GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Meeting of August 21, 2007
Held in the Poole Board Room of the
(See also a subsequent business conducted by email at the end.)
Members Present: Akins‡ (Vice-Chair, Prof. Prac.), Alexander (Staff), Ballard (GTRI), Barnhart (GTRI) , Bohlander (SoF), Braga (Chemistry), Clough (President), Dagenhart (ARCH), First‡ (Physics), Gaimon (Mgt), Henry† (ORC), Huey† (EAS), Hughes‡ (Chair, ECE), Morley† (Math), Parvatiyar (U. Grad Student), Price (IMTC), Rossignac† (CoC-IC), Stein (VPSS), West (GTRI), Wester (Grad Student), Whiteman† (ME), Williams (ECE/GT-S)
† New Members ‡ Members completing term
Members Absent: Bras (ME), Foley‡ (CoC), Schuster (Provost), Wood (LCC), Yen‡ (Biology)
Visitors: Allen (President’s Office), Paraska (Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Development), Trotter (Math)
1. Dr. Joe Hughes (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:02 P.M.
2. He then called on President Clough to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:
Hispanic Business magazine now ranks Georgia Tech as one of the top five places for Hispanic students to study engineering and science.
Dr. Hughes called the Board’s attention to the minutes of the June 19, 2007 meeting of
the Executive Board. The minutes were
approved without dissent.
(See Attachment #1).
The Chair then called on Ms. Susan Paraska from
the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Development to update the
Board on the status of Tech’s NCAA certification process that has been underway
for sometime. He noted that she and Dr.
Lohmann and Ms. Paraska had briefed both the Executive Board and a faculty
meeting about an earlier stage in the progress of this work. Ms. Paraska used the slides found in Attachment #2 to support her talk and began by
reviewing a little of the timeline. The
faculty and administration committees supporting the development of the
certification self study were launched in February 2006 and they submitted the
self study in spring 2007. It has been
analyzed by the NCAA office and the Committee on Athletics Certification (CAC),
who appointed a peer review committee.
The next step is the site visit by this committee on Sep. 24-26,
Ms. Paraska noted that the leaders of this effort include Dr. Jack Lohman serving as chair of the Steering Committee and its Executive Committee; Dr. Dave McDowell, chair of Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance; Dr. Tom Trotter, chair of Academic Integrity; and Dr. Sue Rosser, chair of Gender Equity and Student Athlete Well-Being. Ms. Paraska introduced Dr. Trotter who was attending the Executive Board meeting with her.
She outlined the itinerary for the Sep. 24-26 visit. It begins with a tour of the athletic facilities, a meeting with Dr. Clough and Dr. Schuster, and a brief meeting with the Executive Committee. The peer review team will spend all day Tuesday interviewing people across the campus, meeting with the athletics staff, and then meeting again with the Executive Committee to ask about finer points in the self study. The following morning, they will deliver their report to President Clough and wrap up the visit.
It will then not be until February 2008 before Tech gets formal results from the NCAA itself. The reason it takes so long is that thirty-four other schools are also being reviewed in this cycle on a schedule that spans the fall. In January the NCAA CAC meets to make its decisions and then in February it contacts each university president individually to discuss the status of their certification. The public announcement comes later in the spring.
Ms. Paraska shared some information concerning the distinguished members of the peer review committee. The three members include Dr. John Whitmore, President of
Under the three main areas of the self study, Tech cleared all the hurdles in first one concerning Governance and Commitment to Rules. Under Academic Integrity, the NCAA preliminary review raised a couple questions about Tech’s admissions process and about the athletic department’s own policy that no more than ten days of class would be missed by a student athlete participating in one of the programs. Dr. Clough observed that the golf program has the greatest challenge with this. Ms. Paraska confirmed that and also said that the self study made clear that while technically days are missed from the classroom, nevertheless Tech students are diligent in staying in touch with class assignments via the Internet while traveling. In any case the visiting committee wants to discuss this a bit more. Under Gender Equity and Student Athlete Well-Being, the review committee had some questions about the meaning of some improvement plans described in the self study and about how Tech handles special admissions for a few athletes.
