GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Meeting of October 23, 2007
Held in the Poole Board Room of the
(See also a record of business conducted by email prior to this meeting, shown at the end of these minutes.)
Members Present: Alexander (Staff), Ballard (GTRI), Barnhart (GTRI) , Bohlander (SoF), Braga (Chemistry), Henry (ORC), Morley (Math), Parvatiyar (U. Grad Student), Price (IMTC), Rossignac (CoC-IC), Schuster (Provost), Stein (VPSS), West (Chair, GTRI), Wester (Grad Student), Whiteman (ME), Williams (ECE/GT-S), Wood (LCC)
Members Absent: Bras (ME), Clough (President), Dagenhart (ARCH), Gaimon (Mgt), Huey (EAS)
Visitors: Allen (Presidentís Office), Lohman and Paraska (Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Development), Nesmith (ICPA)
2. She then called on Dr. Gary Schuster (Provost) to comment for the President on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:
There were several follow up questions about early instances of tighter p-card controls but it was concluded that such procedures were in flux and it was premature to comment until final campus-wide policies are released.
The Chair then called on Ms. Susan Paraska to
give the Board a preview of improvement plans developed in response to feedback
from the NCAA during the ongoing certification process.† Before Ms. Paraska began, Dr. Jack Lohmann
(Vice Provost for Institutional Development) provided some introductory
remarks.† He explained that, as part of
the reorganization of the Provostís office, Ms. Paraska had recently been named
Director of Program Review and Accreditation and so she will have a prominent
part in remaining phases of NCAA certification.†
He also reminded the Board that this certification applies to the
Institute as a whole and not just to Techís athletics operations.
Ms. Paraska then made a presentation from PowerPoint slides contained in Attachment #1.† She began in reference to the timeline for certification.† The Self Study was submitted in May and an analysis report was received from the Committee on Athletics Certification (CAC) in July.† On September 24-26, the Peer Review team appointed by the NCAA visited Georgia Tech and expressed appreciation for Techís leadership and facilities.† Their visit report was delivered to Tech on October 17, 2007 and is now under review by the President and the Tech certification team.†
Ms Paraska stated that the next step for the Georgia Tech team is to decide how to respond to remaining issues included in the visit report and then submit these responses by December 14, 2007.† Subsequent decisions concerning certification will then be communicated to the President in the spring, followed by a later public announcement concerning all thirty-four schools under review this year.† Lisa Grovenstein in Techís Institute Communications and Public Affairs (ICPA) office will coordinate all publicity for Tech at that time.
Ms. Paraska then reviewed the issues that were first identified in the July report from the CAC.† No issues were raised concerning governance at that time.† There were a couple issues classified as academic integrity and a couple labeled equity and student-athlete well-being, as enumerated on the Georgia Tech Athletics Certification web site.† When the Peer review Team paid their visit to Tech in September, they raised an issue concerning governance that had not been raised before.† The concern was that the bylaws of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association do not appear to give the President of Georgia Tech absolute authority over the athletic programs. In particular, the bylaws do not give him the veto power over decisions by the GTAA Board of Trustees that the NCAA would like to see.† Ms. Paraska indicated the President is working with Randy Nordin, Chief Legal Counsel, and with Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics, to better understand how peer universities have handled similar matters and to ultimately resolve the issue.† Under the academic integrity area, there was still a little that needed clarifying concerning the admissions process and how Tech advises student athletes.† In the equity and student-athlete well-being areas, the remaining actions were to get institutional approval of the plans that were submitted back in July.† Tech received comments from the NCAA on the plans submitted with the May Self Study report.† Revisions were made in response, so Ms. Paraska indicated that the time has come to review and approve the revised plan through Georgia Tech institutional channels.† Specifically, the GTAA Committee on Gender Equity and Student-Athlete Well-Being has reviewed and approved the plans.† They will then be submitted to the GTAA Board of Trustees for consideration at their meeting on Oct. 29, 2007.† Ms. Paraska stated that she would then like the Executive Board to consider and vote on these plans at their November 13, 2007 meeting.† She said she would send the Executive Board the plans immediately after the Oct. 29 GTAA Board meeting.† She asked that the Board also reiterate their request for to receive an annual report from the GTAA on their progress under the plan.
