On Wednesday, Rector Ernst Volgenau of the Board of Visitors gave his final address to the Faculty Senate. His tenure as rector of the board will end this June. At the meeting, the add/drop deadline was also discussed.

Volgenau spoke about his admiration for the work that President Alan Merten has done for the university.

by Stephen Kline

“Until you’ve run a public organization in a public domain, you don’t realize what management is all about,” Volgenau said. “Even if things don’t go wrong, there are so many issues that come up continuously. It’s a trial.”

Volgenau also spoke about incoming President Ángel Cabrera and also addressed concerns that the Faculty Senate had about his election.

Previously on Feb. 8, the Faculty Senate called a special meeting to discuss issues they had with the manner in which Cabrera was elected, specifically the anonymous nature of the election that violated section 1.2.5 of the faculty handbook.

According to section 1.2.5, “The search and selection process must include opportunities for the General Faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the presidency.”

In this recent election, the general faculty did not have this chance.

“Indeed the Board of Visitors did not technically follow the rule of the faculty handbook,” Volgenau said. “I contend that it was an infraction, not a violation. We gave the faculty the opportunity to interview one candidate, not the finalists.”

“We tried to honor the spirit of the faculty handbook,” Volgenau said.

“And I’ll say that the faculty handbook is not a contract. It is a policy that is put in place by the Board of Visitors, and the Board of Visitors has the right to change the policy. The board in its wisdom chose to change that policy on Dec. 9,” Volgenau said. “As the rector I apologize, but I don’t think we’re compelled to follow the faculty handbook.”

Questions were also raised about the upcoming provost search, which will not be handled by the Board of Visitors. Volgenau said that the responsibility will be the president’s.

A resolution from the Student Senate regarding the add/drop deadline was brought before the Faculty Senate.

The Academic Policies Committee has decided to hear what the Student Senate had to say about the issue.

Members of the Faculty Senate noted that the reasons in the Student Senate resolution for the add/drop deadline being pushed forward were incorrect. The Faculty Senate advised the Student Senate to more fully investigate the reasons for the deadline change.

The Faculty Senate will have its next meeting on March 28. President Merten will address the senate at that time.