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January 18, 1990

  University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

 

 

 

                               January 18, 1990

 

 

  Present:  Cornel N. Morton, Jane Harrison, Danielle Carpenter, Mark Flora,

            Laurie Good, Pat Hyer, Mary Ross, Paula Dail, Wayne Speer, Alan

            Bayer, Patricia Morris, Anne Zajac, Deb Hedrick, Larry Lawrence,

            Valerie L. Giddings, Michele Holmes, Harry J. Pence, Susan B.

            Asselin, Chris E. Tayloe, Brian S. McConnell, Muriel Flynn,

            Wayland Winstead

 

 

  Cornel Morton called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.  The agenda for the

  meeting and minutes from the meeting of November 14, 1989 were approved.

 

 

 

  NEW BUSINESS

 

 

  UNIVERSITY PLANNING COORDINATING COMMITTEE REPORT

 

  Dr. Morton introduced Wayland Winstead, Coordinator of Planning, who was

  invited to report on the university's planning process, begun last fall as

  a result of the Self-Study. Following a detailed description of the 28

  planning workshops and their outcomes, Mr. Winstead spoke briefly about the

  importance of affirmative action goals.  He mentioned that the university's

  performance is going to be judged externally on the basis of results, not

  effort.  In reference to the recruitment of women, Mr. Winstead predicted

  that, with the possible exception of some scientific and technical disci-

  plines, there would be sufficient numbers of women with terminal degrees to

  meet this institution's goals.  From the standpoint of minorities, however,

  it is unlikely that there will be enough minority candidates with the ter-

  minal degree to meet the affirmative action goals of higher education and

  industry.  Thus, Mr.  Winstead predicted, EO/AA goals in the 1990's would

  have to be broadened to include more than just hiring practices. He also

  noted a direct parallel between diversity and quality.

 

  Mr. Winstead then invited EO/AA Committee members to indicate how they

  would like their concerns to be incorporated into the planning process.

  Mr. Speer inquired whether the planning process would include the physical

  plant department, specifically in terms of making the campus more accessi-

  ble to the physically challenged.  Mr. Winstead replied that the committee

  is addressing a number of issues related to facilities and also voiced an

  interest in meeting with the Subcommittee on the Physically and Mentally

  Challenged to further discuss these issues.  Mr.  Lawrence inquired if the

  report, TOWARD THE YEAR 2000:  AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AT VIRGINIA TECH, had

  been examined by the planning coordinating committee.  Mr. Winstead replied

  that he had read it and was using the document as a reference source. He

  added that the plan now being constructed will not be available for another

  year.  However, Mr.  Winstead advised committee members to continue their

  own departmental and/or college planning efforts.  He concluded his report

  by stating that he would be very interested in meeting with the three sub-

  committees to discuss their individual recommendations.

 

 

  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

  o   SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN: Anne Zajac, co-chair with Pat Hyer, reported

      that the subcommittee has met twice.  Discussions thus far have focused

      on re-doing the sexual harassment policy.  At their previous meeting,

      invited guests Kay Heidbreder and Cornel Morton had pointed out some of

      the limitations of the present document and suggested ways it could be

      broadened beyond the traditional "sex for favors" concept of sexual

      harassment. The Subcommittee on Women also plans to develop a sexual

      harassment leaflet for the general public.

 

  o   SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY CHALLENGED:  Wayne Speer

      distributed a breakdown of the numbers and variety of disabled students

      at Virginia Tech (see attached). As of November 7, 1989, there were 97

      disabled students on campus (that number has since risen to 105).  In

      1987, the Office of Handicap Services was assisting 77 students; in

      1988 there were 83.  As the report indicates, many of these students do

      not fit the profile of the traditionally "disabled," in that many of

      these students are not visually-, hearing-, or mobility-impaired.

      Rather, most of the disabilities relate to learning dysfunctions.  Mr.

      Speer reported that subcommittee chair, Virgil Cook, is serving on the

      Governor's Board for the Visually Impaired.  Mr. Speer, himself, is

      serving on the Governor's Board for the Rights of the Disabled.  He

      also informed the committee that Don Cox, a Virginia Tech graduate and

      former head of the Department for the Visually Handicapped in Roanoke,

      has been assigned as director of the Department for the Visually Hand-

      icapped.  It is hoped that Governor Wilder will appoint him permanently

      to that position.

 

      Mr. Speer also reported that Linda Woodard will be working with the

      Subcommittee on a new policy to deal with people who are injured on the

      job or become victims of "sick building syndrome."  He then noted that

      by the end of December, his office had been depleted of funds for disa-

      bled tutorial services; he estimates that the provision of these ser-

      vices (for close to 50 students) for the first six months of this

      academic year cost approximately $9,000. Additional funding has been

      requested.  He added that Virginia Tech is the only school that picks

      up the tab for tutorial services.  Many other schools already have com-

      prehensive existing tutorial programs, while Tech does not.  But since

      many disabled students are clients of Rehabilitative Services or other

      state agencies, Mr. Speer has advised them to seek tutorial funding

      from their sponsoring agency.  Mr. Speer also reported that he contin-

      ues to work with disabled faculty and staff (69 at the present time).

      And over the past semester he has issued 54 temporarily disabled park-

      ing passes, 7 shuttle passes for students, and has received 29 letters

      from parents of a disabled student interested in attending Virginia

      Tech.  He then informed the committee that Virginia Tech will likely

      receive funding ($11,950) for a reading machine which will read text

      for visually impaired students.

 

  o   SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITIES: Pat Morris reported that her subcommittee

      has not yet been fully assembled and thus they have not established a

      working agenda. She will be able to convey further information at the

      next EO/AA committee meeting.

 

 

  AFFIRMATIVE ACTION MONITORING REPORT

 

  Dr. Morton summarized Judith Jones' report concerning the progress of the

  three subcommittees' "Year 2000" recommendations. He noted the comments Ms.

  Jones had made last year concerning some of the individual recommendations.

  Some committee members then supplemented her past comments with more recent

  information. Dr. Morton provided this information as a reminder of where

  this monitoring report was intended to go.  He asked subcommittees to re-

  view their specific area recommendations and make additional comments at

  the next meeting.

 

 

 

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

 

  "QUALITY OF LIFE" OF CUSTODIAL WORKERS

 

  Cornel Morton reported that members of the Classified Staff Committee met

  with Greg Ritter and Linda Woodard to discuss issues related to the unsat-

  isfactory work environment for some custodial workers. Pam Winfrey, Direc-

  tor of Housing Operations, and Wyatt Sasser, Buildings and Grounds

  Supervisor, were also involved.  Dr. Morton does not feel that much

  progress was made.  Mr. Sasser expressed his willingness to work with the

  committee as needed.  Paula Dail added that problems of communication af-

  fect the entire campus community, not only custodial workers.  In summary,

  it was agreed that the publication of an article in SPECTRUM or THE

  COLLEGIATE TIMES could lead in increased sensitivity among faculty, staff,

  and students toward the custodial staff.

 

 

  SEARCH FOR COMPLIANCE OFFICER

 

  Dr. Morton informed the committee that the search had been narrowed to 2

  candidates, Mary Omelia and Carolyn Green.  He expects to make a decision

  once he reviews written evaluations.

 

 

  SEARCH FOR DIRECTOR OF PLANNING

 

  Among the group of seven finalists for the position, Pay Hyer reported that

  there are 2 women and 1 African-American.

 

  OTHER BUSINESS

 

 

  Wayne Speer reported that plans to install an elevator in Price Hall will

  move forwarded as discussed.

 

 

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