Faculty Senate Acts on Faculty Handbook Revisions, Academic Requirements, Privacy in Computing

Posted: March 25, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

At Wednesday’s monthly meeting, the Faculty Senate passed motions on a variety of administrative and academic policy issues.

The first motion amended several sections of the Faculty Handbook regarding criteria for evaluation of faculty, with the rationale that the university’s Board of Visitors has been discussing using “entrepreneurial activity” by faculty as a criteria for promotion, tenure, and salary increases. However, since entrepreneurial activity has not been defined, measured, or applied, the rationale stated, the approved changes to the handbook were made to emphasize that only the criteria currently used in the handbook may be used to evaluate tenured and tenure-line faculty.

The Academic Policies Committee presented several motions related to requirements for a double major, a minor, and an undergraduate certificate. The motions, which passed, will take effect beginning with the fall 2006 semester.

Finally, the senate passed a motion presented by a special Committee on Privacy that studied the Commonwealth of Virginia’s policy on the Use of Internet and Electronics Communications. Concluding that state and federal laws “do not provide adequate protections for rights to privacy in the use of state-owned computers, storage devices, and electronic communications systems,” the motion urges faculty and students to “seriously consider storing sensitive information on privately owned personal computers and external storage devices and using telecommunication systems which are not owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia for all personal or private communications, including e-mail messages.”

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