GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
SPECIAL MEETING - FEBRUARY 28, 1996
PRESENT: Black, Blaisten-Barojas, Boileau, Censer, Clements, Conti, Crockett, DeNys, Eagle, Elstun, Fuchs, Gantz, Hamburger, Hammond, Hurt, Jensen, Kaplan, Manchester, Mellander, Metcalf, Perry, Potter, Rossini, Sanford, Spikell, Taylor, Thomas, Todd, Tongren, Torzilli, Wright, Zoltek.
ABSENT: Albanese, Buckley, Carty, Chung, Fulmer, Johnson, Lont, Manne, Mose, Robbins, Ruth, Sage, Sofer, Tabak.
GUESTS: Bowen (GSE), Finkelstein (Institute of Public Policy), Boufadino (GSE), Fletcher (Provost Office), Given (GSE), Jeffrey (IET), Porter (GSE), Wallace (GSE), Ford (GSE), Atwell-Vasey (IET), Palkovich (Anth), Wood (GESS), Jacobs (Soc/Cult.Studies/IET), Delaney (IET), Sockett (IET), Mazo (Student Senate), Wnuk (Student Senate), O'Connor (NCC), Richardson (Mason Gazette), Quinn (Law), Lee (Faculty Senate Office), Hanweck (Undergraduate School of Business Administration).
I. Call To Order
The Chair, Anita Taylor, called the meeting to order at 3:05 PM.
Ms. Taylor announced that four presidential candidates will visit the University during the next two weeks. A thirty-minute period has been allotted for Faculty Senators to meet with each of them. Candidates' names have not been released to protect confidentiality. Ms. Taylor emphasized that all candidates are "leading" candidates and that others may be added. She criticized the unidentified Presidential Search Committee member who violated the confidentiality of the search process by releasing candidates' names to the Fairfax Journal. She also denounced the Journal for publishing unattributed and uncorroborated information. The Search Committee's goal is that the Board be able to make an offer by March 19, 1996. Faculty are encouraged to contact members of the Search Committee with input regarding the search. It is important that the search be completed this semester in order that GMU not "drift" with an acting president.
III. New Business
Ms. Taylor MOVED, on behalf of the Executive Committee, to recommend that establishment of the Institute for Educational Transformation (IET) as an institute as identified by the Faculty Handbook be denied. (See Attachment A for the complete motion.) She also reminded Senators and guests that this was the only issue to be considered at this Special Meeting. The Senate has several options regarding recommendation of the disposition of the proposed institute.
Mr. Hugh Sockett, Director of IET, spoke against the Executive Committee motion. He elaborated some of the points in his February 26, 1996 memorandum to the Faculty Senate, emphasizing that the process followed in developing the IET proposal was consistent with the Faculty Handbook. Mr. Sockett reported that the proposal addresses all issues identified in the Handbook interpretation related to changes in academic organization. He also argued that Institute status is important for the University and for IET. With permanent unit recognition, IET will command a stronger negotiating position with public and private organizations. Additionally, Mr. Sockett maintained that increased visibility of IET will enhance program development at the Prince William and Arlington Campuses.
Mr. Gustavo Mellander, Dean of the Graduate School of Education (GSE), spoke in favor of the Executive Committee motion. He suggested that a critical Senate review is important in establishing respectability of the Faculty Senate in issues of organizational change. He identified five areas of concern. First, the GSE is accountable for all professional education programs in accreditation reports. Therefore, it is critical that IET report to GSE. Second, the IET proposal has not adequately addressed program evaluation issues. Third, the relationship between IET and IET, Inc. is unclear; degree-granting units of the University must not depend on private organizations. Fourth, IET has only one tenured and one tenure-track faculty, and its budget is heavily subsidized by the University. Finally, the mission of IET is completely congruent with that of GSE. Mr. Mellander also pointed out that SCHEV is mandating reduction in number of academic units and the streamlining of academic programs.
Mr. Spikell suggested that the IET proposal failed to address some of the issues required by the Faculty Handbook. He reminded the Senators that responsibilities regarding establishment of new LAU's imply consideration regarding reconfiguring or eliminating existing ones. The IET proposal is not compelling.
Mr. Boileau MOVED and it was SECONDED to AMEND the main motion by substituting "considered by the Faculty Senate by October, 1996" for "denied."
Discussion centered around implications regarding whether the Board of Visitors would act without Senate input if the Senate delayed action, and whether such action should be deferred until a new president is in office. John O'Connor stressed the importance of all faculty recognizing the decision of the Senate and keeping the issue in-house.
Mr. Eagle MOVED THE PREVIOUS QUESTION. His motion was SECONDED and PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
The amendment FAILED by voice vote.
Mr. Eagle offered several friendly amendments which were accepted by the Executive Committee.
Mr. Thomas MOVED and it was SECONDED that the vote on the main motion and all future substantive amendments to it be taken by secret ballot. This motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
The main motion PASSED by 16-13.
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 pm.
James F. Sanford
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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