Members Present: Lauren Adamson, Dee Baldwin for Judith Wold, Chip Barksdale, Mac Bibb, John de Castro, Missy Cody, Martin Fraser, Truman Hartshorn, Kurt Keppler, Kimberly Malham, Chris Paton, Joe Rabianski, Don Reitzes, Jeff Rupp, Robert Sattelemeyer, P.C. Tai, Carol Whitcomb, Richard Welke, Carol Winkler, Harry Wyatt
Members Absent: Tim Crimmins, Ronald Henry, Julie Hotchkiss, Charlene Hurt, Larry Kelley, John Kesner, Michael Landau, Richard Miller, Ebb Oakley, Scott Owen, Robert Probst, Walter Riggs, Vida Scarpello, Wayne Urban, Vijay Vaishnavi, Bill Waugh
Lauren Adamson called the meeting to order at 1:05. The first order of business was the discussion and approval of the minutes from the August 31st meeting. There was a motion to approve, a second, and all were in favor.
Dr. Adamson then began a discussion of the Administrative Support Unit Review process. The process was set up without consideration of how it would intersect with the Senate. Subsequently, the Senate amended the by-laws in terms of the charge to the P&D Committee. The by-laws give P&D oversight of the Administrative and Support Unit Reviews. Now, the goal is to figure out what that means exactly, and what the goal of the process is. She then referred to a handout, "Systematic Assessment of Administrative and Support Units" which is a description of the review process. It provides a procedural outline for a systematic assessment of the support units; it establishes a committee to do that (ASUAC); it identifies how many will be appointed (9), who will appoint them, and establishes the timing of the reviews. It also sets up the process to establish a three person sub-committee of ASUAC to receive and review the report. It identifies a lot of work for those who are in the unit being reviewed. What is missing from the report is a description of the role of P&D in this process.
Dr. Adamson summarized a conversation she had prior to the meeting with Tim Crimmins who, as Associate Provost for Academic Programs, is charged with administering the review process. They discussed three issues. The first was how P&D would handle reports issued by ASUAC. John de Castro is the P&D representative tp ASUAC. Dr. Adamson indicated that she has asked him to chair a sub-committee that would receive and review reports before they are discussed and, if appropriate, accepted by P&D. Once accepted, reports are to be forwarded to the Provost's office where an action will be written.
The second issue involves looking at the list of upcoming reviews and perhaps suggesting changes. Dr. Crimmins will bring the list to the October meeting.
The third issue is to decide when P&D should review this process to see if we agree with the process. The suggestion was to wait to reflect on the process until spring when at least one unit had undergone a complete review.
Dr. de Castro noted that it is a difficult situation because the process is ongoing and a change at any point is going to disrupt it. The problem with the process is that it was set up independently of the Senate. Dr. de Castro noted that because of this, it gives the impression that we have a faculty Senate when, in fact, it is a University Senate with a high representation of Administration. He continued by saying that this process should be strongly attached to the Senate and Senate Committees. He turned to the document and referred to page four of the document (Preparation: steps A through E). The Senate is left out of most of this. ASUAC is established by the Provost. No faculty are involved in the establishment of the committee. Dr. de Castro described this as a top down process. He stated the need for much more delineated Senate involvement with the Committee eventually becoming a sub-committee of P&D in much the same way as CBSAC is set up as a sub-committee of P&D. This sub-committee would report through P&D to the Provost in much the same fashion as the academic assessment reports through the APACE Committee to the Provost and back to APACE. The ASUAC membership right now is a good cross-section of people. However, the way the document describes the process for establishing the committee, it does not guarantee a good cross-section of membership. He stated his preference to set some changes in motion.
Don Reitzes, a member of ASUAC since it's inception, described his understanding of the origination of the process. He noted that Paula Dressel intended this process to parallel the academic program review process. From the beginning, there has been faculty input on all the committees and sub-committees. He conceded that Dr. de Castro's process point was true, but the content of the committee reflects a faculty driven process. The feedback from focus groups highlights the fact that staff is uncomfortable if there is not a strong administrative and staff component to this kind of evaluation.
Dr. Adamson agreed that currently there is balance on the committee. There are five academic members and five administrative, non-faculty members. A process had been established without P&D's input, but it appears that the process is actually working very well. The concern arose when it became clear that the charge to P&D was the oversight of this process, and the role of P&D had not been articulated.
Carol Winkler presented some background information. Two years ago, the Executive Committee discussed three groups that were operating outside the Senate and taking on functions that the by-laws give to the Senate. One of them was ASUAC. At that point, the Provost agreed to appoint a member to ASUAC from P&D. It was agreed that P&D will ratify the list of units for review as APACE ratifies the reveiw list for the academic process. It was also agreed that P&D would review the order of the reviews. Dr. Winkler stated that changes noted by Dr. de Castro had been made and agreed to by the Provost, and P&D can take the action it has been given even though it is not spelled out in the document.
Dr. Adamson stated the importance of either amending the document or putting in memo form the clearly articulated role of P&D. Particularly important is, once the reports have been received, determining how questions at this level will be received. Dr. Winkler recommended that we bring the motion forward, ratify it, and proceed.
Richard Welke brought forward an oversight or omission in the document. He pointed to the document's call for helping faculty and staff become more efficient. He noted that this means making a more efficient use of information technology. The composition of this group, as described on page 5, does not include the input of anyone with expertise in information technology; moreover, if you go to the appendix, section 4, the process does not mention the current use of information technology or how it might be used in the future. His suspicion is that these two significant omissions indicate that the use of information technology as an approach to achieving efficiency is not going to be highlighted. Dr. Welke stated that the process is doomed in a different way because it may not dig deeply enough to find out where the real bottlenecks are and to find a more efficient process for those activities.
Dr. Adamson responded with the question of whether representation from information technology would be of more use in some areas than in others. For example, would this be critical to a review of the Ombudsperson, for instance. One thing that might be useful for P&D to do as a report comes forward is to have representation on the sub-committee of those groups who have either not been consulted or not adequately consulted, and the composition of this group could change from unit to unit. Dr. Welke responded that in the "real" world this type of review would include the identification of "best practices" across all universities. He guessed that this procedure would be true for all units and noted that often "best practice" is intertwined with an interesting use of information technology. He doubts that these things will come up in the review process as currently structured.
Dr. Reitzes responded that the comparative question is built in to the review questions which ask the units to look at peer institutions and peer units. In response to the larger question, he noted that this type of micro managing and re-engineering is beyond the scope of what the review is meant to do. Just as the academic review does not go in to the individual teaching of courses, this process asks only whether the unit is following its mission. The review does not look at the details of how the unit accomplishes its goals. In terms of the HR review, it was enough to look at what extent HR serves its customers and the other units in the university, and to what extent do the units within HR seem to function well. If HR wants to look at other ways to refine their operation, they can do that.
Robert Sattelmeyer agreed with Dr. Welke that information technology has its tentacles everywhere, and everyone is increasingly dependent on other unit's successful deployment of the technology. Unless those larger issues of how that technology is employed and how other units' functions depend on a given unit's use of information technology, then a large piece of the evaluation is likely to be flawed.
Dr. de Castro agrees with Dr. Welke's sentiment but thinks the process he suggests for getting that done would be difficult under the current structure because it would require a significant level of expertise on the part of talented people to look at these issues. Simply appointing someone from the IS&T committee would not solve the problem. The kinds of things Dr. Welke is pointing to are important but perhaps should be pointed out at the end of the study. If a unit is shown to need improvement in the use of information technology perhaps a consultant could be brought in at that point.
Dr. Welke responded that the review could be done in increments. He suggested that by placing someone on the committee from IS&T we would at least have the benefit of their perspective. He suggested adding a question to the review questions in section four: "What is your current and planned use of information technology?" and "How might further use of this technology better the situation?" Such questions would stimulate discussion, but currently they are omitted.
Dr. Adamson commented that she hoped these suggestions could be addressed in the interim since we cannot change the composition of the committee reviewing HR as they have been conducting the review for over a year. We need to be prepared to have a sub-committee in place which will include a broad representation of the areas in the university which are interested in the unit being reviewed. For instance, Faculty Development should have some input on the review of HR. The same would be true for Information Systems. As reports come forward, they will prompt this kind of consideration. By spring we should be able to amend the process. Dr. Adamson does not think that we have the experience to know how to restructure the committee until a review has been completed.
Dr. de Castro said that we do have good experience based on the academic reviews. One problem with a sub-committee separate from ASUAC is the difficulty of having another independent level of analysis. He much prefers that the sub-committee be set up within ASUAC itself, and then they would report directly back to P&D in a timely fashion--a more efficient way to do things.
Dr. Winkler noted that what Dr. de Castro described is closer to the model for APACE. APACE functions like ASUAC for us. It was agreed that, at this point, we need to establish the sub-committee. Dr. Adamson noted that at the next meeting she will bring a summary of what Dr. Winkler reported to be the conclusion of the Executive Committee and the Provost two years ago that would amend the "Systematic Assessment of Administrative and Support Units" report. This will bring the discussion up to date. Then, we will wait until the spring, after the completion of one review, to suggest an amendment to the committee structure if we think that is what we want to do.
Kurt Keppler noted that the HR report has taken so long because the leadership of HR changed half way through the process, and he added that the Research office also underwent a pilot review prior to the start of the HR review.
