JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY COUNCIL

Minutes No. 3  2000-2001
Thursday, February 22, 2001


I.          CALL TO ORDER AND ATTENDANCE: The James Madison University Council met electronically on Thursday, February 22, 2001.

PRESENT: Mr. Ralph Alberico, Dr. Jerry Benson, Dr. Dorothy Boyd-Rush, Dr. Patricia Brady, Dr. David Brakke, Ms. Sara Bromberg, Dr. Douglas Brown, Dr. James Couch, Mr. Michael Flaherty, Dr. John Gilje, Ms. Dona Gilliam, Dr. Linda Halpern, Dr. Arnold Kahn, Mr. Charles King, Ms. Rachel Montgomery, Mr. Geoff Polglase, Dr. Linwood Rose, Dr. James Ruff, Dr. Robert Scott, Mr. Mark Sullivan, Dr. Mark Warner and Dr. Richard Whitman.

ABSENT:  Dr. Barbara Castello, Ms. Melody Eaton, Dr. Clarence Geier, Mr. Greg Kundolf, Mr. Mitch Moore, Dr. Robert Reid, and Dr. Anne Stewart.

II.        COMMISSION/COUNCIL REPORTS:

Undergraduate Curriculum Council:

Dr. James Ruff, chairperson, reported that the Undergraduate Curriculum Council had not met and therefore had no report.

Graduate Council:

Dr. Dorothy Boyd-Rush, Chairperson, forwarded the following report:

The Graduate Council met electronically 5 December 2000, with voting accomplished electronically for all agenda items.  

 

The following Program Action Requests were submitted for this meeting and included:

·                                one program change was approved electronically for the School of Psychology;

·                                Biology had one new course approved;

·                                Health Sciences had one new course approved;

·                                Kinesiology had a concentration name change approved;

·                                In the College of Business, two faculty members were approved as graduate faculty;

·                                In the College of Arts and Letters three faculty members were approved, two from English and one from Music;

·                                In the College of Science and Mathematics, one Biology faculty member was approved;

·                                In the College of Integrated Science and Technology, one faculty member was approved.

 

The Graduate Council met 16 January 2001, with the following agenda items:

 

The following Program Action Requests and Graduate Faculty applications were submitted and approved for this meeting and included:

·                                History, in response to program review recommendations, proposed restructuring the thesis component to three hours;

·                                School of Art and Art History, four (4) faculty members were approved;

·                                In the College of Business, one (1) faculty member was approved;

 

Dr. Boyd Rush notified the group that the Graduate Council needed one more student representative.  Dr. Robert Hinkle made a presentation regarding the new audiology doctoral program.

Commission on Community:

Dr. Anne Stewart, chairperson, forwarded the following report.

In the fall, the Commission on Community submitted a proposal requesting funding to support the awarding of mini-grants for Spring 2001.  The proposal was not approved.  The Commission of Community committee was asked to review its membership and goals in the context of the “defining characteristics” of JMU 2008.

 

The membership the Commission on Community was reviewed and no consistent pattern of membership by college or organization was evident.  There was consistent representation across student, staff, and faculty constituencies and with particular offices and organizations, such as SGA and Multicultural/International Student Services.   The possibility of membership from the Harrisonburg community is under discussion.

 

Members are currently discussing the goals and activities and membership of the Commission on Community in the context of the defining characteristics of JMU 2008 (as presented in the report of the Centennial Commission).

 

The Commission on Community is identifying activities of other organizations/groups/ offices in the JMU community that are conducting work related to the current mission of the committee.  This information may be posted on a link from the commission webpage.

The Commission has been informed about the activities of Affirmative Action Office and is discussing ways the committee could be involved with the work.  Anne Stewart will serve on a committee from the Affirmative Action office and other committee members are contacting Dr. Wadley if they are able to participate.

III.       REPORT OF THE FACULTY SENATE

Dr. James Couch, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, presented the following report:

The Faculty Senate met in January and devoted much time to discussing the Governor's proposed budget and the Board of Visitors Amendments.  After the discussion the Senate adopted the following resolution.

