GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
November 8, 1995
Senators Present: Albanese, Black, Boileau, Chung, Conti, Crockett, De Nys, Elstun, Fuchs, Gantz, Hammond, Jensen, Kaplan, Lont, Manchester, Perry, Sanford, Spikell, Tabak, Taylor, Todd, Torzilli, and Zoltek.
Senators Absent: Blaisten-Barojas, Buckley, Carty, Clements, Eagle, Fulmer, Hamburger, Hurt, Johnson, Manne, Mellander, Metcalf, Mose, Potter, Robbins, Rossini, Ruth, Sage, Sofer, Thomas, Tongren, and Wright.
Attending Guests: Richardson (Mason Gazette), Bowen (GSE), Fletcher (Provost Office), McKalip (Academic Advising Center), Jones (Registrar's Office), Scimecca (Soc. & Anthr.), Quinn (Law School), Lee (Faculty Senate Office), Student Senators: Mazo, Van Hook, Hubbard, Mirchandani, Farfone, Reedy and Jacob.
I. Call to Order
The Chair, Anita Taylor, called the meeting to order at 3:05 P.M.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Special Meeting on October 5, 1995, were approved as distributed.
The minutes of the October 11, 1995, meeting were corrected as follows: Page 1, paragraph 6, last sentence should read, "This will soon be available to Senators, deans, directors and departments." The minutes were approved as corrected.
Ms. Taylor announced that faculty representatives elected by the General Faculty to be appointed to the Presidential Search Committee had received letters of appointment. There will be an open meeting of the Presidential Search Committee and the Executive Search Firm, which has been hired to assist in the search, at 2:30 P.M., November 15, 1995, in the Board Room in Mason Hall. Ms. Taylor expressed her interest in hearing any recommendations from faculty for the Presidential Search Committee.
Mr. Sanford reported high voter turnout for the Presidential Search Committee.
Mr. Sanford called the Senate's attention to an error in the November 3, 1995, issue of The Mason Gazette in reporting that representatives to the search committee were elected by the Faculty Senate. Faculty representatives were elected by the General Faculty to be appointed to the search committee.
Ms. Taylor announced to the Senate the existence of the Faculty Senate's Home Page on the World Wide Web via MasonLink. Information regarding meeting schedules and Senate membership is currently available on MasonLink. The Charter and Bylaws will be added this month. Ms. Taylor addressed the need to carefully consider information posted for University Information versus World Wide Web access and requested the support of Mr. Zoltek. Mr. Zoltek agreed to assist the Faculty Senate Office Administrator, Ms. Lee, in further development of the home page.
Ms. Taylor reported that Senate agendas and minutes will be distributed by e-mail beginning with the next calendar year. Hard copies of the agenda and draft minutes will be available at Senate meetings. Mr. Sanford distributed an updated Senate address roster for review and update.
Ms. Taylor distributed a report from the 1994-1995 Executive Committee regarding issues raised by several faculty of the School of Business Administration.
IV. Old Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
A. Senate Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
The Committee is discussing criteria for eligibility for University Professor. A report will be submitted to the Senate at a later date.
2. Academic Policies Committee
Ms. Elstun reported that Ms. Susan Jones, Registrar, had informed her that the Spring, 1996, Schedule of Classes is incorrect regarding the dates of Spring Break. The correct dates are March 11-17. Ms. Jones has developed a plan to notify the university community about the error. The Chair noted the Student Senate Representatives were in attendance and therefore have been notified of Spring Break 1996 correct dates.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
Mr. Boileau reported that the State Council of Higher Education has mandated Schools and Universities have a plan for consequential post-tenure review. Being consequential, remediation is implied where necessary. This mandate has a February, 1996, reporting date.
Mr. Boileau MOVED for the Committee a motion regarding distribution of the September 1995 Report of the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators. Mr. Boileau expressed the committee's concern that participation of the faculty in evaluating administrators dropped dramatically this past year. Furthermore, it is uncertain that all faculty received evaluation forms.
Ms. Elstun questioned what the committee's plans are to increase participation in future years. Ms. Elstun also pointed out that the library and deans' and directors' offices receive the report every year and questioned whether the intent of the motion was to limit distribution to these locations.
