George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
January 8, 2003
Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, E. Elstun, D. Kuebrich
Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:01 pm.
I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the December 4, 2002 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.
The Provost has appointed another Task Force on Academic Standards that will be headed by Laurie Fathe.
All Standing Committees must submit their annual reports electronically to the Faculty Senate office by April 21st so that they can be distributed to the Senators two weeks before the May 7th meeting.
Dave Kuebrich and Jim Bennett have written a proposal on study leaves at GMU. One contradiction, however, is that tenured faculty have complained about the number of adjunct faculty, but sufficient adjunct faculty are needed to cover during study leaves.
III. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
A. Academic Policies
The Chair announced that the Committee completed seven items during the fall semester. It is working on numerous issues this spring:
1. A motion making the C- grade unsatisfactory will be introduced in January. It was noted that the Senate may then need to reconsider the B- grade at the graduate level for consistency.
2. A motion on residence requirements and courses taken elsewhere is scheduled for introduction in February.
3. “University internship courses” will be researched at the Vice Provost’s request.
4. Evaluation of academic integrity recommendations that will be received from O&O this semester.
5. Review of Academic Appeals Committee recommendations once the Banner System is running well in the Registrar’s Office.
6. Responding to any Provost Office’s actions concerning the issue of Minors.
7. Follow-up action on a Student Senate resolution to extend the drop period.
B. Facilities & Support Services & Library
The Committee’s major issue this spring is library administration. The Committee is divided on the question of whether the library should be under the governance of the VP of Information Technology or the Provost. The Committee will attempt
to introduce a motion in April on the issue.
C. Faculty Matters
The Committee is reviewing four major topics this spring:
1. The Study Leave Proposal will be considered and further researched by the Committee. One issue is that newly-hired professors get an entitled study leave as part of their hiring package, but professors who have been at GMU a long time don’t get an equivalent guaranteed study leave. The Committee will study the departmental politics determining how study leave proposals are accepted, and review the application and evaluation process and procedures for consistency and professionalism. Dave Kuebrich will attend the next Faculty Matters Committee meeting to give examples of study leave procedural problems. Marty De Nys will also have a one-on-one meeting with Provost Stearns on this issue. The Committee will do further analysis of the Senate Clerk’s research on GMU, peer, and other VA institutions’ policies on faculty study leaves.
2. The Committee will research precedents for moving the date of faculty raises from the current date of December 1 back to the original date of September 15.
3. A motion concerning compensation for lab instruction during summer school will be submitted as soon as possible.
4. The Committee will look into a bill recently introduced in the state legislature (HB1513) that would eliminate tenure for faculty accepting employment at a public institution of higher education in Virginia.
The Committee will submit a nominee for the new vacancy on the General Education Committee.
E. Organization & Operations
The Committee has two items in process:
1. A motion to change the charge of the University Grievance Committee so that it can hear grievances from research faculty to be introduced in February.
2. Reallocating the Honor Code Task Forces’ recommendations for review and action.
F. Ad Hoc Budget Committee
The Committee’s main focus this spring will be fighting for increased faculty participation in the next round of budget cuts and adjustments. Rick Coffinberger attended a budget meeting on December 23rd in which it was announced that tuition will be raised over the next two years to make up for the decrease in state funds. It was mentioned that there might be another hit in 2004, but the effect was downplayed. The faculty may receive bonuses, if anything, instead of raises. Rick Coffinberger will be attending the President’s Council meeting in lieu of Jim Bennett so that he can speak with Provost Stearns and President Merton about faculty participation in the budget process.
IV. New Business
The Provost will address the issue of tenured faculty teaching undergraduate courses at the next Executive Committee meeting. He will also be asked to present an accountability report at the end of each academic year concerning the increase of tenured faculty that was promised.
A Resolution on a BOV Ombudsman will be introduced by Dave Kuebrich (Executive Committee) at the January 22nd Faculty Senate meeting asking Rector Meese to appoint a BOV Ombudsman.
It was mentioned that GMU’s inconsistent policy concerning severance makes it ripe for abuse and favoritism and, therefore, needs review and general guidelines need to be determined. It was agreed that the topic will be logged in with O&O and addressed by the Faculty Matters Committee.
It was agreed that the External Relations Committee needs to take responsibility for coordinating and organizing lobbying efforts at GMU in terms of awareness of Richmond’s actions on higher education issues and contacting legislators when
The meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm.
Clerk, Faculty Senate
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