GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

MINUTES

Meeting of July 22, 2003

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center

 

 

Members Present: Boyd (Stu. Servcs); Chameau (Provost); Clough (President); Horton (GTRI); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Mark (CoC); Peterson (ECE); Swank (GTRI); Uzer (Phys.); Warren (EDI); Norville (G. Stu); Watson (U. Stu); Alexander (Staff Rep); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).

 

Members Absent: Agrawal (ChE); Allen (Arch); Evans (GTRI); Henry (OSP); Marr (Psy); Telotte (LCC) 

 

Visitors:  Dean (U. Stu); Goldblum (Stu. Servcs); May (Pres. Office); McGarity (Stu. Servcs); McIver (Registrar); McMath (V. Provost); Nemhauser (ISyE)

 

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 continue to monitor developments in the State budget; hopefully, there will be no additional cuts or “hold-backs” in our 04 budget.  The 05 budget will likely be very tight; our challenge is to maintain excellence and minimize damage to our academic programs during periods of tight budgets.

 

b.      The Governor has created a commission of business leaders to identify opportunities for improvement in different areas of State Government (~30 areas), including higher education.  Several alumni serve on the commission.  The President indicated that he made a presentation at the Commission’s inaugural meeting on how to run a task force, and that we stand ready to help them as they develop their recommendations.

 

c.       We are looking forward to the opening of Technology Square; the College of Management has already moved in; the bookstore is already open; the Hotel and Global Learning Center will open soon; the restaurants (~ 8) will open around mid-fall; the 5th Street improvement project has started -- first step involves widening the Street between the downtown connector and Techwood Drive; second step (next year) is to widen it from Techwood Drive to Fowler Street.  The trolleys for transportation between Technology Square and the main campus will be test-run as soon as they arrive.  Official dedication of Technology Square will be held on October 23 and 24.

 

d.      Other construction projects on campus are on schedule -- Phase I of the Campus recreation Center will open in the Fall; Phase II will open in the Fall of next year.  The Student Center expansion is ongoing. The Coon Building renovation has been completed; the School of Psychology has already moved in.  The fence around “the green” (location of Hightower building) will be removed to create an open recreation space.  Renovation of the music facility has started.  Bidding on the Klaus Advanced Computing Building will be done this week; the building will include a 550-space parking facility.

 

e.       Several new appointments have been recently made:  (1) Steve Cross has been named GTRI Director effective September 1st; he was in charge of the Software Institute at Carnegie Mellon; we expect to have stronger interactions between GTRI and the Academic Units.  (2) Bob Lang, who currently serves as Director of Research Security at GTRI, will lead our campus emergency response/preparedness activities; he will report to Teresa Crocker, the Director of Campus Security.  (3) Wayne Hodges will be named Vice Provost for Economic Development and Technology ventures; several activities in these areas currently within GTRC will be moved under his leadership. (4)  Ralph Merkle has been hired as the new Director of Georgia Tech’s Information Security Center; he is the inventor of the encryption technology and is known for his seminal contributions to information security and nanotechnology.  (5)  Jim Frederick has accepted appointment as Director of IPST -- integration of IPST within Georgia Tech is nearly complete; the Board of Regents has approved the integration plan. (6) Larry McIntire is the new Chair of Biomedical Engineering. (7) Joseph Hughes is the new Chair of Civil Engineering. (8) Ingrid Hayes is the new Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

 

A question was asked as to which units will be housed in the Klaus Advanced Computing Building.  The President indicated that faculty from the College of Computing and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be housed in the Klaus Building, which will be designed to enhance collaboration across disciplinary lines and will be focused on research, graduate education, and interaction with industry.  A follow-up question was asked regarding the Information Security Center leadership.  The President indicated that the Center currently reports to Dr. Liotta and that it includes faculty from CoC, ECE, and other units.  Dr. Jayaraman (MGT) expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the College of Management faculty, for the excellent facilities at Technology Square where the college has recently moved.  

 

2.      The Chair called on Ms. Jo McIver (Registrar) who offered the following motion:  “The list of degree candidates for the Summer 2003 commencement was sent to the college Deans and has been made available to academic departments on-line.  It is moved that all candidates who satisfactorily complete their requirements by noon on Wednesday August 6th be awarded their degrees.”  The motion passed without dissent.  

 

3.      The Chair called for approval of minutes of the May 13, 2003 meeting of the Executive Board.  The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1 below).

