GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
APPROVED MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
NOVEMBER 17, 1999
Senators Present: K. Alligood, K. Avruch, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Bowen, T. Brawley, B. Brown, L. Brown, R. Coffinberger, R. Davis, M. DeNys, R. Ehrlich, E. Elstun, J. Flinn, K. Gaffney, D. Gantz, H. Gortner, M. Holt, R.C. Jones, A. Kolker, D. Kuebrich, B. Manchester, J. Metcalf, J. Reid, L. Rikard, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, A. Sofer, C. Sutton, H. Williams, J. Wood, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek
Senators Absent: R. Carty, J. Censer, S. Cheldelin, J. Crockett, S. deMonsabert, T. Domzal, T. Friesz, G. Galluzzo, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, E. Gunn, J. Hale, M. Krauss, M. LeBaron, L. Lederman, A. Merten, J. O’Connor, L. Rigsby, L. Rockwood, L. Seligmann, P. So, D. Struppa, C. Thomas, E. Thorp, H. Tongren, S. Weinberger, P. Wilkie
Guests Present: M. Black (CSI), J. Finkelstein (TIPP), K. Haynes (TIPP), C. Herberg (Registrar’s Office), K. Kasmai (Student Senate), M. Vance (Academic Support & Advising Services)
I. Call to Order
Chair Don Boileau called the meeting to order at 3:04 PM.
II. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the September 29, 1999 Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate and the October 20, 1999 Faculty Senate Meeting were approved as distributed.
D. Boileau announced that in keeping with a recently started tradition in the Senate, there would be some brief comments and a moment of silence for William Johnson (CAS, Physics) who passed away on October 17, 1999 at the age of 82. M. Black spoke about Dr. Johnson’s contributions to George Mason University which included being the first Chair of the Physics Department, serving as the Dean of Summer School for thirteen years, integrating honor and compassion into his teaching and being dedicated to the growth and success of GMU. The Senate then observed a Moment of Silence in recognition of Dr. William Johnson. A motion was made, seconded and passed which directed the Chair to write Professor Johnson’s family, notifying them of the Senate’s action and unanimous support in recognizing a departed colleague.
D. Boileau announced that there was another recent death, that of Douglas Miller (IT&E, Systems Engineering & Operations Research) and that there would be comments followed by a moment of silence for Professor Miller. D. Gantz’s tribute called Professor Miller a tremendous teacher, loved by and committed to his students, and a wonderful colleague. A. Sofer spoke of first knowing Professor Miller when she was a student, then as a colleague. Additionally, A. Sofer spoke of Professor Miller’s academic integrity -- the high standards to which he held himself and his students. The Senate then observed a Moment of Silence in recognition of Dr. Douglas Miller. A motion was made, seconded, and passed which directed the Chair to write Professor Miller’s family, notifying them of the Senate’s action and unanimous support in recognizing a departed colleague.
R. Coffinberger announced that the Committee on General Education met with the BOV Faculty and Academic Standards Committee. The General Education Committee gave an overview of its process and discussed the timetable for progress. A draft mission statement and objectives for general education have been developed, but are still being refined. Additionally, the Committee will be reporting to the Faculty Senate in December (as required by the motion which created the committee).
D. Boileau announced that if anyone has any recommendations for a Commencement Speaker to contact him directly, suggestions are being sought.
D. Boileau announced that there would be a Public Hearing on the creation of a School of Computational Sciences (CSI-IB3 merger) at 3:00pm on December 1, in the Front Multi-Purpose Room of the Johnson Center. The proposal will be made available as soon as possible, and details regarding its availability will be announced via e-mail.
J. Wood announced that he had sent a memo to the Dean of CAS regarding Salary issues for the Summer Term. J. Wood read the first paragraph of the memo and emphasized the last sentence. The paragraph is as follows:
Based on suggestions that we heard from you and our analysis of Summer term, we continue to improve the resource allocation system associated with the Summer Term. The overall enrollment target of 1,600 course FTE for the Summer Term 2000 is based on the same enrollment target as Summer Term 1999. The instructional salary budgets, faculty FTE, and enrollment targets are based on the prior summer’s allocations and individual negotiations with the units. If the allocation outlined below is not appropriate to accomplish the units overall goals for the summer, please contact us to review them or negotiate additional funding.
Replying to a question, J. Wood stated that the last line of the paragraph indicates the option of negotiating for additional funding. In further discussion, he identified that the “review” should begin with R. Guilford; and, that the attempt was to accomplish the 10% salary for everybody who wants to teach 3 hours of Summer School. Some discussion of the Summer School Salary Issue followed, and D. Boileau indicated that he, Provost Wood, and J. Scimecca (Chair of the Summer School Salary Committee) would be meeting to further discuss this issue.
IV. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
V. New Business
It was moved and seconded that Agenda item V.B. (Discussion of Recommendations toward Public Policy) be made an action item of this meeting. The motion passed. It was then moved and seconded that the discussion of Agenda item V.B. be moved up in the agenda to the first item of new business. The motion passed, and the agenda was reordered to place item B as the first item of New Business.
B. Discussion of Recommendations toward Public Policy
Discussion was held about the proposed creation of a School of Public Policy. There was discussion about the public hearing and the Departmental stance of the Department of Public and International Affairs (in CAS) toward the proposal. It was moved and seconded that: the Faculty Senate, through its presiding officer, request the Board of Visitors to defer action on the proposed creation of a school of public policy until its January meeting, with the understanding that the Faculty Senate will in the meantime obtain answers to as yet unresolved questions and that its Executive Committee will provide the Provost with a formal recommendation in this matter no later than 10 January 2000. E. Elstun, who introduced the motion, spoke to the motion providing the following rationale:
I have read the proposal for the establishment of a School of Public Policy, and I attended the Senate- and Provost-sponsored forum on this subject last Wednesday. Both the proposal and the forum have given rise to some concerns that I want to share with you.
Soon after the adoption of the current Faculty Handbook, the Senate’s Executive Committee and then-Provost Frederick Rossini reached agreement about the procedures to be followed in matters of organizational change, in accordance with Sec. 1.3.2 of the Handbook. The proposal now under discussion is in compliance with the established procedures in most respects, but not in all. It is conspicuously silent about the proposed new unit’s administrative structure, and a number of questions arise: would a nationwide search be launched for an academic administrator to head the unit? Or would only internal candidates with the appropriate credentials be considered? Or has it already been determined that the current Director of TIPP would automatically become the dean of this new school? The proposal also fails to provide some required information about the structure of the proposed school. Will it be a school with departments? If so, what will those departments be? And how will the chairs of those departments be selected--by a national search, by an internal selection process, or by the designation of already selected individuals? Or will it be a school without departments? In this case, too, there are some questions that the proposal leaves unanswered.
Turning now to the Senate- and Provost-sponsored open hearing on this matter, I must confess that the absence of spokespersons from existing units that would be affected by the creation of this school was very disturbing, very disquieting. This is not the time or place to engage in idle speculation about why the College of Nursing, the School of Information Technology & Engineering, the School of Management and the Law School sent no one to this hearing to tell us what they think of the proposal. But I do not believe the Senate or its Executive Committee should recommend for or against this proposal without knowing what those units think, without ascertaining whether their silence signifies approval of the proposal (one possibility) or a resigned acceptance of it (a second possibility), or a rejection of it (the third possibility that occurs to me).
Another question I want to raise pertains to the astonishing information--contained in the proposal--which the University’s many policy-centered or policy-related programs will remain where they are. If this is to be the case, then why do we need the proposed school, with the enormous expense that the proposal acknowledges would be necessary? If the proposed “school” has as its primary raison d’ętre the task of being a catalyst for programs throughout the university, then I ask myself: why, in these times of financial austerity, do we need this school? Why couldn’t TIPP, as TIPP, carry out the catalyst function described in the proposal?
Finally, I want to say that I am tired of being stampeded. I am tired of having the Senate presented--belatedly, as a kind of afterthought--with a proposal that we are then asked to respond to immediately, because the Board of Visitors is going to act on this matter within a few weeks. My reaction to that kind of pressure is to say: if the Board is determined to create this school at its next meeting, it certainly has the authority to do so. But the Senate is certainly under no obligation to be a rubber stamp, either before or after the fact. If you share the concerns I have expressed and the questions I have raised, then I urge you to support the motion.
A Senator speaking against the motion stated that the BOV is going to act on this proposal at their December meeting, and that while the Senate should pick its battles, this issue is not one which should be fought. The proposal, which met with no objections at the public hearing, is a win/win proposition for TIPP and the University as a whole. The resource needs of the proposal were identified as another area which required discussion. The question was raised as to whether the administration intended to commit the necessary resources requested in the proposal. J. Wood responded by stating that these resources were discussed in a meeting with the University’s Senior Vice President and the Director of TIPP. In addition, J. Wood stated that TIPP produces more than 50% of its current funding; that the sources of funding are expected to produce the necessary goals over a five to seven year period, not all at once; and, that the funding plan for the School continues to be revised and will require approval prior to implementation.
J. Wood, responding to some of E. Elstun’s concerns, stated that regarding the Administrative structure of the school, the Faculty Handbook does not recognize who or how the administrative leadership is chosen. He also said that the school is intended to be one without departments.
Further discussion of the School of Public Policy was concerned with the short time frame given to the Senate to adequately address the issue, and the idea that various other policy programs would remain in their current units. It was pointed out that public policy has been a part of TIPP, CNHS, CAS, IT&E, ICAR, SOM and that this proposal represents a coming together of all these units.
A Senator declared that the Senate needed to separate the issue of whether to create a School of Public Policy from how the procedures of the creation transpire. It was suggested that a motion be created to show the approval for the creation of a School of Public Policy, but which expresses the real concerns brought up in E. Elstun’s rationale. L. Bowen introduced a substitute motion, which was seconded, to establish a Sense of the Senate Motion which indicates that there is support for a School of Public Policy. The substitute motion passed by an 18-for and 9-against vote. D. Boileau indicated that the motion now on the floor was a Sense of the Senate Motion as follows: There is a Sense of the Senate for the creation of a new School of Public Policy. Discussion of the new motion ensued, and found both support and opposition. Opposition focused on the unanswered questions, the varying opinions within the Public Affairs Department, and the lack of timeliness with which the issue was presented to the Senate for consideration. D. Boileau indicated that he had been contacted via e-mail by two groups (one from SOM and one from IT&E) which supported the proposal.
K. Haynes, Director of TIPP, was asked to speak to the Senate, and address several questions. He stated that he could understand the Senate’s interpretation of the process happening too fast, but said that the process began last October with involvement from Public Affairs, Public Policy, the Law School, CNHS, and IT&E in a Committee which reported to the then Provost and the BOV. Discussions began in May between Dean Struppa and Director Haynes, and the current proposal is a composite of lengthy discussions, compromises and collaborations across many academic units. In response to concerns about the resources, K. Haynes stated that 45% of the resources are for cross-appointments, that would benefit other units as well as the new School. And, of the remaining 55%, much of the needed funds will come from increasing leverage of research and development, external fundraising, etc. and leaves an approximate $200-300,000 gap which would need to be addressed by the University over a three to five year period. Finally, K. Haynes addressed the separation issue by stating that Public Affairs was not included in the School of Public Policy proposal at the cooperation and interest of Public Affairs.
J. Wood indicated that all 11 of the Deans and Directors have been involved in the proposal, and he indicated that they had been asked for responses/advice on various drafts of the proposal throughout its creation. Some final questions were asked and the question was called.
The vote followed and the Sense of the Senate Motion passed by a vote of 14-for, 4-against, and 8-abstain. The Chair of the Senate was instructed to write a letter indicating the Sense of the Senate Motion, and identifying the four major areas of concern regarding the proposal, and forward it to the Administration.
A. Nominations Committee - Action Item
It was moved and seconded to accept the slate of nominees for University Committee vacancies as distributed in the Agenda for this meeting (Attachment A) and cast a unanimous ballot for the nominees. The motion passed. John Schmidt (SOM) was elected to the Writing Across the Curriculum Committee, and Alok Berry (IT&E) was elected to the Grievance Committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:25pm.
Donald T. Gantz, Secretary
GMU Faculty Senate