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


I.          Call to Order


II.        Approval of the Minutes of April 28, 2010


III.       Announcements

Provost Stearns


IV.       New Business - Committee Reports

             A.  Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee

Motion to amend the By Laws of the Faculty Senate                              Attachment A

Annual Senate Evaluation of the President and Provost AY 2009-10     Attachment B

Academic Policies

Budget & Resources

Faculty Matters

Teaching Contributions of Administrative Faculty 2009-10                     Attachment C


Organization & Operations

             B. Other Committees 


V.        Other New Business

  A.  Elections

Election of the Secretary of the Senate                                  Nominee: Susan Trencher

Election of Members of Senate Standing Committees                              Attachment D

Election of Members of University Committees                                       Attachment E

Election of other Faculty Representatives                                                 Attachment F


               B.  Presentations

Blackboard Usage and Faculty Issues:   Sharon Pitt, Executive Director, DOIT

Honor Code:  Donna Fox, Associate Dean, Office of Academic Integrity, University Life

Mason Ambassadors – Danielle Miller, President


VI.       Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

VII.     Adjournment

[followed by brief organizational meetings of the Senate Standing Committees]



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

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.


Annual Senate Evaluation of the President and Provost for AY 2009-10

The following email consists of 1) a suggestion for improving the process of evaluation, 2) the text of the January 21, 2009 Senate motion authorizing the evaluation, and 3) the summary narrative evaluation.

I. Suggestion(s)

When the Senate discussed this evaluation, we spoke of it as a work in progress that would likely need major tweaking in the future.  At present, perhaps the most important change is that we make sure the evaluation gets done early enough for the BOV to read it and discuss it with the Senate Chair and Representatives (as called for by the Senate resolution) prior to its annual assessment of the President.  For example, the questionnaire might be sent to the committee chairs on March 1, responses received and summarized by the Exec Comm. by April 1, the draft summary reviewed by the full Senate at its April meeting, and the final report sent to the BOV and Faculty by May 1.  Then the Chair and Reps could meet with the BOV (or a subsection of it or at least the Rector) before the Board makes its annual evaluation.

II. A Proposal for the Senate to Make an Annual Evaluation of the President and Provost  (as amended and approved by the Faculty Senate January 21, 2009):

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 sent to the General Faculty and to the Board of Visitors.  The Senate Chair and the elected Faculty Representatives to the BOV will discuss the report with the Board of Visitors.

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.

Discussion:  An amendment to add “by the Executive Committee” between “summarized” and “in narrative form” in the second sentence of the resolution was accepted with no objection. 

The amended motion was approved.

III.  Summary Narrative

Annual Evaluation of the President and Provost’s Interaction with the Faculty Senate

Executive Summary:  After assessing the quality of collaboration of President Merten and Provost Stearns and their staffs with the Faculty Senate during the preceding year, the Senate generally gives high marks to the Provost and the staffs of both the Provost and the President. However, the Senate has some serious concerns regarding the performance of the President. This brief report also makes several recommendations for developing a more productive working relationship between the Administration and the Faculty Senate.


Provost Stearns:  The Senate appreciates that the Provost regularly attends the meetings of both the Executive Committee and the full Senate. It is most helpful to have the Provost’s input during these deliberations. The Senate also appreciates that the Provost provided the full Senate (at its September, 2009 meeting) with an overview of the major issues he anticipated dealing with during the upcoming academic year. This type of advance notice is indispensable if the Senate is to play a meaningful role in shaping important University policies.  In addition, various Senate committees report that the Provost provides them with timely and helpful information and is responsive to their requests.

The Senate has also found the Provost’s staff to be consistently helpful. Committee reports gave special commendation to Associate Provosts Rick Davis, Renate Guilford and Michelle Marks; Assistant Provost Claudia Rector; Financial Aid Director Jevita Rogers; Registrar Susan Jones; and the Offices of Institutional Effectiveness and Research and Reporting.

President Merten:  The President necessarily has less interaction with the Senate than the Provost who serves as the University’s chief academic officer. However, the Senate notes with appreciation that the President makes a semesterly presentation to the Senate regarding such issues as long-term plans for the University, the annual budget, and other matters of significant import. Also, the Athletic Council, in particular praised the President for his consistently effective support.

 Dissatisfactions with the President’s performance included the following:

1)  Failure to post an annual report for use by faculty for the annual Faculty Evaluation of Administrators. This seems to show a casual indifference to the opinion of the Faculty.

