University Council Minutes

September 18, 2000

Present: Dennis Cochrane (for Bob Bates), Earving Blythe, James Bohland, Gregory Brown, Landrum Cross, Ben Dixon, Peter Eyre, Elizabeth Flanagan, Don Kenney (for Eileen Hitchingham), Janet Johnson, Kim O’Rourke, Leonard Peters, Jennie Reilly, Minnis Ridenour, Mode Johnson (for Raymond Smoot), Hap Bonham (for Richard Sorensen), Charles Steger, Bill Stephenson, Andy Swiger, Tom Tillar, Pat Hyer, James Martin, Leon Geyer, Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, Irene Leech, Marquea King, Steven Thompson, Joe Hunnings, Wayne Durham, Jeryl Jones, Tim Pratt, Kamal Rojiani, Bob Tracy, Mitzi Vernon, Slimane Adjerid (for Rebecca Crittenden), Sam Hicks, Pat Devens, John Williams (for Suzanne Murrmann), Dan Dolan, Bernard Feldman, Rodney Gaines, Ashley Marshall, Pete Martens, Delbert Jones, Benjamin Poe, Tracey Slotta, David Fowler, Chris DelVecchio, Brian Montgomery (for Candace Wiltshire), Mac McCreery, Christina Coukos

Absent: Paul Knox, Terry Herdman, Skip Fuhrman, John Hillison, Jack Davis, Donna Cassell, Anita Haney, Debbie Wilson, Brandy Ellen Cowing, Kylie Felps, Peter Logan

Guests: Ron Daniel, David Ford, Marvin Foushee, Dixie Reaves

  1. Adoption of Agenda

    A motion was made and seconded to adopt the agenda. The motion carried.

  2. Announcement of approval and posting of Council Minutes of May 1, 2000

    Dr. Steger noted that the minutes from the May 1, 2000, University Council meeting have been voted on and approved electronically. Once voted upon, University Council minutes can be publicly accessed on the Governance Information System on the WEB. (/)

  3. Introductions

    Dr. Steger introduced Dr. James Bohland, Interim Provost; Ms. Judy Davis, Executive Secretary Senior in the President’s Office; Ms. Sandy Smith, Administrative Assistant to the President; Ms. Kim O’Rourke, Assistant to the President; and Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Flanagan, Vice President for Development and University Relations. Dr. Steger indicated that Ms. Carole Nickerson, Executive Assistant to the President, would be retiring October 1, 2000. Dr. Steger expressed his appreciation to Dr. Meszaros for her five and one-half years of dedicated work on behalf of the University. Dr. Meszaros has assumed the William E. Lavery Professorship in Human Development in the College of Human Resources and Education.

    Immediately following the University Council meeting there will be a workshop for those interested in an overview of the University Governance System. The workshop will include a historical insight of the governance system as well as a review of the organizational structure of the system.

  4. New Business — First Reading
  5. Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies
    Resolution 2000-2001A, Resolution Regarding Minors

    Steven Thompson, Chair of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies introduced Dixie Reaves, Chair, Academic Policies Subcommittee of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, who presented this resolution for first reading. Professor Thompson noted for the record that the exact wording of the resolution should be taken from the actual minutes of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies. There were discrepancies in the version of the resolution that was distributed to Council separately.

    Dr. Reaves indicated that this resolution deals with minors versus concentrations. Under current University policy a department must offer a major in a subject area in order to offer a minor in the same subject. If the department does not offer a major in a specific subject area they may offer a concentration. Completion of a concentration can demand a level of rigor equal to that of a minor. Those outside academia typically have a better understanding of requirements for a minor. The Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies proposes that minors no longer be restricted to academic departments, schools, colleges or the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies that offer a major.

    Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies
    Resolution 2000-2001B, Resolution Regarding Pass/Fail Policy

    Dr. Reaves indicated that this resolution deals with the pass/fail policy. Since the current University requirement states that a student must have a 2.0 to be in good academic standing it is proposed that the requirement for the pass/fail policy require a minimum 2.0 instead of the 2.5 currently required under the policy. All other restrictions under the current pass/fail policy will remain the same.

    Sam Hicks stated his concern that a student with only a 2.0 GPA may not have the ability and/or motivation to successfully accomplish the goals of the pass/fail option; therefore, he was opposed to reducing the current 2.5 GPA requirement.

  6. Council approved a packet of Commission minutes comprised of:

  7. For Information Only

    It was noted that the minutes of the University Advisory Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning for May 6, 1999 and August 11, 1999, were distributed for information only.

  8. Announcements

    Reports from Commission Chairs

    Introduction of commission chairs and report from the chairs regarding their activities for the year. Dr. Steger encouraged Council members to contact the Commission Chairs with comments, questions or issues to be introduced into the governance system early in the year so that deliberations could begin in a timely manner.

    Administrative and Professional Faculty Affairs - Pat Hyer

    Classified Staff Affairs — Chair James Martin

    Faculty Affairs — Chair Leon Geyer

    Outreach — Chair Irene Leech

    Graduate Studies and Policies — Chair Virginia Buechner-Maxwell

    Research — Len Peters for Chair Terry Herdman

    Student Affairs — Chair Marquea King

    Undergraduate Studies and Policies — Chair Steven Thompson

    University Support — Chair Joe Hunnings

    Dr. Steger emphasized that University Council is a policy body of the institution. The objective is to focus on the policy decisions and policy actions. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t answer questions about administrative procedures and decisions but it is important to keep those sorted out as we look at the types of resolutions that we progress through the system during the year.

    Mitzi Vernon, President of Faculty Senate, commented on the agenda for the Faculty Senate for the coming year. Items of interest will be the conflict of interest policy, the intellectual property policy and involvement in the search for the provost.

    Dr. Steger indicated that letters have been sent out asking people to serve on the Provost Search Committee. We have worked very hard with the Chair, Dr. Eyre, to put together a committee that we believe represents the various constituencies at the university.

    Dr. Eyre stated that the response to the call to serve on the committee was very positive. The committee will meet for the first time on September 27. The composition of the committee will be published in the Spectrum in the near future.

    Dr. Steger noted that the University has retained an executive search firm that specializes in the academic enterprise to assist in the search for the Provost. Increasingly, the top candidates that you want to fill these positions do not read the Chronicle weekly to search the ads. Therefore, it is desirable to have a network of individuals and to be able to carry out at least the initial inquiries very confidentially. In the past we have used search firms for a couple of positions. The most recent was for the search for the Vice President for Development and University Relations. Based on that experience and the skill that the firm brings to the task and given the stakes that we want to make the very best choice, we think it is a wise investment that facilitates the process. When final candidates are identified they will come to campus to be interviewed and there will be significant opportunity for interaction with the university community.

    Dr. Steger noted that it is going to be a busy year. We have a lot of things planned for the university. He is very encouraged about the prospects for Virginia Tech in the future.

    Dr. Steger adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim T. O'Rourke
Assistant to the President


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