Ms. Paraska reminded the Board that there is an internal website at www.assessment.gatech.edu/ncaa that makes available the self study and supplemental materials developed in subsequent dialog with the NCAA. Members of the Executive Board can access this site by logging on with each member’s usual Georgia Tech credentials (username and password). Dr. Clough commented that this whole process is valuable as an opportunity to learn more and identify opportunities to strengthen Tech’s athletics governance and its programs for student athletes. Dr. Sue Ann Allen will chair a committee to follow up with specific measures. This is not just an exercise in making the NCAA happy. Dr. Tom Morley commented that in his experience, actual academic performance by athletes varies a great deal. Dr. Clough and others commented that while there are a few (perhaps 15) who are admitted needing special assistance in academics, there are 350 athletics scholarships overall so the percentage of academic issues is small. Some of the teams absolutely excel in academics on average; e.g. the golf and women’s swimming teams. Dr. Clough thanked Dr. Tom Trotter for recently agreeing to serve on the Georgia Tech Athletic Association Board of Trustees.
5. As this was the first meeting of the Executive Board for the 2007-08 academic year and some members of the Board were new, Dr. Hughes briefly summarized the duties and responsibilities of the Board:
· The Executive Board essentially functions as the top level representation of faculty governance. There are representatives on the Board from the academic faculty, research faculty, and staff.
· The Board oversees the Academic Senate and the General Faculty Assembly, which are the broader bodies of elected representatives of the institution. So a lot of what the Executive Board does relates to managing the operations of those bodies. The Board will therefore review and approve all of their agendas.
· The Board also manages the operations of the Standing Committees of the General Faculty and of the Academic Faculty. A few years ago, the Board reviewed the efficacy of each of the Standing Committees.
· From time to time, the Executive Board has appointed special task forces to analyze and address policies and so forth that need updating. An example is the work on intellectual property policy. The work of the task force then led to amendments to the Faculty Handbook. Dr. Hughes encouraged Board Members to become familiar with the online edition of the Faculty Handbook. These are the documents that define how governance occurs at Georgia Tech. He commented that Tech is fortunate that it has an administration that is very supportive of the role of faculty in the governance of the Institute. He urged members to become familiar with how things are organized and the process are set out. Many important issues are covered including faculty representative elections; policies toward reappointment, promotion, and tenure; and periodic peer review.
· Moreover, there is a good climate of collaboration across the Institute. The Executive Board is pivotal to good communication between the faculty and the administration. Board meetings are an opportunity for each to hear the concerns of the other.
· Dr. Hughes said the big issue needing attention is a review of certain aspects of the governance structure. He cited three issues in particular: 1) Georgia Tech is now a multi-campus, global institution. How faculty located in these various sites will participate in governance is not well covered by existing policies. 2) The enrollment at Tech has grown considerably in recent years. The formulas governing representation on some of the committees, like the faculty curriculum committees, are tied to enrollment figures, and these formulas now call for much larger committees than are practical. It is hard both to run a large committee and to obtain enough willing participants. 3) Nominations and elections for faculty representatives to various bodies and committees have become increasingly difficult. Nominees can be hard to find and some simplifications in the election structure might help. So these are issues that the Board needs to lead the way in addressing. It does not mean that the Board will do all the work; in fact, much may happen through ad hoc and standing committees, but the Board can keep things moving forward and see that the problems are addressed.
· In terms of the workload expected of Board Members, there is a monthly meeting of an hour and a half to two hours in length. It is an important obligation to be here, representing each member’s portion of the Institute as well as the interests of Georgia Tech as a whole.
