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November 30, 1990

         Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

                       Senate Cabinet Meeting

                          November 30, 1990

 

  Members Present: Senators Eng, Wang, Kriz, Farkas, Eiss, Geyer.

  Guests: Carol Burch-Brown, Assistant Provost, and Professor Henry

  Bauer.

 

  1.   DISCUSSION OF THE CORE-Carol Burch-Brown.

 

       Assistant Provost and Chair of the University Forum on a

       Liberal Education, Carol Burch Brown presented the Senate

       Cabinet with  data on the impact of the budget on class sizes

       in the core and type of instructors teaching in the core.  She

       also informed the cabinet of the status of the Forum progress.

       To date, the Forum has focused on gathering perceptions of

       students, faculty who teach in the core, other faculty and

       administrators, and information on "core" at other

       Universities.

 

       Concern to date has been the perception of the core as

       distributional; problems of access to classes in humanities;

       access to students "choice" versus available class; size of

       classes; and lack of writing in some of the core classes,

       primarily in the social sciences.  Ms. Burch-Brown expressed

       a desire to inform the faculty (and Faculty Senate) of the

       progress of the Forum as appropriate and to participate in the

       governance process as appropriate.  After discussion, it was

       decided that she would provide information on the Forum in our

       February packet and possibly present a discussion for the

       Senate on findings of the core in March.

 

  2.   DISCUSSION OF BUDGET ISSUES-Prof. Henry Bauer

 

       A discussion of the Senate's role in budget and the current

       handling of the budget by the administration was undertaken by

       Prof. Bauer and the cabinet.  The following is a list of

       concerns that were generated for discussion and possible

       pursuit by the Faculty Senate.

            1.  How are items labeled in the budget and how does

                this determine how the budget crisis is "Managed"?

                i.e., are there items in 208 that should be paid out

                of 231, 230 or other budgets, allowing more funds

                for instruction?

            2.  What percentage of Education Foundation is

                earmarked, and what is the rest being used for?

            3.  Why should faculty not sit on the Foundation Board?

            4.  How are decisions made to let faculty members go

                under budget reduction and yet advertize in Spectrum

                for a new position in same department?

            5.  Why were some individuals under 208 laid off at the

                same time advertisements were had for non-

                instructional deans and administrative positions?

            6.  How many deanlets are needed in instructional/non-

                instructional positions?  Can these positions and

                monies be shifted to teaching and support staff and

                monies follow to departments?  (Bauer-Main problem

                is outside the Colleges.)

            7.  A request should be made to ask for the aggregate

                payroll and budget of colleges, the aggregate of

                208, 230, 231 and then make a comparison of how it

                is spent between colleges and administration.

            8.  What is the need for the rapid growth in positions

                and expenditures in the research division?  Can it

                be justified?

            9.  Who pays for Athletics?

            10. What is paid for out of the Provost Office and is it

                appropriate and necessary?

            11. Why are phones as expensive with "savings of CNS"

                than with AT+T?  Other examples of "savings"

                promised and not delivered should be pursued.

 

       Professor Bauer argued for trust between faculty and

       administrators to review and carefully look at ways to reduce

       non-academic cost to assure adequate funding for instructional

       need.  Faculty would have to spend a lot of time to find "the

       facts and figures."  Where the University should economize and

       how should it be reviewed.  Efforts to shift non-instructional

       expense when accrued by individuals paid out of 208 should be

       undertaken.  The conversation left the Senate with a challenge

       to decide how and if it is willing to ask hard questions like

       the ones above.

 

  3.   Reconciliation Committee

 

       A discussion of pending reconciliation cases resulted in the

       following concerns:

 

            1.  Although Tech has tried to follow the Faculty

                Handbook, concern over whether University Counsel

                understands, supports and follows the handbook was

                raised.  Are decisions being advised on the basis of

                "legal" interpretations or management advice from

                University Counsel without resort to the process of

                the handbook?

            2.  Is there support for the reconciliation process in

                the Provost Office?  Senate Officers were instructed

                to review the reconciliation process with the

                Provost and determine his support of the process.

            3.  Do we need a new process and new procedures for the

                Reconciliation Committee.  What steps should be

                taken to make reconciliation work?  What issues are

                appropriate for reconciliation and what issues are

                only appropriate for the Faculty Review Committee?

            4.  Concern over Deans' and Vice Presidents

                understanding of the reconciliation process was

                explored.  Senate officers should be invited to

                Deans Council to inform them of role and encourage

                support of the process.

 

                Cabinet was in consensus that Reconciliation can and

                has served a useful role as mediator of disputes.

                Procedural and jurisdictional reform of the process

                may be appropriate.  These would include defined

                support by the University to include support for the

                Reconciliation Committee and the Faculty Review

                Committee by providing legal counsel and paying for

                appropriate legal fees, should any of its members be

                involved in a lawsuit arising from a Committee case.

                Furthermore, the University will assume all

                financial liabilities from a judgement against any

                individual who has served on either Committee if it

                is based on the action of the Committee.

 

                Several reconciliation cases have resulted from

                untimely and questionable involuntary transfers of

                faculty duty stations.  The issue of involuntary

                transfer of faculty is under review by the

                Commission on Faculty Affairs.

 

                Dan Farkas, chair of the Reconciliation Committee,

                resigned effective January 1, 1991.

 

  4.   Fall Break letter from SGA

 

       The Student Government Association reported student

       dissatisfaction with the current fall calendar and for faculty

       input into the revision of the calendar.  Selected excerpts

       from the letter follow:

 

            (The SGA finds)...discontent among the student

            body with the length of time between the

            beginning of the fall term and the

            Thanksgiving break.  We would like to propose

            alternate formats to the University's

            scheduling and registration committee, most

            likely with the intention of retaining the

            entire Thanksgiving break and adding a fall

            break of about two days earlier in the

            semester.

 

            Due to the school calendar being a joint endeavor

            of administration, students, and especially

            faculty, we would like to ask the Faculty Senate to

            develop guidelines, if possible, on what

            characteristics of the school's schedule are most

            important to retain or add."

 

  5.   Nominee for Emergency/Disaster Plan Committee

 

       Said committee has asked for a nominee from Faculty Senate.

 

  6.   Campus Climate Committee

 

       Said committee has asked for a list of planned programs of the

       Senate on cultural diversity.  President Eng to respond.

 

  7.   Faculty Support Survey

 

       Senators are requested to urge faculty participation in the

       Faculty Support Survey.

 

 

 

  Respectively submitted,

 

  L. Leon Geyer

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