Jahan Ramazani, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to
order at 3:00 p.m. in the Garden Room at the Colonnade Hotel.
Mr. Ramazani welcomed everyone to the meeting. He recognized the
Senators whose terms will end on June 1, and he also recognized
Senators whose terms will begin on June 1. Mr. Ramazani reminded
everyone that the Faculty Senate has a website, and he told them how
they may reach the site. He said Senators need to keep the link open
to the faculty they represent. Mr. Ramazani introduced John Casteen,
President of the University, and thanked him for his successful work
on behalf of the University.
Mr. Casteen spoke about the General Assembly session. He said UVA
faculty will receive on average 6.5% raises in fiscal year 1999. He
spoke about funding for technology. The University has authority to
charge a student technology fee, which will generate about $1 million
annually at UVA. This fee revenue must be used to benefit students.
In regard to capital construction money, the University has $200
million authorized, of which $40 million is State GF appropriations.
General Fund projects include renovations to Clark Hall and
construction of a new special collections library. Mr. Casteen said
higher education will see a modest increase in Education and General
appropriation over this year. In speaking about the outlook for
higher education in the 1999 session, Mr. Casteen said the University
must target proposals for new money toward state priorities.
Amendments to the Higher Education act are being debated on the
House floor, and Mr. Casteen mentioned such amendments as: language
that would make California's Proposition 209 federal law, outlawing
the consideration of race, etc., in college admissions and financial
aid awards; a provision intended to make it harder for colleges and
universities to regulate any sorority or fraternity membership
matter, such as imposed rush delays, by giving college students a
right of free speech and association; and a change in the basis on
which Federal Direct student loan interest rates are calculated.
Mr. Casteen said Mr. Ramazani and the Senate are addressing issues
that are fundamental to the University's well being. He said the
theme of intellectual community, set out in Mr. Ramazani's Fall
Convocation address, has been adopted by the Faculty Senate as a
primary objective. To further this objective, the Senate is working
with the Task Force on Alcohol Abuse and the task Force on New
Student Orientation. Mr. Casteen said many students are now
reaching out to the faculty. He noted that IFC wants to reinvigorate
its Faculty Fellows program. There is a renewed interest of faculty
members in student life outside the classroom.
In conclusion, Mr. Casteen talked about benchmarks at the
University. He said the University has enjoyed several years of
ratings as the top public university in America. The University has
sought to improve the quality of the job that it does and to reach
excellence across-the board.
The next order of business was a call for nominations for the
office of Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, Secretary of the Faculty
Senate, and for two new members to serve on the Executive Council.
The nominations for Chair-Elect are David Gies, Arts & Sciences,
and Janet Horne, Arts & Sciences. There was only one nomination
for Secretary, Marva Barnett, Arts & Sciences. The nominations
for the Executive Council are: George Cohen, Law; Doris Glick,
Nursing; Donald Innes, Medicine; Rebecca Kneedler, Education; Michael
Levenson, Arts & Sciences; John Miller, Arts & Sciences;
Kathryn Neeley, Engineering; and Reuben Rainey, Architecture.
Mr. Ramazani gave a brief summary of the work the Academic Affairs
Committee and the Committee on Research and Scholarship are doing in
response to the charges given to them. He said that the Senate had
met all the objectives it set itself for the year in its initiative
on intellectual community. He mentioned the teaching conversations,
which have resulted in the Faculty Senate's Teaching Initiative and
Teaching Fund. This will bring about exciting changes in the
classroom. Mr. Ramazani also mentioned the creation of vibrant
spaces for exchange of ideas, and the creation of a new faculty
dining space. Faculty from across Grounds will be able to congregate,
with faculty interaction through Senate-sponsored interdisciplinary
programs. The Alderman Cafe will be available for intellectual
exchanges, starting in the Fall. Also, junior faculty will be more
nurtured as part of the University community, and faculty will be
able to teach collaboratively if the wish to do so.
Mr. Ramazani asked the Academic Affairs Committee, the Committee
on Research and Scholarship, and the Executive Council to stand and
Mr. Ramazani introduced and praised David Gies, Chair of the
Committee on Research and Scholarship, for his work on his Committee
and his work on the Executive Council.
Mr. Gies reported on the work of the Research and Scholarship
Committee. He said the old Theory Seminar is being revamped by the
Faculty Senate, and it is tentatively being called the University
Forum. There will be lectures, colloquia and workshops. Rita
Felski, Professor of English Language and Literature, has agreed to
run the program. Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Law, and
Darden have contributed funding to the program, and it is hopeful
that other Schools and possibly the Provost will contribute funding.
In regard to faculty dining, Mr. Gies said competing interests and
a lack of funding have been problems. The Garden Room has been
offered to the Faculty Senate, with improved services, which will
include sit-down service, and Richard Kovatch, Assistant Vice
President for Business Operations, has offered meal passes to the
Faculty Senate. Parking discounts in the new parking garage are
available with the Cavalier Advantage Card.
Alderman Cafe, an exciting new space at Alderman Library, will be
available for relaxation and intellectual exchanges, starting in the
The University is also creating an enhanced website, which will be
user-friendly, and it will provide up-to-the-minute information on
activities around Grounds.
Mr. Gies thanked the members of the Research and Scholarship
Committee for their hard work.
Mr. Ramazani thanked the Committee, and he announced that Louis
Bloomfield, Physics Professor, will chair the Research and
Scholarship Committee next year.
Mr. Ramazani introduced Benjamin Ray, Chair of the Academic
Affairs Committee, and thanked him for a year of tremendous
activities in the Senate.
Mr. Ray read a letter from the outgoing Honor Committee Chair, who
has been working with the Senate in response to concerns of a backlog
of cases and a lack of timely processing of cases. A collaborative
effort between the Honor Committee and the Senate has resulted in a
timeline in which one can appeal grievance findings within 14 days.
Also, Summer trials will be held for the first time this year.
Mr. Ray distributed a document, which gives recommendations for
Junior Faculty Development and Retention. The document was written,
based on input from junior and senior faculty, by a subcommittee of
the Academic Affairs Committee, Chaired by Marva Barnett. Mr. Ray
reviewed key elements of the document, and he said he would like to
present it to Deans and department chairs, with the Senate's
endorsement. The document was discussed, with some concerns being
raised. The Academic Affairs Committee will amend the document as
suggested. Susan McKinnon moved to endorse the document as amended,
it was seconded and passed.
Mr. Ray distributed recommendations concerning interdisciplinary
teaching, a document developed by members of the Academic Affairs
Committee as part of its charge. Mr. Ray discussed the elements of
the document, and there was a question and answer session. Melvyn
Leffler, Dean of Arts & Sciences, suggested one change. Mr. Ray
asked the group to adopt the document, with the suggested change
incorporated. The Faculty Senate voted to adopt the document as
amended, it was seconded, and it passed.
The teaching proposals and awards were discussed. Mr. Ray said
there will be a Fall Forum on the Teaching Fund, which will be headed
by the Teaching Resource Center. Special thanks were given to
Richard DeMong, William Johnson, Doris Glick and Barbara Nolan for
their work on the teaching proposals.
Mr. Ray discussed a proposal for an adult degree program, to be
offered through the Division of Continuing Education. There is no
action required at this time regarding the proposal, which may be
offered next fall on a pilot basis if there is sufficient student
Mr. Ramazani thanked Mr. Ray for his service on the Academic
Affairs Committee and on the Executive Council. Mr. Ramazani
announced that Richard DeMong will chair the Academic Affairs
Committee next year.
Edward Ayers, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, made the
"Be it resolved that the Senate heartily commends Jahan Ramazani
for his Chairmanship of the Faculty Senate, gratefully acknowledging
his far-sighted vision, his bold leadership, his concern for
students, and his devotion to the human and intellectual community
that is the University of Virginia."
The resolution was voted on and passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Submitted by Janet Horne, Secretary of the Faculty Senate