The Executive Board


Meeting of August 21, 2001

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building



Members Present : Abdel-Khalik (ME);  Callen (ECE); Estes (EDI); Hall (Bio); Henry (OSP); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Mark (CoC); McGuire (LCC); Richards (GTRI); Wardi (ECE); Welch (GTRI); Clough (Pres.); Chameau (Provost); Liotta (Vice Provost); Alexander (Staff Rep); Childress (G. Stu): Katzen (for Kavanaugh U. Stu.); E.Thomas (SoF).


Members Absent: Allen (Arch); Boyd (Stu Servcs); El-Sayed (Chem); Marr (Psy); Schwan (CoC);  Swank (GTRI);  Williamson (Liby);


Visitors: Bob McMath (Provost Office); Mark Smith (Pres. Ofc.) April Brown (Pres Ofc.) Bill Sayle (EE); Joe Hughes (EE).



1.      The Chairman, Said Abdel-Khalik, opened the meeting at 3:00 pm. He welcomed the new and returning members and thanked out-going members for their service. Everyone was asked to introduce themselves.

2.      The President made the following remarks concerning matters of current interest.


(a) There has been a meeting of the President, Provost, EB Chair and Secretary to discuss programs for the main assembly meetings. The intent is to include discussion of matters that are of current interest to faculty. At the first Fall meeting we shall have brief statements about the Technology Square project and about the Provost’s initiative to seek faculty inputs on matters of concern. In the mid-term meeting we have the “State of the Institution Address”. In the late Fall meeting we would hope to have the new Chancellor address our faculty. In the Spring we wish to have a session on a controversial subject; grading policy has been suggested as a topic. In the late Spring there will be a report on the results of the Provost’s surveys.

(b) The President asked the Provost to discuss his initiatives. Chameau stated that there are two major focuses. First an attempt to increase understanding and interaction between units. Second to find ways of better implementing our plans; we have many good ideas but need to make sure they are carried out. To assist with this process there will be a series of three “retreats”. The first in five weeks time will involve Deans; the second, in January, will involve Chairs and Lab directors; and finally, in late February a selected group of Faculty. At the April 23rd meeting of the Faculty he would intend to produce the conclusions of these retreats and suggest methods of improving interactions.

(c) Fall Freshman enrollment is about what had been intended; new Graduate Student numbers are a little higher than expected.

(d) Our new faculty will provide Tech with wonderful new talent. NSF Career awards to Tech last year numbered 13; highest of any Institution. Since 1995 we have had 59 awards; one ahead of MIT.

(e) For many years Tech has led the nation in production of Black MS Engineering graduates and most years is also the leader in PhD production. This last year we were also the top producer of Bachelor Engineering degrees awarded to Afro-Americans, beating even the traditionally Black Institutions.

(f) Last year student athletes had a Grade-Point Average which was higher than the average for the whole student population.

(g) On September 6 there will be the formal ground breaking for the Technology Square project on the south side of 5th Street. In October or November we shall break ground on the north side of 5th street for the Yamacraw Design Center. The new parking deck on Atlantic is under repair and should be available by the end of the year. State Street renovations will not be completed until March due to unexpected problems with a sewer line.


The President was asked whether the 5th street construction will require closing of that street. He replied that this was quite possible but he was not sure.


3.      The Chair asked for approval of the June 19th Executive Board minutes; this was agreed without dissent.

4.      The Secretary asked for additional nominations of persons to serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the Executive Board for the new year; there were none from the meeting. He announced that he had received two e-mailed nominations that the Chair should be Said Abdel Khalik and that the Vice Chair should be Gisele Welch. There being no further nominations he asked for a vote to confirm these for the new year. This was agreed without dissent.

5.      The Secretary asked all elected members to express their preference for liaison assignments for the new year and return them to him. Assignments would be made during the next few weeks.

6.      The Chair called on Bill Sayle to discuss the report of the “Committee on Committees”. Sayle stated that all committee Chairs had met under his leadership and developed 5 recommendations. In summary they recommend:

(a) That a “Study Abroad” subcommittee be created.

(b) That key administrators should be required to report annually to their relevant faculty committee. Relationships between administrators and committees need to be improved.

(c) The Institute Undergraduate Curriculum committee needs to be larger.

(d) The Graduate Committee should be charged to review all programs on a six-year cycle.

(e) That there be a committee to handle “Intellectual Property” issues.


(For full details see attachments).


Welch asked whether committees were happy with their charters and whether there was concern with overlap of functions. Sayle replied that after Chairs had discussed their charters they found no problems with overlap and that difficulties were mainly with relationships to administrators. Sayle was further asked whether all the committees were in fact needed and replied in the affirmative and there was no reason to consider reducing the numbers. The President asked Sayle which committees had difficulty with their relevant administrators. Sayle responded that these were mainly committees of the General Faculty and he would send to the President a list of the important cases.


