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September 17, 1991

         University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

 

 

 

                               September 17, 1991

 

 

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

            Cook, Melinda Emerson, Doris Evans, Marion Farmer, Muriel Flynn,

            Valerie Giddings, Laurie Good, Betty Greene, Richard Hayman,

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

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

            Simmons, Wayne Speer Patricia Summers, Linda Woodard

 

  Absent:   Dennis Jones, Randy Grayson, Melissa Holland, Jane Harrison,

            Brian McConnell, Chris Tayloe, Janet Tuckwiller

 

 

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

 

  1.  WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

 

      Cornel Morton initiated the meeting by introducing new and returning

      members.  He then reviewed the agenda, noting that a videotape presen-

      tation was scheduled for later in the afternoon.  Dr. Morton also pro-

      vided an overview of the charge of the University Committee on Equal

      Opportunity/Affirmative Action, but advised members to keep in mind the

      difference between language and tangible results.  Dr. Morton urged

      members to think out loud and more creatively, in addition to inviting

      them to bring any issue to the Committee that they thought relevant.

 

  2.  EO/AA PRESENTATIONS

 

          Ms. Marion Farmer, Equal Opportunity Specialist, provided back-

          ground information on the evolution, purpose, and status of equal

          opportunity and affirmative action at Virginia Tech and in the Com-

          monwealth of Virginia.  She then detailed the three major compo-

          nents of an Equal Opportunity program (complaint resolution,

          affirmative action, and training), closing her presentation with

          the statement that Equal Opportunity amounts to "good personnel

          management."

 

          Ms. Michele Holmes, Equal Opportunity Specialist, described her

          role and responsibilities within the EO/AA Office.  She highlighted

          (1) the semi-annual publication of the "Minority Newsletter," (2)

          the increased dissemination of information to the community, (3)

          the resurrection of the EO/AA award program, and (4) audit proce-

          dures and how they are changing.  She then noted that the EO/AA Of-

          fice would be working more closely with departments during the

          early stages of a faculty or administrative search.

 

          Ms. Linda Woodard, Employment Manager for Personnel Services, de-

          tailed the classified staff portion of the AA Plan (which is sepa-

          rate from the faculty and student plans), stating that it could not

          be considered a workable, "user-friendly document."  Rather, the

          Affirmative Action Plan for staff comprises three notebooks with

          mostly formula-driven figures.  She noted that one of the goals of

          Personnel Services is to develop a second, more readable plan that

          will be made available to departments.  She then spoke about hiring

          goals and barriers to achieving those goals, adding that more mean-

          ingful and representative job classifications must be developed.

          Dr. Hyer then spoke to the need to break down university-wide goals

          to small units (college or department), in the hope that action-

          oriented programs could then be developed to assist in meeting

          those goals.  Ms. Woodard concluded that it would take several

          years to refine the Plan so that it is truly comprehensive.

          Ms. Summers inquired whether the Plan "would have any teeth," i.e.,

          does it hold departments accountable for hiring actions?  She also

          noted that she was not even aware that there was such a plan, and

          suggested that more efforts be taken to make it visible.  Dr.

          Morton responded that a history of exclusion could not be over-

          turned in short order, but thought that the University was taking

          real steps toward placing accountability in the colleges and de-

          partments where it belongs.

 

 

  3.  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      a.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON DISABILITY CONCERNS:  Virgil Cook, chair of the

          subcommittee, requested that individuals interested in serving on

          the committee notify him.  Betty Greene and Alice LoMascolo volun-

          teered to serve on the sub-committee.

 

      b.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITY CONCERNS:  Valerie Giddings, chair of the

          subcommittee, requested volunteers for the Subcommittee on Minority

          Concerns.

 

      c.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN:  Individuals interested in serving on this

          subcommittee are Sherri McConnell, Nancy Simmons, Alice LoMascolo,

          Pat Hyer, Penny Burge, and Alan Bayer.

 

      Dr. Morton asked to be invited to the first meeting of each of the sub-

      committees.  He also expressed his hope that each EO/AA Committee mem-

      ber would join at least one of the subcommittees.

 

  4.  RESTRUCTURING

 

      Dr. Morton provided the history of this issue, stating that the idea of

      making the Committee a more effective and policy-oriented body evolved

      about a year ago.  What resulted was the formation of a task-force,

      chaired by Dr. Hyer, to examine the membership, purpose and goals of

      this committee.  One of the recommendations from the task-force was

      that members be selected on the basis of their job roles in the col-

      leges and departments.  Dr. Hyer stated that in the past there has gen-

      erally been no direct link between committee members and the larger

      university community.  Dr. Morton indicated that the EO/AA Committee

      would need to finalize its recommendations this year, prior to submit-

      ting the suggested restructure for consideration as part of the new

      governance structure.

 

  5.  COMMITTEE GOALS

 

      Given the lack of time, Dr. Morton asked that the Committee defer dis-

      cussion of this issue until the October meeting.

 

  6.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      Laurie Good provided a list of the scheduled fall semester "Breakfast

      With. . ." speakers for 1991-92:  (1) Dr. Delores Cross from Chicago

      State University on October 21st; (2) Dr. Frank Hale from Kenyon Col-

      lege on November 1st;  (3) Dr. Blandina Corderias Ramirez from the

      American Council on Education on November 22nd.

 

 

  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

 

 

  Respectfully submitted,

  Laurie S. Good

  Executive Secretary

 

 

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