GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

 MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

NOVEMBER 7, 2007

 

Senators Present:  David Anderson, Andrea Bartoli, Sheryl Beach, Kristine Bell, Jim Bennett, Rei Berroa, Alok Berry, Lorraine Brown, Phil Buchanan, Frieda Butler, Rick Coffinberger, Jose Cortina, Rutledge Dennis, Penelope Earley, Allison Frendak, Mark Houck, Jim Kozlowski, David Kuebrich, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Janette Muir, Jane Razeghi, Jim Sanford, Joe Scimecca, Suzanne Slayden, Ray Sommer, Peter Stearns, June Tangney, Susan Trencher, Iosif Vaisman, Phil Wiest, James Willett, Mary Williams, Michael Wolf-Branigin, Jennie Wu, Stanley Zoltek.

 

Senators Absent:  Ernest Barreto, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Jack Censer, Vikas Chandhoke, Julie Christensen, Sara Cobb, Lloyd Cohen, Sharon deMonsabert, Jeffrey Gorrell, Lloyd Griffiths, Karen Hallows, Kingsley Haynes, Dimitrios Ioannou, Matthew Karush, Richard Klimoski, Howard Kurtz, Alan Merten, Paula Petrik, Daniel Polsby, William Reeder, Larry Rockwood, Ilya Somin, Ellen Todd, Shirley Travis, Peter Winant, John Zenelis.

 

Visitors Present:  Eileen Chandhoke, University Libraries/Librarians’ Council; Ron D’Agostino, Secretary of Government and Academic Affairs, GMU Student Government; Esther Elstun, Professor Emerita, Modern and Classical Languages; Gary Galluzzo, Professor, College of Education and Human Development and Chair, SACS Strategic Planning Committee; Karen Gentemann, Associate Provost, Institutional Effectiveness; Kathy Gillette, Director, Classroom Technologies, DoIT; Dolores Gomez-Moran, University Ombudsman for Students; Tom Hennessey, University Chief of Staff; Susan Jones, University Registrar; Jennifer Korjus, Director, Learning Support Services, DoIT; Sirfaraz Piracha, Undersecretary of Academic and Government Affairs for Legislative Affairs, GMU Student Government; Sharon Pitt, Executive Director, Division of Institutional Technology (DoIT); Linda Schwartzstein, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Enrollment Services; Dr. Ernst Volgenau, Rector of George Mason University; Jean Welch, R.N., Regis University – MSN Ed. Program.

 

I.  Call to Order – The meeting was called to order at 3:01 p.m.

 

Chair Suzanne Slayden welcomed Dr. Ernst Volgenau, Rector and Mr. Tom Hennessey, University Chief of Staff.  Rector Volgenau continues a tradition (of Rectors) speaking to the Faculty Senate.

 

Rector Volgenau spoke to the Faculty Senate last year with Rector Dewberry (March 7, 2007).  He noted that the Board of Visitors is united its desire to help bring GMU into the first tier of rankings in U.S. News and World Report rankings.  While the “culture” of these rankings does not coincide with the BOV’s in every instance the BOV is devising criteria to cooperate in raising the university’s tier ranking.  Among other things the BOV includes as important among its activities its fiduciary responsibilities to the university.

Further, the Rector stated that he had come with no prepared remarks and was happy to answer questions from those present.

 

Rector Volgenau initiated discussion about the issue of faculty compensation.  He has reviewed the Faculty Senate Minutes from 2006-2007 (provided by the Senate Chair) and was aware that compensation is on the minds of many people.  The Board agrees that compensation has to increase if GMU is to become a “world class university.”  The important question was where to find available financial resources.  He noted that SCHEV has a lot to say about COLA increases which have been advocated by  President Merten, Provost Stearns and Tom Hennessey.  The Rector stated that he will also actively advocate on behalf of the COLA increase but noted that it is not enough if/when it comes.   At minimum a COLA and some other form of compensation increase is needed.  The Rector also noted that the BOV is increasing its job (role) as a fundraising activity but added that  the Board and the administration cannot do this by itself, faculty must help in a united effort.

 

Senator Comment/Question:  The Senator was delighted to hear that the Rector was aware of the issue of the shortfall (in) faculty salaries and COLA – aspirations for the future and noted that while the faculty as a whole was very interested in being involved in the process of making this right, there was a great deal of uncertainty about what role the faculty can play.  The Senator, a member of the Senate Task Force looking into faculty salaries and compensation noted that efforts by the task force to meet with the university lobbyist have been refused several times.  The Senator noted that a significant accomplishment of the Task Force thus far was assisting in getting GMU into a new SCHEV peer group.

 

Response: Rector Volgenau:  The Rector said that there is nothing secretive about the lobbyist – his name is Reed Smith and encouraged the effort to “get that one solved.” He noted that he had read  in the Senate minutes that some faculty have already met with legislators in the Virginia General Assembly.

 

Senator Question: Where does this issue fit into the Board’s priorities? 

 

Response: Rector Volgenau:  Qualitatively, rather than quantitatively, the issue has a high ranking but noted that there are other high priorities, i.e. student financial aid, particularly in comparison with other universities.  BOV priorities (encompass) income as well as expenditures, and raising money is high on list.  The Rector stated that it was very important to meet with state government including legislators on a regular basis both here and in Richmond as well as needing to raise more money from alumni.  Rector Volgenau also gave the University of Virginia and the University of California as universities who have done a really good job in getting money from its (real estate) investments and GMU has discussed this with real estate investors. 

 

The Rector noted that at present there are twelve action items on the Board agenda and he would add Faculty Compensation as the thirteenth item which, while despite its implicit presence in other items needed to be separately listed.   It will be addressed in BOV Finance (and Resources) Committee, (chaired by (Visitor) Chuck Mills) and in Faculty and Academic Standards Committee (chaired by (Visitor) Kathleen deLaski) at the December Board meeting and it will be addressed in almost every Board meeting.  To get progress we need to keep working on and talking about it. 

 

Senator Comment/Question: The University of Virginia is raising billions under its Five Year Plan; raising more every day than our endowment (does) in a year.  Why are we so unsuccessful compared to the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University?  We are not as old as U VA, but have been here for fifty years.   Better linkage between university and the private sector is needed.

 

Rector Volgenau response:  The Rector reflected on all the accomplishments at GMU in the last 15 years, including the growth in enrollment which has made GMU the largest university in Virginia.  In his view it is time to consolidate as well as continue to improve.  Dr. Volgenau has been involved in raising money (for GMU) for fifteen years, sometimes in an unofficial capacity and in his view continuing fund raising efforts by GMU community at all levels, Board, Deans and their associates, faculty is most important.  It is his view that there will be a tremendous increase in fundraising over the next ten years. 

 

Senator Question/Comment:  The Senator raised the issue of faculty governance at GMU stating his view that faculty input adds a lot to important decisions made.  The Senator expressed thanks for the five faculty representatives to BOV committees, a good step which has been appreciated by the Faculty Senate, and hopes that in the future a non-voting faculty member could be appointed to the full Board to continue to improve faculty input.

 

Rector Volgenau response:  The Rector responded that he has served on the Board for three years during which the issue has been discussed a number of times.  About eighteen months ago (Board) decided that major work was done by committees, so agreed to five faculty representatives, noting that the participation of faculty representatives has been a good experience.   Rector Volgenau  doesn’t mind having a non-voting faculty member on Board,  but stated that some Board members may feel that the faculty is unappreciative of the BOV’s efforts to provide faculty input thus far.  He agreed to raise the issue.

 

Comment: Rector Volgenau raised an issue of his own regarding the following motion from the Faculty Senate Minutes of October 18, 2006:

 

(1)    (5)    The President commit to limiting the annual salary increments for top administrators who are at or above the 80th percentile with respect to their peers in comparable institutions (as reported by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources) to one percent until the salaries paid to instructional faculty reach the 80th percentile with respect to their relative peers (as reported by the American Association of University Professors). 

 

A motion made to refer Motion #5 back to the committee was passed by a divided vote

 

The Rector noted that he had served in the military and for the past 20 years run his own company.  In his view the best approach is “win-win,” not “win-lose.”  In his view it is important that the community at GMU work together, noting that we “have a wonderful president and talented deans.”   (We need to) pull together and can enlist everybody so we can be united in our efforts.  The Rector raised the question of whether the Senate has the “right data” and even if it does, he does not want to decrease salaries.

 

 

Senator Comment:  In response to Rector Volgenau’s comment the Senator noted that this is not a question of decreasing anyone’s salary but of reacting to the fact that administrative raises have been much greater than faculty (raises), and that the effort was intended to bring the faculty to parity in terms of salaries in peer institutions equivalent to the parity that administrative salaries currently have.   The Senator noted that while freezing salaries is not a best solution, the question about what to do about these long term practices and resulting inequities must be addressed.

 

Senator Comment: Another dimension was raised relevant to administrative as compared to faculty salaries.  The Senator pointed out that the gap in the last 10-15 years between upper level administrative salaries (and faculty) has continued to widen, not just here, but all over the U.S.  Professional organizations representing faculty, e.g. AAUP, agree that this is a serious problem.  The question arises as what image is presented to the public when administrative salaries are so high in public institutions.

 

Rector Volgenau response:  “I have no argument with you.”  The Senator who had raised the issue thanked the Rector for his response, and the Rector acknowledged the comment and went on to ask “ What do we do about it specifically? “  In his view we need access to more money rather than e.g. freeze or reduce the President’s salary or compensation (which the Rector had recently reviewed at the request of the previous Rector, Rector Dewberry and found to be appropriate).

 

Senator and member of Faculty Senate Salary Task Force comment/question:  The Senator noted that the situation regarding low faculty salaries has been going on for years and the issue has been brought to the attention of the administration over these years.  Even so, the upward trajectory of administrative salaries has continued relative to instructional faculty.  Data comparing salaries between administrators and instructional faculty at public doctoral institutions demonstrates that at GMU upper level administrators are more often at the 70-80-90th percentiles of like institutions and that they receive larger increase in raises relative to their peers goes up, while faculty percentiles go down.  The Senator stated that the purpose of the motion to which Rector Volgenau referred was not to decrease salaries for administrators, but to hold the line in order to provide funds to raise faculty salaries in the interests of equity. 

 

Rector Volgenau response:  (GMU has a) $650 million budget and rather than jumping to a solution which provides “suboptimization” the Rector sees the need to take a holistic approach. 

 

Senator Comment:  The Senator noted that one of the issues was to provide a unit increase in terms of dollars rather than a percentage increase which inevitably benefits those with higher salaries, as one solution. 

 

Rector Volgenau Response:  The Rector agreed that this is a point, but stated that it won’t solve the problem, and confirmed with Tom Hennessey (University Chief of Staff) that the BOV and the faculty receive a common set of data that shows GMU at 33% below peer institutions.

 

Senator comment/question:  It was noted that the Senate vote agreed with the point raised by the Rector regarding the percentage of administrative salaries, as the motion had been tabled for further consideration when first raised.  The Senator raised the issue that the COLA equals 33% compared to faculty at other state institutions, e.g. UVA, but that this figure was in a different category from figures cited in the study by the (Faculty Senate Task Force on Salaries) that another aspect of the salary issue for faculty is that their salaries fall into a very different percentile relative to peer institutions from that of the administration, in which administrative salaries fall into the 70-80-90th percentiles; while faculty salaries are in the 48th percentile compared to their peer group.  The figures cited relate to two different things.

 

Rector Volgenau Response:  The Rector noted that the problem is that the budget could get bigger if we could raise more money.  The BOV is addressing two parts of it – responsibility of BOV to do whole budget.  Doesn’t want to keep coming back to we/they issue; whether database for administration comparable to database for faculty.  You may convince BOV rate of compensation could be lowered, but there are larger issues re $650 million.

 

Provost Stearns Response:  The administration has developed a document which will be available to the Board and available to the Faculty Senate on December 5th citing approximation:  $85,000 GMU average salary; $77,000 current peer group (average salary) with lower COLA; 38% of new peer group  - to pressure state to move up.  He stated that we have moved from 23% - 50% of old peer group.  These are issues but they are not always entirely clearly stated. 

 

Senator Comment:  The Senator stated that while he believes in win-win; there is a morale problem.  Provost Stearns is right – we have moved up.  When state allocated 4% (raises) if you look at the data you see that administrators received 7-8% raises; when 4% (given to) faculty.   The solution is not to take money away from administrators, but a higher percentage of administrative raises is a problem. 

 

Rector Volgenau Response:  Looking at table presented by Jose Cortina – comparison to UVA/V Tech and others, was done about a year ago.  Unadjusted for COLA, it didn’t look too bad but looked non-competitive with inclusion of COLA.   We can get the data, there is nothing secret about how Board operates.  Very few things done in closed session  (reference to personnel matters), and he is happy to provide information discussed by Provost Stearns.  To work through Faculty and Academic Standards Committee and Budget and Financial Resources Committee to make sure we have right data unless the Chair of the Senate seeks to appoint someone.

 

Senator Comment:  The Senator expressed his thanks and that of his colleagues to the Rector for his willingness to discuss these issues for forty minutes, noting that the Rector’s time and information was very much appreciated. 


Rector Volgenau responded by thanking the faculty for its important contributions to teaching and research at GMU.

 

The Faculty Senate applauded the Rector.

 

II.                Approval of the Minutes of October 10, 2007:  the minutes were approved as distributed.

 

III.             Announcements – none.

 

IV.              Unfinished Business – none.

 

V.                 New Business – Committee Reports

 

Executive Committee – Suzanne Slayden, Chair

Professor Slayden reported that discussion of appropriate classroom technology issues is ongoing; and expects to report back at our next meeting.  See also Technology Policy Committee report below.

 

Academic Policies Committee – Janette Muir, Chair

Professor Muir reported that the committee has met twice and provided minutes of its meetings for posting on the Senate website.

 

Budget and Resources Committee  – no report.

 

Faculty Matters Committee Jim Sanford

Professor Sanford reported on behalf of Chair Larry Rockwood,that the committee will have motions ready for our next meeting:  tenure for competitive hires and tenure-clock extension for military service.  The committee is also working on leafleting and public space policies to be presented as motions at a later time.

 

Nominations Committee  - Jim Bennett, Chair

Peter Pober was unanimously elected to serve on the newly formed Transportation Committee. 

 

Organization and Operations – no report. 

 

B.     Other Committees

Technology Policy Committee – Stanley Zoltek, Chair

Professor Zoltek met with Sharon Pitt (Executive Director of DoIT) and others to discuss difficulties in classrooms which have differentially affected faculty.  Sharon Pitt’s written response was presented by Professor Zoltek and appears below in italics:

 

Actions have been taken within the Division of Instructional Technology and the ITU to address concerns:

1)  A new web presence has been created that addresses "Technology Changes that Impact Teaching and Learning."  This site will be updated each semester.  I am hopeful that the Office of the Provost will send out an email message to all faculty, each semester ,whenever that content is updated at:  http://itu.gmu.edu/techservices/technology_changes_css.html

2)  The Division of Instructional Technology will have representatives at each Faculty Senate Meeting.  As an outcome of this year's challenges, the Faculty Senate will be hosting a special session on teaching and learning with technology, which will help to create a feedback loop between faculty and the Division of Instructional Technology.  At Wednesday's meeting, Jennifer Korjus, Kathy Gillette and I will be present.

