GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Meeting of June 19, 2007
Held in the Poole Board Room of the
Members Present: Akins (Vice-Chair, Prof. Prac.), Alexander (Staff), Ballard (GTRI), Barnhart (GTRI) , Bohlander (SoF), Braga (Chemistry), Bras (ME), Clough (President), First (Physics), Hughes (Chair, ECE), Parvatiyar (U. Grad Student), Price (IMTC), Schuster (Provost), Stein (VPSS), West (GTRI), Wester (Grad Student), Williams (ECE/GT-S)
Members Absent: Dagenhart (ARCH), Foley (CoC), Gaimon (Mgt), Wood (LCC), Yen (Biology),
Visitors: Allen (President’s Office), Harwell (U/G Research), Paraska (Vice Provost for Institutional Development), Rollins (International Programs)
Tom Akins (Vice-Chair) opened the meeting at
3:08 P.M., filling in for the chair, Joe Hughes, because Joe, while present for
the meeting, was having a spell of laryngitis.
Mr. Akins began by welcoming the new student representatives to the
Executive Board: Anu Pavatiyar (undergraduate student president, majoring in
biomedical engineering) and Brock Wester (graduate student president, also in
biomedical engineering). Mr. Akins went
on to announce that there were two vacancies on the Student Honor Committee and
replacements would be needed to serve from 2007-09. Two
people, who previously ran for these committees, have agreed to fill these
vacancies; namely, Blake Leland (LCC) and
2. Mr. Akins called the Board’s attention to the minutes of the April 10, 2007 meeting of the Executive Board. The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1).
3. He then called on President Clough to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:
At this point, President Clough turned the meeting over to Provost Gary Schuster for further comments on a variety of new international programs which are under consideration.
Dr. Schuster remarked that Georgia Tech is in
the early stages of a globalization of higher education that parallels the
earlier globalization of business. This
particularly applies to graduate education and to engineering, science, and
technology. The motivation is the
realization that higher education, particularly in these areas, is a driver for
economic development. Successes of this
kind in the
The other side of this is the question, what is in this for Georgia Tech? Why should Tech and others be interested in globalization? The answer is in the broad lessons of history. The trading centers and cross roads of the world have been the catalysts for change and for growth, not only in trade and economics. In every such city, science and the arts have also prospered. Such activity promotes the interchange of ideas that foment new discoveries, whether it is in science, engineering, art, music, or humanities. The trading centers in the 21st century may be known as much for trading ideas in the knowledge economy as for trading commodities like coffee and tea. Georgia Tech will benefit from being part of this world of trade in the knowledge economy and new paradigms of thought. Tech faculty and students will benefit from being a part of this.
That’s the high level view. More specifically, Tech has recently received many opportunities for possible liaisons, but Dr. Schuster cautioned Tech about trying to become the Starbucks of technical universities with an outpost on every corner. It is important to be selective in choosing partners carefully and three criteria will be used:
· The first requirement to be met is that Tech and its partners are aligned strategically, meaning that both have the same goals in mind.
· The second requirement is that the prospective partnership and anticipated operations be consistent with Georgia Tech’s reputation for high quality and excellence. Operationally this means that Tech must be able to control admissions, ongoing student quality, curriculum, faculty hiring and ongoing quality, and finally degree granting authority. These cannot be delegated to another political or economic entity because the Tech reputation is on the line.
· The third criterion is that the business model be economically viable. There are no resources from the state, from tuition, or from any other source to underwrite initiatives to set up and maintain international operations. Therefore, Tech must require that partners who invite Georgia Tech to embark on such an operation must be able to provide the resources.
There are other possible considerations but those three are the major ones. Other criteria include questions like: are there sufficient numbers of faculty and students to populate the vision? So in this framework Tech is considering a number of specific opportunities.
Also well known is that Georgia Tech has been in Singapore for about
seven years in joint operation of The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific
(TLI-AP) with the National University of Singapore. TLI-AP has two primary programs. One is a Masters degree program in logistics
and supply chain management. The other
is a research component covering those fields.
Such programs are particularly apropos for
Dr. Schuster mentioned that before his visit in
A third new opportunity is in
The Provost also mentioned other opportunities including some that are
well along already, such as those in
Dr. Schuster took questions from the Board. Ed Price asked if the recent withdrawal by
Akins called on President Clough to tell the Executive Board about progress so
far in Georgia Tech’s Capital Campaign.
President Clough explained that work began on the current campaign in
June 2004. The current goal is to raise
at least $1 billion by December 2010, and as of the end of May 2007 about $416
million was booked, putting the campaign very much on track. By the end of 2007, close to $500 million is
expected. The campaign is still in its
quiet phase and has not gone public. So
the exact goal and exact end dates are not set in concrete either. The development team is quite experienced and
has developed a detailed plan and model with which to track progress. President Clough explained some of the
nuances of that model. He also explained
some of the conventional wisdom and GT experience with the distribution of
donors and the amounts of their gifts.
Many donors are repeat donors who contributed in past campaigns. Many are new and some of these are interested
because Tech has broadened its portfolio of teaching and research and now
covers topics of interest that appeal to new donors. Capital campaigns require a lot of travel and
the good news is that Tech alums and supporters have provided resources, both
with transportation and also with interesting venues at which to meet
prospective donors. In addition, the
presence of these committed supporters, such as Al West (Chair of the Capital
Campaign), adds to the credibility of the appeals made. President Clough praised the Tech development
staff and all those who work hard to prepare the trips that are needed to make
the campaign a success. He stated that
Tech’s reputation with industry is stellar and makes this a very enjoyable
process. He cited also high interest in
hiring Tech students and the attractiveness of new ventures at Tech as factors
that have brought success so far in Tech’s funding appeals. President Clough pointed out that Emory and
Tech not only cooperate in research and teaching; they also collaborate on
development, and he cited the example of mutual interest in research leading to
safe water becoming more widely available across the globe. Joint programs like this attract donations to
both schools. President Clough explained
also the different amounts of progress toward donations for purposes of various
kinds, such as endowment, facilities and equipment, and current operations. He showed the varying responses of different
categories of donors, such as alumni, corporations, foundations, parents,
etc. Individual units on campus help
conduct the campaign and their rates of progress were reviewed.
President Clough also gave a brief update on the new Promise scholarship program, which will provide better access to a Georgia Tech education for families with the greatest financial need. Eligibility is restricted to families with income less than $30,000/yr, who apply for a Pell Grant (or similar), and contribute through the work/study program. Perhaps as many as 400 students will qualify; 127 have been approved so far of which 50 are new students. The average family income of those approved so far is $18,560/yr. About one-third are women, and about 60% minorities. The program is only open to
President Clough opened the floor to questions and Mr. Akins asked how the large number of small donations came in: did they tend to come in steadily over the campaign or mostly at the end? Dr. Clough answered that most of these arise from habits of regular giving and the campaign would appreciate it if such donors would pledge ahead for the six years of the campaign so this giving could be factored in at one time rather than little by little. Mr. Akins noted that this probably applied to the members of the Executive Board and the President said yes, Tech’s faculty members are known to be remarkably generous.
Akins then turned to Ms. Susan Paraska, Assistant to Jack Lohmann, Vice Provost
for Institutional Development, to introduce two speakers who would brief the
Executive Board on progress made under Tech’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). This plan had been developed in preparation
for the last round of SACS accreditation visits, because SACS requires a
broad-based institutional plan focusing on improvements in learning outcomes
and support to students. Ms. Paraska
introduced Dr. Howard Rollins, Associate Vice Provost for International
Programs, to cover the International Plan part of this report. He and the following speaker, Dr. Karen
Harwell, spoke from PowerPoint slides contained in Attachment
#2. Dr. Rollins explained that
Tech put quite a lot of effort over a year’s time developing its QEP and
decided that it would concentrate on developing an International Plan option
for undergraduate learning as well as an Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Program. The International Plan began in
the spring of 2005 and so this is a report now on about two years of
operations. The thrust of the
International Plan is to help Georgia Tech students develop global
competence. This is explicitly something
beyond the traditional “study abroad” sort of program. At
Challenges faced in the program include understanding how to assess global competence. Tech has decided to measure knowledge gained, cultural sensitivity, and discipline-based competence for a global setting. There is an extensive evaluation process in collecting metrics from entering students, from control respondents not in the program, and then also from program students at the end of their studies. One of the assessment tools is the respected Intercultural Development Inventory. Challenges are also found in possible barriers for student participation, such as higher cost, increased time to graduation, and competition from other interesting options in the curriculum. Some students initially believe this is a good thing to do but drop out during the first two years when their only involvement in the International Plan is to take some language courses. Therefore, plans are being developed to increase participant engagement during the first two years.
Dr. Rollins turned the floor over to Dr. Harwell who introduced herself as having come to Tech 15 months ago from the National Academies to be the Director of Undergraduate Research. She stated that Tech has long had opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved in research, but that the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides greater encouragement and visible central support. The program was planned with two main outcomes in mind: increased participation in research and a new formal Research Option for degree plans. Since 2004, participation has increased 20%/yr. and reached 365 participants last year. The research option requires a longer commitment from a participating student and culminates in a capstone thesis. Dr. Harwell stated that fourteen schools offer the Research Option and there have been 19 graduates so far. Approximately twice that number is in the pipeline and it is catching on as a program of interest across a wider spectrum of students. Some special endowments and sponsorships have been coming in from donors and corporations. Students can elect to participate at any stage in their time at Tech and many do so in their senior year.
