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March 18, 1993

              VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

                                 STAFF SENATE

 

 

                        MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

                           THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 1993

                   ROOM 102 - PHASE II - VETERINARY MEDICINE

 

 

 

 

  SENATORS PRESENT:  Bill Aliff, Pat Ballard, Sheila Blankenship, Janet

  Bryant, Clara Cox, Marge Dellers, Patrick Donohoe, Spencer Foster, Betty

  Greene, Linda Haney, Eileen Keeney, Don Massie, Sherilyn McConnell, Bhaba

  Misra, Margie Murray, Diane Patty, Fred Phillips, Carlile Price, Peggy

  Rasnick, Kathy Reynolds, Widget Shannon, Barbara Hise Shelor, Sonja Stone,

  Charlie Stott, Sherri Turner, Deb Williams

 

  ALTERNATES IN ATTENDANCE:  Mary Ann Johnson for Kathy Eschenmann, Mark

  Robertson for Diane Kaufman, Wyatt Sasser for Charles Paige

 

  GUESTS:  Netta Eisler, SPECTRUM

 

 

 

 

  CALL TO ORDER

 

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

  welcomed senators, alternates, and guests.

 

 

  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

  President McConnell announced that the meeting would begin with a presenta-

  tion on the Leadership Development Program by Ann Spencer, Associate Vice-

  President for Personnel and Administrative Services.

 

  Vice-President Spencer said a task force recommended the program several

  years ago but lack of funding halted implementation.  However, $100,000

  funding was received for the current fiscal year.  (The report of the Task

  Force is on the mainframe under Administrative Display.)

 

  Currently a number of programs are being implemented for all people in

  leadership positions, not just senior level administrators.  Underway is

  compilation of a library of educational and assessment materials, including

  a series of videos on Total Quality Management, which are available to the

  entire university.  Other more formal programs include training in support

  of the Phase II initiative (see recent papers distributed by the President,

  Provost, and Executive Vice President) and addressing change in the organ-

  ization.  Personnel Services and Enrollment Services are involved in a se-

  ries of such training programs because change has already begun in these

  areas.

 

  Vice-President Spencer said interest exists to create an Executive Leader-

  ship Institute.  Grants and scholarships have been made available for vari-

  ous leadership programs offered both on and off-campus.  Support from the

  leadership budget has gone to the Women in Leadership Program, the 21st

  Century Leadership Program, a Commonwealth Management Institute, a new de-

  partment head mentoring program, and leadership and diversity speakers for

  the Black Caucus.  There are also plans to reinstitute a leadership forum

  series (either breakfast or lunch meetings) once guest speakers can be

  identified. Finally, a self-initiated, self-monitored leadership seminar to

  allow individuals to attend and learn at their own pace will be piloted

  this spring, with individuals at director, assistant director, or senior

  manager levels nominated by vice presidents to participate.  Vice-President

  Spencer indicated that she would be meeting with Staff Senate Executive

  Committee to brainstorm on ways to identify and develop leaders from the

  staff.

 

  Senator Williams asked about plans to include people in lower pay grades.

  Vice-President Spencer said the program is intended to be a broad based

  leadership initiative based on leadership needs throughout the university,

  not just an executive program.  However, this type of program must evolve

  based on needs identified; therefore, there is no "map" for the future.

  The intent is to provide leadership programs where needs are identified.

  Some of the initial efforts are being handled through a "broker" approach

  and grants to other existing programs.

 

  Senator Stott asked if subordinates could nominate their bosses for these

  programs.  Vice-President Spencer said the hope is to make the programs

  broadly available so they will be well received.  Programs such as these

  are not going to make a significant difference in leadership this year or

  next; it will take time to build upon the foundation now being laid.

 

  Senator Stott said he hoped enrollees had some expectations and would take

  their new knowledge back to the workplace to share with colleagues.

 

  Senator Murray asked if newly hired leaders are instructed on what the Uni-

  versity Plan actually is and if there is a connection with Phase II.  Vice

  President Spencer stated the University Plan was developed during a time of

  full resources; thus the Provost's Office is working on a process to inte-

  grate the current university plan with Phase II.  She suggested that the

  new Department Head Mentoring Program might be a good place for discussion

  of these documents.  Vice-President Spencer said her main goal at this time

  is to develop small successes and build support for leadership development

  to ensure the long-term future of the program.

 

 

  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

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

  with the following corrections:  Page 4, Senator Phillips said he felt the

  staff would be pleased with the package put together for Staff Appreciation

  "Day," and Senator Murray merely "suggested" that several injury reports

  were illegitimate claims.  Page 2, in the Commission on University Support

  report, Senator Donohoe reported that Tom Head will be a future guest

  speaker.

