February 21, 2001 (3:00-5:00 p.m.)
Rotunda Dome Room
Patricia Werhane called the meeting to order. Ms. Werhane introduced John T. Casteen III, President. President Casteen spoke about the General Assembly session. The budget process is at an impasse, Mr. Casteen said. Governor Gilmore was to convene a press conference at 2:30, February 21 regarding the impasse. Mr. Casteen said this is mid-term of a two year budget, and if no action is taken, last year's budget will be enforced. Mr, Casteen cited several scenarios of possible outcomes to the budget impasse. The legislators also considered a bill asking for a cap on out-of-state student enrollment at 25%, which did not pass, Mr. Casteen said. Mr. Casteen noted that out-of-state graduates account for 62% of donations given to the University.
Mr. Casteen discussed distance education, which is needed in order for the University to move forward and stay competitive with peer institutions. The University is looking for partners to form a consortium for distance education. Mr. Casteen cited several different possibilities of other institutions to enter into partnerships with.
Finally, Mr. Casteen reported on the various ongoing searches and organizational changes. Presently, the searches include Dean of the School of Law; Dean of the College; Vice President and Provost; and a Chancellor for the College at Wise. Robert Cantrell, Vice President and Provost of the Medical School, announced his retirement earlier this month, Mr. Casteen said.
Ms. Werhane introduced Doris Glick, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. Ms. Glick reported on the work of that Committee. She said the Committee has reviewed and approved a new degree proposal in Digital Humanities. Ms. Glick introduced John Unsworth, who gave an overview of the program. William Kehoe made a motion to approve the program, it was seconded, and it passed unanimously. The proposal will now go before the Board of Visitors and SCHEV for final approval.
The Academic Affairs Committee is also working on interdisciplinary diversity initiatives, Ms. Glick reported.
William Kehoe, Chair of the Research and Scholarship Committee, reported on the work of that Committee. Mr. Kehoe distributed a handout, which listed this year's David Harrison Undergraduate Research Award recipients. There will be a Ceremony to honor the Award recipients on Wednesday, February 28, at Alumni Hall from 4:00-5:00 p.m. There were 95 applications, and there were 43 proposals funded, Mr. Kehoe reported. Mr. Kehoe explained the proposal review process to everyone. This year, $157,462 will be given to students and faculty for undergraduate research. Each student was sent a letter that outlines the expectations of the students in regard to their research and a final report on that research, Mr. Kehoe said.
Houston G. Wood, III, Chair of the ROTC Affairs Committee, reported on the work of that Committee. One of the duties of the Committee is to interview perspective Military Science faculty and give recommendations to the Office of the Provost, Mr. Wood said. The ROTC Affairs Committee is also working on establishing a source of scholarship funds for prospective students. The Army is falling below the number of students that is required for military training, and the University is working on ways to raise the student enrollment, Mr. Wood said.
Ms. Werhane introduced Rodney Hicks and Steve Platter, graduate students from the Darden School. The students have created a faculty survey on faculty dining facilities and a new Colonnade Club. A sample of the on-line survey was distributed, and everyone was encouraged to complete the on-line survey. Ms. Werhane will send the survey to the Senate, and she will ask each Senator to forward the survey to their constituents. The target date for completing and returning the survey is Friday, May 12.
Ms. Werhane introduced Thomas Hall,Chair, and Luke Mitchell, Vice Chair, Education, of the Honor Committee. A brochure, "V Honor, Strengthening Our System," was distributed. The brochure detailed four proposals for change and the rationale for these changes. The proposals are: 1. Change the language of the constitution to reflect that accused students will be assisted by counsel instead of represented by counsel, allowing them to take a more active role in their defense if they choose to do so. 2. All accusations of academic fraud will be considered serious. 3. Change the composition of jury panels to address concerns about inconsistent verdicts and timelines of hearings. 4. Change the voting standard required to determine act and intent at trial from a 4/5 to a 2/3 majority.
Ms. Werhane said letters from University faculty have been sent to legislators. These letters express the faculty's strong disapproval of the Optional Retirement Plan reduction. Other issues the Senate is working on include:
a. Interdisciplinary projects
b. 2020 Reports - the Faculty Senate has voiced their view on these reports
c. Improvement in graduate student funding - a committee has been formed, and data from other institutions is being collected
d. An ad hoc committee will study health and other benefits for partners
e. Ms. Werhane is on a committee that is investigating issues of child care
f. Ms.Werhane is serving on the University Research Policy Advisory Committee (URPAC)
g. Julian Connolly is working on the "Keyword" initiative
Ms. Werhane asked the Senate to start thinking about nominations for Faculty Senate officers and committee members for next year.
The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Submitted by Michael J. Smith, Secretary of the Faculty Senate