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September 22, 1992

  The following minutes were officially approved on 20 October, 1992

 

                               FACULTY SENATE

 

                             22 September 1992

                              32 Pamplin Hall

 

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

          Geyer.  Visitors were introduced:  Deans Gregory Brown

          (Forestry and Wildlife Resources), James Buffer (Education),

          Wayne Clough (Engineering), Herman Doswald (Arts and

          Sciences), S. J. Ritchey (Human Resources), Rich Sorensen

          (Business), Charles Steger (Architecture and Urban Studies),

          John Ashby (Spectrum), Peggy Rasnick (Staff Senate liaison),

          Senate Alternate Robert Pillow.  Later visitors:  Minnis

          Ridenour, Raymond Smoot, Ralph Byers.

 

          Present:  Senators Armstrong, Beagle, Brown, Grayson (for

          Bunce), Carrig, Heath-Camp (for Clowes), deWolf, Eng,

          Falkinham, Feret, Fern, Ficenec, Geyer, Graham, Hardell,

          Haugh, Holtzman, Jacobson (for Howard), Hult, Jones, Lambur,

          Landgraf, Martin, McDaniels, Miller, Mullins, Murray,

          Norstedt, Olin, Pierce, Rakes, Scigaj, Sherman, Shumsky,

          Simmons, Snoke, Sumichrast, Vinson, Wang, Weaver, Webb,

          Williams, Wright

          Absent:  Senators Barbeau, Foy, Hasselman, Landen, O'Brien,

          Parsons, Tideman

 

     II.  Conversation with the deans.  Each dean discussed

          initiatives  and goals relating to their colleges, what they

          envisioned the future might be, and problems/other

          situational concerns relating to the colleges.

 

          A.   Dean Doswald discussed the planning process begun in

               Arts and Sciences in 1987/1988, which, for the year

               2000, emphasized the environment of education, the

               image  of the college, and the justification of the

               college's existence.  He also touched on global issues

               (such as expansion of the international studies program

               and general internationalization of the curriculum) and

               issues relating to EO/AA.  In the future, he predicted

               more years with limited resources, further emphasis on

               interdisciplinary programs and research, more emphasis

               on  advising, and an adjustment in the faculty reward

               structure.  Throughout, much of his concern centered on

               undergraduate instruction.

 

          B.   Dean Brown also touched on planning, which is important

               for his new college.  They must position themselves

               within the university.  Down the road, he seeks to

               retain the quality of the college, to be more

               responsive the public at large, and to promote

               diversity (his present faculty is all white male).  He

               is concerned with developing more effective

               international programs, striving for a more acceptable

               balance between faculty salaries and operating budgets,

               and rewarding effective teaching and service.

 

          C.   Dean Ritchey briefly stated the mission of the College

               of Human Resources: "To provide service to citizens."

               The college has a high national ranking, second only to

               Cornell in 1991.  Through a comprehensive planning

               process, the college has attempted to integrate its

               extension mission with the academic programs of the

               university, to develop within the curriculum the

               components of a liberal education, and to recognize

               diverse faculty contributions.

 

          D.   Dean Buffer also talked of his college's mission: "The

               Commonwealth is our campus."  The college teaches in

               every county in the state, providing the most

               comprehensive education program in Virginia.  Among the

               many achievements and accomplishments of the College of

               Education, Dean Buffer emphasized the research base of

               the certification programs.  In all endeavors, and

               particularly in strategic planning, the college is

               structured to secure faculty input, outside opinions,

               and - in particular - collaboration with other

               colleges.

 

          E.   Dean Steger discussed the development of AUS and its

               efforts to become international, through such endeavors

               as the European center at Lugano and other world-wide

               programs.  The college has programs on all continents

               except Antarctica, primarily because the disciplines

               represented are global in character.  Among the

               initiatives being developed are the multimedia

               laboratory and the undergraduate program in industrial

               design.

 

          F.   Like several other deans, Sorensen dealt with the

               internationalization of the business curriculum and the

               importance of faculty public service activities.  He

               spoke of the college's successful fund-raising

               activities and of the challenge of maintaining current

               programmatic quality while developing new, and very

               different programs.  He emphasized the college's

               governance by diverse committees, and stressed faculty

               involvement at all levels of the governance process.

 

          G.   Dean Eyre provided a humorous and enlightening history

               of the College of Veterinary Medicine.  He described

               the need for change from the conventional curriculum to

               a more unusual, yet useful, course of study.  This

               process, which was developed by a committee of faculty

               and representatives from outside the university,

               enables students to work in the field of government and

               corporate veterinary medicine during their final year

               of study.  As a result, the same group that wished to

               deny accreditation to the college has now given VMCVM a

               fully accredited blessing.

 

          H.   Dean Clough discussed the College of Engineering's

               planning process, which began in 1988 and is now

               operating in its second version.  The plan created

               momentum and focus in program development and fund-

               raising efforts.  At present, the college is working on

               a new approach to undergraduate education in

               engineering.  Among his concerns is the need to

               maintain balance and quality in current programs while

               new programs are being developed.  He believes faculty

               need to understand the need for change and the

               importance of getting the message out about Virginia

               Tech.

 

          Discussion:

 

          Question:  What does the state "productivity enhancement"

          mean for teaching loads?

 

          Doswald:  There is a need to explain more to the public.  We

          do need to be concerned about faculty time - people whose

          research loads have diminished could do more teaching.  We

          need to address the reward system.

 

          Clough:  We will continue to be bashed by the state because

          the statistics can be used against us.

 

          Question:  Don't we owe an explanation to the public, to the

          legislature, to SCHEV as to what we do, particularly in

          tough economic times?  How can we do this?

 

          Brown:  Workload assessments almost always focus on

          teaching.  People need to know that universities generate

          knowledge.

 

          Ritchey:  Fears we are coming to a time when legislators

          will be prescribing our workloads.  We are hampered by a few

          bad examples in our midst; these are the folks who often get

          in the papers.

 

          Buffer:  We're not telling our story about public service

          and research.  We need to show that external activities are

          important.

 

          Clough:  The problem is not just with the state; it extends

          to the federal government.  Congressmen need to know how the

          research they fund and we do helps the public.

 

          Observation:  We need to educate our students to our

          research.

 

          Question:  Is the legislature aware of how much of our

          operating budget comes from research grants?

 

          Doswald:  We have tried to tell the story, but we need to do

          a better job.

 

          Observation:  Maybe it would be a good idea to have a

          reporter follow a faculty member around for a few days to

          see exactly what we do.

 

          Question:  How do you feel about the concept of shared

          governance?

 

          General response:  Look upon it quite favorably.  There is

          more to be gained by a horizontal structure.  Some colleges

          already had a history of shared governance.  The current

          program was developed with input from the deans.

 

          Observation:  Faculty service is not always encouraged or

          supported.  Even Faculty Senate officers have sometimes been

          told that such service will not "count."  The new structure

          will not work unless faculty service is recognized.

 

          General discussion:  Although departments might give a high

          value to service, at promotion and tenure time things are

          likely to change.  Even though P & T is a peer review

          process, many faculty still operate on the overall

          importance of research.  The faculty need to be convinced of

          the value of service.  Trouble can arise when the

          service/teaching component is too high in relation to

          research.  While the situation might vary from college to

          college, it is changing.  However, do we really believe that

          the three parts - teaching, research, and service - are

          equal?  A further examination is needed because, in time,

          the value placed on various activities describes the nature

          of the institution.  The concept of service needs to be

          defined and broadened beyond the limitations of university

          governance.

 

          Questions:  How do we communicate with the legislators and

          with the state?  What we value as faculty is not necessarily

          what the legislature wants to buy.  Has the administration

          addressed this at all?

 

          Clough:  Engineering documents all faculty service

          activities.  The only way to communicate with outsiders is

          to show them what we've done; we have to start thinking as

          they do.

 

          Steger:  There are many different constituencies - each

          needs to be addressed differently.  There is a conscious

          effort on the part of the administration to do this.

 

          Question:  How do we expand into the global arena when

          funding is so tight?

 

          General response:  The need for outside funding is important

          in this area.  Donors frequently can identify with the

          global programs.  People are beginning to see such programs

          as important.

