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November 16, 1993

 

         UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

                                    MINUTES

                               NOVEMBER 16, 1993

 

 

  Present:  K. Heidbreder, A. Spencer, P. Hyer, V. Reilly, L. D. Moore, E.

            Braaten, L. Roy, J. Hiller, E. Holford, T. Dillaha, R. Oderwald,

            R. Purdy, B. Purswell, R. Stith, C. Eggleston, B. Pendergrass, J.

            Snell, C. Pinder, V. Tran, K. Tarnoff, G. Holtzman.

 

 

  Guests:   Dr. Cornel Morton, Executive Assistant to the President and for-

            mer director of EO/AA; Michele Holmes, EO/AA Specialist; Muriel

            Flynn, Employment Services Manager.

 

 

  Kay Heidbreder called the meeting to order at 2:05 p.m.

 

  GREETINGS AND INTRODUCTIONS:  Kay Heidbreder formally introduced herself to

  the committee as the new director of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action.

 

  She stated she is excited and challenged at the prospect of her new posi-

  tion.  While she realizes the committee can act as a forum in which to ex-

  press frustrations, she also hopes it can accomplish some positive things.

 

  She feels the committee made a wise decision last year in deciding that the

  Director of EO/AA would not automatically serve as chair; this amendment

  encourages more participation by everybody.

 

  Ms. Heidbreder presented four areas of particular interest to her.  These

  are certainly not meant to limit the committee's scope, but rather to ini-

  tiate discussion.

 

  1.  Retention:  Recruitment is only a first step in creating a diverse

      workplace and student body.  The bigger and more difficult issue is re-

      tention: what can and should the university do to retain qualified

      women and minorities?

 

  2.  ADA:  While the committee has previously discussed the issue, she's not

      sure that the university is fully prepared for all of the challenges

      the act engenders.  While she realizes the existence of the ADA Manage-

      ment Committee and its purpose of examining and implementing the act,

      she sees the EO/AA acting as a "watchdog" over it.

 

  3.  Title IX:  Ms. Heidbreder perceives this as another issue of timely

      relevance.  A subcommittee was appointed last year to survey and review

      the Athletic Department.  She encourages the EO/AA Committee to monitor

      the Department's progress as it moves toward implementation of the sub-

      committee's recommendations.

 

  4.  Activities of various colleges:  Ms. Heidbreder stated that the commit-

      tee was intentionally restructured to be composed of individual college

      representatives in order to produce a distinct and varied pool of re-

      sources.  She hopes that the meetings may serve as a crosscheck of cur-

      rent college activities, provide a common ground for discussion and

      perhaps foster joint ventures.

 

  ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA:  The agenda was adopted as presented.

 

  REVIEW OF MINUTES:  Minutes for the April and October meetings were submit-

  ted for approval.  Secretary Bobbi Lowe, who took minutes for in September

  and is now on leave, will submit those minutes for approval upon her return

  to work.

 

 

 

  Dr. Janine Hiller requested a change in the October minutes, asking for a

  more precise wording of her college's activities.  With that exception,

  April and October minutes were approved.

 

  SELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON:  Ms. Heidbreder nominated Dr.  Elyzabeth Holford,

  who accepted.  Dr. Holford provided a brief background of herself.  She was

  a practicing attorney for eight years prior to joining Virginia Tech.  With

  interests including health and physical education and marketing, she has

  been with the College of Education for six years; and as an associate pro-

  fessor, she teaches sports law and ethics.  She has been active on other

  university committees and chaired the Title IX committee.

 

  Dr. Holford then expressed her four substantive areas of interest for the

  committee.

 

  1.  One is for all members, particularly those with personnel, adminis-

      tration, the provost's or president's offices, to keep an eye out for

      policies that may contradict EO/AA policy.  Rather than routinely

      bringing these matters only to Ms. Heidbreder's attention, they should

      be presented before the members for their input as representatives of

      the university community.

 

  2.  Another interest is the different diversity committees in the colleges

      and administrative offices.  Dr. Holford hopes the committee will take

      an active and educational role towards them and that it will be a

      clearinghouse for sharing information.  Also, that it will track their

      activities and thereby help them avoid needless duplications of effort

      or scattered approaches to the same objectives.

 

  3.  Dr. Holford said that while there are efforts being made to change the

      culture at Virginia Tech on issues of diversity, she envisions a

      university-wide, focused, educational approach.  Possible formats in-

      clude setting up experimental projects in different colleges or admin-

      istrative areas; another is the use of outside consultants, although

      this would require funding and ideological sponsors.

 

  4.  Her fourth interest is Title IX.  She'd like to see a continuation of

      that committee's achievements because Title IX addresses problems

      endemic not just in athletics, but also in the rest of the university.

      Because the Athletic Department is so visible, it's a good place to be-

      gin tackling these issues in a coordinated manner.

 

  She would like the committee to develop a framework for its monitoring to

  take an active role and really define what monitoring by committee is.

  Such a framework is necessary for making ideas come to fruition this aca-

  demic year, and if not, to effectively carry over into next year's work.

 

  Ms. Heidbreder called for other nominations for chairperson; none were sub-

  mitted.  The committee voted, and Dr. Holford was elected chair of the

  EO/AA Committee.  The meeting was then turned over to her direction.

 

  DISCUSSION OF CONCEPTUAL ISSUES:  Dr. Holford asked members if they had any

  conceptual issues they'd care to discuss.

