GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
MAY 4, 2005
Senators present: Kevin Avruch, Jim Bennett, Rei Berroa, Alok Berry, Russ Brayley, Lorraine Brown, Phillip Buchanan, Richard Carver, Charlene Douglas, Bob Ehrlich, Esther Elstun, Jeff Gorrell, Dan Joyce, Carol Kaffenberger, Jim Kozlowski, David Kuebrich, Julie Mahler, Jane McDonald, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Ami Motro, Robert Nadeau, Peter Pober, Daniel Polsby, Jane Razeghi, Priscilla Regan, Larry Rockwood, James Sanford, Joseph Scimecca, Suzanne Slayden, Christine Smith, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton, June Tangney, Tojo Thatchenkery, Susan Trencher, Iosif Vaisman, Phil Wiest, John Zenelis, Stanley Zoltek.
Senators absent: Michelle Boardman, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Sara Cobb, Richard Coffinberger, Warren Decker, Martin DeNys, Michael Ferri, Lloyd Griffiths, Kingsley Haynes, Mark Houck, Bruce Johnsen, Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, Menas Kafatos, Rich Klimoski, Alan Merten, Jim Metcalf, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, William Reeder, Esperanza Roman-Mendoza, Daniele Struppa, Shirley Travis.
Guests Present: Jack Censer (CAS, History/Art History), Lloyd Cohen (School of Law), Sue Collins (Senior Associate Director, Athletics), Pat Donini (Employee Relations Director/Deputy Director, Human Resources/Payroll), Laurie Fathe (Center for Teaching), Dolores Gomez-Moran (Ombudsman for Students), Robin Herron (Editor, Daily Gazette, Creative Services), Shawnique Jackson (Communications Class Parliamentary Procedures), Susan Jones (Registrar), Marilyn McKenzie (Associate Provost and Chair, General Education Committee), Linda Miller (Associate Dean, CVPA and Chair, Athletic Council), Ilse Riddick (Compensation Manager, Human Resources/Payroll), Rajib Sanyal (ACE Fellow), Michael Terry (Libraries), Egon Verheyen (Robinson Professor of Humanities and Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on the Teacher/Course Evaluation Pilot Project), Rex Wade (CAS, History).
I. Call to order: Chair Jim Bennett called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.
II. Approval of Minutes: The minutes of April 13, 2005 were approved as distributed.
III. Announcements – none.
IV. Old Business – none.
2. A motion to dissolve the Task Force to Redefine the University Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties with a letter of grateful thanks to its members was passed unanimously.
Currently, 43 credits are needed to fulfill university general education requirements. Reducing the requirements by three credits will provide students with more opportunities to complete minors, concentrations, certificates, etc., and to take electives. Moreover, this change will make it possible for GMU undergraduates having extensive coursework in U.S. history in high school to avoid an undesirable redundancy. However, HIST 120 can still be used as a general education course, as the General Education Committee has accepted it as satisfying the requirement in the social and behavioral sciences.
A discussion ensued regarding the elimination of HIST 120, as opposed to a course in another academic discipline. Cliff Sutton responded that the HIST 120 course requirement was imposed by the Board of Visitors several years ago. Many students have already studied US History in high school. It was also noted that high school students in Virginia must pass the SOL exam in US History in order to graduate. There are many other important courses from which students may select. Dan Polsby rose in opposition to this motion. Another senator recounted a story in which a graduating student, asked by a family member to explain the importance of George Mason, responded that he was someone who gave a lot of money to the University. The Senators voted by a show of hands. Two separate counts of 18 and 22 respectively were found in favor of the motion, 6 votes opposed (in both counts). The motion passed with a divided house.
Cliff noted that this requirement was discussed with Marilyn McKenzie (Chair of the General Education Committee) as a broadening of the requirement, not the creation of a new category. The motion passed.
Kevin Avruch presented the following motion on Rick’s behalf:
The Budget and Resources Committee of the Faculty Senate moves that the Provost’s Office prepare and distribute at the December 2005 meeting of the Faculty Senate a report on “equity based” salary adjustments awarded during the Fall 2005 salary adjustment period. The report should, at minimum, provide the following data for the University; each College, School and Institute; and for each department or academic area:
(a) traditional academic rank; and
(b) contract status (tenured, tenure-track and contract).
Rationale: Last year substantial funds were allocated to equity based salary increments within the University. In order to provide transparency and thus accountability to this process, data are needed on the outcomes of the process.
The motion passed with one negative vote.
The Faculty Evaluation of Administrators data entry will soon be completed. To date, 396 responses have been received.
E. Nominations – Lorraine Brown: No report this month.
F. Organization and Operations – Michael Ferri: No report this month.
Submitted by: Cliff Sutton, Chair (Jan. – May, 2005)
Committee Members: Esther Elstun (Chair, Sept. – Dec., 2004), Carol Kaffenberger, Jean Moore, and Susan Trencher
The Academic Policies Committee met regularly (eight times) during the academic year 2004-2005 and completed the items of business indicated below.
1. We reviewed catalog copy relevant to academic policies.
2. We were asked to consider whether or not faculty have an appropriately strong role in the approval process for multi-unit sponsored undergraduate degree programs. It was decided that no action need be taken at the current time.
3. The Office of the Provost requested that we review, and possibly propose a suspension of, the current rule that limits students on academic probation to a maximum of thirteen credit hours per semester. After consideration, we determined that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that a change in policy is warranted.
4. We followed up on the extended withdrawal period approved for undergraduates by the Senate last spring, giving consideration to whether or not such a policy should be established for graduate students. We accepted the advice of the Graduate Council that no change in the withdrawal policy for graduate students should be made.
5. We began a review of a proposal from the School of Law for a “three plus three” program, but the proposal was withdrawn before any action was taken or recommended.
6. We considered unique credit requirements concerning double majors, minors, and undergraduate certificates. Three motions were passed by the Senate to establish new restrictions.
7. We considered proposed changes in the history requirements for university-level general education. (Motions to be presented at the Senate meeting of May 4, 2005.)
The Committee currently has several additional items, which are indicated below, that it expects to consider during academic year 2005-2006.
1. We've been asked to consider a review of quality concerns (of academic programs and faculty) associated with the UAE campus. (Item AP2005-1)
2. We've been asked to consider the development of a University Curriculum Committee. (Item AP2005-2)
3. We've been asked to consider several suggested changes to the academic calendar. (Item AP2005-3)
Some of these items came to us rather late during the spring semester, and other items are such that they may be better dealt with during the 2005-2006 academic year after more information becomes available or relevant deadlines become nearer.
Submitted by: Rick Coffinberger, Chair
Committee Members: Kevin Avruch, Charlene Douglas, Joe Scimecca, Tojo Thatchenkery
The Committee met on a monthly basis and a representative of the Committee also attended the meetings of the University Budget Planning Committee on the first Tuesday of each month including the summers and the winter break period. At the beginning of this academic year, the Committee invited Heather Hannan of the Library to attend our meetings to keep us informed of the activities of the Library and the needs of the Library’s Professional Staff. During the year, the Committee:
Submitted by: Jim Sanford, Chair
Committee Members: Richard Carver, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Larry Rockwood, Esperanza Roman-Mendoza
The Faculty Matters Committee met ten times during the 2004-2005 academic year. The following summarizes the committee’s activities:
Submitted by: Lorraine Brown, Chair
Committee Members: Mark Houck, Jim Kozlowski, Jane Razeghi, Phil Wiest
During the summer of 2004, the Committee developed a slate of nominees for all standing Senate and University Committees. This slate was presented at the September meeting of the Faculty Senate. Several times during the year the Committee prepared slates of nominees for ad hoc committees and/or task forces, as well as fill standing committee vacancies as they occurred.
To assure that committees were fully staffed throughout the academic year, the Committee contacted the chairs of all standing Senate and University Committees in January to inquire about vacancies and temporary absences. This inquiry produced very prompt and positive responses.
Submitted by: Michael Ferri, Chair
Committee Members: David Kuebrich, Julie Mahler, Jane McDonald, Linda Monson
The Committee received 11 items from the university community and referred them to the following Senate committees: 7 to Academic Policies and 4 to Faculty Matters.
The Committee conducted two specific projects in the current year.
First, the Committee reviewed the request of the Librarians’ Council for formal membership by a representative in the Senate. The Committee decided and reported to the Senate that it should not accept this request, because the librarians – despite their undoubted professionalism and contributions – are not members of the faculty.
Second, the Committee allocated the Senate seats for the 2005-2006 academic year in accordance with the Senate Charter and reported the results at the March Senate Meeting, where the new allocation was presented and adopted.
Submitted by: Bob Ehrlich, Chair
Committee Members: Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, Marilyn McKenzie, Doug Mose, Colleen Shogan, Ming Wan
The Committee makes recommendations on student appeals when asked to do so by the Office of the Provost. Since September the Committee has been asked by that office to make a recommendation on only one academic appeal. The appeal concerned a request by a student to waive a part of the General Education requirements. The request was denied.
Submitted by: Deborah Boehm-Davis, Chair (Sept.-Dec., 2004)
Committee Members: Pamela Cangelosi, Don Faxon, Jeng-Eng Lin, Eddie Tallent (Dean of Admissions Appointee), Egon Verheyen
The Admissions Committee, beyond an initial fall term meeting, did not initiate any actions this year. Nor was it called upon to resolve any questions regarding admissions procedures.
Submitted by: Linda Miller, Chair
Committee Members: Gerry Hanweck, Saleet Jafri, Steve Klein, Phil Wiest
This was my first year in the role of Faculty Athletic Representative, and I would like to give special thanks to Gerald Cook, who served in this capacity for many years, for his guidance and assistance in the transition.
The Athletic Council met three times this year. The primary goal of the Athletic Council this year was to update and provide information to members about NCAA issues, academic support services and the academic performance of our student athletes (by team). The Council also worked to identify issues for discussion and review in the area of each sub-committee’s responsibility.
Each sub-committee prepared a complete report on their activities (available in the Athletic Council minutes of April 13, 2005), but which in a brief summary included:
General Oversight Subcommittee
Review of the Master Athletic Facility Plan, review of gender equity summary submitted to the NCAA each year
Review of the graduation rate for student-athletes
The registrar’s office continues to effectively monitor and verify compliance with NCAA rules and regulations despite difficulties with the changeover to the Banner student information system.
A written Exit Interview has been emailed to all graduating student-athletes. Personal Exit Interviews are still being conducted.
The Office of the Registrar computed the average GPA by team. In 2003-2004 academic year eight teams had average annual GPA’s of over 3.0, eight teams were 2.5-2.99, and two teams were 2.0-2.49. The 350 student athletes were compared with the general student body with the following results:
Student-athletes cum GPA’s were higher in every category.
Student-athletes with less than 2.0 term GPA were lower in all categories
Student-athletes suspended and on probation were less in all categories
Student-athletes in good academic standing were higher in all categories
The Athletic Council would like to acknowledge and thank faculty who responded to the academic progress report requested by the Athletic Dept for student athletes in their courses. Over 800 responses were received. The feedback regarding midterm grades is crucial in helping us assist student athletes.
Submitted by: Robert Pasnak, Chair
Committee Members: Stephanie Holaday, Julie Mahler, Doug Mose, Janette Muir, Victoria Salmon
The committee undertook two main tasks this year. One was to engage whole academic units, rather than self-nominated instructors, in pilot administration of the new student course evaluation form the previous year’s committee had tested. The chemistry and psychology departments and New Century College agreed to participate, and the administration of the new forms by these LAUs is underway. The committee also recommended that the Faculty Senate approve a method of calculating medians for ratings that is used at other universities.
The second task was to gather information about reward mechanisms offered through the provost’s office to shift the university’s emphasis more in the direction of teaching. This effort is currently ongoing, but the following recommendations are suggested:
1) Faculty Senate support for Chairs and Directors Orientation. Possible date: Wednesday, August 17th, 11:30-3:00. Lunch and orientation to include the nuts and bolts for being a Department Chair, including how to manage FTE, work with budgets, and prepare faculty who may be in tenure lines or up for promotion. The goal of the Orientation is to better prepare chairs as they take on new responsibilities and orient them to the importance of effective teaching and how this can be measured.
2) Faculty Senate support for a Faculty Teaching Orientation. Currently there is an information session provided for new faculty on campus. We would like to see a Teaching Orientation session scheduled that would adequately prepare new faculty for teaching at George Mason. Ideal time frame: Wed., August 28th, 4:00-8:00 p.m. (includes a working dinner). The Director for the Center for Teaching Excellence would be the primary facilitator of this session.
3) Finally, it is important to recognize for the Faculty Senate minutes the University 2005 Teaching Award winners: Jon Gould, Administration of Justice; Susan Durham, College of Nursing and Health Science; Melissa Martin, School of Management; Lisa Gring-Pemble, New Century College; Kristin Flieger Samuelian, English; T. Mills Kelly, History and Art History, winner of the General Education Award and Christopher Thaiss, English, winner of the David J. King Teaching Award. Department Chairs, Directors and faculty are encouraged to nominate outstanding teachers from their departments for the 2005-06 University Teaching Awards.
Submitted by: Warren Decker, Chair
Committee Members: Martin Ford, Steve Ruth, Bob Smith, Christine Smith, June Tangney
The External Relations Committee focused upon a couple of different things during this past year. Members of the committee (Christine Smith, Warren Decker) attended the Fall meeting of the Virginia Faculty Senate where a number of issues were discussed and we had the opportunity to hear reports from several members regarding issues of relevance to higher education in general. Among the items discussed were the proposals from University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and Virginia Tech concerning Charter University status. This session was mostly informational and no action was taken with regard to this issue. Significant time was used discussing the plans for Higher Education Advocacy Day. This is an effort to lobby the legislature on behalf of higher education in January, 2005. This was planned as a cooperative effort with the AAUP.
Senators and other interested parties were urged to attend Governor Warner’s effort to promote support for higher education held at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College—November 30, 2004
On January 13, 2005 two senators (Christine Smith, Jane Razeghi) participated in the Higher Education Advocacy Day effort to lobby the legislature on behalf of higher education. In addition, notice was provided of several opportunities to engage our legislators and individuals from the governor’s office in discussions regarding funding for higher education. Senators, and other interested parties, were urged to attend the meetings of members of the legislature held in Northern Virginia.
Submitted by: Elyse Lehman , Chair
Committee Members: John Crockett, Molly Davis, James Kozlowski, John Miller
This report consists of two parts. Part A provides unadjusted salary information for individual schools, gender, race, and ethnic group. Regression analyses that control for factors such as experience or length of service are not reported because this information is not available in Banner. Part B describes the results of a survey conducted to investigate the processes used by other universities to conduct individual salary reviews. Recommendations for further work are listed at the end of the report.
Unadjusted Salary Information for Individual Schools, Gender, and Ethnic Groups
The following page contains a table presenting salary results for 2005 salaries listed by school and rank for full-time tenure line faculty. The schools represented in the table are ordered by overall median salary. On the page following that, there are tables with breakdowns by gender and ethnic group.
It should be noted that the results in the table are NOT adjusted for factors such as experience or length of service. Therefore, care should be used in comparing units because some of the differences between units may be related to differences in the variables that are not controlled. Furthermore, the data in the tables for gender and ethnic group are not adjusted for any factors. Therefore, committee members recommend extreme care in interpreting any differences found in those tables.
Salary consists of what is called total salary in the data base. This consists of base salary plus all increments given in the data base.
The school codes are:
VPA College of Visual and Performing Arts
CEH College of Education and Human Development
CAS College of Arts and Sciences
NHS College of Nursing and Health Science
ITE School of Information Technology and Engineering
SCS School of Computational Sciences
SOM School of Management
LAW School of Law
SPP School of Public Policy
RKC Robinson Professors, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic
Krasnow Institute, and Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
RKC was created to avoid exposing individual salaries in these small units.
Salary Summaries for 2005 Salaries at GMU
(listed by school and rank)
SCHOOL RANK N MEAN MEDIAN MINIMUM MAXIMUM STD DEV
VPA ALL 36 $67,354 $58,637 $41,974 $135,305 $21,976
VPA Asst 11 $47,778 $46,396 $41,974 $51,740 $3,531
VPA Asso 16 $65,399 $60,050 $53,682 $85,200 $11,368
VPA Prof 8 $89,687 $93,654 $61,621 $110,101 $16,717
VPA Emnt 1 $135,305 $135,305 $135,305 $135,305 .
CEH ALL 68 $72,769 $68,467 $51,866 $165,812 $19,620
CEH Asst 22 $59,222 $56,173 $51,866 $76,241 $6,483
CEH Asso 33 $70,239 $69,235 $56,000 $98,917 $9,534
CEH Prof 13 $102,116 $95,000 $78,610 $165,812 $23,368
CAS ALL 335 $75,914 $69,017 $45,000 $172,526 $24,539
CAS Asst 79 $55,007 $53,380 $45,000 $89,862 $8,146
CAS Asso 129 $68,760 $66,247 $45,444 $172,546 $14,238
CAS Prof 121 $94,903 $89,531 $49,006 $165,849 $24,244
CAS Emnt 6 $122,025 $128,021 $92,679 $142,446 $19,711
NHS ALL 24 $84,293 $76,771 $58,041 $146,784 $22,865
NHS Asst 6 $60,366 $58,290 $58,041 $65,629 $3,424
NHS Asso 10 $83,868 $74,380 $69,993 $117,216 $16,242
NHS Prof 8 $102,769 $97,158 $78,895 $146,784 $22,116
SCS ALL 35 $91,755 $88,262 $58,353 $168,548 $24,003
SCS Asst 5 $67,899 $62,400 $58,353 $88,528 $12,332
SCS Asso 18 $88,927 $83,996 $65,918 $140,447 $18,943
SCS Prof 11 $100,243 $101,708 $65,324 $134,676 $17,890
SCS Emnt 1 $168,548 $168,548 $168,548 $168,548 .
ITE ALL 80 $107,094 $97,551 $65,869 $264,630 $35,472
ITE Asst 13 $77,594 $77,872 $69,772 $84,106 $4,083
ITE Asso 28 $85,893 $83,394 $65,869 $128,680 $11,300
ITE Prof 33 $122,052 $120,137 $86,343 $177,891 $20,646
ITE Emnt 6 $187,689 $172,507 $134,987 $264,630 $48,699
SOM ALL 47 $106,599 $103,000 $76,000 $170,000 $18,031
SOM Asst 23 $101,699 $98,500 $87,350 $127,750 $12,516
SOM Asso 15 $103,171 $100,000 $76,000 $125,000 $15,031
SOM Prof 7 $115,503 $113,000 $99,820 $145,000 $16,169
SOM Emnt 2 $157,500 $157,500 $145,000 $170,000 $17,678
SPP ALL 32 $111,925 $107,579 $60,000 $217,105 $43,512
SPP Asst 4 $63,018 $62,570 $60,000 $66,931 $2,955
SPP Asso 9 $75,097 $75,250 $70,330 $78,011 $2,846
SPP Prof 16 $129,973 $128,221 $88,577 $190,606 $27,453
SPP Emnt 3 $191,359 $192,400 $164,572 $217,105 $26,282
LAW ALL 30 $116,857 $113,430 $80,000 $196,730 $27,743
LAW Asst 4 $90,660 $88,007 $82,414 $104,213 $10,461
LAW Asso 7 $95,345 $97,000 $80,000 $108,000 $10,588
LAW Prof 16 $126,526 $123,833 $93,490 $148,509 $16,501
LAW Emnt 3 $150,413 $167,000 $87,508 $196,730 $56,469
RKC ALL 30 $115,627 $114,454 $40,000 $188,105 $37,815
RKC Asst 4 $65,060 $63,618 $60,631 $72,371 $5,202
RKC Asso 5 $75,865 $77,738 $40,000 $106,888 $24,193
RKC Prof 8 $121,773 $110,463 $102,273 $169,326 $25,201
RKC Emnt 13 $142,698 $134,558 $112,213 $188,105 $23,520
The following information is for all faculty in our study:
All Faculty 717 $86,712 $79,442 $40,000 $264,630 $31,347
The following information is broken out by gender.
Females 233 $73,829 $69,235 $40,000 $146,784 $21,199
Males 484 $92,914 $84,901 $41,974 $264,630 $33,499
The following information is broken out by ethnic group.
African Amer. 31 $76,666 $69,017 $45,000 $152,384 $24,947
Asian 63 $85,865 $76,039 $47,032 $264,630 $34,863
Hispanic 16 $85,060 $69,304 $52,272 $165,812 $31,973
White 607 $87,356 $81,095 $40,000 $224,222 $31,222
The committee was unable to create any adjustments for the numbers in the preceding tables because the data set given to us does not support such an analysis. To properly create an adjusted analysis, at minimum the following variables are required.
Increments to salary identified by type of increment (e.g., Chair’s stipend)
Year of highest degree
Date of most recent promotion
Indicator of whether salary is “9 month” or “12 month”
Indicator for FTE of salary
Indicator of type of appointment (tenure track or restricted)
Indicator of employee status (e.g., full time, part time, or on leave)
Indicator whether the faculty member has ever been a dean.
Missing from the data set was information that would have allowed committee members to understand the increments to base salaries as well as data for the “experience” factor, including year of highest degree, hire date, and date of most recent promotion.
The committee was charged with investigating the processes used by other universities to conduct individual salary reviews. Two methods of data collection were employed.
In the first a request for information was placed in the electronic newsletter of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). This method produced only four responses. Three of these universities were not currently conducting individual salary reviews, but were interested in learning more about them. The fourth, a small, selective, liberal arts college in the mid-west has been conducting these reviews for over a decade. They sent a detailed description of their procedures.
In the second method of data collection, the Chief Academic Officers of five major universities in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia were contacted directly. Four responses were obtained. In all four cases, individual salary evaluations were routinely conducted in addition to analyses that specifically targeted potential gender, race, and ethnic inequities. Although some responses were more detailed than others, it was clear that procedures varied on several dimensions.
