Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes - January 29, 2021

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

Friday, January 29, 2021; 11:00am – 1:00pm
Zoom Virtual Meeting


Joel Hockensmith (chair), Hanadi Al-Samman, Ellen Bassett, Alan Beckenstein, Melody Bianchetto, Ari Blatt, Aaron Bloomfield, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Maite Brandt-Pearce, Eli Carter, Donna Chen, Ming-Jer Chen, John Comazzi, Stephen Culp, Luke Dahl, Adam Daniel, J.J. Davis, Linda Duska, Robert Emery, Maxim Engers, James Fitz-Gerald, Jay Fox, Gavin Garner, Peter Gray, Vanessa Gregg, Doug Grissom, Walter Heinecke, Natasha Heller, Ira Herbst, Janet Herman, Bob Hirosky, Jay Hirsh, Tish Jennings, Meg Keeley, Ann Kellams, Michael Kennedy, Susan Kirk, Venkataraman Lakshmi, Kathryn Laughon, Adria LaViolette, Matthew Lazzara, Kevin Lehmann, Antonia LoLordo, Allen Lynch, Stephen Macko, Elizabeth Magill, Carol Manning, Kirk Martini, Kim Mata, Susan Modesitt, Peter Norton, Rob Patterson, Andrew Pennock, James Ryan, James Savage, Jeri Seidman, Maria Sequeira-Lopez, Mircea Stan, Sarah Ware, Ishan Williams, Victor Zaydfudim


Manuela Achilles, Matthew Althoff, Sam Amago, Jayakrishna, Scott Barker, Ira Bashkow, Bethany Bell, Heather, Roger Chevalier, Mike Citro, Janay Crabtree, Dudley Doane, Tessa Farmer, Francesca Fiorani, Roger Fittro, Francine Garrett-Bakelman, Gianluca Guadagni, Maggie Harden, Donna Hearn, Brent Kitchens, Brett Marshall, Cliff Maxwell, Emma Mitchell, John O'Brien, Ellen Ramsey, Mary Repass, Christine Ruotolo, Bellave Shivaram, Allan Stam, Wynne Stuart, Bethany Teachman, Judith Thomas, Petr Tvrdik, Yuri Urbanovich

Administrative Support: Ashley Ayers; Amanda Ludwig (closed captioner)

Meeting agenda:

  1. Convene and Call to Order - Chair Joel Hockensmith

  2. Approve minutes –

    1. *FS 10/20/2020

    2. *FS 11/18/2020

  3. Spring Time tables 2021:

    1. BOV representative – Nominations in Dec./Candidate statements (Oral) Jan 29/Electronic vote Jan 29-Feb 2/BOV decision March 4-5 (per Bylaws)

    2. *Other offices – Nominations close Feb 23 5 pm/Candidate statements posted March 18 with oral March 25/Electronic vote March 25-29 (per EXCO)

  4. Reports:

    1. BOV representative report – Past-chair Bassett

    2. Nominating Committee – Cmte Chair Bassett

      1. BOV Nominee Statements

      2. Gift Policy Committee nominees

    3. AAC Committee – Cmte Chair Bloomfield

  5. Chair comments – Hockensmith

    1. COACHE Survey
      Tentative timeline: Deans/leadership (Feb 8); schools’ dean’s offices during February; Full Faculty Senate meeting (February 23); website made public (late February); town halls with faculty (March and April); summary to BOV (March).

    2. FS Handbook

      1. Time guidelines

      2. Indexing of Bylaws

      3. Standing Committees

        1. Colonnade Club Board of Governors (Joe Garofalo)

        2. Athletics Advisory Council (Susan Kirk, Chair-elect)

        3. Organizational Excellence Leadership Council (Joel Hockensmith)

  6. Past-chair comments - Bassett

  7. Executive Leadership Session: NOON – 12:45 pm

    1. Liz Magill, Provost – Updates & Opening Remarks

    2. Adam Daniel, Vice Provost for Planning

    3. J.J. Davis, EVP & COO – Long Term Economic Outlook

    4. Jim Ryan, President – Legislative Session update

  8. 12:50 pm - Other business

  9. 1:00 pm – Adjourn

“*” denotes items to be approved by “General Consent”. Dissent of a single Faculty Senate member sends the item to an “online” vote by the full FS.

Meeting Notes:

Quorum met; Joel Hockensmith called the meeting to order at 11:02am

Schedule: first hour: Faculty Senate business; second hour: UVA executive administration

Approval of Minutes: no raised hands: by General Consent the minutes have been approved for the October 20 and November 18 Faculty Senate Meetings.

BOV nominations

Ellen Basset sent out call for nominations. Nominations committee can choose, but everyone nominated from the outside can be added to the slate. Nominations from the floor were to be submitted electronically to the nominating committee because no meeting in December. Bylaws: today’s meeting, any nominees should make oral statement. Then vote. Then to BOV for their meeting in early March.

Nominations for other positions: Executive Council and Chair Elect. EXCO recommended soliciting nominations and voting earlier than usual. In the past, the process has run late. Proposal to allow nominations to run through Feb 23 meeting. Nominations sent to Nominating Committee. Or you could bring them up as late as the Feb 23 Full FS meeting. Then close nominations. Then statements from candidates gathered and posted by March 18. Oral presentations at March 25 meeting, then voting would follow that.

Questions? None

Ellen Bassett BOV report:

  • Held December 10-11

  • Financial report for UVA.

  • Susan Kirk and GME program: successful diversity efforts

  • Conversation around the new buildings that are being constructed.

  • College at Wise: Professor Calhoun. First-generation students.

  • Report of COVID practices: we are doing well relative to many other places in the country.

Questions? None

Nominating Committee (screen shared)

  • Members: Ellen Bassett (committee chair), Susan Kirk, Jim Savage, Jeri Seidman, Ben Moses

  • Ellen Bassett: one more member needed

  • We have one nomination for Parliamentarian, but we need two – please send another nomination.

  • One BOV nominee – Joel Hockensmith

  • Joel Hockensmith gave a statement: need to have a BOV rep. Highlighted BOV report that Ellen wrote.

Policy Committee: two names for service to this committee. Names reported to Provost Office.
Sarah Stewart Ware and Stephen Culp have committed to serve on this committee.

Joel Hockensmith: a call for open comments from Faculty Senators: motion on the floor or item on agenda, senators are welcome to comment on them.

Walt Heinecke: referenced the note he sent previously by email about selecting the representative to the Gift Committee. A resolution passed to ask administration to put three members on the committee, who are elected. Provost responded that only one person is appointed to be on the committee. Appointments come from several areas within the institution. Issue at George Mason in their donor committee. Lead to a significant investigation into gift policy and how the oversight is done. Resulted in putting three members on gift oversight committee to ensure faculty interest being recognized during deliberations. Made process more transparent. Reworked their gift policy. Debate about selection of BOV representative. Not enough to have BOV select one from a group of nominees. Why haven’t we learned from that process that we should be electing our representatives to serve in these roles? High level of supervision/participation by faculty is warranted. Senate leaders compromise, and to let it go. But bringing it up to Faculty Senate as a whole because FS leaders should go back to President/Provost to re-negotiate the decision. Assure that the Faculty Senate is at the table and faculty are involved in the process. Having three faculty members is not a big request. It is an important step in evolution of shared governance model.

Peter Norton: concurs. Walt raises an important point. We asked for three and we are getting one. Go back and ask for something closer to what we asked for. There is a lot at stake; faculty members are the experts. Three faculty members are a small minority of a total body. Enough to get the faculty voice out there.

Allen Lynch: also, an argument to be made that it is in the administration’s interest to have faculty input/representation.

Ellen Bassett: this committee does not review every decision; it only looks at agreements that do not conform to the template. This is not the committee for doing strong oversight. There are different ways to be thinking about oversight. For example: the calls for nominations: we had one nomination – people are not stepping up to volunteer for these roles.

Walt Heinecke: what committee is the most important to have faculty oversight on, for donor agreements?

Ellen Bassett: the actions are at the school; the school-level administration is making these agreements. She wants faculty to work with their Deans to assure representation at the school level.

Walt Heinecke: agrees with lack of volunteers for committees. Cultural issue to work on. Giving committees more stature/emphasis will inspire more people to volunteer. Would serve well to have past BOV folks talk about importance of position. Emphasize importance of shared governance roles.

Kevin Lehmann: is the way forward to request that administration appoint committee members to review procedures? Do amendments need to be made?

Aaron Bloomfield: AAC Committee

  • Two proposals passed through streamlining procedures. They passed through him sending an email out; no one objects; it passes.

  • Two upcoming discussions during next Faculty Senate meeting.

Joel Hockensmith: COACH survey

  • The survey is handled by Maite; she asked for recommendations from Faculty Senate, she accepted all three Faculty Senate suggestions.

  • Three Faculty Senators on the COACH committee, which has come up with recommendations.

  • Feb 8: Maite is going to Deans to share results.

  • Faculty Senate will have a report before the next Faculty Senate meeting.

  • Town Hall meetings with the faculty.

  • Will get info to Faculty Senate as soon as possible.

Faculty Handbook

  • Maggie Harden, Ashley Ayers, Brett Marshall, Andre Gainsback and Tasha Cherry – helping out in the background.

  • Indexing of bylaws. (on the screen, Joel showed old view of bylaws and then the revised view, with roman numerals added) Added organization for communicating around the bylaws.

  • Any comments? None

Standing Committees

  • Jeri Seidman: Colonnade Club – representative from Faculty Senate to consult on Colonnade Club’s events and programing. Faculty Senate needs to have a new representative.

  • Joel Hockensmith: this is a longstanding committee. The committee would like to have representative from Faculty Senate.  Continuity would help – maybe a three-year appointment. How does the Faculty Senate contribute?

  • Athletic Advisory Council is the other committee. Chair Elect is usually asked to serve. Susan Kirk is serving this year.

  • Susan Kirk: important committee for Faculty Senate to have representation. A window into that side of UVA, infrastructure that supports student athletes. Codify the position. A two-year appointment would be good. Takes one year to understand who the major players are.

  • Organizational Excellence Leadership Council. Joel has served. In the past, it took high-level projects given by executive leadership, reviewed them, and provided input. Example: Workday. Committee reviewed Workday and delayed it being rolled out. It is time for someone else to serve on this committee. How do we codify it, how do we get people to serve?

  • Joel Hockensmith: any comments or recommendations about how to go forward? The Colonnade Club needs someone now.

  • Jay Fox: I’m a member and would participate if asked.

  • Ellen Bassett: refer to EXCO for codification and procedures. We have volunteers now but might not in the future. The Athletics one is important for Faculty Senate representation.

  • Joel Hockensmith: want to raise awareness about this issue

  • Walt Heinecke: ask administration for a list of all university committees on which faculty are appointed. Who has served in the past? What are the terms of service? Subset of committees that are a part of a larger issue.

  • Joel Hockensmith: I don’t think this central list exists. How would we collect a list of those committees? Pass along your ideas for how to collect. Then we could put them in the handbook.

  • Ellen Bassett: people are volunteering in the chat. We could capture those volunteers.

Ellen Bassett: past chair comments

  • Divest UVA – divesting from fossil fuels. Resolution was not embraced by EXCO.

  • Question for full Faculty Senate: is this a topic we want to explore?

  • Financial implications; should it to go a committee.

  • We could invite students to come talk about their position.

  • We could have a faculty debate and devote a session to discussion (faculty experts can discuss the pros and cons).

  • Might be useful for investment strategies being pursued by university.

  • Peter Norton: proceed with interest in exploring this topic.

  • Joel Hockensmith: any other questions? Anything else to address before moving on to next topic?

  • Kevin Lehmann: speaking against the motion Ellen presented. We need fossil fuels. I am convinced that we’ll always use them, with carbon caption. It’s an empty activity. Should work on reducing carbon footprint. Demonizing others for bad choices we all make. If companies shut down, we’d have a crisis. Instead of divesting, we should stop buying.

President Ryan and Provost Magill

  • Liz Magill: Joel, Susan, Ellen suggested the Faculty Senate is interested in: a general update on the budget process (COO and Provost Office, Adam Daniel will talk high-level about where we are); high-level sense of outlook for university, what’s the big picture outlook financially and operationally; legislative session, what’s going for legislative priorities, President Ryan will address.

  • Adam Daniel: planning environment is uncertain. What is the state doing with its budget? What will COVID do?

  • University Financial Model. Metrics exists for allocations to units.

  • Halfway through the process for the coming year.

  • Budgets due early- to mid-February. Schools submit their own budgets using parameters from central institution. Schools/units set their own priorities.

  • In March, Provost meets with each school to review each budget.

  • In April, we’ll know more about the budgets.

  • In FY21, most schools are doing well. Due to good financial management; schools are trying to reduce costs. Because of lock-down measures from pandemic, costs have been down. Those savings are not sustainable, as we return to post-pandemic travel, expenses, normal operations.

  • Costs still being spent on pandemic-related issues.

  • Endowments are robust, gifts have been variable. Sponsored research is down.

  • State economy and legislative action will determine what we do.

  • J.J. Davis: UVA has long history of prudent financial management.

  • We are in the 11th month of managing the pandemic. Very disruptive of work and personal lives. Increased costs, loss of revenues, intense work environment. Not a lot of experience to draw from.

  • UVA came into the pandemic financially strong. Everyone has worked collaboratively to assist with financial stability. Shared sacrifices: salary cuts and operational cost cuts. Everyone working together has helped us get through this. Federal and state relief, significant but doesn’t make up for all the losses. UVA Health: furloughs and pay cuts, for short term mitigation.

