4. Support of Education

4.1 The Students

All of Section 4.1, setting out principles by which the Faculty guides the educational progress of students, is considered part of the Statutes.

Educational excellence in an academic community presupposes awareness of and respect both for institutional rights and duties and for individual liberties and responsibilities. The Institute has an obligation to fulfill its educational mission as effectively as its capacity and resources permit. Correspondingly, the Institute shall exercise its right to establish and maintain high academic standards and its authority to adopt and implement standards of orderly conduct which promote an atmosphere conducive to learning and meaningful individual development.

Admission and Acceptance
In the admission of students, the Georgia Institute of Technology shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, age, or handicap. The Institute shall exercise its responsibility to select those applicants who, in its judgment, can best benefit from the educational programs of the Institute. All standards and policies shall be equitably applied and shall be in conformity with state and federal laws.

Academic Relationships
The Faculty has an obligation to evaluate the academic performances of Students. Such evaluation will be conducted by the Faculty solely on an academic basis, not on opinions, conduct, or associations in matters unrelated to academic pursuits. Consult the Student Rules and Regulations published in the Institute’s General Catalog for policies concerning examinations and quizzes, progress reports, final examinations, and grades.

Maintaining Academic Honesty
The Office of Student Integrity and its website provide faculty and students with information about the standards, procedures, and best practices used at Georgia Tech in maintaining academic honesty. Key standards include:

The Academic Honor Code
Student Code of Conduct

Consult the Student Rules and Regulations published in the Institute’s General Catalog for additional related policies.

Free Inquiry, Expression, Peaceable Assembly
As a community of scholars, the Institute encourages Students to examine and discuss questions and issues of interest to them. The right of peaceable assembly, fundamental to an opportunity for free inquiry and expression, shall be assured.

The mutual responsibility of the Institute and the Student or Student organization seeking free inquiry, expression, and peaceable assembly shall be to assure an opportunity for a reasoned approach to the resolving of issues by means of orderly procedures that insure respect for the rights of others.

The Institute shall require that in their public expressions Students have the responsibility to make clear that they speak only for themselves as individuals or as representatives of a student organization.

Involvement in Institutional Policy and Procedures
The Institute recognizes that Students may become involved constructively in efforts of individuals and organizations to improve physical and social conditions of the Institute, to increase the effectiveness of the Institute, to increase the effectiveness of the processes of learning and development of maturity, and to create larger opportunities for self-government characterized by orderly procedures and the exercise of mature judgment.

Institute regulations with respect to student conduct shall be determined by the Academic Faculty and President upon recommendations of the appropriate committees of the Academic Faculty. Students may initiate changes in rules and regulations governing them or initiate proceedings dealing with infringement of their rights, both individually and collectively.

Procedural rules established by the student judicial bodies of the Institute shall be subject to the approval of the Academic Faculty.

4.2 Instructional Units

A School (or a College without Schools) is an administrative subdivision of the Institute organized for the purpose of giving instruction and carrying on research in one of the well-organized branches of study and investigation. It will typically have both members of the Academic Faculty and Research Faculty as defined in the Handbook. For the purposes of this section, the Faculty of such an Instructional Unit is defined as those individuals who devote 0.38 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) to that Unit. They may make such rules and divisions of responsibility as they deem appropriate to their missions. In general, educational matters will be the purview of the Academic Faculty of the unit.

An Academic Head of an Instructional Unit (e.g. Chair or Dean) holds office at the pleasure of the President. The Academic Head is appointed by the President with notification to the Board of Regents. In appointing an Academic Head, the President shall consider the recommendation of the Provost and of the Dean of the College of which the School is a subdivision if applicable. The Dean or Provost shall make such recommendation only after extensive consultation with the Instructional Unit’s Faculty.

The Faculty of each Instructional Unit shall:

  • Hold a meeting at least once during each academic semester;
  • Subject to the limitations of Regents’ policies and the Institute’s policies, make rules and regulations for its government, establish such committees as may be required, and make other policies necessary for the maintenance of high educational standards in the Instructional Unit;
  • Establish an elected Faculty Advisory Committee.  This Committee shall be composed of full-time members of the Instructional Unit, elected by written vote of the Unit’s Faculty. The Chair of the Committee shall be elected by the Committee from among its members.  This Committee shall advise the Academic Head of the Instructional Unit on all matters concerning the welfare of the Unit;
  • Subject to the direction of the Academic Faculty, be responsible for the program of studies offered by the Instructional Unit;
  • Recommend such changes and modifications in its curriculum as it may deem desirable;
  • Have the power to establish prerequisites for courses which it offers.

4.3 Teaching Evaluation and Support

The Institute is committed to the highest standards in teaching and strives to constantly improve in teaching effectiveness.

Instructors of Record
All Instructors of Record (whether permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time) are regularly evaluated for their teaching effectiveness, in a manner set out in Sections 3.3.2 and 3.3.7.  Support is provided for professional development in teaching through each college and through the Institute’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).  CTL provides services in classroom evaluation, teaching development seminars, retreats, and fellowships, as well as recognition through a number of awards. The center also provides new teachers with an orientation to teaching at the Institute.

Graduate Student Teaching Evaluation and Support
Each college or unit that assigns a graduate student to teach a class, recitation section, or laboratory section as the instructor of record shall ensure and maintain documentation that this individual holds a master’s degree in the discipline of the course or has received eighteen (18) graduate-level semester hours of credit in the discipline of the course. Said graduate student shall be directly supervised by a faculty member experienced in the discipline of the course.

In accordance with Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.5.2, each college making such assignments shall have written procedures to

a)    Provide appropriate training to support and enhance each individual’s teaching effectiveness,
b)    Conduct regular assessments, based on written procedures and including results of student and faculty evaluations,   
       of each individual’s teaching effectiveness and performance, and
c)    Assess competency in English and, if needed, provide for training in English language proficiency.
 

4.4 Academic Program Review

Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 3.6.3.

The Institute shall conduct academic program reviews on a periodic basis. Consistent with efforts in institutional effectiveness and strategic planning, the Institute shall develop procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of its academic programs through a systematic review of academic programs, to address the quality, viability, and productivity of efforts in teaching and learning, scholarship, general education (undergraduate programs), diversity, educational and administrative support services in addition to the program’s research, and community/public service as appropriate to the Institute’s educational mission. Each degree program at all levels (bachelors, masters, and doctoral) must have published intended student learning outcomes, and measurements must be made and records kept to show whether students actually achieve these outcomes. The review of academic programs shall involve analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, and the Institute must demonstrate that it makes judgments about the future of academic programs within a culture of evidence concerning outcomes.

The cycle of review for each undergraduate academic program shall be no longer than seven years and for each graduate program no longer than ten years. Programs accredited by external entities may not substitute such reviews under external processes for the Institute’s program review. Academic units should work with the Office of Program Review and Accreditation to compare the requirements of the external accreditation organization and those of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents (USG-BoR) as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to develop a review that will address all areas for the institutional program review. If an external accreditation entity’s review cycle for undergraduate programs is ten years, the ten-year review cycle may be used for that program only. No program review cycle at any level shall exceed ten years.

The Institute must submit a plan and updates to its plan to the USG Office of Academic Affairs for the conduct of a complete cycle of program review. The Institute shall conduct program reviews according to the terms of its approved plan, with annual updates and requests for changes to the plan as necessary.

Planning and conduct of academic program reviews shall be used for the progressive improvement and adjustment of programs in the context of the Institute’s strategic plan and in response to findings and recommendations of the reviews. Adjustment may include program enhancement, maintenance at the current level, reduction in scope, or, if fully justified, consolidation or termination. Actions taken as the result of reviews and strategic plans shall be documented as provided below.

The Institute shall maintain a Web site to store all materials associated with academic program reviews. Access to the site will be provided to Institute curriculum committee members, staff of the USG Office of Academic Affairs, and SACS reviewers designated to perform a review of completed program review documentation. The site shall include a list of academic programs reviewed and a summary of findings for programs reviewed during the previous year. The institution must summarize actions taken both as the result of current reviews and as follow-up to prior years' reviews. For each review, the Institute must establish that the program has undergone review and is meeting rigorous standards. The report must identify

1)    Quality, viability, and productivity parameters measured, and
2)    Findings relative to internal standards, the institution's strategic plan, and, as appropriate, external benchmarks.

The USG Office of Academic Affairs shall monitor annually a small number of performance indicators for academic programs and shall initiate dialogue with the Provost of the Institute when programs do not meet the guidelines defined by the indicators. If further investigation justifies additional study, the Institute may be asked to conduct an off-cycle review of such programs.

