George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Faculty Senate
November 7, 2001
Senators Present: J. Bennett, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, B. Brown, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, Y. D. Chung, S. Cobb, R. Coffinberger, R. Conti. M. Deshmukh, E. Elstun, H. Gortner, R. C. Jones, H. W. Jeong, D. Kuebrich, B. Manchester, J. Moore, H. Morgan, R. Nadeau, L. Pawloski, L. Rockwood, S. Ruth, J. Sanford, S. Slayden, P. So, A. Sofer, P. Stearns, P. Story, B. Sturtevant, C. Sutton, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek
Senators Absent: K. Avruch, W. M. Black, L. Bowen, R. Carty, S. Cheldelin, T. Chorvat, S. deMonsabert, M. DeNys, T. Friesz, J. Gorrell, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, G. Hanweck, K. Haynes, J. High, R. Klimoski, A. Kolker, M. Krauss, C. Mattusch, A. Merten, E. Price, W. Reeder, J. Kozlowski, J. Scimecca, L. Seligmann, B. Smith, D. Struppa, C. Thomas. S. Trencher, P. Wilkie.
Guests Present: John Allen, Sheryl Beach, Susan Jones, Mary Lee Vance, Judy Jobbitt
I. Call to Order
Chair, Don Boileau called the meeting to order at 3:08 pm.
II. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of October 3, 2001, were approved
John Allen, Psychology, delivered a eulogy for Lev Vekker, a faculty member at Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and an Affiliate Professor of Psychology, who died October 1. A moment of silence was observed by the Faculty Senate in his memory. D. Boileau will write a letter of condolence from the Faculty Senate to the family of Lev Vekker.
Don Lavoie, School of Public Policy died November 6. A moment of silence will be observed for him at the next Faculty Senate meeting, December 5, 2001, with Jack High presenting the eulogy.
Academic Policies Committee – Esther Elstun
The next two meetings of the Academic Policies Committee are scheduled for November 14 and 28. The principal agenda item for November 14 is multiple minors/concentrations. The committee is expecting to reach closure on this matter and on how much double counting will be permitted will be decided at this meeting. Please contact Pat Wilkie if you wish to attend this meeting. The committee will also be discussing meeting on the Senate-mandated C- grade and the way the university defines
The meeting on November 28 will address residency requirements. CAS liaisons, Doris Bitler and Walter Rankin, will help to clarify this question. Please contact Esther Elstun with questions on this item.
Facilities, Support Services and Library Committee – Stanley Zoltek
October 24, 2001, 2:00 pm, Fenwick Library, C304
Committee members: Present: Hal Gortner, Jean Moore, John Zenelis, Stan Zoltek Absent: Pat Wilkie, Jerry Hanweck
Guests: Susan Murphy, Print Services, Jack Smith, Bookstore, John Spaldo, University Services.
This semester faculty reported dissatisfaction with the cost and availability of “Course Packs” they assembled for their classes.
The Committee met with representatives from the Bookstore, Print Services, and University Services to address these concerns. Specifically (1) the estimated 25% increase in the cost of course packs, (2) student reports of delays and confusion as to location of materials, and (3) the lack of faculty input into the “change” in pricing and distribution. (See the memo from Jim Barry, NCC.) As a result of our discussion the following actions were recommended:
1) Better placement of signs in the Bookstore that use the term “course packs” instead of “course materials”;
2) Quicker turn-around-time for producing additional course packs;
3) The University formalize an agreement with the Bookstore that the current 20% markup on course materials (packs) will not increase during the Bookstore’s current contract.
The following library-related items were reported and discussed:
1. Dial-up access to Library digital resources: The initial problem related to the University’s dial-up telecommunications change was corrected immediately after it was brought to the library’s attention; library databases can be accessed by dial-up users via
2. FY01/02 research materials expenditure guidelines: Expenditure guideline memoranda were distributed to faculty library liaisons, department chairs and deans during the week of October 8 th . An overview of digital resources added last year by the
Libraries was also provided.
3. Fenwick Fellow lecture: The Fall 2001 Fenwick Fellow lecture will be delivered by Daniel Rothbart, Philosophy and Religious studies, on November 29, 2001. An announcement of the details is forthcoming.
4. University Libraries’ “big picture” and divisional goals for 2001/2002: A document was distributed listing “big picture” goals, as well as goals of the four major library divisions – Public Services, Distributed Libraries, Resources and Collection Management Service, and Library Systems Office. The three general, or big picture, goals for the current year are:
a. Development: friend & fundraising;
b. Library/academic department liaison program: assessment & future directions
c. Phase I of Fenwick Library Renovation (project will focus on Wing A and 1st floors of B&C, and will involve service point reconfigurations, furniture upgrades, and installation of additional book-stacks).
5. “1-Millionth” volume milestone: The combined holdings of all five George Mason University Libraries will reach the 1M volumes mark this year. An appropriate commemoration of this major milestone is being explored.
Submitted November 7, 2001:
The New Century College faculty requests that the Faculty Senate initiate an inquiry into the decision to transfer sale of course packets to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore and the significant increase in the cost of course materials that accompanied that decision. We also request that the Senate emphasize to the administration the importance of full consultations regarding policies that affect teaching and learning.
Background: During the summer, a decision was made to transfer the sale of course packets from the course materials office to the bookstore, in order to deal with a continuing loss of revenue by University Print Services. Students immediately noted a significant increase on the order of 25 percent in the cost of course packets. Faculty inquiries revealed that three factors contributed to this price inflation: a slight increase in royalty costs, a similarly slight increase in printing costs, and a 20 percent markup charged by the Barnes and Noble Bookstore.
This situation concerns us for two reasons: First, the increased costs are substantial for many students, especially those in classes that rely heavily on compilations of articles or case studies not otherwise available, or those who are studying in the increasing number of fields where the state of knowledge changes far more quickly that conventional publishing cycles can accommodate. Second, the decision was apparently executed without announcement or prior consultation with faculty or students. Faculty thus had no opportunity to modify their selection of course materials to reduce the considerable financial impact on students.
The impact of the decision on faculty teaching and student learning has been exacerbated by other restrictions that have created confusion and difficulty for faculty attempting to provide the most up-to-date course materials for effective instruction. Faculty are discouraged from placing some materials (such as book chapters) on electronic reserves. There are limits on the repeated use of materials and the dissemination of materials simultaneously in electronic and printed form; inadequate print runs for many course packets; and a restriction on the use of less expensive resources outside the university for the creation and reproduction of course materials.
While some of these limitations are beyond the university’s control, others result from policy decisions and interpretations of the law that warrant further discussion. The faculty’s concerns are deepened because this decision was made in the context of other decisions, such as the requirement for mid-term grades in 100- and 200-level courses and ending of Internet dial-in service, that were executed with little consultation. The NCC faculty believes that this context makes it particularly important that the Faculty Senate ascertain the facts regarding the course materials decision, request remedial action from the administration if appropriate, and insist that future decisions that impact the faculty’s ability to provide effective instruction be undertaken only after full consultation.
Faculty Matters Committee – Joe Scimecca
Organization and Operations Committee – Estela Blaisten-Barojas
This Committee is waiting to hear from the Student Government as to who the student representative is to the General Education Committee.
Nominations Committee – Rick Coffinberger
R. Coffinberger asked for senators to volunteer for committees since he often has requests during the year for senators to serve on various University committees.
Technology Policy Committee – Stanley Zoltek
This Committee will meet on Friday, November 9 at 2:00 pm and also next Friday, November 16 to discuss better technical support for the University. D. Boileau feels this is a Faculty Senate issue since it affects all faculty across the University.
Committee on External Academic Relations – Ariela Sofer
The Committee on External Academic Relations will meet Monday, November 12, 2001, with legislators, Vincent J. Callahan, Charles J. Colgan and Harry J. Parrish.
Faculty Liaison to the BOV – Ariela Sofer
General Education Committee – Sheryl Beach
The General Education Committee has met every two weeks during the fall semester. The next meeting will be on November 28 at 1:30 pm. The Committee will participate in the GMU Global Faculty Retreat on November 9. This will be facilitated by Dr. Madeline Green, of the American Council of Education (ACE), along with GMU’s Global and International Committee, and GMU Faculty members who are authors/instructors of global understanding courses in Gen. Ed. The results of this workshop will serve as discussion points for the Global Faculty Assembly on November 13, 2001.