  • Finance team has managed internal debt.

  • UVA Health – dealing with financial issues while also being frontline healthcare workers.

  • What does the future bring? Cautious, financially. Excited about the vaccines. Patience is necessary. Shared sacrifice has put us in a good place. We are not out of the woods, yet. National economy/global.

  • Monitoring closely: tuition. It is a range, BOV approved policy.

  • Pay raises. State required. Compensation is a critical issue for faculty/staff.

  • State: Revenue collections, better than expected. Not seeing state budget reductions.

  • Leadership has set clear set of guiding principles. We are built on a solid financial system that has served us well and will continue We are all in this together – shared sacrifices and creativity will help us get through.

  • Jim Ryan: legislative session

  • End on Feb. 11. Likely to be extended to end of February, by the governor.

  • Much being done by Zoom.

  • 1200 bills regulations introduced.

  • Those bills that affect UVA are looked at closely. 400 bills reviewed.

  • Local control, legalization of marijuana.

  • Public aid to documented/undocumented students. Students are admitted without consideration of status. Cannot provide financial aid without authorization from state.

  • Increased board transparency and accountability.

  • Statute of limitations on medical debt.

  • Prohibiting asking about criminal history on applications.

  • Budget: a joint request with all public institutions:  one-time funding to deal with COVID-19 expenses (PPE, isolation/quarantine 3 million would go to UVA)

  • Costs for testing (state passing federal funding for testing; we would get 2 million)

  • 2% base funding commonwealth provides – access and affordability, especially if no tuition increase. 5.7 million for UVA of the total amount; would be ongoing.

  • State increase for all state employees.

  • Supporting UVA Wise in their request for support for a family nurse practitioner program, which would be run by UVA but there would be faculty at UVA Wise to run the program.

  • Health System two budget amendments.

  • More funding for care of indigent. Increasing reimbursements when it treats indigent patients.

  • Disqualified if assets total $2K. increase limit to $50K in assets – you would be entitled to care being reimbursed.

  • Full reimbursement for patients falling 100-200% below poverty line.

  • 5 million for the Cancer Center. VCU receives more funding than UVA but we are asking to get us closer to the same amount of financial support.


  • Andy Pennock: capital projects in works? Alderman Library?

  • Jim Ryan: we already received funding for Alderman. Interested in making sure funding for capital projects do not disappear. No new capital projects brought forward this time.

  • Jim Savage: soft money for contracts/grants.

  • Liz Magill: aggregated numbers. We feared a big drop, but the drop hasn’t been as big. Philanthropic support has not gone down. Industrial sponsors have declined the most.

  • JJ Davis: initially anticipated a significant drop off but we have not seen that level. Specific case by case. There is sometimes a lag.

  • Kathryn Laughon: status of medical debt situation; collections.

  • Jim Ryan: Craig Kent and his team are going through recommendations from the committee re: past judgments and liens. What debt to forgive? They are now dealing with it, work to be done assessing the recommendations.

  • Hanadi Al Samman: percentage of faculty raises?

  • Liz Magill: it is uncertain and depends on what the legislature decides. A raise is a large cost to the institution. A freeze, but there have been requests for exceptions.

  • Adam Daniel: Liz has been talking to Deans about this issue.

  • Liz Magill: we don't know if we can do a full standard salary program. Deans, chairs, faculty are worried about the impact. Trying to balance available resources with competitive position we are in and the institution rises/falls on faculty who are here. Faculty/staff are worried about those lowest on the pay scale. Health consequences disproportionally borne by those lower paid in the economy. Equity concerns throughout the pay scale.

  • Kevin Lehmann: public skepticism about vaccine. What level of vaccination do we need to control it? Are we getting to that level? Going forward, are there mandates to get the numbers up?

  • Jim Ryan: 70 to low 90% needs to be vaccinated to be able to pull back on the safety measure that are currently in place. That is going to take some time, due to current conditions of vaccine availability. Everyone in VA should be vaccinated by summer (according to governor).

  • Making it mandatory is not permitted while it is under emergency use authorization. Making it mandatory is not on the table now.

  • Liz Magill: people are anxious and hesitant. Craig Kent has formed an advisory group on vaccine hesitancy. Kevin McDonald and Taison Bell are leading this group. UVA is a thought partner with Blue Ridge Health to try to get to those in the community who are hesitant to get the vaccine.

  • Kevin Lehmann: what is status on those in Health System who have accepted vaccination?

  • Liz Magill: I do not have data, but the vaccine team would have those numbers.

  • Jim Savage: status of support in congress?

  • Jim Ryan: Senators are most important. Broader issue: taking a look at our approach to federal relations. Assessing the services that the firm has provided. I think we could be doing more.

  • Jim Savage: UVA should have an office in Washington.

  • Jim Ryan: there are two models: the first is a school represented by a firm representing several Schools. The other model is that the school has an office in Washington DC. We are currently trying to assess the model.

  • Walt Heinecke: donor gift policy. What is the rational for rejecting the Faculty Senate’s request for seating three representatives and going to appointment process?

  • Liz Magill: we are not George Mason. Resolution: authority resolution, asking them to consider many things. Are universities’ committees determined by elections? Vetting involved. Not a Faculty Senate specific question but if a committee is appointed by the Provost, need lots of input with representative committee. Should we have a rule that if the Faculty Senate elects three people, the President should be accepting those elections?  Vetting: peers do not always know the 360 perspective on each other. How does the committee work together?

  • Rob Patterson: vaccination. Does this come down to health districts that serve various locations? Longwood is already vaccinating their faculty. What is the role that health districts play in getting people vaccinated?

  • Liz Magill: surprised to hear that Longwood is vaccinating faculty. Most of the state still working on group IB. Maybe they have a supply of vaccines or a small population so that they can go to the IC group. Our health district is prioritizing populations within the IB category. Not only specific to the health district but should understand how they are prioritizing within the district.

  • Groups IABC is about 50% of the population of the state.

  • Jim Ryan: also surprised to hear that because IB is a big group. Not surprised by news of variation across the health districts. Local districts have some autonomy and discretion.

  • Walk Heinecke: thanks for your leadership for community engagement initiatives. Are you requiring community members who serve on those work groups to sign non-disclosure agreements?

  • Jim Ryan: no, except maybe in affordable housing group. Yes, in that group because it causes issues.

  • Walt Heinecke: may cause cutting off discussions between minority representation with their communities and get input from their communities.

  • Jim Ryan: there will be plenty of opportunity to get input from those populations. We are trying to strike a balance between having information leak to cut off opportunities, and to also get input.

  • Jim Ryan: good luck on the upcoming semester and thank you for all that you are doing.

  • Joel Hockensmith: if you have business that needs to be on the Faculty Senate agenda, get it to us ASAP so we can take it to EXCO and it can be on the agenda.

Meeting adjourned at 12:58pm

Zoom chat log:

  • 00:21:31: Susan Kirk (she/her): Thanks, Ellen. They are winning one of the Health System’s MLK awards at noon today!

  • 00:22:57: J.J. Davis: Great job Ellen!  Thanks for all you do.

  • 00:30:03: Peter Norton: On this issue, I found the message from GMU that Walt forwarded to us all compelling. It’s worth reading.

  • 00:51:48: Peter Norton: You’re doing great, Joel!

  • 00:58:14: Robert Patterson: Good ideas, Susan. Thanks.

  • 00:58:36: Susan Kirk (she/her): Not a requirement but probably helpful! :)

  • 01:00:49: Susan Modesitt: I could do the Colonnade club

  • 01:00:56: Susan Modesitt: I already belong

  • 01:02:43: Tish Jennings: Good idea Walt

  • 01:03:13: Maria Sequeira-Lopez: Great idea Walt!

  • 01:03:34: Susan Kirk (she/her): Somewhere in the greater organizational chart, all/most committees should be listed.

  • 01:03:44: Eli Carter: I could do the Athletics Advisory Council

  • 01:04:41: James Fitz-Gerald: I would like to hear more about the Athletics as well.  I am interested.

  • 01:07:21: Susan Modesitt: I think we should have an open call for each of the committees that have an open faculty representative position and people can self nominate/nominate others and if more than one volunteer, can do an election.  Many folks will want to be on athletics (and others) and it would be important to be inclusive in allowing folks to potentially get involved. 

  • 01:09:18: Andrew Pennock: It would be helpful for the EXCO to consider the length of terms for these important committees. I’ve heard several folks mention the steep learning curve in year one for these committees.  This could increase the effectiveness of the senate reps in these positions.

  • 01:22:05: Allen Lynch: Yes. But be advised that my tenure on the Senate ends this summer. Thanks.

  • 01:53:19: Ann Kellams (she/her): it is 60% as of last week in health system

  • 01:53:55: Elizabeth Magill: Of those invited Ann?

  • 01:55:18: Ann Kellams (she/her): yes. a little higher than that but in the 60’s.  they are doing a big push fir first doses this week with a deadline.  hopefully will improve!

  • 02:09:29: Tish Jennings: Thank you to you all!