Meeting of March 2, 2010

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building

(See also a record of business conducted by email after the meeting.)



Members Present: Bennett (Mgt), Bishop (GTRI-ELSYS), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Buck (ECE), D’Urbano (OSP), Fox (Library), Henry (Chair, ORC), Ingram (ECE), Jenkins (GTRI), Marder (Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ITTL), Peterson (President), Staskevicius (U’Grad. Student), Whiteman (ME), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Members Absent: Bafna (Architecture), Bowman (Vice-Chair, INTA), Harley (Grad. Student), Leggon (Public Policy), Morley (Math), Michael Perdue (EAS), Rossignac (CoC-IC), Schuster (Provost), Tavares (Provost Office)


Visitors:  Allen, (FAR), Griffin (Chair, PTFE), Jacobs (CoE), Paraska (Prog. Rev. & Accred.), Radakovich (AD), Snyder (Chair, MSE)

1.      Ms. Barbara Henry (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:00 P.M.

2.      She directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the January 26, 2010.  Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  These were approved unanimously.

3.   She next called on President Peterson to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.

President Peterson commented on several recent communications concerning possible needs to cut substantially more from the budgets of the University System of Georgia (UGS) than had previously been enacted.  Dr. Peterson referenced a letter (Attachment #2) sent by the Chancellor in response to a short-fuse request from the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Higher Education for a list of $300 million in possible additional budget reductions.  Georgia Tech’s part of this, if it were to come to pass, would amount to $38 million.  That would, in turn, be on top of the $55 million that had been cutback in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, plus the $28 million cut back proposed in the Governor’s budget for fiscal year 2011.  Dr. Peterson said that this combination of budget decreases would present severe challenges; no plan was in place that had identified how to cope with all these cuts.  The request from the Appropriations Subcommittees asked that the cuts not assume any tuition increases or changes in formula funding.  Georgia Tech’s part of the response pointed out there would be impacts on both Georgia Tech programs and the economy of the state.  Dr. Peterson indicated that none of the cuts or alternative changes in tuition or other institutional revenue was settled and much work was left to arrive at final budgets for fiscal year 2011.  He also pointed out that State tax revenue projections were still fluid.  So a final plan was some way off.

Dr. Peterson reminded the Board that Georgia Tech had presented a proposal in spring 2009 to increase Georgia Tech’s in-state tuition to be in line with its peer average by the end of a three-year period of adjustment.  In response, last year heralded a 25% increase in in-state tuition.  New proposals were put forward this year to spread the increases over four years instead of three.  He said he believed some tuition increase could still be negotiated for next year, but not as much as would be needed to make up for all of the $300 million in cuts mentioned above.  Currently, 46% of annual revenues came from research, 23% from the state, 15% from tuition, 8% from endowments and expendable gifts, and the balance from auxiliary or other revenues.

Q.  Would non-resident tuition have to rise by the same factors as for in-state tuition?  Ans. Dr. Peterson acknowledged there was a problem because non-resident tuition was currently mandated to be four times in-state tuition.  Whereas Georgia Tech’s in-state tuition was about 35% below its market value or peer average, its non-resident tuition was about even with market value.  To get both tuition rates in line with peers’ rates, would mean that the factor of four would need to be adjusted downward.  Not all USG institutions were in that situation, thus sensitive adjustments would need to be made, recognizing the complex market situation.  Approximately 40% of undergraduates have been non-residents generally, so they have been a significant part of the tuition portfolio.  There was no plan to increase this significantly as such an increase would be difficult in terms of maintaining balance as a state resource.

Q. Would tuition increases be resisted because the Hope Scholarship Program couldn’t afford them?  Ans. Dr. Peterson reminded the Board that the Hope Scholarship Program did not start out as a universal program for all students who had B-average or better.  It started out with a need-based qualification and did not cover books and fees.  So there were possibilities of returning to such things if tuition increases put pressure on the resources available in the program.

Q. Did the legislature appear to value the USG or think that it was disposable? Ans. Dr. Peterson said there was every sign that the General Assembly placed considerable value on its investment in higher education.  But they also were faced with a very difficult budget balancing task.

Comment from a Board member:  It was important for the legislature to understand the consequences of any proposed cuts.  Response.   Dr. Peterson also pointed to the Chancellor’s letter which made clear that the budget reductions included in the USG response were “informational” and not recommended.

Q. What was the impact of federal stimulus money? Ans. Dr. Peterson reminded the Board that the State removed $18 million from the USG budget when they received that much in stimulus money.  There was no guarantee that the State would be able to cover that when the stimulus money ran out, so it was likely to amount to a delayed $18 million cut in future budgets.  Thus Georgia Tech was using money in this category mainly for one-time expenses (e.g. faculty start up) so that future recurrent expenses could still be covered.

Q. In Georgia Tech’s response to the request from the legislature were there any cuts that affected key programs that would attract support for restoring the funds?  Ans. Georgia Tech’s approach was to emphasize the overall impacts on the economy.

