MARCH 8, 2000


Senators Present: A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Bowen, T. Brawley, B. Brown, L. Brown, J. Censer, R. Coffinberger, R. Davis, M. DeNys, R. Ehrlich, J. Flinn, K. Gaffney, D. Gantz, L. Griffiths, E. Gunn, M. Holt, C. Jones, A. Kolker, D. Kuebrich, L. Lederman, B. Manchester, J. Metcalf, J. Muir, J. Reid, L. Rikard, L. Rockwood, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, L. Seligmann, P. So, A. Sofer, P. Stearns, D. Struppa, C. Sutton, C. Thomas, E. Thorp, S. Zoltek


Senators Absent: K. Alligood, K. Avruch, R. Carty, S. Cheldelin, J. Crockett, S. deMonsabert, T. Domzal, E. Elstun, T. Friesz, G. Galluzzo, H. Gortner, M. Grady, J. Hale, M. Krauss, M. LeBaron, A. Merten, L. Rigsby, H. Tongren, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie, H. Williams, J. Zenelis


Guests Present:  M. Berlucchi (Student Senate), M. Heerschap (Admissions), S. Jones (Registrar), L. Miller (Dance), S. Muir (Communication), J. Piccolo (Comm 344), A. Rutledge (English), B. Sachs (Math), E. Sas (Student Government), A. Shiflett (Comm 344), W. Shiner (Phil. & Rel. Studies), B. Smith (Student Senate), B. Smith (Psychology), M. Vance (Academic Support & Advising Svcs.)


I.   Call to Order

Chair D. Boileau called the meeting to order at 3:03 pm.


II.   Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the February 16, 2000 Faculty Senate Meeting were approved as distributed.


III.   Announcements

D. Boileau announced that the Provost and the Senate’s Executive Committee reached an agreement on the interpretation of Summer School Salary issue and that the agreement was distributed via e-mail to all faculty.  Additionally, the agreement is on file in the Faculty Senate Office.  D. Boileau responded to several questions about the agreement.


D. Boileau announced that Hugh Sockett (Chair, Committee on Effective Teaching) was appointed to the DOIIIT Advisory Committee.


 D. Boileau announced that the Student Senate in conjunction with the Provost is hosting an Open Student Forum on General Education (Thursday, March 9) from 4:30-6:30 pm in Mason Hall D3 A & B.


 D. Boileau announced that there would be a General Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, April 4, from 3:30-5:00 pm in the Johnson Center Multi-Purpose Room.  He stressed the importance of the meeting; particularly since the issue of amending the Faculty By-laws regarding Senate membership will be handled.


D. Boileau announced that the April Faculty Senate Meeting will be held at the Arlington Campus, on Wednesday, April 5, from 3:00-4:30 pm in Room 121 of the White Building (the new building).  Additionally, the two vans that were reserved for Senators wishing to van pool to Arlington will be leaving from in front of the Finley Building at 2:15 pm.  Senators who signed up to drive themselves will receive a parking pass from the Senate Staff Secretary.


IV.   Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business.


V.   New Business

D. Boileau indicated that the Nominations Committee action item would be taken out of order to ensure that the vacancy on the Academic Policies Committee would be filled. 


 D. Boileau announced that the Organization & Operations Committee completed the seat allocation for the Senate for the 2000-2001 academic year and that the seat allocation was being distributed.


A.   University Committee Reports


1.   Admissions Committee

A. Rutledge reported that the Committee had met at least twice each semester, with the Dean of Admissions attending at least one of the meetings each semester.  She provided a complete detailed report attached to these minutes as Attachment A.  Several questions followed the report, and concern was raised about the interviewing process used in evaluating prospective students.  A. Rutledge responded to the concern by reiterating that the process was being reviewed.  The Committee was thanked for the quantitative and qualitative improvements that have occurred with the university’s admissions.


2.   Grievance Committee

K. Gaffney reported that the Committee had no action before it to this point and that there was nothing further to report.


3.   Academic Appeals Committee

W. Shiner reported that the Committee had no appeals to this point, and indicated that it was a good sign.  The Committee had nothing further to report.


4.   Resource Allocation Task Force

There was no report at this time.


B.   Committee Reports (OUT OF ORDER to assure appointee to Academic Policies Committee)


5.   Nominations Committee (ACTION ITEM ONLY)

Patrick Wilkie (SOM) was nominated for the A.P. Committee vacancy, there were no other nominees, it was moved and seconded to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for P. Wilkie.  The motion passed, and P. Wilkie was elected to complete the term of J. Flinn that expires at the end of the 1999-2000 academic year.


A.   University Committee Reports


5.   General Education Committee

D. Boileau indicated that the motions on the floor come from Committee and require no second.  Additionally, he stated that it was his intent to move through the portions of each motion serially for discussion and to take each motion as a whole when voting.  Motion One was introduced and discussion of the Mission Statement ensued.  There were no comments on sections one, three and four of the first motion.  Addressing section two, a question was raised regarding the incorporation of reading in this section.  D. Boileau addressed the concern by stating that it has been suggested that communication consists of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  With regards to section five, it was moved by C. Jones to delete the last two sentences: “Students will complete an additional approved course that includes an integrative experience.  This course will usually culminate a student’s general education.”  The motion to amend was seconded and following brief discussion, the question was called, resulting in a 15-for, 14-opposed, 4-abstention voice vote.  A call was made for a written ballot, which returned an 18-for, 14-opposed, 5-abstention vote and the motion to amend passed.


J. Sanford moved to delete the last sentence of the fourth section of the mission statement: “The foundation and the core requirements accomplish this.”  This motion to amend was seconded and passed by voice vote.  In another motion to amend, L. Seligmann moved to insert “information gathering” (from the end of section two) before “written and oral communication, and analytical and quantitative reasoning.”  The motion to amend was seconded and passed by voice vote, and section two reads as follows:  “Specifically, General Education courses should first ensure that all undergraduates develop skills in information gathering, written and oral communication, and analytical and quantitative reasoning. The main motion was called and the Mission Statement was passed as amended.


Motion Two was introduced, and it was moved and seconded to divide the question into three parts (A, B, and C) for discussion.  The motion to divide the main motion passed by voice vote.  Discussing part A, the omission of reading anywhere in the Foundation Requirements was identified, and A. Kolker moved to amend Part A, section 1 to include “reading and” before the phrase “writing in appropriate Gen Ed courses.”  The motion to amend was seconded and passed by 18-for, 12-opposed, 6-abstentions.  J. Sanford moved to delete the phrase “at least one course in major approved as intensive in oral communication;” from Part A, section 2.  The motion was seconded and discussion of the motion to amend followed.  After several comments, the motion was withdrawn.

J. Censer moved to amend Part A, by replacing the “Required” headings of sections 1-4, with “suggested requirements” and discussion of the amendment followed.  The motion to amend was seconded and failed by voice vote.  J. Sanford reintroduced his motion to delete the phrase “at least on course in major approved as intensive in oral communication.”  The motion to amend was seconded and passed.  S. Zoltek moved to put parts A, B, and C of the main motion back together for consideration as a single motion.  This motion was seconded and passed.  J. Sanford moved to delete the phrase “at least one course in the major approved as intensive in use of information technology;” from Part A, section four, and insert the phrase “and major.” following “increase emphasis on the use of IT in appropriate Gen Ed courses”.  The motion to amend was seconded and passed.


At 4:25 pm, D. Boileau announced that since there was a class scheduled in the meeting room at 4:30 pm, the meeting was recessed, and would reconvene at 4:35 in Fine Arts Building Room B108.


D. Boileau reconvened the meeting at 4:37 in the new meeting room.  Before returning to the business on the floor, D. Boileau announced that the Faculty Senate Seat Allocation data was being distributed and E. Blaisten-Barojas, Chair of the O&O Committee, would make a few brief remarks.  E. Blaisten-Barojas stated that this year’s formula equates to each Senator representing approximately 19 FTE.  She further remarked that due to the CAS/NCC merger and the creation of two new schools, there were some unique results.  In particular, the creation of the two new schools left only one Institute (ICAR) in the Institute Pool, which had previously housed units too small to garner representation alone.  Thus, the O&O Committee pooled ICAR with the School of Public Policy.  E. Blaisten-Barojas stated that the CAS/NCC merger created a situation where the data indicated a representation greater than half of the Senate’s fifty elected seats, so the Committee capped the representation at 25 (representing 50%) and recalculated the other units to fill the remaining 25 seats.  It was moved and seconded to accept the report of the O&O Committee on the seat allocation data.  The motion passed.  [J. Censer questioned the 50% limit being reported by the Committee.  In line with the request, further checking revealed that the 50% limit was removed during the 1997-1998 academic year and should not be applied.  Thus, at the April Senate meeting, O&O should present a new allocation report.]


D. Boileau called for a return to the motion on the floor, Motion Two (from the Agenda) that was reassembled to include parts A, B, and C prior to the change of venue.  R. Ehrlich moved to amend part B, section 3, to increase the number of natural science courses that require laboratory experience to two, instead of “at lease one”.  The motion was seconded and failed by a 4-for, 15-opposed, and 1-abstention voice vote.  The main motion (number two) was called, and the motion passed as amended by a 21-for, 1-opposed, and 1-abstention vote.

