GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Meeting of March 15, 2005
Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center
Members Present: Akins (Prof Prac); Cabot (OIT); Chameau (Provost); First (Phys); Foley (CoC); Gentry (Arch); Horton (GTRI); Huff (GTRI); McGinnis (ISyE); Peterson (ECE); Telotte (LCC); Yen (BIOL); Phuong (U. Student); Alexander (Staff Rep); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).
Members Absent: Clough (President); David (G. Student); Evans (GTRI); Hughes (ECE); Schneider (Mgt); Uzer (Phys); Warren (EDI)
Visitors: Berthelot (ME); Juang (ECE); May (Pres. Office); Sayle (ECE); Zhou (ECE)
1. Leon McGinnis (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:05 PM. He called on the Provost to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community. The Provost offered the following comments on behalf of the President:
a. The Legislature is working on the FY06 budget; the State’s budget outlook is positive: (1) we will be able to recover the additional money owed to GTRI; (2) MRR (maintenance, repair, and renovation) funding is much better than the previous two years; (3) funding will likely be provided for renovation of the Old CE building (~$5M will be provided; renovated building will be used to house the Ivan Allen College). The budget will include full “formula funding” (~$9.6M of new money for GT); however, this will be offset by the cost of the “payroll shift” enacted last year to avoid a mid-year tuition increase (~$9M for GT). The budget also includes a 2% salary increase.
b. Research budget increase for next year will likely be less than the 15-17% annual increases we have experienced during the past four years; NSF and NIH budgets are essentially flat, while the DOD research budget will likely be reduced by 12 to 15%. Tuition increase will likely be the main source of budget increase for FY06; the BoR will decide on tuition levels after the State budget is approved -- increases ranging from 5% to 10% (for research universities) have been discussed.
c. There is still uncertainty about possible increase in health care costs; fortunately, attempts to combine the university system health plan within the State’s plan have for the time being been thwarted (such action would have resulted in even higher costs with less benefits).
A question was asked regarding the prospects for continued full formula-funding in the long run. The Provost stated that the State has fully funded the formula even during years of budget cuts. The prospects for continued full formula-funding are good, despite last year’s discussions of discontinuing it. He stated that the Chancellor’s Office normally “passes through” 80% of the formula funding increases for each unit in the University System; the remaining 20% is “re-distributed” at the Chancellor’s discretion based on certain performance criteria. This is more equitable than what was done in the past (by the previous Chancellor), when Georgia Tech received less than our fair share of the formula funding. A question was asked regarding current trends whereby the Legislature appears to be intent on taking control of the University System away from the BoR (e.g. discussions regarding how Technology Square was financed). The Provost stated that it is not clear why the State should look negatively at what Georgia Tech has done to finance the construction of new facilities (such as Technology Square), especially since the State’s budget and appropriations for new facilities had been cut.
2. The Chair called for approval of minutes of the February 15, 2005 meeting of the Executive Board. The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1 below).
3. The Chair called on Dr. G. Tong Zhou (ECE) to present an overview of Georgia Tech’s China Initiative. He stated that Dr. Zhou’s presentation is a part of our preparation for the April 12 Executive Board retreat. A copy of the slides used in Dr. Zhou’s presentation is attached (see Attachment #2 below). Dr. Zhou stated that her presentation will focus primarily on the collaboration between Georgia Tech and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), for which she serves as Chair of the working committee. She indicated that Professor Fred Juang (ECE) is in attendance and that he can answer any questions regarding the overall GT/China initiative. She stated that in order to reduce the risk, the GT/China initiative is a “partnership model,” i.e. GT will partner with a few selective universities instead of establishing a separate campus. Among the factors involved in selecting the partner institutions are geographical balance and the need to take advantage of regional strength elements. We have had discussions with Peking University (PKU) and SJTU; as the capital, Beijing is the political and university education center, while Shanghai represents the economic and financial trade center. The two institutions are complementary -- PKU is strong in Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Medicine (PKU has a medical school), while SJTU is strong in engineering. Our aim is to have access to the best students, and secure the participation of multi-national industrial companies. The educational partnerships include the GT/SJTU Undergraduate Student Exchange Agreement (SJTU delegation to arrive later this week to sign the agreement), and the GT Shanghai Summer Program which begins this May (first GT study abroad program in Shanghai). A GT-SJTU dual MS degree program in ECE has been proposed (to begin May 2006). Additionally, discussions are underway for a joint GT-PKU College of Engineering (to start with MSE and BME; logical choice because PKU is strong in the Sciences area and has the best medical school). Research partnerships include: (1) the Sino-US Logistics Institute -- faculty from ISyE and CoM are working with SJTU on forming this institute; a Sino-US Logistics Summit may be held in Shanghai this July with participation from logistics researchers, Chinese government funding agencies, and multi-national companies; (2) Environmental Science and Engineering Research – Professor C. S. Kiang (former EAS professor, now at PKU) is working on forming a relationship with GT in this area; Professor Joe Hughes (Chair, CEE) visited PKU and SJTU to explore opportunities for collaboration in the environmental engineering area –research area is appropriate because China has many environmental problems and government funding is available for such research. Additionally, there is a proposal for collaboration in the optoelectronics area.
