MINUTES OF THE

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE FACULTY SENATE
Monday, November 1, 2010

Mason Hall, room D5; 2:30 4:00 p.m.

 

Present: Jim Bennett, Doris Bitler, Janette Muir, Star Muir, Peter Pober, Peter Stearns, Susan Trencher

 

I. Approval of Minutes of September 27, 2010: The minutes were approved as distributed.

 

II. Announcements

Rector Volgenau will address the Senate at our next meeting, rescheduled from October 6th. Director Jim Olds of the Krasnow Institute and Dean Bill Reeder of CVPA will offer brief remarks. Linda Schwartzstein will provide an update on Enrollment Services. We will announce the cancellation of the January 19th Senate meeting per the approved change in by-laws and change it on the Senate website.

 

Chair Peter Pober read the following update from Sharon Pitt from the Classroom Advisory Committee:

"During the summer, the Classroom Advisory Committee (a committee tasked by the university's Space Administration Committee) established a group to make recommendations, including budget, to address the immediate need for more technology enhanced classrooms on the Fairfax campus. The group met during the fall semester and will make recommendations to the Classroom Advisory Committee and the university's budget group to seek to reduce the wait list for technology classrooms as of fall 2011.

 

Star Muir is the Faculty Senate represrentative on the Classroom Advisory Committee and the Technology Subcommittee of the CAC, which is tasked with addressing this need."

 

Discussion: Provost Stearns stated that Linda Schwartzstein is also looking at this issue with Sharon Pitt, to get more classrooms on-line for fall 2011. Star Muir added that the Classroom Advisory Committee is looking not just at the cost of implementation (of additional technology enhanced classrooms) but also maintenance and replacement costs, which have not been budgeted. Two proposed solutions are to (designate) a group of classrooms to have laptops out for class en masse, or to implement "classroom in a backpack." Most faculty really need link to internet and to project it, may not need fancy equipment. The commmittee will meet next week. The waiting list figures will only get worse the number of electronic classrooms available in 2011 will dip to 142. The Learning Environments Group has also talked with Kim Eby (Director of Center for Teaching Excellence).

 

Chair Peter Pober then read the following update received from Stanley Zoltek, Chair of the Technology Policy Committee: "Walt Sevon, Deputy CIO & Executive Director, Technology Systems Division, briefed the committee on a new project that will start later this year to select a new Faculty/Staff E-mail system. MEMO, the current e-mail system for faculty and staff, has not been upgraded by the vendor for years and does not provide features currently available in most commercially available e-mail stystems. The Information Technology Unit will be putting together a team in the next two months to establish requirements for a new

e-mail system. The new e-mail system should enable better collaboration within the faculty/staff community as well as with the students on MasonLive e-mail. This could also provide an integrated calendaring system that would eventually replace the current Oracle calendar. Faculty/staff wanting more information or interested in participating on the committee should contact Ron Secrest, Director of Enterprise Systems and Messaging, at resecrest@gmu.edu. "

 

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

A. Academic Policies Janette Muir

Motion to change catalog copy on final exams will be included on the Nov. 10th FS Agenda
Proposal to Shorten Summer Add Period proposal has been made, and will happen automatically.

Guest Matriculations tie in with the Governor's School (Prince Williams campus). We are receiving calls from parents who are concerned that credits from the Governor's School may not be accepted elsewhere. We do not need to make changes right now; handling individual requests.

AP/IB Credits: Honor students are bringing in so much with AP/IB credits that they may enter GMU as sophmores/even juniors, but can be a problem when they are not ready, they may be far needier. What kinds of credits/how many credits; a variety of people are at the table. We feel this should come from the Provost's Office. Discussion: The Provost requested the committee send him names, and he will convene a group. A Senator added that the problem extends also to (some) NOVA students who do not do well here.

 

B. Budget and Resources email update from June Tangney

Brief Questionaire to Solicit Ideas on Faculty Compensation in addition to raises: we will meet on Wednesday to finalize the questionnaire.

Extramural Funding Study: A meeting is scheduled on November 15th with Morrie Scherrens.
BPT Meeting: Phil Wiest attended the last meeting, nothing major to report.

 

C. Faculty Matters Doris Bitler

On-Line Course Evaluation: we are looking at the materials.

Discussion: Chair Pober was asked as the QEP moves forward, would faculty want more questions on course evaluations to evaluate the QEP? Consensus emerged that there would be a great pushback from faculty against this, even if a separate evaluation not used to evaluate faculty members. A new electronic form "Performance Appraisal Report" is being used in the Volgenau School, and will also be used in the College of Science. The form does not count summer acitivities as (9 month) faculty are technically not on the books for summer. Both schools anticipate this will become commonly used down the road. Should the Faculty Matters Committee decide to address this issue, must make sure the full 12 month range is represented.

The Committee will also review changes to scheduling because of reduced classrooms.

Changes to Health Care Benefits over the past 4-5 years: information received from Linda Harber was not what we asked for, requested a new report.

Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey: we are working on this.

