Dispute Over Faculty Representation on UVA Board

October 11, 2018

The executive committee of the American Association of University Professors chapter at the University of Virginia objects to the process by which the institution’s governing Board of Visitors appointed its faculty representative this year. In a letter, the association told the board and the university’s Faculty Senate that shared governance and a 2015 agreement were undermined in the appointment process, as the faculty representative must be chosen from faculty-elected representatives. Previously, that representative has been the outgoing Senate chair. But recently, the board said that it wanted to extend the term of Mimi Riley, professor of law, as representative for another year.

Peter Brunjes, Commonwealth Professor of Psychology and the current Senate chair, said via email that the body “thanks its concerned AAUP colleagues but assures them that we have been in conversation with the [board] for several weeks and are optimistic that the issue will be resolved.” A university spokesperson said in a statement that while the board “has been advised that the action taken is fully within its prerogative,” it has reached out to the Senate and they “are confident that they will be able to come to an understanding.”

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