Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, EXCO - May 7, 2021

10:00 AM-Noon Zoom Meeting


Joel Hockensmith (chair), Hanadi Al-Samman, Rasheed Balogun, Ellen Bassett, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Maite Brandt-Pearce, Linda Duska, James Fitz-Gerald, Bob Hirosky, Tish Jennings, Leslie Kendrick, Susan Kirk, Carol Manning, Robert Patterson, James Savage

Administrative Support: Ashley Ayers; Brett Marshall; Christina Pennock (closed captioner)

Meeting Agenda:

  1. Convene and Call to Order – FS Chair Hockensmith

  2. Approve minutes

    1. EXCO 4/9/2021

  3. Committee on Free Expression & Free Inquiry – Committee member/FS Chair-Elect Kirk

  4. 2021-2022 Committee Assignments – FS Chairs Hockensmith & Kirk

  5. 2021-2022 Committee Chair Elections – FS Chairs Hockensmith & Kirk

    1. Co-chair

    2. Vice Chair

    3. At-large EXCO privileges

      1. Chair

      2. Co-chair

  6. Committee Reports

  7. Other business

  8. Noon – Adjourn

Meeting Notes:
Quorum met; Joel Hockensmith called the meeting to order at 10:03 AM.

Approval of EXCO Minutes from 4/9/2021: no changes/corrections; no objections. Minutes were approved by General Consent.

Committee on Free Expression/Free Inquiry (Susan Kirk/Leslie Kendrick)

  • Leslie Kendrick, chair of the committee

  • President Ryan and Provost Magill put this committee together earlier this year.

  • UVA Today article was published about the committee, including the members.

  • The group was charged with devising a succinct statement of principle offering UVA’s position on the role free expression and free inquiry play in our academic enterprise and how those values shape engagement with others at the University.

  • University of Chicago’s statement is an example for other institutions.

  • UVA’s statement will be more tailored to our own institution. We are a state institution; legally, principles must adhere within the first amendment. The committee is not a policy making or enforcing body.

  • Questions from EXCO?

  • Ellen Bassett: this issue comes out of the door on the Lawn story, and alumni/other letters concerning the doors. How do these policies interact with faculty and hostile work environments? Does this policy help us with these kinds of situations?

  • Leslie Kendrick: our charge is to develop a statement of principles at a high level of generality. Should not change substance of how those issues are discussed.

  • Jim Savage: what motivated the creation of the committee? General solution set suggested.

  • Leslie Kendrick: those are questions for President and Provost. Leslie sees values in a statement of principles at a high level of generality. These values are an important part of the mission of the institution. The application of the statement/its value will be up to the President/Provost/University as a whole. These are questions for next steps.

  • Rob Patterson: committee is dealing with a wide range of ideas. In the classroom, it is very important. Notion of dialectical thinking and elevating that as part of the curriculum. Students don’t feel comfortable expressing an oppositional viewpoint from the faculty member. Explore, in a dialectical sense, where they can argue an opinion that is in opposition to how they feel. Diversity of thought is critical; developing critical thinking skills.

  • Leslie Kendrick: happy to receive input in what is important: engagement in the classroom, critical thinking skill building, dealing with differing opinions in an open-minded way.

  • Aniko Bodroghkozy: faculty speech is an issue not just in the classroom, but in public, with public engagement. Are you working on proposing policy around the role of the university to protect faculty who speak in public venues outside the classroom and who are served defamation suit. Issue of faculty speech and the role UVA has in protecting that speech, especially when it is public speech. UVA encourages faculty to engage in public engagement with their work. Faculty protection outside of the classroom.

  • Leslie Kendrick: useful; exploring a complicated issue.

  • Rasheed Balogun: In the School of Medicine, faculty interact with students by modeling professional standards that the students are supposed to adhere to once they become physicians. Should faculty in different parts of UVA have restraints that are not the same for all schools? Restraints based on ethics. How have you been dealing with this push/pull, between all faculty having same level of freedom, but also combined with each school having different professional considerations?

  • Leslie Kendrick: we are not going to address what it means for each school. We are trying to be succinct.

  • Joel Hockensmith: Leslie took notes, saved ideas from the EXCO members. Encourage a town hall to get more faculty input.

  • Susan Kirk: there was a listening session where faculty could call in, mostly listen to what faculty/alumni/students had to say. Serving on this committee has helped understand what the first amendment does and does not protect. Brought to light some of the issues. The document is helpful as UVA moves away from more traditional to a more diverse direction.

