George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
February 12, 2003

Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, E. Elstun, D. Kuebrich

Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:13 pm.

I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the February 5, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.

II. Announcements
The topic of a non-voting faculty seat on the BOV’s Faculty and Academic Standards Committee was discussed in light of the Executive Committee’s meeting with President Merten last week. It was emphasized that—if accepted—this cannot be seen as a substitute or compromise for representation on the full Board. Since Tom Hennessey first suggested the idea, it was recommended that he come and speak with the Executive Committee on the issue. The members were reminded that Faculty Senate liaisons to the BOV used to give input at BOV meetings, but are currently only observers.

III. Old Business
The Academic Policies Committee will resubmit the motion, “The C- grade is ‘Unsatisfactory’” and a new motion on allowable unsatisfactory credits for graduation. The Chair announced that there will be a special called meeting if the C- grade is not resolved today.

IV. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
A. Academic Policies
Jack High will submit a report on courses taken at other institutions which has no action items, and the Committee will introduce a motion on Latin designations for Honors.

B. Facilities & Support Services & Library
The Committee has no action items for the Faculty Senate meeting.

C. Faculty Matters
The Committee will present a report on its current workload.

D. Nominations
The Committee will submit the nomination of Priscilla Regan for the General Education Committee vacancy, and announce that Stanley Zoltek has been appointed as the Senate representative to the Security Review Panel.

E. Organization & Operations
The Committee will introduce a motion to modify the Grievance Committee charge to allow research faculty to file grievances.

F. Ad Hoc Budget Committee
Rick Coffinberger noted that it has been two months since the Committee’s last report but it has still not received information requested from the Deans and Provost. Dr. Coffinberger will make one more attempt to meet with the Provost and get the requested unit budget information. If it is still not forthcoming, the Executive Committee will set up a meeting with Jeff Brandwine to discuss using the Freedom of Information Act in this case.

V. New Business
A. Changes to Faculty Handbook

The Chair received a memo from the President’s Office with proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook made by the BOV on January 30, 2003. The Committee noted there were no major changes to any section except Section 2.4, “Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty.” The first two paragraphs in the existing handbook are missing in the amended version, and the Committee feels they are very important and need to be left in. The Chair will follow up with the President’s Office.

The Committee also noted that the last two sentences of the first paragraph are BOV additions: “This institution values excellence in teaching. Those who achieve genuine excellence in teaching shall be rewarded in tenure decisions to the same degree as those who achieve genuine excellence in research.” This appears to be a compromise between Visitor Dewberry and the Administration and is, upon first review, acceptable to the Faculty Senate.

The only other differences appear to be additional peer review language and editorial changes. The members of the Faculty Matters Committee have copies of the memo and the changes for review. The Faculty Matters Committee will meet this week to write their report and recommendation(s) for the Senate. There will be a special meeting on February 26, 2003 for the Senate to then vote on those recommendation(s). There is a sense of urgency due to the procedural 21-day timeline for Faculty Senate review before the changes are implemented by the BOV.

B. Ombudsman Proposal
Brack Brown and Kevin Avruch will be thanked for their work on revising the BOV Ombudsman Proposal introduced at the January 22 Senate meeting. The Executive Committee has decided to hold off on acting upon the revision until the matter of faculty representation on the full Board and on the Faculty and Academic Standards Committee is settled.

VI. Adjournment
The meeting officially adjourned at 1:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Debi Siler
Clerk, Faculty Senate

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