The GT-China Initiative is led by an Overall Steering Committee, co-chaired by Drs. Liotta and Giddens. Additionally, there are two working committees -- one for SJTU (chaired by Dr. Zhou), and the other for PKU (chaired by Dr. Z. L. Wang, MSE). Zhou stated that the remainder of her talk will focus on the GT-SJTU collaboration; a list of the GT-SJTU working committee members was shown (see Attachment #2). Shanghai is a very modern city; it is China’s economic engine – while only ~ 1% of China’s population lives in Shanghai (13 million), it contributes more than 11% of the country’s total income. It has a very large port (currently ranks third in the world in volume of cargo; will be the largest when the deep sea port now under construction is completed in 2010). SJTU is a comprehensive university with particular strength in engineering; ECE is the largest school with nearly one fourth of the student population. SJTU is over 100 years old (founded in 1896); it has five campuses -- the largest (Minhang) is located in the suburb of Shanghai and is nearly twice the size of Georgia Tech (824 acres). A total of more than 40,000 students attend SJTU (full and part-time students), including nearly 2000 international students.
The proposed GT-SJTU dual MS degree program in ECE was described. A list of benefits and challenges was provided; the benefits include: the opportunity for extended interactions between GT and SJTU faculty leading to future research; access to outstanding graduate students; ability to provide “visible” impact and generate base funding to support research activities. The challenges (judged to be not very severe) include: ability of top students to pay for the GT MS tuition ($9,600); ability to establish industry-sponsored scholarships for top students; and, most important, whether the opportunities will be sufficiently attractive to sustain faculty interest. Zhou stated that collaboration between GT and SJTU will begin with ECE since it is the largest unit in both institutions; if the program is successful, other schools may join later. The school of ECE at SJTU will soon move to a new facility (to be dedicated in three weeks); ~8000 sq ft of space within the new facility have been allocated to the GT/SJTU program. The proposed program is not a “joint degree,” instead it is a dual-degree program, which means that we do not have to change any of our degree requirements, or admission policies. Students would get a non-thesis MS degree from GT; however, they will be required to complete a thesis to receive the MS degree from SJTU. The GT non-thesis MS degree requires students to complete 30 credit hours of course work; six credit hours can be transferred from SJTU, while the remaining 24 credit hours will be taken from GT faculty (or adjunct faculty); if necessary, remote course delivery will be used. SJTU will recognize all relevant GT course credits. It is expected that students will require 2 to 2.5 years to complete the requirements for the dual-MS degree program, which is about the same length of time it currently takes students to complete their MS degree at SJTU. The target roll-out date for this dual degree program is May 15, 2006. Students may include an optional one-semester (Spring) study at GT-Atlanta, during which they will be required to pay out-of-state tuition, fees, and living expenses. It will be possible for students to have different “concentrations” for both the GT and SJTU MS degrees (e.g. GT DSP courses and SJTU power systems thesis). Both the GT and SJTU MS degrees will be granted at the same time in Shanghai in order to make sure that the students will meet the requirements for both degrees.
