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July 16, 1992

              VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

                                 STAFF SENATE

 

 

                        MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

                              (NOT YET APPROVED)

                            THURSDAY, JULY 16, 1992

                   ROOM 102 - PHASE IV - VETERINARY MEDICINE

  SENATORS PRESENT:  Pat Ballard, Lisa Barroso, Larry Blankenship, Clara Cox,

  Marge Dellers, Kathy Eschenmann, Charlie Gills, Betty Greene, Linda Haney,

  Barbara Hise, Diane Kaufman, Eileen Keeney, Don Massie, Sheri McConnell,

  Margie Murray, Charles Paige, Fred Phillips, Carlile Price, Rocky Price,

  Peggy Rasnick, Widget Shannon, Sonja Stone, Charlie Stott, Sarah Wheeler,

  Pat Worrell

 

  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Karen Board for Spencer Foster, Wyatt Sasser for

  Pat Donohoe, Janet Bryant, Bruce Harper, Lola Yelverton, Valerie Myers,

  Joyce Smith

 

  GUESTS:  Charles Hall - Division of Student Affairs, Dave Carper and

  Michael Mills - Airport, Ron Marlowe - Computing Center, Pam Orcutt -

  Veterinary Medicine

 

 

 

 

  CALL TO ORDER

 

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

  welcomed guests, liaisons, senators, and alternates to the first official

  Staff Senate meeting.  There were 25 senators and 2 acting alternates in

  attendance, which constituted a quorum.

 

 

  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

  President McConnell introduced the Staff Senate officers and committee

  chairs for the 1992-93 term:  Senator Stott, vice president; Senator Hise,

  secretary-treasurer; Senator Greene, parliamentarian; Senator Murray, Poli-

  cies and Issues Committee chair; Senator Cox, Communications Committee

  chair; Senator Ballard, Long Range Budget and Planning chair; and Senator

  Phillips, Elections and Nominations Committee chair.  A joint staff/faculty

  task force has been established to monitor questions and concerns about the

  Key Advantage health care program.  Senator Stott will co-chair the task

  force, with Senators Eschenmann and Rasnick also serving as Staff Senate

  representatives.  Staff Senate has an operating budget for this term; space

  is currently being sought for an office.  All Senators will be asked to

  serve on committees within the Senate.  President McConnell has been asked

  by President McComas to serve a third term on the President's Budget and

  Planning Council.  Congratulations were extended to Senator Shaver, whose

  son-in-law was called up from the minors to pitch for the Philadelphia

  Phillies.  President McConnell said to see Senator Shaver for free tickets!

 

 

  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

  The minutes of the June 18, 1992, Staff Senate meeting were approved with

  two corrections.  The amendment from the June meeting that changed Senator

  Cox's original statement was removed.  Senator Cox said that minutes should

  record what was actually said.  Senator Murray corrected the spelling of

  Ralph Byers' name on page 3.  Minutes are considered in draft form prior to

  approval at a meeting.  Two draft copies of the June minutes were distrib-

  uted.  The correct copy was the second draft, which gave Senator Pyle

  credit for reporting to the Senate on the May 20 study briefing to the Uni-

  versity Facilities Review and Advisory Committee of the Cooper's & Lybrand

  review of facilities.

 

 

  SENATE COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

  *POLICIES AND ISSUES--Senator Murray, chair, deferred to Senator Stott,

  previous chair, who reported that the committee had met June 25, 1992, and

  had tried to identify the most important issues for the 1992-93 committee

  to pursue.  The committee will have some continuity with seasoned Senators.

  In order of importance, the issues identified as priorities are managerial

  training, wage benefits, parking and transportation, and health and safety

  issues.

