GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

 MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
MARCH 7, 2007

 

Senators Present:  Ernest Barreto, Kristine Bell, Jim Bennett, Alok Berry, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Russ Brayley, Lorraine Brown, Phillip Buchanan, Julie Christensen, Rick Coffinberger, Jose Cortina, Warren Decker, Jane Flinn, Dimitrios Ioannou, Dan Joyce, Jim Kozlowski, David Kuebrich, Ljnda Monson, Jean Moore, Paula Petrik, Peter Pober, Jane Razeghi, Larry Rockwood, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Slayden, Cliff Sutton, June Tangney, Ellen Todd, Susan Trencher, Iosif Vaisman, Phil Wiest, James Willett, John Zenelis, Stanley Zoltek.

 

Senators Absent:  Sheryl Beach, Frieda Butler, Jack Censer, Vikas Chandhoke, Sandra Cheldelin, Sara Cobb, Lloyd Cohen, Allison Frendak, Jeffrey Gorrell, Lloyd Griffiths, Karen Hallows, Kingsley Haynes, Mark Houck, Menas Kafatos, Matthew Karush, Richard Klimoski, Howard Kurtz, Jane McDonald, Alan Merten, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Robert Nadeau, Daniel Polsby, William Reeder, Joe Scimecca, Ilya Somin, Ray Sommer, Peter Stearns, Shirley Travis, Mary Williams, Jennie Wu.

 

Guests Present:  Jessica Bowdoin, Vice-Chair, Librarian's Council; Rector Sidney Dewberry, Board of Visitors; Pat Donini, Deputy Director, Human Resources and Payroll; Dolores Gomez-Roman, Students' Ombudsman; Linda Harber, AssociateVice President, Human Resources and Payroll; Tom Hennessey, Chief of Staff, Office of the President; Robin Herron, Editor, Mason Gazette; Susan Jones, University Registrar; Carrie Meyer, Associate Professor of Economics and Member, Green Campus Task Force; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost, Education Programs;  Della Patrick, Vice-Chair, Staff Senate; Barry Stevens, Director of Research Policy Development, Office of the Provost; Dr. Ernst Volgenau, Board of Visitors.

 

I.  Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 3:03 p.m.

 

II.  Approval of the Minutes:  The minutes of February 21, 2007 were approved as distributed.

 

III.  Announcements

 

Rector Sidney Dewberry and Ernst Volgenau of the Board of Visitors:  Chair Suzanne Slayden welcomed Rector Dewberry and Dr. Volgenau.  Consistent with term limits, this is Rector Dewberry’s final year as Rector.  Rector Dewberry stated that he has been extremely proud to be associated with George Mason University over the past 26 years.  He discussed the Board of Visitors’ initiative to define a course of action to GMU “a world class university,” both in teaching and in research.  This concept had been presented to the BOV  by Dr. Ernst Volgenau who Rector Dewberry stated has made a significant difference to the university and has been an excellent addition to the BOV.  He then asked Visitor Volgenau to lead the presentation and discussion of details surrounding the definition of a “great university” and steps that the BOV is undertaking to move toward meeting this definition.

Summary of Visitor Volgenau’s remarks:

George Mason University has achieved a lot in the last 40 years so it may be asked why  we need a world-class university initiative. There is a large opportunity for George Mason in which a little more directed energy can produce substantial results.  Northern Virginia continues to experience great economic growth, driven by technological advances, the Federal government, and other factors.  A world-class university is needed to support this emerging center.  Mason’s location and capabilities present a large opportunity to be that university.  It is important to exploit that opportunity; (not to let) others absorb some functions GMU could be doing and recalled the situation a  few years ago to set up another world-class university in the northern Virginia area (governor’s secretary).  Dr. Volgenau defined a potential addition to the George Mason University Vision (statement)  as “The vision of George Mason University is to be a world-class teaching and research institution:  an administration, faculty, and student body that are dedicated to scholarship, ethics, and service to the community, the nation, and world society.”  Dr. Volgenau cited  the US News and World Report Survey in which GMU placed in third tier.  While he has problems with (U.S. News and World Report’s) methodology he recognizes that the survey can be seen as significant.  The BOV decided to establish criteria for themselves and to work with staff, faculty, students and other friends of the university. This is not an initiative the BOV wants to execute in a vacuum, but rather to do so collaborative. One identified problem:  GMU is under-funded as a PhD-granting institution compared to other public universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. More money must be obtained for the university in part because of the high cost of living in this area. Student aid is also under-funded; including affecting the quality of graduate/undergraduate students we attract.

