Meeting of April 15, 2008

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center




Members Present: Alexander (Staff), Ballard (GTRI), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bras (ME), Fowler (Grad. Student), Henry (Co-Vice-Chair, ORC), Huey (EAS), Morley (Math), Parvatiyar (U. Grad Student), Rossignac (Co-Vice-Chair, CoC-IC), Schuster (Provost), Stein (Dean of Students)West (Chair, GTRI), Wellkamp (U. Grad. Student), Wester (Grad Student), Whiteman (ME), Williams (ECE/GT-S) , Wood (LCC)


Members Absent: Barnhart (GTRI), Braga (Chemistry), Clough (President), Dagenhart (ARCH), Gaimon (Mgt), Price (IMTC),


Visitors:   Colatrella (Faculty Status & Grievance Committee & Task Force, LCC), Demetriou (OHR), Donbaugh (OHR), Lohmann (VP Fac. & Acad.Dev.), Paraska (Progr. Rev. & Accred.), Schrage (FAR, AE), Strike (Statutes Committee, GTRI)

1.         Ms. Leanne West (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:06 P.M.   She called on Anu Parvatiyar and Brock Wester to introduce the new presidents of the student bodies who will be taking office soon.  Ms. Parvatiyar introduced the new President of the undergraduate student body, Nick Wellkamp, a third year major in industrial and systems engineering and public health double major, from Kentucky.  She said he was currently serving on the president’s cabinet as the VP of Administration.  Mr. Wester introduced Aaron Fowler as his successor as president of the graduate student body and said Mr. Fowler had been an undergraduate student at Tech also, in public policy.  Wellkamp and Fowler’s terms would start around April 23.  Ms. West thanked Ms. Parvatiyar and Mr. Wester for their faithful service to the Board and to Georgia Tech in the past year.

2.         She asked for approval of the minutes of the Mar.11, 2008 meeting of the Executive Board (Attachment #1)This was approved without dissent.

3.         Ms. West then called on Provost Gary Schuster to comment, in President Clough’s absence, on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.  Dr. Schuster focused his remarks on explanations of what was ahead in light of President Clough’s announcement of his intention to retire and take a post at the head of the Smithsonian Institute, effective July 1.

a.   Dr. Schuster began by noting the enormous accomplishments that President Clough has made in his tenure as President in the past fourteen years and saying the campus owed Dr. Clough an enormous debt of gratitude. 

b.   Dr. Schuster then stated that the Chancellor had asked him to step in as Interim President until a permanent successor could be found and he had agreed to do that.  He said that a transition plan was being developed for the time until Dr. Clough’s departure and for how the offices of the President and Provost would be operated after Dr. Clough leaves.  He estimated that the interim period would last 6-12 months.  He also noted there would then be another transition period later to introduce the new President into the work at Tech.

c.   Dr. Schuster complimented the dedicated staff of the Provost’s and President’s Offices and said that the two offices were working together to work out a joint operations plan for the different transition phases. He said that the Senior Vice-Provosts, Drs. Andy Smith and Mark Allen, would take over some of the duties of the Provost, particularly those duties of the Provost that report to the President.  For example in the hiring of faculty, the Provost makes a recommendation to the President who has the final decision; Andy Smith would step into this role for the Provost.  A similar arrangement would be in place for reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions.  In budgetary decisions, Mark Allen would work with the Executive VP for Administration and Finance, Steve Swant, in formulating Institute budgets and then would make recommendations to Dr. Schuster for his decisions as Interim President.  On the other hand, Dr. Schuster would continue with some of the regular Provost functions, such as his regular interaction with the Deans concerning the academic strategic plan and his activities in maintaining external relationships for Georgia Tech.  He cited the example of Tech’s relationship with the Georgia Research Alliance.  Dr. Schuster said that Jennifer Herazy and Carol Gue would work together to coordinate his calendar.  He would continue to have the assistance of Executive Assistant Sue Ann Allen.