Comment from a Board member: To the extent there may be cutbacks in faculty head count in the state, it would be likely that the state would lose these citizens to other states where other universities may be ready to employ them.  Thus the cutbacks would not be temporary and would impact earnings in the state.  Response:  Some other states are advertizing opportunities for faculty displaced by economic pressures elsewhere.

4.      Ms. Henry then called on Drs. Anselm Griffin, Chair of the School of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering (PTFE), and Dr. Robert Snyder, Chair of the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).  They provided the briefings in Attachment #3 concerning the planned merger of their schools into one larger School of Material Science and Engineering on July 1, 2010.  Dr. Griffin presented background and motivations for the merger and how it would be implemented.  He began by noting that PTFE had its origins 113 years ago in support of the textile industry but had evolved to be involved in the field of polymers and large molecules in a broader sense.  By merging with MSE, it would bring important complementary scholarship in “soft” materials to add to those that have traditionally been covered in MSE in areas of ceramics, metals, and the like.  This would be the largest school of its kind but the objective was also to be the very best.  It would remain a vital resource to the traditional industries and alumni base it has served. 

Dr. Snyder followed with some further statistics supporting a picture in which MSE has grown in stature.  It has grown to hold 7th place as an undergraduate program in the US News & World Report rankings, and 8th for the graduate school.  The Chronicle of Higher Education placed them 1st.  Dr. Snyder then presented, through specific examples, a glowing picture of the range and quality of the scholarship that would be encompassed by the new School of Materials Science and Engineering that would result from the merger.  He made the point that much of their research was interdisciplinary in character.  He concluded with a case for Georgia Tech investing to help MSE attain the goal of being the best in the world in materials science.

5.      Ms. Henry asked Mr. Dan Radakovich (Athletics Director) to brief the Board on progress with improvements in Georgia Tech’s opportunities for women and minorities in NCAA athletics programs at Tech.  He referred the Board to tables of measures taken and planned especially in calendar year 2009.  These were provided as read-ahead material and a handout (Attachment #4).  He spoke first about academic issues in Tech’s NCAA program.  Academic coaches have been provided to all student athletes who have been shown to need this.  The Institute Admissions and Appeals Committee also assessed the likelihood of this need even before student athletes came to the campus. 

In the area of gender opportunities in sports, Mr. Radakovich offered the following highlights:

·         Recruitment for new coaches has been done in part through the NCAA News, which has very broad-based coverage. 

·         The Georgia Tech athletics program also has been very supportive of meeting the professional development needs of its female professionals through such organizations as the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. 

·         Input from student athletes has been used to get a more complete picture of coaching performance.  More has been done to make sure that student athletes are aware of and can participate in on-campus career fairs. 

·         Improved career counseling services have been brought forward. 

·         Two new women coaches were hired in the past year:  Tonya Johnson, coach for women’s volley ball, and Courtney Hart, coach for the men’s and women’s swimming program. 

·         New facilities were opened: the new Shirley C. Mewborn women’s softball facility and the new Zelnack Basketball Center providing practice facilities for the women’s and men’s programs.  A plan was also being developed for a new locker room to serve the softball facility, with completion indicated for this summer. 

·         Both women’s and men’s programs were publicized in a similar way through media guides and the like.  And the travel and per diem guidelines were the same for women and men.

·         Tutors were still provided for student athletes who needed them but there were some reductions in the tutoring program due to budget restrictions.  The pain has been felt uniformly across the programs.

In the area of minority opportunities:

·         Georgia Tech helped its coaches to develop the tools necessary to advance in their careers.  During the past year, Charlton Young, Tech Assistant Basketball coach, found new career opportunities as head basketball coach at Georgia Southern University.  Additional new hires at Tech were also mentioned.

·         Tech athletics programs adhered to the Institute’s affirmative action plan. 

Q. If the Executive Board were to help the athletics programs with something, what would be needed?  Ans. Mr. Radakovich encouraged faculty to participate more in attending athletics events across the board in all the programs.  In the spring, the only ticketed events would be baseball, so there were many bargains available. There would be an open house at the Athletic Association to which professors would be invited by their students who participate in athletics.

Q. Since this was an update briefing on Tech’s NCAA improvement program, what was the background to having this plan?  Was the plan launched to address adverse findings, or was this more a matter of a continuous improvement plan?  Ans. It was more the latter. Such a plan began as a natural part of the self study that was required in preparation for the certification visits.  Additional best practices suggested by the visit committee were factored in.

Q. What were some of Tech’s greatest vulnerabilities at this time?  Ans. If Tech would continue what it was doing it would be fine. 

