George Mason University
Approved Minutes of the Faculty Senate
May 7, 2003
Senators Present: J. Bennett, A. Berry, P. Black, E. Blaisten-Barojas, D. Boileau, D. Boehm-Davis, B. Brown, L. Brown, P. Buchanan, Y. D. Chung, R. Coffinberger, M. De Nys, R. Diecchio, B. Ehrlich, E. Elstun, M. Ferri, J. Gorrell, H. Gortner, L. Griffiths, J. High, H.W. Jeong, J. Kozlowski, D. Kuebrich, W. Kurkul, J. Metcalf, L. Monson, J. Moore, R. Nadeau, L. Pawloski, D. Polsby, P. Regan, L. Rockwood, S. Ruth, J. Sanford, J. Scimecca, F. Shahrokhi, S. Slayden, A. Sofer, D. Sprague, P. Stearns, C. Sutton, S. Trencher, S. Zoltek
Senators Absent: S. Cobb, S. deMonsabert, M. Deshmukh, M. Grady, K. Haynes, M. Kafatos, C. Kaffenberger, R. Klimoski, C. Lerner, P.J. Maddox, B. Manchester, C. Mattusch, A. Merten, W. Reeder, E. Roman-Mendoza, R. Smith, D. Struppa, E. Sturtevant, I. Vaisman, J. Zenelis
Guests Present: N. Dickerson, J. Garritano, S. Godlewski, S. Greenfeld, D. Haines, R. Herron, S. Jones, B. Jordan, K. Simons, B. Sutton, D. Van Wagner
I. Call to Order
Chair Jim Bennett called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m. The Minutes of the April 9, 2003 meeting were approved as distributed.
The Chair announced that the Executive Committee meeting minutes are now on the Faculty Senate website.
The Chair noted that our professors emeriti/emeritae are an asset to the University and deserve rights and responsibilities, such as e-mail access, library and parking privileges, etc. Therefore, a Task Force will be established to develop an official policy for these professors with Hale Tongren as Chair. The Task Force will be an informal group composed of retired faculty that answers to the Faculty Matters Committee.
Dean Jeff Gorrell eulogized Professor Larry Bowen, Dean Emeritus of the Graduate
School of Education (GSE), who died April 14, 2003 of pulmonary lymphoma. Dr.
Bowen had a long and distinguished career in educational policy and instruction
and published extensively. Dean Gorrell noted that Larry Bowen will be greatly
missed as “a man of good humor and serious purpose, humane,...engaging
in his insights, and deeply concerned for the welfare of underrepresented people
in our society.”
III. Old Business
A. Research at GMU – Chris Hill
Jim Bennett presented IRR research showing that GMU ranks 21st out of 25 in research budget among its SCHEV peer group, and its research budget is $55,921,578 lower than the group average. The research also showed that George Mason ranked last among Virginia public research institutions in “Research and Public Service Expenditures per Full-time Faculty.”
Dr. Chris Hill, Vice Provost for Research, prefaced his presentation by explaining that research funding for universities is classified and reported in various ways, and that this can easily lead to misunderstanding. For instance, statistics regarding funding sometimes distinguish between monies for research and monies for scholarship; sometimes they distinguish between all research and separately budgeted research; sometimes between sponsored programs and sponsored research; or internally and externally funded research; federally funded and all-funded research; and expenditures and obligations. Attempting to review and compare the research funding of GMU in relation to other universities is further complicated by the fact that reporting is done differently to NSF and SCHEV, and the federal and state fiscal years do not necessarily correspond with GMU’s fiscal year or the calendar year.
Regarding research funding at GMU, Dr. Hill presented the following data: Sponsored programs expenditures totaled $52 million in FY 2002, and are anticipated to be $60 million in 2003. From 1992 through 2003, there has been a 230% increase in sponsored programs expenditures and a 58% growth in expenditures in “real” dollars per FTE. The 2002 budget is comprised of 71% federal funding, 15% foundation funding, 3% state funding, and 11% from miscellaneous sources. Institutionally, there was approximately $7 million in indirect cost recovery supports for such things as faculty study leaves, summer research funds for tenure-track faculty, interdisciplinary GRAs, initiatory/seed research grants for tenured faculty, and matching funds for grants.
According to NSF data, GMU ranked #162 nationally in research funding for FY2002, up from #173 in 2001. In federal research dollars, GMU moved up from #151 to #140. Dr. Hill noted that sixteen of the twenty-five SCHEV-approved peer institutions have medical schools, which dramatically increase the amount of research dollars received and spent. He also remarked that in terms of research expenditures from 1997 to 2001, GMU has had a growth rate of 72%, far outstripping other Virginia public institutions, as well as the national average of 34%.
