September 10, 1996

Members Present:

Rob Walker Freer
Virginia Germino
Karen Grandage
Graham Grove
Douglas Hurd
Claire Kaplan
Dearing Johns
Colleen Fitzpatrick

Also Present: Jane Penner, Suzanne Louis and Joyce Green-Pastors

Doug Hurd chaired the meeting.

1. Topic: Report by Jane Penner on the Policy Committee

The Policy Committee was created as an Ad-Hoc Committee by the General Faculty Council in the academic year 1994/95. The Committee was charged to investigate whether a General Faculty Handbook should be created. Members located and gathered together all materials pertaining to the employment of general faculty. These items included:

Policy on the General Faculty
Guidelines for General Faculty Staffing due to Financial Stringency
Policy on Research Staff
Faculty Handbook
Grievance Procedure
Faculty Benefits Handbook

Many of these policies were drawn-up in 1987/88 by the then Provost, Paul Grost.

Once the Policy Committee had identified these pertinent materials, members began to evaluate the documents for relevance, inconsistent language and broader policy. During this process, the Policy Committee members decided to stop the re-writing/change mode they were in and focus, instead, of making these documents easily accessible to all general faculty. Their goal then became getting the documents on the World Wide Web, since Rick Meyers in the Provost's Office was also working on getting the Faculty Handbook on the Web. The Policy Committee also created an index of the document's contents.

Jane's report then lead to a discussion of how policy is made for general faculty, and who reviews and approves them. All current GFC members agreed that these were still important questions to ask and follow-up on, and that they wanted to continue the work of the Policy Committee.

Action: A motion was made to change the Policy Committee from an Ad-Hoc Committee to a Standing Committee; this motion was seconded and approved by a majority of the members.

Further discussion ensued by members who wanted to be sure the Council took a prescriptive rather than descriptive course when looking at policies that affect the general faculty. The idea of gathering, analysis, and making recommendations for policy revisions and adoption of new policies was thought to be more important than simply policy codification. All members agreed and thought that this should be the central charge for the Policy Committee. Jennie Moody had already agreed to Chair this Committee, and new and additional members will be sought once the charge is fully developed.

2. Topic: Report from the Elections Committee

Colleen and Claire provided an update on the current elections. Nominations have been received for the two vacant seats in Athletics and Student Affairs. They will be calling those nominated to verify that they want to run and then ballots will be mailed out by September 13th. The term for these two new members will run from their election date until March 31st, 1999.

Next, a call for nominations will begin for the one additional vacancy in the Health Sciences Center and for the eight newly created seats. Nominations will be due back to the Committee by the end of September, and then the election will be held.

3. Topic: Delayed Payroll

Doug Hurd shared the latest information that he had received from Colette Capone (dated August 26) about the delayed payroll issue. At the time of her memo, Colette said that the University of Virginia was still waiting for an official response from the State to their proposed alternative plan to avoid a delayed payroll in 1997.

UVa had proposed that they would loan themselves half the month's amount in advance that the state would not provide until July, 1997. The Attorney General's opinion on the proposal was that it would violate provisions of the Appropriations Act. They identified two issues, one an appropriations issue related to expending more than the appropriation in a given year which is prohibited by the Appropriations Act; and the second, an issue of interest lost to the State if they accelerate their reimbursement to the University in July for the last two weeks of June's payroll.

Until an official denial of the proposal is received, the Management and Budget Office will organize some focus groups to discuss implementation options and a communications plan. Doug has been asked to serve on a Focus Group as a representative of the General Faculty Council. They will meet on September 18th, and Doug has said that he will share his information packet with all members.

5. Other Business:

Doug Hurd reported that the General Faculty Council has expended their one and only budget appropriation of $2,5000, that was given to the group upon its creation in 1993.

Action: He will officially ask for a new appropriation in the same amount to continue the Council's work. for the next three years.

6. Next Meeting: October 8, 1996, in Peabody 110, 1:30 -3:00 P.M.

Submitted by Karen Grandage, GFC Secretary.