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Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 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:

·         He said he hoped that all faculty members had taken the opportunity to tour the new Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.  It had received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification and it was possible this would later be advanced to Platinum.  Dr. Peterson said that there were about seven LEED certified buildings on campus, and there were another approximately twenty-five buildings that were built to LEED standards but were not yet certified.  The Clough Commons housed the chemistry, physics, and biology teaching labs for undergraduates, as well as numerous student services.  The building was open around the clock (with BuzzCard access after normal hours).

·         The President also commended the new North Avenue Dining Facility.  It was open to drop in dining as well as to meal plans. Other new facilities mentioned included the new Brock Football Practice Facility, and the Transportation Hub.  The Kessler Campanile had also been renovated as well as much of the campus steam distribution system and the Tech Walkway. A new 1.4 million gallon cistern provided water to the Campanile fountain and landscape irrigation needs around the Tech Green; this was the largest cistern in the southeast. 

·         Funding has been requested from the Board of Regents for an Engineered Biosystems Building complex (3-4 buildings) on Tenth St either side of State St.  Land available for expansion had also been increased at Technology Enterprise Park at Northside Drive and North Avenue due to new land grants from Georgia Power and Southern Company.

·         Georgia Tech has been tapped to host the first of four regional workshops to solicit public input to President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership program (on October 14, 2011).

·         President Peterson acknowledged that there had recently been two assaults on campus, the first on campus in 12-14 years.  At the same time, there were an additional three assaults in nearby Atlantic Station.  The administration has been very concerned and has been working closely with campus and Atlanta Police and Midtown Blue in seeking ways to reduce crimes against the campus community.  In other respects, there has been good news: Georgia Tech has increased the number of police officers by 25-28% in the past couple years.  Thefts and robberies have been reduced in this period by 67%.

2.   President Peterson asked for the minutes of the April 26, 2011 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.   Dr. Peterson called on Ms. Jeanne Balsam, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to present a second reading of a proposed change in Section 5.10 of the Faculty Handbook concerning faculty dismissals.  A handout comparing proposed new policy with existing policy was provided to the attendees as shown in Attachment #2.  Ms. Balsam reminded the faculty that these changes had been presented for a first reading at the April 26th meeting.  The driver for the change was the need to bring Georgia Tech policy into alignment with Board of Regents policy.  She explained that the list of reasons for dismissal was eliminated from Section 5.10.1 to avoid duplication of the same list given in Section 17.3.2.  The other change was to strike the preference for suspension with pay in Section 5.10.5 because that preference was not consistent with University System of Georgia (USG) standards.

Ms. Balsam moved that the recommended changes shown in Attachment #2 be accepted.  The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

4.      Ms. Balsam continued with a proposal for a change in Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook concerning intellectual property (IP) policies.  Again, attendees received a handout comparing proposed new policy with existing policy, as shown in Attachment #3a.  Ms. Balsam explained the proposal using a presentation in Attachment #3b.  The primary changes were to call for definite upfront assignment of IP by faculty to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) and to clarify student IP rights.  Students would own the IP they created except in certain defined cases.  Even when students owned their own IP, Georgia Tech would be granted a license for academic uses of the IP.  The new policy defined a new IP Advisory Committee and defined the Executive Vice President for Research as the administrator to receive any appeals of decisions about the handling of IP which GTRC would administer.

Ms. Balsam moved that the recommended changes shown in Attachment #3a be accepted.  The motion was seconded.  There were the following questions and comments:

·         Q.  Proposed Section 50.5 says “Students shall not be required to execute an agreement except as set forth in this policy under Section 50.5.B.  This policy shall, however, be applicable to them as provided in the General Catalog and Student Handbook.”  What did the Catalog and Student Handbook say?  Ans.  The Catalog and Student Handbook affirmed that students were subject to the IP policy in the Faculty Handbook.  Students would not ordinarily know to look in the Faculty Handbook for policies applicable to them, so the note in the Catalog and Student Handbook was to call attention to the applicable policy.  It wisely did not try to restate the policy, however, to avoid any conflict in statements. President Peterson noted that he had recently commissioned a task force to assemble all Institute policy into a central online library and to harmonize policies and eliminate duplications.  This task force would work to minimize confusion between policies applicable to students, faculty, and other constituencies on campus.  Dr. Ron Bohlander, Secretary of the Faculty, expressed strong support for policy harmonization in the long term.  However, he advocated that the changes to Section 50 proposed in this meeting be approved now to better protect all parties in the Institute.

·         Q. Would the license of student IP to Georgia Tech for academic purposes in Section 50.5 C interfere with GTRC’s ability to license IP produced by faculty and students to an outside party, with royalties returned to the Institute and the inventors.  Ans.  No, in the event that IP is produced by a team of faculty and students, the students would be asked to make an assignment of IP rights to GTRC under Section 50.5 B, and GTRC would proceed with licensing to appropriate third parties.  The purpose of Section 50.5 C was to provide a way for Georgia Tech to be able to catalog and showcase work that students prepared independently such as for their class work.

The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Balsam also took a moment to show off the new website for the Faculty Handbook which could be found at www.facultyhandbook,  Ms. Balsam noted that the new site was powered by Drupal, a content management system that had become a standard on campus.  To illustrate the importance of the policy task force, Dr. Peterson asked to see an example of a policy in the Faculty Handbook that applied more widely than just to faculty and should probably be moved to another section of Institute policy.  Dr. Bohlander brought up the smoking policy in Section 52 of the Faculty Handbook which was out of date and conflicted with a more recent statement of smoking policy in the Georgia Tech Human Resources Policy Manual.

5    The President then called on representatives of each of the General Faculty’s Standing Committees to present their annual reports and any minutes requiring approval.  There were no specific action items from these minutes that needed further approval.  In most cases the representatives followed closely the reports in the committees’ files on the faculty governance website noted in Attachment #4 below and so this text was not repeated here.  The following is an outline of the material presented and shows the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.  Any comments or questions are noted.

Standing Committees of the General Faculty

a.       Faculty Benefits – Mr. David Millard – Annual Report
Minutes: 2/7/11, 3/7/11, 4/4/11, & 8/29/11. No action items.

President Peterson commented on the Tech Wreck Break Camp mentioned in the report.  He said that an alternative was explored of providing a certain number of days of drop in emergency day care for children and elders needing care.  However, faculty preferred the camp format so that was selected.  The President said that the Provost was forming a task force to look at other opportunities to improve Tech’s policies and services in support of family friendly outcomes.  He said that plans were also converging toward an opportunity to provide a second day care facility that would enable Tech to offer about 100 more day care places to members of the campus.

b.      Faculty Honors – Dr. Jennifer Leavey – Annual Report
Minutes: 9/20/10 & 2/14/11. No action items.

c.       Faculty Status & Grievance – Dr. David Anderson – Annual Report

d.      Statutes – Ms. Jeanne Balsam  – Annual Report
Minutes 5/24/11 & 8/25/11. Action items dealt with in agenda items 3 and 4 above.

e.       Academic Services – Dr. Helena Mitchell  – Annual Report
Minutes: 10/6/10, 11/23/10, 12/15/10, 2/10/11, 3/10/11, & 4/7/11. No action items. 

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

Minutes: 9/14/10, 10/12/10, 11/9/10, 3/9/11, & 4/13/11. No action items.

In each of the above committee presentations, the presenter moved for the adoption of any listed minutes.  All were approved without dissent.

6.      The President then called on representatives of each of the Academic 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 #4 below and so this text was not repeated here.  The following was an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations. 

Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty

a. Undergraduate Curriculum – Dr. George Riley – Annual Report

Minutes: 7/12/11, 7/26/11, 8/16/11, 8/23/11, & 9/6/11

Action items: From 7/26: Office of Vice-Provost for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies – new course numbering pattern for internship for pay and internships for credit; Chemistry & Biochemistry – modifications in the BS in Chemistry-Biochemistry option and in the BS in Biochemistry providing some changes in course requirements + modifications in the BS in Chemistry-Business Option providing changes in course options + addition of a Business Option for the BS in Biochemistry with similar course requirements particular to this option as found in other College of Sciences cases + deactivate the Certificates in Biochemistry/Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, & Physical/Inorganic Chemistry + deactivate 2 courses. From 8/16: Biology – 2 new courses concerning teaching; INTA – 3 new courses; Psychology – new BS degree in Applied Psychological Science and a BS new degree in Cognitive Neuroscience; USG Council on General Education – approval of revised list of courses for the Global Perspectives overlay area in the new USG Core Curriculum.
Q.  Why were courses dropped?  Ans. Some were no longer needed; some were obsolete and possibly replaced by something new; and some were no longer feasible, say because the needed faculty members were no longer here.

