GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

MINUTES

Meeting of November 30, 2010

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building

 

 

Members Present:        Bafna (Architecture), Baldridge (Grad. Student), Bishop (GTRI-ELSYS), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bowman (Chair, INTA), Bras (Provost), Buck (ECE), D’Urbano (Vice-Chair, OSP), Fox (Library), Leggon (Public Policy), Lyon (Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Neu (ME), Peterson (President), Weissburg (Biology), White (CoC), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)

 

Members Absent:        Bennett (Mgt), Boone (U’Grad. Student), Ingram (ECE), Jenkins (GTRI), Marder (Chemistry), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Wozniak (OTL)

 

Visitors:                       Bruckman (Undergraduate Research), Chen (student editor of The Tower), Gordon (Evaluation & Research), Henry (Exec. Dir. OIE), Herazy (Provost’s Office), Herrington (Chair, Statutes), Lohmann (Vice Provost), McLaughlin (VP Intl. Initiatives), Morley (Chair, Faculty Definition Task Force), Paraska (Dir. of Program Rev. & Accreditation), Pitts (Dir., Student Media), A. Smith (SVPAA

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 October 28, 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 briefly reviewed the recent action by the Board of Regents to approve proposals from the University of Georgia (UGA) and Georgia Southern University for new engineering programs.  The approvals were granted by a vote of 9-8.  UGA would begin offering degrees in Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering, starting with Civil in fall 2011. Although Georgia Tech had advocated against approving these programs, the president committed to support both universities in their new endeavors. 

b)      The President reported that the Georgia Tech capital campaign had been launched publicly.  It was a $1.5 billion campaign that would continue through December 2015.  The faculty-staff portion of the campaign would be kicked off soon, and faculty and staff members would have the privilege of designating their contributions for a program of their choice.

c)   A celebration called France-Atlanta 2010 commemorating the fruitful relationship between the Atlanta community and France had begun and would last two weeks.  A number of leaders from Atlanta and France were meeting and looking at opportunities to expand business and cultural relations.  It was recognized that Georgia Tech Lorraine was a seminal initiative that catalyzed activity between the two communities. Dr. Peterson noted that approximately 250 undergraduates studied in Metz each semester.  He reported that a formal signing of the agreements to establish the Lafayette Institute had just been held.  The Lorraine region was funding the creation of this 20,000 sq.ft. facility in Metz to be the European base of joint research efforts between research operations here and in Metz.  It would also include a 5,000 sq.ft. clean room.

d)   A new Vice-President of Communications and Marketing has been announced. Michael Warden, coming from the University of Colorado at Boulder, planned to start work on December 1.  

e)   Dr. Archie Ervin, Georgia Tech’s new Vive-President for Institute Diversity, planned to begin his work on January 1, 2011. 

f)   The search for a new Vice-President and Director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute was proceeding.  Finalist interviews and visits were in progress.

Dr. Peterson called on Provost Raphael Bras for further comments.

a)      Dr. Bras reported that the search committee for a new Dean of Engineering had begun its work.  Prof. Mustafa El-Sayed was the chair.  Dr. Bras predicted that interviews would be held in about March. 

b)      Leaders from the Offices of the Provost and the Executive Vice-President for Research would have an offsite strategy meeting in the week of December 6 to begin discussions with campus units on the implementation of the new Georgia Tech strategic plan.

4.      Dr. Bowman next called on Vice Provost Jack Lohmann to kick off a group of presentations concerning the Quality Enhancement Plan that was initiated in response to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation review 5.5 years ago.  Dr. Lohmann reported that the plan covered five years of work so a final report had been prepared to communicate the progress made under the plan.  The Executive Board had been provided with an electronic copy of the original plan as Attachment #2a and the reporting team at the meeting used the slides in Attachment #2b to convey their message about the accomplishments to date. 

