The Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia
Robert E. Davis, Chair of the Faculty Senate
Robert E. Davis, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order. Mr. Davis gave welcoming remarks. He recognized all Senators new to the Senate this year. He also recognized the ex officio members of the Senate, members of the General Faculty Council, and the media, and thanked them for attending the meeting. Mr. Davis gave an overview of the agenda items that will be discussed at the meeting.
John T. Casteen, President
Mr. Casteen spoke about actions passed by the Board of Visitors during the October 3rd meeting, State relations, plans for the upcoming capital campaign, and the University of Virginia Honor System. Mr. Casteen also mentioned and praised Robert Davis's remarks to the Board of Visitors.
Mr. Casteen said that faculty salaries are of great concern to the BOV, and they are working to get the University to the 60th percentile in regard to salaries. He gave a brief explanation of how salary benchmarking is determined and plans and timelines for getting UVa faculty salaries to the 60th percentile. All salary increases will be strictly merit-based, Mr. Casteen said. Classified staff are also slated to receive merit-based salary increases, from a $250,000 base salary adjustment. In addition, there will be a $200,000 pool for one-time bonuses. This plan includes the University College at Wise.
Mr. Casteen announced a $125.8M research enterprise. The University will invest $60M, and ten faculty teams will be recruited to increase research initiatives in the sciences at the University. Gene Block, Vice President and Provost, and Ariel Gomez, Vice President for Research, will submit a five-year plan for the development of scientific research.
Mr. Casteen talked about the budget. Although the Board of Visitors discussed tuition, nothing has been decided in that regard. The State currently supplies 8.2% of the University's budget, and that is likely to stay the same for now. Mr. Casteen spoke about the upcoming capital campaign, which is now beginning to establish needs and set priorities, and address policy issues. The goal for the campaign is in the $3B range, Mr. Casteen said. Mr. Casteen said an Alumni Relations Task Force is being created to engage alumni in the campaign.
Mr. Casteen spoke briefly about student self-governance. He is concerned about the low level of student participation in elections. He said faculty should encourage students to take part in the election process. Mr. Casteen also stated that alumni are very supportive of the Honor System. The goal of the faculty should be to understand the System and to strive to make students better and stronger. Mr. Casteen took questions from the audience.
Gene D. Block, Vice President and Provost
Mr. Block cited several initiatives that the University has undertaken. There is a program for students at risk at the University, headed by Rachael Most, and the University is also conducting a study on graduate education. Mr. Block reported on the Arizona Telescope Project, which is moving along nicely. He also reported that a good and constructive dialogue is ongoing with Native-Americans involved with the Project. Other issues/initiatives that Mr. Block mentioned include:
· The intellectual property process
· On-Line faculty evaluations
· A Public Policy Committee
· The Performing Arts Center
· Diversity talks with deans
Progress needs to be made in regard to diversity advancements at the University, Mr. Block commented. He encouraged the Senate to play a role in their departments in regard to recruitment issues/search committees. Mr. Block took questions from the audience.
A. Academic Affairs, Pamela A. Kulbok, Co-Chair
Ms. Kulbok reported that the Committee has met one time. The main charges for the Committee this year are reviewing/approving new academic degrees, administering the Dissertation-Year Fellowships, and conducting a study of the Honor System and faculty involvement in the System. Ms. Kulbok said there will be at least five Dissertation-Year Fellowships awarded this year, with funding coming from the Office of the Provost, Arts and Sciences, and the Curry School of Education. The chair of the Faculty Senate, Robert Davis, is currently working on securing additional funding for the program.
B. Research and Scholarship, Paul Kingston, Committee Member
Mr. Kingston reported that the charges for the Committee are to oversee the Faculty Senate David Harrison Awards for Undergraduate Research program and to identify ways that the faculty might become more involved in University planning issues. The Committee will look at ways to simplify the administration of the Harrison Awards program. Mr. Kingston commented that the Harrison Award funds are distributed to a wide-range of disciplines, with faculty that are knowledgeable in those disciplines reviewing and making the decisions regarding the Award recipients. The Committee will also look at ways that faculty can become more actively involved in setting fundraising priorities. The Committee will compose a report on faculty involvement in fundraising, including recommendations, to be submitted to the full Senate.
Revision to the Faculty Senate Constitution and By-Laws
Robert Davis introduced a request for a revision in the Faculty Senate Constitution and By-Laws. The revision involved adding a Nominating Committee to develop a slate of candidates to run for election. The slate is to include nominees for Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, Secretary of the Senate, and a sufficient number of nominees for Executive Council such that there are at least twice as many nominees as there are positions to be filled. There was some discussion regarding the make-up of the committee. The revision states that the committee will have five members: the immediate Past Chair of the Faculty Senate, who will be the Nominating Committee Chair, the Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, and three members appointed by the Chair of the Faculty Senate from the Senate at large who are not members of the Executive Council. A suggestion from the floor asked if the three members appointed by the Chair of the Faculty Senate should serve staggered three-year terms for continuity, instead of the three members being newly appointed each year, as the revision states. This idea was taken to a vote and rejected. A motion was made to accept the changes to the Constitution and By-Laws, as written. The motion was seconded and it passed unanimously.
The Faculty's Role in the Honor System
Robert Davis recognized Carey Mignerey, Honor Committee Chair, and Nicole Eramo, Special Assistant to the Honor Committee. He said that faculty members have a wide-range of perceptions regarding the Honor System, from the System being a good one to the System being a flawed one. Faculty should be full partners in the Honor System, but that is not really the case. Mr. Davis reviewed statistics cited in a recent Honor survey that asks, "how do you feel about Honor," "do you support the Single Sanction," "would you initiate an Honor case," and "have you committed an Honor offense". Mr. Davis said the Academic Affairs Committee would try to identify barriers that faculty face that prevent them from becoming full participants in the Honor System.
Louis Bloomfield, Professor of Physics - A Unique Perspective on the Honor System
Mr. Bloomfield spoke about his recent experience with the Honor System. Mr. Bloomfield had initiated 158 Honor cases from his Physics course, "How Things Work." Of those cases, 45 students left the University, and 3 students lost degrees. There were approximately 30 Honor trials. Two civil cases were dismissed because of jurisdiction. Mr. Bloomfield gave a slide presentation and spoke about his dismay with the Honor System and the way it currently works. Mr. Bloomfield took questions from the floor.
Robert Davis encouraged Senators to send any comments regarding the Honor System or the Senate discussion on Honor to the co-chairs of the Academic Affairs Committee, Pamela Kulbok and Richard Warner.
Mr. Davis thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Submitted by Robert J. Davis, Secretary of the Faculty Senate