Monday, September 27, 2010

Mason Hall, room D1; 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.


Senators Present:  Jim Bennett, Janette Muir, Star Muir, Peter Pober, Peter Stearns, June Tangney, Susan Trencher.


I.  Approval of Minutes of August 25, 2010:  The minutes were approved as distributed.


II.  Announcements

Chair Peter Pober welcomed June Tangney and Star Muir as new members of the Executive Committee. 

Rector Volgenau’s  visit to the Faculty Senate was rescheduled at their request to November 10th.  Dean Travis will offer brief remarks at our next meeting.  Corey Jackson will present the policy proposal about Consensual Relationships between Faculty and Students.  Kim Eby and Bethany Usher will provide a brief QEP update.    Kris Smith will present On-Line Course Evaluation Results for Spring 2010.  The Provost's Faculty Forum on Global Initiatves will take place Thursday, Sept. 30th at 11:00 a.m., Research Hall 163.  The Fall Convocation  is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13 at 3:00 p.m., Mason Inn Ballroom.


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

A.  Academic Policies – Janette Muir

Dual Enrollment Credits for Governor's School/Guest Matriculations:  Non-degree students may earn a maximum of 18 credits vs. 30 credits for GMU students.  The AP Committee will look at practices of  other universities in Virginia with Governor's Schools. We will invite the director of the Prince William/Manassas Governor's School to a meeting;  COS is very involved in this issue.


Faculty/Student Government Poll on Revised Exam Schedule:  The AP Committte feels the exam schedule should stay as is; the longer exam period provides flexibility.  Some students are unhappy about this, some may have three exams scheduled on the same day.  Nor does the committee see the need to conduct a survey as last year's revisions to exam schedules due to inclement weather provides a fallback position. 


Proposal to Shorten Summer Add Period:  We agree with this proposal and will collaborate with Susan Jones (University Registrar), hopefully will have an amendment in November.  Discussion:  There used to be a week between the end of classes and the beginning of the summer school.  Now grades may not be available until the Friday before summer school begins and students may not know whether they passed a course.  In the old system, there was a tremendous shift in summer registrants who may have registered early and learned they passed the course (during the academic year).  On the other side, some students may learn at the last minute that they need to take class, may even impact graduation.  There are two additional summer school sessions, but some classes may not be offered in each session.  If students leave registration for required courses until their last semester, they may not graduate.  Nor can some departments offer the same classes each year. 


AP/IB Credits – we are working on this.


B.  Budget and Resources – June Tangney

The Committee meets Wednesday.  Phil Wiest and Alok Berry will alternately attend the BPT meetings.  We await responses from Morrie Scherrens regarding the Extramural Funding Study.  The 3% Bonus Update Packet from HR anticipated in about a month which will address question about retirement accounts.  We will verify with Human Resources whether the bonus must be taken as a one-time payment, taxable at 38% rate. 


C. Faculty Matters  – no report.


D.  Nominations – Jim Bennett

Eva Thorp is nominated to the Academic Appeals Committee.  We are looking for a Faculty liaison to Student Government and await response of nominee to serve as Faculty liaison to the Staff Senate.


E.  Organization and Operations – Star Muir

Our committee meeting was rescheduled.  We have created an excel spreadsheet to log in issues and will forward it to the Senate clerk with outcomes. 

Revision of FS Charter and By-Laws;  We plan to survey the Faculty Senate with specific questions then survey the faculty at large.  We will contact Karen Gentemann to see if we can have access to "Survey Monkey".

Committee Charge for Recreation Advisory Committee:  We will contact Jim Sanford.

Code of Ethics Proposal from Tom Hennessey:  O&O will discuss first.


Eligibility to Serve on University Committees:  Question whether instructional faculty member elected to University Committee remains eligible to serve if status changes to adminstrative faculty.  In reviewing the Standing Rules,  O&O  determined that elected faculty member remains eligble to serve.  Some administrative faculty members also serve ex-officio on University Committees and some are appointed to serve by the Provost.  The definition  of instructional faculty was changed in the recent revision of the Faculty Handbook.


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

University Standing Committee Chairs:

Ad Hoc Committee Chairs Election Pending:  Faculty Handbook Revision Committee


Faculty Representatives to the BOV: - Janette Muir distributed a report in response to the requests from the BOV to identify the  most pressing issues for faculty (other than compensation), and the BOV 's request for Senate list of solutions for faculty compensation (other than raising tuition) for review.  It will be included in the next meeting agenda.  Is there anything in the BPT data which may identify other ways to reward faculty?  Budget and Resources will also look at this question. 


V.  Old Business

FS/AAUP Co-Sponsorship of Reception for BOV – Fall 2010:  date pending.

