Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, EXCO - April 9, 2021


Joel Hockensmith (chair), Ellen Bassett, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Maite Brandt-Pearce, Linda Duska, Stephen Farmer, James Fitz-Gerald, Peter Hallowell, Bob Hirosky, Tish Jennings, Susan Kirk, Kathryn Laughon, Kevin Lehmann, Elizabeth Magill, Carol Manning, Susan Modesitt, Rob Patterson, Andrew Pennock, James Savage

Guests: Mike Citro; Brett Marshall

Administrative support: Ashley Ayers; A closed captioner

Meeting agenda:

  1. Convene and Call to Order – FS Chair Hockensmith
  2. Approve minutes
    1. EXCO 3/11/2021
  3. Committee on Free Expression & Free Inquiry – Cmte member/FS Chair-elect Kirk
  4. Three deliberative issues:
    1. DEI Committee – Chair Jennings
      1. Legacy considerations in UVa Admissions - posted
      2. Provost Magill expects to attend @ 10:15-10:45 a.m.
      3. Steve Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment will also join us.
      4. Possible Motion:
        1. Eliminate consideration of legacy and being a child of a faculty member in the admissions process OR
        2. Conduct an audit of the admissions process to gather data necessary to address DEI questions
      5.  Goal: To place “Legacy” in the context of other Diversity, Equity and Inclusion matters and advance any recommendations to the full Faculty Senate
    2. Motion from RTS Committee – Co-chairs Hirosky & Lehmann
      1. Conflict of Interest Statement - posted
      2. Goal: Refer statement from EXCO to full Faculty Senate
    3. Open Access policy at UVa – FS Chair Hockensmith
      1. “Open Access” Document – posted
      2. From the desk of the FS Chair – Requires a motion to consider document and a second.*
      3. Goal:  Garner input and perspective in preparation of moving the deliberation to the full Faculty Senate.
  5. Possible Committee Actions
    1. Academic Affairs – Cmte Chair Bloomfield
  6. Agenda for April 23rd Faculty Senate Meeting
  7. Other business
  8. Noon – Adjourn

*In general, it is commonly accepted that the primary individual making a motion should support the motion.  The “second” does not have to be a supporter but is someone who believes that the organization would benefit from a discussion/deliberation of the elements contained within the motion.

Meeting Notes:

Quorum met; Joel Hockensmith called the meeting to order at 10:00am.< br /> Note: meeting will be ending at 11:58, in observance of moment of silence for enslaved laborers.

Approval of EXCO Minutes from 3/11/2021: no changes/corrections; no objections. Minutes were approved by General Consent.

Committee on Free Expression and Free Inquiry (presented by Susan Kirk)

  • UVA thought it was important to have a statement on free expression/inquiry

  • Modeled after University of Chicago

  • Not going to be able to see it until the final draft form but they are actively soliciting feedback from students.

  • Question: what is the best forum to solicit feedback from other stakeholders, such as faculty? A townhall? An EXCO meeting with Leslie Kendrick?

  • Tish Jennings: what are they doing to collect data from students? Needs to be equitable.

  • Susan Kirk: I don’t know. Alan Groves is on the committee and he is an expert on first amendment constitutional law. The other form of input is unsolicited input. By a letter to the committee. I could find out more detail about how input is being solicited from students.

  • Tish Jennings: this is an example of a barrier in terms of how we communicate with the faculty; the faculty should receive a heads up.

  • Joel: we do have a way to do that, the faculty mass mailing list. We can include a statement in that communication if someone drafts it.

  • Susan Kirk: I will send UChicago’s statement. Will give EXCO an idea of what they are moving toward. I will find out how Leslie is soliciting input from students.

  • Tish Jennings: could we set up a Qualtrics survey to get faculty input (and include it on the mass mailing note)?

  • Kevin Lehmann: a town hall meeting sounds like the best option. EXCO should not take this on.

  • Joel Hockensmith: would a town hall meeting the week after the next FS meeting work?

  • Susan Kirk: I don’t think it would be too late to do it then. Final decision will be with the committee. I will send an email to EXCO if she doesn’t hear from Leslie by the end of the meeting.

  • Joel Hockensmith: could send mass mail message, send info about town hall meeting, could send Qualtrics survey. Once Susan brings back word from the committee.

Legacy Admissions (presented by Liz Magill, Steve Farmer, Tish Jennings)

  • Liz Magill: introducing Steve Farmer, First VP of Enrollment. Goal is to bring together three offices: Admissions, Registrar, Student Financial Services, to have student services operate seamlessly. Steve comes to us from University of North Carolina, he performed this same role at UNC.

  • Tish Jennings: legacy introduction: the committee is focused on making efforts to reduce privileges that give some students advantages over others: legacy admissions and children of faculty members. Committee proposed that legacy admissions be discontinued. Met with Steve Farmer when he first came into his role. Lack of information around the probability of the privileges and how they benefit students. Don’t know when legacy status started. Do not have data around what this means. Either eliminate these privileges or conduct an audit. We want to learn more about how these things work.

  • Steve Farmer: we must become equitable and inclusive, over time. Data can inform and/or mislead. UVA does not directly ask students about if their parents attended UVA, no “legacy” box. But we do ask a lot of question about the student’s parents/family. Trying to build a portrait of the student. There is a question about asking if a sibling is applying – helpful to know, regarding admission. Can information about where the parent attended college matter? Yes, it can matter. No formula or fixed set of criteria – the admission committee uses a holistic and comprehensive evaluation process. It can matter but doesn’t always matter. Not the dominate fact in decisions related to admissions. Hard to describe how much it matters because it is part of the whole story. Students are not “types” are “categories”; they are people. Informs how they are evaluated in forming UVA community. No separate process for children of alumni. Alumni children make up 6% of this year’s UVA candidates and 10% of offers of admission.

  • Tish Jennings: does the form ask if parents attended UVA?

  • Steve Farmer: the form does ask where their parents went to college. That’s where they find out.

  • Does the Alumni Association have a way to support those children?

  • Steve Farmer: they talk to alumni children broadly, not specifically about admission to UVA (Lily West would know more) but this is not connected with Admissions Office, it is a service of Alumni Association.  

  • Tish Jennings: how does this fit into bigger scheme of admissions in higher ed? Other public/private institutions.

  • Steve Farmer: “Common Data Set Initiative” collects data across institutions: alumni relations. Almost all of the public 4-year universities in Virginia say they consider alumni relations. Of UVA’s 25 SCHEV sanctioned peer-institutions; 13 of them say they consider alumni relations.

  • Jim Savage: could you send us the 10-year data on test scores, gender, ethnicity, geography? It is required that 2/3 of students come from Virginia. Where do the others come from? Trend line.

  • Steve Farmer: institutional research and analytics have a lot of data on admissions and enrollment. Doesn’t have test scores. But can get data for some of the things you’re asking for.

  • Steve Farmer: there are interesting things hiding in the categories we use to describe students. Categories don’t do justice to the complexity of the students.  

  • Bob Hirosky: difficulty at looking at data. Can’t look in a one-dimensional format. Have to look at correlations. Tish, is there an implication that is coming out of your committee? Or are we talking about particular information requests?

  • Tish Jennings: it’s really about transparency. It’s difficult to consider something if you don’t have the data. How can we ensure that the policies aren’t privileging anyone, without looking at the data?

  • Joel Hockensmith: legacy box – comes across as a legacy question, to ask where the parents went to college. How is the information of value to admissions, other than legacy?

  • Steve Farmer: application readers want to understand students at their fullest. Trying to understand the paths students have traveled as they enter our door. The question is a fair one.

  • Joel Hockensmith: consider what is the appearance of what is being done.

  • Rasheed Balogun: There has been some touchy/sensitive issue nationally in medical school admissions regarding black applicants. Some argue that recent African immigrants ought to be considered as a separate cohort from African Americans that have had a lineage of enslaved ancestors. Is this being discussed at undergrad level as well? and if so, do you have a position?

  • Steve Farmer: we see students as a unique combination of different attributes; no two of them are exactly the same.

  • Kathryn Laughon: Alumni Association support: that support is wonderful and effective. They meet with students in their high school years. Meet with them twice. Seems like a leg up. Alumni kids moving off the wait list. Would be interesting to hear how Alumni Association interacts with the Admissions office.

  • Joel Hockensmith: the perception is that the Alumni Association is a part of the University. Maybe Steve’s office should consider that in the future. How things appear and how to control the appearance.

  • Steve Farmer: Lily West would be glad to come and talk to EXCO. We have a lot of work to do to strengthen the student body and make the students we have feel like they belong. I’m here to help improve the University – and strengthen the diversity of the University.

  • Joel Hockensmith: any action from DEI, Tish?

  • Tish Jennings: I’ll take it back to my committee.

  • Joel Hockensmith: that box is a check box. Maybe DEI could look at that and make a recommendation. Send a note to Liz and Steve and ask them to keep us updated on what they’re doing.

  • Tish Jennings: resolution: to eliminate asking for the name of the university where parents went to UVA.

  • Joel Hockensmith: the resolution can go to full FS, as part of “other business”

  • Bob Hirosky: ambivalent about the check box issue. Fine to remove it. Any student who comes from a legacy, family loves UVA. These students will always describe this connection in their statements on the application. Removing the box is a perception thing. But it is not a bad thing if people love the institution.

  • Kevin Lehmann: asking only, “did your parents go to college” – includes both those who had a year at community college and those who event to Harvard Law.

  • Jim Savage: can we see an actual application form? Could be useful to see it to see what data are being collected.

Conflict of Interest Statement

  • Joel Hockensmith: Any discussion of that statement? The goal is to be able to move it to the full Faculty Senate.

  • Susan Kirk: wants more time to review the statement.

  • Kevin Lehmann: committee meeting happened to review the document from Joel, edited by Susan. Some minor but significant changes made. Online committee voted and approved it.

  • Joel Hockensmith: does anyone object to move it to full Faculty Senate for discussion, during the April meeting? No objections so it was declared approved by General Consent to move it for discussion in full Faculty Senate meeting.

Open Access Policy

  • Joel Hockensmith: if faculty don’t take action soon, we are defaulting to allowing the administration/library/finances drive the direction we go.

  • Ellen Bassett: made a motion that it is discussed

  • Kevin Lehmann: seconded the motion. There was discussion about the policy in the RTS committee meeting. It is both an aspirational and detailed statement – come concern in the committee meeting about that. Different disciplines having different traditions and infrastructure, how to merge.

  • Bob Hiroski: my discipline has been doing this for more than two decades. International. Committee forming in the library to discuss.

  • Joel Hockensmith: the library is prepared to support this policy.

  • Ellen Bassett: the dean of the library called out the Faculty Senate for not moving the open access forward.

  • Tish Jennings: I like the document; I think it’s a good idea. Good idea to ask for a waiver.

  • Joel Hockensmith: Brian Pusser, credit for creation of the 2010 FS document: which functions as an “opt-in” document. The  document today is an “opt-out” document. One of the issues here is education.

  • Tish Jennings: the resistance has been the concern with paying the fees. The document is not forcing anyone to pay any fees. People should be educated to understand that.

  • Joel Hockensmith: should this item be moved to full Faculty Senate for discussion? No objections so it passed by General Consent to move the document on to full Faculty Senate for discussion.

Academic Affairs (presented by Aaron Bloomfield)

  • Two discontinuations that need to go to EXCO: credentials in the education school in administration and supervision. Education School is asking for discontinuation, AAC passed anonymously. Now goes to EXCO for approval.

  • Robert Patterson; process was not fully aligned. Program was halted before the school reached out to Provost and notified AAC. We should remind schools and units of the process that needs to be followed.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: they just stopped admitting people to the program. The remaining students are graduating this May and now the school is saying they want to discontinue the programs. The school can just stop admitting students to the programs. Agreed: it is a problem. When the new VPA is in place, we can we chat with him/her about how to approach a solution.

  • Rob Patterson: could be implications that if we don’t do it the right way, CHEV/accreditation bodies could say that the process wasn’t followed. Makes the work of AAC meaningless if the process isn’t followed.

  • Joel Hockensmith: it’s up to AAC to come up with a solution.

  • Susan Kirk: how much of a problem was this before Archie left? Is it a growing problem? New VPA will be in place before the start of the next academic year. Could sit down with that person to review process.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: I don’t recall seeing this before in my time on the committee.

  • Tish Jennings: which department? Administration? We have the specialist degree for teachers who are already working but there is additional training for which they reecive credit. Could see that programs become obsolete and sometimes people stop registering for them.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: partly, interest was waning; partially the school was pushing people to the other credentials. Best thing is for the committee to report back, but can’t be done yet, because have to have a conversation with new VPA. But it is good for these two programs to be discontinued.

  • Joel Hockensmith: does anyone object to the AAC recommendation? No objections so the recommendation was approved by General Consent.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: competitive admissions process. Underrepresented minorities; competitive admissions, killing diversity efforts. Brought up a larger concern: how do these actions affect diversity. Thinking of adding in a DEI clause. Committee is looking into getting this clause established by the end of this year, for it to be in place by next year.

  • Joel Hockensmith: it is a good reflection on Faculty Senate that we catch things like that.

  • Ellen Bassett: involved in that minor. Worried about the lack of diversity in this field. Glad to see that the statement is being brought forward.

  • Tish Jennings: appreciate this; see how DEI interfaces with the other committees so we don’t end up being siloed. Appreciate it!

Any other committee reports? None.