 

  *COMMUNICATIONS--Senator Cox, chair, reported the committee had met on July

  1, 1992, and the minutes were available at the front of the room.  Most of

  the meeting rehashed previous issues, including discussion of new topics

  for the SPECTRUM column.  The letter to new employees was completed with a

  list of current Senators on the back along with their respective staff as-

  sociations, PROFS IDs, and telephone numbers.  Staff Senate Executive Com-

  mittee did not like the abbreviations used for the staff associations, and

  they will be spelled out.  Senator Cox asked Senators to notify her if any

  information is incorrect.  Senator Hise asked that all Senators who receive

  their minutes electronically and have full print capabilities let her know

  so that a minimal amount of paper would be wasted.

 

  *LONG RANGE BUDGET AND PLANNING--Senator Ballard, chair, reported the com-

  mittee had not met.

 

  *ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--Senator Phillips, chair, reported the committee

  had met July 8, 1992, and is trying to establish a database of potential

  nominees to serve on councils, commissions, and committees.  Committee mem-

  bers are working on an information packet to send to staff associations

  that will include descriptions and details of the governance bodies along

  with a request for the names of employees interested in serving on them.

  Senators Rasnick and Patty are developing a format.  The committee compared

  the list of Senators' terms to the election results for university coun-

  cils, commissions, and committees and found only three potential conflicts,

  which will be directed to the appropriate staff associations for resol-

  ution.

 

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

  Senator Stott gave a Key Advantage update.  A list of participating physi-

  cians still is not available but is expected by August 1, 1992.  DPT states

  the deadline for implementing the plan is October 1; however, Virginia Tech

  has set a deadline of August 30 to allow time for processing.  Employees

  still have a lot of resentment about the plan.  There are numerous

  questions concerning mental health coverage.  Employees recently received

  Dorthula Powell-Woodson's memo, which provided more direct information.

  The joint task force will track changes and problems.  The sourcebook man-

  ual is not complete, and a new one should be coming out.  Annual ob/gyn

  check-ups are now covered.  Senator Eschenmann had heard a rumor on campus

  that Montgomery Regional Hospital was non-participating; she investigated

  and found the rumor to be false.  Senator Barroso asked where concerns

  should be directed.  Senator Stott said the joint task force and the Gover-

  nor's Advisory Council would be appropriate avenues.  Legislators are meet-

  ing every other week.

 

 

  Senator Cox brought to the floor a previously tabled issue concerning

  whether or not senators want to be added to the official mailing list of

  deans, directors, and department heads.  Two reasons Senators have not been

  added are cost and the number of mailings that are not relevant to staff.

  Senator Cox posed three questions to the senate:  1. Do Senators want to be

  added to the 3D's mailing list?  2. Would they pass information from the

  mailings to their constituents?  3. Would they serve as "gatekeepers," de-

  ciding which information should be distributed to staff?  Discussion fol-

  lowed.  Senator Phillips stated he found the material beneficial and passed

  it immediately to his co-workers.  Senator Sasser said he felt comfortable

  deciding which material to pass to staff.  Alternate Senator Smith stated

  the administrative mailing list is out of date.  Senator Cox said Executive

  Committee is currently receiving the mailings.  Senator Barroso asked if it

  were an all or none deal, suggesting the Executive Committee could screen

  and distribute.  Senator Eschenmann feels the Executive Committee has too

  many duties.  Certain information might be important to one area and not

  another.  Senator Cox said since the Executive Committee only meets once a

  month, timeliness could become a factor.  Senator Murray spoke to Senator

  Foster today, who told her the issue is that Personnel Services cannot be

  the "gatekeeper" and that all issues in the mailings should not go to clas-

  sified staff.  The possibility of the Executive Committee being the

  "gatekeeper" was discussed between them.  Senators who have received the

  mailings do not consider most of the information to be that sensitive in

  nature.  Senator Ballard suggested the Communications Committee be respon-

  sible.  Senator Phillips said timeliness is a problem if information does

  not go to all Senators.  Senator Sasser relayed that CSAC members had re-

  ceived the mailings so there should not be a problem for Staff Senators to

  have the same privilege.  Senator Aliff moved to have Staff Senators added

  to the deans, directors and department heads mailing list.  The motion was

  seconded.  Senator Sasser said the purpose of Staff Senate is to open the

  avenue of communication.   The motion passed with two opposed.

