December 6, 2001
Robert Grainger, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order. Mr. Grainger gave the welcoming remarks and introduced John Casteen, President of the University.
President Casteen updated the Senators on the State budget. In addition to President Casteen, Leonard Sandridge, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Colette Sheehy, Vice President for Management and Budget, were available to answer any questions regarding the budget. Mr. Casteen said the State's 7.5% projected growth rate did not materialize, and the State is faced with a predicted $1.002 billion shortfall. Some of the University's projects have been frozen, and some have not, Mr. Casteen said. The underground library and the Studio Arts Building will go forward.
Mr. Casteen spoke about the University's commitment to international programs. He mentioned that William Quandt, Vice Provost for International Affairs, has organized new international programs for the summer of 2002 in five countries. Other initiatives President Casteen mentioned are: an international program will be fully operational in London in 2002; Stephen Cushman will conduct an international conference in 2002; the Center for Global Health has been created; the Center for Regional and Environmental Studies; and the development of the U-21 initiative. Mr. Casteen took questions from the audience.
Rob Grainger thanked Mr. Casteen. Mr. Grainger talked about the Faculty Senate Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards, which have been given out for three years. Mr. Grainger said the Executive Council is working with the Office of University Development to try to establish permanent funding for this valuable and exciting program.
Paul Kingston, a member of the Research and Scholarship Committee, reported on the work of that Committee. Susan Perry, Chair of the Committee, was unable to attend the meeting. The Committee sponsored a Faculty Senate Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards Symposium to showcase some of the past recipients research projects. Eight selected students reported on their work, a some of the student's advisors reported on the success of the program. The Symposium was well attended, with about 100 students and quests. Mr. Kingston said funding is needed for the program, and the Committee is working with the Development Office on this endeavor. The Committee was planning to produce a brochure to get help with advertising and promote interest in the program. The Development Office has suggested that a "White Paper" would better serve this purpose, and would help in selling the program to a donor. President Casteen remarked that the Harrison family is very interested in the program. Robert Sweeney, Vice President for Development, is looking for a portfolio of projects that would include the Harrison Awards program.
The Research and Scholarship Committee is planning on changing the timelines for the Faculty Senate Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards, in an effort to attract more students and to include students that might not otherwise have the opportunity to apply for an award. The change would call for applications to be submitted in the spring, instead of the fall. This would enable third-year students that will become fourth-year students in the fall to apply for an award and complete their research in their fourth-year. The Committee will work on building an infrastructure for undergraduate research, and promoting the program for permanent funding.
Rob Grainger said he envisions the Senate working with the Arts and Sciences Office of Undergraduate Research to broaden the support for undergraduates doing research.
Mr. Grainger also said the Senate is exploring ways that faculty might work with legislators on specific projects or initiatives. The Senate is looking at ways that faculty/legislator engagements might be systemized at the University.
The Research and Scholarship Committee will soon begin planning a Faculty Senate-sponsored symposium on Patenting Genes. The symposium will be held sometime in the fall of 2002.
Robert E. Davis, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on the work of that Committee. Mr. Davis distributed a handout, detailing the work of the Committee. Among the issues the Committee and subcommittees are addressing are:
Subcommittee on Graduate Students (Non-Funding), Richard Warner, Chair
· The Subcommittee will work on identifying a central space for graduate students to gather.
· They will address ways to promoting social interactions across departments and schools.
· They will work at enhancing graduate recruiting initiatives.
· They will survey graduate students on space needed, and look at facilities at peer institutions.
Subcommittee on the Dissertation-Year Fellowships, Robert J. Davis, Chair
· The selection process will involve University-wide competition for fellowships for 2002-03.
· There will be up to 11 fellowships awarded at approximately $17,000, and an additional $3,000 for tuition and fees.
· Criteria for the fellowships include proven excellence in research and teaching - both with equal emphasis.
· Eligibility - ABD and within one year of completing dissertation.
· The program will be announced in January, and applications will be due in March. A banquet will be held in April to honor the recipients.
· Faculty volunteers may be used to help with the review of the applications.
Robert O'Connell, chair of the Subcommittee on Graduate Student Funding, reported that Yoke San Reynolds, Vice President for Finance, has attended a meeting and informed the group of the general process for graduate student funding at the University. The Subcommittee will continue to work with Ms. Reynolds and other financial officers at the University. Richard Warner commented on the University's need to develop a standard methodology across schools and departments to formulate graduate student funding.
Subcommittee on Graduate Student Funding, Robert O. O'Connell, Chair
· Regarding funding issues, there are two categories of graduate students: education "consumers" and "providers."
· There are tuition differences for in-state and out-of-state students, and factors such as residence/domicile status; availability of "tuition differential fellowships;" recruiting from Virginia vs. nationally/internationally; and charging tuition difference to contracts and grants, influence the funding for each graduate student.
· The Subcommittee will look at the level of funding support relative to peer institutions, by department, and it will look at the impacts of current funding policies on the University's mission, i.e., how it impacts recruiting.
· The Subcommittee will submit to the Executive Council a year-end report.
Report by Senate Chair, Robert Grainger
· Mr. Grainger announced the creation of a new major that has recently been approved by the University, "Biology and Society."
· He gave an update on the Intellectual Community 2001: Science and Society lecture series.
· The lecture series will continue next year, jointly by the Senate and the Forum for Contemporary Thought, the theme will be "Intellectual Community 2002: Arts and Society.
· Julian Connolly, a member of the Faculty Senate, reported on progress being made on the "Keyword Search" of the Undergraduate Record.
Mr. Grainger asked if there were other questions or concerns.
· There was a concern regarding the recent change in health care provider for the University. Leonard Sandridge, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, responded to the concerns. An external assessment of the new program produced good feedback, with 89-90% satisfaction, and a price lower than the State's health care coverage, Mr. Sandridge said.
· There was a comment from a Senator regarding an article in Academe and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The articles are not favorable to the University. Mr. Grainger commented that the Executive Council has reviewed the articles and is working with the administration to address concerns.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Submitted by Kathryn A. Neeley, Secretary of the Faculty Senate