Meeting of September 20, 2011

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building



Members Present:        Bafna (Architecture), Black (Grad. Student), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bras (Provost), Downing (EII), D’Urbano (Chair, OSP), Leggon (Public Policy), Lyon (Vice-Chair, Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ICL), Ready (GTRI-EOSL), Tyson (Chemistry), Vuchatu (GTRI-ESD), Weissburg (Biology), White (CoC), Wozniak (OTL)


Members Absent:        Bennett (Mgt), Creel (U’Grad. Student), Cunefare (ME), Ingram (ECE), Neu (ME), Peterson (President), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Guests:                        Balsam (Statutes Chair), Garton (Vice-President for Research), Herazy (Provost’s Office), Khanduri (SGA VP), MacLanahan (GTRC), Smith (SVPAA)


1.      Mr. Chris D’Urbano (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:03 P.M.

2.      The Chair directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the August 30, 2011 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 noted that Nate Bennett’s wife had just passed away unexpectedly.  He expressed condolences to Dr. Bennett and his family on behalf of the Board and Dr. Bennett’s many friends at the Institute.

b)   Dr. Bras reviewed again the many new buildings with which the Institute had recently been blessed (as noted in the minutes of the last meeting).

c)   Planning for implementation of the Georgia Tech Strategic Plan was proceeding well.  The recently formed steering committee had met a few times already under the auspices of the three Executive Vice-Presidents.

d)   Dr. Bras called attention to the fact that Georgia Tech was one of six universities called on to help lead the U.S Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP). The other five are Carnegie‑Mellon, MIT, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, and University of Michigan.  Georgia Tech would host the first of four regional AMP conferences on October 14, 2011.   

e)   The Provost also reported that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was slated soon to add the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University to the Conference.

f)   Dr. Bras stated that about a month ago he had instituted a study of the organization of the Provost’s Office with goals of discovering what realignments should be accomplished for better service and greater efficiency.  Decisions would likely be taken within a month. 

g)   He also said that he was taking steps to improve communication, through more meetings with school chairs and through a planned series of informal meetings with faculty and staff members.

h)   At a recent meeting of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the top two concerns were 1) what would happen as federal research funds decreased in response to deficit reduction challenges, and 2) what were the best ways to measure performance?  How would universities know whether they were doing well in teaching and research?

i)    Dr. Bras mentioned that Congress had recently enacted new legislation about patents called the America Invents Act

4.   Mr. D’Urbano called on Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to provide an update on proposed changes in the Intellectual Property Policy in Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook.  Also on hand to support this discussion were Ms. Lauren MacLanahan and Ms. Jilda Garton from the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.  A document (Attachment #2) was handed out that compared the proposed new version of Section 50 with the existing version.  Ms. Balsam reminded the Board that a first briefing had been provided to the May 24, 2011 meeting of the Executive Board.  At that time the Board had provided several suggestions for improvement and each of these had subsequently been addressed.  In particular:

·         The Intellectual Property Advisory Committee would now definitely be formed. It would not be optional.

·         Section 50.5.B had previously named a Vice-Provost as an official who could require that a student make an IP assignment agreement.  In the latest revision, this authority was designated to the Office of the Provost.  In addition, provision was made for a faculty member to request that an agreement be implemented.

·         It was recognized that the May version of the document had duplicate information about student rights in Sections 50.5 and 50.8 and the latter material was removed from the latest version.

·         The document now named the General Manager of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) as the administrator for all intellectual property activities; all mention of the other title held by this person (now Vice-President for Research) was removed to avoid confusion.

Mr. Kevin Wozniak (member of the Board and Executive Director at GTRC for industry activities) asked that one further change be made in the proposed revised Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook.  He asked that 50.5, Part B sub-part a) be amended to read “When working on a research project funded by an entity other than GIT, the Georgia Tech Foundation, or the Board of Regents.”  The addition of “or the Board of Regents” was prompted by recent cases where Board of Regents sponsored work required an agreement.  See a version with this requested revision in Attachment #2rev.

A motion was made and seconded to endorse to the faculty the proposed new version of Section 50 of the Handbook, as amended in accordance with Mr. Wozniak’s request.  The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Balsam reminded the Board that proposed changes to Section 5.10 regarding dismissal of faculty members would have a second reading to complete the change process at the upcoming October 4 faculty meeting.  The first reading of the amendment to this part of the Statutes was heard at the April 26, 2011 faculty meeting.  A related amendment to Section 17.3.2 of the Handbook was completed then because that Section was not designated as a part of the Statutes and thus needed only one reading.

5.   Mr. D’Urbano called on the Secretary, Dr. Ron Bohlander, to present a proposed agenda for the October 4, 2011 scheduled meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and the Academic Senate, as shown in Attachment #3.    It was moved and seconded to approve the agenda.  The motion passed unanimously.

6.   Dr. Bohlander proposed that Prof. Thanos Economou be appointed to fill the remainder of a term 2011-12 on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee representing the College of Architecture.  He explained that Prof. Daniel Castro-Lacouture had held this post but resigned when he was appointed Chair of the Georgia Tech School of Building Construction.  Prof. Economou was recommended by the College of Architecture to fill the committee vacancy.  His appointment was moved and seconded and passed unanimously.

7.   Mr. D’Urbano asked for reports from committee liaisons.  Most dealt with routine committee start up issues, except:

Mr. Millard reported that the new head of benefits in the Office of Human Resources, Darlene Wright, had recently briefed the Faculty Benefits Committee on the latest changes to employee benefits from the Board of Regents.  Complete information was provided via Attachment #4.  Highlights included:

·         HMO enrollments were frozen;

·         Employees would have to work at least 30 hrs/week on average if they were to receive health benefits;

·         Consumer Choice Option was eliminated; and

·         A new vision plan would be added that would cover Lasik treatment.

8.   Mr. D’Urbano asked for any additional business and, hearing none, adjourned the meeting at about 3:45 p.m. 

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

October 23, 2011


1)      Minutes of the August 30, 2011 meeting of the Executive Board

2)   Proposed revision to the Intellectual Property Policies in Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook
As revised during the Executive Board meeting.

3)   Proposed agenda for the October 4, 2011 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate.

4)   Employee Benefits Report.