January 21, 1998


Senators present:  A. Berry, P. Black, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Brown, R. Conti, M. De Nys, M. Deshmukh, E. Elstun, D. Gantz, J. Hale, J. Metcalf, L. Miller, A. Palkovich, W. Perry, R. Ruhling, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, C. Thomas, E. Thorp, T. Travis, K. Vaughn, J. Walsh, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie


Senators absent:  R. Carty, K. Clements, J. Crockett, T. Domzal, S. Eagle, C. Fuchs, G. Galluzzo, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, D. Kaplan, A. Merten, S. Muir, J. O'Connor, E. O'Hara, D. Potter, J. Reid, D. Rine, A. Sofer, D. Struppa, J. Tangney, A. Taylor, S. Zoltek


Guests present:  R. Galliugh (Student Senate), S. Mehrnama (Student Senate)


I  Call to Order

Chair Esther Elstun called the meeting to order at 3:05pm.


II  Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate (December 3, 1997) and of the normal December 10, 1997 meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.


III  Announcements

A. Palkovich announced that the Salary Equity Study Committee is interviewing faculty regarding grievance issues.  The Committee is interested in getting a sense of the process whether at the local unit or a broader level.  A systematic examination of a number of cases is necessary, any faculty able to participate can contact Ms. Palkovich.


L. Bowen announced that he e-mailed an announcement to Senators regarding an article on technology and commercialization by David Noble, and pertaining to faculty rights and tenure.


IV  Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business.


V  New Business


Committee Reports


1.  Executive Committee

It was reported that the scheduled January 14, 1998 meeting of the Executive Committee was canceled and rescheduled for Friday, January 23, 1998.  Also, David Rossell's report on early retirement options for faculty is scheduled for the February Faculty Executive Committee Meeting.


2.  Academic Policies Committee

It was reported that the Committee would meet at noon on January 28, 1998, to discuss the topics of academic standards, recognition of Honors status on transcripts, and review of the number of hours of "D" credit students may apply toward graduation.


3. Facilities & Support Services Committee

It was reported that the Committee is progressing with the Request For Proposals for University dormitory management.


4.  Nominations Committee

It was reported that the Committee selected Ronnie Feeg (CNHS) as the nominee to serve on the Search Committee for the Director of Information Technology.  The Search Committee will report to Joy Hughes (VP for Information Technology).


5.  Faculty Matters Committee

It was reported that the Committee would meet on or about January 29, 1998.


6. Organizational and Operations Committee

It was reported that the Committee would meet at 11:00am on January 28, 1998, with the agenda consisting of a review of several ad hoc and University committees.


7. Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors

It was reported that the Board of Visitors was meeting during this Faculty Senate Meeting and that A. Sofer was attending the BOV Meeting.  A preliminary report on the January Meeting of the Board of Visitors is provided as Attachment A to these minutes.  Topics discussed at the BOV Student Affairs Committee Meeting (January 20, 1998) included football, faculty course evaluations, alcohol regulations on campus, dismissal procedures for hourly wage employees, and a presentation on Broadside. Several comments and concerns regarding the portion of the report on football were presented as follows:


E. Elstun spoke with William Carr, a representative of the consulting firm hired to study football feasibility, and the Executive Committee will discuss the adoption of a Senate Position.  The Senate Position will be addressed at the February Faculty Senate Meeting.


D. Boileau identified that the study failed to address the capital expenditures issue of football, requiring approximately $600,000 for a small stadium.  He also stated that to get into NCAA scholarship football is a "two-way street" because other schools have to want GMU on their schedule, rather than just that GMU wants scholarship football. The question of why GMU wants football must be addressed in one of three forms:

1.  Football for the students -- it exists now as a club sport

2.  Football to please a small group of people -- can exist as a non-scholarship sport

3.  Football to improve the GMU image -- must be a scholarship sport & at great cost


E. Elstun replied that the consultant was concerned with regard to the Board of Visitors’ decision to make a final determination in March without the position of the University’s constituencies.  In response to this concern, it was reiterated that the February Faculty Senate Meeting will produce a Senate Position.


8. Representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia

It was reported that the Faculty Senate of Virginia would meet February 14, 1998 in Richmond to discuss members’ success at seeing their representation in the Virginia Legislature.


VI  Other New Business

E. Elstun expressed her sincere and grateful thanks to the Senate for their concern and caring following the death of her husband Jim.


VII  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:35pm.

Attachment A

Text of a preliminary report on the January Meeting of the Board of Visitors, prepared by A. Sofer, presented and submitted by R. Ruhling.


The BOV Student Affairs Committee Meeting yesterday evening at 6:00 and lasted almost up to 10:00.  First on the agenda (you guessed it) was a progress report on football.  Gerald Cook (ECE), Chair of the 16-member Football Task Force reported that the Task Force has studied the fiscal, regulatory and implementation issues regarding football, is still looking into policy issues, and marketing/promotional issues, and has yet to assess the support from students, faculty and staff.  The Task Force has concluded that if the purpose of football is to raise the community spirit, then GMU must compete with its traditional rivals.  Therefore the Task Force recommends unanimously, that if NCAA football is to be played at GMU, it should be in the highest level of NCAA I-AA football, with full scholarships.


Next came a presentation by William Carr and Michael Slive, representing Carr Sports Associates, the external consulting firm hired to study football feasibility.  The consultants recommended that (1) if GMU decides to add NCAA football, that GMU not sponsor non-scholarship football in any form for any length of time; and (2) if GMU decides to add NCAA football, GMU should move directly to scholarship football, with movement to a scholarship conference in year four of a five year plan.  The consultants estimated that the total direct and indirect costs for this option would be $2.67 million yearly.  When facility costs and gender equity costs are included, then assuming annual revenues of $450,000, the total estimated annual costs of this option is $4.24 million.


Members of the Board commented that the consultants' projected cost of gender equity would have been lower, had they taken into account the future swimming team, and inquired by how much would these costs decrease further if the ratio of male to female students at GMU were adjusted in future from the current 47:53 to 50:50.  They noted also that the recommendation of the consultants is just one of several factors in the final decision.  The Committee agreed unanimously that the University Task Force should complete its analysis and present it to the Board, and to President Merten prior to March 1.  Committee Chair DiGenarro emphasized that the final decision on football will be made by the Board of Visitors, and that the decision will be made in their March meeting.


Another issue of interest was faculty course evaluations.  The Board heard presentations from the students and the faculty, and a discussion ensued which was essentially a rehash of the discussion in the November meeting.  The Board accepted a resolution recommending that better questions should be placed on the current evaluations, and that the accessibility of evaluations be increased by placing them on the web, and encouraging faculty to involve students in working towards these goals.  The Board urged the faculty and students to work out the specific details entailed in each of these items, and requested a report in their March meeting.


Other items on the agenda were alcohol regulations on campus, dismissal procedures for hourly wage employees, and a presentation on Broadside.  The priorities of the newspaper's editor this spring are 1) concentration on accuracy and credibility, 2) increasing professionalism; and 3)focus on educational values.  In response to questions by Board members, it was stated that GMU would not represent Broadside if a lawsuit were brought against the newspaper, that the newspaper does not have liability insurance, and that if a Board member or anyone/state employee were to sue Broadside the matter would probably need approval by the VA Attorney General.  If that were not granted the Board member would have to handle this personally.  Chair DiGennaro recommended that in view of the proliferation of litigation, Broadside should look into obtaining liability insurance.

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