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Torgersen, Jacobs speak at Staff Senate

By Jill Elswick

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 30 - April 30, 1998

At the March Staff Senate meeting, Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen was the guest speaker. He reported the success of the SACS accreditation visit and the NCAA accreditation of athletics.
Torgersen reported General Assembly funding approvals. Twenty-three million dollars was allotted for a new chemistry/physics building. Planning money was approved for two new buildings for agriculture and for the renovation of the Dairy Complex. Pending approval by Governor Jim Gilmore, annual raises will average--based on performance--5.8 percent for the faculty, 3.6 percent for the classified staff, and 3.1 percent for the professional and administrative staff.
Torgersen pledged to write a letter to the university community encouraging the participation of classified staff members in shared governance.
Committee reports: Communications requested volunteers to help with the Staff Senate web page at www.staffsenate.vt.edu; Policies and Issues reported working to increase activity in staff associations; University Council discussed the current system for upgrading faculty/staff salaries; Intellectual Properties reported a new policy to help staff members when they contribute intellectually to projects; Library reported the request by faculty members and graduate students to hold books longer was not well received.
Commission reports: Administrative and Professional Faculty discussed the rate of annual raises for the A/P faculty; Faculty Affairs discussed compensation for faculty members who take on overload teaching assignments or are involved in the distance-learning program; Student Affairs reported that the Student Life Code of Conduct is being revised due to the increase in abusive e-mails, public nudity, and other inappropriate behavior; Undergraduate Studies and Policies discussed the expansion of admission of students from non-accredited schools and how to verify curriculum and texts used.
At the April Staff Senate meeting, Cathy Jacobs, acting director of the Office of Family Support reported on that office's purpose and activities. The office, created in 1989, was first known as Virginia Tech Resource and Referral. Its programs and resources help balance the work and family lives of university employees. The office maintains lists of child-care centers, pre-school programs, after-school programs, Headstart programs, and people who are available to provide child and elder care and do housework. For more information, e-mail treed@vt.edu or visit http://vtprojects.elps.vt.edu/ofs/ofs.html.
Also at the meeting, biographies of candidates running for Staff Senate offices were provided. Elections will be held at the May meeting.