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Commissions and Committees Reports

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 20 - February 16, 1995

(Editor's note: The following sets of university governance minutes are received from group reporters, and may not reflect Spectrum editorial style.)

Commission on University Support, Nov. 1

The chair indicated that the selection of the vice chair will be on the agenda for the meeting in December. Any faculty or staff member who will serve during the 95-96 session is eligible.

Hugh Munson reported that the Building Committee has not met. Ray Smoot (Building Committee chair) stated that there have been no policy issues in regards to the Building Committee. Most of the work is done in the various Building sub-committees.

David Russell stated that the Computer Committee has not met.

Eric Hallerman stated that the Communication Resources Committee had met and gave a brief report of their last meeting.

Patrick Donohoe stated that the Parking/Transportation Committee's last meeting was in September and had nothing to report. The next meeting is scheduled for November.

Charles Steger, Vice President of Development and University Relations, gave a presentation to the Commission on Virginia Tech's Capital Campaign Plan. He stated that in 1994, $29.2 million had been raised. The gifts come from several areas including: corporations, faculty, staff, friends, parents, and alumni. Ninety-seven percent of the gifts given to the university are restricted to areas within the university such as the Corp of Cadets, the College of Engineering, and other colleges. 2.7 percent of the gifts are unrestricted and are used for programs such as Founders Day. The uses of the gifts include the following: Current Operations, 38.22 percent; Endowment, 30.72 percent; Capital Facilities, 16.23 percent; and Sponsored Programs, 14.83 percent.

Smoot commented that the university would, "raise almost twice what we would raise without the campaign." Steger stated that the Fall '95 Campaign's goal is to raise $45 to $50 million, not the current $25 to $30 million per year. The goals for the campaign will be set by the Board of Visitors this spring. The goals include raising $250 million, of which $125 million would be permanent endowments.

The Campaign was started in July 1991, and included a planning phase to July '92. The "Quiet Phase" of commitments started at that time and is continuing. The end of the Campaign is targeted for April of '98 with a celebration and the end of accounting will take place in June of that year.

Steger continued with a comment that 90 percent of the money came from 10 percent of the people (the rule of thirds) and said the university is looking at more than 20,000 possible prospects for gift giving. All information regarding possible prospects is kept strictly confidential.

At the end of the presentation, Jim Armstrong asked if there was a fear of less money from the state with more money coming in from the campaign.

Steger's response was, "We have no choice." The campaign needs to continue in order for Virginia Tech to remain successful as a university.

In other business, at the end of the meeting the chair raised a previous issue about the possibility of creating a new university committee that would address environment and energy concerns. This issue apparently had been raised by a guest, Richard Hirsch, at a Commission meeting last year. The chair asked, "Where does this fit in university governance?" After a brief discussion, no action was taken. A public hearing had been set for that evening concerning an addition to the Coal Fire Boiler Heating Plant. Spencer Hall, assistant vice president for facilities, added that the new Coal Fire Boiler is a "new state of the art boiler" and Virginia Tech has met all the requirements for the new boiler. After the new boiler is in operation the old boiler will be decommissioned. Smoot commented that the preference is to burn natural gas but would cost the university several million dollars a year over and above the cost of coal. Coal is the predominant fuel.

There was no other new business.

Commission on Faculty Affairs, Oct. 28

Reporter: Dave Beagle

The main item of business was a continuation of the discussion from earlier meetings concerning the Board of Visitors' (BOV) Aug. 29, 1994, resolution to the president asking for a reconsideration of faculty personnel policies.

The discussion was framed by the Oct. 14, 1994, "Summary of Discussion on Involuntary Separation Policies" document that the chair had distributed to members electronically. This document outlined comments made by members and by invited guests Dan Farkas and John Hillison at the previous meeting.

One point of discussion concerned item 5 in the summary document: "distinctions in reasons for reductions in force. " Point 5a states that "it is important that distinctions between reductions in force for financial exigency and for program restructuring be maintained." Point 5b states that "we must be careful in our definitions of `program' in reductions in force policies." After some debate, it was decided that the word "discussed" should be substituted for the word "maintained" in point 5a to reflect more accurately the previous week's conversation.

Richard Bambach argued that the university can hide financial exigency under the guise of academic restructuring. Restructuring, then, can serve as an undeclared state of financial exigency. Also, there is the danger that a change in the program provisions of the RIF policy could be used by unscrupulous administrators to eliminate unpopular faculty. Bambach concluded that it is very important to distinguish clearly between program restructuring and financial exigency. He also warned that, in the context of academic freedom, we maintain some protection for tenure.

The dismissal for cause section of the Faculty Handbook (2.11.1) may not require much revision. The main issue raised involved compensation. The chair asked for volunteers to review the existing policy and to present any suggested changes at the next meeting. Bob Sumichrast agreed to coordinate a group consisting of Pat Hyer, Richard Bambach, and himself.

Much discussion surrounded the "Survey of Involuntary Separation Policies" report (IRPA vol. 94-95, no. 5, 29 July 1994) that was drafted by Institutional Research staff. This report compares the separation policies of Virginia Tech with 19 peer institutions and 11 other southern universities.

In his September 30, 1994 memo to CFA members ("Faculty Personnel Policies-Another View of Involuntary Separation Policies"), Tom Sherman questioned the validity of some of the IRPA report's conclusions and suggested that a reconfiguration of the data categories can lead to a very different interpretation: "There is no evidence to support a conclusion that Virginia Tech has a `much longer' notification than other institutions. When compared to the six institutions that prohibit termination, Tech's policy is less generous and much more flexible. The `much longer' conclusion is simply not tenable. A more reasonable conclusion is that Tech's policy is in-between the least generous to faculty and the most generous of the institutions surveyed. The policy is `generous' only when a draconian standard is adopted."

The issue of how much data is needed to draw reasonable conclusions was raised. One member contended that our policy should be based on valid concerns such as the protection of programs for students and for the preservation of academic freedom rather than on a statistical comparison with other institutions of higher education.

A review of established AAUP guidelines was identified as a key issue for the commission. To that end, Tom Sherman passed out several pages from the 1990 edition of "AAUP Policy Documents & Reports." The section on "Discontinuance of Program or Department Not Mandated by Financial Exigency" was scrutinized carefully: "(d) Termination of an appointment with continuous tenure, or of a probationary or special appointment before the end of the specified term, may occur as a result of bona fide formal discontinuance of a program or department of instruction. The following standards and procedures will apply.

(1) The decision to discontinue formally a program or department of instruction will be based essentially upon educational considerations, as determined primarily by the faculty as a whole or an appropriate committee thereof. (NOTE: `Educational considerations' do not include cyclical or temporary variations in enrollment. They must reflect long-range judgments that the educational mission of the institution as a whole will be enhanced by the discontinuance.)

(2) Before the administration issues notice to a faculty member of its intention to terminate an appointment because of formal discontinuance of a program or department of instruction, the institution will make every effort to place the faculty member concerned in another suitable position. If placement in another position would be facilitated by a reasonable period of training, financial and other support for such training will be proffered. If no position is available within the institution, with or without retraining, the faculty member's appointment then may be terminated, but only with provision for severance salary equitably adjusted to the faculty member's length of past and potential service. (NOTE: When an institution proposes to discontinue a program or department of instruction, it should plan to bear the costs of relocating, training, or otherwise compensating faculty members adversely affected.) Section (d) (1) above was deemed of special interest to these deliberations since it clearly states that the discontinuance of a program should be a reflection of educational considerations determined primarily by the faculty. The underlying cause for restructuring in the College of Education, on the other hand, appears to be money rather than a judgment of the value of its programs.

