Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, EXCO - January 12, 2024

EXCO Meeting
Friday, January 12, 2024
2:00 PM
President’s Conference Room, Madison Hall & Zoom

Senators Present:  Michael Kennedy (Chair), Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Lisa Colosi Peterson, Jason Druzgal, Amanda Flora, Juliet Hatchett, Tish Jennings, Bradley Kesser, Michelle Kisliuk, Jim Lambert, Carol Manning, Brian Pusser, Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Sue Saliba, Patrik Sandas, Jeri Seidman, Brian Wright

Ex-Officio & Guests Present: Maite Brandt-Pearce, Jim Savage, Kay Neeley, JJ Davis, Barbara Zunder, Kim Acquaviva, Rob Garrod, Kelly Craig, Amy Ogden, Jim Ryan, Ian Baucom

The chair called the meeting to order at 2:02 PM.

Review and Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve EXCO minutes December 6, 2023: Sue Saliba
Second: Tish Jennings
Motion Passes

Old Business
Tish Jennings – update from BOV and Elections
Tish talked about the December BOV meetings.  She sent everyone BOV handouts and notes.

BOV Representative Elections in January – five candidates will present at the January meeting and will vote on it right after.  Other elections will happen in the Spring.

New Business
President Ryan – Goals for 2024

  1. Work on closing the loophole in state law regarding weapons on universities.

  2. Continue to focus on strategic plans: School of Data Science and Contemplative Commons are both opening this Spring.  Alderman Library just reopened.

  3. Honor the Future campaign has a goal of $5Billion by end of June.  Focus on outstanding larger issues such as money for faculty chairs, the Cavalier Fund which provides resources to students who are on financial aid and need money to join clubs, etc.  Finally, the Center for the Arts will seek funding from the Legislature and through private fundraising.  Think about Pan University effort around Entrepreneurship.

  4. Strategic investment funds – next round supporting research and Enhance teaching.

  5. Continue to engage within UVA through lunches and runs with faculty and students.

Provost – Goals for 2024

  1. Promotion and Tenure policy – complete the process of looking at the policy.  Fundamental commitment to tenure.  Clarify what the expectations are and work towards consistency between schools. 

  2. Impact of AI – how do we think about our educational mission changing in the age of AI. 

  3. Groundbreaking on Manning Biotech Institute.  Hope to open in Fall of 2026.  Thinking about the initial phase of hiring. 

  4. Disability Accommodations – pressures on faculty. 

  5. Impact of the conflict between Israel and Gaza continue academic programming; find ways to talk to each other, engage with religious communities and leaders in building ties.  Educational – assess what the educational offerings are for minoritized religions.  Unflinching in support of academic freedom. Committee – 2017 look at the experience, engagement, education – Judaism, Islamic, and other minoritized religions.

Subcommittee on supporting faculty instructors of students with disabilities report and discussion.

  1. Compile existing resources across the University and identify outside resources and bring them together for faculty.

  2. Given that list, what else would be easily created?  New training for faculty and students.

  3. Where are the pain points that aren’t going to be addressed with additional training or simple rearranging of furniture?

Concerns: SDACs need more of everything such as people, space, assistants to help with students taking tests in another environment, how many new employees?  Less wide set of accommodations that could be used.  Better training for faculty and students around allowable accommodation and how to advocate in appropriate ways.

Training and support for faculty and students around religious accommodation and finally a clarified chain of decision making. 

Barbara Zunder, Director of Student Disability Access Center– Not all of these are under or solvable by Faculty Senate and SDAC.  Suggestion of a centralized alternative testing center so students can make up exams that don’t fall under SDAC such as religious accommodations or missing exams due to illness. The average professor doesn’t have the resources to offer additional exam times at the volume needed. Michael invites everyone to join the subcommittee if they are interested.  Decisions should not solely fall on faculty, there should be guidelines.

Aaron Bloomfield presentation on Faculty Senate Representation. By-laws state who can be elected to faculty senate: must have a professorial rank, be in Charlottesville, and must be in one of the constituent schools.

Categorized faculty into four groups but today’s issue will focus on Group 4 which consists of:

  1. Faculty with nonacademic functions, including administrative and professional faculty.

  2. AGF without a professorial rank, typically lecturers and instructors

  3. Faculty not in a school such as librarians and those in the Biocomplexity Institute.

This applies to who can run, how we do allocations of senators, or who we mean when we talk about faculty.

Issues to discuss:
Do we want to change who we represent?  If so, which group to include?
How would those not in a school run?

Brian Pusser – conversation about potential bylaws change regarding elections for “new” offices and committee postings.

Possible motion: The Senate shall elect one representative from the membership of the senate to the Faculty Senate of Virginia and two representatives from the membership to the University Athletics Advisory Council, and one representative to the Board of Governors of the Colonnade Club.  The term for each of the positions shall be two years.

Please let Brian know your thoughts.

Full Senate meeting in Room 120 of Darden on Friday, January 26 at 2:00.

Motion to Adjourn: Aaron Bloomfield
Second: Jeri Seidman
Motion Passes
Meeting Adjourned:  4:00 PM