3) The new committee on classroom enhancement for student learning will help to ensure feedback on issues such as Office 2007, as decisions related to Office 2007 were about deployment of that product in Mason's classrooms and open computer labs.

As you know from our conversations, I believe that our greatest failure regarding Office 2007 surrounded communication.

Internally, the Office 2007 team did not communicate effectively about the product upgrade.  Transitions in leadership at all levels of the DoIT organization created communication issues.  Directors were not talking with each other.  Staff were not communicating effectively across organizations. Staff that were involved in the Office 2007 team were not advocating for issues of which they were aware, as a result of both leadership changes, organizational changes and other issues.  Staff that are in service to effective teaching and learning in the classroom were not communicating with each other.

Steps have been taken to address these concerns:
1) Practices for increased interactions between the Director of Classroom Technologies and the Director of Learning Support Services have been implemented
2)  Technology classroom and lab activities are communicated during the DoIT Directors and DoIT Leadership meetings

External communication was also a concern.
1)  Even though there were faculty representatives on the Office 2007 team, their representation did not reflect issues of the broad teaching community.  The new classroom committee will help to address the need for broad representation needed to discuss such technology implementations.
2)  "Technology Changes that Impact Teaching and Learning" web presence will provide a definitive location to find information
3)  The Director of Learning Support Services will continue to meet with department chairs and faculty across Mason, to gather teaching and learning issues and concerns
4)  DoIT will continue to use multiple sources of communication, such as technology checklists, Mason e-Files, the _Gazette_ and other sources to seek input on and announce changes.
5)  The Executive Director of the Division of Instructional Technology will meet with the academic department chairs in February, to address teaching and learning with technology (TLT) needs.

In the future, technology projects that emanate from the Division of Instructional Technology will follow ITU project processes.  The project in which you are involved, the eLMS initiative, will be our model for planning, process and implementation of TLT projects.  These ITU projects will articulate learning objectives, seek key stakeholder input and ensure proper planning and communication.

 

Discussion:

Senator Comment:  At the last meeting the discussion on these issues revealed various views of changes made in and to instructional space.  In part it seems as though there is a different base of assumptions – that is, whatever changes are available are best for faculty and should be welcomed by them, while the faculty do not always welcome or profit from some change.  The disconnect exists between what the technology and instructional side sees as better teaching tools.

 

Sharon Pitt Response:  Technology people felt that that didn’t get feedback that some faculty were challenged by Office 2007 since the faculty representatives on the Technology Policy Committee were in favor of the change.

 

Senator Comment:  The issue is not just about technology but about overcrowded classrooms which create environments mot not conducive to learning and additional problems during exam time.

 

Chair of the Senate, Suzanne Slayden:  Joy Hughes (Vice President and Chief Information Officer of GMU) took this issue to the Executive Council yesterday: reaffirmation of core mission of university; also one of strategic goals of the university.

 

Salary Task Force – Rick Coffinberger, Chair

Professor Coffinberger apologized for “jumping the gun” when the Task Force developed and sent a set of questions and forwarded them directly to the President rather than first to the Senate Clerk.   Paper copies of the email to President Merten are available here today and it was hoped that President Merten would respond. 

 

VI.              Other New Business

Discussion of SACS Strategic Plan – Professor Gary Galluzzo.

Professor Galluzzo is serving as Chair of the SACS Strategic Planning Committee.  He distributed sheets to the audience requesting feedback on the Draft Strategic Plan (10/25/07) distributed with the meeting agenda and available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/SACS.102507.FS.pdf . He quickly presented the following slide presentation:

 

The Strategic Planning Committee was empanelled by the Provost for two purposes:  in preparation for 2011-12 re-accreditation by SACS; but also to identify key goals to improve the capacity and productivity of the University.  The purpose of today’s presentation is to get your feedback on the goals and what you think should be the highest priorities. 

