Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 3:00 pm

Student Center Theater


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

a)      He noted that the administration faced difficult decisions as recently as this morning concerning winter weather and possibly closing the campus.  Opening was delayed and he thanked those attending for their efforts in coming.

b)      Dr. Peterson announced that Dean of Students John Stein had taken on the additional duties of Vice-President for Student Affairs on an interim basis, following the departure of Dr. William Schafer for West Virginia University.  The President indicated he had asked Mr. Stein to prepare a visioning statement for student affairs.

c)      Commencement speakers have been set for the spring commencement: President Emeritus Wayne Clough will speak at the graduate student commencement on Friday evening, May 1, and he would receive an honorary doctorate.  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would be the speaker for the morning Bachelor’s commencement, May 2, and Gen. Philip Breedlove, Commander, Supreme Allied Command, Europe, would be the speaker at the afternoon session.

d)     Innovation Centers have been opened by a number of companies in Technology Square to promote technical interchanges with Georgia Tech, including initiatives by AT&T Mobility, Coca Cola Enterprises, EY, GM, The Home Depot, NCR, Panasonic, Penguin Computing, and ThyssenKrupp Elevator America.

e)      Planning was underway for the new High-Performance Computing Center Building in Technology Square.  It would be erected as a 700,000 sq. ft. office and laboratory building adjoining an historic part of the Crum and Forster Building now on Spring Street.  Proposals were being received for development, with completion targeted for first quarter 2018.  A faculty committee was assisting with planning. 

f)       The Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) on 10th St was nearing completion.  Opening was planned for June 1.  The cost of the building was financed by state and private contributions, 80% of which would have been paid by the opening.

g)      Dr. Peterson noted the recent incident in Scheller College in which a holdup of a student was attempted.  He described several upgrades to security arrangements in that building.  Across the campus, a thousand security cameras had been installed and were continually monitored.  He stated that benchmarking of safety at Georgia Tech compared with other universities showed that Tech was near the top in safety, but it continued to try to make the campus safer.

h)      Georgia Tech had begun a new wellness initiative combining care for a number of important aspects of health (including mental health), safety, and well-being.  A search was underway for the Director of a new Center for Campus Health and Well-Being.  This new center would serve all members of the campus community. 

i)        President Peterson reviewed progress on funding requests to the Georgia Legislature which covered additional needs in the Advanced Technology Development Center and the renovation of the Library.

j)        The administration would be conducting town hall meetings with units around the campus during the spring.

The President called on Provost Rafael Bras to provide additional news:

k)      The SACSCOC Accreditation Team would conduct their site visit to Georgia Tech on March 9-12.  One of the features of their visit would be their review of Georgia Tech’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  The theme and title of this plan would be Serve-Learn-Sustain.  He commended Profs. Ellen Zegura and Beril Toktay for their leadership in developing the 2015 QEP.  Dr. Bras noted that an outcome of the last QEP was raising the level of undergraduate student involvement in research to 38% and in meaningful international experiences to 48%. 

l)        The 3rd Annual Arts Festival would run from February 18 – March 7.  He urged the faculty to participate and keep abreast of plans at

m)    Finally Dr. Bras noted that a team of faculty, administrators, and students, led by Vice-Provost Colin Potts, was far along in planning for significant academic calendar changes.  He asked that the faculty support this initiative.

2.      President Peterson asked for the minutes of the November 18, 2014 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.      Dr. Peterson asked Prof. Martha Grover, Chair of the Faculty Nominations Committee, to tell about opportunities to run for elected faculty governance positions in the spring elections.  Prof. Grover showed a summary of the positions open for election in Attachment #2.  She asked that everyone attending either volunteer to run for an office or nominate someone.  Nominations were to be sent to the email address on the attachment.

