Meeting of April 9, 2015

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


Members Present:        Balsam (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), GTRI), Butera (ECE), Cross (EVPR), Dorsey (Staff Council), Eckert (GTRI-ATAS), Eisenberg (U’grad. Student), Gamble (CoA-Arch.), Hernandez (Chemistry), Powell (OSP), Riley (ECE), Schumacher (Psychology), Shepler (Chemistry), Simpson (OSP), Turner (Business), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE), Wood (ECE), Zakir (Radiation Safety,)


Members Absent:        Balch (CoC-IC), Bras (Provost), Clark (Staff Council), Coleman (GTRI-ELSYS), Grover (Vice-Chair, ChBE), Hall (GTRI-CTISL), Kirkman (Chair, Public Policy), Lyon (Grad. Student), Peterson (President), Schnepp (Staff Council),


Guests:                        Bohlander (Past Secretary of the Faculty), Tomajko (Assoc. Dean of Libraries), Cozzens (Vice-Provost), Givens (Library), Hicks (Public Policy), Hughes (Statutes Chair)


  1. Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Secretary of the Faculty*, opened the meeting at 3:05 P.M.
    * Filling in for the chair and vice-chair who are away on business.
  2. Ms. Balsam directed the Board’s attention to the minutes of their March 3, 2015 meeting found in Attachment #1. A motion to approve was seconded and passed unanimously.
  3. The Secretary next called on Executive Vice President Stephen Cross to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:

a)     Dr. Cross said he was pleased to stand in for the President today.  He welcomed and congratulated Jen Abrams as the newly elected Undergraduate Student Government President.  He also announced that Jeff Losse is the Executive Vice President.  For the Graduate SGA Marc Canellas as President and Matthew Miller as Executive VP.  The President considers those roles very important and knows the students will enjoy their new role.

b)     Where in the world are President Peterson and Rafael Bras today?  They are attending a very exciting event that is taking place in the Country of Panama.  A GT alum Juan Valera is the President of Panama.  He is an Industrial Engineer graduate and he is hosting a Meeting of the Americas. All the countries from North, Central, and South America are included. This will be the first time to meet the President of Cuba.  President Obama is there.  Juan is also on the GT Advisory Board and last fall asked if we would host a meeting of a hundred university presidents. We agreed and Rafael Bras is hosting that meeting and it is occurring today.  This is a significant “What Does GT Think” event.  President Peterson and Provost Bras left yesterday and asked Steve to express their regrets for not being able to attend the Board meeting today, but knew we would understand due to the significance of this event.

c)     GT successfully hosted the SACSCOC accreditation team.  We made it through the assessment fairly well.  There was some pushback on our assessment methods for some of the learning objectives and on the QEP assessment.  We have an opportunity to respond and will hear the final results in December.  These are all suggestions and are not major findings.

d)     Worked hard over the past month on the budget for FY16.  The budget position for the next year looked strong. 

e)    Dr. Cross attended a tour of the Engineering BioSystems; it is a marvelous building. Good example of how the faculty worked together as shepherds to define how that building would be used. It will be completely outfitted when it is opened.  They are applying lessons learned for the High Performance Computing Center.  They are currently selecting between two design teams.  Exciting business model because we are not putting money into that building.  Received permissions from USG to have a 15 year lease.  Usually, they allow only one year lease with ability for renewal every year. 

Q: After 15 years what would happen? Do we purchase it? A: yes, we could buy the building or renew the lease. 

e)     The Faculty Staff Honors event is next week on the 17th.

f)      GT Advisory Board is meeting on Monday and will be featuring the Scheller College of Business.  Dean Maryam Alavi will be giving her visions for the College. 

g)     Dr. Cross provided status of the GTRI Director Search.  They received forty-eight applications. That is more than any other time. He is meeting with the Search Committee after they finish their “airport interviews”.  Hopefully the search will be wrapping up in the late May or June timeframe

  1. Ms. Balsam thanked Dillon Roseen, President of the Undergraduate SGA  and Brandi Banner, Executive Vice President of the Undergraduate SGA as the outgoing officers.  She also thanked Justin Eisenberg for substituting for Dillon and Brandi when they were not able to attend in order to keep the board informed.
  2. Ms. Balsam called on Kathy Tomajko, Associate Dean of Libraries for a briefing, Attachment #2, of the GT Scholar program.  She introduced her team. Ms. Marlee Givens, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Library, Mr. Todd Phillips, Business Analyst, GTRI, and Raj Vuchatu, Enterprise Systems, GTRI, who was not unable to attend today.  Prof. Diane Hicks is also attending.

Ms. Tomajko announced she was pleased to have the opportunity to provide an overview and demonstration on the GT Scholar program, a repository of faculty and researchers CVs in one central place.  Once CV data is in the system there are many uses of that data.  It is designed to save faculty and administrator time.  The system is private and limited to the GT community only.  Eventually, with a system like VIVO some of this data may be in a system that is more open.  Currently, this is a GT system only.  GT Scholar is an internal knowledge management system for the scholarly and research enterprise. It manages information about individual and team scholarly and research activities in one location.  It can export data from internal and external sources. It provides an Institute overview of research and scholarly activity.   GT Scholar is composed of four systems and various inputs and outputs.  Related to the inputs, GT Scholar is able to populate much of the data from existing systems.  For the inputs the system is able to pull educational background information from People Soft; retrieve grant information from OSP; foundation funding from GT Foundation; teaching activity such as courses taught and thesis advisement from Banner; and lastly pull publications from various databases and other sources.  Some of the outputs are various reports that can be generated from this data.  There is an Annual Activity report.  Customized reports such as NSF Bioscketch and the NIH CV can be developed.  Ad hock reporting is available and can be requested from Todd Phillips.  They have generated a Metric report for ECE and BME that is an individual faculty data summary for school chairs and individual faculty members.  Configurable webpage that will increase college and school unit visibility; can highlight faculty publications, research and awards.  Search by key words and concepts to find campus experts and collaborators.  This will help campus communicators looking for experts.   Help researchers looking for partners. We used to have a Community of Science database where this information was entered on a voluntarily basis so not very successful.  This information will be entered into this repository and can easily be searched.  Integrates with SMARTech which is the institutional repository. 

Marlee Givens provided the current status. They have had some publicity with two articles in the Whistle and have developed a website,, which provides some FAQs, link to system and reports, and roster of advisory team members.  Beta testing was in the fall of 2013. One of the outcomes identified the need for data entry assistance both to add historical data and to fill in publications data. We are among one of the first of the US clients to Symplectic Elements, the company that supplies this software. Some of the other clients in the US include Duke and Emory.  They have developed some training and have hired temporary data entry staff to help build profiles on behalf of faculty. Training includes face-to-face, tutorials, and printed documentation including printed documentation from Symplectic. Roll-out is happening, it has been a slow process; we have reached out to many groups including some individuals that are in this room and request that you be part of the early adopters and advocators for this system.  Some of the outputs that have been developed as part of the phased roll-out include Annual Activity Report, Institute Standard Resume, and ABET CV.  They have worked with Susan Cozzens and the Faculty Affairs Task Force on an institute standard resume that can be exported; their initial test case for this was the CVs for ABET accreditation.  The Metrics Report is a dashboard of faculty activities. Decisions about future direction are not finalized; they are in process of determining next steps.  For more information you can go to the website or email them at Ms. Givens provided a demonstration of the system that requires the regular GT authentication.  The Implementation Planning Team is a large group of faculty and others from across campus.

