GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
CALLED MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
MEETING OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE
GENERAL FACULTY ASSEMBLY
Tuesday, September 14, 2004, 3:00 pm
Student Center Theater
1. The President opened the meeting at 3:05 PM. He expressed appreciation to the outgoing Executive Board Chair and Vice-Chair, Professor Larry Kahn (CEE) and Ms. Barbara Henry (OSP), for their efforts during the past year, and stated that Professor Leon McGinnis (ISyE) and Professor Joe Hughes (ECE) have been elected to serve as Executive Board Chair and Vice-Chair for 2004-05. The President offered the following remarks on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community:
a. We have an excellent incoming freshman class -- a record class size of 2580 students with average SAT score of 1334 and high school GPA of 3.72. It is a very diverse class with over 30% women (a milestone for GT); the percentages of African American and Hispanic students have also increased. The President thanked all those who have helped our new students get settled on campus -- Greek students, Student Services, Police Department, Auxiliary Services, Parking, and Housing.
b. New faculty reception was held last week -- 48 outstanding new faculty members have joined us this year.
c. Thanks to the efforts of the faculty, we have had another record year in research awards and expenditures.
There were no questions for the President.
2. The President presented a review of State Budget allocations. A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached (See Attachment #1 below). A list of budget issues was presented. The President indicated that one of the issues is “immediate,” while the other may potentially be an “ongoing”, long-term, problem. He stated that during the summer, the Governor reviewed the budget and became concerned with the “payroll shift” used by the Legislature as one of the measures to balance the FY05 budget (the cost of the last payrol period was shifted to the next fiscal year). The Governor decided to “recall” this shift, which amounts to nearly $180M. The decision was made to have the cost of such shift borne by those who “generated it.” This presents a big problem for the University System, since we are among the very few entities in State Government with monthly payroll (versus bi-weekly). The University System’s share of this budget shortfall is nearly $68M, while Georgia Tech’s share is nearly $7.3M; when other segments of the budget are included (e.g. EDI and other parts of our organization), the actual cost to GT is nearly $8M. The Chancellor has had discussions with Presidents of the various campuses to determine what can be done to ameliorate the effects of such mid-year budget cuts. Among the possible actions are: (1) mid-year tuition increases; (2) layoffs (GT has laid off nearly 60 people and eliminated nearly 200 positions as a result of earlier budget cuts); and (3) enrollment caps (other reasons for such caps will be discussed later).
The President stated that the sum of State budget cuts for GT over the past several years (excluding the latest cuts) is nearly $45M -- during the same period, we have had tuition increases and workload budget increases; however, the basic State allocation for GT has decreased. Since the 80’s, a “formula” has been used to provide budget increases commensurate with increased enrollments. This has helped GT offset the budget cuts because of increasing enrollments. Questions arose recently as to whether full-funding of the formula will continue. The Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) has asked the various State agencies to submit three budgets (97%, 100% and 103% of the proposed budget). The Chancellor inquired as to whether the formula will be funded separately; the answer was that the formula would not be funded separately, and that such funding would have to be captured within the 103% recommendation. Full-funding of the formula corresponds to ~$103M, while the 103% recommendation would provide an increase of only $80M. This means that for the first time in nearly 20 years, the budget instruction does not allow for full-funding of the formula. When the Chancellor expressed concern to OPB and the Governor’s staff that someone working on budget instruction may in fact be setting State policy for higher education, he was informed that the budget instructions are correct. While the policy implications of such a decision are not completely clear at this time, the question is whether this is a “one-time event,” or will it be an “ongoing” problem? In a recent presentation to Presidents of the University System campuses, OPB indicated that State revenues for next year will likely be ~$1B higher than this year. However, after accounting for the increased costs of health care, prisons, and K-12 education, only $100M will be left to address all the remaining needs; it is unlikely that there will be any tax increases to address such needs.
A plot of undergraduate, graduate, and total Fall enrollments at Georgia Tech during the past decade was shown. Total enrollment increased from ~13,000 in 1994 to ~17,000 in 2004, with increases in both undergraduate and graduate enrollments. During the past several years, we have also significantly increased student retention, which results in higher enrollments; retention levels after the first year have increased from nearly 85% for the freshman class of 1996 to nearly 92% for the 2003 freshman class. Graduation rates have also increased significantly reaching nearly 72% for the 1997 class, and are expected to reach 80% for the 2004 freshman class. A plot of research awards during the past decade shows an increase from ~$180M in 1995 to ~345M in 2004. During the same period, the number of faculty increased by nearly 150, and new facilities were added.
A plot of budget expenditures and State funding levels during the past decade was shown. The total expenditures have increased from ~$400M in FY95 to ~$800M for FY05. During that time period State funding increased from ~$150M to only ~$200M primarily due to formula funding to account for enrollment increases from 12,900 in FY95 to 16,813 in FY05. The President pointed out that current State funding for GT is nearly the same as that for FY00 despite an enrollment increase of ~2000 students since that time, i.e. budget increases due to formula funding of higher enrollments have been “negated” by State budget cuts. The increase in total funding is due to increases in research funding, tuition, and auxiliary funding. At this time, State funds account for only ~25% of GT’s total expenditures (versus ~34% in FY95). The question then is whether it is wise for GT and the University System as a whole to increase enrollments if the formula will not be fully-funded -- this is an important policy issue that needs to be discussed. The President indicated that the Chancellor’s policy is that regardless of the outcome of this discussion, we should maintain quality.
Bar graphs comparing Georgia Tech’s in-State and out-of-State undergraduate and graduate tuition and fees for 2003-04 against those for peer public institutions were shown (private peer institutions such as MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford were not included since they are all “off the charts”). Georgia Tech’s in-State undergraduate tuition and fees are twelfth among those for the 14 public peer institutions, while in-State graduate tuition is thirteenth; our out-of-State undergraduate and graduate tuitions are ninth among the same group. In all cases, Georgia Tech’s tuition and fees are below the peer weighted average, and well- below the peer weighted 75th percentile (a level commensurate with the high quality of Georgia Tech’s education). The President stated that if our tuition and fees were at the 75th percentile level among our peer public institutions, we would be able to address the issues facing us and significantly enhance quality (e.g. offer smaller class sizes); however, tuition increases should enhance quality rather than simply compensate for loss of State support – this policy decision needs to be discussed. A similar comparison applies for the University System as a whole; University System tuition ranks fourteenth among those in the southeastern region states.
A graph of projected University System enrollment was shown; it shows a projected growth from the current level of ~255,000 to ~345,000 in the Fall of 2020. These figures are based on projected high school enrollments and Georgia’s current (low) level of participation in higher education (i.e. they are conservatively low). The question then is: If the formula is not fully funded (i.e. if we do not grow or build new schools), where will those high school graduates go? In a recent speech, the Chancellor has articulated the nature of the problem and asked many thoughtful questions; throughout the speech, he emphasized the need to maintain academic excellence. Several quotations from the Chancellor’s speech were presented; among them are: “The choice we must make is we live with the effect of reduced resources on academic quality or we change our tuition policies. Again – quality is the guiding principle,” and “The choice we must make is to either live with the effects of keeping the doors open to all those prepared for college or revise our policies to reflect the size of the student body we can serve well.” A summary of the actions included in the long-term strategy proposed by the Chancellor was presented. These include: “(1) increasing tuition to manage a portion of the funding gap; (2) adjusting student enrollment and admissions to our actual physical and financial capacity to deliver high quality in instruction and research; (3) continuing to find efficiencies and savings whenever possible; and (4) cutting support personnel costs to handle part of the shortfall.” The Board of regents will meet in October to decide whether there will be a mid-year tuition increase; it is unlikely that the tuition increase will fully-offset the budget cuts since that would require a 27% tuition increase.
The President stated that Georgia Tech has been looking at new ways to generate revenue; among these are: (1) royalties, ownership in companies, etc.; (2) reaching agreement with the State to delegate authority for operations and facilities; (3) agreeing on market-value approach for tuition; (4) using 3rd party entities to acquire land; (5) working with the State to create a new approach to fund facilities critical to research and economic development; and (6) continuing to look for cost efficiencies. The President concluded by pointing to Georgia Tech’s standing as one of the best educational institutions in the Nation, and to the many accomplishments of our faculty.
A question was asked as to whether large peer public institutions (e.g. Penn State) have decided to increase their tuition as a means of getting more money. The President indicated that, historically, universities in New England have had a high tuition structure; higher tuition and higher enrollments produce higher revenues. A question was asked as to whether students received a “document” at the beginning of the year stating what tuition will be, and whether such document can be viewed as a contract. The President stated that students received a letter; however, it does not say that tuition will not change. He stated that while we need to increase tuition, we are not in the best position to help economically-disadvantaged students, since the State of Georgia views tuition income as “State money,” which can not be used for financial aid. Other universities such as Harvard and MIT designate a portion of their endowment to help economically-disadvantaged students as tuition increases; the money available to us to do that is limited. A question was asked as to whether there are any plans to restructure the HOPE Scholarship program. The President indicated that several triggers have been added; none of which has been activated. If tuition and fees were to increase, they will start limiting the amount to be paid by the HOPE Scholarship. He indicated that most citizens of Georgia view this program as an “entitlement;” however, based on the projected number of HOPE scholarship recipients, the program will have to be restructured to meet the demand. A comment was made that several influential politicians view the University System as “greedy;” are there equally influential people who understand the situation and support our position? The President answered affirmatively. He also indicated that he and the Provost have participated in “retreats” hosted by influential Georgia Tech alumni, all of whom support GT and believe that it is important for both Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia to remain in the top twenty public universities. He stated that we will present our case to the Governor, and that there may be other mechanisms to add funding to research universities in the System, e.g. through the Georgia Research Alliance.
The Provost added that we need to look at the positive side of this situation; we began the fiscal year from a very good base. We are working with the Deans to see how we can handle this budget cut; there are still a number of efficiency improvements we can make -- hopefully, we will be able to handle this cut with limited impact on our students. He stated that he is more concerned about the long-term impact of not fully-funding the formula. We are in a position to raise tuition over the next five years; however, we must be allowed to use a part of the tuition for financial aid to economically-disadvantaged students.
3. The President called for approval of the minutes of the April 20, 2004 called meeting of the General Faculty combined with meeting of the Academic Senate and Annual Meeting of the Academic Faculty. He indicated that the minutes had been posted on the faculty governance website and that a link was provided from this meeting’s agenda. The minutes were approved without dissent. (See attachment #2 below for web site reference).
4. The President called on Dr. Gisele Bennett (GTRI) to present the proposed revisions to the Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy. Copies of the slides used in the presentation, along with a listing of the proposed policy, and line-by-line and section-by-section comparisons between the current and proposed COI policies, are attached (See Attachment #3 below). Bennett began by listing members of the COI Committee; the Committee was co-chaired by Bennett and Jilda Garton (GTRC), and included members from various campus units who have had direct involvement in various aspects of the policy. She stated that the Committee was formed two years ago on the recommendation of both the Intellectual Property (IP) policy review committee and the Distance Learning Committee. The Committee’s charter, as defined by the Executive Board, was to review the Institute’s COI policy in light of changes made to the IP and distance learning policies, and offer recommendations for revisions. Bennett stated that there are a number of situations in which conflict of interest may potentially arise; these include: external corporate ventures and/or consulting relating to areas such as sponsored research, licensing of university technology, clinical studies involving human subjects, mentoring of students, and use of university facilities. She stated that the purpose of the policy is to provide clear guidance to all university employees (faculty, staff, and students) in order to avoid potential or actual conflict of interest.
