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Governance Minutes Archive

October 20, 1992

  The following minutes were officially approved on November 10, 1992.


                               FACULTY SENATE



                              20 October 1992

                              32 Pamplin Hall



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

          Geyer.  Visitors were introduced:  John Ashby (Spectrum)

          Provost Fred Carlisle, Wanda Dean (Classroom Management),

          Marvin Foushee (Classroom Management), Peggy Rasnick (Staff

          Senate Liaison).  Later visitor:  Larry Bechtel (Campus



          Senators present:  Barbeau, Beagle, Brown, Carrig, Clowes,

          deWolf, Eng, Falkinham, Feret, Ficenec, Foy, Fuller, Geyer,

          Graham, Hardell, Hasselman, Haugh, Holtzman, Hult, Jones,

          Lambur, Landgraf, Martin, McDaniels, Miller, Mullins,

          Murray, Norstedt, Olin, Pierce, Rakes, Scigaj, Sherman,

          Shumsky, Simmons, Snoke, Sumichrast, Tidemen, Vinson, Wang,

          Weaver, Webb, Williams


          Senators absent:  Armstrong, Bunce, Fern, Howard, O'Brien,

          Parsons, Wright


     II.  Classroom Management (Wanda Dean, Marvin Foushee)


          Dean outlined the objectives of the Classroom Management

          Program, which has been in effect for about nine months

          under the aegis of the Registrar's Office.  The program is

          designed to assist instruction by improving the classroom

          environment and by giving the faculty an opportunity to help

          with these improvements.  The program acts as a

          clearinghouse for faculty who have specific complaints or

          concerns about classrooms.  An advisory committee is being

          formed, with representatives from all faculty associations

          and the Senate, to assist with planning and expediting.


          In discussing classroom environment problems, Foushee noted

          that the university has 168 general assignment classrooms

          (down from 217) and that these rooms have an 85% utilization

          rate between the hours of 8:00 and 5:00.  Although this

          leaves little time to do renovations or correct problems,

          the goal is a 24-hour response to reported complaints.

          While some things, such as temperature and noise control,

          cannot be corrected by the program, there have been

          achievements:  new blackboards have been installed in

          several buildings, AV equipment is being installed and/or

          upgraded, four rooms in Randolph Hall have been

          airconditioned, and some heavily used classrooms will be

          carpeted during the Christmas holidays.


          Classroom Management can be contacted by calling 1-3874 or

          sending an e-mail message to FOUSHEEM@VTVM1.




          Senator Miller explained how the program had helped him with

          acquiring the needed AV equipment for a class.


          Question:  If a department desired larger classrooms, could

          Classroom Management negotiate exchanges of smaller rooms

          for larger ones?


          Foushee:  Not during prime time.  The university has 14

          rooms that seat more than 100 students, and some of these

          are not really classrooms.


          Question:  Isn't there $250,000 available for classroom



          Dean:  Yes, and the advisory committee will be deciding how

          it should be spent.  There will be annual reports and

          periodic reviews of the program.  But the $250,000 is a one-

          time grant.

          Foushee:  In the past, such money has been used to provide

          additional AV technician support for especially large

          classrooms.  The technicians also work in the evening, which

          he sees as an incentive for evening classes.


          Question:  Could some classrooms be redesigned by people who

          actually teach?


          Foushee:  Yes, there will be input from faculty and,

          possibly, students to be given to Facilities Planning.

          There are many complications in redesigning existing



          Question:  Is there a priority structure for deciding what

          improvements should be made?


          Senator Miller explained that the equipment he has been

          using was purchased as a test - if it worked out, it would

          be available to anyone and more might be purchased.

          Dean:  Last year's faculty committee brought out a list of

          short- and long-term priorities, based on complaints and

          suggestions that had been brought forward.

          Foushee:  In some cases, the priorities are mandated by law,

          such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Equipment was

          purchased for visually impaired students and probably will

          be needed for the hearing impaired as well.


          Senators Sherman and Sumichrast volunteered to represent the

          Senate on the Classroom Management Committee.