4.      The President called on Prof. Bob Kirkman, Faculty Executive Board Chair, to make a recommendation of a person to appoint as the next Secretary of the Faculty.  Prof. Kirkman informed the attendees that the current Secretary, Dr. Ron Bohlander, would be retiring June 1.  The Faculty Executive Board established a team to help find a good candidate to step into this role.  Nominations were solicited and interviews conducted with three persons who were nominated.  After due consideration, Ms. Jeanne Balsam was recommended to the Faculty Executive Board.  The Board in turn voted to endorse this recommendation to the Faculty Senate.  Per the Statutes of the Institute, the Faculty Senate should advise the President whom he should appoint.  Prof. Kirkman provided some background: 

“Ms. Balsam has served as a member and very productive leader of the Statutes Committee for the past five years and has served in other faculty governance positions.  She was a prime mover in the overhaul two years ago of the Faculty Handbook and then in the development last year of new definitions of faculty and changes to faculty governance.  She has also been a leader in developing and supporting faculty promotion processes over many years. She is a Principal Research Associate with GTRI and serves as head of Quality Assurance programs for GTRI's Electronics, Optics, and Systems Directorate.  She is published and active in professional societies in the field of systems engineering quality assurance.  She holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.”

Prof. Kirkman made a motion, therefore, that the Faculty Senate recommend to the President that Ms. Jeanne Balsam be appointed as the next Secretary of the Faculty upon the resignation of the current Secretary and at a time commensurate with preparation for a good transition.  The motion passed without dissent.  Prof. Kirkman concluded by thanking Dr. Bohlander for his many years of service as Secretary.  President Peterson stated that he was very pleased to receive this recommendation and would be sending Ms. Balsam a letter of appointment. 

5.      The President called on Prof. Joe Hughes, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to recommended some changes to the Faculty Handbook.  He presented the materials in Attachment #3a and also provided a link to a markup of the proposed changes in Attachment #3b.  Prof. Hughes explained that he was bringing a final resolution to the last two sections of the Handbook that had been left in group called Transitional Sections.  These were ones that needed to be moved to a better place in the Handbook but some further analysis had been needed to refine where that would be.  It was now proposed to move Section 37.5.1 to a new Section 4.7 under the part of the Handbook devoted to Support of Education, and to move Section 37.5.5 to a new Section 3.1.12 under the part devoted to Faculty Status.  As a result of that, the whole of Section 7 on Transitional Sections could be deleted.  The attachments explained the details.  In setting up Section 4.7, there was some text added to provide greater clarity about the topic “Student Complaints and Grievances Against a Faculty Member” and links to additional resources. 

Vice-Provost Susan Cozzens noted that the links to things that students could complain about as listed in the proposed new Section 4.7 were not as complete as they might be.  For example, there was also a Section of the Faculty Handbook that dealt with allegations of scholarly misconduct that could be added as a link.  There had also been recent cases of disputes over co-authorship and there might be a need for a new committee to address such disputes.  Dr. Bohlander pointed out that the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee handled a complaint like that last year.  However Dr. Cozzens pointed out that the processes to follow in such cases were not well specified.  A comment was made that more attention might need to be given to prospective graduate student concerns in possible disputes.

Prof. Hughes supported the merit of such observations but suggested that the Faculty decide on the proposals at hand and address additional improvements in a later meeting.  Ms. Balsam suggested that it should be possible immediately to add a reference to Section 5.7 on the “Policy for Responding to Allegations of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct.”  A consensus was reached that the language in green in slide 4 of Attachment #3c could be added to amend the proposals in Attachment #3a.  Prof. Hughes accepted that friendly amendment and also committed to take back to the Statutes Committee other ideas for improvement mentioned in this meeting, especially those which might be needed by graduate students.

Prof. Hughes moved that the Faculty accept the move of Section 37.5.1 to 4.7 as modified and amended in Attachment #3c.  The motion passed without dissent.

He went on to explain that the Statutes Committee was only proposing to move Section 37.5.5 to 3.1.12 and not to amend its content.  He stated that it was not clear whether there were any services to a faculty member that could be removed in a sanction without harming services to others in the Institute such as students.  Furthermore, he understood that the Faculty Status Grievance Committee advised that the Section be retained.  Dr. Bras voiced support for moving this section but advised that the Statutes Committee consider ways that might provide more clarity about any appropriate sanctioning short of termination.

Prof. Hughes moved that the Faculty accept the move of Section 37.5.5 to 3.1.12 as well as the elimination of Section 7.  The motion passed without dissent.

6.      President Peterson then called Ms. Carol Gibson, Controller, and Shalonda Cargill, Human Resources Chief of Staff, to brief the Faculty on planned improvements to the campus information website called TechWorks.  They presented the plans using the presentation in Attachment #4 and followed the material in these slides closely.  Slide 24 listed possible topics to be included in future enhancements.  Slide 25 showed the time lines for the currently authorized improvements.  Testing was underway.  TechWorks was planned to be down for transition in the period April 9-13 and would go live in the new format on April 13. [It was later necessary for the developers to move the transition to the backup target dates shown in May.]

