I had a good seat for the 17 June 2012 meeting of the University of Virginia’s Faculty Senate and was able to take a few photos. Those who follow my Twitter feed already have seen them, but I thought I ought to post links for those who might not have seen them but might be interested. As the image at the right shows, things started out quietly, with a few folks arriving early and getting places. This became important, because the auditorium was not large enough to accommodate the number of faculty members who attended and, as I understand, people had to watch closed circuit telecasts in other rooms.
At the front of the Abbott Center hall where we met, the dais was initially empty, but it was set for the executive committee of the U.Va. Faculty Senate. In addition to those who would sit on the dais, senators sat in the first few rows of the auditorium, with a few scattered elsewhere among the other faculty members, citizens, and representatives of the press who were attending the meeting.
When the executive committee filed in to fill the seats on the stage, its members were greeted with an ovation. The purpose of the meeting was for the full Faculty Senate to consider the resolution that its executive committee had already considered and passed
Resolved, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia hereby:
1. Expresses its strong support of President Sullivan.
2. Expresses its lack of confidence in the Rector, the Vice Rector, and the Board of Visitors.
We offer this resolution mindful of the best interests of the University and the Commonwealth.
Faculty Senate Chair George Cohen began the meeting by providing an overview of the pending events and then introducing as a guest, the university’s provost, who would speak but would not take questions. Provost Simon (at right) spoke briefly about his views, emphasizing the importance about setting a good example of courage for his sons on fathers’ day, of heeding a recent alum’s encouragement to do what he sees as right, and assessing the correspondence between his and the the U.Va. Board of Visitor’s views on the values of honor, integrity, and trust, values that he (and, I add, most of us) consider central to the University of Virginia.
Following Mr. Simon’s comments, the Faculty Senate actually came into session. Members of the executive committee summarized events, the Senate members moved and seconded the resolution, a member offered comments, someone called the question, and and the members ultimately passed the resolution overwhelmingly. As I post this note Monday AM, members of the Faculty Senate’s executive committee are meeting with members of the Board of Visitors. Later Monday afternoon, faculty members will gather on the lawn outside the rotunda where the members of the board of visitors are meeting.
What will be the dénouement?