George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
January 5, 2004

Present: J. Bennett, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, E. Elstun. L. Schwartstein.

Chair Jim Bennett opened the meeting at 10:05 am.

I. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the November 24, 2003 Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.

II. Announcements
Dean Flagel (Admissions) and Dean Mulherin (Honor System) will be speaking at the January 21st Faculty Senate meeting.

III. Old Business
There was no old business.

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

The Task Forces on Academic Progress and Midterm Grading will present reports and recommendations to the Faculty Senate on January 21st, and the Academic Policy Committee will submit subsequent motions.

B. Budget & Resources
The Committee continues its work on faculty salary reports. The Committee is also working to create procedures for the “separation” process so they are not done on an uneven, ad hoc basis. Committee members have been invited to attend
the University Budget and Strategy Committee meetings once a month so they can stay informed of budgetary discussions.

Summer school financial information has been posted on the Faculty Senate website. The Committee continues to pursue the issue of retirement contributions being made for 9-month instructional faculty teaching summer school. Rick Coffinberger will work with Dave Rossell to determine approximate cost to the University, what the tradeoffs would be, and how it would affect professors nearing retirement. The Faculty Senate resolution concerning summer school lab compensation that was adopted last year came up. Linda Schwartzstein stated that a meeting is planned with the chairs of all departments that have labs to discuss the issue. A Faculty Matters Committee member will be invited to attend.

It was noted that the University’s summer school policy is detailed in the Faculty Handbook and further clarified by Peter Stearn’s March 2000 Memo of Understanding, but the deans and Provost’s Office appear to be chipping away at the policy. It was stated that the policy either needs to be adhered to by the Administration or it needs to be changed.

Rick Coffinberger also mentioned that he heard the new faculty study leave proposal has been put on the back burner due to budgetary restraints. Linda Schwartzstein clarified that faculty study leave funds come from Ledger 9 money (research reimbursements), and much of that budget is going toward the new research building. In addition, the priority for the remainder is hiring more graduate research assistants since GMU is far behind our peer and other Virginia universities in this area.

C. Faculty Matters
The Committee is planning to introduce reports from Chair Egon Verheyen of the University Effective Teaching Committee and Chair Hale Tongren of the Task Force on Emeritus Policy at the February 11th Faculty Senate meeting.

D. Nominations
No report.

E. Organization & Operations
No report.

V. New Business
The concern was presented to Linda Schwartzstein regarding the lack of advance communication between the Provost and faculty representatives on issues brought before the BOV’s Faculty & Academic Standards Committee. It was suggested that the Provost and the faculty representatives to the Committee discuss the issues before the meetings so they can be in agreement at the meetings.

VI. Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 11:00 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Debi Siler
Clerk, Faculty Senate

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