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January 19, 1993

      The following minutes were officially approved on Jan. 19, 1993.

 

                               FACULTY SENATE

                                  Minutes

 

                              19 January 1993

                              32 Pamplin Hall

 

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

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

          David Bousquet (Director of Admissions), W. David Conn

          (Environmental Design Planning), Tom Goodale (Vice-President

          for Student Affairs), Elizabeth Guertin (Academic Advising),

          Sigrid Gustafson (Psychology), Guy Hammond (Religion), Jean

          Hammond (Academic Advising), Sheryl Morgan (Massey

          University, New Zealand), Peggy Rasnick (Staff Senate

          Liaison), George E. "Buddy" Russell (Vice-President for

          Alumni Relations), Joseph Sgro (Psychology), Ellie Sturgis

          (Psychology), Terry Wildman (Curriculum and Instruction).

 

     II.  The agenda was adopted with one addition: the election of a

          representative to Virginia Tech Services.

 

     III. Roll call

 

          Senators present: Armstrong, Barbeau, Beagle, Brown, Bunce,

          Carrig, deWolf, Eng, Feret, Fern, Ficenec, Fuller, Geyer,

          Hardell, Hasselman, Haugh, Heath-Camp (for Clowes),

          Holtzman, Howard, Hult, Jones, Landgraf, Martin, McDaniels,

          Miller, Mullins, Murray, Norstedt, Olin, Pierce, Scigaj,

          Sherman, Shumsky, Snoke, Sumichrast, Vinson, Weaver,

          Williams, Wright.

 

          Senators absent: Falkinham, Foy, Graham, Lambur, O'Brien,

          Parsons, Rakes, Simmons, Tideman, Wang, Webb.

 

     IV.  Program: Students - Past, Present, and Future (Buddy

          Russell, Tom Goodale)

 

          A.   Russell described the Alumni Association as an

               organization that serves students and faculty, as well

               as Tech graduates.  He believes the alumni are always a

               part of the university, in that they contribute to and

               take part in many university programs and endeavors.

               Tech alums in the state legislature, for example, are

               very supportive of the school; 80 have signed on to one

               of the Tech budget amendments in this session.

 

               Russell gave a slide presentation on the activities of

               the Alumni Association, including the association's

               work with University Development and University

               Relations; student recruitment activities; fund-

               raising; special events, such as Homecoming, Founders'

               Day, and reunions; and opportunities for faculty

               participation through speaking to alumni groups.  He

               believes that the greatest needs at present are

               increased operating funds for the university, more

               clout with the legislature, and more alumni

               participation in fulfilling Tech's mission.

 

          B.   Tom Goodale outlined the areas for which his office has

               responsibility: the Counseling Center, Student Health

               Service, Food Service, Military Affairs, Housing,

               Student Centers, Campus Recreation, and the Dean of

               Students Office.

 

               The Tech student body, most of which live in an area of

               five square miles, is about 75% Virginian; there is

               representation from all other states except Idaho.

               There are representatives from 101 foreign countries,

               and 5.5% of our students are Afro-Americans.  By

               gender, 58% of Tech students are male, 42% female.

 

               Goodale accepts the idea of various student

               communities: purposeful, open, just, disciplined,

               caring, celebrative. He and his colleagues work on the

               assumptions that (1) the academic mission is the most

               important part of the university; (2) each student is

               unique, with personal worth and dignity; and, (3)

               bigotry cannot be tolerated.  But, as in any society,

               the students reflect a wide range of assumptions and

               beliefs; the problems of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism,

               and homophobia are on the campus as well as in the rest

               of the world.  He views his task as helping to provide

               an environment where diversity can be embraced.

 

               Goodale believes that Tech's colleges are much more

               involved with the students than is the case at other

               universities; the faculty here care about their

               students.  Although the students are criticized for

               being too passive, their primary memories of Tech are

               to individual faculty members who have helped them.  A

               major problem, however, is substance abuse, which is

               being addressed, partially through private funding.

               Goodale also spoke of the changes in students, who will

               face greater choice of schools but a very competitive

               job market.  Students are more competitive

               academically.  They are learning to cope with stress,

               to meet university demands, to understand the quest for

               quality and excellence.  They are also learning to cope

               with death - there were 15 student deaths last year.