Motion Three (Program Administration and Faculty) was introduced.  A friendly amendment was made and accepted to replace “appointed” with “elected” in part A.   It was moved and seconded to set a time for adjournment at 5:15 pm, the motion passed.  Returning to Motion Three, there were no changes to parts B or C.  In Part D, friendly amendments were made and accepted to change “become operational for” to “begin operations in”; to insert “for” prior to “entering freshmen”; to insert “in” prior to “Fall 2002”; and, to insert “for” prior to “entering transfer students”.  The question was called, and Motion Three passed as amended by a 22-for, 0-opposed, 1-abstention vote.  Motions One, Two, and Three can be found as approved by the Senate as Attachment B to these Minutes.


D. Boileau announced that the Motions would be presented to the Board of Visitors as amended.  He further thanked the General Education Committee and the Senate expressed its appreciation for the Committee with the understanding that they are not dismissed and will continue working on this important issue.


VII.   Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Donald T. Gantz, Secretary

GMU Faculty Senate


ATTACHMENT A:  Admissions Committee Report


To:   Faculty Senate
From:  Admissions Committee
Subject:  Annual Report, 1999-2000
Date:  8 March 2000

Admissions Committee Charge:  To follow the admissions process in order that the faculty might better understand it; make recommendations regarding admissions standards to the Director of Admissions; report admissions recommendations and statistics to the Faculty Senate on an annual basis.

The Committee has met at least twice each semester, and at least one meeting in each semester has been attended by the Dean of Admissions.

Freshman Admissions Actions to Date (as reported by the Admissions Office:  it is too soon for transfer figures):
Applications:     890      +15% from previous year:         total 6948
Approvals:        403      +26% from previous year:         total 1933
Confirmations:    74      +63% from previous year:         total   191

Academic Scholarships:            162 offers
Dean’s Scholarships:                 108 offers
University Scholars:                    80 offers

Academic Profile of admitted students (1999-2000):
Mean GPA 3.3             Mean SAT 1110

Report of Admissions Activities are available on line and updated daily. These reports include comparisons by year for all categories; actions are also categorized state by state.

The Admissions Office reports increased activity in out-of-state recruiting and non-USA recruitment, the latter in the standard venues for such activity. The Admissions Office also reports an improved procedure for screening applications for University Scholars, regularizing the screening days and meetings. Further, the Dean of Admissions reports that the articulation agreement with Northern Virginia Community College is currently being revised, with increased minimum qualifications for guaranteed admission of NVCC graduates.

The committee notes and commends increased faculty involvement in the admissions process, most notably in the on-campus interviews, a procedure that is currently being reviewed by the Admissions Office.  We recommend that the announcement of the interview schedule be communicated to faculty earlier in the fall semester, and that departments be apprised of the number of potential majors likely to be interviewed each week.  We also recommend that the Admissions Office continue to coordinate its activities with departments, especially those that have in place their own interviewing procedures.

The committee notes the efforts of the Admissions Office to improve the academic profile of the applicant pool and of first-time approvals.  Although there has been somewhat less progress with transfer applicants, the 930 Spring 2000 transfer enrollees show a mean GPA of 2.94 (compared to the mean GPA of 2.82 of Fall, 1999).  The Admissions Committee, the faculty, and the Faculty Senate will continue to press for higher admissions standards.  We are also concerned that efforts be increased to provide more academic scholarship funding, which is crucial both in recruitment and retention.

ATTACHMENT B:  General Education Motions As Approved by the Faculty Senate


 Mission Statement

The mission of George Mason University's General Education Program is to educate, liberate and broaden the mind and to instill lifelong love of learning. In conjunction with each student's major program of study and other electives, minors or certificates, this Program seeks to produce graduates with intellectual vision, creative abilities and moral sensibility, as well as the skills to assure a well-rounded and useable education.


Specifically, General Education courses should first ensure that all undergraduates develop skills in information gathering, written and oral communication, and analytical and quantitative reasoning.


Second, General Education courses should expose students to the development of knowledge by emphasizing major domains of thought and methods of inquiry.


Third, General Education courses should enable students to attain a breadth of knowledge that supports their specializations and contributes to their education in both personal and professional terms.


Fourth, General Education courses should encourage students to make important connections across boundaries (for example: among disciplines; between the university and the external world; between the United States and other countries).


Framework Elaboration

This is the initial stage of the framework.  Each category will have more specific criteria developed as the second phase of this framework. Many units will add three or more credits to the General Education Program as part of their degree requirements.  The listing below is the University-wide requirement only.


A.  Foundation Requirements

1.  Written Communication -- Goal: develop ability to use written communication as a way of thinking and of discovering ideas and meanings as well as expressing them.

Required -- English 101, 302, approved writing intensive course in major, and increase emphasis on reading and writing in appropriate Gen Ed courses.


2.  Oral Communication -- Goal: develop ability to use oral communication as a way of thinking and learning as well as sharing ideas with others.

Required -- One approved course in oral communication; increase emphasis on oral communication in appropriate Gen Ed courses.


3.  Quantitative Reasoning -- Goal: develop ability to use and critically evaluate numerical information, and to create and critique logical arguments using quantitative reasoning.

Required -- Either: (a) appropriate placement score on quantitative skills and one of Math 108, 110, 111, 113, 115, 125 or Stat 250 or Desc 210 or (b) lower placement score requiring Math 106; increase emphasis on mathematics and statistics in appropriate Gen Ed courses.


4.  Information Technology -- Goal: develop ability to use information technology to communicate and conduct research; develop understanding of ethical use of computing and information systems.

Required -- One course in IT skills course/lab (WITH TESTING OUT OPTION); increase emphasis on the use of IT in appropriate Gen Ed courses and major.


B.  Core Requirements

1. Literature  -- Goal: develop an understanding of the aesthetic and intellectual components of literature through critical analysis of major literary works.

Required -- At least one approved course in literature.


2. Arts  -- Goal: develop an understanding of the aesthetic and intellectual components of the arts through either critical analysis of major artistic works or through creative work of their own.

Required -- At least one approved course in the arts.


3. Natural Science -- Goal: develop an understanding of natural science, including the critical approach of the scientific method, the relation between theory and experiment, the development and elaboration of major ideas in science.

Required -- Two approved science courses, at least one with a laboratory experience.


4. US / Western Institutions, Traditions and Economies -- Goal: develop an understanding of the institutions and traditions of our society and its Western counterparts.

Required -- One approved course.


5. Global Understanding: International Institutions and Cross-Cultural Values -- Goal:  develop an understanding of the institutions and values of global society, with an emphasis on cultural traditions other than one's own. To the degree possible, these courses will emphasize the comparison of more than one cultural tradition.

Required -- One approved course.


6. Social and Behavioral Sciences -- Goal:  develop an understanding of the social and behavioral sciences, including the scientific approach to the study of human behavior.

Required -- One approved course.


C.  Synthesis Requirement

1. Goal:  To assist students in the making of connected meaning and the synthesis of knowledge.

Required -- One approved upper division course.

(Implementation may lag behind the other parts if it is determined that significant course development is required.)

One type of course is one that links issues in the student's major to wider intellectual and community concerns. Others might be interdisciplinary.



A. Program Administration

The Program on General Education will be administered by the Associate Provost for General Education, who will be appointed by the Provost with the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate.  A University standing committee on General Education will be created, with roughly 2/3 of members elected by the Senate and the remainder appointed by the Provost.  The Associate Provost and the University Standing Committee, along with a student representative, will approve courses as satisfying general education requirements.


B. Program Faculty

Faculty involved in the design and delivery of General Education courses will request appointment in the Program on General Education in a process developed by the Associate Provost for General Education and the Faculty Senate Standing Committee.  The initial process will be completed during academic year 2000-2001.


C. Course Development

Assuming approval of the framework, faculty will begin course development in the Summer, 2000 for courses created in response to programmatic needs.


D. Implementation Dates

Assuming approval, the program would begin operations in Fall 2001 for entering freshmen and in Fall 2002 for entering transfer students.


E. Implementation Principles

1) This document is a draft and is expected to further evolve as consideration and input continue.

2) The establishment of a long-term administrative structure is essential to the success of the General Education program.

3) Transformation requires a transition period and the long-term General Education program will evolve over time.

4) No one course should be required to fulfill any general education requirement. (Other than the current multiple-sectioned

ENGL 101 and 302.)

5) Advisors will play important roles in helping students make the best choices for general education.  Individual students should also be able to waive, petition or test out of certain requirements under unusual circumstances.

6) Deans and directors must be willing to work with and support departments involved in general education.  Implementation of this program should be done in a way as not to overburden or frustrate faculty.  Resources provided to General Education benefit the overall University mission.

F. Exceptions

Programs that have external accreditation requirements will be permitted modifications where needed.


G.  Integrated Programs

It is understood that the already approved integrated General Education programs at GMU will continue to serve as General Education requirements. 

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