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Faculty Senate lectured on book-buying economics

By Matt Kelly

First-year student Roger Ronald Mayhew Jr. told Faculty Senate members at their meeting April
19 that when they fail to order books on time, it costs students more money.

Senators also heard recommendations for research computing, an update on the dean search and an explanation of the new University logo.

Mayhew, a representative on Student Council, said only 275 of 1,500 fall faculty orders and 500 of 1,400 spring book orders were turned in to the U.Va. Bookstore by the deadline.

Mayhew said the bookstore could pay 50 percent of the cover price for used books if store management knows the instructor will require the text again. Without that, students receive 10 to 40 percent, which Mayhew said hews closer to 10 percent. Many delayed faculty orders are turned in after students have already unloaded their books at lower prices.

The student suggested that departments funnel their book purchase orders through a single person, such as the department secretary, for greater efficiency and that faculty and students work together in evaluating books in courses. He also said that getting orders in on time would reduce the last-minute shipping and handling costs.

Several faculty members fired their own suggestions to Mayhew, suggesting the bookstore could e-mail them a reminder of the deadline and a copy of their previous semester’s orders, that students establish a process to sell the books directly to each other or have students purchase books online.

One faculty member suggested the students calculate how much a teacher cost them through delayed book orders and bring it to his or her attention. Another suggested getting book retail giants such as Barnes and Noble involved in the textbook sales to reduce price and streamline the process. Others questioned how to handle books for courses that skip semesters.

Mayhew took down their ideas and said he would try to incorporate their ideas in his plan.

The Senate also received 28 recommendations under 11 categories for research computing presented by W. Otto Friesen on behalf of the Research Computing and Information Task Force.

Among the recommendations were plans to:

• develop a mass storage strategy;

• invest in maintaining internal and external bandwith;

• creating uniform and consistent network facilities;

• create additional security systems and support;

• establish a separate budget for software purchases;

• expand support for digital library resources.

In his remarks to the senate, President John T. Casteen III said searches for the Arts & Sciences dean, the provost and the police chief were nearing completion.

Casteen also talked briefly about the University’s new logo, saying it was part of the University’s effort to position itself with a more consistent mark in the education marketplace, where Jefferson’s Rotunda had come to symbolize education itself.

Casteen also spoke briefly on the recent athletic restructuring report, saying the Board of Visitors would work on it at its next meeting.

In other business, the Senate:

• Heard reports from the Academic Affairs Committee, the faculty Grievance Committee, Research and Scholarship and ROTC Affairs committees.

• Architecture students Steven S. Reinemund and Andrew E. Burdick presented a report on the proposed new student center, which Reinemund said would have space in it for a faculty dining room.They displayed renderings of the building, which they described as a “vital public place.”

• Houston G. Wood III and Michael Smith were nominated for the chair-elect, while Kathryn Neeley was the sole nominee for the secretary post. Stephen Wilson, Gabriel Robins, Robert O’Connell, Daphne G. Spain, David Brautigan, Nancy McDaniel, Ellen Contini-Morava and Karen Ryan were nominated for two slots on the executive council. Senate members will vote by mail.


© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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