Mason Hall D101 (Provost’s Conference Room) 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.


Senators Present:  Jim Bennett, Charlene Douglas, Star Muir, Peter Pober, Joe Scimecca, Suzanne Scott, Peter Stearns, Susan Trencher.


I.  Approval of Minutes of  August 19, 2013:  The minutes were approved as amended: 

II.  Announcements: “INTO”, “CAS” was changed to “CHSS” in the last sentence.

VI.  New Business, Updates and Discussion:  Provost Search Committee, “Nutter” was changed to “Neville” in the second sentence.


II.  Announcements
President Cabrera will address the Senate on October 9, 2013.  Mark Smith, the new Director of State Government Affairs, has postponed his visit to the November 6 Faculty Senate meeting.  Mason Dreamers, a GMU Student Organization, holds regular meetings, and pay out-of-state tuition.  Kevin Jackson, a student government representative will make a brief two minute presentation at the October 9th meeting.  He asks for faculty support for Mason Lobbies, a student political action day in Richmond (See Attachment A).  Charlene also thanked Provost Stearns for his responses to her questions.  The Grievance has been resolved and ask the Chair of the Grievance Committee to forward information to the FS Chair. 


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

A.  Academic Policies – Suzanne Scott, Chair

We will present the proposed academic calendar for AY 17-18 for approval at the next Faculty Senate meeting.  General concerns expressed included proximity of final exam schedule to Christmas and the extension of summer school term from five to six weeks.


B.  Budget and Resources no report.


C.  Faculty Matters  no report.


D.  Nominations – Jim Bennett, Chair                 

Monique Van Hoek (COS) is nominated to serve on the Salary Equity Study Committee.  Kumar Mehta (SOM) is nominated to serve as Faculty Senate representative to the University Smoking Policy Working Group.


E.  Organization and Operations – Star Muir, Chair

External Academic Relations Committee Charge:  Suggestion made to include Mark Smith, new Director of State Government Affairs, as an ex-officio member of the committee.   Provost Stearns thinks this is sensible, and suggests you run past Mark Smith and Paul Etherton(sp).

Faculty Senators 2013-14 pending:  elected Senator from S-CAR

University Standing Committee Chairs Elected:  Academic Appeals - Michael Hurley (CHSS);  Admissions - Betsy DeMulder (CEHD); Grievance - Paul Houser (COS); Faculty Handbook – Suzanne Slayden (COS); Minority and Diversity Issues - Nirup Menon (SOM); NIAL - Nada Dabbagh (CEHD); Technology Policy -  Stanley Zoltek (COS); Writing Across the Curriculum - Stanley Zoltek (COS).


University Standing Committee Chairs election pending:  Academic Initiatives, Effective Teaching, External Academic Relations, Salary Equity Study, UPTRAC,


IV.  Other Committees/Faculty Representatives


V.   New Business, Updates, and Discussion

Resolution in Support of Providing Benefits for Same Sex Partners – Suzanne Scott distributed a new draft.  Input was received from Ric Chollar (Associate Director for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Resources), Mark Uhen (current chair of Faculty LGBTQ) and Corey Jackson (Vice President, Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, Equity and Diversity Services).  Changes suggested included replacing “Mason’s family-friendly environment” to “Mason’s community”.  Even though sexuality is a protected status at GMU, it is not recognized by the state of Virginia.  What is the relationship between Virginia law and what the university can do?  The IRS now recognizes same sex couples who marry in one jurisdiction and move to another jurisdiction which does not recognize same sex marriage.  Other suggested edits were incorporated and will be included on the October 9th meeting agenda.


Masonvale:  A 501c3, not a University entity, we receive income/funding on a regular basis. Masonvale was not set up as a long-term residence, more as a recruiting tool.  A disabled faculty member has lived there for three years, with a one-year extension.  Is this a Faculty Senate issue?  Several Executive Committee members recalled vote by Faculty Senate years ago to approve it as specifically used by faculty, recruitment potential.  In the first few years, they took in all kinds of people (different layers of eligibility); graduate students included in the mix.  Contracts did not include notice of three years’ residency.  Some faculty were recruited and told they could live there without informing them of time limit.  Not unreasonable to make exception when someone of long service to the university and is disabled, not right to take person out of Masonvale.  Suggestion made to have a faculty member who lives at Masonvale serve on the Board (appointed by President Cabrera), also to find out if there is a protocol to address exceptions.  Provost Stearns will soon rotate off the Board, to strongly suggest this to President Cabrera. 


Provost Search:  The first meeting of the Provost Search Committee will take place this week.  After some discussion, the Executive Committee agreed to distribute an email to all faculty requesting input on the five most important criteria in the search for a Provost as soon as possible.(an email was distributed October 2nd subsequent to the first Provost Search Committee meeting October 1st).  Faculty need to feel we are soliciting feedback from them.


Faculty Staff Enrichment Day:  We received an invitation to participate this year (November 5th).  Peter Pober has participated in the past, but was not available to attend this year.  About 70% participants are staff.  In response to concerns expressed about HR involvement not addressing concerns on the academic side, he noted that lectures and discussions in the past were not an attempt to present HR perspectives.  Many people give discussions, not trying to be hegemonic in their interpretations.  He suggested we pursue discussion of shared governance issues with staff senate representatives, particularly in view of recent departure of Joey Carls (Staff Senate Chair) this summer.  (Issue subsequently removed from October 9th FS Meeting agenda as Staff Senate Vice Chair Rick Holt informed us agenda finalized).


“INTO:” Provost Stearns reported the negotiations with INTO are continuing, and believes we will have a favorable framework.  Feedback from open forum was generally neutral; we may have another open forum before approval. He anticipates presentation to the BOV in December. 


Faculty Handbook/BOV:  Provost Stearns anticipates a comment at the APDUC meeting on changes favorably received by Faculty Handbook Committee; not a final product, would need approval by Faculty Senate before December BOV meeting. 


Graduate Council/Process:  The Graduate Council approved a new nine-year limit on PhDs.  Role of the Faculty Senate (via the Academic Policies Committee) to vet these decisions, not yet presented to the Faculty Senate.  To ask Cody Edwards (former Faculty Senator/ served as a member of the Academic Policies Committee, now Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education) for exact wording.  Some units may favor this, some may oppose.  Lack of communication and variability among units to finance graduate degrees.  Larger issue not the number of years, but who approves this as this goes across units?    Needs to go to Faculty Senate for action. 


VI .  Agenda Items for October 9,  2013 FS Meeting


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Faculty Senate clerk

Attachment A