MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008
Mason Hall, room D1; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Present: Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development. Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science; Provost Peter Stearns.
Correction to draft minutes April 3, 2008, discussion of institutes to read “Only an academic institute would have faculty assigned to it as their local academic unit.”
2.13.4 Removal by the Provost – combination of
former sections 2.13.4 Removal by the
President and 2.13.5 Recall by the Faculty.
The faculty of a department, under
extraordinary circumstances, may petition the dean or director
President to remove a chair who no longer
enjoys the trust and confidence of the faculty. A petition of this type will be
conveyed to the dean or director President only if supported by at least three-fourths of the tenure-track probationary and tenured faculty of the
department. Upon receipt of such a petition, the dean or director President, after having inquired into the
circumstances which have resulted in the petition, will make a
recommendation to the Provost whether or not the decide if removal of the chair is in the best
interests of the department and/or the University. The Provost will make the
under extraordinary circumstances, and in consultation with the dean or
director and the faculty, may remove replace a chair who is failing to
perform at an acceptable level. The President will necessarily utilize the judgment of the faculty, but
may also seek outside evaluations by scholars of acknowledged competence in the
discipline(s) or field(s) represented by the department. Advice from outside
experts in college administration may also be sought. The Provost
will give the chair twenty-eight days notice of his/her intent to remove.
· Removed “Recall by the Faculty” from title.
Discussion: 2.10.1 Resignation and Retirement
· General discussion about draft retirement policy document in circulation at Deans/Directors meetings:
“Faculty Retirement Incentive Plan” or FRIP. Contains matrix tied to number of years at Mason; transitional aspects, i.e. may teach one course (approaching retirement). Alternative Severance Option as a way for people to retire only if they are in VSRS. Reference to old VA retirement system applicable to some; a defined benefit plan. Nothing like that in FRIP draft. Motivation to publish FRIP (once approved) to avoid ad hoc deals made in the past.
· Two years ago, Rick Coffinberger, Dave Kuebrich (then chair of the Faculty Senate) and Jim Sanford spent months in meetings with David Rossell and Maurice Scherrens on retirement plans and policies, to be later told their work would not be considered.
· Secrecy provisions enforced as individual faculty retire under present system. Why? Some received one semester leave, some received one academic year leave. Concern that some faculty who retired did not know to ask about leave, even though they may have met the standards. Some units do not prohibit faculty from discussing details of their retirement plans. University Counsel may advise not good practice to discuss individual terms of retirement. Strong consensus that transparency very important.
· Seems likely that BOV approval of FRIP plan required as a contractual document. To check whether included in agenda for final BOV meeting AY 2007-08 on May 9th.
· Phased retirement needs to be addressed; some think will never become contractual. State of Virginia could also say “no”. Early retirement packages/incentives will change over time as the economy changes.
· To check with the Provost on status of FRIP policy, whether timely to include in Faculty Handbook now. If not, to define and provide link(s) to Provost website (or Human Resources) for more information. To make references bigger than FRIP, to cite other resources on the web.
· Add “Academic” to title.
· Provost would like to allow other non-academic institutes; he also likes “Research Institutes”. Could word it in such a way even for service activity, but should have research aspects.
· Other distinctions between “Research Institute” and “Center” include size and scope of activity. We could require Research Institutes have as part of mission to have a bigger meaning in sense of broad social purpose, such as the Kellar Institute, as well as proposed cancer institute.
· Research Institutes to be special, unique, difficult to qualify for, or else will be (the same as) a center. .
· To model approval process on present policy “Guidelines for Chartering and Reviewing Charters of Research Centers” posted on Provost website. In present document, approval letter comes from Vice President for Research and Economic Development, not the Provost. Procedure efficient, works well, sunsets, to add one additional component: to require consultation with and opportunity for faculty assessment, to state opinion (vote?) before approved by administration.
· Assuming Research Institutes, like centers, would be recommended by an academic unit, there would be a reporting relationship either with academic unit or cross-unit creation; that Research Institute originated out of desires of faculty in academic unit(s).
126.96.36.199 Academic Institutes – 2008 Revision
institute is an organizational unit of the University for interdisciplinary
activities that transcend the disciplines based
housed in any single
college or school. These activities
include research and/or service.
offer interdisciplinary academic programs s , normally at the graduate level, that do
not duplicate those of other units.
