The Faculty Senate at the University of Virginia
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Harrison Institute Auditorium
Houston Wood, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order. Mr. Wood welcomed everyone. He also recognized Frances Peyton, Secretary to the Faculty Senate, and the officers of the Faculty Senate, Marcia Childress, Past Chair of the Faculty Senate, Kenneth Schwartz, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, and Teresa Culver, Secretary of the Faculty Senate. In addition, he recognized the chairs of various Senate standing committees - Reginald Garrett, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee; Susan Kirk, Chair of the Research and Scholarship Committee; Malcolm Bell, Chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee; and William Kehoe, Chair of the ROTC Affairs Committee. Mr. Wood also urged other Senators not currently serving on a committee to contact him if they wished to serve on one.
In closing, Mr. Wood reported that the Faculty Senate Executive Council sets the agenda each year. The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2005. In addition, the Faculty Senate will have the annual retreat in January, with the exact date yet to be determined. Mr. Wood invited Senators to forward ideas to him regarding issues they would like to see the Senate address during the retreat.
President's Report - John T. Casteen III
President Casteen reported on the University's retreat, which is held annually. He said faculty attendance in the event is pretty good, but student attendance is not very good. President Casteen invited suggestions to increase student attendance. He also asked for the Senate's help in planning and other University issues.
The President also addressed the recent racially motivated events at the University. He thanked the Senate for the timely statement that was released speaking out against intolerance. President Casteen said he has also heard from most deans, condemning these events. The University administration has developed a two-part response a) a reporting system, and b) a series of quarter-term steps. Immediate response steps taken by the administration include public statements by President Casteen condemning these acts, and the entire University community was encouraged to wear black ribbons in a show of support for those that have been victimized. President Casteen reported that at the September 24th football game a video on diversity was shown. Patricia Lampkin, Vice President for Student Affairs, also sent a mass email message to all students. In addition, there have been advertisements in the Cavalier Daily and on the University's web site. In summation, President Casteen reported on the process and procedures the administration is using to try to identify the perpetrators of these acts of intolerance.
Paul Forch, University Attorney, is working with a parents-group to adopt a formal speech code - that stresses that language of threat and intimidation will not be tolerated, with the threat of suspension or expulsion. These proposed procedures will be discussed with the University Judiciary Committee, Mr. Casteen reported.
The University is distributing a card to all students to use in the event they feel threaten or intimidated. The card gives instructions to call 911 immediately, as time is important in the investigation of such incidents. This information will also be posted on University transit system's buses, and tent cards will be placed on all dining hall tables. In closing, President Casteen speculated that some of these incidents may be related to consumption of alcohol.
President Casteen reported on the progress of the University's Access UVA program, which financially assists academically qualified students in attending the University. Here are some of the statistics: 201 students qualified for full benefits this year, 173 qualified for loan caps (no more that $18,000 in debt at the time of graduation), and 375 students will use scholarship funds first and then use loans. The University is projected to use $19.7 million per year to maintain the program.
Other issues President Casteen reported on:
Provost's Report - Gene D. Block
Provost Gene Block reported that knowledge of the recent incidents of racial intolerance has been widely and adversely recognized. He said faculty need to figure out ways to get through these unfortunate events and get students better educated. These events and how the University handle them could impact student interest in attending this University.
Mr. Block reported on the University's Academic Plan, which is a six-year plan that has been approved by the Board of Visitors. All schools were involved in formulating the plan, and a few members of the Faculty Senate Executive Council have reviewed the plan. The main components of the Academic Plan are: a) academic quality and effectiveness, b) accessibility and affordability, c) public engagement with the Commonwealth and, d) emphasis on the need to maintain the best faculty and students.
Other issues Mr. Block mentioned:
Mandated Search Committee Tutorial - Gertrude Fraser, Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
Gertrude Fraser presented a Power Point presentation that explained the rationale for the mandate requiring all faculty members participating in a search committee seeking to fill tenured and tenure-track positions to take the on-line tutorial. The tutorial will be on-line in November. Ms. Fraser gave a demonstration on how the tutorial will work. In regard to mandated faculty search committee training, President Casteen has mandated:
1. EOP training for academic, research, and administrative search committees
2. Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement online tutorial for members of faculty search committees seeking to fill tenured and tenure-track positions only
Statement on Intolerance - Houston Wood
Houston Wood gave the senators an overview of the Statement against Intolerance that was released by the Executive Council. Mr. Wood said that in light of the recent acts of intolerance that have taken place at the University, he and the Executive Council felt the Senate should make a statement in a timely manner regarding the issue. Mr. Wood asked two members of the Executive Council to draft the document. The document was then distributed to the entire Executive Council and underwent several additional drafts before being approved by the Council.
The senators discussed the document. There were a few concerns voiced regarding the appearance that the document came from the full Senate, even though the Senate had not seen the document. There were also those that spoke in favor of the manner in which the statement was released, since time was an important factor. There were suggestions regarding how better to present documents that are to be released to the public, but have not had full Senate review. One such suggestion was to circulate the document to the Senate via email for quick response before release.
Houston Wood called for a vote of approval of the Statement against Intolerance. A motion was made by William Kehoe to approve the Statement, it was seconded, and it passed by majority vote. There was one opposing vote by Nicholas Kuhn. The Statement was approved on September 27, 2005.
In closing, Alison Booth, said that as a Faculty Senate, the group should consider other tangible things they can do to promote tolerance. Houston Wood said the Faculty Senate can devote some time to the issue at the Faculty Senate Retreat in January.
The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
Submitted by Teresa Culver, Secretary of the Faculty Senate