Mr. Boileau reiterated the committee's concern and need to work closely on this matter to ensure the number of responses increase in the future. Mr. Boileau affirmed the motion's intent to limit distribution to the previously stated locations. The motion is not meant to be precedent-setting and applies only to this year's report. The motion PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
Mr. Spikell reported the current status of several items discussed in the Organization and Operations Committee meeting on October 13, including:
a. The suggestion to look into the disparities that exist in salaries was referred
to the Faculty Matters Committee.
b. The task of defining the title/position of University Professors was discussed and referred to the Faculty Matters Committee.
c. Item received from the Executive Committee regarding the task of doing reviews and assessments of persons in "honorific" positions was discussed and referred to the Faculty Matters Committee.
d. Creating a system of Consequential post-tenure review was discussed and referred to the Faculty Matters Committee.
e. Requested changes in the academic calendar for Fall 1996 and Fall 1997 were referred to the Academic Policies Committee.
5. Facilities and Support Services
Mr. Zoltek reported that Early Retirement Options will remain a continuing item on the agenda. More information will be available in the next meeting. Mr. Zoltek also updated the senate on security and postal policy issues.
Mr. Jensen stated the new Food Service Contract has been awarded to Marriott.
6. Nominations Committee
There was no report.
B. Other Committees
1. Ad Hoc Committee on Summer School Salaries
Mr. Scimecca reported that the principles and premises which directed the Committee's work included:
(a) Summer School should not be used to generate funds to compensate for shortfalls during the remainder of the year at the expense of faculty salaries. Summer School earned a $3.2 million profit in each of the last two summers, yet each year faculty salaries have decreased. Allocations to departments have decreased despite the $3.2 million dollar surplus.
(b) Quality of Summer School instruction must remain equal to that of the remainder of the year. Full-Time faculty direct independent studies, thesis and dissertation's during the summer.
(c) Equity between LAU's. Faculty earning similar 10-month salaries should earn similar summer salaries, regardless of the LAU with which they are associated.
Mr. Scimecca then discussed the Five Point Model of Faculty Compensation. Recommendation I reiterates present policy. Remaining points concern recommendations that all faculty receive 10% of base salary for the first course they teach, and all faculty who earn less than $55,000 earn 10% for a second course as well. Higher paid faculty might earn less than 10% for a second course. The Committee recognizes that faculty earning between $55,000 and $70,000 might be penalized under the proposed system. Several Senators questioned why the Committee has not recommended compensation at 10% per course with no cap. Mr. Scimecca responded that the Summer School budget does not allow this. Mr. Spikell suggested that the proposed system might encourage faculty to manipulate enrollments. Mr. Scimecca responded that deans and department chairs must not allow that to happen. This would be unprofessional behavior on the part of faculty.
Ms. Elstun expressed opposition to Recommendation #3. Faculty pay should not be related to enrollment. This stipulation compromises the integrity of individuals, courses and programs. Mr. Scimecca responded that it protects faculty making less than $55,000. Mr. Manchester pointed out that distribution of enrollment across courses affects faculty pay under the proposed system. Mr. Boileau said that he would rather have a system that supports low-paid assistant and associate professors than one which assures an equal percentage for all faculty. Mr. Scimecca stated that one intent of the committee was to ensure that no faculty member earning at least $55,000 would earn less than $11,000 for teaching two courses. This was accepted as a friendly amendment to Recommendation #3.
Mr. Sanford MOVED the question and it was SECONDED. The motion PASSED, with 17 in favor and 3 opposed. The main motion PASSED by voice vote.
2. Ad Hoc Committee on Plus and Minus Grading System
Mr. Gantz presented the Committee's motion. The original motion was presented at the September 1995, meeting and discussed at the October, 1995 meeting of the Faculty Senate. The present motion takes into account Senate discussion and feedback from other faculty. Students have suggested that they be grandfathered in the present system; however, due to technological considerations, the Committee cannot ensure this will occur. Thus, implementation has been delayed until Fall 1997 when current students will be less impacted. In addition, plus and minus grades have been omitted from grades lower than C because of questions regarding satisfactory vs. unsatisfactory performance.
Discussion centered around deletion of the A+ grade and the overall effect on student GPA's. It is likely that the proposed system would deflate GPA's of the best students because A-, but not A+, would be assigned. However, overall, no systematic change in average GPA should occur because the system proposes as many plus as minus grades.
Ms. Quinn requested that the School of Law be exempted from the plus-minus system. Mr. Boileau MOVED to amend the motion by excluding the Law School. The motion FAILED for lack of a second.
The Chair requested that the students have the opportunity to be heard. Ms. Farfone and Mr. Reed from the Student Senate discussed student concerns about the proposed grading system and distributed a resolution and statement of concerns and reservations.
Mr. Torzilli MOVED and it was SECONDED to adjourn. The motion PASSED by voice vote. The plus-minus grading system motion will be discussed under Old Business at the next meeting.
Ms. Taylor requested the interim report of the Task Force on Flexible Scheduling be distributed.
James F. Sanford
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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