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Governance Minutes Archive

April 28, 1992

   The following minutes were officially approved on 9/22/92.


                             Faculty Senate


                              28 April 1992

                             32 Pamplin Hall


  I.   President Leon Geyer called the Senate to order at 7:00 PM.

       Visitors Martha Johnson (Assistant Dean of the Graduate

       School), Peggy Rasnick (Staff Senate), and John Ashby

       (Spectrum) were welcomed.  Visitors were later joined by Janine

       Hiller (Honor System Review Board) and Patrick Scanlon (former

       Senate President).


  II.  Roll Call


       Present:  Bunce, Feret, Flick, Geyer, Marriott, Mullins,

       Vinson, Webb, Wright, Howard, O'Brien, Falkinham, Ficenec,

       Holtzman, Hult, Miller, Murray, Olin, Shumsky, Simmons, Snoke,

       Tideman, Webster, Williams, Fern, Rakes, Sumichrast, Clowes,

       McDaniels, Armstrong, Crittenden, deWolf, Hardell, Hasselman,

       Landgraf, Michelsen, Pierce, Ascke, Jones, Barbeau, Norstedt,

       Beagle, Carrig, Eng.


       Absent:  Foy, Kerns, Poole, Wang, Barker, Graham, Landen,

       Scigaj, Sorrentino, Hicks, Sherman, Brown, Neu, Walker,

       Beamish, Parsons, Martin, Saunders


  III. Announcements


       A. President Geyer announced that this is a combined meeting of

          the old and new Senate.  All senators can vote.


       B. The President welcomes suggestions for programs for next

          year.  He can be reached at 1-4528 or online at GEYER@

          VTVM1.  The Senate Cabinet will meet during the summer.


       C. There will be no Senate retreat this spring.  Instead, the

          Senate will hold an "advance" in the fall.


       D. President Geyer recognized the service of the outgoing

          senators, who received a round of applause from their



  IV.  Program:  Report of the Graduate and Undergraduate Honor Boards


       A. Martha Johnson (Graduate Honor System)


          1.  Dean Johnson described how the Graduate Honor System is

              constituted, the training of panel members, and the

              procedures followed.


          2.  During this academic year, there have been 13 cases.

              Two cases are pending, one new case has just come in,

              and another is in the investigation stage.  The

              probation penalty, which is frequently given, can range

              from simple probation to assigning an F* on the

              student's transcript, indicating that the grade was

              based on committee action.  The panel can also recommend

              a zero grade on an assignment.  Plagiarism was the

              charge in the majority of cases; cheating,

              falsification, and research fraud were also charged.


          Question:  What happens to a student who is already on

            probation who then receives an F with notation?  What is

            the Graduate School's policy?


          Answer:  It is up to the faculty to recommend dismissal

            in such a case.  A grade of F is not automatic dismissal.

            The Graduate School would not dismiss the student without

            faculty consultation.  There is no automatic dropping of a

            student because of a poor academic record.


          Observation:  Cases are sometimes the result of a

            different cultural perspective.  A committee is working on

            a policy to clarify such matters as ownership of data.


          Response:  The students must sign a statement indicating

            they are aware of the honor system.  The university does

            not differentiate between American students and

            international students.


          Question:  Are students ever dismissed for an honors



          Answer:  Yes, this has happened twice in the last five

            years.  One student was reinstated on appeal.


          Question:  Why are there two honor systems?


          Answer:  Not sure.  The graduate system predates her

            arrival.  Graduate students are possibly more comfortable

            with their peers.  The College of Veterinary Medicine has

            its own system.


       B. Janine Hiller (Advisor to the Undergraduate Honor System)


          1.  Professor Hiller gave an overview of cases heard in

              1990/91 (this year's cases will not be completed until

              the end of summer).  One hundred twenty-one cases were

              turned in.  The most common sanction was class 2:

              probation, 50 hours of university service, and

              recommended double-weighted zero on the assignment.

              About one-third of the sanctions were class 3, in which

              the service hours are raised to 75.  Class 4 sanctions -

              one semester suspension, probation, and a double-

              weighted zero-comprised five percent of the sanctions.

              There were no class 1 or class 5 sanctions.


          2.  Professor Hiller outlined the other activities of the

              board during the year, including participation in GTA

              training, new faculty orientation, and student

              orientation during the summer.  She also announced that

              nominations had been made for the new faculty advisor

              (Joanna Butler, College of Business), the new Chief

              Justice (Jennifer Gold), and suggested the nomination of

              Theodore Fuller (Sociology) for the faculty position

              that Senator Fern has filled so admirably for six years.


          3.  In response to questions, Professor Hiller explained

              that cases can be reheard on recommendation of the

              Review Board.  Cases can be dropped by recommendation at

              any level, beginning at the investigative panel stage,

              and the faculty member would be notified.  It is rare to

              have a case dropped by the Chief Justice.  Of the 121

              cases, about 39% resulted in convictions, which is less

              than the usual 50% or more.  The Provost can overrule a

              case, but this has happened only once in the past three



          Question:  Why are there two honor systems?


          Answer:  Expectations are different.  Graduate students

            are more involved in the academic arena and probably

            should be heard by their peers.


          Question:  Some faculty have had bad experiences with the

            honor system.  How is the system perceived by faculty and



          Answer:  The university is fortunate to have the honor

            system.  It is not perfect, but every student is treated

            fairly and equally.  Faculty input and participation is

            welcome and important - faculty are a part of the system



  V.   Adoption of Agenda


       A. Additions to new business:


          1.  Report on Senate Faculty Support Survey (Snoke)


          2.  Faculty Senate of Virginia (Eng)


       B. The agenda was adopted with additions.


  VI.   The Senate minutes of 14 April were approved.


  VII.  Council, commission, and committee reports


       A. Communications Resources Committee (Snoke)

          Senator Snoke distributed a copy of UCRC Resolution 1991-

          92A: Faculty Computer - Network Access, which asks that a

          means be developed to ensure that all faculty have a

          computer network connection which guarantees them use of

          electronic mail from their offices. [A copy of the

          resolution is available from the secretary.]  This

          resolution will be discussed by the committee on 29 April.


       B. Commission on Graduate Affairs (Snoke)

          The colleges have been asked to put caps on graduate

          enrollment.  Various colleges are reacting differently.  If

          a college has the resources, why should enrollment be

          capped?  The answer appears to be political; if

          undergraduate enrollment is capped, legislators and others

          might not look kindly on the graduate program doing business

          as usual.


          In the discussion that followed, it was pointed out that the

          "targets" set by the administration were very difficult to

          achieve, particularly at this time in the year.  When the

          Provost was asked about the policy, his answer was unclear.

          The Graduate School is trying to work with the colleges

          during this transition, because reducing the number of

          graduate students reduces the number of GAs, GRAs, and GTAs

          available to do the work.


          President Geyer suggested that this matter should be brought

          before University Council.


       C. Commission on Faculty Affairs (Williams)

          The commission passed a resolution on faculty family leave

          policy.  The resolution basically consolidates the options

          open to faculty.  This will go forward to University



       D. Commission on Research (Olin)

          The commission has formed a committee to redesign the grant

          budget reporting forms for on-campus use.


  VIII. New Business


       A. Faculty Senate of Virginia (Eng and Scanlon)

          Senator Eng and Professor Scanlon have represented Tech at

          the FSV, which has been holding workshops on university

          governance throughout the state.  Eng and Scanlon have led

          two of the workshops and have come away with the feeling

          that Tech faculty are allowed greater participation in

          governance than their counterparts at other institutions.


          On the health care issue, the FSV appointed a committee to

          investigate the possibility of more direct dialogue with the

          Department of Personnel and Training.  The FSV is also

          concerned with the state-wide faculty productivity

          assessment and will be meeting with SCHEV to discuss the

          study.  SCHEV has asked the FSV to find ways of monitoring

          compensation, which will be a challenge to the group.  One

          of the issues that will be discussed next year relates to

          the inclusion of summer school salaries as part of the

          retirement base.


       B. Elections.  The results of the elections are as follows

          (* = non-senator)


          University Council:  Snoke, Olin, Asche

          Commission on Classified Staff Affairs:  Jones

          Commission on Faculty Affairs:  Pierce, Martin, O'Brien,

             Norstedt, Shumsky, McDaniels

          Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies:  Holtzman,  as

          a backup to Tideman

          Commission on Public Service and Extension:  Martin,


          Commission on Research:  Scanlon* to remain on commission

          Commission on Student Affairs:  Feret, Howard

          Commission on Undergraduate Studies:  Feret and Murray

            to remain on commission; Simmons to step down

          Commission on University Support:  Armstrong, Polin*,

            Falkinham, Mullins, Harrington*

          University Advisory Council on Human Rights and Social

            Responsibility:  Hult.  Two nominees from the

            Reconciliation Committee:  Falkinham, Farkas*

          University Forum on a Liberal Education:  Brooker-Gross*,

            Landgraf, Miller

          Reconciliation Committee:  Boisen*, Hillison*, Bunce,


          Committee on Committees:  Wang, Ficenec, Holtzman, Fern


          Senate Cabinet:  Carrig (Vet Med), Williams (A & S),

            Jones (Extension), Clowes (Education), Rakes

            (Business), O'Brien (Arch/Urban Studies), Barbeau

            (Human Resources)

          Arts and Sciences Liaison:  Shumsky

          Credentials and Elections:  Eng (Vet Med), Beagle

            (Library), Tideman (A & S)

          Supplemental Grants (to replace Barker): Scigaj

          Honor Council Review Board (to replace Fern):  Fuller*


       C. Health care issues


          President Geyer reported on his discussions with health care

          professionals in the area.  The doctors seem to be just as

          confused as the state employees, and they are concerned

          about the ethical aspects of the referral process.  Not all

          the physicians on the list actually agreed to be listed.

          There is also confusion over the legality of the way in

          which the plan was approved.  The Senate officers will meet

          with Delegate Munford and Senator Marye on 6 May to discuss

          the issue.  What more should the Senate do at this point?


          Lengthy discussion ensued.  It was agreed that a list of

          appropriate legislators be drawn up and forwarded to

          faculty, who could write letters as they deemed necessary.

          Copies of the letters could be sent electronically to

          SENATE.  In response to the observation that the Senate

          should be seen to be doing something, President Geyer

          pointed out that the Senate has passed a resolution, the

          officers will be meeting with local legislators, we have

          talked with the university administration, and we have

          contacted local physicians.  It was suggested that we might

          contact senates at other universities, perhaps through the

          Faculty Senate of Virginia.  We need to attack the problem

          at several levels, perhaps even contacting Secretary Dyke

          and/or teaming up with the physicians.  We should work with

          the Staff Senate as well.  The university administration has

          been working on the problem, chiefly through the work of

          Minnis Ridenour's state committee.  It might be appropriate

          to have him give us a progress report.


       D. Report on Senate Faculty-Support Survey (Snoke)

          Senator Snoke distributed copies of the report [available

          from the Senate secretary on request].  He thanked his

          committee and acknowledged the help he received from Bob

          Frary and Jack Dudley.  He also recommended that the report

          be forwarded to the university administration.


       E. Other matters


          1.  Senator Flick noted that he has had difficulty obtaining

              information on the retirement fund and suggested the

              Senate might want to look into this next year.

              President Geyer agreed to put this on the cabinet

              agenda, along with an examination of the effect the

              state retirement changes have had on the TIAA plan



          2.  Senator deWolf asked to be relieved of his duties as

              parliamentarian.  President Geyer asked for volunteers,

              to take office in the fall.


  IX.  There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at

       10:38 PM.


                                     Respectfully submitted,

                                     Marilyn L. Norstedt, Secretary



  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  Notes on the Faculty Senate breakfast with President James McComas


  25 April 1992


  Areas of concern:


       1. Undergraduate instruction

          The general public sees undergraduate education as the

          primary function of the university.  It is necessary for the

          faculty to work on improving relationships with the

          undergraduate community in order to give the public a more

          positive image of the university's role.  As faculty, we

          should make students more aware of the university's

          resources and should share with them our research and



       2. Out-of-state tuition

          Out-of-state students currently enrolled at Virginia Tech

          have experienced a 40% tuition increase.  The next issue

          probably will be to reduce the number of out-of-state

          students, which will reduce income from tuition.  One out-

          of-state student is the dollar equivalent of three in-state



       3. Public relations

          All the research universities are targeted by the current

          "bashing" of higher education.  We need better PR for

          graduate education and research.  There is a pressing need

          to make the state aware of the benefits of research.  Close

          contact with local legislators can help in this regard.  The

          university has plans to strengthen the Northern Virginia

          Graduate Center, which should improve our influence in that



       4. Health care plan


       5. Faculty assessment survey




       1. There is a steady increase in the quality of our

          undergraduates and in numbers seeking admission (17,000

          applicants for 3,900 freshman openings).  Tech ranks

          fourteenth in the nation in the number of National

          Achievement Scholars, eighteenth in National Merit Scholars.


       2. Increase in grants and contracts/research


       3. Development of an outstanding honors program under Jack



       4. Legislative agreement on the bond issue for higher

          education.  He cautioned, however, that we must work hard

          for its passage, particularly among our northern Virginia



       5. Restoration of Extension funding




       1. Restore competitive salaries


       2. Selectively restore positions


       3. Accelerate needed curriculum changes, such as implementation

          of the new core curriculum.

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