Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 3:00 pm

Student Center Theater


1.      Provost Bras opened the meeting at about 3:03 PM and provided the following remarks on matters of interest to the campus:

a) Congratulated Jen Abrams on being elected as the new Undergraduate Student Government Association President..

b) Discussed spring graduation ceremonies, and their times and dates.  We have four ceremonies.  Would like to see a large number of faculty at the ceremonies.  

c) Stated that Undergraduate Admissions is looking very good so far this year, our yield continues to improve.  Extrodinary class with excellent credentials.  Graduate admissions are also looking good.

d) Recognized Dr. Ron Bolander, who stepped down as the Secretary of the Faculty on April 9th.  He has served since 2006.  Ron is a resource that is hard to replace.  He cares about Faculty Governance and takes care of the necessary detail to make sure this runs properly.  He keeps the files, archives and the history of this Institution in the proper way, but also has the details himself.  He has more knowledge of everything that goes on than anyone.  He did extraordinary work that would not have been possible without him, such as the revamping of the Faculty Handbook, the Policy Library, and faculty redefinition.  A few, Jeanne Balsam, Bob Kirkman, Susan Cozzens, and Reta Pitkowsky, spoke about the great work he has done for GT.  Provost Bras then presented Ron with a GT Chair for his service.  Ron was very thankful and then stated there is something great about this Institution that is the collegiality we enjoy; something to cherish is we work that way.  Faculty Governance here is about getting things done, sticking up for the faculty, and making things better for the faculty.  He also acknowledged that he is thrilled that Ms. Jeanne Balsam is going to succeed him and wanted to thank his predecessor, Professor Said Abdel-Khalik, who set an excellent example for him.

2.      Provost Bras asked for the minutes of the November 17, 2015 meeting to be approved.  He indicated that the minutes were posted on the faculty governance web site and no additions or corrections had been received. (See Attachment #1 below for web site reference).   The minutes were approved without dissent.  

3.      The Provost then called on Ms. Reta Pikowsky, Registrar, to present the candidates for the spring commencement.  She stated there are more than 3,000 students on the graduation list.  She stated that the spring list of degree candidates has been reviewed and revised as necessary and she moved to approve it.  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent. 

4.      The President called on Prof. Joe Hughes, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to recommend changes to the Faculty Handbook.  He provided a markup of the proposed changes in Attachment #2a.  Prof. Hughes explained that the change was to add the words “faculty” and “research” to the handbook into the rules of election to the Faculty Executive Board to make it clear that each group elects its own members. 

Prof. Hughes moved that the Faculty accept Section 2.1 as modified.  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.

He went on to explain a request to rearrange material in section 3.2.1, Research Faculty: Hiring and Promotion Guidelines.  Prof. Hughes provided a markup of the proposed modification in Attachment #2b.  There are no changes to the text, only a request to move some of the information to make it clearer.

 Prof. Hughes moved that the Faculty accept the modifications to Section 3.2.1.  The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.

Mr. Rick Hartlein introduced a procedure question: how to make a request for recommendations to the hiring and promotion guidelines to the appropriate group to consider.  Provost Bras proposed that EVPR office should review suggestions.  The key person to speak with would be Monique Tavares in EVPR.  Provost Bras stated that a proposal should be formulated in EVPR office and then on to Faculty Governance for consideration.

5.   The Provost then called attention to three sets of minutes (Attachment #3) of the Standing Committees of the Faculty

a)   Statutes Committee (Prof. Joe Hughes, Chair):  3/12/15.  No additional action items.

b)   Faculty Services Committee (Prof. Sonit Bafna, Chair) 9/15/14. 10/20/14. 11/17/14, 1/26/15, 3/23/15

c)   Welfare and Security Committee (Mr. Andrew Hardin, Chair):  12/2/14, 3/13/15.  No action items.

A motion was made and seconded to approve these minutes, and it passed without dissent.

6.      The Provost then called on representatives of Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty to present minutes and action items requiring approval, found in Attachment #3.  The following provides an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.  Where presenters utilized additional presentation materials, they are noted below and provided as attachments.

a)      Student Regulations Committee: (Prof. Al Ferri, Chair) 1/14/15, 3/11/15, 4/1/15. See presentation in Attachment #3a.

