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Governance Minutes Archive

February 11, 1992

      Attached are the official minutes of February 11, 1992

 

                             Faculty Senate

                                 Minutes

                            11 February 1992

                             32 Pamplin Hall

 

  1.   The meeting was called to order by President Leon Geyer at

       7:00 PM.  Visitors included:

            Peggy Rasnick, Staff Senate

            John Ashby, Spectrum

            W. A. Davis, President, Engineering Faculty Association

 

  2.   Roll call

       Present:  Burger (for Bunce), Feret, Geyer, Vinson, Webb,

       Wright, Poole, Wang, Falkinham, Ficenec, Holtzman, Hult,

       Miller, Olin, Snoke, Tideman, Webster, Williams, Fern, Hicks,

       Clowes, McDaniels, Brown, Crittenden, deWolf, Hasselman,

       Michelson, Pierce, Walker, Asche, Jones, Barbeau, Beamish,

       Norstedt, Beagle, Carrig, Eng

 

       Absent:  Flick, Kerns, Howard, Barker, Murray, Simmons,

       Sorrentino, Rakes, Neu, Parsons, Saunders

 

  3.   Tom Brown, Alumni Association advisor to the Student Alumni

       Association (SAA), accompanied by the SAA President, and the

       Chair for Faculty Appreciation Day

 

       a.   Mr. Brown spoke to the Senate about Faculty Appreciation

            Day, which the SAA will sponsor on 25 February.  The idea

            for such a day was generated by the students.

 

       b.   The students discussed the details of the day.  The SAA

            will distribute apples and apple badges at strategic

            points on the campus.  Local restaurants will offer two-

            for-one deals for students taking faculty members to

            lunch.  Also, student organizations have been urged to

            honor their faculty sponsors and supporters.

 

       c.   President Geyer expressed the thanks of the Senate and

            faculty as a whole for the students' thoughtfulness.

 

  4.   Larry Killough, faculty representative to the National

       Collegiate Athletic Association.

 

       a.   Professor Killough presented some background as to how

            athletics had been administered at the university and how

            he came to be in his present position.  He then explained

            the role of the faculty representative to the NCAA.

            Although he serves as President McComas's representative,

            the president takes an active role in athletic matters.

            Killough's duties have included:  1) conference

            attendance, 2) monitoring the investigation of the cross-

            country program, 3) working with the AD, the compliance

            officer, and the president to determine Tech's stance on

            NCAA legislation, 4) attending many of the AD's staff

            meetings, and 5) participating in the NCAA's association

            of faculty representatives.

 

       b.   Professor Killough outlined what he considers to be

            significant improvements in the athletic program.

 

            1)   The old corporation was dissolved and control

                 brought under the university.

            2)   We have a professional athletic director who

                 understands the importance of academics and works

                 well with students, faculty, administration, and

                 alumni.

            3)   The new Athletic Committee has broad representation,

                 especially from faculty, and members take their work

                 seriously.  The importance of the committee's role

                 is recognized by the AD.

            4)   The academic advising of athletes has been placed

                 under the Provost.

            5)   There are student-athletes on campus today; this was

                 not the case a few years ago.

            6)   The role of university presidents in the NCAA has

                 expanded, which has led to an improvement in NCAA

                 standards for athletic participation.

 

  Question: Is there sufficient faculty involvement?  Does faculty

            have enough input on admissions and other matters?

  Answer:   Although progress has been made, there are problems with

            retention and graduation rates.  Statistics have only

            become available over the past few years and it is still

            difficult to compare athletes' performance with that os

            the general student body.  The involvement of the

            academic advising group has been significant, as has that

            of the Athletic Committee.

 

  Question: When the old corporation was dissolved, the financial

            situation of athletics was "gloom and doom."  What is the

            situation at present?  We see a lot of construction going

            on.

  Answer:   The old athletic group was operating in the red.  They

            were then required by Ridenour's office to have a

            balanced budget.  The Athletic Department operates, more

            or less, on a balanced budget today, even though this

            budget is slim in comparison with those of peer

            institutions.  The Second Century Campaign now stands at

            about $13 million.

