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Meszaros fields questions

By John Ashby

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 09 - October 19, 1995

Provost Peggy Meszaros fielded questions related to academics at the Faculty Senate's first open forum for administrators last week.

Meszaros said she did not have any new official information about another faculty buyout, but said, "There may be a signal in a newspaper article" indicating that the numbers of state employees have not reached the goals announced by Gov. George Allen. Meszaros agreed with the questioner that the loss of faculty and senior staff members represented "an incredible loss of institutional wisdom." Meszaros said many faculty members are interested in maintaining contact with the university.

Meszaros said the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has stated the need for increases in faculty salaries to help restore the state to competitive status. She said this would be a top priority for the council, but that it would also be tied to establishing a post-tenure review process.

When asked how the university could improve the accuracy of the public's impression of Virginia Tech, Meszaros said she is working Larry Hincker, director of University Relations, and Tom Sherman and the Faculty Senate to develop a more focused communication effort. "It is essential that students and their parents understand who and what we are," Meszaros said. "The communications plan clearly must have many audiences, but we must be consistent with our message."

Meszaros told the group that the Board of Visitors has requested a strategic plan from the university. President Paul Torgersen will provide the leadership for developing the plan, and he will seek input from various university constituencies, Meszaros said. The BOV has requested that a draft of the plan be completed by February.

Meszaros said that efforts under way to identify the core values of the university would mesh with the development of a strategic plan. "It would be part of our thinking on what we have to build upon. It will give us an idea of what the university considers its values to be, she said of the core-value identification effort.

Asked about the outcome of a symposium on internationalizing the university, Meszaros praised the presentation of Patrick Liverpool, vice provost for university outreach and international programs. (Please see page 2 for Liverpool's remarks.) She suggested that emphasizing the Fulbright program here would be one way to further the internationalization of the university.