GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

DECEMBER 9, 1998

 

Senators Present: K. Alligood, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, L. Bowen, T. Brawley, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, J. Crockett, S. deMonsabert, M. Deshmukh,  R. Ehrlich, E. Elstun, K. Gaffney, D. Gantz, E. Gunn, J. Hale, M. Holt, D. Kuebrich, L. Lederman, C. Lont, K. McCrohan, J. Metcalf, L. Miller, S. Muir, J. O’Connor, L. Rigsby, L. Rockwood, R. Ruhling, J. Sanford, C. Sutton, A. Taylor, E. Thorp, H. Tongren, K. Vaughn, S. Weinberger, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek

 

Senators Absent: D. Boileau, R. Carty, J. Censer, K. Clements, T. Domzal, J. Flinn, G. Galluzzo, H. Gortner, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, M. LeBaron, B. Manchester, A. Merten, E. O’Hara, A. Palkovich, D. Potter, J. Reid, D. Rine, J. Scimecca, A. Sofer, D. Struppa, P. Wilkie, H. Williams, S. Zaccaro

 

Guests Present:  M. Berlucchi (Student Senate), J. Bullock (Student Senate), J. Coleman (Student Senate), D. Craig (University Equity Office), G. Dunne (Student Senate), K. Graffius (Student Senate), R. Guilford (Vice Provost’s Office), P. Hashemi (Student Senate), C. Herberg (Registrar’s Office), S. Mehrnama (Student Senate), R. Nelson (Student Senate), K. Rosenblum (University Life), J. Rospars (Student Senate), T. Starr (Student Senate), A. Sutton (BOV, Student Rep.), M. Vance (Academic Support & Advising Services), J. Windley (Student Senate), J. Wood (Provost’s Office)

 

I.   Call to Order

Chair Esther Elstun called the meeting to order at 3:02 PM.

 

II.   Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the November 11, 1998 Faculty Senate Meeting were approved as distributed.

 

III.   Announcements 

1.  On December 2, 1998, the Senate’s Executive Committee was briefed by Associate Provost David Rossell on the current status of an early retirement proposal that was developed last year.  The proposal is presently in limbo because funding from the General Assembly was not adequate to finance implementation.  Faculty who nevertheless wish to have a copy of Dave Rossell’s report to the Committee may obtain it by contacting the Senate office (spetitto@gmu.edu, or 3-2990).

 

2.  On February 3, 1999, from 3:00-4:30 in the Front Multipurpose Room of the Johnson Center, the Provost and the Faculty Senate will sponsor a university forum on general education.  A major purpose of this event will be to hear from academic units other than the CAS regarding their expectations of general education.  I urge all faculty to reserve this date and time on their calendars now.  I also encourage academic units involved in the education of undergraduates to prepare for participation in the forum by making their general education expectations and ideas an agenda item for discussion at one or more of their meetings between now and February 3.  More detailed information about the forum will be forthcoming in future announcements.

 

3.  Donald Gantz, Secretary of the Faculty Senate, has forwarded to Dr. Daniele Struppa, chair of the search committee for a new Dean of Admissions, the following “sense of the Senate” motion, introduced by Robert Ehrlich and adopted by the Senate at its November meeting:  “The Faculty Senate believes that the highest priority of the Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Development should be to improve the academic profile of entering students.”

 

4.  The 1998-99 Faculty Exchange Center Supplement has now been published.  To obtain a copy, please contact the Senate Office.

 

5.  Vice Provost Rosenblum announced that the University is considering the development of an alcohol program following a request from the State.  There is a draft of the program available on the WEB at gmu.edu.alcohol.draft and the BOV is expecting a report and possible action on the draft at the December 16 BOV Meeting.