Dr. Lohmann explained that at the 5 year point in the 10-year accreditation cycle there were two reports due to SACS.  One was a Mid-Cycle or Interim Report covering Tech’s compliance with fourteen standards set by SACS. The other report was called an Impact Report, which was in effect a final report on Tech’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  The latter was a major project that was required to be submitted as part of Tech’s input to the 2005 accreditation review.  Actually Tech’s QEP contained two projects and both were planned for a five-year duration, so it was time for a final report.  The two projects focused on Global Competence and Undergraduate Research.  Although the final report was being submitted, this did not mean that work would stop on the two focal areas.  It just meant the promised accreditation actions were closed out.  Dr. Lohmann commended the leaders of the work under the two focus areas; in particular, Dr. Steve McLaughlin and Dr. Amy Henry led the Global Competence focus, and Dr. Karen Harwell led the Undergraduate Research focus until recently (when she left Tech to pursue other opportunities).  Dr. Amy Bruckman took over in the interim while serving as Chair of the Undergraduate Research Advisory Group; Dr. Christopher Reeves has been engaged to be the director of Undergraduate Research and Innovation beginning January 2011.  Dr. Lohmann also introduced Dr. Jon Gordon as QEP’s evaluator and Ms. Susan Paraska as program manager.

Dr. Lohmann’s  introduction was the followed by a team of presenters of the material in Attachment #2b, starting with Dr. Henry on the International Plan as part of the Global Competence focus.  She was followed by Dr. Bruckman on Undergraduate Research.  These presentations adhered closely to the material in the attachment.  Dr. Gordon followed with a discussion of the main challenges and features of the QEP evaluation program and its findings.  Dr. Lohmann wrapped up saying that Georgia Tech would propose a different QEP on the occasion of the next SACS review in 2015.  Planning would begin between now and then because good QEP proposals take time for project selection and planning.  Dr. Lohmann invited questions:

Q.  Were there any plans to talk to employers of Tech graduates to get another perspective on the value of these programs?  Ans. Alumni surveys have been done and would continue.  This would help to get alumni feedback on how these experiences were transferred into their careers and how have they used these experiences to promote themselves.  Work with employers has not been done yet.  That would require permission from each alum involved.

Q. Were there measures of the impact of these programs that did not depend on self-assessments of the participants?  Were direct measurements of performance improvements possible?  Ans. Methods of performance assessment were under consideration and development, both for these programs and for measures of efficacy of general education curricula.

Comments: 1) Having more problem based learning in the classroom could increase student interest in research options.  2) In assessment it could be interesting not only to measure the relative rate at which student go to graduate school after participating in the research option, but also to look at the quality of the graduate programs they entered.

Q. Where might online global partnerships fit into international program competency development?  What were some advantages and disadvantages of online collaboration relative to global experiences in person?  Ans. This has not been addressed so far.  Only a beginning has been made on characterizing differences in global competence between different cohorts of students, such as ones in different fields.

Q.  Was it possible that persons who opt for the research option were already planning on graduate school, and that explained the high correlation between research options participants and going to graduate school.  Ans. Dr. Gordon agreed that the correlation did not prove that research option participation caused people to choose to go to graduate school at a higher rate.

Comment:  Open-ended questions to International Program participants over the course of their careers could provide richer information about the impacts of the program on their career development.

5.   Dr. Bowman called on the undergraduate student editor of The Tower, Michael Chen, to tell the Board about this student research journal.  Mr. Chen handed out copies of recent issues of the journal and utilized the slides in Attachment #3 to illustrate his thoughts.  He stated that the mission of The Tower was to showcase undergraduate research accomplishments.  The journal accomplished this primarily through printed editions which were distributed from news racks around campus.  Uptake of the copies suggested that the journal needed to publish more copies in future editions.  In the past only one issue per year was published but one per semester would begin in 2011.  He stated the belief that research was meaningless without effective communication. 

The journal also has a website http://gttower.org/ through which articles can be submitted and past editions can be accessed digitally.  The site has averaged about 50 reads/day.

