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Governance Minutes Archive

November 29, 1993

 Faculty Senate Cabinet

 Minutes

 November 29, 1993

 Accepted by the Faculty Senate:  7 December 1993

 

 Present:  William E. Barbeau, Don G. Creamer, David A. de Wolf

           Timothy G. Gregoire, Roy S. Jones

           Marilyn L. Norstedt, N. Larry Shumsky,

           Robert T. Sumichrast

 

 Guests:   R. Blieszner, and L. Eng (Presidential Search Committee)

 

 

 PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT

 

    Lud Eng and Rosemary Blieszner reported on their work for the

    Presidential Search Committee.  They were charged with asking

    their constituencies for input regarding qualifications

    necessary for the next president of Virginia Tech and they

    were charged with the related task of compiling a list of

    major challenges for the University during the next decade.

    Rosemary and Lug distributed a rough draft of their findings.

    Dr.  Eng noted that some of those contacted for input

    included:  department heads, administrative and professional

    faculty, college faculty associations, and as many

    individual faculty as possible.  Both E-Mail and face-to-face

    meetings were held.  After reading the documents, many minor

    suggestions were made.  The need to create a gender neutral

    document was noted.  Don Creamer suggested that a

    stronger statement about the need for out-of-classroom

    learning was needed.  Others suggested strengthening

    statements in the draft such as the need work effectively with

    the state legislature (and other state agencies) and the need

    to work within the University Governance System.  In addition,

    some suggested that the need for a president who has a

    reputation and credentials which will be respected by other

    institutions.  A desire to avoid assuming that the university

    will definitely receive less funding was also expressed.  Many

    other minor points were noted.

 

 PROGRAMS FOR SENATE MEETINGS

 

    David de Wolf announced that Paul Torgersen had accepted the

    invitation of the Faculty Senate to speak at the December 7

    meeting.  After some discussion of potential speakers, the

    Cabinet reached a consensus that Dr.  Torgersen should be the

    only speaker at that meeting.

 

    The Cabinet discussed speakers and topics for future Senate

    meetings.  Larry Shumsky suggested that the January meeting

    would be an appropriate time for the Senate to receive an

    update on the funding outlook for Virginia Tech.  David de

    Wolf will contact Minnis Ridenour and request that he speak to

    the Senate on that topic at the January 18 meeting.  The

    Cabinet also was in favor of inviting Patrick Liverpool and

    possibly some of his associates speak at a future

    meeting.  The meeting addressed by Dr.  Liverpool might

    include an update on the Hotel Roanoke project.  However, it

    would not be devoted exclusively to this topic.  Another

    future meeting topic will be a report on how Virginia Tech

    compares to peer institutions regarding student recruiting.

 

 COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

 

    David de Wolf reported on the committee vacancies

    which still exist.  Vacancies were noted at both standing

    University committees and at ad hoc committees responsible to

    Ray Smoot.  Some progress was made at filling the vacancies.

 

 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FACULTY RESPONSE COMMITTEE

 

    David de Wolf told the Cabinet of his desire to provide the

    Faculty Response Committee with direction which could help

    counter continuing outside criticism.  David noted one charge

    often mentioned is that students cannot locate

    faculty members when they are needed.  The cabinet discussed

    this and other matters which ranged from specific suggestions

    to general principals.

 

    Tim Gregoire noted the lack of data to support the claim that

    professors are not sufficiently available and suggested that a

    specific first step to countering this criticism would be to

    gather the data.  Marilyn Norstedt agreed saying that the data

    was necessary to understand the problem and understanding the

    problem was necessary to solving the problem.

 

    Larry Shumsky noted that little public relations was taking

    place.  He spoke in favor of emphasizing steps which the

    university is taking to study its problems even if these steps

    have not yet solved problems or have not yet been fully

    implemented.  Bill Barbeau said that the public would like the

    university to take actions against the small number of faculty

    who are not performing adequately.  Larry Shumsky questioned

    the appropriateness of publicizing disciplinary actions which

    are taken against individuals and noted that low

    faculty and staff morale has limited the University's ability

    to make changes in procedures related to personnel.

 

    All agreed that the problems were difficult and important.

    David de Wolf noted the need for educating the public about

    these matters.

 

 

 Respectfully submitted,

 

 Robert T. Sumichrast

 Secretary, Faculty Senate

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