Meeting of January 31, 2012

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


With an Addendum Covering an Electronic Ballot




Members Present:        Bafna (Architecture), Bennett (Mgt), Black (Grad. Student), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bras (Provost), Creel (U’Grad. Student), Cunefare (ME), Downing (EII), D’Urbano (Chair, OSP), Ingram (ECE), Lyon (Vice-Chair, Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Neu (ME), Peterson (President), Ready (GTRI-EOSL), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Vuchatu (GTRI-ESD), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Members Absent:        Leggon (Public Policy), Tyson (Chemistry), Weissburg (Biology), White (CoC), Wozniak (OTL)


Guests:                        Balsam (Chair, Statutes Committee), Campbell (Dir. of Telecommunications, OIT), Gutierrez (Crime Prevention Officer), Herazy (Provost’s Office), McKenna (VP Legal Affairs & Risk Management), Nair-Reichert (Acting Chair, Economics), Reini (Dir-Compliance & Policy Mgt), Smith (SVPAA), Steltzer (Dir. of COI Management)


1.   Mr. Chris D’Urbano (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:05 P.M.

2.      The Chair directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the November 29, 2011 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 reported that he and others from Georgia Tech attended a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (January 25-29, 2012) and took part in sessions on risks to the supply chain, manufacturing, higher education, and others.  There were 2,600 business and government leaders from around the globe in attendance, including about a dozen university presidents.  It was a good opportunity for Georgia Tech to be represented on a world stage.  Sponsorship by Coca Cola made the trip possible.

b)      In December the Capital Campaign logged $42.3 million in gifts, the second largest fundraising month in Tech history.  This put the campaign over the $1.1 billion mark on the way to the $1.5 billion goal by December 2015.  $10 million came from a partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Through this Georgia Tech would have the opportunity to make more contributions in pediatric healthcare research, particularly in relation to cancer.

c)      The week previous to this Board meeting, the US Department of Transportation announced that Georgia Tech was selected as one of ten Tier One University Transportation Centers in the nation.  Dr. Mike Meyer from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. Catherine Ross, from Tech’s Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development, have led this effort with an advisory board of civic and university leaders.  Tech would receive $3.5 million from the federal government over two years and had commitments for another $3.5 million in matching funds from state agencies and the Woodruff Foundation.  Georgia Tech planned to collaborate in this effort with eight other universities and colleges in the Southeast. 

d)     Many activities were coming up in the month of March:

·         The Fourth Annual Inventure Prize would be awarded during a broadcast by Georgia Public Broadcasting on March 13.

·         Dr. Bill Foege would be awarded the 2012 Ivan Allen Prize for Social Courage on March 14-15 during the Allen Prize Symposium entitled “Global Health and the Challenge of Hope”.  Dr. Foege was on the front lines of eradicating small pox and was also pivotal in the government’s response to the early AIDS/HIV crisis in the 1980s.

·         Intel was sponsoring a national “Day of Engineering” on March 14 during which the campus would host prominent speakers addressing the importance of STEM education and encouraging students to choose and/or stick with engineering as a major or career.

The President called on Provost Rafael Bras to make additional comments:

a)      Dr. Bras reported on a meeting at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (operated by the University System of Georgia (USG)) involving faculty from Georgia Tech and the Skidaway Institute to discuss opportunities for increased collaboration. 

b)      The formation of the Council for Educational Technology was an important step in the reorganization of the Provost’s Office.  They would advise the Provost on new investments in educational technology based on research.  The first meeting of this Council would occur in the month of February.

c)      Dr. Bras reported on the formation of a Task Force on Family Friendly Policies and Programming.  Tech’s VP for Institute Diversity, Mr. Archie Irvin, would chair this Task Force, and Mr. Scott Morris, Assoc. VP of Human Resources, would co-chair.  The first meeting would also be in February.  This would cover topics like parental leave, childcare policies, etc.  The President thanked the Board for their interest and influence which led to the formation of this Task Force.  In the near term, a planned new center for childcare would more than double capacity (from 80 to 200 places) available to campus families.

d)     Dr. Bras announced his intention to name a Council of the Arts, which would be charged with recommending ways that the arts could be promoted to the campus community.  An Arts Festival was a possible initiative that might come from this Council. 

e)      The President and Provost had started visiting all the colleges and conducting town hall meetings.