d.   He stated that the presidential search process was forming.  The process and the search committee have been carefully defined in Board of Regents (BOR) policies.  Dr. Schuster outlined the 20 slots on the search committee to be filled by appointment by the Chancellor from defined categories:

·    7 currently sitting members of the BOR including

o   The chair of the BOR who will not be known until late May or early June

o   The member of the BOR who comes from the district nearest Tech

o   The other 5 to be appointed. by the Chancellor

·    6 faculty representatives

o   The Chancellor will appoint them but has asked for Tech’s recommendations.

o   Dr. Schuster asked for the Executive Board members’ inputs.

·         1 administrator

o   Input welcome

·    1 student, nominated through discussions with student leadership

·     1 member Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA), nominated by GTAA

·     1 member of the Georgia Tech Foundation (GTF), nominated by GTF

·    3 members at large

o   Input welcome

Dr. Schuster asked that all inputs come to him as soon as possible so he could convey suggestions to the Chancellor within a week to ten days.  He explained that the chair of the search committee would be a Regent selected by the Chancellor (and not necessarily the chair of the BOR).  The committee would be supported by an executive search firm to be selected by the Chancellor.  He said that a formal announcement of the makeup of the committee would likely not come until after the chair of the BOR is known; thus, not until late May or June.  Once the period for open nominations begins, Dr. Schuster urged the Executive Board to contribute names to be considered.

e.   Dr. Schuster stated that he would not be a candidate for President beyond the interim period.  He expressed his confidence that Tech would handle the interim period very well and maintain its strength of programs.

4.         Dr. Schuster suggested that the Board accommodate a request from Mr. Chuck Donbaugh to brief the Board on Georgia House Bill 815.  Ms. West agreed and invited him to make his presentation.  Mr. Donbaugh projected a copy of Attachment #2 for reference and explained that Tech was instrumental in helping to get this legislation passed.  Dr. Schuster said the Governor had not signed it yet but believed he would.  Mr. Donbaugh went on to say that the bill expanded eligibility for the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) to all newly hired salaried faculty and classified staff members [sometimes called “exempt” because they are exempt from automatic overtime pay].  So when such persons are hired they would have the option to select either ORP or the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) plan.  The University System of Georgia had found itself challenged to recruit the very best people if it were not able to offer this option because the TRS plan required a ten-year vesting period which does not suit many applicants.

He stated that if the Governor signed this into law, it would be effective for new hires after July 1, 2008.

The other important provision was that the BOR now will determine the employer contribution rate, instead of having it tied to an actuarial formula in TRS.  Mr. Donbaugh said it was not known what formula the BOR would use to determine their contribution to ORP.  He said the average in higher education institutions was a contribution close to 10 per cent, whereas the ORP rate at present was 8.15%.  He stated it was possible that the BOR would set up their contribution as a matching plan up to some cap.  In any case the two programs were different in character, with the TRS being a defined benefit plan and the ORP, a defined contribution plan.  The right contribution therefore was not necessarily the same for both.

Mr. Donbaugh said there would be no change in the 60 day period in which to make an irrevocable choice in plan.  He said that the changes accompanying HB 815 were not expected to adversely affect the health of the TRS plan because teachers across the state in K-12 education participate in TRS and the University System participation was a relatively small component of TRS.

Mr. Donbaugh acknowledged a question about special categories of the General Faculty that were created in the past in order to provide such employees with access to the ORP option. 

Mr. Donbaugh addressed the following question from the Board:

§  Q. Does this remove the need for recent additions of certain categories of employees to the General Faculty?  Ans. One of the most recent additions, he said, was the category of Athletic Affairs Professional and this was now technically no longer necessary [just to provide access to ORP].  He said it was not yet determined whether the right approach was to grandfather faculty status for existing people in this category and then do future hires differently.  He estimated there were about 200 persons participating in ORP who had received this option via special inclusion in the General Faculty. 

