OCTOBER 6, 2010

Robinson Hall B113,  3:00  - 4:15 p.m.



I.          Call to Order


II.        Approval of the Minutes of September 8, 2010


III.       Announcements

Rector Volgenau’s  visit rescheduled to November 10, 2010

Dean Shirley Travis, College of Health and Human Services


IV.             Unfinished Business and Special Orders

Motion to amend the By Laws of the Faculty Senate (2nd view)                                       Attachment A


V.       New Business - Committee Reports

             A.  Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee

Academic Policies

Budget & Resources

Faculty Matters


Eva Thorp is nominated to fill a vacancy on the Academic Appeals Committee.

Yvonne Demory is nominated to serve as Faculty Senate liaison to the Staff Senate

Organization & Operations

             B. Other Committees 

Report from the Faculty Representatives to the Board of Visitors                             Attachment B


VI.        Other New Business


                                                                                                                                                        Attachment C

B.     Consensual Relationships between Faculty and Students – Corey Jackson               

C.     On-Line Course Evaluations Spring 2010 – Kris Smith

D.    QEP Update – Kim Eby and Bethany Usher


VII.       Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

VIII.     Adjournment



Motion to amend the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate – Executive Committee

(2nd view)

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee MOVES that Article IV, Section 6 of the Faculty Senate Bylaws be changed to read: "Meetings of the Senate shall be convened on at least four Wednesday afternoons during each semester of the academic year."


Currently, Article IV, Section 6 reads as follows: "Meetings of the Senate shall be convened on at least one Wednesday afternoon of each month of the academic year, beginning in September." When the Spring semester begins late in January (as it does this year), it's difficult to schedule a meeting during that month. The proposed change provides at least the same number of meetings, but offers flexibility in scheduling.


BOV Representatives Report, September 2010


Representatives present: Rick Coffinberger, Mark Houck, Janette Muir, Toni Travis

Purpose: To respond to Visitor DeLaski’s request for concerns faculty may have that the BOV could actually address. 

Several concerns are identified below, along with specific questions the BOV might care to pursue regarding each concern.


1)      Global Initiatives –

a.     General Concerns:  Often initiatives are unclear in terms of rationale and overall benefit to University.  As new global initiatives are developed, there is less focus on state and local needs.

b.      Question to ask:  Can the BOV ask for a cost accounting/balance sheet for various initiatives that Provost and others are encouraging – that includes both start up and maintenance costs?


2)      Growth issues –

a.     General Concerns: As Mason continues to grow, what is the impact for faculty, students and staff? 

i.  Evidence suggests that increased growth does not mean increased state resources.

ii.         Increased growth does not increase the quality of our students (other state schools limit growth and attract a higher caliber of students).

iii.       There is a finite amount of resources across the university, many of which seem to be devoted to new projects.

iv.      Increased growth impacts class sizes and student resources.  This is especially significant in writing intensive classes .

v.         Growth is particularly reflected in administrative positions across the university, thus increasing bureaucratic functions and procedures.

b.      Questions to ask:

i.  Can the University provide better rationale for enrollment targets and stronger admission standards to better control enrollment increases?

ii.         Should the University take a careful look at undersubscribed majors and minors with the goal to better address the needs of 21st Century students?

3)      Space Issues --

a.     General Concerns: With increased growth, there is more pressure on classrooms – our space doesn’t match enrollment sizes.  While new buildings have come on line, adequate and functional classroom space is still a problem.  Classroom space is also impacted in terms of technology needs.

b.      Questions to ask:

i.  What is the best way to improve the availability and quality of space?  The BOV might consider a holistic assessment of instructional spaces (including classrooms and hallways) by an external consulting group.

ii.         How can more resources be allocated to technology needs?

iii.       Can there be better classroom monitoring so that faculty are assigned classrooms appropriate to their learning goals and objectives?


4)      Compensation

a.     Concerns: Faculty members are grateful that the BOV is attempting to work on compensation issues, particularly dealing with COLA.  There are some areas, beyond specific salary increases, that continue to perplex faculty.

i.  Summer school – If enrollments are increasing, how can faculty be better compensated for summer work (particularly for large classes)? Inconsistencies exist among units regarding summer school compensation – while this is common – the inequities lead to increased frustration for faculty. 

ii.         There tends to exist at Mason a “culture of under-appreciation.” Administrators should make greater efforts to recognize the good work of faculty.

iii.       There is also concern about the limited compensation package for graduate students.  Faculty cannot adequately compete for top tier grads, thus there is not as much research support for faculty; more pressure on fewer faculty for grants.

iv.      Faculty members are also concerned that administrators (particularly Deans) will get poor performance ratings, but then continue to get salary increases and better jobs.  One college had a 90% negative response rate for its Dean, but that administrator received a substantial raise.  In this current economic climate, it is demoralizing for faculty to see the increase in administrators (and salaries), while faculty have larger class sizes and frozen salaries for multiple years.

b.      Questions to ask:  Can the University explore other options for compensation, such as course release time on occasion; better compensation for faculty who teach larger class sizes; more reasonable salary allocations for summer school (faculty should get 10% per class for multiple classes), etc.



From the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) to The School for the Analysis of Conflict and Resolution:  A Proposal for a School  is posted at on the Senate website at  .




WHEREAS the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) was the first academic program in the United States and the first in the field to offer a graduate level degree (MS 1981), and

WHEREAS ICAR now awards a full complement of degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and five professional development Graduate Certificates, and

WHEREAS ICAR has increased in size with respect to faculty, students, staff, and alumni, and

WHEREAS ICAR houses two research and practice Centers and is developing a retreat and conference center at Point of View (Mason Neck), and

WHEREAS ICAR’s leadership of the expanding field of conflict analysis and resolution would be enhanced by gaining recognition as a school, and

WHEREAS ICAR’s current organization and operation mirror those of a school,


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution will henceforth be identified as a School within George Mason University.