University of Virginia General Faculty Council Minutes


Minutes:  Tuesday, January 14, 2003, 200 Ruffner Hall


Members Present:  Mary Abouzeid, Elaine Attridge, Jann Balmer, Jennifer Bauerle, Donal Day, Rosie Dunn, James Freeman, Phil Gates, Robbie Greenlee, Carol Hunter, Lotta Lofgren, Barbara Millar, Chris Milner, Clark Nesbitt for Greg Strickland, Elaine Attridge, Lynda White, Ellie Wilson.


Members Absent:  George Hashiasaki, Bill Keene, Greg Strickland.


Also Present:  Alan Cohn and Ottilie Austin.


The meeting was chaired by Lynda White.


Mary A. announced news about the Reading First grant.  The University of Virginia will get 2.2 million a year for six years (total 13.2 million) to carry out the professional development in our state.  The contract is awarded to McGuffey/TEMPO Reading Outreach, Curry School of Education.  GFC members congratulated Mary and her colleagues for their outstanding proposal.


Lynda reported that she had contacted Anne Bromley at Inside UVA about writing an article on the General Faculty Council’s 10th anniversary.  Anne has turned this over to the planning/editing team.


Budget Report


There is $2,037 remaining in the budget.


Representative Reports


            Academic Affairs – Phil:  No meeting has been held.

            Research – Donal:  No meeting has been held.

CCUG – Barbara:  She sent a web link for the minutes to the Council.  There was an error in the minutes regarding Council activities, which Barbara will have corrected. 

            Benefits – Carol:  No meeting has been held.


Committee Reports


Lynda had asked committee chairs to be prepared to report on progress toward goals for this year.


            Elections – Ellie:

Ellie began her report by expressing concern that the General Faculty email roster is still inaccurate and that she needs an accurate email list with which to work.

The following positions are up for election:

1)      Two from Arts and Sciences

2)      One At-large

3)      One from Health Professionals

4)      Two from Professional Schools (Architecture, Commerce, Darden, and Law)


Lynda and Ellie will meet to work on the election procedure.


Ellie asked for assistance from the Council concerning committee elections.  Donal and Chris volunteered to help Ellie.  Jann recommended setting up our web site with Survey Suite for easier tabulation.  Lynda stated this process needed to be in place by the end of January 2003.


Bylaws – Phil:

      The following are goals that have been accomplished.

1)      Ascertained that a proxy vote is stipulated in the Bylaws.

2)      Reapportioned the Council membership 

The remaining goal is a general revision of Bylaws.  Phil suggested that everyone review the Bylaws.  Recommendations need to be submitted to Phil by February 2, 2003.  Changes do not have to be made at the same time as elections. 


Communications – Jann:

Jann will follow up with Gene Block and Leonard Sandridge about a date for a General Faculty Forum.  It was recommended that we ask them to discuss the role and importance of the General Faculty to the University.  The event will include a reception to celebrate the 10th year of the GFC.  Tentative dates are being discussed—either late April or May.  This will be the only GF forum this year.


The Council now has a Student Techie to help with our web page.


Chris has created email lists for each Council constituency and will be sending out email list names to GFC representatives.  He is also going to look into setting up the subgroups as one group for gf-roster. 


Lynda asked if the proposed news section for our web site could include Mary’s good news.  Jann stated that once the lists are accurate Student Techies can set-up a section that will match General Faculty names to UVa’s Headline News.  We should also be able to add items independently.


Policy – Bill:

Bill’s report is attached. Lynda read an email to Bill from Gene Block stating that his group would complete the task in a short time.


Status of faculty termination – Donal

Donal reported that the faculty member we conferred with at our last meeting did sign official documents and will retire as requested.


Data Collection – Jim:

Jim asked the Council if a survey was still beneficial to send out.  Ellie remarked that it might not be great timing due to all the upcoming information that will be going out.  Jann stated demographic information might prove more important for classification efforts.  Ellie suggested we analyze the existing information.  Lynda will send it to Jim.  Jim will call a committee meeting to discuss the survey idea.


Other business:

Lynda stated we have three more meetings before a new Council takes over.  The Council decided to invite Leonard Sandridge to one of these meetings.


