GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

May 6, 1998

 

Senators Present:  A.Berry, P. Black, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Bowen, R. Carty, J. Crockett, M. DeNys, M. Deshmukh, T. Domzal, E. Elstun, G. Galluzzo, D. Gantz, J. Hale, D. Kaplan, J. Metcalf, L. Miller, S. Muir, J. O’Connor, A. Palkovich, D. Potter, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, A. Sofer, D. Struppa, A. Taylor, E. Thorp, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie, S. Zoltek

 

Senators Absent:  K. Clements, R. Conti, S. Eagle, J. Flinn, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, A. Merten, E. O’Hara, W. Perry, J. Reid, D. Rine, R. Ruhling, J. Tangney, C. Thomas, T. Travis, K. Vaughn, J. Walsh

 

Guests Present:  A. Cary (CNHS), G. Cook (ECE), M. Cruise (Agency of Faculty & Course Evaluations), K. Gentemann (Institutional Assessment), K. Graffius (Student Senate), L. Irvine (Provost’s Office), S. Jones (Registrar’s Office), M. LeBaron (ICAR), J. Lin (Math), E. Rubin (Student Senate), L. Schwartzstein (Provost’s Office), J. Wood (Provost’s Office)

 

I.   Call to Order

Chair E. Elstun called the meeting to order at 3:05 PM.  She announced that if the Agenda for this May 6 Faculty Senate Meeting was not completed by 4:25 PM, the meeting would recess and reconvene on Wednesday, May 13 at 3:00 PM at the same location.

 

II.   Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the April 15 Faculty Senate Meeting (continued on April 22) were approved as distributed.

 

III. Announcements

E. Elstun announced that Michael Mullin, from SCHEV had distributed information comparing the various Richmond proposals for Salary Increases for Faculty. Additionally, results of a SCHEV study comparing freshmen enrolled at Virginia institutions and their acceptance/rejection at other institutions were released. Copies of both of these items are available in the Faculty Senate Office.

 

IV.   Unfinished Business

 

A.   Annual Reports of Standing and Ad Hoc University Committees

 

1.  University Committee on Effective Teaching

M. LeBaron reported that the Committee had three motions to present to the Senate.

 

Motion One:  The Faculty Senate supports the students' requests for including more student input in the faculty evaluations, and for better dissemination of these evaluations. As a point of clarification, and as a friendly amendment, the word “faculty” was stricken and replaced by the formally recognized “teacher/course” in referring to the evaluations.  Motion One passed as amended.

 

Motion Two:   To this end the Faculty Senate supports a two-semester pilot in which student-generated questions will be distributed at the time of the official evaluation instrument under the conditions set out below:

a.  Student-generated questions will follow university questions on a separate page of the instrument and be clearly marked as separate and student-generated.

b.  Data from student-generated questions will be distributed independently of official evaluation data and the responsibility for this dissemination will be discharged solely by the Student Government.

c.  Data from the official teaching evaluation questions will continue to be available on reserve in the GMU library.

d.  Data from student-generated questions will not be used in any decisions related to tenure and promotion and merit pay.

e.  Data from student-generated questions will be disseminated to GMU students electronically in a way that minimizes possibilities of external dissemination.

 

The following student-generated questions have been proposed for use by the Student Senate and approved by the Committee on Effective Teaching for use in the 1998-99 Academic Year: The practical application of subject matter is apparent; The course supplies me with an effective range of challenges; My instructor is actively helpful when students have problems; The assigned reading significantly contributed to this course; Lecture information is highly relevant to course objectives; Exams stress important points of the lectures and texts.

 

Discussion of Motion Two was as follows. The Senate was informed that the motion to be voted on only included the conditions specifically delineated (a.-e.), and that the student-generated questions included in the CET submission were strictly informational. A question was raised about how data could be prevented from use in promotion, tenure and merit pay decisions. LeBaron responded that the results of the student questions would not go to the Department Chair (like the current teacher/course evaluation data does) and would only be accessible by WEB to on-campus computer users. It was noted that a faculty member would not be allowed to use the student data as support for promotion, tenure, merit pay, etc. A motion to amend motion two by striking items d. and e. was made and seconded and a brief discussion ensued. Item d. was seen as a means of obligating Chairs from using student data for promotion, etc. consideration. The motion to amend failed.

 

Discussion of Motion Two continued. The accessibility of the results for evaluated teachers was addressed and in response it was noted that teachers would be able to access the data from a campus computer using their id number in the same manner as students. The issue of resources was brought up, and LeBaron identified that appropriate equipment already exists, that staffing issues still need to be addressed. It was also noted that the Provost had been notified that resources are an important issue to be remedied. The motion was moved and seconded and Motion Two passed.

 

Motion Three:  Throughout the 1998-1999 academic year the [possibly expanded] CET will conduct a comprehensive review of faculty evaluation questions. In this context the CET will also  work jointly with the students' representatives to assess the pilot program and to establish permanent procedures in the spirit of the pilot program that meet the students' goals of obtaining better evaluation questions and better dissemination.

