Meeting of January 25, 2011

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


With an Addendum Covering a Subsequent Electronic Ballot



Members Present:        Bafna (Architecture),  Bennett (Mgt), Bishop (GTRI-ELSYS), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bowman (Chair, INTA), Buck (ECE), D’Urbano (Vice-Chair, OSP), Fox (Library), Ingram (ECE), Jenkins (GTRI), Leggon (Public Policy), Lyon (Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Peterson (President), Weissburg (Biology), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), White (CoC), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE), Wozniak (OTL)


Members Absent:        Baldridge (Grad. Student), Boone (U’Grad. Student), Bras (Provost), Marder (Chemistry), Neu (ME)


Visitors:                       Balsam (Statutes), Herazy (Provost’s Office), A. Smith (SVPAA), Steltzer (Dir. of Conflict of Interest Management)

1.      Prof. Kirk Bowman (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:00 P.M. 

2.      He directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the November 30, 2010 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  These were approved unanimously.

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

a)      Dr. Peterson introduced Dr. Kirk Nooks, Site Director for the Marietta campus of Georgia Highlands College which houses about 55 faculty members and serves about a thousand students.  He was visiting Georgia Tech as part of his participation in the University System of Georgia (USG) Executive Leadership Institute.

b)   The President stated that the Governor had submitted his budget proposals to the legislature including the part applicable to the USG.  The final budget for FY 2011 has firmed up with a 6% reduction relative to the original budget.  Georgia Tech had released budgets to operating units earlier in the year with only a 5% reduction but had also asked the units to hold back 1% in case it would be needed later.  Therefore, further adjustments should not be necessary provided this 1% was still held in reserve. 

The Governor’s recommended budget for FY 2012 included an additional reduction of 2.6% beyond the reductions of FY2011 (corresponding to about $5.2 million).  This was due in part to the federal stimulus money running out.  The Georgia Tech administration expected to be able to cover $4 million of the $5.2 million with savings in central costs and was looking for ways to deal with the remaining $1.2 million.  The President noted that the Governor’s budget included no “formula funding,” meaning there was no adjustment for increased teaching load due to past increases in student enrollment.  Such funding has traditionally adjusted state funding for enrollment increases two years prior to the adjustment.  Losing such an adjustment was a matter for concern because it might impact USG’s ability to continue to grow. 

c)   Dr. Peterson reminded the Board that Georgia Tech’s top priority for legislative support of capital projects was for about $4.2 million in support of the Eco-Commons infrastructure project which would upgrade the storm water handling system around the biotechnology part of the campus.  This was to fulfill a commitment made to the City of Atlanta when Tech embarked on the building program for that part of the campus.  This project was included in the Governor’s budget as one of the top four projects.  Otherwise, Dr. Peterson noted that Major Repair and Rehabilitation funds were dramatically cut in the Governor’s budget – cut about in half to $40 million system-wide.

d)   Georgia Tech has launched its capital campaign to raise $1.5 billion by December 2015.  Twenty-more campaign launch events were planned around the country by June 2011, and about as many again by the end of the year.  $950 million has been raised so far.

e)   Len Walker, chairman if the Georgia House Higher Education Appropriations Committee, met with Georgia Tech’s student leaders on November 30 to get their input on possible changes in the HOPE Scholarship program necessitated by shortfalls in funding.  President Peterson indicated that Georgia Tech recommended that the State not adopt solutions that would simply provide students with a flat amount because that would make the best institutions less accessible to those in financial need.  He said it appeared likely that HOPE would no longer provide support for books, fees, and learning support (i.e. remedial) courses.  Some adjustment(s) were also possible to threshold academic requirements. 

f)   Dr. Peterson reported that the Georgia Research Alliance program would no longer be a standalone body reporting to the Board of Regents but would instead fall under the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  In addition, the budget had been reduced from about $16 million to about $4 million.  The Georgia Cancer Coalition also moved to the Department of Economic Development. 

g)   The President acknowledged that there was a great deal of construction and many closed areas on campus.  He said that a conscious decision was made to accelerate all this work together to get past the disruptions as quickly as possible and to reap possible benefits from lower construction costs in the current market.  The projects involved included new construction in and around the Clough Commons as well as replacements and upgrades to steam lines and cistern arrangements.  Most of the work should be completed by fall 2011. 

Dr. Peterson closed by soliciting thoughts from the Board on how the campus handled the recent closure for the snowy and icy weather during the week of January 10.  He reported that one young woman broke her leg on Thursday, January 13, after slipping on some ice.

