Meeting of March 1, 2011

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


With an Addendum Covering a Subsequent Electronic Ballot



Members Present:        Baldridge (Grad. Student), Bishop (GTRI-ELSYS), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bowman (Chair, INTA), Bras (Provost), D’Urbano (Vice-Chair, OSP), Lyon (Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Peterson (President), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Weissburg (Biology), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Members Absent:        Bafna (Architecture), Bennett (Mgt), Boone (U’Grad. Student), Buck (ECE), Gordon (Assessment), Ingram (ECE), Jenkins (GTRI), Leggon (Public Policy), Marder (Chemistry), Neu (ME), White (CoC), Wozniak (OTL)


Visitors:                       Balsam (Statutes Chair), Herazy (Provost’s Office), A. Smith (SVPAA)


Special Guests:            Dr. Chris King (UGA) and Dr. Eckhard Groll (Purdue)

1.      Prof. Kirk Bowman (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:10 P.M. 

2.   The Chair called on President Peterson to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:

a)      Dr. Peterson introduced two special guests:

·         Professor Eckhard Groll, Director of the Office of Professional Practice and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.  Dr. Groll was spending some time at Georgia Tech as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow. 

·         Dr. Chris King, Assistant Vice-President for Research at the University of Georgia.  As part of his work with the University System of Georgia (USG) Executive Leadership Institute, Dr. King has been spending time with Dr. Steve Cross (EVPR).

b)   The President stated that the legislature had not yet taken any definitive action on USG budgets.  However, the House had just voted on the HOPE Scholarship.  There would now be two tiers.  Persons having a High School GPA of 3.7 and 1200 SAT would get a full scholarship and be able to retain it with a GPA in college of 3.3.  Persons with a GPA of 3.0 would get 90% of FY2011 tuition covered.

c)   Dr. Peterson said the Georgia Tech plan for in-state tuition was to continue to move it toward the average value set by Tech’s state university peers. Next year would be the fourth year in a four-year plan for adjustments.

d)   Georgia Tech has continued scheduling information events in many different cities and venues for its Capital Campaign.  Twenty events were planned between January 1 and June 1, and then another twenty in the balance of 2011.  Dr. Peterson reminded the Board that the goal was $1.5 billion and that about $980 million had been committed so far.

e)   Dr. Peterson asked Dr. Bras to tell the Board about the Ivan Allen Prize.  Dr. Bras stated that Senator Sam Nunn would receive the inaugural Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage for his prominent activities in support of world peace and security. 

f)   Dr. Peterson mentioned that Georgia Senate Resolution 255 commended Col. Eric Boe for commanding the final NASA mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery and for bringing credit to his home state of Georgia.  Dr. Peterson noted that Col. Boe is an alumnus of Georgia Tech and that the first mission of any of the Space Shuttles (in particular, Columbia) was also piloted by a Georgia Tech alumnus, John Young.

g)   The President noted that 2011 was the fifty-year anniversary of the matriculation of the first African American students at Georgia Tech.  A display commemorating this milestone in history has been erected in the Alumni House.

h)   Georgia Tech has begun its internal budgeting process for fiscal year 2012.  Dr. Peterson explained that each unit would present its budget proposal to the President and the three Executive Vice-Presidents for their review and decisions in time for the July 1 start of the next fiscal year. 

i)    The President drew the Board’s attention to changes in Board of Regents (BoR) policies in regard to conditions of employment in the USG and ethics compliance.  Conditions of employment now included:

·         Successful completion of a background investigation;

·         Completion of the State Security Questionnaire;

·         State of Georgia Loyalty Oath;

·         Successful completion of initial and ongoing training and certification as required by BoR Policy on Ethics training and certification.

The latter item was a recent addition to written BoR policies.  Any refusal to comply by an employee would result in termination of employment. 

Dr. Bohlander expressed support for vigorous compliance with ethics standards and training, but noted as a practical matter that documenting 100% compliance was a challenge in the session recently concluded for FY2010.  The policy was applied even to categories of employees who were only occasionally in service to Tech (such as part-time student employees) and rounding all those up at a given moment in time was difficult.  Furthermore, the designated software for online training was not compatible with all employee operated computer systems.  He felt that the last 5% of compliance cost significantly more to administer than the first 95%.  But the bottom line was that Georgia Tech remained faithfully committed to compliance.

j)    The President asked Dr. Bras to cover a few more topics.  Dr. Bras reported the search for a new Dean of Engineering was proceeding well and a selection was expected by around July 1. 

