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January 21, 1992

         University Committee on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

                               January 21, 1992

 

 

  Present:  Jane Arrington (guest), Robin Ball, Alan Bayer, Chris Broderick,

            Penny Burge, Marion Farmer, John Garrison (for Doris Evans),

            Samantha Gasson (guest), Laurie Good, Betty Greene, Jane

            Harrison, Richard Haymen, Michele Holmes, Pat Hyer, Norrine

            Klein, Cornel Morton, Richard Sapon-White, Sheri McConnell, Amy

            Plummer (guest), Nancy Simmons, Wayne Speer, Patricia Summers,

            Janet Tuckwiller

 

  Absent:   Virgil Cook, Melinda Emerson, Muriel Flynn, Valerie Giddings,

            Randy Grayson, Melissa Holland, Dennis Jones, Alice LoMascolo,

            Harry Pence, Chris Tayloe, Linda Woodard

 

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

 

  1.  APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FROM DECEMBER 17, 1991.

 

      These minutes were approved with one correction.

 

  2.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      Laurie Good announced that the next "Breakfast With. . ." program is

      scheduled for January 31 at 7:30 a.m., and will feature Dr. Anne

      Pruitt, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at The Ohio

      State University.  Her topic is "The Role of Faculty in Minority Stu-

      dent Retention."

 

  3.  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      a.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON WOMEN:  No Report.

 

      b.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITY CONCERNS:  Richard Sapon-White reported

          that the subcommittee recently heard presentations from Ron

          Giddings, Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs, and Barbara

          Pendergrass, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

          Mr. Giddings spoke about the newly established Black Cultural Cen-

          ter in Squires Student Center and Dr. Pendergrass addressed the

          subject of the recently formed Multicultural Coordinating Council,

          comprised of representatives from various constituency groups on

          campus.  Some of the goals of the Council are (1) to serve as a

          clearinghouse for multicultural support services materials, (2) to

          act as an assessment team for the division of student affairs, and

          (3) to provide support for university staff and students.  Mr.

          Sapon-White also informed the committee that this Council will

          formally propose the creation of an Afrocentric Theme Hall within

          one of the dorms, hopefully to be established by fall of 1993.  Dr.

          Morton added that this is an especially sensitive project, given

          that it could be viewed as the establishment of a segregated "Black

          Hall."  However, he explained that rather than advocating segre-

          gation, the Afrocentric theme hall is intended to encourage an ap-

          preciation of Afrocentric culture and is designed for multicultural

          residents.

 

      c.  SUBCOMMITTEE ON DISABILITY CONCERNS:  Mr. Speer provided an intro-

          duction to the videotape entitled, "Learning Disabilities:  A Uni-

          versity Challenge," which was collaboratively produced by Jane

          Arrington, Cherry Houck, and Susan Asselin.  The video, funded by

          the Affirmative Action Incentive Grants Program, will be used

          conjointly with the presentation of a series of workshops to fac-

          ulty on working with learning disabled students.  Mr. Speer an-

          nounced that the first of these workshops will be held on Tuesday,

          February 18th, from 8:30 to noon, at the CEC.  He then detailed

          plans for the development of a faculty handbook on learning disa-

          bilities, to be distributed to all departments in about a month.

          After committee members viewed the 24-minute tape, Mr. Speer noted

          that an estimated 3% of all students are learning disabled, al-

          though only 73 Virginia Tech students are currently identified as

          such.  He explained that many students (a) have not been properly

          diagnosed, or (b) may be unwilling to disclose their disability.

          Mr. Speer then spoke about state and federal laws that mandate

          "reasonable accommodation" for these students, while stressing that

          the admissions requirements for these individuals are the same that

          all students face.

 

  4.  EO/AA LIAISON

 

      Dr. Morton announced his meeting with college deans on January 29th to

      discuss the possibility of assigning a departmental liaison to work

      with the EO/AA Committee and EO/AA office staff on relevant issues.  He

      and Dr. Hyer addressed the need to have more direct links with depart-

      ments about the committee's work.  Dr. Morton also revisited the dis-

      cussion of the committee's membership, including the question of

      appointing an assistant or associate dean from each college to the com-

      mittee.  He asked that the committee discuss this question in earnest

      at an upcoming meeting.

 

      Dr. Morton discussed the possibility of inviting one or two deans to

      each of the remaining EO/AA meetings to briefly report on what their

      individual departments are doing in the area of affirmative action.

      The committee agreed to this suggestion.

 

 

  The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

 

  Respectfully submitted,

 

  Laurie S. Good

  Executive Secretary

 

 

 

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