Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes - Tuesday August 11, 2020

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Zoom Virtual Meeting


Joel Hockensmith (chair), Hanadi Al-Samman, Rasheed Balogun, Ellen Bassett, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Linda Duska, James Fitz-Gerald, Natasha Heller, Bob Hirosky, Tish Jennings, Susan Kirk, Kathryn Laughon, Kevin Lehmann, Elizabeth Magill, Carol Manning, Susan Modesitt, Peter Norton, Robert Patterson, James Savage, Sarah Ware, Derick Williams

Admin Support: Ashley Ayers, School of Medicine

Meeting agenda:

  1. Reconvene following break from 3:30-4:30 pm meeting of Faculty Senate with Provost.
  2. Call to Order and opening remarks – Chair Hockensmith (4:40-4:44 pm)
  3. Approve meeting minutes of June 3, 2020
  4. Committee Reports (4:45-5:15 pm)
    1. Academic Affairs
    2. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
    3. Faculty Grievance
    4. Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Retirement & Welfare
    5. Finance
    6. Policy
    7. Research, Teaching & Scholarship
    8. Recommendations of Ad Hoc Committee on By-Law Revisions for Representation to the BOV
  5. Review preceding session with Provost. Urgent points to be addressed in our second session with the Provost? (5:15-5:30 pm)
  6. Provost rejoins (5:30-?)
  7. Chair – Conflict of Interest (if time)
  8. Any other business
  9. 6:00 p.m. Adjourn

Meeting Notes:

The meeting was called to order at 4:43pm by FS Chair Joel Hockensmith. He pointed out chair neutrality unless there is a tied vote. He is a dedicated spokesperson. He has a good working relationship with the President and Provost; good for the FS for the upcoming year to be able to work with the administration to have more shared governance, more than in the past. Examples: President’s Task Force on early retirement; Faculty Senate, is it nimble?; can it move quickly? (historically FS has not moved quickly). Policy on student relationships with faculty.
Administration should work with FS, not decree decisions. Jim Savage: there is a policy from the 90s.
Joel: Should FS create policy (in the past, shut down by administration)? Now there is an opportunity to do that. There may be changes coming.

Regarding the approval of the June FS Minutes:
Aaron moved to approve, Ellen seconded.
Joel: any discussion? Raise your virtual hand if you approve the minutes 13 hands raised.
No opposed.

Academic Affairs Committee Report
Aaron: the state mandates certain program closures but they still have to go through AC vote. Should there be further discussion in EXCO or Faculty Senate? Insufficient enrollment closes down a program, by state mandate. Programs are reviewed every 10 years.

Ellen: FS can be an ally for faculty; a counter to the departments that might be under review of the administration.

Aaron: what can the role of the FS be? Some departments are critical to the institution that might want to be closed that should not be closed. If state mandates it do we still review it? What happens if they vote note to close program?

Joel: what is the timeline? Can Aaron walk through it?

Aaron: said he could bring it back to the group after investigating it. The FS plays a vital role, but he doesn’t want to burden FS with decisions they can't affect.

Susan: does a counted vote help a program? Is there an appeals process? Is there a way to qualitatively say to a school “are you ok with this closing?” and they say “yes” no need to go through the process. But having FS support if it is valuable could be useful.

Aaron: SCHEV and Archie’s office work together if a program isn’t meeting guidelines, then if a decision is made after that review to still cancel, there is no further appeals process.

Joel: what do you want from EXCO?
Aaron: suggestions about how to best handle this. For the future. Setting the wrong precedent. But what could the FS do in this case? Also, workload.

Ellen: would like to know more about the procedure. Wants FS to play a role in the decision making.

Joel: catch these things early. Up to Provost Office to encourage depts. to work toward the right decision. Work with Archie. Complicated – sometimes departments negotiate giving up some programs to keep others. Scenarios are not always clean. Difficult to tell AAC what to do without knowing details of each specific case.

Aaron: chair or unit write a letter. He will investigate. Possibly, if head of department/program is comfortable with closing, then it goes through. If not, full conversation about it. Or AAC reviews all of them?

Joel: how many per year?

Aaron: 6 on the chopping block, this year.

Joel: Archie can tell you if voice carries weight. SCHEV mandates, BOV votes. Send comments to Aaron.
Final thoughts: Aaron will collect more info and talk to Archie, then report back to EXCO.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee Report:
Natasha: drafted a simple resolution in support of the Racial Equity Task Force Final Report.

