The Executive Board


Meeting of October 23, 2001

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building



Members Present : Abdel-Khalik (ME); Allen (Arch); Boyd (Stu Servcs); Hall (Bio); Henry (OSP); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Marr (Psy); McGuire (LCC); Swank (GTRI); Clough (Pres.); Chameau (Provost); Alexander (Staff Rep); Katzen (for Kavanaugh U. Stu.); Thomas (SoF).


Members Absent: Estes (EDI);  Mark (CoC); Richards (GTRI); Wardi (ECE); Welch (GTRI); Childress (G. Stu):


Visitors: Bob McMath (Provost Office); Ron Bohlander (GTRI)


1. The Chair opened the meeting at 3:00 pm.


2. The President commented on recent events:


(a) There was a large turnout of alumni at last week’s homecoming. Class-sponsored projects were dedicated and announced. These included dedication of the renovated Brittain Dining Hall, landscaping around the new MRDC and ME buildings, and gifts to the President’s Scholars Program.

(b) Last week the Department of Labor awarded to Tech the “EVE” (Exemplary Voluntary Efforts) award for “Promotion of Equal Opportunity in the Workplace”. This recognizes staff contributions to Human Relations at Tech.

(c) During Homecoming there were two “white powder” incidents, one in Skiles and one in the Library. Both are believed harmless. Tech has set up two groups to advise on major incidents. One group, should give guidance on how to respond; the other group, on how to communicate about such events to the community. We need to develop the right emergency response procedures.


Abdel-Khalik noted that there appears to be a police office assigned full time to the Nuclear Research Center; is this precautionary? The President replied affirmatively. The reactor is now all removed but we await final NRC certification of compliance. The building still looks like a Nuclear reactor and the FBI had advised security as a precaution. Also there is still present in the facility certain sensitive research facilities which we are seeking to have removed.


3. The minutes of the September 25th meeting of the Board were approved without dissent.


4. The Chair introduced a document sent to him by Prof. Hudson of Ga. State that purported to be a new sick leave reporting policy of the Board of Regents. Hudson also sent a proposed alternative statement developed at Ga. State and asked for Tech’s support of that alternative. The Chair stated that if there was a proposed change in policy, we should hear about it directly from the Board of Regents. The Provost responded that he had heard about this only a few days ago. The BoR proposal has already been amended to reflect the Ga. State proposal. Normally Tech would be asked to comment on such matters but had not been asked in the present case. The background relates to the credit being given towards retirement for unused sick leave. Since there is now a monetary value attached to sick leave the Board apparently feels there should be a definite procedure to account for such leave. The only real issue for faculty is to avoid implications of a regular 9 to 5 work schedule. Clough stated that normally anything of broad impact would be discussed openly but the administration has not officially been informed of this matter. It seems that such proposed revisions of policy are generated almost every day and they get sent to various administrators on the campus for comment. He will try to find out about this particular situation. [Note: The President commented by mail on the following day that the document circulated to Ga. State was only a draft proposal from a committee; nothing has been forwarded to the BoR for approval and therefore Tech has received no information].


5. The Chair called on Ron Bohlander to comment on the activities of the “Subcommittee on Distance Learning and Intellectual Property Rights”, which the Board created last Spring to be Chaired by Bohlander. The group has concluded that the primary question to be answered is:

 “When courseware is developed in digital or other electronic media, what are the respective rights (or ownership positions) of the faculty, the university, and any other stakeholders? “

From this, spring additional questions that should be answered in due course. The initial focus is on harvesting policies used by other universities; already there are a couple of major web sites that are repositories of information. On November 6th the committee meets to have a briefing on the legal background.

Bohlander was asked for the time line to finish an initial review. He replied that this would be completed sometime during the spring term. Abdel-Khalik asked Clough whether this was consistent with his needs to respond to approaches being made to Tech. Clough replied that we are in no hurry to respond to the U-21 approach and that the proposed time line is OK. Each of the approaches made to Tech is different. It will be valuable to have this committee primed with the background to such matters and available to respond to proposals as they are received. Larry Kahn commented that the committee should really be promoting Distance Education. Chameau responded that there is an administrative committee looking into this. It has some overlap with Bohlander’s committee in the question of faculty incentives. Bohlander pointed out that his committee’s mandate extended beyond distance learning. Digital media are also used on campus and the question of IP rights also applies to these items.

The Chair stated that the Board looked forward to a report. (For a copy of a handout by Bohlander, see attachments.)


6. The Chair stated that it had been the intent now to review a “survey” of faculty opinions. He understood that this had been delayed and asked the President to comment. Clough responded that given the circumstances in the world today it had seemed better to wait until recent events had passed us by. Alexander asked what was the intent of the survey. Clough replied that he sought input on what faculty see as their most important issues.


7. The Chair asked the Board to consider whether we should hold a “retreat” this year. In past years these have been useful in establishing initiatives on such matters as Intellectual Property Rights, Student Retention and Diversity. There was general discussion and a number of members stated that there would appear to be no pressing matters at this time. It was concluded that such an event should be reconsidered for the late Spring.