Comment from a faculty member:  When the campus opened at 10 a.m. on January 13, it felt like some of the walkways and stairways around campus were not as safe as one would have wished.  They needed more sand or salt.  Faculty members pitched in and did a lot to improve the clearing of pathways.  Response:  One did need to be selective about routes taken between buildings.  Two things contributed to less progress than desired.  First, campus leaders had to make decisions in the afternoon of January 12 so the decision could make the evening news.  But this was before there was a clear picture of how the next day would work out.  Secondly, it was difficult to obtain enough sand and salt, and not as much progress (with pathway treatments) was made between the afternoon of January 12 and opening on January 13 as had been hoped. 

On balance, however, accomplishing classes on Thursday-Friday that week significantly improved Tech’s ability to make up time lost earlier in the week.  How to make up for the time lost was being left to the discretion of each professor for the classes they were teaching.  Dr. Peterson also explained that all fulltime employees would be paid for the period the campus was closed.

Q, Were tuition increases planned for next year?  Ans. Yes, Georgia Tech was in the third year of a four-year period of tuition increases planned to bring Tech’s tuition in line with peers.  Details were still being worked out and not ready to announce for FY2012.  There also were unknowns about the level of fees for the year ahead. 

4.      Dr. Bowman asked Dr. Ron Bohlander to introduce the next speaker.  Dr. Bohlander said that Mr. Jeff Steltzer had recently joined the staff of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation to fill a new position of Director of Conflict of Interest Management.   He was coming to the Executive Board to explain a proposed update to the Georgia Tech Conflict of Interest Policy as found in Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook.  Dr. Bohlander drew the Board’s attention to a comparison between the proposed new policy and the current policy as handed out in Attachment #2.  Dr. Bohlander also introduced Ms. Jeanne Balsam who had been working with Mr. Steltzer in her capacity as the Acting Chair of the faculty’s Statutes Committee. 

Mr. Steltzer stated that about a year ago a new online system was initiated for the faculty to make their declarations about conflicts of interest as part of the usual annual statements or any subsequent updates.  This led to implementation of a centralized review of declarations and the campus policy needed to be updated to reflect the new realities.  The process of review and development of conflict of interest management plans still involved consultation with school chairs, deans, and the faculty involved.  But the process was centrally coordinated which provided greater consistency and support to the performing units. 

Mr. Steltzer said there also was a change in the definition of Responsible Representative of the Institution, to comply with federal regulations requiring one central designated official.  This person was now designated as the Associate Vice-President for Research, Jilda Garton, or her designee.  The term proposed for the responsible supervisor of each employee was now Responsible Unit Official.

He said that work continued on improvements to the online system for conflict of interest declarations.  Dr. Bohlander praised the work that Mr. Steltzer had done and noted that there were essentially no substantive policy changes in the proposed new statement.  However, there were considerable improvements in clarity which faculty should find helpful.  Dr. Bohlander made a motion that the Executive Board recommended that the Statutes Committee review the proposal expressed in Attachment #2 and that they bring a proposal to the February 15, 2011 meeting of the faculty for approval.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  Dr. Bohlander clarified that this change to the Faculty Handbook would need only one reading before the faculty.  Mr. Steltzer agreed to prepare a summary presentation to help the faculty understand the proposed changes. 

5.   Dr. Bowman called on Mr. Chris D’Urbano, Executive Board Vice-Chair, to propose someone to fill a vacancy on one of the faculty standing committees.  Mr. D’Urbano explained that the retirement of Prof. Augustine Esogbue had created a vacancy on the faculty’s Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee.  He stated that he followed Institute Bylaws in identifying a candidate replacement and Mr. Bing Wang from the library staff had agreed to fill this vacancy.  Mr. D’Urbano moved that the Executive Board appoint Mr. Wang to serve until August 2013.  This was seconded and passed unanimously. 

6.   Mr. D’Urbano continued with a presentation of the proposed Nominating Committee for faculty governance elections in 2011.  The proposed committee members were:


§  Chris D’Urbano (Industry Contracting Office)

§  Andrew Lyon (Chemistry)

  Academic members:

§  Tim Lieuwen (AE)

§  Mindy Millard-Stafford (Applied Physiology)

  Non-Academic members:

§  Lisa Sills (GTRI)

§  Caroline Wood (Corporate Relations)

  Student Representative:

§  Rob Parrish

Mr. D’Urbano moved that the Executive Board appoint these people to the Nominating Committee.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

7.   Dr. Bowman asked Dr. Bohlander to review plans for the faculty elections.  Dr. Bohlander discussed the positions to be filled in the elections which would begin on Mar. 30 and end April 13, 2011.  He reminded the Board that all terms were for three years.  He said that members of the Executive Board, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate who were at the end of their terms in 2011 were not eligible under the Statutes to run for reelection.  However those who had served on a Standing Committee for only one elected term were eligible to stand for re-election and would be considered if they wished to run again.  Dr. Bohlander noted that reelected incumbents brought valuable experience to the committees and so encouragement was given to those faculty members who were willing to stand again if eligible.  He said that careful attention was paid to which terms had come to an end and to formulas which might change the size of some committees in compiling the list of spots to be filled in 2011.  Dr. Bohlander explained the special requirements of some committees and noted how many candidates would be asked to run when there were multiple positions open on the same committee.  In such cases, the nominations committee would try to find 50% more nominees than the number to be elected, so the faculty had choices in the election.   He joined Mr. D’Urbano in asking for the help of the Board in identifying good candidates. 

