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August 20, 1992

              VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

                                 STAFF SENATE

 

 

               MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING (NOT YET APPROVED)

                           THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 1992

                   ROOM 102 - PHASE IV - VETERINARY MEDICINE

 

 

 

 

  SENATORS PRESENT:  Bill Aliff, Lisa Barroso, Larry Blankenship, Freda

  Blecher, Janet Bryant, Clara Cox, Marge Dellers, Patrick Donohoe, Kathy

  Eschenmann, Spencer Foster, Betty Greene, Julie Hancock, Linda Haney, Jane

  Harrison, Barbara Hise, Diane Kaufman, Eileen Keeney, Margie Lawrence, Don

  Massie, Sherilyn McConnell, Bhaba Misra, Margie Murray, Diane Patty,

  Carlile Price, Peggy Rasnick, Kathy Reynolds, Widget Shannon, Charlie

  Stott, Deb Williams

 

  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Valerie Myers for Pat Ballard, Wyatt Sasser for

  Pat Worrell

 

 

 

 

  CALL TO ORDER

 

  The meeting was called to order at 5:35 p.m. by President McConnell, who

  welcomed senators and alternates.  There were 29 Senators and two acting

  Alternates in attendance, which constituted a quorum.

 

 

  ANNOUNCEMENTS President McConnell announced that two guest speakers had

  been added to the agenda to speak prior to New Business.  They are Richard

  Alvarez and Ralph Byers.

 

 

  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

  The minutes of the July 16, 1992, Staff Senate meeting were approved with

  one correction:  Senator Aliff was present.

 

 

  SENATE COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

  *POLICIES AND ISSUES--President McConnell for Senator Murray, chair, re-

  ported the committee had not met.

 

  *COMMUNICATIONS--Senator Cox, chair, reported that all Staff Senators would

  be added to the Dean's, Director's and Department Head's mailing list.  The

  committee is soliciting help in identifying unofficial mailing lists on

  campus to forward to Ann Spencer.  Alternate Senator Myers has begun dis-

  tributing SPECTRUM to outlying areas of the campus.  President McConnell

  and Senator Aliff have been approached about writing articles for

  SPECTRUM's shared governance column.  An article is being developed for the

  column on opening up Staff Senate committees to staff who are not Senators.

  Senator Cox also reported that the Communications Committee is looking into

  the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on campus communications.

 

  *LONG RANGE BUDGET AND PLANNING--President McConnell for Senator Ballard,

  chair, reported the committee had not met.

 

  *ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--President McConnell for Senator Phillips,

  chair, stated this committee had no report for this month.

 

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

  Senator Stott gave a Key Advantage update.  Dr. Lucian Robinson has agreed

  to join the list of providers, and a number of other doctors are still

  signing up.  A new list of doctors and handbooks should be out before Octo-

  ber 1.  There are many questions as to how one deals with participating

  hospitals whose radiology/pathology/emergency rooms are non-participating.

  The Faculty and Staff Task Force, which is monitoring the Key Advantage

  plan, will hold its initial meeting August 24, 1992.  Senator Stott asked

  that any questions or notes about the health care plan be forwarded to Sen-

  ators Eschenmann, Rasnick, or Stott.  No major changes have been made in

  Key Advantage in the past month.  Senator Cox stated Dr. Dyer was omitted

  from the updated list but is participating.  State employees should be sure

  the doctor they select as a primary care physician is accepting new pa-

  tients.  The deadline is August 31 to submit the PCP form to Benefits.

  Senator Barroso said everyone should be careful how they use the term

  "PCP," since it is also used for the the drug Angeldust.  Senator Williams

  stated that everyone should be aware that follow-up care is no longer cov-

  ered as part of emergency room care.  She said that each follow-up trip

  will cost $30 in out-of-pocket expenses.

 

  Senator Cox announced that the Educational Aid Policy Task Force met on

  July 28, 1992, to finalize its report, which went to the Personnel Advisory

  Committee today.  At the meeting the task force proposed that part-time

  salaried employees should work at least 20 hours a week to qualify for edu-

  cational aid, that employees on educational leave should serve their repay-

  ment period at Virginia Tech, that the PAC determine whether the service

  repayment period for educational leave be restricted to service in the de-

  partment sponsoring the leave, and that the PAC determine whether the maxi-

  mum number of hours for waiver/reimbursement should be extended from nine

  to 12 per academic year by considering the two summer sessions as two se-

  mesters rather than one.  Senator Cox said she learned from Dennis Eavey,

  who chaired the task force and presented the report to the PAC, that the

  committee tabled acceptance of expanding the number of hours from nine to

  12 for which tuition waivers would be available.  The committee wanted

  first to determine the extra cost to the university of giving tuition waiv-

  ers for six hours per year to part-time salaried employees who work at

  least 20 hours per week.  The PAC also decided to have the repayment period

  limited to service at Virginia Tech rather than to a particular department

  or unit.  The PAC endorsed all other recommendations of the task force.

