The Executive Board


January 16, 2001

Poole Board Room , Wardlaw Building

Members Present :Abdel-Khalik (ME); Boyd (Stu Servcs); El-Sayed (Chem); Estes (EDI); Hall (Bio); Jayaraman (Mgt); McGuire (LCC); Swank (GTRI); Welch (GTRI); Williamson (Liby); M.Thomas (Provost); Alexander (Staff Rep);: E.Thomas (SoF):

Members Absent: Allen (Arch); Callen (ECE); Richards (GTRI); Schwan (CoC); Wardi (ECE); Clough (Pres.); Liotta (Vice Provost);Spriggle (Ugrad Stu Rep); Jenman (G.S. rep)

Visitors: Nancey Leigh (Arch); Bob McMath (Provost); Joseph Hoey (Assessment); Joseph Hughes (ECE); Andy Smith (CoS).

  1. Said Abdel Khalik, Chair, opened the meeting at 3:03 PM.
  2. Mike Thomas, Provost, apologized for the absence of the President and made the following brief remarks.

(a) The Governorís supplemental budget includes a number of matters important to Tech. There is funding for design of the Advanced Computing Technology building, funding for the first stage of a new building in Savannah to house GTREP and lottery money to support cost-sharing in Equipment and Facilities. In addition, funding lost by the System last year due to decline in enrollment has been reinstated.

(b) The budget for the new year will be pretty much the same as the present with essentially no new workload funding. There is, however, funding for the Yamacraw project which will provide 9 new positions for Tech.

(c) Student enrollment in the Fall was up by 600 from the previous Fall term, and tentative numbers for the Spring term are 350 higher than the previous Spring. This helps generate more money for the system but not necessarily for Tech.

(d) The raise proposal for next year is 4.5 percent. For 9 month contract personnel this is payable from August 15, and for 12-month contract personnel from October 1, 2001. The proposed raise for other State personnel is 3.5 percent to start on October 1, 2001.

(e) The Capital Campaign has now terminated. It has raised $704M which is very high when considered on a student per capita basis.

In response to a question on the status of the Undergraduate Learning Center, Thomas responded that this is not on the BoR priority lists. If we can persuade the BoR to place it on the list, funding for the design phase would not be available for about four years. In response to a question about the search for a new Provost, McMath remarked that the list had been narrowed to 10 persons who will be interviewed at the end of this week. A list of three recommended names will then be sent to the President.

3. The minutes of the November 28th meeting of the Executive Board were approved with a minor correction.

Nancey Leigh was asked to report to the Board on the activities of the Academic Services Committee. She reviewed briefly the statutory duties of this committee and its present composition. They typically meet once a month throughout the academic year and explore issues or concerns which have been identified by the Committee. These have included the work of the Office of Sponsored Projects, the changes and concerns emanating from the electronic course evaluation system and questions related to classroom space. There is a separate subcommittee on classroom space. Also a sub-committee on the Library which has met with the (outgoing) Dean of Libraries to advise on issues related to the Serials budget. The committee has also been asked to advise on the questions related to Distance Learning and will be taking this up at its next meeting. In response to questions, Leigh commented that the committee is the right size and gets adequate input. It does, however, have concerns about the impact of its ongoing work. For example, the Administration recently set up a committee to look at class room space but did not seek to benefit from the previous work performed by the Academic Services Committee. The Secretary commented that the Academic Services Committee might wish to seek time at the meetings of the Senate or General Faculty to report on its ongoing deliberations.

The Chair stated that the committee seemed to be proceeding well and thanked Prof. Leigh for her contribution.

4. The Chair called on Andy Smith to provide an interim report on the activities of the "Ad-hoc Committee on Evaluation of Instruction". Smith distributed a written report (see Attachment (2) on the activities to date.

Smith stated that the committee has formed three subcommittees. The first is reviewing incentives for students to respond to the web-based "CIOS" evaluation form. They discovered that the students had, independently, set up a group to study similar matters and have benefited from this work. The Committee is considering a requirement that students access the form when seeking their grades, even if they choose not to complete the instrument. They wish to educate students on the importance of providing the information and on how it is used. A second subcommittee is considering revision of the CIOS form itself. This form has been unchanged for more than two decades and involves a number of questions which are unrelated to teaching effectiveness. The objective is to reduce the form to an Institutional Core of about 12 questions and to make the studentís evaluation more efficient. A revised form was tried in the Fall for about 10 classes. There is also discussion about making some of the information available to students. The third subcommittee is focusing on alternate measures of teaching effectiveness. They are considering peer evaluation of teaching based on video tapes of lectures and a portfolio of course outlines, syllabi, texts and homework. It is intended that such evaluations would be performed on a regular schedule; at least once per year for untenured faculty and perhaps once in every "5-Year Post Tenure Review " period for tenured faculty. Overall the committee is still in an investigative mode and is planning to report to the faculty at the end of the Semester.

Jayaraman commented that some students report that their responses to the web-based survey seem to have been directed to the wrong faculty person. Smith replied that the web-based system sometimes "misfires" and he will look into the question. It was commented that the evaluation system needs a place for the faculty to explain odd results; Smith agreed that this was desirable. Smith commented further that the responding rates seemed to depend very much on faculty attitudes and encouragement. Some faculty get a 85 to 90 percent responding rate by telling the students how important are their responses. El-Sayed suggested that there should be an opportunity for mid-term evaluation to provide the faculty with feedback so their teaching presentations might perhaps be modified. Smith answered that this was already available for faculty use on an optional basis.