Official coordinating the review. In one case this was the President, in two cases the Provost, and in two cases the Deans. At one university, individual salary evaluations were conducted by each dean, while the Provost’s Office addressed institutional equity issues, e.g. salary compression, inequities among departments.
Evaluation criteria. Criteria were external or internal, with one university using both in its analyses.
a.) External criteria included data based on peer institutions or from a national study (e.g., a data set developed by Oklahoma State University) that provided typical salaries as a function of discipline, rank, years in service, and years in rank.
b.) Internal criteria included generating faculty profiles by department and rank within department. Actual salaries could be plotted as a function of number of years in rank or by number of years since earning highest degree. Regression analyses could be run to compute predicted salaries.
a.) Outliers (e.g., 2 or more standard deviations from the regression line, i.e. between predicted and actual salary) are identified either by an assistant/associate in the President’s, Provost’s, or Dean’s office (e.g., Director of Institutional Analysis) or by an ad hoc committee appointed by the official. If faculty are on this committee, every effort must be made to ensure that individual faculty are not identified by name.
b.) A Dean or some other administrator (e.g., Director of Institutional Analysis, Human Resources, etc.) then reviews the annual reports of faculty whose salaries have been listed as outliers to determine if the discrepancies can be explained on merit or if other factors are involved. Department heads may be consulted.
c.) Recommendations for addressing non-merit based inequities are made to the official charged with coordinating the review.
1. Before the next salary increase, data for all variables necessary to conduct appropriate regression analyses should be updated in faculty files and entered into Banner. Regression analyses that take into account experience, etc. should be run for full-time tenure line faculty.
2. Conducting similar analyses for full-time restricted faculty salaries should be a priority next year.
3. Discussions about procedures for conducting individual faculty salary reviews at GMU should continue.
Submitted by: Marilyn McKenzie, Chair
Committee Members: Alok Berry, Peter Black (Fall 2004 only), Christopher Clark, Bob Ehrlich, Laurie Fathe , Peggy Feerick, Sheryl Friedley, Marcy Glover, Susan Hirsch , Christena Langley , Michelle Marks, Priscilla Regan (Spring, 2005), John Stanbury, Cliff Sutton, and Terry Zawacki
The University General Education Committee met 10 times during the AY 2004-2005. The Committee will convene for the last time of the Spring 2005 semester on Wednesday, May 4, 2005. Topical subcommittees met between scheduled meetings to review and discuss course proposals in their topic areas before presentations to full committee meetings.
The general education committee has one action item for the Faculty Senate at this time; the formal motion will come from the Academic Policies committee.
The chair wishes to thank the entire committee for their hard work, and the chair has invited Provost Stearns to attend the last meeting to thank the committee members personally for their service. A special thank you to recording secretary and assistant to the chair, Marcy Glover, for her hard work in scheduling, preparing binders for faculty members and notifying the registrar of approved courses.
Submitted by: Charlene Douglas, Chair
Committee Members: Sheryl Friedley, Bob Pasnak, Joe Reid, Linda Samuels
The Grievance Committee was not called upon during the 2004-2005 academic year to resolve any faculty grievances.
Submitted by: Peter Pober, Chair
Committee Members: Heibatollah Baghi, Rei Berroa, Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, Jeng-Eng Lin
The Committee on Minority and Diversity here at George Mason University encourages the Faculty Senate to endorse two guideposts designed to enhance diversity pedagogy in the classroom and throughout the university community:
1. The Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy
These five standards were developed by the Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (Tharp, Estrada, Dalton, and Yamauchi, 2000) “as critical for improving learning outcomes for all students, and especially those of diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, or economic backgrounds. The Five Standards are:
Standard I-Teachers and Students Producing Together
Facilitate learning through joint productive activity among teacher and students.
Standard II-Developing Language and Literacy across the Curriculum
Develop Competence in the language and literacy of instruction across the curriculum.
Standard III-Making Meaning; Connecting School to Students’ Lives
Contextualize teaching and curriculum in the experiences and skills of students’ homes and communities.
Standard IV-Teaching Complex Thinking
Challenge students toward cognitive complexity.
Standard V-Teaching Through Conversation
Engage students through dialogue, especially the Instructional Conversation.
The committee has extensive information on the Five Standards and would be happy to elaborate for the Faculty Senate.
The recognition of the existence of inequalities for students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds has motivated administrators to develop the Diversity Scorecard to assess the magnitude of such inequalities. The assessment method has been filed, tested and refined in 14 institutions in the Los Angeles area from 2001 thru 2005. (Bensimon, E. 2004). In other words, the Diversity Scorecard is a measurement tool to help college campuses assess and evaluate their effectiveness in closing the achievement gap for minority students.
The framework includes the following indicators:
extent to which minority students gain access to the institution’s resources.
“What are the comparative retention rates for underrepresented students for
each program?” How successful are minority students in passing basic skills
(the committee sees this as especially helpful with General Education requirements)
study “dimensions of institutional support that can help create a more accommodating and responsive campus for students from underrepresented groups. It raises question like: Do new hires at the institution enhance the racial and ethnic diversity of faculty, administrators, and staff?”
The committee would be happy to provide further information on the Diversity Scorecard and the processes outlined for its implementation.
Submitted by: Michelle Davidson, Chair
Committee Members: David Beach, Frieda Butler, Don Seto, Farnoosh Shahrokhi
No report submitted. The Chair noted that this was the second year in a row in which no report was submitted. He asked the Organization and Operations Committee to look into whether we will need to have this committee next year.
Submitted by: Stanley Zoltek, Chair
Committee Members: Maria Dworzecka, Steve Klein, Melissa Martin, Iosif Vaisman, Steven Weinberger
The Committee has met seven times during the 2004-2005 academic year. Our last meeting of the academic year will be on May 5. In addition to the Committee members, Dr. Joy Hughes, Dr. Anne Agee, Dr. Star Muir, and Mr. Walter Savon attended the meetings representing the ITU.
