GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
OCTOBER 9, 1996
Senators Present: Albanese, Bergmann, M. Black, Boileau, Carty, Chung, Conti, De Nys, Deshmukh, Eagle, Elstun, Fuchs, Gantz, Hamburger, D. Kaplan Manchester, Metcalf, Miller, O'Hara, Palkovich, Perry, Rine, Rosenblum, Ruhling, Sanford, Sofer, Spikell, Tabak, Taylor, Wood, Zoltek.
Senators Absent: P. Black, Blaisten-Barojas, Clements, Fulmer, Hurt, Jensen, Kaplan, Mellander, Merten, Mose, Muris, O'Connor, Potter, Ruth, Sage, Thomas.
Attending Guests: Quinn (Law), Cary (CNHS), Boehm-Davis (Office of the Provost), Scimecca (CAS), Jones (Office of the Registrar), McAlip (Academic Advising), Abrahamson (Library), Hubbard (Student Senate), Reed (Student Senate), Dear (CNHS), Urda (Student Senate), Mahanty (Student Senate), Walsh (Library).
I. Call To Order
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the September 25, 1996 called meeting and the September 11, 1996 regular meeting were approved without dissent.
The deadline for November Agenda is November 1, 1996.
IV. Unfinished Business
A. Task Force on Multi-Year Contracts
Associate Provost Boehm-Davis was present to answer questions concerning the final report of the Task Force on Multi-Year Contracts. Task Force chair Brandwine could not attend. Taylor understood the conclusion to be that the mix and total appointments have been the same over the 5-year period studied. Boehm-Davis replied that there has been a slight growth in restricted appointments but that they have been for research, not teaching. Taylor asked about part-time faculty and opined that the Task Force had interpreted its charge narrowly. Boehm-Davis stated that the charge was understood as applying to restricted and contract employees, but that the Task Force can go back for more information. Boileau added that part-timers may be de facto multi-year employees and that this may explain non-growth or low growth.
In response to the following motion, Boehm-Davis expressed an intent to cooperate, subject to availability and difficulty of obtaining data. Moved (Boileau) and seconded: that the Task Force look at the role of part-time faculty. Friendly Amendment (Sanford): that they report back in January. Motion passed as amended.
Moved (De Nys), seconded and passed: to refer to Organization and Operations the Task Force suggestion that faculty on restricted appointments be eligible to serve in the senate.
B. Ad Hoc Committee on Summer School Salaries
Scimecca (CAS), who chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Summer School Salaries, took questions on the recommendations of that committee. Boileau asked Scimecca his reaction to the response of the adminstration (Scherrens, Potter and Swope). Scimecca said the reasons given in the response did not make sense to him. Taylor suggested the Faculty Senate might consider whether to support making summer salaries a budget priority. Metcalf (a member of the Ad Hoc Committee) suggested requesting reconsideration and deferring the issue until the November Senate meeting when those who wrote the recommendations could be present to discuss the issue. Scimecca replied that would make it too late to implement for 1997. Sanford questioned why that would be too late. Various suggestions were made about preparatory efforts to make the following motion productive.
Moved (Thomas) and seconded: to continue the matter to the November meeting, with administrators present if possible. Friendly amendment (Conti): that the committee meet with the administrators who wrote the response. Motion passed as amended.
V. New Business
A. Senate Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
The Provost sought advice on committee membership for reviewing of academic units. Distribution of Senate minutes and most other information will be increasingly via email. However, paper copies of agendas will continue to be circulated at least one week in advance of meetings.
There is a commitment to hold an open forum on gender salary equity. The date is not yet firm but it will be communicated to all as soon as the Faculty Matters Committee determines it. Rosenblum expressed concern for speed, so that the salary information would not become out of date.
2. Academic Policies Committee
There was no report.
3. Faculty Matters Committee
Items for the next meeting include administrator evaluations; insurance for faculty when traveling; and twelve month contracts. The Committee will wait until after the Open Forum to report on the salary equity issue. Wood asked why the committee chose to wait. Elstun said that she had urged the Committee to hold off on reporting, so it would not appear that they had already reached a decision and were closed-minded at the Open Forum.
4. Organization and Operations Committee
Eagle will be in charge of reviewing reorganization issues and possible ensuing changes in the by-laws.
5. Faculty and Support Services Committee
Items for the next meeting are parking difficulties and access during Winter Break.
6. Nominations Committee
The committee has filled the remaining positions on the Ad Hoc University Committee on Diversity Issues, as instructed to do in May, 1995.
B. Other Committees and Representatives
1. Board of Visitors
Liaison Sofer reported on the September 18, 1996 meetings of the Academic Affairs Committee and of the full Board. The Board meeting heard the report of the Student Affairs Committee concerning $15,000 funding for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center. Funding has been suspended pending the receipt of additional information at the November meeting. Board of Visitors meetings are open; to speak one must request in advance.
8. Faculty Senate of Virginia
Content and discussion on:
9. Ad Hoc Grievance Committee
Committee Chair Dear (CNHS) noted that the committee was established in December, 1994 and authorized to operate through the 1995-96 Academic Year. Its purpose has been to serve for sub-units without such committees. There has been much to do to ensure conformity with the Faculty Handbook.
Moved (Taylor), seconded and passed: to continue the committee, with its current membership, through the 1996-97 Academic Year, and to refer to Organization and Operations the question of whether there is need for a standing committee.
10. Ad Hoc University Committee on Diversity Issues
The committee expressed its strong concern about the action by the Board of Visitors, which has suspended funding for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center; see item 7 above. The committee considered the action a dangerous precedent with respect to the autonomy of George Mason University. Further, any discriminatory motivation would be contrary to GMU's Mission Statement. The committee will investigate the issue further with the administration, and plans to present a motion at the next Senate meeting.
VI. Other New Business
Moved (Rosenblum), seconded and passed: that the Faculty Senate Liaison should attempt to attend regularly the meetings of the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Visitors.
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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