Mr. Chen reported that the student staff of The Tower had decided to co-host the Undergraduate Research Kaleidoscope on November 18, 2010 along with the Library.  This was an evening of very brief research slide presentations, each with 20 slides requiring no more than 20 seconds of explanation each.  The event was very well-received.

There were three areas in which The Tower helped its participants gain proficiency, Mr. Chen explained: 1) in communication skills, 2) in research competence, and 3) in research confidence.  Articles were peer reviewed and that experience was also instructive.  Mr. Chen stressed the importance of publication as a capstone on research experiences.  He stated that students should have a product to show for their work and publication was a good way to accomplish that.  He went on to explain that The Tower did not want to be in competition with publication in external peer reviewed journals.  The Tower staff strongly encouraged authors to go on to publish in other venues as well.  The copyright licenses that the journal obtains from authors were not exclusive in order to facilitate additional publication.

In looking to the future, Mr. Chen stated the goal of getting wider participation from students in more colleges and schools of Georgia Tech.

Suggestions: The Tower could consider some sort of arrangement with participants in the President's Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) program and consider a possible special issue of articles submitted by participants. Students engaged in capstone senior design courses (along with their professors and mentors) should also be targeted.    Ans. Mr. Chen agreed that was a good idea

Q. How was The Tower advertised to students and faculty?  Ans. The journal was promoted at various orientation meetings around campus.  It also was promoted through extensive email campaigns and direct relationships with professors.  The journal editions themselves constituted promotion of the opportunity for the year ahead.

Q.  Did the journal get more submissions than it could handle?  Ans. If there were more submissions, more issues would be created.

6.   Dr. Bowman then summarized the results of the November 16 faculty meeting at which a proposal to revise the definition of General Faculty was defeated.  He said there was a strong voice of opposition and he heard four points made in support of defeating the proposed change:

·         The list of titles to be included under General Faculty was labeled as preliminary and not definitive.

·         Tech was presently without a permanent Associated Vice-President for Human Resources (AVP HR) and this person should be in place to lead the completion of the above.

·         Those who would be in titles displaced from General Faculty were suggested to participate through a Staff Council but this had not been defined or stood up yet.

·         There would be people hired into positions that did not have General Faculty status going forward working alongside others who would be grandfathered with General Faculty status and this could cause trouble.

Dr. Bowman observed that the first three were issues that could be remedied in the next few months.  He said the fourth would be an argument against any change ever.  Dr. Bowman asked for comments from Prof. Tom Morley who had chaired the Task Force that prepared the proposed changes.  Dr. Morley said he thought there was a misunderstanding that the present definition of General Faculty was untenable; i.e. that inaction was unacceptable.  He reminded the Board that under the current rules, there were only certain titles listed in the statutes which had faculty status.  Scores of titles have been added to the roster of Institute personnel since the last amendment of the authorized list and these new titles were in limbo. Moreover the title Professional with General Faculty Status which was listed in the statutes was disappearing.  Keeping up with change was no longer practical without a change in procedures such as those proposed. 

Dr. Bohlander advocated that efforts be concentrated on resolving the first three bullets over the next few months and then bring this matter back to the faculty.  He observed that there was a bit of a chicken and egg dilemma in the “preliminary” designation of the list of included titles.  Since the faculty had not decided to adopt a proposed new definition, any list would be preliminary.  Nevertheless, having a new AVP HR on board would allow a more authoritative statement to be made.  He also observed that a new AVP HR could move a proposed Staff Council forward. 

Dr. Peterson said that he had recently received a draft proposal for a staff council from the Office of Human Resources so he too felt that goal could be addressed.  He observed that encouragement from the Executive Board could help move this along.    

The President also acknowledged all the awkwardness of the present situation and said that it would help to get a shared vision of what the preferred end state would be and its advantages, and to work together toward that end.  Dr. Bras agreed with Dr. Morley that the present state had problems and the issues needed to be better communicated to the faculty as a whole so that a balanced determination could be made. 

It was acknowledged that under present arrangements faculty began their service to the institute with more vacation time per year than classified staff were granted.  Some expressed the belief that vacation benefits for senior professional staff could be brought into line with faculty and that this needed to be addressed in a tangible way. 

Discussion acknowledged that membership in the faculty was considered an honor and included certain powers of decision.  Change was acknowledged to be difficult when it concerned matters of perceived status. 

Dr. Bohlander mentioned that there were really some passions on both sides of this issue and he had received expressions of concern from faculty members who felt that change was a must.  Some passionately felt that the accommodations made in the past to add titles to faculty ranks were in essence temporary arrangements to provide access to fairer retirement packages.  Now that the connection to retirement privileges was broken, they felt that faculty definitions should return to the core nature of faculty.

The consensus conclusion was that three things should happen:

1)      More communication should be provided to the faculty so they could carefully consider what they wanted;

2)      The Executive Board should work with a new AVP HR when available to tie up loose ends mentioned above; and

3)      Faculty leaders should meet with groups who felt impacted by proposed change to improve communications in both directions about the situation at hand and concerns on all sides. 

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

·         Dr. Leggon reported that the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee had been meeting to refine its processes.  They were considering whether different kinds of investigations or assessments on the same matter could proceed in parallel in some cases.

·         Mr. White said that the Academic Services Committee was scheduling hearings with services on campus involved in key areas of concern in the new strategic plan.

·         Dr. Herrington, Chair of the Statutes Committee, introduced Ms. Jeanne Balsam who would serve as acting chair during spring semester when Dr. Herrington would be in Australia. 

Dr. Herrington reported that the committee had been reviewing some recommendations of new text for the Faculty Handbook that had been prepared by a task force appointed by Senior Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Andy Smith.  She said the Task Force’s draft held many good ideas for improvements that were important and needed in the Faculty Handbook.  But she said that the Statutes Committee voted not to recommend adoption of the whole draft from the Task Force because 1) the Task Force version did not preserve the concept of statutes and bylaws that the faculty had designated power to amend, and 2) the proposed new text had become too lean and did not retain adequately statements of principles that were to guide decisions within the procedures that were set out.  So the Task Force draft was accepted as a reference and guideline on needed improvements.  Much work remained now to accomplish the backlog of updates and corrections outlined by the Task Force’s work.  She commended the efficiency of the Task Force’s text and surmised that it might be possible to efficiently extract information from a more complete Handbook to answer specific questions by using advanced web tools.

Given the above decisions, the Statute’s Committee returned to a deferred backlog of requests for changes in the Faculty Handbook.  They returned to a request from the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee to accommodate a change in the procedures governing its proceedings as found in Section 14 of the Handbook.  The Statutes Committee has also been working with Dr. Bill Schafer and others to try to bring closure to changes in the Facilities Use section of the Handbook.

Dr. Peterson pointed to the connection between the Faculty Handbook amendments and the creation of a new Institute Policy and Procedures Manual that would include the Faculty Handbook as one component.  He observed that some of the topics in the Handbook might need to be relocated to another section of the new Manual and that would relieve some of the work in the Statute’s Committee’s backlog.  He cited the example of the Facilities Use section.  Dr. Herrington replied that faculty did care about the basic principles governing access to academic facilities and those needed to be in place so that administrative procedures did not accidently impose unintended constraints.  How best to do that between various parts of a Policies and Procedures Manual was not yet clear.  Dr. Peterson agreed that the Faculty Handbook should set out important principles and rights concerning matters relating to free speech and facilities access.  But then detailed administrative procedures belonged elsewhere. 

·         Dr. Bafna reported that the Student Academic & Financial Affairs Committee had a new chair, Dr. Craig Tovey.  He also said that Paul Kohn, Vice-Provost for Enrollment Services, was seeking the committee’s help in refining financial aid and admissions criteria.

·         Dr. Williams reported that the University System of Georgia Faculty Council (USGFC) met on November 19 and this was the first time it had met since the USGFC was formally recognized by the Board of Regents.  One of the members of this Council was on the search committee for the new Chancellor of the USG and he was inviting suggestions for candidates for the office of Chancellor and input on qualities the committee should seek.  Dr. Williams asked that any such inputs from members of the Executive Board be sent to him so he could pass them on.

