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Governance Minutes Archive

November 19, 1992


                                 STAFF SENATE



                        MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

                          THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1992

                   ROOM 102 - PHASE IV - VETERINARY MEDICINE





  SENATORS PRESENT:  Bill Aliff, Carolyn Alls, Pat Ballard, Freda Blecher,

  Janet Bryant, Clara Cox, Marge Dellers, Kathy Eschenmann, Spencer Foster,

  Betty Greene, Linda Haney, Diane Kaufman, Eileen Keeney, Larry Lawrence,

  Margie Lawrence, Don Massie, Sherilyn McConnell, Diane Patty, Rocky Price,

  Peggy Rasnick, Kathy Reynolds, Widget Shannon, Buddy Shaver, Sonja Stone,

  Charlie Stott, Sherri Turner, Pat Worrell


  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Jean Baker, Nancy Looney, Valerie Myers, Wyatt



  GUESTS:  Richard Lovegrove, SPECTRUM; Richard Alvarez, Public Safety,

  Health, and Transportation; Deborah Young, Environmental Health/Safety Ser-

  vices; Roy Jones, Faculty Senate




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

  welcomed senators, alternates, and guests.





  President McConnell announced that Senator Worrell has been appointed to

  the Intellectual Property Committee and that Senator Phillips has been ap-

  pointed to the President's Award for Excellence Selection Committee.





  President McConnell introduced Richard Alvarez, Director of Public Safety,

  Health, and Transportation.


  Mr. Alvarez explained that he is involved in daily operations and policy

  making in the areas of compliance and transportation.  In the area of com-

  pliance, he oversees the Police Department and Environmental Health and

  Safety. In the area of transportation, he oversees the Airport, Motor Pool,

  and Parking Services.  He also oversees the Laundry and Tailor Shop.


  Mr. Alvarez took over Environmental Health/Safety Services in October 1989,

  prior to budget cuts in December 1989.  He stated that Health/Safety took

  tough budget cuts and lost positions, precluding implementation of several

  planned projects.  He has now recovered some of the positions, and

  Health/Safety has been reorganized and restructured into Fire

  Safety/University Fire Marshall.


  Mr. Alvarez said Deborah Young heads Laboratory Safety, and she has identi-

  fied about 1,500 labs.  She is involved primarily with chemical and air

  quality problems and has made great strides to comply with federal laws re-

  garding research labs.  Zachary Adams heads Environmental Health and is in-

  volved in the ongoing process of identifying areas with asbestos.  Mr.

  Adams deals with building/indoor air quality problems.  Mr. Alvarez stated

  that Environmental Safety has successfully taken care of all Area I priori-

  ties in the asbestos cleanup.


  He reported that Keith Furr's office spent about $400,000 on hazardous

  waste clean up last year and only $200,000 was budgeted.  He said it is

  very expensive to test unknown chemicals in order to identify them so they

  can be disposed of.  The expense is covered by departments or the univer-

  sity contingency fund depending on the size and severity of the waste prob-



  In the area of transportation, Mr. Alvarez said Mike Jones heads the Police

  Department, which is undergoing national accreditation at Mr. Jones's ini-

  tiation.  The department has only 31 sworn officers.  Mr. Alvarez said that

  the Police Department initiated the dorm security program and that emer-

  gency phones soon will be installed throughout the campus whereby a caller

  can pick up the receiver and have instant access to the Police Department.


  In response to questions from senators, Mr. Alvarez stated that if traffic

  flow problems are spotted they should be reported to J.B. Sutphin in Facil-

  ities Planning/Construction.  Skateboards and bicycles are a big problem on

  campus.  There is a problem with storing them on walks and in buildings and

  locking them to sign posts.  Mr. Alvarez said several bike racks will be

  built to help alleviate the problem.  He reported that the recently-

  initiated bike registration procedure has worked well even though it was

  approved later than he had expected.


  In closing, he urged senators to forward questions to him in writing, and

  he will forward them to the appropriate office.





  The minutes of the October 15, 1992, Staff Senate meeting were approved

  with three corrections:  Jane Harrison was present.  Page 5 should be cor-

  rected to read, "Senator Rasnick noted that an announcement was made to the

  Commission on Research . . . ."  On page 2 under the Commission on Staff

  Affairs report, it was noted that the sentence should read, "Short-term

  concerns are leave without pay, parental leave . . . ."