     III. Conversation with the Provost


          Provost Carlisle listed some of his projects and priorities

          for the coming year:


          A.   Faculty Rewards and Responsibilities Project, headed by

               Carol Burch-Brown


          B.   Attention to graduation rates, retention, and success

               rates in various programs.  Compared with land-grant

               institutions nationwide, Tech's graduation rate ranks

               second; compared with other institutions in Virginia,

               we do not rank very well.


          C.   Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (Burch-

               Brown and Larry Harris)


          D.   Advancing international studies programs: the European

               Studies Center, promoting links with international



          E.   Improving campus environment and promoting diversity


          F.   Searches.  The Provost's Office currently is involved

               in five searches.


               1.   Vice-Provost for University Outreach and

                    International Programs.  Preliminary interviews

                    are complete; two or three candidates will be

                    invited to campus in the next few weeks.

                    Appointment is hoped for before the winter



               2.   Vice-Provost for Research/Dean of the Graduate

                    School.  Have nominees already, will be advertised

                    soon in the Chronicle.  The search committee is

                    primarily faculty.  The search will be completed

                    in March or April.


               3.   Vice-President for Information Systems.

                    Recommendations on the search and composition of

                    the search committee will be presented at the next

                    University Council meeting.  March or April is the

                    anticipated completion date.


               4.   Dean of the College of Human Resources.  Search

                    committee has been appointed.


               5.   Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life

                    Sciences.  This is a resumed search and has not

                    yet been formally announced.


          G.   Defining and working on implementation of phase two of

               the budget process




          Higher education, the legislature, and the public

          Question:  In view of all the bashing of higher education,

          does the university have plans for educating the public

          regarding the university's work and functions?


          Answer:  Believes universities have communicated reasonably

          well, but we are in a period when people are not interested

          in hearing what we have to say.  Positive examples, however,

          are the banding together of all university presidents in

          Virginia with Gordon Davies to develop priorities as to what

          can be done to help higher education rebuild over the next

          four to six years, and the excellent promotion of the

          general obligation bond issue.


          Question:  Wouldn't promoting undergraduate research help

          promote the image of the university?


          Answer:  It would certainly help.  Several hundred

          undergraduates currently are involved in research.  We also

          need to emphasize the benefits to undergraduates in

          attending a research university.


          Question:  We were legislated into having a new college.

          Are there any signs that the legislature will continue to

          try to run the university?


          Answer:  Not specifically; there is industry concern

          regarding the reorganization of the College of Agriculture

          and Life Sciences.  The interim dean successfully pointed

          out to the agribusiness group that the legislature had taken

          away financial resources, leaving the college with no choice

          but to realign goals and organizational structure.   Hopeful

          that there will be no further intrusion.


          Faculty workload


          Question:  Is there sympathy in the legislature to legislate

          faculty workload?


          Answer:  There is a lot of talk, but SCHEV believes there is

          still time for the faculty's case to be made.  A state-wide

          committee has been appointed for this purpose.  There are

          better solutions than requiring everyone to teach one more



          Observation and question:  Senator Murray pointed out that

          she is teaching voluntarily an extra hour this semester.

          Her colleagues' responses to this are quite negative.  If

          this is the response of a peer group, how does this appear

          to the public?  How can the Faculty Rewards and

          Responsibilities Project educate us in this matter?

          Devotion to teaching seems to be met with scorn.


          Response:  Hopes the extensive discussions generated by the

          project might make a difference.  If we don't figure out

          what to do, there might well be legislation that makes the

          decisions for us.


          Observation:  In those university areas where courses run to

          three consecutive hours, there is no way that additional

          courses could be added to the workload.


          Question:  Is there a mechanism for rewarding participation

          in the governance system?


          Answer:  Secretarial and administrative support will be



          Question:  How does public service affect the expectations of



          Answer:  Budget cuts, especially those experienced by

          Extension, have slowed the emphasis on public service.

          Individually, faculty need to think more broadly about the

          public service mission, but not everyone can perform equally

          well in all three areas of the mission.  Part of this will

          be addressed by the Faculty Rewards group.  We will also be

          trying to figure how departments can meet the needs of

          individuals.  It is hoped a reward structure can be





          Question:  Is it true that the Provost's Office is

          requesting plans from the departments for budget reductions

          of 1, 2, and 3%?


          Answer:  There are no specific reduction plans; there are

          allocation/reallocation guidelines within the university.

          About 1-2% will be reallocated in each biennium.  Each dean

          will develop a plan for returning the amount.  This is

          almost the only flexibility in the current financial

          situation.  The way the reallocation amount is collected is

          the responsibility of the deans, not the Provost's Office.


          Question:  What faculty input goes into reallocation?


          Answer:  The Budget and Planning Advisory Council is

          composed mostly of faculty, including representation from

          each unit's faculty association and from the Senate.

          Assumes that the college reallocation proposals are

          developed with faculty input as well.


          Registration process


          Question:  Has any consideration been given to modernizing

          the  registration process?


          Answer:  Yes, an integrated Enrollment Services Office is

          being formed out of several administrative offices.  This

          group will work on converting the system to

          phone/computer registration - an "ask and answer" system.


          Observations:  An information systems person who is more

          concerned with instruction than machines and who understands

          faculty and students would be a help.  There has been a

          great emphasis on advising and greater student contact.  The

          registration process brings students and faculty together.

          An "efficient" system seems to bypass this concern.


          Response:  The faculty must be included in the development

          of the system; they know where the controls must be.  This

          is an important point of consideration.




          Question:  What's the envisioned role for the Vice-President

          for Information Services?


          Answer:  We need a person who knows the importance of

          instruction.  This person should also have an idea of how

          the Computing Center can alter its methods of providing

          service in a distributed environment.  Should have an

          understanding of libraries, as well.


          Question:  Could you discuss the role of the Vice-Provost

          for Outreach and International Affairs?


          Response:  The job includes anything relating to public

          service activities, including continuing education, and all

          international projects.  Basically, it encompasses anything

          that begins to leave the campus, including technology



          Diversity and the campus environment


          Question:  What's the status of "opportunity hires" campus-



          Answer:  We have 10-12 of these positions available in a

          year.  We have hired 39 women, 19 minorities, and 13 Afro-

          Americans.  The results are rather modest.


          Question:  What controls are in place to ascertain these

          hires are consistent with department/college goals?


          Answer:  The proposals come from the the departments.  Jim

          Wolfe coordinates this aspect of the program.  There is

          discussion with the deans, and the appointment must meet the



          Question:  Could you expand on the goal of a diverse campus



          Response:  One example is the seminar program on diversity

          for department heads and above.  Student Affairs is also

          doing a good job with students and parents during

          orientation.  Promoting diversity, however, is a very long-

          term project.  There is a fair amount of insensitivity on

          the part of the students.  A request has also come through

          for an ombudsman for black students.


          Off-campus programs


          Question:  Some deans and department heads think that off-

          campus programs use up resources for the programs at home.

          Will there be a time when the off-campus programs have their

          own budgets?


          Answer:  Working on a way to restructure the budget so there

          is some flexibility and some incentive for off-campus

          activity.  Because off-campus expansion is one of SCHEV's

          goals, we need to keep promoting our programs and needs with

          them in our search for funding.


          Observation:  There are more master's degree students in

          engineering enrolled in off-campus programs than here at

          Tech.  Yet engineering has only four or five faculty

          members in the off-campus program.  What can be done

          about this?


          Response:  Has been discussing this with Dean Clough, but

          has no solution yet.  A lot depends on cooperating with

          other institutions, such as UVa.


     IV.  Environmental projects (Larry Bechtel, Virginia Tech



          Bechtel described the campus recycling endeavor, in which

          the students are already actively involved.  The university

          generates about 488 tons of trash per month, costing $16,000

          in dumping fees.  Recycling could save a considerable amount

          of money.  He urged that the faculty get involved;

          departments are encouraged to participate as a unit.

          Although recycling is not convenient, it is much more

          convenient than it was.  Faculty should act as models for

          the students.


          In response to questions, Bechtel indicated that VTR cannot

          solicit recyclable material from off-campus but they will

          not ban such donations.  About 80% of the 488 tons (the

          paper) is eligible for recycling.  Some trash, such as

          aluminum and scrap metals, is more valuable than, say,

          plastic, which is worth nothing.  If everyone participates to

          the fullest, the custodians and trash men will have little

          to do, so the recycling job can be turned over to them.


     V.   Announcements (President Geyer)


          A.   A volunteer is needed to act as parliamentarian.


          B.   The deans expressed a desire to speak to the Senate

               again, perhaps every one or two years.  It was agreed

               that this was a good idea.


          C.   Meetings


               1.   President Geyer and Vice-president de Wolf met

                    with the Foundation Board.  Since representatives

                    were there from the alumni and from the athletic

                    donors, this was a good opening for a faculty

                    group, which the Senate representatives proposed.


               2.   Since the last meeting, the Senate officers have

                    met with the Vice-president for Finance and with

                    the Provost.  Topics discussed included following

                    up on the Hotel Roanoke issue.


          D.   All commission chairs have been selected.  President

               Geyer and Larry Moore will meet with the chairs in

               order to clarify matters relating to the committee



          E.   The Senate Cabinet selected the following for the

               Senate Ethics Committee:  John Christman (A&S), Tom

               Sherman (Ed), Sedki Riad (Eng), Peter Shires (VetMed).

               [Added in proof:  The representative from Human

               Resources was unable to serve, and Janet Taper was

               selected to represent that college.]


          F.   President Geyer called attention to some issues

               included in the handouts distributed at the last



               1.   Training sessions for the new governance system.


               2.   The Board of Visitors gave a very favorable

                    review of President McComas.


               3.   The BOV expressed concern regarding the lack of

                    accountability on faculty long distance telephone

                    calls.  The administration will be looking into

                    the idea of personal access codes.  Senator Eng

                    emphasized the importance of monitoring all calls.


     VI.  Agenda and minutes


          A.   The agenda was adopted after discussion.  Several

               senators asked that the roll call be held earlier in

               the meeting or the agenda be reordered.


          B.   Senate minutes for 22 September 1992 were approved.


          C.   Senate Cabinet minutes for 3 August, 4 September, and 2

               October 1992 were accepted.



     VII. Council, commission, and committee reports


          A.   University Council


               There was a comment on the emphasis on research

               expressed in the report.  The university seems to be

               presenting itself in many ways.  Perhaps there should be

               some clarification of exactly who we are.


          B.   Commission on Faculty Affairs (Senator Shumsky)


               Another revision of the Faculty Handbook is being

               prepared and should be read carefully by all.  CFA is

               discussing how the handbook should be presented -

               suggestions are welcome.


          C.   Faculty Senate of Virginia (Senator Eng)


               SCHEV, as part of its study on the restructuring of

               higher education, is doing a survey of faculty

               effectiveness.  (See Cabinet minutes of 2 October.)

               The Virginia Tech consultant to SCHEV in this study is

               James Robertson of History.


               A bill will be presented to the next session of the

               General Assembly to remove the state retirement fund

               from state jurisdiction to the jurisdiction of a

               separate corporation.  In the discussion that followed,

               President Geyer mentioned that the Senate probably will

               discuss the pension issue at one of its winter



          D.   Advisory Committee on Budget and Planning (President



               Geyer reported on some of the topics discussed at the

               recent meeting: out-of-state tuition and its effect on

               enrollment,  Virginia's low national ranking in support

               for higher education (below Alabama and Arkansas).


     VIII.  New business


          A.   Election of a representative to University Council.

                    President Geyer was nominated and elected without



          B.   Volunteer for Committee on Debit Cards.

               Senator Beagle volunteered to be the Senate

               representative on this new committee.


     IX.  There being no further business, the Senate adjourned at

          9:25 PM.

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