Faculty Senate Meets

Posted: October 7, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: October 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm

By Robin Herron

In his biannual address to the Faculty Senate on Oct. 5, President Alan Merten announced that state agencies have been asked to develop alternate budgets with 2-, 4- and 6-percent cuts for the next fiscal year. However, state universities have been exempted from the request, he said.

Noting that this is “a bittersweet year for me,” Merten commented on the “heartwarming discussions with the community” that he has had since announcing he will step down from the presidency next year. “People congratulate us and thank us for what we’ve done as a university,” he said. He also said that he is taking the opportunity this year to thank the faculty “collectively and individually” for what they have done for the university.

Merten also thanked Peter Pober, chair of the Faculty Senate, and other faculty members who have volunteered to sit on Board of Visitors committees. Merten said, “Adding the Faculty Senate chair and faculty committee representatives to the Board was one of the best things they’ve done.”

Anne Schiller, vice president for global and international relations, provided an update on the Songdo, Korea, campus proposal. Under the proposal, Mason would offer undergraduate economics and management programs initially, and would be the only university in the Songdo Global University Campus to offer those programs for at least five years. Current Mason faculty members would be encouraged to teach in Korea.

Schiller said the Board of Visitors would discuss the proposal at a special meeting on Oct. 6, and the university would have to apply for accreditation through Korea’s Ministry of Education as well as the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. If approved, the program could be offered in fall 2013.

Christine LaPaille, vice president for university relations, provided an update on the university branding process. She reviewed the research that led to the university tagline, “Where Innovation Is Tradition,” and said that she is currently working on an internal brand statement for faculty and staff that builds on the research conducted. She said that when the statement is finalized, Mason employees would also receive a “toolkit” to help implement the brand statement.

Edward Rhodes, dean of the School of Public Policy, provided an update on his unit’s activities.

More information is available on the Faculty Senate website.

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