Todd Phillips provided a demonstration of the reports.  The system is designed so that only an individual can run a report on themselves; their delegates, or those provided permission may also run reports.  Proposal data is actually coming into the report, but they are not being loaded into GT Scholar’s database due to potential sensitivity; therefore, there is an option to make a proposal or all proposals visible.  Proposal data is loaded on the fly; the proposal status will be provided to see whether pending or awarded.  Another feature that comes in but is not loaded into GT Scholar is the CIOS scores; a faculty member can see the same data as from the CIOS site.  If someone sees something that is wrong in the reports, they can go to GT Scholar and fix the information then run the report again.  Mr. Phillips asked if there were any questions about the system or the data.

            Q: If someone does not want to add the data is there a way for it to be done?  A: Yes, if a faculty member does not want to enter the data or does not have time they can “delegate” the task to an administrator or graduate student or whomever who will have permissions to enter data.

            Q: Does the information include declined proposals? A: no, we did not make that part of the inquiry. 

            We need the system to include declined proposals.  If I wrote three proposals during the year and they were all declined, then that is better than not writing any proposals at all.  They will take this request back for consideration. 

            Q: Can you tailor reports by turning options on or off?  A: yes.

            Q: Will this now serve as an activity report to a school chair.  We will update this on a regular basis and we will be responsible for updating publications.  A: yes, that is a goal of the system.  The system will pull as much information as possible from existing systems and then the faculty member will need to verify and correct data. 

            Q: Will there be a mandate that deans and chairs will have to use this system. A: It is not a mandate.  It is provided as a central repository.  Hopefully, faculty will want to use this. 

            Q: Overall, what is the status of going beyond the units that you have already worked with? What is the overall roll-out plan? A: They are in process of meeting with Jennifer Herazy, Chris Canook, and others to determine next phases and funding.

            Q: Is this available for graduate students? A: yes, this is available for any GT employee.

            What happens with students that are not employed directly by GT?  They need to be able to use the system.  Many students work on research and are not employed by GT. This is open for discussion.  They may have to determine how to have someone in the system and provide authentication. Some believe this system is too open for the data that is included so this is something to determine.  Are we open or transparent? In general, the Institute and faculty are careful about intentionally being opened. As long as the faculty member is in control in what gets into the system, then they are in control of what can be seen.  Also, sometimes our sponsors are concerned about what can be seen by others.

            Comment: it does generate a GT resume with all the standard information. It has all the structure for what should be included.

  1. Ms. Balsam called on Dr. Ron Bohlander, Past Secretary, to provide results of the faculty governance elections.

Dr. Bohlander said it has been exciting to run the first election under the new faculty definitions. There have been many good things and a few surprises.  He showed a chart, Attachment #3, on how many have voted and what day they voted on.  It is obvious from the chart when he sent email reminders for the election.  We had more people voting this year than last.  The denominator is a bit smaller this year because the postdocs are not part of the voting pool.  We had 41% voting this year; an increase over the 36% last year.  This may be due to the elections starting early this year by accident.  You probably received 3 to 5 emails at once encouraging you to vote or reminding you to vote; that was by accident, there is a process of an email that OIT sends that includes a link that should be clicked when it is time to start the election.  In the process, this year, those links were accidentally clicked when trying to copy them for the email.  We will take the opportunity to build better controls into the process for next year. We were ready for the election so beginning early was not a problem.  Dr. Bohlander said he gets great support from OIT, Susan Chang in particular and also from EVPR office from Alex Council and Gail Spatt and from Susan Cozzens office, Leslie Sharp and Erin Ninesling.  We receive a lot of email during the course of elections about missing ballots.  If the email is from Academic Faculty we contact Susan Cozzens office; if they are Research Faculty, we contact EVPR’s office.  During the set-up for the election we realized there were a couple of words missing in the Faculty Handbook that will be addressed in a moment.  We know that Academic Faculty should be elected by Academic Faculty and likewise, Research Faculty elected from Research Faculty; therefore the election was run that way.  Please keep the results confidential as Ms. Balsam will need to contact each candidate to let them know if they were elected or not.  The results will then be posted to the Faculty Governance website.  We had a tie for the Student Computer Ownership Committee.  We don’t have a good process for a run-off election because we would be going back to the same group for the same candidates; therefore, let’s just seat both of them and let them serve.  A motion was made to approve the election results, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Suggestion: If someone has voted, then I would prefer to not receive the reminder email. Ron said there is an email option that could be used in the future.  One advantage to the reminder is a faculty member could forward to others to encourage them to vote.  We will consider emailing only those faculty that have not voted.

