University Council Minutes

September 21, 1998

Present: Dave Ostroth (for Landrum Cross), Ben Dixon, Don Barber (for Peter Eyre), Rene Rios (for Eileen Hitchingham), Elyzabeth Holford, Bob Schubert (for Paul Knox), Peggy Meszaros, Carole Nickerson, Len Peters, Lisa Wilkes (for Minnis Ridenour), Jean Eversole (for Ray Smoot), Robert Sumichrast (for Rich Sorensen), Charles Steger, Bill Stephenson, Andy Swiger, Tom Tillar, Martin Day (for Jim Burger), Sean Blackburn (for Clyde Harris), Cindy Harrison, Pat Hyer (for Charles Lytton), Robert Tracy, Eugene Brown (for Muzaffer Uysal), Terry Swecker, Deborah Mayo, Bruce Obenhaus (for Paul Metz), Kevin Pelzer, Eliza Tse, Bob Benoit, David de Wolf, Bernard Feldman, Bob Parsons (for Rosemary Goss), Frank Gwazdauskas, John Randolph, John Seiler, Donna Cassell, Anita Haney, Terry Lawrence (for Nancy Phillips), Ben Poe, Peggy Rasnick, Joel Donahue, Aashish Jain, Paul Wagner, Jody Olson, Kathleen Knight

Absent: Bob Bates, Erv Blythe, Greg Brown, Janet Johnson, Paul Torgersen, Richard Bambach, Neal Vines, Skip Fuhrman, Norm Marriott, Sam Hicks, Jamaa Bickley-King, Curtis Lynch, Pete Martens

Guests: David Ford, Bruce Harper, Laurence D. Moore

  1. Adoption of Agenda

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

  2. Announcement of approval and posting of Council Minutes of May 4, 1998

    Dr. Meszaros noted that the minutes from the May 4, 1998, 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. Meszaros shared with members and guests that Dr. Torgersen is in Richmond. Each person present introduced him or her self. Carole Nickerson noted for the minutes that we are adding a new Vice President to the University and to Council. Dr. Benjamin Dixon is Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and will have membership on University Council by virtue of position.

  4. First Reading, Commission on Administrative and Professional Faculty Affairs (CAPFA) Resolution 1998-99A
    Resolution Concerning Grievance Panels

    Pat Hyer reported that CAPFA represents those faculty members at Virginia Tech who are administrative and professional faculty employees such as administrators in Student Affairs, Admissions, or Extension Agents. The Commission has responsibility for managing its own grievances since there is no faculty senate equivalent for this group. A set of procedures was approved several years ago and it is the responsibility of this Commission to manage those grievances. Due to difficulty scheduling grievance panels of five persons, chair, grievant, witnesses and possible legal counsels, the resolution calls for the panel to be reduced from five to three members plus an alternate and a non-voting chair. The resolution also calls for panel members to be nominated by the grievance panel chair from among the administrative and professional faculty at large with consultation of the CAPFA chair and one or more of the ex officio members of CAPFA. This is instead of the current selection from a pre-recruited pool of A/P faculty members who have agreed to serve. Infrequent grievances and some employee turnover have made the pool concept not very functional. Several council members expressed concern in regard to the request to reduce the number of panel members from five to three. Dr. Hyer explained that more than half the members are off campus, some having to drive five hours to be here and five hours back to attend the hearings, creating a multi-day obligation. The difficulty comes when trying to get a date agreeable to all parties. The Commission feels a fair hearing could be held with three panel members, a non-voting chair, and an alternate. This panel hearing is the fourth step to the grievance process. For Extension Agents, the grievance has been heard by the District Director, the Associate Director of Field Operations, and the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. When it is appealed to the Provost, she turns to the hearing panel for their recommendation prior to making a decision. It was noted that for teaching and research faculty the panel consists of five members. This resolution will be presented for second reading at the October 5, 1998 University Council meeting.

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

    Commission on Administrative & Professional Faculty Affairs, February 18, 1998 Note: Dr. Hyer apologized for the delay in submission of these minutes. In regard to tuition waiver for spouses and dependents, Ben Poe noted that the staff senate has also been actively pursuing this possibility.

    Commission on Administrative & Professional Faculty Affairs, March 19, 1998 Clarification of members present, members absent, and guests was requested.

    Commission on Administrative & Professional Faculty Affairs, April 16, 1998

    Commission on Research, March 25, 1998

    Commission on Student Affairs, September 3, 1998

    Minutes Withdrawn: Commission on Research, May 7, 1998

    Regarding Item # 5, Library Report, a concern was expressed regarding the accuracy of this information as it relates to the library report. Eileen Hitchingham was asked to review this portion of the minutes and the original library report to assure information is accurately reflected in the Commission on Research minutes of May 7. In response to a question about the status of a letter regarding cancellation of serials, the answer was that the letter has been sent out. These minutes will be brought forward at the October 5, 1998, University Council Meeting.

  6. For Information Only

    It was noted that the minutes of the University Advisory Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning for March 3, 1998, and April 9, 1998, were distributed for information only. In response to a question about the March 3 minutes, Dr. Meszaros shared with Council that the $1.50 per credit hour technology fee is an allowable fee that goes directly to support students. The Provost's office matched the $191,000 that went to colleges so the colleges have twice this amount. The entire amount went totally to serve university needs as help for students and other related services. In response to questions regarding lab fees, Dr. Meszaros stated that any fees we impose would have to go through our Board of Visitors. Dr. Meszaros suggested that if this is a topic of interest this might be one to put on our list of discussions to get an update on how the freshman computer requirement actually has been implemented, what glitches we may see in it, how we are planning for next year. Many positive comments have been received as to how well and quickly students have been served.

  7. Announcements


    Dr. Charles Steger reported that a compilation of articles published in national and local papers about Virginia Tech have been put into a publication that should be out by the end of next week. Also starting last week, a series of commercial television ads began running highlighting accomplishments of Virginia Tech. We have only received accolades about these ads.

    Reports from Commission Chairs

    Introduction of commission chairs and report from the chairs regarding their activities for the year.

    Reminder: Immediately following today's University Council meeting, there will be a workshop for commission chairs and others. The workshop is for those new to the University Governance System, and includes a historical review by Larry D. Moore, minutes preparation by Steven Wilson, how to write effective resolutions by Pat Hyer.

  8. Dr. Meszaros adjourned the meeting at 3:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carole Nickerson
Executive Assistant to the President


Virginia Tech Governance Information

URL: /uc9798/ucm98-09-21.html