2)  A seeming attempt to avoid a formal review by the Faculty, as explicitly called for in the Faculty Handbook, as part of the larger review process for reappointment by the Board of Visitors. The Senate’s stated concern about this violation of the Handbook was ignored until the Executive Committee discussed the matter with the Rector who called for compliance with the Handbook. The President then cooperated, but the delay resulted in ill-feeling and a rushed process. 

3)  A general perception that the President does not value the perspective of the Senate and is, therefore, not interested in informing the Senate about his activities and  agenda for the University..

The Senate found the President’s staff to be consistently helpful. Committees praised the responsiveness of Chief of Staff Tom Hennessey and office staffers Mary Roper and Sharon Cullen. Also, the Diversity Committee commended the consistent willingness of Corey Jackson, Director of Equity and Diversity Services, to assist them with their work. In a similar vein, the External Relations Committee stated that Government Relations Officer Betty Jolly provided useful information and expressed a desire to work more closely with the Committee.

Also notable was that requested data on administrative and faculty salaries was provided not only in a timely manner but also in a new format that greatly facilitated posting on the Senate website. Special commendation is given to Donna Kidd, Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning, and her staff.   We also wish to acknowledge the contributions of Linda Harber, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Payroll, and her staff in addressing many questions throughout the year.


In an effort to further its collaboration with the Administration, the Senate respectfully makes the following suggestions:

1. As a general statement, the Senate asks that the Administration be more proactive in collaborating with the Senate Executive Committee and the various senate and university committees when the Administration is contemplating new policies that will have a significant impact upon the University and the professional work and lives of the faculty.

2. As a partial but important way of addressing the concern stated in point #1, the Senate asks that the Provost continue to provide (early in the fall semester) an overview of his agenda for the upcoming academic year. The Senate realizes that this agenda may be tentative, but it nevertheless provides the Senate with a helpful context for figuring out how it can add its perspective and best contribute to the shaping of new policies. In fact, it would be helpful if the Provost could provide a brief written outline of the agenda prior to the meeting as a basis for productive discussion.

3. It would be helpful to receive a similar type of tentative agenda from the President.

4. The Senate appreciates that the Provost seeks Senate/Faculty representation on various committees. Sometimes it would be helpful if the Senate were given more lead time for fulfilling these requests as well as a better understanding of what will be expected of the representatives.

4. The Budget and Resources Committee would find it helpful if one of its members could attend every meeting of the University Budget Planning Committee. (At present, the Committee is only invited to send a representative to some of the meetings.)

5. The Diversity Committee welcomes further collaboration with the Administration on various aspects of its work, including the development of benchmarks for monitoring progress on diversity and inclusion issues.

6.  The Senate asks that the President respect the Faculty Handbook and that he post his annual report for use by the Faculty in assessing his performance.

7. Finally, the Senate invites the Administration to suggest how the Senate might take steps to work more effectively.


 The Teaching Contributions of Administrative Faculty for Fall 2009 and for Spring 2010 are also posted on the Faculty Senate website: .





                     September 2010 Report of the Faculty Senate Nominations Committee


The Faculty Senate has charged the Nominations Committee to “provide, unless otherwise specified, a slate of at least as many nominees as the number of positions to be filled for each election conducted by the Senate.” In carrying out this Charge, a call for volunteers was issued in June this year to ascertain interest among faculty in serving on the various Senate and University Standing Committees. The slates developed by the Nominations Committee are subject to restrictions imposed when the Senate creates committees and specifies their Charges. For example, only tenured faculty may serve on the University Grievance Committee and the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee; moreover, only Senators may serve on Senate Standing Committees, and each University Standing Committee must have at least one Senator as a member. Beyond membership mandates from the Senate, the Nominations Committee considers several factors in selecting nominees:  interest (volunteers who want to serve are given preference over people who must be dragooned ‑‑ but some dragooning can occur when no one volunteers); experience, i.e., length of service at Mason; unit ‑‑ one college or academic unit shouldn't have all the members of a committee; and  continuity ‑‑ particularly when various initiatives are underway for SACS accreditation, especially those involving the General Education Committee; furthermore, the Athletic Council is undergoing an NCAA review. With these preliminaries in mind, the Nominations Committee offers the following slates:


SECRETARY of the SENATE:  Susan Trencher





Continuing Members:  Sheryl Beach (COS), Janette Muir (CHSS)

Nominees: Jose Cortina (CHSS), Fran Harbour (CHSS), Harry Wechsler (VSITE)



Continuing Members:  Alok Berry (VSITE), Rick Coffinberger (SOM)

Nominees:  Ernest Barreto (COS), June Tangney (CHSS), Phil Wiest (CHSS)



Continuing Member:  Joe Scimecca (CHSS)

Nominees:  Doris Bitler (CHSS), John Cantiello (CHHS), Mark Houck (VSITE), Jim Sanford (CHSS)



Continuing Members:  Jim Bennett (CHSS), Dimitrios Ioannou (VSITE)

Nominees:  – Three vacancies; nominations must come from the floor.



Continuing Member:  Jack Goldstone (SPP)

Nominees: Bob Dudley (CHSS), Kelly Dunne (CHSS), Jean Moore (CHHS), Star Muir (CHSS)





(Nominees in Bold Type are Faculty Senators)



Continuing Members:  Betsy DeMulder (CEHD), Marty DeNys (CHSS), Michael Hurley (CHSS) (Provost appointee), Miriam Raskin (CHHS), Carmen Rioux-Bailey (CEHD)



Continuing Members:  Bob Johnston (SOM), Terry Zawacki (CHSS)

Nominees:  Liz Chong (CHHS), Tom Kiley (COS), Thomas Speller (VSITE), David Wilsford (CHSS)



Continuing Members:  Nicole Sealey (VSITE), Suzanne Slayden (COS), Eddie Tallent (Admissions appointee), Jason Warren (CHSS)

Nominees:  Dan Joyce (CVPA), Charles Thomas (CEHD)



Continuing Members:  Linda Miller (Chair, Faculty Athletic Representative), Robert Baker (CEHD), Steve Klein (CHSS), Phil Wiest (CHSS)

Nominee:  Guiseppina Kysar Mattietti (COS)



Continuing Members:  Rodger Smith (CHSS), Suzanne Smith (CHSS), Cliff Sutton (VSITE -Provost appointee), Mary Williams (CEHD)

Nominees:  Paula Petrik (CHSS)



Continuing Members:  Deborah Boehm-Davis (CHSS), Kelly Dunne (CHSS), Penny Earley (CEHD- Provost appointee)

Nominees:  Steve Farnsworth (CHSS), Karl Fryxell (COS), Frank Philpot (SOM)



Continuing Members:  Rick Davis (Chair, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education), Don Boileau (CHSS), Rick Diecchio (COS – Provost appointee), Kim Eby (CHSS/Associate Provost – Provost appointee), Doug Eyman (CHSS), Frank Philpot (SOM – Provost appointee), Claire Snyder (CHSS), Hugh Sockett (CHSS), Karen Studd (CVPA), Cliff Sutton (VSITE – Provost appointee)

Nominees:  Kammy Sanghera (VSITE), Carol Urban (CHHS), Peter Winant (CVPA)



Continuing Member:  Lloyd Cohen (SOL)

Nominees:  Scott Bauer (CEHD), Bob Pasnak (CHSS), Johannes Rojahn (CHSS), Sylvia Sanchez (CEHD)



Continuing Members:  David Anderson (CEHD), Flavia Colonna (COS), Jeng-Eng Lin (COS)

Nominees:  Jennifer Leeman (CHSS), Suzanne Scott (CHSS)



Continuing Members:  Reeshad Dalal (CHSS), Earle Reybold (CEHD), Amelia Rutledge (CHSS)

Nominees:  Jaime Lester (CHSS), John Riskind (CHSS)



Continuing Members:  Karen Hallows (SOM – Provost appointee), Margret Hjalmarson (CEHD)

Nominees:  Michelle Buehl (CEHD), Prosenjit Mazumdar (SOM)



Continuing Members:  Phil Buchanan (SOM), Goodlett McDaniel (CHSS – Provost appointee), Star Muir (CHSS)

Nominees:  Melissa Martin (SOM), Walter Morris (COS), Sharon Williams vonRooij (CEHD), Stanley Zoltek (COS)



Continuing Members:  Tom Owens (CVPA), Ellen Rodgers (CEHD), Daniel Rothbart (ICAR), Terry Zawacki (Director, WAC Program –Ex-Officio)

Nominees:  Joan Bristol (CHSS), Sue Durham (CHSS), Tamara Maddox (VSITE), Nicola Scott (SOM), Stanley Zoltek (COS)



Election of Other Faculty Representatives:



Jim Bennett (CHSS) to replace Lorraine Brown