GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

MINUTES

Meeting of April 10, 2007

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center
(See also subsequent electronic ballots at the end)

 

 

Members Present: Akins (Prof. Prac.), Alexander (Staff), Ballard (GTRI), Barnhart (GTRI), Braga (Chemistry), Bras (ME), Clough (President), First (Physics), Gaimon (Mgt), Hughes (Chair, ECE), Keller (G. Student), Price (IMTC), Stein (VPSS), West (GTRI), Williams (ECE/GT-S), Yen (Biology), Bohlander (SoF)

 

Members Absent: Dagenhart (ARCH), Foley (CoC), Graab (U. Student), Schuster (Provost), Wood (LCC)

 

Visitors:  Allen (President’s Office), Burg (President’s Office), Griffin (ISyE – Statutes Chair), Irvin (OOD), Paraska (Institutional Dev.), Radakovich (Dir. of Athletics), Schrage (AE – Faculty Athletics Rep.), Wright (OOD)

1.                  Joe Hughes (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:10 P.M.   and called on President Clough to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:

a.       President Clough began by reminding the Board that the Faculty Honors ceremonies would be held the next day.  Prof. Mostafa El Sayed would be named this year’s Distinguished Professor for his distinguished career in research and teaching in chemistry and biochemistry. 

President Clough also mentioned the ceremony called When the Whistle Blows, when Tech pauses to remember those in the Georgia Tech community (students, faculty, or staff) who have passed away in the previous year.  This would be held Thursday evening, April 12, 2007, on the green in front of the Carnegie Building.  Started six years ago, this is a particularly meaningful ceremony because it spans so many segments of the community and binds them together. 

He said the Georgia Tech Advisory Board would be at Tech the weekend of April 13-16 and the theme for their meeting is Energy and Sustainability and how they link together.  This panel includes outstanding CEOs, legislators, university presidents, and others.

b.      In the Georgia Legislature, the chair of the Higher Education Committee proposed that any student who graduates from high school with an International Baccalaureate diploma should be granted at least 24 hours of college credit in any of the members of University System of Georgia.  Texas and Florida have passed similar laws.  Indeed such students have the benefit of an advanced high school educational program.  However, Georgia Tech has not been sure they necessarily qualify for 24 credits at Georgia Tech.  If this law passes the legislature, some assurances have been offered that Tech would be able to verify qualification for credits through testing.

Support remained in the legislature for the budget line items for full formula funding and salary increases for members of the University System.  Neither the supplemental budget for fiscal year 2007 nor the regular budget for fiscal year 2008 had been enacted as of the date of this meeting.

There was also a small project for which Tech awaited funding; namely, for the renovation of the Hinman Building.  If approved, it would be utilized by the College of Architecture to expand their studio space.  Substantial private money had been raised for this $5 million project.

c.       Georgia Tech has been celebrating an award received by the Georgia Tech library from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL); namely, their 2007 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.  This was remarkable recognition because the size of the Tech library measured in numbers of volumes is not as large as those of many universities having medical and law colleges.   But Dean Rich Meyer and his staff, as well as the staff of OIT, have many notable achievements especially in the development of the west and east commons areas.  Tech’s library has become a paradigm of future libraries.

d.      Tech’s Capital Campaign has continued to progress.  It will remain in the quiet phase during 2007.  The goal is $1 billion, of which $400 million has been raised so far, and the $500 million milestone is within reach by the end of 2008.  That will be halfway to the nominal goal and time then to re-evaluate whether to raise the final goal before the campaign goes public.  Goals for each participating unit are constantly under assessment, whether they should be raised or lowered to reflect emerging realities, or whether greater effort should simply be made.  The new GT Promise part of the campaign (i.e. the scholarship program for low-income students) is an area Tech wants to put a lot of emphasis on.  It will require $40-50 million to fully fund the program.  Tech is going ahead with it now, having every faith that the community will come through to support the program.  President Clough indicated this occupies a good deal of his time and many others and he thanked the many campaign volunteers, chairs, and co-chairs for their dedicated work.  He particularly thanked Al West who is the overall chair and not only is an outstanding leader but also provides much of the transportation to cities around the U.S.  Clough reported that individual support of the campaign is augmented by significant corporate support.  For example, GE and IBM have matching gift programs and Tech receives more from each of these programs than any other university.