Dr. Jarek Rossignac asked, can members discuss information heard in a Board meeting with the rest of the Tech community, unless specified otherwise? Dr. Hughes said the answer is yes with only a few restrictive cases. Occasionally there will be matters discussed by the Board that are competition sensitive and the minutes of the meeting [which are open to the whole campus] will be deliberately vague. An example is the topic of the capital campaign. Another exception involves cases where the Executive Board goes into executive session to deal with personnel matters, such as to appoint a hearing committee for the appeal of a faculty employment termination. With only those two types of exceptions, the meetings are open, minutes are published, and stories may appear for example in the Whistle concerning Board deliberations. A follow up question was if Board members are encouraged to discuss with colleagues the topics brought up to the Board. Dr. Hughes said, in general, yes, that is part of the purpose of having a representative body. Particularly, when policy changes are being considered, good two-way communication is essential to good outcomes and the Executive Board should be a conduit in both directions. Also many times, the Executive Board formally refers final policy actions to the General Faculty or the Academic Faculty and makes recommendations for their consideration. Dr. Clough strongly endorsed the importance of these communications. Issues can be raised in Board meetings that the administration appreciates knowing are important and relatively easy solutions are subsequently found. In other instances, the administration knows there is an issue and a possible solution but needs to get feedback from the Board about whether the administration is on the right track or not.
Dr. Hughes reminded the Board that one of its
responsibilities was to oversee elections to the Standing Committees and to
assist in filling vacancies that may occur from time to time. There are many reasons vacancies occur; e.g.,
when a person takes a seat on the Executive Board, he/she must give up any seat
on a Standing Committee and the vacancy must be filled. There is a process defined in the Bylaws for
finding the replacement. This is
overseen by the chair of the Nominations Committee of the Executive Board,
which by tradition is the Vice-Chair of the Executive Board. So Dr. Hughes called on Tom Akins, Vice Chair
to present some names of persons he and the Secretary, Ron Bohlander, have
identified in accordance with the Bylaws to fill some present vacancies. Dr. Bohlander explained that the process
specified in the Bylaws is simply to ask those who were runners-up in past
elections for these positions if they would like to serve. Runners up from the most recent elections
having the most votes are asked first and so on until a candidate agrees to
Mr. Akins reported candidates for the following vacancies:
Dr. Nael McCarty (Biology)
Dr. Adjo Amekudzi (CEE)
Dr. Yih-Long Chang (Mgt)
Mr. Akins moved that the Board appoint these candidates to fill the respective vacancies. This was seconded and passed without opposition.
Chair then called on the Secretary, Ron Bohlander, to talk about another way in
which members of the Executive Board serve; namely, as liaisons to each of the
Standing Committees. Dr. Bohlander commented
that he had corresponded with all the 2007-08 Board members concerning their
preferences for the committee each would like to serve as liaison. He said he anticipated assignments would be
finalized by approximately the end of the week, pending the results of
elections of the Executive Board Chair and Vice-Chair. Generally speaking priority will be given to
those who have already served a committee as liaison if they wish to continue
in that relationship because that committee may have grown to depend on that
He said he had a sense that not enough emphasis had been given in the past to the importance of Executive Board liaison service to the Standing Committees. Not only does the liaison provide an extra hand to the committee but it also provides a conduit for the committee back to the Board. Even if schedule conflicts make it impossible for the Board liaison to attend committee meetings, it is nevertheless very important for the liaison to stay in touch regularly by phone or email with the committee. In some cases, committee activity is very visible and it is clear that progress is being made. Minutes appear regularly, and so forth. But other committees are, by their very nature, confidential with no minutes appearing. Examples are those which serve as hearing committees for grievances and the like. In such cases, it is difficult sometimes to know if the committee is functioning properly, except through oversight by the Executive Board liaison. In one case in the past year, the issue was simply that the committee became swamped and had difficulty handling the workload. So Dr. Bohlander asked the Executive Board members to fulfill their roles as liaisons to the Standing Committees proactively and be sure to make the Executive Board know if issues arise impeding the needed progress of the committee. Such issues should be brought to the attention of the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary so remedies can be discussed. Virtually all the Standing Committees are doing important work for the Institute, and some provide really essential services. So if one of them gets off track or over its head, then the Executive Board needs to make sure the problem gets resolved.
Hughes introduced the topic of elections of Executive Board officers by reminding
the Board of the duties of the officers.