At this time, we are not counting on any financial support from industry; future support from industry will be a plus. The program can be financially sustained by the tuition to be paid by the students (mostly Chinese students, along with some students from neighboring countries, viz. Korea and Japan). The GT expenses include faculty salaries, fringe benefits, travel, lodging, M&S, and the GT-Shanghai program manager. Currently, the school of ECE pays 1.5 months salary for each course taught. The plan is based on the assumption that 50 new dual-MS degree students will enroll each year; this is a realistic assumption given the fact that the ECE School at SJTU has nearly 800 new MS students every year. Expenses for the top half of those 800 students are paid by the Chinese government, while the bottom half pay their own tuition. Tuition of $400 per credit hour has been proposed, which corresponds to $9,600 for the 24 GT-Shanghai credit hours – this is more than our in-state tuition; however, it is a rate which the students and their families can afford. Students will pay their tuition directly to GT, which, in turn, will directly pay the faculty (salaries for GT faculty who go to teach in Shanghai will be directly deposited in their US banks).
The program will require four GT faculty members during the summer semester (possibly 3 ECE and one CoC); two GT faculty members will be required during the Fall semester (possibly one ECE and one Math). The choice of CoC and Math is based on courses normally taken by ECE MS students. No GT faculty will be required during the Spring semester because it is difficult to accommodate the one-month break for the Chinese new year. Each GT faculty member will teach one or more courses per semester so that eight or more courses will be offered on site every year. This arrangement where most of the faculty load occurs during the summer, with a relatively light load in the fall and no load in the spring, does not impose a big demand on GT ECE faculty resources (currently ECE has more than 100 faculty members). There is a broad-based support for this program among ECE faculty; nearly 40 faculty members have expressed interest in participating in the program, so that faculty rotations to teach the necessary 8+ courses per year on site appear to be sustainable. Tuition income is expected to meet the GT-Shanghai faculty costs. A surplus of more than $100k is very likely after the first year. The surplus, if any, will be kept for “self-insurance” to cover any future contingencies. The agreement with SJTU calls for an annual assessment of the surplus or loss, which would be split on a 70% (GT) – 30% (SJTU) basis. The “surplus” can be controlled by controlling the number of students enrolled in the program; a large enrollment is desirable as long as quality is not sacrificed.
Zhou stated that the program is a low-risk “venture” for GT since there are no infrastructure costs. It is a “marriage model,” whereby the local university handles all the local issues, so that we are best protected from local politics -- if things do not work out we can always pull out. No new faculty will be hired specifically for this program; there are no promotion/tenure issues since staffing will be done through rotation among interested faculty. Shanghai is a very attractive city; many non-Chinese faculty who visited the city would like to go back. Zhou stated that she is confident that ECE will be able to get faculty to participate in the program without much impact on our Atlanta operations, especially since a large part of the faculty load occurs during the summer term. No GT courses will be offered in Shanghai during the Spring semester (because of winter break around the Chinese new year); dual-MS degree students will concentrate on taking SJTU courses (to be completed before May), or make Spring the optional semester to be spent at GT-Atlanta. Dual-MS degree students will concentrate on taking GT courses during the summer term when the largest number of GT faculty will be present in Shanghai. A small number of GT professors will be on site during the Fall semester.
SJTU has proposed a faculty exchange program, whereby SJTU would send selected faculty members to GT for research collaboration. The proposal calls for SJTU to pay the faculty member’s normal salary and roundtrip airfare, while GT would provide allowance for lodging and meals expenses while in Atlanta. The nominal duration would be 6 to 12 months. The proposal includes a reciprocal arrangement for GT faculty to visit SJTU. These exchanges will depend on matching interests between research groups at the two institutions with jointly-funded projects; other financial arrangements are possible -- e.g., non-Chinese faculty can apply for funding from Chinese funding agencies as long as the money remains in China. The success of such faculty exchange program would be measured by jointly-published papers and/or IP resulting from the joint research. Zhou concluded by describing another proposal under consideration for joint PhD student advising. She stated that SJTU has funding to send the top 10% of their PhD students overseas. The proposal stipulates that SJTU PhD students who have completed all course requirements may spend one year at GT on dissertation research. SJTU would provide at least $7,500 for the student’s living expenses, while the GT advisor would provide at least the same amount depending on the student’s qualifications and availability of funds. Students would come to GT as visiting scholars (do not register as students); hence, no tuition would be paid. This arrangement will also depend on matching interests between research groups at the two institutions. At the conclusion of the one-year visit, a student would return to SJTU to receive his/her PhD degree. Again, success of such program would be measured by jointly-published papers and/or IP resulting from the student’s research.
