APRIL 6, 2011

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


I.          Call to Order


II.        Approval of the Minutes of February 9, 2011, March 2, 2011, and March 23, 2011


III.       Announcements

President Alan Merten

Dean Jorge Haddock, School of Management

Dean Jack Censer, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Special Called Meeting of the Faculty Senate with Special Guests State Delegate David Bulova and State Senator Chap Petersen, April 20, 2011 – 3:00 p.m, Robinson Hall B113


IV.       Unfinished Business

Motion:  That the Faculty Senate approve the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook with no further revisions at this time other than those necessary to correct typographical and grammatical errors.                                                                                         Attachment A

V.       New Business - Committee Reports

             A.  Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee

Request for Faculty Senate recommendation to Emeritus rank                Attachment B

Senate Evaluation of the President/Provost  2010-11                               Attachment C


Academic Policies

Budget & Resources

Faculty Matters


Wayne Froman (CHSS) is nominated to fill a vacancy on the Academic Initiatives Committee


Organization & Operations

Motion to Amend the Senate Evaluation of the President and Provost   Attachment D


             B. Other Committees

Academic Initiatives Committee Report – Fall 2010                               Attachment E

VI.        Other New Business

            General Education – Professor Rick Davis, Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education

VII.       Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

VIII.     Adjournment


Motion:  That the Faculty Senate approve the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook with no further revisions at this time other than those necessary to correct typographical and grammatical errors.

[Note: A motion to "refer to the Faculty Handbook Committee with instructions" is in order.]


The purpose of this meeting is to consider the proposed revisions to the Faculty Handbook (2009). The revisions, which are available on the Faculty Senate website (, appear as deletions (strikethrough) and insertions (underlined) to the current text. The new text as it would appear if the revisions are approved is also provided.

This paragraph was included in the background material submitted to the Faculty Senate for its special meeting in Fall, 2008 to approve the Faculty Handbook:

"… Such approval does not mean that future changes cannot be considered from time to time as needed. With modern technology and using the procedures described in the revised Handbook, it is now possible to treat the Handbook as a living, evolving document that can be updated and improved with relative ease on an ongoing basis."

Two groups have been meeting this last year to propose revisions to the Faculty Handbook. One group was convened by Brian Walther, Senior Associate University Counsel, and consisted of representatives from the Provost's Office, Human Resources, and the faculty. The other group was the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee, a University Committee that reports to the Faculty Senate. Each group reviewed the other group's proposed revisions, and the Provost has reviewed and approved all of them.

It remains for the Faculty Senate to approve the changes.

All revisions approved by both the administration and the Faculty Senate will then be submitted to the Board of Visitors for final approval.

Proposed Revisions to the Faculty Handbook, March 23, 2011:,2011_FS Meeting.pdf

Side-by-Side Templates Illustrating Proposed Revisions, March 23, 2011: April 6, 2011 Agenda.pdf

The Faculty Handbook (January 1, 2009):


Request for Faculty Senate recommendation to Emeritus rank

WHEREAS Dr. William J. (Jim) McAuley, Professor of Communications, has been recommended by  Dr. Gary Kreps, Chair of the Department of Communication for emeritus status based on Professor McAuley’s long record of excellent performance in academia and his record of outstanding work since his arrival at George Mason in all venues, university, college, department, and discipline, and,

WHEREAS the Faculty Handbook (Sec 2.2.7) states that professors with “ten or more years of service may be recommended for the rank of Emeritus,”and Dr. McAuley will not have fully met the length-of service requirement upon his retirement,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE FACULTY SENATE recommends William J. McCauley for Emeritus status in recognition of his contributions to George Mason University and wishes him well in his future endeavors.


President/Provost Evaluation Responses AY 10-11

March 2011

Note that some committees did not  provide responses to each question.


Question 1:  During the past calendar year has the President or Provost announced initiatives or goals or acted upon issues that fall under the charge of your Committee? If so, was your Committee consulted by the President or Provost in a timely manner before the announcement or action? If not, do you believe your Committee should have been consulted? Would it have been helpful to have had the input of your Committee from the outset?


Responses from Faculty Senate Standing Committees:

Academic Policies:  Nothing was announced that directly impacts our committee work. The Provost has assigned various Associate Provosts to work with this committee and these relationships have been quite fruitful.


Budget and Resources:  It has been very helpful to be included in the twice monthly Budget and Planning Team meetings. This has given our committee a much better appreciation for how the budget is managed and for current budgetary challenges.  The BPT has been welcoming.


Faculty Matters:  In general, the Faculty Matters Committee was satisfied with consultation by the President and Provost.


Nominations:  The Faculty Senate Nominations Committee had no reason to contact or engage President Merten.

With regard to the Provost, Stearns is quite good at providing "Provost's Appointments" to committees and task forces. The Provost could be more helpful by providing greater lead time when Faculty Representatives are sought for various posts.

Moreover, the Nominations Committee's task of finding Faculty to serve in these posts would be facilitated if more information were provided to the Nominations Committee in terms of, say, the Charge of the Task Force, the frequency of meetings, the expected location of meetings (particularly if not on the Fairfax Campus), etc. Overall, I have no complaints, but also believe that more cooperation and more advance notice would be mutually beneficial.


Organization and Operations:  Regulatory Environment committee.  O&O was gearing up to create a task force and the Provost indicated he was creating a University-wide committee.  Proper consultation with the Faculty Senate occurred and faculty input was assured.


Responses from University Standing Committees and ad hoc Committees:

Academic Appeals:  As far as I know, neither the President nor Provost announced initiatives or goals or acted upon issues that fall under the charge of the Academic Appeals Committee.


Athletic Council:  President Merten was involved in the site visit for the NCAA certification of Mason’s Athletics Programs.  Sub-Committees of the Athletic Council assisted with the collection and approval of information used in Mason’s written self study.   President Merten met with members of the Athletic council to thank them for their participation.  A designee from the Provost’s office serves on the Athletic Council. We did not have any issues under my charge with either the President or the Provost.


External Academic Relations:  No initiatives or goals were announced or acted upon.


Faculty Handbook Revision Committee: The Faculty Handbook Revision Committee has no contact with the President and will soon interact with the Provost regarding a small set of proposals for revising the Handbook. So far, no problems.


General Education:  The gen ed committee continued its work on program assessment and course approval without consultation from the President or the Provost, nor was any required or sought.


Minority and Diversity Issues: The Minority and Diversity Issues Committee (MDIC) is not aware of any specific initiatives or goals related to diversity issues during this year, as it related to the committee’s charge.   An issue related to gender identity was discussed by one of the President’s cabinet members, and the MDIC chair was appropriately involved with this.



2. Did your Committee seek information or input from the President or Provost or members of their staffs? If so, did they respond adequately and in a timely manner?


Responses from Faculty Senate Standing Committees:


Academic Policies:  The AP Committee regularly works with members of the Provosts’ Office. In particular, Rick Davis, Michelle Marks, and Susan Jones have been very helpful. These leaders are always willing to meet with the AP Chair, or even attend an AP meeting as needed. They have been particularly helpful in gathering various stakeholders together to get input on topics concerning academic credit and calendar issues.


Budget and Resources:  Linda Harber worked closely with Rick Coffinberger to obtain the updated faculty salary data for our website.  Maurie Scherrens provided much helpful material in our quest to understand the use of direct cost funds from extramural funding sources.  Provost Stearns was generous in helping fund the Faculty Senate reception for the BOV.

Faculty Matters:  We have sought information from Provost Stearns and those on his staff.  In all cases, we were satisfied with the timeliness and scope of the information provided.


Nominations:  (see #1)

Organization and Operations: Sought feedback about the presence of institutes with regard to the change of ICAR to SCAR and the allocation/sharing of Faculty Senate bids with the Krasnow institute.  Provost responded immediately and directly with the needed information.


Responses from University Standing Committees and ad hoc Committees:


Academic Appeals:  The Academic Appeals Committee sought information and input from members of the Provost's staff on the only case that came before the Committee this year. On the whole, the staff did respond adequately and in a timely manner as the Committee learned about and reviewed the case. However, I believe the Committee was not adequately informed about a
delay in the case that lasted several months.


Athletic Council:  No, the committee did not seek information from the President or the Provost.


External Academic Relations:  Yes, we requested input from Betty Jolly. She met with the committee. She also proactively invited the members of the committee to participate in a
"meet and greet" sponsored by the university with local legislators.


General Education:  The committee has worked extensively with the Office of Institutional Assessment and particularly would like to thank Karen Gentemann and Ying Zhou of that office for their willingness to meet with the committee as often as required to advance the learning outcomes discussions and the assessment projects we have undertaken.


Minority and Diversity Issues:  The MDIC has requested that the Diversity Statement be placed on the university website, so as to have greater visibility of this commitment.   This statement was approved by the Faculty Senate February 17, 2010; approved by the Staff Senate May 4, 2010; and endorsed by a Student Senate Resolution May 6, 2010.   This is to have been reviewed by the President’s cabinet, for posting and/or a linkage to it.   This would be helpful for furthering the mission of the MDIC, and to encouraging organizational units to engage in proactive efforts consistent with the Diversity Statement.   To date, this has not been posted or linked publicly.


Technology Policy:  The committee had little or no interaction with the President and Provost.  Provost appointee James Goodlet McDaniel was very, very helpful with committee issues and keeping us abreast of what was going on in the Provost's Office with regard to distance education.


Writing Across the Curriculum:  The committee had little or no interaction with the President and Provost.  Rick Davis was very helpful in helping us to interact with several departments which did not comply totally with the Senate's writing-intensive requirements.


3. Please suggest how you believe the President, Provost and/or their staffs might more effectively interact with your Committee in the future, if necessary.


Responses from Faculty Senate Standing Committees:


Academic Policies:  There is not much cause for the President to care what goes on in the Academic Policies committee, so his interaction with us is unnecessary. The Provost Office is directly connected to the work we do and most of the time our interactions are satisfactory, especially as he assigns various staff to work with this committee as needed.


Budget and Resources:  Involve the faculty senate earlier and more directly in decisions regarding the President's contract (renewal or extension).  We hope to become involved earlier and more meaningfully when the search for a new President or Provost is initiated.


Faculty Matters:  Provost Stearns, in comparison, meets with the Senate's Executive Committee regularly and attends Senate meetings on a regular basis.


Nominations: (See #1)


Organization and Operations:  Just to make sure they know the gatekeeping function of O&O and can refer issues or individuals to us for proper tracking and dispersal across Senate and University committees.


Responses from University Standing Committees and ad hoc Committees:


Academic Appeals:  In the case mentioned above, more timely communication would have been helpful and would be helpful in the future.


Athletic Council:  No recommendations.  Senior administrators who report to the President, and senior administrators who report to the Provost serve as members of the Athletic Council.  They attend regularly and serve on the council’s sub-committees.


External Academic Relations:  I would like to work with Betty this spring to identify a mechanism for getting regular updates during the legislative session on issues of import
to faculty.


Minority and Diversity Issues:  The MDIC would like greater participation by a representative of the Office of Equity and Diversity Services in its meetings.


4. Please relate any additional information you may have regarding interactions between your Committee and the President or Provost or their staff.


Responses from Faculty Senate Standing Committees:

Academic Policies:  No additional comments to add.


Budget and Resources:  It would be helpful if the BOV would provide the faculty senate with explicit criteria for evaluating the president.  The Rector has indicated several times that they have such criteria, but we have not been informed beyond very general criteria.


Faculty Matters:  The Faculty Matters Committee has not been approached for consultation by either Provost Stearns or President Merten.  As in the past, we encourage them to seek input from the committee in advance of any policy changes or institutional decisions that affect faculty.


Organization and Operations:  Don’t interact with the President at all.  Seems relatively aloof from the Senate.  The Provost and his staff have generally been responsive to queries, there are no complaints at this time.


Responses from University Standing Committees and ad hoc Committees:


Athletic Council:   I am comfortable taking any issue or situation to the President or Provost with regard to student-athlete well being or academic performance.   I receive the support necessary to continue in my role as Faculty Athletic Representative and Chair of the Athletic Council.


External Academic Relations:  N/A.


Minority and Diversity Issues:  The MDIC has kept the Office of Equity and Diversity Services up-to-date on many of its activities of the 2010-2011 academic year.




The text of the January 21, 2009 Senate Motion authorizing the Senate’s annual evaluation of the President and the Provost appears below, as well as several proposed amendments (highlighted in yellow).

The original Resolution, plus the proposed amendments (in yellow). 

Introduction:  The Faculty Senate currently conducts an annual evaluation in which the Faculty assesses the performance of the President, the Provost, and the Deans and Directors. While this assessment should be continued, it would also be useful to have the Senate conduct its own evaluation. Therefore the Faculty Matters Committee proposes the following motion:

Resolution:  The elected members of the Faculty Senate will conduct an annual evaluation of how effectively the President and Provost have interacted with the Faculty Senate during the preceding academic year.  The results of this assessment will be summarized by the Executive Committee in narrative form and promptly sent to the General Faculty and to the Board of Visitors as a separate mailing.  The Senate Chair and the elected Faculty Representatives to the BOV will promptly discuss the report with the Board of Visitors and report back to the Senate.  If the Senate determines it would be salutary, it will charge the Senate Chair to summarize and send the Faculty representatives’ report to the General Faculty as a separate mailing. Otherwise, the Representatives report will go out only as part of the regular Minutes.

The following schedule will be observed:

March 1:  By this date or earlier, the Senate Chair will distribute evaluative questions to the chairs of the Senate Standing Committees and also to the chairs of the ad hoc and University Committees that report to the Senate.

March 10: The chairs will submit their written responses.

April Senate Meeting: The Executive Committee will present the final report to the Faculty Senate. The Senate Chair will also promptly send the report to the General Faculty and all Members of the Board of Visitors as a separate mailing. 

Next Meeting of the Board of Visitors: The Faculty Representatives to the BOV will discuss the Report with the Board of Visitors.

Next Meeting of the Faculty Senate: The Representatives will report back to the Senate. The Senate may decide to have a summary of this report promptly sent to the General Faculty as a separate mailing.  

Explanation: The Executive Committee will solicit input from the chairs of the Senate Standing Committees, as well as from ad hoc and University Committees that report to the Senate), and then compose a draft version of an annual assessment report of the President and the Provost.  This draft report will be presented for discussion, amendment, and approval by the elected members of the Senate at its April meeting.  The approved report will then be sent to the General Faculty and Board of Visitors as a separate mailing.

The assessment will include but not be limited to the following issues:

1) Have the Senate and its committees been provided access to the President, the Provost and their staffs in a timely manner?

2) Have the President, Provost and their staffs provided the Senate requested information in a timely manner?

3) In the case of joint Senate-Administration committees or task forces, have the President, Provost and/or their staffs participated in a collegial and effective manner?

4) Have the President, Provost and their staffs complied with the Faculty Handbook?

5) In policies involving the future of the University that have the potential to have significant impact upon the nature of the University or upon the Faculty and their work, has the Senate been included in the planning process in a significant way from the beginning?

Rationale:  Because the General Faculty “delegates to the Faculty Senate the responsibility for participation in governance at the university level” (Handbook, 1.3.1), the Senate interacts regularly with the President and Provost regarding “all governance issues not internal to any single school or college” (Handbook, 1.3.2).  Given this mandate, the Senate has both a unique need for effective relations with the chief administrative officers and a unique perspective upon how well these officers are collaborating with the Senate. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the Senate make a separate annual evaluation of how effectively the President, the Provost, and their staffs, have interacted with the Senate and that it share this information with the General Faculty, and with the members of the Board of Visitors.  The overall goal of this procedure is to ensure that both the General Faculty and the Board gain an understanding of the Faculty Senate’s perception of cooperation between the George Mason Central Administration and the Senate.

Rationale for the Proposed Amendments: It is important the process of evaluation be improved to guarantee that it is conducted in a timely manner and is effectively communicated to the General Faculty and the Board of Visitors.


Academic Initiatives Committee Senate Report for fall Semester 2010

Dear Fellow Colleagues of the GMU Faculty Senate:

The Senate Academic Initiatives Committee met with Provost Peter Stearnson October 27, 2010 to review the university’s academic initiatives. The provost described a number of initiatives, some of which have been formalized and some of which are still in the talking stages.  Notes from this meeting are not available. Subsequently, on December 9, 2010 three members of the committee—Speller, Kiley, and Chong—met with Anne Schiller (then Interim Vice President for Global and International Strategies) who explained the organizational structure for the office; she noted that strategic planning goals and how to achieve them, including process flow, had not yet been developed. For an organization chart of Schiller’s office, see

Two committee members, Tom Kiley and Thomas Speller, and guest Roman Polyak (invited by the committee chair) met with Mason’s Director of Russian Initiatives, Sergei Andronikovon October 18, 2010. Andronikov described the current state of Mason’s arrangement with Moscow State University. Students from Moscow State School of Economics, which includes their management department,can earn dual B.S. degrees in management and economics over a four-year duration. (Students in their fifth year can work in the U.S.) Currently, there are six students and, a rotation of Moscow State professors who each come to GMU to deliver a three week course teaching these students three hours per day five days a week. The classes are taught in Russian, but the intent sometime in the future is to teach in English and Russian. The students room together in an apartment and take courses in economics and management taught by the Russian professors.  Mason pays the Russian educator for salary, room, and board, with the instructional rate set apparently below the Mason faculty rate structure, albeit Mason has many, diverse faculty salary structures. The Russian government pays for the flight costsof students and professors. The tuition and associated costs for a Russian student are approximately $30k per year. According to Andronikov, it can be difficult to recruit Russian students because of the high tuition.

It was not clear yet how this arrangement provides value to Mason. Andronikov mentioned that the breakeven point for GMU was nine students and currently there are six. There is no planned exchange program with the Moscow State University nor explanation why; he seemed unclear on the future direction for this Russian initiatives program. Kiley inquired about the courses and schedule for students, which Andronikov said he would send; however, he has not yet done so nor replied to Kiley’s email reminder.

As next steps, the committee plans to meet with Anne Schiller, who was named Vice President of Global and International Strategies in the near future. We also plan to review Mason’s academic initiatives in China and Korea.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the GMU Academic Initiatives Committee,

Thomas Speller (Chair)