e.       Over spring holidays a number of Tech’s student organizations conducted service activities, including some out of the country.  A group of Tech’s Black Society of Engineers students went to New Orleans and built a playground and were recognized with the best chapter award in their society.  President Clough said he was very proud of Tech’s students.

f.        President Clough reported that negotiations have been underway with Singapore for extended educational operations there.  These would involve no new degrees but would probably reach a larger number of students than Tech does today in that part of the world.  Singapore desires to expand its influence in research and higher education, particularly at the graduate level.  Further briefings to the Executive Board will be made when results are further along.

2.                  The Chair called the Board’s attention to the minutes of the March 13, 2007 meeting of the Executive Board.  The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1).

3.                  The Chair called on Dr. Ron Bohlander, Secretary of the Faculty, for a brief report on progress in the faculty elections.  He stated the elections of faculty to standing committees and to the Executive Board were proceeding smoothly, with elections closing at midnight April 11, 2007.  The level of participation as of the date of the meeting was about 30%.  He asked Executive Board members to remind colleagues to vote if they had not already done so.  Election results were coming in from the various units for representatives to the General faculty Assembly and Academic Senate.  He said he would be sending the Executive Board an electronic ballot so the results of appropriate elections could be certified [see addendum to these minutes].  The Chair also observed that the Executive Board will need to make some appointments to fill positions on committees for which there were not enough candidates.  Dr. Bohlander said there were other vacancies for which appointments would be needed and these could be handled at the May meeting of the Executive Board.  A question was raised whether appointments could be made for shorter terms so that elections for particular committees would be spaced out better.  The Chair said that could be considered.

4.         The Chair called on Dr. Hal Irvin, the Executive Director of the Office of Organizational Development (OOD), to make a presentation concerning Georgia Tech’s response to the Governor’s program for improved Customer Service across all state offices.  Dr. Irvin also introduced Mr. Lanous Wright, Director of Training in OOD.  Dr. Irvin and Mr. Wright made their presentation using the PowerPoint slides in Attachment #2. 

Dr. Irvin stated that the program he would describe applied to all state agencies, not just to the universities in the University System of Georgia (USG).  It is rather unusual for Georgia Tech to have the opportunity to implement a program coming right from the Governor’s Office.  Universities became involved in the program in April 2006.  To build a program within the USG, each campus sent a representative to a planning committee and Dr. Irvin was tapped to be the “Customer Service Champion” for Georgia Tech.  Chancellor Davis has appointed Jim Flowers, Special Assistant to the Chief Information Officer, USG, to coordinate programs for the Board of Regents.

The focus of the program was set on students, parents, visitors, etc. and the services they request and receive.  Everyone agreed that such services should be of a high quality and create important and good lasting impressions about the institution.  The goal the USG adopted was to make each campus “faster, friendlier, and easier.”  The Chancellor, university presidents including Dr. Clough, and the Governor are all committed to this.  Measurable results are expected. 

The stage was set by getting leadership involved, employees engaged, and collecting customer feedback.  Then it was important to focus on a few achievable projects.  Dr. Irvin stated two projects were started in July 2006.  The first will provide better automation for creating personnel records, particularly when an employee is hired.  OHR and OIT are involved and the results are expected to be in place in the coming fiscal year.  The second project focuses on improvements in academic advisement for students.  Dana Hartley, Director of Undergraduate Advising, has been working with students to define needed improvements.  Cases where units were doing particularly well have been identified to serve as examples for other units to learn from and follow.  Students have provided scores for the advisement they receive from their schools on a 4-point scale.  In 2007, more than twice as many schools earned at least 3 out of 4 points as did in 2005.  This took a great deal of effort because academic advisement is not an easy thing.  The goal within the next three years is for 90% of the units to have a rating of 3 or better, up from 77% this year.

