Summary of 9/1 Senate meeting

Senators – below is a summary of yesterday’s meeting from Recording Secretary Scott Street. Please share with faculty in your area. We also have the Bike Race FAQ document from Jamie Stillman. Official minutes will be out for review before our next meeting on September 29.

Summary of September 1 Faculty Senate Meeting

  • Holly Alford is the new president of Faculty Senate
  • Bike Race Update (Adam Crowe) | Bike Race Briefing presentation
    • Unified Command/Communication Center to coordinate VCU services during race…contact number to be published week before race
    • Biggest impact to campus will be September 25–27
    • Bridgesto be erected over Main St. and Franklin St.
      • Must use Main St. bridge to cross at that intersection starting this week until bridge is removed…traffic lights will be blocked by bridge.
    • Transportation/Parking planswill be posted week before race
      • All subscribers will have parking available in lots or decks
      • About 1000 unsubscribed spaces will be used as public pay spaces
    • Resources on the Bike Race
    • Bike Race Information from Jamie Stillman (Provost Office) Handout of Bike Race FAQs | Bike Race Powerpoint Presentation
      • Liberal telecommuting has been approved
      • State has approved 16 hours of paid time to volunteer at Bike Race
        • This is separate from the standard community service leave)
      • Business operations will continue during the Bike Race
      • Staffing should be such that no one is ever alone in any building
      • Faculty/staff should use available time during the Bike Race to take advantage of thenumerous professional development and training opportunities offered through Atomic Learning:
  • President’s Welcome (Dr. Michael Rao)
    • VCU is at an advantage by being a premier urban research university
    • We need to leverage this as we plan for the future
    • We may need to think differently about the future of higher education in order to achieve the success we desire
    • We must demonstrate how we will connect our goals and direction with that of the Commonwealth of Virginia
    • President Rao invited senators and all faculty to share with him their thoughts and insights about what we see as the biggest challenges facing us as educators today.
  • Provost Report (Dr. Gail Hackett)
    • She has enjoyed first six months at VCU and is delighted to be in Richmond
    • She has met with faculty and staff of many units and hopes to visit remaining units sometime this year
    • Several important searches are underway
      • Dean, School of Education
      • Dean, College of Humanities & Sciences
      • Vice President for Finance & Administration
      • Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
      • Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
    • This year’s freshman class is most diverse ever at VCU
      • Over 50% minority
      • Over 30% underrepresented minority
    • We have a 62% 6-year graduation rate (64% for African-American students)
    • Retention rate in first two years is improving, but it is dropping in years 3 and 4
      • Areas to investigate for improving retention rate in later years include gateway courses and financial aid
    • She is looking toward new initiatives to improve faculty/staff recruitment and retention
    • She promoted the new Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation (I3) led by Aashir Nasim
    • Plans to reinstate a faculty mentoring program (with improvements)
    • She is also looking into situations/opportunities of interest to term faculty
    • New university budget model is progressing steadily
  • VP for Health Sciences Report (Dr. MarshaRappley)
    • She has thoroughly enjoyed her first few weeks on the job.
    • She is looking for ways to work with interdisciplinary challenges within the University and improve our involvement with community engagement and community health
    • Urban universities are at the forefront of such activities, so now is our time to capitalize on that
    • The new VCU Health branding is to strengthen our position and planning as a single entity to better leverage opportunities for health sciences
    • The new email addresses are a result of our switch in the health system from Lotus Notes to Microsoft 365 for email services and brings us in line with what our peer institutions have setup for their medical faculty and staff
  • Title IX Policies (MadelynWessel & LauraRugless)
    • Wessel wrote a new sexual assault/harassment policy toconsolidate separate policies andprovide a uniform policy for all VCU constituents (students, faculty, staff)
    • Rugless explained that Equity and Access Serviceshas been developing over the past months with new hires of investigators and other staff
      • This office is primarily fact-finding, not prosecutorial
      • They employ an investigative/discussion model instead of a face-to-face confrontational model
      • To date, in general, complainants and respondents have commented that the interim policy and its associated procedures seem fair.
  • Faculty Senate President’s Report (Holly Alford)
    • Faculty Senate has several priorities for the coming year
      • Improved communications through Senators to their faculty constituents
      • Shared Governance
      • Diversity and Equity
      • Budget
  • Information from Faculty Senate meetings and other information that may be of interest to faculty members will be posted on the Faculty Senate website
    • Erin White was recognized for the excellent work she has done and continues to do on the Faculty Senate website

Presentation on Domestic Partner Benefits Resolution

Here is the presentation that Dr. Joan Pellegrini, chair of the Faculty Senate’s Affirmative Action Committee, gave at the Senate’s meeting on Tuesday regarding the proposed resolution on domestic partner benefits. We also have posted the text of the resolution.

Message from David Fauri on the growth of Faculty Senate

At the first VCU Faculty Senate Meeting of the 2013-14 Academic Year, David Fauri as Senate Immediate Past President presented a gavel to June Nicholson, the incoming President for the current academic year and offered the following remarks summarizing the positions the Faculty Senate established during the past two years and priorities that being set for the current year.

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