Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee
Friday, October 9, 2012
Present: Pikowsky (Registrar), Savla (Graduate Student), de Catanzaro (Library), Wang (Library), Tovey (ISyE), Das (Undergraduate Student), Allen (COE)
Visitors: Cozzens (VProvost, Graduate Education & Faculty Affairs), Kohn (VProvost, Enrollment Services)
Note: All action items in these minutes require approval by the Academic Senate.
1. Dr. Tovey was elected Chair. Reta Pikowsky, Registrar, will continue to serve as the Committee’s secretary.
2. The committee members were asked to think about possible topics for pro-active attention this year. There seem to be many issues that would fall into the Committee’s purview that warrant attention and possible recommended actions.
Committee members identified the following as areas of concern and possible action or recommendation:
· Review and ask for an explanation of student fees that have gone up significantly and that are presenting a new financial challenge for students
§ Invite the proper administrator to a meeting
§ Ask for a review of the fees
§ Ask for an explanation of how the fees generated are used
· What appears to be a growing gap in financial aid – costs are going up and students’ ability to pay is shrinking
· Faculty-student ratio in some programs has reached critical levels and if some action isn’t taken, quality will likely suffer
· The committee needs to continue its work to make its own procedures and policies more consistent and well documented
· The likelihood of increased engagement of alumni and faculty in making decisions about who is selected for our incoming freshman class
§ Other changes might also ensue such as requiring interviews
· Future of transfer student recruitment, pathways, and enrollment, and possible changes to how, when, changes of major are allowed
· Is there a new policy needed to guide change of major in general?
· Is there a role for SAFAC to play in the Complete College Georgia Program?
· Should the committee review recent reports on academic advising to determine current status, whether there are areas of concern, and perhaps recommend future action?
· Ask the Statutes Committee to review the charge of this Committee and modernize it to better serve the campus and its students (it is likely the charge was created when Tech was much smaller and much less complex)
· Review the class attendance policy and the increased use of clickers or other devices to record student presence in class (this may become an issue at the Federal level as well)
· Ensure a central repository of all SAFAC minutes and documents (see web site at: http://www.facultygovernance.gatech.edu/CommittMin012-013.htm)
· Develop a communication plan for making sure that students, faculty, and staff are aware of how excused absences are considered and approved (both for faculty-sponsored groups and individual students)
· Graduate student concerns including:
§ Counseling Center services and the suicide rate among graduate students
§ Making everyone aware of the “hot” email address for the Dean of Students in case there is concern about a student
§ Career services for graduate students, stepping up efforts
§ Review and rethinking of orientation
§ Search for new director of graduate admissions and rethinking many related processes
3. Committee members were asked to review the latest draft of the excused absences procedures document and make suggestions via email or be prepared to discuss at the next meeting. The changes do not involve the policy itself, but rather updates the procedures.