Monday, February 20, 2012 

Mason Hall D1, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.


Senators Present:  Peter Pober, Earle Reybold, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Scott, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, June Tangney.


I.  Approval of Minutes of January 23, 2012:  The minutes were approved as distributed.


II.  Announcements

Next week will be Rector Volgenau’s final address to the Faculty Senate.  Copies of Senate resolutions in the past praising Rector Volgenau were distributed for review by the Executive Committee and will ask for Senators’ input in preparing resolution this spring.  Dean Travis and Dean Griffiths will also offer brief (and also their final) remarks to the Faculty Senate. 


Handbook Revisions approved by the Faculty Senate February 15th will be sent to the APDUC Committee for consideration at March 21, 2012 BOV Meeting by the March 5th deadline.


Senator Barbara Favola (Arlington) and Delegate David Bulova (Fairfax) confirmed guest speakers at Special Meeting April 11, 2012 at Founders Hall room 126, Arlington Campus.  Delegate Patrick Hope (Arlington) unable to attend, pending response from Senator Chap Petersen (Fairfax).  Chair Pober encouraged as many Senators to attend as possible.


Chief of Police Michael Lynch and Morrie Scherrens invited to March 28th Faculty Senate Meeting to provide update to Action Plan for Police and Community Relations:  response pending M. Lynch, M. Scherrens will arrange for representative to attend as he is teaching a class at that time.


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

A.  Academic Policies –  Suzanne Scott*
Add/Drop Period:  The Add/Drop period was reduced from two weeks to 8 calendar days beginning fall 2011.   The Student Government sent a resolution asking for changes. We will meet with a couple of their representatives right before the Faculty Senate meeting.  Faculty overwhelmingly like the shorter add period.  One member of AP committee thought students should be able to shop around. We decided to  check with the Registrar to see how the rate of late schedule adjustments compares to the past.  There was a hue and cry at the Deans and Directors meeting this morning not to change the add period, to keep it short; there is fiscal fallout.  APAC discussed the policy at their last meeting because the shorter add period has created a problem for some CVPA students; the consensus of the APAC was that a addition of one day could help.

Study Elsewhere Proposed Change to Catalog:  A proposal from APAC, which the AP approved in theory, was distributed for comment.  Substantive change was from "their" academic dean to "an" academic dean in the college where the course is taught. Suggestions included clarification between proposed additions and substitutions; impacts on course enrollment at Mason, and whether the fifty mile radius not applicable to distance education. The proposal needs to go back to AP for clarification before going to Senate.* with thanks to Suzanne Scott for editing this report.


B.  Budget and Resources – June Tangney

The salary data has been sent to ITU for posting.  We have received more than 50% response to the independent study survey. The committee will meet later this week.


C.  Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford*

There will be no changes to the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey this year, and we are on track for its distribution.


The title of the maternity/paternity leave policy has been changed to 'Family Leave' so that it can later be broadened to include eldercare.  We are working with Rizna Ahmed in HRP to learn what they do informally for faculty who become new parents and to request their input on the draft.


Privacy:  VA HRMP 1.75 state agency has right to read all agency computer platforms.  Virginia Tech has opted out unless a situation of imminent danger exists.  Professor Zach Schrag is also contacting AAUP about this.  *with thanks to Jim Sanford for editing this report.


D.  Nominations – Suzanne Slayden

Linda Monson is nominated to serve on the Academic Appeals Committee.


E.  Organization and Operations

Allocation of Senate Seats for AY12-13 is ready for inclusion on the February 29trh agenda.


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

We have asked the Academic Initiatives Committee for its Recommendations on Songdo Plan for inclusion in the February 29th agenda.


V.  Agenda Items for February 29th, 2012


VI.             New Business, Updates, and Discussion


Informal Meeting with President-Elect Cabrera:  An invitation was distributed last week to Faculty Senators to meet President-Elect Cabrera on Wednesday, March 7th from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in Mason Hall D3 A&B.  An email received earlier today from one Senator criticizing the invitation and aspects of its distribution was briefly discussed.  Provost Stearns noted that the meeting was set up as a good-will gesture.  It is an informal meeting; President-Elect Cabrera will not participate in formal meetings until his term of office begins (July 1, 2012).  Several members of the Executive Committee refuted other criticisms contained in the letter, and most did not see attending an informal meeting inconsistent with faculty governance.  Chair Pober noted that he had spoken with President-Elect Cabrera about an informal meeting in the past, as one of a series of (informal) engagements Dr. Cabrera will have with other groups here at Mason and in Richmond.  He also noted that this was not a called meeting of the Faculty Senate.  The Executive Committee greatly appreciated Provost Stearns’ efforts in setting up this meeting.  As Chair Pober will be in Rome on March 7th, he appreciated the Provost’s willingness to allow Senators (Presidential Search Committee Members) June Tangney and Linda Monson to introduce Dr. Cabrera.  Provost Stearns will encourage Dr. Cabrera to set up an open meeting with the faculty as soon as possible – in July, or in the fall.  Chair Pober also noted that he has been in active conversation with Dr. Cabrera and Tom Hennessey on issues – the presidential search process was one of seven issue papers sent via Tom to Dr. Cabrera. Senator Sanford recalled President Merten held his first group meeting with staff – they were thrilled.


Presidential Search Process/Faculty Handbook/Upcoming Provost Search:  discussion included the following suggestions and concerns:

·         Current Handbook language on Provost search very minimal may not need to amend the Handbook at this time as BOV not involved in search.

·         To negotiate with President-Elect Cabrera once his term begins – to craft language, to discuss how faculty feel put out, left out, but not expressed as outrage, in hopes he is amenable to faculty suggestions about Provost search. Most provost searches are open.

·         To address proposals to change/or not change Handbook language about Presidential Search process in the next year.


Faculty Senate Chair Election in Advance of Final BOV Meeting:  The BOV suggested we consider in the future moving the final date of the Faculty Senate Chair’s term to coincide with their final meeting in May.  EXC suggestions included an informal agreement that former chair attends the final meeting, or to start a protocol in which the old and new chairs attend the final BOV meeting together. 


Faculty Senate website redesign under auspices of Provost Office:  Concerns expressed about access to Senate files on website, to ask Claudia Rector for more information.


The meeting adjourned at 3:07 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Faculty Senate Clerk