GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Meeting of April 11, 2006
Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center
Members Present: Akins (Prof Prac); Ballard (GTRI); Braga (CHEM); Bras (ME); Cabot (OIT); Clough (President); First (Phys); Gentry (Arch); Huff (GTRI); Hughes (ECE); McGinnis (ISyE); Wood (LCC); Yen (BIOL); Alexander (Staff Rep); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).
Members Absent: Andersen (U. Student); Barnhart (GTRI); Chameau (Provost); David (G. Student); Foley (CoC); Price (IMTC); Schneider (MGT)
Visitors: Hayes (ECE/GTS); Smith (V. Provost)
1. Leon McGinnis (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:05 PM. He called on the President to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community. The President offered the following comments.
a. The GT National Advisory Board met yesterday at the Aquarium; the “Emerging Leadership Program” and the “International Plan” were discussed.
b. The annual student luncheon was held today at the President’s House to honor student leaders. The Faculty and Staff Honors luncheon will be held tomorrow.
c. Highlights of State budget approved by the Legislature include: (1) 4% average salary increase for faculty; (2) near full funding of the formula (new money is nearly half of last year’s amount because of limited system-wide enrollment growth during the past two years); (3) strong MRR (maintenance, renovation, and repair) funding (slightly less than the Governor’s recommendation); (4) $38M for construction of the Nanotechnology Research Center (last installment of the State’s $45M contribution); (5) funding for four additional capital projects (three more than the Governor’s budget request) which moves our Undergraduate Learning Center from 12th to 8th on the BoR list of capital projects; (6) $5M for renovation of the Old CE building (not included in the Governor’s budget request; hopefully, he will not veto it); (7) strong funding for the Georgia Research Alliance (~$6M increase, including new money for energy research which will benefit our Strategic Energy Initiative, and two new Eminent Scholar positions, one of which will be at Georgia Tech); (8) $5M for nanotechnology equipment for GRA (most will come to GT; not in Governor’s budget request); and (9) $5M for ATDC to create a matching seed fund for venture capital (three-to-one matching).
d. Legislative activity related to higher education include: (1) passage of the so-called Stem Cell bill (approved bill is reasonable; it is significantly different than the original draft which would have adversely impacted our ability to engage in stem cell research); (2) approval of a Bonding Authority bill which allows universities to access funding sources to finance privately-funded projects; (3) two-year extension of the “Carry-over” bill which makes it possible to carry-over certain types of funding (e.g. continuing education income) rather than being forced to spend it before the end of the fiscal year (hopefully next time it will become permanent); (4) proposed bill to require universities to accept the top 10% of high school graduates did not make it out of committee; and (5) proposed bill to remove sales tax on textbooks was not approved (bill was supported by students).
e. State tax receipts are much stronger than last year; we expect this to be a good budget year.
f. At the Federal level, we are pleased with the President’s proposal regarding the American Competitiveness Initiative; it calls for doubling of the budget for NSF and DOE Science over the next ten years. There is strong bi-partisan support for the proposal. It will provide scholarships and fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students in science and technology, which should be very beneficial for GT. There is also significant funding for K-12 in “stem areas” which should for GT programs such as CEISMIC.
g. Undergraduate applications are up by 3.25% (total of 9400 applications). Thanks to strong recruitment efforts, applications to the Ivan Allen College and the College of Sciences are significantly higher. Applications are again lower for the College of Computing which is a national trend; the CoC recognizes the need to modify the curriculum to overcome concerns about “off-shoring” of technical jobs – increased emphasis will be placed on high-performance computing, robotics, digital media, etc. to create a different “profile” for their programs. Applications to the College of Engineering are down by about 2%; this points to the need for us to work harder at “marketing” even in areas where we have been very strong.