IV. Committee Reports and Action Items
A. Executive Committee – Jim Bennett
B. Academic Policies – Esther Elstun
1. Motion on Minors
Background information: Last year, after extensive research and study under the direction of Professor Patrick Wilkie, the Academic Policies Committee recommended to the Senate that 12 of the 15 hours required for a minor be applied only to that minor, and not to any other major, minor, or concentration. The matter was referred back to the Committee without specific instructions. At the invitation of the committee, the Office of the Provost suggested a modified proposal that reduced from 12 to 9 the number of discrete hours in a minor. On 2 April the committee sent to the directors of all minor programs an email message soliciting their reactions to the proposal. Since the committee wished to reach closure on this item of business at its scheduled meeting of 23 April and to present a recommendation to the Senate at its May meeting, the directors were asked to respond no later than 22 April. Two responses were received by the requested date. These expressed no concern about the proposed number of hours but only about the clarity of the proposal. (A third response was received, but not until 25 April.) The Committee invited the Office of the Provost to refine the language. That occurred, and at its meeting of 23 April the Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the Senate that
Motion: Of the courses presented for the minor, at least nine credit
hours must be applied only to that minor and may not be used to fulfill requirements
of the student’s major, concentration, or another minor.
If approved by the Senate, the foregoing sentence will be added to the section entitled “Minor” under “Definition of Degree Components” (Catalog, 2002-03, p. 34), and to the section entitled “Minors” under “The Undergraduate Academic Program” (Catalog, p. 37).
A motion to amend was offered and seconded for the motion to strike the words “the minor” and insert the words “a minor program consisting of fewer than 24 credit hours.”
A substitute friendly amendment was made by the Provost to replace the number “nine” by the number “eight” for the motion to read: Of the courses presented for the minor, at least eight credit hours must be applied only to that minor and may not be used to fulfill requirements of the student’s major, concentration, or another minor.
It was agreed that the second amendment was more straightforward and avoided
setting a University policy based on one department’s needs. The amendment
was voted on and accepted unanimously. The main motion was
then voted on and passed unanimously.
2. Report on Changes in Catalog Copy Concerning Prerequisites
Jack High reported that the Committee had agreed on the following language concerning course pre- and co-requisites for the next issue of the Catalog. (For the current text, see Catalog (2002-03, p. 30.)
Course Prerequisites and Co-requisites
Course prerequisites or co-requisites state requirements for student entry into courses and reflect necessary preparation for attempting the course. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of pre- and co-requisites as stated in the catalog, and to have taken prerequisites recently enough to be of value. The administrator of the academic unit in which the course is taught or the instructor of the course may summarily drop students who have enrolled in a course for which they have not met the prerequisites. Graduate course prerequisites are normally met with a grade of B- or better; undergraduate course prerequisites are normally met with a grade of C or better. Questions about pre- or co-requisites should be addressed to the academic department or to the instructor of the course.
3. Report on Cross-listing of International Internships
Jim Metcalf reported that the Provost asked the Committee to study the feasibility and propriety of offering Global Internships as a UNIV course. The course might be modeled after CAS 485 or cross-listed as CAS 485/UNIV 485. The proposal for cross-listing was intended to foster increased enrollment of students outside of CAS and to facilitate participation of teaching faculty from outside of CAS. The Senior Associate Dean of CAS saw no need to offer the course with a UNIV prefix, as CAS 485 is currently open and available to students from all academic units. Therefore, the Committee notes that the mutual agreement necessary for cross-listing is not evident and proposes no action in this matter.
C. Facilities & Support Services & Library – Lorraine Brown
D. Faculty Matters – Marty De Nys
1. Motion on Compensation for Summer School Labs
Background: In Spring, 2001 when the Faculty Senate prepared its “Memorandum of Understanding” on the Summer Session, the rate of compensation for laboratory instructors was not explicitly defined. At the Faculty Senate meeting of May 9, 2001, the following motion was passed:
Summer School Teaching Motion 5:
Rationale: At present there is no uniform policy regarding summer school compensation for laboratory courses.
Moved that in the case of courses, which carry noncredit laboratories, since there is no uniform, university-wide summer
compensation policy, until such a policy is negotiated, those full-time faculty teaching laboratory sections in the summer of
2001 will be paid at the rate of 10%.
Nevertheless, in the summers of 2001 and 2002, laboratory instructors were paid at the rate of 6.7%.
History of Laboratory Compensation in Summer Session: In addition to defying the Senate motion, the summer session administrators broke with longstanding tradition when they changed laboratory compensation to 6.7%. When GMU began offering summer session courses with laboratories in the 1970s, faculty teaching lab sections were compensated at 10% in Biology, Chemistry, and Geology. In Physics, a four-credit course typically includes not only three hours of lecture and two or three hours of lab, but also a one-hour recitation section. At some point, it was decided to compensate the lab at 6.7% per cent and the recitation at 3.3%. Usually the same individual taught the laboratory and the recitation, and was paid 10% in total.
In the 1980s, the Dean of Summer Session initiated a discussion of summer laboratory compensation, and the science chairs negotiated an agreement in which full-time faculty teaching laboratory sections were compensated at 9%. The rationale at that time was that the lecture met ten hours per week and the laboratory met for nine hours per week during summer session. This was a rather simplistic way of looking at the problem, but it was nevertheless implemented.