·         Dr. Buck reported that the new chair of the Academic Integrity Committee was Dr. Tom Morley.  The committee intended to begin its work this year with a review of the sanctioning model in the Student Code of Conduct.  There was also some discussion of which students should be required to participate in a designated ethics seminar.

·         Mr. Millard reported that the Faculty Benefits Committee last met on Nov. 15 and heard a briefing on a proposal for a backup care service which could provide childcare or eldercare for a fee when emergency needs come up during any given day for a faculty member’s or staff’s dependents.  Many other universities were understood to have such services available.  This might also meet needs when primary and secondary school holidays did not align with Georgia Tech’s holidays.  Mr. Millard reported that a review of employee investment options was in progress, and there were also investigations underway about more flexible benefits account options that might be able to cover purchases of hearing aids.  He reported that open enrollment for all benefits had gone very well this year.  The committee also made progress on adding more staff representatives to the faculty.  Three people have been selected to receive appointments as staff representatives and would begin meeting with the committee in its January meeting. 

7.   The chair called on Dr. Bohlander to cover the appointment of a hearing committee to handle an appeal from a dismissed faculty member.  At its October 28 meeting, the Executive Board appointed a subcommittee to obtain a random list of faculty members from which to recommend five persons to make up the hearing committee in accordance with Georgia Tech statutes, and if possible also provide some names of alternates.  The pool they were to use was not to contain any untenured tenure-track.  Dr. Bohlander reported on behalf of the subcommittee who also included Dr. Nate Bennett, Dr. Kirk Bowman, and Ms. Monique Tavares.  Based on the subcommittee’s recommendation, a motion was made to appoint the following faculty members to the Hearing Committee: Sean Thomas (GTRI-ATAS), Rumiko Simonds (Modern Languages), Leon McGinnis (ISyE), Linda Viney (GTRI-ELSYS), and Vladimir Koltchinskii (Mathematics).  The motion passed without dissent and with one abstention.  The Board reviewed a list of possible alternates but found too many who were known not to be available due to conflicts and recommended that the subcommittee get additional randomly selected names from which to consider a pool of alternates.

Hearing no further business, Dr. Bowman adjourned the meeting at 5:10 p.m.

 

 

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

January 24, 2011

Attachments

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

2)      Report on the Quality Enhancement Plan

a)      The original plan submitted in 2005

b)      Briefing on accomplishments during the five year project

3)   Presentation on The Tower

 

________________________

Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on Dec. 13, 2010:

“Dear Fellow Board members –

 

Further to the topic of appointments to a hearing committee discussed at the last to Board meetings, your subcommittee has deliberated in the meantime to fill the need to appoint alternates for the hearing committee, should they be needed.  We used the same methodology as last time; we obtained a random sample of faculty members from the rolls of the Institute.  We recommend to you the following people to appoint as alternates for addition to the hearing committee should they be needed:

Dr. Sigrun Andradottir – Professor, ISyE

Dr. Bettina Cothran – Professor, Modern Languages

Dr. Wenke Lee – Professor, CoC – Computer Science

Dr. Wendy Newstetter – Senior Academic Professional, BME

Dr. Mary Peek – Senior Academic Professional, Chemistry

 

As it happens, one member of the group we appointed to the hearing committee at our last meeting, one of the professors, has had to drop out due to being on leave from the campus next semester.  Therefore if you approve the above slate of alternates, the first professor on the above list will be tapped to join the hearing committee in his place. 

 

The question to the Board is this:  Do you approve the appointment of the above alternates for the hearing committee that has been part of the Board’s recent attention?

___________ Yes                                           ________ No

 

If any of the Board knows of any reason that one of the above should not be so appointed, please give me a call and I will come back with an amended list.  Due to a need for swift progress, I request that I receive answers by close of business Wednesday, December 15, 2010.”

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