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November 18, 1993

       Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

                          Staff Senate

 

                 Minutes of the Regular Meeting

                   Thursday, November 18, 1993

            Room 102 - Phase II - Veterinary Medicine

 

  Senators Present: Bill Aliff, Carolyn Alls, Sheila Blankenship,

  Joyce Bohr, Janet Bryant, Judy Davis, Marge Dellers, Patrick

  Donohoe, Jamie Evans, Spencer Foster, Les Fuller, Betty Greene,

  Patty Hall, Julia King, Richard Lovegrove, Don Massie, Sherilyn

  McConnell, Valerie Myers, Diane Patty, Carlile Price, Peggy

  Rasnick, Wyatt Sasser, Lynne Schaefermeyer, Widget Shannon,

  Buddy Shaver, Chuck Shorter, Charlie Stott, Lorie Sumpter,

  Sarah Wheeler, Deb Williams

 

  Alternates Present:  Carol Dallman for Diane Kaufman, Netta

  Eisler for Mary Holliman, Nancy Looney for Lisa Jansen, Rebecca

  Scheckler for Pat Ballard

 

  Guests:  Cindy Harrison

 

  Call to Order

 

  Meeting was called to order at 5:40 PM.

 

  Announcements

 

  President McConnell welcomed senators, alternates and guests and

  reinforced that Staff Senate meetings are a matter of public

  record, so don't specify names, dates, or places unless you want

  it in print.

 

  President McConnell announced the following committee

  assignments:  ADA Elevator and Access Design - Mary Holliman,

  Infectious Waste Incinerator - Bill Aliff, Facilities Survey

  Update - Marge Dellers, Campus Master Plan - Barbara Shelor,

  Committee on Academic Support - Patty Hall and Diane Patty,

  Committee on Academic Policies - Sarah Wheeler.

 

  Approval of Minutes

 

  Minutes of the October 21, 1993, meeting were approved with the

  following additions and corrections: Page one, under

  announcements, Torgeson should be corrected to Torgersen;  page

  two, under Parking and Transportation, first sentence should be

  corrected to read "Senator Shannon stated that she has a

  concern as to why the graduate students were given special

  parking privileges when it was not approved through the

  governance system.";  page three, paragraph two should be

  corrected to read "McConnell reported that a final report was

  not ready yet."

 

  University Councils, Commissions, Committee Reports

 

  Communications Committee met November 3, nothing significant to

  report.

 

  Elections and Nominations Committee met November 17, minutes

  of the meeting were available.

 

  Advisory Committee on Strategic Budgeting and Planning met and

  the majority of the meeting was devoted to discussion of the

  list of priorities for the 1.5% reallocation.  The council is

  trying to develop a list to assist the Provost in his effort to

  reallocate the funds in priority areas.  The current list is

  being expanded based on additional contributions from the

  November 17 meeting.  The master list will be further

  discussed at the December 2 meeting.  The final list will

  serve as a guide for reallocation in Virginia's economic and

  budget outlook for the 1990's for the Provost and the Executive

  Vice President.

 

  Senator Williams addressed an issue concerning the Commission on

  University Support.  In the note from Jim Armstrong, it states

  that it is required that the commission chair be a university

  faculty member.  Senator Williams reviewed the constitution,

  which states that the chair will be elected from non-administrative

  faculty and staff members.

 

 

  Old Business

 

  Smoking policy

 

  Senator Foster and Senator Williams distributed copies of the

  Staff Senate Ad Hoc Smoking Policy Committee Final Report and allowed

  senators time to read the report.  Senator Foster stated that the

  committee had met several times and reviewed the current literature

  on environmental or second-hand smoke and invited a number of air

  flow and environmental health and safety experts to participate

  in the discussions.  Senator Foster also spoke individually with Ann

  Spencer, Associate Vice President for Personnel and Administrative

  Services, and Richard Alvarez, Director of Public Safety, Health,

  and Transportation, to get their input. After reviewing the current

  policy and the input received, the committee concluded that the

  original smoking policy was written to allow maximum flexibility

  in implementing it, but the committee realized that this flexibility

  was, in fact, hindering the policy in some cases. The committee

  concluded the policy needs to take a less flexible and more

  centralized approach. Committee members also came to the conclusion

  that it was going to be difficult to differentiate between

  smoking-related problems and air-quality issues. The committee

  recommended that some body of the governance structure look at

  air quality as a whole.