 

Discussion of Motion Three was brief and focused on the Committee’s examination of the pilot program as a means of determining the effectiveness of the student-generated questions. LeBaron addressed the inquiry by stating that the third motion is not intended to contemplate the entire scope of the evaluation procedure and the positive or negative effects of specific questions, but rather to provide additional insight on the procedure. Furthermore, it was stressed that the Committee’s role is advisory, but that this process of incorporating student-generated questions into evaluations is consensual between the Committee and the student organizations involved. A friendly amendment to delete the word “faculty” and replace it with “teacher/course” was accepted, the vote was called for, and Motion Three passed as amended.

 

V.   New Business

 

A.   Annual Reports of Standing and Ad Hoc University Committees

 

1.   Report on Responses to the Draft Futures Statement

Joe Wood reported that there were a number of responses to the Draft Futures Statement, and that there were three general areas of response: 1) tone of the Statement; 2) structure of the Statement; and, 3) style of the Statement. Responses to the tone of the Statement commented on matters of the use or lack of use of the word “excellence” and the contrast of comments suggesting the Statement overemphasized or underemphasized information technology. However, the comments most consistently noted addressed the underemphasis on students and inadequacies in reference to infrastructure.

 

Responses to the structure of the Statement ranged from too general to too specific. The themes  try not to identify specific programs, although the core deals with arts and sciences without specificity. Programmatic values, the commitment to programs and at what levels, were also a concern of responses to the structure of the Statement. Regarding the style of the Statement, responses focused on the overuse of “exploit” and “technology” in the Statement. Additionally, it was noted that a name for the Statement is needed. J. Wood then opened the floor for questions, comments and discussion.

 

Discussing the Draft Futures Statement and responses to it J. Wood stated that he would also be presenting these responses to the President and the Board of Visitors. Responding to a question regarding the commitment to more full-time and tenured faculty and how some local units may not want more, J. Wood stated that the commitment is to achieve the future, and that changes will occur where it is appropriate to change for the benefit of programs (where and how appropriate as needed).  In response to the question of where the Futures Statement process goes now, J. Wood said that following presentation to the Board of Visitors, it is the President’s Statement to distribute as his Statement on the Future of GMU.  In the early Summer a set of goals will be put into place and priorities for the next five years will be outlined.

 

2.   University Athletic Council

Gerald Cook reported: The Athletic Council met four times this year. The major topic of business this year was whether GMU should have an NCAA football team. The Athletic Council opposed this by a vote of 7 to 5 while the University Task Force opposed it by a vote of 10 to 9. President Merten also expressed his opposition to it. (As did the Faculty Senate.)  The issue is still unresolved at the Board of Visitors level.

 

The Department of Athletics does an outstanding job of complying with the NCAA rules, which are very complex. There were a few inadvertent self-reported violations, but all of these passed without penalty to the institution. There was a more serious situation regarding the football team in which a student who was ineligible was allowed to play. Since this is a club team and not an NCAA team, this incident was not subject to an NCAA investigation and possible penalties. The Athletics Department has done a nice job of bolstering women’s sports to move us to a position within the acceptable guidelines for gender equity as specified by the law of Title IX. The next sports teams to be added will be swimming.

Academic performance by our student athletes this past fall was pretty good. Of the fifteen sports reported, the golf team led in GPA with 3.1, and all others were at or above 2.5 except men’s basketball, which was at 2.27. Based on interviews with departing student athletes, the Academic Support Office is providing a valuable service in terms of advising, registration and tutoring. I would also add that my general impression from interviewing these young women and men is that they are good ambassadors for our university.

 

A. Taylor thanked Gerald Cook for the work the Council and Task Force have done with regards to football, and inquired as to whether the faculty had been consulted in the financial study of football being conducted. G. Cook responded that he did not believe so. E. Rubin commented that the students also were not being consulted by the Finance Subcommittee studying football. L. Miller commented that the men’s swimming team is tied to the ultimate decision on football by the BOV.

 

3.   Ad Hoc Grievance Committee

Marion Deshmukh reported: The Committee considered a faculty grievance case in which one faculty member charged another with unprofessional conduct and harassment. The Committee asked the charged faculty member to respond in writing. The Committee, after weighing both the charges and the rebuttal, unanimously decided that the charged party was not guilty of either unprofessional conduct or harassment. The grievance stemmed from an earlier case in which the aggrieved party in the present case was charged with plagiarism. The Committee found the Faculty Handbook to be unacceptably contradictory and vague in its procedures relating to suspected plagiarism.

 

The American Association of University Professors “Statement on Plagiarism,” which is reprinted on pp. 63-67 of the Faculty Handbook, states that “any discovery of suspected plagiarism should be brought at once to the attention of the affected parties and, as appropriate, to the profession at large through proper and effective channels typically through reviews in or communications to relevant scholarly journals.” The term “affected parties” is not defined. Moreover, page 33 of the Faculty Handbook recommends that a grievance be filed for unethical conduct, but it says nothing about immediately notifying the affected parties or about utilizing the A.A.U.P., which the A.A.U.P. clearly encourages; the Statement on Plagiarism,” states (p. 66) that “Committee B of the association stands ready to provide its good offices in resolving questions of plagiarism, either independently or in collaboration with other professional societies.”

