Meeting of January 26, 2010

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building

(See also a record of business conducted by email after the meeting.)



Members Present: Bafna (Architecture), Bennett (Mgt), Bishop (GTRI-ELSYS), Bohlander (Secretary of the Faculty, GTRI), Bowman (Vice-Chair, INTA), Buck (ECE), D’Urbano (OSP), Fox (Library), Harley (Grad. Student), Henry (Chair, ORC), Ingram (ECE), Jenkins (GTRI), Leggon (Public Policy), Marder (Chemistry), Millard (GTRI-ITTL), Morley (Math), Michael Perdue (EAS)Peterson (President), Rossignac (CoC-IC), Staskevicius (U’Grad. Student), Tavares (Provost Office), Whiteman (ME), Williams (USGFC Rep., ECE)


Members Absent: Schuster (Provost)


Visitors:  Herazy (Provost’s Office), Herrington (Statutes Committee), Smith (SVPAA)

1.      Ms. Barbara Henry (Chair) opened the meeting at 3:00 P.M.

2.      She directed the Board’s attention to the Minutes of the October 27, 2009 Executive Board meeting (Attachment #1).  These were approved unanimously.

3.   She next called on President Peterson to comment on matters of interest to the Georgia Tech community.

a)     President Peterson noted that Alina Staskevicius (Undergraduate Student Body President) would be testifying at the Georgia Legislature the next day.  He called on Ms. Staskevicius to describe what was ahead.  She explained that she would be providing her views on proposed legislation before the General Assembly which would have the effect of enabling concealed carry of firearms on campus, something which was heretofore prohibited under state law.  She said she was opposed to changing the current law to enable concealed carry because a college campus was a place where the community needed to be able to share ideas openly without fear of duress and it was also a place where some students were under stress from studies and life adjustments that could impede judgment about the use of firearms.  Dr. Peterson noted that the Atlanta Journal and Constitution had also interviewed him recently to get his views about guns on campus.  He said he personally was strongly opposed to relaxing prohibitions of guns on campus.  He did not believe guns would make students safer.  He said that the police chiefs from the member institutions of the University System of Georgia (USG) have also unanimously opposed concealed carry on USG campuses.  Dr. Peterson thanked Ms. Staskevicius for offering her testimony to the legislature. 

b)    Next he provided updates on several searches for new Deans and Executive Vice Presidents:

·         Recently two candidates for Dean of the Ivan Allen College were on campus.  The third, an internal candidate, would be interviewed Jan. 27.

·         A short list of candidates for Dean of the College of Computing would be announced very soon.

·         The search committee for the Executive Vice President for Research was being chaired by Dean Paul Houston.  This search was for an internal candidate and the period for expressions of interest was now complete.

·         The search for a new Executive Vice President and Provost was proceeding.  William R. Funk & Associates has been engaged as a search firm. 

c)     President Peterson reported on the commencement speakers for May:

·         Mr. Bill Nuti, President & CEO of NCR;

·         Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy; and

·         Mr. Brook Byers, Senior Partner with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

d)    Dr. Peterson said the latest update on the Georgia Tech budget reflected a budget reduction of 8.2% relative to the budget set at the start of Fiscal Year 2010.  A reduction of 8% had been anticipated so this was close to that. Dr. Peterson provided the following additional details:

·         The 8.2% reduction represented a reduction of $21.2million.

·         When added to last year’s reductions this brought the total to a $55.1million reduction over two years, or 19% of total state funding.

·         Toward offsetting or accommodating this year’s reductions:

o   About $1.7 million in increased revenue would come from increased student fees.  Students now paid $200 in fees/semester (up from $100) starting with spring semester 2010.  See the minutes of the November 17, 2009 Academic Senate meeting for more details on the history of this.  Dr. Peterson commended Georgia Tech’s student leaders for their input to the Board of Regents (BOR) concerning the management of student fees.

o   The six-day furlough program mandated by the BOR for people not exempted because of research revenues saved Georgia Tech $6.1 million.

o   The remaining $13.4 million had to be taken out of current operating budgets.  Most of those budget adjustments had been made preemptively in August 2009 in anticipation that they would be needed later.  On average this amounted to a 3% additional reduction in operating budgets.

e)     Dr. Peterson discussed a Jan. 21 town hall in which progress with the Strategic Plan was presented.  He said that Mr. Joe Bankoff, CEO and President of Woodruff Arts Center, illustrated the plan by imagining a retrospective look at the resulting Georgia Tech as seen from the year 2035.  Mr. Bankoff based his views on the preliminary reports from the nine groups working on the plan’s themes.

f)     Finally, Dr. Peterson shared Georgia Tech’s legislative priorities as expressed in Attachment #2

After a call for questions on any of the above topics, the Executive Board discussed the issue of concealed carry of handguns on campus.  Many aspects of the difficult question were identified.  It appeared that neither the faculty nor the Institute administration would have the authority to set a policy concerning guns on campus if the proposed legislation passed. The only opportunity was to record the faculty’s preference for or against the proposed legislation to allow concealed carry of guns on campus.  A motion was made and seconded to poll the Executive Board to determine its opinion, but the motion was defeated.  It was observed that this made it possible to obtain unconstrained input from the faculty as a whole at their upcoming meeting on Feb. 16, 2010. The Board decided to ask the Faculty Welfare and Security Committee to gather more information and discuss this issue at their Feb. 10 committee meeting and then to lead a discussion of the topic at the Feb. 16 meeting of the faculty.  It was suggested that input be sought from Ms. Teresa Crocker, Georgia Tech’s Director of Security and Police, and from Mr. Dene Sheheane, Director of Government Relations, as part of the Welfare and Security Committee’s preparation.  Once the topic was brought to the floor of the Feb. 16 faculty meeting for discussion, then the faculty would have the option of making and passing a motion to record its feeling about the issue.

4.      Ms. Henry then called on Dr. Kirk Bowman (Vice-Chair) to recommend appointments to fill vacancies on the General Faculty Assembly and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, including:

a)         An appointment of Devin Brown (NanoTech Research Center) to the General Faculty Assembly to fill a vacancy in the representation of faculty in Services and Central Administration from now until August 2012.  The vacancy was occasioned by the retirement of Tom Akins.

b)         An appointment of Prof. Hongyuan Zha to represent College of Computing on the Institute’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and fill a vacancy occasioned by a leave of absence of Prof. Milena Mihail.  The term would be from now until August 2011.

Dr. Bowman moved that the Executive Board approve these appointments.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

5.      Ms. Henry asked Dr. Bowman to brief the Board on progress in identifying a Nominations Committee for faculty elections in 2010.  As Vice-Chair of the Executive Board, Dr. Bowman would serve as Chair of this Committee.  Dr. Bowman reported that Ms. Monique Tavares from the Executive Board has agreed to serve as Co-Chair and Ms. Lisa Sills from GTRI had agreed to be a member of the Committee. To complete the Committee, two more academic faculty members and one more non-academic one would be sought, in accordance with the Bylaws.  Dr. Bowman said he was working with the student body presidents to identify the student member of the Committee.  Dr. Bohlander said that he would send the Executive Board an email ballot soon to approve the Committee as soon as all the prospective members were identified – see Addendum #1.  Dr. Bowman said he looked forward to the Board’s support in identifying nominees for faculty governance elections in 2010. 

6.   Ms. Henry asked Dr. Bohlander to review plans for the faculty elections.  Dr. Bohlander discussed the positions to be filled in the elections which would begin on Mar. 31 and end April 14, 2010.  He reminded the Board that all terms were for three years.  He said that members of the Executive Board, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate who were at the end of their terms in 2010 were not eligible under the Statutes to run for reelection.  However those who had served on a Standing Committee for only one elected term were eligible to stand for re-election and would be considered if they wished to run again.  He said that careful attention was paid to which terms had come to an end and to formulas which might change the size of some committees in compiling the list of spots to be filled in 2010.  Dr. Bohlander explained how many candidates would be asked to run when there were multiple positions open on the same committee.  In such cases, the nominations committee would try to find 50% more nominees than the number to be elected, so the faculty had choices in the election.   He joined Dr. Bowman in asking for the help of the Board in identifying good candidates. 

7.      Ms. Henry asked for reports from task force leaders and standing committee liaisons.    Notable highlights included:

·         Dr. Tom Morley reported on the progress of the Task Force on the Definition of General Faculty.  He said that the Office of Human Resources was working to complete a plan to assign new titles to more than 80 people who currently held titles of Professional with General Faculty Status.  These titles were to be replaced and Dr. Morley said he was reluctant to go before the faculty to approve a new faculty definition with that many persons’ status not yet settled.  Dr. Bohlander explained that some of the people with new titles would still fit the Board of Regent’s definitions on which General Faculty status was based and some would not, so this work needed to be done carefully.  The creation of a new set of titles was particularly needed to cover persons engaged in extension activities.

