GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

MINUTES

Meeting of September 19, 2006

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center

 

 

Members Present: Akins (Prof Prac); Alexander (Staff Rep); Ballard (GTRI); Byrne (for Graab; U. Student); Braga (CHEM); Bras (ME); Dagenhart (ARCH); First (Phys); Foley (CoC); Gaimon (MGT); Hughes (ECE); Keller (G. Student); Schuster (Provost); Stein (VPSS); West (GTRI); Wood (LCC); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).  

 

Members Absent: Barnhart (GTRI); Clough (President); Price (IMTC); Williams (ECE/GT-S); Yen (BIOL)

 

Visitors: Allen (Pres. Office); Bohlander (GTRI/ITTL); Griffin (ISyE)  

 

1.      Joe Hughes (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:05 PM.  He stated that a meeting between the President, the Provost, and the Executive Board leadership will be held to identify and discuss the main issues to be brought to the Executive Board and the faculty governance bodies during the year.  He called on Board members to contact him if there are any issues/topics they would like the Board to discuss. 

 

2.      The Chair called on the Provost to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.  The Provost offered the following comments in behalf of the President:

 

a.       At last count, we have 2,805 entering freshmen – the largest freshmen class in GT history.  The goal was 2,600.  The increase is due to several factors including higher-than-normal acceptance rates and virtually no “summer melt” [fraction of accepted students who pay their deposit but do not enroll, which is normally 2-3%].  Housing had to use triple rooms to accommodate the higher than expected class size.  Thanks to the efforts of the faculty and staff (particularly IAC and CoS), additional sessions have been offered and laboratory TAs have been hired to accommodate all incoming freshmen.

 

b.      Our graduation rates have increased to their highest level (~66% after 6 years).  Students in good standing who leave GT usually do so because they had not established “connectedness” with the institution through participation in activities such as athletics, professional clubs, social fraternities, etc.  We are working very hard to increase the students’ opportunities to become connected to GT.  The freshman course GT1000 has had a very positive impact; the retention rate for freshmen is now ~ 92%.  Broadening of undergraduate program offerings has also contributed to the increased retention levels. 

 

c.       The Molecular Sciences and Engineering building (the “M” building -- fourth building in our biotechnology complex) is complete; faculty and staff are in the process of moving into the building.  Despite the significant increase in facilities, we are still in need of more space to accommodate our growing programs.  The “M” building was privately funded which allowed us to work directly with the contractors and quickly finish the construction.  The Klaus Advanced Computing Building is nearly complete; it will be available for students’ use in the Spring. This building was partially funded by the State (the State agency is responsible for building it, which resulted in significant delays).  Construction of the Marcus Nanotechnology Building has begun.  The building will be located at the site of the Neely Nuclear Research Center and the Electronics Research Laboratory.  We are hopeful that our Undergraduate Learning Center project will move higher on the priority list of the University System’s capital construction projects.  Construction of the Fifth Street Bridge is expected to be completed this fall; a ribbon cutting ceremony has been scheduled for December 5th.

 

d.      Faced with many international opportunities to expand the reach of Georgia Tech (Global GT), one of the challenges to be addressed in the near term is to be able to sort these opportunities and decide which ones to pursue aggressively and which ones to decline.  We want to make sure that the rewards to be gained from undertaking an initiative are commensurate with the required effort and resources.  The second major near-term challenge to be addressed deals with our Bio-medical initiative.  Many faculty members from a broad range of units across campus, along with faculty from Emory University, are working on a proposal to form an institute for “integrated systems.”  We intend to pursue this initiative very aggressively since it provides opportunities to combine disciplines in a systematic manner as Biology and Bio-medicine become more quantitative. 

 

A question was asked as to whether construction of the Nanotechnology Research building will be subject to the same delays experienced by the Klaus building because of the State’s contributions to the construction costs.  The Provost stated that this is not expected since we have been authorized by the State to manage its construction.  He pointed to the fact that construction costs have recently increased because of the increase in the cost of raw materials.  A follow-up question was asked as to when construction of the Nanotechnology Research building is expected to be completed.  The Provost stated that construction will take approximately 24 months.  There were no other questions for the Provost.

 

3.      The Chair called for approval of minutes of the August 22nd, 2006 meeting of the Executive Board.  The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1 below).

 

4.      The Chair called on Dr. Ron Bohlander (GTRI, 2005-06 Chair of the Statutes Committee) and Dr. Paul Griffin (ISyE, 2006-07 Chair of the Statutes Committee) to present the recommended changes to the Faculty handbook.  A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached (see Attachment #2 below).  Detailed listings of the recommended changes are given in Attachment # 3 below. The Chair requested that each of the changes to be recommended be presented, discussed, and voted on separately.  Bohlander concurred.  He acknowledged the contributions of members of the Statutes Committee (see list in Attachment #2) and stated that there are five changes to be presented; the first is a part of the Statutes which means that it will require two readings by the General Faculty before it is fully approved, while the other four are outside the Statutes and Bylaws, and will, therefore, require only one reading by the General Faculty.  He stated that, if approved by the Board, these changes will be presented at the October 10, 2006 meeting of the General Faculty.  

 

The first change deals with Sections 5.1.1 and 5.3.1 of the Faculty Handbook which address membership in the General Faculty and Academic Faculty.  It is proposed to add Archivists as members of the General Faculty and Academic Faculty in the same manner as Librarians are currently included.  The changes were requested by the Library and referred to the Statutes Committee by the Executive Board.  Bohlander stated that the required qualifications for Archivists I, II, III, and IV are identical to those for Librarians I, II, III, and IV; hence, it is appropriate to make this change.  It is recommended that Archivists I become members of the General Faculty and that Archivists II, III, and IV become members of the Academic Faculty.  Bohlander stated that additional minor changes were made to Sections 5.1.1 and 5.3.1 to make the terminology for Administrative Officers consistent with the BOR Policy Manual and the rest of the Faculty Handbook.    A question was asked as to why the title of “Professor of the Practice” was not added to those eligible for General Faculty status.  Bohlander stated that it is included, albeit implicitly, in the third bullet of the Corps of Instruction list presented in Section 5.1.1.  He agreed that it would be better to explicitly include the title of “Professor of the Practice” in the list.  A question was asked as to whether including all Librarians and Archivists in the Corps of Instruction is inconsistent the definition of the General Faculty; the issue is significant since it may affect eligibility for membership on various standing committees.  Bohlander stated that there is no inconsistency and that the BOR defines Corps of Instruction in the same manner we define the General Faculty.  A motion was made to approve the recommended changes to Sections 5.1.1 and 5.3.1 of the Faculty Handbook as amended (by including the title of “Professor of the Practice” among those listed in the Corps of Instruction) and to forward the recommended changes to the General Faculty.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

The second change deals with Section 17.3 which addresses Tenure and Hiring with Tenure.  Section 17.3 already allows units to offer tenure to distinguished faculty at the time they are hired.  The Executive Board requested that language be added to the Faculty Handbook to provide guidelines for the process.  Section 17.3.1 has been modified by adding introductory comments from the BOR Policy Manual (which were removed from Section 17.3) and outlining the process to be followed by the various units when hiring someone with tenure.  The process is consistent as much as possible with the tenure decision process for our own faculty.  It begins with the Dean or unit Chair making a documented case for hiring someone with tenure and helping to assemble a faculty committee to review the case.  The faculty committee reviews the candidate’s qualifications and makes a formal recommendation on its findings to the Dean or unit Chair consistent with the unit’s standards for tenure.  The Dean or unit Chair then makes a recommendation to the Provost including the recommendation from the faculty review committee.  A question was asked regarding the application of the process to Colleges with multiple units and whether a unit chair in such a college can bypass the Dean and go directly to the Provost.  Bohlander stated that given the close relationship between the unit Chairs and the Deans in colleges with multiple units, the Statutes Committee decided that it is not necessary to complicate the process by adding another approval step and that in situations of this type consultation between the unit Chair and the Dean are expected.  A question was asked regarding the stated criteria for hiring someone with tenure as listed in Section 17.3.1 [“…was already tenured at his or her prior institution, and brings a demonstrable national reputation to Georgia Tech”] and whether such criteria prevent us from offering tenure to an accomplished person from industry.  The Provost stated that the wording also raises concerns with respect to hiring accomplished scholars from National Laboratories, some of whom may be Nobel Prize winners, as well as outstanding young faculty members from other institutions who are near but have not been granted tenure at their current institutions.  Clearly, we would like to be able to offer tenure to people who have had distinguished careers at National laboratories; we would also like to attract outstanding young faculty from other leading institutions by offering them tenure rather than the possibility of tenure, which is what they already have at their current institutions.  He stated that we can address this issue by changing the word “and” in the criteria to an “or” [“…was already tenured at his or her prior institution, or brings a demonstrable national reputation to Georgia Tech.”  A comment was made that this language comes from the Board of Regents meeting minutes, and that replacing the “and” with an “or” represents a material change in the Board’s intentions.  A comment was made that the process as presented is an abridged version of the process currently used for tenure decisions of our own faculty since it eliminates the reviews performed by the College-level and the Provost-level faculty committees.  While this process may be appropriate for someone who is already tenured or has had a distinguished career at a National laboratory, it may raise concerns if it were to be applied to young un-tenured faculty members with only a few years of experience in Academia.  A follow-up comment was made that there is some concern regarding the idea of offering tenure to young faculty members before they come-up for tenure at their current institutions; it may be a way for them to “hedge their bets” rather than a genuine interest in joining Georgia Tech.  A comment was made that with our increased interest in international activities, it may be appropriate to replace the words “national reputation” to “national/international reputation.”  It was suggested that the Executive Board should approve the proposed language as stated in Section 17.3.1 and that cases outside the stated criteria can be justified on a case-by-case basis.  A motion was made to approve the proposed changes to Section 17.3 of the Handbook as described in Attachment #3 and forward them to the General Faculty, and to request that the Statutes Committee continue to examine this issue for possible revisions or clarifications in dealing with exceptional cases.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

