Monday, October 31, 2011

Mason Hall D1, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.


Present:  Janette Muir, Star Muir, Peter Pober, Earle Reybold, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, June Tangney.

Visitors:  Corey Jackson, Assistant to the President/Director, Equity and Diversity Services, Brian Walther, Senior Associate University Counsel, Office of University Counsel.


I.  Approval of Minutes of September 26, 2011:  The minutes were approved as distributed.


II.  Announcements

Rector Volgenau will  address the Faculty Senate at November 9th meeting.  Dean Jorge Haddock  (SOM)  and Director Jim Olds (Krasnow) will offer brief remarks. 


Consensual Relationship Policy: Corey Jackson and Brian Walther:  The Faculty Handbook Committee will discuss options for including/highlighting the policy in the Faculty Handbook.  The Faculty Matters Committee has also reviewed the proposed policy; some agree with its present form, additional suggestions made to include more information, and one committee member  questioned whether the policy is needed.  The Executive Committee agreed to include the policy on the agenda for the November 9th Faculty Senate meeting, and also expressed its appreciation for the editing improvements made to this recent draft.


Korea Initiative Update:  Provost Stearns was encouraged by the trip, noting the vitality of the Songdo area..  There are still details to settle with the Korean partners; no new problems raised.  The University Center is almost complete, as are several dorms.  He was impressed with the quality and ambition of the construction projects.  Tom Calhoun feels it is very well managed  and solid. 


Dan Houser made a cogent presentation for collaboative reserach in Experimental Economics, and also pitched potential importance of Center for Northern Pacific Relations.  Importance of interactions in the Northern Pacific Zone vs. bilateral relationships.  Roger Stough pitched other kinds of research, including computer security.   None of this is concrete, but they were interested.  If we brought some funding to the table, they would match it.  Handled right, we could develop some collaborative funding research.


We met with the mayor of Songdo, he was very impressive.  We saw nothng to make us feel that it isn’t something not to pursue, but not a formal contract.  If we have a final contract, to go to January Board meetng.  The final accreditation approval takes place in March.



Is Anne Schiller keeping the Academic Initiatives Committee apprised?  We will ask Anne to provide an update to the Faculty Senate.


When would the first classes start?  Numbers of students?   

Provost Stearns:  The academic year in Korea begins in January.  We will do a good amount of recruitment planning so if approved, will be in position to move ahead.  Pro forma we would like to have 100 students each in Economics and Management, but could do with 40 students each.  In Korea, there is concern that too many Korean students go away, appeal of blended model; also acknowledged enrollment risk.  


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


A.  Academic Policies – Janette Muir
AP/IB Credits/ Guest Matriculations:  not on the horizon.


Honor Code Changes:  met with Brenda Quaye, (Director, Office of Academic Integrity).  The backlog has been reduced from 2,000 to 30 cases.  There is not any mechanism for faculty involvement in the present Honor Code.  Brenda agrees this has to change, to put together an advisory board including Rick Diecchio (COS).  Some faculty handle issues on their own, do not go through process.  The revision of the Honor Code will require approval of the Faculty Senate and the Board of Visitors. 


Early Entrance Program:  Is there a model to allow students to enroll as provisional students, e.g., during senior year of high school for excelling students?  Not documented at this point.


B.  Budget and Resources – June Tangney

Summer Salary:  June distributed a report “Summary of Summer Salary Inquiry” updated from Spring 2011;  reflects more clarity and is more even in tone.  There are a lot of problems.  No deans have asked for more money.  We have received 50% response to our survey of deans/department chairs so far. Some departments are OK.  Some say they have a problem and that no one really asked.  Some prefer faculty to do research and not teach during the summer. Clear disincentives for full time instructional faculty to teach from the top down, deans do not have funding, chairs do not have money.  Once you start turning over stones, there is more there than meets the eye.  We are also meeting with faculty members who are concerned about this.  Ultimately we will want to ask for money to set aside for full-time instructional faculty who want to teach and set aside a  pot of money for non-full-time instructional faculty who wish to teach.    Provost Stearns noted there is no right of faculty to teach if enrollment is not there; then there is a right to teach.


Discussion among the committee members included examples where schedulers ask full-time instructional faculty to teach for summer:  first full-time faculty; second, doctoral students, and third adjunct faulty.  Sometimes faculty do not meet deadlines; there are clear limitations we operate under.  Budget has to change.  The number of full-time instructional faculty who wish to teach varies each year.  In one school a minimum of 12 undergraduate students/10 graduate students enrollment defined by the Associate Dean.  In another school, larger classes are taught over the summer.  Perhaps a future survey should ask about different limits.  There is so much emphasis to get tenured full-time instructional faculty teaching in the classroom.  Chair Pober appreciates what June and the Budget and Resources Commtitee are doing and as they receive more information and wants to include the report on the December 7th meeting agenda. 


To postphone the survey of faculty work in independent study/directed readings/dissertations acknowledge by departments in evaluation/promotion/tenure process until summer salary review completed


C.  Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford

Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey will be distributed this week.


Faculty Enrollment in Courses without Stipulating Admission:  pending.


Maternity/Paternity Leave:  Practices differ in units.  Some chairs/deans say take semester off.  Paula Petrik has some junior faculty working on a policy draft.  There is also a University Policy 2215 Family Medical Leave (http://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/2215adm.html )


"Projects":  A discussion regarding some university activities some faculty do not see as important/costs took place.  Larger than a faculty issue, individuals hired to accomplish some projects with expertise unfamiliar to some faculty, while other faculty may question outcome/results.  Nor are such issues the purview of the Faculty Senate or its committees.  Consensus emerged that it is not inappropriate to ask about costs of projects, including salary information. 


A question was raised about issues such as the Honor Code and the Consensual Relationships Policy apply not only to faculty?  At what point do we consider it not a faculty matter?

Chair Pober responded: First, issue must cross units.  The Consensual Relationships Policy was presented originally as a faculty issue, and became broader.  Also examples where faculty influenced by something else – e.g. Student Government Resolution on Lesbian/Gay Rights and we also wanted to do this as well. 


We will write to Christine LaPaille to learn more about the GMU Brand process, including how faculty provided input/expectations for faculty; costs incurred in developing the branding surveys and research, as well as the need for internal branding.


D.  Nominations – no report.


E.  Organization and Operations – Star Muir

If we receive suggestions changes to the Faculty Handbook, should it be sent to Faculty Matters (or another committee) or sent directly to the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee?  The Faculty Handbook Committee forms a sitting group with Brian Walther and the Provost's Office in a collaborative, most efficient way for all parties to provide input.  The Executive Committee decided that O&O should send suggested changes directly to the Faculty Handbook Committee; if issues not specifically for the Handbook, to send to another committee as appropriate. 


FS Election Results AY 11-12:  Ernie Barreto (COS) elected Senator for AY 11-12.

To establish new committee to address free speech and ethics issues? - to send Star Muir the new policy "Statement of Discourse"  just posted.  Retention of faculty of color/female faculty to Faculty Matters/Minority and Diversity Issues Committee.


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

Presidential Search Committee:   A solicitation was sent out for additional nominations, we are moving forward.  We have begun to review some applications and will continue to do so. Academic Initiatives Committee: Spring 2011 report pending (was received later the same day and included on the November 9th meeting agenda).


V.  Agenda Items for November 9, 2011


VI.             New Business, Updates,  and Discussion
Draft Motion for Executive Committee re Presidential Search (Attachment A): several revisions were made to the draft motion.   It will be included on the meeting agenda.
VA Retirement Plan Updates:  we will ask Linda Harber.
FS/AAUP request to co-host reception for BOV: will draft a note to Tom Hennessey suggesting reception to take place following the January 25, 2012 BOV Meeting.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Faculty Senate clerk


Attachment A


Draft Motion for Executive Committee re Presidential Search


Whereas, one criterion stated by the Faculty Senate for inclusion in a job vacancy announcement for university president was a “proven commitment to transparency throughout the university in all aspects of its operations,” and


Whereas, a second criterion stated by the Faculty Senate for inclusion in a job vacancy announcement for university president was a “proven commitment to shared governance,” and


Whereas, the Presidential Search Committee Checklist1 of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the primary organization that supports shared governance between faculty and administrators, states, “…in order to attract the best candidates, the search process may involve some measure of confidentiality, especially during the early phases….However, to ensure a successful search, the nominees who are recommended to the board should visit campus and be interviewed by the faculty and possibly other constituent groups,” and


Whereas, the same document also states, “The second stage of the interview process involves campus visits where the candidate will meet with different constituencies, particularly faculty and students.  These open visits are crucial in the success of the search process because they permit members of the campus community to participate in providing impressions as well as to contribute to the candidate’s understanding of the culture of the institution,” and


Whereas, at the open forum regarding the presidential search process held on September 14, 2011, numerous faculty expressed opinions in favor of candidates’ meeting with faculty in open forums and expressed opinions against hiring a candidate without such meetings,


Therefore, be it resolved that the position of the Faculty Senate is that a candidate who fails to meet with faculty in an open meeting as part of the search process does not demonstrate proven commitment to transparency throughout the university in all aspects of its operations, and


Be it further resolved that the position of the Faculty Senate is that a candidate who fails to meet with faculty in an open meeting as part of the search process does not demonstrate a commitment to shared governance as identified by the AAUP, and


Be it further resolved that the Faculty Senate is on record of supporting a search process that includes all final candidates’ participation in open meetings with faculty prior to selection of the next president and strongly disapproving a search process that does not include such meetings, and


Be it further resolved that this resolution be transmitted to the chair of the Presidential Search Committee for distribution to committee members, and


Be it further resolved that all final candidates for the presidency of George Mason University be made aware of this resolution during the search process.



1.      http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/issues/governance/postart.htm