The Academic Affairs Committee
October 5, 2006 - 4:00-5:00pm
Newcomb Hall Board Room
Present: Reginald Garrett, Robert Kemp, Daniel Bluestone, Blaine Norum, Laura Galloway, Janet Herman, Lynda Phillips-Madson, Lynda Waggoner-Fountain
Guests: Gene D. Block, Vice President and Provost AND Anda Webb, Associate Provost for Management
Reginald Garrett, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, called the meeting to order. Introductions were made.
Mr. Garrett presented an overview of the Committee's agenda for the year:
Policy: Employment of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty -- Gene D. Block and Anda Webb, Office of the Provost
Gene Block commented that non-tenure-track faculty is a growing group, and that all universities have non/tenure-track faculty. Mr. Block said faculty titles are used to distinguish between the various types of faculty hires, such as academic and administrative and professional faculty. Mr. Block asked the Committee to review and advise him on the issue of faculty titles. Mr. Block said the AAU will be issuing an opinion piece on tenure-non-tenure track faculty. He also stated that faculty members are exempt from the Virginia Personnel Act.
The Academic Affairs Committee will work with the Policy Committee on this issue. Mr. Garrett said he feels it is a good idea to form a subcommittee to address the issues and to prepare a preliminary report with recommendations, to go to the full Senate at the April, 2007 meeting.
Gene Block told Reg Garrett that a shared Masters program - Commerce School and Darden School - will be put forward for review. Mr. Block asked Mr. Garrett if he could give him a general timeframe for getting the Senate's approval for the program. A major determining factor for the timeframe for approving program proposals is the quality of the proposal. There is a template available to help those forming a degree program.
Updated Faculty Handbook, Anda Webb, Office of the Provost
The Faculty Handbook is being updated, and the Office of the Provost would like input from the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee and the Policy Committee. Ms. Webb told the Academic Affairs Committee that over time, as policies changed, problems arose that made it necessary to update the document. The handbook was last updated in 1994. The new information needs to be pulled together with the old information, and the document updated. Ms. Webb asked the Faculty Senate to review policies that are pertinent to the faculty. The updated version, when completed will be put on the web, with hard copies available upon request, Ms. Webb said. Ms. Webb noted that there are faculty misconduct changes in the handbook. Reg Garrett said the Academic Affairs Committee, working with the Policy Committee, will compare the 1994 Faculty Handbook with the revised version, and then offer recommendations.
Textbook Legislation, Gene Block, Provost
In April 2006, the General Assembly of Virginia amended and reenacted the Code of Virginia regarding "Policies addressing textbook sales and bookstores." Mr. Block gave the Committee an overview of the amended code, and the issues involved. Textbooks need to be available to students in a more timely fashion, and at a less costly price. The goal is to have the list of required and recommended textbooks for every course available for students by November 1. The Academic Affairs Committee discussed the issues involved. The Committee discussed the possibility that faculty could consider taking advantage of other resources available for obtaining textbooks, such as using other vendors (including on-line book sellers), other publishers, and electronic versions of textbooks. Mr. Block said that if the Committee has substantive suggestions for the University Bookstore to improve their procedures, they should forward that information to Yoke San Reynolds, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Block said he would like to have the issue resolved, and to have gotten the Committee's input by the end of December to ensure that the University is in compliance with the Act. It will go before the Board of Visitors in early January.
Mr. Garrett asked the Academic Affairs Committee to think about issues they would like to get involved with. He will send an email to the Committee's asking for volunteers to serve on one of three task groups - one to address faculty title issues, one to review and make recommendations regarding the Faculty Handbook, and one to review and help develop guidelines to ensure that the University is in compliance with Virginia's Legislation Act regarding Policies addressing textbook sales and book stores .
The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.