GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
September 13, 1995
Senators Present: Albanese, Blaisten-Barojas, Boileau, Chung, Clements, Conti, Crockett, De Nys, Elstun, Fuchs, Gantz, Hammond, Hurt, Jensen, Kaplan, Lont, Manchester, Metcalf, Mose, Perry, Robbins, Rossini, Ruth, Sanford, Sofer, Spikell, Tabak, Taylor, Todd, Tongren, Torzilli, and Zoltek.
Senators Absent: Black, Buckley, Carty, Eagle, Fulmer, Hamburger, Johnson, Manne, Mellander, Potter, Sage, Thomas, and Wright.
Attending Guests: Hall (Languages), Richardson (Gazette), Fletcher (Provost Office), McKalip (Academic Advising), Jones (Registrar's Office), Bafundo (Undergraduate Studies), Rosenzweig (History), Schools (Student Senate), and Oates (New Century College).
I. Call to Order
The Chair, Anita Taylor, called the meeting to order at 3:04 P.M.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the May 3, 1995, meeting were approved as distributed.
Ms. Taylor announced the next Board of Visitors meeting will be held at 3:30, September 20, in the Mason Hall Board Room. The meeting is open to visitors.
A copy of the University of Memphis Faculty Handbook is available in the Faculty Senate office.
Mr. Sanford announced that he had received a card from former secretary Margret Swartz expressing appreciation for her retirement gift from the Senate.
Mr. Sanford requested that all motions be presented in written form and that information that is submitted to the Senate office for distribution in hard copy form be sent to the office in hard copy. He also requested that Senators review and update information on the Senate Roster.
Mr. Sanford also announced that Senators would be sent complete copies of the May 3, 1995, minutes; however, other members of the University community would not receive attachments with their copies. These minutes include numerous committee reports and are expensive to photocopy. Copies of attachments will be available from the Senate office upon request.
Copies of the Senate bylaws and charter are also available from the Senate office.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
A. Senate Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
Ms. Taylor distributed a report of items pending before the Senate. Ms. Taylor reported that the Organization and Operations Committee had referred an item to the Executive Committee at the end of the 1994-1995 academic year. The item concerned a document received from several School of Business faculty relating to processes and procedures by which the Graduate Business Institute was established and faculty assigned to it. The Committee continues to review this matter.
Later in the year, the Committee will distribute a summary of handbook interpretations to the University community.
2. Academic Policies Committee
There was no report.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
There was no report.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
Ms. Elstun distributed a status report on items of business completed during 1994-1995 and carried over to 1995-1996.
5. Facilities Committee
There was no report.
6. Nominations Committee
Mr. Boileau presented the Committee's slate for University Committees, Senate Committees, Senate Sergeant at Arms and Senate Secretary. The Committee's nominees were ELECTED by voice vote without dissent for Athletic Council; Non-Traditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee; Committee for Effective Teaching; Library Committee; Writing across the Curriculum Committee; Academic Policies Committee; Organization and Operations Committee; Facilities and Support Services Committee; Sergeant at arms; and Secretary. Nominees for Faculty Senate of Virginia were withdrawn because all current members have continuing terms.
Ms. Fuchs withdrew from nomination for Minority Affairs Committee and, absent nominations from the floor, the Nominations Committee was instructed to present a nominee at the October Senate meeting to complete this committee's membership. Other nominees to the Minority Affairs Committee were ELECTED by voice vote without dissent.
For Faculty Matters Committee, only three nominees were presented on the slate. Mr. Hamburger, Mr. Boileau and Ms. Fuchs were nominated from the floor. Ms. Conti, Mr. Perry, Mr. Robbins, Mr. Hamburger and Mr. Boileau were ELECTED by written ballot.
For Nominations Committee, Ms. Kaplan, Mr. Manchester, Mr. Clements, Mr. Metcalf, Mr. Black and Ms. Fuchs were nominated from the floor. Ms. Kaplan, Mr. Manchester, Mr. Clements, Mr. Metcalf and Mr. Black were ELECTED by written ballot.
For Chair of the Senate, Ms. Taylor was nominated from the floor. Mr. Tongren, Chair pro tempore, assumed the chair and called for additional nominations. Hearing none, Ms. Taylor was ELECTED by voice vote without dissent.
Ms. Taylor resumed the chair and requested that the committees meet to elect a chair as soon as possible.
B. Other Committees
1. Ad-Hoc Committee on Plus-Minus Grading System
Mr. Gantz distributed a draft proposal for a plus-minus grading system. (See Attachment E.) The proposal will be further discussed at the October Faculty Senate meeting and voted on at the November meeting.
VI. Other New Business
A. Ms. Taylor requested that agenda items be taken out of order to allow John O'Connor to update the Senate on the progress of New Century College (NCC) and use of technology in instruction. Hearing no objection, Mr. O'Connor was introduced. NCC has enrolled its first class and successfully begun operation. It has received a small number of FTE and expects small increases in future years. Faculty affiliated with the college have joint appointments with other local academic units (LAUs). NCC is going into the University Center, and Mr. O'Connor is in charge of University Center programming. He is using the recommendations from the Chickering Committee. Mr. O'Connor is also interim Vice Provost for Information Technology and Services. The library, IDO, UCIS, and MasonLink report to him. Classroom technology use is increasing, and more classrooms have the capability to support its use. Advances in instructional applications of technology remain a priority at George Mason. In response to questions, Mr. O'Connor indicated the NCC would not expect Senate representation for a couple of years. A problem in attracting faculty is that part-time faculty normally must replace them in their LAUs.
B. Mr. Sanford MOVED and it was SECONDED that the proposed Senate meeting schedule be adopted. It was PASSED by voice vote without dissent.
C. Mr. Boileau MOVED and it was SECONDED that the Senate approve a revised resolution on distribution of salary increases. Mr. Boileau and Mr. Sanford discussed the importance of attempting to ensure that faculty not lag too much behind increases in cost of living expenses. Lower paid faculty are especially vulnerable to such increases. Merit increases in lower ranks draw less money from the available pool. Mr. Spikell indicated that the Graduate School of Education had generally opposed the resolution because of its post hoc nature and its potential deleterious effect on salaries of senior faculty near retirement. Mr. Tabak suggested that merit is important if the increase were to exceed the cost of living, but under present circumstances we must be sure that all faculty are supported. Mr. Torzilli emphasized the importance of supporting faculty in lower ranks. Mr. Gantz pointed out that cost of living is reported on a percentage basis, but purchasing power is more appropriately measured in actual dollars. The resolution PASSED by a vote of 20 in favor and 4 against.
D. Ms. Taylor briefly discussed establishing a university-wide grievance committee. While the Faculty Senate should not be involved in the operations of individual LAUs, several faculty have expressed concern about the ability to have a fair hearing in some local grievance committees. Ms. Elstun pointed out that an ad hoc university-wide grievance committee to hear grievances in small and emerging LAUs had been established last year and that it has been a busy committee. Its chair, Margaret Dear, will be reporting to the Senate at a future meeting. Discussion of this issue will continue.
The meeting adjourned at 4:13 P.M.
James F. Sanford
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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