Faculty Senate Minutes, November 16, 2021

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 2:00 PM, Zoom Webinar

Members Present(46): Peter Abramenko, Elizabeth Alexander, Hanadi Al-Samman, Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Darryl Brown, Francesca Calamita, Cathy Campbell, Eli Carter, Donna Chen, John Comazzi, Todd DeLong, Maxim Engers, Jim Fitz-Gerald, Jay Fox, Gavin Garner, Douglas Grissom, Claudrena Harold, Mark Haskins, Walt Heinecke, Robert Hirosky, Joel Hockensmith, Tish Jennings, Jason Kerrigan, Bradley Kesser, Daniel Kinney, Susan Kirk, Adria LaViolette, Matthew Lazzara, Stephen Macko, Carol Manning, Kathryn Neeley, Peter Norton, Thomas Pajewski, Rob Patterson, Andrew Pennock, Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Anne Rotich, Patrik Sandas, James Savage, Jeri Seidman, Jaclyn Shepard, Sarah Stewart Ware, John Stranix, Nolan Wages, Kenan Yount

Guest Panelists: Maïté Brandt-Pearce (Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs), Andrew Chambers (Honor Committee Chair), Steven Ellis (Compliance Analyst), Nicole Thorne Jenkins (Dean, McIntire), Maria Lane (Admin Support), Joe Fore (General Faculty Council), Bill Pusser (Parliamentarian), J.J. Wagner-Davis (EVP-COO)

Meeting called to order
2:02 PM

Welcome & Updates from the Chair
Susan Kirk, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting and shared updates.

  • Update on faculty termination process

    • Faculty Senate provided peer review panel for recent instance of action regarding failure to comply with vaccine mandate (Health System)

    • Chair: Alan Beckenstein, Panel: Tish Jennings, Bob Hirosky

    • We are thankful for their time and how seriously they took this process.

  • Update on spring meeting times polling process

    • There does not seem to be interest in moving to fixed time/dates for FS meeting

    • Will go through the process to find times that fit best for most via an online poll

  • Update on Nomination Committee

    • EXCO approved members of the Nominating Committee

    • If you are interested in serving as an at-large EXCO member or Chair-Elect, please let Joel Hockensmith know, he is chair of that committee.

    • There will also be an opportunity for floor nominations in the spring.

  • Minutes from September 2021 Faculty Senate meeting were reviewed.

    • EDIT: change “minutes” to “meeting” on page 8

Tish Jennings initiated motion to approve minutes; Rob Patterson seconded.
Vote on the Motion to Approve Minutes
For: 24 Against: 0 Abstain: 0

  • Faculty Handbook revision ratification

    • Background: A statement from the AAUP Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure had been removed from the Faculty Handbook. There was a request to put that statement back in. That motion was approved unanimously 36 to zero. The statement then went to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs office and with two minor revisions came back to EXCO. This is the statement as it currently exists and can now be ratified by the Faculty Senate.

Jim Fitz-Gerald initiated motion to ratify; Rob Patterson seconded.
Incorrect text was presented. Jim Fitz-Gerald withdrew motion.

“The University endorses the statement on Academic Freedom within the 1940 Statement of Principles of the American Association of University Professors (posted at”

Jim Fitz-Gerald initiated motion to ratify; Rob Patterson seconded.
Vote on the Motion to Ratify addition to Faculty Handbook
For: 31 Against: 1 Abstain: 0

Academic Affairs Streamlining Process
Aaron Bloomfield, Chair, Academic Affairs Committee

  • A number of years ago, all AAC proposals came before the Full Senate for a vote. We found that this was taking a significant amount of time. So, the Senate passed a streamlining procedure where any sub degrees (minors, concentration tracks, certificates) once approved by AAC, got expedited through the Senate in the form of emails where we share the proposals and allow for any questions/concerns to be presented. If nothing is said after one week, it is considered passed.

  • Existing streamlining procedure is categorized based on previous SCHEV (State Council of Higher Education in Virginia) approval/notification process. SCHEV has updated the approval/notification separation, so our procedure needs revision.

    • Currently, things that need approval go through the Full Senate. Things that require notification go through AAC, then EXCO, then are emailed to Senate. Things that require only institutional approval go through AAC, then are emailed to Full Senate.

    • We have tried to keep same approval categories and same classifications.

      • Anything related to degrees must go through the Full Senate.

      • Anything else (once approved by AAC) is emailed to Senate (can be discussed if needed).

      • Difference is that some things previously went through EXCO and some did not.

Proposal for an updated streamlining procedure for the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC):

  1. The faculty senate delegates authority to the AAC to approve any proposals that are any type of action (including creation, removal, and renaming) on concentrations, tracks, minors and certificates, with the one exception of a new post-professional certificate. Once the AAC has approved such a proposal, the full faculty senate would be notified. Any senate member would have one week to request a discussion (and thus a vote) at the next senate meeting. If no such request is made, then the proposal would be considered to be passed, and the faculty senate would be notified of said approval before or at the next senate meeting.

  2. A last category consists of “outliers” – actions that rarely happen. They include: a joint degree program with another institution, merging of existing degree programs, opening a branch campus of UVA, and changing of UVa’s statement of purpose. The first two would originate in the AAC and go through both EXCO and the full senate for a vote. It is unclear if the last two, if they were to happen, would even originate in the AAC; EXCO would be charged with deciding their approval path.

    Note that the list of items that require senate approval is maintained by UVA’s Office of Institutional Research and Analytics (IRA). That list can be found at IRA Approval Process and is partly mandated by Virginia state law. As items are added or removed from that list by IRA, the items in the various categories in this streamlining procedure will automatically adapt accordingly.


Motion from the Academic Affairs Committee, EXCO
Vote on the Motion
For: 34 Against: 0 Abstain: 0     

Honor Committee Update
Andrew Chambers, Chair, Honor Committee

  • The Honor System started in 1842 and was founded as a compact between the faculty and students at the time. It began as an academic pledge, but students soon took it into their own hands and instituted upon themselves a policy we now call “single sanction” meaning that if someone is found guilty of an honor offense, they are expelled from the University.

  • The general change folks want is something called multiple sanction or multi-sanction which provides some methods by which the committee could sanction with more than just expulsion.

  • The Honor Committee’s purview is limited to enrollment. We do not have power or authority to for example, fail an assignment, fail a class, remove a student from a major. We can simply say you are no longer at the University whether temporarily or permanently. Or we can have them do something as minor as signing an apology letter.

  • The three key issues facing the system that we see:

    • Buy-in from students, faculty, administration

    • Increasing jury nullification – require 4/5 majority to convict and may have numerous abstentions or not guilty votes on principle

    • Inconsistency in the informed retraction

      • Student may admit guilt and take a year away from the University to make amends

      • Student may deny guilt and be found not guilty, or it may be dropped

      • Student who admits guilt may suffer harsher penalties than the student who denies it

  • This year, the committee attempted to change the constitution. To initiate constitutional change, it must either come from the committee to be put up for a student vote in the spring. Or it may be put up for student petition which requires 10% of the entire student body to sign on in favor of it being added to the ballot. Then it must pass a vote in the spring.

  • Several multiple sanction options were presented, all failed to one proposal by students in the School of Law that said simply that single sanction will maintain and instead of expelling students, the Honor Committee would hand down a two semester leave of absence. This has lost steam; it looks like it will not go through the Committee. I presume that one of the Law representatives who offered the proposal will work to add it as a student petition.

Q: If the Honor Committee institutes a change, is that immediately enacted, or does it have to go up through the BOV for final approval?
A: There are a few levels of approval. If it goes through the Committee route, it must first receive 2/3 vote of the entire Committee and will then go to University Counsel to ensure legality. BOV is very hands off. After approval by Counsel and the Honor Committee, it would go to a student vote in the spring where it would need to have both 10% of the total student population voting in favor as well as 60% of all those voting, voting in favor.


For Faculty Senate: In what way do you think the Honor Committee can bring faculty back in? Whether it be procedural or situational. I have heard the issue of faculty treatment. The other thing we’ve heard often is the length of the process. The average case can take anywhere from two to six months.

Please reach out to Andy with any questions or comments:

Current State PROV-004 with Q&A
Maïté Brandt-Pearce, VP Academic Affairs; Joe Fore, Chair, General Faculty Council; Peter Norton, Faculty Senate Policy Committee Representative; Joel Hockensmith, Past Chair, Faculty Senate

Maïté Brandt-Pearce:

  • In January 2017, the University adopted the PROV-004 policy governing the employment of Academic General Faculty (AGF), in conjunction with an implementation period in which schools revised their own supplemental policies and evaluated positions for placement on the appropriate track. Since then, individual faculty members, the Faculty Senate Policy Committee, the General Faculty Council, and school leadership have provided extensive feedback to the provost’s office regarding the implementation of this policy.

  • Based on faculty proposals and discussions with school leadership, the provost’s office is considering revisions to the policy as described below. Our goal is that any resulting revisions honor the intent of the policy to provide clear, equitable terms and conditions of employment, including standards for review and promotion, affirm the role of academic general faculty in faculty self-governance at the University, and promote principles of academic freedom. This revision is motivated in part by recommendations from the President’s Racial Equity Task Force and as a follow-up to the COACH Faculty Job Satisfaction survey.

  • Our office is drafting language to reflect these proposals and plans to soon present a revised policy draft to the deans for review. We will then post a draft online as an opportunity for faculty to review and comment through the end of the year. We will also hold a town hall to discuss the draft in December. We aim to send out the policy, with any resulting updates, for the official 30-day review period in January, with finalization and publication in February.

Policy Issues:

  1. Timing of Promotion Review: Currently, the policy states that AGF “may choose to be considered for promotion to associate rank in any review cycle after serving six continuous years,” and that the faculty member and supervisor may agree to go up earlier than the seventh year under “extraordinary circumstances.” School policy on the default timing has varied.

    1. The provost’s office proposes the policy wording be made clearer to convey that schools must provide AGF the opportunity for a promotion review within 7 years in rank (assistant or lecturer). Schools may set in their policy the default of a combined renewal/promotion review in year 6 or separate an earlier renewal decision from the promotion review.

    2. We are considering the change that faculty must opt-out if they wish to postpone or forego a default promotion review, instead of “choosing” to be reviewed for promotion.

    3. We support removing the “extraordinary circumstances” language on early review and reference prior experience. Schools may conduct an early promotion review as they see fit, the difference from the default timing being that the AGF’s supervisor (e.g. chair) must concur.

  2. Policy principles and additional protections for AGF after 6+ years in rank: The GFC asked for AGF to receive position renewal protections automatically at year 6 (instead of with promotion). While we are not considering this change at this time, we are open to adding language to the policy to stipulate the following, intended to be of particular benefit to those faculty serving 6+ years in assistant or lecturer rank that have not been promoted.

    1. Schools must have written criteria and procedures governing renewals for faculty

    2. Assigned effort must be consistent with the criteria that govern reappointments and promotions

    3. Supervisors must guide faculty members toward timely and successful promotion reviews

    4. Faculty with 6+ years in rank have a right of appeal to the provost in the event of non-renewal

  3. Stated effort percentages for each track: The provost’s office is considering rephrasing these percentages to less specific guidance language as long as the primary effort matches the track. We will also clarify how faculty may engage in activities (teaching, research, service, administration, etc.) other than the primary effort.

  4. Language regarding scholarship on the teaching track: The provost’s office is considering removing qualifiers related to scholarship being “pedagogical or disciplinary” and “enhancing teaching” in Section II.F(1), leaving it to schools to specify if and what type of scholarship is required or allowed to count for promotion.

    1. If required, scholarship for promotion on the teaching track must be evaluated according to the standards set out in the school’s policies on Academic General Faculty Members.

  5. Option for 5-year contract after promotion: Faculty requested that all renewals after promotion be for 5-year terms instead of 3-year.

    1. Some schools want to stay with 3-year terms and others want 5. We propose that schools may define in their policies equitable conditions under which 5-year contracts are granted after promotion.

  6. General Faculty working title: Faculty have raised the issue of the use of the qualifier General Faculty for teaching-track AGF (e.g. Associate Professor, General Faculty) for external audiences. We are considering that:

    1. Schools may specify in policy an alternate formal title for teaching faculty for external audiences, such as Professor, Teaching-track or Teaching Professor. This alternate formal title could be use in external legal, contractual and employment documents, including, but not limited to, grant and fellowship applications, and funding requests.

    2. AGF may continue to use a working title as currently defined in policy.

  7. 1+1+1 year contract option: The provost’s office is carefully monitoring the use of 1-year appointments and notes that their use is decreasing. We have heard from schools that they need this option due to 1) occasional uncertainty about continued enrollment or course needs; 2) occasional uncertainty about faculty performance; and 3) unpredictable short-term needs such as leave replacements. Thus, we are not considering a policy change on this issue at this time.

  8. Three months’ notice for reappointment or non-renewal of faculty on 1-year contracts: Faculty request a determination of their renewal status 3 months before the expiration of a 1-year contract. The provost’s office has heard from schools that this is not feasible due to unavoidable uncertainty in staffing needs deep into the summer. Thus, we are not considering a policy change on this issue at this time.

Joe Fore:

  • GFC’s overall takeaway is that we see these proposals as positive developments. It is not everything our members or constituents have requested but we see these as positive developments that present a pretty low risk of unintended consequences. GFC conducted an internal survey in spring 2021 and held a town hall meeting to gather feedback from Academic General Faculty around the University. Academic General Faculty seem to think that the recent policy has been an improvement by providing some structure and certainty around aspects of hiring and promotion that were previously ambiguous.

  • We did hear a couple of concerns, the biggest one was making sure that promotion criteria matched up with what it is the general faculty were doing such that promotion would be an attainable and realistic goal in a timely manner. Because there was a potential mismatch between allocations and the promotion criteria, there was a concern that individuals weren’t getting promotions in a timely manner in six or seven years which is particularly problematic because employment commitments in the policies are tied to promotion. There was a concern that with faculty not being able to attain promotion, that they would also be subject to potential non-renewal for vague or arbitrary reasons. Our goal in making suggestions to the Vice Provost was to ensure that there was better alignment between the effort allocations and the expectations laid out in the policy and the promotion criteria.

    • The changes that the Vice Provost outlined do accomplish those broad goals.

  • PROV-004 is undoubtedly an important policy but we can't forget the importance of school specific policies. As you go back to your constituents, and you hear concerns or questions be aware that not everything is going to be addressed by PROV-004; some of these issues are going to be issues at the school level.

Peter Norton:

  • Thank you to the people who've put so much time into this policy revision: General Faculty Council, UVA chapter of AAUP, members of the Faculty Senate Policy Committee, Provost’s Office.

  • I've been involved with this policy since Provost Simon formed the Non-Tenure Track Task Force in 2013 which was a faculty task force to develop some basic principles to guide the policy. Under Provost Katsouleas the policy that we now call PROV-004 was drafted. There was dissatisfaction with elements of that policy and it's been a long effort to try to get those addressed.

  • While under the previous policy, there was an expectation of continued employment review which was a selective review and if it was satisfactory after year six you had a limited but significant employment commitment. Now under the current policy, that follows from a successful promotion review. If you're not promoted you can be reappointed, the effect being at-will reappointments that can extend on for a long time. When you mix that possibility with the fact that the effort allocations can be misaligned with the criteria for successful promotion, what I hear as a side effect is that department chairs/mentors will guide assistant professors on the academic general faculty teaching track away from seeking a timely promotion on the grounds that their effort allocation isn't setting them up to succeed.

    • I see possibilities in the current proposals to mitigate that effect, and I hope that that those will ultimately bear fruit.

  • There is a compounding effect in which a dean's office will staff departments on the assumption that academic general teaching faculty members will bear substantially heavier teaching loads than a tenure track faculty member. Professors tell me that they feel overburdened by the teaching to the point that they can't do what's necessary to earn a successful promotion.

    • Some of those who do get successfully promoted are stellar faculty members that are sources of pride for UVA and a real credit to the institution. Some of those who make it that far would pass a tenure review if they had the option of requesting one. It was a recommendation of the Non-Tenure Track Task Force’s final report (2015) that such faculty members have the right to request a tenure review.

  • I think the interest of the entire faculty is at stake in this because the reputation of faculty is dependent in part on having faculty members who are subject to a selective review rather than people who are instead guided toward a non-promotion, at-will reappointment path. As the faculty, we have a responsibility for the academic mission of our institution, and I think it helps us pursue that academic mission to ensure that all our colleagues have all the opportunities they need for timely and successful promotional reviews. And then it remains up to the faculty member concerned to make the most of those opportunities.

Joel Hockensmith:

  • This process started last December with notice from the Vice Provost to the Faculty Senate it was then handed to the Policy Committee which took in a lot of comments and passed them to the Vice Provost. General Faculty Council has played an important role. I was brought in recently.

  • People have been very forthcoming. They've worked very hard and there have been groups of faculty that met in the background so there's lots of different inputs that have come in. At the meeting that we had last Friday we were only able to consider the first four of the eight points that were presented today, but it was great to have the Associate Deans and to have faculty representatives all sit and come to what I thought was very close to unanimous agreement on those first four points. What I was hearing was the that the Associate Deans and the Faculty were very far apart and that didn't turn out to be the case.


Please email comments/questions to Maïté at

New Business and Wrap Up
No new business.

Meeting adjourned
4:00 PM