 

To reduce the vagueness in the Handbook, the Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate, in consultation with the Board of Visitors, the President, and the Provost, delineate better guidelines for the proper steps to take in cases of suspected plagiarism. We further recommend that the university avail itself to the good offices of the A.A.U.P.  Plagiarism cases are rarely something that can be properly resolved within a college or even a university. Outside opinion will almost certainly be required.

Senate Chair Elstun directed the Committee Report to be sent to the Organization & Operations Committee for introduction and recording, and to forward the item to the appropriate Committee.  A motion was raised to discharge the Committee with appreciation for their work.  The motion passed.

 

4.   University Salary Equity Study Committee

 Ann Palkovich reported that the Committee had six recommendations which it wished the Faculty Senate to endorse.  (Motions are Attachment B of the May 6, 1998 Agenda.) 

 

Motion One (establishing a database of information relevant to a salary study) moved and passed without discussion. 

 

Motion Two (legal requirements of a salary equity study) required a brief discussion. During discussion, the question was asked why differentiate between LAU merit evaluations and local merit evaluations? A. Palkovich responded that the result would be the creation of a comparative system universal to the entire University. Following the discussion, the motion two was moved and passed.

 

Motion Three (information about restricted faculty) also drew some discussion.  First, it was noted that there is currently no known policy regarding long-term employment of restricted faculty. Next, it was noted that some restricted faculty serve on one year appointments for more than five years. determine a set of guidelines. The goal is to, in cooperation with the Provost and Deans and Directors, find a common set of guidelines which better delineate restricted faculty policy.  Motion three was moved and passed.

 

It was suggested that Motion Five be addressed before motion four since motion five authorizes the re-establishment of the Ombudsman which is to take the actions outlined in motion four. Motion Five (Ombudsman) had discussion to clarify what happened to the Ombudsman position which had existed previously. The answer was that the position, an office which handles a wide-range of responsibilities including complaints not otherwise appropriately addressed or resolved by some other part of the University, was not abolished; rather, it just disappeared when the last Ombudsman left the position. Motion Five was moved and passed.

 

Motion Four (salary equity interviews) was moved and passed without discussion.

 

Motion Six (annual salary report) was introduced and A. Palkovich stated that much of the information in this report is already being collected and reported to and for other institutional offices.  After a brief clarification, motion six was moved and passed.

 

5.   University Minority Affairs Committee

J. E. Lin reported that the Committee met three times and that they discussed making the Committee more accessible to the GMU community.  Additionally, J. Lin reported: Since this Committee is going to be restructured as the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee in the coming Fall, we wish to make some suggestions for the future Committee.  In the following statements, “this Committee” also includes the future “Minority and Diversity Issues Committee.”

 

1.  This Committee should be listed on the GMU Student/Faculty/Staff Telephone Directory under appropriate office so that it is easy for students, faculty, and staff to contact it if there is a need for consultations on certain issues.

2.  Any academic related matters concerning minority issues should be referred to this Committee for discussions.

3.  This Committee should be consulted for the reaching out, recruiting, and retaining minority students.

4.  We recommend that each academic unit have a voluntary faculty for monitoring the academic progress of its minority students.

 

6.   University Non-Traditional, Interdisciplinary and Adult Learning Committee

 It was reported that this Committee was unable to meet, and therefore there is nothing to report.

 

7.   Writing Across the Curriculum

Stanley Zoltek requested that this Committee’s report be postponed to the end of the agenda, where it was still appropriate.  It was agreed to and placed at the end of Annual Reports of Standing and Ad Hoc University Committees.

 

8.   Ad Hoc Catalog Review Committee

Joe Wood reported that the Catalog went to print yesterday.  Furthermore, J. Wood reported that: The Committee was formed at my request to help me review the catalog for a major overhaul. The catalog is a snapshot, and it is never perfect, of course. Still, we are trying. The effort will take two years. This is the end of year one.

 

1.  Committee members reviewed the catalog and also reviewed many of the suggestions for revision submitted to the Committee in the fall semester, making their own recommendations, especially to non-program specific portions. Several issues of academic policy were referred to the Senate, and work remains to be accomplished in a second year of this two-year major overhaul of the catalog.

2.  Catalog timetable:  The catalog went to production on May 5, 1998 and will go to the printer by May 22 for delivery prior to July 1 for new student orientation. All along the way, Diane Britton was extraordinarily generous in allowing late modifications, additions, and deletions, and she should be commended for her efforts at accommodating programmatic changes up to the very last minute.