Abdel-Kahlik thanked Smith and stated that a presentation of a report would be scheduled for the Academic Senate meeting at the end of the Spring term.

5. The Chair called on Joseph Hoey to discuss a proposal for a Program Review Process. Hoey distributed a written review of the background to the matter and a proposed review mechanism (see attachment 3). He mentioned that the Board of Regents mandate a periodic review on a 6-year cycle and the Statutes mandate that a review of the undergraduate programs be performed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on a 5-year cycle. His proposal would combine the two functions. Tech has already developed a review model and this is being implemented on a pilot basis this year. It is a self-study process which will utilize materials already prepared for other reviews such as accreditation. Hoey suggests formation of an "Institutional Review Committee" (IRC), to ensure that the process of review runs appropriately and equitably. The IRC would not itself perform the review. In composition and duties it would be similar to the body which now oversees operation of the "5-year Post Tenure Review" program. He presented a flow chart to show how the IRC would interface with the process. The IRC would review and supervise the self-study activities; the IRC would further seek input from the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees, then finally transmit the package to the Provost. Joe Hughes, as Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, voiced the support of his committee for the proposal. Both Hoey and Hughes commented that the process must be performed for graduate as well as undergraduate programs. They noted that the Statutes require a regular review of undergraduate programs but do not specify review of graduate programs. This is an oversight and should be corrected.

In response to a question as to who actually performs the review, Hoey stated that these are internal self studies and would rely heavily on external review committees for each unit. He commented that the objective of the BoR seems to be an assessment of viability rather than a study of course details. Abdel Khalik stated that the IRC might not have the expertise to critique programs. Hughes replied that reviews need to be very broadly based and it is difficult to see how one body could perform this function for all academic programs. Hence, the proposal to rely on self study and external committees for individual units.

The Board expressed general agreement with the proposals of Hoey. Abdel Khalik asked Hoey to develop a specific proposal on composition and duties for the IRC that he should present to the Board.

6. The Chair called on Marc Smith, Chair of the Statutes Committee, to present proposals for changes to the Statutes. Smith distributed a report that considers 8 questions referred to the committee by the Executive Board, by the Provost and by the Secretary; the report includes proposed actions on each matter. (see attachment 4). Seven of the issues relate to election procedures and representation on various bodies; the remaining issue related to a committee charge that appears to be inappropriate. The Executive Board accepted the report. The Chair stated that the Board would review the proposed actions and bring them to the attention of the General Faculty Assembly as soon as possible.

7. The Chair called on Marilyn Williamson to introduce the revised " Executive Board Guidelines to General Faculty Membership" ( see attachment 5). She commented that the existing document had not been updated since 1978 and was now inconsistent with various aspects of the Statutes. She commented that since the last meeting there had been some minor changes made at the request of OHR. She moved that the revised guidelines be adopted. Mike Thomas commented that it might not be appropriate to list the title of "Assistant to the Vice President" as being routinely eligible for General Faculty membership. Williamson agreed to strike that from the Guidelines. With that change, the proposed document was accepted without dissent.

8. The Chair called for review of certain administrative matters:

(a) Ed Thomas stated that the Provost had asked the Board to consider policy issues related to "Distance Learning". A document prepared by the ACE Division of Government Affairs was distributed to all members (see attachment 6). Fortuitously, the Board has arranged for upcoming meetings of the GFA and AS to include reviews of Tech policy related to Distance Learning and to Continuing Education. Thomas asked all members to attend those reviews and to peruse the document from the ACE. He has further asked the Academic Services and Benefits Committees to do the same thing. In March, the Board should take input from these sources and consider how to address the possible revision of policies on Distance Education.

(b). Thomas commented that the plans for web-based elections were proceeding and thanked EB members for their review of a mock ballot. There have been difficulties with generating a list of eligible voters; the first attempt generated a list that included faulty who were deceased!

(c) Thomas commented that the Chair of the Nominating Committee had not yet presented a membership slate for approval and that no work had yet been done on developing a slate of candidates.

(d) Gisele Welch stated that planning for the retreat was well advanced. One focus will be on Intellectual Property Rights; here she has arranged to present one commercialization "success" story and one "failure; she will also have a contribution from the Legal department. Pearl Alexander commented on the second focus related to Diversity. She will have contributions from Mark Smith, Dean Rosser and Donna Llewellyn.

9. The Chair called for any other business. There being none, the Board adjourned at 5:00 PM.


Respectfully Submitted

Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty.

January 19, 2001

Attachments to the archival copy of these minutes.

(1) Copy of Agenda

(2) "Interim Report on the Activities of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Instruction" prepared by Andy Smith.

(Copy to be found at the web site

(2) "Program Review process, Georgia Tech", prepared by Joseph Hoey.

(Copy to be found at the web site

(4) "Report of the Statutes Committee to the Executive Board. Date January 16, 2001", presented by Marc Smith. (Copy to be found at the web site

(5) "Executive Board Guidelines to General Faculty Membership" presented by Marilyn Williamson. (Copy to be found at the web site

(6) "Developing a Distance Education Policy for the 21st Century". A document prepared by the ACE Division of Government and Public Affairs.

(Copy to be found at the web site