Meeting of February 10, 2004

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Center



Members Present: Cabot (OIT); Clough (President); Gentry (ARCH); Henry (OSP); Horton (GTRI); Kahn (CEE); Mark (CoC); Marr (PSYCH); McGinnis (ISyE); Peterson (ECE); Schneider (MGT); Warren (EDI); Norville (G. Student); Watson (U. Student); Alexander (Staff Rep); Abdel-Khalik (SoF).


Members Absent: Chameau (Provost); Evans (GTRI); Huff (GTRI); Telotte (LCC); Uzer (PHYS).


Visitors: Bohlander (GTRI); Gailey (Athletic Assn), Hoey (OARS/Provost); Lohmann (Vice Provost); May (Pres. Office).  


1.      Larry Kahn (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:05 PM and called on the President to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.  The President offered the following comments:


a.       Congratulations to Coach Gailey for recruiting an outstanding group of student athletes with strong academic records; nearly one third of the football team is on the Dean’s list.


b.      The Legislature is still working on the FY04 Supplemental budget and will soon begin addressing the FY 05 budget.  The Governor’s FY05 budget proposal for “work load” money is very good; it fully funds the Formula, which is important for GT because of our enrollment growth. Additionally, full funding for MRR (Maintenance, Renovation, and Repair Fund) has been recommended by the Governor (last year GT received only one-fifth of the normal MRR funding level). These funds allow us to address facilities/classroom upkeep and repair needs.  The budget proposal also includes a 2% salary increase (with a $1600 cap).


c.       The Governor’s budget proposal includes an effective cut of 5%.   It also does not provide any ETACT funding (Equipment, Technology, and Construction Trust Fund) -- ETACT (~$15M/yr) was normally funded from the lottery; GT’s share was typically ~3.5 to 4.0M$/yr. The Chancellor’s budget presentation to the Legislature pointed to the need to restore ETACT funding.


d.      We are concerned about funding for our GTREP program (GT Regional Engineering Program); it is important that the program receives special allocation funding because of its rapid growth (formula funding is based on enrollment data from two years earlier).


e.       We are working with several groups (Commission for a New Georgia, Metro Chambers, and Georgia Research Alliance) to help develop a long-term strategy to improve the State’s economy and provide a road map for future budgets (FY06 and 07).


f.        We are pleased that a large number of our students have been serving as interns in the Legislature.  They are good “ambassadors,” who project an excellent image for Georgia Tech.


g.       Next week, Georgia Tech will host a legislative reception at the GT Hotel Conference Center; we expect a good turnout.  This will give us an opportunity to discuss some of the important higher education issues with the legislators.


h.       At the Federal level, we are concerned about the recommended reduction in DOD basic research support for FY05.  NSF and NIH will get modest increases.  The US Council on Competitiveness (co-chaired by Dr. Clough) is urging Congress and the President to increase R&D support; there is strong bipartisan support for increasing R&D to enhance our competitiveness and combat job losses to other countries.


i.         The Alumni Association has been working with us on enhancing our alumni’s awareness of Georgia Tech’s academic and research activities.  Tomorrow night we will host an event called “Georgia Tech: Innovating Here and Now;” faculty stars will give presentations on topics such as Nanotechnology, Tissue Engineering, and the Future of Computing.  Nearly 550 alumni have signed up for the event.   


j.        The Old Civil Engineering Building (OCEB), which was vacated when occupants moved to the new ES&T building, has since been used as temporary “swing space” to locate people while their buildings are being renovated; air conditioners were replaced and water leaks were fixed. The Department of Modern Languages was moved to OCEB while the Swann building is being renovated.  OCEB also contains some EAS labs which will eventually be moved to the Undergraduate Learning Center.  A recent article in the Technique raised concerns about air quality in OCEB and the wisdom of keeping the labs in the building.  A thorough study of air quality has been conducted by an outside consultant; the measurements did not reveal any problems, particularly in the laboratory part of the building.  Also, none of the students taking the labs or the faculty have reported any problems. We will continue to use the EAS laboratories in OCEB; however, if there are any problems, the labs will be moved. Modern Languages will be moved to another space (O’Keefe), while the Swann building renovations continue.


