AUGUST 29, 2005


Members Present:  Lorraine Brown, David Kuebrich, James Sanford, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton


I.                   Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 1:02 p.m.


II.                Announcements


Provost Peter Stearns reported on international outreach activities over the summer.  A delegation traveled to Taiwan, mainly involved in recruitment for the fine arts programs.  A second delegation, including the Provost, will return at the end of the fall.  It is possible that a master’s degree program may be set up there.  The departments of Dance and Music are heavily involved; the Visual Arts less so.


There is considerable certainty that the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will vote to reorganize and to adopt a new name (the College of Health and Human Services).  The final vote is scheduled for September 12, 2005.  The Provost asked the Faculty Senate to help organize the necessary hearing during the second half of September. (September 29, 2005).  The existing programs in Health Science would be reorganized into two new departments:  the Department of Health Administration and Policy and the Department of Global and Community Health.  One feature of the reorganization involves the removal of the Department of Social Work from the College of Arts and Sciences into the proposed College of Health and Human Services.  The Department of Social Work desires this change.  The new College, if approved, will consist of three schools:  -1- School of Nursing; -2- Department of Health Administration and Policy; and –3- Department of Global and Community Health. Because of its size, the nursing programs would be reorganized into a School of Nursing and would remain in the larger college to retain accreditation.  The Provost hopes to present the proposal to the Board of Visitors at its next meeting (October 5, 2005).  Should the changes be approved, it is expected they would be implemented by Fall, 2006.


The Provost wishes to have at least one open academic meeting for faculty to provide an opportunity to voice questions and raise concerns.  A separate meeting will be scheduled on each of the three campuses.  He would appreciate any suggestions of topics for discussion.


Lorraine Brown, President of the GMU Chapter of the AAUP, reported that the recent AAUP reception for new faculty was well attended.  She would like to have a follow-up session on Faculty Handbooks – to receive positive input into the process as well as to sustain faculty interest, especially among new faculty.   The Provost would be happy to participate in a meeting in which general topics would be discussed.


III.  Old Business


Rick Coffinberger and Susan Trencher were invited to make a presentation to the Board of Visitors during the President’s Council retreat in August.   No response has been received to date.   Should George Mason University obtain a non-voting faculty representative on the Board of Visitors, it will be one of the last major universities to do so, although it was noted that the University of Virginia also does not have one at this time. Rector Dewberry indicated that it is not likely to be discussed again before their next meeting (October 5, 2005).


IV.              Reports from the Senate Standing Committee Chairs

A.     Academic Policies – Cliff Sutton

Cliff reports that it will be a busy year for the AP Committee.  Three items remain pending at the end of the spring term: 1) “Alternative” General Education; 2) Concern that the standards for the faculty of the new UAE campus remain the same as here.  The Provost responded that the same standards apply: faculty appointments are vetted by departments; admissions is run by the Admissions Office; and random evaluations occur.  3) Student government request (as well as some faculty) to look at the academic calendar regarding the number of reading days in the fall (only one half day) unequal to the spring.  A one and one half day cushion would also provide an opportunity to schedule make up classes.  Cliff would appreciate input on these questions. 


B.     Budget and Resources – Rick Coffinberger

Updating of salary data for the website is in progress.  There have been no complaints from faculty members about not being able to teach over the summer; all who wished to do so were able to do so due to the Provost’s increasing of monies available for the summer term. On the salary review process, raises of 5.5% are set in which the deans may hold back .5% at their discretion. The Budget and Resources Committee will meet on September 7th with Linda Harber and David Rossell to begin a conversation about retirement issues.


C.     Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford

The Faculty Evaluation of Administrators will be distributed; three changes in the structure of the report to include median as well as mean; and unlike previous years, the separation of no response (i.e. lack of response) from those who indicated “don’t know” will form a separate category.


Linda Harber circulated a draft document regarding proposed criminal background checks for potential future employees.  Those who work with children; faculty in nursing or biodefense; those who have access to financial information as well as a few other small faculty groups may be affected.


D.    Nominations – Lorraine Brown

Lorraine discussed the status of nominations for the Faculty Senate and University Standing Committees.  The Provost requested a list of committee nominations pledged so far in order to facilitate selection of Provost appointees as several appointees’ terms have expired at the end of the 2004-2005 academic year.  The committees have been asked to look at their charges; some, such as Admissions, need to be rewritten.



V.                 New Business


Dave Kuebrich suggested make a change in the by-laws to elect chairs of committees during the spring term.  This would also necessitate the election of new Senators earlier in the year.  The By-laws were last rewritten in 1997; should the charter include research faculty as well?


The agenda for the Faculty Senate meeting on September 7, 2005 will include a presentation by Egon Verheyen, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Teacher/Course Evaluation Pilot Project.  The slate of nominations for the Faculty Senate and University Standing Committees will be presented and voted upon.  After the meeting, the Faculty Senate Standing Committees will be asked to meet briefly to elect a chair and schedule their initial meeting. 


New Senator Orientation will take place Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. in Mason Hall, room D5.


VI.              Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 1:56 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate