GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
May 1, 1996
Present: Black, Blaisten-Barojas, Boileau, Conti, Crockett, Eagle, Elstun, Gantz, Hamburger, Jensen, Kaplan, Manchester, Metcalf, Perry, Robbins, Ruth, Sanford, Sofer, Spikell, Taylor, Thomas, Todd, Tongren, Torzilli, Wright, Zoltek.
Absent: Albanese, Buckley, Carty, Censer, Chung, Clements, DeNys, Fuchs, Fulmer, Hammond, Hurt, Johnson, Lont, Manne, Mellander, Mose, Potter, Rossini, Sage, Tabak.
Guests: Berroa (Foreign Languages & Literature), Sutton (Applied and Engineering Statistics), Jones (Registrar), McKalip (Academic Advising), Beazley (Print Services), Keyser (Print Services), Ferguson (Print Services), O'Connor (NCC), Fletcher (Provost Office), Quinn (Law), Lee (Faculty Senate Office), Thaiss (English).
I. Call to Order
The Chair, Ms. Taylor, called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm.
II. Approval of the Minutes
The minutes of April 10, 1996, were approved as distributed.
Ms. Taylor reminded Senators that attendance records will be submitted to the chair of the faculty body which the Senator represents.
Ms. Taylor announced that the final meeting of the Board of Visitors will be held on May 15. An important issue to be discussed at the Board meeting (or at the meeting of one of the Board subcommittees) concerns the extent to which the Board may seek information about an individual faculty member or student. Ms. Taylor encouraged Senators to attend the meeting to observe how Board members define their roles in the oversight of the University.
Ms. Elstun reported that President Johnson was pleased to receive the plaque which was presented at the April 24th General Faculty Meeting.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
By general consent, the order of committee reports was changed.
B. Other Committees
1. Athletic Council
Mr. Wright presented the report. Mr. Wright added that Mr. O'Connor, Athletic Director, is committed to emphasizing academics over athletics among intercollegiate athletes.
2. Committee on Effective Teaching
Ms. Sofer presented the report.
3. Library Committee
Mr. Clifton Sutton presented the report. Mr. Sutton informed the Senate of Ms. Hurt's request for increased faculty input regarding library operations.
4. Minority Affairs Committee
Mr. Rei Berroa presented the report.
5. Non-Traditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee
Mr. Gantz presented the report.
6. Writing Across the Curriculum Committee
Mr. Zoltek presented the report. Mr. Zoltek MOVED and it was SECONDED that: "The WAC Committee is charged with the regular review of syllabi and other requested materials from WI courses and with making suggestions to other faculty regarding ways to meet the criteria."
Discussion centered around the charge of the Committee and how writing intensive requirements potentially relate to academic freedom. Ms. Elstun, Mr. Zoltek, and Mr. Christopher Thaiss pointed out that the Committee's charge is not regulatory and the Committee has no enforcement powers. However, it is important that the Committee review syllabi to determine whether writing intensive requirements are generally followed.
The motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent. Mr. Zoltek reported that the Committee will request undergraduate
coordinators and department chairs assume responsibility for submitting writing intensive materials in the future.
7. Faculty Senate of Virginia
Ms. Taylor presented the report on behalf of Ms. Hammond.
A. Senate Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
Ms. Taylor reported that Ms. Peg Miller will recommend that SCHEV approve George Mason University's post-tenure review policy after clarification regarding the time which faculty have to correct unsatisfactory performance ratings.
Ms. Taylor also reported that the Committee will meet during the summer to clarify the Faculty Handbook regarding establishment of time periods for steps in the appeal process for promotion, tenure and contract renewal (Faculty Handbook, Section 2.9.2).
2. Academic Policies Committee
Ms. Elstun presented the report. Ms. Elstun identified one carryover item regarding academic standards. Review of this issue is likely to extend well into the 1996-1997 academic year.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
Mr. Boileau reported that the Committee has considered many issues this year. Two of them will be reported during the summer:
a. The issue of promotion/tenure/reappointment review when a faculty member has a split appointment. The Committee will recommend two levels of review, the first occurring at the local level and the second consisting of representatives of promotion and tenure committees from all involved LAU's to make a recommendation.
b. The issue of sexual harassment. To date, there have been no complaints reported to the Hearing Board; thus, the Committee may recommend a re-training session for many of the present members of the committee. The Committee plans to submit a written report to the September meeting.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
Mr. Spikell presented the report. The Committee is considering a suggestion from Mr. Boileau to develop a workshop for instructing new Senators about Senate policies and procedures before the first Senate meeting in the Fall.
5. Nominations Committee
Mr. Metcalf reported that nominations for the Provost Search Committee will be accepted through May 3, 1996. Ms. Taylor reminded Senators that elections to Senate Committees have been postponed until the September Senate Meeting. Senators should be contacted by mid-August regarding their preference for committee positions.
6. Facilities and Support Services Committee
Mr. Zoltek presented the report.
VI. Other New Business
A. It was MOVED and SECONDED that candidates for the Bachelor of Individualized Study degree be approved as certified by the Registrar and with silent correction of clerical errors. The motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
B. Ms. Taylor MOVED on behalf of the Executive Committee procedures concerning election of faculty to the Provost Search Committee. If approved, the last date on which committee nominations will be accepted is May 3rd, the date on which the screening committee will determine a slate is May 6th, the date for distribution of ballots is May 6th or 7th, the last date for returning ballots is May 13th, and the date for counting ballots and for notifying successful candidates and the President is May 14th. Ms. Taylor explained that item B.2 of the motion specifies that the ballot will include up to twice as many candidates as positions; it does not mandate specific "slots" for candidates.
Mr. Eagle MOVED and it was SECONDED to amend the main motion by substituting "three" for "two" in section C. He suggested that faculty in different units represent a diversity of interests which should be represented in the search committee. The amendment PASSED by voice vote.
Mr. Spikell MOVED and it was SECONDED to amend the main motion by adding "who will be so identified on the ballot" at the end of section B.3. President pro tempore Hale Tongren assumed the chair. The amendment PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
Ms. Taylor resumed the chair. Mr. Spikell MOVED that the ballot indicate rank, tenure status, number of years of service at George Mason University and primary unit or units of affiliation of each candidate. The motion FAILED for lack of a second. The main motion, as amended, PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
Ms. Kaplan requested information regarding the timetable for the Provost Search Committee. Ms. Taylor responded that the Committee will begin its work early this summer. Completion will depend on a number of factors, including whether the search will be internal or external.
C. Ms. Taylor introduced Mr. Lee Beazley from Print Services. Mr. Beazley suggested that faculty submit original copies of materials to be reproduced to ensure high quality copies. A reproduction will be a degradation of an original. He also described procedures and timetables for obtaining copyright releases. Because obtaining copyright decisions often takes several weeks, faculty should be aware of the two-month deadline. Students are currently staffing the Science and Technology Building center, and they are not permitted to accept course exams for copying. When faculty have special printing needs, Copy Center personnel should be notified. Staff will arrange additional hours in cases where it is necessary, but advance notice is needed.
D. Ms. Elstun reminded Senators that a number of ad hoc committees have been established and have been charged to report to the Senate at least annually. Ms. Taylor suggested that the September meeting include a report from each of these committees.
E. Ms. Kaplan suggested that representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia report regularly to the Senate and that these reports include related SCHEV actions. Ms. Taylor asked that future Senate Agendas include such reports.
James F. Sanford
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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