Q.  Had the NCAA announced a verdict on Georgia Tech’s appeal of sanctions?  Ans. Not yet.

Q. Was there a student representative to the Task Force on Family Friendly Policies and Programming? Ans. Yes.

4.      Mr. D’Urbano called on Ms. Susan Campbell, Director of Telecommunication at OIT, and Officer Alex Gutierrez, from Campus Police, to tell the Board about the Jacket Guardian Program.  They used the slides in Attachment #2 to tell about new services to promote campus safety under this program.  By signing up with the program faculty, staff, and students were able to bring capabilities to their cell phones like those in slide #2 and provide information to law enforcement or other first responders that enable them to better protect campus members, as outlined in slide #3.  They encouraged all members of the Board to sign up for this program and set a good example.  Officer Gutierrez indicated that more convenient smart phone apps would be coming which would automate some of the steps described in the attachment.  One of the things that the Jacket Guardian system did was to provide police with the physical location of the cell phone when an emergency call was made, either via cellphone triangulation or GPS if the phone was so equipped.  Locations would only be made available at the time of an emergency call; the police did not have a tracking capability through this program.  Officer Gutierrez stated that the Jacket Guardian program was a tool to enhance security, but that common sense should still be used in avoiding risky situations whenever possible.  He also said that metro area police would be able to use some of the benefits of the program.  They would not be able to respond to the timer function but they would have access to member profiles at the time of emergency calls. 

Q. Would the planned Jacket Guardian app turn GPS on automatically in a cell phone if it was not on at the time of an emergency call?  Some people kept GPS turned off except when needed to save power.  Ans. No, the system was not configured to turn GPS on.  The user would need to do that first to improve location accuracy.  The first app that would be out was going to be one through the Apple store for iPhones and it would not allow an app to turn location-based services on.  Ms. Campbell said that cell tower triangulation, while less precise, was more reliable because GPS service varied a good deal with location due to interference with satellite signals by the built environment.  

Q.  When would the apps become available on the most popular platforms?  Ans. The Apple app should be available within a few weeks.  Windows Mobile will be another few weeks after that.  Android would take longer because there were many different flavors.  All of these developments have been on a fast track since the start-up of the program January 3 so the program was still in its infancy. 

Q. Which metro communities had activated Smart 911?  Ans.  Atlanta had.  Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, John’s Creek, and Cumming would be coming on line in the near future.  Cell phone calls from within those locations would automatically go to the designated authority in that community.  People should use the Guardian phone no. on campus instead of 911 so their calls would get to campus police faster (instead of being routed through Atlanta PD).

Q. Was there a large false alarm rate from the timer function?  Ans. No, over one thousand people were registered and no more than about six calls had been triggered by the timer. 

Officer Gutierrez stated that February 10 was Campus Safety Day and demonstrations would be presented of mounted police, Segway ambassadors, and K-9 operations among other things to promote interest in campus safety.  The location would be between the Clough Building and the Student Center.  President Peterson recommended the Board read an article in the January 27, 2012 edition of the Technique concerning campus safety.  He also encouraged Schools to invite Officer Gutierrez to their faculty meetings.  He was a designated communications officer and two more would be in place soon, dedicated to promoting crime prevention and avoidance among members of the campus community.

5.      Mr. D’Urbano called on the Mr. Pat McKenna, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Risk Management, to tell the Board about the work of a new Institute Policy Task Force.  Mr. McKenna presented the slides in Attachment #3.  He introduced Ms. Mia Reini, Director of Compliance and Policy Management, and stated that the new Task Force was just starting its work.  The Task Force had been charged to a) assemble a common library of Institute policies that could bring together all the different collections of policies that have been developed over the years by the faculty and the administration; and b) to create a transparent process for approving and communicating Administration policies.  The faculty remains in charge of its processes, but this effort would help create better coordination and mutual visibility.  These developments would leverage pioneering work from the faculty who had already moved its Faculty Handbook to a Drupal platform.  The new central, searchable policy library would be built on a Drupal web platform too.  Mr. McKenna stated that there would be one additional member of the Task Force beyond those listed on slide #5; namely, a student member to be named.  He closed by saying that the purpose of the Task Force was not to make policy but to improve the processes by which policies were made, maintained, and communicated.

Q. How would student regulations be handled?  Ans. There would be a section of the policy library to hold those.  Mr. McKenna said he was working with Dean of Students John Stein to be sure those were properly covered.

6.      Mr. D’Urbano said the Board would next hear from Mr. Jeff Steltzer, Director of Conflict of Interest Management in the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.   Mr. Steltzer presented proposed changes to Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook concerning Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy using slides in Attachment #4a and complete proposed text with change tracking in Attachment #4b.  Mr. Steltzer explained that the principal driver for these changes came from revisions in policies set by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) concerning applicants for funding under their control.  All institutions receiving funding through this department (which includes NIH and CDC) had until August 24, 2012 to bring their policies and procedures into compliance with these new federal rules.  Of the four major changes outlined in the attachments, the one requiring reporting of some sponsored travel was not yet well understood.  These regulations covered reporting of travel related to a faculty member’s institutional responsibilities in relation to any DHHS agency-sponsored project where the travel was paid for or reimbursed by a third party other than the sponsoring agency.  This part of the new rules was not included in the notice of proposed rule-making but appeared in the rules when published.  Appeals and requests for clarification have been made to the Department.  Concerning the new requirement for faculty training on conflict of interest, Mr. Steltzer stated that a new training module was being evaluated.

Q.  If a faculty member has invented a new technology and a company was licensing it and paying royalties, some of which came back the faculty inventor, would that faculty member have to report that income under the COI policy?  Ans.  Such a report would be necessary even under the current policy if the faculty member were still conducting research involving the patented technologies and the existence of the royalty income could create an appearance of bias in the conduct of ongoing research.

Q. Did the training requirement apply to all researchers or only those with DHHS-related research funding?  Ans. It was easier to apply it to all researchers and so that was the proposed policy.  That would protect the Institute if other agencies followed DHHS’ lead.  Mr. Steltzer said that existing Georgia Tech training in some departments like GTRI would meet the requirement already. 

Q. When would the proposed changes in the Faculty Handbook take effect?  Ans.  Mr. Steltzer suggested August 1, 2012 to meet the August 24 deadline but still allow time to get procedures ready for implementation.  A new online COI management system was in preparation that would have to be readied.

Q.  Was there any limitation on faculty members serving as an expert witness? Ans. Expert witness work was included in the definition of consulting so rules on consulting applied.

Comment:  Some faculty members did not adequately understand that some conflicts of interest were inevitable but management plans could be crafted to avoid undesirable consequences from the conflicts.  Response:  More should be done to educate the faculty.

Q.  What travel needed to be reported? Ans. Further clarifications were being sought.  So far the best guideline has been captured in Definition 21 of Section 38.2.

Q.  Would these questions be resolved by the February 21, 2012 faculty meeting?  Ans. All except the travel reporting regulations.

Given that situation, Dr. Ken Cunefare recommended that consideration of the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook be held over to a later meeting of the faculty.  The consensus of the Board was in agreement with this suggestion, and the proposed agenda for the February 21, 2012 was amended later in this meeting accordingly.

7.      Mr. D’Urbano called on Dr. Ron Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty) to bring a recommendation for an appointment.  First Dr. Bohlander informed the Executive Board that they had approved all appointments addressed in a recent electronic ballot (see addendum below).  These included appointment of members of the Nominating Committee, appointment of members of the Subcommittee on Open Access to Publications, the appointment of Ms. Susan Paraska to fill a vacancy on the General Faculty Assembly, and the appointment of Ms. Susan Liebeskind to fill a vacancy on the Academic Services Committee.   Then Dr. Bohlander reminded the Board of the provisions of the recently revised “Freedom of Expression Policy and Campus Use Procedures” in Section 47 of the Faculty Handbook, in which there was a provision for appointing a Committee on Use of Institute Facilities (Section 47.4).  In accordance with this, the Executive Board was to appoint a faculty member to serve on this committee.  Dr. Bohlander’s summarized the background and his recommendation in Attachment #5.  Dr. Bohlander recommended that Dr. Helena Mitchell be the Executive Board’s appointee as faculty representative because facility use was closely tied to one of the charges of the Academic Services Committee which Dr. Mitchell chairs.  This would allow the work of the two committees to have a point of coordination.  He moved that Dr. Mitchell be appointed to the Committee on Use of Institute Facilities as the faculty’s representative.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

8.      The Chair called on Prof. Andrew Lyon who was both the Executive Board Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the Nominations Committee, to report on progress in the work of this Committee.  He presented Attachment #6 as a summary of the committees and other posts that would have openings to fill in the Spring 2012 elections.  He explained that some positions required that the candidate come from a particular college and those were indicated in parentheses.  Otherwise the elections were open, though the Nominating Committee does strive for some balance in representation on the committees from across the campus.  Prof. Lyon asked for the members of the Board to contact him or the other Co-Chair, Mr. David White, with suggested nominations.   He said the Committee’s goal was to be finished by the end of February.