 

 

  SENATE COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

  *COMMUNICATIONS--Senator Cox, chair, reported the committee met March 3 and

  heard a report from Senator Foster on the Personnel Services helpline.

  Personnel Services will soon consider a proposal for setting up a helpline,

  but cost could become a significant factor.  She said the committee also

  discussed the need for senate to hold a discussion about sexual harassment

  since some employees have questions about what behavior constitutes sexual

  harassment.

 

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

  had not met but had drafted a copy of a proposed amendment to the Staff

  Senate Constitution.  The original committee had the foresight to protect

  local associations when senators changed jobs.  However, on university com-

  mittees and councils, senators are representatives for the entire staff

  body.  It is unproductive to change committee members in mid-year.  The

  committee wants more flexibility to handle these cases.  Local associations

  have the right to replace senators, but the Executive Committee should have

  the right to keep the senator who changed associations to remain on their

  committee if Executive Committee feels the senator is adequately represent-

  ing the staff.  The proposed amendment was distributed, and President

 

  McConnell instructed Secretary Shelor to mail a copy of the proposed amend-

  ment to absent senators with a 30-day notice.

 

  *LONG RANGE BUDGET AND PLANNING--Senator Ballard, chair, had no report.

 

  *POLICIES AND ISSUES--Senator Murray, chair, reported the parking issue was

  on the agenda for discussion at the next University Council meeting.  She

  said that John Ashby made a presentation on the Commission on Classified

  Staff Affairs' proposed forum on openness to the Council of Staff Associ-

  ation Officers.

 

 

  UNIVERSITY COUNCIL, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

  *UNIVERSITY COUNCIL--Senator Cox reported the council had not met.

 

  *HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY--Senator Aliff reported the council

  was investigating having a representative for gay rights address the com-

  mittee.  He said the council is trying to create opportunities for minority

  students through tutoring programs and special grants.

 

  *STRATEGIC BUDGETING AND PLANNING--President McConnell announced the com-

  mittee discussed Phase II and amendments to the budget requests.

 

  *COMMISSION ON CLASSIFIED STAFF AFFAIRS--Vice President Stott deferred his

  report until the new business portion of the meeting.

 

  *COMMISSION ON GRADUATE STUDIES AND POLICIES--Senator Haney told senators

  that graduate student parking was going before the University Council.  She

  also said the commission's minutes should read graduate student commence-

  ment.

 

  *COMMISSION ON RESEARCH--Senator Rasnick reported she had not seen the min-

  utes from this meeting.

 

  *COMMISSION ON UNIVERSITY SUPPORT--Senator Donohoe stated that Tom Head

  spoke at the March 8 meeting about a pilot program to teach faculty about

  working on PCs versus the mainframe.  The program is slated to begin this

  summer.

 

  *EO/AA COMMITTEE--President McConnell said the meeting was cancelled.

 

  *PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE--Senator Shannon said the last meet-

  ing was cancelled.  She stated she was participating on a subcommittee to

  re-write traffic regulations.  Senator Aliff asked if she would address

  oppressive fines.  He felt $10 parking fines were incorporated merely as a

  money-making scheme.  Parking Services has made half a million dollars on

  fines.  Senator Murray stated the fines serve mostly as a deterrent.  Sen-

  ator Phillips added the fines are paying for the bonds that support paving

  the parking lots.

 

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

  Senator Aliff reported he had received a copy of the American Jurisprudence

  2nd edition regarding postal regulations from Congressional Representative

  Rick Boucher.  According to the publication, it is a criminal offense to

  steal, take, or abstract mail from any box or depository or to have it in

  your possession before it arrives in the hands of the addressee.  Mail des-

  ignated in care of other people may not be opened by anyone other than the

  intended addressee.  Senator Aliff said that inter-campus mail would fall

  under university policy.  He concluded that no one should open anyone

  else's mail; it is illegal.

 

  Senator Stott reported on the tentative plans for the forum on openness.

  Dates and times are being considered, but nothing is concrete at this time.

  Some people fear being penalized if they bring up problems.  He asked if

  any senators have something to bring before the forum:  Where are improve-

  ments needed?  How can we develop methods to improve the flow of communi-

  cation in both directions.

 

  Faculty Senator Roy Jones said Leon Geyer, President of Faculty Senate, has

  agreed to hear what the staff has to say about communications.  A three-

  person committee is to have an open meeting where employees could voice

  their concerns.  Senator Stott added that faculty suffers some of the same

  problems and are frustrated, too.  Professors and administrative faculty do

  not have the same flow of information that staff has.  The Commission on

  Classified Staff Affairs needs to hear from people willing to serve on the

  panel who are willing to listen.  The forum will not be allowed to become a

  gripe session.  Only broad communication issues will be discussed.  If

  something is not decided soon, the commission will have the additional

  problems of commencement and vacations.  President McConnell stated some

  local areas censor mail.  Senator Aliff asked if there is a list of things

  that already have been brought up.  There seems to be no follow-up to the

  grievance procedure.  Who checks to see if the decisions are implemented.

  Senator Stott wants the need for confidentiality addressed.

 

 

  NEW BUSINESS

 

  There was no new business.

 

 

  OTHER

 

  Senator Murray asked if all senators have read the Phase II pamphlet.  Page

  5 states that no decisions about merging or reorganizing within the univer-

  sity have taken place.  Should the associations bring this up?  When are

  the department heads going to discuss reorganizations with staff?  Senator

  Aliff said there are some negative concerns about consolidation.  Senator

  Stott said senators must participate in these things.  The insert was in

  SPECTRUM for a reason, and staff cannot get things changed without paying

  careful attention and participating.  Senator Murray stated that SPECTRUM

  had published a progress report.  There are major differences between the

  academic and administrative units.  Some are very active while others are

  inactive.

 

  Senator Cox said that Radford University has already developed its proce-

  dures for implementing the state leave sharing policy and suggested that

  Personnel Services might want to contact Radford on how to get the policy

  implemented at Virginia Tech.  Senator Foster said Personnel Services is

  looking at the policy but is still unsure of the status.  President

  McConnell said she understood a draft memo about the policy is in Ann

  Spencer/Minnis Ridenhour's hands.

 

  Senator Donohoe stated he had received several complaints about smoking in

  unauthorized areas.  President McConnell suggested complainants find out

  who in their building is responsible to determine which areas are

  smoking/non-smoking.  Currently each building makes its own rules.  Senator

  Dellers stated people violating the policy should be handled with discipli-

  nary action.  Senator Shannon asked why the policy is different all over

  campus.  President McConnell stated it is because buildings are equipped

  with different types of ventilation systems.

 

  Senator Cox, who was being extremely difficult this particular night, al-

  though not much different from any other night, said she had some new busi-

  ness to bring up.  She said that Faculty Senate officers get release time

  for their duties, are assigned a secretary, and have an office and noted

  that Staff Senate should be getting equal support.  She asked the status of

  this support for Staff Senate.  President McConnel said she has been unable

  to get the support.  Senator Cox asked what action the Senate should take

  to obtain the support it needs to function appropriately.

 

  Senator Phillips suggested the problem be discussed with Ann Spencer in a

  meeting of the Senate Executive Committee.  Senator Greene made a motion

  that senate send a letter to Vice President Spencer requesting answers to

  the questions of office space, equipment, and release time.  Senator Misra

  made a motion to amend the motion and send it in the form of a resolution

  with a copy to President McComas.  The amendment was voted on and failed.

  The original motion was open for discussion, and much was said about avoid-

  ing conflict.  Senate should ask for action without putting the adminis-

  tration on the defensive.  The vote was 16 in favor and 6 opposed to the

  motion to write the letter.  Senator Patty felt senators had voted on the

  wrong motion.  Senator Misra suggested since there appeared to be some con-

  fusion that we rescind the previous motion and make a new one.  Senator

  Greene rescinded her motion.  Senator McConnell recognized Senator Sassor

  at this time who wanted it on the record that he was offended since he had

  his hand raised and was not acknowledged prior to the question.  President

  McConnell apologized and recognized Senator Sassor, who asked what was the

  offense of asking why senate has not received those things promised to it.

  Senator Patty added that we need to know what the hold-up is, what we can

  do to help, and then see that the items are forthcoming.

 

  Senator Misra moved a letter be written to Ann Spencer addressing the items

  mentioned, using the President's discretion and approved by the Executive

  Committee.  A discussion ensured on an appropriate time frame.  The motion

  was voted on and passed.

 

  Senator Cox announced that staff and faculty have been invited to a brief-

  ing on Hotel Roanoke, March 24, 1993, 2 p.m. in Smyth 146.

 

  Senator Donohoe asked if a decision had been made about inclement weather

  leave during the two days the university was closed to students.  The con-

  sensus was it was still undecided.

 

  Senator Aliff stated he would like it on the record that during the

  blizzard Vet Medicine had many needs for snow removal and the Work Control

  Center (Customer Service Desk), which was inundated with calls of the same

  type, was extremely courteous and helpful in seeing that these things were

  accomplished for the hospital.

 

  The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

 

 

 

  Barbara Hise Shelor

  Secretary

 

 

 

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