Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes - January 15, 2021

11:00am - 1:00pm Zoom Virtual Meeting


Joel Hockensmith (chair), Hanadi Al-Samman, Rasheed Balogun, Ellen Bassett, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Maite Brandt-Pearce, James Fitz-Gerald, Susan Kirk (she/her), Kathryn Laughon, Kevin Lehmann, Elizabeth Magill, Carol Manning, Susan Modesitt, Peter Norton, Robert Patterson, James Ryan, James Savage


Mike Citro, Jay Hirsh, Ann Kellams, Maria Luisa Sequeira Lopez, Amanda Ludwig (closed captioner), Stephen Macko, Brett Marshall, Andrew Pennock

Administrative Support: Ashley Ayers

Meeting Agenda

  1. Convene and Call to Order - Chair Hockensmith

  2. 11:00 am – Vice Provost Faculty Affairs, Maite Brandt-Pearce

    1. COACHE survey report/update(s)

  3. 11:15 am – 11:45 am – President James Ryan and Provost Liz Magill

  4. 11:45 am - Approve minutes

    1. EXCO 11/04/2020

  5. Elections Timetable(s)

  6. Indexing of Bylaws – Chair Hockensmith

  7. Proposed resolution for consideration by UVA Faculty Senate – Faculty Senator Bassett

  8. Standing Committee Representation – Chair Hockensmith

    1. Colonnade Club Board of Governors (Joe Garofalo)

    2. Athletics Advisory Council (Susan Kirk)

    3. Organizational Excellence Leadership Council (Joel Hockensmith)

  9. Committee Reports

    1. Nomination Committee – Cmte Chair Basset

    2. BOV – Past-Chair Bassett

    3. Academic Affairs – Cmte Chair Bloomfield

    4. DEI – Cmte Chair Jennings

    5. Faculty Grievance – Cmte Chair Al-Samman OR Manning

    6. FRRRW  – Cmte Chair Beckenstein OR Modesitt

    7. Finance  – Cmte Chair Hallowell

    8. Policy – Cmte Chair Norton

    9. RTS  – Cmte Chair Hirosky OR Lehmann

  10. Agenda for Jan 29th Faculty Senate Meeting

  11. Other business

  12. 1 pm – Adjourn

Meeting Notes:

Quorum met; Joel Hockensmith called the meeting to order at 11:01 am

Reminder: only two comments per EXCO member, until everyone has had an opportunity to speak.
Staff updates: working with Provost Office, Maggie Harden. Ashley Ayers transitioning, Brett Marshall joining in the spring. Andre Gainsback, tech/web support.

COACHE survey update (Maite Brandt-Pearce)

  • The survey was administered externally and surveyed all faculty about their job satisfaction.

  • All tenure/tenure track faculty in all schools except School of Medicine participated.

  • Last conducted last spring; straddled COVID. Received data in late July.

  • Put together a committee (committee members listed on slide that was visible in meeting) to analyze the data and extract key concerns/conclusions, to develop action plan to address these concerns, and a dissemination a plan.

  • Today, Maite is sharing the dissemination plan: a website (the data will be behind Netbadge; qualitative data not available because of anonymity issues), data will be available, presentations to Deans, to Faculty Senate, to institutional leadership, to BOV, and presented in meetings with school leadership and through discussion sessions for faculty.

  • Timeline: Deans/leadership (Feb 8); schools’ dean’s offices during February; Full Faculty Senate meeting (February 23); website made public (late February); town halls with faculty (March and April); summary to BOV (March).

  • Request for help from FS in advertising the virtual town halls; reaching out to faculty to get them interested in participating.


  • Ellen Bassett: is pleased to hear about the action-planning sessions. Last time, when data was presented, FS used it for subcommittee priorities. She doesn’t recall that last time the Provost Office had action planning – glad to hear that this is planned for this time. Show what we’ve done since the last survey.

  • Maite Brandt-Pearce: a slide included about action planning from 2016 survey and will be put on the website.

