Board concerned about faculty communications

  The Board of Trustees is addressing a concern that the Faculty Senate has not been able to communicate with the Presidential Search Committee.   Trustees have reported that they have not been receiving emails from the faculty, English Professor Nancy Welch said.   “Some legislative trustees have recently expressed concern that they aren’t getting fuller perspectives on what’s happening at UVM,” Welch said.   Chair of the Board of Trustees Robert Cioffi said he has seen every piece of input that the Presidential Search Committee has received through the multiple channels that have been available.   The faculty, staff and student body have had the opportunity to participate in the presidential search through forums, meetings, email and snail mail among others, Cioffi said.     “We are working on a better system to see that Trustees are able to access every relevant email, and we will have that sorted out in a few days,” he said.   United Academics, the faculty union, is going to address the communication limitation between the board and the faculty by first gathering information to see if any action is necessary to take, President of UA David Shiman said.   However, some faculty members have expressed concern about the relatively small role they are playing in the presidential selection process, Shiman said.   Engineering Professor Douglas Fletcher said it would be useful for the faculty senate to have a longer discussion about UVM’s next president.   “There are some issues that the faculty feel are very important that may not have necessarily been communicated to the board despite their request for input,” Fletcher said.   Associate Professor of Theatre John Forbes said that the importance of the arts and the humanities was not communicated to the Search Committee.   “I urge the Board of Trustees to take this into serious consideration when they think about who will be the next president,” Forbes said. “I think that it is not an overstatement that the arts and the humanities make up the soul and the heart of the University.”   The UVM Community will have more opportunities to provide feedback to the Search Committee in January, Cioffi said.   “The final phase of the process will be on-campus interviews with candidates in January, which will be another opportunity for the UVM Community to give input and feedback before the new President is chosen by the Board,” he said.   President of the Faculty Senate Julie Roberts said that she has invited members of the Board of Trustees to attend the next Faculty Senate meeting.   Cioffi said he will be attending the Dec. 12 meeting of the Faculty Senate.   “I offered to attend their April meeting, but was told that was not necessary at that time,” Cioffi said. “I have spoken to the Senate in the past as well.”   The Presidential Search Committee interviewed 12 semi-finalists in Boston on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.   “The pool is very strong; there is good alignment between [UVM and the candidates],” said Gary Derr, vice president for Executive Operations.