GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

September 3, 2008

Robinson Hall B113, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

 

Senators Present:  Ernest Barreto, Sheryl Beach, Kristine Bell, Jim Bennett, Alok Berry, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Lorraine Brown, Phil Buchanan, Frieda Butler, Rick Coffinberger, Jose Cortina, Nada Dabbagh, Sharon deMonsabert, Yvonne Demory, Betsy DeMulder, Penelope Earley, Frances Harbour, Allison Hayward, Mark Houck, Allen Hughes, David Kuebrich, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Janette Muir, Star Muir, Peter Pober, Jane Razeghi, Larry Rockwood, Pierre Rodgers, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Scott, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, June Tangney, Tojo Thatchenkery, Susan Trencher, Nigel Waters, Harry Wechsler, Peter Winant, Michael Wolf-Branigin, Stanley Zoltek* *(by teleconference phone).

 

Senators Absent:  David Anderson, Rei Berroa, Jack Censer, Vikas Chandhoke, Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Sara Cobb, Lloyd Cohen, Rutledge Dennis, Jeffrey Gorrell, Lloyd Griffiths, Kingsley Haynes, Richard Klimoski, Howard Kurtz, Alan Merten, Daniel Polsby, William Reeder, Joseph Scimecca, Ray Sommer, Shirley Travis, Iosif Vaisman, John Zenelis.

 

Visitors Present:  Kevin Avruch, Professor, ICAR; Tim Born, Associate Professor, COS; Keith Bushey, Assistant Vice President for Special Projects; Eileen Chandhoke, University Libraries – Librarians' Council;  Pat Donini, Director, Employee Relations; Human Resources and Payroll; Esther Elstun, Professor Emerita, Modern and Classical Languages; Karen Gentemann, Associate Provost, Institutional Assessment; Kathy Gillette, Director, Classroom Technologies, DOIT; Dolores Gomez-Roman, Student Ombudsman; Linda Harber, Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Payroll; Marcelle Heerschap, Dean, Student Academic Affairs and Advising;  Robin Herron, Media and Public Relations; Susan Jones, University Registrar; Jennifer Korjus, Director, Learning Support Services, DOIT; Denise Napoliello, Program Coordinator, Robinson Professors, (Staff Senate); John O'Connor, Director, Higher Education Program.

 

I.          Call to Order – The meeting was called to order at 3:04 p.m by the Chair, Suzanne Slayden.

 

II.        Approval of the Minutes of April 30, 2008 – The minutes were approved as distributed.

 

III.       Announcements

 

Chair Suzanne Slayden welcomed nine new Senators:  Nada Dabbagh, Betsy DeMulder, and Pierre Rodgers from the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD); Frances Harbour and Suzanne Scott from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS); Nigel Waters from the College of Science (COS); Harry Wechsler from the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering (VITE); Yvonne Demory and Allen Hughes from the School of Management (SOM); and Claudio Cioffi-Revilla as the new Senator from the Krasnow Institute.   She also welcomed three former Senators who have returned:  Star Muir and Peter Pober of CHSS and Tojo Thatchenkery of the School of Public Policy (SPP).

 

The newly appointed Senate officers are:  Peter Pober, Chairman pro tem; Larry Rockwood returning as Sergeant-at-Arms, and Allison Hayward, returning as Parliamentarian. 

 

Faculty are reminded to sign in at the back of the room and visitors are also welcome to sign in if they wish to appear in the Faculty Senate minutes.  At the new Senator orientation last month, the question was raised (which is paraphrased here as):  “What has the Faculty Senate done for faculty lately?”  Displaying the main page of the Faculty Senate website (http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/ ) a list of recent Senate actions was referenced, including revision of tenure clock stoppage policies; one of which began at grassroots level to address policies as they apply to new parents. Last spring the Board of Visitors designated the chair of the Faculty Senate as a non-voting representative to the full Board.  A misunderstanding about payment schedules for 9 month and 12 month faculty was worked out; 9 month faculty may now choose which schedule they prefer, (a change from recent past practice).  Senators were asked to take this message regarding accomplishments out to their units.

 

Two Senate meetings have been scheduled for September; one additional meeting has been scheduled at the end of the fall and spring terms if needed.  Should it become necessary to cancel a regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meeting, the clerk will send a meeting announcement notice for the following week.  The report of the Tuition Task Force has been posted on the Faculty Senate website.  Karen Hallows represented the Senate on the Task Force.   Provost Stearns and Senior Vice President Morrie Scherrens will make a presentation on the budget at our next meeting (September 24, 2008).

              

IV.       Unfinished Business

               None

 

V.        New Business - Committee Reports

 

               A.  Senate Standing Committees

 

Executive Committee – no report.

                                                                                                                    

Academic Policies – no report.                                                                    

 

Budget & Resources – no report.

 

Faculty Matters – no report.

 

Nominations – Jim Bennett, Chair

 

Professor Bennett stated that a new Senator, who the Nominations Committee had planned to nominate for a Senate Standing Committee, had been ruled ineligible by the Chair of the Faculty Senate to serve as a Senator. He moved to appeal the decision of the chair. 

 

Professor Slayden stated the Chair of the Faculty Senate is responsible for certifying the eligibility of candidates elected to  membership in the Faculty Senate.  Announcements are received from the respective colleges/schools/institutes in response to a letter sent from the Chair of the Organization and Operations Committee (O&O) in early spring informing each college/school/institute of its allocation of Faculty Senators, based on the number of instructional faculty/FTE per unit.  A person who was elected by CHSS is not eligible for membership as she holds an administrative faculty appointment, citing Article I, Section C of the Senate charter.  Upon reaching this decision, the Chair met with Professor Lorraine Brown, Chair of the O&O Committee, and a letter was prepared and sent to the Chair of the CHSS Faculty, (then Rex Wade, now John O'Connor) informing them of this decision (June 11, 2008).  The administrative faculty member elected as Senator was copied on the letter.

 

C. Qualifications of Elected Senators

Elected Senators shall be members of the constituent Faculties they represent. A faculty member is eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate if the faculty member holds

1. A full-time tenured or probationary appointment in the rank of Instructor or above with at least one year's full-time service at George Mason University; or

2. A restricted-term full-time instructional appointment in the rank of Instructor or above with at least one academic year of continuous full-time service at George Mason University; or

3. A part-time instructional appointment in the rank of Adjunct Instructor or above, with at least one academic year of continuous service, and if the faculty member has completed as least two (2.0) Full Time Equivalents in appointments at George Mason University.

The minimal service qualifications may be waived for emerging collegiate units so that the full Faculty Senate membership quota may be met. Faculty members studying for a degree at the University are ineligible to serve on the Faculty Senate.

In Sections (2) and (3); added later than Section (1), “instructional” is inserted in front of the other types of faculty eligible to serve because some of these faculty are also classified as “research”.  In Section (1), full time tenured and probationary faculty was interpreted to include “instructional” consistent with the faculty offer letters posted on the Provost’s Website, (http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/offer-letter/intro.html ); specifically Full-Time Instructional -- Tenure Track/Probationary Appointment  and Full-Time Instructional -- Tenured/without Term Appointment.  The chair added that it had not been necessary to include “instructional” in Section (1) because when the Charter was written, almost all faculty had full-time tenured or probationary appointments. The new Faculty Handbook will explicitly recognize “instructional” in conjunction with these appointments, as the Provost’s letters now do.  In the past there have been resignations among Senators whose appointments changed from instructional to administrative faculty. When faculty examine the current and revised Faculty Handbook, administrators are designated as deans for appeal procedures, compatible with interpretation. 

 

Professor Bennett responded with these points:

l        The CHSS election was held; no one objected to nomination of this person who has served for fourteen years as an academic dean, who has tenure in a department, and who has voluntarily taught many classes over the years while a Dean.

l        The O&O Committee prepares the allocation of Faculty Senate seats among the schools based on the number of instructional faculty; it but does not say who is in the Faculty Senate; two separate issues.

l        The Secretary of the Faculty Senate is specifically charged to maintain membership records and was not informed of this.

l        The candidate has resigned her dean appointment since the election; a search for a replacement is underway. 

l        There is another Faculty Senator currently in office who holds the title “assistant dean”.

 

In conclusion, Professor Bennett noted that the chair may say that the current charter is not as well-worded as it should be; (but) the charter says what it says and on that basis he appeals the decision of the chair.

 

Many Senators contributed to the following discussion. There are two separate issues here. One is how to deal with this specific situation and the other is what to do with the perceived ambiguity of the Charter language. Several Senators said the Charter’s intent concerning eligibility was clear; several other Senators said it was ambiguous or that “the document says what it says” (the plain meaning rules). There are issues with the charter across the board, including gender issues.

 

It was noted that 13 faculty with administrative appointments now serve in an ex officio capacity in the Faculty Senate. If the Charter is amended as to language of faculty eligibility, these non-instructional faculty should not be included in membership. Alternatively, the Faculty Senate should be renamed the “University Senate”.

 

We do not want to discourage any faculty from serving in the Senate. The candidate should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to serve.

 

One Senator encouraged a compromise: that for this semester the Dean not serve in the Senate, but in the Spring semester, when eligibility is not in question, assume the seat. CHSS could elect a temporary replacement for her in the fall semester.

 

 

Professor John O'Connor, new Chair of the CHSS faculty, provided some background.   When ballots were distributed, a number of faculty contacted the former chair of the CHSS faculty at that time to object to the candidate filling this role.  They hoped she would not be elected, so that the issue of eligibility would not need to be addressed. In a field of nine candidates, six were elected.  There were delays in communication between the incoming and outgoing chairs of the CHSS faculty. Later in the summer, the dean resigned and so apparently the question was moot. The departure is now planned for December instead of August.

 

Under parliamentary rules, the Chair offered a closing statement:  the plain intent in the Charter is to require instructional, not an administrative, appointment.  In the revised Faculty Handbook “instructional” will appear and so shows what is commonly understood.  This issue is about the position, not the person.  The Charter specifies apportionment of Senators according to the number of instructional faculty and so it could be presumed that the elected membership comes from the same pool.  It is unfortunate that there was so little communication during the summer among those affected.  A faculty Senator previously referenced with the title of assistant dean is classified as a 9 month instructional faculty member and serves in this sense.

 

After a request for a written ballot, the question

 

Shall the decision of the chair be sustained? was voted on.  The chair clarified the meaning of the votes:

 

Yes – to have determined ineligibility

No - not to have determined eligibility

 

The vote was Yes – 15, No – 20, and the decision of the chair was not sustained.

 

In response to a question raised on requirements to amend the charter, the chair responded that a meeting of 10% of the General Faculty must take place.

 

Organization & Operations – no report.

 

 

VI.       Other New Business

 

A.  Elections

 

Election of the Secretary of the Senate:  David Kuebrich was elected unanimously by voice vote.

 

Election of Members of Senate Standing Committees

 

ACADEMIC POLICIES COMMITTEE:

Continuing Members:  Janette Muir, Michael Wolf-Branigin

Nominees:  Jose Cortina, Frances Harbour, Harry Wechsler

 

BUDGET AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE:

Continuing Members:  Phil Buchanan, Rick Coffinberger

Nominees:  Yvonne Demory, June Tangney, Tojo Thatchenkery

 

FACULTY MATTERS COMMITTEE:

Continuing Members:  Alok Berry, Frieda Butler, Dave Kuebrich, Larry Rockwood

Nominees:  Jim Sanford

 

 

ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE:

Continuing Members:  Ernest Barreto

Nominees:  Mark Houck, Jean Moore, Star Muir, Susan Trencher

 

NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: 

Continuing Members:  Jim Bennett, Peter Winant

Nominees:  Must come from the Senate floor.  Rutledge Dennis, Linda Monson, and Pierre Rodgers were nominated from the floor.  The nominations were accepted. 

 

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

Election of Members of University Committees

(Nominees appearing in BOLD type are Faculty Senators)

 

ACADEMIC APPEALS COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Flavia Colonna (COS), Michael Hurley (CHSS- Provost appointee), Walter Morris (COS), Michael Naor (SOM), Bob Pasnak (CHSS)

Nominees:  Kristine Bell (VITE)

 

ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Frieda Butler (CHHS), James Carroll (CVPA), Peter Pober (CHSS), Eddie Tallent (Associate Dean/Executive Director of Admissions - Dean of Admissions appointee)

Nominees:  Bob Ehrlich (COS), Marion Deshmukh (CHSS)

 

ATHLETIC COUNCIL

Continuing Members:  Linda Miller (Faculty Athletic Representative - Chair), Robert E. Baker (CEHD), Sharon deMonsabert (VITE)

Nominee:  Alok Berry (VITE)

 

EFFECTIVE TEACHING COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Karen Hallows (SOM), Giuseppina Kysar (COS), Lynne Schrum (CEHD), Melanie Szulczewski (CHSS – NCC)

Nominees:  Ramon Planas (CHSS), Suzanne Scott (CHSS)

 

EXTERNAL ACADEMIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Michelle Marks (SOM – Provost appointee), Peter Pober (CHSS), John Riskind (CHSS)

Nominees:  Deborah Boehm-Davis (CHSS), Nada Dabbagh (CEHD)

 

GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Rick Davis (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education – Chair), Don Boileau (CHSS), Kim Eby (Associate Provost for Education Programs - Provost appointee), Douglas Eyman (CHSS), John Kulesza (COS), R. Clare Snyder (CHSS), Hugh Sockett (CHSS), Karen Studdd (CVPA), Cliff Sutton (VITE – Provost appointee)

Nominees:  Kamaljeet Sanghera (VITE), Carol Urban (CHHS), Peter Winant (CVPA)

 

GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE

Continuing Member:  Howard Kurtz (CVPA)

Nominees:  James Maddux (CHSS), Robert Johnston (SOM), Walter Morris (COS), Elavie Ndura (CEHD)

 

MINORITY AND DIVERSITY ISSUES COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  David Anderson (CEHD), Heibatollah Baghi (CHHS), Raja Parasuraman (CHSS)

Nominees:  Michael Naor (SOM), Halaevalu Vakalahi (CHHS)

 

NON-TRADITIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY, AND ADULT LEARNING

Continuing Members:  Penelope Earley (CEHD), Steve Ruth (SPP), Linda Samuels (SOM)

Nominees:  Rachel Bergman (CVPA), Prosenjit Mazumdar (SOM)

 

SALARY EQUITY STUDY COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Karen Hallows (SOM - Provost appointee), Carol Urban (CHHS)

Nominees:  Alok Berry (VITE), John Crockett (SOM), Susan Denham (CHSS)

 

TECHNOLOGY POLICY COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Star Muir (CHSS), Paula Petrik (CHSS), Goodlet McDaniel (CHHS – Provost appointee)

Nominees:  Melissa Martin (SOM), Kamaljeet Sanghera (VITE), Lynne Schrum (CEHD), Stan Zoltek (COS)

 

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

Continuing Members:  Tom Owens (CVPA), Ellen Rodgers (CEHD), Terry Zawacki (Director, WAC Program – ex officio)

Nominees:  Ben Carton (CHSS), Sue Durham (CHHS), Aimee Flannery (VITE), Anne Magro (SOM)

 

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

 

Election of other Faculty Representatives

Faculty Senate Representative to the Faculty Senate of Virginia: Nominee:  Penelope Earley (CEHD) was elected unanimously.

Faculty Senate Representative to the Student Space and Services Advisory Committee: Nominee:  Jane Razeghi (CEHD) was elected unanimously.                                                 

 

B. Motion to approve the proposed University Policy on Ownership and Maintenance of Research Records

A motion was made and seconded to approve the policy.

Discussion: 

Professor Sheryl Beach served as Faculty Senate representative to the Task Force on Ownership and Retention of Research Records.  She stated that a policy already exists at state level – the committee used a University of VA model - we can alter it but basically there areexisting state and federal laws that the university must comply with and this policy addresses.

Several Senators expressed concerns with the policy. Some of these issues involved Human Subjects privacy, federal requirements to burn interviews with vulnerable populations, original records definitions and faculty rights to data, etc.  
 

On voice vote, the motion to approve did not pass.

The policy will be sent back to the committee to request answers to the Senators’ questions.  Faculty should send questions and comments to Professor Sheryl Beach. 

VII.  Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 4:17 p.m.  Members of Senate Standing Committees are asked to meet briefly to elect a chair.

Respectfully submitted,

David Kuebrich

Secretary