A question was asked regarding the approval process for the proposed dual-MS degree program. Zhou indicated that the proposal has been circulated to different departments around campus, and that (according to with Dr. McMath) the next step is to submit it to the Institute Graduate Committee for approval, to be followed by approval by the Academic Senate. A comment was made that this is the normal approval process for new graduate programs. The Provost stated that most MS degree programs in the College of Engineering have already been approved for off-site delivery; we are trying to be extra careful with dual programs of this type by going through the normal approval process. He indicated that based on a recent correspondence with the Chancellor’s Office, the University System continues to be supportive of our involvement in activities of this type particularly in Asia and South America. A question was asked regarding tuition at SJTU. Zhou indicated that the top half of students at SJTU do not pay tuition (they are supported by the government), while the bottom half pays their own tuition. She stated that the tuition is roughly half of the $9,600 to be paid for the 24 credit hours of GT courses in the dual MS degree program, which nearly triples the total cost for those students. She stated that we are more interested in the top half of the student population who currently do not pay tuition, and that discussions are underway with several multi-national companies, e.g. Texas Instruments and Intel, to sponsor scholarships to support top students who wish to enroll in the dual MS degree program. Chinese companies may also be interested in sponsoring scholarships for top students. A question was asked regarding the expected participation level in the faculty exchange program. Zhou indicated that this will depend on the faculty’s ability to develop research interactions; it is expected that faculty who participate in on-site teaching (e.g. during the summer) will have an opportunity to build relationships with Chinese faculty with similar research interests, which may lead to future exchange opportunities. She stated that the exchange program has not yet been presented to the ECE faculty; nevertheless, she expects the initial number of participants to be small.
A question was asked regarding internships and co-op opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students especially during the Spring. Zhou stated that such opportunities exist as evidenced by the support expressed by industry, including multi-national companies, in this program. She stated that the Chair of the School of Modern Languages is looking into developing internship opportunities, since nearly 400 GT students have taken the Chinese language courses. A question was asked as to who will make the admission decisions for the dual degree programs. Zhou stated that currently students applying to the ECE School (on the web) can designate whether they will be in GT-Atlanta, Metz, or Savannah; the intent is to add GT-Shanghai as an option on that list; the admission decisions will be made here at GT. She stated that an additional step may be included, whereby applicants would be interviewed by the GT faculty members teaching in Shanghai to help screen the students. A question was asked regarding the balance between GT and Chinese students involved in the proposed programs. Zhou stated that the majority of undergraduate students involved in the GT Shanghai Summer Program will be GT students who will be able to take GT courses from GT professors, albeit in a Chinese university. However, the dual MS degree program will be mostly populated by Chinese students; some students from Korea and Japan may enroll in the dual degree program since they can get a GT MS degree while paying much less than what they would pay as out-of-State students in Atlanta. A question was asked as to whether undergraduate students have to take Chinese language courses before participating in the exchange program. Zhou indicated that taking Chinese language courses ahead of time is not required since the students will be taking courses taught in English by GT faculty. A question was asked regarding the likelihood of achieving the 50-student enrollment target in the first year of the dual MS degree program. Zhou stated that it is important to get the program approved quickly so that it can be marketed in time for the first group to begin in May 2006. However, in the long-run, it should not be difficult to meet the enrollment target since SJTU has nearly 800 new ECE MS students every year. A question was asked regarding what will be done with Georgia Tech’s share of the surplus. The Provost stated that, similar to the Logistics MS degree offered by ISyE, the income is typically re-invested in the school, and that it is important to keep a reserve to cover any future contingencies. A comment was made that it will be necessary to establish a mechanism, whereby funds can be held from year to year.
The Chair thanked Dr. Zhou for her presentation.