The World-Class University initiative is likely to be a campaign that continues for years in which criteria will be refined and initiatives will change.  The plan is for the entire university community to benefit from these initiatives.

 

 

Question # 1:  A Senator raised the problem of faculty salaries, noting that, for example, the economics department has been having problems hiring talent.  The problem is so severe that there is not just salary compression, but salary inversion in the department.  Faculty who have been here for a long time (in Senator’s own case, case for 32 years, currently occupying an endowed chair), make less money than some newly hired faculty.  In Senator’s view the quality of the university is based on the quality of the faculty. 

Dr. Volgenau: We are aware of the problem and we struggle with it a lot.  Needing more money from the Commonwealth is not an excuse.

 

Question #2:  A Senator referred to the US News and World Report  and noted that there are multiple rankings and measures used.  At GMU faculty salaries fall way below our peers.  In a dollar for dollar investment, raising faculty salaries is a good way to invest since raising faculty salaries to those of their peers would raise the university by a tier in these rankings.

Dr. Volgenau agreed that providing these monies for faculty would raise the university by a tier but this is not currently the plan.

 

Question #3:  Another Senator raised the US News and World Report rankings, noting that of 50-60 research universities ranked by the magazine, graduates rank low (19th) in debt.  Given in his view the unlikely possibility that the university will be able to get substantial new monies from the state, he wondered if tuition could be raised to help provide for need-based scholarships as well as faculty salaries. 

Dr. Volgenau:  This has been debated.  (Tuition) must be reasonably comparable to other universities, but there has been some talk about raising rates for graduate students.  GMU has a fairly high percentage of part-time students many of whom work for companies that may help pay for tuition and the students themselves are employed.  He cited certain ideas that “continue to come back” e.g. concierge service in residence halls.  While some students are ambivalent about this the question arises as to why not charge varying rates for residences? 

 

Question #4:  A Senator noted that the Cost of Living (COLA) differential was getting worse.  Two years ago the GMU administration published data that salaries were off by 32 –33%, now it is closer to 40%.  The Senator noted that we seem to be going in the wrong direction.  Since money is unlikely to come from the state and N. Virginia is likely to bear the burden of building roads etc. Failure to improve faculty and staff salaries is to force faculty and staff to subsidize the university.

Dr. Volgenau:  The BOV doesn’t want that to happen but noted that there is not enough investment in the infrastructure of the state overall.  He agreed that if money is taken out of the general funds for road and other projects, GMU and other educational institutions will get squeezed even more.

 

Question #5:  I have been at three institutions.   All (have) distressingly the same visions

of world-class; what is not on the list? 

Dr. Volgenau:  As a business person, you have to say no to some things to get what you want.  We can talk about cutting staff – indirect costs.  Try to talk about institution as profit-making group – there are analyses.  We have not spent a lot of time talking about what to give up; rather how to do more to raise money; profit-raising initiatives.  (Some) BOV members went to see Governor (Kaine) to get $10 million from budget to get more research grants which (would) have a big payoff.  The governor and his staff thought about it; but responded that if we do it (for) GMU, must give similar amounts to other institutions.  But if you can tie it to economic growth, it would make their job easier. 

 

Question #6:  A Senator stated that we are not emphasizing research students enough.  Typical NSF grants used to support two students now support only one. GMU needs to find other ways to get money for these students and focus on what we have to do to attract and keep the research component here.  It is already more expensive for research students (here), if we keep increasing their fees, we will have fewer and fewer each year. 

Dr. Volgenau:  Everybody needs to be accountable…to attract and keep top-notch research faculty.  They can get us grants, to pay for research graduate students’ facilities.  A chicken-and-egg proposition.  Someone who comes here wants to know if there will be a cadre of graduate students.  (Research student fees) is a policy issue, we can change them from within.

 

Question #7:  A Senator noted that a couple of years ago she and another Senate colleague made a presentation to the BOV requesting a non-voting faculty representative on the BOV, which has two non-voting student members.  After the meeting the BOV decided to invite faculty representatives to all its committees which was wonderful and very constructive but noted that we are still looking forward to having a non-voting faculty member on the BOV itself.

Rector Dewberry: We thought it would better to have faculty representatives on BOV committees, not at the Board level itself.  He noted that committee recommendations are routinely approved (by the BOV), and asked whether we (the faculty) were still asking for the non-voting representative in addition to those on the BOV committees.

The Senator responded in the affirmative.

Visitor Volgenau added that meetings can be boring.

Visitor Volgenau presented the following information on-screen.  No question-answer follow-up.

Faculty Representatives

Better understanding of needs

Well rounded picture of the University

Elected Faculty Representatives

Equal Opportunity:  Toni-Michelle Travis

Finance and Resource Development:  Richard Coffinberger

Land Use and Physical Facilities:  Mark Houck

Faculty and Academic Standards:  Don Boileau

Student Life:  Janette Muir

Audit:  *Gopal Krishnan  (*Board Appointed)

Faculty and Staff Housing

 

Closing remarks by Rector Dewberry:

Again complimented Dr. Volgenau on his activities on the BOV and his financial donation to what is now known as the Volgenau School. The Rector again noted that “…the university is already a great place in many respects ….(and) has several spires of excellence.”  He cited one huge advantage as “our people; so many really talented people working so hard together on the same team…” He noted that GMU is a well-established university with a more than half a billion dollar budget, but most members at GMU are asking for ways to be better: “ (You are) such nice folks, obviously having fun, have a special attachment to work, and an invisible halo around your heads.”  Rector Dewberry finished his remarks noting that the # 1 problem is money and noted that nothing makes him angrier as a native Virginian than that (GMU) does not get as much money as other schools.

 

Report on the Reorganization of the Krasnow Institute.  Professor James Olds, Director of the Krasnow Institute, presented the following brief report.  About 16 years ago, the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study was founded initially by five Nobel Laureates in Brain Science.  The institute received a funding bequest from Washingtonian Shelley Krasnow.   Its new building opened in 1997.  Its current faculty includes faculty from the Law School, CHSS, CHHS, etc. so is a “transdisciplinary institution”  with interests in how the human brain produces masterpieces, questions of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science.  Professor Olds stated that Krasnow is really one of the two or three best places to do integrated neuroscience in the US.  The Institute emerged from a separate 501CC3 into GMU in May, 2002 as a research unit under the Provost, not holding academic lines, but has been instrumental in creating the doctoral program in neuroscience, and the undergraduate BA in department of Psychology and Neuroscience.  The proposed plan involves becoming analogous to ICAR – an institute as well as an academic unit of university involved in degree-granting and holding its own faculty lines.  The Krasnow Institute wants to create a department of Molecular Neuroscience and Social Complexity with its own faculty lines and collaborative with other degrees lines.  The Krasnow Institute will play a role in Promotion and Tenure Committees via departments, with ad hoc representatives in all units of university, including those not members of department.  A final aspect – university-wide governance of “Neuroscience Advisory Council” to include a self-interested faculty across all units of university:  chair of Psychology, Chair of Biological Sciences; Chair of Bioinformatics.  These were recommended to Dean Censer, the Deans of the College of Science, and James Olds – with Provost Stearns to have the deciding vote. 