A third project is a new “Defining Customer Service” certificate program.  Dr. Irvin asked Mr. Wright to tell the Board about this new program.  Mr. Wright presented the two objectives of the course listed on slide 6 of Attachment #2.  This certificate requires four core courses and two electives from a list of nine possible.  The latter includes The Disney Approach to Quality Service.  All new instructors have been engaged to teach the program and Mr. Wright summarized some interesting features of their backgrounds.  Classes are also included from the international curriculum of the Customer Care Institute.  More than 100 employees have been enrolled in the program with more coming all the time.  Satisfaction with the course content is high.  Some units are making special arrangements so the course would be cost effective for more of their people to participate in.  OOD is also working with Distance Learning and Professional Education (DLPE) to explore offering the program to persons outside Georgia Tech.

A question from the Board was whether there was an expectation that faculty would take this certificate training.  Dr. Irvin stated that of course faculty members are very important to customer satisfaction but the course is primarily designed for staff members at Tech.

5.         The Chair then turned to Ms. Susan Paraska, Assistant to Jack Lohmann, Vice Provost for Institutional Development.  Susan has been a member of the steering committee for Georgia Tech’s NCAA Certification Self Study.  She stated that the Self Study document had been finalized and was out for comment from the Georgia Tech campus community.  The Executive Board had been provided access to the draft as had the Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) Board of Trustees, as well as the Georgia Tech Deans and many other campus leaders.  Ms. Paraska also thanked students, like Mitch Keller, who read the study thoroughly and provided detailed feedback.

Ms. Paraska reminded the Board of Directors of Dr. Lohmann’s request in the March meeting.  He asked that the Board help with the certification process by formally requesting an annual report from GTAA on progress in two key plans.  These concern gender equity and minority participation and are part of the Self Study.  These plans are in reality unified initiatives of the campus, not just from GTAA, so it is entirely appropriate for the Executive Board to monitor progress.  Ms. Paraska called attention to the resolution calling for such an annual report as stated in the agenda for this Board meeting.

Dr. Clough stated that this resolution would help fulfill NCAA expectations that institutions measure and monitor progress, and then act on the results to implement continuous improvement.  This is something Tech has not always done in the past and this needs to be rectified. 

Ed Price asked about plans to improve the women’s softball facilities which are in poor condition today.  Dan Radakovich (Director of Athletics) answered that he felt confident that the goal of a new facility in 2009 would be met.  He indicated he expected to have a site selected and an architect engaged in the next 60-90 days from the Board meeting.

The Chair asked to defer voting on the resolution, which Ms. Paraska mentioned, until after the next speaker. Then, if any further issues arose, they could be addressed in the resolution. 

6.         The Chair called on Professor Dan Schrage (AE) who serves as Georgia Tech’s Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR).  His presentation is provided in Attachment #3.  Prof. Schrage briefly reviewed the roles filled by the FAR with respect to the ACC and NCAA, Georgia Tech, and the GTAA.  He stated that Tech also has a an excellent Director of Compliance, Paul Parker, who came to Tech from the NCAA and stays on top of compliance issues on a weekly basis.  A significant part of the FAR’s role is to maintain touch with student athletes and to ensure quality processes to support them. 

Tech has a good staff in place to certify academic progress as detailed in the slides.  A significant enhancement to the team came with the addition of Ms. Angie Bradd filling a new position of Assistant Registrar and Certifying Officer.  Many other details of the certification team are given in the slides.  The Registrar’s Office and GTAA make independent assessments of eligibility and these checks and balances do a lot to avoid serious errors.

Dr. Schrage briefly reviewed the history of NCAA academic reforms since 1989.  The current program of academic standards is called the Academic Performance Program (APP).  He presented data showing how much NCAA academic requirements have gotten tighter since 2003.  He stated that generally NCAA standards equal Georgia Tech standards, though in a few cases Tech is still more stringent.  One area is in the matter of eligibility to compete.  Tech requires a student athlete to be in good academic standing and this means they cannot be on academic probation.  At other schools in the ACC, it is only required for student athletes to be eligible to enroll in classes (and that includes some who may be on academic probation).  Tech’s rules penalize some student-athletes, especially because a student can be put on academic probation for one bad semester, even if the overall GPA is acceptable.  Included in eligibility consideration is whether the student athlete is making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Dr. Schrage stated that the data used to ensure compliance is collected year round on every student athlete and every team at a school, and he showed a picture of the cycle during a typical year.  Because many decisions and penalties rest on the data, close attention is paid to data accuracy.

