GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE

APRIL 27, 2011

Robinson Hall B113,  3:00  - 4:15 p.m.

 

Senators Present:  Heibatollah Baghi, Ernest Barreto, Sheryl Beach, Jim Bennett, Alok Berry, Doris Bitler, John Cantiello, Vikas Chandhoke, Rick Coffinberger, Maggie Daniels, Nicole Darnall, Betsy DeMulder, Robert Dudley, Kelly Dunne, Daniel Garrison, Jack Goldstone, Susan Hirsch, Margret Hjalmarson, Mark Houck, Dan Joyce, David Kuebrich, Howard Kurtz, Linda Monson, Jean Moore, Adam Mossoff, Janette Muir, Star Muir, Paula Petrik, Frank Philpot, Peter Pober, Earle Reybold, Jim Sanford, Joe Scimecca, Suzanne Scott, Suzanne Slayden, Peter Stearns, June Tangney, Susan Trencher, Nigel Waters, Phil Wiest, Stanley Zoltek.

 

Senators Absent:  Jack Censer, Lloyd Cohen, Jose Cortina, Yvonne Demory, Mark Ginsberg, Lloyd Griffiths, Jorge Haddock, Frances Harbour, Dimitrios Ioannou, Alan Merten, James Olds, Daniel Polsby, William Reeder, Edward Rhodes, Pierre Rodgers, Ray Sommer, Thomas Speller, Eva Thorp, Shirley Travis, Iosif Vaisman, Harry Wechsler, John Zenelis.

 

Visitors Present:  Deborah Boehm-Davis, Chair, Psychology Dept.; Rick Davis, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education; Pat Donini, Deputy Director/Employee Relations Director, Human Resources; Kim Eby, Associate Provost, Faculty Development and Director, Center for Teaching Excellence; Esther Elstun, Professor Emerita, Modern and Classical Languages; Linda Harber, Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Payroll; Reuben Jones, Academics Editor, Connect2Mason.com; Susan Jones, University Registrar; Sharon Pitt, Executive Director, DOIT;  Linda Schwartzstein, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs/Vice President, Enrollment Services; Joy Taylor, Director, Learning Support Services, DoIT.

 

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

 

II.       Announcements

Chair Peter Pober welcomed Dean Vikas Chandhoke of the College of Science.  Dean Chandhoke thanked the Senate and reported on this year in the College of Science. The College enrolled the largest freshman class, meeting their enrollment target. Enrollment growth was due to increased student  interest and to the introduction of two new graduate programs.  The George-Squared Program has begun in collaboration with Georgetown University.  We offer a new BS in Forensic Science and another joint masters program in Biomedical Science.  Research is going on the right track.  Uncertainty over budgets for federal agencies and associated grants continues.  A major change has been the reduction in the college from 9 to 7 units. Facilities planning is ongoing. Next year a new Research Lab with 75,000 square feet  and 140 unit graduate student housing will open in Prince William.  On the Fairfax campus the telescope for the observatory in Research I has arrived.  We hope to open in summer/early fall to students and the community.  For next year, acknowledging the efforts of Governor McDonnell and Provost Stearns, new STEM funding is in place, for recruitment and retention of science majors.  There is a new platform for engaging students in on-time graduation.  We are currently recruiting for a new program director.

 

III.       Unfinished Business and General Orders

General Education – Professor Rick Davis, Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education  noted a report on the agenda today from the General Education Committee.  Professor Davis highlighted a few things:  advancing the mission of liberal arts rubric of Jefferson/Mason – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Gen Ed program has been invited to Orientation to speak to every incoming group of parents (20 minutes) and students (20 minutes) to make clear what a college education  is all about, not just vocational preparation, but life.  We have good data about the number of different career paths our graduates will take.  Persuasive to parents as students prepare for 5-10 different careers, resonates strongly not to get 5-10 different degrees.  Over time, the program is building a bottom-up cultural  awareness of liberal arts as a core value of the university.   

Assessment process continues.  Faculty led workships for 7 of 11 areas, 6 of 7 are completed.  Science assessments are under review.  General Findings very persuasive to SACS, no comments, suggestions, or recommendations were made.  Value of much of work in General Ed. program validated by  facts of student work.  One consistent finding is that of liberal arts/general education as  medium/weak.  Students are not made aware in General Ed classroom of broader range.  There is a grand design underlying design for the liberal arts themselves. Professor Davis emphasized the importance of making these connections. He ended by asking for comments/questions.

Re-Election of Peter Pober as Chair of Faculty Senate AY 2011-2012  Election of Faculty Senate Chair 2011-12:  Chair Peter Pober stepped aside and turned over the meeting to Suzanne Slayden, chair pro tempore.  Peter Pober was nominated to serve as chair of the Faculty Senate.  The nomination was seconded and no further nominations were made.  A unanimous ballot was cast to re-elect Peter Pober as chair of the Faculty Senate. 

Chair Pober announced the recent death of  Visitor William Soza who had contributed his time and financial support to GMU and was a valued supporter of the university , its programs and people. Visitor Soza had a clear dedication to the university, and always displayed.integrity in his dealing with students, faculty, and staff. 

Provost Peter Stearns noted the recent coverage of developments at GMU in the Washington Post. In his view the coverge was perturbing and irresponsible and that contrary to these articles,  GMU is well-positioned to undertake leadership transitions and  is in general well-positioned.

IV.       New Business - Committee Reports

A.  Senate Standing Committees

Executive Committee –Chair Peter Pober thanked the members of the Executive Committee for their leadership and hard work.

Academic Policies – Janette Muir, Chair

Three Year Calendar with tentative 4th year:  The academic calendar for 2010-12  is already approved.  A motion was made and seconded  to approve the Fall 2013-14 calendar proposed below.  The Committee decided not to revise spring scheduling despite compelling reasons, as posted on the Faculty Senate website:  http://www.gmu.edu/resources/facstaff/senate/Responses_to_Academic_Calendar_changes.htm .


 

George Mason University  Three Year Calendar – with tentative 4th year  (SHJ 7.27.10) 

FALL SEMESTER

Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Fall 2013

 (tentative 4th year)

First day of classes

Mon Aug 30

Mon Aug 29

Mon Aug 27

Mon Aug 26

Labor Day (University closed)

Mon Sept 6

Mon Sept 5

Mon Sept 3

Mon Sept 2

Last Day to Add (Census)

Tues Sept 14       

Tues Sept 6 *

Tues Sept 5 *     

Tues Sept 4

Last Day to Drop

Fri Oct 1

Fri Sept 30

Fri Sept 28

Fri Sept 27

Saturday Classes in session

Sat Oct 9

Sat Oct 8

Sat Oct 6

Sat Oct 5

Columbus Day Recess

Mon Oct 11

Mon Oct 10

Mon Oct 8

Mon Oct 7

Mon classes meet instead of Tues classes this day only

Tues Oct 12

Tues Oct 11

Tues Oct 9

Tues Oct 8

Mid-term evaluation period for full-semester 100-200 level classes

Mon Sept 27 –
Fri Oct 22

Mon Sept 26 –
Fri Oct 21

Mon Sept 24 -
Fri Oct 19

Mon Sept 23 -
Fri Oct 18

Selective Withdrawal Period – undergraduate

Mon Oct 4 – Fri Oct 29

Mon Oct 3 – Fri Oct 28

Mon Oct 1 – Fri Oct 26

Mon Sept 30 – Fri Oct 25

Thanksgiving (No classes Wed; Recess Thurs - Sun)

Wed Nov 24 -

Sun Nov 28

Wed Nov 23 -

Sun Nov 27

Wed Nov 21 –

Sun Nov 25

Wed Nov 20 –

Sun Nov 24

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline

Fri Dec 10

Fri Dec 9

Fri Dec 7

Fri Dec 6

Last Day of Class

Sat Dec 11

Sat Dec 10

Sat Dec 8

Sat Dec 7

Reading Day(s)

Mon Dec 13

Mon Dec 12

Mon Dec 10 – Tues Dec 11, 4:30 pm

Mon Dec 9 –

Tues Dec 10, 4:30 pm

Examination Period

Tues Dec 14, 7:30 am – Tues Dec 21, 10:15 pm

Tues Dec 13, 7:30 am – Tues Dec 20, 10:15 pm

Tues Dec 11, 4:30 pm – Wed Dec 19, 10:15 pm

Tues Dec 10, 4:30 pm – Wed Dec 18, 10:15 pm

Winter Degree Date

(2nd Sat before classes)

Sat Jan 15, 2011

Sat Jan 14, 2012

Sat, Jan 12, 2013

Sat, Jan 11, 2014

SPRING SEMESTER

Spring 2011

Spring 2012

Spring 2013

Spring 2014

January 1 Day of Week

Saturday

Sunday

Tuesday

Wednesday

MLK Day - (no classes)

Mon Jan 17

Mon Jan 16

Mon Jan 21

Mon Jan 20

First Day of Spring Classes

Mon Jan 24

Mon Jan 23

Tues Jan 22

Tues Jan 21

Last Day to Add (Census)

Tues Feb 8          

Tues Jan 31 *

Tues Jan 29 *         

Tues Jan 28         

Last Day to Drop

Fri Feb 25

Fri Feb 24

Fri Feb 22

Fri Feb 21

Saturday Classes in session

 Sat Mar 12

Sat Mar 10

Sat Mar 9

Sat Mar 8

Spring Recess

Mon Mar 14 -Sun Mar 20

Mon Mar 12 - Sun Mar 18

Mon Mar 11 – Sun Mar 17

Mon Mar 10 – Sun Mar 16

Mid-term evaluation period for full- semester 100-200 level classes

Mon Feb 21 –
Fri Mar 25

Mon Feb 20 -
Fri Mar 23

Mon Feb 18 -
 Fri Mar 22

Mon Feb 17 -
 Fri Mar 21

Selective Withdrawal Period – undergraduate

Mon Feb 28 – Fri Apr 1

Mon Feb 27 – Fri Mar 30

Mon Feb 25 – Fri Mar 29

Mon Feb 24 – Fri Mar 28

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline

Fri May 6

Fri May 4

Fri May 3

Fri May 2

Last Day of Class

Sat May 7

 Sat May 5

Mon May 6

Mon May 5

Reading Day(s)

Mon & Tues May  9 & 10

Mon & Tues May 7 & 8

Tues May 7

Tues May 6

Examination Period

Wed May 11, 7:30 am - Wed May 18, 10:15 pm

Wed May 9, 7:30 am - Wed May 16, 10:15 pm

Wed May 8, 7:30 am – Wed May 15, 10:15 pm

Wed May 7, 7:30 am – Wed May 14, 10:15 pm

Commencement

Sat May 21

Sat May 19

Sat May 18

Sat May 17

Summer Term Dates

Mon May 23 – Fri Aug 12

Mon May 21 – Fri Aug 10

Mon May 20 – Fri Aug 9

Mon May 19 – Fri Aug 8

 

Approved by Faculty Senate:  October 22, 2008             * Change to Last Day to Add approved by Faculty Senate:  March 3, 2010

The motion was approved.

Budget & Resources – June Tangney, Chair

There is not much to report at this time.  We continue to attend Budget and Planning Team Meetings.  We are still working on obtaining data for a draft report on Summer Salaries.

 

Faculty Matters – Doris Bitler, Chair

Please fill out the Faculty Evaluation of Administrators survey if you have not done so already.  Please respond early if not often.

 

Nominations – Jim Bennett

Carrie Meyer (ECON – CHHS) was nominated (and elected) to the Fenwick Fellows Review Committee.

 

Organization & Operations – Star Muir, Chair

Our annual report will be posted on the Faculty Senate website.  There were thirty issues this year, five ongoing into next year.  A number of resolutions went forward, and the committee also  investigated the possibility of amending the charter.  On the latter issue the Committee determined that the Charter as currently set out does not impede current functions of the Faculty Senate.  Small discrepancies in changed use of terms e.g. older  “probationary appointment” and current “tenure-track” usage were noted, but did not warrant Charter changes  We anticipate that Senate elections will be completed by the first week of May.  

Chair Pober suggested for next year that we encourage units to try to do elections a little earlier, to get a jump-start on committee work before the summer, suggesting a deadline of April 15th .

 

B.     Other Committees

Report from the Faculty Senate Task Force to Examine Agreements between GMU and Private Donors – David Kuebrich, Chair ( See discussion below followed by formal report.)

 

The Task Force was busy with two types of actions: 1) Self education re contractual guidelines so private donors do not intrude into research; primarily looking at guidelines from the AAUP Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom, itself currently working on issues we’re addresssing.  There is concern re private donations improperly influencing faculty. For instance: Cornell University tried to develop Life Science alliances with corporations and also tried to create a process to guarantee academic freedom -2- The committee is seeking information about agreements in place here at GMU.  The Koch Charitable Foundation has relationships with the Economics Department and the Mercatus Center.  The deLaski Foundation funds the Center for Consciousness and Transformation.


We have encountered two setbacks so far.  Mark Broderick (Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs) says these agreements are confidential and not subject to FOIA; (expressly stated in the Virginia Code).  An inquiry was sent asking what units are funded by  private donors, but no answer received to date.    Without this information, faculty cannot perform its task of protecting academic freedom.  Professor Kuebrich noted Professors Esther Elstun and Earle Reybold, members of the committee, as present today.

 

Senator question:  Will you include government funded research as well?

Professor Kuebrich: Our full report might suggest future directions to take, and wishes to discuss this further with you.  It is not part of our charge at this time.

Committee Member Elstun  If it is to be added to the charge of the Task Force, the Faculty Senate will have to add it. 

Senator Question: Is donor confidentiality also practiced beyond Virginia, in other states?

Professor Kuebrich:  The Task Force contacted Cornell and UCLA, whch have centers for Labor Studies.  There are parallels, they have a lot of confidentiality.

Committee Member Earle Reybold question: Is there an agreement between the University and the Foundation, such that the agreements are between the donors and the Foundation, not GMU?

Senator Comment:  UCLA had a problem, had to turn money down, but does not think Foundation was issue.

Committee Member Elstun: The University Counsel sent the Task Force the Section numbers of the Code of Virginia and we will certainly examine those sections of the code.  It was not  her impression that the languages was as explicit as we were led to believe.

 

Report from the Faculty Senate Task Force to Examine Agreements between GMU and Private Donors    Members: Bob Ehrlich, Esther Elstun, Dave Kuebrich (chair), Earle Reybold, Rich Rubenstein, and Matt Zingraff (ex officio)

Since its creation (February 9, 2011), the Task Force has met four times, and it will likely meet two more times this semester.  Two of its meetings have been intra-committee; one has been with Marc Broderick, VP of Development and Alumni Affairs, at which we discussed the process by which gifts are sought and approved; and one with Associate Dean Nance Lucas, to discuss the relationship between the Center for Consciousness and Transformation and the de Laski Family, which is its primary benefactor. On April 28, the Committee will have a similar meeting with the Mercatus Center’s Tyler Cowen (General Director) and Brian Hooks (Chief Operating Office) and Daniel Houser (Chair, Economics) to discuss these units relationship to the Koch, Charitable Foundation.

 

In addition to these meetings, the Task Force has also been in communication with the AAUP National Office as well as with faculty at the University of North Carolina, Cornell University, and the University of California—Los Angeles.

 

All of Task Force’s meetings and communications with external parties have proven productive.  However, a major obstacle has been the Foundation’s refusal to give the Task Force access to donor agreements. Marc Broderick has informed us that these are confidential, that this is explicitly stated in the Virginia Code, that these agreements are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and that all VA public colleges and universities keep these agreements confidential. Subsequently, in response to our request, University Counsel Thomas M. Moncure, Jr., has provided the Task Force with citations to relevant parts of the Virginia Code.  The Task Force plans to pursue this issue further.  Among other possible steps, the Task Force may ask to review only those parts of the agreements, if any, that specifically pertain to teaching, curriculum and research. 

 

The Task Force is willing to (in fact, it expects to) present a more extensive preliminary report to the Senate at its May meeting. And it will make a final report early in the Fall Semester.  David Kuebrich

 

C.    Other Committees:  Annual Reports                                              

 

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE FACULTY SENATE STANDING COMMITTEES 2010-11:  The Senate voted to accept the reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees.  The report of the Organization and Operations Committee will be posted on the Senate website.

 

1.  ACADEMIC POLICIES – Janette Muir (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Sheryl Beach (COS), Jose Cortina (CHSS), Fran Harbour (CHSS), Harry Wechsler (VSE)

 

Academic Policies – 2010-2011

During the 2010-2011 academic year the Academic Policies committee focused a great deal on information gathering rather than on bringing issues to the Senate for debate. Below summarizes the issues brought to the Senate, as well as on-going work the committee is currently addressing.

1)Addition to Catalog regarding Final Exams

Motion passed that approved addition after section on absences, pg. 36

Added: Students who have more than one examination scheduled at the same time or more than two examinations scheduled on the same day should consult their instructors to explore whether they can make other arrangements.

2)Change inCatalog Requirements for Degrees

Motion passed to change the catalog copy to address major and minor degrees listed under different catalogs. The change was made to allow Bachelor’s degree candidates to choose to graduate under the terms of any catalog in effect during their enrollment in degree status.

Additional issues that the committee has reviewed this year:

1.      Change to Spring Academic Calendar – data has been gathered and reviewed regarding this issue. While some faculty and students are interested in having more time at the end of the spring semester, the compelling evidence provided by international programs, CVPA, the Degree Compliance Office, and other units support keeping the status quo.  After reviewing the pros and cons of changing the calendar, the committee has voted to NOT change the spring academic calendar at this time.

2.      Non-traditional credits brought into Mason – discussion continues regarding all credit that Mason allows students to bring in and the potential challenges the University faces with this credit.  More discussion will continue on this issue with the goal to provide some limitations/guidelines on the total amount students might be allowed to have on their transcript. This topic is particularly relevant in light of Mason’s commitment to a Governor’s School in Prince William County.

3.      Honor Code changes – the AP committee is in the process of determining what, if any, role faculty might play in revising the Honor Code by-laws. This issue comes from faculty who are concerned about some of the Honor Code language and faculty expectations with the process.

4.      Cross-listing issues – some concerns have been brought to the committee regarding challenges one department is having with cross-listing honors students in a senior level class. Based on feedback from the Registrar’s Office, the recommendation has been made for the department to deal directly with that office regarding the issue.

5.      AP Representation on the Graduate Council – concern was raised this year that the Graduate Council acts as an independent governing body, outside of the Faculty Senate. The question was where, in the formal structure, is there a role for the AP committee. Through consultation with the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, the decision was made to have an AP member sit on the Council and that, on occasion, the Assoc Provost will make a presentation to the AP committee.

6.      Guidelines for 100, 200, 300, 400-level classes – based on discussions with Academic Deans, it seems a useful exercise to develop guidelines on what denotes different academic levels. This is an issue that we will explore more during the next academic year.

2.  BUDGET AND RESOURCES – June Tangney (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Alok Berry (VSE), Ernest Barreto (COS), Rick Coffinberger (SOM), Phil Wiest (CHSS)

 

This year, the Budget and Resources Committee provided an annual Faculty and Administrative Salary Update which is posted on the Faculty Senate website.  In response to a request from the BOV, we conducted a survey of suggestions on how the University might improve the quality of life of faculty, excluding raises.  A report was sent to the BOV and also posted on the Faculty Senate website.  Members of the committee regularly attend and participate in the Provost’s Budget Planning Team meetings, held every two weeks throughout the year.  With the assistance of staff from the Provost’s office, the committee has examined nature of “direct” funding from extramural sources and in the coming year will examine the ways in which “indirect” recovered costs are spent.  The committee has requested updated information from the Registrar on the number of individualized course credits generated by department and college.  Upon receipt of these data, we will survey Chairs, Deans, and Directors regarding current practices for recognizing faculty contributions in this area as well as the disposition of funds generated.  In addition, the committee is evaluating the nature of summer salary concerns across departments and colleges.  

 

3.  FACULTY MATTERS – Doris Bitler (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  John Cantiello (CHHS), Mark Houck (VSE), Jim Sanford (CHSS), Joe Scimecca (CHSS).

 

 

4.  NOMINATIONS – Jim Bennett (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Dmitrios Ioannou (VSE), David Kuebrich (CHSS), Howard Kurtz (CVPA), Pierre Rodgers (CEHD)

 

The Faculty Senate Nominations Committee has conscientiously filled every vacancy on every Senate Standing Committee, every University Committee, and every ad hoc committee and task force where Faculty representation was required.

5.  ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS – Star Muir (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Bob Dudley (CHSS), Kelly Dunne (CHSS), Jack Goldstone (SPP), Jean Moore (CHHS)  http://www.gmu.edu/resources/facstaff/senate/OandOReport20102011vf.pdf

 

 

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE UNIVERSITY STANDING COMMITTEES 2010-11:  The Senate voted to accept the reports of the University Standing Committees.  In response to a question raised, the Academic Initiatives Committee will prepare its report after its final meeting in early May.  Professor Suzanne Scott, a member of the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee, also called attention to the six recommendations made by the committee (1) Institutional Support; 2) Faculty Development; 3) Quality of Work Life Survey; 4) Diversity Statement; 5) Resources on Diversity Issues; 6) Support for Faculty.

 

1.  ACADEMIC APPEALS – Betsy DeMulder (CEHD), Chair

Committee Members:  Martin DeNys (CHSS), Michael Hurley (CHSS), Miriam Raskin (CHHS), Carmen Rioux-Bailey (CEHD), Eva Thorp (CEHD)

 

The Academic Appeals Committee had one case during the 2010-2011 academic year in which the committee considered a student termination case.  After review of the case, the committee’s decision was to uphold the university's decision to terminate the student.  The only other item of business conducted was to elect a chair.

2.  ACADEMIC INITIATIVES – Thomas Speller (VSE), Chair

Committee Members: Elizabeth Chong (CHHS), Wayne Froman (Apr. 11-) (CHSS), Tom Kiley (COS), David Wilsford (Sept. 10-March 11) (CHSS), Terry Zawacki (CHSS)

 

 

3.  ADMISSIONS – Dan Joyce (CVPA), Chair

Committee Members: Nicole Sealey (VSE), Suzanne Slayden (COS), Eddie Tallent, (Associate Dean/ Executive Director of Admissions), Charles Thomas (CEHD), Jason Warren (CHSS)

 

REPORT FROM THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE      April 20, 2011

Committee Members: Dan Joyce (CVPA), Nicole Sealey (VSITE), Suzanne Slayden (COS), Eddie Tallent (Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Admissions), Charles Thomas (CEHD), Jason Warren (CHSS)

 

A.On April 7, 2011, the University Admissions committee met. There was no old business pending, and no new business was presented. Assistant Dean Tallent shared with us the statistical information that follows in letter heading B.

 

B. Assistant Dean Tallent released statistics and information to the committee pertaining to undergraduate applications and admissions to George Mason University. As of April 19, 2011:

1) More than 18,000 freshman applications were submitted this year, an increase of almost 500 over last year (marking the largest freshman applicant pool ever for Mason).

2) 9,200 were admitted; up from 8,900 at end of cycle last year.

3) The class target is 2600; there is a healthy waitlist to make sure that number is attained.  The confirmation deadline for freshmen is May 1, 2011.

4) The criteria for Honors College selection was elevated for this admissions cycle to reflect the higher profile of applications being received and to help limit Honors College enrollment.

5) We have received a 5% increase in transfer applications. Since these students do not have to respond until July 1, it is too early to predict enrollment outcomes for transfers.

 6)  The transfer articulation agreement with NVCC expired February 23, 2011. The new Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) became effective for fall on February 23.  The new GAA has a graduated increase in the minimum GPA (2.75 to 3.0) required for admission by fall 2013.  If all coursework is not completed at  NVCC, the same minimum GPA is required at all other institutions within the last five years. Additionally, two English composition courses and one general education math course are required at NVCC with grades of C or better.

GAA's are specific to each community college.  We have also signed with   Germanna CC, Lord Fairfax CC and Blue Ridge CC

 

4.  ATHLETIC COUNCIL – Linda Miller, Chair and Faculty Athletic Representative

Committee Members:  Robert Baker (CEHD), Steve Klein (CHSS), Guiseppina Kysar-Mattieti (COS), Phil Wiest (CHSS)

 

2011 Report to the Faculty Senate by the Faculty Athletic Representative

The Athletic Council met in September to complete its work for the NCAA Certification process before the NCAA site visit in October.  On March 3, 2011 President Merten was informed that the NCAA Division I Committee determined that George Mason University has been certified. As a “certified” institution, Mason has earned the NCAA’s highest designation and shown that its athletics program “operates” in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.

The November meeting was chaired during my absence by Bob Baker and introduced new members, and elected chairs for the sub-committees.  In February, the council met to propose the sub-committee work to be completed before the final meeting.  The sub-committees met separately to conduct business relative to the council’s work. 

Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance Sub-committee (Chair, Jevita Rogers)

The committee reviewed all violations and waivers reported by the Compliance Office for 2010-11.  Paul Bowden, Associate AD for Compliance attended the April meeting to give an overview of Compliance and answer any questions from the council.  The Athletic department continues to do an excellent job of oversight of Rules Compliance through meetings with coaches, the student-athlete handbook, and the Compliance website (GoMason.com).  Rogers reported the NCAA recently introduced legislation that will assist many student-athletes receiving Federal and State Need- Based Financial Aid.   (Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance Sub-committee 2011 Report)

Academic Integrity Sub-committee (Chair, Eddie Tallent)

 Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services Debbie Wilson gave a tour of the computer lab and facilities for student-athletes.  Wilson stressed the importance of student-athletes receiving a meaningful mid-term evaluation by faculty.  Since Academic Services was very thoroughly reviewed during the just completed self-study, no further action by the committee is needed at this time. 

The 2009-10 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) indicates that all George Mason athletic teams were above the required 925 cut point.   (Academic Integrity Sub-committee 2011 Report). 

Gender, Diversity and Student Well-Being Sub-committee (Chair, Phil Hunt)

The committee reviewed all seven areas of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) report submitted each year by the university (complete report available at GoMason.com under the Student-Athlete tab and then under Compliance) and determined the university was in compliance

The Faculty Athletic Representative met with the Student Athlete Advisory Council to promote the distribution and completion of the 2011 Exit Surveys. In person interviews with graduating students are being conducted by the Faculty Athletic Representative and are ongoing until the end of term.  (Gender, Diversity and Student Well-Being Sub-committee 2011 Report)

2009-10 Student-Athlete Statistics

In the 2009-2010 academic year student-athletes were compared with the general student body with the following results:

                                                         Student Athletes           Students Generally

                                                             2.99                                2.98                                                                                  

* All GPA statistics computed by the Office of the Registrar

In conclusion, I would like to thank each member for their commitment to excellence and invaluable guidance and support.

Linda Miller

Faculty Athletic Representative

April 21, 2011

 

Cc:              President Alan Merten

                   Senior Vice-President Maurice Scherrens

                   Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Tom O’Connor

                   Senior Associate Athletics Director Sue Collins

 

5.  EFFECTIVE TEACHING – Paula Petrik (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Rodger Smith (CHSS), Suzanne Smith (CHSS), Cliff Sutton (VSE), Mary Williams (CEHD)

 

The Teaching Excellence Committee met on November 17, 2010, with Kris Smith and staff from the Office of Research regarding electronic teaching evaluations. The status of the teaching electronic teaching evaluation program is: 1) the staff did not realize at the outset how large and complex moving from atoms to bits would be, and the program has been slow in its realization; 2) the principle problem with the electronic evaluations is student participation--which hovers around the 20 percent mark and which is far lower than the paper evaluation participation rates; 2) the research group is working on a number of fronts to increase student participation and modify the evaluation form for distance education courses; and 3) despite low participation rates, the Colleges of Science and Business have implemented the electronic evaluation program across the board. These results were reported to the Faculty Senate on December 8, 2010. No further business came before the committee.