h. Thanks to the efforts of Andy Smith and many faculty from the various schools, our summer school this year will be very robust. A delayed summer program which starts after high school graduation has been approved in order to bring in some freshmen who need a “head start” before the school year begins in the fall. Smith stated that applications for the summer program were cut off after only three days. We expect to enroll 200 freshmen in the summer program; will know the actual number by May 1st.
i. Six GT faculty members have won CAREER awards this year even though we did not hire many new faculty last year because of budgetary constraints. We are second in the country for total number of awards.
j. The Chancellor is in the process of visiting all 35 institutions in the University System. He will visit GT for six hours on May 2nd beginning at 8:00 AM. He has asked to meet with the President for one hour and meet with faculty, students, and community leaders. We have arranged for him to meet with some faculty in the library, have lunch with students, and visit a few labs in the afternoon.
k. A Georgia Tech team headed by Gary May and Howard Rollins are visiting India; they have expressed interest in having a GT presence in either Bombay or Hyderabad and are willing to fund us to do that. The team will explore these opportunities to help us determine whether or not to do so.
l. We are in the quiet phase of the Capital Campaign which started in June of 2004. $2M of Foundation funding will be provided to the Development Office in order to ramp up the staff that helps the fundraising efforts of various units; we expect that to be done by July 1st (before the beginning of the Academic year). We have raised about $225M since June 2004 and expect to reach $250M by July 1st. The Campaign strategy and agenda have been prepared; we will need to raise ~$20M per month to meet our targets. We have recently received several major gifts including $20M from Milton and Carolyn Stewart, who have supported the ISyE School for many years (the School will be named after them). We expect two additional major gifts (high seven to eight figures range) in May and June; one for scholarships and the other for the Nanotechnology Research Building. A Campaign Committee has been formed; it will be co-chaired by Al West, Roe Stamps, and Michael Tennenbaum, all three are major donors to GT.
m. Several important appointments have been made: Dr. Steven Salbu has been appointed as Dean of the College of Management and Business School; Dan Radakovich has been appointed as Athletics Director; and Jim Fetig has been appointed as Associate Vice President and head of Institute Communications and Public Affairs; in addition to media relations, he will also help with the Capital Campaign and with student applications because of his strong marketing background.
n. The Spring Commencement will be held in the Georgia Dome; the speaker will be Bernie Marcus.
o. Work will be done to enhance the venting capabilities of the Alexander memorial Coliseum, so that the floor can be cleared in case of a fire. This is not a problem during a game when only two teams are on the floor, but it is important for events such as graduation ceremonies with many people on the court. The undergraduate and Masters Graduation ceremonies for the summer will be held in the coliseum; the Fire Marshall is satisfied because of the small number of graduates. The PhD ceremony for the summer term will be held separately (probably in the Ferst Theater); this will give us an opportunity to see how such a separate ceremony will turn out, so that we may continue doing so in the future to “enhance the dignity” of the PhD ceremony. The Fall commencement will likely be held elsewhere (not necessarily at the Dome).
A question was asked as to whether the Legislature will closely examine formula funding for higher education similar to calls for close examination of K-12 funding. The President indicated that a member of the Legislature has stated that he would like to do that; however, it was not done. A question was asked regarding the “robustness” of the applications, and whether that is related to the quality of the applicant pool or only to the number of applications. The President stated that, according to Undergraduate Admissions, it is always possible to increase the size of the applicant pool; however, we have always sent the message that we demand quality. The notion of increasing the number of applicants just to turn down a lot of people doesn’t make sense. We would like to make sure that we have a large enough, high quality, pool to choose from. The yield of out-of-state applicants is not as strong as we would like to be since we do not offer financial aid; we are competing with schools that discount tuition by offering financial aid to out-of-state students. Andy Smith stated that all units, including engineering, have made a strong effort to increase the yield of out-of-state students once they are accepted. This is necessary to maintain the balance of out-of-state versus in-state students because of the increase of in-state students as a result of the HOPE scholarship program. A comment was made that the two students who participated in yesterday’s National Advisory Board discussions were very impressive; they both started as Co-op students and have been involved in international study and work abroad programs.
