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May 21, 1992

              VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

                                 STAFF SENATE

 

                        MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

                            THURSDAY, MAY 21, 1992

                   ROOM 102 - PHASE IV - VETERINARY MEDICINE

 

 

  SENATORS PRESENT:  Carolyn Alls, Clara Cox, Patrick Donohoe, Kathy

  Eschenmann, Spencer Foster, Jane Harrison, Barbara Hise, Diane Kaufman,

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

  Price, Bill Ranck, Peggy Rasnick, Widget Shannon, Buddy Shaver, Sonja

  Stone, Charlie Stott, Keith Tignor, Pat Worrell

 

  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Janet Bryant for Janis Brown, Betty Greene for

  Pat Ballard, Lynne Schaefermeyer for Julie Hancock, Bruce Harper for Fred

  Phillips, Wyatt Sasser, Dean Miller for Deb Williams

 

  GUESTS:  Margie Lawrence - Division of Student Affairs, Marge Dellars -

  Health & Safety, Tracey Bowers - Research & Graduate Studies, Wanda

  Garrison and Bill Aliff - CSAC, Richard Lovegrove - SPECTRUM, Greg Ritter -

  Employee Relations

 

 

 

 

  CALL TO ORDER

 

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

  welcomed guests, liaisons, Senators, and alternates.

 

 

  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

  President McConnell announced there had been numerous conflicts trying to

  establish the CSAC/Staff Senate reception for this date and the decision

  had been made to postpone it until late August or early September.  No

  response has been received from the Department of Personnel and Training

  regarding the resolution sent forward from the Staff Senate.  An employee

  advisory committee on health care has been set up, with Minnis Ridenour

  serving from Virginia Tech along with other state employees from other

  various locations.

 

 

  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

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

  the addition of Marge Dellars to the list of guests present and Senator

  Alls deleted as having asked two questions on page 4.

 

 

  SENATE COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

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

  April 30, 1992, with the discussion revolving around the new health care

  plan.  He said that most of the university seems to be aware of all that is

  transpiring.

 

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

  the committee met April 29, 1992, and was working with area associations in

  the process of electing officers and ratifying their constitutions and

  by-laws.  She questioned whether information from the Staff Senate meetings

  is filtered to these associations and whether the Senators believe some

  communication problems exist.  Senator Murray suggested that the minutes of

  the Senate meetings be distributed approximately one week after the

  meeting.  Senator Cox noted that a suggestion by Senate Alternate Harper

  for the minutes to be included on INFO GOVERN in draft form before their

  approval by the Senate had been approved by the Senate Executive Committee.

  Senator Murray also reported that Greg Ritter and Spencer Foster attended

  the last Executive Committee meeting to request input from staff on how

  associations can become more involved in decision-making processes and the

  benefits to administrators from such involvement.  Greg Ritter plans to use

  the information in presentations to deans and vice presidents.

 

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

  April 29, 1992, and compiled a list of suggested issues that President

  McComas could address when he speaks to the staff on June 3.  The list was

  submitted to President McConnell.  The committee has contacted Ann Spencer

  about campus communications problems and has invited her to its June 3

  meeting to discuss the issue.  The committee still needs to compile a list

  of Senators with their telephone numbers and computer IDs for the back of

  the letter to new employees.  Once that task is completed, the letter will

  go to Personnel Services.  The committee's SPECTRUM article on GTA parking

  in faculty/staff lots has been delegated to Senator Foster.  The article

  will include the pros and cons of the issue.

 

  Senator Cox also reported on highlights of the May 6, 1992, CSAC meeting:

 

       Bill Aliff, chair of Policies and Issues, advised Staff Senate to form

       an oversight committee to deal with health and safety issues.

 

       Ann Spencer announced that Personnel Services is developing a formal

       program to orient faculty, staff, and students to university

       governance, with implementation anticipated in the fall.

 

       Charlie Stott reported that the governor will establish an advisory

       committee on the Key Advantage health care plan.

 

       CSAC is forwarding issues it considers important to Staff Senate.

 

  The meeting was the final one for CSAC.

 

  *CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS--Senator Tignor, chair, reported that the

  University Council approved the Staff Senate Constitution and By-Laws at

  the second reading.  The documents will be presented to the Board of

  Visitors in August.

 

  *ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--President McConnell reported for Senator

  Phillips, chair, that the committee had not met.

 

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

  Senator Cox reported that the Educational Aid Task Force met on April 22,

  1992, and made the following recommendations:

 

       To leave the decision to supervisors on whether to limit waivers to

       courses that are directly job-related or required for the degree a

       person is pursuing.

 

       That departments can make exceptions to the 90-day waiting period

       based on special circumstances.