The chair asked how to proceed from here. There was some interest in obtaining further data, particularly from industry, but the general consensus that obtaining a meaningful sample would prove onerous resulted in a decision not to seek such data. Data from Virginia schools, however, will be sought. One member did stress his opposition to the BOV's use of an industrial benchmark in the absence of any real data. Another member requested that the BOV be asked by the president to clarify their position relative to the pertinent AAUP guidelines.

Before wrapping up the meeting, the chair asked for any final questions. Cliff Slade asked whether these discussions affect administrative and professional faculty. Pat Hyer answered that protections for AP faculty are covered in chapter 3 of the Faculty Handbook and are not directly at issue here.

Commission on Faculty Affairs, Nov. 4

Reporter: Dave Beagle

The chair announced that Professor Jerry Robinson of the management department, whose expertise is pertinent for our current investigation, has been invited to attend the next CFA meeting.

Discussion resumed on the consideration of current termination policies. A committee consisting of Bob Sumichrast (chair), Richard Bambach, and Pat Hyer had been formed at the last meeting to review the dismissal for cause portion of the Faculty Handbook (section 2.11.1 ). They distributed copies of a resolution that alters the last paragraph of that section, which currently reads as follows:

"If dismissal is effected, a tenured faculty member will receive salary or notice of one year from the time of the final decision. A faculty member whose probationary term appointment is foreshortened will receive three months salary or notice. Only in a case of gross misconduct should this salary or notice be withheld and then only on recommendation of the hearing committee."

The proposed resolution, identified as CFA Resolution 1994-95A, reads as follows:

"WHEREAS, dismissal for cause is initiated only for very serious or extreme causes for which continued service to the University following a decision to dismiss would not be in the best interest of the University or our students; and,

WHEREAS, experience has shown that cases are settled prior to completion of the process and the proposed revision continues to allow such negotiation, including the possibility of severance pay or notice if appropriate; and,

WHEREAS, concerns expressed that our current policy allowing a year's severance pay (or notice) following a decision to dismiss for cause does not adequately reflect institutional or student interests;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the final paragraph of section 2.11.1 of the Faculty Handbook (Due Process for Dismissal for Cause) be deleted and the following statement substituted:

If dismissal is effected, termination normally is immediate."

Tom Sherman pointed out footnote 2 in section 2.11.1 of the Faculty Handbook:

"The procedures specified follow closely but differ in occasional detail from the `1976 Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure' approved by Committee A of the AAUP."

He expressed his reluctance to make changes to our policy that would invalidate the handbook provision that we follow, albeit not verbatim, AAUP guidelines. He recommended that we seek additional information from AAUP regarding dismissal for cause and the consequences for an institution that chooses not to follow their guidelines. He questioned also whether there are any substantive gains made by making the changes in the resolution.

Bob Sumichrast pointed out that the revised policy offers some latitude in making appropriate personnel decisions. Pat Hyer argued that the resolution serves as an important symbolic change that dismissal for cause will not be rewarded.

The chair passed out copies of section 8 of the AAUP guidelines concerning terminal salary or notice (from the 1990 edition of "AAUP Policy Documents & Reports, page 28):

"If the appointment is terminated, the faculty member will receive salary or notice in accordance with the following schedule: at least three months, if the final decision is reached by March 1 (or three months prior to the expiration) of the first year of probationary service; at least six months, if the decision is reached by December 15 of the second year (or after nine months but prior to eighteen months) of probationary service; at least one year, if the decision is reached after eighteen months of probationary service or if the faculty member has tenure. This provision for terminal notice or salary need not apply in the event that there has been a finding that the conduct which justified dismissal involved moral turpitude. On the recommendation of the faculty hearing committee or the president, the governing board, in determining what, if any, payments will be made beyond the effective date of dismissal, may take into account the length and quality of service of the faculty member." The terminology of the AAUP policy differs from ours. Virginia Tech uses the phrase "gross misconduct" whereas AAUP uses "moral turpitude." We are using the terms in our deliberations as functional equivalents, although the term gross misconduct can be construed as being a little broader in scope.

The Virginia Tech policy (2.11.1) on dismissal for cause reads as follows:

"Adequate cause for dismissal will be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of faculty members in their professional capacity as teachers and scholars. Dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights of American citizens.

Adequate cause can include, but is not restricted to: 1. flagrant violation of professional ethics, 2. incompetence, 3. willful failure to carry out professional obligations or assigned responsibilities, 4. falsification of information relating to professional qualifications, 5. inability to perform assigned duties satisfactorily because of incarceration, or 6. personal deficiencies that prevent the satisfactory performance of responsibilities (e.g., dependence on drugs or alcohol)."

Much debate ensued regarding the wording of the proposed resolution and whether, if adopted, our policy would no longer conform with existing AAUP guidelines. One suggestion was to amend the resolution to include a clause stating that dismissal is immediate only in cases of gross misconduct. A motion to adopt the resolution as originally written was placed on the table, seconded, and voted upon. The motion was defeated.

Alternative wording for the resolution was explored. After lengthy deliberation, the following sentences were deemed a satisfactory substitution for the original resolution: "In cases of gross misconduct, termination will be immediate with the recommendation of the hearing committee. Upon the notification by the President of a decision regarding dismissal, a tenured faculty member will receive salary or notice of up to one year. A faculty member whose probationary term appointment is foreshortened will receive three months salary or notice."

The committee who drafted the original resolution will meet again before the next CFA meeting to rewrite it in terms closer to the wording of the alternative resolution above and to consider other germane matters such as who decides whether a faculty member has engaged in gross misconduct. The revised resolution will be debated by the committee again and then referred to the Faculty Senate for further dialogue.

Pat Hyer was asked at the previous meeting to continue gathering faculty dismissal information from other Virginia universities. She distributed a summary of current policies at Old Dominion, William and Mary, and the University of Virginia.

At the University of Virginia, there is no provision for a reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs (i.e., section 2.11.3 in our Faculty Handbook). For instructional faculty, this is the only statement relevant to our investigation: "Termination of a faculty member's employment before the end of a specified term, or after a faculty member has been elected without term, is possible but rare, and occurs only for adequate cause or financial stringency."

The RIF policy at both the College of William and Mary and Old Dominion University combines into a single statement financial exigency and discontinuance of a program of study and treats them the same. Tenured faculty at William and Mary are provided at least one year notice. Non-tenured faculty are given from three months to one year notice prior to the contract expiration date depending on their length of service. Tenured faculty at ODU are given an expiration date of the end of the academic year and notice of not less than a full academic year. Non-tenured faculty can be given notice no later than December 15 of the same academic year when termination is effected.

Both policies address recall rights. At William and Mary, a faculty member released due to program discontinuance cannot be replaced within a period of two years "unless the released faculty member has been offered reappointment and a reasonable time within which to decline it." At ODU, "a position may not be offered to a new candidate within the specialty of the dismissed faculty member for three years following the effective date of dismissal."

Commission on Faculty Affairs, Nov. 11

Reporter: Michael Lambur

Because of scheduling conflicts, the CFA meeting scheduled for November 18 was cancelled. An additional meeting was scheduled for December 16, 1994.

Guest Jerry Robinson, at the invitation of Tom Sherman, presented an industry perspective on dismissal policies and trends and contrasted them with university policies. This informative presentation provided a perspective for better understanding the "industry point of view" on dismissal shared by some members of the Board of Visitors (BOV). Selected highlights included: 1) The advance notice concept is resisted in industry because the best people will "jump ship." Instead, industry provides severance pay on very short notice.

Universities often require a more orderly reduction of services. Therefore, how do we equate severance pay time to advance notice time? 2) The industry perspective is short term (quarterly), with emphasis on growth, market share, and strategic decisions. In addition, vision seems more clear in industry than in academia and the major mechanism to cut costs in industry is to cut personnel costs (i.e., line workers). 3) Industry perspectives on academia include the concern that "kids can't read," what their children say about their university and their professors, "How can the university be different from business?," "They must shape up," and there is a citizen mandate that universities need to act like businesses. Questions and discussion revolved around the perspective that we need to work with the BOV to help them understand the differences between the industry and university with respect to this policy.

Bob Sumichrast, chair of the subcommittee on dismissal for cause, distributed a draft of CFA Resolution 1994-95A amending the dismissal for cause section of the Faculty Handbook.

CFA Resolution 1994-95A, approved by CFA, University Council, and the Board of Visitors:

WHEREAS, dismissal for cause is initiated only for very serious or extreme causes for which continued service to the University following a decision to dismiss would not be in the best interest of the University or our students; and,

WHEREAS, experience has shown that cases are settled prior to completion of the process and the proposed revision continues to allow such negotiation, including the possibility of severance pay or notice if appropriate; and,

WHEREAS, concerns expressed that our current policy allowing a year's severance pay (or notice) following a decision to dismiss for cause does not adequately reflect institutional or student interests;

WHEREAS, regulations published by the American Association of University Professors state that tenured faculty members may not be dismissed without one year's salary or notice and that untenured faculty members may not be dismissed without at least three months salary or notice except in the case of dismissal for conduct involving moral turpitude;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the final paragraph of section 2.11.1 of the Faculty Handbook (Due Process for Dismissal for Cause) be deleted and the following statement substituted:

In cases of moral turpitude (as defined by the AAUP), termination will usually be immediate. Moral turpitude shall be determined by the hearing committee if one was convened. If a hearing committee was not convened, the President shall make such a determination. In cases not involving moral turpitude, a tenured faculty member will receive up to one year's salary or notice from the date of the President's notification of dismissal. A faculty member whose probationary term appointment is foreshortened will receive three months salary or notice.

After some discussion, a motion was made by Bob Sumichrast and seconded by Tom Sherman to adopt the resolution. In the ensuing discussion, there was much dialogue on how confusing the policy was to implement. Richard Bambach distributed a flow chart on how the policy might be implemented and eventually agreed to draft a re-write of the procedures in the Faculty Handbook. There was also much discussion about whether CFA should consider a major revision of the entire involuntary separation policy, or just address the immediate concerns of the BOV. It was finally decided to address the immediate concerns of the BOV and then consider a major revision at a later date.

A motion was made by Richard Bambach and seconded by Bob Sumichrast to amend the last paragraph of the resolution to read:

In cases of moral turpitude (as defined by the AAUP), termination will usually be immediate. Moral turpitude shall be determined by the first faculty committee that considers the case. In cases not involving moral turpitude, a tenured faculty member will receive up to one year's salary or notice from the date of the President's notification of dismissal. A faculty member whose probationary term appointment is foreshortened will receive three months salary or notice.

The motion passed.

The initial motion to adopt the resolution as amended was then tabled until after discussion at the 11/15 Faculty Senate meeting.

Tom Sherman agreed to chair the subcommittee on reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs. Members are Richard Bambach, Don Mullins, and Pat Hyer.

Minor changes were made to the communication with faculty about CFA deliberations document, which will be distributed by Don Creamer.

Commission on Faculty Affairs, Dec. 2

Reporter: Michael Lambur

Dave Beagle asked if CFA meetings were open to the general faculty. Don Creamer indicated that CFA, as well as all commission meetings, are open to the general faculty.

Don Creamer circulated four e-mail comments received after sending the communication regarding the CFA's proposed actions involving the involuntary separation policy. He indicated that the comments received, as well as informal discussions with 12- 15 faculty, did not raise any new concerns.

Creamer invited CFA members to comment on the discussion of the draft of the CFA Resolution 1994-95A (changes to the dismissal for cause policy) that was shared at the recent Faculty Senate meeting. Overall, faculty were supportive of the dismissal for cause changes. It was also acknowledged that there seemed to be more interest in changes to the reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs policy.

Creamer made a motion to remove CFA Resolution 1994-95A (dismissal for cause) from being tabled from the last CFA meeting. This was seconded by Richard Bambach and passed. Bob Sumichrast then made a motion to amend the policy, which was seconded by Bambach. In the ensuing discussion, it was clarified that the policy applied to tenured and continued appointment faculty only. Pat Hyer asked if the CFA was comfortable with the definition of moral turpitude. After some discussion, it was agreed that policy would be worded so that it would refer to the most recent AAUP definition of moral turpitude. The new wording of the last paragraph is:

"In cases where moral turpitude as defined by the AAUP is decided, termination will usually be immediate. Moral turpitude shall be determined by the first faculty committee that considers the case. In cases not involving moral turpitude, (a) a faculty member with tenure or continued appointment will receive up to one year of salary or notice, and (b) a probationary faculty member will receive up to three months salary or notice. These terms of dismissal shall begin at the date of the President's notification of dismissal."

The motion passed.

A motion was then made to accept the resolution and seconded. Clarifications to the "whereas" clauses were discussed and agreed upon, so that the resolution reads:

"CFA Resolution 1994-95A

WHEREAS, dismissal for cause is initiated for very serious or extreme causes for which continued service to the University following a decision to dismiss would not be in the best interest of the University or our students; and,

WHEREAS, concerns expressed that our current policy, which seems to allow a year of severance pay (or notice) following a decision to dismiss for cause, did not adequately reflect institutional or student interests; and

WHEREAS, the responsibility for determining gross misconduct was not clearly defined, nor was the starting date for final notice; and,

WHEREAS, university faculty policies acknowledge the guidance of American Association for University

Professors (AAUP), and regulations published by AAUP state that, except in cases involving moral turpitude, tenured faculty should receive one year of notice or salary and untenured faculty should receive three months.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the final paragraph of section 2.11.1 of the Faculty Handbook (Due Process for Dismissal for Cause) be deleted and the following statement substituted:

In cases where moral turpitude as defined by the AAUP is decided, termination will usually be immediate. Moral turpitude shall be determined by the first faculty committee that considers the case. In cases not involving moral turpitude, (a) a faculty member with tenure or continued appointment will receive up to one year of salary or notice, and (b) a probationary faculty member will receive up to three months salary or notice. These terms of dismissal shall begin at the date of the President's notification of dismissal."

The motion passed, with the understanding that CFA would revisit the text only momentarily at the next meeting.

Richard Bambach passed out two handouts reflecting the work of the subcommittee on reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs thus far. In summary, the subcommittee initially suggested six substantive changes: 1) Substituting a "progressive" notice policy for the current five year retention policy, 2) Adding an institutional responsibility to provide reasonable and appropriate career and

relocation services, 3) Make stronger an institutional responsibility to continue health and life insurance provisions, 4) Add a mandate for the University to offer a "first refusal" to terminated faculty for any positions for which they may be qualified, 5) Add an obligation for the University to provide appropriate training for terminated faculty to become qualified for employment either at Virginia Tech or at another organization, and 6) Add that all career/employment services end when terminated faculty become employed.

Much of the discussion centered on substituting a progressive notice policy for the current five year retention policy. Pat Hyer agreed to work with Institutional Research on running an analysis of the suggested progressive notice policy so that it could be compared with the current five year retention policy.

Commission on Faculty Affairs, Dec. 9

Reporter: Michael Lambur

Don Creamer introduced Steve Baehr from the Department of Foreign Languages. Steve was invited by Don to share his perspectives on the Reduction in Force Policy deliberations.

Mike Lambur distributed an article on dismissal for cause from the 12/7/94 Chronicle of Higher Education.

Pat Hyer announced that the university had received feedback indicating that we have to re-apply for the hiring freeze exemptions using newly acquired forms.

Pat Hyer discovered a potential conflict in CFA Resolution 1994-95A (dismissal for cause) and other dismissal for cause procedures concerning notification. After some discussion, Hyer moved that the word "President's" in the last sentence be changed to "final" so that the last sentence reads "These terms of dismissal shall begin at the date of final notification of dismissal." The motion was seconded by Tom Sherman and passed.

The resolution now reads:

"CFA Resolution 1994-95A

WHEREAS, dismissal for cause is initiated for very serious or extreme causes for which continued service to the University following a decision to dismiss would not be in the best interest of the University or our students; and,

WHEREAS, concerns expressed that our current policy, which seems to allow a year of severance pay (or notice) following a decision to dismiss for cause, did not adequately reflect institutional or student interests; and

WHEREAS, the responsibility for determining gross misconduct was not clearly defined, nor was the starting date for final notice; and,

WHEREAS, university faculty policies acknowledge the guidance of American Association for University Professors (AAUP), and regulations published by AAUP state that, except in cases involving moral turpitude, tenured faculty should receive one year of notice or salary and untenured faculty should receive three months.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the final paragraph of section 2.11.1 of the I (Due Process for Dismissal for Cause) be deleted and the following statement substituted:

In cases where moral turpitude (as defined by the AAUP) is decided, termination will usually be immediate. Moral turpitude shall be determined by the first faculty committee that considers the case. In cases not involving moral turpitude, (a) a faculty member with tenure or continued appointment will receive up to one year of salary or notice, and (b) a probationary faculty member will receive up to three months salary or notice. These terms of dismissal shall begin at the date of final notification of dismissal."

Tom Sherman asked if the resolution should formally include recognition of faculty support based on discussions at the last Faculty Senate meeting (perhaps in an additional "whereas" clause). It was agreed that the resolution would be shared with the Faculty Senate and their input acknowledged.

In response to the report of the subcommittee on reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs, Steve Baehr was invited to share his perspectives on potential changes to this policy. He urged CFA to keep the current policy and articulated three arguments against changing it: 1) A reduction in the security cushion to less than five years may well have the unwanted effect of encouraging first-rate faculty to leave Virginia Tech, 2) The current policy is anything but generous- -finding a new position in the current climate might be extremely difficult in five years, and 3) Our current policy may not be extraordinary compared to other institutions and, therefore, we should conduct a more thorough analysis before we come to any definitive conclusions. In addition, he also indicated that universities are not and cannot be businesses, if they are to excel.

Tom Sherman provided an update on the work of the subcommittee. He shared a working draft of a policy statement, which included a recommendation of one year of notice for every five years of service with a maximum of four years notice. Pat Hyer shared an alternative policy, based on discussions with Fred Carlisle and Jim Wolfe, which included a recommendation of one year of notice for every 10 years of service with a maximum of three years notice. After much discussion on the specifics of the policy changes, Bob Sumichrast suggested that rather than considering revisions to the reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs policy, we might want to consider re-writing the reduction in force for financial exigency policy to accommodate the financial hardship situation we are currently faced with. This course of action would resolve the dilemma of trying to address our declining financial situation with a policy (i.e., reduction in force associated with discontinuance or reorganization of programs) that was not designed to address this situation. After much discussion, CFA agreed to pursue re-writing the reduction in force for financial exigency policy. The intent is to re-cast the policy to address responding to "financial hardships," with financial exigency as one component of the policy. A subcommittee consisting of Tom Sherman (chair), Pat Hyer, Bob Sumichrast, Don Mullins, and Andy Swiger was appointed to begin re-writing this policy.

It was also agreed that Don Creamer would meet with Paul Torgersen to outline CFA's intentions before the next CFA meeting.