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April 7, 1993

   The following minutes were officially approved on April 20, 1993.

 

                               FACULTY SENATE

                                  Minutes

 

                                7 April 1993

                              32 Pamplin Hall

 

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

          Geyer.  Visitors were welcomed: John Ashby (Spectrum),

          Joanna Baker (Advisor to Undergraduate Honor System),

          Jennifer Gold (Chief Justice, Undergraduate Honor System),

          Martha Johnson (Assistant Dean, Graduate School), Ken Kahn

          (President, Graduate Students Association), Peggy Rasnick

          (Staff Senate Liaison), Tim Schell (President-Elect,

          Graduate Students Association), Ronnie Stephenson

          (President-Elect, Student Government Association), Neal

          Stewart (Chief Justice, Graduate Honor System).

          New senators were welcomed and introduced themselves.

 

     II.  The agenda was adopted with the following changes: Minutes

          to be approved were Senate minutes of 23 February and 18

          March 1993; Senate Cabinet minutes of 26 March 1993.

 

     III. Roll call

 

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

          Eng, Fern, Ficenec, Foy, Geyer, Hardell, Holtzman, Jones,

          Lambur, Landgraf, McDaniels, Miller, Norstedt, O'Brien,

          Olin, Pierce, Scigaj, Shumsky, Snoke, Sumichrast, Tideman,

          Weaver, Webb, Williams.

 

          Senators absent: Armstrong, Bunce, Clowes, Falkinham,

          Fuller, Graham, Hasselman, Haugh, Howard, Hult, Martin,

          Mullins, Murray, Parsons, Rakes, Sherman, Simmons, Vinson,

          Wang, Wright.

 

          New Senators present: Bambach, Bandinelli, Benson, Burger,

          Creamer, Giles, Greenberg, Gregoire, McDaniel, McKenna,

          Riley, Rojiani, Shires.

 

     IV.  Announcements

 

          A.   President Geyer announced that an ad hoc committee

               composed of himself, Senators deWolf and Eng, and Past

               President Hillison is examining the Senate bylaws for

               needed changes.  A report may be ready for the next

               meeting.

 

          B.   Secretary Dyke's visit was successful: he enjoyed the

               visit to the fibre optics facility and was impressed by

               the Phase II plans.  Dyke, however, warned against

               change for the sake of change, and asked that the

               university justify the outcomes of its policies (such

               as requiring more than 120 hours for graduation).

 

          C.   President Geyer also announced that President McComas

               had received a letter from Governor Wilder praising the

               university's Phase II planning.

 

     V.   Program

 

          A.   Honor System review

 

               1.   Graduate Honor System.  Chief Justice Neal Stewart

                    distributed the summary of cases for 1992/93.

                    Stewart pointed out that there were only one-third

                    as many cases this year as in 1991/92.  Under the

                    Graduate Honor System, all students are

                    responsible for their own academic integrity.

                    Unlike undergraduates, graduate students are not

                    required to sign the Honor Code understanding; the

                    Chief Justice talks with the majority of new

                    graduate students each year about the system.

                    Stewart agreed that consistency might be a good

                    idea.

 

               2.   Undergraduate Honor System.  Professor Baker

                    reviewed the summary report of cases for 1991/92.

                    Most sanctions (77%) fell into class II.  There is

                    a decline in cases this year, but the statistics

                    are not yet complete.  Chief Justice Jennifer Gold

                    noted that a video about the Honor System is

                    available for classroom use and is on reserve at

                    the library.

 

               Discussion

 

               A question regarding the percentage of cases dismissed

               by the Undergraduate System (56%) led to a discussion

               of transmitting information about the system,

               particularly to the faculty.  Although there are

               efforts made each year to reach new faculty and

               teaching assistants, improvements need to be made.  All

               faculty need to be aware of the regulations,

               particularly the time limits; it might help to prepare

               a summary sheet for faculty use.  The constitution and

               other Honor System documents are available in paper

               copies on request.

 

               Gold emphasized the need for complete documentation for

               all cases: seating charts, very specific reporting,

               etc.  Time is important, particularly in cheating

               cases, where there is a 30-day rule.  Nearing

               graduation, everything needs to speed up because,

               according to the constitution, students who have

               graduated cannot be punished.  A student investigator

               is assigned to each case, but the investigator can only

               help if the reporter is willing to follow through.

 

               Question:  Are most charges brought by the faculty?

 

               Answer:  Yes, but other students and secretaries also

               bring charges.  A considerable number are brought by

               graduate assistants.

 

               Question:  Where do freshmen get information about the

               system?  It's no longer available in The Pylon.

 

               Answer:  The information is in the undergraduate

               catalog.  The Chief Justice gives a one-minute talk on

               the system at orientation.

 

               Question:  Does the system really work?  Is it

               equitable?  Are most people caught?

 

               Answer:  That's difficult to say.  As to being

               equitable, we try to adhere to the rights of both the

               prosecutor and the accused.

 

               Question:  Is there any periodic checking on faculty

               attitudes toward the system?  Are there identifiable

               "pockets" of cases?

 

               Answer:  The statistical information is not too good.

               We know that some people/departments consider the

               system a waste of time, and we can't force people to

               embrace the system.

 

               Observation:  It might be possible to influence newer

               faculty.

 

               Observation (Stewart):  The Graduate Honor System did a

               survey a few years ago; this has, perhaps, helped to

               reduce the number of cases.

 

          B.   Student government leaders

 

               1.   Ken Kahn, outgoing GSA President, discussed his

                    organization's statewide role through the Graduate

                    and Professional Student Association of Virginia.

                    This group is lobbying for better funding for

                    graduate students, tuition waivers, and the like.

                    They also are emphasizing the importance of

                    graduate education at all relevant state

                    institutions.

 

               2.   Tim Schell, GSA President-elect, spoke of the

                    closeness of the graduate student and faculty

                    groups - that benefits to one group can also

                    benefit the other.  He hopes GSA in the coming

                    year will address the real needs of graduate

                    students, not their social status.

 

               3.   Ronnie Stephenson, SGA President-elect, believes

                    communication is the key to meeting goals in

                    working with students and organizations.  He would

                    like to work with and/or observe the Faculty

                    Senate; this would be helpful in his work with

                    student senators and representatives.

 

               Prior to the discussion, President Geyer spoke briefly

               about faculty/student relations and his contacts with

               the GSA.  The graduate students, particularly teaching

               assistants, are misunderstood even more than faculty.

               Geyer also opined that students could visit Faculty

               Senate as observers.  Stephenson announced that the

               student forum with Minnis Ridenour and Secretary James

               Dyke (23 April, 5-7 PM) will be open to everyone.

 

               Question:  How is student morale?

 

               Stephenson:  Students are feeling the pinch.  He met

               with the Parents Advisory Board, and finances were a

               major topic.  Out-of-state students will leave, which

               is unfortunate for the university.

 

               Schell:  Graduate student morale is very low.  Many

               feel they are getting nothing more, yet paying more

               money as tuition increases.

 

               Kahn:  Graduate students are very satisfied with their

               relationships with the faculty, but other issues -

               chiefly financial - are causing morale problems.

 

               Question:  Are foreign students affected?

 

               Kahn:  They share common problems, but these are

               compounded in the case of the foreign students by a

               lack of a family support system.  The GSA is working on

               this with the international organizations.  The SCHEV

               Task Force on Graduate Education (on which he is the

               Virginia Tech representative) is also looking into this

               issue.

 

               Observation:  We need forceful statistics on the

               importance of graduate students.  These would be

               helpful for their case and meaningful for faculty.

 

               Kahn:  The SCHEV study may yield some statistics,

               particularly on the role of graduate students in the

               economy.

 

               Question:  Many students seem unaware of the tuition

               problem.  Does the SGA do any mailings, etc., to

               apprise students of the situation?

 

               Stephenson:  That's part of the communication process.

               The SGA will be looking into programs of this type.

 

               Observation:  The reason for the current difficulties

               is that higher education is behind prisons, medical

               care, and K-12 education as a priority.  Higher

               education needs state-wide support.  The students have

               a natural constituency in their parents.  To have

               influence on parents is to have influence on the

               legislature.  (Several senators supported these

               remarks.)

 

               Schell:  Kahn is to be commended on his lobbying

               efforts.  The Virginia graduate student organization is

               one of the best of its kind in the country.

 

               Stephenson:  A state-wide undergraduate conference is

               being planned to discuss this topic.

 

               Observation:  The money for fee waivers is coming from

               other students.  The legislature should be aware of

               this.

 

               Observation:  Alums are not aware of what is happening

               to students today.  They need to be educated.

 

               Kahn:  He spoke to a senator, a Tech graduate, who only

                         wanted to talk about football and other

                         peripherals.

 

               Question:  What do graduate students get for their

               money?  What would happen if the programs had to be

               closed down?

 

               Kahn:  The general impression at the state level is

               that all is well with higher education because the bond

               referendum passed.

 

               Question:  What about the national level?

 

               Schell:  The national meeting of graduate student

               organizations showed that most were not as well-

               organized as Virginia's.

 

               Kahn:  There are three bills currently in Congress to

               address higher education.

 

               Question:  Why do students skip class?  Should we care?

 

               Stephenson:  The recent report in the Collegiate Times

               showed there were many reasons for non-attendance, but

               there is probably no real answer.

 

               Observations:  Yet the legislature wonders why the

               state is paying anything at all for students who are

               not going to class.  The university, not the students,

               gets blamed for student behavior, such as non-

               attendance, failure to graduate in four years, etc.

 

     VI.  Approval of minutes

 

          A.   Senate minutes for 23 February 1993 were approved with

               the addition of Senator Olin as among those present.

 

          B.   Senate minutes for 18 March were approved with

               corrections to be supplied by Senator Snoke.  [Added in

               proof:  The following has been inserted in section V at

               the end of the Response beginning, "It could be set up

               ..."  "[Added for clarification:  It is within the

               province of the commission to pursue resource issues.]"

               Also, the following was added to section VI.B:  "In

               response to questions, it was stated that the schedule

               included in the minutes was only a suggestion; perhaps

               next year such suggestions will be included in the

               bylaws.  Also, no specific suggestion was made as to

               when the commission chairs should be elected."]

 

          C.   Senate Cabinet minutes for 26 March 1993 were accepted.

 

     VII. Council, commission, committee reports

 

          A.   Commission on Graduate Affairs (Senator Snoke)

 

               Reginald Mitchiner (Mechanical Engineering) was elected

               as new chair of the commission.  The commission learned

               that LEXIS/NEXIS is canceling its contract with the

               university next month.  Senator Beagle, who is in

               charge of LEXIS/NEXIS operations through the University

               Libraries, explained that the company claims we are not

               in compliance as instructional users.  He will be

               sending out letters to all campus users of the

               database, clarifying the situation.

 

          B.   Advisory Council on Budget and Planning (Senator Geyer)

 

               Senator Olin questioned the first item in the council's

               minutes of 5 March 1993, which related to the 1991

               study done by the University of Tennessee--Knoxville.

               He wondered how Virginia Tech could rank second among

               fifteen institutions if the institutional group keeps

               changing.  Senator Miller pointed out that the group

               was comprised of SREB members who volunteered

               statistics; this is different from our state-sanctioned

               peer group.

 

               In response to Senator Holtzman, Geyer explained that

               "gender concerns" refers to whether or not gender would

               be considered in salary issues (such as compression).

 

          C.   Commission on Faculty Affairs (Senator deWolf)

 

               In response to Senator Olin, Senator deWolf reported

               that CFA has approved the document, Misconduct in

               Research, and passed it on to University Council.

 

          D.   University Council (Senator deWolf)

 

               The faculty grievance procedures have been passed by

               University Council.

 

     VIII.     New business

 

          A.   Alumni Association

 

               President Geyer met with the board of the Alumni

               Association on 3 April.  He reported that the

               association is concerned about the problems faced by

               the university and the faculty; they, too, are

               interested in getting greater positive publicity for

               the university and its endeavors.

 

               The AA was recognized as having the most outstanding

               alumni relations program in the southeast during the

               past year.  Also, William W. Moseley ('59), immediate

               past president of the association, received the 1993

               Volunteer Award of the Council for Advancement and

               Support of Education (CASE) for his leadership of the

               Tech Alumni Association.

 

          B.   "Blueprint Committee" draft report (Senator McDaniels)

 

               Senator McDaniels distributed the draft report on the

               committee's responses to faculty bashing.  He gave a

               brief background regarding the formation of the

               committee as a planning group to come up with ideas for

               positive publicity for the university and the faculty.

 

               The committee is asking that senators read the draft

               and send comments (or a marked-up text) either in hard

               copy or by e-mail to any committee member by 20 April.

               The members of the committee are McDaniels, Robert

               Denton, Sam Riley, and Paul Torgersen.

 

          C.   Phase II update

 

               The Provost has added one senator to each of the

               committees.  There should also be an additional faculty

               member on each committee.

 

          D.   Committee on Committees report

 

               The committee presented the draft of nominations for

               commissions and committees.  Corrections, additions,

               etc., were suggested.

 

          E.   Election of Senate officers for 1993/1994

 

               Nominated for President: David deWolf (Engineering).

               Senator deWolf was elected by acclamation.

 

               Nominated for Vice-President: Neil L. Shumsky (Arts and

               Sciences).  Senator Shumsky was elected by acclamation.

 

               Nominated for Secretary/Treasurer: William Williams

               (Arts and Sciences), Robert Sumichrast (Business).

               Senator Sumichrast was elected on the second ballot.

 

          F.   Resolution on faculty salaries (appended to the agenda)

 

               It was noted that the resolution originated with Prof.

               Stephen Baehr (Arts and Sciences).  Senator Snoke

               suggested that the resolution be referred to the

               Blueprint Committee.  For purposes of discussion,

               Senator Eng moved the resolution as a motion.

 

               Eng believed that the resolution, in its present form,

               could be construed as self serving.  It was too tied to

               Tech, when the problem was state wide; also, it seemed

               to imply no person or group had done much about faculty

               salaries, which was not the case.  In the discussion

               that followed, it was pointed out that passage of the

               resolution might make it clear that the Senate was

               truly looking out for faculty interests.  The intent of

               the resolution matched sentiments expressed by the

               President and the Provost; it might be helpful to

               redraft the text and have the Senate officers discuss

               it with the administration.  The question was raised as

               to the importance of faculty salaries over graduate

               student support.

 

               Senator Tideman moved to refer the resolution to the

               Senate officers for discussion with the President and

               Provost.  Senator Snoke presented a friendly amendment

               to also refer the resolution to the Blueprint Committee

               (amendment accepted).  After further discussion on

               expanding the scope of the resolution, the seconded

               motion to refer the resolution to the Senate officers

               for discussion with the President and Provost and to

               also refer the resolution to the Blueprint Committee

               was passed unanimously.

 

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

          at 10:25 PM.

                                        Respectfully submitted,

                                        Marilyn L. Norstedt

                                        Secretary

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