Meeting of January 29, 2013

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


Including Addenda Covering Email Ballots


Members Present:        Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bras (Provost), Butera (Vice-Chair, ECE), Cunefare (ME), Eckert (GTRI-ATAS), Kirka (Grad. Student), Kirkman (Public Policy), Neu (Chair, ME), Peterson (President), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Turner (Business), Vuchatu (GTRI-ESD), Weissburg (Biology), Wood (ECE), Wozniak (GTRC), Zakir (Radiation Safety)


Members Absent:        Coleman (GTRI-ELSYS), Downing (EII), Gamble (CoA-Arch.), Lyon (Chemistry), Mordel (U’Grad. Student), Tyson (Chemistry), White (CoC), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Guests:                        Balsam (Statutes Chair), Cozzens (Vice-Provost, Graduate Education & Faculty Affairs), Demyanek (Asst. VP EH&S), Ervin (VPID), Herazy (Provost’s Office), Morris (AVP-HR), Rousseau (Chair, Inst. Council on EH&S)


1.      Prof. Rick Neu (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:03 P.M.  Dr. Bohlander presented the chair with a gavel commemorating his year as Executive Board Chair.

2.      Prof. Neu directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the November 6, 2012 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1). An amendment was offered to strike a phrase in Section 10 of the minutes.  The amendment passed and the minutes were adopted as amended.  [Revised minutes were subsequently posted to the Faculty Governance website.]

3.      The Chair next called on President Peterson to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:

a)      Dr. Peterson reported that the fourth annual Georgia Tech Student Day would be held at the Georgia Capitol the next day (January 30, 2013).  The legislative session had just begun.  Georgia Tech’s priorities were to urge continued inclusion of the following items in the budget:  $5 million to complete and equip the Engineered Biosystems Building, $1.875 million to renovate the Chapin Building, $95 million for formula support in the University System of Georgia (USG), and $55 million for repair and renovation in the USG.  President Peterson also reported that Georgia Tech supported the Chancellor’s call for a pool from which to pay salary increases to deserving university employees. 

b)      Georgia Tech recently hired a new Athletic Director, Mike Bobinski, the former Associate Vice President of Development and Director of Athletics at Xavier University.  Dr. Peterson noted that Dr. Bras was still engaged in a search for new deans of the Colleges of Architecture and of Science.

c)      The President reported that he had just returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Other Georgia Tech participants included Ms. Renu Kulkarni who made a presentation on Georgia Tech programs in digital media and Dr. Mustaque Ahamad, who covered programs in information security.  Of the eight universities from the US invited to participate, Georgia Tech was the only public university.

d)   The third Ivan Allen Prize for Social Courage would be presented on April 4 to Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the American civil rights movement.  In the future, this prize might be awarded in fall instead of spring to avoid conflicts with other programs.

e)   The President provided an update on commencement plans.  Commencement in December 2012 in the McCamish Pavilion went very well.  The MS and PhD commencement was held on Friday and undergraduates on Saturday.  Based on student recommendations, the preliminary plan for the spring would include two undergraduate commencement ceremonies so that student’s families and friends would not face tight limits on attendance allocations.  The split across the two ceremonies would be by degree program taking some from each college in each session, except the College of Computing would be all in one, and the College of Business all in the other.  Dr. Peterson estimated that students would be allotted seven to eight tickets each; those that were not needed would be available by lottery, and there would be an overflow viewing area in the O’Keefe Building.  There would also be an all-campus reception on the Tech Green Friday afternoon of commencement weekend.

f)   The Capital Campaign was making good progress and just surpassed $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2012.  There were $300 million to go to meet the goal, with three years left in the campaign. 

g)   President Peterson noted and commended the selection of UGA’s Provost Jere Morehead as the sole finalist for selection as the next President of the University of Georgia. 

President Peterson asked Provost Rafael Bras to share other news:

a)      Provost Bras stated that the Report on Family-Friendly Policies, to be heard later in the meeting, was prepared by a team headed by Vice-President for Institute Diversity Archie Ervin, and Associate Vice-President for Human Resources Scott Morris.  The report was not motivated by a desire for Georgia Tech to be the best possible place to work, and not by a sense at the outset that there were particular problems to solve.

b)      Also to be heard later in the meeting was a report from a Task Force on the Definition of Faculty at Georgia Tech.  The team involved included Vice-Provost Susan Cozzens, as well as Assistant Provost Jennifer Herazy, and Assistant Vice-President for Research Monique Tavares.  He commended their recommended approach as one that was very rational and provided representation for everyone. 

c)      Arts@Tech was developing well and was planning an Arts Crawl on February 10 and a Tech Arts Festival April 12-13.

d)   The Georgia Tech Global Positioning Strategy report had been published. 

e)         The Provost reported that the searches for new deans mentioned above were going well.  Finalists would be visiting the campus and making presentations of their thoughts in late February through early April.

f)   New faculty hiring was also underway.

g)   On March 28-29, a National Academy of Engineering regional meeting would be held at Georgia Tech on the topic of cyber security.  The presentations on the afternoon of March 28 would be open to the public and the keynote would be given by General Keith B. Alexander, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service (NSA/CSS).  It was anticipated that it would attract many from industry, government, and academe.

h)   Provost Bras stated that news would be coming out soon on the next phase of implementation and oversight of Strategic Plan projects.  Funding had been allocated to several projects.  A new steering committee mostly of faculty would be formed, as well as a working group of senior people with oversight of funding and progress.

3.      Prof. Neu called on Mr. Archie Ervin, Vice-President for Institute Diversity, and Mr. Scott Morris, Associate Vice-President for Human Resources, to bring a report to the Executive Board on Family-Friendly Policies.  They presented from slides in Attachment #2a and had made available an advance copy of their report prior to the meeting as recorded in Attachment #2b.  After eight months of study by a team of eleven people, seven major themes of a “great place to work” and fifteen recommendations were developed as displayed in slides 5 and 6 of Attachment #2a.  Slide 7, shows how Georgia Tech compares with other universities in eleven benefit programs.  The university that had done the most covered ten of the eleven benefits and Tech covered three.

Q.  Has Georgia Tech decided to take action on any of the recommendations?  Ans. No specific decisions had been made, but a list of prioritized actions would be developed soon.  Some recommendations could be addressed with clearer policies and communications and needed very little investment.  Others required moderate or more significant preparation of plans and investments.  President Peterson described steps that had already been taken to improve day care facilities on campus for children of employees and students.  Provost Bras commended the team for their work on this report and stated that the recommendations would be supported with actions as soon as possible. 

Comment.  Benefits were one thing that attracted people to an institution but another was the ability to work with others to live out and advance values they held dear.  Not every benefit should be seen in monetary terms.  Response.  That thought was consistent with the intent of recommendation #1 (on slide 6) and there was further support for that thought in the full report in Attachment #2b.  A task force would be formed to define models for leadership at Georgia Tech that would emphasize advocacy for engagement in volunteer activities. 

Q.  Given the recently reported robberies near the stadium, shouldn’t campus safety register as part of this program?  Shouldn’t this campus aspire to state-of-the-art safety?  Ans. Mr. Ervin stated his agreement but noted that many investments toward a safer campus were already committed.  President Peterson affirmed that and also noted that crimes had decreased by 50% over the past four years in the campus environment for which Tech made Clery Act reports.  Seven hundred cameras had been installed.  The two crimes mentioned were investigated and led to arrests.  Any crime was too many, and Georgia Tech was continuing to attack this problem.  A safe campus would be at the top of the list of characteristics that would make the campus family-friendly.

Mr. Ervin closed by asking for feedback from the campus community on this report so the actions to be taken could be further improved and even better reflect campus needs.

4.      Prof. Neu called on Dr. Susan Cozzens, Vice-Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs, to tell the Board about recommendations from a Task Force she led at the Provost’s request to consider options for updated definitions of faculty at Georgia Tech.  She presented material found in Attachment #3a and handed out a copy of the report of the Task Force to the Provost (Attachment #3b).  The Provost also asked that a copy of his memo back to the Task Force be included with these minutes so the Board would have a copy – see Attachment #3c.  Dr. Cozzens began by stating three issues that drove the Task Force’s study: 

·         In the past efforts, the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) was only available to Faculty, yet it was the most appropriate plan for certain other employees.  The definition of faculty was expanded to include those to whom the ORP was important.  Now that ORP was available to all employees, it was time to revisit who should be designated as faculty.

