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Governance Minutes Archive

February 9, 1993

  The following minutes were officially approved on March 18, 1993.


                               FACULTY SENATE



                              9 February 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), Henry

          Dekker (Vice Rector, VPI & SU Board of Visitors), Brian

          Dunch (Student Alumni Associates), Peggy Rasnick (Staff

          Senate Liaison), Minnis Ridenour (Executive Vice President

          and Chief Business Officer), Peter Rony (Chemical

          Engineering), Mike Williams (Director, Computing Center).


     II.  The agenda was adopted with two changes:


          A.   Item E, the Future Professors Program, was dropped.


          B.   A new item, to elect a replacement for Senator Howard

               on the CSA, was added.


     III. Roll call


          Senators present: Armstrong, Beagle, Carrig, deWolf, Eng,

          Falkinham, Feret, Fern, Ficenec, Fuller, Geyer, Graham,

          Hardell, Heath-Camp (for Sherman), Holtzman, Howard, Hult,

          Jones, Lambur, Landgraf, McDaniels, Miller, Mullins,

          Norstedt, O'Brien, Olin, Phadke (for Brown), Pierce,

          Shumsky, Simmons, Snoke, Sumichrast, Tideman, Vinson, Wang,

          Webb, Williams, Wright.


          Senators absent: Barbeau, Bunce, Clowes, Foy, Hasselman,

          Haugh, Martin, Murray, Parsons, Rakes, Scigaj, Weaver.


     IV.  Announcements


          A.   President Geyer distributed draft copies of the

               calendar criteria, the procedures for the Faculty

               Review Committee, and the faculty grievance form.


          B.   Senator deWolf announced that Senate Alternate Arun

               Phadke had been elected to the prestigious National

               Academy of Engineering.  This news was greeted with a

               round of congratulatory applause.


          C.   Brian Dunch of the Student Alumni Associates announced

               that 17 February 1993 is Faculty Appreciation Day.

               Individual students or student organizations are

               encouraged to invite faculty to lunch or other

               functions during the day.  Several local restaurants

               will be giving discounts.  Dunch asked that senators

               spread the word and urge their colleagues to



          D.   President Geyer reminded the group that Senate officers

               will be elected 7 April and elections to commissions

               and committees will be held on 20 April.


     V.   Program


          A.   Henry J. Dekker, Vice Rector, VPI & SU Board of



               In his introductory remarks, Dekker praised the faculty

               as a group with the most crucial responsibility in the

               university.  He touched on the current financial

               situation in the state and supported increased taxes as

               the only way to pay for state programs.


               Dekker recommended a recent book, The Guardians, as

               helpful reading for anyone interested in the role of

               university trustees. [The Guardians: Boards of Trustees

               of American Colleges and Universities, by Clark Kerr

               and Marian L. Gade.  Washington: Association of

               Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, 1989.

               LB2342.5 K470 1989]  He briefly outlined the history of

               governing boards, which, in this country, have become

               primarily lay boards without internal university



               Among other duties, governing boards are called upon to

               select, advise, and support the university president;

               to establish major policy; to supervise economic

               affairs and matters relating to the physical plant; and

               to act as a court of last resort.  Boards of public

               institutions are usually appointed by the state

               governor, although some states have elected boards,

               some have mixed boards, and in two states boards are

               elected by the legislature.


               The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has thirteen

               members.  There is a student representative to the BOV

               (who is not a board member), and Leon Geyer represents

               the faculty.  Ten of the board members are alumni, two

               are women.  Occupations of board members concentrate on

               business (six) and the law (two), with the rest mixed.

               Prospective  members are recommended by the University

               Development Office, the Alumni Association, and others.

               The governor's recommendations must be approved by the

               legislature.  Members serve for four years.  The BOV

               has five standing committees: Academic Affairs, Student

               Affairs, Buildings and Grounds, Finance and Audit, and

               the Executive Committee.


               Dekker believes that students and faculty should not be

               board members, although their participation on board

               committees can be useful.  He considers that faculty

               membership opens a potential conflict of interest, and

               that faculty have effective representation through the

               university governance structure.  Boards should be

               independent, operating under lay trustee control; there

               should be no "superboards."  Higher education should be

               based on autonomy and competition.


               Among his concerns, Dekker mentioned the problems of

               financing higher education, raising faculty salaries,

               and combatting the adversarial attitude current in the

               state.  He also emphasized that we must do a better job

               of supplying solutions ourselves or we will have

               solutions legislated for us.  Regarding the SCHEV

               report, Dekker thinks an article in U.S. News & World

               Report in September might have been the "source document."

