Faculty Senate Hears Remarks from Rector Volgenau

Posted: March 6, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

As part of his regularly scheduled semiannual address to the Faculty Senate on March 4, Board of Visitors (BOV) Rector Ernst Volgenau discussed the BOV’s concern about the current economy and answered questions.

In his brief introductory remarks Volgenau said the BOV’s Strategic Committee “C” is looking at possible alternate funding sources for the university, since it appears that the state’s support will continue to decline.

Senators then asked him a series of questions about how the university’s president’s compensation is set and managed, and how his performance is evaluated.

In response to concerns about the president’s salary and bonus, Volgenau said that President Alan Merten asked to forgo his salary increases for 2008 and 2009. Volgenau defended the annual bonus awarded to the president by explaining that it is the way the president’s performance is rewarded. He also said that the president’s compensation is determined by a contract, which does not expire until 2011.

Several senators commented that there is a “morale problem” among the faculty because of these and related economic issues.

In response to a question, Volgenau said that input from the Faculty Senate in the future on the president’s job description and performance criteria might be considered, but that he didn’t think the BOV would or could allow input into future contract specifics.

In other action, the senate passed a resolution to clarify and elaborate the policy for terminating undergraduate students in their major when students repeat a class multiple times.

Faculty Senate Chair Suzanne Slayden also announced that Phillip Buchanan, associate professor of accounting, was appointed as the senate’s representative to the BOV’s Audit Committee.

Marc Broderick, vice president for university development and alumni affairs, gave a brief update on the progress of the comprehensive campaign feasibility study and offered to report on the final results at a future Faculty Senate meeting.

Due to time constraints, several other agenda items were postponed until April.

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