The Executive Council, as specified in the Constitution, has the responsibility for determining and publishing the number of Senate seats to which each school is entitled, setting the agenda for the meetings of the Senate, appointing members and chairs of standing and ad hoc committees, and acting on behalf of the Senate when there is a need for prompt action.
The Executive Council’s activities are central to making the Faculty Senate a substantial partner in University planning. Each spring the Council will organize a meeting to consider major institutional issues and will select a few for consideration by the Senate in the following academic year. Prior to the beginning of each academic year, the Council will meet with the President and Provost to review emerging institutional planning issues and to discuss priorities for the agenda in the year ahead. The Council will report on and/or propose to the Senate action on matters of university planning that affect the academic, physical, and aesthetic resources, issues, and policies of the University. The Council will serve as the coordinator for the Senate’s role in the implementation of the University’s Self-Study and will similarly review the implementation of recommendations of other standing and ad hoc committees. The Council will advise and consult with the President on matters pertaining to the University’s relationship to the Commonwealth and other external bodies. As necessary the Council will appoint ad hoc or standing committees to assist in the performance of its duties. The Council or a subcommittee will annually offer suggestions for nominations to the Board of Visitors.
Executive Council News
This afternoon I would like to start by once again talking about the social climate at the University. When I spoke to you in December, I noted that that there was more tension on grounds than at any time that I can remember—but also that the University community has risen to the occasion with a welcome and remarkable increase in community engagement. That is still true. We continue to participate in difficult conversations. We have had protests, but they have been respectful. We have also engaged in ways that many people don’t expect.
The President’s recent executive order banning entry to the United States of citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries, as well as refugees from all countries, is a moral outrage. It threatens lives and divides families, including those of students, staff, and faculty of the University of Virginia. It also threatens the basic values of inclusiveness, equality, and respect for human dignity that we stand for as a university in the public trust.
This afternoon I would like to talk about the social climate at the University.