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January 8, 1991

       1.1  University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

 

 

 

                            1.1.1  January 8, 1991

 

 

  Present   Robin Ball, Alan Bayer, Virgil Cook, Doris Evans, Mark Flora,

            Muriel Flynn, Laurie Good, Randy Grayson, Jane Harrison, Michele

            Holmes, Patricia Hyer, Michael Lambur, Dawn Maxey, Patricia

            Morris, Cornel Morton, Harry Pence, Wayne Speer, Chris Tayloe

 

  Absent:   Susan Asselin, Allison Ballew, Doretha Butler, Mona Edwards,

            Janine Hiller, Deborah Ho, Melissa Holland, Joan Kalnitsky-Alif,

            Kathy Lewis, Brian McConnell, Dennis Jones, Charlotte Pratt,

            Nancy Simmons, Linda Woodard, Glenn Valentine

 

  Guests:   Ron Giddings, Dean of Students Office; Gail Lopes, Personnel Ser-

            vices

 

 

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

 

 

  1.  ADOPTION OF AGENDA

 

      The agenda was adopted with the substitution of discussion of the Af-

      firmative Action Plan with a report on the Affirmative Action Incentive

      Grants Program.

 

  2.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

      The minutes from the meeting of November 6, 1990 were approved with a

      minor change to the attendance roster.

 

  3.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      o   Mr. Muriel Flynn introduced Ms. Gail Lopes, Personnel Analyst, who

          will be responsible for developing and implementing an affirmative

          action recruitment and community outreach program for classified

          positions.  Also attending this meeting was Ron Giddings, the re-

          cently appointed Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs and a

          doctoral candidate in the College of Education.

 

      o   Dr. Hyer announced that a special section of SPECTRUM was being de-

          veloped, devoted to multicultural and gender tolerance.  She ex-

          plained that this represents an effort to develop a common doctrine

          regarding racial and gender tolerance. Similar articles are also

          planned for the COLLEGIATE TIMES.

 

  4.  ONGOING BUSINESS

 

      a.  SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

 

          Dr. Hyer briefly reviewed the history of and rationale for the doc-

          ument.  She then reported that during its last meeting, University

          Council referred the policy to the Faculty Senate which discussed

          it at some length. Dr. Hyer noted that while the overall tone and

          substance of the policy were subsequently approved by the Senate,

          she stated that senators were most concerned about the lack of peer

          review in complaint resolution. The policy was then referred to the

          Commission on Faculty Affairs which assisted in developing a panel

          review system (second paragraph of item 2A in the "Formal Com-

          plaint" section) that could be initiated if the Director of EO/AA

          finds evidence to support the charge.  Dr. Hyer stated that the

          Committee decided on this sequence because involving a panel from

          the onset of the complaint would make the process "unworkable."  It

          would also destroy the important aspect of confidentiality. She

          then described several minor changes to the policy.  She concluded

          her report by stating that the revised policy required approval

          from the EO/AA Committee before it could return to University Coun-

          cil.

 

          Dr. Bayer inquired whether the policy should specify the period of

          time within which the "accused may request a review of the case."

          Committee members agreed that two weeks would be appropriate. Dis-

          cussion then centered on the length of the internal review process

          and whether, if prolonged, it could conflict with EEOC regulations.

          Dr. Morton noted that, even if a charge is eventually filed with

          the EEOC, they do allow some flexibility within the normal 6-month

          review period. Dr. Hyer added that an internal complaint need not

          be fully resolved before it is filed with the EEOC.

 

          Dr. Grayson commented briefly on the statement within the policy

          which states that "a complainant found to have been intentionally

          dishonest in making the allegations or to have made them mali-

          ciously is subject to University discipline."  He stressed how dev-

          astating a charge of sexual harassment can be -- even if it turns

          out to be false.

 

          Dr. Hyer moved approval of the revised Sexual Harassment Policy

          with the proposed additional changes. The motion CARRIED.

 

      b.  CUSTODIAL LEAVE POLICY

 

          Although the committee had previously agreed to postpone discussion

          of this item until the next meeting, it nevertheless spent consid-

          erable time reviewing it.  There was discussion within the commit-

          tee about whether this topic was within this committee's purview.

          Dr. Morton stressed that, as a social justice issue, the policy

          warrants discussion.  He noted that while less than 15% of custo-

          dians regularly "abuse" their sick and annual leave, the remaining

          85+% are asked to adhere to the stringent regulations. He stressed

          that the policy is discriminatory because it requires only one

          group of state employees to adhere to a unique set of guidelines.

          He offered his observation that "those who make the least seem set

          upon the most," and in this light it borders on class discrimi-

          nation. Dr. Morton was asked whether a progressive discipline pol-

          icy for repeated "offenders" was considered, and he replied that

          Mr.  Sasser, who helped draft the policy, was reluctant to imple-

          ment such a system.  Dr. Cook and Ms. Harrison stressed that custo-

          dians seem to lack an advocacy group, or at the very least "someone

          to make these issues clear."  They, and other committee members,

          agreed that the policy was difficult to understand as currently

          written. Dr. Cook also voiced his belief that some custodial work-

          ers may fear recrimination if they were to challenge the policy.

 

          Ms. Ball then recommended that Ann Spencer and Wyatt Sasser be in-

          vited to a subsequent meeting to provide greater perspective.  She

          noted that Mr. Sasser had asked several custodians to sit on the

          committee that drafted the policy.  She went on to explain that it

          is largely an issue of consistency, and since its implementation,

          the policy has reduced the amount of unexcused leave time.  It is

          also encouraging employees to request annual leave well in advance.

          She added that the policy is "on trial" for a year and will be re-

          viewed at the end of that time.

 

          Discussion again centered on the proper scope of the EO/AA Commit-

          tee.  While some members felt that the committee should address any

          issue of genuine concern to any employee, others felt that dealing

          with personnel issues might become problematic.  Dr. Morton reiter-

          ated that any policy with discriminatory implications can be ad-

          dressed by this committee. Dr.  Hyer, who was of the opinion that

          the EO/AA should first define its charge before dealing with this

          and similar issues, moved that the Committee vote on whether to re-

          tain this issue on the agenda.  The committee voted to continue

          discussion of the policy, provided that Ms.  Spencer and Mr. Sasser

          could be present during subsequent deliberations.

 

      c.  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

          SUBCOMMITTEE ON DISABILITY CONCERNS

 

              Dr. Cook stated that no meeting had occurred since his last re-

              port, but added that the subcommittee is still very much inter-

              ested in developing a learning disabilities support team.

 

          SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITIES

 

              Ms. Morris noted that her subcommittee is still working on re-

              vising the exit survey.  Mr. Flynn requested that Ms. Gail

              Lopes be included on this project.

 

              Dr. Morton briefed the committee on the upcoming KKK march.  He

              described the ecumenical service that will be held from 10:00

              to 11:00 a.m. in Burruss Hall to represent the university's and

              community's official response to the march. Dr. Morton noted,

              however, that the march, itself, would be boycotted.

 

          SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN

 

              No report

 

 

  The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

 

 

  Respectfully submitted,

 

 

  Laurie S. Good

  Executive Secretary

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