University President Thomas LeBlanc called for a special meeting of the Faculty Senate Friday for senators to discuss financial and academic planning in light of the pandemic.
The meeting will come after the senate passed a resolution earlier this month requiring the senate, which usually does not meet in the months of June, July and August, to schedule at least one regular meeting for each month of the summer to ensure the senate has a “robust” role in shared governance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agenda for the special meeting to be held Wednesday includes an update on the University’s financial operations and several resolutions.
Senate Operations Coordinator Liz Carlson said in an email that LeBlanc called the special session at the request of the senate’s executive committee.
One resolution on the agenda would give the executive committee the power to call regular senate meetings outside of the regular monthly meeting “in urgent circumstances,” according to the meeting’s agenda.
Another resolution calls on GW to “protect current University employees,” to share the “financial burden” that the pandemic has caused to minimize the number of necessary layoffs and to maintain employees’ health insurance benefits if layoffs are necessary.
Board of Trustees Chair Grace Speights vowed in the senate’s most recent meeting that officials do not plan to tap into GW’s $1.78 billion endowment to alleviate the pandemic’s costs.
A third resolution would urge LeBlanc and Provost Brian Blake to approve staff hires that Libraries and Academic Innovation officials have requested to prepare faculty and students for the fall semester.
Geneva Henry, the dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation, said at a senate meeting last month that officials were in the process of interviewing final candidates for 10 vacant librarian positions before a hiring freeze went into effect in late March.