Friday, January 11, 2008; 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Mason Hall, room D5


Present:  James Bennett, Lorraine Brown, Janette Muir, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Susan Trencher.


I.  Approval of Minutes of November 19, 2007:  The minutes were approved as distributed.


II.  Announcements – None.


III.  Reports of Senate Standing Committee Chairs for inclusion in January 23rd agenda

A.     Academic Policies – Janette Muir

Clarification of Incomplete Policy for Catalog Copy:  After a detailed discussion in which various concerns were expressed, the AP Committee will continue to work on proposed changes presented. It is noted that subsequent approval of any changes made will not meet the paper catalog deadline set by Registrar’s Office; any changes later approved will be included in the on-line catalog.


Recommendations sent to the AP Committee from Professor Randolph Lytton, Chair, of the CHSS Student Policies and Appeal Committee regarding AB/IB Credit for Languages (in a letter November 16, 2007) will be sent to the Admissions Committee (via Organizations and Operations) for their consideration.


B.     Budget and Resources

In Phil’s absence, Suzanne provided the following update on the 9/12 salary issue.  A Task Force was formed: including Morrie Scherrens, Linda Harber, Beth Brock, Suzanne Slayden, Karen Hallows, Phil Buchanan, and Suzanne Slayden.  Morrie hired two accountants to look at data and interviewed faculty concerned about this issue. The Task Force will meet with consultants next Tuesday (January 15, 2008) to wrap up – and receive their official report. 


C.  Faculty Matters

The two motions “Awarding of Tenure at the Time of Hiring in Competitive Searches” and “Tenure Clock Extensions for Military Service and Serious Illness” not addressed in our last meeting to be included.


D.  Nominations – Jim Bennett

Linda Samuels (SOM) and Jane Flinn (CHSS) are nominated to serve on the committee for development of a new university policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest under Federal Law.


E.  Organization and Operations – Lorraine Brown

To provide an update about proposed motion from the math department. 


IV. Other Old Business for Faculty Senate meeting agenda


The Patent Policy with some revisions included after faculty input and Deans and Directors review on January 10th.


V.  New Business/Discussion

Desirability of a “Snow Day” Policy for Faculty Senate meetings:  The committee agreed that cancelled Faculty Senate meetings be rescheduled to the following week.  Announcement will be sent by Senate Clerk.


New Committee on Classroom Environment Issues:   At the Faculty Senate meeting of October 10, 2007, lengthy and spirited discussion centered around classroom environment issues. As a result of this, a new university-wide committee has been formed: the Learning Environments Committee (working title). Associate Provost Rick Davis has been asked to convene and chair the committee.


The committee includes many faculty, including ex officio members from the Effective Teaching and Technology Policy Committees and the Chair of the Faculty Senate, so that the Faculty Senate and its relevant committees will receive regular reports and can provide feedback.


The Provost suggested a student representative be added, which Chair Rick Davis already is pursuing.  Suggestions also made by science faculty regarding inclusion of laboratory space, as well as the need for conversion of laboratories to electronic classrooms.  Another faculty member is taking pictures of classroom space.  Also need for more flexibility as classroom assignments now computerized (by the Registrar’s Office). 


COS Proposal for Emeritus Professor Status for a Research Faculty Member - Provost Stearns

The research faculty member does not currently qualify for research status as limited to tenured (instructional) faculty, but has met all the other requirements for term faculty.  The issue will be further examined in view of revisions for emeritus status proposed by the FHC at its next meeting (January 24, 2008).  Also noted when Faculty Handbook last revised (1994), expectation that term faculty would not remain for so long.  Does asking for exceptions to current policies regularize new policies?   Nor should individual be punished for gap (in policy) when has been here for a very long time (since late 1980’s); problem that we waited so long to revise the Handbook.  Anticipate inclusion on agenda for next regularly scheduled meeting (February 13, 2008). 


Approval of New Clinical Faculty Practices – Provost Stearns

The Handbook Committee has already approved inclusion of Clinical Faculty and set of practices developed; to institute option this spring.  As in other policy areas, to request Faculty Senate approval in advance of completion of new Handbook.


Faculty Participation in Formation of Provost Review Committee:

President Merten has just announced the formation of a review committee for the reappointment of Provost Stearns.  Susan Tolchin (University Professor, School of Public Policy) will chair the committee.  Jim Bennett wrote to President Merten requesting Faculty Senate representation on the committee.  Suzanne noted that in a discussion with Tom Hennessey, he couldn’t find anything which mandated Faculty Senate representation in the Charter/By Laws or anywhere else.  The last time the Provost was reappointed, President Merten asked the chair of the Faculty Senate to appoint someone to the review committee; Senators did not learn of this action until after the fact.  The importance of faculty representative on this important committee was stressed.  Tentative recommendations were made:

·        As there are 11 academic units, too many for one representative from each unit.

·        Need for broad representation among the faculty – to limit maximum number of representatives from one college to two or three. 

·        There will also be some faculty representatives to the committee selected by President Merten and Susan Tolchin; need for representatives elected from the faculty.

·        Number of representatives not yet specified.  Process is important – if a new Provost being hired, faculty would have representatives, also practice exists in some schools asking for faculty to serve on committees when deans up for renewal.  Need to establish precedent that faculty has a voice to evaluate new hires for President and Provost.

·        Preference to have Faculty Senate conduct an election among the general faculty, not selected/appointed by the  Faculty Senate. 

·        To negotiate February 1st deadline noted in Provost’s letter.  To develop timetable based on BOV Faculty Rep elections. Election process similar to BOV faculty representative procedures. 

·        Need to mandate nominees ‘rank/level, number of years at GMU – five or seven years suggested, and that nominees be tenured.  Term faculty may vote but are not eligible for nomination.  Some term faculty may be chosen by administration.

·        Call for nominations/elections to be distributed separately from Senate meetings/activities. Nominations Committee to conduct the election. Faculty may vote for number of positions available, not limited to one’s college or school.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate