Group of UVA Faculty Wants Say in BOV Decisions

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Faculty members are demanding a change in how the University of Virginia is run. The group says it should have seat at the table when it comes to making the big decisions.

Some professors are taking a closer look at just how the university is run. The group says it knows what the problems are; it just needs to figure out how to fix it.

The relationship between faculty and the Board of Visitors at UVA is in the spotlight again. The UVA chapter of the American Association of University Professors is questioning the state of shared governance at the university.

"The faculty, by definition, are supposed to be involved in sharing the governance of the university on a whole range of issues,” said Walt Heinecke, an associate professor at UVA’s Curry School of Education.

The group says it wants more transparency and would like to see a faculty member on the board. The concerns come nearly a year and a half after the controversial ouster of President Teresa Sullivan.

The faculty says, since then, there have been changes, but not many.

"The board of visitors has appointed a few faculty representatives on to the board. They do have some representatives on committees so some things have changed,” Heinecke said.

The group also says it wants to have more say when it comes to budget talks.

"It directly impacts on the functioning of teaching and learning,” Heinecke said.

A spokesperson for UVA says improving that relationship is a priority for the board.

"I think they're always considering ways in which they can increase involvement and increase the involvement of a number of different stakeholders here,” said UVA spokesperson McGregor McCance.

The university also says shared governance will be addressed in the new strategic plan.

"I think transparency and engagement are two things that are really important to the board and the administration,” McCance said.

The board of visitors will take up the new strategic plan at its meeting Friday.

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