Minutes of General Faculty Council

December 10, 2002, noon-1:30 p.m.

Newcomb Hall Boardroom

In attendance:Mary Abouzeid, Elaine Attridge, Jann Balmer, Jennifer Bauerle, Donal Day, Jim Freeman, Phil Gates, Robbie Greenlee, Carol Hunter, Bill Keene, Lotta Lofgren, Lynda White (Chair), Ellie Wilson.

Absent:Rosie Dunn, George Hashisaki, Barbara Millar, Chris Milner, Greg Strickland.

As the meeting began, Lynda White suggested that Council should consider adding a standing Data Management committee to the bylaws. The point was not discussed further at this meeting.

Item One.Elections.

Ellie Wilson reported from the election committee that they need an updated email list for elections, if the process is to begin in January.She asked that the minutes reflect her caveat that if we don’t have an updated list by then, we will have to decide how to conduct elections differently.It was generally agreed that the updated/corrected list that Lynda has been working on should be active by January.

Item Two:Response to termination of a General Faculty research professor.

In 1985, the Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics was funded. Professor X has been a research professor in that institute since then.This item was placed on the agenda so we could discuss how we could support Professor X’s situation—he has been involved in a termination at the University.Donal Day discussed the time-line of the termination and the ambiguity of the situation according to existing General Faculty policy.According to the current in-place General Faculty Policy, the only way that Professor X can be terminated is for cause, through abolition of position, or through financial stringency.It appeared from documents provided the Council that none has been invoked. 

Donal brought a letter to the group for endorsement, asking Gene Block for clarification of the reasons for Professor X’s possible termination.The feeling of the group, after extensive discussion that included the professor, was that it would behoove us to know the reasoning behind such a move.Ellie Wilson moved that Council send a letter of support to Gene Block.Her motion was seconded.The vote was unanimous in favor.Some changes in wording were suggested to make the draft more clear with regard to our request to Provost Block.Donal and Lotta will work on the wording so that Lynda can send the letter via email today with a paper copy to follow.

Item Three.Faculty Senate Meeting

Lynda reported that there was nothing new from the meeting last week other than what has been published in the university news.There will be no further information about the budget until December 20th.There is now some talk about the possibility of lay-offs. Information about the meeting is on the University’s Top News website at 

http://www.virginia.edu/topnews /12_09_2002/index.html.

Item Four.Budget

Lynda reported that we have $2100 remaining in our account.


1.Academic Affairs.Phil Gates attended the Academic Affairs meeting of the University and reported that the committee recommended increased support for graduate students in this time of financial need.This is important for the well-being of the University.The recommendation will go to the Board of Visitors at its next meeting.

2.CCUG meeting:Barbara Millar was not present for a full report but Carol Hunter reported that this group endorsed the principle of part-time faculty benefits.

3.Benefits.Lotta Lofgren reported that the benefits committee did support the GFC recommendation provided it does not impact negatively on current benefit holders.They also suggested that the recommendation should be held-off until better financial times.A discussion ensued as to whether or not we wanted to (a) do a survey of part-time Gen Fac members; and then (b) make a formal proposal to the University.After discussion, we asked Lotta and Carol to make up a survey outlining the possible options that could be available for benefits for part-time faculty and staff, based on research from other comparable universities (for example, full-employee pay; partial employee pay, or other options).There are 233 part-time salaried employees working .5 FTE or more (out of 21,700) including both faculty and staff.Lynda will investigate how we can use the University’s do-it-yourself Web survey service.

In a second part of this report, Carol Hunter discussed the whole issue of “non-sedating antihistamines” which will no longer be covered by health insurance when Claritin goes over the counter. However, Lynda reported that a group of local doctors are investigating this and hope to overturn the decision.

4.By-laws.Phil Gates brought a proposal for reallocating the Council’s constituencies to the floor.The committee suggested realigning the constituencies to provide more equal representation. The committee has been working on this for some time.It proposed that “Other Schools” be eliminated as a representation entity, to be replaced by:1 representative for Health Professionals into which the Nursing School would be moved; 1 representative for professional schools (Architecture, Commerce, Darden, and Law); and 1 representative for Curry and Continuing and Professional Studies.One of the “at-large” positions would be moved to Administration; the other “at-large” would remain.The number of representatives sitting on the Council would remain at 18.But with the new distribution, representation would be more evenly distributed.A discussion ensued about the redistribution.We would like a lawyer to be on the Council.A suggestion was made that we create an ex-officio position for a lawyer to attend our meetings when the by-laws are reviewed.Jann Balmer moved that we vote to accept the proposal; Bill Keene seconded; the vote was unanimous in favor of the proposal.

5.Communication.Jann brought copies of the flyer that was given to all new General Faculty in the fall of the year. It will also be on the website.She also reported that the committee recommends contracting with Student Techies for updating our website and posting meeting reports, managing the listservs for each constituency, etc.Louise Dudley suggested that we use Headline News to automatically search the database for items on General Faculty news (Student Techies can do this).We would then have a daily information entry on General Faculty.Jann has contacted Gene Block and Leonard Sandridge about a date in late February for the Forum to discuss the new General Faculty policy. Jann’s report is attached.

6.Policy.Bill Keene reported that we have not yet received a response from the administration on the policy revisions.He also discussed the issue of salary for research faculty on extended “paid temporary disability leave” of up to 6-months duration or for research faculty on short-term disability under the new VSDP program.According to the University’s current implementation policies for both programs, salary during the period of disability would be drawn from funds budgeted to support the faculty member while working on his/her sponsored grants and contracts.When the faculty member returned from such a leave, the work for which the University and the faculty member were contractually obligated would still remain but the funds to support that work (for the period of disability) would have been exhausted.In effect, the faculty member would be expected to complete this work without pay.For normal sick leave (couple weeks per year), this is perfectly reasonable.For longer-term periods of up to 6 months, this approach would be untenable. The problem is most severe for research faculty supported through multiple, time varying grants and contracts.Because most are probably unaware of the ramifications of this implementation policy, Bill suggested that we inform research faculty so that they are able to responsibly manage their professional and personal finances. Jann suggested that we could have a list-serve for the research general faculty (and the other groups) so that notices that need to be sent out could be done more easily.Lynda will check to see whether this information is available to us.

Next meeting:Noon, January 14th at the Curry School, Ruffner 200.

Recorded by Mary Abouzeid


GFC Communications Committee Report 12/02

The Communications Committee met via conference call last week. 

The discussions included:

1) Contracting with Student Techies to provide web support services

Chris Milner and Jann Balmer will meet with Paul Dougherty from Student Techies to get the GFC website updated initially and then maintained under Chris’s supervision

2) Student Techies will also develop a search mechanism so that we can pull Headline news stories from the UVA webpage and add them to a new page on the GFC website called “General Faculty in the News”. Hopefully this is a way to promote our general faculty without too much fanfare and cost

3) We are waiting for a date for a GFC Forum in late February or early March. Jann has contacted both Gene Block and Leonard Sandridge for a date. Once the date is set, the information will be distributed to the General Faculty roster

4) A second GFC Forum is tentatively planned for early May, perhaps on legislative issues with Nancy Rivers. No firm plans on this program have been developed.

5) Copies of the GFC brochure are being distributed to the Council at the Dec meeting—the brochure will also be put on the GFC website.

6) The GFC meetings will be posted on the university-wide calendar and the Health system calendar too.


General Faculty Council Constituencies

Approved: 12/10/02
Number of Constituents
Number of Representatives
Constituents per Representative
Administration (Business Operations, College at Wise, Chief Operating Officer, Facilities Management, President's Office, Chief Information Officer, Provost, Development, Finance,Management and Budget, Research and Public Service)
Student Affairs
College of Arts & Sciences
University Library
Engineering School
Education Schools:
Continuing & Professional Studies
Education School
SWVA Center for Higher Education 
Professional Schools: