GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
FALL MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
GENERAL FACULTY ASSEMBLY
MEETING OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE
Thursday, October 14, 2004, 3:00 pm
Amphitheater 236 Global Learning Center
1. Leon McGinnis, Chair of the Executive Board opened the meeting at 3:00 PM. He introduced President Clough to deliver the “2004 State of the Institute Address” entitled “Innovation in a Changing World.” (Presentation text, slides, and brochure distributed at the meeting can be found at the web site referenced below – Attachment #1). A summary prepared by Sarah Eby-Ebersole (Institute Communications) follows.
The President began by describing the larger world in which Georgia Tech functions. He noted rapid technological changes and powerful worldwide trends that have developed during the past twenty years, including expanding opportunities for trade accelerated by the proliferation of communications technology.
Drawing on his experience as the chair of the National Academy of Engineering’s Engineer of 2020 initiative, he outlined some of the characteristics of the world of the future, such as strong population growth in urban areas of underdeveloped nations and an increasing focus on education and technology in China, India, and the European Union. The investments these nations are making in science and technology education will enable them to compete increasingly with the United States, he said, and the pressures of a growing world population will exacerbate environmental problems like global warming and freshwater shortages.
The answer to both the environmental problems and the economic challenges is innovation, which “requires not only that we discover new knowledge and technology, but also that we anticipate ways to put it to work within a complex legal, political, social and economic landscape,” he said.
Clough cited the telegraph and telephone as examples, noting that while Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell were the stereotypical inventors, working away in their labs on a piece of technology, their inventions became innovations that spawned today’s enormous telecommunications industry and changed the vary character of our lives and our work.
“What will be the equivalent invention for our century?” he asked. “What inventions in biotechnology or nanotechnology will become the key transformational innovations that spin off dozens of products and change life as we know it through the coming decades? And, more to the point, who will be in a position to drive that change?”
Clough said that Georgia Tech’s goal of defining the technological research university of the 21st century is an expression of the institute’s intent to help drive the innovation of the future. “In the process, we will help our nation to compete and shape a healthier, more sustainable and more prosperous future for all the inhabitants of the world.”
He also pointed out that Tech’s enduring traditions of entrepreneurism and creative problem-solving are enabling the institute to transform itself into the innovative, nimble, international enterprise required to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world.
However, Tech has challenges to overcome. The institute is a relative newcomer to the top tier of the nation’s universities, all of which also want to be the best. In addition, it has experienced a series of reductions in its state allocations over the past several years. The portion of Tech’s budget that is funded by the state of Georgia has decreased from 34 percent to 25 percent over the past decade. The institute has funded more than 80 percent of its capital construction over the same time and now pays the salaries of more than half of its academic and research faculty from non-state resources.
Noting that the recent series of cuts is beginning to cause a policy shift, Clough said, “I believe it is time for a statewide policy discussion about how public higher education will be funded in Georgia.”
He emphasized his commitment to maintaining the academic excellence for which Georgia Tech is known. “When it comes to using innovation to turn challenges into opportunities, we rely on the people equation,” he said, noting that this fall’s freshman class is the largest, smartest and most diverse in institute history and that upper-level students are winning some of the world’s most prestigious scholarships. The faculty is equally outstanding, he said, pointing out that Georgia Tech ranks second in the nation in the cumulative total of National Science Foundation CAREER Awards.
“Our outstanding students and faculty are the primary reason Georgia Tech has been ranked among the nation’s top ten public universities every year since 1999,” he said.
The institute’s campuses in France and Singapore reflect its increasingly global character. Study abroad programs have grown rapidly, with a 14 percent increase in students participating last year. One third of Tech students now participate in an international education program at some point in their undergraduate career, he said.
Innovation is also interdisciplinary in nature, another cultural trait of Georgia Tech. “As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, demand is growing for scientists and engineers who understand the broader social and cultural ramifications of their work and for practitioners in a wide range of other disciplines who understand technology,” Clough said.
He cited cross-disciplinary programs such as the McEver Program for Engineering and the Liberal Arts and Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER), which is not only interdisciplinary but also involves students from Emory University as well as Georgia Tech.
He noted Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary degrees, including two based in the School of Modern Languages and four professional master’s degrees based in the College of Sciences. Each of the professional master’s degrees is a collaborative effort of three different schools or colleges, and they are models for other universities around the nation.
