Minutes of SAFAC meeting, August 25 2011

11am-noon, Poole Board Room


Attending:  Reta Pikowsky, Greg Nobles, Shinjini Das, Craig Tovey, Sue Allen, Sonit Bafna.


1.     The second Tuesday of each month, from 11:00 to 12:00 was chosen as the regular meeting time.  Additional meetings will be scheduled as needed.

2.    For the next meeting, September 13, Craig will ask Paul Kohn to attend to discuss undergraduate admissions and financial aid.   Transfers are up by 200, making it hard to maintain the out-of-state fraction of students at 40%.  The enrollment plan and the transfer policy must be coordinated better.

3.    The committee reviewed the SAFAC charter from section 5.6.10 of the faculty statutes. The committee’s duties include annual reviews of academic advising, academic honors and prizes, academic standing policies, student admission, readmission, and financial aid, and the counseling and career planning and orientation programs.

4.     Reta reported on the academic standing policies.  Georgia Tech has implemented the verification of lawful presence, as required by Georgia or the Board of Regents. This has affected only a handful of students to date.   There is a minor academic standing discrepancy.

5.    There was discussion about academic and ``life’’ advisement. Many students are not aware of the advising resources available at Tech.  The student information system may not have any information about academic advising. This lack should be addressed.  Students receive little career advisement or “life mentoring” from faculty.  Schools at Tech have shifted course advisement from faculty, who often know too little to give good advice, to professionals.  This shift was necessary, but the second tier “life counseling” got lost along the way.  This issue should be discussed with Dana Hartley and Vince Pedicino when academic advising is reviewed.

6.    Academic Honors consist of the Dean’s List, and Faculty Honors (which are honors given to top students at graduation).  It will be straightforward to review these.  However, academic prizes comprise a huge, decentralized set.  Doubt was expressed that it would be feasible even to identify all of these.

7.    The committee will ask Gail Potts to discuss graduate admissions and financial aid.  Ralph Mobley (head of Career Services) and Dr. Gerardo will be asked to discuss counseling and FACET, respectively.  There may have been too many FACETs run last summer given space constraints.

8.    Reta suggested that the committee check all intercollegiate travel schedules soon.  Absence requests for days during finals week continue to be troubling.

9.    As chair for last year, Craig chaired this meeting. Selecting a chair was discussed.  It was suggested that the committee have a vice-chair as well, who would function as a chair-in-training and assume the chair in the following academic year.  Craig will send an email to the committee members to see who is interested in serving in these positions.  Craig is willing to continue as chair if needed.