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December 18, 1992

                         Commission on Faculty Affairs

                                    Minutes

                               December 18, 1992

 

  Present: C. Carrig (for R. Martin), P. Hyer (for F. Carlisle), C.

  McDaniels, M. Norstedt, S. Ritchey, N. Shumsky, W. Williams, D. de Wolf

 

  Visitor: L. Geyer, C. Morton

 

  The meeting was called to order at 1:15 by David de Wolf, the chair of the

  committee.

 

  Announcements:  The chair has received minutes from the University Communi-

  cations Committee. On January 22, the CFA will discuss a resolution from

  the Commission on Research concerning "Termination Procedures for Research

  Faculty on Restricted Appointments."

 

  Agenda: The agenda was adopted.

 

  Minutes: The minutes of November 24 were approved as written.

 

  Old Business: The first order of old business was consideration of the mem-

  bership of the EO/AA Committee. C. Morton, the chair of the committee re-

  ported that several changes had been made from the draft report submitted

  to the commission earlier in the semester. Several positions for members of

  the administration had been combined into a single representative of the

  "general administration." An expanded representation had been assigned to

  the classified staff, and a representative of the CFA had been added in ac-

  cordance with the new governance procedures. In addition, the provision for

  including a member who is a disabled student was deleted. This latter point

  provoked a lively debate. C. McDaniels pointed out that the CFA had unan-

  imously passed a resolution including a disabled student on the committee

  to which C. Morton replied that he hoped we could negotiate this matter.

  McDaniels reiterated the point that the CFA had passed a resolution placing

  a disabled student on the committee, and D. de Wolf read the original re-

  solution. P. Hyer pointed out that the EO/AA committee had reconsidered the

  entire question of membership, reduced it, and removed a disabled student

  representative. It was now sending the issue back to CFA for reconsider-

  ation. Morton pointed out that all other committee members represented or-

  ganized constituencies on campus. This comment raised questions about

  whether that was appropriate or necessary, and Morton asserted that the

  committee could be representative even if every group was not formally

  granted membership. D. de Wolf pointed out that a conflict between the CFA

  and the EO/AA Committee had developed, and the issue was how to resolve it.

  McDaniels said that the CFA had passed a resolution and the EO/AA Committee

  had not acceded. S. Ritchey asked about the extent of the CFA's authority

  and whether it could issue an order to a committee. L. Geyer said that ac-

  cording to the new governance system, committees "belong" to commissions

  which make recommendations to University Council which then makes deci-

  sions. At this point, W. Williams recapitulated the arguments on both sides

  of the controversy, asked whether CFA had good reason to reconsider its

  earlier decision, and concluded that all relevant groups should be directly

  represented. He vigorously argued that it is essential for the EO/AA Com-

  mittee to be constituted specifically to represent and protect those groups

  who lack officially-recognized constituencies.  C. Carrig pointed out that

  the CFA had instructed the EO/AA Committee to reduce its membership, and it

  had done so. Williams replied that the CFA had also instructed the commit-

  tee to include a disabled student and had never meant for that position to

  be excluded. C. McDaniels then moved reinstatement of the original motion:

  "In addition, the Assistant Dean of Students for Minority Services will re-

  commend no less than two handicapped individuals for membership on the com-

  mittee, one of whom will be appointed." This motion passed.

 

  The commission now turned to the second item of new business, the revised

  grievance procedures. The discussion focused on several issues of grammar

  and logic that were resolved with no controversy. It was moved and seconded

  to present the revised Faculty Grievance Procedures to University Council,

  and the resolution passed unanimously.

 

  New Business: C. Morton presented the Virginia Tech Future Professors Pro-

  gram. The university has had the goal of recruiting senior women and people

  of color at all ranks, and this proposal is a means of achieving that ob-

  jective. The Exceptional Opportunities Program has been very successful,

  and he hopes that this program will also. P. Hyer pointed out that the Ex-

  ceptional Opportunities Program is not meant to be permanent and that the

  current proposal is designed to be a long-term investment in areas of fac-

  ulty development where small pools of qualified applicants may make

  recruitment impossible. M. Norstedt asked about the definition of "minor-

  ity" in the proposal, and Hyer pointed out that it was explicit on the ap-

  plication form, African American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan

  Native. D. de Wolf asked how the program would be funded, and Hyer replied

  that this would be a small program with only two or three new positions per

  year and that a budget amendment would be sought from the General Assembly.

  Furthermore, each participating department would have to provide positions

  from its own allocation. New positions would not be allocated by the

  Provost's office. N. Shumsky asked how a department would know three years

  in advance if a position would be available for a new faculty member, and

  Hyer replied that arrangements were frequently made to borrow positions un-

  til permanent positions became available. W. Williams raised the issue of

  standards and fields and whether it was possible to predict several years

  in advance what a department's needs would be and what an individual's

  qualifications would be. S. Ritchey said that the arrangement would be

  risky on both sides, and that a candidate might not want to come here. C.

  Morton said that he had no concerns about the qualifications of candidates

  for the program. D. de Wolf now pointed out that it was 3:00 and wished ev-

  eryone a happy holiday season.

 

  Adjournment: there being no further business, the Commission adjourned at

  3:00.

 

  Respectfully submitted,

 

  Neil L. Shumsky

  Secretary

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