  • Kevin Lehmann: will there be a summary document about qualitative data, the issues that were raised? Narrative not captured by non-qualitative data.

  • Maite: we used word clouds to capture the themes in the narrative responses.

Joel Hockensmith: thanks Maite, we are moving on to the next topic.

President Ryan and Provost Magill:

Jim Ryan: the plan for next semester. An announcement will go out today that UVA is moving ahead with the plans already in place. There has been some discussion of the spring semester/move-in of students moving back a few weeks due to the increase in COVID but we decided to move ahead as planned, at the recommendation of our medical consultants. They have learned a lot from last semester to set us up well for this one. More testing is now able to test 5,000 saliva tests per day. Every student can be tested once per week. Faculty and staff can be tested. Community opportunities to test. There are lots of isolation rooms available. Not going to learn much by watching what other universities do, this time. Not much change in conditions by beginning of February. Students must have a negative test before they can come back to Grounds. Strict regulations regarding the size of gatherings. Maximum size is six people (first-years are in doubles and a maximum of five people may put them in an awkward position). New variants from UK and South Africa are more contagious: it’s a question of how predominate it becomes. We’ll have to adapt if the circumstances change. Insist that faculty/staff continue to abide by safety protocols regardless of their status of previously having COVID or getting the vaccine. Want to keep up social norm – keep wearing masks. Limit anxiety by not seeing people walking around without masks. Focused on coming up with a few points about importance of following safety protocols.

Liz Magill: The Governor announced Phase IB (people over 65 getting the vaccine). Discussions are ongoing with VDH. The goal has been to vaccinate as many as possible, for people who are eligible. Grace and compassion for those in the medical center who are making these decisions and communicating about the vaccine. We are doing the best we can with a tough job. VDH website update for people over 65, now moved up to IB category. Waiting to hear from Blue Ridge Health department about what that means for eligibility for vaccine. We should create a vaccine webpage with real-time updates. Have compassion for those in the positions in the Health System. And maintain calm as people work to administer the vaccine. Saliva tests can tell if the gene is absent – marker of the UK variant – will let us know and help identify the new variant. Might be able to assist the Commonwealth with understanding/identifying the new variant.


  • Kevin Lehmann.: Stanford gave out the vaccine to high-level employees vs. front line workers. How does UVA ensure that frontline workers get access to the vaccine first? Those who are not patient-facing in the SOM, is that being considered? What decisions are informing the roll-out of who gets the vaccine?

  • Liz Magill: not easy for logistics of rolling it out, scheduling, safety. Third prioritized were the non-clinical facing people. BIMS – high likelihood of interacting with those who are patient-facing due to location of labs/offices.  

  • Susan Kirk: not a perfect process but people have been doing the best they can to get the vaccine out quickly and equitably. No intention to not give it to people who want/need it. Lucky that vaccines all had at least one extra dose. No one has held back – there is a desire to get it out to the rest of UVA as quickly as possible – everyone is working on it.

  • Liz Magill: working with VDH to assist in vaccinating the community. Taking the community effort seriously and trying to help.

  • Kathryn Laughon: vaccine rollout has been fabulous. There were some glitches with the extra doses – logistical scramble. Everyone has been working hard and has been phenomenal. Question is non-COVID – search for SON Dean. Small pool of applicants. Is that going to open up this spring or push it off another year?

  • Liz Magill: we are watching the searches and this is on the forefront of our minds. It has not fallen to the back of the mind.

  • Jim Ryan: vaccine – “perfect” can be the enemy of “good.” Precision causes slowness. Approach is to get it as right as possible while also trying to deliver the vaccine as quickly as possible. More doses are going to go to areas that are moving quickly – moving quickly is a good way for us to continue to get more vaccine.

  • Jim Savage: 65 and over for those not in med center – when will that group get the vaccine?

  • Liz Magill: Phase IB is everyone over 65. As of yesterday, in the governor’s press conference. We were asked – who do you have in category IB? VDH has the data – waiting to be able to add those people. Not sure how that will be rolled out. We don’t know yet how they’ll make those decisions. We are suggesting what might be efficient – VDH is treating UVA as a close partner. We will announce it as soon as we know.

