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June 18, 1992

              VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

                                 STAFF SENATE

 

                        MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

                            THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1992

                   ROOM 102 - PHASE IV - VETERINARY MEDICINE

 

 

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

  Donohoe, Spencer Foster, Linda Haney, Barbara Hise, Diane Kaufman, Eileen

  Keeney, Margie Murray, Valerie Myers, Pamela Orcutt, Diane Patty, Rocky

  Price, Haywood Pyle, Bill Ranck, Peggy Rasnick, Kathy Reynolds, Widget

  Shannon, Charlie Stott, Keith Tignor, Deb Williams, Pat Worrell

 

  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Mary Ann Johnson for Clara Cox, Kim O'Rourke for

  Buddy Shaver, Bruce Harper for Fred Phillips, Wyatt Sasser for Charles

  Paige

 

  FACULTY SENATE LIAISON:  Roy Jones

 

  GUESTS:  Marge Dellars - Health & Safety, Carlile Price - Forest Products

 

 

 

 

  CALL TO ORDER

 

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

  welcomed guests, liaisons, senators, and alternates.  There were 23 sen-

  ators and 4 acting alternates in attendance, which constituted a quorum.

 

 

  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

  Vice-President Orcutt announced that Senator Shannon and Steve Dehart had

  both been nominated and their names sent forward to President McComas to

  serve on the Parking/Transportation Advisory Committee.

 

 

  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

  The minutes of the May 21, 1992, Staff Senate meeting were approved with

  two amendments.  Senator Cox's statement under Educational Aid was changed

  to read "Employees should consider educational aid a discriminatory benefit

  since it is not available to everyone."  The motion to amend was carried by

  a slim margin with 11 for, 9 opposed, and 7 abstentions.  The second amend-

  ment recognized Wyatt Sasser as attending for Charles Paige.

 

 

  SENATE COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

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

  met May 27, 1992, and that the minutes of that meeting are included in the

  packet.  He said the committee is awaiting a report from the Quality of

  Life Subcommittee.

 

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

  the committee had compiled a list of twenty comments to forward to Greg

  Ritter concerning the benefits of staff associations to administrators.

  She said she will continue to accept comments.

 

  *COMMUNICATIONS--Senator Foster for Senator Cox, chair, reported the com-

  mittee had met on June 3, 1992.  Senator Foster said that Ann Spencer met

  with the committee to discuss campus communications, including the possi-

  bility of adding Staff Senators to the mailing list of deans, directors,

  and department heads.  He said the question had arisen about whether Sen-

  ators would be willing to serve as "gatekeepers," deciding which informa-

  tion to pass on to staff and which to discard.  Senator Foster asked if

  anyone knows about unofficial mailing lists that parallel the deans, direc-

  tors, and department heads list.  He requested that discussion of the mail-

  ing lists be tabled until more Senators are present.  He also thanked

  everyone who provided input for the graduate assistant parking article that

  appeared in SPECTRUM today and stressed that both sides were clearly por-

  trayed.

 

  *ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--Senator Patty for Senator Phillips, chair, said

  the committee is waiting to hear from Larry Harris about whether appoint-

  ments for university councils, commissions, and committees will be stag-

  gered.  Senator Murray said she has heard they will be staggered.  Senator

  Patty said the committee is working towards developing a database of staff

  volunteers willing to serve on committees, which will be an ongoing

  project.  She said the committee could use a listing of different univer-

  sity governmental organizations as well as the number of times each will be

  meeting.

 

  *LONG RANGE PLANNING & BUDGET--Senator Ballard, chair, reported the commit-

  tee met on June 16, 1992, and discussed the future direction of the commit-

  tee.  She said one issue is the dwindling number of members.  She asked for

  new appointments to the committee when new Senators come on-board in July.

 

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

  Senator Stott gave a Blue Cross/Blue Shield update.  Problems still exist

  with the mental health aspect of the Key Advantage health care plan.  Sen-

  ator Stott said that legislators seem to believe that "sweetening the pot"

  for physicians has solved all the problems.  The list of participating phy-

  sicians is still unavailable.  Doctors lack confidence that what BC/BS is

  offering them now will still apply later.  Delegate Joan Munford has asked

  if employees would still like for DPT and BC/BS personnel to visit Virginia

  Tech.  Senator Stott suggested using the 1-800-552-2682 number for

  questions about the health care plan.  He reported that Minnis Ridenour

  stated issues of Virginia Tech employees before the Governor's Committee

  last Thursday.  There are many confidentiality concerns as well as concerns

  about doctors having received the wrong information.

 

  Senator Stott said he talked to Health Coalition representatives, who are

  asking legislators to delay implementation of the health care plan until

  March 1, 1993.  Although the Coalition has backing, the state Democratic

  leadership feels the plan will be resolved in the next 90 days.  A letter

  to the editor concerning coverage of an autistic child was used as an exam-

  ple of the plan's inherent problem of not covering pre-existing conditions.

  Doug Martin is working on a grandfather clause to cover these kinds of con-

  ditions.  An article in SPECTRUM was not specific about which pre-existing

  illnesses are covered.  Senator Williams encouraged all senators to go back

  to their associations and plead for renewed efforts to convey concerns to

  appropriate officials.

 

  Senator Donohoe asked if a current listing of doctors involved in the new

  health care plan could be published in the paper weekly so employees would

  have adequate time to make rational decisions.

 

  Alternate Senator Johnson shared information from Senator Cox that Tom

  Goodale and Gary Hooper plan to take the graduate assistant parking issue

  back to the Parking/Transportation Advisory Committee with the possible re-

  commendation that faculty/staff lots be available to those graduate stu-

  dents whose working responsibilities are significant.  How "significant"

  will be defined is unclear.  The parking committee functions in an advisory

  capacity.  The ultimate decision will be made by university officials who

  have thus far followed the advice of the parking committee.

 

 

  NEW BUSINESS--Vice-President Orcutt said Arthur Snoke is monitoring the

  disadvantages of Key Advantage.  She said Senators should discuss this is-

  sue with their associations and continue to ask questions until answers are

  provided.  She said President McConnell plans to ask the Faculty Senate how

  it feels on this issue.

 

  Senator Kaufman asked if Senators would be involved in any way in promoting

  voting for the bond issue concerning higher education on November 3.  Vice-

  President Orcutt stated many students do not vote due to absentee ballots

  being difficult to obtain.  President McComas has encouraged employees to

  spread the word to as many voters as possible on the importance of the bond

  to higher education.  The Staff Senate may want to use SPECTRUM to encour-

  age voting on the bond issue.  Absentee applications must be received five

  days before the election or completed in the registrar's office at least

  three days prior to election.  Voting registration will be held in Squires

  in September.  Ralph Beyers is working with students.  Staff Senate needs

  to develop a voter registration plan for staff as well as students.

 

  Senator Williams updated Senate on the study of Physical Plant facilities

  by Coopers & Lybrand, and Senator Pyle reported on the study briefing to

  the May 20 meeting of the University Facilities Review and Advisory Commit-

  tee.  Report of the study generated much discussion in the Senate.  Some

  Senators expressed concerns about the validity of the report.  They said

  that the facilities area could use improvements and that some of the re-

  port's recommendations will be implemented.  The Physical Plant itself has

  had a change of command in the last nine months, which is expected to re-

  sult in positive changes.

 

  The meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

 

 

 

  Barbara Hise

  Secretary

 

 

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