In this issue:  
Shared Governance Town Halls, Tax Reform Bill Advocacy,  
Town Hall on Mental Health and Wellbeing
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
In partnership with the Faculty Senate, the Shared Governance Committee would like to gather input from our faculty colleagues regarding shared governance at Vanderbilt. The Shared Governance Committee, which was appointed by Provost Susan Wente, consists of eleven faculty members from the 10 colleges and schools at Vanderbilt. The Committee is diligently  working to study shared governance processes and best practices within the Vanderbilt community. The Shared Governance Committee has included its scope statement at the end of this article.
To gather input from the faculty, we have the following dates, times, and locations set aside to hear your feedback. We invite you to attend to share your thoughts about shared governance at Vanderbilt with representatives from the committee and the Senate.
November 28, Tuesday, 12:00pm, [Basic Sciences] - 3131 MRBIII
November 29, Wednesday, 1:00 pm, [Owen] - Room 216
November 29, Wednesday, 12:00pm, [Law] - Covington
December 1, Friday, 11:30 am, [Nursing] - Nursing Annex 161
December 5, Tuesday, 4pm, [Engineering] - Featheringill 132
December 6, Wednesday, 12:00 pm [Blair] - Choral Hall
December 6, Wednesday, 3:00 pm [Peabody] - Mayborn 204
December 8, Friday, 12:00pm, [Divinity] - Reading Room
December 13, Wednesday, 4pm, [A&S] - Wilson 112
December 14, Thursday, 12:00pm, [Clinical Sciences] - 512 Light Hall
We are eager to gather your input on where shared governance is working well at Vanderbilt and your specific suggestions to improve shared governance. There are several ways to provide input. First, please attend one or more of the above conversations. If you are unable to attend, or in addition to attending, we have an anonymous six-question survey you can complete by clicking here . You can also e-mail us at

Shared Governance Scope Statement:
Shared governance describes the extent to which faculty are involved in and consulted regarding University decision making. Shared governance has horizontal and vertical components. The horizontal component includes interactions between the Schools and Colleges; the vertical component includes interactions between the University and the Schools and College s and within the Schools and Colleges. Faculty voice can be solicited through formal (e.g., institutionalized) and/or informal (e.g., ad hoc) mechanisms. Our committee's broad scope is to understand, analyze, and recommend potential changes to shared governance at Vanderbilt. The overarching goal of the Committee is to aid Vanderbilt in achieving its mission and goals as articulated in the 2013 Academic Strategic Plan. To those ends, we will engage administrators, full-time faculty of all ranks, and others to gather their understandings of current shared governance and ways in which shared governance can be enhanced. Our specific aims are multi-faceted:  
  • To investigate, understand, describe, and compare existing College, School, and University governance practices, processes, and structures.
  • To identify successful policies and governance structures and recommend implementation or expansion where beneficial.
  • To discern areas for which faculty input is particularly necessary and valuable.
To fulfill its mission, the Shared Governance Committee will involve faculty and senior leaders through individual and group meetings, town halls, surveys, MyVU updates, and other means designed for:
  • Partnering with the Faculty Senate to ensure a robust and continually evolving set of approaches to faculty governance.
  • Understanding faculty attitudes toward involvement in decision making, such as through the COACHE faculty satisfaction survey.
  • Empowering and engaging faculty as an informed voice and as one of the primary stakeholders in the success of Vanderbilt University.
  • Encouraging methods to embrace shared governance as a key component of leadership development and succession planning.
  • Fostering Vanderbilt University's commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the recommended policies and governance structures developed.

Engagement on the Proposed US Senate Tax Legislation
Vanderbilt Faculty has asked for information regarding the proposed tax plan which has made its way through the House of Representatives and is due before the Senate the week of November 27. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contains multiple points of interest for students and faculty alike, including but not limited to taxation of endowments, graduate student tuition waivers and tuition benefits for dependents of faculty.
The Vanderbilt Office of Federal Relations has been engaged in this issue for quite some time, and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Federal Relations, Christina West, has been in contact with the Senate Executive committee at your request. Her office has multiple sources of information for faculty including their website, an electronic newsletter ( DCbrief), and an outside link to the American Council on Education tax reform page. The American Council on Education page has resources tailored to assist educators in the area of advocacy.
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos has been advocating for some time, including letters to lawmakers and a statement released November 9. Faculty are encouraged to get involved by contacting your Senator and Representative ( List here) by phone or email. As a reminder, any VU faculty who is using Vanderbilt University resources (email address, phone) must report that activity to the VU Office of Federal Relations. This is to meet a federal reporting requirement rather than a deterrent. VU faculty may always contact/petition their representatives as individual citizens using non-VU resources.   
For your convenience, here is the link to faculty resources . 

Town Hall Announcement
The Chancellor's Strategic Planning Committee on Mental Health and Wellbeing will present the draft of its findings and recommendations on December 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Sarratt Cinema in a Town Hall hosted by the Faculty Senate.  
The committee chairs, Donald Brady and Velma Murry, request faculty input and dialogue regarding the committee findings and recommendations prior to submission to the Chancellor ' s office. Please come to have your input heard by the committee for this important initiative.  


  Faculty Senate Meetings 2017 - 2018 
                                                Flynn Auditorium - Law School 040  

                                            The meeting time is 4:10 pm - 5:30 pm.

December 14, 2017                 
Flynn Auditorium (Law School 040)   

January 11, 2018 
Flynn Auditorium (Law School 040)

February 8, 2018
Flynn Auditorium (Law School 040)
March 1, 2018  **Elected Senators Only**
Flynn Auditorium (Law School 040)

April 12, 2018
Flynn Auditorium (Law School 040)    

May 7, 2018 Reception to follow        
Flynn Auditorium (Law School 040)
Guest Speakers 
  • December 14 - Mark Wallace, Dean of the Graduate School
  • January 11 - David Williams, Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics
    Thoughts, Concerns, New Business:
               Please send your  thoughts, concerns or new business for the Executive Committee in writing to the EC via 
mail or anonymously via the Faculty Senate Portal Feedback Form . Your comments are appreciated. 
                                      Wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving !  
From Your 2017-2018

         The next Faculty Senate Meeting is on 
                        If you have any questions, please contact:                        
   Debbie Hayes
   Administrative Manager