George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Faculty Senate
February 20, 2002

Senators Present: K. Avruch, J. Bennett, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, L. Brown, Y. D. Chung, E. Elstun, P. Feerick, H. Gortner, A. Kolker, D. Kuebrich, B. Manchester, S. Ruth, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, L. Seligmann, S. Slayden, B. Smith, A. Sofer, P. Stearns, B. Sturtevant, C. Sutton, C. Thomas, S. Trencher, P. Wilkie, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek.

Senators Absent: W. M. Black, L. Bowen, B. Brown, P. Buchanan, R. Carty, S. Cheldelin, T. Chorvat, S. Cobb, R. Coffinberger, R. Conti, S. deMonsabert, M. DeNys, M. Deshmukh, T. Friesz, J. Gorrell, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, G. Hanweck, K. Haynes, J. High, R. C. Jones, H. W. Jeong, R. Klimoski, M. Krauss, C. Mattusch, A. Merten, J. Moore, H. Morgan, R. Nadeau, L. Pawloski, W. Reeder, J. Kozlowski, L. Rockwood, P. So, P. Story, D. Struppa.

Guests Present: Sheryl Beach, Andrew Flagel, Robin Heron, Susan Jones.

I. Call to Order
Chair, Don Boileau called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm.

II. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of January 23, 2002, were approved. The minutes of February 8, 2002, were approved with the addition of the name, Lorraine Brown, Secretary of Faculty Senate.

III. Announcements
Peter Stearns updated the Senate on the budget crisis. In his view the House version of the budget has a better chance of passage than the Senate version. The House and Senate both rejected the idea of increased tuition income being returned to Richmond. Both House and Senate have recommended that BOV’s be permitted to raise tuition for all students and keep the additional tuition revenue at their respective schools. The House Bill has included a $24.00 student fee. The House and Senate have recommended either salary increases or targeted bonuses for state employees. A 5% cut will be implemented for each unit within GMU. The increase in tuition is expected to be $400 for in-state students and $1000 for out-of-state students at the undergraduate level. Peter Stearns added that he envisioned no program cuts at this time. The anticipated B.S. in Information Technology will be funded if it is approved by SCHEV. It is Stearns’ hope that these cuts can be made “without full loss of momentum."

IV. Unfinished Business – none

V. Senate Committee Reports

Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee – Don Boileau

Don Boileau reported that the Committee on Faculty Awards and Incentives will have a report ready in March. They expect little change in the tenure policy.

Esther Elstun, Don Boileau and Hal Gortner attended the Virginia Senate Meeting in Richmond on Saturday, February 16, 2002, which was Chaired by Esther Elstun. Hal Gortner provided a report to the senators. He also provided a graph of tuition costs in Virginia schools for the past decade. He reported that there is sympathy in the legislature regarding the Virginia Retirement System because of no salary increases. HB 538 – Faculty Representatives to the Board for Community Colleges, local Community College Boards, and Boards of Visitors - will be voted on February 21, 2002. Ariela Sofer provided senators a list of legislators to contact regarding the Bill. Don Boileau introduced a resolution at the Virginia Senate meeting requesting faculty representation on all budget committees related to the financial process. This resolution will be forwarded to all state universities.

Academic Policies Committee – Esther Elstun
The Committee has met weekly since the beginning of the semester and is close to closure on revision of the minor. If you would like to attend a meeting of the Academic Policies Committee, please contact Pat Wilkie.

Facilities, Support Services and Libraries Committee – Stanley Zoltek
The next meeting of this Committee will be on the Fenwick fellowships and the budget.

Faculty Matters Committee – Joe Scimecca
No report.

Organization and Operations – Estela Blaisten-Barojas
No report.

Nominations Committee – Rick Coffinberger
No report.

University Standing Committees

Technology Policy – Stanley Zoltek

A letter was sent to the President of GMU, Alan Merten, from the Technology Policy Committee regarding the budget cuts which discusses the adverse effects of budget cuts on technology at the University.

Committee on External Academic Relations – Ariela Sofer
HB 538 – Faculty representatives to the Board for Community Colleges, local Community College Boards, and Boards of Visitors - was passed by the House and will be voted on by the Senate Feb. 21, 2002. HB 28 – Higher Education; xpectation of Privacy in Electronic Communications - has been postponed until next year.

Faculty Senate Liaison to the BOV – Lorraine Brown
A volunteer was requested to fill this position. Lorraine Brown provided a handout of information from the last BOV meeting, held January 23, 2002.

Admissions Committee – Alok Berry
This Committee met and reported admissions applications are up 13% which is more than at other state universities. Andrew Flagel spoke to the Senate about challenges of the Admissions Office. Dr. Flagel would like to increase points of contact at GMU to applicants. Contacting applicants by e-mail and direct mailings might be beneficial in attracting honors students. He would like to give names of outstanding students to appropriate faculty members for direct contact. Student receptions will take place in March and April. In answer to questions about transfer students, GMU’s agreement with NOVA is to accept students with a 2.5 average in academic courses.

Susan Jones, Registrar reported that electronic grade reporting will begin in September. She stated that each student and faculty member must have a GMU e-mail account for this system to be viable. Under the current system the person’s ID is his or her PIN (Personal Identification Number) which is currently printed on his or her check stub, but in the future each person will be assigned an ID # for the upcoming Banner system. The units participating in the pilot program are: CVPA, Education, IT&E, SCS. Security issues were discussed.

VI. New Business
The recently appointed Ad Hoc Budget Crisis Committee has had one meeting and will meet with Maurice Scherrens to develop a list of questions regarding the budget crisis. Committee members are Rick Coffinberger, Michael Ferri, Don Gantz, Anita Taylor, and Pat Wilkie.

VII. Adjournment

A motion to adjourn was requested, and it was so moved and seconded. The meeting adjourned at 4:10 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Lorraine Brown
Secretary, Faculty Senate

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