Joel: asked who read it in advance. Then asked, can everyone read it by Monday and then a motion can go out? Do we need another EXCO meeting to decide?

Natasha: the report had basic resolutions that FS should support.

Joel: shared the document on the screen for the group to review. RETF Fac Sen resolution. Meeting members read the resolution.

Susan: can EXCO voting happen electronically? After everyone has read it? Joel: yes, voting can occur electronically. He could set up a vote in collab.
Ellen: the recommendations are being endorsed. She wants to put it up for voting. Alan: the word “center” –what does that mean?

Natasha: racial equity has been a sideline project of the institution, but it needs to be at the center of that work. It is a call for university to center this work in all that they do.

Ellen: Motion to accept the written document. Aaron seconded.
Alan: doesn’t like the word “center:

Use the word FOCUS.

Peter: recommended striking out the last paragraph. The content is already implicit in the resolution. Natasha supports this recommendation.

Aniko: it is important to have a declaration that faculty should have racial equity at the forefront of the work that they do.

Kathryn and Ellen: important, committing to do something. Joel: is there a motion to amend or table?
Jim: uncomfortable voting without first reading the document. Asked: can there be a motion to give a deadline to vote so that people can read document? By Friday?

Aniko: put forth a motion to change final sentence “The Faculty Senate sees racial equity as central to its work.

Alan: seconded the motion.

Kevin: proposed dropping the first paragraph. Empty sentence. Implies we only have responsibility because of our history.

Joel: when can we next get together? Next week?

Natasha: we should issue a resolution in support BEFORE BOV meeting.

Susan: the resolution is important and FS endorsement is important. Full FS should be able to endorse, rather than just EXCO.

Full Faculty Senate doesn’t meet until September.

Kathryn: EXCO should issue timely manner responses, this is what EXCO should be doing.

Ellen: re: first paragraph, we do have a special responsibility to advocate because of our past. It doesn’t hurt to acknowledge that.

Vote to amend: 11 for; 2 opposed; none abstained. The amendment passed.
Joel: is there a motion to postpone a vote on this until Friday by 9am Rob motioned; Alan seconded.

James: send out with TF statement with amended version of the statement. Joel: Friday at 9am, he will send out amended version of the statement.

Recommendations of Ad Hoc Committee on By-Law Revisions for Representation to the BOV
Sarah: in summary, the committee was given charge to draft rules for BOV faculty representative. (She stated the committee members.) Provision A. nominating committee produces three candidates, one is the chair and two others from committee. Provision B. limits nominees to current senators. Provision C. candidate statements. Provision D. Electronic polling. Provision E. reporting to BOV. The committee looked at rules in BOV guide and state statute – BOV may appoint non-voting faculty rep but they don’t have to. Sarah asked if there were any questions.

Sarah moved, Susan seconded

Kevin: if the person has been appointed in their final year, can they sit on EXCO as a non- senator?

Joel: there is nothing in bylaws that affects that; nothing specified. Sarah: past chair’s term is extended to cover this. Could add.
Ellen: voting would be a key issue. Susan: Ellen, what is your opinion?
Ellen: she can vote because she’s past chair. If split in roles, the member shouldn’t be voting member but if senator, then should.

17 members on EXCO.

Carol: an even number makes voting more difficult

Susan: non-voting member of BOV and bringing info back to EXCO. Two separate roles. Ex official role to EXCO, value instead of voting member.

Joel: the committee will suspend this discussion while Liz is on the call. Then finish after she leaves.
Provost re-joins the group:
Joel: asks Provost if she wants to finish anything from earlier meeting? Liz: no
Joel: opens up the meeting for any questions from the group to the Provost.

Ellen: Andy P., bringing up the clipping issue. Really interesting to think about. Virtual learning Joel: no filming of team based learning because students are on tape. Violation of student personal rights. Suggested that Liz might go to the SOM for current policy. Avoiding putting student on spot in that way.

Jim: state institution with state funding. What will happen to UVA? Faculty sabbaticals, leave. Not allowed to go?

Liz: because of the state cares act, the state can’t cut appropriation to higher ed more than 15%. Model was between 6-8% reductions. They still don’t know but likely to know in August. She expects that it’s going to be less than that. State is sitting on cash. Students not in dining halls, auxiliary departments that make their own funding, tuition issues. Less worried about state budget cut than they were earlier. Expenses related to COVID.

Kevin: for the students living in dorms, there are dorms assigned for isolation, if needed. For students living in private housing, there is no option for isolation. In the Charlottesville community, they live with multiple people.

Liz: we have 25, 000 students and 6,900 live in UVA residences. Focus on those that live on Grounds. 1,500 have opted out of their housing contract because they’re staying home. We are hoping to meet off-campus demand for students who need to quarantine (who live in the community). The demand is unpredictable. We are learning definitions and learning around the issue.

Natasha: is UVA assisting how to help parents with children in public schools that are home for half a semester? This will be difficult for faculty parents. Some may not be comfortable with available babysitting options. What are the creative solutions?

Liz: staff are also thinking about this, it’s important for both faculty and staff. Many are very concerned. Administration is working on it but welcome solution suggestions. They’re trying to expand UVA daycare capacity. Back in the spring, UVA used a sitting service that a lot of people used, but it was expensive. Coordination problem – 1,000s of people have the same issue. Coordinating them to come together. Please send your ideas.

Susan: the medical school has been affected from the beginning. There are no good answers. It’s been hard. Expanding daycares and back up care sitters.

Liz: for the 11 schools without clinical care, managers are encouraged to be flexible on work location and hours. Rules are relaxed during a state of emergency and no telecommuting rules enforced.

Carol: Committee on Women had a recent event around what to do about parenting – there are notes there. JJ was there. Not great solutions. How can you teach your children when you’re also working? UVA Health is revising its telework policy. Is UVA doing that?

Liz: we are revised it by relaxing it. Not enforcing the policies. It should be formally communicated that the policies are relaxed.

Joel: goodbye Liz. Thanks for your time. Provost left the meeting at 5:53.

Recommendations of Ad Hoc Committee on By-Law Revisions for Representation to the BOV, continued
Joel: the motion from Sarah’s committee has been seconded. We don’t have to vote in this meeting, we can do online if you choose.

Susan: ex officio on EXCO or a voting member? Sarah – does it specify?

Joel: a faculty senator is on the BOV. If it’s the past chair, chair gets an extra year, precedence for extra year.

Sarah: if they’re sitting on EXCO should they have a vote? Written as in they should have a vote. Rep is always ex officio.

Joel: why wouldn’t I want them to vote?

Sarah: you could argue that it makes sense for them to have a voice.

Susan: chairs of committees doing work of faculty senate, can see why they would have a vote on EXCO. No equivalent vote on BOV.

Joel: this has to go to full Faculty Senate, so EXCO is just advancing it to that point. Has to have a 2/3 vote to pass.

Rob: the person who takes on the BOV role takes on a significant role. More responsibility than potentially an at large member. It is a time commitment.

Peter: it would be worth modifying the bylaw proposal so that it’s clear whether the rep has a vote on EXCO or not. He thinks FS should send one person to BOV. He disagrees with the reasons for sending three people. Recommends sending only one person. Should be the faculty choice.

Jim: also agrees about only sending one, they should be able to pick the person they want. Doesn’t represent interest of faculty.

Carol: they get to pick who they want anyway. The FS provides three people who they all feel comfortable with. Their recommended best choices.

Sarah: the power of that person (the rep) is the ability to be persuasive. BOV has to be willing to listen to that person. The impact is that. This method honors BOV request for a choice, but the choices are from within the Faculty Senate’s vetted choices.

Carol: it is working with the BOV but still having a voice.

Kevin: shouldn’t put three names forward but makes a difference as to how the vote is structured?

Joel: we are at the end of the meeting time. We should not have a vote today. He’ll put up a vote on Friday morning to ask about whether or not to advance this issue to the Faculty Senate or not.

He thanked Sarah and the committee’s work.

We could do more business. Can we have a one hour meeting next Tuesday at 5pm? There are other issues; reports from the other committees that we didn’t get to. For example, the written document on Conflict of Interest (COI).

Ellen: BOV booklet hasn’t been updated to reflect that there is a FS has a member. Joel: we are building relationships this year with BOV and with Provost, President, etc. Will ask for meeting from 5-6 next Tuesday
Meeting adjourned at 6:08pm.