SEPTEMBER 16, 1998


Senators Present:  K. Alligood, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, L. Bowen, T. Brawley, L. Brown, J. Censer, S. deMonsabert, M. Deshmukh,  R. Ehrlich, J. Flinn, E. Elstun, K. Gaffney, D. Gantz, H. Gortner, E. Gunn, J. Hale, M. Holt, D. Kuebrich, L. Lederman, C. Lont, J. Metcalf, L. Miller, S. Muir, J. O’Connor, A. Palkovich, D. Potter, J. Reid, L. Rigsby, D. Rine, L. Rockwood, R. Ruhling, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, A. Sofer, C. Sutton, A. Taylor, E. Thorp, S. Weinberger, H. Williams, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek


Senators Absent:  D. Boileau, R. Carty, K. Clements, R. Coffinberger, J. Crockett, T. Domzal, G. Galluzzo, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, M. LeBaron, K. McCrohan, A. Merten, E. O’Hara, D. Struppa, H. Tongren, T. Travis, K. Vaughn, P. Wilkie, S. Zaccaro


Guests Present:  J. Bullock (Student Senate), K. Cheney (Inst. Research & Reporting), K. Graffius (Student Senate), S. Jones (Registrar), B. Manchester (Communication), M. Rose (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 May 6, 1998 Faculty Senate Meeting (continued on May 13, 1998) were approved as distributed.


III.   Announcements

E. Elstun announced that seating for Senators is located in the center section and the section to her right and that seating for guests is in the section to her left.  Additionally, E. Elstun announced that there is an attendance sheet for Senators which would be distributed and should be initialed; there is also a sign-in sheet for guests which would be distributed.


E. Elstun announced the appointed officers of the Faculty Senate for the 1998-1999 academic year and asked that they stand to be recognized by the Senate.  The appointed officers are:

            Chair pro tem:                                              Star Muir

            Parliamentarian:                                          Anita Taylor  (Fall semester)

                                                                                    Don Boileau  (Spring semester)

            Sergeant at Arms:                                         James Metcalf

            Liaisons to the Board of Visitors:                      Ariela Sofer

                                                                                    Hale Tongren

E. Elstun offered her warm thanks for the willingness of these officers to serve in their positions.


E. Elstun announced the names of those Senators newly elected to the 1998-1999 Faculty Senate.  The new Senators are: Kathleen Alligood (CAS)David Kuebrich (CAS), Thomas Brawley (CAS), Michelle LeBaron (ICAR), Lorraine Brown (CAS)Leandra Lederman (Law), Jack Censer (CAS)Cynthia Lont (CAS), Richard Coffinberger (SOM)Kevin McCrohan (SOM), Sharon deMonsabert (SITE), Leo Rigsby (GSE), Robert Ehrlich (SITE), Larry Rockwood (CAS), Jane Flinn (CAS), James Sanford (CAS), Kathleen Gaffney (CNHS), Clifton Sutton (SITE), Donald Gantz (SITE), Hale Tongren (SOM), Harold Gortner (CAS), Patrick Wilkie (SOM), Elizabeth Gunn (NCC), Herma Williams (GSE), Mack Holt (CAS), Stephen Zaccaro (CAS). In addition to those newly elected Senators, E. Elstun announced new Ex-Officio member, John Zenelis, University Librarian.


Next, E. Elstun announced that Governor Gilmore’s Committee on Higher Education met for the first time in August, and that their next meeting will be in late October at GMU.  Keith Graffius, from the Student Senate, prepared an informative report on Committee membership which was distributed and copies are available in the Faculty Senate Office.


The Faculty Senate roster was distributed and E. Elstun asked that each Senator check the roster to verify the accuracy of contact information.  All modifications should be reported to the Faculty Senate Office.  Rosters will be mailed to those Senators unable to attend this meeting, and additional copies of the roster are available in the Senate Office.


E. Elstun then requested a reordering of the Agenda, to move the report of the Nominations Committee to the top of new business with the rationale that the elections must be completed at this first meeting.  There was no objection from the floor and the other items on the Agenda will follow accordingly.


IV.   Unfinished Business

E. Elstun announced that a report of business carried over by the Senate Committees from the last academic year was being distributed.  Additional copies of this report are available in the Faculty Senate Office.


V.   New Business


A.   Committee Reports


5.   Nominations Committee

Anita Taylor reported that this was her last time reporting as the Chair of the Nominations Committee since she will not be here all year.  A. Taylor stated that the Senate may nominate from the floor for all vacancies.  Additionally, there were several corrections to the slate of nominees distributed as Attachment B to the Agenda.  They are as follows:

Effective Teaching Committee - delete nominee Steven Weinberger, replace with Elizabeth Gunn (Senator, NCC).

Grievance Committee - nominees were miscounted. Add Kathy Gaffney (Senator, CNHS) as a nominee, and Committee has one vacancy to fill in the future.

Minority & Diversity Issues Committee - delete nominee Herma Williams (Senator, GSE).  Add nominees:  Jen Eng Lin (CAS), Sylvia Sanchez (GSE), and Rose Cherubin (CAS).

Salary Study Committee - add David Wong (CAS).

Organization & Operations Committee - add Kathleen Alligood (CAS) and Clifton Sutton (SITE).


The Nominations Committee was also asked to find two Senators for the Dean of Admissions Search Committee.  Nominees for this Committee are Bob Ehrlich (CAS) and Herma Williams (GSE).


Following the report of the corrections to the slate of nominees, faculty committee elections were held.  The following faculty and Senators were elected:


University Faculty Standing Committees:

Academic Appeals Committee: Richard Coffinberger (Senator), Jeanne Sorrell

Admissions Committee: Yariv Ephraim, Amelia Rutledge

Athletic Council: Janet Hale (Senator), Larry Rockwood (Senator)

Effective Teaching Committee: Elizabeth Gunn (Senator), Mike McDermott, Robert Pasnak

Faculty Senate of Virginia: Stephen Zaccaro (Senator)

Grievance Committee: James Fletcher, James Lawrence, Doreen Harper, Kathleen Gaffney (Senator)

Library Committee: Mary Silva, Mary Ann Dzama, Ted Gessner, Suzanne Carbonneau

Minority and Diversity Issues Committee: Jim Lepore, Evelyn Slaght, Jen Eng Lin, Robert Ruhling (Senator), Sylvia Sanchez

Non-Traditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee: David Kaufman, David Kuebrich (Senator)

Resource Allocation Task Force: Mark Spikell, Al Torzilli

Salary Study Committee: David Wong

Writing Across the Curriculum Committee: Robert Ehrlich (Senator), Marilyn Mobley-McKenzie, Stanley Zoltek (Senator)


Senate Committees:

Academic Policies Committee: James Sanford, Harold Gortner, Jane Flinn

Faculty Matters Committee: Mack Holt, Sharon deMonsabert

Facilities and Support Services Committee: Leo Rigsby, Alok Berry, Thomas Brawley

Organization and Operations Committee: Kathleen Alligood, Clifton Sutton

Nominations Committee:,Jack Censer, Lorraine Brown, James Metcalf


Other Positions and Committee Vacancies:

Senate Secretary: Donald Gantz

Dean of Admissions Search Committee: Robert Ehrlich, Herma Williams


Following these elections, E. Elstun asked if the business of the Senate Meeting Schedule could be addressed next, before returning to the Agenda as distributed.  There were no objections.


VI.   Other New Business

A.   Approval of the Senate Meeting Schedule

E. Elstun identified that the proposed schedule as distributed with the September Agenda listed the March meeting date as occurring during the Spring Recess.  The motion was made to accept a revised meeting date of March 10, with agenda item due date of March 1, and passed by voice vote.  It was then moved to adopt the schedule of Senate meetings as revised and amended and this motion passed.


Following the approval of the Senate meeting schedule for the 1998-1999 academic year, the Chair returned the Senate to business as outlined in the Agenda.


V.  New Business


A.   Committee Reports


1.   Executive Committee

E. Elstun reported that returning Senators may recall several motions passed last year regarding the discontinuation of programs and the Senate’s role in this matter.  The last two motions which passed call 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 Senate Executive Committee and the Provost to define a definitive interpretation of Section 1.3.2 of the Faculty Handbook.  D. Gantz and D. Boileau met further with Provost Potter over the Summer and a draft is now in place which will be ready for Senate reactions and approval at the October meeting.


D. Gantz introduced a motion regarding teacher/course evaluations as distributed in Attachment A of the September Agenda.  D. Gantz stated that there were complaints of the electronic reports being inaccurate and that the motion doesn’t prohibit the use of the Spring evaluations, but only the use of the electronic reports.  A friendly amendment was made to change “the electronic reports” to “these electronic reports” and was accepted by the Committee.  There was further discussion of the motion; a summary of that discussion follows.


J. Wood, representing the Office of the Provost, spoke against the motion.  J. Wood stated that there were problems and actions taken to correct some of these, which included:  1) the scanner misread the forms which were improperly completed; 2) the machine jammed; 3) some evaluations were not analyzed and have been analyzed since; 4) some evaluations have been re-tabulated by hand.  J. Wood stressed that the norms of this Spring’s results don’t vary from those of past Spring’s.  He also pointed out that some academic units have already determined how the forms are to be used.


D. Gantz responded by saying that the words of the motion were chosen carefully to identify the electronic reports and database.  He stressed that bad data is bad data.  Other Senators spoke in favor of the motion:  reinforcing the ideas that bad data is bad data, and that while the errors are random, the results cannot be trusted.  Finally, D. Gantz clarified that the motion only seeks to prohibit the use of the electronic data.  The motion was voted on and passed as amended.  The final version of this motion is attached to these minutes as Attachment A.


2.   Academic Policies Committee

M. Deshmukh stated that there was nothing to report at this time.


3.   Facilities & Support Services Committee

S. Zoltek reported that there were several items which the Committee was continuing to attend to over the Summer and will address in the current year.


4.   Faculty Matters Committee

J. Scimecca stated that there was nothing to report at this time.


6.   Organization & Operations Committee

E. Blaisten-Barojas reported that the Committee has already referred nine items to committees and that five additional items are waiting to go forward to committees.  The business was being held pending the election of Senators to fill the committees.  Items of business for the Academic Policies Committee include:  1) ROTC classes for credit; 2) catalog corrections during the Fall semester; 3) quality of education at GMU as reported in exit interviews; 4) review of grades, such as incomplete, academic failure, and withdrawal.  Items of business for the Faculty Matters Committee include an item dealing with plagiarism and four items related to part-time faculty issues.


7.   Senate Liaisons to the Board of Visitors

A. Sofer briefly summarized the following written report which was submitted to the Senate office for inclusion in these minutes.  A. Sofer reports:


The BOV held its annual meeting on the evening of September 9.  The leaving rector Visitor Murray welcomed the Board, and introduced Visitor Hazel who has been re-appointed to the Board, and Visitors LaRose, Miller, and Pomata, who are new appointees.  Murray then introduced the Senate Liaisons to the BOV  (Senate Chair Esther Elstun and Senators Sofer and Tongren),  and expressed his hope that the Senate is moving quickly to change the Bylaws  regarding membership in the Senate.  Lastly, Murray introduced the Leaders of the Student Government.


A major agenda item for the meeting  was the election of officers.  The Board voted unanimously to elect Edwin Meese III as the rector of George Mason University. With the gavel now in the hands of Rector Meese, the Board proceeded to elect Scott McGeary as the vice-rector, Horace Cooper as the Board Secretary.  The Board also elected Joann DeGennaro and Edwin Fuelner as executive committee members-at-large.


Following that President Merten gave his report on the "State of the University and Initiatives for 1998-1999." In this report the  President outlined a number of major initiatives and areas of activity for the coming year. These are:

A.  Action on the strategic plan, and in particular, examination of what it means for each unit in terms of time and money.

B.  Inauguration of the GMU learning initiative

C.  Definition of what is a GMU-education, in terms of general education, communication and analytical skills, and technology across the curriculum

D.  Streamlining of academic and administrative units

E.  Strengthening the financial base of the university, including obtaining increased funding from the Commonwealth, and work toward the GMU capital campaign.

F.  Strengthening of activities as a single university with three campuses

G.  Focus on university life

H.  Implementation of a culture of expanded accountability, between academic units and support services, within units, and between the university and external communities.


In response to a question by Visitor Fink, the President identified activities  C, E, and G as areas where he will be seeking the highest level of input and attention from the BOV.


8.   Representatives of the Faculty Senate of Virginia

There is no report at this time.


VII.   Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:17 PM.

Attachment A - Approved Executive Committee Motion regarding Teacher-Course Evaluations


“Because of widespread errors in the electronically generated portions of the teacher/course evaluations for the Spring semester 1998, the Faculty Senate recommends to the Provost that these electronic reports not be used in faculty personnel actions, and that they be excluded from historical data bases.”

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