George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Faculty Senate
September 25, 2002
Senators Present: K. Avruch, J. Bennett, A. Berry, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boehm-Davis, B. Brown, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, Y. D. Chung, R. Coffinberger, S. deMonsabert, M. De Nys, R. Diecchio, E. Elstun, M. Ferri, J. High, D. Holisky, H.W. Jeong, C. Kaffenberger, J. Kozlowski, D. Kuebrich, C. Mattusch, J. Metcalf, L. Monson, J. Moore, R. Nadeau, L. Pawloski, P. Regan, L. Rockwood, J. Sanford, F. Shahrokhi, S. Slayden, A. Sofer, D. Sprague, P. Stearns, E. Sturtevant, C. Sutton, S. Trencher, I. Vaisman, J. Zenelis, S. Zoltek.
Senators Absent: P. Black, D. Boileau, S. Cobb, M. Deshmukh, M. Dworzecka, T. Friesz, J. Gorrell, H. Gortner, M. Grady, L. Griffiths, K. Haynes, M. Kafatos, R. Klimoski, C. Lerner, P.J. Maddox, B. Manchester, A. Merten, W. Reeder, S. Ruth, J. Scimecca, R. Smith, M. Stearns, W. Wang.
Guests Present: S. Beach, E. Brown, D. Haines, T. Hennessey, R. Herron, Y. Lukacs, C. Poland, S. Remick-Simkins.
I. Call to Order
Chair Jim Bennett called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm. The Minutes of the September 4, 2002 Faculty Senate meeting were approved.
Tom Hennessey, Chief of Staff to the President, gave a report on the General Obligation Bond referendum that will be submitted to Virginia voters in November. This year, there are no contests for government office that will draw people to the polls, and voters may be confused by the myriad of referendums on the ballot. Although polls show strong support for the General Obligation Bond, voters are still having trouble differentiating it from the Transportation Referendum. Radio spots will be aired closer to the election. Dr. Hennessey pointed out that GMU will receive more money from the Bond than any other
Virginia institution. He urged faculty to vote and to encourage others to vote as well.
Stacey Remick-Simkins, Chair of the Staff Senate, was introduced. As a follow-up
to Dr. Hennessey’s report, she remarked that the Staff Senate has hosted
a number of Bond Referendum Information Sessions to educate the public. Ms.
Remick-Simkins also introduced the Staff Senate liaison to the Faculty Senate,
Eric Brown. Mr. Brown said the Staff Senate is looking forward to working with
the Faculty Senate on issues of mutual interest. The Chair announced that Debi
Siler, Clerk of the Faculty Senate, will be the Faculty Senate liaison to the
The Chair also introduced Chad Poland as the Student Senate liaison to the Faculty Senate.
The University Standing Committees were reminded to let the Clerk know who are the chairs of their respective committees (if they haven’t yet done so).
Former Senator Larry Bowen is seriously ill.
Appreciation was expressed to Senator Linda Monson for her recent piano concert at Harris Theater.
III. Committee Reports and Action Items
Executive Committee – Jim Bennett
The Secretary was asked to introduce the following Resolution of Appreciation to Visitor Sidney Dewberry for his generous contribution of more than a million dollars for the naming of Dewberry Hall and for the Dewberry Chair in Engineering:
“WHEREAS resources are critical to the operations and mission of George Mason University, and
WHEREAS the budget crisis in the State of Virginia makes it imperative that private funds be raised to supplement the financial support provided by the Commonwealth, and
WHEREAS leaders of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges have stated that “Capital campaigns especially must begin with the generous donations of board members” and that “Fund-raising is one of a board’s most basic and important responsibilities,” and
WHEREAS Sidney O. Dewberry, member of George Mason University’s Board of Visitors, has made significant contributions to the GMU Foundation’s Capital Campaign,
BE IT RESOLVED by the Faculty Senate that the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a letter on behalf of the Faculty of the University expressing sincere appreciation and grateful thanks to Visitor Dewberry for his generosity to and interest in the future of George Mason University.”
The Resolution PASSED unanimously.
Academic Policies – Esther Elstun
The Academic Policies Committee submitted the following motion concerning International Dual Degrees:
MOTION: That the Senate endorse in principle the concept of international dual degrees, and George Mason University’s participation in programs jointly offered with accredited institutions of higher education in other countries that lead to a
GMU degree and to a degree from the partner institution; with the understanding that the collegiate/school faculties engaged in these programs are responsible for the establishment and maintenance of their specific academic requirements.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Center for Global Education has received several inquiries from institutions abroad about the possibility of establishing working (i.e., program) relationships that would lead to the conferral of dual degrees. All indications are that we can expect a growing number of such inquiries, and indeed may wish to initiate cooperative programs ourselves. Since the academic and professional disciplines in which cooperation is possible are housed in many different units of the University, a university-wide policy (endorsement in principle) is needed. Within that framework, programs can be developed, reviewed, and approved by the appropriate collegiate and school faculties. Among the features and benefits of international dual degrees are:
-- Eligibility criteria (with an emphasis on the recruitment of "high
achievers") and academic requirements (which may include a senior thesis
or project) developed jointly by GMU and partner-institution faculties;
-- Joint quality control by appropriate faculty of the two institutions;
-- Deepened relations between academic units at GMU and partner institutions, with enhanced opportunities for faculty collaboration;
-- Enrichment of the GMU curriculum;
-- For participating students, the junior year abroad (equivalent of 30 semester hours) in courses with regularly enrolled students at the partner institution; the senior year at the home institution; and at graduation the award of two degrees--one from GMU, the other from the partner institution; and
-- In addition to experiencing such obvious benefits as cultural enrichment, participating students become more competitve for graduate school or employment.
Dr. Yehuda Lukas, Director, Center for Global Education, and Provost Stearns both endorsed the motion as it stood. It was clarified that there would be no preferential treatment in obtaining an international dual degree over obtaining an internal dual degree.
The motion PASSED unanimously.
Facilities & Support Services & Library -- Lorraine Brown
The Committe had no action items. Its next meeting will be on October 4 at 2:00 pm in D109 Mason Hall, and Senators were invited to attend.
Faculty Matters -- Marty De Nys
The Committee had no action items. It will be addressing myriad issues this year, including the faculty evaluation of the administration, student enrollment in contract courses, retirement benefits for summer school teaching, compensation for instructors and professors holding labs in summer school, and returning the annual date for pay raises from December back to September.
Organization & Operations – Phil Buchanan
The Committee submitted the following motion concerning an Ad Hoc Committee on the Faculty Senate Bylaws:
MOTION: The Organization & Operations Committee moves that the Senate appoint an ad hoc committee to review the current Faculty Senate Bylaws and recommend revisions to the Senate no later than the March 2003 meeting. The Ad
Hoc Committee on Faculty Senate Bylaws shall be composed of three members: one shall be a senator (not a member of the Senate Executive Committee); one shall be a member of the Senate Executive Committee; and one shall be a member
of the full-time instructional faculty who is not currently a member of the Faculty Senate.
JUSTIFICATION: The Bylaws of the George Mason University Faculty Senate require that the bylaws be reviewed at least once every five years by an ad hoc committee (Article VI, section 3.). The Bylaws of the George Mason University Faculty Senate were last revised in January 1997.
The motion PASSED unanimously.
Nominations – Rick Coffinberger
Stan Zoltek has been named as the Faculty Senate member of the Banner Project Committee.
There is a new vacancy on the University External Academic Affairs Committee. Nominations are being accepted to fill this vacancy as soon as possible. Nominees will also be accepted for the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Senate Bylaws since the O&O motion passed.
Ad Hoc Budget Committee – Rick Coffinberger
Jim Bennett began by thanking Rick Coffinberger for the extraordinary effort he is expending as Chair of this Committee.
It was announced that Bob Johnston (SOM) and Evans Mandes (CPVA) have replaced Michael Ferri and Pat Wilkie on the Committee. The Committee has met twice so far and will now begin meeting weekly. It is developing proposals for enhancing revenue and implementing budget cuts that will be sent to the Executive Committee.
In a meeting with the Senate Executive Committee [9/11/02], President Merten agreed that deans and directors should hold open meetings at which they present their general budget-reduction principles and priorities, identify alternative budget-reduction scenarios, and invite faculty input. These are now being arranged.
The Budget Committee has also contacted the Provost and Vice President Scherrens, asking them to share information about planned budget cuts for the University as a whole and the University’s central administration specifically. The Committee has asked that a Senator be involved in the budget process at the highest level.
Dr. Coffinberger thanked the Provost for inviting a Senator to review the report on the “three-tier cuts” that was submitted to the Governor’s office. He also thanked the President and the University Budget Office for opening up the budget-reduction process to involve interested faculty. All faculty are encouraged to become involved in the budget deliberations.
Dr. Joy Hughes, Vice President for Information Technology, is holding a dialogue on October 9 from 10-11 a.m. to discuss budget-reduction principles, budget priorities and the alternative budget reduction scenarios being considered by the ITU.
Subsequently, Senator M. Ferri (SOM) noted that academic administrators, including those overseeing the entire budget process, should teach frequently enough to be fully sensitive to the challenges of classroom instruction. The following questions were posed: How many administrators have taught in the past three years? How many have taught night courses? How many have commuted to teach at the Prince William or Arlington campuses?
IV. New Business
There was no new business.
A motion to adjourn was requested, and it was so moved and seconded. The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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