Dr. Bohlander thanked Ms. Paraska for giving the Board this preview so that the Board can deal with the matter properly and expeditiously at the November 13 meeting.†
4. The Chair called on Vice-Chair Barbara Henry to make recommendations to fill two vacancies on the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.† Ms. Henry indicated that Drs. Calton Pu and Ajit Yoganathan have resigned.† Candidates for appointments to fill these vacancies were runners-up in recent elections to this committee, in accordance with the Bylaws.† Ms. Henry indicated that she contacted the following candidates and they were willing to serve:
∑ Dr. R. Gary Parker (ISyE) to fill a term 2007-2008.
∑ Dr. Roberta Berry (Pub. Pol.) to fill a term 2007-2009
Ms. Henry moved that these candidates be appointed to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee with the above terms.† The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.
1. The Chair then introduced a new process that she would like to have the Board follow in 2007-08 to ensure good contact between the standing committees and the assigned Board liaisons to these committees.† Attachment #2 shows the assignments.† After verifying that all knew their assignments and were in touch, she indicated there would be a time at each meeting of the Board for the members to bring forth any news or issues of note for the Boardís cognizance.† In response to her request for any news or issues at this meeting, the following were offered:
∑ Ed Price mentioned that the Statutes Committee has several members with other pressing business this year and the Board will need to stand ready to provide help as needed if their work load exceeds what the members can do given other commitments.† This is particularly relevant in light of several initiatives that may result in referrals to the Statutes Committee for Faculty Handbook changes.† (See following agenda item.)
Chair called on the Secretary, Dr. Ron Bohlander, to provide an overview of
initiatives to revise various sections of the Faculty Handbook.† Background to his discussion was provided
with a copy of a memo he wrote on this subject to the Senior Vice-Provost for
Academic Affairs (SVPAA), Dr.
He stated that the first three items listed in short term section of Attachment #3 would be the subject of a later item on the agenda.† Item 4 in this list concerns the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC) which faced a serious case overload in 2006-07.† Much was learned in the last year that can be used to improve the structure of the committee and its processes.† The important thing is for the FSGC to be able to respond fast enough so that when aggrieved decisions need to be reversed that can happen promptly.† Item 5 concerned the need to revise the charter of the Student Grievance and Appeals Committee to bring it in line with the new Student Code of Conduct.† This matter has been referred to the Statutes Committee to prepare a recommended change in the Statutes in consultation with the office of the SVPAA and review by the Executive Board.††† Concerning item 6, Bill Schafer (Vice President for Student Affairs) has been working on a revision to the Facility Usage Policy in Section 47 of the Handbook.† A large number of students, faculty, and staff have been consulted to get their input.† Dr. Schafer has been coordinating with the Statutes Committee and in due course recommendations will come to the Executive Board for consideration and referral to the General Faculty.
Dr. Bohlander observed that Attachment #3 also mentions some matters that may take a bit longer and can best be addressed after more time-sensitive matters are disposed.† Item #2 in the mid-term section of the Attachment is a summary of what the SVPAA committee is working on.† He made the prediction that their work would be complete before the end of the academic year.
For the longer term, Dr. Bohlander mentioned the need to address issues with how to make governance span all of Georgia Techís campuses, per Dr. Hughesí message to the Board in August.† He observed that concepts of overseas operations need to become clearer before appropriate governance details can be defined.†
In summary, referring to short term items in Attachment #3, the Executive Board will establish a task force (per agenda item 8 below) to address items 1-3; the Board will complete the action of forming another task force to address item 4 concerning the FSGC; the Statutes Committee is addressing item 5 re changes in the charter of the Student Grievance and Appeals Committee; and Dr. Shafer is working on revisions to Section 47 of the Handbook to take care of item 6.
There was a follow up question about similarities and differences between the needed reforms in the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee and the previous ones in the Student Honor Committee (and the related reform of the Student Code of Conduct).† Dr. Bohlander answered that the important lesson from the Code of Conduct reform was that processes could be streamlined to the benefit of all concerned.† But he acknowledged that the issues and processes are very different in the two cases.† Dr. Morley observed that the Student Honor Committee has to work very closely with the Office of Student Integrity.† Dr. Bohlander agreed and commented that the Executive Board needs to recognize that some Standing Committees need more administrative staff support, and the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee is one of those.† Informal arrangements have been made for the SVPAA office to support the FSGC and this will allow the paperwork and meetings of the committee to be better coordinated.† It also will ensure that their work stays on the radar screen so if progress is held up, this will immediately be recognized.† Dr. Bohlander encouraged all Board liaisons to Standing Committees to help identify any instances where more administrative support might be needed.
Another follow up question sought clarification concerning item #2 on the short term list in Attachment #3.† Dr. Bohlander explained that the Handbook says that anyone elected to a Standing Committee must have received a majority of the votes.† So if someone runs unopposed, they certainly meet this test.† If two people run for a position, one of them will surely have a majority unless there is a tie.† But if three people run, it could happen that no one gets a majority.† Dr. Bohlander illustrated a possible election reform with a hypothetical case where there were two openings on the Academic Services Committee.† In the present process, each opening would be treated as a separate race for which there would be two candidates each (if possible).† But it might be more efficient to have a pool of three candidates covering both positions and have voters pick two.† To make this work, it likely would be necessary to relax the requirement that candidates win a majority to be elected.
Bohlander continued by explaining a memo shown in Attachment
#4 written to a new Task Force chaired by Prof. Andy Peterson and
charged with improvements to the Faculty Status and Grievance (FSGC)
Committee.† This memo covered the
questions the Task Force should address.†
Dr. Bohlander explained that the Task Force was kicked off ahead of the
present meeting of the Executive Board because time was of the essence if there
turned out to be a need to change the size of the FSGC.† To get everything ready and approved in time
for the 2008 spring elections, the Task Force could not wait for the October
meeting of the Board.† Nevertheless, the
Task Force understood they were starting provisionally until the Executive
Board reviewed the arrangements for the Task Force.
Dr. Bohlander noted that two kinds of questions were placed before this Task Force: one was how many persons should be on this committee and who should they be? The other concerned how to make the committee procedures more effective.† On the first question, Dr. Bohlander noted that it may be possible to have trained faculty who can be called on as reserves during peak loads, and it may also be possible to tighten up participation requirements for committee members so that replacements can be found when faculty members find it impossible to participate on a consistent basis due to other duties.
He explained that the Task Force members were carefully chosen: many are experienced in issues in faculty status decisions; many have or are serving on the FSGC; and others have expertise in related administrative and legal matters.† One of the members, Dr.
Dr. Bohlander explained that the Task Force met once before this Board meeting and planned to meet again before the end of October.† They have looked very seriously at not expanding the committee beyond the present size but have focused instead on how to form a pool of qualified reserves to draw on during peak loads.† They have also recognized their need to look further at process improvements.† They have expressed interest in things like a web tool to lead grievants through the steps they need to take and the documents they need to prepare.
Dr. Bohlander moved that the Executive Board adopt the charge to the committee (in Attachment #4) and officially appoint the listed members of the committee.† The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.
9.†††††††† Ms. West then introduced Mr. Robert Nesmith who was recently named Editor of the Whistle. He indicated his interest in receiving feedback from faculty on how to improve the paper and asked that anyone with ideas should contact him.†
10.†††††† Ms. West reminded the Board that a reception would immediately follow the Board meeting to provide a chance for Board members to get to know each other and celebrate the start of the Board year.† Hearing no other business, she adjourned the meeting at about 4:15 p.m.
Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary
November 10, 2007
Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)
1.††††† Presentation on improvement plans in relation to NCAA Certification
2.†† Executive Board Liaison Assignments to the Standing Committees
3.†† Memorandum summarizing initiatives in progress to revise the Faculty Handbook.
4.†† Charge to the Task Force on improvements in the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.
An electronic ballot was sent to the Executive Board on September 24, 2007 with responses due by the end of the day on September 28, 2007, as follows:
Dear Executive Board Members -
The agenda for the October 16 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate is taking shape. We need Executive Board approval to go forward. We also have the minutes of the August 21 Executive Board meeting to approve. Thus, please reply with the answers to the following two questions:
Please let us have your responses not later than this Friday, September 28, 2007.
Both measures passed without dissent by more than a quorum (which is at least twelve participants).