and the



Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 3:00 pm

Ferst Center for the Arts


1.      Ms. Barbara Henry, Chair of the Executive Board, opened the meeting at about 3:00 PM.  She introduced President Peterson and invited him to present his first annual State of the Institute Address.

2.   President Peterson’s address utilized the PowerPoint file in Attachment #1.  In commenting about the excellence of the institution he noted that this was the first year in Tech’s history that all of its engineering programs were ranked in the top ten nationally.  He also noted, in relation to faculty excellence, that the faculty were beginning to excel in things not previously seen at Tech; for example, two members of the faculty received the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award for the first time.  In commenting about the level of research funding, which set records in the past year, Dr. Peterson said it was reasonable to anticipate that even more records might be broken in the coming year due to stimulus funding from the federal government.  He highlighted the strength of work in support of innovation with companies and noted that, with640 U.S. patents and 722 worldwide patents, Tech was the third largest producer of patents in Georgia (after AT&T and Kimberly-Clark).  Slide 9 highlights Tech’s groundbreaking Promise Program of scholarships for families below 150% of the federal poverty line who would otherwise not have ready access to college.  Dr. Peterson noted that Tech was about half way to its goal of a $50 million endowment for the long term support of this valuable program.  In relation to rising university tuition rates, President Peterson noted that across the country there was a trend toward shrinking state budget support to state universities that was driving tuition rates upward.  Over the past two years, state funding to Georgia Tech dropped from $280 to $230 million.  At the same time the value of the Institute’s endowments had decreased about 20%.  After showing the faculty interesting metrics that illustrated all the changes over the past 25 years, Dr. Peterson emphasized that the Institute’s latest round of strategic planning was meant to prepare for similar or greater dramatic change over the next 25 years.  He illustrated some of the harbingers of the future for which Tech students must be prepared through the experiences they receive in their educations here.  He said the reason he came to Georgia Tech was that he believed major technological challenges facing the world, like climate change, the need for clean water, breakthroughs in healthcare, would be addressed most effectively at places like Georgia Tech. A stimulating question was what Georgia Tech would be like when it arrived at its 150th birthday in 2035.  The challenge of today was to think big enough, and boldly enough.  He made the case for planning that far in the future by noting that it provided the freedom to think beyond the constraints of today’s budget problems.  He cited past achievements on a similar scale such as the planning and development of the major expansion of the campus represented by Tech Square. President Peterson then charted out details of the process underway to develop the next strategic plan, as documented in an on-going way at the dedicated website

At the conclusion of his prepared remarks, President Peterson fielded some questions:

Q. Were there any thoughts about additional ways Georgia Tech and Emory could collaborate? Ans.  President Peterson said that he visited regularly with President Wagner at Emory and also President Becker at Georgia State University.  No specific new areas of collaboration had been defined.  He stated that any possibilities that might arise in the future would involve faculty members from each institution early in any discussions.  Worthwhile collaborative opportunities should broaden students’ educational opportunities and could be critically important for the future.

Q. Would it be possible, within its strategic plan, for Georgia Tech to commit to having a demographic profile for its students, faculty and staff that matched that of the United States population as a whole? Ans. President Peterson said such a goal was consistent with the hopes he had when he created the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Diversity.  His goal was to have that office put itself out of business.

3.      President Peterson asked for the minutes of the April 21, 2009 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 #2 below for web site reference).   The minutes were approved unanimously.  

4.    President Peterson called on Sr. Associate Dean Douglas Allen to present plans to define schools within the College of Architecture.  Mr. Allen described the College’s plans using the presentation shown in Attachment #3.  He began by explaining that his College served 5.8% of the students at Georgia Tech and was now planning to move from a College with recognized embedded “programs” to one with recognized Schools.  To set this in context he provided a brief history of the College.  He said that all the existing educational activities would move from their programs or department into the Schools with the corresponding names; the PhD degrees would be similarly distributed, as illustrated with the chart in slide 5.  Mr. Allen also noted that each of the Schools would answer to distinct accrediting bodies for their accreditation, which further reinforced the rationale for separate Schools.  He reviewed the advantages of this move toward Schools, which included:

·         Better clarity.  It was confusing to have a program of architecture within a College of Architecture.

·         The College of Architecture would look more like most of its peer Colleges at Georgia Tech.

·         The change would simplify organizational reporting because the existing programs did not have their own unique organizational codes so budgets were not now automatically allocated, for example.

President Peterson stated for clarification that no formal action was required from the faculty concerning this proposal.  He asked if there were any questions:

Q. Why would some of the Schools (like Music) offer advanced degrees but not bachelor’s degrees?  Are there plans to add bachelor’s degrees? Ans. The College did not presently have the resources to offer both in those cases. There was a Minor available in Music in conjunction with other majors.  Dr. Frank Clark, Chair of the Dept. of Music, stated that there had been a collaboration with the College of Computing about a possible combined degree in music technology and computing but the resources were not yet available to begin to offer it.  Early indications were that the program would be highly successful as soon as it could be resourced.

Q.  How many additional administrators would be required to move to Schools.  Ans. There would be no net increase in administrative positions because the existing programs already have the necessary staff.  Only the formal titles would change.  Except for the School of Architecture, the schools would be small and not require Associate Chairs.


5.      The President then called on representatives of each of the faculty’s Standing Committees to present their annual reports and any minutes requiring approval.  Explicit approval of the faculty for specific action items was also sought where required.  In most cases the representatives followed closely the reports in the committees’ files on the faculty governance website noted in Attachment #4 below and so this text will not be repeated here.  The following outlines the material presented showing the representatives that appeared to make the presentation. 

Standing Committees of the General Faculty

a.   Faculty Benefits (Dr. Bettina Cothran) – Annual Report
Minutes: 3/4/09, 4/9/09, 5/5/09, 8/24/09. No action items.

b.   Faculty Honors (Dr. Bill Hunt) – Annual Report

c.   Faculty Status & Grievance (Dr. Gary Parker) – Annual Report

d.   Statutes (Mr. Tim Strike) – Annual Report

e.   Academic Services (Ms. Marlit Hayslett) – Annual Report

f.    Welfare & Security (Dr. Bob Pikowsky) – Annual Report
Minutes: 11/11/08. No action items.

Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty

a.       Undergraduate Curriculum (Drs. John Tone and George Riley) – Annual Report
Minutes: 4/8/09, 4/22/09, 5/11/09, 6/10/09, 6/17/09, 7/15/09, 8/12/09, 8/18/09, 9/8/09, 9/22/09
Action items: From 4/22: INTA – modifications to curriculum for BS in International Affairs, BS in International Affairs and Modern Language, and BS in Economics and International Affairs; BME – modification to curriculum for BS in Biomedical Engineering; CETL – 1 new course; CEE – 1 new course, an updated catalog entry, & a course requirement change for BSCE degree; CoC – 1 new course; ISyE – 1 new course.  From 6/10: Psychology – 2 new courses & 3 course modifications; LCC – 2 new courses & a new minor in Technical Communication; Architecture – 5 new courses in music.  From 7/15: CoC-CS – modification to the People Thread in BS in Computer Science; Architecture – modification of an existing music minor and creation of 2 new ones.  From 9/8: ECE – modifications to a Dual Bachelors Degree with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) incl. students must satisfy the degree requirements of both institutions; ISyE – 1 new course; Modern Languages – 6 new courses; CoC – 1 posthumous degree award

b.      Graduate Curriculum (Drs. Gary Parker and Julie Babensee). – Annual Report
Minutes: 6/11/09, 9/3/09, 10/1/09
Action Items: From 6/11: Architecture – new PhD degree with major in City and regional Planning; Management – 1 new course.  From 9/3: Architecture – 11 new courses relating to urban design and suburbia, 5 new courses relating to music, & a new PhD degree with major in Music Technology; College of Engineering – modifications for MS in Nuclear Engineering & MS in Medical Physics so that physics undergraduate students of Clark Atlanta University can gain early access to graduate level courses at GT, leading to possible admission as GT graduate students.  Courses taken in the accelerated program can be double counted if requirements met.  From 10/1: Mgt – 2 new course and 1 course deactivated; College of Engineering – new dual MSECE degree with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

c.       Student Regulations (Ms. Reta Pikowsky for Dr. Jeff Streator, Chair) – Annual Report
Minutes: 9/1/09, 10/7/09, 10/14/09
Action items:  From 10/14: Change in the regulation about the dates of last withdrawal to permit Registrar some flexibility in setting these dates to accommodate slight variations in the academic calendar.  Ms. Pikowsky referred to slides in Attachment #5 to explain.

d.      Student Academic & Financial Affairs (Dr. Augustine Esogbue) – Annual Report
Minutes: 8/28/08, 10/6/08, 11/10/08, 1/29/09, 2/26/09, 4/24/09.  No action items.

e.       Student Activities (Drs. Brent Carter and Bruce Henson) – Annual Report
Minutes: 9/5/08, 9/19/08, 10/10/08, 11/7/08, 11/21/08, 2/2/09, 2/16/09, 3/9/09, 3/30/09, 4/13/09, 4/29/09, 7/14/09, 7/21/09
Action items: Approval of all student activity charters and constitution revisions recommended by the committee as documented in their minutes and the annual report.

f.       Student Grievance & Appeal (Dr. Doug Flamming) – Annual Report

g.      Student Honor (Dr. Carol Senf) – Annual Report

h.      Student Computer Ownership (Dr. Jonathan Giffin) – Annual Report

i.        Academic Integrity (Dr. Robert Kirkman) – Annual Report
Minutes: 9/19/08, 4/17/09.  No action items.

In each of the above committee presentations, the presenter moved for the adoption of the listed minutes and action items (if any).  All were approved without dissent.


6.      The President then announced that Provost Gary Schuster had informed him of his decision to return to teaching and research and step down from the Office of the Provost when a replacement could be found.  The President said how much he appreciated the help he received from Dr. Schuster and the excellent care Dr. Schuster had taken of Georgia Tech as Interim President during a very difficult budgetary environment.  The faculty gave Dr. Schuster a hearty round of applause for a job well done. 


Hearing no other business, Dr. Peterson adjourned the meeting at about 5 PM. 



Respectfully submitted,


Ronald A. Bohlander
Secretary of the Faculty

November 10, 2009




  1. State of the Institute presentation
  2. Minutes of the April 21, 2009 meeting of the Academic Senate, Academic Faculty, and General Faculty.
  3. Presentation of plan to define schools within the College of Architecture.
  4. All annual reports and minutes may be found at
  5. Presentation about changes in student regulations concerning the academic calendar.