  *COMMUNICATIONS--Senator Cox, chair, reported that the committee has not

  had much success in identifying "unofficial" mailing lists.  She reported

  that Senator Foster is working on a telephone helpline, which should be

  available in January.  Included on the helpline will be information to as-

  sist employees who may have difficulty reading or writing.  She reported

  that SPECTRUM Editor John Ashby is currently planning a series of articles

  that will highlight the contributions of staff.  The series is tentatively

  planned to run in the spring.


  Senator Cox said the committee discussed the need for a policy of openness

  at the university and made a motion on behalf of the committee that Senate

  ask the Commission on Classified Staff Affairs to consider developing a

  policy of openness regarding university reports and proposals.  The motion

  was seconded and passed unanimously.  President McConnell asked Senator Cox

  to draft a letter on the request to the commission.


  *ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS--Senator Patty reported that a mailing to asso-

  ciation chairs had recently gone out.  The mailing included a brief de-

  scription of each of the university councils, commissions, and committees

  and identified staff representation on each.  The purpose of the mailing

  was to get names of staff willing to be nominated for council, commission,

  and committee vacancies that may arise during the year.  Senator Patty

  thanked Senator Murray for help in providing information on the councils,

  commissions, and committees.  After local associations return the nomi-

  nation forms by the November 30 deadline, names will be entered into an au-

  tomated database.  Senator Phillips and Senator Patty will ask non-senators

  serving on university councils, commissions, and committees to report is-

  sues of concern to classified staff to Senate Secretary Hise-Shelor.


  *LONG RANGE BUDGET AND PLANNING--Senator Ballard reported that George

  Crofts from the College of Arts and Sciences was the guest speaker at the

  committee's November 10 meeting.  He discussed the budget process in the

  College of Arts and Sciences.   Assistant Provost Pat Hyer will be the

  guest speaker at the December meeting.


  *POLICIES AND ISSUES--President McConnell reported that the Council of

  Presidents Subcommittee had held the first meeting of the Council of Presi-

  dents and that there was enthusiastic support for forming the council.  The

  council discussed staff participation in local associations across campus,

  why some associations are more successful, and how the council members can

  share ideas about getting classified staff involved in the governance sys-






  *UNIVERSITY COUNCIL--President McConnell reported that a correction had

  been made to the minutes of the Commission on Research regarding a state-

  ment that only faculty may serve as chairs of commissions.


  *STRATEGIC BUDGETING AND PLANNING--President McConnell reported that com-

  mittee members are "in training" regarding capital projects, enrollment

  plan, and the budgeting process timetable.


  *COMMISSION ON CLASSIFIED STAFF AFFAIRS--Vice President Stott reported that

  the commission will look at staff representation on councils, commissions,

  and committees to make sure classified staff are represented.  He said the

  commission discussed ways to recognize classified staff in addition to the

  President's Award for Excellence.  The commission also heard reports of

  classified staff being given lower performance ratings because of their

  participation in the governance system.  A policy statement may be needed

  to recognize staff participation in the governance system as service to the

  university and hence an appropriate contribution within one's job perform-

  ance.  The commission also discussed the idea of writing participation in

  the governance system into position descriptions.



  graduate student parking is an ongoing issue.


  *COMMISSION ON RESEARCH--Senator Rasnick reported that no topics affecting

  classified staff were discussed.


  *COMMISSION ON STUDENT AFFAIRS--Senator Blecher reported that graduate stu-

  dent parking in faculty/staff lots continues to be a topic of discussion.


  After discussion in Senate about the graduate parking issue, Senator Cox

  made a motion that Senate send a letter to the Parking/Transportation Com-

  mittee asking the committee to establish a moratorium on issing hangtags

  for faculty/staff lots to any additional groups until

  construction/renovation on existing lots is completed.  The motion was sec-

  onded and passed unanimously.  President McConnell asked Senator Cox to

  draft the letter.


  *COMMISSION ON UNIVERSITY SUPPORT--Senator Sasser said that the following

  committees will report to the Commission on University Support:  Building

  (Facilities), Communication Resources, Computer, and Parking and that the

  committees will submit their charge and membership to the commission by the

  end of December.


  *EO/AA COMMITTEE--Senator Greene reported that the committee has not met.



  that the policy on off-campus parking is that off-campus employees are

  treated as visitors and are required to purchase a $1/day hangtag or a vis-

  itor pass when parking short-term on campus.  She reported that parking

  near the College of Veterinary Medicine is a problem on Saturdays when

  there are home football games.  The college is open seven days a week, and

  employees and clients needing access to the veterinary hospital have diffi-

  culty getting through the traffic.  The matter is being investigated.  Sen-

  ator Shannon also reported that a top parking priority is construction of a

  parking garage at the CEC, but that storm drainage problems must be cor-

  rected before construction can begin.