9.      Dr. Bohlander then presented the proposed agenda for the February 21, 2012 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate.  He noted the Board’s consensus to hold over to a later meeting any recommendation for change in Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook concerning conflict of interest.  He moved that the proposed agenda (Attachment #7) without that item be approved.  The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.  

10.   Mr. D’Urbano asked for reports from committee liaisons.  Highlights included:

Prof. Andrew Lyon reported that the Student Regulations Committee was meeting to consider potential changes in the Student Code of Conduct, concerning sexual misconduct and alcohol and drug policies.  Dean of Students John Stein was working with the committee on this. 

Mr. Raj Vuchatu reported that the Academic Services Committee (ASC) was looking hard at needs for improved classroom technology and he wondered if the new Council for Educational Technology could assist.  Dr. Bras said that he did not expect the Council to begin from a perspective of hardware in classrooms.  Mr. Vuchatu said that the other areas of the ASC’s focus were the Campus Work Climate Survey, the revival of the Faculty Club, and Georgia Tech becoming a member of the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), which “provide[d] leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.”  Mr. Vuchatu also said the Subcommittee on Open Access to Publications was making progress and was on schedule.

Prof. Sonit Bafna said that the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee was working on approvals of excused absences, especially for student athletes. 

Prof. Nate Bennett reported that the Graduate Curriculum Committee recently heard a presentation from the College of Architecture about future proposed adjustments to their curricula stemming from their recent creation of Schools within the College. There had also been considerable discussion of how many details about a degree program should be expressed on a diploma (in contrast to that which a transcript conveys).

Prof. Doug Williams said that the University System of Georgia Faculty Council (USGFC) would meet on February 25. 

Mr. Dave Millard said that the Faculty Benefits Committee met on Jan. 23 and discussed how to get some uniformity of performance awards for faculty in units throughout the campus and for Georgia Tech as a whole.  The committee heard from Ms. Connie Masters who described the GTRI performance awards.  There was also a presentation from Darlene Wright about changes in PPO providers.  A presentation was also made about the plans for additional childcare facilities.  Dr. Bohlander reminded Mr. Millard that the Faculty Honors Committee should be engaged in any discussions that would impact the awards for which they were responsible. 

Prof. Mary Ann Ingram said the Statutes Committee had been dealing with near term Faculty Handbook changes like those for conflict of interest policies, and they also had been working on bringing the whole Faculty Handbook up to date along lines set out by a Task Force commissioned a few years back by Senior Vice-Provost Andy Smith.  Assistant Vice-Provost Carole Moore attended a recent meeting of the committee to help them better understand the work of this task force.  The goals of the Handbook task force had been to attain consistency between sections, to eliminate unnecessary duplication, to consolidate material on a given topic in focused sections, and to bring the Handbook up to date with Board of Regents policies.  Otherwise, it was not the intent to make policy changes.  The Statutes Committee was now working to fulfill the Task Force’s intent for a more up to date and readable edition of the Handbook.  One of the challenges was how to set off parts of the Handbook that comprise the Statutes from the rest now that topics were being consolidated and could include both Statute and non-Statute material.  Prof. Ingram also stated that two of the topics emphasized in the Committee’s work were sections on Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure and on Faculty Status and Grievance.  There was an ambitious goal to have all this ready for a first reading at the April 24, 2012 faculty meeting. 

Mr. Chris Downing reported that the Faculty Honors Committee would meet to determine faculty honors awardees on February 9, 2012.  There was some concern in the committee about a low response so far to their request for nominations, with the deadline by the end of January 31.  Some extension to the deadline was possible.

11.  Mr. D’Urbano asked for any additional business.  Provost Bras reminded the Board that there was now a Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education and one for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs. Dr. Bohlander asked for the names of interim people filling these positions so he could get them lined up with their ex-officio positions on designated committees. Dr. Bras also reported that more awards for teaching excellence had been instituted.

