APRIL 17, 2009, Mason Hall D5, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m


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


I.                    Approval of Minutes of March 23, 2009:  the minutes were approved as distributed.


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


A.      Academic Policies – Janette Muir

·        Professor Bob Ehrlich, Chair, Physics and Astronomy has submitted “a proposed motion on the Use of A,B, C, NC Grading.  Currently, the wording of the catalog describes use of A,B,C,NC grading as applied only to ENGL 100 & 101, which could be taken to imply that this grading system may not be used for any other course that might seek to make use of it – subject to the appropriate approval.  (Note that such changes may now be made for any course to the P/F system. 


Therefore, be it resolved that:

Local academic unites wishing to have A,B.C,NC grading applied to a course may make a proposal to do so, and such a proposal would be evaluated by the unit’s respective school or college, without requiring subsequent Faculty Senate approval.”    The AP Committee will discuss this proposal with the Registrar’s Office for consideration in AY 09-10.


·        Discrepancies about military credits will be examined by the AP Committee.


B.      Budget and Resources – Phil Buchanan

·        Rick is attending the Budget Planning Team meetings.

·        The Committee continues its review of salary data, noting that all assistant and associate professors in the School of Public Policy received raises.


C.     Faculty Matters – Larry Rockwood

·        Free Speech Policy:  The committee met with a university lawyer who advocated the need for a model policy.    To continue discussion at meeting with Morrie Scherrens April 29th.  Work continues on proposed changes to “free speech zone.”  Victoria Rader and David Kuebrich also participated in these discussions.

·        Possession of guns on campus:  (under VA law) the University can restrict guns in certain venues, but not in general places or buildings. 

·        Faculty Information Guide:  The committee recommends its elimination as no longer necessary as information directly available on the Mason website.

·        Phased Retirement Policy:  Committee currently divided on issue.  Recent changes in tax laws affect work/teaching obligations under two-year policy.  To our knowledge, no one is in jeopardy at this time.  In the absence of formal policy, some faculty unaware of phased retirement policy; need for formal policy to standardize practices which may vary from unit to unit.  Motion to be presented at next meeting.

·        Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey:  To date, the absolute number of returns received higher than previous years, percentage returned lower (35%). 


D.      Nominations – Jim Bennett

·        Slate of nominees for new Collegial Relations and Academic Initiatives Committees to be presented for election at next meeting.

·        Search for faculty representative to Library Addition Committee continues.


E.       Organization and Operations – Susan Trencher

·        Work continues on revision of Grievance Committee charge to comply with changes in Faculty Handbook.

·        Changes to the charge of the O&O Committee to include consideration of Handbook changes needed.

·        The Provost will send some questions/suggested revisions about the charge of the newly approved Academic Initiatives Committee for consideration by the committee.  Budget impacts (zero-sum vs. new revenue streams) for newly approved programs also discussed.



III.                Agenda Items for April 29th Meeting

A.      Report from the Effective Teaching Committee

B.     Task Force to Revise Teacher/Course Evaluation Form – motion to approve revised form

C.     Summary of Faculty Senate Evaluation of President and Provost from the Executive Committee

D.     Annual Reports from Senate Standing Committees, University Standing Committees, and Ad Hoc Committees.


IV.              New Business/Announcements

A.     The Provost relayed a suggested revision to the Faculty Handbook (2.10.3 Faculty Work Assignments) from Karen Gentemann, (Institutional Assessment): regarding term faculty participation in assessment activities.  While term faculty responsibilities vary among departments, some have heavy teaching loads and are not usually required to perform service activities. 

B.     The Provost reported that a proposal to change the names of three departments to schools in CVPA will be presented to the BOV for consideration at the May meeting.  The proposed changes reflect current standards in the arts.  Schools already exist within colleges (e.g. School of Nursing within CHHS, the School of Health, Recreation, and Tourism within CEHD).

C.     The Provost reported that ICAR has turned in a major proposal to the R.Sargent Shriver Foundation that may result in changing ICAR from an institute to a school.


V.                  Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate