University of Virginia
General Faculty Council
Meeting of November 16, 1999


MEMBERS PRESENT: Susan Andrews – Administration, Donal Day – Arts & Sciences, Dennis DeSilvey – School Medical, Tom Dowd – Other Schools, Trish Foley – Medical School, Elizabeth Fortune – Other Schools, Nancy Garlick – Arts and Sciences, Abby Gillette – Other Schools, Aaron Laushway – Student Affairs, Joyce Pastors – Medical School, Jane Penner – Libraries, Mary Smith – Engineering, Betsy Tucker – Arts & Sciences

MEMBERS ABSENT: Joe Gieck – Athletics, Brad Holland – Administration, Jan Redick – Medical School

ALSO PRESENT: Tom Gausvik (Human Resources), Kathy Reed (Provost Office), Nancy Rivers (State Governmental Relations), and Lynda White

Jane Penner chaired the meeting

  1. Tom Gausvik, U.Va.’s Chief Human Resource Officer, and Nancy Rivers, U.Va.’s Director of State Government Relations, spoke to the GFC. They were responding to an invitation to attend and share their thoughts about the best methods of addressing general faculty compensation concerns with the University administration and the State General Assembly.
  2. Mr. Gausvik opened the conversation. He said that for the past two years he has been working on the State’s Commission on Reform of the Classified Compensation Plan as the U.Va. institutional representative. The goal of this commission is to modernize the 40 year old classified compensation system to meet the workforce needs of the state. During discussions on this subject the issue of administrative and professional (A/P) general faculty compensation has come up several times. There have been questions from representatives from state government about the growth of the A/P categories of general faculty and a concern that this growth might be stem from attempts to work around the classified system. Mr. Gausvik has responded that A/P general faculty are unique to higher education, support the mission of the institution, and don’t fit well into the classified system. However, the growth of numbers of A/P general faculty in the state puts them in an unusual position when salary issues are raised. Unlike academic faculty and classified staff, there is no formal compensation plan in place for A/P general faculty. Unlike the academic faculty and the classified staff, there are no benchmarks to help define where A/P general faculty compensation stands in relation to peer institutions. Mr. Gausvik stated that in the past two budgets the raises for A/P general faculty have been separated out from academic faculty and general faculty and have been smaller than those granted to academic faculty. The discontent A/P general faculty have expressed to the state government about this disparity has put the issue of A/P general faculty "on the radar" in Richmond. Currently, the State’s primary higher education compensation goals are to get academic faculty salaries up to the 60th percentile and to get classified salaries up.

    Both Mr. Gausvik and Kathy Reed, Associate Provost for Management, asked the GFC to note that there are benefits for A/P general faculty in not having a state compensation plan in place. The absence of strict regulations from Richmond gives the institutions greater flexibility over A/P general faculty compensation. If a compensation plan for A/P general faculty was devised by the state government the institutions would loose this flexibility and the impact on A/P general faculty compensation would be unpredictable. Both Mr. Gausvik and Ms. Reed felt that this risk should be weighed before expressing too much discontent directly to the state about salary increase disparity.

    Nancy Rivers noted that in the current political environment the state government looks at what would meet the needs of all institutions, not just U.Va.’s. If the GFC wishes to pursue the issue of disparity in salary increases, the most effective way to do so is to work directly with the senior administration of the institution. The lack of hard figures about A/P general faculty compensation from peer institutions makes it hard to make the case that A/P general faculty compensation is lagging at U.Va.

  3. Dennis DeSilvey reported on an initiative by the Faculty Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee to promote excellence in teaching. The Provost’s office is funding this initiative at $100,000 per year for the next three years. Details on the initiative and submitting proposals can be found at http://www.virginia.edu/facultysenate/aaproposals.html
  4. Donal Day reported that the GFC Bylaw amendment election is complete and that the measure, establishing procedures for appointing GFC members to serve on other University committees/bodies as needed has passed. Over 300 votes were cast, only 1 of those was negative.
  5. Nancy Garlick reported that in the 1999 appropriations act there is language authorizing Virginia Retirement System (VRS) eligibility for all part time (min. 20 hours a week) classified salaried employees.
  6. Jane Penner and Joyce Pastors have met two more times with Alex Johnson, Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment, and Kathy Reed, Associate Provost for Management, to continue working through the proposed revisions to the Policy on the General Faculty. There needs to be one more meeting before a draft of the revised policy is ready for discussion.
  7. NEXT MEETING: Thursday, December 16, 1999 - 12:30-2:00 pm. Location: Newcomb Hall Commonwealth Room

Submitted December 10, 1999
Tom Dowd, Secretary