The Chair proposed that Sayle present this report to the GFA/AS meeting on September 18th to seek further faculty input to the matter. This was agreed without dissent.


7.      Gisele Welch provided an interim report on the work of the IP & Commercialization subcommittee. She explained that this group is reviewing the proposed Policy on IP rights which was created in 2000 and is to be an update to the Faculty Handbook. The general topics of discussion have been the following:


(a) Should the policy apply to GT students? The general answer is yes. If the student is employed by Tech then certainly they are covered. We should provide additional information to students about IP ownership.

(b) Should we consider the impact of Federal and State legislation on IP? The answer is certainly yes and there are impending changes that need to be considered.

(c) Should conflict of interest be a follow-on effort of this committee? Again yes, this is a significant problem.

(d) Should there be an IP committee? Again yes; the faculty handbook calls for such a committee but it is not active.

(e) Is the distribution of royalty appropriate? Here the committee has some questions that need to be clarified with the authors of the original policy.


Chameau stated that this needs to be handled quickly as there are persons anxious to develop projects and wish to fall under the new policy. Recently he has needed to make ad-hoc decisions that anticipate implementation of the new rules.


Liotta commented that there are three external groups using consultants to advise on this question. The Board of Regents who wish to make the rules uniform for all Institutions; the Department of industry and Trade who wish to promote rapid exploitation and Georgia Tech which has some different perspectives from the other groups. We would like our policy to be set in place and to be used as a template for the other groups.


Welch commented that GT had a high level of patent activity but a poor license income. The pathway for faculty to exploit their inventions is not clear. The next job to tackle is conflict of interest matters. Welch was asked for the main differences between the old policy and the new. She replied that there were two. First the inclusion of students; they were not covered in the past and second, a change to the distribution of income. Chameau recounted an instance where five students were engaged in a senior design project in association with a company, and without faculty advice, signed a waiver of patent rites with that company. The result of their work is now being commercially exploited and neither they nor Tech will benefit. We need to protect students from this.


The Chair asked that the committee finish its work as rapidly as possible and report back to the Board.


8.      The Chair proposed the following agenda for the September 18th meeting of the GFA and AS.


(a) President’s remarks and welcome.

(b) Approval of minutes of previous meetings.

(c) Brief review of the Technology Square project.

(d) The Provost’s plans to seek faculty opinions through retreats and surveys.

(e) Second reading of proposed changes to statutes.

(f) Report of the Committee on Committees.

(g) Approval of minutes of Standing Committees.


This agenda was approved without dissent.


9.      The Chair stated that the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee had asked to Board to review the question of whether a faculty person can lose GF status if their position is reclassified to a “staff” category. The FS+G committee takes the position that this would be contrary to the present statutes and believes the matter should be clarified. The Chair stated that this is probably too complex to be debated without some preparation and he proposed that a small group first review the question. He suggested the following ad-hoc committee:


Chuck Donbaugh (as Director of OHR)

Bob McMath (representing the administration)

Gunter Meyer (outgoing chair of FS+G who raised the question)

Karen Boyd (representing non-academic, non-research GF persons)

Yorai Wardi (representing interests of Academic Faculty)

Mark Richards (representing interests of GTRI persons)

Edward Thomas (to act as liaison).


He further suggested that Mark Richards should act as chair.


The President cautioned that we should also seek Board of Regents views on the matter. We have been very liberal in our interpretation of GF status and must consider the political impact of any changes.


The Board approved formation of the sub committee without dissent.


10. The Chair asked for any other business.

The Secretary asked permission to make the following appointments to committees and assemblies to replace persons who had resigned from Tech. In each case the proposed replacement is a person who received the highest vote of any unsuccessful candidate in the last election.



(a) Joseph Hoey to replace Wishon on the Academic Services Committee.

(b) John Valentine to replace Bill Bullock on the Student Regulations Committee.

(c) Michael Black to replace Scott Friedman as one of the GFA representative from the Services and Central Administration constituency.


These were approved without dissent.


The Chair suggested that in the future the Secretary be permitted to make such replacements under this policy without seeking permission of the Board. This was approved without dissent.


11. At 4:15 pm the Chair adjourned the meeting and the members adjourned to the Gordy room  for a social reception sponsored by the President’s Office.



Respectfully submitted


Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty

August 23, 2001

August 27, 2001 Revision


Attachments to the Archival Copy of the Records:

(1) Agenda.

(2) Report of the Committee on Committees. (See also web site Interim report on activities of the IP and Commercialization sub committee.