 

4.      The Chair reported on recent discussions he has had with faculty leaders from the Big Ten and ACC universities on intercollegiate athletics; a copy of the slides used in his presentation is attached (see attachment #3 below). He began by describing the “Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA)” -- an ad hoc group advocating for reform in intercollegiate athletics created by, and consists of, faculty senate leaders at Bowl Championship Series conference schools.  The effort was initiated in early 2002 by Bob Eno of the University of Indiana.  A list of COIA representatives from ACC universities was given.  The Coalition’s purpose is to articulate a broad national faculty voice among groups interested in reform efforts, to contribute ideas toward a successful long-term strategy for reform, and to ensure that athletics enhances rather than undermines the academic mission.  The group’s strategy is focused on achieving long-term comprehensive reform, rather than rapid elimination of negative aspects of athletics’ practices.  COIA membership includes faculty senate leaders; the initial structure is ad hoc, however, to the degree that the coalition is able to develop a clear program that faculty may broadly support, it may formalize issues of membership, engagement with local faculty leadership, etc., to maximize the degree to which it can claim to represent a national faculty voice.  COIA leadership includes up to three representatives from each of the six conferences that participated in founding the coalition.  The Coalition’s activities include: (1) bringing together ideas from a wide range of people within and without the coalition, (2) articulating faculty viewpoints that constructively contribute to reform efforts, (3) identifying key issues and proposals where developing additional data is critical to designing effective reform measures, and advocating for such measures, and (4) organizing events/meetings to bring together people interested in reform.

 

Kahn described the scope of reform sought by the coalition in five broad areas.  (1) Academics: which includes issues of initial and continuing eligibility, admissions, and academic standards for student athletes, etc. -- the aim is to admit students who have the ability to graduate. (2) Student Welfare: which includes scholarship policies, academic advising, gender and race equity, scheduling, training expectations and time limits, etc. (3) Finances: which includes the costs of athletics departments and revenue/non-revenue programs, competitive equity within conferences and divisions, relationship between winning programs and solvency, etc. -- the aim is to eliminate the athletics “arms race” among universities. (4)  Commercialization: which addresses responses to financial imperatives which may lead to dependency on corporate and media funding, commercial behavior that may conflict with the academic mission and values of the university, dependency on revenue streams influenced by factors outside institutional control and unrelated to institutional priorities, etc. and (5) Governance: which includes the roles of faculty, presidents, athletics administrators, and trustees in such matters as academic standards and support for student-athletes, athletics personnel decisions, financial planning and performance, programmatic decisions of athletics departments, etc.

 

Kahn indicated that active faculty discussion on these issues is taking place at several Big Ten and ACC universities.  However, little or no discussion on these issues has taken place among the broad Georgia Tech faculty community, which may be indicative of their satisfaction with the way things are being done here. 

 

5.      The Chair called on George Nemhauser (ISyE) to provide an overview of Intercollegiate Athletics. Dr. Nemhauser indicated that he has been the Georgia Tech faculty representative to the ACC and NCAA for several years; his predecessor was Bill Sangester who served in that capacity for nearly 20 years.  He indicated that the NCAA reorganized nearly 5 years ago; the “one-vote-per-school” system was replaced to provide more presidential control over athletics.  Now there is a Board of Directors; Dr. Clough serves on that Board for Division-I schools.  The Board of Directors is involved in and acts on major reform and policy issues, while the details are worked out by a management council with representatives such as himself.   Nemhauser indicated that his responsibilities as an NCAA faculty delegate mirror the issues/concerns enumerated by Dr. Kahn in the previous presentation, namely, to look out for the welfare of our student athletes, and ensure that athletics enhances rather than undermines the academic mission of the university.  Nemhauser pointed to the complex set of issues associated with college athletics, as described in the previous presentation. He indicated that at the ACC level, all votes are done by the faculty representatives, except for expansion, which was done by the presidents.  He indicated that he also serves as liaison between our Athletics Association and the University Administration, and that he attends the weekly meeting of our Athletics Association staff to keep track of what is going on.

 

The President pointed to the fact that NCAA is a voluntary association.  He indicated that our Athletics Association Governing Board is composed of faculty, students, and three alumni, with the dominant majority being faculty -- this is quite different than what one finds at other universities.  Our Athletics Director attends the meetings, but he does not vote and is not a member of the Board.  David Braine (Athletics Director) and his staff have worked closely with Bob McMath on academic support of student athletes; they have worked very hard to integrate their efforts with academics, and have brought in coaches who have high standards. Nemhauser concurred and pointed to the strong academic support services provided to our student athletes. 

 

Nemhauser indicated that NCAA is in the midst of academic reform, and that some progress has been made.  He pointed to the 40/60/80 academic progress rule which requires student athletes to complete 40% of the curriculum by the end of the sophomore year and 60% by the end of their third year.  A discussion ensued regarding the difficulty of meeting such goals. The President indicated that our challenge is to be competitive because of the difficulty of our curriculum and its relative sparseness in terms of the number of electives and independent study opportunities.  He indicated that the NCAA reform movement may have some unintended consequences; it may make it difficult for a person who wants to be an engineer or a scientist to play sports, since the curriculum may have 130 semester hours (versus 120 in other programs), with many labs and limited electives and independent study opportunities. A follow-up discussion ensued regarding enrollment of student athletes in the summer session prior to the normal fall term entrance, and whether that can be included in their academic progress.  The President indicated that currently, that option is allowed only for Basketball players because of their relatively low graduation rates. The President indicated that the graduation rate for our student athletes among the 97-98 freshman class was 70% which is nearly equal to our institute-wide graduation rate. He indicated that in the past Georgia Tech had a summer program for all students who needed some remedial courses; the program was dropped when we switched to the semester system.  A comment was made that many of the rules are made on the basis of financial factors; for example, while ACC schools have the resources to enact programs to help student athletes, other schools do not.  The President indicated that Georgia Tech cannot provide financial support to the Athletics Association; they have to be self-supported. 

 

The Chair thanked Dr. Nemhauser for his informative presentation.  He encouraged members of the Board to contact Dr. Nemhauser, the President’s office, or himself if they have any concerns or questions regarding athletics.   

 

6.      The Chair called on Karen Boyd, Sr. Associate Dean of Students, to provide an update on the status of the recommendations made by the Academic Misconduct Review Committee (Chaired by Cheryl Contant) which were approved by the Academic Senate last fall (see http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/ASGFA-091702-Minutes-Amended092602wp.htm) and status of the Office of Student Integrity (OSI).  A copy of the slides used in Ms. Boyd’s presentation is attached (see attachment #2a below). Boyd indicated that the first committee recommendation, namely, establishment of timing expectations for the investigation and hearing process, has been completed; timelines for adjudication, along with operational guidelines, including guidelines for faculty reporting, OSI investigations, and case resolution, have been established by the Academic Misconduct Process Review Committee (Committee chaired by Amy Stalzer, which included seven faculty members, six students, and an alumnus; see committee report in attachment #2b below).  Allegations will be dropped if: (1) they are forwarded to OSI after the end of the term following discovery, (2) OSI fails to close and/or forward the case to the Student Honor Committee within 75 working days of the notification, or (3) student has graduated and the alleged misconduct would not have affected his/her graduation eligibility.  The guidelines suggest that faculty should complete action (either resolve the case directly with the student or request OSI action) within two weeks of discovery, and that OSI completes its action within three months of notification.  The second recommendation, namely increasing the staffing of the Dean of Students Office, has been completed.  Andrea Goldblum has been hired to serve as Assistant dean of Students for Academic Integrity; Ericka McGarity serves as Ethics Education Specialist, and Chrissy Sewall serves as Judicial Administrator.  Boyd introduced Ms. Goldblum, Ms. McGarity, and Mr. John Dean (U. Student), Chair of the Student Honor Advisory Council.

 

The sixth recommendation, namely allowing and encouraging the option for a three-way face-to-face meeting between the student, the faculty member, and a member of the Dean of Students Office, is currently in progress.  Various options for faculty involvement have been identified; an acceptable process for implementing this recommendation, including resolution through direct meeting between the faculty member and student, has been developed by a faculty/student committee.  The code of conduct will be amended during the upcoming academic year to include such an option.  Additionally, computer resources to implement the direct faculty/student resolution option will be developed during 2003-04.   The eighth recommendation, namely creation of a new standing committee on Academic Integrity, has been completed.  The Statutes have been modified, and faculty elections were held in the spring.  The committee will include three elected faculty members (Morley, Egerstedt, and Callen), the Chair of the Student Honor Committee (Contant), the Chair of the Student Honor Advisory Council (Dean), along with two student representatives.  The committee will begin operation this fall; Ericka McGarity will serve as liaison between the committee and the Dean of Students Office.  The tenth recommendation, namely establishment of a mandatory non-credit course on academic integrity for first-time student offenders, has been completed.  Implementation of this “sanction” will begin this fall; the first seminar on Academic Integrity will be offered during the first week of October 2003.  Boyd indicated that all the remaining recommendations (#3, 4, and 5, 7, and 9) have been completed (see attachment #2a), i.e. all Academic Misconduct Review Committee recommendations enacted by the Academic Senate last fall have been completed.

