March 23, 2009 – 3:00 p.m. - Mason Hall, room D5.


Present:  Jim Bennett, David Kuebrich, Janette Muir, Larry Rockwood, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Susan Trencher


I.  Approval of Minutes of February 23, 2009:  The minutes were approved as distributed.


II.  Progress reports, business, and agenda items from Senate Standing Committees


A.  Academic Polices – Janette Muir, Chair

The Committee has no motions  for the April 1st meeting. We are very pleased with our relationship with the General Education Committee, particularly (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education) Rick Davis, chair of the General Education Committee.  An old issue regarding whether a course on early/medieval Islam be accepted as a global course will be reviewed, reference to territorial issue. 


B.  Budget and Resources – no motions for April 1st meeting.


C.  Faculty Matters – Larry Rockwood, Chair

·        Phased Retirement:  Jim Sanford met with Linda Harber (Associate VP for Human Resources) to work out remaining issues.  Approval pending receipt of legal opinions about tax issues; questions of reduced teaching workload/research responsibilities yet to be resolved.  The Faculty Matters Committee will meet Wednesday – to send document for inclusion in April 1st agenda early afternoon.

·        Faculty Evaluation of Administrators:  the site is down (server issues).  Confidentiality of anonymous responses questioned by a faculty member. 

·        Work continues on proposed free speech policy and review of Faculty Information Guide.


D.  Nominations – Jim Bennett

No action items.  Election of new Faculty Representatives to BOV Committees will take place in April. Rector Volgenau has informed the chair of the Faculty Senate that one representative will be permitted to serve on two restructured BOV committees.  (In last election cycle (April 2007) one representative was elected to five committees. The Committee structure was reorganized last year to combine five committees into two committees, the five elected representatives continued to serve.)  The two committees have tactical and strategic “mirror” components.  Janette Muir, now serving as faculty representative to the APDUC committee, will poll the other faculty representatives whether to request more than one faculty representative be permitted to serve on committees, given breadth of topics addressed. 


E.  Organization and Operations – Susan Trencher

Two motions from the March 4th meeting :(1) Changes to the Charge of General Education Committee and (2) Motion for a Standing Committee to Review Curriculum and Faculty Matters in Current and Future Campuses, Academic Programs and Activities of George Mason University will be considered. Allocation letters were distributed to deans and directors last week.  We continue to work on revision of the charge of the Grievance Committee.


III.  Additional Agenda Items – April 1st meeting

·        President Merten to address Faculty Senate

·        Betty Jolly, State Government Relations Director, will speak for five minutes at the end of the meeting. 

·        Bookstore Report – Betsy DeMulder, Faculty Representative to the Bookstore Committee, delayed from March 4th meeting.

·        Faculty Senate Evaluation of President and Provost:  after some discussion, it was decided that Executive Committee members divide the responses received by question, summarize and forward them to Larry Rockwood, who will serve as “executive editor”.  The report will be distributed at the April 29th meeting.


IV.  New Business

·        Provost Stearns presented a SACS requirement for program and individual assessment from Karen Gentemann (Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness).   The following changes are proposed for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook, 2.10.3 Faculty Work Assignments: Faculty are responsible for the quality and delivery of the curriculum.  As such, they participate in the assessment of the curriculum and academic programs on a regular basis, including participation in the assessment of student learning outcomes.  The proposed changes will be sent to the Organization and Operations Committee for review before presentation to the Faculty Senate for its approval.

·        Dave Kuebrich reported that the Special Faculty Senate meeting with State Senator Chap Petersen and Delegate David Bulova will be Wednesday, April 15th at 3:00 p.m. 

·        Updates from Provost Stearns:  Negotiations have taken place for GMU inclusion in a consortium in a new International Center in Inchon, South Korea.   After the closing of the RAK Campus, the Crown Prince (of the UAE) and his advisors sent a negotiating team with a revised proposal which GMU did not accept.  The Provost had sent them a whole batch of warnings which they ignored.  GMU may offer possibility of consulting arrangements if they set up link to American (or an american) University – but did not involve degree program.

·        Complaints about bookstore issues and classroom scheduling difficulties were also discussed.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate