Compliance by 7hdYPL5

VIEWS: 98 PAGES: 293

									    VOLUME I:
COMPLIANCE REPORT

The Self-Study in Support of the
Reaffirmation of Accreditation of
   George Mason University



         March 1, 2001
                                                 TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................................... 1
   INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES AND ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT ...................................................... 1
   SELF-STUDY PROCESS ................................................................................................................. 1
   HISTORY OF GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY .................................................................................. 2
   CHARACTERISTICS OF GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY ................................................................... 3
   PURPOSES OF THE REPORT ........................................................................................................... 3
   COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS...................................................................................................... 3
   SELF-STUDY COMMITTEE MEMBERS ........................................................................................... 4
   STEERING COMMITTEE................................................................................................................. 5
   COMPLIANCE SUBCOMMITTEE ..................................................................................................... 6
SECTION I: PRINCIPLES AND PHILOSOPHY OF ACCREDITATION .......................... 9
   1.1 INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE ACCREDITATION PROCESS ..... 9
   1.2 APPLICATION OF THE CRITERIA ............................................................................................ 14
   1.3 SEPARATELY ACCREDITED UNITS ........................................................................................ 17
   1.4 CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY ................................................................................................ 18
   1.5 INITIAL MEMBERSHIP ........................................................................................................... 27
   1.6 REPRESENTATION OF STATUS .............................................................................................. 28
SECTION II: INSTITUTIONAL PURPOSE .......................................................................... 31

SECTION III: INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS .......................................................... 35
   3.1 PLANNING AND EVALUATION: EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ................................................... 35
   3.2 PLANNING AND EVALUATION: ADMINISTRATIVE AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES .. 48
   3.3 INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH .................................................................................................. 49
SECTION IV: EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ......................................................................... 53
   4.1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ............................................... 53
   4.2 UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM ............................................................................................... 55
      4.2.1 Undergraduate Admission ........................................................................................... 56
      4.2.2 Undergraduate Completion Requirements .................................................................. 66
      4.2.3 Undergraduate Curriculum ......................................................................................... 71
      4.2.4 Undergraduate Instruction .......................................................................................... 75
      4.2.5 Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students ......................................................... 85
   4.3 GRADUATE PROGRAM .......................................................................................................... 89
      4.3.1 Initiation, Operation, and Expansion of Graduate Programs ..................................... 89
      4.3.2 Graduate Admission..................................................................................................... 93
      4.3.3 Graduate Completion Requirement ............................................................................. 97
      4.3.4 Graduate Curriculum................................................................................................... 99
      4.3.5 Graduate Instruction .................................................................................................. 106
      4.3.6 Academic Advising of Graduate Students .................................................................. 111
   4.4 PUBLICATIONS ................................................................................................................... 112
   4.5 DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS ...................................................................................... 114
  4.6 CONTINUING EDUCATION, OUTREACH AND SERVICE PROGRAMS ...................................... 117
  4.7 STUDENT RECORDS ............................................................................................................ 122
  4.8 FACULTY ............................................................................................................................ 124
     4.8.1 Selection of Faculty.................................................................................................... 125
     4.8.2 Academic and Professional Preparation ................................................................... 126
     4.8.3 Part-Time Faculty ...................................................................................................... 136
     4.8.4 Graduate Teaching Assistants ................................................................................... 138
     4.8.5 Faculty Compensation ............................................................................................... 139
     4.8.6 Academic Freedom and Professional Security .......................................................... 140
     4.8.7 Professional Growth .................................................................................................. 141
     4.8.8 The Role of the Faculty and Its Committees .............................................................. 143
     4.8.9 Faculty Loads............................................................................................................. 143
     4.8.10 Criteria and Procedures for Evaluation .................................................................. 144
  4.9 CONSORTIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS ..................................... 145
     4.9.1 Consortial Relationships ............................................................................................ 147
     4.9.2 Contractual Agreement .............................................................................................. 148
SECTION V: EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES ...................................................... 149
  5.1 LIBRARY AND OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES.................................................................... 149
     5.1.1 Purpose and Scope ..................................................................................................... 149
     5.1.2 Services ...................................................................................................................... 154
     5.1.3 Library Collections ................................................................................................... 169
     5.1.4 Information Technology ............................................................................................. 177
     5.1.5 Cooperative Agreements ............................................................................................ 180
     5.1.6 Staff ............................................................................................................................ 183
     5.1.7 Library/Learning Resources for Distance Learning Activities .................................. 186
  5.2 INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT .................................................................................................. 189
  5.3 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES AND SYSTEMS................................................... 195
  5.4 STUDENT DEVELOPMENT SERVICES .................................................................................. 210
     5.4.1 Scope and Accountability ........................................................................................... 210
     5.4.2 Resources ................................................................................................................... 211
     5.4.3 Programs and Services .............................................................................................. 212
  5.5 INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS ........................................................................................... 235
     5.5.1 Purpose ...................................................................................................................... 235
     5.5.2 Administrative Oversight ........................................................................................... 236
     5.5.3 Financial Control....................................................................................................... 237
     5.5.4 Academic Program .................................................................................................... 239
SECTION VI: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSES .............................................................. 241
  6.1 ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION.............................................................................. 241
     6.1.1 Descriptive Titles and Terms ..................................................................................... 242
     6.1.2 Governing Board ....................................................................................................... 243
     6.1.3 Advisory Committees ................................................................................................. 246
     6.1.4 Official Policies ......................................................................................................... 247
     6.1.5 Administrative Organization...................................................................................... 248
  6.2 INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT ........................................................................................ 250
     6.2.1 Alumni Affairs ............................................................................................................ 251


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      6.2.2 Fund Raising .............................................................................................................. 252
   6.3 FINANCIAL RESOURCES...................................................................................................... 253
      6.3.1 Financial Resources................................................................................................... 253
      6.3.2 Organization for the Administration of Financial Resources.................................... 254
      6.3.3 Budget Planning......................................................................................................... 255
      6.3.4 Budget Control ........................................................................................................... 256
      6.3.5 The Relation of an Institution to External Budgetary Control .................................. 257
      6.3.6 Accounting, Reporting, and Auditing......................................................................... 257
      6.3.7 Purchasing and Inventory Control ............................................................................ 260
      6.3.8 Refund Policy ............................................................................................................. 261
      6.3.9 Cashiering .................................................................................................................. 261
      6.3.10 Investment Management .......................................................................................... 262
      6.3.11 Risk Management ..................................................................................................... 262
      6.3.12 Auxiliary Enterprises ............................................................................................... 263
   6.4 PHYSICAL RESOURCES ....................................................................................................... 264
      6.4.1 Space Management .................................................................................................... 266
      6.4.2 Buildings, Grounds and Equipment Maintenance ..................................................... 267
      6.4.3 Safety and Security ..................................................................................................... 271
      6.4.4 Facilities Master Plan................................................................................................ 274
   6.5 EXTERNALLY FUNDED GRANTS AND CONTRACTS............................................................. 275
   6.6 RELATED CORPORATE ENTITIES ........................................................................................ 278
SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................... 283
   FINDINGS ................................................................................................................................. 283
   RECOMMENDATIONS AND FOLLOW-UP PLANS ........................................................................ 284




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                                      INTRODUCTION



Institutional Issues and Organization of the Report

        In Fall 1998, George Mason University submitted a proposal to use an alternate model
for its self-study to be completed by Spring 2001. The procedure proposed required two
self-studies instead of one. The first (Volume One of this report) was to address the university‘s
compliance with SACS‘ Criteria for Accreditation.
        The second (Volume Two) was to be a strategic self-study on issues of particular concern
to the university. President Alan Merten suggested that the university investigate the six
commitments presented in the document Engaging the Future: George Mason University at the
Turn of the Millennium, the report of the President‘s faculty task force on the future of the
university that had been completed in Fall 1997. The six commitments are made up of four
university goals: to be learning centered; to foster innovative research and creative activity; to
provide a welcoming and interactive community; to respond to community needs and contribute
to regional development. The fifth encourages attention to the ways information technology can
advance the four goals, while the sixth emphasizes accountability in pursuing the goals.

Self-Study Process

         We received SACS‘ approval and began work in Spring of 1999 on a document entitled
Fulfilling Our Commitments. For Part One of the study, we established a compliance committee
made up of relevant staff and administrative faculty for each of the compliance report sections.
For Part Two, calling on faculty, staff and students from throughout the university, we formed
five strategic committees to deal with issues pertaining to learning, research, internal and
external communities and information technology. Each committee was to illustrate its
accountability. A Steering Committee comprised of the Chairs of the strategic and compliance
committees, the Director, Assistant Director and Editor of the self-study, and several other
relevant university administrators convened regularly to discuss policy issues. For the next 18
months, about 80 members of the university community met frequently in committees to discuss
the university.
         In order to get various kinds of feedback from as wide a constituency as possible among
staff, faculty and students, the strategic committees in particular used interviews, focus groups,
questionnaires and so on. Regular editions of a newsletter, Self-Study Update, kept the university
community informed about the progress of the various committees, encouraging comments about
each of the reports as they appeared on the self-study‘s web site. Each newsletter featured a
particularly significant must statement from the compliance portion of the study. This newsletter
continues up to the present with information about the progress of the study. All reports used the
Style Manual for the Self-Study, put together by the Editor and Executive Assistant.
History of George Mason University

        George Mason University‘s growing reputation as an innovative educational leader is
rooted in Virginia‘s strong educational tradition. The university began as the Northern Virginia
branch of the University of Virginia in 1957, offering courses in engineering and the liberal arts.
Called University College, it opened in a renovated elementary school in Baileys Crossroads
with an enrollment of 17 students.
        Eager to support the fledgling institution, the Town (now City) of Fairfax purchased 150
acres in 1958 and donated it to the University of Virginia for a permanent branch campus. The
following year, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors selected the name George Mason
College. Construction of the campus‘s first four buildings was completed in 1964. In September
of that year, 356 students began their studies in the new classrooms.
        In March 1966, the General Assembly authorized the expansion of George Mason
College into a four-year, degree-granting institution and gave it the long-range mandate to
expand into a major regional university. The first senior class received degrees in June 1968.
Graduate programs began in September 1970, with the first master‘s degrees conferred in June
1971. The George Mason College Board of Control, supported by citizens of Alexandria, Falls
Church, Arlington, and Fairfax counties, acquired an additional 442 acres. By the end of 1970,
the college‘s Fairfax Campus reached 571 acres; it is now 677 acres.
        In 1972, the Board of Visitors of Virginia recommended that the college separate from its
parent institution. On April 7, the Governor signed the General Assembly legislation that
established George Mason University as an independent member of the Commonwealth‘s system
of colleges and universities.
        Since 1972, the university‘s development has been marked by rapid growth and
innovative planning. In 26 years, enrollment has risen from 4,166 to over 24,000 in Fall 1999.
In 1979, George Mason was given the authority to grant doctoral degrees and began offering
programs at this level. In the same year, the university acquired George Mason University
School of Law, located at the Arlington campus.
        In 1985, George Mason, in partnership with area businesses, developed an engineering
program geared toward the emerging information technology field and started the School of
Information Technology and Engineering (ITE). Through ITE, George Mason was the first
university in the country to offer a doctoral degree in information technology.
        The establishment of the Institute of the Arts in 1990 solidified the university‘s
commitment to make the arts a pervasive part of students‘ lives. The Center for the Arts and the
arts complex, which includes an art gallery, studio and rehearsal space, and performing venues
such as TheaterSpace, are all components of the institute.
        The innovative George W. Johnson Center opened in April 1996. By combining student
life resources with educational support facilities like an interactive library, George Mason has
created a learning workplace for the future.
        George Mason has expanded its presence to serve the entire Northern Virginia region by
employing the concept of the distributed university. In collaboration with county and state
governments, the university established the Prince William Campus in Prince William
County. A partnership with the American Type Culture Collection, the world‘s foremost archive
of living cultures, has led to academic programs focusing on bioinformatics, and will make
Prince William County a center for medical technology. The university is also expanding its
presence in Arlington. A new building to house the law school and related programs opened in



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early 1999, allowing an increase in programming that includes business, public policy,
telecommunications and international commerce and policy.
        In 1996, President George Johnson retired after serving with distinction for eighteen
years, and was succeeded by President Alan G. Merten.
        George Mason University‘s reputation has continued to grow as the university provides
an educational, cultural, and economic resource for the people of Northern Virginia, the
Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation.

Characteristics of George Mason University

          2,130 first-time freshmen enrolled in Fall 1999, making it the largest freshman class
           in George Mason history.
          5,097 degrees and certificates were awarded in 1998-99.
          Graduate students make up 34% of the student population.
          The College of Arts and Sciences enrolls 28.6% of the total population and 35.4% of
           all undergraduates.
          2,729 students lived in residential or university-owned housing in Fall 1999.
          Among students receiving financial aid, the average aid award for 1999-00 is $6,757;
           for institutional aid is $4,311.
          32% of students are minority or non-resident aliens and 56% are female.
          There were 881 full-time instructional and research faculty in Fall 1999.
          There were 594 part-time faculty in Fall 1999.
          53.3% of full-time faculty are tenured, 14.1% are on probationary tenure track, and
           32.6% are restricted.
          82.4% of full-time faculty have a terminal degree.
          Mason‘s 1998-99 E&G budget was approximately $174 million.
          Over $33 million in research expenditures were projected for 1999-00.
          In 1998-99 the University Libraries system held 829,853 volumes.

Purposes of the Report

         This report documents the findings of the Compliance Subcommittee in its examination
of the extent to which the university complies with the Commission on Colleges‘ Criteria for
Accreditation. The report also documents the recommendations made as a result of the self-
study and offers follow-up plans for implementing recommendations. It will be used, with the
report of the visiting committee, to develop a comprehensive response to issues identified by the
institution and by the visiting committee.
         The full report will be made available to the visiting committee and to senior
administrators and the academic units within the university. It can be accessed from the
university‘s web site, and will also be archived electronically within the University Libraries‘
Special Collection and Archives.

Compliance Requirements

       The body of this report follows the structure of the Criteria for Accreditation. It is
divided into six sections—one for each section in the Criteria—and a summary. Within each


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section, the report reiterates the specific Criteria examined, then provides the university‘s
response to the Criteria. The response provides an analysis of the extent to which the university
complies with the particular standard, as well as listing documentation that supports the
university‘s analysis.
        If the Compliance Subcommittee found areas within which the university could improve
its policies, procedures or practices, it made suggestions to that effect. If the committee found
that the university was not in compliance with the Criteria, it made recommendations that the
university must implement in order to correct the problem and comply with the requirements of
the Criteria.
        A final section summarizes the findings of the Compliance Subcommittee and offers a
follow-up plan to implement each recommendation.               Follow-up plans summarize the
recommendation and identify the persons responsible for implementing the recommendation and
the timeframe within which the problem will be corrected. They also suggest an approach for
implementing the recommendations and offer some indicators of successful implementation.

Supporting Documentation

Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). 1999 – 2000 Factbook Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27,
       2000.
Office of the Provost. (1998). Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the
       Millennium. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/futures/, current on November 21, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1998). Proposal to Use Alternate Model for Self-Study. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Fulfilling Our Commitments. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/accredit/,
       current on January 8, 2001.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Self-Study Update, Volumes 1 - 9. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/accredit/whats_new.shtml, current as of
       November 21, 2000.

Self-Study Committee Members

         The following members of the university community served on committees of the self-
study.




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Steering Committee

Johannes D. Bergmann                               Wendy E. Payton
Professor of English                               Director of Special Projects for the
English Department                                 Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Chair, Learning Subcommittee                       Assistant Director of the Self-Study
hbergman@gmu.edu                                   wpayton@gmu.edu
(703) 993-1196                                     (703) 993-8679

Lawrence D. Czarda                                 Karen E. Rosenblum
Vice President for Operations                      Vice President, University Life
lczarda@gmu.edu                                    Associate Professor, Sociology
(703) 993-8695                                     krosenbl@gmu.edu
                                                   (703) 993-8760
Christopher J. Dede
(now at Harvard University)                        David A. Schum
Professor of Education                             Professor, School of Information
Graduate School of Education                       Technology & Engineering
Chair, Information Technology Subcommittee         Professor of Law
                                                   Chair, Research & Creativity Subcommittee
Karen M. Gentemann                                 dschum@gmu.edu
Director, Office of Institutional Assessment       (703) 993-1694
Chair, Compliance Subcommittee
genteman@gmu.edu                                   Linda A. Schwartzstein
(703) 993-8836                                     Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
                                                   Professor of Law
Lorna M. Irvine                                    Director of the Self-Study
Professor of English                               lschwar1@gmu.edu
Editor of the Self-Study                           (703) 993-8789
lirvine@gmu.edu
(703) 993-8786                                     Bennett K. Smith
                                                   Student Senator
Sara C. Looney                                     Student Government
Associate Professor                                bsmith8@gmu.edu
New Century College                                (703) 993-2923
Chair, Internal Community Subcommittee
slooney@gmu.edu                                    Mary K. Wakefield
(703) 993-1128                                     Director, Center for Health Care Policy
                                                   College of Nursing & Health Science
James C. Miller                                    Chair, External Community Subcommittee
Counselor                                          mwakefi1@gmu.edu
Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation            (703) 993-1930
Visitor, Board of Visitors
jimtruk@erols.com                                  John G. Zenelis
(202) 942-7617                                     University Librarian
                                                   University Libraries
                                                   jzenelis@gmu.edu
                                                   (703) 993-2223




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Compliance Subcommittee

Anne Agee                                      Randall Edwards
Executive Director, DoIIIT                     Executive Vice President
aagee@gmu.edu                                  redwards@gmu.edu
(703) 993-3178                                 (703) 993-8355
Section 5.2: Instructional Support             Prince William Campus Representative
Section 5.3: Information Technology
Resources and Systems                          Karen M. Gentemann
                                               Director, Institutional Assessment
Jeffrey A. Brandwine                           Compliance Subcommittee Chair
Assistant Vice President                       genteman@gmu.edu
Legal Affairs Department                       (703) 993-8836
jbrand@gmu.edu                                 Compliance Subcommittee Chair
(703) 993-2619                                 Section 3: Institutional Effectiveness
4.9 Consortial Relationships and Contractual
Agreements                                     Marcelle Heerschap
                                               Dean of Admissions and Enrollment
Julie A. Christensen                           Development
Assistant to the Vice Provost                  mheersch@gmu.edu
International and Distance Education           (703) 993-2395
Associate Professor of Russian                 Section 4 Team: Educational Programs
jchriste@gmu.edu
(703) 993-1228                                 Reid Herlihy
Section 4 Team: Educational Programs           Vice President for Facilities
                                               rherlihy@gmu.edu
Susan A. Collins                               (703) 993-2543
Senior Associate Athletic Director             Section 6.4: Physical Resources
for Administration and Compliance
scollins@gmu.edu                               Lorna M. Irvine
(703) 993-3204                                 Professor of English
Section 5.5: Intercollegiate Athletics         lirvine@gmu.edu
                                               (703) 993-8786
Lawrence D. Czarda                             4.1 General Requirements
Vice President for Operations
lczarda@gmu.edu                                Judith Jobbitt
(703) 993-8695                                 Vice President for Development
Section 6.1: Organization and                  and Alumni Affairs
Administration                                 President, GMU Foundation
                                               jjobbitt@gmu.edu
Jevita deFreitas                               (703) 993-8854
Director, Student Financial Aid                Section 6.2: Institutional Advancement
jdouglas@gmu.edu                               Section 6.6: Related Corporate Entities
(703) 993-2349
Section 5.4.3.5: Student Financial Aid




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Compliance Subcommittee (cont.)                 David W. Rossell
                                                Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget
Susan Huston Jones                              drossell@gmu.edu
University Registrar                            (703) 993-8767
shjones@gmu.edu                                 Section 1: Principles and Philosophy of
(703) 993-2446                                  Accreditation and
                                                Section 2: Institutional Purpose
Section 4 Team: Educational Programs
                                                Susan J. Swett
Donna Kidd                                      Director, CAS Graduate Admissions
Assistant Vice President, Budget and            College of Arts and Sciences
Institutional Research and Reporting            sswett@gmu.edu
dkidd1@gmu.edu                                  (703) 993-2423
(703) 993-8743                                  Section 4 Team: Educational Programs
Section 6.3: Financial Resources
                                                Stanley E. Taylor
Jennifer O. Murphy
                                                Associate Vice President, Operational Services
Director, Office of Technology Transfer
                                                staylor@gmu.edu
jmurphy@gmu.edu
                                                (703) 993-8754
(703) 993-2985
Section 6.5: Externally Funded Grants and       Arlington Campus Representative
Contracts
                                                Wm. Michael Wood
Janet R. Niblock                                Coordinator of Institutional Research
Executive Director, Office of Continuing        wwood@gmu.edu
Professional Education                          (703) 993-8840
jniblock@gmu.edu                                Institutional Research and Reporting
(703) 993-2114                                  Representative
Section 4 Team: Educational Programs
                                                John G. Zenelis
Karen E. Rosenblum                              University Librarian
Vice President, University Life                 jzenelis@gmu.edu
Associate Professor, Sociology                  (703) 993-2223
krosenbl@gmu.edu                                Section 5.1: Library and Other Learning
(703) 993-8760                                  Resources
Section 5.4: Student Development Services




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         SECTION I: PRINCIPLES AND PHILOSOPHY OF ACCREDITATION



1.1 Institutional Commitment and Responsibilities in the Accreditation Process

         The effectiveness of self-regulatory accreditation depends upon an institution’s
acceptance of certain responsibilities, including involvement in and commitment to the
accreditation process. An institution is required to conduct a self-study at the interval specified
by the Commission and, at the conclusion of the self-study, accept an honest and forthright peer
assessment of institutional strengths and weaknesses. The Commission requires that the self-
study assess every aspect of the institution, involve personnel from all segments of the institution,
including faculty, staff, students, administration and governing boards; and provide a
comprehensive analysis of the institution, identifying strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the
Commission requires an adequate institutional follow-up plan to address issues in the self-study.
(p. 5, lines 1-16)

         In March of 1998 the Commission notified President Merten that George Mason
University was scheduled to begin its institutional self-study in 1999 in anticipation of action on
reaffirmation of accreditation in 2001. Dr. James Rogers, Executive Director of the
Commission, indicated that the university could submit a proposal to be considered as a
participant in the alternate self-study model. The President‘s Council (comprising the President,
Provost, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts and heads of major academic units) concluded that the
alternate self-study model would provide a valuable means of realizing the goals of the
university‘s strategic planning effort, Engaging the Future.
         Linda A. Schwartzstein, then Vice Provost for Strategic Planning, was appointed to direct
the self-study effort. She submitted the Proposal to Use Alternate Model for Self-Study to the
Commission in October of 1998. The Commission accepted the university‘s proposal, and
George Mason University commenced the official self-study in February, 1999, with a kickoff
meeting between Dr. David Carter, the Commission‘s liaison, and representatives of the
institution and self-study committees.
         With guidance from the President‘s Council and a call for volunteers from the university
community, Dr. Schwartzstein formed a Steering Committee, Compliance Subcommittee, and
five strategic subcommittees to address the subjects of the strategic component of the self-study:
learning, research and creativity, internal community, external community, and information
technology. She also appointed an Editor and Editorial Assistant to oversee development of the
deliverables of the study. The first deliverable, the Plan for the Self-Study, was submitted to the
Commission in August of 1999.
         The committees of the self-study have executed the plan, meeting on a regular basis,
conducting research, and developing compliance and strategic reports. The committees have
engaged students, staff, faculty, citizens, and our Board of Visitors throughout the process. The
resulting reports represent the efforts of hundreds of people throughout the university; they
assess every aspect of the institution, and provide a comprehensive analysis of its strengths and
weaknesses. Where we have found weaknesses, we have developed follow-up plans for the
institution to address these issues.




                                             9
Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (1998). Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the
       Millennium. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/futures/, current on November 21, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1998). Proposal to Use Alternate Model for Self-Study. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (1999). Plan for the Self-Study. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/accredit/plan.shtml, current on November 21,
       2000.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (n.d.). Correspondence from the Southern
       Association of Colleges and Schools Concerning Commencement of the Self-Study.
       Decatur, Georgia: Author.

       An institution must be committed to participation in the activities and decisions of the
Commission. This commitment includes a willingness to participate in the decision-making
processes of the Commission and adherence to all policies and procedures, including those for
reporting changes within the institution. Only if institutions accept seriously the responsibilities
of membership will the validity and vitality of the accreditation process be ensured. (p. 5, lines
17-25)

        The university committed staff, office space and a budget to the self-study. In March of
1999, the President and Provost sent a letter asking for the university‘s full engagement in the
process of the self-study. They reiterated their support for the effort in a second letter in January,
2000. The Steering Committee has attempted to keep awareness and support of the self-study at
a high level through newsletters and announcements in the online Daily Mason Gazette.
        We have been gratified by the results. Students, staff and faculty have participated in
surveys and focus groups, collected massive quantities of documentation and given the self-study
their invaluable insights and feedback. The self-study has demanded the significant time, energy
and resources of a great many people in the institution. The community has given generously,
understanding the value of a close scrutiny of this work.
        The university has fulfilled its responsibilities as a member of the Commission in other
ways as well. We have maintained the standards of the Criteria for Accreditation during the
period between the self-study concluded in 1991 and the present. Our faculty and administrators
have served on peer reviews of other institutions. We have responded to requests for information
from the Commission, participated in surveys, and reviewed drafts of Commission policies and
procedures. We have attended annual meetings of the Commission in Atlanta to remain current
on issues before the Commission and to add our voice to its discussions.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Letters from President and Provost Encouraging
      Participation in the Self-Study. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.




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Office of the Provost. (2001). Self-Study Update, Volumes 1 - 9. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/accredit/whats_new.shtml, current as of
       November 21, 2000.
University Publications. (2000). Daily Mason Gazette Articles Publicizing Self-Study. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

       An institution of higher education is committed to the search for knowledge and its
dissemination. (p. 5, lines 26 – 27)

        George Mason University‘s commitment to the search for knowledge and its
dissemination is made clear in its mission statement. In 1997 President Merten called on the
university community to consider its future, in particular to determine how its mission could best
be accomplished at the turn of the millennium. A task force of faculty facilitated the study. The
result, Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the Millennium, identified six
commitments for the university:

          George Mason University will be learning centered.
          George Mason University will foster innovative research and creative activity.
          George Mason University will provide a welcoming and interactive community.
          George Mason University will respond to community needs and contribute to
           regional development.
          George Mason University will capitalize on information technology.
          George Mason University will be accountable.

Our self-study is called Fulfilling Our Commitments because the focus of the strategic
component of the study is on developing detailed plans of action that implement these
commitments.
       As this document is being written, President Merten has further articulated his vision of
the university in The Innovative University for the Information Society. The statement follows.

                     The Innovative University for the Information Society

       George Mason will be the university needed by a region and world driven by new
       social, economic, and technological realities.

       We are in the right place: The nation's capital region is the epicenter of the world's
       political web, its information and communications network, and its new economy.

       We are ready: In an age that demands originality and imagination, George Mason
       is the region's most innovative university. George Mason will

                  become a magnet for outstanding faculty who will devise new ways to
                   approach problems, invent new ways to teach, and develop new
                   knowledge for the benefit of the region and nation;



                                            11
                  attract inventive, industrious students of all ages and cultures and
                   produce citizens who are intellectually and technologically literate—
                   people who will lead by the force of their ideas;
                  transform into knowledge and wisdom the vast amounts of information
                   now accessible through new technologies;
                  build strong alliances that bring the know-how of business and the
                   community into the university and take the knowledge of the
                   university into the workplace and the larger society;
                  become a center of inquiry, knowledge, and professional expertise in
                   fields with vital implications for human needs and opportunities in the
                   future; and
                  remain innovative, resourceful, and responsive, while drawing on the
                   intellectual and cultural heritage of the classical university.

        This vision provides a blueprint for further developing the Engaging the Future
document. The president has asked each dean and academic director to produce vision
statements that will complement the university‘s vision and spell out how each unit contributes
to these goals. These statements are the first step in a revised academic planning process for the
colleges, schools and institutes of George Mason.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―The University‘s Mission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       p. 5. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/profile.html#Mission, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Vision Statements of the Schools, Colleges and Institutes of
       George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Merten, A.G. (2000). The Innovative University for the Information Age. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/news/gazette/0009/message.html, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1998). Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the
       Millennium. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/futures/, current on November 21, 2000.

Integrity in the pursuit of knowledge is expected to govern the total environment of an institution.
Each member institution is responsible for ensuring integrity in all operations dealing with its
constituencies, in its relations with other member institutions, and in its accreditation activities
with the Commission on Colleges. Each institution must provide the Commission access to all
parts of its operation and to complete and accurate information about the institution’s affairs,
including reports of other accrediting, licensing and auditing agencies. In the spirit of
collegiality, institutions are expected to cooperate fully during all aspects of the process of
evaluation: preparations for site visits, the site visit itself, and the follow up to the site visit.
Institutions are also expected to provide the Commission or its representatives with information
requested and to maintain an atmosphere of openness and cooperation during evaluations,
enabling evaluators to perform their duties with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. (p. 5,
lines 26-34, p. 6, lines 1-12)


                                             12
         Engaging the Future also identified the themes around which the university creates
opportunities for its future and its region‘s future. One of the themes is citizenship, addressing
the liberal arts, leadership, values, ethics, community service, and global perspectives.
         The university reinforced its commitment to integrity this year with its Citizenship 2000
program. The program, conducted during the Spring 2000 semester, featured speakers, panel
discussions, demonstrations, networking events and fine and performing arts activities that
investigated the role of higher education in fostering three key elements of citizenship:
involvement in the political process, engagement on public policy issues, and participation in
community work.
         Both the compliance and strategic components of the self-study have been conducted
with the openness and integrity expressed by the citizenship theme. The Director of the self-
study has emphasized the importance of frank and thorough assessment of all of the operations
of the university. The reports produced by the compliance and strategic teams represent the
honest efforts of hundreds of individuals with direct input to the study to portray what works
well in the institution and what does not.
         We have also encouraged the rest of the university community to consider the results of
the study and provide comment. They have done so with thoughtfulness and vigor, and we have
tried to incorporate their ideas and dissenting views in our work.
         In meetings with the senior leadership of the institution, through self-study newsletters,
and through a system of specially appointed compliance liaisons, the university has conveyed the
importance of the effort to reaffirm our accreditation. The Director of the self-study has reported
regularly on the status of the process, as well as on problems encountered, at bimonthly Deans
and Directors meetings. A member of the Board of Visitors sits on the Steering Committee of
the study. He has asked for and received progress reports to share with his fellow board
members. The Director will also make a formal presentation to the Board on the self-study
during the Spring 2001 semester.
         In the early phase of the study, the Director asked each of the academic units to appoint a
compliance liaison to serve as the point of contact for all aspects of the compliance component.
This structure has proven to be a particularly effective means for collecting documentation while
minimizing redundant or inefficient effort. Compliance liaisons have been apprised of the
documentation that will be held centrally in the self-study library and that which is to be made
available in academic units for review by the visiting teams.
         Self-study newsletters have regularly reminded the community about the upcoming site
visit and advised that everyone be available during the visit. The Director will also issue formal
requests to participate in the site visit. Requests will be sent to the senior leadership of the
university, compliance liaisons, and all members of the university specifically requested by the
Commission or the visiting teams. The university intends to exercise the same openness,
integrity, and diligence during the days of the actual site visit as have been exhibited throughout
the two years of the self-study.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Citizenship 2000: The University and Civic Education
      [Online]. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/citizenship2000/, current on September 6,
      2000.



                                            13
George Mason University. (2000). Comments from the University Community on the Self-Study.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (1998). Engaging the Future. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/futures/, current on November 21, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Self-Study Update, Volumes 1 – 9. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/accredit/whats_new.shtml, current as of
       November 21, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Midpoint Progress Report to SACS. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Midpoint Progress Report to the Board of Visitors. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Schwartzstein, L. A. (2000). Memos to Compliance Liaisons Re: SACS Reporting Requirements.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

       Each participating institution must be in compliance with its program responsibilities
under Title IV of the 1992 Higher Education Amendments. Failure to comply with Title IV
responsibilities will be considered when an institution is reviewed for initial membership or
continued accreditation. In reviewing an institution’s compliance with these program
responsibilities, the Commission will rely on documentation forwarded to it by the Secretary of
Education. (p. 6, lines 13 - 21)

         George Mason University is in compliance with Title IV responsibilities. Section 5.4.3.5
of this report discusses the operations of the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―5.4.3.5 Student Financial Aid,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
      Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

        Each institution seeking candidacy, membership or reaffirmation with the Commission on
College must document its compliance with the Conditions of Eligibility as outlined in Section
1.4. (p. 6, lines 22 – 25)

       George Mason University is in compliance with the Conditions of Eligibility.          See
Section 1.4 of this report for detailed information.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―1.4 Conditions of Eligibility,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
      Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

1.2 Application of the Criteria

       The Criteria for Accreditation applies to all institutional programs and services wherever
located or however delivered. It is designed to guide institutions in all stages of membership—



                                           14
from initial application through initial accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation.
Compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation is intended to help an institution achieve overall
effectiveness and to ensure the quality of its educational programs. The Commission on
Colleges shall apply the Criteria to all applicant, candidate and member institutions regardless
of type of institution, whether for profit, not-for-profit, private or public. The Commission grants
or reaffirms accreditation only to institutions which comply with the Criteria.
        An institution must refrain from making a substantive change, defined as a significant
modification in the nature or scope of an institution or its programs, except in accordance with
the Commission’s ―Substantive Change Policy for Accredited Institutions‖ and its attendant
procedures. All existing or planned activities must be reported according to the policies,
procedures and guidelines of the Commission on Colleges and must be in compliance with the
Criteria. If an institution fails to follow the procedures outlined in the above policy, its total
accreditation will be placed in jeopardy. (p. 6, lines 26 – 35, p. 7, lines 1 – 14)

        From the time of its last reaffirmation of accreditation in 1991 until the beginning of the
present self-study, George Mason University did not report changes according to the Substantive
Change Policy for Accredited Institutions. We were advised by the Commission in 1998 that it
was necessary to provide information on activity that had occurred during the intervening period.
We undertook a review of all degree and certificate programs initiated at the university since
1990. A list of these programs was provided to the Commission on Colleges. We also reported
to the Commission that the university had added a new campus, the Prince William Campus.
        In response, the Commission sent a letter indicating that most of the changes that we
reported are consistent with the mission and scope of the institution and are thus included in our
current accreditation. James Rogers asked that we submit a prospectus for the Prince William
Campus as well as program/site descriptions for programs using distance learning delivery
methods.
        The university submitted the Prospectus for the Prince William Campus in March, 2000.
The Commission on Colleges accepted the documentation and included the Prince William
Campus within the scope of the university‘s accreditation. We have prepared descriptions of the
distance learning programs currently offered by the university according to guidance in
Procedure Two of Substantive Change C.

Recommendation

       While the substantive changes initiated by the university to this point fit within its present
mission and scope, we have not been as proactive as we should in reporting these changes to the
Commission. This represents a lapse in internal procedures rather than a desire to evade
accountability. All of our educational programs are examined by the State Council of Higher
Education for Virginia (SCHEV). SCHEV‘s standards for approval of educational programs
have much in common with those of the Criteria.
       In order to achieve the proactive posture that the Commission on Colleges requires, we
recommend that the university assign responsibility for reporting substantive changes and
working with the Commission on other issues related to compliance with the Criteria for
Accreditation.




                                             15
Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (1999). Report on Substantive Changes to Programs. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Prospectus for the Prince William Campus. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (n.d.). Correspondence from the Southern
       Association of Colleges and Schools Concerning Substantive Changes to Programs.
       Decatur, Georgia: Author.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (n.d.). Policies for Degree Programs. [Online]
       Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.schev.edu/html/academic/proplcy.html, current on February 16, 2001.

         The Commission on Colleges takes no position on collective bargaining agreements,
neither encouraging nor discouraging them. When an institution’s purpose, policies or
procedures are modified by collective bargaining agreements, the modifications do not affect the
application of the Criteria, the self-study, the evaluation, or the reporting processes. The impact
of a collective bargaining agreement will be included in the accreditation process when
appropriate. When accreditation-related recommendations or suggestions are sent to an
institution, they are intended to strengthen the total institution, not to influence collective
bargaining negotiations. (p. 7, lines 15 – 26)

       The university does not enter into collective bargaining agreements.

       The Commission on Colleges maintains a policy and procedure for considering formal
complaints regarding member or candidate institutions. (See Commission document ―Complaint
Policy.‖)
       Each institution must have adequate procedures for addressing written student
complaints. (p. 7, lines 27 – 32)

        George Mason University has adequate procedures for addressing written student
complaints. Designated staff member(s) in each department or unit receive, research when
necessary, and respond to written complaints. Decisions made at the unit level are subject to
appeal to the Dean and Provost (for academic matters), and to the appropriate Vice President and
Senior Vice President (for non-academic matters).
        An Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs assists the Provost in resolving student
complaints in appropriate cases regarding academic matters. An Ombudsman for non-academic
matters aids the Senior Vice President.
        Complaints that reach the President‘s Office are referred to the appropriate university
unit. In matters that are appealed to the President, this referral requires that a response be
prepared for the President‘s signature or that a copy of the response be forwarded to the
President‘s office.
        All correspondence is retained according to Administrative Policy #23: Records
Management.
        Contact information for the Ombudsmen is contained in the University Catalog, the
university‘s telephone book, and the Student Handbook.



                                            16
       The Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs submits an annual report to the Provost.
The Ombudsman for administrative matters provides follow-up reports to the appropriate units.
       The Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs holds membership in the Ombudsmen
Association and adheres to the Association‘s Code of Ethics.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1993). University Administrative Policy No. 23: Records
       Management. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/23.html, current on November 27,
       2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs,‖ 2000 – 2001
       Student/Faculty/Staff Telephone Directory. p. 64. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs,‖ 2000 – 2001
       University Catalog. p. 24. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Policies on Student Grievances of the Schools, Colleges and
       Institutes of George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Ombudsman. (2000). Office of the Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs
       Annual Report, October 1998 – November 1999. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Provost’s Office Procedures for Handling Student Grievances.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). ―Ombudsman for Student Academic
       Affairs,‖ Student Handbook 2000 – 2001. p. 19. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also
       available at http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/, current on November 27, 2000.

        The Commission evaluates not only compliance with specific criteria but also the
effectiveness of the institution as a whole and the environment in which teaching and learning
occurs. Assessment of the overall effectiveness of an institution derived through the peer
evaluation process, rather than simple compliance with specific criteria, shall be an overriding
factor in the Commission’s determination of whether to confer, or to continue, the accredited
status of an institution. While peer evaluators representing the Commission must apply
professional judgment in assessing compliance with the Criteria and assessing overall, the final
interpretation of the Criteria rests with the Commission. (p. 7, lines 33 – 41, p. 8, lines 1 – 5)

       The university looks forward to both the peer evaluation and the Commission‘s response.

1.3 Separately Accredited Units

         Accreditation of an institution includes all of its units wherever located. A unit of an
institution may be separately accredited if a significant portion of responsibility and decision-
making authority for its educational activities lies with the unit and not in other units of the
institution or system.
         It is the responsibility of the Commission on Colleges to determine, following
consultation with the chief executive officer of the institution, whether the institution will be



                                           17
considered for accreditation as a whole or whether its units will be considered for separate
accreditation, and how the evaluation will be conducted. A unit of an institution or system is
eligible for separate accreditation if it is evident that it has a significant degree of autonomy and
possesses the attributes which will enable it to comply with the requirements of the Criteria for
Accreditation. A unit is required to apply for separate accreditation or to maintain separate
membership if, in the judgment of the Commission, the unit exercised this level of autonomy.
        If an institution seeks separately accredited status for one of its units, it must notify the
Executive Director of the Commission on Colleges of its intent and follow procedures
established by the Commission. In all cases, the Commission on Colleges reserves the right to
determine the accreditation status of separate units of an institution. (p. 8, lines 6 – 32)

       Not applicable. No unit within George Mason University exercises the level of autonomy
necessary for separate accreditation or separate membership.

1.4 Conditions of Eligibility

       Any institution seeking candidacy must document its compliance with each of the thirteen
Conditions of Eligibility to be authorized initiation of a self-study, or to be awarded candidacy
or candidacy renewal. In addition, the institution must provide evidence that it is capable of
complying with all requirements of the Criteria and that it will be in compliance by the end of the
period allowed for candidacy. (p. 9, lines 1 – 8)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is a member institution.

         The Conditions of Eligibility are basic qualifications which an institution of higher
education must meet to be accredited by the Commission on Colleges. They establish a
threshold of development required of an institution seeking initial or continued accreditation by
the Commission and reflect the Commission’s basic expectations of candidate and member
institutions. Compliance with the Conditions is not sufficient to warrant accreditation or
reaffirmation of accreditation. Accredited institutions must also demonstrate compliance with
the Criteria for Accreditation, which holds institutions to appropriately higher standards of
quality.
         1. In obtaining or maintaining accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an
institution agrees to the following:
         a. That it will comply with the Criteria for Accreditation of the College Delegate
            Assembly consistent with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges.
         b. That the Commission on Colleges, at its discretion, may make known to any agency
            or member of the public requiring such information, the nature of any action, positive
            or negative, regarding the institution’s status with the Commission.
         c. That it will comply with Commission requests, directives, decisions and policies, and
            will make complete, accurate and honest disclosure. Failure to do so is sufficient
            reason, in and of itself, for the Commission to impose a sanction, or to deny or revoke
            candidacy or accreditation. (p. 9, lines 9 – 38)

       When the university applied to use the alternate model of self-study, it had to provide
evidence that it met four threshold requirements, one of which is that it is substantially in



                                             18
compliance with the Criteria and will be able to document such compliance. It did so in the
Proposal to Use Alternate Model for Self-Study, October 1998, which was accepted by the
Commission on Colleges. The report that follows documents our continued compliance with the
Criteria.
        George Mason University accepts the right of the Commission to make known to any
agency or member of the public information regarding its status with the Commission. The
university further agrees to comply with Commission requests, directives, decisions and policies,
and will make complete, accurate and honest disclosure.

Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (1998). Proposal to Use Alternate Model for Self-Study. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.

       2. The institution must have formal authority from an appropriate government agency or
agencies located within the geographic jurisdiction of the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools to award degrees. (p. 10, lines 1-4)

       The Commonwealth of Virginia gives George Mason University the authority to award
degrees through its Board of Visitors.

Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.31. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
     Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.31, current
     on November 27, 2000.

       3. The institution must have a governing board of at least five members, which has the
authority and duty to ensure that the mission of the institution is implemented. The governing
board is the legal body responsible for the institution. Evidence must be provided that the board
is an active policy-making body for the institution. The board is ultimately responsible for
ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are used to provide a sound educational
program. The board must not be controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations
or interests separate from the board. The presiding officer of the board must have no
contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. The
majority of other voting members of the board must have no contractual, employment, or
personal or familial interest in the institution. (p. 10, lines 5 – 21)

        George Mason University‘s Board of Visitors consists of 16 members appointed by the
Governor to ensure that the mission of the institution is implemented. Article IV of the Bylaws
of the Board of Visitors details the powers and duties of the Board. According to Article III of
the Bylaws, the Board conducts one annual meeting and no fewer than four regular meetings
throughout the year. Eight members of the Board constitute a quorum at all meetings. A vote on
any proposal at any meeting of the Visitors requires the affirmative vote of a majority present for
approval.




                                            19
        The Board makes decisions regarding operation of the university at these meetings,
which are recorded in minutes. Among these decisions, the Board reviews and approves the
budget submitted to the General Assembly for appropriations. The Board also approves all
modifications to the budget in excess of $250,000.
        Each year Board members complete financial disclosure statements, which are held in the
Office of the President. The Rector has no contractual, employment, or personal or familial
financial interest in George Mason University. The majority of the other voting members of the
Board likewise have no contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in
George Mason University.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Board of Visitors, George Mason University, 2000 – 2001.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Available at http://bov.gmu.edu/bylaws.html, current on November 27, 2000.

       The bylaws of the board or other legal documents must ensure appropriate continuity in
the board membership, usually by staggered terms of adequate length. The bylaws or other legal
documents must ensure the independence of the board. Amendment of the bylaws must occur
only by vote of the board after reasonable deliberation. (p. 10, lines 22 – 28)

        Section 23-91.26 of the Code of Virginia describes how the initial and subsequent
appointment of GMU board members has resulted in staggered terms. Appointments are for four
years, and no member may serve more than two full terms. All appointments are subject to
confirmation by the General Assembly. These rules, plus the fact that the Governor of Virginia
serves a single four-year term, help ensure the independence of the Board.
        Article XIII of the Bylaws of the Board of Visitors describes how bylaws can be
amended. Amendments must be conveyed to the members of the board at least ten days in
advance of the meeting in which they are to be acted upon.

Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.26. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
      Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.26 , current
      on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Available at http://bov.gmu.edu/bylaws.html, current on November 27, 2000.

        In the case of military institutions authorized and operated by the federal government to
award degrees, the Commission recognizes the unusual responsibility of the government and the
military for the ultimate legal authority of the institution. If such a military institution is
prohibited by the authorizing legislation from having a board with ultimate legal authority, it
must have a public board in which neither the presiding officer nor a majority of the other
members are civilian employees of the military or active/retired military. This board, consisting
of at least five members, must have broad and significant influence upon the institution’s



                                           20
programs and operations. The military institution must demonstrate that there is appropriate
continuity in the board membership and that its board, in policy and practice, is an active policy-
making body for the institution. The board must ensure that the financial resources of the
institution are used to provide a sound educational program. The board must not be controlled
by a minority of board members, or by organizations or interests separate from the board except
as specified by the authorizing legislation. The presiding officer of the board must have no
contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. A majority
of the other voting board members must have no contractual, employment, or personal or
familial financial interest in the institution. (p. 10, lines 29 – 41, p. 11, lines 1 – 14)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is not a military institution.

        4. The institution must have a chief executive officer whose primary responsibility is to
the institution. The chief executive officer must not be the presiding officer of the board. (p. 11,
lines 15 – 18)

        The affairs of the university are managed by the Board of Visitors through its chief
executive office, the President of George Mason University. The President is not the presiding
officer of the board. The Board elects from its own body a Rector, who presides at Board
meetings.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Available at http://bov.gmu.edu/bylaws.html, current on November 27, 2000.

        5. The institution must be in operation and have students enrolled in degree programs at
the time of the committee visit. (p. 11, lines 19 – 21)

       George Mason University has remained in continuous operation with students enrolled in
degree programs since March 1966, when the General Assembly authorized the expansion of
George Mason College (the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia) into a four-
year, degree-granting institution and gave it the long-range mandate to expand into a major
regional university.

        6. The institution must offer one or more degree programs based on at least two
academic years at the associate level, at least four academic years at the baccalaureate level, or
at least one academic year at the post-baccalaureate level. The institution may make
arrangements for some instruction to be provided by other accredited institution or entities
through contracts or consortia. However, the institution itself must provide instruction for all
coursework required for at least one degree program at each level at which it awards degrees.
Any alternative approach to meeting this requirement must be approved by the Commission on
Colleges. In all cases, the institution must be able to demonstrate that it evaluates all aspects of
its educational program. (p. 11, lines 22 – 35)




                                            21
        In the 1999-2000 year, George Mason University offered 114 degree programs, including
54 undergraduate programs, 59 graduate programs, and one professional degree program. The
university provides instruction for all coursework required for all programs. Under certain
conditions, students can receive instruction from other institutions with which we have consortial
relationships. These relationships are described in Section 4.9 of this report.
        The university evaluates all aspects of its educational program. Section 3.1 of this report
describes these activities.

Supporting Documentation

Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Degrees and Certificates Offered:
       Academic Year 1999 – 2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook pp. 50 – 51. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27,
       2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.9 Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1:Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―3.1, Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

         The institution’s degree programs must be compatible with its stated purpose and based
upon fields of study appropriate to higher education. Institutions may experiment in developing
and defining new fields of study, but the Commission cannot evaluate for membership an
institution that offers only programs which represent fields of study that are outside of the
expertise of the Commission’s accredited institutions. (p. 11, lines 36 – 41, p. 12, lines 1 – 2)

       As part of the process of approval for any degree program offered by the university, the
university, Board of Visitors, and SCHEV must conclude that the program is compatible with the
purpose of the university. While Mason strives to be innovative in its educational program, no
degree program currently offered or envisioned is outside the expertise of the Commission‘s
accredited institutions.

      7. The institution must have a clearly defined, published statement of purpose
appropriate to an institution of higher education. (p. 12, lines 3 – 5)

       The mission statement of George Mason University was adopted by the Board of Visitors
in 1991. The statement is published in the online and print versions of the University Catalog,
the Factbook and in the Student Handbook.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―The University‘s Mission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       p. 5. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/profile.html#Mission, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Mission Statement,‖ 1999 – 2000
       Factbook. p. 8. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on November 27, 2000.



                                            22
University Life. (2000). ―Mission Statement,‖ Student Handbook 2000 – 2001. p. 1. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/, current on November 27, 2000.

        8. The institution must have an appropriate plan, as well as a functioning planning and
evaluation process, which identifies and integrates projected educational, physical and financial
development, and incorporates procedures for program review and institutional improvement.
(p. 12, lines 6 – 11)

        George Mason University was one of the first three institutions of higher learning in the
Commonwealth of Virginia to develop an Institutional Performance Agreement (IPA). The
agreement supplies a vehicle for combining adequate and reliable funding and managerial
flexibility with institution-specific performance standards and accountability. It sets forth the
actions the university will take during the term of the agreement to review its mission statement,
align its policies and budget with the mission, and carry out ongoing strategic planning activities.
Those ongoing strategic planning activities include:

          Budget Process. Academic and administrative units prepare budget submissions on
           an annual basis. The Budget Group, which includes the Provost, the Vice President
           for Information Technology, the Vice-President for University Life, the Vice-
           President for Operations, the Senior Vice-President, the Assistant Vice-President for
           Budget and Institutional Research, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and the
           Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, decides how to fund these initiatives,
           taking into account priorities established by the university's Board of Visitors, the
           Governor and the state legislature, as well as the overall mission and commitments of
           the university. Section 6.3 of this report provides a more detailed description of the
           budget process.
          Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System. The Distributed Campus
           concept assumes centers of distinctive strength on each major campus, without full
           replication on the other campuses. The Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus
           System describes the fuller utilization of available space and considerable
           enhancement of the offerings available in the university‘s locations.
          Program Quality Review. All academic programs conduct assessment activities
           annually. Assessment activities include program description/analysis, assessment of
           the program‘s strengths and weaknesses, actions to improve the program and
           evaluation of the long-term viability of the program. Section III of this report
           provides a more detailed description of program quality review.
          Facilities Planning. In fiscal year 2001, the university will contract to develop a new
           facilities master plan that takes into account the infrastructure requirements outlined
           in the Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System and the IPA. Section 6.4 of
           this report provides more detailed information about planning for physical resources.




                                            23
Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University
       Institutional Performance Agreement. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://budget.gmu.edu/IPA.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section III, Institutional Effectiveness,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―6.3 Financial Resources,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―6.4 Physical Resources,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

       9. The institution must have published admission policies compatible with its stated
purpose. (p. 12, lines 12 –13)

        George Mason University publishes its admissions policies in the online and print
versions of the University Catalog and in the School of Law Catalog. Sections 4.2.1 and 4.3.2 of
this report demonstrate that the university‘s admission policies are compatible with its stated
purpose.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Admission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. pp. 7 – 16. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissio.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.2.1 Undergraduate Admissions,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.3.2, Graduate Admissions,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
School of Law. (2000). ―Admissions,‖ School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/admission/, current on November 27, 2000.

       10. All undergraduate degree programs of the institution must include a substantial
component of general education courses at the collegiate level. For degree completion in
associate programs, the component must constitute a minimum of 15 semester hours or
equivalent quarter hours and for baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or
equivalent quarter hours. The credit hours must be drawn from and include at least one course
from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural
sciences/mathematics. The courses must be designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and must
not be narrowly focused on those skills, techniques and procedures peculiar to a particular
occupation or profession. (p. 12, lines 14 – 27)




                                           24
        The self-study occurs at a time when the undergraduate general education program at
George Mason University is undergoing a major revision. In its May 2000 meeting, the Board of
Visitors approved a new framework for general education, to be implemented beginning in Fall
2001. The new framework was designed to:

           ensure that all undergraduates develop skills in information gathering, written and
            oral communication, and analytical and quantitative reasoning.
           expose students to the development of knowledge by emphasizing major domains of
            thought and methods of inquiry.
           enable students to attain a breadth of knowledge that supports their specializations
            and contributes to their education in both personal and professional terms.
           encourage students to make important connections across boundaries (for example:
            among disciplines; between the university and the external world; between the
            United States and other countries).

        Both the existing program and the new general education program require a minimum of
30 semester hours. Both programs draw from and include at least one course in humanities/fine
arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural sciences/mathematics. Both programs have been
designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and have not been narrowly focused on skills,
techniques or procedures peculiar to a particular occupation or profession.
        We believe that both programs meet all requirements of the Criteria for Accreditation as
well as the Conditions of Eligibility. At the same time, we believe the new framework for
general education will provide a stronger grounding for undergraduate education. The old
program provided so many options for completing requirements that it lacked coherence. The
new program provides for review of courses prior to their inclusion in the general education
framework to ensure that they meet specific general education goals and measure student
outcomes. Further, under the new program, proficiency examinations will be developed to assure
appropriate placement. After completing foundation and core requirements, students will be
required to take an upper division course designed to assist them in making connections and
synthesizing knowledge. As a capstone experience, students will demonstrate oral and written
presentation skills before a faculty panel.
        Section 4.2.2 of this report describes the university‘s current general education
requirements and the framework for a revised system of general education approved by the
Board of Visitors for implementation in Fall 2001.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.2.2, Undergraduate Completion Requirements,‖ Fulfilling
       Our Commitments, Volume 1:Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Current and Future Programs in General Education. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.




                                           25
       11. The number of full-time faculty members must be adequate to provide effective
teaching, advising and scholarly or creative activity. In each major in a degree program, there
must be at least one full-time faculty member with responsibility for supervision and
coordination of the major. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a
major, this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration. (p. 12, lines 28 – 35)

       In 1999 George Mason University employed 881 full-time teaching and research faculty,
594 part-time faculty and 498 graduate assistants. With the invaluable aid of part-time faculty
and graduate assistants, full-time faculty are able to provide effective teaching, advising, and
scholarly and creative activity. Department chairs are responsible for supervising and
coordinating each undergraduate major within their departments. There are two exceptions to
this rule: (1) in New Century College, the Associate Dean supervises and coordinates
undergraduate majors; and (2) in the School of Management, the Director of Undergraduate
Studies and academic advisers supervise and coordinate each undergraduate major. All such
supervisors are full-time faculty members. Section 4.8 of this report demonstrates how George
Mason University meets the requirements of the Criteria for Accreditation as well as the
Conditions of Eligibility.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―Section 4.8, Faculty,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume
       1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Total University Personnel by Job
       Classification,‖1999 – 2000 Factbook Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. p.
       63. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). George Mason University Academic Units, 2000 – 2001 Academic
       Year. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        12. The institution must have sufficient learning resources or, through formal
agreements or appropriate technology, ensure the provision of and ready access to adequate
learning resources and services to support the courses, programs and degrees offered. (p. 12,
lines 36 – 40)

        Through a combination of physical and online resources, George Mason University is
able to ensure the provision of and ready access to adequate learning resources and services to
support the courses, programs, and degrees offered. Section 4.5, Section 4.6, and Section V of
this report demonstrate that we meet the requirements of the Criteria for Accreditation as well as
the Conditions of Eligibility.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―4.5 Distance Learning Programs,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.6 Continuing Education, Outreach and Service Programs,‖
      Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.




                                           26
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section V, Educational Support Services,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

       13. The institution must have an adequate financial base to accomplish its purpose at an
acceptable level of quality on a continuing basis. The institution must provide financial
statements and related documents (as specified in Section 6.3.6) which accurately and
appropriately represent the total operation of the institution. (p. 12, line 1, p. 13, lines 1 – 5)

        George Mason University has an adequate financial base to accomplish its purpose at an
acceptable level of quality on a continuing basis. For fiscal year 2001 the university has a
projected outlay of $341,200,000. The Budget Primer describes the sources of revenue
necessary to fund the outlay and how the money will be spent. Section 6.3 of this report and
documentation provided to support that section demonstrate that we meet the requirements of the
Criteria for Accreditation as well as the Conditions of Eligibility.

Supporting Documentation

Crain, W. M., Miller, J. C. III, and Scherrens, M. W. (2000). George Mason University Budget
       Primer. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://budget.gmu.edu/primer.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―George Mason University Total Budget: 2000-2001,‖ 2000-
       01 Budget, Executive Summary. p. 1. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―6.3 Financial Resources,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

         Any institution, whether a part of a system or not, which is seeking initial candidacy for
membership, candidacy renewal, or initial membership must include in its application separate
institutional audits and management letters for its three most recent fiscal years, including that
for the fiscal year ending immediately prior to the date of the submission of the application.
Further, it must have available the audit and management letter for the most recent fiscal year
ending immediately prior to any committee visit for candidacy, candidacy renewal, or initial
membership. These audits must be conducted by independent certified public accountants or an
appropriate governmental auditing agency. An applicant or candidate institution must not show
an annual or cumulative operating deficit at any time during the application process or at any
time during candidacy. Applicant and candidate military institutions authorized and operated by
the federal government to award degrees must provide financial information, as shall be
required by the Commission, from appropriate governmental agencies. This information must
accurately represent the total operation of the institution and must be sufficient to demonstrate
adequate financial support of programs and operations. (p. 13, lines 6 – 29)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is a member institution.

1.5 Initial Membership

       An institution seeking initial membership (accreditation), in addition to fulfilling
requirements outlined in the Criteria, must document its compliance with all Conditions of



                                            27
Eligibility and have been in operation—i.e., have, without interruption, enrolled students in
degree programs—through at least one complete degree program cycle and have graduated at
least one class at the level of the highest degree offered prior to action by the Commission on
Colleges. (p. 14, lines 1-9)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is a member institution.

1.6 Representation of Status

         An institution must be accurate in reporting to the public its status and relationship with
the Commission. In catalogs, brochures, and advertisements a member institution must describe
its relationship with the Commission only according to the following statement:
         (Name of institution) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097:
Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award (name specific degree levels). (p. 14, lines 10 – 19)

     In all its catalogs, brochures, and advertisements that describe its relationship with the
Commission, George Mason University uses the following description:

       George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the
       Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor‘s, master‘s, and
       doctoral degrees, and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the
       United States.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Accreditation,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. p. 6. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/profile.html#Accreditation, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Institutional Accreditation,‖ 1999 –
       2000 Factbook. p. 10. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

        For institutions in Candidacy status:
        (Name of institution) is a Candidate for Accreditation with the Commission on
Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane,
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award (name
specific degree levels).
        (Note: Effective January 1996, candidacy for substantive change will no longer
be a Commission status, except for those institutions currently candidates at a new
degree level. Therefore, member institutions which are current candidates at new degree
levels must continue to use the following statement:
        (Name of institution) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-
4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award (name specific degree levels) and is a




                                            28
Candidate for Accreditation to award the (name specific degree level). (p. 14, lines 20 –
31, p. 15, lines 1 – 6)

        Not applicable. George Mason University is a member institution and is not a candidate
at a new degree level.

      No statement may be made about possible future accreditation status with the
Commission on Colleges. The logo or seal of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
must not be used by the institution. (p. 15, lines 7-10)

         George Mason University has not and will not make any statement about possible future
accreditation status with the Commission on Colleges. The university does not use SACS‘ logo
or seal.




                                           29
30
                         SECTION II: INSTITUTIONAL PURPOSE



        An institution must have a clearly defined purpose or mission statement appropriate to
collegiate education as well as to its own specific educational role. This statement must
describe the institution and its characteristics and address the components of the institution and
its operations. The official posture and practice of the institution must be consistent with its
purpose statement. Appropriate publications must accurately cite the current statement of
purpose. (p. 17, lines 2 – 10)

       The mission statement of George Mason University, approved by the Board of Visitors in
1991, is published in the print and online versions of the University Catalog, the Student
Handbook, the Faculty Handbook and the Factbook. It states:

       George Mason University will be an institution of international academic
       reputation providing superior education enabling students to develop critical,
       analytical, and imaginative thinking and to make well founded ethical decisions.
       It will respond to the call for interdisciplinary research and teaching not simply by
       adding programs but by rethinking the traditional structure of the academy.

       The University will prepare students to address the complex issues facing them in
       society and to discover meaning in their own lives. It will encourage diversity in
       its student body and will meet the needs of students by providing them with
       undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses of study that are
       interdisciplinary and innovative. The University will energetically seek ways to
       interact with and serve the needs of the student body.

       The University will nurture and support a faculty that is diverse, innovative, and
       excellent in teaching, active in pure and applied research, and responsive to the
       needs of students and the community. The faculty will embody the University‘s
       interactive approach to change both in the academy and the world.

       The University will be a resource of the Commonwealth of Virginia serving
       private and public sectors and will be an intellectual and cultural nexus between
       Northern Virginia, the nation, and the world.

       The statement is comprehensive in describing the institution and its characteristics and
addresses the components of the institution and its operation. The official posture and practice of
George Mason University is consistent with the mission statement.
       Although we have identified a few instances in which the mission statement has not
appeared verbatim, the policy of the university is to accurately cite the current statement of
purpose.




                                            31
Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (1991 January 23). Board of Visitors, George Mason University, Minutes,
       January 23, 1991. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―Preamble: The Mission of George Mason University,‖
       Faculty Handbook. p. 1. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―The University‘s Mission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       p. 5. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/preamble.html, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Mission Statement,‖ 1999 – 2000
       Factbook. p. 8. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.
University Life. (2000). ―Mission Statement,‖ Student Handbook 2000 – 2001. p. 1. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/, current on November 27, 2000.

         The formulation of a statement of purpose represents a major educational decision. It
should be developed through the efforts of the institution’s faculty, administration and governing
board. It must be approved by the governing board. An institution must study periodically its
statement of purpose, considering internal changes as well as the changing responsibilities of the
institution to its constituencies. The statement of purpose serves as the foundation for all
institutional operations, programs and activities.            Consequently, the institution must
demonstrate that its planning and evaluation processed, educational programs, educational
support services, financial and physical resources, and administrative processes are adequate
and appropriate to fulfill its stated purpose. (p. 17, lines 11 – 25)

        During the last self-study for the reaffirmation of accreditation (from 1989 – 91), the
university reviewed its mission statement and, as a result of that review, made changes to the
statement that were approved by the Board of Visitors in January of 1991. The latest review of
the mission statement occurred in 1997, after the inauguration of Alan G. Merten as the fifth
President of George Mason University. He called on the university to study its mission and
operations in order to develop a collective sense of what the university ought to accomplish and
how it ought to do so. A task force of faculty facilitated the study. The task force produced a
report, Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the Millennium, which reaffirmed the
university‘s mission and described the themes and commitments that would enable the university
to continue to fulfill that mission.
        The remainder of this report describes in detail how the university, on a continuing basis
strives to fulfill its purpose:

          Section III describes how George Mason University conducts its planning and
           evaluation process;
          Section IV describes how George Mason University operates its educational
           programs;
          Section V describes how George Mason University provides educational support
           services; and


                                           32
          Section VI describes how George Mason University provides financial and physical
           resources and administrative processes.

Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (1998). Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the
       Millennium. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/futures/, current on November 21, 2000.
George Mason University. (1997). Engaging the Future, Report of the President’s Faculty Task
       Force on the Future of the University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section III, Institutional Effectiveness,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section IV, Educational Program,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section V, Educational Support Services,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section VI, Administrative Processes,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.




                                         33
34
                    SECTION III: INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS



3.1 Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs

       Educational activities of an institution include teaching, research and public service.
Planning and evaluation for these activities must be systematic, broad based, interrelated and
appropriate to the institution. (p. 20, lines 4 – 34)

       In this section we describe both the internal process of planning and evaluation and the
external requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Internal Process

        Planning and evaluation at George Mason University, as in most large institutions, is
complex and multifaceted. The evaluation of faculty is routine and systematic, and is the
responsibility of the deans and department chairs. It includes the evaluation of teaching, research
and public service. The evaluation of educational programs is decentralized, with each school,
college or institute having primary responsibility for routine and regular evaluation. (See
Provost Stearns‘ memo to Deans and Directors, August 25, 2000.) The Office of Institutional
Assessment monitors and supports this process under the aegis of the Provost. Academic
planning is ultimately the responsibility of the Provost in conjunction with deans and directors.
        Planning and Evaluation of Teaching, Research and Public Service. Faculty are
evaluated on the basis of their teaching, scholarship and service, both professional and service
within the university, all of which is described in the Faculty Handbook. Local academic units
regularly evaluate the teaching effectiveness of their faculties by incorporating data from both
peers and students. Peer evaluation is determined at the department or school level, while the
university-wide Student Ratings of Instruction program is managed by the Office of Institutional
Research and Reporting. Local units may choose to develop their own course evaluation forms,
in addition to the university form, but all participate in the university ratings program.
University Ratings of Instruction compare each class to the appropriate department, school and
university totals. Paper reports are mailed to each instructor with copies sent to the department
chair. Electronic versions of the results are also available on the web.
        The scholarship of a faculty member is systematically evaluated beginning at the local
unit with a peer review of the individual‘s work. In tenure and promotion cases, the faculty also
seek external evaluations. The same is true for professional and university service where an
individual‘s contributions to the life and governance of the local academic unit as well as to the
larger organizational unit are evaluated.
        The evaluation of faculty is an annual process conducted by local unit administrators
and/or committees of peers who report to a dean or to the Provost. The criteria for the annual
faculty review are the same as those for promotion and tenure except that the annual evaluation
is based only upon the contributions of the preceding academic year. Moreover, faculty
contributions to the curriculum and to student learning are part of the academic program review
described later in this section. Section 4.8.10 of this report further defines the criteria and
procedures used in the evaluation of faculty.



                                            35
       Faculty Resources. Planning with regard to faculty resources is articulated at the
university level in the 1998 document, Engaging the Future, which outlines a vision for George
Mason and commits the university to building its faculty and allocating resources around the
following complementary themes:

          The Arts
          Citizenship
          Enterprise
          Environment
          Information and Technology
          Policy

         Further, the university has an extensive academic program review policy that addresses
faculty resources, teaching and research as a part of the planning and evaluation process. Later
in this section, there is a full description of this policy
         As this document is being written, President Merten has further articulated his vision of
the university in The Innovative University for the Information Society. This vision provides a
blueprint for further developing the Engaging the Future document. The president has asked
each dean and academic director to produce vision statements that will complement the
university vision and spell out how each unit contributes to these goals. These statements are the
first step in a revised academic planning process for the colleges, schools and institutes at George
Mason.
         In 1999 the Office of the Provost convened the Distributed University Task Force to
identify and integrate projected educational, physical and financial development for the
university in a single plan. The goal of the Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System is
the rational expansion or dispersion of programs to our Arlington and Prince William Campuses
and beyond. Deans and directors of academic units have contributed their proposals for program
growth within the distributed university, including a projection of enrollments, revenues and
costs.

External Process

         Two new initiatives from the Commonwealth have direct bearing on planning and
evaluation activities of the university. The first initiative, the ―Institutional Performance
Agreement,‖ (IPA) was recommended by the Governor‘s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher
Education and implemented through Item 131 of the 2000 Appropriation Act. The IPA is
designed to stabilize funding for Commonwealth institutions and, at the same time, establish
institutional performance measures to assess attainment of agreed-upon objectives. Although
many of these objectives are financial and managerial, many are also educational, directly tied to
the mission of the university. These measures have not yet been agreed upon, but preliminary
documents are available to the visiting team to gauge the direction and extent to which the
university is willing to commit to reach higher standards of performance.
         The second initiative is closely associated with the IPAs. Recommendation 63 of the
Final Report of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education states that "the
State Council of Higher Education should adopt and implement a matrix of performance
measures that would allow it to measure academic quality and institutional efficiency. It should


                                            36
include and incorporate the Commission's quality assurance plan and should produce an annual
Report of Institutional Effectiveness. Reports of institutional effectiveness should be made
widely available to students, parents, taxpayers, employers, and policymakers." In November
2000 SCHEV approved 14 statewide performance measures for all four-year colleges and
universities in Virginia. These measures will be used in the 2001 Reports of Institutional
Effectiveness. Focusing on two areas of institutional efficiency—academic quality and
operational efficiency—the performance measures will be complemented by institution-specific
measures, which have yet to be determined.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). Faculty Handbook. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available
       at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University
       Institutional Performance Agreement. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://budget.gmu.edu/IPA.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Vision Statements of the Schools, Colleges and Institutes of
       George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8.10 Criteria and Procedures for Evaluation,‖ Fulfilling
       Our Commitments, Volume I: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Merten, A.G. (2000). The Innovative University for the Information Age. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/news/gazette/0009/message.html, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). Student Ratings of Instruction. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://ratings.gmu.edu/, current
       on November 28, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Stearns, P. N. (2000 August 25). Memo to Deans and Directors Re: Academic Program Review.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
The Governor‘s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. (2000). Final Report of the
       Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
University Publications. (2000 November 30). ―SCHEV Approves Performance Measures for
       Colleges,‖ The Daily Mason Gazette. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://gazette.gmu.edu, current on December 1, 2000.

