FEBRUARY 25, 2013

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

(as amended and approved March 25, 2013)


Senators Present:  Jim Bennett, Star Muir, Peter Pober, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Scott, June Tangney, Susan Trencher.  Visitor: Janette Muir (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education - for Provost Stearns).


I.  Approval of Minutes –January 28, 2013:  The following amendment was proposed to change the first sentence at the top of page two, (Academic Policies:  Summer Schedule discussion) from  “2.  The add/drop deadline occurs 3-4 weeks into a 14 week semester.” to “2.  The Summer A and C Term drop deadline dates occur at the equivalent of 3-4 weeks into a 14 week semester.”  The minutes were approved as amended.


II.  Announcements

·         Rector Clemente will address the Faculty Senate at the March 6th meeting

·         David Roe will give a brief overview of the Foundation at the March 6th FS Meeting

·         Ed Douthett (SOM) appointed to serve as faculty representative to the Cost-Model Distance Program Committee


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


A.    Academic Policies – Suzanne Scott, Chair

Summer Schedule Proposal:  Chair Scott thanked the committee for talking with Cathy Evans at the last meeting, and distributed a tentative schedule.  A Session had to be extended to six weeks.  On page 2 Add Date was reduced by a couple of days, and we looked at when people meet during those sessions.  The AP Committee agreed to these changes, and had questions about a number of items, including registrar’s office  June 6th deadline which occurs before some COS students have been advanced to candidacy for the PhD after the add date (deadline), and cannot register in Dissertation 999.  We suggested deadlines for independent study /research or dissertations match the “c” session dates.  We await response from the Summer School Office.  There are also implications for Financial Aid. 

Discussion:  According to the Distance Education Council, students not eligible to receive financial aid for only five week session.  The University of Maryland-University College offers weekend classes.  Unknown how many contact hours are required, more information is needed.  The first day of spring break coincides with the first day to register for summer classes.  The AP Committee wants to bring a plea for teaching funds for summer so that faculty who wish to teach in summer session if they choose to.  Where is the evidence of insufficient funds?  An example in COS was cited.  New arrangements began in the Fall 2012 in which faculty were asked to communicate their desire for summer teaching to their units, the units could then inform the deans regarding the required funding, and the deans could then ask Provost Stearns for more funding (to fulfill the 10% annual summer salary requirement in the Faculty Handbook).  What do we do to fix this problem?  There needs to be a clear statement from the deans of college re what the policy is, and if you cannot support all faculty who want to teach, send a statement of need (with numbers) to the dean.  Announcement distributed in September 2012 not clear about this, more a way to encourage faculty to commit earlier.  To clarify process with the Provost Office; Janette Muir offered to help out with communication. 


Catalog Copy Addition – Final Exams:  Action item to include “final” in the first sentence of the revision as approved by the Faculty Senate. 


Change of Academic Schedule in MBA Program received from Brian Selinsky (Registrar’s Office) for the School of Management. Members of the AP Committee see this as an individual unit issue, so they should be able to change their academic calendar if they can work it out with the Registrar’s office, financial aid, etc.


Brian Selinksy also asked the committee if they need to approve the Songdo academic calendar. Although the committee believed they did not need to approve that calendar, executive committee members felt that AP should review it. Discussion: Also important to inform faculty that Songdo campus schedule is different from the Mason campus.  There are also impacts on the number of weeks/SACS still reviews this, importance of academic rigor in Songdo. The AP Committee will discuss this further with Brian Selinsky.  Janette Muir suggested that the AP should review the Songdo campus along with the calendars for the other schools also resident at Songdo.

(as amended and approved by the Executive Committee - March 25, 2013)


B.     Budget and Resources – Susan Trencher, Chair

Independent Study Survey conducted in the past, every department had different practices, policies.  Wide range of answers, faculty see independent study in student’s best interests.  The survey also included theses and dissertations.  They are registered differently.  Some colleges do not recognize this at all, while others do.  The B&R Committee has not dealt with this recently.  Found a lot of money coming into the institution on the backs of units not shared with units.  Discussion:  The next step for the B&R Committee to see if useful to have a university-wide way to deal with it.  Some schools have formulas, percentages.