 

  The committee also studied federal guidelines for creating smoking

  areas and came to conclusion that they were so stringent that no

  space on campus would meet those standards. If the university

  were to conform to those guidelines, it was estimated that it

  would cost at least $10,000 per smoking area. Committee members

  also noted that no mandates have been issued by OSHA or EPA that

  say how much second-hand smoke is dangerous. However, the EPA

  Scientific Advisory Board has agreed that environmental

  tobacco smoke is a Class A carcinogen, placing it in the same

  category as asbestos.

 

  The Committee made the following recommendations:

 

  --That the policy be updated to include technical literature

  that reflects new research and

  conjecture concerning environmental tobacco smoke;

  --There is a significant problem with the method of designating

  smoking areas, therefore, department heads or people designated

  to assign smoking areas should be required to consult with an

  on-campus expert such as Environmental Health and Safety;

  --That those designees also elicit input from faculty, staff,

  and students in their buildings;

  --That there should not be blanket smoking-permitted area

  designations (such as atriums); and each

  smoking area would be designated by a case-by-case basis;

   --There is currently no provision on maintaining signage

  regarding smoking-prohibited areas. The committee

  recommended that some group be responsible for maintaining

  signs, most likely people already responsible for hazard or health

  hazard signs;

   --That there be a provision for disciplining those

  who violate the policy;

   --That definitions in the reference section be strengthened to

   reflect the new technical approach of the policy;

  --They are not recommending that Environmental Health and

  Safety monitor smoking. They should just be technical advisors.

 

  Senator Foster noted that this is not the definitive study, it

  is just the first step.  It is the committee's hope that this

  report will generate further discussion and testing on this

  issue. Senator Foster also thanked the committee members and

  others who provided input for their hard work.

 

  Senator Williams briefly reviewed the changes to the policy

  that the committee has proposed and asked for discussion and

  suggestions for revisions.

 

  President McConnell expressed concern that there was no

  statement in the policy that says appropriate disciplinary

  action may be taken against violators of the policy.  Senator

  Williams responded that this policy applies to students,

  visitors, faculty, and staff and each group comes under a

  different jurisdictional environment. Therefore, discipline

  or grievances would follow the channels of whichever group you

  belong to.

 

  Senator Evans asked if tobacco products are sold on campus.

  They are sold in some vending machines and some snack bars and

  also in the bookstore.

 

  Senator Sumpter asked who would pay for the signs at the

  buildings and who would put them up.  It is expected that would

  come under the way we pay for other signs on campus, but that

  it would be an administrative decision.

 

  Senator Sasser commented that if the administration is looking

  at improving the smoking policy, they ought to provide

  the necessary receptacles at the entrances to the buildings to

  handle the cigarette butts, etc.  He expressed concern that

  these receptacles can cost from $100 to $300 each.

  Senator Williams responded that this was something that the

  committee did not feel they needed to discuss because it is

  more of an administrative and housekeeping decision.

 

  STAFF SENATE EXPRESSED ITS APPRECIATION AND COMMENDED THE

  committee for its excellent and expedient effort.

 

  Senator Foster made a motion that Staff Senate accept the

  report of the Ad Hoc Smoking Committee as revised. Motion was

  seconded and carried.

 

  Motion was made for Staff Senate to forward the policy as

  revised to the appropriate governance body for review and

  action.  Senator Stott asked for clarification.  In the first

  motion, senate voted to accept the report, the second motion

  refers to the policy.  Senator Foster moved that the report

  as revised be forwarded to the appropriate governance body.

  Motion was seconded and carried.

 

  President McConnell asked the Ad Hoc Smoking Committee for

  suggestions as to the appropriate places the report should be

  sent.  Senator Foster suggested Faculty Senate, SGA, GSA,

  University Council, the provost, the executive vice president, and

  the president's office.

 

  Senator Donohoe made a recommendation that the report be sent to

  Richard Alvarez because he is director of Public Safety, Health,

  and Transportation.  President McConnell stated that she is sure

  that Mr. Alvarez will see a copy of the report soon, but senate

  will send him an official copy. President McConnell also questioned

  whether Facilities should also receive a copy of the report.

  Consensus was to send Facilities and Bob Criminger a copy also.

 

  President McConnell requested that Senator Williams forward the

  electronic file to the Staff Senate user ID.  Senator Williams

  will dump the files to user ID STAFFSEN.

 

  New Business

  In reference to the resolution clarifying administrative and

  professional faculty representation, they are looking for two

  things: 1) for Staff Senate to approve or disapprove the

  resolution to dissolve the Advisory Council on Human Rights and

  Social Responsibility, and 2) for approval or disapproval the

  resolution clarifying the AP Faculty representation in University

  Governance.

 

  Senator Patty questioned the term length council members could

  serve.  Senator Stott noted that there are a number of administrative

  and professional faculty members on the council currently.  He

  questioned whether the four new members would replace current

  members or be in addition to them.  It is also unclear whether

  they are voting members.

 

  After discussion, the consensus of the group was that the

  intent of the document was good, but it was too vague.  President

  McConnell requested that Senators Williams and Patty and guest

  Cindy Harrison seek answers to these questions and/or revisions

  to the resolution and forward them to Senators electronically

  so that a vote can be taken on the resolution by Tuesday,

  November 23, at noon.

 

  On the issue of dissolution of the Advisory Council on Human

  Rights and Social Responsibility, Senator Evans stated that he

  is on that council and they have not met.  Senator Aliff stated

  that they did have some meetings, and spent most of their time

  trying to figure out what it was they wanted to do.  There are

  other committees that can handle the issues that this council

  would address.

 

  Senator Lovegrove made a motion to support the resolution to

  dissolve the Advisory Council on Human Rights and Social

  Responsibility.  Motion was seconded and carried.

 

 

  Presidential Search

 

  Senator Stott stated that Staff Senate has been given an opportunity

  to provide input about the qualities and qualifications desired in

  the new university president.  He requested that senators get more

  input from all staff members as soon as possible.   Input should be

  sent to Senator Stott at user ID AGWAGG, or mail code 0402.

 

 

  Spectrum Survey

 

  The Executive Committee discussed the possibility of a survey

  concerning the performance evaluation process.  The statistics from

  Personnel were not available for the November meeting, so we have

  invited Linda Woodard and H. B. Whitt to attend the December meeting.

  President McConnell has requested that they send whatever statistics

  or information they have available to the senate enough in advance

  of the December meeting so that they can go out with the agenda for

  Senators to review.

 

  The survey will ask questions such as male or female; on or off

  campus; grade by groups, such as grade 1-4, 5-8, etc.; when

  the performance plan was prepared on which the evaluation was

  based; did the supervisor discuss your performance throughout the

  year; were you asked to provide documentation or

  input prior to the completion of your evaluation; did your

  supervisor participate in the evaluation training sessions; did

  you know the names of the committee members who were reviewing

  the exceptional evaluations in your unit, etc.  Any other input

  will be requested on a separate sheet of paper.  The survey has

  been reviewed by Center for Survey Research on campus and they

  have suggested some cosmetic changes and wondered about the

  effectiveness of using Spectrum.  The survey would have to be

  reduced and cut out and this might deter some staff.

  Another possibility is to mail the questions and

  have the return address of the Staff Senate office printed on

  the back of the survey.

 

  Senator Schaefermeyer suggested using an op scan form and

  peelable labels so that staff could peel their name off.  The

  point was raised that op scans cannot be folded, so the survey

  would have to be placed in an envelope.  President McConnell

  stated that they had also considered a blank sheet of paper on

  the outside with the mailing label on it so that the outside sheet

  could be thrown away and the inside survey sheet completed, folded,

  and mailed.

 

  Senator Williams expressed concern that the Council for

  Association Officers has not been meeting. President McConnell

  stated that it is her understanding that they are meeting

  monthly.  There was no meeting in October due to a scheduling

  conflict for the Board Room, but they intend to continue their

  monthly meetings.

  Meeting adjourned at _______.

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