The institution must define its expected educational results and describe its methods for
analyzing the results. The institution must

       1. establish a clearly defined purpose appropriate to collegiate education
       2. formulate educational goals consistent with the institution’s purpose
       3. develop and implement procedures to evaluate the extent to which these educational
          goals are being achieved
       4. use the results of these evaluations to improved education programs, service and
          operations. (p. 20, lines 8 – 18)




                                           37
        1. Establish a Clearly Defined purpose.       The university has a mission statement
appropriate to collegiate education. Section II of this report discusses the mission and the
processes by which it was approved and periodically evaluated.
        In October 1998, the university released Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn
of the Millennium, the culmination of a nine-month project of the President‘s Faculty Task Force
on the Future of the University. The committee held discussions with both internal and external
communities of the university. The resulting document details the themes, commitments,
program qualities and measurable outcomes that guide university policy and planning. Indeed,
the SACS strategic subcommittees had as their mission an examination of the commitments
described in this document. Further, internal academic program review guidelines require all
units to ―evaluate the program‘s contribution to the university and to focus on the relationship
between the program and the university‘s mission and plans for the future as articulated in the
‗Engaging the Future.‘‖
        As stated previously, in June 2000, President Merten announced his vision for the
university in The Innovative University for the Information Society. This statement further
develops the ideas generated in Engaging the Future. All deans and directors have developed
companion vision statements that provide a framework for how their units will contribute to the
implementation of this university vision.
        2. Formulate Educational Goals. Engaging the Future identifies priorities for the
university; implicit in these priorities are several university-wide education goals. George
Mason will invest in:

          Experiential, interdisciplinary, collaborative and technology-enhanced learning, and
           an international curriculum.
          Opportunities for interaction among faculty, between faculty and students outside of
           the classroom, for fostering undergraduate research and interdisciplinary study, for
           linking undergraduate and graduate programs, and for weaving academic experiences
           throughout a student‘s life.
          The identification of regional needs and enhancement of strategic collaboration with
           regional partners, including agencies, firms, research labs, arts venues, other
           universities, K-12 school systems, and health care organizations.
          A focus on the national capital region and/or on the world beyond, but especially on
           the intersection of the local, regional and the global.
          The implementation of information technology as a means to fulfill educational
           commitments, not as an end in itself.
          Mechanisms of accountability.

       In addition to these implicit goals, Engaging the Future set a timetable of five years to
achieve the following explicit goals:

          George Mason will be the university of choice in Virginia in selected academic
           programs.
          The geographical reach of recruitment and the level of preparation of its students will
           increase.
          The proportion of degrees granted to post-baccalaureate students will increase to
           about 50%.


                                           38
          Student achievement in communication, analysis, critical thinking, problem solving,
           and technology use will improve.
          Student satisfaction with academic and university life programs and student sense of
           belonging will be commensurate with other Virginia universities.
          Information technology investment in resources and staff will double.
          Total federal government financial support to the university will double.
          Sponsored research expenditures from all sources will triple.
          The university‘s endowment will double.

        3. Implement Procedures to Evaluate Educational Goals. The university has used a
variety of methods to measure the extent to which its educational goals are achieved. The
strategic subcommittees of the self-study have examined and reported on these topics, and
Graduating Senior Surveys from 1992 – 2000 document student perspectives on the university‘s
success in realizing its educational goals.
        University of Choice. From 1990 until 1994, all entering freshmen and new transfer
students completed a George Mason Entering Student Survey that asked among other things
whether Mason was the student‘s first choice institution. A high of 75% of transfers said that
Mason was their first choice in 1994. The percentage of first time freshmen indicating that
Mason was their first choice went from a low of 47% in 1992 to 55% in 1994. This question is
again being asked of new freshmen during the summer of 2000.
        Beginning in 1997-98, graduating graduate students were asked this same question on a
university-wide exit survey taken by all graduate and law students. The first time this survey
was administered, the response rate was too low to provide confidence in the answer to this item.
However, the 1998-99 survey, for which a response rate of 77% was achieved, showed that for
74% of Mason graduate students, GMU was their first choice. The university will continue to
ask this question in future surveys of its graduates.
        Geographical Reach and Student Preparation. Expanding the region from which the
university recruits its students and increasing levels of student preparation are high priorities of
the Office of Admissions, which tracks these data. SAT scores and high school grades have
increased since 1996, as indicated below.


                       Undergraduate Student Preparation, 1996-2000

Entering Freshman Cohort          High School GPA Mean              SAT Total Mean
          1996                             3.01                          1042
          1997                             3.05                          1039
          1998                             3.09                          1053
          1999                             3.13                          1065
          2000                             3.20                          1076

       Increase Proportion of Post-Baccalaureate Degrees. This goal is monitored and reported
in the university Factbook. Among the 4,943 degree recipients in 1998-99, 44% were post-
baccalaureate students. This percentage is the same as 1997-98, but higher than the previous two
years.



                                            39
        Improve Student Achievement. Students have opportunities to acquire and master skills
in communication, analysis, critical thinking, problem solving and technology use in the general
education program. George Mason University has for many years had a cafeteria-style approach
to general education. Each undergraduate degree program requires 30 credits to be taken in the
general education curriculum. Six credits of English composition are required. The remaining
24 credits are divided between courses in the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences, with
many courses satisfying the requirements in each area. Some degree programs have general
education requirements specific to the degree.
        Efforts to assess the effectiveness of the general education program have been hampered
by the lack of specificity in the requirements. In the past, faculty committees assigned this task
had great difficulty developing concrete goals for the three broad categories of learning. Tests
were given to samples of students at various stages of completion of their general education
requirements, but students had too few educational experiences in common for the committees to
make useful comparisons among them. The first efforts to assess student achievement were not
considered a success.
        At the same time that the majority of students were satisfying general education
requirements through the cafeteria model, George Mason began to develop a new core
curriculum that was intended to provide an integrated general education curriculum spread over
four years. The university was not able to build a consensus on the revised curriculum. After
three years of development, including the development of assessment strategies, the faculty as a
whole rejected this curriculum.
        The university did, however, initiate New Century College, which took the core
curriculum innovations even further. NCC offered a completely integrated first-year experience,
required service learning of its graduates and involved all students in multiple learning
communities. New Century identified competencies that all students were to demonstrate, in
part through building a portfolio. NCC also used numerous other assessments in their efforts to
continually improve the program. Because New Century offered an alternative way to complete
general education requirements, and because they had identified specific competencies that
students would achieve, much of the assessment of competency goals took place within NCC
rather than in the university general education program.
        Beginning in fall 2001, however, a new general education plan will go into effect that
incorporates the goals for student achievement identified in Engaging the Future. The plan
limits the number of courses that satisfy general education requirements and provides common
learning experiences for students. Competencies addressed by the plan include written
communication, oral communication, quantitative reasoning and information technology. The
new general education plan also includes core requirements in substantive knowledge areas and a
synthesis requirement at the upper division level. This represents a significantly different
approach to general education than we have had in the past.
        Implementation of the new general education program will begin in fall 2001.
Meanwhile, already under development are plans to assess writing and oral communication. A
Writing Assessment Committee, comprised of faculty across the university and led by the
Assistant Director of Institutional Assessment, has begun work on the challenging task of
assessing writing across the university. This committee has several goals, one of which is to
identify the many places in the university where writing is taught. The primary goal, however, is
to develop a plan and timeline for assessing writing at George Mason. (See Assessment Process
for Writing at George Mason University.) This plan will incorporate an assessment of writing



                                           40
beyond general education, although the general education competency requirement in written
communication will be a major focus of the committee.
         Regarding the oral communication competency, the Provost has requested that faculty
from the Department of Communication design a test to be administered to juniors in fall 2001
that will assess their oral communication skills.
         The development of an assessment approach to quantitative reasoning has not yet begun,
but it is likely that faculty from the Department of Mathematics will have a role similar to that of
the Department of Communication in this process.
         George Mason University has infused the curriculum with opportunities to develop
information technology skills. Most schools and colleges have an information technology goal
and/or requirement for students. Further, the College of Arts and Sciences, in cooperation with
Information Technology and Engineering, has instituted a minor in Technology Information that
allows students with a wide range of majors to develop this capability. For the past two years,
CAS has also had a Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC) competitive grants program that
encourages faculty to introduce technology into their courses and requires them to assess the
results. Some TAC grants for 2000-01 were given specifically for the development of
appropriate assessments.
         Future plans strengthen the university‘s focus on the development of IT skills. The
revised general education program includes a required course in IT skills as well as placing
greater emphasis on using IT skills in other general education courses and in the major.
         While a comprehensive approach to assessing the use of technology in the curriculum has
not yet been developed, the Office of Institutional Assessment has conducted several studies on
this topic, including analyses of online courses and faculty expectation regarding technology in
the curriculum. OIA has been tracking the student experiences with technology in the
curriculum for several years. (See Technology in the Curriculum, An Assessment of the Impact
of On-line Courses and Graduating Senior Survey Report, Fall 1998 and Spring 1999
Graduates.) The table below documents that increasing percentages of student have used
technology in their courses.

          Percentage of Students Using Technology in 10 or More Courses 1996-2000

                        1995-96        1996-97         1997-98        1998-99         1999-00
Word Processing           56             64              70             68              69
E-Mail                     9             19              34             42              49
Internet                   4             16              37             35              43

        Many academic degree programs have goals for their majors that address the
competencies described in Engaging the Future and in the new general education requirements.
These goals and the strategies used for assessing them can be found on the Institutional
Assessment web site, www.assessment.gmu.edu. Further academic program review at George
Mason, described later in this section, also addresses some of these same competencies,
particularly communication and information technology.
        Student Satisfaction and Sense of Belonging. The issue of community at George Mason is
one that has troubled the university for some time. The strategic report to SACS on this topic
describes the problem and some solutions generated by the self-study. The growth of the
university from 4,166 in 1972 to 24,180 in 1999, along with the expansion of programs that now


                                            41
include 114 bachelor‘s, master‘s, doctoral and first professional degrees, has often taken
precedence over the need for community at Mason. A 1997 alumni survey of 1993-94 graduates
of George Mason rates their satisfaction with their undergraduate degree program, advising and
course availability lower than similar cohorts of graduates at all other Virginia four-year
institutions. (See Virginia Higher Education Indicators of Institutional Mission: No. 5, 1998,
―What Happens to Graduates?.‖)
         Graduating seniors have consistently rated their sense of belonging to George Mason
very low. (See the Graduating Senior Survey Report, Fall 1998 and Spring 1999 Graduates.) In
1996 and 1997, only 10% of graduating seniors said they were very satisfied with their sense of
belonging to George Mason. However, with a renewed emphasis on student life, epitomized by
the appointment of a Vice President for University Life in 1996, these percentages have
increased to 16% in 1999 and 17% in 2000.
         Information Technology Investment. This is an area of significant growth. Sections 5.1,
5.2 and 5.3 of this report provide a detailed discussion of the investments made in information
technology to support instruction and administration. These sections also report the results of
assessments of the extent to which information technology supports and advances the purpose of
the university.
         Federal Financial Support and Sponsored Research Expenditures. Measures are readily
available to assess improvements in these areas. The Office of Sponsored Programs reports
annually on the university‘s efforts to win sponsored research awards. The university was
particularly successful in 1999-2000, increasing the total dollar amount of sponsored research by
more than 25% over the previous year.
         University Endowment. This is another goal that is easily measured. The university is
now engaged in the nucleus phase of a comprehensive university campaign, which includes
endowment growth among the priorities. Recent endowment growth is quantified in a chart
available in supporting documentation for this section.
         4. Use the Results of Evaluations. The establishment of goals and assessment procedures
at the university has been an iterative process with many curricular improvements found at the
local unit level. The Institutional Assessment web site, for example, shows the improvements
made to academic programs as a result of their assessment procedures. Improvements have been
demonstrated and reported since the inception of the assessment program. Most, although not
all, improvements are small; sometimes there is a change in a requirement, sometimes a change
in the system for advising
         Changes have also occurred at a more macro level. The renewed emphasis on student life
at Mason occurred at least in part because of the results obtained on the 1997 alumni survey of
1993-94 baccalaureate graduates. That year, as a result of a statewide agreement to ask nine
common questions, there was a context in which to interpret the results of the George Mason
survey. George Mason compared poorly with other state institutions, and the administration
acted. The President‘s Council, the Provost and the Board of Visitors supported the efforts of the
newly named Vice President for University Life to improve the environment in which students
live and learn and the services that the university provides. Student satisfaction with campus life
has been increasing incrementally since 1996-97.




                                            42
                              Percentage of Graduating Seniors
                                  “Very Satisfied” with …
                                         1995 – 2000

                            1995-96      1996-97      1997-98     1998-99     1999-00
Campus Life                    7            7           10          12          16
Sense of Belonging to         10           10           12          16          17
Campus Community
Overall Mason                  21           21          35           40          41
Experience


Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://cas.gmu.edu/tac/, current on
       November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―The University‘s Mission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       p. 5. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/profile.html#Mission, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume II: Reports of the
       Strategic Subcommittees. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University Foundation, Inc. (2000). GMUF – Endowment Growth History.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). Alumni Survey Reports. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). Assessment Reports Submitted to SCHEV. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). Graduating Senior Surveys, 1992 - 2000. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). IN FOCUS and University Topics. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). General Education Test Development, 1992 – 93.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (1994). GMU General Education Test Development, A
       Summary. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). 1999 Graduate Student Survey. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://assessment.gmu.edu/GRAD99/,
       current on December 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Graduating Senior Survey Report, Fall 1998 and
       Spring 1999 Graduates. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/reports.shtml




                                           43
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2001). Assessment Process for Writing at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2001). Technology in the Curriculum, An Assessment of the
       Impact of On-line Courses. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (1998). Engaging the Future: The University at the Turn of the
       Millennium. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/futures/, current on November 21, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Current and Future Programs in General Education. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Sponsored Programs. (2001). Office of Sponsored Programs Annual Report for 1999 –
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (1998). ―What Happens to Graduates?‖
       Indicators of Institutional Mission, No. 5, 1998. Richmond, Virginia: Author.

        The institution must develop guidelines and procedures to evaluate educational
effectiveness, including the quality of student learning and of research and service. This
evaluation must encompass educational goals at all academic levels and research and service
functions of the institution. The evaluation of academic programs should involve gathering and
analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate student achievement.
        Measures to evaluate academic programs and general education may include the
following: evaluation of instructional delivery; adequacy of facilities and equipment;
standardized tests; analysis of theses, portfolios, and recitals; completion rates; results of
admissions tests for students applying to graduate or professional schools; job placement rates;
results of licensing examination; evaluations by employers; follow-up studies of alumni; and
performance of student transfers at receiving institutions. The institution must evaluate its
success with respect to student achievement in relation to purpose, including, as appropriate,
consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates. (p.
20, lines 20 – 34, p. 21, lines 1 – 8)

        Anticipating state legislative action, George Mason developed a plan and created an
office for assessing undergraduate education in the fall of 1986. A joint faculty/administrative
team concluded that the plan should focus on general education, the majors, and institutional
effectiveness and that assessment should be faculty owned (developed at the local unit level),
particularly for the majors. While the AAHE Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student
Learning, with its emphasis on connecting assessment to learning, was not promulgated until
1992, the George Mason assessment plan from the beginning posited as a core principle that
assessment must promote internal improvement of academic programs. Over time, the
implementation of assessment has evolved, but this basic principle has remained. Two PhD
professionals, an applications analyst and a part-time program support technician compose the
Office of Institutional Assessment. The mission statement for Institutional Assessment is as
follows:

       The Office of Institutional Assessment (OIA) is organized to support the institutional
       mission of providing a superior educational experience for all George Mason students.
       OIA provides timely information for administrators, faculty, and staff to aid in the
       evaluation of academic programs and academic support programs. OIA also collects



                                           44
       original data from students, faculty and staff as well as utilizes existing institutional data
       to analyze the need for program change and improvement. The office works in
       cooperation with faculty and staff to achieve the ends of an improved educational
       environment for George Mason students.

       OIA is a resource to all members of the university community on matters pertaining to
       assessment and improvement. The office provides extensive consultation to schools,
       colleges, institutes, departments, and university life programs regarding program
       evaluation. When appropriate, assessment staff provide support for major university and
       college/school undertakings related to quality improvement in educational and support
       programs.

       The Office of Institutional Assessment encourages and supports the use of multiple
       measures in assessment, both quantitative and qualitative. OIA disseminates to the
       university community new tests, methods, and ideas for assessing programs, and provides
       training where appropriate. The office disseminates reports on various aspects of
       assessment at George Mason using a variety of means. On a regular basis, OIA reports to
       the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia regarding assessment activities at
       George Mason.

The office mission, location, research reports, surveys and other related information are available
on the web at http://assessment.gmu.edu.

Evaluating Academic Programs

       George Mason University has two complementary internal systems for evaluating
academic programs in addition to special episodic evaluations, such as the unit reviews called for
by President Merten when he first arrived at Mason in 1996. (The Commonwealth of Virginia
also periodically evaluates existing academic programs, usually by monitoring the number of
graduates from programs or occasionally by targeting a specific discipline for review.) George
Mason conducts academic program evaluations through the Academic Program Review system,
and through the periodic updating of local academic unit assessment plans and reports.
       Academic Program Review. Academic Program Review at George Mason has
undergone numerous changes over time. Until 1989-90, the university had a five-year academic
program review cycle that was fairly typical of reviews that emphasize input measures. In 1989-
90, the guidelines were revised to include student outcome data. A year later, the review
schedule was changed from a five-year cycle to an annual, brief report. (See Lovett memo re:
academic program review procedures.)
       Meanwhile, assessment reporting was kept on a separate schedule until 1995-96 when
plans were made to merge the two processes. Prior to this, assessment reporting had been on a
five-year schedule with annual updates.
       This combined process was initially implemented in the College of Arts and Sciences,
and in the spring of 1996, the merger of the two separate activities was presented to all of the
deans and directors as the new format for academic program review and assessment reporting.
However, when President Alan Merten arrived on campus in the summer of 1996, he directed all
academic units to conduct extensive unit reviews, all of which were to be completed within the



                                            45
next two years. With the exception of the College of Arts and Sciences, all academic program
reviews and assessment reports were put on hold until all unit reviews were complete. CAS
continued to use a five-year cycle of department reviews and began including graduate level
programs with the 1996-97 review cycle.

                    Academic Program Review and Assessment Reporting
                                      1989-2000

                               Academic Program Review (APR)
                              ‗89 ‗90 ‗91 ‗92 ‗93 ‗94 ‗95 ‗96 ‗97 ‗98 ‗99 ‗00
   Student Outcome Data
                                                           
       included in APR
    Annual Report Cycle                                     
         Unit Reviews                                                       
   All Units* have Merged
                                                                                             
   APR/Assessment Plans
                                      Assessment Reporting
   5 Year Cycle/Annual
                                 
         Updates
  Updates for all academic
                                                                                             
         programs
                   Merged APR and Assessment Reporting Process for CAS
       5 Year Cycle                                                                  
       7 Year Cycle                                                                           

*Professional schools with professional accrediting bodies may substitute those reviews for the
internal academic program review.

        Merging Academic Program Review and Assessment Reporting. In 1996-97, steps were
taken to implement the merger of academic program review and assessment. The focus of
academic program review was changed from a program audit with a concentration on numbers of
students and faculty, class size, library holdings, etc., to one based on the principles espoused by
the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU). The university adopted the
AACU report, Program Review and Educational Quality in the Major, as the philosophical
underpinning of the academic program review process. This review process focuses more on a
learner-centered view of education, paying special attention to the needs and expectations of
students and to the idea that all faculty ―own‖ the curriculum.
        Upon completion of unit reviews, and after consultation with deans and directors, all
academic programs, both graduate and undergraduate, in all schools, colleges and institutes were
included under a merged APR and assessment policy. As academic plans were written, it
became clear that nearly all units with external accrediting agencies were being required to
conduct self-studies that were very much in the spirit of the guidelines adopted for CAS; student
outcomes and an emphasis on teaching and learning have become paramount in the review
process. Given this, George Mason has adopted a standard for academic program review that
recognizes that all units with external professional accrediting agencies will meet George Mason
requirements by fulfilling the professional agency requirements. Those units that do not have


                                            46
professional accreditation standards, most notably, CAS, are guided by internal documents
regarding program review. Status of Academic Program Reviews/Professional Accreditation
presents the review schedule of each unit in the university.
         Assessment Reporting. Since 1989, all academic programs at George Mason have
submitted assessment reports to the Office of Institutional Assessment, including brief annual
reports and more extensive five-year reports. After feedback to the program from the director of
institutional assessment and the associate provost for undergraduate studies, these reports were
summarized and presented in biennial reports to SCHEV.
         By combining assessment reporting with academic program review/accreditation self-
studies in 1995-96, the program review process was enriched with a new, more student oriented
focus. The university has, however, fallen short of its goal of continually assessing programs.
Assessment, never high on the academic to-do list, tends to slip out of sight until a report is due.
To remedy this situation and to help provide a stimulus for continually focusing on student
learning and the curriculum, George Mason has instituted a policy whereby all academic
programs will update their assessment goals, methods and changes on an annual basis. In turn,
these updates will be used in the academic program review self-studies. So, academic program
review will continue to be enriched by an assessment focus, while specific assessment activities
will remain a priority.
         All academic programs were directed to update their assessment plans in fall 1999 and
again, in fall 2000, and to report on changes made to programs as a result of assessment
activities. These are available on the web—see http://assessment.gmu.edu/assess.shtml. All
reports are reviewed and commented upon by the Director of Institutional Assessment and are
available to deans, directors and the provost. Programs with special problems or those with
noteworthy assessment plans and activities are brought to the attention of the Provost and the
appropriate dean. Particularly outstanding programs are also cited as models for those programs
that need to strengthen their own assessment activities.
         Despite the unevenness of the assessment reports submitted by programs, there are some
that are outstanding, and to the credit of the faculty, all undergraduate programs submitted
assessment reports. For graduate programs, this was a new process; writing student learning
goals and choosing methods of evaluation were an undertaking that had only been done in those
units that had external accrediting bodies. Despite this, several programs did a superb job in
tackling these issues, many rethinking the operations and processes in their unit.
         All programs with assessment plans and reports on the web have identified multiple
methods of assessment, including information gathered from graduating seniors and from
alumni. Many use senior capstone courses as the place to collect assessment data; others track
alumni success. The assessment program is a dynamic one and requires ongoing dialogue
between faculty and the Office of Institutional Assessment whenever and wherever possible.
Through meetings, workshops, conferences, e-mail, etc. this dialogue is actively pursued.

Recommendation

      The MAIS in Interdisciplinary Studies has not yet submitted complete assessment plans.
We recommend that the university complete the process of developing student learning goals and
methods of assessing those goals for all academic programs.




                                            47
Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Accreditation Reports for Academic Units Accredited by
        External Agencies. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1996). Academic Unit Review Guidance. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1997). Academic Unit Reviews. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Academic Program Review Guidance. Fairfax, Virginia:
        Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Assessment Plan Guidance. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Lovett, C. (1990 August 28). Memo Re: Program Review Procedures. Fairfax, Virginia: George
        Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). Assessment Reports Submitted to SCHEV. Fairfax,
        Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Program Goals and Assessment Plans. [Online].
        Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
        http://assessment.gmu.edu/assess.shtml, current on February 18, 2001.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Status of Academic Program Reviews/Professional
        Accreditation. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

3.2 Planning and Evaluation: Administrative and Educational Support Services

        In addition to providing evidence of planning and evaluation in its educational program,
the institution must demonstrate planning and evaluation in its administrative and educational
support services. For each administrative and educational support service unit, the institution
must

       1. establish a clearly defined purpose that supports the institution’s purpose and goals.
       2. formulate goals which support the purpose of each unit
       3. develop and implement procedures to evaluate the extent to which these goals are
          being achieved in each unit
       4. use the results of the evaluations to improve administrative and educational support
          services.

       Each unit, in its planning and evaluation processes, should consider internal and
external factors and develop evaluation methods which will yield information useful to the
planning processes of that unit. (p. 21, lines 9 – 27)

        The planning and evaluation of student affairs activities, housed under the Vice President
for University Life, are described in the documents for Section 5.4. Each program in University
Life sets goals and evaluates them routinely and regularly. Further, in the University Life 2000
Vision Statement, the Vice President lays out the goals for the coming year for the entire unit,
emphasizing the critical role of University Life staff in student learning, student learning in
general and learning in regard to diversity. The Vice President has posed basic questions about
the mission of University Life that focus on student outcomes, and she proposes an assessment
strategy to make explicit their goals and values, show their connection to the university and make
clearer their contribution to the educational mission.



                                           48
        Beginning in 1996, the academic support areas of George Mason University that reported
to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs—Admissions, Financial Aid and Registrar—re-
evaluated their missions and goals, and identified strategies for reaching those goals. These
efforts have been repeated twice since then. In 1998, each unit conducted a self-study focused
on their goals and accomplishments, and in 2000, mission statements, goals and strategies were
updated.
        Planning and evaluation for the Libraries and for the Information Technology Unit are
described in Section 5.1 and 5.3.
        Administrative service units reporting to the Senior Vice President are committed to the
principle of continuous improvement. Each unit has quantitative goals and objectives that are
routinely evaluated against ―best practices‖ at other colleges and universities, as well as at other
service organizations outside higher education. In addition, the Special Projects and
Management Analysis team, representing administrative units reporting to the Senior Vice
President, conducts an annual electronic survey to evaluate 100 administrative services and
processes.
        The Faculty Senate, with the support of the Office of Institutional Research and
Reporting and the Office of Institutional Assessment, conducts the evaluation of administrators
annually. While the focus of this evaluation survey is on chief policy makers, including the
President, the Provost, deans and directors, and department chairs, occasionally this survey
includes an evaluation of services important to faculty as well.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1998). Administrative Unit Self-Studies. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―5.1, Library and Other Learning Resources,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―5.3, Information Technology Resources and Systems,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―5.4, Student Development Services,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Admissions Office Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of Student Financial Aid. (2000). Office of Student Financial Aid Planning and
       Evaluation Reports. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). Office of the Registrar Organizational Development Plan.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Special Projects and Management Analysis Team. (2000). Administrative Services/Process
       Evaluation. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://cold.gmu.edu/spam/, current on February 11, 2001.
University Life. (2000). University Life 2000 Vision Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.

3.3 Institutional Research

       Institutional research must be an integral part of the institution’s planning and
evaluation process. It must be effective in collecting and analyzing data and



                                            49
disseminating results. An institution must regularly evaluate the effectiveness of its
institutional research process and use its findings for the improvement of it process.
         The institutional research process may be centralized or decentralized but should
include the following activities: ongoing timely data collection, analysis and
dissemination; use of external studies and reports; design and implementation of internal
studies related to students, personnel, facilities, equipment, programs, services and fiscal
resources; development of data bases suitable for longitudinal studies and statistical
analyses; and related activities in support of planning, evaluation and management.
         Institutions must assign administrative responsibility for conducting institutional
research, allocate adequate resources, and allow access to relevant information. (p. 22,
lines 1 – 20)

Mission

        The mission of the Institutional Research and Reporting (IRR) Office is to define, collect,
analyze, maintain and disseminate official institutional data, and to provide official institutional
information to both internal and external constituents for the purposes of describing,
documenting, and publishing institutional information and measures of effectiveness.
        IRR is an integral component of the university‘s planning and evaluation process. The
office executes its mission by:

            Responding to state and federal reporting requirements, eliminating source-data
             discrepancies and developing procedures and programs for validating source data
             against SCHEV edit criteria prior to generation of census files.
            Developing and publishing standard reports of institutional information and
             responding to external surveys/questionnaires with an accurate annual Common Data
             Set.
            Maintaining the web site that shares with the university community the information
             reported to various agencies, including the electronic Factbook.
            Processing internal and external ad hoc requests in a timely and accurate manner.
            Maintaining and continuously improving an institutional data warehouse that
             provides accurate, accessible data to information retrievers using World Wide Web
             protocols for desktop delivery.
            Processing student evaluations of instructional faculty and summarizing the results in
             a timely and accurate manner for the faculty, chairs and Provost. IRR continuously
             improves and re-engineers this process.
            Being proactive in providing planning and analytical support for decision-making.
            Working collaboratively with internal and external customers and providers to ensure
             that information is correct and complete, and to avoid duplication of effort.

Evaluation

        The IRR Office uses several methods of evaluation to monitor and measure the goals of
the office. The task tracker was developed to measure and manage projects of the team. All team
members have access to the task tracker via the Internet in which to input the information. This
allows team members and administrators to view the tracker to monitor projects and timelines.


                                             50
        The IRR Office also developed a ―Work Evaluation Report,‖ which asks those who
request IRR‘s services to complete a short online questionnaire that provides feedback on the
user‘s satisfaction with services received. A copy of the survey is available online.
        In addition to these methods of gathering evaluation feedback, the IRR team asked the
Director of Institutional Assessment to conduct two focus groups to explore the quality of
services provided, the image of IRR as the repository of official university data, the effectiveness
in distributing information, and in general, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the
office.
         Two focus groups were convened in December 1999. The participants included
administrative staff, faculty and administrators. Both sessions were taped and students assisted in
taking notes. The primary goal of the focus groups was to determine whether constituents
understand the mission of the IRR Office and whether the IRR Office is meeting the data and
information needs of various audiences. The results of the two focus group sessions are
documented in Summary of Focus Group Results Conducted for Institutional Research and
Reporting.
        As a result of this evaluation, IRR is taking several steps to better serve the university
community. IRR is:

          Working with the Senior Vice President to define more clearly and publicly the role
           of IRR, the data it collects and the services it provides
          Providing definitions for the data elements it uses
          Publishing trend data
          Making more information—enrollment by campus, hours/times by campus and
           duplicate/unduplicated headcounts—available in the data warehouse and on its home
           page
          Reorganizing the home page and data warehouse to make it easier to use
          Developing recommendations as to who should be able to view secured information
          Identifying contacts for specific functions

Administrative Responsibility

        The university has assigned to the Office of Institutional Research and Reporting the
administrative responsibility for conducting institutional research. IRR reports to the Assistant
Vice President for Budget and Institutional Research and Reporting. The IRR team works
closely together, with each member fulfilling a separate and distinct role. The members and their
primary functions are described in The Institutional Research and Reporting Team. The team
shares responsibilities for personnel, financial, and project management duties of the office.
Performance measures and critical work processes have been established and will continue to be
analyzed and improved. The Institutional Research and Reporting Office has been given
adequate resources (both staffing and funding) to carry out its mission.
        All relevant information is available to the Office of Institutional Research and Reporting
and, in turn, is made available to various university constituents in both paper and electronic
formats. Prior to the year 2000 the data warehouse had limited user access. The IRR Office has
revamped the data warehouse to include allowing all users to access all data with the exception
of certain personnel information.



                                            51
Supporting Documentation

Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (n.d.). Office of Institutional Research and
       Reporting - Work Evaluation Report. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://irr.gmu.edu/eval1.cfm?loc=2, current on February 18,
       2001.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). 1999 – 2000 Factbook. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 28,
       2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). Sample IRR Task Tracker Report.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). Summary of Focus Group Results
       Conducted for Institutional Research and Reporting. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). The Institutional Research and Reporting
       Team. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.




                                           52
                        SECTION IV: EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM



4.1 General Requirements of the Educational Program

         All aspects of the educational program must be clearly related to the purpose of the
institution. The institution must provide a competent faculty, adequate library/learning
resources, and appropriate computer resources, instructional materials/equipment and physical
facilities. The student enrollment and financial resources of an institution must be sufficient to
support an effective educational program. (p. 24, lines 1-8)

       George Mason University strives in all of its educational programs to achieve excellence
in teaching, research, and service. The following sections of the report describe how each
component of the educational program of George Mason University contributes toward
accomplishing its mission:

          Section 4.2, Undergraduate Program. Mason serves a broad cross-section of the
           region and, to a growing extent, the world, and it attracts students of increasing
           ability. Our new general education requirements are the culmination of a period of
           intense self-evaluation, as well as a reflection of the concerns of the larger community
           in which our graduates live and work.
          Section 4.3, Graduate Program. While the university provides ample opportunities
           for graduate education in the disciplines, many of our graduate programs have an
           interdisciplinary focus.     An increasing number of these programs are best
           characterized as professional master‘s programs, addressing the needs of today‘s
           work force in the areas of policy, education, management, health care, law, and
           engineering. George Mason University‘s strong support of research, both theoretical
           and applied, is evidenced in its doctoral programs, which are growing in both number
           and in degrees awarded.
          Section 4.4, Publications. The university has embraced the web as a means of
           communicating information to the broadest range of constituents. Our efforts
           emphasize ensuring that online and print publications convey complete, accurate, and
           consistent messages.
          Section 4.5, Distance Learning Programs. Our distance learning mission statement,
           recently approved by the Board of Visitors, focuses the university‘s efforts on using
           distance learning as one more tool to engage our core constituency in Northern
           Virginia.
          Section 4.6, Continuing Education, Outreach and Service Programs. Lifelong
           learning opportunities are an increasingly important means of outreach to our
           community.
          Section 4.7, Student Records. The Office of the Registrar ensures the accuracy,
           integrity, and privacy of student records.
          Section 4.8, Faculty. The university has built a national reputation in a relatively
           short period, primarily on the strength of its faculty. Mason faculty are active
           scholars who bring the fruits of their research into the classroom and the community.


                                            53
           The university receives strong support in the classroom from a large group of
           qualified adjunct faculty.
          Section 4.9, Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements. Two
           consortia allow Mason students to take advantage of the wealth of educational
           opportunities in the region. University controls ensure that the coursework pursued
           through these consortial relationships is appropriate to each student‘s degree program.

        George Mason University has been able to enhance its educational programs and its
reputation in spite of a very lean resource base. Although the General Fund support for George
Mason University per in-state student has improved since 1997, GMU continues to receive less
General Fund support per FTE student than the average of the other doctoral institutions in
Virginia. In the early 1990‘s, GMU received 60% of the doctoral average for Virginia; today it
receives nearly 77%.
        GMU attacks the problem of limited resources from many sides. The university attempts
to optimize the resources it has through planning, innovative use of technology, and
improvements that come from the regular evaluation of its academic and administrative policies
and procedures. It tries to increase the resources available through creative partnerships and
private philanthropy, and is currently engaged in the nucleus phase of a major fund raising
campaign.
        Section V, Educational Support Services, describes how the university provides support
for student endeavors through appropriate library/learning and computing resources and
instructional materials and equipment. Section VI, Administrative Processes, describes the
administrative underpinnings, physical facilities and financial resources that the university brings
to the academic enterprise.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―General Fund Per In-State FTE Student,‖ 2000 – 01 Budget,
      Executive Summary. p. 14. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section V, Educational Support Services,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section VI, Administrative Processes,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

        In addition, the institution must ensure appropriate levels of student achievement and
equivalent quality of programs regardless of method of instruction or location of program. (p.
24, lines 9-12)

        Faculty are ultimately responsible for ensuring appropriate levels of student achievement
and the equivalent quality of programs, regardless of method of instruction or location of
program. According to the Faculty Handbook, ―The primary consideration in the evaluation of
the candidates‘ achievements will be the extent to which these continue to improve the academic
quality of the University.‖
        George Mason University is an active participant in both a statewide and nationwide
effort to assess and improve student achievement. Developing the new general education plan
has engaged the faculty, central administration, student body, and the Board of Visitors in a quest



                                            54
to re-examine what an undergraduate needs to know in the 21st century. The President of the
university participated in a blue ribbon commission on higher education appointed by the
governor that made recommendations on general education and a new funding mechanism that
emphasizes student and program outcomes. The initiatives that George Mason University has
developed as part of the Institutional Performance Agreement address the institution‘s desire for
improvements in student achievement and greater accountability.
        Today‘s universities must go where the students are. Mason has done just that. Three
campuses—in Fairfax, Arlington and Manassas—comprise the university, connected by
technology and a system of administrative and instructional support. Several programs also offer
courses through the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, Virginia. The College of
Nursing and Health Sciences is planning to offer courses at a site under development in
Springfield, Virginia. Our continuing professional education programs extend Mason‘s reach
and speak to the needs of working professionals and organizations in our region. Distance
learning promises to stretch boundaries further. Regardless of method or location, the Provost‘s
Office is working with the heads of academic units to ensure that our students, faculty, and
community are served by a single standard of excellence.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook. p.
      14. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University
      Institutional Performance Agreement. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://budget.gmu.edu/IPA.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
      University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
The Governor‘s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. (2000). Final Report of the
      Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. Richmond, Virginia: Author.

4.2 Undergraduate Program

       Six of George Mason University‘s ten schools, colleges, and institutes offer
undergraduate education:

          College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
          College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS)
          Graduate School of Education (GSE)
          Institute of the Arts (IOA)
          School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E)
          School of Management (SOM)

The largest of these schools are CAS and SOM, which account for 35.4% and 22.2% of the
undergraduate enrollment. Total undergraduate enrollment in 1999 was 15,262.



                                           55
        Students can pursue any of 54 majors at the baccalaureate level. Undergraduate
certificate programs are also available.
        Most undergraduate instruction takes place at the Fairfax campus, although the university
projects growth in undergraduate programs at the Prince William Campus. (The Arlington
campus is dedicated to professional master‘s programs and the law school.)
        The student body is overwhelmingly in-state (91%), although an increasing number of
students from out of state are choosing to come to George Mason University. The university
attracts 4% of its undergraduate enrollment from the international community. Approximately
half of the Mason entering undergraduate class are transfers, with most coming from the
Northern Virginia Community College system. Almost 30% of the undergraduate population
attend on a part-time basis. Students of color represent 32% of the enrollment and 56% of
undergraduates are female. Most undergraduates commute to Mason.

Supporting Documentation

Lee, K. (2000). Number of International Undergraduate Students. [E-mail]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―A Glimpse of Student Enrollment,‖
       1999 – 2000 Factbook Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. p. 95. Also
       available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Degrees and Certificates Offered:
       Academic Year 1999-2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. p. 52. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Undergraduate Student Enrollment by
       Academic Division, Fall 1999,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. p. 37. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

4.2.1 Undergraduate Admission

       General admission policies must be established by the governing board on
recommendation of the administration. The board is responsible for deciding the size and
character of the student body. Implementation of specific admission policies, however, is the
responsibility of the administration and faculty of the institution. The unit responsible for
administering the policies must be clearly identified. In those institutions in which various
subdivisions maintain separate admission requirements, there must be institution-wide
coordination of all admission policies and procedures. (p. 24, lines 13-23)

       The Faculty and Academic Standards Committee of the Board of Visitors through the
University Catalog has established the general admissions policies of the institution. The relevant
portion of the catalog (p. 7) states:

       Admission to George Mason is competitive in that the number of qualified
       applicants for admission exceeds the number of new students that can be
       accommodated. The university expects applicants for undergraduate admission to
       be in the upper 50 percent of their class. They must also demonstrate considerable




                                            56
       facility in using the English language and an understanding of basic mathematical
       processes.

        The Faculty and Academic Standards Committee also reviews policies governing the
admission of students to all divisions of the university and periodically reviews experience with
the application of policies.
        The President, as chief executive officer of the university reporting to the Board of
Visitors, is in charge of the day-to-day administration and operation of the university. The
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is the principal academic officer of
the university and is appointed by the President. Deans and directors perform duties assigned to
them by the President or the Provost. The Office of Admissions, headed by the Dean of
Admissions, is the unit responsible for administering undergraduate admissions policies.
        All undergraduate students are admitted to the university through the Office of
Admissions. However, the School of Management and the College of Nursing and Health
Science have minimum freshman and sophomore requirements, which must be met prior to
direct admission to these programs. Minimum requirements for acceptance into a major in SOM
and CNHS are defined in the catalog. The Associate Deans in both of these units work closely
with the Office of Admissions to make sure that minimum requirements for admission are clearly
articulated to prospective applicants.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Undergraduate Admission Policies,‖ 2000-2001 University
       Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. pp. 7 – 10. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi2.html, current on December 18, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Admissions. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://admissions.gmu.edu/, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Office of Admissions Organizational Chart. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        Admission policies must be consistent with the educational purposes of the institution.
They must include qualitative and quantitative requirements that identify students who
demonstrate reasonable potential for success at the institution. An institution admitting students
with deficiencies in their preparation for collegiate study must offer appropriate developmental
or remedial support to assist these students. Diagnostic testing should be an important element
of a developmental or remedial program. (p. 24, lines 24-28, p. 25, lines 1-5)

       George Mason‘s Mission Statement sums up the educational purpose of the institution:

       George Mason will be an institution of international academic reputation
       providing a superior education enabling students to develop critical, analytical,
       and imaginative thinking and to make well founded ethical decisions.

       In keeping with this educational philosophy, the undergraduate admission policies and
procedures of the catalog define the attributes that determine admissibility to the university.
Freshman and transfer requirements for admission are described on pages 7 – 10 in the catalog
and in the Undergraduate Admissions Application. The following tables specify the minimum


                                           57
units of college preparatory work required for freshman admission and the minimum units
recommended. The recommended units reflect the typical high school program of students who
have been accepted in recent years. Columns (A), (B) and (C) refer to the following categories:

       (A) Students applying for a bachelor of arts (excluding those in category C), bachelor of
           fine arts or bachelor of music.
       (B) Students applying for a bachelor of science (excluding those in category C).
       (C) Students applying with an intended major in chemistry, computer science,
           engineering, geology, mathematics or physics.

                    Minimum Units Required                 Units Recommended
                    (A)   (B)   (C)                        (A)    (B)  (C)
English             4      4     4                         4       4    4
Social Studies      3      3     3                         4       4    4
Mathematics         3      3     4                         4       4    4
Laboratory Science 2       2     3                         3       3    4
Foreign Language    2      2     0                         3       3    3
Academic Electives 3       3     3                         5       4    3
Total              17     17    17                        23      22   23

Mathematics courses should be selected from algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry,
analytic geometry, functions, mathematical analysis, pre-calculus and calculus. Science courses
should be selected from biology, chemistry, physics or other advanced lab science.

The following factors are also required or considered when reviewing freshman applications for
admission:

       1. cumulative high school grade point average for grades 9 – 12
       2. level of difficulty of coursework completed
       3. scores from the Scholastic Assessment Test I (SATI) or the American College Test
          (ACT)
       4. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for non-native English speakers
       5. Essay
       6. Secondary School Report

        George Mason University fully admits only applicants believed to be capable of
successfully completing all degree requirements without remedial or developmental academic
work. Students who fall into one of the following two categories may be provisionally admitted
to the university contingent upon successfully completing a summer program prior to enrollment
in the fall semester:

       1. Non-native English speakers who are permanent residents of the United States, have
          better than average high school records in a US high school, and who score less than
          230 on the computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language, may be admitted
          contingent upon successfully completing the Summer Institute. This program is




                                          58
          administered by the English Language Institute at George Mason University and
          classes are taught by Mason faculty.
       2. The Virginia Student Recruitment and Retention Program facilitates the enrollment
          and retention of under-represented students. An admissions committee reviews
          applications and recommends enrollment in this program for under-represented
          students who present good high school credentials, teacher recommendations and
          other indicators of potential for success, but have very low scores on the Scholastic
          Aptitude Test. Additional tutoring, mentoring support and academic intervention and
          development workshops are also provided to these students during their freshman
          year at the university.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Freshman Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 8. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi2.html#Freshman, current on December 18, 2000.
Office of Minority Study Affairs. (2000). Virginia Student Recruitment and Retention Program.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
The English Language Institute. (2000). ―The ESL Summer Institute,‖ Non-Native Speakers of
       English. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        Each institution must regularly evaluate its admission policies. It is the responsibility of
the institution to ensure that its recruiting activities and materials accurately and truthfully
portray the institution. (p. 25, lines 6-9)

         The Office of Admissions prepares a recruitment and marketing plan annually which
describes the undergraduate students who have been admitted and the goals for the coming year.
This report is distributed to the Provost, Deans and Directors, and the Faculty Senate for
comment and recommendations for policy changes.
         During the academic year admissions procedures and policies are also regularly evaluated
by the Academic Procedures Advisory Committee, which is co-chaired by the Dean of
Admission and the University Registrar. Recommendations for changes in policy are reviewed
and approved by the Provost and Faculty Senate.
         A joint committee of faculty and administrators from George Mason University and
Northern Virginia Community College, the Inter-Institutional Articulation Committee, also
evaluates all policies related to the admission of transfer students from Northern Virginia
Community College and makes recommendations for changes to the Provost and the Faculty
Senate. A revised articulation agreement between the two schools was adopted in Fall 2000.
         Every effort is made by the Office of Admissions to annually produce undergraduate
recruitment materials that accurately and truthfully portray George Mason University.
Information presented by admissions officers in public presentations and the admissions web site
is also reviewed and updated regularly.




                                            59
Supporting Documentation

George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. (2001). Articulation
       Agreement between George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community
       College. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Heerschap, M. (1999). Undergraduate Recruitment and Marketing Plan, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Admissions. [Online]. Available at http://admissions.gmu.edu/,
       current on November 29, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Inter-Institutional Articulation Committee Roster, 1999-2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Minutes of the Meetings of the Inter-Institutional Articulation
       Committee, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Undergraduate Recruiting Materials. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). Minutes and Roster of the Academic Procedures Advisory
       Committee. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        To be admitted to degree programs, applicants must show evidence of high school
graduation or other successful experiences, which reasonably predict their ability to make
satisfactory progress at the institution. Each institution must assess and justify the
appropriateness of experiences offered in lieu of a high school diploma. (p. 25, lines 10-15)

       Minimum high school requirements are defined in the University Catalog and the
Undergraduate Admissions Application Portfolio. Because most freshman admission decisions
are made prior to high school graduation, the letter of admission clearly states that admission to
the university is contingent upon successful graduation from high school. Failure to graduate or
very poor grades after the offer of admission will result in the withdrawal of the offer.
    All candidates for admission to degree programs must satisfy all written admission
requirements. Candidates for admission usually may not offer experiences in lieu of a high
school diploma. There are three exceptions to this policy:

       1. High school juniors who have exceptional academic records and test scores, and who
          have completed all high school graduation requirements except for senior English and
          government, may be admitted and enroll at the university prior to graduation from
          high school. In addition to the items noted above, students must also have approval
          from the high school principal or guidance counselor and their parent(s) and have an
          interview with the Dean or Director of Admissions, prior to approval. During their
          freshman year at Mason these students complete English composition and
          government courses which are then transferred back to the high school so that a high
          school diploma may be awarded.
       2. The General Equivalency Diploma may be considered from students who attended
          but did not complete high school.
       3. Freshman applicants with excellent academic records who graduated from high
          school at least five years prior to applying for admission are usually not required to
          take the SATI at the time of application.



                                           60
Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Freshman Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 8. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi2.html#Freshman, current on December 18, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). ―Preparatory Course Work,‖ 2001 Undergraduate Admissions
       Application Portfolio. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Sample Letter to Admitted Freshman Applicant. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

         Procedures established for implementation of institutional admission policies must be
followed in the admission of all students. The institution must provide evidence that it selects
students whose interests and capabilities are consistent with the admission policies. An
institution's admission and retention policies should not be compromised to maintain a desired
enrollment. (p. 25, lines 16-22)

        Admission procedures described in the catalog are followed in the admission of all
students. The university makes every effort to select students whose interests and capabilities
are consistent with its admission policies. During the past five years there has been a gradual
increase in the academic indices presented by all applicants to the university. Increasing indices
are an indication that applicants will be well prepared for college level work. The Fall 2000
freshman class presented a mean cumulative grade point average of 3.20 and SATI score of
1076. This compares to 3.13 and 1065 for the previous year. As described previously, students
must successfully complete a minimum number of courses in English, mathematics, science and
foreign language in order to be eligible for admission. Significant numbers of students exceed
these minimums and present honors level coursework.
        Neither admission nor retention have been compromised to maintain student enrollment.
During the past three years freshmen-to-sophomore retention has remained steady at about 75%.
Academic and administrative units work together to recruit, admit and retain students whose
qualifications suggest that they have a reasonable chance of success in the institution. They do
so while acknowledging that George Mason University is not a traditional, residential university
where all students are expected to follow a course of study for four years that leads to the award
of an undergraduate degree, although a significant number of undergraduate students follow that
model. Most undergraduates do not live on campus, many are part-time students with work (and
sometimes family) responsibilities, and Mason undergraduates are on average older than their
counterparts at other more traditional residential institutions. They come to the university for a
host of reasons, including personal enrichment and workplace skills development, and not all of
their objectives involve acquiring an undergraduate degree.

Supporting Documentation

Office of Admissions. (2000). First-Time Freshmen Applicants, Fall 95 – Fall 00 Comparison.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Trends in First Year Persistence,
       Progression and Retention Rates of Entering Full-time First-time Freshman,‖ 1999 –



                                           61
       2000 Factbook Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. p. 35. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

        An institution must clearly define and publish its policy on the admission of transfer
students. The policy must include the following: the requirement for official transcripts of
credits earned from all institutions of higher education previously attended; qualitative and
quantitative criteria determining the acceptability of transfer work; criteria regarding the award
of advanced standing, whether by credit earned at another institution, by advanced placement
examinations, or through experiential learning; and conditions governing admission in good
standing, admission on probation, and provisional admission. (p. 25, lines 23-34)

         The University Catalog defines the policy on the admission of transfer students. Transfer
applicants must present a minimum grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale on all collegiate
work attempted to be eligible for admission consideration. Transfer applicants must submit
official transcripts from each collegiate institution attended. Transfer applicants with fewer than
30 transferable credits must also submit a copy of their secondary school record and test scores.
         A student transferring into the university receives a formal evaluation of transfer credit
following the offer of admission. In general, credits are accepted from regionally accredited
institutions, provided that a grade of C or better has been earned in the course, and that the
course content is equal to that offered at George Mason University. Criteria for the granting of
advanced standing by advanced placement examinations are the same for freshman and transfer
students, and appear in the catalog on page 15.
         Students on probation, suspension or dismissal are not eligible for admission.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Advanced Placement and Credit by Examination,‖ 2000-
       2001 University Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 15. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissio.html#Academic, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Transfer Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. pp. 8 – 9. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi2.html#Transfer, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Transfer to Mason. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        Institutions which award credit based on advanced placement or other examinations;
training provided by non-collegiate institutions, such as armed forces and service schools;
professional certification; or experiential learning must meet the following conditions governing
the award of such credit:

1. The amount of credit awarded is clearly stated and is in accord with commonly accepted good
practice in higher education.
2. Credit is awarded only in areas offered within the current curriculum of the institution, and is
appropriately related to the student's educational programs.
3. Decisions regarding the awarding of credit and the determination of such credit are made by
qualified faculty members at the institution, or according to procedures and standards approved




                                            62
by qualified faculty. The institution demonstrates that assessment procedures verify that the
credit awarded is appropriate. (p. 25, lines 35-41, p. 26, lines 1-11)

        George Mason University follows the Joint Statement on Transfer and Award of
Academic Credit approved by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and
Admissions Officers, the American Council on Education/Commission on Educational Credit
and the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation.
        The University Catalog, pg. 15, states the policies governing the granting of credit for
advanced placement examinations, the International Baccalaureate program and the College
Level Examination Program, including score limitations, if applicable. Each year the Office of
Admissions also produces a brochure entitled ―Academic Credit by Exam,‖ which provides more
detailed information to prospective applicants about the specific number of credits that will be
awarded for specific courses. The appropriate faculty in each department determine the amount
of credit to be awarded. The university has not defined a limit on the amount of credit a student
may earn through advanced placement examinations or programs.
        George Mason University does not usually award credit for training in the armed forces.
There are two exceptions to this policy. The first is for students enrolled in the Bachelor of
Individualized Study (BIS), which accepts a maximum of 30 training credits (including military
training) if indexed and recommended as college-level credit by the American Council on
Education. The second exception to this policy occurs when a student has enrolled at Northern
Virginia Community College (NVCC) prior to enrolling at George Mason University. Through
the articulation agreement which we have with NVCC we will award credit for specific subjects
if they were previously awarded by NVCC and appropriately indicated on the NVCC transcript.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Credit for Nontraditional Modes of Learning,‖ p. 133, 2000
       – 2001 University Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_nccl.html#Study, current on November 29, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Academic Credit by Exam. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/acbe.html, current on
       December 18, 2000.
George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. (2001). Articulation
       Agreement between George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community
       College. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        In awarding credit for prior experiential learning, the institution must (1) award credit
only for documented learning which demonstrates achievement of all outcomes for specific
courses in an approved degree program; (2) award credit only to matriculated students, identify
such credit on the student's transcript as credit for prior experiential learning and, upon request
from another institution, document how such learning was evaluated and the basis on which
such credit was awarded; (3) ensure that credit for prior experiential learning does not duplicate
credit already awarded or remaining courses planned for the student's academic program; (4)
adopt, describe in appropriate institutional publications, implement and regularly review
policies and procedures for awarding credit for experiential learning; and (5) clearly describe,




                                            63
and establish the validity of, the evaluation process and criteria for awarding credit for prior
experiential learning. (p. 26, lines 12-29)

       Credit for prior experiential learning is awarded only through the Bachelor of
Individualized Study (BIS) program. Eligibility and program requirements for this degree
program are defined on pages 131 – 133 of the catalog. BIS students can receive a maximum of
30 credits for experiential learning demonstrated by portfolios equated as college-level credit by
approved educational institutions.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Individualized Study, B.I.S.,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. pp. 131 – 133. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_nccl.html#Study, current on November 27, 2000.

       The institution must inform transfer students of the amount of credit which will transfer,
preferably prior to their enrollment, but at least prior to the end of the first academic term in
which they are enrolled. (p. 26, lines 30-33)

        A course-by-course evaluation of all transfer credit is conducted by the Office of
Admissions after a student is admitted to the university. Students are mailed a copy of this
evaluation prior to enrollment along with an analysis of academic progress, which indicates how
each course will apply towards the specific major for which the student has been admitted. A
copy of the evaluation and degree audit is also sent to the academic adviser of the department in
which the student plans to enroll. The Office of Admissions maintains a copy of these reports in
the student‘s file and revises them when necessary. If the student chooses to enroll, these
documents are sent to the Registrar‘s Office and become a part of the student‘s permanent record
at the university.
        International students must have their credentials evaluated by a recognized credential
evaluation service prior to admission. A comprehensive list of evaluation services is provided by
the Office of Admissions to students upon request; students are also referred to the web site for
the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. This external evaluation is used as
the basis on which credit values are assigned to course equivalencies.
        A comprehensive equivalency database is maintained by the Office of Admissions and
direct one-to-one equivalencies are identified for all coursework accepted at George Mason from
schools with which we have articulation agreements. The university has articulated coursework
from all the community colleges in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). This
information is available to applicants through advising offices at the community colleges or
online, at http://admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/transguide/vccsartic.html. A Transfer Guide is also
prepared by George Mason each year, which describes the university‘s transfer policy in detail.

Suggestion

       The university should develop a more systematic, web-based application that would
allow students to evaluate their course work with respect to its potential to transfer to George




                                           64
Mason University. The Office of Admissions should work with the faculty to develop specific
equivalencies for courses and should be responsible for maintaining the application.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). Sample Analysis of Academic Progress. Fairfax, Virginia:
        Author.
George Mason University. (2001). Sample Applicant Transfer Credit Evaluation. Fairfax,
        Virginia: Author.
Office of Admissions. (1998). VCCS/Mason Table of Transferable Courses. [Online]. Fairfax,
        Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
        http://admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/transguide/vccsartic.html, current on December 12,
        2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Sample Transfer Admission Letter. Fairfax, Virginia: George
        Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Transfer Guide. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Transfer to Mason. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Shilling, K. (2001 January 19). Letter to Provost Re: Transfer Guides. Richmond, Virginia: State
        Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

        Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward an undergraduate degree must
represent collegiate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of
instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in
the institution’s own undergraduate degree programs. In assessing and documenting equivalent
learning and qualified faculty, an institution may use recognized guides which aid in the
evaluation for credit. Such guides include those published by the American Council on
Education, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the
NAFSA: Association of International Educators. (p. 26, lines 34-41, p. 27, lines 1-5)

        George Mason accepts transfer coursework only for credit from a regionally accredited
university or college that is comparable in content and level of instruction to that offered at
George Mason University. In the case of international applicants, the university previously
attended must have minimum entrance requirements at least equivalent to a US high school
diploma and be recognized as a degree-granting institution by the host country. Guidebooks
produced by the American Council of Education and the American Association of Collegiate
Registrars and Admissions Officers are used to make university equivalency decisions.
        All coursework completed at another institution is reviewed by faculty in the appropriate
academic unit for comparability toward equivalent coursework at George Mason. Since
Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) is the largest feeder institution for transfer
students to George Mason, an Inter-Institutional Articulation Committee has been developed to
address issues related to course equivalencies and transfer credit between the two schools. The
committee is co-chaired by the Dean of Admissions at George Mason and the Dean of Academic
and Student Services at NVCC. Representatives from each of the academic units at George
Mason and each of the NVCC campuses meet monthly during the school year. Once per year
faculty in the academic units at each institution also meet for a half-day workshop to discuss
specific course equivalencies.



                                           65
Supporting Documentation

Office of Admissions. (2000). Inter-Institutional Articulation Committee Roster, 1999-2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Minutes of the Meetings of the Inter-Institutional Articulation
       Committee, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

       There must be clearly defined policies regarding the academic dismissal, suspension and
readmission of students. Readmission of students dismissed or suspended for academic reasons
must be consistent with the academic policies of the institution. (p. 27, lines 6-10)

       George Mason University‘s dismissal and readmission policy is outlined in the catalog on
pg. 34. The policy defines situations under which students may receive an academic warning or
probation, which may eventually result in suspension or dismissal if academic performance is not
improved in a specified time frame.
       The university policy regarding re-enrollment after suspension is defined in the catalog
on pg. 34. Students dismissed from the university are not eligible for readmission without
permission of the dean or director of the school/college/institute in which they wish to re-enroll.
The registrar‘s office implements these policies, referring any issues to the Vice Provost for
Academic Affairs.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Academic Dismissal,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 34. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol2.html#Stand, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). Sample Dismissal Letter. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.

4.2.2 Undergraduate Completion Requirements

       In each degree program, there must be an appropriate sequence of courses leading to the
degree. An institution must publish the requirements for each degree it awards. The
requirements must be appropriate to the degree offered and must specify the total credits, the
number and distribution of general education credits, the number of credits to be earned in the
major or area of concentration, the number of electives, standards for satisfactory progress, and
other degree requirements. (p. 27, lines 11-20)

       With the help of an adviser, students choose a series of courses leading to a bachelor‘s
degree from one of the following schools, colleges, or institutes:

          Institute of the Arts (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts)
          College of Arts and Sciences (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of
           Music, and Bachelor of Individualized Study)




                                            66
          Graduate School of Education (Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science
           Education)
          School of Information Technology and Engineering (Bachelor of Science)
          School of Management (Bachelor of Science)
          College of Nursing and Health Science (Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science
           Nursing)

All degree programs require the completion of at least 120 semester hours of academic credit.
        The University Catalog publishes the requirements for each degree within each college,
institute or school. The sequencing of courses leading up to the degree in each major, the total
number of credits required for each degree, the distribution requirements for general education,
the number of credits required for the major or area of concentration and the number of electives
are all described in the catalog. Standards for satisfactory progress are also defined in the
catalog.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute of the Arts,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 57
      – 66. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/ioa.html,
      current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Arts and Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 67 – 134. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate School of Education,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 143 – 152. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/health.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Information Technology and Engineering,‖ 2000-
      2001 University Catalog. pp. 153 – 186. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_ece.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Management,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      187 – 192. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/som.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Nursing and Health Science,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 193 – 204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing.html, current on November 27, 2000.

       Undergraduate degree programs must contain a basic core of general education courses.
A minimum of 15 semester hours for associate programs and a minimum of 30 semester hours
for baccalaureate programs are required for degree completion. The core must include at least
one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences,
and natural sciences/mathematics. (p. 27, lines 21 – 28)

       As was indicated in 1.4, Conditions of Eligibility, the general education program at
George Mason University is undergoing substantial revision. Both the current program and the
program that will be implemented beginning in Fall, 2001 require a minimum of 30 semester
hours of general education courses. The core of each program includes at least one course from


                                           67
the humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences and natural sciences/mathematics. Current
and Future Programs in General Education compares the approaches of the recently approved
Framework for General Education (to be implemented in Fall 2001) with the General Education
Program currently in place.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―General Education Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University
       Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 35. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol2.html#Gened, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Current and Future Programs in General Education. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

       The institution must demonstrate that its graduates of degree programs are competent in
reading, writing, oral communication, fundamental mathematical skills and the basic use of
computers. (p. 27, lines 29-32)

        Current and Future Programs in General Education demonstrates that the general
education program to be implemented in 2001 will ensure that graduates of degree programs at
George Mason University are competent in reading, writing, oral communication, fundamental
mathematical skills and the basic use of computers. The chart also shows that the current general
education program, while not requiring that students develop and enhance all of these skills,
provides opportunities for them to do so. Furthermore, individual schools/colleges/institutes also
have established general education requirements above and beyond those of the university. (See
Undergraduate Programs – General Education Requirements.) Between the university‘s
general education program and the additional general education requirements at the level of the
schools, undergraduates in most majors will take courses that develop competence in reading,
writing, oral communication and mathematical skills.
        Courses in the use of computers have not previously been a requirement for most
undergraduates at George Mason University. Nevertheless, the university can demonstrate that
its graduates are competent in the basic use of computers. An increasing number of students
enter the university with skills in this area. Undergraduates can take computer science and
engineering courses to satisfy the ―Area B‖ requirements of the current general education
program, and a growing number of faculty integrate technology skills into their courses. The
Graduating Senior Survey Report notes that 93% of undergraduates used word-processing, e-
mail and the Internet in at least one class.
        The university reinforces essential skills through a number of mechanisms operating
outside the general education requirements:

          Writing Across the Curriculum is a resource for faculty to integrate the teaching of
           writing skills in all disciplines.
          Technology Across the Curriculum is a programmatic effort to incorporate
           technology into the liberal arts curriculum.


                                           68
          The University Writing Center serves as a resource to students throughout their
           undergraduate careers.
          The Math Placement Exam is a computer-based test to help assess a student‘s
           proficiency in math. Entering students are required to successfully complete the
           exam during orientation, unless they have received advanced placement credit or
           transfer credit.
          The Math Literacy Center offers programs to prepare students for their required math
           courses.
          The Mason Topics Program allows students to develop oral and written
           communication skills while providing an innovative means for linking ideas across
           literature, history, social sciences and information technology.
          The Student Technology Assistance and Resources Center provides further
           opportunities for students to develop their information technology skills.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.cas.gmu.edu/tac/index.html,
       current on December 20, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Writing Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/wac,
       current on December 19, 2000.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Student
       Technology Assistance and Resources Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://media.gmu.edu/, current on December 19, 2000.
George Mason University. (1999). Undergraduate Programs – General Education
       Requirements. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―General Education Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University
       Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 35. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol2.html#Gened, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Math Literacy Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Available at http://classweb.gmu.edu/eobrien/litcenter.html, current on December 19,
       2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Math Placement Exam,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. p. 16. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissio.html#Academic, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). The Mason Topics Program. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author. Available at http://links.gmu.edu/index.html, current on December 20, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). University Writing Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author. Available at http://writingcenter.gmu.edu/, current on December 19, 2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Graduating Senior Survey Report, Fall 1998 and
       Spring 1999 Graduates. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/reports.shtml


                                          69
Office of the Provost. (2000). Current and Future Programs in General Education. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

       An institution must clearly define what is meant by a major or an area of concentration
and must state the number of credits required for each. An adequate number of hours with
appropriate prerequisites must be required in courses above the elementary level. (p. 27, lines
33-37)

       The number of credits required for each major or concentration is provided in each
program description of the University Catalog.          General education, major core and
concentrations are defined for every degree program offered. Students who wish to graduate
with a BA or BS degree in two or more subjects must meet departmental requirements for the
major in each field. Students may elect minor programs of study in addition to their major.
Minors normally require between 15-21 credits of study.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute of the Arts,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 57
      – 66. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/ioa.html,
      current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Arts and Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 67 – 134. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate School of Education,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 143 – 152. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/health.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Information Technology and Engineering,‖ 2000-
      2001 University Catalog. pp. 153 – 186. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_ece.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Management,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      187 – 192. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/som.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Nursing and Health Science,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 193 – 204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing.html, current on November 27, 2000.

        For degree completion, at least 25 percent of semester credit hours, or the equivalent
quarter hours, must be earned through instruction by the institution awarding the degree. (p. 27,
line 38-39, p. 28, lines 1-2)

       At least one-fourth of the total credits presented on the degree application must be
completed at the university and must include at least 12 credits of courses (numbered 300 or
above) in the major program. (See University Catalog, p. 35.) Exceptions to this policy are
provided to students who gain early admission to an accredited professional school. The process
by which this exception is provided is also described in the University Catalog.




                                           70
Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Residence Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. p.
      35. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol2.html#Resi, current on November 27, 2000.

        All courses, other than those identified by the institution as developmental/remedial,
offered by an institution for credit must be acceptable as requirements or electives applicable to
at least one of its own degree or certificate programs or must be clearly identified on transcripts
as not applicable to any of the institution's own degree or certificate programs. (p. 28, lines 3-9)

       All courses offered by George Mason University are applicable to a degree or certificate
program, either as requirements for a major or as electives.

4.2.3 Undergraduate Curriculum

         Curricula must be directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the
institution and the diplomas, certificates or degrees awarded; to the ability and preparation of
the students admitted; and to the financial and instructional resources of the institution. (p. 28,
lines 10-14)

        The university‘s mission states that George Mason will provide students with an
education which will enable them to ―develop critical, analytical and imaginative thinking and to
make well founded ethical decisions….The university will prepare students to address the
complex issues facing them in society and to discover meaning in their own lives.‖ The
curriculum provides the mechanism for realizing these goals. The curriculum receives regular
evaluation to ensure that it remains appropriate to the university‘s mission and to the certificates
and degrees awarded. One result of that evaluation, the new framework for general education,
has particular potential for enabling our graduates to achieve the aforementioned goals. The
sharper focus and enhanced rigor of the new general education program, coupled with the
capstone experiences of the synthesis requirement and the demonstration before a faculty panel,
add value to a George Mason education.
        Curricula are appropriate as well to the preparation of students admitted and to the
resources of the institution. The quality of the applicants and the students who enroll has
increased every year for the past six years. As the enrollment has increased, the instructional
resources necessary to support the curriculum have also increased. Since 1996, the budget for
instruction has grown by almost $20 million. Resources committed to academic support have
nearly doubled in the same period.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). First-Time Freshmen Applicants, Fall 95 – Fall 00 Comparison.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.



                                            71
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Educational and General Expenditures
       by Program Area, Fiscal Years 1996 – 97 through 1999 – 2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. p. 72. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/,
       current on November 27, 2000.

        The institution must have a clearly defined process by which the curriculum is
established, reviewed and evaluated. This process must recognize the various roles of the
faculty, the administration and the governing board. (p. 28, lines 15-19)

       Individual departments within each school, college or institute have responsibility for the
design of academic programs and the development and alteration of the curriculum. Each
school, college, and institute has a curriculum committee which reviews and approves courses
and programs for that unit. Programs receive additional review, requiring approval by the
Provost‘s Office, the Board of Visitors and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (n.d.). ―Article V—Committees,‖ Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://bov.gmu.edu, current on
       December 21, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Faculty Governance in the College of Arts and Sciences.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Faculty of the Schools, Colleges and Institutes of
       George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3 Faculty Organization,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 3 – 8.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/,
       current on November 28, 2000.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (n.d.). Policies for Degree Programs. [Online]
       Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.schev.edu/html/academic/proplcy.html, current on February 16, 2001.

       For each major in a degree program, the institution must assign responsibility for
program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons
academically qualified in the field. At least one full-time faculty member with appropriate
credentials, as defined in Section 4.8.2, must have primary teaching assignment in the major. In
those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, the above
requirements apply to a curricular area or a concentration. (p. 28, lines 20-28)

        George Mason University assigns primary responsibility for program coordination and
curriculum development and review for each major in a degree program to the department chair
or program director. There are two exceptions to this rule: (1) In New Century College, the
Associate Dean supervises and coordinates undergraduate majors; and (2) the Director of
Undergraduate Studies and academic advisers in the School of Management supervise and
coordinate each undergraduate major. The faculty rosters developed for each department
document that all department chairs and program directors are tenured faculty with appropriate
credentials. Curriculum committees likewise comprise tenured and tenure-track faculty with



                                            72
appropriate credentials. Every major has at least one full-time faculty member with appropriate
credentials who has primary teaching assignment in the major.

Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). George Mason University Academic Units, 2000 – 2001 Academic
       Year. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

       The governing board must be responsible for approving the number and types of
degrees; the number and nature of departments, divisions, schools or colleges through which the
curriculum is administered; and the extent to which the institution should offer distance learning
programs. (p. 28, lines 29-34)

        Article IV of the Bylaws of the Board of Visitors gives the Board the right to confer
degrees and to make alterations in approved academic programs as it deems necessary. Article V
establishes the Faculty and Academic Standards Committee as the subgroup within the Board
that appraises all proposed new programs and degrees and monitors the conduct of existing
programs. This committee also reviews all proposals for the organization of the academic
structure of the university. The Board of Visitors in 2000 approved the university‘s Distance
Learning Mission Statement, which describes the extent to which Mason will offer distance
learning programs.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (n.d.). ―Article IV—Powers and Duties of the Board,‖ Bylaws of the Board of
       Visitors. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://bov.gmu.edu, current on December 21, 2000.
Board of Visitors. (n.d.). ―Article V—Committees,‖ Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://bov.gmu.edu, current on
       December 21, 2000.
Board of Visitors. (n.d.). Faculty and Academic Standards Committee of the Board of Visitor,
       Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance Learning Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.

       The administration and faculty must be responsible for the development of academic
programs recommended to the governing board. They are also responsible for implementing
and monitoring the general curriculum policy and the academic programs approved by the
board. There should be an institution-wide process to coordinate programmatic and curricular
changes. (p. 28, lines 35-39, p. 29, lines 1-2)

       The administration and faculty are responsible for the development of academic
programs recommended to the Board of Visitors, as described previously. They are also
responsible for implementing and monitoring the general curriculum policy and the academic



                                           73
programs approved by the Board. Academic departments are charged with carrying on programs
of instruction. Biweekly meetings of the deans and directors, led by the Provost, provide the
principal institution-wide process for coordinating programmatic and curricular changes.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3 Faculty Organization,‖ Faculty Handbook. p. 3. Fairfax,
      Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on
      November 28, 2000.

         The institution should avoid the unwarranted proliferation of course offerings and degree
programs. The development of new educational programs should be considered only after the
institution has completed a needs assessment and has identified resources to support the
programs. The institution should proceed only after careful review by appropriate faculty and
administrative bodies, approval by the governing board, and any necessary review by state or
other agencies. (p. 29, lines 3-11)

        George Mason University approves new courses only after review by faculty and the
administration. A course is removed from the catalog if it has not been offered within the last
three years.
        Degree programs are given additional scrutiny. New degree programs are reviewed by
the Office of the Provost and the Board of Visitors before being submitted to SCHEV for
approval. As part of its review process, SCHEV requires a needs assessment.

Supporting Documentation

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (n.d.). Policies for Degree Programs. [Online]
       Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.schev.edu/html/academic/proplcy.html, current on February 16, 2001.

