GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
MARCH 6, 1996
PRESENT: Black, Blaisten-Barojas, Boileau, Censer, Chung, Conti, Crockett, DeNys, Elstun, Gantz, Hamburger, Hammond, Jensen, Manchester, Metcalf, Robbins, Rossini, Sanford, Sofer, Spikell, Tabak, Todd, Tongren, Torzilli, Wright, Zoltek.
ABSENT: Albanese, Buckley, Carty, Clements, Eagle, Fuchs, Fulmer, Hurt, Johnson, Kaplan, Lont, Manne, Mellander, Mose, Perry, Potter, Ruth, Sage, Taylor, Thomas.
GUESTS: Hall (CNHS), Fletcher (Provost Office), Brueggen (Student), Albanese (Student), Quinn (Law), Kelly (Student), Pasnak (Psychology), Lee (Faculty Senate).
I. Call to Order
The Chair Pro Tempore, Hale Tongren, called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the February 14, 1996 meeting were approved after correction of typographical errors.
There were no announcements.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
A. Standing Committees:
1. Executive Committee
Ms. Elstun reported that the Committee had discussed consequential post-tenure review and had modified and clarified the policy and procedures proposed by the Faculty Matters Committee. The revised proposal will be presented by the Faculty Matters Committee.
2. Academic Policies Committee
There was no report.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
Mr. Boileau MOVED on behalf of the Committee that the Faculty Senate adopt the policy on post-tenure review as a clarification of procedures for faculty evaluation consistent with the Faculty Handbook. Mr. Boileau explained that the motion is a benign response to the mandate from SCHEV to develop a consequential post-tenure review policy. The Committee proposes to use annual faculty reviews, already in place, for post-tenure review. A five or seven year review, similar to a review completed for tenure decisions, was rejected by the Committee. In rare cases (currently less than 1% of faculty), where faculty are rated "unsatisfactory," the policy and procedures propose to protect faculty in the following ways. First, after a single "unsatisfactory" evaluation, consultation with the LAU administrator and implementation of a remedial plan is mandated. Second, after two unsatisfactory evaluations in four years, the next level administrator must be involved. Such involvement serves to protect the faculty member when a disagreement regarding performance occurs between the faculty member and the LAU administrator. The Provost will be involved upon a third "unsatisfactory" rating in five years.
Mr. Tabak questioned what criteria exist for evaluation. Mr. Fletcher responded that criteria are already identified in the Handbook. Furthermore, LAU's should already have in place criteria for annual evaluation. Ms. Sofer pointed out that potential disciplinary actions against faculty (Policy #4) are not identified. Mr. Boileau responded that this was a purposeful omission. Individual cases require individual actions; flexibility is important, and establishing a definitive list of actions is not possible.
Ms. Elstun expressed the opinion that it was unfortunate that the issue of post-tenure review had arisen, but under the circumstances, the present proposal is a very good one. It protects faculty by (a) identifying that unsatisfactory ratings are rare (Policy #1a); (b) affirming the principle of peer judgment (Policy #1c); (c) leaving the timetable for remedial action open for negotiation (Policy #4); and (d) specifying that faculty members are entitled to respond to negative judgments (Procedure #2b). Faculty cannot be solely responsible for evaluation; a shared governance model requires that administrators be involved.
Mr. Black questioned how faculty might appeal an unsatisfactory evaluation. Mr. Boileau responded that most units have grievance procedures in place. Such procedures are described in the Faculty Handbook and in school/college
Mr. Zoltek MOVED and it was SECONDED to call a Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate on March 20 to consider the issue of consequential post-tenure review. He suggested that the proposal has not yet been widely reviewed by faculty. The proposal can be distributed by e-mail for comment.
Other Senators pointed out the importance of voting on the issue at this meeting due to possible revision time if the proposal is rejected by SCHEV. Additionally, the original proposal has been distributed to all LAU's, and the proposed revisions have not essentially changed it. Mr. Black supported the motion to postpone, suggesting that the main motion proposes a significant change in conditions of employment for faculty.
The motion to postpone action FAILED by voice vote. The main motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
Mr. Spikell reported that he will distribute via e-mail a list of referred items. He also reported that the Committee is currently working on determining Senate membership allocation for next year.
5. Facilities and Support Services Committee
Mr. Zoltek reported that several parking enforcement personnel had resigned, and as a result, enforcement had declined. Approximately $20,000 has been allocated for additional signs to identify parking restrictions. The Committee also reports that parking enforcement personnel are willing to assist faculty and others with insurance claims if automobiles are damaged while parked. However, personnel assigned to the parking garage cannot leave their locations to investigate damage claims.
6. Nominations Committee
There was no report.
VI. Other New Business
There was no other new business.
The meeting adjourned at 4:13 PM.
James F. Sanford
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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