  • Leslie Kendrick: statement is not final, still subject to change because it is in process. It is valuable to have Susan Kirk on the committee; we will stay in touch as the process continues.

Joel Hockensmith: thanks to Ellen Bassett for her service over the last two years. Also thanked Brett Marshall and Ashley Ayers, mentioned that Brett would be taking over logistical/administrative support for the Faculty Senate and Ashley is transitioning out of the role.

Committee assignments (Joel Hockensmith)

Academic Affairs

  • Darden representation is missing, a volunteer has been missing for last few years and FS has had to recruit someone to represent Darden.

  • Engineering heavy and Medicine light.

  • Aaron Bloomfield – Ming-Jer Chen (Darden) might be willing to serve again next year if we ask him. Challenging to get the medicine folks on the same schedule as the academic faculty.

  • Rob Patterson: picked the right chair. Aaron did a great job this year.

  • Ellen Bassett: to get full school coverage, should go into the yellow category. Kirk Martini (ARCH).


  • Last year, 12 members, this year, looking at 13 members. Ben Moses did not respond so Joel added him to the committee.

  • Susan Kirk: question to Tish, what is the correct size for the committee? It has a lot of ad hoc work.

  • Tish Jennings: most meetings were well attended, 7-8 people generally. Everyone was well engaged. Perhaps a small committee works well. Ben is running for Assembly so not sure how much time he will have to contribute.

  • Joel Hockensmith: suggest determining what is allowable in terms of politics, within the Faculty Senate.

  • Bob Hirosky: advertise for someone from the Engineering school. Second tier of the spreadsheet shows Kay Neeley; her first choice was Grievance – decided to keep her on the list for Grievance, given the size of the committee.

  • Ellen Bassett: yes, Engineering should be on there. Maybe direct solicitation to some of Engineering faculty who are in AAC, to see if they would switch.

  • Susan Kirk: I like that approach; people may be willing to engage if we talk to them about why we made these decisions. Like reaching out to see if they could switch.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: Venkat would be good for DEI. Kay should stay on Grievance. 

  • Susan Kirk: willing to take on the work of contacting the people who they strategically want to add to the committees.


  • Joel Hockensmith: Susan Modesitt did not respond because she is out of town, so placed her on the list based on last year’s preference.

  • Aniko Bodroghkozy: it is SOM heavy. Is that an issue?

  • Rasheed Balogun: it has always been SOM heavy.

  • Joel Hockensmith: yes, that is correct. Worth discussing if we want to move people to get a good balance.


  • Two people willing to chair and 10 members.

  • Jim Savage: 11-12 is a good size for this committee because 5-6 showed up for the meetings.

  • Susan Kirk: there are no women on this committee. For first, second, and third choices.

  • Carol Manning: no strong preference, I can serve on the Finance committee if needed. Volunteered to be put on any committee.

  • Susan Kirk: Carol Manning is a non-surgeon SOM representative.

  • Rob Patterson: when he was the chair, he had problems with participation because of the surgeons not having the scheduling flexibility.

  • Joel Hockensmith: the appearance is that it is Medicine heavy, but when you look at participation, it can be Medicine light.

  • Jim Savage: 5-6 people would show up to the meetings.

  • Joel Hockensmith: 2/3 participation is typical for the FS and is typical even of the voting which is online and therefore available to all.


  • Joel Hockensmith: Neeley is on this committee. Hanadi is willing to chair

  • Hanadi Al-Samman: that works well, no problem chairing the committee. If you have two cases it works well to divide the workload. We need more members, at least two or three more. Would like to have someone in Education. Having members from Law is important.

  • Joel Hockensmith: could move one person from AAC to Grievance. Hamilton, leave on Policy.

  • Tish Jennings is willing to serve on Grievance.

  • Susan Kirk: can Tish serve, since she is chair elect?

  • Joel Hockensmith: rule is that past chairs and chair elects can serve on committees, but they cannot chair the committees. Unless anyone objects, we can add her to the committee.

  • Rob Paterson: Stephen Levine would be a good addition to the committee.

  • Joel Hockensmith: he is placed where he is because he’s the only SPCS representation. Faculty could also be added to the case if the case load becomes heavy.

  • Carol Manning volunteered to help if the committee becomes busy.

  • Susan Kirk: I am comfortable with these decisions.


  • Joel Hockensmith: this year, 8 members since Carol comes off the list. Medicine will not be represented. Most policies for SOM are generated within the School itself.

  • Susan Kirk: Brad Kesser is willing to chair it, it is his third choice. We could consider adding him.


