George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
February 5, 2003

Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, E. Elstun, D. Kuebrich, P. Stearns

Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:01 pm.

I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the January 22, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.

II. Announcements
The Chair thanked Provost Stearns for his support for pending legislation before the State Senate concerning a non-voting faculty member on the BOV. At the January President’s Council meeting, the bill was on a list of legislation that the GMU Administration opposes. The possibility of a non-voting faculty member on the Faculty and Academic Standards Subcommittee was informally mentioned to an Executive Committee member, but that is considered a huge compromise. The Executive Committee will meet with President Merten at 4:00 pm today to discuss this issue.

Mike Ferri will report on the “Capital Campaign” at the next Faculty Senate meeting. The question was raised as to whether the fundraising campaign can truly be considered a “Capital” one, since the designation connotes raising money for an endowment for the institution’s future security.

Mary Zamon, Director of the CAS’s Undergraduate Experience, will also give a presentation at the next Faculty Senate meeting on her department.

III. Old Business
The Academic Policies Committee will resubmit the motion, “The C- grade is ‘Unsatisfactory’” and an additional motion to address the issue of acceptable credits of unsatisfactory grades for graduation. As it stands, a student may present up to 12 credit hours of classes with unsatisfactory (i.e., “D”) grades. The Committee determined that, even with the addition of the C- grade as unsatisfactory, increasing the acceptable hours of unsatisfactory grades would be an egregious lowering of standards. The Executive Committee assumes that there will be—yet again—substantial debate on this issue. It was noted that the limitations of the computer system currently in use by the Registrar’s Office will also have to be taken into consideration.

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

Jack High will submit a report with no action items. The Committee will then introduce a motion concerning Latin designations for Honors.

B. Facilities & Support Services & Library
The Committee will meet on Friday but has no action items for the next 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 vacancy on the General Education Committee.

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
There was no report.

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

The Provost Office recommends that the requirements for a Minor include a minimum of 15 credit hours with 9 of those hours to be discrete (non-overlapping). It was noted that the Faculty Senate passed a motion stating that a “concentration” requires a minimum of 12 discrete hours. The Provost Office will send an official statement to the Chair of the Academic Policies Committee, and they will work to prepare a motion on Minors for the March Faculty Senate meeting.

2. BOV Report on Teaching Excellence
The Provost announced that the BOV passed the report on “Teaching Excellence” with the Dewberry Proposal withdrawn. The report will be sent to the Faculty Senate for its review and comments on any necessary changes to the Faculty Handbook.

3. Catalog
Starting with the 2003-2004 academic year, the GMU catalog will be issued bi-annually. Addendums will be issued, both in hard copy and electronically, during the off years.

VI. Adjournment
The meeting officially adjourned at 1:10 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Debi Siler
Clerk, Faculty Senate

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