April 1, 2008
A meeting of the University Council was held on Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 3 p.m. in the Theater of the Student Commons.
The following members and alternates were present:
Officers: Dr. Eugene P. Trani, Chair; Dr. Stephen D. Gottfredson, Vice Chair; Mr. David L. Ross, Parliamentarian, and Ms. Elaine S. Abernethy, Recording Secretary.
Administration: Dr. Beverly J. Warren, Dr. F. Douglas Boudinot, Dr. Russell Jamison, Ms. Cynthia H. Andrews, Mr. John M. Bennett, Dr. Laura J. Moriarty, Dr. Francis L. Macrina, Ms. Sue A. Messmer, Dr. Henry G. Rhone, Mr. Mark D. Willis, Mr. John Ulmschneider, and Mr. Peter L. Wyeth.
Faculty: Dr. Dianne Jewell, Dr. Robert L. Andrews, Dr. D. Robley Wood, Dr. Gina M. Pannozzo, Dr. Scott E. Ross, Dr. Ashok Iyer, Dr. Linda Corey, Dr. Margaret Grimes, Dr. David Latane, Dr. Theodore D. Chung, Dr. Wesley J. Poynor, Dr. David Holdford, Dr. Melissa Abell, Dr. Anthony Mallon, and Ms. Denise Branch.
Classified Staff: Ms. Tammy L. Berwanger, Ms. Delores D. Collier, and Mr. Stephen H. Fore.
Students: Ms. Jessica Lee and Mr. Srinath Adusumalli.
Guests: Ms. Marquita Aguilar, Mr. Bryan Brown, Mr. Carl Gattuso, Dr. Rosalyn S. Hobson, Dr. Thomas Huff, Dr. Allen Lee, Ms. Pamela D. Lepley, Mr. Brian J. Ohlinger, Dr. Reuban Rodriguez, Ms. Cynthia Schmidt, and Dr. Michael Sesnowitz.
Dr. Trani welcomed Council members.
The minutes of the March 6, 2008, University Council meeting were approved.
A Proposal to Establish an M.S. in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering was presented. Dr. Jamison discussed the background and Dr. Hobson discussed highlights of the proposal. Dr. Hobson also discussed her recent trips to Fudan University in Shanghai, China and to India. A general discussion followed with Drs. Jamison and Hobson responding to questions. A motion was made and unanimously approved to recommend the aforementioned proposal to the President.
Dr. Trani discussed the recent visit from the Rectors of the University of Cordoba and University of Messina and his upcoming trip to Israel.
A Proposal to Establish a Master of Management was presented. Dr. Lee discussed highlights of the proposal and responded to questions. A motion was made and unanimously approved to recommend the aforementioned proposal to the President.
Dr. Gottfredson noted that the above proposals have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate University committees as well as the University Council Academic Affairs Committee.
A 40th Anniversary Update was presented. Ms. Messmer provided a power point presentation focusing on the “Fortieth and Forward” theme. The presentation provided examples from the website of historic markers on both campuses. She informed Council members that VCU’s 40th Anniversary would be celebrated October 24-25, 2008. Mr. Brown discussed ways to involve the community from noon until 5 p.m. utilizing Monroe Park as the central point. Ms. Messmer discussed one big event to bring the entire university together (i.e. musical acts such as Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan). A general discussion followed with Ms. Messmer responding to questions.
An Admissions Report was presented. Dr. Rhone discussed enrollment statistics focusing on Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. Recruiting information has been mailed out to potential students and May 1, 2008 is the acceptance deadline. Future activities include an April 12, 2008, Open House, a Northern Virginia recruiting event in late April, and an upcoming event in New York. Dr. Trani discussed recruitment issues in the Richmond area, to include: 15 high schools with 100 or more applications; 180 applications from Richmond area schools; and the biggest growth from Prince William with an increase from 350 applications to over 700 applications this year. Dr. Trani noted that this is a long-term problem and VCU is hoping to be part of the solution. Richmond area statistics are better than they have been in the past but not nearly as good as they should be. Dr. Boudinot noted that the graduate application process is moving faster than it ever has in the past. A general discussion followed with Dr. Trani, and Drs. Rhone and Boudinot responding to questions.
A Report of the President was presented. Dr. Trani discussed the recent death of VCU art student, Tyler Binsted, noting an endowed scholarship has been established in his name for freshmen in the School of the Arts. A vigil is scheduled at 8:30 p.m. at Byrd Park. Dr. Trani also discussed the recent U.S. News & World Report Rankings, noting an email with detailed rankings is forthcoming. Dr. Trani informed Council members that Tier III status has been approved, and the 2008 Legislative Session included a recommendation for a 2 percent salary increase for faculty and staff effective Dec. 1, 2008. Future capital construction projects include: 1.) a School of Medicine building to replace the A.D. William Clinic; 2.) a general classroom building located at the site of the VV Lot; and 3.) a Massey Cancer Center animal research center. Capital construction projects underway include: 1.) Franklin Terrace (scheduled to open in Summer 2008); 2.) Music Center (scheduled to open in Fall 2008); 3.) Brand Center (recently opened); 4.) Critical Care Hospital (scheduled to open August-September 2008); and 5.) Medical Sciences Building (first three floors scheduled for completion by late 2008). Mr. Ohlinger discussed the Monroe Park Campus Recreational Facility scheduled to open in March 2010, noting the stable will be moved on April 23, 2008. He also noted that demolition of the Larrick Student Center will begin in the next two weeks to make way for the MCV Campus Recreational Facility which is scheduled for completion by late 2009.
The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment was presented. Mr. Bennett discussed highlights of the initiative and what VCU has accomplished. Mr. Ohlinger discussed details of VCU’s commitment in pursuit of climate neutrality. A sustainability committee will be established and a website will be developed allowing easy access by the university community. A ceremonial signing took place to join other universities in this initiative.
A Research Update was presented. Dr. Macrina noted that $38 million in research awards has been generated since March 2008, an 8 percent increase compared to this time last year. A general discussion followed with Dr. Macrina responding to questions.
Dr. Gottfredson discussed the upcoming anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy, noting an email is forthcoming requesting a moment of silence to honor the victims. He also informed Council members that a committee is being formed to address VCU’s response to the Virginia Tech Report.
A VCU Health System Update was presented. Mr. Gattuso noted that Dr. Retchin has submitted the Strategic Plan through 2015. A general discussion followed with Mr. Gattuso responding to questions.
Ms. Lee thanked the administration for their support. She discussed Monroe Park Campus SGA activities, to include the April 22, 2008, Safety Fair and website changes underway. SGA elections were held and the unofficial President-elect is Mr. Jibran Muhammad. Dr. Rodriguez discussed the recent deaths of VCU art student, Tyler Binsted and an international graduate student. Dr. Poynor informed Council members that Faculty Senate is currently meeting with Rector Tom Rosenthal. Ms. Berwanger discussed the April 15, 2008, Safety Fair and the upcoming Third Annual Leadership Conference. Ms. Aguilar discussed the 2008 Scholarship Campaign and the April 10, 2008, Virginia’s Caring University Walk-A-Thon.
The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.