  • Joel Hockensmith: 8 members.

  • Bob Hirosky: 8 is small, given the attendance. 10-12 would be better.

  • Susan Kirk: some periods of the year, workload increases. Could spread that work around.

  • Bob Hirosky: one from SOM (see second choice options) and John from Architecture and Matthew from Engineering.

  • Susan Kirk: Nolan Wages, in Public Health Policy. A good fit for him. Donna Chen would be a good choice, too (Joel agrees).

  • Joel Hockensmith: Donna is currently on AA.

  • Aaron Bloomfield: the Medicine people have scheduling issues so would prefer not to lose them. But understands we need the balance.

  • Bob Hirosky: nice to have Medicine people who understand the research

  • Joel Hockensmith: Maria Luisa Lopez has experience with research. She is on FRRRW, but we could move her.

  • Susan Kirk: that is a good choice.

  • Rasheed Balogun: Maria was one of the most active people on the FRRRW committee. Were the Medicine people able to better attend, via Zoom than in person? Could some be done by Zoom next year? The Medicine people would be able to better attend.

  • Joel Hockensmith: yes, we had more participation across the university on Zoom vs. in-person meetings. Cuts down on the amount of time needed to get to and from a meeting. Meetings during the day are not conducive for clinicians, during daytime hours. Meetings before or after work would get better attendance.

  • Joel Hockensmith: summary of who to move: Martini to AAC, Venkat to DEI, Manning to Finance, Jennings to Grievance, Kesser to Policy, Comazzi to RTS, Lazzaro to RTS, and Sequeira Lopez to RTS.

  • Susan Kirk will email each of these people who are moving to let them know whey they’re recommending they are moved.

  • Joel Hockensmith: Darden representation from AAC. Ming-Jer; move Kirk Martini into AAC too.

Co-chairs/vice chairs/at-large members serving

  • Susan Kirk: those who have volunteered to chair the committees will likely do a good job, because they’ve volunteered. How do you project to the committee members who is willing to serve as chair? How does the process work?

  • Aaron Bloomfield: Joel set up the polls last year.

  • Brett Marshall: Per the Constitution and By-Laws… by May 15, everyone should be told what committee they’re in; by the May 31 the chairs will be determined. He posted the following text in the chat:

    • The Executive Council shall appoint all members of standing and ad hoc committees of the Senate. The Executive Council shall:

    • complete the assignments with notification to faculty senators by May 15th

    • create and implement an online ballot for each committee to select a chair thereby ensuring uniformity of process

    • close the voting at midnight May 31st

    • report the individual receiving the majority vote or tied votes. The Executive Council shall validate the results or resolve any ties by selection of one of the tied individuals using majority vote of the Council officers and at-large members.

    • appoint the chairs of ad hoc committees

  • Susan Kirk: by Monday, the committees should be set. She will write to all members who will be moved. Second step: members should be given an opportunity to say whether they are willing to chair the committee they are on. Last duty is the election, to be held before May 31.

  • Joel Hockensmith: they have been asked if they would serve as chair. They also were able to select committees on which they do not want to serve.

  • Susan Kirk: of the people we are moving, I would like to give them an opportunity to indicate if they’d be willing to serve as chair.

  • Joel Hockensmith: you can do that Susan, when you write to them. Would recommend not doing a second poll

  • No objections from EXCO to having Susan Kirk write to those who will move to different committees.

  • Posted on May 14, polling open until end of the following week, by the 21st.

  • Joel Hockensmith: Co-chairs – were allowed in the past. Left it up to a committee to decide on whether there are co-chairs. Any comments?

  • Jim Savage: at-large members of EXCO being able to serve as Co-chairs: has been allowed in the past. Was stopped for a few years. If the chair is not participating, the committee still needs to function. Co-chair/at-large members serving would be a helpful way to help committees function in the case.

  • Joel Hockensmith: rationale for not having at-large members being chair is that it takes a vote away from EXCO. But there is no rationale for them not being a co-chair. There is a problem with an at-large member being a chair.

  • Jim Savage: worked out well to have a co-chair, to help the committees run. Some examples of some committees not getting represented at EXCO by their chairs, resolution would be a co-chair who is an at-large member.

  • Susan Kirk: resolution: if an at-large member is running as a committee chair, then the committee must have a co-chair. It would solve the problem of representation at EXCO.

  • Joel Hockensmith: Finance committee – Jim Savage. Committee could elect him as a chair but then he would need a co-chair. The person who volunteered as co-chair was the chair this year. They’d have to work together to provide back up so that someone could be there to report to EXCO.

  • Hanadi Al-Samman: the co-chair situation worked well. It is an asset to have two people chair the committee.

  • Carole Manning: yes, it worked very well, and she recommends having co-chairs.

  • Joel: the committees can have co-chairs. If they elect an at-large member as a chair they must also elect a co-chair.

Aaron Bloomfield: AAC committee report:

  • DEI clause – we are going to adopt the clause so that all future proposals have to analyze how they support diversity/equity/inclusion.

  • All proposals have been approved.

  • Tish Jennings: what Aaron is doing in his committee is what the DEI wants to happen in all the committees. Not having DEI siloed.

  • James Savage: when are staff returning to UVA?

  • Joel Hockensmith: announcement from University on May 10 regarding decision on requiring vaccinations for students/staff/faculty. Once that decision is made, then they can make a decision about when to bring staff back.

  • Susan Kirk: thank you, Joel! Joel has been the codifier for the Faculty Senate. Thanks to Rasheed and Linda-this is their final EXCO meeting. I need your input for how to run EXCO meetings in the fall. Want input from EXCO members to help guide decision making.

  • Meeting adjourned at noon.

Chat log

  • 00:30:49 Leslie Kendrick:

  • 00:33:06 Leslie Kendrick:

  • 00:58:29 Bob Hirosky: In the case Aniko mentions, the decision about supporting the faculty member was ultimately made by the state, so it was out of the university's control.

  • 01:02:28 Aniko Bodroghkozy: Actually in that case, Virginia ACLU took the case pro bono, so no policy came out of it. It worked out fine for the particular faculty member, but the concern is broader.

  • 01:03:22 Bob Hirosky: agreed!

  • 01:11:13 Ashley Ayers: It's been wonderful working with the Faculty Senate. I will miss it!

  • 01:11:43 Hanadi Al-Samman: Thank you Ashley.

  • 01:18:13 James Fitz-Gerald: Agreed.  Many weighty issues that Aaron has handled well.

  • 01:26:02 Tish Jennings (she, her, hers): Venkat was on this year and he was very engaged in the meetings

  • 01:27:09 Carol Manning: I did submit my preferences and am happy to do policy or grievance

  • 01:31:20 Tish Jennings (she, her, hers): I agree with Susan.

  • 01:34:50 Ellen Bassett (she/her): Gotta run to another meeting.  See you at Joel’s house!

  • 01:40:10 Tish Jennings (she, her, hers): I would be willing to shift to grievance

  • 02:02:41 Brett Marshall: The Executive Council shall appoint all members of standing and ad hoc committees of the Senate. The Executive Council shall:

    • complete the assignments with notification to faculty senators by May 15th

    • create and implement an online ballot for each committee to select a chair thereby ensuring uniformity of process

    • close the voting at midnight May 31st

    • report the individual receiving the majority vote or tied votes. The Executive Council shall validate the results or resolve any ties by selection of one of the tied individuals using majority vote of the Council officers and at-large members.

    • appoint the chairs of ad hoc committees

  • 02:11:25 Linda Duska: Leaving for another meeting- my last ExCO meeting. Thanks for having me.

  • 02:12:01 Hanadi Al-Samman: I second James' points

  • 02:12:14 Susan Kirk (she/her): Thank you, Linda!!

  • 02:13:09 Robert Patterson: I like the sentiment Jim is expressing.

  • 02:16:14 Susan Kirk (she/her): I think we should set precedence based on the roles, rather than the individuals, but this would work regardless.

  • 02:22:03 Tish Jennings (she, her, hers): Thank you Joel!!!!

  • 02:22:16 Tish Jennings (she, her, hers): Thanks Rasheed!

  • 02:22:24 Hanadi Al-Samman: Thanks Joel for your leadership and all your hard work.

  • 02:22:30 Robert Patterson: Thanks Joel!

  • 02:22:38 Aniko Bodroghkozy: Great leadership, Joel!

  • 02:22:40 James Fitz-Gerald: Agreed

  • 02:22:43 Carol Manning: Thank you Joel!

  • 02:22:44 Robert Patterson: Rasheed, you'll be missed!

  • 02:23:02 Hanadi Al-Samman: Thank you Rasheed

  • 02:23:02 Rasheed Balogun: Thanks Rob

  • 02:23:12 Rasheed Balogun: Thanks Hanadi

  • 02:23:25 Tish Jennings (she, her, hers): Looking forward to seeing you all in person!!!