Meeting of August 25, 2015

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


Members Present:       Abrams (Ugrad student), Balch (CoC-IC), Balsam (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Briscoe (GTRI-ATAS), Butera (ECE), Clark, Rick (Staff Council), Clark, Russ (CoC-CS), Cottle (Architecture), Feron (AE), Foster (Modern Lang), Garcia (AE), Grover (Vice-Chair, ChBE), Hall (GTRI-CTISL), Hernandez (Chemistry), Kirkman (Chair, Public Policy), Lotempio (GTRI-SEAL), McIntyre (Business), Nation (GTRI-ELSYS), Peterson (President), Powell (OSP), Riley (ECE), Schumacher (Psychology), Shepler (Chemistry), Simpson (OSP), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE), Wood (LMC), Zakir (Radiation Safety)


Members Absent:        Bras (Provost), Canellas (Grad student), Coleman (GTRI-ELSYS), Cross (EVPR), Dorsey (Staff Council), Eckert (GTRI-ATAS), Gamble (CoA-Arch.), Schnepp (Staff Council), Turner (Business)


Guests:                        Allen (Postdoc: Chem & Biochem), Bohlander (Post SoF), Herazy (Asst. Provost), Stone (VP Grad. Ed. & Fac Af)


1.     Prof. Martha Grover, Vice-Chair, opened the meeting at 3:08 P.M. She reported that Board Chair, Bob Kirkman, was in route from a class and would join us soon.

2.     Prof Grover welcomed the continuing and new members to the Faculty Executive Board and asked each to introduce themselves and state where they are located on campus.

3.     Prof Bob Kirkman, Chair, coming from a class joined the meeting. He welcomed those new to the board and thanked those that are rotating off the board. He welcomed Ron Bohlander, Past Secretary of the Faculty to the meeting.

4.     The Chair next called on President Peterson to remark on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.

a)     He thanked Bob for his service to the Board.

b)     Started a strategic plan about 6 years ago, we are currently 5 years into the 25-year strategic plan.  We are through about 20% and some remarkable things have occurred during that time.  Nearly one fourth of the 145,000 living alumni graduated during the last 5 years since we started that initiative.

c)     Research is up about 40% over the past 5 or 6 years.

d)     The Institute Address is Thursday at 11 am.

e)     Online courses have been going very well with over 20 undergraduate courses online and enrolling over a million students around the world.  The online Masters program draws much national and international attention, with about 4,000 students enrolled this fall.  The first graduating class will graduate in December.  It will be important for us.  It will be interesting to see how this first group of 20 students will be perceived by industry.

f)      We had over 27,000 applications with only about 2,700 spots.  We have 3,000 this fall.  Our yield rate continues to go up.

g)     We have effectively created the Staff Council and over the last year the working and by-laws put into place.  We now have representation for everyone that is on campus now.

Virtually every person affiliated/associated with GT has a direct process by which they can add input to how the institute is run.

h)     The Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB)is up and operational, the most expensive building GT has ever built at $113 million.  When it officially opens on September 11th it will be 80% paid for, with the other 20% committed over the next 5 years. 

i)      Library renovation renewal project is also moving forward.  Working with the legislature on this.  Move the books into the Library Service Facility on the Emory-Briarcliff Site.  You can get any book you want in 24 hours.  Then will renovate the library facility.

j)      New High Performance Computing Facility underway, will house IT offices, a number of research labs and cyber security.  It will be located in Tech Square by the College of Business by the bookstore; opening up the building it is currently housed in the middle of campus. Will construct a 750,000 square foot $350M building on that site.  House IT office, research labs, cybersecurity.  We will occupy about Ĺ of the building.

k)     Capital Campaign is going well, the goal was to raise $1.5 billion, and we are currently at $1.64 billion.  Still trying to raise each college/programís goal. One goal is to raise 100 endowed chairs and professorships.  We are at 95 currently.

l)      Tech promise program is going very well with about 225 students in the program this year; their average family income is about $21,000.  It is a remarkable program that provides an amazing opportunity for students who otherwise would probably not be able to come to Georgia Tech.  Students donít have to actually apply for it, when they fill out their FAFSA if their family income is low enough, they will receive not only an acceptance letter, but also a letter telling them they can come for free.

m)   Dr. Bras could not be with us today as he is on his way back from Asia.


5.     Prof. Kirkman directed the Boardís attention to the posted notes of the June 16, 2015 Faculty Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  He noted that this meeting did not have a quorum and any business that had to be conducted was done subsequently via email ballots recorded at the end of the notes.  No vote was needed on the notes themselves and no corrections were received.

6.     There are a number of reappointments to manage:

a)     University System of Georgia Faculty Council:  Professor Doug Williams has been serving for a number of years, he is willing to serve another year but will step aside if there is another volunteer willing to take on that role.  Doug Williams describes the position: It meets twice every year, once in the fall and once in the spring.  Doug Williams is appointed for another year.  A motion was made and seconded to reappoint Prof. Williams and it passed without dissent.

b)    Faculty Benefits Committee: It is required that we have a retired person to serve on this committee, and Wayne Book has been serving for a number of years.  He is willing to step down if there is someone else to take the position, but efforts to find another retired person to serve havenít yielded any results.  Wayne has said that this will be his last year if he is reappointed.  Wayne Book is appointed for another year. A motion was made and seconded to reappoint Wayne Book and it passed without dissent.

c)     Faculty Honors Committee: David Frost serves as an ex-officio member to the Faculty Honors Committee, as a liaison between the EVPR Honors Committee and the Faculty Honors Committee.  The FEB  is asked to approve the reappointment of David Frost to serve as an Ex-Officio member.  David Frost is appointed as Ex-Officio member. A motion was made and seconded to reappoint Wayne Book and it passed without dissent.


7.     Jeanne Balsam, Secretary of the Faculty, explained why we needed a special election for the Ivan Allen Election.  She stated 77 people voted in the election and Paul Foster won. Motion to approve the results of the Ivan Allen Special Election that was seconded and approved.


8.     Prof Kirkman, Chair, explains background information about the standing committee review.  Prof Kirkman has been leading this effort, is rotating off the board, and would like to complete the effort.  He requests a motion to create a task force to complete the review and recommendations for revisions of the Faculty Handbook in regards to the standing committee of the faculty.  There was a motion that was seconded to create a Task Force for the Standing Committee Review.  Discussion begins:


Question 1: When do you envision the recommendations of the task force will be due?

Answer 1: I would like to be done by mid-September so we can get it to the Statutes Committee to iron out any issues they see.


Question 2: Would you consider having a student sit on the task force?

Answer 2: We would need to consider many things, but it is a valid question and a fair point. I would not turn away volunteers. If a student would like to join the committee, they would be welcomed.


President Peterson: One of the issues that got the staff council started was that the staff had no formal representation on the benefits committee. The faculty assembly as a body would determine benefits with one representative from the staff council.  It seems to me that in terms of benefits that there should be some sort of parallel structure between the faculty senate and the staff council.

Answer 3:  There seems to be some sense that would be ideal, but there is always a risk that one group within that body would be dominant over the other.  There is some will to have two separate bodies but to coordinate and maybe have joint meetings.


Question 4: I think some responsibilities have shifted in the staff council that doesnít mirror the faculty benefits.

Answer 4:  I think having communication between the two committees is important so that if there are issues regarding benefits regarding employees, there can be some kind of resolution.  The approval of the task force would deal with these issues.


Question 5: Maybe as you formalize this task force, issues like ďwho should be a representative?Ē such as a student should come up.  What is the optimal size of your committee?

Answer 5:  I would definitely accept that as a friendly amendment.  Small and agile is probably good for size.


Question 6: Do you already have a list of committee members?

Answer 6: Bob Kirkman, Martha Grover, Nazia Zakir, and JeanneBalsam


The motion was amended to include a student on the task force.  The motion passed.


