GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
December 10, 1997
Senators present: A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Bowen, R. Conti, J. Crockett, M. De Nys, M. Deshmukh, E. Elstun, C. Fuchs, D. Gantz, J. Hale, D. Kaplan, J. Metcalf, L. Miller, S. Muir, J. O’Connor, J. Reid, D. Rine, R. Ruhling, J. Sanford, A. Sofer, D. Struppa, J. Tangney, A. Taylor, C. Thomas, E. Thorp, T. Travis, J. Walsh, S.
Weinberger, S. Zoltek
Senators absent: P. Black, R. Carty, K. Clements, T. Domzal, S. Eagle, G. Galluzzo, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, A. Merten, E. O’Hara, A. Palkovich, W. Perry, D. Potter, J. Scimecca, K. Vaughn, P. Wilkie
Guests present: C. Hill (Office of the Provost), L. Irvine (Office of the Provost), M. LeBaron (ICAR), S. Mehrnama (Student Senate), E. Rubin (Student Senate), K. Segerson (UCIS), W. Sutton (SITE)
I. Call to Order
Chair Esther Elstun called the meeting to order at 3:03pm.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the November 12, 1997 meeting were approved as distributed.
Elstun reported that the statement of the Faculty Senate endorsing the November 21, CAS Chairs’ statement with two additions passed unanimously on December 3 at a specially called Senate meeting to discuss the Futures Report. Copies of that statement were distributed to those present.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
A. Presentation on University Computing and Information Systems (UCIS) by Keith Segerson
Mr. Segerson indicated that he had asked for and received questions prior to the meeting. He stated that after addressing the three main questions received, he would answer any additional questions.
The first question related to why the university persists in using social security numbers as identification for student enrollment and faculty and staff information and records. His answer was that there is no technical reason for the use of social security numbers (SSN), rather that it is a matter of choice by Human Resources, etc. Mr. Segerson stated that to switch the system to some other means of identifying personnel would only take about a month of technical input; but, the impending purchase of new administrative systems (and the potential transition problems from one to another) are the primary reasons why some new means of identification other than SSN has not been established. He noted that human resources, admissions and others asked that UCIS not waste programming and support time switching identification over immediately. As a result, UCIS is developing more web based technology.
The second question was directed at "connectivity" from off-campus? Mr. Segerson informed that the use of exclusive in-house "connectivity" is over, that it will be phased out over time. This would require an outside server source for the majority of campus resources, but there will be some free dial-in "connectivity" still in existence. He identified that currently there is 56 baud capability, which puts in-house service equal to or better than those offered by Erols or America Online; however, the total number of modem lines required to serve the university is too high to continue to run exclusively from in-house servers. The currently 230 lines, with an additional 46 planned, are not enough.
The third question addressed what Mr. Segerson called network upgrading and the consolidation of file servers. He said that many of these problems have been fixed and several more are in process. The problem with the Groupwise software was explained as a result of an upgraded version with many kinks, including no remote access. He admitted the system and software upgrades were a poor conversion on the part of UCIS; and, the faculty should have been made aware of what was going on and why. He said that servers and thereby access are not reliable because the organization of the windows configuration is central (on the LAN) not local (on each PC). The best solution is to have windows running locally. UCIS are aware of most of the problems and are trying to make things better. Ultimately, UCIS needs to work on improving communications support. A revised approach to how they conduct service and address concerns is needed. Mr. Segerson has spoken with the Deans of all schools and colleges about instituting a pilot program dedicated to technical support. The program is roughly outlined as follows:
Each school or institute would provide staff (students or personnel) to work as UCIS technical support, who would be provided the depth of UCIS support, but would remain responsible only to their school. For each member the school provided, UCIS would provide one as well. The advantage to this is it would allow each school to work continuously with the same technical people rather than a new technician each time some problem arises. Each department would have a point person or multiple people to provide a base level of technical support. These persons would in turn have access to additional help and access to UCIS in a tiered structure.
Finally, there would be a UCIS director position assigned to each academic
department and institute, not to call in problems with operations or systems,
but as a strategic liaison to hear what the deans and departments need from
UCIS. The president is watching carefully what happens, because funds need to
be spent on both technology and the staff required to keep the technology operating
at peak performance. American Management Systems (AMS) is reviewing support
help, and any pilot program would develop a ratio for the individual schools (larger schools
getting a proportionately larger number of support staff than smaller schools).
Mr. Segerson was asked if there were any scheduled major changes in the labs between semesters and the answer was a resounding NO. He indicated that the labs are much improved since last spring, and that starting in the spring all equipment in the labs will be checked by staff each Monday morning to ensure proper operation and maintenance.
B. Report on Intellectual Property Issues by Christopher Hill
Mr. Hill identified the creation of the Intellectual Properties Foundation (IPF) and wanted to discuss why and how the foundation exists and will work for GMU. The foundation will be part of a process designed to guard the creativity in the form of licenses, patents, copyrights, etc. of the members of the university community, (faculty, students, administration and staff). The foundation also will serve to manage the legal representation that goes along with representing and engaging in licensing, etc. which the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) had overseen. The foundation is a non-profit, independent organization designed to hold title to and serve the university.
The creation of the new Intellectual Properties Foundation began with the
acquisition of a tax firm to advise them on drafting by-laws consistent with
the laws of Virginia and the United States. They received detailed suggestions
on how to develop a contract between the university and the IPF. This contract discussed the procedures
of how to act on a daily basis and how to transfer information from the university
to the IPF.
There is an overlap between the faculty, staff and administration and the IPF: for example, the IPF president will be a vice provost, other board members and directors will be represented by university and community business persons. The majority of the IPF will be outsiders (community members and business people) to distinguish the IPF from the university for legal reasons.
The faculty handbook, since 1989, has contained an intellectual policy for income from a patent being split 50/50 between the university and the inventor(s) or creator(s). A possible revision to that policy under the IPF system of management would be 100% of the early income going to the inventor(s) up to some four or potentially low five digit amount and then the university receiving a portion (larger than 50%) beyond that (most patents receive a majority of their income early after invention and most patents rarely produce much money for either the developer or the university). However, the IPF recognizes that the university has no property to sell unless the faculty and student body are involved.
In response to a question regarding who pays for patent review, the inventor or the IPF, Mr. Hill said that CIT would put about $25,000 toward the handling of such fees by the IPF; and that the GMU Foundation, under Duke Perry, has extended a letter of credit to the IPF from which to draw funds for these expenses.
C. Interim Report on the Activities of the University Committee on Effective Teaching by Committee Chair Michelle LeBaron
Ms. LeBaron identified that the committee is consulting with Ann Palkovich concerning faculty development, and is working on concerns regarding student access to faculty evaluations and comments. They are trying to determine how to go about it, pursuant to Resolution 9 of the Student Senate. The BOV has asked the committee to work with student representation and to prepare a report. The Student Senate expressed two concerns: 1)improving the current instrument for evaluation, including more questions, more detail, etc.; 2)improving access to the evaluations from the students. The committee struck a sub-committee to report in January.
D. Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee
Esther Elstun reported that the Committee met with the Provost on December 5, and discussed what was next for "Engaging the Future" as a result of the special meeting of the Faculty Senate on December 3. Mr. Wood will develop a working group to address the issue, and the Senate Executive Committee recommended that Ms. Elstun would represent the Faculty Senate in this group, so that the Faculty Senate would have representation on these discussions.
A Meeting of the General Faculty is scheduled for 3:30pm on January 28, 1998, in the Johnson Center multi-purpose room. The purpose of this meeting is to have the General Faculty vote on the proposed amendments to the Charter of the Faculty Senate. Ms. Elstun recommended that all Senators be there and to bring as many colleagues as possible so that a quorum can be obtained.
The early retirement proposal (discussed several months ago) was re-addressed and the Vice-Provost was asked to report on a revised version at the January 14 Executive Committee Meeting.
2. Academic Policies Committee
Martin De Nys reported that at a December 3 meeting, the Committee met with Susan Jones. At this meeting, the idea of a modified class schedule was proposed with a Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday schedule for classes, leaving Wednesdays for committee meetings, seminars, etc. (rather than the current MWF and TR schedule). The proposal arose to address complete classroom utilization and parking issues. The Committee reached a consensus that classroom and parking utilization problems need to be addressed; but, the Academic Policies Committee prefers that they do so under the current class structure.
3. Facilities & Support Services Committee
Stanley Zoltek reported the Committee met with Ken Bumgarner and was asked to review the possibility of teaching in housing structures. The Committee was also asked to help review the applications for the upcoming bookstore contracts.
4. Faculty Matters Committee
Don Boileau had nothing to report.
5. Nominations Committee
Anita Taylor reported that the nominations and motions from the Committee were both included in a report sent to senators by e-mail. Copies of this report were made available at the December 10 meeting, and additional copies are available in the Faculty Senate Office. The report involved two parts: 1. slates for filling the openings on various committees; and, 2. motions. The Committee’s motions were:
1. Membership of part-time faculty on the Ad Hoc Committee on Compensation and WorkingConditions should be amended to include five adjunct faculty members.
2. If the committee vacancies identified are not filled at the Senate meeting of December 1997, the Senate authorizes the Senate Chair to appoint representatives identified for those roles by the Nominations Committee.
These motions were made, seconded and unanimously approved.
The Senate also unanimously approved the election of the nominees as presented:
Admissions Committee:Luther Brown (CAS/NCC); John Crockett, Senator (SOM); Chien-yun Wu
(CNHS); Bruce Manchester (CAS); Eugene Norris (SITE);
Ad Hoc Committee on Compensation and Working Conditions for Part-Time Faculty: Mark Goldin (CAS-Modern & Classical Languages); Carol Mattusch (CAS-History, Art History); Joy Gournic (CNHS); Dimitrios Papaconstantopoulos
(CSI); Elizabeth Price (IOA-Dance); David Williams (CAS-English); Michael Dickerson (CAS-Communication);
Diversity Committee vacancies are to be filled by appointment from the Faculty Senate Chair Esther Elstun according to the scond motion set forth in the Nominations Committee report.
Salary Study Committee vacancies are to be filled by appointment from the Faculty Senate Chair Esther Elstun according to the second motion set forth in the Nominations Committee report.
6. Organization and Operations Committee
Estela Blaisten-Barojas reported that the Committee is progressing toward the recommendation to the senate concerning the Grievance Committee and the Diversity Issues Committee. The Committee is reviewing other committees as well, including the University Minority Affairs Committee, and the Non-traditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee. The Committee is addressing the modification of ex-officio membership in the Effective Teaching Committee. The Committee proposed to change the homecoming date to coincide with the Fairfax Fall Festival, and advised that the Academic Policies Committee address this and calendar issues.
7. Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors
Robert Ruhling reported that he, along with Esther Elstun and Ariela Sofer, attended the November 19, 1997 Board of Visitors meeting and that a full report is appended to these minutes as Attachment A. The Finance and Resources Committee reviewed first quarter numbers regarding the Funding Equity initiative; and, a progress report on football showed that Dr. Scherrens spent $20,000 on contracting the services of a firm that does feasibility studies to determine the potential of football at GMU.
8. Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the Senate Charter
Don Gantz reported that the Committee came out with an approved statement for January 28, and will send it out for the General faculty meeting on that date, when a vote will be taken to approve the proposed amendments to the Senate Charter. A memo was sent to the President regarding this meeting.
VI. Other New Business
Anita Taylor asked if the Football Task Force would have a report ready before the January BOV Meeting and if they would consult with the Faculty Senate before then. It was relayed that a final report may not be ready until March.
Roberta Conti distributed a report of the RPM Task Force Meeting held October 22, where the GMU Biennium Budget issue was discussed. This report is the most up to date information available and additional copies are available in the Faculty Senate Office.
Anita Taylor also informed the Secretary and Staff Secretary that the Representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia were to be included as an additional report in the Faculty Senate Agenda.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:10pm.
Text of a Report on the November 19, 1997 Board of Visitors Meeting
Submitted by Robert Ruhling (Faculty Senate Liaison to the Board of Visitors)
The George Mason University Board of Visitors met on Wednesday, November 19, 1997 on the Fairfax campus.
During the EEO and Affirmative Action Committee meeting, the overview of admission processes on campus was continued. During the Land Use and Physical Facilities Committee meeting, names of the auditorium and recreation center on the Prince William campus were approved. In addition, updates on the Arlington campus and status of all capital projects were reported.
The Finance and Resource Development Committee discussed a variety of financial matters germane to the university including a first quarter financial review, an enrollment update, a student fee update, and a request from Governor-Elect Gilmore for GMU's plan for the Funding Equity Initiative (do we get the $25 M?).
During the Student Affairs Committee meeting a continuation of undergraduate and graduate admission standards and student compliance reports were presented by Pat Riordan and John O'Connor. A notable presentation on the Use of and Access to Student Evaluations of Courses was conducted by Senate Chair Professor Elstun who was ably assisted by Senator Professor Sofer and Professor John Miller. Their presentation was followed by Student Government Representatives who defined the students' goals as: (1) to improve the current evaluations with more comprehensive questions; (2) to provide easier student access to the results of the evaluations; and, (3) to include students in the discussions regarding proposed changes to the evaluation forms, themselves. They also recognized that making the written students' comments public could be problematic, and did not request this at the meeting. Following these presentations, members of the Committee asked that the University Effective Teaching Committee meet with the students to work with them on Student Evaluations, and to report to the Committee at the January 1998 meeting of the Board. Board members also requested that a definition of the ratings (excellent, good, etc.) be provided.
A progress report of the Study for GMU Football was presented by Senior Vice
President Scherrens. The Committee endorsed Dr. Scherren's request to spend
$20K of non-university funds to hire a firm that specializes in football feasibility
studies to provide assistance to the task force.
The Faculty and Academic Standards Committee heard presentations by Terry Domzal, Dean of the School of Management, and John O'Connor, Dean of New Century College.
At the opening of the meeting of the full Board, Vice Rector Hammad stated that he was disappointed at Broadside's one-sided and biased politically-oriented articles. Visitor Bedell also criticized Broadside's journalistic ethics and suggested that the Student Affairs Committee talk to Broadside's academic advisors regarding this matter.
In his report to the Board, President Merten announced that he had met with Governor-Elect Gilmore to discuss a $25 M dollar increase in funding to the university. Gilmore asked the President to fax him a plan for utilizing this additional funding.
Following this, the Board heard the Committee reports and approved all Committees' motions.
Return to Archives