         Curricula intended to provide basic preparation for students who will subsequently
transfer to another institution must be designed to consider the institutions to which these
students transfer. Associate and baccalaureate degree-granting institutions should work
cooperatively to develop articulation agreements. The agreements should be evaluated
periodically to ensure an equitable and efficient transfer of students. "Inverted," "two plus two"
and similar programs must include an adequate amount of advanced coursework in the subject
field. (p. 29, lines 12-22)

         George Mason University does not prepare students to transfer to other institutions.
However, it does enroll over 3,000 new transfer students each year, most of whom come from
the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Extensive articulation agreements have been
developed with the VCCS, and communication between Mason and the largest VCCS feeder
institution, Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), occurs regularly through the Inter-
institutional Articulation Committee (IAC). Faculty members from individual academic units at
both schools also meet annually to discuss specific articulation issues. The most recent review of
the articulation agreement between Mason and NVCC occurred in March 2000. The new



                                           74
agreement was presented to the Faculty Senate for approval at the beginning of the 2000-2001
academic year.
        The BS degree in Administration of Justice (ADJ) is an inter-institutional program
requiring the completion of the associate‘s degree at NVCC or its equivalent prior to admission.
Currently, ADJ majors must complete a minimum of 12 ADJ courses at the upper division
(300+) level, ENGL 302 and at least one course designated as ―writing intensive‖ in the major at
the 300 level or above. Beginning Fall 2000 the Administration of Justice Program will offer a
four-year program with a full menu of ADJ courses.

Supporting Documentation

Administration of Justice. (2000). 2 + 2 Program Requirements, B.S. in Administration of
       Justice. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/depts/pia/adj/undergrad/2year.shtml, current on December 22, 2000.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Inter-Institutional Articulation Committee Roster, 1999-2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Minutes of the Meetings of the Inter-Institutional Articulation
       Committee, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

         Institutions which enter into programmatic partnerships with secondary schools which
result in the award of college credit, such as technical and dual enrollment programs, must
ensure that the credit awarded is at the collegiate level and is in compliance with the Criteria
and with Section IV in particular. Partnerships must be evaluated regularly by the participating
institution of higher education. The participating institution must assume full responsibility for
the academic quality and integrity of partnerships as measured by the Criteria. (p. 29, lines 23-
32)

         High school students in Fairfax County who wish to take higher level mathematics
courses may do so through a partnership with George Mason University. The Mathematics
department has written the curriculum and prepared videotapes, which are mailed to students
registered in the program. Upon completion of the program, students are required to take a test
that is the basis on which a grade is awarded. Applicants to the program must have completed
the math prerequisites in high school needed to successfully complete a college level course.

Supporting Documentation

O‘Donnell, S. (2000 October 11). Memorandum to Marcelle Heershcap Re: Fairfax County
     Math Courses. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

4.2.4 Undergraduate Instruction

         Instructional techniques and policies must be in accord with the purpose of the
institution and be appropriate to the specific goals of an individual course. Instruction must be
evaluated regularly and the results used to ensure quality instruction. (p. 29, lines 33-37)




                                           75
         Instructional policies support the university‘s mission to enable students to ―develop
critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking and to make well founded ethical decisions‖ and to
―prepare students to address the complex issues facing them in society and to discover meaning
in their own lives.‖ The Faculty Handbook identifies effective teaching as one of the primary
criteria used in evaluation of faculty. The American Association of University Professors‘
―Statement of Professional Ethics,‖ found in the Faculty Handbook, defines the ethical standards
that govern faculty conduct in the classroom. The Distance Learning Mission Statement
establishes broad guidelines for the use of distance learning techniques.
         Within the aforementioned policy statements, individual faculty members are free to
develop instructional techniques most appropriate to the courses they teach. Syllabi document
the instructional techniques used by faculty in each course offered in the Fall 1999 and Spring
2000 semesters.
         The university supports innovation in instruction in its New Century College (within the
College of Arts and Sciences), providing small classes, collaborative learning, portfolio
development, field studies, community-based service learning, and a faculty-mentored
undergraduate research program in interdisciplinary and individualized studies. A new Center
for Teaching, scheduled to open in Fall 2001, will serve as a catalyst to: bring together scholars
in different disciplines who have common teaching interests; initiate discussions on issues
relating to teaching and research at the university; offer direction to both new and established
faculty who want to improve their teaching effectiveness; and coordinate and inform the
university community about ongoing activities regarding the scholarship of teaching.
         Academic units regularly evaluate instruction, both at the program level and by
evaluating the teaching effectiveness of their faculty. Section 3.1, Planning and Evaluation:
Educational Programs, describes the processes by which George Mason University evaluates
academic programs.
         The Faculty Handbook describes how instruction by individual faculty members is
evaluated. Peer and student evaluations are an integral part of this process. At the end of each
semester students have the opportunity to anonymously evaluate each of their instructors. These
―Student Ratings of Instruction‖ are used by deans and directors to assess the quality and
effectiveness of individual faculty instruction. Promotion and tenure review committees also use
these ratings in their decision making process. Ratings are published on the university‘s intranet
and are available for students and other faculty to review.
         Peer evaluation is expected to include, at a minimum, data on the development and
implementation of new courses and programs, the appropriateness of course materials currently
used, and the level and quality of student advising. The Faculty Handbook also calls for
additional forms of peer evaluation, in the form of peer observation of classroom teaching,
evaluations by mentors, assessments of teaching performance by colleagues, and teaching
portfolios.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook.
      pp. 14 – 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.




                                           76
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.5 Procedures for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty
       Handbook. pp. 15 – 16. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―Appendix C: ‗Statement of Professional Ethics‘ and
       ‗Statement on Plagiarism‘ of the American Association of University Professors,‖
       Faculty Handbook. pp. 63 – 67. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Syllabi for Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―3.1, Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
New Century College. (2000). NCC 2000. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://www.ncc.gmu.edu/, current on December 22, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). Student Ratings of Instruction. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://ratings.gmu.edu/, current
       on November 28, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance Learning Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Stearns, P. N. (2000 October 12). Procedures for Student Evaluation of Courses. [E-mail].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        Students must be provided written information about the goals and requirements of each
course, the nature of the course content, and the methods of evaluation to be employed. Methods
of instruction must be appropriate to the goals of each course and the capabilities of the
students. Experimentation with methods to improve instruction must be adequately supported
and critically evaluated. (p. 29, lines 38-39, p. 30, lines 1-6)

        Faculty members are directed to provide a syllabus for each course at the beginning of
each semester. Faculty are asked to create meaningful syllabi for their courses that clearly
outline the students‘ responsibilities in the course and provide a reasonable account of the faculty
member‘s expectations. Syllabi typically include a schedule of assignments, tests and/or quizzes
and information about how the final grade will be determined.
        Methods of instruction are largely the province of the individual faculty member teaching
the course and will vary according to the number of students in the class, the physical facilities
available and the material to be covered. Review of syllabi by department chairs, peer
observation, and student evaluations provide the means by which the university ensures that
methods of instruction are appropriate to the goals of each course and the capabilities of the
students.
        The majority of courses at George Mason are taught primarily though traditional methods
of instruction. In the humanities and social sciences, the lecture, seminar and tutorial are the
primary methods used. In the fine arts, instruction is delivered though lecture, seminar, studio
and rehearsal, which includes the production of dramatic, musical, dance and multimedia
performances as well as visual art exhibitions. The natural sciences use a combination of lecture,
laboratory and directed research.
        The most significant means of experimentation with methods to improve instruction in
George Mason University are integration of technology into the classroom and the New Century



                                            77
College. A growing number of faculty are choosing to mix online and face-to-face instruction in
their courses. Faculty who integrate technology in the classroom receive support from the
Instructional Resource Center, University Computing and Information Systems‘ Learning
Resources Office, University Libraries, Student Technology Assistance and Resource Center,
and the CAS Technology Across the Curriculum. Courses that experiment with methods of
instruction are evaluated in the same way as traditionally delivered courses: through
departmental review, peer observation, and student evaluation.
        New Century College offers less traditional modes of instruction to its students. The
curriculum is based upon intensive, interdisciplinary learning communities, coordinated with
traditional academic programs. Students are expected to collaborate with each other and the
faculty, and participate in experiential learning activities. Courses in New Century College are
evaluated in the same way as traditionally delivered courses: through departmental review, peer
observation, and student evaluation. In addition, in collaboration with the Office of Institutional
Assessment, New Century College has engaged in a variety of other assessments of its programs,
including the use of national surveys and tests, and focus groups.

Recommendation

        The university-level policy for syllabi comes in the Faculty Information Guide, and it
states only that faculty ―should create meaningful syllabi.‖ As the collection of course syllabi
assembled for the site visit demonstrates, the overwhelming majority of faculty do provide a
syllabus for each course that they teach. Nevertheless, the importance of the syllabus as the
primary means for communicating the nature and requirements of a course argues for a more
direct policy. We recommend that the university require the development of a syllabus for each
course taught.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://cas.gmu.edu/tac/, current on
       November 28, 2000.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Instructional
       Resource Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.irc.gmu.edu/, current on December 22, 2000.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Student
       Technology Assistance and Resource Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://media.gmu.edu/, current on December 22, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―New Century College,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. pp.
       129 – 134, Also available at http://www.ncc.gmu.edu/, current on December 22, 2000.
George Mason University. (1995). ―Syllabi,‖ Faculty Information Guide. [Online] Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/fig.html#syllabi, current on
       February 15, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). Syllabi for Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.
University Computing and Information Systems. (2000). Learning Resources Office. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at



                                            78
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/lro/lro.html, current on December 22, 2000.
University Libraries. (2000). University Libraries. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available
       at http://library.gmu.edu/, current on December 22, 2000.

        An institution must use a variety of means to evaluate student performance. The
evaluation must reflect concern for quality and properly discern levels of student performance.
An institution must publish its grading policies, and its grading practices must be consistent with
policy. (p. 30, lines 7-12)

       A variety of means, including but not limited to examinations, quizzes, research papers,
oral presentations, laboratory experiments, art exhibitions, and recitals are used to evaluate
student performance. Many programs use a senior capstone course to evaluate the integration of
student learning. The faculty member who teaches a particular course is responsible for
determining the means of evaluation to be employed and for providing this information to
students in the course syllabus. Grading policies appear in the University Catalog on pages 30-
32, and practices are consistent with policy.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Grading Policies,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. pp. 30 –
      32. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol.html#Gpol, current on December 23, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Syllabi for Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.

       The institution must evaluate the effectiveness of its instructional program by a variety of
techniques, which may include the following: use of standardized tests and comprehensive
examinations, assessment of the performance of graduates in advanced programs or
employment, and sampling of the opinions of former students. (p. 30, lines 13-18)

       Section 3.1 of this report describes the means by which George Mason University
evaluates the effectiveness of its instructional programs.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―3.1, Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Office of Institutional Assessment. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at http://assessment.gmu.edu, current
       on December 23, 2000.

        Courses offered in non-traditional formats, e.g., concentrated or abbreviated time
periods, must be designed to ensure an opportunity for preparation, reflection and analysis
concerning the subject matter. At least one calendar week of reflection and analysis should be
provided to students for each semester hour, or equivalent quarter hours, of undergraduate
credit awarded. The institution must demonstrate that students completing these programs or



                                            79
courses have acquired equivalent levels of knowledge and competencies to those acquired in
traditional formats. (p. 30, lines 19-29)

       Three learning opportunities in non-traditional formats are available to undergraduates:

          Summer session. George Mason University operates four sessions from five to eight
           weeks in length.
          Courses taken through the Center for Global Education. Courses must be pre-
           approved for transfer or resident credit by the student‘s department and dean. The
           director of the center has reminded faculty of the importance of allocating sufficient
           time in each class for reflection and analysis.
          New Century College Curriculum. The first year is composed of a common
           curriculum. Each course is six or seven weeks long and separated by two-week
           interims or the winter intersession. Classes meet Monday through Thursday and may
           include lectures and exams, but emphasize small group discussions, collaborative
           assignments, active learning, problem-centered projects, and self-paced learning.

        The courses offered during the summer session include traditional courses that are also
offered during the fall or spring semesters. The summer version of such a course meets the same
number of hours and has the same requirements as its semester-length counterparts. Many of the
courses offered in shortened format, however, have been developed to provide different kinds of
learning experiences. They represent an opportunity for faculty to innovate, and have no
equivalent in a semester-length course. For regularly scheduled courses the registrar assures that
all courses include at least one week of reflection and analysis for each semester hour awarded.
For short courses and other non-traditionally scheduled courses, the academic unit has the
responsibility to ensure an appropriate period for reflection.

Supporting Documentation

Center for Global Education. (2000). Center for Global Education. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/cge/, current on
       December 23, 2000.
Center for Global Education. (2000). Center for Global Education Faculty Director’s Handbook.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). ―New Century College,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog.
       pp. 129 – 134. Also available at http://www.ncc.gmu.edu/, current on December 22,
       2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Summer 2000 Schedule of Classes. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.

        Effective instruction depends largely upon the maintenance of an environment conducive
to study and learning. Therefore, an institution of higher education must provide for its students
a learning environment in which scholarly and creative achievement is encouraged. (p. 30, lines
30-34)




                                           80
        George Mason University has created an environment both inside and outside the
classroom that encourages scholarly and creative achievement by undergraduates. Our faculty
have primary responsibility for developing and sustaining an appropriate learning environment.
The credentials they bring to bear are described in Section 4.8 of this report. The work of our
faculty is complemented by instructional and student support services, presented in Section V.
Orientation and advising, described in Section 4.2.5, are critical elements in the university‘s
efforts to encourage scholarly and creative achievement. A sampling of other programs that
nurture scholarship in undergraduates is provided below:

          The Office of Housing and Residence Life and the Freshman Center have created
           Living Learning Communities in order to provide additional resources and support to
           first-year students.
          All freshmen have access to the Freshmen Center and University 100, a course
           designed to help students make the transition to university life and develop into a
           community of learners.
          The Mason Topics Program enrolls the same group of students in two or more general
           education classes. The faculty who teach these classes explore central ideas from
           different perspectives, using some shared reading and writing assignments. The
           courses help students make connections between important ideas across different
           fields of study.
          The George W. Johnson Center, which opened in the fall of 1996, encourages the
           integration of all aspects of university life, combining in one building academic
           classrooms, department offices, a food court, a bookstore, an art gallery, a library,
           dance studios, and a theater. A large multipurpose room in the Johnson Center
           supports events such as International Week, which celebrates the diversity of our
           student population through student performance, and Innovations 2000, which
           highlights the scholarly and creative work of our students and faculty.
          University Life sponsors a number of extracurricular activities throughout the
           academic year.
          Students receive free and discounted tickets to arts and cultural events at the Center
           for the Arts, which hosts performances by internationally and nationally known
           performers, as well as student music, dance and drama performances.
          The university and the city of Fairfax host an annual book festival, Fall for the Book.
          Writing Across the Curriculum and Technology Across the Curriculum are two
           initiatives from the College of Arts and Sciences intended to enhance learning by
           systematically integrating writing and technology throughout the undergraduate
           curriculum.
          New Century College and the Psychology Department have long-standing programs
           that involve undergraduates in research. A new program sponsored by the Office of
           the Provost provides undergraduates across the university with opportunities to work
           alongside faculty in scholarly endeavors.
          The University Scholars program provides four-year scholarships and seminars,
           discussion groups, cultural activities, service projects, internships, campus events, and
           participation in organizations that complement the scholars‘ academic experiences.
          The Honors Program within the College of Arts and Sciences invites entering
           students who show particular promise to pursue the honors curriculum and participate


                                            81
           in co-curricular activities. Honors students are also assigned faculty mentors and
           have access to student mentors who have gone through the program.
          Students can gain knowledge and skills through experiential learning, internships and
           special projects sponsored by the Student Media Group.
          The Celebration of Scholarship was created in 1997 to recognize the scholarship of
           College of Arts and Sciences faculty and students.
          Students are encouraged to showcase their creative projects and compete for prizes in
           Innovations, an annual event sponsored by the Provost‘s Office, University Life, the
           Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies and the
           Century Club of George Mason University.

Supporting Documentation

Center for the Arts. (2000). Student Tickets. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/cfa/students/index.html, current on
       December 23, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Beginning Your Education at George Mason. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Celebration of Scholarship. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Honors Program in General Education. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://honors.gmu.edu/, current on
       December 23, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.cas.gmu.edu/tac/index.html, current on December 20, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Writing Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/wac,
       current on December 19, 2000.
Department of Psychology. (2000). Psychology Honors Program. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/psychology/homepage/honweb.html, current on
       December 23, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Celebration of Scholarship. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). The Mason Topics Program. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author. Available at http://links.gmu.edu/index.html, current on December 20, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Undergraduate Faculty-Student Apprenticeship for Research
       and Creative Expression. [E-mail]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.2.5 Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8 Faculty,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1:
       Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section V, Educational Support Services,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.




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George Mason University and Fairfax County Public Library System. (2000). Fall for the Book.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/highlights/thebook/index.html, current on December 23, 2000.
New Century College. (2000). NCC 2000. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://www.ncc.gmu.edu/, current on December 22, 2000.
Office of Housing and Residence Life and Freshman Center. (2000). Living Learning
       Communities. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/freshman/tfc_livinglearning.html, current on December
       23, 2000.
Student Academic Affairs. (2000). The Freshman Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/freshman/tfc_home.html, current on December 23,
       2000.
Student Academic Affairs. (2000). Why Take University 100? [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/freshman/tfc_information.html#Why_take, current on
       December 23, 2000.
University Life. (2000). Johnson Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://jcweb.gmu.edu/, current on December 23, 2000.
University Life. (2000). Student Media Group. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/unilife/studentmedia/, current
       on December 23, 2000.
University Life. (2000). University Life Calendar 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/unilife/programs/calendar.html, current on December
       23, 2000.
University Publications. (2000 April). ―Innovations 2000 Showcases Superior Student Work,‖
       Mason Gazette. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/news/gazette/0004/innovations_2000.html, current on December 23,
       2000.

        In certain professional, vocational and technical programs (for example, allied health
programs), clinical and other affiliations with outside agencies may be necessary. In all such
cases, learning experiences for which credit is awarded must be under the ultimate control and
supervision of the educational institution. (p. 30, lines 35-40)

        The College of Nursing and Health Science maintains affiliations with outside agencies
for the purpose of placing students in clinical internships. All such relationships are formalized
in contracts. CNHS works with representatives from health care organizations to ensure that the
university‘s educational objectives are accomplished, while respecting the missions and
objectives of the agencies.
        The B.S. in Medical Technology offered by the Department of Biology requires a year of
professional education in an affiliated school of medical technology. All affiliated schools are
accredited by the Committee on allied Health and Education Accreditation of the American
Medical Association.




                                           83
        The B.S. in Social Work requires satisfactory completion of a junior-level field
experience for two semesters in a social service agency approved by the director of field
instruction in conjunction with SOCW 301 and SOCW 359. Seniors are required to complete a
minimum of 450 hours in a social service agency approved by the director of field instruction in
conjunction with SOCW 453-454 or 455.

Supporting Documentation

College of Nursing and Health Science. (2000). College of Nursing and Health Science Clinical
       Affiliations. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
College of Nursing and Health Science. (2000). College of Nursing and Health Science Sample
       Affiliation Agreement. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
College of Nursing and Health Science. (2000). College of Nursing and Health Science Sample
       Affiliation Agreement Renewal. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Coss, M. (2000). Schools of Medical Technology Affiliated with George Mason University.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://mason.gmu.edu/~mcoss/200/affiliates.html, current on January 28, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Medical Technology, B.S.,‖ 2000 – 2001 University
       Catalog. pp. 72 – 73. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_biol.html#Medical, current on December 23, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Social Work, B.S.,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. pp.
       133 – 134. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_nccl.html#Social, current
       on December 23, 2000.
Social Work Program. (n.d.) Social Work Program Affiliation Agreement with Agency Providing
       Field Instruction. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Social Work Program. (2000). Social Work Program Junior Field Instructor’s Agency Master
       List. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Social Work Program. (2000). Social Work Program Junior Level Field Instruction Manual.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Social Work Program. (2000). Social Work Program Senior Field Education Manual. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Social Work Program. (2000). Social Work Program Senior Field Instructor List/Agencies.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

       The institution must demonstrate that an effective relationship exists between curricular
content and current practices in the field of specialization. An institution must demonstrate that
program length, clock hours or credit hours, and tuition and fee charges are appropriate for the
degrees and credentials it offers. (p. 30, line 41, p. 31, lines 1-5)

       George Mason University employs a number of mechanisms to ensure that curricular
content reflects current practices in the field of specialization:

          The Ad Hoc University General Education Committee examined current literature on
           the subject as part of its effort to develop the Framework for General Education.
          Each school or college that offers a professional or clinical program is fully
           accredited by the appropriate national accrediting organization.


                                           84
          Where appropriate, academic units maintain active relationships with professional
           organizations and licensing agencies.
          Faculty are evaluated on the basis of scholarly achievement demonstrated by their
           contributions to the advancement of their field of study.
          Academic program review requires evidence that curricula reflect current practices.
          The Provost‘s Office and the academic units provide support for faculty development,
           such as travel to conferences and research grants, to expose faculty to new ideas and
           practices. Faculty development is described in Section 4.8.7 of this report

        Program length for the baccalaureate degree (a minimum of 120 semester credit hours) is
consistent with that of other accredited institutions. Tuition and fees for George Mason
University are established annually by the Board of Visitors. Annual tuition and fee charges are
slightly below the average within the state.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000 May 17). Finance and Resource Development Committee of the Board
       of Visitors, Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Boileau, D. and Wood, J. (1999). A Proposed Agenda for Rethinking University-Wide General
       Education. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/GENED1.HTM, current on December 23, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp.
       14 – 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Total Price Impact Upon Commuting Students,‖ 2000 – 01
       Budget, Executive Summary. p. 17. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8.7 Professional Growth,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume I: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Academic Program Review. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/academic.shtml, current on December 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Institutional and Professional
       Accreditation,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 10. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

4.2.5 Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students

       Each institution must conduct a systematic, effective program of undergraduate
academic advising. A qualified adviser should be assigned early in the student’s program and
should recognize the individuality of students and their particular needs and goals. Advisers
should be proficient in using data to help determine students’ major fields of interest, should
have access to each advisee’s records, and should have appropriate training or background and
experience to carry out their responsibilities effectively. An institution must ensure that the
number of advisees assigned to faculty or professional staff is reasonable. (p. 31, lines 6-17)




                                           85
        Academic advising at the undergraduate level follows the split model of advising.
Academic Support and Advising Services (ASAS) serves students who have not yet declared a
major, pre-professional students, and students changing majors. Once students declare a major,
they receive academic advising from faculty or advising professionals within the academic unit
responsible for the major.
        Academic advising begins with orientation for newly admitted students. All entering
undeclared students are sent a memorandum inviting them to see an adviser prior to orientation
for one-on-one advising. New students are also directed to the Patriot’s Guide, an online
advising resource for both freshmen and transfer students. During orientation, ASAS conducts
group advising sessions for freshmen prior to registration, and concludes with brief, one-on-one
sessions with each student. Academic units advise freshmen and transfer students who have
declared a major.
        While it is the responsibility of the student to read the catalog and know and fulfill the
requirements of a specific baccalaureate degree, the university also reaches out to students to aid
in the process. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisers. Each semester
ASAS sends a newsletter to all undeclared students, along with occasional e-mail messages
regarding registration and academic policies.
        The office helps students determine appropriate fields of interest. In cooperation with
University Life, ASAS participated in Project Discover, which is designed to help students
clarify their learning style preferences, career orientation and interests. ASAS also directs
students to information about majors available at George Mason University, degree requirements
and other information necessary to make a choice of major.
        The office uses information technology to support advising. All ASAS advisers have
access to the Student Information System (SIS) for student records. Advisers maintain accurate
notes of their contacts with students.
        In addition to helping undeclared students select a major, ASAS coordinates or co-
coordinates a number of retention initiatives, including:

          Academic Advancement Program (for undeclared African American students)
          Advising, Resources, and Mentoring Project (for undeclared students with
           unsatisfactory academic performance).
          Advising Bridge Project students (connected with the English Language Institute)
          Advising newly admitted minority at-risk students (connected with the Early
           Identification Program)
          Advising students in the Virginia Summer Recruitment and Retention Program
           (connected with Minority Student Affairs).

        Once a student declares a major, ASAS transfers his or her file to the appropriate
department. Individual departments establish their own advising processes, described in
University Life‘s Academic Advising Opportunities. To assist in the advising process, the
university provides a computerized analysis of academic progress and tracking of approved
modifications to a student‘s degree plan.
        Only full-time faculty or professional advising staff provide advising in the academic
units. In addition to their advising responsibilities during the semester, faculty are expected to be
available for advising and other duties during the week preceding the start of each semester and



                                             86
at the end of the semester to answer questions that might arise about grades. All faculty advisers
are provided access to the student records in the Student Information System.
        According to the 1998 NACADA Monograph Series #6, the mean number of advisees
assigned to each full-time adviser is 267.4 at public 4-year institutions. The ASAS advising ratio
is roughly 286 students per adviser. Advising ratios vary from department to department, but are
lower than that of ASAS.

Supporting Documentation

Academic Support and Advising Services. (n.d.). Sample Analyses of Academic Progress.
      Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). Academic Program Planning Forms. Fairfax,
      Virginia: George Mason University.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). Academic Support and Advising Services.
      [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/departments/advising/advising.html, current on December 24, 2000.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). Exploring Majors. Fairfax, Virginia: George
      Mason University.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). Memo to Newly Admitted Confirmed
      Undeclared Students re: Pre-Orientation Individual Advising Session. Fairfax, Virginia:
      George Mason University.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). Patriot Guide. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
      George Mason University. Available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/departments/advising/patriotsguide/, current on December 24, 2000.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). The Explorer. Fairfax, Virginia: George
      Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―Faculty Availability for Orientation and Advising,‖ Faculty
      Handbook. p. 31. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Academic Advising Opportunities. Fairfax, Virginia: George
      Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). Sample SIS Student Record Displays. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.

        An effective orientation program must be made available to all full- and part-time
undergraduate students. Orientation and advisement programs must be evaluated regularly and
used to enhance assistance to students. (p. 31, lines 18-22)

        George Mason University offers an orientation program to first-time freshmen and its
large population of transfer students. Orientation is required for new students in order to be
eligible to register for classes. Students receive an invitation to the program in their admission
packet and are also referred to the office‘s web site. Programs are offered in the spring and
summer.
        In recognition of the importance of the function, the university this year has established a
separate Orientation Office with its own director, who reports to the Vice President for
University Life. One of the first activities of the new office was to conduct a thorough



                                            87
evaluation of the existing program. As a result of the evaluation, the office implemented a
number of changes and established goals for the future, described in Orientation 2000 and
Beyond.
        The office of Academic Support and Advising Services regularly surveys its clientele
about the quality of services it provides. A special university task force was charged with
evaluating advising of undeclared students in 1999. The task force addressed several concerns
expressed by deans and directors about transition of undeclared students to declared status and
advising by academic units. As a result of this evaluation, ASAS has worked with academic
units and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to improve communication and coordination
with academic units and to provide more effective advising to students.
        One of the initiatives associated with the university‘s Institutional Performance
Agreement calls for enhancements to the current system of academic advising. The university
wants to develop a system whereby every undergraduate has a specific individual who will serve
as his/her adviser. Upon transition in advising responsibilities, such as when a student declares a
major and moves from central to departmental advising, or when a student changes majors or
academic units, responsibility for advising that student will be assigned to a specific person.
        A team of administrators and faculty participated in AAHE‘s 2000 Summer Academy on
Advising. The team prepared a report for the Provost and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
that suggests steps the university can take to prepare and reward academic advisers, consider
students‘ and academic units‘ responsibilities for advising, and develop effective assessment
mechanisms for advising efforts and outcomes. The university has followed up by appointing a
team of faculty to look further at undergraduate advising issues and make recommendations to
the Provost for improving the advising program at the undergraduate level.

Supporting Documentation

AAHE Summer Academy Team on Advising. (2000). Vision for an Effective Advising System.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Academic Support and Advising Services. (2000). Academic Support and Advising Services
       Annual Report: 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1999). Final Report of the Task Force on the Advising of Undeclared
       Students at George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University. (2000). ―Improved Academic
       Advising and Expanded Career Services,‖ Institutional Performance Agreement. pp. 25-
       26. Virginia: Author. Also available at http://budget.gmu.edu/, current on December 24,
       2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). ―Advising in Major Field,‖ Graduating Senior Survey
       Report, Fall 1998 and Spring 1999 Graduates. pp. 5 – 6. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/GSS99/, current on December 24, 2000.
Orientation. (2000). Orientation. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/orientation/index.html, current on
       December 24, 2000.
Orientation. (2000). Orientation Materials. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Todd, L. T. (2000). Orientation 2000 and Beyond. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.




                                            88
4.3 Graduate Program

4.3.1 Initiation, Operation, and Expansion of Graduate Programs

        The administration and faculty must be responsible for the development of new academic
programs recommended to the governing board. A graduate program must have curricula and
resources substantially beyond those provided for an undergraduate program. Research,
scholarly activity and/or advanced professional training must be included in graduate studies
and supported by adequate resources. An institution must provide a competent and productive
faculty, adequate library and learning resources, adequate computer and laboratory facilities,
and an appropriate administrative organization. (p. 31, lines 23-32, p. 32, lines 1-2)

        Faculty have primary responsibility for the development of new academic programs,
which must be approved by the academic unit‘s curriculum committee. The Graduate Council
reviews and acts upon new graduate course and degree proposals. New degree programs must
also be approved by the Board of Visitors and the State Council of Higher Education for
Virginia.
        All graduate programs have curricula and resources substantially beyond those provided
for an undergraduate program. For academic programs that are predominantly graduate level,
the budget per student FTE is higher and the faculty-student ratio is lower. (See ―Academic
Budgets.‖) Curricula for each program are spelled out in the University Catalog and the School
of Law Catalog. In addition, Graduate Policies (pp. 36 – 39 of the University Catalog) make
clear the distinctions between graduate and undergraduate programs. Research, scholarly
activity and/or advanced professional training are included in graduate studies and supported by
adequate resources.
        George Mason University provides a competent and productive faculty (described in
Section 4.8 of this report), adequate library and learning resources (described in Section 5.1 of
this report), adequate computer and laboratory facilities (described in Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of this
report), and an appropriate administrative organization (described in Section VI of this report).

Supporting Documentation

Budget Office. (2001). Academic Budgets: Faculty FTE/Enrollment/Expense Budgets, 2001
      Educational & General Budget. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3 Faculty Organization,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 3 – 8.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/,
      current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute of the Arts,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 57
      – 66. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/ioa.html,
      current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Arts and Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 67 – 134. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Computational Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 135 – 137. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/compsci.html, current on November 27, 2000.



                                            89
George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution,‖ 2000-2001
       University Catalog. pp. 139 – 141. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/icar.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate School of Education,‖ 2000-2001 University
       Catalog. pp. 143 – 152. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/health.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Information Technology and Engineering,‖ 2000-
       2001 University Catalog. pp. 153 – 186. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_ece.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Management,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
       187 – 192. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/som.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Nursing and Health Science,‖ 2000-2001
       University Catalog. pp. 193 – 204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Public Policy,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
       205 – 210. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/tipp.html, current on February 21, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Policies,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 36 –
       39. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8 Faculty,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1:
       Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―5.1 Library and Other Learning Resources,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―5.2 Instructional Support,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―5.3 Information Technology Resources and Systems,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section VI, Administrative Processes,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Graduate Council. (2000). Bylaws of the Graduate Council of George Mason University. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlfacstaff/bylaws.html, current on December 24, 2000.
Graduate Council. (2001). Graduate Council Minutes, September 1999 – February 2001.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
School of Law. (2000). School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/academics/catalog/curriculum.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.

         An undergraduate institution planning to initiate its first graduate program, a graduate
institution planning to initiate a program at a degree level higher than that already approved, or
a graduate institution planning to initiate a program at the same level but substantially different
from those already approved must inform the Executive Director of the Commission on Colleges
in advance of the admission of students. (See the Commission document, ―Substantive Change



                                            90
Policy for Accredited Institutions.‖ The institution also must document that any necessary
approval from state or other agencies has been secured. (p. 32, lines 3-14)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges
to award bachelor‘s, master‘s, and doctoral degrees.

       Before an institution moves from baccalaureate to graduate status, or attempts to expand
the number of graduate programs at the same level, it must demonstrate that it has conducted a
thorough assessment of needs, market and environmental factors, and resource requirements
and financial implications for the institution. (p. 32, lines 15-22)

       Program proposals use SCHEV‘s format, providing information justifying the proposed
program based on student demand and demand for graduates as well as estimates of the
resources needed to conduct the programs. Program proposals are approved by academic units,
the Graduate Council, the Provost‘s Office and the Board of Visitors before submission to
SCHEV.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). Sample Graduate Program Proposals. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (n.d.). Policies for Degree Programs. [Online]
       Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.schev.edu/html/academic/proplcy.html, current on February 16, 2001.

       Institutions must maintain strong educational programs at the master’s and/or
baccalaureate levels before attempting doctoral programs, or must justify their departure from
the requirement. Free-standing graduate and professional schools are exempted from this
requirement. However, they must demonstrate not only the strength of their individual
programs, but also that students admitted have met undergraduate requirements specified for the
program. (p. 32, lines 23-31)

       George Mason University offers the following doctoral programs:

          Community College Education (DA)
          Computational Sciences and Informatics (PhD)
          Computer Science (PhD)
          Conflict Analysis and Resolution (PhD)
          Cultural Studies (PhD)
          Economics (PhD)
          Education (PhD)
          Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD)
          Environmental Science and Public Policy (PhD)
          History (PhD)
          Information Technology (PhD)
          Nursing (PhD)


                                           91
          Psychology (PhD)
          Public Policy (PhD)

        The doctoral programs in Cultural Studies, Environmental Science and Public Policy,
Computational Sciences and Informatics, and Public Policy do not have baccalaureate or
master‘s degree equivalents. These interdisciplinary programs do, however, draw on graduate
courses in disciplines that have strong educational programs at the baccalaureate or master's
level. All other doctoral programs at George Mason University originate in schools that have
strong programs at the master‘s level.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Community College Education, D.A.,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 147 – 148. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/gse.html#community, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Computational Sciences and Informatics, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 136 – 137. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/compsci.html#Ph.D., current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Computer Science, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
      pp. 162 – 163. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_cs.html#phd, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. p. 141. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/icar.html#phd, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Cultural Studies, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      78 – 79. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_cult.html#Cultural, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Economics, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 80 –
      81. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_econ.htm#EconomicsPhD, current on November 27,
      2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Education, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 146 –
      147. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/gse.html#phd, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. p. 168. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://ece.gmu.edu/phd_in_ece.htm, current on February 11, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Environmental Science and Public Policy, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-
      2001 University Catalog. pp. 85 – 86. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_evpp.html#Environmental, current on November 27,
      2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Ph.D. in History. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
      Available at http://chnm.gmu.edu/history/phd_program.htm, current on November 27,
      2000.




                                         92
George Mason University. (2000). ―Information Technology, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 174 – 176. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_grad.html#infotech, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Nursing, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 203 –
      204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://wwww.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing_grad.html#phd, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Psychology, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 112
      – 115. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas_psy3.html#Psychology13, current on November 27,
      2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Public Policy, Ph.D.,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      205 – 206. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/tipp.html#phd, current on November 27, 2000.

4.3.2 Graduate Admission

        An institution must establish qualitative and quantitative requirements which result in the
admission of students whose educational preparation indicates the potential for a high level of
performance. Admission criteria typically include an appropriate baccalaureate degree. In
cases where the baccalaureate degree is not required, the institution must demonstrate that the
student has adequate educational preparation to complete the graduate program. Admission
procedures must include the requirement that an applicant submit, as part of the formal
application process, official undergraduate transcripts of credit earned from all institutions of
higher education previously attended; and other appropriate documents, such as official reports
on nationally recognized aptitude tests and evaluations by professionals in the field as to the
readiness of an applicant for graduate work. When possible, an interview with the applicant
should also be arranged. Admission criteria for all graduate programs must be published. (p.
32, lines 32-39, p. 33, lines 1-11)

        George Mason University maintains standards for graduate admission that result in the
admission of students whose educational preparation indicates the potential for a high level of
performance. The university publishes the qualitative and quantitative requirements for
admission in the University Catalog, Application for Graduate Admission, the School of
Management‘s prospectus and the School of Law‘s application and web site. Admissions criteria
differ by program, but general university graduate admission requirements include:

          A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher
           education. An exception to this requirement requires the college/school/institute
           dean‘s or director‘s approval.
          A 3.000 GPA (on a 4.000 scale) or better in the last 60 credits of undergraduate study.
          Undergraduate preparation for the chosen field of graduate study or appropriate
           experience in that field.
          Standardized test scores and letters of recommendation as required by each program.

        Applicants must submit as part of the formal application process two official copies of
transcripts from each institution attended.


                                            93
Recommendation

        An audit of the graduate admission procedures followed by local academic units found
that all require submission of transcripts from applicants to graduate programs. The School of
Information Technology and Engineering, however, has not consistently ensured that its official
files of graduate students include final official transcripts. We recommend that IT&E develop
and implement a procedure to ensure that the official file of every student enrolled in its graduate
programs contains final official transcripts of undergraduate work.

Supporting Documentation

ETS and Peterson‘s. (2000). Online Application Service for MBA and Graduate School
       Programs. [Online]. Available at http://www.gradadvantage.org/, current on January 17,
       2001.
George Mason University. (2000). Application for Graduate Study, 2001 – 02. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author. Also available at http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/apps/, current on December 27,
       2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Admission Policies,‖ 2000 – 2001 University
       Catalog. pp. 10 – 13. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi3.html, current on December 27, 2000.
School of Law. (2000). ―Admissions,‖ School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/admission/, current on November 27, 2000.
School of Management. (2000). MBA Program. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Also available at http://www.som.gmu.edu/mba/index.htm, current on December 27,
       2000.

         Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent
graduate course work relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction
resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the
institution’s own graduate degree programs. In assessing and documenting equivalent learning
and qualified faculty, institutions may use recognized guides which aid in the evaluation for
credit. Such guides include those published by the American Council on Education, the
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the NAFSA:
Association of International Education. (p. 33, lines 12-24)

        The University Catalog and the School of Law Catalog describe the conditions under
which the university will accept transfer credit. All graduate work offered as transfer credit must
be applicable to the degree program the student is pursuing. In all cases the dean or director of
the academic unit ensures that coursework accepted for credit toward a graduate degree
represents graduate course work relevant to the degree, with course content and level of
instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in
the school‘s own program.




                                            94
Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Policies,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. pp. 36
       – 39. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html, current on December 27, 2000.
School of Law. (2000). ―Admissions Process,‖ School of Law Catalog. [Online]. Arlington,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/admission/howtoapply.html, current on December
       27, 2000.

         Graduate credit must not be awarded for portfolio-based experiential learning which
occurs prior to the matriculation into a graduate program and which has not been under the
supervision of the institution. This limitation on the award of credit for experiential learning
does not preclude practices such as internships and field experiences that are an integral part of
a graduate program and are conducted under the supervision of the institution. In those
exceptional individual cases, however, an institution may award graduate credit for portfolio-
based experiential learning which occurs prior to the student’s matriculation into a graduate
program. Justification for an exception must include adequate documentation that the
institution: (a) awards credit only for documented learning which ties the prior experience to the
theories and data of the relevant academic field; (b) awards credit only to a matriculated
student, identifies such credit on the student’s transcript as credit for prior experiential learning,
and is prepared, upon request from another institution, to document how such learning was
evaluated and the basis on which such credit was awarded; (c) takes steps to ensure that credit
for prior experiential learning does not duplicate credit already awarded for courses in the
student’s academic program; (d) adopts, describes in appropriate institutional publications,
implements, and regularly reviews policies and procedures for awarding credit for experiential
learning; and (e) clearly describes, and establishes the validity of the evaluation process and
criteria for awarding credit for prior experiential learning. (p. 33, lines 25-41, p. 34, lines 1-13)

       George Mason University does not award credit for portfolio-based experiential learning
that occurs prior to matriculation into a graduate program and that has not been under the
supervision of the institution.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Criteria for Transferable Credit,‖ 2000 – 2001 University
      Catalog. p. 37. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html#Crite, current on December 27, 2000.

        Separate admission criteria must be formulated for each level of graduate work offered.
Policies must clearly define probation or conditional admissions, if any, including the
requirements for conditional admission and how long a student may remain in that status. (p.
34, lines 14 – 18)

       Admission criteria specific to each program are included in program descriptions in the
University Catalog. They are graphically depicted in the Graduate Program Requirements Chart



                                             95
in Application for Graduate Study. The School of Law publishes its admission criteria in the
School of Law Catalog.
       Page 11 of the University Catalog describes the university‘s policy regarding provisional
admission to graduate programs. Each academic unit establishes the requirements for
conditional admission to its programs and how long a student may remain in that status.
Academic units also monitor the student‘s progress toward meeting the conditions of admission
and provide written confirmation to the student indicating the removal of the provisional status
from the student‘s records.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute of the Arts,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 57
      – 66. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/ioa.html,
      current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Arts and Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 67 – 134. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Computational Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 135 – 137. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/compsci.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 139 – 141. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/icar.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate School of Education,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 143 – 152. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/health.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Information Technology and Engineering,‖ 2000-
      2001 University Catalog. pp. 153 – 186. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_ece.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Management,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      187 – 192. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/som.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Nursing and Health Science,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 193 – 204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Public Policy,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      205 – 210. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/tipp.html, current on February 21, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Program Requirements Chart,‖ Application for
      Graduate Study, 2001 – 02. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/apps, current on December 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Provisional Admission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. p.
      11. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi3.html#Provisional, current on December 27, 2000.




                                           96
School of Law. (2000). ―Admissions,‖ School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/admission/, current on November 27, 2000.
School of Law. (2000). Information Regarding Pre-Admission Summer Trial Program.
       Arlington, Virginia: George Mason University.

        Admission criteria for each graduate program must be established with representation
by the faculty responsible for instruction in that program. An institution must publish both the
general criteria for admission and any special admission criteria for individual programs. It
must regularly evaluate its admission policies. (p. 34, lines 19-24)

        Bylaws of the local academic units call for faculty representation on the admission
committees that establish admission criteria. General admission policies for graduate level study
are found on pages 10 – 13 of the University Catalog. Admission criteria specific to each
program are included in each program description in the catalog. Admission criteria for the
School of Law are found in the law school‘s web site. Admissions policies are evaluated at the
academic unit by the faculty each year when the graduate application is updated. Individual
policies are reviewed as necessary at the university level through the Graduate Council.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Faculty Governance. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Faculty of the Schools, Colleges and Institutes of
       George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3 Faculty Organization,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 3 – 8.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/,
       current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Admission Policies,‖ 2000 – 2001 University
       Catalog. pp. 10 – 13. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/admissi3.html,
       current on December 27, 2000.
Graduate Council. (2000). Bylaws of the Graduate Council of George Mason University. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlfacstaff/bylaws.html, current on December 24, 2000.
Graduate Council. (2000). Minutes of the Graduate Council, September 1999 – December 2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
School of Law. (2000). ―Admissions,‖ School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/admission/, current on November 27, 2000.

4.3.3 Graduate Completion Requirement

       General completion requirements for graduate degrees offered by an institution must be
determined by the faculty or an appropriate body representing the faculty. Policies governing
these requirements must include the following: the specified period of time for degree
completion, requirements governing residency, thesis and dissertation requirements (when



                                           97
applicable), the minimum number of credit hours required for the degree, the minimum
acceptable grade-point average, standards for satisfactory academic progress, the level of
academic progress at which the student should apply for candidacy, and the types of qualifying
and exit examinations the candidate must pass. These requirements, along with any others
developed by the institution, must be published and distributed to all incoming graduate students
and be appropriate to the degree and program being offered. If individual academic units
develop special completion requirements for their graduate programs, these requirements must
be published in the official catalog. (p. 34, lines 25-39, p. 35, lines 1-5)

       General completion requirements for graduate degrees are recommended by the
department and approved by the department faculty and the Graduate Council. General
completion requirements for graduate programs are described on pages 36 – 39 of the University
Catalog. Graduate degree requirements specific to individual graduate programs are documented
under each program in the catalog. The University Catalog is distributed to graduate students at
departmental or school/college/institute orientations and is available on the web. Completion
requirements for the law school are established and reviewed by its curriculum committee and
are published in the School of Law Catalog, which is available on the web.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute of the Arts,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 57
      – 66. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/ioa.html,
      current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Arts and Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 67 – 134. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Computational Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 135 – 137. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/compsci.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 139 – 141. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/icar.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate School of Education,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 143 – 152. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/health.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Information Technology and Engineering,‖ 2000-
      2001 University Catalog. pp. 153 – 186. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_ece.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Management,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      187 – 192. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/som.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Nursing and Health Science,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 193 – 204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing.html, current on November 27, 2000.




                                           98
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Public Policy,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
       205 – 210. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/tipp.html, current on February 21, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Policies,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 36 –
       39. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html, current on November 27, 2000.
Graduate Council. (2000). Minutes of the Graduate Council, September 1999 – December 2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
School of Law. (2000). School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/academics/catalog/curriculum.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.

        All courses offered by an institution for credit must be acceptable as requirements or
electives applicable to at least one of its own degree or certificate programs or must be clearly
identified on transcripts as not applicable to any of the institution’s own degree or certificate
programs. (p. 35, lines 6-11)

       All courses offered by George Mason University are applicable to a degree or certificate
program, either as requirements for a major or as electives.

4.3.4 Graduate Curriculum

        An institution offering graduate work must be able to demonstrate that it maintains a
substantial difference between undergraduate and graduate instruction. Graduate study must be
at a level of complexity and specialization that extends the knowledge and intellectual maturity
of the student. It must require graduate students to analyze, explore, question, reconsider and
synthesize old and new knowledge and skills. The graduate curriculum must afford the depth of
education, the specialized skills, and the sense of creative independence that will allow the
graduate to practice in and contribute to a profession or field of scholarship. Combined
instruction of graduate and undergraduate students, if permitted at all, must be structured to
ensure appropriate attention to both groups. (p. 35, lines 12-26)

         Only graduate courses may apply toward graduate degrees. Curriculum committees for
the schools/colleges/institutes review course proposals and ensure that graduate courses are
substantially different from undergraduate courses in complexity and specialization, requiring a
depth of scholarship beyond the undergraduate level. The Graduate Council provides a second
level of review for the graduate curriculum. Course syllabi substantiate that graduate level
courses require students to analyze, explore, question, reconsider and synthesize old and new
knowledge and skills.
         The course numbering system distinguishes between undergraduate and graduate-level
courses (University Catalog, p. 212). Faculty have been reminded that there must be a clear
distinction made between the requirements of undergraduates who enroll in graduate courses and
those of graduates enrolled in the same course, and that these distinctions must be documented in
syllabi.




                                           99
Suggestion

        The policy regarding undergraduate enrollment in graduate-level classes stated in the
University Catalog does not coincide with the university‘s practice. Page 212 indicates that
courses numbered from 600-799 are open only to students admitted to graduate degree or
certificate programs. In practice, undergraduates may take 600-level classes if they have
received permission from the departments offering the classes. The Graduate Council has
discussed the practice and confirmed that it can be beneficial to the relatively few students
granted permission. The policy will be corrected in the 2001 – 2002 version of the University
Catalog.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Course Descriptions - Graduate,‖ 2000-2001 University
       Catalog. p. 212. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/courses.html#grad, current on December 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Syllabi for Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.
Graduate Council. (2000). Minutes of the Graduate Council, September 1999 – December 2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). Graduate Courses with Degree-Seeking Undergrad Students.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). Undergrad/Grad Cross-Listed Sections. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        The curricular offerings must be clearly and accurately described in published materials.
Curricula must be directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution
and the degree program, and to the financial and instructional resources of the institution. (p.
35, lines 27-35)

        Both the print and the online versions of the University Catalog are reviewed for
accuracy and updated annually. The School of Law Catalog is also updated annually. Printed
class schedules are accurate at the time of printing. Students also have access to the most up-to-
date class schedule information via the Registrar‘s web site, at http://registrar.gmu.edu/schedule.
        The faculty, Graduate Council, and Board of Visitors work together to ensure that
curricula are directly related and appropriate to the mission of George Mason University and to
individual degree programs. Although the university is challenged by a leaner than average
resource base, it can boast that it allocates a greater percentage of its resources to instruction and
libraries than any university within its national peer group. (2000-01 Budget Executive
Summary, p. 15)

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). 2000-2001 University Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
      Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/toc.html, current on December 27, 2000.




                                             100
George Mason University. (2000). ―Allocation to Core Mission,‖ 2000 – 01 Budget, Executive
       Summary. p. 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
School of Law. (2000). School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/academics/catalog/curriculum.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.

        The institution must have a clearly defined process by which the curriculum is
established, reviewed and evaluated. The faculty and administration are responsible for
implementing and monitoring the general curriculum policy and the academic programs
approved by the board. There should be an institution-wide process to coordinate programmatic
and curricular changes. (p. 35, lines 27-31)

        The administration and faculty are responsible for the development of academic
programs recommended to the Board of Visitors, as described in Section 4.3.1. They are also
responsible for implementing and monitoring the general curriculum policy and the academic
programs approved by the Board. Academic departments are charged with carrying on programs
of instruction and evaluating their effectiveness. The processes of review and evaluation are
described in Section 3.1 of this report. Regular meetings of the Graduate Council and biweekly
meetings of the deans and directors, led by the Provost, provide the principle institution-wide
processes for coordinating programmatic and curricular changes.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―3.1 Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs,‖
      Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume I: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.3.1 Initiation, Operation and Expansion of Graduate
      Programs,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume I: Compliance Report. Fairfax,
      Virginia: Author.
Graduate Council. (2000). Minutes of the Graduate Council, September 1999 – December 2000.
      Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

       The governing board must be responsible for approving the number and types of degree;
the number and nature of departments, divisions, schools or colleges through which the
curriculum is administered; and the extent to which the institution should offer distance learning
programs. (p. 35, line 39, p. 26, lines 1-5)

        Article IV of the Bylaws of the Board of Visitors gives the Board the right to confer
degrees and to make alterations in approved academic programs as it deems necessary. Article V
establishes the Faculty and Academic Standards Committee as the subgroup within the Board
that appraises all proposed new programs and degrees and monitors the conduct of existing
programs. This committee also reviews all proposals for the organization of the academic
structure of the University. The Board of Visitors approved the university‘s Distance Learning
Mission Statement, which describes the extent to which Mason will offer distance learning
programs, at its November 2000 meeting.




                                           101
Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (n.d.). ―Article IV—Powers and Duties of the Board,‖ Bylaws of the Board of
       Visitors. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://bov.gmu.edu, current on December 21, 2000.
Board of Visitors. (2000 November 21). Faculty and Academic Standards Committee of the
       Board of Visitor, Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance Learning Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.

       An institution must make a distinction between the course of study leading to the master’s
or specialist degree and a course of study leading to the doctorate. (p. 36, lines 6-8)

        The Graduate Degree Requirements section of the University Catalog (pp. 37 – 39)
makes clear the distinction between the course of study leading to the master‘s degree and a
course of study leading to the doctorate. In addition, each graduate program description
distinguishes between a course of study leading to a master‘s and a doctoral degree.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute of the Arts,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 57
      – 66. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/ioa.html,
      current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Arts and Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 67 – 134. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/cas.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Computational Sciences,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 135 – 137. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/compsci.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 139 – 141. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/icar.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate School of Education,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 143 – 152. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/health.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Information Technology and Engineering,‖ 2000-
      2001 University Catalog. pp. 153 – 186. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_ece.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Management,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      187 – 192. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/som.html, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―College of Nursing and Health Science,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. pp. 193 – 204. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/nursing.html, current on November 27, 2000.




                                          102
George Mason University. (2000). ―School of Public Policy,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp.
      205 – 210. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/tipp.html, current on February 21, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Degree Requirements,‖ 2000-2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 37 – 39. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html, current on November 27, 2000.

        A program leading to a master’s or to a specialist degree must be the equivalent of at
least one year of full-time graduate study. A master’s or a specialist degree must provide the
following: an understanding of research and the manner in which research is conducted; an
understanding of the subject matter, literature, theory and methodology of the discipline; an
association with resident faculty sufficient to permit their individual evaluation of the
candidate’s capabilities; and demonstrated means of certifying the knowledge and skills the
candidate has acquired. A non-research-oriented professional master’s degree requires an
understanding of the accepted professional practices in the field. The institution must
demonstrate that an effective relationship exists between curricular content and current
practices in the field of specialization. The institution must demonstrate that program length,
credit hours, and tuition and fees are appropriate for its master’s and specialist degrees and any
other credential it offers. (p. 36, lines 9-27)

        The University Catalog details the requirements for each master‘s degree program and
the coursework required. All master‘s level programs require at least 30 credit hours for
completion.
        All students enrolled in master‘s programs at the university can expect to gain an
understanding of the subject matter, literature, theory and methodology of the discipline or
disciplines with which they are engaged. All students can expect to have an association with
full-time faculty sufficient to permit their individual evaluation of the student‘s capabilities. All
students have some exposure to research and the manner in which research is conducted.
        The extent to which students are exposed to research, however, and the means of
certifying the knowledge and skills the candidate has acquired, vary according to both the
objectives of the program and the objectives of the student. In most programs, students with an
interest in research can pursue courses with a significant research requirement and can prepare a
thesis or research project as the culminating experience of the program. Research opportunities
are particularly strong in areas in which the university also offers doctoral programs.
        A very large segment of the university‘s graduate population is composed of full-time
professionals who want to attend school part-time to develop new professional skills or enhance
the skills within their present field. For these students, acquiring subject matter expertise and
experience in the field is of primary importance. The university offers a number of professional
master‘s programs that suit these objectives. Students can also tailor academic master‘s
programs to these objectives, by opting to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have
acquired through comprehensive exams, internships or other field experiences.
        George Mason University employs a number of mechanisms to ensure that curricular
content reflects current practices in the field of specialization:

          Each school or college that offers a professional or clinical program is fully
           accredited by the appropriate national accrediting organization.



                                            103
          Where appropriate, academic units maintain active relationships with professional
           organizations and licensing agencies.
          Faculty are evaluated on the basis of scholarly achievement demonstrated by their
           contributions to the advancement of their field of study
          As practicing professionals with current experience in the field of specialization,
           adjunct faculty play an essential role in professional master‘s programs.
          Academic program review requires evidence that curricula reflect current practices.
          The Provost‘s Office and the academic units provide support for faculty development,
           such as research grants and travel to conferences, to expose faculty to new ideas and
           practices. Faculty development is described in Section 4.8.7 of this report.

        Program length for the master‘s degree (a minimum of 30 semester credit hours) is
consistent with that of other accredited institutions. Tuition and fees for George Mason
University are established annually by the Board of Visitors. Graduate tuition is higher than
undergraduate tuition. The School of Law and School of Management have higher tuition rates
than for other graduate programs, reflecting the higher demand for and higher cost of instruction
of these programs.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000 May 17). Finance and Resource Development Committee of the Board
       of Visitors, Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2. 4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook.
       pp. 14 – 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8.7 Professional Growth,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume I: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Academic Program Review. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/academic.shtml, current on December 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Institutional and Professional
       Accreditation,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 10. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

        A doctoral degree program must be of sufficient duration to provide for substantial
mastery of the subject matter, theory, literature, research and methodology of a significant part
of the field, including any language or other skills necessary to its pursuit, and independent
research as evidenced by a doctoral dissertation. A substantial period of residence must be
included to provide student access to a wide range of support facilities, including a research
library, cultural events and other occasions for intellectual growth associated with campus life,
significant faculty/student interaction, opportunities for student exposure to and engagement
with cognate disciplines and research scholars working in those disciplines, and significant peer
interaction among graduate students. It should provide the opportunity for a mentoring
apprentice relationship between faculty and students as well as adequate time for in-depth
faculty evaluation of students. For appropriate professional programs, a project may be
substituted for the research dissertation. In such cases, the institution must demonstrate a


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substantial level of competency appropriate to a doctoral degree. There must be appropriate
and regular means for determining candidacy and the fulfillment of degree requirements. The
institution must demonstrate that program length, credit hours, and tuition and fees are
appropriate for its doctoral degrees. (p. 36, lines 28-41, p. 37, lines 1-15)

       ―Requirements Applicable to All Doctoral Degrees‖ (University Catalog, p. 38) details
the general requirements for all doctoral programs at Mason. Among these are completion of a
minimum of 72 graduate credits beyond the baccalaureate. Requirements specific to each
doctoral program are described with each program.
       Doctoral students are required to spend a minimum of two consecutive semesters, not to
include summer term, in continuous registration. If the student is admitted to the program with a
master‘s degree, the doctoral program of study must include a minimum of 36 graduate credits
taken at George Mason University after admission to degree status. Additional credits are
required if the student is admitted without a master‘s degree.
       All doctoral programs at Mason require a research dissertation. Before doctoral students
may be advanced to candidacy by the unit dean or director, they should have completed all
course work required by the program faculty, have been certified in all doctoral research skills
required, have passed the candidacy examination, and have been recommended by the doctoral
supervisory committee or the program coordinator. All doctoral students have six years from the
time of admission to become advanced to candidacy and five years from the time of
advancement to complete their dissertation.
       George Mason University employs a number of mechanisms to ensure that curricular
content reflects current practices in the field of specialization:

          Each school or college that offers a professional or clinical program is fully
           accredited by the appropriate national accrediting organization.
          Where appropriate, academic units maintain active relationships with professional
           organizations and licensing agencies.
          Faculty are evaluated on the basis of scholarly achievement demonstrated by their
           contributions to the advancement of their field of study
          As practicing professionals with current experience in the field of specialization,
           adjunct faculty play an essential role in professional master‘s programs.
          Academic program review requires evidence that curricula reflect current practices.
          The Provost‘s Office and the academic units provide support for faculty development,
           such as research grants and travel to conferences, to expose faculty to new ideas and
           practices. Faculty development is described in Section 4.8.7 of this report.

       Program length for the doctorate (a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate
degree) is consistent with that of other accredited institutions. Tuition and fees for George
Mason University are established annually by the Board of Visitors.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000 May 17). Finance and Resource Development Committee of the Board
       of Visitors, Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.



                                          105
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook.
       pp. 14 – 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Requirements Applicable to All Doctoral Degrees,‖ 2000-
       2001 University Catalog. pp. 38 – 39. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html#Doct, current on December 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8.7 Professional Growth,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume I: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Academic Program Review. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/academic.shtml, current on December 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Institutional and Professional
       Accreditation,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 10. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

        The institution must conduct frequent systematic evaluations of graduate curricula
offerings and program requirements. An institution must integrate research with instruction.
Follow up of students is one method of testing the effectiveness of the graduate curriculum. (p.
37, lines 16-20)

      Section 3.1 of this report describes the system of evaluation of graduate curricula that
George Mason University employs. Many programs conduct exit interviews with students and
conduct alumni surveys as part of the evaluation of graduate curricula.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―3.1, Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs,‖
      Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

4.3.5 Graduate Instruction

        The effectiveness of a graduate program depends largely on the scholarly stimulation
obtained when a group of students interacts with faculty in complementary specialties. For this
reason, graduate faculty members should be productive, creative scholars readily accessible to
their students. The institution must provide an environment which supports and encourages
scholarly interaction and accessibility among the faculty and students consistent with the
qualitative intent of the Criteria. (p. 37, lines 21-30)

        George Mason University provides an environment that supports and encourages
scholarly interaction and accessibility among the faculty and students. Departments conduct
orientation programs during the first weeks of school to introduce faculty and students to each
other and to acquaint new students with the requirements and opportunities of their programs.
Class size for graduate programs is lower than for the undergraduate program, and courses are
more frequently offered in the seminar format. The interdisciplinary nature of many of our
graduate programs encourages interaction among faculty and students from a number of fields.
Doctoral candidates and master‘s students pursuing the thesis of necessity develop close



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relationships with their advisers and other scholars. Research and creative activity is on the rise
at George Mason University, whether defined by the amount of sponsored research, number of
doctoral degrees awarded, or the scholarly production documented in the curricula vitae of our
faculty.
        Nurturing scholarly communities requires that the larger community be aware of research
and scholarly activities taking place here. Mason takes advantage of a number of means to keep
the community informed and engaged.

          Departmental web sites laud the research accomplishments of their students and
           faculty, provide students with information about the scholarly background of faculty,
           alert students and faculty to upcoming events, and provide students (particularly busy
           part-time students) with enhanced abilities to communicate with each other and with
           faculty.
          Faculty and students present papers at scholarly meetings.
          Faculty and students are featured in segments of our own cable TV channel, GMU-
           TV, and in broadcasts by the ResearchChannel, founded by a core group of research
           universities and corporate research divisions dedicated to broadening access to and
           appreciation of individual and collective activities, ideas, and opportunities in basic
           and applied research.
          University-level web sites, such as the Daily Mason Gazette and TODAY@MASON,
           allow the entire community to share in the activities and accomplishments of our
           faculty and students. A keyword search of the Mason Gazette for lecture
           opportunities yielded the following headlines spotlighting events held during 2000:

           o   Text and Community Program Highlights Poetry
           o   Black History Month Addresses Challenges of the 21st Century
           o   Researcher Discusses the Mathematics of Music
           o   Biology Department Announces Upcoming Lectures
           o   Old Town Hall Lecture Features Fukuyama
           o   Buchanan Center Announces Spring Lecture Series
           o   ICAR Lecture Focuses on Genocide and Religious Pacifism
           o   Old Town Hall Lecture Features Johnsen-Neshati
           o   Professor Discusses Landmark Court Case on Arlington Campus Today
           o   Professor Emerita Lavine Wins Philosophy Award

       The 1998-99 Graduating Graduate and Law Student Survey found strong agreement
among graduates of all programs with the statement ―My program provided an intellectually
stimulating atmosphere.‖ Students also expressed satisfaction with mentoring within their
schools. Satisfaction with the level of communication between department faculty and graduate
students ranged widely, indicating that there is still more that we should do to foster faculty-
student interaction.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
      University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.


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George Mason University. (2000). Research Centers. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/acadexcel/ncenters.html, current on December 27,
       2000.
GMU-TV. (2000). GMU-TV Current Projects. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmutv.gmu.edu/new_projects.html, current on
       December 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Graduating Graduate and Law Student Survey, 1998
       – 99. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/GRAD99/, current on December 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Research and Development,‖ 1999 –
       2000 Factbook pp. 81 – 84. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available
       at http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on December 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Average Section Size for Fall Term 1999. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Sponsored Programs. (2001). Office of Sponsored Programs Annual Report for 1999 –
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
ResearchChannel. (2000). Research Channel. [Online]. Seattle, Washington: University of
       Washington. Available at http://www.researchchannel.com/, current on December 27,
       2000.
University Publications. (2000). Daily Mason Gazette. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Available at http://gazette.gmu.edu/, current on December 27, 2000.
University Publications. (2000). Sample Daily Mason Gazette Articles on Research and
       Scholarly Activities. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Publications. (2000). TODAY@MASON. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/today/findex.html, current on December 27, 2000.

       Instructional methods and delivery systems must provide students with the opportunity to
achieve the stated objectives of a course or program. Students must be informed of the goals
and requirements of each course, the nature of the course content, and the methods of evaluation
to be employed. Methods of instruction must be appropriate for students at the specified level of
graduate study. Experimentation with methods to improve instruction must be adequately
supported and critically evaluated. (p. 37, lines 31-38, p. 38, lines 1-2)

       Faculty determine which methods and delivery systems they will use to teach their
courses. Information concerning instructional methods, the goals and requirements of each
course, the nature of the course content, and the methods of evaluation to be employed is
documented in course syllabi.
       The university employs several means to ensure that the methods of instruction are
appropriate for students at the specified level of graduate study and provide students with the
opportunity to achieve the stated objectives of a course or program. Students participate in
course evaluation in every course offered for credit. Faculty are subject to peer review and
review by academic unit administrators as part of the faculty evaluation process. The university
also conducts regular review of programs, including teaching techniques.
       Faculty who wish to experiment with methods to improve instruction have several
resources within the university:




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          The Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies (DoIIIT)
           provides in-service training to faculty in the use of information technology and
           instructional technology throughout the year.
          Writing Across the Curriculum provides workshops in teaching and writing.
          Technology Across the Curriculum promotes technology to enhance student learning
           through support to faculty in course development and re-design.
          A new Center for Teaching will serve as a catalyst to: bring together scholars in
           different disciplines who have common teaching interests; initiate discussions on
           issues relating to teaching and research at the university; offer direction to both new
           and established faculty who want to improve their teaching effectiveness; and
           coordinate and inform the university community about ongoing activities regarding
           the scholarship of teaching.

Courses in which faculty experiment with methods of teaching are critically evaluated. They are
subject to the same forms of review as courses delivered through traditional methods.

Recommendation

        The university-level policy for syllabi comes in the Faculty Information Guide, and it
states only that faculty ―should create meaningful syllabi.‖ As the collection of course syllabi
assembled for the site visit demonstrates, the overwhelming majority of faculty do provide a
syllabus for each course that they teach. Nevertheless, the importance of the syllabus as the
primary means for communicating the nature and requirements of a course argues for a more
direct policy. We recommend that the university require the development of a syllabus for each
course taught.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.cas.gmu.edu/tac/index.html, current on December 20, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Writing Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/wac,
       current on December 19, 2000.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Division of
       Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. [Online]. Available at
       http://www.doiiit.gmu.edu/, current on December 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Syllabi for Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.

        The institution must use a variety of means to evaluate student performance. This
evaluation must reflect concern for quality and properly discern levels of student performance.
An institution must publish its grading policies, and its grading practices must be consistent with
policy. (p. 38, lines 3-8)




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        A variety of means, including but not limited to examinations, quizzes, research papers,
oral presentations, laboratory experiments, art exhibitions, and recitals are used to evaluate
student performance. The faculty member who teaches a particular course is responsible for
determining the means of evaluation to be employed and for providing this information to
students in the course syllabus.
        Grading policies appear in the University Catalog on pages 30-32. The School of Law
has its own grading policy, published in the online School of Law Catalog. In both cases,
practices are consistent with policy.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Grading Policies,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. pp. 30 –
       32. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol.html#Gpol, current on December 23, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Syllabi for Fall 1999 and Spring 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.
School of Law. (2000). ―Grades,‖ School of Law Catalog. [Online]. Arlington, Virginia: George
       Mason University . Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/academics/catalog/academics.html, current on
       December 28, 2000.

       Courses offered in non-traditional formats, e.g., concentrated or abbreviated time
periods, must be designed to ensure an opportunity for preparation, reflection and analysis
concerning the subject matter. At least one calendar week of reflection and analysis should be
provided to students for each semester hour, or equivalent quarter hours, of graduate credit
awarded. The institution must demonstrate that students completing these programs or courses
have acquired equivalent levels of knowledge and competencies to those acquired in traditional
formats. (p. 38, lines 9-18)

       Three learning opportunities in non-traditional formats are available to graduate students:

          Summer session. George Mason University operates four sessions from five to eight
           weeks in length.
          Courses taken through the Center for Global Education. Courses must be pre-
           approved for transfer or resident credit by the student‘s department and dean. The
           director of the center has reminded faculty of the importance of allocating sufficient
           time in each class for reflection and analysis.
          Intersession. The university conducts a winter and spring intersession of from one to
           two weeks. Courses offered during this time period are generally restricted to one
           credit hour.
          Executive MBA. The program allows managers and executives to complete the
           MBA in 21 months. Because this program targets people with significant business
           and professional experience, its focus and its courses differ from the traditional MBA.

       The courses offered during summer session include traditional courses that are also
offered during the fall or spring semesters. The summer version of such a course meets the same


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number of hours and has the same requirements as its semester-length counterparts. Many of the
courses offered in shortened format, however, have been developed to provide different kinds of
learning experiences. They represent an opportunity for faculty to innovate, and have no
equivalent in a semester-length course. For regularly scheduled courses the registrar assures that
all courses include at least one week of reflection and analysis for each semester hour awarded.
For short courses and other non-traditionally scheduled courses, the academic unit has the
responsibility to ensure an appropriate period for reflection.

Supporting Documentation

Center for Global Education. (2000). Center for Global Education. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/cge/, current on
       December 28, 2000.
Center for Global Education. (2000). Center for Global Education Faculty Director’s Handbook.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Summer 2000 Schedule of Classes. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
School of Management. (2000). Executive MBA.. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.som.gmu.edu/emba/, current on December 28, 2000.

        There must be provision for assigning students to their advisers or directors, appointing
their graduate committees, and monitoring their academic progress. (p. 38, lines 19 – 21)

       The Graduate Policies section of the University Catalog describes the processes by which
graduate students are assigned advisers, doctoral students are provided with dissertation
committees, and the institution monitors academic progress. Descriptions provided for each
program offer additional information to the student.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Graduate Policies,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. pp. 36 –
      39. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html, current on November 27, 2000.

4.3.6 Academic Advising of Graduate Students

        Each institution must conduct a systematic, effective program of graduate academic
advising. A qualified adviser should be assigned early in the student’s program and should
recognize the individuality of students and their particular needs and goals. Advisers should be
proficient in using data to help determine students’ major fields of interest, should have
appropriate training or background and experience to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
An institution must ensure that the number of advisees assigned to faculty or professional staff is
reasonable.
        An effective orientation program must be made available to all full- and part-time
graduate students. Orientation and advisement programs must be evaluated regularly and used
to enhance effective assistance to students. (p. 38, lines 28-39, p. 39, lines 1 - 4)



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        At the time of admission to graduate study, the student is assigned a faculty adviser by
the academic program responsible for the student‘s program of study. Progress in an approved
program of study is the shared responsibility of the student and the adviser. Students are
encouraged to consult with their advisers before registration each semester. Advisers are either
full-time faculty of the department or professional staff hired by the department to provide
advising services.
        Departments are responsible for developing orientation programs. Because a large
percentage of students in graduate programs at George Mason University attend classes in the
evening, most orientation programs are scheduled for the late afternoon and evening hours and
emphasize the needs of part-time students. Orientation programs are evaluated and updated
annually.
        The Office of Institutional Assessment surveys graduating graduate and law students
about their advising experiences. Responses in the most recent survey varied widely according
to the program in which the students were enrolled. Survey results are provided to deans and
directors of academic units.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Graduate Orientation and Advising Programs. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Academic Advising,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog. p. 36.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol3.html#Academic, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). Graduating Graduate and Law Student Survey, 1998
       – 99. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/GRAD99/, current on December 27, 2000.