One of the challenges faced by the program is to meet increasing demand with limited resources. There is a desire to maintain high quality and also not to impose unduly on individual faculty members’ scarce resources. There is also a challenge in accurately counting the number of students served due to the informality and flexibility of the program. Students are easily counted if registered for course credit but those working on faculty grants but not registered are harder to count. Finally, it is worthwhile to concentrate more on fundraising to help solve resource problems. Explicit support in the Capital Campaign would be welcome. Dr. Rollins mentioned that the International Plan and UROP in some sense compete for students. Dr. Harwell mentioned that some effort is now being made to find ways they can work together.
Surveys have been used to measure progress in research competencies including communications skills, confidence in research abilities, and confidence in problem solving. Competency in thesis writing is also being measured, though faculty buy in for the assessment tools can be a challenge. There has not been time to measure the long term impact on eventual career progressions. Focus groups are being used to understand how and why students get into the program and what they perceive they might need in terms of added support. Included in this are discussions of how and when Tech teaches students about thesis writing. Some student indicate that this program is a good way for them to get a taste of graduate student activities and it helps them decide whether to pursue a graduate degree.
Contact info for both programs is included on Attachment #2.
Bill Ballard asked if it was possible to be a Co-Op student in the International Plan. Dr. Rollins answered, yes, and it is possible to work one or more work semesters in an international setting to satisfy both programs. Tom Akins commented that, in the 2006-07 year, Tech had 46 students working abroad in 19 countries on five continents. This is a much higher number than in previous years, made possible when Debbie Gulick (Assistant Director of Professional Practice for Work Abroad) became available to assist with the special logistics issues. The top three venues are
6. Mr. Akins commented that the July meeting of the Executive Board is sometimes cancelled because summer schedules take many faculty away to special activities. He asked if there was any urgent business to conduct in a July meeting. Hearing none, Ron Bohlander suggested that the July 17 date for the meeting be held open until early July when a final decision to cancel, or not, would be made and announced to the Executive Board.
7. Dr. Hughes asked that Ron Bohlander discuss the upcoming election of Executive Board officers for 2007-08. Dr. Bohlander explained that the Executive Board members for 2006-07 and those for 2007-08 would all be invited to the Board meeting on August 21, 2007. The agenda for this meeting would usually include an invitation to all members continuing into the coming year to let the secretary know if they are interested in running for chair or vice-chair of the Executive Board. The secretary would then send out an email ballot to determine those who would serve so that this would be known going into the September meeting. Dr. Bohlander offered two process improvements for the Board to consider:
· It would be an advantage to determine the officers a bit earlier so that there is more time for the officers to meet with President Clough and prioritize possible agenda items for the coming year before the September meeting. To this end, he asked if it would be possible to get nominees during July and hold the ballot before the August meeting.
· It was observed that the end of 2006-07 leaves us with both the chair and vice-chair coming to the end of their terms on the Executive Board. Dr. Bohlander suggested that some special consideration be given to vice-chair candidates who have two years of eligibility left, so that if mutually agreeable, the person elected would be able to stand for election to chair in the subsequent year.
Dr. Bohlander then moved that candidates for Executive Board officers be
identified and elected prior to the August meeting via email processes, and
this motion was seconded. Dr. Bert Bras
asked about specific timelines for these emails because he was concerned that
many faculty might be away until close to the time classes start. Dr. Hughes said the process could be
compressed into the time immediately before the August meeting because the new
chair has no responsibilities to prepare something for this meeting. Discussion from the floor focused on
advantages in meeting candidates at the August meeting and then voting by email
ballot within a few days following the meeting.
This would allow a bit more time for candidates to step forward and
would give people a chance to hear what the candidates were thinking. Accordingly, Dr. Bohlander amended his motion
with the concurrence of the seconder, as follows: He
moved that candidates for the Executive Board officers be invited to declare
their interest prior to the August meeting, that nominations be accepted also
from the floor, that each candidate be allowed to make a brief statement to the
Board at the August meeting, and that an email ballot then be conducted to
select the officers within about a week from the Board meeting. This motion was approved without dissent.
The sense of the meeting was that candidates for Vice Chair would be encouraged who could continue as chair in the following year if mutually agreeable but this would not be a rule.
8. Dr. Bohlander called the Board’s attention to the proposed calendar of meetings for the next year documented in Attachment #3. He showed how the different meetings on the calendar related to each other and to other events in campus life. He commented that all of these dates had been coordinated with the President and the Registrar. The timing of meetings must pay close attention particularly to curriculum change deadlines. A motion to adopt the calendar passed without dissent.
9. Mr. Akins asked for any new business. Hearing none the meeting was adjourned at about 5:20 P.M.
Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary
July 25, 2007
Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)
2. Presentation on the QEP