I. The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University, a major multicampus institution serving all regions of the Commonwealth, is devoted to learning and service enlightened by vigorous research and scholarship. As a land-grant university, Penn State is expected to extend high-quality teaching in a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences, as well as a balanced offering of programs in professional and technical disciplines. As a major research university, Penn State accepts the dual responsibility to excel and to serve both the public and private sectors of society. Penn State is a state-related university; the University receives an annual appropriation from the Commonwealth, but is governed by its own Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees of Penn State is the corporate body established by its charter with complete responsibility for the governance and welfare of the University. To execute this responsibility, the authority for day-to-day management and control of the University and for establishing policies and procedures for the educational program and other operations of the University is delegated to the President. The President delegates certain responsibilities to the faculty and also consults with the faculty and the student body on other matters in accordance with the general directives of the board. The board, however, is the final repository of all legal responsibility and authority to govern the University under the Nonprofit Corporation Law of Pennsylvania.
The Board of Trustees is composed of thirty-two members. Five are ex officio members (the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the President of the University, and the state secretaries of education, agriculture, and conservation and natural resources); six are appointed by the governor; nine are elected by the alumni; six are elected by agricultural societies; and six are elected by the Board of Trustees representing business and industry endeavors.
Office of the President
The President of the University is the chief executive officer, responsible to the Board of Trustees for the operation of the University. The executive vice president and provost of the University is the chief academic officer, responsible to the President. Together, these officers constitute the Office of the President, which is designed to integrate and coordinate the responsibilities of both officials in the management of the University.
The senior vice presidents for development and alumni relations, finance and business, and health affairs, and the vice presidents for outreach, research, student affairs, and university relations, report to the President. In the absence of the President, these administrative officers report to the executive vice president and provost of the University. The vice president for Commonwealth Campuses, academic deans, and academic support officers report to the Office of the President through the executive vice president and provost of the University.
The Academic Leadership Council functions under the authority of the President and provides advice and counsel on academic matters to the President and the executive vice president and provost of the University. The chair is elected by the council.
The University Faculty Senate has three main functions:
--to serve as the sole legislative body representing the University faculty as a whole;
--to act as an advisory and consultative body to the President, both through its corporate whole and any of its constituent parts, on any matter that may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the University;
--to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the members of the University faculty.
In addition to its legislative role, the senate provides an opportunity for any senator to discuss any matter thought to be of concern to the University. University faculty, administrators, and students who are not members of the senate may request permission to speak on any item of business already before the senate. Senate membership includes faculty representatives elected from each academic unit as well as representatives from the administration and the student body.
There are fifteen standing and five special committees of the senate: Committee on Committees and Rules; Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid; Curricular Affairs; Educational Equity and Campus Environment; Faculty Affairs; Faculty Benefits; Global Programs; Intercollegiate Athletics; Intra-University Relations; Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology; Outreach; Research; Student Life; Undergraduate Education; University Planning; Standing Joint Committee on Tenure; Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits; University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee; Faculty Rights and Responsibilities; and Faculty Advisory Committee to the President.
Further information is available in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate Web site www.psu.edu/ufs, or from the Office of the University Faculty Senate, 814-863-0221, 101 Kern Graduate Building.
Academic and Research Units
Academic and Research Support Units