4.4 Publications

       The content and design of publications produced and distributed by an institution must
be accurate and consistent in describing the institution and rigorously adhere to principles of
good educational practice. (p. 39, lines 5-8)

        The university strives to design, produce, and distribute publications that accurately and
consistently describe its mission, programs, policies, and regulations. ―Official University
Publications‖ lists the owners of all official publications of the institution and the update cycle of
each publication. Drafts of official publications are reviewed by the members of the central
administration to ensure that they are accurate and consistent in describing the institution and
that they adhere to principles of good educational practice.
        Mason‘s web site is an important adjunct to official publications. It provides online
versions of all official publications as well as additional information of use to the university and
external community. Two coordinated groups work together to ensure that the university's
official web presence is attractive, useful, dynamic, and strategic. These are the Mason Web
Steering Committee and the Mason Web Team. The steering committee is the university body




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that reviews policy and provides leadership regarding the future development of the Mason Web.
The working team designs, creates, and manages the university's web presence.
        Web site developers work to ensure that sites post information that is consistent with that
published in print. A disclaimer on the university‘s home page advises readers to consult the
appropriate university office to verify information.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Disclaimer. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlnavbar/webdev/disclaimer.html, current on December 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). George Mason University. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author. Available at www.gmu.edu, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Official University Publications. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.

         An institution must make available to students and the public accurate, current catalogs
or other official publications containing the following information: entrance requirements and
procedures; admissions criteria and policies, including the admission of transfer students; rules
of conduct, academic calendar; degree completion requirements; full-time faculty and degrees
held; costs and financial obligations; refund policies; and other items relative to attending the
institution or withdrawing from it. (See Commission document ―Institutional Advertising,
Student Recruitment and Representation of Accredited Status.‖) (p. 39, lines 9-20)

         The University Catalog, available both in print and online versions, is the official
publication of the university and is supplemented by the official Class Schedule for each term.
The School of Law publishes its own catalog online. ―Required Catalog Information‖ lists the
page numbers and/or online addresses for entrance requirements and procedures; admissions
criteria and policies, including the admission of transfer students; rules of conduct; academic
calendar; degree completion requirements; full-time faculty and degrees held; costs and financial
obligations; refund policies; and other items relevant to attending the institution or withdrawing
from it.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Required Catalog Information. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Office of the University Registrar. (2000). Fall 2000 Schedule of Classes. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Also available at http://registrar.gmu.edu/schedule/, current on
       December 28, 2000.
School of Law. (2000). School of Law Catalog 2000 – 2001. [Online]. Arlington, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law/academics/catalog/intro.html, current on December
       28, 2000.




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4.5 Distance Learning Programs

         The Commission recognizes the legitimacy of distance learning, such as that conveyed
through off-campus classroom programs, external degree programs, branch campuses,
correspondence courses, and various programs using electronically-based instruction offered
geographically distant from the main campus. An institution must formulate clear and explicit
goals for its distance learning programs and demonstrate that they are consistent with the
institution’s stated purpose. Further, an institution must demonstrate that it achieves these
goals and that its distance learning programs are effective and comply with all applicable
Criteria. (p. 39, line 10-29, p. 40, lines 1-3)

         The university distinguishes between distributed learning and distance learning. George
Mason University is a distributed university: learning occurs on three campuses (Arlington,
Fairfax and Prince William) or at the other sites where the university has contracted to provide
courses. Distributed learning is governed by the goals of the Strategic Plan for the Distributed
Campus System, which seeks to use existing university space effectively, deliver high quality
programs where they are needed and promote growth in targeted areas. The standards for
academic programs, whether at the university or the academic unit level, do not depend on the
site of instruction.
         Distributed learning can involve face-to-face instruction or technology-enhanced
instruction. In creating the Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System, the Provost asked
academic units to ―make maximum use of distance learning vehicles but combined with periodic
face-to-face student contact.‖ (See ―Memo Re: Distributed University.‖) The intent is to provide
instruction to students when and where they want it while ensuring that students also receive the
benefits of face-to-face interaction with faculty and other students.
         Distance learning at George Mason University involves the use of technology-enhanced
delivery methods. Members of the faculty and central administration have developed the George
Mason University Distance Learning Mission Statement, which provides clear and explicit goals
for its distance learning programs that are consistent with the university‘s purpose. The mission
statement was approved by the Board of Visitors at its November 2000 meeting.
         Both the Plan for the Distributed University and the Distance Learning Mission
Statement reflect the university‘s larger purposes of enhancing learning outcomes, developing
students‘ technology skills and contributing to workforce development. Both documents focus
on the university‘s efforts in Northern Virginia. Without forestalling the possibility of delivering
instruction on a wider scale, the university asserts that its priorities are in this region. This fact
allows us to provide face-to-face interaction as a part of all distance learning programs, and
ensures that our students have access to all of the student support services provided by the
university.
         The Distance Learning Mission Statement takes a conservative approach to the
development of distance programs, requiring both careful planning and review and generally
limiting implementation to the local region. The technology-enhanced programs currently
offered by the university, though developed before the mission statement will take effect, reflect
that same conservative approach. While a number of individual faculty members have decided
to enhance their courses with technology-based instruction, the institution has developed only
seven distance learning programs to date. They include:




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            Masters in Public Affairs, Concentration in Non-Profit Management, a degree
             program in the Department of Public and International Affairs, College of Arts and
             Sciences, run through University On Line and supported by a major grant from the
             W.K. Kellogg Foundation entitled "Building Bridges"
            Certificate in Non-Profit Management, a graduate program requiring 15 credit
             hours. Like the MPA concentration in Non-Profit Management, this program is
             located in the Department of Public and International Affairs, run through University
             On Line and supported by the grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
            Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) in Recreation Resources
             Management
            Masters of New Professional Studies (MNPS) in Transportation Operations and
             Logistics (transmitted via interactive TV to the Virginia Department of
             Transportation Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and the Southwest Virginia
             Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia)
            MS in Systems Engineering (transmitted to the Naval Surface Warfare Center in
             Dahlgren, Virginia)
            RN to BSN Pathway, to be implemented in Fall 2001
            Certificate in Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management in Healthcare
             Systems, to be implemented in Fall 2001

        With the exception of the MAIS in Recreation Resources Management, a joint venture
between the USDA Forest Service and George Mason University, all of the distance learning
programs were developed from existing traditionally delivered programs. All of the programs
have been documented according to the requirements of Procedure Two of Substantive Change
C.
        As the documentation indicates, these programs are effective because the units that
developed them planned carefully, engaged the same faculty as for traditionally delivered
courses, provided adequately for instructional support and student services, and evaluated
instruction according to the same standards as for traditionally delivered courses. Nevertheless,
there is concern that the present organizational structure, which is decentralized and puts
responsibility on academic units for all aspects of degree and certificate programs, often leaves
administrative and support services out of the planning and approval stages, and potentially
unable to provide the support that is necessary.
        An important step in developing a cohesive approach to distance learning is to provide a
central source of information to students. The university has recently developed a distance and
distributed learning web site that serves as a hub for students, faculty, and staff, directing them
toward courses and programs available at a distance, GMU services, (admissions, registration,
financial aid, counseling), IT support, etc. The distance learning site could also be a good forum
for posting scholarship and discussion on distance learning in general.

Suggestion

        The Distance Learning Mission Statement and the Strategic Plan for the Distributed
Campus System respect the freedom of the academic units to determine content and method of
instruction for all academic programs, while at the same time making academic units responsible
for compliance with SACS‘ Criteria for Accreditation. As the university expands its distance


                                            115
learning offerings, it will be more important than ever to establish policies and procedures for
developing distance and technology-enhanced courses that give academic units control over
content and pedagogical issues, while involving academic and support services such as the
budget office, student services, the library, the IT unit, and University Life in the planning
process. These new policies and procedures should allow as much academic freedom as possible
while guaranteeing proper support of the program or course and compliance with SACS‘
requirements and with acceptable academic standards.
        The university needs to support a central place or space for discussion of distance
education—a web site, office, or desk. The time has come to establish a position which assumes
responsibility for the planning and review of distance programs to coordinate many of the
policies, procedures and actions recommended in this report.
        The university might want to consider a single courseware solution for distance courses.
That choice should be made in an open and public forum, with opportunity for faculty, students,
administrators, and support staff to participate in the review process.

Supporting Documentation

College of Nursing and Health Science. (2000). Certificate in Quality Improvement and
       Outcomes Management in Healthcare Systems. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/nursing/graduate/gradcpqo.html, current on December
       28, 2000.
Department of Public and International Affairs. (2000). Graduate Studies in Nonprofit
       Management. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/npmp/, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2001). Technology in the Curriculum, An Assessment of the
       Impact of On-Line Courses. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available
       at http://assessment.gmu.edu/reports.shtml, current on February 21, 2001.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance & Distributed Learning. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://distance.gmu.edu/, current on December
       28, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance Learning Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Report on Distance Learning Programs. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
School of Information Technology and Engineering. (2000). Master of Science in Software
       Engineering. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://ise.gmu.edu/ms-swe/, current on January 17, 2001.
School of Public Policy. (2001). Center for Transport Policy & Logistics. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.paragoncom.com/transportpol/, current on February 15, 2001.
Stearns, P. (2000). Memo Re: Distributed University. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.




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U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service and George Mason University. (2000). The
       Distance Learning Program. [Online]. Manassas, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://dlp.gmu.edu/, current on December 28, 2000.

4.6 Continuing Education, Outreach and Service Programs

        The demands placed on individuals in today’s society require many to engage in life-long
education. Most institutions of higher education have incorporated into their purpose an
extension and public service component to provide for life-long learning opportunities. These
opportunities are often referred to as continuing education, extension education, outreach, or
public and community service programs. Such programs may be credit or non-credit, may be
offered on or off campus, and may be offered through a variety of delivery systems. (p. 40, lines
4-13)

        George Mason University provides both credit and non-credit activities to support the
lifelong learning needs of the region. Credit and non-credit continuing education activities
function in different ways.

       Non-credit continuing education activities:

          Are organized learning activities with specific purposes
          Typically involve an outreach effort
          Are advertised under the George Mason University name
          Have as a primary audience nontraditional student populations (i.e., student FTE is
           not counted by other means)
          Solicit registrants, either as individuals or groups (contract arrangements)
          Generate revenue from participant fees or from outside funding sources
          May or may not award CEUs and/or a professional certificate
          Do not award GMU academic credit

       Credit-bearing CPE activities:

          Are contracted/sponsored by a third party
          Are typically conducted at an off-campus site
          Award GMU academic credit
          Are distinguished from other GMU credit courses in administrative databases through
           assignment of a unique course section number

        Mason maintains a decentralized approach to CPE activities. There are three primary
entities that administer CPE:

       1) The Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) serves as a first point of
          contact for individuals and groups interested in pursuing continuing education. It
          facilitates the promotion and delivery of both CPE credit and non-credit activities that
          cross the expertise of the entire university.



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       2) The College of Nursing & Heath Science (CNHS) concentrates on serving the
          professional credit and non-credit needs of the medical and health community.
       3) The Office of Adult Learning and Professional Development (OALPD) focuses on
          the credit course needs of K-12 teachers and administrators.

Most contract credit courses and programs must be administered through one of these three
offices. (The exceptions are courses offered through the Center for Global Education, which are
handled on a contract basis but are not continuing professional education courses. Information
about Global Education courses is provided in Sections 4.2.4 and 4.3.5 of this report.) Academic
units are encouraged, but are not required, to run their non-credit programs through OCPE.
Some units have opted to produce, deliver, and administer their own CPE activities.
        The decentralized approach to CPE has helped Mason expand its offerings and reach out
to more diverse segments of the community. At the same time, the university recognizes the
need for a coherent system of policies and procedures, the need to provide adequate support to
CPE students, and the importance of adhering to the Criteria in the conduct of all of its
programs. We have made substantial progress toward university-level accountability and
support, while maintaining the flexibility to allow academic units to be innovative in this area.

       Continuing education and outreach and service programs must be clearly related to the
purpose of the institution. All continuing education programs, both credit and non-credit, must
be evaluated regularly. (p. 40, lines 14-17)

        Continuing education, with its emphases on life-long learning and outreach to the public
and private sector, is an increasingly important means for the university to accomplish its
mission. OCPE, CNHS, and OALPD all have mission statements that are consistent with that of
the university.
        In 1999 the university established a CPE Academic Council, made up of representatives
from each of the schools. The purpose of the council is to better coordinate CPE activities
throughout the institution. As a first step, the council has drafted a university-level mission
statement for the conduct of continuing education.
        OCPE, CNHS, and OALPD ensure that the CPE programs administered through them are
regularly evaluated. Credit-bearing CPE courses use the same student evaluation form,
distributed at the end of each course, as traditionally delivered credit courses. Since CPE
programs are typically sponsored by third parties, evaluation is also conducted with sponsoring
organizations to determine their satisfaction with course content and instruction, as well as any
perceived changes in performance on the job as a result of the learning activity. Advisory boards
established by each school also provide a means for evaluation.
        OCPE and Nursing maintain evaluation summaries for all non-credit events sponsored
through their offices. (OALPD does not currently offer non-credit courses.) OCPE also
provides support to academic units offering CPE activities, including orientation on the value of
evaluation as well as assistance in the design of evaluation forms.

Supporting Documentation

College of Nursing and Health Science. (n.d.). College of Nursing and Health Science
       Professional Development. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.



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Continuing Professional Education Academic Council. (2000). Draft Continuing Professional
       Education Mission. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Continuing Professional Education Academic Council. (2001). CPE Academic Council Roster.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Adult Learning and Professional Development. (n.d.) OALPD Mission Statement.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://gse.gmu.edu/offices/oalpd/mission.htm, current on February 11, 2001.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (n.d.). OCPE Program Evaluation. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (n.d.). OCPE Sample Marketing Material. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (1998). OCPE Mission Statement. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (2000). OCPE Organizational Chart. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

      All continuing education and outreach and service programs offered for credit must
comply with the requirements of the Criteria, and with Section IV in particular. (p. 40, lines 18-
20)

         CPE programs offered for credit are limited to those that are defined in the University
Catalog and therefore have gone through the university‘s and SCHEV‘s approval processes.
These programs are typically offered off-campus and are supported financially through third-
party payments. Academic units are responsible for ensuring that program length, credit hours,
and tuition and fees are appropriate for CPE credit programs and courses.
         Instruction in contractual credit courses is typically provided by adjunct faculty.
Information on the academic preparation and other credentials of faculty is provided in the
faculty rosters associated with Section 4.8 of this report.
         Students in contractual credit courses must meet all admission and completion
requirements. Student records are maintained by the registrar for all students enrolled in CPE
credit programs in the university‘s Student Information System. Official transcripts are
generated for all students enrolled in CPE credit programs.
         Students registered in CPE credit programs are entitled to the same support afforded to
students taking traditionally-delivered courses. All contractual credit students receive a student
identification card and access to e-mail. Because most CPE students take their courses off-
campus, the delivery of some services, such as orientation and advising, has been problematic.
The university has made a concerted effort to ensure that all support services are available online
or by telephone. The university‘s distributed/distance learning web site, described in Section 4.5
of this report, directs students to support services.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―4.5 Distance Learning Programs,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―4.8 Faculty,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1:
      Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.



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Office of Continuing Professional Education. (2001). Contract Credit Course Approval Form.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance & Distributed Learning. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://distance.gmu.edu/, current on December
       28, 2000.

       For non-credit continuing education programs, the institution should follow national
guidelines for the recording of Continuing Education Units. (See Commission on Colleges’
document C.E.U.: Guidelines and Criteria.) For outreach and service programs, an institution
must provide the resources and services necessary to support the programs and must evaluate
the programs regularly. (p. 40, lines 21-28)

        OCPE and CNHS are the primary units authorized to award CEU‘s. Both units meet all
criteria in C.E.U.: Guidelines and Criteria. OCPE has administered CEU applications and
awards for the past ten years and is authorized to award CEU award for all academic units.
Nursing awards CEU‘s only to those activities where the CNHS has a representative on the
planning committee. Some academic units award CEU‘s independent of the processes
authorized to OCPE and CNHS. The School of Law, for example, awards Continuing Legal
Education credit based on Virginia State Bar requirements.
        Non-credit programs seeking CEU awards through OCPE must complete an application
and provide information on stated learning outcomes, program agenda, qualifications of
instructors, course content, instructional methodology, schedule of events and methods for
evaluation. Responsibility for the approval rests with the Assistant Director of OCPE. OCPE
makes certificate awards to participants for whom full attendance has been documented. The
application packet is maintained in permanent files. OCPE maintains a database of over 10,000
CEU awards. Nursing maintains a paper file of CEU awards.
        The university expects non-credit CPE activities to be self-sustaining: academic units
must provide all of the resources and services necessary to operate those activities (to be
recouped through participant fees or from outside funding sources). However, in order to serve
non-credit CPE students more effectively, the university provides some administrative support to
non-credit CPE courses and programs and is planning enhancements to that support. For
example, the university is now including activity in CEU-bearing, non-credit courses in its
student information system.
        The university also assists academic units in finding space for non-credit CPE activities.
Space for non-credit classes, however, cannot be reserved until all credit classes have been
scheduled, and space is at a premium on the Fairfax Campus. Computer labs and nursing labs
are particularly scarce. CPE administrators are beginning to take advantage of space available
on the Prince William and Arlington Campuses and in distributed training facilities, such as that
maintained by OCPE in the Dulles corridor at the Center for Innovative Technology.
        Because non-credit CPE activities are an invaluable means of outreach, the university is
beginning to provide other services to students in non-credit classes that were in the past
provided only to those enrolled in credit courses. These include student identification cards,
access to e-mail, career placement services, counseling, information on private financial aid, and
veteran‘s benefits.




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Supporting Documentation

Office of Continuing Professional Education. (n.d.). The C.E.U. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (n.d.). Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Request
       Form. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (n.d.). Sample CEU Award Certificate. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (2000). The Office of Continuing Professional
       Education. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://ocpe.gmu.edu/programs/, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of Continuing Professional Education. (2001). Continuing Professional Education
       Certificate Awards. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Peopleware, Inc. (2001). Peopleware Pro. [Online]. Bellevue, Washington: Author. Available at
       http://www.peopleware.com/ppro-overview.htm, current on February 11, 2001.

       An institution planning to initiate, through continuing education or outreach programs, a
degree program must inform the Executive Director of the Commission on Colleges in advance
of program implementation. (See Commission document ―Substantive Change Policy for
Accredited Institutions.‖) (p. 40, lines 29-34)

       Not applicable. To date, George Mason University has delivered through continuing
education only those degree programs that have already been approved and listed in the
University Catalog.

         An institution must not award academic credit for work taken on a non-credit basis
without appropriate documentation that the non-credit coursework is equivalent to a designated
credit experience. In such cases, the institution must document that the credit awarded for non-
credit coursework represents collegiate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content
and level of instruction resulting in student competencies equivalent to those of students in the
institution’s own degree programs, and coursework taught by faculty members qualified to teach
at the appropriate degree level. All credit-bearing continuing education courses and activities
must comply with the requirements of the Criteria. (p. 41, lines 1-13)

      Not applicable. George Mason University does not award academic credit for work
completed in non-credit CPE courses.

Suggestion

        It is likely that ownership of CPE activities will remain decentralized; it is also likely that
CPE activities will continue to grow in number. The university does not want to discourage
growth, but it does need to ensure that CPE activities are adequately supported, evaluated
regularly and are in compliance with all applicable Criteria. In forming the CPE Academic
Council, the university has taken the first steps toward achieving these goals. We recommend
that the university continue the process of implementing administrative policies and procedures
that:



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       1) Ensure evaluation of all credit and non-credit CPE activities;
       2) Recognize OCPE as the primary administrative unit for application and award of
          CEU‘s;
       3) Direct CPE students to information about instructional support and student support
          services available to them;
       4) Provide data on non-credit students to the Student Information System; and
       5) Ensure that faculty teaching contract credit courses comply with all criteria in Section
          IV of SACS‘ Criteria for Accreditation.

The CPE Academic Council has taken the lead in the development of policies and procedures,
which should be reviewed and approved by the Provost‘s Office, Deans and Directors, and the
President‘s Council. Once approved, the policies should be distributed to all academic units and
evaluated regularly.

4.7 Student Records

        The institution must have adequate student records for both credit and non-credit
courses. Official student academic records for credit and non-credit courses should be
maintained and stored in one central office at the institution. Complete back-up files, such as
facsimiles, microfilm or electronic data banks, should be maintained continually, one set of
which should be stored in a secure area outside the records office, preferably in a different
building or an off-site location. The institution must take all steps necessary to ensure the
security of its student records, including storage in a secure vault or fireproof cabinet. Since
computer generated and stored records present unique security problems, the institution should
have in place special security measures to protect and back up the data. (p. 41, lines 14-28)

        George Mason University has adequate student records for both credit and non-credit
students and courses. The university follows guidelines of the American Association of
University Registrars and Admissions Officers, requirements of the American Bar Association
and the State Agency General Schedules, Archives and Records Division of the Library of
Virginia.
        The university Registrar‘s Office on the Fairfax campus is responsible for the official
records of all students, with the exception of George Mason University School of Law records,
which are kept separately at the law school facility in Arlington, Virginia. The official student
record is the one kept electronically in the university‘s Student Information System (SIS). All
records regarding credit programs and students are contained in the SIS, with different sections
for law and all other students. Effective January 2001, CEU-granting, non-credit programs and
students will be officially recorded in a third section of the same Student Information System.
        The online data and the hardware that supports the Student Information System are
contained in a locked, restricted access computer center, staffed 24 hours per day by operations
staff. Backups are taken nightly, and the most recent is stored in a four-hour fireproof safe. The
university sends backups to an off-site data storage facility (Arcus Data Security, Herndon,
Virginia) every week, to ensure that the university can recover data following a catastrophe.

       The institution must have policies concerning what constitutes the permanent record of
each student, as well as policies concerning retention and disposal of records. It must establish


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and publish information-release policies which respect the rights of individual privacy, the
confidentiality of records, and the best interests of the student and institution. (p. 41, lines 29 –
35)

         The Commonwealth of Virginia allows for disposal of supporting documents as little as
one year after they have been updated into the official record; in some cases, immediate
destruction is allowed after updating. George Mason University record maintenance and
archiving practices are influenced by the frequent ―stop-outs‖ characteristic of our student body.
This consideration leads the university to maintain supporting documents for a longer period
than required, as they continue to be administratively useful.
         Supporting documents in the Fairfax Registrar‘s Office are purged or permanently
retained on microfilm once the student has been inactive for a period of at least three years. One
copy of the microfilmed records is kept on campus; another is kept in the State Library in
Richmond. The Registrar‘s Office has officially requested funding in the next fiscal year (FY02)
for the conversion of microfilmed records to approved, newer technology. Supporting paper
documentation for current and recent students is kept in a locked, restricted access file room in
the Registrar‘s Office. Supporting documentation for non-credit courses is kept in the offices of
the offering programs.
         Law school records for students prior to the implementation of the current SIS in 1991
are kept on microfilm, with a second copy at the State Library. Official transcripts for that time
period are kept on compact discs, with four copies stored in different places in the Arlington law
school building, and an additional copy kept at the Fairfax Registrar‘s Office. Paper records of
supporting documentation are kept on the premises of the law school Records Office from the
beginning of the International School of Law (the law school‘s predecessor) to the present. These
files as well as active exam materials are kept in a secure file room equipped with sprinklers and
accessed by a single door via a touch pad lock.
         Policies concerning retention, disposal and archiving of student records are maintained by
the Fairfax Registrar‘s Office, the Admissions Office and the George Mason University Law
School. Since the implementation of the current SIS in 1991, the electronic record has been the
official record for enrolled students and is retained permanently. Effective January, 2001, the
SIS will house official records for both credit and non-credit programs and students. Retention
and archiving of source and back-up documentation exceeds the requirements of association and
Commonwealth regulations.
         George Mason University exceeds the student privacy requirements of the Family Rights
and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Students may elect special privacy for their records at
three different levels: exclusion from publication in the Student Directory; privacy of
biographical- demographic information, and privacy of academic information. The levels of
privacy are cumulative, and each level has a cost in convenience to the student.
         Student privacy information is published in the University Catalog and each semester‘s
Schedule of Classes and on the Registrar‘s web site. As an example of the seriousness with
which the university approaches student privacy, students with full privacy holds may receive
services of the Registrar‘s Office only in person with a photo identification card, or from a
distance with an original, notarized request intended to confirm identity.




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Supporting Documentation

American Bar Association. (n.d.). ―Retention of Records,‖ Policies of the Accreditation
       Committee. Chicago, Illinois: Author.
Office of Admissions. (1999). Cleaning Out Files of Registered Transfers. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Cleaning Out Files of Registered Freshmen. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Admissions. (2000). Office of Admissions Records Policy. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). George Mason University Policy on Archiving/Retention of
       Student Records. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). Office of the Registrar. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://registrar.gmu.edu/, current on December 28, 2000.
Office of the Registrar. (2000). George Mason University – Registrar’s Office, The Family
       Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
School of Law. (n.d.). ―AR-3-10. Student Records,‖ School of Law Academic Regulations.
       Arlington, Virginia: George Mason University.

4.8 Faculty

         The selection, development and retention of a competent faculty at all academic levels is
of major importance to the educational quality of an institution. The commitment of faculty to
institutional purposes determines in large measure the effectiveness of the total educational
program. An institution must provide evidence that it has employed faculty members qualified to
accomplish its purpose. Because of the importance of the faculty, the Commission on Colleges
and its committees will give special attention to all criteria pertaining to faculty during
institutional evaluations. (p. 42, lines 1-11)

        George Mason University conducts comprehensive searches for its faculty; regularly
evaluates the faculty‘s performance; supports faculty development, and grants tenure and
promotion only after careful review of teaching, scholarship, professional and university service.
According to its Mission Statement, the university strives to ―nurture and support a faculty that is
diverse, innovative and excellent in teaching, active in pure and applied research, and responsive
to the needs of the students and the community.‖ Sections 4.8.1 through 4.8.10 of this report
demonstrate that George Mason University employs faculty members qualified to accomplish its
purpose.
        We have used the Commission‘s ―Roster of Instructional Staff‖ as guidance to develop
complete rosters of all full-time and part-time faculty for each academic unit. These rosters
document the qualifications of faculty teaching credit courses during the Fall 2000 semester.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
      University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.




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George Mason University. (2000). ―The University‘s Mission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       p. 5. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/profile.html#Mission, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

4.8.1 Selection of Faculty

        An institution must show that it has an orderly process for recruiting and appointing its
faculty. This process will normally involve developing a pool of qualified candidates and
interviewing those who appear to be best qualified. Institutions are encouraged to recruit and
select faculty whose highest degree is earned from a broad representation of institutions.
Recruitment and appointment procedures must be described in the faculty handbook or other
published documents. (p. 42, lines 12 – 20)

        Section 2.3 of the Faculty Handbook describes the procedures the university follows in
recruiting and appointing its faculty. These procedures conform to all federal and state
employment requirements. The recruitment process is in every instance documented in
University Equity Office Forms and generally involves a search to develop a pool of qualified
candidates. Faculty rosters document that the university selects faculty whose highest degree is
earned from a broad representation of institutions.

Recommendation

        Academic units maintain official faculty files and determine the information that must be
included in each file. Although all units consider the academic background of prospective
faculty members, not all units routinely include information in official faculty files that verifies
the academic background of faculty they hire. We recommend that the university develop
procedures to verify the highest earned degree of all instructional faculty.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―2.3 Recruitment and Appointment of Faculty,‖ Faculty
       Handbook. pp. 12 – 13. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s3.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Ingram, E. and Stearns, P. (2001 January 16). Letter to University Community Re:
       Search/Recruitment Procedures. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of University Equity. (1996). Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity
       (AA/EEO) Search Procedures. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

       It is expected that an institution will employ faculty members whose highest earned
degree presented as the credential qualifying the faculty member to teach at the institution is



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from a regionally accredited institution. If an institution employs a faculty member whose
highest earned degree is from a non-regionally accredited institution within the United States or
an institution outside the United States, the institution must show evidence that the faculty
member has appropriate academic preparation. (p. 42, lines 21-30)

       While the majority of the university‘s faculty received their highest degree from a
regionally accredited institution in the United States, Mason does draw from a global pool of
candidates for its faculty, particularly in the sciences and engineering. Faculty rosters documents
the academic and professional preparation that substantiate each hire.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        Institutions must ensure that each faculty member employed is proficient in oral and
written communication in the language in which assigned courses will be taught. (p. 42, lines 31
– 34)

        The rigorous scrutiny that candidates for faculty receive ensures that every faculty
member employed is proficient in oral and written communication in the language in which the
assigned courses will be taught. The curriculum vitae and publications of candidates provide
evidence of proficiency in written communication. These are evaluated by faculty committees as
well as the head of the academic unit. Interviews with candidates provide evidence of
proficiency in oral communication and help to confirm the initial assessment of the candidate‘s
written work. All candidates for tenure-line appointments receive additional scrutiny: they are
interviewed by the Provost‘s Office senior staff.

4.8.2 Academic and Professional Preparation

       For the purpose of applying the Criteria, a full-time faculty member is one whose major
employment is with the institution, whose primary assignment is in teaching and/or research,
and whose employment is based on a contract for full-time employees.
       Both full-time and part-time faculty must meet the following criteria for academic and
professional preparation. (p. 43, lines 1-8)

        In general, full-time and part-time faculty meet all criteria for academic and professional
preparation. Sections 4.8.2.2 through 4.8.2.4 of this report provide information about the full-
time faculty employed by the university. Sections 4.8.3 and 4.8.4 document the preparation of
part-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants, respectively.




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4.8.2.1 Associate

         In an associate degree program, full-time and part-time faculty members teaching credit
courses in the following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural
sciences/mathematics must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching
discipline and hold at least a master’s degree, or hold the minimum of a master’s degree with a
major in the teaching discipline. In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and
demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline may be presented in lieu of formal
academic preparation in the above areas. Such cases must be justified by the institution on an
individual basis.
         The Commission encourages interdisciplinary courses and recognizes that appropriate
credentials for teaching may vary. The institution must document and justify the academic and
professional preparation of faculty members teaching in such courses or programs.
         Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching courses in professional,
occupational and technical areas other than physical activities courses that are components of
associate degree programs designed for college transfer, or from which substantial numbers of
students transfer to senior institution, must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours
in the teaching discipline and hold at least a master’s degree, or hold the minimum of the
master’s degree with a major in the teaching discipline.
         Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching credit courses in professional,
occupational and technical areas that are components of associate degree programs not usually
resulting in college transfer, or in the continuation of students in senior institution, must possess
appropriate academic preparation or academic preparation coupled with work experience. The
minimum academic degree for faculty teaching in professional, occupational and technical areas
must be at the same level at which the faculty member is teaching. The typical combination is a
baccalaureate degree with appropriate work experience.
         In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated
contributions to the teaching discipline may be presented in lieu of formal academic preparation
for faculty members teaching both transfer and non-transfer courses in these areas. Such cases
must be justified by the institution on an individual basis.
         It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file for all full-time and part-time
faculty members documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts and, if
appropriate for demonstrating competency, official documentation of professional and work
experience, technical and performance competency, records of publications, certifications and
other qualifications.
         Non-degree diploma or certificate occupational courses are typically taught by faculty
members with some college or specialized training, but with an emphasis on competence gained
through work experience. While competency requirements may vary, they should be clearly
defined by each institution. In all cases, faculty members must have special competence in the
fields in which they teach. It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file documentation
of work experience, certifications and other qualifications if these are to substitute for or
supplement formal academic preparation.
         Faculty members who teach basic computation and communication skills in non-degree
occupational programs must have a baccalaureate degree and, ideally, should have work or
other experience which helps them relate these skills to the occupational field.




                                            127
        Faculty members who teach adult basic education courses below the collegiate level
must have a baccalaureate degree, and also should have attributes or experiences which help
them relate to the particular needs of the adults they teach.
        Faculty members who teach in remedial programs must hold a baccalaureate degree in a
discipline related to their teaching assignment and have either teaching experiences in a
discipline related to their assignment or graduate training in remedial education. (p. 43, lines 9
– 39, p. 44, lines 1 – 41, p. 45, lines 1 – 8)

       Not applicable. George Mason University does not award the associate‘s degree.

4.8.2.2 Baccalaureate

        Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching credit courses leading toward the
baccalaureate degree, other than physical education activities courses, must have completed at
least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and hold at least a master’s degree,
or hold the minimum of a master’s degree with a major in the teaching discipline. In exceptional
cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching
discipline may be presented in lieu of formal academic preparation. Such cases must be justified
by the institution on an individual basis. (p. 45, lines 9 – 20)

        The great majority of full-time and part-time faculty members teaching credit courses
leading toward the baccalaureate degree have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in
the teaching discipline and hold at least a master‘s degree. Faculty members who do not meet
these criteria have demonstrated excellence through other means sufficient to substantiate their
employment within the teaching discipline.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

       The Commission encourages interdisciplinary courses and recognizes that appropriate
credentials for teaching may vary. The institution must document and justify the academic and
professional preparation of faculty members teaching in such courses or programs. (p. 45, lines
21 – 25)

       Much of George Mason University‘s curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature.
Departments that have curricula that draw on more than one discipline seek out faculty who have
demonstrated strengths in those disciplines. Faculty rosters document the professional
experiences and demonstrated contributions that departments cite to justify making particular
appointments.




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Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file for all full-time and part-time
faculty members documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts and, if
appropriate for demonstrating competence, technical and performance competency, records of
publications, certifications and other qualifications. (p. 45, lines 26 – 33)

        Academic units keep on file for all full-time and part-time faculty members
documentation of academic preparation. Documentation consists of either an official transcript
of the highest degree earned or a letter confirming the award of that degree from the registrar of
the institution. Faculty personnel files maintained by academic units also include curricula vitae,
letters of recommendation, and (in the case of tenured or tenure-track faculty) annual activity
reports submitted by the faculty member covering teaching; research/scholarship; advising,
administrative and professional service; and other evidence of merit. Supporting documentation
for each school‘s criteria for promotion and tenure demonstrate the types of information held in
each full-time faculty member‘s official file. Part-time faculty are encouraged to provide a
teaching portfolio for inclusion in their personnel files.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Procedures and Criteria for Performance Evaluation of the
       Schools, Colleges and Institutes of George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Provost. 1996. ―Teaching Performance Evaluation,‖ Part-Time Faculty Guide.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-time/perform.html, current on December 29, 2000.

        At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each undergraduate major must be
taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in that
discipline. In some disciplines, the master’s degree in the discipline may be considered the
terminal degree, such as the M.F.A., the M.S.W., and the M.L.S.; in others, a master’s degree in
the discipline, coupled with a doctoral degree in a related discipline, is considered appropriate.
However, it is the responsibility of the institution to justify the master’s degree, or master’s in
the teaching discipline coupled with a related doctorate, as the terminal degree for faculty
members teaching in these disciplines. The above requirement also applies to each major
offered through distance learning, including those offered at branches or other sites. (p. 45, lines
34 – 39, p. 46, lines 1 – 10)

        George Mason University defines the terminal degree as the earned doctorate in all
disciplines except fine arts (i.e., Art Studio, Dance, Theater, and Creative Writing), in which the




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terminal degree is the M.F.A. At least 25% of the discipline course hours in each undergraduate
major are taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree.

Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        Faculty members who teach in remedial programs must hold a baccalaureate degree in a
discipline related to their teaching assignment and have either teaching experience in a
discipline related to their assignment or graduate training in remedial education. (p. 46, lines 11
– 15)

       Not applicable. The university does not provide remedial education.

4.8.2.3 Graduate

        Institutions offering either master’s or specialist degree must demonstrate a high level of
faculty competence in teaching and scholarship. Institutions offering doctoral degrees must
demonstrate the research capability of faculty members teaching in these programs. Eligibility
requirements for faculty members teaching graduate courses must be clearly defined and
publicized. (p. 46, lines 16-22)

        The faculty of George Mason University demonstrate a high level of competence in
teaching and scholarship. The Faculty Handbook requires that faculty members exhibit genuine
excellence in teaching or scholarship and high competence in both.
        Appointment to faculty membership is the responsibility of each local academic unit.
Competence is demonstrated by meeting high standards for initial appointment and by
subsequent evaluation of instructional effectiveness and productivity in scholarly or creative
endeavors. Peer review plays a central role in the evaluation of individual achievement in each
of these areas. The involvement of the Provost in tenure decisions of both new and established
faculty members provides an additional level of review to ensure that research and teaching are
emphasized in tenure decisions.
        The university requires annual reviews in addition to evaluation for reappointment,
promotion, and tenure, and it has a post-tenure review policy to ensure that faculty continue to
demonstrate a high level of competence in research and creative activity. The university also
publishes periodic reports of externally funded grants and contracts received by its faculty
members.
        The university promotes excellence in teaching and scholarship, not just in the evaluation
process, but also in publications such as the College of Arts and Sciences‘ CAS CV, events such
as Innovations 2000, Daily Mason Gazette articles on faculty accomplishments and university
and academic unit faculty teaching awards. The experience of our graduate students provides
further confirmation of the competence of faculty. The survey of 1998 – 99 graduate students
found more than 90% of respondents somewhat to very satisfied with their educational
experience at Mason.




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        Graduate faculty membership is defined by the local academic units and, where
applicable, by the schools or colleges in which they are located. The Graduate Council in its
December 2000 meeting reaffirmed that all tenure-line faculty, and other faculty appointed by
the administration, such as research faculty, are qualified to teach graduate level courses. Part-
time faculty are hired to teach specific courses at the graduate level; eligibility requirements for
part-time faculty members are therefore specific to the courses to be taught.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (1999). CAS CV, Scholarly Work in the College of Arts and
       Sciences, 1995 – 1998. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3.5 Graduate Faculties,‖ Faculty Handbook. p. 6. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c1/s3.html#1.3.5, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook.
       pp. 14 – 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). University and Academic Unit Teaching Awards. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author.
Graduate Council. (2001). Graduate Council Minutes, September 1999 – February 2001.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Mason Gazette. (2000). Innovations 2000 Showcases Superior Student Work. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/news/gazette/0004/innovations_2000.html, current on December 23,
       2000.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (2000). ―1998-99 Graduating Graduate Students,‖ In Focus,
       Volume 5, Number 2. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/GRAD99/report/, current on December 29, 2000.
Office of Sponsored Programs. (2001). Office of Sponsored Programs Annual Report for 1999 –
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Rossell, D. (2000). Memo Re: Post-Tenure Review Update. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Publications. (2000). The Daily Mason Gazette. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://gazette.gmu.edu, current on December 1, 2000.

        All institutions must have adequate resources to attract and retain a qualified faculty,
especially in the disciplines in which doctoral programs are offered. Faculty members
responsible for the direction of doctoral research must be experienced in directing independent
study. In addition, those engaged in graduate teaching should demonstrate, by their involvement
in institutional activities, their commitment to the academic community, the institution they
serve, their students, and their academic disciplines. (p. 46, lines 23-32)

       The university has adequate resources to attract and retain a qualified faculty. The all-
ranks average salary for faculty was $60,095 in 1998, slightly below the average $61,078 of



                                            131
AAUP peer institutions. (The Commonwealth of Virginia has made a commitment that faculty
salaries will be no less than 60% of those of peer institutions.) Our salaries are also about
average for doctoral institutions in the region. All full-time faculty members are provided with
office space, computers, and technical support. Most faculty members share administrative
support staff. Faculty compete for university-sponsored research funding, study leaves, and
graduate teaching/graduate research assistant support. Local academic units provide travel funds
for meetings, conferences and exhibitions. As Section 6.4 of this report points out, dedicated
research space at Mason is scarce, but that situation will improve with the pending construction
of a 30,000 square-foot modular research structure.
        While our resources are adequate, additional resources are needed to ensure that we retain
our highly qualified faculty and that we are able to compete for the most able young scholars in
the academic marketplace. We anticipate that most new resources will come from a combination
of greater success in acquiring externally-funded grants, innovative partnerships, private
philanthropy, and endowment growth.
        Curricula vitae demonstrate that those faculty members responsible for the direction of
doctoral research are experienced in directing independent study.

Supporting Documentation

American Association of University Professors. (2000). ―1999-2000 AAUP Faculty Salaries,‖
       reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 04/14/2000. Washington, DC: Author.
Bryant, W. (2000). Memo Re: Consolidated Salary Authorization for Faculty Positions in
       Institutions of Higher Education, 2000-2001. Richmond, Virginia: Office of the
       Governor.
George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―6.4 Physical Resources,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments,
       Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Comparison of AAUP Peer Faculty
       Salary Data, Average All-Ranks Faculty Salary Years 1997 and 1998,‖ 1999 – 2000
       Factbook p. 69. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.
University Publications. (2000). ―University Plans Research Facility Near Parking Lot K,‖ Daily
       Mason Gazette, July 5, 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available
       at http://gazette.gmu.edu/search/index.php3?mode=2&article=1935&keywords=research,
       current on December 29, 2000.

         Each faculty member teaching courses at the master’s and specialist degree level must
hold the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or a related
discipline. In some instances, the master’s degree in the discipline may be considered the
terminal degree, such as the M.F.A., the M.S.W., and the M.L.S.; in others, a master’s degree in
the discipline coupled with a doctoral degree in a related discipline is considered appropriate.
It is the responsibility of the institution to justify the master’s degree, or master’s in the teaching
discipline coupled with a related doctorate, as the terminal degree for faculty members teaching
in those disciplines. All faculty members teaching courses at the doctoral degree level must hold
the earned doctorate in the teaching discipline or a related discipline.



                                             132
        The Commission recognizes that in unusual cases institutions may appropriately include
as graduate faculty members those who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative
activity, or professional experience, but who may not possess the required academic credentials.
There also may be an occasion when a new graduate discipline is in its formative stage in higher
education and there are no faculty members available with academic credentials in the
discipline. In either case, when an institution presents evidence of competence or academic
credentials other than the doctorate in the discipline for its graduate faculty, it must justify the
employment of such faculty. (p. 46, lines 33 – 39, p. 47, lines 1 – 21)

        George Mason University defines the terminal degree as the earned doctorate in all
disciplines except fine arts (i.e., Art Studio, Dance, Theater, and Creative Writing), in which the
terminal degree is the M.F.A., and law, in which the terminal degree is the J.D. or LL.B.
        The majority of full-time and part-time faculty members teaching courses at the master‘s
and specialist degree level hold the terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related
discipline. In rare instances, departments employ faculty who teach at the doctoral degree level
and do not hold the terminal degree. These faculty members have demonstrated excellence
through other means sufficient to substantiate their employment within the teaching discipline.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

       The Commission encourages interdisciplinary courses and recognizes that appropriate
credentials for teaching may vary. The institution must document and justify the academic and
professional preparation of faculty members teaching in such courses or programs. (p. 47, lines
22 – 26)

        Much of George Mason University‘s curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature.
Departments with curricula that draw on more than one discipline seek out faculty who have
demonstrated strengths in those disciplines. Faculty rosters and curricula vitae document the
professional experiences and demonstrated contributions that departments cite to justify making
particular appointments.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file, for all full-time and part-time
faculty members teaching graduate courses, documentation of academic preparation, such as
official transcripts and, if appropriate for demonstrating competence, official documentation of



                                            133
professional and work experience, technical and performance competency, records of
publications, and certifications and other qualifications. (p. 47, lines 27 – 34)

        Academic units keep on file for all full-time and part-time faculty members
documentation of academic preparation. Documentation consists of either an official transcript
of the highest degree earned or a letter confirming the award of that degree from the registrar of
the institution. Faculty personnel files maintained by academic units also include curricula vitae,
letters of recommendation, and (in the case of tenured or tenure-track faculty) annual activity
reports submitted by the faculty member covering teaching; research/scholarship; advising,
administrative and professional service; and other evidence of merit. Supporting documentation
for each school‘s criteria for promotion and tenure demonstrate the types of information held in
each full-time faculty member‘s official file. Part-time faculty are encouraged to provide a
teaching portfolio for inclusion in their personnel files.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Procedures and Criteria for Performance Evaluation of the
       Schools, Colleges and Institutes of George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (1996). ―Teaching Performance Evaluation,‖ Part-Time Faculty Guide.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-time/perform.html, current on December 29, 2000.

         An effective graduate program depends on the scholarly interaction of faculty. The
appropriate number of faculty members to adequately support a program varies according to
discipline and the scope of the program. However, for each graduate degree program, an
institution must employ at least four qualified full-time faculty members whose responsibilities
include teaching in the program. All policies and regulations affecting graduate curricula, as
well as requirements leading to graduate credit, certification and degrees, should be formulated
by the graduate faculty or an appointed or elected group representing that faculty. (p. 47, lines
35-41, p. 48, lines 1-5)

        The Factbook‘s ―Full-time Faculty by Division/Department/Rank/Tenure Status, Fall
1999‖ lists the number of faculty members associated with each program. As this chart
indicates, most graduate programs employ at least four qualified full-time faculty members
whose responsibilities include teaching in the program. The following graduate programs do not
have at least four full-time faculty members affiliated with the program:

          Cultural Studies
          MA in Telecommunication
          Social and Organization Learning

These are interdisciplinary programs that draw on full-time faculty from several departments.
       All policies and regulations affecting graduate curricula, as well as requirements leading
to graduate credit, certification and degrees, are formulated by unit curriculum committees
comprising full-time faculty members who teach at the graduate level.


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Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Faculty Governance. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Faculty of the Schools, Colleges and Institutes of
       George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Ford, M. January 16, 2001. E-mail to Linda Schwartzstein Re: SACS Draft Report. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3 Faculty Organization,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 3 – 8.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/,
       current on November 28, 2000.
Graduate Council. (2000). Bylaws of the Graduate Council of George Mason University. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlfacstaff/bylaws.html, current on December 24, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Full-time Faculty by
       Division/Department/Rank/Tenure Status, Fall 1999,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook pp. 67 –
       68. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/,
       current on November 27, 2000.

4.8.2.4 Distance Learning Programs/Activities

        Institutions offering courses for credit through distance learning activities and programs
must meet all criteria related to faculty. Whether through direct contact or other appropriate
means, institutions offering distance learning programs must provide students with structured
access to and interaction with full-time faculty members. (p. 48, lines 6-12)

        Section 4.5 of this report provides information about the six programs currently offered
through distance learning methods. The instructors in those programs in general meet all criteria
related to faculty. The recently approved Distance Learning Mission Statement requires that
academic units developing new distance learning programs describe in their business plans how
the new program will comply with the Criteria.
        Every program provides for contact between students and the full-time faculty members
who teach in the program. Interaction takes place through e-mail, discussion groups and by
phone. In the case of the master‘s program in Systems Engineering, full-time faculty alternate
teaching on the Fairfax Campus with teaching in the Dahlgren facility. One of the reasons that
our distance learning policy is grounded in Northern Virginia is to make it possible for all
students to come to campus to meet with faculty (or, as with the MS in Systems Engineering, for
faculty to travel to distance-learning sites to meet with students), interact with other students, and
take advantage of the facilities of the three campuses.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―4.5 Distance Learning Programs,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.




                                             135
Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance Learning Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Report on Distance Learning Programs. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.

4.8.3 Part-Time Faculty

         The number of full-time faculty members must be adequate to provide effective teaching,
advising and scholarly or creative activity, and be appropriate to participate in curriculum
development, policy making, institutional planning and governance. The employment of part-
time faculty members can provide expertise to enhance the educational effectiveness of an
institution but the number of part-time faculty members must be properly limited. Part-time
faculty members teaching courses for credit must meet the same requirements for professional,
experiential and scholarly preparation as their full-time counterparts teaching in the same
discipline. (p. 48, lines 13-25)

         The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to provide effective teaching,
advising, and scholarly or creative activity, and is appropriate to participate in curriculum
development, policy making, institutional planning, and governance. For the 1999-2000
academic year, there were 881 full-time faculty (60% of the total faculty) and 594 part-time
faculty (40% of the total faculty) employed by the university. Full-time faculty teach a greater
proportion of the workload, accounting for 76% of the total. The university‘s faculty/student
ratio for Fall 1999 was 1:15.4. Sufficient faculty are provided in 2000-01 to maintain that ratio.
         Academic units determine the extent to which they will employ part-time faculty
members. Budgetary constraints and high enrollments (typically in lower-division undergraduate
courses) dictate that some units rely on the use of part-timers to a greater extent than they might
wish. At the same time, academic units and administration alike acknowledge the value of part-
time faculty. Part-time faculty enable full-time faculty to commit more time and resources to
research and service. Adjunct faculty who are hired from the ranks of practicing professionals
contribute valuable, state-of-the-art expertise. George Mason University has both a law school
and several professional master‘s programs that rely on adjuncts to provide insights into current
practices in their fields of specialization.
         George Mason University is fortunate to be able to draw its adjunct faculty from a region
that can boast particularly high levels of education and professional experience. Most adjunct
faculty members meet the same high standards for professional, experiential and scholarly
preparation as their full-time counterparts. Faculty rosters and curricula vitae document the
justification for all part-time appointments.
         The university recognizes the importance of limiting the number of part-time faculty that
it employs. The percentage of faculty who are part-time has remained fairly constant during the
past five years. The Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System seeks to expand programs
while preserving at least the current tenure track balance. Both the Research and Creativity
Subcommittee and the Learning Subcommittee of the strategic component of the self-study have
recommended that the university increase the percentage of faculty who are full-time. The
Institutional Performance Agreement has committed the university to increasing the number of
full-time faculty in order to increase contacts with students outside of the classroom, enhance




                                           136
research capacity and engage more fully in service to academic units, the university and the
community.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Initiative One: Equip All Students to Succeed in the
       Information Age,‖ Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University
       Institutional Performance Agreement. pp. 21 – 28. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also
       available at http://budget.gmu.edu/IPA.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Maintain Low Faculty/Student Ratio,‖ 2000-01 Budget
       Executive Summary. p. 16. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Report of the Learning Subcommittee,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume I1: Strategic Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Report of the Research and Creativity Subcommittee,‖
       Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume I1: Strategic Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―University Personnel by FTE and
       Headcount by Gender and Mean Age, Fall 1999,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook p. 64. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on
       November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

        Each institution must establish and publish comprehensive policies concerning the
employment of part-time faculty members. It must also provide for appropriate orientation,
supervision and evaluation of all part-time faculty members. Procedures to ensure student
access to part-time faculty members must be clearly stated and publicized. (p. 48, lines 26 – 32)

        The Office of the Provost publishes the Part-Time Faculty Guide, which covers policies
related to employment, course preparation, evaluating student work and administrative support.
It provides for evaluation of part-time faculty, including self-assessment through a teaching
portfolio, student evaluation, and peer review. The guide also orients adjunct faculty to
workplace policies, benefits and personnel information, and facilities and services available in
the university.
        Academic units are responsible for supervising part-time faculty. Supervisors of part-
time faculty are guided by policies in the Faculty Handbook and the Part-Time Faculty Guide.
        All part-time faculty members are required to provide students with a syllabus that lists
office hours, telephone number(s) and e-mail addresses by which they can be contacted.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―2.1.4 Part-Time Appointment,‖ Faculty Handbook. p. 10.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s1.html, current on December 31, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1996). Part-Time Faculty Guide. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-
       time/contents.html, current on December 29, 2000.



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4.8.4 Graduate Teaching Assistants

        The employment of graduate teaching assistants is a well-established practice in higher
education, but should be carefully monitored. An institution must avoid heavy dependence on
graduate teaching assistants to conduct classroom instruction. Each institution employing
graduate teaching assistants must provide a published set of guidelines for institution-wide
graduate assistantship administration, including appointment criteria, remuneration, rights and
responsibilities, evaluation and reappointment.
        Graduate teaching assistants who have primary responsibility for teaching a course for
credit and/or for assigning final grades for such a course, and whose professional and scholarly
preparation does not satisfy the provisions of Section 4.8.2 must have earned at least 18
graduate semester hours in their teaching discipline, be under the direct supervision of a faculty
member experienced in the teaching discipline, receive regular in-service training and be
evaluated regularly.
        The above requirements do not apply to graduate teaching assistants engaged in
assignments such as assisting in laboratory session, teaching physical education activities,
attending or helping prepare lectures, grading papers, keeping class records, and conducting
discussion groups.
        Institutions may appoint graduate teaching assistants for whom English is a second
language only when a test of spoken English, or other reliable evidence of the applicant’s
proficiency in oral and written communication, indicates that the appointment is appropriate.
        Institutions employing graduate teaching assistants must provide a structure for
administrative oversight at a level above that of the individual academic units to ensure
conformity with institutional policies and procedures. (p. 49, lines 1 – 35)

       George Mason University does not depend heavily on graduate teaching assistants to
conduct classroom instruction. The university has a relatively small pool of students who can
serve in this capacity. In Fall 2000, for example, 96 graduate students were the teachers of
record in 192 classes. The university is trying to increase the number of full-time graduate
students who have opportunities to teach in the classroom. We believe that well-monitored
teaching experiences benefit both the student and the university.
        ―Guidelines for Appointing Graduate Research & Teaching Assistants‖ describes the
appointment process, remuneration, rights and responsibilities, evaluation, and reappointment of
graduate assistants. Individual letters of appointment elaborate on this information. All graduate
teaching assistants have earned at least 18 graduate semester hours in their teaching discipline,
are supervised by appropriate faculty, receive in-service training, and are evaluated regularly.
       International students whose native language is not English must have a TOEFL score of
600 to be hired as a teaching assistant. If the student has primary responsibility for a class, the
student must also pass the ―SPEAK‖ test with a minimum score of 230. Graduate students for
whom English is a second language must also demonstrate to local academic unit administrators
appropriate ability with oral and written communication.
       The university provides administrative oversight to academic units that employ graduate
teaching assistants. ―Guidelines for Appointing Graduate Research & Teaching Assistants‖ is
published by the Office of the Provost. The publication is reviewed by senior staff in the




                                           138
provost‘s office, as well as by senior administrators in the library and the Office of Sponsored
Programs.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Academic Credentials and Curricula Vitae of George Mason
       University Faculty. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Faculty Rosters by Department, Fall 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Guidelines for Appointing Graduate Research & Teaching
       Assistants. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

4.8.5 Faculty Compensation

        An institution should provide adequate salaries and benefits to attract and retain able
faculty members. The institution should also provide a retirement plan, to which it contributes a
reasonable percentage of the cost, and a plan for adequate insurance coverage. Salary
increases must be based on clearly stated criteria. (p. 49, lines 36-39, p. 50, lines 1-2)

        The university provides adequate salaries and benefits to attract and retain able faculty
members. Turnover among tenured faculty is relatively low. The average time of GMU service
for full-time faculty is 11 years; for tenured faculty with the rank of Professor, the average is 14
years.
        George Mason University provides a retirement plan and insurance benefits, which are
described in the Faculty Information Guide.
        Salary increases take into account such factors as the prevailing rate of inflation and the
cost of living in the region. The magnitude of individual salary increments, however, depends
chiefly on performance. Local academic units, guided by the Faculty Handbook and their own
policies, determine how the performance of a faculty member is evaluated. Recommendations
for salary increases are forwarded to the Office of the Provost for review and approval.

Supporting Documentation

Bryant, W. (2000). Memo Re: Consolidated Salary Authorization for Faculty Positions in
       Institutions of Higher Education, 2000-2001. Richmond, Virginia: Office of the
       Governor.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Procedures and Criteria for Performance Evaluation of the
       Schools, Colleges and Institutes of George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―3.2 Salary Increases,‖ Faculty Handbook. p. 39. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c3.html#3.2,
       current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1995). ―Benefits,‖ Faculty Information Guide. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/fig.html#benefits, current on
       December 31, 2000.




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Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Full-Time Instructional Faculty Salary,
       Academic Years 1998-99 and 1999-2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 66. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on
       November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1996). ―Teaching Performance Evaluation,‖ Part-Time Faculty Guide.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-time/perform.html, current on December 29, 2000.

4.8.6 Academic Freedom and Professional Security

         Faculty and students must be free to examine all pertinent data, question assumptions, be
guided by the evidence of scholarly research, and teach and study the substance of a given
discipline. Institutions may endorse particular religious or philosophical beliefs, or specific
social principles as they relate to the institutional statement of purpose. Such beliefs and
principles may influence the curriculum and the selection of students, faculty and staff.
Nevertheless, institutions of higher education exist to further the pursuit and dissemination of
knowledge.
         An institution must adopt and distribute to all faculty members a statement of the
principles of academic freedom as established by the governing board, ensuring freedom in
teaching, research and publication. Institutional policies must set forth the requirement for
faculty members to carry out their duties in a professional, ethical and collegial manner that
enhances the purpose of the institution. Although tenure policy is not mandated, each institution
must provide contracts, letters of appointment, or similar documents to faculty members clearly
describing the terms and conditions of their employment. All policies regarding employment, as
established by the governing board, must be published and distributed to the faculty. If the
institution uses faculty ranks and tenure, the policies and procedures for promotion, for
awarding tenure, for providing adequate notice on non-renewal of a probationary appointment,
and for termination of appointments, including those for cause, must be clearly set forth in the
faculty handbook or other official publication. Termination and non-renewal procedures must
contain adequate safeguards for protection of academic freedom. (p. 50, lines 3 – 33)

        The university ensures that faculty members enjoy, in addition to academic freedom, the
same civil liberties as other citizens. The principles of academic freedom adopted by the Board
of Visitors are described in the Faculty Handbook, which is distributed to all members of the
faculty and is also available online. These principles guarantee the right to unrestricted teaching,
research and publication conducted in a professionally responsible manner. The Faculty
Handbook also describes faculty duties and responsibilities, including professional ethics, work
assignments, absences, availability for orientation and advising, and faculty responsibility under
the Honor Code.
        The university provides a letter of appointment to each faculty member clearly describing
the terms and conditions of employment. All policies regarding employment are published in the
Faculty Handbook. These include the university policies for promotion and tenure (pp. 18 – 23),
for providing adequate notice on non-renewal of a probationary appointment (p. 19), and for
termination of appointments, including those for cause (pp. 24 – 30). The university provides an
appeal procedure (p. 23) that safeguards academic freedom in termination and non-renewal
procedures. The Faculty Handbook also explicitly states that ―dismissals will not be used to



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restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or of their Constitutional rights‖
(p. 26).

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―2.7 Policies on Tenure,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 17 – 18.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s7.html, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.8 Procedures for Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure,‖
      Faculty Handbook. p. 18 - 23. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s8.html, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.9 Appeal Procedure for Negative Decisions in
      Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Cases,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 23 – 24. Fairfax,
      Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s9.html,
      current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.10 Policies and Procedures Relating to Severance,‖
      Faculty Handbook. pp. 24 – 30. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s10.html, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.11 Faculty Duties and Responsibilities,‖ Faculty
      Handbook. pp. 30 – 32. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s11.html, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.12.1 Academic Freedom and Civil Liberties,‖ Faculty
      Handbook. pp. 32 – 33. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s12.html, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). Examples of Faculty Appointment Letters. [Online]. Fairfax,
      Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/offer-letter/intro.html,
      current on February 21, 2001.

4.8.7 Professional Growth

         An institution must provide faculty members the opportunity to continue their
professional development throughout their careers and must demonstrate that such development
occurs. Among the means of accomplishing this goal are leaves of absence for study and
research, additional graduate work in the discipline, participation in professional meetings, and
in-service training, such as instruction in computer usage. The general tone and policies of an
institution must make it clear that individual faculty members are to take the initiative in
promoting their own growth as teachers, scholars and, especially in professional and
occupational fields, practitioners. (p. 50, lines 34-37, p. 51, lines 1-9)

        Faculty members have a responsibility to continue to grow as scholars and educators so
that they remain contributing members of the intellectual community. The Office of the Provost
oversees faculty development for the university, providing programs for research funding for
both tenure-track and tenured faculty and opportunities for study leave for tenured faculty. A
new Center for Teaching, scheduled to open in Fall 2001, will serve as a catalyst to: bring
together scholars in different disciplines who have common teaching interests; initiate
discussions on issues relating to teaching and research at the university; offer direction to both



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new and established faculty who want to improve their teaching effectiveness; and coordinate
and inform the university community about ongoing activities regarding the scholarship of
teaching.
        Support for participation in professional meetings and training is handled at the unit level.
Funds for travel and conferences are limited; faculty members can typically expect to receive no
more than $500 for this purpose in a given year.
        The university provides a number of resources for faculty in the use of information
technology. IT Training @ Mason (http://ittraining.gmu.edu/) links faculty members with
training opportunities through the Instructional Resource Center, University Computing and
Information Systems‘ Learning Resources Office, University Libraries, and the Student
Technology & Assistance Resource Center. The College of Arts and Sciences offers grants
through the Technology Across the Curriculum program to faculty who incorporate technology
into their courses.
        Faculty members can take advantage of the university‘s education benefit. All full-time
Mason employees may take six credits each semester. Both full-time and part-time faculty are
eligible for this benefit. Human Resources also offers training opportunities for faculty.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). ―Request for Proposals,‖ Technology Across the
       Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://cas.gmu.edu/tac/rfp/0001/rfp.html, current on November 28, 2000.
IT Training Council. (2000). IT Training @ Mason. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://ittraining.gmu.edu/, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―3.6 Faculty Development,‖ Faculty Handbook. p. 40.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c3.html, current on December 31, 2000.
Human Resources. (1999). University Administrative Policy No. 32, Subject: Employee Tuition
       Waiver Program. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://hr.gmu.edu/policy/admin-pol-32.html, current on December 31, 2000.
Human Resources. (2000). Training. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://hr.gmu.edu/training/, current on December 31, 2000.
IT Training Council. (2000). IT Training @ Mason. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://ittraining.gmu.edu/, current on December 31, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Faculty Support. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/support/support.htm,
       current on December 31, 2000.
University Publications. (1998 August 5). ―Faculty Members Travel Far and Wide this
       Summer,‖ The Daily Mason Gazette. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at
       http://gazette.gmu.edu/search/index.php3?mode=2&article=322&keywords=teaching,
       current on February 21, 2001.
University Publications. (2000 January 17). ―Provost‘s Office Announces Study Leave
       Recipients,‖ The Daily Mason Gazette. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at




                                            142
      http://gazette.gmu.edu/search/index.php3?mode=2&article=1467&keywords=study%20l
      eave, current on January 7, 2001.
Wood, W. (2001 January 23, 2001). E-mail to Wendy Payton Re: Faculty Who Use the
      Education Benefit. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

4.8.8 The Role of the Faculty and Its Committees

        Primary responsibility for the quality of the educational program must reside with the
faculty. The extent of the participation and jurisdiction of the faculty in academic affairs must
be clearly set forth and published. Much of their business will normally be conducted through
such structures as committees, councils, and senates, operating within the broad policies
determined by the administration and governing board. (p. 51, lines 10 – 17)

       The General Faculty is responsible for faculty participation in governance at the
university level. Under powers delegated to it by the General Faculty, the Faculty Senate
represents the faculty on all governance issues not internal to any single school or college. The
Graduate Council, established by the General Faculty, oversees the conduct of graduate
education. Local academic units, operating through their curriculum committees, have primary
responsibility for the quality of their educational programs.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Faculty Governance. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Faculty Senate. (1974). Charter of the George Mason University Faculty Senate. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/CHRTR99.HTM, current on December 31, 2000.
Faculty Senate. (1997). Bylaws of the George Mason University Faculty Senate. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/senate/BYLAWS.HTM, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Faculty of the Schools, Colleges and Institutes of
       George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1994). ―1.3 Faculty Organization,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 3 – 8.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/,
       current on November 28, 2000.
Graduate Council. (2000). Bylaws of the Graduate Council of George Mason University. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlfacstaff/bylaws.html, current on December 24, 2000.

4.8.9 Faculty Loads

       An institution must provide a faculty of adequate size to support its purpose. It must
have procedures for the equitable and reasonable assignment of faculty responsibilities—
including classroom instruction, academic advising, committee membership, guidance of student
organizations, and research and service to the public. The institution should have policies to
protect faculty members from assuming or being assigned internal or external responsibilities



                                          143
which might encroach upon the quality or the quantity of the work they are employed to perform
for the institution. The calculation of instructional loads should take into account such factors
as number of preparations, number of students taught, nature of the subject, and help available
from secretaries and teaching assistants. (p. 51, lines 18-32)

         George Mason University provides a faculty of adequate size to support its purposes of
teaching, research and service. The university‘s faculty/student ratio for Fall 1999 was 1:15.4.
Sufficient faculty are provided in 2000-01 to maintain that ratio, and Institutional Performance
Agreement initiatives that would fund additional faculty positions can improve it. Research
activity, as measured by number of doctoral programs or awards of externally funded grants, is
on the increase.
         Faculty work assignments consist primarily of teaching and scholarship, normally in a
ratio of 3 to 1. Service is also a component of the full-time faculty work assignment. Local
academic units prepare and maintain plans for the equitable allocation of teaching and scholarly
activities that will be components of the individual work assignments of their faculty. Unit
grievance procedures are available to address disputes about work assignments. The Faculty
Handbook provides guidance on the outside employment and/or business interests of faculty
members.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Policies on Faculty Assignments of the Schools, Colleges and
      Institutes of George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.11.2 Faculty Work Assignments,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp.
      30 – 31. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s11.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Component Two, New Initiatives to Enhance Educational
      Quality,‖ Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University Institutional
      Performance Agreement. pp. 20 – 54. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://budget.gmu.edu/IPA.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Maintain Low Faculty/Student Ratio,‖ 2000-01 Budget
      Executive Summary. p. 16. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

4.8.10 Criteria and Procedures for Evaluation

       An institution must conduct periodic evaluation of the performance of individual faculty
members. The evaluation must include a statement of the criteria against which the
performance of each faculty member will be measured. The criteria must be consistent with the
purpose and goals of the institution and be made known to all concerned. The institution must
demonstrate that it uses the results of this evaluation for improvement of the faculty and its
educational program. (p. 51, lines 33 – 35, p. 52, lines 1 – 6)

       Faculty are evaluated annually. Evaluation criteria are consistent with the purposes of
the university. According to the Faculty Handbook, candidates for reappointment, promotion
and tenure will be evaluated in light of the missions of the university, which are teaching,




                                          144
scholarship—both theoretical and applied—and service. Local academic units develop specific
criteria that define how teaching, scholarship, and service will be evaluated.
         George Mason University uses the results of faculty evaluations for the improvement of
the faculty and its educational program. Unit administrators discuss the results of the annual
evaluation with the faculty member. Laudatory evaluations can result in salary increases,
reappointment, promotion, and tenure for the faculty member. Unsatisfactory performance
ratings trigger actions as well. Full-time faculty members who receive an unsatisfactory rating
must develop a plan to remedy the stated deficiency. The university encourages faculty
members pursuing a plan of action for correcting unsatisfactory performance to avail themselves
of university resources designed to assist all faculty in professional development. Part-time
faculty members may be counseled to improve their performance or their employment may be
terminated.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (n.d.). Procedures and Criteria for Performance Evaluation of the
       Schools, Colleges and Institutes of George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty Handbook.
       pp. 14 – 15. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s4.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.5 Procedures for Evaluation of Faculty,‖ Faculty
       Handbook. pp. 15 – 16. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s5.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.6 Annual Evaluations,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 16 – 17.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s6.html, current on November 28, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1996). ―Teaching Performance Evaluation,‖ Part-Time Faculty Guide.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-time/perform.html, current on December 29, 2000.
Rossell, D. (2000). Memo Re: Post-Tenure Review Update. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.

4.9 Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements

         The Commission on Colleges recognizes the right of a member institution to enter into
consortial relationships and contractual agreements for the purpose of offering credit courses or
programs. However, the Commission reserves the right to prohibit the use of its accreditation to
authenticate credit courses or programs offered through such relationships. A member
institution which enters into such consortial relationships or contractual agreements must have
sufficient control of relationship/agreements so as to maintain compliance with the Criteria
when offering educational programs through such arrangements. All consortia and contracts
must be evaluated regularly. (p. 52, lines 7 – 19)

        George Mason University has entered into two consortial relationships for the purpose of
offering credit courses or programs. The university is a cooperating member of the Consortium



                                          145
of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. George Mason University serves as a host
institution for the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program. The university maintains
sufficient control of these relationships so as to maintain compliance with the Criteria. Both
programs have been recently evaluated.

Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area (CUWMA)

         Eligible students are provided the opportunity to benefit from the offerings of member
institutions and to enroll for courses at any of the participating institutions. Students register and
pay tuition at their home institution for all consortium courses. George Mason University
students may register for any course through the Consortium providing the courses are not
available at George Mason during the same semester and are not exempt from Consortium
registration at the visited institution. All coursework attempted by the George Mason student
must be authorized by the appropriate dean and chairman for the field of study in which the
student is enrolled at George Mason. Coursework is also subject to the requirements of the
particular school in which the student is enrolled. The Office of the Provost evaluated the
university‘s membership in CUWMA in 1999.

Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP)

       CGEP provides students in participating Virginia public institutions with the opportunity
to complete engineering programs at the master‘s level. Students apply to a degree program at
one of the five participating institutions. Program requirements are the responsibility of the
degree-granting institution and, subject to these requirements, courses may be taken from any of
the universities. Within the framework of departmental and graduate school approval, the
majority of courses must be taken through the student‘s home institution, and additional courses
approved by the home institution may be transferred between the four cooperating institutions.
       The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia provides additional oversight for
CGEP. Member institutions report annually on progress and results. In addition, Dr. Ernest T.
Smerdon of the National Science Foundation recently completed an assessment of the CGEP
program for SCHEV and the member institutions.

Supporting Documentation

Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. (2000). Consortium of
      Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. [Online]. Washington, DC: Author.
      Available at http://www.gmu.edu/academic/cuwma/, current on December 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Enrolling in Consortium Courses,‖ 2000 – 2001 University
      Catalog. pp. 28 – 29. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol4.html#Consort, current on December 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Northern Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Engineering
      Program,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog. p. 185. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also
      available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/site_grad.html#nova, current on December 28,
      2000.
Schwartzstein, L. (1999). Memo Re: CUWMA Membership. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
      University.



                                             146
Smerdon, E. (2000). Report to the Commonwealth of Virginia State Council of Higher Education
      for Virginia on a Review of the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP).
      Tucson, Arizona: Author.

       If an institution plans to participate in consortial relationships or enter into contractual
agreements for educational programs, it must follow reporting policies and procedures related
to substantive change. (See Commission’s substantive change policy regarding the initiation of
a consortium or contractual arrangements.) (p. 52, lines 7 – 25)

        The university did not report initial membership in either CUWMA or CGEP to the
Commission through the usual substantive change procedures. This lapse in our internal
procedures was described in Section 1.2 of this report. In future, the Office of the Provost will
report any plans to participate in new consortial relationships to the Commission on Colleges.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―1.2 Application of the Criteria,‖ Fulfilling Our
      Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

4.9.1 Consortial Relationships

        A member institution seeking to participate in a consortium degree or certificate program
must enter into such a relationship only with regionally accredited institutions offering degrees
or certificates at the same level. Exceptions must be approved by the Commission in advance of
the formation of or participation in the consortium. (p. 52, lines 26 – 32)

       All of the members of the CGEP consortium are regionally accredited institutions.

        The member institution must maintain the quality of all courses/programs offered
through the consortium.        Educational courses/programs offered through a consortial
relationship must be related to the teaching purpose of the institution and comply with the
Criteria. (p. 53, lines 1 – 5)

         The university maintains the quality of all of the courses and programs that it offers
through CUWMA and CGEP.
         All CUWMA coursework attempted by George Mason students must be authorized by
the appropriate dean and chairman for the field of study in which the student is enrolled at
George Mason. Coursework is also subject to the requirements of the particular school in which
the student is enrolled.
         George Mason University offers through CGEP only those graduate engineering
programs and courses that are part of the University Catalog and which have been approved
through conventional institutional and state-level processes. Courses from other CGEP member
institutions are accepted for GMU degree programs only after review by the program director or
adviser.




                                           147
4.9.2 Contractual Agreement

         Educational services and programs offered through a contractual agreement with
another institution or organization must support the purpose of the institution. The member
institution must maintain the quality of programs/courses offered through the contract and
ensure ongoing compliance with the Criteria. (See Commission document ―Guidelines for
Contractual Relationships with Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions.‖) (p. 53, lines 6 – 13)

        George Mason University offers some continuing professional education courses through
contractual agreement. These educational services and programs are described in Section 4.6 of
this report.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2001). ―4.6 Continuing Education, Outreach and Service Programs,‖
      Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

      If an institution enters into a teach-out agreement with another institution, it must submit
the agreement to the Commission for approval. (See Commission policy ―Teach-Out
agreements.‖) (p. 53, lines 14 – 17)

       Not applicable. George Mason University does not enter into teach-out agreements.




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                  SECTION V: EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES



5.1 Library and Other Learning Resources

General Note: The following acronyms are used throughout this section of the report:
      WRLC – Washington Research Library Consortium
      VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia
      ASERL – Association of Southeastern Research Libraries
      CRL – Center for Research Libraries
      OCLC – Online Computer Library Center
      SOLINET – Southeastern Regional Library Network
      DoIIIT - Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies
      UCIS – University Computing and Information Systems
      ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act
      MLS – Master of Library Science

5.1.1 Purpose and Scope

        Because adequate library and other learning resources and services are essential to
teaching and learning, each institution must ensure that they are available to all faculty
members and enrolled students wherever the programs or courses are located and however they
are delivered. (p. 56, lines 1-6)

   The George Mason University library system consists of five libraries:

              Fenwick Library (main university research library)
              Johnson Center Library
              Prince William Campus Library
              Arlington Campus Library
              School of Law Library (Arlington Campus)

        The first four libraries constitute the University Libraries, the mandate of which is to
serve the entire George Mason University community—students, faculty, and staff—in all
academic programs and disciplines with the exception of law. The Law Library‘s focus is
directed towards the academic programs of the School of Law, but it also serves the legal
research needs of students, faculty, and staff in the broader university. To varying degrees, all
five libraries are also open to members of the surrounding local communities.
        In addition, the George Mason University community has access to the Harper Library, in
the Institute for Humane Studies, an affiliated organization located on the Arlington Campus.
This library operates as an on-site, reference-only facility.
        The chief academic and administrative officer of the University Libraries is the
University Librarian and Director of Libraries, who reports to the Vice President for Information
Technology and Chief Information Officer. The University Librarian serves on the President‘s
Council and the Academic Support Council, and is a member, ex officio, of the Faculty Senate.



                                          149
The Faculty Senate, through a cognizant committee, provides an advisory role to the
development and operation of university-wide library services. The Law Library is administered
separately, directed by the Associate Dean for Research and Technology, who reports to the
Dean of the School of Law. Although there are separate administrative reporting lines for the
library system, the University Libraries and the Law Library provide services to the university
community in close cooperation, engage in a variety of collaborative activities and projects, and
share a common library management automated system (Endeavor‘s Voyager).
        The university‘s recognition of and commitment to excellence in library resources and
services is exemplified by its ongoing financial commitment: in the past several years, 6.4 –
6.6% of the E&G budget appropriation per student FTE has been devoted to library support. In
FY00/01, the University Libraries‘ operational budget totals $10.3M and the Law Library‘s
operational budget is approximately $1.8M.

Each institution must develop a statement of purpose for its library and other learning resource
services. (p. 56, lines 6 – 8)

         The mission of all of the George Mason University libraries is to support the teaching,
learning, research, service and cultural endeavors of all members of the university community.
Primarily focusing on enabling teaching and research, the libraries are the foremost means
through which students and faculty gain access to the universe of organized knowledge. In
enabling such access, the libraries perform a unique and indispensable function in the teaching-
learning-research continuum, and serve not only as intellectual commons, but also as sources of
institutional perspective for the university.
         Beyond the well-established role of the academic research library (that is, to select,
acquire, organize, make accessible, and preserve information resources, as well as instruct users
in its use), the University Libraries have assumed additional institutional roles in support of the
academic activities of the institution. New and broadened engagement in support of the
university‘s academic mission and goals include:

          coordinating the university web site, in collaboration with UCIS and DoIIIT
          partnering with DoIIIT to deliver instructional programs to the university community
           in the area of information technology skills enhancement;
          in conjunction with DoIIIT and UCIS, supporting a tiered-based Statistical Support
           Service for students and faculty requiring assistance with design of statistical studies
           and use of statistics software packages;
          providing centralized management and support for the university‘s Theses and
           Dissertation submission process; and
          assisting faculty, students, and staff with copyright-related services.

        The Libraries contribute to the institution‘s overall academic and service outreach
mission in substantial and varied ways. Recent examples of the Libraries‘ contribution include
active participation in the university‘s Celebration of Learning initiatives (academic year 1998-
99) and the regional Fall for the Book Literary Festival (September 1999 and 2000). Also, in
conjunction with the Faculty Senate Library Committee, the University Libraries appoint two
George Mason faculty members each year as Fenwick Fellows, providing them with office space
and financial support in the form of a modest stipend to engage in research projects using library


                                           150
resources. Most important, these fellowships have led to publication of scholarly articles and/or
monographs.
       The library staff‘s professional and service commitment contributing to and furthering
the university‘s mission and the libraries role in pursuit of institutional goals has been
documented in the ―Library Compact,‖ a product of two years of deliberation that was adopted
by All Library Staff consensus in July 2000.

The library and other learning resources must be evaluated regularly and systematically to
ensure that they are meeting the needs of their users and are supporting the programs and
purpose of the institution. (p. 56, lines 8-11)

        Because the library system has experienced phenomenal growth (three new, full-service
libraries have been established since 1995), a comprehensive evaluation of its programs and
services has not been considered an attainable goal in recent years. However, considerable
planning and assessment of academic needs and institutional goals have figured prominently in
the actual growth of the university‘s libraries—units, budgets, collections, services, staff, and
information technology—during the past decade. In addition, through a variety of organizational
mechanisms, including the library-academic department liaison structure, library services and
programs are coordinated with and respond to the needs of the university‘s academic programs
on an ongoing basis.
         Recognizing the importance of regular assessment (especially in view of the maturation
of the university library system), efforts were initiated in 1999 - 2000 through the University
Libraries‘ several functional standing planning groups to formulate plans to evaluate services and
related information resources. As these activities progress, a critical component of the process is
to obtain feedback from library users. The University Libraries conducted a user satisfaction
survey to elicit student, faculty, and staff input on library programs and services during the
Spring 2000 semester. The information collected included such areas as demographics, why and
when patrons use the library, library hours, collections and services, and use of the Washington
Research Library Consortium. An analysis of the 919 self-selected respondents shows general
satisfaction with the libraries: nearly 90% were satisfied or very satisfied in each area examined.
An analysis of the results of the survey can be found in the supporting documents.
        During February 2000, the law library also conducted an independent survey to assess the
level of law school student satisfaction with library services and facilities. An analysis of the
results of the survey can be found in the supporting documents. As a follow-up to the survey,
law library staff held a meeting with law students. As a result, hours were extended on a trial
basis for the Spring 2000 examination period (from midnight to 1:00 a.m.) and suggestions for
collections improvement will be considered.

        The scope of the library and other learning resources, the types of services, and the
variety of print and non-print and electronic media depend on the purpose of the institution.
Learning resources and services must be adequate to support the needs of users. (p. 56, lines
12-16)

       The combined holdings of the University Libraries and Law Library total nearly 920,000
volumes, nearly 12,000 current serials subscriptions, 340,000 government documents, 217,000
maps, 2 million microforms, 24,000 media audiovisual materials, and a steadily growing number



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of special and archival collections. Print collections are supplemented by widespread
implementation of networked electronic resources (more than 360 databases, including full-text
journals, electronic course reserves, and digitized special collections/archives materials),
vigorous interlibrary loan programs (including end user-initiated direct borrowing), intercampus
document delivery services and, increasingly, access and delivery of library services via digital
means.
        The collections and electronic resources of all five George Mason University libraries are
well-organized for efficient access. Currently there is no appreciable cataloging backlog at any
of the libraries. The Libraries‘ Online Catalog enables access to all holdings, as well as
materials that are on order or in-process for all of the libraries.
        The holdings of the Harper Library, Institute for Humane Studies—an interdisciplinary
collection of some 10,000 books in philosophy, history, economics, law, political theory,
sociology and literature—are available for student and faculty research. The holdings of the
Harper Library are included in the Libraries‘ online catalog as well.

The size of collections and the amount of money spent on resources do not ensure adequacy. Of
more importance are the quality, relevance, accessibility and availability and delivery of
resources and services, and their actual use by students, regardless of location. These
considerations must be taken into account in evaluating the effectiveness of library and learning
resource support. (p. 56, lines 16-23)

       The Libraries‘ solid service commitment to the university‘s undergraduate, graduate and
professional programs, among other constituencies, is characterized by:

          a strong library-academic department liaison program;
          an active reference/consultation and instruction program;
          a robust intercampus and interlibrary loan and documents delivery service, including
           online user-initiated direct borrowing from institutions within WRLC;
          a significant investment in information technology and service approaches utilizing
           digital resources and services;
          a dynamic collection development program, including a growing array of scholarly
           resources in digital format; and
          well-equipped library facilities (several of which are either new or newly remodeled)
           to facilitate maximum accessibility and use of library resources and attendant study
           and research.

        In addition, the university‘s local library resources and services are supplemented by the
Libraries‘ active participation in and involvement with several academic and research library
consortia, which significantly strengthen accessibility to a broader universe of scholarly
information resources and accompanying services.

Priorities for acquiring materials and establishing services must be determined with the needs of
the users in mind. (p. 56, lines 23-25)

       The Collection Development Policy of the University Libraries is a dynamic document
developed by librarians as both a philosophical and procedural underpinning to the process of


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collecting library research materials. Collecting is a responsibility undertaken by liaison
librarians in concert with faculty representatives from all academic units. The policy emphasizes
the teaching mission of George Mason University by focusing heavily on curricular-driven
research needs, as well as emphasizing the research mission of the university through the
building of more comprehensive collections in disciplines where the university has a stronger
graduate and research presence.
        Within the Law Library, all of the librarians, including the director, serve on a ―book‖
selection committee, chaired by the Collection Services Librarian. This committee has drafted a
written collection development policy that employs the Research Libraries Group‘s collection
intensity indicators. Selection of materials is made by this staff committee, and items over a
certain dollar amount are approved by the library director. Suggestions for purchase are also
actively solicited from the faculty by the library liaisons.

Supporting Documentation

Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Support of
       Statistical Software and Provision of Related Research Services. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.doiiit.gmu.edu/spss.htm,
       current on January 2, 2001.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―University Libraries,‖ 1999 – 2000
       Factbook pp. 85 – 89. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.
School of Law. (2000). George Mason University Law Library Collection Development Policy.
       Arlington, Virginia: George Mason University.
School of Law. (2000). George Mason University Law Library Student Survey. [Online].
       Arlington, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.law.gmu.edu/libtech/survey00.html, current on February 3, 2001.
School of Law. (2001). George Mason University Law Library Staff. Arlington, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). 2000 George Mason University Libraries Survey, Report and
       Analysis. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). InterCAMPUS Lending. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/services/intraill.html, current on February
       3, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Libraries. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Library Compact. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Standing Committees: Charges, Reports and Action Agendas.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). The Dissertation and Thesis Web Guide. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/dtabout.htm#submitting, current on
       January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). The Libraries. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/libinfo/, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). University Dissertations and Theses Service. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.



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University Libraries. (2001). Copyright Assistance Office. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Libraries. (2001). George Mason University Libraries Collection Development
       Policy. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). University Libraries Mission Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). University Libraries Organizational Chart. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
University Publications. (2000 September). ―Richards, Rothbart Chosen as Fenwick Fellows,‖
       Mason Gazette. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Washington Research Library Consortium. (n.d.). Direct Borrowing and Consortium Loan.
       Washington, DC: Author.
Zenelis, J. (1999). Programmatic/Administrative Reorganization of University Libraries. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

5.1.2 Services

       Each institution must ensure that all students and faculty members have access to a
broad range of learning resources to support its purpose and programs at both primary and
distance learning sites. (p. 56, lines 26-29)

        The university library system supports the teaching, learning, and research needs of the
students and faculty in the university‘s varied academic programs by providing modern,
technologically sophisticated environments for library staff and users of services and collections.
All students and faculty have access to a broad range of print, electronic, and multi-media
learning resources at the five libraries located at the Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington
campuses. Online access is provided to resources acquired or licensed by the Libraries, and also
to VIVA and WRLC resources available through the university‘s full participation in these
consortia. Remote access to electronic resources and services is available to all authorized
library users from virtually any computer with access to the World Wide Web, thus providing
library support for distance learning initiatives as well as for traditional on-campus students.
(See http://magik.gmu.edu/lso/proxy.html.)
        Through the distributed library sites and collaborative initiatives with UCIS and DoIIIT,
the Libraries serve students, faculty, and staff at all of the three campuses and play a critical role
in supporting distributed learning. The libraries serve a diverse population via the library web
site, online reference service, electronic course reserves, and other electronic services. Currently
University Libraries is investigating the implementation of a web-based system that will enable
delivery of real-time, virtual reference and instruction services. This will provide enhanced
service for distance learning students and other library users needing reference assistance when
accessing library resources remotely. Implementation of this service is planned during fiscal
year 00/01.
        Academic programs on the Fairfax Campus are served by two libraries, Fenwick and
Johnson Center. Fenwick Library, the university‘s main research library, holds most of the
University Libraries' collections, nearly 550,000 volumes. The library houses books, journals,
extensive microform collections, cartographic materials, and special collections and archives.
University Libraries has been a depository for U.S. government publications since 1960, on



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average selecting 51% of the items offered, and is also a full depository for Commonwealth of
Virginia documents. Fenwick also offers access to an extensive and diverse selection of
electronic resources, including bibliographic and full-text databases, online journals, and other
electronic texts. Interlibrary loan services are based in the Fenwick Library and facilitate the
borrowing of materials among the George Mason University library sites, from other WRLC
libraries, and from academic libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia, ASERL
institutions, and other universities and/or commercial vendors. The Fenwick Library facility, the
oldest of the five libraries, is in need of renovation in order to provide the best access to the
learning resources housed there. Funding has been allocated and plans are underway to make
needed modifications to the building.
         The Johnson Center Library, located in a multi-purpose academic/student activity
building, complements the Fenwick Library by providing access to course reserves, media
services, reference assistance, and library instruction emphasizing access to electronic
information. Innovative open stacks, automated self-check technology, numerous public access
computers (including e-mail express computers), and group viewing/study rooms contribute to
the learning environment of the Johnson Center Library. The Johnson Center Library collection
was originally designed as a ―foundations‖ (that is, undergraduate) collection, but now includes
selected discipline-based collections as well. The open book stacks arrangement provides direct
and unimpeded access to collections for all visitors to the Johnson Center building. The security
of collections housed in this facility is currently being evaluated based on results of annual
inventories. The Johnson Center Library administers the Electronic Course Reserves Service,
providing access to course reserves from any of the library sites and from the library user‘s home
or workplace. (See http://jcweb.gmu.edu/.)
         Through the Arlington Campus Library, University Libraries serves the academic
programs at the Arlington Campus with general academic library programs and services, and
provides support for specialized programs and centers. Collections include the European Union
depository documents (both print and microform), current unbound journals, current newspapers,
print reference materials and monographs. With continued growth of the academic programs at
this campus, the Arlington Campus Library will be required to build stronger information
resources (in all formats) in public policy, non-profit management, business, economics,
education, technology, and other disciplines. The collections are being developed to provide
quality support for the students and faculty based at the campus and the James M. Buchanan and
Mercatus centers, as well as the regional professional and business community. In order to
provide adequate space for access to these collections, University Libraries has submitted a
proposal for library space in the Arlington Campus Phase II Building Plan.
         The School of Law Library, also located at the Arlington Campus, provides access to the
resources that support the law school curriculum and the law school faculty‘s research needs.
The library supports the law school‘s specialty tracks, which include intellectual property,
corporate securities law, international business, litigation, and regulatory law. Library resources
also support the National Center for Technology and Law, the Law and Economics Center, the
Law and Psychiatry Center, and various legal clinics.
         The Law School Library‘s collection consists of the core Anglo-American resources,
supplemented by a large microform collection. The library is a federal depository library,
selecting 12.5% of available documents. The law library‘s print collection includes the federal
court reporter series and the law reporters of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin
Islands; federal statutes and codes, and all states‘ annotated codes; treaties and other international



                                             155
agreements of the United States; federal and state administrative decisions; and published
regulations of the federal government, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The
library also purchases significant secondary materials to support the curriculum and subscribes to
all federal, state, and specialized Shepards and pertinent legal indexes. The Law School Library
provides access to online legal information through licensing agreements with LEXIS and
WESTLAW, as well as to all other electronic resources made available by the University
Libraries.
        University Libraries also serves the academic programs and university partnerships of the
Prince William Campus. This campus has a research emphasis in biosciences, bioinformatics,
biotechnology, and computer and information technology.                Other areas of study are
administration of justice, engineering, business, computer science, education, health, fitness, and
recreation. The library provides a full array of electronic databases, circulating and reference
collections, media collections, library programs, and services to support these academic
programs. A significant component of the Prince William Campus Library collection and
services is the university‘s close partnership with the American Type Culture Collection
(ATCC). ATCC is a global bioscience organization that houses the world‘s largest and most
diverse archive of biological sample materials. ATCC serves as a biological product supplier
and an industry service provider, offering technical services and educational programs to private
industry and academic organizations. (See http://www.atcc.org.)
        Circulating materials and journal articles located at any of the three campuses are
available to authorized library users at all library sites, including the law school library, via a
daily courier service. As a member of WRLC, the University Libraries provides all sites with
access to the collections of the consortium member libraries, and as an active participant in
VIVA—The Virtual Library of Virginia Project—timely information delivery and efficient
interlibrary loan service is provided from all other Virginia academic libraries. All library users,
including students enrolled in distance education courses, have access to library resources via the
Libraries‘ World Wide Web site. Access to the Libraries‘ library management system (online
catalog, circulation, and electronic reserves), electronic resources (bibliographic, full-text, online
journals, etc.), and electronic forms for requesting services (interlibrary loans, reference) are
available via the Libraries‘ web site. (See http://library.gmu.edu.)
        To ensure consistent access to learning resources for all faculty and students, University
Libraries‘ recent programmatic and administrative reorganization provides the infrastructure to
coordinate the development of collections and provision of services for all of the libraries. The
University Libraries‘ standing planning committees, which include staff from the Law Library,
are reviewing access, reference, user education, collection, technology, and professional
development/training policies, making the modifications needed for a distributed library system.
As the libraries continue to refine policies and procedures and collaborate with the other
university information technology units, equitable access to learning resources will be ensured at
the distributed university campuses and libraries, as well as remotely, via electronic access. A
librarian position has been tasked with assisting the development and coordination of distance
learning and outreach services for University Libraries, and will ensure continued fulfillment of
this goal.
        George Mason University is committed to providing enhanced service and reasonable
accommodations to self-identified students, faculty, and staff with disabilities to facilitate access
to programs and activities at the university pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. University Libraries supports this



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commitment by providing a variety of access services, assistive technology, and other assistance
using library resources. The Associate University Librarian for Distributed Libraries has been
designated as the libraries‘ contact for ADA and disability related issues and requests for
reasonable accommodations. The incumbent in this position serves on the University‘s Assistive
Technology Initiative Steering Committee, along with representatives from UCIS, Human
Resources, EEO/ADA Office, Disability Resource Center, and the Kellar Center for Human
disAbilities.
         TTY/TDD service is available at all three campuses. Upon request, library staff will
assist library users to retrieve books, photocopy materials, use information technology, and will
provide other assistance, as needed. The Arlington Campus, Johnson Center, and Prince William
Campus libraries have established Assistive Technology Labs to provide access to electronic
library resources, thus assuring this service to users at each campus. Each lab contains
workstations equipped with voice recognition software, text magnification screens, print
enlargement monitors, screen reading software, and scanning software with speech output and
magnification. Printers have the capability of printing enlarged font and labs are equipped with
ADA-compliant computer tables. Additional software and hardware are added as requested or
identified by the Disability Support Resource Center. The Johnson Center Library Instruction
Room, the primary library instruction facility on the Fairfax Campus, is equipped with
technology permitting the magnification of sound for the hearing impaired.
         Accessibility improvements have been made to the Fenwick Library facility. These
include the installation of a wheelchair lift, ADA-compliant signage at appropriate height,
elevator accessibility features, ramps, automatic doors, and accessible restrooms. Newly
constructed library facilities include accessibility features in their design. For example, all
shelving in the Johnson Center Library is compliant with ADA height and width requirements.
However, the Fenwick facility has been unable to retrofit the stacks area to meet the ADA height
and width requirements due to space and funding restraints.
         There are a number of other identified disability services needs not yet met by the
libraries. These include better promotion and dissemination of information regarding the
services and resources available for individuals with disabilities. In addition, assistive
technology is needed in the Fenwick Library facility and the Law School Library. Another area
that the libraries are beginning to address is the accessibility of the University Libraries‘ web
site. The library web team redesigning the web site will address accessibility issues, following
established recommendations of the W3C. The redesigned library site will include instructions
and links enabling library users to convert PDF files to HTML so that full-text documents and
electronic reserves materials can be read by a screen reader. Further facilitation of accessibility
enhancements for persons with disabilities are being addressed as part of the Libraries‘ Access
Services Planning Committee action plans.

Basic library services must include an orientation program designed to teach new users how to
access bibliographic information and other learning resources. Any one of a variety of methods,
or a combination of them, may be used for this purpose: formal instruction, lectures, library
guides and user aids, self-paced instruction and computer-assisted information. Emphasis
should be placed on the variety of contemporary technologies used for accessing learning
resources. (p. 56, lines 29-34, p. 57, lines 1-4)




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        The University Libraries‘ Instruction Program reaches library users at all levels—
undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Several layers of instruction compose a multi-
faceted instruction program that is still developing and growing. These include basic orientation
to the physical facilities of the Libraries; basic introduction to the information resources of the
Libraries for freshmen, transfer students, and other students new to the university; course-related,
subject-specific instruction offered to students in majors and specific fields; and advanced,
customized instruction available to individual students by appointment. ―University Libraries
Instruction Program‖ provides a description of instruction options available.
        Currently under development is a web-based tutorial designed to teach basic information
literacy concepts through scenarios, appealing graphics, and self-assessment quizzes (as well as
―certification‖ quizzes upon which students will be graded). This tutorial covers the basics of
database searching, the Libraries‘ online catalog, article databases, and the Internet. It has
already been through three pilot phases (spring and fall semesters, 1999, and spring semester,
2000). (See a prototype of the web tutorial at http://library.gmu.edu/training/webtut.) Among
the key issues relating to the tutorial are: the need for continual review and improvement, with
appropriate staffing and oversight; the need for assessment quizzes working seamlessly with the
web tutorial proper; and most importantly, increasing the web tutorial‘s visibility and acceptance
across the university. The scalability of the tutorial to large student populations—such as the
approximately 1,800 English 101 students each year—is an instructional challenge that will
require additional staffing resources, an issue that will be addressed in fiscal year 00/01.
        The Law Library‘s reference staff provides orientations for first-year students, develops
handouts and point-of-use guides, and teaches students and others at the reference desk. Classes
are taught in legal research, writing, and analysis. The reference staff‘s involvement in this
program continues to grow, with librarians working with third-year students on independent
study projects that further develop students‘ research and writing skills. The law reference
librarians also work closely with law school faculty through liaison assignments, offering
consultations on specialized print and electronic resources.

Libraries and learning resource centers must provide students with opportunities to learn how to
access information in different formats so that they can continue life-long learning. (p. 57, lines
4-7)

        The university library system‘s extensive information resources in a variety of forms and
formats—monographs and print journals, microformats, digital, multimedia, statistical software
packages, and geographical information systems (GIS)—provide a wealth of learning
opportunities, which the libraries promote through a variety of methods. The liaison librarians,
in their relationships with academic programs, discuss all of the appropriate formats necessary
for research in specific disciplines and make students and faculty aware of resources that they
might not use otherwise. Liaison librarians have developed specific subject guides addressing
some of those formats, such as government documents and data sources in business. The
Libraries‘ general Electronic Information classes also promote the use of databases, journals, and
monographic collections. Special ―Build Your Own Technology Expertise (BYTE)‖ classes
offered to faculty and selectively to graduate students promote electronic journals and other
electronic resources.
        The Libraries‘ web site performs multiple ―awareness‖ functions in promoting diverse
formats—by consolidating databases into both alphabetical and discipline-specific listings, by



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highlighting electronic journals, by providing links to subject guides, by pointing to special
digitized resources such as photographs and primary documents from the Libraries‘ Special
Collections and Archives department, and by promoting especially noteworthy or new resources
on the Libraries‘ home page under ―Spotlight,‖ a headline feature. The Special Collections and
Archives department has designed a variety of finding aids to assist users in tapping highly
specialized resources in special collections. Media formats such as videotapes, CDs, laserdisks,
audiotapes, and multimedia formats are all described in a special Media Guide, also available on
the Libraries‘ web site. To promote statistical software packages, the Libraries offer consulting
services through a staff member with specific expertise in that format, and a guide to using this
consulting service is also available. Similarly, GIS support is provided to students and faculty
working with spatial and census data.
        The Libraries select, acquire, organize and make accessible scholarly information in a
wide variety of formats, from traditional print materials and microforms to computer files to
multimedia to statistical software packages and GIS. The proliferation of formats continues,
especially in the digital media arena. Consequently, the university‘s libraries have invested
significantly in technology over the years to make newer formats accessible and visible to the
university community. At the same time, the Libraries constitute the university‘s archival
repository, and specialized collections of local and regional interest are the primary focus of the
Special Collections and Archives department. Pamphlets, maps, drawings, blueprints, personal
papers and oral histories, and other materials in the curatorial custody of this department
constitute a rich resource for both student and faculty learning, teaching, and research.

Librarians must work cooperatively with faculty members and other information providers in
assisting students to use resource materials effectively. (p. 57, lines 7-10)

        The foundation of the University Libraries‘ strong working relationship with faculty is
the liaison librarian system, for which librarians are recruited, hired, trained, and assigned to
work with faculty and students in specific academic programs and departments. Currently there
are more than 20 liaison librarian positions, all of them with reference, instruction, and collection
development responsibilities.
        Liaison librarians‘ responsibilities range from consulting with faculty about acquiring
specific scholarly resources, to assisting graduate students with thesis or dissertation research, to
responding to undergraduates‘ questions and research assistance in specific courses. Liaison
librarians meet with faculty and students on an individual basis through office appointments as
well as working at the reference desks. At the request of faculty, liaison librarians teach course-
related classes in search strategies and information evaluation, and promote the use of new
resources such as full-text electronic journals in those classes. Liaison librarians from all
distributed campuses collaborate on collection development projects and assist each other with
learning new resources so that they can better serve the students and faculty in their assigned
programs and departments. They promote such services as electronic reserves and assist faculty
in making contacts with appropriate library staff and copyright assistance staff to ensure
compliance with copyright guidelines. By understanding the curriculum, curricular trends,
faculty and student research interests, as well as a wide range of information resources, liaison
librarians are the critical component of the Libraries‘ outreach to the university community.




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        Libraries and learning resource centers should provide point-of-use instruction, personal
assistance in conducting library research, and traditional reference services. This should be
consistent with the goal of helping students develop information literacy - the ability to locate,
evaluate, and use information to become independent life-long learners. (p. 57, lines 11-17)

        The university‘s libraries provide all of the traditional methods of instruction as well as
newer methods such as web-based tutorials. Point-of-use instruction is available through printed
handouts explaining the library‘s online catalog, electronic reserves system, database searching,
and resources in a wide range of disciplines. Because ―point-of-use‖ increasingly occurs at the
user‘s desktop rather than in the library, many of these guides have been placed on the library‘s
web site to allow self-instruction at any time and any place. Personal assistance in conducting
library research is available through liaison librarians, who make appointments with students and
faculty for research consultations—either with individuals or small groups. Such research
consultations focus on in-depth research needs not readily addressed at reference desks.
        A range of reference services—from basic reference assistance in locating needed
information resources, to expert assistance using electronic databases, to in-depth research
consultation—is offered at all of the libraries. At library reference service points, emphasis is
placed on teaching individuals research strategies when appropriate, as well as locating
information. All of these methods focus on general research concepts that contribute to
information literacy. With the creation of the Libraries‘ web tutorial, a set of four modules
designed to teach information literacy, the University Libraries will be providing a more
consistent foundation for university- and curriculum-wide initiatives focused on information
literacy.

Adequate hours must be maintained to ensure accessibility to users. Professional assistance
should be available at convenient locations during library hours. (p. 57, lines 17-18)

        The university library system maintains an extensive schedule of operation enabling
access to collections and services for students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the
general public. The Fenwick Library and Johnson Center Library are open 106.5 hours per week,
providing service seven days a week, during the academic year. The Arlington Campus Library
and the Prince William Campus Library respond to the needs of faculty and students and consult
with local campus administrations to provide the widest range of open hours possible to support
academic programs at their respective campuses. With hours at each library tailored to meet the
needs of its campus constituencies, library users are given the opportunity to visit the library
most convenient to them geographically and at a time that best suits their schedules. Reference
staff are scheduled at reference service points in each of the libraries during the periods of high
demand, with librarians on duty all hours but early morning and late night hours.
        University Libraries also provides extended hours immediately before and during final
examinations each semester at each library. The Johnson Center Library offers extended hours
at mid-term and follows the lead of the Johnson Center building operations by remaining open
during periods when the university is officially closed in instances of inclement weather or
holiday periods. Appropriate University Libraries‘ support staff and librarians are designated as
essential personnel and are responsible for staffing one or more of the libraries when the
university is otherwise closed due to inclement weather.




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       The Law Library maintains a weekly schedule of 94 hours during the regular academic
year and 101 hours during examination periods. At other times, it follows the schedule of the
School of Law building operation. Access to the library and most services is available to all
George Mason students, faculty, staff, alumni, as well as attorneys, government employees, and
members of the community.

      Library collections must be cataloged and organized in an orderly, easily accessible
arrangement following national bibliographical standards and conventions. (p. 57, lines 21-23)

        The university library system employs the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2d ed.
(AACR2) and Library of Congress Classification System to catalog and classify its collections.
University Libraries applies the Superintendent of Documents Classification System to organize
federal government documents holdings. Journal holdings, however, are not classified; they are
housed separately and organized by title. The OCLC national bibliographic system is used as a
primary source for cataloging records. Where no OCLC record is available, University Libraries
and Law Library catalogers create original MARC-standard records for our own catalog that are
then contributed to the OCLC shared cataloging database. University Libraries uses a similar
commercial service, MARCIVE, to obtain bibliographic records for government documents.
The university library system‘s online catalog supports the full U.S. MARC format for
bibliographic records.
        With the exception of some U.S. government documents, all of the Law Library‘s
collection is cataloged and accessible through the university library system‘s online catalog.
Much of the Law Library‘s collection is classified according to the Library of Congress
classification schedule, but many parts of the collection (for example, state statutes and court
reporter series) are arranged alphabetically or by jurisdiction. The Law Library publishes a
guide to the collection that provides a locator for frequently requested titles by stack number.

Students and faculty must be provided convenient, effective access to library resources needed in
their programs. Convenient, effective access to electronic bibliographic databases, whether on-
site or remote, must be provided when necessary to support the academic programs. (p. 57, lines
23-28)

         As described earlier, students and faculty have access to a wide range of library
resources, including electronic resources, to support their academic programs at all campus
libraries. University Libraries provides access to more than 300 bibliographic and full-text
databases, covering a wide range of disciplines, and in many cases offering full-text access to
journal articles and other materials in a variety of formats. University Libraries independently
licenses many databases, which are selected by liaison librarians in consultation with
departmental faculty to support the academic programs of the university. (See
http://library.gmu.edu/resources/databases.html.) A carefully selected set of networked and
stand-alone CD-ROM databases is accessible only from within the libraries, but their number has
been in decline due to their conversion to web-accessible products. The Libraries' facilities,
technology and service delivery infrastructure enables library staff to readily respond to student
and faculty needs within the context of a distributed library system.
         Because digital resources are budgeted outside departmental fund lines, in recent years
the Libraries have been able to rapidly expand electronic holdings. In terms of quantity and



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subject coverage, the electronic resources available at George Mason compare favorably to peer
institutions within the Washington metropolitan area (for example, George Washington
University and American University), and within the state (in comparison to other Virginia
doctoral degree granting institutions). The Libraries also are able to supplement centrally
funded databases with discipline-specific electronic resources purchased from department-
specific fund lines where appropriate.
         As is noted in Section 5.1.5 (Cooperative Agreements) below, George Mason
University‘s full participation in WRLC enables the Libraries to offer preferential, extended
access to research materials of several other university libraries in the region. In addition to
WRLC library onsite access, George Mason‘s students and faculty have available to them a
responsive and timely inter-institutional document delivery service. This service is quickly
becoming an enhanced circulation service among the member libraries for both returnable and
non-returnable items (Consortium Loan Service).
         Also as noted above, special attention is given to ensure that full access is available to
persons with disabilities. The Johnson Center Library, the Arlington Campus, and the Prince
William Campus libraries are equipped with assistive technology hardware and software
permitting individuals with disabilities to better utilize library resources. Reasonable
accommodations are made to assist individuals, whether they are on-site or contacting the library
remotely. Librarians and other reference staff will retrieve materials from the stacks, read
citations from print indexes, and assist disabled library users in the use of information
technology.
         Authorized library users can access library-provided databases remotely via the
University Libraries‘ proxy server. Detailed instructions on how to configure one‘s browser to
the proxy server are outlined on the Libraries‘ web site. Through the proxy server, University
Libraries is able to comply with licensing agreements restricting the use of databases to
university-affiliated users, while providing remote access to authorized university library users.
Continual improvements are made to the web site to provide better access to and use of the
electronic resources, both bibliographic and full-text. The University Libraries‘ Systems Office
has developed a database wizard (a dynamically generated HTML file of databases) which
facilitates the selection of the most appropriate databases for specific information needs.
Accessible as an alphabetical list or by subject area, the wizard provides assistance to both the
novice and the more sophisticated user seeking guidance as they begin their research. The web
site also provides a list of links to electronic journals, and the online catalog has embedded links
to electronic journals and electronic course reserves. A redesign of the University Libraries‘
web site is being planned, with improvements to remote access as one of the priorities. A page
designed for distance learning faculty and students will be added to the site as services for this
group of library users are enhanced. This effort will be coordinated by the librarian responsible
for distance learning and outreach activities.
         The Law Library subscribes to specialized legal databases, such as LEXIS, WESTLAW,
and CALI, providing students and faculty with access to these services, along with more than
300 web-based databases, bibliographic and full-text, through the university‘s membership in
VIVA and WRLC. The law library provides faculty access to the e-mail version of Current
Index to Legal Periodicals, its spin-off product, SmartClip, and to the Social Science Research
Network. Law school students and faculty wishing to access electronic resources remotely may
do so via University Libraries‘ proxy server. The Law Library also provides remote access to
LegalTrac, which is available to all law students, faculty, and staff. In addition, the library‘s web



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site provides a gateway to online compilations of related legal sources of American law that are
available without charge. (See http://www.law.gmu.edu/libtech/researchclass.html.) Many of
these are federal or state web sites providing access to statutes, regulations and court decisions.

       Libraries and other learning resource centers must have adequate physical facilities to
house, service and make library collections available; modern equipment in good condition for
using print and non-print materials; provision for interlibrary loan services designed to ensure
timely delivery of material; and an efficient and appropriate circulation system. Libraries
should provide electronic access to materials available within their own system and electronic
bibliographic access to materials elsewhere. (p. 57, lines 29-38)

Physical Facilities

        The library system‘s physical facilities provide a range of research and learning
environments to support the academic programs of the university. On the Fairfax campus
Fenwick Library was, until 1995, the only library serving George Mason‘s academic programs.
In fall 1995, the Johnson Center Library opened, and University Libraries was further enlarged
with the addition of the Prince William Campus Library in 1997 and the Arlington Campus
Library in 1999. Also in 1999, the Law Library moved into larger space within the newly built
School of Law building.
        As the oldest and largest facility in University Libraries, Fenwick Library has been and
continues to be the library-based research center of the university, providing both a traditional
setting conducive to quiet study and research, as well as technology and equipment for access
and use of digital and other non-print informational resources. Individual study rooms are
provided on a first-come first-serve basis, and a conference/instruction room is available for
seminar and class instruction.
        Fenwick Library was designed to be a connected system of sections or towers, to be
realized gradually in five phases (I through V). Phases I through III, representing the current
configuration of A-Wing, B-Wing and C-Wing, were built in 1967, 1978 and 1982, respectively.
The building facility includes a total stack space of 58,306 square feet, total
study/reading/service space of 19,360 square feet, and 11,190 square feet assigned to staff
offices. Total assignable square feet is 88,856. Phases IV and V have not been built as
originally planned. (See Fenwick Library Floor Plans.)
        The lack of additional collection space has adversely affected Fenwick Library‘s ability
to provide ready access to print and electronic collections, collections that have increased
markedly over the years to meet the expanded research needs of the university. Currently there
are 44,354 linear feet of shelving for the circulating collection, 12,583 linear feet of shelving for
the bound periodical collection, 4,690 linear feet of shelving for the reference collection, and
4,060 linear feet of shelving for government documents. Additional space and shelving is
allocated for Special Collections & Archives, microform collections, and cartographic materials.
        Primarily because of overcrowding of the Fenwick stacks, approximately 27,000 volumes
from the circulating collection, predominantly education and music materials, were moved to the
Johnson Center Library for both space and programmatic reasons. In addition, 20,400 pre-1980
periodical volumes were transferred to the Arlington Campus Library. Even with the transfers of
these materials, the Fenwick Library continues to face a space crisis. A space planning task
force was formed in 1998 and charged to assess the space needs of the Fenwick Library and to



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formulate recommendations for renovation. The task force‘s report describes in further detail the
space issues present in the research facility and has submitted recommendations for renovation to
the University Librarian. Beginning with FY00/01, the university has approved modest funding
for a multi-year, phased renovation project of the building designed to improve service points,
enhance technology, and expand collection growth capacity.
         The Johnson Center Library (JCL) occupies nearly one third of the Johnson Center,
which totals approximately 320,000 square feet. The library features a state-of-the-art library
instruction room, equipped with 35 networked computer workstations for student use. There are
approximately 1,650 designated library study, lounge and table seats available, along with 22
group study rooms. The stacks area housing the library‘s circulating collection is comprised of
13,500 linear feet of shelving, which will accommodate 100,000 volumes at 85% capacity. The
circulating collection presently numbers approximately 66,000 volumes. The JCL also houses
the University Libraries‘ media collection, the Course Reserve service for the Fairfax Campus,
as well as the University Libraries‘ Electronic Reserves program. Located within the hub of this
multi-purpose building, the combination ―controlled‖ and ―open space‖ library is inviting to
contemporary undergraduate students and allows University Libraries to participate in fostering a
sense of community within the university. (See http://jcweb.gmu.edu/.)
         The Prince William Campus Library (PWL) occupies approximately 10,000 square feet
on the first floor of Academic Building I. Built in 1997, and located 22 miles from the Fairfax
Campus, the library provides library collections and services in a digitally networked setting.
The library provides standard circulation, course reserve, reference, and instructional services to
its campus constituency, as well as to the university‘s major affiliate partner ATCC. The library
contains an instruction room, a computer lab, group study rooms, and networked computer
workstations and media equipment. The PWL has approximately 7,500 square feet of public
space, 3,000 linear feet of shelving and seating for approximately 118 library users. In 1998,
PWL‘s space was augmented by a small ―library annex‖ on the first floor of Academic Building
II, which houses primarily bound volumes of older journals. (See Prince William Campus
Library Floor Plan.)
         Located 16 miles from the Fairfax campus, the Arlington Campus Library (ACL)
occupies the renovated space of the old School of Law Library facility, on the ground floor of the
campus‘ ―original‖ building, and serves all of the university‘s non-law academic programs at
Arlington. Opened in Spring 1999 (through the merger of two previously separate small
libraries), ACL has approximately 26,000 square feet, over 20,000 linear feet of shelving, and
190 seats. University Libraries provides remote collection space to the Law Library, which plans
to utilize up to 10,000 square feet (8,000 linear feet of shelving), primarily for international law
materials and superceded state codes.          The library has an assistive technology room, a
computerized library classroom, as well as networked computer workstations and other library
equipment. Aside from housing the relocated pre-1980 periodicals volumes from Fenwick
Library, the ACL library collection is very small at present. However, with the projected growth
of the Arlington Campus in the future, the collection and services of the library will grow
accordingly. Longer term, the ACL will probably acquire additional, more suitable space as part
of the planned Arlington Campus Phase II building program. (See Campus Library Floor Plans.)
         In January 1999, the Law Library moved into the new School of Law building. The
facility contains all new furnishings, shelving and much new equipment. The total net square
footage in the new building is 30,000 square feet, an increase from 26,272 in the old facility.
The new library has a total of 27,873 linear feet of shelving compared to the 21,000 in the old



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space. In the new facility approximately 6,216 linear feet of shelving is currently available for
collection growth. The first and second floors of the new library have generous collection
growth space, but the third floor is already crowded and will require shifting and repositioning of
shelving in the future.
         Due to reallocation to other university functions of a portion of space originally planned
for the School of Law, the Law Library facility presents navigational challenges for library users.
Moving from floor to floor in the library is awkward because the central staircase that was
originally intended to extend from the ground floor to the top floor was truncated at the second
floor. Library users must exit the library into an auxiliary stairwell to reach the third floor, and
take another path to return to the first floor of the library. This results in a security problem for
the library‘s collections. Although the use of the elevator provides the necessary transition
between floors, better signage is needed to assist users. Another peculiarity in the design of the
building prohibits a uniform quiet study space for students. An opening remains in the ceiling
between the third floor and the fourth floor, which houses the Institute for Humane Studies
Library (an independent, university affiliated organization). Sound carries between floors,
creating a noise problem.
         There are a total of 320 student seats in the Law Library, with all carrels and tables wired
for laptop connectivity. There are five group study rooms, two computer labs, and a microform
room. The circulation desk, reference office and technical services staffs are all located on the
first floor, in close proximity to one another, providing improved communication and better
service to patrons.

Equipment

        All university library system facilities provide publicly accessible computer workstations
for searching the online catalog, networked databases, and other web-based information
resources. Networked-connected laser printers are available in all of the libraries, as are
microform reader printers and photocopiers. Additionally, audio-visual related equipment is
maintained and made available for use of the Libraries‘ media resources.
        In Fenwick Library, the reference area is equipped with 50 networked computer
workstations, Government Documents/Maps/Statistical Support Services has microform
reader/printer equipment and several computer workstations, and the Periodicals area is equipped
with 18 microform reader printers (a few with digitization capabilities). We are currently
investigating use of thin client technology to place computer terminals on the upper floors of the
Fenwick towers for access to the catalog and other information resources. As the oldest of the
University Libraries‘ buildings, the Fenwick Library presents the greatest number of challenges
to adequate wiring and networking. However, continued collaboration between the Libraries and
UCIS has provided full access to the complete range of information technology.
        The Johnson Center Library has a total of 70 computer workstations located in the public
areas of the controlled library and in the library electronic classroom. In addition to workstations
to access networked and web based resources, the Johnson Center Library provides I MAC
machines for use of multi-media materials and assistive technology workstations to assist
individuals with disabilities. University Libraries contributes a combination of space and/or
equipment to provide 32 e-mail express computers in the open space library and 16 computers to
the outer ring of the building‘s central Information Desk. The media service area located in the
controlled Johnson Center Library provides 36 VCR‘s, six laser disk players, 15 CD Players, five


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audio tape players and two DVD players for student use. The electronic classroom is equipped
with 18 student workstations, an instructor station and a ceiling-mounted data/video projector.
Classroom tables are modular and easily configured into numerous seating patterns for
instruction, lecture, conferences, and meetings. Library-conducted instruction is the top priority
use for the classroom, but other information technology units may schedule the facility for
training if the room is not reserved for library instruction.
         The Prince William Campus Library has 26 public access workstations, 5 e-mail express
computers, 10 VCRs, and a microform reader printer enabling students to view the growing
media collection, access the online catalog and conduct research using the electronic databases
available through University Libraries. Similarly, the Arlington Campus Library has 36
computer workstations located in the public area and library instruction room and audio and
video media equipment. Microform reader printers are available for the European Union
documents on microform and other microform materials.
         The Law School Library provides six public online catalog workstations on the first floor
of the library, and has placed additional catalog workstations on the second and third floors. The
library has two computer labs for student library users, with 25 Pentium 400 computers in each
lab. A variety of software, including Microsoft Office Professional, WordPerfect, and Internet
applications are available on these computers.              Stand-alone LEXIS and WESTLAW
workstations are housed in one of these labs.
         Access to the Law Library‘s computer labs is limited to George Mason University law
school students and is controlled with a keypad lock. UCIS provides staffing for the labs.
Students may access the Internet, LEXIS, WESTLAW, and e-mail using a laptop at any of the
library‘s wired carrels or tables. The library also provides a portable TV/VCR that can be
checked out to a small group study room to view videotapes from the library‘s small collection.

Document Delivery Services

        University Libraries operates Interlibrary Loan services centrally from the Fenwick
Library, with all other site libraries participating in the processing and retrieval of loans.
Additionally, with the creation of the Prince William Campus Library and the Arlington Campus
Library, the Interlibrary Loan office has coordinated the intercampus lending of materials among
the university‘s distributed site libraries.
        Within VIVA, George Mason University provides and receives a 48-hour processing
turn-around on loans to and from other VIVA institutions. The university‘s students, faculty, and
staff can now self-initiate borrowing of materials (returnable and non-returnable) from WRLC
member libraries via WRLC‘s ALADIN system. Through the WRLC Media Share service,
faculty are able to borrow media materials from other WRLC media collections. George Mason
University is also an active shared resources participant of ASERL‘s reciprocal no-charge,
priority Interlibrary Loan service. In addition, George Mason‘s associate membership in the
Center for Research Libraries enables access to significant holdings of unique and rare research
materials. With these ongoing consortial arrangements and a growing university population, the
volume of inter-institutional borrowing and lending activity has increased significantly over the
past several years.
        Interlibrary loan services are provided to School of Law students and faculty. Photocopy
and document delivery of articles and other materials from the Law Library is provided to the
school‘s teaching faculty. The Law Library borrows materials for authorized library users via



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VIVA, WRLC, ASERL and CRL, providing fast, efficient access to materials not available on-
site. A new full-time Documents/Interlibrary Loan classified position was recently added to the
staff, providing better support for this function.

Circulation System

         After using the NOTIS library system for over eight years, the University Libraries
migrated to Endeavor‘s Voyager client-server library management system in Fall 1997. Voyager
has proven to provide a user-friendly online catalog, and within the last two years there have
been many enhancements to the system. The system is used to support circulation activities at
all site libraries and has been interfaced with 3M self-check technology for end-user circulation
in the Johnson Center Library. Course Reserves staff utilizes the online system to process all
reserve records, which are displayed in the online catalog by course and faculty name. Within
the last year, direct links have been made from the online catalog record to electronic journals
and E-reserves documents, providing an integrated listing of course reserves, regardless of
format. George Mason‘s participation in WRLC affords authorized university library users
reciprocal borrowing with other member libraries through George Mason‘s and WRLC‘s
ALADIN system (also an Endeavor Voyager platform). Having complementary systems permits
circulation transactions among all member libraries.
         The Law Library is first and foremost a specialized academic research library, with the
goal of having legal research materials available for use within the library. In order to provide
full access to the collection and to prevent the loss of research materials, most library books do
not circulate outside of the library. For those items that do circulate, the Law Library uses the
shared Voyager online circulation system with the other university libraries. Resources available
to students and faculty are further expanded through WRLC‘s ALADIN system. The processing
and cataloging of print course reserves and electronic reserves is completed using the online
catalog, with electronic reserves documents posted to the web in collaboration with University
Libraries Course Reserves staff.

Suggestions

        We believe the University Libraries comply with the Criteria for services. At the same
time, the self-study has provided an opportunity for us to consider areas in which the Libraries
could improve services. University Libraries should:

             Move from a bibliographic instruction model to an information literacy model in the
              instruction program. This will require closer collaboration with the faculty, the
              Associate Provost for General Education, DoIIIT and the new Teaching and Learning
              Center (to be created during the 2000/01 academic year).
             Strengthen interlibrary loan, document delivery, and direct borrowing services
              through technological means and active participation in and contribution to consortia
              (VIVA, WRLC, and ASERL), as well as commercial document delivery as
              appropriate.
             Further enhance service to the university community through increased promotion
              and awareness of the Libraries‘ electronic resources and through offering new




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           services such as virtual (real-time) reference; strengthen outreach through the
           Libraries‘ liaison program.
          Especially in Fenwick Library, enhance service and user areas for greater visibility of
           services, patron ease of use and interaction with staff, and overall attractiveness,
           appeal, and comfort through appropriate renovations and modifications. Longer term,
           but within the next five to ten years, enlarge Fenwick Library by building an
           additional wing (Wing D) to the current building complex.
          Improve access to services and resources for individuals with disabilities, to be
           accomplished through building renovation; review of the university‘s master plan for
           enhancing facilities to address disability support issues, and identification of further
           areas to improve support for persons with disabilities.

Supporting Documentation

Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. (2000). ASERL. [Online]. Atlanta, George:
       Author. Available at http://aserl.solinet.net/, current on February 3, 2001.
Center for Research Libraries. (2000). Welcome to the Center for Research Libraries. [Online].
       Chicago, Illinois: Author. Available at http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/, current on January
       2, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). Fenwick Library Space Planning Task Force, Summary
       Report with Recommendations. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
School of Law. (2000). ABA Self-Study 2000 Draft, Library and Technology. Arlington,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (2000). The Virtual Library of Virginia.
       [Online]. Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.viva.lib.va.us/, current on
       January 2, 2001.
The Virtual Library of Virginia. (2000). List of VIVA Licensed Databases. Richmond, Virginia:
       State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
University Libraries. (n.d.). George Mason University Libraries Basic Guide to Research.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (n.d.). Maps/Floor Plans of Library Facilities. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Accessing Restricted Information Sources from Off-Campus
       Computers. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://magik.gmu.edu/lso/proxy.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Annual Statistical Report of Interlibrary Loan, 1999-2000 FY.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Informational and Subject Guides. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Libraries. (2000). Interlibrary Loan. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/services/ill.html, current on February 3,
       2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Library Research Materials Budget/Expenditure Reports. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). Activity Report: Web-based Services Offered by University
       Libraries. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.


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University Libraries. (2001). Biennial Report, 1998/2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Libraries. (2001). George Mason University Libraries Access Policy. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). Report of Disability Services Subcommittee, Access Services
       Planning Committee. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Washington Research Library Consortium. (2000). Welcome to WRLC. [Online]. Upper
       Marlboro, Maryland. Available at http://www.wrlc.org/, current on January 2, 2001.

5.1.3 Library Collections

       Institutions must provide access to essential references and specialized program
resources for each instructional location. (p. 58, lines 1-3)

        The university‘s library system serves George Mason‘s undergraduate, graduate, and
professional programs with a collection of approximately 900,000 volumes and significant
numbers of other format holdings, supplemented by multiple local, statewide, and multi-state
consortial arrangements, vigorous use of interlibrary loan and document delivery, and an
expanding array of networked electronic scholarly resources. Academic programs are distributed
across the three campuses of the university, with a concentrated majority at the Fairfax Campus,
and more specialized academic programs at the Arlington and Prince William Campuses.
        Libraries at each of the campuses provide broad-based collections of essential reference
materials and specialized program resources in conjunction with the academic needs of each
academic program at each location. Liaison librarians based in each of the libraries serve as
collection developers, and essential items are duplicated to ensure access to necessary items at
each instructional site. Each library‘s reference service is staffed with librarians familiar with
specialized resources located at these libraries, and the University Libraries‘ new web-based
electronic reserves provide campus-wide access to a formerly place-bound collection of
necessary instructional materials. Because no multi-campus library system can afford large-scale
duplications of important but non-essential materials, a daily intercampus delivery service
provides requested materials to patrons in a timely fashion.
        Because no university library system could possibly meet all the specialized research
needs of its academic constituency, the Libraries‘ Interlibrary Loan Service can expeditiously
supply research materials not held among the holdings of the George Mason‘s library system
(including the Law Library). Additionally, students, faculty, and staff have borrowing
privileges at other universities in the metropolitan region that are members of the WRLC, and a
new electronic system (available via the online catalog) has been instituted to efficiently process
borrowing requests from consortium libraries. This WRLC Consortium Loan Service is online-
accessible and patron-initiated. The system handles requests for journal articles, as well as books
and other returnable items. The system will soon be enhanced, enabling the electronic transfer of
other research materials via the web.
        The Law Library‘s collection consists of all the core Anglo-American legal resources,
available in print, microform, and electronic formats. The library is also a Federal depository,
selecting 12.5% of the documents available. The library‘s treatise collection reflects the law
school‘s emphasis on law and economics and has been built around the school‘s specialty tracks,
including intellectual property, corporate and securities law, international business, litigation,



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and regulatory law. In addition, the Law Library has strong tax and labor law collections.
        The Law Library has begun to acquire specialized materials to support the new National
Center for Technology and Law and the Center for Law and Psychiatry. In academic year 99/00,
the School of Law added a new Juris Masters program that is fully supported by ongoing
collection development activities. The library fully supports law faculty research by acquiring
all requested materials to meet their research needs. The library also endeavors to fill student
requests for new acquisitions whenever possible.

Access to the library collection must be sufficient to support the educational, research, and
public service programs of the institution. (p. 58, lines 3-5)

        Library collections are primarily developed by subject liaison librarians working in close
contact with instructional and research faculty, especially those appointed or elected as
departmental library liaisons. Collection decisions are based upon the curricular needs of
academic units and the research needs of departmental faculty and students. Library resources,
including all holdings in the Commonwealth of Virginia Documents Depository (comprised of
100% of all available documents), the Federal Depository Library Program (representing slightly
more than half of U.S. Government publications), and the European Union Documents
depository are made available to the broader community as well.
        Access to library holdings, including digital resources, is universally available throughout
each of the five libraries at the three university campuses. Physical holdings at each library
location are housed in open stacks available to all library patrons. Student and faculty
researchers may request items held at other library locations, and the relatively recently
implemented intercampus delivery system provides rapid and convenient access to these library
materials. In addition to providing universal and easy access to research materials within the
George Mason library system, University Libraries has interlibrary loan agreements with local,
regional, statewide and national library consortia (WRLC, VIVA, and ASERL). Both the
University Libraries and the Law Library participate in OCLC's Interlibrary Loan
program/service.
        The large increases in the research materials budget of the mid-1990s have ceased. Since
that time the acquisitions budget has not consistently received increases sufficient to fully cover
anticipated inflation; however, the Libraries have been able to purchase research materials at the
levels needed and expected of this growing institution. Because of our relative newness and,
until the last 7-8 years relatively small collections budgets, we had not built an extensive
collection of expensive serials until more recent years. Consequently, the Libraries did not have
to make disruptive and unpopular cuts in serials as required at so many other institutions. We
have been able to target an increasingly large proportion of our funds to electronic resources,
without too adversely affecting our purchases of other formats; however, our ever-increasing rate
of book collecting peaked in FY 1997 and has been declining since then (though it is still far
above pre-1995 levels). Because we anticipate a real expansion in our e-resource purchases in
coming years, we will need new monies beyond inflationary costs in order to avoid any further
drop in our book collection rates.
        The University Libraries will be undertaking its first comprehensive assessment of its
complete collections in all formats during 2000 and 2001 as part of a WRLC collection
evaluation project. This assessment will involve all subject specialists and will be coordinated




                                            170
by Collection Development Officers using the Research Libraries Group/Washington Library
Network Conspectus software. A preliminary report should be available by April 2001.
        In 1994 and 1995, initiated by the anticipated opening of the Johnson Center Library in
1995, all existing collections in Fenwick Library were thoroughly reviewed for possible transfer
to the new facility. Since then, there have been several targeted evaluations and weeding
projects in different areas of the collections.
        In terms of electronic resources, the University Libraries‘ state-of-the-art technology
enables researchers with Internet service to access electronic bibliographic and full-text
databases via an authenticating proxy server, whether they be on campus, at home, or doing
fieldwork outside the country. Over 75% of the Libraries‘ electronic resources are networked
and available via the World Wide Web. Other (mainly CD-ROM based) electronic resources are
networked and accessible from computer workstations at each of the libraries.

The collections of print and non-print materials must be well organized. (p. 58, lines 5-7)

        All items, regardless of format, are fully cataloged according to accepted national
professional standards, and are classified by Library of Congress and Superintendent of
Documents classification schemes. The Libraries‘ online catalog, which is accessible to all
library users in each campus library, on campus via the network, or anywhere off-campus via the
Internet, includes all cataloged items and their locations. The Libraries‘ vast array of online
bibliographic and full-text databases are made available to users at any location via a ―database
wizard,‖ which indexes and sorts electronic resource offerings according to subject category at
the user‘s request. In addition to active links between many of the Libraries‘ electronic
databases and local holdings, the online catalog has been enhanced with live electronic links to
each full-text electronic journal subscribed to by the Libraries. Researchers may also access
electronic full-text resources via the Libraries‘ web site, which lists and provides links to
electronic journal full-text holdings.
        Regarding the physical organization of collections, monographs are classified according
to Library of Congress classification scheme and the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd
edition. Collections are housed in well-marked open-stack areas.
        Federal government documents are classified according to the U.S. Superintendent of
Documents classification scheme and materials are housed in a dedicated area on the first floor
of Fenwick Library (Wing C). Print materials are shelved in open stacks, and microfiche and
electronic materials are located in a search room within the Government Documents research
area.
        In each of the libraries, periodicals are arranged alphabetically by title. All media—
including sound and video recordings and music scores—are located in a dedicated ―Media
Library‖ space within the Johnson Center Library. Special Collections & Archives are housed
on the second floor of Fenwick Library (Wing C), and collections maintained following standard
archival practices. Web-based finding aids serve as a resource guide and index for researchers.
Reference collections are centrally located in ―reference room‖ designated areas, and are easily
accessible upon entering each library.
        Monograph and periodicals collections have been growing at a noteworthy 6% average
annual increase. To address immediate space concerns and plan for future collections growth in
the next five to seven years, a Space Planning Task Force was appointed and worked actively
throughout 1999. The task force performed an extensive needs analysis of spatial requirements



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at Fenwick Library, and presented these findings in summary recommendations in the ―Space
Planning Task Force Report.‖ This has resulted in a university decision to fund a modest multi-
year renovation project of Fenwick Library in order to use available space more effectively and
efficiently. Short-term measures have been taken as needed, including relocating materials from
Fenwick to other libraries: monographic collections (Biography, Education and Music) to the
Johnson Center Library in 1998, and older bound periodicals (pre-1980 imprints) to the
Arlington Campus Library in 1999.
        The new Law Library has adequate space and well-planned facilities to house and
provide access to its collections of 225,000 volumes, approximately 1 million microform units,
and electronic resources. Adjacent to the book stacks, there are 320 seats, including five group
study rooms, more than adequate seating for the library‘s primary constituency. (All of the study
carrels and tables in the library are wired for network access, allowing library users to access
electronic resources from their laptops.) The library provides computer workstations, microform
reader/printers, and other equipment to access and use library resources. Almost all of the Law
Library‘s holdings are cataloged/classified and accessible through the Libraries‘ online catalog,
as well as WRLC‘s ALADIN system.

Institutions offering graduate work must provide library resources substantially beyond those
required for baccalaureate programs. (p. 58, lines 7-9)

         Since 1993, rapidly increasing library acquisitions budgets have enabled University
Libraries to achieve an unprecedented growth in collections. Monograph collections have grown
at a robust 6% average rate of increase, and a significant number of library resources bear
publication dates from 1990 to the present. Serials collections have also been significantly
enhanced, with an average of well over 100 new subscriptions to scholarly journals per year.
This figure is especially notable given the contemporary trend at many other academic
institutions to reduce serials subscriptions due to extreme cost increases.
         Using an allocation formula heavily weighted for institutional factors such as semester
hours and degree programs, master‘s and Ph.D. programs receive funds proportional to academic
level. Fund lines for new upper-level degree programs are established as soon as the University
Libraries is informed of the university‘s plans to offer a new degree program. Using approval
plans, selectors efficiently monitor and fine-tune acquisitions, ensuring comprehensive coverage
for academic subjects and areas of knowledge of particular interest to the George Mason
University academic community.
         A consortium partnership with VIVA and WRLC (which provides access to more basic
electronic resources) allows the Libraries to concentrate funding on upper-level resources.
Electronic resources offered include a high number of scholarly bibliographic databases and
citation indexes, as well as full-text article databases.
         Monograph (and bound periodical) collections at University Libraries will number
approximately 700,000 as of January 2001. (With the Law Library‘s holdings, this number
increases to 900,000 volumes.) This figure represents an increase of approximately 75% since
our last self-study and accreditation process. The real strength of the University Libraries‘
collection is its currency; based on decisions made during this timeframe to focus on new
publications and current research, our collection is very strong in post-1990 imprints (and
especially post-1995) imprints.




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        The weakness in our collection is in its earlier monographs. However, we have been able
to use expedited interlibrary loan services and shared borrowing, especially with consortium
partners, to address this issue. In addition, through an active gifts program, we are able to add
retrospective materials to the collection, though the effect has been sporadic and somewhat
accidental subject to the availability of materials gifted to the Libraries. It is significant to note
here that in the 2000 Library User Satisfaction Survey, 70-75% of those patrons surveyed
responded ―very satisfied‖ and ―satisfied‖ to questions about monographic and periodical
collections.
        Our serials collection has grown steadily to more than 7,000 current subscriptions,
including all types of periodicals, representing an increase of more than 100% during the 1990s.
As mentioned, we have not had to institute any systematic serials cuts during this time. It is a
steadily growing, targeted collection that appears to be meeting the needs of researchers. The
retrospective weakness, along with a need to develop breadth of coverage, is now being
addressed increasingly through electronic journals. (For example, GMU is a charter member of
JSTOR.)
        The third collections category surveyed in the 2000 User Satisfaction Survey was
electronic resources, which received an 87% ―very satisfied/satisfied‖ response. This is a
particular strength within the university library system collections. Because of our membership
in VIVA, we are able to provide electronic resources worth two to three times the amount that
we would expend to license resources directly. Taking advantage of VIVA-provided resources
allows the Libraries to concentrate on more specialized and focused needs in our e-resources
program, as well as being able to afford more expensive e-resources.
        Partly because our monograph purchasing power has not been eroded over the past 10
years by serials inflation, we have managed to develop a strong and flexible approval plan for
books. As the number of books acquired on approval rises, the number of firm orders that we
must place drops. Based on recommendations of a task force that examined technical services
processes during 1999, the University Libraries‘ Technical Services has embarked on a program
of reengineering its procedures, especially in acquisitions, through the incorporation of new
technologies.
        Special Collections and Archives is a relatively small but highly productive operation,
encompassing some 80 focused collections with concentrations in the performing arts, planned
communities, Virginia and general history, and politics. Already heavily invested in digitally
publishing its collections, Special Collections has in 2000 taken on the full coordination and
advisory role for theses and dissertations for the university.
        With the opening of the Johnson Center Library in 1995, all of our Fairfax-based media
equipment and collections were merged in this new facility. A large range of viewing or play-
back equipment for all formats is complemented by a media collection that has grown by nearly
175% in the past ten years.
        The Libraries‘ microforms collections have grown by approximately 130% during the
1990‘s. These consist chiefly of ERIC documents on microfiche to serve the Graduate School of
Education, and periodicals and journals backruns. In 1999, a program to upgrade microform
reader-printers to digital output-capable units was started. Thus far two of these advanced
machines have been added.
        George Mason University Libraries is a 51% Federal Depository Library, a full
Commonwealth of Virginia Depository, and a depository for European Union documents. While
all of the U.S. and EU documents are fully cataloged, there is currently less electronic



                                             173
bibliographic access to Commonwealth documents, and all document items are not individually
bar-coded. The Government Documents librarian oversees a technology center within the
Documents area of Fenwick Library which, in addition to access, offers assistance with most
CD-ROM and Internet-delivered government documents.
        Collections at our Prince William Library facility have been extensively developed based
upon that campus' unique mix of academic programs, particularly biotechnology, bioinformatics,
criminal justice, and educational technology. Acquiring the extensive current and retrospective
journals collection in the biosciences in a partnership with the American Type Culture Collection
(ATCC) has served as a bedrock of this collection. The challenge facing the University Libraries
now is to be equally successful at building a responsive collection at the Arlington Campus
Library.
        The Law Library provides a core collection of essential materials through ownership or
reliable access, in strict adherence to Interpretation 606-7 from the American Bar Association
accreditation standards for law school libraries. A detailed analysis of the Law Library‘s serials
holdings, the largest proportion by far of its holdings, is presented in the School of Law 1999-
2000 Self-Study, especially in the ―interpretation 606-7‖ section.

Librarians, teaching faculty, and researchers must share in the development of collections, and
the institution must establish policies defining their involvement. (p. 58, 9-12)

         University Libraries has for many years used a liaison librarian model, in which subject-
area librarians work closely with elected or designated departmental faculty liaisons who
represent their department‘s needs in the collection development process. Currently, more than
20 subject-specialist librarian liaisons (many with a subject master‘s degree in addition to the
MLS) work with over 45 academic units. The Collection Development Policy fully outlines
collecting policies and procedures. Library liaisons meet regularly with faculty liaisons to assess
existing collections and plan for future collections. Library surveys have been used to query the
university research population about perceived general collection weaknesses or inadequacies.
         Because approximately 44% of the University Libraries‘ $4.2M research materials
budget is allocated directly to department fund lines, academic faculty are empowered to be
active co-participants in the collection development process. As noted earlier, allocations are
determined by applying a multi-variable formula weighted to reflect changes in program size and
level and materials costs. Additions to the library collections are determined by subject-specialty
liaison librarians in concert with departmental faculty representatives.
         Liaison librarians use several approval plans to aid them in the collection development
process; they consider departmental needs and faculty input when designing and maintaining
each subject collecting profile. Approval plans for monographs consist of 45 profiles created to
reflect the research and study needs of the university‘s curriculum. Approval plans are updated
annually, and approval plan-allocated funds account for an additional 14% ($550,000) of the
University Libraries‘ research materials budget. Faculty are asked to specify how requests for
new serials titles relate to curriculum. Requests for materials are solicited and encouraged from
faculty, staff, student, and community researchers through several channels, including e-mail, the
Libraries‘ home page, and request forms at each library. A new online request form is currently
in development, which should prompt library users for information-rich requests for new
materials.




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        The Law Library bases its collection development policy on the Law School curriculum
and the school‘s faculty research needs. It also supports the specialty tracks, the National Center
for Technology and Law, the Law and Economics Center, the Law and Psychiatry Center, and
the various legal clinics. All of the librarians participate in collection development and the
library has developed a written collection policy.
        Within the Law Library, all of the librarians, including the director, serve on a book
selection committee that is chaired by the Collection Services Librarian. This committee has
drafted a written collection development policy that employs the Research Libraries Group‘s
collection intensity indicators. Book selections are made by this committee, and items over a
certain dollar amount are approved by the library director. Suggestions for purchase are also
actively solicited from the faculty by the library liaisons.

        Each library or learning resource center must have a policy governing resource material
selection and elimination, and should have a procedure providing for the preservation,
replacement, or removal of deteriorating materials in the collection. (p. 58, lines 13-17)

        The Collection Development Policy of the University Libraries outlines policies and
procedures governing the maintenance of collections. In general, policies governing evaluation,
weeding, and collection development rely upon the judgment and cooperation of librarians and
academic department liaisons working together. The Libraries‘ circulating, reference, and bound
periodical collections are regularly maintained with systematic shelving, shelf-reading, and
weeding of collections. Missing items are replaced regularly. However, because of the general
newness of George Mason‘s library collections, the Libraries currently do not have a well
articulated preservation initiative, other than ongoing binding activities and limited preservation
undertakings within the Special Collections & Archives department.
        Since 1990, we have increased our annual binding expenditures by more than 100%, and
we will allocate approximately $80,000 for binding in FY 2001. In FY 1998 we began to fund a
preservation program for Special Collections & Archives to selectively preserve materials.
Furthermore, Special Collections & Archives has been heavily involved in the digital
preservation of collections since the mid-1990s, taking a leadership role in the region and within
the Washington Research Libraries Consortium.

Suggestions

        We believe the University Libraries comply with the Criteria for library collections. At
the same time, the self-study has provided an opportunity for us to consider areas in which the
Libraries could improve the collection. University Libraries should:

             Develop, implement and maintain a Disaster Response and Recovery Plan,
              encompassing all George Mason University Libraries.
             Develop, implement and sustain an ongoing Preservation Program for library
              resources.
             Based upon results of the conspectus collection analysis project, review and update
              collection development subject profiles consistent with the current needs of academic
              programs.
             Collect use statistics for electronic resources used locally and remotely, as well as


                                             175
           traditional resources used within the Libraries; analyze data to aid in collection
           development decisions.
          Based on the Fenwick Library Space Planning Task Force report, develop a plan for
           renovation of public service points as well as phased expansion of shelving capacity
           to accommodate collection growth over the next 6 – 8 years.
          With university academic planners, develop a review process to ensure adequate
           library resources for new graduate programs.
          Re-engineer technical services processes, with a focus on acquisitions and
           bibliographic control activities, based on the recommendations of the Processing Re-
           engineering Task Force.
          Investigate avenues to enhance retrospective holdings, including the use of digital
           texts.
          Taking into account space and cost ramifications, consider integrating periodicals
           with the circulating books collection.
          Increase efforts to digitize and publish the university‘s unique collections, especially
           Special Collections & Archives holdings.

Supporting Documentation

Blackwell‘s. (2000). Collection Manager. [Online]. Lake Oswego, Oregon: Author. Available at
       http://www.blackwell.com/services/cm/CM.html, current on January 2, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). Fenwick Library Space Planning Task Force Summary
       Report with Recommendations. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Rein, L.O., Hurley, F.P., Walsh, J.C. and Wu, A.C. (1993). Formula-Based Subject Allocation: A
       Practical Approach. The Haworth Press, Inc.
School of Law. (2000). George Mason University Law Library Collection Development Policy.
       Arlington, Virginia: George Mason University.
School of Law. (2000). George Mason University School of Law 1999-2000 Self-Study.
       Arlington, Virginia: George Mason University.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (2000). The Virtual Library of Virginia.
       [Online]. Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.viva.lib.va.us/, current on
       January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). 2000 George Mason University Libraries Survey, Report and
       Analysis. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Article Indexes and Databases by Subject. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://library.gmu.edu/resources/subject.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Find Your Liaison Librarian. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/research/liais.html, current on
       January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). George Mason University Electronic Documentary History.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/gmdcs.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). InterCAMPUS Lending. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/services/intraill.html, current on January
       2, 2001.


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University Libraries. (2000). Interlibrary Loan. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/services/ill.html, current on February 3,
       2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Library Research Materials Budget/Expenditure Reports. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Periodicals. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://library.gmu.edu/services/periodicals.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Process Re-Engineering Task Force, First Report – January 21,
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Selected Electronic Journals. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://library.gmu.edu/resources/journals.html, current on
       January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Special Collections & Archives. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/, current
       on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). The Database Wizard. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://ers2000.gmu.edu/sql/alldbwiz.php3, current on February 9,
       2001.
University Libraries. (2000). University Libraries Catalog. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://magik.gmu.edu, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2001). Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Plan. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). George Mason University Libraries Collection Development
       Policy. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). Selected Usage Statistics. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Libraries. (2001). University Libraries Collection Growth for Fiscal Years 1990/1991
       through 1999/2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2001). University Libraries Conspectus Progress Report. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Washington Research Library Consortium. (2000). Welcome to WRLC. [Online]. Upper
       Marlboro, Maryland. Available at http://www.wrlc.org/, current on January 2, 2001.

5.1.4 Information Technology

        Although access to learning resources is traditionally gained through a library or
learning resource center, a wide variety of contemporary technologies can be used to access
learning resource materials. Institutions should supplement their traditional library with access
to electronic information. Where appropriate, institutions should use technology to expand
access to information for users at remote sites, such as extension centers, branch campuses,
laboratories, clinical sites or students' homes. The institution must provide evidence that it is
incorporating technological advances into its library and other learning resource operations. (p.
58, lines 18-29)

       The University Libraries has long been active in exploiting the promise of information
technology to facilitate and improve access to and use of learning and research resources.



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―Technological Advances Introduced in the University Library System, 1991-2000‖ provides a
brief list of systems and services the university library system has introduced during the past ten
years.
         An October 17, 1999 article in The Washington Post noted that ―[t]he Washington region
is the most wired area in the country, according to a new study that says just shy of 60 percent of
the adults here are hooked up to the Internet.‖ George Mason University students, faculty, and
staff certainly reflect this trend, and it is likely they are a leading indicator. The data below
(which shows monthly accesses to the Libraries‘ proxy/validation server over an 18-month
period) exemplifies this trend:

       April 1998:                    104,048 accesses
       September 1998:                153,946 accesses
       April 1999:                    306,460 accesses
       September 1999:                352,087 accesses
       March 2000:                    438,601 accesses (includes 10,000 accesses from a newly
                                      added second proxy server)

These numbers reflect only those users coming to the Libraries‘ databases from off-campus, and
only those who do not use the George Mason-supplied ISP services.
        The university library system is not just about providing access to content; it is a content
provider as well. The Libraries‘ catalog is available using in-library workstations and via the
web for users beyond the libraries. While we are unable to track usage by in-library clients, we
do know that the web version of the catalog handled 216,162 searches between March 15, 2000
and April 21, 2000. Of those 216,162 searches, 40% were conducted by off-campus users.
        In 1994, the Special Collections and Archives department initiated a digitizing program.
Currently, several digitized collections are searchable and the images retrievable through
WRLC's ALADIN system. An Electronic Documentary History of George Mason University—
a collection that contains images and texts of documents illustrating the important historical
events of the university—was compiled and is available through the Libraries' web site. As
permitted by copyright law, Special Collections and Archives staff can scan images and texts for
researchers who find it impossible to visit our collections for direct access to our research
materials.
        Another area in which University Libraries is leveraging the technology of the Internet to
expand and enhance our services—particularly to our off-campus user—is Electronic Reserves.
Where we once had a single physical point of access we now can provide our web-based
documents instantaneously to remote users on a 24X7 basis. Unlike paper reserves where pages
can be lost or folders misplaced, electronic reserves are essentially maintenance free. E-
Reserves automates and extends a traditional library service and at the same time provides a
basic component of distance learning.
        Our E-Reserves system was developed in-house. In 1998, the Library Systems Office
and members of our ―paper‖ reserves service worked out our basic design goals: a system that
was fast, standards-based, easy to maintain, and capable of complying with a number of
intellectual property issues. After successful development and two semesters of production
testing, we made our software available to libraries around the world—using the open source
model—and now have a listserv devoted to it (OSCR-L) and a number of development partners
(chief among them, the University of Arizona).



                                            178
        The growth in our E-Reserves system and accompanying service has been steady. The
trend line is not absolutely straight because at George Mason the spring term has been typically
less active than the fall in paper reserves as well as the electronic counterpart. There can be no
denying, however, that our E-Reserves service is gaining popularity. During the most recent
term (Spring 2000), the system was delivering nearly 6,000 articles per month to readers.

           Term                 Courses            Articles
           Fall 1998            28                 287
           Spring 1999          60                 560
           Fall 1999            81                 890
           Spring 2000          70                 589

        The libraries intend to continue expanding the service within the university and to work
with our developmental partners to expand the software‘s functionality and ease-of-use. During
2000/01, the design goals include tighter integration with the online catalog (by developing real-
time links into our web-based OPAC) and providing direct links to articles for faculty members
who wish to link to e-reserves texts from their course-related web pages.
        In sum, information technology is not just ubiquitous within George Mason‘s libraries,
but has become an integral strategic part of library services and programs—both those relating
to managing library operations and those relating to delivering services and providing ―just in
time‖ content to end-users.

Suggestions

       We believe the University Libraries comply with the Criteria for incorporating
information technology into its programs and services. At the same time, the self-study has
provided an opportunity for us to consider areas in which the Libraries could further enhance
programs and services through the appropriate use of technology. University Libraries should:

             Integrate bibliographic control and access to e-journal holdings with other library
              resources, incorporating digital library management solutions such as Dublin Core,
              database aggregator supplied metadata, etc.
             Implement an ―image server‖ component of the Libraries‘ Voyager library
              management system to support locally developed digital collections.
             Enhance access to library services and collections by supporting ―personalized‖ web
              gateways, such as MyLibrary or similar software products.
             Consider integrating searching of and access to disparate information sources (such as
              library catalogs and commercial databases) through existing Z39.50 capabilities of
              the Voyager system.




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Supporting Documentation

Information Technology Unit. (2000). 2000 Guide to Information Technology Services. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/guide, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Accessing Restricted Information Sources from Off-Campus
       Computers. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://magik.gmu.edu/lso/proxy.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Article Indexes and Databases by Subject. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://library.gmu.edu/resources/subject.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). George Mason University Electronic Documentary History.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/gmdcs.html, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Open Source Course Reserve. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://timesync.gmu.edu/OSCR/, current on February 9,
       2001.
University Libraries. (2000). Technological Advances Introduced in the University Library
       System, 1991 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). University Libraries Catalog. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://magik.gmu.edu, current on January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2001). University Libraries Information Technology Resources (software,
       equipment and service components). Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

5.1.5 Cooperative Agreements

      Cooperative agreements with other libraries and agencies should be considered to
enhance the resources and services available to an institution's students and faculty members.
However, these agreements must not be used by institutions to avoid responsibility for providing
adequate and readily accessible library resources and services. (p. 58, lines 30-36)

         George Mason‘s libraries are active participants in the following academic and research
library consortia, networks, or organizations: WRLC; VIVA; and ASERL. University Libraries
is also affiliated with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) as an associate member. Finally,
the library system is a member/participant of OCLC, and SoLINET, the Southeastern Regional
Library Network.
         WRLC is a seven-member Washington Metropolitan Area consortium whose
membership, besides George Mason, includes American University, Catholic University, the
University of the District of Columbia, Gallaudet University, George Washington University,
and Marymount University. Major benefits of WRLC include: a shared library management
system providing a consortium-wide catalog of holdings; a remote library collections storage
facility (located in upper Marlboro, MD); a consortium loan service which includes user-initiated
direct borrowing and daily courier document delivery; on-site access to libraries and resources;
consortial licensing of scholarly resources in digital format; and staff professional involvement in
cooperatively and collaboratively addressing programmatic and service related issues.




                                            180
         VIVA is the Commonwealth's centrally funded electronic and shared resources program
for public, and to a lesser extent private, higher education institutions throughout Virginia. More
that 90% of VIVA‘s funding (estimated FY01 budget – $4M) is devoted to licensing of
electronic resources that are made available to college and university students and faculty
throughout the state, and to support a priority interlibrary document delivery system state-wide.
As a state-wide collaborative endeavor since 1994, VIVA has become an increasingly
indispensable resource to all of higher education in Virginia. Major VIVA benefits include:
access to nearly 200 databases, including approximately 9,000 full-text journals and newspapers;
funding for staff, equipment and software for information delivery between libraries; and
collaboration in ―collection development‖ decisions and other related issues in improving the
availability of educational and research materials statewide. VIVA‘s central office is at George
Mason University. The University Librarian is a permanent member of VIVA‘s Steering
Committee, and currently three other library staff members serve on VIVA‘s standing
committees (Resources for Users, Shared Resources, and Outreach).
         Participation in ASERL, which includes some 35 of the largest university libraries in the
southeastern United States, is assuming increased importance not only to George Mason
University‘s libraries, but all other member libraries. With its recent incorporation in Atlanta,
GA, ASERL is poised to play an essential role in such areas as consortial licensing for electronic
resources, inter-institutional information delivery, collaborative information digitization, digital
information preservation endeavors, and personnel issues such as professional competencies and
personnel recruitment, development, and retention. Most visible current benefits of ASERL
participation include: reciprocal, no-charge, interlibrary loan; and consortially negotiated pricing
for digital resources.
         George Mason University has been an associated member of CRL—the Chicago, IL-
based ―research library‖ for research libraries—since the early 1990's. This resource makes
available to faculty and students the center's multi-million volume holdings of specialized and
uniquely held in North America research materials to students and faculty. CRL resources are
used lightly by George Mason scholars. However, continued participation in CRL presents a
―just in case‖ service stance that seems to serve the academic and research endeavors of a limited
number of students and faculty well. Although CRL‘s online catalog of holdings is accessible
directly from the Libraries‘ web page, we recognize that we need to better promote these
resources to academic programs through our librarian liaisons and other outreach efforts.
         Membership in OCLC enables the Libraries to make use of OCLC's extensive
computerized system and electronic network. This system facilitates cooperative cataloging
activities, as well as national and international interlibrary borrowing and lending activities.
Planned for fiscal year 2001 is implementation of OCLC‘s IMF (Intelibrary Fund Management)
service, which is projected to enable staff cost savings in accounting and billing transactions.
Participation in SOLINET provides the Libraries not only with brokering and administrative
support for OCLC-related services, but also with a variety of other benefits ranging from staff
training and development services, to cooperative purchasing of electronic resources.
         Recognizing that no institution can fully meet every informational and research need of
its students, faculty, and staff within its own facilities, George Mason, through participation in
the above cooperative endeavors, seeks not to evade its responsibility for providing sufficient
library resources and services to its constituency, but rather to supplement its already extensive
local capabilities and thus be better able to respond and meet the needs of the university‘s
growing and diverse academic and research programs.



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Cooperative agreements must be formalized and regularly evaluated. (p. 58, lines 36-37)

         Participation in all of the aforementioned cooperative organizations is based on, or
governed by, formal affiliation.
         Evaluation of these affiliations is an ongoing management concern as reflected in
recurring annual budgetary decisions and periodic formal assessments. For example, the
university‘s participation in WRLC was formally evaluated by means of a cost-benefit analysis
and library satisfaction survey in February 1999 and March-April 2000, respectively. Our
findings were that our association with WRLC continues to be mutually beneficial, comprising
an integral part of the Libraries service program.
         The statewide VIVA Project is continually being reviewed by its Steering Committee and
other standing program committees, and also underwent an evaluation by an external consultant
in Fall 1999. The incorporation of VIVA-provided electronic resources, including its support of
the inter-institutional document delivery program, benefits George Mason University‘s academic
community greatly, as it does the wider higher education community of the state. This has also
been formally confirmed by the external consultant‘s very positive assessment report.
         George Mason‘s volume of document delivery and/or on-site referrals to CRL remains
low. However, the resources of CRL represent a very important ―augmentation‖ of our local
holdings for research, and we plan to continue our affiliation. With the already more prominent
positioning of the CRL catalog in the Libraries‘ web site and more concentrated marketing to
academic departments by the liaison librarians, we anticipate a higher level of use of CRL‘s
resources by the GMU academic community in future years.
         Finally, regarding ASERL affiliation, we have kept track of our interlibrary loan activity
with the other association member institutions. Although ASERL‘s reciprocal no-charge
arrangement for interlibrary loan activity among member institutions continues to be beneficial,
we are looking forward to new association initiatives. Among these, the Virtual Electronic
Library Project will support a ―union‖ online catalog of member institutions, and the Document
Delivery System Project will enhance the delivery of requested physical materials within and
among universities.
         The Libraries are committed to a continual evaluation of our cooperative agreements and
affiliations in order to continue serving most effectively George Mason‘s academic community,
as well as to be of value to our partner institutions‘ respective academic communities.

Supporting Documentation

Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. (2000). ASERL [Online]. Atlanta, Georgia.
       Available at http://aserl.solinet.net, current on January 2, 2001.
Byerly, G. (1999). Preliminary Assessment Report for the Virtual Library of Virginia. Ohio: TIP
       Associates.
Center for Research Libraries. (2000). Center for Research Libraries. [Online]. Chicago, Illinois:
       Author. Available at http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/, current on January 2, 2001.
Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (2000). OCLC. [Online]. Dublin, Ohio: Author. Available
       at http://www.oclc.org, current on January 2, 2001.
Southeastern Library Network. (2000). SOLINET. [Online]. Atlanta, Georgia. Available at
       http://www.solinet.net, current on January 2, 2001.



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State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (2000). The Virtual Library of Virginia.
       [Online]. Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.viva.lib.va.us/, current on
       January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (1999). Participation in the Washington Research Libraries Consortium: A
       Preliminary Cost-Benefit Report. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
VIVA Steering Committee. (2000). VIVA Memorandum of Understanding. [Online]. Richmond,
       Virginia: Virtual Library of Virginia. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/library/fen/viva/mou.html, current on February 9, 2001.
Washington Research Library Consortium. 1992. Washington Research Library Consortium
       Participant Agreement. Lanham, Maryland: Author.
Washington Research Library Consortium. (2000). Welcome to WRLC. [Online]. Upper
       Marlboro, Maryland. Available at http://www.wrlc.org/, current on January 2, 2001.

5.1.6 Staff

       Libraries and other learning resources must be adequately staffed by professionals who
hold graduate degrees in library science or in related fields such as learning resources or
information technology. (p. 59, lines 1-4)

        In fiscal year 2000/01, University Libraries will have 40 authorized administrative faculty
lines. This number includes librarians and other professional-level staff. As of July 1, 2000, 35
of these positions are filled, and 34 of these are professional librarians holding MLS or
equivalent degrees from American Library Association-accredited programs. In addition, 18 of
the librarians hold advanced degrees in an academic discipline. The University Libraries also
employs four to five librarians annually on a part-time basis (averaging 20 hours per week),
typically assigned to reference, cataloging, and collection development duties.
        During the 1990 SACS review, the library‘s professional staffing level was determined to
be inadequate. The university‘s rate of student enrollment growth has slowed somewhat and
increased budget support has allowed the Libraries‘ staffing to improve significantly from what
it was in 1990. The student to librarian ratio in 1990 was 940:1. In 1999, the ratio stood at
676:1. Excluding Law Library professional staff (see below), University Libraries is still last or
next-to-last in overall professional staffing as compared to the other six Virginia doctoral degree
granting institutions and WRLC doctoral granting institutions. Although professional staff levels
at the distributed libraries are adequate at this juncture, there are still some gaps in central
functions (for example, coordination of instruction program, cataloging, and academic
department/library liaisons). Working through the annual budget request process, we are
optimistic that existing staffing gaps will continue to be addressed over the next few years.
        The Law Library is staffed by seven full-time professional librarians and two part-time
librarians, all of whom have administrative faculty status. In addition to the MLS or equivalent
degree, five Law Library librarians also possess the JD degree.

In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated competence may
substitute for this academic preparation; however, in such cases, the institution must justify the
exceptions on an individual basis. Because professional or technical training in specialized
areas is increasingly important in meeting user needs, professionals with specialized non-library
degrees may be employed, where appropriate, to supervise these areas. (p. 59, lines 4-13)



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        Presently, the following five administrative faculty positions in the University Libraries
do not have the MLS or equivalent degree as a requirement for employment. Consistent with
university policy, however, the positions generally require a master‘s degree in an academic
discipline for appointment in the administrative faculty category.

       1. Head, Access Services (Fenwick Library) – The position requires significant
          experience in the area of development and evaluation of circulation and collection
          maintenance services and staff management. The incumbent of this position has over
          ten years of experience in academic libraries.
       2. Head, Administrative Services – The position requires significant experience in the
          areas of budget preparation and control, personnel program administration, facilities
          management, and supervision of staff.
       3. Director, Library/IT Development – The position requires experience in the fund-
          raising field, preferably in higher education.
       4. Theses and Dissertations & E-Texts Coordinator, Special Collections and Archives
          Department – The position requires a master‘s degree in an academic field and
          experience with Information Technology applications. The incumbent holds an MA
          in History and has several years of experience as an archivist and with digitization
          projects.
       5. University Copyright Service Coordinator – The position requires graduate training,
          knowledge of copyright law, and experience with researching copyright ownership,
          obtaining copyright permissions, and conducting informational sessions for faculty,
          staff, and students. The current incumbent has several years of experience in the
          field.

        Primarily focused on activities that can best be described as either supportive of or
complementary to the core academic and research library functions, these positions encompass a
diversity of professional responsibilities, requiring specialized training and experience.
Individuals with credentials in librarianship certainly would not be excluded in being hired into
these positions, so long as they possessed the requisite specialized training and experience and
other essential non-educational attributes.
        The Law Library currently does not have individuals appointed to administrative faculty
positions who are not librarians.

       The number of library support staff members must be adequate. Qualifications or skills
needed for these support positions should be defined by the institution. (p. 59, lines 14-16)

       The University Libraries has 61 full-time authorized support positions in fiscal year
2000/01. All support positions (classified staff) are defined by the Commonwealth of Virginia
Employee Classification Specifications. Requirements of skills, abilities, knowledge, education
and training, and experience are specified for each position, and prospective employees must
meet these requirements to be considered for employment. In addition, 11 Graduate Research
Assistantships are awarded each year, along with approximately 30 FTE of ―wages‖ staff,
principally student assistants.




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       Even taking into account student assistant FTEs, the University Libraries is significantly
below average in library staffing among the aforementioned peer institutions. Again, working
through the budget request process, we expect to address these shortcomings in the next few
years.
       The Law Library employs eight classified employees, along with a complement of
approximately 5 FTE of ―wages‖ personnel, mainly student assistants.

        Organizational relationships, both external and internal to the library, should be clearly
specified. Institutional policies concerning faculty status, salary and contractual security for
library personnel must be clearly defined and made known to all personnel at the time of
employment. (p. 59, lines 17-22)

        Information pertaining to faculty status, salary, and contractual employment are presented
to all new employees during recruitment and upon their hire. Both professional and support staff
receive an official university letter delineating their date of hire, salary, position title, and rank or
grade. Information regarding policies and procedures for staff is readily available online.
Classified staff have access to The Commonwealth of Virginia Employee Handbook, Policies
and Procedures Manual, Classification Specifications, and Pay Grade at: http://hr.gmu.edu. For
administrative faculty, the Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook and the Librarian‘s
Handbook are available at: http://www.gmu.edu/mlfacstaff/.
        The Commonwealth of Virginia requires an annual review of professional as well as
support staff performance that is coordinated by the university‘s Human Resources Department.
In addition, the University Libraries‘ Librarian‘s Handbook governs the librarian‘s process of
peer professional review, leading to contract renewal decisions and/or promotion in rank
decisions.
        As part of the University Libraries‘ administrative and programmatic reorganization, a
Staff Development and Training Committee, comprised of professional and support staff, was
established in 1999. The charge of the committee is to develop a comprehensive ongoing
program for the Libraries in the areas of orientation, training, professional development, and
recognition. Over time, it is anticipated that this program will provide library staff with the
information, guidance, support, and recognition they need to excel, resulting in productive and
involved staff members.

Supporting Documentation

Department of Human Resource Management. (2000). Human Resource Policies. [Online].
       Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at http://www.dpt.state.va.us/hrpolicy.htm,
       current on January 2, 2001.
Human Resources. (2000). Classification and Compensation. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://hr.gmu.edu/class-n-comp/, current on January 2,
       2001.
Human Resources. (2000). Employee Handbook. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://hr.gmu.edu/handbook/, current on January 2, 2001.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook. [Online] Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/adminhandbook.html, current on January 2, 2001.



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University Libraries. (n.d.). Staff Ratios Among Virginia Doctorate Granting Institutions.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (1989). Librarian’s Handbook. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/libhandbook.html, current on
       January 2, 2001.
University Libraries. (2001). GMU Libraries Staffing Levels – 1/4/01. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.

5.1.7 Library/Learning Resources for Distance Learning Activities

       For distance learning activities, an institution must ensure the provision of and ready
access to adequate library/learning resources and services to support the course, programs and
degrees offered. (p. 59, lines 23-26)

         University Libraries supports distance learning through a variety of resources and
services currently provided to all George Mason University students and faculty, and, through
the distributed site libraries located at the Prince William and Arlington campuses, provides
support for academic programs located at those campuses. Thus far, these arrangements have
provided the level of support needed for the learning and research needs of faculty and students,
whether on the Fairfax Campus, one of the distributed campuses, or engaged in distance learning
activities. As more distance learning courses and programs are being developed, the need for an
enhanced distance learning program within University Libraries is becoming apparent.
         The University Libraries‘ web site provides remote access to over 300 licensed
bibliographic and full-text databases, electronic journals and newspapers, online books and
reference sources, the library catalog, electronic reserves, e-mail reference, interlibrary loan and
intercampus loan forms, subject guides, and a web-tutorial. The online catalog offers a number
of patron-initiated transactions. These include patron-initiated circulation renewals, patron-
initiated direct borrowing from other WRLC libraries, and the ability to review one‘s borrowing
record remotely.
         University Libraries provides support to the university‘s telecourse offerings. Videotapes
of classes broadcast over GMU-TV and local cable channels are available in libraries on the
Fairfax and Prince William campuses. (See http://library.gmu.edu; http://magik.gmu.edu.)
         One of the most recent developments offering significant service for distance learners is
the electronic course reserves system. The electronic reserves system provides online access to
course syllabi, lecture notes, journal articles, book chapters, and other printed material previously
available only in photocopied format. At this time the electronic reserves service does not
include audio, video or multi-media materials. Course reserve materials for university courses
offered at any campus or as a distance learning course may be posted to the electronic reserves
web site. University Libraries is committed to full compliance with U.S. Copyright Law and has
established copyright guidelines to protect against infringement. Passwords, limited access, and
other protections are used, as advised by the University Copyright Assistance Office (See
http://ers2000.gmu.edu.)
         Plans are underway to expand the existing e-mail reference service to a real-time
reference service, possibly using the Jeeves Live Express or similar product. Expanded
document delivery options including delivery to the desk top and mail service for distance
learners are under discussion at this time. As the Libraries‘ web site is redesigned, a separate site



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will be developed to provide a more visible gateway to library services supporting distance
learning. A University Libraries librarian position has been tasked with coordinating distance
learning and outreach activities and will coordinate other future initiatives to provide expanded
support for distance learning.

The institution must own the library/learning resources, provide access to electronic information
available through existing technologies, or provide them through formal agreements. Such
agreements should include the use of books and other materials. (p. 59, lines 26-31)

         Access to over 300 databases available to students and faculty is provided in three ways.
First, as a public institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia, George Mason University
provides access for authorized library users to electronic resources licensed by VIVA. VIVA
licenses bibliographic databases, full-text databases, electronic texts, and other electronic
products for use by all consortium libraries. This provides a wide range of resources to
University Libraries that the university would not be able to license independently. Another
source of access to databases is through WRLC. As a WRLC member library, George Mason
shares an online catalog, ALADIN, and provides access to the databases made available through
the consortium. In addition, University Libraries independently licenses databases unavailable
through the consortia. (See http://www.viva.lib.va.us; http://www.wrlc.org;
http://library/resources/etexts.html.)
         Access to circulating materials owned by any of the libraries is made available to library
users from any of the other university libraries. A courier service provides daily delivery of
books, journals and other materials to the libraries on the three campuses, allowing distance
learners the option of charging materials from the library location most convenient to their home
or office. Together with remote access to the catalog and databases, intercampus delivery of
materials gives students and faculty multiple opportunities for using the full range of library
resources to support their teaching and learning activities.
         Access to circulating materials owned by all WRLC member libraries is provided through
reciprocal borrowing privileges granted to authorized users at member institutions. Through the
online catalog, students may identify books or journal articles owned at other member libraries,
and request that the material be sent via courier to the library of their choice for pickup.
University Libraries‘ interlibrary loan service provides document delivery service for faculty and
students from VIVA libraries or other university libraries outside of the VIVA or WRLC
consortia.

The institution must assign responsibility for providing library/learning resources and services
and for ensuring continued access to them at each site. (p. 59, lines 31-34)

        The Arlington Campus and Prince William Campus libraries are adequately staffed with
professional librarians and support staff. Under the direction of the Associate University
Librarian for Distributed Libraries, the head of each of the libraries is responsible for ensuring
that the collections and services offered appropriately support the courses, programs and degrees
offered at the location. Interlibrary loan and intercampus delivery activities are centrally
administered from the Fairfax campus, with each of the distributed sites having a staff member
with interlibrary loan/document delivery responsibilities for the distributed site. The University
Libraries‘ central Interlibrary Loan Office has a position designated as the Intercampus Loan



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Coordinator and is responsible for ensuring that timely delivery of materials is made among the
campuses.
         As noted, a newly defined librarian position has been assigned the part-time
responsibility of developing and coordinating outreach activities, including distance learning for
all of the University Libraries. The position is assigned to the Prince William Campus Library
but will assume responsibilities for this function system-wide. Once the position is filled, the
incumbent will work with the librarians having liaison responsibilities to the various academic
departments to identify distance learning courses and programs already in existence or in the
development stage. This activity will also require collaboration with university-wide
information technology units.

         When formal agreements are established for the provision of library resources and
services, they must ensure access to library resources pertinent to the programs offered by the
institution and include provision for services and resources which support the institution's
specific programs—in the field of study and at the degree level offered. (p. 59, lines 39, p. 60,
lines 1-2)

        As previously discussed in Section 5.1.5, Cooperative Agreements, University Libraries
participates in consortia resulting in reciprocal borrowing privileges and patron access to a large
number of electronic resources. Consortial or other agreements exist with VIVA, WRLC,
ASERL, and CRL. George Mason University Libraries does not currently have agreements in
place with other institutions specifically in support of the university‘s distance learning activities.

Suggestions

       As the university continues to develop distance learning courses and programs,
University Libraries should formalize the support it provides to these activities. Elements of a
more robust distance learning support service should include:

             Improved document delivery
             Implementation of real-time reference
             Online instruction tutorials
             Development of a comprehensive University Libraries Distance Learning Web Site,
              to be implemented in collaboration with academic departments.

Supporting Documentation

University Libraries. (2000). FA 779 Reference and Instruction Librarian for Distance Learning
       and Outreach Services. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Libraries. (2000). Course Reserve Guidelines. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Libraries. (2001). Library Services for Distance Learners. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University.




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5.2 Instructional Support

        To support its curriculum, each institution must provide a variety of facilities and
instructional support services (e.g., educational equipment and specialized facilities such as
laboratories, audiovisual and duplicating services, and learning skills centers) which are
organized and administered so as to provide easy access for faculty and student users. They
must be adequate to allow fulfillment of the institutional purpose and contribute to the
effectiveness of learning. These requirements apply to all programs wherever located or
however delivered. (p. 60, lines 3 – 13)

Facilities

         George Mason University supports 18 general access computing labs, 13 at the Fairfax
campus, three at the Prince William Campus, and two at the Arlington Campus, with a total of
539 computers available for general student use. General access computing labs are open 128
hours per week, with four weeks each semester of 24-hour service during periods of peak
demand. Labs are staffed by student lab assistants and managed by professional support staff.
All the general use labs provide Internet access, as well as the Microsoft Office suite of
applications and SPSS. The Student Technology Assistance and Resources Center (STAR)
maintains three computer facilities, with an additional 42 computers, providing specialized
support for students working on multimedia and web projects, as well as spreadsheets, databases,
and computer presentations. Academic units manage an additional 32 computer labs, with 687
computers available. All but three of these departmental labs are at the Fairfax campus. These
facilities usually support specialized discipline-based applications that are not available in the
general use labs. ―Computing Labs‖ details the distribution of labs throughout the university.
Students visited the general-use labs 559,000 times during the 1998-1999 academic year and
printed 7.2 million pages in the labs.
         There are very few times in the semester when all the labs are being used to capacity.
During peak demand times, such as during exams, lab hours are extended so that facilities are
available 24 hours a day. At present, this enables us to meet demand. DoIIIT has also developed
a program to work more closely with department computer lab managers to make sure those
facilities are being used as effectively as possible.
         The university maintains 20 electronic classrooms equipped with multimedia instructor‘s
stations and high quality projection systems. Eleven of these are on the Fairfax campus, four at
Arlington and five at Prince William. In addition, 24 classrooms, 15 at Fairfax and 9 at
Arlington, are set up as ―smart‖ rooms equipped with presentation capabilities. All classrooms
have network connectivity and all general-purpose classrooms have zoned lighting to make
classroom presentations easier.
         The university‘s Audio-Visual Services provides equipment such as TV/VCRs, laserdisc
players, portable microphones, tape recorders, data and video projectors, and laptop computers
for check-out and delivery to classrooms. Johnson Center Technology provides similar support
for events in the Johnson Center.
         In Fall 2002, the university will open a new academic building (Academic IV) that will
house an additional 120-seat computer lab and 12 new computer classrooms. All classrooms in
the new building will be wired with enhanced multimedia and presentation capabilities. Several
will also support distance learning technologies such as video origination and video-



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conferencing. The building will also house several lecture halls and a specialized decision-
support laboratory. Faculty and instructional support staff from the university have been
extensively involved in the planning and design of the new facility.
         The university provides access to technology for students with disabilities through a five-
station Assistive Technology Room in the Johnson Center Library and through an 18-station
Assistive technology lab in Thompson Hall. These facilities offer such applications as voice-
recognition software, screen readers, screen magnification, and enlarged printing capabilities.
         The university provides specialized instructional facilities for many discipline-based
courses, including 16 science labs with 366 seats and 20 fine arts and performing arts facilities
with 220 seats. All of these facilities are on the Fairfax Campus.
         There is a high demand for electronic classrooms, and at certain times of the week,
particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is more demand than can be met with current
facilities. However, the registrar's office, which schedules these facilities, reports that it is able
to accommodate overload requests by scheduling them for different time periods. The
university is gradually increasing the number of classrooms equipped for electronic presentation,
adding about 3 or 4 each year, as funding is available. Additionally, the new Academic IV
building will add a substantial number of technology-enhanced teaching facilities to
accommodate increased demand. Planned new facilities at Arlington and Prince William will
also expand the number of technology-enhanced teaching facilities available on those campuses.

Instructional Support Services: Students

        Learning Services provides assistance in developing such academic skills as test-taking
and study strategies, reading comprehension, and time management. Students have access to
training and mentoring in technology applications through the Student Technology Assistance
and Resource Center (STAR). Academic units have developed tutoring services targeted to their
disciplines. ―Use of Instructional Support Services, 1998-99‖ reports student use of these
services on campus and online. The university also provides print services for students and
subsidized printing in computer labs and libraries.

Instructional Support Services: Faculty

        The Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies (DoIIIT)
provides support for faculty through the Instructional Resource Center (IRC). The IRC averages
about 60 faculty visits per month. It coordinates technology training for faculty as well as
providing instructional design consultation services and facilities where faculty may work on
instructional projects. DoIIIT‘s Classroom Technologies unit supports faculty with equipment
delivery and setup and training in the use of electronic and smart classroom facilities. STAR
also provides consultations and classroom visits to faculty to help them in implementing new
technology assignments with their students. More information about the IRC is available at
http://www.irc.gmu.edu.
        George Mason University Television (GMU-TV) works with faculty and academic
departments to plan and produce instructional video projects. In 1999, GMU-TV produced 223
programs, including telecourses in MIS, Management, Psychology, Communication, and
Geography, and won two Telly and three Communicator awards for outstanding work in this




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area. GMU-TV staff provides support and training to faculty to enhance their video presentation
skills. More information about GMU-TV is available at http://www.gmu.edu/gmutv/.

Print Services

        Print Services provides photocopying, copyright assistance, and graphics/sign/banner
needs for the university community on all campuses. The department has 168 photocopiers as
well as a Gerber Printing system for graphics and signage. The copy centers have mid-speed and
high-speed copiers, including a networked Docutech and assorted finishing equipment that binds,
glues, tapes and cuts the printed material developed in the centers.
        The five campus copy centers produce approximately 2.5 million copies per month.
Copies made on the administrative convenience copiers located in or near university departments
are billed at a rate of $0.0475per copy. The per copy charge at the copy centers is $0.0225.
Copy center pricing benefits departments with limited budgets and convenience copier pricing
remains competitive in the industry. Coin operated copiers are also located in the libraries and
throughout the campuses. These take cash ($0.10 per copy) or debit card ($0.08 per copy).
        Print Services provides copying services in all of the university‘s libraries. Self-service
photocopying areas are located at Fenwick Library and G.W. Johnson Center at the Fairfax
campus and in the libraries of the Arlington and Prince William campuses. A total of 25 coin-
and card-access convenience photocopiers are available at the four locations.
        The Copyright Assistance Office, part of the University Libraries, is located in the
Johnson Center. The office educates the community about copyright issues and assists faculty in
obtaining clearance for classroom material they develop. A retail shop sells reading packets
once permissions have been obtained. On average, the shop produces approximately 950 reading
packets per semester, with slightly more than 20% requiring copyright processing.

Summary

        Feedback from faculty and comparison with other institutions' instructional support
services and facilities suggest that they are adequate to the mission of the university and do
contribute to the effectiveness of learning in the university‘s instructional programs.
        George Mason faculty were surveyed in 1997 to find the extent to which they believed
that technology advanced the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
(Chickering and Gamson 1987). Graduating seniors were asked the same question in the
university's annual survey in both 1998 and 1999. In every case, substantial majorities of faculty
and students saw technology as a positive force in encouraging these principles. Students'
favorable ratings increased in 1999 over 1998. See ―Survey of Faculty and Students on
Computer Technology and the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.‖
        During October and November 1999, DoIIIT distributed and collected responses to a
survey on instructional support use and satisfaction. A paper copy of the survey was distributed
to 1,379 full-time and part-time faculty members through inter-office mail. The survey was also
posted on DoIIIT‘s web site for online responses. The survey was intended to provide an
opportunity for faculty to give feedback on instructional support services, to help assess the
adequacy of instructional support services, and to increase awareness of instructional support
services available at the university. The survey responses in the first year will help to establish
benchmarks for future assessments of support services.



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         Survey respondents indicated that academic labs, electronic classrooms, and Instructional
Resource Center consultations were the most important instructional support services provided
by the university. These were also among the services with the highest reported use.
Respondents also reported a high degree of satisfaction with these services. Respondents
similarly indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the instructional support staff at the
university, with better than 90% percent satisfaction for all of the units rated in the survey.
Complete details of the survey results are available at
 http://www.doiiit.gmu.edu/Faculty_Survey/survey_results.htm.
         DoIIIT, the organization responsible for most instructional support services, also receives
regular feedback from its 25-member Advisory Board, which has representation from all three
campuses and all major academic and instructional support units on campus. All the support
units within DoIIIT prepare an annual assessment of their work to help them evaluate the year‘s
work and establish goals for the next year. Part of each unit‘s assessment is a consideration of
feedback from clients. The 1999 annual reports are attached as appendices to this report.
Finally, DoIIIT implemented in the fall of 1999 a new liaison program with academic units to
facilitate communication between the departments and the instructional support units.
         ―DoIIIT Responses to Customer Dissatisfaction‖ catalogs areas of user dissatisfaction
and what has been done to address them in the last two years. The report includes more than a
hundred items, ranging from inadequate projection equipment in classrooms to lack of support
staff at Arlington and Prince William to lack of information about available services. This report
indicates a high degree of responsiveness to areas of dissatisfaction and significant efforts to
improve service to the university community in all aspects of instructional support.
         Some national measures are available that suggest that George Mason's instructional
support, especially in the area of instructional technology, is on a par with our peer educational
institutions:

          Kenneth Green‘s 1999 Campus Computing Survey

           Measure                            GMU                         Average for        Public
                                                                          Universities
           Ratio of computers to students     1:17                        1:12
           Percentage of classes using        15%                         24%
           computer-based classrooms or
           labs
           Classes using web pages for        35%                         33%
           class materials and resources
           Percentage of faculty and          100%                        75%
           administrative staff who have
           access to networked computers


          EDUCAUSE‘s ―Guide to Evaluating Information Technology on Campus.‖ Students
           are asked to consider what percentage of courses use electronic information to
           enhance the course. About half of George Mason's courses use one or more
           electronic information sources to enhance the course. Students are asked to consider
           what help the institution provides to help students develop computer skills. George


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             Mason has an entire support unit (STAR) to help students develop computer skills.
             See http://www.educause.edu/consumerguide/ for the complete set of questions.

            Yahoo! Internet Life ranks Mason # 24 in its current "America's Most Wired
             Colleges."

Suggestion

         Other support services and facilities are available, but there is currently no provision for
tutoring services at the Arlington and Prince William Campuses. The relatively small number of
undergraduate students (who are the primary consumers of tutoring services) may not justify
separate services for these campuses. At the Prince William Campus, the Student and Academic
Services office currently refers students to Learning Services at Fairfax or Minority Student
Affairs for tutorial services. However, they plan to begin advertising in the fall for tutors to be
based at Prince William. This will be coordinated through Prince William's University Life
Office, of which Learning Services is a part.
         The university should consider expanding its online tutorial services. The Writing Center
does have an online component, and this may be the most desirable service to institute or expand
first, since it supports so many content areas.

Supporting Documentation

Counseling Center. (1999). Annual Report from Learning Services, 1998 – 99. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Counseling Center. (2000). Learning Services. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/csdc/ls.html, current on
       January 2, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (1999). Instructional
       Support Facilities. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Academic
       Computing Labs. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.labs.gmu.edu/, current on January 2, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Computing Labs.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Division of
       Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.doiiit.gmu.edu, current on January 2,
       2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). DoIIIT Responses
       to Customer Dissatisfaction. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). GMU-TV.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/gmutv/, current on January 2, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Information
       Technology Resources & Services at George Mason. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George




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        Mason University. Available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/educause/academic.html, current on February 23, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Instructional
        Resource Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
        http://www.irc.gmu.edu/, current on January 2, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Instructional
        Support Use and Satisfaction: A Report on the Results of DoIIIT’s Fall 1999 Survey.
        [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
        http://www.doiiit.gmu.edu/Faculty_Survey/survey_results.htm, current on January 2,
        2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Student
        Technology Assistance and Resources Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
        Mason University. Available at http://media.gmu.edu/, current on December 19, 2000.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Survey of Faculty
        and Students on Computer Technology and the Seven Principles of Good Practice in
        Undergraduate Education. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Use of
        Instructional Support Services, 1998 – 99. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
EDUCAUSE. (2000). EDUCAUSE Guide to Evaluating Information Technology on Campus.
        [Online]. Washington, DC: Author. Available at
        http://www.educause.edu/consumerguide/academic.html, current on January 3, 2001.
Graduate School of Education. (2000). Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities.
        [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
        http://chd.gse.gmu.edu/, current on January 17, 2001.
Green, K. (1999). ―The 1999 National Survey of Information Technology in US Higher
        Education,‖ The Campus Computing Project. Encino, California: Author. Also available
        at http://www.campuscomputing.net/, current on January 3, 2001.
IT Training Council. (2000). Information/Instructional Technology Training Committee Report
        for SACS Review. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Kifer, R. (2000 January 6). Memorandum Re: Assistive Technology Room. Fairfax, Virginia:
        George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). Graduating Senior Surveys, 1992 - 2000. Fairfax,
        Virginia: George Mason University.
Writing Center. (1999). Annual Report from the University Writing Center. Fairfax, Virginia:
        George Mason University.
Writing Center. (2000). University Writing Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
        University. Available at http://writingcenter.gmu.edu/, current on January 3, 2001.
Yahoo! (2000). ―#24, George Mason University,‖ America’s Most Wired Colleges 2000.
        [Online]. Available at
        http://www.zdnet.com/yil/content/college/college2000/rank_university_24.html, current
        on January 3, 2001.




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5.3 Information Technology Resources and Systems

         Information technology resources and systems are essential components in higher
education. An institution must provide evidence that it is incorporating technological advances
into its operations. (p. 60, lines 14 – 17)

Centralized Administrative Systems

         George Mason University uses Information Associates‘ (IA) Student Information System
(SIS), Financial Records System (FRS), and Human Resources System (HRS) application
software to support the business needs of the university. SIS is supported by a CA-IDMS 14.0
database and OS/390 operating system running on an IBM 9121-511 mainframe. FRS and HRS
are supported by a CA IDMS/UNIX database and hp-ux 10.20 operating system running on a
HP9000 server. The IA application code, primarily Cobol-based, is distributed and supported by
SCT. University Computing and Information Systems (UCIS) implements and modifies the IA
application code as requested by administrative offices. An Administrative Systems Steering
Committee, comprised of administrative and academic directors, reviews the initiatives requested
of UCIS and prioritizes their implementation.
         Mason is able to accomplish its mission with its current information technology resources
and systems. There are costs, however, to keeping administrative systems that were developed
in the mid-1980‘s. The business rules, embedded in the code, are inflexible and difficult to
modify, and in some cases cannot be tailored to meet the current needs of the university. Many
departmental systems on campus that have been developed to remedy limitations of the IA
applications create integration problems. The IA applications use lengthy daily batch processing,
which reduces the availability of the system for self-service access. The mainframe screens used
by the IA applications are heavily code-driven and require specialized training for back-office
users.
         As the applications and computer hardware continue to age, continued support from SCT
to implement mandatory federal updates is questionable. As well, the install-base for this
application suite is decreasing to a number too low to assure sustainability. From a technology
standpoint, the administrative systems are at risk of failure. In an effort to reduce the risk on the
critical Student Information System, UCIS has implemented CA-IDMS 14.0 relational database
software, the OS/390 operating system, and the Hitachi 7700E RAID (redundant) disk, to help
stabilize an outdated mainframe. The CA-IDMS/UNIX database that supports the financial and
human resources systems on the HP9000 will no longer be supported by the vendor, Computer
Associates, after December 31, 2000, and must be replaced.
         Our current systems inhibit our efforts at building for the future. Flexible scheduling and
flexible billing, two functions critical to the continued growth of the university, cannot be
implemented in the current system. Real-time prerequisite checking, a priority with a number of
academic departments, cannot be added. The current application cannot be modified to create a
fully integrated system that shares common data tables. This creates problems keeping data
synchronized across the different systems. The situation cannot be remedied without a wholesale
replacement of the applications to a truly integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
solution.
         The university is in the process of evaluating alternatives for the replacement of the
current administrative systems (SIS, FRS, HRS) with a fully integrated ERP system to support



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finance, human resources and student information needs. We are evaluating several
Administrative Service Provider (ASP) options. The university is also one of six higher
education institutions advising Oracle Corporation in the development of its new Oracle Student
System (OSS). A decision is expected by the end of January 2001.
        If sufficient funding for new ASP- or premise-based administrative systems is not
forthcoming, a contingency plan has been developed that will improve the operating
environment of the current systems, although it will not remedy all existing shortfalls and
inadequacies of our current SIS, FRS, and HRS applications. UCIS would upgrade the IBM
platform to an enterprise server and migrate FRS and HRS from UNIX to the IBM enterprise
server, add additional storage capability, and implement an enterprise-wide management system.

Online Services that Interface with Administrative Systems

        UCIS application development efforts are focused on improving business processes for
the university community by incorporating self-service web applications. ―Web-Based
Administrative Applications‖ lists the major applications that interface with the university‘s
administrative systems. These applications are hosted on HP9000 servers running hp-ux 10.20
operating system. The Workflow engine, Metro from ActionTechnologies, is hosted on an NT
server with SQL database. Over the coming year, additional web applications will allow
students to register online and faculty to print class rosters and view SIS data to advise students.
In addition, the university provides many online services to students and will be expanding these
services as its administrative applications are upgraded. Services available to students through
the web are listed in ―Web-Based Student Services Applications.‖

Data Warehouse

        Institutional Research and Reporting (IRR) supports a web-accessible data warehouse
containing summary institutional data, aggregated from extracts from the central administrative
systems. Applications include census data for student enrollment, human resources payroll
demographic data, space management data, financial expenditure and revenue data, and faculty
evaluations. The data warehouse is housed on an NT server with applications developed in
ColdFusion with an IIS database.
        Because the current data warehouse was developed by IRR to support a specific customer
group, the university‘s deans and directors of academic units, it is limited in its functionality.
Also, the data extracted from the administrative systems is evaluated and formatted before being
posted to the data warehouse, and so does not permit real-time analysis.

Suggestion

         The university should implement a scalable, campus-wide data warehouse. The
institution would be better served by a central repository of data that allows real-time analysis
with current data that is extractable for further aggregation and reporting. Prior year data from
the central applications (SIS, FRS, and HRS) should be stored in the data warehouse for
contextual trend analysis. The university is currently implementing Oracle‘s Financial Analyzer
(OFA) to support its budgeting needs. For ultimate benefit to the university, OFA should be tied




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to a data warehouse for drill-down reports. The data warehouse should be based on an Oracle
platform, sharing the same platform as the new ERP systems.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

        The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, available at 703-993-4GMU, allows
students to register for class, add and drop classes, hear class schedules and grades, make credit
card payments for tuition, and obtain admissions and financial aid status. The system is
supported by redundant RS6000 servers running AIX 4.2 operating system, and IntervoiceBrite
application software. Dual BT-III units support 160 phone lines. Three NDC modems support
real-time credit card validation.

Web Site Development and Maintenance

        Since 1994, the university's web presence has grown from an easily managed single
server to a distributed system encompassing more than 50 servers. The diversity of information
contained in these sites presents a relatively seamless interface to users through interlocking page
links and a parallel indexing service (Ultraseek) operated by the Mason web group. In 1996 this
indexer managed just over 25,000 web pages on campus machines; in 2000 it indexed over
65,000 pages on a typical run. In 1998 the primary campus web site (www.gmu.edu) was given a
facelift and re-engineered, both to improve the look and navigation of the site and to try to
standardize and systematize the burgeoning content.
        The design and maintenance of the university's web site is currently coordinated by
University Libraries with participation from UCIS and DoIIIT. The maintenance and
enhancement of the site is performed by volunteers paid after-hours stipends and one
publications staff person in University Relations. Although this small staff cannot create and
maintain web sites for everyone who wants one, departments can receive support from the
publications office if the proposed site will be ―official‖ and the site is considered a high priority.
(The queue, however, is quite long.) Otherwise, the individual or department can receive training
and support from DoIIIT, but will either have to do the work or hire someone to do it. The
university web team has developed some standardized templates and other online resources to
assist departments and individuals in the creation and development of web sites. (See these
resources at http://www.gmu.edu/mlnavbar/webdev/findex.html.)
        UCIS is responsible for developing web-based administrative processes. In response to
Executive Order #51 from Governor Gilmore, the Administrative Systems Steering Committee
reviewed the university‘s mission-critical processes to identify those processes that are
appropriate for web-enabling, and it prioritized the tasks necessary to make them web-enabled.
A four-year plan to accomplish the latter goal was sent to the Governor's Office in June 2000.
        The university has an attractive web presence that is heavily used. However, the
maintenance and development of that site is hampered by the lack of support staff assigned to the
task. In addition, enterprise-wide information disconnects remain, in large part because a great
deal of the university's information environment extends beyond the web or beyond the easy
reach of a central administration. As a result, we have a wide range of information sources
available on our network but the information itself is not always readily available to those who
might benefit from it.




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       The Electronic Information Systems Task Force completed a report in February 2000 that
recommends an enterprise-wide web architecture, database-driven, that will enable users and
web site developers to find, select, and re-use material no matter where it is stored. The
university is also conducting a document management pilot.
       The Budget Group for the 2000-2002 biennium has recommended the creation of an
Office of Web Development and Document Management with limited funding the first year of
the biennium and more substantial funding the second year. There is not likely to be sufficient
funding, however, to meet all the needs described above. Therefore, the Vice President for
Information Technology has engaged the Gartner Group to assist in assessing needs and building
consensus on priorities.

Supporting Documentation

Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Web-Based
       Administrative Application Systems. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Web-Based
       Student Services Applications. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Electronic Information Systems Task Force. (2000). Draft Report of the Electronic Information
       Systems Task Force. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Hughes, J. (2000). George Mason University’s Executive Order #51 Project Plan. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Hughes, J., Rosenblum, K., Scherrens, M., Stearns, P., Westphal, L. (2000 December 12).
       Memorandum Re: Funding IT Services. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Information Technology Unit. (2000). 2000 Guide to Information Technology Services. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/guide, current on January 2, 2001.
Task Force on Information Security and Privacy. (2000). Battening the Hatches, The Report of
       the Task Force on Information Security and Privacy. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/srp/isptf/local/ispreport.pdf, current on
       January 3, 2001.
University Computing and Information Systems. (2001). UCIS. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis, current on
       January 2, 2001.

       Information technology resources must support the planning function and the
educational program component of the institution at appropriate levels. These resources include
computer hardware and software, databases, communication networks, and a trained technical
and user services staff. (p. 60, lines 18 – 23)

       UCIS ensures that adequate information technology resources are available to support the
educational and programmatic objectives of the university.

Computer Hardware and Software, Databases

       UCIS has established a minimum hardware and configuration standard for all users. This
standard is a Wintel Pentium II, 133 mhz system with at least 32 megabits of memory, or any



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Power Mac, running Microsoft Windows 95/98 operating system and Microsoft Office 2000 (for
Wintel systems) or Office 98 (for Mac systems) applications software suite. This combination of
minimum hardware and software allows faculty and staff to access the supported productivity
tools.
        The minimum computer hardware and software standards are adequate to meet the
computing needs of all but a few technology users at the university. As part of the ongoing
Microsoft Office 2000 (MSO2K) initiative, all university-owned computers are having MSO2K
installed so that a standard applications software platform is reached. Systems that do not meet
the minimum hardware requirements are being upgraded or replaced with new systems. This
will ensure all information technology resources can support the planning functions and
educational programs of the institution.

Communications Networks

        The communications network is sufficiently robust to accommodate any current
technology demands placed on it. UCIS operates local area networks at each of George Mason's
three campuses. These networks are built on an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) backbone
operating on multiple OC3 (155Mbps) and OC12 (622Mbps) links. All university buildings are
attached to the backbone via multiple OC3 ATM or 10/100 Ethernet links at two centralized hub
locations. Each building network, including all student housing, comprises a combination of
shared and switched 10/100Mbps Ethernet to the desktop. Each student room has an active
network connection for each occupant. The university continually upgrades capacity on these
networks. During the next fiscal year GMU plans to upgrade the two central hub sites and
backbone to high-performance layer 3 switches with multiple-load-sharing gigabit Ethernet links
making up the backbone connection. Several strategic building networks will be upgraded to
completely switched 100mbps and gigabit Ethernet connections to the desktop.
        The university‘s wide area network is made up of DS3 (45Mbps) ATM connections
provided through our membership in Net.Work.Virginia. Internet connectivity is provided by
Sprint in combination with Net.Work.Virginia and a separate 10Mbps connection provided by
Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions. Mason is also connected to Internet 2 via Net.Work.Virginia
through the Mid Atlantic Crossroads. During the next fiscal year, the university plans to replace
the Net.Work.Virginia connections at the Prince William and Arlington Campuses with dark
fiber and dense wave division multiplexing hardware, providing a significant, scaleable boost in
network bandwidth. The Fairfax Net.Work.Virginia connection will be upgraded to an OC3
(155Mbps) connection during the next fiscal year as well.
        George Mason provides nearly 500 dial-in modems supporting up to 56Kbps and ISDN
BRI connections for remote access to university resources as well as Internet access for students,
faculty and staff. During the next fiscal year, the university intends to outsource this service to
an ISP to accommodate expanding demand.
        Through this network UCIS provides access to many servers and applications. Email,
currently provided by several different applications, is being migrated to a single Netscape mail
system running on fully redundant UNIX-based servers. UCIS provides general-purpose
academic research and instructional support for students and faculty via several redundant UNIX
servers. UCIS also provides specialized systems for web development and web hosting for
faculty as well as support for streaming digital video and audio. University administrative
applications are hosted on multiple systems, including an IBM mainframe and multiple



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redundant UNIX servers. File server applications, file storage and network printing are provided
by a series of Intel-based Novell and NT servers.

Trained Technical and User Services Staff

         UCIS employs primarily full-time, professional staff to provide technical and support
services. Field Services is responsible for the installation and repair of telephone equipment and
computer hardware, software and peripherals. The Fairfax Field Services organization is staffed
with a manager, a supervisor, and 14 field engineers. Five of the 14 field engineers are based in
academic departments and receive day-to-day work direction from the academic departments
where they are based. The Arlington Campus and Prince William Campus field organizations
are staffed with a manager, a supervisor, one full-time field engineer, and several part-time
engineers at each site. All field engineers are encouraged to obtain A+ Certification, an industry-
recognized program focused on technical and customer service skills.
         The UCIS Support Center is the first point of contact for any technology-related request.
Faculty, staff, and students contact the Support Center through phone calls, e-mail, walk-in, and
the UCIS web page. The Support Center receives about 33,000 requests annually for assistance
or information. The Fairfax Support Center organization is staffed with a manager, a supervisor,
a database administrator, three second-level analysts, and three first-level analysts (full- and part-
time staff). The Arlington and Prince William Support Center organizations are staffed with a
supervisor and three first-level analysts (part-time).       All Support Centers share the same
database to track requests (Support Magic).
         The UCIS Server Support Group (SSG) provides the technical support for the hardware,
operating system, and data recoverability for George Mason‘s shared fileservers, both Novell and
NT. Novell provides general purpose file/application sharing, and printer support for faculty and
staff workstations, as well as the majority of student labs. NT is used to support specific vertical
applications, as well as Microsoft FrontPage. Currently, the SSG is providing support for over
60 servers. The Server Support Group is staffed with a manager, five full-time engineers, and
two part-time support technicians. All engineers are encouraged to obtain their CNE and MSCE,
which are industry-recognized programs to qualify an engineer's technical ability.
         UCIS recently commissioned an independent consulting firm to assess the level of
opportunity for the creation of a depot repair facility at the Fairfax Campus. Alternative
Resources Corporation also evaluated the quality of user services provided by UCIS. The firm
compared the performance of the Field Service, Support Center and Server Support
organizations to industry accepted benchmarks and metrics. It characterized the overall service
process as ―providing below average service quality at generally above average cost.‖ The study
also found that the Support Center provides above-average service at below-average cost, while
the Field Services and Server Support organizations provide below-average service quality at
above-average cost. The shortcomings are attributed to a lack of adequate internal procedures
and oversight, few service performance metrics in place, and ineffective university-wide asset
management.
         An intensive study by the Gartner Group of the university‘s technology support
organizations confirms that a number of users are dissatisfied with support services provided by
UCIS . Gartner did recommend some changes that could be made with few new resources, but it
concluded that the level of staffing and of training dollars are so below what are needed for an
institution of this size and complexity that it will be impossible to bring services to an acceptable



                                             200
level without a substantial infusion of new dollars. For example, employees often wait two
weeks or more for a desktop computing problem to be resolved and over four weeks from the
time a new computer arrives until it can be installed.
        With Northern Virginia‘s high concentration of technology firms, public institutions will
always be at a competitive disadvantage when trying to hire, train and retain qualified IT
professionals. Recent changes to the Commonwealth‘s compensation system that make it easier
to reward top performers should improve the university‘s position. Mason is taking other steps
to improve technical and user support services. For example, UCIS is recruiting a logistics
coordinator. It is also upgrading the Support Magic database to alert management to work
requests not completed within established time frames.

Suggestion

       The Gartner Group recommended that the university restructure the UCIS help desk
(based on industry best practices), adding staff with appropriate expertise in order to
reduce/prevent pulling off project resources to cover operational problems. The university
should give serious consideration to this recommendation in its budget process.

Supporting Documentation

Alternative Resources Corporation. (2000). Consulting Practices Group Break/Fix Depot
       Assessment, George Mason University. Barrington, Illinois: Author.
Budget Office. (2000). Report on IT Spending, 1996 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Web
       Development. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlnavbar/webdev/, current on January 3, 2001.
Gartner Group. (2000). Gartner Group, Justifications/Commentary – General Criteria.
       Stamford, Connecticut: Author.
Gartner Group. (2000). Gartner Group, Justifications/Commentary – Specific Criteria. Stamford,
       Connecticut: Author.
Gartner Group. (2000). Gartner Group, President’s Council Presentation. Stamford,
       Connecticut: Author.
Information Technology Unit. (2000). 2000 Guide to Information Technology Services. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/guide, current on January 2, 2001.
Net.Work.Virginia. (2000). Net.Work.Virginia. [Online]. Blacksburg, Virginia: Author.
       Available at http://www.networkvirginia.net/, current on January 3, 2001.
University Computing and Information Systems. (2000). Computer Purchasing FAQ for
       Students. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/stu_purch.html, current on January 3, 2001.
University Computing and Information Systems. (2000). Computer Purchasing Guidelines for
       Mason Departments. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/dept_purch.html, current on January 3, 2001.




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University Computing and Information Systems. (2000). Help Center. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/help_center.html, current on January 3, 2001.
University Computing and Information Systems. (2000). UCIS Network and Emerging
       Technologies. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://netinfo.gmu.edu/, current on January 3, 2001.

        Although the diversity of educational programs and goals will be a major determining
factor in the selection of information technology resources by an institution, there must be a
reasonable infusion of information technology into the curricula so that students exit with the
fundamental knowledge and basic ability to use these resources in everyday life and in future
occupations. Institutions must provide the means by which students may acquire basic
competencies in the use of computers and related information technology resources. A reliable
data network should be available so that students, faculty and staff may become accustomed to
electronic communication and familiar with accessing national and global information
resources. There must be provisions for ongoing training of faculty and staff members so that
they may make skillful use of appropriate application software. These requirements apply to all
programs wherever located or delivered. (p. 60, lines 24 – 28, p. 61, lines 1 – 13)

         Starting in 1998, the university has undertaken a major initiative to integrate technology
into its liberal arts programs and to ensure that all graduates have a solid foundation in applied
technology. In particular, the College of Arts and Sciences‘ (CAS‘) Technology Across the
Curriculum (TAC) program has identified ten focus areas for the integration of technology:

          Electronic collaboration
          Electronic document creation
          Technology-enhanced presentations
          Electronic tools for research
          Information management with spreadsheets
          Information management with databases
          Electronic tools for quantitative and qualitative data analysis
          Analysis of spatial data with GIS tools
          Familiarity with legal, ethical, and security issues related to technology
          Working knowledge of IT platforms and networking

        CAS has guided faculty development of revised courses and curricula that include
substantial use of these skills across a student‘s academic experience. (For more details, see the
TAC web site at http://cas.gmu.edu/tac.) During the Fall 1999 semester, the first 18 courses in
this program were implemented, affecting about 1,000 students. Another 24 proposals involving
eight academic departments are scheduled for implementation during the Fall 2000 semester.
        The TAC program is making progress toward its long-term goal, namely that all CAS
students will graduate with substantial hands-on experience with a variety of uses of technology.
With almost 10,000 students, CAS is the university‘s largest undergraduate academic unit. In
two years, the TAC program has involved 14 academic departments and more than 70 courses,
many of them required general education courses. As of the Fall 2000 semester, more than 3,000
students will have been affected by these course redesigns. Assessment studies underway in


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these courses show significant improvements in student learning as well as increased facility
with a variety of technology applications. The overall program is designed to move CAS toward
systematic integration of technology into its curriculum. Additionally, it will serve as a model
for other schools to help students develop increasingly sophisticated technology skills as they
move through their academic programs.
        CAS also houses New Century College (NCC), a competency-based, integrative
program. Information Technology is one of the college‘s nine competency areas that students
are required to master. NCC requires that students demonstrate the following IT competencies:

          The ability to acquire, organize and apply information using databases, spreadsheets,
           word and information processing, and presentation graphics;
          The ability to evaluate the effectiveness and reliability of various information sources
           for their appropriate use; and
          Awareness of public policy issues relating to information technology.

        NCC students learn a progression of technology skills throughout the first year program
and continue their learning in technology-intensive upper level courses. In NCC, students are
introduced to the application and use of information technology through a combination of
learning modules, hands-on computer laboratories, in or out-of-class assignments and self
selected learning opportunities. Learning focuses on the fundamentals of IT and applying IT
concepts in integrated assignments and projects.
        The university has also created a number of IT minors that provide students with direct
coursework in such areas as telecommunications, electronic journalism, geographic information
systems, computer science, and multimedia technologies. About 200 students have enrolled in
these minors as of the Spring 2000 semester.
        Finally, the university‘s latest general education requirements specifically call for
competency in the use of information technology and more integration of technology skills into
appropriate general education courses. Students are expected to possess a command of basic
software and hardware concepts, terminology and functions, and file/data structures, and to use
appropriate electronic tools in order to do the following:

          Data organization and search (databases, web browsers, search engines)
          Data analysis (spreadsheets, GIS, Statistical software)
          Data presentation and communication: (text, electronic slides, web pages, graphs,
           presentation software, HTML, word processing, e-mail)

       In addition, students will be required to have classroom experience in, knowledge of and
appreciation for fundamental ethical issues relating to IT and our changing economy, including
but not limited to computer security, privacy laws, public policy issues, professional codes of
ethics and intellectual property issues. Students may fulfill the IT requirement by either
achieving an acceptable score on appropriate modules and tests of skills and, at least, a one credit
IT course in ethics and law; or one approved three credit IT course to meet all requirements
including IT ethics.
       All faculty and staff have access to the university network and to the Internet‘s resources
through desktop computers in their offices. Regular training opportunities are provided through
the combined efforts of the Information Technology Training Council, which includes University


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Computing, University Libraries, and DoIIIT. Sessions are available at all three campuses. Last
year the Training Council and its constituent members offered a regular series of more than 60
different training sessions as well as special events like BYTE Week (Build Your Technology
Experience), where dozens of sessions are grouped into the week before classes begin to allow
easy access to multiple training opportunities. In 1998-99, more than 75 special workshop
sessions were offered with more than 600 faculty and staff participants. The Training Council
estimates that there were about 2,000 participants in regular training sessions in 1998-99.
        Students have access to training and mentoring in technology applications through the
Student Technology Assistance and Resource Center (STAR). STAR Training currently offers
about 20 different workshops on a regular basis. In 1998-99, there were about 1,200 participants
in STAR's training classes.
        In addition, the university has contracted with SmartForce to provide online training
resources to all students and faculty in more than 200 technology applications, including the
Microsoft Office 2000 suite, for which the university has a campus license.
        1998 and 1999 graduating seniors were asked in surveys to report the number of Mason
classes that incorporated technology. Results from both surveys show that a growing number of
classes have incorporated one or more technology applications.
        Feedback and evaluations from IT training activities indicate a high degree of satisfaction
from the participants. The IT Training Council regularly evaluates its workshop offerings. Their
most recent evaluation in January 2000 indicated that the training program was adequately
serving campus needs. "Workshops are well attended and offered frequently enough for anyone
with a desire to take them to take part. They are free for faculty, staff, and students, and training
opportunities are available on all three campuses."
        In the spring of 2000, the IT Training Council introduced a new online registration
system and "one-stop shop" for IT training in order to make it easier for faculty and students to
find workshops appropriate to their needs. This site (http://ittraining.irc.gmu.edu/) lists all
available IT training from all units and maintains a record of all workshops taken for each
participant.

Supporting Documentation

College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://cas.gmu.edu/tac/, current on
       November 28, 2000.
College of Arts and Sciences. (2000). ―Information Technology Goals for Liberal Arts
       Students,‖ Technology Across the Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://cas.gmu.edu/tac/docs/it_goals.html, current on January 3,
       2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Academic
       Computing Labs. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.labs.gmu.edu/, current on January 2, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). BYTE Week
       Information. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://ittraining.gmu.edu/byteinfo.cfm, current on January 3, 2001.




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Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Instructional
       Resource Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.irc.gmu.edu/, current on January 2, 2001.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2000). Student
       Technology Assistance and Resources Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://media.gmu.edu/, current on December 19, 2000.
Division of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies. (2001). 2000 Assessment
       Portfolios. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
IT Training Council. (2000). IT Training @ Mason. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://ittraining.gmu.edu/, current on December 31, 2000.
New Century College. (2000). New Century College Curriculum. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.ncc.gmu.edu/nccurriculum.htm,
       current on January 3, 2001.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (n.d.). Graduating Senior Surveys, 1992 - 2000. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Student Government. (2000). General Education at George Mason University. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/org/sg/executive/generaleducation.html, current on January 3, 2001.
University Computing and Information Systems. (2000). Learning Resources Office. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ucis/lro/lro.html, current on January 3, 2001.
University Computing and Information Systems. (1999). UCIS/LRO Fall 1998 Through Summer
       1999 Computer Classes. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        Policies for the allocation and use of information technology resources must be clearly
stated and consistent with an institution’s purpose and goals. These policies must be evaluated
regularly to ensure that academic and administrative needs are adequately addressed. (p. 61,
lines 14 – 18)

       Technology resources are allocated primarily through the budget process of the
university. Academic units establish their IT priorities. The Vice President for Information
Technology (VPIT) holds discussion sessions with the deans of the academic units and follows
up with a written survey to ensure that unit input has been accurately represented. For the FY
2001 budget, for example, the IT priorities expressed by the deans were:

          reliable network services
          enhanced network security
          an enterprise e-mail system with a common directory
          improving the university's web presence

In addition, based on the faculty survey noted earlier, the VPIT added to the list "more smart
classrooms," because it surfaced as a high demand among faculty.
       The Budget Group, which includes the VPIT, the Vice-President for University Life, the
Vice-President for Operations, the Senior Vice-President, the Assistant Vice-President for
Budget and Institutional Research, the Provost, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and the
Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, decides how to fund these initiatives, taking into


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account priorities established by the university's Board of Visitors, the Governor and the state
legislature, as well as the overall mission and commitments of the university. The level of new
funding available in any given year is usually insufficient to fund all projects at the requested
level.
        Another significant resource for information technology is the Equipment Trust Fund, a
fund from the state that, among other things, provides most of the money the university uses to
purchase desktop and lab computers. For FY 01 and 02, George Mason has been allocated $4.6
million in ETF funds. The priorities for ETF at George Mason are to:

          replace obsolete computers
          provide computers for new faculty and staff
          improve central systems
          upgrade central labs
          upgrade departmental labs
          upgrade communications/network infrastructure

         These priorities are evaluated annually by the university‘s Budget Group. Any ETF
monies remaining at the end of the year are typically dedicated to upgrading department labs.
         Substantial information technology resources are provided by UCIS, DoIIIT, and the
Libraries. These funds are allocated by the IT units based on the funding priorities of the Budget
Council and with input from the advisory groups associated with each unit. Other resources are
provided by the individual academic units based on the priorities established within their units.
         Between FY 96 and FY 2000, the baseline budget (not including restricted project
initiatives) of the Information Technology Division grew by $2.1 million, representing a 20%
increase in expenditures over that time period. Raises and fringe benefit increases, most state-
mandated and funded, comprise $1.1 million of the $2.1 million increase. The remaining $1
million was allocated via the university‘s budget process to cover inflationary increases or
operational initiatives. ―Distribution of Inflationary Increases and Operational Initiatives‖ shows
a shortfall of $286,000, funded by decreasing other IT services or by budget transfers from other
ledgers.
         Restricted project initiatives over the last five years include: the annual cost of paying
back the loan for the telecommunications infrastructure, one-time funding for Y2K compliance,
and database licensing in preparation for new administrative systems. This category also
includes technology fee initiatives, since these must be clearly set apart from operational funding
and approved by the Board of Visitors annually. Such restricted initiatives make up over $4
million, or 27% of the current year‘s budget.
         Salary and fringe benefits in the E & G budget account for 80.9 % of total expenditures;
within the IT division, personnel account for about 53% of the budget, a decrease from a high of
68% over the last few years.
         The use of technology resources at the university is governed by the Responsible Use of
Computing Policy, last revised in 1997. The policy covers issues such as the legal use of
university computers, privacy issues, the creation of web pages, and the role of the Security
Review Panel.




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Suggestion

         All academic and administrative units have input into the establishment of priorities for
IT spending through the university's budget process. In addition, all IT units—UCIS, DoIIIT,
and University Libraries—have regular input from constituent users to help determine needs and
priorities for projects within their budgets. Information about the budget process and budget
allocations is available at the Budget Office‘s web site. Although this process is a public one, it
is not clearly understood by the everyone in the university. Faculty in particular often raise
questions about how priorities are established and ask for a more direct role in determining IT
spending.
         IT units should have regular and well-publicized processes for needs assessment and be
able to show how this assessment relates to the budget process. Once IT priorities for a
particular budget cycle have been established, the university should inform the university
community of those priorities and how they were determined. Web sites for each of the IT units,
for example, could post budget priorities. IT unit plans and goals for the year should also be well
publicized and easily accessible to their constituents.

Supporting Documentation

Budget Office. (2000). George Mason University Budget Office. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://budget.gmu.edu/, current on January 3,
       2001.
Hughes, J. (1999 July 8). Memorandum Re: ETF for ’99-’00. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Information Technology Unit. (2000). Distribution of Inflationary Increases and Operational
       Initiatives. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Responsible Use of Computing Policy,‖ 2000 – 2001
       University Catalog. pp. 44 – 47. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/60.html, current on January 3, 2001.

       Appropriate security measures must be installed and monitored to protect the
confidentiality and integrity of academic systems, administrative systems, and institutional
networks. (p. 61, lines 18 – 22)

        To provide for the orderly and responsible use of its complex computer network, George
Mason established the Responsible Use of Computing policy in 1994. This policy was built on
the principle that individual users are responsible for their own behavior in maintaining the
security of the university network and the privacy of information in it. The policy adopted a
―stopit‖ procedure to warn first-time offenders and give all users a standard means of reporting
abuses. This policy has worked exceedingly well for a campus of this size. In 1997 about one
complaint a week was submitted to stopit. The complaint rate has jumped significantly, to about
20 complaints a week in 1999. About 90% of complaints are requests to stop spam, 5% to stop
some form of harassment, and 5% to report use of campus computers in criminal activity. The
University's Security Review Panel (SRP) oversees the implementation of the RUC. See their
web site at http://www.gmu.edu/srp/ for more information about the membership and functions
of the SRP.



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        Concerned about increasing security problems involving the university network, the
Vice-President for Information Technology appointed the Task Force on Information Security
and Privacy in the fall of 1999 to study security issues at the university. Its report, ―Battening
the Hatches,‖ delivered in March of 2000, identified four areas where the university could
strengthen its security measures:

            information policy (the kinds of information on university systems and protection
             standards for each type)
            systems (the computers, networks, and infrastructure that store, transmit, and process
             information)
            people (qualifications of professional and student staff who administer computers)
            authentication (the level of trust placed in parties interacting over the network)

       The task force recommended:

            the adoption of a university information policy, a draft of which is contained in its
             report
            hiring a Chief Security Officer
            creation of an Information Security Office to oversee the implementation of security
             measures
            Development of a guide to security for university systems
            Better coordination of systems administrators operating at the unit level

Implementation of the recommendations of the task force will fill in gaps in existing procedures
and give the university appropriate protection of its system and the information contained in the
system.

Suggestion

       Given the rapid pace of change in technology and users‘ responses to it, the university
should review and update annually its Responsible Use of Computing Policy.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Responsible Use of Computing Policy,‖ 2000 – 2001
       University Catalog. pp. 44 – 47. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/60.html, current on January 3, 2001.
Security Review Panel. (2000). George Mason University Security Review Panel. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/srp/,
       current on January 3, 2001.
Task Force on Information Security and Privacy. (2000). Battening the Hatches, The Report of
       the Task Force on Information Security and Privacy. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/srp/isptf/local/ispreport.pdf, current on
       January 3, 2001.




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       There should be a clearly defined program for maintaining and replacing equipment and
software so that they remain consistent with current technology. (p. 61, lines 22 – 24)

         All desktop hardware and software is installed and maintained by university technical
staff. Three-year on-site manufacturer warranties are in place on most equipment purchased over
the last several years. UCIS established departmentally-based technical support in 1998, a move
that has received strong support from departments.
         DoIIIT has a replacement cycle plan in place for instructional equipment in the
university‘s computer labs and electronic classrooms. Under this plan, computers in labs are
replaced on a three-year cycle. Computers taken out of university labs are recycled to electronic
classrooms or department labs. The replacement cycle is funded primarily through ETF, and will
cost approximately $1.5 million over the next three years. Department labs are not funded in this
cycle; however, DoIIIT has prepared a replacement cycle plan for department labs to use as a
guide when ETF funds are available.
         Desktop systems are replaced according to technical obsolescence and functional
requirements, using departmental, central UCIS, and state allocated ETF funding. Allocations
are determined through the university‘s annual budget process. The process provides the means
for technology replacement in significant projects ahead of general university requests. Requests
are submitted to UCIS for consideration based on previously established categories of priority
expenditure. Many systems were replaced in 1999 as a part of George Mason‘s Y2K compliance
efforts.
         The university, working with Virginia‘s Council on Technology Services, a number of
state agencies, and several vendors, is developing a plan to ensure that desktop hardware and
software remain consistent with current technology standards. Under this plan, George Mason
would contract with a vendor (selected as part of a new state contract planned for award in the
second half of 2000) to manage the lifecycle replacement of desktop hardware and software.
They would install the new system and ensure that all required software is in place as required by
the previously established system‘s profile of the customer. Replacement schedules would vary
from less than one year to around three years based on customer profiled requirements. Existing
George Mason technical staff would support the equipment and software throughout the installed
period at the university. They would be certified to work on the equipment and perform
warranty work as well. The university will evaluate the effectiveness of the plan through a pilot
test. Should the pilot be successful, and assuming funding is available, the plan will be
implemented on a larger scale.
         A new process for requesting and approving replacement systems is being considered for
introduction in fiscal year 2000-2001; it will incorporate the request with the department budget
submission. Departments would be required to submit a justification for replacement systems,
just as is done for other acquisitions requested through the budget process. This would help to
assure that all departments are equally aware of the availability of funds, and approval will be
granted through the budget process.

Supporting Documentation

Council on Technology Services. (2000). Seat Management Info Center. [Online]. Richmond,
      Virginia: Commonwealth of Virginia. Available at http://www.sotech.state.va.us/cots/,
      current on January 3, 2001.



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5.4 Student Development Services

5.4.1 Scope and Accountability

        Student development services are essential to the achievement of the educational goals of
the institution and should contribute to the cultural, social, moral, intellectual and physical
development of students. To ensure effectiveness, the institution must develop goals for the
student services program consistent with student needs and with the purpose of the institution.
Appropriate student development services must be provided for distance learning programs as
well as on-campus programs. (p. 61, lines 25 – 34)

        Student development services at George Mason University are essential to the
achievement of the educational goals of the institution and contribute to the cultural, social,
moral, intellectual and physical development of students. Those services are provided at George
Mason by the division of University Life, created in 1997.
         Prior to 1997, the functions typically associated with the chief student affairs officer
(CSAO) were dispersed among several administrators. The 1997 reorganization recognized the
central role that student development services play in the achievement of the educational goals of
the institution by integrating these functions under a single CSAO and elevating the position to
the level of vice president. To strengthen the relationship between students and faculty, the
reorganization called for the CSAO position to be filled by a faculty member.
        Each department within the division of University life operates within a well-articulated
mission and goals statement that is consistent with student needs and the purpose of the
university. These are detailed in subsections 5.4.3.1 through 5.4.3.7 of this report. In addition,
University Life is in the process of developing institutional goals for the student services
program. The Vice President of University Life in her ―2000 Vision Statement‖ established
program and service assessment as a goal for her division.
        Student development services are available to students in distance-learning programs as
well as to students enrolled in on-campus programs. All student development services offices
can be contacted by phone and e-mail. The University Life web site provides links to the web
sites of all of the student services offices in the university. A new distance and distributed
learning web site also directs students to services.

Supporting Documentation

Office of the Provost. (2000). Distance & Distributed Learning. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://distance.gmu.edu/, current on December
       28, 2000.
Rosenblum, K. (2000). University Life 2000 Vision Statement. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Life. (2000). University Life. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/unilife/, current on January 3, 2001.
University Life. (2000). Programs and Services for Students. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/unilife/offices.htm,
       current on January 3, 2001.



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       The institution must clearly designate an administrative unit responsible for planning
and implementing student development services. Appropriate policies and procedures for
student development programs and services must be established. (p. 62, lines 1 – 5)

        University Life is the division responsible for planning and implementing student
development services. This division includes career services, counseling services, disability
resource center, drug education services, judicial affairs, health education services, international
student programs and services, learning services, minority student affairs (recently renamed the
Office of Diversity Programs and Services), multicultural services, sexual assault services,
student health services, student organization and activity programs, student media, and the
women‘s center. The division also bears responsibility for building community throughout the
campus, hence its title ―University Life.‖
        Each department within the division of University Life operates within a well-articulated
mission and goals statement, a set of established policies and procedures, and a format for
program/service evaluation. These are detailed in subsections 5.4.3.1 through 5.4.3.7 of this
report.

Supporting Documentation

University Life. (2000). University Life Organization Chart. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/unilife/chart.htm,
       current on January 3, 2001.

        Student development services should be given organizational status commensurate with
other major administrative areas within the institution. These services must be staffed by
individuals who have academic preparation and experience consistent with their assignments.
In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated competence may
substitute for academic preparation. Exceptional cases must be justified by the institution on an
individual basis. Student development services and programs must be evaluated regularly. (p.
62, lines 6 – 15)

        University Life offices are staffed by professionals with relevant academic training and
experience. Résumés document the preparation and experiences of all professional staff.
        Each University Life office has developed a form of program/service evaluation
appropriate for its distinctive mission. These are documented in subsections 5.4.3.1 through
5.4.3.7 of this report.

Supporting Documentation

University Life. (2000). Résumés, 2000 – 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

5.4.2 Resources

      Human, physical, financial and equipment resources for student development services
must be adequate to support the goals of the institution. Staff development should be related to



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the goals of the student development program and should be designed to enhance staff
competencies and awareness of current theory and practice. (p. 62, lines 16 – 21)

         University Life offices have suffered the same under-funding experienced by the
institution as a whole. While our offices continue to seek additional resources, we are
nonetheless confident that students are provided with at least the minimum level of services. The
adequacy of resources and staff development is addressed in subsections 5.4.3.1 through 5.4.3.7
of this report.

5.4.3 Programs and Services

        5.4.3.1 Counseling and Career Development. Each institution should provide personal
counseling services for students, as well as a career development program. An effective career
development program should include career information and planning, placement services,
career counseling, testing services and follow-up activities. There should be clearly specified
policies regarding the use of career development services by students, alumni and employees. (p.
62, lines 22 – 30)

       The Counseling Center provides personal counseling services for students. University
Career Services provides a career development program that includes career information and
planning, placement services, career counseling, testing services and follow-up activities.

Counseling Center – Mission and Goals

        The mission of the George Mason University Counseling Center is to provide programs
and services which will enable students to learn skills, attitudes and behaviors essential for
healthy personal growth and successful academic adjustment. The Center seeks to promote these
learning goals through counseling, educational workshops and consultation with faculty and
staff. Through use of Center services students will learn skills which promote academic success
and enhance effectiveness in both curricular and co-curricular activities. They will learn to
effectively manage personal problems and situational crises, learn strategies to cope with
academic stress, develop self-management skills and values, and learn to function independently
        Services and programs include Counseling Services, Learning Services, and Multicultural
Services (Multicultural Research and Resource Center and Black Peer Counseling Program) and
the Self-Development Center. The Counseling Center services and programs are designed to:

          Meet the emotional and psychological needs of students through individual and group
           counseling programs.
          Educate the university community on issues related to personal development,
           academic skills, and interpersonal relations through the provision of consultation
           services and educational programs.
          Meet the learning and study needs of students through individual and group skill
           building programs.
          Meet the personal development and adjustment needs of traditionally under-served
           and minority students through outreach programs.



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Counseling Center – Policies and Procedures

       The Counseling Center operates within the guidelines established by its accrediting
association, the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc., the regulations of the
Commonwealth of Virginia, and the ethical guidelines of professional associations.
       Associations and statutes include the following:

          Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia
          Virginia Board of Psychology
          Virginia Board of Professional Counselors
          International Association of Counseling Services (IACS)
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          American Counseling Association (ACA)
          American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

Additionally, policies and procedures have been outlined in the Counseling Center Counselor
and Support Staff Manuals, which are available in the department. Policies and procedures that
apply to students are explained in handout and educational materials.

Counseling Center – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

          Counseling Services:
           o Self-report client satisfaction surveys in which participants are asked to report
              their level of satisfaction with the service and to self-report outcomes that they
              relate to the use of the service. Specific self-report satisfaction and skill
              development surveys are given to students participating in individual counseling,
              group counseling, and education programs offered either in the Counseling Center
              or elsewhere on-campus.
           o A self-report satisfaction survey of previous individual counseling users over a
              number of years which provided the center with long-term satisfaction data.
           o Periodic focus groups for students as well as faculty and staff to identify needs of
              the university community and how the Counseling Center addresses those needs.
           o Students who participate in the interpersonal skills certificate program complete
              pre- and post-assessments of their interpersonal skills which initially identifies
              interpersonal skills to develop through the certificate program and later measures
              the outcome of participation in the program.
          Learning Services:
           o Students who participate in the Academic Skills Certificate program complete
              pre- and post-assessments of their academic skills. The pre-assessment identifies
              the academic skills to develop through the academic skills program and the post-
              assessment measures the outcome of participation in the program.
           o Participants in academic skill workshops complete a self-report satisfaction
              questionnaire.
           o Tutors and tutees complete self-report satisfaction questionnaires on their use of
              the tutor referral program.
          Multicultural Services:


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           o Black Peer Counseling Program (BPC):
             - Students using the BPC services complete the Problem Identification
                Checklist, a needs assessment that is used to identify program goals.
             - Student users also complete a self-report satisfaction survey and are invited to
                participate in conversation or focus groups that assess how the BPC is meeting
                student needs.
             - Students enrolled in the university‘s Virginia Student Retention and
                Recruitment Program (VSRRP) participate in the ―Empowering Students of
                Color‖ curriculum which includes pre- and post-measures to assess the
                students‘ acquisition of knowledge and skills.
           o Multicultural Resource and Research Center (MRRC):
             - Participants evaluate workshops and training programs.
             - Participants in Diversity and Human Relations Training Programs utilizing the
                National Coalition Building Institutes (NCBI) Model complete a self-report
                satisfaction questionnaire to assess how the program has met the identified
                goals.
             - Participants in the Train-the-Trainers Program complete a self-report
                satisfaction and outcome questionnaire designed to assess both customer
                satisfaction with the training and the readiness of the participants to conduct
                human relations and diversity programs.

In addition, the Counseling Center prepares an Annual Report that provides a summary of the
services and programs as well as evaluation data.

Counseling Center – Resources

          Human. The International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), the
           accrediting association for university and college counseling centers, has
           recommended minimum staffing ratios in the range of one FTE professional staff
           member to every 1,000 to 1,500 students. George Mason has an FTE of
           approximately 18,000 students. For this size institution, the IACS guidelines would
           recommend 12 to 18 F.T.E. professional staff. For similar size institutions listed in
           the College and University Counseling Center Directors‘ Data Bank, the mode was
           10 F.T.E. professional positions. Since the Counseling Center professional staff is
           below these levels, the Center will continue to seek additional professional staff
           resources in order to continue to offer the present services and programs and expand
           them as demand is greater than current resources.
          Physical. As the professional staff increases, space will need to be allocated to
           perform effectively the functions of the Counseling Center.
          Financial. Budgets are sufficient for operational and programmatic expenditures. As
           the demand for programs and services continues to grow, the Counseling Center will
           need to seek additional financial resources to support the programs and services.
          Equipment. The Counseling Center has adequate equipment to meet present
           operations. However, the Center will continue to expand its use of technology in
           order to meet the demands for services at all campuses and to have updated
           equipment.


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Counseling Center – Staff Development

          Membership in relevant professional associations (professional staff)
          Professional association conferences (professional staff)
          Seminars - campus and continuing education (professional and classified staff)
          Regular in-house professional staff seminars (professional staff)
          In-house office training (all staff)
          Specialized training (e.g. technical/computing related, campus based systems and
           classes) (all staff)
          Staff retreats (all staff)
          In-house case conferences (professional staff)

University Career Services

        University Career Services has designed its programs and services to address the career
development needs of our diverse student population. Program components comply with the
―Professional Standards for College and University Career Services‖ established by the National
Association of Colleges and Employers in 1998. They include assistance with self-assessment
and exploring majors and careers, access to career information through a career library and the
internet, help gaining career-related experience, preparation for the job search and graduate
school admission, and connections with employers to find jobs. Follow-up of registered students
occurs at the end of each semester. Follow-up of employers participating in campus recruiting
and cooperative education programs occurs several times a year. Policies regarding eligibility
requirements and use of services by students, alumni and employers appear on the University
Career Services web page and in various written materials.

University Career Services – Mission and Goals

        University Career Services involves students in a self assessment process, career
exploration and research and decision-making; encourages the pursuit of experiential learning
opportunities; prepares students for their job search; and provides access to job leads and
employers. The office supports the university's academic units by providing information on
career options and employment trends and by collaborating on programs that increase awareness
of skills and competencies sought by today's employers. Career Services cultivates relationships
with employers through quality service and involvement in programs that reflect mutual interests
and needs. University Career Services will:

          Offer career counseling that helps students understand the relationship between their
           interests, values and skills and major/career choice; establish goals; develop a plan of
           action; and take responsibility for implementation of their career decisions.
          Make available to students current, comprehensive and accessible information related
           to self-assessment and career planning, occupations, the job market, graduate and
           professional schools, employment search, internships and other experiential learning,
           and employer information.



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          Provide opportunities for students to gain practical knowledge and firsthand,
           professional experience related to their major and career goals through cooperative
           education, internships, other career-related pre-graduation employment, and
           shadowing/externship experiences. University Career Services will work closely with
           other departments that provide experiential education opportunities.
          Assist students in developing job search competencies and the tools to present
           themselves effectively as candidates for employment and in managing the
           employment decision-making process. University Career Services will assist students
           in connecting with employers and job opportunities through campus interviews, job
           listings, referrals, direct application, print and electronic resources, referrals, and
           informational/networking opportunities.
          Assist students in obtaining information about graduate/professional school programs
           and preparing for the application process.
          Work closely with the academic units in providing/exchanging career, job market and
           employment information and in collaborating on programs and services of mutual
           interest to the faculty, students and employers.
          Establish cooperative relationships with other campus offices and services in order to
           support mutual referrals, exchange of information, sharing of resources, and other
           program functions. Offices of particular interest include Academic Support and
           Advising Services, Counseling Center, Alumni Affairs, Disability Resource Center,
           International Programs and Services, Minority Student Affairs, Admissions,
           Athletics, and Corporate Development.
          Cultivate employment opportunities for our students and graduates, provide quality
           service to employers, and involve employers in programs that reflect student, faculty
           or university interests and employer needs.

University Career Services – Policies and Procedures

       University Career Services operates within the established GMU Administrative Policies
and recommended guidelines of professional associations. Associations include:

          National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
          American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
          Cooperative Education Association (CEA)
          National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE)

University Career Services Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

          Tracks student participation in programs and services.
          Prepares annual report that compares the year just ended to the previous year.
           Changes in volume and usage patterns are factored into the planning for the following
           year.
          Conducts e-mail surveys of students registered for services to identify outcomes or
           actions taken as a result of their use of services, satisfaction with the assistance
           received, and opinions on programs, services and delivery methods.



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          Surveys Career Connections Online members annually to determine frequency of
           contact and value of the experience. On-line users are surveyed during use of the
           program to determine demographic data, ease of use, and suggestions for
           improvement.
          Collects written evaluations of all new programs/services.
          Conducts annual internal staff assessment of programs, services, resources and
           materials.
          For University 200, a 2-credit course designed to help students decide on or confirm
           their choice of major, students provide evaluation through (1) a pre- and post-course
           questionnaire measuring knowledge acquired, (2) a tailored course evaluation, (3) a
           standard University course evaluation. Instructors also provide evaluation of the
           course in writing and through supervision by the Project Manager.
          For Cooperative Education, both the student and employer complete written
           evaluations for each work period. The supervisor provides feedback on the student‘s
           performance in his/her co-op position. The student provides feedback, specifically
           for his/her career consultant, about the nature and quality of the co-op experience as
           well as the academic and career relevance of the learning that has occurred. During
           the first Cooperative Education work period, either a phone or on-site visit is held
           between the student, supervisor, and career consultant. The purpose of the visit is to
           assess the type and level of work being performed by the student and to determine
           both the student‘s and supervisor‘s level of satisfaction with the co-op experience.
           Additional phone visits are often held during subsequent work periods. The Minority
           Internship Program uses similar evaluation methods.
          Surveys employers about programs/services they have used; students they have made
           offers to and/or hired; satisfaction with and improvements needed in services; and
           opinions on variety of career services topics.
          On-Campus Interview employers complete a ―confidential‖ evaluation of students
           they interviewed. They assess each student‘s communication skills, preparedness,
           professional appearance, etc. Students may request a ―summary‖ of the evaluations
           after completing three interviews. Career consultants then work with students on
           strategies for improving their interviewing skills.

University Career Services – Resources

        University Career Services has adequate staff to achieve its goals. The current level of
staffing includes graduate interns from the higher education track of the Counseling and
Development Program, who are paid a small stipend.
        The need to expand our use of technology to inform and deliver services has resulted in
the reallocation of resources from career consultation to computer systems engineering and web
development/management. Approximately 1.25 FTE has been redirected from career counseling
to technology development/management.
        Using the 1993 Career Services Survey data on average number of secretarial/clerical
staff for institutions with full-time undergraduate enrollment of 10,001-20,000, University
Career Services is 1.68 FTE below the average (4.0 vs. 5.68).
        As is true for most offices in the university, space is a problem for University Career
Services. University Career Services does not compare favorably to other career services offices


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at institutions with full-time undergraduate enrollment of 10,001-20,000, according to the 1993
Career Services Survey. The average number of interview rooms reported in the survey was 9.
University Career Services currently has 2 in its immediate facility and 3 elsewhere in the
building. Building renovations planned for 2001-02 will increase this number to a total of six.
For the last several years, the office has had to turn away employers wishing to participate in the
on-campus interview program due to space. Graduate interns and graduate assistants have no
designated office space and must arrange to be in Career Services when career consultants are
absent and/or when campus interviews are not taking place.
         University Career Services has established student and employer fees in order to
adequately fund its operations. Student fees include: $10 registration fee to access job listings,
participate in on-campus interviews, cooperative education and resume referral; $5 fee for each
self-assessment instrument; $25 fee for each co-op work period. Revenues generated from fees
to employers cover costs of holding annual job fairs and publishing the student guide, Moving
On.
         University Career Services has adequate furniture and equipment.

University Career Services – Staff Development

         University Career Services is committed to continued professional development of its
staff. Each staff member develops an annual plan for personal and professional development and
resources are allocated to support the plan (e.g., conference attendance expenses; release time;
etc). Staff participate in national, regional, state and local conferences, drive-in workshops,
seminars, and institutes. In addition, staff attend campus programs to improve knowledge and
skills. In-house training and development sessions also take place throughout the year. The office
subscribes to professional journals and newsletters and maintains a library of professional
resources.

Supporting Documentation

Counseling Center. (2000). Counseling Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/csdc/, current on January 3,
       2001.
Counseling Center. (2000). Counseling Center Annual Report, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
University Career Services. (2000). University Career Services. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://careers.gmu.edu/index.cfm, current on
       January 3, 2001.

       5.4.3.2 Student Government, Student Activities and Publications. The institution must
develop a statement of the student’s role and participation in institutional decision-making.
       The institution must have an activities program appropriate to its purpose and
encompassing student interests. The institution must develop policies and procedures governing
the supervisory role of the institution over student activities. (p. 62, lines 31 – 34)

       Students play an advisory role in institutional decision-making. They participate in the
President/Provost Student Advisory Board, serve as representatives to the Board of Visitors,



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serve on university committees and meet with the Faculty Senate and central administration to
advocate for student positions.
         Approximately 200 on-campus student organizations complement the university‘s
curricular programs and provide opportunities for students to exercise and develop their talents.
The organizations span a wide range of interests, including politics, forensics, drama, music,
journalism, academics, service learning, recreation, business, social life, religion, and fellowship.
         The Office of Student Organizations, Activities and Programs (SOAP) supervises student
activities within the university. This supervision includes oversight by professional staff,
distribution of information and institutional policies, student leadership and fiscal management
training, review of policies governing faculty advisers, and training of faculty advisers.

SOAP – Mission

       The primary mission of the Office of Student Organizations, Activities and Programs is
to promote out-of-class opportunities for students and the university community to expand their
self-knowledge, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills and personal development.
In addition, it is SOAPs responsibility to demonstrate to students the importance of
incorporating a balance of work and leisure in their academic and professional lives.

SOAP – Policies and Procedures

        The Office of Student Organizations, Activities and Programs operates within the
established GMU Administrative Policies and the Academic Policies and General Policies
sections of the current edition of the University Catalog, and recommended guidelines of
professional associations. Associations include the following:

          National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
          American College Personnel Association
          Southern Association of College Student Affairs
          National Association of Campus Activities
          Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators
          Association of Fraternity Advisors/National Interfraternal Conferences

Additional policies and procedures that affect SOAP are found in the Student Handbook and
Infopack. Both publications are also available on the departmental website.

SOAP – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

        Written evaluations
        Anecdotal feedback and comments from students and other patrons on programs and
         service delivery
        Number of requests for varied types of programs and services (for example,
         leadership training sessions)
        Program attendance
        Tracking of student participation in activities
        Monitoring/tracking of student leaders academic performance


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SOAP – Resources

       There are sufficient professional and paraprofessional staff to perform the necessary
functions of the office. SOAP should increase its use of support and student staff. Space and
equipment allocated to SOAP offices compares favorably to other student activity offices.
SOAP‘s budget does not compare favorably with other student activity offices.

SOAP – Staff Development

        Conference attendance (professional staff)
        Seminars - campus and community based (professional and classified staff)
        Inner office training (all staff)
        Staff Retreat (all staff)
        Specialized training (for example, technical/computing related, campus based
         systems) (all staff)
        Training of faculty/staff affiliates (for example, student organization advisers) (all
         staff)

Supporting Documentation

Student Government. (2000). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About George Mason
       University Student Government. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/org/sg/faq.html, current on January 4, 2001.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). InfoPack. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/student/soap/html/infopack.html, current on January 4, 2001.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). Student Activities. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/student/soap/,
       current on January 3, 2001.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). ―University Policies,‖ Student
       Handbook 2000 – 2001. pp. 49 - 70. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/policies/index.php3, current on November 27,
       2000.

         Student publications can contribute to the establishment and maintenance of an
atmosphere of responsible discussion. When student publications or other media exist, the
institution must provide a clearly written statement of the institution’s responsibilities regarding
them. (p. 62, lines 35 – 36, p. 63, lines 1 – 8)

       George Mason University offers students the opportunity to participate in the work of a
student newspaper, radio station, student-run television station, video yearbook and numerous
magazines and journals. The Student Media Group oversees student publications. The director
and the Student Media Group board, composed of faculty members and student representatives
of the student newspaper, campus radio station, closed-circuit cable TV channel, and literary
journals, are responsible for:


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          perpetuating student media groups by fostering leadership
          promoting professional standards and performance
          supporting growth of student media groups and development of new voices through
           recognition and budgeting process
          dispersing and overseeing expenditure of the university's appropriation for student
           media under the direction of the fiscal technician
          creating a learning environment outside the classroom
          developing co-curricular opportunities with academic units
          selecting student media leadership

        The courts have affirmed First Amendment protections for college media. Groups
supervised by the Student Media Group may print or broadcast what in their best judgment they
deem proper; however, they must accept full responsibility for the product. Direct involvement
by advisers in decisions about content that would potentially endanger the First Amendment
rights of a student publication is not appropriate.

Student Media Group – Mission and Goals

        The mission of Student Media Group, which oversees the fee-supported, student-
produced media, is to provide an interdisciplinary focus for experiential learning in media, link
traditional student media activities to academic units, develop collaborative work among the
media groups, and provide a forum for a diversity of student voices. Specific goals of the office
are:

          The student media groups collectively will contribute to the quality of campus life as
           a forum for responsible discussion of issues, a source of reliable information, and an
           outlet for creative expression.
          Student Media Group will provide experiential learning outside the classroom, and
           develop connections to enhance the learning in the classroom.
          Student Media Group will assist publications in extending the name of George Mason
           University to the larger community through external distribution.

Student Media Group – Policies and Procedures

       Student Media Group operates within the following policies and procedures:

          State and university policies as found in the GMU Administrative Policies
          Policies and procedures of Student Organizations, Activities and Programs, as found
           in the Student Handbook and Infopack, with reference to the University Catalog
          The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Federal
           Communications Commission regulations are incorporated by reference in the
           Student Media Group bylaws.

     Student Media Group works with paid and unpaid advisers for each media group.
However, direct involvement of the adviser in making decisions about content that would


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potentially endanger the First Amendment rights of a student publication is not appropriate.
Individual media groups develop policies and procedures to govern their organizations.

Student Media Group – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

          Written evaluations of their own performance by the member groups
          Anecdotal feedback and comments from the campus and broader community received
           by Student Media Group and the media groups
          Timely creation of journals, and radio, television, video, and new media productions
          Tracking and review of the amount and use of money spent by student media groups
           under the direction of the fiscal technician, including fee support and self-generated
           revenue
          Distribution and request for publications on- and off-campus, and/or sales as a
           measure of readership and audience. Evaluation of the previous year assists in
           determining budget for the coming year and developing long-range plans
          Formal and informal critique by faculty adviser after publication or production as a
           means to enhance the learning experience
          Monitoring student leaders' academic performance each semester

Student Media Group – Resources

        The office has sufficient professional staff to carry out its functions. In addition, Student
Media Group provides funding for a full-time adviser for the newspaper and a half-time adviser
for the radio station, although the job frequently requires more involvement.
        As with other offices in the university, finding adequate space is a challenge. Although
individual media groups have adequate space to operate, there is not sufficient space to bring
together the media groups to optimize collaboration and increase visibility. This will be
remedied with planned building renovations.
        Budgets necessary for operational and programmatic expenditures have been
supplemented by self-generated revenue. Student Media Group does not compare favorably to
the level of support in other offices of student media.
        Equipment in Student Media Group offices compares favorably to other offices of student
media, although many purchases have been made possible by self-generated revenue. Focus
must continue, however on upgrades and/or replacement of out-dated equipment.

Supporting Documentation

Student Media Group. (2000). Student Media Group. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/unilife/studentmedia/, current
       on January 3, 2001.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). InfoPack. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/student/soap/html/infopack.html, current on January 4, 2001.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). Student Activities. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/student/soap/,
       current on January 3, 2001.


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Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). ―University Policies,‖ Student
       Handbook 2000 – 2001. pp. 49 - 70. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/policies/index.php3, current on November 27,
       2000.

        5.4.3.3 Student Behavior. The institution must publish a statement of student rights and
responsibilities and make it available to the campus community. The jurisdiction of judicial
bodies (administrative, faculty and student), the disciplinary responsibilities of institutional
officials, and all disciplinary procedures must be clearly defined and broadly distributed. (p. 63,
lines 9 – 15)

        The Honor Code describes the rights and responsibilities of students at George Mason
University. Student Athletes are also governed by the expectations, guidelines, policies and
standards of conduct described in the Student Athlete Handbook. Section 5.5 of this report
provides more information on intercollegiate athletic programs.
        The Judicial Affairs Office within the Office of the Dean of Students is charged with
administrative oversight of the Honor Committee and the University Judicial Board. The
university‘s Honor Code (including the procedures governing the student honor committee and
the reporting of violations) and Judicial Code are included in the Student Handbook. The
University Catalog and Faculty Handbook also publish the Honor Code. The Honor Code is
distributed to every entering undergraduate student and posted in every academic building. New
undergraduates are given an overview of the Honor Code during orientation. Annual reports of
Honor Committee statistics are published in the student newspaper and reported in a fall
informational letter to faculty.

Honor Committee and University Judicial Board – Mission and Goals

        The Honor Committee and the University Judicial Board are charged with promoting
intellectual integrity and good citizenship while enforcing university discipline regulations. The
philosophical approach to discipline is to educate rather than punish. While due process is
always a controlling element, the goal of all enforcement activity is to protect the community,
educate the accused, and support community values.
        The Judicial Affairs Office has established the following goals:

          Promote a sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust and fairness among all
           members of the George Mason University Community.
          Foster a climate supportive of the primary mission of the University by protecting the
           community from conduct that is destructive to the learning/teaching environment and
           by encouraging conduct that is supportive of learning.
          Provide a learning experience for student members of the Honor Committee and
           University Judicial Board.




                                           223
Honor Committee and University Judicial Board – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

          Provides an annual report to the Vice President for University Life detailing the
           number and nature of both academic and non-academic discipline cases and the
           resulting sanctions.
          Conducts at least two workshops each semester to train Honor Committee and
           Judicial Board members.
          Monitors the recidivism rates for both Honor Committee and Judicial Board cases and
           include this information in the annual report.
          Annually reports Honor Committee statistics to the faculty.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―Appendix D: The Honor Code,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 68 -
        73. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/aD.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Honor System and Code,‖ 2000 – 2001 University Catalog.
        pp. 24 – 27. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol.html#honorsys, current on December 28, 2000.
Honor Committee. (2001). Honor Committee Activity Report for Academic Year 1999-2000
        Cases. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Intercollegiate Athletics. (2000). Student-Athlete Handbook. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
        University.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). ―Honor Code,‖ Student Handbook 2000
        – 2001. pp. 53 - 56. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/policies/index.php3, current on November 27,
        2000.
Student Organizations, Activities and Programs. (2000). ―Judicial Code,‖ Student Handbook
        2000 – 2001. pp. 56 - 57. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/mlstudents/handbook/policies/index.php3, current on November 27,
        2000.

        5.4.3.4 Residence Halls. If an institution has residence halls, it must develop policies
and procedures governing them and must take responsible precautions to provide a healthful,
safe and secure living environment for the residents. The learning environment in the residence
halls must support the educational mission of the institution. An adequate staff organization
should be given responsibility for the administration of the residence hall system. The staff
should have sufficient academic training and experience to enhance the learning environment in
the residence halls. (p. 63, lines 16 – 26)

        Approximately 3,000 students live in the residence halls at George Mason University,
which are administered by the Office of Housing and Residence Life. The office has developed
policies and procedures governing residence halls, which are published in the handbook ―Guide
to Pride.‖ The office supports the educational mission of the institution with academic initiatives
that involve faculty members as mentors for students living in the halls, living/learning programs
and providing a special floor to students who want to live and study in a quiet environment.


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Housing and Residence Life – Mission and Goals

        The primary mission of the Office of Housing and Residence Life is to provide a student
centered community focused on supporting the academic mission of the university. By
providing a variety of safe and comfortable living options, the Office promotes personal growth
and an appreciation for diversity among residents. Our commitment to address the needs of the
on-campus student is also represented through supportive programming efforts and professional
ethical standards. The goals of the office of Housing and Residence Life are to:

          Continue to provide and develop programs and services within the residence halls that
           promote academic excellence. Strive to improve living learning programs, theme
           based housing, faculty and resident interaction, and award systems for resident
           students who excel academically.
          Strive to provide a safe and comfortable living environment through effective
           maintenance, annual capitol improvements, security, and fire safety programs and
           procedures.
          Acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate all differences by employing individuals
           from a spectrum of backgrounds, socio-economic status, ethnicities, and sexual
           orientation which support the programmatic efforts of the department.
          Provide opportunities for resident student personal growth through programmatic
           initiatives that are designed to follow the wellness wheel approach to educational and
           social programming.
          Support the ethical standards of the Association of College and Universities Housing
           Officers-International (ACUHO-I), American College Personnel Association
           (ACPA), National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), and
           Century Campus Housing Management (CCHM) by defining and communicating
           appropriate standards to all personnel of the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
           The Office will maintain a sterling reputation for reliability and honesty with all
           vendors, contractors, other business partners, residents, and other departments on
           campus.

Housing and Residence Life – Policies and Procedures

        Policies and procedures that apply to staff have been outlined in departmental manuals.
Policies and procedures that apply to students are explained in the ―Guide to Pride‖ student
handbook and in the Office of Housing and Residence Life housing contract.

Housing and Residence Life – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

          Written evaluations on programs and services (continual)
          ACUHO-I Benchmarking survey conducted annually
          Quality of Life survey conducted annually
          Residence Hall Opening survey completed by students and parents annually.




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Housing and Residence Life – Resources

        The Office of Housing and Residence Life uses an effective staffing pattern that is
consistent with other Association of College and Universities Housing Officers-International
(ACUHO-I) members with housing operations of similar size. Space and equipment are
adequate to meet the needs of the off. Should the resident student population continue to
increase, so will the need for additional professional staff and student staff. As the demand for
more on-campus student housing continues to grow, and as the current building structures
continue to age, the Office of Housing and Residence Life will continue to review and evaluate
how resources can be most effectively used.

Housing and Residence Life – Staff Development

          Membership in relevant professional associations
          Professional association conferences
          Seminars – campus and continuing education
          Regular in-house staff seminars
          Specialized training
          Staff retreats

Supporting Documentation

Office of Housing and Residence Life. (2000). Guide to Pride, Resident Student Handbook, 2000
       – 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Housing and Residence Life. (2000). Office of Housing and Residence Life. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/student/living/, current on January 4, 2001.
Office of Housing and Residence Life. (2000). Residential Academic Life. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Housing and Residence Life. (2000). Residential Life. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Office of Housing and Residence Life. (2000). Sample Housing Contract. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        5.4.3.5 Student Financial Aid. The institution should provide an effective program of
financial aid consistent with its purpose and reflecting the needs of its students. Effective
program administration should include counseling students on the efficient use of their total
financial resources. There must be provision for institution-wide coordination of all financial
aid awards.
        All funds for financial aid programs must be audited in compliance with all federal and
state requirements.
        An institution participating in Title IV programs must comply with the regulations in the
student loan programs as established under Title IV of the 1992 Higher Education Amendments.
Excessive default rates in the student loan program may be cause for conducting a special
evaluation. (p. 63, lines 27 – 39, p. 64, lines 1 – 2)



                                          226
         The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers a central financial aid operation
for the university from its South Chesapeake location on the Fairfax campus. The mission of the
OSFA is to offer services and programs to students within the boundaries of federal, state and
university regulations.
         The OSFA participates in the U.S. Department of Education‘s Quality Assurance
Program, which mandates continual evaluation and a yearly review of office policies and
procedures to assure that students are awarded and disbursed funds in a timely and equitable
manner. In May 2000, the university was awarded the ―Model of Quality‖ award by our peers
within the Quality Assurance Program.
         The OSFA is audited annually by the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts and every
three years by the GMU Internal Audit and Management Service. Compliance audits are
conducted in accordance with 1) the general standards and the standards for compliance audits
contained in the U.S. General Accounting Office‘s Government Auditing Standards, and 2)
applicable audit guides from the U.S. Department of Education‘s Office of Inspector General.
The Office of Student Financial Aid maintains its eligibility to participate in federal and state
programs.
         Since 1994, all final audit determination letters have noted aid program management
strengths and no weaknesses or findings. The Office of Student Financial Aid takes advantage of
all methods of review, including self-evaluation, quality control and assurance, and peer-
evaluation/benchmarking.
         George Mason University complies with all state and federal regulations in the conduct
of its student aid programs. Student loans comprise the biggest slice of the Mason student aid
portfolio at $41 million (as of 10/26/00) and for Cohort Year 1999 GMU‘s default rate was
2.6%. (The national average is 6.9%) The university is not subject to any sanctions based on its
cohort default rate history. Mason‘s five most recent official cohort default rates are as follows:

       1999: 2.6
       1998: 3.0
       1997: 4.8
       1996: 5.6
       1995: 4.9

Student Financial Aid – Mission and Goals

        The mission of the Office of Student Financial Aid is to offer services and programs to
students and awards funded from federal, state, university, and private organizations. The office
provides eligible students with funds to finance and complete their education within the
boundaries of federal, state, and university regulations. The focus of the office is to help
students become proactive consumers of educational opportunities at Mason.
        The Office of Student Financial Aid staff strives to provide high quality information and
service to students. Staff listen for the unspoken part of student questions or dilemmas, offer
alternative, creative solutions, and follow through in a timely manner.




                                           227
Student Financial Aid – Policies and Procedures

        The statutory authority for federal student financial aid programs is found in Title IV of
the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Federal student financial aid program
requirements are specified in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary
Education regulations.
        The State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) is directed to examine the
state‘s student financial assistance programs and make recommendations on future direction and
funding to the governor and General Assembly. SCHEV reviews the funding and expenditure
policies and practices of state aid programs authorized in the Code of Virginia and the
Appropriations Act.

       Mason participates in the following Title IV and state aid programs:

          Federal Pell Grant Program
          William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program
          Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program
          Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program
          Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program
          Student State Incentive Grant (SSIG/LEAP) Programs
          College Scholarship Assistance Program (CSAP)
          Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program (VSFAP)
          Undergraduate Student Financial Assistance (Last Dollar) Program
          Virginia Transfer Grant Program (VTG)

Student Financial Aid – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

       To ensure the overall quality of the Mason financial aid program, the Office of Student
Financial Aid has:

          affirmed that financial aid program goals are realistic and that they complement
           institutional goals;
          established the office‘s mission statement;
          provided adequate office resources to promote compliance with the rules and
           regulations established by funding sources to prevent financial liability for non-
           compliance;
          established criteria to measure the achievement of program and service goals and
           responsiveness to errors;
          provided comprehensive, easily understood information that offers direction and
           guidance to the recipient;
          created an inviting atmosphere for visitors;
          interacted with students, the university community, and other constituents in an
           accommodating manner;
          established deadlines that are realistic and communicated them to appropriate parties;




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          delivered services, including student award notification and disbursement of aid
           funds, on schedule;
          conducted periodic service assessment surveys;
          produced routine and special reports that are informative, easily understood, and
           satisfy the recipient‘s information needs;
          investigated the possible efficiencies of increased technology, including automation
           of specific aid office functions;
          ensured that working relationships among the Office of Student Financial Aid,
           student accounts, registrar, admissions, account/loan management, and related
           administrative units are seamless to students;
          promoted informed, understandable discussion of financial aid within Mason as a
           component of institutional policy; and,
          provided ongoing training and professional development for the Office of Student
           Financial Aid staff.

Student Financial Aid – Resources

        The Office of Student Financial Aid has 15.5 classified and administrative faculty
positions, and uses a budget of $67,000 for wages and Federal Work-Study student staff. The
Mason aid office administers a central financial aid operation for the entire university from its
South Chesapeake location on the Fairfax campus. In keeping with the mission, innovative
approaches to information access have been developed to serve students regardless of campus
location.

Supporting Documentation

Auditor of Public Accounts. (1998). Audit Findings for George Mason University. Richmond,
         Virginia: Author.
Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Student Financial Aid by Type of Award,‖ 1999 –
         2000 Factbook. pp. 30 – 31. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available
         at http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on December 12, 2000.
Internal Audit and Management Services. (1998). Internal Audit Report, Office of Student
         Financial Aid. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Internal Audit and Management Services. (2000). Internal Audit Report, SIS-Financial Aid
         Management Module (FAM). Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Student Financial Aid. (n.d.). Financial Aid Process Flowcharts. Fairfax, Virginia:
         George Mason University.
Office of Student Financial Aid. (2000). George Mason University Office of Student Financial
         Aid. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
         http://apollo.gmu.edu/finaid/, current on December 12, 2000.
U.S. Department of Education. (2000). Program Participation Agreement. Washington, DC:
         Author.

        5.4.3.6 Health Services. An institution must provide access to an effective program of
health services and education consistent with its purpose and reflecting the needs of its
constituents. (p. 64, lines 3 – 6)


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       Four offices administered through the Health and Wellness Center provide health
services and education to the George Mason University community: Student Health Services,
Health Education Services, Drug Education Services and Sexual Assault Services.

Student Health Services – Mission and Goals

        Student Health Services delivers accessible, cost-effective quality services by managing
current health-care needs of the students, teaching prevention measures for future health
concerns and emphasizing the students‘ own responsibilities for reducing risky behaviors that
may interfere with their academic success and quality of life. Its mission is to advance the health
of students. Its goals are to:

          Assure that professional personnel are licensed and certified according to
           requirements for practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
          Assure that quality of primary health-care delivery is evaluated and maintained;
          Assure that facilities are adequate and a safe environment is maintained;
          Assure that accurate and clearly stated information about health issues is
           communicated to the university community;
          Assure that ethical and legal considerations are reflected in each student/patient
           encounter;
          Assure that a quality, affordable student health insurance plan is available to all
           students; and
          Assure that the community referral system reflects the quality health standards set
           forth by GMU Student Health Services.

Student Health Services – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

       1. Licensure/Certification. Copies of current professional licenses and relevant
          certification for all health-care providers are on file in the Director‘s office.
       2. Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program. Student Health Services
          maintains an active, organized, peer-based, quality improvement program. All
          health-care providers are involved in the CQI program and meet quarterly conducting
          peer review, record reviews, and risk management reviews in an organized and
          systematic manner. Through the process of these reviews, the health care-providers
          evaluate their work performance against established standards working towards the
          goal of providing accessible, cost-effective care with good patient outcomes. The
          information obtained from peer review is used to improve the delivery of care and to
          identify and respond to issues that, if allowed to persist, would deter Student Health
          Services‘ ability to provide efficient, cost-effective, high quality health-care services.
          Audits are conducted on a quarterly basis according to criteria developed in 9/99 that
          address organization, legibility, completeness, accuracy, and consistency with
          standards. The data generated promote effective, efficient utilization of services
          while assuring that professional, ethical and legal principles are upheld. Utilization of
          and access to community referral systems also is reviewed and evaluated as part of
          this process. On a quarterly basis, records from the allergy clinic, immunization


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          services, and laboratory services also are reviewed using established criteria.
          Biannually, immunization records are audited for compliance with state mandates.
          Compliance with immigration regulations and GMU policy pertaining to insurance
          requirements for international students is monitored biannually via review of records
          maintained by the Coordinator of the Insurance Program.
       3. Data collection. Patient encounter forms are coded and data are entered into a
          computer program for analysis using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
          (SPSS). Data collected include demographics about the population served as well as
          clinic and provider utilization data and types of services provided.
       4. Patient Satisfaction Survey. There is an ongoing process to evaluate patient
          satisfaction. Every 10th patient is asked to complete an anonymous survey that
          addresses issues such as courtesy, attentiveness, professionalism, confidentiality, and
          overall satisfaction as it relates to interactions with health-care professionals and staff.
          The survey also provides space for and solicits suggestions for improvements and
          additional services. Data from the surveys are tabulated and reviewed periodically
          throughout the year.
       5. Benchmarking. Opportunities for benchmarking with other college health programs
          are ongoing via participation in various programs and activities such as those
          sponsored by the American College Health Association.

Health Education Services – Mission and Goals

        Health Education Services educates the community about a variety of health and wellness
topics that impact college students. The health education programs encourage healthy decision-
making and skills-building. The programs are consistent with the university‘s mission and are
based on the national health objectives such as Healthy People 2010. Its goals are to:

          Assure that professional staff have appropriate professional preparation in health
           promotion theories and practices;
          Assure that the health programs target the college population and are consistent with
           nationally and internationally developed health objectives;
          Assure that both in-classroom and out-of-classroom opportunities are provided for
           health enhancement;
          Assure that the health program promotes disease prevention and health promotion.
           Such programs should include topics such as sexuality, stress management, eating
           disorders, body image, tobacco cessation, nutrition, and wellness;
          Assure that health awareness events are targeted to the risk categories relevant to
           college students, addressing topics such as HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, tobacco
           cessation, and nutrition; and
          Assure that there is a faculty adviser to the student organization for Peer Health
           Education. In this capacity, the faculty adviser provides training and supervision of
           the peer health educators.




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Health Education Services – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

       1. Health Education Services Program Evaluations. Evaluations are tabulated after
          each program and feedback is used to provide direction for future programs.
       2. University Eating Disorder Task Force. An interdisciplinary professional group
          developed criteria that are used for evaluation of eating disorders and a protocol that
          is used for referrals of students suspected of having an eating disorder.
       3. Individual Health Assessments. Individual health assessments are used to determine
          the need for referral to Student Health Services, the Counseling Center or counseling
          with the Health Educator. Sessions include using health risk assessments to
          determine need and to guide patterns of referral.           The counselor and patient
          determine the desired outcomes as part of the initial counseling session. At the end
          of the counseling session, the counselor and patient evaluate the outcomes.
       4. Data collection and needs assessment of the community. Needs assessments are
          conducted on a periodic, ongoing basis. Data are tabulated and used to direct and
          guide services and program content.
       5. Activity Reports. Activity reports are compiled every semester and submitted to the
          Director of the Health & Wellness Center.

Drug Education Services – Mission and Goals

       Drug Education Services provides proactive programs, initiatives that educate, offers
counseling and, through research and promotional activities, strives to eliminate the abuses of
alcohol and use of illicit drugs on campus. Its goals are to:

          Conduct educational seminars for various student groups with the intent of sharing
           knowledge and changing attitudes and thereby promoting positive behavioral
           changes;
          Provide educational materials to student organizations and residence halls;
          Provide curriculum infusion of drug education issues into University 100 classes and
           Health Education classes;
          Promote appropriate decision-making strategies for students in innovative ways;
          Provide social, recreational and lifestyle alternatives to substance abuse;
          Assure confidential substance abuse assessments, substance abuse counseling, and
           referral to campus Alcoholics Anonymous groups and/or support programs in the
           community;
          Assure compliance with state and federal laws by monitoring the university‘s policy
           on drugs and alcohol; and
          Conduct research projects to evaluate student, faculty and staff opinions concerning
           alcohol and other drug use, abuse and prevention issues.




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Drug Education Services – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

       1. Drug Education Services Program Evaluation. Evaluations are distributed after
          every educational session and are tabulated per semester and used to guide future
          programs.
       2. Distribute Alcohol 101 CD-ROM program to student groups. The CD-ROM
          program employs a pre- and post-test so students can learn effective strategies by
          touring a virtual campus party.
       3. Substance Abuse Assessment. Assessments are used to determine the need for
          referral to an external treatment center or brief counseling therapy within the
          university. Sessions include the use of national criteria that establishes the desired
          patient outcome from the counseling sessions. The therapist and patient determine
          the desired outcomes as part of the initial counseling session. At the end of the brief
          counseling therapy, the therapist and patient evaluate the outcomes.
       4. Biannual Drug and Alcohol Research Project. This project was initiated in 1988
          and is ongoing.
       5. Activity Reports. Activity reports are compiled every semester and distributed to the
          Director of the Health and Wellness Center.

Sexual Assault Services – Mission and Goals

        Sexual Assault Services provides university-wide coordination of the education/
prevention, and treatment response policies, procedures, and programs in the area of sexual
assault. The program is responsible for overseeing the development, delivery, and evaluation of
the university‘s comprehensive response to sexual assault. Its goals are to:

          Assure coordination of services related to educational/prevention programs in the area
           of sexual assault;
          Provide crisis intervention and referral services for students involved in sexual assault
           incidents to health care providers, counselors and university police when appropriate;
          Provide referrals to the university judicial process in instances of sexual assault;
          Assure that education/prevention programs are provided both in the classroom and
           out of the classroom;
          Assure that the education/prevention program contributes to the overall responsibility
           of the university for education of the students in the areas of skill building for healthy
           relationships, communication and negotiation skills, as well as prevention and
           education regarding violence. Such programs should include topics on date rape,
           drugs and incidents related to sexual assault awareness and/or prevention; and
          Provide sexual assault awareness events targeted to the risk categories of college
           students such as: Take Back the Night, Victims Rights Week, and Orientation Safety
           on campus sessions.




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Sexual Assault Services – Evaluation/Assessment of Goals

       1. Sexual Assault Services Program Evaluation. Evaluations are distributed after
          every educational session and are tabulated per semester and used to guide future
          programs.
       2. Crisis Intervention. In a crisis intervention, the Sexual Assault Services Counselors
          assess the need for referral to internal and external agencies and treatment centers
          including University Police, Student Health Services, and counseling services.
          Following Sexual Assault Protocols and Procedures, the coordinator and student
          victim establish desired outcomes and necessary services as part of the initial session.
       3. Statistical Reports. Monthly statistical reports regarding on-campus incidents are
          supplied to University Police. Quarterly statistical reports are provided to the U.S.
          Department of Justice.
       4. Activity Reports. Activity reports are compiled every semester and distributed to the
          Director of the Health and Wellness Center.

Supporting Documentation

Health and Wellness Center. (2000). Drug Education Services Policies and Procedures. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Health and Wellness Center. (2000). Health and Wellness Center. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/student/hwc/home.html,
       current on January 4, 2001.
Health and Wellness Center. (2000). Health Education Services Annual Report. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Health and Wellness Center. (2000). Sexual Assault Services Policies and Procedure Manual.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Health and Wellness Center. (2000). Student Health Services Policies and Procedures. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.

       5.4.3.7 Intramural Athletics. Intramural sports programs contribute to the personal
development of students and should be related to the total program of the institution. These
programs should be directed and supervised by qualified personnel and should be appropriately
funded. (p. 64, lines 7 – 12)

         Intramural Sports at George Mason University provide opportunities for members of the
student body, staff, and faculty to participate in a variety of recreational sports and athletic
activities. Personal development is influenced by participation in intramural sports activities and
through employment with the intramural sports office. As a member of an intramural sports
team or as an individual, the participant learns teamwork, respect for the rules and the joy of
camaraderie provided by recreational athletics. Employees learn the same, and are provided
training to afford a higher level of competence and respectability. Funding for the intramural
sports program is at an appropriate level and is accomplished through the administration of the
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.




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5.5 Intercollegiate Athletics

5.5.1 Purpose

        The intercollegiate athletics program must be operated in strict adherence to a written
statement of goals and objectives which has been developed by the administration, in
consultation with the athletic director, with appropriate input from the faculty, and which has
been given official institutional approval. This statement must be in harmony with, and
supportive of, the institutional purpose and should include explicit reference to the academic
success, physical and emotional well-being, and social development of student athletes. The
intercollegiate athletics program must be evaluated regularly and systematically to ensure that it
is an integral part of the education of athletes and is in keeping with the educational purpose of
the institution. Evaluation of the athletics program must be undertaken as part of the self-study
conducted in connection with initial accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. (p. 64, lines
13 – 31)

        The goals and values guiding George Mason University‘s intercollegiate athletics
program are represented in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics‘ mission statement, which
is comprised of an athletic philosophy, objectives, and commitment to equity. This written
statement, which has received official institutional approval, can be found in the department‘s
Student-Athlete Handbook and on the department‘s web site (www.gmusports.com). Since the
most recent NCAA certification visit in 1994, the Department‘s mission and goals have been
reviewed and revised several times (in 1994, 1996, and 2000) by the university administration
and athletic department, with significant input from faculty and student-athletes.
        Congruence of the University‘s mission with the mission of the Department of
Intercollegiate Athletics has been reaffirmed repeatedly since the last NCAA certification visit.
Consistent with general university priorities, the mission statement for intercollegiate athletics
clearly stresses the importance of academic achievement and character development for student-
athletes, as well as equitable opportunity for men and women students and athletic department
personnel. These priorities are supported by many specific practices, for example: (a)
comprehensive academic support services, including the creation of a new ―Learning Specialist‖
position in 1998 to support student-athletes with identified academic deficiencies and
documented learning disabilities; (b) implementation (in 1999) of the NCAA CHAMPS/Life
Skills program, which emphasizes student-athlete development in academic, athletic, personal,
community service, and career domains; (c) formal adoption (in 1998) of a set of Standards of
Conduct designed to help assure fair and equitable treatment of student-athletes both on and off
the court/playing field; and (d) aggressive efforts during the past six years to diversify the
coaching and support staff within the athletic department. Consistent with this last item, George
Mason University is regarded as a national leader (as documented in the May 21, 1999 Chronicle
of Higher Education) in a number of key areas associated with Title IX compliance, including
financial support for women‘s teams, athletic scholarships for women, and gender equity with
respect to salaries for coaches of women‘s sports teams.
        Regular, comprehensive evaluations of the university‘s intercollegiate athletics program
are conducted by the Colonial Athletic Association as part of its compliance program for
members of that conference. Comprehensive evaluations are also conducted by the NCAA as
part of its certification program for member institutions. The University periodically requests



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comprehensive internal reviews, with the last such review taking place in 1996-97 as part of a
university-wide evaluation process. In addition, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
regularly requests audits of various NCAA compliance areas by the University‘s internal
auditors. All personnel and program resources are also evaluated on an annual basis as part of
the university‘s formal budget process.
        In April 2001, in coordination with SACS, the NCAA will conduct a comprehensive, on-
site evaluation of the university‘s intercollegiate athletics program as part of its
recertification/self-study process.

Supporting Documentation

Colonial Athletic Association. (2000). 1999-2000 Conference Handbook. Richmond,
       Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1994). NCAA Athletic Certification Self-Study Report,
       December 1994. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1997). Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Restructuring
       Plan, January 1997. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Athletic Council: By-laws of the Athletic Council, April
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―The Mission of the Department of Intercollegiate
       Athletics,‖ 2000-2001 Student-Athlete Handbook. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―The University‘s Mission,‖ 2000-2001 University Catalog.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). NCAA Athletic Certification Self-Study Report,
       January 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

5.5.2 Administrative Oversight

        The administration must control the athletics program and contribute to its direction
with appropriate participation by faculty and students and oversight by the governing board.
Ultimate responsibility for that control must rest with the chief executive officer. It is essential
that responsibilities for the conduct of the athletics program and for its oversight be explicitly
defined and clearly understood by those involved. (p. 65, lines 1 – 8)

       There are several groups and individuals who participate in the process of governing
George Mason University‘s intercollegiate athletics program and who contribute to its direction
through input on major issues and decisions facing the department.
       Ultimate responsibility for control of the athletics program rests with President Alan
Merten, the university‘s chief executive officer, with general oversight provided by the
university‘s 16-member Board of Visitors. The President relies heavily on recommendations
from both the Senior Vice President and the Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President in making
decisions about the athletics program‘s direction, resources, and personnel. In addition, the
Student-Athlete Council and the Athletic Council provide regular input on major issues and
decisions impacting the athletic program. The latter group is particularly significant in that it is
comprised of representatives from all of the campus offices and groups that are closely involved
with the athletics program. Specifically, the Athletic Council is comprised of the University



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President (ex officio), the Senior Vice-President, a faculty member appointed by the President
who serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative and Chair of the Athletic Council, two
members from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, four members from the Faculty
Senate, a representative of the Student Government, two members from the Student-Athlete
Council, and representatives from each of the following offices:             Provost, Registrar,
Undergraduate Admissions, Student Financial Aid, University Life, Minority Student Affairs,
George Mason University Foundation, and an academic department that works closely with the
athletic department on several initiatives (the Department of Health, Fitness, and Recreation
Resources). Roles and responsibilities for each of the offices and groups represented on the
Athletic Council are clearly defined in the by-laws of the Athletic Council and Student-Athlete
Council, in position descriptions for the personnel managing various components of the athletic
program or otherwise working with student-athletes, and in the Student-Athlete Handbook and
other administrative documents created by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to help
everyone involved in the athletic program understand their roles and responsibilities.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000). Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Visitors, Minutes, 1999 –
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (1994). NCAA Athletic Certification Self-Study Report,
       December 1994. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Athletic Council: By-laws of the Athletic Council, April.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational
       Sports Organizational Charts. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational
       Sports Position Descriptions. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Policies and
       Procedures. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Position Descriptions for Dean of Admissions, Director of
       Student Financial Aid, and the Registrar. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Student-Athlete Council By-laws. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author.
George Mason University. (2001). NCAA Athletic Certification Self-Study Report,
       January 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

5.5.3 Financial Control

        All fiscal matters pertaining to the athletics program must be controlled by the
administration, with ultimate responsibility resting with the chief executive officer. If external
units (alumni organizations or foundations) raise or expend funds for athletic purposes, all such
financial activities must be approved by the administration, and all such units shall be required
to submit independent audits. The administration of scholarships, grants-in-aid, loans and
student employment must be included in the institution’s regular planning, budgeting,
accounting and auditing procedures. All income, from whatever source, and expenditures for
the athletic program must have appropriate oversight by an office of the institution that is



                                           237
independent of the athletics program. All such income and expenditures must also be
appropriately audited. (p. 65, lines 9 – 23)

        All fiscal matters pertaining to George Mason University‘s intercollegiate athletics
program are controlled by the central administration, with ultimate responsibility resting with the
university‘s chief executive officer, President Merten. Because the athletics program is operated
as an auxiliary enterprise within the Commonwealth of Virginia, all operating expenditures
associated with the program are processed through the state‘s financial accounting system. As a
result, all expenditures are made in compliance with existing rules and regulations of the
Commonwealth of Virginia.
        The sources of funding supporting the intercollegiate athletics program include student
fee funding; self-generated revenues from a variety of athletic events and activities; a share of
revenues from university contracts such as the beverage contract, bookstore contract, and
vending contract; and self-generated funds from private sources. The George Mason Patriot
Club (a subsidiary of the George Mason University Foundation, Incorporated) is the university‘s
main fund-raising organization for the receipt and management of private funds. As such, the
Patriot Club is subject to all rules, regulations, procedures, and policies under which the George
Mason University Foundation functions. With respect to university control and approval, the
Executive Director of the Patriot Club is employed by George Mason University and is hired by
and reports directly to the Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President. Moreover, all Patriot Club
policies and procedures must be approved by the Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President, who
also maintains control of the resources made available to the athletic program from the Patriot
Club. The Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President in turn reports to the Senior Vice President,
with oversight by the President.
        The University‘s Budget Office, which is independent of the athletic department but also
reports to the Senior Vice President, administers an annual budget process that includes
scholarships and other forms of student financial aid (e.g., college work study). The Budget
Office is also responsible for monitoring all of the athletic department‘s revenues and
expenditures and alerting both the department and the Senior Vice President to major issues and
concerns.
        As a public university, George Mason is required by the Commonwealth of Virginia to
use the Auditor of Public Accounts as its external financial statement auditor for all components
of the university, including intercollegiate athletics. The annual audit by this independent state
agency includes both the University‘s financial statement and its operating procedures.
Revenues and expenses supporting intercollegiate athletics generated through private sources as
part of the Patriot Club‘s activities fall within the overall audit conducted of the George Mason
University Foundation. The Audit Committee of the Foundation‘s Board of Trustees requests
proposals for auditing services every four years, and an auditor is selected from the proposals
submitted.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1997). 1997-98 Budget: Auxiliary Enterprises. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.




                                           238
George Mason University. (1997). ―Independent Auditor‘s report on Applications of Agreed-
      Upon Procedures,‖ Intercollegiate Athletic Programs for the Year Ended June 30, 1997.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1998). 1998-99 Budget: Auxiliary Enterprises. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.
George Mason University. (1998). ―Independent Auditor‘s Report on Applications of Agreed-
      Upon Procedures,‖ Intercollegiate Athletic Programs for the Year Ended June 30, 1998.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1999). 1999-00 Budget: Auxiliary Enterprises. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.
George Mason University. (1999). ―Administrative Organizational Chart as of January 1, 2000,‖
      1999-2000 Factbook. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1999). ―Independent Auditor‘s Report on Applications of Agreed-
      Upon Procedures,‖ Intercollegiate Athletic Programs for the Year Ended June 30, 1999.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Mission Statement,‖ Foundation. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

5.5.4 Academic Program

        Institutions must have clearly stated written policies pertaining to the recruitment,
admission, financial aid, and continuing eligibility of athletes and, with faculty participation,
must annually monitor compliance with those policies. The implementation of academic,
admission and financial aid policies must be the responsibility of administrators and faculty not
connected with the athletics program. If there are special admissions for athletes, they must be
consistent with the institutional policy on special admissions for other students and be under the
control of regular academic policies and procedures. Academic policies governing maintenance
of academic good standing and fulfillment of curricular requirements must be the same for
athletes as for other students. (p. 65, lines 24 – 37)

         George Mason University has clearly stated written policies pertaining to the recruitment,
admission, financial aid, and continuing eligibility of student-athletes. These policies are
monitored on a continuing basis not only by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, but also
by the Athletic Council (which includes substantial faculty participation and is chaired by a
faculty member) and by the independent university offices responsible for admissions, financial
aid, and degree progress. The university‘s academic policies pertaining to student-athletes are
reinforced by the NCAA‘s comprehensive guidelines on academic integrity governing member
institutions.
         Student-athletes are considered for admission to George Mason University in the same
manner in which all students are considered. The role of the Department of Athletics in the
admissions process is to identify potential student-athletes and to provide additional information
about the applicant if requested. Marginal applicants are considered in consultation with the
Dean of Admissions and the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration and
Compliance. Student-athletes are admitted only if they demonstrate the ability to be successful
in college-level work and have a reasonable expectation of obtaining a degree from George
Mason.




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         All student-athlete financial aid awarded by the University is administered through the
university‘s Office of Student Financial Aid. Continuing eligibility of student-athletes and initial
eligibility of new and transfer students are certified by the Registrar‘s Office based on the same
criteria used to determine academic good standing and appropriate degree progress for all
students. Like the Office of Financial Aid, the Registrar‘s Office is independent of the athletic
department and serves the entire academic community.
         There are no exceptions for student-athletes to the institution‘s regular academic
standards or to policies applicable to the general student body.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). NCAA Athletic Certification Self-Study Report,
       December 1994. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1997). Annual Compliance Review by the Colonial Athletic
       Association, December 1997. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (1997). ―Internal Audit Department,‖ NCAA compliance: Student-
       Athlete Financial Aid. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Annual Compliance Review of the Colonial Athletic
       Association, September 2000. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Athletic Council: By-Laws of the Athletic Council, April
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Department of Intercollegiate Athletic Compliance
       Handbook. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Position Descriptions for Dean of Admissions, Director of
       Student Financial Aid, and the Registrar. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). NCAA Athletic Certification Self-Study Report,
       January 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
National Collegiate Athletic Association. (2000). 2000-01 NCAA Division I Manual.
       Indianapolis, Indiana: Author.




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                      SECTION VI: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSES



6.1 Organization and Administration

         The administration of an institution of higher education has the responsibility for
bringing together its various resources and allocating them effectively to accomplish
institutional goals. Although the organizational pattern is important to an institution’s
development and affects the morale of its faculty, an identical pattern of organization for all
member institutions is neither required nor expected. (p. 68, lines 1 – 8)

        The administration of George Mason University brings together its various resources and
effectively allocates them to accomplish institutional goals. The university has the highest
percentage of the General Fund (E&G) expenditures dedicated to its top priority of academic
instruction of any university within its 24-institution peer group. For 2001, 64.2% of the overall
General Fund budget is devoted to instruction, with the targets gradually increasing to 65.0% by
FY2007. GMU allocates a greater percentage of its resources to instruction and libraries than
any university within its peer group. However, in terns of total funding, the university operates
on a leaner resource base than many of its peers:

          The ratio of students (FTE) to the total number of faculty/staff positions (8.5) is
           higher than that of the other doctoral institutions in Virginia (averaging 6.9).
          The ratio of non-teaching to teaching positions (0.94:1) is one of the leanest ratios in
           a national benchmarking survey conducted by Coopers Lybrand and the National
           Association of College and University Business Officers.
          Tuition and fee charges for 2000 – 2001 were slightly below the average charged
           within the state.

        The President regularly emphasizes the need for the university to use its resources
effectively. In his Spring 2000 State of the University address, Dr. Merten praised the
university‘s efforts to identify and eliminate duplication and waste and to combine resources to
create greater efficiency and effectiveness. He argued that the university must focus on the areas
in which it excels and in which it has the greatest opportunity to benefit the region. He indicated
that partnerships within the university are important, and that attention to partnerships outside the
university should be continuous. President Merten concluded by emphasizing that quality of life
for GMU employees is a priority.
        Since 1999 the Quality of Work Life Task Force has been examining work life issues for
all George Mason University employees. Through surveys and focus groups it has been able to
identify both sources of satisfaction and sources of stress that affect work and the individual‘s
identification with and support for the university. In 2001 the task force expects to issue a final
report, including recommendations.
        The strategic planning efforts of the university also place a high value on the effective
use of resources to accomplish institutional goals. The Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus
System describes how the university will expand its service to its northern Virginia region. In
doing so it seeks to use space more effectively on its three campuses (and reduce the space


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crunch on the Fairfax Campus) and maintain current ratios of full-time to part-time faculty. The
Institutional Performance Agreement describes nine major initiatives for improving education,
supporting students and increasing research opportunities. It asks for more resources to
implement those initiatives, and it provides a mechanism for the Commonwealth to assess
whether we have used our resources wisely.
         The following subsections provide information and documentation to demonstrate that
the organizational pattern of George Mason University contributes to its ability to effectively
allocate resources to accomplish its goals.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University
       Institutional Performance Agreement. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://budget.gmu.edu/IPA.pdf, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Price Impact for Students,‖ 2000-01 Budget Executive
       Summary. pp. 16 – 18. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Program Performance Measures,‖ 2000-01 Budget Executive
       Summary. pp. 14 – 16. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Merten, A. (2000 April 4). Spring General Faculty Meeting, President’s Address. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Quality of Work Life Task Force. (2000). Findings from the Quality of Work Life Survey of
       George Mason University Employees. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Quality of Work Life Task Force. (2000). Quality of Work Life. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/qwl/, current on January 5,
       2001.