 

  Question: Is the Athletic Committee the group asking for

            reductions/substitutions in academic requirements?

  Answer:   The science requirements present a problem because some

            high school science courses (earth sciences,

            oceanography) are not accepted.  More flexibility should

            be applied.  In regard to math, the committee was not

            concerned with reducing requirements; the concern was

            with the high schools that did not provide the requisite

            number of courses.  The committee has discussed these

            matters with the Provost.

 

  Question: Aren't the graduation rate statistics for athletes

            available?

  Answer:   Some data is available, but it is difficult to separate

            out the Dooley Era and the Braine Era.  The focus was on

            football, to the detriment of other sports.  What

            information we have is positive; retention rates are up,

            but it is still too early to compare graduation rates.

            There are pockets; basketball is still a problem area.

            The university does not seem to have the computer

            programs in place to do comparative studies on an overall

            university or college basis.  Some schools have very high

            graduation rates (Notre Dame, Virginia).  We're not there

            yet, but we're making progress.

 

  Question: The university has a special admissions policy which, we

            have been led to believe, is not just for athletes.  Are

            you a part of committee that reviews special admissions?

            Are special admissions a loophole?

  Answer:   Considerations for special admissions in the recent past

            have been primarily athletes, but other departments are

            represented.  This is not a loophole; for a comprehensive

            university it provides flexability.  The loopholes I'm

            talking about are on the national level - in the NCAA

            requirements and in special programs universities set up

            for athletes.

 

  Question: Some universities have programs designed to enhance the

            graduation rate of athletes.  How can we compare

            graduation rates with them?

  Answer:   I'm interested in comparing within our university, not

            with the kinds of schools you mean.  Our internal

            statistics are more meaningful.

 

  Observations:  The work of Jerry Via's group and its cooperative

            attitude is appreciated by faculty.

            A university retention committee has been forced to look

            into some of the problems raised by the speaker.

            The Admissions Committee, a subcommittee of CUS, could

            possibly give some feedback to the Senate.

 

  5.  Announcements

 

       a.  Secretary's announcements

 

         1) Please send all committee and commission reports to

            SENATE@ VM1 by the Thursday afternoon preceding the

            Senate meeting.  Avoid using SENATE for anything other

            than thee reports.

         2) All technical correspondence and questions relating to

            minutes, agenda, etc., should be sent to Linda Southard:

            SOUTHARD@VM1.

         3) Anything relating to the contents of minutes, reports,

            etc. or general correspondence to the secretary should be

            sent to the secretary:  SWEDE@VM1.

         4) Senators were reminded to pay their dues.

 

            A discussion followed regarding printing the minutes and

            the problems involved.  Reports are sent in varying

            format, which varies the output.  The secretary pointed

            out that the official copy of the minutes is the archived

            hard copy.  The recipient of the online minutes has the

            option of how to print them out for personal files.  We

            can try to get all reports entered in the same format,

            but this is not always possible.

 

       b.   The Senate officers met with President McComas on 15

            January.  A main topic of discussion was faculty

            representation on the Board of Visitors, which he agreed

            to take under advisement and discuss with the board.  The

            President believed faculty could be most valuable as

            resource persons for BOV subcommittees.

 

       c.   The Presidents Round Table met and discussed governance,

            faculty morale, and other issues.

 

       d.   Meetings of faculty association presidents will be held

            on the last Friday of each month; the next meeting will

            be 28 February at 7:30 AM in the CEC.  The most recent

            meeting featured discussions of faculty participation at

            the department/college level, involvement in the new

            governance system, and the lack of faculty input

            regarding summer school teaching.

 

       e.   Interim Budget and Planning Advisory Committee

            1)   The administration is supporting three areas of the

                 state budget proposals:  restoration of extension

                 funding, the bond referendum, and salary increases

                 for faculty and staff.

            2)   Discussion of resource allocation, particularly

                 salary adjustments.  A numerical report of salary

                 adjustments was supplied to the Senate (a copy of

                 this report was circulated by President Geyer during

                 this announcement).

 

       f.   Carol Berger of the Women's Research Institute requested

            the names of three female senators who would be

            interested in discussing the establishment of a women's

            center on campus.  Senators Hult, Asche, and Beamish

            volunteered.

 

       g.   An Alumni Association planning group has requested

            representation from the Senate for a planning conference

            on 21-22 February.

 

       h.   The President sent a letter of thanks to Charles Forbes

            for his presentation at the last Senate meeting.  In the

            letter, President Geyer also suggested that a faculty

            member be appointed to the Virginia Tech Foundation board

            as a representative of the total monetary contributions

            made by faculty.

 

       i.   Governance

            1)   The Senate will be required to nominate 30 senators

                 and three additional faculty to serve on commissions

                 and committees.  We will try to do this during the

                 regularly scheduled elections in April.

            2)   The way the new structure is set up means that we

                 start from ground zero - all previous members are

                 off.  However, University Council agreed that

                 present committee members can stay on for an

                 additional year.  We have to consider staggering,

                 which the Senate Cabinet will consider at this next

                 meeting.

 

                 Senator Snoke pointed out that the new committees

                 should have charges.  It will be very difficult for

                 the commissions to produce these charges during this

                 year.  He believes that the administration will try

                 to continue the committees as they are for the next

                 year.  Although some of the committees' duties will

                 be different, the structure may remain intact.

 

                 A "good faith set-up" may be required because of the

                 27 March deadline set by the reorganization.  New

                 senators may not be elected by that time.

 

                 President Geyer responded that he had spoken with

                 Larry Harris and both believe this can be resolved.

                 Good faith and good sense are required.  The

                 question of staggered terms is important,

                 particularly to the colleges.  Senators were

                 encouraged to discuss the problems with their

                 constituents

 

  6.   Adoption of agenda

       The agenda was adopted with the addition of two items:  a

       faculty observer/representative to the Virginia Tech

       Foundation, and the university calendar.

 

  7.   Approval of minutes

       a.   Faculty Senate minutes, 14 January 1992

            Senator Snoke asked that his question regarding

            supplemental grants (three questions preceding item 5 of

            the minutes) should be linked to earlier questions on

            this topic (the fourth through sixth questions following

            item 4.e).  He wished to point out that a restructuring

            of supplemental grants might satisfy the concerns raised

            in the earlier questions.  Senator Hasselman pointed out

            that Senator Hardell's name was misspelled in the roll

            call.

            The minutes were approved as amended.

 

       b.   Faculty Senate Cabinet minutes, 31 January 1992, were

            approved.

 

  8.   Council, Commission, and Committee Reports

 

       a.   University Communications Resources Committee (Senator

            Snoke)

            Senator Snoke distributed copies of Judy Lilly's report

            on the CNS plan to reduce overall expenditure for on-

            campus communications.  He then addressed some of the

            points in the report. [A copy of Senator Snoke's comments

            are attached to these minutes.]

 

            Senator Miller commented that he appreciated the report

            as a response to faculty concerns about campus

            communications.

 

            In response to a question from Senator Eng regarding off-

            campus access, Senator Snoke pointed out that access for

            undergraduates living off campus has not yet been

            addressed.

 

       b.   Commencement Committee and VTIP (Senator Eng)

            Although the committees have met several times, nothing

            has come forward to require the Senate's attention.

 

       c.   Commission on Undergraduate Studies (President Geyer for

            Senator Murray)

            Earlier in the day, CUS voted favorably on the second

            reading of the core curriculum document.

 

       d.   Parking Committee

            The issue of extending faculty/staff parking privileges

            to graduate students was raised.  This matter was

            discussed at the last meeting of the Senate Cabinet, and

            the Senate representative to the committee will be

            informed of the group's opinion.

 

       e.   Commission on Faculty Affairs

            President Geyer raised the matter of the commission's

            inability to propose a racial harassment policy because

            of the constraints of the Wisconsin case.  What would

            happen if a complaint were raised?

            Senator Falkinham:  The university would handle it as a

            complaint to be reported to Cornel Morton.

            Senator Williams:  It is unclear how the Wisconsin case

            bears on faculty, since that case struck down student

            policies.  There is a policy in the student handbook

            indicating procedures for reporting various types of

            harassment.  CFS faced the problem of lack of published

            procedures (for faculty) for anything but sexual

            harassment.  The commission planned to use these

            procedures as a model for a racial harassment document

            until the Wisconsin case came up.  When questioned about

            this at an earlier Senate meeting, Cornel Morton's

            response on procedures was rather vague.

 

            [Senator Beagle has provided a citation to the University

            of Wisconsin case for those who might be interested:

 

            744 F. Supp 1163 (KF105 F47x, located in the third-floor

            stacks of Newman Library).  See vol. 774 of West's

            Federal Supplement, pp. 1163-1181.

            The UWM Post, Incorporated, Lafi Abdalla ... (et al.),

            Plaintiffs

                                        v.

            Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin,

            Defendant

 

            Senator Beagle can download the case and send it to

            anyone requesting an electronic copy.]

 

       f.   University Communications Resources Committee

            President Geyer asked Senator Snoke if there were any

            plans for faculty input into the "electronic village"

            concept.  If not, should the Senate request faculty

            input?

            Senator Snoke responded that Paul Gherman had been

            appointed to work on the electronic village project.

            Others involved  include Ed Fox, a faculty member.

            Faculty involvement is rather indirect - the UCRC simply

            hears reports.

            President Geyer indicated that more formal faculty

            involvement would be appropriate.  Senator Eng suggested

            that UCRC have a larger role in the project.  After

            further discussion, it was agreed that the President

            should follow up on this matter.

 

       g.   Library Committee (Senator Clowes)

            University Librarian Paul Gherman will be moving to

            another assignment as special assistant to the Vice

            President for Information Systems.  Joanne Eustis will

            serve as Interim University Librarian for an undetermined

            period.

 

       h.   Commission on Faculty Affairs revisited

            Senator Jones, harking back to the harassment issue,

            indicated that there were three ways of reporting

            harassment: the staff has guidelines spelled out in their

            handbook; reports can be made to Morton's office; and

            reports can be made to the Ethics Committee.

            Senator Williams reiterated the procedural problem - we

            have procedures for sexual harassment; these are required

            by federal law.  He agreed that a matter of

            unprofessional conduct, which could include racial

            harassment, could come before the Ethics Committee.

 

  9.   New business

       a.   Outside search firms (President Geyer)

            1)   Use of an outside firm for the vice presidential

                 position was justified by Minnis Ridenour as an

                 effort to attract candidates in similar positions at

                 other institutions.

            2)   In regard to the Director of Marketing and Director

                 of the CEC, Charles Steger responded that an earlier

                 search for the marketing position had produced no

                 viable candidates.  He hoped that, by using an

                 outside firm, a more qualified group of candidates

                 would result.

 

            Although there will be faculty input into the final

            selection process, the procedure is not one traditionally

            followed.  We do not know what the cost will be.

            Senators were asked to forward comments to the President.

 

       b.   Faculty observer to the Virginia Tech Foundation (Senator

            Miller)

            1)   At the last Senate meeting, Charles Forbes stated

                 that membership on the Foundation's board was based

                 on donations made to the university.  Faculty, as a

                 group, contribute financially to the university.  In

                 the hope of improving communication with the

                 Foundation, the Senate should ask to sit in on the

                 meetings of the board.

            2)   Motion:  That the Senate approach the Virginia Tech

                 Foundation regarding the appointment of a faculty

                 liaison to the Foundation's board. (Senator Miller)

            3)   Discussion

                 Wouldn't it be more appropriate to ask for full

                 membership in view of the amount contributed by

                 faculty during the last campaign?  We should

                 probably pursue this in the same way we are asking

                 for Board of Visitors representation.

                 Given the difficulties of obtaining answers to

                 relatively simple procedural questions addressed to

                 the Foundation, it is important that the faculty

                 know what is going on.

            4)   Amendment:  That one representative of the faculty

                 sit on the board of the Virginia Tech Foundation to

                 represent total faculty gifts.  (Senator McDaniels)

 

            5)   In further discussion, it was pointed out that the

                 Foundation, according to Mr. Forbes, responds to

                 requests from the university.  It is appropriate

                 that faculty have some input into this decision-

                 making process.  There are ex-officio members of the

                 board, such as Ray Smoot and others.  Perhaps we

                 should request this status.