 

               Tech's students, as viewed by a recent study, were

               found to be socially liberal, politically conservative,

               relatively affluent, relatively sophisticated,

               academically capable, inclined to prefer quantitative

               subjects, and less work oriented than peers at other

               schools.  For many, Tech was not their first choice.

               Nonetheless, Goodale finds this to be a challenging

               campus, with excellent faculty, administrative, and

               staff support and students with a generally positive

               attitude toward education.

 

 

          C.   In the question period, Russell was asked about the

               problem with motel accommodations in Blacksburg and why

               more events couldn't be scheduled when accommodations

               are available.  Russell responded that the main

               problems occurred during the football season; local

               motels are not at all full now, which is why there are

               not more motels in Blacksburg.  The uncertain weather

               is a reason for not scheduling more events during the

               winter months.

 

               In response to a question on student community service

               and volunteerism, Goodale noted that student efforts in

               these areas have doubled in recent years; about 42% of

               the students now participate in some public service

               project.

 

     V.   Approval of minutes

 

          A.   Senate minutes for 8 December 1992 were approved.

               Senator Hasselman asked that a statement on tax-

               sheltered annuities, taken from the Tax Guide for

               College Teachers, be appended to the minutes of the

               present meeting (see Appendix A).

 

          B.   Senate Cabinet minutes for 2 December 1992 were

               accepted.  Senator Snoke asked if better data could be

               obtained concerning the four-year graduation rate.

 

     VI.  Council, Commission, and Committee reports

 

          A.   Commission on Faculty Affairs (Senator Shumsky)

 

               CFA faces a governance problem regarding committees

               that report to the commission.  It is not totally clear

               how much "control" a commission has over the

               committees.  Shumsky also noted that the CFA minutes

               are becoming more  detailed because of the importance

               of some issues, such as the proposed Future Professors

               Program, which he outlined briefly.

 

          B.   Computing Committee (Senator Snoke)

 

               Snoke reported on the planned demise of support for

               certain mainframe activities and on the expertise

               available for computer users.  Mike Williams from the

               Computer Center is scheduled to address the Senate on

               some of these issues.

 

     VII. New business

 

          A.   Faculty representative to the Distinguished Speakers

               Series (to replace Bunce).  Senators Eng and Bunce

               nominated, Senator Bunce elected.

 

          B.   Faculty representative to the Commission on Faculty

               Affairs (to replace Murray, to fill in for Pierce this

               semester).  Senator Fuller will replace Senator Murray;

               Senator Sherman will substitute for Senator Pierce.

 

          C.   Faculty representative to Virginia Tech Services (to

               replace Eng).  Senator Sumichrast was elected.

 

          D.   President's reports

 

               1.   President Geyer reported on the Governor's budget,

                    which contains a 2% raise for faculty, effective

                    December 1993, but has no recommended changes for

                    research or extension.  There is a statewide

                    effort to raise salaries more than 2%, which has

                    been entered as an amendment.  The Virginia Tech

                    amendments include support for the Equine Center,

                    the restoration of funding for Extension, and

                    funding for industrial and business extension

                    efforts.

 

               2.   President Geyer met with Gordon Davies in December

                    and discussed the SCHEV report.  Davies was upset

                    with the presidents' response to the report;

                    Geyer's impression was that SCHEV is a bit out of

                    touch with what's happening on the university

                    campuses.  In response to a question, Geyer said

                    that Davies believes he was complying with a

                    legislative mandate when SCHEV prepared the

                    report, that Davies considers he and SCHEV

                    represent higher education.

 

               3.   Other activities

 

                    President Geyer met with President McComas, and

                    the Senate officers met with the Provost and

                    Minnis Ridenour.  Points of discussion were the

                    SCHEV report, benefits, and the status of the New

                    Virginians.  The officers also met with Delegate

                    Joan Munford prior to the beginning of the

                    legislative session and discussed the higher

                    education issues that will face the legislature.

 

          E.   Senate Resolution 1993-1

 

               President Geyer outlined the situation that gave rise

               to the resolution, which supports the statement of the

               Council of Presidents and the resolution of the Faculty

               Senate of Virginia.  After brief discussion, the

               resolution passed unanimously.  (Resolution 1993-1 is

               attached to these minutes as Appendix B.)

 

               Lengthy discussion followed, centering on a plan of

               action to follow up on the resolution.  While it was

               generally agreed that such behind-the-scene efforts as

               working through the Faculty Senate of Virginia should

               continue, there was a need for our faculty to make

               public statements, both individually and collectively.

               Geyer emphasized the need for more newspaper articles,

               for participation in the alumni speakers' bureau, and

               for doing a better job with our students.

 

               The consensus of the group was that President Geyer

               should hold a press conference this week to announce

               the passage of Resolution 1993-1 and call for a mass

               meeting of all faculty to be held as soon as possible.

 

     VIII.     There being no further business, the Senate adjourned

               at 9:43 PM.

 

                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

                                        Marilyn L. Norstedt

                                        Secretary

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                                 APPENDIX A

 

              Contribution Limits for Tax-Sheltered Annuities

                 (from the Tax Guide for College Teachers)

 

          There are 3 basic limitations on how much can be contributed

     to a tax-sheltered annuity, the elective deferral limitation, the

     annual limitation, and the overall limitation.

          The elective deferral limitation requires that the total

     voluntary contributions made by an individual to tax-sheltered

     annuities under a reduction in salary agreement cannot exceed

     $9,500 per year.  The $9,500 limit is reduced by deductible

     contributions made to a SEP [cf. Section 3] or by amounts

     deferred under a 401(k) deferred compensation plan [cf. Section

     5].

          The $9,500 limit will be raised to as much as $12,000 for

     individuals who have worked for their current employer for at

     least 15 years, provided their previous contributions to tax-

     sheltered annuities with their current employer averaged less

     that $5,000 per year.  Precisely, for such long-term employees,

     the $9,500 limit is raised by the lesser of (i) $3,000, or (ii)

     the excess of $5,000 multiplied by the number of years of service

     with the current employer over the total voluntary contributions

     made in prior years to tax-sheltered annuities with that

     employer.

          The extra amounts provided by this rule cannot total more

     than $15,000 over a lifetime.  Thus, if a person voluntarily

     contributed $12,500 under this rule for each of 5 years, his

     lifetime maximum of $15,000 would be used up.  His voluntary

     contributions for future years could then not exceed $9,500 per

     year.

 

 

     Submitted by Senator Hasselman

     19 January 1993

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                                 APPENDIX B

 

                      FACULTY SENATE RESOLUTION 1993-1

 

 

     BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of Virginia Polytechnic

     Institute and State University strongly endorses the "Statement

     of the Council of Presidents in Response to the SCHEV Staff Draft

     Report" and the resolution of the Faculty Senate of the

     University of Virginia passed on 16 December 1992.  The

     Resolution follows:

 

                      RESOLUTION of the FACULTY SENATE

                       of the UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

                              16 December 1992

 

     The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate strongly endorses the

     "Statement of the Council of Presidents in Response to the SCHEV

     Staff Draft Report."  The presidents have emphasized that the

     recognized quality of higher education in the Commonwealth cannot

     be maintained with reduced support combined with the projected

     increase in FTE enrollment of 3,500 per year in the 1994

     biennium.

          The citizens of the Commonwealth demonstrated on November

     third their commitment to education and to the welfare of their

     children.  The faculty of the University of Virginia is acutely

     aware of the financial difficulties facing the nation and the

     Commonwealth.  We have shared in salary reductions, increased our

     efforts to maintain academic standards, and seen the status of

     the University diminished.  We especially appreciate the support

     and foresight of the voters.

          We understand that the State Council has tried to make the

     best of reduced revenues with the prospect of increased

     enrollments.  The State Council negotiated with representatives

     of the Commonwealth's colleges and universities and significantly

     improved the initial draft of 24/Nov/;'92.  We welcome many of

     the suggestions and applaud the Council's exploration of new

     approaches in their draft of 11/Dec/92 (for release 12/Jan/93).

     However the State Council must explain to the General Assembly

     the value of their universities and colleges and what is really

     required to prepare the next generation for the twenty-first

     century.

          We can meet this challenge if we work together -- students,

     staff, and faculty throughout the Commonwealth in cooperation

     with the State Council.  It is time for reconciliation and for a

     bolder vision.

 

     Passed by the Faculty Senate

     of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

     19 January 1993

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