GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
FEBRUARY 15, 1995
Present: Albanese Boileau Censer Conti Crockett Dinan Elstun Fuchs Gantz Hammond Jensen Metcalf Oates Rosenzweig Rossini Sanford Sofer Spikell Taylor Thomas Torzilli Travis Wright Wood
Absent: Alligood Blaisten-Barojas Buckley Carty Chang Fulmer Hamburger Hurt Johnson Krauss Lont Manne Mellander Metcalf Potter Rosenblum Ruth Sage Tabak Todd Tongren Zoltek
Guests: James Fletcher Bindu Jacob Susan Jones
I. Call to Order
The Chair, Anita Taylor, called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the January 18, 1995 meeting were approved with the following changes: The second, third and fourth sentences under Other New Business were corrected to read, "The Governor's proposed budget includes removal of money from general funds for faculty salary increases and does not restore money to George Mason to correct the accounting error whereby funds were not authorized after the university agreed to accept additional students. The proposed budget also reduces funding for SCHEV, attempting to move higher educational policy toward greater administrative control." In addition, in the motion by Mr. Boileau, the phrase "be empowered to move in appropriate ways" was substituted for "consider." The amended minutes were approved as corrected.
Ms. Taylor announced that Ms. Mary Silva of the School of Nursing and Health Science has been selected by SCHEV to receive one of Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Awards.
Ms. Taylor also announced that Ms. Margret Swartz would be retiring from her position in the Faculty Senate Office effective April 15 and, with accumulated leave, would be leaving the university by March 31.
Mr. Sanford announced that the May meeting of the Board of Visitors is scheduled for the 17th, not the 27th as announced in previous minutes.
Mr. Sanford also reminded Senators that the March meeting of the Senate is scheduled for March 8, and the agenda date is February 24.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
A. Senate Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
Ms. Taylor announced that the Committee has referred to the Nominations Committee requests to select faculty to serve on the Human Resources Department's committee to select the winner of the Customer Service Award and the committee to select the winner of the GMU Medal.
The Committee has completed discussion of grievance procedure for University Professors and is continuing to consider a right-of-return policy to a Local Academic Unit for faculty who change primary affiliation.
2. Academic Policies Committee
Ms. Travis reported that the request to consider credit for community service had been withdrawn. The Committee continues to consider proposals for a plus-minus grading system, revision of attendance policies and change in criteria for achieving Dean's List status.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
Mr. Wood reported that the Committee continues to consider several issues:
(a) Vice Provost Rossell has received a draft of a proposed administrative faculty handbook;
(b) the Equity Office has promised to initiate a survey of salaries based on gender of faculty;
(c) procedures for hearing sexual harassment charges have not been formally implemented, but Vice President Ingram has assured the Committee that they will proceed immediately;
(d) the Committee will request that the Nominations Committee seek a permanent representative to meet with Human Resources regarding supplementary life insurance; and
(e) because of reorganization of OIPR and reassignment of critical staff, the Committee is considering a proposal to postpone the next faculty evaluation of administrators until next year. Several Senators opposed this proposal.
4. Organization and Operations
Ms. Elstun distributed a mid-year update on the status of incoming business and referrals. She encouraged committees to attempt to complete as many of the referred issues as possible before the end of the academic year.
5. Facilities and Support Services Committee
Mr. Spikell reported that the Committee is receiving an increasing number of requests for faculty to participate on myriad committees and initiatives, and he requested that the Executive Committee instruct him regarding the scope of his Committee's responsibilities. The Executive Committee suggested that faculty should have input into all matters affecting faculty support and welfare and matters which might potentially affect academic programs. Faculty who are not members of the Committee should be requested to serve in positions related to their areas of expertise. At present, the Committee is considering issues related to privatization, space, computer use and policies, and general faculty welfare.
6. Nominations Committee
Mr. Rosenzweig reported that the Committee had nominated Ms. Cynthia Lont to replace Ms. Ellen Todd, who is on sabbatical, on the Academic Policies Committee. Ms. Lont was elected by voice vote without dissent.
Mr. Gantz announced that he has agreed to serve as faculty representative on a committee to select Mason Scholars.
B. Other Committees
Mr. Censer reported that the Bylaws Committee has found no substantive inconsistencies between the Bylaws and the Faculty Handbook. He MOVED for the Committee that the Senate empower the Bylaws Committee to make editorial corrections related to gender, grammar and definitional consistency without instituting formal amendment procedures. The motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
Ms. Taylor announced that she will send to the Organization and Operations Committee a request to review implications for including part-time faculty representation in the Senate.
VI. Other New Business
Mr. Wood MOVED and it was SECONDED a resolution from Ms. Albanese, Ms. Fuchs and himself in response to intimidation of homosexual members of George Mason University. Mr. Wood indicated that the resolution addressed the climate of diversity and an environment of tolerance at George Mason. The Student Service and Equity Offices have both encouraged a statement from the Senate. The triggering incident for this resolution was a flier, posted by an unknown person or persons, depicting a University fraternity as advocating violence and intimidation against homosexuals and specifying a student by name. Discussion concerned potential proliferation of advocacy offices on campus and issues related to whether gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered members of the University Community should be specifically identified in the resolution. Mr. Boileau MOVED and it was SECONDED to delete, "recommends creation of a strong, permanent, institutional advocacy mechanism for enhancing civility and respecting difference and diversity among all University members, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered members; and." During discussion, issues relating to the wisdom of establishing a permanent mechanism at the same time as other offices are being reorganized were raised. The amendment FAILED by a vote of 11 to 10 with the Chair voting against it. The main motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
Ms. Taylor announced that the Organization and Operations Committee would be responsible for developing procedures to establish the ad hoc committee specified in the resolution.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
James F. Sanford
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