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February 21, 1990

        University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

 

 

 

                             February 21, 1990

 

 

  Present:  Alan Bayer, Danielle Carpenter, Valerie Giddings, Laurie Good,

            Jane Harrison, Janine Hiller, Michele Holmes, Pat Hyer, Mike

            Lambur, Larry Lawrence, Patricia Morris, Wayne Speer, Anne Zajac

 

 

  Michele Holmes called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.  The agenda for the

  meeting and the minutes from the meeting of January 18, 1990 were approved,

  pending the verification of events pertaining to the first item under Old

  Business, "Quality of Life" of custodial workers.

 

 

  New Business

 

 

  1.  Chair's Report

 

      o   Ms. Holmes reported that all of the events for Black History Month

          1990 are progressing as scheduled.  Ten thousand calendars were

          distributed campus- and community-wide and attendance for the

          events has generally been good.

 

      o   Ms. Holmes noted the three dates for the upcoming "Black

          Students/White Faculty Workshops, March 7, 8, and 21, from 9:00 to

          3:30 p.m. in the CEC.  Individuals interested in attending the

          workshops are encouraged to contact their dean.

 

      o   Ms. Holmes also reported that Carolyn Green, currently Coordinator

          of University Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Programs at the

          University of Florida, has accepted the position of Compliance Of-

          ficer in the Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action here at

          Tech.  She expects to join the university on or about March 26th.

 

      o   Ms. Holmes announced the upcoming "Breakfast With. . ." program on

          Wednesday, February 28th.  The speaker will be Mr. Theodore

          Paynther, Special Assistant to the Superintendent of the Cleveland

          Public School District.  He will be discussing "The Myth of Race

          and the Impact of Color."

 

  2.  Subcommittee Reports

 

      o   SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY CHALLENGED

 

              Mr. Speer reported that the committee has not had an opportu-

              nity to reconvene since the last EO/AA meeting.  The next meet-

              ing is scheduled for March 2nd, at which time "Tight Building

              Syndrome" will be the principle topic for discussion.

 

      o   SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITIES

 

              Pat Morris distributed the minutes from the January 31, 1990

              meeting of the Subcommittee on Minorities. She referenced the

              first item of the minutes, which describes a note from Paula

              Dail questioning the charge of the subcommittee. Specifically,

              does the committee only address the needs of Blacks, or should

              it include other minorities and women? Ms. Holmes responded

              that because the state plan has tended to focus on Blacks, the

              subcommittee has historically followed suit. Pat Hyer added

              that there are affirmative action goals for other minorities,

              although that has not been the subcommittee's focus in the

              past. Ms. Hyer noted that this topic would be a timely and im-

              portant one for committee-wide discussion, as Drs. Morton and

              Carlisle are working on a more aggressive affirmative action

              approach for Virginia Tech. Ms. Holmes suggested that this

              topic be added as an agenda item for the March 21 EO/AA meet-

              ing. Ms. Morris also mentioned that Wayland Winstead of the

              Planning Coordinating Committee had met with the subcommittee

              during a subsequent meeting, during which time the attached

              EO/AA Goals and Objectives statement was discussed.

 

      o   SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN

 

              Anne Zajac announced that the subcommittee has met once since

              the last EO/AA meeting.  Members are continuing to work on the

              sexual harassment policy, and in fact have gathered policy

              statements from other universities in order to compare the

              wording.  An upcoming meeting is planned with Kay Heidbreder to

              work through some of the legal implications of changing these

              procedures. Pat Hyer added that several of these sexual

              harassment policies include a cautionary statement on

              consensual relationships between a faculty member and a stu-

              dent, or a supervisor and a supervisee.  Although such re-

              lationships do not fall directly under the category of "sexual

              harassment," they tend to create problems as there is usually

              the suspicion of favoritism among peers, colleagues, or

              coworkers.  Thus, the subcommittee is considering whether simi-

              lar language regarding the unethical nature of such relation-

              ships should be included in Virginia Tech's sexual harassment

              statement. Ms.  Hyer was asked if any of these statements in-

              clude descriptions of possible punitive responses to reported

              consensual relationships. She responded that they did not do so

              specifically, but gave examples of "worse-case scenario" re-

              actions, such as possible removal of tenure or dismissal. Ms.

              Hyer mentioned that the subcommittee would like to invite the

              chairman of the new Faculty Senate Committee on Ethics to a

              later meeting to discuss this issue.

 

  3.  Ms. Holmes announced that the draft of the Faculty-Staff Affirmative

      Action Plan is near completion and will be discussed at the next EO/AA

      meeting.

 

 

 

  Other Business

 

 

  o   The subject of EO/AA representation on the Faculty Senate was raised.

      As reported, it doesn't appear that there has been an individual serv-

      ing on the Faculty Senate this year.  Ms. Holmes suggested that this

      issue be discussed at the next meeting when Dr. Morton will be present.

 

  o   Danielle Carpenter announced that the Student Government Association

      and the Dean of Students' Office is sponsoring a forum on "Sexual

      Harassment in the Classroom."  It will take place on Wednesday, Febru-

      ary 28th, at 7:00 p.m. in Pamplin 30.  Two short films will be shown,

      followed by a panel discussion.  Two more forums are planned on March

      21st and April 11th.  The former will address "Acquaintance Rape" and

      the latter will be devote to "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace."

 

  The meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.

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