University Council Minutes

May 1, 2000

Present: Joe Merola (for Bob Bates), Brenda Neidigh (for Erv Blythe), Greg Brown, Landrum Cross, Ben Dixon, Peter Eyre, Eileen Hitchingham, Roberta Minish (for Janet Johnson), Paul Knox, Peggy Meszaros, Carole Nickerson, Kim O'Rourke, John Eaton (for Len Peters), Jennie Reilly, Minnis Ridenour, Ray Smoot, Rich Sorensen, Charles Steger, Bill Stephenson, Andy Swiger, Tom Tillar, Kay Heidbreder, Mitzi Vernon, Julia Beamish, Irene Leech, Terry Herdman, Sean Blackburn, Jay Sullivan, Joe Hunnings, Richard Bambach, Paul Metz, Tim Pratt, John Hillison, Rebecca Crittenden, Sam Hicks, Pat Devens, John Seiler, Bernard Feldman, Pete Martens, Lane Rasmussen (for Anita Haney), James Martin, Delbert Jones, Ben Poe, Tomoya Ochinero, Christine Coukos (for Taj Mahon-Haft), Aaron McClung

Absent: Cindy Harrison, Skip Fuhrman, Kamal Rojiani, Deborah Mayo, Eliza Tse, John Randolph, Suzanne Murrmann, Rodney Gaines, Jovette Gadson, Donna Cassell, Kimberly DeGuise, Michael Whipple, Shawn Breck, Drew Lichtenberger, Laurie Steneck, Peter Zippelius

Guests: Laurie Coble, Wayne Durham, David Ford, Pat Hyer, Mode Johnson, Malcolm McPherson, Susan Trulove

  1. Adoption of Agenda

    Following a request by Dr. Steger to reorder the agenda, a motion was made to do so and seconded. The motion carried.

  2. Announcement of approval and posting of Council Minutes of April 17, 2000

    Dr. Steger noted that the minutes from the April 17, 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. On-going Business

    Second Reading

    Commission on Faculty Affairs Resolution 1999-2000A, Resolution Regarding Editorial Revisions and Clarification of Section 2.8.4 Faculty Handbook Concerning Additional Consideration in Promotion and Tenure Decisions. Chair Mitzi Vernon moved for approval. The motion was seconded and approved with no further discussion.

    Council approved a packet of Commission minutes comprised of:

  4. New Business

    First Reading

    Commission on Research Resolution 1999-2000A, Resolution Concerning Disclosure and Approval of External Activities of Faculty

    Chair Terry Herdman explained to Council that a request will be made to waive first reading and must be approved by three fourths of the members present. The Commission on Research presents Resolution 1999-2000A Concerning Disclosure and Approval of External Activities of Faculty for consideration by University Council, and strongly recommends its approval at today's meeting. The policy has had extensive discussion and faculty input throughout the spring semester. It has been considerably revised based on the comments received from the Commission on Research and individual faculty members. This resolution describes the process for disclosure and approval for involvement in external activities. The Commission feels some urgency in getting this process in place and approved as soon as possible. Chair Herdman made a motion to waive first reading in order to put this resolution into discussion. If approved it can then go forward to the Board of Visitors at their June meeting and a new process outlined in the policy will be available for use by faculty for the coming year. This motion was seconded.

    Dr. Steger said we do not want to pass this resolution on a single reading if there are significant questions. He explained that Council has the prerogative of approving a special meeting where a second reading could occur. If first reading is not waived and a special meeting is not called, the resolution would then need to be reintroduced for first reading in the fall. This policy is to protect faculty so they are not placed at risk as they do entrepreneurial work as we want them to do. Full disclosure is a way to do this as carefully and thoughtfully as possible.

    Malcolm McPherson explained that this resolution has been studied at length and he outlined the extensive process undertaken since July of 1999. Discussion started October 20, 1999 when this item was presented at the department heads roundtable breakfast. At the University Committee on Conflict meeting on November 17 a university-wide discussion was initiated. It was reviewed November 18 with the Engineering faculty organization. January 3, 2000, documents were put on the web and everyone was invited to review those documents. Meetings were held January, February and March in colleges, department head meetings, and faculty meetings. Associate deans took the package back to these meetings. A meeting of joint commissions was held January 26, 2000. This information, what we now see as a policy, was introduced to University Council on February 7, 2000. Faculty Senate took part in discussions. E-mails went out to all faculty inviting them to look at the documents and comment. All comments have been taken into account. A March 31 deadline for comment was met by most. Changes made before being submitted to University Council for consideration include:

    1. Sections were rewritten and expanded to make them easier to read.
    2. Sections have been reordered to flow better.
    3. Most substantial change is that old categories two and three have been eliminated at the request of the Commission on Research so when there is any potential for conflict of interest or commitment that will be a matter of discussion between the department head and the faculty member. This puts more flexibility into the document for the protection and convenience of the faculty member.

    There has been four months for discussion of this document. It has been well disseminated and everyone has had many opportunities to review and discuss it. It is requested that this go to the Board of Visitors in June. Many faculty comments have been, "get on with it, we are desperately in need of it."

    Dr. Bambach relayed to the Council concerns that a number of faculty members e-mailed to the Faculty Senate officers. These were chiefly concerns about moving to adopt the policy on first reading without opportunity for more time to consider the final document. Mitzi Vernon, Chair of the Commission on Faculty Affairs, offered an amended proposal that would allow the university to move forward while assuring concerned faculty members that policy implementation would be closely monitored and changes made as needed. The amended proposal reads as follows: "That the Policy 13010 be approved provisionally for one year as a "pilot" policy process and that the Committee on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment be formally charged with responsibility to monitor the submission and approval of disclosure documents through the fall term and prepare a summary for the Commission on Research and subsequently the University Council. In preparing such a report, the committee should consult with faculty members and administrators who have negotiated such disclosure agreements and solicit their recommendations for improvements to the process and the policy. Further the committee should take into account comments from other interested parties. Based on the Committee's recommendations, the policy should then be confirmed and/or revised through usual governance procedures by the last Council meeting in Spring 2001."

    Dr. Steger summarized the request as follows: If the primary resolution is voted against, then a substitute resolution would be proposed to allow us to use the document for one year with regular reports on how well it is going and then reconsider the document with the appropriate proposed modifications at the end of the year. Professor Vernon responded that this would create an active role on behalf of the Commission on Research and others to follow up and solicit comments from the people making application and others at large.

    Malcolm McPherson further noted that a packet of five documents have been under consideration. The policy itself, before University Council at this meeting, is only one of the documents, and it has elicited very little comment from faculty. Most comments have concerned the background and guidelines documents. Policy 13010 is purely concerned with procedures for disclosure, approval, and any oversight that might be considered necessary. This is a tool to allow us to move forward and to continue consideration of other issues.

    Chair Terry Herdman did not feel at liberty to make changes without consulting the Commission on Research.

    Dr. Steger asked how can we be sure, if this is passed for one year for an example, that the reservations people hold get to the commission, are resolved and we don't find ourselves in this situation a year from now? He noted this will change because we are moving into a new area, the university must do this, and we want faculty to have the full protection of this document. Concerns must be addressed. A deadline for review must be set.

    A question was raised regarding what happens if someone becomes subjected to this policy during the provisional year and the outcome is not favorable to that individual; if at the end of the year the policy is rescinded or there are major modifications, legally can the person challenge the outcome of their case? Kay Heidbreder responded the person must abide by the policy in effect at this time.

    Carole Nickerson explained that if the motion to waive first reading passes we go forward with a vote on the resolution. If the waiver fails, there must be a new motion to waive for Professor Vernon to present her proposal.

    Following extensive discussion in regard to waiving first reading, voting the resolution and proposal of a one-year provisional policy, Chair Herdman made a motion to waive first reading and take action on the resolution. Since it is the Council's last meeting of the academic year, a waiver of first reading was required to vote on the resolution. The waiver, requiring a three-fourths majority, failed.

    A motion to waive first reading of Professor Vernon's proposal, as previously read and distributed, passed. Professor Vernon made a motion to accept the proposed implementation of policy 13010 as a pilot; it was seconded. A friendly amendment was presented to add "actively solicit and" between "should take" in the third sentence. The friendly amendment was accepted, a vote was taken, and the resolution passed. It was noted that a Conflict of Interest Committee does currently exist; however, it is not the one to which the new policy refers.

  5. Adjournment

    Dr. Steger adjourned the meeting at 4:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carole Nickerson
Executive Assistant to the President


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