When Daniele Struppa became Dean of CAS in 1997, he initiated a type of free-market approach, with department chairs receiving dollar budgets. The amount any full-time faculty could be paid for a given summer session was capped, but chairs were free to pay lab instructors 10% as long as the amount was within the cap and the department was within its dollar budget. Subsequently, the Faculty Senate “Memorandum of Understanding” eliminated the dollar caps. Lab instructors were paid as much as 10% through the summer of 2000. The move to pay lab instructors 6.7% was initiated for the summer of 2001, which led to the Faculty Senate resolution quoted above. However, only faculty teaching laboratories in CAS were paid at 6.7%. In the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, full-faculty teaching 300- and 400-level laboratory courses were paid 10%.
Rationale: The primary rationale given by summer session administrators (and the former Associate Dean of CAS) for paying lab instructors 6.7% is that parttime faculty are usually compensated at the rate of two didactic hours for a lab section, as opposed to three didactic hours for a lecture section. It is true that, although science students spend three hours in a laboratory, they receive only one additional course credit. The result is that students in most science courses earn four credits instead of the traditional three, and part-time faculty are paid at the rate of two didactic hours on the matrix per laboratory section. This new salary policy fails to recognize that laboratories do not just happen. A full-time member of the faculty must provide leadership, planning, troubleshooting, didactic content, and administrative oversight. Such efforts are not required of part-time faculty or graduate assistants, and are not necessary in lecture-only courses. Especially in the summer, laboratories must be planned that can be set up, executed, and dismantled on a daily basis, while still bearing some relationship to the lecture content of the course. Data analysis, writing, and homework assignments must be graded and returned within 24 hours in most cases. Prior to the summer session, a course coordinator must make sure all supplies have been organized, computer labs reserved, field trips planned (including van reservations), and any long-term experiments have been set up. In addition, the summer laboratory manual must be prepared by the end of spring break. Compensating a full-time faculty member who is responsible for the laboratories in a summer session course at 6.7% completely ignores the time and effort it takes to organize and execute fourteen different laboratories during a fiveweek period.
During the academic year, the administrative and organizational roles necessary for smoothly functioning laboratories are recognized through course release. In Biology courses, for example, each multi-section course has a “course coordinator” who receives one-course of release time per semester. This person supervises part-time faculty and teaching assistants and holds regular staff meetings to discuss pedagogical issues and how to improve the laboratories. In Psychology, a full-time faculty member who supervises teaching assistants is also given a reduced teaching load during the academic year. In what appears to be a glaring inconsistency, the Summer School recognizes this and pays Psychology faculty who supervise teaching assistants 12.5% in the summer. Finally, it should be noted that in at least two science departments, full-time faculty teaching a laboratory section receive three, not two, didactic credits toward their teaching load. A full teaching load is often a lecture section and two laboratory sections.
The following factors should be considered when determining how faculty teaching
labs should be paid during the summer session:
1) Is the laboratory prepared by a staff member, or does the faculty member have to do the preparation? Does a staff member order supplies, or it is the responsibility of the faculty?
2) Is there only one laboratory section, or are there other sections which require supervision of teaching assistants or staff?
3) Are there field trips that require logistical arrangements and which require knowledge of the local terrain or other specialized knowledge?
4) Do the laboratories require extensive data analysis or writing of laboratory reports (to fulfill the Senate writing-across-the-curriculum requirement, for example)?
5) What is the course level? Upper level and graduate courses become increasingly complex and specialized, requiring full-time faculty involvement.
If any of the above conditions pertain, then the amount of work required to
teach a laboratory section is often as much—or more than—that required
to teach the lecture. A 6.7% compensation rate does not begin to fulfill the
spirit of the agreement the Faculty Senate concluded with regard to the Summer
Session. On the other hand, if a laboratory instructor is able to simply walk
into a laboratory which has been prepared by someone else, teach a laboratory
that requires no special expertise, and walk out again, with no supervisory
requirements and no special out-of-class grading, then perhaps this person should
be compensated at 6.7%. As was the case in the past, a department chair (or
the equivalent) who is familiar with the curriculum and already determines teaching
assignments is in the best position to determine the compensation rate. The
basic message is that not all laboratories and all courses are the same. Laboratories
that require extensive supervision, coordination, administration, or expertise,
should be compensated at a level above a one-rate-fits-all 6.7%
Therefore it is moved that: The compensation for full-time faculty teaching laboratories in the summer session will be from 6.7% to 10% of the academic year salary. The department chair or his/her equivalent will determine the rate of compensation. This compensation rate will be based on the course level and the amount of supervision, coordination, administration, or other
efforts needed to maximize the academic content and smooth functioning of the laboratory.
1) A compensation rate of 6.7% per laboratory section will be for 100- and 200- level courses in which the faculty has no involvement in the planning, administration, or preparation of the laboratory.
2) A compensation rate of 9% per laboratory section will be for 100- and 200- level courses in which the faculty member teaching the laboratory is also heavily involved in the planning, administration, or preparation of the laboratory.
3) A compensation rate of 9% per laboratory section will be for 300- and 400- level courses in which the faculty member has no involvement in the planning, administration, or preparation of the laboratory.
4) A compensation rate of 10% per laboratory section will be for 300- and 400- level courses in which the faculty member teaching the laboratory is also heavily involved in the planning, administration, or preparation of the laboratory.
5) A compensation rate of 10% per laboratory section will be applied to all faculty teaching graduate (500- level or above) laboratory sections.
6) If these compensation guidelines are not implemented in an academic unit, the responsible person must provide an explanation in writing to the Faculty Senate.
A friendly amendment to the guidelines was offered to substitute “little or no involvement” for “no involvement” in Guidelines #1 and #3. The friendly amendment was accepted.
A second friendly amendment was offered, seconded, and accepted to change the motion to: The compensation for full-time faculty teaching three-hour laboratories in the summer session will be from 6.7% to 10% of the academic year salary. The department chair or his/her equivalent will determine the rate of compensation. This compensation rate will be based on the course level and the amount of supervision, coordination, administration, or other efforts needed to maximize the academic content and smooth functioning of the laboratory.
The motion, as amended, passed unanimously. The Secretary was instructed to send the approved motion to the Summer Term Supervisor and the Provost.
2. Motion on 2003 Salary Increases
The Faculty Matters Committee submitted the following motion:
WHEREAS, the George Mason University Faculty Handbook (Section 3.2) specifies that factors such as the prevailing rate on inflation and the cost of living in the service region of the University are factors that the University is to take into account in determining salary increases; and,
WHEREAS, cost of living increased 2.60% in 2001, and 2.36% in 2002, and 3.57% between March, 2002, and March, 2003 in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics/Bureau of Economic Analysis); and,
WHEREAS, the Faculty Handbook has been approved by the Board of Visitors as a legal document governing policies and procedures related to faculty employment; and,
WHEREAS, faculty have received no salary increases since December, 2000, and,
WHEREAS, the proposed salary increase in Virginia is designated for all Virginia state employees and is not specifically targeted to University Faculty,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate strongly urges that a minimum of 90% of all money available for salary increases at George Mason University in 2003 be allocated so that faculty receive an equal percentage increase, provided that one’s performance has been judged satisfactory for the last three academic years.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that salary increases for faculty whose performance has not been judged satisfactory for each of the last three academic years reflect the proportion of satisfactory/unsatisfactory judgments.
The Secretary of the Senate is instructed, if this motion passes, to forward the motion to the President of the University and the Provost.
A friendly amendment was offered, seconded, and accepted that the word “faculty” be added in the first “Be It Resolved” to read, “a minimum of 90% of all money available for faculty salary increases.” There was much debate on the motion. Some Senators felt the motion was unfair to those faculty who have “gone the extra mile,” working hard to develop new courses and further their scholarship and publishing. Committee members responded that they had considered various factors before concluding that 90% of the money should be given in equal percentage raises, leaving only 10% for “catch up” and exceptional merit. If the faculty had received cost-of-living raises over the last three years, then the Committee would have recommended more of the money for merit raises. However, since no one has received a raise in three years, and there is so little money to be divided up, the Committee favored the position stated in its motion.
A substitute amendment was offered, asking that the raise be given across the board, but half as a percentage and half as an equal sum. The intent of this motion was to make the raises for all faculty more equal in absolute terms. The substitute motion was voted on, and a division of the house was called by the Chair due to the close voice vote. By hand count, there were 16 votes for and 19 opposed. The substitute motion failed.
The original motion was voted on, and a division of the house was called by the Chair due to the close voice vote. By hand count, there were 16 votes for and 19 opposed. The original motion failed.
3. Resolution on the Effective Date of Salary Increases
The following resolutions were submitted by the Faculty Matters Committee:
BE IT RESOLVED that the George Mason University Faculty Senate recommends that the Faculty Senate of Virginia examine the effective date of salary increases for University Faculty in the Commonwealth, with the goal of re-implementing a 1 September date.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that until the 1 September date is reimplemented, reports of salary increases from Universities in the Commonwealth be reduced by the proportion of the academic year for which those raises are not effective.
Without debate, both resolutions passed unanimously.
E. Organization & Operations – Phil Buchanan
V. New Business
A. Election of Faculty Senate Chair for AY2003-2004
Due to time restraints, the Chair called for a change in agenda to make sure a Faculty Senate Chair was elected for the next academic year. Professor James Bennett was nominated from the floor, and Chair Pro Tem Ariela Sofer took over. A motion was made and seconded to close the nominations and cast a unanimous ballot. James Bennett was unanimously elected for the 2003-2004 term as Chair of the Faculty Senate. Dr. Bennett then returned to Chair the reminder of the meeting.
F. Nominations – Rick Coffinberger
The Committee submitted a slate of nominees for the Task Force on Midterm Grading: Carol Mattusch, Cliff Sutton, Tom Kiley, Susan Trencher, Robert Ehrlich, and Connie Hylton. A motion was made and seconded to accept the slate. It passed unanimously. The Provost announced that his appointee for this committee is Stephen Greenfeld. Robert Ehrlich was instructed by the Chair to convene the Task Force’s first meeting to elect a Chair and begin work.
G. Ad Hoc Budget Committee – Rick Coffinberger
H. Senate Standing Committee Reports
1. Academic Policies
Submitted by: Esther Elstun, Chair
Committee Members: Esther Elstun, Jack High, Carol Kaffenberger, Jim Metcalf, Suzanne Slayden.
The Senate’s Academic Policies Committee met regularly throughout the academic year, and copies of the minutes of its meetings will be on file in the Senate office (Mason D109) beginning May 19. The Committee completed work on the following twelve items of business:
1. International dual degrees
2. Teacher/Course Evaluation Task Force recommendations
3. Attendance policy
4. Three-year academic calendar
5. Semester-hour limit for Extended Studies students
6. Annual review, “Academic Policies” section of the Catalog
7. C- grade issues
8. Residence requirement/policies concerning courses taken elsewhere
9. Latin nomenclature for graduation with honors
10. Student-proposed extension of drop and withdrawal periods
11. Minors program issues
12. Cross-listing of international internship courses
In creating the Academic Standards Task Force, the Senate directed that it make progress reports at specified intervals to the Academic Policies Committee of the Senate. Those reports have been received, and the Committee will continue to interact with the Task Force until it makes its final report to the Senate during the academic year 2003-04. “Graduation with distinction and [departmental] recognition” is another item on which preliminary work was done this spring; it will continue in Fall 2003. Finally, the Committee reports the referral of two items of business which have not yet been addressed and will therefore be carried over to next year: (1) recommendations from the Provost’s Task Force on Academic Integrity; and (2) recommendations from the University Academic Appeals Committee concerning academic standing and dismissal policies.
2. Facilities/Support Services/Library
Submitted by: Lorraine Brown, Chair
Committee Members: Lorraine Brown, Alok Berry Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Stanley Zoltek .
The Facilities & Support Services & Library Committee began the year with discussions of the Bookstore, parking, and space problems—all on-going issues from the previous year. This academic year, O&O assigned to the Committee the task of evaluating the policy of the Director of the Library reporting to the Vice President for Technology rather than the Provost.
Currently, all but two of our SCHEV peer institutions’ libraries report to the Provost. The Committee met at least monthly, and sometimes more, to garner information on these assignments. Aware that other university administrative entities were addressing the problems of the Bookstore, parking, and space, the Committee focused on data concerning the current reporting procedures of the Director of the Library. Our motion to the Faculty Senate in April speaks to our conclusions. As a Committee we have gathered, read, and evaluated a body of research which we urge the Senate to consider in any future deliberations on this issue.
3. Faculty Matters
Submitted by: Marty De Nys, Chair
Committee Members: Marty De Nys, Bruce Manchester, Lisa Pawloski, Larry Rockwood, Jim Sanford.
The following presents a summary of the activities of the Faculty Matters Committee of the GMU Faculty Senate during the 2002-2003 academic year.
I. Matters Considered and Actions Taken by the Committee:
1. The Committee examined the issue of students enrolled in contract courses that are added to existing GMU courses and brought a motion to the Senate that faculty teaching such courses be informed of the addition of these students on the first occasion on which faculty are assigned to or offered the course.
2. The Committee brought a motion to the Senate recommending that administrators subject to the annual Faculty Evaluation of Administrators be asked to prepare a summary of their individual activities and achievements during the evaluation period, and that these activity reports be made available to faculty participating in the evaluation process.
3. The Committee began and completed a radical revision of the instrument used in the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators.
4. The Committee supervised the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators.
5. The Committee examined the policy of using 1 December as the effective date for pay raises at the University.
6. The Committee examined the possibility of institutional contributions to retirements funds based on summer school salaries.
7. The Committee reviewed and made recommendations on the policy concerning “Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Term Faculty” produced by the Office of the Provost and approved by the Board of Visitors.
8. The Committee examined and made recommendations to the Senate regarding items referred to the Committee from the recommendations of the Honor Committee Task Force (2001-2002) and the Academic Integrity Task Force (2000-2001).
9. The Committee considered the issue of compensation for teaching laboratory sections in summer school and will bring a motion on the issue to the Senate at the May meeting.
II. Matters Remaining for Consideration.
Items 5 and 6 in the list presented above need further consideration by the Committee. In addition, the Committee needs to consider issues that have been referred to it in connection with the following matters: severance packages for faculty; faculty study leaves; and recommendations from the Effective Teaching Committee concerning student evaluations of teachers and courses.
Submitted by: Rick Coffinberger, Chair
Committee Members: Rick Coffinberger, Ho-Won Jeong, David Kuebrich, Stephen Ruth, Ariela Sofer.
In late August of 2002 the Committee developed a slate of nominees for all standing Senate and University Committees. This slate was presented at the September meeting of the Senate. This is the major task of the Nominations Committee each year. The Committee was also called upon several times throughout the year to prepare slates of nominees for ad hoc committees and/or task forces, as well as to fill standing committee vacancies as they occurred.
5. Organization & Operations
Submitted by: Phil Buchanan, Chair
Committee Members: Phillip Buchanan, Chair, Kevin Avruch, Estela Blaisten-Barojas, Brack Brown, Hal Gortner
During the academic year the Committee met twice in face-to-face settings and several other times virtually. The primary activity was referring recommendations and other items to other Senate committees. In that regard, a total of twenty-three requests for action were referred to the Committee from the university community. Of those items, eight were referred to the Faculty Matters Committee, eleven to the Academic Policies Committee, and three to Facilities Support Services and Library Committee. In addition, the Committee proposed and had approved by the Senate an amendment to the University Grievance Committee charge and initiated the establishment of an ad hoc committee to review the Senate Bylaws.
I. University Standing Committee Annual Reports
1. Committee on Communication with the BOV
Submitted by: Ariela Sofer, Chair
Committee Members: Ariela Sofer, Mary Meixell, Robert Nadeau, Rich Rubenstein, Toni Travis.
The Committee met twice this year and communicated further via e-mail. We decided to host an event highlighting faculty achievement for the BOV. Work is ongoing in this regard.
2. Minority and Diversity Issues Committee
Submitted by: Molly Davis, Chair
Committee Members: Molly Davis, Ellen Fagenson-Eland, Claudia Kilmer, J.E. Lin, Jim Metcalf.
The Minority and Diversity Committee desires to make a contribution toward making George Mason a better place for all members of the community. It was recognized that in order to make recommendations for needed change, the Committee would have to engage in a fact-finding process to understand the perceptions of those most crucial in informing any suggestions.
The Minority and Diversity Committee embarked on a process of identifying issues that are currently critical to the Mason community and might have future implications. The Committee reviewed the Equity Office’s annual 2002 Diversity Facts report that describes the University community through statistics on ethnicity, gender, and disability. The Committee is currently involved in reviewing the 2003 report to identify notable trends.
The Committee discussed ways in which it could obtain information from faculty and students regarding their perception of George Mason as a community that supports diversity. Upon learning that the Office of Minority Student Services collects a great deal of data on students and their perceptions, we invited Art King to speak to our committee but he had a scheduling conflict. We anticipate inviting him again. In an effort to provide an opportunity for faculty to share their perceptions, we sent an “all faculty” e-mail asking them to share any issues or thoughts they had regarding diversity on our campus. Issues were raised concerning the need to address gender as it impacts participation and status in the University community. We received a letter from the African-American Faculty, Administrators, and Staff campus organization, and a letter from a female faculty member. These letters identified several concerns:
• Lack of mobility for African-American faculty in moving through the faculty ranks.
• Lack of people of color in the administration of the University.
• The need for stronger mentorship for minority faculty.
As a part of the fact-finding process, a meeting was held with Earl Ingram, Vice President of the Office of Equity. The Committee was interested in his perceptions and the future plans for the office after his retirement. The meeting was helpful, and we were referred to a recently published document written by Mr. Ingram’s office describing the state of George Mason to date. We were also provided a copy of the recommendations made by a special panel that reviewed Mr. Ingram’s report. These documents will be reviewed and discussed to determine an agenda for next year. Concerns have been raised about the recent budget cuts and the implications for continuing George Mason’s progress in attracting a diverse student population. It has been noted that the faculty and higher-level administration are much less diverse than the student population.
In conclusion, the work of the Minority and Diversity Committee has been to
engage in fact finding. The Committee believes that there are core issues that
need to be addressed if the George Mason community is going to be able to continue
the progress that has been made. The Committee believes that the process of
seeking to understand key issues this year will result in a more strategic focus
during next year. Several issues bear further review and consideration:
• The special needs of the growing number of Asian students and faculty.
• The impact of recent budget cuts on the enrollment and support services available to minority students and faculty.
• The changes in the articulation agreement between George Mason and Northern Virginia Community College: Will these result in reduced numbers of low-income and minority students?
• The impact of Mr. Earl Ingram’s retirement upon the Office of Diversity and Equity.
• The lack of diversity among high-level University administrators.
1. The Committee will meet to determine an agenda for next year based upon the fact-finding process engaged in during this academic year.
2. The Committee should meet with the new Vice President of Diversity and Equity.
3. The Committee will continue to review reports and data on faculty, students, and administrative staff to determine trends and issues of concern.
4. The Committee should consider the university-wide impact of decentralizing diversity initiatives by encouraging the creation of departmental-level diversity committees.
3. Nontraditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee
Submitted: Alok Berry, Chair
Committee Members: Alok Berry, Richard Entrikin, Tracie Good, Robert Hawkes, James Kozlowski, Doug Mose.
This year the committee had no activity.
4. Salary Equity Study Committee
Submitted by: John Miller, Chair
Committee Members: John Miller, Rick Coffinberger, John Hysom, Ho-Won Jeong, Elyse Lehyman.
Since there have been no raises given this year, the salary structure remains virtually the same as it was when our committee last studied it. Therefore, no further studies have been conducted and the Committee has nothing further to report.
5. Technology Policy Committee
Submitted by: Stanley Zoltek, Chair
Committee Members: Stanley Zoltek (Chair), J.P. Auffret, Alok Berry, Richard Carver, Nada Dabbagh, Maria Dworzecka, Andrew Finn.
We met for the first time for the fall semester on September 9. At the meeting members discussed goals for the academic year and Stanley Zoltek was elected chair. At our September 23 meeting we received a preliminary report from Dr. Hughes on the projected impact of budget cuts on ITU services provided to faculty, staff, and students.
On October 23, the Committee met with the ITU directors to review and make recommendations on what services to eliminate or reduce. Additionally, the Committee pointed out areas where support should not be cut since vital components of the University's mission would be severely impacted. Dr. Hughes again met with the Committee on November 13. The Committee recommended that Dr. Hughes ask the Deans and Directors at their next meeting to survey their chairs and faculty to get additional feedback so that privatization of ITU services will best reflect the needs of the University as a whole.
At the December 4 meeting, Dr. Hughes reported on the planned decommissioning of some “technology supported” classrooms when Academic IV opens.
At our January 22 meeting, Dr. Hughes reported that the Deans and Directors have developed a plan for cost saving related to ITU support. Committee members again expressed concern that white boards and projection screens are not being properly placed to maximize teaching effectiveness in electronic classrooms. It was reported that, unfortunately, similar misplacements have occurred in buildings now under construction. Efforts are being made to remedy these misplacements before the buildings open for classes. Also discussed was the lack of “true” forwarding on the main GMU mail system and the increasing problem of SPAM. The ITU mail group will soon be installing a new version of the mail system that will support forwarding (without leaving a local copy that continues to take up space). Future releases may include filtering that will remove SPAM. Also discussed was GMU’s Enterprise Calendar, which can provide faculty and staff web access to a highly flexible calendar system. The calendar is available for all faculty who are interested in using it, however, not enough “seats” are available to provide calendaring for all staff and students.
Our next meeting was on February 12. Dr. Hughes reviewed security issues related
to computing. The need for a dynamic list of web servers and those who administrate
them was pointed out. Providing some degree of security requires, at the least,
knowledge of who can create accounts, provide web space, email accounts, etc.
Next, Dr. Hughes provided a thorough review of the new Banner program including
how and why it was selected and current development issues. She expressed concern
that some view the system as more “problem” than “solution.”
The Committee suggested that Dr. Hughes make a presentation to the Senate on
the need for Banner, its successes and what promises it holds for integrating
information in ways that will expedite our work. (She will be giving her presentation
at the May 7th Senate meeting.) It was also noted that Governor Warner has instructed
Virginia universities presidents to develop “system-wide” computing
solutions. While this can bring about cost savings, committee members expressed
concern that a “one size fits all” approach might not suit our needs.
The final meeting of the committee will be at noon on May 7 in J.C., room 244.
7. Writing Across the Curriculum Committee
Submitted by: Stanley Zoltek, Chair
Committee Members: Stanley Zoltek, Susan Durham, Priscilla Regan, David Rine, Beth Schneider, Karen Studd.
Ex-Officio members: Terry Zawacki, David Beach, Ruth Fischer, Kevin Simons.
This academic year the WAC committee has met six times and will hold its year-end meeting on April 28. Committee activities included:
* Reviewing WAC related responses on the Survey of Graduating Students—we believe that more data are needed and the Office of Institutional Analysis has agreed to target writing in its next survey.
* Reviewing enrollment levels in courses designated as satisfying the Senate-mandated writing-intensive requirement.
* Reviewing how IT&E students meet the Senate-mandated writing-intensive requirement.
* Contacting the Department of Health Fitness & Recreation Resources to notify them that current University catalog copy didn't properly detail how its students are to meet the Senate-mandated writing-intensive requirement.
* Planning a WAC “Recognition and Thank You Reception”—the School of Nursing will be highlighted for its contributions to student writing. The Committee agreed that the reception should be held in Fall 2003 since it would blend nicely with other upcoming events.
* Discussing workshops for WI faculty in the context of:
1) Is there a problem they are trying to solve?
2) If so, how do we determine what the “problem” is? (review of syllabi perhaps?)
3) If we do want to plan a series of workshops, we will need to find funding.
* Beginning preliminary discussions on creating the position of “WAC Fellow,” similar to GMU’s “Fenwick Fellow.”
During the 2003-2004 academic year the committee plans to:
1) Review syllabi for all courses that satisfy the Senate-mandated writing requirement;
2) Sponsor and organize the WAC “Recognition and Thank You Reception”;
3) Continue examining the need for workshops for WI faculty; and
4) Continue discussions on creating the position of “WAC Fellow.”
8. The Johnson Center Policy Board
Submitted by: Larry Rockwood, Faculty Senate Representative
This is the first year in which a member of the Senate actively participated in the meetings of the Johnson Center Policy Board. The Board, chaired by Karen Rosenblum (Vice Present, University Life), oversees and evaluates space use in the Johnson Center. Members of the Board include John Spaldo (Operations Director of the Johnson Center), John Gresock (Director of Space and Facilities Management), Ruth Kifer (Associate University Librarian), Nancy Murphy (University Life), Sally Mohle (Business Manager, Johnson Center), Carol Bresnahan (College of Visual and Performing Arts), Mary-Litton Fowler (student
representative), Rick Davis (Associate Dean, Theater), Karla Posselt (University Services), Debi Siler and Larry Rockwood (Faculty Senate), Alissa Karton (Johnson Center and University Life Program Manager), Dee Holisky (Associate Dean, CAS), and Elizabeth Wright (Library).
The Board met on the following dates: September 5, October 3, November 7, and December 5, 2002, and January 9 and February 6, 2003. The major activity of the Board during the academic year was the Johnson Center Space Evaluation project. On October 7, Karen Rosenblum sent a memo to all tenants of the Johnson Center requesting a response to five questions. These responses were due by January 17, 2003. A Review Committee is evaluating these responses and their report is expected by early May.
The Board also sent out an announcement requesting proposals for alternative
uses for space on the ground floor known as the “PIX TV Lounge.”
These proposals are still being evaluated.
The Johnson Center Policy Board has also spent large chunks of time trying to mediate a dispute involving space originally assigned as a “Science Gallery.” Without consulting the Board, the Admissions Office has occupied this space. The resolution is pending. The Board has also heard presentations on the Mason Media Lab and the Bistro.
V. New Business
Robert Nadeau, Peter Black, Lorraine Brown, Michael Ferri, Priscilla Regan, Joe Scimecca, Susan Trencher, and Stanley Zoltek submitted the following motion:
Background: The Faculty Senate passed the following motion in Fall 2001:
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 of Internet and Electronic Communications Systems” policy (Policy # 1.75) issued by
the Department of Human Resource Management.
In spite of attempts by members of the Faculty Senate to convince delegates
from Northern Virginia to introduce the bill in the General Assembly, this did
not occur, and Policy # 1.75 issued by Department of Human Resource Management
pursuant to the authority provided in Chapter 10, Title 2.1 of the Code of Virginia
remains in force.
Since agencies of federal and state governments are now more actively engaged in electronic surveillance, search, and seizure activities, this raises new concerns about rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and protection of intellectual property in public colleges and universities in the State of Virginia. There are, of course, instances in which unlawful uses of computers and telecommunications equipment by state employees may require outside intervention and legal action. And GMU University Administrative Policy Number 60, known as the Responsible Use of Computing Policy (RUC), details procedures that allow these unlawful uses to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
This University Policy, which was approved by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, has functioned well and seems to have provided thus far adequate protections for rights of privacy and freedom of expression for our students and faculty. In our present situation, however, it is prudent to review this policy and determine if new policy guidelines, rules, and procedures are required. There is also a situation in which representatives of GMU should coordinate their efforts in this area with those of other state colleges and universities and work with the Faculty Senate of Virginia to convince representatives to the General Assembly to pass a bill that recognizes that adequate protections to rights to privacy in the use of state-owned computers and telecommunications equipment by students and faculty in institutions of higher learning must be a primary concern.
Resolution to Create a Senate Task Force
1) Conduct a thorough review of the GMU Administrative Policy Number 60, the Responsible Use of Computing Policy, and recommend, if necessary, changes in this policy;
2) Work with representatives of other public colleges and universities and with the Faculty Senate of Virginia to introduce a bill in the General Assembly that would provide adequate privacy protections in the use of state-owned computers and telecommunication equipment by students and faculty in the legitimate pursuit of knowledge at public institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and
3) Make a reasonable assessment of the alleged violations of rights to privacy and freedom of expression in the use of computer-based technologies at American colleges and universities and the manner in which these institutions have responded to the alleged violations, and report these findings to a meeting of the Faculty Senate.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate requests that the Vice President of Information Technology appoint a representative to meet with the Task Force on a regular basis and that the Associate Vice President of Legal Affairs agree to meet with the Task Force when the members feel that his advice and counsel may be needed.
Both resolutions passed unanimously.
C. Banner System Report – Joy Hughes
Joy Hughes was invited back to the Faculty Senate’s September meeting to give a more complete report on the Banner System and its implementation. Dr. Hughes noted that Banner was chosen because it could handle a school the size of GMU and was in the university’s price range. There were only five vendors and three were too expensive to be considered and one could only handle small schools. The Banner System is used by thousands of schools and is more flexible than the old system since it is Oracle-based.
A motion to adjourn was requested due to time constraints, and it was so moved and seconded. The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Secretary, Faculty Senate
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