Dr. Sattelmeyer asked to return to Dr. Welke's point. Dr. Welke re-stated his suggestions. The first was that the committee composition be amended to include someone with a distinct information systems perspective, and second to ask the unit to identify their current and planned use of information technology in support of the goal of becoming more efficient and hopefully more effective as well. You might go on to ask them to identify two or three universities who are doing a similar job well.
The question was asked regarding at what point P&D should become involved in looking at what is requested of the units in the review. Dr. Reitzes agreed that, as questions for the units to review, it makes sense to add them. The peer units suggestion would only require a slight modification to the early questions already in place. Dr. Adamson suggested that we pass these questions on to Dr. Crimmins as a friendly amendment to the program review guidelines and absorb them in to the review process.
Dr. de Castro wanted to go back to the schedule of changes. He asked where we are in the schedule. What is the timeline? Dr. Keppler noted that the Provost office and the Deans offices are next. Dr. de Castro asked when the process is initiated, etc. Dr. Adamson said that no reviews will be initiated before the October meeting. Dr. de Castro suggested that the time to have changes in place is before the next review is initiated. Dr. Adamson said that she was not sure that we can make the changes before the first review is completed. She asked that we wait to make further decisions until after Dr. Crimmins presents the list.
Dr. Adamson moved to the next item on the agenda. She introduced Mac Bibb as the new Associate VP for Plant Services. Dr. Bibb began by giving some history of his time at Georgia State University. Dr. Bibb noted that he felt P&D was one of the most important committees in the university in terms of the physical plant. He noted how important the committee members input was to the plant and added that he wants to establish a good working relationship with P&D. He asked the committee to give him guidance for what kind of information and in what format the committee would like to see. He added that communication between and among his units is a primary goal. Dr. Kelly has asked Dr. Bibb to meet with the group rather than Dr. Kelly.
P. C. Tai asked that Dr. Bibb work to solve the problems in Kell Hall. Dr. Bibb noted that problems such as Kell Hall exist across all the Schools and Colleges. Dr. Adamson asked for a timeline of projects, and she also asked that Dr. Bibb advise P&D when things change. She asked for a briefing at each P&D meeting to keep the committee advised on what is going on around the university. Dr. Bibb is planning to provide summaries of the projects underway, so P&D can make decisions with relevant information.
Dr. Tai asked about the demolition site for the convocation center. Harry Wyatt noted that he did not know much about it accept that it was being considered for use by other State agencies. Dr. Tai added that GSU construction at this site was less certain than we thought. Dr. Bibb noted that Dr. Paton and Tom Lewis are working hard to get this space. Dr. Tai asked if we had commissioned money for this site. Mr. Wyatt answered that we had committed roughly $400,000 for the demolition of the site. Dr. Adamson asked when the decision would be made. Dr. Bibb was not sure of the time line.
Dr. de Castro commented that P&D would like to have a new focus on the ongoing maintenance needs--perhaps an updated list of scheduled maintenance and required maintenance. Dr. Bibb noted, as an example of the needs on the campus, that it would take $10-14 million to get One Park Place in proper working condition. Five years ago, deferred maintenance was $35-40 million. Dr. Bibb is trying to look at the major building problems and will try to bring those to P&D, so the committee can understand the issues. One problem is pay scale for technical employees. Employees leave soon after they are trained. He asked that the Committee let him know if the format of the information he presents is useful. Dr. de Castro noted that the primary concern is awareness development. He hopes that raising awareness will build some support for investing in and maintaining what we have.
Dr. Adamson proposed that we accept Dr. Bibb's invitation to attend the meetings and bring the information to us. Dr. Bibb will be on the agenda for the next several meetings.
Dr. Winkler asked about fire safety issues. Dr. Bibb responded that the Fire Safety Policy came out of Jim Olsen's area through the Provost's office. She asked whom she should ask questions of. Dr. Bibb referred her to Jim Olsen.
Dr. Tai noted that the support services do not try to help. Dr. Bibb asked that people began to judge Physical Plant from here forward. He noted that he has talked to his people about the issues, and they agree that they want to be safe, but he has asked that they review the issues and discuss fixes with the departmental representatives to arrive at methods for fixing problems. This may require more time from the departments.
The next item on the agenda was subcommittee reports. Dr. Adamson reported on the New Classroom Building committee. She brought forward two issues and invited any interested committee member to participate in the committee. She noted that Dr. Sattelmeyer and Missy Cody are also on the committee.
