GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

 MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

MARCH 8, 2006

 

Senators Present:  Ernest Barreto, Jim Bennett, Rei Berroa, Alok Berry, Russ Brayley, Phil Buchanan, Richard Carver, Julie Christensen, Rick Coffinberger, Jose Cortina, Warren Decker, Charlene Douglas, Bob Ehrlich, Jeffrey Gorrell, Karen Hallows, Mark Houck, Kristin Johnsen-Neshati, Dan Joyce, David Kuebrich, Jane McDonald, Alan Merten, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Ami Motro, Paula Petrik, Larry Rockwood, Jim Sanford, Joe Scimecca, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton, Susan Trencher, Iosif Vaisman, Phil Wiest, James Willett, John Zenelis, Stanley Zoltek.

 

Senators Absent:  Sara Cobb, Lloyd Cohen, Lloyd Griffiths, Kingsley Haynes, Susan Hirsch, Bruce Johnsen, Menas Kafatos, Matthew Karush, Richard Klimoski, Jim Kozlowski, Julie Mahler, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Robert Nadeau, Lisa Pawloski, Peter Pober, Daniel Polsby, Jane Razeghi, William Reeder, Kenneth Reinert, Daniele Struppa, June Tangney, Tojo Thatchenkery, Ellen Todd, Shirley Travis, Mary Williams.

 

Guests Present:  Pat Donini,  (Employee Relations Director and Deputy Director, Human Resources), Esther Elstun (Professor of German), Dolores Gomez-Moran  (Ombudsman for Students), Robin Herron (Editor, Mason Gazette), Susan Jones (University Registrar), Mark Kidd (Associate Dean for University Life, MAIS-HE), George Oberle (Librarians' Council), Della Patrick (Staff Senate Liaison), Bill Sutton (Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering).

 

I.  Call to Order:  Chair Dave Kuebrich called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m.

 

II.  Approval of Minutes of February 22, 2006:  The minutes were approved as distributed.

 

III.  Announcements

A.  Address to the Senate: President Alan Merten

1.  State Legislative Update: President Merten provided an update of the GMU’s allocation from the state. General Fund (tax money, not tuition/fees) support in this year’s budget is approximately $110 million.  Current proposals in the House would increase the allocation to $124 million (the largest increase ever proposed) on the basis of enrollment growth.  The Senate has proposed an increase of $11 million for the first year; $24 million for the second year, for a total of $134 million.  Support for research, particularly biological research, was proposed; $5 million by the House, $4 million by the Senate over two years.  In the past the General Assembly has designated a small amount for research money and that money has come from the general fund. According to President Merten GMU has not received increases of this magnitude for ten years.  There is a concern that transportation needs, the overriding issue in the Virginia budget, may be met by money taken from the general fund, which in the past has meant less money for education, health care and the like.

 

President Merten announced that the COLA request is dead.  Salary increases of 4% for the first year are proposed. As usual no money exists in the budget for increases in the following year, which according to President Merten are more commonly proposed during an election cycle. The next election will be for the full House and full Senate.  Efforts are underway to establish a coalition with the University of Mary Washington, Northern Virginia Community College, and other supporters in state offices who work in northern Virginia as a means to influence future budgets. A question was raised from the faculty regarding GMU’s peer institutions as set by SCHEV.  Provost Peter Stearns responded that most institutions in Virginia are satisfied with their peer group, but that he will follow up on this question.

 

2.  Capital Improvements:  The major project to complete building/funding for Research I continues.  The Volgenau School of Engineering (Research II) project will cost $56 million, of which $50 million has been allocated as follows:  $25 million from the state (which it appears we will get), $15 million from federal contracts, and $10 million in private donations.    To raise the remaining $6 million, a public/private partnership may provide space for rent to corporations.   The construction of Academic IV should be moving forward along with Academic VI.  The renovation of the Performing Arts Center on the Fairfax campus will cost $10 million; $4 million donated from the deLaskis, $4 million anticipated from state funds.  No state dollars are available at this time for the proposed Performing Arts Center at the Prince William campus, but may change in conference committee. Private donations will be encouraged. 

 

3.  Public/Private Partnerships: There are three proposed GMU building projects funded by public/private partnerships.

Hotel and Conference Center: Location: Fairfax campus near the Patriot Center.

Potential size:150-200 rooms; conference center 20,000 square feet.  High potential for community use. Discussions are underway with Fairfax City and Fairfax County.  Funding would be provided by developers, no use of state money. Management for the facility would be provided by an outside company.

Faculty/Staff Housing: Projected development includes at least 130 units including townhouses, bungalows and apartments. Site on the east side of Route 123.  Present plan to sell units which could be retained for a limited, as yet unspecified period of time.  GMU would be able to recover the land for another use.

