Faculty Senate Minutes, March 1, 2022

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 2:00 PM, Zoom Webinar

Members Present (46): Elizabeth Alexander, Hanadi Al-Samman, Alan Beckenstein
Aaron Bloomfield, Cathy Campbell, Eli Carter, Donna Chen, Matthew Chin, John Comazzi, Stephen Culp, Todd DeLong, Jay Fox, Gavin Garner, Avik Ghosh, Douglas Grissom, Walt Heinecke, Bob Hirosky, Jay Hirsh, Joel Hockensmith (Past Chair), Tish Jennings (Chair-Elect), Ming Jer Chen, Michael Kennedy, Susan Kirk (Chair), Michelle Kisliuk, Kathryn Laughon, Adria LaViolette, Matthew Lazzara, Kevin Lehmann, Alicia Lopez Opere, Stephen Macko, Kathryn Neeley, Peter Norton, Thomas Pajewski, Rob Patterson, Andrew Pennock, Patrik Sandas, James Savage, Jeri Seidman, Maria Sequeira-Lopez, Jaclyn Shepard, Philip Smith, Sarah Stewart Ware, John Stranix, Nolan Wages, Brian Wright, Victor Zaydfudim

Guest Panelists: Ian Baucom (Provost), Maïté Brandt-Pearce (Vice Provost Faculty Affairs), Mike Citro (Chief of Staff, Provost), JJ Davis (EVP-COO), Joe Fore (General Faculty Council), Brie Gertler (Vice Provost Academic Affairs), Maria Lane (Admin), Brian Pusser (Parliamentarian), Jim Ryan (President)

Meeting called to order
2:02 PM

Welcome & Updates from the Chair
Susan Kirk, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting and shared updates.
Minutes from February 2022 Faculty Senate meeting were reviewed.

  • EDIT: Page 2, Report from Nominating Committee

    • Change “Academic” to “Athletic”

Motion to Approve with Edit: Tish Jennings
Second: Aaron Bloomfield

Vote on the Motion to Approve Minutes
For: 26 Against: 0 Abstain: 0
MOTION PASSES                                                                                                                                              
Statements from 2022-2023 Nominees for Faculty Senate Roles
Nominees who were present shared their statements.
Written statements can be viewed on the Faculty Senate website.


  • Chair-Elect: Michael Kennedy

  • EXCO At-Large: Sarah Ware, Brian Wright, Jeri Seidman, Jay Fox

  • Delegate to Athletic Advisory Committee: Rob Patterson

  • Colonnade Club Board of Directors: Jay Fox

  • Delegate to Financial Strategic Transformation: JT Stranix

  • Delegate to Faculty Senate of Virginia: Benjamin Moses

Faculty Governance at UVA
Susan Kirk, Chair

  • Information on the creation of the UVA Faculty Senate

  • Basic history of the General Faculty Council

  • Comparison of faculty governance at other institutions

  • Information on type and number of faculty at UVA

  • Question to consider: How are faculty at UVA best served regarding faculty governance?

    • A working group is forming to explore this question led by Tish Jennings and Rob Patterson.

  • Question to consider: Who is serving as the voice for Wage Faculty?

New Business
Brian Pusser will be stepping down as parliamentarian for 2022-2023.

  • This position cannot be filled by an active senator.

  • Bylaws do not state that this must be a faculty member.

Q: Can this position be filled by a general faculty member?
A: Yes, could be any faculty member, retiree. Parliamentarian must be a non-senator. They have no voice or vote.

Honor Committee holding Town Hall tonight (3/1) at 7:00 PM

  • Discussing proposed changes to Honor code.

  • There is interest in having faculty input on the matter.

  • It will be held over Zoom at this link as well as livestreamed on The Cavalier Daily's Facebook page.

In-Person Faculty Senate Meetings

  • Mask mandates will be lifted March 21

  • EXCO will move to in-person/hybrid meetings

  • Think about whether we would like to conduct the April Faculty Senate meeting in person/hybrid

  • Susan is thinking about a late April/May event for Faculty Senate

    • President Ryan has offered Carr’s Hill as a potential location for this event

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

  • President Ryan formally introduced Provost Ian Baucom

  • Provost Baucom shared that he has been meeting with various groups and individuals to ask how he can help. Understands that the role of the Provost is to serve the faculty, President, and Deans and ensure that the academic mission of the University can succeed. He noted the role of the Provost is also to advance our research, teaching, service, clinical care, and serve the University overall. How can he support the work of the Senate?

  • Shared early priorities:

    • What do we need to do to advance our research mission?

    • What do we need to do to strengthen our graduate programs?

    • Find ways to move forward in supporting schools diversifying faculty

    • First budget meetings under revised financial model will take place this month

    • Fundamental priority to defend academic freedom of our faculty, staff, students and to be unwavering in that defense.

    • Will continue to attend faculty senate, exco meetings


Susan Kirk shared that there is concern among faculty with the lack of clear governance. There is an opportunity to let faculty know you have their backs in these potentially trying times.

Provost Baucom confirmed that he and the University strongly support academic freedom and will defend it absolutely.

Susan Kirk noted that the Faculty Senate constitution and By-laws are explicit that we serve in an advisory capacity to the President, Provost, and Board of Visitors. There is concern about critical decisions that are made, want to make sure that we have a voice at the table for all of those.

Tish Jennings thanked the Provost for his statement of support, expressed concern about discussions around critical race theory as it is taught in the Education School and they are responsible for educating students who will go on to become teachers.

Provost Baucom acknowledged that we do teach critical race theory at the University and that there are layers of complexity in thinking about how we support our students.

Walt Heinecke asked if it is time for the University to make a statement about academic freedom or a statement supporting other universities who are opposing this political suppression.

Provost Baucom shared that he understands the Senate to be the voice of the faculty and he will support their right to voice what they wish. He noted that he has reviewed our policies on academic freedom to make sure they are robust and clear and noted our endorsement of the AAUP statement on academic freedom.

President Ryan shared that the Provost will be reaching out to the faculty soon to share his views on his role and to talk about the importance of academic freedom. He reminded the senate that they are a powerful group and can make statements without needing an endorsement from the President or Provost.

Peter Norton thanked the Provost for his reference to the AAUP statement and shared that the statement notes that academic freedom requires employment commitment for faculty by year seven and that this is an issue for academic general faculty especially those who may serve beyond that time without an employment commitment.

Provost Baucom shared that he believes academic freedom is possessed by every person at the University (not exclusive to tenured faculty) and confirmed that he will defend it for everyone. Noted the significance of Peter’s insight.

Brief Update on Police Incident (2/28)
JJ Davis, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

  • 5:08pm alleged armed burglary with weapon in Central Garage, activated police response

  • Individual fled on foot into Alderman Library construction zone

  • With UVA and Charlottesville police, suspect did surrender, there was no discharge of the weapon.

  • Continues to be an active police investigation, however there is no threat to the local community.

  • Will do a full de-brief of the incident and provide updates

Brian Pusser requested that additional guidelines, reminders that clearly state what a shelter in place means be shared with faculty and students.

JJ Davis shared that they will send out additional information about what to do in an emergency situation. They will also do a full retrospective.

Continued - Statements from 2022-2023 Nominees for Faculty Senate Roles
Sarah Stewart Ware shared her statement.

New Business
Walt Heinecke asked to discuss the possibility of the senate issuing a statement on the attack of academic freedom happening nationally as well as in the state. Would like to motion that we add to the agenda or ask Exco to draft a statement.
Motion: Walt Heinecke
Move that we consider this as an agenda item for this meeting.
Second: Tish Jennings
For: 26 Against: 0 Abstain: 0

Motion: Walt Heinecke
Motion that Exco take this up at its next meeting and craft a position statement on this issue responding to the national trend as well as the state trend on academic freedom.
(Restated) Statement regarding response to the suppression of academic freedom nationally and within the state to be crafted by Exco and presented to the senate for full vote.
Second: Tish Jennings

Kathryn Neeley shared that it will be important as part of drafting this statement to define when is meant by academic freedom.

Susan Kirk shared that she believes the statement that came from the Committee for Free Expression and Free Inquiry was well written, people could easily understand. We are not redefining our standards of academic freedom at UVA, rather supporting academic freedom everywhere so might just reference that statement.

Vote on the motion
For: 28 Against: 0 Abstain: 0

Motion to adjourn: Tish Jennings
Second: Walt Heinecke

Meeting adjourned
3:52 PM