Survey of College Policies for Extramural Grants:  The Committee met with Matt Zingraff (Interim Vice President, Research & Economic Development/Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Programs, Humanities & Social Sciences).  NIH or funding agencies make certain requirements.  CHSS is the only one who requires that faculty use funding from grants to contribute to AY salary (5%) for each month of summer salary funded by grants.  Other units do it in different ways, such as buyout of courses; there’s always a return, can be done differently in different units.  If individuals with grants wanted to propose alternate ways to get through loopholes, they (MZ) are trying to be flexible. 

Discussion:  A lot of policies in place dissuade faculty from applying for extramural funding.  “Triple Tax, extracting money from…The Task Force on Regulation will meet on Wednesday.


Summer School Funding News:  Chair Tangney will work with Provost Office to get a clearer statement of process. 

Salary Data:  Human Resources is working on the special software program to obtain the data HR has sent them. 

Budget Issues:  The committee will check with Gil Brown about budget issues and report back as information received.


C.    Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford, Chair

Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey:  Revisions to questions for President, Provost, and Deans ranged from 10 to 12-14, using parallel language appear in Attachment A.  The changes do not require approval by the Faculty Senate, did not vote on original questions.   Discussion:  Suggestions made to include gender neutral pronouns (his/her), would Sofia Burr (Dean of the Honors College) be reviewed for this purpose?  Since President Cabrera is in his first year as president, he will not be reviewed this year. 


Criminal Background Checks:  The Faculty Matters Committee presented a report at the September 2012 Faculty Senate Meeting.  The Faculty Matters Committee was divided on this issue, finally deciding to ask Human Resources/Payroll to request annual update. (See Attachment B) This will create an ongoing record and will keep the issue on people’s minds.

Discussion:  Is there any information about what background checks exposed?  No faculty member has failed a background check yet.  Has the Faculty Senate ever voted on background checks?  Not only opposed to them, but also expensive to do, and suggests an up or down vote on this topic.   Faculty already here are grandfathered in unless move to a different position; leave the university, and later returns.  VA statute requires background checks for all employees working with youth.  Before this implemented, background checks were limited to employees in Human Resources/Payroll, day care, summer camps, etc.  Does the Faculty Matters Committee recommend a vote?  Response:  Not our charge, was not sent back for a vote.  Dave Kuebrich wants to speak to this after it is presented.  A Senator could write a resolution, does not have to come through the Faculty Matters Committee.  Others prefer to wait until answers to questions received from Human Resources.  Others suggest using VA statute language, and impacts disabled students also. 


D.    Nominations

Faculty Representatives to BOV elections –working on this, hope to get out this week.


E.     Organization and Operations

Videoconferencing FS Meetings at the Mason Inn? – no news

Review of University Committee Reports – O&O internal deadline March 15th. 

New Senator:  Debbie Sprague (CEHD) elected to serve remainder of Earle Reybold’s FS term

Allocation of Senate Seats 2013-14 – no changes from last year.


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

University Standing Committee Chairs Election Results Pending: Salary Equity Study



V.  Agenda Items for March 6, 2013 Faculty Senate Meeting

·         Approval of Faculty Senate Minutes February 6, 2013 and February 13, 2013

·         Rector Clemente

·         Brief Overview of GMU Foundation – David Roe

·         Interim report from the Computer/E-Mail Privacy Task Force

·         Allocation of Senate Seats 2013-2014 – O&O

·         Revised Questions - Faculty Evaluation of Administrators  - Faculty Matters

·         Questions for Human Resources/Payroll on Criminal Background Check Policy – Faculty Matters

·         Catalog Copy Additions – Final Exams – Academic Policies

·         Resolution on the Provost Search Process


VI.             New Business, Updates, and Discussion

Re-allocation of Spring 2013 course release to include two releases during Fall 2013;

Suzanne Scott and Star Muir.