 

  NEW BUSINESS

 

  Senator Murray discussed the concept of a council for staff association

  presidents meeting bi-monthly or quarterly to share ideas.  Senator

  Eschenmann felt it was an excellent idea.  Her association is strong and

  has many ideas to share.  Senator Cox said she is a member of one active

  association and one that is not very active, and she is taking ideas from

  the active group to strengthen the other group.  She believes sharing in-

  formation would be beneficial.  Senator Haney suggested the council limit

  its meetings since some of the same people serve on so many committees.

  President McConnell suggested that Senator Murray approach the presidents

  of the staff associations with the idea for a council.  She said the deci-

  sion to form it would be up to them.

 

  Senator Stott brought up the bond referendum for higher education.  This

  referendum will be on the ballot on November 3.  Ralph Byers has informa-

  tion as it pertains to Virginia Tech.  See Senators Stott or Murray for a

  copy.  The referendum includes $46,000,000 in projects for Virginia Tech.

  All Senators were encouraged to take this information back to their staff

  associations so all staff employees can learn the importance of the bond

  referendum to the university.  Voter registration will be held in Squires

  for students, but staff may register there also.

 

  President McConnell brought up an issue that had been before CSAC two years

  ago:  whether or not the university should be open the Saturday and Sunday

  prior to fall semester for registration drop/add.  Some academic areas feel

  they cannot waste two days for drop/add.  Assistant and associate under-

  graduate deans will meet on July 27 to decide on the weekend registration.

  President McConnell solicited six comments from the floor as to what the

  senate wants done.  Senator Shannon asked if undergraduates only would be

  allowed this luxury.  President McConnell was unsure but noted there are no

  graduate people on the committee.  She also stated wage terminal operators

  are not willing to work on the weekend.  Senator Sasser asked if staff

  would be compensated.  President McConnell said paid overtime would be al-

  lowed.  Senator Dellers asked what kind of advice would students be able to

  get without the faculty present.  Senator Stott asked if deans had dis-

  cussed the weekend work with staff.  Several people would be opposed to

  working on weekends for religious reasons.  President McConnell shared con-

  cerns about no daycare, car-pooling problems, and the additional stress

  coming over a weekend immediately following the busiest time for the uni-

  versity:  the week before fall semester begins.  Faculty would not be

  available, and they need to make decisions regarding drop/add policy.  Sen-

  ator Sasser said having the university open requires work from many differ-

  ent departments, such as housekeeping, and suggested spreading the work out

  over the summer with mailings?  Senator Shannon said that course requests

  are not run until August 10.  Senator Eschenmann made the motion that Exec-

  utive Committee send a letter to the assistant and associate undergraduate

  deans that the staff does not support the weekend drop/add.  The motion was

  seconded.  Senator Stott made a motion to amend the first motion by adding

  all appropriate university administrators to the distribution for the let-

  ter.  The motion was seconded.  The motion as amended passed with no oppo-

  sition.

 

  Ron Marlowe, guest, asked about the status of the Virginia Tech Employees

  Fund.  President McConnell responded that the fund is still in existence

  but has been modified to help university employees who suffer financial

  hardships due to catastrophic events.

 

  President McConnell recognized Pam Orcutt for giving the Staff Senate its

  first official gavel.  Ms. Orcutt has been involved in staff participation

  in the governance structure since the original Ad Hoc Committee was formed.

  She served as Vice-Chair of CSAC and Vice-President of Staff Senate.  This

  year, she will serve on the Commission on Classified Staff Affairs.  Presi-

  dent McConnell said Ms. Orcutt's efforts will long be remembered as instru-

  mental in founding of the Staff Senate.  The Senate applauded Ms. Orcutt

  for her contributions.

 

  The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

 

  Barbara Hise

  Secretary

 

 

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