 

       To turn over to the Personnel Advisory Committee the decision on

       whether to pursue reciprocal waiver agreements with other state

       colleges and universities.

 

  Senator Cox reminded Senators that the university is confined in its

  educational aid policy by the state policy.  Employees should not consider

  educational aid a benefit since it is not available to everyone.  The task

  force did not recommend aid for wage employees because the university could

  not justify the expense since these employees are considered temporary and

  the state requires that an employee be expected to work long enough for the

  employer to recoup the benefits of educational aid.

 

  Senator Stott gave a BC/BS update.  He said the State Department of

  Personnel and Training has made some changes to the Key Advantage health

  care plan to make the policy more acceptable to doctors.  BC/BS and DPT

  personnel, state officials, and area legislators will answer questions of

  state employees during a May 22 meeting in Roanoke, Va., and vans are

  available for transportation to the meeting.  Republican leadership in the

  state requested the health care plan be postponed until next year.  The

  next veto session on May 27th may not convene, but a retreat has been

  scheduled to discuss this issue.  DPT officials involved with the health

  care plan are tentatively planning to meet with state employees in the New

  River Valley.  Employees should check with their respective physicians to

  see if they are participating.  Employees should not rely on information in

  the sourcebook.  According to Benefits, if an employee's primary care

  physician has too many patients, the employee could be switched to another

  physician.  The enrollment period is in May; however, the PCP does not have

  to be designated until August.  A new list of doctors will be issued within

  a few days.  Once DPT feels enough doctors have signed the contract,

  employees will be required to select a PCP from among doctors who freely

  joined the program rather than doctors selected without their consent.

 

  NEW BUSINESS--Senator Rasnick said she thought faculty/staff parking for

  graduate teaching assistants was a closed issue.  Senator Cox said a source

  told her that a request for the GTA parking will be carried to a committee

  other than the Parking Committee, which had denied the request earlier.

  Vice-President Orcutt said two groups deal with parking and transportation:

  Parking Services and an administrative group.  She said the Senate needs to

  stay on top of this issue and voice staff concerns.  Senator Cox agreed to

  ask the secretary of the Parking Committee if she has any more details.

  Senator Rasnick noted that if Virginia Tech truly has shared governance,

  staff should be represented on these committees.  Vice-President Orcutt

  said some committees have been removed from the governance structure yet

  continue to function.  Senate Alternate Harper explained that the

  administrative function and the governance function are two separate

  systems with no inter-connecting communication link.  He said they should

  all be listed in the President's office but that trying to find out who is

  responsible for them is nearly impossible.  Senator Ranck cited an example

  of three roads on campus having new names one day without any prior notice

  or input.  Senator Murray suggested Greg Ritter might be able to use this

  example in his discussion with deans and vice presidents.  Greg Ritter

  explained that all committees are like cheerleaders and fall under the

  jurisdiction of either the administration or government structure.

 

  Senator Foster, who is writing an article on the GTA parking issue for

  SPECTRUM, requested a debate on the issue to provide him with material for

  the article.  President McConnell agreed to hear three pros and three cons

  before she closed discussion.  Vice-President Orcutt stated that graduate

  students are here for only three or four years while faculty and staff may

  be here for thirty years.  She said parking is not adequate now and with

  the few benefits employees have, parking is a benefit.  Senate Alternate

  Harper did not disagree GTAs could have better parking, but faculty and

  staff pay twice as much and subsidize student parking.  He said that towing

  is never enforced.  Senator Eschenmann said the Media Building never has

  enough parking during functions in the CEC and Squires.  Senator Foster

  interjected that he intended to request in the SPECTRUM article that GTAs

  pay full parking fees if they are allowed to park in faculty/staff lots.

  He also said he would suggest that GTAs be given the first row or two in

  student lots as an alternative to parking in faculty/staff lots.  Senator

  Ranck stated the university needs to attract graduate students and

  preferred parking could be one way to do so.  Also, he said that if the

  GTAs are paying full parking fees, employees may see better parking

  facilities.  Senate Alternate Schaefermeyer feels graduate students are

  teachers and should be allowed to use faculty/staff lots.  Senator Donohoe

  said he sees GTAs as a vital part of the university.  He said that parking

  is a serious problem here no matter what happens.

 

  CLOSING President McConnell took time to thank the Senators for helping to

  get the Staff Senate operating.  She went on to say the Senate had

  accomplished everything it set out to do in the time frame it set and

  commended Senators for the job they had done.  She announced that she will

  be on vacation in June and Vice-President Orcutt will chair the June

  meeting.

 

 

 

  Barbara Hise

  Secretary

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