 

Question #1:  A Senator asked if Krasnow is to be analogous to  ICAR will it be degree granting and will hires go through a Promotion and Tenure committee?

Professor Olds:   A Ph.D. in Neuroscience was approved by SCHEV two years ago.

(The answer left the issue of which unit will grant the degree unclear).

 

Question #2:  A Senator asked what this will cost.

Professor Olds: No more funds costs, no extra money (needed) for administrative structure.  Two new departments to be funded by Krasnow Institute: molecular neuroscience and social complexity. 

 

IV.  Unfinished Business and General Orders

 

Green Campus Committee Report – Carrie Meyer, Faculty Senate Green Campus Task Force

As noted in the Executive Summary of “The Greening of Higher Education Facilities and Operations: A Race to Sustainability” many concrete examples include the green buildings (LEED standard) which includes on-campus renewable energy, renewable energy purchases, energy efficiency, purchasing and recycling policies, and sustainable landscapes are included.  (see Attachment B). In the Mason Green Program, the LEED silver standard will be used for all new buildings – including Academic II (Arlington) and the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering.  There has been a 15% energy-use reduction since FY 2002 under $12.2 million Siemens contract using energy efficient lighting and equipment.  Energy savings up to $1.2 million/year used to pay back mortgage.  New Parking and Transportation Department won commuter connection award.  Green living/learning in dorms, bringing the university community together for change; requires cooperation of university students, faculty, and staff. 

See attachment A for letter from President Merten on this issue.

  Questions and responses

In response to a about the  “green living floor” in dormitories, Professor Meyer noted that this has been recommended by a student task force, but location was not desired by upper level “green” students  since it was in a largely freshman dormitory.

Another Senator asked why there are no recycling bins in the Johnson Center.  Professor Meyer responded when you put recycling bins in convenient spots, they get filled up with trash.  The idea is to put these bins in inconvenient spots so that they won’t fill up with trash, but said that a campus campaign is needed to raise awareness.

A Senator suggested that GMU recognize those who have green vehicles.

The Green Committee advertises its meetings, please send suggestions to cmeyer@gmu.edu.

 

University Policy on Copyright – Barry Stevens

A final policy where all parties have agreed has been posted to the Faculty Senate website at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/Copyright_for_Faculty_Senate_March_7,_2007_final.doc .  Barry Stevens, a lawyer, was hired to serve as director of research policy development in the Provost’s Office.  He represents the Provost’s Office here today. 


The copyright policy posted on the website is the product of three years of work – beginning as a small group in research administration in the Provost’s Office.  About a year ago the policy document was improved by a significant amount of consultation with faculty, including James Sanford, of the Senate’s Faculty Matters Committee, as well as faculty members Sean Luke and Tamara Maddox, who contributed a great deal.  Last week a version of the policy was put up which was not satisfactory to all concerned.  At a meeting last Friday, the remaining issues raised by committee members were ironed out. 

 

To set out university’s doctrine on copyright ownership of works created by faculty –with four exceptions to provisions  (pages 3-4 reproduced below).

 

II. POLICY STATEMENT

 A.  COPYRIGHT OWNERSHIP

1. WORKS CREATED BY FACULTY

            a. General provisions.  It is the policy of the university that the creator of a traditional work holds the copyright in that work, subject to the exceptions described below.[1] A traditional work is a pedagogical, scholarly, literary, or aesthetic work (including computer software) in any medium that is created by the faculty member within the scope of his or her regular university employment.  The university retains a nonexclusive, nontransferable, paid-up license to use faculty-created traditional works for the university’s educational and research purposes, except that the license is revoked if the creator determines that revocation is required by a third party for publication of the work.

            The university makes no claim of copyright ownership in works created entirely outside the scope of a faculty member’s employment.

