General Faculty Council strengthening
lines of communication
By Matt Kelly
Lofgren knows how to listen. She is a court-certified mediator
skilled in handling conflict resolution training that will
prove valuable in Lofgrens new role as chair of the General
helps me to hear what the group wants and respond, said
Lofgren, a part-time lecturer in the English department. I
think it helps me understand people and be more diplomatic.
is essential to addressing the councils numerous issues,
including developing a stronger relationship with the administration,
improving communications with the general faculty itself, advising
the provost on the General Faculty Policy and securing health
care benefits for faculty and staff who work more than half time.
councils authority is solely advisory, so Lofgren says she
needs to maintain good relations with the administration to properly
represent the members.
council advises the provost on the General Faculty Policy, which
relates to hiring, promotion, retention and causes for dismissal
of general faculty, among other items. A proposed overhaul of
the policy, last amended in 1996, has been drafted and is being
circulated for review among administrators.
The General Faculty Council represents a mixed bag of non-tenure
track administrative, teaching and research faculty, said
Lotta Lofgren, the council chairwoman.
council, created 10 years ago by the now-dormant Womens
Faculty and Professional Association, is an others
type of concept, Lofgren said. A lot of classified
staff moved to general faculty, so we have administrative,
professional, research and teaching general faculty, and
then some in health sciences.
councilors represent about 1,650 general faculty members.
Representatives are elected for three-year terms via annual
Web-based elections. The councils mission is to serve
as a liaison between the administration and the general
there is overlap between the Faculty Senate and the General
Faculty Council, Lofgren said there are concerns of
the general faculty that are different from the tenure-track
council meets on the second Tuesday of each month, usually
in Newcomb Hall, and its meetings are open to all general
information is available at www.virginia.edu/genfac
am very concerned about some specific matters in the policy document,
in particular the expectation of continued employment,
she said. The provosts office has been very open about
sharing the policy document with us and listening to our advice
and suggestions and incorporating them.
council is also seeking better communications with its own constituents,
who include administrators, professors and researchers. How many
of each are on the payroll is uncertain, however, nor is everyone
in the general faculty category aware of it.
council has been seeking a definitive list of general faculty
members from Human Resources, and she said with Oracle, a financial
and human resources planning system, it may be more accessible.
want to maintain a good and Productive relationship with the administration
and assist, as we can, to disseminate information [to our members],
she said. We want to improve our communications and make
the general faculty feel it is truly represented.
help meet constituents, the council planned to have a table at
the Universitys Art Museum on Sept. 19 during the opening
reception of Tim Rollins + K.O.S. exhibit.
Lofgren, the council will continue to seek health care benefits
for employees who work more than half time. Currently, general
faculty members and staff who work between half and full time
receive retirement, disability and group life insurance benefits,
but not health care.
E. Davis, chairman of the Faculty Senate, said the two bodies
have mutual concerns.
is important that all the faculties at the University work together
in our common interest, Davis said. I look forward
to working with the General Faculty Council on issues of overlapping
she pushes to advance the councils goals, Lofgren has no
illusions about how much will get accomplished.
lot of the goals we have will not get done this year, Lofgren
said. A lot of them are information-gathering, rather than
advocacy. The policy document we have been working on with the
administration for seven years now. That is hardly a quick thing.
is optimistic about the future of the council.
of the really exciting things for me about being part of the council
right now is that the council is so focused and has members that
are really tremendously dedicated, said Lofgren. They
have a real sense of mission in a way that I dont think
was the case two years ago.
Spotlight on the General Faculty
1992, the General Faculty
Council (GFC) has been working to represent the interests
of the roughly 1650 members of the general faculty. Though members
of the general faculty hold prominent and key positions in the
University, our multifaceted profile keeps us largely invisible.
We encompass non-tenure track teaching and research faculty, administrators,
and professionals ranging from development officers to technical
and scientific experts in engineering, medicine, the basic sciences,
and libraries. Because our activities and funding sources are
so varied, we are neither tenured nor considered part of the Commonwealths
classified staff system. We therefore formed our own council to
represent the unique interests and needs of our constituents.
of GFCs first and ongoing, challenges is identifying members
of the general faculty. If you are a member of the general faculty,
or think that you might be one, please contact your area representative
(see list below) for more information about the GFC.
GFC is addressing a number of important issues this year, including:
to encourage the University to grant part-time employees access
to group health insurance; working to develop a constructive dialogue
with University administration on administrative policies such
as grievance and termination procedures; and forming a joint committee
to work with the Faculty Senate to draw attention to areas of
2002-03 representatives to the GFC from the various segments of
the University are listed below. Please contact your representative
with any questions or concerns that pertain to your role as a
general faculty member. This year, Robbie Greenlee, Robin Kuzen
and Prue Thorner represent general faculty in administration,
Phil Gates represents Athletics, Bill Keene, Lotta Lofgren who
is also the chair of the GFC, together with Donal Day represent
the College of Arts and Sciences, Lynda White represents the Libraries,
Jann Balmer and George Hashisaki, Elaine Attridge (who will be
next years GFC chair) and Greg Strickland represent health
professionals, Mary Abouzeid represents the Curry School of Education,
Derry Wade represents the professional schools (Law, Darden, Commerce
and Architecture), Chris Milner represents general faculty in
the School of Engineering, and Jennifer Bauerle represents Student
Affairs. There are also two at large representatives, Jean Collier
and Nancy Gansneder. You can find the names and email addresses
of your representatives on the GFC web site at http://www.virginia.edu/genfac/.
The Web site also provides other information about us, our meetings,
our other activities, and general faculty in the news, in addition
to links to other sites pertinent to the general faculty. Please
visit us there.