2. The Chair called for approval of minutes of the February 14, 2006 meeting of the Executive Board. The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1 below).
3. The Chair called on Dr. Monson Hayes (ECE/GTS), Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Multi-Campus Faculty Development, Governance, and Integration, to present the committee’s findings. A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached (see Attachment #2 below). Hayes stated that preparation of the committee’s final report is in progress, and that he expects it to be issued within two weeks. The committee was formed by the Executive Board last spring. The committee’s initial charge, as derived from last April’s Executive Board retreat, is to identify the hurdles, if any, to be encountered in applying the current faculty governance policies and procedures (contained in the Faculty Handbook) as GT diversifies geographically. After extensive discussions, the committee broadened the charge to address other important issues for a multi-campus institution; the expanded mission is reflected in the committee’s chosen name: “The Committee on Multi-Campus Faculty Development, Governance, and Integration.” A list of committee members was shown (see Attachment #2); it includes members from various units who have had experience with multi-campus issues. Hayes stated that Georgia Tech is becoming geographically diverse; new “outposts” appear throughout the world. Major centers of operation outside Atlanta include Savannah, Lorraine, Shanghai, Singapore, and multiple GTRI outposts; additional initiatives are being pursued in China and India. As GT expands, it is important to identify and understand the issues before problems arise.
The committee realized that there are many different programs and that each campus and/or program is unique; issues important to one may not be relevant for another. Therefore, the committee defined four “categories” of programs and activities to consider: (1) Faculty on rotation to GTx (where “x” can be Lorraine, Savannah, Shanghai, Singapore, etc.); (2) Permanent GTx Faculty; (3) Faculty in Study Abroad programs; and (4) Research Faculty outside Atlanta. The first category (Faculty on rotation to “GTx”) refers to faculty who spend one or two semesters at another campus (e.g. Shanghai or Lorraine) then return to their home department in Atlanta. The second category (Permanent GTx Faculty) refers to faculty members who are hired specifically for permanent assignment at a campus outside Atlanta, e.g. Savannah or Lorraine. Faculty in study abroad programs typically go away during the summer and return during the academic year; some of them may spend a great deal of time developing and planning such programs. Research faculty members outside Atlanta are primarily GTRI employees; GTRI has several outposts around the country, and will soon have international outposts (e.g. Ireland). Issues unique to each of these four faculty categories have been identified.
Most of the issues for faculty on rotation to GTx pertain to international programs. There are many lessons learned as a result of the growth of the GT-L program; the initiative started at Shanghai Jiatong University is rapidly expanding, and a new program in Singapore will start in the Fall. The issues can be grouped into four areas: (a) Connectivity to the Atlanta campus – this is probably the biggest issue for faculty in this category; (b) Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure – this is not as critical for this group of faculty as it is for people who are permanently assigned outside Atlanta; (c) Travel to GT-Atlanta; and (d) Residence issues. “Connectivity” essentially refers to electronic connectivity – how do we continue to do the things we are used to doing here in Atlanta when we are located in Lorraine, Singapore, or Shanghai? These include: (1) Grade submission, i.e. access to OSCAR, which requires the calendars (i.e. the exam periods) at different campuses to be aligned, which has not always been the case; (2) Travel expense forms – timely submission of forms, need for original receipts, foreign language, and currency conversion make it difficult; (3) Teaching assessment and student evaluations – these are important for RPT; however, they require student access to the internet which is not always the case; (4) Research project collaboration, i.e. interactions with colleagues and GRAs – there are many technologies available to facilitate such communications (MSM, Skype, Conference XP, Netmeeting, Polycom, etc.). The issue is whether the institute should support these activities, or should it be the responsibility of the person traveling overseas to arrange for such connections; and (5) ability to maintain connectivity to services provided by OCA and OHR.
