2023 Faculty Rep to BOV Nominee Statements
Please read and consider the statements of those currently running for elected positions within the Faculty Senate.
Taison D. Bell, MD, MBA
Infectious Diseases and International Health; Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
School of Medicine
I write to ask for your consideration as faculty representative to the Board of Visitors. I am a Double Hoo and currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, where I also serve as Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs. I enjoy advocating for faculty and being involved with critical decisions at a place that means so much to me. I operate with the following guiding principles when tackling complex issues:
If you believe you are completely right, it probably means you are wrong: I find that people who are absolutely convinced of their position have either not gathered a range of opinions, or they have chosen to ignore them. Like any faculty member, I certainly have my opinions. However, if chosen to represent the faculty, my goal will be to gather a wide scope of input across the University.
Never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself in the same position. I find that good decisions are often rooted in the ability of the entity in charge to walk in others’ shoes.
Everyone has a role: I often see leaders become frustrated when there are strong voices of opposition to their decisions. However, I believe meaningful progress isn’t made without first encountering friction. There is a role for advocacy and occasional disruption in our quest to make the University better as a whole.
Thank you for your consideration,
Taison D. Bell, MD, MBA
Associate Professor of Music
College of Arts and Sciences
I would be honored to represent the faculty as a nonvoting member of the Board of Visitors. Although I have not served as a faculty Senator, I have over sixteen years here developed deep institutional knowledge, interdisciplinary connections, and appreciation for our varied communities. My research and teaching focuses on music and sound in the early modern world, but my portfolio reaches outside the music department and cuts across disciplines and eras. I work with colleagues around Grounds. For instance, this fall I co-taught a Law School course on the Dobbs decision. My institutional assignments currently include positions on the Arts and Sciences Nominating Committee and on the Women’s Leadership Council. I co-direct UVA’s Sound Justice Lab, which won generous funding from the Karsh Institute for Democracy. I was a founding faculty member of UVA’s Equity Center and have served on two UVA Presidential Committees. I was on the Climate and Culture Committee, created to respond to the Rolling Stone crisis in 2014 and I serve now on the University and Community Partnerships Committee. These experiences have taught me how this institution works and have presented opportunities to offer advice about how to improve it. I have learned to seek productive means to effect change from within the system, as well as to work constructively and kindly with people whose experience and views differ vastly from my own. If selected, I would devote these professional experiences and personal skills to the exciting project of liaising between the faculty Senate and the Board.
Patricia (Tish) Jennings, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Professor of Education
Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
School of Education and Human Development
I am a Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the School of Education and Human Development and I have been at UVA since 2014. My scholarship and teaching focus on building socially and emotionally supportive educational settings within the preK-12 education context. I am proud of our outstanding faculty and our commitment to make UVA both great and good, in partnership our excellent staff, President Ryan, Provost Baucom, and the Board of Visitors. To support this commitment, I ran for a position on the Faculty Senate and first served as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. At the beginning of my tenure as Chair of the Faculty Senate, I met with groups of senators representing each of the schools and the college to learn about faculty concerns and how they might be addressed, and I presented these concerns to the administration and the Board of Visitors. This year I have successfully managed the challenging process of working to maintain our representation on the BOV by modifying our bylaws. During this process, learned a great deal about how to manage conflict and have had the opportunity to cultivate collegial relationships with the Rector and several members. I look forward to the opportunity to build on these existing relationships as Faculty Representative to the Board of Visitors so I may continue to advocate for our outstanding faculty.
James H. Lambert
Engineering Systems and Environment
School of Engineering
Prof. Lambert chaired the 8th International Engineering Systems Symposium (2021) and 5th World Congress on Risk (Cape Town 2019). He was President of the Society for Risk Analysis (2015-2016) with interests across policy and governance. He is F.AAAS (2020), F.IEEE (2017), F.SRA (2011) and F.ASCE (2013), and visitor at ETH Zurich (2019), Univ of Toronto (2018), IASS (Berlin 2017), SUTD (Denmark 2018), Kuwait Univ (2022), Duke Univ (2022), Masdar Instit (UAE 2014), Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ (2010), FAMU/FSU (2018), Univ of Venice (2021), Brazil Inst of Metrology (2018), CU Boulder (2018) and others. He is Director of UVA Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems (2019-present), and Site Director of NSF Center for Hardware & Embedded Systems Security & Trust (since 2020). He is Chair of UVA Faculty Grievance Committee (since 2022), member of UVA Senate EXCO (since 2022), Treas. (2011-12) and Board (2008-12) of the Colonnade Club, and served on a dozen Title IX panels of UVa EOCR (2017-2021). He received the 2019 Distinguished Researcher Award of the UVA VPR. He was a 1999 Finalist for Mentor of the Year, of the UVA Ofc of African-American Affairs. He graduated 21 Ph.D. students, 25 M.S. students and received the 2015 INFORMS Graduate Faculty Award of Excellence. He looks forward to support discussions of the BOV on (i) faculty public and professional service, (ii) international eminence in scholarship and teaching and (iii) institutional strength and resilience with evolving and future concerns for the students, alumni, staff and society.
History and American Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Perhaps my favorite part of being a faculty member is the chance to see my university from other angles. Here at UVA, I teach history and American studies, but I got my PhD from a humanities program at MIT, a tiny minority among engineers. Intellectually, that background has led me to coauthor with physicians, work with business school professors, collaborate with law faculty. It also led me, early on, to want to understand a university's insides. When the financial crisis hit, I volunteered for an MIT-wide task force alongside faculty and administrators to rethink the school's future.
As we all know, the composition of the Board of Visitors is changing, and the next representative will have to advocate for academic freedom and shared governance. Those values are why I wanted to be a professor in the first place, and I won't hesitate to represent them before the Board.
At the same time the faculty representative needs to be conciliatory and diplomatic. Their job is not only to make the Board hear the views of faculty, but to make the Board feel that the faculty are hearing theirs. Those who've seen me in meetings and classrooms know that this kind of role fits my undogmatic temperament. I'll take every chance to make connections and allies, and treat the year-round invitations to Board events as an equal part of the job to formal meetings and retreats.
I'm looking forward to speaking with you Wednesday, and hope you'll reach out before then.