Meeting of October 28, 2010

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building



Members Present:        Baldridge (Grad. Student), Bennett (Mgt), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bowman (Chair, INTA), Bras (Provost), DíUrbano (Vice-Chair, OSP), Fox (Library), Ingram (ECE), Jenkins (GTRI), Lyon (Chemistry), Marder (Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Neu (ME), Tavares (EVPRís Office), White (CoC), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Members Absent:        Bafna (Architecture), Bishop (GTRI-ELSYS), Boone (UíGrad. Student), Buck (ECE), Leggon (Public Policy), Peterson (President), Weissburg (Biology), Wozniak (OTL)


Visitors:                       Allen (Faculty Athletics Representative), Herazy (Provostís Office), Paraska (Dir. of Program Rev. & Accreditation), Radakovich (Athletics Director), A. Smith (SVPAA), Wasch (Legal Affairs)

1.      Prof. Kirk Bowman (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:03 P.M. 

2.      He directed the Boardís attention to the Minutes of the September 28, 2010 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  These were approved unanimously.

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

a)      Dr. Bras reviewed the case Georgia Tech was making to the Board of Regents (BoR) that new engineering programs were not needed at the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern.  Were expanded engineering capacity needed, it would be more cost effective to admit more students at Georgia Tech.  Tech believed $30-40 million was needed to start each new engineering program.  Dr. Bras reported that decisions were postponed by the BoR to their November 17 meeting. 

b)      Initial implementation plans for Georgia Techís new strategic plan had begun.  Representatives of academic units would hold a retreat in December. Task forces have been formed on some topics such as the X-College, Global Leadership, and Educational Guarantee initiatives.

c)   Budget letters would be going out to the academic units by November 1 reflecting an estimated 6% reduction in budgets relative to the established baseline.

d)   Dr. Bras reported forming a planning committee to recommend strategies for the Savannah campus with expected outputs from this group by the end of the year.  

4.      Dr. Bowman called on Ms. Susan Paraska, Director of Program Review and Accreditation, to provide some background on the new schedule of briefings concerning Techís intercollegiate athletics programs. Ms. Paraska said that the annual briefings by the Athletics Director and Faculty Athletics Representative had previously been held in the spring but moving these briefings to the fall held two advantages:

         The NCAA did not release data on student athlete academic performance until after Techís last spring faculty meeting so a report in the fall would be able to cover more up-to-date results.

         If actions were needed as a result of the Boardís review, they could be taken with much of the current academic year still ahead.

Dr. Bowman then turned the floor over to Mr. Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics, to report on progress in improving gender equity and minority opportunities.  He utilized the slides shown in Attachment #2a and also referred to a table of improvement initiatives which was handed out as Attachment #2b.  Mr. Radakovich noted that reporting to the Executive Board was expected to be accomplished annually as part of Techís NCAA certification. The plans listed in the table were followed over the first five years of the certification.  Now at the start of the next five years, updated goals were being written by the Georgia Tech Athletics Association Boardís Equity and Compliance Committee (chaired by Dr. Marie Thursby) and the Academic Committee (chaired by Dr. Gary May). Mr. Radakovich anticipated that the updated goals would be somewhat condensed for better tracking and communication of progress.  The remainder of his remarks followed closely Attachment #2a

Following his presentation, Dr. Bowman called on Prof. Sue Ann Allen, Faculty Athletic Representative, to make her annual report to the faculty.  It was noted that this report would also be made to the Academic Senate on November 16.  She presented the slides shown in Attachment #3 and her talk followed closely this material.  She compared student athletesí grade point averages (GPAs) semester to semester with the general population of Georgia Tech students (slide 4) and noted that while athletes had a GPA lower by 0.24 on average, the athletes seemed to do better in the semesters in which they were engaged in sports competition.  She also noted that class drop rates and probation rates appeared to be lower for student athletes than for other students.  In answer to a question about why student athlete GPAs were lower in summer, Mr. Radakovich said there was a higher rate of participation in summer classes by student athletes with greater academic challenges. 

Dr. Allen noted that Techís Graduation Success Rates seemed to be trending upwards. Mr. Radakovich also noted that Tech has a strong program to help student athletes return from pro sports and complete their degrees.  Twenty two were in the program in the past year.  In relation to the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) measurements (slides 9-10), Dr. Allen noted that most teams were doing well at Georgia Tech.  The menís basketball program scored below the target APR value of 925 but, because it did not have any student failing to earn both eligibility and retention points, it was not penalized.  Four Georgia Tech teams earned perfect APR scores; namely, Menís Cross Country, Womenís Cross Country, Golf, and Volleyball. 

Dr. Allen invited members of the Executive Board to consider participation in the Football Guest Coach Program (slide 11) which provided faculty with a chance to get better acquainted with the football program and root for the team from the sidelines during one of the home or away games.  She also introduced the new Subaru Professors of Excellence program which recognized faculty excellence in academic and research contributions.  Selected professors were recognized at home football games and a $1000 donation made to their college by Subaru. Nominations were made by the Deans.

In response to a question about the extent to which distance learning was employed by student athletes, Dr. Allen answered that such methods were used judiciously to ensure the integrity of earned grades. Mr. Radakovich noted that distance learning could be a benefit to student athletes who turned professional and yet wanted to continue progress toward a degree. Dr. Allen also pointed to the problem faced by science and engineering students who faced conflicts between typical laboratory class times and practice schedules. This did not seem to be something that could be ameliorated by distance learning.