RPT issues for faculty on rotation to GTx are less dominant than those for permanently assigned faculty; nevertheless, there are several questions that need to be addressed, including the effect on RPT for faculty who spend more than one term on rotation away from Atlanta; interruptions in research may affect productivity in terms of proposal writing, publications, and student recruiting. The issue is how the RPT committees view the faculty member’s participation in GTx, and whether they would be supportive of such participation. Additionally, how should the institute support the faculty when critical resources are not available at GTx.
Travel to GT-Atlanta is another issue of concern for faculty on rotation to GTx. Should the institute or GTx (or both) support travel back and forth between the two campuses? This may not be an issue if the faculty member is away for only one term; but it becomes important when the faculty member is away for a year. Do we provide funds for graduate students to go back and forth? Should the travel budget be tied to the length of stay away from Atlanta or the number of family members or the number of graduate students?
Residence issues for faculty on rotation to GTx are not directly related to faculty governance or development; nevertheless, they significantly impact productivity, and hence, RPT. Residence issues include: (1) Local Support, i.e. what type of administrative and secretarial support should be provided? Other campuses may have different “cultures” with a hierarchical system that determines the level of support received by a faculty member. (2) Laboratory facilities at GTx – should GT facilitate access to laboratories and facilities in neighboring schools, universities, and companies, or should GT assist in the development of labs and computing facilities at GTx in order for faculty to continue their research? Who should maintain such facilities? (3) Housing conditions vary significantly between the different campuses – should there be a minimum standard for the type of housing to be provided? So far, nearly every program developed by GT has provided housing with a good level of comfort and support. But, is there a need for a policy on minimum housing requirements? (4) Medical insurance – faculty should be educated on the issues of medical insurance and health care costs. What happens in the event of serious illness or death? Does the medical insurance come from GT in Atlanta or is it provided through some company in China, India, or somewhere else? (5) Orientation – faculty should be given an introduction to the culture and educated on issues such as banking, schools for children, etc. Such orientation would go a long way toward smoothing the transition to the new campus.
Issues related to “permanent” GTx faculty were discussed; this group includes faculty who were hired specifically for teaching and research at GTx or were transferred from GT-Atlanta to GTx on a permanent basis. They are mostly located at GT-Savannah. A few permanent faculty are now located at GT-L; others may be hired in the future for other campuses. The main issues for this faculty category are: RPT, Organizational structure, faculty hiring decisions, faculty integration, faculty services, distance learning, and international issues. The committee noted that there are two phases to consider when addressing these issues, namely, the “start-up phase” (when resources and infrastructure are established, students are recruited, and faculty are hired) and the “operational phase.”
RPT tops the list of issues for permanent faculty outside Atlanta. Faculty members who have served on RPT committees to evaluate candidates from GT-Savannah have struggled with the evaluation process. Specific questions are: what are the evaluation guidelines to be used and what is the evaluation process? For faculty who spend a considerable amount of time and effort on the start-up phase for GTx, these activities divert their efforts from areas normally considered for RPT evaluations – how should the RPT committees view the contributions of such faculty? Also, the mission of GTx may differ from that of GT-Atlanta; the focus may be on teaching rather than research – will the RPT process be adaptable? Questions related to the evaluation process itself include: Who writes the evaluation letters (local administrator at GTx or Chair of an affiliated school in Atlanta)? What evaluation committees are local to GTx and how does the RPT process tie back to Atlanta? These are issues that people are now grappling with as they evaluate faculty from GT-Savannah. Representation on RPT committees is another issue of concern for GTx faculty; they desire the opportunity to participate in such committees (as well as other committees and governance bodies such as the Academic Senate) since they are most familiar with the GTx environment. Such participation may require video conferencing of such committee/Senate meetings. The issue of “Location of Tenure” is also unclear; Section 5.8 of the Faculty Handbook states that “Tenure resides at the Institutional level.” If someone from GTx is awarded tenure, what happens if that school disappears? The faculty “Home Unit” is defined in Section 5.12 of the Handbook which states “The Faculty of a Department of Instruction is defined as those individuals who devote 0.38 or more EFT to that unit and have the rank of Regents Professor, Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor.” So, presumably, the home unit where tenure resides is where a faculty member spends >50% time during the academic year. Since money flows back and forth between the two campuses, does the faculty member’s home unit flip back and forth between Atlanta and GTx? Another issue relates to the Joint Appointments and Courtesy Appointments given by units at GT-Atlanta to faculty members hired permanently for GTx. What level of support (and money flow) does it require to receive such appointments?
