George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
April 30, 2003
Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, M. De Nys, D. Kuebrich, P. Stearns
Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:00 pm.
I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the April 23, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.
The Provost doesn’t see a problem with the Minors Motion that will be submitted to the Faculty Senate on May 7. The Chair explained that all minor program directors were given a copy of the motion with three weeks to respond. Only two directors responded who needed clarification on certain issues. The only opposition response came a week after the deadline and after the Academic Policies Committee had passed an unanimous vote to submit the motion to the Senate. The Provost agreed to support the motion at the Senate meeting.
The Chair mentioned that the President’s Office asked about a revision to the Faculty Handbook since it hasn’t been done in 10-12 years. The Executive Committee and the Provost agreed that next Spring would be a good time to start the process.
In accordance with the Effective Teaching Committee’s report, the Senate and the Office of Institutional Assessment will work together on a pilot program next Spring to revamp the Teacher Course Evaluations. The O&O Committee has already forwarded the report’s recommendations to the Faculty Matters Committee, and they will also begin work on it in the Spring.
The Chair remarked that the Professors Emeritus/Emerita are an asset to the university and deserve to have official rights and responsibilities, such as e-mail access, use of library, parking privileges, etc.. The Provost agreed that a Task Force to create a policy for Professors Emeritus would be a good start. He also stated that he felt it was a Faculty Senate issue opposed to a University Life issue. It was suggested that Dr. Hale Tongren be asked to Chair such a Task Force and that the Task Force be composed of retired faculty.
III. Old Business
There was no old business.
IV. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
A. Academic Policies
B. Facilities & Support Services & Library
C. Faculty Matters
Marty De Nys verified that the Salary Increase Motion asks for an across-the-board percentage—not dollar amount—raise. It seemed more sensible to the Committee to use percentages since the Faculty Handbook states that raises must reflect cost-of-living increases, which is measured in percentages. Some Committee members announced they will probably oppose the motion due to this difference. It was discussed that 1) the amount of money that will go towards these raises is so small that it doesn’t really matter whether the raises are given in percentage or dollar amounts, and 2) the Administration will distribute it however it wants anyway. On a final note, the Faculty Matters is considering “publishing” the raises once, and if, they are implemented.
Over 30% of the Faculty Evaluations of the Administrators have been returned. The Committee is considering noting in the report the anecdotal evidence of trepidation among the faculty and the lack of university community seen in the low rate of returns, the need for assurances of anonymity, the refusal to mark demographic information, and the number of responders who admitted they have no clue what the President, Provost, and Dean do.
E. Organization & Operations
The Committee is meeting on Friday to discuss a Senate Charter review and will begin the revision process in September.
V. New Business
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 12:50 pm.
Clerk, Faculty Senate
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