Dr. Bohlander commented that this question may take a fair bit of study.  He reminded the Board that the faculty passed a resolution at its meeting February 27, 2007 to study and do what was possible to redefine and roll back participation in the General Faculty if a bill like HB 815 were to be passed.  He said current participation in General Faculty governance involved about 2,200 people with about 1,200 being non-academic.  He cautioned that grandfathering may sound simple but can be difficult to administer because then participation in the faculty would depend on both one’s title and on their date of hire.  The issue, he said would hinge on fringe benefit privileges like annual leave.  If a transition could be made that would not decrease fringe benefits for the affected parties, then there may be significant numbers of persons who were brought into the General Faculty for ORP and who may not care about participating in faculty governance.  Mr. Donbaugh acknowledged those were good points but options might be limited by BOR policies concerning fringe benefits.

§  Q.  So ORP will be available to all new salaried hires in the fall?  Ans. Yes.  This will be made part of the standard hiring package.

5.         Ms. West provided some explanation about recent developments of a possible University System of Georgia Faculty Council (USGFC).  She stated that she had been contacted about such a possible development by representatives from some of the smaller units in the System.  When it first came up a few months ago she consulted with Dr. Bohlander and Dr. Sue Ann Allen for advice on whether to engage in this formative process. The consensus reached was that needs and support for this system-wide faculty council were unclear and it was better to wait.  She stated, though, that she had remained in touch with those involved and had provided requested data concerning Tech’s own faculty governance when requested. 

She reported that there had been a subsequent meeting of interested universities in March and now development of a prospective USGFC seems to be proceeding quickly.  She handed out a draft copy of proposed Bylaws for the USGFC (Attachment #3).  The Board then held a discussion of some possible advantages of such a pan-system faculty council as well as some concerns.  Advantages centered on the opportunity for a faculty voice to the BOR and the Chancellor and his staff.  Concerns focused on 1) the stipulation in the proposed USGFC Bylaws that it would reach decisions by majority vote of the institution representatives (with one vote per institution) and 2) a lack of demarcation between matters which may be determined by the USGFC and those in the purview of the faculty bodies of the respective campuses.  Together, these concerns crystallized in a worry that the research universities were extremely in the minority and the USGFC might arrive at decisions that would be unworkable for them.  (There are 35 members of the USG and only four research universities among them.)  Matters of curriculum and reappointment, promotion, and tenure were cited as particularly sensitive areas.  There was consensus support for keeping the lines of communication open with the organizers of the USGFC and for Ms. West to caucus with her counterparts at the other research universities in the system to explore a possible joint communication to the organizers or to the Chancellor.  She reported that she had begun the latter process with UGA and they had similar concerns.  She promised to keep the Board apprised and asked for Board members to let her know if they had further inputs to offer.

6.         The Chair then called on Dr. Dan Schrage (Professor in AE) who serves as Tech’s Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR).  He presented his annual report to the Board on the State of Georgia Tech’s Intercollegiate Athletics Program and followed closely the material in Attachment #4.  He explained the role of the FAR on behalf of Georgia Tech and its faculty.  He described the check and balance system at Tech for certifying an athlete’s academic eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics.  While there had been a problem a few years ago with issues not getting adequate attention, he said these matters have been corrected and the administrative team was much stronger now.  

Dr. Schrage cataloged the educational benefits in slide 6 and commented that participation in the ACC brought $10 million in revenues back to Tech; the ACC sponsored at least three scholarships; and they hosted an annual undergraduate research conference.

He explained two metrics used by the NCAA for monitoring student athletes’ academic progress [namely, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR)] and provided representative data for each.  He said that one of the things that could significantly hurt a team’s performance on the APR was any instance of a player leaving to pursue a pro-athletics career at a time when they were no longer eligible academically.   Once they made a decision to leave, academic motivation can suffer.  He stated that the GSR is a better measure than other federal standards for graduate and was a six-year average.  Tech’s performance steadily improved over the past several years with student athletes improving by three percent since last year.

Dr. Schrage stated there were no salient areas of concern that had not been addressed by the administration and athletics leadership.  He reported that Tech received word on the day of his presentation that Tech had received its new NCAA certification without any conditions.  He thanked Dr. Jack Lohmann and Ms. Susan Paraska for their leadership toward this.  He said that the certification would be in place for the next ten years but more importantly the process to prepare for certification identified some very worthwhile changes that would help Tech’s programs to continue to improve.  In general, Dr. Schrage appealed to the faculty to get more involved in mentoring relationships with the individual teams.

Dr. Schrage described three areas of concern for which Institute plans have been developed.  The first concerned processes to consider academic entrance qualifications.  The Institute has adjusted its admissions appeals process to better communicate the available processes to all students and has plans to monitor the progress of those who enter under the USG BOR limited admissions processes.  He said there was increasing pressure to find student athletes who were committed to stay through graduation.  He noted that rules around the professional basketball draft were a serious problem that needed attention.

The second area of concern involved needs for improvement in gender equity and plans to address these would be reviewed in the June meeting of the GTAA Board of Trustees.  Dr. Schrage discussed metrics for salary equity and numbers of women on the coaching staff.  He reported that at long last there was a plan in place to build a new women’s software facility near the coliseum.  Improved recruiting resources for female teams were also being developed.

Similarly, the GTAA Board would review in June plans for improved minority opportunities in athletics, Dr. Schrage reported.  Some of the considerations and metrics paralleled the gender equity case just described.  Minority representation on the Student Athletic Advisory Board would also be addressed. 

Slide 20 provided a good summary of the overall situation. 

Dr. Lohmann added his thanks to all faculty and others who contributed to the NCAA certification process.  He stressed that the thing the Institute needed to avoid was letting go of the drive to improve now that certification had been won.  The time to start preparing for the next certification was now, he said.  Follow through on the plans for improvement described on slides 17-19 was cited as crucial and Tech could expect the NCAA to hold it accountable.  Another crucial element, Dr. Lohmann said, was Dr. Schrage’s annual report on progress in these areas, and the Executive Board needed to hold Tech accountable for this progress. 

7.         Ms. West asked Mr. Tim Strike (Chair, Statutes Committee) to present a proposal for a new section of the Faculty Handbook on intellectual diversity.  Mr. Strike reminded the Board that at their last meeting Dr. Andy Smith made a presentation about the Chancellor’s interest in having each member of the USG support the American Council of Education (ACE) “Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities”.  Subsequently the Dean of Students placed a link to the document in question on the Dean of Student’s website.  Mr. Strike stated it was time to take the next step and make a clear but simple statement of Tech’s policies in this area.  Mr. Strike used Attachment #5 to guide the Board through the Statute Committee’s recommendations. 

He said the committee found that some parts of the Faculty Handbook already addressed the subject matter of the ACE statement:

·         Section 6.2 of the Statutes already stated that student academic performance would only be evaluated only on an academic basis. 

·         Section 37.3.2 of the Faculty Handbook stated that only job related criteria would be used in hiring and promotion decisions.

So the Statutes Committee was recommending the addition of a brief new Section 46.5 which pointed to these existing commitments and added that there will be no disadvantage to students or faculty for their political opinions.  Slide 3 contained the text of the proposed section.  The numbering of existing sections 46.5 and 46.6 would be raised one unit to accommodate the inserted section.  Mr. Strike said the new section would be part of the larger section on Educational Guidelines and Evaluation and would not be part of the Statutes so the new material could be adopted by the approval of the faculty after one reading.  He pointed out that the recommended new Section 46.5 also referenced existing Georgia Tech policy on how to file grievances, in accord with the ACE statement.

Dr. Bohlander pointed out that the new text in the Handbook would also contain a hyperlink to the ACE paper.

Ms. West received a motion that the Executive Board endorsed this change to the Faculty Handbook and recommended it to the faculty at their upcoming April 22, 2008 meeting.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.

8.         Ms. West called on Dr. Tom Morley to report to the Board on the results of an ad hoc study group on election of administrators to faculty governance bodies.  He referred the Board to the group’s report in Attachment #6 and reminded them that the study group comprised Barbara Henry, Ron Bohlander, and himself.  Given the fluid nature of departmental structures, he stated that the group felt clearer definitions of administrators were neither possible nor desirable.  Dr. Morley said it was difficult to know for sure what the authors of the current statutes and bylaws intended when they excluded administrators from election to the Executive Board and three of the standing committees.  He noted there was no mention of administrators below the level of departmental chairs, so whether faculty who served in dual roles as faculty and administrators were intended to be part of the exclusion was not known for sure.  Nevertheless, the ad hoc group felt the probable intent would be just as well served by highlighting the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest in each decision faced by committees. 

So the group recommended that the sentences of Section 10.7.1 of the bylaws be reordered to highlight the words already present which state clearly that

“No members of a Standing Committee shall participate in the consideration of an appeal of their own decision rendered in the performance of other duties.”

Dr. Bohlander supported that and said that the whole section was much easier to follow in the recommended form but that absolutely no sentences or words had been changed, just the order.  Dr. Morley said that this provided emphasis of a duty shared by all, whether or not they had any formal administrative role, and said that he believed this adequately addressed the questions that had arisen recently. [See minutes of the January 15 and February 19, 2008 meetings of the Executive Board].

Dr. Bohlander reminded the Board that a change in the content of part of Section 10.7.1 was already awaiting a second reading at the next faculty meeting on April 22, 2008.  The ad hoc study group recommended that the faculty be asked to accept this editorial change as part of the second reading since it involves no further wording or policy changes.  Ms. West received a motion that the Executive Board endorsed this change to the Faculty Handbook as part of the second reading of pending changes to Section 10.7.1 and recommended it to the faculty at their upcoming April 22, 2008 meeting.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.

9.         The Chair called next on Dr. Carol Colatrella to present the conclusions of the Task Force concerning the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC) which the Executive Board commissioned earlier in the year.  Dr. Colatrella served on the Task Force looking at improvements in FSGC procedures as well as serving as chair of FSGC for the current year.  (Refer to her slides found in Attachment #7).  Representing Dr. Andy Peterson who chaired the FSGC Task Force but could not be present, Dr. Colatrella introduced the other members of the task force listed on slide 2.  She said the committee comprised faculty members who have served on the FSGC, others who were familiar with faculty reappointment, promotion, and tenure (RPT) decision making where a many grievance arise, and expert specialists such as Kate Wasch from Legal Affairs and Monique Tavares, Director of Faculty Career Development in the Provost’s Office.  Dr. Colatrella reminded the Board that in 2006-07 there was a large wave of grievances that was beyond the capacity of the FSGC to handle in a timely way.  The task force saw that some of the limitation in capacity came from

·         A lack of administrative support;

·         A problem with some committee members no longer having the time needed to serve and a misunderstanding about the processes for appointing replacements; and

·         Several areas of confusion in process.

Dr. Colatrella highlighted three primary recommendations:

·         Administrative support needed to be provided to the committee and this had already been arranged through the Office of Faculty Career Development Services in the Provost’s Office.  They were now helping to support meeting processes and handle the committee’s paperwork and record keeping.

·         A secondary pool of persons familiar with FSGC processes needed to be formed to act as reserves to help with investigations when grievance loads become high.  She explained that the FSGC itself only had seven members plus an Executive Board liaison.  The reserve pool would not be voting members of the FSGC but they were needed to help with investigations each of which need at least three investigators.  In 2006-07, there were 11 investigations which were more than 7-8 persons could handle even if all had been fully available.  Past members of the FSGC and/or persons recommended by colleges would make good members of this proposed pool.  Membership in the reserve pool would be approved by the Executive Board.  Dr. Colatrella also commented that the original problem with appointing replacements to the committee itself had already been resolved in cooperation with the Secretary of the Faculty and the Executive Board.  The FSGC now better understood the process available to it.

·         Finally, procedures for handling grievances needed to be improved and recorded in the Faculty Handbook. 

The basic flow of the recommended improved process was shown in slide 7 of Attachment #7.  Greater detail was provided in Attachment #7a which compared the proposed revised Section 14 of the Handbook with the current version.  Some of the new features include:

·         Filing grievances in a consistent manner with complete information via web interface.

·         Offering the parties to a grievance an opportunity to file rebuttal letters before the FSGC sends the President its report of investigation results.

·         If a formal hearing is requested, reports would not be sent to the President until the hearing was conducted.

Dr. Colatrella asked for questions and fielded the following:

·         Q. Have the efforts of the FSGC Task Force and the preliminary steps taken already had a positive impact?  Ans. It has certainly helped the FSGC manage its work better.  The committee however has had a relatively light load this year so there has not been an acid test.  The committee has resolved two cases left over from the previous year but has so far not had any new cases.  The committee has also reviewed the RPT process to help point out where improvements may need to be made to help avoid possible future grievances.  The FSGC met with and provided a report on this to Dr. Andy Smith (Senior Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs).

·         Comment:  Tim Strike (Chair of the Statutes Committee) pointed out a possible ambiguity in the proposed 14.1 subsection d.  He said it was possible that a grievant might decide to abandon a grievance and therefore not “invite” the FSGC to proceed with informal resolution.  This should not cause an automatic beginning of an investigation but the proposed language could be interpreted that way.  Ans. Dr. Bohlander suggested that the Executive Board could affirm the overall proposal with the understanding that this loose end would be cleared up.  Dr. Colatrella agreed that this could be resolved easily and she would work on it quickly with Mr. Strike to make an improved version available for the April 22 faculty meeting.

·         Q. Why did the committee decide to include the rebuttal step?  Ans.  Dr. Colatrella explained that the committee heard expert input on appeal processes that allowing formal rebuttal statements early in the process could help the president arrive at clear decisions and avoid a need for him to ask questions.  Follow up comment:  If the investigation is done properly it will record many different inputs from all the parties.  Rebuttals may cause confusion by appearing to bring new uninvestigated facts into the record.  This might cause a desire for further investigation that would result in actually slowing down the process.  Ans.  The call for rebuttal was linked to a call for a decision whether to go to a formal hearing and so this should elicit both a response and reflection on the remaining options.  Note that the period for such responses was set very short (10 days) and so the key thing was to prompt response.  Follow up comment:  There should be clear guidelines about what can be in the rebuttal and how it will be handled to avoid further back and forth exchanges at that point. Ans. Yes, the committee just felt that this was an important safety valve to give the parties a direct voice in how they would like the President to think about the evidence in the report.  Mr. Strike pointed out that this made sure the parties understood where things stood before the opportunity for a formal hearing closed.  Dr. Colatrella added that the opportunity to file a response was also important for the person(s) grieved against.  Overall, Tech’s attorneys advised that this series of steps would be an optimal process. 

·         Q. Why did the committee not recommend that grievants ask for a formal hearing instead of inviting rebuttals?  Ans. Formal hearings are very complicated and require a great deal of work.  If a simple statement of rebuttal would suffice, a great deal of effort would be saved.

·         Q. Why not call these “Response Letters” rather than “Rebuttal Letters” as rebuttal seems to focus on argument?  Ans.  That was an acceptable alternative.

Dr. Schuster provided some comments from the Provost’s perspective, beginning with heartfelt thanks to Dr. Colatrella and the Task Force for giving their attention to a very important area.  A great deal of stress was experienced in 2006-07 that pointed to a real need for better solutions.  He said he sympathized with the concerns expressed and believed the above compromise wording was welcome because he thought less formal processes served everyone better in many cases.