5.   At the chairís request, Dr. Bohlander reviewed a draft agenda for the planned November 16 faculty meeting.  He said it was planned as a meeting of just the Academic Senate, but the draft agenda included a second reading of the proposed change to the Faculty Handbook concerning the definition of General Faculty, and that matter would require the attention of the General Faculty.  As noted during the September 28 Executive Board meeting, the first reading of this proposed change occurred on April 27 and the second reading was postponed from the October 14 faculty meeting to provide more time to brief Techís new Provost on this development.  Dr. Bohlander stated that the Chair of the Task Force on Redefinition planned to meet with the Provost on November 8.  Dr. Bohlander recommended that the Board provisionally approve combining a meeting of the General Faculty with the meeting of the Academic Senate, subject to the approval of the Provost after the review on November 8. Provost Bras concurred with this recommendation.  Dr. Bohlander moved for a) approval to call a meeting of the General Faculty to be combined with the scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate on November 16, and b) approval of the agenda in Attachment #4 subject to the approval of the Provost concerning the Handbook change.  This was seconded and passed without dissent.

6.      Dr. Bowman asked for reports from task force leaders and standing committee liaisons.    Notable highlights included:

         Dr. Marder stated that the Faculty Honors Committee was honing their online award nominations process.

         Mr. White reported that Academic Services Committee sought to focus on services important to the strategic plan.

         Mr. Millard indicated that the Faculty Benefits Committee was working on the specifics of adding four additional staff representatives to the committee.  The offerings of 457 plan providers were also being reviewed.

         Dr. Williams mentioned that the first meeting of the University System of Georgia Faculty Council would be held in three weeks.

         Dr. Bennett reported that the Graduate Curriculum Committee was working with administrators to create better processes and templates for considering dual and joint degrees with other academic institutions around the world.

         Dr. Lyon stated that the Student Regulations Committee was developing a revision to the studentsí Bill of Academic Rights to be renamed ďStudent-Faculty Expectations.Ē  In response to a question, Dr. Bohlander said that could go directly to the Academic Senate for final approval. 

         Dr. Ingram said that the Statutes Committee was working on a proposed revision to the Facilities Usage section of the Faculty Handbook that was covered in the August 31 Executive Board meeting.  They were also working further on the recommendations sent to them by a task force chartered by Dr. Andy Smith concerning general improvements to the Handbook.

7.   The chair called on Dr. Bohlander who explained that the Executive Board leaders received a formal request from the President to form a hearing committee for a dismissed faculty member [name omitted here in confidence].  The faculty member had been unsuccessful in an appeal to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee but also had the right of an appeal to a hearing committee to be chartered by the Executive Board.  Such a hearing would be set up in accordance with procedures set out in the Faculty Handbook Section 5.10 and Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.9 and Dr. Bohlander went over these procedures for the Board.  Dr. Bohlander clarified that the role of the Executive Board was to appoint three to five impartial members drawn from among the members of the entire faculty to serve on a hearing panel. 

In preparation, Dr. Bohlander met with Mr. Pat McKenna, Associate Vice President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management and with Ms. Kate Wasch, Senior Attorney in the Office of Legal Affairs.  They suggested that the Board appoint a subcommittee to review possible names and recommend a panel of five people as well as alternates to be appointed by the Board.  Their recommendation would be brought to the whole Executive Board for a final decision.   

Dr. Bohlander noted that the only requirements on the appointments by the Board were that there be three to five people appointed to the hearing panel and that those appointed be impartial.  A possible methodology would be to start with a list of twenty-four names of faculty members randomly selected by the Office of Human Resources and then eliminate any persons with connections to this case.  Dr. Bohlander cited as examples, persons on the Executive Board making the appointment, persons who served on the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee, persons on the witness list or who were directly associated with the subject faculty member, or other similar considerations.  It was noted that after the Board made its appointments, both sides to this issue would also have rights to strike members of the hearing panel in accordance with the policy sections cited above. That was the reason for alternates to be identified.

Members of the Board expressed concern that persons in tenure track appointments who did not yet have tenure could be exposed to risk from their participation in this panel.  Dr. Ingram made a motion that tenure track personnel who did not yet have tenure be excluded from the pool considered for the hearing panel.  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent. 

The following persons volunteered to serve on the subcommittee to make the initial recommendation of appointments to the hearing panel and alternates: Drs. Bennett, Bohlander, and Bowman, and Ms. Tavares.  Dr. Marder moved that this subcommittee be formally appointed. The motion was seconded and passed with one abstention.  After meeting, the subcommittee would bring its recommendation to the whole Executive Board for review and approval.  This would occur at the next meeting of the Executive Board, or sooner if possible in a special meeting.

Hearing no further business, Dr. Bowman adjourned the meeting at 5:04 p.m.



Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

November 29, 2010


1)      Minutes of the September 28, 2010 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Report on improvements in gender equity and minority involvement in Georgia Tech athletics programs.

a)      Presentation

b)      Table of initiatives

3)   Report of the Faculty Athletics Representative     

4)   Agenda of the scheduled November 16, 2010 meeting of the Academic Senate and called meeting of the General Faculty.