Agenda for the Faculty Senate Meeting

November 28, 2007

Room B-113 Robinson Hall

3:00-4:15 p.m.

 

 

I.          Call to Order

 

President Alan Merten

 

II.            Approval of the Minutes of November 7, 2007

 

III.            Announcements

 

IV.            Unfinished Business

 

V.        New Business - Committee Reports

 

               A.               Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee

 

Academic Policies

 

Budget & Resources

Report on “9 month paid 12 month” salary discrepancies

                             

Faculty Matters

Motions from the Committee: 

Awarding of Tenure at the Time of Hiring in Competitive Searches.            Attachment A

Tenure Clock Extensions for Military Service and Serious Illness                        Attachment B

 

Nominations

 

Organization & Operations

 

               B. Other Committees

           

 

VI.       Other New Business

 

A.     Motion to approve the proposed University Policy on Patenting University Inventions

                                                         Attachment C

 

VII.            Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

 

VIII.    Adjournment


Attachment A

 

Awarding of Tenure at the time of Hiring in Competitive Searches

Last year the Senate passed a motion requiring a “second level review” of direct hire candidates.  Here we propose a second level review be required in all cases, including national competitive searches, where tenure is proposed to be granted at the time of hire.

Motion

In keeping with Section 1.3 of the Faculty Handbook that states, “In accordance with the best traditions of American universities, the faculty plays a primary role in…faculty personnel actions,” this policy applies to searches, (including competitive national searches), in which there is a proposal to award tenure at the time of hire. 

 Procedures.  Faculty in the Local Academic Unit (LAU) will review the credentials of any individual who is a candidate for hire. These include, at a minimum, the opportunity to examine a curriculum vitae, meet with the candidate, attend a job seminar or formal presentation by the candidate, and review letters of reference.  The LAU faculty then vote to accept or reject the candidate and, in a separate vote, determine whether to hire the candidate with tenure.  The hiring process moves forward only when a majority of the LAU faculty who are eligible to vote accept the candidate. 

If the candidate is nominated for tenure upon hiring, s/he must also be reviewed by the college- or school-level promotion and tenure committee.  As stated above, the LAU review requires a majority positive vote by eligible faculty for tenure consideration. If the LAU faculty vote is positive and the chair recommends tenure of the candidate, the dossier is then sent to the college or school promotion and tenure committee.  As with all tenure reviews, independent external letters from recognized experts in the candidate’s field must be obtained in a manner consistent with other tenure reviews, and candidates are held to the same standards as other candidates in that LAU.  Since such hires may be made outside the normal annual promotion and tenure cycle, college and school promotion and tenure committees must develop procedures for reviewing candidates out of cycle.


 

Attachment B

Motions on Tenure Clock Extensions for Military Service and Serious Illness

 

 

Last year, the Faculty Senate approved a motion for Tenure Clock Extension for New Parents (May 2, 2007).  We now propose tenure clock extensions for two other situations: 1) Being called up for Military Service and 2) for Serious Illness.

 

 

Tenure Clock Extension for Military Service

 

A tenure track faculty member who is also a member of the U.S. military and is called to active duty for a minimum of four months will be entitled to an automatic extension of the term in which she or he is currently employed.  The extension will last for the duration of the active duty assignment, rounded to the nearest year.  Therefore, an active duty assignment lasting between 4 and 15 months will earn a one-year extension, 16 through 27 months will earn a two-year extension, etc.  This extension will be granted automatically upon the faculty member’s notifying in writing the chair of the department or the dean/director of the college, school or institute in which the faculty member serves.  The faculty member should make the request prior to entering active duty and prior to September 1 of the academic year in which the tenure decision would have been made.  .

 

Tenure Clock Extension for Serious Illness

 

A tenure track faculty member who becomes seriously ill will be entitled to an automatic extension of the term in which she or he is currently employed under the following conditions and definitions.  First, “serious illness” will be defined according to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), already used by the university.  The FMLA act requires certification of the illness by a physician.  Once the certification has been approved by Human Resources, the faculty member can request delay of the tenure clock by notifying in writing the chair of the department or the dean/director of the college, school or institute in which the faculty member serves.  The tenure clock will only be stopped when the faculty member uses sick leave according to the following guidelines.  Four to 15 months of sick leave would make the faculty member eligible for a one year delay of the tenure clock, 16 through 27 months of sick leave would make the faculty member eligible for a two year delay of the tenure clock and so on.    At the time of tenure consideration, a faculty member will be considered using the same criteria as those applied to other faculty in the college school or institute. 


Attachment C

 

Motion to approve the proposed University Policy on Patenting University Inventions

 

The full text appears at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/patent-policy.htm

 

November 12, 2007

 

 

To:         Suzanne W. Slayden

     Chair, Faculty Senate

 

From:               Barry W. Stevens

               Director, Research Policy Development

 

Subject:  University Policy on Patenting University Inventions

 

 

This memorandum transmits a proposed university policy on patenting university inventions for the review of the Faculty Senate.  The committee that developed the policy has, by consensus, endorsed its contents and recommended that it be adopted by the university.  In addition, the members of the newly-constituted Intellectual Property Committee were provided the opportunity to review the policy and discuss it with their colleagues prior to its being finalized.  The policy was approved by the Deans and Directors with two minor modifications at their meeting of November 8. 

 

The members of the policy development committee were the following:

 

Matt Kluger, Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Vikas Chandhoke, Dean, College of Science

Danny Menasce, Associate Dean, Volgenau School of Information

          Technology and Engineering                   

          Ken Hintz, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

John Crockett, Professor, Finance

Jennifer Murphy, Director, Office of Technology Transfer

          Tom Moncure, University Counsel

 

I chaired the committee and served as facilitator, researcher, and drafter.

 

A revised policy on patenting university inventions is needed to replace the university’s current policy, which was adopted over two decades ago, on July 30, 1987.  Among the principal features of the new policy are the following: 

 

  1. The policy states the university’s commitment to encouraging the making of patentable inventions, the successful commercialization of those inventions, the equitable allocation of income from commercialization, and the protection of the rights of patent holders.

 

  1. It provides guidance to the university community on how to secure patent protection for inventions and how inventions can be commercialized.

 

  1. It clarifies the rights of ownership in inventions made at the university by participants in sponsored research, employees, students, and others, and harmonizes the ownership provisions of the patent policy with those of the copyright policy approved by the Board of Visitors on May 9.

 

  1. It revises provisions for the allocation of royalties and other income from inventions owned by the university to direct fifty percent of net income to the inventor, ten percent to the inventor’s employing unit, and the remainder to George Mason Intellectual Properties, Inc.

 

  1. It conforms the university’s patent policy to Virginia law.

 

We would appreciate receiving any advice the Senate deems appropriate as soon as possible so that our policy on this important subject can be sent to the Board of Visitors for adoption.