GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
FEBRUARY 14, 1996
PRESENT: Black, Blaisten-Barojas, Boileau, Censer, Chung, Conti, Crockett, De Nys, Elstun, Fuchs, Gantz, Hammond, Jensen, Kaplan, Manchester, Mose, Perry, Rossini, Ruth, Sanford, Sofer, Spikell, Tabak, Thomas, Todd, Torzilli, and Zoltek.
ABSENT: Albanese, Buckley, Carty, Clements, Eagle, Fulmer, Hamburger, Hurt, Lont, Manne, Mellander, Metcalf, Potter, Robbins, Sage, Taylor, Tongren, and Wright.
GUESTS: Mazo (Student Senate), McKalip (Academic Advising Center), Jones (Registrar's Office), Fletcher (Provost Office), Wnuk (Student Senate), Quinn (Law School), Richardson (Mason Gazette/University Publications), and Lee (Faculty Senate Office).
I. Call to Order
In the absence of the Chair, Anita Taylor, and the Chair Pro Tempore, Hale Tongren, Mr. Gantz called the meeting to order at 3:02 PM.
II. Approval of the Minutes
The minutes of the January 17, 1996, meeting were approved as distributed.
Mr. Gantz distributed two documents which had been approved by the Executive Committee. The first document concerns a special meeting of the Faculty Senate to be held on February 28, 1996, for the purpose of reviewing the proposal to establish an Institute for Educational Transformation (IET). The second document contains an interpretation of Section 1.3.2 of the Faculty Handbook. Mr. Sanford announced that a public hearing to review the proposal to establish the IET will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on February 21, 1996. Ms. Elstun announced that a special meeting of the Board of Visitors is scheduled to be held at 7:00 PM on February 19, 1996. The Board will consider possible conflict of interest regarding the consulting firm of Heidrick & Struggles. Additionally, issues regarding the School of Business Administration/Graduate Business Institute will be discussed. On behalf of Ms. Taylor, Ms. Elstun urged Senators to attend the meeting and speak in favor of continuing the presidential search. Mr. Boileau MOVED and it was SECONDED that: The Faculty Senate instructs its Board of Visitors representatives to report to the Board of Visitors, if the occasion arises at the special Board meeting on Monday, February 19, that the Faculty Senate urges continuation of the Presidential Search regardless of any Board action that may be taken in relationship to the search contract.
The motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
1. Executive Committee
Mr. Boileau reported that the Committee considered timing to be an important factor in scheduling the special Senate meeting to consider the IET proposal. Holding the meeting after the public hearing helps ensure an appropriate consultative process when changes in matters of academic organization are proposed. Mr. Boileau also discussed the five options which the Senate can consider at the special meeting.
2. Academic Policies Committee
Ms. Todd discussed the Committee's review of the "Not in Good Standing" policy for athletes. This is an information report which requires no action by the Senate.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
Mr. Boileau reported that the Committee would meet at noon, Thursday, February 22, to complete discussion of consequential post-tenure review and to consider issues regarding equity.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
On behalf of the Committee, Mr. Spikell MOVED that the Secretary of the Faculty Senate be included in the membership of the Executive Committee. The motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent. Mr. Spikell reported that while the issue of official institute status for IET has no implications regarding Senate membership, the existence of New Century College may. Senate allocation for 1996-1997 is determined by census on March 1, 1996. Mr. Spikell also reported that the Committee is prepared to recommend that the Executive Committee be the Senate body responsible for reviewing (or allocating for review, where appropriate) possible changes in matters of academic organization.
The Committee will meet at 11:00, Tuesday, February 20.
5. Facilities and Support Services Committee
Mr. Zoltek reported that he will meet with the Associate Vice President, Stanley Taylor, and Chief of the George Mason University Police, John Jenkins, to discuss problems with building access during lockdown periods.
Mr. Zoltek also reported that additional furniture for classrooms was not included in the current budget; therefore, it cannot be ordered this year.
In response to questions regarding the parking deck, Mr. Zoltek related that speed limit signs, mirrors and speed bumps will soon be added to the parking garage. An additional exit will be opened on the east side of the deck after sidewalks have been installed to help ensure pedestrian safety. Mr. Rossini reported that proposals regarding gradual retirement options are being reviewed. A formal proposal should be presented by the end of the semester. Meanwhile, individual requests are being considered on a case-by-case basis.
6. Nominations Committee
There was no report.
VI. Other New Business
1. Task Force on Flexible Scheduling
Mr. Thomas MOVED and it was SECONDED that:
The Senate endorse the development and implementation of flexible scheduling initiatives by academic units so that students may begin or end anacademic experience at any time during the calendar year.
Mr. Fletcher reported that during its deliberations, the Task Force had contacted
SCHEV, SACS, the NCAA, the Veterans Administration and other organizations responsible
for federal financial aid. The only issue these bodies addressed related to
the distinction between full-time and part-time student status. Therefore, each
course will be associated with a specific semester or term (Fall, Spring or
Summer). Many universities are already offering courses in non-traditional time
periods, including self-paced courses and courses over the Internet. George
Mason is currently offering credit courses off-site through the Professional
Development Office. Mr. Fletcher urged Senators and course developers to emphasize
learning outcomes rather than time periods. During discussion, it was pointed
out that courses would continue to be approved in the traditional way (as established
by the appropriate LAU). Credit hours and FTE would also be determined in the
same manner set forth prior to these changes. The semester hour would continue
to be the unit of measurement of academic progress, and graduation requirements
would not change. New Century College and the Graduate School of Education are
already developing their own models of flexible scheduling. Other models will
develop as flexible scheduling is broadly implemented. Task Force members did
not contact professional accrediting agencies during deliberations.
The motion PASSED by voice vote, without dissent.
The meeting adjourned at 3:56 PM.
James F. Sanford
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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