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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

TO THE EDITOR

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 19 - February 5, 1998

For many years in the history of Virginia Tech, classified staff employees were not included in many of the committees and commissions that comprise our system of shared governance. Being an academic institution, the emphasis on faculty members' and students' participation in university affairs was encouraged while staff members were typically overlooked and their input not considered in policy issues that often had a direct impact on their campus roles.
Today classified staff members enjoy the benefits of representation in all the major facets of shared governance. Committees involved in academics, benefits, building projects and auxiliary services have staff members from a cross section of the campus community. Their thoughts and concerns are relayed to the University Council where policies and recommendations are formulated for the president and the Board of Visitors to consider.
With the benefits of representation come responsibilities. Participation in governing bodies often requires the sacrifice of time, energy, and additional work on already-harried work schedules. The rewards in being part of shared governance are not always obvious, but there is considerable self-satisfaction being involved in the development of campus policies as well as an appreciation of better communications of university plans and developments.
This year the Staff Senate is striving to better organize participation in the various commissions, committees, and councils. We encourage classified staff members who are willing to participate in shared governance to step forward and notify their local staff association of their interest now. That allows nominations and elections to be completed by the end of the spring semester and the rosters of the commissions and committees be compiled and ready for the fall. Please contact your local staff association if you would like to serve in a position in shared governance. If you do not know who to contact within your association, please call Virginia Viers (vviers@vt.edu) at 1-4811 or Jon Wooge (jwooge@vt.edu) at 731-0589.
Ben Poe