Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date May 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Virginia
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Nina Morris
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Energy & Utilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do all enrolled students, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which students have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

Students serve on all University and Presidential Committees. Students run the Honor and University Judiciary Committees, and student self-governance is a key feature of life at UVA. See decision-making descriptions below for more details.


Is there at least one student representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative student body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of student representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

The Board of Visitors has maintained a position for the Student Member since 1983. The student may be either a graduate or undergraduate student of the University. The term of the Student Member is one year, beginning June 1. More than anything else, the Student Member serves as a soundboard for the Board of Visitors with regard to issues that affect students at the University. Although the Student Member does not have a vote on the Board, full members consider his or her voice equally among the opinions of others. Consequently, the Student Member must actively assess and predict the general student reaction to the Board's decisions.

This student is selected by the Board and is not elected by peers.


Do students have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal student role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

One of UVA's most enduring traditions and strengths is the entrustment of much decision-making to students, or student self-governance. The University Judiciary Committee, Honor Committee, Student Council, Lawn Selection Committee, and many others are staffed and governed solely by students.

Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals & Strategic and long-term planning: Three students served on the Steering Committee that crafted the new strategic plan for the University in 2013.

Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives & Prioritization of programs and projects: Students are involved in all levels of policy and program management. Students serve on all University and Presidential committees.

Existing or prospective physical resources: Students serve on the University Master Planning Council, Library, Public Art, and Transportation and Parking Committees, among other physical resource-decision-making bodies.

Budgeting, staffing, and financial planning: Students serve on many department and administration-level hiring committees, and are involved in Financial Aid Committees.

Communications processes and transparency practices: Student Council works actively with the media and communications department. During the Hannah Graham tragedy, Student Council and the communications department worked together to coordinate a media response.

Students also serve on curriculum committees in nearly every department and on the College Foundation board, which makes strategic decisions for the College of Arts and Sciences. Student Council committees, the Honor Committee, and the University Judiciary Committee are also student decision-making bodies that affect university policy.

The Honor Committee: The University of Virginia's Honor System is one of the school's most venerated traditions. Administered solely by students, the Honor System requires that an individual act honorably in all relations and phases of student life. More specifically, the system rests on the premise that lying, cheating, and stealing are breaches of the spirit of honor and mutual trust and are not to be tolerated within the University community. Students found guilty by a jury of their peers are permanently dismissed from the University. Although a subject of regular discussion among students, expulsion is, and has been, the only sanction for an honor violation.

University Judiciary Committee: the central governing and operating body of the University Judicial System of the University of Virginia, and is authorized to investigate and adjudicate alleged violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct. It is run solely by students.


Do all staff, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all staff have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

The Staff Senate (http://staffsenate.virginia.edu/) represents all staff personnel who work in the Academic Division, equaling over 5,000 staff. In the Academic Division's Staff Senate, senators are elected by their represented areas, such as Facilities Management, IM-Rec, etc.. They can submit concerns or questions directly to their senators to be share with the staff senate at monthly meetings, or they can submit an anonymous email online. Additionally, the Medical Center has an Employee Council for staff in the Medical Center (http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/pub/mcec/home.html). The UVA Medical Center Employee Council aims to enhance Health System services by representing the ideas and concerns of Medical Center staff and customers through direct communication and active problem solving with administration and peers. The Council is comprised of representatives from each area of the Medical Center and related clinics and services. Members meet once a month (the 2nd Thursday of each month) with administration and representatives from various areas of the University to discuss challenges, successes, and ideas for improvement.


Is there at least one non-supervisory staff representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative staff body or organization?:
No

A brief description of non-supervisory staff representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

Non-supervisory staff are not currently represented on the Board of Visitors or its associated subcommittees.


Do non-supervisory staff have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following? :
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals No
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives No
Strategic and long-term planning No
Existing or prospective physical resources No
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning No
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal staff role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

Non-supervisory staff are not currently represented on the Board of Visitors or its associated subcommittees.


Do all faculty, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all faculty (including adjunct faculty) have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

UVA’s Faculty Senate represents the interests of all academic faculty at the University regarding all elements of University governance and advises the President and the Board of Visitors (BOV) concerning educational and operational matters affecting the welfare of the University and its community (see http://www.virginia.edu/facultysenate/index.html for additional details). All academic faculty including both tenure-eligible and non-tenure-track (NTT) teaching and research faculty who are employed full-time or part-time (50% or greater) are eligible to nominate, vote for, and serve as members of the Faculty Senate.

In addition, UVA’s General Faculty Council (GFC) represents the interests of full and part-time (50% or greater) NTT faculty and senior professional research staff at the University, advises the University on matters pertaining to these constituents, and provides service to the University (see http://www.virginia.edu/generalfacultycouncil/ for additional details). All NTT faculty including both academic teaching and research faculty and administrative and professional faculty as well as senior professional research staff who are employed full-time or part-time (50% or greater) are eligible to nominate, vote for, and serve as members of the GFC.

As described in more detail below, elected representatives of the Senate are appointed to serve on seven BOV committees and elected representatives of both the Senate and the GFC are appointed to serve on numerous University committees and task forces (see for example http://www.virginia.edu/facultysenate/senatereps/ and http://www.virginia.edu/generalfacultycouncil/committees.html).


Is there at least one teaching or research faculty representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative faculty body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of faculty representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

The chair of the Faculty Senate is elected annually by senators. There is a non-voting Faculty Senate representative on the Board of Visitors. The Senate chair who served during the preceding academic year represents the Senate on the BOV’s Advancement and Communications Committee, Educational Policy Committee, and Special Committee on Diversity. Other elected senators are appointed by the Senate Chair to represent the Senate on the BOV’s Audit Committee, Buildings and Grounds Committee, Finance Committee, and Student Affairs and Athletics Committee (see http://www.virginia.edu/facultysenate/senatereps/).


Do faculty have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal faculty role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

The formal faculty roles in the range of University activities listed above is self-evident in the widespread engagement of faculty in University committees and task forces charged with addressing these matters (see web sites cited above). The following examples illustrate some of these roles.

Formal approval by the Faculty Senate is required for all proposals to add new academic programs or to terminate existing academic programs across the institution. On average, the Senate considers several such proposals each year.

All proposals for new University policies or modification of existing University policies are subject to review and comment by Policy Committees of the Faculty Senate and the GFC. On average, these committees evaluate approximately 30 such proposals each year.

With the endorsements of the Faculty Senate, GFC, Employee Councils, and Student Council, proposals by the University Sustainability Committee to significantly reduce the University’s green-house-gas and nitrogen emissions were adopted by BOV and subsequently implemented by the institution.


The website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:

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