The Faculty Senate at the University of Virginia
September 21, 2006 - 3:00-5:45 p.m.
The Rotunda Dome Room
Kenneth Schwartz, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order. Mr. Schwartz announced that there were a sign-in sheet, nametags, and handouts at the back of the room.
Opening Remarks: Kenneth A. Schwartz, Chair of the Faculty Senate
Welcome to the first Faculty Senate meeting of the new academic year.
I am Kenneth Schwartz from the School of Architecture. As Chair of the Faculty Senate and along with the twelve other members of the Executive Council, I am looking forward to our role in helping to position the Senate for a productive year. For those who are returning members, you know that there was a great deal of thought that went into a kind of self-assessment of the Senate last spring - - - looking at where we are as an organization and where we hope to be in the future. For those who are new, and for deans and other administrators who have joined us today, it is important to realize that there was a tremendous amount of input by Senators - first during a retreat organized by my predecessor Houston Wood in January and then with five Task Groups working on various issues. Much of what we will be engaging this year is a direct result of their efforts and strategic focus.
I have struggled with a thematic phrase for the year, hoping to find one that embraces the spirit of faculty work on these topics thus far - and the work ahead in our committees. For now anyway, the theme is
"Faculty Moving Forward"…….
speaking to the collective momentum that can only flourish when faculty collaborate on institutionally significant issues for our future. There are many strands here, but the two main elements that we will be engaging are:
To be sure, there are other issues, and several are included as upcoming features noted on your agenda for today's meeting - with diversity as one of our pressing challenges. You will be hearing about some of these in a short while.
Just a few more comments before President Casteen and Provost Block offer their perspectives.
I want to bring you back a year…. Around this time last year, we were struggling as a community with a profoundly disturbing series of racial attacks and incidents. President Casteen wrote an eloquent statement against intolerance, as did the Rector of the Board of Visitors, and the Executive Council of the Senate. There were many forms of expression and protest, and I am reminded of one by my colleague - Sanda Iliescu, herself a refuge of a totalitarian regime in Romania. Almost a year ago to this day, she produced an amazing installation - a beautiful and powerful painting on Beta Bridge with 271 words - each written or I should say painted by an individual - 271 individuals - each without seeing the writing of others. Together, when unveiled, the installation composed Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address from 143 years ago - a moving reminder of principle, idealism and the ultimate strength of our nation as a union. I mention these pieces of still recent history because we cannot forget the ongoing challenge that we face in constructing and maintaining a welcoming community for all students, faculty and staff. With vigilance and continual engagement, we can hope and pray that this year, we will not experience the same troubling and threatening cloud over us all. The university must continue to move forward equitably, and it is heartening to know that the commitment to do so resides in various ways at every level of this institution. As one indication of the Senate's interest in supporting diversity, I am pleased to announce that we will be one of the co-sponsors of the First Annual Symposium on Race and Society. Cards announcing this initiative are at the back of the room - and we applaud Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity Bill Harvey - and the many faculty members who are involved in this effort.
It is now my pleasure to introduce President Casteen.
President's Report - John T. Casteen III
Provost's Report - Gene D. Block
Mr. Block reported on the University's reaccredidation process, which is required by SACS every 10 years. Hopefully, the process will be completed in late 2007, Mr. Block said. The first draft of the 10-Year Plan has been circulated to deans and faculty. A new draft was developed over the summer, and it will be circulated to the deans and faculty after President Casteen has signed off on the document, Mr. Block said.
The next phase in the reaccredidation process is Quality enhancement. Eight goals have been set:
Each goal will be measured, Mr. Block said. Mr. Block told the Senators that if they have an interest in the work, they should let him know.
Jennifer Harvey, Chair, Faculty Recruitment, Retention, & Welfare Committee
Dr. Harvey gave an overview of issues that her committee will address, based on issues raised at the May Faculty Senate meeting of Elected Members. The issues raised were intellectual, administrative, and personal. Dr. Harvey asked the Senators if there were other issues they would like the Committee to study. Some of those issues raised by the Senators were faculty welfare, bridge funding, poor or no benefits for faculty on leave, lack of funding for an international center, interdisciplinary teaching, travel issues, tuition and benefits for children of faculty members, salary, and the idea of creating a connector to D.C. Another suggestion made was to create an internet list and search of the faculty's areas of expertise.
A faculty survey will be conducted by the Committee to seek further input from the faculty. Ariel Gomez, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, said that there is bridge funding available through his office. In closing, Dr. Harvey asked the audience to email either her or Frances Peyton if there were other thoughts regarding these issues. Thanks were made to Ricardo Padron, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, and Edmund Kitch, Executive Councilor and Professor of Law, for there help by recording comments on flipcharts.
Academic Affairs Committee - Reginald Garrett, Chair
Reginald Garrett outlined the primary issues the Academic Affairs Committee will address this year:
Research and Scholarship Committee - Amy Bouton, Chair
Planning & Development Committee - Marcia Day Childress, Chair
The Planning & Development Committee is attending working dinners hosted by Gene Block. Robert Sweeney, Vice President for Development, and other development officer, and faculty members are also attending these dinners. Ms. Childress announced that there will be six dinners held this year. Topics that will be addressed are: international studies, development of a theme, and revitalization of the Shannon Center.
Ms. Childress distributed the Planning & Development Committee's "A Faculty Senate Vision for UVa." The Statement was put before the full Senate last year for consideration. Based on suggestions made at that meeting, the Statement was revised and approved by the Executive Council. Ms. Childress asked if there was a motion to endorse the Vision Statement - A motion was made, it was seconded, and it passed unanimously, September 21, 2006. Click here to view the Faculty Senate Vision for UVA Statement.
Marcia Day Childress, Chair of the Faculty Senate Nominating Committee, distributed a ballot for a special election for membership on the Executive Council. Steven Nock, Professor of Sociology, was a member of the Executive Council who is now on leave. This special election is to select Professor Nock's replacement. The nominations for membership on the Executive Council are Gweneth West, Professor of Drama, and Melvin Wilson, Professor of Psychology. Votes are due to Frances Peyton by Monday, October 2, 2006.
Closing Remarks - Kenneth Schwartz
Kenneth Schwartz announced that there would be a brief tutorial session, presented by Trisha Gordon, ITC Office, for all Senators immediately after the meeting. The tutorial was on communications within the Faculty Senate and to their constituents via an electronic bulletin board, at the MyUVA site. This tool will facilitate discussions on various issues, Mr. Schwartz said.
In closing, Mr. Schwartz thanked everyone for attending and expressed appreciation to President and Mrs. Casteen for hosting the Faculty Senate reception at their home that evening.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Submitted by Harold J. Burbach, Secretary of the Faculty Senate