            6)   Amended motion:  That one faculty member selected by

                 the Faculty Senate sit on the board of the Virginia

                 Tech Foundation to represent total faculty financial

                 donations.

                 The motion passed unanimously.

 

       c.   University calendar

            1)   President Geyer gave some background information on

                 the work of the Registration and Calendar Committee.

                 The proposed calendar is currently out for

                 discussion.

            2)   William A. Davis, President of the Engineering

                 Faculty Association, outlined his college's problems

                 with the calendar.

                 a)   Most of the colleges and departments that have

                      expressed concern are those areas supporting

                      laboratory instruction.  There is a need for a

                      full 15-week semester (75 days) with the same

                      number of same days.

                 b)   Some departments are less concerned with the

                      length of a semester, but want the length to be

                      consistent.

                 c)   The faculty impression - right or wrong - is

                      that the calendar is set by administrators

                      without much outside input.

                 d)   Why does the university have two summer

                      sessions?

                 e)   Why do we still have two-hour final exams when

                      most semester systems have three-hour exams?

                 f)   What is the definition of a semester?  By

                      having 14 or 14 1/2-week semesters, our

                      students are losing from a half to a whole

                      semester of instruction over a four-year

                      period.

                 Professor Davis wanted to know how the general

                 faculty felt about these matters.  He was also

                 concerned that some parents might consider that

                 students were not receiving their money's worth.

 

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

                 that the Calendar Committee seems to pay more

                 attention to non-academic aspects of the calendar

                 (holidays, etc.) than to educational requirements.

                 Suggestions submitted to the committee have been

                 ignored.  For some areas of the university, the

                 number of weeks is less important consistency.

                 Support was given to the plan to start semesters on

                 a Monday and end on a Friday.  Concern was also

                 expressed over the varying lengths of break periods.

                 The procedural matter - who sets the calendar and

                 how - is really fundamental.  Can't the faculty have

                 better representation  on the committee?  One

                 representative from each college gives little input

                 for the larger colleges.

                      It was suggested that the subject be brought up

                 with Provost Carlisle at the next meeting.  It is

                 also a good subject to be discussed with the faculty

                 association presidents.  The new governance

                 structure should force a better reporting system

                 from the committee to CUS.

 

            4)   President Geyer summarized:

                 a)   We will raise the issue with the Provost.

                 b)   We will try to get copies of the proposed

                      calendar for every senator.

                 c)   We will bring this up with the association

                      presidents.

 

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

       9:40 PM.

                                     Respectfully submitted,

 

                                          Marilyn L. Norstedt

                                          Secretary

 

  _____________________________________________________

 

  MEMORANDUM

 

  TO:       Marilyn Norstedt, Secretary, Faculty Senate

  FROM:     Arthur Snoke, Senate representative on UCRC

  DATE:     February 11, 1992

  SUBJECT:  Comments on Judy Lilly's Report

 

    *  A desired effect of these new rates is that the majority, if

       not all, faculty should be able to afford some kind of data

       connection that would allow them access to the main-frame

       computers.

 

    *  Although phone costs go up a bit, note that voice mail will

       come for free.  So think of it as adding voice mail for $2.50

       /month, or saving $5.50/month if you already have voice mail.

 

    *  Another impetus is to encourage using ethernet connections

       rather than switched data for those users who would be better

       served by that kind of access.

 

    *  The least transparent change has to do with calling into the

       Virginia Tech network from off-campus.  Even those who will

       not incur any extra cost will have to enter a password each

       time they call in.  This aspect of the plan will require

       further clarification.

 

    *  It appears that CNS is losing money by this change in rates.

       They certainly will have reduced revenue.  What they have

       found is that maintenance costs have been significantly less

       than budgeted, and that buying equipment in bulk produces

       significant savings.  Like Virginia's state budget, CNS cannot

       operate at a deficit, so unless their spreadsheet programs

       have a serious bug, they will have a balanced budget next

       year.



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