Addition of Gender Identity to GMU non-discrimination policy:  Both the BOV and Faculty Senate resolutions were inclusive of Gender-Identity.  The overall GMU stdetment does not include this.  Activist students are pushing issue to the forefront, and recommend that they contact Corey Jackson who will talk with the Provost and decide how to proceed.


 VI.  Agenda Items for October 6, 2010


VII.  New Business and Discussion


Faculty Practice:  Peter Pober attended a recent CHHS Town Hall meeting, estimating 75-80 people there.  He felt that Dean Travis answered questions about the Faculty Practice Plan very openly and very candidly. To the question, "Will we have jobs if we don't take Faculty Practice?,"       Dean Travis responded if you expect to have twenty more one year term contracts to teach, no; however if you have a few more years, not inclined to do (require) this.  Faculty are concerned that they could not find initiatives on their own.  Dean Travis said that CHHS is committed to helping (faculty) find them.   As Chair Pober feels we are in a better place, he is not of the mindset to continue with motion about this, rather to remind others of what Dean Travis said at the meeting.  Perhaps some concessions were provided by the push last year.  Unknown whether any members of the Faculty Matters committee were present, but Senator Jean Moore of CHHS also attended the meeting. 


Blackboard Update:  Sharon Pitt has sent a copy of her presentation at the September 8th Faculty Senate meeting which contains answers to questions raised about usage/costs.


Sodexho:  Some Sodexho employees recently took part in a strike sponsored by SEIU (Service Employees International Union)  to protest safety concerns. In a detailed letter Denise Ammaccapane, Resident District Manager for Sodexho at GMU, refuted the claims of SEIU as false and described in detail the pre-release program of two years' duration, in which  Sodexho has placed non-violent offenders  from the Pre-Release Center of the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office in positions to provide full-time employment opportunities upon release.  Discussion:  Some pre-release offenders also work on the grounds crew.  An ad hoc group of faculty members is taking an ad out in support of the workers on strike.  They believe extra prisoner workers were hired.  SEIU is a nationwide movement,  Sodexho is a multinational corporation which earned one billion dollards last year.   The Executive Committee concluded that it was not appropriate for the Faculty Senate to become involved in a political issue, better addressed by the Staff Senate. 


Summer Term 2011;  Summer School has become an unfunded mandate.  Funding allocated by the Provost Office inadequate to pay 10% summer salary. 


New Faculty Handbook Issue:  Should the appeals committee come up with a non-unanimous vote, the procedure does not specify how the chair of the BOV APDUC Committee receives the actual report .  The  glitch will be addressed  by the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee. 


US News Rankings – absence of third tier;  The Provost reported that our informal ranking moved from 154 to 143.  He wished we were higher, but we're not.  Mainly a money issue, we know why we are not higher.


FTE increase/request for micro data  was sent to Karen Gentemann.


ICAR resolution to change from institute to school:  Chair Pober credited ICAR with all their hard work.  The proposal is also supported by President Merten, Provost Stearns, and the deans and directors. 

Bid Allocation Issue: Should ICAR become a school, the allocation of Faculty Senate seats will be impacted as the institutes currently share one elected and one ex-officio Senator.


Increasing Bureaucracy at Mason:  We heard an earful at a CHSS Faculty meeting about bureaucracy at GMU, with specific references to assessment issues, schedules, bookstore, and parking.  The English Department is undergoing four different assessments at the same time.   Are assessment results used in any way?  We are in an assessment cycle forever, not like SACS accreditiation.  Should this be handled by employees they pay to get data? One department chair suggested that a process be set up by which major bureaucratic changes were vetted at the President's Council.  The Teaching to Technology website addresses Office 2007 updates.  The Psychology Department was burned this year as they changed (graduate) assistantships.   Is a business model being applied to faculty resources?   In some cases, changes may impact chairs differently, or may impact front-line faculty.  A department chair noted that there are about five different programs which keep changing – who do you think is picking up the non-bureaucratic work? The academic side? The technical side?  Chair Pober expressed concern about the broad notion of bureaucracy – the Faculty Senate has a lot of work to do, we need to address specific issues.   A diffuse topic, not sure how to address, do not desire to go on a fishing expedition. Gradually support emerged for  O&O to survey deans and chairs to identify where load is coming from, then bring results to the Executive Committee to see if an ad hoc committee is needed to deal with it.  Or should O&O  pick no more than five major issues identied by the deans/directors/chairs survey to address?


Provost Stearns arrived near the end of the meeting and announced that he was prepared to set up a group with the Faculty Senate's advice to address the increasing regulatory atmosphere.  Star Muir explained the previous discussion /O&O survey.  The Provost proposed a Task Force of seven people, the Faculty Senate to provide three nominees, and proposed it include an administrative component.  O&O deferred to the Provost's suggestion.  The Provost will provide the committee's charge.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Senate clerk