University of Virginia
General Faculty Council
Minutes: December 16, 1999 meeting

MEMBERS PRESENT: Susan Andrews – Administration, Donal Day – Arts & Sciences, Tom Dowd – Other Schools, Nancy Garlick – Arts and Sciences, Joe Gieck – Athletics, Joyce Pastors – Medical School, Jane Penner – Libraries, Mary Smith – Engineering, Betsy Tucker – Arts & Sciences

MEMBERS ABSENT: Dennis DeSilvey – Medical School, Trish Foley – Medical School, Elizabeth Fortune – Other Schools, Abby Gillette – Other Schools, Brad Holland – Administration, Aaron Laushway – Student Affairs, Jan Redick – Medical School

ALSO PRESENT: Suzanne Louis and Lynda White

Jane Penner chaired the meeting

1. The minutes for the October GFC meeting were approved.

2. Chair’s Report

  1. Jane Penner attended the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee meeting in November. At that meeting Jane reported on the work underway on revising the Policy on General Faculty and the ongoing GFC discussions about the disparity in salary increases for members of the general faculty. Marva Barnett, the Faculty Senate representative to the GFC will be on leave this semester. Jane will ask the Faculty Senate to appoint another general faculty member of the Faculty Senate to the GFC.
  2. Jane reported that there will be a new employee resource fair in Newcomb Hall on March 14. At the January meeting there will be a call for volunteers to staff the GFC booth.
  3. Jane also reported that she attended the WFPA lunch in November featuring State Senator Emily Couric. When asked about the level of regard for U.Va. in the General Assembly, Emily responded, "It’s been better."
  4. Bill Randolph, from the U.Va. Integrated Systems Project, has asked to address a future meeting of the GFC.

3. Jane Penner and Tom Dowd reported on a recent legislative briefing sponsored by the U.Va. Office of State Governmental Relations office. As the mission statement for this office declares, "The Office of State Governmental Relations through its Director and the President's Executive Assistant for State Governmental Relations, monitors legislative issues, activities, and concerns in Richmond and communicates information to appropriate University officials. In addition, the staff is committed to informing the University community as it relates to key legislative issues that may be of interest and impact." Useful information about the work of this unit, and that of Virginia’s Executive and Legislative branches, can be found at

4. There was no report on agenda item 4, "Report from Dec. 8 Provost's Council meeting with state legislators," and discussion of agenda item 5, "GFC statement on U.Va.'s Affirmative Action policy," was deferred until the January meeting.

5. Jane Penner and Joyce Pastors reported that the first round of discussions with Alex Johnson, Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment, and Kathy Reed, Associate Provost for Management, about the proposed revisions to the Policy on the General Faculty have concluded. Copies of the Draft Policy on the General Faculty, dated December 15, 1999, have been e-mailed to all members of the GFC. Alex and Kathy will circulate copies of the Draft Policy to appropriate members of the central administration for their review. It will be important for the GFC to devote the majority of the January meeting to processing and discussing this Draft Policy. Questions that arise during this discussion will be submitted to Kathy and Alex for their written response.

Because the adoption of any revisions to the existing Policy on the General Faculty,, is an important step with far reaching consequence, the GFC will proceed with this process deliberately and prudently. Following an initial discussion of the Draft Policy at the January meeting, the GFC will distribute it, along with a GFC statement providing context for the proposed revisions, to all members of the general faculty. Once the questions submitted to the Provost’s Office have been answered, and comments, questions, and concerns have been gathered from the general faculty, an open forum will be scheduled, bringing together representatives from the GFC and the Provost’s Office to discuss the Draft Policy.

6. President Casteen has responded to the GFC letter expressing concern about the disparity in salary increases approved by the General Assembly. In his response, President Casteen suggests that the absence of hard data on salary norms for administrative and professional faculty makes it hard to develop and apply a formula for salary funding. If the GFC is willing to undertake a benchmarking project to provide a basis for salary analysis, the President’s Office will provide limited financial support. Jane Penner will write President Casteen, thank him for his response, and inquire about the level of support that would be provided for such a benchmarking project.

7. Brad Holland’s e-mail report about the last Coordinating Committee for University-Wide Groups (CCUWG) meeting was discussed. The problem of limited opportunities for faculty spouse employment was the main topic of the CCUWG meeting.

8. Agenda items 9, "GFC reapportionment," and 10, "Timetable for Spring 2000 elections," will be discussed at the January meeting.

9. There will be a Legislative Forum at Noon on Friday, January 7, in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom. President Casteen will moderate and local legislators Emily Couric, Paul Harris, and Mitch Van Yahres will discuss the upcoming General Assembly session and answer questions

10. NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 11, 2000, 12:30-2:00 pm. Location: 389 Newcomb Hall

Submitted January 10, 2000:
Tom Dowd, Secretary
General Faculty Council