TUESDAY, MAY 30, 2006 

MASON HALL, room D1, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.


Present:  Kevin Avruch, Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology, ICAR; 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; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Education Programs; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio, Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.


Absent:    Lorraine Brown, Professor of English (CAS) and President of the AAUP Chapter of George Mason University.


Opening Remarks/Updates:  The committee joined Rick in warmly welcoming back David Rossell, who will participate whenever he can.


Draft meeting minutes for April 21, April 24, and May 16th were distributed for review.  If no changes suggested, will be posted next week.


LAU Department Leave still in development: to use language parallel to Faculty Study Leave, including higher payment for department leave to level offered for Faculty Study Leave. Some local units may or may not set up procedures as exists now in Faculty Information Guide.   Caution expressed not to place LAU Department Leave in competition with Faculty Study Leave should request for Faculty Study Leave be refused . Specific language in the Code of Virginia about sabbaticals must be examined - Rick to follow-up.  Broader concept to include more developmental projects in which faculty work to improve capabilities.  Goal to move as much as possible from the Faculty Information Guide (FIG) to the Faculty Handbook (FH) so that it becomes contractual.  The language in the FIG is more recent and relevant. 

Rick will bring proposed changes/information regarding Departmental Leaves to our next meeting.


Fall Meeting schedule: a list of Fridays on which the President’s Council does not meet will be distributed for comment,  as it seems to be the only day most committee members will be available.


Side by Side Revision Text/1994 Text with Rationale Box underneath – initial draft distributed:

The revised text appears in the left hand corner; the 1994 text in the right hand corner.  Time studies have shown that text positioned in upper left of pages are considered first. 


2.2.6 Emeritus Status:  Draft Revision 1


Original Text:

Upon retirement from George Mason University, tenured associate professors and professors with ten or more years of service may be recommended for the rank of Emeritus. Recommendations for this honor are normally initiated by the individual's peer faculty and forwarded to the Board of Visitors like other faculty personnel matters, i.e., with accompanying recommendations from the local unit administrator, the dean, the Provost and the President.


Changed to:

Upon retirement from George Mason University, full-time Associate Professors and Professors with ten or more years of continuous academic service may be recommended to the Board of Visitors for election to the honorary rank of Emeritus/Emerita in recognition of outstanding dedication to the university. A letter reviewing the candidate's history of teaching, scholarship and service at GMU is normally initiated by the individual's LAU. The letter is forwarded to the LAU Dean, the Provost and the President for accompanying recommendations.

·        Removal of “tenured” as some emeriti faculty may not have been tenured.  Some full-time non-tenured teaching faculty have been promoted to associate professor and assistant professor.  Unusual situations exist in which assistant professor may have received tenure in the past; now one would receive tenure and associate professor status.  Some peer institutions require full professor status, others do not, for emeriti faculty.

·        Addition of ten or more years of continuous academic service.

·        Substitution of …normally initiated by the individual’s peer faculty” to “…normally initiated by the individual’s LAU” to acknowledge department’s role in process.  Approval by the BOV would not take place until after retirement date.

·        "…in recognition of outstanding dedication to the university" added to as a way to recognize dedication  not acknowledged  in any other way , a recognition for service.

·        Use of  "Associate" Professor discussed; reference to 2.1.1. Tenured Appointment - language parallel "Faculty on tenured appointment normally hold the rank of Associate Professor."


Revisions to be distributed to the Committee. Institutes (second draft, version 2) received committee approval:


An institute is an organizational unit of the University for interdisciplinary activities that transcend the disciplines based in any single college or school.  These activities include research and/or service.  Institutes may offer interdisciplinary academic programs that do not duplicate those of other units.  Institutes with attached academic programs are analogous to schools or colleges without departments.  Such institutes have a nucleus of full-time faculty appointed directly and specifically to primary affiliation in it.


In addition, institutes 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 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; propose, reviews, and approves courses and programs; and plays a primary role in faculty personnel actions.


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 good and services in support of its academic and/or research programs.


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.


2.12.2 Grievance Procedures - initial draft distributed by Rick Coffinberger

·                    Grievances against a dean to be handled by university grievance committee in lieu of local committee.

·                    Concern expressed not to remove "Associate/Assistant Dean" addressed:  "If a grievance filed against an administrator below the level of Dean/Director, the recommendation is forwarded to the dean/director whose decision in the matter is final."  Noted assistant/associate deans not supervisory to grievant.  If you cannot get assistant/associate dean to change mind, then take it to the dean.  If dean also says no, then you have a grievance against the dean.  Dean may also argue that grievances filed against assistant/associate deans take his prerogatives away.

·                    In cases involving discrimination, the equity office takes precedence, a federal legal issue.

·                    May not necessarily be a legal issue but often  phrased "inequitable treatment under the law".

·                    Input from faculty members who have served on grievance committees stressed unwise to pursue grievances against deans at local level.   While faculty may not feel intimidated, they may be very uncomfortable  asking your dean questions; issue of residual friendships, etc.

·                    Majority of deans are administrative faculty and tenured faculty; do you grieve against them as administrative faculty or instructional faculty?  Situation arose a few years ago where non-tenured dean made recommendations on tenured faculty.

·                    Contract agreement as a protection for faculty against nonsense accusations, to include under ethics.

·                    Concept of "Progressive Discipline":  need to take complain to next level; not to jump levels.  Then if unsatisfied, you have the option to go above; preserving legitimate prerogatives of dean.

·                    Regarding other kinds of administrators, need to change language to “below level of dean and director”.

Rick will make changes and bring to next meeting (June 5th) for further review. 


Whistleblower Protection: State employees have access to hotline in Richmond; protection may not be covered by Human Resources.  Rick will include within grievance statement to protect whistleblowers against retribution.   


3.3. Summer Salary:  suggestion made to add "teaching, research, and other assignments" to last sentence.

·                    .2564 (10/39ths) based on 39 weeks academic year for summer teaching.

·                    .3333 (13/39ths) denotes time from the beginning of summer to the beginning of fall term to do teaching and research.

·                    Faculty could not receive more than 20% of annual income if teaching two classes; although possible a faculty member may teach three summer classes. 


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate