Meeting of June 17, 2014

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


With addenda recording business later conducted via email ballots



Members Present:        Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bras (Provost), Butera (Chair, ECE), Cunefare (ME), Eckert (GTRI-ATAS), Grover (ChBE), Hernandez (Chemistry), Kirkman (Vice-Chair, Public Policy), Lyon (Grad Student), Schumacher (Psychology), Turner (Business), Wood (ECE) , Zakir (Radiation Safety)


Members Absent:        Balch (CoC-IC), Coleman (GTRI-ELSYS), Downing (EII), Gamble (CoA-Arch.), Peterson (President), Powell (OSP), Roseen (U’grad Student), Tavares (EVPR’s Office), Tyson (Chemistry), Vuchatu (GTRI-ESD), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Guests:                        Balsam (Chair, Statutes Committee), Buckhalt (OIT), Cozzens (Vice-Provost, Graduate Education & Faculty Affairs), Hayes (Office of Registrar), Loftis (OIT), Lummis (OIT), Merkousko (office of Registrar), O’Connor (OIT), White (OIT)


1.      Prof. Rob Butera, Chair, opened the meeting at 3:05 P.M.  He introduced and welcomed Mr. Johnathan Lyons, newly elected President of the Graduate Student Body, attending a meeting of the Executive Board for the first time.

2.      There was not a quorum so no vote was taken at the meeting on the minutes of the May 20, 2014 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1)See addendum at the end for later approval via email.

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

a)      President Bud Peterson was on his annual summer tour of Georgia, comprising about 500 meetings in 24 counties.   The tour has been well received.

b)      The Georgia Tech Capital Campaign has been going well.  The Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, the College of Computing, and the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering have already met their goals.

c)      The Institute of Paper Science and Technology has been renamed the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI) and has received a $43.6 million gift from the Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation.  Dr. Bras commended RBI’s Executive Director, Norman Marsolan for his leadership of the Institute.  

d)     Dr. Bras recognized Executive Board member Dr. Bob Wood for his designation as author of the year in poetry in Georgia.

e)      Mr. Joe Bankoff, Chair of the Nunn School of International Affairs in the Ivan Allen College, was recently presented a lifetime achievement award from the State Bar of Georgia and Chief Justices Commission on Professionalism recognizing Mr. Bankoff’s outstanding community service.  He has made notable contributions to the arts in Atlanta and to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.

f)       The Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage this year will be presented to Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa from Zimbabwe in a ceremony on Nov. 13, 2014.

g)      Ms. Madison Cario was named the new director of Office of the Arts.  She came to Tech from The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

h)   The Engineered Art exhibit, which has been on the Tech campus for about a year, will be going to Montreal next.

i)        LTC Michael Ivy has joined the Tech community as Professor of Military Science and head of the Army ROTC cadre.

j)    Georgia Tech budgets were looking healthy.

k)   Preparation for SACSCOC accreditation reaffirmation continued and the first big milestone was coming soon:  the Compliance Certification report would be due Sept. 10.

4.      Prof. Butera called on Ms. Wendy Merkousko, Asst. Registrar, to present information about summer graduates.  She reported that the Associate Deans of the Colleges had approved the lists of graduating students and Registrar’s Office had carefully verified that all proposed on the list were qualified to graduate.  The Board’s approval of this was held over to an electronic ballot.  See addendum.

5.      The Chair next called on Mr. Zachary Hayes, Associate Registrar, to present information about and discussion of the multi-factor authentication project road map which will secure the Banner Grading Process using a duo token.  He presented the material found in Attachment #2 and followed the slides closely.  Discussion focused on various scenarios and preferences of the faculty members present and how they would be supported.  There was some discussion of the relative security of the different options.  Authentication by phones, smart phones, USB devices, and one-time use text codes were discussed.  It was mentioned that protecting grade entry with duo authentication was probably just the beginning and that duo authentication would be used for other applications in time.  A question was raised about how were login credentials at teaching podium computers being protected inasmuch as key loggers could be surreptitiously installed?  It was reported this was being worked on.  Mr. Hayes explained that proximity readers had not been proposed as a solution because then every computer would have to have an additional piece of hardware to read a prox card.  There was discussion of the relative merits of private cloud computing versus information on personal computers.  In response to a question about the prevalence of hacked grade changes, some cases were discussed. Mr. Hayes stated that some analysis was regularly done to try to detect suspicious grade changes.  Professor Hernandez complimented the team from the Registrar’s Office and from the Office of Information Technology on devising a duo system with many options so that it could be deployed flexibly.  It was recommended that a briefing to the Faculty Senate be added to an agenda in the fall. 

6.   Prof. Butera called on Prof. Bob Kirkman, Vice-Chair, to report on results from his survey of Faculty Standing Committees concerning their charges and membership.  Prof. Kirkman explained his findings using the slides in Attachment #3.  The agenda also referred Board members to the minutes of a previous discussion of needs for standing committee reforms.  Prof. Kirkman reported that responses to his survey varied considerably in the extent of details provided.  Also some responses came just from the chair and some from extensive discussions within committee.  The slides in the attachment showed the questions asked in the survey and slide 5 charted the simplest view of the answers. Survey responses often asked for clarification of where faculty bodies had decision-making authority and where their input was mainly advisory.  Dr. Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty) reminded the Board that accreditation authorities had expectations about decisions that faculty must be making such as the establishment and control of the curriculum.  Prof. Kirkman said that while the survey was not a complete answer, it was helpful in setting up the next stage. Discussion focused on a few examples of confusion, such as the relative roles of the Student Honor, Academic Integrity, and Student Regulations Committees.   Prof. Kirkman proposed to schedule a workshop for each committee with committee members, past and present, experienced in the work of the committee, and with administration members concerned with the same subject matter as the committee.  Provost Bras asked if the number of standing committees was about right, and Prof. Kirkman said the list might shrink by one or two.  Prof. Butera and Dr. Bohlander commented on possible opportunities to make some committees appointed for focused needs rather than elected.  Ms. Jeanne Balsam (Chair of the Statutes Committee) reminded the Board that a couple of the committees could become joint committees sponsored by the faculty and by the Staff Council.  She also reminded the Board of the recently identified need for a new task force and a possible future standing committee to provide support services to post-doctoral fellows and other temporary faculty members. 

Provost Bras voiced the hope that the faculty would do more to promote service on faculty committees as an important aspect of faculty involvement on campus.  It was observed by members of the Board that such encouragement usually came from the schools, colleges, GTRI, and other units, and some units emphasized such service more than others.  Dr. Bras’ encouragement was that the faculty do all they could to set an expectation and culture of service on committees.  Vice-Provost Susan Cozzens observed that mere numbers of nominees were not the only measures of good involvement but also whether there was a good balance in representation from units across campus and whether more effective candidates could be identified in the process.  Prof. Butera asked if we should do more to structure balanced membership in committees from the campus units, like what has been done with the curriculum committees.  Dr. Bohlander reiterated a need for a directory of all committees on campus, not just those managed through faculty governance (for which there is a good directory).  This would make clearer all the opportunities for service.

7.   Prof. Butera and Dr. Bohlander stated that appointments to fill vacancies on standing committees (noted in the agenda) would be handled via email ballots.  See addendum.

8.      The Chair called on Dr. Bohlander to tell the Board about upcoming elections of the chair and vice-chair of the Faculty Executive Board for the 2014-15 academic year.  [Note the faculty decided to rename the Executive Board as the Faculty Executive Board, effective July 1, 2014, as part of  the changes in the Faculty Handbook adopted in the April 22, 2014 faculty meeting.] .  Dr. Bohlander stated that nominees for Chair and Vice-Chair needed to be identified by the first meeting of the next year, namely August 26, 2014.  He planned to send an email to that effect to all Board members, present and incoming, explaining the opportunity to serve and providing descriptions of duties.  Then at the August meeting, nominees would be introduced, and if there were multiple candidates, an email ballot would be sent to continuing and new members to decide those who would serve.  Dr. Bohlander asked any who had an interest in serving in one of these positions to send him an email.  Recommendations of nominees were also welcome. 

9.      Prof. Butera then polled committee liaisons for any reports of matters that should come to the Board’s attention.  The following were significant highlights not covered elsewhere:

·         Prof. Cunefare reported that the Academic Integrity Committee had spent significant time this year discussing its charter and had now wrapped up for the year.

·         Prof. Bob Wood reported that the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC) had had a busy year. He stated that the committee could see the importance of providing help to both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty but that the nature of faculty grievances were significantly different for those two populations.  He asked whether it might be possible that two different grievance committees were needed.

·         Ms. Nazia Zakir reviewed highlights of recent meetings of the Faculty Benefits Committee.  She reported there was some concern about potential changes in health insurance programs for the coming year, and members of the committee had  provided feedback to University System of Georgia representatives attending the meeting.

·         Prof. Debby Turner reported that the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee was conducting most of its business via email and had a heavy load of proposed excused absences to review for off campus student activities.  Questions were being raised about how much of this needed to be dealt with by a faculty committee.  Dr. Bohlander commented that there were important expectations of faculty responsibility for oversight of off-campus activities.  Such could affect some kinds of accreditation, for example.

·         Prof. Martha Grover noted an interesting discussion in the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee about present rules that state that special topic courses cannot be designated for General Education credits until they have been taught at least three times.  The appropriateness of this rule was being questioned because special topic courses could sometimes offer important experiences in line with the spirit of general education.

10. Hearing nothing further, Prof. Butera adjourned the meeting at about 4:55 p.m.

Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

August 23, 2014


1)      Minutes of the May 20, 2014 Executive Board meeting.

2)      Report on securing the Banner Grading Process using a duo token

3)      Report on survey of Standing Committees.



Addendum #1

The Secretary sent the following electronic ballot to the Executive Board on June 18, 2014.

Dear members of the Executive Board –


As it happened we great discussion with those who came to the Board meeting this week but we did not have a quorum under the present rules.    The following then need to be decided by email ballots:


1.       Do you approve of the minutes of the May 20, 2014 meeting of the Executive Board?

___ Yes                ___ No                 My concern is: ________________________________________________________________________


2.       Ms. Wendy Merkousko, Assistant Registrar reports that the list of summer graduates has been thoroughly reviewed by the Associate Deans of all the colleges and by the Registrar’s Office.  On that basis then, do we as designated representatives of the faculty approve this list for summer graduation?

___ Yes                ___ No                 My concern is: ________________________________________________________________________


3.       We have a number of Standing Committee vacancies to fill.  The following persons were chosen in accordance with our Statutes and have agreed to serve as indicated.  In each case, do you agree to appoint them to these positions?


a)            Ms. Patty Bazrod (Department of Professional Practice) to fill a term on the Welfare and Security Committee from August 2014 to August 2017.

___ Yes                ___ No                 My concern is: ________________________________________________________________________


b)            Mr. Tanah Barchichat (GTRI-ICL) to fill a term on the Faculty Services Committee from August 2014 to August 2015.

___ Yes                ___ No                 My concern is: ________________________________________________________________________


c)            Prof. Chuck Parsons (Business) to fill a term representing the College of Business on the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee from August 2014 to August 2017.

___ Yes                ___ No                 My concern is: ________________________________________________________________________


d)            Prof. Preet Singh (MSE) to fill a term representing the College of Engineering on the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee from August 2014 to August 2016.

___ Yes                ___ No                 My concern is: ________________________________________________________________________


It would be helpful to hear back from you if possible before Monday morning, June 23, 2014.


A quorum of the Board members having participated, all of the above were passed (answered ‘Yes’) without dissent.