Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes - January 26, 2024

January 26, 2024
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Senators Present:  Peter Abramenko, Kim Acquaviva, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Rob Garrod, Vanessa Gregg, Tish Jennings, Jamie Jirout, Michael Kennedy, Jim Lambert, Craig Lefanowicz, Alicia Lopez Opere, Charlotte Matthews, Kathryn Neeley, Amy Ogden, Paul Perrin, Sue Saliba, James Savage, Jessica Sewell, David Vander Meulen, June West

Senators on Zoom: Dana Albon, Lanice Avery, Matthew Bolton, Cathy Campbell, Stephen Culp, Eve Danzinger, Todd DeLong, Katia Dianina, Maxim Engers, Natoya Haskins, Juliet Hatchett, Matt Hedstrom, Nizar Hermes, Rich Hynes, Michelle Kisliuk, Matthew Lazzara, Ted Lendon, Stephen Macko, Katya Makarova, Andrew Pennock, Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Michael Rasbury, Patrik Sandas, Jeri Seidman, Mark Whittle, Brian Wright, Kenan Yount

Ex-Officio & Guests Present or on Zoom: Melissa Riley, Wynne Stuart, Priya Kommy, Brie Gertler

Michael called the meeting to order at 2:02 PM.

Review and Approval of Minutes
Chair requests approval of meeting minutes from December 2023.
First:  Kim Acquaviva
Second:  Sue Saliba
Vote:  All Approve
Result: Motion passes

New Business

President Ryan and Provost Baucom Goals for 2024

President Ryan

  • Safety and Security – Law stating that firearms can’t be in buildings owned by the Commonwealth but at the last minute the State exempted Universities probably due to VMI and VA Tech. 

  • External review of November 2022 events. Trying to resolve legal claims and honor the CA request before releasing.

  •  Proposal for second year housing – will try one site and test the market.

  • Honor the Future fundraising goal reached before deadline.

  • Emmett Ivy corridor update – nearing the end of the School of Data Science construction. Want to focus on scholarships for Professorships, especially in Entrepreneurship.

  •  Research investments – made substantial investments through grand challenges, what is the next amount and what are the top priorities in research and infrastructure.

  • Should have a new Vice President of Research by end of the Spring semester.

  • NOVA

  • Internships – how many students have access as undergraduates, and how to make paid internships more accessible.

  • Future of athletics – landscape changes weekly with NIL and the transfer portal.  President Ryan is the Chair of the Board of ACC this year and next. Working with other schools on these challenges.

Provost Baucom

  • Focus – Grand Challenges – Research and 2030 over $200M in grand challenges.

  • Manning Institute of Biotechnology is moving toward a design that encompasses research, manufacturing, and clinical trials.  Aiming for a 2026 opening.

  • Expecting a March/April opening of the Contemplative Commons – CSC home building.

  • Invest in research infrastructure providing all faculty access to research – data analytics and research computing, invest in VPR office, how to structure office, OSP help.

  • Generative AI- there will be a university wide AI Council.

  • Revision of the tenure policy with Maite overseeing. This is a crucial issue and the Provost office wants faculty to have a clear sense of what is expected, that it’s consistent across schools, and that new fields are recognized.

  • Provost Baucom knows that the Faculty Senate is working on disability accommodations and how they impact faculty, keep him apprised of the work.

  • Continue to pay attention to the impact of the conflicts in the Middle East focus on continued academic programming, academic freedom, and freedom of expression. Help students get together and discuss something heated.

  • There’s a task force on religious diversity with three charges: experience, education, and engagement with minority religions at the University.

Candidate Speeches

Eve Danzinger, Michael Kennedy, Charlotte Matthews, Sue Saliba each gave their candidate statement.

BOV Update
Tish Jennings provided an overview of BOV meeting in December 2023.

Academic Affairs Committee – Discussion and motion to end the Masters in the Slavic Language and Literacy College of Arts and Science. No one has been enrolled in the program for 3 years and there’s currently no students in it now. Motion from AAC to close program. Seconded by Jessie Sewell. All in agreement, motion passes.

Brian Pusser – presented on faculty senate elections procedures with a discussion about when to send a senator to an outside board or committee such as:
Finance Committee, Athletics, Colonnade Club, Faculty Senate of VA
Should there be a bylaw that adds the positions, or should they be appointed by the Senate Chair? Often a chair of a faculty senate committee will do ad hoc committees if asked. Discussion covered when to fill these seats, do we hold an election for each one based on that committee or board’s timeline? Brian will do a poll regarding these issues.

Barbara Zunder provided an update from the subcommittee on supporting faculty of students with disabilities.

First look compiling a list of existing resources currently available across the university and then look at where the pain points are that aren’t going to be addressed with additional training or simple rearranging of furniture.

\Discussion covering how do we get a request in before budgets are due when more space and staff to needed to offload some of the requests. Need more clarification on some policies such as religious accommodations. Also need to cover mental health needs.

Aaron Bloomfields presented on faculty representation.

Section 2 of the bylaws – represents all faculty but the faculty senate currently does not meet that bylaw.

Table shown with faculty divided into four groups.

Faculty Senate represents Group 1, Group 2 not considering now, Group 3 would likely lack of support, Group 4 is the group this discussion covers.

Group four is split into three groups:

  • Faculty with non-academic functions – administrative and professional faculty 185

  • AGF without a professorial rank, typically lecturers or instructors (125). This number will decrease as the years go.

  • Faculty not in a school, including librarians, and some in biocomplexity.

Non represented is about 15%. Aaron will follow up with a poll to see if there’s interest in continuing with this topic or tabling it.

Aaron Bloomfield and June West Senate Committee on Communications

Most faculty don’t know what the Faculty Senate does and some don’t know that the Faculty Senate exists. The goal of the committee is to improve engagement by: Letting the faculty senate know we exist but how to do it? Options are for the FS Chair to email the entire faculty once a semester; send an email with one sentence summaries with links for senators to send to dept/school; or full paragraph summaries, possibly with links to more info for senators to send out to dept/school. They are open to more options.

Reminder about the February 8 Celebration of Faculty Diversity at the Forum Hotel.

The next full Faculty Senate meeting is February 16 at 2:00 in Rouss Robertson Room 116.

Motion to adjourn. Kim Acquaviva
Seconded by Aniko Bodroghkozy
Motion Passes
Meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM