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March 18, 1993

 The following minutes were officially approved with clarifications on

 4/7/93.

 

                               FACULTY SENATE

                                  Minutes

 

                               18 March 1993

                              32 Pamplin Hall

 

 

     I.   The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by President

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

          Fred Carlisle (University Provost), Peggy Rasnick (Staff

          Senate Liaison).

 

     II.  The agenda was adopted with one addition: acceptance of

          Senate Cabinet minutes of 5 March 1993.

 

     III. Roll call

 

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

          deWolf, Eng, Fern, Ficenec, Foy, Fuller, Geyer, Gordon (for

          Lambur), Hardell, Haugh, Heath-Camp (for Sherman), Holtzman,

          Hult, Jones, Landgraf, Miller, Mullins, Murray, Norstedt,

          O'Brien, Olin, Pierce, Scigaj, Shumsky, Simmons, Snoke,

          Sumichrast, Wang, Webb, Wright.

 

          Senators absent: Bunce, Carrig, Falkinham, Graham,

          Hasselman, Howard, Martin, McDaniels, Parsons, Rakes,

          Tideman, Vinson, Weaver, Williams.

 

     IV.  Senator Peter Paul Feret

 

          President Geyer presented the following tribute to the

          memory of Senator Feret:

 

     PETER PAUL FERET

 

     It is with saddened heart that I remind my colleagues of the

     death of our departed friend and colleague Peter Paul Feret.  A

     devoted father, husband, and educator, he made many of our lives

     better because he was here.  He makes all of our lives sadder

     because he is no longer here for advice, counsel, and support.

 

     The Senate President will, with the consent of the Senate, convey

     our sympathy to his family.  A contribution on behalf of the

     Senate will be made to the Forestry Faculty Scholarship Fund.  I

     would urge others to do the same as an individual recognition of

     remembrance.

 

     The Senate shall take a moment to memorialize our friend and

     cherished colleague Peter Feret.  Many of us knew him as a

     colleague on campus, a father and husband off campus.  In all his

     endeavors, Peter was a gentleman of strong character and

     effective resolve.

 

     He was an energetic team player, always showing concern for

     students and his colleagues.  I had spoken with him about his

     willingness to take on a major leadership role in the Senate.  He

     had already shown his skills in drafting and negotiating a new

     constitution for his college.  He served the students as chair of

     the Commission on Student Affairs; academic concerns on the

     Commission on Undergraduate Studies; and the whole university in

     the classroom, with research, and with public service.  He cared

     about the trees and the look of the campus - a relentless

     crusader for keeping the environment one tree better.  Just as a

     building is built a block at a time, Peter Paul Feret made the

     university better - one student, one tree, one colleague at a

     time.  We shall miss him - his talents, energy, wit, and concern

     and respect for others.

 

     He was a very fine human being.  We will all miss his kind words,

     ever-present smile, and caring manner - caring for students,

     colleagues, and family.  May we now observe a moment of silence

     to be ended with the President's announcements that

 

     In silence, we have remembered our colleague and friend.

 

 

     V.   Program: Provost E. Fred Carlisle

 

          The Provost outlined the background to the Phase II document

          recently printed in Spectrum and dated 1 February 1993.  In

          the four rounds of budget cuts experienced by the

          university, time constraints made it necessary to approach

          the last three rounds in a less thoughtful manner than he

          would have liked.  It became obvious that a better process

          was needed - a two-stage process.  The second phase would

          begin when the budget was stabilized and would be, among

          other things, an attempt to reconfigure the university.  In

          his view, Phase II is a process of review, restructuring,

          and renewal.

 

          Phase II primarily deals with internal solutions, focusing

          on the administration, the colleges, and the departments as

          the locus for action.  The Provost then gave a slide

          presentation of Phase II, emphasizing that the faculty

          should be engaged in discussions of the plan in their

          departments.  If nothing is being done in the departments,

          faculty should ask the reason for lack of action and let the

          Provost know.

 

          Discussion

 

          Question: Is this a basic redistribution of resources?

          Answer:   Yes, but it can also be a redistribution of

                    effort, such as changing teaching methods.  For

                    example, three departments, all dealing with some

                    aspect of biological sciences, could coordinate

                    the undergraduate level courses.

          Question: Are there inter-university aspects to this, such

                    as the consolidation of small departments?

          Answer:   Not yet, but this will probably become necessary

                    in the future.  There may be more "academic common

                    market" areas.

          Question: What are the savings involved in merging

                    departments?

          Answer:   We're not really talking about merging - no one

                    changes departments.  In the biological sciences,

                    Biology would have fewer undergraduates (which is

                    good) and Agriculture and Human Resources would

                    have more (which is also good).

          Question: How are the faculty discussions conveyed to the

                    task forces?

          Answer:   Through the academic program structure - the

                    department heads and deans.

          Question: Is there a danger of task forces dictating

                    departmental policies?

          Answer:   The task forces are not making finished reports;

                    they provide a basis for further discussion

                    through the planning process.  Not everything in

                    the paper applies to all departments - the plan is

                    flexible.  It is important to recognize the

                    differences throughout the university.

          Observation:  Great effort has been put into developing the

                    governance system.  Some faculty believe that the

                    development of this paper and the implementation

                    has ignored the governance structure.  Also, it's

                    almost impossible for some large faculties to

                    "discuss" the paper without stated goals.

          Response: There will be faculty on the task forces.  If

                    policy matters are at issue, they should go

                    through the governance structure.  The structure

                    is designed to handle specifics - there are no

                    real specifics in the paper.  Academic programs

                    are department-based, therefore, we need to go

                    through departments.

          Observation:  This distinction raises a problem that has

                    come up in the Commission on Graduate Studies.

                    The commission reviews the academic aspects of

                    programs but has no control over resources or

                    knowing if resources exist.

          Response: The commission could receive assurances of support

                    from the dean or department head.  It could do its

                    own resource evaluation, or such evaluation could

                    rest  with the administration.

          Observations:  CGS has been told that resources are not the

                    concern of the commission.  The commission needs

                    some backing from the Provost's office regarding

                    resource evaluation.

                    CUS requires a letter from the department head

                    stating that no new resources are required.

                    Perhaps CGS could do something similar.

          Response: It could be set up so that the dean's signature

                    means resources have been dealt with, that the

                    commission could get a brief resource explanation;

                    the commission could have the Provost attend to

                    discuss resource problems.

                    [Added for clarification:  It is within the

                     province of the commissions to pursue resource

                     issues.]

          Observation:  One of the problems with Phase II is where

                    decisions are going to be made.  In many cases,

                    departmental decision-making will  require the

                    processes and procedures of governance to be

                    revised.

          Response: That might not be a bad thing; the processes need

                    to be examined.

          Observation:  You should make that clear, because the

                    perception is that decisions are becoming more

                    centralized in Burruss.

          Question: Is the four-year graduation rate something the

                    departments should discuss?

          Answer:   It would be appropriate.  However, we are not

                    proposing reductions to 120 hours or a four-year

                    requirement.

          Question: What are your thoughts on whether students should

                    meet date of entry (DOE) requirements or date of

                    graduation (DOG) requirements?

          Answer:   DOG requirements are unfair to students, but DOE

                    requirements mean the university would have to

                    hold programs for an excessive number of years.  A

                    junior year date for requirement might be

                    suitable.

 

          Further questions related to the document "Funding Research

          Facilities at Virginia Tech" which had been distributed.

          The Provost explained that the proposed central capital

          account would be about $2 million, half of which would go to

          renovation and small new construction.  Regarding overhead

          recoveries, 50% goes to the college, 20% stays in the

          university, and 30% is reappropriated in Richmond.  The plan

          does not propose to reduce the level of service currently

          offered by Sponsored Programs.

 

     VI.  Approval of minutes

 

          A.   Senate minutes for 9 February 1993 were approved.

 

          B.   Senate Cabinet minutes for 5 March 1993 were accepted

               with one correction.  Point 1.A should read:

               Commissions elect a chair-elect in September.  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.

 

     VII. Council, commission, and committee reports

 

          A.   Commission on Undergraduate Studies (Senator Murray)

 

               A subcommittee has been charged with investigating the

               DOE/DOG problem (see above).  A proposed resolution is

               being prepared.  The implementation of the core

               curriculum makes the DOE requirement more appealing.

 

          B.   Campus Card Committee (Senator Beagle)

 

               The committee seems a bit bogged down in discussing the

               scope of the card and in debating its name.

 

          C.   President's Award for Excellence Committee (Senator

               Norstedt)

 

               The definition of "administrative and professional

               faculty" used by this committee (chaired by Ann

               Spencer) was different from the definition in documents

               recently under discussion by CFA.  She asked that

               commission and committee members be aware of this

               problem, particularly in regard to recent proposals

               concerning the A and P faculty.

 

     VIII.  New business

 

          A.   Members of the Steering Committee on a Blueprint for

               Faculty Action are Robert Denton, Carl McDaniels, Sam

               Riley, and Paul Torgersen.

 

          B.   Senators deWolf, Eng, Hasselman, and Shumsky will

               review the procedures of the Faculty Review Committee.

 

          C.   President's meetings

 

               1.   Board of Visitors.  The Provost presented the

                    Phase II plan; BOV passed a resolution calling for

                    an implementation report in August.  A resolution

                    was also passed to reduce summer school tuition.

                    President Geyer reported on required graduation

                    hours, the graduation rate, etc., using statistics

                    from the Department of Agricultural Economics.

 

               2.   President McComas.  The question was raised

                    regarding a code of conduct for student-faculty

                    "relationships."  This will be referred to the

                    Ethics Committee.  Other topics included GTAs,

                    class attendance, and faculty representation on

                    the Foundation board (which will be discussed with

                    Charles Steger).

 

               3.   Provost Carlisle.  Topics were Phase II and the

                    involvement of graduate students in governance.

 

               4.   Minnis Ridenour.  Discussed the need to broaden

                    the membership of the Employee Benefits Committee

                    and make the committee more responsible; how

                    computing that is paid for by grants will be dealt

                    with under the distributed computing plan; and the

                    priorities and funding for the creative arts

                    complex and the library addition.

 

               5.   Forms for commission and committee nominations

                    have been distributed by the Committee on

                    Committees.  The 20 April Senate meeting will be

                    open to all current and newly elected senators.

 

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

          at 10:20 PM.

 

                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

                                        Marilyn L. Norstedt

                                        Secretary

 

 

 

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