  *SCHEDULING AND REGISTRATION COMMITTEE--Senator Shannon reported that the

  committee has proposed a 1994-95 calendar and will distribute it to faculty

  and staff for input.


  FACULTY SENATE--Senator Myers attended for Senator Rasnick.  Faculty Senate

  discussed tuition relief for faculty dependents.  It was suggested that

  Staff Senate President McConnell write Faculty Senate President Geyer of-

  fering Staff Senate assistance on any proposal for tuition assistance for

  faculty/staff dependents.


  Faculty Senate discussed whether mail marked confidential is treated as

  such and if campus mail is handled differently than U.S. mail if it is

  marked confidential.  A clarification was made that once mail (first class,

  printed matter, etc.) reaches the University Post Office, it becomes the

  property of the university.  This issue will be addressed at a future meet-



  Staff Senators Aliff and Shannon volunteered to check on handling of confi-

  dential mail on campus and will discuss the issue with University Legal






  Vice President Stott reported that the Joint Health Care Task Force is

  still monitoring changes in the health care program and is putting together

  a report of concerns.  It is looking into the annual OB/GYN visits, mental

  health aspects (United Behavioral Services), and managed care systems.





  *MEETINGS--President McConnell reported on two recent meetings:  (1) Staff

  Senate/Faculty Senate/Parking and Transportation meeting, and (2) Univer-

  sity administrative staff/Staff Senate President/Staff Senate Vice

  President/Dr. McComas meeting.


  Staff Senate and Faculty Senate representatives met with Richard Alvarez,

  Carl Polan, and Curtis Lynch to discuss parking issues.  Mr. Alvarez in-

  formed the group that there are approximately 6,429 faculty/staff vehicle

  registrations and 3,472 available spaces.  There are 2,855 graduate student

  registrations, 13,000 commuter student registrations, and 4,164 available

  commuter spaces.  Other topics discussed were the problems with roller

  blades, skateboards, and bicycles and with bus parking at football games.

  Mr. Alvarez reported that communications are under way with bus companies

  to develop alternate plans for parking at games.  The problem of night

  parking by employees in areas near the Newman Library and other areas was



  President McConnell and Vice President Stott met with President McComas and

  other university administrators to discuss staff issues such as pay bene-

  fits, lobbying, annual evaluations, communications, and staff participation

  in the governance system.  Dr. McComas expressed interest that the group

  meet on a regular basis to exchange ideas and reiterated his enthusiasm for

  staff participation in university governance.


  *PRESENTATION SEMINAR--President McConnell reported that Senate Executive

  Committee has been discussing the idea of a seminar on how to organize and

  make public presentations.  The seminar would be open to senators; non-

  senators who serve on university councils, commissions, and committees; and

  local association chairs.  President McConnell asked for a show of hands

  from senators interested in such a seminar and received enthusiastic re-

  sponse.  Plans for the seminar will be discussed at a later time.


  *SERVICE PROJECT FOR CHRISTMAS--Senator Greene said that some local associ-

  ations had adopted a Christmas project.  She reminded senators that in 1991

  Senate donated money and helped a local family at Christmas.


  A motion was made that Senate support a Christmas project.  The motion

  passed unanimously.  Senators may send contributions to President McConnell

  by December 15.  Senator Greene volunteered to talk with the Montgomery

  County Welfare Department to identify a family that needs help at Christ-



  *AY CLASSIFIED POSITIONS--Senator Stott stated there are numerous concerns

  with the proposal for academic year appointments for classified staff.

  Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University are working on a proposal to in-

  stitute a two-year pilot program to test the idea.  The main concern is

  that the proposal now calls for the appointments to be mandatory rather

  than voluntary.  He stressed that the decision to make a position a nine-

  month appointment should be a cooperative decision between management and

  the employee.  He said there is concern regarding who would decide which

  position would be converted to nine-month positions.  There is also concern

  about benefits earned by nine-month employees.  He stated that Ann Spencer

  will be meeting with ODU and Virginia Department of Personnel and Training

  representatives to discuss various concerns with the draft statement.  Sen-

  ator Stott urged classified staff to forward comments about the draft pro-

  posal to him.



  Senator Cox made a motion to adjourn into executive session.  The motion

  was seconded and passed unanimously.  Guests were asked to leave.


  Staff Senate meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m. to go into executive ses-





  Diane Patty

  Acting Secretary


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