               [Senator Beagle located this article, which was later

               sent to all senators.]


               In the discussion period, Dekker spoke of BOV efforts

               to address the problems of higher education.  The

               Council of Rectors has been working closely with the

               Council of Presidents to educate legislators on these

               matters.  The SCHEV message seemed to come from the

               legislature, not from a group that is to represent

               higher education.  He is opposed to another increase in

               student fees - this should be only a last resort



               Regarding faculty representation on the BOV, Dekker

               reemphasized his belief that the fundamental purpose of

               the board is to be an independent agency, which it

               cannot be with faculty or student membership.  The

               faculty is well represented by the Senate President.

               This does not mean that the board devalues faculty; the

               shared governance system is the basis for faculty



          B.   Minnis Ridenour, Executive Vice President and Chief

               Business Officer


               Ridenour distributed information sheets showing 1)

               amendments for Virginia Tech to the 1993 Governor's

               Budget and actions taken, 2) the Governor's Budget

               proposed changes to the 1992/94 appropriations for

               Virginia Tech, 3) proposed budget amendments before the

               legislature, and 4) relevant 1993/94 state-wide budget

               amendments.  He noted that the House and Senate will

               complete their budget proposals this week, and the work

               of the joint committees will begin after that.  He also

               pointed out that the House is recommending a 2% across-

               the-board increase in faculty salaries, while the

               Senate favors a 3.55% merit increase.  The "Proposed

               Changes" document shows several large amounts that are

               proposed to come out of the nongeneral fund (i.e.,

               student fees), including the money needed for

               university compliance with new federal regulations.


               The meeting then opened for discussion.


               Salaries.  The across-the-board increase is an attempt

               to move us into a position to compete with our peer

               institutions.  When this is in place, the traditional

               merit raises will become appropriate.  Graduate

               students holding assistantships from faculty positions

               would be included in the 2% increase; the university

               would be responsible for the other graduate stipends.


               Tuition/Fees.  Because there are few general fund

               increases in the instructional division, student

               tuition/fees will have to be adjusted.  An increase

               will have to be recommended to the BOV, but he cannot

               speculate on the amount.  The money for graduate

               student waivers will have to come from other student's

               fees.  The money for student financial assistance will

               go primarily to needy undergraduates.


               Out-of-state students.  These students are already

               paying 108% of costs.  The number of freshmen from out

               of state is about the same as last year, but the number

               of returnees dropped off (he has not seen the study

               detailing statistics and reasons).


               Athletics.  The last increase from fees went directly

               to support women's programs and compliance with Title

               IX.  The review of the women's programs showed a need

               to address both those programs and non-revenue sports.

               A committee from the Athletic Committee has been formed

               to study the programs.  Because of this review, the

               swimming program will be retained in 1993/94.

               The Athletic Department is an auxiliary that must pay

               its own way.  Conference participation is the best way

               to get good funding; our payments from the Big East

               begin after five years.  The improved athletic

               facilities are paid for in part from designated gifts.


               Roanoke Conference Center.  Planning for the center is

               the responsibility of Patrick Liverpool; it should

               operate something like the CEC.  The Tech graduate

               program in Roanoke is not a part of the conference

               center.  The city of Roanoke is paying for the center,

               and Tech will be paying operating costs as the

               university uses the facilities.  There will be faculty

               input, just as there is for any new building project.

               Comment: There may be faculty input, but there was

               apparently no input from faculty who had to teach in

               rooms in the Johnston Center and Hancock.  Ridenour

               agreed to check this out; the system may not be



          C.   Mike Williams, Director, Computing Center


               In his introductory remarks, Williams spoke of the

               transition from large mainframe computers running

               administrative programs to smaller, affordable machines

               that could be used by departments to the personal

               computer.  The university does a good job of supporting

               the mainframe, but does not provide much support for

               the distributed machines.  Because both levels cannot

               be supported with the current resources available, the

               decision has been made to go with distributed computing

               (which is the source for instructional computing).


               It is estimated that this conversion will take 4-5

               years.  Several initiatives are being investigated, and

               plans for a summer faculty institute (for the

               instructional program) are progressing.  The one-week

               summer workshop will be about teaching, using

               technology as a catalyst.  Participants would go

               through a follow-up program, using equipment from the

               institute.  The program is to be faculty driven;

               participants would receive stipends, and the goal is to

               reach all faculty.  The first institute will be for

               faculty in "English writing," classics, and



               Central computing cannot be removed until all services

               can be managed from the desktop computers.  Also, the

               students have to be factored into this equation.


               Question:  How are we going to get workstations that

               will link?  Our communications are carried on via the

               mainframe.  What will happen to archival materials?

               Response:  The faculty development program is designed

               to address these concerns.  We have the programs and

               they work.  The pilot program will test the validity.

               Question:  Won't this all lead to a proliferation of

               software?  Where will the support come from?

               Response:  People will be redistributed for software

               support.  We need to be selective about software and

               try to narrow the choices.

               Question:  Will there be a new LAN?

               Response:  Components may have to be added, but the

               network is adequate.

               Question:  Must everyone convert? What about programs

               that must run on the mainframe, such as SAS, programs

               supporting massive computations, etc.?

               Response:  For the most part, the smaller machines are

               outperforming the larger.  Many things will have to

               happen to get the systems moved, but it can be done.

               It is difficult to go into detail - things are still in

               the vision stage.  We have consultants to help with

               plans for the future.

               Question:  What will happen to SPIRES files?

               Response:  There will probably be problems with SPIRES



               Question:  Some departments have the workstations and

               the ethernet connections, but they have had to hire a

               hardware specialist, a software specialist, and

               purchase their own programs.  Can't this be done by the

               Computing Center?

               Response:  We are trying to set up a group to get

               things going.  This will probably be a contract


               Question:  Does this mean a fee service?

               Response:  Not immediately, but we're calling it a


               Observation:  It's time for a comprehensive Spectrum

               article from the Computing Center.


     VI.  Approval of minutes


          A.   Senate minutes for 19 January 1993 were approved.


          B.   Senate Cabinet minutes for 11 January 1993 were



     VII. Council, commission, committee reports


          A.   Commission on Faculty Affairs (Senator deWolf)

               The Faculty Review Committee procedures have been

               referred back to CFA.  The commission will discuss the

               procedures this week, but CFA has two meetings before

               the  next University Council meeting.  President Geyer

               emphasized the importance of peer review in the FRC


               [After adjournment, Peter Rony supplied the secretary

               with a packet of material relating to the procedures.

               This material will be appended to the archival copy of

               these minutes.]


          B.   Commission on Graduate Studies (Senator Snoke)

               Snoke reported a problem with the timing of elections

               vis-a-vis the election of chairs.  President Geyer will

               take this up with Cornel Morton.


          C.   President Geyer announced that proposals regarding the

               Administrative and Professional Faculty have been

               issued.  Questions and comments should be directed to

               Senator Murray or Senator deWolf.


     VIII.  New business


          A.   Misconduct in science (Senator Olin)

               The university has been mandated to develop a policy on

               this topic; the Commission on Research was charged to

               do so.  The draft prepared by the commission received a

               very mixed vote: 7 for, 2 against, 6 abstaining.  With

               such a divided result, the document should probably not

               go to University Council.

               The draft will go to CFA, and President Geyer will try

               to get it sent out over e-mail.


          B.   Faculty Assembly


               President Geyer thanked everyone for promoting and

               turning out for the assembly.  Although the SCHEV

               document will not be discussed in this session of the

               legislature, its ramifications will return.


          C.   White paper on the future of education (Senator


               McDaniels discussed the need for better communication

               and information sharing on campus - too many of us read

               about ourselves in the Chronicle.  We need to generate

               our own publicity, concentrating on important

               institutional trends, positive news (such as student

               volunteerism), items that are individual in nature.  We

               need a plan for the collection and dissemination of

               information.  He suggested that the Senate Cabinet set

               up a task force to look into this.

               President Geyer agreed to discuss the plan with the

               Senate Cabinet.


          D.   Faculty representation to the Commission on Student


               Senator Graham will replace Senator Howard for the

               remainder of this semester.


          E.   New Virginians

               President Geyer explained that the "reduction" of the

               New Virginians was a decision made by the Music

               Department faculty which was approved by the college

               dean and the Provost.  Resources are an issue, but a

               larger issue is the departmental program.  Inquiries

               should be made to John Husser, department head, at 1-



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

          at 10:23 PM.


                                        Respectfully submitted,


                                        Marilyn L. Norstedt




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