Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, EXCO - July 19, 2022

Date/Time/Location: Monday, July 19, 2022, 3:00 PM, Zoom Webinar

Members Present: Kim Acquaviva, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Jim Fitz-Gerald, Tish Jennings (Chair), Michael Kennedy (Chair Elect), Susan Kirk (Past Chair), Jim Lambert, Peter Norton, Andy Pennock, Jim Savage, Sarah Stewart Ware, Agnes Swiatecka-Urban

Guests/Others Present: Ian Baucom (Provost), Maïté Brandt-Pearce (Vice Provost Faculty Affairs), JJ Davis (EVP-COO), Joe Fore (General Faculty Council Chair), Brie Gertler (Vice Provost Academic Affairs), Maria Lane (Admin),  Steve Mull (Chief of Staff, Provost), Jim Ryan (President)

3:02pm Meeting Called to Order

Welcome of new Faculty Senators
Tish Jennings, Chair

Updates from the President & Provost
President Jim Ryan & Provost Ian Baucom

President Ryan shared priorities and projects he will focus on for the coming year:  

  • Planning for Biotech institute

  • 2nd Year Student Housing

  • Piloting Cavalier Fund for students with financial need

  • Focus on remaining areas of research for next round of Grand Challenges

  • Launch programs in Northern Virginia

  • Online learning for schools

  • Continuing to focus on “good neighbor” initiatives (President’s Council on UVA Community Partnerships)

Q: Can you speak more about precision medicine, grand challenges?
A: As part of the strategic plan, we identified 5 areas where we have existing strengths and want to make big investments because we believe we can make a real difference in those areas: Democracy, Brain and Neuroscience, Environmental Resiliency and Sustainability, Digital Technology and Society, Precision Health. Identify sub areas within these broader areas where we will make investments.

Q: How will the changes to the BOV affect priorities?
A: Have not yet met with the new appointees. Always open to constructive advice and great suggestions, not inclined to deviate from the Strategic Plan.

Q: Thoughts on Governor’s position re: increase in tuition at UVA (in comparison to other Virginia universities)?
A: Set tuition in December, did not have an increase last year. Many schools did raise tuition, but are providing one-year rebate, not guaranteed to continue. George Mason did keep increase in tuition for this year.

Q: Interested in covid guidance for the fall.
A: Maintaining posture from spring semester. Masking required for SOM, SON as part of health system, not required for others. Getting data early August from 1st years on vaccination rates. Reconvening planning groups as semester approaches.

Q: Covid tracker was removed at end of June, any consideration for bringing covid-tracker back in the fall?
A: Have not discussed reviving but will follow medical guidance. Elements captured on the tracker may not have been most beneficial. Concern that testing reporting (testing off-grounds) was not capturing full information.

Provost Baucom shared priorities for the coming year:

  • Advancing faculty diversity (working with Deans)

    • Provost fund to support these efforts

  • Partnering with Deans on graduate education

    • Establish fund for support

  • Bolstering research mission of the University

    • Making significant investments in particular areas (Grand Challenges)

    • Looking for investment opportunities in research University-wide (Research Infrastructure Bill)

  • Onboarding new Deans

    • 4 new Deans this fall

  • Provost promotion & tenure policy

    • Do policies establish clarity of expectation for all faculty?

    • Is there equity across the schools in policy?

    • Ensuring policies have no bias; equity of review.

Questions posed in advance by Senators:

  • Are there reviews of programs coming up (such as SACS accreditation)?

    • No major University-wide review

      • Halfway through 10-year review cycle

    • 2 school reviews: SOM (this year), SON (soon)

  • UFM: How have the financial allocations changed across units with the new UFM now rolled out. The UFM centralized large amounts of money in the Provost's office with the promise of it largely returning to the schools.  How are those funds now being spent?  What process and criteria are used for distributing them?  Which units have received funds thus far and why? 

    • Under revised UFM, three sources of funds

      • State general funds

      • Common tax (22%) on expenditures of the schools

      • Centrally held endowments

    • Use of these funds:

      • Source of support for all central services

      • Base operating support for the schools

      • University fund

        • Schools submitted applications for funding

        • Allocated about $50M

          • SOM budget deficit

          • McIntire, A&S, Data Science operations

          • Architecture, Batten faculty DEI initiatives

          • Cost-share HHMI undergrad STEM success

          • Added staff to OSP

          • Investment in Student Affairs

        • Holding $15M in reserve

Q: Request for Ian to attend finance committee meeting.
A: Ian along with Adam Daniel will plan to attend.

Q: Is base-operating support the same as subvention? Is $65M one-off, non-returning?
A: Provost support fund is new name for subvention. Mix on $65M, most one-time, some ongoing.

Peter Norton shared that he has heard concerns about who is eligible for tenure, who is not. Some valuable non-tenure track, academic general faculty members feel that if they would pass a tenure review, they should be able to request one. Under current policy on Academic General faculty that is practically impossible. Want to be aware of that concern going into the promotion and tenure policy review process.

Brief Introductions

Review and Approval of Minutes
Tish Jennings shared minutes from the May 2022 EXCO Meeting to review.

Motion to approve minutes: Andy Pennock
Second: Aaron Bloomfield
For: 11 Against: 0 Abstain: 0

Committee Chairs Reports
Tish Jennings & Committee Chairs

Potential agenda items and activities for this year

  • RTS: Evaluation of teaching

    • Brie shared that she and Maïté are putting together a committee to explore how teaching is evaluated, how to incentivize teaching excellence, efforts to improve teaching. Would be interested in including member of RTS committee.

  • Finance: New UFM meeting, have scheduled meeting for September

    • Andy Pennock requested the group ask about new endowment payout rules

  • DEI: Consider faculty response/potential implications of BOV membership changes

  • FRRRW: Have started work, numerous members stayed on from last year. Working with Maïté, Tish on ongoing issues to explore.

  • Grievance: Have had 1 or more actions thus far

  • EXCO: Build from advice of committees? Proactively engage with BOV?

    • Susan Kirk recommended planning to address specific topics/concerns, potentially open invite to all Board members to attend EXCO

    • Susan will plan to report back from BOV retreat in late August

Discussion: How to improve FS participation?
Tish Jennings

Tish would like to meet with reps from each school, would appreciate help from EXCO in organizing.

New Business & Wrap Up

  • Aniko Bodroghkozy shared thoughts on incoming BOV members.

  • Joe Fore shared that PROV-004 was updated in the spring. Reminder that this update requires schools to update their policies as well. Concerns from Academic General Faculty can be brought to this group and to Joe specifically. Want to ensure schools are updating their policies/adhering to PROV-004.

    • Maïté shared that schools have been given until October 15th to make those revisions.

  • Susan Kirk shared that she will continue to manage exploring the role of General Faculty in faculty governance.

Meeting Adjourned
Motion to adjourn: Alan Beckenstein
Second: Michael Kennedy
Meeting adjourned: 4:28pm