GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MINUTES

EARLY FALL MEETING OF THE

GENERAL FACULTY ASSEMBLY

Combined with a meeting of the

ACADEMIC SENATE MEETING

 

Tuesday, September 18th, 2001, Student Center Theater

 

 

1.      The President opened the meeting at 3:00 p.m. He welcomed new members and stated that he had worked with the Chair of the Executive Board to develop programs for the year’s meetings that the Faculty should find useful and interesting. The next meeting on October 9th would be the “State of the Institution” address; he hoped at a later meeting to have the new Chancellor address the faculty.

 

2.      President called for approval of minutes of the Academic Senate and General Faculty Assembly on the dates of February 6, 2001 (both bodies combined), February 27, 2001 (GFA) and April 24, 2001 (AS). This was agreed without dissent.

 

3.      The President called for a moment of silence in recognition of last week’s tragedy. He then stated that the memorial service last Friday was well done and he commended its organizers. We are just now learning of our connections to these events; two alumni were killed.

 

4.      President then commented on matters of current interest.

 

(a) There has been a good start to the new year. We have a great group of bright, talented, new faculty. There has been a net increase of about 25 faculty and replacements of a further 50.  New Freshman enrollment was successfully held to slightly less than the previous year but the total student body increased by about 700 students. The increase was due to an unexpected increase in the Graduate Student enrollment (about 400), increased retention as well as an increase in enrollment at the satellite operations in Savannah, Metz and Singapore.

(b) The Environmental Sciences and Technology building is on track and should be finished next summer. The Baseball Stadium renovations are under way. The structural problems with the new parking deck should be resolved by the end of the year. The State Street renovations are due to be finished in late February. The new SAC complex is under design. We are currently informally referring to the facility as the “Olympic Recreational Center” and are negotiating to be allowed to use the word “Olympic” in its name. The Advanced Computing Technology Building and the Biomedical Building are both under design. The Technology Square project has started and will be discussed later in the meeting.

(c) State budgets for next year are expected to be adequate but the prospects for 2003 are cloudy.

(d) On the matter of replacing Gordon Wishon, Vice Provost in charge of OIT. A search group formed by the Provost is defining the nature of the roll played by that position and planning the search. Meanwhile John Mullin is filling the roll on an acting basis.

(e) No decision has been taken on the invitation to join the U-21 Distance Learning consortium; the Universities of Virginia and Michigan have both joined. Tech is still considering the matter and will not commit before there has been a faculty decision.

(f) The President discussed, on behalf of Provost Chameau, certain initiatives being undertaken to determine what matters faculty feel should be important in the near future. A series of three retreats will be held. The first involves the Deans, the second, Unit Chairs, and the third will be a group of Faculty. Also a survey of faculty opinion is being designed by April Brown (recently appointed Executive Assistant to the President), and Edward Thomas (Secretary of the Faculty).

 

5.   The President then made a presentation concerning the Technology Square project. Architectural drawings are nearly finished and construction activity is about to start. The development is designed to reconnect Tech to the Mid-Town neighborhood. East of Spring Street will be the Bookstore, Management College facility, and certain retail establishments. To the West of Spring will be a hotel complex, Global Learning Center, large Parking Deck and a small “Academic Building” housing EDI and a component of Architecture. The Buildings are well set back from the road with easy turn-around access from Peachtree and from Spring. Some facades will be in brick to mirror the Biltmore; other facades will be glass. The garage will hold 1500 automobiles. The President reviewed in detail the space for each complex. Both include an internal Plaza area which can be used for outdoor receptions and the frontages are well set back from the existing streets. The Management building will include space for “Interdisciplinary Activities” in order to foster connection of Management to other units. The hotel will be built to four-star specifications and have 250 guest rooms; it will be operated by Crestline (which also operates the hotel at Emory). Initially, Tech will provide 30 percent of the business of the hotel and that will rise in a few years to 60 percent.

The President was asked how students will access these facilities for classes. He answered that there will be a trolley system running on a five-minute schedule; we have already obtained some Federal funds to support this. He was asked what size conferences could be accommodated in the facilities. He replied that the hotel would have 250 rooms, the largest lecture space would accommodate 350 people and through the use of other spaces in the complex,  much larger meetings could be handled. A questioner asked whether these buildings would include a “Faculty Club”. The President replied that the facility would provide a good place to take guests but would not include a “Faculty Club”. Such a facility is to be part of a building planned for the Library parking lot. In response to a question he stated that we intend to promote a “University Village” atmosphere through retail development. We seek an 18-hour per day level of usage and expect other developers will be providing residential developments nearby. He was asked about a pedestrian connection between the two buildings and stated that a “bridge” would not be permitted by the city and a “tunnel” was not feasible. He anticipated that traffic control signals at intersections would be improved and that, in time, both Spring and Peachtree would return to two-way operations which would slow traffic.

The President commented briefly on the “Mid-Town Park” developments planned for the North side of Spring. About 15 acres is held by “friendly” developers and plans include buildings for the Yamacraw Design Center, for ATDC and speculative office space designed for High Tech companies.

Groundbreaking for Technology Square has taken place, construction bonds are ready for sale, we anticipate Management moving into the facility in May 2003, and that completion would be in Fall 2003. Mid-Town Park should be completed on the same schedule.

 

6.  The President called on Marc Smith, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to introduce six Statutes changes for a second reading. (For detailed language see attachments).

(a) Change to the Faculty Benefits Committee to remove the charge that they annually review wages of non-professional employees. This was approved without dissent.

(b) A statement to make it clear that persons with “Temporary” or “Visiting” titles are not members of the Corps of Instruction for Faculty Governance purposes. A questioner asked whether this would impact their benefits situation. The Secretary replied that this change referred specifically to Faculty Governance participation and would not impact employment arrangements. This proposal was approved without dissent.

(c) A statute to clarify that when a person is elected to the Executive Board, they then vacate their seats as representatives of their unit on the General Faculty Assembly (and on the Academic Senate). This was approved without dissent.

(d) A change to remove the Vice Provost as a voting member of the Executive Board. This was approved without dissent.

(e) A statute to give representation on the General Faculty Assembly and on the Academic Senate to persons who are in Colleges but are not in Academic Units. This was approved without dissent.

(f) A bylaw to change the method by which appointments are made to Standing Committees when it is necessary to replace elected persons who leave Tech.    This was approved without dissent.

 

7.   President introduced the report of the “Committee on Committees”. In preliminary remarks Said Abdel-Khalik, Chair of the Executive Board, commented that the Board had, last year reviewed the operations of all committees and was concerned that there might be some overlap of functions and that committees were not performing the long-term review functions required in the Statutes. As a result the Board had formed a committee, consisting of all committee chairs, to study the general operation of all Standing Committees under Chairmanship of Bill Sayle  and Marc Smith.

Sayle reviewed the conclusions of the Committee. In general they felt that all committees had unique rolls and any difficulty in performance of their duties was due to their relationships with the relevant administrators. In some cases there had been formation of administrative committees that in part usurp the authority of the faculty committees.  His committee has the following specific recommendations.

(a) That there should be a “Study Abroad” subcommittee of the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees. There is a committee formed by the administration but that has no statutory authority. This proposed committee is already being created.

(b) Key administrators should report, annually, to the committees that have responsibility in their area of activity. Also any major administrative action should first involve input from the relevant faculty committee.

(c) The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee should be larger and should include the Dean of Students as an ex-officio member. The program review function of that committee should be performed on a six-year cycle (rather than five years as currently stated in the Statutes).

(d) The Graduate Curriculum Committee should have a statutory charge to review programs on a six-year cycle.

(e) There should be a committee to handle intellectual property rights issues. No existing committee has a clear charter in this area. Sayle commented that the Executive Board had recently formed such a committee and that it was active.

The President asked for any questions and comments on the presentation. He stated that the Executive Board would soon take up all the recommendations.

 

8.   The President asked Lee Wilcox to discuss the “Campus Safety Task Force”. Wilcox commented that the Task Force had representation from Students, Faculty, and Campus Safety as well as a member from the Atlanta Police Department. It also has membership from the Faculty Committee on Welfare and Security. It is studying how to improve safety through better use of equipment, of people and through education. It will report at the end of this Semester. The President commented that we will add to the Police force as needed and that personnel are currently spread thin.

 

9.   President asked for approval of the following minutes which include no action items:

(a) Faculty Benefits: Dates of 10/9/00; 1/16/01; 3/13/01;5/15/01

(b) Faculty Honors Date of 2/19/01

(c) Statutes: Dates of 1/16/01; 3/26/01

(d) Academic Services Dates of 1/17/01; 2/21/01; 3/21/01

(e) Welfare and Security Date of 12/12/00

O’Brien commented that the Academic Services Committee minutes included formation of a committee on Intellectual Property Matters as called for in Sayle’s report. The President commented that there are also studies at the System level to seek uniform standards and at the State level to cover Department of Industry and Trade interests. The President asked for further comments and question. The minutes were approved without dissent.

 

10.  President asked Joe Hughes, Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to introduce minutes from that committee and action items resulting thereto. Hughes enumerated the various curriculum changes, revised certificate requirements and the special case of the award of a posthumous degree.

Sayle asked why the special Humanities and Social Science rules had been extended for yet a further summer. Hughes said this was due to the lack of suitable courses this summer and that they do not plan to extend these special rules into further terms. Sayle asked McMath whether we would be improving this offering in the future. McMath responded that the problem should disappear in a few years as students who started under the quarter system graduate.

Hughes was asked whether the posthumous degree would set a precedent. He replied that there were no institutional guidelines on posthumous degrees. Awards had been made perhaps three times in 7 years. The method used is first a request by the relevant school and secondly a review by the committee. The committee takes the position that a degree may be awarded posthumously if the student was within one term of graduation and had a grade-point average which was clearly adequate for graduation.

The various minutes (of 4/25/01, 6/13/01, 7/11/01, 7/18/01, 8/01/01 ) and action items were approved without dissent.

 

11.  President called on Nolan Hertel, Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee to introduce minutes from that committee and action items resulting thereto. He discussed various course changes, changes to Masters requirements in Bioengineering and some rules to cover Graduate Students taking 1000/2000 level courses for credit as a preparation for a pre-med program. Sayle asked whether the Masters change was for BME (as stated in the agenda) or Bioengineering; Hertel replied that is was for the latter and that the agenda was incorrect. 

The various minutes (of 3/01/01, 4/26/01, 6/14/01, 8/01/01 ) and action items were approved without dissent.

 

12.  President called for approval of the following minutes include no action items:

(a) Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee Dates of 12/1/00

(b) Student Activities Committee Dates of 11/3/00; 4/26/01.

 

These were approved without dissent.

 

13. President called for any other business. He was asked on the progress in the search for a new Chancellor. Clough stated that the larger search committee had reported seven candidate names to the Regents Committee and that these were now under consideration. He anticipated a decision fairly soon.

There being no further business the President closed the meeting at 4:40 pm. 

 

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Respectfully Submitted

 

 

Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty

September 19, 2001

 

Attachments to the archival copy of the minutes:

(1) The agenda.

(2) Detailed statements of the six changes to the Statutes

(Also to be found at the web site

 http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/xxxstatuteschanges.html)