Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate
November 20, 2006 – Mason Hall, room D5; 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Present: Jim Bennett, Phil Buchanan, Dave Kuebrich, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton, Susan Trencher
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of our meeting October 23, 2006 were approved.
Kelly Dunne, chair of the Admissions Committee 2006-07, met with Andrew Flagel, Dean of Admissions. He stated that he talked with the chair of the Admissions Committee and the chair of the Faculty Senate prior to the publication of the changes in SAT policy announced in The Washington Post (May 26, 2006). Neither Dave Kuebrich (Senate chair 05-06) nor Suzanne Slayden (Senate chair 06-07) discussed this issue with him. In a recent phone conversation with Suzanne, Rose Brenkus (Admissions Committee chair 05-06) said she did receive a report (May 17, 2006) – not in the form “shall we consider” but “it will take place.” As previously noted, Dean Flagel did not mention the proposed change in his address to the Senate on May 3, 2006. Gaps in coverage over the summer for 9 month instructional faculty were also noted.
After some discussion, the following suggestions to improve communication were made:
· The Admissions Committee should meet twice a semester with Dean Flagel; the committee needs to take a more proactive approach than in the past.
· The Provost will discuss with his senior staff a suggestion made by Suzanne Slayden that a liaison be appointed to communicate to the Faculty Senate issues of interest to faculty as they arise. Information about Senate and University Standing Committee charges and membership are readily available on the Faculty Senate website. In what institutional structure(s) is faculty input missing? Where to plug in? For example, the Deans and Directors were consulted about the change in admissions policy; this would also have reached Linda Schwartzstein (Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Enrollment Services) before reaching the Provost. A member of the Guidance Office faculty at Robinson Secondary School (Fairfax County Public Schools) was also consulted.
Suzanne received a note from a colleague inquiring whether only adjuncts can teach during the summer. Such action would be in violation of the Faculty Handbook. Suzanne will write to him explaining the policy. The irony of impact upon summer school budget of some highly paid faculty members who wish to teach during summer session was noted.
Discussion: Salary Floors and Merit Raises
Question from a long-time term faculty member: when salary floors were raised (by rank), a term faculty member who performed well this year was told the raise received would include floor (only?). Is this an equity issue? No merit raises?
The Provost responded that units incurred 3% of cost of whatever increase below new-agreed upon levels were made; the (Provost’s office?) added whatever money was necessary beyond this. He sees this as a separate set of issues – floors had nothing to do with merit unless dean said person was so awful they deserved no raise. Decision up to unit: some term, tenure-track, and tenured faculty got big raises if below par (floor) – subsequent raises lower because of increment to floor.
Provost Stearns reports: The Loudoun initiative has encountered new problems and is on hold for now. A committee largely of deans will be set up to look at functions of the Office of Sponsored Programs. Faculty input will be sought. A second Provost’s forum was scheduled in Fairfax as many faculty were unable to attend the previous forum.
Clerk, Faculty Senate