Bennett stated that in drafting the revised policy, the committee began by reviewing policies and guidelines required by the State, the Board of Regents, and Federal agencies, including NSF and NIH. She stated that State law defines “substantial interest” as direct or indirect ownership of more than 25% of assets or stock of any business, and that no employee with more than 24.9% ownership may transact business with the State. The Board of Regents’ COI policies recognize IP and the desire or necessity for an employee to participate as a consultant or advisor that could lead to financial gain; policies to eliminate, reduce and/or manage any real or apparent COI should be adopted. NSF places a cap on significant financial interest as receiving an amount greater than $10k or 5% ownership in a single entity. Bennett listed the various topics reviewed by the COI committee; these include: (1) entrepreneurial activities (encouraged but must be reviewed by COI committee); (2) Students (must follow COI guidelines and must be represented on appropriate COI committees); (3) Use of GT facilities (may be used after approval with appropriate charges); (4) SBIR language (removed since GT does not participate in SBIRs); and (5) consulting hours (clarified for both full and part-time employees with either hourly or non-hourly timekeeping). She stated that full-time faculty members are allowed an average of one day consulting per week (39 days for AY appointments and 52 days for FY appointments). General faculty members with hourly timekeeping are allowed to consult outside the normal work hours. A simple formula has been added to the policy in order to establish the consulting limits for part-time faculty (e.g. an AY faculty member with 75% appointment is allowed 29 days (39 x 0.75) of consulting within that 75% appointment; he/she is free to do what he/she wishes during the remaining 25% time). She indicated that unpaid summer terms and leaves are not subject to the consulting limits imposed in the policy.
Bennett stated that several topics have been added to the revised policy; these include: (1) categories of COI, including “individual conflict,” “conflict of commitment,” and “institutional conflicts;” (2) establishment of a COI Committee; (3) disclosure to the IRB; (4) disclosure to students (faculty members need to disclose to the students working under their direction, including undergraduates, if they are working on research for a company in which the faculty member has a financial interest); (5) Conflict of commitment (the employee’s first commitment is to the university); (6) distance learning and education (need to be reported to the Vice Provost for Distance Learning and Professional Education); and (7) Institutional COI (the Institute needs to be sensitive to and abide by COI requirements; examples include ownership in spin-off companies).
Bennett stated that the exact wording of the proposed policy (Revision to Section 5.2 of the Faculty Handbook), along with a section-by-section and a line-by-line comparison between the proposed and old policies, has been published on the web, and that a link was provided from this meeting’s agenda (See Attachment #3 below). She concluded by stating that the COI Committee recommends that the revised policy be included in the Faculty Handbook.
A question was asked as to whether the earning limitations from outside organizations apply to part-time faculty. Bennett stated that the rules with respect to 25% ownership apply to persons who own companies doing business with the State (this is specified in State Law); the rules do not impose constraints on the hourly rates charged for consulting. A follow-up question was asked as to whether such rules apply to an adjunct faculty member who may be hired to teach a course. Bennett indicated that these rules apply whenever a person is doing business with the State; that does not mean that we can’t hire such a person – it means that such transactions have to be disclosed and managed. A question was asked as to whether we should ask people being hired as adjuncts about any business they may be doing with the State. The President indicated that any person we hire should be made aware of these policies since they are subject to State Law.
The President thanked Dr. Bennett and the Committee for their effort. He indicated that no motions or votes are to be taken on the revised policy, and that it will be referred to the Statutes Committee for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook.
5. The president called on Ms. Barbara Henry (OSP) to discuss regulations related to the use of vertebrates in teaching and research. A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached (See Attachment #4 below). Ms. Henry stated that, as Director of the Office of Research Compliance, she would like to make sure that faculty members who work with animals for either teaching or research are fully cognizant of regulations that govern such use. She stated that Federal law and institutional policies require that all use of vertebrates in teaching and research be reviewed and pre-approved by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC). The two regulatory agencies that govern the use of vertebrates are the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Public Health Service (PHS) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). She stated that Georgia Tech carefully follows the requirements of these agencies and that institutional policies have been implemented to guide what members of the campus community can do with animals consistent with these requirements.
Henry stated that the USDA Animal Welfare Act regulates the use of any live or dead warm-blooded animals in research, experimentation, teaching or testing, except for rats, mice, and birds used in research, while the PHS-OLAW regulates the use (or intent to use) of any live vertebrates in research training, experimentation, biological testing, or related purposes. She indicated that vertebrates include, without limitation, all fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is charged with reviewing and approving all animal use at Georgia Tech regardless of its purpose. IACUC has the authority to require modifications in or withhold approval of protocols or proposed changes to ongoing activities. The Committee also has the authority to suspend any animal work at any time if it is found to be in violation of any guidelines (Federal or Institutional). The Committee also reviews and investigates allegations of non-compliance, and makes recommendations to Institute Officials regarding any aspect of the institution’s animal program, facilities, or personnel training. IACUC conducts continuing reviews of protocol activities at least annually, and inspects animal facilities and laboratories at least semi-annually. Henry stated that there are several on-line training courses available through the Laboratory Animal Training Association; everyone who proposes to work with animals must complete the module on humane care and use of animals, as well as the module on occupational safety. She stated that during the past few weeks, the IACUC has issued its own Occupational Health and Safety Program; it is a comprehensive document which was prepared to train people working with animals on how to assure their own safety, as well as that of the animals.
Henry concluded by providing contact information for the Office of Research Compliance (email@example.com) and a web address for additional information, including IACUC policies and procedures, application forms required for review, mandatory training requirements, and reporting concerns regarding animal care and use (www.osp.gatech.edu/compliance/animals/animals.htm).
The President thanked Ms. Henry for her presentation.
6. The President called for approval of the minutes of Standing Committees of the General Faculty which do not contain any action items, all of which have been posted on the web (see Attachment #5 below)
a. Statutes: 02/10/04
b. Welfare & Security: 02/10/04; 04/29/04; 05/27/04
The President indicated that representatives of these committees are available to answer any questions. The minutes were approved without dissent.
7. The President called on Chairs of two standing committees of the Academic Senate to introduce minutes from their respective committee meetings and action items therein. He indicated that these minutes were published on the faculty governance web site and that a link was provided from the formal agenda for this meeting (see Attachment #5 below).
a. Bill Green, Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee, indicated that there are six sets of minutes to be approved (04/08/04; 04/22/04; 04/28/04; 06/10/04; 07/29/04; and 09/07/04). He provided a list of action items contained in those minutes which require separate approval by the faculty (See Attachment #6 below); these include: new courses in Management and Computing (04/22/04); a new course in Public Policy, participation of MSE in multidisciplinary PSE MS and PhD, and new PhD program and courses in Applied Physiology (06/10/04); change in Management degree name from International EMBA to Global Executive MBA, and CoC offering of MS degree at GTL beginning Spring’05 (07/29/04); and ISyE offering of MS in Operations Research via video (09/07/04). The Provost requested that the action items be amended so that, in addition to the name change for the Global Executive MBA degree, the College of Management is allowed to offer that degree at other locations (besides Atlanta), including France (GTL) and South America (Argentina). A motion to approve the minutes of the Graduate Curriculum Committee meetings dated 04/08/04; 04/22/04; 04/28/04; 06/10/04; 07/29/04; and 09/07/04, and all the action items therein (including the “friendly amendment” offered by the Provost) passed without dissent.
b. Danielle McDonald and Karen Boyd, acting in behalf of Brent Carter, Chair of the Student Activities Committee, indicated that there are three sets of minutes to be approved (09/09/03; 10/30/03; and 03/17/04). The minutes of the March 17, 2004 meeting contain an action item dealing with revisions to the Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures for Student Organizations. The revisions were recommended by the Student Regulations Committee. They include: (1) addition of webpage to the introduction of the Code; (2) revision of Article VI Section D (Appeals) to remove the requirement for review by the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee; (3) revision of Article V (Sanctions) Section D by removing the sections dealing with “Interim Suspension” from the Rules and Regulations governing Student Organizations and including them only in the Student Code of Conduct in order to avoid confusion; and (4) re-lettering section C “Board of Regents’ Policy 406.01” to section E. A motion to approve the action items recommended by the Student Activities Committee passed without dissent. A follow-up motion to approve the minutes of the Student Activities Committee dated 09/09/03; 10/30/03; and 03/17/03 passed without dissent.
8. The President called for approval of the minutes of other Standing Committees of the Academic Senate which do not contain any action items, all of which have been posted on the web (see Attachment #5 below).
a. Student Academic & Financial Affairs: 09/16/03; 03/05/04
The President indicated that the Committee Chair (Professor William Johnson) is available to answer any questions. The minutes were approved without dissent.
9. The President called for any other business; hearing none, the meeting was adjourned at 4:20 PM.
Secretary of the Faculty
September 20, 2004
Attachments to be included with archival copy of the minutes:
a. April 20, 2004 Called meeting of the General Faculty combined with meeting of the Academic Senate & Annual Meeting of the Academic Faculty: http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/ASAFGF2004-042004-Minuteswbpg.htm