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December 17, 1991

         University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

                               December 17, 1991

 

 

  Present:  Robin Ball, Alan Bayer, David Bousquet, Marion Farmer, Muriel

            Flynn, Valerie Giddings, Laurie Good, Randy Grayson, Betty

            Greene, Michele Holmes, Pat Hyer, Cornel Morton, Harry Pence,

            Richard Sapon-White, Nancy Simmons, Ruth Smith (for Norrine

            Klein), Chris Tayloe

 

  Absent:   Chris Broderick, Penny Burge, Virgil Cook, Melinda Emerson, Doris

            Evans, Jane Harrison, Richard Haymen, Melissa Holland, Dennis

            Jones, Noreen Klein, Alice LoMascolo, Sheri McConnell, Wayne

            Speer, Patricia Summers, Janet Tuckwiller, Linda Woodard

 

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

 

  1.  APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FROM OCTOBER 15 AND NOVEMBER 19

 

      Both sets of minutes were approved with corrections.

 

  2.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      Cornel Morton announced that the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program,

      scheduled for January 15 at 7:00 p.m., will feature keynote speaker,

      Dr. Maulana Karenga, Chair of the Black Studies Program at California

      State University at Long Beach.  The program will be held in the Colo-

      nial Room at Squires Student Center.

 

  3.  REPORT FROM DAVID BOUSQUET, DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS, ON THE DEPARTMENT

      OF EDUCATION'S POSITION ON RACE-SPECIFIC SCHOLARSHIPS.

 

      As background, Mr. Bousquet related the history of these scholarships,

      especially as they relate to the "Adams States," where desegregation

      rulings required the dismantling of dual higher education systems.  He

      explained that if proposed federal regulations governing these scholar-

      ships become mandatory, Virginia Tech will have four years to implement

      the new regulations.  Mr. Bousquet stated his belief that the new pol-

      icy would have a dampening effect on recruitment, which is already

      problematic given the stiff competition for highly-qualified black high

      school graduates.  In fact, Mr. Bousquet pointed out that the overall

      yield for black students dropped 11 points this year, compared to the

      university-wide average of 5 points.  He attributed this to the fact

      that black students with high SAT/GPA scores are intensively recruited

      nationwide.  He added that if financial aid opportunities are reduced,

      it will become even more difficult to attract minority students.

 

      He then described the three principle programs that provide financial

      assistance for minority students:  the AIMS Program (Alliance for In-

      creasing Minority Success) which funds 11-12 students at a total of

      about $26,000 per year;  the Academic Excellence Scholarships ($120,000

      per year);  and the Powell Scholarships ($120,000 per year).  Thus, the

      total net worth of these scholarships is $266,000 per year -- a rela-

      tively small sum, he noted.  Mr. Bousquet went on to describe how dif-

      ficult it is for students to maintain the required minimum QCA (usually

      3.4) in order to retain these scholarships.  He expressed his belief

      that Virginia Tech should abandon the minimum QCA requirements in favor

      of a community service component, as UVa has done.  He concluded his

      discussion with the observation that further tuition hikes could also

      jeopardize Virginia Tech's ability to attract minority students.

 

  4.  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      a.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON DISABILITY CONCERNS:  Cornel Morton reported that

          he, Betty Greene, Virgil Cook, and Marion Farmer previewed an edu-

          cational videotape (produced by Cherry Houck, Professor of Curric-

          ulum and Instruction, and Susan Asselin, Associate Professor of

          Vocational and Technical Education) about the needs and problems

          faced by learning disabled college students.  The tape will be

          shown to faculty members in conjunction with an informational work-

          shop about how better to accommodate the learning disabled.  Dr.

          Morton informed the committee that he would show the videotape dur-

          ing the committee's January meeting.

 

      b.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN:  Pat Hyer reported that the subcommittee is

          discussing ways to develop a more explicit section for the FACULTY

          HANDBOOK about the family leave policy for faculty members.  She

          explained that although these benefits exist, they are not widely

          recognized.

 

      c.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITY CONCERNS:  No Report

 

  5.  OFCCP REVIEW

 

      Cornel Morton described the recent OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract

      Compliance Programs) audit, during which Virginia Tech was awarded "a

      relatively clean bill of health" for its good-faith efforts in outreach

      and recruitment.  The audit, focusing primarily on staff, included a

      review of recruitment/outreach efforts, screening and referral crite-

      ria, methods of checking references, and other related issues.  Pat

      Hyer observed that faculty hiring is more complicated because it often

      becomes difficult to objectively measure the qualifications of candi-

      dates -- especially when taking into consideration such variables as

      the needs of the institution and "best fit" kinds of criteria.

 

  6.  FACULTY SEARCH PROCEDURES

 

      Cornel Morton and Pat Hyer described to the committee the new faculty

      search procedures.  Dr. Morton distributed copies of the faculty search

      authorization form and the hiring activity record, both of which are

      new this year.  In response to a question from Alan Bayer about the ma-

      jor procedural changes, Pat Hyer responded that the new system requires

      department heads, and especially deans, to be more accountable for re-

      cruiting strategies and hiring decisions.  It also provides more com-

      prehensive applicant data for the EO/AA Office.  Dr. Morton reported

      that although the new procedures have met with some resistance from

      faculty members concerned with issues of "academic freedom," they are

      now in effect.

 

      Alan Bayer expressed concern about the "predatory" advertising pricing

      rates in BLACK ISSUES IN HIGHER EDUCATION.  He noted that although this

      publication has long been viewed as THE vehicle for attracting minority

      applicants, it actually provides few job applicants.  Thus, he felt it

      would be unfair to force departments to use this publication, espe-

      cially given reduced operating budgets.  Dr. Morton responded that the

      magazine is more useful in certain disciplines, such as the social sci-

      ences and education;  other fields may require a different approach --

      such as more person-to-person contact.  He did point out, however, that

      departments are not required to advertise in this magazine.  Pat Hyer

      then stressed that all departments need to consider more effective ways

      of diversifying job applicant pools.  She added that departments will

      be encouraged to contact the EO/AA Office for more effective recruit-

      ment strategies.

 

 

  The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

 

  Respectfully submitted,

 

  Laurie S. Good

  Executive Secretary

 

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