Ms. West received a motion that the Executive Board endorsed this change to the Faculty Handbook, with improvements to be worked out along the lines discussed, and recommended it to the faculty at their upcoming April 22, 2008 meeting.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.

10.       Ms. West asked the Secretary, Dr. Bohlander, for a report on faculty election results.  He asked that the Board review the election winners shown in Attachment #8 and reminded them that people were elected under new provisional rules this year.  For example, where there were multiple open positions on a committee, there was a pool of candidates and voters chose as many candidates as there were openings.  Dr. Bohlander reported that this seemed to work very well and there were no detectable anomalies:  He said the rate of participation from the faculty was about 31%, almost identical to last year.  There were no ties for the Board to worry about this year.  Dr. Bohlander moved that the Board of Directors affirm the election results.  The motion was approved without dissent.

11.       Ms. West called on Barbara Henry for a recommendation to fill a vacancy.  Ms. Henry reported that Chris Thompson (CEISMC) had agreed to fill a vacancy left by the departure of Hal Irvin on the Welfare and Security Committee, with a term running through August 2009.  Mr. Thompson was selected according to standard procedures from the list of past runners up in elections to this committee.  Ms. Henry moved that Chris Thompson be appointed to fill this vacancy.  The motion was approved without dissent.

12.       Ms. West asked for updates from Standing Committee liaisons:

·    Bill Ballard reported that Brock Wester (2007-08 Graduate Student Body President) gave an excellent overview of student government and their budgeting process to the Student Activities Committee.  He also asked if there was any further news on liability coverage for faculty/staff advisors to recognized student activities.

Dr. Bohlander reported that consensus had been reached by the Tech lawyers and Office of Human Resources that liability coverage could be expressed in a policy statement that would either be added to the Faculty Handbook or to the Human Resources Manual.  This had not been implemented yet but there was a commitment to doing so.  He reported that follow up discussions with Pearl Alexander in OHR emphasized the additional importance of working with the Dean of Students to make sure that faculty and students involved were well trained in their responsibilities and the procedures required for safe activities.  Q. Will knowledge of this have an impact on volunteering to be an activity Advisor?  Ans. It was believed that a written policy will be reassuring and may support more volunteering. 

·         Dr. Greg Huey affirmed that the role of the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee was now focused on academic appeals such as grade appeals. The full committee has had little to do but the SGAC chairman has been active in helping the schools identify persons who could serve on school appeals boards who were outside the schools directly involved.   Dr. Bohlander asked Dr. Huey to pass on a request for the members of the SGAC to write up a more accurate statement of their duties for the Faculty Handbook.  He also encouraged that they talk to Carole Moore in the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Huey said he would take care of that.

13.       Due to all the pending changes in the Faculty Handbook, Ms. West reported that the Academic Senate and Academic Faculty meeting scheduled for April 22, 2008 now needed to be combined with a meeting of the General Faculty.  She also referred the Board to the proposed agenda for this meeting found in Attachment #9Ms. West received a motion to combine a meeting of the General Faculty with the scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate and the Academic Faculty on April 22, 2008, and to approve the proposed agenda.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.

14.       Hearing no other new business, Ms. West adjourned the meeting at about 5:05 p.m.

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

May 25, 2008


1)   Minutes of the Executive Board Meeting on March 11, 2008.

2)   Summary of House Bill 815 and its implications

3)   Proposed Bylaws for a University System of Georgia Faculty Council

4)   Report of the Faculty Athletics Representative

5)   Proposed addition of a policy on intellectual diversity for the Faculty Handbook

6)   Report of the ad hoc study committee on election of administrators to certain committees

7)   Report of the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC) Task Force and

7a) Recommended changes in FSGC procedures for the Faculty Handbook

8)   Faculty election results

9)   Agenda for the April 22, 2008 faculty meeting