The bids are occurring on the new classroom building and should be received before Thanksgiving. The issue of concern to the committee, and perhaps to the entire Georgia State University community, is what happens in the construction bid. In order to keep the bid process from coming to a stop, certain items are included that Georgia State wants bidding companies to price that can be eliminated. The last item on the list is to leave first half and then perhaps the whole third floor just in the shell. There is a small probability that this will occur. Mr. Wyatt noted that the deduct alternates which come to approximately $1.7 million is 6% of the construction estimate at this point. There is approximately $900,000 worth of deduct alternates before you get in to the shelling of the third floor. So there is a good bit of protection before we get to such a drastic measure. Dr. Adamson noted that the Classroom Project Committee Chair Paula Stephan wrote a letter to President Patton noting the committee's concern and requesting that the Classroom Committee be convened immediately if it looked like the final deduct would occur. Dr. Keppler added that this is standard procedure and Jeff Rupp agreed. However, Dr. Adamson noted that the issue here is that one of these deduct alternates goes to the heart of the project.
The next issue is that of classroom seating in the new building. Dr. Cody described the two attached seating options. One is attached to the tabletop, the other is attached to the floor. It cannot be moved, but it is designed to go in and out. The seating attached to the table feels almost like it is spring-loaded--a feeling that did not seem dependent on the size of an individual. In addition, if a student is seated and is bumped, he/she will hit the table pretty hard. Also, at least half of the men who sat in the chairs felt they could not sit comfortably in them for more than 15 minute. Chairs attached to the table make cleaning easier. If we do not choose attached seating, then perhaps 169 seats will be lost.
Another consideration is that all the furniture available has the wiring attachments on the top of the desk, and there is no real protection or security against damage. Dr. Adamson reported that the seats attached to the floor are too expensive to consider. At this point, the decision is between seats attached to the table or loose seating. Dr. Welke made two observations from past experience: the metal to metal contact of the chairs will make noise, and, secondly, when a seat is destroyed, getting it replaced is difficult. There is maximum flexibility with detached seating.
Truman Hartshorn noted that there are chairs in Classroom South that have been broken for years. He added that in Classroom South, for example, the chairs are so close together, it is difficult to get students spread out during exams. Dr. Cody also pointed out that the attached seats are handed, and so a student may not always find a seat that will be easy for him/her to use. Dr. Cody noted that all the faculty members on the Committee are asking for detached seating.
Mr. Wyatt added that a drawback to detached seating is that the chairs are removable and may be taken from the classrooms. Secondly, when the floors are cleaned, putting the chair on the desks may damage the desks, the technical connections, as well as take additional time. Mr. Wyatt noted that one option discussed was using a combination of attached and detached seating. Dr. Adamson noted that if we do not use attached chairs, they do not have to be included in the budget for the bids. Dr. Tai asked why spare attached chairs could not be stored for needed repairs. Dr. Bibb cited a lack of storage space. Dr. Adamson said she would make a list of the points brought up here for the next Classroom Committee meeting.
Dr. Adamson continued with subcommittee reports. CBSAC , the Classroom Facilities Council, and the Strategic Planning Committee have not yet met. The Strategic Planning Adhoc Committees have met. The Provost is putting on the web a summary of the discussion. The site is www.gsu.edu/~wwwsen/strategic_plan/. You can review the plan and provide feed back via a GroupWise form.
The subcommittees from Budget (Budget Priorities and Budget Principles) have been appointed, and there is sufficient overlap with the P&D membership. Budget Priorities members from P&D are Ms. Whitcomb, Dr. Fraser, Dr. Tai, and Bill Waugh. Budget Principles members are Charlene Hurt, Joe Rabianski, and Dr. Kelley.
Under new business, Dr. Rabianski asked what is going on with the Alpharetta classroom site. Mr Wyatt responded that the building is on schedule and should be substantially complete in January, 2000, occupied by faculty in mid-March, and open for classes in the Maymester.
Dr. Keppler announced that the University will break ground for the Recreation Center at 11:30 a.m on Thursday, November 18th.
Dr. Rabianski asked about the plans for the North Metro Center. Mr. Wyatt said he heard that the Alpharetta Center would be a replacement for it. Dr. Rabianski said he had heard of a committee looking at the feasibility of keeping both centers. Mr. Wyatt was not aware of the committee. Dr. Winkler reported that the Provost said in the Provost meeting that the lease was up on the building in Mid June and indicated GSU would be out of the building then. Dr. Rabianski raised the question of whether this was a good idea and suggested that P&D should consider whether it was a good idea to let the North Metro Center go. Dr. Rabianski asked that P&D have the discussion. Dr. Adamson asked Dr. Bibb to gather some information on the issue. She asked Dr. Rabianski to head a subcommittee to investigate the issue. Dr. Rabianski agreed and asked that the Committee discuss the issue even if it is a fate accompli. Dr. Hartshorn agreed to join the sub-committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
Prepared by Shelle Bryant.