 

  Ms. Heidbreder said that in speaking with other members, it was commonly

  expressed that the tasks of the committee are so large that the formation

  of subcommittees might be a more efficient way of handling conceptual is-

  sues.

 

  Dr. Charles Pinder said that issues of retention and upward mobility defi-

  nitely must be addressed, possibly by a task force.

 

  On this matter, Dr. Laurence Moore said that he has been working with Uni-

  versity Development on the concept of developing a university-wide plan

  wherein all colleges would affect a "joint face" on Virginia Tech and ap-

 

  proach industry to solicit funds to support various recruitment and re-

  tention programs.  Virginia Tech would gain national name recognition as a

  university dedicated to the concepts of recruitment and retention.  He sug-

  gests the formation of a subcommittee to discuss the concept with Univer-

  sity Development and administration.

 

  Dr. Pat Hyer said that under Dr. Holford's monitoring category, she sees a

  key business of the committee to essentially monitor the compliance activ-

  ities of the EO/AA office.  She said that members have previously expressed

  interest in getting involved in and better understanding the affirmative

  action plan.

 

  In response, Ms. Heidbreder said her office is preparing to put together

  the 1994 university affirmative action plan.  Also, the state is requiring

  an affirmative action plan, due January 15.  The finalized document will be

  presented before the State Board of Education.  She invites any member's

  input or assistance.

 

  Dr. Ellen Braaten said the committee has so many goals that they must be

  narrowed down in order to achieve anything this academic year; therefore,

  she endorses the formation of subcommittees.  She proposed one on diversity

  and inclusivity; one on culture and climate; and another to deal with advo-

  cacy and retention.

 

  Dr. Hyer interjected that timeliness is of importance (e.g., Title IX), and

  that some subcommittees will have more priority than others.

 

  To promote timeliness, Dr. Holford suggested the initial formation of a

  subcommittee to study jsut what is the best format for this committee to

  use in monitoring an initiative; and that, once a status report of various

  college activities is made, the committee discuss how it can be a force in

  coordinating those activities.

 

  Dr. Hyer raised the situation of university policies that won't necessarily

  fall under the immediate purview of this committee, but at some point may

  be reviewed by it (e.g., sexual harassment policy).  She asked what role or

  priority would these policy issues have with the committee.

 

  Ms. Heidbreder responded that they should be brought before the committee

  which would then decide whether to deal with them as a whole or refer them

  to a subcommittee for recommendations.

 

  Dr. Lucinda Roy said the larger issues of the committee's vision and

  policy-making should be dealt with by the committee as a whole, but that

  task-oriented issues should be handled by subcommittees.  She agreed that

  all the chairs of the colleges' diversity should meet together; but she

  feels an especial need for a task force to study minority student re-

  tention.

 

  Dr. Cornel Morton said that in the past the committee has been able to

  identify very specific tasks that can be assigned to small groups and com-

  pleted in short time, while the committee concurrently involves itself with

  broader issues.  He agrees with Dr. Holford that effective monitoring is a

  real issue, and he feels that it should be applied to the recruitment of

  minority enterprise businesses.

 

  FORMATION OF SUBCOMMITTEES:  At this point, Dr. Holford offered a recap of

  the meeting.  One recurring issue is retention.  She feels it can best be

  addressed by a task force and should encompass all students and employees,

  as well as racial and gender-related issues.

 

  Another issue is the formation of a coordinating committee on university

  diversity efforts.  Dr. Holford would like it to find out what the existing

  structures are, not only in the colleges, but also in the administrative

  offices and anywhere else in the university community.  It was agreed that,

 

  for the present, the issue of recruitment would fall under this subcommit-

  tee, although it may later require more exact attention.

 

  A policy subcommittee was proposed.  Susanna Short (new assistant dean of

  students) and Carol Burger (Women's Research Institute director) were re-

  commended for inclusion in a discussion of the sexual harassment policy.

 

  Dr. Holford returned to her idea of a monitoring subcommittee.  Its purpose

  would be to design a framework for monitoring (the ADA Management Commit-

  tee, Title IX, minority enterprise businesses, etc.).  Dr. Cornel Morton

  volunteered his services.

 

  Be meeting's end, four subcomittees were defined with tentative membership

  as follows (all EO/AA members are urged to align themselves with a subcom-

  mittee suitable to their interests):

 

      RETENTION TASK FORCE               DIVERSITY COMMITTEES

      Charles Pinder (chair)             Lucinda Roy (chair)

      Jennie Reilly                      Barbara Pendergrass (co-chair)

      Muriel Flynn                       Ellen Braaten

      Rita Purdy                         Richard Oderwald

      Theo Dillaha

 

      POLICY COMMITTEE                   COMMITTEE ON MONITORING

      Pat Hyer (chair)                   Elyzabeth Holford (chair)

      Golde Holtzman                     Cornel Morton

      Kay Heidbreder                     Richard Oderwald

      Ann Spencer

      Susanna Short

      Carol Burger

      Randall Stith

      Karen Tarnoff

 

  At the next meeting the EO/AA Committee will meet briefly as a whole and

  then break into subcommittees.  Dr. Holford said this will be a one-time

  occurrence; thereafter, subcommittees will meet outside of regularly sched-

  uled EO/AA meetings, which will be reserved for group reports.

 

 

 

                NEXT MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 9, 1993

                                 AT 2:00 P.M.

                   PRESIDENT'S BOARD ROOM, 210 BURRUSS HALL

 

 

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