Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 3:00 pm

Student Center Theater


1.      Provost Bras opened the meeting at about 3:02 PM, stating that he was filling in for President Peterson who was attending the AAU Presidents’ Meeting in Washington.  Dr. Bras then provided the following remarks on matters of interest to the campus:

·         He noted that Georgia Tech was engaged in exciting developments in online education.  He encouraged discussion on this topic across the Institute.  A second Town Hall meeting would be held on this from 11 a.m. to noon in the Clough Commons on Thursday December 6.  Georgia Tech had so far listed five courses in the Coursera catalog.  One had started recently with 115,000 people registered.  Several proposals had been submitted by Georgia Tech faculty members to the Gates Foundation for support of online education development and decisions were pending. 

·         Commencement ceremonies at the end of the fall term would be held in the new McCamish Pavilion on campus.  Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby would be the speaker at the Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, December 15, and the President of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Ralph Cicerone, would be the speaker at the Friday evening Graduate Commencement.  An honorary degree would be presented to Mr. John Portman, distinguished architect in Atlanta, at the undergraduate ceremony.  Beginning with the December 2013 Graduate Commencement, the speaker would be the Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor recognized in the previous April awards ceremony.

·         The Provost reported on the latest enrollment statistics for the fall term:

o   Total enrollment 21,557.

§  Undergraduate students totaled 14,527.

§  Graduate student enrollment was 7,030.

o   Overall 52% were from Georgia.  66% of the undergraduates were from Georgia.

o   The freshman class had an average SAT 1394 and average GPA 3.89.

o   It was the most diverse freshman class with a §  48% increase in minorities.  Women represented 35% of the class.

·         Georgia Tech was celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Co-Op Program.  Dr. Bras presented some highlights:  50,000 students had participated over the years.  40% of the students were offered a job by the company they worked for as a co-op.  80% said the co-op experience helped them gain employment.

·         Work had begun to clear the site for the new Engineered Biosystems Building to be located at 10th St and Atlantic Drive.  It was anticipated that the building would be ready to occupy by last quarter of calendar 2015.

·         Executive Vice-President for Research, Dr. Steve Cross, was actively completing the formation of twelve clusters of research centers which would serve to synergize the work of more than 300 individual research centers across campus.  Each cluster would facilitate outreach to those outside Georgia Tech.  Clusters were being organized around topics including

o   Big Data

o   Bioengineering and Bioscience

o   Electronics and Nanotechnology

o   Manufacturing, Trade, and Logistics

o   Materials

o   National Security

o   Paper Science and Technology

o   People and Technology

o   Public Service, Leadership, and Policy

o   Robotics

o   Sustainable Infrastructure

o   Systems

·         Georgia Tech recently opened a new Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory in the research park southwest of main campus.  Large-scale studies of combustion would be carried out there. 

·         Dr. Bras reported that at the end of the last academic year, all of the strategic plan task forces made final reports and recommendations.  Some of the recommended projects were already being implemented and provided with resources.  Some initiatives were being combined to take advantage of synergies.  A new oversight group was being formed to watch over these implementations. 

2.   Provost Bras asked for the minutes of the April 24, 2012 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 without dissent.  

3.   Dr. Bras called on Ms. Hope Wilson, Chair of the Charitable Campaign, to explain the campaign this year.  Ms. Wilson used the slides in Attachment #2 to support her presentation.  The main part of the campaign would be conducted from October 15 to November 30 but contributions would be accepted up to the end of the calendar year.  She highlighted the importance of the contributions from the members of the University System of Georgia, and noted that Georgia Tech often had the highest contribution per employee as recognized by the award of the Governor’s Cup.  She challenged the Tech community to do even better this year.  She noted ways the faculty could help in slide 10.  Dr. Bras echoed Ms. Wilson’s encouragement to participate.

4.   The Provost then called on Ms. Mia Reini, Director of Compliance and Policy Management, and Dr. Ron Bohlander, Secretary of the Faculty, to give a report on progress in creating a central Policy Library for Georgia Tech.  Ms. Reini and Dr. Bohlander made use of the slides in Attachment #3 in telling their story.  The project to create the library was undertaken within Georgia Tech’s Strategic Plan and was part of our commitment to “relentlessly pursue institutional effectiveness.”  In 2010, a Georgia Tech Masters Series Executive Development Program team wrote a report on Policy Governance @Tech. The report included interviews with 38 policy stakeholders at Georgia Tech, detailed external benchmarking with 7 peer institutions, and examination of communications methods used by other institutions. From this field research, the Georgia Tech team developed several recommendations contained in the Policy Governance @Tech report. These recommendations were shared with Dr. Ron Bohlander and Ms. Jeanne Balsam because of their work to help manage Georgia Tech’s Faculty policies.  In 2011, President Peterson asked Dr. Bohlander and Mr. Pat McKenna, Vice President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management, to constitute an Institute Policy Task Force to develop an overall Institute policy governance framework for Georgia Tech. 

The Institute Policy Task Force was made up of faculty, administrators, and a student representative who considered the interests of faculty, students, and staff across the Institute. Ms. Balsam and Dr. Bohlander served for the faculty.  Mr. Eran Mordel, President of the SGA, represented the students.  This Task Force inventoried the current Institute policies; created an online, searchable Policy Library to serve as an authoritative source for all Institute policies; developed a common policy development and life cycle process through which Institute policies would be formulated, vetted, approved, adopted, published, communicated, maintained, reviewed, and updated.  This became in effect a Georgia Tech Policy on Institute Policies.  The same Institute resources that built the successful Drupal-based Faculty Handbook site prepared the online Policy Library.  Slide 5 showed that it now offered a one stop-shop for policies.  It was also fully searchable, utilized a standard infrastructure, and provided tools to better communicate and support policy developments.  The Faculty Handbook and student regulations could now be accessed through this site in addition to administrative policies and procedures.

Through this Task Force, faculty, staff, and students worked together to develop the Institute Policy Process and oversee implementation of the new Policy Library.  They would continue this collaboration using the Institute Policy Development & Life Cycle Process.  Both the Policy Library and Institute Policy Development & Life Cycle Process were modeled on the latest higher education policy best practices, including the Association of College & University Policy Administrators recommendations for 2012.  Georgia Tech’s policy governance process would make it one of the few higher education institutions to provide for systematic cross-comment between the faculty, student, and staff policy development processes.  Specifically, this would be accomplished through communication and partnership among the three committees handling Institute policy at Georgia Tech:  Faculty’s Statutes Committee for Faculty policy; Student Regulations Committee for Student policy; and a new Policy Steering Committee for Administrative policy.  The latter would be made up of faculty and student leaders and staff administrators.

The processes that the faculty has used to develop academic policies in the Faculty Handbook or new student regulations would not change except to add more support for communication, coordination, and partnership in policy development.  Roll out of the new Policy Library was scheduled for Monday, November 29, 2012.  A new Policy Steering Committee, with essentially the same membership as the Institute Policy Task Force, would have oversight after that for reviewing policy, looking for obsolescence, gaps, and overlaps on a periodic basis.  The URL for the Policy Library would be  Ms. Reini encouraged feedback. 

Dr. Bohlander also reminded the faculty that the Statutes Committee was working on a major revamp of the Faculty Handbook format which they planned to roll out in the scheduled November 27 meeting of the faculty.

5.      The Provost 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 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 was an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.

Standing Committees of the General Faculty

a.       Faculty Benefits --
Minutes: 12/5/11, 1/23/12, 2/27/12, 4/9/12 & 8/27/12 ... No action items.
Due to a last minute conflict, this report and approval of minutes was held over to the next meeting.

b.      Faculty Honors – Prof. Joel Sokol

c.       Faculty Status & Grievance – Prof. David Anderson

d.      Statutes – Ms. Jeanne Balsam
Minutes 4/17/12, 4/24/12, 5/31/12, 6/19/12, 7/24/12, & 9/17/12.  No action items.

e.       Academic Services – Dr. Amy D’Unger, 2012-13 Chair filling in for the 2011-12 Chair, Dr. Helena Mitchell
Minutes: 8/31/11, 9/29/11, 10/26/11, 11/16/11, 12/14/11, 1/24/12, 2/14/12, 3/13/12, 5/15/12, & 7/31/12.  No action items.

f.       Welfare & Security – Mr. Bob Pikowsky filling in for the 2011-12 chair, Prof. Margaret Kosal

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

6.      The Provost 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 – Prof. Pradeep Agrawal, 2012-13 chair

Minutes: 7/24/12, 7/27/12, 8/14/12, 8/21/12, 9/4/12, 9/18/12, 10/2/12

Action items: From 7/24: Public Policy & College of Business – modification in the Minor in Leadership Studies involving changes in course requirements and options with some new courses and an internship; MSE – 1 new course; Me – 1 new course + a modification to the BSME degree involving new course options and a new optional concentration in Mechanics of Materials.  From 8/14: INTA – 1 new course; General Education Subcommittee – approval of certain courses (and denial of others) to satisfy USG General Education requirements.  From 9/4: Public Policy & College of Business – further clarification of the modification in the Minor in Leadership Studies approved in the 7/24 meeting; Public Policy – modification to the Minor in Law, Science, and Technology and to the Certificate in pre-Law involving course requirements; CoA-Building Construction – 1 new course, 1 course deactivated, and a modification to the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction involving a course change requested for compliance with accreditation; Biology – modification in the Minor in Energy Systems bringing it in line with a campus-wide minor in this topic with cross-disciplinary course requirements and a capstone project. From 10/2: Appl. Physiology – 1 new course; Public Policy – change the name of the Minor in Philosophy of Science and Technology to the Minor in Philosophy, and a similar change to the name of a corresponding certificate to Certificate in Philosophy; ME – change in the process of changing major into Mechanical Engineering raising the standards for such a change except for students who started as freshmen at Georgia Tech and are still within their first 2 semesters (or 3 if they start in the summer); ISyE – change in the process of changing major into Industrial and Systems Engineering raising the standards for such a change in a way similar to the above; Psychology – minor change in the course requirements for a BS in Psychology.

Prof. Agrawal moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items.  All were approved without dissent.

b.      Graduate Curriculum – Prof. Jonathan Clarke, 2011-12 chair, and Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Secretary. 

Minutes: 9/6/12, 9/13/12, 10/4/12

Action Items: From 9/6: CoA-City Planning – approval of a modified proposal for an MS in Geographic Information Science and Technology degree involving a small change to the credit hours required.  From 9/13: Office of Research Compliance – Requirement for Master’s degree students to complete Responsible Conduct in Research training deferred from fall 2012 to fall 2014; Public Policy – modification of the Certificate in Public Policy adding to the list of elective course options; Business – 1 new course; CoA-Building Construction – 1 new course; CoA-Architecture – 10 new courses & 4 courses deactivated in fall 2013.  From 10/4: Appl. Physiology – modification to the MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics involving course requirements.

Ms. Pikowsky moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items.  All were approved without dissent.

c.       Student Regulations – Prof. Chuck Parsons, chair

Minutes: 9/15/11. 10/6/11, 11/10/11, 12/1/11, 8/30/12
Action items: From 10/6:  Addition to Exam Guidelines - “Students will have the full two hours and fifty minutes to complete the final, unless otherwise stated on the syllabus.  Students must be notified of any changes to the duration of the final exam at least two weeks before the first day of Finals Week.”   From 11/10:  Change to Section VI. F. of student regulations concerning Change of Major - "3.  Students who change their majors must complete the degree requirements in the Catalog that was effective for the term in which the change of major became official, or any subsequent Catalog."   From 12/1:  Change Catalog Section V.C., “Grade Substitution”) should add:  “6.  This policy is not petitionable.” (although the Registrar could consider unusual circumstances arising from student illness or other misfortune); change the Catalog Section V.A.2 to read:  “2.  The following grades will be used in the cases indicated and will not be included in the calculation of scholastic average:  S – satisfactory performance in a course, U – unsatisfactory performance in a course, V – assigned when the course has been audited; no credit given; and implies no academic achievement on the part of the student.”; addition to the Catalog, Section VI.D (Scholastic Regulations/Maximum Schedule Load): “5.  During Phase I registration, the Institute reserves the right to limit undergraduate students to 18 credits maximum for Fall and Spring terms and graduate students to less than 21 hours depending upon the needs of the program or School.”  This last item elicited comments and questions:

Prof. Parsons explained that the purpose of this limit on registration to 18 credit hours was to prevent students from purposely registering for more than they intended to take simply to preserve options while they had not fully decided on their best set of courses.  Some students also registered for courses just to hold slots in classes that filled up fast but with the intent to release them later to friends.