            There are four exceptions to this general rule on ownership of copyright in traditional works: 

                        i. Directed works.  The university holds copyright in a traditional work that is created by a faculty member at the express written direction of the university but outside the scope of his or her regular employment unless the faculty member and the university, prior to the creation of the work, enter into a written agreement providing that the faculty member will hold copyright.  The Vice President for Research and Economic Development or that officer’s designee enters into the agreement on behalf of the university.  

                        ii. Sponsored programs.  Copyright ownership in traditional works created             under a contract, grant, or other agreement between the university and a third party may be specified in the agreement as the university and the third party determine.  Unless the agreement requires that the university hold copyright in such a work, the university treats it as a traditional work. 

                        iii. Substantial use of significant university resources.  The university holds copyright in a traditional, non-patentable work that is created with substantial use of significant university resources and has considerable potential commercial value, except that the university makes no claim of copyright ownership in a work that is created pursuant to an agreement between the creator and a third party for the creation of the work. 

            Substantial use of significant university resources occurs when a work is created with the substantial use of significant university equipment or facilities, the use of special financial assistance from the university, or the dedicated assistance of university administrative employees not engaged in teaching or research. The use of a university computer or servers or of incidental supplies, or the occasional use of university administrative employees or shared facilities, would typically not be a basis for university ownership of the copyright.

            The university makes no claim of copyright ownership in a non-patentable work created with substantial use of significant university resources if (1) the university does not hold copyright under either of the exceptions in this Part II (A)(1)(a)(i) or (ii), and (2) all known creators of  the work agree to make it available under either an open content license acceptable to the Vice President (including, but not limited to, Creative Commons' "Attribution No Derivatives," "Attribution Share Alike,” and "Attribution" licenses) or, in the case of software, an open source license that meets the requirements of The Open Source Definition, Version 1.9, of the Open Source Initiative.  The Vice President may update the requirements for an open source license under this policy.

                        iv. Patentable works.  The university generally holds copyright in a traditional work that is also patentable, including patentable software, when the university has a claim to ownership of the patent.  The Vice President or that officer’s designee claims and disclaims copyright ownership in such a work on behalf of the university by providing notice to all creators. 

            The university makes no claim of ownership of the copyright or the patent in copyrightable and patentable software if (1) the university does not hold copyright under either of the exceptions in this Part II (A)(1)(a)(i) or (ii), and (2) all known creators and inventors of  the software agree to make it available under an open source license that meets the requirements of The Open Source Definition, Version 1.9, of the Open Source Initiative. The Vice President may update the requirements for an open source license under this policy.

The policy has been vetted and approved by the Deans and Directors, one suggestion they made was to include a purpose statement, reproduced below:

 

I.  PURPOSE AND SCOPE

            George Mason University is committed to the dissemination of knowledge in works created by its faculty, staff, and students.  The purpose of this policy is to encourage the free and open exchange of ideas through copyrighted works and to –

 

Equitable sharing of the proceeds defined by Mr. Stevens as 50% to creator, 10% to creator’s unit, and 40% to GMU Intellectual Property.  The faculty based Intellectual Property Committee is composed of 7 members. The university’s copyright policy conforms to Virginia law as it was amended last March. 

 

Discussion:  Section II. A. I., b. i. (p. 5):  under b.  Course Materials:

i. Except for adjunct faculty, a faculty member may not, while employed by the university, use course materials prepared in connection with his or her academic responsibilities at the university for teaching purposes in substantial competition with the university, or make these materials available to others with             the intent that they be used for those purposes, without the permission of his or her Dean or Institute Director.  A faculty member may use these materials or make them available to others for short, not-for-credit courses without obtaining the Dean’s or Director’s permission.

Professor Sanford added the following points – the above paragraph was not changed; to illustrate his concern that many faculty probably consider themselves as employees 24/7/365 and subject to that section even during unpaid summers.

