March 25, 2013  

Mason Hall, room D9 C; 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. 


Present:  Jim Bennett, Peter Pober, Jim Sanford, June Tangney, Susan Trencher


I.  Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of February 25, 2013 were approved as amended:

Under Academic Policies, Chair Suzanne Scott provided the following replacement for the report on “Change of Academic Schedule” to replace the segment in the draft minutes distributed to the Executive Committee.  The amended and approved segment appears below:


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.


II.  Announcements

·         President Cabrera will address the Faculty Senate at the April 3rd meeting

·         Rector Clemente rescheduled to address the Faculty Senate at the April 24th meeting

·         David Roe rescheduled to provide a brief overview of the Foundation at the April 3 meeting.

·         Frank Allen Philpot (SOM) appointed to serve as Faculty Senate representative to the GMU University Communications Group

·         Michelle Marks (Vice Provost, Academic Affairs) to provide a brief overview of the strategic planning process at the March 27th Faculty Senate meeting.

·         James Harvey (Faculty Representative to the BOV Development Committee) will provide a brief update at the March 27th Faculty Senate meeting.


Chair Tangney noted that she also wished to discuss some items for the next Faculty Senate meeting this week (March 27th).  In order to expedite matters, we will ask for unanimous consent to hear the presentations by Michelle Marks and James Hurley as they occurred too late for inclusion in the March 27th agenda. 


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


A.    Academic Policies

Summer Schedule Proposal:  No additional news.  Discussion:  Executive Committee members wondered if there was any development to the SACS requirement for six weeks minimum summer session length. Does a shortfall of hours exists in terms of the number of contact hours/class and small break periods?  Some speculated whether financial aid is usually issued for summer classes and will seek additional information from the Financial Aid representative to the Summer Term Advisory Group and to request an update from Cathy Evans (Director, Special Projects and Summer Term). 


B.     Budget and Resources – Susan Trencher, Chair

Summer School Funding News:  In some units, the amount remained the same, results may differ by college.  For example, CHSS requires minimum enrollment of 12 undergraduate/10 graduate students per course.  If the faculty salary is covered by student tuition below the minimum enrollments, why not earn some money rather than no money by cancelling the course?

Salary Data:  We received the salary data from Diana Cline (Director of Budget Operations/Office of Budget and Planning).  We have several questions about the origin and timing of data generated and will provide a brief update at the meeting.

University Budget Update:  After a general discussion, the Executive Committee agreed to invite J.J. Davis, the new Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance to a future FS meeting.

Summer Salary Requirements stipulated in the Faculty Handbook:  Last year the Budget and Resources Committee sent a survey primarily to department chairs to see if anyone was having trouble paying summer salaries per the Handbook requirement.  We will draft an email for distribution to faculty asking whether full time instructional faculty (tenure track and term) who requested to teach courses in summer 2013 were provided or denied this opportunity.


C.    Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford, Chair

The Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey is almost ready to go, we have no other reports.


D.    Nominations – Jim Bennett, Chair

Faculty Representatives to BOV Elections:  We went from no faculty representatives on the BOV Committees to the most faculty representatives to the BOV Committees (in Virginia).  Not many faculty have volunteered to serve.  We have contests in three of the four committees, and few candidates who are also Faculty Senators.  The ballots will be distributed on Wednesday, due two weeks from that date (April 10th).


E.     Organization and Operations – no report.


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives

·         University Standing Committee Chairs Election Results Pending: Salary Equity Study

·         Scheduling for brief reports by Faculty Representatives to the BOV Committees in progress.

·         Report from the Email and Research Privacy Task Force pending response for inclusion in April 3rd FS  agenda. 

·         Report from the Task Force to Examine Agreements Between GMU and Private Donors Private Donors also pending response for inclusion in April 3rd FS agenda.



V.  Agenda Items for April 3, 2013 Faculty Senate Meeting

·         President Cabrera

·         Brief Overview of GMU Foundation – David Roe

·         Update on BOV Response to Faculty Handbook Revisions – Executive Committee

·         President and Provost Survey of Committee Chairs – Executive Committee

·         Request for Emeritus Status Recommendation for R. Kamenitzer


VI.             New Business, Updates, and Discussion


Raises/Faculty Evaluation Schedule:  A confusing email was distributed last week regarding raises.  There is a great need for cost-of-living raises (adjustments) across the board, with smaller merit increases.  Raises also needed for faculty promotions.


Update on BOV response to Faculty Handbook Revisions: A meeting (peace summit)  is scheduled for Monday April 1st with Provost Stearns, June Tangney, Suzanne Slayden, and Visitor Mendelsohn.  Chair Tangney will provide an update at the April 3rd meeting.


Provost proposal to change maximum % of term faculty among full-time faculty from 25% to 30% due to budget constraints:  A very complex and large issue which impacts the Strategic Plan.  Some term positions are for only one year at a time and can go away.  Consensus among the Executive Committee that this must remain in the Faculty Handbook (Section 2.1.3 Other Types of Full-Time Fixed-Term Appointments:  last paragraph, bottom of page 17) and the strategic use of term, tenure/tenure track AND adjuncts and graduate students should be a topic for consideration in the development of the strategic plan; any change should be contingent on a holistic assessment.


Amendment to Charter/By-Laws regarding voting from remote locations:  We need to accommodate faculty who are ill or disabled, and to allow access from multiple-linked locations across campus.  Proxies are not allowed, although a Senator who attended meetings by phone while recuperating from surgery a few years ago did vote.  Important that Senators can hear discussion before vote occurs. To research charter, by-laws, and standing rules on voting procedures; possibility they may be silent on this.


How to respond to violations to the Faculty Handbook:  Recalling a dispute over hiring practices, we are not the police, complaints should go to a grievance committee.  Unless faculty member has appointment to multiple units; should be handled within the college/school.  Equity complaints should go to the Office of Equity and Diversity Services.  Some faculty members may not understand that Human Resources represents the university.    


Miscellaneous: The Committee decided not to invite Josh Cantor (Director, Parking and Transportation) to give update on parking, transportation, and construction projects citing lack of time and a heavy agenda.  In a general discussion about establishing a Faculty Club, a member of the Dining Committee noted that Sodexho is willing to support it, however the university has not provided space. Unknown whether faculty are willing to (pay dues) support it. 


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Faculty Senate clerk