6.1.1 Descriptive Titles and Terms

        The name of an institution, the titles of chief administrators, the designations of
administrative and academic divisions, the terms used to describe academic offerings and
programs, and the names of degrees awarded must be accurate, descriptive and appropriate. (p.
68, lines 1 – 13)

        The Code of Virginia designates the official name of our institution as George Mason
University. The Factbook provides the titles of chief administrators and the designations of
administrative and academic divisions. The University Catalog describes academic offerings and
programs, and the names of degrees awarded. Both the Factbook and the University Catalog are
reviewed and updated each year by the appropriate administrative and academic units to ensure
that the terms used to describe academic offerings and programs, and the names of degrees
awarded are accurate, descriptive and appropriate.




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Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.24. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
       Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.24, current
       on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-2001 University Catalog. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Administration,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook
       pp. 17 – 23. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.

6.1.2 Governing Board

        Although titles and functions vary, the governing board is the legal body responsible for
the institution and for policy making. (p. 68, lines 14 – 16)

        As legislated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Board of Visitors is appointed by the
governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. As public trustees, the members of
the Board have the responsibility and authority, subject to constitutional and statutory
limitations, for policy making and for the continuing operation of the institution.

Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.24. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
     Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.24, current
     on November 27, 2000.
Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.29. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
     Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.29, current
     on November 27, 2000.

A military institution authorized and operated by the federal government to award degrees and
prohibited by authorizing legislation from having a board with ultimate legal authority must
have a public board which, in policy and practice, carries out the normal functions of a board as
described in these criteria. (p. 68, lines 16 – 22)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is not a military institution.

Except under clearly defined circumstances, board action must result from a decision of the
whole, and no individual member or committee can take official action for the board unless
authorized to do so. (p. 68, lines 22 – 25)

        Board of Visitor actions result from a legally defined quorum of the board. Eight
members of the Board constitute a quorum. A vote upon any proposal at any meeting of the
Visitors requires the affirmative vote of a majority present.




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Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.29. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
      Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.29, current
      on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). ―Article III—Meetings,‖ Bylaws of the Board of Visitors.
      Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://bov.gmu.edu/03.html, current on
      November 27, 2000.

        The duties and responsibilities of the governing board must be clearly defined in an
official document. This document must also specify the following: the number of members,
length of service, rotation policies, organization and committee structure, and frequency of
meetings. There must be appropriate continuity in the board membership, usually provided by
staggered terms of adequate length. In addition, the document should include provisions
governing the removal of a board member from office. A board member may be dismissed only
for cause and by procedures involving due process. (p. 68, lines 26 – 33, p. 69, lines 1 – 3)

        The duties and responsibilities of the Board are defined in the Bylaws of the Board of
Visitors, as is information concerning the board‘s organization and committee structure. The
sixteen members of the board serve four-year staggered terms to ensure continuity in
membership. Members of the Board are eligible for reappointment once. No person may serve
for more than two full four-year terms.
        A Visitor may be dismissed by the Board if he or she fails to perform the duties of his
office for one year, without sufficient cause shown to the Board. The Board is required to record
the facts of such failure in the minutes of its proceedings and certify the same to the governor.
The office of the Visitor will thereafter be considered vacant.

Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.28. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
      Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.28, current
      on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
      Also available at http://bov.gmu.edu/bylaws.html, current on November 27, 2000.

         The responsibilities of the governing board must include the following functions:
establishing broad institutional policies, securing financial resources to support adequately the
institutional goals, and selecting the chief executive officer. In addition, the governing board
must have in place proper procedures to ensure that it is adequately informed about the
financial condition and stability of the institution. The board must not be subject to undue
pressure from political, religious or other external bodies. Furthermore, it should protect the
administration from similar pressures. (p. 69, lines 4 – 14)

         The Code of Virginia charges the Board of Visitors with the responsibility of establishing
institutional policies, approving the distribution of financial resources and selecting the president
of the university. The Board exercises financial control over the university through two standing



                                            244
committees, the Finance and Resource Development Committee and the Audit Committee.
These committees also inform the Board about the financial condition and stability of the
university.
        Financial reports are regularly included in materials prepared for Board meetings and
committee meetings. Central administration also reports regularly to the Rector and relevant
Board committees on all significant matters related to the financial condition of the university,
especially if such matters pertain to increases or decreases in funding or in budget projections.
The Senior Vice President reports on financial operations at each meeting of the Board of
Visitors.
        The George Mason University Board of Visitors functions independently of any political,
religious or external body. Section 23-91.26 of the Code of Virginia describes how the initial
and subsequent appointment of GMU board members has resulted in staggered terms.
Appointments are for the term of four years, and no member may serve more than two full terms.
All appointments are subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. These rules, plus the
fact that the Governor of Virginia serves a single four-year term, help ensure the independence of
the Board.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000). Audit Committee of the Board of Visitors, Minutes, 1999 – 2000.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Board of Visitors. (2000). Finance and Resource Development Committee of the Board of
       Visitors, Minutes, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.26. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
       Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.26, current
       on November 27, 2000.
Commonwealth of Virginia. (n.d.). Code of Virginia, §23-91.29 – 33. Richmond, Virginia:
       Author. Also available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+23-91.29,
       current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). ―Article V, 3. The Finance and Resource Development
       Committee,‖ Bylaws of the Board of Visitors. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://bov.gmu.edu/05.html#f, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). ―Article V, 8. Special Committees,‖ Bylaws of the Board of
       Visitors. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://bov.gmu.edu/05.html#p,
       current on November 27, 2000.

       There must be a clear distinction, in writing and in practice, between the policy-making
functions of the governing board and the responsibility of the administration and faculty to
administer and implement policy. General institutional policies should originate within the
board or should be approved by the board upon recommendation of the administration. Once
these have become official policies, the administration should implement them within a broad
framework established by the board. (p. 69, lines 15 – 24)

       The Bylaws of the Board of Visitors describes its policy-making functions. The
President, responsible to the Board, serves as the chief executive of the university and is charged
with carrying out the policies and plans of the Board. The Faculty Handbook, approved by the



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Board of Visitors, describes the responsibility of the administration and faculty to administer and
implement policy.
        The current effort to reform general education in the university illustrates the distinctions
between the policy-making function of the Board and the responsibility of the administration and
faculty to implement Board policy. The Board of Visitors asked the faculty to assess the current
state of general education in the university. Beginning in Fall 1999 the Faculty Senate convened
the University Ad Hoc General Education Committee, which studied the problem and developed
a new framework for general education. The framework was presented to the Board and
discussed in other public meetings. As might be expected of a document that attempts to
encapsulate the core values of undergraduate education, the framework inspired considerable
debate among the Board, faculty, administration, students and the external community. Through
a process of discussion and negotiation the General Education Committee crafted a framework
that the Board approved at its May 2000 meeting. The responsibility for implementing the
framework is now in the hands of the Associate Provost for General Education, who is working
with the Ad Hoc General Education Committee.

Supporting Documentation

Beach, S. (2000 September 7). Memorandum Re: General Education Program Awards, Call for
       Proposals (Internal Announcement).[E-mail]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Beach, S. (2000 October 12). Memorandum Re: Gen Ed Course Submissions. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Board of Visitors. (2000 May 17). Faculty and Academic Standards Committee of the Board of
       Visitors, Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). The Framework for General Education at George Mason
       University. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/, current on November 27, 2000.
Student Government. (2000). General Education at George Mason University. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/org/sg/executive/generaleducation.html, current on January 3, 2001.

6.1.3 Advisory Committees

        Whenever lay advisory committees are used by institutions, these committees should be
active and their role and function clearly defined. (p. 69, lines 25 – 27)

        George Mason University‘s colleges, schools, institutes and administrative centers make
use of lay advisory committees in a number of capacities. They provide links to their respective
professions; offer counsel on major initiatives; advise on curriculum development; assist with
student recruitment and placement; and help advance the goals and reputation of the respective
unit or the university.




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6.1.4 Official Policies

         The institution must publish official documents which contain, but are not limited to, the
following information: the duties and responsibilities of administrative officers, the patterns of
institutional organization, the role of the faculty in institutional governance, statements
governing tenure or employment security, statements governing due process, and other
institutional policies and procedures that affect the faculty and other personnel. (p. 69, lines 28
– 35)

       The following table identifies the official documents that contain the major
administrative policies of the university.


Policy                                            Document
Duties and responsibilities of administrative     Faculty Handbook, Sections 1.2.1 – 1.2.4
officers
Patterns of institutional organization            1999 – 2000 Factbook, Pp. 17 – 23
Role of the faculty in institutional governance   Faculty Handbook, Sections 1.2.5 – 1.3.2
Statements governing tenure                       Faculty Handbook, Chapter II
Statements governing due process                  Faculty Handbook, Chapters II and
                                                  Appendices A and D
Policies pertaining to classified staff           Employee Handbook
Policies pertaining to administrative faculty     Administrative Faculty Handbook
Policies pertaining to part-time faculty          Part-Time Faculty Guide
Policies pertaining to research personnel         Research Personnel Policies and Procedure
                                                  Handbook

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). Faculty Handbook. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available
       at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/, current on November 28, 2000.
Human Resources. (2000). Employee Handbook. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at http://hr.gmu.edu/handbook/, current on January 2, 2001.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Administration,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook
       pp. 17 – 23. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (1995). Research Personnel Policies and Procedure Handbook. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/research.html, current on January 5, 2001.
Office of the Provost. (1996). Part-Time Faculty Guide. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-time/contents.html,
       current on December 29, 2000.
Office of the Provost. (2001). Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/adminhandbook.html, current on January 5, 2001.



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6.1.5 Administrative Organization

         The administrative organization must reflect the purpose and philosophy of the
institution and enable each functional unit to perform its particular responsibilities as defined by
the stated purpose of the institution. (p. 70, lines 1 – 4)

        The administration of George Mason University is organized to reflect the purpose and
philosophy embodied in the university‘s Mission Statement and to perform its responsibilities as
efficaciously as possible. That organization, depicted in the organizational chart found in the
Factbook, clearly distinguishes between the administration of academic and non-academic
operations. It provides the deans and directors of academic units with the autonomy necessary to
develop and implement policies and procedures that sustain and advance teaching, research and
service within their academic areas. At the same time, deans and directors are charged by the
Faculty Handbook with implementing university-level policies and procedures, are appointed by
the President and are accountable to the Provost. The schools, colleges and institutes developed
by the university embody its commitment to interdisciplinary as well as disciplinary work,
undergraduate as well as graduate education, and to serving the needs of students as well as the
workforce needs of our region.
        The organizational chart reveals another priority of George Mason University: academic
support. Information Technology and University Life report directly to the President. The
increased visibility of these functions has resulted in enhanced support, but has also increased the
accountability expected of them. Section V of this report documents the operational capabilities
of the academic support functions, their commitment to evaluation of their operations and their
willingness to implement improvements as a result of evaluation. For example, it was the Vice
President for Information Technology who brought new evidence (in the form of the Gartner
Group‘s evaluation) to the attention of the Compliance Subcommittee, resulting in suggestions of
additional areas of improvement for the unit.
        Non-academic operations report to the Senior Vice President, who in turn reports to the
President. Non-academic and academic units coordinate their work at the highest levels and
develop strategic foci for the university through monthly meetings of the President‘s Council.
For example, this is the group that developed the university‘s approach to the self-study,
including the decisions to use the alternate model and to use the self-study to build on the
commitments made in Engaging the Future.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―1.2.4 Academic Deans as Members of the Central
       Administration,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 2 – 3. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available
       at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c1/s2.html, current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Section V, Educational Support Services,‖ Fulfilling Our
       Commitments, Volume 1: Compliance Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Administration Organizational Chart as
       of January 1, 2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 17. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.




                                            248
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Mission Statement,‖ 1999 – 2000
       Factbook. p. 8. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on November 27, 2000.
Office of the President. (1998 August). Notes from the President’s Council Retreat. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of the President. (2000). George Mason University President’s Council. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.

        Administrative responsibility and authority for all educational offerings and functions of
the institution must be clearly identified, and each institution must develop, publish and make
available an organizational chart clearly delineating lines of responsibility and authority. (p. 70,
lines 5 – 9)

       The organizational chart published in the Factbook identifies administrative
responsibility and authority for all educational offerings and functions of the institution.

Supporting Documentation

Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Administration Organizational Chart as
       of January 1, 2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 17. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.

       The duties of the chief executive officer, and of other administrative officials directly
responsible to the chief executive must be clearly defined and made known to the faculty and
staff. Administrative officers must possess credentials, experience and/or demonstrated
competence appropriate to their areas of responsibility. The effectiveness of all administrators,
including the chief executive officer, must be evaluated periodically. (p. 70, lines 10 –17)

         The duties of the President are defined by the Bylaws of the Board of Virginia. They are
made known to the faculty and staff through the Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Handbook also
describes the duties of the Provost and the academic deans. Position descriptions of all
administrators are developed or updated at the time of the search to fill a position; these are held
by Human Resources. Curricula vitae are included in supporting documentation for the
Executive Council (all administrators reporting to the President), demonstrating that they possess
the required credentials, experience and competence in their areas of responsibility.
         The Board of Visitors evaluates the president annually. The president conducts annual
evaluations of the Senior Vice President, the Provost, the Executive Vice President, the Vice
President for University Relations, the Vice President for Information Technology, the Vice
President for University Life, the Vice President for University Equity, the Vice President for
University Development and Alumni Affairs and the Chief of Staff. They in turn conduct annual
evaluations of the administrators reporting to them. There is also an annual faculty evaluation of
administrators, conducted under the joint auspices of the Faculty Senate, the Office of
Institutional Assessment and Institutional Research and Reporting. Additional reviews of
university administrators, including deans, vice presidents and directors of major organizational
units are conducted prior to making decisions about renewal of the individual‘s contract.



                                            249
Recommendation

        While it is possible to find descriptions of the duties of senior administrators in the
university, the process necessary to do so would not be obvious to an outsider or even to many
faculty and staff who work for the university. There is both an external and an internal interest
in making information about senior decision makers readily accessible. We recommend that the
university make known to the university community the responsibilities of the administrators
who report directly to the president.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1994). ―1.2.1 The President,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 2. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Also available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c1/s2.html,
       current on November 28, 2000.
George Mason University. (n.d.). ―Article VI—Administration,‖ Bylaws of the Board of Visitors.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at http://bov.gmu.edu/06.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2001). Curricula Vitae for Members of the Executive Council.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). Position Descriptions for Members of the Executive Council.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Procedures for Evaluating Academic Deans and Directors.
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

6.2 Institutional Advancement

       Each institution should have a program of institutional advancement, which may include
development and fund raising, institutional relations and alumni affairs. If there is an
advancement program, it must be directly related to the purpose of the institution. Qualified
persons should be responsible for administration of the program. (p. 70, lines 18 – 23)

        George Mason University has organized its advancement program under a Vice President
for University Development and Alumni Affairs and a Vice President for University Relations.
Both vice presidents are members of the University President‘s Executive Council. In
coordination, these vice presidents and their divisions advance the mission of the institution by
discharging their respective functions of fund raising and alumni affairs, and of institutional
relations.
        In addition, the Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs serves as
the President of the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. (See Section 6.6, Related
Corporate Entities), which is organized and operated exclusively for the benefit of George
Mason University. It is governed by a 48-member external Board of Trustees. A staff of 39
reports to the Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs/President of the
George Mason University Foundation, organized into the offices of Development, Development
Systems, Foundation, and Alumni Affairs. Twelve unit development professionals report directly




                                          250
to Deans or Directors and indirectly to the Vice President for University Development and
Alumni Affairs.
        A staff of 30 reports report to the Vice President for University Relations. The
responsibilities of this division include university print and electronic publications, media
relations, information services, community relations, special and ceremonial events, visual
identity, and production services.

Supporting Documentation

Office of University Development. (2000). George Mason University Development, Alumni
       Affairs & Foundation. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Relations. (1997). Your One-Stop Shop, University Relations Unit Review. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
University Relations. (2000). At Your Service, 2000 – 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Relations. (2000). 2000 – 2001 Media Guide. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://condor.gmu.edu/mediag, current on January 2, 2001.
University Relations. (2000). University Relations Organizational Chart. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
University Relations. (2000). University Speakers Bureau Directory. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Also available at
       http://communityrelations.gmu.edu/speakersbureau/speakers.asp, current on January 2,
       2001.
University Relations. (2000). Your One-Stop Shop. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
University Relations. (2001). InfoMason. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

6.2.1 Alumni Affairs

        The relationship between the institution and its alumni should be one that encourages
former students to continue to participate in the development of the institution. It should also
assist in the evaluation of institutional effectiveness. Institutions are encouraged to maintain up-
to-date records on the location of former students and to employ periodic surveys. (p. 70, lines
23 – 30)

        The Office of Alumni Affairs serves as a link between the university and its alumni
community in order to engage alumni in the life of the university, foster lifelong relationships
with their alma mater, and facilitate strong bonds of mutual loyalty. It works closely with a 25-
member Alumni Association Board of Directors to provide relevant and meaningful programs
and services to alumni.
        The staff promotes and executes numerous events throughout the year, including a
scholarships and awards banquet, as well as social, cultural, and sporting events. Alumni Affairs
also supports the activities of 11 alumni chapters and 4 volunteer regional coordinators, and
actively partners with academic units and departments, including Undergraduate Admissions,
Career Services, University Life, and Intercollegiate Athletics. The office also publishes an
alumni magazine three times annually, provides an alumni portal service (ZPatriots), and pursues
an alumni directory every five years.



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       Records on the location of former students are maintained and managed by the Office of
Development Systems, which is assisted in this effort by the Office of Alumni Affairs.
       The Office of Institutional Assessment periodically surveys alumni as part of its
evaluation of institutional effectiveness. Satisfaction with their educational experience at Mason
was higher among alumni surveyed in 1999 than for those surveyed in 1997.

Supporting Documentation

Alumni Association. (2000). Alumni Association Annual Report, 1999/2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Alumni Association. (2000). Alumni Association Board List, 2000 – 2001. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.
Office of Alumni Affairs. (2000). Alumni. [Online] Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/mlalumni/findex.html, current on November 29, 2000.
Office of Alumni Affairs. (2001). Mason Spirit. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Institutional Assessment. (1999). Alumni Satisfaction and Experiences Three Years
       After Graduation. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Also available at
       http://assessment.gmu.edu/Alumni99/Alumni99.shtml, current on January 5, 2001.
zUniversity.com, Inc. zPatriots.com. (2001). [Online] Available at http://www.zpatriots.com/,
       current on November 29, 2000.

6.2.2 Fund Raising

        All fundraising must be related to the purpose of the institution. All aspects of fund
raising must be incorporated into the planning process and evaluated regularly. An institution
must develop policies and procedures for fund raising and ensure that such policies are
appropriately disseminated and followed. (page 71, lines 1 – 6)

         The Office of University Development is the fund raising center of the University. Gifts
to the university are made payable to the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. All fund
raising is directly related to the purpose of the university, and responds to the priorities set by the
President of the University and the Board of Visitors.
         Planning is developed on annual and strategic bases. The Vice President for University
Development and Alumni Affairs/President of the George Mason University Foundation
participates in institutional planning through regular meetings with the president and Executive
Council and periodic meetings with the deans and directors. Feedback and evaluation is received
from these groups and the president. Internal evaluation is accomplished at the end of the fiscal
year and through individual performance reviews. Strategic planning is tied to the vision,
priorities, and needs of the university, and is currently embedded in the planning process for the
university‘s first comprehensive campaign, which will establish benchmarks for future
comparison. (A campaign planned ten years ago was not launched because of a downturn in the
local economic climate.)
         Policies and procedures have been developed and/or updated and disseminated. George
Mason University is a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. It
follows that organizations ethical standards, as well as its guidelines for the reporting of gifts.
These guidelines conform to Financial Accounting Standards Board requirements. George



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Mason University also adheres to a code of ethics adapted from the Association of Professional
Researchers for Advancement.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). An Overview of George Mason University Foundation, Inc.,
      Office of University Development, and Office of Alumni Affairs. Fairfax, Virginia: George
      Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). Benefactor. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Honor Roll of Donors, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Planning Your Gift. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2000). Supporting Mason. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
      Available at http://www.gmu.edu/development/findex.html, current on January 5, 2001.
George Mason University. (2001). Fund Raising Policies and Procedures, George Mason
      University and George Mason University Foundation, Inc. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). George Mason University Comprehensive Campaign: Overall
      Campaign Timeline. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). George Mason University Comprehensive Campaign
      Planning Committee and George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees
      Development Committee. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

6.3 Financial Resources

6.3.1 Financial Resources

        Because the financial resources of an institution influence the quality of its educational
program, each institution must possess sufficient financial resources to support all of its
programs. The recent financial history of the institution must also demonstrate the financial
stability essential to its successful operation. The adequacy of financial resources will be judged
in relation to the basic purpose of the institution, the scope of its programs, and its number of
students. (p. 71, lines 7 – 15)

        George Mason University operates within the financial resources available from the
major fund sources of 1) state general fund revenue, 2) student tuition and fees, 3) auxiliary
enterprise self-generated revenues, and 4) sponsored programs activities revenue. The available
resources address the programmatic needs of the major sub-programs within the activities of
Educational & General, Auxiliary Enterprises, Sponsored Programs, Financial Aid, and Capital
Outlay. The University strives to allocate the major portion of revenues to the sub-programs of
instruction, libraries, and academic support within Educational & General when developing the
annual budget. When compared to its designated national peer group, George Mason University
continues to allocate a larger portion of resources to the instruction sub-program than the other
universities within its peer group. ―Allocation of Resources by Program, George Mason
University as Compared to National Peers‖ displays the allocation of financial resources by sub-
program.




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       Over the last six years George Mason University‘s total Educational & General budget
has increased by 46%. In 1994-95 the E&G budget was $126.1 million, made up of 45.5%
general funds support and 54.5% non-general fund support. The total Educational & General
budget for 2000-01 is $184.3 million, with 61% from general fund support and 39% from non-
general fund support. ―General Fund Support per In-State FTEs‖ shows the overall increase in
general fund support per full-time equivalency student over the last several years. The increase
in general fund support has been tied to salary and benefit adjustments, as well as to academic
program support.

Supporting Documentation

Budget Office. (2001). Allocation of Resources by Program, George Mason University as
      Compared to National Peers. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Budget Office. (2001). General Fund Support per In-State FTEs. Fairfax, Virginia: George
      Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-01 Budget, Auxiliary Enterprises. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-01 Budget, Education & General. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Also available at http://budget.gmu.edu/fblist.htm, current on February 21, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-01 Budget, Executive Summary. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Also available at http://budget.gmu.edu/fblist.htm, current on February 21, 2001.

6.3.2 Organization for the Administration of Financial Resources

         All business and financial functions of the institution should be centralized under a chief
business officer reporting to the chief executive officer. The organization of the business office
must be consistent with the purpose of the institution, the size of the institution, and the volume
of transactions of a business or financial nature. The most important functions typically
performed by the business office include assistance to the chief executive officer in preparation
and control of the institutional budget; establishment and operation of an appropriate system of
accounting and financial reporting; supervision of the operation and maintenance of the
physical plant; procurement of supplies and equipment; control of inventories; financial
oversight of auxiliary enterprises; receipt, custody and disbursement of institutional funds;
maintenance of personnel records; and administration of personnel policies governing the staff.
         The chief executive officer must report regularly to the governing board on the financial
and business operations of the institution.
         The chief business officer should have experience or training in handling educational
business affairs sufficient to enable the business office to serve the educational goals of the
institution and assist in furthering its stated purpose. (p. 71, lines 16 – 32, p. 72, lines 1 – 8)

        All of the business and financial functions of George Mason University report to the chief
business officer of the university, the Senior Vice President. The major responsibility units
reporting to the Senior Vice President are Operational Services, Fiscal Services, Physical Plant
and Facilities, Budget/Institutional Research, Legal Services, Capital Finance, Human
Resources, and Athletics. Each of these major units is inter-dependent on the others and work
with each other to effect the day-to-day operational and reporting functions for the university.



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        The Senior Vice President regularly reports to the Board of Visitors, the university‘s
governing board, on the financial and business operations of the university. For each regular
meeting of the Board of Visitors, presentations are made to the Finance & Resource
Development Committee of the Board of Visitors regarding the most relevant financial topics.
The chair of the Finance & Resource Development Committee is tasked with sharing with the
full Board of Visitors a summary of the activities presented to the committee. For action items,
the committee reviews the recommendation from staff, approves as submitted or revised, and
takes the item to the full board for final action.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000). Finance and Resource Development Committee of the Board of
       Visitors, Minutes, 1999 – 2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (2001). Curricula Vitae for Members of the Executive Council.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of Institutional Research and Reporting. (2000). ―Administration Organizational Chart as
       of January 1, 2000,‖ 1999 – 2000 Factbook. p. 17. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Also available at http://irr.gmu.edu/factbooks/9900/index.html, current on
       November 27, 2000.

6.3.3 Budget Planning

        The budget is a statement of estimated income and expenditures for a fixed period of
time, usually the fiscal year of the institution. An institution must prepare an appropriately
detailed annual budget. Its preparation and execution must be preceded by sound educational
planning. It follows that the instructional budget should be substantively developed by academic
officers or deans, working cooperatively with department heads, appropriate members of the
faculty and administration, and representatives of the business office. Procedures for budget
planning must be evaluated regularly.
        Similarly, budgets for other areas should be developed after consultation with
appropriate officers of the institution. The business officer may assist in assembling and
compiling the budget requests, preparing income estimates, and advising the chief executive
officer in the determination of budgetary allocations. The budget is presented by the chief
executive officer through proper channels to the governing board for final approval. In
reviewing the budget, the governing board should focus on matters of broad policy and normally
should not concern itself with details. (p. 72, lines 9 – 30)

        The development of the university‘s annual budget involves a variety of documents
which include an executive summary, as well as documents with narratives, tables and specific
detail by activity and category of expense. While the documents available for public use do not
include the departmental rosters, the budget is developed with documentation of positions, and
that data is shared with individual deans and vice presidents with the distribution of budget
materials to specific units.
        George Mason University is committed to ongoing process improvement in the
development of the university‘s budget. With the development of the Fiscal Year 2000-01
budget, units were advised of allocations for two fiscal years. This action was implemented in



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order to allow for the development of better planning for academic and administrative programs.
The preparation and execution of the budget are based on the major priorities as set by the Board
of Visitors and the University each year. Academic officers, administrative officers and support
staff of the Budget Office identifies budget allocations for each major activity after careful
consideration and review. The procedures for budget planning are reviewed each year, with the
goal of ongoing process improvement as appropriate to allow for activities to have the resources
to advance the priorities of the university. Additionally, an annual support service survey is
conducted and includes a review of the budget process, as well as other fiscal activities.
        One of the recent improvements in the budget process is the development of a web-based
on-line Budget Request System. This system standardized the format for budget requests
submission and provides an efficient system for the review and approval of budget items.
        Throughout the development of the budget, preliminary plans for allocations are provided
to the Board of Visitors for their input and comments. The final budget is presented to the Board
of Visitors for approval at the May meeting of each year for the upcoming fiscal year. With the
final approval of the budget, final budget documents are then available for distribution to
individual departments and activities.

Supporting Documentation

Budget Office. (2000). George Mason University Budget Office. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
      George Mason University. Available at http://budget.gmu.edu/, current on February 14,
      2001.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-01 Budget, Auxiliary Enterprises. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-01 Budget, Education & General. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Also available at http://budget.gmu.edu/fblist.htm, current on February 21, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). 2000-01 Budget, Executive Summary. Fairfax, Virginia:
      Author. Also available at http://budget.gmu.edu/fblist.htm, current on February 21, 2001.

6.3.4 Budget Control

        After the budget has been approved by the chief executive officer and adopted by the
governing board, a system of control must be established. This ensures that the budgetary plans
of the governing board and the chief executive officer will be implemented. The business officer
must render interim budget statements on a periodic basis to department heads for their
guidance in staying within budgetary allocations. Budgetary control is an administrative
function, not a board function.
        Necessary budget revisions must be made when actual conditions require such change
and must be communicated to those affected within the institution. (p. 72, lines 31 – 37, p. 73,
lines 1 – 5)

       Various systems of control are in place for budgetary review. Departmental accounts are
available via the web for tracking of expenditures as compared to budget by account or by
summarized unit. Hardcopy reports continue to be distributed to units each month, as the current
web reports only reflect the current data, not historical data. The intent is to have historical




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information available via the web so that paper copies would no longer be required. This is an
ongoing project.
       Additionally, each unit has an analyst assigned and responsible for working with the
operational area to monitor budget and resolve issues and concerns as they are identified. These
analysts may be housed in the central budget office or in the unit itself. The Assistant Vice
President of Budget and Institutional Research and Reporting provides central oversight in all
cases. Responsibility for budget revisions rests with the analysts identified. Also, the
responsibility for budget revisions has been delegated to some individual units; allowing
appropriate staff the ability to revise budgets within a unit, re-allocating funds as appropriate.
The current budget adjustment policy, implemented in June 1999, includes appropriate steps for
documenting and communicating budget revisions.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1999). University Administrative Policy No. 4, Subject: Allotment of
      Funds and Requests for Budget Adjustments/Revisions – Policies and Procedures.
      [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at http://budget.gmu.edu/fulladminpol.pdf,
      current on February 14, 2001.

6.3.5 The Relation of an Institution to External Budgetary Control

         No outside or superimposed agency should exercise specific and detailed control over the
financial affairs of an institution. Once funds have been appropriated, creating a budget,
establishing priorities, and controlling expenditures become the responsibility of the
institution—operating under the jurisdiction of the governing board and subject to its policies.
Enforcement of budgetary law is imperative; however, the educational function of an institution
must not be controlled through the use of budgetary techniques or controls by financial officials
outside the institution. (p. 73, lines 6 – 16)

       No external budgetary control is imposed on the financial activities of George Mason
University. The budgetary review and controls rest solely with the staff of the university. The
external impact on the budget development is the schedule for the state budget process. The
university must comply with reporting deadlines as set by the state. Additionally, the
university‘s final budget approval is dependent on the timing of final budget decisions by the
state.

6.3.6 Accounting, Reporting, and Auditing

       An institution must adopt an accounting system that follows generally accepted
principles of institutional accounting as they appear in College and University Business
Administration, published by the National Association of College and University Business
Officers. (p. 73, lines 17 – 22)

         George Mason University‘s accounting system follows generally accepted principles of
institutional accounting as prescribed the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and
the Government Accounting Standards Board.



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Proprietary institutions and certain public institutions mandated by law to follow a different
system are exceptions to the requirement. Institutions exempted from use of the required
accounting system must arrange to provide comparable information. All proprietary institutions
must provide revenue/expenditure reports consistent with NACUBO/AICPA publications, either
independently certified in the audit report or included as supplemental data in the audit report.
Balance sheets may continue to follow the conventional for-profit format, if desired. (p. 73, lines
22 – 32)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is not a proprietary institution.

         The chief business officer is responsible for preparing financial reports for appropriate
institutional officials, board officers and outside agencies. Periodic written reports to the chief
executive officer of the institution are essential. (p. 73, lines 33 – 37)

        Financial statements are prepared on a regular basis for internal review, and annual
financial statements are prepared for institutional officials, board members, and outside agencies.

        An annual fiscal year audit must be made by independent certified public accountants, or
an appropriate government auditing agency, employing as a guide for institutions under the
jurisdiction of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Audits of Not-For-Profit
Organizations, published by the American Institution of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA),
or, for institutions under the jurisdiction of the Government Accounting Standards Board
(GASB), Audits of Colleges and Universities, also published by the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), or, in the case of for-profit institutions, conducted in
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. (p. 74, lines 1 – 13)

       Because George Mason University is a state university, a fiscal year audit for George
Mason University is completed annually by the auditors for the State of Virginia. George Mason
University is under the jurisdiction of the Government Accounting Standards Board and audits
are conducted using the AICPA‘s Audits of Colleges and Universities.

Supporting Documentation

Auditor of Public Accounts. (1999). Report on Audit for the Year Ended June 30, 1998.
       Richmond, Virginia: Author.
Auditor of Public Accounts. (2000). Report on Audit for the Year Ended June 30, 1999.
       Richmond, Virginia: Author.
Auditor of Public Accounts. (2001). Report on Audit for the Year Ended June 30, 2000.
       Richmond, Virginia: Author.


       If an institution is subject to Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) No. 117
and elects to use the single column ―Corporate‖ Statement of Financial Position in its report, it
must provide an additional Statement of Financial Position using one of the four highest levels
of disaggregation illustrated in F.A.R.M. These levels are the Financial Accounting Standards



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Board (FASB) Net Asset Class Disaggregation, Operating/Capital Disaggregation, Managed
Asset Group Disaggregation, and AICPA Audit Guide Funds Group Disaggregation. The
additional statement must be included either in the audit report as an audited supplemental
schedule or independently certified if not included in the audit report. (p. 74, lines 14 – 27)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is not subject to SFAS No. 117.

       A for-profit institution and its corporate parent, if any, must add to their audit report a
separate schedule indicating the disposition of profits, including detailed information on
corporate income taxes paid, both state and federal, and on dividends distributed to
stockholders. (p. 74, lines 28 –32)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is not a for-profit institution.

         A public institution included in a statewide or systemwide audited financial report, for
which a separate institutional audit report is not available for the fiscal year ending immediately
prior to the committee visit, must have available, in lieu of audited financial statements, a
Standard Review Report in accordance with AICPA Professional Standards AR 100.35 to
include current funds expenditure classifications and amounts in accordance with generally
accepted principles of institutional accounting, and the institution’s current fund balance sheet.
Institutions in this category must provide either a separate or a consolidated balance sheet. (p.
74, lines 32 – 41, p. 75, lines 1 – 3)

       Not applicable. George Mason University publishes a separate financial report which is
audited by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

       The auditors must not be directly connected with the institution either personally or
professionally. (p. 75, lines 4 – 5)

       Because George Mason University is a state university, a fiscal year audit for George
Mason University is completed annually by the auditors for the State of Virginia. These auditors
are not employed by George Mason University, but are employed by the State of Virginia and
complete these audits as a part of their role in the state auditing agency.

       A for-profit institution and its corporate parent, if any, must add to their audit report a
separate schedule indicating the disposition of profits, including detailed information on
corporate income taxes paid, both state and federal, and on dividends distributed to
stockholders. (p. 75, lines 5 – 10)

       Not applicable. George Mason University is not a for-profit institution.

      An effective program of internal auditing and financial control must be maintained to
complement the accounting system and the annual external audit. (p. 75, lines 11 – 13)

       In addition to the annual audit performed by the state auditors, George Mason University
maintains programs of internal auditing and financial control. In support of internal auditing, the



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University‘s Office of Internal Audit and Management Services reports directly to the Board of
Visitors, with an internal reporting line to the Senior Vice President. The office prepares an
audit plan annually, with reviews of major processes and departments. In addition to the
annually planned audits, the staff is available to complete other audits as identified or requested
by university administration. Further, the Fiscal Services department carries out a program of
financial controls. University departments are required to report that they are aware of policies
regarding the collection and disbursement of funds. All departments must complete annual
reports to ensure that the appropriate controls and monitoring are in place across the university.

Supporting Documentation

Fiscal Services. (2000). Fiscal Year 2000 Internal Control Survey. Fairfax, Virginia: George
        Mason University.
George Mason University. (1993). Administrative Policy No. 1, Subject: Review of Internal
        Controls. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/1.html, current on February 14, 2001.
Office of Internal Audit and Management Services. (2000). Internal Audit and Management
        Services Audit Plan – FY 01. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
        Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/iams/01auditplan.html, current on
        February 14, 2001.

However, in those cases in which a public institution’s financial report is included as part of a
comprehensive certified state or system financial report and a separate annual audited report is
not available, the institution must have an established procedure to ensure the effectiveness of
internal controls. (p. 73, lines 17 – 37, p. 74, lines 1 – 41, p. 75, lines 1 – 19)

       Not applicable. George Mason University publishes a separate financial report which is
audited by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

6.3.7 Purchasing and Inventory Control

       An institution must maintain proper control over purchasing and inventory management.
The administration and governing board should protect responsible purchasing officials from
the improper pressures of external political or business interests. A logical adjunct of the
purchasing function is a system of well-organized storerooms such as those for physical plant,
library and office and laboratory supplies, as well as an inventory system appropriate to
safeguard the institution from loss of equipment. (p. 75, lines 20 – 29)

        George Mason University has implemented several different programs to ensure the
appropriate level of management and control in the areas of purchasing and inventory control.
Policies and procedures have been developed and posted on the Fiscal Services web site which
address many areas of fiscal management. Administrative Procedure Number 49 addresses the
Purchasing of Goods and Services, while Administrative Procedure Number 29 addresses
Inventory Control of Equipment. In addition to making written procedures available to the
university community, the Fiscal Services department has developed training sessions offered
throughout the year to the university community. Those training sessions include, but are not



                                           260
limited to, Equipment Procedures, Purchasing Made Easy, and Cash Handling Procedures.
These activities reflect the university‘s commitment to ensure that all of the university
community are aware of, and follow, policies and procedures.

Supporting Documentation

Fiscal Services. (2000). Fiscal Services. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
        Available at http://www.gmu.edu/service/fiscserv/, current on January 5, 2001.
George Mason University. (1999). University Administrative Policy No. 29, Subject: Inventory
        Control of Office and Educational Equipment and Furniture. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
        Author. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/29.html, current
        on February 14, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). University Administrative Policy Number 49, Subject:
        Purchase of Goods and Services; Leasing of Real Estate. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
        Author. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/49.html, current
        on February 14, 2001.

6.3.8 Refund Policy

         The institution must adhere to a published policy and procedure for refunding fees and
charges to students who withdraw from enrollment. The policy and procedure must be in
keeping with generally accepted refund practices in the higher education community, applicable
to all students, and clearly stated in appropriate official publications. (p. 75, lines 30 – 36)

        George Mason University adheres to a published policy for refunding fees and charges to
students withdrawing from enrollment. This policy is published in each schedule of classes for
each semester and the summer term, as well as being published within the university catalog.
The university‘s policy is in keeping with the generally accepted refund practices in the higher
education community.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Tuition Charges/Refunds for Dropped Courses,‖ 2000-2001
      University Catalog. p. 18. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/tuition.html#Charges, current on November 27, 2000.
George Mason University. (2000). ―Tuition Charges/Refunds for Dropped Courses,‖ Fall 2000
      Schedule of Classes. p. 13. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.

6.3.9 Cashiering

        There must be a suitable organization and adequate procedures for the management of
all funds belonging to the institution.
        The cashiering function should be centralized in the business office, and there must be a
carefully developed system for the receipt, deposit and safeguarding of institutional funds.
        All persons handling institutional funds must be adequately bonded. (p. 76, lines 1 – 9)




                                          261
        The cashier‘s function at George Mason University is carried out by the Cashier‘s Office
within the Fiscal Services unit reporting under the Senior Vice President. Procedures are
carefully documented within the Cash Handling Policy as developed by the office. In addition to
the policy and procedures being well documented and made available on the university‘s
website, a training session has been developed for the university community. This session, Cash
Handling Procedures, is offered periodically and ensures that university staff are aware of the
policies and procedures which must be followed. Every unit that handles cash has written policy
for handling receipts. All employees of the university are bonded under the Commonwealth‘s
general policy.

Supporting Documentation

Fiscal Services. (1999). University Administrative Policy No. 68, Subject: Cash Handling
        Policies. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/68a.html, current on January 5, 2001.
Fiscal Services. (2000). Cash Handling Procedures. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
        University. Available at
        http://www.gmu.edu/service/fiscserv/policies_procedures/CashHandlingNov2000.pdf,
        current on January 5, 2001.

6.3.10 Investment Management

         The institution must have a written statement of its investment policies and guidelines
approved by the board. The policies and guidelines should set forth the investment goals of the
institution, conditions governing the granting or withholding of investment discretion, a
description of authorized and prohibited transactions, and the criteria to be used for
performance measurement of both short- and long-term investments.
         Members of the governing board should be aware of their fiduciary responsibility for the
institution and their responsibility for securing maximum investment returns consistent with the
approved investment policy. They should avoid involvement in conflict of interest situations.
Investment policies and guidelines must be evaluated regularly. (p. 76, lines 10 – 24)

        Because the university is a state agency, the overwhelming majority of the university‘s
funds must be deposited with the state and therefore not available for investment at the university
level. The state is responsible for investing the funds for the state agencies. The university
shares in interest earned as it relates to the interest on the cash balance within the Auxiliary
Enterprises program. Other cash balances do not earn interest for the university, but the interest
is retained at the state level. The Board has approved the university‘s investment policies and
procedures.

6.3.11 Risk Management

        The institution should have a comprehensive risk management program which includes
risk evaluation, risk avoidance and insurance.




                                           262
      Adequate replacement protection for all physical facilities should be covered by
appropriate levels of insurance or appropriate provisions for obtaining funds. (p. 76, lines 25 –
30)

         As a state agency, George Mason University is covered by the state‘s overall insurance
programs and provisions. The state establishes the policies and rates relating to the overall risk
management program. The university‘s Safety Officer and the staff reporting within the unit
have the responsibility for working with the state on risk evaluation, risk avoidance and
insurance claims. Replacement protection for physical facilities is supported through various
funding sources. For Auxiliary Enterprises facilities the university is committed to maintaining
facility reserve funding for major replacement or renovations. The state provides some level of
support of maintenance reserve funding for protection of Educational & General physical
facilities. The university continues to request additional funding from the state for an increase in
maintenance reserve funding to support the deferred maintenance needs within Educational &
General facilities.

6.3.12 Auxiliary Enterprises

        The institution may operate, or have contracted for operation, activities that may have a
significant impact on the operation of the institution. These activities may include, but are not
limited to, the following: bookstores, residence halls, food service operations,
printing/duplicating services, child care and transportation services. These activities, when
operated by or for the institution, must be documented and operated in a fiscally responsible
manner. (p. 76, lines 31 – 35, p. 77, lines 1 – 4)

       George Mason University operates the following auxiliary enterprise programs:

          Student Housing
          Intercollegiate Athletics
          Johnson Center and Student Unions
          Center for the Arts
          Campus Access
          Board Plan/All University Card/Photo ID
          Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center
          Telecommunications
          University Life
          Recreational Sports Complex & Club Sports
          Print Services
          Parking Services
          Fairfax Aquatic & Fitness Center
          Computer Store
          Patriot Center
          Student Health Services
          Hemlock Overlook
          University Scholars


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          Child Development Center
          University Services & Indirect Cost

        The Associate Vice President for University Services has been assigned responsibility for
auxiliary enterprise programs. Some of these programs are managed and operated by university
management, while others are contracted to external entities for management. These activities
all provide essential and effective support services to the operation of the university. For each
major activity, performance measures are being developed to measure the effectiveness of the
activity and to allow the activity to track customer satisfaction over time. Some activities have
begun to use this tool, while others will be implementing the tool very soon. It will be used in
conjunction with regular reviews of activity financial statements to ensure that the activities are
meeting the needs of the customer as well as being fiscally responsible.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (2000). ―Auxiliary Enterprise Programs,‖ 2000 – 01 Budget,
       Auxiliary Enterprises. pp. 32 – 146. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
University Services. (2001). Auxiliary Enterprises Compliance Report Documentation. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
University Services. (2001). Sample Contract Modifications. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Services. (2001). Sample Standard Contracts. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.

6.4 Physical Resources

         Physical resources, including buildings and equipment both on and off campus, must be
adequate to serve the needs of the institution in relation to its stated purpose, programs and
activities. The physical environment of the institution should contribute to an atmosphere for
effective learning. (p. 77, lines 5 – 10)

        George Mason University comprises three campuses, in Fairfax, Arlington and Manassas,
Virginia. The university also leases office and classroom space at the Center for Innovative
Technology, in Herndon. The physical resources of George Mason University, including
buildings and equipment both on and off campus, are adequate to serve the essential needs of the
university in relation to its purpose, programs and activities.
        The university operates over 3.5 million square feet of property at three campuses.
Fairfax, comprises 2,867,436 square feet; Arlington has 356,255 square feet; and Prince William
in Manassas has 306,243 square feet. Future plans include new buildings at all three campuses
to meet growing space needs. This plan for the physical development of the university is
represented in the Six Year Capital Outlay Budget Request. Every two years state universities in
the Commonwealth are required to submit new building requests for three upcoming budget
cycles, each covering two years.
        The university is able to schedule into general classrooms all credit classes (nearly 4,000
for the Fall 2000 semester) requested by academic departments, most at their first choice of
teaching time. All full-time faculty have individual offices. The university houses a wealth of


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academic and university-life support services. All of the major activities associated with a
metropolitan university can be accommodated here. All physical facilities receive both routine
and preventative maintenance, and equipment is inventoried and evaluated annually. George
Mason University is a safe, attractive and productive environment for students, faculty, staff and
visitors.
         At the same time, this report as well as the reports of the self-study strategic
subcommittees document a persistent problem with acquiring space (most particularly, on the
Fairfax Campus) to do all of the things that faculty, staff and students believe are important to
meeting their goals. For example, even though the Registrar has been able to fit classes to be
offered into the existing classroom space, this has become an increasingly complicated balancing
act. The Research and Creativity Subcommittee of the strategic component of the self-study
found that one of the primary impediments to research is the lack of space dedicated to research
activities. Students interviewed by the Learning Subcommittee asked both for more space,
particularly quiet space, and for space that can be accessed on a 24/7 basis. The Learning
Subcommittee also found that lack of office space for part-time faculty impedes teaching and
learning. The desire of the university to grow its residential student population bumps up against
a lack of dormitory space.
         The university has attacked the problem of space from several angles, and the next five
years should see considerable progress made in the following areas:

          New buildings on the Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Campuses will provide
           additional classroom and office space.
          Research modules will expand dedicated research space on the Fairfax Campus
          Within the next three years the university will begin construction of Housing V, a
           500-bed complex of two- and four-bedroom suites to be opened in Fall 2003.
          The College of Nursing and Health Science will move some of its programs to a new
           Springfield site.
          The School of Public Policy and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
           will move to the Arlington Campus.
          The Plan for the Distributed Campus System proposes expansion of existing
           programs and course offerings at the Arlington and Prince William Campuses as well
           as at other off-campus sites.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1999). Six Year Capital Budget Request, 2000 – 2002 Budget
       Development. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Chapter 1: Report of the Learning Subcommittee,‖ Fulfilling
       Our Commitments, Volume 2: Strategic Report. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
George Mason University. (2001). ―Chapter 2: Report of the Research and Creativity
       Subcommittee,‖ Fulfilling Our Commitments, Volume 2: Strategic Report. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.




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6.4.1 Space Management

        Space allocated to any institutional function must be adequate for the effective conduct of
that function. (p. 77, lines 11 – 12)

        As was indicated in the previous section, the space allocated to activities at George
Mason University is adequate, though not ideal. There are really two problems related to space
management. First, as was previously discussed, there is not enough built space on the Fairfax
Campus to accommodate all of the programs and activities that the university would like to
engage in.
        The second problem of space management has to do with the allocation of space. Space
is allocated to functions based on current university needs, the policies and procedures specified
in the Virginia Administrative Code and SCHEV‘s Guidelines for Higher Education Fixed
Assets for Education and General Programs. The Code and SCHEV‘s guidelines provide useful
information in configuring space for given functions, but they do not help with the university‘s
pressing problem of allocating a scarce resource among competing interests. While overall space
is adequate for the university‘s mission, the competition for space among the academic units
appears to be keenest for research facilities and instructional support space, such as may be
provided for part-time faculty and graduate student assistants.
        In 1999, the President created a task force on space management that was charged with
reviewing the current process for the allocation and use of space at the university and with
making recommendations that might improve upon this process in the future. The task force was
also charged with recommending guidelines for prioritizing space needs at George Mason, for
better integrating the budget process and space management, for space assignment to affiliated
personnel and organizations, for funding of space, and for approving space requests.
        As a result of the work of the task force, the university created a Space Administration
Committee and an Office of Space Management, which provides support to the committee. The
committee, headed by the Senior Vice President and the Provost, is charged with the oversight
and approval of space assignments on all three of the university's campuses, including
applications for space, requests for additional space, and the resolution of space-related disputes.
The committee is currently at work defining policies and procedures for space allocation
decisions. In addition to providing a space inventory database and companion floor plans of all
campus facilities available online, the Office of Space Management‘s web page may also be used
to access a space request form and to view space requests submitted by all academic and
administrative units.

Supporting Documentation

Commonwealth of Virginia. (2000). ―Space Utilization and Scheduling Policies and
      Procedures,‖ Virginia Administrative Code, Title 8 (Education), Agency 35 (George
      Mason University), Chapter 30. [Online]. Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at
      http://leg1.state.va.us/000/reg/TOC08035.HTM#C0030, current on January 7, 2001.
Gresock, J. (2001 February 14). E-mail to Wendy Payton re: Membership of Space
      Administration Committee. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.




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Office of Space Management. (2000). George Mason University’s Space Management. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://space.gmu.edu/, current
       on January 7, 2001.
Presidential Task Force on Space Management. (2000). Space Management and Planning at
       George Mason University, A Report on the Current Process and Alternatives for the
       Future. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. (1997). Guidelines for Higher Education Fixed
       Assets for Education and General Programs. Richmond, Virginia: Author.

6.4.2 Buildings, Grounds and Equipment Maintenance

         An institution must have a plan for the upkeep of its property. At a minimum, the plan
must address routine, preventive and deferred maintenance of buildings, equipment and
grounds. Where appropriate, it should verify the estimated costs of maintenance as well as when
and how it is to be performed. There should be a written schedule for regular maintenance
activities and a written record of projects completed. The plan must be operational and
evaluated annually. (p. 77, lines 13 – 21)

Background

        The George Mason University Physical Plant maintains and operates approximately 3.5
million square feet of facilities on 806 acres of grounds with an average yearly budget of $12
million. Routine, preventative and deferred maintenance are individually programmed, planned,
tracked and executed. In-house staff handle most routine and preventative maintenance. Larger
non-routine repairs and alterations are normally contracted out. Deferred maintenance projects
are developed from inspections, life cycle analysis and consolidated from work orders received
that identify larger facilities requirements. Deferred maintenance projects between $25,0000 and
$500,000 are incorporated into the Commonwealth of Virginia‘s Maintenance Reserve Program.
These projects are developed, prioritized and submitted to the state for programmatic approval.
Funding is provided by the General Assembly as part of our Capital Outlay (Construction)
Program. Overall funding levels for the Maintenance Reserve Program are determined by a state
formula that accounts for the age and replacement value of facilities.

The Physical Plant Department

       The Physical Plant Department is responsible for the university‘s built environment,
which includes building and grounds operations, maintenance, repair and facility upgrades in
support of the educational mission of the university. The university‘s physical plant consists of
almost 3.5 million square feet of facilities with an annual maintenance and utility budget of 12
million dollars. Work is accomplished through a mix of in-house and outsourced contracted
services. Approximately 170 in-house personnel concentrate on daily operations, breakdown
maintenance, preventative maintenance and deferred maintenance tasks. Outsourced services are
used to augment in-house personnel to accomplish nonrecurring renovations and major repairs.
Exceptions to this are the use of supplemental contractors for grounds maintenance, elevator
maintenance, trash removal and janitorial contractors for ongoing routine work. Specific
operational areas managed are: work management and customer service; preventative



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maintenance; emergency repairs; energy management systems, the management of a 30-vehicle
motor pool; oversight of the university‘s 200 vehicles; and operations of a central heating and
cooling plant.
       Physical Plant is divided into seven branches:

       1. The Administrative Branch works closely with the university‘s Human Resources
          Department and handles all Physical Plant personnel actions. This includes
          timekeeping functions, recruitment, personnel job descriptions, performance
          evaluations and disciplinary and grievance procedures.
       2. The Work Control Branch comprises three groups critical to the planning and
          execution of building, grounds, and equipment maintenance. The Customer Service
          Center receives, processes, schedules and tracks all work requests received from
          university departments, either by telephone or submitted work request forms. The
          Energy Management System (EMS) group uses Seimens Building Automated
          Controls (BAC) to remotely monitor and control the HVAC functions of university
          facilities. The Material Purchasing and Receiving group processes requisitions
          required by the Physical Plant workforce to repair, maintain and operate the
          university‘s facilities.
       3. Physical Plant Operations manages both the routine and special operational,
          financial, and personnel activities relative to maintenance, repair, minor construction,
          alteration, and operation of the grounds, buildings and other physical facilities of the
          university. This includes almost all of the Physical Plant shop forces with a staff of
          approximately 80 full-time regular and skilled trade personnel and approximately 40
          wage employees. The professional staff plans, organizes and directs the carpentry,
          painting and signs, grounds, electrical, HVAC, plumbing and waste management and
          recycling program. Also included under this branch are the emergency response
          programs for snow, wind damage and flood occurrences.
       4. The Engineering and Contracts Branch manages projects that are outsourced as
          well as selected in-house jobs. This includes coordination of Architectural and
          Engineering (AE) designs through AE contracts in conjunction with the Facilities
          Planning Department, and the oversight of work progress. Engineering and Contracts
          also reviews planned work to issue local building permits, or handles referrals to the
          appropriate agency for permit issuance. Inspections of ongoing in-house and
          contracted work are conducted to ensure conformance with applicable state building
          codes and accepted design practices. The Engineering and Contracts Branch
          formulates, execute and tracks Physical Plant‘s annual $12 million budget to provide
          accurate expenditure data.
       5. Central Heating and Cooling Plant (CHCP). The university buildings on the
          Fairfax Campus are served by a CHCP which distributes high temperature hot water
          during the heating season, and chilled water for air conditioning in the cooling
          season, through a system of utility tunnels and direct buried pipes. The plant includes
          a thermal storage unit to store energy at night during periods of low demand for use
          during peak daytime loads. The plant is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
          In addition to operating and maintaining the plant equipment, the CHCP staff answers
          the Customer Service Desk telephone lines after normal working hours and on
          weekends, and respond to after hours facility issues.



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       6. The Housekeeping Branch oversees daily cleaning of university spaces through a
          mix of in-house and outsourced contracted services, including trash collection within
          buildings, cleaning and carpet and floor care.
       7. The Building Commission Warranty Branch is responsible for new building design
          input to improve maintainability and operability. This branch represents Physical
          Plant interests during the design, construction, start-up and warranty phase of new
          buildings. It recommends the adoption of building standards for new buildings and
          renovation work to ensure past problems experienced are not repeated and to allow
          well performing materials and equipment to be procured again when needed.

Work Process Management

         The university relies on careful prioritization and the support of a computerized
maintenance management system to implement an effective plan for buildings, grounds and
equipment maintenance. ―GMU Physical Plant Work Flow‖ traces a work order from receipt
through completion of the work and updating of the maintenance management system.
         The Customer Service Center (CSC) has devised an objective method for identifying the
relative importance of each work order so as to schedule work appropriately. Staff classify the
work order in one of four categories: safety, functional/mission, preventive maintenance and
facility appearance and the work‘s importance: high, routine or low. The ―Physical Plant Work
Prioritization‖ matrix assigns a priority based on these values.
         Information collected by the CSC about work is entered into MP2, a software application
that controls maintenance operations. MP2:

          tracks projected and actual costs, and analyzes discrepancies between these costs
          creates records for each of the facility‘s equipment so that we can track equipment
           maintenance and costs
          tracks the number of labor hours and the cost of labor for each maintenance task in
           two ways: by craft or by employee
          creates work orders for unscheduled work, or it can generate work orders for due
           tasks
          tracks call-in requests for service and also allows Physical Plant employees to submit
           on-site requests.

Routine Maintenance and Services

        On average, over 1,000 work orders are entered into MP2 each month. These work
orders include customer requests and equipment breakdowns (but not work orders for EMS,
contracts or CHCP). ―Operations Work Order Volume‖ shows that from July 1999 through
February 2000, Physical Plant was able to complete from 63% (in January 2000, a month that
included two snow closings) to 97% of the work orders received each month. Those jobs not
completed were either of a low priority or could not be scheduled because of a lack of resources
or the availability of the facility. Incomplete work orders are reviewed for potential inclusion in
more global renovation maintenance reserve projects.




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Preventative Maintenance

        The entire Physical Plant organization is involved with preventative maintenance, and
one shop within Physical Plant Operations is dedicated to servicing, installing/removing and
repair of all building HVAC systems. All major building systems receive preventative
maintenance on a cyclic basis.
        MP2 has improved preventative maintenance tracking and resource leveling. The system
sets up a predictive maintenance program to identify equipment readings that are outside control
limits, alerting us to schedule maintenance before equipment break down. We base these
controls either on the manufacturer‘s specifications or on the equipment‘s performance history.
We schedule tasks that are performed repeatedly, and MP2 automatically generates work orders
for the tasks each time they are due.

Deferred Maintenance

        The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has maintained a room-by-
room and building-by-building inventory of educational and general space since the 1960‘s. The
maintenance reserve program was established in 1982 to provide a system for funding major
repairs and upgrades to existing building systems. Beginning in 1992, the Council began to
work with universities to calculate overall facilities condition ratings for each state institution.
The Facilities Condition Index (FCI) is based on concepts and procedures of Coopers & Lybrand
in association with Applied Management Engineering, P.C. The FCI is calculated as the total
maintenance deficiencies divided by the total replacement value of those facilities. The
following matrix rates ranges of the FCI. George Mason University‘s FCI in 1999 was 5.3%.

              FACILITIES CONDITION INDEX           CAMPUS CONDITION RATING
              Under 5%                             Good
              Between 5% and 10%                   Fair
              Over 10%                             Poor

        Applied Management Engineering, Inc. inspected campus facilities in 1997. The
company also developed a Multiyear Maintenance and Repair Plan for the university.
        The university submits annually a maintenance reserve list to SCHEV covering the
biennium. This list includes projects over $25,000 and under $500,000, and projects over
$500,000 approved by exception.
        Physical Plant also compiles a list of maintenance projects, each of which is estimated to
cost less than $25,000 to complete. These projects are generated from recurring inspections and
shop personnel observations when completing repair and preventative maintenance work. Once
these projects are identified, they are prioritized and grouped by type of work to achieve
economies of scale.

Supporting Documentation

Applied Management Engineering, Inc. (1997). George Mason University Facility Condition
       Assessment Results. Virginia Beach, Virginia: Author.


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George Mason University. (1999). Six Year Capital Budget Request, 2000 – 2002 Budget
       Development. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Physical Plant. (2000). George Mason University Physical Plant. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/departments/facilities/physicalplant/, current on January 7, 2001.
Physical Plant. (2000). Operations Work Order Volume. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Physical Plant. (2000). Physical Plant Organization. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Physical Plant. (2000). Physical Plant Work Flow. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Physical Plant. (2000). Physical Plant Work Prioritization. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. (2000). Maintenance Reserve Plan Status Report.
       Richmond, Virginia: Author.

6.4.3 Safety and Security

        The institution must take reasonable steps to provide a healthful, safe and secure
environment for all members of the campus community. Administrative responsibility for
environmental health and safety programs must be assigned. A comprehensive safety plan must
be developed, implemented and evaluated regularly. The plan should give special attention to
the adequate provision and use of safety equipment in laboratories and other hazardous areas;
to the modification of buildings, if necessary, for easy egress in the event of fire or other
emergency; and to familiarizing all building occupants with emergency evacuation procedures.
(p. 77, lines 22 – 28, p. 78, lines 1 – 5)

        George Mason University encourages and supports programs that promote safety, good
health and the well-being of faculty, staff, students and visitors. The university meets federal,
state and local standards through established administrative departments, committees and
specific policies and practices. The following offices of the university have primary
responsibility for ensuring the safety of the Mason community:

       1. The Safety Office coordinates safety issues throughout the university. The office also
          houses the Office of Environmental Safety, the Fire Safety Engineer and the Office of
          Risk Management.
       2. The Vice Provost for Research maintains oversight over committees with
          responsibility for safety issues associated with the conduct of research.
       3. Human Resources coordinates occupational health and workers‘ compensation issues.
       4. The George Mason University Police Department provides for the public‘s safety at
          each of the three campuses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The police department is
          accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
       5. The Physical Plant ensures that buildings are maintained and comply with building
          codes for safety.
       6. Intercollegiate Athletics has developed safety plans for athletic events.




                                          271
       7. University Life oversees several offices that work with student safety issues, such as
          Sexual Assault Services, the Office of Housing and Residence Life and Escort
          Services.

       Policies and procedures related to safety are periodically evaluated and updated. For
example, a team representing each of the three campuses and led by the Senior Vice President
and the Provost met during Fall 2000 to clarify the university‘s procedures for deciding and
announcing weather-related changes in its schedules. All university level safety policies are
available on the university‘s web site and are listed as supporting documentation.

Recommendation

         George Mason University‘s programs, policies and procedures have proven effective in
maintaining healthy and safe environments on all three campuses. The routine and preventative
measures in place are adequate to cope with daily operation of a major metropolitan university,
including the arts, sporting, business and civic events that regularly swell the population on our
campuses.
         We lack, however, a coordinated approach to respond to an emergency that strikes either
the university as a whole or a large segment of an individual campus. For example, there is no
procedure in place for the large-scale evacuation of a campus, should that be necessary.
Furthermore, while all buildings have fire alarms and the university population generally
understands the need for rapid and safe egress when those alarms sound, we do not have a
process in place for all buildings or all campuses to identify and assist those with disabilities to
get out of buildings.
         Our research activity is also growing. The university can boast of more research projects
and in greater variety than ever before. Research occurs at each of the university‘s campuses,
and involves partnerships with a number of firms. Providing regular inspections of all lab
facilities is vital to both the safety of the university community and our ability to continue to
expand our research efforts. The Safety Office and the Vice Provost for Research are involved
in discussions about the level of resources needed to assure safety of the labs and other working
environments of the university and the best way to deploy those resources.
         We recommend that the university develop a comprehensive safety plan that addresses
these issues.

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. (1993). Policy for a Smoke-Free Environment. [Online]. Fairfax,
      Virginia: Author. Available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/40.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1993). Policy for Building Entry and Access. [Online]. Fairfax,
      Virginia: Author. Available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/48.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1993). Policy for Reporting of Crimes, Accidents, Fires, and Other
      Emergencies. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
      http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/30.html, current on January 7, 2001.




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George Mason University. (1993). Written Hazard Communication Program. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/46.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1994). Inclement Weather/Emergency Condition Plan. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/36.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1995). Policy Prohibiting Weapons. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia:
       Author. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/56.html, current
       on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1997). Creating and Maintaining a Safe Work Environment.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/64.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1998). Drug and Alcohol Policy. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/gmu/personal/adpolicy.html, current on January 7,
       2001.
George Mason University. (1998). Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/sexa.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (2000). Emergency Procedures Manual, George Mason University
       Sports Medicine. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
George Mason University. (2000). Motor Vehicle Parking Policies and Regulations. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/61.html, current on January 7, 2001.
Hanson, M. E. and Hill, C. (2000 October 2). Memorandum Re: Human Subjects Research Using
       NIH Funds. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Merten, A. G. (2000 November 2). Memorandum Re: Sexual Harassment Prevention. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Office of Housing and Residence Life. (2000). Guide to Pride, Resident Student Handbook, 2000
       – 2001. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
Physical Plant. (2000). Code Compliance. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.
       Available at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/facilities/physicalplant/services/code-
       compliance.htm, current on January 7, 2001.
Sexual Assault Services. (2000). Sexual Assault Services. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/sexual/index.html, current
       on January 7, 2001.
University Police Department. (2000). Campus Safety. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University.
University Police Department. (2000). Crime Statistics. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George
       Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/police/stats.html, current on January
       7, 2001.
University Police Department. (2000). George Mason University Police Department. [Online].
       Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/police/,
       current on January 7, 2001.
University Publications. (2000 December 21). ―University Clarifies Inclement Weather
       Procedure,‖ The Daily Mason Gazette. [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason
       University. Available at



                                         273
       http://gazette.gmu.edu/search/index.php3?mode=2&article=2363&keywords=snow,
       current on January 7, 2001.
Virginia Department of Human Resource Management. (2000). Human Resource Policies.
       [Online]. Richmond, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.dpt.state.va.us/hrpolicy.htm, current on January 7, 2001.

6.4.4 Facilities Master Plan

         The institution must maintain a current written physical facilities master plan that
provides for orderly development of the institution and relates it to other institutional planning
efforts. (p. 78, lines 6 – 9)

         George Mason University produced its last formal facilities master plan in 1987. The
1987 plan provides a valuable picture of the university‘s facilities, environment, values and goals
at that time. The master plan predicted growth in enrollment and a corresponding need for more
space for instruction, instructional and student support, student housing and administration. It
also planned for an expanding role for the university in the community and an increasing desire
to provide community access to cultural and educational programs. The goals of the 1987 plan
were largely realized: the university added academic and administrative space, built additional
residence halls and constructed the Center for the Arts.
         During the 1990‘s, the university moved away from planning based on a single facilities
master plan. The university shifted to a distributed university concept, with separate planning
occurring for the Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington Campuses. Facilities planning initiatives
were presented to and approved by the Board of Visitors. Requests for funding for new building
and renovations were approved through the capital outlay process of the Commonwealth of
Virginia. This system worked well in bringing important new construction online: the Prince
William Campus, the Johnson Center on the Fairfax Campus and the new law school facility in
Arlington were all constructed in the last decade.

Recommendation

        The Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System addresses the issue of effective use
of the university‘s three campuses at the same time that it identifies new opportunities for growth
in academic programs. The plan was reviewed and approved by the Board of Visitors in its
November 2000 meeting. The Institutional Performance Agreement describes initiatives to
improve the university‘s educational performance, extend areas of research and training and
manage its resources effectively. We recommend that the university use these plans as the basis
of a new facilities master plan.

Supporting Documentation

Board of Visitors. (2000 November 21). Faculty and Academic Standards Committee of the
       Board of Visitor, Minutes. Fairfax, Virginia: Author.
Office of the Provost. (2000). Prospectus for the Prince William Campus. Fairfax, Virginia:
       George Mason University.




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Office of the Provost. (2000). Strategic Plan for the Distributed Campus System Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University.
Sasaki Associates, Inc. (1987). George Mason University Master Plan. Watertown,
       Massachusetts: Author.

6.5 Externally Funded Grants and Contracts

         Externally funded grants and contracts must be related to the stated purpose of the
institution. The institution’s policy on such grants and contracts must provide for an
appropriate balance between grant and contract activity and instruction, and guarantee
institutional control over the administration of research projects. The researcher’s freedom to
investigate and report results must be preserved. Research support from outside agencies
should not undermine these basic research principles. (p. 78, lines 10 – 19)

         The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at George Mason University provides the
Mason community with information and assistance on grant proposal development and award
administration. OSP is the point of contact for the university for the exploration of faculty
research and funding opportunities with U.S. government agencies and private industry as well
as foreign governments and international businesses. The Office of Sponsored Programs reports
to the Vice Provost for Research.
         George Mason University‘s grant and contract activity supports the university‘s purpose
as an educational institution where students are offered an educational experience of a high
quality, faculty are productive researchers and scholars, the development of the interdisciplinary
nature of knowledge is recognized in educational and research programs, and the public and
private sectors benefit. Externally funded grants and contracts active in FY 1999 not only relate
to each of these university purposes, but also contribute significantly to the framework through
which the university‘s goals and objectives are accomplished.
         The university provides for the appropriate balance between grant/contract activity and
instructional activity, although it is important to note that the balance varies for each faculty
member depending on discipline, point in career, interest, and opportunity. Academic unit heads
at the department, school, college, or institute level, depending on local administrative structure,
monitor that balance. All proposals submitted for external funding require the approval of the
academic unit head(s) before an award can be accepted by the university and all proposals
involving more than 20% of a faculty member‘s effort require the academic unit head‘s approval
prior to submission of the proposal. (See Administrative Policy #28.)
         George Mason University‘s policy on academic freedom guarantees the researcher‘s
freedom to investigate and report results. The university‘s emphasis on independence in faculty
scholarly achievement is set forth in the Faculty Handbook: ―Scholarly achievement is
demonstrated by original published and refereed contributions to the advancement of the
discipline/field of study or the integration of the discipline with other fields; by original research,
artistic work, exhibitions, and performance; and by the application of discipline- or field-based
knowledge to the practice of a profession.‖ Externally funded grants and contracts are expected
to support faculty as they pursue ―their professional development through research, scholarly
writing, advanced study, consulting, or original creative production as appropriate to their
disciplines. Such activities derive their importance both from the contribution they make to
classroom performance and to the fact that one of the major roles of any university is the



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discovery or application of new knowledge, the synthesis of ideas, and other creative activities.‖
(Faculty Handbook, p. 31)

Supporting Documentation

George Mason University. 1993. University Administrative Policy No. 28: Sponsored Programs.
       [Online]. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/28.html, current on January 7, 2001.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.11.6 Scholarly Activities,‖ Faculty Handbook. pp. 31 – 32.
       Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s11.html, current on December 31, 2000.
George Mason University. (1994). ―2.12.1 Academic Freedom and Civil Liberties,‖ Faculty
       Handbook. pp. 32 – 33. Fairfax, Virginia: Author. Also available at
       http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/c2/s12.html, current on December 31, 2000.
Office of Sponsored Programs. (1999). Office of Sponsored Programs. [Online]. Fairfax,
       Virginia: George Mason University. Available at http://www.gmu.edu/pubs/osp/, current
       on January 7, 2001.
Office of Sponsored Programs. (2001). Office of Sponsored Programs Annual Report for 1999 –
       2000. Fairfax, Virginia: George Mason University.

        The institution must establish a clear policy concerning a faculty member’s division of
obligations between research and other academic activities. It must ensure that this policy is
published in such documents as the faculty handbook and made known to all faculty members.
Where applicable, the institution must develop policies regarding summer salaries paid from
grant and contract funds, salary supplements paid from grants during the regular academic
year, and fees for consultative services provided by the faculty members. These policies must
also be published and made known to the faculty. (p. 78, lines 20 – 30)

        George Mason policy regarding a faculty member‘s research versus other academic
obligations is articulated in Section 2.4 of the Faculty Handbook, which is available on the web
and is given to every faculty member upon appointment and newly distributed when re-
published. In recognition that faculty strengths, interests, and opportunities vary from person to
person and from one time period to another, the policy does not set an absolute requirement for
the division of obligation. It does, however, place a heavy requirement on excellence and the
high level of commitment to research, teaching, and service.
        Policies governing payments to faculty for summer effort paid from externally funded
grants and contracts can be found in the Faculty Information Guide under ―Summer Salary.‖ All
salary payments made to faculty and all supplemental payments during the regular academic year
including all fees for consultative services are