 

6.  EXTERNAL ACADEMIC RELATIONS– Debbie Boehm-Davis (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Kelly Dunne (CHSS), Penny Earley (CEHD), Stephen Farnsworth (CHSS), Karl Fryxell (COS), Frank Philpot (SOM)

 

Report from the Committee on External Academic Relations (CEAR)

April 2011

Committee Membership

Deborah Boehm-Davis (Committee Chair, CHSS, 2011)

Frank Allen Philpot (Senator, SOM, 2012)

Penny Earley (Provost Appointee, 2011)

Stephen Farnsworth (CHSS, 2012)

Kelly Dunne (Senator, CHSS, 2011)

Karl Fryxell (COS, 2012)

 

Summary of Activities (2010-2011 Academic Year)

 

State Government Relations. The Committee on External Academic Relations (CEAR) met once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. In both meetings, the committee met with the State Government Relations Director (Betty Jolly). Ms. Jolly provided the committee with an update on legislative activities in Richmond. In the fall, this included information on a Higher Education Committee chaired by Tom Farrell and Kurt Cox. In the spring, this included information about bills that had passed, how Mason had fared in Richmond in this session, and projects she has planned for the summer.

In the fall, she asked for faculty feedback on the state government relations website: https://mymasonportal.gmu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp. In the spring meeting, she stated that she finds that the site needs to be re-organized and designed. She asked for suggestions on how to improve communications with faculty. The committee suggested a daily blog during the legislative session focusing on issues relevant to Mason. The committee will ask the Faculty Senate to provide a link to this blog (and the general web site) from somewhere on the senate page to facilitate faculty getting access to this information.

The committee also suggested that the Faculty Senate host a forum after the legislative session each year (somewhat akin to the budget forums done by Drs. Scherrens and Stearns). This would allow faculty to get a summary of the actions in Richmond that affect us.

Ms. Jolly also provided information the Higher Education Bill; she will provide the committee with a powerpoint presentation highlighting the contents of this bill. She also talked about the Higher Education Advisory Council which has been established (as a result of this bill) to look at a number of higher education issues. At this time, the council has four members, one of whom is Dr. Merten. There is also a Research Bill that was passed which focuses on industry-university partnerships.

Finally, Ms. Jolly informed the committee that she intends to hold training sessions on how the legislature works, how best to provide briefings and information to members of the legislature, and Mason priorities for the upcoming session. She plans to hold two training sessions this summer and one in the fall before the new legislative session. She will reach out to faculty who have been involved in Richmond already and ask that others who are interested sign up for this training.

Faculty Senate of Virginia.  One member of this committee serves as the official Mason representative to the Faculty Senate of Virginia. Ms. Earley, who is that representative, and Ms. Boehm-Davis, committee chair, have kept informed of the activities sponsored by this organization through information sent out by the organization. There is no information of note to report from that organization in this academic year.

Other Activities. Committee members were invited to attend a Legislative Round Table reception where several local legislators were invited to come and hear about the university. Two members of the committee were able to attend this meeting and discuss exciting work being done by faculty within the university. Finally, members of the committee coordinated questions being posed to Chap Peterson and David Bulova, who attended a special faculty meeting on April 20. Committee members collected questions from faculty members and coordinated the Q&A session at the April meeting.

 

7. GENERAL EDUCATION Members:– Rick Davis (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, CVPA), Chair.  Don Boileau (CHSS), Rick Diecchio (COS),  Kim Eby (Associate Provost/Center for Teaching Excellence, CHSS), Douglas Eyman (CHSS), Frank Allen Philpot (SOM), Kamaljeet Sanghera (VSE), R. Claire Snyder-Hall (CHSS), Hugh Sockett (CHSS), Karen Studd (CVPA), Cliff Sutton (VSE), Carol Urban (CHHS), and Peter Winant (CVPA).  Student representative: vacant.  Staff support: Marcy Glover.

 

 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE UNIVERSITY GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

 April 19, 2011

 

The University General Education Committee worked vigorously this academic year on the following items, all of which were continued from last year and, with modifications, will continue next year:

·         meeting the challenges of SACS reaffirmation of accreditation as applicable to general education

·         considering new course proposals for inclusion in the general education inventory

·         strategic thinking about the future of general education, both at Mason and in a national context of comparable universities.

What follows will expand a bit on each of the bullets above, but first there are a couple of compulsory reporting points included in our committee’s charge from the Senate.

1. Proficiency/placement exams: Statistics are characteristically incomplete as of this date; we will submit an addendum early in the fall semester with these data. 

2. Changes in the criteria for general education: There were no substantive changes in overall criteria. 

SACS, Gen Ed learning outcomes, and assessment process

We are pleased to note that the SACS off-site review team found the general education program and its assessment protocol to be acceptable, with no comments, suggestions, or the dread recommendations.  Hats off to the faculty who design and deliver the curriculum, the GE committee, and the assessment staff; this is no small achievement.

Because the assessment process is dedicated to meaningful quality improvement as well as compliance and accountability, we are continuing the process beyond the SACS reaffirmation, albeit at a somewhat more deliberate pace.  Currently, the IT category is undergoing the course portfolio process and the review will be conducted this summer by interdisciplinary teams including GE committee members. 

The College of Science has been engaged in a spirited discussion this year around revising SLOs in Natural Science area, and we anticipate committee action on these in the fall, with a portfolio cycle to follow.  Quantitative Reasoning, Written Comm, and Oral Comm will complete the revision of SLOs over the next two years.  

Portfolio reviews of the Global, Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Synthesis areas this year showed evidence of strong teaching and learning across the three areas, along with many examples of innovative assignments and course designs.  As with the first three areas assessed, a general finding emerged around the broad theme of intentionality. In most cases, the only recommended action was to highlight more prominently the ways in which the course connects to the larger aims of a liberal education, whether in syllabus language or lecture/discussion time, or both.  


A second emergent theme, especially in the Global and SBS areas that contain some large-section courses, was the difficulty of assessing student work vis-à-vis alignment with gen ed SLOs when the only assignments or evaluative instruments were multiple choice exams.  The committee is discussing how to handle such courses in future.  Meanwhile, one aspect of the currently-pending SEGUE grants has to do with encouraging innovative approaches to student work product in large classes—a happy instance of an assessment finding generating a positive response with resources attached. 

As we noted last year in this space, this work has been labor-and-thought-intensive for the general education committee (as well as for the chairs and faculty in the affected units and the Provost’s Office), and we owe them a special word of thanks. The results continue to be very useful to us as we go about the essential work of ensuring a sound liberal education for our undergraduates.

Complete Inventory Review

Unfinished business from the year includes a 100% coverage syllabus review of the existing gen ed inventory for currency regarding alignment with new SLOs where they exist.  The committee delegated this task to the staff, and it is planned for summer 2011.

Course Proposals

The committee considered 28 and approved 11 new courses for the general education inventory, with the others being sent back for revision or clarification.  We expect resubmission of the majority of the returned courses.  This compares to last year’s total of 26 considered, 22 approved.  The course approval process, while still occasionally taking longer than desirable, continues to become more straightforward, consistent, and rigorous.  The committee has also made a sincere effort to reduce paper consumption by using a portal for posting proposals and minutes, and a projector during meetings for their consideration.

Strategic Thinking about General Education

The committee continued its lively discussion of the aims and purposes of general and liberal education, and the committee’s role in advancing Mason’s program.  A particularly interesting theme has emerged this year around the concept of interdisciplinarity in the Synthesis requirement: how is it defined, how do we know it when we see it, are certain disciplines inherently interdisciplinary by virtue of their creation out of a merging of preexisting fields?

Role of the Committee vis-à-vis faculty and unit prerogatives (We repeat this section from last year’s report not because of any specific issue during the year but because it is an important reminder)

Any time an academically polyglot committee standing outside of a department, college, or school reviews the work of a faculty member or a discipline-based curriculum committee, the possibility of blurring roles and lines of demarcation exists, and misunderstandings may ensue.  Such is sometimes the case when the gen ed committee refers a course back to the submitting unit with recommended changes prior to approval for inclusion in the gen ed program. 

 

The committee wishes the general faculty to know that it is always respectful of the disciplinary expertise and pedagogical autonomy of the faculty member submitting the course, as well as the integrity of the various levels of unit review that precede submission to the gen ed program.  When courses are returned for further review, this is always a subject of open discussion, and it is never the committee’s intention to become involved with disciplinary matters that properly belong to the department, college, or school.  Rather, the committee takes its charge as one of evaluating alignment of a given course with the general education mission of the university, a mission that necessarily transcends unit lines.  Courses that are returned for revision are typically exemplary in their discipline but, in the committee’s judgment, are incompletely aligned with some aspect of general education, and so with all appropriate caution and deference, the committee feels obligated to suggest and/or request adjustments prior to approval.  To do less would be to deprive the university of broad-based, faculty-driven stewardship of the general education program.  The committee appreciates the creativity and energy of the faculty in developing new courses for general education and simply wishes to make its principles known to lessen the possibility of discomfort and misunderstanding in those cases where a course is not approved, or is returned for revision. 

8.  GRIEVANCE – Scott Bauer (CEHD), Chair

Committee Members:  Lloyd Cohen (SOL), Bob Pasnak (CHSS), Johannes Rojahn (CHSS), Sylvia Sanchez (CEHD)

 

 

9.  MINORITY AND DIVERSITY ISSUES – David Anderson (CEHD), Chair

Committee Members:  Flavia Colonna (COS), Harold Geller (Spring 2011), (COS), Jennifer Leeman (Fall 2010) (CHSS), Jeng-Eng Lin (COS), Suzanne Scott (CHSS).