 

WHEREAS, the Governor's budget allocates only enough money to James Madison University so that a .3% increase in faculty salaries can be awarded to faculty for the second year of the biennium; and

 

WHEREAS, the Governor's budget allocates funds to James Madison University that would result in a reduction from 10.4% to 9.24% in the contribution to the retirement plan for faculty not covered under the Virginia Retirement System; and

 

WHEREAS, the University's competitiveness in recruiting and retaining superior faculty members would be seriously compromised if the Governor's budget recommendations were adopted by the General Assembly; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board of Visitors of James Madison University did adopt a set of budget amendments that would restore funds so that faculty could receive a 3.3% salary increase; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board of Visitors of James Madison University did adopt a set of budget amendments that would restore the retirement contribution to the 10.4% level for faculty not covered under the Virginia Retirement System;

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of James Madison University speaking on behalf of all the faculty at James Madison University do request the members of the General Assembly adopt the budget amendments submitted by the Board of Visitors of James Madison University.

 

The Task Force on the Faculty Handbook returned suggested language in response to several concerns raised by the Handbook Committee relative to the draft of the Faculty Handbook.  The Handbook Committee has met and is submitting a recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

The Senate Steering Committee distributed a draft revision of the Senate Constitution to Senators in January.  The Senate will consider that draft at its February meeting.

 

The Senate completed the annual computer lottery and all those who entered have been notified the outcome.  There were 141 faculty members who entered the lottery.  There were 50 winners of a $500 grant that is to be applied to the purchase of computer equipment.  Funds for this activity are made available by the Foundation.

 

IV.       REPORT OF THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

Introduction:   The Student Government Association has been working with many students and organizations over the last few months in order to respond quickly and effectively to the concerns of students.  It is my pleasure to report these concerns and detail our responses this afternoon.

 

Sports Teams Issues:   Student support for Women’s Fencing, Women’s Archery, Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s Tennis, Men’s Swimming, Men’s Wrestling, Men’s Archery, and Men’s Gymnastics has been overwhelming.  In addition to the measures noted in my last report, students have taken the following steps to display their support so far:

 

February 13 Concert: 6 of JMU’s most popular vocal groups drew over 1,000 students to Wilson Hall last Tuesday to support the eight athletic teams.  Athletes made speeches and circulated petitions, as well as the addresses of members of the Board of Visitors.

 

Open Forum: In the first week of class back from Winter Break, with no publicity to spread awareness of the event, the Athletics Department held two forums for students to discuss the issues surrounding the future of the sports teams.  Over 100 students attended each of these forums, consistently expressing the view that the university should support these teams.

 

Petition: The petition circulated by the Student Government and the Save Our Sports student organization has garnered almost 4,500 signatures, up 1,500 signatures since the last report.

 

A major concern with the proposal to cut these eight teams lies in the current reevaluation of Title IX through the U.S. Office of Civil Rights.  Should this Office relax compliance regulations, any men’s team would have a fair legal standing to sue the university under reverse discrimination charges, and any women’s team would be able argue that they had been inappropriately dropped under the reevaluated statute.

 

Sexual Assault Issues:   The Student Government has continued to work for increased sexual assault prevention on campus.  As I mentioned in my November report, the Student Government is pursuing several proposals, including the purchase of informational boards for every room in residence halls, supporting increased funding for the Campus Cadets, and establishing an appropriate funding mechanism for the student-run Campus Assault Response Hotline.

 

University Licensing / Sweatshop Labor Concerns:   I am pleased to report that the Licensing Review Committee established by the Office of the President has met twice this semester and is in the process of reviewing the university’s licensing agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company.  The President has requested a formal recommendation from the committee by April 6 on whether our licensing policy appropriately protects university apparel workers.  The committee plans on meeting this deadline.

 

Academic Affairs Issues:   The Student Government Senate has passed the following resolution concerning faculty hiring and retention at JMU.  It is our hope that the university might find this statement useful as a guide on student opinion on faculty concerns.  I know that the university has been working tirelessly with legislators in Richmond on funding issues, and I offer this resolution as support for those efforts.

 

Whereas, James Madison University in a nationally recognized university with a strong academic program and,

 

Whereas the faculty are one of the essential components of this program and,

 

Whereas, recent growth of the James Madison University student body has not been sufficiently met by an increase in faculty,

     

Be it resolved, that the Senate of the James Madison University Student Government Association strongly support the faculty and their efforts to educate the student body and,

 

Be it further resolved, the Senate of the James Madison University Student Government Association strongly promotes the hiring of additional, diverse, and well qualified faculty members to meet the increasing academic needs of the university.