Prof. Ferri explained the following action items using Attachment 3a.  Action Items: From 3/11: Recommended changes in the Student Code of Conduct especially as it relates to sexual harassment and misconduct and the revised Georgia Tech policies on that subject applicable to all on campus; many of the changes are imposed on us by the federal government and Title IV. 


Prof. Ferri discussed an amendment of the tentative honors regulation in the Georgia Tech Catalog.  This has to do with graduation and determination of honors. 

A motion was made and seconded and it passed without dissent.


From 4/1: Five Recommendations to the Academic Calendar.  Prof. Ferri was aided by Dr. Steven Girardot and Ms. Reta Pitkowsky, Registrar:

1.  Dead Week (Week preceding final examinations) be replaced by two full days of instruction followed by a reading period. (Committee approved this change).

2.  No Final Exams will be scheduled on the Friday prior to commencement.  Final exams would start on Thursday rather than Monday. (Committee approved this change).

3.  Two additional holidays be built into the calendar, one of them is the day preceding Thanksgiving; the other is the day directly before or directly after July 4th. (Committee approved this change).

4.  Recommendation to restrict how early spring semester can begin, has to be at least the second Monday in January. (Committee approved this change).

5.  Fifteen minutes of transit time between classes as opposed to ten minutes. Lengthening the class periods on MWF lectures from 50 minutes to 55 minutes.  This is a far-reaching change, much positive feedback.  May be more tendency for there to be conflicts in people’s schedules. (Committee has not yet approved this change, is not being voted on today). Projected phase in date would be fall of 2017 so we have time to work out the details.


Prof Ferri moved for a motion to approve the four policy changes.  Dr. Bras thanked those on the committee for the effort to respond from very clear statements from our students.  Discussion occurred:


Question 1: We are voting for the dead week and two days of instruction correct? So technically the student could be taught new material on those two days of instruction, and then given a final exam that Thursday?  Yet we would still not be allowed to provide homework that week, so what is the purpose of those instructional days?

Answer 1: Yes we are voting for the dead week change.  We actually have more contact minutes per semester than the board of regents requires, and so we get some flexibility from that.  We can therefore cut a few days out of that “dead week”, and give the day off before Thanksgiving. Basically this takes dead week, which is a highly regulated week, and gives it two of those days become real class days with much less restrictions.


Question 2: My concern remains that a student could end up with 3 final projects being due on that last Tuesday, and then another exam on that Thursday.  My question is, did the student representation say this is okay?

Answer 2:  Yes they did, it has gone through SGA and student leadership, and a graduate student was also part of the decision.  They are extremely excited about the possibility of these changes being made.

Provost Bras called for a vote on the motion; it passed with 1 vote of dissent.

      Prof. Ferri presented a modification to the Student code of Conduct that are being imposed or strongly recommended by the Federal Government.  This is an attempt to align the Student Code of Conduct with GT Sexual Misconduct Policy.  He continued with a discussion about prohibited non-academic conduct.  There are 21 prohibitive items, with this modification there will be 22 prohibitive items.


Question 1: On slide 7, there was some wording that discussed changes in student accommodations: academic, living, and work. I’m not too sure how policy taken here would impact the student’s work/employment.  Maybe needs to be reworded to reflect what it actually means, I am concerned of the language.

Answer 1: That is speaking to student employment, or federal work-study (there are over 3700 student employees).

Motion to vote to add a friendly amendment to add “campus work”. All were approved without dissent.


b)      Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee: (Prof. Rhett Mayor, Chair) 2/24/15, 3/3/15, 3/24/15, 3/31/15, 4/7/15, & 4/14/15.  See presentation in Attachment #3b.

Prof. Mayor explained the following action items using Attachment 3b Action Items: 

From 3/3: ChBE – modification in the Minor in Energy Systems to add ChBE as a participating school along with appropriate course requirements; Modern Languages – 1 new course with attributes; INTA – 1 new course with attributes; LMC – 1 new course with attributes; Public Policy – 3 new courses + 3 new courses with attributed + modification in the Law, Science, & Technology minor and the Pre-Law Certificate involving clarification of course options. 

From 3/24: Change in Minor Guidelines.  Organized to be clearer and reworded to better explain requirements.

·       Main theme here is adding concentrations and certificates

·       Transfer credit is now covered in minors, as long as it meets our equivalency

·       Changed the language to say that every course in a minor needs to be at least a C to maintain that 2.0.

Prof. Mayor moved for the approval of these actions. They were approved without dissent.


From 3/31:  HTS – rename the School of History, Technology, and Society to the School of History and Sociology; HTS – modification of the Minor in History and in the Minor in Sociology involving changes in the types of courses that can be counted toward the minor; BME – modification in the Minor in Biomedical Engineering involving changes in course requirements; LMC – 1 new course; CoC – modification in the Minor in Scientific Engineering Computing and in the Minor in Computational Data Analysis involving changes in the minors’ grade and course requirements; ChBE – 2 new courses + modification of the BS degree in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering involving course requirements and options; INTA – modification in the Certificate in European Affairs involving completion of the incorporation of aspects of the prior European Union Certificate and modifications in certificate course requirements and options; Public Policy – 1 new course + 2 more new courses with attributes; Music – renumbering and/or renaming of 8 courses with attributes + 6 other new courses. 

From 4/14: Biology – 6 new courses + modification in the BS degree in Biology involving the addition of internships and the structure of electives; Building Construction – 1 new course and new Certificate in Construction Management; CEE – modification in the Minor in Leadership Studies, involving the addition of a Global Engineering Track; Business – modification in the BS degree in Business Administration, Marketing Concentration and Information Technology Concentration, involving changes in course requirements and options; Business – modification in the Certificate in Information Technology Management, involving changes in course requirements and options; HTS – modification in the BS degree in History, Technology, and Society involving caps on pass/fail credit hours and on number of Ds that count toward electives; HTS and LMC – new interdisciplinary Minor in Social Justice; LMC – new Minor in Science Fiction Studies; ME – Addition of the Research Option to the BS degree in Mechanical Engineering with appropriate requirements for courses and a thesis.

Prof. Mayor moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items.  All were approved without dissent.

Motion to approve all minutes, second, and passed.

c)       Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee: (Prof. Victor Breedveld, Chair) 3/5/15, 4/9/15.  See presentation in Attachment #3c.

Prof. Breedveld explained the following action items using Attachment 3c Action Items:

From 3/5: ChBE – 1 new course; Building Construction – 1 new course; ECE – a new subject code for ECE Professional (ECEP) + 5 new courses with that subject code + approval of a new Professional Master’s Degree in Sustainable Electrical Energy approved for distance learning delivery. 

·       Courses marked as not-approved fall into two categories. There are courses that the committee would probably approve in one of our next upcoming meetings, once they have gathered all the information.  The other category is for really new material, it has not been taught by any existing faculty. Not all of these classes can be taught quite yet (8803’s).

·       3 years of professional work experience required, strict GPA requirements.


From 4/9: HTS – rename the School of History, Technology, and Society to the School of History and Sociology; Applied Physiology – 1 new course; AE – 5 new courses; CoE – new subject code MLDR for Manufacturing Leadership; ISyE – 4 new courses; ChBE – 3 new courses; College of Business – online delivery for 3 courses;

College of Business & ISyE, & ChBE – new degree Professional Masters in Manufacturing Leadership.

·       Requirement of at least one year of professional work experience in a engineering or science related field

·       Delivered in hybrid/fully online.

Question 1:  Why specifically does this need a new designator?

Answer 1:  The request from ECE was to keep the professional masters program totally separate from the current Masters program.  From the registrar’s viewpoint, having a clear track of where things are makes it easier to keep track of things.

Prof. Breedveld moved to approve all action items that was approved.

He made another motion to approve the minutes, it was seconded, and approved

7.      Dr. Bras adjourned the meeting at about 5:10 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,

Jeanne Balsam
Secretary of the Faculty

October 14, 2015


Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes: 

  1. Minutes of the February 17, 2015 meeting of the Faculty, Faculty Senate and Academic Faculty Senate.
  2. Proposed Faculty Handbook revisions:
    1. Section 2.1
    2. Section 3.2.1
  3. Minutes of Standing Committee  
    1. Presentation on the minutes and action items of the SRC.
    2. Presentation on the minutes and action items of the IUCC
    3. Presentation on the minutes and action items of the IGCC