 

Boyd provided data on academic integrity cases; she indicated that for the 2002-03 academic year, a total of 365 allegations were adjudicated, versus 495 allegations for the previous year.  However, the number of cases adjudicated by the Student Honor Committee (as opposed to being “administratively-adjudicated”) has significantly increased (54 for 2002-03 versus 19 for 2001-02); students appear to be exercising that option more frequently.  Nevertheless, because of the actions taken last year to increase the number of faculty and students available to serve on Honor Committee hearing panels, the Honor Committee has been able to address all such cases in a timely manner.  At the end of the Spring 03 semester, there were no pending Honor Committee hearings.  There are now 42 allegations under investigation (administrative); cases involving students enrolled during the summer are now being adjudicated.  Boyd indicated that a survey of students impacted by the Honor Code judicial process has been conducted; roughly the same percentage of students agreed/strongly agreed that the judicial process was clear (68% in 2002-03 versus 67% in 2001-02), however, the fraction of students who indicate that they were treated with respect significantly increased (74% in 2002-03 versus 66% in 2001-02).  The fraction of students who feel that the adjudication process was done in a timely manner also increased (51% in 2002-03 versus 43% in 2001-02).  She indicated that while the fraction of students who felt that “their side was heard,” remained essentially the same (61% in 2002-03 versus 59% in 2001-02), the fraction of students who felt that “their side was not heard” significantly decreased (19% in 2002-03 versus 39% in 2001-02).  All the statistics point to positive trends in the process.  She distributed copies of the first issue of “Integrity News,” published by OSI last spring.  [Note added by the Secretary of the Faculty:  The Office of Student Integrity maintains a web page which provides data on Academic Violation Statistics, and lists the various policies, processes, and campus resources.  It also offers answers to frequently-asked academic-integrity-related questions by faculty, students, and parents.  See:  http://www.deanofstudents.gatech.edu/integrity].

 

Boyd provided a list of current challenges; these include: (1) continued difficulty in scheduling Honor Committee meetings, (2) increasing fraction of students opting for adjudication through Honor Committee hearings rather than administrative resolution (a significant number of those students are minorities and internationals), (3) many academic integrity violations involve misuse of technology (e.g. internet plagiarism, use of programming calculators, etc.), and (4) students are confused as to what is considered to be appropriate collaboration on class assignments.   She concluded by providing a list of upcoming tasks; these include: (1) Full implementation of the Academic Misconduct Review Committee recommendations by OSI, (2) Start-up of the Academic Integrity Committee this Fall; initial efforts will focus on process issues and faculty support, and (3)  Finalizing the Honor Advisory Council’s Strategic Plan. 

 

Boyd introduced John Dean, Chair of the Honor Advisory Council, who indicated that the Council has formulated an “Honor Challenge” which states:  “I commit to uphold the ideals of honor and integrity by refusing to betray the trust bestowed upon me as a member of the Georgia Tech Community.” Plaques displaying the Honor Challenge will be placed in classrooms around the campus to serve as a constant reminder of the commitment students make to Academic Integrity at Georgia Tech.  This will reinforce the Honor Code commitment throughout the students’ college career, as opposed to a brief, quickly-forgotten, introduction during FASET.  He indicated that discussions are currently underway with the Director of Facilities to procure and install the Honor Challenge plaques.

 

The Provost pointed to the significant progress made during the past year.  He indicated that a year ago there were a large number of Honor Committee hearing cases pending, while now there is none.  The number of faculty and students serving on hearing panels was significantly increased, and resources were committed to implement all the recommendations of the Academic Misconduct Review Committee. Credit goes to the faculty and Karen Boyd who have turned this difficult situation around.  The President indicated that the number of complaints received by his office regarding this issue has dropped to zero -- a measure of the great progress that has been made.

 

A question was asked as to how students respond when they hear about the Honor Code and Academic Integrity.  Boyd indicated that students generally support it; the concern, however, is whether they actually adhere to it.  Students are often overworked, which results in some violations.  However, we view the Honor Code as a “Social Contract,” which we expect everyone to adhere to.   To eliminate confusion, it is important for the faculty to make it clear as to what is appropriate collaboration on class assignment.  It is also important to create the proper climate to foster academic integrity among all members of the Georgia Tech community.   A question was asked as to the difference between cases involving students “turned in” by other students and those reported by faculty.  Boyd indicated that conceptually there is no difference.  In most cases, students who observe violations by other students report such violations to the faculty member.  In fact, many of the cases brought forward by the faculty were brought to their attention by students; nevertheless, there are a small (growing) number of cases involving students directly turning-in alleged Honor Code violators.  A suggestion was made to report the statistics as a percentage of students enrolled in each term, since enrollment has significantly increased over the past few years.  Boyd indicated that OSI will do so. 