Sunrise Assisted Living facilities for seniors.  The number and types of units (some with care available) would tie in to College of Nursing and Health Science activities as well as concert hall, athletic facilities, classrooms, etc.  The deadline for receipt of proposals is April 10th. 

 

B.  Nominees to the BOV Audit Committee - Rick Coffinberger:  Four nominees with the requisite skills have been submitted to the BOV Audit Committee for consideration.  They are Phil Buchanan, Keith Jones, Gopal Krishnan, and Linda Parsons (all faculty in the School of Management).  . 

 

C.  Faculty Handbook Revision Committee - Rick Coffinberger:  Input has been received via email and attendance at Town Meetings organized by the committee at Fairfax, Arlington and Manassas campuses today.  Professor Coffinberger thanked all those who have attended and responded and encourages others to continue to provide input. Committee minutes are posted for review on the Faculty Senate website at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/FHCPage.htm .)

 

IV.  Old Business - None.

 

V.  Reports from the Senate Standing Committee Chairs

A.  Executive Committee - Dave Kuebrich

1.  Motion to Create a Faculty Task Force to Consider Salary Issues

Based on an initial review of the raises awarded to faculty and administration for the 2004-05 AY, the Senate Executive Committee proposed the creation of a task force to consider various salary issues.  The following motion was proposed and was passed unanimously by voice vote.

:

A five-member faculty task force, The Faculty Task Force on Salary Issues, will be created to review the raises given to faculty and administrators over recent years.

 

 The charge of the Task Force will include, but not be limited to, the following matters:

 

1. a longitudinal comparison of the salaries of upper-level administrators (president and vice presidents; provost and associate and assistant provosts; deans and associate and assistant deans) with the average salaries of the various ranks of instructional faculty;

 

2. a longitudinal comparison of the distribution of faculty salaries within and between local academic units within a school and also between schools;

 

3. an examination of the criteria and processes used to determine the size of faculty and administrative salaries, including both beginning salaries and raises (both annual and “off-cycle”);

 

4. a comparison of the salaries of the GMU faculty with those of the faculty in GMU’s SCHEV-appointed  peer institutions and  also with those of the faculty in other Virginia doctoral-granting public universities;

 

5. a comparison of  the salaries of the GMU upper-level administrators with those of the administrators in GMU’s SCHEV-appointed peer institutions and also with those of the administrators in other Virginia doctoral-granting public universities;

 

6. an examination of other data that the Task Force judges to be relevant.

 

7. the proposal of new policies, if judged necessary, to provide for needed corrections to present practices;

 

8. the proposal of policies that will provide for adequate transparency and substantive faculty input at every stage of the salary process.

 

9. the presentation of  a preliminary report to the Faculty Senate at a special called meeting on April 19; to be followed by a progress report in September, 2006 and a final report in October, 2006.

 

The general goal of the Task Force is to determine if current salary practices meet the highest standards of professional equity, promote the general well being of the University, and best serve the interests of students, faculty, tax-payers and the general public. 

 

The Task Force is encouraged to draw upon available expertise from both within and outside the University.  The Faculty Senate trusts that the Administration shares the Senate’s concern that the Task Force be able to function effectively; and, accordingly, the Senate expects the Administration will provide the Task Force with any needed operating funds and staff resources.  (No major expenses or demands upon staff time anticipated.)

 

The Nominations Committee presented the following slate of candidates:

 

Richard Carver (CS)

Richard Coffinberger (SOM)

Julie Mahler (PIA)

Richard Rubenstein (ICAR)

June Tangney (PSYC)

 

Nominations were also accepted from the floor (see E.  Nominations). 

 

B.  Academic Policies – Cliff Sutton

1.  Academic Calendar Update:  Chairman Cliff Sutton regularly updates the Academic Policy website at http://mason.gmu.edu/~csutton/APcalchange.html .  Information regarding proposed changes will distributed well in advance.  A question was raised regarding a proposal to have classes on Labor Day.  Opposition to the proposal by the Staff Senate makes this change unlikely.

 

C.  Budget and Resources – Rick Coffinberger

1.  New Projects:  The committee has taken on two new tasks for review:  (1) action on a motion (scheduled for presentation at April meeting) regarding the recommendations of the Presidential Library Task Force Report (April, 2005).  (2) A proposal to provide basic support for faculty university-wide. Further information will be gathered from Senators and faculty.

2.  Salary Data Posted:  An all faculty email has been sent to announce the posting of the 2006 Salary Data on the Faculty Senate website.  The Budget and Resources Committee thanked Linda Harber and the Human Resources Staff, and Joy Hughes and the ITU staff, for their assistance. 

3.  Special Needs Salary Adjustments:  The Faculty Senate approved a motion at our May 4, 2005 meeting requesting that the Provost’s Office provide a report on “equity based” salary adjustments awarded during the Fall 2005 salary adjustment period.  Committee chair Rick Coffinberger presented the following highlights. Text of the report received from David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget follows.