 

George Mason University Minority and Diversity Issues Committee

2010-2011

Report to Faculty Senate

 

The members of the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee (MDIC) were David S. Anderson (chair), Flavia Colonna, Jeng-Eng Lin, Suzanne Scott, Jennifer Leeman (Fall, 2010) and Harold Geller (Spring, 2011).

The charge of the MDIC is “to work in concert with the Equity Office, Minority Students Services Office, other pertinent administrators, and campus organizations in developing and implementing means to ensure nondiscrimination, tolerance, and protection of the rights of all persons affiliated with the University; and to facilitate dialogue among those connected with the University and those in the broader community on matters concerning minority populations and diversity issues.”

The MDIC was quite productive throughout the year, with activities involving following up on various activities from the previous years of accomplishment, to creating a new initiative.   In short, the MDIC members were interested in obtaining a greater understanding of the quality of the work place environment, with primary attention to faculty members.  

One of the initial activities of the MDIC was to learn what progress had been made with the Diversity Statement.  During the previous academic year, the MDIC was successful in obtaining endorsements from the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate and the Student Senate.  The MDIC learned that this statement would be presented to the administration’s leadership group, with an aim of having it more public and available for the Mason community.  During the year, however, MDIC members learned of no progress that had been obtained regarding this effort.  

The MDIC reviewed the status of student enrollment information based on minority/non-minority status, as well as gender, for each academic department.  This was found on the Office of Institutional Assessment website.   One suggestion is that a Mason leadership group could summarize and provide this to each department head.  It was also suggested that departmental information would be helpful with comparisons with university-based information for these variables.

Another accomplishment during this year was the review of the items relevant to diversity issues that had been included on Mason’s Quality of Work Life Survey, distributed in Spring, 2009. The MDIC reviewed the Executive Summary, and was successful in having discussions with the Quality of Work Life Committee regarding the use of these items.   The MDIC also engaged Dr. Lou Buffardi, who oversees the data analysis functions; he provided additional analysis of the data, beyond the executive summary report, and met with the MDIC to discuss the findings.  Interest was expressed by MDIC members for further analysis, with specific attention to faculty and their response patterns; Dr. Buffardi indicated that he would pursue this.   However, by the time of this annual report, this additional analysis had not yet occurred.  The MDIC also determined that, since the next Quality of Work Life Survey would undoubtedly occur during Spring, 2012, the best approach for handling new questions regarding minority and diversity issues would be to incorporate no change for 2012.   What is important is to maintain consistency over time so that comparisons could be made within the university as a whole as well as within individual units.  

The MDIC also discussed ways in which colleges and organizational units could monitor progress with minority and diversity issues. Discussions were engaged regarding activities that would help identify best practices, as well as learn ways in which organizational units could initiate appropriate action on diversity issues.   The sense of the MDIC was that Mason’s administrative units should be responsible for further promoting this effort. 

The final activity of the MDIC was the development of a ‘sense’ of the MDIC members regarding the status of minority and diversity issues at Mason.   This was deemed desirable by MDIC members to promote further dialog and action regarding diversity issues at the university.     This was prepared through discussions among MDIC members, and is based on their observations, experiences, and interactions with others on campus.    This is included as an appendix to this annual report.

MINORITY AND DIVERSITY ISSUES AT MASON

Prepared by Minority and Diversity Issues Committee

University Standing Committee - George Mason University

April 18, 2011

 

The Minority and Diversity Issues Committee (MDIC) is charged “to work in concert with the Equity Office, Minority Students Services Office, other pertinent administrators, and campus organizations in developing and implementing means to ensure nondiscrimination, tolerance, and protection of the rights of all persons affiliated with the University; and to facilitate dialogue among those connected with the University and those in the broader community on matters concerning minority populations and diversity issues.”

During the 2010-11 academic year, the five-member committee determined that it would be helpful to prepare some perspectives about minority and diversity issues at Mason. This is based on the committee members’ years of involvement and engagement on campus, dialog with other faculty members, participation on the MDIC, and a commitment to promoting a healthier campus community. These perspectives are organized within six thematic areas, and offer insights as well as suggested action items.

 

1.    Institutional Support

MDIC members believe that Mason has a significant level of support for multicultural issues.   MDIC members agree that Mason is engaged in many efforts to promote a healthy institution that supports people from diverse backgrounds. The university appears to be evolving as new issues vis-à-vis diversity emerge; Mason leadership appears to be supportive of “doing the right thing,” whether or not formal policies can be put into place. For example, the recently-configured LGBTQ Campus Climate Task Force was established in response to the rash of suicides around the country, which were apparently a result of campus bullying of people in the LGBTQ communities.  In short, Mason appears to follow the philosophy of the Diversity Statement developed by the MDIC in previous years. While the support appears present, public statements by university leadership on diversity issues appear minimal. Further, the composition of the faculty as a whole, as well as Mason’s administrative leadership, does not reflect the diversity found within the student body.

Suggestions include increased public leadership, visibility, vocal pronouncements, and infusion of diversity and inclusion issues by Mason leadership into the routine, day-to-day activities.  MDIC members suggest that the highest levels of the administration would also be well served to recruit and to encourage units to recruit people from diverse backgrounds at all levels of the university.

 

2.    Faculty Development

It is clear that Mason’s student body is highly diverse, and it is also clear that attention is provided for student training and personal development opportunities (i.e., Safe Zone training). However, Mason offers few opportunities for faculty to learn more about diversity and inclusion issues. MDIC members believe there is no incentive for faculty members to be trained in such issues.  MDIC members are aware of few discussions about diversity or training on diversity or multi-cultural issues within units around the university in recent years.  Further, it appears that faculty members are unaware of many issues incorporated in the diversity framework (such as the concepts of gender identity and expression), and that people in the units do not generally discuss these diversity issues.  While some reports exist of faculty behavior or comments in the classroom that are not particularly sensitive or appropriate (from a diversity and inclusion perspective), educating faculty on these issues does not appear to be a high priority with the institutional leadership. In many cases, these insensitive comments do not come from a place of intentional bias or hatred but may simply spring from a lack of understanding of the issues.

The MDIC membership believes it would be helpful to have greater institutional support and leadership, throughout the university, regarding faculty engagement with diversity issues.  Attention to the intent and spirit of the Diversity Statement, regarding locally-focused leadership and attention regarding diversity issues should be helpful.

 

3.    Quality of Work Life Survey

The Quality of Work Life Survey has been undertaken every three years over the past decade, with the most recent data collection occurring during Spring, 2009. The MDIC is particularly appreciative of the attention to minority and diversity issues with the instrument being used; during the most recent survey administration, new questions were added and data analyzed.  The data analysis process provided information helpful for the MDIC and institutional leadership, as the questions incorporated had the data clustered in three thematic areas. While the data were presented to the MDIC, it appears that the data and information have not been used to its full potential.   The information was prepared with an executive summary, but it was not widely distributed; therefore any results which might have been incorporated into campus initiatives were not shared.  Further, the data, and the clusters relevant to minority and diversity issues, could be examined to a much greater level, both by faculty role as well as by academic unit.  In short, it appears, from the perspective of the MDIC, that the data have not been used well. 

MDIC members believe that support must be provided to this ongoing data collection effort.  With the tremendous amount of time and effort provided by the Quality of Work Life Committee and faculty members preparing and responding to the survey, it seems most appropriate to invest in further analysis and use of the data. Support is needed to further analyze the data at both macro and micro (departmental/college) levels; distribute its findings; and, publicize ways in which the information is being used.  

 

4.    Diversity Statement

During the 2008-2009 academic year, the MDIC drafted a Diversity Statement for Mason, included as part of the annual report during Spring, 2009. The Diversity Statement was deemed necessary and appropriate because of the lack of such a statement; the desire was to more clearly and publicly specify the nature and intent of diversity at this institution, going beyond the limited statement in the university’s mission statement.   The 2009-2010 MDIC endorsed this statement, and was successful in achieving endorsements from the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, and the Student Senate during Spring, 2010.  This Diversity Statement has been shared with the Office of Equity and Diversity Services, with the hope that it would be incorporated into the university’s web site at some appropriate places. To date, this has not occurred, and the statement, endorsed by all three Senates, remains as an endorsed statement with no further public visibility.

The MDIC believes that this statement should be available through multiple channels at the university.  It reflects a positive, proactive commitment to diversity and inclusion at the university.  While not a policy per se, the statement provides an opportunity to demonstrate that the university promotes leadership in diversity issues and that the university’s priority is to the whole range of diversity issues.  The MDIC believes that this document can be referred to by a wide variety of campus groups, as well as to the university leadership.  

 

5.    Resources on Diversity Issues

MDIC members are aware of several academic and other units engaging in activities and services on diversity issues. This information appears to be limited and is not gathered systematically. In short, there is limited knowledge about who is doing what, who has expertise, and who has interest in the range of diversity issues.   To help promote greater attention to diversity issues, the MDIC believes it would be helpful to have an inventory of resources that highlight various resources, services, and personnel on campus. It would also be helpful to have an inventory of best practices, upon which academic or other units could learn and build. 

The MDIC specifically recommends the development and promotion of an inventory of best practices; an expertise database; and a sharing of areas of research and interest. Within the context of a learning community, diversity could be promoted and more actively infused throughout the university. 

 

6.    Support for Faculty

The need for attention to diversity and inclusion at Mason among faculty members has been identified by the MDIC as a priority.  In addition, the question remains regarding how those faculty members feel about their engagement, support, and inclusion at the university.  This can be at the departmental, college, and/or university level. Specifically, it is unknown how individuals who are diverse (through any of the areas that might be classified as “diverse,” by themselves or others) feel for themselves. Anecdotal information shared among MDIC members suggests that many individuals are fearful and do not feel particularly welcomed or supported.  Further, it appears that faculty members are not sure where to turn for personal support, or for consultation about better dealing with diversity issues within the university.  While students have an ombudsman for such queries, it does not appear that faculty has a similar resource or service, other than going through the resources in Human Resources.  The aim should be to enhance the feeling of being welcomed and supported.   In short, while many faculty members do feel supported, an underlying fear does exist among some members of diverse backgrounds. 

The MDIC strongly recommends that more information be gathered to further understand the nature and scope of concerns among faculty members regarding diversity issues. This query can be undertaken among faculty members. Inquiries should be made regarding their feelings for themselves, and how they perceive others.   Further, the MDIC believes that appropriate faculty support services (such as an ombudsman for faculty) would be beneficial.

David S. Anderson       College of Education and Human Development

         School of Recreation, Health and Tourism

Flavia Colonna              College of Science

                                                         Department of Mathematical Sciences Flavia Colonna                   

Harold Geller                College of Science

                                                         School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Science

                   Jeng-Eng Lin                College of Science

                                                         Department of Mathematical Sciences

                   Suzanne Scott               College of Humanities and Social Sciences

                                                         Women and Gender Studies

 

10.  NON-TRADITIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY, AND ADULT LEARNING:  John Riskind (CHSS), Chair.  Committee Members:  Reeshad Dalal (CHSS), Steve Klein (CHSS), Jaime Lester (CHSS), Earle Reybold (CEHD), Amelia Rutledge (CHSS)

 

Report by Nontraditional, Interdisciplinary, and Adult Learning Committee (NIAL)

John Riskind, Earle Rebold, Jaime Lester, Steve Klein, Amelia Rutledge

                   The NIAL Committee met in January and has identified a need to develop a fuller vision of its goals and functions so that it could move forward.  The functions of NIAL used to be out of the Extended Studies program and the committee views distance education and distributed learning as important areas for possible further development.  One concern was that GMU will no longer be able to be the affordable alternative for education in the area if it does not respond to new economic realities.  These new realities could provide opportunities for GMU but also threats to its future survival.   Several committee members agreed that there was a need to adjust to new markets, conditions, and nontraditional players.  The Committee has also discussed the goal of speaking to expanded audiences and in nontraditional ways, helping individuals to “reinvent” themselves and move in new careers or directions in their lives. This would include bringing in older adults and reaching returning students.  A distributed learning template could be important to implementing such a vision.  A related issue was the idea of reaching out to the community.  A variety of populations might be served such as retired individuals or individuals seeking additional professional certification.  However, the committee had a lively discussion on whether the emphasis of such efforts should mainly be on academic education, not just job certification.  The committee also noted the needs of transfer students who make up about 25% of the 2,500 freshman admissions each year, but are an underserved population.  It was observed that there are seemingly fewer resources to support them on campus than there are for other freshmen. 

There was discussion about how one could control a program that by necessity would cross disciplines? It was suggested that the Interdisciplinary Collaboration Committee group could be a possible partner and that we could meet with them.  The committee is seeking to find what is being done in different departments, programs, committees.    Collaborative programs, Centers, and minors, might be a way to serve some non-traditional students.  The Sport Communication minor across Communication and HR&T is one such example.  A member of NIAL has had informal contact with Goodlett McDaniel about some of the distance learning issues we have discussed and the committee is planning to meet with him and others in the near future.  These include someone from University Relations because they might be able to “see the forest through the trees,” as well as Dean Flagel at the Admissions office which is in effect the university’s outreach program.  Because of schedules, there has been delay in planning additional meetings

11.  SALARY EQUITY STUDY – Margret Hjalmarson (CEHD), Chair

Committee Members:  Michelle Buehl (CEHD), Karen Hallows (SOM), Prosenjit Mazumdar (SOM)

Report of the Faculty Salary Equity Committee

April 12, 2011

Members:  Margret Hjalmarson (Chair,CEHD), Michelle Buehl (CEHD), Karen Hallows (CEHD), Prosenjit Mazumdar (SOM)

Assisted by: Kris Smith (Associate Provost for Institutional Research & Reporting)

The committee has met bi-monthly during the academic year to discuss the development of a data analysis plan to examine equity in faculty salaries on a variety of dimensions. Kris Smith has assisted us by obtaining and conducting preliminary data analysis related to faculty salaries including race, gender, faculty rank, and unit variables. At this stage, data analysis is still under way and we expect a full report regarding the status of faculty salary equity in September 2011. We recently obtained a previous report conducted in 1996 by a previous version of this committee as well as their responses to feedback from the Faculty Senate regarding their process. We are utilizing their methods as a guide to inform our data analysis. We are also examining the methodologies used by other, similar universities when conducting faculty salary equity studies.

12.  TECHNOLOGY POLICY – Stanley Zoltek (COS), Chair

Committee Members:  Phil Buchanan (SOM), Melissa Martin (SOM), Goodlet McDaniel (CHHS), Walter Morris (COS), Star Muir (CHSS), Shahron Williams van Rooij (CEHD)

 

The Faculty Senate Technology Policy Committee (FSTPC) will have met six times in the 2010-2011 academic year. The final meeting is scheduled for May 9, 2011. 


October 18, 2010

·               Election of Stanley Zoltek as committee chair
Walt Sevon

Review of email migration status:

·         New students are on MasonLive; for others, migration will be forced over the next six weeks.

·         Microsoft offers capabilities beyond mail, and we hope as time passes to encourage other academic uses.

·         There was an initial problem with mail from gmu.edu going to spam; however, this appears to be fixed.

·         For a faculty mail system, a committee will be formed to select a vendor. Calendar integration will be considered. There are security issues with which the legal department is involved. The initiative has no budget at present; the next time money may be available is in the 2012-2013 academic year.

·         Faculty mail system has additional requirements that the student system does not – privacy, discovery, back-end functions; however, it might be possible to enhance the current system to make it usable for faculty.

·         Alumni Office is working to get alumni on the student email system, eventually replacing the current forwarding service. The goal for students graduating in December is to have their Mason email addresses stay “live.”

Sharon Pitt

Review of technology classroom situation

§  A technology classrooms subcommittee has been formed from the Classroom Advisory Committee to look at classroom challenges.

§  Arlington and Prince William campuses are in good shape (or at least Arlington will be once Founders Hall opens)

§  For Fall, 2011, Fairfax campus will have a net loss of fifteen classrooms due to renovations. This is in addition to the current shortfall (40 sections requested technology classrooms in Fall 2010 but did not get them)

§  Priority is for rooms with 20-30 seats, rooms with 70+ seats, and technology classrooms with student computers, as these are seen as the primary trouble areas.

§  One idea being considered in lieu of lab classrooms – netbooks with a checkout option so that students can bring their own computers to class.

Review of Blackboard/WebCT status

§  Version 9.1 is being piloted this semester; will be available to all interested faculty in the spring.

§  One transition issue raised was about Banner integration so that rosters don’t have to be maintained manually.

§  Discussed training needs. One suggestion—have a quasi-consulting capability to sit down with a faculty member and assist them with transition.

November 15, 2010

Walt Sevon – Walt provided the information below based on a request from the committee. The committee had heard that students could not access Google Docs from MasonLive.

·         Accessing Google Docs from MasonLive-Walt Sevon

FAQs for MasonLive

http://masonlive.gmu.edu/faqs.html#googleDocs 

Can I use Google Docs with MASONLIVE e-mail addresses?

Yes. However, to access materials through Google Docs, you must create an account (register your MASONLIVE e-mail address) with Google Docs.

·               Scheduling of electronic classrooms
December 13, 2010
Sharon Pitt 
·                Introduction of Joy Taylor, Director of Learning Support Services  
·                Joy Taylor
Update on current plans on the transition from CEB to Blackboard 9.1
Walt Sevon– There was concern from the committee about the name being displayed on student e-mail with MasonLive. There were two concerns. First, that the display name can be changed. That is true and it has always been true for student e-mail if they used a client such as Thunderbird or Outlook. The second concern was the name was not showing up when a faculty member typed in a student’s e-mail address. It will show up on a client such as Thunderbird or Outlook if configured correctly. If it does not the faculty member can contact the ITU Support Center and ask that a e-mail be reconfigured. More information is below.

·         Name displayed when using MasonLive--Walt Sevon

Walt.Sevon<wsevon@masonlive.gmu.edu>

The display name is the name that is displayed in quotes before the actual e-mail address; For example, the display name above is: "Walt.Sevon"

The actual e-mail address is "wsevon@masonlive.gmu.edu." The first part of the e-mail address, "wsevon", is the "NetId" or "username" and is a unique identifier for Mason faculty, staff, and students. It cannot be changed by MasonLive users.

Students using MasonLive have the ability to change their display name but cannot change their NetId. The NetId is clearly shown on all e-mail addresses. The ability to change the display name is part of MasonLive and allowed by Microsoft and cannot be prevented by Mason administrators.

MEMO users who use the MEMO Web Interface or who set up a mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird have access to the Enterprise directory (LDAP) and can look up an email address to discover the owner. We do not allow account owners to change their name information in LDAP. Likewise, MasonLive users can access the Global Address List (GAL) in MasonLive and match a NetId to the owner provided the owner has not elected FERPA privacy, in which case they are concealed from the GAL.

Coordination and clarity of ITU Alerts – The committee had received complaints that the ITU Alerts were not clear had had too much “tech speak.” Walt took this for action and said he would coordinate with the ITU Support Center

January 31, 2011

Sharon Pitt
Increasing the number of technology classrooms on the Fairfax campus
Blackboard Collaborate
 

Walt Sevon - Technology Systems Division

MasonLive Update

As of late November 2010, all student email is on MasonLive.  On February 6, student access to the MEMO email accounts will be removed.  Students will no longer have access to emails remaining in that account.  Simple instructions have been provided for migrating any mail from the MEMO accounts to MasonLive since the rollout began in August 2010.  Moving forward, mail sent to the students at either their "@gmu.edu" address or their "@masonlive.gmu.edu" address will all be routed to the MasonLive accounts.  As of this time, there are a number of unclaimed accounts on MasonLive; however, we believe those accounts are dormant based on the number of times and various methods we have attempted to reach out to the account owners over the past six months. 

Information Technology (IT) Security Training


The Commonwealth of Virginia requires state institutions to provide mandatory security training for all faculty, staff and students.  To reduce the burden on our users, the Information Technology Unit is fulfilling the training requirement by implementing an on-line quiz about security.  The quiz will ask the user to respond to a small set of questions.  It allows the user to attempt each question multiple times until he/she answers correctly, thereby fulfilling the training requirement.    The quiz will be administered as part of the password change process.  A pilot group will test the quiz starting in mid-February with a goal of implementing the quiz by mid-March.

Password Updates

The majority of faculty/staff/students routinely change their passwords, but some do not.   For those users that have not changed their passwords in the past year, they will need to change their password at some point, most likely in March 2010.  The exact date is uncertain since it will follow after the online security quiz has been implemented.   A communication strategy is being developed.   In order to ensure users are supported through the process, password expiration will be phased over three months and not done all at one time.

New Faculty/Staff E-Mail System

During the spring semester we will begin the process of selecting a new e-mail system for faculty and staff to replace the current MEMO system. The new system could be a free system hosted off-site, a new system hosted here at Mason and supported by ITU staff, or a fee-based, e-mail system hosted off-site by a commercial messaging vendor.


The first step will be to organize a cross-functional team to look at requirements. This process is already underway.  What features should the new system support and how? Different team members will likely have requirements based on their own functional perspective (e.g. archiving, e-discovery, accessibility, security, privacy). We will develop our list of requirements in two categories: must have features and nice to have features.

The next step will be to determine what hosted e-mail offerings are available in the marketplace and their associated cost structure. We will survey other universities, including Virginia institutions, regarding their experiences. These steps will help the team with the final step which is the development of a Request for Proposals (RFP). Even if we are interested in a free hosted solution we will still need to go through an RFP process.

March 7, 2011
Walt Sevon
·                Update - Pilot Training the Information Technology (IT) Security Training Application 

We have asked the Staff Senate, student Orientation Leaders, student Resident Technicians, staff members of the Portfolio Evaluation Committee, TSD Managers and the faculty of the Psychology Department to pilot the IT security training application.

As background, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires state institutions to provide mandatory IT security training for all faculty, staff and students.  To reduce the burden on our users, the Information Technology Unit is fulfilling the training requirement by implementing an on-line quiz about security.  The quiz will ask the user to respond to a small set of questions.  It allows the user to attempt each question multiple times until he/she answers correctly, thereby fulfilling the training requirement.  The quiz will be administered annually as part of the password change process.  The questions will change each year.

Pilot testing includes changing ones password, taking the security quiz, and giving us feedback and suggested improvements. The hardest part is changing the password on a person's Smartphone if they use the Smartphone for email or calendaring. We will give them instructions for changing their passwords. The total time should take between 15 - 30 minutes including feedback. We will send out the instructions early this week and we would like to get the feedback by March 18.

For FSTPC members who would like to participate in pilot testing please send your NetId (NetId is your username on email as
NetId@gmu.edu), or email address to AdheetGaddamanugu at agaddama@gmu.edu.  He will then send instructions to each person.
Sharon Pitt
ClassWeb
·                Laura Phelps
Virtual Computing Lab 
 
April 11, 2011
Walt Sevon 
·               Update - Pilot Training the Information Technology (IT) Security Training Application 

The pilot was conducted and excellent feedback was received from the participants. The feedback was used to update the application. Starting in May 2011, Mason staff will be the first Mason group required to complete this annual training with their next scheduled password change.  To minimize the impact of the change, faculty and students will not be required to complete the annual training until after the fall semester is underway. 

A small number of faculty use MESA, Mason’s online file sharing system.  Currently, the passwords of MESA users expire and must be renewed periodically.  If the password of a faculty member who uses MESA expires between now and the fall, the faculty member will be asked to take the training at the same as the password renewal.  The new password will give the user access to many Mason online systems including Blackboard, Mason e-mail, Patriot Web and other Banner Services, and Virtual Private Network (VPN).

 

In May 2011, the IT Security Awareness Training (ITSAT) will be generally available for anyone to take on a voluntary basis.  If they wish, faculty can take the training at a convenient time before the fall.   More information about passwords and ITSAT can be found at http://strongpassword.gmu.edu.

Sharon Pitt
ClassWeb

 

13.  WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM  - Stanley Zoltek, Chair

Committee Members:  Joan Bristol (Fall 2010)/Paul Rogers (Spring 2011) (CHSS), Susan Durham (CHHS), Tamara Maddox (VSITE), Nicola Scott (SOM), Tom Owens (CVPA), Ellen Rodgers (CEHD), Daniel Rothbart (ICAR).

Terry Zawacki ex-officio (Director, WAC Program); Sarah Baker ex-officio (Assistant Director, WAC Program)

Consultants to the Committee:  Melissa Allen, Peggy Brouse, Anna Habib (Fall 2010), Peter Farrell, Shelley Reid, Larry Rockwood, Sia Rose-Robinson, Scott Watkins, Bethany Usher

The committee will meet eight times during the 2010-2011 academic year (the last of those meetings is scheduled for May 3, 2011).  The committee’s charge includes: advising the director of “Writing Across the Curriculum,” approval of new writing-intensive (WI) courses, regular review of WI course syllabi, and assisting with activities and events related to Writing Across the Curriculum.

2010-2011 activities include:

Committee Actions:

§     Reviewed and approved new or modified courses designated to meet the Senate-mandated WI requirement: BENG 304 and 495 (Bioengineering), BIOL 308 (Biology), CEIE 301 (Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering), CRIM 495 (Criminology, Law and Society), GEOL 305 (Geology), HAP 465 (Health Administration and Policy), NCLC 334 (Environmental and Sustainability Studies). 

§     Each semester checked enrollments in WI courses to assess compliance to the 35-seat requirement.  Also, conducted a longitudinal chart compiling the WI course caps and enrollments since 2004.

§     Conducted fourth WI syllabi collection in all fall 2010 WI courses to verify compliance with WI requirements. Collected 72 syllabi, which represented the 47 WI courses offered during the Fall 2010 semester.  Completed Report on WI Syllabi Review of Fall 2010 WI Course that was sent to all deans, directors, chairs and the Provost.

§     Conducted a brief review of WI requirements at other universities around the US.

§     Reviewed the types of writing (i.e., formal vs. informal) assigned to students in WI courses.

§     Reviewed the graduating seniors’ writing experiences on the annual graduating senior surveys.  Will send results to appropriate departments/units in the beginning of fall 2011.

§     Reviewed the WI course requirements, discussing: whether to divide the requirement between a lower-lever course and an upper-level course, the number of credits of the required WI course, and the overall language of the WI requirement.

§     Reviewed the history of the WI requirement.

§     Discussed adding the committee’s consultants to the Faculty Senate’s website.

§     Continued efforts to encourage departments to institute writing awards.

§     Encouraged faculty to send ESL students to the Writing Center’s Opt-in ESL Support Program.

§     Produced the fall 2010 Teaching with Writing Across the Curriculum newsletter in both print and online formats at http://wac.gmu.edu/program/newsletter/. The spring 2011 newsletter, focusing on second-language writers, will be out sometime in May 2011.

Other program activities in consultation with the WAC committee:

§     Developed WIN(ning) initiative for writing-infused programs in collaboration with Social Work, English, Art and Visual Technology (AVT), Philosophy, and Criminology, Law and Society (CLS), and School of Management, Management (SOM).  WIN Workshop is set for May 19th.

§     The George Mason Review 2010-2011, a student publication of writing across the disciplines, was published and available to pick up. 

 

 

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE FACULTY SENATE AD HOC COMMITTEES 2010-11:  The annual reports of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committees were accepted by the Faculty Senate.

 

1.  FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE – Rick Coffinberger (SOM), Chair

Committee Members:  Jim Bennett (CHSS), Suzanne Slayden (COS)

                                                                                              

Report of the Faculty Senate’s Faculty Handbook Revision Committee for AY 2010-11

Prepared by Richard Coffinberger, Committee Chair

 

The Faculty Handbook Revision Committee was comprised of Jim Bennett (Economics), Suzanne Slayden (Chemistry) and Richard Coffinberger (Management). The Committee met frequently during the Fall semester of 2010 and during the first half-of the Spring semester of 2011. The Committee developed a set of recommended changes to the Faculty Handbook most of which were endorsed by the Provost and his staff and approved by the Faculty Senate at its April meeting. The final recommended changes included recommendations developed by a parallel committee organized by Brian Walther of the University’s Office of General Counsel and vetted by the Handbook Revision Committee. The University’s Board of Visitors will consider the recommended Handbook changes at its May meeting.

 

2.  FACULTY SENATE TASK FORCE TO EXAMINE THE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY AND PRIVATE DONORS – Dave Kuebrich (CHSS), Chair

Committee Members:  Bob Ehrlich (COS), Esther Elstun (CHSS-Emerita), Earle Reybold (CEHD), Rich Rubenstein (ICAR), Matt Zingraff (Associate Dean, CHSS).

 See Attachment B (above)

 

V.  Other New Business

 

                   Term Limits for BOV Faculty Representatives

                        

15B.1  HThe Rector and Board of Visitors

Responsibility for the governance of George Mason University is vested by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Rector and Board of Visitors. Members of the Board of Visitors are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth to serve fixed terms of four years. The Rector is a member of the Board, elected by the Board to serve as its chair.

 

Without limiting the generality of its powers, the Board of Visitors exercises its authority principally in policy making and oversight. With the exception of meetings convened in executive session, meetings of the Board of Visitors and its committees are open to the public. The chair of the Faculty Senate sits as a non-voting representative to the full Board. The voting membership of the General Faculty (see SUection 1.3.1UH) shall elect a non-voting representative to all standing committees of the Board, except the Audit Committee (see below). To accomplish this, the Faculty Senate shall conduct elections biennially. The candidates will come from the voting membership of the General Faculty. The Faculty Senate will notify the Rector of the outcome of the election. A separate faculty member may be selected by the Board to serve as a nonvoting, faculty liaison to the Audit Committee. No faculty member may serve concurrently on more than one committee. No faculty member can serve more than three consecutive 2-year terms, although subsequent reelection is permitted.

Motion:  Delete final sentence, paragraph 2 of Section 1.1  of the Faculty Handbook which states: “No faculty member can serve more than three consecutive 2-year terms, although subsequent reelection is permitted.” (Introduced by Senator Trencher from the floor)

Rationale: Term limits are arbitrary and violative of democratic principles of free choice in electoral process and representation.

The motion was seconded.

Discussion: 

Senator Question: What is the rationale behind the change?

Senator Trencher: The motion is brought forward on behalf of concerned faculty given that the term limit was not imposed by the GMU administration nor the BOV, but has been interpreted by a faculty committee.  The motion is presented in the spirit of allowing the faculty at large to vote for those who they think will best represent them without exclusion of candidates.

Senator Jim Bennett as Chair of the Nominations Committee, Member of the Ad Hoc Comittee on Handbook Revisions quoted an email he sent to Brian Walther (Sr. University Counsel) and Peter Pober, Chair of the Faculty Senate, in which he noted a discrepancy between the BOV By-Laws which state that faculty may serve more than one term, and in contrast, Section 1.1.  of the Faculty Handbook, last sentence states: "No faculty member can serve more than three consecutive 2-year terms, although subsequent re-election is permitted."  Common sense dictates that the BOV has the right to determine the qualifications for service on its own committees and has not imposed limits on terms of service. So I proposed change to the last sentence to read “Faculty may serve more than one term.”  I fully expected this to be on the special meeting agenda. Other people got involved.  I cannot conduct an election without knowing what the rules are.  In terms of requirements, if this prohibition remains, someone is going to have to send a letter to the BOV to say we have only two candidates.  Even if term limits prevail, we do not start these regulations.  We don’t go before January 2010.  It’s been impossible to run an election.

Provost Stearns:  (did not take a position on the issue) but noted that changes to the Faculty Handbook require consultation between faculty representatives and the administration and that process has not taken place.

Member of the Faculty Handbook Committee: Senator Suzanne Slayden: First concern partially addressed by the Provost.  This is a motion to change the Faculty Handbook; which was just looked at.  Probably best to submit changes to the BOV at one time.  We received submissions (for changes to the Faculty Handbook) after the special meeting.   Professor Bennett was a member of the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee.  The other Committee members did not see this as a conflict and discouraged individual Faculty Senators to bring changes to the floor (in this way). The Faculty Handbook supercedes all policies/procedures within the university.  The BOV approved the Faculty Handbook.

 

Member of the Faculty Handbook Committee: Senator Rick Coffinberger:  The Faculty Handbook Committee discussed this several times and concluded that term limits were desirable. The term limit provisions were contained in every document distributed prior to the Handbook forums. In addition, The Senate participated in at least two vettings here and they were not questioned.  Thus the term limits provision was not hidden or implemented secretly.

As far as the contention that term limits are undemocratic, Professor Coffinberger suggested asking the citizens of Egypt if term limits are undemocratic. Coffinberger also cited examples of term limits presently in place in our democracy. These include limits on the terms of the President of the United States, members of the Board of Visitors, the Governor of Virginia.  

Senator Trencher:  It is useful to separate things out here.  The motion and discussion of this particular election are not the same issue. It is the case that I did not interpret the term limits as applying in this way and did not see it as a problem, and as noted the issue was not previously raised.  And yes there are lots of term limits and there are multiple reasons they do and may exist.  Some of them may be based on elements of distrust of citizen.  Here there is a myth that certain Faculty Senators seek and have the power to run the Senate; the idea perhaps that like Senators in other institutions we are putting together large war chests  that we can use following our election.  I have been in the Faulty Senate for a long time.  If there is power as a Senator, I don’t know where it is.  I (as Faculty Senate Secretary) am also subject to three years term limit.  People are generally not begging for these responsibilities.  I trust that my fellow faculty want the best representatives they can elect, that is, choose among those willing to serve.  Why should there be a loss of opportunity or possibility to elect them? Even if there are to be term limits for general faculty representatives to the BOV, it is a matter of interpretation whether this applies to those who began their terms prior to the revision of the Handbook

 

Senator Comment: Term limits are part of democracy if incumbents at risk of accumulating power, or to rotate aggregation of power. It does not seem that either of these problems apply here, see no reason to have term limits in the by-laws. 

 

A secret ballot was distributed and collected by the Sergeants-at-Arms.  15 votes cast to approve motion, 22 votes cast not to approve the motion, with 1 abstention.  The motion was not approved.

 

Faculty Senate Resolution Recommending the Establishment of a Ombudsman or a Committee to Collect Information on Complaints and Concerns Regarding Campus Police Actions

WHEREAS in response to various actions taken by the Campus Police, President Merten has convened a “Presidential Task Force to seek input for members of the Mason community on their interactions and experiences with the University Police Department”; and

WHEREAS members of the University community have expressed concerns and complaints at the Task Force’s meetings regarding various Police actions; and

WHEREAS no “voice mechanism” currently exists where complaints about Police actions can be reported and collected;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Faculty Senate that the Presidential Task Force be urged to recommend in its final report to the Central Administration that an Ombudsperson be appointed or that a Committee be established to collect and document complaints and concerns about the actions of Mason’s Police Department.

Discussion:  The resolution asks that some sort of mechanism be set up to hear complaints about the police; important to have some place to bring complaints.

Chair of Senate Pober: To give context:  The (Presidential Task Force) has had two public forums, and has had meetings with resident advisors and other groups, and are also collecting documents.  If you wish to present a written document, you have until the end of this week to do it.  Should the Faculty Senate approve this resolution, it will go to the full Presidential Task Force.

Senator Comment:  I support this resolution; it also has free speech applications.  If the police want to limit free speech deliberations on campus, a temporary decision on this issue (is necessary)

Senator Question: Would this person or committee have access to someone with authority, to overrule police if they have done something appropriate? 

Chair Pober:  No way to know at this time; the Presidential Task Force has not yet made its recommendation. 

Senator Question: Isn’t there a university ombudsman?  Why would we need this? 

Vice Provost Davis:  Dolores Gomez-Roman is an ombudsman but is limited to student issues.

Senator Comment:  She has repeatedly said that she was open to faculty bringing cases to her. 

Point of Clarification: Voting to provide this resolution as a recommendation to the Presidential Task Force. 

Senator Comment:  Sympathetic to this issue but unclear but  asks that the Presidential Task Force find out whether an existing office would handle this rather than create a new one.

Senator Comment: We have not had a Task Force considering the university police, and it is not inappropriate to have one beyond this point. 

Chair Pober:  Serving as co-chair of the Presidential Task Force, which is charged to examine relations between the university police and faculty, students, and staff; this not the foundation of what the Task Force is designed to do. 

The resolution was approved, and will be presented to the Presidential Task Force.

Nominations Committee Changes

Chair Pober: The Chair of the Nominations Committee has resigned from his position and from the Committee. We are urging you to consider this issue. Senators who are serving on University Standing Committees may serve.

As the other existing members of the Committee do not wish to serve as Chair, a call for nominations from the floor was made. Suzanne Slay den self-nominated.  No further nominations were made and Senator Slayden was elected by unanimous consent. 

VI.  Remarks for the Good of the General Faculty

Susan Trencher, Chair of Sociology and Anthropology and a Faculty Senator publicly thanked the Provost for providing support to a scholar at risk (as part of a national university Scholar At Risk program) that enabled a foreign scholar to find a safe haven here.

Senator Comment (Senator Petrik) also wanted to speak in  support of the Students as Scholars program where is badly  needed.  Questions  where Virginia has been on this?  Since when does an accreditation agency stand up for a program like this?

Provost Stearns responded that this is a valid point.  The relationship between the accrediting agency and Virginia government is complex, quasi-public agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Also supports this particular program and thinks that accrediting agencies have drastically overreached in this, especially (the activities) of the State Attorney General. 

Senator Comment: While we (GMU) were instructed to drop a load of money on a program. 

Chair Pober thanked all the Senators and chairs and committee members for their good work over the year.

VII:  Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 4:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Trencher

Secretary