George Mason University
Appproved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
February 25, 2004
Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, E. Elstun.
Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 12:02 am.
I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the February 4, 2004 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.
The Chair announced that he received an e-mail this morning from Tom Hennessey which stated: “On behalf of the Rector, I have been asked to advise you that the Board discussed the issue of the GMU Foundation fees at its February 18 meeting. The Rector has asked that the Foundation Board of Trustees brief the issue at the Board’s March 17th Meeting.”
III. Resolution on the Confiscation of Fund from Faculty Accounts at the GMU Foundation
A concern was noted that, although there is agreement on the content of the resolution, the tone might reflect badly on the Executive Committee and the Senate as a whole if presented in its current form. It was also noted that tying together the Comprehensive Campaign and the operating budget shortfall in the first “Whereas” is irrelevant since endowment and restricted funds cannot be used for operating expenses.
It was also noted that the explanation sent out from the GMU Foundation (GMUF) neglected to mention that the loan contract signed by GMUF to build the new Arlington facility stipulates that GMUF retain a certain level of liquid assets—another factor in its budget deficit.
It was clarified that there are four issues being discussed, and that the Senate needs to be clear on which one(s) it is addressing and in what priority:
1. GMUF’s debt
2. The general use of University funds to cover GMUF’s debt
3. Dean Struppa’s memo concerning CAS’s contribution to the remittance
4. Competence of GMUF leadership
GMUF’s possible complicity in Dean Struppa’s memo was then discussed. GMUF leadership has stated that it was operating in good faith that Dean Struppa had the implicit authority to take money from grant accounts. It is unclear, however, if GMUF
knew of the memo in advance of its distribution, if GMUF ever formally accepted the instructions in the memo, and at what point GMUF began the investigation into the legality of the memo’s instructions.
It was determined that this is a very complex issue which deserves a lot of serious thought before any action is taken. Therefore, it was decided that the special called meeting of March 3rd will be postponed until after the March BOV meeting. Members of both the Faculty Matters and Budget & Resources Committees will attend the GMUF Board presentation to the BOV and report back to the Faculty Senate.
The meeting adjourned at 12:55 am.
Clerk, Faculty Senate
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