 

Members of the SACS Strategic Planning Committee are: Gil Brown, Director, Budget and Financial Planning; Tom Calhoun, Vice President, Facilities; Jack Censer, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), Larry Czarda, Vice President, Regional Campuses; Andrew Flagel, Dean of Admissions and Associate Vice President, Enrollment Development; Gary Galluzzo, Professor, College of Education and Human Development (Chair); Karen Gentemann, Associate Provost, Institutional Effectiveness; Renate Guilford, Assistant Provost, Enrollment Planning and Administration; Jeremy Mayer, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy; Glenda Moran, CHSS, Director of Technology and Learning Initiatives; Jennifer Murphy, Assistant Vice President, Research and Economic Development; Rose Pascarell, Associate Vice President, University Life; Linda Schwartzstein, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs (ex-officio); Suzanne Slayden, Chair, Faculty Senate and Associate Professor, Chemistry; and Kris Smith, Associate Vice President, Institutional Research and Reporting. 

 

Fulfilling Our Commitments:  2002 SACS Goals:

(see also the Provost Office website  http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/accredit/index.html )

·        an improved continuing education function

·        an assessment program for all academic programs

·        a facilities master plan

·        improved administration of graduate student credentials

·        improved recordkeeping regarding faculty

·        a comprehensive safety plan

·        the Center for Teaching Excellence

·        a research program for undergraduates

·        space available to students on a 24/7 basis

·        a program of study leave for junior faculty

·        an intercampus shuttle system

·        a stronger link between the Office of Continuing Professional Education and Alumni Affairs

·        a committee that works to encourage the development of university traditions.

 

Six Proposed Goal Areas:

 

1.      Student Success

·        Improve the incoming student profile at all levels, and continue to provide access to the University to Northern Virginia students

·        Develop new student markets to increase the quality of the student profile and the quality of the classroom learning environments

·        Continue to expand current initiatives in the improvement of teaching and learning, including Critical Thinking, Writing, Technology, and Global Studies across the curriculum.

·        Increase the number of full-time doctoral students and graduate student financial support

·        Increase undergraduate financial aid and scholarships

·        Increase student retention and graduation rates

·        Improve student academic advising

·        Expand the Honors and University Scholars program

·        Increase undergraduate research opportunities

·        Increase the quality of student outcomes by developing measures to quantify Mason’s connections to the “real world”

·        Clarify student paths for study abroad, internships, service activities and increase levels of participation in these programs

·        Provide more opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research, scholarship, and creative activity

·        Improve student engagement in on-campus life

·        Expand weekend programming

·        Increase the number of jobs on campus for undergraduate students

·        Increase the residential student population

·        Provide additional services (and scope/hours of service) to meet the increasing residential population

·        Increase student study, lounge, and open program space around the campus

 

2.      Future-oriented Academic Programs

·        Sustain our current spires to build on their strengths (policy studies and law, information technology, arts, and life sciences)

·        Develop the four newly identified spires recently ratified by the University Board of Visitors

1) bioengineering and neuroscience; 2) public health and chronic disability;

3) music; and 4) global studies

·        Continue to identify and develop new spires of excellence using four proposed metrics:

1) comparative advantage; 2) resource requirements; 3) faculty resources; 4) advanced study

 

3.      Global Citizenship

·        Leverage our diversity and location to create richer global understandings throughout the university community

·        Develop criteria for strategic international partnerships

·        Achieve climate neutrality

·        Integrate sustainability into our academic programs

·        Develop more fully a vision and plan for the development of campuses and programs outside U.S.

