GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

 MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

SEPTEMBER 5, 2007

 

Senators Present:  David Anderson, Ernest Barreto, Sheryl Beach, Kristine Bell, Jim Bennett, Alok Berry, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Lorraine Brown, Phillip Buchanan, Julie Christensen, Rick Coffinberger, Lloyd Cohen, Jose Cortina, Sharon deMonsabert, Rutledge Dennis, Penelope Earley, Jeffrey Gorrell, Karen Hallows, Dimitrios Ioannou, Matthew Karush, Jim Kozlowski, David Kuebrich, Howard Kurtz, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Janette Muir, Paula Petrik, Larry Rockwood, Jim Sanford, Joe Scimecca, Suzanne Slayden, Ray Sommer, Peter Stearns, June Tangney, Ellen Todd, Iosif Vaisman, Phil Wiest, Mary Williams, Peter Winant, Michael Wolf-Branigin, Stanley Zoltek.

 

Senators Absent:  Rei Berroa, Frieda Butler, Jack Censer, Vikas Chandhoke, Sandra Cheldelin, Sara Cobb, Allison Frendak, Lloyd Griffiths, Kingsley Hayes, Mark Houck, Richard Klimoski, Alan Merten, Daniel Polsby, Jane Razeghi, William Reeder, Ilya Somin, Shirley Travis, Susan Trencher, James Willett, Jennie Wu, John Zenelis.

 

Visitors Present:  Kevin Avruch (Associate Director/Professor, ICAR); Eileen Chandhoke (University Libraries/Librarians’ Council); Pat Donini (Employee Relations Director/Deputy Director, Human Resources/Payroll); Douglas Eyman (Assistant Professor, English); Dolores Gomez-Roman (Ombudsman for Students); Linda Harber (Associate Vice President, Human Resources/Payroll); Susan Jones (University Registrar); Matt Kluger (Vice President for Research and Economic Development); Della Patrick (Vice Chair, Staff Senate); Bob Smith (Professor of Psychology).

 

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

 

II.        Approval of the Minutes of May 2, 2007:  The minutes were approved as distributed.

 

III.       Announcements

Chair Suzanne Slayden welcomed five new Senators:  David Anderson (CEHD), Rutledge Dennis (CHSS), Penelope Earley (CEHD), Peter Winant (CVPA), and Michael Wolf-Branigin (CHHS).

 

University Budget Report:  Provost Peter Stearns reported a state announced funding cut of 5%.  This is a permanent budget cut, with no prospect of restoration of funds soon. All units have been asked to integrate 1.5% cuts.  The cuts will have no impact on state-mandated salary increases.  The Provost hopes the 2009 state budget will restore most cuts and there is no news of the state imposing further cuts.  A 6% annual tuition increase will be needed to cover state mandates and inflation.

 

New Peer Group:  The Provost reported a fruitful exchange with the Faculty Salary Task Force and a different (SCHEV) peer group which now includes George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and Boston University .  All of these universities have salary levels above that of GMU.  In order to achieve 60% of the new peer group salaries the state would have to provide a $3,500 salary increase per faculty member.

 

IV.  Unfinished Business – none.

 

V.  New Business – Committee Reports

 

A.  Senate Standing Committees

 

Executive Committee – Suzanne Slayden, Chair 

The Meeting Schedule for 2007-08 Academic Year was approved with time for an additional meeting at the end of the academic year (May 7, 2007) available if necessary.  President Merten will address the Senate twice.  Efforts are going forward to schedule Rector Volgenau to address the Senate at least once this academic year.  The schedule was approved (Attachment A).

 

Ad hoc Committee To Review the University Faculty Evaluation Form: On March 8, 2006, the Faculty Senate passed the following 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.
 

 

Discussion:  The Chair asked for suggestions regarding composition and charge of the committee.  One Senator noted that most concern was expressed from COS, suggesting at least two members of Task Force be from COS.  The motion was approved.  Nominations for members of the committee should be sent to the Nominations Committee. A slate of nominees will be presented on the agenda of the October 10, 2007 meeting.

 

Academic Policies – Approval of Dates for Summer Term 2008

http://summer.gmu.edu/dates08.htm

SESSION A

DAYS                                             DATES                                      EXAM DATES

MTWRF                                        May 19 - June 17                      June 19 & 20

MTWR                                          May 19 - June 17                      June 19

MWF(evenings)*                         May 19 - June 18                      June 20

TRS(evenings)**                        May 20 - June 17                      June 19

* Classes meet MW and the following Fridays: May 30, June 6, 13, and June 20.
** Classes meet TR and the following
Saturdays:  May 31, June 7, and 14.

The University is closed in observance of
Memorial Day - Monday, May 26, 2008.


SESSION B

DAYS                                             DATES                                      EXAM DATES

MW                                                June 2 - July 14                         July 21

TR                                                  June 3 - July 22                         July 24

University closed in observance of Independence Day - Friday, July 4, 2008.

No standard classes on Thursday, July 3, 2008.


SESSION C

DAYS                                             DATES                                      EXAM DATES

MTWRF                                        June 30 - July 30                       August 1 & 4

MTWR                                          June 30 - July 29                       July 31

MWF(evenings)*                         June 30 - July 28                       July 30

TRS(evenings)**                        July 1 - July 31                          August 2

* Classes meet MW and the following Fridays:  July 11, 18, and 25.
** Classes meet TR and the following Saturdays: July 12, 19, 26, and August 2.

University closed in observance of Independence Day - Friday, July 4th, 2008.

No standard classes on Thursday, July 3, 2008.


SESSION X

Days, dates, and times determined by individual course instructors.

The motion was approved.

Budget and Resources – no report.

Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford, Chair

The results of the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey are being summarized and will go to the printer within a week.  Survey results are scheduled to be distributed in two weeks.

 

Organization and Operations – no report.

 

B. Other Committees – no reports.

           


VI.       Other New Business

A.           Elections – Nominations Committee – Jim Bennett, Chair

Professor Bennett thanked the members of the Nominations Committee for all their help: Linda Monson, Jane Razeghi, Phil Wiest, and Mark Houck.  The Chair also thanked all the nominees for their willingness to serve. 

 

Election of the Secretary of the Senate:  Susan Trencher was elected unanimously by voice vote.

 

Election of Members of Senate Standing Committees

 

ACADEMIC POLICIES:

Continuing Member:  Julie Christensen

Nominees:  Jim Kozlowski, Janette Muir, Mary M. Williams, Mike Wolf-Branigin

 

BUDGET AND RESOURCES:

Continuing Members:  Karen Hallows, Joe Scimecca, Ray Sommer

Nominees:  Phil Buchanan, Rick Coffinberger

 

FACULTY MATTERS:

Continuing Member:  Jim Sanford

Nominees:  Frieda Butler, Dave Kuebrich, Patricia Moyer-Packenham, Larry Rockwood

 

ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS:

Continuing Members:  Lorraine Brown, Jean Moore, June Tangney

Nominees:  Ernest Barreto, Phil Wiest

 

NOMINATIONS:

Continuing Members:  Linda Monson, Jane Razeghi

Nominees:  Must come from Senate floor.  Jim Bennett, Mark Houck, and Peter Winant were nominated from the floor.  The nominations were seconded.

 

Nominations were closed and a unanimous ballot cast to elect nominees to Senate Standing Committees.    

 

Election of Members of University Committees

 

ACADEMIC APPEALS: 

Continuing Member:  Lloyd Cohen

Nominees:  Flavia Colonna, Mike Hurley (Provost’s appointee), Walter Morris, Michael Noar, Bob Pasnak

 

ADMISSIONS:

Continuing Members:  Kelly Dunne, Ramon Planas

Nominees:  Frieda Butler, James Carroll, John Kulesza, Eddie Tallent (Dean of Admissions appointee)

 

ATHLETIC COUNCIL:

Continuing Members:  Linda Miller, Phil Wiest

Nominees:  Robert E. Baker, Julie Christensen, Sharon deMonsabert

 

EFFECTIVE TEACHING:

Continuing Members:  Doris Bitler, Bob Smith

Nominees:  Karen Hallows, Giuseppina Kysar, Lynne Schrum, Melanie Szulczewski

 

EXTERNAL ACADEMIC RELATIONS:

Continuing Members:  Deborah Boehm-Davis, Dave Kuebrich, Nance Lucas

Nominees:  Michelle Marks (Provost appointee), Peter Pober, John Riskind

 

GENERAL EDUCATION:

Continuing Members:  Alok Berry, Kim Eby (Provost appointee), Peggy Feerick, Sheryl Friedley, Susan Hirsch (Provost appointee), Christena Langley (Provost appointee)

Nominees:  Don Boileau, Rick Davis (Associate Provost, Chair), Douglas Eyman, R. Claire Snyder, Hugh Sockett, Karen Studd, Cliff Sutton (Provost appointee)

 

GRIEVANCE:

(nominees must be tenured, may not be a chair or serving in administrative capacity)

Continuing Members:  John Crockett, Sheryl Friedley, Miriam Raskin, Joseph Reid

Nominee:  Howard Kurtz

 

MINORITY AND DIVERSITY ISSUES:

(nominees must be tenured or tenure-track)

Continuing Members:  David Kravitz, Jim Metcalf

Nominees:  David S. Anderson, Heibatollah Baghi, Raja Parasuraman

 

NON-TRADITIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY, AND ADULT LEARNING

Continuing Members: Jeng-Eng Lin, Laurie Harmon

Nominees:  Penelope Earley, Steve Ruth, Linda Samuels

 

SALARY EQUITY STUDY COMMITTEE:

Continuing Members:  Kristine Bell, Don Seto

Nominees:  Karen Hallows (Provost appointee), Carol Urban

 

TECHNOLOGY POLICY:

Continuing Members:  Melissa Martin, Goodlet McDaniel (Provost appointee), Iosif Vaisman, Steven Weinberger, Stanley Zoltek

Nominees:  Star Muir, Paula Petrik

 

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:

Continuing Members:  Pamela Cangelosi, Susan Durham, Beth Schneider, Andrew Wingfield, Terry Zawacki (ex-officio), Stanley Zoltek

Nominees:  Anne Marchant, Tom Owens, Ellen Rodgers

 

Nominations were closed and a unanimous ballot cast to elect nominees to University Standing Committees

 

Election of other Faculty Representatives: 

 

JOHNSON CENTER POLICY BOARD:  Larry Rockwood

 

SATELLITE CAMPUS TASK FORCE:  John Crockett

 

Nominations were closed and a unanimous ballot cast to elect nominees as Faculty Representatives.

 

B .  Motion: that a TASK FORCE TO IMPROVE RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY be established.

 

The Task Force is charged to:

 

1. survey the Faculty about all aspects of management of research and grants that affect productivity;

 

2. discuss whatever problems or issues that are identified with relevant offices and individuals and to seek to resolve the concerns of Faculty; and

 

3. report its findings, in both written and oral form, to the Faculty Senate at the April, 2008 meeting.

 

The final report should recognize both the strengths and deficiencies of the research environment, should specify the steps that have been taken to resolve problems or deficiencies and state what issues still need to be addressed.

 

The Task Force shall consist of three faculty members elected by the Senate, one of whom must be a Senator, a Provost's appointee and a representative of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

 

Rationale: George Mason University aspires to increase externally funded research and to gain status as a world-class research university. Concerns have been expressed about various issues that directly and negatively affect the research efforts and productivity of Mason Faculty, e.g., lengthy approval times for both human and animal experiments; problems with the Office of Sponsored Programs; difficulties with budget management software; and onerous requirements for conducting lab and other research.

 

 

Sponsored by:

Senator Alok Berry (SITE)

Senator Deborah Boehm-Davis (CHSS)

Senator June Tangney (CHSS)

Senator Iosif Vaisman (COS)

Senator Stanley Zoltek (COS)

 

 

In order that the Task Force have enough time to fulfill its charge, the Faculty Senate will be asked to determine that the formation of the Task Force is of “urgent necessity” (Bylaws V.3.) so that nominations and election of members to the committee can take place at the meeting on 5 Sept.

 

Discussion:  A Senator asked whether the task force will include space management.  Professor Tangney responded that it will, because space affects the ability to conduct research.

 

The motion was approved unanimously.  The following nominees were elected unanimously to serve on the Task Force:  Alok Berry (IT&E), Sharon deMonsabert (IT&E), and Bob Smith (CHSS).

 

C. Motion to approve the proposed University Policy on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship

 

The full text appears at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/Misconduct-document.htm

April 26, 2007
To: Suzanne W. Slayden, Chair, Faculty Senate
From: Barry W. Stevens, Director, Research Policy Development
Subject:  University Policy on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship


This memorandum transmits for the consideration of the Faculty Senate a university policy on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship.  As you know, by consensus, the committee that developed the policy endorsed its contents and recommended that it be adopted by the university.  This morning, the Deans and Directors also endorsed the policy. 

A revised policy on research misconduct is needed to replace the university’s moribund 1990 Policy on Scientific Misconduct and bring the university into compliance with the requirements for the receipt of Federal funds.  A draft of the policy was the subject of discussion at the October 5, 2006 meeting of the Deans and Directors.  As a result of that discussion, the committee that had worked on the draft was expanded to include three members of the Deans and Directors and two additional members of the faculty and the draft was thoroughly reexamined.

The expanded committee included the following:
Matt Kluger, Vice President for Research and Economic Development   
Jack Censer, Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Kingsley Haynes, Dean, School of Public Policy
Supported by Jonathan Gifford, Acting Associate Dean
Jim Olds, Director, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
Chip Petricoin, Professor of Life Sciences
Larry Kerschberg, Professor of Information and Software Engineering
Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Bob Nadeau, Professor of English  
Linda Samuels, Professor of Legal Studies   
Jennifer Murphy, Director, Office of Technology Transfer
Ann McGuigan, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
Tom Moncure, University Counsel

I chaired the committee and served as facilitator, researcher, and drafter.

Among the principal features of the policy that these individuals endorsed are the following: 

1.  The policy sets out the university’s commitment to the highest standards of ethical, scientific, and scholarly practice and to compliance with the requirements for the receipt of Federal funds.  The policy fully complies with Federal law.

2.The policy applies to both Federally-funded research and other research.

3. “Research misconduct,” as that term is used in the policy, includes only conduct that Federal law proscribes; that is, fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, but not honest error or differences of opinion.

4. “Research” includes both the kinds of activities addressed by Federal rules on research misconduct and other forms of scholarship.

5. Any allegation of “research misconduct” is addressed under the policy and not under any other university policy or procedure except as the policy provides.  Respecting students, this means that the policy applies to post baccalaureate graduate and professional students who are engaged in Federally-funded or non-coursework-related research and to undergraduate students who are involved in Federally-funded research.  Students engaged in other activities are covered by the Honor Code and the University Code of Conduct.  Respecting faculty, it means that the policy and not the Faculty Grievance Process governs the examination of allegations of research misconduct.

6. The policy clearly assigns responsibility for the various steps in a research misconduct proceeding to the respondent’s Dean or Director, the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Provost, or the President.  In doing so, it strikes a balance between unit and central administration and ensures that proceedings are free from both real and apparent lack of fairness.

7. The policy includes all the protections for participants in research misconduct proceedings (respondents, complainants, witnesses, and committee members) that are required by Federal law and adds a number of others, including provisions intended to protect respondents against unfounded allegations.

On behalf of the committee and the Deans and Directors, I would request that the Senate act to bring this important matter to a successful and expeditious conclusion.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.


Policy on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship

pdf format http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/misconduct_policy_FacultySenate-4-26-07.pdf
[Note: See the last two pages of the document for a summary of procedures.]

 

Discussion: A Professor raised concern that the text of the proposal stipulates that data will be seized upon receipt of the allegation, without any requirement that a dean review the allegation to insure that it was made in good faith, and the flow chart is silent on the point at which seizure occurs.  He suggested stipulating a point after Dean's review would be preferable.

 

Response,Vice President for Research and Economic Development Kluger: Depending on the nature of the allegation investigations move as quickly as possible in order to assure no tampering.  If an allegation appears to be from a former employee with an ax to grind, the decision may be made not to sequester.  In more serious (situations) Dean/Director can sequester.

The Professor reiterated his concern that there is no statement in the policy and it is not clear from the reference to allegation; anyone not affiliated with the university can turn in an allegation.

 

Question 2:  If  Deans/Directors endorsed this idea,  (what were) some of their concerns?

 

Response,Vice- President  Kluger:  This version was approved by Deans.  An earlier version broader in scope included major violations of research policy consistent with policies at 50-60% (of universities) with a restricted purview here (at GMU).  40% of universities have a more expanded policy.

 

Comment, Provost Stearns: Agreed that Deans/Directors approved this version (unanimously). 

 

Response, Chair of Senate Slayden:  The committee worked very hard and by consensus.  Faculty reps were Sue Palsbo and Bob Nadeau who worked with Deans and Directors on specific wording. Change from existing policy (formerly “Scientific Misconduct”) is that now the policy covers scientists and non-scientists, federally-funded research and non-federally funded research.  This is consistent with the Faculty Handbook.  The new policy covers everyone in the university with the exception of students who are covered by the honor code. 

 

Question 3:  Was this update in policy undertaken in response to concerns? 

 

Response, Chair of Senate Slayden:  The university had to be in compliance with federal requirements which acted as impetus for these changes. 

 

Response, Vice-President Kluger: (Federal requirements) were a major force.  Secondarily, current policy was a little vague and there was some (need) to protect the rights of both accuser and accused. 

Response: Chair of Senate Slayden:  Attorneys Barry Stevens and Tom Moncure sat in on discussion.

 

Statement by Lloyd Cohen, Senator from SOL:* First, as a general matter, the report is long on procedure and short on substance. I understand some virtue in that regard in that one wants procedure to be invariant and clear, while substance must flexible to cover various wrongs. This is acceptable when there is a well understood and shared consensus within the university community. That is not the case here. Wrongs that some of us see as serious and calling for termination are treated as minor miscues.  I think what is required is a more clear statement on the substance to the effect that this is the policy is addressing allegations of the most serious academic malfeasance and that careful procedures are put in place because the consequences of the finding of the commission of such a wrong will generally be dire.  Now on to specifics:
1. At two separate points in the draft there is discretion provided to the inquiring body to inform the complainant of the outcome of the inquiry. There may be reasons why in a small set of particular cases that the complainant should not be notified--I can't think of any offhand--but the general rule should be that the complainant is informed immediately upon the determination of a result.

*  The Senator responded to a written request for wording for inclusion in the minutes consistent with his statement at the meeting



2. More generally, nothing is mentioned about publicizing the result of the procedure. I think that the default rule--virtually universally applied--should be open publication in the university community of any determination. Especially when there is a finding of misconduct, the administration should be required to present there determination of punishment up to the university community for scrutiny.

3. At one point in the document there is reference to "practices of the relevant research community."  This should be clarified to make clear that this added criterion may not lower the standard of accepted conduct, only raise it. That is, a finding that plagiarism is standard practice in let us say nursing does not make that acceptable behavior in our nursing school.

4. Most importantly there is no mention of the range of punishments. I think that there should be some clearer statement of how seriously a major breach of the canons of conduct will be taken. I would like to see something to the effect that the standard punishment for a major breach of the canons, such as an unambiguous act of fraud or major intentional plagiarism will be termination of employment for faculty and something comparable for students."

…I offered the following amendment suggested by my colleague Jeff Parker.

"At the end of the second paragraph of Part I ("Scope"), strike the
 period, and add the following: ";/Provided, however,/ that nothing in
 this Policy shall be construed to modify or reduce the substantive  or
 procedural rights of any faculty member under the University's
 Faculty Handbook (1994 ed.)."

 

Response, Vice-President Kluger:  I’m not sure this document could list punishments.  The Faculty Handbook (FH) listed up to level of egregious misconduct …firing and others feed into established procedures in FH.  The Committee worked hard to keep proceedings confidential and to protect the accused from severe damage to reputation if an accusation is frivolous.  If a person investigated wants to have it publicized, he/she may do so following exhaustion of the appeals process.

 

Comment, Provost Stearns: Endorsed the spirit of Kluger remarks.  He assumes we would all agree there are some violations of conduct which merit extraordinary punishment which may not work for gray areas. 

 

Follow-up, SOL Senator:  Some Law School faculty are concerned with procedures and are concerned that nothing in this document should be seen as arrogation of the Faculty Handbook as the fundamental contractual document.

 

Question:  Did the committee look at Faculty Handbook re due process?  Were there any inconsistencies?

 

Response, Chair of Senate: Grievance procedure with lack of due process in FH. 

 

Discussion of an amendment to the policy yielded the following text (noted in bold).

 

At the end of the second paragraph of Part I (“Scope”), strike the period, and add the following: “;/Provided, however,/ that nothing in this Policy shall be construed to modify or reduce the substantive or procedural rights of any faculty member under the University’s current Faculty Handbook.”

 

The motion to amend was approved.

 

The motion as amended was approved. 

 

VII.     Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

A Senator applauded whoever is in charge of landscaping for their fine work over the summer.

 

Faculty are encouraged to join the Faculty Arts Board which meets for dinner and discussion before four

performances at the Center for the Arts

 

A question was raised asking how to find information about which universities now constitute GMU’s

new peer group.

 

VIII.    Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 3:57 p.m., followed by brief organizational meetings

of the Senate Standing Committees.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Trencher

Secretary

 

 

 


 

Attachment A

 

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

OFFICE OF THE FACULTY SENATE

 MEETING SCHEDULE

FOR AY 2007-2008

 

 

All Faculty Senate meetings take place on Wednesday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in Robinson Hall, rm. B113

 

 

September 5, 2007

 

 

October 10, 2007

 

 

November 7, 2007

 

 

November 28, 2007

President Merten to address Faculty Senate

 

 

January 23, 2008

 

 

February 13, 2008

 

 

March 5, 2008

 

 

April 2, 2008

President Merten to address Faculty Senate

 

 

April 30, 2008

 

 

May 7, 2008

(if necessary)