Annual Assessment Updates
To support the Institute’s commitment to academic program assessment, all degree programs send in a summary of their student assessment activities, findings, and subsequent actions via annual assessment updates. These are maintained and archived by the Office of Assessment for use throughout the Institute.

Program Review Organization
Each year a list of units and programs that are due for review will be prepared by the Office of Assessment after coordination with the Associate Deans of each college. After review of this list and advice from the Faculty Executive Board, the Office of Assessment will prepare the annual program review guidelines, letters of notification to affected units, and will offer to facilitate planning meetings with each college Dean and appropriate faculty and staff prior to the start of the review process. Each review will consist of a departmental self-evaluation and an external evaluation and report.  All written results are then conveyed to the Dean, Vice Provosts, and Provost to assist with making recommendations to the faculty and staff in the unit.  The Faculty Executive Board will also receive a report and make recommendations as appropriate on conclusions and plans emanating from academic program reviews that have been completed.
 

4.5 International Education

Georgia Tech offers programs and provides services and resources to support a variety of international activities including support for the international teaching and research activities of the faculty, study abroad, hosting international students and scholars, and the fostering of internationally-themed events on campus. The Office of International Education (OIE) is dedicated to supporting faculty efforts to facilitate international education at Georgia Tech in five key areas:

  1. Faculty Development. First and foremost, we are a resource for faculty development in the international arena including information about international scholarships and fellowships for overseas study/sabbaticals as well as for international programming, opportunities and possible support for short international study trips, facilitation of the establishment of linkages with colleagues in universities overseas, assistance with international travel to participate in international conferences and symposia, and assistance with the development of, and funding for, international symposia and/or conferences that might be held here on our campus.
  2. Assistance to faculty in the development of study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students
  3. Assistance with all aspects of bringing international students or scholars to study and/or conduct research in faculty labs.
  4. Support for, and assistance in the planning of, efforts to internationalize Georgia Tech including revisions to the curriculum to offer more international/global courses or to add international content to existing courses; to develop, and solicit funding for, international programs and collaborative international research projects. In addition, we would welcome opportunities to assist with international/cultural activities on our campus that would enhance the integration of, and appreciation for, the diverse cultures represented on our campus.
  5. The Office of International Education serves as a resource for possible sources of external funding to support projects in any of the above areas.

Further information is available at the OIE website: http://www.oie.gatech.edu.

4.6 Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE)

Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) provides educational support, marketing and sales, as well as event and financial services to enable Georgia Tech’s faculty to deliver their world-class educational programs [non-credit, distance-delivered MS programs, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses to GT Lorraine and Regents Engineering Transfer Program (RETP)] to students on the Georgia Tech campus, in the Southeast, the nation and the world. GTPE is housed in the Georgia Tech Global Learning & Conference Center in Technology Square under the leadership of the Dean of Professional Education.

4.6.1 Distance Learning

GTPE provides a way for working professionals to enroll in Georgia Tech courses that can be applied toward a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Building Construction & Integrated Facility Management, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Physics, and Operations Research, or can be used for professional development. The Georgia Tech distance learning program allows individuals to advance professionally and to stay on the cutting edge of their area of specialty. GTPE provides credit and non-credit courses at a distance via the Internet (video-on-demand), satellite delivery, teleconferencing, statewide networks, CD-ROM, and DVD, and microwave transmission.

GTPE services must be utilized for registering and tracking participation in all Georgia Tech master’s-level credit courses offered at a distance to working professionals either for academic credit or for professional development. GTPE services may also be utilized for other Georgia Tech courses offered at a distance. GTPE provides various levels of production support depending on the needs of the academic unit.

Distribution of Revenue
Tuition charged for Georgia Tech master’s-level courses offered at a distance is approved by the Georgia Board of Regents and is the same for all participants, regardless of residency status. A percentage, as determined by the Provost, of the tuition received for a distance learning course is transferred to the academic department of the faculty member offering the course. The unit may utilize these funds as desired, but is encouraged to allow the faculty member teaching the course to utilize the funds in recognition of the extra work required to serve the distance learning students. The remainder of the tuition remains with GTPE to cover the costs for delivering and supporting the course.

Revenue distribution for other multimedia courses offered at a distance that are not commercially licensed shall be determined in advance of the course offering and should be commensurate with the amount of work provided and the risk taken by each entity involved. Courses that are commercially licensed are subject to GIT Intellectual Property policies.

4.6.2 Professional Education

GTPE also assists faculty/administrators with planning, marketing, accounting, facilitating of professional education programs, and in meeting state requirements for tracking participation in professional education programs. Assistance is provided with both open enrollment and contract programs, offered on campus and at remote sites. Advance approval must be obtained for all continuing education programs using the GTPE Program Proposal Routing Sheet.

In light of the faculty’s priority commitment to high quality educational programs at GIT, faculty participation in the creation and delivery of short courses sponsored by organizations outside of GIT will only be permitted with the prior written consent of the faculty member's School Chair or Laboratory Director and the Dean of Professional Education.

Examples of non-Georgia Tech short course involvements for which approval might be given include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Teaching one-half day or less in a short course offered by another university.
  • Teaching in a short course run by a professional society that is a part of a series with a long history.

GTPE’s services must be involved in all GIT non-credit courses, conferences, seminars, workshops, and institutes, both on and off campus, in which participants are charged a registration fee, to ensure that participation is properly recorded. The level of services provided is worked out with the units offering the course according to an established schedule of fees.

Georgia Institute of Technology is required by the University System of Georgia, and by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to report all activities which qualify for Continuing Education Units (CEUs), e.g., short courses, contract courses, and conferences. All candidate activities are to be reported to GTPE.

Faculty members who are approved to organize a course or conference through an outside organization are required to submit copies of the participant roster, agenda, and brochure to GTPE to enable Georgia Tech to report CEUs to the Board of Regents whenever possible and appropriate.

Extra Compensation
When faculty, administrators, or graduate students participate in conducting Professional Education programs, they are eligible to receive extra compensation for time spent in instruction, laboratory supervision, design, marketing, coordination, evaluation, and other administrative effort at rates determined by the offering unit(s). Extra compensation may be paid to a Georgia Tech faculty member/administrator only if the official form is submitted through the GTPE and approved by the appropriate administrators. All requests for payment of extra compensation are to be submitted within one week after the end of the program to facilitate final accounting.

Credit for Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure
Instructional faculty members are encouraged to cite and document participation in GTPE programs to support their representations of teaching, creativity, or service activities when being reviewed for reappointment, promotion, and tenure. If included under the category of teaching, instructor evaluations from program attendees are to be included in the documentation.

4.7 Student Complaints and Grievances Against a Faculty Member

Policy

Feedback from students, whether of a positive or negative nature, should be used for the improvement of the educational programs and environment of the Institute.

Applicable Procedure

Complaints or grievances related to discriminatory or sexual harassment are covered by the Institute’s Anti-Harassment Policy.  Complaints or grievances related to grading disputes are covered by the “Student Academic Grievance Procedures” in the Georgia Tech Catalog.  Allegations of scholarly misconduct are covered by the “Policy for Responding to Allegations of Scientific or Other Scholarly Misconduct” in Section 5.7 of the Faculty Handbook.

Students' complaints or grievances related to other issues should be made in writing to the appropriate administrator such as School Director, Department Head or Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. However, in the case of an oral complaint, the administrator should make written notes about the nature of the complaint. Appropriate measures shall be taken to safeguard the student from retaliatory action.

The administrator promptly shall discuss the complaint with the faculty member to determine if it has merit. If the complaint is determined to have merit, it may be made a part of the personnel file of the faculty member only after discussion with the faculty member. However, the faculty member shall be given the opportunity to make his or her own written comments/rebuttal to the complaint. Such written comments by the faculty member shall be attached to the administrator's report in the personnel file.

Note: Accumulation of complaints without discussing them with the appropriate faculty member in order to use them as justification for lack of promotion or lack of salary improvement at a later time, is not permissible.

If the complaint is determined to have merit, then a plan of action to correct the cause of the complaint shall be worked out jointly between the administrator and the faculty member. Check points for a review of the situation are to be established at that time. A copy of the written plan shall be shared with the faculty member and a record of these actions shall be maintained in the personnel file of the faculty member.

If the faculty member is not satisfied with the plan of action proposed for the resolution of the student complaint, the faculty member may present the grievance to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.

The administrator shall inform the student of the resolution of the complaint.  If the student is not satisfied, the student may go to the next higher administrative level for review. (Assistance regarding procedures may be obtained from the Vice President of Student Life.)

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