At the heart of many issues related to permanent faculty at GTx is the question of the organizational structure of GTx vis-à-vis the Institute. The organizational structure of the multi-campus institute will define many operations such as: to whom do the GTx faculty report? How are GTx faculty hired and evaluated? What is the reporting chain between units at GT-Atlanta and GTx? and What services are to be provided by GT-Atlanta to GTx? It has been suggested that the organizational structure should include a vice-provost for multi-campus issues to provide a “corporate” headquarters to manage these numerous multi-campus issues. The campuses should be as cohesive as possible; we do not want to get into the “branch campus” mindset.
Hiring issues for permanent faculty at GTx center on the process to be used. Should candidates be interviewed by faculty and administrators at both GTx and GT-Atlanta? Is this feasible for international campuses? Should the candidates make the trip back and forth? Should the interviews be conducted using video conferencing? Most important, who makes the hiring decision (GTx, GT-Atlanta, or both)?
Faculty integration is among the key issues for permanent faculty outside Atlanta. This relates to the issue of interconnectivity between campuses to allow faculty outside Atlanta to participate in seminars, workshops, faculty meetings, webcasts, etc.; the ability of the faculty to participate in institute activities is critical for campus integration. Participation in Institute committees, Academic Senate committees, school committees, and theses committees is an important component of faculty integration. Faculty rotation between GTx and GT-Atlanta is also viewed as extremely beneficial for GTx faculty development and integration. The question is whether a process should be put in place to formalize such cross-campus rotations.
There are many faculty services provided at GT-Atlanta; the question is what services should GTx faculty expect to be provided? Services include Banner registration, grades entry through OSCAR, admissions and recruitment, OCA, OHR, WebCT, Library Lends program, and Software licenses. The size of the x-campus may determine the extent to which such services can be provided. Distance learning is another “hot button” issue for faculty. DLPE supports distance learning courses to and from GTx. Several questions arise including: What should the support level be? Who manages and maintains DL classrooms at GTx? What is the financial model for the participating units and DL instructors (should GT-Atlanta faculty who deliver a DL course to GTx receive some compensation for such activities or is that an expected part of their load?) and what commitments must the Atlanta units make to support the course needs of GTx? For example, ECE graduate students take Math as a minor; since there are no Math professors at GT-Savannah, Math courses are delivered by distance learning. The question is how many such courses can we expect the School of Mathematics to deliver? In some cases, students were delayed in submitting their thesis proposals because they were not able to get the appropriate courses delivered from Atlanta to Savannah. Who should pay for such courses?
International issues related to permanent GTx faculty are related to “money,” which includes faculty salaries, research dollars, and movement of funds between GTA and GTx. Because of differences in the standard of living in the US and countries such as India or China, salaries for permanent faculty located there will be significantly lower than those in Atlanta. How will the salaries at these locations be determined and how can we accommodate faculty moving from GT-Atlanta to an international GTx and vice-versa? With respect to research funding, the question is how does one view the level of research funding for RPT purposes ($100k in Atlanta supports 2 GRAs, while the same amount supports 10 in India)? The committee also recognized that movement of funds to and from GT-Atlanta and GTx at international locations needs to be addressed. Faculty benefits at International GTx include issues such as health care and disability (is the insurance offered by GT-Atlanta or is coverage provided from a local company?). Other international GTx issues which need to be addressed include taxes, IP, and grants and contracts.