We met for the first time for the fall semester on September 27, 2004. At the meeting new members and returning members discussed past Committee activities and possible activities for the current academic year.
At the October 4, 2004 meeting topics covered included: spam blocking, computer upgrades for faculty, scheduling installation of software in student labs and classrooms, customized desktops, Blackboard/WebCT/Town Hall.
Spam Blocking: Committee members reported on what their colleagues were saying about the recently implemented “Mail Frontier” anti spam solution. Most reported a significant decrease in spam that reached their inbox. Also, and most important, was that there were very few reports of “false positives.” It was noted that excellent documentation on how to fine tune how Mail Frontier handles your email can be found at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/libtech/mailfrontier-config.html
Scheduling Installation of Software in Student Labs and Classrooms: Some Committee members thought that the “lead time” required to get software installed for instruction was too long. Dr. Agee reported that though two weeks was the lead time requested, most installations were completed within a few days. She noted that “Classroom Technologies” will review the policy and make changes as staffing levels allow.
Faculty Computer Upgrades: When new faculty arrive they have the option of getting a desktop PC or MAC. It is also possible to request a PC or MAC laptop. These options may apply to current faculty when their current computers become obsolete.
Customized Desktops: Some Committee members wanted to know if we could have “customized desktops” that were associated to our login name. That is, if we accessed our accounts on someone else’s PC, our desktop would appear on their screen. (Assuming, of course, that our files are on a central server.) ITU reported that this was in the early stages of consideration/development.
Blackboard/WebCT/Town Hall: The Committee noted that at present faculty use Blackboard, WebCT and Town Hall and that for now we recommend keeping all three. However, we also recommended to look for open source replacements. (Blackboard is primarily used by the Graduate School of Education.)
At the November 4, 2004 meeting we revisited the needs of MAC users, the privacy of email, and controlling technology in the classroom.
Privacy of Email Communications: The Committee expressed concern over the privacy of email, especially in light of the Patriot Act. Dr. Hughes noted that the University’s Responsible Use of Computing (RUC) policy provides greater protection of individual privacy rights than the State’s policy. State guidelines provide specific exemptions to the FOIA for faculty emails related to research. Details can be found at http://opengovva.org/foia_acts/foai2001.htm#3705
Controlling Technology in the Classroom: Stanley Zoltek suggested that the Committee examine the need to control technology in the classroom. This discussion included calculators which can now hold large amounts of text; cell phones which can store images of notes, textbook pages, and can receive and send answers to questions, especially multiple-choice questions. The Committee agreed to make this a central topic for our next meeting.
The main agenda item at our December 6, 2004 meeting, “Controlling Technology in the Classroom” developed into having a spring program titled “Emerging Challenges of Teaching with the New Technologies.” Additional participants included Chad Poland, representing the Honor Committee, and Dr. Marilyn McKenzie, Associate Provost of Education Programs. It was decided that Dr. Agee, through the STAR Center, would host and develop a series of programs that provided information and dialogues on cheating, and in particular, plagiarism, and programs for detecting plagiarism.
The following topics were discussed at our meeting March 10, 2005:
Update on Server Break-In: Dr. Hughes reported that the independent investigators concluded that unless the perpetrator is found, we cannot prove that any file-copying took place. The police have followed all leads, and certain individuals were charged with crimes other than the server break-in. This incident has prompted a re-analysis of ID server and response procedures.
Server Security: Dr. Hughes shared a March 2, 2005 memorandum to members of the President’s Council. The memo details procedures for server security. This includes desktop computers that could function as web servers.
Data Stewardship Policy: We reviewed a draft of a university policy that will govern the privacy, security and confidentiality of university data. Categories of data are discussed, and the document limns out the layers of authority over servers located in various units that contain sensitive data. There were some questions about training the various administrators.
IT Services Prototype: Dr. Agee presented the Committee with a draft version of the IT Services web page. It is a static site now, but will soon go dynamic and be database-driven. Users will have the option of searching the site, rather than confronting the site. It will be exhaustively comprehensive. We are asked to send suggestions to Anne.
Johnson Center Labs: Due to structural damage with the ceiling tiles, the labs in the Johnson Center will be temporarily closed.
The Challenge of Plagiarism: Dr. Muir announced that there will be a DoIT Dialog on Plagiarism on 6 and 8 April, 2005. This activity will include a faculty discussion forum and a software demonstration.
At our meeting on April 7, 2005 we discussed the ever more restrictive state and government regulations as to how we must protect data collected by the University. While the regulations have an impact on almost every facet of the University, we focused on how the regulations affect day-to-day faculty activities. We noted that faculty will need a website that informs them of the security requirements and what actions they need to take to be in compliance, e.g., securing computer files, handling of printed data, the sharing of data, etc. Also, many faculty will need assistance in securing their data, both in the form of websites with directions and hands on personal assistance.
Submitted by: Stanley Zoltek, Chair
Committee Members: Susan Durham, Tamara Maddox, Tom Owens, Victoria Salmon, Beth Schneider, Christopher Thaiss, Terry Zawacki-Ex-Officio (Director, WAC Program)
The Committee has met six times during the 2004-2005 academic year and will have its last meeting on May 12. The Committee’s charge includes advising the director of “Writing Across the Curriculum,” regularly reviewing writing intensive (W-I) syllabi and assisting with activities and events related to Writing Across the Curriculum. Consultants to the Committee are Don Kelso, Steve Klein, Shelley Reid, Keith Simmons, and Andrew Wingfield.
The Committee assisted in the completion of the “Report on Writing Intensive Syllabi”. Though most departments/programs submitted syllabi for their writing intensive courses, some did not, and some submitted syllabi which did not provide sufficient information for a complete review. Committee members undertook the task of contacting these departments/programs in order to gather the required materials to complete the W-I report. (Faculty teaching W-I courses had been sent email reminding them of the requirements.) On March 6, 2005 the report was distributed electronically to the President, Provost, Deans, Directors, and Chairs. The Committee wishes to thank Terry Zawacki, the principal author of the report, for overseeing this effort which took place over several months.
An aspect of evaluating the success of the W-I initiative is what our graduates tell us about their experience. The tool used to gather this feedback is the University’s “Survey of Graduating Students,” prepared by the Office of Institutional Assessment. The Committee met with Karen Gentemann, Director of the Office of Institutional Assessment, to review exit survey questions related to writing. The Committee wanted to ensure that a core set of these questions did not change from year to year. This would allow us to measure the efficacy of our efforts as we fine-tune the W-I effort. Dr. Gentemann explained that the focus of the exit surveys can change from year to year, depending on the needs of the Admissions Office and other offices. Because of this she will attempt to maintain a core of “writing questions” that does not change, but not all questions can be asked each year. Questions developed:
1) In how many courses at Mason, 300-level or above, did you have the opportunity to revise your writing (essay, project, lab report, case study, review) after receiving feedback and suggestions from your instructor on an earlier draft?
2) To what extent did that kind of instruction – write, get feedback from your instructor, revise – help you to improve your writing?
3) Did you find that you had sufficient opportunities at Mason to revise your writing after receiving feedback from an instructor?
4) To what extent did your upper-level coursework at Mason improve your confidence as a writer?
5) To what extent did your upper-level writing assignments at Mason help you learn about your field or better understand information or concepts in your field?
The Committee approved the Computer Science department’s plan to have their students complete the W-I requirement by taking both CS 306 and CS 421.
We sent a letter to departments/programs urging them to create a departmental writing award for their students. Award winners receive a letter of congratulations from the WAC director and a cash award. This year the Committee matched three existing awards: NCC, History, and Economics.
A plan for recognizing and rewarding teachers for their excellence in teaching with writing is under development and will be an agenda item at our May 12 meeting.
Submitted by: Egon Verheyen, Chair
Committee Members: Richard Entrikin, Laurie Fathe , Karen Gentemann, Karen Hallows, Stephen Zaccaro, Meihua Zhai
At the end of my tenure as chair of the Effective Teaching Committee, I requested that the Senate appoint an ad hoc Senate committee that will work with Meihua Zhai, and the directors of Teaching Excellence and Institutional Assessment and other faculty members on the evaluation of the student evaluation form.
At various times and in various constellations members of the group met to study the data that had been collected during the successful first trial of the proposed new evaluation form. These meetings dealt mostly with the difficult task of validating the results. A revised form (eliminating some questions that were no longer considered) has been prepared for a second round of testing.
In addition, the ad hoc Committee was deliberating the viability of a parallel teacher evaluation of the course, an idea that had originated in the Effective Teaching Committee and was shared with the ad hoc Committee by Julie Mahler.
Furthermore, the issue of peer review has come up and a small sample will be administered on a voluntary basis at the end of this term.
Once these results are in, we will present our findings to the Senate at the beginning of the Fall term 2005.
The goal of all discussions and proposals was to come up with a more comprehensive and fairer way of course evaluations on which so much depends.
Submitted by: Robert Nadeau, Chair
Committee Members: Richard Coffinberger, Cathy Hubbs , David Kuebrich, Priscilla Regan, David Rossell
The members of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Privacy in the use of computing met nine times over the course of academic year 2004-2005. The committee first reviewed existing legislation regarding rights to privacy in the use of computers and telecommunications equipment in American higher education and responsible use of computing policies from other colleges and universities. The members concluded that the existing federal legislation did not provide adequate protections and that the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act had effectively undermined protections that had previously been regarded as commensurate with rights to privacy guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The members also concluded that these rights were further compromised at GMU by the fact the “No Privacy Expectations” provisions in the “Use of Internet and Electronics Communications” issued by the Department of Human Resources of the Commonwealth of Virginia “ are still in force. The members then explored the possibility of introducing another bill into the General Assembly of the Commonwealth which would exempt state colleges and universities from some of these provisions but eventually concluded that there was little of no prospect that such a bill would be approved in the current political climate.
The review of responsible use of computing policies from other colleges and universities revealed that other academic institutions were struggling with the same issues and concerns. The conclusion here was that the only effective means of resolving these problems was federal legislation which recognizes that adequate protections of rights to privacy in the use of computers and telecommunications equipment in American colleges and universities enhances intellectual freedom and is vitally important to the future of the United States. It also became clear, however, that efforts to pass such in the U.S. Congress at this point in time would, in all probability, fail.
The members of the committee also devoted some time to examining the methods and procedures used at GMU to protect privacy in the use of state-owned computing resources and concluded that those involved in this effort were doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances. Eventually, the members decided to introduce the following motion to the Faculty Senate:
Whereas the “No Privacy Expectations” provisions in the “Use of Internet and Electronics Communications” issued by the Department of Human Resources of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which essentially state that information resident on state-owned computers, storage devices, and electronic communications systems at George Mason University can be accessed at any time for any purpose by agencies of the state government, remain in force;
Whereas the only federal law that deals with the legal right to privacy in the use of such computers, storage devices, and electronic communications systems, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, allows employers to monitor and access email and other communications for business purposes providing that the employee has been notified that such monitoring is in process;
Whereas the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-156) allows expanded access by law enforcement officials to medical, financial, and academic records of faculty and students without meaningful oversight or judicial review, probable cause, and notification of the person whose records are being searched;
Whereas proposed amendments to this Act would remove virtually all of the existing protections of privacy;
Be It Resolved: The Faculty Senate approves the following statement on privacy in the use of state-owned computers, storage devices, and electronic communications systems at GMU:
Be It Further Resolved: This statement, if approved by the Senate, will be distributed by email and in hard copy if necessary to all faculty and students at GMU as soon as possible:
The Faculty Senate at GMU has concluded that it is prudent to inform all faculty and students that existing state and federal laws do not provide adequate protections for rights to privacy in the use of state-owned computers, storage devices, and electronic communications systems. Those who are concerned that these rights might be violated should seriously consider storing sensitive information on privately owned personal computers and external storage devices and using telecommunications systems which are not owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia for all personal or private communications, including email messages.
This motion passed unanimously and will appear with some minor revisions in the first section of the Responsible Use of Computing Policy at GMU.
The members of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Privacy in the Use of Computing feel that they have completed their charge and that the committee should now be dissolved. However, we strongly recommend that the Senate should remain actively concerned about this issue and should work with other academic institutions to convince the members of the U.S. Congress to pass a bill that would provide adequate protections to rights of privacy in the use of computers and telecommunications equipment in higher education.
Submitted by: Rick Coffinberger, Chair
Committee Members: David Armor, Charlene Douglas, Joe Scimecca, Tojo Thatchenkery
The Task Force met and revised the Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties at the Special Meeting of the Senate in March of 2005. The revised Resolution was adopted by the full Senate at its April 2005 meeting.
A motion was made and seconded to accept all the Senate Standing Committee and University Standing Committee Reports. The motion passed on a voice vote.
A. The Resolution of Commendation and Appreciation for Professor Esther N. Elstun was read by Chair Jim Bennett. Flowers were presented to Professor Elstun by Carol Kaffenberger and Susan Trencher on behalf of the Senate and the Academic Policies Committee.
FACULTY SENATE RESOLUTION
PROFESSOR ESTHER N. ELSTUN
WHEREAS Esther is leaving the Faculty Senate after 31 continuous years of dedicated membership in and service to that body; and
WHEREAS Esther played a major role in establishing the Faculty Senate; and
WHEREAS Esther has taken leadership roles in the Faculty Senate as its Chair and as chair of Senate Standing Committees, notably the Academic Policies Committee; and
WHEREAS Esther served as the first Faculty Senate Representative on the Faculty and Academic Standards Committee of the University’s Board of Visitors; and
WHEREAS Esther’s unwavering advocacy of and dedication to shared governance have inspired everyone who is committed to that goal; and
WHEREAS Esther has graciously agreed to share her institutional knowledge as a consultant to the Faculty Senate for the foreseeable future,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Faculty Senate of George Mason University that Professor Esther Elstun’s long, distinguished, and outstanding service to the Faculty Senate, the University at large, and her Faculty and Senate colleagues be recognized with grateful thanks and sincere appreciation.
Dr. Elstun thanked the Senate; reminding us that we must first adopt the resolution. The resolution was adopted and passed unanimously with a standing ovation and much applause!
The nomination of David Kuebrich as chair was made and seconded. No further nominations being made, he was unanimously elected.
In September 2002 the Faculty Senate adopted a statement of principles (displayed on our website) which will continue to be operative. In the coming year, several crucial issues will be addressed: the revision of the Faculty Handbook, as well as the proposed addition of a faculty representative to the Board of Visitors. The senate will also re-visit some things we have done, such as student assessments and course evaluations. The Executive Committee wishes to hear more input from the senate: suggestiosn about what is being done well and what needs to be changed.
C. Senate Consideration and Vote on the Restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computational Sciences
An well attended town hall meeting to discuss the proposed restructuring was held April 20, 2005. The Executive Committee moved to have a formal vote whether to approve the restructuring of CAS and SCS. The floor was open for discussion.
Provost Peter Stearns recounted a brief outline of the history of the proposal. Initially the proposal came from the science side – of which a considerable majority favors the restructuring proposal. It will provide greater teaching resources for the proposed College of Science; reduce, but not eliminate, the need for recurrent negotiations between two separate units with existing degree programs; and it will present a more coherent face to the outside world. It would also be fair to say that the new College of Liberal Arts and Human Studies will be able to give greater attention to smaller programs and interdisciplinary programs.
Some faculty objected to the new title “Liberal Arts and Human Studies.” Some faculty feel the new title is not inclusive enough; social sciences use scientific methods ; the title may be confusing to those who think it includes the biological sciences. Jack Censer, member of the Executive Committee of the College of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary Programs Steering Committee, acknowledged that the name has been vexing from the beginning. The proposal will be presented to the Board of Visitors at its next meeting (May 11, 2005). Paper ballots were distributed. Thirty senators approved the restructuring; ten were opposed, with one abstention. The motion to approve the restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computational Sciences passed with a divided vote.
D. Motion to express grateful thanks to Chair James Bennett – Esther Elstun
introduced the following motion on behalf of the Faculty Senate:
That the Faculty Senate express its grateful thanks to Professor James T. Bennett for his three years of strong leadership and devoted service, 2002-2005. The motion passed unanimously. Jim thanked the Senate and responded that its accomplishments are shared among all the committees serving the Senate.
Faculty are encouraged to attend student programs (such as Honors recitals) in the arts. A play about Albert Einstein will be performed twice this weekend (at no cost). The Senate clerk will send out an email to all faculty as a reminder.