k.      The NCAA academic reform rules have taken effect.  The first stage dealt with initial eligibility; Georgia Tech’s admission standards are considerably higher than the NCAA requirements, so that the first stage of reforms does not impact us.  Continuing eligibility deals with progress towards a degree; the rules will now allow institutions to go to six years for graduation – our student athletes should progress adequately on that basis.  It is, nevertheless, more difficult for athletes pursuing demanding majors, such as engineering and science at institutions such as Georgia Tech, where 130 semester-hours are required with limited free electives (versus 120 for other institutions/majors with many free electives).  The second phase of the reforms deals with monitoring progress towards a degree (GT is one of very few institutions who have been doing that all along), and establishment of incentives/disincentives for institutions.  The NCAA Board (Dr. Clough is a member representing ACC) will vote on those recommendations in April 2004.  We will also have the opportunity to have a summer “bridge” program for football players which will help the students academically. Coach Gailey and his staff are to be complimented for their efforts.


A question was asked as to the timing of the Modern Languages Department move to the O’Keefe building. The President indicated that the move will be “staged” over the next three weeks.  A question was asked as to whether the Institute has taken a position on the HOPE Scholarship Program.   The President indicated that funding for the HOPE Scholarship Program will likely be modified, by eliminating mandatory fees and books.  They may also adjust the way the GPA is calculated; these changes, including the controversial requirement of a minimum SAT score, would not impact Georgia Tech, since our admission standards are well above such limits. A follow-up question was asked regarding the possibility of varying the level of support depending on the lottery proceeds.  The President indicated that it is unlikely that such “sophisticated” schemes would be considered. A question was asked as to whether we will see any relief in the “B-units” budget cuts.  The President indicated that he does not foresee any near-term relief, and that GT will be working with UGA (who also has serious B-unit budget cuts), and others on a long-term strategy to gradually restore funding for FY06 and 07.  A follow-up comment was made regarding the advisability of sheltering such units (e.g. the Advanced Wood Products Lab) from budget cuts.  The President indicated that while there may be strong political support for such activities, the State does not currently have the resources to fully fund them; hence, it is important to develop a long term strategy to relate such programs to economic development.  There were no other questions for the President.


2.      The Chair called for approval of the minutes of the January 13, 2004 Executive Board meeting.  The minutes were approved without dissent. (See Attachment #1 below).


3.      The Chair called on Coach Chan Gailey (Head Football Coach) to comment on Athletics and Academics at Georgia Tech.  Coach Gailey thanked the President and Dr. Kahn for giving him the opportunity to speak to the Board.  He stated that his primary aim today is to open a direct line of communications with the faculty. He indicated that, difficult as it may be, his goal is to recruit, coach, and educate student athletes who can win Championships, while doing their job in the classroom and earning their degrees. He pointed to outstanding student athletes like Calvin Johnson and Daryl Richards (1340 SAT defensive lineman), and indicated that he constantly reminds student-athletes of the outstanding academic-athletic opportunity offered by Georgia Tech. Coach Gailey reiterated his desire to open a direct line of communications with the faculty and invited them to call him if there are any issues or problems they wish to bring to his attention. 


The President indicated that he received many positive comments after the Humanitarian Bowl regarding the manner by which the Georgia Tech players conducted themselves.  A comment was made that eight of our players received “All-Academic” honors in the ACC; the most in the conference.  A comment was made that many student-athletes need part-time jobs during the off-season and that those jobs have regulated salaries and are in compliance with NCAA rules; GTRI has had very positive experience employing student-athletes over the past several years (contact Lucius Sanford for assistance).  A question was raised as to whether there are other avenues for Coach Gailey to communicate directly with the faculty; it was suggested that the General Faculty Assembly may be a good forum for such communication.  A suggestion was made that the periodic meetings of Schools Chairs held by the College Deans would also offer a good forum for communication.  A comment was made that the new NCAA rules for continued eligibility may discourage student athletes from pursuing degrees in challenging majors such as engineering and sciences, versus other disciplines where fewer credit hours are required.  Also, the new rules effectively prevent student-athletes from changing majors, since the milestones for progress towards a degree would be measured against the requirements of the new major. The Chair thanked Coach Gailey for his comments and invited him to speak at the upcoming February 24th meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly.


4.      The Chair called on Dr. Joseph Hoey (OARS/Provost) to present an assessment of compliance with SACS accreditation requirements.  A copy of the slides used in the presentation is attached (Attachment #2A below).  A list of issues identified by the Georgia Tech SACS Compliance Group as issues requiring attention is also attached (Attachment #2B below).   Hoey began by offering a brief overview of the SACS Reaffirmation process.  “Institutional Effectiveness” (i.e. doing what we say we intend to do) is the cornerstone of SACS new principles of accreditation.  Relevant policies and procedures must be in place to demonstrate compliance.  A Compliance Report will be submitted to SACS in September 2004 (effort is headed by Hoey), while the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) will be submitted in January 2005. An Offsite review of the Compliance Report will be conducted in November 2004, to be followed by a campus visit in March 2005.  The Commission on Colleges will take action on our SACS Reaffirmation in December 2005. 


Hoey listed the members of Georgia Tech’s SACS Compliance Group (see Attachment #2A); they represent a broad spectrum of academic and non-academic units around campus.  The Group has been working very hard since January 2003 to address SACS Standards and conduct an institutional pre-audit.  They have uncovered several “areas of risk” relative to GT’s academic policies and procedures. Hoey indicated that based on discussions with the Chair of the Executive Board and the Secretary of the Faculty, the Statutes Committee has been asked to examine those issues and provide recommendations as to how the policies and procedures documented in the Faculty Handbook can be revised to address them.  (A list of the issues identified by the Compliance Group is given in Attachment #2B below).  The issues include assuring institutional effectiveness across all academic units at all degree levels; verification of faculty credentials including part-time and adjunct faculty; formalizing faculty evaluation; and qualifications, training, and supervision of Graduate Teaching Assistants.  The latter issue includes enforcement of the “18-hour rule,” which requires a GTA listed as the “instructor of record” to have at least 18 graduate hours in the discipline.  Hoey concluded by summarizing the path forward.  He stated that the goal is to adopt and implement the policies and procedural changes recommended by the Statutes Committee, and assure that the changes are reflected in the Compliance Report to be submitted to SACS (due September 10, 2004). 


5.      Hoey introduced Dr. Ron Bohlander, Chair of the Faculty Statutes Committee, to present the proposed changes in the Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook in order to meet the SACS accreditation requirements.  A copy of the proposed revisions as presented by Dr. Bohlander is attached (Attachment #3 below).  Bohlander began by thanking members of the Statutes Committee for their efforts in preparing the recommended changes.  He stated that the changes can be divided into four groups; the first and second groups respectively address the first and second issues identified by the SACS Compliance Group (Attachment #2B), while the third group addresses the other three issues.  The fourth group of changes is aimed at “cleaning up” the Faculty Handbook to assure consistency with the recommended changes.  Bohlander indicated that many of the issues were addressed by replacing Faculty Handbook references to the outdated 1982 Board of Regents Policy Manual with references to the latest edition of the BoR Policy Manual published on the University System’s website (October 2003).  He stated that while it may have been sufficient to simply refer to the BoR Policy Manual (since we must comply with it), the Statutes Committee has decided to include direct quotations from the Policy Manual in the Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook in order to make it easier to use.  He stated that additional changes in the Handbook have also been recommended to address specific SACS requirements.


Referring to the document listing the proposed Handbook changes (Attachment #3), Bohlander indicated that the first column lists the proposed revised policies, while the current policies are listed in the second column; notes offering explanations and rationale for the recommended changes are given in the third column.  The first group of recommended changes is addressed in Section 3.1 of the Handbook (Academic Qualifications and Faculty Status). He pointed to the material included in the current Handbook which refers to Types I, II, and III institutions; much of the material does not apply to Georgia Tech, and will, therefore, be removed.  Section addresses the need to maintain evidence of academic credentials for faculty, including part-time, temporary, or visiting instructors, while Section 3.1.2 (Qualifications for Faculty Appointments) has been removed since the material is covered elsewhere.


The second group of changes deals with the need to implement a policy mandating evaluation of all instructors.  Bohlander indicated that this material is covered in Section 3.3 of the Handbook (Procedures for Evaluation, Reappointment, Non-Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion).  A section from the BoR Policy Manual dealing with the need to ensure that individuals responsible for conducting performance evaluations are appropriately trained has been added.  The last paragraph in the proposed policy addresses the need to perform such evaluations for all teaching faculty (tenured, non-tenured, part-time, temporary, or visiting). 


The third group of changes deals with the last three issues identified by the Compliance Group (Attachment #2B), namely, qualifications of graduate assistants (including the 18-hour rule); supervision, training, and evaluation of graduate assistants; and requiring degree programs to publish learning outcomes, and systematically assess whether students achieve such outcomes. The first two issues are closely related; they have been addressed through modifications to Section 5.10 of the Handbook (Educational Guidelines and Evaluations). The proposed revisions have incorporated direct quotations from the BoR Policy Manual dealing with academic program reviews (Section 5.10.1), which are consistent with current practices at Georgia Tech.  The roles of the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees in the review process have been delineated [see also recommended changes to sections and dealing with the roles of the two committees].  While periodic program reviews are already a part of the Curriculum Committees’ responsibilities stated in the current Handbook, the Committees may need additional “bodies” to be able to do so.  Bohlander indicated that he will discuss such needs with the Committees’ Chairs.  A question was asked regarding the frequency of unit assessments.  Lohmann indicated that units are expected to have an ongoing process for continuous assessment of their undergraduate and graduate degree programs; some of the assessments are done periodically (e.g. alumni surveys are done every three years) – units are expected to report annually on what they had done over the previous twelve months.  The program reviews are conducted on a six-year cycle.  Bohlander discussed the proposed revisions dealing with qualifications, supervision, training, and evaluation of graduate assistants; these changes have been incorporated in Section 5.10.2 and include a direct quotation from the BoR Policy Manual to address the training, assessment, and language-competency requirements.


Bohlander concluded his presentation by outlining the fourth group of modifications; these are “clean-up” items which do not specifically address any of the five issues identified by the Compliance Group. Instead, these revisions are recommended to ensure compatibility and/or accuracy of the various sections.  They include revisions to Sections 3.1.3 (Criteria for Promotion), Section 3.1.4 (Tenure), Section 3.1.5 (Notice of Employment and Resignation), Section 3.1.6 (Program Modification), 3.1.7 (Non-Tenure Personnel), 3.1.8 (Employment beyond Retirement), and 3.1.9 (Faculty Summer Salaries).  The changes primarily included the addition of relevant direct quotations from the BoR Policy Manual. Section 2.11 was also modified to provide a recent website reference to the membership lists of various Committees and faculty governance bodies.


