Peers and paychecks: Sullivan greets faculty with merit pay idea
In her first major public faculty meeting since her emotion-packed summertime reinstatement, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan joked, extolled the importance of honor in daily life, and told members of the faculty that in addition to the three percent bonus they'll get from the state this December, the best ones– as judged by their peers– may see some merit pay in their future.
"The prospect of review by one's peers can be powerfully motivating," Sullivan told the mostly full Abbott Auditorium at the Darden School at the Tuesday night meeting of the Faculty Senate.
The August 28 event included two standing ovations for the president who found herself pushed out of the presidency shortly after students scattered for the summer– until a groundswell of alumni, faculty, and student support led to her unanimous reinstatement on June 26.
Faculty Senate chair George Cohen brought a plush blue elephant doll to the podium to symbolize "the elephant in the room," and Sullivan touched on the crisis only briefly, thanking the faculty for their support and urging them to embrace innovations in university governance and even in its hallowed halls.
"We need to revamp the liberal arts curriculum," Sullivan told the faculty. "And it's appropriate for the faculty– not the legislators."
She urged more multi-disciplinary study, more research, and more creative approaches– like "the flip class," a type of teaching she calls "harder but more engaging" because it requires the production of digital lectures and other course materials to save precious class time for debate and discussions.
"Faculty," said Sullivan, "will drive these conversations and lead these experiments."This story is a part of the President Sullivan retakes the reins special.Read more on: Teresa Sullivan