Faculty Senate Votes in Favor of Participation Exemption for SMHS

Temporary exemption also extended to School of Nursing; final vote goes to Faculty Assembly.

Steven Knapp
George Washington President Steven Knapp leads Friday's meeting of the Faculty Senate. (William Atkins/GW Today)
January 20, 2016

The Faculty Senate voted Friday to authorize non-tenured, regular faculty from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to serve in the senate and voted to extend short-term authorization of the same right to non-tenured, regular faculty in the School of Nursing.

Both schools, along with the Milken Institute School of Public Health, were identified at the December senate meeting for consideration of such an exemption. The Faculty Organization Plan currently allows only full-time, tenured faculty to serve in the senate. Significant portions of faculty at the three schools are non-tenure track faculty with clinical responsibilities.

Friday’s meeting, led by George Washington President Steven Knapp, settled on a permanent exemption for SMHS and a three-year provisional exception for the School of Nursing, which is in its fifth year of existence. The Milken Institute SPH was removed from the resolution during debate.

“It seems to me what we’re talking about is a short-term solution to a short-term problem, which is they don’t currently have enough tenured faculty,” senate member and Professor of Decision Sciences and of Psychology Philip Wirtz said of the School of Nursing in providing an amendment for the three-year exemption. “We can solve that problem on a temporary basis.”

As they pertain to the Faculty Organization Plan, the coupled exemptions proceed to a vote at the 2016 Faculty Assembly, held in the fall. A resolution at the 2015 Faculty Assembly to amend the Faculty Organization Plan to allow non-tenured faculty throughout GW to serve on the Faculty Senate failed to get the two-thirds majority vote required to pass.

Update on online education

Vice Provost for Online Education and Academic Innovation Paul Schiff Berman, who is returning this month full time to the GW Law faculty, on Friday presented on GW’s online education efforts, including the university’s eDesign Shop—a team of instructional designers and multimedia and video experts who specialize in online program and course design—and Instructional Technology Lab.

GW currently offers more than 100 online degree and certificate programs, projected to gross almost $70 million in revenue in fiscal year 2016, Mr. Berman said.

“If we want to think about educating more students, finding students who we want to teach—who have satisfied our admissions criteria—online education is an important way to do that,” said Mr. Berman. “Separate from that, I think the sharp distinction between online and on campus education is eroding to some degree. Just as students at this university several years ago when they were taking tours of the campus asked, ‘Do you have Wi-Fi everywhere?’ I think increasingly [prospective] students will ask if they can do some of their coursework online.”

Chair and executive committee updates

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Chair Charles Garris provided general business updates Friday, including introducing Elizabeth Carlson as the senate’s new operations coordinator. Ms. Carlson fills the post previously held by the late Sue Campbell.

In brief remarks to close the meeting, Dr. Knapp highlighted the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service activities, which took place Monday at sites across the District of Columbia.

“It’s gotten so many participants, they had to move the opening assembly from the Marvin Center ballroom to Lisner Auditorium,” Dr. Knapp said. “Of course this is part of our culture of service. Last year, we accumulated more than 600,000 service hours. If you remember in 2010, we started with a goal of 100,000 hours. That’s a pretty substantial increase.”


Faculty Senate Discusses Participation Exemption for Milken, Nursing, SMHS

December 14, 2015
Debate and vote on allowing non-tenured regular faculty from three schools to serve on the senate will take place in January.

Faculty Organization Plan Will Not Be Amended

November 11, 2015
Faculty Assembly votes 169-159 to pass resolution allowing non-tenured faculty to serve on senate but 2/3 majority required.