Issues related to faculty involved in Study Abroad programs were discussed. Currently, there are 21 different countries where GT has Study Abroad programs; there are also 19 overseas summer programs. Many faculty members and students are involved in these activities. However, the faculty issues here are less demanding than those for the other two faculty categories discussed earlier. The biggest issue here is related to connection with GT-Atlanta administrators and colleagues. Other issues are similar to those encountered by faculty on rotation to GTx; they include travel expense forms, submitting grades, and teaching assessment and student evaluations. RPT is another issue of concern; the concern relates to the effect on RPT for directors of Study Abroad programs due to the large amount of time and effort involved in course planning (new every term) and site visit planning. The general feeling is that these efforts are not acknowledged or appreciated during the RPT evaluation process.
Issues related to research faculty outside Atlanta (primarily GTRI employees) were discussed. These include medical insurance, promotion, and collaboration with on-campus faculty. Off-campus research faculty do not have access to many professional activities, as well as opportunities for participation in faculty governance, which can play a role in preparation of a successful promotion package. The ability to collaborate with on-campus faculty in research initiatives remains problematic. As the number of research faculty located off campus increases, it is important to increase connectivity in order to assure that we remain as much of a single “virtual” campus as possible. Unique issues related to GT research faculty located in foreign countries include: (1) export controls (ITAR regulations may directly affect research that can be undertaken); (2) HR laws and statutes of the foreign country (laws related to wages, discrimination, employment practices, disability/death in a foreign country, and workman’s compensation); (3) access to educational assistance programs to pursue higher degrees; (4) funding for periodic trips back to Atlanta; and (5) access to consulting and/or teaching opportunities.
Hayes stated that while the committee’s task was to only identify the issues (rather than offer solutions or recommendations), the committee believes that it is important to establish a central office on the Atlanta campus to address issues/problems and to disseminate information. There is often a need for faculty to be able to contact someone and get a timely response. The proposed central office can handle such requests, connect faculty members to the appropriate person, and address their concerns.
Hayes stated that another issues not addressed in the earlier part of the presentation relates to workloads of faculty outside Atlanta with respect to RPT. Specifically, what are the expected workloads at other campuses, where class sizes may be small (5 to 10 students) – teaching of one or two such courses may be viewed as a light workload; however, the class sizes are small because the student bodies are small. The issue is whether a workload policy should be established at such campuses particularly during the start-up phase when significant faculty time and effort may be devoted to other activities.
A question was asked as to whether there are “best practices” which have been identified through our experience so far. Hayes stated that the committee’s effort focused on identifying the issues/problems; the next step for the institute is to prioritize the issues and see if solutions/best practices can be identified to address them. A comment was made that there is a big difference between faculty members who frequently travel back and forth to Atlanta and those who are permanently located somewhere else; the latter group may be of concern because they do not “have a stake” here. Hayes stated that this is consistent with the committee’s findings – it is important to address the issues related to faculty who are permanently assigned outside Atlanta. How do you manage them? What kind of ties with Atlanta should they expect? Should these campuses be independently operated? What are the issues related to student life, accreditation, etc.? By far the most difficult faculty integration issues are those related to those faculty members hired for permanent assignments outside Atlanta. A question was asked regarding the nature of faculty assignments at GT-Lorraine. Hayes stated that most GT-L faculty are rotating; they spend six-months to a year at GT-L then return to Atlanta. Some of them have done so several times. However, recently, ECE and ME have hired a small number of faculty for permanent assignment at GT-L. A question was asked whether faculty hired for permanent assignment at GT-L would have tenure in Atlanta. A comment was made that this is not the expectation; this is more of an issue for GT-savannah with many related questions. As far as the BoR is concerned, are the degrees awarded at GT-Savannah