 

IV.   Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business.

 

V.   New Business

A.   Report from Darryle Craig, EEO/ADA Specialist, on American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).

D. Craig outlined a general overview of the ADA which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.  Entities must reasonably accomodate those with disabilities where and when possible.  GMU has a Disabilities Resource Center (DRC) which is the first contact point for people with disabilities and information about GMU regarding the ADA.  The DRC is the host and sponsor for many educational and consciousness-raising events on campus and throughout the University.  It is important that everyone become familiar with the ADA because it has wide reaching effects, including recruitment decisions, supervisory actions, student/teacher relations, etc.

D. Craig explained that her job as the EEO/ADA Specialist is to facilitate University compliance with ADA.  Compliance with ADA is achieved through UDAG, with several subcommittees which perform various duties.  The subcommittees include:  the ADA Committee - which rules over ADA compliance; the Assistive Technology Initiative - which provides the disabled with equal or comparable access to the various technologies GMU has available; the Physical Access and Safety Committee - which oversees the architectural removal and alterations to accomodate the disabled; the Instructional Committee - which accomodates students with disabilities and impairments; and the Education and Training Committee - which needs faculty help to get the message out and is the reason for this presentation.  A handout was distributed to those present and copies are available in the Senate Office.  For additional information, comments or questions regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and GMU please contact Ms. Darryle Craig, EEO/ADA Specialist, in the University Equity Office.

 

 B.   Committee Reports

 

1.   Executive Committee

E. Elstun reported that the Executive Committee met with the Provost on December 2, 1998, and discussed the following items:

1.      the need for a University-wide policy on the bestowal of honorific titles for faculty members - E. Elstun (Senate Chair), E. Thorp (Chair, Faculty Matters Committee), and L. Irvine (Senior Fellow, Provost’s Office) will be working on a draft of that policy for future action.

2.      a forum on general education which will be held on February 3, 1999, and will be co-sponsored by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost.  The forum will take place from 3:00-4:30 PM to learn what expectations all units of the University have regarding the general education issue.  Representatives from CNHS, SOM, IT&E, NCC, CAS, and IOA will be making a presentation and then the forum will open for questions and discussion.

3.      a forum for the drafting of criteria for discontinuation of programs which have a University-wide impact is scheduled for March 3, 1999, from 3:00-4:30 PM in the Front Multi-Purpose Room of the Johnson Center.  Further details wil be forthcoming.

 

2.  Academic Policies Committee

L. Bowen reported that the Committee is working on a Resolution from the Student Government and Student Senate regarding R.O.T.C. classes for credit.

M. Deshmukh introduced the motion from Committee, moving:  “Commencing in calendar year 2000 the first day of classes for spring semester will be held on the Monday that falls on January 12 through 18, or one week earlier than presently scheduled.”  M. Deshmukh stated that, assuming that two weeks is sufficient to prepare the University for the Fall term, the motion provides the best solution to making the Summer session schedule less crowded and the smoothest transition between Commencement and the Summer session. Several key points were raised in the discussion that followed, including:

·        beginning the Spring semester a week earlier provides an additional week of inclement and possibly hazardous weather to affect schedules and university preparedness;

·        beginning the Spring semester a week earlier cuts into the limited amount of time which faculty currently have for research, conferences, etc.;

·        beginning the Spring semester a week earlier could affect Winter study abroad programs and inter-sessional courses;

·        ending the Spring semester a week earlier so that students may better compete for Summer jobs seems less important given that so many GMU students are already working.

A substitute motion was made and seconded that “classes start on the third Monday in January except when that is Martin L. King, Jr. Day.”  E. Blaisten-Barojas moved to refer the matter back to Committee for further investigation and review of the motion’s impact on Study Abroad Programs, as well as the other key topics identified above.  The motion to refer back to Committee was seconded and passed, with instructions to include communication between the Committee and Student Government representatives.

 

3.  Facilities and Support Services Committee

S. Zoltek reported that the Committee met with Stanley Taylor and the new Manager of Parking Services Mr. King regarding parking issues, the University “lockdown” over the Winter recess, and handicap access issues.  Faculty members were once again reminded to e-mail S. Zoltek (szoltek@gmu.edu) regarding any problems with the University “lockdown” so that the matter can be addressed early in the new year.  Also, there will be warnings issued during the first week of classes to cars parked without dacals, or in incorrect lots.  Additionally, there will be better signs in parking lots to clearly identify faculty, student and general lots.  Any problems or concerns regarding parking issues may be directed to the new Manager of Parking Services.

 

4.  Faculty Matters Committee

 E. Thorp stated that the Committee is revising the Evaluations of Administrators.  Also, S. Weinberger is working on the implementation of the actions passed in the Senate regarding working conditions of part-time faculty.

 

5.  Nominations Committee

L. Miller stated that the Committee had nothing to report at this time.

 

6.  Organization and Operations Committee

E. Blaisten-Barojas presented two motions from Committee:  (1) “The O&O Committee moves that a TASK FORCE of the Senate be created during this academic year to study the issue of Distance Learning Technology and its delivery, collaborate with the Provost’s Office to produce a university wide policy on the matter, and study the need to create a Committee of the Senate that would address future issues on this matter including eventual modifications to the Faculty Handbook.”  In the discussion that followed, it was moved and seconded that the original motion include the composition, report date and dissolution date presented in the rationale from Committee.  The motion to amend passed.  The main motion passed as amended and reads as follows:

The O&O Committee moves that a TASK FORCE of the Senate be created during this academic year to study the issue of Distance Learning Technology and its delivery, collaborate with the Provost’s Office to produce a university wide policy on the matter, and study the need to create a Committee of the Senate that would address future issues on this matter including eventual modifications to the Faculty Handbook.  The Task Force shall be composed of 7 members with representation from Faculty Matters, Academic Policies, and NIAL Committees plus 4 other full-time faculty representing as many LAUS as possible.  The Task Force will report to the Senate and be dissolved by the end of the 1998-99 academic year.

 

(2) “The O&O Committee moves that at every Senate meeting two of the eleven University Standing Committees, Ad-hoc Committees, and Task Forces give an oral report of the matters being addressed in their respective Committees.  A schedule for these reports will be set by the Chair of the Senate and announced in the September meeting.”  Following a brief discussion of the motion, and the benefits of reporting Committee business to the Senate for possible debate or discussion prior to the end of the year final report, the motion passed.

 

C.  Other Reports

 

1.  Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors

H. Tongren reported that the BOV meets next on December 16.  At that meeting, two motions will definitely be considered:  1. the publication of results of student generated Teacher/Course Evaluations; 2. a University policy on drinking by college students.

 

2.  Representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia

E. Elstun stated that there was no report at this time.

 

3.  Senate Composition Task Force

No report at this time.

 

4.  Faculty Senate Anniversary Committee

No report at this time.

 

VI.   Other New Business

1.   J. Wood reported that the Student-generated Teacher/Course Evaluations would be implemented this semester and that they would use the same six questions as the faculty evaluations.  Following the data analysis by the I.R.& R., there will be a report to the faculty member, the library, the department chairs and the student government.  An internal-access-only WEB will post the numeric data of the evaluations.  J. Wood asked that the Senate review the entire process of teacher/course evaluations.

 

2.  It was asked that the Senate, in its January agenda, address the creation of the Staff Senate at GMU.

 

VII.   Adjournment

 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 PM.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Donald T. Gantz,

Secretary of the Faculty Senate

 

NOTE:  Dr. Darryle Craig, EEO/ADA Specialist, requested that the following changes be noted for these minutes.  This request came following the Senate’s approval of the Minutes and the requested changes are noted here.

- The DRC (whose Director is Mary Lee Vance) is the first point of contact for students with disabilities and the professors who have them in class.  ADA issues involving employee recruitment, supervisory actions and other issues in the GMU workplace, should be brought to my attention in the Equity Office;

- The ADA Committee  (which I chair) facilitates Title I (GMU employee) issues of the ADA. It doesn't facilitate all aspects of ADA compliance;

-  It's Dr. (not Ms.) Craig

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