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

Minutes: 9/1/11

Action Items: From 9/1: INTA – 1 new course; CoA-City and Regional Planning – new MS degree in Geographic Information Science and Technology; Public Policy – 1 new course; BME – new degree Master of Biomedical Innovation and Development; BME – 9 new courses; BME – modification to the external joint PhD with major in Biomedical Engineering with Peking University and Emory University bringing the curricula of the three universities into better alignment.

c. Student Regulations – Ms. Reta Pikowsky – Annual Report

d. Student Academic & Financial Affairs – Ms. Reta Pikowsky – Annual Report
Minutes 8/25/11

e. Student Activities – Ms. Stephanie Knight  – Annual Report

Minutes: 9/10/10, 10/1/10, 10/22/10, 11/19/10, 12/3/10, 1/25/11, 2/15/11, 3/8/11, 4/12/11, 4/26/11, 5/4/11, & 7/6/11

Action items: Approved all student activity charters and constitution revisions recommended by the committee as documented in their minutes and the annual report.  Also changed the Student Organizational Code of Conduct.
Q. Did approval for the formation of a new organization also involve the provision of space and funding?  Ans. No. Space and funding were handled separately if needed.  President Peterson explained that organizational budget requests were made to the Student Government Association who administered a fund for that purpose taken from student activities fees.  Q. How many student organizations were there?  Ans. About 400. 

f. Student Grievance & Appeal – Dr. Doug Flamming – Annual Report  Dr. Flamming, who served as the outgoing chair of the committee, introduced the new chair, Prof. Arnie Schneider, before giving his report.  He also thanked all the faculty and students who assisted with grievance processes. After the report, President Peterson pointed out that student grievances would only find their way to him in the appeals process if suspension or expulsion were involved.  Grade grievances would not be heard by the President’s Office.

g. Student Honor – Dr. Blake Leland – Annual Report Dr. Leland made a request of faculty members who would raise future honor code violations:  He asked that they please provide necessary background information about the assignment that was alleged to have been dealt with dishonestly – e.g. copies of the assignment or test, etc.  Secondly, it was very helpful if faculty members who lodged a complaint would attend the hearing or honor committee meeting addressing the complaint.

h. Student Computer Ownership – Ms. Lori Critz – Annual Report
Minutes: 8/31/10, 2/24/11, 3/1/11, & 3/18/11

i. Academic Integrity – Dr. Tom Morley – Annual Report

Minutes: 10/29/10 & 3/18/11. No action items.  Dr. Morley also stated that work continued on sanctioning models.

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.

7.      Dr. Peterson asked for any other business.  He noted that the Annual State Charitable Campaign was starting and Tom Horton from GTRI would be chairing Georgia Tech’s participation in that effort.  Last year Georgia Tech raised $313,000 and the goal for this year was $325,000.  For nine of the last eleven years, Georgia Tech had won the Governor’s Cup which recognizes the largest contribution per employee among large state agencies. 

Dr. Bohlander thanked the committees for their cooperation in assembling all the annual reports and minutes in a timely way. 

Q. The Office of Legal Affairs appeared to place some limits on faculty serving as expert witness.  What was the policy basis for this?  Ans. President Peterson offered to look into it.  [Note added by the Secretary:  Notes on the Office of Legal Affairs web site referred to Conflict of Interest Policies in Sections 10.9.2 and 38 of the Faculty Handbook.  Work as an expert witness was considered outside professional activity and disclosure and Institute permission was therefore required.]

Dr. Peterson offered his word of thanks to the faculty for the outstanding work they were doing in spite of challenging constraints imposed by the economy. He adjourned the meeting at 4:45 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

November 13, 2011




  1. Minutes of the April 26, 2011 meeting of the Academic Senate, Academic Faculty, and General Faculty.
  2. Proposed changes in Section 5.10 of the Faculty Handbook concerning dismissal of faculty
  3. Proposed changes in Section 50 of the Faculty Handbook concerning intellectual property

a)      Comparison of proposed new and existing policies

b)      Presentation.

  1. All annual reports and minutes may be found at