George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
July 26, 2002
Present: J. Bennett, E. Blaisten-Barojas, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, E. Elstun
Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 1:45 pm.
I. State Budget Crisis
As the state budget crisis worsens, the Ad Hoc Budget Committee plans to help the administration determine where the reductions in overhead, personnel, etc. will take place, as well as inform the Senate of what cuts are made. They will also make clear to the administration that the faculty have already suffered their fair share in past budget cuts. A memo to Judith Jobbitt and David Roe concerning “GMU Foundation’s Role in the Budget Crisis” was reviewed. It was determined that Section (a)(2) should be changed to “recognizes the role of faculty in determining the proposed allocation of these funds;” and Section (a)(3) should be deleted altogether. A discussion ensued concerning the net worth of the Foundation, including the Lynch property, the Koch money, and what percentage of the funds is already earmarked for specific projects.
II. Filling Empty Senate Seats
CAS, GSE, CPVA, and the Law School will hold new elections as soon as possible to fill vacant seats allocated to their colleges. The Executive Committee will request that David Haines schedule a new election for CAS with Maria Dworzecka as a candidate.
III. Appointment of Jim Metcalf to Task Force on Quality of Work Life
Jim Metcalf will replace Don Boileau as the Senate representative on the QWL Task Force. Karen Rosenblum, Chairman of the QWL Task Force, has been invited to address the Senate both in the fall and spring. Estela Blaisten-Barojas will be contacting the QWL Task Force on office space for instructional faculty, especially in colleges and schools in which the faculty FTE has increased dramatically.
IV. Report on Reserved Parking Spaces at GMU
A report was distributed detailing the reserved parking policy at GMU and listing those employees who currently hold reserved parking spaces. This report will be sent to all faculty members and the Chair of the Staff Senate. The report will also be posted on the Faculty Senate website. It was recommended that a new heading, “Information for Faculty” be created on the home page and this report be added as one of the sub-items.
V. Consulting Contract at GMU Foundation
The Executive Committee approved a memo to Judith Jobbitt and David Roe concerning the Foundation’s consulting arrangements. Specifically, the Executive Committee would like information concerning the hiring of a faculty member as a consultant, the amount that individual was paid, and what criteria determined the hiring decision.
VI. Replacement for Pat Wilkie on Ad Hoc Budget Committee
Debbie Boehm-Davis will be asked to replace Pat Wilkie on the Ad Hoc Budget Committee. She has served as the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, and it was agreed that she would be an excellent choice. Jim Sanford was mentioned as a second candidate if needed.
VII. Senate Minutes
It was noted that the Faculty Senate Office must do everything possible to keep costs down this year. This year, a hard copy of the draft minutes will be sent only on request; otherwise, electronic copies will be the basic method of distribution. Hard copies of all Senate and Executive Committee minutes are available in the Senate Office, and all approved minutes can be found on the Senate website. It was suggested that ten (10) hard copies of the draft minutes be brought to meetings for senators who hadn’t read the minutes or brought their copy. An “experimental resolution” was agreed to: the draft minutes will be distributed by e-mail, senators will have a week to add any comments or corrections, then an amended draft will be sent at the end of the week, again by e-mail. If the system does not seem to work well, the issue will be readdressed at a future Executive Committee meeting.
VIII. International Dual Degrees
Esther Elstun met with Yehuda Lukacs and will present a motion concerning International Dual Degrees at the 25 September 2002 Faculty Senate meeting.
IX. Final Report of the Teacher/Course Evaluation Task Force
It was announced that the final report of the Teacher/Course Evaluation Task Force is extensive. The Senate Clerk will be sent a copy by e-mail and a hard copy will be distributed to Executive Committee members. The report will be discussed at the
7 September 2002 Senate meeting. John Miller will be invited to the 25 September meeting to facilitate discussion of the report. As background, it was mentioned that the Task Force was created in 2000 by the Senate and referred to the Academic Policy Committee for implementation. The life of the Task Force has been extended through Fall 2002.
X. Relations with Staff and Student Senates
The Faculty Senate Clerk has been in e-mail contact with the Chairs of the Staff Senate and Student Senate. Both organizations are eager to work with the Faculty Senate this academic year, and Faculty Senate members have been extended an open invitation to any of the Staff or Student Senate meetings.
XI. Next Meeting of the Executive Committee
It was decided that the next Executive Committee meeting will be held on 21 August 2002 at 9:30 am in D109A Mason Hall. Peter Stearns will be invited to attend.
XII. New Senator Orientation
Orientation for new senators will be held 28 August 2002 at 3:00 pm in D3A Mason Hall. The orientation program will be sent by e-mail to all Executive Committee members, and binders with Senate information will be sent to all new senators.
XIII. Sergeant-at-Arms Appointment
Clifford Sutton has agreed to continue serving as Sergeant-at-Arms. However, it was brought up that the Senate should have two Sergeant-at-Arms in case one cannot attend the meeting. Linda Monson was mentioned as a possible candidate. The Bylaws will be reviewed to see if they need to be amended to allow this change.
XIV. Additional Topics
A copy of current faculty and staff salaries is supposed to be located in Fenwick Library, but it has been moved to Johnson Center. The copy is out of date. The Chair will try to obtain current and historical data on faculty and staff salaries for distribution by e-mail and website. The main goal of this salary initiative is to hold the administration accountable for its actions concerning salary and raise determinations across the University. Many questions were raised about this topic, such as: Will distributing this information freely cause friction between faculty members or unite them on this issue? Will it be more helpful to analyze the data and send a report on the findings instead of disseminating raw data? What are the different ways these data can be used once they are collected? Should the Salary Equity Study Committee be given the data to analyze? Should the entire Senate be informed and/or give input in the decision before salary information is distributed? Will it weaken our position with the faculty if the information is sent out without the approval of the Senate? It was agreed that the Executive Committee would wait and see what kind of data Human Resources sends, and then return to this issue for further discussion.
“New Day” of the Faculty Senate
The Chair announced that a “new day” is being introduced, with the Senate becoming more proactive than it has been in the past. Lorraine Brown will draft a new mission statement, and the Executive Committee will work on setting the agenda for this year. The two major issues to be addressed this year will be: 1) the accountability of the administration, and 2) the academic standards and integrity of the faculty. The Senate’s focus will be on the needs and concerns of the instructional faculty. One of the first items the Senate will deal with is the Faculty Rewards and Incentives report. Jim Bennett will compile a list of further topics to be covered this year as they are brought up by members of the Committee.
11 September 2002 Dinner with President Merten
The Executive Committee has been invited to a dinner with President Merten tentatively scheduled for 11 September 2002. This will be an opportunity for the Committee to address the main issues they are going to focus on this year with the president.
The meeting adjourned at 3:45 pm.
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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