Policy Committee Report:  (attachment)

Lynda had requested that each committee chair update council on the status of progress in meeting our respective objectives.  The following is a brief summary of progress by the Policy Committee toward this end.


OBJECTIVE 1.  Continue working with the Provost and General Counsel to

finalize the revised Policy on General Faculty and to clarify policy-related issues specific to research faculty.


PROGRESS.  Between early November and early January, we communicated with Gene Block on several occasions concerning action on the revised draft policy.  He apologized for the delay, which was attributed in part to demands on his time imposed by the budget crisis, and assured us that he would "work with his group to complete this task within a short time." After conferring with his staff, he will get back to us to schedule a meeting.


We also communicated with Gene Block, Tom Gausvik (Chief HR Officer), and Nancy Bertram (Associate Dean of the College of A&S) concerning

policy-related issues involving temporary disability leave for Research

Faculty.  By way of background, our committee had previously discussed these issues with the Provost and his staff, most recently with Gene Block and Rick Kast (General Counsel's Office) during a meeting last June, and (at Kast's request) detailed the underlying concerns in a subsequent message to which he has not responded.   In addition, other administrators with whom we have spoken have not explicitly addressed the concerns that have been raised.  This remains a "parking lot issue" that in the words of Gene Block "needs more work."


In a related development, a classified employee funded through sponsored grants and contracts was recently placed on temporary disability leave.  HR insisted that her salary be charged to current grants and contracts. However, Brad Holland (University Ombudsman) intervened at her request and, we understand, instructed HR that salary for grant- and contract-supported employees on temporary disability leave should be paid by UVA, not charged to research sponsors.  HR responded that Holland had confused the distinction between temporary and permanent disability leave and that HR's original position was correct.  The issue is still under discussion.   The underlying decision-making rationale and subsequent outcome should also apply to research faculty.  Hopefully, we will be able to finalize this matter when we next meet with Block and Kast.


OBJECTIVE 2.  Propose health benefits for part-time General Faculty, working with other groups as necessary


PROGRESS.  Lotta Lofgren and Carol Hunter have investigated the availability of health benefits for part-time GF at UVA's "peer" institutions and found that all provide some form of benefits.  UVA is clearly an outlier in this regard.  As I understand, they reported this finding to Gene Block when he met with the GFC in November.  The  information Lotta and Carol assembled provides justification and leverage to push for change.  However, in the current budget crisis, proposals of this nature may be a tough sell.


OBJECTIVE 3.  Clarify and revise as necessary the grievance procedure for the General Faculty.


PROGRESS.  Because they are interrelated, we think it premature to address this objective until after the revised policy has been  finalized.


OBJECTIVE 4.  Make state legislators aware of the General Faculty as a

discrete category of state employees and encourage them to eliminate the salary increase disparities between general faculty and tenured/tenure-track faculty.


PROGRESS.  We have discussed the possibility of arranging a forum with local legislators to discuss the matter but, otherwise, have not focused on this objective.


OBJECTIVE 5.  Work with University administrators to ensure that General Faculty are identifiable in the new Oracle database and that the GFC is able to directly extract relevant information that accurately details the current composition (who/what/where) of the General Faculty (joint objective with the Data Collection Committee).


PROGRESS.  We have iterated with George Stovall (Director of Institutional Assessment and Studies) and identified several problems with filters that have been applied in the past to identify General Faculty based on HR records.  The following classes of general faculty were excluded:  1) "Wage" faculty (who we understand are primarily part-time research faculty), 2) teaching faculty who upon retirement assumed positions on the research faculty, and 3) faculty whose salaries are paid directly by outside agencies and not processed through the University (some research faculty).  The people who are implementing Oracle are aware of our needs and we have been told that the system should eventually be able to provide the necessary information. However, the schedule is uncertain.  In the meantime, we will continue working with files from Stovall (modified as necessary) to capture all (or most) current GF.


Bill Keene, Chair


Meeting Adjourned at 1:30 p.m.        

Minutes recorded by Rosie Dunn


NEXT Meeting :  Tuesday, February 11, 2003.