JANUARY 19, 2005



Members Present:  Jim Bennett, Lorraine Brown, Rick Coffinberger, David Kuebrich, James Sanford, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton


Member Absent:  Michael Ferri


I.  Call to Order:  Chair Jim Bennett called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.


II.  Approval of Minutes The minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of November 10, 2004 were approved as distributed.


III. Announcements

Jim Bennett distributed draft copies of his report "University Fundraising:  Some Observations and Comparisons".  We are spending considerable resources on fundraising at the University.  As faculty are evaluated on their performance, should not fundraising entities also be held accountable for their performance?  This question is not raised in a confrontational spirit, rather in a manner similar to studies of salaries among local teachers.  The comparative study highlights data among twelve SCHEV "peer" universities' foundations.  Input from all Executive Committee members is solicited.


Registrar Susan Jones expects to provide data regarding force ad slips which will enable us to write a report on uncompensated instruction and publish it on the web.  She hopes to provide the data approximately two weeks after the Drop/Add deadline for the spring term.


Provost Peter Stearns reported that President Merten has suggested that an emeritus

observer be appointed to the Executive Committee.  An agreement has been reached on the establishment of a campus in the United Arab Emirates subject to the approval of the Board of Visitors.  Plans to formalize and expand somewhat university programs in Loudoun County are underway.  Nursing Education is already located there as is CIT; a possible undergraduate major and MBA program may also be located there.  The current plan involves the rental of space in the Xerox building out on Route 7.  Janelia Farms, also located in Loudoun County, remains very desirable as a potential site.


Regarding the proposed revision of the Faculty Handbook, the Provost conveys from President Merten the nomination of an initial committee comprised of three members of the Faculty Senate and three members of the Administration to hold a series of meetings to first identify issues to be addressed; the committee could change in form as issues are identified.  The President hopes the review would be completed by the spring term 2006.  Jim Bennett has requested a meeting with the President and the Executive Committee to discuss the revision process (subsequently scheduled for January 31, 2005).  The current Handbook contains ambiguities which have led to many misunderstandings.  Dr. Bennett suggests a thoroughgoing de novo review; one year is not enough time in which to complete this task.  Meg is compiling and printing copies of the faculty handbooks of doctoral-granting state institutions in Virginia.  The suggestion was made to add a liaison from the Board of Visitors to the revision process.


Dave Kuebrich raised the issue of Phased Retirement as a growing trend at other schools.  It is an attractive tool for recruiting faculty; a cost-saving measure - once a retiring faculty member goes to half-time, a new assistant professor to be hired would not be paid as much.  Peter Stearns responded that he was not aware of any discussion of this issue in the last two to three years.


IV.  Old Business


V.  Reports of Senate Standing Committees


A.     Academic Policies - Cliff Sutton

A meeting with representatives of the Law School to discuss the “three plus three” proposal will be scheduled soon; hopefully some motions will be ready to present at our February or March meeting.  So far the joint program between James Madison University and George Mason University has not attracted many people.  In its present form, the undergraduate major department would have to agree to accept coursework also required by the Law School.  It was a popular program some years ago and may be experiencing a comeback.  Concern was expressed about the lack of maturity of younger students entering law school –  such a program may be better suited to older students.


B.     Budget and Resources – Rick Coffinberger

1.      Salary Increases:  Rick attended a meeting of the University Budget Planning Committee about two weeks ago.  At the state level, salary increases will be funded at three percent.  An amendment has been proposed to increase raises an additional two percent for a net gain of a five percent increase.  Should the amendment not pass, the University expects to allocate sufficient funds to effect a one-and-one-half percent increase in order to establish a net salary increase of four-and-one-half percent.

2.      Salary Report:  The updated salary report was received just before Christmas.  The data were incomplete and Rick is working with Human Resources to update it.

3.      Alternative Severance Option:  A follow-up meeting is scheduled with David Rossell and Jim Sanford.  Peter Stearns noted this is a very limited plan – our concerns would be inconsistencies.


C.     Faculty Matters - Jim Sanford

Our next meeting will be held on Monday.  Two items are on the agenda:

1.      Faculty Evaluation of Administrators:  Peter Stearns has requested input from the Deans to ensure their website information is updated by the end of January.  A meeting will be scheduled with the Office of Institutional Assessment to review procedures.

2.      Office of Sponsored Programs:  on-going review.


D.     Nominations – Lorraine Brown

1.      General Education Committee:  Marilyn Mobley has requested a replacement for Peter Black (who is retiring).  A discussion of potential candidates took place.

2.      In response to a question about whether the finalists identified by the Search Committee for the position of Vice President for Research had experience in the humanities or sciences, Peter Stearns responded that two of the candidates hailed from federal agencies and one from a medical school, noting that the Office has more to do with funding and research.  The first candidate will be interviewed on Friday.


E.      Organization and Operations – Michael Ferri  - no report.


VI.  New Business


A.   Agenda for the Next Faculty Senate Meeting – January 26, 2005


B.   Scheduling of Executive Committee Meetings for the Spring Term

Our meetings for the spring term will be changed from Wednesday to Monday mornings at 9:30 a.m. The location was later changed to Mason Hall, room D109.

            Our revised schedule is:

.                                   Monday, February 7, 2005

                                    Monday, March 14, 2005

                                    Monday, April 4, 2005

                                    Monday, April 25, 2005


C.      Task Force on University Privacy Policy – David Kuebrich – The Privacy Task Force is currently investigating how various universities have responded to the Patriot Act.  The American Library Association (ALA) has published a lengthy draft resolution to protect civil liberties in light of the Patriot Act.   The Task Force suggests a joint meeting of the Faculty Senate and the George Mason University chapter of the AAUP in which we invite speakers from the ALA, AAUP, and ACLU to briefly state why we should adopt the ALA draft resolution.  Copies of the resolution will be sent to members of the Executive Committee for review.  It was considered an excellent idea; especially in light of the upcoming publication of a six-hundred-page regulation – Patriot Act II. 


VII:  Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate