Summary of November 3, 2015 Meeting

Summary by Scott Street, Faculty Senate Recording Secretary. Full minutes to be posted soon.

  • President’s Report (Dr. Holly Alford)
    • Two new hires in Provost Office
      • Deborah Noble-Triplett, Ph.D., as senior vice provost for academic affairs effective the beginning of next semester
      • Katherine Bassard, Ph.D., as senior vice provost for faculty affairs effective Dec. 1, 2015
    • As a result of faculty inquiry, Holly is working with Campus Police to obtain updated information on where near/around campus that people can legally carry firearms
    • The Academic and Professional Status committee is working on a survey to send out to faculty about using student course evaluations to assess faculty teaching
    • The Faculty Affairs Committee of the University Council is working on reviewing shared governance in the bylaws of the schools of the university
  • Honor System (Mr. Justin Moses)
    • The Senate voted to support the proposed changes to the Honor Policy (currently in effect as an interim policy)
    • Feedback to Justin Moses:  jmoses4@vcu.edu
  • Faculty Status Report (Provost Gail Hackett)
    • Need to increase numbers of tenured/tenure-track faculty
    • Legitimate reasons exist for hiring term faculty
      • Policy is being created for offering multi-year contracts for certain term faculty
      • Salary ranges for term faculty should overlap those of tenured/tenure-track faculty of equal ranks
    • Provost is working to increase pay for adjunct faculty
    • Growth of nearly 200 professional faculty since 2012
      • 35 in athletics (coaches, asst. coaches, trainers, masseuses, etc.)
      • 64 academic advisers and career counselors
      • 35 in Student Affairs and Provost office
      • Many in new areas across campus
        • Residential Housing (4 new residence halls)
        • ALT Lab
      • Some recommendations from two previous A&P Faculty task forces should be implemented soon
    • Percentages of diverse faculty are difficult to increase due to a limited pipeline of candidates
      • However, Provost Hackett suggested a plan to start recruiting graduate students nationally two or three years before they graduate as a head-start to gaining diverse faculty from a limited pipeline of candidates
  • Corporate Sponsored Research Policy (Frank Macrina)
    • 13 minor exceptions to policy requested this year (all approved)
      • 1 extension in time that confidentiality is held (from 5 to 7 years)
      • 11 extensions on time until publication (from 90 to up to 135 days)
      • 1 extension on time until publication (to 2 years) to ensure that all information from multiple sites/studies can be coordinated and reviewed.
      • All primary investigators were supportive of these exceptions
    • The Corporate Sponsored Research Policy is being revised and will be open for public comment later this year

Summary of September 29 Faculty Senate Meeting

Prepared by Scott Street.

  • Division for Inclusive Excellence (Dr. Wanda Mitchell)
    • Council for Inclusive Excellence and Equity
      • Advises the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence (Dr. Mitchell)
      • Will develop a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
        • Review diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence initiatives
        • Assess initiatives based upon outcome measures in the Plan
        • Plan should be completed this academic year
        • Plan should be implemented in Fall 2016
  • Honor System (Dr.Reuban Rodriguez)
    • Mr. Justin Moses is the new Associate Vice Provost for Student Conduct & Policy Development
      • Oversees student conduct and integrity (Honor Code)
      • Also oversees Title IX considerations
    • Honor Policyhas been revised over past two years
      • Currently an interim policy, pending final approval
      • Key aspects:
        • Possibility for ameliorated consequences if a student self-reports (although, not guaranteed)
        • Student can admit guilt when charged so that process is shortened to just the sanction process.
        • There is a two-year time period for honor chargesto be filed
          • Permits ability to charge initial violators when a pattern of cheating is discovered over time
      • Feedback to Mr. Moses:  jmoses4@vcu.edu
      • What plagiarism and cheating look like in our diverse disciplines needs to be well-defined, and Dr. Rodriguez requested input from faculty across the university on this: rbrodriguez@vcu.edu
  • Board of Visitors Report (Dr. June Nicholson)
    • She discussed shared governance fair faculty evaluations with the Board
    • Note:  Faculty Representative to the Board is a non-voting member
  • Campus Safety Report (Chief John Venuti)
    • Reduction of use of force incidents from 75 in 2014 to only 14 in 2015
    • Complaints about employees reduced by over 50% in last year
    • Body-worn video cameras implemented to raise level of transparency within VCU community
    • New links on website (https://police.vcu.edu/) for reporting bias-crimes and hate-crimes directly to Chief Venuti (go to the “I want to…” area at page bottom)
    • Increase in reports of violent incidents around campus is likely not an indicator of an increase of violence but rather an increase in what incidents are reported (VCU and VCU-area, instead of merely VCU-specific)
    • Senator Michael McVoy mentioned that VCU Police’s increased party monitoring efforts has led to the Fan Area residents discontinuing their party patrolling program…VCU Police have it covered sufficiently now
  • Office of the Provost Report (Dr. Michael Davis)
    • The Provost thanks all of the VCU Faculty and broader community for their wonderful work in making the UCI Championships Bike Race go so smoothly
    • Some helpful and well-thought-out comments have been provided on the interim consensual relations policy
    • The search for the dean of the College of Humanities & Sciences has begun
    • Finalists for the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs have visited campus
  • Faculty Senate Representation on University Committees (Dr. Holly Alford)
    • University Council (approved by unanimous vote)
      • Holly Alford
      • Mary Secret
      • June Nicholson
      • Scott Street
    • New Budget Model Steering Committee (approved by unanimous vote)
      • Brian Daugherity
  • Faculty Senate President’s Report (Dr. Holly Alford)
    • Faculty needed. If interested, contact Holly:  hpalford@vcu.edu
      • Honor System (training available)
      • University Academic and Instructional Technology Steering Committee
    • All senators (and interested faculty) should subscribe to the Faculty Senate website by completing the form at the bottom-right of the website:  http://facultysenate.vcu.edu
    • Faculty Status Report should be presented at the November meeting of the Faculty Senate.
    • Credentials and Rules Committee plans to complete revision to the Bylaws of the Faculty this year
    • The Provost plans to post school bylaws on the Provost’s website
      • Discussions with the Provost regarding shared governance are ongoing, and a method for evaluating and reporting on shared governance is being investigated
      • Dr. Valerie Robnolt commented that there is tremendous disparity among the schools with regards to bylaws, and there should be some review and perhaps efforts to achieve parity
    • Holly mentioned that Faculty Senate is and advisory group for issues related to the Universityas a whole
      • “Personal” or “small-group” issues will not be discussed
      • Issues with broad-reaching impact will be referred to the proper committee for review and report to the Leadership Group
      • The Leadership Group exists, in part, to filter information before it comes to the full Senate or to deliver information from the senators to the administration.
  • Committee Responsibilities (Dr. Mary Secret)
    • Senators were seated by school at this meeting so that they could meet one another and coordinate who would take the lead with school communications
    • Senators were then asked to sit by committee so that committee chairs could be selected (if not already done) and discussions could begin on the committee’s plans for the year.
    • Jose Alcaine (Alumni and Community Relations Committee Chair) mentioned the unified homecoming celebration for the entire university (both campuses) on November 8–14, and he encouraged all faculty to become involved

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
      • vcu.edu
      • 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
      http://www.provost.vcu.edu/about/office-leadership/institute-for-inclusion-inquiry-and-innovation/
    • 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 @vcuhealth.org 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

Agenda for Sept. 2 meeting

Here is the agenda for the Faculty Senate’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 2. The Senate will meet from 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. in the Forum Room of the Student Commons on the Monroe Park Campus. The first item of business is the approval of the minutes from the Senate’s May 6 meeting.

See the Faculty Senate’s meetings page for more information on this and future meetings.

Documents from May Meeting

Updated May 16 to include presentation on the Quality Enhancement Plan from Gardner Campbell.

Senators, attached are presentations and supplemental documents from the May 6 meeting.