University of Virginia General Faculty Council (GFC)
Minutes: December 12, 2000 12:30-2:00 p.m. Room 481 Newcomb Hall
Members Present: Mary Abouzeid, Frank Butros, Chuck Callaghan, Donal Day, Patricia Foley, Jim Freeman, Joe Gieck, Brad Holland, Barbara Millar, Jane Penner, Max Salinas, Ellie Wilson
Members Absent: Carol Hunter, Bill Keene, Aaron Laushway, Jan Reddick, Betsy Tucker
Others Present: Linda White
The meeting was chaired by Patricia Foley. She announced that our decision to invite a QualChoice representative to this meeting had been deferred because QualChoice suggested that we contact Benefits and ask our QualChoice representative from that office instead. Trish elected not to do that because she felt that we did not want information about benefits.
- The minutes of the November 14, 2000 meeting were approved as they stood.
- Committee Reports
- Policy Committee. Jane Penner reported continued progress on the wording of the policy revisions. There is one small stumbling point still being revised: the wording around "expectations of continued employment." Nevertheless, Jane feels that the revisions are on track. When they are complete and after the committee's next meeting with Alex Johnson and Kathy Reed, she will bring the revised policy to the General Faculty Council.
- Academic Affairs. Aaron Laushway was not able to be present to present this report.
- Research and Scholarship: Donal Day reported that the committee has made the award selections for this year. He reported that the committee did not receive as many applications as last year and that there was some discussion about way to advertise the awards and the process for application in the future. This year, he added, the awards were available to second and third year students. They also are setting up a symposium in the spring at which students who received awards will be able to share their projects.
- CCUG (Coordinating Council of University Groups). This committee met on November 16th. The members shared their respective groups' Annual Reports. Our representative Barbara Millar brought the GenFac report that the others found interesting. Some members' groups had not prepared Annual Reports the past, she said, and were prompted by this public sharing to do so. EEOC also shared its Report. Members voted to add two new members to the CCUG: a representative from University Safety Committee and one from LGBTACC (the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transvestite Action Coordinating Committee). The CCUG is a two-year old University-wide committee designed to give its members, each a representative of standing University-wide committees, a venue for sharing common concerns. There are twelve members.
- By-Laws. Joe Gieck deferred a report until our next meeting.
- Elections. There was no report but Trish urged everyone to keep in mind that elections are coming up. We were encouraged to find people to replace outgoing representatives.
- Faculty Training Task Force. Carol Hunter was not present to make a report.
- Benefits. Trish Foley reported that the committee has been investigating the University's leave policy for new parents who are General Faculty members. There is apparently a discrepancy between leave granted to biological parents (6 weeks paid leave for mothers only) and leave for adoptive parents (paid leave for both parents--if one or the other parent is a state employee, leave is 6 weeks for the mother and 3 weeks for the father, for the stated purpose of bonding with the adoptive child; if both parents are state employees, leave is six weeks, or a combination of 3 weeks for each parent). Trish reported that after investigating the policy for Full Time Instructional faculty, General Faculty, and classified staff, members decided that it was not feasible to try to change state policy on maternity leave. They also briefly discussed the issue of tuition waivers for employees and their spouses and decided that to change current practice would be too costly for the University.
At this point in the meeting, Max Salinas brought up the whole issue of salary increments and what this committee could do to be pro-active with regard to the future of General Faculty salary increments.
- Historically, the General Assembly decides annual raises for full-time Instructional Faculty, General Faculty (including Administrative and Professional faculty), and Classified Staff. Last year those figures were 4.6%, 3.0%, and 3.25% respectively.
- A discussion ensued about this group's responsibility for making some effort to gain ground in what has gradually become a growing equity issue for General Faculty.
- Trish read old communication between members of the Council and their representatives and between members and President Casteen. We briefly talked about the possibility of doing the benchmark study that President Casteen had suggested he would support. We decided that it would be too large an endeavor and would yield little because other institutions do not have the same categories for professional and administrative staff as the University of Virginia does. We are the only ones with a group called "General Faculty" that includes professional and administrative employees. It was also noted that the University created this classification and it should acknowledge its equity issues.
- Trish urged us all to attend the January 5, 2001 forum with our local representatives and bring up some of these issues. The committee urged Trish to write an advance letter to the three of them to explain what the term General Faculty means at the University.
- Another member suggested that we invite President Casteen to meet with the General Faculty Council to address the question of the future of the General Faculty at the University. It was agreed that we would do this.
(return to meeting agenda)
- Town Meetings. All but two town meetings have now been held, with greater or lesser success in bringing out the constituency. It was the general consensus that we should continue this effort to publicize the role of the Council and educate General Faculty. Following is a list of concerns brought back to this group from the Town Meetings:
- Salary and equity
- QualChoice and our choice
- Funding for travel; how General Faculty are included
- School-level funding for professional travel
- What are the advantages of being General Faculty?
- Length of General Faculty contract terms (3 years? 1 year? Can the term change mid-contract? What are faculty rights in this situation?)
- Correct understanding of General Faculty classifications (some people attended meeting who thought they were General Faculty, were told by their supervisors that they were, and they were not)
- Some members asked that we work on fostering better relationships with FT Instructional faculty at the University.
- One General Faculty member asked that the Council do a better job of reporting back what happens at our meetings and what is effecting General Faculty; he said he did not feel part of the process. He also suggested that we work on creating a better name for this group of the University--that "General Faculty" is confused with Jefferson's language regarding the general faculty.
- Benefits, especially for part-time General Faculty
- One General Faculty member reported that s/he thought HR benefits meetings are not extremely informative for new General Faculty--they are just a sit down and fill out the forms site. This person suggested inclusion of General Faculty benefits on the HR website.
- A "course" for new faculty called Employment 101 at which current faculty discuss options related to TIAA/VSR/healthcare options/life insurance, etc in a forum presentation--more informational than 'orientation' currently provided.
- Discussion of the 40-hour work week and General Faculty. The point of this person's contribution was to point out that professional and administrative staff who are General Faculty do not work a 40-hour week, in fact work many more hours without overtime pay, and should seek to provide "healthy" models for our students regarding balancing work load and personal life.
- The new "broad-band" pay plan and General Faculty status within it.
It was decided by the group as a whole that this list would be sent to all General Faculty as a report of topics discussed and brought forward at the Town Meetings. Trish will compile the list from these minutes and other members who will review the list before it is mailed out. She also will take the HR suggestion (about their website) to that department. In addition, Brad suggested that we begin issuing a monthly brief message to General Faculty, using the email lists, informing them of any pressing Council issues and giving them the connecting website address where they can read the current minutes if they are interested. At the very least, people who received the message would be reminded of their General Faculty status! We could also perhaps get the email database correct.
The meeting closed at 2:00. Our next meeting will be January 16, 2001 in Room 187 of Newcomb Hall.
Submitted by Mary Abouzeid for Jan Reddick.