Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, EXCO - October 11, 2022

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, October 11, 2022 / 12:00pm / Zoom Webinar & President’s Conference Room

In Person: Kim Acquaviva, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Jim Fitz-Gerald, Tish Jennings (Chair), Michael Kennedy (Chair Elect), Susan Kirk (Past Chair), James Lambert, Carol Manning, Peter Norton, Jim Savage, Sarah Stewart Ware, Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Jeri Seidman

Guests/Others Present: Ian Baucom (Provost), Maïté Brandt-Pearce (Vice Provost Faculty Affairs), Ron Christie (Parliamentarian), JJ Davis (EVP-COO), Brie Gertler (Vice Provost Academic Affairs), Walt Heinecke, Ken Kipps (COS-Provost)

Meeting Called to Order: 12:01pm

Updates from the Provost
Provost Ian Baucom shared updates on key initiatives

  • Graduate Education ($20M)
    • Enhanced fellowships
      • Under-represented scholars
      • Interdisciplinary/research
      • Competitive excellence
    • Bridge programs
      • MA and undergrad
    • PhD Plus
    • Writing Center
  • Faculty Inclusive Excellence ($20M)
    • TOPS hires
    • Postdoc to faculty positions
    • Mentoring support (2-3K)
    • Dual Career
  • Grand Challenges ($100M)
    • Digital Tech and Society
      • Tech and Democracy, Trust, Security
      • Smart Cities/Environments
      • Digital Tech and Youth Development
    • Precision Medicine/Health
      • Biotech—genetic and cellular therapies
      • And law, economics, ethics, policy
      • Precision Population Health/Social Determinants of health
    • Form faculty working groups
  • Strategic Research Infrastructure (amount TBD)
    • Faculty steering group—Chaired by Catherine Bradshaw
    • External consultant to benchmark against peers
    • Working groups:
      • Space/facilities
      • Faculty/graduate students/postdocs
      • Extramural funding & research admin
        • Research Development
        • Pre/Post Award
        • Foundations and Federal Funding
      • Cores (including Research Computing)
      • Commercialization, translational research, & entrepreneurship
      • Communication 


Provost Baucom was asked how the funds for these initiatives (specifically those focused on representation/DEI) are identified and if they are secure. He explained that the money is available, but he will need Counsel’s office assistance. He said he understands we are in an environment where our actions may be more likely to be contested.

Approval of Minutes

Tish Jennings shared minutes from the August 2022 EXCO Meeting to review.

Motion to approve minutes: Kim Acquaviva
Second: Aaron Bloomfield

Parliamentarian Clarification

Ron Christie, Parliamentarian
Mr. Christie shared his perspective on the end of the last full faculty Senate meeting as well as the relationship between the Faculty Senate Bylaws and Robert’s Rules. He advised that the Senate should seek to understand how the Senate Bylaws interact with Robert’s Rules and how procedures are followed to ensure uniformity and consistency going forward.

Tish Jennings confirmed that the Faculty Senate Bylaws state that the Senate will follow Robert’s Rules except in the case where a Bylaw contradicts and takes precedence.

Ms. Jennings said she will plan to study the Senate’s Bylaws and Robert’s Rules for any potential issues and bring observations to the next EXCO.

Committee Chairs Reports

  • None


  • One or more cases are currently underway


  • Recently had a presentation from Provost Baucom and Vice Provost for Planning Adam Daniel.


  • Will be meeting with Vice Provost Louis Nelson to discuss ongoing programs regarding Race, Place, and Equity.


  • Receiving reports from subcommittees.


  • Recently reviewed Appointment of Faculty Members to Administrative Positions
  • Maïté Brandt-Pearce clarified that this is a Provost level policy and so applies only to those under the Provost


  • Committee is looking into the coming removal of Lou’s List

New Business

Tish Jennings proposed the following items to include on the next Full Senate Meeting agenda

Ms. Jennings noted that she will also begin working on scheduling meetings for Spring 2023.

DEI Committee, Eric Ramirez-Weaver (Chair)
Draft resolution opposing the appointment of Bert Ellis to the Board of Visitors
(Shared via email, linked in Box)

Eric Ramirez-Weaver provided background information on the draft resolution from his committee. He noted that this is a difficult issue and that the timing is also a challenge given the bylaw amendment also on the table related to BOV representation. He explained that ideally this resolution would come before the full Senate at the October 25th meeting and also that he believed it would be beneficial to hear from someone on the Student Council, perhaps Jaden Evans, VP for Administration who spoke to the DEI committee. In sharing background on the creation of the resolution, Mr. Ramirez-Weaver noted that BOV appointments are scheduled to be confirmed at the January Virginia General Assembly meeting and thus the window of opportunity to effect change is limited. Mr. Ramirez-Weaver discussed the events of September 11, 2020 involving Mr. Ellis and a Lawn resident. He also noted Mr. Ellis’ involvement in Student Council in 1974-75 and the actions taken during that time. He explained that due to these events and various other issues, the DEI committee believes that it is incumbent upon them to share this resolution.

Mr. Ramirez-Weaver clarified that there are multiple potential trajectories if the resolution passes including taking care of our body, our community and its safety for students and faculty, appealing to colleagues across Grounds as well as the Provost, President, Rector, and the opportunity to put forward a level of protest and statement that may help those in Richmond recognize that their constituencies oppose this choice.

Alan Beckenstein shared that he taught Mr. Ellis in the late 1970’s. He noted that he appreciated the proposal as it is unique to the Faculty Senate. He noted concerns about putting President Ryan in a position that may impact larger political issues.

Mr. Ramirez-Weaver noted that inclusion of President Ryan should not signify a lack of deference but rather than the committee has faith in President Ryan to band together and show a united front.

Aaron Bloomfield recommended against asking President Ryan to openly criticize or advocate for the removal of a BOV member as he works to move his agenda forward. Mr. Bloomfield noted that he believes the Senate could work towards a statement that doesn’t require the Senate to ask the President to advocate for Mr. Ellis’ removal.

Susan Kirk complimented Mr. Ramirez-Weaver for his committee’s work. Dr. Kirk requested to know who confirms the BOV nominations, the House or the Senate. She noted that as current Faculty Rep to the BOV she has found Mr. Ellis to be one of the quieter of the current new members. She suggested exploring a way to reframe the resolution as an affirmation of values without putting the President, Provost, or Rector in a difficult position.

Aniko Bodroghkozy noted that the DEI committee did not expect that the current resolution would pass as is, rather they are open to a different or edited version of the resolution coming from the Senate.

Kim Acquaviva noted that she did not believe the Senate should be making the case to President Ryan but rather at the state level as a faculty. She recommended focusing on Mr. Ellis’ most recent actions.

Carol Manning noted that Mr. Ellis’ actions have been consistent over time. She agreed that we should avoid putting President Ryan in a difficult position but rather should be lobbying senators as individuals and share a statement from the Faculty Senators.

Jeri Seidman commended Mr. Ramirez-Weaver on the development of the current resolution. She noted that both houses vote to approve BOV nominations. Ms. Seidman shared that she felt it would be more strategic to focus on the aspects of personal safety and freedom of speech in relation to Mr. Ellis.

Michael Kennedy asked what might be expected in responses to passing such a resolution?

Susan Kirk noted that the response would depend on who this is directed to. She asked if the group might be interested in offering Mr. Ellis the opportunity to speak to EXCO or the Senate.

Jim Savage suggested thinking of a general statement that could be made not directed at Mr. Ellis but reflecting the values and concerns of the faculty that have been discussed.

Mr. Ramirez-Weaver noted that this is an issue which pertains to an individual and overstepping the bounds of public and individual safety which is the main concern and problem to address.

Ms. Jennings asked Mr. Ramirez-Weaver if the DEI committee would like to work on re-drafting the resolution.

Susan Kirk volunteered to speak with the UVA government liaison to get an understanding of what Faculty Senate would be permitted to do as policy may not allow the organization to communicate directly with government officials.

Mr. Ramirez-Weaver agreed that DEI will make modifications to the existing resolution and will present at the next full Faculty Senate meeting if it is approved by EXCO.

Other New Business

  • Jeri Seidman brought up the recent letter from Black U.Va. concerning racial incidents on Grounds.
    • Susan Kirk noted the President and/or Provost have met with the Black Student Alliance.
    • Brie Gertler noted that President Ryan has committed to additional meetings with the group.
    • Kim Acquaviva noted that the Dean of the School of Nursing has met with representatives.
    • Eric Ramirez-Weaver suggested bringing the group in for a future DEI meeting.
    • Peter Norton noted that the School of Engineering recently hosted a listening session.

Meeting Adjourned
Motion to adjourn: Susan Kirk
Second: Aaron Bloomfield
Meeting adjourned: 1:52pm


Online Vote re: DEI Resolution
Eric Ramirez-Weaver, DEI Chair

On October 19th, EXCO voted online regarding the updated resolution from the DEI committee to determine if it would be presented at the next meeting of the Faculty Senate on October 25th.



WHEREAS the Mission Statement of the University of Virginia states, “We are defined by: Our enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas; our unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect;”

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate confirms our commitment to these principles;

AND WHEREAS, Mr. Ellis violated these principles when he came to the University of Virginia on Friday, September 11, 2020, prepared to vandalize a protest sign mounted by the student resident of East Lawn 36 with a razor;


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate opposes the appointment of U. Bertram Ellis, Jr. to the governing Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate censures Mr. Ellis’ behavior which neither reflects the Mission Statement of the University of Virginia nor fosters the safe space requisite for the free investigation, deliberation, and exploration of ideas.
For: 12 Against: 0

  1. Kim Acquaviva
  2. Alan Beckenstein
  3. Aniko Bodroghkozy
  4. Michael Kennedy
  5. Jim Lambert
  6. Carol Manning
  7. Peter Norton
  8. Eric Ramirez-Weaver
  9. Jim Savage
  10. Jeri Seidman
  11. Agnes Swiatecka-Urban
  12. Sarah Stewart Ware