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Governance Minutes Archive

February 20, 1992

              Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

                                 Staff Senate


                        Minutes of the Regular Meeting

                          Thursday, February 20, 1992

                     College Center - Veterinary Medicine



  SENATORS PRESENT:  Carolyn Alls, Larry Blankenship, Clara Cox, Patrick

  Donohoe, Kathy Eschenmann, Spencer Foster, Julie Hancock, Linda Haney, Jane

  Harrison, Eileen Kenney, Sherilyn McConnell, Margie Murray, Pamela Orcutt,

  Diane Patty, Fred Phillips, Rocky Price, W. T. Price, Haywood Pyle, Kathy

  Reynolds, John Rudd, Widget Shannon, Michele Shepherd, Chuck Shorter,

  Charlie Stott, Sarah Wheeler, Deb Williams, Pat Worrell, Keith Tignor,

  Sarah Wheeler, Deb Williams


  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Bruce Harper, Dean Miller for Doug Irvin, Wyatt

  Sasser for Charles Paige, Velma Thompson for Peggy Rasnick, Shannon



  FACULTY SENATE LIAISON:  Roy Jones for Marilyn Norstedt.


  GUEST:  Jim Cole - Speaker.







  The meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by President McConnell, who

  welcomed guests, liaisons, senators, and alternates.





  President McConnell announced that Dr. McComas had asked her to serve on

  the Campaign Needs Assessment Committee.





  The minutes of the January 16, 1992, Staff Senate meeting were approved.





  *POLICIES AND ISSUES COMMITTEE--Senator Stott, chair, reported that the

  committee had been discussing issues concerned with guidelines regarding

  employee recruiting practices, and telephone interviewing.  He reported

  that the committee would be discussing the possibility of a cooperative ef-

  fort with Faculty Senate to study the issues of parental leave, sick leave.

  The committee is also discussing the state retirement system.  Senator

  Stott reminded committee members who had not selected a subcommittee to se-

  lect one.


  *POLICIES AND ISSUES/STAFF ASSOCIATIONS--Senator Murray, chair, reported

  the committee had corresponded via PROFS with presidents of local staff as-

  sociations regarding the ratification of the proposed Senate Constitution

  and By-Laws, elections of Staff Senators for 1992-93, and nominations for

  Councils, Commissions, Committees.  She reported that all this needs to be

  done by no later than March 10 and that results should be forwarded to Fred

  Phillips, Chairman of the Senate Elections and Nominations Committee.


  Senator Murray said that her committee in conjunction with the Committee on

  Elections and Nominations would send out a packet to local association

  presidents giving instructions and deadlines for ratifying the proposed

  Constitution and By-Laws and making nominations to University Council, etc.

  The cover letter will urge local associations to re-appoint/re-elect their

  current Senators for according to the terms of office assigned to each area

  by Executive Committee.  Beginning in 1993, each new Senator will be

  elected for a three-year term of office (provided that classified staff

  ratify the proposed Staff Senate Constitution).  Senator Murray also stated

  that the committee had urged local associations to have their own Constitu-

  tion and By-Laws approved by their constituents by July 1, 1992.


  Senator Murray reported that the committee had corresponded with local as-

  sociations recently to urge a letter writing campaign with state legisla-

  tors regarding staff concerns and the budget.


  *LONG-RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE--Senator Blankenship, chair, reported that

  the committee had met recently and discussed the purpose of the committee.

  It is their undertstanding that they are an ad-hoc committee whose purpose

  is one of education, and that by being an ad-hoc committee their appoint-

  ment will be for only a few weeks.  Senator Williams stated that she felt

  the committee should be concerned continually with the budget process, and

  that they should identify budget issues and report them to the Communi-

  cations Committee, and that they should train senators to understand the

  budget process.  After considerable discussion about making the ad-hoc com-

  mittee a standing committee to monitor on-going budget issues, it was de-

  cided that the committee would be carried over for next year as an ad-hoc

  committee.  The committee has been discussing conducting a survey to iden-

  tify areas of concern among staff.  Senator Foster has agreed to assist the

  committee with the survey.



  The guest speaker arrived and committee reports were delayed until after

  the speaker addressed Senate.


  GUEST SPEAKER--James D. Cole, Director of Business Affairs and Controller

  of Virginia Tech Foundation.


  Mr. Cole was invited to speak about the university capital campaign, re-

  stricted charitable gifts, and how these gifts are handled.  Mr. Cole

  stated that the Virginia Tech Educational Foundation was established in

  1948 as a separate entity to support programs of Virginia Tech.  In 1983

  the Board of Visitors changed the name to the Virginia Tech Foundation.

  Cole briefly described the procedure for accepting, depositing, monitoring/

  reporting gifts.  The Foundation purchased a separate copy of the FRS ac-

  counting system for use with the donor data base.  Cole described how the

  Foundation assigns the level of restrictions based on specific requirements

  of the gift, how the restrictions are relayed to the user, and the various

  reports prepared for account holders which list revenues and expenditures.

  Cole described endowed gifts and certificates of deposit.  Cole is a cen-

  tral repository for gifts.


  Mr. Cole responded to several questions from senators regarding use of

  Foundation funds for salaries, and restrictions on gifts.



  Following Mr. Cole's presentation, committee reports were resumed.


  *COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE--Senator Cox, chair, reported that the committee

  had been discussing the idea of an informational sheet to give to new em-

  ployees explaining staff involvement in the governance of the university.

  She reported that the committee will continue to write articles for a col-

  umn in SPECTRUM.


  Senator Cox gave a report of the February CSAC meeting for Senator Foster.


       The school leave policy went into effect January 1, 1992, which allows

       parents to use up to 8 hours per year to attend school functions.


       The Communciations/Publicity Subcommittee has prepared a draft of the

       CSAC Final Report and will disseminate the final version through SPEC-



       The Policies/Issues Subcommittee is concerned with staff governance

       and stressed the importance of staff and faculty associations working




       The University Council has approved specifications for Research Asso-

       ciate positions.  This type of position now requires only a B.S. de-




       The Health and Safety Subcommittee has received complaints by staff in

       Burruss about health problems in the building.  CSAC approved a resol-

       ution to develop a comprehensive health and safety policy and that re-

       solution appeared in SPECTRUM


  *CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS--Senator Orcutt, gave the committee report for

  Chairman Tignor.  Senator Orcutt reported that the committee received com-

  ments from senators and had revised the "close to the final draft" of the

  proposed Constitution and By-Laws.  Senators received a copy of the pro-

  posed Constitution and By-Laws via PROFS or campus mail recently.


  A motion was made and approved unanimously that Senate send the proposed

  Constitution and By-Laws to local associations for ratification.


  After some discussion about corresponding with local associations during

  the ratification process, it was requested that Senator Murray's committee

  send a hard copy of the Constitution and By-Laws to local associations.

  Senator Harper entered the proposed Constitution and By-Laws on-line under

  "INFO Governance".


  *COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--Senator Phillips, chair, reported

  the committee had met and discussed the nomination of Senators and staff

  representatives to University Councils, Commissions, and Committees.  The

  committee developed guidelines to aid local associations in ratifying the

  Senate Constitution and By-Laws and for the election of Staff Senators.  He

  reiterated that local associations would need to meet and re-elect/re-

  appoint Senators based on the 1/3 rotation system for 1992-93, and report

  results of elections to his committee by March 10 at the latest.


  The Elections and Nominations Committee will meet March 11 to compile the

  results of the ratification vote by local associations and to prepare a

  slate of nominees for Councils, Commissions, and Committees for voting at

  the March 19 Senate meeting.


  The committee also prepared a ballot for the ratification vote and a form

  for submitting nominees' names for the Council and Commissions, and will

  work with Senator Murray's committee to distribute the information to local

  associations in the next few days.  Nominees for Council and Commissions

  will be asked to submit a very brief biography to the committee so the com-

  mittee can distribute it to senators prior to the voting at the March 19

  Senate meeting.  After the votes are compiled at the March 19 Senate meet-

  ing, results will be forwarded to President McConnell so she can report

  them to Dr. McComas.


  A motion was made that current Senate officers serve for one more year pro-

  vided staff associations reaffirm those senators' terms.  The motion passed

  with only 1 vote in opposition.






  o   STAFF DIVERSITY--President McConnell reported that Senate Executive

      Committee had met with Linda Woodard of Personnel Services regarding

      the draft of the staff diversity plan.  More information will be avail-

      able when the plan is finalized.


  o   BOARD OF VISITORS MEMBERSHIP--At the request of several senators at the

      January Senate meeting, President McConnell reported that she had re-

      viewed this issue.   Her understanding is that the the Board of Visi-

      tors is not involved in staff policies or procedures.  Rather, the

      Board is concerned with faculty and student matters.


      A motion was made to table the matter of staff membership on the Board

      of Visitors.  The motion passed unanimously.


  o   CAPITAL CAMPAIGN--Senator Stott gave senators a copy of a Resolution

      for Creation of Staff Development and Recognition Fund.  The resolution

      calls for support to establish a Foundation account for staff improve-

      ment.  The resolution emphasizes that staff are a vital part of the

      university and the fund would augment existing programs, not replace

      existing programs.  Discussion followed concerning the implementation,

      logistics, and who would administer the fund.


      A motion was made to pass the resolution as presented and forward it to

      the Capital Needs Assessment Committee.  The motion was approved with 6

      senators in opposition.


      President McConnell agreed to put some qualifiers on the resolution

      when she forwards the resolution to the Capital Needs Assessment Com-







  o   MOVIES--President McConnell announced that Senate will see a 15-30 min-

      ute movie at the March Senate meeting.


  o   RATIFICATION OF CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS--Senate will urge local asso-

      ciations to ratify the proposed Constitution and By-Laws with a

      "yes/no" vote.


  o   COMMUNICATION WITH LEGISLATORS--President McConnell acknowledged Sen-

      ator Murray's efforts to encourage staff to continue communicating leg-

      islators on staff concerns.





      -   Senator Cox raised the question of whether or not Senate is cutting

          copying expenses by communicating Senate meeting minutes, agenda,

          committee reports electronically.  Problems have occurred receiving

          and/or printing files.  It was the general consensus among senators

          that they preferred a hard copy in addition to electronic files.

          Senator Harper urged senators to use the "sendfile" command versus

          PROFS which sometimes cannot interpret commands because so many

          people use different commands.  Senator Rudd volunteered to help

          senators with problems they are having with electronic mail.


      -   In other business, Senator Murray asked about problems with 2-page

          letter printing and the new university letterhead/logo.  Senator

          Blankenship, a member of the Computing Committee, asked Senator

          Murray to write her questions and forward them to the Computing

          Committee or User Services.




      -   Senator Shannon reported that she attended the VGEA Legislators'

          Day in Richmond in January and that it was a very educational and

          enjoyable trip.  She urges more staff to participate next year.


      -   Senator Harper initiated a round of applause for efforts by the

          Constitution and By-Laws Committee in revising the new Constitution

          and By-Laws.




      The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.





      Diane Patty

      Acting Secretary




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