University Libraries Logo University Archives of Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
Governance Minutes Archive

September 21, 1993

 

   Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

   Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

   Approved:  October 19, 1993

 

   September 21, 1993

   7:00 p.m.

   32 Pamplin Hall

 

   Senators Present:

     Anderson, Bambach, Barbeau, Beagle, Brown, Carrig, Creamer, de Wolf,

     Dyck, Fern, Ficenec, Foy, Giles, Graham, Greenberg, Gregoire,

     Hardell, Holtzman, Howard, Hult, Jones, Lambur, Landgraf, Martin,

     McDaniel, McKenna, Mullins, Norstedt, O'Brien, Olin, Richardson,

     Riley, Rojiani, Sanzone, Scigaj, Sherman, Shires, Shumsky,

     Sumichrast, Tze, Vinson, Webb, Williams, Zink

 

   Absent

     Armstrong, Badinelli, Benson, Bunce, Cramer, Pierce, Pinder,

     Zhang

 

   Guests

     John Ashby, Editor, Spectrum

     E. Fred Carlisle, Senior Vice President and Provost

     Peggy Rasnick, Staff Senate Representative

     James Wolfe, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

 

 

   1. The meeting was called to order by President David de Wolf at

      7:00 p.m.  Visitors were welcomed.

 

   2. The agenda was adopted without modification.

 

   3. Announcements:  President David de Wolf reviewed some of the

      activities in which Senate officers and members have been

      involved.  These activities include the Faculty Response

      committee's work, consultations with the University's

      administration concerning the budget and the possibility of

      further significant reductions in state funding for higher

      education, attempts to effectively respond to the recent series of

      newspaper stories carried by major newspapers within Virginia, and

      cooperation with the administration in recruiting and funding a

      paid, part-time secretary for the Senate.  He briefly discussed

      the progress of the Faculty Rewards Project.  President de Wolf

      also provided a brief report concerning the recuperation of

      University President, James McComas.  President de Wolf reported

      that the Senate must fill several vacancies on committee and other

      assignments.  Related to this matter, he said that Senator

      Williams has agreed to be the Senate Parliamentarian.  The next

      Senate meeting will include an opportunity to discuss issues with

      the two, major party candidates for Delegate Joan Munford's seat.

      Come prepared.  Finally, President de Wolf reminded Senators to

      submit reports the Senate secretary by October 8 and asked all

      Senators to pay $5.00 dues directly to Bob Sumichrast, the Senate

      Treasurer.

 

   4. Program:

 

      E. Fred Carlisle, Senior Vice President and Provost provided the

      Senate with an update on the restructuring of the University

      through Phase II.  Provost Carlisle stressed that Phase II is a

      "constructive project, not a budget reduction strategy."  He said

      that "a good question is whether we really will do it."  The

      provost explained that he has stressed the need for a deliberate

      and systematic change to the Board of Visitors (as opposed to a

      sudden change imposed from above).  He believes that the

      University must be convinced that a proper strategy is being

      followed so that the University can continue to do more than

      simply survive.

 

      Provost Carlisle reviewed many of the ideas which he previously

      articulated in the original Phase II paper.  He spoke of the need

      for Virginia Tech to continue to be a comprehensive research

      university without the need to necessarily continue every service

      and program.  He spoke of the need for increased cooperation and

      of the need for updating our definition of effective leadership.

 

      The provost reported that the University has submitted to SHEV,

      general plans for dealing with potential 10% and 15% cuts in state

      funding.  Since there is a great deal of uncertainty in the state

      budget, the university does not plan to further detail these plans

      before January or February.

 

      Two academic disciplines were singled out as examples of how

      restructuring may be accomplished.  The provost spoke of changes

      which might be made in the biological sciences and in the

      Department of Music to utilize resources more efficiently.

 

      The Faculty Rewards Project was discussed.  This project mandates

      that teaching, outreach, and public service activities be

      rewarded.  This must be accomplished without loosing the research

      aspects of the University.  A balance is required.  In addition, a

      stronger link between productivity and resources is needed.

 

      The Provost spoke of the need for "opening up" the budgeting

      process and the need for faculty input.  He reported his intention

      to give deans greater autonomy and authority in budget matters

      with the hope that deans will treat department heads similarly.

 

      After the provost's remarks, the floor was open for questions.

 

      Question:  Who should be contacted for specific information about

      the Information Systems Faculty Development Project?

 

      Answer:  Contact the Provost.

 

      Question:  So far, budget reductions tended to be across the

      board.  Doesn't the vision of Phase II require programmatic

      reductions?

 

      Answer:  Earlier reductions were not entirely across the board.

      However, programs were not eliminated.  It is hoped that Phase II

      will improve the situation by a further redistribution of resources.

 

      Question:  If programmatic changes are required, who will decide

      how these changes are made:  the Provost's office or departments?

 

      Answer:  The Provost's office will work with the Advisory Council

      and other groups.  Deans and central administrators will be

      involved.

 

      Question:  Both major candidates for Governor of Virginia have

      spoken in favor of limiting tuition increases.  Is the university

      trying to counter these ideas?  If such a plan is adopted by

      Virginia, what will its effect be?

 

      Answer:  Less funding will make things worse.  The Council of

      Presidents signed a statement which agreed to tuition increases

      based on inflation.  But, it was assumed that the state would

      provide the same funding level as a percent of the budget.

 

      Question:  Newspaper articles reported that the instructional

      funding budget was approximately 30%.  Previously, the Provost's

      office had claimed that this figure was in excess of 60%.  Which

      figure is correct?

 

      Answer:  I do not know how the newspaper article computed this

      figure.  The value reported by the Provost's office is correct.

 

 

      Leon Geyer, President of the Faculty Senate, 1992-1993, received a

      certificate from David de Wolf recognizing his service to the

      Senate.  Then Leon distributed copies of his paper titled,

      "Reinventing Tech:  The Role of the Faculty" and summarized it.

 

      Former President Geyer noted that dramatic changes will occur in

      the university and suggested that faculty could and should help

      direct those changes.  He emphasized the importance of governance

      as a process and noted that faculty was sufficiently involved in

      the governance process within colleges and departments.  He

      referred to the historic model of the university in which faculty

      acted as the administration.

 

      Former President Geyer challenged the faculty to ask themselves

      how they can improve their classes so that students will not want

      to miss lectures.  He suggested that faculty should explain to

      students how research improves instruction.  Rights and

      responsibilities of the state and the faculty were discussed.

 

      Tenure was discussed.  Former President Geyer suggested that while

      most faculty were productive, some were not and should be

      eliminated.  The faculty should take the initiative and avoid the

      "sin of omission".

 

      President de Wolf presented Former President Geyer with a plaque

      on behalf of the Senate.

 

 

      Senator Riley, Faculty Response Committee Chair, briefly reviewed

      the history of the committee and gave credit to the committee's

      members, including its former chair, Carl McDaniels.

 

      Senator Riley distributed a summary of the charges made by critics

      of university professors and asked senators to read them before

      the October 19 Senate meeting so that specific charges can be

      discussed at that time.

 

      Senator Riley noted that an immediate faculty response which is

      coordinated and well thought out is necessary and such a response

      is being provided by articles written by David de Wolf, Larry

      Hinker, and himself.  Many ideas generated by the faculty are

      represented in these articles.  In addition, Larry Hinker's office

      will also mail information directly to the parents of students and

      to alumni in the near future.  Senator Riley also asked for

      faculty interested in being featured on talk radio shows to

      contact him.  Finally Senator Riley reported on a meeting which he

      had with the editor of the Roanoke Times and World News.  In this

      meeting, Senator Riley was able to demonstrate bias and inaccuracies

      present in the recent series of articles run by the paper.

 

      In the longer term, Senator Riley feels we must teach people what

      professors do.  Some specific suggestions for accomplishing this

      include:  tell your students, use a departmental newsletter, mail

      information to the homes of legislators, make talks to civic

      groups, and cooperate with the Virginia Tech magazine to provide

      examples of how research enhances teaching.

 

      In response to a question, Senator Riley said that coordinating

      efforts to get statistics to various newsletters was a good idea.

      President de Wolf suggested communicating with Senator Riley

      electronically.

 

  5.  Faculty Senate minutes of April 20, 1993 were approved.  Cabinet

      minutes of May 25, 1993 and August 17, 1993 were accepted.

 

  6.  Council, Commission, and Committee Reports had been distributed

      electronically.  A brief discussion period was held concerning

      these reports.

 

      Senator Norstedt cited the importance of the university librarian

      to the faculty and encouraged everyone to review the ad for the

      position.  Please send comments to Erv Blythe.

 

      Senator Shires noted two items which were discussed at the

      Computer Committee meeting:  new instructional innovations and new

      E-MAIL systems.  By a show of hands, most senators were aware of

      these innovations.  However, some worried that the faculty, in

      general, might not be aware of them, Senator Shires suggested that

      the Senate arrange for a presentation on these items in the

      future.

 

  7.  New Business

 

      a. Faculty Ethics Committee procedures President de Wolf briefly

      provided the Senate with some background as motivation for the

      proposed changes.  The concerns arose from a particular case.

      Important conclusions were drawn by a faculty ethics committee and

      these conclusions were published without any explanation of their

      basis.  There is a desire for documentation of the process.

 

      The motion was passed unanimously.  It will be sent to the Commission

      on Faculty Affairs and ultimately to the University Council.

 

      b.  Commission/Committee vacancies:  nominations,

      elections, and appointments.

 

      Randolph L. Grayson was elected unanimously to serve on the

      Faculty Senate of Virginia.

 

      New procedures require that the Senate nominate two people to

      serve on the Virginia Tech Services, Inc., Board of Directors.

      One of the two will be chosen by the President of the Board.

 

      Senator Lambur was elected to serve on the Virginia Tech

      Intellectual Properties Board of Directors.

 

      The Faculty Review Committee has three vacancies.  The College of

      Architecture and Urban Studies requires two representatives and

      the College of Forestry requires one additional representative.

 

  8.  Other business

 

      Senator Greenberg suggested asking the University for written

      assurances that no faculty member would be held liable for serving

      the University on a committee.  President de Wolf replied that he

      had discussed this matter with the administration.  Kay

      Heidbreder, Associate Legal Counsel for the University, had

      assured him that faculty was protected in these cases.  In

      addition, Senator Shumsky reported that the Commission on Faculty

      Affairs had discussed the matter and Provost Carlisle agreed to

      have language drafted to address the matter.

 

  9.  Adjournment

 

      There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:08

      p.m.

 

   Respectfully submitted,

 

   Robert T. Sumichrast

   Secretary, Faculty Senate

 

 

Current Virginia Tech Governance Minutes Archive

Return to Virginia Tech Governance Minutes Archive


VT History | Digital Library and Archives | Special Collections | University Archives


Send questions or comments to:

Tamara Kennelly, University Archivist
University Libraries
Virginia Tech
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA, 24062-9001

URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/minutes/fsm/1993/September+21++1993.html
Last modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 13:57:42 EDT