Agenda items for next FS meeting:

  1. COI

  2. Open Access

  3. Tish Jennings: we may have something form DEI for legacies

  4. Ellen Bassett: BOV meeting is next week, tuition discussion. Ellen will report on that. Expectation is that tuition will be frozen.

  5. Jim Savage: presentation by Finance committee?

    1. Ellen: JJ Davis could discuss the University’s finances.

    2. Jim Savage: could be useful to find out what’s going on. Public finances of University could be important.

    3. Joel Hockensmith: I will make a request for JJ Davis to come talk.

    4. Rob Patterson: finance was a vibrant committee, at one point. Committee chairs should be responsive to EXCO and the faculty senate leadership. What do we do as a body to make the chair and committee more accountable?

    5. Joel Hockensmith: committee should have removed current chair and selected a new chair in the fall. Did not happen. Can put that rule in the faculty senate handbook.

    6. Ellen Bassett: it’s a problem, inactivity of committees. Committee members should complain to faculty senate chair and then rearrange the leadership structure.

    7. Joel Hockensmith: it is a problem, there is always a committee that is inactive. No response to emails.

    8. Rob Patterson: could committee membership get together to organize and send a symbolic message that the committee can vote out the chair, just as much as putting them in?

    9. Carol Manning: is there training or a list of expectations for committee members or chairs? Do they know what to do if their committee isn’t performing well, or their chair isn’t’ being responsive? Might be helpful to share general expectations as an item during an early meeting.

    10. Susan Kirk: request that current chairs as a favor to write two or three sentences around expectations of the time for their committee. Hard for people to commit if they don’t know the time expectations.

  6. Susan Kirk: response from Leslie Kendrick – propose that full Faculty Senate meeting is not the appropriate venue to solicit feedback. Students have a student rep meet with various student organizations. Leave it off the full senate meeting agenda and schedule a listening session that people could opt into and also utilize a brief survey for those who can’t attend the session.

Other business items (presented by Aniko Bodroghkozy)

  • Her constituents would like the Faculty Senate to know about: Human Resources, and how it relates to faculty searches and the hiring of foreign nationals. Searches have had to be re-done because in some cases when hiring foreign nationals because the  H1B was up for renewal and issues around HR revealed inappropriate documentation. Issues has been brought to HR’s attention and they refuse to modify their procedures. Issues are related to Workday and centralization of HR. Concern is that we will have failed searches if search committees want to hire foreign nationals. Could lead to a bias against hiring people because of the concern around issues of HR. Would Faculty Senate support make an impact on HR issues.

  • Joel Hockensmith: this issue should go to the FRRRW.

  • Alan Beckenstein: Susan Modesitt and I can follow up and get some discussion around it.

  • Aniko Bodroghkozy: a colleague went through this issue, redoing the search, and could share the details of their situation with the committee.

  • Maite Brandt-Pearce will assist with exploring this issue.

Any other business? No other business noted; meeting adjourned at 11:54am.

Chat Log:

  • 10:10:34 From Susan Modesitt to All panelists: Sorry--will be in and out of meeting as I am in clinic but will be trying to listen in as able

  • 10:12:19 From Ellen Bassett (she/her) to All panelists: Sorry doctoral defense ran over.

  • 10:14:42 From Tish Jennings (she, her, hers) to All panelists: Susan, I’m happy to help with this

  • 10:15:04 From Kathryn Laughon to All panelists: can we do both the town hall and Qualtrics?  It gives everyone an opportunity to participate (for those who can't attend the town hall)

  • 10:15:16 From Tish Jennings (she, her, hers) to All panelists: I was thinking that too

  • 10:23:22 From Hanadi Al-Samman to All panelists: I thought that faculty children don't get any extra privileges. So discontinuing legacy admission seems to be a mute point. It is more efficient to cancel SAT score admission to level the competition.

  • 10:25:47 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: Here is more about Steve:

  • 10:26:24 From Tish Jennings (she, her, hers) to All panelists: As far as I know, children of faculty do get some advantage, but again, these policies are not clear. Regarding legacies, not sure how eliminating faculty privilege makes legacy privileges moot.

  • 10:31:19 From Hanadi Al-Samman to All panelists: If faculty children get any privilege, it would be the only thing that UVa provides for faculty as opposed to other universities wo even offer discounted tuition for children faculty.

  • 10:32:51 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: Hanadi, Thanks for this note.  I thought it might be useful to know that discounted tuition for faculty or staff at a state university in Virginia is a violation of state law.  It’s prohibited.  Liz

  • 10:33:05 From Hanadi Al-Samman to All panelists: If children of almuna matters as we are hearing now, surely being faculty children should matter as well.

  • 10:33:48 From Hanadi Al-Samman to All panelists: Thanks for pointing this out LIz.

  • 10:36:00 From Kathryn Laughon to All panelists: they talk A LOT about admission to UVa and are extremely helpful (starting early enough in high school to evaluate transcripts and make specific suggestions about the courses to take)

  • 10:38:53 From Joel Hockensmith to All panelists: If you have questions or comments, please raise your virtual hand

  • 10:40:33 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: Asking the question about how much alumni status matters is something you should put to Steve.  The higher admit rate could be related to the pool being different.  Just as the admission rate of kids who go to — say — public magnet schools across the country, or in-state and out-of-state, or those who are interested in the arts.

  • 10:41:58 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: Could you all introduce yourselves and your school — for Steve’s benefit?  I know he’d appreciate!  Liz

  • 10:42:12 From Rasheed Balogun to All panelists: Question for Steve Farmer.

  • 10:44:11 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: Kathryn, I’d also put that question to Steve, and invite Lily to come chat.

  • 10:47:37 From Ellen Bassett (she/her) to All panelists: Good point Joel. I think eliminating that question would be a simple solution.  We want first gen.  My father went to the Univ of Chicago, not sure how that helps any university understand me better.

  • 10:47:50 From Rasheed Balogun to All panelists: There has been some touchy/sensitive issue nationally in medical school admissions regarding black applicants. Some argue that recent African immigrants ought to be considered as a separate cohort from African Americans that have had a lineage of enslaved ancestors. Is this being discussed at undergrad level as well? and if so, do you have a position? The argument is that recent immigrants

  • 10:50:03 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: Steve and I need to leave very soon — I am sorry to say.  There is only room for one more question.

  • 10:50:10 From Robert Patterson to Everyone: If you're not presenting/talking can you mute our mics?

  • 10:52:12 From Kathryn Laughon to All panelists: it hasn't gotten any of my kids admission to UVA for what it's worth!

  • 10:53:16 From Elizabeth Magill to All panelists: We both scheduled til 10:45, I am sorry to say.  We can schedule another?  Apologies.

  • 10:56:20 From Susan Kirk (she/her) to All panelists: Chicago Statement for your perusal:

  • 10:57:22 From Susan Kirk (she/her) to All panelists: Sorry, here

  • 10:57:25 From Susan Kirk (she/her) to All panelists:

  • 11:00:23 From Susan Kirk (she/her)  to All panelists: Also, according to the committee chair, student reps from the Committee are reaching out to various student organizations to create listening sessions for feedback. I think we could hold a town hall and send a survey for those who can’t attend.

  • 11:00:54 From Tish Jennings (she, her, hers) to Everyone: I think that’s a great idea Susan. I’m happy to help.

  • 11:01:21 From Ellen Bassett (she/her) to  All panelists: We use the common app.

  • 11:01:36 From Kathryn Laughon to All panelists: I have to go teach

  • 11:02:15 From Tish Jennings (she, her, hers) to Everyone: UVA uses the common app

  • 11:02:21 From Tish Jennings (she, her, hers)  to Everyone: You need to login to see the app

  • 11:02:39 From Rasheed Balogun to All panelists: no objection

  • 11:06:31 From Linda Duska to All panelists: Sorry all, I need to sign off.

  • 11:11:09 From Rasheed Balogun to All panelists: I move a motion

  • 11:21:08 From Rasheed Balogun to All panelists: Forgive my early exit folks. Have a nice weekend

  • 11:23:29 From Susan Modesitt to All panelists: Sorry--I have only peripherally heard some things and had to give up due to number of patients in clinic.  Have a great weekend

  • 11:48:41 From Rob Patterson to All panelists: Carol, to your point. Joe Garofalo and Nina Solenski and Mimi Riley all made it clear to me what the expectations were when I was chair.  

  • 11:49:04 From James Fitz-Gerald to All panelists: Good comment Joel.  C19 made this an issue right now.  For me, Ellen hosted new members and we had a 2 hr meeting and really set the expectations and reality.  That still will not stop people from underperforming but it was impactful.  For me Aaron has held regular meeting and met with us outside of meetings to bring us up to speed, so yes a role model.

  • 11:52:44 From Ellen Bassett (she/her) to Everyone: Can this be referred to FRRRW?

  • 11:53:18 From Maite Brandt-Pearce to All panelists: Aniko, I would be happy to discuss this with you and to try to manage the interaction with HR.

  • 11:55:05 From Hanadi Al-Samman to All panelists: Thank you all