Institutes with attached academic programs Organizationally, are
analogous to schools or colleges. Such
institutes have An
institute has a nucleus of full-time faculty appointed directly and
specifically to primary affiliation in it without departments.
it may have (i) faculty who are assigned to work in it
(full- or part-time) but who are affiliated primarily with other local academic
units; and (ii) part-time faculty whose work in for the University is
solely in the institute. Of sufficient
size to ensure a sense of community and responsible faculty governance, the
faculty of an institute with academic programs establishes degree
requirements; authorizes the conferral of degrees; proposes, reviews, and
approves courses and programs; and plays a primary role in faculty personnel
Administratively, the director of an institute is regarded as the equivalent of a dean, and is therefore expected to possess appropriate academic credentials or their equivalent. Institute directors report directly to the Provost.
An institute with attached academic programs has an
instructional budget that includes FTE-funds for the payments of its faculty’s
salaries as well as funds for goods and services in support of its academic and/or
Normally, however, an institute derives a
substantial portion of its non-instructional funds from a source or sources
other than the Virginia General Assembly.
The faculties of institutes define their own voting membership. Together with their directors, they determine the processes and procedures of governance they will employ, but all institutes must act within the guideline listed in Section 1.3.3. For non-academic, Research Institutes see Section 1.3.8.
1.3.8 Institutional Evolution to be replaced by new section 1.3.8 Research Institutes
· To work on draft text
· Suggested sentence to include: “The process for creating or chartering a Research Institute is similar to that for creating or chartering a center (1.3.7) except that the following additional steps are required.”
Advances in knowledge and changes in
the social environment in which this public University operates may make
possible and desirable certain organizational arrangements not foreseen in this
Handbook, just as institutes were not foreseen or mentioned in the 1985 Faculty
Proposals for such changes
should be deliberated in a positive and open manner, consistent with existing
principles of university discourse. embodied in Sections 1.3.1 through
Moved to 1.3.2 The Faculty Senate
Under powers delegated to it by the General Faculty, the Faculty Senate is the principal faculty advisory body to the President. It has particular responsibility for the formulation of university-wide academic policies and is the principal voice of the faculty in matters affecting the faculty generally. It advises the President and other members of the central administration concerning matters that affect the welfare of the University as a whole.
The principal function
of the Faculty Senate is to represent the faculty on all governance issues not
internal to any single school or college. This includes, but is not limited to,
curricular matters, matters concerning terms and conditions of faculty
employment, and matters of academic organization. In these matters, the Provost
and Senate will consult during the process of planning and implementing
changes. To ensure timely consultation about these and other matters, the
Provost meets regularly
monthly with the Senate's executive committee. Meetings with
the President and/or other members of the central administration occur as
The Senate meets at least monthly during the fall and spring semesters. Meetings of the Senate are open to all members of the university community, who may speak to any item of business on the agenda. Only members of the Senate, however, may introduce motions and vote.
Three members of the Senate are appointed by its chair to
serve as liaison representatives to the Board of Visitors. They regularly
attend meetings of the Board and its committees and report to the Senate about
Where to insert: Proposals for such changes should be deliberated in a positive and open manner, consistent with existing principles of university discourse.?
· Need for consultative process with Faculty Senate – before outcome has occurred. Recalled recent example of fait accompli Krasnow Institute approval presented at March 2007 Faculty Senate meeting.
· Graduate Council needs to approve new degree programs. SCHEV process in place.
· To add principle of open hearings into this section as well as new 1.3.8 Research Institutes?
1.1 The Rector and Board of Visitors
Responsibility for the governance of George Mason University is vested by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Rector and Board of Visitors. Members of the Board of Visitors are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth to serve fixed terms of four years. The Rector is a member of the Board, elected by the Board to serve as its chair.
limiting the generality of its powers, the Board of Visitors exercises its
authority principally in policy-making and oversight. With the exception of meetings convened in executive session,
meetings of the Board of Visitors and its committees are open to the
public. The Faculty shall elect a
non-voting representative to the following committees of the Board: the Equity
and Diversity Committee, Faculty and Academic Standards Committee, Finance and
Resource Development Committee, Land Use and Physical Facilities Committee, and
University Life Committee. To
accomplish this representation, the Faculty Senate shall administer bi-annually
five faculty liaison elections, one for the Equity and Diversity Committee, Faculty
and Academic Standards Committee, Finance and Resource Development Committee,
Land Use and Physical Facilities Committee, and University Life Committee. The candidates will be from the faculty
at-large and elected by the faculty at-large.