Q. Could the 18 credit hour limit be even lower? Ans. Ms. Pikowsky (Registrar) answered that the 18-hour limit was recommended by a Registration Task Force (which included students, faculty, and academic advisors).  Students on the task force advocated for at least 18 hours to give them some flexibility.  She said she felt this limit was helping. 

Q. What was the motivation for having a limit?  Ans. Prior to the imposition of this limit, Ms. Pikowsky said it was noted that some students with early registration times would sign up for courses they never intended to take so that they could release them later for friends who had later registration times in the system.  This unfairly created a non-level playing field in signing up for popular courses that filled up easily.

Comment: Provost Bras encouraged the Registrar’s Office to find a way of solving this administrative issue without limiting the number of hours for which a student could register because a few students actually could handle more hours.  Response:  Ms. Pikowsky said the Task Force would be meeting again and would look at this afresh.  

Q.  Was there any way for a student to get special permission to register for more than the limit? Ans. Yes, a graduating student could make a request to the Registrar for a waiver.  A suggestion was made that if any student could seek such permission that would be a way of accommodating exceptional students who could handle a high credit hour load.

The consensus was to go ahead and take a vote on approval of the minutes and action items now, and then revisit them later if a better system could be devised.  Prof. Parsons moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items.  All were approved without dissent.

d.      Student Academic & Financial Affairs – Prof. Craig Tovey

e.       Student Activities – Mr. Bruce Henson

Minutes: 9/8/11, 10/21/11, 11/4/11, 12/2/11, 1/25/12, 2/15/12, 2/29/12, 3/14/12, 3/28/12, 4/11/12, & 4/18/12

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

Mr. Henson moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items.  All were approved without dissent.

f.       Student Grievance & Appeal – Prof. Arnie Schneider

g.      Student Honor – Profs. Blake Leland and David Bucknall.  In addition to making his report, Prof. Leland thanked the active members of the committee and also all faculty members who had been willing to go through the student code of conduct and honor process which does require some patience and trust.  He said he had come to realize how important it was for faculty members to make their expectations very clear for student performance.  Given the tremendous cultural diversity on campus, it was very easy for misunderstandings to give rise to cases where expectations were not met because they were not understood.

h.      Student Computer Ownership – Ms. Lori Critz
Minutes: 9/15/11, 2/15/12, 9/12/12.  Ms. Critz reminded the faculty that the student computer ownership guidelines were posted at

Ms. Critz moved for the adoption of the listed minutes.  All were approved without dissent.

i.        Academic Integrity – Prof. Tom Morley

Minutes: 11/1/11. Action item: Change in the statement of the Sanctioning Model clarifying that indirect effects of sanctions are not covered by the model itself.

Prof. Morley moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action item.  These were approved without dissent.

4.      Dr. Bras closed with a few more items of note:

·         Homecoming would be happening later in the week of this meeting.

·         The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were recently announced for 2012-13, and Georgia Tech placed 25th overall in the world, and 5th in engineering among all US universities ranked.

·         Budgets within Georgia Tech were in place and better than last year. 

·         Dr. Bras noted recent news reports which raised the possibility that future University System of Georgia formula funding might take into account retention and graduation rates in deciding the level of funding to each institution.

·         An arts festival was being planned for around the first week in April, 2013.

·         Searches were underway for two Deans, for the Colleges of Architecture and Science.  Dr. Bras encouraged faculty members to submit names of possible candidates.

·         Georgia Tech’s second day care center recently opened. 

·         The Campus Climate survey would be completed and reported soon.

·         Dr. Bras mentioned that this was the beginning of his third year at Georgia Tech and it was a good time to be here.  He commended students for their strong support for intellectual programming such as the recent lecture by Dr. John C. Mather, Nobel Laureate.

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

Dr. Bras adjourned the meeting at about 4:50 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

November 19, 2012




  1. Minutes of the April 24, 2012 meeting of the Academic Senate, Academic Faculty, and General Faculty.
  2. Report on the 2012 Charitable Campaign.
  3. Report on the development of a new Policy Library for Georgia Tech
  1. All annual reports and minutes may be found at