General Faculty Council celebrates
By Lee Graves
General Faculty Council
celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 18 with fresh fruit,
chewy cookies and a thoughtful forum for its members.
50 of the more than 1,640 general faculty at the University gathered
in the Garden Room of Hotel E to enjoy refreshments and acknowledge
a decade of work by the council.
W. Sandridge Jr., executive
vice president and chief operating officer, said general faculty
are vital to the University.
place simply wouldnt function without the skills, the commitment
and the roles that you bring to the institution, he said.
and Gene Block, vice
president and provost, answered questions and provided background
roles of general faculty. They were introduced by incoming council
who also praised Lynda White, outgoing chairwoman, for her dedication
to the group.
explained that the council grew out of a committee within the
Women Faculty and Professional Association that monitored development
of a compensation plan for general faculty. The effort grew to
embrace additional responsibilities, including internal communications
and representing the groups interests to the administration.
and identifying general faculty was an issue then and remains
one today. Sandridge said the roles of general faculty have evolved
greatly since the mid-1980s and now range from teaching and research
to maintaining facilities and managing financial operations.
also discussed state budget cuts and recent tuition increases
approved by the Board of Visitors. Block talked about diversity
initiatives, particularly recruiting and retaining minority faculty,
curriculum upgrades and key positions to be filled in his office.
Thorner, assistant to the vice
president for research and graduate studies, asked Blocks
opinion on the affirmative action case before the U.S. Supreme
Court. Block said hes hoping for a good outcome, one that
will allow us to continue doing what were doing, he
M. Davis, associate dean
of students, asked what strategies are being developed in
hiring and retention of minorities, including the vacancies in
said he has worked with Karen Holt, director of Equal
Opportunity Programs, on those specific positions, and he
described how envisioning sessions have addressed
the issue in general. Overall, he said, he wants more in-depth
training for search committees and to make sure the University
is offering the right incentives to attract and keep people.
doesnt help to recruit well if we cant retain,