Jahan Ramazani, Chair of Faculty Senate, called the meeting to
order at 3:00 p.m. The meeting, which was the third meeting of the
academic year, was held in the Garden Room at the Colonnade Hotel.
Mr. Ramazani welcomed everyone. Mr. Ramazani spoke about this
year's ongoing initiatives and the work of the Academic Affairs
Committee and the Committee on Research and Scholarship. Mr.
Ramazani commented on the issue of deferring rush to second semester.
He noted that Melvyn Leffler, Dean of Arts and Sciences, would be
having a meeting on the subject on February 12th, and he urged
faculty from Arts and Sciences to attend. Mr. Ramazani also
mentioned the Task Force on Orientation, which is chaired by Rachel
Most. The Task Force is working on ways to reform orientation. The
Executive Council has met with Ms. Most and is pleased with the
progress of the Task Force, Mr. Ramazani said.
Mr. Ramazani spoke about the initiative on excellent teaching,
which is a project of the Academic Affairs Committee. The call for
proposals has resulted in 58 proposals, from a wide variety of
schools. Mr. Ramazani thanked the Provost and Benjamin Ray, Chair of
the Academic Affairs Committee, for their contributions to this
initiative. He also recognized the subcommittee that is charged with
reviewing the proposals.
Meal tickets, which were donated by Richard Kovatch, Assistant
Vice President for Business Operations, were distributed to the
Senators. This is part of the ongoing initiative by the Senate to
promote intellectual exchanges between faculty and students.
Mr. Ramazani gave an update on General Assembly activities. He
spoke on budgetary matters affecting faculty salaries. In an effort
to move the University of Virginia faculty salaries to the 60th
percentile by the Year 2000, it was originally thought the faculty
would receive average raises of 6.4% or 6.5%. This average raise was
rolled back to 5.67%, based on a new method adopted by the State to
determine the 60th percentile. It was pointed out that, using this
method, one could be in the 60th percentile and still have a below
average salary. This method weakens the University in its efforts to
get back its competitive edge. Presidents of State institutions of
higher education have asked the State to go back to the original
method of computation. Mr. Ramazani distributed a handout which
lists the State's representatives, and urged everyone to contact
their representatives regarding the issue. Mr. Ramazani said any
correspondence should not be on University letterhead. Mr. Ramazani
also distributed texts of bills being considered by the General
Assembly. For anyone who would like to review legislative
information, it is on the Web, Mr. Ramazani commented. The Web
Mr. Ramazani introduced David Gies, Chair of the Committee on
Research and Scholarship, who gave an update on the work of his
Committee. Mr. Gies said the Committee has been in "action" mode
since the December 3, 1997, Research and Scholarship Committee
report. The Committee is working closely with the administration on
the funding for the programmatic portion of their charge, as well as
finding spaces for faculty dining and "common grounds," Mr. Gies
said. He reported that the Committee expects to see significant
activity soon, and he will keep the Senate informed on the progress
of the Committee.
Mr. Ramazani introduced Ben Ray, Chair of the Academic Affairs
Committee, and Marva Barnett, Chair of the Academic Affairs
Subcommittee on Junior Faculty Development and Retention. Ms.
Barnett gave a report on the work of her subcommittee. She
distributed a handout which lists information that has been gathered.
The topics of concern listed in the handout are based on information
gathered by polling deans and chairs and investigating junior faculty
concerns with all tenure-track and academic general faculty members
hired at the University since Fall, 1992, into the College of Arts
& Sciences, and Schools of Architecture, Commerce, Darden,
Education, Engineering, Law, and Nursing. Given the distinct nature
of the work in the School of Medicine, the subcommittee will meet
separately with colleagues there. Ms. Barnett asked the Senators to
take ten minutes to review the report, and then they would have a
discussion. She asked for feedback and ideas that will enhance the
report. A discussion followed, and the group gave Ms. Barnett some
valuable suggestions. Ms. Barnett told the Senate that her
subcommittee has put together junior faculty profiles, which she
envisions as a tool to help promote intellectual exchanges between
faculty with common interests.
In wrapping up, Mr. Ramazani said lunches, coordinated by the
Office of the Provost, with junior faculty members are taking place
periodically this year. All entering tenure-track faculty under the
Provost's academic area have been invited, and new faculty in Health
Sciences have also been invited to a comparable series of lunches
with Mr. Robert Cantrell, Vice President and Provost for Health
Sciences. Each Provost lunch includes seven or eight junior faculty
members, Peter Low, Provost, Jahan Ramazani, Chair of the Faculty
Senate, Edward Ayers, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, and Rebecca
Kneedler, Past Chair of the Faculty Senate. It was noted that lunch
discussions are very beneficial and enjoyable for all involved.
Mr. Ramazani thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Submitted by Janet Horne, Secretary of the Faculty Senate