k)   A task force reviewing the direction of the Savannah campus of Georgia Tech has been formed and was hard at work.

l)    Another group was taking a look at how to improve mentoring and advising students, particularly undergraduates, and how to increase constructive contact between students and faculty.

m)  The Clough Commons building was on track to be completed and opened in the fall.  Programmatic elements would be under the leadership and administration of Dr. Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of the Georgia Tech Libraries.  A committee of students and faculty has been working to build the programs that will be centered there.

n)   Dr. Bras encouraged faculty members to contact the Dean of Students and make use of the resources of the Dean of Students office and the Counseling Center if they observed any students struggling with stress.  These were important resources that could save lives if caring faculty could help refer such students to those who could help.  About 150 referrals have been made since the referral form was added to the Dean’s website.

3.      The Chair directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the January 25, 2011 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  These were approved unanimously.

4.   Dr. Bowman called on Mr. Chris D’Urbano, Executive Board Vice-Chair, to provide an update on the work of the Nominating Committee for faculty governance elections in 2011.  He said that the committee had almost completed its work and was mainly lacking enough candidates from the College of Engineering for the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees.  He asked the other Board members to send additional nominations to him or to the co-chair, Dr. Andrew Lyon.

7.5Dr. Bowman asked Dr. Bohlander to review a draft calendar of proposed meeting dates and times for the 2011-12 academic year (Attachment #2).  Dr. Bohlander explained the rationale for the date selections, showing how the proposed meeting dates would fall in relation to other important dates on the calendar and what was somewhat different about next year. In the course of discussion it was determined that the President’s State of the Institute message was planned for Thursday, September 1, 2011 instead of the date given in Attachment #2.  Dr. Bohlander explained that the Registrar had approved the rest of the proposed schedule.  He moved that the Board adopt this schedule with this one amendment, subject to possible later requests for change from the President’s Office.  The motion was approved unanimously.

6.   Dr. Bowman then called on Dr. Doug Williams, Georgia Tech’s designated representative to the USG Faculty Council (or USGFC).  He explained that he had received some proposed revisions to the USGFC Bylaws (Attachment #3).  Dr. Williams stated that the changes provided further evolution in the voting rules of the council.  In the very beginning, each institution was proposed to have one vote, with majority rule.  The research universities were only four in number but had the majority of the system’s faculty so they proposed instead that there be three tiers of schools comprising the research universities, the four-year degree institutions, and those which were predominately two-year degree institutions. It was further proposed that measures would only pass when a majority of each tier agreed.  This approach was adopted and utilized early in the Council’s existence.  The most recent proposed revision (Attachment #3) was intended to accomplish the following:

·         A quorum was defined as at least 50% of each of the tiers. 

·         A majority of those present from each tier in a physical meeting would have to approve a measure for it to pass.

·         The proposal allowed for questions to be decided by an email vote.

President Peterson asked about the statement in Section V.2.3 concerning a quorum for email votes: “The asynchronous voting quorum is the entire voting membership.”  Would this mean that if one person was unable or refused to participate in the email voting that the measure would be stalled?  This was discussed and it was agreed that this was unacceptable and probably not intended.  It was decided that Dr. Williams would propose an amendment to the Council to avoid this logjam, and the Executive Board would revisit this question when the issue was resolved.

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

·         Mr. Millard reported that the Faculty Benefits Committee had recently reviewed and made further progress on

o   Dependent Backup Care – Studies were in progress.

o   403B Plan Review – Fidelity and TIA-CREF were given passing marks

o   Donated Sick Leave – 5,000+ hours were donated. Only one person has needed to tap this help so far. This applied only to the RI side of the campus.  GTRI hasd its own program.

o   Possible New Flexible Account – Study was launched of options to cover special needs in vision, dental, and hearing appliances.

·         Dr. Lyon noted the activities of the Student Regulations Committee that were reported at the February 15, 2011 meeting of the faculty.

·         Dr. Williams noted concern from the USGFC about the lack of formula funding in the proposed FY2012 budget before the Georgia Legislature.

9.   Hearing no further business, Dr. Bowman adjourned the meeting at 3:50 p.m.



Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

April 2, 2011


1)      Minutes of the January 25, 2011 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Calendar of faculty meetings for the 2011-12 academic year.

3)   Proposed amended Bylaws of the USGFC.



Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on March 23, 2011:

Dear Board members –


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:

—  Co-Chairs

§  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


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 slot 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.


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 Fri. Mar. 25.

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