 

The Chair thanked Ms. Boyd and the Academic Integrity Team for their significant efforts and accomplishments during the past year. 

 

7.      The Chair called on Bob McMath (V. Provost) to report on recent discussions on academic quality for undergraduate education.  McMath indicated that discussions on this issue began last January with a presentation made by Jack Marr (Psych) to the Board (see minutes of Jan. 14, 03 EB meeting http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/EB2003-011403-Minuteswbpg.htm).  Additionally, as a part of the “grade inflation study” recently conducted by the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee, Jack Marr prepared a white paper entitled:  “Congruent Quality: Can we Make “Grade Inflation” Irrelevant?” (See minutes of Academic Senate Meeting of April 22, 2003 http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/ASAFGF2003-042203-Minuteswbpg.htm).   A follow-up meeting was recently held to discuss this issue;  the meeting was attended by Jack Marr, Larry Kahn (Chair, Executive Board), Joe Hughes (Chair, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee), Miroslav Begovic (Chair, Student Academic & Financial Affairs Committee), Lynn Fountain (Chair, Academic Services Committee), Joseph Hoey (Director of Assessment) and McMath. The “white paper” prepared by Jack Marr provided the starting point for the discussion.  Based on that discussion, the group recommends that the Executive Board appoints an ad hoc Committee charged with exploring and evaluating what quality undergraduate experience is, or should be at Georgia Tech, and ways of sustaining the highest possible quality commensurate with the abilities of our students.  Among the topics to be addressed by the committee are: (1) Threats to quality and ways of addressing those threats, (2) “Best practices” from within and without the institution for maintaining and enhancing the quality of the undergraduate learning experience, (3) Problems (as well as possible successes) with the present semester curricula in scheduling courses, appropriate instruction, electives, etc., and ways of addressing such problems, (4) Ways of encouraging effective and innovative instruction -- especially in lower-level core and introductory courses, and (5) Priorities for interventions to address quality.  The Committee members should be chosen from those who are directly involved and committed to undergraduate education, including Chairs of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee, and Academic Services Committee, along with the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, and Director of Assessment (the “core group”); an equal number of faculty and staff is to be recommended by the core group.  McMath indicated that if the Board approves the formation of such an ad hoc committee, the core group will prepare a list of additional members and submit it for approval at the next Board meeting.  He indicated that the committee would utilize data which already exists, rather than “re-inventing” the wheel.  The aim is to produce a short list of specific actions to be considered through the faculty committees and the Academic Senate. 

 

A question was asked as to the timeline for the committee’s activities.  McMath indicated that he expects the ad hoc committee to complete its work, namely identification of the issues for consideration by the standing faculty committees, by the end of this fall semester.  A question was asked as to whether there will be any student members on the committee.  McMath indicated that it would be a good idea to include two undergraduate students on the committee since the focus of the effort is undergraduate education.  He accepted a “friendly amendment” to include two undergraduate students among the additional members to be submitted to the Board for approval next month.  The Provost suggested that Dr. Jack Lohmann, Chair of the Council on Institutional Accreditation, Program Review, and Assessment, be also included on the membership list.   A motion to approve the formation of the ad hoc Committee as described by Dr. McMath, including the additional membership recommended during the discussions was made.  The motion passed without dissent.  

 

8.      The Chair called on Said Abdel-Khalik (SoF) who reported on appointments made to fill openings on Standing Committees following the procedure previously-established by the Board:

 

a.       Appointment of Jim Cofer (GTRI) to complete the unexpired term [03-04] of Anne Salter (Library) on the Statutes Committee.

b.      Appointment of Jung Choi (Biology) to complete the unexpired term [03-05] of Tom Moran (Chemistry) on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

 

A motion was made to approve the appointments.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

9.      The Chair called for any other business; hearing none, he closed the meeting at 4:35 PM. 

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Said Abdel-Khalik

Secretary of the Faculty

July 25, 2003

 

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

 

1. Minutes of the EB meeting of May 13, 2003.  http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/EB2003-051303-MinutesAmended051903wbpg.htm

2. Update on Academic Integrity/Misconduct Issues

a.       Status of Academic Misconduct Review Committee Recommendations (Presentation by K. Boyd).

b.      Report of the Academic Misconduct Process Review Committee -- Spring 2003.

3.Intercollegiate Athletics and Academics -- Presentation by Larry Kahn