The Executive Board


Meeting of September 26, 2000

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


Members Present :Abdel-Khalik (ME); Allen (Arch); Boyd (Stu Servcs); Callen (ECE); Hall (Bio); Swank (GTRI); Welch (GTRI): Williamson (Liby); Clough (Pres.); Spriggle (UG Stu Rep); Jenman (GS rep); E.Thomas (SoF)

Members Absent: El-Sayed (Chem); Estes (EDI); Jayaraman (Mgt); McGuire (LCC); Richards (GTRI); Schwan (CoC); Wardi (ECE); Ledon (Staff Rep); M.Thomas (Provost); Liotta (Vice Provost)

Visitors:McMath (Prov), McIver (Reg), McGinnis (IsyE) Hardwick (Phys)


(1) Said Abdel Khalik, Chair, opened the meeting at 3:05 p.m. with the announcement that he had been re-elected Chair and Gisele Welch has been elected Vice-Chair. He thanked the Board for their continued confidence.

(2) The President stated that he had little to add to his report at the GFA/AS meeting on September 19th. The Capital Campaign will probably reach $650 M at its completion and Tech was working on two follow-up matters. First a study of post-campaign opportunities and needs. There have been some weak spots in the campaign that need attention, for example the Library. Secondly the matter of long term stewardship and relations with friends and supporters. The campaign is not just about raising money but also about raising consciousness. He mentioned that the campaign had cost about 7.5 cents for each dollar raised; a conventional benchmark is a cost of 10 cents on the dollar.

Grant Jenman asked whether all the funds were "in the coffers". The President explained that some gifts are phased over time. Also some gifts have already been put to use, as in the funding of the Biotechnology Building and Scholarship funds.

(3) The Minutes of the August 22 Board meeting were approved without dissent.

(4) Jo McIver reported on the situation of the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee. This committee has not met for more than a year, does not have a Chair, and the Registrar acts as Secretary. The Secretary performs the duties under Statutes item administratively but no work is performed on any of the other requirements.. Statutes item relates to advising and is important. Item (4) relates to academic standing and overlaps with the Student Rules and Regulations Committee. Item (5) relates to admissions which is largely handled as a responsibility of the Administration. There was discussion of whether some of the committee charges might be moved to other committees; also whether this committee might take over decisions on student petitions and thereby relieve the load on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

It was decided that McIver will call the committee to a meeting and have them review their charges and decide on a reasonable program of activities. Possibly the committee will suggest changes to their statutory duties. That meeting might also usefully include the Chairs of the Student Rules and Regulations Committee and the Student Activities Committee. She will report back to the Board on what is proposed.

(5) Leon McGinnis presented the final version of the report by the Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Committee. He noted first that there were some proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook. The new proposed item relates to a specific date for notifying a faculty member of a decision schedule. It is proposed to make a major revision to item which will define the mechanism of feedback to the candidate. The other changes were in the nature of clarifications and housekeeping matters. He noted secondly that the remainder of the report involved "best practices" which have worked well in some units. It is not appropriate to make these practices a requirement but they should be broadly distributed for possible adoption where appropriate and useful. There are also a series of appendixes which should provide guidance to committees and to candidates.

McGinnis commented that two issues are missing from this report. First there is no discussion of the composition of unit level committees. The committee felt that there was no way to create a policy which would include all the practices now in use. The second issue was the evaluation of teaching. Units spend a lot of time evaluating research but little time evaluating teaching. In part this is because there are few accepted measure of Teaching effectiveness. He would recommend that the committee considering "Evaluation of Instruction" devote some time to the question of evaluating instructional effectiveness for Tenure and Promotion purposes.

It was suggested that the proposed changes to the Faculty handbook should be brought up at the December meeting of the Academic Senate for Faculty Approval. The "Best Practices" might be formulated into a separate document for distribution. McMath suggested that shortened version might be published as a brochure for distribution to all faculty. Karen Boyd suggested that the "Best Practices" might be included on the CD distributed to all new Faculty and new Unit Chairs during their orientation programs.

Said Abdel Khalik expressed the appreciation of the Board for the efforts of this Committee.

(6) The Library subcommittee of the Academic Services Committee has transmitted to the Board a proposed resolution related to "Pricing of Journals". It asks that the resolution be placed before the faculty for a vote of endorsement. The Board agreed to add this to the Agenda for the October 10th GFA meeting.

(7) The Board agreed on the agenda for the October 10th GFA meeting.

(8) McMath introduced the matter of the composition of the Institute wide "Five Year Post Tenure Review Committee". This is to have two members from Engineering and one each from the other Colleges. He proposes that members should rotate on a two year cycle. Current members Dagenhart, Berthelot and Parsons would be asked to serve one further year. Replacements would be chosen for Badre, Borkman, Peatman and Bayor. McMath provided a list of recently promoted Full Professors who would all be viable candidates. He suggested that in making the selection attention be paid to improving the representation of female and minority faculty (not represented on the outgoing committee).

There was a question as to whether membership was restricted to "Full Professors". McMath replied that there was no such restriction and in fact one member, Dagenhart, was an Associate professor. It was resolved that the EB representatives from Computing, Engineering, Sciences and Ivan Allen will each propose two candidates and that the Board will select new members at its next meeting.

(9) There followed some discussion of procedural matters.

(a) It was announced that the Board had voted (by e-mail) unanimously to appoint Wishon (OIT) to replace Cooper (recently retired from Mgt) on the Academic Services Committee.

(b) It was noted that Pat Ledon is unable to serve as Staff Representative to the Board beyond the end of the year. It was resolved to reappoint her through December. Board members were asked to identify possible replacement candidates and to bring their names forward at the next meeting for a decision.

(c) Thomas noted that the Board had asked Barefield (EB minutes of Sept 28, 1999) to formulate his proposed "Campus Leave Policy" into a format which could be endorsed by the General Faculty Assembly for inclusion in the Faculty handbook. Thomas reported that Barefield will not be doing this but rather is seeking to have the policy placed in the Faculty Handbook as an Administrative matter.

(d) There was discussion of whether items should be placed in the Faculty Handbook only through decisions of the Faculty Assemblies. It was generally agreed that the Handbook was the responsibility of the Administration and that the Faculty could request changes but not require changes.

10. The Chair mentioned that a question has been raised about the recent (GFA/AS meeting of September 19) decision to make the student’s "official point of contact" their e-mail account rather than the post office box. The concern relates to security of e-mail accounts when used for transmission of legally sensitive information (e.g. disciplinary decisions).

Jenman commented that mail boxes were not a secure method of communication. 4,000 boxes were shared by two students and access codes were apparently not changed for decades. Boyd commented that there was also a legal question as to whether an e-mail message constituted a "delivery" of information; placing a letter in a mail box is apparently regarded as a "delivery" irrespective of whether the student picks up the message. Boyd commented further that her unit often requires that student’s pick up sensitive information in person.

It was resolved that the Student rules and Regulations Committee be asked to review the matter again.

11. Welch raised the question of whether we should arrange a retreat for the Board and what the focus might be. Board members was asked to bring forward suggestions at the next meeting.

12. There being no further business the Chair brought the meeting to a close at 4:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted


Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty

Sept 27, 2000


Attachments to the Archival Copy of the minutes:

(1) Agenda

(2) Report by the ad-hoc Committee on "Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Practices"

(3) Library Subcommittee— proposed resolution

(4) Post Tenure Review Committee; past composition and list of newly promoted Professors. (Prepared by McMath)