CAUS Staff Association meets
By Sandy Broughton
Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 10 - October 29, 1998
The College of Architecture and Urban Studies Staff Association held its first meeting of the academic year October 12. Guest speakers were CAUS Dean Paul Knox and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Max Stephenson.
In her introductions of Knox and Stephenson, CAUS Staff Association President Trudy Epperly stressed their support of the group. "I had the privilege of meeting with them both to discuss our goals and direction, and I was very impressed by their sincere interest and support in working with us to make this a successful year," Epperly said.
In his remarks, Knox discussed the current period of profound change that is under way in higher education. "Globalization of the culture and the economy, advances in telecommunications and distance learning, and shifts in funding sources mean that higher education will change in interesting, exciting, and challenging ways in the next few years," Knox said. "Our goal is to retain our pre-eminence in the context of all these changes, and to be recognized as having contributed to greater creativity in problem solving, environmental sensitivity, and civic responsibility through the education of our students."
Stephenson reported to the staff on a number of new academic initiatives, within the college, at the Washington-Alexandria Center and the Northern Virginia Center, and with partner institutions in other countries. One planned program, to be offered for the first time this summer, will give students the opportunity to study in London, under the auspices of Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). The London Semester is modeled after the highly successful Washington Semester, which integrates classroom and field studies of government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Each of Tech's college staff associations is invited to send representatives to the university Staff Senate. CAUS staff senators Janet Town and Kathryn Young gave an update on recent Staff Senate meetings, which have included presentations by Human Resources Manager Dennis Eavey on the performance-evaluation process, and Director of Personnel Services Linda Woodard on university employment data and staff trends. All Staff Senate meetings are open. They are held on the third Thursday of each month in 1710 Litton Reeves.
Janet Town, who works with the department of Urban Affairs and Planning, is on the Staff Senate's Communications Committee, which is developing a web site through which staff members can access information about the association's history, mission, membership, commissions, councils, and meetings. Town said the web site, located at www.staffsenate.vt.edu/, is now operating in a text-only version, but is in the process of being updated, upgraded, and expanded.
Kathryn Young, who works with the Center for Public Administration and Policy, sits on the university Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies and is the only staff member in the group. "It broadens my perspective on how the university operates. I am grateful for the experience," she said. "I am representing the staff community as a whole, but also, our college's perspective."
The officers of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Staff Association for 1998-1999 are Epperly, president; Brian Squibb, vice president; and Geneva Dalton, secretary. The next formal meeting of the CAUS Staff Association will focus on the college's support of and plans for staff development. The featured speaker will be Denise Orden, assistant to the dean for finance and management.