 

Furthermore, the Senate has passed a second resolution to support the establishment of a standard, consistent grading policy:

 

Whereas, James Madison University is a nationally recognized university with a strong academic program and,

 

Whereas, grading is a system that aims to measure academic performance of the students at this university and,

 

Whereas, there have been numerous concerns expressed over the inconsistency of grading throughout this university and,

 

Whereas, these inconsistencies include but are not limited to the use of the plus/minus system and the possibility of grade inflation,

 

Be it resolved, that the Senate of the James Madison University Student Government Association strongly encourage the university to develop a standard, consistent criteria for evaluating academic performance (i.e. grading) at James Madison University and,

 

Be it further resolved, that the Senate of the James Madison University Student Government Association pursues an active role, in cooperation with the academic administration, to ensure that students are graded in a standard, consistent manner.

 

Richmond Trips:   The Student Government participated in issue advocacy trips to Richmond, and met with over 100 Virginia Delegates and Senators.  Students spoke up for capital funding for the university, increased funding for teacher salaries, and against the proposed enrollment caps for in-state and out-of-state students.

 

Conclusion:   Again, I thank you for your time.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 568-3797 in the SGA office or at 438-3007 at home.  You may also email me at sullivmj@jmu.edu.  I look forward to working with you on these and other issues in the future.

VI.       REPORT OF THE HONOR COUNCIL

Ms. Sara Bromberg, Honor Council President, presented the following information:

Case Update:

As of the Fall 2000 Semester

 

11 Informal Resolutions

2 Formal Resolutions, one of which is currently being appealed:

 

New Members:  The Honor Council recently accepted six new student representatives.  The representatives were evaluated on a written application and an interview.  The representatives will participate in the “New Representative Program,” designed to give guidance and training of the duties and intricacies of the Honor System.  Formal induction of the members is scheduled for April.

 

New Advisor:  Maggie Burkhart Evans was just announced as our new advisor.  She will work with our current advisor, Susan Wheeler, for the remainder of this academic year, and will take over advisory duties beginning in May.

 

Honor Advisory Board:  The Honor Advisory Board met the first week in February.  At that meeting Mrs. Burkhart Evans was introduced.  We also discussed the plans for Honor Awareness Week, which will be held in April.

 

Meeting with Dr. Rose:  Sara Bromberg, Honor Council President, and Kara Green, Honor Council Vice President, met with Dr. Rose in late January.  At this meeting, Dr. Rose was asked to speak during Honor Awareness Week, and the idea of having an official signing ceremony for incoming freshmen was discussed.

 

VII.     REPORT OF UNIVERSITY PROGRAM BOARD

Mr. Greg Kundolf, Executive Chair, sent the following update on UPB:

The University Program Board has seen a quick start to the 2001 year.  During the month of January, UPB executed several successful programs and co-sponsorships, while contracting a promising lineup of educational and entertaining programs for the remainder of the semester.

 

Perhaps the most exciting event of the semester has occurred internally.  UPB concluded its hiring process of the 2001-2002 Executive Council.  Included in that process was the creation of a new Executive Council position and committee, currently entitled Director of Arts Events.  The mission of this position is to provide the JMU community with arts related programs focusing on current issues in the field as well as increased arts availability on campus.  The Director of Arts Events will collaborate with the various on-campus art galleries, the Art and History Departments and other student organizations to incorporate art into JMU life.

 

UPB has received an overwhelming positive response from the JMU community as we proudly welcome Green Party Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader.  Mr. Nader will be speaking on Saturday, March 17, in Wilson Hall, at 7 p.m.  Honored by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century, Mr. Nader provides a compelling look into the life and times of American politics.  Tickets for the event are free and will be available at the Warren Hall Box Office on Friday, February 23 at 9 a.m.

 

Several other exciting events sponsored by the University Program Board have seen great success.  More than 1,500 students, faculty and community members filled Wilson Hall beyond capacity for an Evolution Vs. Creation debate on January 22.  Dr. Vincent M. Sarich and Dr. Duane T. Gish, two world-class scientists, debated this heated topic, creating greater interest and awareness among all.  On February 12, Candace Bushnell, writer of Sex and the City, spoke of life, love and relationships to a riveted crowd at Wilson Hall.  Nationally recognized hypnotist Tom DeLuca performed at Wilson Hall on Monday, February 19.  DeLuca has received many National Entertainer of the Year Awards for his performances, which may be described as a cross between stand-up comedy and master hypnotism.

The University Program Board continues its vision to unify the JMU community through the medium of event programming.  Our ultimate goal is to derive a sense of school spirit and belonging through organization events, while creating a greater awareness for the arts and modern culture. 

 

 

Linwood H. Rose, President

 

Donna E. Burch, Secretary