Academic Services Committee


November 4, 2004




Members Present: Mary Clark (SGA), Carol Colatrella (LCC), Jeffrey Donnell (ME), Joseph Hoey (OARS), Maureen Kilroy (GS&R), Jim Sowell (PHYS), Jane Weyant (CoE).


Members Absent: Tom Horton (GTRI), Myrtle Turner (GTRI).


Visitor: Amy Phuong, President of Georgia Tech Student Government Association


1.        The meeting came to order at 1:05 p.m. on November 4, 2004.


2.        SGA President Amy Phuong provided an overview of student concerns at GT. In order of discussion, these concerns were:


Books / Bookstore. Course books are considered to be expensive, and availability is sometimes a problem.


Expense: It is perceived that instructors do not always submit textbook selections in a timely manner; these late submissions can raise the price a student pays for a new textbook while reducing the amount the student receives for selling the used text back to the bookstore.


Availability: It is perceived that the bookstore orders texts for only a portion of the students who are enrolled or projected to enroll in a given course or section, leaving many students without required texts. It was noted during discussion that the bookstore does not consistently update textbook orders to reflect changes in course enrollment. It was also noted that the bookstore does not make it possible for faculty to track book orders online.


Irregular meetings for some courses. Students have complained that instructors sometimes require attendance at class meetings that are outside the official time slot for the class. For example, a regular class session might be arbitrarily extended by some increment for viewing of a film (although no such complaints are known to have been raised in connection with formal film studies courses). It was suggested that concerns about such scheduling issues should be directed to the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs.


Transportation and parking. No complaints were raised about the trolley system, but it was noted that Stinger service is a larger concern for students, as Stingers provide access to a larger section of the campus and to much of the surrounding area. Two additional Stinger vehicles are said to be on order. Students are also said to be concerned that road closings may make the center of the campus inaccessible. Finally, students have voiced concerns about safety at night, particularly in the parking decks.


The Student Center. Students are said to enjoy the new Commons area. It was noted that on Tuesday of Finals Week there will be a Midnight Breakfast, served from 10:00 p.m. to Midnight, and Faculty are invited to help serve food to students. Those interested in participating should contact the Student Center Public Relations Committee for further information.


Other Services. Students are said to be pleased with the increased options for dining on campus. Students are also said to be using student health services in increasing numbers and with satisfaction.


3.        The Committee discussed its agenda for the remaining meetings of the 04-05 year. The topics are:


         The Library, especially special collections;

         The GT bus system;

         The Personal Response system that is now being introduced to GT Classrooms;

         General issues at GTL and GT Savannah, including campus security, information security and faculty governance;

         Utilization of the Ferst Center;

         Tour of the Campus Recreation Center.


4.        The next meeting of the Academic Services Committee will take place on December 2, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. in Physics N110.


5.        The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey Donnell, Secretary