The Vice-Chair traditionally serves as co-chair of the Nominations
Committee alongside one other Executive Board member to be named later. He or she also fulfills the duties of the
Chair when that person is unable to do them.
The Chair of the Board chairs the meetings, works with the President’s
office and the Secretary in setting agendas, and then a few minor things that,
according to the Faculty Handbook, the Executive Board Chair must approve or be
He stated that a few people have already indicated they were interested in serving as Chair or Vice-Chair in response to an email call for volunteers or nominees. He asked first if there were any further volunteers or nominations for the role of Chair. None came forward, so Dr. Hughes reported that the one candidate nominated for the position was Ms. Leanne West (GTRI-EOSL). Leanne introduced herself as a member of the research faculty of the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory of GTRI, recently appointed Director of LandMARC, a Center focused on technology for condition-based maintenance and other topics in logistics support.
Dr. Hughes then asked if there are any further candidates for Vice-Chair. Hearing none, he introduced the two who had already indicated an interest, Ms. Barbara Henry (Office of Research Compliance) and Dr. Jarek Rossignac (CoC-IC). Ms. Henry introduced herself by saying that she serves as the Director of the Office of Research Compliance and has been at Georgia Tech for seventeen years. She has served previously on the Executive Board and has been a part of faculty governance for almost all the time she has been at Tech. Dr. Rossignac said that he was just joining the Executive Board and would be happy to serve as Vice-Chair if selected. He is a professor in the
It was stated that Ron Bohlander would send out an email ballot later in the day (August 21, 2007) with a request for a reply by the end of the week. He encouraged the members of the Board to reply promptly.
8. Dr. Hughes asked for
any new business. Ron Bohlander took a
moment to be sure that the new members of the Board were each introduced (as
noted at the top of the minutes). He
asked each of them in turn to say a few words about themselves. Then he acknowledged those who were
completing their terms on the Board this day, beginning with Dr. Joe Hughes,
the outgoing Chair, and Mr. Tom Akins.
He expressed a special thank you to them for serving this body extremely
well. They have shown outstanding
leadership and it is much appreciated.
He also acknowledged Dr. Philip First (Physics) who has served well and
is completing his term. The others who
have reached this milestone, Drs. Jim Foley and Jeannette Yen, were unable to
be present on this day.
Hearing no further new business, Dr. Hughes closed the meeting with thanks to the members of the Board, past and future, for their service, and thanks also for allowing him the opportunity to serve them as Chair. The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.
Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary
September 24, 2007
Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)
1. Minutes of the EB meeting of June 19, 2007.
2. Presentation on NCAA Certification
The following is a record of an Electronic Ballot submitted to the Executive Board and the results obtained.
It was initiated August 21, 2007 and closed at midnight August 24, 2007
The answers received resulted in a tie.
To resolve the tie, the Secretary sent the following email message to the Board:
From: Bohlander, Ron
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 12:55 PM
Subject: Executive Board Officer Results
Dear Board Members -
Thank you to all who participated in the online email ballot for Board officers last week. I am pleased to report that Leanne West has been affirmed unanimously as Chair of the Executive Board.
Balloting for the office of Vice Chair resulted in a tie.
Rather than inventing a mechanism to resolve that, I'd like to observe that we have some special challenges this year to resolve governance issues that Joe Hughes mentioned in his reflections on the year past. These include issues with the formulas for some vital committee membership numbers and election procedures. Task force(s) need to be set up to address these questions and make timely progress. Where practical, some impacts might be brought to bear on next Spring's election.
Accordingly, I would like to suggest that we have an expanded leadership team this year including the Chair and two Vice-Chairs filled by Barbara Henry and Jarek Rossignac, our tied candidates. Since the Handbook does not specify anything about a Board Vice Chair, we have the freedom to do that.
So unless I hear any objections, I would like to proceed to get this leadership team together as soon as practical for some discussion of the way ahead and also meet with the President for some discussion of program planning.
Regards - Ron
Dr. Ronald A. Bohlander, Secretary of the
Georgia Institute of Technology
No objections were received. In fact, many sent notes commending this approach, and so it has been implemented in the way suggested.