The Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia
December 2, 2004 - 3:00-5:00 p.m.
The Rotunda Dome Room
Marcia Childress, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order and offered welcoming remarks. Ms. Childress made the following announcements:
A member of the Senate asked about concerns being raised by many faculty members in regard to the proposal by the administration that graduate student health insurance is to be covered by research grants. This change will be phased in over a three-year period, with one third being paid by grants in the first year, two thirds in the second year, and 100% in the third year. President John Casteen and Vice President and Provost Gene Block both commented on the issue, and why it has become necessary for the University to take this approach.
Committee Reports: Academic Affairs Committee -- Kenneth Schwartz, Chair
In Mr. Schwartz's absence, Ms. Childress reported on the work of the Academic Affairs Committee, in Mr. Schwartz's absence. The committee is engaged in an ongoing discussion on honor issues at the University, particularly as these issues relate to faculty perspectives on honor. The Academic Affairs Committee is proposing a survey of faculty perspectives on honor. The survey is to be developed by the Center for Survey Research. Ms. Childress mentioned that several opinion pieces on the Honor System, by faculty and students, have appeared in the Cavalier Daily.
The Academic Affairs Committee will administer the Faculty Senate Dissertation-Year Fellowships. There will be five or six fellowships awarded, each valued at about $20,000, including tuition, fees, health insurance, and a stipend. Steve Macko, a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, will chair the Subcommittee on the Dissertation-Year Fellowships. The Fellowships are being funded by the Office of the Provost (three fellowships), the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (one fellowship), and the Curry School of Education (one fellowship).
Research and Scholarship Committee -- Larry Bouchard, Chair
Ms. Childress reported on the work of the Research and Scholarship Committee, in Mr. Bouchard's absence. The Committee is overseeing the David Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards again this year, with administration of the award process being handled again by the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, directed by Nicole Hurd. As a part of the awards process this year, students will be made aware of the procedures of institutional review boards (IRB), and those students whose projects are selected and involve research on either human subjects or animals must submit their proposal for IRB review. In addition, if international travel is part of the research, the student will be required to consult with the Office of International Studies before beginning his/her travel, and comply with that office's requirements.
Report on University Athletics - Craig Littlepage, Director
Mr. Littlepage explained the University's decision not to participate in a post-season football bowl game that would conflict with students' final exam schedule. Mr. Littlepage also cited the annual NCAA report on graduation rates, remarking that the University fared well in the report. Mr. Littlepage said the University has a fair level of competitive success in the various sports at UVA. He commented on community relations issues arising in association with Thursday evening football games. Mr. Littlepage also noted that academic support services for athletes are producing good results, but the Athletics Department continues to improve the support provided.
President Casteen offered additional comments on the University's rationale for not accepting a bowl bid for a game that conflicts with the exam schedule. He explained that the academic calendar this year resulted in first-semester exams occurring unusually late. He asked the provost's office to review the process by which the academic calendar is set and to look especially at and, if necessary, adjust the 2005-2006 calendar before it is officially posted.
In her introductory remarks for the panel that would open the discussion on Embracing Diversity in Pursuit of Excellence, Ms. Childress cited a passage from the Diversity and Equity Report. Ms. Childress offered her views on the importance of the Report, and she commented that the Report made an eloquent argument for change and ways to go forward with diversity initiatives at the University.
Introducing the discussion on Embracing Diversity in Pursuit of Excellence, Ms. Childress cited a passage from this report. She emphasized the importance of the report and commented that it made eloquent arguments for change and for going forward with diversity initiatives at the University. the panelists discussing the diversity and equity report were:
Comments and Observations of the Panel
Mr. Smith and Ms. Davis described the work of the Diversity and Equity Committee and remarked on some of the committee's recommendations, especially those that will require faculty involvement. The report calls for, among other things, improvements in recruiting and retaining minority and women faculty, curricular change to examine diversity issues, and new initiatives in research and teaching that emphasize and explore diversity and equity.
Mr. Alexander discussed the ongoing activities of the ad hoc Faculty Committee on Diversity, which has members from throughout the university. The group has an immediate goal of establishing this spring semester a sustained dialogue group for faculty, the first ever of its kind.
Mr. Block also discussed the efforts of his office, chiefly through the work of Vice Provost Gertrude Fraser, to attract and regain minority and women faculty. Among other strategies, his office has increased the number of loan lines for minority hires.
Mr. Casteen reported that the administration's full acceptance of the report means that all recommendations will be implemented. The administration has also set aside funding to implement all recommendations. He also reported that the search committee for the new chief officer of diversity and equity was meeting for the first time on this day. He further commented on specific initiatives discussed in the report, noting that faculty involvement will be critical to their success, including engaging students more actively in service projects in the local community, improving minority graduate student recruitment and funding, participating in faculty and student exchange programs with Virginia's historically black colleges, and helping historically black colleges and universities cultivate entrepreneurial opportunities in their local communities.
President's Report - John T. Casteen, III (President)
President Casteen discussed the ways the University is seeking to improve its sexual assault policy and procedures and addressed difficulties in collecting and sharing information in sexual assault cases, especially those in which one of the parties is not a UVA student. He emphasized the university's commitment to protect students from sexual assault.
In closing, Ms. Childress asked the Senators to contact either Alison Booth or Tico Braun, co-conveners of the Faculty Senate ad hoc Committee on the Charter Initiative, if they have comments on the Charter Initiative.
The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Submitted by Deborah Johnson, Secretary of the Faculty Senate