Friday, October 26, 2007

Mason Hall, room D-5, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.


Present:  James Bennett, Phil Buchanan, Janette Muir, Larry Rockwood, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Susan Trencher.


I.  Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of September 28, 2007 were approved as distributed.


II.  Reports of Senate Standing Committee Chairs for inclusion in November 7, 2007 agenda:


A.     Academic Policies – Janette Muir

The committee met on October 10th and provided a copy of its minutes for the Senate office files.  There are no action items for the next meeting.  The committee will work with O&O to determine which issues are under the purview of the AP Committee for further discussion. 


B.     Budget and Resources – Phil Buchanan

No action items for the next meeting.  The committee is working on obtaining more information about 9 month faculty salary payments over a 12 month period in which (some) faculty reportedly received less than the amount specified in their contract.  In an email subsequent to the meeting, Phil confirmed with the Associate Dean of SOM that under university policy all new 9 month faculty are paid over 12 months.  Only under exceptional circumstances are they permitted the 9 month payment.  This policy has been in place for at least 4 years.  Also, once you shift from 9 month – 12 month, may not go back. 


C.     Faculty Matters – Larry Rockwood

No action items for the next meeting; the committee had been working on the following policies:


Vending Sales and Solicitation Policy: Comments will be sent to Tom Hennessey (Chief of Staff).  Suggestion made within FM committee to subdivide into two separate documents/policies. A new board, modeled on the Johnson Center Policy Board, may be formed to oversee the Johnson Center, SUB I and SUB II.


Tenure Clock Extension Policy:  Needs to include military service.  The Committee just received a response from Linda Harber (Associate Vice President for Human Resources/Payroll) regarding illness.  Expect to bring to Faculty Senate in a few weeks once review completed. 


(New) Sexual Harassment Policy: sent to Dave Kuebrich for review and comparison to “Redbook” previously in use and familiar to many faculty.


Second-Level Tenure Review Loophole:  Loophole exists in Faculty Handbook where candidates hired in national search many be awarded tenure without second-level review.  Suggestion made to fast-track work on this policy as (search) committees already forming for hires for AY 2008-09.  Need for all candidates for tenure to be reviewed by Promotion and Tenure Committee, even if nationally prominent.  Routine to bring in department chairs with tenure.  Policies passed by the Faculty Senate should be effective immediately. 


  1. Nominations – James Bennett:  Working on finding faculty representative for new transportation committee.


  1. Organization and Operations – no report.


IV.  Other Business for the next Faculty Senate meeting agenda:


Technology Policy Committee Report- the committee plans to meet next week.  Concerns expressed about the inability to get things in order on a daily basis (in some) electronic classrooms.  What happens once all classrooms are turned into electronic classrooms?  Stanley Zoltek and the TP Committee are working with Sharon Pitt to address these and other concerns.  Need to develop a plan.


Joy Hughes, Sharon Pitt, Stanley Zoltek, and Suzanne Slayden will meet on November 1st to discuss forming a new university-wide committee including other stakeholders in classrooms (beyond the Technology Policy Committee) such as Facilities.  It is clear that Information Technology cannot be solely in charge of all classrooms once they have all been converted to technology-enhanced. 


Need to look at availability of space – may look as though we are not using space well.  We did not receive money for new classrooms from SCHEV because few classes were held on Fridays or 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.  Students do not want early classes –some classes with 20 scheduled out of 50 may be cancelled for this reason.  Now General Education classes scheduled M-W-F.  Classes for first year students in New Century College held in the Johnson Center were not counted as classroom space, but could be overridden by President or Provost Office’s requests.  Experience in which large classes scheduled in Harris Theater would be bumped to Dewberry Hall, very difficult to teach there.  Instances of exclusion from use of computer labs in Innovation Hall because they are booked for classes every week. When Innovation Hall opened, computer labs in Robinson Hall were closed, a significant step backward.  There is one Faculty Representative on the University Space Committee.


Strategic Planning Committee – Background document being prepared for SACS accreditation distributed. Need to order priorities and price tags.  Professor Gary Galluzzo (CEHD) will take this to open forums of various constituencies; feedback and more work are needed.  The Provost noted it is based on the 2007 Strategic Plan, implemented in 2002.


Rector Volgenau to address Senate:

To limit amount of time to speak?  To ask him about his priorities for GMU. He may wish to discuss the “great university” and “spires of excellence.”


V.  New Business/Discussion

Maternity Leave Policy – draft from Senator Paula Petrik distributed.  Academic year and Commonwealth of Virginia policies differ – does not work for faculty.  Sometimes worked out at local level on ad hoc basis.  FMLA involves unpaid leave.  Practices may vary from unit to unit.  Suggestion also made to include in Faculty Handbook.  The Provost cautioned that this is also a budget item - beyond inclusion in Faculty Handbook


Course Release discussion continued from last meeting.  Eligibility from the Executive Committee would be extended to include the Secretary of the Senate.


Term Limits:  Under current by-laws, Faculty Senate chair and secretary are limited to three consecutive one-year terms.  Should service on Executive Committee also be limited to three consecutive one-year terms?  Need to open up to more faculty, younger faculty.  Hard to get faculty interested in university service.  In CHSS, by-laws committee set two-year term limits.  Could not get enough faculty to serve.


Also suggestion made to have ability to hold closed session of Faculty Senate without (ex-officio) administrative faculty Senators present.  Such a change would require amending the Senate charter.  Changes to the Charter must go through (a vote of) the General Faculty, which has not met in five years.


Second-Level Tenure Review Policy: ICAR and Krasnow Institute procedures distributed for review.  Tenure is a university concern; and so this discussion is not oversight on particular policies at the local level.  After some discussion, decided to present to Senate as an information item as the Krasnow Institute reorganization was presented to the Senate in March, 2007 and tenure review is part of the Faculty Handbook.


Implications of the new CHSS Policy for 2-2 Teaching Loads were discussed, as were rises in hourly parking rates.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate