George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Faculty Senate
May 1, 2002
Senators Present: K. Avruch, J. Bennett, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, B. Brown, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, Y. D. Chung, S. Cobb, R. Coffinberger, R. Conti, S. deMonsabert, M. DeNys, M. Deshmukh, E. Elstun, P. Feerick, D. Gantz, H. Gortner, L. Griffiths, J. High, R. Klimoski, D. Kuebrich, B. Manchester, C. Mattusch, J. Moore, H. Morgan, R. Nadeau, L. Pawloski, J. Kozlowski, S. Ruth, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, L. Seligmann, S. Slayden, B. Smith, P. So, A. Sofer, P. Stearns, P. Story, D. Struppa, C. Sutton, S. Trencher, P. Wilkie, S. Zoltek.
Senators Absent: W. M. Black, L. Bowen, R. Carty, S. Cheldelin, T. Chorvat, M. Ferri, J. Gorrell, M. Grady, K. Haynes, R. C. Jones, H. W. Jeong, A. Kolker, M. Krauss, A. Merten, W. Reeder, L. Rockwood, B. Sturtevant, C. Thomas, J. Zenelis.
Guests Present: S. Beach, D. Bergoffen, K. Burns, G. Cook, N. Dickerson, S. Godlewski, R. Herron, B. Hill, S. Jones, M. Karush, A. Marchant, A. Rutledge, B. Sutton, B. Sachs, T. Thatchenkery, B. White, M. Yocom.
I. Call to Order
Chair Don Boileau called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm.
II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of April 10, 2002 were approved.
The continuation of this meeting will be held May 7, 2002, at 3:00 in B113 Robinson Hall.
IV. Unfinished Business
Pat Wilkie, member of the AP&P Committee, discussed the proposal on Minor Programs. This proposal was presented by the Academic Policies Committee at the request of the Provost for guidance on concentrations. The Academic Policies Committee attempted to make the University Catalogue clear and consistent on academic policies. The Academic Policies Committee submitted the following motion:
Motion: Minor: a complement to a bachelor’s degree program/major requiring at least 15 credits, of which at least 12 credits must be from fields different from the student’s major/field. In the case of an inter-disciplinary major, at least 12 credits for the minor must be in courses not counted toward that major.
A lengthy discussion was held on the motion. The following friendly amendment was proposed:
Amendment: Minor: a complement to a bachelor’s degree program/major requiring at least 15 credits, of which at least 12 credits will not be counted toward the major. In the case of an interdisciplinary major, at least 12 credits for the minor must be in courses not counted toward that major.
Peggy Yocom, representing the Council on Minors, presented the Faculty Senate with a petition that included 97 signatories opposing the motion. A motion was made and seconded to postpone discussion on the AP&P motion until the Academic Policies Committee could meet with the Council on Minors. The motion passed with 26 in favor and 16 opposed.
V. Senate Committee Reports
Senate Chair Don Boileau reordered the agenda so that the reports of the University Standing Committees could be presented before those of the Senate Standing Committees.
University Standing Committee Reports
Athletic Council — Gerry Cook
Faculty Athletic Representative’s 2002 Report
The Athletic Council has met three times this year. The sub-committees, which define the on-going functions of the Council are:
Academic Integrity Subcommittee, Commitment to Rules Compliance Subcommittee, General Oversight Subcommittee, and
Student Welfare Subcommittee.
Charge of sub-committees: These committees are to examine the evidence and
prepare reports every other year on their particular area of responsibility.
Two of these subcommittees, the Academic Integrity Subcommittee and the Commitment
to Rules Compliance Subcommittee, completed reports during Spring 2001. They
will report next during the academic year 2002-2003. The General Oversight Subcommittee
completed its first report during Spring 2002, and a report from the Student
Welfare Subcommittee is also due this spring. Their next reports will be due during the academic year 2003-2004.
Within the Department of Athletics, there were a few inadvertent, self-reported violations of rules, but all of these were declared secondary in nature by the NCAA and passed without penalty to the institution.
Academic performance by our student athletes this past fall (2001) was at an overall GPA of 2.758. Of the eighteen sports reported, seven of the nine women’s teams were above 3.0. The Women’s Tennis team led in GPA with 3.24, and the Men’s Basketball Team was the lowest at 2.11. On an individual basis, 86% of the student athletes had GPA’s above 2.0, 67% were above 2.5, and 44% were above 3.0.
The Department of Athletics has hired a consulting firm, the National Center for Drug-Free Sports, to work with it to develop a policy toward drug testing for student athletes. In other schools in the CAA, there is a wide variation of practices that range from Old Dominion University testing all athletes, to William & Mary testing only if an individual is suspected of drug use. An initial policy draft has been developed and is being reviewed by the University Legal Affairs Department.
Exit Interviews of those Student Athletes completing their eligibility in Fall 2001 have been conducted. Interviews will also be conducted with those students completing their eligibility in Spring 2002. In the interviews conducted so far, comments were mostly positive, with many students expressing appreciation for the assistance provided by the Office of Academic Resources. More than 85% stated that they would make the same choice to come to GMU if they were to choose again.
General Education — Sheryl Beach
We focused on Synthesis as our main goal in implementing the University General Education Plan. Synthesis course development will continue as the major action item for 2002-2003, as we bring Synthesis courses on-line for Fall 2003.
The following items were accomplished in synthesis:
1. Criteria and feedback forms were posted on the Gen Ed website.
2. Fifteen courses were reviewed: Four were approved, and all others returned with feedback for revision and resubmission.
3. Courses were posted on the web as examples for other departments or for adaptation/adoption by other departments.
4. Deans’ data was requested from departments about future “supply and demand” for synthesis courses.
Need to know by 30 July 2002, for Fall 2003 planning:
1. Anticipated number of students in each unit/department projected to be taking synthesis courses in 2003-04;
2. Where departments ideally would like those students to take synthesis;
3. Departments' plans for offering synthesis courses:
- as a course or courses in the major, (departments are welcome to offer their own courses, both new and revised existing courses are welcome)
- as a course that other students may take
- team-teaching plans
- courses offered for groups of other majors
- interest in adopting model courses posted on Gen Ed website
After we compile these data over the summer, we will continue in the fall to work with faculty on Synthesis course planning and implementation. After reviewing current synthesis courses submitted and approved, we also need to be able to summarize for students by Fall 2002 the specific expectiations for the courses and the panel experience portion of the synthesis courses.
Other highlights from 2001-02 include: Working with the Global Education Committee and Dr. Julie Christensen; working with the American Council on Education; and presenting a Faculty Workshop in Fall 2002 on Global Understanding. Our committee used input from the discussions with the Global Committee and faculty ideas generated in the workshop to refine the global understanding definition and catalogue copy. This description is posted on the Gen Ed website.
We co-hosted a Transfer Student Advising Roundtable and a Q&A Panel in Spring 2002, organized by the Advising Offices. Over eighty GMU advisors attended. The panel included representatives from Admissions, the Registrar's Office, and the Provost's Office/Gen Ed committee.
We revised the catalogue copy for the 2002-03 Catalogue and, in the coming year, the catalogue will include a separate chapter on the General Education program. With the assistance of the Registrar's office, we devised a way to number Genreal Education Topics courses that will work in a degree audit and devised an optional numbering system for Synthesis courses. This information was distributed to Units and Chairs.
In addition to specifics about Synthesis, Global Understanding, and Transfer Advising, we revised and reorganized the items posted on the General Education Website to assist Faculty and students with the new plan. Please see: http://www.gmu.edu/depts/provost/gened/.
Suggestions for reorganization and formatting are welcome. (One suggestion
we hope to incorporate soon from the Advising Roundtable is to establish links
between the Gen Ed page and other resource pages, such as Advising and Admissions.)
These posted items include:
1. A link for students, html version of current list of courses approved, with links to course descriptions (updated monthly); and
2. resources for faculty:
- A revised form and instructions for course submission for approval
- A 2002-03 catalogue copy
- A list of Gen Ed courses approved, including links to catalogue descriptions, updated monthly
- Separate catalogue descriptions for Global, IT, and Synthesis Criteria
- Html and WORD versions of most documents
- An archive of older documents
Work is underway on SCHEV Assessment proposals in the Office of Assessment. So far we have turned in proposals for IT and Written Communication and are implementing both. This year, SCHEV asked GMU to submit assessment plans for Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning in Spring 2002, and then voted to delay the implementation of Scientific Reasoning for one year. SCHEV just released its schedule of all assessment requests for all VA universities. This includes:
Quantitative Reasoning competency assessment -- plan due March 15, 2002, with data reported by May 15, 2003.
Scientific Reasoning -- plan due March 15, 2002, with data reported by May 15, 2004.
Oral Communications -- plan due March 15, 2004, with data reported by May 2005.
Critical Thinking -- plan due March 15, 2005, with data reported by May 2006.
For the first stage of General Education Course Assessment, the Office of the
Provost, in collaboration with IR, completed a first-level analysis of teaching
evaluations for all Fall 2001 Gen Ed courses. We have sent letters of recognition
to those faculty who scored 4.75 or higher in the Question number 6, "the
overall rating of this course." We commend the General Education departments
and faculty on their fine teaching.
Finally, our committee will hold its last formal meeting of the academic year on 7 May 2002. As chair, I thank each member for his/her dedication and hard work on many issues this year. I look forward to working with all of you when we officially reconvene next fall and to welcoming new members. Though I will continue to depend on Gen Ed committee members who are in town during summer for advice and action when they are available, I wish to recognize and thank members today who will be rotating off of the committee with the September 2002 committee elections: Rick Coffinberger, Hal Gortner, Christena Langley, Carol Litchfield, Linda Miller, Anita Taylor, and Shirene Rasheed (student representative).
Linda and Rick deserve special recognition and thanks for having been original members of the ad hoc university team which developed the plan, and I wish them a welcome rest from their years of dedicated service working on University General Education.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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