Provost proposal to change maximum % of term faculty among full-time faculty from 25% to 30% due to budget constraints:  Discussion included:

·         In CHSS if you have multiple faculty on leave in one year, the Provost will give you a term position to cover two full-time faculty.  To differentiate these positions in some way. 

·         Percentage could change from year to year, not 30% as permanent faculty.  .  Perhaps to change % over a few years (e.g. 25%, 28% over several years).

·         Concerns expressed about future budget cuts.  As discussed at the previous Executive Committee meeting, the Provost will provide the number of adjuncts.  Some departments have difficulty hiring adjuncts as we offer the lowest pay. 

·         To send issue to the Faculty Handbook Committee, important to let the Faculty Senate know about this development. 


Resolution about the Provost Search process briefly discussed for inclusion at next week’s Senate meeting. 


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Faculty Senate clerk






Revised Questions: Faculty Evaluation of Administrators



1.       Effectively articulates an appropriate vision for the future of the university.

2.       Effectively articulates the mission and goals of the university, both internally and externally.

3.       Effectively works with the university community in developing the vision, mission, and goals of the university.

4.       Effectively develops relationships between the university and the larger community, including political and business groups and university alumni.

5.       Provides effective leadership for the university.

6.       Effectively addresses the concerns of the faculty.

7.       Is transparent in his actions and decision making.

8.       With his staff, undertakes activities appropriate for the office.

9.       Has a staff of the appropriate size and make-up to complete his responsibilities.

10.   Effectively obtains resources from the Commonwealth.

11.   Effectively obtains funding from sources other than the Commonwealth.

12.   Ensures equitable distribution of resources across the university.



1.       Effectively articulates the academic mission and goals of the university, both internally and externally.

2.       Effectively works with the university community in developing the academic mission and goals of the university.

3.       Effectively promotes a culture of scholarship.

4.       Effectively develops relationships between the university and the external community to promote scholarship.

5.       Provides effective academic leadership for the university.

6.       Effectively addresses the academic concerns of the faculty.

7.       Effectively recognizes faculty accomplishments.

8.       Is transparent in his actions and decision making.

9.       With his staff, undertakes activities appropriate for the office.

10.   Has a staff of the appropriate size and make-up to complete his responsibilities.

11.   Effectively obtains university funds for academic needs.

12.   Ensures equitable distribution of resources across academic units.



1.       Effectively articulates the mission and goals of the academic unit.

2.       Effectively works with the academic unit in developing its mission and goals.

3.       Effectively promotes a culture of scholarship within the academic unit.

4.       Effectively promotes collaborative relationships that serve the mission of the academic unit.

5.       Provides effective leadership for the academic unit.

6.       Effectively addresses the concerns of the faculty.

7.       Effectively represents the concerns of the academic unit to the central administration.

8.       Effectively recognizes faculty accomplishments.

9.       Is transparent in his/her actions and decision making.

10.   With his/her staff, undertakes activities appropriate for the office.

11.   Has a staff of the appropriate size and make-up to complete his/her responsibilities.

12.   Effectively obtains university funds for the academic unit.

13.   Effectively obtains funding from non-university sources.

14.   Ensures equitable distribution of resources within the academic unit.



Questions for Human Resources & Payroll regarding criminal background checks


1.       How many criminal background checks were conducted between April 1 last year and March 31 this year?


2.       How many criminal background checks covered full-time faculty? Adjunct faculty?


3.       How many potential employees or individuals changing positions within the university refused to allow HR&P to conduct background checks? How many of these were potential or actual faculty members?


4.       How many individuals failed to be hired or to change positions within the university because of the outcome of background checks? How many of these were faculty?


5.       How many people were terminated due to background checks? How many of these were faculty?


6.       How much did it cost the university to conduct background checks during the reporting period?


7.       Were there any violations of confidentiality or other aspects of the Background Investigation Policy during the reporting period? Without compromising confidentiality, explain.