 

4.      Research

·        Increase research funding

·        Increase the growth trajectory of technology transfer

·        Nurture and support research, scholarship, and creative activity not normally supported by funding agencies

·        Increase the number of full-time doctoral students and graduate student financial support

 

5.      Faculty, Staff, and Administration

·        Increase the percentage of tenure and tenure-track faculty.

·        Diversity further the faculty, staff, and administration

·        Continue to enhance the quality of work-life

·        Achieve competitive compensation for faculty and staff

·        Support all faculty in their teaching mission including technology support in the classroom and faculty development opportunities to improve the quality of the learning environment

·        Develop and/or enhance administrative systems to increase operational efficiency

·        Improve internal communications such that campus constituents are informed of major decisions that affect the quality of campus life to create a greater sense of community and commitment to the University

 

6.      External Community, Alumni, and Reputation

·        Becoming a pre-eminent public university

o       Improve the incoming student profile at all levels

o       Increase research and creative activity

o       Serve the region through a mixture of distributed campuses and technological outreach, research and community service

·        Be the recognized regional leader for the performing arts

·        Establish closer alumni relationships with the University; strengthen systems, processes and programs and create a “more connected” alumni

 

Ten Recommendations for Building Capacity for Achieving these Goals

 

1.  Develop knowledge management processes to support a more inclusive and interdependent planning and budgeting effort

 

2.      Enhance the integration of planning across facilities, business, technology, research, enrollment, residence (housing), library, and academic planning

 

3.      Increase funding through multiple sources

 

4.      Develop a long term plan to increase public funding

 

5.      Develop a long term plan to increase foundation support

 

6.      Explore optimal tuition/fee and discount levels

 

7.      Leverage public and private partnerships to advance the University’s mission

 

8.      Facility-specific planning and budget:

·        Expand lab space to meet research and course need projections

·        Plan for housing at all campuses, with attention to transfer, graduate, and faculty/staff populations

 

9.      Integrate the distributed campuses into a more coherent whole; established recognized and distinct draws for each campus

 

10.  Expand private alumni giving

 

NOTICEABLE TENSIONS

·        Balancing our institutional history of entrepreneurial behavior with a strategic plan

·        Balancing a history of individual unit activity with a more collective (restrictive?) approach

·        Evaluating the “low hanging fruit” for its cost benefit to the University.

·        Or, opportunism versus measured restraint

 

Feedback from Senators at the meeting included:

·        Suggestion made to look at recommendations put forth five years ago to measure progress, before new recommendations made

·        Three faculty members represented on the committee

·        More like wish list than strategic plan, what will it cost?  Where will money come from?  Need to prioritize.

·        Suggestions about priorities included faculty salaries, as well as student financial aid – may lose both good faculty as well as good students due to lack of financial support

·        Questions about the notion of a “distributed university” as a time when resources are diminished, and each new campus creates a new set of costs which need to be paid for from a limited set of resources.

 

Professor Galluzzo welcomed feedback, encouraging faculty to return comment sheets by the end of the semester.   There will also be another Strategic Planning Commission on Research – to write a companion report to this one.  “World Class University” has not been a theme in our meetings.  Cited example of technology problems in some classrooms this semester as example of need for better operational efficiency. 

 

Senator Question:  Why do other universities find more big donors and we don’t?  A case has not been made for GMU in the private sector.  Some institutional pricing based on demand in market.

 

 

Professor Galluzzo noted that he himself had recently found out about a (new) project at Port Royal or which he had been unaware, and about which he had questions. 

 

Several Senators asked who has made the decisions already in the strategic plan and expressed concern, asking:  “Who makes these decisions?  Concern expressed (diversion of money) to new projects, etc. (meaning) less money available to support programs already in place.

 

The Chair of the Senate noted that this is an important opportunity to provide input.

 

VII.           Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

The Faculty Arts Board will have a dinner on November 30, 2007 prior to the evening’s performance of the Pirates of Penzance.   

 

VIII.        Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 4:16 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Trencher

Secretary