George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
January 15, 2003

Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, E. Elstun, D. Kuebrich, P. Stearns

Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:08 pm.

I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the January 8, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.

II. Announcements
There were no announcements.

III. Old Business
Esther Elstun reported on her trip to Richmond for Lobby Day. She and Dave Kuebrich met with 20 of the 26 delegates from Northern Virginia to discuss higher education issues. One piece of good news is that Delegate Albo’s legislation concerning tenure is no longer being considered. All of the representatives visiting from Virginia colleges and universities were recognized before the State Senate and, overall, it was a very profitable day.

IV. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
A. Academic Policies

The Committee will be introducing a motion: “The C- grade is unsatisfactory.” at next week’s Faculty Senate meeting. A preliminary report on the graduate grade of B- has been sent to the Graduate Council for review and advice. The pending
item of International Internships has been given to Jim Metcalf for action.

B. Facilities & Support Services & Library
The Committee will introduce a motion on library governance in April.

C. Faculty Matters
The Committee has no action items for this month’s Faculty Senate meeting.

D. Nominations
The Committee will submit a nominee for the new vacancy on the General Education Committee.

E. Organization & Operations
Phil Buchanan is currently out of the country so there was no report.

F. Ad Hoc Budget Committee
Rick Coffinberger requested that the Provost ask the Deans and Directors for a breakdown of their individual budgets opposed to just an aggregate number. He emphasized the importance of faculty input at all stages of the budget process at both the university and college/school/institute level. The Provost and Vice President has worked with the Ad Hoc Budget Committee to do this at the university level, but there hasn’t been much cooperation at the college level. The Provost agreed to discuss the issue with the Deans and Directors.

The Committee is also reviewing the current policy of charging one tuition amount for 12-17 hours. Further study needs to be done to calculate the possible increase in income if the policy is changed, and if the additional amount would be worth the discontent it would cause among students. Another question concerning this issue is if the policy entices students to take more hours than they should when so many of them have heavy work schedules.

V. New Business
A. Remarks from Provost Stearns
1. Minors Issue

The issue is being researched by the Provost’s Office, and the Provost will try to have a report at the February 5th Executive Committee meeting.

2. Tenured Faculty Teaching Undergraduate Courses
The Provost will address the issue of tenured faculty teaching undergraduate courses at the next Faculty Senate meeting. Currently 32% of Freshman/Sophomore classes are taught by full-time faculty, which is very low in comparison to other universities. One reason is the low number of graduate assistants at GMU. The Provost would like to aim for 54%, which is projected in GMU’s 2007 Plan.

CAS will be told that part of money it will receive back from the budget cuts is contingent on more full-time faculty teaching lower division classes. The Provost is also working on incentive plans for “full-time faculty regularly teaching lower division classes with excellence.” He added that the selection of these professors would be based on peer review and student evaluations. It was noted that departments that already have a large number of full-time faculty teaching Freshman/Sophomore classes should also be recognized in some way.

3. Associate Provost Reorganization
The Provost announced that Sheryl Beach and Julie Christensen’s terms as Associate Provosts will expire this year, and they have both decided not to continue. Their positions will be merged into one Associate Provost who will be responsible for Distance and General Education (possibly International Education also, depending on Yehuda Lukacs’ role), the Catalogue, and Grievances.

4. Standing Faculty Committee on Academic Integrity
The Provost has named a Standing Faculty Committee on Academic Integrity headed by Laurie Fathe. The Committee has already made a substantial change in the procedures so that first plagiarism offenses in which the student admits to the violation are no longer brought before the Honor Committee but worked out between the student and professor. It was mentioned that the Organization and Operations Committee is currently reviewing the former Task Force on Academic Integrity’s recommendations for distribution.

VI. Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Debi Siler
Clerk, Faculty Senate

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