GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

 MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

OF THE FACULTY SENATE

MARCH 7, 2005

 

Members Present:  Jim Bennett, Lorraine Brown, Michael Ferri, Rick Coffinberger, David Kuebrich, Jim Sanford, Cliff Sutton.

 

Member Absent:  Provost Peter Stearns.

 

I.                   Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.

 

II.                Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of February 9, 2005 were approved as distributed.

 

III.              Announcements

Chair Jim Bennett reminded the committee that this meeting was rescheduled from March 14, 2005 (during the week of spring break); our next Faculty Senate meeting takes place Wednesday, March 23rd.

 

IV.              Old Business

A.  Discussion of emeritus faculty representative to attend Faculty Senate and Executive Committee meetings – Meg to contact Aldona to see if retired faculty mailing list exists.

 

B.     Faculty Handbook revision:  The Executive Committee met with Esther Elstun to identify areas in the present Handbook in need of revision.  After some discussion, a motion to amend Section 2.4 of the 1994 Faculty Handbook was proposed (Attachment A).   Should the motion be passed at the next Faculty Senate meeting, the chair will direct the Secretary to send a letter to Rector Dewberry; copies to each member of the Board of Visitors and the President and Provost Stearns.  Much emphasis has been placed on the issue of entrepreneurship in the university community.  A new mission statement is being drafted by the administration (?)  for the consideration of the Board of Visitors at a future meeting.  How does this issue fit into the responsibilities of scholarship, teaching, as well as the broad range of service activities performed by faculty?  Some schools, such as the School of Management, have encountered this concept more than others.  Should career advancement be affected by entrepreneurship?  What is its impact upon fundraising?

 

V.                 Reports of the Senate Standing Committees

     Jim Sanford reports that the FEA surveys will go out this week.

 

VI.              New Business

A faculty member wishes to email to faculty senators a letter cosigned by eleven (ultimately fifteen) faculty in opposition to the University Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties to be discussed at the joint Faculty Senate – AAUP meeting on March 9, 2005.  After some discussion, it was decided to invite the faculty member to present the letter at the meeting.   While we wish to encourage communication, we also do not wish to generate large volumes of emails to all senators (or faculty).  Senators have the privilege of introducing motions.  Of Dean Polsby’s letter against consideration of the university resolution, the concern was expressed that it upset the balance of all senators as equals however important it may have been to communicate his position on the resolution as dean of the Law School.

 

VII.  Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 10:37 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk of the Faculty Senate

 

Attachment A

 

The Executive Committee moves that Section 2.4 of the 1994 Faculty Handbook be amended as follows:
  
(1) The words “Tenured and Tenure-Line” be inserted after “of”' in the heading, so that the heading reads "Criteria for Evaluation of Tenured and Tenure-Line Faculty".

(2) The word “are" be substituted for the phrase “would presumably be” in the second paragraph, so that the sentence reads "Such judgments are reached only in rare instances."

(3) The sentence, "Only the criteria described in Sections 2.4.1 (Teaching), 2.4.2 (Scholarship), 2.4.3 (Professional Service), and 2.4.4 (University Service) can be used in evaluation of faculty," be added at the the end of Section 2.4."

Rationale:

There has been increasing discussion by the Board of Visitors about using "entrepreneurial activity" by faculty as a criteria for promotion, tenure, and salary increases. However, entrepreneurial activity has not been defined; there is no information about how entrepreneurial activity would be measured or what minimum levels would be required for promotion, tenure, or raises; nor is there any indication of whether this criterion would be applied to all faculty or some subset of the faculty. This change to the current Handbook emphasizes that only the criteria listed in the current Faculty Handbook may be used to evaluate tenured and tenure-line faculty.