  • Jim Savage: teaching evaluation forms have changed. Issue about when they go to the P&T committee. New process, the evaluation data is 20 pages long – volume for each semester, each class. What was the process to make this decision?

  • Liz Magill: Maite and Archie worked on this.

  • Maite Brandt-Pearce: the evaluation is a pilot, a short-term solution because of the virus. Entering discussions about what the eventual evaluation form should look like. Appreciate the feedback about the length of the forms. Open ended questions work well for finding out how well the learning has gone. Talk offline about Jim’s feedback.

Joel Hockensmith: thanks to Liz and Jim. Any closing comments?

  • Liz Magill: “resistance is down” – we are tired – it is a tough time for all of us and those we work with. Acknowledge that. Build up your resistance in some way and spread acknowledgement that it is a tough moment. Grace and compassion are good things to have right now.

  • Jim Ryan: I echo that, and the fall was successful because of the feeling around the community that we were all in this together. That helped us. Hope is that we can keep that feeling going. Guard against the virus, rollout of vaccine.

Ryan and Magill left the meeting at 11:49am.

Approve Minutes from last meeting.
Joel Hockensmith: approved by General Consent. Any changes?
Rob Patterson: minor – spelling – page 3 and 4 McIntire School.
Joel Hockensmith: we will fix the spelling. No additional changes: Minutes declared approved with change to spelling, by General Consent.

Elections timetable.

  • Joel Hockensmith showed the dates from FS Bylaw on the screen.

  • Ellen Bassett: pointed out that voting does not happen until later. Normally notices out to schools to have them inform us of changes, by Feb 1. March 15 – deadline for telling us who new FS members are.

  • Joel Hockensmith: Opinions: when should we talk about elections for offices? Can we do them earlier? In the past, pressed for time when faculty are preparing exams and scoring exams. Do we need to wait until we know who the new members are? None of the new members are participating in the new process because they’re not members until June 1. Any strong options?

  • Ellen Bassett: we are rushed during figuring out the committee assignments in May. Moving them up a month or two would make formation of committees less stressful.

  • Peter Norton agrees.

  • Ellen Bassett: We could do committee assignments in April and be more relaxed.

  • Joel Hockensmith: there is nothing in bylaws, so it is up to the leaders to set date. Set time in March. March FS meeting would hear the statements from nominees. Week after the meeting, we would elect to all offices other than BOV. Any objections?

  • No objections – go forward based on General Consent.

  • Joel Hockensmith: feedback about website, closed captioning, FS Handbook – have not been addressed well in the past. How to fix that? Working with Brett Marshall for FS Handbook. Lists of dates can go into the handbook. Brett indexed the entire set of bylaws. Did not edit any of the text but did index and made fonts consistent throughout and adheres to ADA accessibility policy. Reformatting makes it easier to reference the bylaws.

  • Is there a problem doing it administratively? Does anyone object? It is an effort to reference the information quickly and move on.

  • Rob Patterson: was one version (shown on the screen) old? Brett changed heading fonts. Is that consistent? Checking to make sure the changes are all consistent.

  • Joel will move forward with this project. General Consent – any objections? (no objections).

Proposed resolution (Ellen Bassett) (Appended below):

  • In the last six months, recurring topic at BOV. Fossil fuels investment driven in part by students – how would we have a conversation with the Faculty Senate about this topic? Joel suggested a resolution, which Ellen created.

  • Joel Hockensmith: the resolution forces discussion – we can decide whether or not to take it to the full Faculty Senate. Or organize a town hall or panel discussion? General ideas – getting it out on the table. We don’t need to vote on it but should have a discussion about it.

  • Ellen Bassett read the resolution to the attendees.

  • Joel Hockensmith: the resolution is the motion; can we have a second? There was a second from Alan Beckenstein.

  • Alan Beckenstein: there is complexity behind the broad demands. The people in the industry are doing research for environmental change. The student factor is uncomfortable. Complicated. He prefers we do our own work in the area, utilizing some of the students’ points of view.

  • Jim Savage: wants to see some financial impact from University. State budget is suffering and will for a while. Funding comes from stocks. Before we openly call for an outcome, should do some research on the impact, financially. Cost benefit analysis before endorsing an outcome.

  • Kevin Lehmann: it is an empty, feel-good proposal that has no positive impact. Oil companies will not be impacted from UVA not buying stock. Should maybe buy more stock so can have more impact on decision in the companies. Remembers conflicts where gas availability crisis occurred. Wrong approach to problem.

  • Peter Norton:  thanks to Ellen and the students. This is important; it is symbolic and symbols count. Research on divestment. We are teachers of students who will inherent the earth from us and the prognosis looks grim. We owe it to them to do what we can. We want to see the Faculty Senate begin action. This can’t get close to accomplishing substantial change, but we need lots of smaller steps like this to accomplish the goals.

  • Joel Hockensmith: any other comments?

  • Ellen Bassett: embrace the complexity and divergent options and discuss what the Faculty Senate can do. There is great expertise within the faculty who might want to debate this. A town hall or some sort of panel discussion. Ethics of investment. (examples of faculty who are well conformed about these topics/issues.) Suggestion: see if this is something we should address as an agenda item and engage faculty in discussion/debate.

  • Joel Hockensmith: issue, what are we doing as a Faculty Senate body. Not convinced that the Faculty Senate is the right forum. Town halls sponsored by Faculty Senate.

  • Jim Savage: if Ellen’s suggested faculty come as a panel, could some help with cost-analysis. Likes the idea of having a debate. Proposal should address negatives and positives. Encourage the debate. Need to recognize the complexity.

  • Kevin Lehmann: climate change is an existential threat to modern civilization. Would like to see this broadened to “what should UVA do?” we need to have impact, not just have a symbolic statement. Companies are not the problem, it’s the consumers who are the problem.

  • Joel Hockensmith: what is the recommended path forward? Do we want to do something about this?

  • Alan Beckenstein: I like Ellen’s proposal to pick it up as an important issue. Utilizing the faculty experts Ellen proposed. It is great that it came up here. Political issue – one political party doesn’t recognize the threat of climate change. If FS engages, dragged into those kinds of debates. Running the debate within the FS and using the student points or engaging it. Suspect that faculty might engage well in the debate.

  • Peter Norton: matter on a full FS agenda in some form.

  • Rob Patterson: echoes sentiments and pointed out that if we engage, we look at this as a dialectic. People who could be supporting of a certain view. We should also have people looking at this with a pragmatic point of view – do not leave those voices out because that’s important to hear too. Hollow without that rigorous debate. Could take to full FS or revisit in EXCO to expand it.

  • Joel Hockensmith: many faculty would be interested in this issue. We should go to FS as a body and bring up topic. Resolution is from EXCO but should go to full FS. We have others who could jump in and help pull together a session quickly. Next FS meeting: short discussion on how to set up a debate or panel discussion on this topic.

  • Ellen Bassett: wanted to get student rep to BOV to hear directly from student perspective.

  • Rasheed Balogun: EXCO could have specific questions that would need to be answered by expert panel. Important to have a charge and have questions that would need to be answered. EXCO might be able to give guidance. Most people believe that this is a negative thing happening to planet. The other perspectives are important. Experts may give high-level discussions for their positions, but we need to have consensus about what we believe as group.

  • Ellen Bassett: structuring the panel is helpful. A classic debate might be a good idea. Idea is to start the conversation and inform ourselves by tapping into our faculty expertise.

  • Joel Hockensmith: educate the ignorant. Educate each other. Groups would pay attention – administrators, BOV, students. No action taken today, no vote. But will bring this to Full FS for discussion. No objections.

  • Ellen Bassett: if you know people who are experts, send me those names so I can organize around the faculty who have interest in the topic.