separate from those offered in Atlanta? Where does the program reside? Do we have a different curriculum at GT-S than that in Atlanta (from an accreditation standpoint, the Savannah programs are treated as separately accredited programs)? Do we need BoR approval for students doing their PhD in Savannah? How do we handle on-line degree programs? A comment was made that it is important to clarify the organization structure in order to answer many of these questions. At this time the overall organizational structure is unclear. A comment was made that, while promotion and tenure cases are first addressed at the unit level, all cases eventually have to go through institute-wide committees and the President’s office. The issue is what is the meaning of “a unit”? and whether GT-Savannah can be considered as a stand-alone unit that makes the first level evaluations/recommendations? A follow-up comment was made that unit-level committee evaluations for GT-Savannah faculty had to be done in Atlanta because there were not enough tenured faculty in Savannah to do it; all these evaluations merge at the college level. A comment was made reiterating the need to clarify the organizational structure in order to establish these RPT processes. A comment was made that the processes will depend on the size of the campus; while GT-Savannah may be approaching the size where such evaluations can be done locally, GT-L is much smaller than that level. Hence, one may not be able to write one set of rules that applies to all campuses outside Atlanta. A comment was made that the ad hoc committee has done a great job identifying the issues and that the Executive Board needs to work with the administration to define the corporate structure. A comment was made that the processes may evolve through “best practices.” A comment was made that there is another set of issues highlighted by the presentation, namely, the level of support to be provided to faculty outside Atlanta and how to make sure that the necessary services are provided. A comment was made that the committee’s recommendation to establish a central office in Atlanta is a good suggestion that should be implemented.
The Chair thanked Dr. Hayes and the committee for their efforts on this important assignment. Members applauded in appreciation of the committee’s contributions.
4. The Chair presented the proposed agenda for the April 18, 2006 Called meeting of the General Faculty combined with meeting of the Academic Senate and Annual meeting of the Academic Faculty (see Attachment #3 below). A motion to approve the proposed agenda passed without dissent.
5. The Chair called on the Secretary of the Faculty to report on the 2006 Faculty elections. Abdel-Khalik (ME, SoF) stated that the voting period will end tomorrow (04/12/06); so far nearly 750 faculty members have voted (a record). Upon conclusion of the voting period, the votes will be tallied; Board’s approval of the results will be sought by e-mail. The approved results will be posted on the web and the candidates will be informed of the outcome. He stated that a procedure needs to be developed for “breaking a tie” should one occur in any of the races. It was proposed that a coin toss by the EB Chair be used to decide whether the person at the top of the ballot wins or loses (the names of the two candidates are alphabetically arranged), and that the result of the coin toss be applied to all races in which a tie takes place. A question was asked as to the reason for the large turnout. Abdel-Khalik stated that this is primarily due to the reminders sent during the voting period. A motion to approve the proposed coin toss procedure for breaking a tie in faculty election races passed without dissent.
6. The Chair called for other business. The President stated that Georgia Tech’s policy related to “free speech” is being examined by the legal staff to make sure that it is comprehensive and up-to-date. He stated that the revised policy will be discussed with the Executive Board. The policy is currently located only in the Faculty Handbook, which is not a good place for a policy of this type since it applies not only to faculty, but also to students, staff and outside groups. It would be more appropriate to have a general “Administrative Policy” on this issue including guidelines on the use of interior and exterior space; an identical policy can then be placed in the Faculty Handbook. A comment was made that a related issue of concern is the extent to which statements/opinions expressed outside GT (e.g. maintaining a web blog without use of institute property/resources) may affect employment decisions such as RPT. It was agreed to discuss the revised policy when completed.
7. The Chair called for other business; hearing none, he adjourned the meeting at 4:45 PM.
Secretary of the Faculty
April 16, 2006
Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)
1. Minutes of the EB meeting of February 14, 2006 http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/EB2006-021406-Minuteswp.htm