Support undergraduate research, Faculty Senate urged
The Charter plan and changes to benefits also discused at meeting
By Matt Kelly
The Faculty Senate received two appeals to support undergraduate research at its meeting Oct. 21.
Third-year student Catherine Hauptfuhrer, editor of the undergraduate research journal The Oculus, said she was amazed at the research opportunities available to undergraduates and encouraged faculty members to mentor young researchers. Undergraduate research is very important for students, the Echols Scholar said, and that helps the University stay competitive with schools such as Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Hauptfuhrer also urged faculty members to encourage students to submit their research results to The Oculus. She said she has redesigned the journal to make it more attractive and appealing to readers, which will give the student researchers a wider audience. Future issues will be thematic, she said. The November issue will focus on global health research and the following issue will concentrate on “The South.”
Religious studies professor Larry D. Bouchard asked faculty members to promote the Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards to their students, and also asked them to seek out researchers.
“Don’t just wait for students to come to you,” he said. “When you see a student ready to do research to start a career, you should pull that person aside.”
Bouchard cited a professor who encouraged him to get involved in a summer-long research program 30 years ago. He is still teaching and writing using material from that research, he said.
Senators also discussed the impact that a new state-mandated purchasing protocol has on research purchasing. Chemical engineering professor Robert J. Davis said that training is needed for the new purchasing system so departments can comply.
Details on the new purchasing protocol are online at: www.procurement.virginia.edu/main/home.html.
In other business, the senate:
- Approved dropping two degree programs in the engineering department — a master of science degree and a master of applied mechanics — and a master of science degree program in surgery. The closures already had been approved by the faculties in those programs and reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education for
Virginia. They will now be presented to U.Va.’s Board of
- Discussed changes to the new health plan and benefits with Linda A. Way-Smith, director of employee benefits, and Thomas E. Gausvik, chief human resource officer. (More on the changes to U.Va. benefits can be found at: www.virginia.edu/insideuva/insurance.html.)
- Discussed the proposed chartered universities plan
with President John T. Casteen III. (For more information on the Charter plan, go to:(www.virginia.edu/chartereduniversities/.)