Term-to-tenure-track (path): We have collected information about the process and will decide whether or not to refer to the Faculty Senate.

 

D. Nominations Jim Bennett

1. Peter Pober, Bob Smith, and Susan Trencher, are nominated to serve as faculty representatives to the Provost's Regulatory Committee.

2, Nigel Waters is nominated to serve as Faculty Senate Representative to the TIAA/CREF Scholarship Committee.

3. John H. Crockett is nominated to serve as Faculty Representative to the BOV's new Other Business Opportunities Committee

 

E. Organization and Operations Star Muir

A packet of materials was distributed, including a detailed recommendation with feedback received on the proposed Code of Ethics for inclusion on the November 10th meeting agenda, and revision of the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee Charge, also for inclusion on the November 10th meeting agenda. The Oct. 27th minutes of the O&O Committee were also distributed; excerpts appear below in italics:

 

Bid apportionment after ICAR becomes a School: After discussion, it was noted that the Charter groups independent units and institutes that do not individually exceed the threshold and pools them into a group to allocate seats. Hence, the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (whatever its eventual name) will still be grouped with Krasnow until it exceeds the threshold size for a seat by itself.

 

Faculty Practice: After discussion of the evolving nature of Faculty Practice in the College of Health and Human Sciences, O&O believes that the Faculty Practice document passed in March of 2008 did not assume mandatory involvement in Faculty Practice as a condition of continued employment or reduction of negotiated salary as a consequence for non-involvement. In light of remarks on the floor of the Senate by proponents which clearly indicated a voluntary faculty commitment, a resolution was drafted to amend the Faculty Practice document and assure voluntary, non-coerced participation as part of Faculty Practice.

 

The Committee agreed to send the resolution forward to the Faculty Matters Committee for consideration as a possible resolution for the Faculty Senate.

 

Discussion: Chair Peter Pober reiterated the statements made by Dean Shirley Travis at a CHHS Town Hall meeting (attended by a hundred people) earlier this semester. This included a discussion of flexibility of contract renewals for individual situations of term faculty members as well as CHHS's responsibility to help faculty members find practice opportunities, if the faculty member so desires. Some faculty members have negotiated practice situations other than 25%, some as low as 15%, others as much as 50%. Faculty whose concerns are not resolved need to come forward with specific allegations. Two members of the Executive Committee recalled the discussion of the Faculty Practice Plan was confirmed to be voluntary, which helped in its approval by the Faculty Senate in March 2008. There is a lot of wiggle room in what Dean Travis has said, but the operative word is "require" not "expect". The Faculty Practice Plan can be used in other units as well.

 

Public display of Salary Information on the FS web site: O&O believes this to be an issue for the Executive Committee. The Senate clerk confirmed the salary data is accessible only to faculty members using their email login and passwords.

 

Revision of the Faculty Senate Charter: The O&O Committee has begun drafting questions for a survey of Faculty Senators.

 

IV. Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

University Standing Committee Chairs Election Update: Academic Appeals Betsy DeMulder; Academic Initiatives Thomas Speller; Effective Teaching Paula Petrik; External Academic Relations Debbie Boehm-Davis; Minority and Diversity Issues David Anderson; Non-Traditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning John Riskind; Salary Equity Study Margret Hjalmarson; Technology Policy Stanley Zoltek; Writing Across the Curriculum Stanley Zoltek.

Ad Hoc Committee Chairs Election: Faculty Handbook Revision Committee Rick Coffinberger

 

Faculty Representatives to the BOV - Janette Muir reported that a few changes were made in preparation for its distribution to the BOV.

 

FS/AAUP: Reception immediately following BOV meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 1st in Mason first floor atrium.

 

 

VI. Agenda Items for November 10, 2010

 

VII. Old Business

 

VIII. New Business and Discussion

Distribution of Annual Review of President/Provost Survey (Spring 2010): In response to an inquiry, the committee agreed not to send a separate email as they were already distributed in the Faculty Senate Minutes.

 

Should the Faculty Senate consider the issue (raised in the recent New Yorker article) about a state institution providing support and credibility for a largely partisan political group? Should faculty be required to make clear who funds their research when they publish, give scholarly or public presentations, testify before Congress?  Perhaps the Senate and GMU AAUP might co-sponsor a program in which such issues are discussed?

After some discussion, the Executive Committee decided to refer the issue to the AAUP, and will ask June Tangney (President of the GMU Chapter of the AAUP) whether they have a response to this.

 

Revising the University Class Schedule: for discussion at next EXC meeting.

 

Faculty Representation on the next Presidential Search Committee: Should an ad hoc committee be created to study process in advance, including a systematic poll of the faculty and use of measurable performanc goals such as BARS (behaviorally anchored rating scale empirically supported practice used for faculty evaluation in Psychology Dept.)? Peter Pober will ask the BOV for the criteria used in its annual review of the President. Tom Hennessey has confirmed that the chair of the Faculty Senate and at least three faculty representatives will participate on the committee.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Senate clerk