  1. Ms. Balsam called on Prof. Joe Hughes, Chair, Statutes Committee for two changes to the Faculty Handbook.  For the first change, Attachment #4a, Prof. Hughes referred to the explanation Dr. Bohlander gave earlier to clarify Faculty Executive Board Academic Faculty representatives are elected by the Academic Faculty and Research Faculty representatives are elected by the Research Faculty.  Section 2.1, Faculty Executive Board, is part of the Statutes; therefore, it will require two readings to actually make this change. This has been approved by the Statutes Committee.

The second recommendation, Attachment #4b, for a change comes from the GTRI Promotion Committee.  There is no substantive change; the request is to reorder some of the information for clarity for the promotion criteria for Senior Researcher. Part of this is to move some information about time-in-rank to be together. The other is to swap the order of two of the criteria so that the two technical criteria will be together. 

A motion to endorse the Statutes Committee recommendations was approved.

  1. Ms. Balsam explained the upcoming meeting for April 21st was a scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate and Academic Faculty.  Since there would be a need to consider changes in the Faculty Handbook, it would be necessary to combine this with a called meeting of the whole Faculty.  Ms. Balsam showed the Board a draft of the agenda for this meeting in Attachment #5She moved that a meeting of the Faculty be called to be combined with the scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate and Academic Faculty and that the agenda be approved.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.
  2. Ms. Balsam then polled attending liaisons to or representatives of a number of organizations for any reports of matters that should come to the Board’s attention.

Prof. Rob Butera reported on the Student Regulations Committee (SRC).  An ad-hoc subcommittee has been considering changes to the Academic Calendar.  The academic calendar other than the change to semester has not changed much over the years.  This task force has made recommendations that the SRC has approved.  This has had wide support by the students and the SRC committee.

·       Spring semester will not start any earlier than the second Monday of January

·       Two new holidays: Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the day before or after July 4th depending on day that July 4th falls.  It is not clear if those will be holidays, but there will not be class days.

·       There will be no final exams the Friday before graduation.

·       Changes to how Dead Week and Final Exam week will be administered:

o   Dead week will basically go away.  Monday and Tuesday will be called final instruction days with more simplified rules.  Wednesday will be a reading period with no classes.  Final exams will extend from Thursday to the following Thursday and wrap around the weekend.  The draft calendar will also have some additional no class time which will allow for finals to be spread out.

·       The committee has not voted on an additional consideration as they are still evaluating.  Prof Hughes is on the ad-hoc committee and provided the following information.  They are considering a change to the daily calendar.  When looking at other institutions, we seem to be in class longer than others.  There are options being considered for 55 minutes per class for M-W-F classes, 80 minute classes for T-Th classes, and 15 minutes between classes.  There will be fewer class meetings to discuss the topic of the class.  For a few years there has been a push to extend the time between class periods.  The request was put on hold and now that we are considering the academic calendar there is an opportunity to evaluate.  The big down side for going to the 15 minutes between classes is that we lose a teaching period for the entire day.  Justin Eisenberg, Student Rep, said a group of enterprising CS students and Capital Planning and Space Management have written some code to analyze campus space and all 14 possible calendars.  It will be in beta test next week.  It may make analyzing this a little easier.

The first four options will come to the Academic Faculty as an action from the SRC minutes.  They will be rolled out over a one year period. 

Q: Suggest you make this a pilot.  If you have no classes on the Wed. before Thanksgiving, then students will start to take Monday and Tuesday off. A: That was considered and there was discussion about having the 2-day fall break of the M-T before Thanksgiving.  Asked students if they would prefer the two days in October or week of Thanksgiving.  It may affect classes, but less likely for lab classes.  The institute will have to monitor this to see if this becomes a problem.  If this becomes an issue then we are not meeting the requirements for instruction time.

Q: Are there the same number of minutes in the fall and the spring? A: They are not equal now.  We will now get 6 days off in Fall and Spring semester

Q: Are there any Town Halls or information sessions planned to advertise this. A: There is a plan for a Town Hall next week. This has not gone out to the faculty, but has gone to the Academic Faculty Chairs.

Comment: I support these changes, some of my colleagues are concerned it may affect the lab times.

Comment: If we start classes that are not on the hour and half-hour, then it could make it difficult for our students and faculty that have other obligations.  Response: this is one of the concerns that we need to work out.

Comment: The roll-out of this is critical to success.

Another item from SRC is adjustment to the Student Code of Conduct to tune it up to another policy on the campus for a GT Sexual Harassment policy.  SRC has agreed that the Student Code of Conduct be updated to agree with the Title IX.  There is some concern that some of the requirements could reach out further than the campus, but we have to be in compliance with the Federal regulations.

Carrie Shepler reported that the Student and Academic and Financial Affairs worked with the registrar’s office.  They now have addition to web-site: student can request an approval for an excuse for club sports absence.

Doug Williams, reported on the University System of Georgia Faculty Council.  They met on Saturday, March 21st; Chancellor Hank Huckaby came for the morning.  He brought Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Houston Davis and Vice Chancellor for HR, Marion Fredrick.  A lot the Chancellor had to say became obsolete as the legislature was still in session. USG budget looked good.  There was an increase in repairs budget and construction projects.  There was some concern about the formula funding (FF).   VC HR was there to explain the initiative to get as many retirees on Medicare as possible as many had never applied for Medicare.

Justin Eisenberg reported on the SGA.  They allocated the student activity fee that is $5.5M this year. .

Debbie Dorsey reported on the Staff Council.  They were in the 1st quarter of their first full year.  They have 5 committees that have just been populated; they recieved150 applications for 60 spots.  They have passed the Bylaws and are planning a Town Hall for some time in May.

Other liaisons reported routine activities

  1. Ms. Balsam asked if there was any further business.
  2. Dr. Cross asked to speak.  He stated that this is emotional for him as he paid tribute to Dr. Bohlander.  “This is Ron’s last meeting as he transfers the Secretary of the Faculty position. You became SOF in 2006 and started your faculty service in 1982 on the Honor’s Committee.  You had 24 years to prepare to be Secretary of the Faculty.  It is amazing how many years of service you have given, but what is more amazing is how you conduct yourself. I have known you since I came here almost 12 years ago.  You always put the best interest of the faculty first.  You are going to be greatly missed.  You are not only the intuitional history, but you are the conscious of the faculty.  I know how much the President holds you in esteem for what you do.  I suggest that the minutes should reflect appreciation of the Faculty Executive Board for his many years of service.”  Steve made a motion that the minutes reflect appreciation for Dr. Ron Bohlander for his years of service to the Faculty Executive Board.  The motion was seconded and approved unanimously with a big “Aye” and round of applause.  Ron stated that it has been a huge pleasure and a labor of love and he is very pleased that Jeanne is coming along to carry the torch from here and looking forward to working with her and with all of you in what background opportunities are possible. 
  3. Ms. Balsam adjourned the meeting at about 5 pm.

Submitted by Jeanne Balsam, Secretary

May 4, 2015



1)     Minutes of the March 3, 2015 Executive Board meeting

2)     Presentation on the GT Scholar Update

3)     Election results

4)     Faculty Handbook modification requests

a.      Section 2.1 Faculty Executive Board

b.     Section 3.2.1 Research Faculty: Hiring and Promotion Guidelines

5)     Proposed Agenda for April 21st Faculty meeting