GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

The Executive Board

MINUTES

Meeting of January 15, 2002

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building

 

 

Members Present: Abdel-Khalik (ME); Hall (Bio); Henry (OSP); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Mark (CoC); Marr (Psy); McGuire (LCC); Swank (GTRI);  Wardi (ECE); Welch (GTRI); Clough (Pres.); Chameau (Provost); Alexander (Staff Rep); Kavanaugh (U. Stu.); Thomas (SoF)

 

Members Absent: Allen (Arch); Boyd (Stu Servcs); Estes (EDI);  Richards (GTRI); Childress (G. Stu)

 

Visitors: Bob McMath (Provost Office); Joseph Hoey (Porovost Office);  Joseph Hughes (ECE)

 

 

1.                  Said Abdel Khalik, Chair, opened the meeting at 3:00 PM announcing that the President would arrive later due to a delayed flight. He asked for approval of the Minutes of the Board meeting of November 27, 2001, with minor corrections identified by Jean Swank. This was approved without dissent.

2.                  The Chair called on Joseph Hoey to discuss the activities of the “Institute Review Committee for Assessment of Academic Programs. This body had been set up by the Board last summer.

Hoey reviewed the composition of the Committee that includes representatives of all Colleges and a member from each of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Committee. In the present year they will review seven programs; College of Computing, Architecture, Industrial Design, DuPree College of Management, ISyE, History Technology and Society , and Psychology. The reviews are to be in accordance with the Board of Regent’s periodic review policy. Meetings in the Fall were devoted to determining the program-review process. There was a “kick-off” meeting with each program’s representatives and there are plans for an oral review of all programs on April 15th.

A set of criteria has been established which will fulfill the requirements of the BoR and also those of SACS. It is recognized that Professional reviews (e.g. ABET) performed in many units will have much of the required information. Professional review documentation will be referred to in the context of the Board of Regents review, through an “index”, rather than having duplicate write-ups of the same material. A general “template” for the review process will be created where many of the data fields may be populated with information created from files of administrative units. External reviewers will assess each of the programs and write a final report.  At the end of the year the committee will review the outcome and prepare plans for the next year.

Welch asked who would decide whether the material from an existing Professional review be satisfactory for the BoR mandated review. Hoey stated that the representative from the relevant College would negotiate with the unit to facilitate cross-referencing. In response to a question on the schedule for the process, Hoey stated that they plan to review all units before the next SACS visit in 2004; thereafter each unit will be reviewed on a 5 to 7 year schedule. Units had voiced two major concerns. First, the process involved a large amount of work. The committee is taking steps to reduce the burden. The second concern was how to juggle the BoR and Professional review schedules; frequently they are different. The Committee will alleviate this problem by careful indexing of the professional review criteria to the BoR criteria. Hughes reminded the Board that these reviews are a source of information that allows the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to carry out its assessment duties; the activity provides a consolidated approach to the whole review and assessment process.

Hoey stated that he would like to report again to the Board in the Fall, after the Committee had digested the work of the first year.

President Clough pointed out that for SACS there were two more things to be done. Change must be implemented as a result of the review, and the results of the changes must be assessed.

 

3.   President Clough was invited to comment on the present State of the Institution:

(a) The Legislature is now in session and considering first, the “amended budget” which deals with the surplus of the previous year. The Governor’s recommendation to the Legislature includes significant capital spending. For Tech this would fund the Advanced Computing Building at $30M to which would be added gift funding and revenue funding for a parking-garage component. The budget would also include good funding for the Georgia Research Alliance at $30M. Funding for Yamacraw is good for facilities and research but will slow down on faculty hiring; this slow-down is not a problem for Tech. Poor funding is expected for Maintenance and Repair activities.

(b) Proposals for continuing funding in FY 2003 will be announced later this week. While conditions are not good, Georgia will come out well in comparison with other States. We will not lose momentum.

(c) The Chancellor will address the Senate and Academic Faculty meeting of April 23rd.

(d) A reform movement is under way in the NCAA. This will have a small general impact on Tech but we will need to be concerned with our graduation rates. It has been reported that Tech’s athletic graduation rate is only 33 percent. This is misleading since it refers only to a single year of the football program. This simple number does not reflect the fact that almost all of the students who left were in good academic standing. Some left for professional opportunities and some have, in fact, returned to complete their studies. A new rule proposed for calculation would give a figure of 50 percent for that same year. The figures for later years already show a significant improvement. Nevertheless the figures remain too low and Tech must do a better job.

 

4.   Joe Hughes presented a progress report on the matter of “General Education Programs” which are provided mostly by the Ivan Allen, Science, and Computing Colleges. A subcommittee was created 18 months ago to respond to the Board of Regent’s mandate that General Education programs be assessed. The present report is the first step in the following five-part process.

i. Definition of what program components we are trying to assess and measure.

ii. A statement of where the various components of the program are located.

iii. A decision on how to make the assessment.

iv. The performance of the assessment itself.

v. A review to determine how we can better address the objectives.

The Board is asked to allow the committee to present the content of the report to the Academic Faculty at the meeting on February 5th.. Later in the Spring they will propose to the Board that a sub-committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee be created to handle this matter. This will include people interested and active in the field. So far. feed-back has generally been positive and the major concerns are with the details of implementation.

Welch asked whether the committee had sought the advice of industry and employers. Hughes replied that this had not been done but the draft assessment plan includes employer surveys and will draw heavily on such instruments being currently used by Hoey’s office. Welch asked further whether the General Education objectives would be published for students. Hughes replied that the information will be published in many locations and they will work on this later when the whole plan is in place. The goal is to start the assessment in the Fall and complete the activity over 3 years. In the subsequent year there will be a review of the findings and possible proposed changes. Jayaraman commented that the material might act as a recruitment tool since students and parents would have good information on the General Education that would be received by students. Marr stated that the ongoing “Georgia Tech Assessment Seminars” would be a good forum to discuss this whole process.

 

5.   The Provost was asked to discuss the periodic review process for Deans and Chairs, which is based, in part, on a policy document approved by the Board in 1996.

Commenting first on the review of Deans, Chameau stated that there was a real problem in holding to a five-year review cycle because many Deans did not occupy the office for that length of time. The Dean of Computing was reviewed in 1997. In the following year it was intended to review the Dean of Engineering, but he resigned from Tech. Subsequently the Deans of Architecture and Sciences were reviewed. The schedule called for Chameau himself to be reviewed as Dean of Engineering in the present year; but before this could be done he transferred to the position of Provost. According to the five-year cycle, the Dean of Computing would be due for another review this coming Fall. Chameau has taken one particular case and compared the documentation with the guidelines of the 1996 policy document. The procedures and reports appear to have followed all guidelines. He pointed out that the five-year review was not the only review process which is being used. The Provost requires annual reviews similar to those employed in industry. These involve a significant amount of work and are almost as demanding as the five-year reviews called for in the policy document. Thomas pointed out that the policy required that the results of review be discussed with the Chair of the Executive Board. Chameau admitted that this was probably not being carried out.

The Provost then discussed the review of Chairs. This uses basically the same process as for Deans but with more flexibility to allow for factors such as differences in size between Schools. Technically, review of “Chairs” applied only to the Ivan Allen, Science and Engineering Colleges since only these have “Schools”. The procedure is, however, also used in the other Colleges to review leaders of major program components. Moreover, Liotta uses a similar approach for the review of leaders of large interdisciplinary centers. Again there are difficulties with timing.  In Ivan Allen no current Chair has served for 5 years. In Engineering the routine review process was held up when the Dean of Engineering (White) resigned. At the present time there is no permanent Dean but Chameau has required that the review schedule be continued. This year there are to be reviews of the Chairs of ISyE and ME; next year reviews of the Chairs of BME and of ECE (for the second time since the program started). In Engineering it has long been the practice to also perform detailed annual reviews of Chairs and to use these to set goals. In general summary the process is being implemented but there are timing complications due to three issues.

· People leaving.

· The need to take advantage of school reviews

· The complexity of the review

It is really necessary to allow flexibility in timing of +/- one year.

Chameau posed two questions on the review of Chairs.

i. Is the timing issue sufficiently addressed with a +/- 1-year flexibility?

ii. Is the annual review a necessary action?