3.  Highlights of the 1998-1999 Catalog: thorough review of all portions; 4 color cover; clearer and larger table of contents and index (e.g. course designation codes in index); reorganized alphabetically by keyword, e.g. art, conflict, policy; standardized terms for concentration, specialization, option, track, emphasis; full running headers; consistent font for headings; bullets for degree programs, including certificates and minors; reduced redundancy, e.g. repeated references in each program; new +/- grade system highlighted; GPAs to 3 decimals; sample schedules eliminated¾with mixed response; at 500 pages, still longer than in 1997-1998

4.  Matters requiring continued attention by the Committee during 1998-1999: once more sweep catalog for policy changes; interpretations; sweep for effects of restructuring; reorganize academic policies to reduce redundancy in undergraduate and graduate sections; respond to issues raised during this year but not yet addressed, including issues still to be brought to the Committee

5.  Continuing charge to the Committee. I expect to ask the Committee to take a close reading of the new catalog and once more review recommendations from programs and individuals. I expect to discharge the Committee by the end of the Fall Semester 1998.

 

9.   Ad Hoc Compensation & Working Conditions of Part-time Faculty

Steven Weinberger reported that the Committee had met three times since March 1998. Several key issues which the Committee felt needed to be addressed were identified including:  university-wide recognition of part-time faculty, compensation, performance evaluation procedures, office space, and computer access for part-time faculty, The Committee believed that some of the smaller local problems could be remedied cheaply and easily.

 

Chair Elstun ordered that the Meeting recess until Wednesday, May 13, at 3:00 PM.

 

Continuation of May 6, 1998 Faculty Senate Meeting

 

Senators Present:  P. Black, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Bowen, M. Deshmukh, E. Elstun, G. Galluzzo, D. Gantz, M. Grady, D. Kaplan, L. Miller, S. Muir, J. O’Connor, A. Palkovich, W. Perry, J. Reid, D. Rine, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, A. Sofer, A. Taylor, C. Thomas, E. Thorp, T. Travis, K. Vaughn, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie, S. Zoltek

 

Senators Absent:  A.Berry, R. Carty, K. Clements, R. Conti, J. Crockett, M. DeNys, T. Domzal, S. Eagle, J. Flinn, L. Griffiths, J. Hale, A. Merten, J. Metcalf, E. O’Hara, D. Potter, R. Ruhling, D. Struppa, J. Tangney, J. Walsh

 

Guests Present:  R. Bolstein (AES), Lo. Brown (English), Lu. Brown (NCC), S. Jones (Registrar), C. Thaiss (English)

 

I.   Call to Order

The Continued Meeting was called to order at 3:05 PM.

 

II.   Announcements

Chair Elstun announced that Dean Struppa was making a presentation to the Board of Visitors on the restructuring of the CAS while this meeting was being held.

 

 E. Elstun also announced that she had co-authored several “Op-Ed” pieces with other members of the Faculty Senate of Virginia regarding faculty issues including tenure which had been published in the Norfolk, Roanoke, Richmond and Charlottesville papers.  Copies for anyone interested will be made available.

 

III.   Unfinished Business

 

A.   Annual Reports of Standing and Ad Hoc University Committees

 

1.   Ad Hoc Compensation & Working Conditions of Part-time Faculty

Steven Weinberger reported that several of the main problems discovered in the Committee’s survey and inquiries could and should be addressed by the Senate and five recommendations for further action were presented.  The recommendations of the Committee are:

1.  Academic units must be encouraged to send a roster of their part-time faculty to Information Services to be included into the Student/Faculty/Staff telephone directory.  Some modification in the directory’s publication timetable may be necessary.

2.  Academic units must be encouraged to send a roster of their part-time faculty to UCIS, to be included in the WHOIS web directory of faculty and staff.

3.  The university must make a material commitment to the creation of well-defined office spaces for adjunct faculty.

4.  The university must make a material commitment for supplying web-accessible high-level computers dedicated to its part-time faculty.

5.  We plan to continue to gather information about George Mason’s part-time faculty and we are beginning to survey peer institutions about their part-time faculty situations.  We want to address the compensation issues.  We therefore recommend that out Committee be authorized be the Faculty Senate to continue next year.

E. Elstun recommended that items 1-4 be forwarded to the Faculty Matters Committee for further action, a motion to adopt these recommendations and send them to the Faculty Matters Committee was made and seconded, the motion passed.  A separate motion was needed to address the continuation of the Committee to next year.  A motion to continue the Committee next year was made and seconded, the motion passed.

 

2.   University Admissions Committee

 

                Luther Brown reported that the Committee had met four times since its establishment in mid-February.  This report represents an interim report of the Committee’s progress in meeting its charges.  Additionally, the Committee intends to report in the Fall with a profile of incoming students and a review of changes between the incoming class and the last admissions.  L. Brown further reported:

 

Our Committee received three charges, which will be dealt with in turn.

1.   Follow the admissions process so that faculty might better understand it.

The admissions process is described comprehensively in their self study.  Three aspects of this process have most impressed the Committee.

·         Its shear volume.  GMU now enrolls more than 8,000 new students every year simply to maintain its current size of about 24,000.  This includes about 5,000 freshmen and transfer students annually.  The other 3,000 new students are in various graduate programs or extended studies.

·         Its diversity.  The Admissions Office does not simply screen applicants for admission.  It is also the center for GMU marketing and promotion, activities that require considerable time, and for which most Admissions personnel have not been trained.

·         Its realities.  The Admissions Office confronts two unfortunate realities.  We want high quality students in our classes at the same time that the size of our faculty is directly linked to the size of our student body through the FTE formula.  Furthermore, increased admissions standards mean decreased diversity in the student body, and the community that we serve is diverse.

2.   Make recommendations regarding admissions standards to the Director of Admissions.

The current Admissions process differs from that used last year in several ways, each implemented in an effort to attract more highly qualified students.  In specific, new efforts have been made to

·         Identify high potential students and recruit them, especially from out of state.  Out of state students with high GPAs qualify now for tuition subsidies.

·         Identify high profile out of state minority students and recruit them.

·         Increase our success in recruiting ‘downstate’ students.

·         Increase our enrollment of international students.

The Committee applauds the Admissions Office and the Office of the Vice Provost for these changes.  They show innovative approaches to the problems inherent in balancing GMU’s social responsibility to the community against our own desire to increase standards.

Regarding recommendations, the Committee recommends the following:

·         That contracts with professional marketing firms be used to privatize the marketing of GMU programs.

·         That GMU faculty (including members of the Senate) actively participate in the interview process, which helps evaluate students while helping convince high profile students to select GMU.

·         That the Admissions Office continues its commitment to maintaining the diversity that characterizes our student body.

·         That the Admissions Office institute an analysis of the best predictors of an incoming student’s success in an effort to better select those students who will succeed in completing their education at GMU.

3.   Report admissions recommendations and statistics to the Faculty on an annual basis.

The Committee will make such a report in the Fall. Applications are currently in excess (by about 800) of last year. Because of this, standards have been raised, and the profile for currently admitted students for Fall 1998 includes mean GPA’s of 3.16 and mean SAT’s of 1070.

 

 L. Brown opened the floor for comments and questions. After several points of clarification, G. Galluzzo asked about GMU’s image, and if marketing of that image shouldn’t be made by insiders who know what the image is. Additionally, he asked what attempts GMU is making to recruit the Fairfax County, Richmond and Tidewater area students whom we are losing to other in-state schools. E. Elstun noted that the Senate should hear a follow-up report in the Fall. A motion was made by G. Galluzzo containing recommendations of further actions for the Admissions Committee to explore. These recommendations included:

1.  Explore the possibility of linking the Admissions Office and University Relations to establish a marketing dimension to Admissions.

2.  Explore the development of a transfer strategy for attracting top notch Northern Virginia  high school graduates who left the region for college, back to Northern Virginia and George Mason University.

The motion was seconded and passed.

 

3.   University Writing Across the Curriculum Committee

Stanley Zoltek reported that the Executive Summary of Chris Thaiss’ Assessment of the Writing-Intensive Program in All Undergraduate Degree Programs was included in the written report submitted to the Faculty Senate Office and that it be made available for further review as necessary.  S. Zoltek also noted that the Committee has a continuing need to work with the WAC Director and Associate Director to (1) review course syllabi of writing-intensive courses, to (2) assist in finding special accommodation to the w-i requirement, when necessary, that maintain the spirit of the Senate mandated writing requirement, and to (3) assist in determining ways to better assess the impact of the w-i requirement.  Additionally, the following motion was made:

Whereas Christopher Thaiss is stepping down as WAC director to become Chair of English, the Faculty Senate expresses its gratitude to him for helping develop a WAC program at George Mason University that has benefited both faculty and students and has gained national recognition.

The motion of commendation passed.

 

B.   Senate Committee Reports

 

1.   Executive Committee

E. Elstun reported that comments on the motion will be held until Item A under Other New Business from the Agenda of this Continued Meeting.

 

2.   Academic Policies Committee

Larry Bowen reported a list of items which the Committee had considered and disposed, and items which were submitted and still under consideration by the Committee.  The list is as follows:

I.  Disposition of Items Considered by the Committee

1.        Academic Standards:  the Committee recommended reconstituting a University Admissions Committee.  This recommendation was approved by the Senate.

2.        Observance if Religious Holidays:  the Committee proposed a statement of policy regarding the observance of religious holidays that was amended and approved by the Senate.

3.        Course Duplication:  the Committee received a request to consider the issue of course duplication in the University.  In the judgment of the Committee, data available to us did not suggest a course of action that we might recommend to the Senate.

4.        Proposal to Restructure the Academic Week in a Way that Gives Prominence to M-R T-F Classes:  the Committee, in consultation with the Registrar, indicated to the Senate its judgment that problems addressed by this proposal may, at this time, be addressed within the current model for scheduling classes.

5.        Presenting Courses for Graduation in which D’s have been Earned:  the Committee endorsed the current policy of specifying this requirement in terms of credit hours rather than in terms of some number of courses, and of maintaining the present specification of the requirement.

6.        Honors Programs:  the Senate approved a Committee recommendation that, in appropriate cases, “Completed Honors Program in General Education” and “with Honors” following the Degree appear on student transcripts.

7.        Honors Programs:  the Committee proposed minimum criteria for Honors Programs in the University which the Senate approved.

8.        Columbus Day Holiday:  the Committee considered and did not endorse a proposal to reschedule the fall break weekend for the University in order to allow University Homecoming to coincide with the Fairfax City Fall Festival.

9.        Plus/Minus Grades:  the Committee considered and did not endorse the proposal that plus/minus grades in 1998-1999 not apply to students admitted to the University before the Fall of 1996.

10.     Catalogue Copy:  in its review of Catalogue Copy the Committee recommended that next year’s Committee review policy statements regarding Advising on Entering the Upper Division and the Writing Intensive Requirement.

II.   Items Submitted and Remaining for Consideration

1.        Scheduling Final Examinations in the Summer Session

2.        The 60 Hour Requirement for Graduation with Distinction

 

 A question was raised regarding the current system of determining eligible hours for graduation and how the Graduation Office currently assesses the number of hours of D. The question was ordered to be submitted in writing to the Organization & Operations Committee to be logged in and referred to Committee.

 

3.   Facilities & Support Services Committee

Stanley Zoltek reported that Committee submitted its final report to the Faculty Senate Office to be included in these minutes.  The following is that report:

 

Each of the items below were assigned to us this year by O&O or were items carried over from last academic year.  For each item we (a) indicate whether the item was new for this year, or continued from last year; (b) give a short description of the item; and, (c) if resolved, give a short explanation of how it was resolved and if not resolved we label it as on-going.

1.        Early Retirement Options (Continued, on-going).  This item was discussed with Dave Rossell and the Provost at a meeting of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  (Reported in Minutes of Executive Committee, February 11, 1998.)  Conversations will continue next academic year?

2.        (Continued, on-going) The need for a sidewalk along the road from Thompson Hall to the Parking Deck.  Stanley Taylor and Parking Services were contacted.  Response: funds are being sought.

3.        (Continued, on-going)  This was the third year that the Committee consulted with Stanley Taylor and the University Police regarding the “end of year” campus lock-down.  The meetings resulted in a policy that provided easier access for faculty who needed access to their offices.  It was decided that a current faculty ID was sufficient proof for being allowed access to one’s personal office.  No complaints related to access were received by the Committee.  The Committee will be involved in reviewing the process next academic year.

4.        (Completed)  University Services requested that a member of the Committee represent the Faculty Senate on a committee that was to interview candidates for a new director of food services.  The interview dates and times were to be May 13, 15, and 16, 1998.  (Zoltek represented the Committee at the interviews.)

5.        (On-going)  The University re-established its Safety and Risk Management Committee.  The Senate Facilities and Support Services Committee should continue to send a representative.

6.        (New, resolved)  A faculty member inquired if the University could provide 800 number access to dialup lines.  Ann Genovese of UCIS reported that this would not be possible due to cost concerns.

7.        (New, on-going)  Issues related to connectivity to computer systems at GMU.  Joseph Hutchison reports the following status:        Remotely accessible production systems (including all applications that support a text-based interface) include the Mason Cluster, Vms1, Gmuibm (SIS), and Pinta (HRS/FRS).  We also support remote access to Groupwise e-mail via a web interface.  We are working with the AMS consulting group in conjunction with several technical experts derived from the Information Technology Envisioning Retreat to determine what type of remote access to desktop applications is required/desired, and how to implement this remote access.  Our current remote access model is based on Citrix - I’d prefer not to encourage it’s use as it may not be the direction the University is heading.  I’d prefer to wait until mid-June (when the final AMS report is due), and support remote test access based on the report’s conclusions.  Please let me know if I can provide additional information.  Thanks - Joe.          Mr. Hutchison can be reached at HUTCH@wpgate.gmu.edu

8.        (New, resolved)  The Committee was asked to send representatives to review proposals for contract management of student housing.  The company recommended was Century Campus Housing.  The recommendation will be considered by the Board of Visitors at its next meeting.

9.        (New, on-going)  Skate boarding on the ground level connecting Robinson A and B was reported to be causing a safety hazard.  Stanley Zoltek reports that signs have been ordered that skate boarding is not allowed in this area.  (The Committee should follow up on this over the Summer.)

 

 Additionally, the Committee provided a copy of the Preliminary Report of Arlington Task Force to the Senate Staff Secretary to be filed in the Faculty Senate Office.

 

4.   Nominations Committee

Anita Taylor reported that the only pending business before the Committee is that the Senate Standing Committees must still cast lots for terms and report the results to the Committee and the Faculty Senate Office.  Nominees for the Senate Standing Committees for next year’s Senate are being sought.

 

5.   Faculty Matters Committee

Don Boileau reported that there were six items referred to the Committee which have been resolved or have had action taken.  Additionally, there is one carry over item.  First, the items which have been resolved or addressed:

 

1.        Early Retirement:  The Committee met with Dave Rossell to discuss a draft proposal.  We made three recommendations to improve the plan.  The plan went forward to the budgeting process; it probably will not be funded for next year.

2.        Adjunct Faculty:  An ad-hoc committee was recommended and appointed.  Professor Weinberger chairs the committee and has submitted a separate report.  (NOTE:  Professor Weinberger’s committee time line was extended by motion during the report of the Ad Hoc Compensation and Working Conditions of Part-time Faculty.)

3.        Sexual Harassment: 

          A.   We met with Ron Sinacore over the changes in the policy.  These changes were administrative in both content and format.  Key to content changes were more detail about notification of faculty and students, clarification of the reporting vice-president, notification of the entire community about the changes in revisions of the booklet and ads in Broadside, and time lines for reporting.  The Faculty Matters Committee endorsed these changes.  Our faculty representative to the Equity Office, Dr. Deborah Bergoffen, helped with the revisions and approved of the changes.

          ACTION:  We recommend that the Senate accept this report of supporting the changes made in GMU’s policies and procedures.

          B.   We met with Connie Kirkland (Coordinator, Sexual Assault Services) to receive her annual report.  Six cases were investigated this fall--these cases all fall into the student-student and student-outside employer cases.  Ron Sinacore reported to us about 1 case involving a faculty member.  That case on appeal has led to the changes mentioned in A, although the specific charges were not upheld upon investigation by the university.

4.        Raise Timing:  The Committee has written to the President and Vice-President requesting consideration of moving the raises back from December 1 to September 1.  The December date was selected to handle a way to enhance the raises to raise the base on a temporary basis.  This change seems to have become permanent.  The Committee felt that this issue needs investigation.

5.        University Ombudsman:  This carry over from last year became a non-issue for us given the recommendation, which we supported, from another committee, to support the re-establishment of the position is consistent with our plans.

6.        Administrators Evaluation:  The many changes in the university led to the Committee revising the form where appropriate (deleting non-existent groups) and adding other.  Given the financial restraints of institutional research we started with plans for evaluation to be done electronically on the WEB (given 30% of the faculty responded that way to the football issue and plans for future student evaluation to be done that way).  A paper alternate would also be included.  As chair, I failed to get all the necessary work done with institutional research for this evaluation to be done in a timely fashion with new systems.                OPTION:  Would it be the pleasure of the Senate to run evaluations during the first two weeks of the fall; or to wait until later in the fall?

CARRY OVER:  97.01:  Survey depts. to discover what is meant by national reputation and to work on that meaning.

                A)  Follow up on recommendations from the Adjunct Committee.

 

 Regarding the option listed above under item 6, the Senate chose to run evaluations during the normal cycle. Regarding the motion in item 3, the Committee moved that the report be accepted, the motion was seconded and passed.

 

6.   Organization and Operations Committee

Estela Blaisten-Barojas reported the following for the O&O Committee: Disposition of items considered by the Committee:

1.        Seven items were referred to the Academic Policies Committee (97.05.AP, 97.06.AP, 97.08.AP, 97.12.AP, 97.13.AP, 97.14.AP, 97.16.AP).  Items 97.14.AP, 97.16.AP, and 97.18.AP are rolled over to next academic year.

2.        Two items were referred to the Faculty Matters Committee (97.01.FM, 97.15.FM).  Item 97.01.FM is rolled over to next academic year.

3.        Two items were referred to the Facilities Committee (97.03.FS, 97.04.FS).  No items are pending.

4.        Five items were referred to O&O (97.02.OO, 97.07.OO, 97.09.OO, 97.10.OO, 97.11.OO) with the following disposition:

i.) 97.02.OO - Effective Fall 98, the Grievance Committee is a standing university committee.  Charge and the ex-officio membership are to be found in the minutes of the March 18, 1998 meeting.

ii.) 97.07.OO - The ad hoc committee on Diversity Issues is discharged with thanks.

iii.) 97.09.OO - Effective Fall 98, the standing committee on Minority Affairs becomes the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee with a new charge and new membership (March 18, 1998 meeting).

iv.) 97.10.OO - Effective Fall 98, the charge and membership of the Non-Traditional Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee is modified (March 18, 1998 meeting).

v.) 97.11.OO - The ex-officio membership of the Effective Teaching Committee is modified (March 18, 1998 meeting).

5.     One item was referred to NIAL Committee (97.17.NIAL), same that is rolled over to Fall 98 because of the impossibility to gather the committee towards the end of the Spring semester.

6.      The seat allocation for 1998-1999 Senate was completed.

 

Any new incoming business, starting from today, will be reported next year.

 

7.   Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors

Ariela Sofer reported that the Student Affairs Committee of the BOV met to determine if the money to pay for NCAA Football at GMU could be raised.  The BOV accepted the Committee’s report and the BOV was to vote on Football during the May 13 BOV Meeting.

 

8.   Representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia

Richard Bolstein reported that the Faculty Senate of Virginia was involved in many items over the past year including the Forum on higher education in Fall 1997, which included many of the state legislators, albeit not the new Governor; the coordination of Op-Ed pieces on tenure, research, funding and work force development; the maintenance of dialogs with full-time members of SCHEV; the maintenance of the formal role in training BOV members in public institutions; and the planning of the legislative initiatives Forum for Fall 1998.

 

 Additionally, it was recommended that the Faculty Senate at GMU create a “Rapid Response Committee” for action on critical issues of concern to the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate of Virginia.  The Chair of the Faculty Senate of Virginia was recommended to be invited to meet with the Senate in the Fall semester to discuss this and other aspects of the Faculty Senate of Virginia. The recommendation of the creation of the “Rapid Response Committee” was forwarded to O&O for recording and further action.

 

**  Stanley Zoltek provided the Arlington Task Force Report to the Faculty Senate Staff Secretary to be filed in the Faculty Senate Office. **

 

C.   Election of the Chair for the 1998-1999 Faculty Senate

James Sanford, Chair Pro Temp of the Faculty Senate, conducted this portion of the meeting.  Nominations for the new Senate Chair were taken from the floor.  Esther Elstun was nominated and seconded.  No further nominations were presented and Esther Elstun was re-elected to serve as the Chair of the Faculty Senate for the 1998-1999 Faculty Senate.

 

IV.   Other New Business

A.   Resolutions Concerning Senate-Adopted Motion of April 15, 1998 - co-sponsored by Don Boileau, Joe Scimecca, Anita Taylor and Stan Zoltek

 

The Resolutions (see below as Attachment A) were introduced separately.  Resolution #1 was presented and seconded.  Discussion followed regarding the Resolution and the need for clarification of Handbook interpretation and the authority to do so.  After discussion abated, the Resolution was moved and voted upon.  Resolution #1 passed by a vote of: for  -  20, opposed  -  4, abstain  -  3.

  

Resolution #2 was introduced and seconded.  Discussion of this Resolution followed.  The current process for discontinuation of programs was discussed, differentiating between discontinued degree programs versus concentrations within a program.  The university-wide perspective of the changes was discussed and the far-reaching impact that some of these changes could have were presented.  The idea of the Senate micro-managing degree programs was identified and seen as a direction that should not be taken.  The notion that the local academic units (LAU) have procedures for handling their own governance and should not be second guessed or overseen by the Senate was presented and discussion followed.  However, the discussion led to the recognition that the university-wide perspective must be addressed and that some changes affect more than just LAUs.

 

 Discussion identified that the Resolution seemed to ask for review of, not over-ruling on, the changes in question.  It was clarified that the Resolution is not about overturning any decision(s), rather, it is only looking for a process of review of university-wide impact of decisions made at the local level.  It was then pointed out that the Resolution looks for a process for the future, but looks to act on past occurrences.

Anita Taylor moved to amend the Resolution to change the “therefore” statement to read as follows:  “Therefore, be it resolved that the Senate calls on the President and the Provost to collaborate with the Senate in devising a process to review the university-wide impact of discontinuing academic programs.”  The amendment passed by a vote of: for  -  17, opposed  -  3, abstain  -  3. A motion to end the debate and vote on the Resolution as amended was made, seconded and passed.  Resolution #2 as amended passed on a vote of: for  -  15, opposed  -  12.

 

V.   Adjournment

Senate Chair Elstun adjourned the meeting at 5:05 PM, concluding the Faculty Senate business for the 1997-1998 Academic year.


Attachment A - Resolutions Concerning Senate-Adopted Motion of April 15, 1998 - co-sponsored by Don Boileau, Joe Scimecca, Anita Taylor and Stan Zoltek

 

Resolution #1:

 

Whereas neither the faculty nor the administration has the unilateral privilege of interpreting the language of the Faculty Handbook; and

 

Whereas in the past, when differences of opinion about or ambiguities in Handbook language have existed, established practice has been for the Provost and the Executive Committee of the Senate to develop a definitive interpretation; and

 

Whereas, regarding the Senate resolution of April 15 calling for joint creation of a process for further review of some programs identified for discontinuation, the Provost and the Executive

Committee have starkly different views of the jurisdiction of the Senate as provided for by Section 1.3.2 of the Faculty Handbook;

 

Therefore, the Senate is resolved that the Provost and the Executive Committee must renew their efforts to arrive jointly at a definitive interpretation of Handbook Section 1.3.2 that will define

the proper role of the Senate under the provisions of that section in the present instance (the Senate adopted motion of April 15) and in similar circumstances.

 

 

Resolution #2

 

Whereas in the final analysis the goal of President Merten's restructuring directives was to rationalize university organization, a goal the Senate supports; and

 

Whereas, that goal was seriously underminded by the short deadlines imposed; and

 

Whereas the Senate has identified a very limited number of proposed changes that may impact the university as a whole, and has called for a process by which these few programs may receive further review by all parties in the university who might see such impacts; and

 

Whereas the Senate's call for further review was not intended nor should it be construed as an effort by the Senate to overturn actions of any college dean or institute director but was instead a call for including faculty voices with a university wide perspective; and

 

Whereas the Senate wishes to go on record as stressing that, in some cases, actions within local academic units may have impacts on the university as a whole, and in those cases a review that includes participating faculty outside the originating units should be undertaken, so that the Senate, as the body responsible for advising the President on behalf of the faculty as a whole, may perform its required duty;

 

Therefore, be it resolved that the Senate calls on the President and the Provost to collaborate with the Senate in devising a process to review the university-wide impact of discontinuing the six programs identified in the Senate motion of April 15.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Donald Gantz,

Faculty Senate Secretary

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