8. The Chair opened discussion of the agenda for the December 4th meeting of the Academic Senate. It has been planned to seek a presentation from either the new Chancellor or from Dan Papp. The President will invite Papp. There will also be a proposal to change the name of the School of HPS; the Provost will send the proposal in advance to the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees for their comment. It was proposed that the agenda be as follows:

Presentation of Graduating Students.

Address by Dan Papp

Annual Reports of Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty

Action items from Standing Committees (to include Student Bill of Rights)

Proposal to change the name of the School of HPS to the School of Applied Physiology

This was accepted without dissent.


9. The Chair stated that he planned to periodically ask members to report on the activities of the committees to which they are liaisons. He called on Barbara Henry to discuss the Welfare and Security Committee.

Henry reported that the main theme of the three meetings had been frustration at not being included in the deliberations of administrative committees and study groups. There was much comment on past lack of inclusion although there had been some recent appointments of committee members to liaise with other groups. Their annual report in 2000 had asked that their role be clarified; their report in 2001 still focused on a lack of involvement. There was specific complaint that one of their members had been appointed to liaise with the Parking Committee but that this person was not given the right of a vote. The charge to the committee included oversight of matters as diverse as the Infirmary and nuclear safeguards. Barbara Henry had been asked to apprise the Board of three specific issues.

a).  That the Board is asked to examine the committee’s purpose

b).  That the Board assist the committee being represented on appropriate study groups and committees.

c).  Information to the Board that the Committee intended to revisit the issue of a Child Care Center.


The President commented that these concerns were in the nature of reverberations and echos. During the spring there had been some appointments of this committee’s members to serve on other groups. To make further progress he needs to know the specific groups on which they wish to be represented. For example, they might wish to be represented on the two groups which have been established to advise on the handling of major crises.

Bohlander commented that the Academic Services Committee had a similar broad mandate and sees part of its duty as identifying those functions which were a priority for faculty. Perhaps the Welfare and Security Committee should define its own role.

Clough suggested that there should be a more rigorous schedule for administrators to report to the relevant committees so that committees could meet with administrators in time to influence decisions. For example, decisions on parking for next year are being made now and this committee should seek a briefing on the decisions under consideration. It was suggested that the Secretary consider having all committees identify the administrators from which they ought to receive reports and to establish the time of the year when such reports would be most effective. The Board should review this schedule. Clough indicated that he would make sure administrators responded to this need. 

The Secretary and Chair will review how to proceed on this matter.


10. The Chair opened a discussion of administrative matters:


(a) The Board must establish a Nominating Committee for the 2002 elections. Gisele Welch is willing to be Chair and Doug Allen to be Co-Chair. He proposed that these members be appointed as the two EB members of the committee and instructed to propose names for the additional four members for acceptance at the next Board meeting. This was accepted without dissent.

(b) The Secretary discussed changes in representations for the 2002 elections required by the Statutes. As a result of changes to faculty numbers the representation on the General Faculty Assembly and Academic Senate will be changed for Chemical Engineering, ISyE and LCC. As a result of change to the number of majors the representation of Engineering on the Graduate Curriculum Committee will decrease by one member. (Both changes are detailed in the attachments).

(c) The Secretary proposed that elections for representation on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee should be planned on the assumption that, before the elections, the Statutes will have been changed to increase the representation (as proposed by Hughes at the last meeting). The terms of service should be arranged so that approximately one-third of the committee will be elected each year. In order to implement a three-year rotation, some of next year’s elections should be for one and two-year terms. A detailed plan is given in the attachments. The Board gave authority for the Secretary to proceed on that basis.

(d) The Secretary proposed that Mary Lynn Realff should be appointed to the Student Honor committee to replace Jiri Janata. Also that Sabir Khan be appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jim Budd on the Graduate Curriculum Committee. These proposals were accepted without dissent.

(e) The Secretary briefly described a procedure for handling the retention of confidential documents created by committees. The following procedure was suggested by the legal department and has been distributed to all Standing Committee Chairs:

 “Disposition of documents related to confidential proceedings concerning both Faculty and Students”.

At the end of each academic year the committee’s confidential final reports and recommendations to Administrators should be transferred to the Secretary of the Faculty. These files should include any supporting documentation considered to be essential to the case. The Secretary will in turn transfer them to the Library’s confidential archives where Faculty related matters will be kept for seven years and student related matters kept for eleven years. Access to the copies in the library will be subject to the procedures established by Tech for confidential documents. All other notes and documentation should be destroyed”.


11. The Chair called for any other business and there being none, he closed the meeting at 4:20 p.m.



Respectfully Submitted


Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty

October 25, 2001


Attachments to the Archival copy of the Minutes:


(1) Meeting Agenda

(2) Handout by Bohlander (copy of DLIP Subcommittee web page)

(3) Notes by the Secretary on the proposed conduct of elections in 2002