The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate
Monday January 15, 2007 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Board Room, Newcomb Hall
Present: Ken Schwartz, Janet Herman, Ricardo Padron, Ed Kitch, Houston Wood, Reg Garrett, Hal Burbach, Teresa Culver, Alison Booth, Marcia Childress
Guests: Gene Block & Nancy Rivers
1. Faculty Senate of Virginia Report & Higher Education Day
Government Relations issue was discussed. It was agreed that we should not be advocating any one position in Richmond. The BOV issue for example is one that we have expressed to the Rector and President and those discussions are ongoing. Some of the topics we discussed included:
One of two possible ways: Get serious about things - making comments. Or not to do it at all.
Volunteer time - not sure how much of that energy we have and whether this would be considered a priority for most faculty. We have to choose a few things to work on, and we have several important topics under development within the Senate right now.
2. Faculty Recruitment Retention and Welfare update - tabled until next Executive Council meeting
3. Behavioral Health, Open Enrolment, Benefits Committee update -- Ken Schwartz has been in contact with Susan Carkeek and will update the Executive Council and the full Senate as more information is provided by her.
4. Parking Issues - Communication seems to be the most important thing here, and it needs improvement. The displacement of employees from U-Hall lots for "special" is still a topic of concern for many, and it is unclear what Sandridge and his colleagues will do about this concern that we voiced during our December meeting. It was agreed that I should write to him reminding him about our continued interest in this matter.
5. University Retreat (Jan 26) & the Provost's Quality Enhancement Proposal. -- Gene Block provided an update and it was noted that several Executive Council members and Faculty Senate members will be participating in this event. The focus will be on student-faculty interactions, improving mentorish, undergraduate research both within and beyond the classroom. Proposal of what we're going to do over the next five years.
6. Commission on the Future of the University - we discussed John Casteen's invitation for faculty to become involved in shaping the direction of this event that may take place in the early fall semester. Gene believes, and members of the Executive Council agree, that this is important enough for us to set aside other things to allow time for this work. The Academic Plan has been circulated to all members of the EC and other committee chairs. Ken was asked to send a letter to John Casteen asking permission to circulate the document to the full Senate. All members of the Executive Council felt it is important and appropriate for this to be distributed widely for comment.
We also agreed that the Planning and Development Committee would be asked to take a leadership role on behalf of the Senate as a whole on this matter. Marcia Childress will work with the group to begin identifying additional faculty from within and beyond the Senate to participate as this work begins to take shape quickly. There are some perceptions that part of the concern behind this is that the capital campaign is a campaign in search of an academic framework. Certainly the P&D Committee is in a strong position to help in clarifying this situation, providing additional momentum.
The time frame is tight - not like the 2020 commissions. They are aiming for completion of the process in the early fall. It will involve a collaboration between the Senate and the Board of Visitors - setting the agenda, raising the questions?
One step that could be taken soon - open up the conversation with Glyn Key's committee. Executive Council doing this work.
6. Planning and Development Committee update -- Marcia Childress
7. Draft Agenda for January 30 Senate meeting attached -- Ken Schwartz & Ricardo Padron + Gene Block on Interdisciplinarity
8. Curriculum Internationalization Survey of Undergraduates -- Student Council Committee on Curriculum Internationalization Committee Chair, Ryan McElveen made a presentation about Council's upcoming student survey and he answered questions.
9. Other issues -- Faculty handbook - trying to make connections between 1995 Faculty Handbook, whereas the Provost's web based Handbook has many links, etc. There have to be hard copies of this material and updates. This discussion involved a good deal of concern about several of the recently adopted or considered policies. We will continue to discuss these in our next Executive Council meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Submitted by Harold Burbach, Secretary of the Faculty Senate