Faculty Senate Opens Academic Year

Posted: September 4, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

At its first meeting of the academic year, the Faculty Senate elected new committee members and faculty representatives and voted to disapprove a proposed policy on research records.

However, most of the meeting was taken up with a discussion of the eligibility of administrative faculty to serve on the Faculty Senate, since the charter outlining eligibility for membership was deemed ambiguous. An administrative faculty member who had been elected to the senate last spring was ruled ineligible by the senate chair.

Following a vote, the chair’s decision was overturned.

The proposed university policy that was disapproved addresses the ownership and maintenance of research records.

A memo prepared by Barry W. Stevens, director of research policy development and chair of the committee that drafted the policy, said, “A policy on this topic is needed to protect the university’s interest in ensuring that records supporting the findings of its researchers are complete, responsibly maintained, and available for review in appropriate circumstances, to meet the obligations of sponsors and to protect the intellectual property rights of both the university and inventors.”

The policy will be sent back to the committee with senators’ questions and concerns. The full text of the proposed policy is linked to the Faculty Senate web page.

Because time ran short, a report on the Faculty Handbook revision and a presentation on the Quality Enhancement Plan, which is required as part of Mason’s SACS reaccreditation process, were deferred.

The next Faculty Senate meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 24.

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