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Governance Minutes Archive

January 16, 1992

              Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

                                 Staff Senate


                        Minutes of the Regular Meeting

                          Thursday, January 16, 1992

                     College Center - Veterinary Medicine



  SENATORS PRESENT:  Carolyn Alls, Pat Ballard, Larry Blankenship, Janis

  Brown, Clara Cox, Patrick Donohoe, Kathy Eschenmann, Spencer Foster, Julie

  Hancock, Linda Haney, Jane Harrison, Barbara Hise, Doug Irvin, Doug Jones,

  Eileen Keeney, Sherilyn McConnell, Margie Murray, Pamela Orcutt, Diane

  Patty, Fred Phillips, Haywood Pyle, Bill Ranck, Peggy Rasnick, Kathy

  Reynolds, John Rudd, Widget Shannon, Buddy Shaver, Michele Shepherd,

  Charlie Stott, John Strauss, Keith Tignor, Sarah Wheeler, Deb Williams


  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Patty Hall for Larry Blankenship, Wyatt Sasser

  for Charles Paige, Bruce Harper, and Darrell Sheppard




  GUESTS:  Garnett Linkous - Proposal Review and Negotiations

          Charles W. Steger - 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 the deadline for the Management Systems

  Laboratories (MSL) Responsiveness Award has been extended to February 7.


  President McConnell thanked Barbara Harris, Adelene Kirby, Virginia Tech

  Police, the Christiansburg High School National Honor Society, and senators

  for their assistance in providing funds, food, and gifts for two families

  at Christmas.





  The minutes of the December 19, 1991, Staff Senate meeting were amended to

  include a note from Personnel Services about the EEO/AA hiring guidelines.

  The minutes were approved as amended.






  chair, reported that the committee is in the process of identifying issues

  for consideration by the Senate.  He said the issues have been divided into

  two broad categories and that subcommittees have been established to ad-

  dress the categories:  Alternate Senator Harper will head the Quality of

  Work Subcommittee, which will look at such issues as health and safety,

  hiring, new employee practices, and effective management, while Senator

  Shepherd will head the Benefits Subcommittee, which will look at such is-

  sues as retirement, educational opportunities and assistance, pay for per-

  formance, and training and career development.



  ator Murray, chair, reported that committee members have been assigned re-

  sponsibility for area staff associations and that the committee will be

  discussing the length of terms of staff senators.  Senator Murray said that

  the terms need to coincide with university committee/commission appoint-

  ments.  She indicated that the Senate would need to give staff associations

  guidelines on elections of senators.


  COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE--Senator Cox, chair, reported that the meeting

  dates of Staff Senate have been sent to SPECTRUM for inclusion in the cal-

  endar and that the agenda for each Senate meeting will be printed in SPEC-

  TRUM on the day of the meeting.  She said that the committee will work on a

  joint Faculty Senate/Staff Senate column in SPECTRUM.  She noted the impor-

  tance of SPECTRUM in keeping staff informed about staff affairs and other

  topics of interest.  The committee has identified several areas--

  agriculture barns, dining services, and grounds--that face problems receiv-

  ing SPECTRUM and has found volunteers who will see that two of these areas

  receive copies, but volunteers are needed for dining services.  In high-

  lighting the January meeting of the Classified Staff Affairs Committee, she

  said that Wyatt Sasser reported on the Common Health Wellness Program and

  asked him to provide information for the Staff Senate.


  Alternate Senator Sasser added that the program will involve filling out a

  questionaire and submission of a $5 fee.  The program will be custom-

  tailored to individual needs.  The state is funding the position of the co-

  ordinator.  Alternate Senator Sasser said he will be traveling to Richmond

  for training on promoting the program.  He said the program may be up and

  running by March or April.


  COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--Senator Phillips, chair, said the

  next meeting is scheduled for January 22, 1992, with no news to report at

  this time.


  CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS SUBCOMMITTEE--Senator Tignor, chair, reported that

  the committee has worked diligently for the last two weeks and expects com-

  pletion of the constitution and by-laws before the February meeting.  He

  said that all Senators should review the material and be prepared to

  ammend/approve at that time.



  ator Blankenship, chair, reported that the committee will meet January 21,






  Dr. Charles W. Steger, Acting Vice President for Public Service and Dean of

  the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, addressed the Senate.  He

  described the university's Public Service Division and gave examples of its

  work in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The Division provides information,

  educational programs, and technical assistance to communities, governmental

  agencies, business and industry, and other organizations to assist these

  constituents with their policy, program, and organizational development ef-

  forts.  One aspect of the Division, Continuing Education, is comprised of

  approximately 400 programs, which do many things for the Commonwealth.  Dr.

  Steger said that many people have faced problems gaining access to Virginia

  Tech's expertise.  Consequently, a hotline, 231-TECH, has been installed,

  and the response has been enormous.  The Division now has computerized

  tracking of all projects and currrently has 375 requests for help across

  the state.  One main focus of the Public Service Division, he said, is to

  increase the economic development of Virginia, with Virginia Tech as the

  catalyst of change.  With Virginia relying extensively on defense spending,

  the state's economy is more fragile in reduction times.  The Division will

  look at possibilities of restructuring the state's economy away from de-

  fense spending in a spring forum to be held in the Tidewater Region.  Dr.

  Steger also talked about staff involvement in the university's public ser-

  vice mission, noting that several members of the staff, under funding by


  the Division, conducted a workshop for high school newspaper and yearbook

  editors, writers, and photographers in Salem.


  Following his address, Dr. Steger answered questions, where the point was

  made that Virginia needs increased volunteer efforts to solve problems,

  such as within schools and rescue squads.  The point was also made, in re-

  sponse to a question, that the university has no funding at this time for

  much-needed supervisory training workshops.





  RELEASE TIME FOR STAFF--Senator Cox reported that the administration recog-

  nized the validity of staff suggestions for changing the guidelines for

  staff participation in university governance, incorporated the changes, and

  has officially released a memo detailing the guidelines to deans, direc-

  tors, department heads, and staff governmental leaders.



  that an article in SPECTRUM by Ann Spencer helped clarify the nomination

  guidelines.  He said a letter will be sent to current members of the se-

  lection committee apprising them of Staff Senate's concerns with the guide-

  lines, with the anticipation that changes will be made in next year's

  guidelines for nominations.  Senator Cox is the Staff Senate representative

  on the selection committee, which will hold its initial meeting on January

  21, 1992.


  GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT PARKING--President McConnell reported receiving

  some responses, pro and con.  The decision was made to extend the time to

  respond to President McConnell until February 11.  Senator Ballard said the

  issue has been tabled on the Parking Committee at present.





  PROFESSIONAL OFFICE STAFF APPLICANT POOL--Senator Foster reported that the

  pool was designed to refer applicants for jobs in one to two days when pos-

  sible.  Some departments use the pool while others do not.  The option is

  up to the department whether to advertise through normal channels or use

  the pool.  Applicants are accepted continually, and the need exists for ap-

  plicants to be more specific on the forms.  Personnel solicits feedback or

  suggestions.  Senator Foster said the clerical pool is a fairly new proc-

  ess, and Personnel wants to improve it.  He said the most cumbersome prob-

  lems seem to be the quantity of rollovers, which is particularly prevalent

  in wage positions.


  STAFF DIVERSITY PLAN--President McConnell has asked that Linda Woodard and

  Cornell Morton supply copies of the plan before the next Executive Commit-

  tee meeting.  She said that Woodard and Morton will meet with the Executive

  Committee to discuss the plan.


  PART-TIME SALARY BENEFITS--Senator Ranck had asked that this item be placed

  on the agenda because he questioned why half-time salaried employees could

  not receive pro-rated benefits.  He said he has learned that the state code

  requires employees to be full-time to receive many benefits.  While annual

  and sick leave is pro-rated, there are no provisions for life insurance or

  retirement.  Senator Murray suggested that Doug Martin be asked to address

  the Senate on this issue.


  CAPITAL CAMPAIGN--Senator Stott reported that the university is currently

  in the early planning stage for its next capital campaign.  He noted that

  the list of goals for the campaign does not include benefits for staff even

  though they will be targeted for contributions.  At this point, he said, no

  final decisions have been made or goals set, and he encouraged suggestions

  that would allow staff to realize some of the benefits of the campaign,

  such as the establishment of a fund for staff development.


  COMMUNICATION WITH LEGISLATORS--Vice President Orcutt asked senators to

  push their respective areas to encourage legislators to listen to their

  constituents.  Senator Orcutt and Senator Shepherd urged senators to take

  advantage of January 20, Lobby Day, to travel to Richmond.





  o   Senator Rasnick mentioned there is a student representative on the

      Board of Visitors and asked if the Senate feels it should have a staff

      representative, even if that representative is non-voting.  It was

      pointed out that all appointments to the Board of Visitors are made by

      the governor.  President McConnell agreed to obtain additional informa-

      tion about the issue.


  o   Senator Williams urged the committee secretaries to send committee min-

      utes electronically to the Senate secretary, (Hisebs/vm2) so the secre-

      tary can forward the minutes via main frame to all senators with

      userids, thus saving paper and mailing time.


  o   Senator Tignor reported that the CSAC-drafted constitution states Staff

      Senators will serve for three years.  His committee will distribute a

      survey to learn which senators were elected for one-year and which for

      two-year terms.  He said that one-third of the Senate body should be

      elected yearly.




  The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.



  Barbara Hise


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