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October 15, 1991

         University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

 

 

 

                                October 15, 1991

 

 

  Present:  Chris Broderick, Alan Bayer, Penny Burge, Virgil Cook, Melinda

            Emerson, Doris Evans, Marion Farmer, Valerie Giddings, Laurie

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

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

            McConnell, Cornel Morton, Harry Pence, Richard Sapon-White, Nancy

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

            Tuckwiller

 

  Absent:   Robin Ball, Muriel Flynn, Dennis Jones, Melissa Holland, Brian

            McConnell, Linda Woodard

 

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

 

  1.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      Cornel Morton noted that the Virginia Tech Committee on Social Justice

      and Diversity would be sponsoring a community discussion of "The Di-

      lemma of Political Correctness," on November 12, 7:30 p.m., in the

      front auditorium of the CEC.  Also on the subject of "PC," Chris

      Broderick announced that the SGA was sponsoring the visit of Dinesh

      Desouza on October 30th, 8:00 p.m. in Colonial Hall.  Dr. Morton also

      informed the Committee that Maki Mandela would be speaking on October

      22, at 8:00 p.m., in Colonial Hall.

 

  2.  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      a.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON DISABILITY CONCERNS:  Dr. Cook and Mr. Speer spoke

          briefly about the need to educate faculty about nature of learning

          disabilities and the difficulties affected students encounter at

          Virginia Tech.  Dr. Cook stated that, unlike physical "handicaps,"

          learning disabilities are the only disabilities for which faculty

          hold their students accountable.  Mr. Speer then addressed the need

          to include specific guidelines in the FACULTY HANDBOOK for working

          with learning disabled students.  Alice LoMascolo stated that she

          had been erroneously listed as willing to serve on this subcommit-

          tee.  Instead, she expressed her preference for working with the

          Subcommittee on Women.

 

      b.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN:  Dr. Burge agreed to convene the first meet-

          ing of the Subcommittee on Women.  Dr. Hyer then discussed some

          concerns that the subcommittee might address this year.  These in-

          clude a spousal hiring assistance plan, and a viable parental leave

          policy.

 

      c.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITY CONCERNS:  Valerie Giddings informed mem-

          bers that this group would be meeting prior to the November EO/AA

          meeting;  she stated that she would provide a report at that time.

 

  3.  HISPANICS IN THE WORKFORCE:  Dr. Bayer spoke at length about the lack

      of attention given to recruiting Hispanics.  He observed that the grow-

      ing presence of Hispanics in census data made it imperative to devote

      more energy to recruiting these individuals.  Dr. Morton agreed, but

      noted that there is keen competition nationwide to hire the, as yet,

      small numbers of qualified Hispanics.  As is the case with African-

      Americans, he stated, it is this university's responsibility to recruit

      and graduate more Hispanics and thus increase the workforce pool.

 

  4.  FACULTY/STAFF HIRING GOALS:  A lengthy discussion took place about the

      real intent of stated hiring goals.  Mr. Haymen, for example, described

      the hypothetical situation of a department with a stated goal of one

      woman and zero African-Americans.  Was that department, he asked, obli-

      gated to turn away a qualified African-American in favor of hiring a

      woman in order to meet a quantitative goal?  Dr. Morton responded with

      background information of how goals are formulated, but noted that a

      department is only obligated to hire qualified individuals.  Drs. Hyer

      and Morton then stressed that the goals are "best-case scenario" fig-

      ures but are largely unrealistic in the current economic climate.  Dr.

      Morton reminded the Committee that his office is available to work with

      hiring departments on interpreting and responding to these goals.

 

      Pat Summers, representing the Graduate Student Assembly, expressed her

      concern about recruiting minority graduate students to Tech when sup-

      port services for graduate students in general is so inadequate.  Spe-

      cifically, she noted the lack of tuition waivers and other forms of

      tuition assistance, family housing accommodations for graduate stu-

      dents, and health insurance.  She thought that these issues should be

      seriously addressed and rectified before actively recruiting additional

      minority graduate students.

 

 

  The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

 

  Respectfully submitted,

 

  Laurie S. Good

  Executive Secretary

 

 

 

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