MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

OF THE FACULTY SENATE
Monday, November 29, 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, June Tangney.

 

I. Approval of Minutes of November 1, 2010: The minutes were approved as distributed.

 

II. Announcements

Both President Merten and Rector Volgenau will speak next week, as it was the only opportunity for Rector Volgenau to speak to the Senate during the fall term. Dean Ginsberg will offer brief remarks (5-7 minutes), and Dean Flagel will present admissions statistics (5 minutes). In the absence of Peter Pober, Chair pro Tem Suzanne Slayden will preside at the next meeting.

 

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

A. Academic Policies Janette Muir

Guest Matriculations--AP/IB Credits: Janette has sent a list of folks to invite to a discussion in the spring term to Peter Pober.

 

B. Budget and Resources June Tangney

Responses to Survey Seeking Ideas to Improve (Faculty) Quality of Life: Visitor Chuck Mills is thrilled with the list and he will forward it to Visitor Kathleen deLaski.

Extramural Funding Study: We had a very good meeting with Morrie Scherrens and Gil Brown (Chief Budget Officer). Very useful reports will be coming through for review by the Budget and Resources Committee. Are we really losing money on extramural funding? Not figured into budget support, e.g., teaching support. There is a very real possibility that units successful in winning extramural funds may pay for it with buyouts; there is no real sense of how additional funding re teaching buyouts is handled. We wish to make sure there are no hidden disincentives.

Stipends for MAIS Advisors/Tuition Cost Share: a new issue received from O&O. Advisors for MAIS students receive a small stipend, in COS (there are) no stipends, some tuition cost-sharing. How is funding distributed? There is no home place for advising. If funding given for that purpose, might other tuition-share proposals be considered? University-level teaching is completely opaque, not at department level, not at individual level, beyond classroom teaching.

 

After some discussion, the committee will begin by asking Deans and Directors: How is faculty work acknowledged in independent study/directed readings/dissertations/etc.? How is credit determined? How does it appear in the review process? Meg will send June a list of dean and director emails.

 

C. Faculty Matters Doris Bitler

Faculty Retirement Transition Leave agreement not to sue: we are looking at other schools' practices. Chair Pober also noted, in response to an inquiry from a faculty member regarding teaching requirements for the second year of the transition leave, that Linda Harber (Assoc. VP for Human Resources/Payroll) agreed to make wording clearer.

Consensual Relationships Policy review continues.

On-Line Course Evaluation Data we will bring recommendations to the next meeting. We are concerned about the low response rate, as is Kris Smith (Assoc. Provost IR&R).

 

D. Nominations Jim Bennett

No agenda items.

 

E. Organization and Operations Star Muir

Resolution on Voluntary Faculty Practice: A draft resolution on Voluntary Faculty Practice was distributed, which referenced Faculty Senate discussion of the Faculty Practice Plan in February 2008 confirming participation in the plan was voluntary. With that understanding, the Faculty Senate approved the plan in March 2008. The Faculty Matters Committee has reviewed and endorses this resolution.

Discussion: A dean or director does have the right not to renew an annual contract. Not sure what it means in this resolution are we now binding a dean or director? Term faculty are let go for budgetary reasons, (not) whether they did their job well. Whether this has legal meaning is another question. Some are not sure whether situation extant. At the Faculty Senate meeting on October 6, 2010, Dean Travis indicated they are having trouble hiring faculty. To the extent that Faculty Practice has evolved and continues to change, we wish to go back and have the Faculty Senate endorse voluntary participation, as a clearer way to deal with it. Given it is a moving target, suggestion made to avoid red words such as "force", not forcing anybody. Term faculty members in CHHS not participating in Faculty Practice are offered one year contracts, not two-year contracts which include Faculty Practice. Dean Travis has made clear in public that this would not be the case for faculty with a few years left, but no faculty member should expect 20 one-year contract renewals. The Faculty Practice Plan is a model for the rest of the university. Does this impact consulting fees? Where does Practice actually stop? What are the long term implications?

 

Stipends for MAIS Advisors/Tuition Cost Share: New issue forwarded to Budget and Reources Committee as a substantial issue. Where does tuition money for individual projects go? Don't get credit within their discipline for advising an interdepartmental student. Not sure they would recommend major changes in directed programs.

 

Speech Code: A recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch article named GMU's Speech Code as worst in the state: Peter Pober served as chair of at Task Force established by Provost Stearns last year about this issue. The Task Force's recommendations were sent to the University Counsel's office and we await their recommendations. The Provost agreed to nudge them.

 

Revision of FS Charter and By-Laws: A preliminary draft survey was distributed for review

-Based in part on feedback from Senators and on discussion of Charter issues, the following items are a preliminary list of topics that might be considered and addressed in a proposed set of Charter amendments:
    The problem of sharing representation between the Krasnow Institute and ICAR;
(resolved)
    Maximum term limits of three (3) years;
(but can be re-elected)
    The specified date for FTE apportionment data mining;
(official census taken 10/15, Charter says 3/1)
    The election of Senators within 10 days after O&O FTE apportionment;
(Charter says by 5/1)
    The process by which the Charter itself can be changed;
(10% quorum?)

 

After a wide ranging discussion of creative ways to update the charter, such as housekeeping, codicils, resolutions in the Senate minutes apart from the document, it was acknowledged that the charter can only be changed by the revision process herein. The O&O committee will continue its discussion.

 

Additional Fees for Distance Education Courses: The administration is considering a proposal, but there have been no studies to date whether distance education courses cost more than traditional courses. There are also sustainability aspects. Such costs and benefits are not simple questions. Goodlet McDaniel, Associate Provost for Distance Education, chairs the Distance Education Council. The issue will be sent to the Technology Policy committee for its consideration.

 

Committee Charge for Recreation Advisory Committee: We received the propsed committee charge from Jim Sanford, which we will review.

 

IV. Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

FS/AAUP Reception for the BOV: Wednesday, December 1st at 3:30 pm, Mason Hall Atrium.

Faculty Handbook Revision Committee: In response to a question raised, Jim Bennett noted that the committee is working on updating the appeals process, and meets again next week.

 

V. Agenda Items for December 8, 2010

 

VI. New Business and Discussion

Faculty Representation on next Presidential Search Committee: Peter Pober will ask Tom Hennessey whether criteria to evaluate the president yet received from BOV. The Nominations Committee plans to work on this during Fall 2011 in preparation for committee convening in Spring 2012. The Provost noted that it is perfectly reasonable to talk to Rector Volgenau about any concerns that faculty be strongly involved. Chair Pober (who serves as Faculty Representative to the BOV) feels the BOV strongly supports faculty involvement.

 

There has been general discussion in the Classroom Advisory Committee about future changes to the university schedule in several years to come at this point, in discussion phase. They sent forward a proposal to change more classrooms to technnology classrooms to reduce waiting list. The classroom shortage has been growing, but has shifted greatly in the past year and a half. All have implications for unit enrollment targets cannot meet enrollment targets with rooms we get it's a mess on the ground now five more large classrooms taken off-line with the rennovation of Science and Tech II. Also the refurbishment of space in Robinson has been pushed back. Complaints were made about the assignment of classrooms without opportunity to view them first, as pre-Banner.

 

The Provost introduced the following topic: Fall Convocation used to be sponsored by the Faculty Senate the chair of the FS actually chaiired the meeting. Perhaps to revive this practice as a desirable way to remind faculty they are a body? When he served as Senate chair (2002-2005), Jim Bennett noted that we had no role in convocation, and observed that faculty participation has declined steadily. There was some motivation for faculty to go, needs to be re-energized. Perhaps the Chair of the Faculty Senate could introduce this suggestion with the President in the future?

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate