George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Faculty Senate
April 11, 2001

Senators Present: E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, R. Conti, R. Ehrlich, E. Elstun, D. Gantz, M. Holt, R.C. Jones, A Kolker, L. Rockwood, A. Sofer, P. Story, C. Sutton, P. Stearns

Senators Absent: K. Alligood, K. Avruch. W. M. Black, L. Bowen, B. Brown, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, R. Carty, J. Censer, S. Cheldelin, R. Coffinberger, S. deMonsabert, M. DeNys, R. Diecchio, T. Domzal, P. Feerick, J. Flinn, M. Ford, T. Friesz, K. Gaffney, H. Gortner, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, E. Gunn, G. Hanweck, K. Haynes, M. Krauss, D. Kuebrich, L. Lederman, C. Mattusch, A. Merten, J. Moore, R. Nadeau, E. Price, L. Rigsby, L. Rickard, R. Rubenstein, S. Ruth, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, L. Seligmann, P. So, D. Struppa, C. Thomas, P. Wilkie, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek, S. Sanchez

Guests Present: O. Lenehan, R. Herron

I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 by Chair, Don Boileau.

II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of March 21, 2001 were approved.

III. Announcements
A hearing was held April 11, 2001 at 11:00 on moving the Doctor of Arts in Community College Education located in the Graduate School of Education to the College of Arts and Sciences. (Further information under New Business.)

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held on May 1, 2001 (Tuesday) in 138 Thompson Hall at 3:00 pm. The date set for a continuance of this meeting, if required, is May 9, in 106 Fine Arts Building at 3:00.

The next meeting of the Board of Visitors will be held May 9, 2001.

IV. Unfinished Business

V. Senate Committee Reports
Executive Committee – Don Boileau

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate met on April 9, 2001. The position of Faculty Ombudsman was discussed. Sara Looney briefed the Committee on her duties in this position which she held for 10 years. She encouraged the Senate to
propose reinstating the position and filling it with a tenured faculty member preferably at the rank of full professor. She worked  with approximately 100 cases per year and was able to resolve 99.9% of these herself, without presenting them to the President.

An All University announcement polled the faculty concerning problems with the way that Summer School assignments are being implemented. Faculty in two units reported problems. D. Boileau will speak to Jim Conant, Assoc. Dean, Fiscal Manager, CAS seeking a resolution. Dr. Stearns discussed giving priorities in Summer School to junior, lower-paid faculty.
The Provost has proposed a new policy for tenure clock exceptions to standard procedure. The Provost also has proposed a clarification on untenured faculty members. He has proposed a 3-year initial contract in an effort to make all initial appointments

Academic Policies Committee – Esther Elstun
E. Elstun called on Pat Story to present the Committee’s two motions. Pat Story moved for the committee that:

Academic Calendar Motion One:
Background: Classes that meet on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving Day experience excessive absenteeism: that is the busiest travel day of the year. In addition, in recent years the governor has closed state offices, including GMU’s, at noon on that day.

Motion: The Academic Policies Committee MOVES the following:
Beginning in 2002, in the fall semester academic calendar the Tuesday of the existing Columbus Day recess shall be eliminated in favor of creating a new recess day on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving Day.

Rationale: The Columbus Day recess will thereby be reduced by one day to only the Monday after Columbus Day. For that same week, Monday classes will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday classes will therefore meet as usual. (In other words, we will abandon the practice of having Monday classes meet once on Wednesday, and begin the practice of having Monday classes meet once on Tuesday.) Therefore even though the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will become a recess day, the number of Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in the semester remains the same.

Pat Story moved for the committee that:

Academic Calendar Motion Two:
Background: The Registrar reports that in January of this year a number of administrative offices discovered that eight days is not a long enough period to provide essential services to students in the transition from fall to spring semester. Offices especially affected include the Registrar, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts. Similar difficulties were experienced in the offices of departments and other local academic units. Current academic calendar policy (as adopted by the Senate last year) reads a follows: Commencing with the Spring 2001 semester, classes will begin on Tuesday following the third Monday in January, i.e. the day following Martin Luther King Day. To accommodate missed Monday classes in January, the reading day now scheduled for Monday immediately following the semester's last day of classes in May would be utilized as a class day. Final examinations would begin on the following Wednesday.

Motion: The Academic Policies Committee MOVES the following exception to current policy:
When January 1 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday, the spring semester that year will begin on the fourth Monday in January (one week after Martin Luther King day). The semester's classes will be followed by two Reading Days on a Monday and Tuesday; final examinations will begin at 4:30 pm on that Tuesday.

Rationale: The proposed exception provides that in the future there will be at least two weeks’ time for the administrative transition from fall to spring semester. Nevertheless, it would still accomplish the goal of not having classes on Martin Luther King Day. Classes will start either the next day or the next week. Also, no change to the existing three-year calendar
would be required, as the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 start on days other than Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Esther Elstun continued the Academic Policies report. She stated that the Committee expects to have a recommendation on the agenda for the May meeting concerning cell phones and pagers in classroom. There will also be an action item concerning Course Evaluations by students. Additionally, an action item will address the double counting of courses for concentrations, etc. The issues here are restrictions on double counting and policies for the use of reserved terms such as major, minor, concentration, track, etc. The next Committee meeting will be on April 23; interested persons should contact Roberta Conti concerning course evaluations and Patrick Wilkie concerning the double counting of courses.

Faculty Senate Facilities, Support Services, and Library Committee – Stanley Zoltek
Meeting Summary (March 20, 2001)
Present: Stanley M. Zoltek, Harold F. Gortner, John G. Zenelis

The University Librarian presented brief reports on the items summarized below.
I. New Library Resources Acquired
Recent electronic resource acquisitions include some 1,500 full-text electronic journals and some 12,000 electronic books, across a variety of academic disciplines.

II. Fenwick Renovations
Selected renovations of Fenwick library are planned for this spring and summer.

III. Arlington Phase II
Pending state funding for the Arlington II building project, library staff will be working with Facilities Planning to address space requirements for a new general Arlington Campus Library in the new building.

IV. Library staffing
The University Libraries currently has about an 18% vacancy rate. Library administration is working diligently to facilitate filling these vacant positions.

V. Fenwick Fellows, 2001-2002
Research proposals are currently being accepted and inquiries are being answered.

VI. SACS reaffirmation of accreditation visit
University Libraries is prepared for the visit of the SACS reaccredidation team in April.
A. Library Support of Distance Learning
A newly hired librarian, whose responsibilities include distance education and outreach activities, is coordinating the development of a libraries service component for distance learning.

Organization and Operations Committee – Estela Blaisten-Barojas
The Committee to act as liaison with the Board of Visitors was presented their charge which is as follows:
1. Foster working relations between the faculty and the BOV;
2. Facilitate the exchange of information and views on issues related to the life of the university;
3. Act in a consulting capacity to members of the BOV on academic and faculty matters.
Composition: 5 members, three of whom should be senators.
With no voiced objections, the charge was approved.

VI. Other Standing Committees
External Academic Relations Committee – Ariela Sofer

No report

Faculty Senate of Virginia – Esther Elstun, Don Gantz, Ariela Sofer
All GMU delegates of the Committee, E. Elstun, D. Gantz, A. Sofer attended the joint meeting of the Faculty Senate of Virginia and AAUP on March 23, 2001. Karl Schilling, Deputy Director of SCHEV gave a briefing at the morning session that was followed by a discussion of the disappointing fate of Bill 2377, “Faculty Representatives on College Boards,” and of ways to ensure passage of this bill when it is reintroduced in the fall. GMU was used as a model for how to contact legislators. A.
Sofer, Chair of our External Relations Committee, is scheduling lunches between local legislators and GMU senators; she has invited eight legislators and three have accepted so far. The speaker at the joint lunch with the Virginia Chapter of the AAUP was Iris Molotsky of the AAUP. She spoke on the Corporatization of Higher Education. The AAUP has prepared a brochure on this subject that E. Elstun recommends to faculty.

The Virginia Senate elected next year’s officers. A motion was passed to plan and sponsor a Fall Forum, to which political candidates will be invited to discuss educational issues and candidate stands. The forum will be held in Richmond. Individual institutional senates are pledging up to $1,000 each to support the forum. A motion was passed to encourage individual schools to extend benefits to domestic partners. A. Sofer stated that we need volunteers to help with the Fall Forum.

VII. New Business
D. Boileau reported there were no objections to the move of the Doctor of Arts in Community College Education from the Graduate School of Education to the College of Arts and Sciences raised at this morning’s hearing. Four issues were raised:

1. Clarification of grievance procedures for students was questioned. Students would grieve through CAS as the local academic unit.
2. Internal GMU faculty are eligible to apply for the Director’s position. Currently this is an external search for Director.
3. The Program Faculty are currently not an identified body, but this will change after the transition. The management of the program will be taken over by a standing committee.
4. Faculty appointed to the new program would have their tenure in the appropriate departments. Should they have a grievance, it would be handled through their department.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate receiving no objections, will recommend this transfer to the Provost.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) will be at GMU the week of April 16. D. Boileau will meet with them for 45 minutes on the governance of the Senate on April 18. D. Boileau asked that any Senator with opinions or ideas about governance contact him. R. Ehrlich requested the Executive Committee consider meeting on the Fairfax campus for all meetings as this years meeting at Prince William led to lower attendance than normal and that even the Senators who teach
at Prince William did not attend the meeting on their campus.

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Lorraine Brown
Secretary, Faculty Senate

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