Faculty Senate Re-elects Pober at Last Meeting of Academic Year

Posted: April 29, 2010 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

By Robin Herron

At its last meeting of the year on April 28, the Faculty Senate re-elected Peter Pober as the body’s chair for the 2010-11 academic year. Pober has just completed his first term as chair.

In other business, the senate continued discussion about online course evaluations.  Kris Smith, associate provost for Institutional Research and Reporting, had prepared a report, available online, of results from a pilot test of online course evaluations. Although numerous advantages of online evaluations were cited, including cost savings, the pilot administration had a considerably lower response rate than when paper evaluations were used, especially in lower-level courses. This spring, both the College of Science and the School of Management will use online course evaluations.

Smith will return to the senate in the fall to report on the spring online course evaluation results, results of further investigation as to how other universities are doing with online evaluations, and suggestions for improving response rate.

The senate also heard from Corey Jackson, director of Equity and Diversity Services, regarding a proposed policy on consenting relationships between Mason employees and students (the draft policy is included with the meeting agenda). As a result of a presentation at last month’s Faculty Senate meeting, Jackson said the policy is being revised. The revised policy will be presented to the senate for consideration in the fall.

The senate passed a resolution thanking Mason administration for budgeting funds to pay the state in lieu of a one-day furlough of faculty and staff.

The Faculty Matters Committee presented a report on fees for faculty and staff use of athletic facilities. A member of the committee, along with a representative from the Staff Senate, met with staff members from Intercollegiate Athletics and Human Resources. As a result, a recreation advisory committee will be formed; the fee for membership in the Fairfax Campus facilities will remain the same for next year, and other options for various tiered fee structures will be considered.

A motion was passed establishing an ad hoc committee to handle revisions to the Faculty Handbook.

The senate also accepted annual reports from the its standing and ad hoc committees, as well as university standing committees.

A composite report of the committee chairs’ input regarding their interactions with the president and provost will be prepared and distributed to senators, Pober said.

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