The Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia
February 9, 2005 - 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Commonwealth Room, Newcomb Hall
Marcia Childress, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.
Chair's Report - Marcia Day Childress, Chair
1. Vice President and Provost Gene Block is involving Senate representatives in all upcoming program reviews and in a new committee that he will charge with reviewing the university's promotion and tenure policies and procedures. Ms. Childress has supplied the Provost with names of Senators to be considered for membership on these committees.
2. Ms. Childress attended the Board of Visitors meeting on February 3, 2005 and reported to the Educational Policy Committee. Specifically, she addressed development of the Senate's statement on the charter initiative, exploration of faculty perspectives on honor, and Senate advocacy of undergraduate research that partners students with faculty, especially the Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards. Her remarks are posted on the web: http://www.virginia.edu/facultysenate/boxedpolicy020305.html
3. On January 25, the Faculty Senate co-sponsored a dinner welcoming new women to the university's academic and general/administrative faculties. Other co-sponsoring organizations included the Women's Center, the Office of the Provost, and the Program of Studies in Women and Gender.
4. Academic Affairs Committee
a. Ms. Childress reported on behalf of Ken Schwartz, committee chair. Through its subcommittee, Academic Affairs continues to address faculty perspectives on the Honor System. On the advice of the Senate's Executive Council, a formal survey of faculty attitudes toward the Honor System will not be undertaken by the Senate or any of its committees or subcommittees. Instead, all background materials and the proposal for the survey, as prepared by Tom Guterbock, of the Center for Survey Research, has been given to the student Honor Committee, for its consideration of a student-initiated survey of faculty attitudes.
b. The Senate again this year is offering Dissertation-Year Fellowships, which are being funded by the Office of the Provost, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Curry School of Education. There will be at least five fellowships awarded this year, at approximately $20,000 each. Ms. Childress gave an overview of the selection criteria. Applications are due on February 25, 2005. Academic Affairs oversees this fellowship program, with a subcommittee, chaired by Steve Macko, handling the review and selection process. A banquet will be held in April to honor the 2005-2006 fellowship recipients.
c. This month, Academic Affairs will be reviewing a Darden School proposal for a new Executive MBA degree program. Senator Marian Moore is taking the lead on presenting information on the program to the committee. The Executive Council and then the full Senate will review and vote on this new degree program following the committee's review.
5. Research and Scholarship Committee
a. Ms. Childress reported on behalf of Larry Bouchard, committee chair. Once again, the Research and Scholarship Committee is overseeing the Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards, together with the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, which administers the awards. One hundred proposals - fewer than last year, but from a broader range of disciplines - were received by the February 1 deadline. Ms. Childress extended thanks to faculty who have served as past award recipients' mentors and who are mentoring student applicants now. She also thanked the faculty who will be reviewing proposals and selecting this year's award winners.
b. Ms. Childress has met with representatives of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies regarding review or revision of research-related policies in advance of the university's upcoming SACS reaccreditation. Additional meetings are upcoming, with Mr. Bouchard and perhaps others from Research and Scholarship.
6. Development Committee
a. The new Faculty Senate Development Committee will begin its work in March. Preliminary to the first meeting of the full committee, Ms. Childress and committee co-chairs Michael Levenson and Rob Grainger, will meet with Robert Sweeney, Senior Vice President for Development and External Relations. this month. Formed in 2004, this committee is intended to be a liaison between faculty and the university's development efforts, especially as the new capital campaign gets going, but the group will also track and offer faculty perspectives on academic planning and pan-university academic priorities for fundraising.
7. Ad hoc Faculty Committee on the Charter Initiative:
Ms. Childress reviewed the work of the ad hoc Faculty Committee on the Charter Initiative. The committee included Senators Steve Railton (Arts & Sciences), Houston Wood (Engineering and Senate Chair-Elect), Bob Davis (Arts & Sciences and Immediate Past Chair), Elizabeth Meyer (Arts & Sciences), and Alison Booth (Arts & Sciences and who served as one co-convener), plus Herbert Tico Braun (Arts & Sciences and the other co-convener), Chip Tucker (Arts & Sciences), Robin Kuzen (Miller Center and General Faculty Chair), Brian Duling (Medicine), Julia Mahoney (Law), Jeff Rossman (Arts & Sciences), and Dick Howard (Law). Ms. Childress sat with the committee in an ex officio capacity. Coming into its deliberations, committee members held a wide range of views on charter. Ms. Childress noted that the Senate came late to addressing this matter - and one factor in this was that the charter proposal itself was perpetually in negotiation, always a moving target - but the committee devoted considerable time and thought to studying it. The committee addressed the potential impact of the proposed changes in the Code of Virginia on the university's core academic mission and on what faculty do as teachers, scholars, and researchers. The members had discussions among themselves, heard updates from university officials, and held interviews with Medical Center employees who reflected on the impact of codified autonomy and with SCHEV officials. In formulating a one-page consensus statement, the committee chose to look beyond the specifics of any higher education restructuring legislation to the good possibility that UVA will gain more control of its own affairs and to the process by which the university will accomplish this. The statement speaks of faculty valuing and supporting the administration's efforts to create a new model for a premier public university. It then reaffirms faculty commitment to the University's public academic mission and calls attention to four areas of concern that need to be addressed as UVA enters a new relationship with the state and realigns its internal operations: (a) preserving UVA's public status and mission, (b) assuring access to and affordability of a UVA education for a socioeconomically diverse student body, (c) looking to have the best staff possible through promoting their excellence and assuring them of the best possible working conditions, and (d) addressing with the administration any governance issues that arise as a result of the changing relationship between the university and the state. The committee completed work on the statement in early January, just days before the General Assembly was to convene. The group felt that, to have any impact, a UVA faculty statement needed to be made public ahead of the legislative session. Since Senate by-laws provide for the Executive Council to act on behalf of the full Senate when time is short, the Executive Council met on January 11 to consider the ommittee's statement. The council made some revisions and adopted the statement as the Senate's own before the General Assembly went into session on January 12. Even as the House and Senate have proceeded to revise the higher education restructuring proposal, the areas of concern identified in the faculty statement have remained current and prominent in discussion. Members of the ad hoc committee and Executive Council have met twice with administration to discuss updates in the legislation and the implications for the core academic mission. Faculty value these discussions and look forward to more exchanges of this kind. Whatever new autonomies the university becomes eligible to gain as a result of legislative action, there will be a period of months, from March through July and perhaps until December, during which time UVA must formulate for submission to the state its plan for how to operationalize the new freedoms. Faculty can and should be partners in this process, especially where changes potentially affect the core academic mission and faculty teaching, research, and scholarship. The ad hoc committee will stay together in order to serve as a resource to the Senate in this process. The document produced by the committee and adopted by the Executive Council on behalf of the Senate, "Statement of the University of Virginia Faculty Senate on the Commonwealth Chartered Universities Proposal" was distributed. There was a motion from the floor, and this motion was seconded, that, consistent with Senate by-laws, the full Senate should vote to ratify this statement. There was discussion, with Ms. Childress and several members of the ad hoc committee responding to Senators' questions about the committee's process and conclusions. By unanimous vote of the Senators present, the statement was ratified. The statement will be revised to reflect changes in the terminology describing this legislative initiative then distributed anew to all Senators and re-posted on the Senate's website.
President's Report - John T. Casteen, III, President
1. President John Casteen gave the Senate an update on legislative matters. The Charter Initiative to change the relationship between Virginia and its public colleges and universities is now a version of "codified autonomy," the arrangement under which the UVA Medical Center's relationship with the state was revised in 1996. President Casteen said two legislative bills, known as "Restructuring of Higher Education in Virginia," have been introduced and voted on in committees; as of February 8, each bill has gone to the opposite house. If neither of the bills passes, there is a third "shell" bill to be considered. Under the current legislation, UVA will remain a state agency but will negotiate a management agreement with the state for control of capital outlay, procurement, personnel, tuition, and enrollment. The Board of Visitors will establish plans for management of these areas, President Casteen said. The university will be required to submit to the state six-year plans on fiscal and academic matters and provide periodic accountability reports.
2. President Casteen also reported on:
a. Access UVA and its financing
b. Financial aid for community college transfer students.
c. Comparison of provisions in the Governor's budget and the House and Senate budget proposals.
d. The Board of Visitors meeting of February 3-4 in which the board approved a five-year plan for tuition increases. The board also decided to go forward with needed building maintenance, even if the state cannot provide funding at this time.
e. Additional state appropriations for Blandy Farm and SCHEV.
f. New university capital projects: 1) an advanced research and technology building, 2) the hospital's north parking garage, 3) an Arts Center garage, 4) relocation of some clinics, and 5) acquisition of additional land in Wise for UVA-Wise.
g. A new system for setting the academic calendar. After this past fall's calendar ran into late December and created multiple scheduling problems for students and others, President Casteen is changing the way the calendar is established, returning to having a calendar committee. He will ask Ms. Childress to name a Senate representative to serve on this committee. A revised calendar will probably return to starting classes in the fourth week of August, will schedule fall reading days in midweek rather than adjacent to a weekend, will schedule no reading days during exams, and will allow sufficient time for a full two-week "University term" in January . Mr. Casteen took questions from the Senate.
Capital Campaign Update - Robert D. Sweeney, Senior Vice President for Development and External Relations
Mr. Sweeney gave an update on the Capital Campaign. He said the University of Virginia is creating a new model in American higher education whereby a public institution is in large part privately financed. A $3 billion capital campaign goal has been approved by the Board of Visitors and the Campaign Executive Committee. The Development Office is working on a needs assessment in concert with deans, departments, administrators, and various units of the University. Pan-university funding priorities already identified include graduate student support, the Shannon Center, science and technology, the arts, ethics, and building construction and maintenance. Mr. Sweeney said the University is doing quite well with the campaign, which he described as a work in progress. Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Casteen took questions from the audience.
The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Submitted by Deborah Johnson, Secretary of the Faculty Senate