9.       Prof Kirkman called on Professor Rigoberto Hernandez for a presentation (Attachment #2) .  He called on Dr. Jana Stone, Director of Postdoctoral Services. She explains the need for representation of our temporary faculty.  There are about 160 temporary faculty, including part-time and temporary lecturers, visiting assistant professors and some others.  There are quite a few more in the temporary research faculty, about 500 (half of whom are postdocs).  Back when faculty definitions was speaking about this, the recommendations were to let everyone have a voice in campus affairs, set up a staff advisory council (which is now in place) keep in touch with the post-doctoral association, and that the FEB create a standing committee to address the needs of the post docís and visiting faculty.  In June we came up with a few questions that still need to be addressed, one of which being that we arenít sure what the best approach is for inclusion of faculty governance.  One idea is create a new standing committee just to address these particular bodies.  Another idea is to appoint ex-officio representatives to the standing committees of which these temporary faculty would be interested (but there is an open question of how they would be appointed).  Prof. Hernandez adds that it is a clear problem because it is not just post-docs, there are also others.  One problem is that individuals that are here for barely a year or so barely have time to be voted and serve before they are replaced. 


Question 1: Have you canvassed or circulated the question among temp. faculty and postdocs?

Answer: It was done back in 2011 with the postdocs; we have some informal feedback, but we need to get more and that would be part of the task force.


Question/Statement 2: We did have some dialogue with the postdocs, and we found that there are some things they would like more clarity on, and a place to go when they need help.  Maybe a lesson from that past is that this task force is not just to figure out what info to bring a standing committee, but to make a prototype dialogue with post-docs/temporary faculty to see how it might go for a standing committee someday.


Question/Statement 3: Person power: is there someone on staff like Jana for this temporary faculty/post doc. community who would have time to address some of these issues specifically? If Jana is already overcommitted.

Answer 3: Susan Cozzens would be in charge.


Recommendation to have someone from legal on this Task Force also.  Prof. Hernandez is willing to serve as the chair.  He asked for volunteers to serve and also asked for board members to send him recommendations.


The motion was made to create a Task Force with a one-year deadline; it was seconded and passed unanimously.

10.  Prof. Kirkman and Prof. Bob Butera discussed APR board reviews.  Prof. Butera discussed how the APR reports are reviewed.  Last year was the first year for the FEB to receive and review the reports.  Last year there was a committee of members from this board who reviewed and debated what the role of faculty oversight should be.  We found that it was a great tool for keeping this board and the faculty at large informed of what some of the big picture trends facing academic units. They wrote a concise letter to the Provost saying here are some general issues we have seen across two or more academic units kind of a barometer of trends in academic units.  The Provost responded to us with what actions were being done.  Many people found this to be very productive. 

Prof. Kirkman reviewed the volunteers for this committee: Professors Butera, Grover, Kirkman, Shepler, and Shumacher volunteering in the spring.  There was also an agreement to obtain committee members from the newly elected FEB members and that is what is requested.  The commitment is short term with the review of two or three reports and a meeting to discuss the information.  This is a great way to obtain a perspective of how other units function.  We will seek volunteers at a later time.

11.  Prof. Kirkman, Chair provided a summary of the noteworthy things that have been accomplished in the past year:

a)     One of the larger projects that is still continuing has been the revisions to the standing committees.

b)     Another announcement was the retirement of Ron Bohlander as secretary of the faculty; we were very successful in finding such a great match for the position, Jeanne Balsam, as the new secretary.

c)     Decision to move forward with Postdocs and temporary faculty task force.

d)     Prof. Kirkman made an effort on his own to shift how these meetings are run; made an attempt to make the body much more deliberate and less receiving.  Doing so by taking on new proposals and hashing out issues, raising questions, making changes, as opposed to being informed of information after the fact.

12.  Prof. Kirkman polled for reports:

a)     Representatives of the Staff Council: Rick Clark: We have formed and fully populated all of the committees.  In the last month or two we have made some great changes to the website: the goal being visibility and access.  They have had several Town Hall meetings. In terms of the fall semester, we just had a meeting with President Peterson to update and talk a bit about where we stand.  We are going to be creating an office in the CRC, and will be taking volunteers to staff an office.  It will be easier to have an actual location to meet in person for those that prefer. There are several initiatives that we think will have a great impact that we will bring up later in the semester, one being with Capital and Space Planning on alternative commute options, and general health and wellbeing.  They are working to identify all the locations on campus for showers; two committees are working on this: the Physical Environment Committee and the Health and Wellbeing Committee.  Another thing we are working on is recognition and appreciation of staff with OHR.  Attempting to use the one-year and five-year marks to appreciate staff.

b)    Doug Williams, USGFC representative from GT: The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 31st.  Concern over the summer about President and Chancellor salaries compared with faculty.

c)     Jen Abrams, Undergraduate President: All freshmen are through FASET, Greek recruitment was last week, and students are starting to get more involved on campus.  There is a new Safety App coming out next week, as well as interest in the renovation of the student center, because the student center is currently over-capacity.  Discussed how this may be paid for by increasing student activity fees.  We also had our first class of our post-secondary program (teaches classes to graduated high school students with mild cognitive impairments).


13.  Prof. Kirkman then polled committee liaisons for any reports of matters that should come to the Boardís attention.  The following were significant highlights not covered elsewhere:

Liaison Assignments:

a)     Tucker Balch, IGCC: At least three new graduate professions programs were approved. Potentially some of these will also be taught online.

b)     Robert Butera, Student Regulations:  The top issue we had was changing student regulations to make Georgia Tech compliant with rules of the department of education on Title IX, and how you handle allegations of sexual misconduct.  The committee was unanimously stunned at the mandates that are being put on the university.  According to their rules, if anyone affiliated with GT is accused of sexual harassment or misconduct, even if it occurs off campus, must be investigated.  Another thing discussed was coming up with a policy for defining when a student is actually on leave from the university. (Ex: National Guard duty, missionaries).

c)     Bobby Hall, Student Computer Ownershp: Nothing to report.

d)     Rigoberto Hernandez, Faculty Honors: Nothing to report.

e)     Michele Powell, Faculty Benifits: We met this morning and re-elected Jason Freeman as the chair, and Stella Richardson as the secretary of the committee.  Talked about the University System of Georgiaís Healthcare Strategy and the defined contribution; want to make sure everyone knows we are in year 2 of 3 of this defined contribution plan.  We also discussed the retiring health exchange.

f)      George Riley, IUCC: Nothing to report.

g)     Eric Schumacher, Student Honor: Nothing to report.

h)     CarrieShepler, Student Acad. & Fin. Affairs: Nothing to report.

i)      Robert Wood, Faculty Status & Grievance: Nothing to report.

j)      Nazia Zakir, Statutes: Nothing to report.

14. Jeanne Balsam, Secretary of the Faculty, discussed the election of the Faculty Executive Board Chair and Vice-Chair for 2015-16. At this time, she has received one person interested in Chair, and one person interested in Vice-Chair.

The candidates so far are:

       Martha Grover- Chair

Asked to say a few words: She has learned a lot in the last year serving as vice-chair, would like to continue working on some of the initiatives that have been started, such as working with Bob on the standing committee review.  Work with Rick Clark and the Staff Council to work on solidifying those relationships.  She wants to continue to make meetings more deliberate and interesting.

       George Riley- Vice-Chair

Asked to say a few words: He looks forward to working with whomever is elected as chair, would also like to make meetings more deliberate by getting more into the decision-making.

No one else wanted to be considered, so election was held by acclamation.  Motion was made, seconded, and approved for Martha Grover to serve as Chair and George Riley as Vice-Chair:

15. Prof Kirkman asked if there was any additional business:  Prof asked about the leadership meeting on August 10th which discussed the GT Foundation report from McKinsey Consulting, said it seemed like an interesting meeting and was looking for any extra information.

            Answer: President Peterson responded: Every year McKinsey Consulting does some pro-bono work, they solicit proposals from their senior partners and from outside entities to do particular projects.  This year, they went through the process, and our project ended up being selected.  Michelle Gerrard is the VP of Human Resources for Mckinsey Worldwide (a GT grad).   Mckinsey has spent about 10-12 weeks this summer looking at how to enhance the innovation ecosystem in Atlanta, and what impact GT might have on that.  They have had quite a number of people working on this; it has been about a million-dollar investment on their part for a study.  It will be completed in the next two weeks, with a report detailing how we can continue the role GT plays in expanding the economic development and economic entrepreneurship environment that exists in Atlanta.

16.  Prof. Kirkman adjourned the meeting at about 5:00 p.m.

Board members and guests adjourned to a reception in the Gordy Room.

Submitted by Jeanne Balsam, Secretary

September 21, 2015


1)     Notes on the June 16, 2015 Faculty Executive Board meeting (which did not have a quorum) plus a record of subsequent email ballot results.

2)     Task Force Temporary Faculty