Faculty Senate Minutes, April 15, 2022

Date/Time/Location: Friday, April 15, 2022, 12:00 PM
Rouss Robertson 123 & Zoom Webinar

Members Present (In-Person): Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Matt Hedstrom, Bob Hirosky, Michael Kennedy, Susan Kirk (chair), Carol Manning, Rob Patterson, Jeri Seidman

Members Present (Zoom): Peter Abramenko, Hanadi Al-Samman, Ari Blatt, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Francesca Calamita, Cathy Campbell, Eli Carter, Donna Chen, Matthew Chin, John Comazzi, Todd DeLong, Maxim Engers, Jim Fitz-Gerald, Gavin Garner, Mark Haskins, Walt Heinecke, Jay Hirsh, Joel Hockensmith (past chair), Tish Jennings (chair-elect), Ming Jer Chen, Ann Kellams, Jason Kerrigan, Daniel Kinney, Kathryn Laughon, Adria LaViolette, Matthew Lazzara, Kevin Lehmann, Stephen Macko, Katya Makarova, Kathryn Neeley, Peter Norton, Thomas Pajewski Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Anne Rotich, Patrik Sandas, Jim Savage, Maria Sequeira-Lopez, Ryan Smith, Dan Spitzner, Sarah Stewart Ware, Brian Wright, Victor Zaydfudim

Guests Present (In-Person): Ian Baucom (Provost), Jim Ryan (President)

Guests Present (Zoom): Maïté Brandt-Pearce (Vice Provost Faculty Affairs), Brie Gertler (Vice Provost Academic Affairs), Brian Pusser (Parliamentarian)

Meeting called to order
12:05 PM

Discussion with the President and Provost
President Jim Ryan, Provost Ian Baucom

President Ryan offered thanks to Susan Kirk for her work as Chair this year. He noted that he, Provost Baucom, and EVP-COO JJ Wagner Davis owed her a debt of gratitude. He thanked the Senate as a whole, noting that they fulfilled the goals stated in the Senate bylaws to serve the University well through various efforts including policy and program updates, managing Covid, and adjusting to leadership changes. He thanked those Senators who served as Committee Chairs and as representatives to outside organizations.

Provost Baucom provided brief updates on key items he is focused on as the semester concludes.

  • Dean searches in progress: Education, Nursing, SCPS, Arts & Sciences

  • Budget meetings with schools concluding next week, first utilizing new UFM

    • From this process, priorities emerge for cross-area investments

      • Design and implement comprehensive research infrastructure

      • Graduate education (increasing focus and resources, supporting schools)

      • Significant initiatives to affect faculty diversity in hiring and retention

  • Grand Challenges

    • Have received proposals, stakeholder review process complete, make decisions over next 4-6 weeks

    • Next year’s focus will be digital technology & society and precision medicine/health

  • Common Learning Management System for undergrads: Canvas has been selected

    • Piloting in fall, roll out over the course of the next spring and fall semesters

  • Promotion and Tenure Policy Review next year, 3 key goals:

    • Clarity of expectation for all faculty members going through the process

    • Equity across schools

    • Ensure that there is no bias in the process, equity of review for all candidates

  • Undergrad enrollment proposals from deans

    • Almost all would like more students

    • Beginning initial cost estimates: enrollment growth requires hiring (faculty, staff), housing, dining, student affairs, teaching space, research space, etc.

  • Covid

    • Continuing with current policy as conditions permit

    • Continue policy arrangements for fall, strongly recommend but cannot require, reserve right to revisit as circumstances require

Provost Baucom thanked faculty Senate leadership for their work and guidance.


Q: Previously, senators served on P&T committee with Maïté, will that be reinstated?
Provost Baucom: Maïté will continue to work with committee.

Q: How are we supporting intellectual diversity on grounds? How does the democracy area of Grand Challenges/Karsh interact with that?
President Ryan: University will contribute $30-50 million on top of $50 million that Karshs gave to create institute. Centered on belief that bringing people together with different perspectives is how you best advance on challenging topics. Concrete example of this is the Karsh Advisory Board. We ought to be a University where students and faculty feel comfortable voicing their own opinions. They should be prepared to be challenged but willing and comfortable to have that opportunity. Have worked with student groups on this. Created Democracy Dialogues series.
Provost Baucom: One Small Step project from Karsh Institute, Think Again initiative

Q: Does the University have plans to host scholars and students displaced by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine?
Provost Baucom: Working with Scholars at Risk, Steve Mull (Vice Provost for Global Affairs) to support scholars. Number of schools are also working on this individually.

Welcome & Updates from the Chair
Susan Kirk, Chair

Susan Kirk thanked those senators who will be completing their terms this year.

Minutes from March 2022 Faculty Senate meeting were reviewed.

EDIT: Update, page 2 “shred” to “shared”

Motion to approve with edit: Michael Kennedy
Second: Carol Manning, Rob Patterson
For: 36 Against: 0 Abstain: 0

Resolution regarding Academic Freedom
Susan Kirk, Chair (discussion)
Motion from EXCO

WHEREAS executive orders and legislative proposals are being introduced in Virginia, and across the United States, that target academic discussions of racism, including Critical Race Theory, and related issues of inequity in American history in schools, colleges and universities; 
WHEREAS the Faculty Handbook affirms the importance of academic freedom to the proper functioning of the university, citing the American Association of University Professors’ 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and stating: “ Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry;”
WHEREAS faculty have chief responsibility for the University curriculum;
WHEREAS teaching about systemic barriers to the realization of a multiracial, gender-equal democracy is central to any active pursuit of knowledge in the 21st century that aims to produce engaged and informed citizens;
WHEREAS over seventy organizations, including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), issued the Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism and American History (June 16, 2021) declaring their “firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities,” and stating that “In higher education, under principles of academic freedom that have been widely endorsed, professors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject. Educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning”;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate applauds the past actions of the President,  Provost, and Board of Visitors affirming academic freedom in its 2021 endorsement of the University’s Statement on Free Expression and Free Inquiry.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate requests that the President,  Provost, and Board of Visitors reject any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial and gender social justice, including multiple gender identities, including trans- and non-binary genders. Moreover, the Senate requests that they stand firm against encroachment on faculty authority by the governor and the legislature.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that through our preparation of future preK-12 teachers in our classes and professional schools, and with this statement, the Senate expresses support for our K-12 colleagues teaching US history and civics throughout the commonwealth who may be adversely affected by such mandates, legislation, or encroachment.

Discussion on the motion

Motion to amend as follows: Jeri Seidman
“including multiple gender identities, including” in first “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED” section under RESOLUTION

Second: Michael Kennedy
For: 37 Against: 5 Abstain: 1

Vote on the resolution as amended
For: 35 Against: 8 Abstain: 1

Report from Academic Affairs Committee
Aaron Bloomfield, Chair AAC
Notifications of recent items passed by AAC

  • Chemical Engineering: Biotechnology Track

  • Chemical Engineering: Data Analytics and Chemical Engineering Track

  • Medical School: Graduate Certificate in Public Health Sciences

Motion for closure of Slavic Studies PhD program

  • SCHEV review identified Slavic Studies as not meeting viability requirements, suggests closure

  • UVA agreed that PhD should be closed

  • Enrollment has dropped off (still interest but may focus in related areas instead)

  • Only 1 faculty currently advising PhD candidates within this department

Q: Are there students currently in the program that would be affected?
A: There are students currently in the program. Closures come with a sunset clause; students can finish within the program or transfer to related department.

For: 33 Against: 0 Abstain: 4

End of Year Committee Reports
Academic Affairs Committee
Aaron Bloomfield, Chair

  • Has been a pretty quiet year coming off the pandemic.

  • Have a few more proposals to look at.

Faculty Grievance Committee
Hanadi Al-Samman, Chair

  • Grievance had one case this year, began in late August, has been completed.

  • Hanadi expressed that she is extremely proud and pleased with work of committee members.

Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Retirement, & Welfare Committee
Alan Beckenstein, Chair

  • Co-chair departed mid-year

  • Two subcommittees

    • Childcare/spousal issues/gender equity/benefits

    • Trends in adjunct faculty at UVA

  • Feel we are getting late starts with committees, difficulty getting going over the last few years

    • Having people stay on committees longer may help alleviate these issues

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Chair

  • Maïté Brandt-Pearce worked to engage with this group in the Fall to assist with transition back for faculty/students

  • Held monthly meetings, conversations with outside speakers

  • Many committees undertaking DEI work around grounds, having speakers make appeals for the assistance they require was beneficial

Research, Teaching, & Scholarship Committee
Bob Hirosky, Chair

  • Fairly slow year

  • Served traditional role in reviewing undergrad research competition

  • Asked to occasionally review grant proposals which may include restricted research to determine if they are compatible with University requirements

Finance Committee

  • Finance committee did not meet this year

  • No updates

New Business and Wrap Up
Susan shared that senators are invited to attend an end-of-year celebration at the Wool Factory on May 17th, invitations to follow.

Meeting adjourned
Motion to adjourn: Alan Beckenstein
Second: Michael Kennedy
Meeting adjourned: 1:47 PM