 

There was a comment that important information about the “Office of the Dean” was being lost if no reviews were performed due to personnel changes. Chameau stated that in Engineering they separately performed annual review of “Offices”. Chameau was asked to comment on whether there should be “term limits” to appointments in Chairs and Deans positions; perhaps three five-year periods. Chameau replied that one should concentrate on appointing outstanding persons and then keep them in place as long as they do well, and the appointment continues to make sense for the individual.

The Chair pointed out that the existing document covering review of Deans includes some out-of date language and the document covering review of Chairs was limited to an inadequate paragraph. He asked whether we should undertake a review of both documents and perhaps craft a single approach for both Deans and Chairs. Chameau said he had no objection to this but there was need to allow flexibility in the handling of Chairs since school size and complexity varied greatly.

Welch asked how reviews were performed in GTRI. Chameau stated that he planned to review that with Reedy.

 

6.  The Chair asked for approval of the agenda proposed for the Feb 5th meeting of the General Faculty, GFA and Senate. There was some discussion on how the matter of “grading policy” would be handled and McMath stated that his presentation might last 10 to 15 minutes. The agenda was approved.

 

7.   The Chair asked for approval of the agenda proposed for the Feb 26th meeting of the General Faculty. This was approved without dissent.

 

8.   The Chair stated that the Board needed to appoint two new members of the “Institute Oversight Committee” for overview of the five-year post tenure review program. It was proposed that Cheol Eun be the new representative from Management and that Steve French be the new representative from Architecture. This proposal was agreed without dissent.

The Chair initiated further discussion of the five-year post tenure process. He pointed out that the documents covering the procedures did not specify a Chair of the Institute level review Committee. In practice, McMath who serves as the representative of the Provost, functions as coordinator and “Chair” of the activity. Since this activity is now seen as a faculty-driven process, should there be a “Chair” draw from the faculty on the committee?     There was some discussion of the position of the Chair when considering a case drawn from their own unit. Chameau pointed out that the Committee did not discuss specifics of individual cases but was concerned only with the process. Chameau and McMath indicated that they would have no problem with such a “Faculty Chair”. They did, however, point out that in conflict situations there might be a need for somebody to engage in delicate negotiation with individual units. Will this be a responsibility of the “Chair”, and will faculty members be willing to take on this burden? The Chair proposed that section 3.7.2.5(d) of the Faculty Handbook (which describes the composition of the committee) should be altered by adding the following words to the end of the section: “The committee shall elect a Chair from the seven faculty members named by the Executive Board”. This was agreed without dissent.

 

9.   The Secretary noted that Mark Richards had resigned his seat on the Board due to a transfer out of GTRI. There is no specified procedure for dealing with such a vacancy. The Secretary proposed that the seat be included on the ballot of the upcoming faculty elections and that the successful candidate be invited to take up the position immediately on election (presumably effective with the April meeting of the Board). This was agreed without dissent.

 

10.  The Chair called for any other business. Chameau commented that he has become concerned with a recent large increase in the reports of cases of academic misconduct. There has also been a legal case. He has appointed a small committee to look into this situation and to give an early evaluation – in March. They are to study why numbers of reports are increasing and the method for handling the cases. Members of the study group are Cheryl Contant (who serves as Chair), Ray Vito, Karen Boyd and Trey Childress (Student). The Student Honor Committee fully supports the study.

The Chair closed the meeting at 5:15 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty.

Jan 16, 2002

 

Attachments to the Archival Copy of the Minutes.

(1) Copy of Agenda.

(2) “Institute Review Committee: Progress update”; January 15, 2002 (Handout by Hoey)

(3) “General Education Requirements for Georgia Tech Graduates”. Report dated January 2002.

 

Notes for the record:

(1) By e-mail vote recorded on December 4, the EB voted (14 in favor and none against) to approve

(a) Participation of the women’s volleyball Team in the NCAA post season tournament, Nov 30 to Dec 1,2001,  in Louisville KY

(b) Participation of the Football Team in post-season play in the Seattle Bowl on December 27, 2001.

(2) By e-mail vote recorded on December 4, the EB voted (9 in favor and none against) to “endorse” the CoC proposal for a degree of MS in Information Security.