Meeting of April 3, 2012

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


With Addenda Covering Electronic Ballots




Members Present:        Black (Grad. Student), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Creel (U’Grad. Student), Cunefare (ME), Downing (EII), D’Urbano (Chair, OSP), Ingram (ECE), Lyon (Vice-Chair, Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Tyson (Chemistry), Vuchatu (GTRI-ESD), White (CoC), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Members Absent:        Bafna (Architecture), Bennett (Mgt), Bras (Provost), Leggon (Public Policy), Neu (ME), Peterson (President), Ready (GTRI-EOSL), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Weissburg (Biology), Wozniak (OTL)


Guests:                        Balsam (Chair, Statutes Committee), Garton (VP Research), Kaplan (The Tower student editor), Smith (Sr. Vice-Provost), Steltzer (Dir. of COI Management), Zegura (Co-Chair Open Access Subcommittee)


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 January 31, 2012 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  These were approved unanimously.

3.      The Chair next called on Senior Vice-Provost Andy Smith to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:

a)      Dr. Smith reviewed accomplishments by the 2012 session of the Georgia Legislature that were of interest to Georgia Tech.  They approved:

·         $59 million for a new Engineered Biosystems Building.

·         More than $113 million in formula funding for the University System of Georgia (USG).  About $12 million was expected to come to Tech.

·         $45 million for the building maintenance fund.

·         $150 thousand for GTRI initiatives

Dr. Smith noted that the next step would be for the Governor to sign the budget.  The legislature also

·         Raised the ceiling on non-competitive bids from $5,000 to $25,000.

·         Made it possible for state agencies to enter into multi-year leases.

·         Increased the bonding capacity for the Georgia Higher Education Facilities Authority

Georgia Tech received significant recognition from the General Assembly for

·         The women’s basketball team which made it to the round of Sweet Sixteen.

·         The hundredth anniversary of the co-op program.

·         The Tech Promise Scholarship Program

·         The award of the new transportation center at Tech.

b)      The freshman class offers of admissions were issued March 10.  The average SAT was 1430.  The average high school GPA was close to 4.0.

c)      Commencement speakers had been selected for the spring ceremonies: Dr. Charles Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering, and Gov. Nathan Deal, for the graduate and undergraduate commencements, respectively.

d)     US News & World Report university rankings were out.  For the first time, all eleven Tech engineering programs were in the top ten. 

e)      The Clough Commons recently won an award for green building design from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

f)       Finalists for open positions of Vice-Provost of Undergraduate Education and Vice-Provost of Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs would be announced soon. 

g)      Budget meetings were underway between the executive team and the operating units. 


Q.  Did the NCAA rule on Georgia Tech’s appeal of sanctions?  Ans. Yes, the appeal was denied.

4.       Mr. D’Urbano called on Mr. T. J. Kaplan, new Student Editor of The Tower, an undergraduate student research journal, to tell the Board about the journal and get some advice.  Mr. Kaplan used the slides in Attachment #2 to tell about the journal.  It started about four years ago with the purpose of showcasing, inspiring, and promoting undergraduate research.  The first edition published five articles from ten submitted.  The second edition, published at the beginning of last year, had seven articles, each from a different discipline.  Two interviews were also included, beginning that feature of the journal.  The latest edition expanded the interview segment, including one interview with a Nobelist.  The journal has published selectively and has afforded its authors the experience of preparing for publication.  Article reviews have been conducted by a panel of about twenty undergraduates, twenty graduate students, and a few faculty members.   The Tower has set a goal of publishing twice a year in the year ahead and has been trying to raise the financial support for this.  The Tower website was newly redesigned and provided online access to the journal as well as the potential for interactive content.  In the future it would be possible to offer more articles on line than were included in the print edition.  A new feature was the online Watch Page which highlighted more of the interview content.  Mr. Kaplan talked about the Kaleidoscope program sponsored by the journal.  Kaleidoscope was an event held in the Clough Commons as explained in slide 9.  This event has attracted a number of corporations to come listen to undergraduates talk about their research.  The last slide in the set was a picture of the editorial board from the past year.   

Mr. Kaplan said he would appreciate some advice on a few topics:

·         How many faculty members were aware of the journal and how could this be improved?  Faculty interest was believed to be important for encouragement to students to submit work.  Board suggestions included:

o   Distributing copies of The Tower only to school leaders would not necessarily reach other faculty members.  Sometimes it was good to reach junior faculty members directly for their fresh ideas.

o   Many faculty members have been concerned about encouraging students to publish in The Tower.  They fear this might close off opportunities to publish in established research journals.  Mr. Kaplan said they had assurances from many journals that they would not reject articles that had appeared already in The Tower because it was not distributed outside Tech.  He also said The Tower emphasized that students should express their personal reflections on their research experience, and so articles for external journals would often be written with a different emphasis anyway.

o   A suggestions of a different paradigm was made in which more articles would be published primarily online, thereby involving more students and a greater breadth of work.  Otherwise more engagement with faculty and students would require more elitism in publishing and a great many more disappointed students.

·         How could The Tower contribute to Tech’s prestige?

o   Engagement in some ways with bright high school students was also suggested for its intrinsic appeal and as a way to attract them as applicants for later admission.

o   A possible connection to the State Science Fair was suggested.

o   An electronic format would be seen more widely outside Tech.  Print could be used just for special themes or editions.

o   Would a mobile app help?  Social media could also carry related content and promote the journal.  High school students connected to active undergraduates could create a powerful pull. 

o   Offices that could help The Tower staff would include Marketing and Communication, the Library, and the Undergraduate Research Office. 

·         Did The Tower help promote Georgia Tech to other universities who receive complimentary copies?

o   The response was that print was not the way to continue in relation to any of The Tower’s goals. 

5.      Mr. D’Urbano called on Prof. Ellen Zegura, Co-Chair of the Open Access Subcommittee of the Academic Services Committee.  She came to talk with the Board about the progress her subcommittee had made in developing a proposed policy supporting open access to faculty publications.  She supported her presentation with the slides in Attachment #3a, a draft policy in Attachment #3b, and a notional publication submission form in Attachment #3c.  Prof. Zegura reminded the Board of her earlier briefing in November when the Board began the process to charter the subcommittee.  Her current briefing followed Attachment #3a closely.  She added that other prestigious universities had adopted open access policies and had thereby provided some templates for policy content that were helpful in formulating the proposed draft policy for Georgia Tech.  Slide 5 of the attachment explained the Why and What of open access to faculty publications.  Advice had been received from GTRC and other Georgia Tech legal advisors on policy wording.  Slide 6 covered applicability and opt-out provisions.  The policy covered all scholarly article publishing except classified articles, but the policy was also designed to make it very easy for a faculty member to opt out at his/her discretion.  Faculty members who do participate in open access would provide electronic copies of the authors’ latest copies to the Institute.  Actual display by the Institute of the faculty member’s article could be delayed by a year to give the journal priority on early access.  Those faculty members who opt out simply notify the Institute of their intention to exercise that option.  Slide 7 notes that the use of alternative archives for open access would also be compliant with the proposed policy.  The final section of that slide laid out a proposed format of a committee to sustain and review this process.

Q. Could the policy be framed as an opt-in rather than an opt-out? The concern was expressed that journals ask those who submit articles to assign copyright to the journal and thus the journal’s policy and the proposed faculty policy would be in conflict.  Opting-out would resolve that conflict but then the burden would be on the faculty member to take the opt-out step.  Concern was also expressed that the draft form in Attachment #3c implied that permission to opt-out was not guaranteed.  Ans. The opt-out was meant to be very simple.  The draft form in Attachment #3c needed to be re-worded so it did not in any way imply that permission was needed for the opt-out; it was automatic.  The choice of opt-in was intentional because quite a few journals had a policy that open access services were acceptable to the journal only if a faculty’s policy required it.  Other universities that have instituted such a policy with an opt-out provision like the one proposed have been accepted by these journals.  Faculty members could call on the Library for skilled assistance in getting the best copyright deals with the journals.  Faculty members should not think that they must accept the journal’s first request to assign copyrights.  Many journals have accepted alternative deals. 

Q. What would be the cost to implement the policy?  It was estimated that Georgia Tech authors might contribute 8,000 articles/year.  Thus the intake of articles into the open access portal would be a significant level of activity amounting to 40 articles/workday.  Ans.  Georgia Tech’s on-line repository, SMARTech, already existed so there would be no start-up costs, but there could be some cost in providing occasional capacity upgrades.  The Library expected this to be minimal.  There would be a cost for staff to handle the expected intake volume.  Additional talent could also be needed for providing copyright advice but there were online services available to help.  The library has estimated that two more staff members would be needed.

Q.  What would be done with faculty who were oblivious and simply did nothing about articles they were publishing?  Ans. Other universities with policies such as the one proposed did nothing to go after faculty who neglected to do anything.  The emphasis was on educating faculty about the advantages of participating.

Q. How many leading universities in the U.S. had such open access policies?  Ans.  Ones cited included MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Washington University, Duke, and Columbia. 

Q.  To whom or what organization would the committee described at the end of the proposed policy report?  Or who was going to convene this committee? For example, faculty standing committees report to the General Faculty or the Academic Faculty.  The Intellectual Property Advisory Committee reports to the Executive Vice-President for Research, and the Library Faculty Advisory Board reports to the Provost.  Ans.  That had not been settled yet.  Possible conveners included the Library Faculty Advisory Board, the Library itself, the Provost’s Office, or the Academic Services Committee.  There were faculty policy aspects to the charge to the committee, and in that sense, the Academic Services Committee might be a good answer.  But if the administration needed to ensure that there was a match between services provided and available resources, then some part of the administration might be the logical convener.  It was recognized that the proposed committee had accountability for both implementation oversight and policy recommendations. 

Q. Did we know how many Georgia Tech publications were already provided through open access portals?  Ans. This would vary greatly by field.  Some fields were very used to doing this, physics being one. All NIH funded research was required to be archived in PubMed Central, for another example. Numerical records were not available to report an accurate estimate of overall percentages. 

Prof. Zegura concluded by listing some of the things that remained to be done prior to formal adoption of a policy, some of which are listed in the last slide of Attachment #3a.  The Statutes Committee would be looking at how to embed the proposed policy in the Faculty Handbook, probably as an addition to Section 50 on Intellectual Property.  The Academic Services Committee needed to complete their review, and then when all was ready, it would come to the General Faculty for consideration.  In the meantime, some town hall meetings would be held to provide faculty with more chances to understand what was proposed.  The first one, open to all faculty members, was scheduled for April 11, 2012 in the Technology Square Research Building auditorium at 3 p.m..  Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee asked when it was likely that this would be ready to be considered formally by the General Faculty.  Dr. Bohlander recognized that the charge to the subcommittee called for a report to the faculty by the April 24 faculty meeting, but if more time was needed to socialize this idea, more time could readily be provided.  The consensus reached was for the subcommittee to schedule needed town hall meetings, also to brief the faculty at the April 24 faculty meeting, but not to bring this for a formal vote by the General Faculty until the fall.

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 an update on proposed changes to Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook concerning Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy using slides in Attachment #4a, complete proposed text annotated in Attachment #4b, and a Frequently Asked Questions document in Attachment #4c.  Mr. Steltzer provided this update because there were open questions at the January 31 meeting of the Executive Board concerning new travel reporting that would be required.  He reminded the Board that the changes were being driven by new regulations from the parent agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a significant and influential funder of university research.  Since the January meeting, Georgia Tech Research Corporation leaders had worked to become clearer about NIH expectations concerning travel reporting and this resulted in clearer proposed policies and procedures here.  Slide 4 of Attachment #4a highlighted the main improvements since January.  Travel reporting duties would only fall on those faculty members who received funding from NIH and related agencies.  Reporting would be through a new online Conflict of Interest reporting system which would come on stream in May.  NIH would require compliance with their new regulations by August 24, 2012 so the proposals were designed to ready Tech for this deadline.

Q.  Did consulting travel need to be reported if it did not relate to a faculty member’s responsibilities to the Institute?  Ans.  Ms Jilda Garton (Vice-President for Research) responded that all sponsored or reimbursed travel needed to be reported if the faculty member received NIH funding, but reporting it did not imply anything more than the collection of the data.  NIH had not yet clarified how the collected travel data would be used.  Most disclosures did not reveal real conflicts of interest.  One of the differences in new federal regulations was that the obligation to determine if there was a conflict of interest was not with the investigator but with the employing institution.

It was moved to endorse bringing the proposed changes to Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook to a meeting of the General Faculty which would be called in combination with the scheduled meeting of the Academic Faculty and Academic Senate on April 24, 2012.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. 

7.      Mr. D’Urbano called on Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to provide a progress report on efforts to overhaul the Faculty Handbook.  She used slides found in Attachment #5.  Ms. Balsam stated that the Statutes Committee was working to overhaul the Faculty Handbook based on the recommendations of a task force chartered by Senior Vice-Provost Andy Smith in 2007.  The purpose of the overhaul was not to achieve significant changes in policy but rather to improve the readability and usability of the Handbook as well to bring it up to date with Board of Regents and other external requirements.  In addition, some updates to reflect current organizational names, titles, and institute practice were necessary.  The Statutes Committee was now working to make sure that no important policy matters were left out in the course of the overhaul and they were taking a fresh look at any updates needed for recent organizational changes.  The committee was meeting weekly to accomplish this task as expeditiously as possible.  One of the features of the overhauled Handbook was that each topic was covered in a consolidated section and was no longer covered separately in Statutes, Bylaws, and other sections of the Handbook.  For example, descriptions of a particular standing committee would all be found in a unified section now and those parts of the description which were deemed to be part of the Statutes would be marked with a flag like [S].  Statutes material would still require two readings and a two-thirds majority vote to be amended.

Dr. Bohlander (Secretary) commented that he was helping the Statutes Committee to incorporate improvements in the Faculty Handbook that occurred after Andy Smith’s task force was finished, but have such fit the new format.  Still there were some challenges.  There was unfinished business pending for the faculty in addressing needs for changes in the definition of General Faculty.  He did not advise the Statutes Committee to get way laid by controversy about such changes, but there were some that were unavoidable.  For example, no member of the General Faculty today held the title of Classified Professional with General Faculty Status, yet the current Faculty Handbook had a whole section on the rights of that title.  Minimal changes would be needed to reflect such current realities.  Later, once the Handbook was overhauled, Georgia Tech would need to readdress the deeper questions about membership in the faculty.  Dr. Bohlander would ask Provost Bras to reconvene a group to begin work on that topic.

Ms. Balsam concluded by summarizing the steps ahead.  The committee expected to conclude its work in the next couple months on the overhaul.  At that point they would seek a closer look by the Executive Board and guidance on how to best bring this to the General Faculty for socializing and the necessary two readings and votes.  Ms. Balsam asked if the Executive Board felt the committee should press to be ready for a first reading on April 24.  Dr. Bohlander suggested that this was such a large change that it would need more socialization time than was possible by April 24, not to mention that there were still many details to finish.  Indeed, Sections 28-56 of the existing Handbook have not been addressed yet at all.  He recommended that this not be taken up any earlier than the fall.  Ms. Balsam accepted that.

Q.  Could adoption of the new Handbook be handled as a series of motions so that it would not get derailed on a single detail?  Ans.  Dr. Smith voiced the hope people would see it for what it was: a more readable up to date version of the existing set of policies, and thus, not controversial.  Dr. Bohlander said a series of small motions would not work well because it would be impossible to have part of a new handbook and part of an old one, each with vastly different organization.  Still, the concern was valid and alternatives to avoid death by a thousand cuts would be considered.  Socializing the new Handbook through town hall meetings had the chance to expose any unexpected controversies and would afford a possible opportunity to address them.

Q. Was the new Handbook available somewhere on line in draft form?  Ans.  Not yet.  Doubtless it would be when loose ends were tied up.  Ms. Balsam also noted that parts of the Faculty Handbook might eventually be placed elsewhere in the Institute’s central policy library briefed to the Executive Board by Mr. Pat McKenna, VP for Legal Affairs and Risk Management.  This could happen if the sections were really about Institute policies that applied to more than just faculty members.

Comment:  Mr. James Black (Graduate Student Representative) stated that he would like to see any policy statements that applied to students.  He also said he would be glad to help with making sure titles of student officers were correctly stated. 

Q. What was the status of the Advance Professor’s proposals for changes in things like promotion, reappointment, and tenure?  Would it be possible to offer the Advance proposals at the same time as the new Handbook as optional enhancements?  Ans. That was said to be possible.  On the one hand it would be nice not to have people say no to the new Handbook because it contained anything new that people found controversial, but on the other hand, some might want to say no because the new Handbook did not address long awaited progress.  Thus some mechanism to offer proposed policy improvements at about the same time would be prudent.

8.      Dr. Bohlander then presented the proposed agenda for the April 24, 2012 scheduled meeting of the Academic Faculty and Academic Senate.  Due to the need to consider the proposed change to Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook, it was also necessary to call a combined meeting with the General Faculty.  Dr. Bohlander moved that the call for the meeting be amended to include the General Faculty and that the proposed agenda (Attachment #6) be approved.  The motion was seconded.  A question was raised about whether the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee was ready to present agenda item 9c because concerns had been raised at the last faculty meeting.  It was confirmed that they were ready.  The motion was approved unanimously.  

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

Mr. Dave Millard said that the Faculty Benefits Committee met on February 27 and learned that the decision by the Board of Regents to withhold HMOs from new employees had been reversed.  Plans to open a new childcare facility were moving forward.  A Family Friendly Task Force had been formed by the administration and several members of the Faculty Benefits Committee were members.  Several initiatives were in planning with this Task Force.

Dr. Cam Tyson noted that Mechanical Engineering had brought forth undergraduate curriculum changes that offered students significantly more flexibility.  The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee was also working to develop better guidelines for posthumous degrees. 

Mr. Chris Downing reminded the Board of the Faculty Honors Luncheon on April 12.

10.  Hearing no further business, Mr. D’Urbano adjourned the meeting at about 5:20 p.m.

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

May 21, 2012


1)      Minutes of the January 31, 2012 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Presentation on The Tower journal.

3)   Progress report from the Subcommittee on Open Access for Publications

a) Presentation

b) Draft Policy

c) Draft submittal form

4)   Update on proposed changes to the Institute’s Conflict of Interest Policy

a) Presentation

b) Proposed revision to Section 38 of the Faculty Handbook concerning “Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity Policy”
Compare with current version.

c) FAQ regarding Sponsored Travel

5)   Progress report on other revisions to the Faculty Handbook

6)      Agenda for the April 24, 2012 meeting of the Academic Faculty, Academic Senate, and called meeting of the General Faculty.



Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on February 28, 2012:


Dear Executive Board members –


We have learned that Prof. Greg Corso (Psychology) left Georgia Tech for an appointment in another university at the end of last semester. As a result, there is a vacancy on the Graduate Curriculum Committee for a term extending until August 2014. I asked that the Nominations Committee propose someone to fill this vacancy because there were no available persons in the runners up pool representing the College of Sciences. This is in accordance with our bylaws. The person recommended to fill this term via Prof. Lyon is Prof. Robert Dickson (Chemistry). He has agreed to serve if appointed.


Do you agree to appoint Prof. Robert Dickson to fill this vacancy on the Graduate Curriculum Committee with a term until Aug. 2014?

___ Yes ___ No Reason _____________________________________________________________________________



Please respond by end of the day this Friday, March 2.

A quorum of the Executive Board having participated, the motion passed.



Addendum #2

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on March 16, 2012:


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

§ Andrew Lyon (Chemistry)

§ David White (CoC)

— Academic members:

§ Michelle LaPlaca (BME)

§ Arnie Schneider (Mgt)

— Non-Academic members:

§ Val Sitterle (GTRI)

§ Leslie Sharp (CoA)

— Student Representative:

§ Merry Hunter Hipp


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, or a tweak needed 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 Wed. Mar. 21.

A quorum of the Executive Board having participated, the motion passed.



Addendum #3

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


Dear Board Members –


I am pleased to report that the election results are in and there were no ties that we have to figure out. A couple of things did come up leading to this election:

·         Dr. Jud Ready resigned from the Executive Board to take a new job opportunity. We decided to fill his vacancy by election, and so the election filled two openings for GTRI representatives on the Executive Board. I would like to offer to one of those elected the opportunity to get started right away and be with us for the remaining sessions in this academic year. I would offer this first to the one with the most votes and go to the second if the first person is not ready to get started this spring. Filling this vacancy will also provide a liaison to the Student Activities Committee and they are asking for this help.

·         We thought we were electing just one person to the General Faculty Assembly representing Services & Central Administration, but then in the middle of the election, Susan Paraska resigned to take a new job opportunity. Two people were running for what we thought was just one slot but now there are two slots. The two folks were only one vote apart in the vote count, so I recommend we seat them both and fill the vacancy.


Thus, I ask you these questions:

1.       Do you approve the attached election results?
_____ Yes _____ No Reason:

2.       Do you agree to invite one of the persons just elected to represent GTRI on the Executive Board to start immediately to fill out the rest of this academic year?
_____ Yes _____ No Reason:

3.       Do you agree to seat both candidates for the General Faculty Assembly representing Services & Central Administration in order to fill the vacancy caused by Susan Paraska’s departure?
_____ Yes _____ No Reason:

Please respond if possible by close of Tuesday, April 17.


Once I have your approvals, I will then:

·         Contact all those elected with congratulations and information.

·         Contact all those who were not elected with our thanks and encouragement to try again next year.

·         Publish the results. We should treat the results as confidential until then so that the people involved hear about results properly.

A quorum of the Executive Board having participated, the motion passed.