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is one of the key metrics.  A continuous measure of each team at a school, the APR is based on retention, eligibility, and graduation (as detailed in the slides).  The Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is an alternative method of assessing the fraction of students graduating.  The standard for the APR has been set to correspond to a likely graduation rate of at least 50%.  Existing data on Tech’s teams’ APRs are included in Prof. Schrage’s briefing and this year’s APR results are expected in early May this year.

He explained there are two kinds of penalties, contemporaneous ones for immediate short term problems, and historical penalties assessed for teams that habitually underperform academically. 

Regarding the GSR metric of graduation, Tech’s student athletes do show a lower rate than the student body as a whole, the difference being 10 to 20 percentage points depending on which cohort is selected.  Tech is due to submit its next GSR report June 1, 2007.

Dr. Schrage wrapped up with a brief report on the ACC’s Presidential Task Force on the Future of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics (March 2007).  There were four themes: fiscal responsibility, integration of athletics into the university, relationships with internal constituencies, and student-athlete well-being.  Fiscal responsibility is an area that Tech’s Director of Athletics, Dan Radakovich, is making great progress in.  Toward the goal of better integration, Dr. Schrage is particularly trying to get more faculty members involved in liaison to each sport and there are still opportunities for more faculty members to contribute.  Plans are being made for a more regular process of preparing all members of the GTAA Board of Trustees for their responsibilities.  In the area of student well-being, Dr. Schrage stated that there is on-going review of regulations limiting eligibility for student-athletes that transfer between institutions.  The ACC has traditionally been very conservative about this.

In summary, NCAA academic reform is driving better integration of athletics and academics on campuses.  APR and GSR standards enable close monitoring of academic progress.  Tech has a very good team administering participation and compliance in intercollegiate athletics.  Finally, the NCAA has a very complicated system of compliance, requiring the best efforts of the institute and appropriate checks and balances.

Dr. Hughes called on Mr. Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics, to make a few remarks.  He praised the cooperation that has been evident throughout the Institute in his first year at Tech and talked about how this teamwork was essential to achieving excellence under the complex standards of the NCAA.  A prime focus in the days ahead is going to be on achieving even better integration of athletics with the university.  Lines of communication are open and working well in many areas, but as Prof. Schrage said, it is vital to have good communications also with the faculty.  This can help the students not only to excel on the playing field or court but also to get a quality educational experience while they are here.  Dr. Schrage commented that it is getting harder and harder for student-athletes to keep up academically.

Dr. Clough stated that the development and use of the APR has transformed academic tracking into a very helpful system and one that might be beneficial for all students.  He felt the APR could be increasingly useful in academic advisement.  He also pointed out that it is a big job to keep the tracking system up to date while the faculty makes changes in the curriculum. 

Prof. Bras asked if Prof. Schrage had enough time to do all that was expected and Schrage replied that some FARs at other institutions had release time for efforts like this but so far he had coped with the schedule.

7.         The Chair then called the Board’s attention to the resolution posed in the agenda which read as follows:

“The Executive Board of the Georgia Institute of Technology endorses the Institute's 2006-07 NCAA Division I Athletics Certification Self-Study, including the proposed Gender-Equity and Minority-Opportunities plans.  Recognizing the importance of cooperative efforts on issues affecting both athletic and academic endeavors, the Executive Board requests a report annually from the Georgia Tech Athletic Association Board of Trustees on compliance with and completion of the Gender-Equity and Minority-Opportunities plans, as well as any remedial actions imposed or required by the NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification.”

A motion was made and seconded to endorse this resolution and this passed without dissent.