Q. Would faculty be able to see their research assistants and post docs in the Manager Dashboard.  Ans. Yes, if the data in PeopleSoft about who supervised them was accurate.

Q. Would details about insurance benefits be accessible from TechWorks self-service in the future? Ans. That data was not in the Tech databases but perhaps a link to the vendor could be provided along with guidance about how to find information on the vendor sites.

Q. Would assistive technology be included in the rollout? Ans. Yes.

Q. Would there be an option to determine which TechWorks page would come up first (Home or Administration)? For some, the Administration page is accessed much more frequently than the personal information on the Home tab.  Ans. The default would be the Home page but frequently accessed applications could be configured as links from there. 

Q. Was the Paycheck Modeler a third-party add-on?  Ans. No.

Q. Would the campus as a whole be notified of the planned down time? Ans. That was planned to be announced at the end of February.

Comment. Dr. Bohlander asked that the change not start a day early because faculty elections ran through April 8 and the faculty would be depending on PeopleSoft being stable for access to the election system.  Response.  They would be careful.

7.   Dr. Peterson called on Ms. Jilda Garton, Vice-President for Research, and Ms. Sandra Mason, Senior Director of Grants and Contracts, to brief the faculty on new federal regulations for research contract and grant administration.  Ms. Garton presented the material found in Attachment #5 and followed this presentation closely.  Basically, a number of formerly separate guidelines (like Circulars A-21, A-110, & A-133) had been combined by the federal government into one new set of Uniform Requirements which now had the force of law (i.e. were no longer just guidelines). Ms. Garton stated that while many things were changing, not everything was, and she hoped to explain which was which.  The new requirements applied to all new funding agreements and modifications issued after December 26, 2014. 

Faculty would now need to plan and manage contracts and subcontracts more carefully and adhere to tighter timelines on submitting costs and closing out contracts and grants.  Other important changes in emphasis for faculty principal investigators were outlined in Slide 6.  Bids would now be needed for any purchases over $3,000 instead of the previous limit of $10,000.  Fortunately purchases through BuzzMart qualified as supported by bids.

Ms. Mason clarified that Georgia Tech would not be applying these rules just to work done for federal sponsors.  All sponsors would be treated the same. 

Q. Did the new rules about sharing equipment only apply to equipment worth $3,000 or more? Ans. No, they would apply to any equipment, within reason.

Q. What if a company sponsored research and specified that a particular piece of equipment would be purchased with their funds and dedicated to their work.  Was that allowed?  Ans. Specific arrangements could be made to meet their expectations.

Q. Were there any guidelines proposal writers could use to estimate the amount of management effort that would be needed to meet the new standards? Ans. There were no precise guidelines (yet) but indeed more management effort could be needed to ensure meeting the tighter timelines for management actions. 

Q. Would any of these new requirements make doing research for industry more onerous? Ans. No.  It could make satisfying industry expectations even easier. 

Q. Would no-cost extensions (NCEs) become harder to get? Ans. Ms. Garton stated that some Department of Defense agencies have been discouraging NCEs for some time, but the new Uniform Requirements had not yet imposed additional strictures.  Ms. Mason said that NCEs should usually not be requested after the period of performance had already expired.

Some discussion focused on previous studies that had documented how to ensure research was properly billed as it proceeded and did not save up costs for late billing. 

8.   The President then called attention to three sets of minutes of the Standing Committees of the Faculty found via Attachment #6 which needed to be approved, as follows:

a)   Faculty Benefits Committee (Prof. Jason Freeman, Chair). 9/2/14, 10/7/14, 11/11/14, 12/9/14. No action items.

b)   Statutes Committee (Prof. Joe Hughes, Chair):  10/16/14, 1/15/15, 2/12/15.  No additional action items.

c)   Welfare and Security Committee (Mr. Andrew Hardin, Chair):  9/4/14, 10/23/14.  No action items.

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

9.      The President then called on representatives of three Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty to present minutes and action items requiring approval, as also found via Attachment #6.  The following was an outline of the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentations.  Attached additional presentation materials were used where noted.

a)      Institute Undergraduate Curriculum (IUCC) Committee (Prof. Rhett Mayor, Chair) – minutes of 11/18/14, 12/9/14, 1/6/15, 1/13/15, 1/20/15, 2/10/15. 
Presentation in Attachment #6a.

