Faculty Senate meeting minutes for April 2015 available online

(Vanderbilt University)

Minutes from the Vanderbilt Faculty Senate’s April 2 meeting are now available online on the Faculty Senate website.

At the April 2 meeting, Chair Paul Lim gave the report of the senate’s Executive Committee. Topics he discussed included the following:

  • David Raiford, associate vice chancellor for health affairs, and Tim McNamara, vice provost for research, faculty and international affairs, have been engaged in conversation about possible changes to the Faculty Manual as a result of the forthcoming VU-VUMC reorganization.
  • An update was given on the newly formed Task Force on University Athletics, the composition of which is nearly complete.
  • To assist the Faculty Senate with its work, school deans have been asked to schedule their school and college meetings around the monthly senate meetings and to encourage their faculty members to attend meetings of the senate.
  • Nominations were solicited for next year’s senate chair-elect and vice chair-elect, to serve under current Chair-elect Richard Willis and current Vice Chair-elect Ann Price. The nomination process is ongoing.
  • The Executive Committee has consulted with Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Audrey Anderson and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance Christy Hooper about Vanderbilt’s conflict of interest policy.
  • Lim reported that the discussion regarding tertiary educational benefits is ongoing.
  • The Executive Committee has consulted with Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Provost Susan Wente and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Jeff Balser about the results of the recent faculty survey.

Finally, Lim announced that a specially called meeting of elected senators only would be held on April 7.

Chancellor Zeppos gave remarks about diversity and inclusion, the campus zoning plan, the VU-VUMC reorganization and transition, and the role of the senate in bringing issues and questions to the administration. He answered questions following his remarks.

Sen. Ranga Ramanujam gave a report of the senate’s Online Education Task Force, which he chairs. He then proposed a motion that language be inserted to the Faculty Manual regarding the conflict of commitment guidelines governing non-Vanderbilt online teaching. Following discussion and questions, a friendly amendment to the motion was proposed and accepted. The motion passed with 30 “yes” votes, nine “no” votes and three abstentions.

Under old business, Sen. Mel Ziegler presented a motion on behalf of the Faculty Life Committee proposing that retired faculty members in good standing who are not granted emeritus or emerita status be given some basic continuing benefits by the university. Following discussion and questions, a friendly amendment to the motion was proposed and accepted. The motion passed unanimously.

Under new business, senators Jim Steiger and Myrna Wooders presented a motion regarding the presentation of scheduled remarks and a change to the order of business at senate meetings. The motion calls for scheduled remarks and supporting materials to be made available to senators ahead of meetings; for administrators to attend a follow-up question session at the subsequent meeting; and for the senate’s Rules of Procedure to be amended to allow Senate Business to precede Scheduled Remarks in the order of business at meetings. A new motion was made to send this motion to the Senate Affairs Committee for further review. The motion to refer to committee passed with 42 “yes” votes, one “no” vote and zero abstentions.

Sen. Ziegler presented a motion on behalf of the Faculty Life Committee regarding the formation of a university-wide retired faculty association to foster engagement and goodwill among retired faculty members. The motion passed unanimously.

Chair-elect Willis presented a motion to amend a previous motion that was passed at the Feb. 5 senate meeting regarding the use of electronic voting at meetings. The new motion allows for anonymous voting also to be done by written ballot when necessary. Following a discussion, Lim stated that voting on the new motion would be tabled until May because it involves a change to the senate’s Rules of Order.

Under Good of the Senate, Lim announced that results from a recent faculty survey are now available. Concerns brought forth in the survey will be prioritized so that the senate can move forward in addressing them.

Read the full April meeting minutes here.

For more information about the senate, upcoming meetings or to find the senators who serve your school, visit the Faculty Senate website.

Contact: Andrea Hewitt, (615) 343-3841