NOVEMBER 11, 1998


Senators Present: K. Alligood, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, T. Brawley, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, S. deMonsabert, R. Ehrlich, E. Elstun, K. Gaffney, D. Gantz, H. Gortner, E. Gunn, M. Holt, D. Kuebrich, M. LeBaron, C. Lont, B. Manchester, K. McCrohan, J. Metcalf, L. Miller, S. Muir, A. Palkovich, D. Rine, L. Rockwood, R. Ruhling, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, A. Sofer, D. Struppa, C. Sutton, A. Taylor, H. Tongren, K. Vaughn, H. Williams, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek


Senators Absent: D. Boileau, L. Bowen, R. Carty, J. Censer, K. Clements, J. Crockett, M. Deshmukh,  T. Domzal, J. Flinn, G. Galluzzo, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, J. Hale, L. Lederman, A. Merten, J. O’Connor, E. O’Hara, D. Potter, J. Reid, L. Rigsby, E. Thorp, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie, S. Zaccaro


Guests Present:  J. Bullock (Student Senate), P. Hashemi (Student Senate), S. Jones (Registrar’s Office), M. Vance (Academic Support & Advising Services), 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 October 14, 1998 Faculty Senate Meeting were approved as distributed.


III.   Announcements

1.  The membership of the ad hoc Senate Composition Task Force is now complete.  The members are:  Ariela Sofer, Chair (IT&E), Cathryn Girard (SOM), Mary Kruck (CAS), Gus Mellander (GSE), Janette Muir (CAS and NCC), Joseph Scimecca (CAS, and member of the Senate’s Faculty Matters Committee), and Jeanne Sorrell (CNHS).  Many thanks to the Senate’s Nominations Committee, chaired by Linda Miller, for finding excellent nominees for this task force.


2.  Later this month the Faculty Exchange Center will publish a supplement to the 1998-99 directories of teaching and housing exchange opportunities, for the benefit of those who missed the deadline for inclusion in the directories themselves.  Faculty who wish to be included in the supplement must submit their applications by November 15.  Application forms are available from the Senate office.


3.  I’d like to encourage members of the faculty to attend the Open Forum on Human Relations sponsored by the GMU Student Senate as part of American Cultural Heritage Week.  The forum is scheduled for November 12 at 4:30 in the Front Multi-Purpose Room of the Johnson Center.  Eight student panelists (representing diverse cultural backgrounds) will discuss their experiences and relations with American culture, and respond to questions.  A memo from Keith Graffius reiterating information about the forum was distributed to all Senators in attendance.


IV.   Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business.


V.   New Business


 A.   Committee Reports


1.   Executive Committee

E. Elstun reported that the Executive Committee had recently met with several Virginia Legislators to initiate contacts with local legislators, and to discuss key issues in  higher education such as:  the need for more stable funding; the Governor’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on Higher Education; and the General Education issue and the public perception or link that general education is synonymous with core curriculum.

Next, the last two meetings of the Committee dealt with the General Education topic and the Committee reached a consensus that the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost should co-sponsor a forum to get a university-wide perspective on the issue.  E. Elstun has met and will continue to meet with Lorna Irvine (Provost’s Office), Karen Vaughn (Chair, CAS) and Chris Jones (Chair, CAS Council) to further investigate the issues discussed in the Committee.

Also, E. Elstun reported that the Committee sent a letter to Rector Meese regarding the policy of allowing a faculty member to serve on the Board of Visitors.  Since the letter was sent only a few days before this meeting, it is too soon to have received any response to that written request.  The request for faculty membership follows a motion passed by the Faculty Senate of Virginia and passed on to SCHEV requesting this representation.  It was noted that three Virginia institutions already have a faculty member on their Boards.


Next, E. Elstun reported that there is a Task Force for Review of Policy Studies; and given the wide-ranging impact of such a task force across CAS, Institute of Public Affairs, School of Law, Institute of Public Policy and Information Technology, the Executive Committee and the Provost agreed that they will co-sponsor a forum on the subject in the Spring after the Task Force has returned with it’s report and recommendations.  The purpose of the forum will be to expand discussion and provide the opportunity for faculty to discuss the subject.


Finally, E. Elstun reported that there were questions raised in the Committee about the Administration’s commitment to Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program.  Specifically, Stanley Zoltek (Chair, WAC Committee) asked that the Executive Committee seek answers to the questions raised on this issue.


2.  Academic Policies Committee

H. Gortner reported that the Committee has finished it’s examination of the request to review the 60 hour requirement for Graduation with Distinction in regards to 2+2 year degrees such as Criminal Justice.  (2+2 refers to 2 years Community College work and 2 years GMU credit.)  The Committee’s finding was not to reduce the number of hours required to graduate with distinction but to inform incoming students in those programs of the requirements.  The decision was made so as not to reduce the quality of the honors by lowering the standards used to attain them.


3.  Facilities and Support Services Committee

S. Zoltek reported that the Committee will be meeting with Stanley Taylor regarding parking issues and the University “lockdown” over the Winter recess.


4.  Faculty Matters Committee

J. Scimecca stated that the Committee had nothing to report at this time.


5.  Nominations Committee

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


6.  Organization and Operations Committee

E. Blaisten-Barojas reported that the Committee will be meeting next week.  Current business for the Committee includes a review of the charge and name of the Non-Traditional, Interdisciplinary and Adult Learning Committee; and, a proposal to open a new University Standing Committee regarding Legislative and Community Relations.


 B.  Other Reports


1.  Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors

H. Tongren reported that the BOV met on Thursday, October 29.  The report on the Board of Visitors meeting is Attachment A of these minutes.


2.  Representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia

E. Elstun reported that she and Ann Cary will attend the public forum at William and Mary which the Faculty Senate of Virginia is sponsoring on Saturday, November 14.


VI.   Other New Business

A.   Motion regarding Recommendations to the Dean of Admissions Search Committee

R. Ehrlich introduced the motion that:  “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.”  The motion was seconded.  Following this introduction, discussion of the motion was held.  Several key points causing the creation of this motion came from a Report concerning the Dean of Admissions search by the consultant Linda Clement (Vice President for Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Maryland at College Park).  There was extensive support for the motion, citing the need to have the high quality full-time degree seeking students as well as the part-time working students which GMU currently serves as a large portion of it’s student base.


Opposition to the motion followed the ideas that: there should not be one, single priority for the Dean of Admissions; and, in contrast to the diversity that GMU attempts to create and preserve, the motion attempts to limit and restrict potential students to exclusively those with the highest academic profiles.


A motion to amend the main motion was made and seconded changing the motion to read:  “The Faculty Senate believes that a high priority of the Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Development should continue to be to improve the academic profile of entering students.”  Following a brief discussion of the amendment to the motion, a vote on the amendment was taken and the amendment failed.


Returning to the main motion, several final comments on the motion were made before a vote on the motion.  The main motion passed without amendment.


VII.   Adjournment


            The meeting was adjourned at 4:03 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Donald T. Gantz

Secretary of the Faculty Senate


Attachment A - Senate Liaisons to the BOV Report on the GMU BOV Meeting as presented by H. Tongren


Committee Reports

Student Affairs Committee:

Visitor Lauterberg was elected Chair and Visitor Cooper as its Vice Chair.  John Butler, President of Student Government reported on the Student Government Bylaws, followed by report on University Life from Karen Rosenblum, VP University Life:  GMU students had lowest ratings of student satisfaction of any Va. College in a recent Institutional research study.  Among other things, students felt: there is no “sense of belonging”; there was no University tradition; they don’t feel “recognized” as a part of the University; and, perhaps strongest, they don’t have any out-of-class contact with professors

Visitor Cooper asked Asst. VP for Legal Affairs Jeff Brandwine what would be the legal liability if GMU put the numerical scores of the student teaching evaluations on the web.  Brandwine replied that these are already public information, and that he sees no cause for concern.  Cooper stated that students have been asking for publication of these scores for a long time, and asked to finalize this issue at the next BOV Meeting.


Faculty and Academic Standards Committee:

The Committee elected Visitor DiGennaro as its Chair and Visitor Fink as Vice Chair.  The Committee approved the following new degree programs: MS in Computer engineering; MS in Health Systems Management; Juris Master (JM); PhD in Computer Science.

The Board also approved: Change of title of the MA degree in International Transactions to MA in International Commerce and Policy; Termination of the BA in Physics; Termination of the BA in Study of the Americas;  Termination of the BS in Geology; And consolidation of the Systems Engineering Department with the Operations and Research and Engineering Department.


Other Committee Reports:


1.  The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action Committee elected Visitor Olson as its Chair.  The Committee discussed the issue of sexual harassment on campus and was satisfied with GMU’s mechanism for filing complaints.  The Committee also discussed gender issues in athletics.


2.  The Land Use and Physical Facilities Committee elected Visitor Hazel as Chair, and Visitor Lauterberg as Vice Chair.  The Committee voted to allow GMU to dedicate property to the Chain Bridge Gateway Projects.


Meeting of the Full Board:


Rector Meese announced that starting January the BOV will meet every month, through May.


President Merten announced the following:

1.      Professor Teresa Domzal was selected as Dean of the School of Management and Professor Daniele Struppa as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.  Mr. F. Duke Perry has resigned as President of the GMU Foundation and a Search Committee is seeking applications for this opening.

2.      Professor David Anderson, (Health, Fitness and Recreation Resources) and Professor Nancy Schulte, Drug Education, will investigate and provide counsel for any problems related to drinking on campus.

3.      The Governor’s “Blue Ribbon” Commission on Higher Education will meet at GMU Wednesday, November 4, to decide how it will operate.

4.      Plans for the Capital Campaign are progressing.  Rather than detract from the Campaign, Merten feels that the ongoing University restructuring will help, since contributors often look for evidence of improvements.  He outlined the internal and external structures of the Campaign and stressed the need for cooperation from faculty and staff.


The Board approved all faculty actions sent to it by the Committees mentioned previously.  This concludes the Report of the BOV.

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