February 13, 2003 Newcomb Hall - Conference Room 168 (A&B)
Robert E. Davis, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order.
Report by John T. Casteen, III, President
· Update on Board of Visitors matters, including the approval for a new degree, Master of Public Health, which is a collaboration between the College and the School of Medicine.
· Change in student housing charges - dorms have structure problems and need overhauling.
· Department of Athletics has donated $50,000 to help finance students studying abroad. These funds are proceeds from the Centennial Tire Bowl.
· The Cavalier Research Program is working with the office of Undergraduate Research and Excellence in support of undergraduate research funding.
· The Board of Visitors approved a change to the term of the Rector, from 4 years to 2 years of service. There will also be a Vice-Rector.
· Mr. Casteen reported on the General Assembly session and stressed that the University's main goals in the difficult financial time are preserving the University's core programs, preserving the academic enterprise, and faculty salaries, retention, and promotion. Mr. Casteen commented that he is actively working with alumni to keep them informed on the budget crises. He said that alumni are showing strong support for faculty work.
General Assembly Report, John T. Casteen, III
· The budget numbers that the State has to work with are poor.
· The bill to put a faculty member on the Board of Visitors has failed in both houses.
· All academic tenure proposals have failed.
· There is a bill before the legislatures that would guarantee the top 5% of high school graduates admission into colleges.
· There is a bill calling for tuition caps in both the Senate and the House, 5% and 9%.
· There is a bill calling for salary increases, providing the State meets it revenue projections.
· University of Virginia's centers' funding is being cut. The session is to end on February 22, and the Governor will make his decisions on March 24. In his closing remarks, Mr. Casteen said strong planning is needed by the University, sticking to its priorities. There are hard financial times ahead in commented. Mr. Casteen took questions.
Report by Marcia Childress, Chair of the Research and Scholarship Committee
Ms. Childress reported that there have been 110 proposals submitted for Faculty Senate David A. Harrison Awards for Undergraduate Research. The Committee is working on getting all faculty stipends for the faculty advisors of Harrison Undergraduate Research recipients awarded as stipends that can be drawn from research accounts. Each faculty advisor's stipend is $1,000. Discussion of Faculty Involvement in University Planning Ms. Childress and Robert Grainger, Past Chair of the Faculty Senate, drafted a document of intent in regard to the Senate's/faculty's involvement in University planning. Ms. Childress and Mr. Grainger said the Senate should give the administration support during this difficult financial time. There should be strong faculty engagement in the University planning process. Ariel Gomez, Vice President for Research and Public Service, suggested that the Senate work with his office on this initiative. He will share the Provost's report on the 2020 initiatives and the Envisioning sessions. The Senate was asked to endorse the "Faculty Involvement in University Planning" document in principle. The Senate unanimously endorsed the document.
Report by Robert O'Connell, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee
New Degree Proposal: B.S. in Biomedical Engineering - Mr. O'Connell gave background information on the proposal. All documentation regarding the proposal are on the web, and the documents were forwarded to the Senate for review in advance of the February 13th meeting. Mr. O'Connell commented that the documentation is very thorough. The new degree proposal has gotten the approvals from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Academic Affairs Committee. The School of Engineering would like to have all approvals in time for them to offer the program next year. He called for a Senate vote to approve the program. The new B.S. in Biomedical Engineering was unanimously approved.
On-Line Course Evaluation System: Mr. O'Connell gave the background information on the program. ITC has put the system in place to go-live this semester. Some concerns the Academic Affairs Committee has regarding the system are: where does ownership reside, questions regarding student compliance in completing the evaluation form, and lack of faculty knowledge/involvement in creating the system. The system needs to be a stable resource, thoroughly thought through, with monitoring of the types of questions included on the evaluation form. The Academic Affairs Committee recommended to the Senate that an academic leader be put in charge of the system, an advisory committee be set up by the Senate (to include faculty members that are not Senators, and to include Student Council representation), and to write a memorandum of understanding for all involved. A comment stressed by a Senator in the audience is that this year's On-Line Course Evaluation System is complete voluntary. Another comment was that departments have, in part, funded evaluation systems in the past, and this new system will be essentially without cost to departments. One Senator said there had been numerous discussions regarding the new On-Line Evaluation System over the year between deans and department chairs. In closing, Mr. O'Connell suggested that a proposal be submitted to the Provost, asking that a committee be appointed to consider the particulars of an on-line system. Michael Smith asked for a vote to approval the proposal as amended. There was one Senator opposed to the proposal.
Michael Smith reported on his meeting with the Board of Visitors, and his talk in support for graduate funding. He also reported that the Faculty Senate of Virginia is appointing a committee to address the role of athletics and academics. The Faculty Senate will monitor and report on this committee's work. Rebecca Kneedler, Chair of the University Athletic Advisory 2020 Commission said she would keep Mr. Smith involved in that work.
In closing, Mr. Smith said Senate elections are coming up in April, and he asked for recommendations for new Executive Council members.
David Brautigan, a member of the Executive Council and Chair of the search committee for a Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, announced that the job description and other information regarding the search are posted on the web. He encouraged Senators to think about, and bring forth, possible candidates.
The meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Submitted by Ellen Contini-Morava, Secretary of the Faculty Senate