GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MEETING OF THE

GENERAL FACULTY ASSEMBLY

Combined with a meeting of the

ACADEMIC SENATE

Tuesday, February 6, 2001, Student Center Theater

MINUTES

 

  1. President Clough opened the meeting at 3:05 PM and stated that this was a combined meeting of the General Faculty Assembly and of the Academic Senate.
  2. The President commented on recent developments.
    1. The policy on "Extension of the Probationary Period for Tenure" passed by the Senate last year has not yet been agreed on by the Board of Regents and may not be decided before the summer.
    2. The supplemental budget includes various items of interest to Tech. There is good support for the Georgia Research Alliance, the Yamacraw project and the Cancer Initiative. Design funding for the Advanced Computing Building has been approved as well as initial funding for a GTREP building in Savannah. There is also funding to cover the deficit in the Health Plan.
    3. The 2002 budget is likely to be weak. It does not recognize the need to improve graduate student health care and prospect for new workload funding is poor. Average salary raises are proposed at 4.5 percent. System-wide enrollment is down and this impacts funding to Tech.
    4. It is proposed to hold down the Fall 2002 freshman enrollment to slightly less than last year. We are anticipating a higher than normal retention into the second year; similar to that observed in Fall 2000.
    5. Faculty recognition is strong. In early announcements of the NSF Career Awards, Tech has received five in Engineering and 2 or 3 in the Sciences.
    6. The Undergraduate Research Initiative is operational and managed by McMath and Liotta.
    7. The Capital Campaign is completed and has raised $712M. Contributions have been received from about 50,000 separate individuals and entities. The Campaign has created 54 endowed Chairs and 233 Scholarships. Solicitations of support are continuing.
    8. The SAC-II facility has been designed. Funds to design the "Technology Square" facility on the south side of Fifth Street have been allocated; the designer and contractors have been chosen. Land on the north side of Fifth Street has been leased for the Yamacraw Design Center.

3. At the invitation of the President, the Registrar commented that this term all grades will be submitted through a web-based system.

4. It was moved, seconded and passed that the following minutes be approved. September 18th 2000 meeting of the GFA and AS (combined), October 10th 2000 meeting of the General Faculty Assembly; December 5th 2000 meeting of the Academic Senate.

5. President Clough called on Joe DiGregorio to discuss Continuing Education at Tech. DiGregorio stated that, nation-wide, Continuing Education was now a $60 billion a year business with a substantial part being handled by for-profit entities. Tech’s recent activities are described in a handout distributed at the meeting (attached to the minutes). We are showing an annual growth of close to 20 percent in revenues, CEUs and courses. Within the University System, U of GA has the largest number of CEUs (119,000 ), but Tech is second with 50,500. The State supports only 5 percent of the Tech program revenue but supports 51 percent of the U. of GA. revenue. Of the Continuing Education revenue, some 44 percent is returned to the units which create the courses, 37 percent goes to direct expenses and the remainder is used to support the operations of the Department. As a challenge for the future, we need to maintain high-quality programming while also creating more courses in high demand areas such as computer-related services, software, and high-tech manufacturing. Clough commented that the problem with State funding has a historical basis and we are working, with some success to change things.

Ed Reedy commented on the users perspective. As an example of a successful course he cited an offering in "Radar Technology" to which he has contributed and which has been run for 31 years, serving four to five thousand students. It has had a huge impact on the "Radar" community and has led to considerable research sponsorship. He commented that students are sometimes dissatisfied with the physical facilities of the courses, such as classroom space and accessibility; the new "Global Learning Center" will greatly help to alleviate these problems. He cited two challenges which concern faculty.

    1. Overhead cost when the programs must contribute to the debt service for the new facilities.
    2. The ownership of intellectual property. Is this to be treated like a patent or like a copyrighted item?

The President commented that the new Center will cost about $30 M and result in a debt service of about $2.3 M per annum. This may be covered by increased state appropriations or may be reduced as the result of donor gifts. We are seeking to improve incentives for faculty to contribute to these programs.

In response to questions about the capacity of the program, DiGregorio stated that by 2010 it was hoped to handle 30,000 students per year in the new facility. The hotel will have 250 beds. There is a considerable interest from industry in using the facility but we do not want industry to dominate. In response to a question about costs, DiGregorio stated that Tech’s costs are about 10 to 20 percent lower than the average of other schools. He stated also that Tech will need to market programs beyond the state. It was commented that there was a need to improve support services in connection with technical facilities, such as computers; DiGregorio agreed that this was needed. In response to a question as to whether we will decrease our on-site programs it was stated that we wish to increase such activities since they provide high margins.

In conclusion Clough thanked both DiGregorio and Reedy.

6. The President commented that the search for a new Provost was proceeding well. Four to five candidates will be brought to Tech for detailed interview in late February. The schedules for these visits will be published. He then announced that the further business of the meeting was related to activities of the Academic Senate.

  1. The President called on Leon McGinnis to discuss the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook related to Procedures of the Promotion and Tenure process. McGinnis noted that these proposals had been introduced at the December meeting of the Academic Senate and made available for review. He reviewed the more significant aspects of the proposals, particularly those related to notification of schedules, the specification of outcomes and feed-back to candidates. He moved that these be approved, and this was agreed without dissent. (Text of the approved changes is attached to the minutes).
  2. The President called on Richard LeBlanc to discuss the document which discusses "Best Practices" in the P&T process. The principal intent is to make the process more transparent to faculty and to improve feedback. The President commented that the document would be reviewed to see whether some of the ideas might be implemented across the board. There is a need to see the contributions made to Education and Undergraduate Research discussed in a level fashion for all units.
  3. The President called on Deborah Johnson, Chair of the Student Regulations Committee to present the revision of items I through XVII of the Student Rules and Regulations. She pointed out that these had been published and that the majority of the important changes had been agreed to by previous actions of the Senate. She added a further document which slightly alters the wording of item XXG related to Appeal Procedures. She moved that the published changes and the revision of item XXG be approved. There was some discussion about a phrase implying Board of Regents Approval of the "Student Bill of Rights" and a request that this statement be removed. The Secretary stated that the validity and origin of that phrase would be studied and if not appropriate the Executive Board would, at its next meeting, consider removing it. Hughes pointed out that there is an inconsistency in the rules which state that a GPA of 2.00 is required for a student to be in good standing but that a GPA of only 1.95 was required to award a diploma; he asked whether that item had been dealt with. Johnson stated that they had missed that problem and would consider it. The motion was called for a vote and passed. (Text of the approved changes is attached to the minutes)
  4. The President called on Joe Hughes, Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, to introduce minutes of that committee for approval. Hughes first introduced important action items. He first moved that special course numbers be introduced to facilitate Core Curriculum transferability (minutes of September 13th ). This was approved. He then moved acceptance of the proposed method of dealing with Tech’s violation of the Humanities and Social Sciences requirements of the Core Curriculum (minutes of January 17th). He commented that Tech preferred to spread these requirements through the four-year degree program while other units of the system concentrated the requirement into low level courses in the early years. In response to a question, he stated that Tech’s approach to these requirements might, in principle, hurt students who were transferring to other units of the system but that this problem already exists and is not changed by the present proposal. He was asked whether Tech should not just follow the Board of Regents Curriculum. Hughes replied that this would require the rewriting of almost all degree programs and preclude the offering of major courses in the early years; it was not considered desirable. The matter was called for a vote and passed. Hughes moved that accelerated summer sessions be permitted for 2001 on the same basis as the previous year; this was passed. He further moved that all other aspects of the minutes of September 13, September 27, October 11 and January 17, be approved; this passed without dissent.
  5. The president called on Nolan Hertel, Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee, to introduce minutes of that committee for approval. Hertel stated that the action items were from the January 25th minutes and included approval of a 5-year BS/MS program in ME, change to Masters course names in Management and Architecture, Graduate Certificates for IPST students and changes to the MS Health Physics program. He moved that these items be approved and this was agreed. He further moved that the other items of minutes from December 7, December 13 and January 25, 2001 be approved; this was agreed.
  6. The President called on Steve Usselman, Chair of the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee. Usselman stated that the committee had now met for the first time in two years and was considering how to address its charges. The minutes of December 1st were approved without dissent.
  7. President Clough called on Matthew Realff, Chair of the Student Computer Ownership Committee, to introduce the minutes of that committee. Realff moved that the January 25th minutes be approved. He commented that these include hardware requirements which remain unchanged from the previous year except to allow laptops with the required capabilities. Further, that the only change to software was the dropping of the Kaleidagraph system which in practice was not being much used. He was asked whether we can foresee a point at which the committee will have outlived its usefulness. He replied that the decisions of the committee remained important since there was a requirement that OIT support the software package. The minutes were approved without dissent.
  8. The President called for any other business and there being none he accepted a motion to adjourn at 5:20 PM

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Respectfully Submitted

Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty.

February 7, 2001

 

Attachments to the Archival copy of the minutes:

(1) Viewgraphs provided by DiGregorio related to the Continuing Education program.

(2) Approved changes to section 3.3 of the Faculty Handbook, related to promotion and tenure.

(Also to be found at http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/zrtpfachand.html)

(3) Approved changes to items I through XVII of the Student rules and Regulations.

(Also to be found at http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/FacSenR&R.html)

(4) Approved change to item XXG of the Student Rules and Regulations.