 

          Question:  What has happened regarding the Senate resolution

          on funding travel for new faculty?

 

          General response:  No one would have turned down funds from

          the Provost or the Foundation.  Where should these funding

          decisions be made?  In some colleges, there are very good

          "startup packages" for young faculty.

 

 

     III. Hotel Roanoke (at this point, Minnis Ridenour and Ray Smoot

          joined the visitors group)

 

          Harking back to the previous discussion, Ridenour pointed

          out that our students are our most important advocates, and

          that legislators do understand something about the

          institution's mission, which is why Tech is funded

          differently from Radford.

 

          Ridenour emphasized that Tech's involvement with the Hotel

          Roanoke is to provide a greater opportunity for public

          service and continuing education.  If the process works, we

          will not own the hotel, at least not more than 5% of it.

          The City of Roanoke is going to build the conference center,

          which will enhance faculty involvement in public service.

          The last thing the university should be involved in is the

          operation of a hotel.  The conference center activities will

          generate funding that will come back to faculty and

          programs.

 

          Steger pointed out that continuing education involves about

          4% of the faculty who reach about 55,000 people per year.

          This activity would be doubled by the new facility.

 

          Question:  How does the facility enhance the Gainsboro

          neighborhood.  Expansion has been at the expense of one

          group of people.  Does this enhance the university?

 

          Smoot:  Tech has stayed out of the parking controversy.  The

          Wells Avenue project is a city project and the problem will

          have to be worked through by the city.  There is support in

          the Gainsboro community for Tech, because the development

          will benefit the neighborhood economically.

 

          Question:  Is it true that the developer will pull out if

          something isn't done by January?

 

          Smoot:  Yes.  There is no point in hanging onto a

          languishing project.  We need to get on with it or pull out.

 

          Question:  What are the chances of success if $20 million

          needs to be raised within three or four months?  How does

          the sale of Dominion Bank affect the project?

 

          Smoot:  All the studies are now complete.  The university is

          now meeting with individuals and corporations for purposes

          of obtaining gifts and support.  Banks are willing to give

          support; he has visited with administrators from First

          Union.  We should know by December if the project will fly.

 

          Ridenour:  Now that the studies are complete, there is more

          visibility.  We need to debt finance; the debt will be paid

          back by revenues from the hotel.

 

          Question:  What will it cost the university if it fails - if

          the university pulls out?

 

          Ridenour:  The university is not obligated beyond that level

          at which the university gets its money back.  The hotel is

          valued at $16 million; the university has advanced $1.5

          million on the project so far.  If we need to sell the

          hotel, we will certainly get the $1.5 million back.

 

          Question:  What will happen to the Roanoke Valley Graduate

          Center?  Is it part of the larger plan?

 

          Ridenour:  This has been raised and studied on several

          occasions.  We need to explore how the center can become

          part of the project.  But we need to keep in mind that

          programs must generate revenue.  We are working on the

          problem of additional space needed for the center.

 

          Question:  Mr. Faison is the developer in the project and

          also the owner of the Dominion Tower?  Should we worry about

          this?

 

          Ridenour:  First Union is sincere in its Roanoke efforts.  A

          large enterprise may very likely want to participate in the

          downtown project.

 

          Question:  On a different topic: What is happening with the

          three houses that are next to Randolph Hall?

 

          Smoot:  The university has periodically tried to buy the

          properties from the owners; the area is part of the

          university's master plan.  Tech's latest offer has been

          rejected.  A local developer reportedly has made a much

          higher offer for the property and claims to have an option.

          Tech is still interested in the property.  The university

          could condemn the property.

 

 

     IV.  Athletic Committee's decision regarding abolition of the

          swimming team (raised by Senator Ficenec)

 

          Ridenour pointed out that the Athletic Department must be

          100% self-supporting; it needs to reimburse the university

          about $600,000 per year for administrative costs.  The

          committee formed a subcommittee to look at resource

          allocations.  This group recommended that men's and women's

          swimming teams be eliminated and a women's soccer team be

          added.  All scholarships for the swimmers would be honored.

          With this, Tech will have 10 men's sports and 7 women's

          sports.

 

          The recommendation came from the Athletic Committee to him

          via Dave Braine.  He shared the recommendation with the

          President and the Provost, who agreed with the

          recommendation.  The outcome was announced at the recent

          Board of Visitors meeting.  The level of support for women's

          programs is the subject of a forthcoming in-depth study.

 

          Question:  What is the amount spent on women's sports

          compared to total sports?

 

          Answer:  Does not have the figures at hand, but it is quite

          small, probably in the area of 17%.

 

          Question:  If the programs are not revenue-generating, how

          did these moves help?

 

          Answer:  Not very much.  The money will have to come from

          football and student fees.

 

          Observation:  The problem is that the swimming decision was

          taken outside the existing governance structure.

 

          Response:  It is in the minutes of the University Council -

          that the committee was bringing forward recommendations.

 

          Question:  Was swimming competitive?

 

          Answer:  No.  We do not have the facilities to support the

          program at the NCAA level.

 

     V.   Announcements and adoption of agenda

 

          A.   Senate dues are $5.00, payable at any time.

 

          B.   President Geyer distributed his report on events since

                    the last Senate meeting.

 

          C.   The agenda was adopted without change.

 

          D.   Minutes

               Senate minutes for 28 April 1992 were approved.

               Cabinet minutes for 6 July 1992 were accepted.

 

     VI.  Comments on commission and committee reports

 

          A.   Commission on University Support.  Senator Falkinham

               has seen no information on this new commission.  He

               will attempt to get things started.

 

          B.   Athletic Committee.  Senator deWolf asked if this

               committee could gather statistics on student-athletes

               missing classes because of athletic competition.

 

 

     VII. New business

 

          A.   Elections

 

               1.   Commission on Public Service and Extension -

                    Senator Sumichrast (Business)

 

               2.   Student Budget Board - Senator Jones (Extension)

 

               3.   Credentials and Elections Committee (Extension

                    representative) - Senator Lambur

 

          B.   November bond issue

 

               Ralph Byers presented comments on what the university

               is doing to promote passage of the bond issue and what

               the faculty can do in support.  Tech students have hold

               a very successful voter registration drive.  The

               alumnae have secured endorsements from business and

               professional organizations.  There will be spot

               announcements during October football games.  All

               mailings to alums carry a message.  The administration

               has been cooperating with the other institutions in the

               state.  Media time has been purchased and notices

               placed in the football programs.  65,000 alums will be

               contacted by letter, as will the parents of students (a

               mailing of about 12,000).

 

               The faculty effort could be put into passing

               resolutions of support, getting the largest possible

               voter turnout in Montgomery County, and communicating a

               sense of urgency to all faculty.

 

               In early August, polls showed a low awareness of the

               bond issue.  When the details were explained, about

               two-thirds of those polled agreed to support the

               referendum.  There is little organized opposition.

 

               The motion was made and seconded to move the following

               resolution:

 

               RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE BOND REFERENDUM

 

               Whereas, Virginians will vote on a bond referendum on 3

               November 1992 to include $472.4 million for education,

               including $45.5 million for Virginia Tech;

 

               Whereas, the Senate recognizes the importance of

               assisting the economy by investment in public

               facilities which promote the development of human

               capital;

 

               Whereas, the Senate recognizes the important role of

               labor and the economic benefits to labor in the

               construction of public facilities;

 

               Whereas, the investment in education facilities is an

               investment in the sons, daughters, granddaughters, and

               grandsons of all members of the Commonwealth;

 

               Whereas, the improvement of laboratories, classrooms,

               and facilities will directly enhance the educational

               opportunities of the youth of the Commonwealth for

               years to come and help to assure their role in a

               competitive society;

 

               Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate

               of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

               endorses and supports the November bond referendum for

               higher education in Virginia.

 

               Faculty Senate Resolution 1992/93-1

               22 September 1992

 

               The resolution was adopted unanimously, without further

               discussion.

 

 

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

          10:12 PM.

 

 

     Respectfully submitted,

 

     Marilyn L. Norstedt

     Secretary, Faculty Senate

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