The CAS Council has invited S. Beach and five members of the Gen. Ed. Committee to visit the CAS Council meeting on November 12, 2001.
The Gen. Ed. Committee developed and approved a response form to convey Gen. Ed. Committee comments about reviewed Synthesis Course proposals back to department.
In reference to the O & O Committee report, the student contact this summer to the Gen. Ed. Committee is Bennett K. Smith, Student Government Vice President. Ms. Shireen Rasheed was appointed as student representative and has been active on the Gen. Ed. Committee. The Gen. Ed. Committee will await hearing from the O & O Committee on how the students decide to ratify their representative selection process.
The Gen. Ed. Committee has been a year and a half into the implementation phase and would like the Senate’s opinion as to when it would be appropriate to stop accepting course proposals, so that the Gen. Ed. Committee could begin assessing the program.
Ad Hoc Committee on Challenges to Academic Freedom and the Right to Privacy – Robert Nadeau
Robert Nadeau presented the following policy statement regarding internet use by employees of George Mason University which will parallel the University of Virginia’s policy.
The "No Expectation of Privacy" provisions in the "Use of Internet and Electronic Communications Systems" by all employees in the Commonwealth of Virginia issued by the Department of Human Resource Management state:
"No user should have any expectation of privacy in any message, file, image, or data created, sent, retrieved or received by the use of the Commonwealth's equipment or access. Agencies have a right to monitor any and all aspects of their computer systems including, but not limited to, sites, instant message systems, chat groups, or news groups visited by agency users, material downloaded or uploaded by agency users, and e-mail sent or received by agency users. Such monitoring may occur at any time, without notice, and without the user's permission."
Whereas said provisions do not recognize that electronic communications in public colleges and universities between students and faculty and/or professional staff in the Commonwealth are different in kind from those in state agencies;
Whereas said provisions could undermine reasonable expectations of privacy in student communications with faculty and professional staff that are essential to the teaching and learning process in public colleges and universities;
Whereas said provisions are inconsistent with the mission and purpose of higher education and thereby compromise the vital interests of the Commonwealth;
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
That electronic communications involving the students, faculty and/or professional staff of those public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth that have previously adopted acceptable use of computing policies approved by the Attorney General are an exception to the “No Privacy Expectations” provisions in the use “Use of Internet and Electronic Communications Systems” policy (Policy #1.75) issued by the Department of Human Resource Management.
IV. New Business
The following senators co-sponsor this motion: Jim Bennett, Kevin Avruch, Larry Bowen, Lorraine Brown, Marty DeNys, Esther Elstun, Harold Gortner, Aliza Kolker, David Kuebrich, and Pat Story.
Jim Bennett introduced the following motion to elect a senator from the Faculty Senate to serve on the George Mason Foundation Board of Trustees. Harriett Morgan and Chris Jones added friendly grammatical amendments to the motion, and introduced the motion as amended below:
FACULTY REPRESENTATION ON GMU FOUNDATION BOARD OF TRUSTEES
WHEREAS, the George Mason University Foundation is the tax-exempt, nonprofit organization chartered to operate exclusively for the benefit of George Mason University, an educational institution, and
WHEREAS, the faculty of George Mason University have primary responsibility for the University’s educational mission through teaching and research, and the interests and concerns of the faculty are addressed through the faculty’s representatives in the Faculty Senate,
BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of George Mason University request that one of its members, elected by the Faculty Senate, serve on the Board of Trustees of the George Mason University Foundation to represent the faculty’s interests in and to keep the faculty informed of the Foundation’s activities and programs.
If adopted, the Secretary of the Faculty Senate is directed to send this Resolution to the President of the GMU Foundation, each member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and to the Rector of the University. Judy Jobbitt, President, GMU Foundation requested the Secretary of the Senate, Lorraine Brown send this motion to the Chair of the GMU Foundation, the Vice Chair, GMU Foundation, Judy Jobbitt, President, GMU Foundation and Alan Merten, President, GMU. She also suggested that this would necessitate a by-laws change.
D. Boileau checked with Jim Bennett as to whether this request could be accepted as a friendly amendment. On behalf of the other sponsors senator Bennett agreed, and the change was so ordered for the “if adopted” clause.
The motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.
A motion to adjourn was requested, and it was so moved and seconded.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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