Minutes from the Health System Academic Research Employee Council meeting on March 15th, 2001

Attendance: Sharon Heyka, Kathleen Foster, Monty Parsons, Kelly Bell, Gigi Herold, Pat Harlow, John Aufill, Gina M. Steppe, David Smith, Jean Snoddy, Catherine Kirby-Smith, Daweslyn Butler-Carey, Stephanie Bingler, Mary Leigh Thacker, Ginny Dean, Margaret R. Townsend, Leigh Ann Bush, Terry Moore, Della Marsh, Pat Williams, Nancy Kriigel, Jill Tatum, Eleanore Wade, Kathleen Ashe, Jim Stork, Amy Mawyer, Melinda Mason, Bonnie Martin, and Jim Kennan

Donna Plasket, the Director of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program, was the first to address the council. This program is an exciting opportunity for employees because it offers classes at night and gives the employee the ability to receive an undergraduate degree from UVA. It is open to the entire community (not just for employees) and a student can begin in the spring, summer, or fall semester. In order to be eligible to enroll in the program you must have taken enough credits at either a community college or at another institution to be enrolled as a 3rd year student in this program. Options in majors include a concentration in business, IT, humanities, social science, or you can design your own major. It is also possible to collaborate with the Curry School of Education so that you can get a teaching degree. Some of the admission requirements are as follows: students must have graduated from high school a minimum of 6 years ago, all credits that are transferred in must be a minimum of 2.0, and you must have the required transfer credits (they encourage pre-enrollment advising so that they can look at your current classes and see which ones will transfer in). For the first 4 terms you are on provisional status and then if you meet all the requirements you are fully admitted. Students must take at least one class every semester but they are not required to take more (it would take 7 years to finish if you take 1 class per semester). Day classes can be taken with the professor's approval. For more details please contact Kathryn Buzzoni ( at 3-7675 or Mary Ferrate ( at 3-2558.

Nancy Rivers from Governmental Relations was the next person to address the council. The governor and the house didn't agree on a budget. The budget that was approved last year is $4 million short due to a slowdown in the economy. The governor must balance the budget and he wants to implement a 70% car tax refund so he is doing the following: freezing capital spending, which stops projects at UVA like the small collections library and the studio art building (there is an appeal process), freezing the maintenance reserve, and decreasing the amount of state input into VRS. This is the first time in the history of the state that a budget has not been agreed upon. An option the legislators have even if they don't come together in this legislative session is to add a caboose bill at next year's session which could give state employees raises and a retroactive salary adjustment. The governor has until March 26th to sign bills. The session will probably be over by mid-April. The legislature decided not to offer another open enrollment period for VSDP. There is a debate on whether the in-state and out-of-state student percentages should be regulated. There is pressure to limit the number of out-of-state students. A study is ongoing to study this issue. The construction of MR6 research building that was seeking approval from the legislature is now off the table for the year.

Jim Kennan addressed the council next. Dr. Cantrell, who is stepping down at the end of June, will be greatly missed. Organizational changes are being looked at for the health system. The details of the reorganization will be worked out in late March to early April and will be reported on once they are finalized. UVA was once again named one of the nations Top 100 hospitals. It is the only teaching hospital in a rural setting to be awarded this honor with the exception of UVM in Vermont. The capital campaign raised over $1 billion with the health system raising $246 million which will mostly be used in the school of medicine for research. MR6 is sorely needed and the private money is being raised. The state money is needed but it doesn't look like it will be granted this year. The Centennial Celebration of the nursing school and the hospital's 100 year anniversary will kick off next month. The nursing shortage is still a problem. Long term solutions are being looked into but no short-term solution has been found. Dr. William J. Catalona, coming to the Urology Department, is a renown researcher on prostate cancer. The Health Affairs committee will meet next week and will discuss the financial state of the hospital.

Debbie Gausvik from Employee Relations addressed the council next. She gave more details on the rejection of the new open enrollment period for the VSDP. The original proposal to have an open enrollment was attached to a bill adding long term care to the plan but the details of the plan couldn't be agreed upon. When VRS had the option of having an open enrollment for the VSDP that didn't include a long-term care option, they said they weren't interested in an open enrollment. The next New Employee Fair will occur on March 29th at Newcomb Hall Ballroom. The outstanding employee nominations must be made by the end of March. The new evaluation plan is being implemented with this year being a transition year. The program may not be fully implemented by Sept/Oct of this year but the new 3 tier rating plan will be used. The new training session will begin in April and continue throughout the fall. The Bylaws were passed with the revisions discussed in the February meeting.

New business:

  • After parking in the South garage it is difficult to get across Lane Road because of the fast traffic.
  • Could we add speed bumps to this road?
  • The lighting in the Grove Street lot is poor.
  • It is difficult for pedestrians to cross through traffic at the loading dock at hospital east.
  • The crosswalk in front of Cabell Hall on JPA is not well lit and it is difficult to see pedestrians at night.