8.   Dr. Bohlander continued by reviewing the proposed agenda (Attachment #3) for the planned meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate on February 15, 2011.  He explained that the agenda would include two proposals for revision of the Faculty Handbook:  the one presented earlier by Mr. Steltzer and another that would accomplish a procedural improvement for the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.  The latter would restrict hearing pools in grievances about tenure or academic status to faculty members who had similar tenure and academic status.  Dr. Bohlander moved that the proposed agenda be approved.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

9.      Dr. Bowman asked for reports from standing committee liaisons.    Notable highlights included:

·         Dr. Bennett reported that the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC) had been having in-depth discussions about the standards that should be set for dual degrees and joint degrees with other academic institutions.  There have also been issues raised about showing minors on diplomas.  Dr. Bennett asked if these topics should be briefed to the Executive Board at some point.  Dr. Bohlander concurred that these were interesting and substantive questions and he believed the Executive Board would be interested in hearing more.  At the same time, the IGCC should feel that they have the Board’s support as the primary forum for such deliberations.  President Peterson commended the IGCC for its attention to such important questions.  Dr. Andy Smith noted that Dr. Steve McLaughlin (Vice-Provost for International Initiatives) was developing some comprehensive standards for dual and joint programs with international partner institutions.  Dr. Bennett noted that dual degrees also needed some standardization when they involved two degrees in different subjects offered by Georgia Tech (i.e. when another institution was not involved). 

10. Dr. Peterson noted that Mr. Bob Fox, who has represented the Library on the Executive Board, would soon be leaving to take the position of Dean of the Libraries at the University of Louisville.  He thanked Mr. Fox for his service to Georgia Tech, and the Executive Board joined in congratulating him and wishing him well in his new position.

11. Dr. Bowman noted that Prof. Bettina Cothran had planned to brief the Executive Board about developments on the Faculty Benefits Committee.  Since she was held up in teaching her class, he asked Dr. Bohlander to cover the material.  Since all employees were affected by any changes in employee benefits, the Faculty Benefits Committee wanted to get more input from employees who were staff members at the Institute but not faculty.  The Committee worked with the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to identify persons who would be representative of staff in various parts of the Institute and the following had been asked to serve:

  Debra Lee, Administrative Manager II in OIT

  Amy Herron, Director of Accounting in Comptroller’s Office

  Tommy Little, Building Services Manager in Facilities

These individuals have been asked to begin their service on the Faculty Benefits Committee in January 2011.  Dr. Bohlander noted that the Bylaws of the faculty empower any standing committee to seek the input of any official who can contribute to the mission of the committee provided this has the blessing of the Executive Board.  Accordingly, he moved that the Executive Board endorse the participation of the above individuals during 2011.  The motion was seconded.  There was a question whether there would be elections for this, and Dr. Bohlander said that this might be an eventual goal but there was no mechanism in place now, so appointments were being made with the help of OHR.  The motion was approved unanimously.

12. Hearing no further business, Dr. Bowman adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.



Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

February 28, 2011


1)      Minutes of the November 30, 2010 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Proposed update to the Conflict of Interest Policy in Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook

3)   Proposed agenda for the February 15, 2011 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate



Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on February 2, 2011:

Dear Fellow Board members –


As you know from our recent meeting Bob Fox has left Georgia Tech to take up his duties as the new Dean of Libraries at the University of Louisville.  Therefore we have a vacancy on the Executive Board to fill for service from now until our August 2011 meeting.  As is our tradition we fill such vacancies by appointment giving due consideration to recent runners up for the position held by the departing member.  Our Vice-Chair, Chris D’Urbano has ascertained that Dr. Jon Gordon from the Office of Assessment fits that criterion and has agreed to serve.  Therefore, do you agree to appoint Dr. Gordon to fill the remaining part of Mr. Fox’s term which extends to August 2011?



____   Yes     ____ No


Please let me have your answers by close of business this Friday, Feb. 4 so we can get him lined up for the meetings ahead.

A quorum of Executive Board Members answered yes with no dissent.  The ballot passed.