GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
DECEMBER 8, 1999
Senators Present: K. Alligood, K. Avruch, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Bowen, T. Brawley, B. Brown, L. Brown, J. Censer, R. Coffinberger, J. Crockett, R. Davis, M. DeNys, R. Ehrlich, E. Elstun, T. Friesz, K. Gaffney, D. Gantz, H. Gortner, M. Holt, R.C. Jones, A. Kolker, D. Kuebrich, L. Lederman, J. Metcalf, J. Reid, L. Rigsby, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, L. Seligmann, P. So, A. Sofer, C. Sutton, C. Thomas, E. Thorp, H. Tongren, H. Williams, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek
Senators Absent: R. Carty, S. Cheldelin, S. deMonsabert, T. Domzal, J. Flinn, G. Galluzzo, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, E. Gunn, J. Hale, M. Krauss, M. LeBaron, B. Manchester, A. Merten, J. O’Connor, L. Rikard, L. Rockwood, D. Struppa, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie, J. Wood
Guests Present: A. Agee (DOIIIT), M. Black (CSI & IB3), J. Bullock (Student Government), L. Czarda (Vice President for Operations), C. Herberg (Registrar’s Office), C. Hill (Vice Provost for Research), J. Hughes (Vice President for Information Technology), L. Irvine (Provost’s Office), J. Miller (Salary Equity Study Committee), L. Miller (Gen. Ed. Committee), P. Royt (Biology), B. Sachs (Gen. Ed. Committee), K. Segerson (UCIS), P. Story (English), S. Vatsa (Student Senate)
I. Call to Order
Chair Don Boileau called the meeting to order at 3:03 pm.
II. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the November 17, 1999 Faculty Senate Meeting were approved as distributed.
D. Boileau announced that the General Education Forum will be held in the Johnson Center Cinema tomorrow, from 3:00-4:30 pm. The General Education Committee will be providing a progress report and will ask for input regarding the General Education issue.
D. Boileau announced that he, J. Wood, and J. Scimecca have met regarding the Summer School Salary issue and are close to reaching an agreement. There is still some final work being done, but the final agreement will be shared with the Senate when it is ready.
D. Boileau announced that he recently represented GMU at a SCHEV meeting of Faculty Senate Chairs, similar to the other various meetings for University Presidents, etc.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
D. Boileau identified that an item was omitted from the Agenda, and asked that the item, a Report and action item from the Salary Equity Study Committee, be inserted in the Agenda following item D. Discussion of Recommendations toward Computational Sciences. The question was raised, and hearing no objections, the action item was added to the Agenda.
A. Report on Research Funding
C. Hill, Vice Provost for Research, reported on the status of State and Federal funding, and identified three main portions of his report: 1. Peer review for school research funding (GMU funds), results of which should be available by next week, 2. Overall funding; and, 3. Federal funds earmarked for GMU.
C. Hill stated that new money in FY99 for sponsored programs totaled $32.8 million, an increase of 1%. Additionally, he reported that expenditures in FY97 equaled $33 million that marked a 16% increase. Regarding overall funding, C. Hill indicated that new sources of funds included: Federal resources - $21.7 million (-7%); All other funding, including State and CIT generated resources - $10.6 million (+22%). Furthermore, he identified that about 1.5% of GMU research funding comes directly from company funds, and that GMU is primarily a government contract driven not industry driven research institution – although GMU does subcontract about one third of its Federal projects from companies. Finally, C. Hill indicated that our external funding has grown about 700% in the last decade, but that we have a long way to go to reach levels at other comparable institutions.
C. Hill defined earmarked money as money appropriated on Capitol Hill for specific projects to be outsourced from Federal Agencies. He further stated that through the efforts of several sources, GMU probably has acquired more funds in earmarked money than any other school in the United States this year or last. He indicated that various Departments and Institutes will be working on these projects this year and identified several examples. C. Hill further stated that central to the process of earmarking is identifying ideas for next year. GMU will most likely receive several million dollars in earmarked funds (est. $3-10 million) but needs to continue to identify potential areas for future earmarks.
C. Hill was asked what percentage of earmarked funds were TIPP’s, and he replied that approximately 1/3 to ½ of earmarks are TIPP’s this year, but that it is down from 100% in the past. He said that earmarks were opened up to all Deans and Directors last year essentially and solicits their suggestions as well as faculty suggestions for future earmarks. If you wish to contact C. Hill please feel free to e-mail him to further discuss potential future earmarks.
B. Report on University Computing
J. Hughes, Vice President of Information Technology, reported that it is currently “budget-building time” and that they need to prioritize technology related requests. J. Hughes further explained that the types of complaints that she and UCIS receive fall into three main categories. First, there are the “cost-less” complaints – which identify ways to be more effective, efficient, and improve relations with the academic departments. Second, are the complaints directed to UCIS, but which are related to technology – i.e. the reliability of the internet compared to that of the telephone lines, the cost factor of worldwide access, the backward compatibility problems of the current structure. And, third are the budgetary complaints, which L. Czarda will address, but the money necessary to address every suggestion simply does not exist and tough choices must be made.
J. Hughes stated that departmental servers are not large enough to run courses and websites for all of their needs, but identified that UCIS has bigger and faster servers that could greatly reduce the congestion on the smaller departmental servers if they were used for these larger operations. She indicated that they are putting out Requests For Proposals (RFPs) to identify the potential of outsourcing the University’s remote access, which would follow the pattern evolving among other Virginia universities. The question then would turn to what to do with the old modems, and there are several options that exist: 1. GMU could continue to keep them running but limit access – with time limits; 2. GMU could provide limited access from campus; or, 3. GMU could eliminate them and use the money not being spent utilizing them to pay an outside source or to pay for faculty access.
L. Czarda was present to address budgetary complaints. J. Hughes agreed with several of the complaints of this nature, but acknowledged that the money does not exist and addressing the budget is a priority. She further stated that GMU would need approximately $50 million per year just for the staff to meet parity with other comparable schools. A Senator commented that faculty should be more involved in utilizing money being spent to improve teaching. Budgetary planning is underway, and the BOV will look at it in January. Faculty identification of priorities needs to be done soon, and Joy Hughes encourages faculty to contact her or L. Czarda via e-mail to identify faculty I.T. budgetary priorities as soon as possible.
R. Sachs reported that the General Education Committee has been meeting regularly since October and has been working to identify what is currently happening at George Mason and elsewhere with regards to general education. R. Sachs displayed several transparencies depicting results of a SCHEV study of 18 criteria of general education among area schools and statistics about general education at GMU specifically. The Committee is developing a mission statement, and encourages all faculty who have concerns, suggestions or comments to contact R. Sachs or any member of the Committee (preferably via e-mail).
Next, R. Sachs stated that the Committee had established a framework for identifying objectives and goals. The Committee also identified what it believes students should achieve in general education into three main categories: 1. operational skills; 2. value focus skills; and, 3. the professions. He stated that there are three “across the curriculum” areas that the committee addressed as fundamental to general education, and they are: writing across the curriculum; technology across the curriculum; and, speaking across the curriculum. R. Sachs further stressed that the Committee must provide the Senate with additional information and updates on its work, but that the faculty must be involved in the Committee’s work. He stated that holding the Forum on December 9, accessibility of Committee members and providing working materials on a web page (http://math.gmu.edu/~rsachs/gened) are all ways to foster faculty involvement. He further stated that the Committee needs faculty involvement early in the process to identify what programs are impacted, are necessary, and would both impact on or be impacted by a set of general education requirements.
A comment directed to the Committee identified the concern that “reading across the curriculum” is perhaps the biggest obstacle right now and should not be overlooked. Chair Boileau stated that due to time restraints and the full agenda, the appropriate place for comments and suggestions regarding general education would be the Forum tomorrow in the Johnson Center Cinema.
D. Discussion of Recommendations toward Computational Sciences
The Sense of the Senate motion (Attachment A of the Agenda) was introduced and seconded. A praising of the proposal as a paradigmatic model for other proposals to follow began discussion of the motion. The proposal addresses the administrative structure and the Faculty Senate’s role in the changes outlined within the proposal. Additional comments supported the proposal and the procedure by which the proposal was created as well as the potential future of the merger. The question was called, and the motion carried by a vote of 37 for, zero against, and zero abstentions.
E. Salary Equity Study Committee Report
J. Miller reported the need of the Committee to conduct a study to establish that the data they use will be correct, and that the Committee needs the endorsement of the Faculty Senate to conduct the study. J. Miller indicated that the Committee wants to send a letter to each faculty member identifying the salary information, which they currently have, and getting confirmation on that information’s correctness. The Faculty Senate moved and seconded the motion, proposed by the University Salary Equity Committee, as follows: The Committee moves that the Faculty Senate endorse the annual procedure recommended by the Committee for verifying the data in the salary equity database. It was explained that the procedure included a letter that would be sent annually to all faculty enabling them to verify and/or correct the information in the Salary Equity Database. A sample cover memo and information form was attached to the distributed motion, and a copy of the motion and samples are on file in the Faculty Senate Office. After brief discussion, the motion was called and the motion passed without objection.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 pm.
Donald T. Gantz, Secretary
GMU Faculty Senate