Agenda for the Faculty Senate Meeting

February 13, 2008

Room B-113 Robinson Hall

3:00-4:15 p.m.



I.          Call to Order


II.        Approval of the Minutes of January 23, 2008


III.       Announcements


IV.       Unfinished Business


V.        New Business - Committee Reports


               A.  Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee


Academic Policies       Motions from the committee concerning incomplete grade policy                                    Attachment A


Budget & Resources


Faculty Matters




Organization & Operations



               B. Other Committees



VI.       Other New Business


               Motion: To approve the concept proposal for a Faculty Practice Plan for GMU

                                                                                                                              Attachment B



VII.     Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

            Mark Q. Broderick      Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs



VIII.    Adjournment


Attachment A


Motions on Incomplete Grade Policies



Motion 1:  (Clarification on Earlier Incomplete Deadline)


To insert into the existing catalog statement the phrase “Unless the faculty member has specified an earlier deadline” so that the catalog would read:


“This grade may be given to students who are passing a course but who may be unable to complete scheduled course work for a cause beyond reasonable control.  Unless the faculty member has specified an earlier deadline, the student must then complete all the requirements by the end of the ninth week of the next semester, not including summer term, and the instructor must turn in the final grade by the end of the 10th week.  Unless an explicit written extension is filed with the Registrar’s Office by the faculty deadline, the grade of IN is changed by the registrar to an F.”


Motion 2: (Require Incomplete Grade Contract for Earlier Deadline Cases)


To add the sentence beneath the existing catalog copy:


Faculty members who opt for an earlier incomplete deadline will be required to file an Incomplete Grade Contract with the Registrar’s office, detailing the work that remains to be done, the general reason for the incomplete, and the student’s grade at the point of receiving the incomplete.




These motions originated from the Registrar’s Office, where concerns have been expressed about the lack of clarification regarding incomplete deadlines and expectations.  The lack of specific policy regarding earlier deadlines is difficult to defend when a student goes through a grade appeal process regarding an incomplete.  Additionally, there is an apparent lack of clarity on the part of students as to what work is due and when.  The Incomplete Grade Contract would allow for clarification of academic policy including an earlier deadline for graduating students.  It would also specify remaining work to be done in the event that a substitute evaluator must complete the grading process.    



An example of a contract is shown below.





George Mason University

Incomplete Grade Contract


Student’s Name  ___________________________________________________________________________

                                    Last                                         First                                        Middle Initial


GNumber___________________________________________  Day Phone  __________________________


Course # __________________ Section #_________  Title ________________________________________


Semester:       _____  Fall                  Year    ________

                        _____  Spring

                        _____  Summer        








Students submit work to instructor by end of the 9th week of next fall or spring semester


Instructor reports grade to Office of the Registrar

 one week later



 (no later than University Deadline)


Student submits work to instructor by:





Instructor reports grade to Office of the Registrar

 one week later


List the remaining requirements below:

  1. ____________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________

Student’s Grade at this point:  ___________________


Other pertinent information which will be of help in accurately evaluating this student in absence of instructor:_________________________________________________________________________________






Student____________________________   Date______________________________


Instructor__________________________   Date______________________________




White Copy—Office of the Registrar

Yellow Copy—Student

Pink Copy—Faculty

Attachment B



George Mason University’s Faculty Practice Plan






The George Mason University Faculty Practice Plan (FPP) supports the educational mission of the University. The approved plan outlines policies that: (a) provide a professional practice structure, (b) describe mechanisms by which individual academic units (colleges, schools, and institutes) can link to the university practice plan, and (c) foster a sense of practice plan identity among all participating faculty members.




The FPP will provide formal support for ongoing education, training, and certification of faculty members and students. Additionally, the FPP enables the provision of professional services to address both unmet and specialized needs of the community Virginiavia collaborations, consultations, and coordination with other agencies and organizations. 




“Faculty practice” is any professional service provided by a faculty member within his or her scope of employment. Practice activities that are approved for participation in the FPP provide faculty members practical experiences essential to maintaining and enhancing their skills and knowledge in fulfillment of the education mission of the University. 


Membership: Rights and Obligations of Members:


Academic Unit Membership – Individual academic units (colleges, schools, and institutes) may participate in the FPP with the approval of the Dean or Director of the unit, the Practice Plan Governing Committee, and the President of the University. Each Academic Unit Faculty Practice Plan must be consistent with the goals of the academic unit and the University. Each Faculty Practice Plan must include:


     (1)        A description of the University policies and procedures pertaining to

                 faculty practice activities and related fees;

     (2)        Incorporation of faculty practice activities in the unit’s bylaws;

     (3)        A designated fund/account into which all faculty practice fees are to be

                 transferred, which shall be held and administered by the respective

                 Dean or Director of the academic unit;

     (4)        An operating budget prepared annually and recommended by the Dean

                 or Director of the academic unit and submitted to the Practice Plan

                 Governing Committee and the President of the University for review,

                 approval, and oversight.


Individual Participation - Any full time faculty member (term, tenured, or tenure-track) whose academic unit is a member of the Faculty Practice Plan is eligible to participate in the plan. Individual exceptions to the above criteria will be considered on a case by case basis by the Governing Committee.


Faculty Designation - A new faculty category called “Clinical faculty” shall be available for fulltime faculty who are employed by the University to support a unit practice plan. This group of faculty members is the clinical complement to the University designation of “Research Professor,” in which the individual is supported on income generated by research grants and contracts. In these cases, the Clinical Faculty member would be expected to support all or a significant portion of his or her income by clinical practice.


Regardless of the type of appointment, all individuals in a faculty practice plan are bound by the general employment requirements at George Mason University and by the practice conditions set forth in the bylaws of their respective academic units.


Collection and Disbursement of Funds


All professional fees for direct services generated by an individual unit’s practice plan are billed and collected by the University or an approved Billing Vendor on behalf of the FPP. All fees are billed through or on behalf of the FPP and all funds collected are deposited in a Faculty Practice Fund/Account in the University’s name. Disbursement of these funds is made to participating academic units according to an agreed upon revenue split between the academic unit and Central Administration based upon the approved unit practice plan.




The University FPP is administered by a Practice Plan Governing Committee and the University President, or his designee, on behalf of the Board of Visitors. This governing committee is responsible for reviewing and approving all unit proposals for participation in the FPP, monitoring unit adherence to all governing rules and policies associated with faculty practice at the University, and providing technical assistance and support to units that are developing new practice opportunities for their faculty members. 


Elected membership on the Governing Committee includes a member of the Faculty Senate, and one practicing faculty member from each participating academic unit.


Ex officio members of the Governing Committee include the Vice President for Research, the Vice President for Human Resources, the Senior Vice President of the University (or his designee), the Assistant Vice President/Chief Safety Officer, and the Dean or Director of each participating academic unit (or his or her designee, such as an Associate Dean or Director of Faculty Practice).  A Chair of the Governing Committee will elected by the members.


The FPP Governing Committee meets at least quarterly to review, monitor, and advise faculty practice activities, such as actual or proposed program components, quality and safety reports, and financial reports. Individual members also meet regularly with the governing bodies of the individual academic units to assure compliance with University policies and procedures and to


Committee Members

Shirley Travis, Dean, CHHS

Jim Olds, Director, Krasnow Institute

Beth Brock, Associate VP and Controller

Jose Cortina, Associate Professor, CHSS, Faculty Senate Representative

Lynn Gerber, Professor, CHHS

Linda Harber, Associate VP, Human Resources/Payroll

Matt Kluger, VP, Research & Economic Development

Christena Langley, Acting Associate Dean/Director, CHSS

James Maddux, Professor, CHSS

Goodlett McDaniel, Assoc Dean, CHHS

Ann McGuigan, Director, Research Development

Tom Moncure, University Counsel

Lynn Schrum, Professor, CEHD