Faculty Senate Elections and Voting

2022 - 2023 Faculty Senate Nominee Statements

Please read and consider the statements of those currently running for elected positions within the Faculty Senate.

Statement for nomination as Faculty Senate Chair-Elect – Michael Kennedy

February 28, 2022

My name is Michael Kennedy. I am an associate professor of special education from the School of Education and Human Development. I joined the U.Va faculty in 2011, and the Faculty Senate in 2019. It is an honor to be nominated as Faculty Senate Chair Elect. In each of my three years on the FS my committee assignment was Academic Affairs (AAC). Serving on AAC has provided a useful lens to understand the inner workings of the university and make an important contribution. I am thankful to AAC Chair Aaron Bloomfield and my fellow committee members for their dedication and hard work and look forward to expanding my role within the senate and contribution to our great faculty across the next three years.

Before pursuing my Ph.D. I was a special education teacher for nine years. Serving students with disabilities and their families requires adaptive combinations of knowledge, skill, patience, collaboration, vision, dedication, flexibility, and faith. In developing these skills as a practitioner, and now as a teacher educator and researcher, I firmly understand what it takes to accept and provide leadership within complex settings where the pace of change and growth is usually incremental. In addition, I bring to this role an understanding of how diverse voices and visions from multiple disciplines can and should be leveraged to pursue goals. In sum, I feel comfortable and ready to accept this great responsibility, and pledge to do all I can to represent my colleagues and our respective and collective interests. You can count on me to listen, learn, and stand up for what is right even in the face of obstacles.

Thank you for your consideration.

Statement for nomination to an At-Large position of the Faculty Senate Executive Council – Sarah Stewart Ware

February 28, 2022

I am pleased to be considered for an at-large seat on the Executive Council. I have represented the Law School on the Faculty Senate since June 2019. I have served on the grievance committee for three years and chaired the ad-hoc committee for bylaws to set a procedure for nominating our representative to the Board of Visitors. I believe I have shown in those roles that I work well collaboratively and am open to the ideas and views of others. I would not come to the ExCo with a fixed agenda, but rather with a desire to seek good, meaningful solutions to problems that arise and to support faculty initiatives to make the university a better place for everyone. I have very much enjoyed working on the Faculty Senate and appreciate your consideration of my candidacy for ExCo.



Statement for nomination to an At-Large position of the Faculty Senate Executive Council – Brian Wright

February 28, 2022

I am honored to be nominated for an at large position on the Faculty Senate Executive Council. I was voted by the School of Data Science (SDS) faculty to be the inaugural senator for the School in 2019. Representing SDS over the last several years to the larger senate and serving on the Academic Affairs Committee has been a highly enriching experience, one that I hope will continue for the foreseeable future. My academic training is in the field of Higher Education, so much of my involvement in the inner workings of the University feels like a living laboratory that aligns with areas to which I am very passionate. This includes the necessity of shared governance and the critical importance that faculty and student voices help not only to advise but define how universities make decisions. I intend to bring this perspective in full view at every opportunity to the Council, should I be nominated.

I have over 20 years of private, public, and academic experience and have served on numerous advisory and non-profit boards. Currently, I am the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the School of Data Science. I came to UVA from George Washington University where I founded a M.S. in Data Science, a Data Science Institute, and a joint PhD program with the School of Education. I also helped developed a research institute within the business school at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and served as a federal and private sector employee for the Department of Defense for 10 years, including advisory roles to the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. I hope to bring this broad cross-section of experience to the Council and, in doing so, support the mission and ambitions of the University of Virginia in its pursuit to be both great and good.

Statement for nomination to the Athletic Advisory Council – Rob Patterson

February 28, 2022

I am honored to be considered for the position of Faculty Representative to UVA’s Athletics Advisory Council. When Joel Hockensmith was Chair-Elect, I served on the Council as his substitute for academic year 2019-2020. I enjoyed the experience a lot and tried to represent the Senate to the best of my ability. I consider myself to be an advocate for student athletes at McIntire and we are proud of their impact on and accountability in our team-oriented culture within the School. While recruited as an intercollegiate varsity athlete, I ultimately decided not to choose that path, but I did participate on two different intercollegiate club teams while in college. I would like to continue in this faculty representative role for an extended period of time and humbly ask for your support.

My relevant background is that I’ve been on the Faculty Senate since 2014 and rotate off at the end of this academic year. In most of that span of time, I have also served on the Executive Council and the Academic Affairs Committee. I was also chair of the Finance Committee for three years. This Athletics Advisory Council position would allow me to stay connected to the Senate and allows me to continue to serve the faculty.

Thank you for your consideration.

Statement for nomination to an At-Large position of the Faculty Senate Executive Council – Jeri Seidman

February 28, 2022

Thank you for considering me as an At-Large Member of the Faculty Senate Executive Council for 2022-23. When my Associate Dean asked me to serve on Faculty Senate in 2019, I did not realize I was agreeing to something that would change my understanding of my role as a faculty member. In fact, I wasn’t even really aware of who Faculty Senate was or what they did! But as I have come to better understand our shared governance model, I have also come to see a broader role for myself as a UVA faculty member. I no longer see myself as part of just the Accounting Area or the Comm School; I am also now aware of more University level actions and decisions because I better understand both how they may affect me and how I may affect them. I am running for an At-Large position on Faculty Senate ExCo because I want to continue to grow my understanding of our shared governance model and my potential role in it.

To ExCo, I bring 14 years of faculty experience, including seven at UVA. That time includes considerable service to my academic area, my School, and my professional organization. I am known as someone who upholds their commitments, is good at building consensus around common goals, and is not afraid to ask the questions I feel need to be asked even if they are awkward or don’t directly affect me. Finally, I also bring two years of invaluable experience as treasurer of the Case Western Reserve University Undergraduate Student Government and whatever Robert’s Rules are still with me from that, 25+ years later. Thank you for considering me for this position.



Statement for nomination to an At-Large position of the Faculty Senate Executive Council - Jay Fox

February 28, 2022

I am honored to be considered for the Ex-Co At-Large seat.  I have been a Professor in the School of Medicine for the past 41 years including serving as an Assistant Dean and Associate Dean for Research.  Currently I am the Director of Research Infrastructure for the School of Medicine.  I have been on the Faculty Senate for 6 years and I have served on a number of Senate committees.  Through this service I have been greatly impressed with how important and impactful the actions of Senate committees are on the UVa community.  More recently, through my involvement of the School of Medical Senate sub-group I have observed how often the role of the larger Senate is misunderstood or unclear to the faculty.  Further, there seems to be a bit of a perceived divide or at least distance between the School of Medicine and the larger institutional community.  One of my endeavors would be to engage and enhance the communications between the School of Medicine and larger UVa community.  My goal is to improve the mutual understanding of our faculties and how we work together to improve our shared-governing processes and there-by enhance our impact and outcomes on self-governance.  I thank you for your consideration and if elected I will do my best to promote all activities of the Senate and its constituents.