March 8-21, 2002
Back Issues
Former University rector appointed to governors panel
Senators OK plan
Researchers studying the complex process of tissue growth
Music faculty reach out to area students

Sounds of the wild are music to Shatin’s ears

At the Virginia Festival of the Book
Hot Links -- North American Growth in Cerebral Palsy Project
Lincoln personified ethics in politics
Budget Q&A -- second in a series

Senators OK plan

Casteen to Faculty Senate:
• U.Va. likely to launch its next capital campaign of between $3 billion and $5 billion within 18 months

• No layoffs planned

• There may be some form of salary increases in next two-year budget

• There will be no non-voting faculty member on the Board of Visitors

By Matt Kelly

The Faculty Senate last Thursday debated and approved the principles of a new administrative procedure governing “for cause” suspensions or terminations of academic faculty members.

A preliminary draft was developed by the General Counsel’s office, in conjunction with a Faculty Senate committee, to advise the provost. It calls for faculty members to receive written notification of administrative charges against them and an opportunity to meet with an administrator to discuss the charges. The provost would make the ultimate decision with the advice of a peer review panel.

Michael J. Smith, chair-elect of the Faculty Senate and chair of the drafting committee, said a 1998 case that resulted in the dismissal of a faculty member raised due process questions and showed that the University did not have a policy dealing with administrative charges against faculty. This leaves U.Va. open to possible censure by the American Association of University Professors, he warned.

“This is a gap in our procedures,” he said. “We do have a procedure for handling faculty complaints about faculty members.”

The draft establishes principles and sets out what constitutes due process, Smith said, admitting that it was not a perfect document. He urged the senators to approve it with the understanding that some of the language could be changed later.

Senate member and physics professor Blaine Norum objected that he and his colleagues received the draft only 48 hours before the meeting and asked to defer the vote. Others questioned the imprecision of some of the wording and the 30 days generally allowed for the peer review panel to do its work.

After considerable discussion, by an overwhelming show of hands, senators endorsed the principles outlined in the policy, and requested that Vice President and Provost Gene Block bring the final version back to the Faculty Senate for review.

The senate had also been scheduled to review the grievance policy, but tabled its consideration until its April 23 meeting.

Earlier in last Thursday’s meeting, University President John T. Casteen III reviewed the ongoing budget deliberations.

He assured the faculty that no layoffs are planned, and that there may be some form of salary increase during the two-year budget period, though he could not predict its form. He noted the House of Delegates and the Senate had each proposed increases, but the final version of the state budget had to be worked out in committee.

In 1990, according to Casteen, 28 percent of the University’s general fund came from the state, compared to only 13 percent this year, in part because earlier budget cuts were never restored. At the same time, 4 to 6 percent of the budget came from gifts and endowment earnings in 1990, compared to 16 to 18 percent today. Casteen noted that there is not the resistance in Richmond that once existed to the University becoming self-sufficient.

“My guess is that we would not have the kind of self-sufficiency we now have if we had not had the adverse events of the early ’90s,” he said.

Managers at the University are getting more creative at solving problems and fund raisers are getting more sophisticated, he added.

Casteen said the Board of Visitors will make decisions about the new capital campaign this summer. It is likely that it will be launched in 18 months, with the University’s goal in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion. Casteen said the fund-raising goals for December have been met, with no apparent falloff of donations since Sept. 11. Casteen said the new campaign is on a scale not before attempted.Faculty members have an opportunity to get involved in the campaign, he added.

In non-budget issues, Casteen noted the death of legislation that would have required out-of-state students to pass Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests before graduating. Another proposal died in the Senate that would have put a non-voting faculty member on the Board of Visitors. A bill to study tenure got no support in the Senate, he said.


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