4. The Chair called on Drs. Bill Sayle (ECE) and Yves Berthelot (ME) to present an overview of teaching and research issues at Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL). Copies of the slides used in their presentations are given in Attachments #3 and 4, respectively. Dr. Sayle stated that Dr. Hans Puttgen (President of GTL) could not attend today; he will participate in the April 12 Executive Board retreat and will make a presentation on administrative issues at GTL at that time. Sayle stated that his talk will focus on the academic program at GTL, while Dr. Berthelot’s talk will focus on research activities. He stated that the city of Metz is the Capital of the Region of Lorraine; it is located in the northeastern corner of France in the heart of Europe. People in that region of France love the US because of America’s role in liberating them from the Nazis during WWII (local cemeteries have more than 10,000 American graves). Metz is an old city (~3000 years); ~ 200,000 people; pedestrian-friendly with a pedestrian-only downtown; known as one of the “flower cities” of Europe; nearest international airport is Luxembourg (~ 35 miles away); cities within 200 miles from Metz include Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, Strasbourg, and Zurich. The technology park (Technopôle), where the GTL campus is located, is in the southeast part of the city approximately 3-4 km from downtown. Referring to a picture of the Technopôle, he pointed to GTL; Supélec (electrical engineering Grand Ecole); ALOES (housing associated with Supélec); RESAM (partner mechanical engineering Grand Ecole institution); CROUS (another university housing complex where GTL students are also housed). A picture of the GTL building was shown.
Sayle stated that current GTL Academic Programs include: (1) Graduate Programs in ECE, ME, and CS which offer double degrees in conjunction with local partner schools (GTL has established partnerships with high quality French schools – both “local” and “national” partner schools have been established); (2) An Undergraduate Summer Program; and (3) A Fall Senior Engineering Program (a limited program for EE, ME, and CmpE). As a part of the International Plan, GTL will begin offering a Third-Year/Junior Engineering Program in 2007-2008, which will feature all the courses students need during their Junior year, along with some electives to be taught by our partner schools Supélec and RESAM. An timeline for GTL was presented; it started in 1988 when a “Sistership Agreement” was signed between the Lorraine Region and the State of Georgia (Teddy Puttgen was involved from the very beginning); the GTL building was opened 23 months after the contract was signed; official opening took place in 1991 with ECE Graduate Programs; the ME Graduate Program began in 1997; the Undergraduate Summer Program started in 1998; the Fall Senior Engineering Program began in 2003; and the CS Graduate Program started in 2005.
A brief overview of Supélec (ECE partner school) was given. It is one of the Grand Ecoles of the French Higher Education System; founded in 1894; slightly smaller than ECE at GT; has three campuses -- Metz campus founded in 1985; it has 1500 students; graduates 440 engineers diplomas/year, and 80 masters diplomas/year; has 179 doctoral students and graduates 50 doctoral diplomas/year; 145 faculty members and 140 technical/support staff. The double degree program was described – French students spend their first semester (Fall) at a partner school (e.g. Supélec for ECE or ENSAM for ME), while US students spend their first semester at either GTL or GT-Atlanta. Both French and US students spend the second semester (Spring) at GTL to be followed by a summer internship. French students attend GT-Atlanta during the following Fall semester, and receive their MS (ECE or ME) from Georgia Tech and their French Diploma from the partner institution upon successful completion of their requirements. After the internship, US students attend one of the partner schools (or GTL) for two semesters, and receive their MS (ECE or ME) from GT and their French Diploma from the partner school upon successful completion of the requirements.
The GTL Summer Undergraduate program was described. The program began in 1998; it has the same school calendar as GT-Atlanta (May 17 through August 1st for summer 05). This summer, 160 students are expected to enroll (slightly over capacity); 40 students are on the waiting list (application deadline was February 11; all slots were filled by January 11; a survey of the applicants indicated that most of them heard about the program from friends who had previously participated and highly recommended it). More than 20 courses are offered in engineering, social sciences, humanities, management, economics, French, and German. Most of the students major in EE, ME, CompE, and ISyE; a smaller number of students major in CE, AE, BME, and MGT. In some cases, students participate even though no courses in their major are offered (e.g. ISyE and BME). A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to participate in the program. Typically, eight Atlanta-based faculty members participate plus 2-3 adjuncts. Faculty members participate in GTL programs (both undergraduate and graduate) on a rotating (voluntary) basis, so that faculty governance and RPT are not major issues. Participants are usually established senior faculty who spend a summer, a semester, or a year (sometimes longer) then return to Atlanta. Sayle stated that the Summer Undergraduate Program is a high quality program (exceeds GT standards; classes are much smaller; average class size in low 20’s; students and faculty get to know each other; similar to a small-college environment). Classes are held four days per week for 55 minutes, with 5 minutes between classes (all core classrooms and faculty offices are on the same floor).
The Fall Senior Engineering Program was described. The Program began in the Fall of 2003. Students in their final semester, who are majoring in EE, CompE, and ME are allowed to participate; a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. A limited number of undergraduate courses are offered (primarily the major design courses for the majors plus one ME required course); students are expected to take the major design course plus graduate courses to fill out their schedule. So far, a limited number of students have participated in this program; it is expected to “blossom” when the International Plan/Third-year Program is implemented.
The ECE faculty has approved participation in the International Plan in general; the GTL version of the International Plan has been approved since the details have been worked out. This third-year program will start during the 2007-2008 Academic year. 150 additional housing units will be available -- funding from the local Government has been secured (no GT funding is required; local government has made major contributions – they own the buildings, pay for the operational expenses, and pay for the 9 staff members currently employed at GTL; they also own the housing where GT faculty live). For the third-year Program, 4-5 Atlanta-based GT faculty members in residence will be required. Initially, students majoring in EE/CompE and ME will participate; other majors (ISyE, CE, and AE) will follow. Courses will be offered to meet the third-year needs of the participants; cooperation with Supélec (EE/CompE) and Ensam (ME) is essential to be able to offer the laboratory courses (labs to be run by GT faculty with the help of teaching assistants).
A summary of expected steady-state operations was presented. Sayle stated that the Undergraduate Summer program is expected to focus on “non engineering-major” junior courses (humanities and social sciences); the expected enrollment is ~ 200 students from all GT majors. The Fall Engineering Program is expected to cover the “full program” with electives in the major; these courses will also be made available to third-year students. Approximately 40 EE/CompE and ME students are expected to participate in the Fall Engineering program. The Third-Year Program will be the vehicle for implementing the International Plan; it is expected to have nearly 150 students from most engineering majors. In addition to these three undergraduate programs, nearly 100 to 150 students (per year) enroll in the graduate MS programs. Sayle concluded by providing a website address (www.georgiatech-metz.fr) where additional information regarding the various GTL academic programs can be found.
A question was asked regarding the current number of students participating in the graduate double degree masters program. Berthelot stated that approximately 40 students were registered in the Fall for the ME program; a nearly equal number were registered in ECE. The total number of students is much larger since additional students are either doing their internships or enrolled in their third semester of the program. A follow-up question was asked as to how many students are French and how many are American. Berthelot indicated that nearly 75% of the students in the ME program are French and the remaining ~25% are American. A question was asked as to whether the number of required GT faculty in residence can be sustained. Sayle stated that while this is always an issue, ECE has had a waiting list for summer participation, since the load is reasonable (2 courses for full load), and the same school calendar is used as Atlanta without the need for accelerated classes. Currently, staffing for the Fall semester is not difficult; however, the Spring semester is more difficult because the weather in Metz is not very good during that time of the year. When the Third Year Program is implemented, 4-5 GT Faculty from all disciplines will be required during the Fall and Spring. However, we do not anticipate any difficulty in attracting faculty participants, since it is a great place to live. He noted that several faculty members have participated multiple times (this will be his own fifth summer), and that some people spend more than a year at a time. He indicated that it may be inconvenient for faculty members with school-age children to participate. A question was asked regarding the admission criteria for the Graduate masters program. Sayle indicated that the school makes the decisions and that the same admission requirements are used for GT-Atlanta and GTL. He noted that French students perceive the analytical portion of the GRE exam to be hard (some had difficulty with it) and that this is one of the recruiting problems they are dealing with at this time. Nevertheless, ECE has strictly enforced the admission requirements. He stated that French students enrolled in the MS program have done very well in their courses while enrolled in Atlanta. French students also participate in a professional communications program, which involves a great deal of writing; some of the French students are used by ECE to grade our own American students in English grammar. A question was asked regarding the undergraduate courses offered at GTL during the summer and whether the course offerings may discourage students from some majors (e.g. Biology) from participating. Sayle indicated that more than 20 courses are offered during the summer, including courses in mechanics (two), art history, HTS (two), sustainability (CE), ECE (four), Thermodynamics (two); and Energy Systems Design (ME). He noted that BME and ISyE students participate even though no courses from their majors are offered, and that the problem in some cases may be attributed to the lack of laboratory courses. The Provost noted that, historically, the majority of participants in the GTL Summer Undergraduate Program have been engineering majors (particularly ECE and ME) and that there is also a strong participation level from Architecture and the Ivan Allen College, and a “fair” level of participation from COM. However, participation from COS and COC has been much lower, and that we would like to encourage students from those two colleges to participate.
Berthelot continued the presentation by discussing research activities at GTL (see Attachment #4 below). He stated that Dr. Steve McLaughlin (ECE) serves as the Director of Research at GTL. Research is being done at GTL for the same reason we do research at GT-Atlanta; it is a vital part of our mission. He stated that faculty members participating in GTL programs have to meet the same RPT criteria as everyone else in Atlanta. Also, to do research one needs graduate students; conversely, if we have graduate students we need to support them through research grants and contracts. The problem at GTL is that we would also like to offer as many courses as we can, and develop new avenues for research. The goal is to make GTL a hub for research and education by creating partnerships with leading universities, industries, and Government agencies. He stated that in 1998 (ten years after it was founded), GTL became a CNRS lab, which is an important “label” in France; the GTL-CNRS Telecom Lab was formed (UMR-6603). The UMR designation is very important in being able to secure research funding; it is also a label that signifies the high quality of the lab. The work focuses on the area of optical telecommunications, and secure networks. Currently, the GTL Telecom lab includes about 20 CNRS staff and doctoral students. Joint PhD/Doctoral programs (double degree programs) in this area have been developed with Supélec and UFC.
The ME program at GTL was started in 1997. Since that time, ME faculty have developed research ties in the area of Mechanics of Materials with leading mechanical engineering institutions, including ENSAM, LPMM, and U-Metz (UMR-7454); again, the UMR designation is an important label reflecting the program’s high quality. So far, most of the exchange between the ME faculty and those institutions have dealt with joint special problems and co-supervision of MS students (currently there is no joint PhD supervision). Additionally, bi-annual research workshops have been held to further enhance the relationship between GT faculty and the faculty at these institutions. Most recently, GTL has been in the process of becoming a “Unité Mixte Internationale” (UMI-2898); this is a major formal recognition of ECE and ME research activities at GTL (there is only one other UMI with Japan in the area of manufacturing).
Berthelot stated that there are many research funding opportunities available for GTL faculty in both the US and Europe. GTL faculty and students can apply to US funding agencies (e.g. NSF) since GTL is a part of Georgia Tech. On the other hand, they can also apply for European funding since GTL is a legal entity in France (i.e. from a European standpoint, GTL is French!). He pointed to a European initiative (ERASMUS MUNDUS) which has allotted 230M Euros to support top quality masters programs during 2004-2008, as an example of such opportunities. The CNRS UMR/UMI designations are important in securing research support. France has a tax which encourages industry to support students; companies (e.g. Siemens) have developed ties with GTL to sponsor students pursuing their Masters degrees – they also provide internships for the students and often hire them after they graduate. It is also possible to obtain funding through the NSF International Programs (GT submitted a $2.7M proposal in 2005). Additionally, there are substantive collaborations with targeted EU partners. Berthelot stated that our research goals and vision include the establishment of an International Research Center with two main hubs (Atlanta and Metz), with funding from US, French, and EU partners. Eventually, such Center would include other US partner institutions. The Center would focus on distributed learning and research (laboratory without borders), mobility and outreach, with possible expansion into other disciplines by leveraging current strengths.
New thrust areas in “Multifunctional materials” and “Secure Networks” were briefly described. Berthelot stated that currently there are significant collaborations between GT faculty in the areas of Mechanics of Materials; Acoustics, Vibrations, and Ultrasonics; and Lighting, Energy, and Photonics, and some distinguished partners from the University of Metz, ENSAM, and CNRS in the areas of Physics and Mechanics of Materials. These collaborations have the potential to produce a variety of research ideas and collaborations in the area of multifunctional materials. The goal is to move towards PhD-level collaboration. Similarly, GT faculty in various areas of computing are collaborating with researchers at UFC, other UMRs, and French Institutions in the area of secure networks. The GT-CNRS UMI will serve as the “glue” that will allow these research collaborations to grow; it will also enable us to establish partnerships with various institutions in these two research thrust areas. Berthelot concluded by discussing some of the key challenges at GTL. These include the constant need to “network” with French and EU authorities to ensure support and funding of GTL activities. Also, as the number of students grows, more faculty will be needed at GTL (both permanent and visiting). He stated that ME has recently hired one tenure-track faculty member who will be located at GTL (an active and accomplished researcher), and that ECE will soon hire a similar faculty member. He stated that it is important to develop a workload model that matches the one used in Atlanta since it is difficult for faculty to teach two courses per semester and do significant research when “buy-out” is not allowed. Infrastructure needs were briefly discussed; these include the need for additional space for new faculty and research programs, the need for videoconference capabilities (currently do not have live courses originating at GTL for students in Atlanta), and the need to provide adequate living arrangements for visitors.
A question was asked regarding the adequacy of faculty support while at GTL, and whether it is easy to “lose touch” with what is going on in Atlanta. Berthelot stated that e-mail communications make it easy to remain in touch (sometimes Atlanta faculty and students do not realize that he may be at GTL). A question was asked regarding the types of new research projects that were established at GTL. Berthelot pointed to the research activities in the areas of secure telecommunications (ECE) and mechanics of materials (ME); he indicated that, as always, development of new research depends entirely on the energy and creativity of faculty members. A question was asked regarding the projected need for increased faculty participation at GTL, some of whom may be permanently located there, and how such involvement may impact the RPT process. Berthelot stated that a tremendous amount of work will be required to establish a vibrant PhD program at GTL. ME has recently hired a tenure-track faculty member who will be permanently located at GTL. He is an accomplished active researcher; he will have a “reasonable” teaching load and his main mission will be to push forward the doctoral program at GTL. He should be able to go through the normal RPT process. A question was asked as to how important it is for students to experience the “holistic” educational experience at GT-Atlanta, and whether GTL offers such an experience. The Provost indicated that undergraduates currently spend a summer at GTL and spend the rest of their four years in Atlanta -- while they may miss the “holistic” GT-Atlanta experience during that summer, their overall experience is enhanced by being immersed in a different culture within a new environment. The same argument can be made for other international activities, including international co-op opportunities, and the Junior-Year Program to be instituted at GTL as a part of the International Plan; we would like to offer students a menu of opportunities to choose from. Sayle indicated that there is an elected student-government organization at GTL, which offers many student activities. A question was asked as to whether research contract support for GTL faculty is handled by the Office of Sponsored Programs. Berthelot stated that GTL faculty members who submit research proposals to US funding agencies (e.g. NSF) go through the normal approval and submittal process as faculty in Atlanta. The Provost indicated that GTL is entirely owned by GT; however, it is a “legal entity” in France, so that a faculty member at GTL can submit a proposal to the EU as if he/she was a member of a French institution. He indicated that we are in the process of establishing a similar arrangement in Singapore and that it may be necessary to do the same in China.
The Chair thanked Drs. Sayle and Berthelot for their presentations.
5. The Chair briefly described plans for the April 12, 2005 Executive Board retreat. He stated that the retreat will be held at the Global Learning Center and that the purpose of the retreat is to set the Executive Board’s agenda with regard to Georgia Tech’s evolution into an international institution with several campuses in the US and abroad. There are many issues that come out of that transformation. Today’s presentations on the activities in China and France are a part of our retreat preparation. During the first hour of the retreat, we will hear from Bill Wepfer, Teddy Puttgen, and David Frost; Bill will talk about the role of the Global Learning Center in supporting that transformation; Teddy will address some of the management and faculty issues at GTL including RPT; and David will describe GT-Savannah and where that operation in envisioned to go. The presentations will be made to the entire group and will be followed by two facilitated breakout sessions. A set of questions will be provided sometime next week so that people can start thinking about the issues. Additional details including the room numbers and the breakout group assignments will be sent well before the retreat.
6. The Chair presented the proposed agenda for the April 19, 2005 Annual meeting of the Academic Faculty combined with meeting of the Academic Senate and called meeting of the General faculty (see Attachment #5 below). A motion was made to approve the proposed agenda. The motion passed without dissent.
7. The Chair called for any other business; hearing none, he adjourned the meeting at 5:00 PM.
Secretary of the Faculty
March 20th, 2005
Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)
1. Minutes of the EB meeting of February 15, 2005. http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/EB2005-021505-Minuteswp.htm