Clough also pointed to the interdisciplinary nature of the Institute’s major research thrusts. “We are not just talking about technological mixes,” he added, “but also mixes that add public policy, international affairs, entrepreneurship, marketing, and transportation systems -- all of which are required to bring new ideas and inventions to fruition.” Tech’s interdisciplinary collaboration is especially advantageous in nanotechnology, he said, because it will touch every aspect of technology in the future.
Georgia Tech’s lifelong focus on economic development is another advantage, Clough said, pointing to VentureLab, which supports the commercialization of discoveries from Georgia Tech’s labs, and the Advanced Technology Development Center, which incubates fledging companies.
Innovation is a social activity that both requires and fosters openness and interaction, which is why Georgia Tech is pursuing a wide range of partnerships with other universities. The most fully developed is the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint academic program between Georgia Tech and Emory University that is ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Tech is also developing other partnerships with universities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and using distance learning technology to serve educational needs around the world.
Clough concluded by noting that Tech’s campus has become as innovative as its people and programs. The Biotechnology Complex, the Information Technology Complex, and Technology Square are innovative academic and research facilities, while the Campus Recreation Center and the Stamps Student Center Commons improve campus life.
“Even the old and tired can be renewed and made more innovative,” he said, referring to the project now under way to widen the Fifth Street bridge, creating a small park on each side of the street. These projects are part of the Institute’s newly revised Campus Master Plan to create a sustainable, walkable campus that provides the facilities the Institute needs to define the technological research university of the 21st century.
A question was asked regarding the possibility of becoming a private university, such as MIT, Stanford, and Cornell, in light of the decreasing state allocations. The President stated that we are slowly becoming “more private,” in terms of the fraction of our budget from non-state sources. Ultimately, there has to be a serious discussion about giving us autonomy as an institution. Universities in other states are facing similar challenges. We do not fear such a development because we can adapt to that environment. At some point we have to be given some independence (e.g. control our tuition) so that we can help ourselves and, in the process, also help the state. A comment was made regarding the lack of acknowledgement of the contributions of support staff to the Institute. The President responded by stating that Georgia Tech is a community and that it is the 5000 faculty and staff members who make this institution work. Everyone brings a talent that we can not do without. The value we place in our staff is evidenced by our commitment to provide training and helping people become better; this year nearly two thirds of our staff participated in some institute-funded self improvement programs. We fully acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of every member of our campus community.
A comment was made that we should not wait to be “given control” by the state. A follow-up question was asked as to what steps are being taken to “take control” of our destiny. The President responded by stating that as more of our activities are funded by non-state sources, we are exercising control over such activities. Discussions are taking place with influential alumni; it is important to help people outside the university understand the circumstances, so that they can speak for us. We have also been laying the ground work by working with the Metro Chamber and the business community; these discussions must also include the other research universities in the state. A question was asked regarding the temporary resolution of the recent budget crisis by transferring money from the insurance funds reserves, and whether such transfer will result in an increase in our future out-of-pocket medical costs. The President stated that the proposed solution is a one-time “fix.” While it is not a good fix, it was all the Regents could do in this climate, and that the Board of Regents may be faced with the same budget problem next year. He indicated that the university system currently has about 60 days of reserves; actuarial experts indicate that reducing the reserve to 45 days would be appropriate; however, they become concerned when the reserves are reduced to 30 days, as is being suggested by the recent action. He noted that other state agencies are already at the 30-day reserve level and that the state has always backed up any shortfall. He stated that he does not believe that the costs will come out of our own pockets. He pointed to the Governor’s commitment to fully-fund the formula next year as a positive outcome of the recent crisis. A comment was made that students appear to be more effective lobbyist as they have succeeded in averting a mid-year increase in tuition. The President concurred stating that the Georgia Tech and UGA student representatives are articulate, intelligent, and politically astute.
There were no other questions for the President. Leon McGinnis thanked the President for his presentation, and “returned the gavel” to him to chair the remainder of the meeting following a short intermission.
2. The President re-convened the meeting at 3:45 PM. He called for approval of the minutes of the meeting of September 14, 2004 [Called meeting of the General Faculty combined with meeting of the Academic Senate and General Faculty Assembly]. He indicated that the minutes were published and posted on the faculty governance web site and that there were no additions or corrections. (See Attachment #2 below for web site reference). The minutes were approved without dissent.
3. The President called on Dr. Ron Bohlander, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to present proposed Faculty Handbook revisions dealing with two subjects: (a) Faculty Governance of Athletics, and (b) Faculty Ombuds Program. Copies of the slides used in the presentation and exact wording of the proposed Faculty Handbook revisions are given in Attachments #3 and 4 below. Bohlander stated that, earlier this Fall, the Executive Board asked the Statutes Committee to prepare material for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook to describe how the Georgia Tech faculty provide good stewardship over our intercollegiate athletics program to ensure that it is an integral part of our educational mission consistent with our core values. The material is intended to document many of the things we are already doing. It includes information on: (1) the Georgia Tech Athletics Association (GTAA), which is a separate corporation with its own bylaws and Board of Directors; (2) the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), who represents the faculty in the ACC Conference and NCAA and serves on the GTAA Board to ensure that the educational mission and academic values of the Institute are maintained within the athletics program, (3) provide additional material to ensure that the President will consult with the faculty through the Executive Board in the appointment of the FAR, and with the Executive Board Chair in the appointment of other faculty members to the GTAA Board.
In addition to the input provided by the Executive Board, the Statutes Committee drew on several sources of information to formulate the new additions to the Faculty Handbook; these include our current practice, the work of the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Bylaws of the Georgia Tech Athletics Association, the NCAA’s Faculty Athletics Representative Handbook, comments provided by the current Georgia Tech Faculty Athletics Representative (Professor George Nemhauser), and other studies and examples from peer institutions. The recommended new Faculty Handbook material will be included as Section 2.12 entitled “Intercollegiate Athletics Governance.” The exact wording of the proposed Section 2.12 has been posted on the web with a link to this meeting’s agenda. The first section (2.12.1) entitled “Purposes” clearly states the Institute is committed to the development, preparation, support, and graduation of student-athletes, and that the Faculty want the athletics programs to encourage student athletes to excel in the classroom, on the field, and in life. The second section (2.12.2) describes the key roles in athletics governance to be played by the Institute Administration (18.104.22.168), the GTAA Board of Trustees (22.214.171.124), the Faculty Athletics Representative (126.96.36.199), and the Academic Senate (188.8.131.52). Section 184.108.40.206 states that: the President is committed to high standards in intercollegiate athletics consistent with the educational mission of the Institute. In addition, the recently-created position of Executive Director of Affiliated Organizations provides oversight of business operations. Section 220.127.116.11 deals with the role of the GTAA Board; it was drawn from the GTAA bylaws. It states the purpose of GTAA and the fact that it is governed by the Board of Trustees. The Board is headed by the President of Georgia Tech; the Senior VP of Business and Finance serves as Treasurer. The remaining Board members consist of eight faculty members, three students, and three alumni, all of whom are appointed by the President for 3-year terms. One of the Faculty members is designated as the FAR. The President will consult with the Executive Board on the appointment of the FAR, and will consult with the Executive Board Chair on the appointment of the other faculty members of the Board. The Director of Athletics (who is not a Board member) shall be hired with the approval of the Board. Section 18.104.22.168 deals with the role of the Faculty Athletics Representative; it is based on the NCAA FAR Handbook (dated January 1998). The FAR provides oversight of student eligibility for athletics, monitors student athlete academic performance statistics, provides oversight of eligibility compliance, interacts with student athletes to keep in touch and provide counsel, advises the President and the Director of Athletics, Represents the Institute at the ACC Conference and NCAA, and actively serves on the GTAA Board of Trustees. Finally, Section 22.214.171.124 describes the role of the Academic Senate; the FAR will annually report to the Academic Senate -- based on that report, the Senate may take action(s), as appropriate.
Bohlander stated that the proposed Faculty Handbook additions (Section 2.12) have been endorsed by the Executive Board. They will be placed at the end of Chapter 2 which contains the Statutes and Bylaws, thereby signifying the importance of the material contained therein. However, the section falls outside the Statutes and Bylaws; therefore, it requires only one reading (and vote) for faculty approval.
A motion was made to approve the proposed new addition (Section 2.12; see Attachment 3b below) for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook.
The President stated that he fully supports the proposed addition to the Faculty Handbook. A question was asked as to how our policies compare with those of other universities. The President indicated that Georgia Tech is unique among universities in its approach to athletics governance, inasmuch as faculty members constitute a majority of the GTAA Board, and that no member of the Athletics Association, including the Director of Athletics, serves on the Board. While the Director of Athletics and other Association members may attend the Board meetings, they do not vote on any matters presented to the Board. We are fortunate to have this structure in place and to have always had an Athletics Director who is concerned about academics and the welfare of the Institute. The material to be included in the Faculty Handbook will be very useful for the faculty at large; it will highlight these good practices and place us in good standing among universities. Bohlander concurred and stated that these practices are fully consistent with the best practices advocated by the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics (an association of faculty senate leaders from several leading universities around the nation). A question was asked as to the length of the terms served by faculty members on the GTAA Board. The President stated that, except for the FAR, a faculty member will serve one three-year term. In some cases, active members, who wish to continue, may be appointed for a second term. While there is a need for continuity on Boards of this type, we enforce the six-year term limit. The FAR may serve longer since it takes some time to gain seniority in the ACC Conference and within NCAA. Bohlander stated that the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics specifically addresses this issue and recommend that the FAR should be an experienced faculty member, and that they should truly represent the Faculty, rather than becoming a part of the Athletics Association. The Executive Board will now have a role in the appointment of the FAR.
The motion passed without dissent.
Bohlander presented the second proposed revision to the Faculty Handbook dealing with the Ombuds Program. He stated that last year Dr. Edward Thomas made a presentation to the Faculty on alternative conflict resolution through the Ombuds Program. He recommended that Section 126.96.36.199 of the Faculty handbook be modified to include a description of the program and how faculty members can avail themselves to it (see exact wording in Attachment #4 below). He indicated that the material was posted on the web, and that a link was provided through this meeting’s agenda. It does not modify any of the other material in Section 5.1.3 of the Faculty Handbook (Procedures for Handling Potential Conflict Situations between Administrators, Faculty, and Students). The Statutes Committee has examined the proposed revision and is fully in support of it. The material is to be included in an “informational section” of the Handbook. The proposal does not impact the activities of the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee, or limit the options available to the faculty.
A motion to approve the proposed revision of Section 188.8.131.52 of the Faculty Handbook (see Attachment #4 below) was made. The motion passed without dissent.
4. The President called for approval of the minutes of Standing Committees of the General Faculty which do not contain any action items, all of which have been posted on the web (see Attachment #5 below for web site listing of minutes of all Standing Committees)
a. Faculty Benefits: 02/18/04; 03/24/04; 04/14/04; 04/28/04
b. Faculty Honors: 02/18/04
c. Academic Services: 08/31/04
d. Welfare and Security: 08/30/04
The minutes were approved without dissent.
5. The President called for approval of the minutes of Standing Committees of the Academic Senate which do not contain any action items, all of which have been posted on the web (see Attachment #5 below for web site listing of minutes of all Standing Committees)
a. Undergraduate Curriculum: 04/21/04; 04/28/04; 05/10/04; 06/16/04; 07/07/04; 07/28/04; 08/16/04; Study Abroad Subcommittee meeting minutes 03/22/04; 04/09/04
b. Student Activities: 04/28/04
The minutes were approved without dissent.
6. The President called on Chairs of Standing Committees of the General Faculty to present their committees’ annual reports for 2003-2004 (see Attachment #6 below for web site listing of the 2003-04 annual reports of all Standing Committees).
a. Michael Chang (in behalf of Michael Elliott) reported on the activities of the Faculty Benefits Committee. The major issues addressed during the year included the following: (1) Review of benefits provided by Georgia Tech compared to other universities has been finalized; a total of 392 public and private institutions were surveyed. The review suggests that the benefits provided by Georgia Tech compare favorably with those provided by other universities, except in two areas -- sabbatical leaves and domestic partner benefits. (2) Evaluation of options and concerns related to long-term care insurance; a recommendation is expected later this year. (3) Long-term disability; a technical problem with PeopleSoft needs to be resolved in order to enable 9-month academic year faculty to base their disability benefit on the number of months worked the previous year rather than defaulting to 9 months of coverage. (4) Medical Savings Plans; the contribution limits have been raised from $2,500 to $5,000 -- the maximum set by law. (5) Evaluation of the desirability of using “Flex Plans” to provide benefits; the committee recommended not to pursue this option at this time. (6) Vision Benefits; Georgia Tech does not currently offer a vision plan, except for the limited benefits provided through health care policies; a vision plan will be offered beginning with this Fall’s enrollment period. (7) Sabbaticals; of the 392 colleges surveyed, 250 indicated that they have some provision for sabbaticals. There is no Georgia Tech or University System policy that prohibits sabbaticals, but there are several barriers; chief among them are budgetary issues. The committee will examine these barriers to determine how they can be addressed and will report on this issue next year. (8) Domestic partner benefits; less than one third of the colleges surveyed provide such benefits. Georgia Tech is relatively progressive in this area; partner benefits are provided but they are fully paid by the employee, so that no State contributions are involved. Committee concluded that Georgia Tech is providing all the benefits it can provide under current policies of the Board of Regents and laws of the State of Georgia. Given the current budget climate, the committee decided not to pursue any changes in these benefits at this time.
A question was asked as to whether the committee had examined policies regarding paid maternity leaves. Chang indicated that the committee has not looked at this issue and that if there is a specific issue related to maternity leaves, it should be brought to the committee’s attention. A follow-up remark was made that it takes nearly two years to save enough time for a maternity leave, which may be difficult because of the need for more frequent medical appointments. Chang indicated that it may be appropriate to address this issue through the work/life initiatives undertaken by the committee, which include elder care for parents and grandparents, and childcare. The President commented that it is important to have family-friendly policies and that we will continue to work with the Board of Regents to maintain and improve the faculty benefits. He indicated that current benefits for graduate students do not match those offered by other universities, and that it is important to enhance those benefits as the budget improves.
b. Linda Thomas Mobley reported on the activities of the Faculty Honors Committee. The activities included revising the Call for Nominations, updating the webpage so that the call for nominations would be available on line, and soliciting nominations through publication of a notice in the Whistle that included the names of the awards, the names of committee members and the committee’s website address. A formal meeting was held on February 18, 2004 to review the selection process, and select the awards recipients. She listed the awards winners for 2003-04 (see annual report), and indicated that there was no recipient for the Outstanding Continuing Education Award. All nominees were informed of the outcome of the selection process. The committee also recommended to the President two finalists for the Distinguished Professor Award; all Awards were presented at the Faculty Honors Luncheon in April. The committee’s size has been increased this year based on the Statutes revision approved by the faculty last year. Professor Kirsten Ely (MGT) was elected chair for 2004-05. She indicated that this year’s call for nominations will be issued in January and encouraged faculty to submit their nominations; to reduce the amount of effort involved, supporting documentation from unsuccessful previous-year nominations can be resubmitted with updated nomination letters.
c. Charles Ume reported on the activities of the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee. The committee began the year with five open cases; three additional cases were received during the year for a total of eight cases. Seven cases were concluded and recommendations were made to the President; the eighth case was discussed by the committee and was found to be without merit. Two potential grievances were not filed after the two individuals met with the FSGC chair. The Committee met with Dr. Edward Thomas (GT Ombudsman) to become more familiar with the alternative dispute resolution process and its interaction with the grievance process. Dr. Gisele Welch (GTRI) was elected chair for 2004-05 and Dr. Jack Feldman (PSYCH) was re-elected as Secretary.
d. Ron Bohlander reported on the activities of the Statutes Committee. The Committee received a request from the Executive Board to review the proposed addition to the Faculty Handbook describing the Ombuds program (See item #3 above). The committee also received a request from the Executive Board and the SACS Accreditation Compliance Group to modify the Faculty Handbook to address several issues in order to meet the accreditation requirements. These included: (1) Assuring institutional effectiveness for all degree programs at all degree levels; (2) Verification of faculty qualifications (including part-time and adjunct faculty); (3) Formalizing faculty evaluations; (4) Training and supervision of Graduate Teaching Assistants; and (5) Enforcement of the “18-hour rule,” which requires the instructor of record to have at least 18 graduate semester hours in the discipline. The required modifications were developed in collaboration with the Executive Board and the SACS team and were recommended and accepted by the faculty at the February 24, 2004 and April 20, 2004 meetings. The committee has also initiated a project to update the faculty Handbook to improve its appearance and simplify the numbering scheme; significant progress has been made -- the committee expects to report to the faculty on this project later in the year.
e. Lynn Fountain reported on the activities of the Academic Services Committee. The Committee met six times during the academic year to discuss issues related to the infrastructure supporting teaching and research. Following up on work from the previous year, the committee focused on the issue of course scheduling and classroom space utilization. A report on this issue was presented to the faculty; it was recommended to expand course scheduling outside the 10AM to 2 PM block to enhance classroom utilization. Other topics covered at committee meetings included the new bookstore, housing, Student center renovation, and the Library. The Library subcommittee met once; additionally, the Director of Libraries met with the committee to discuss the library’s program for delivering content electronically.
A question was raised regarding progress in the area of class scheduling outside the 10-2 block. Fountain indicated that progress has been made, and that the number of students enrolled was nearly 400 more than expected. The President indicated that the situation has improved since we are now able to take some classrooms out of service to renovate them as funds become available. He stated that renovation of the historic district will continue building-by-building (versus room-by-room); the Swann building is currently being renovated, with the old CE building to follow. There is a good chance that we will receive $5M for a “minor project” renovation. We have an adequate number of small classrooms; however, the number of medium- and large-size classrooms is insufficient to meet the increased class sizes necessitated by the increase in student-to-faculty ratio. Fountain indicated that other scheduling issues are under discussion including the need for “dead hour” on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A question was asked as to whether the process of booking/sharing classrooms has been modified during the past year. Fountain indicated that the process was not changed; the Registrar invited faculty to contact her if there are any problems/issues related to this subject.
f. Frank Lambert reported on the activities of the Welfare and Security Committee. The Committee met nine times during the academic year. Members of the committee also served on the Campus Master Planning Committee, and Campus Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee. The Committee offered several recommendations to the Campus Master Planning Committee in the areas of parking, transportation, and security. At this time, there is no waiting list for issuance of parking permits. Cost escalation needs to be considered as existing lots are replaced with remote decks; the Parking Office has committed to attempt to hold the rates at a “reasonable level” for the next three years. It was recommended that the transportation system be upgraded so that it would take no more than 10 minutes from a parking deck to the building(s) it serves. A new plan to improve security in the parking decks will be implemented as funds become available. There is increased emphasis on improved lighting and placement of additional emergency call boxes throughout the campus. The committee also examined the issue of motorized carts use on campus; currently there are more than 80 motorized carts in use. The GT Police, and Parking and Transportation, together with others around campus are currently working on this issue; a policy will be formulated later this year. The committee also addressed the issue of campus crime; the goal is to inform and raise awareness to prevent all members of the campus community, particularly new students, from becoming crime victims. Lambert invited faculty members to forward their concerns and suggestions on matters of Welfare and Security to the committee.
The President stated that the next two parking decks to be constructed will be located in central campus (the Klaus building and the Undergraduate Learning Center). He indicated that the Alumni Association has been working with student parents to raise funds to enhance campus safety; they have raised nearly $100k per year which made it possible to enhance lighting and install more emergency call boxes around campus. The goal is to have emergency call boxes placed no more than 100 yards apart, so that one can always see and easily-reach one of the boxes anywhere on campus; we have not reached that goal yet. The President encouraged faculty to participate in the “Safety Walk” to identify areas in need of improvement, and requested that they report any non-functioning lights to the Physical Plant -- they guarantee to replace them within three days. The President stated that additional police officers have been hired, and that nearly all the 16 open slots in the GT Police Department have been filled. The GTPD has two police dogs (important in case of a bomb threat). A question was asked regarding the possibility of having safety presentations by the police department. Lambert indicated that GTPD Chief (Teresa Crocker) has been very active in that area and that she participates in orientation sessions for new students and faculty; several presentations are given each year. A comment was made that the GTPD has been very helpful; when called, they will provide an officer for special events.
7. The President called on Chairs of Standing Committees of the Academic Senate to present their committees’ annual reports for 2003-2004 (see Attachment #6 below for web site listing of annual reports of all Standing Committees).
a. Jo McIver (in behalf of Scott Wills) reported on the activities of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The Committee held 23 regular meetings during 2003-04; additional meetings on focused topics were held (General Education, Study Abroad, and Program review). New courses in 12 schools, four new minors, nine new or modified certificates, two new course designators, and one new degree (BS in Computational Media) have been approved. The Committee heard 932 student petitions and 12 personal appeals. This accounted for nearly 75% of the committee meetings (about 35 hours over the school year). The increase in the number of personal appeals has prompted the need to revise the petition and appeal process in future years. A new Subcommittee was formed to address ongoing refinement and assessment of General Education across the Institute. The Study Abroad subcommittee held seven meetings during the year. The committee conducted its first periodic reviews of existing degree programs; the schools of BME, EAS, ECE, ID, LCC, and MSE were reviewed.
A question was asked regarding the increase in the number of student petitions compared to last year. McIver indicated that the number of petitions this year (932) is about 30 more than last year.
b. Bill Green reported on the activities of the Graduate Curriculum Committee. The committee met 10 times during 2003-04; the petitions subcommittee met six times. Three new graduate degree programs were approved during the year (2 PhD and 1 MS). A total of 68 new courses were approved and 8 courses were deleted. The committee heard 140 student petitions, including six appeals; 21 were denied and 119 were approved. The number of appeals (six) has risen from two in 2002-03. The Committee completed reviews for three graduate programs (EAS, MSE, and ECE); three additional program reviews are pending. Program reviews are occupying an increasing fraction of the committee’s time.
c. Kent Barefield (in behalf of Paul Benkeser) reported on the activities of the Student Regulations Committee. The Committee met four times and took eight actions during the year (see annual report for a detailed list of committee actions). Three of the actions will impact teaching faculty: (1) the dates for mid-term grades and withdrawal from courses have been revised [a 25% increase in withdrawals from courses has been reported this term], (2) a time limit on the filing of an academic grievance has been added [to prevent filing of grievances long after a course had been completed], and (3) a “curriculum year” with common effective dates for curriculum changes has been established. Additionally, the committee spent a great deal of time discussing a proposed “grade substitution” policy; these discussions will be concluded this term.
d. Bill Johnson reported on the activities of the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee. The Committee met twice during the year; excused absences were granted to motor-sports team to participate in two competitions. The committee was relatively inactive this year, compared to last year, when an extensive study on grade inflation was completed.
e. Tom Morley (in behalf of Brent Carter) reported on the activities of the Student Activities Committee. The committee met five times during 2003-04; 11 new student organization charters were approved (currently there is a total of more than 300 chartered student organizations). The committee approved constitutional amendments and bylaws changes for seven student organizations. A subcommittee approved the student activity budget for the student government organizations [the budget is very tight this year, because of a large increase in CRC support]. The committee also approved changes to the code of conduct and disciplinary procedures for student organizations; these changes were approved by the faculty at the September 14 meeting.
f. Fred Andrew (in behalf of David Shook) reported on the activities of the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee. Eight cases were brought before the committee in 2003-04, which nearly equals the case load for previous years. Four of the cases involved academic misconduct, while the other four were non-academic. Seven appeals were denied and one (non-academic) was granted. In addition, the committee solicited seven volunteers to serve as outside members on unit-level grievance committees.
g. Gus Giebelhaus (in behalf of Cheryl Contant) reported on the activities of the Student Honor Committee. Following faculty approval, the committee was expanded last year to include 12 faculty members and nine students (6 undergraduates and 3 graduate students) in order to handle the case load and avoid a repeat of the “crisis” encountered two years ago; things are now working very well and the process is completely under control. A total of 299 cases were adjudicated during 2003-04 (down 16% from the previous year); of those, 282 cases were handled administratively (by the Dean’s Office), and the remaining 17 cases were heard by the Honors Committee. Of the 17 cases heard by the committee, 13 students were found responsible, and four were held not responsible. As a result, one student was expelled and 11 students were suspended for disciplinary violations; other sanctions were imposed in the other cases. The adjudicated cases include 5 in Architecture, 19 in Computing, 126 in Engineering, 8 in Management, 38 in Ivan Allen, and 100 in Sciences. Giebelhaus indicated that this will be the last year in which the Student Honor Committee will report such statistics; in the future, the statistics will be reported by the Academic Integrity Committee.
h. Jim McClellan reported on the activities of the Student Computer Ownership Committee. The committee met twice during 2003-04. The committee overseas the requirement that all Georgia Tech students own their own computer system and prepare the software/hardware specifications for the incoming freshman class. In the past, “small tweaks” were made in those requirements. The committee began examining the possibility of requiring a laptop (instead of either a desktop or a laptop); during the coming year, a proposal will be made to change the requirement to laptops. Recommendations and updates can be viewed on the committee’s website (http://www.sco.gatech.edu).
i. Tom Morley reported on the activities of the Academic Integrity Committee. The committee met five times during 2003-04. The committee prepared a document outlining sanctioning guidelines for adjudicating cases where students are sanctioned for academic integrity violations. The guidelines will assure consistency in the manner in which sanctions will be imposed.
8. The President called for any other business; hearing none, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 PM.
Secretary of the Faculty
October 21st, 2004
Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes:
a. 08/03-07/04: http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/CommittMin003-004.htm
b. 08/04-07/05: http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/CommittMin004-005.htm