Action Items. From 11/18:  Math – 11 new courses; Modern Languages – 1 new course; ISyE – deactivate 6 courses. From 1/13: AE – 1 new course; Public Policy – modification in the Law, Science, and Technology Minor and in the Pre-Law Certificate involving a change in electives; INTA – terminate the Certificate in European Union Studies due to consolidation with the Certificate in European Affairs, and modification of the Certificate in Latin American Affairs involving changes in course options; Math – 1 new course; CoC – 1 course deactivation, a modification in the BS degree in Computer Science (Information Internet Thread) involving changes in course options, and a modification to the BS degree in Computer Science (People Thread) involving changes in required courses; new written statement on the definition a unit of course credit. From 2/10: HTS – modification of the BS degree in History, Technology, and Science involving changes to course options and requirements; Business – 2 new courses; CoC – 2 new courses; INTA – modification in the BS degree in International Affairs involving changes in course options +  modification in the BS degree in Economics and International Affairs involving changes in course options and requirements + modification in the BS degree in International Affairs and Modern Language involving changes in course options; ChBE – 1 new course; ISyE – 1 course deactivation and modification in the BS degree in Industrial Engineering involving course options; BME – 4 new courses and a modification in the BS degree in Biomedical Engineering involving changes in course options and requirements

One comment of note during the presentation was the following: The approval of Math 1551 & 1553 on 11/18 involved an unusual approval of credit for 1 recitation hour.  The IUCC would in future give more attention to resetting policies and expectations about recitation. The overall goal of the new math courses was to provide students with greater flexibility in meeting their needs.  In answer to a question, Prof. Mayor stated that the 2-1-2 credit assigned so far to these courses could go back to 2-0-2 after further deliberation.

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

b)       Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC) (Prof. Victor Breedveld, Chair) – minutes of 1/15/15, 2/5/15. 
Presentation in Attachment #6b.

Action Items. From 1/15: AE & ME – 1 new course cross-listed in both schools; Architecture – 2 new courses & modification in the name of the MS degree from MS with a major in Architecture to MS in Architecture along with some changes in course requirements; Business – 13 new courses.  From 2/5:  Business – 2 new courses, 1 course deactivation, & modification in the MBA involving more flexibility in electives; CoC – 1 new course & modification in the MS degree in Computer Science involving changes in credit hours from 36 to 30, changes in course requirements, and changes in the structure of concentrations and specializations; ECE – 1 new course; Architecture – 4 new courses, 2 course deactivations, & modification in the Master of Architecture involving course requirements.  Note the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Subcommittee of the IGCC has been formed.

Two comments of note during the presentation were the following: 1) Slide 4 of Attachment #6b showed another unusual credit pattern of 1.5-0-1.5.  These new 7.5 week courses lasted half a term so they were awarded half as much credit.  This was done to provide a curriculum that could be better tailored to student needs for more granular course offerings.  2) The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Program oversaw training in research ethics for all students (graduate and undergraduate) participating in research.  The National Institutes of Health required this of all students, and Georgia Tech had made this a requirement for all students, regardless of their research sponsorship.

Q. Were short term courses and fractional credits options that could be used for all programs on campus or only the MBA program?  Ans. All instructional units could apply for such arrangements but would need to convince the IGCC that it was appropriate.  They were so far expected to be uncommon.

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

c)      The President noted that the following minutes needed approval and had no action items:   Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee (SAFAC) (Prof. Craig Tovey, Chair) – minutes from 12/3/14.

A motion was made and seconded to approve these minutes and they were approved without dissent.

10.      Dr. Peterson adjourned the meeting at about 5 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

April 18, 2015




  1. Minutes of the November 18, 2014 meeting of the Academic Senate, Academic Faculty, and General Faculty.
  2. Report on positions open for election in the spring faculty governance elections.
  3. Proposed Faculty Handbook revisions
    1. Presentation
    2. Text markup
    3. Revised presentation showing changes in the proposal approved by the Faculty during the meeting.
  4. Briefing on planned changes in TechWorks
  5. Briefing on new federal regulations for research contract and grant administration.
  6. All Standing Committee minutes may be found at  
    1. IUCC presentation
    2. IGCC presentation