scott, but it has not been as active as the one we have had with Spelman, partly because they did not have a “science emphasis;” however, with the new science building and a new science curriculum, the President of Agnes Scott would very much like to get more women interested in science and technology -- that would create a more natural channel for us to interact with them. The Provost indicated that currently the dual degree program with Agnes Scott graduates about 1-3 students per year, which is much smaller than the Spelman program; the new science emphasis at Agnes Scott may increase interest in programs such as Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biology. Dr. Rosser indicated that it is very important to cultivate those relationships, since women’s colleges have traditionally graduated a large percentage of women scientists.   The chair thanked Dr. Rosser for her presentation.


1.      The Chair initiated a brief discussion of the status of the “Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Best Practices” report prepared by the ad hoc Committee chaired by Professors Leon McGinnis and Rich Leblanc, which was presented to the faculty on December 5, 2000 (see Attachment #3 below).  He pointed out that the report was meant to serve as a guide for how the various units may improve their RPT processes; it was understood that the report would be distributed to the various units (Chairs and unit RPT Committees) every year, along with the annual instructions issued by the Provost’s office prior to each annual RPT cycle.  The Chair pointed out that, unfortunately, the document has not been distributed since it was approved nearly two years ago (past two RPT cycles).  It was agreed, and the Vice Provost (McMath) concurred, to include the document in all future annual RPT instructions issued by the Provost’s office, beginning with the upcoming 2003-04 RPT cycle.


2.      Professor Marr, Chair of the Nominations Committee, reported on the activities of the Committee and presented the proposed ballot for the upcoming elections (see Attachment #4 below).  Other Executive Board members, who also served on the Nominating Committee, commended Professor Marr on the effective manner by which he conducted the process.   The Chair called on the Secretary of the Faculty to describe the election process.  Abdel-Khalik stated that the elections will be conducted in the same manner as last year; the ballot will be electronically mailed  on March 12, 2003 (third business day after Spring break) and that a period of ten working days will be allowed for responses (March 12-26). It was suggested that a “reminder” E-mail be sent mid-way through the voting period (March 19th) in order to improve the response rate.  Abdel-Khalik indicated that he will discuss that possibility with OIT personnel who handle the electronic balloting process.  A motion to approve the proposed slate of candidates was agreed to without dissent.


3.      The Chair presented the proposed agenda for the Spring meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly (See Attachment #5 below).  He pointed out that the main item on the agenda is a presentation by Dr. Thomas Meredith, Chancellor of the University System of Georgia.  The agenda also includes several action items to be brought by the Statutes Committee.   The proposed agenda was approved without dissent.


4.      The Chair presented the names of the four faculty members nominated to serve on the Institute Review Committee for Assessment of Academic Programs.  In accordance with the Board’s decision (11/19/02), two faculty members from the college of Engineering, and one each from the Colleges of Sciences and Ivan Allen, are to be added to the current ten-member committee (Chaired by Dr. Joseph Hoey) as the committee transitions from “process review” to “content review.” The nominees proposed by the respective College Deans are:  (1) Brent Carter (MSE), (2) Gary Parker (ISyE), (3) Kent Barefield (Chemistry), and (4) Brian Woodall (Int. Affairs).  The proposed nominees were approved without dissent.


5.      The Chair called for any other business.  Professor Marr indicated that he has initiated follow-up discussions on the issue of academic quality of undergraduate education addressed at the last Board meeting; he indicated that, according to the agreement reached during that meeting, he intends to meet with Drs. McMath and Hughes (Chair of UG Curriculum Committee) and others interested in the subject to decide on how best to proceed, and will report to the Board at the next meeting (March 11, 2003).


6.      The Chair called for any other business; hearing none, he closed the meeting at 4:15 PM.



Respectfully submitted,


Said Abdel-Khalik

Secretary of the Faculty

February 13, 2003


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


  1.  Minutes of the EB meeting of January 14, 2003.
  2. The Georgia Tech ADVANCE Program
    1. Slides used in the Presentation by Dean Sue Rosser
    2. ADVANCE Program Brochure distributed at the meeting
  3. Recommended Best Practices in the Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Process -- Attachment to Minutes of the Academic Senate meeting of December 5, 2000
  4. Ballot for Spring 2003 Faculty Elections.
  5. Draft Agenda for February 25th, 2003 Spring Meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly