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February 25, 1992

      The attached are the official minutes of February 25, 1992.

 

                             Faculty Senate

                                 Minutes

                            25 February 1992

                             32 Pamplin Hall

                       Forum with Provost Carlisle

 

  1.   The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by President Leon

       Geyer, and visitors welcomed:

       a.  Peggy Rasnick, Staff Senate

       b.  John Ashby, Spectrum

       c.  Barbara Michelsen, Director, University YMCA

       d.  W. A. Davis, President, Engineering Faculty

 

  2.   Announcements

       a.   The faculty association presidents will meet Friday, 28

            February, at 7:30 AM in the CEC.  Senator Wang was asked

            to represent Architecture and Urban Planning; Senator

            Rakes, Business.

       b.   The Committee on Committees will meet after the meeting

 

  3.   Roll call

       a.   Present:  Feret, Geyer, Marriott, Vinson, Wright, Poole,

            Wang, Barker, Ficenec, Holtzman, Hult, Miller, Murray,

            Simmons, Snoke, Tideman, Williams, Rakes, Clowes, Brown,

            Crittenden, deWolf, Hasselman, Michelsen, Pierce, Walker,

            Asche, Jones, Barbeau, Norstedt, Beagle, Carrig

       b.   Absent:  Bunce, Flick, Kerns, Webb, Howard, Falkinham,

            Olin, Sorrentino, Webster, Fern, Hicks, McDaniels, Neu,

            Parsons, Beamish, Eng, Saunders

 

  4.   President Geyer introduced Provost Fred Carlisle

       a.   The Provost began his remarks by discussing the budget

 

            1)   Most of the governor's proposals have passed the

                 hurdles.  We will be able to raise tuition in order

                 to restore some faculty positions, library funding,

                 operating money, equipment money, etc.  It now

                 appears that there might also be a modest salary

                 "restoration" of 2% to make up for the December 1990

                 reduction.  The exact method of implementation is

                 unclear.  Apparently all classified staff will

                 receive a 2% increase; faculty who took the

                 reduction in 1990 will have first priority for the

                 2% restoration.  Any additional money from the pool

                 would be distributed on a merit basis.

 

  Question: Is the merit raise in addition to the 2%?

  Answer:   Yes.  Each university will receive a pool for faculty.

            The first priority is to restore the 2% loss.  Any

            balance - if it exists - may be distributed as merit

            money.

 

  Question: Would faculty and teaching assistants who have joined the

            university since December 1990 receive money only if the

            balance is there?

  Answer:   I don't know.  "Faculty" has not been defined, nor do we

            know on what basis the pool is being calculated.  It is

            still unclear.

  Question: Unlike graduate assistants, faculty are not on a fixed

            scale.  The bookkeeping involved might eat up all the

            savings.

  Answer:   A lot will depend on whether the calculation includes

            grad assistants, and how many are involved.

 

       2)   Special budget reductions included a devastating cut for

            Extension.  A main legislative effort has been to restore

            the funding.  The main bills from each house have

            restoration features, but neither has the amount

            requested.  It may still be possible to come close

            through compromise in the conference committee.  These

            were recommended for some of the research centers; the

            university has made proposals to the conference committee

            in this regard.

 

       3)   The general obligation bond proposals are presently at a

            standstill, with neither the House bill or Senate bill

            prevailing (the House bill was not considered by the

            Senate; the Senate bill was defeated in the house).  the

            Provost does not believe it will be left this way -

            efforts are being made to convince the Governor to

            reintroduce the bond issue.  The university did not back

            one bill or the other, since our requests were basically

            the same in both.

 

       4)   Internally, a number of decisions need to be made, mostly

            based on what is decided about tuition.  There is no

            general fund money to speak of.  The authorization to

            increase tuition is to fund the necessary areas.  Should

            we restore the full number of faculty positions

            authorized?  Should we increase the library budget to the

            full level of the authorization?  These questions and

            others are being examined by the Interim Budget and

            Planning Committee, the deans and others.  Presentations

            are being made by the library, various administrative

            offices, deans, etc., as to ways money could be used in

            different areas of the university.  This is the first

            time so many people have been involved with the

            budget/planning process.  The hearings give people an

            idea of what has been lost and what needs to be or might

            be done.  Recommendations will be taken to a special

            meeting of the Board of Visitors in March.

 

  Question: Are we tracking tuition increases in neighboring states?

  Answer:   Yes, we have a sense of total costs both inside and

            outside Virginia.

            In terms of tuition alone, we are among the leading ten

            land-grant universities in the nation, and we are number

            one in Virginia.  In terms of total costs

            (tuition/fees/room and board), however, we are fourteenth

            in Virginia.  We hope people will consider total costs.

            Applications are up this year by 5%.

 

  Question: Can we tell if the proportion of applications from out-

            of-state students has changed?

  Answer:   Yes.  The proportion did not decrease last year and does

            not seem to be decreasing this year.  The real test is

            how many will actually enroll.  The tuition increase will

            be announced in March, which is early and will give time

            for applicants to decide.

 

       5)   There are some bright spots (until this morning, the

            general obligation bond issue was one of the brightest)

            even though there is a huge cost shift to students and

            their families:

            a)   We allocated almost 60 new faculty positions last

                 year and a considerable number of tuition waivers

                 for graduate students

            b)   In the coming year, by combining positions available

                 through early retirement and those we could be

                 authorized to add, we could get almost 130

                 faculty/administrative positions.  There are 60

                 positions available through early retirement.  There

                 is an attempt to bring us back to where we were.  He

                 has a plan for reallocating the early retirement

                 positions; this has been discussed with the interim

                 committee, the deans, and the President.  This will

                 be implemented in about two weeks.  Shortly

                 thereafter, the other allocations (operating money,

                 library money, etc.) will be made.  Then the budget

                 reduction targets will be distributed, and the heads

                 of various units will have to make their reduction

                 decisions.

 

  Question: How does the steady stream of budget reductions affect

            programs staffed by joint appointment faculty?  Recently,

            a joint appointment in mathematics eduction was

            advertised, but had to be dropped when Education pulled

            out.

  Answer:   In such cases, the administrators involved - deans or

            department heads need to identify the problem and need to

            come to an agreement on the remaining half position.

 

  Question: Are the deans getting enough information from the

            departments on matters of the restoration of positions?

  Answer:   I have to go on the deans' statements and tabulations,

            which have provided a fair amount of information.  The

            plans for the future are also taken into consideration:

            priorities, areas for development, etc.  There has been

            more faculty involvement in some colleges than in others.

            I know some of the acute areas, mathematics certainly

            being one.

  Question: We are doing more with less.  This doesn't mean, however,

            that we're not hurting.

  Answer:   We know the faculty in some areas are under stress.  This

            can't be tolerated over a long period of time.

 

       b.   The Provost took questions on other matters

            1)   Associate Provost for Outreach

 

  Question: What is the significance of this advertised position?

  Answer:   To give some background:  Extension was put under the

            College of Agriculture, making it ultimately responsible

            to the Provost.  At the same time, there was a Vice

            President for Public Service, heading a separate division

            of the university.  There is a basic distinction between

            Extension and Public Service.  Co-op programs focus on

            individuals, the family, and rural aspects (though not

            exclusively); Public Service focuses more on communities,

            business, and government.  The Public Service function

            seems to be an academic function and has been moved to

            the academic side, to be headed by a Vice (not Associate)

            Provost.  We would like to extend this job to include

            more than Public Service, therefore "Outreach."  We have

            eliminated a vice presidency and combined two positions

            into one.

 

  Question: Will Outreach include Continuing Education?

  Answer:   Yes.

 

  Question: Is there a reason why the term "Outreach" is better than

            "Public Service"?

  Answer:   We've had trouble defining "Public Service."  "Outreach"

            seems more descriptive and comprehensive.  The person in

            the position can be responsible for all of the

            university's outreach.

 

       2)   Recycling

 

  Question: What has happened to the recycling project?

  Answer:   Ray Smoot is trying to work out a way that Larry Bechtel

            can be assigned more time and money to recycling.  The

            project needs about $25,000.  The university would like

            to see it reorganized and restarted.

 

       3)   University calendar

            The Provost described the committee that develops the

            calendar.  It includes eight faculty members (one from

            each college) nominated by the dean, as well as other

            representatives.  The committee has tried to set some

            basic criteria.  These include no commencement conflict

            with Radford University, no holiday on Labor Day, no mid-

            term break in the fall, a full week vacation at

            Thanksgiving, and at least 72 class days (and the same

            number of class days) in each semester.

  Question: At the last Senate meeting, we discussed the criteria and

            wondered if some points could be reevaluated.  There was

            some support for a 75-day semester, for beginning on a

            Monday and ending on a Friday.  Can't these become a part

            of the discussion of criteria?

  Answer:   These are things are discussed almost every year.  The

            committee started with a Labor Day holiday, a mid-term

            break, and a three-day Thanksgiving holiday, etc.  These

            were considered and rejected.  My feeling was that there

            was not extensive support for 75 days and that 72 was a

            compromise.

 

  Question: The full week idea needs further examination.  If 72 days

            are the rule, leaving a full week at the beginning or the

            end would help.

  Answer:   The 1993/94 calendar is our for comment and discussion

            until May.  Some of the particulars can be addressed.

 

  Question: The College of Engineering supports 75 days; however, if

            there were a university wide consensus for 72 days we

            could probably support it.  The problem is that the

            consensus is that of eight people - we need a greater

            consensus for acceptance.

  Answer:   It's more like fifteen people.

 

  Question: The perception is that faculty concerns about the

            calendar are swept under the rug.  The 75 day issue was

            not really brought up at the committee.  The letter from

            Forestry was not brought up until the Engineering

            representative inquired about its status.  Why isn't the

            committee finding out about the things that are being

            asked?

  Answer:   Your impression may be correct.  I don't know.  The

            committee was looking for support for 75 days; they

            received a half-dozen letters.

 

  Question: But there were no letters to the negative.

  Answer:   This will have to be addressed by Jim Wolfe.

 

  Question: Where is the calendar out?  How does one comment on it?

  Answer:   I'm not sure if it's sent to Spectrum or to the

            department heads.

 

  Question: When some department heads were asked, none of them knew

            the calendar was out for review.  Maybe it's on the

            computer but no one knows it's there?

  Answer:   I'll find out from Jim Wolfe.

 

  Question: Isn't the faculty representative the spokesperson for the

            college?  Why isn't the dean also involved?  The

            impression is that the faculty is being ignored.

  Answer:   What would be a process that would not be cumbersome or

            require a referendum every year?

  Observations from Senators

       The problem goes beyond the committee.  One representative

       from a college cannot possibly know how an entire college

       feels on any issue.  It might be better to have the faculty

       members nominated by faculty associations rather than by

       deans.  When things leave committees there is a need for

       follow-up.  We can't comment on something we haven't seen, as

       was pointed out earlier.

 

       When the Engineering Faculty Association has commented on

       other issues, a response has usually been forthcoming from the

       appropriate administrator or committee.  This has not been

       true with the Calendar Committee.

 

       The Calendar Committee really doesn't report anywhere through

       the governance structure.  Shouldn't it report through CUS,

       then to University Council, which could refer it to the

       Senate?  This is a matter that has never been channeled

       through the system.

 

       It is a committee of CUS, according to the Handbook, but CUS

       does not discuss the calendar.

 

       4)   Electronic Village

 

  Question: We've all been reading about the Electronic Village.

            What is the funding?  Is it a real entity?

  Answer:   At this point, a feasibility study involving the town,

            C & P, and the university has been announced.  Bob

            Heterick is leading the university's part of the study.

            This is to determine if the plan would work; if so, how;

            what the funding would be, etc.  It appears that

            virtually all the funding would have to come from C & P.

 

  Question: Is there an ending date for the project?

  Answer:   Yes, but I'm not sure what it is at the moment.

 

       5)   Core Curriculum

 

  Question: What are your personal feelings about the core?  What is

            the potential impact of the budgetary situation on the

            core?

  Answer:   We reached an impasse with the present core curriculum

            and had to put more money into it last year so that

            students could meet their requirements.  Implementation

            of the new core is scheduled over a rather long time

            period.  At first, changes will be in course descriptions

            and will give students greater flexability.  The more

            expensive and complex aspects are not intended for

            implementation for four to five years.  The faculty who

            worked on the core did a remarkable job.  They were able

            to focus the curriculum on the present and future without

            neglecting the past.

  Question: Is the students' contract made at the time of entering a

            program or at the time of graduation?  There seems to be

            differences of interpretation between the College of Arts

            and Sciences and the Registrar.  With the core

            curriculum, this could make a difference.  The catalog

            indicates that the requirements count at the time of

            graduation; the A and S Advisors' Manual says the

            requirements to be met are those in place when the

            student enters.  The new core curriculum is cited as

            being effective for all students graduating after a

            certain date, currently 1996.

  Answer:   The core is only a part of the total picture.  The

            general problem needs to be resolved.  It is unreasonable

            to expect seniors to meet a new graduation requirement;

            it is equally unreasonable to assume that the university

            would enter a 4-6 year contract with a student.  This is

            clearly an issue that needs to be clarified; it should

            not be clarified, however, at the expense of the core

            curriculum.

 

  6)   Outreach and the Hotel Roanoke

 

  Question: Is the Hotel Roanoke project a part of the Outreach?

  Answer:   Yes, the program part would be.

 

  Question: Could we do a better job with the project if we relied

            more on our own resources for planning, marketing, and

            such?

  Answer:   It's necessary to contract with a developer to put

            together financial contracts and other preliminaries.

            There is a small advisory committee of faculty.  Our job

            is to make the program work, and we will rely on our

            resources for this.  Our present resource commitment is

            in time rather than money.

 

       7)   University programs

 

  Question: Proposals for masters' programs were withdrawn from

            SCHEV's agenda.  Why?  Will these come back?

  Answer:   The proposal for the philosophy masters was withdrawn

            because the presidents were in a "no new programs" mood.

            Believing all presidents were abiding by this and that

            the proposal would be returned to the agenda at a later

            date, Tech withdrew in good faith.  The other schools,

            however, did not drop their plans.  We now must raise the

            proposal again.  Because of budget restrictions, it might

            take longer for us to become as comprehensive as we would

            like.

 

  Question: There is increasing demand for off-campus programs.  The

            resources coming in from these programs don't seem to be

            trickling back to the departments.

  Answer:   I agree.  There is a pressing demand, and we have not

            determined the best way of budgeting.  There are four

            different groups working on campus/off-campus matters,

            such as administrative structure, finances, position

            allocations, etc.

 

       8)   Representation of the Senate

 

  Question: The Senate has raised the questions of Senate

            representation to the Electronic Village and to the Board

            of the Virginia Tech Foundation.  What is your response

            to the role of the faculty in these areas?

  Answer:   I'm not sure of the mechanism for getting Senate/faculty

            involvement in the Electronic Village feasibility study.

            It makes good sense, though, and it would be especially

            helpful once the study is completed.  This should be

            pursued.  I need to find out more about the organization

            myself.  I hadn't thought much about the Foundation

            Board, but I don't know of any reasons why there

            shouldn't be a faculty representative.  Regarding the

            Board of Visitors, there is the principle of a "lay

            board," which is a reasonable concept.  The concept has

            been changed by introducing student membership.

            Therefore, it makes sense that the faculty should be

            represented.  The matter of voting membership is a real

            issue.

 

       President Geyer reminded the Senate that President McComas

       supports faculty representation at the subcommittee level.

       The Provost believes this is a good idea, particularly in

       regard to the "action" subcommittees.

 

       e.   President Geyer thanked Provost Carlisle for his

            contributions to the Forum.  The meeting was adjourned at

            8:40 PM.

                                     Respectfully submitted,

                                     Marilyn L. Norstedt

                                     Secretary

 

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