MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

Wednesday, June 13, 2007; Mason Hall, D5 – 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

 

Present:  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; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Educational Programs and Associate Professor of English; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.

 

Absent: Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.

 

Preamble:  A Strategic Planning Exercise is underway; three meetings including President (2) and Provost (1); may result in a new mission statement. A presentation will be made at mid-August BOV retreat.  The purpose of the exercise is in preparation for SACS accreditation; required to have a strategic plan statement in which have consulted with all key constituencies.  Mission statement may not change based on this exercise, but unknown whether “great university” discussion may impact it in the future, as the mission statement is now 16 years old.

 

Need to ascertain changes to Equal Opportunity statement – to check new catalog statement (to be published shortly) as well as new recruiting statement including the word “diversity.”

 

Preface:  Central administration carries out all the functions and policies approved by the BOV, impractical to leave out.  

 

Should the Faculty Handbook have sections dealing with different kinds of faculty?

·        Impractical to combine with administrative/professional faculty in terms of topics covered; they generally do not have instruction or research as core part of their job; not against including research faculty. 

·        Faculty Handbook peer-oriented; vs. line-oriented, hierarchical Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook.  There is a poor understanding of the diversity of professional faculty in the university;  many types of jobs, some do not have graduate degrees, no coherence if combined..  Some  administrative or professional  faculty at GMU may be called staff elsewhere. 

·        With regard to question of administrative faculty with rank, it was further noted that in HR, all administrative faculty have a rank, coded for every single faculty member.  Also reference to paragraph in Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook in which people come from faculty positions to serve as administrative faculty until they return to the instructional faculty.  One cannot be covered by both, although acknowledgement some may be confused by this.  Suggestion made to incorporate all or part of  C. FACULTY RANK  from Administrative/Professional  Faculty Handbook (page 5) http://hr.gmu.edu/policy/AdmHandbook.Final1-1-07.pdf .

·        More complicated scenario in which associate dean went up for full professor rank while serving as administrative faculty –Faculty Handbook rules were followed as this involved his instructional faculty identity.  A statement is needed, although situation may rarely apply; also with reference to administrative faculty with tenure-line positions.  Also question whether position may have been saved in department when instructional faculty move to administrative faculty position. 

·        Reference to 2.1.7 Categories of Faculty Employees:  Tenured faculty in administrative positions did not lose the right to vote as tenured faculty, when their status changed from 12 month instructional to administrative faculty.  One cannot be instructional and administrative faculty at the same time.  Department rules may say only instructional faculty can vote.  In COS by-laws, people holding faculty rank may vote:  tenured, tenure-track, instructional faculty, research faculty, but not adjunct faculty. 

·        Administrative faculty must be within three levels of president, you would not be administrative faculty if did not report directly to dean.  For example, if you report directly to associate dean, you are not administrative faculty.  Professional faculty have a narrower set of responsibilities – arbitrary somewhat, to bifurcate to see narrower vs. very broad responsibilities; clarified with publication of Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook in 2004. 

·        Positions may be misnamed when posted – seems like administrative faculty position, but is professional faculty position.  AAUP urges young faculty to make sure receive this information in writing.

·        Use of terms in Fact Book may not appear elsewhere.

 

Back to Preface:  should we not have some statement to provide guidelines on interpretation?  To include also in 1.3.8 Institutional Evolution? 

·        Discussion of need for ombudsman.   Does it require a full-time position?  The person who served in this position (during President George Johnson’s administration) as a part-time role.  Previous arrangement very informal, was widely criticized as pro-administration.

·        As GMU Chapter president of the AAUP, Lorraine has spent more time talking and listening to people, no one there to advise people. AAUP needs to prepare a kit describing procedures; lack of money.  To review AAUP material on this topic.  Also to review language for Student Academic Affairs Ombudsman at GMU.

·        Interaction between three parties to the Faculty Handbook:  BOV has power over the administration; administration has (some?) power over the faculty; faculty somewhat disempowered.  To have a position on the BOV as a designated place faculty could go regarding concerns about lack of compliance of administration to Faculty Handbook?  Could also play role in potential grievances and dealing with tenure issues – an important and significant issue.  Would like to see this position not tied to administration, similar to general counsel; not to be budgeted under Provost office or faculty; a neutral professional role to set up organizationally, not beholden to either side.  Need for a concrete proposal.

 

1.1.  Rector and the Board of Visitors

Inclusion of new statement from revised by-laws for Faculty Representatives to BOV Committees

 (approved May 9, 2007)  Article I. Membership 6. (in italics below)

 

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.

 

Revised Text:  1.1. The Rector and the Board of Visitors

(BOLD = New Text), Yellow = Text Deleted

 

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.

 

Without 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 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.  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.

 

Revision:  1.2.1 The President – change “of” to “to” so that revised text now reads:

The Board of Visitors elects the President of the University, who serves at its pleasure. The President is the chief executive officer of the University and reports to the Rector and Board of Visitors. As chief executive officer, the President is charged with carrying out the policies of the Board and providing leadership of to the University's faculty, staff, and students in achieving major objectives. Within guidelines established by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Board of Visitors, the President is in charge of day-to-day administration and operation of the University.

 

Revision:  1.2.2 The Provost

Title “Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs” appears only in GMU Factbook.  Adminstrative/Professional Faculty Handbook text does not include it, to remove for simplicity.  To ask Provost whether he wishes title to remain. 

 

Revised Text:  1.2.2 The Provost

(BOLD = New Text), Yellow = Text Deleted

The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (hereafter abbreviated as Provost) is the principal chief academic officer of the University and is responsible for all educational matters. The Provost is appointed by the President and serves at the President's pleasure.

Revision:  1.2.3 Other Members of the Central Administration

To include two paragraphs from Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook “The Executive Council” and “President’s Council”, not to sort out as separate items.  Add “chair of the Faculty Senate” to President’s Council membership.  To ask Tom Hennessey to contribute introductory paragraph:  What is their role?  What are they empowered to do?

 

 Revised Text:  1.2.3 Other Members of the Central Administration

(BOLD = New Text), Yellow = Text Deleted

 

(Pending introductory paragraph from Tom Hennessey)

 

The central administration of the University includes administrative vice presidents, administrative deans, their associates and assistants and other members of their staffs. Administrative vice presidents and administrative deans are appointed by the President and serve at the President's pleasure. Other members of the central administration are appointed by the vice presidents for whom they serve; they may be appointed and reappointed to fixed terms of one, two, or three years, or they may serve at the pleasure of the vice presidents by whom they are appointed

 

The Executive Council

The Executive Council of the University includes the President, Provost, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff, Vice President for University Relations, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs, Vice President for University Life, and Vice President for Information Technology. The members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President.

 

President’s Council

The President’s Council consists of college and school deans and directors who are appointed by the President, serve at the President’s pleasure, and report to the Provost. President’s Council also includes other senior nonacademic administrators who report to their respective Executive Council Officers.

 

Next meeting:  Wednesday, June 20th  - 12:00 –1:30 p.m. Mason Hall, room D5.  To continue with Section 1.2.4 Academic Deans as Members of the Central Administration (Chapter One Templates p. 14).

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate