George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
November 20, 2002
Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, E. Elstun, D. Kuebrich
Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:02 pm.
I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the November 13, 2002 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.
Jim Bennett distributed the “2002-2003 Budget Reduction by Unit” and “Preliminary FY04 Budget” reports from the President’s Council on Friday. The Budget Reduction report will be sent to all faculty members. It was noted that the FY04 Budget report does not include a possible tuition increase being considered by the BOV, which would counter the $7.8 million in expected cuts. At the Council meeting, the Provost announced that the average class size has increased from 27 to 31 over the last three years, and implied that there will not be salary increases next year. Rich Coffinberger will attend a budget meeting on December 20th that will hopefully provide more specific information on the 2003-2004 budget.
Lorraine Brown and Rich Coffinberger will attend tomorrow’s BOV meeting and report back to the Committee.
The article, “Radford University Defends Administrative Spending” (Roanoke Times), will be sent to the Senators as a prelude to discussions concerning administrative bloat. It was noted that salary disparities are also part of this issue, but won’t be addressed until the new salary data come out at the end of this month.
Rector Meese will be speaking at the December 4, 2002 Senate meeting.
III. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
A. Academic Policies
The Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss the C- grade issue. If there is consensus, the Committee will introduce a motion at the next Senate meeting.
B. Facilities & Support Services & Library
Dr. Zenelis gave his annual report on the library at the last meeting. The Committee will introduce a motion concerning administrative jurisdiction over the library at the January Senate meeting.
C. Faculty Matters
The Committee will introduce a Resolution on Administrative Activities Report at the December Senate meeting. The Committee hopes that the Resolution, along with the new evaluation tool, will increase faculty participation. The new
evaluation is about 1/3 of the length of the former one, has more specific questions, and all questions relate to the academic administration. There will also be more aggressive follow-up to the evaluation this year.
It was pointed out that many faculty members, especially those in small units, are afraid of losing their anonymity because of the scope of the demographic questions. Marty De Nys will find out from Institutional Research what questions are absolutely necessary for statistical and validity purposes.
It was emphasized that the evaluation needs to be taken seriously by both the faculty and the administration, and that there should be a connection between the evaluation and administrators’ raises and promotions. It was agreed that the
Faculty Senate needs to make a strong “statement of disappointment” if the Administration does not comply with the request for activity reports.
The possible reaction of the Provost and Deans to the Resolution was also discussed. It was concluded that their arguments against the Resolution would be two-fold: that the Administration does not answer to the Faculty Senate, and that
administrators are “too busy” to complete an activities report. Since the Faculty Handbook calls for an annual faculty evaluation of the administrators, the first argument has no validity. As to the second, it was noted that professors—who have a full load with teaching, research, and writing—are required to turn in activities reports; therefore, the administrators have no excuse for not doing the same.
The Committee should have a slate ready for the Academic Standards Task Force at the December meeting. Don Gantz, Yvonne Demory, Jim Sanford, and Sheryl Beach (Provost Appointee) have agreed to serve. It was suggested that the Committee ask Dean Mulherin for names of faculty who have been involved in the Honor System in order to get the fifth nominee.
The meeting adjourned at 1:24 pm.
Clerk, Faculty Senate
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