GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
February 13, 2008
Senators Present: David Anderson, Sheryl Beach, Kristine Bell, Jim Bennett, Alok Berry, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Lorraine Brown, Phil Buchanan, Rick Coffinberger, Jose Cortina, Penelope Earley, Allison Frendak, Karen Hallows, Allison Hayward, Mark Houck, David Kuebrich, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Janette Muir, Paula Petrik, Larry Rockwood, Jim Sanford, Joe Scimecca, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, Ellen Todd, Shirley Travis, Phil Wiest, John Zenelis, Stanley Zoltek.
Senators Absent: Ernest Barreto, Rei Berroa, Frieda Butler, Jack Censer, Vikas Chandhoke, Sandra Cheldelin, Elizabeth Chong, Julie Christensen, Sara Cobb, Lloyd Cohen, Sharon deMonsabert, Rutledge Dennis, Jeffrey Gorrell, Lloyd Griffiths, Kingsley Haynes, Dimitrios Ioannou, Matthew Karush, Richard Klimoski, Jim Kozlowski, Howard Kurtz, Alan Merten, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Daniel Polsby, Jane Razeghi, William Reeder, Ray Sommer, June Tangney, Iosif Vaisman, James Willett, Mary Williams, Peter Winant, Michael Wolf-Branigin.
Visitors Present: Marc Broderick, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations; Rick Davis, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, Pat Donini, Deputy Director, HR/Payroll and Employee Relations Director; Kathy Gillette, Director, Classroom Technologies, DoIT; Dolores Gomez-Moran, University Ombudsperson; Robin Herron, Editor, Daily Gazette, Media Relations; Susan Jones, University Registrar; Jennifer Korjus, Director, Learning Support Services, DoIT; Della Patrick, Vice Chair, Staff Senate; Sharon Pitt, Executive Director, Division of Institutional Technology (DoIT); Walt Sevon, Executive Director, Technology Systems Division, ITU.
I. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 3:08 p.m.
Chair Suzanne Slayden welcomed Marc Broderick, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs. Before coming to George Mason Mr. Broderick was Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Temple University (2002-2007) and at Emory University before that. He earned a BA from George Washington University in 1993 in sociology and criminal justice.
Vice President Broderick thanked the Faculty Senate for the opportunity and asked for questions from the floor before his prepared remarks.
Senator question: The Senator asked why the Development Office does not send thank-you notes noting that she has given “a lot” to the university over the past three years and has received a confirmation note but no thank you note. The Senator also noted that the donors’ party takes place at a time when faculty members are generally in class.
Senator comment: The Senator noted that he “received a fairly decent thank-you note last semester.” He also noted that Vice President Broderick “has done a fantastic job (in his report) to the BOV Finance and Resources Committee (as requested by Rector Volgenau).” The Senator noted that he has raised funds in the past and called Mr. Broderick a critical person at this university, especially since Governor Kaine has proposed to cut the budget another 2%, making the private sector even more important. The Senator was deeply concerned about GMU’s dismal record of fundraising in the past, relative to our size, age, and peer group, stating “candidly our endowment is pathetic and the strategy we're using didn't seem to be producing results.” Of particular concern was that records show that within a twelve-month period, President Merten made 19 fundraising visits; and in the past 6 months (July- December 2007), he made a total of four efforts. The Senator characterized these efforts as “a lot of smoke and not a lot of fire.”
Response, Vice President Broderick: The Vice President duly noted the remarks on the party and the gift acknowledgment system. He noted that a lot of the report to which the second Senator had addressed his comments is drawn off a donor database which is a DOS-based system purchased by GMU in 1990. A new system, BSR-Advanced, will go on line in April. It has the ability to track activities more easily, and is more user-friendly. He noted that it was not his role to talk about the time before his arrival. He stated that there will be greater (fundraising) activity. A new reporting system went into effect on December 1st. He considers transparency very important and to that end monthly updates will be sent to the Director of Development, deans/directors, and fundraisers. The President, Provost, and Chief Financial Office will receive university-wide reports. In his view he and others in his office have to be accountable as professional fundraisers.
Senator comment: The Senator commented that he “likes what he hears” but is concerned that the focus is “a bit narrow.” In one model there are high expectations for Deans to raise money, thus the Senator held that they also need to be held accountable. As part of systemic changes, the Senator hopes all those who raise money are held accountable and rewarded accordingly.
Response, Vice President Broderick: Mr. Broderick agreed with the notion of transparency but not the awards. He stated that every college will develop an annual strategic plan put together with the Director of Development in conjunction with the dean – a 13 page program. He sees a need to incorporate best business practices at GMU. Present Gift Acceptance Policy as ratified by the BOV in 2000 now under review; including topics such as endowed chairs, scholarships, and naming of facilities.
Senator question: Do you have a goal for next year regarding the number of buildings to receive names?
Response, Vice President Broderick: The Vice President responded that they take Deans' marching orders when they want to raise money for buildings to be built and take steps to identify the number through the Gift Acceptance Policy.
Senator question: Is it your aim to have a goal of one every two years, every five years?
Response, Vice President Broderick: Mr. Broderick noted that the Deans are going through fundraising plans for names to put on some new buildings being built. An example is of one building with three potential donors which would be appropriated systematically. In his view we have to serve donors as much as ourselves, and we have to ask what they want? He stated that in central development there is a potential donor allocation system where donors are identified by academic units, so as not to go to one donor by several units at the same time. The University-wide comprehensive campaign plan provides an opportunity to bring on new staff and resources. Two new Associate Vice Presidents have responsibilities where one serves as the Vice President for schools and colleges; and the other is to serve as Vice President for the Comprehensive Campaign. He stated that the backbone of fundraising is defined as knowing who is in the database, ensuring that we have the right information re mailing/phone numbers. Over the next three months “we are making aggressive strides to clean up data, then to go through a wealth identification process – including parents, staff, alumni, local philanthropists, as well as corporate boards, real estate, and life estates. A Committee has been formed to look at school/college/institute strategic plans, spires of excellence, etc. Part of the effort is to find out what is influencing the donor community in Northern Virginia. The Committee is to complete its review by May 1.
Senator comment: The Senator noted that part of the problem (for fundraising) is “cleaning up records” so that within a year after a student graduates their email address is purged.
Response, Vice President Broderick: Mr. Broderick agreed that we need to have lifelong email but not cheap to do. We need to ask for server capacity. He stated that the alumni constituency is very young. 40% of alumni contribute which he saw as “extraordinary” given that we don’t have their email addresses. A feasibility study will take place Aug-Sept-Oct., to identify the constituency goals/priorities. The effort will include outside counsel. Recommendations will be presented to the BOV who will vote to begin the campaign, but the term “campaign” will not be used right away as it is considered best to raise a lot of money in different stages prior to any public announcement. Articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education or the New York Times describe a trend in mega-giving, high 7-, 8-, 9-figures. Mega-donors may not (give large gifts) to their alma mater, but will give where they receive a return on investment, to make transformational change. Mr. Broderick commented “I can’t see a better transformational environment than GMU. There is a lot of deep-rooted old DC money not tapped into yet. If you look at a campaign in general, funding is a byproduct; it is more a marketing issue, towards the future, to send one’s kids here.” In his view GMU should “revamp spirit (and work on) how we picture ourselves in philanthropic communities.”
Chair of Senate question: “What can you envision faculty doing besides giving?”
Response, Vice President Broderick: Mr. Broderick noted that the Faculty/Staff campaign begins next year and encouraged the faculty to go to the Dean to identify something you think should be funded. “Faculty input is highly encouraged.”
Senator question: What is your relationship to the GMU Foundation?
Response, Vice President Broderick: Mr. Broderick noted that he is not the president of the GMU Foundation as was the case in the past. He is an officer of the Foundation, working very closely with them and with the BOV.
Senator comment: The Senator stated that he assumed that Vice President Broderick will pass plans through the Finance and Resource Development Committee of the BOV, and asked that he distribute information about Deans and fundraising to the BOV. The Senator expressed a hope in the spirit of transparency, that the Faculty Senate will be informed about college/schools’ fundraising. The Senator noted that it has been his experience that it is easier to raise money for a goal and if fundraisers want faculty to support them it is best to keep them in the “information loop.” (Upon learning that Jim Olds, the Director of the Krasnow Institute, was serving on the (fundraising) committee, the Senator suggested that a faculty representative also be elected by the Senate).
Response, Vice President Broderick: The Vice President didn’t see why this would not be possible. The Deans already have this and he noted that he is willing to come back to report to the Senate.
General Discussion and response
In response to several questions raised, Mr. Broderick further explained the outline of the next University-wide campaign. At this point, he has no idea how long the Comprehensive Campaign will be. During the feasibility study stage they may test the market at X amount and raise less or more than that. He noted that the timeline is important – it usually lasts for 5 years with 2 years in between. GMU has a ten-year campaign.
Senator question: What is relationship between Comprehensive Campaign and annual giving?
Response, Vice President Broderick: Annual fund gifts count toward Comprehensive Campaign. Up until this year, annual fund alumni solicitation occurred four times/year; non-alumni donors solicited once a year. The plan is to solicit both groups more than four times/year. Vice President Broderick stated that we need to be more aggressive with parents, faculty, and staff and local philanthropic community in order to build habitual giving which eventually turns into a big drive and we have generations attending the same university.
Senator comment: “Every year in the fall, I receive a phone call from an undergraduate student (from the university I attended). They are effective. If students could become part of the process it would be more effective.”
Response, Vice President Broderick: We have a whole army of student callers.
Senator comment: The Senator commended an unknown person in the Development Office as extraordinarily gracious and also commented on the redesigned website and noted that it is a good idea to enable donations through the website. The Senator also noted other ways to involve donors, for example, giving small things, e.g. doorknobs, enables small donors to give. The Senator also commented that “If I give $50K to Harvard, who cares? If I give $50K to a land grant university, it goes further.”
Response, Vice President Broderick: We are now using this approach in the Volgenau School, SOL, and the new athletic facility. He noted that we will go into this when the public phase of the campaign opens up.
Senator comment and question: The Senator expressed concern that GMU is waiting too long to (build) a better endowment situation. He asked how long it takes to decide success/failure and further, what would be a failure (in Vice President Broderick’s view)?
Response, Vice President Broderick: If we do not exceed the campaign goal which will be set in the next few months, it would be a failure.
Senator follow-up: Who sets the bottom line?
Response, Vice President Broderick: Mr. Broderick stated that the BOV will hear the results of the feasibility study and will set the financial goal and the timeline goal.
The results of the Task Force on Compensation Survey from last week's special meeting (February 6, 2008) were distributed. Twenty-three responses were received; a high degree of unanimity was observed. Senators not present at the last meeting who wish to fill out survey, please return survey to the Senate clerk at the end of today's meeting. After some discussion, it was agreed that the responses be recompiled using the standard deviation for inclusion in the Senate minutes.
III. New Business – Committee Reports
A. Academic Policies – Janette Muir, Chair
Motions on Incomplete Grade Policies
Motion 1: (Clarification on Earlier Incomplete Deadline)
To insert into the existing catalog statement the phrase “Unless the faculty member has specified an earlier deadline” so that the catalog would read:
“This grade may be given to students who are passing a course but who may be unable to complete scheduled course work for a cause beyond reasonable control. Unless the faculty member has specified an earlier deadline, the student must then complete all the requirements by the end of the ninth week of the next semester, not including summer term, and the instructor must turn in the final grade by the end of the 10th week. Unless an explicit written extension is filed with the Registrar’s Office by the faculty deadline, the grade of IN is changed by the registrar to an F.”
Motion 2: (Require Incomplete Grade Contract for Earlier Deadline Cases)
To add the sentence beneath the existing catalog copy:
Faculty members who opt for an earlier incomplete deadline will be required to file an Incomplete Grade Contract with the Registrar’s office, detailing the work that remains to be done, the general reason for the incomplete, and the student’s grade at the point of receiving the incomplete.
These motions originated from the Registrar’s Office, where concerns have been expressed about the lack of clarification regarding incomplete deadlines and expectations. The lack of specific policy regarding earlier deadlines is difficult to defend when a student goes through a grade appeal process regarding an incomplete. Additionally, there is an apparent lack of clarity on the part of students as to what work is due and when. The Incomplete Grade Contract would allow for clarification of academic policy including an earlier deadline for graduating students. It would also specify remaining work to be done in the event that a substitute evaluator must complete the grading process.
An example of a contract is shown below. Please note that student required to use contract when not typical university deadline.
George Mason University
Incomplete Grade Contract
Student’s Name ___________________________________________________________________________
Last First Middle Initial
GNumber___________________________________________ Day Phone __________________________
Course # __________________ Section #_________ Title ________________________________________
Semester: _____ Fall Year ________
Students submit work to instructor by end of the 9th week of next fall or spring semester
Instructor reports grade to Office of the Registrar
one week later
SPECIAL DEADLINE FOR THIS STUDENT
(no later than University Deadline)
Student submits work to instructor by:
Instructor reports grade to Office of the Registrar
one week later
List the remaining requirements below:
Student’s Grade at this point: ___________________
Other pertinent information which will be of help in accurately evaluating this student in absence of instructor:_________________________________________________________________________________
White Copy—Office of the Registrar
Senator question: Why has the Academic Policies Committee recommended (use of) contract for all students?
Response, Professor Muir: Initially there was concern expressed about too much bureaucratization: especially in large classes of 300 in which you may have as many as 50 incomplete grades. We need to remind people of the problems which arise with incompletes and how they create problems in the Registrar’s Office.
Senator comment: It is a book-keeping problem but it is also the case that the students in large classes who receive incompletes are likely to be freshmen. Discussion (at the Executive Committee) on this issue was to provide the faculty with flexibility, the changes are suggestions, not demands.
Senator question: If someone takes an INC in my course, it’s an F until they finish work. Do students who fail to make this deadline say, “why don’t we receive a D? “
Response, Professor Muir: The contract defines a point-in-time.
Senator follow-up: Consequently if you don’t turn work in, you will fail the course?
Senator comment: If there is a contract between the faculty and student – why go to the Registrar? The Senator suggested that a department level contract was all that was necessary.
Comment, Registrar Susan Jones: The impetus for the motion not just from Registrar’s Office but also from the Academic Procedures Advisory Committee (APAC), a group of Assistant/Associate Deans and administrators (chaired by Susan Jones as University Registrar) concerned about the number of people involved.
Senator comment: We should include “Special Deadline” in the title of the form.
Chair of the Senate: The Chair noted that in the absence of a quorum the meeting should not have been called to order but she had made the decision to do so. However, without a quorum the Senate cannot vote. The discussion would be continued at our next meeting (March 5, 2008).
IV. Other New Business
Motion: To approve the concept proposal for a Faculty Practice Plan for GMU – Shirley Travis, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University’s Faculty Practice Plan
The George Mason University Faculty Practice Plan (FPP) supports the educational mission of the University. The approved plan outlines policies that: (a) provide a professional practice structure, (b) describe mechanisms by which individual academic units (colleges, schools, and institutes) can link to the university practice plan, and (c) foster a sense of practice plan identity among all participating faculty members.
The FPP will provide formal support for ongoing education, training, and certification of faculty members and students. Additionally, the FPP enables the provision of professional services to address both unmet and specialized needs of the communityvia collaborations, consultations, and coordination with other agencies and organizations.
“Faculty practice” is any professional service provided by a faculty member within his or her scope of employment. Practice activities that are approved for participation in the FPP provide faculty members practical experiences essential to maintaining and enhancing their skills and knowledge in fulfillment of the education mission of the University.
Membership: Rights and Obligations of Members:
Academic Unit Membership – Individual academic units (colleges, schools, and institutes) may participate in the FPP with the approval of the Dean or Director of the unit, the Practice Plan Governing Committee, and the President of the University. Each Academic Unit Faculty Practice Plan must be consistent with the goals of the academic unit and the University. Each Faculty Practice Plan must include:
(1) A description of the University policies and procedures pertaining to
faculty practice activities and related fees;
(2) Incorporation of faculty practice activities in the unit’s bylaws;
(3) A designated fund/account into which all faculty practice fees are to be
transferred, which shall be held and administered by the respective
Dean or Director of the academic unit;
(4) An operating budget prepared annually and recommended by the Dean
or Director of the academic unit and submitted to the Practice Plan
Governing Committee and the President of the University for review,
approval, and oversight.
Individual Participation - Any full time faculty member (term, tenured, or tenure-track) whose academic unit is a member of the Faculty Practice Plan is eligible to participate in the plan. Individual exceptions to the above criteria will be considered on a case by case basis by the Governing Committee.
Faculty Designation - A new faculty category called “Clinical faculty” shall be available for fulltime faculty who are employed by the University to support a unit practice plan. This group of faculty members is the clinical complement to the University designation of “Research Professor,” in which the individual is supported on income generated by research grants and contracts. In these cases, the Clinical Faculty member would be expected to support all or a significant portion of his or her income by clinical practice.
Regardless of the type of appointment, all individuals in a faculty practice plan are bound by the general employment requirements at George Mason University and by the practice conditions set forth in the bylaws of their respective academic units.
Collection and Disbursement of Funds
All professional fees for direct services generated by an individual unit’s practice plan are billed and collected by the University or an approved Billing Vendor on behalf of the FPP. All fees are billed through or on behalf of the FPP and all funds collected are deposited in a Faculty Practice Fund/Account in the University’s name. Disbursement of these funds is made to participating academic units according to an agreed upon revenue split between the academic unit and Central Administration based upon the approved unit practice plan.
The University FPP is administered by a Practice Plan Governing Committee and the University President, or his designee, on behalf of the Board of Visitors. This governing committee is responsible for reviewing and approving all unit proposals for participation in the FPP, monitoring unit adherence to all governing rules and policies associated with faculty practice at the University, and providing technical assistance and support to units that are developing new practice opportunities for their faculty members.
Elected membership on the Governing Committee includes a member of the Faculty Senate, and one practicing faculty member from each participating academic unit.
Ex officio members of the Governing Committee include the Vice President for Research, the Vice President for Human Resources, the Senior Vice President of the University (or his designee), the Assistant Vice President/Chief Safety Officer, and the Dean or Director of each participating academic unit (or his or her designee, such as an Associate Dean or Director of Faculty Practice). A Chair of the Governing Committee will elected by the members.
The FPP Governing Committee meets at least quarterly to review, monitor, and advise faculty practice activities, such as actual or proposed program components, quality and safety reports, and financial reports. Individual members also meet regularly with the governing bodies of the individual academic units to assure compliance with University policies and procedures and to
Shirley Travis, Dean, CHHS
Jim Olds, Director, Krasnow Institute
Beth Brock, Associate VP and Controller
Jose Cortina, Associate Professor, CHSS, Faculty Senate Representative
Lynn Gerber, Professor, CHHS
Linda Harber, Associate VP, Human Resources/Payroll
Matt Kluger, VP, Research & Economic Development
Christena Langley, Acting Associate Dean/Director, CHSS
James Maddux, Professor, CHSS
Goodlett McDaniel, Assoc Dean, CHHS
Ann McGuigan, Director, Research Development
Tom Moncure, University Counsel
Lynn Schrum, Professor, CEHD
Dean Travis noted that Professor Jim Maddux and Professor Jose Cortina served on the Family Practice Plan Governing Committee (FPPGC) as faculty representatives. All Deans and Directors were invited to send a representative to the Committee. Faculty Practice as broadly defined will touch some colleges (CHHS, CEHD, Krasnow), as well as new hires in COS, Psychology, and the humanities. Time was spent identifying an appropriate faculty practice plan for all Mason faculty, not just for one college. CHHS is prepared to go forward with a pilot of some sort but there is no formal proposal as yet; to be reviewed by the FPPGC. One key element is the creation of a new category of faculty – clinical faculty, as a parallel to research faculty. This plan could potentially support programs across campus. The Dean invited Professor Maddux to make comments as an advocate for the Family Practice Plan.
Comments, Professor Maddux: Attention was paid so that faculty was not forced into some overarching plan against one’s will. There is a choice to join to gain benefits such as malpractice insurance and enhance department programs. Faculty currently engaged in practice may continue to do what they’ve been doing. There is a need to bring in non-tenure line faculty such as nurses with titles so that they may conduct clinical practice.
Senator question: The faculty in SOM wondered how this differs from consulting.
Response: Dean Travis: Consulting is seen as a separate issue. We create an environment attractive to people. What if someone outside the community who does not know about your faculty but learns of your service? There is a central place as part of FPP. This can morph into a role in CHHS/CEHD. There are lots of things possible that would have to be defined by the school.
Comment, Professor Maddux: There was an effort to make it inclusive and allow broad participation.
Senator question: If I was making my living doing this, I would be unhappy that my competitors get the benefits mentioned. Counseling is already extant in Psychology – Fairfax Community Services with generally sliding fee scale (1/2 – 1/10th what is charged).
Response, Dean Travis: First and foremost, we have an educational mission. We have an opportunity to serve a group of underserved children in Fairfax County schools, to deliver health care services. We have the capacity but not the mechanism. Several people in the university worked on this and GMU is covered by liability insurance. However, all practitioners delivering direct services should carry their own liability insurance.
Senator question: How does this fit into the GMU venue?
Response, Dean Travis: (They fit) under the umbrella of education providing the opportunity to participate in practice plans in clinics. It also provides more experience for students; as more students wish to train, we need more clinical faculty to train them. We are also delivering important services to the community.
Senator comment: I like that the definition is broad, but as a non-clinical practitioner, “clinical” does not appear until; halfway through document.
Response, Professor Cortina (member of planning group): There is a general definition because there is such a diverse group of faculty who might benefit from it.
Comment: Dean Travis: Our goal would be to get a green light to go ahead to do a pilot test. Also we want to leave things broad enough so other units can join – to be as open as possible, but we could also define things more narrowly.
The Dean thanked the Senate.
V. Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 4:17 p.m.