8.         The Chair provided some background and asked Prof. Paul Griffin, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to help the Board complete the steps begun in previous meetings to add new classifications to membership in the General Faculty.  Prof. Griffin reminded the Board that he would be presenting the second reading of Statutes changes at the May 1 faculty meeting which would add Athletics Affairs Professionals and Post Doctoral Fellows as members of the General Faculty.  He also showed the Board an additional change to the Faculty Handbook in Section 13.2.1 that would include a list of specific titles included as Athletics Affairs Professionals.  See Attachment #4.  This change only would need only one reading to pass as it is a simple matter of policy and not a Statute.  Prof. Hughes observed that the titles in this list may need to be updated from time to time as Tech’s portfolio of titles and associated responsibilities change.

A motion was made and seconded to recommend the changes presented in Attachment #4 to the faculty at its next meeting.  It passed without dissent.

9.         The Chair directed the Board’s attention to the proposed agenda for the scheduled meeting of the Academic Faculty and Academic Senate combined with a called meeting of the General Faculty, said meeting to be held at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theater on May 1, 2007.  Dr. Hughes reviewed the agenda as found in Attachment #5 and commented that more details about committee minutes would be added as they came in.  A motion to adopt the agenda passed without dissent.

10.              The Chair asked for any new business.  Hearing none the meeting was adjourned at about 5 P.M.

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

June 14, 2007

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

1.      Minutes of the EB meeting of March 13, 2007.

2.      Presentation on Customer Service

3.   Report of the Faculty Athletics Representative

4.   Recommended changes to the Statutes and Faculty Handbook

5.   Recommended agenda for the May 1 faculty meeting (as subsequently updated)

 

______________________

Addendum #1

The following is a record of an Electronic Ballot submitted to the Executive Board and the results obtained.

It was initiated April 25, 2007 and closed at midnight April 27, 2007

The purpose of the ballot was to seek the Board’s approval of the results of elections for faculty governance positions.  One of the races ended in a tie which would be resolved in the subsequent ballot recorded in Addendum #2.

 

Do you approve of the results of the election as attached to this note in all the races that did not end in a tie? 

Yes 16             No 0

 

______________________

Addendum #2

The following is a record of an Electronic Ballot submitted to the Executive Board and the results obtained.

It was initiated May 9, 2007 and closed at midnight May 16, 2007

The purpose of the ballot was twofold: 1) to break a tie that occurred in one of the races for a spot on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and 2) to appoint persons to fill vacancies in a number of Board and committee positions in accordance with Institute bylaws.

1.      Of the following two people who each received the same number of votes from the faculty, which would you choose to serve on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee? Pick one.  

o        ______ Pradeep Agrawal (ChBE)    http://www.chbe.gatech.edu/fac_staff/faculty/agrawal.php

o        ______ Adjo Amekudzi (CEE)     http://www.cee.gatech.edu/fac_staff/research_bio.php?active_id=aa103 

By tradition, actual vote counts are held in confidence.  Prof. Pradeep Agrawal received the most votes.

2.      The following have agreed to fill vacant positions on the committees listed.  Each was contacted about serving because they were the top runner up for election to the respective committee in the most recent election for that post where there were any runners up.  Thus the policy concerning vacancies has been followed as printed in the Faculty Handbook Section 10.7.1. 

Do you therefore agree to appoint the following persons to the indicated committees?   
Yes 16       No 0   No one selected “Yes with the following exceptions: _________________”

o        Greg Huey (EAS) to replace Jeanette Yen (Biology) as a College of Sciences Representative to the Executive Board [2007-10]

o        Dave Millard (GTRI-ITTL) to replace Gail Palmer (ECE) on Welfare and Security Committee [2007-10]

o        Michael Schaepe (IPST) to replace Jane Weyant (CoE) on Welfare and Security Committee [2007-09]

o        Marlit Hayslett (GTRI-ITTL) to replace Linda Cabot (OIT) on Academic Services Committee [2007-09]

o        Barry Sharp (GTRI-ATAS) to replace Jean Hudgins (Library) on Faculty Benefits Committee [2007-09]

o        Arnold Schneider (Mgt) to replace Sylvia Maier (IntA) on Student Grievance and Appeal Committee [2007-09]