The Faculty Senate will notify the President of the outcome and the
President will forward the nominations to the Rector for appointment. A separate faculty member may be selected to
serve as a nonvoting, faculty liaison to the Audit Committee. The Chair of the Audit Committee will
solicit nominees and make the appointment.
No faculty member may serve on more than one committee. Faculty may serve more than one term.
The Board recognizes as official observers three senators appointed by
the chair of the Faculty Senate to be its liaison representatives. These
senators receive notices of Board meetings, agendas, and other documents
concerning business to be considered by the Board, and report regularly to the
Senate about Board meetings.
· To include Chair of the Faculty Senate now serves as faculty representative to the BOV as of March 2008.
· Draft text explaining election procedure for faculty representatives to BOV committees taken from BOV by-laws and differs from procedures in place for first two elections of BOV faculty representatives.
2.8.2 Procedures for Reappointment
for reappointment of tenure-track
probationary faculty, while less critical than
decisions for promotion and tenure, should be very carefully considered. The
decision to recommend reappointment is reached as follows:
Faculty members who hold appointments in
academic units without departments are evaluated by a faculty evaluation
committee of the unit to which they are appointed.
The evaluation must include a vote by the tenured
members of the unit. The chair of the faculty evaluation committee
sends the recommendation, including a report of the division of the vote by the
tenured faculty, to the dean or institute director, and sends copies to the
candidate and to the members of the unit's faculty who made the recommendation.
The dean or institute director notifies the candidate of the faculty
committee's recommendation and of his/her recommendation to the Provost.
2.8.3 Procedures for Non-Reappointment – 2008 Revision
appointments who are not to be reappointed will be notified in writing by the
President according to the following standards:
a faculty member is not
fails to be reappointed, the appeal procedure outlined in Section 2.9 may be
the University is responsible for a failure to meet the deadlines indicated in
parts (A) and (B)
(2), (3), and (4) of this section, the faculty member will be issued
a contract for one more year semester. The faculty must address a written request to
the Provost for this additional contract within fifteen days of receipt of the
notice of non-reappointment or non-reelection. Except under these
circumstances, a probationary faculty member may not serve more than seven
consecutive years on a probationary contract.
· NEW PARAGRAPH A modeled on old paragraph C to address tenure-track faculty not reappointed in third year.
· NEW PARAGRAPH B modeled on old paragraph C which addressed tenure-track faculty not granted tenure in sixth year whether they decided to seek or not to seek tenure.
· Removal of old practice of second year review for tenure-track faculty, if not recommended for renewal, could not go beyond a third year.
Tenure-Clock Extension Policies passed by the Faculty Senate to be included as new sections:
A tenure track faculty member who becomes the parent of a child by birth or by adoption will be entitled to a one-year automatic extension of the term in which she or he is currently employed. 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 within one year of the child’s arrival in the family and prior to September 1 of the academic year in which the tenure decision would have been made.
A faculty member is limited to one automatic extension of term during the time she or he is serving in tenure track status. A faculty member who declines to request an extension remains eligible for later extensions up to the two-year maximum. Multiple births or multiple adoptions at the same time result in the same one-year extension right as single births or adoptions. At the time of tenure consideration, a faculty member who has received an extension or extensions will be considered using the same tenure criteria as those applied to other faculty in the college, school, or institute. Extensions due to parenthood are independent of study leaves.
188.8.131.52 Tenure Clock Extension for Serious Illness
Extension of the probationary period for tenure track faculty member will be approved for circumstances that have a significant impact on the faculty member’s productivity, such as serious personal illness or a major illness of a member of the faculty member’s immediate family, under the following conditions and definitions. Serious personal illness or illness within the immediate family will be defined according to the Department of Labor’s criteria for family and medical leave, already used by the university. Certification of illness by a physician is required and will handled by Human Resources. Once certification of the illness has been approved by Human Resources, the faculty member can delay the tenure clock (extension of the probationary period) 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 request must be made within three months of certification of sick or family leave by Human Resources. Probationary period extensions will be granted in one-year increments, with the maximum probationary period extension being a cumulative total of two years. An extension beyond one year will require discussion with the appropriate department chair and Dean. 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.
184.108.40.206 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 through 15 months will earn a one-year extension, 16 through 27 months will earn a two-year extension. Any extension beyond two years would require further discussion with the appropriate department chair and Dean. 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.
· May be further affected by federal legislation passed late 2007-early 2008.
Clerk, Faculty Senate