GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
February 12, 1997
Senators Present: Albanese, Bergmann, P. Black, Boileau, Clements, Conti, Crockett, De Nys, Eagle, Elstun, Fuchs, Gantz, Hamburger, High, Hurt, Jensen, Kaplan, Manchester, Metcalf, O'Connor, Palkovich, Potter, Ruhling, Sanford, Sofer, Spikell, Tabak, Taylor, Travis, Wilkie, and Wood.
Senators Absent: W. M. Black, Blaisten-Barojas, Carty, Deshmukh, Eagle, Fuchs, Fulmer, Mellander, Merten, Miller, Muris, O'Hara, Perry, Rine, Rosenblum, Ruth, Thomas and Zoltek.
Attending Guests: K. McKalip (Academic Advising), S. Jones (Registrar), J. Wilkinson (Student Government), A. Skoloda (University Police), A. Oglesby (University Police) S. Taylor (Operational Services) P. Story (PAGE) and Rootes (Faculty Senate Office)
I Call to Order
II Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the January 22, 1997 meeting were approved as distributed.
A. Wood announced that task force information has been published in the Gazette and encouraged everyone to read the article.
B. Provost Potter reported that all six searches are progressing well. The School of Law is close to making an offer to a finalist. The remaining five search committees will be interviewing finalists within the next two-three weeks. He said the interviews would be conducted within a common framework of expectations including open presentations with question and answer periods. As potential "University Citizens," he said the candidates should meet face to face and interact with faculty.
IV Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V New Business
A. Senate Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
Elstun reported that recent meetings with the Provost have focused on the issue of preserving and defending academic freedom, and faculty employment contract issues. Contract issues included intellectual property rights, conflicts of interest, and outside employment. The Provost has also requested that the Senate establish a final hearing procedure for student academic appeals. A standing faculty committee at the university level has been suggested, and may be on the March agenda.
2. Academic Policies Committee
DeNys presented a motion to approve the conversion of PAGE to a university-wide honors program (Attachment A).
Taylor proposed a friendly amendment to change the provisional status from one year to two years. Amendment was accepted.
Discussion followed concerning the status of existing PAGE students. P. Story (Director, PAGE) indicated that existing students would continue their current program, but would not receive honors. No additional students would be admitted to the current PAGE program. . Motion passed unanimously.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
There were no specific items to report. The next committee meeting will be February 27, 1997 at 3:00pm.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
The next committee meeting will be February 21, 1997 at 1:00pm. The committee will be discussing external information-sharing procedures.
5. Facilities and Support Services Committee
Hurt reported a solution to the problem of split travel expenses. The travel office recommends that the entire expense be charged to a department account, and that the traveler reimburse the department account for their share of the travel expense.
A. Oglesby (University Police) reported that two arrests had been made from previous bomb threats. He then explained two methods of trapping phone calls during bomb threats. If your phone has a "trace" button, then depress "trace," alert staff, and call police. If your phone does not have a "trace" button you may depress "transfer," "conference," or the switch hook, and then *57. He advised listening and getting as much information as possible before pushing *57. He indicated that using *57 will disconnect the call and you may not hear the location of the bomb or other important information. A. Skiloda (University Police) directed faculty to isolate all suspicious packages, and call the police. He said any suspicious package should not be disturbed.
6. Nominations Committee
Taylor presented the following nominees for the newly created Ad-Hoc University Post-Tenure Review Committee: Carol Mattusch (CAS), Hale Tongren (SBA), Dennis Dunklee (GSE), William Lash (Law), Ariela Sofer (SITE), Don Kash (Institutes), Luther Brown (NCC), and Mary Silva (CNHS). There were no nominations from the floor. All nominees were unanimously elected.
B. Other Reports
1. Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors
The next BOV meeting will be March 26, 1997.
2. Faculty Senate of Virginia
Conti presented a report of the Faculty Senate of Virginia meeting held on January 24,1997 (Attachment B)
VI. Other New Business
Taylor recommended revising the name of the new Post-Tenure Review Committee to include the word "procedures." She said adding the word "procedures" would more accurately reflect the charge of the committee and prevent confusion regarding the scope of their function. Senate unanimously accepted this proposal. The Committee will be named the University Ad-Hoc Post Tenure Review Procedures Committee.
VII. Adjournment at 3:50pm.
The Senate endorses the establishment of university-wide honors programs. Since the authority of the Faculty Senate includes oversight of all academic programs which are not limited to a single Local Academic Unit, oversight of university-wide honors programs is included within the Senate's charge. Oversight includes (a) program approval; (b) establishment of criteria for admission, faculty participation, academic requirements, etc.; and (c) periodic program review.
The Senate provisionally approves the conversion of PAGE to a university-wide honors program. Approval is limited to the 1997-1998 academic year. In the Fall Semester, 1997, the Academic Policies Committee, after consultation with the College of Arts and Sciences, will submit to the Senate for review and approval a set of criteria which all university honors programs must meet. They will include (a) criteria for student admission, (b) criteria regarding flexibility of admission to allow qualified part-time and transfer students to participate, (c) criteria for faculty participation, (d) criteria regarding student/teacher ratio and opportunities for student-teacher interaction, and (e) criteria regarding program content, format, and requirements.
Upon adoption of these criteria, PAGE will be reviewed for continuing designation as a university-wide honors program. Other proposed honors programs must meet the same criteria. All university-wide honors programs will be reviewed by the Faculty Senate on a regular basis, consistent with other academic program reviews. Honors programs which are contained within a specific LAU must meet the criteria established by the Faculty Senate, but can be approved and reviewed in a manner consistent with that LAU.
The Faculty Senate of Virginia met in Richmond on January 24th, 1997. President Deborah Greene (William & Mary) held a brief meeting during lunch and informed the attending Senators that (1) the lag-pay issue appears to be resolved and no further action is needed by the Faculty Senate of Virginia, (2) that faculty involvement in the training of new college and university board members doesn't appear likely at this time, (3) that the Faculty Senate of Virginia should send a thank you letter to the Business Round Table for their excellent support in gaining financial consideration for Virginia higher education, (4) and that a task force be appointed to explore "lobbying" on behalf of FSV.
The Senators present also met with Mike McDowell, SCHEV Liaison at 1:30pm. Higher education and related bills were discussed.
HB2632, Exceptions from general early retirement, allowing such without reduced benefits if involuntarily separated and have 20 years of service and are age 55 or older.
HB2212, Reconstitutes SCHEV to six Gubernatorial and five Legislative appointees to serve five year terms.
HB2262, Strikes previously approved revenue bond for a residence hall at GMU ($17.5 million)
SJ283, Policy to reduce in-state tuition rates by 10%per annum until 70/30 split is achieved. McDowell noted that there are no monies allocated to the General Fund to accomplish this even if the bill passed.
There was discussion of the status of salaries of Virginia higher education faculty and according to one study, there has not been a "brain drain" away from Virginia. It was felt that the study had not considered all of the significant factors . To qualify the "brain drain," the study showed only 0.2% of faculty in the state left for "better positions." The Governor ignored the fact that 1.0% left for "equivalent positions." On this basis, he only approved a 2% raise for next year. That is , he did not approve the $18 million for raises recommended by SCHEV. Apparently, the Governor did not realize that "equivalent" is likely to mean a salary increase although perhaps the same rank. Attempts are being made now to correct this perception. Peg Miller (SCHEV) discussed the Indicators Project for Virginia Faculty. How might what faculty do be described to the general public? A form asking faculty to report on how they allocate their time will be given to a random sample of faculty. It is crucial to fill out and return the form, which only takes 10-15 minutes.
Tom Sherman (VPI) proposed that State of Virginia faculty get more involved in the legislative process, possibly to include engaging a lobbyist for "faculty interests." An ad-hoc committee of volunteers was formed to study this proposal.
Rich Bolstein, Bobbie Conti, and Anita Taylor
George Mason University Representatives
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