Standing Committee representation:

  • Joel Hockensmith: some committees have a Faculty Senate representative on them. (Colonnade Club, Athletic Advisory, Organizational Excellence Leadership Council.) What does EXCO want to do with these committees?

  • Jim Savage: issued every year? Should go to Full FS, not just EXCO.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: wouldn’t let them languish. Sure, there is interest in FS, for serving. Would take time to add this to FS. Ask for volunteers and let EXCO decide.

  • Joel Hockensmith: nominations come in to nominating committee. No vote needed. Just pass them on.

  • Ellen Bassett: nominations committee – it would be easy. Does that work for the bodies, the timing?

  • Joel Hockensmith: knowing the time of transition would make it easier to step down.

  • Rob Patterson: what is the timing for Athletics committee?

  • Joel Hockensmith: the committees have a prompt because they know the timeline in the FS. They ask for who the new nomination would be. We need to move on but think about it. Will probably bring it to full FS.

Committee Reports:

  • Nominating committee - Ellen Bassett:

    • Gifts Committee - Sarah Stewart Ware and Steven Culp.

    • EXCO at large: Andy Pennock and Carol Manning.

    • BOV: only one name submitted: Joel Hockensmith.

    • Chair Elect: Tish Jennings.

    • Parliamentarian: Ellen has asked committee to find some people to agree to be that person.

  • Rob Patterson: applaud your efforts to find Parliamentarian. Can we have some continuity for that. Could find a staff person who has expertise in that area? Helps and smooths out the process.

  • Joel Hockensmith: bylaws, Parliamentarian can be from outside the Faculty Senate but if they are from within, they can participate in voting.

  • Jim Savage: the College has an institutional person – might want to communicate with them to see who that person is. He will let Ellen Bassett know who that person is.

BOV Report: (Ellen Bassett)

  • She read her report which is posed in the appendix, below.

  • Academic Affairs: no new information to report.

  • DEI: no new information to report.

  • Grievance: no new information to report.

  • FRRRW: Alan Beckenstein. Listening post – had a lot of response. Did anything have any reactions to the usefulness of that activity?

  • Joel Hockensmith: I don't have any sense, negative or positive.

  • Alan: should we do it again? Sometime later in the year? Suggestions about what options to solicit from the faculty.

  • Finance: Jim Savage: we've only had one meeting, it was brief.

  • Policy: Peter Norton: thanks to Ellen on BOV Report. Reviewing minor policies. One major policy – Maite – academic general faculty policy. A comprehensive review process is beginning again. Welcomes input about the policy. It is worth taking a look. PROV-004 is the policy – can search for it online. Will report back as process proceeds because it will take time to review it. Welcome your advice along the way.

  • Ellen Bassett: 40 pages of feedback – could we look at that?

  • Peter Norton: that is not a private report. Nothing in the reports was acted upon but we got the attention of Maite and they will try again. He will ask first.

  • Joel Hockensmith: could you post them on UVA box so that people can follow the link to get to them.

  • Kevin Lehmann had to leave but said that RTS committee has been inactive except for COI policy that they are working on.

Agenda items for January 29 Faculty Senate meeting. What to add?

  • Peter Norton: gift committee arrangement open for conversation. Prudent to conclude that discussion – what the President and Provost agreed to is less than what the FS requested. Is this part of the expected compromise or do we ask for more?

  • Jim Savage: statement about the finances and budget system of UVA. Potential for faculty salary increases. Statement about where the university stands financial. President/Provost or they could bring someone to FS – leave it up to them to report on that. Are people in jeopardy, what is the status of the general faculty?

  • Rob Patterson: Melody Bianchetto or Anda Webb – up on the budget details, to speak. Could have one of those people or someone else who is an expert to come speak on their behalf to give an update on status.

  • Ellen Bassett: JJ Davis might be willing to attend. BOV tuition discussion has been put off because of COVID.

Joel Hockensmith called the end of the meeting at 12:58.