·         Georgia Tech’s use of the term General Faculty was invented by Georgia Tech years ago [in the early 1980s] and was not mandated by the Board of Regents. Academic Faculty members were a subset of the General Faculty.  A significant number of people found this confusing.

·         Staff did not have a governance voice.  This could be an important gap to fill at a time when some titles would no longer be associated with the faculty.

In slide 3, Dr. Cozzens moved to a picture of the Task Force’s final recommendation (referred to as Option 4 in Attachment #3b).  In this, the category of General Faculty would be abolished.  The light beige area on this chart would denote “The Faculty” of Georgia Tech.  There would be two components of the faculty:  the Academic Faculty and the Research Faculty.  The Task Force felt that it was easier to understand where any given faculty member belonged within these two categories.  Also implied in this picture was the possibility of a separate staff advisory group to represent classified staff members.  Dr. Cozzens noted that these three groups lined up well with existing categories of executive leadership within the Institute.  Shown along the bottom of this picture were some implications for governance.  The Academic Faculty would be those who would deliberate on such matters as educational policy and curriculum.  The Academic Faculty and Research Faculty had a common interest and involvement in setting policies around the conduct of research. Then with the involvement of staff, deliberations could cover general policies.  In this view, the Executive Board could might be expanded to provide more room for representatives drawn from the staff advisory body (to be defined).  Dr. Cozzens emphasized that the purpose of the presentation was to emphasize the broad concepts.  She mentioned that there was, on page 5 of Attachment #3b, a first-cut table of possible assignments of titles now in the General Faculty to the three categories of employee, Academic Faculty, Research Faculty, and Staff. Finalizing such a thing would be in the hands of a follow-on group who would consider such questions in detail.

The benefits of the recommended approach were outlined in slide 4 of Attachment #3a.  The remaining slides documented general guidelines from the Board of Regents.

Prof. Neu called on Dr. Ron Bohlander, Secretary of the Faculty, to lead the Executive Board to a consensus on a motion in response to these recommendations.  After much collaborative discussion, the Executive Board reached consensus on the motion expressed in Attachment #3d.  This included a plan to charter a subcommittee of the Statutes Committee in accordance with standard practice in setting up ad hoc subcommittees of a faculty standing committee. 

It was moved and seconded to adopt the motion in Attachment #3d.  The motion was adopted unanimously.

In reaching this consensus, it was recognized that the primary focus of the chartered subcommittee would be on faculty definitions and governance, but that their task would be carried out in a way supportive of the creation of an appropriate staff advisory body through which staff would have a voice in Institute affairs.  Support was expressed for greater staff representation in the Executive Board of the Institute, which was now primarily a faculty body. However, some cautioned that today the Board coordinated the work of faculty governance bodies, and staff influence in such work should be limited.  Such questions should be carefully weighed by the new subcommittee.  Dr. Bohlander stated that the Executive Board Chair, Statutes Committee Chair, Vice-Provost Cozzens, and he would get together soon to develop recommendations for subcommittee members and then bring the recommended list back to the Executive Board for approval via an email ballot. 

Provost Bras commended the Board for taking up this challenge and spoke in favor of defining Research Faculty as a body because he felt that could help the Institute strengthen career paths for that segment of the faculty.

5.   Prof. Neu called on Mr. Mark Demyanek, Assistant Vice-President for Environmental Health & Safety and Dr. Ron Rousseau, Chair of Institute Council on Environmental Health and Safety.  They presented information concerning the Institute’s Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) programs to protect faculty, staff, and students from health and safety hazards.  This talk came in response to concerns raised at the last Executive Board meeting.  Mr. Demyanek made a presentation documented in Attachment #4 and he thanked the Board for the opportunity to appear and provide information about EH&S programs.  Slide 2 summarized the EH&S mission and the principal components of their program.  Mr. Demyanek stated that a comprehensive benchmarking by external experts was conducted about 6.5 years ago concerning health and safety governance practices at Georgia Tech in comparison with good programs at peer institutions.  The EH&S program was reorganized and the AVP-EH&S position was created in response to that study (reporting the Executive Vice-President for Administration and Finance); Mr. Demyanek joined the staff from a position in the Chancellor’s Office.  There were now 24 fulltime equivalent persons involved and distributed across the six functional components of EH&S.

Mr. Demyanek commented on an email correspondence from the EH&S Office that had caused concern in the November 6, 2012 meeting of the Executive Board.  He acknowledged that it had not had sufficient careful review and apologized for it, saying that future correspondence would be more carefully reviewed and composed.  [The Board’s concern had been, quoting from the November 6, 2012 minutes “that enforcement along the lines outlined in the email appeared to lack adequate due process and might lead to unsafe shutdowns of laboratory facilities.”]  He stated that the intent of the communication has been to make sure that people across campus understood expectations and could be engaged in a partnership for safety.  Town hall meetings were set up to promote opportunities for Q&A and to clarify how EH&S would handle things like laboratory safety inspections so there would be no surprises.  Oversight for compliance was intended to minimize risk for all concerned.  It also prepared students for their future careers in professional settings where strict safety protocols were expected to be followed. 

Mr. Demyanek listed the faculty-led committees that guided policy formation and the implementation of EH&H programs on slide 4 of Attachment #4.  The Institute Council for EH&S that Dr. Rousseau chaired was made up of the chairs of all the component committees.  Mr. Demyanek also outlined some of the program challenges in the last slide. 

In follow-up discussion, some members of the Executive Board expressed concern that the Board’s questions from the November meeting about transparency, codification, and due process in disciplinary actions following safety inspections had not yet been adequately addressed.  Mr. Demyanek explained that concern in the EH&S office had escalated over a lack of progress in compliance with established policies regarding for example the use of personal protective equipment.  As a result, the faculty-led Council urged EH&S to enact tougher consequences for non-compliance.  However, it appeared from the discussion with the Executive Board that there were differences of perception about the completeness of the Institute’s Laboratory Safety Manual in relation to transparency, codification, and due process standards.  After the EH&S Office and the EH&S Council had the opportunity to study this further, it would be productive to invite them back for another meeting with the Executive Board.  A motion was made, seconded and passed to postpone further discussion to a later meeting with the Executive Board. 

6.   The Chair called on Ms. Nazia Zakir, Executive Board Liaison to the Faculty Benefits Committee to make a recommendation of staff and retiree appointments to the Faculty Benefits Committee for calendar year 2013.  She recommended that those currently serving be reappointed; namely,

Ms. Zakir moved that the Executive Board appoint the above persons to serve on the Faculty Benefits Committee for 2013.  The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

7   The Chair called on Prof. Rob Butera, Vice-Chair for an update on progress in lining up people to serve on the faculty Nominations Committee.   Prof. Butera stated that the Nominations Committee was to have a chair and co-chair from the Executive Board (one an academic faculty member and the other a non-academic faculty member).  In addition, there were to be two more at large academic faculty members and two more non-academic faculty members, plus one student representative.  By tradition, the Vice-Chair of the Executive Board served as Chair.  Prof. Butera said the co-chair from the Executive Board was proposed to be Dr. Micah Coleman from GTRI and he had commitments to cover all but one of the remaining slots.  Once that remaining commitment was secured, he planned to conclude this business through an email ballot to the Executive Board.

8.   Prof. Neu called on Dr. Ron Bohlander, Secretary of the Faculty, to present a motion concerning the next faculty meeting.  Dr. Bohlander directed the Board’s attention to the proposed agenda in Attachment #5.  He noted that the featured agenda item was the first reading on the proposed revised format of the Faculty Handbook.  A town hall meeting had been held on this on January 23, 2013 and a next one was planned for January 31.  He encouraged Board members to attend.  Dr. Bohlander moved that the proposed agenda be approved.  The motion was seconded and approved unanimously. 

9.  Prof. Neu polled committee liaisons for any reports of matters that should come to the Board’s attention:

Professor Ken Cunefare reported that the Student Regulations Committee and Student Activities Committee found that the Student Government Association (SGA) had originally developed standards for naming student organizations.  The standards that had raised concerns at the November 6, 2012 meeting of the Executive Board were recognized to be obsolete, and the SGA was now in the process of revising them.  New guidelines were expected to make clear that it was permissible for student organizations to include GT or Georgia Tech in their organization names.

