To increase transparency in the decisions and programs of UVa Biology faculty, I have proposed to our department chair that at least one graduate student and one post-doctoral trainee serve as a representative on every faculty level committee. By having trainee representatives on each committee, faculty can accomplish several positive goals including:
1. Establishing good will through allowing each group to have a voice and increasing transparency in the decisions faculty make.
2. Career training opportunities. Trainees can see how decisions are made, how to successfully execute initiatives, and gain leadership experience for both future academic and non-academic careers.
3. Increased diversity in rank and background on committees. Our grads and post-docs are a diverse group in terms of race, gender, and experience, so bringing in their perspective would be beneficial overall, but especially when having discussions about issues and policies we faculty may not be as well equipped to have.