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November 19, 1991

         University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

 

 

 

                               November 19, 1991

 

 

  Present:  Robin Ball, Alan Bayer, Chris Broderick, Penny Burge, Virgil

            Cook, Doris Evans, Marion Farmer, Valerie Giddings, Laurie Good,

            Randy Grayson, Betty Greene, Jane Harrison, Richard Hayman,

            Michele Holmes, Pat Hyer, Noreen Klein, Alice LoMascolo, Cornel

            Morton, Alan Bayer, Gail Lopes, Harry Pence, Richard Sapon-White,

            Nancy Simmons, Wayne Speer, Patricia Summers, Chris Tayloe, Janet

            Tuckwiller

 

  Absent:   Muriel Flynn, Dennis Jones, Melissa Holland, Brian McConnell,

            Linda Woodard, Melinda Emerson, Sheri McConnell, Richard Haymen

 

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

 

  1.  APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FROM THE MEETING OF NOVEMBER 19

 

      Pat Summers asked that the minutes reflect the concerns she raised dur-

      ing this meeting.  The approval of the minutes was deferred pending the

      addition of this discussion.

 

  2.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      Pat Hyer reported that a series of workshops has been arranged dealing

      with the topic of "Women and Leadership at Virginia Tech."  The first

      meeting, scheduled for December 3rd, has attracted more than 140 par-

      ticipants.  She also noted that the "Faculty Diversity Plan" will be

      printed in the SPECTRUM on December 5th.  The staff diversity plan will

      appear in January or February.

 

      Cornel Morton announced that the Virginia Tech Committee on Social Jus-

      tice and Diversity is sponsoring a panel discussion of, "Sexual

      Harassment:  A Community Forum," to take place on Friday, December 5th,

      beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the front auditorium of the CEC.

 

      Cornel Morton then noted the visit of William Thorpe, the OFCCP audi-

      tor.  In connection with his visit, an open meeting will be held on De-

      cember 4th to discuss personnel recruitment and selection, the

      definition of a "good faith" effort in hiring, and related issues.

      This meeting is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at the CEC.  He then detailed

      the OFCCP compliance review, to take place from December 3-6, 1991.

 

      Dr. Morton described his recent presentation on affirmative action and

      campus climate initiatives to the Faculty Senate.  Specifically, he re-

      ported that he addressed a number of issues and questions related to

      race, equity and also addressed some gender and disability concerns.

      In response to a question about Virginia Tech's overall progress in

      this area, Dr. Morton stated that it has been "a mixed bag."  He ob-

      served that there still doesn't seem to be a universally held institu-

      tional commitment to equal opportunity/affirmative action.  He spoke of

      the need to be more "confrontive" with colleagues about issues related

      to campus climate, administrative accountability, and empowerment.

      This can in part be accomplished by providing positive criticism when

      necessary.

 

  3.  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      a.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON DISABILITY CONCERNS:  No Report

 

 

 

      b.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN:  Penny Burge reported that the subcommittee

          met on November 7th, during which time they agreed to address the

          following topics:

 

          o   The recruitment of non-traditional individuals to apprentice-

              ship programs;

 

          o   The formation of a parental leave policy.

 

          Penny then invited any interested EO/AA Committee member to attend

          the subcommittee's upcoming meeting on November 21, at 1:00 p.m. in

          Lane Hall.

 

      c.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITY CONCERNS:  Valerie Giddings reported that

          Joyce Williams-Green, Assistant Provost, attended their meeting on

          October 31st.  She discussed retention strategies for black faculty

          and students, including the formation of a university retention

          committee.  Dr. Williams-Green stressed that dissemination of in-

          formation seems to be problematic at this university.  For example,

          many faculty advisors are not aware of the VTASP Program Virginia

          Tech Academic Success Program), which is open to all black and

          high-risk white freshmen and sophomores.  She also reported that

          the retention rate for black students at Virginia Tech -- while

          comparable to peer institutions -- is not as good as the retention

          rate at UVa or James Madison University.

 

          Ms. Giddings also discussed the growing financial aid problems for

          black students, noting that many aid packages are tied to QCA lev-

          els.  She indicated that the subcommittee will want to discuss

          those requirements so that more might be done to assist those who

          need financial aid assistance.

 

          Additionally, the subcommittee looked at retention strategies for

          black faculty, such as the need to protect untenured faculty from

          excessive committee assignments, or through the establishment of an

          faculty mentoring program for junior-level minority faculty mem-

          bers.  The subcommittee is also discussing the development of an

          instrument to inventory black faculty satisfaction.

 

          The committee then discussed additional strategies for improving

          the retention rates of minority students, faculty and staff at

          Virginia Tech.  Pat Summers suggested that greater attention be

          paid to community support, especially to the ways in which univer-

          sity and city police relate to minority students.  Randy Grayson

          noted that the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus attempts to find ways

          to minimize the "culture shock" faced by new faculty, but recog-

          nized that our geography is a problem.  Alan Bayer pointed out that

          the term "minority" should be extended beyond the classically de-

          fined groups.  He spoke about the problems faced by Appalachian

          students and the need to be more responsive to this group.

 

  4.  AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AWARDS

 

      Michele Holmes reported that the subcommittee (comprised of Harry

      Pence, Dennis Jones, Alice LoMascolo, Melinda Emerson and Michele

      Holmes) has only just begun to discuss the reinstatement of the Affir-

      mative Action Awards Program.  She described the three proposed catego-

      ries of awards:  (1) individual achievement, (2) organizational effort,

      and (3) college or departmental recognition.  Ms. Holmes promised to

      share the specific award guidelines with the EO/AA Committee as soon as

      they are finalized.

 

  5.  SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

      Alan Bayer informed the Committee that a survey of male and female sex-

      ual assault cases is near completion, with close to 2,000 respondents.

      Once the results are available, they will be reported to Judith Scott,

      Coordinator for Sexual Assault Eduation, who developed and implemented

      the survey.

 

 

  The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

 

  Respectfully submitted,

 

  Laurie S. Good

  Executive Secretary

 

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