APPENDIX: Proposed resolution for consideration by UVA Faculty Senate
(Submitted by Ellen Bassett)

Whereas climate change represents an existential threat to the future of humanity and myriad

Whereas the continued burning of fossil fuels and continued investment in fossil fuel industries
exacerbates the climate crisis and its deadly, irreversible consequences;

Whereas the University of Virginia has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality for university
operations by 2030, but has thus far shown no commitment to stop investing in the fossil fuel
industry in its own portfolio;

Whereas UVA students concerned about the climate crisis and its impact upon their and the
planet's future have organized as Divest U.Va and called upon the University and its leadership
to commit to fossil fuel divestment;

Therefore, be it resolved that the University of Virginia Faculty Senate Executive Council
endorses the call put forth by Divest U.Va to disclose the current amount of investment in said
industry and fully divest any and all fossil fuel investments. We urge the University to reposition
our investments in industries that are sustainable and climate enhancing. This action is long
overdue and in keeping with the University’s declared intent to be both “great” and “good.”


Article by Prof. Willis Jenkins (Religious Studies) on divestment. (Attached)

Worried about performance? An article from Global Finance Journal (attached.)

APPENDIX: Report to the ExCo/Faculty Senate: BOV meeting held December 10-11 January 15, 2021 By Ellen Bassett, Faculty Representative to the BOV

On Thursday, December 10th, there was a half day Health System Board Meeting. At this meeting, there were reports from Dr. Kent (EVP for Health Affairs), Ms. Wendy Horton (the chief operating officer of the medical center), the Deans of the Schools of Medicine and Nursing also provided reports. As with the main meeting, a major agenda item was the financial state of the health system; for the health system this report covered the first three months of the fiscal year. Notably, Dr. Susan Kirk (AKA our Chair Elect) presented the information on the Annual Institutional Review for Graduate Medical Education. What really impressed me was the work by graduate medical education relating to diversity and inclusion and the success in recruiting interns, residents and fellows from under-represented groups. Also Dr. Ambati, who received some early SIF funding, provided a very interesting presentation on the work of his lab in taking established drugs and repurposing them as preventive and curative therapies for different chronic diseases. His earliest work focused on macular degeneration, which afflicted my father later in his life—so I found this work particularly compelling.

Friday, December 11th was a full day for the board with all the sub-committees reporting. A few highlights to report:

- University audit was just completed by the Auditor of Public Accounts of the Commonwealth. Findings were extremely positive.
- Buildings and Grounds: Three major projects were presented by the Office of the Architect – the Inn at Darden redevelopment (Smith Hall) and the School of Data Science building at the Emmet Ivy Corridor corner. Changes to the Athletics Grounds were also covered.
- The College at Wise – Strategic plan discussed. Prof. Cahoon, their faculty consulting member, gave a really compelling overview of what it means to teach there, highlighting in particularly the first gen mission and the transformative impact that teaching can have. He is stepping down from this role. UVA Wise also has incentivized early retirement; 33 faculty will be eligible for the program. These vacated positions will remain vacant for rest of FY 2021.
- Advancement presented the office’s adjustment to fundraising in the period of Covid19. Zoom has been very effectively utilized with some of the best attendance ever witnessed. 470 digital events since mid-March 2020.
- Two deans presented. Dean Alex Hernandez, the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, discussed on-line education and what factors might shape UVA’s online strategy going forward. Dean Nicole Jenkins presented the McIntire School of Business Strategic Plan. A tagline that was of interest to me -- “Commerce for the Common Good.” This theme was underlined by interesting new curricular offerings and programs.
- Both the Provost and the President spoke as well. The President revisited his Priorities for AY 2020-21. COVID 19, of course, remains a top management priority and at the meeting the milestones in our Spring through Fall response (e.g., saliva testing) were reviewed. We have performed really well compared to other university metros in terms of managing the virus and having low levels of outbreaks in our student body and the broader community. See graphic below.

If you wish to learn more about the meeting by watching it, UVA has a YouTube channel for the BOV .