 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SPECIAL SALARY ADJUSTMENTS

REPORT FOR 2005 RAISE PROCESS

 

Total Dollars Allocated to Special Adjustments: $663,092

 

Source of Funds:

·        Provost: $395,742 (59.7%)

·        Dean’s:  $267,350  (40.3%)

 

Allocation & Source by College, School, Institute:

Unit

From Provost

From Dean

Total Allocation

CAS

$160,750

$129,036

$289,786

SOM

$40,000

$60,000

$100,000

CEHD

$34,000

$38,000

$72,000

IT&E

$51,800

$0

$51,800

CVPA

$19,000

$27,018

$46,018

SPP

$27,692

$0

$27,692

CNHS

$11,500

$13,296

$24,796

SOL

$23,000

$0

$23,000

SCS

$21,000

$0

$21,000

ICAR

$7,000

$0

$7,000

KRAS

$0*

$0

$0

*No funds requested.

 


 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SPECIAL SALARY ADJUSTMENTS

REPORT FOR 2005 RAISE PROCESS

 

 

Total # of Faculty Receiving Special Adjustments: 196

 

                        Distribution by Rank:

·        Professor:    49   (25.0%)

·        Associate:    77   (39.3%)

·        Assistant:     66   (33.7%)

·        Instructor:   4     (2.0%)

 

                        Distribution by Contract Status:

·        Term:                   17  (08.7%)

·        Tenure Track:    61  (31.1%)

·        Tenured:           118  (60.2%)

 

Range of Special Adjustments: 

 

Mean Special Adjustment:  $3,383.12


 

Number of Faculty by College, School, Institute

Unit

# of Faculty

Allocated Special Adjustments

Distribution by Rank

Distribution by Contract Status

CAS

66

22-Prof

23-Assoc

20-Asst

1-Instr

45-Tenure

19-T/T

2-Term

SOM

24

5-Prof

13-Assoc

6-Asst

18-Tenure

5-T/T

1-Term

CEHD

44

4-Prof

20-Assoc

19-Asst

1-Instr

21-Tenure

19-T/T

4-Term

IT&E

17

4-Prof

7-Assoc

6-Asst

10-Tenure

4-T/T

3-Term

CVPA

19

3-Prof

7-Assoc

9-Asst

8-Tenure

6-T/T

5-Term

SPP

7

3-Prof

2-Assoc

2-Asst

5-Tenure

2-T/T

CNHS

4

1-Prof

1-Asst

2-Instr

1-Tenure

1-T/T

2-Term

SOL

5

4-Prof

1-Assoc

4-Tenure

1-T/T

SCS

9

3-Prof

3-Assoc

3-Asst

5-Tenured

4-T/T

ICAR

1

1-Assoc

Tenured

 


 

Report on Special Salary Adjustments 11-25-2005 Salary Raise Process – Office of the Provost

 

 

Q#1

Q#2

Q#3

Q#4

Q#5

Q#6a

Q#6b

CAS

$289,786

$160,750

$1,000-$20,750

$4,391      $2,500

66

Inst-1        Asst-20  Assoc-23 Prof-22

Tenure-45 T/T-19  Term-2

CEHD

$72,000

$34,000

$500-$3,000

$1,600  $1,750

44

Inst-1        Asst-19  Assoc-20 Prof-4

Tenure-21   T/T-19  Term-4

CNHS

$24,796

$11,500

$4,872-$8,878

$5,523   $6,199

4

Inst-2        Asst-1  Prof-1

Tenure-1   T/T-1   Term-2

CVPA

$46,018

$19,000

$250-$5,000

$2,422   $1,000

19

Asst-9     Assoc-7    Prof-3

Tenure-8    T/T-6   Term-5

ICAR

$7,000

$7,000

N/A

N/A

1

Assoc-1

Tenure-1

IT&E

$51,800

$51,800

$2,500-$5,000

$3,047   $3,000

17

Asst-6   Assoc-7   Prof-4

Tenure-10  T/T-4  Term-3

KRAS*

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

SCS

$21,000

$21,000

$1,000-$4,000

$2,333   $2,000

9

Asst-3   Assoc-3  Prof-3

Tenure-5   T/T-4

SOL

$23,000

$23,000

$4,000-$7,000

$4,600   $4,000

5

Assoc-1   Prof-4

Tenure-4  T/T-1

SOM

$100,000

$40,000

$500-$14,312

$4,234   $3,903

24

Asst-6  Assoc-13   Prof-5

Tenure-18  T/T-5  Term-1

SPP

$27,692

$27,692

$2,100-$6,750

$3,956  $3,670

7

Asst-2   Assoc-2  Prof-3

Tenure-5   T/T-2

*Neither requested nor received funds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

  1. The total number of dollars allocated for equity based equity adjustments;
  2. The total number of those dollars that came from the Provost’s pool for equity raises;
  3. Range of equity-based salary adjustments;
  4. The mean and median of such adjustments;
  5. The total number of faculty who were awarded equity based salary adjustments;
  6. The distribution of faculty who were awarded equity based salary adjustments organized by:

(a)   traditional academic rank; and

(b)   contract status (tenured, tenure-track and contract).

 

D.  Faculty Matters Committee – Jim Sanford

1.  Adjunct Faculty Parking Rates:  Contingent upon approval by the Board of Visitors, parking rates for adjunct faculty will be $45 per semester next year (roughly half of amount paid before).  Parking rates for full time faculty have not yet been set.

 

2. Criminal Background Check Policy:  GMU has implemented a criminal background check policy for new employees in selected positions as of March 1, 2006.  The policy also applies to present employees who move into one of the covered positions.  A separate aspect of the policy requires all employees to report criminal convictions (not including traffic infractions) to their supervisors within five business days.  The policy is on-line at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/newpolicy/2221adm.html. . 

 

In response to a question raised, credit checks are required only in one or two basic areas with financial aspects.  Faculty and staff in Human Resources, University Police, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and positions dealing with children and bioterrorism, fall under the new policy.  Chairs and directors are responsible for compliance by their employees.  Data will be kept in files (separate from personnel files) in Human Resources. In response to questions, Pat Donini, Deputy Director of Human Resources, responded that the new policy is not to preclude people from being hired, but provides general protection for faculty and staff.  GMU is presently the only state institution without a background check policy.  Pat also noted that the option may be open to report directly to Human Resources if the department chair is not accessible. (A Senator noted that this option was not stated in the policy).  Convictions must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether it may relate to job performance. In response to concerns Ms. Donini responded that the policy does not have to be placed in job advertisements, but applicants must be advised of the policy during the interview process.  Questions were raised by faculty regarding arrests/convictions for civil disobedience. Convictions must be reported.

 

3.  Faculty Evaluation of Administrators:  A meeting is scheduled for March 9 with a staff member from Institutional Assessment to plan this year’s faculty evaluation of administrators.

 

E. Nominations – Jim Bennett

1.  Faculty Task Force to Consider Salary Issues:  Richard Carver, Rick Coffinberger, Julie Mahler, Richard Rubenstein, June Tangney.  Michael Ferri was nominated from the floor.   A motion was made and seconded to add a sixth person to the Task Force.  All six nominees were approved by unanimous voice vote.

 

F.  Organizations and Operations – Rei Berroa

The Organization and Operations Committee moves to amend the charges of the Faculty Matters Committee and the Nominations Committee as follows:

 

1)    FACULTY MATTERS COMMITTEE

Delete Section L: 

“Matters concerning the University awards not covered by another committee.  The Committee shall be responsible for preparing and periodically revising a faculty handbook, taking care to incorporate therein interpretations and revisions of standards and policies on faculty matters falling within the province of this Committee.”

 

Rationale

This is the function of ad hoc Committees which “are established by the Senate for consideration of special and transient issues.”  (Bylaws of the Faculty Senate.)

 

In previous Faculty Handbook  revisions, an ad hoc committee has been constituted that was composed of members elected by the Faculty Senate and chosen by the Provost.

 

2)   NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE

Change

Section A: “Election of a Secretary and Sergeant-at-Arms;” to “Election of a Secretary;”

 

Rationale

This section conflicts with the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate, Article II, Section 1, d, which states “The Chair shall appoint a … Sergeant-at-Arms ….”

 

Both motions were passed unanimously by voice vote.

 

VI.  New Business

A.  Motion to Create an Ad Hoc Committee to Review the University Faculty Evaluation Form

            – Susan Trencher

Motion

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate constitutes an Ad Hoc Committee to review the new University Faculty Evaluation form, one year from its implementation.

 

Rationale

At the November 30, 2005 meeting of the Faculty Senate, a motion to approve the pilot course evaluation form (University Faculty Evaluation Form) was approved by a divided house:  22 Senators voting for its adoption and 15 Senators voting against.

 

Comments prior to the Senate vote were divided along unit lines, with Senators representing the science, technology, and engineering units cohesive in their opposition to the new form as presently constructed.

 

Evaluating the new form following two semesters of its use will allow all members of the university faculty to assess its utility and provide an opportunity for appropriate feedback.

 

A motion was made and seconded to consider reviewing the form after one cycle.  Concerns were raised regarding the timely availability of data and adequate material for review.  The motion to review the form after one cycle was defeated by voice vote. The original motion passed by voice vote.

 

VII.  Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Trencher

Secretary