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Comments by Faculty Senate Chair to UVA Board of Visitors

Alfred C. Weaver — Sept. 15, 2017

Good afternoon everyone. I last spoke to you on June 9 when I had been in my Chair’s job for 8 days. A lot has happened since then – some good and some bad – so allow me to provide you with a brief update on our thoughts and activities.

  1. We thank the Board for the Rector’s letter condemning the violence of August 11th and 12th. The Senate likewise published its own statement against hate, violence, discrimination and intimidation, and condemning those who would try to divide us using these intolerable methods.
  2. We held our first full meeting of the academic year on September 7. President Sullivan discussed the violence, including what happened, how it happened, and what was learned from that terrible weekend. Law School Dean Risa Goluboff, in her role as Chair of the Deans Working Group, expanded on our institutional response and lessons learned. The remainder of our two-hour meeting was spent listening to Senators’ concerns and discussing next steps.
  3. Our committees are established and working: Academic Affairs is expecting its most active year in recent memory with regard to establishing new academic programs, concentrations, tracks, and certificates. Our Communications committee meets today to map out its strategy. Our Research, Teaching and Scholarship Committee meets later this month to do the same. Our Finance committee meets next Monday to discuss the budget model and the cost of effective cybersecurity. Our Policy Committee reviewed the proposed Open Flame policy and made its report to the University Policy Committee. Our Faculty Grievance committee wisely keeps trying to put itself out of a job by avoiding the filing of grievances.
  4. Finally, I am happy to report that within my own department of Computer Science, we continue to make progress toward our ultimate goal of providing introductory computer science courses to any UVA student who wants one. We were able to add new lecture sections and new laboratory sections to our introductory courses such that we cleared the student wait list by the first day of class. The four flavors of our introductory Computer Science course now has a Fall semester enrollment of 809, delivered using six lectures and 12 laboratory sections.

Thank you for your time. Any questions?