Faculty Senate Elects New Chair; Hears Remarks from Rector

By Robin Herron

The Faculty Senate elected a new chair and heard from George Mason University Board of Visitors (BOV) Rector C. Daniel Clemente at the senate’s final meeting of the academic year.

Charlene Y. Douglas, associate professor of nursing in the College of Health and Human Services, was unanimously elected to succeed June Tangney, University Professor of Psychology, as chair.

Tangney received a standing ovation in appreciation for her service over the past year.

In his remarks to the senate, Clemente noted the following:

  • As evidence of its commitment to increasing research funding at George Mason, the BOV created a standing committee on research and amended the George Mason Intellectual Properties Inc. to become the George Mason Research Foundation.
  • A group of BOV members visited the General Assembly twice during the past legislative session to meet with legislators. Clemente commended President Angel Cabrera for his frequent visits to the General Assembly during the session, saying, “He made a great impression. They love him in Richmond.” Clemente also praised Mason students for visiting on Lobby Day. All these efforts raised Mason’s profile among members of the General Assembly and helped the university secure additional funding for enrollment growth, STEM+H initiatives and financial aid, he said.
  • The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has modified its structure to ensure that its board members have some background in higher education. The council is also seeking more involvement from university presidents. Clemente added that new legislation requires boards of visitors in Virginia to submit reports on their activities to the state on a current basis.

In other business, the senate passed a resolution of appreciation to James Sanford, associate professor of psychology, who plans to retire in 2014. Sanford has served continuously in the senate since 1984.

The senate heard updates from faculty representatives to BOV committees, as well as an update on upgrades to Blackboard, scheduled for Friday, May 17, from Sharon Pitt, executive director of the Division of Instructional Technology. She said that an upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010 will be implemented in classrooms in August.