Monday, March 26, 2007, Mason Hall, room D5; 3:00 -5:00 p.m.


Present:  Phil Buchanan, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton, Susan Trencher.


Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of our meeting February 26, 2007 were approved.


Discussion:  Agenda for the Faculty Senate Meeting - April 4, 2007

  1. President Merten to address Senate
  2. Unfinished business from March 7, 2007 meeting:
    1. Senate reapportionment (O&O Committee)
    2. Copyright Policy (Discussion about substantial competition among local universities and on-line; need to obtain permission from dean/director)
    3. Revised Motion “Absence for Religious Observances of Participation in University Activities” (AP Committee)
    4. Motion:  “Employment of Faculty Member/Partner” (FM Committee)
    5. Nomination of Jose Cortina to serve on ad hoc Provost’s committee to explore a Mason Faculty Practice Plan
  3. Faculty Senate Standing Committee Reports
    1. Academic Policies – Cliff Sutton
    2. Budget and Resources – Phil Buchanan
    3. Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford:  In addition to nepotism motion, Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey to be distributed.
    4. Nominations – Jim Bennett:  Ana Stoehr (CHHS) as Faculty Senate Representative to Veterans and Deployment Issues Committee.
    5. Organization and Operations – Lorraine Brown


Faculty Salary Task Force requests a special called meeting sometime in April. Meeting with the Provost, Linda Harber and others to be scheduled first.


Update on RAK campus:  Provost Stearns reported SACS enthusiastic, made three recommendations (five-month suspense to implement).  The first Board of Governors meeting with partners took place.  They were impressed with budget; biggest short-term challenge to get admissions up - received 4,000 inquiries.  Building program is continuing, may be a few months late.  Scarcity of construction labor; cost $10 million to move sand.  Sharon Siverts proving extremely effective.  There are issues but not systemic problems.  Need to decide what new programs to offer.  The CEO of Halliburton has just moved there.  Now located in a former technical college, OK for next two years; nicer to get our own space.  Would also like to send students from Virginia there to study Middle Eastern minor or Arabic as well as anything else we offer.   Students can go back and forth as they want subject to visa restrictions.  All faculty hired with approval of faculty here; we control student admission.   


Faculty Representative to BOV Committee Elections:  The revision of the BOV by-laws has been delayed (per Tom Hennessey).  Should elections be held in spring so that newly elected representatives meet for first time with also newly appointed Visitors at BOV August meeting?  BOV very enthusiastic about faculty representatives, feel they are doing a good job.  Faculty Senate as facilitator of nominations and election for general faculty.  Those originally elected were not precluded from seeking re-election.  If too many nominations submitted, would nominations committee need to narrow it down?  So many faculty volunteered to serve on search committee for President (Merten); field had to be narrowed down.  Not to ask administration/BOV to make decisions about details of nominations process.  To limit individual nomination to one committee.  Nominees must be full-time faculty; not administrative faculty. 


Response Recently Received to Resolution on Diversity/Class Size that was not considered in Senate: As resolution was withdrawn and never voted upon, decided to write back and ask whether author would like it to be attached to a future agenda for discussion under "For the Good of the General Faculty". 


Discussion:  Special Called Meeting - March 28, 2007

1        Model on Salary TF Special Called Meeting April 2006

2        New procedures  - Noncompetitive (Waived Search) Hire and motion on Employment of Family Member/Partner (for consideration at April 4, 2007 FS Meeting) developed in response to concerns about a particular issue as well as systemic problem; harbinger re a series of findings by the EXC having to do with hiring and tenure practices not consistent with best practices in academia.  Or prior events appear to be inconsistent with best practices:  hiring and tenuring of a spouse of a dean in the same college (over which dean presided). 

3        Sequence of speakers.

4        (Audience) looking for some sense that kind of process would (not) happen again – procedures not in Faculty Handbook now, future inclusion must have agreement with faculty, BOV, and President.  There is no language in Faculty Handbook now for direct-hire with tenure (procedures).   Cannot violate a policy which doesn’t exist.  To ask chair of Faculty Handbook Revision Committee about their inclusion in the revised Handbook.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate