George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
November 12, 2003
Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, E. Elstun, D. Kuebrich
Guests: D. Roe, D. Rossell, P. Stearns
Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:00 noon.
I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the October 22, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.
A. Sabbatical Policy – David Rossell
David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, gave an overview of the three Educational Leave with Pay Programs offered at George Mason. Faculty Study Leaves, open to tenured faculty with at least four years of service, are centrally funded and detailed in the Faculty Handbook. They are offered for one semester at full pay or one year at half pay. Twenty-seven faculty members have been granted Faculty Study Leaves this academic year. Departmental Leaves, open to tenured faculty with at least four years of service, are funded by academic units and detailed in the Faculty Information Guide. They are offered for one semester at ¾ pay or one year at 3/8 pay. Assistant Professor Tenure Track Leaves were recently instituted to give tenure-track faculty a study leave for research toward tenure and are offered for one semester only.
Dr. Rossell introduced a proposal for a fourth category of study leave for full or associate professors with at least ten years of service. These leaves would be competitive, centrally funded, and could be used for research or course development. The University is considering offering up to twenty a year.
B. GMU Foundation Policies – David Roe
The Chair remarked that, depending on what serves its interests at the time, the GMU Foundation sometimes claims it is a private institution but other times argues that it has to abide by the rules for public institutions. David Roe, Chief Financial Officer for the Foundation, explained that the Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) company, but it has to comply with certain rules because its money is used to support a public institution. Specific approval structures and documentation are necessary since the Foundation is accountable to the donors as to how their money is being spent. The Foundation cannot pay wages since it is not allowed to file 1099s for people who are on the University’s payroll, and it does not have the personnel or tools to run its own payroll system.
Mr. Roe stated that the Foundation’s Executive Committee has requested that a Task Force be created to evaluate fee mechanism structure that the Foundation uses to establish its operating budget. Currently, the only fee being assessed is a
charge against endowment earnings. The Foundation’s Finance and Executive Committees feel that the Foundation’s operational costs need to be more evenly distributed.
The Executive Committee has also challenged the Foundation, in consultation with the University Deans and Directors, to reduce the current budget deficit by $430,000 in fiscal year 2003-04 and to have a balanced budget for fiscal year 2004-05. Because of this mandate, the Deans and Directors approved a levy of $270,000 for 2003-04 and selected representatives to attend the Task Force meetings that will generate a recommendation to the Foundation’s Executive Committee on how to proceed in January 2004.
A query was raised concerning the Foundation’s 990s that showed Judith Jobbitt, David Roe, and Alan Merten all received substantial raises at a time that most University employees received no raises at all. One of the Foundation’s auditors,
Norman Snyder from Hoffman, Fitzgerald & Snyder, explained that the salary figures reflect the inclusion of 26 instead of the usual 24 pay periods in the most recent year’s records, contractual and consolidated raises, and financials assessed on a cash instead of an accrual basis. It was determined that the Form 990 figures were correct, but the numbers were not comparable without explanation.
III. Old Business
A. Executive Committee Annual Report
It was agreed that the draft Executive Committee report will be attached to the Faculty Senate meeting agenda distributed to the faculty today. The Secretary will give a 5-10 minute overview, followed by discussion of the report and a vote to adopt. The discussion will be very important for the Executive Committee to get comments and suggestions from the entire Senate.
IV. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
A. Academic Policy
The Committee will submit two items at the November 19th Faculty Senate meeting for discussion. The first is the final report of the University Task Force on Academic Standards that will be presented by Donald Gantz. The Committee will then propose two motions based on the Task Force’s recommendations. The second motion has to do with the University-wide grade appeal policy.
B. Budget & Resources
The Committee will meet with Library Director John Zenelis and John Miller, former Chair of the University Salary Equity Study Committee, this afternoon.
The Committee is creating a salary report broken down by Administrative Faculty, 12-month Instructional Faculty, and 9-month Instructional Faculty that will eventually be placed on the Faculty Senate website. The Committee is hoping that this transparency will generate discussion and lead to stronger accountability.
The Committee also finally received information they requested on the Summer School budget for review.
C. Faculty Matters
The Chair commended the Committee for the fabulous job done on the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators report. The reports were distributed to the faculty, administration, and BOV on Friday. Marty De Nys thanked all those who assisted
with the project, especially Karen Gentemann. The goal for next year is to distribute the survey by the end of February. Dr. De Nys will send a memo to the Deans and Directors requesting that they send their activities summary to Provost Stearns to be reviewed and placed on the University’s website.
Due to medical reasons, Jim Heath has resigned his position on the University General Education Committee. The Nominations Committee will provide a slate of nominee(s) for his replacement as soon as possible.
E. Organization & Operations
The Committee has determined that no changes are necessary to the Faculty Senate seat allocation process.
V. New Business
The Provost was requested to remind the Deans and Directors to adhere the policies outlined in the Faculty Handbook on the following issues: 1) faculty members are to be given the opportunity to discuss their performance reviews with the reviewer, and 2) the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators is to be used in the assessment of the Deans and Directors’ performance reviews.
The meeting adjourned at 1:18 pm.
Clerk, Faculty Senate
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