6.   Ms. Henry called on Dr. Sue Ann Allen, Georgia Tech’s Faculty Athletics Representative, to give the Executive Board her annual report.  She presented this with the slides found in Attachment #5.  She explained her role and provided insights into the character of the NCAA athletics programs at Tech and the performance of student athletes in academics on campus.  She reported that over the past academic year Tech reported fourteen rules violations to the NCAA or the ACC.  All were secondary or minor violations.  For the most part they were self-discovered and self-reported and involved inadvertent errors.  While the goal was to have no violations, fourteen was a pretty typical number for an ACC school.  Dr. Allen pointed out in slide 6 of the attachment the significant improvement in student athlete scholarship over the course of their years at Tech, which was an indication of the quality of the tutoring support.  Dr. Allen showed Academic Progress Rate (APR) data in slide 11 for 2007-08 and said this was the latest publicly released data.  Data for 2008-09 have been submitted to the NCAA but could not be publicly released until May 1.  She noted that four teams earned a perfect score in APR in 2007-08 but one team, men’s basketball, had a score of 914, below NCAA’s minimum of 925, and two students had 0 for 2 academic progress scores. As a result the team received a penalty of the loss of two athletic scholarships which were enforced in 2008-09.  Since then, there have been no 0 for 2 students and the scholarships were restored for the current year.  Indeed, improved APR scores for both basketball and football were achieved for the 2008-09 academic year.  The other major NCAA metric was the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) which was different somewhat from the Federal Graduation Rate, in that the GSR included transfers into the institution, included mid-year enrollees, and removed student athletes who withdrew from the institution but would have been academically eligible had they stayed.  Dr. Allen noted that for some sports, student athlete graduation rates exceeded that of the total student population. 

7.   Ms. Henry asked Dr. Bohlander to discuss nominations and plans for the faculty elections.  Dr. Bohlander highlighted those committees for which the Nominations Committee still had too few nominations.  He asked that suggestions be given promptly to the co-chairs, Kirk Bowman and Monique Tavares.  The Nominations Committee would be meeting on Mar. 3, 2010 to complete the slate as far as possible.  Dr. Bohlander explained that he would send an email ballot to the Executive Board to approve the final slate for the faculty elections just as soon as the slate was ready.  Faculty elections were planned to begin on March 31 and end April 14, 2010.   At the beginning of this period, an email message would go to every faculty member and have a link to a ballot customized for that person.  Two rounds of follow up reminder emails would go out during the rest of the balloting period.  He asked Board members to encourage colleagues around them to vote, but he cautioned the Board not to forward their own ballot because it would only be set up for them to use.  Dr. Bohlander said to have anyone who did not get an email with a ballot link to contact him if they felt they should have been eligible to vote.  He would investigate and resolve such issues.

8.   Dr. Bohlander moved that the Board appoint Dr. Benjamin Flowers to fill a vacancy on the Graduate Curriculum Committee occasioned by the resignation of Dr. Steve French.  This appointment would be until August 2011.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

9.      Ms. Henry asked for reports from task force leaders and standing committee liaisons.    Notable highlights included:

·         Dr. Doug Williams (Georgia Tech representative to the USG Faculty Council) reported that the Bylaws of the USGFC have been approved by the faculty and administrations of all thirty-five USG institutions. Formal recognition by the BoR was expected soon.

·         Dr. Bohlander reported that he, Dr. Tom Morley, and Dr. TyAnna Herrington were meeting with Mr. Chuck Donbaugh and Mr. Jim Rolen of OHR to keep up progress with the Faculty Definition Task Force.

·        Dr. Seth Marder reported that the Faculty Honors Committee had made their selections of honorees and passed the names and recommendations to the President’s Office.  The Awards Ceremony was planned for April 15, 2010.

10.   Ms. Henry asked for other business.  Hearing no further business, Ms. Henry declared the meeting adjourned at about 5:05 p.m. 


Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

April 5, 2010


1)      Minutes of the January 26, 2010 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Budget documents furnished by the Chancellor in response to request from the Georgia General Assembly:

a.       Letter from the Chancellor

b.      Executive Summary

c.       Table of Additional Reductions

3)      Plans for the merger of the School of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering

a.       Plan to implement the merger – presentation by Dr. Anselm Griffin

b.      Highlights of the new School of Materials Science and Engineering once the merger is accomplished – presentation by Dr. Bob Snyder

4)   Table of improvements in NCAA programs at Georgia Tech

5)   Report of the Faculty Athletics Representative


Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on Mar. 18, 2010:

I have the pleasure of forwarding to you a ballot for your approval that has been prepared by our excellent Nominations Committee.  Please join me in thanking them, as follows:

Kirk Bowman (INTA) – Co-Chair

Monique Tavares (SVPRI office – Co-Chair

Sam Graham, ME

Gil Weinberg, COA

Lisa Sills, GTRI

Tris Utschig, CETL

Rob Parrish, U’grad ME


So the question for today is, do you approve the attached ballot to be used this year to conduct elections for the Executive Board, Faculty Standing Committees, and a couple of slots on the General Faculty Assembly for which the Executive Board is responsible?


____ Yes, I approve.                                      ____ No, I do not. The problem is:



The Nominations Committee has worked hard to find candidates who are qualified according to our statutes and bylaws to meet the particular requirements set for each position.  If candidates are running unopposed that is because not enough candidates came forward despite vigorous requests. I have scanned these and believe the identified candidates to be qualified.  I will do a final check as I build the online electronic ballot and will report and help resolve any last minute issues.


Let me know of any questions.


We’re on a fast track so a prompt response is appreciated.  I will close this email ballot at the end of Mon. Mar. 22.


A quorum of Executive Board Members answered yes without dissent.