The third change deals with revision to Sections 17.6 and 17.7 of the Faculty Handbook to include the newly approved title of “Professor of the Practice.”  Bohlander stated that on February 28, 2006, the Faculty adopted the proposal for establishing this new title.  It is a non-tenure track position which allows us to hire and pay distinguished academic, business, or government leaders who can enhance the Institute’s programs.  It is recommended that the title “Professor of the Practice” be added to the list of titles of non-tenure track personnel who can hold Academic Faculty status (Section 17.6).  A new Section 17.7 has also been added; this includes the contents of the proposal adopted by the Faculty in February 2006 and is aimed at documenting the qualifications and expectations in hiring people with that title, along with the guidelines for implementation.  A comment was made that the fourth bullet in the guidelines for implementation (Section 17.7) allows a person hired as “Professor of the Practice of X” to represent himself or herself as “Professor of X;” this may be misleading to people outside Georgia Tech since it may imply that the person holds a tenure-track position.  Bohlander stated that these guidelines were approved by the faculty in February 2006 and that no changes can be made without the faculty’s approval.  A motion was made to approve the proposed revisions to Sections 17.6 and 17.7 of the Faculty Handbook and forward them to the General Faculty.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

The fourth change deals with revisions to Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook which pertains to IP Policy.  Bohlander stated that the changes were recommended by the Office of Technology Licensing and endorsed by GTRC as a part of the annual process in which people/units responsible for different sections of the Handbook are polled to see if any changes are necessary.  The recommended changes clarify the language used in Section 50.5 to state that student employees will fill out an Assignment of Rights form like all other employees.  Section 50.6 was revised to indicate that Computer Software “may be” (versus “is”) a scholarly activity, and that individual efforts are not institute-assigned efforts.  Section 50.7.1 was modified to replace the word “inventor” with “creator,” make clear that there may be multiple creators associated with a given IP and that the list may from time to time be updated, and that R&D internal investments could be viewed as legitimate up-front costs to be deducted from royalties only if agreed to in advance in writing.  A motion was made to approve the proposed revisions to Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook and forward them to the General Faculty.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

The last change deals with revisions to Section 22 of the faculty Handbook which pertains to the promotion guidelines for research-titled personnel.  Bohlander stated that GTRI appointed a committee to review the promotion guidelines for research-titled personnel.  The Committee recommended changes to the current policy; the recommendations were submitted to the Director of GTRI and the Vice-Provost for Research, who, in turn, recommended them to the Statutes Committee.  The recommended changes broaden the evidence of technical mastery of a complex field (Sections 22.4 and 22.5.2) to include development of software/hardware products and documented impacts of these products.  This acknowledges that stakeholders and peers nowadays recognize a broader spectrum of impacts in addition to the classic peer-reviewed literature.  The proposed revisions also broaden the recognition of supervisory activities to roles beyond those of a project director, including program managers, co-project directors, and task leaders.  These revisions recognize that some large programs have significant leadership opportunities across a spectrum of project roles.  A motion was made to approve the proposed revisions to Section 22 of the Faculty Handbook and forward them to the General Faculty.  The motion passed without dissent.

 

The Chair thanked Dr. Bohlander and the Statutes Committee for their efforts.                                                                            

       

5.      The Chair presented the proposed agenda for the October 10, 2006 fall meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly combined with meeting of the Academic Senate (See Attachment #4 below).  He stated that the main item on the agenda is the annual State of the Institute Address by the President.  Other items included in the agenda are:  appointment of a new Secretary of the Faculty; approval of recommended changes to the Faculty Handbook, approval of committee minutes, and presentation of annual reports of the various standing committees.  The proposed agenda was approved without dissent. 

 

6.      The Chair called on the Secretary of the Faculty to present administrative matters.  Abdel-Khalik stated that there is one committee appointment to be made.  In accordance with the procedure previously established by the Board, Dr. Judith Norback (ISyE) has been contacted and has agreed to serve on the Academic Services Committee to complete the unexpired term [06-07] of Dr. Joseph Hoey (OARS) who has left GT.  A motion was made to approve the appointment of Dr. Judith Norback to the Academic Services Committee.  The motion passed without dissent. 

 

7.      The Chair and Board members expressed their appreciation to the Secretary of the Faculty for his service over the past five years.

 

8.      The Chair asked for any new business; hearing none, he adjourned the meeting at 4:05 PM..

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Said Abdel-Khalik

Secretary of the Faculty

September 24, 2006

 

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

 

1.       Minutes of the EB meeting of August 22, 2006. http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/EB2007-082206-Minutes-Amendedwp.htm

2.      Recommended Changes to the Faculty Handbook (Presentation by Ron Bohlander and Paul Griffin)

3.      Detailed Listing of Recommended Changes to the Faculty Handbook

4.      Proposed Agenda for the October 10, 2006 Fall meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly combined with meeting of the Academic Senate