1.      A 9-mo. faculty member who does not teach or otherwise earn money from the university is not employed at the time and not subject to this section of the policy.

2.      While the term "in substantial competition with the university" is not precisely definable, the following uses of course materials do not constitute violations of copyright.

a.        Posting syllabi on line.

b.      Sharing syllabi with instructors from other institutions as part of a program by a professional association..

c.       Sharing course materials with colleagues at other institutions who are near the beginning of their careers.

d.      Presenting talks and symposia regarding innovative teaching methods at conferences or publishing such information in books and journals.

The idea that the provision was intended to reflect is that university resources and time devoted to university responsibilities should not be used in substantive competition with the university.  Circumstances could warrant discussion between faculty member and dean – need dean/director’s permission.  If not approved, the matter would go to the University Intellectual Property Committee.  Example: Employee develops materials for a course during the academic year, employed by the university during the summer and used same materials to teach at a university next door at the same time GMU offered course during the summer. 

 

 

Chair Suzanne Slayden noted that we have been asked to approve policy before it is sent on to the Board of Visitors for approval.  If we wish to change policy, we can only send advice on to the Board of Visitors.  A motion was made and seconded to accept the copyright policy.  As the meeting ran past the normal time of adjournment and some Senators had already departed, a quorum no longer existed.  A vote did not take place. 

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Trencher

Secretary

 

TO INSERT ATTACHMENT A (Letter from Merten)

 

Attachment B

The Greening of Higher Education Facilities and Operations:

A Race to Sustainability

Retrieve the entire paper at

http://osf1.gmu.edu/~cmeyer/Green%20Campuses.pdf

 

Faculty Senate Green Campus Task Force

March 7, 2006

 

Executive Summary.  Colleges and universities are suddenly racing to green their campuses.  Within the last few years, green buildings and renewable energy sources are sprouting on college campuses across the country.  Campus administrators are using them to grab media attention and promote their schools as “sustainability leaders” to attract students and funding. 

 

LEED certification has become the standard for green building.  The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, composed of building industry leaders dedicated to environmentally sound and sustainable buildings.  Twenty-one states (including Maryland but not Virginia) are considering initiatives, or already have policies, to require or encourage LEED certification for new public buildings.  Sixty-one municipalities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle have adopted or are considering similar policies. In many cases the state policies apply to state schools, but many schools have independently adopted policies that require LEED certification for campus buildings.  

 

College and universities are also racing to reduce energy usage and switching to renewable energy.  Midwest colleges are building wind turbines, and solar panels proved power to more than 100 college campuses.  Other campuses are saving money and reducing carbon emission by converting fossil-fuel power plants to run on biomass.  Purchasing renewable energy is another ready alternative; students across the country have voted to increase their own fees to pay the premium clean energy may still require.  Some schools run on 100% clean energy.

 

Transportation is another key arena where colleges and universities are making changes in the direction of cleaner fuels and fewer cars on campus.  Car sharing programs, like “Zipcar” and “Flexcar,” are expanding across college campuses.  Campuses are working hard to integrate with local mass transit, promote carpooling, improve bicycling and pedestrian access, and provide better shuttle service.  Cleaning up the campus fleet of vehicles with fuel efficient vehicles and vehicles that run on lower emission fuels (like bio-diesel) can contribute significantly to overall campus sustainability. 

 

Those universities that have a comprehensive approach to integrating sustainable practices throughout the operation of the institution also have active programs in recycling, sustainable purchasing, and sustainable landscaping practices. 

 

Financial obstacles to greener campuses have not proved insurmountable.  Although some initiatives require up-front costs, saving energy and water also saves money.  Because greener campuses attract positive media attention, donors, and students; administrators have recognized that they can’t afford not to invest in a more sustainable future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1]  Creators are reminded that they bear the responsibility for defending their copyrights against infringement.  The university may provide creators with assistance but is not required to do so.