Ms. Nazia Zakir inquired on behalf of the Faculty Benefits Committee about what could be done to regularize the participation of staff and retiree representatives on the Committee.  Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee, commented that the new format Faculty Handbook did explicitly include provision for their appointment by the Executive Board.  If a staff advisory council should eventually be created and its members elected, then they could determine staff participation in any such committee in the future.

Prof. Neu asked again if there was any further business and, hearing none, adjourned the meeting at about 5:10 p.m.

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

March 31, 2013


1)      Minutes of the November 6, 2012 Executive Board meeting, as amended

2)      Family-Friendly Policies

a.       Presentation

b.      Report of the Task Force

3)      From Provost’s Task Force on Faculty Definition:

a.       Presentation

b.      Recommendations of the Task Force to the Provost

c.       Recommendations from the Provost

d.      Motion to form a subcommittee of the Statutes Committee

4)   Presentation on programs in Environmental Health & Safety

5)   Agenda for a scheduled meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and the Academic Senate on February 19, 2013.


Addendum #1

The Secretary sent the following electronic ballot to the Executive Board on February 5, 2013:

Dear Executive Board Members –


Vice-Chair Rob Butera has asked me to secure your approval of the following recommended members of the Nominating Committee:


From the Executive Board

Rob Butera (ECE, Chair)

Micah Coleman (GTRI) Vice-Chair


From Faculty at Large

Roberta Berry, Assoc. Prof. in Public Policy

Thomas Burkholder, Assoc. Prof. in Applied Physiology

Robert Thomas, Prof. of the Practice in College of Business

Kyle Davis, Research Engineer in GTRI


Student selected by SGA

Alex Bandes


Do you approve appointing these members of the Nominating Committee who will prepare slates of candidates for the Executive Board and for faculty standing committees?


Yes ___           No ___                        Reason/concern: _____________________________________________________

A quorum of the Board members having participated, the Nominating Committee was approved without dissent. 


Addendum #2

The Secretary sent the following electronic ballot to the Executive Board on February 21, 2013:

Dear Members of the Executive Board –


I am following up on my note earlier this week.  The little feedback I got was supportive.  So it is time to vote.


Do you agree to appoint the people listed at the bottom of this note to the Subcommittee on Faculty Definition which the Executive Board has agreed to charter? (See background below.)


___ Yes           ___ No                        Concern if no: _______________________________________________


Please try to get an answer back to me by COB this coming Tue., 2/26.


Proposed Members of the Subcommittee on Faculty Definition
a Subcommittee of the Faculty Statutes Committee
Chartered by the Executive Board on January 29, 2013


Academic Faculty

Research Faculty

Administrative Officers

Other Faculty


Statutes Committee

Bryan Church
Prof. ~ CoB


Jeanne Balsam
Subcomm. Chair

John Stein
Dean of Students



Executive Board

Rick Neu
Prof. ~ ME


Bob Kirkman
AsscProf PubPol

Cam Tyson
SrAcad. Prof’nal

Ron Bohlander


Chris Downing

Kevin Wozniak


Nazia Zakir
Safety Offc EHS




Susan Cozzens


Scott Morris – OHR

Rep(s) from Staff Council Task Force TBD












A quorum of the Board members having participated, the subcommittee members were approved, with one dissenting vote.


Addendum #3

The Secretary sent the following electronic ballot to the Executive Board on March 18, 2013:

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

§ Rob Butera (ECE)

§ Micah Coleman (GTRI-ELSYS)

— Academic members:

§ Roberta Berry (Public Policy)

§ Thomas Burkholder ( Applied Physiology)

— Non-Academic members:

§ Robert Thomas (Business)

§ Kyle Davis (GTRI-ELSYS)

— Student Representative:

§ Alex Bandes


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. I have scanned the names on the ballot and believe the identified candidates to be qualified. In one case two candidates are running unopposed because not enough candidates came forward despite vigorous requests. This is the closest we have come to a full ballot in several years and the diligence of this year’s Nominations Committee is to be commended. Should one more candidate for this opening come through in time, with your indulgence we will let you know and add it.


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. 20.

A quorum of the Board having responded, the Faculty Election ballot was approved.