Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.78
Liaison Greg Farley
Submission Date Sept. 9, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Mason University
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Tyler Orton
Projects Innovation Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do all enrolled students, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which students have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

The Student Government at George Mason University (Mason) is a permanent standing entity which receives its legitimacy and authority as representatives of the entire student body. The Student Government advocates for the interests of the student body, educates the University community with regard to the state of the institution, and represents the interests of each student. The Student Government serves as a liaison to the administration, Board of Visitors, faculty, staff and University community.


Is there at least one student representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative student body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of student representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

Mason’s Board of Visitors (BOV) includes two students who serve a one-year, non-voting terms. The students are actively involved on the BOV committees and participate in all board activities and deliberations. University Life is actively involved in the selection process.The current representatives are the Student Body President and the president of Graduate and Professional Student Association. These students serve as liaisons for student concerns. In the past, one has served the interests of the Prince William and Fairfax Campuses and the other representative has promoted the interests of the Arlington Campus.

The Student Senate is the largest branch within Student Government and also serves as representation for the student body. It is made up of a total of 40 senators (30 elected in April and 10 elected in October for the freshman and transfer students) elected by the student body. The Senate itself is broken down into six committees: Governmental & Academic Affairs, University Services, Finance, University Life, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and Mason Affairs State Outreach & Networking (MASON). The Senate is responsible for passing all legislation brought before it, including resolutions that give statements on the opinions of the student body, and bills that provide funding for Student Government events and activities.


Do students have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources ---
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning ---
Communications processes and transparency practices ---
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal student role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

George Mason University recently finished a new strategic plan as well as a new mission and vision. Students from Student Government represented the student body as part of the planning committees.

As representatives to the Board of Visitors, students are able to help prioritize programs and projects as well as participate in all board deliberations.

These student government members took part in the 2011 presidential search committee and approval process for the current university president.


Do all staff, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all staff have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

Mason's Staff are empowered with their own Staff Senate. Their primary functions are advocacy, education and appreciation. All staff senate members are elected by Mason staff members and serve one year terms.


Is there at least one non-supervisory staff representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative staff body or organization?:
No

A brief description of non-supervisory staff representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

Many members of the Staff Senate work in non-supervisory positions, such as administrative assistants and student advisers. These members are elected by their fellow staff members.


Do non-supervisory staff have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following? :
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices ---
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal staff role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

George Mason University recently finished a new strategic plan as well as a new mission and vision. Staff were heavily involved in the process through appreciative inquiry, townhall, and committee meetings.

For example, regarding physical resources, the Land and Buildings committee, comprised of faculty and staff stakeholders form across the campus provide input concerning prospective physical changes to the Director of Campus Planning. This includes topics such as signage, roads, and campus aesthetics.

Each year when the state budget is released, town halls are held on campus to get input and answer questions from faculty and staff on the new fiscal year's budget.


Do all faculty, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all faculty (including adjunct faculty) have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

The Faculty Senate is the primary mechanism through which all faculty (including adjunct faculty) have an avenue to participate in the governance of George Mason University. The Senate has the fundamental general responsibility to speak and act for the General Faculty on matters affecting the University as a whole. The Senate is the principal faculty advisory body to the President and the administration and is governed by the Board of Visitors.


Is there at least one teaching or research faculty representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative faculty body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of faculty representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

The George Mason University governing body is the Board of Visitors. The board is a corporate body serving under the leadership of a rector, vice rector, and secretary. The 16 members of the board are appointed by the governor of Virginia on a rotating basis to serve four-year terms. The Faculty Senate Chair sits on the board as a nonvoting member.
The board recognizes as official observers eight faculty representatives that are elected by the faculty at-large. Two faculty representatives sit on each of the following committees: Academic Programs, Diversity, and University Community Committee, Finance and Land Use Committee, Development Committee, and Research Committee. A faculty liaison may be appointed to the Audit Committee.


Do faculty have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal faculty role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

With the Faculty Senate Chair siting on the board as a nonvoting member and several other faculty members acting in an advisory capacity to the board, faculty share in the decision-making role of each of the confirmed criteria.
Two faculty representatives sit on each of the following Board of Visitors committees: Academic Programs, Diversity, and University Community Committee, Finance and Land Use Committee, Development Committee, and Research Committee.
These faculty members took part in the 2011 presidential search committee and contributed to the development of the 2014-2024 Strategic Plan.


The website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:

All information is for FY 2014.

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