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Thursday, October 14, 2010, 3:00 pm

Student Center Theater


1.      President Peterson opened the meeting at about 3:00 PM and provided the following remarks on matters of interest to the campus:

·         Georgia Tech has filled the position of Vice President for Institute Diversity:  Dr. Archie Ervin was named to this post, after a distinguished career most recently as associate provost for diversity and multicultural affairs at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  President Peterson indicated Dr. Ervin planned to start in his new position at Georgia Tech on January 1, 2011.

·         A search committee would be named soon for a Dean of Engineering following the announced retirement of the current Dean Don Giddens. 

·         President Peterson briefed the faculty on the submission of a proposed engineering degree program to the Board of Regents (BoR) by the University of Georgia.  This was a proposal to offer undergraduate degrees in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, in addition to other areas of engineering now offered but which do not significantly overlap with Georgia Tech’s offerings.  Georgia Southern has also submitted a proposal to offer these degrees.  The UGA proposals were on the agenda to be heard at the October meeting of the BoR and those from Georgia Southern in November.  At the request of the Governor, consideration of the UGA proposal has been postponed until November.  President Peterson reported he had sent a letter to the Board expressing concerns about the need for these programs, the best way to meet those needs, and the cost of starting new engineering programs (among the most costly disciplines to support).  

Q. How big a program was being proposed and what were the budget implications?  Ans. President Peterson reported that each program was proposed to serve about 500 students (quite small programs as compared with those at Georgia Tech).  The University of Georgia was not asking for more funds to accomplish this, and Georgia Southern indicated they needed $2.5 million per year in additional funds to support the program. 

Q. Did Southern Polytechnic State University offer regular engineering degrees?  Ans. Yes, but only through their night program.

Q. Would the UGA program only be limited to undergraduates?  Ans. In the long run, that seemed unlikely.

·         The BoR passed a policy change for five institutions in the system (Georgia Tech, UGA, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia, and Georgia College and State University (in Milledgeville)) who presently cannot admit all qualified applicants.  The new policy would prohibit these institutions from enrolling any illegal immigrants in the future.  There were presently about 27 such students among 330,000 in the University System of Georgia (USG); those already enrolled would be grandfathered.  Dr. Peterson indicated that Tech has ascertained that four such students have been enrolled at Georgia Tech.  In the future, the application process would be amended to help implement the policy and provide the appropriate supporting documentation. 

·         President Peterson spoke in support of maintaining a position whereby the research universities of the region could continue to attract top-notch scientists.  In the biosciences area, a critical issue was possible State regulatory limits on stem cell research.  Dr. Peterson said there were faculty members at Georgia Tech presently working on adult and embryonic stem cell research.

·         The President said that Georgia Tech had not yet received a budget from the state.  The administration had been asked to put together contingency plans for budget reductions of 4, 6, 8 and 10 percent budget reductions.  The Georgia Tech administration planned to distribute budgets to operating units by the end of the month, making its best estimate of State requirements if it hasn’t heard for sure.  The President stated that increased revenue was expected to offset reductions from the State so that academic units should not see much if any decrease in the end.  A conservative approach to allocations would be taken so that a need for progressive reductions would be unlikely later in the year.  Dr. Peterson predicted that the budgetary process for FY 2012 would be difficult because federal stimulus money would no longer be available.

·         Dr. Peterson said that the capital campaign would be formally announced in November along with the faculty-staff component.  The campaign would run through December 2015 and seek to raise $1.5 billion.  $914 million has been raised so far toward this goal. 

·         The President also reported that several of the colleges had entered into implementation planning in relation to the Institute’s strategic plan.  At an Institute level, plans were shaping up as well.  For example an agreement was reached with the Woodruff Arts Center in which Georgia Tech would contribute $40 thousand to the Center and a Georgia Tech student would then be able to get a season pass to any of the programs at the center for $20.

·         Georgia Tech recently created a presence in the country of Panama through which Georgia Tech’s Logistics Supply Chain Institute would deliver research and educational programs relating to impacts that would come about from the expansion of the Panama Canal.  The Panamanian government was providing $1.5 million per year for five years in support of this program.  The Vice-President of Panama was an alumnus of Georgia Tech.  Steve McLaughlin, Vice-Provost for International Initiatives, has been assessing Georgia Tech’s strategy for global initiatives like this.  As a general rule, Georgia Tech has considered having a presence outside of Atlanta when such a thing would enable it to do something important that it could not do inside Atlanta.

2.      President Peterson asked for the minutes of the April 27, 2010 meeting to be approved.  He indicated that the minutes were posted on the faculty governance web site and no additions or corrections had been received. (See Attachment #1 below for web site reference).   The minutes were approved unanimously.  

3.      The President then called on representatives of each of the faculty’s Standing Committees to present their annual reports and any minutes requiring approval.  Explicit approval of the faculty for specific action items was also sought where required.  In most cases the representatives followed closely the reports in the committees’ files on the faculty governance website noted in Attachment #2 below and so this text will not be repeated here.  The following is an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.

Standing Committees of the General Faculty

a.       Faculty Benefits (Dr. Bettina Cothran) – Annual Report
Minutes: 4/12/10, 5/3/10, 8/30/10, 9/20/10. No action items.

b.      Faculty Honors (Dr. Jennifer Leavey) – Annual Report
Dr. Leavey noted that some awards received many more nominations than others.  The committee was disappointed there were relatively few nominations for the teaching awards this year.  There were so few in the case of the DLPE award that it was not given.  It was also apparent that some schools were much more active than others in making nominations.  Marketing to the schools would be increased.  She asked faculty members to get more involved, particularly in units that made few nominations for the 2010 awards.  The nomination forms for 2011 would be shorter and easier to use, she promised.  She also asked for help in securing permanent funding for the junior faculty undergraduate research mentoring award.

c.       Faculty Status & Grievance (Dr. Gary Parker) – Annual Report
Dr. Parker introduced the 2010-11 chair, Dr. Paul Neitzel. 

d.      Statutes (Dr. TyAnna Herrington) – Annual Report

e.       Academic Services (Dr. Cam Tyson) – Annual Report
Minutes: 9/3/09, 12/8/09, 2/23/10, 9/2/10.  No action items.
Dr. Tyson introduced Dr. Helena Mitchell as the chair for 1010-11 and Dr. Amy D’Unger as secretary.  Dr. D’Unger is also president of Georgia Tech’s Academic Advisors Network.  Dr. Tyson urged the faculty to pay special attention to students and fellow faculty members who may be experiencing extreme stress.  He cited a case of a recent suicide and thanked administration, staff and colleagues for their support through the trying events surrounding this incident.

f.       Welfare & Security (Mr. Bob Pikowsky) – Annual Report

Minutes: 2/10/10, 3/10/10, 4/21/10. No action items.
A question was asked if Georgia Tech should charge less for parking privileges to those on campus who earn less.  Mr. Pikowsky said he believed there was a consensus that all should pay the same for the same service. 

Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty

a.       Undergraduate Curriculum (Dr. George Riley) – Annual Report
Dr. Riley observed that Georgia Tech was not represented in University System of Georgia deliberations on new general education requirements. Not surprisingly, the requirements were not a good fit to Georgia Tech curriculum constraints.  Waiver requests were made to resolve identified conflicts and approvals were expected.

Minutes: 7/13/10, 8/10/10, 8/24/10, 9/7/10, 9/21/10, 10/5/10

Action items: From 7/13: BME – modification of the BS in Biomedical Engineering degree requirements changing a minimum grade standard for 2 courses; CEE – 1 new course & modification of the BS in Environmental Engineering degree, revising course requirements; LCC – modification of the BS in Science, Technology and Culture degree, revising grade requirements in required courses; Economics – new Certificate in Economics for GT students in majors other than economics, with course requirements as specified.  From 9/7: HTS – 3 new courses and modification of the BS in History, Technology and Society degree, with additional specifications on required course selections; Chemistry & Biochemistry – 2 new minors, one in Chemistry and one in Biochemistry, with course and credit hour requirements specified; LCC – modification in the BS in Science, Technology and Culture – Biomedicine and Culture Option, changing the course requirements for this Option, and also a modification to the Minor in Film and Media Studies providing additional course options to satisfy requirements.  From 10/5: CoC-CS: 1 new course.

b.      Graduate Curriculum (Dr. Julie Babensee) – Annual Report

Minutes: 9/2/10

Action Items: From 9/2: CoC-CS – new dual degree with Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs en Electrotechnique et Electronique (ESIEE) where the degree here would be MSCS, and in ESIEE, Diplôme d’Ingénieur, and where requirements for degrees at both institutions are specified; ChBE – 1 new course; Management – 2 new courses, modifications of the MBA degree and the MBA with Dual Degree Option featuring changes in required courses, and modification of the MS degree with major in Management documenting course requirements; adoption of a policy to categorize graduate students by the ultimate degree they are seeking even though an intermediate degree may also be sought.  Designation of PhD student is not the same thing as a designation as a PhD candidate; approval of Program Reviews in LCC, EAS, Chemistry & Biochemistry, MSE, Paper Science and Engineering, Biology, and ECE.

c.       Student Regulations (Dr. Jeff Streator) – Annual Report

d.      Student Academic & Financial Affairs (Dr. Chris Ippolito for Dr. Augustine Esogbue, chair) – Annual Report

Minutes: 9/3/09, 10/08/09, 11/12/09, 1/28/10, 2/25/10, 3/18/10, 4/22/10.  No action items.

e.       Student Activities (Mr. Bruce Henson) – Annual Report

Minutes: 8/28/09, 10/16/09, 11/6/09, 11/20/09, 12/4/09, 1/20/10, 2/10/10, 3/10/10, 4/28/10, 5/7/10, 7/9/10, 7/16/10, 7/23/10

Action items: Approval of all student activity charters and constitution revisions recommended by the committee as documented in their minutes and the annual report.

f.       Student Grievance & Appeal (Dr. Doug Flamming) – Annual Report
Dr. Flamming thanked John Stein, Dean of Students, as well as faculty and administration participants for support to the important efforts of the committee to ensure fairness and just deliberations.  He stated for the record that every student had a right to file a grievance and must have a fair and predictable learning environment.  Continued work by the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee could help ensure these things.  In response to a question, Dr. Flamming said that most of the grievances they heard were about grades.  In response to another question, he said he did not know how the rate of grievances at Georgia Tech compared with that at other universities.

g.      Student Honor (Dr. Carol Senf) – Annual Report
Dr. Senf noted that 575 cases were adjudicated in the 2009-10 academic year, up significantly from the previous year which had 321 cases.  There were 322 cases the year before that, so last year represented a spike in cases.

h.      Student Computer Ownership (Dr. Jonathan Giffin) – Annual Report
Dr. Giffin introduced Dr. Lori Critz, chair for 2010-11.  In answer to questions, Dr. Giffin said that the requirement for students to have laptop computers began around 2007.  Another question concerned whether the committee could encourage more electrical outlets be installed in convenient places in classrooms, and Dr. Giffin indicated the committee had no budget for that but could in principle advocate for such improvements.  Dr. Giffin observed that few professors seemed to plan for laptop use as part of class exercises (other than for taking notes or browsing the web).

Minutes 9/9/10, 10/29/10.

i.        Academic Integrity (Dr. Robert Kirkman) – Annual Report
Dr. Kirkman introduced Dr. Tom Morley as the chair for 2010-11.

Minutes: 9/11/09, 10/9/09.  No action items.


In each of the above committee presentations, the presenter moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items (if any).  All were approved without dissent.


4.      Dr. Peterson asked for any other business.  Dr. Bohlander thanked the committees for their cooperation in assembling all the annual reports and minutes in a timely way. 

Dr. Flamming asked about a practice in which a student was paid by an outside company to prepare notes of lectures and offer them for sale.  Was this permitted or legal?  Dr. Herrington cited recent cases in which such offers of notes for a few were ruled a violation of copyright.  A suggestion was made to refer this to the Academic Services Committee so they could recommend ways to discourage this practice.

Dr. Peterson announced updates to Georgia Tech’s non-discrimination policies, such that gender identity was now covered for protected from discrimination.  In addition, partner benefits would now be made available to students to an extent analogous to those previously available to employees.  For all students, faculty, and staff, partner benefits were now consistent with the maximum allowed under Georgia law.  State funds could not be used for this.

He also stated that Georgia Tech had increased the number of public safety officers about 20% over the past year and a half.  Atlanta police assigned to the area around the campus had also increased.  Crime rates were down as much as 35% in some categories. 

Dr. Peterson noted that the freshman class was the best qualified and most diverse ever.  There was a 53% increase in African Americans, and a 63% increase in Hispanics.  A record 37% of the freshman class members were women.

The Georgia Tech Charitable Campaign has been launched for the next year.  Last year Georgia Tech won the Governor’s Cup for the highest percentage of individuals pledging to the campaign; this was the eighth time in the past ten years that Georgia Tech achieved this honor. 

Dr. Peterson told the faculty he would welcome their input on any of the topics covered at the meeting. 

Dr. Peterson adjourned the meeting at about 5 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

November 12, 2010




  1. Minutes of the April 27, 2010 meeting of the Academic Senate, Academic Faculty, and General Faculty.
  2. All annual reports and minutes may be found at