Mr. James Black announced that the annual Georgia Tech Research and Innovation Conference, sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate, would be held February 7, 2012.  There would be two poster sessions showcasing graduate student conducted research, from 3-4:30 and 5-6:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.  He encouraged Board members to attend.  Travel grants and fellowships would be offered to the research efforts judged to be best by a panel of judges.  An award ceremony would follow the event at 7:30 p.m.

12.  Hearing no further business, Mr. D’Urbano adjourned the meeting at about 4:45 p.m.

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

March 31, 2012


1)      Minutes of the November 29, 2011 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Presentation on the Jacket Guardian Program.

3)      Presentation on the new Institute Policy Task Force

4)      Proposals concerning the Institute’s Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy

a.       Presentation

b.      Text with proposed changes

5)      Recommendations of an appointment to the Committee on Use of Institute Facilities

6)      Openings in faculty governance positions for the Spring 2012 faculty elections.

7)      Agenda for the February 21, 2012 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate.



Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on January 13, 2012:


Dear Executive Board members –


We have several appointments to nail down with this ballot. Please indicate your choice on all four:


1.       Andrew Lyon has assembled names for our Nominating Committee for the Spring 2012 faculty governance elections, distributed in accordance with our Statutes, as follows:
Prof. Andrew Lyon Chemistry College of Sciences Co-Chair
Mr. David White College of Computing Co-Chair
Prof. Michelle LaPlaca BME College of Engineering
Prof. Arnold Schneider College of Management
Dr. Leslie Sharp College of Architecture
Dr. Valerie Sitterle ICL GTRI-ICL
Ms. Merry Hunter Hipp Student Representative

Do you agree to appoint these people to serve as our Nominating Committee for this spring?
____ Yes ____ No, for the following reason ___________________________________________________

2.       The Academic Services Committee (ASC) and the Library Faculty Advisory Board (LFAB) have assembled recommended names for the Subcommittee on Open Access for Publications that they briefed us about in our Nov. 29 meeting. Two members of the Academic Services Committee serve on the subcommittee and the rest are other faculty experts including the co-chairs. In this situation, the Executive Board has to approve the co-chairs. The ASC has approved the subcommittee. Those proposed and provisionally meeting are:
Prof. Ellen Zegura CS College of Computing Co-Chair & also from LFAB
Prof. Steve McLaughlin ECE CoE + VP Intl Initiatives Co-Chair
Prof. Michael Best INTA Ivan Allen From LFAB
Dr. Doug Britton ATAS GTRI From ASC
Prof. Subhro Guhathakurta City Plan. College of Architecture
Ms. Marlit Hayslett ICL GTRI From LFAB and ASC
Prof. Benjamin Herndon College of Management
Prof. Diana Hicks Pub.Pol. Ivan Allen
Prof. Seth Marder Chemistry College of Sciences

Do you agree to ASC’s appointment of this subcommittee with the designated co-chairs?
____ Yes ____ No, for the following reason ___________________________________________________

3.       Dr. Chris Schmidt (Office of Student Integrity) has been serving as a representative of Services and Central Administration on the General Faculty Assembly. He has left Georgia Tech for another appointment, thus creating a vacancy which the Executive Board needs to fill because the Board supervised the election to his post. A runner-up, Ms. Susan Paraska, has been contacted by our Vice-Chair Andrew Lyon in accordance with the Bylaws and has agreed to serve if appointed. You know her well from her many presentations to the Board as Director of Program Review and Accreditation. She would serve from now until August 2014.

Do you agree to appoint her to fill this vacancy?
____ Yes ____ No, for the following reason ___________________________________________________

4.       Dr. Margaret Loper (GTRI-ICL) has asked to resign from the Academic Services Committee due to a heavy teaching load. A runner up in the elections to this committee, Dr. Susan Liebeskind (GTRI-CTISL), has been contacted by our Vice-Chair Andrew Lyon in accordance with the Bylaws and has agreed to serve if appointed. She would serve from now until August 2012 (and be eligible to run for re-election this spring).

Do you agree to appoint her to fill this vacancy?
____ Yes ____ No, for the following reason ___________________________________________________

Since you all are very prompt, please try to respond by the end of the day on this coming Tue., January 17.

A quorum of the Executive Board having participated, all of the above appointments passed.