·         Dr. Jarek Rossignac indicated that the Student Computer Ownership Committee was working on significant changes to its guidelines this year.

·         Dr. Doug Williams (Georgia Tech representative to the USG Faculty Council) reported that the Council last met on Nov. 15, 2009 and was working for formal recognition by the USG.  The Chancellor’s Office has indicated that they need to see an approval by the faculties from every USG institution.  Dr. Williams said that they were within one unit of meeting this goal and he believed the final approval was in progress.  If that approval was completed satisfactorily, then the March 2010 meeting of the USG Faculty Council would be held at the USG offices and the Chancellor’s Office would be represented.  Dr. Williams briefly summarized some of the issues that were discussed in November:

o   The possible integration of two-year colleges into the technical college system, or the converse, was discussed.  No decision had been made to make a change and no preference settled as to which plan to use if a change were needed.  The appropriateness of transfer credits from the technical college system would be a difficult area to work out if a change were made.

o   There have been widespread concerns with the implementation of ADP business systems software used other institutions of the USG but not at Georgia Tech.

o   Requests have been made by members of the Council for more input from faculty at the USG level in any future decisions about furloughs or reductions in faculty benefits.

·         Dr. Bob Fox reported that the Academic Services Committee met Dec. 8, and heard presentations by Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and by Gail Potts, Director of Graduate Admissions.

·         Dr. Ty Herrington (Chair of the Statutes Committee) reported that her committee had received recommended improvements in the Faculty Handbook from a team appointed by Dr. Andy Smith (SVPAA) and the committee was working through these.  In the near term the committee was trying to settle on a definition of Instructor as a member of the faculty.  Dr. Smith and Dr. Herrington commended the task force for their work.

·         Dr. Carlee Bishop noted that the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee received and processed an unusual number of late petitions for registration changes at the last minute near the start of the spring term.  The committee concluded that rules about deadlines should be tightened up for future terms.

·         Mr. David Millard reported that the Faculty Benefits Committee was reviewing options for Long Term Care insurance, planned to be offered to employees starting in spring 2010.  They also heard that the bank handling health savings accounts was charging fees that were not anticipated.  A few loose ends were being worked out with the new Shared Leave program reported previously.  As a final note, Mr. Millard encouraged everyone to check their online January pay statements via TechWorks to verify that recent benefits changes were made as intended. 

8.   Ms. Henry called on Dr. Bohlander to present recommendations about the agenda for the scheduled February 16, 2010 meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and the Academic Senate.  The Board discussed options provided on a handout and refined the options to cover in the agenda.  Dr. Bohlander moved that the Executive Board approve the agenda in Attachment #3.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

9.   Ms. Henry asked for other business.  Dr. Smith announced that Ms. Deborah Smith, Associate Vice-Provost for Enrollment Services, would be retiring in the spring after 27 years of distinguished service at Tech.  A search committee, chaired by Greg Nobles, would be getting underway soon to find someone to fill this role. 

Hearing no further business, Ms. Henry declared the meeting adjourned at about 4:30 p.m. 


Submitted by Ronald A Bohlander, Secretary

February 27, 2010


1)      Minutes of the October 27, 2009 meeting of the Executive Board

2)      Legislative Priorities document

3)      Agenda for the meeting of the General Faculty, General Faculty Assembly, and Academic Senate on Feb. 16, 2010.



Addendum #1

The Secretary sent an electronic ballot to the Executive Board on Feb. 9, 2010:

Our Nominating Committee Co-Chairs have succeeded in recruiting a nominating committee in accordance with the Bylaws.  The Board needs to make their appointments official?  Accordingly, do you approve the appointment of the people listed below to serve as the Nominating Committee to find candidates for the standing committee positions and general faculty assembly positions for which we are responsible?


_____ Yes            ______ No


Proposed Committee:



·         Kirk Bowman, INTA, Chair

·         Sam Graham, ME

·         Gil Weinberg, COA



·         Lisa Sills, GTRI

·         Tris Utschig, CETL

·         Monique Tavares, R&I, Co-Chair



·         Rob Parrish, U’grad ME


Replies are needed quickly so let me set a closing on this ballot for the end of tomorrow, Wed. 2/10.

A quorum of Executive Board Members answered yes without dissent.