A question was asked regarding the implications of the proposed changes on the GT1000 course (previously offered under the course designator for the School of Psychology), which is now offered under the GT course designator.  Hoey indicated that since there is no “GT” major, the instructor qualification requirement can be addressed with a relatively short statement indicating familiarity with the curriculum, knowledge of the course goals, and number of years of experience. A follow-up question was raised as to the need for GT1000 instructors to go through the training and reviews stated in the proposed policies.  Hoey indicated that since the course does not fall within a specific academic program, such reviews will not be required.  A question was asked as to how the proposed changes will be presented to the faculty (given their voluminous nature), so that the faculty can understand the details and “feel comfortable” with the proposed changes.  Bohlander indicated that, as was done today, the changes will be presented in sections that will be related to the issues identified by the SACS Compliance Group.  It was agreed that Dr. Bohlander and the Secretary of the Faculty should meet prior to the February 24, 2004 General Faculty meeting to work out the details in order to assure that the proposed changes are presented in a logical manner.  A follow-up question was asked as to the need for a positive vote on all the recommended changes and how that may impact the time table for the Compliance Report to be submitted to SACS in September.  The Secretary of the Faculty indicated that only changes to the Statutes/Bylaws (Section 2 of the Handbook) require approval at two readings (i.e. both the February 24 and April 20 meetings); other changes will require approval at only one meeting.  A comment was made that another faculty meeting can be called should the need arises.  McGinnis commented that the Faculty Handbook addresses both “Policy” and “Process” issues; policy issues are primarily addressed through the BoR Policy Manual, and we have no choice but to comply with them.  It would be helpful to identify and highlight the proposed changes where “Policy” and “Process” issues intersect, and/or processes are impacted; this will help faculty understand the implications of the proposed changes.  Bohlander concurred and thanked Dr. McGinnis for his insightful comment. 


The Chair thanked Dr. Hoey and Dr. Lohmann for their proactive efforts to assure compliance with SACS requirements.  He also thanked Dr. Bohlander and the Statutes Committee for the tremendous effort they have devoted to this issue which led to the proposed changes presented today; a comment was made that nearly 90% of the effort involved in creating the proposed changes was done by Dr. Bohlander.  Members applauded in appreciation of the effort.


6.      Ms. Barbara Henry (OSP), Co-chair of the Nominations Committee, reported on the activities of the Committee and presented the proposed ballot for the upcoming Spring elections (see Attachment #4 below).  Other Executive Board members, who also served on the Nominating Committee (Marr and Horton), commended Ms. Henry on the effective manner by which she conducted the process.  A motion to approve the proposed slate of candidates was agreed to without dissent.


7.      The Chair called on the Secretary of the Faculty to describe the election process.  Abdel-Khalik stated that the elections will be conducted in a similar manner as was done last year; individualized ballots will be electronically mailed  to all faculty on March 17, 2004 (third business day after Spring break) and a period of ten working days will be allowed for responses (March 17-31).   A “reminder” E-mail will be sent mid-way through the voting period (March 24th), and a final reminder will be sent on March 29th.  He stated that the mid-way reminder accounted for most of the ~40% increase in participation observed last year.  The second reminder may further increase participation.  A motion to approve the proposed election process passed without dissent.    It was suggested that the faculty be informed of the process ahead of time; Abdel-Khalik indicated that he will explore how this can be done effectively.


8.      The Chair presented the proposed agenda for the Spring meeting of the General faculty and General Faculty Assembly to be held on February 24th, 2004 (See attachment #5).  The main items on the agenda are the presentations on assessment of compliance with the SACS Accreditation and approval of the proposed changes in Statutes/Policies to meet the accreditation requirements.  The Chair indicated that if Coach Gailey is available, he would like to invite him to speak briefly at the meeting (similar to his presentation today). The proposed agenda, including the possible addition of Coach Gailey’s presentation, was approved without dissent.


9.      The Chair called for any other business; hearing none, he closed the meeting at 4:40 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Said Abdel-Khalik

Secretary of the Faculty

February 15, 2004


Attachments (to be included with the archival copy of the minutes)


1.      Minutes of the EB meeting of January 13, 2004.

2.      2005 SACS Reaffirmation:  Policies and Procedures Issues

a.       Presentation by Jack Lohmann and Joseph Hoey

b.      Issues Identified by the Georgia Tech SACS Compliance Group

3.      Proposed Changes to GIT Faculty Handbook (Presentation by Ron Bohlander)

4.      Proposed Ballot for Spring 2004 Faculty Elections

5.      Draft Agenda for the February 24th, 2004 meeting of the General Faculty and General Faculty Assembly