  The proposed educational aid policy changes will now go before the appro-

  priate commissions.  Senator Cox also reported that the Employees Educa-

  tional Assistance Act has passed the House of Representatives and is now in

  the Senate.  Employees presently are taxed on 100 percent of any educa-

  tional benefits; the proposed legislation would give each employee an ex-

  emption from paying taxes on up to $5,250 in educational aid.

 

 

  President McConnell introduced Richard Alvarez, Director of Public Health,

  Safety, and Transportation, who provided an update on current parking lot

  construction.  Mr. Alvarez stated that most of the activity with parking

  lots has been delayed due to the usual bureaucratic hoops.  The Litton

  Reaves large commuter lot should be completely finished by Saturday morn-

  ing, providing 500 additional spaces for the university.  One hundred

  spaces for faculty and staff will be added in the northeast corner behind

  Wallace.  The Engel lot will be completed in time for the student move-in

  Saturday.  This lot will provide 45 additional faculty and staff parking

  spaces.  New road stripes have been completed on West Campus Drive to help

  ensure the safety of pedestrians crossing this road.  Construction will be-

  gin in mid-October on the Price's Fork Road B-Lot.  Mr. Alvarez went on to

  explain the rationale behind the parking meters.  They were installed to

  provide "premium parking" at an extra cost.  Many times, students or visi-

  tors need a space for a short time.  Before the meters were added, people

  were parking on the yellow curbs and leaving their flashers on.  The

  15-minute parking limit was impossible to enforce.  They will monitor the

  metered spaces and remove any that are not being used.  Parking Services

  feels that the metered parking provides an added service to the university.

  Mr. Alvarez asked that the staff bear with them during the Express Student

  Check-In in the Squires area next week since parking is critical and will

  be a challenge for everyone using the area.  Parking Services is committed

  to making adjustments to improve the situation for next year.  Students

  will be treated with leniency during the first few days of school.

  Enforcement officials will be strict with faculty and staff who park ille-

  gally.  Senator Barroso reminded Senators that parking officers receive

  tremendous verbal abuse for doing their job.

 

  President McConnell introduced Ralph Byers, Director of Governmental Re-

  lations and Special Activities.  Mr. Byers spoke on the upcoming bond is-

  sue.  He informed Senators that three bond issues will be on the ballot on

  November 3, including one for higher education.  Virginia Tech would bene-

  fit from the passage of this bond, which would provide funding for

  buildings, renovations, and infrastructure improvements.  It is important

  that employees support the bond issue because of the general climate in the

  state at this time.  Mr. Byers also noted that there will be an estimated

  70,000 new students by the end of the century; the university is currently

  overcrowded.  The local economy is not good; the work on campus funded by

  the bond issue could provide work for local people and businesses.  Inter-

  est rates are currently low.  Radford University and New River Community

  College also would receive funding for projects if this bond referendum

  passes.  The university is competing with other areas for state monies.  If

  this bond should be voted down, the legislators will not be concerned about

  helping higher education.  If the Staff Senate should decide to support

  this cause, Mr. Byers would be happy to work with it.  The floor was opened

  for questions.  Senator Shannon asked who pays for the bonds.  The pro-

  vision is already there for the next biennium as bonds get started.  The

  bonds would constitute 1 percent of the general fund.  Senator Stott asked

  how much is already appropriated.  Currently, $25 million is appropriated;

  this figure would increase to $60 million if the referendum is approved.  A

  general obligation debt cannot use bonds for programs or operating ex-

  penses, only capital outlay.  Alternate Senator Sasser asked if any money

  was appropriated for maintenance of these new buildings.  Mr. Byers indi-

  cated maintenance money is not attached to this bond.  Senator Donohoe

  asked if there were any ties with the new football stadium in Arlington.

  There is no connection between this bond and the stadium.  Senator Kaufman

  asked when should staff begin to push this issue.  The September 3 issue of

  SPECTRUM will include information about the bond issue, and a media blitz

  is scheduled for October 1.  Mr. Byers expressed concern that if publicity

  begins too soon, people will become tired of the issue.  He asked the Sen-

  ators to do whatever they can to stimulate positive thoughts.  Senator

  Williams suggested they appeal to the items that affect us directly, e.g.,

  work space, instruction space.  Mr. Byers said he had mostly allowed the

  Student Government to handle that area.  Senator Haney suggested making all

  pleas simple and to the point.  Mr.  Byers said all suggestions were wel-

  come and to remember we cannot tell people they should vote for the bond.

  He asked that inquiries and suggestions be sent to him at BYERSR on VM1.

 

  NEW BUSINESS

 

  OTHER BUSINESS President McConnell announced the new committee assignments.

  A list will be included in Senators' packets.   Senator Williams shared

  concern over committees not being able to meet during the summer until the

  new assignments are made.  President McConnell stated that committees

  should have met with those senators who were re-elected.  Senator Murray

  said there are many administrative changes currently going on and some as-

  sociations may be starting all over.  This is one of the first orders of

  business for her committee.  Senator Sasser suggested we develop some writ-

  ten guidelines since these changes do happen frequently.

 

  The meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

 

 

 

  Barbara Hise

  Secretary

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