NOVEMBER 19, 2012   

Mason Hall, room D1; 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. 


Senators present: Jim Bennett, Dave Kuebrich, Earle Reybold, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Scott, Peter Stearns, June Tangney, Susan Trencher


I.  Approval of Minutes –October 29, 2012:  The minutes were approved as distributed.


II.  Announcements

Earle Reybold announced that she is stepping down from the Faculty Senate and Executive Committee.  She encouraged the Senate to consider finding ways for faculty who wish to participate on a regular basis, and the need for reasonable accommodations.  Ruth Townsend (Associate Director/ADA Coordinator, Equity and Diversity Services) deals with faculty disabilities.  It is important to Earle to be active in service as a faculty member. Voting issues for Senators in remote locations need to be addressed. The Executive Committee acknowledged the need to address these issues in the future, and to examine voting from remote locations in longer range plans.


Provost Stearns noted that Songdo seems to be moving along.  Two assurances requested previously by the Faculty Senate regarding financial arrangements have been provided. 


The Faculty Senate and GMU AAUP Chapter will host a reception for the BOV on January 30th following the BOV Meeting. 


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


A.    Academic Policies – Suzanne Scott, Chair

(With thanks to Suzanne Scott for reviewing and editing this report.)

Catalog Revisions on Residency Requirements:  Following the Senate meeting (November 6, 2012, in which Charlene Douglas requested a friendly amendment to the proposal for revisions to residency requirements, the committee agreed to work with Charlene Douglas to incorporate her requests. She submitted a letter to our committee with the request that we not make any changes at all.  The committee subsequently agreed not to pursue changes, especially since we were unsure where the request originated. We believe that the original request came from the Registrar’s Office with the implication that it was inspired by a need from the School of Nursing. Dr. Douglas indicated that the changes would harm the School of Nursing in terms of enrollments.  The AP Committee and the Faculty Senate spent a lot of time on this issue without proper background; concern was expressed about spinning wheels working on issues and then withdrawing suggestion of change. 

Discussion:  To ask O&O where the issue came from and to inform the Registrar’s Office that a change will not be made. The committee needs to be sure who is making the requests and perhaps who benefits (or not) from the changes.  Chair Tangney thanked the AP Committee for all its efforts on this issue.  

Summer Schedule:  Drop /Add period compared with fall/spring semesters.  Cathy Evans (Director, Special Projects & Summer Term, Provost's Office) reported they had met and decided they could not change it because it was unfair to night classes.  They don’t have that many students adding, to reduce time could limit students adding, more drops than adds.
Discussion:  The summer school system encourages early sign-up and then later drops for those students who may not know their final grades until right before summer school starts.  Why does the Faculty Senate have to approve the academic year calendar but not the summer school calendar?  (references to % of days in sessions A, B, C) Faculty do not have to allow a student who added late to make up work missed.  We will invite Cathy Evans to the next Executive Committee meeting to answer questions.  


Proposal to exchange Columbus Day holiday with Election Day:  The AP Committee discussed this issue and will poll their own faculty.  Faculty may not like this as it is a long weekend.  In support of the proposal, Senator Dave Kuebrich noted this would make it easier for students and faculty to vote; promotes citizenship to our students.  We will provide information for the November 28th agenda, not an action item.


An earlier issue in which a student did not receive a good grade in an elective course taken for pure pleasure, and was upset included in GPA. Discussion:  Audit mechanism exists; the Faculty Senate is a policy body, and does not respond to individual complaints; questions whether O&O should have sent this to the AP Committee in the beginning.


B.     Budget and Resources – Susan Trencher, Chair

(With thanks to Susan Trencher for reviewing and editing this report.)

Independent Study Survey – data collected, will check on progress.


Survey of College Policies for Extramural Grants:  The B&R committee met to discuss how best to gather information about the ways in which extramural funds are treated in different units (at college or school level).  Members of the committee, who themselves represent several different units, shared knowledge about practices in their colleges, which all differed from each other. Matt Zingraff, Associate Dean for Research and Interim VP for Research and Economic Development will meet with the committee prior to the next Faculty Senate Meeting.


Summer School Funding News:  Cathy Evans who manages the summer school program at the Provost's level suggested that the preferred model for summer school was that followed by SPP, which has gone to a 12 month grid.  This would entail a 12 month university in which faculty could choose which of the three time units (Fall, Spring, Summer) in which they wanted to teach.  This process seems to be completely divorced from material in the Faculty Handbook regarding summer school and faculty teaching in that time frame. The Provost said no one would be forced into this model, and there are many questions that remained in ensuing discussion. Further review of this model would include a study by B&R on financial implications for the university, units, and faculty.


C.    Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford, Chair

We will meet the week after Thanksgiving to work on revisions to the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators questions.


D.    Nominations – Jim Bennett, Chair

Faculty Representatives to the BOV Research and Development Committees – election results to be announced this week. 


E.     Organization and Operations – no report.


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

Faculty Handbook Revision Committee

Chair Tangney reported that she recently had breakfast with Rector Clemente.  He wants to set up an ad hoc committee to review the Faculty Handbook.  Two items are time sensitive:  the BOV wants to get out of P&T, including review of how other Faculty Handbooks deal with issue, and  Section 1.2.5 Faculty Participation in Selection of Certain Members of the Central Administration

In a general discussion, it was decided not to present second revision for a vote until after December BOV meeting.  Concern was expressed about delay for two time-sensitive items.  Several EXC members expressed concern that faculty who are appointed, not elected by faculty,  are not representatives of the faculty.  Need for willingness of faculty nominees to serve, instead of being called upon by the provost office. 


FS Task Force to Examine Agreements Between GMU and Private Donors – Dave Kuebrich, Chair:  The report will not be ready for inclusion on the November 28th agenda.  The issue is a thousand times more complicated, not a lot of information out there and hard to get information, as agreements by law are not transparent.  There needs to be a strong conflict-of-interest policy from the president on down.  We have asked the Virginia ACLU for input, no response to date.  Issues include public policy centers engaging in advocacy at public universities, such as pharmaceutical supply companies and scientific research.    He also encouraged  Faculty Senate involvement in  educational effort on the crucial issue of corporate funding in higher education, to include a series of special meetings and invite guest speakers   Jennifer Washburn – who has done research on corporate influence on universities, and the former president of AAUP,  who has written more and about how universities are adopting corporate policies.


University Standing Committee Chairs Elected:  Jeng-Eng Lin (Admissions). 

University Standing Committee Chairs Election Results Pending: External Academic Relations, Salary Equity Study


V.  Agenda Items for November 28, 2012 Faculty Senate Meeting

·         Approval of Faculty Senate Minutes October 10, October 24, and November 7th.

·         Faculty Handbook Revision Committee (Other Committees/Faculty Representatives)


VI.             New Business, Updates, and Discussion

Presentation from Keith Segerson, Associate VP for Economic Development on the Mason Enterprise Center and Mason’s Office of Economic Development at a future FS meeting:  After some discussion, it was decided to ask him for a description first before inviting him to a future Senate meeting.


After some discussion, it was decided to ask Walt Sevon for point-of-contact information on the Email Migration System. 

A brief discussion about suggested nominees to replace outgoing Faculty Senate Secretary Earle Reybold and the reallocation of the Spring 2013 course release she decided not to use took place. 


We will discuss Amendment to Charter/By-Laws regarding voting from remote at next Executive Committee meeting (January 28, 2013).


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Faculty Senate clerk