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THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

The University Faculty Senate

 

AGENDA

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2002, at 1:30 PM in

112 Kern Graduate Building

 

[In the case of severe weather conditions or other emergencies, you may call the Senate Office

at (814) 863-0221 to inquire if a Senate meeting has been postponed or canceled.  This may be

done after normal office hours by calling the same number and a voice mail announcement can

be heard concerning the status of any meeting.  You may also leave a message at that time.]

 

A.  MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING -

      Minutes of the January 29, 2002, Meeting in The Senate Record 35:4

 

B.     COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE - Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets)

                                                                        of February 12, 2002

 

C.  REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meeting of February 12, 2002

 

D.  ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR -

 

E.  COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY -

 

F.      FORENSIC BUSINESS –

 

G.     UNFINISHED BUSINESS –

 

H.     LEGISLATIVE REPORTS –

 

      Committees and Rules

 

            Revision of Bylaws, Article III, new Section 7 – Election to the

            Senate – Excessive Absences

 

I.        ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS -

 

University Planning/Undergraduate Education

 

      University Calendar

 

J.       INFORMATIONAL REPORTS –

 

Faculty Affairs

 

      Promotion and Tenure Summary for 2000-01

 

Student Life

 

      Interim Expulsion

 

      Student Perceptions of Safety

 

K.  NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS -

 

L.  COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY -

 

 

-----------------

Note:  The next regular meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on Tuesday,

           March 26, 2002, at 1:30 PM in Room 112 Kern Building.

 

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

The University Faculty Senate

101 Kern Graduate Building

University Park, PA  16802

(814) 863-1202 – phone   (814) 865-5789 – fax

 

 

Date:   February 14, 2002

 

To:      John S. Nichols, Chair, University Faculty Senate

 

From:  Louis F. Geschwindner, Chair, Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs

 

The Senate Curriculum Report, dated February 12, 2002, has been circulated throughout the University.  Objections to any of the items in the report must be submitted to the University Curriculum Coordinator at the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, e-mail ID sfw2@psu.edu, on or before March 14, 2002.

 

The Senate Curriculum Report is available on the web.  It can be accessed via the Faculty Senate home page (URL http://www.psu.edu/ufs).  An electronic mailing list is used to notify individuals of its publication.  Please contact the Curriculum Coordinator at the e-mail ID indicated above if you would like to be added to the notification list.

 

Special Announcements:

1.      The Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs and its subcommittees have been diligent in reviewing all General Education proposals that have been submitted to the Senate Office. As of the January 29, 2002, committee meeting, 203 General Education courses have been recertified or, if new, approved. Based on the original college plans, this means that 449 courses which colleges expected to submit have either not been submitted or reviewed.

 

Based on the original college plans, courses were to be reviewed before January 2003. Thus, it is imperative that the colleges move their course proposals along expeditiously if our students are not to suffer. In order for a course to be approved for a General Education designation by January 2003, course proposals must be received in the Senate Office no later than August 1, 2002. Even with this deadline, it will be extremely difficult for the appropriate committees to accomplish their reviews on time.

 

The committees request the assistance of the colleges in helping to move the recertification process along to a reasonable conclusion.

 

2.      The review of courses for recertification in the International and Intercultural Competence category (GI) has also been progressing quite slowly. In an attempt to assist faculty in the proposal preparation process, the International and Intercultural Competence Subcommittee reviewed the material in the Guide to Curricular Procedures to determine if revisions were needed.

 

The Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs, upon recommendation of the International and Intercultural Competence Subcommittee, has approved revisions to the Guide to Curricular Procedures. We believe these revisions will assist proposal writers in preparing quality GI proposals. There have been no changes in the requirements or in the material that must be presented. We have simply reworked the statements in the Guide to better reflect the organization of the proposal that will best communicate the intent of the proposing faculty.

 

Proposals already in the system will not be delayed by this revision although faculty working on the preparation of new proposals might find it useful to review this new documentation. The new guidelines for the GI course proposals may be found on the Senate Web page in the Guide to Curricular Procedures at http://www.psu.edu/ufs/guide/contents.html

 

3.      The Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs has also reviewed the requirements for a Minor as published in the Guide to Curricular Procedures. Several clarifications have been made in those requirements and the section has been rewritten. Faculty proposing new or revised Minors are encouraged to review this new material to assist them in the preparation of proposals.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

 

University Calendar

 

(Advisory and Consultative)

 

            The Senate Committees on University Planning and Undergraduate Education transmit the report and recommendations of the Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar (attachment 1) for Senate action. 

 

            The Senate Committee on University Planning unanimously supports the changes to the university calendar recommended by the Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar and recommends approval by the Senate.  The Senate Committee on University Planning’s rationale and comments appear as attachment 2.

 

The Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education also has reviewed the report but does not support the set of calendar recommendations.  The Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education's rationale appears as attachment 3.

 

The Senate vote will be on the following recommendations from the Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar report.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

1.  We propose that the fall and spring semesters consist of 72 “instructional days” each.  While not shortening the semester to 14 weeks of instruction, this schedule has the potential to provide greater flexibility in starting dates, in effect allowing each semester to begin somewhat later than the present calendar allows.  We do not recommend any change in the present ending dates of fall or spring semester, as determined by the December holiday or May graduation schedules.  In addition, we recognize the prerogative of units such as the Graduate Center, the College of Medicine, and the Dickinson School of Law to configure their instructional time differently.

 

2.  We propose a period of 4 “final assessment days” at the end of each semester.  These days would allow for a variety of final assessment activities including the traditional forms of final examinations as well as more flexible alternatives, such as presentations, group projects, term assignments, and the like.  Arrangements for designated periods would be required in advance, with students in individual classes informed in a manner timely enough to allow for the resolution of conflicting schedules.  Certain “block” scheduling to reduce potential conflicts may be possible, but instructors would be required to specifically request use of final assessment days for class activities.

 

3.  In order to facilitate the use of final assessment days, we propose that Senate Policy 44-20 be revisited in order to endorse the concept of multiple forms of final assessment.   Those faculty wishing to maintain the current practices of final examinations, including common exams and alternate seating arrangements, should be accommodated.  At the same time, those favoring other strategies of assessment and feedback should have flexibility in assigning final activities, including the scheduled use of assessment days.

 

4.  As the Calendar Committee recommends the use of distinct “assessment” days following scheduled “instructional” days, we propose that summer sessions be configured to allow for designated assessment days distinct from scheduled instructional time.

 

5.  Because the number of interruptions of scheduled classes during the fall semester present both pedagogical and attendance problems for instructors and students, we propose that “fall break” and the Thanksgiving recess be consolidated into one week at Thanksgiving.  Such a break will be symmetrical in length, though not in timing, to the spring break, allowing students to travel, recreate, and “catch up” prior to the end-of-semester class activities.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON                                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON

UNIVERSITY PLANNING                                        UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

P. Richard Althouse                                                      Cheryl Achterberg

William J. Anderson                                                      Richard I. Ammon

Anthony J. Baratta, Chair                                              Theresa A. Balog

John P. Boehmer                                                          Thomas E. Boothby

Michael J. Cardamone                                                  Richard J. Bord

Eric C. Cowden                                                           James E. Brasfield

Gordon F. De Jong                                                       John J. Cahir

Joseph Ferenchick                                                        Paul F. Clark

Peter B. Everett                                                            Peter D. Georgopulos

William M. Frank                                                         Gary L. Hile

Daniel R. Hagen                                                           Robert S. Hill

Ali R. Hurson                                                               Richard Kennedy, Jr.

Rodney Kirsch                                                             James L. McDonel

Karen H. Morin                                                            Laura L. Pauley, Chair

Robert N. Pangborn                                                     Paul A. Ricciardi

Paula J. Romano                                                           Robert D. Ricketts, V-Chair

William A. Rowe, V-Chair                                            David W. Russell

Louise E. Sandmeyer                                                    Dennis C. Scanlon

Gary C. Schultz                                                            Thomas A. Seybert

Paul J. Tikalsky                                                            Terry R. Shirley, Jr.

Daniel E. Willis                                                             D. Joshua Troxell

Gregory R. Ziegler                                                        Eric R. White

 


ATTACHMENT 1

 

JOINT COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR

 

Final Recommendations

to

University Planning

and

Undergraduate Education

 

Background: 

 

Comments received during the Senate Officers’ visits to colleges and campuses as well as communication directly to the administration highlight several problems with the present academic calendar.  Items mentioned by students and faculty include:

 

·        absences during the three days prior to Thanksgiving

·        a “telescoped” orientation period at U.P. prior to fall semester

·        the lack of designated exam days in the summer sessions (UP)

·        the disruption of fall semester caused by three “breaks” (Labor Day, fall break, Thanksgiving)

·        the availability of sufficient orientation time (especially if  “diversity” orientation is to be added)

·        the adequacy of study days.  

 

Questions have also been raised whether more effective use could be made of time at the end of the semester, instead of traditional final exams, as many faculty adopt active and collaborative learning models.  Alternative forms of assessment throughout the semester have become common in many disciplines.  The Calendar Committee was asked to review the University calendar to respond to these concerns.

 

Discussion at the October Senate forensic session and the subsequent e-mail correspondence confirm the diversity of opinion regarding possible modification of the semester calendar.  Members of the Senate were polarized:  substantial support for maintaining the status quo contradicted urgent calls to do something to ameliorate the problems with the current calendar, including shortening the semester which many believed was too long and too interrupted by breaks.  Similarly, while some advocated the traditional practice of final examinations, others were more open to varieties of final assessment not requiring dedicated final examination periods.  At the risk of alienating either position, the Calendar Committee seeks to propose a compromise.

 

In our final analysis, the Committee wishes to reaffirm the following principles that have guided all our deliberations:

 

·        The University calendar should provide flexibility in serving the academic interests and needs of students and faculty.

·        The calendar should provide appropriate time for examinations and other assessment activities as part of the fall and spring semesters and each summer session.

·        The fall and spring semesters should be as symmetrical (i.e. equal in length) as possible.

·        There should be an appropriate “break” during each semester.

·        A post-Labor Day start is highly desirable.

·        The fall semester should end before the traditional December holiday season.

·        National holidays should be recognized if possible.

·        Arrival day (UP) should occur on a Saturday.

·        Commencement (UP) should occur on a Saturday.

·        There should be provision for orientation time at the beginning of each semester.

 

The analysis of the benchmarking data collected during our study supports the following conclusions:

 

·        There is no universal standard for class days/hours in class per credit-hour, nor is there one standard for state or state-related institutions in Pennsylvania.

·        There is no universal standard for a minimum number of “instructional days” per course or for counting the instructional days since some institutions include final exam days while others do not.

·        Within the “Big Ten” the present calendar places Penn State among the highest-ranking schools on the semester calendar in terms number of “instructional days” whether or not exam days are counted.

·        Similarly, compared to other national research universities, Penn State semesters are among the longest, with several outstanding institutions having significantly fewer instructional days per semester.

·        At University Park, approximately 40% of classes actually schedule final examination periods.

·        Because of increased pedagogical diversity (e.g., active and collaborative learning) and alternative means of assessment (e.g., group project presentations), the number of classes needing final examinations has declined and may decline further.

·        If there is no change to the class schedule (i.e., minutes per class), the impact of calendar change on scheduling classrooms and laboratories will be minimized.

·        Considerable precedent at other institutions and residual support at Penn State exist for reducing the number of instructional days.

·        Fall semester issues are much more troublesome than spring semester issues.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.  We propose that the fall and spring semesters consist of 72 “instructional days” each.  While not shortening the semester to 14 weeks of instruction, this schedule has the potential to provide greater flexibility in starting dates, in effect allowing each semester to begin somewhat later than the present calendar allows.  We do not recommend any change in the present ending dates of fall or spring semester, as determined by the December holiday or May graduation schedules.  In addition, we recognize the prerogative of units such as the Graduate Center, the College of Medicine, and the Dickinson School of Law to configure their instructional time differently.

 

2.  We propose a period of 4 “final assessment days” at the end of each semester.  These days would allow for a variety of final assessment activities including the traditional forms of final examinations as well as more flexible alternatives, such as presentations, group projects, term assignments, and the like.   Arrangements for designated periods would be required in advance, with students in individual classes informed in a manner timely enough to allow for the resolution of conflicting schedules.  Certain “block” scheduling to reduce potential conflicts may be possible, but instructors would be required to specifically request use of final assessment days for class activities.

 

3.  In order to facilitate the use of final assessment days, we propose that Senate Policy 44-20 be revisited in order to endorse the concept of multiple forms of final assessment.   Those faculty wishing to maintain the current practices of final examinations, including common exams and alternate seating arrangements, should be accommodated.  At the same time, those favoring other strategies of assessment and feedback should have flexibility in assigning final activities, including the scheduled use of assessment days.

 

4.  As the Calendar Committee recommends the use of distinct “assessment” days following scheduled “instructional” days, we propose that summer sessions be configured to allow for designated assessment days distinct from scheduled instructional time.

 

5.  Because the number of interruptions of scheduled classes during the fall semester present both pedagogical and attendance problems for instructors and students, we propose that “fall break” and the Thanksgiving recess be consolidated into one week at Thanksgiving.  Such a break will be symmetrical in length, though not in timing, to the spring break, allowing students to travel, recreate, and “catch up” prior to the end-of-semester class activities.

 

Rationale:

 

The calendar configuration proposed above offers several advantages over the present semester schedule.   Currently, we lose as many as 2 or 3 instructional days in the fall due to “extensions” of both fall break and Thanksgiving.  Thus, the duration of the semester may be reduced without significant pedagogical impact.  Reducing the schedule of instructional and assessment days will allow us to begin fall and spring classes three or four days later than we do now.  The additional time will permit more time for transition

and orientation activities at the University, and it may relieve some of the time pressure on student internships, co-ops, and other summer activities discussed during the forensic session.  It may even be possible to schedule a non-weekend “study day” between the end of instructional days and the beginning of assessment days.

 

The recommendations regarding final assessment reaffirm the Senate’s commitment to allowing for a designated time for final activities separate from “instruction,” and guarantees consistency, even during the more flexible scheduling patterns that characterize Penn State’s summer sessions.

 

While we are sensitive to the arguments in favor of preserving the break at mid-semester during the fall, we believe that the pedagogical disadvantages of the interruption and the diluting of the original justifications for the break outweigh those arguments.  At the same time, the consolidated break may allow for easier (and safer) travel for students as well as greater flexibility in planning activities for the break period, as is the case at institutions that have already adopted this practice.  In fact, this change likely will result in the fall semester schedule effectively offering more fully utilized instructional days than the present schedule does.

 

Conclusion:

 

While we recognize that the recommendations above do not reflect either pole of opinion expressed during the calendar discussions, we believe that they offer a strategy to accommodate most needs and to address many of the criticisms of the present calendar.  In addition, while we note that a post-Labor Day start to fall semester may not be possible under these recommendations we believe that the remainder of our guiding principles are supported.

 

JOINT COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR

 

Anthony Baratta

George Bugyi

John Cahir

Peter Emigh

Donald Leslie

James Smith, Chair

Jane Sutton

Josh Toxell

James Wager


ATTACHMENT 2

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING

 

Background:

 

In November of 2001, the Senate Committee on University Planning received the report of the Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar.  The University Planning Committee has met and discussed the calendar taking as its basis the report and recommendations of the Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar established by the Provost and Chair of the Faculty Senate.  Comments on the recommendations of the Joint Committee were solicited from students, faculty, administrators, Senators, and interested Senate Committees.  The Committee via emails, phone conversations, sidebar discussions and formal communications, received many comments. 

 

The following bullet points represent additional comments by the University Planning Committee that we believe should be considered for any changes in the University calendar.

 

-- In implementing the Joint Committee’s recommendations, whenever possible, the Fall semester should start after Labor Day, running as late as needed but no later than is needed so that graduation may occur on or before the 22nd of December.  Consideration should be given to holding graduation on a Sunday.  We do not recommend any change in the present ending dates of spring semester, as determined by the May graduation schedules.

 

-- As discussed in the Joint Committee’s report, we recommend that the Committee for Undergraduate Education consider revising Senate Policy 44-20 in order to endorse the concept of multiple forms of final assessment.

 


ATTACHMENT  3

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

 

Background:

 

In November 2001, the Undergraduate Education Committee received recommendations from the Calendar Committee.  The Undergraduate Education Committee includes faculty from University Park, the Commonwealth College, Behrend College, and Capital College.  Four student senators, one college Dean, and the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies also serve on the Undergraduate Education Committee.  Therefore, all university constituents are represented on the committee to allow all opinions to be voiced.  The Undergraduate Committee members attended the Senate Forensic Session on the Calendar and heard the comments from other Senators.  The transcript from the Forensic Session appears on the Senate web site and could be reviewed as needed.  UE committee members invited comments from their constituents before the UE discussion in December.  The comments and suggestions from constituents were often voiced during the discussion at the UE committee meetings.

 

On December 4, the Undergraduate Education Committee met to review and to discuss the recommendations from the Calendar Committee (Attachment 1).  Before the committee discussion, the statement from the Academic Assembly was distributed to all UE Committee members.  A discussion of Calendar Recommendations 1 and 5 was followed by a straw poll.  The discussion then focused on Calendar Recommendations 2 and 4 followed by a straw poll.  After the UE Committee had discussed the Calendar Recommendations, the committee met with the University Planning Committee to allow comments and concerns to be shared between the committees. 

 

After the December meeting a draft report was prepared as a summary of the committee discussion.  The UE Committee draft report was reviewed, discussed, and revised at the January 29 meeting of the Undergraduate Education Committee.  Revisions were made to the report and a discussion of the entire set of Calendar Committee Recommendations was held.  The Undergraduate Education Committee voted on the entire set of recommendations made by the Calendar Committee and the result of this vote appears below as the UE Committee recommendation.

 

Committee Vote:

 

Since some of the Calendar Committee Recommendations are related to each other, the Undergraduate Education Committee was asked to vote on the set of five recommendations as a package.  Although the Undergraduate Education Committee did not agree unanimously, a majority of the committee members did not support the set of Calendar Recommendations.  The vote in the Undergraduate Education Committee was 7 in favor of the Calendar Committee recommendations, 13 opposed, and 0 abstained.  A second vote was taken to determine if committee members wanted to keep the current calendar.  2 were in favor of keeping the current calendar and 18 were opposed to keeping the current calendar.  No one abstained.  Therefore, a majority of Undergraduate Education Committee members wished to see the university calendar changed but were not supportive of the entire set of recommendations presented by the Calendar Committee.

 

Rationale:

 

From our discussions, we found that Undergraduate Education (UE) Committee members did not agree unanimously with any of the recommendations from the Calendar Committee Report.  Described below are the varied opinions for each recommendation.

 

Calendar Recommendation 1:  Change the semester calendar to 72 instructional days in Fall and Spring semester.

 

Although the current number of instructional days in Fall semester is 74 and in Spring semester is 75, many classes are not held on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Break or the Friday before Fall break.  Most UE Committee members considered the present calendar to not accurately reflect the actual number of instructional days.  Changing the calendar to 72 instructional days would not reduce the actual days of instruction but just make the calendar an accurate reflection of reality.  Classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was considered particularly problematic at University Park   Another reason for reducing the instructional days is that it would allow for a longer orientation period on weekdays before the start of class.  Also, students with summer jobs could work longer if classes began later, preferably after Labor Day.

 

Other committee members were concerned that reducing the number of instructional days will not assure that classes will be held on the stated instructional days or that students will attend classes on all of the instructional days.  Current University Policy requires that classes are held on instructional days but this is not always done.  Also, a 72 instructional day semester would cause some days of the week to have more class periods than others.  This could be particularly difficult for courses where different sections meet on different days.  There is also concern that reducing the number of instructional days would also reduce the amount of material that can be covered in a course.

 

Calendar Recommendation 2:  Change the current five-day examination period to a four-day assessment period.

 

Most considered that the change from “examination period” to “assessment period” allows for many different forms of assessment to take place in the week after the instructional days.  This will encourage faculty to use innovative methods.  Since only 40% of University Park courses give a final exam, allowing other forms of assessment in the assessment period will better utilize this week.  Since many courses do not use the examination period, reducing the number of days from five to four was not considered problematic.  The four-day assessment week might begin with a weekday study day.  Or the Assessment Period might be from Monday to Thursday and allow final certification for graduation to occur on Friday.  This would benefit the Schreyer Honors Program that awards the honors medal at a ceremony on Friday afternoon.  In addition the ROTC program commissions new officers on Friday afternoon.  Currently, final exams in Fall semester may conflict with these events.

 

Other committee members supported the change from an “examination period” to an “assessment period” but do not agree that the assessment period should be reduced to four days.  Although only 40% of classes have a final exam, some students may find that all of their classes have a final exam.  Compressing the assessment period to four days would make it more difficult to adequately prepare for the final exams and may also increase the number of conflicts or overloads that students apply for.  Also, by allowing other forms of assessment to occur during this period, the assessment period may be more heavily used and warrant an additional day to schedule the assessment activities.

 

Calendar Recommendation 3:  Review Policy 44-20.

 

The Undergraduate Education Committee viewed this item as a reminder that Policy 44-20 should be updated to refer to “Assessment Period” instead of “Examination Period” if Recommendation 2 was approved.

 

 

Calendar Recommendation 4:  Schedule an Assessment Period for Summer Session.

 

There were no objections to this recommendation.  Some committee members did not consider this to be an important issue.

 

Calendar Recommendation 5:  Eliminate Fall Break in October and change Thanksgiving Break to be an entire week.

 

Most UE Committee members favored the current schedule.  Students consider Fall Break to be a much-needed chance to rest or catch up on studies.  The Fall Break can also be used to schedule a full day class activity, field trip, or volunteer project.  It was recognized that some students may leave early or return late for Fall Break and Thanksgiving Break.  This was not considered a reason for changing the current schedule.  Students should be held accountable for class material missed and instructors should be held responsible for holding class on scheduled days.

 

Fewer UE Committee members favored the combining of Fall Break and Thanksgiving Break into one full week at Thanksgiving.  Having several breaks in the semester is disruptive.  It is well known that very few classes are held on Wednesday (and even Tuesday) before Thanksgiving Break.  The Friday before Fall Break has also seen very low attendance.  The present situation of cancelled classes and poor attendance before a break should be recognized and the two breaks in Fall semester should be combined to reduce the amount of lost class time.

 

Other Suggestions Receiving Strong Committee Support

 

During the calendar discussion in the Undergraduate Education Committee meeting, there were several suggestions that received strong support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS

Promotion and Tenure Summary for 2000-2001

 (Informational)

 

The Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs presents a series of charts showing the tenure and promotion decisions made in the academic year, 2000-2001. The figures show the following:

TENURE

Dossiers for the award of tenure for 93 candidates were forwarded by the deans to the 2000-01 University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.  The University Committee recommended 89 faculty members for tenure, and the President approved tenure in 88 cases.  Eleven of the cases approved were for early tenure.

PROMOTION TO PROFESSOR, SENIOR SCIENTIST, AND LIBRARIAN

Dossiers for promotion to the rank of professor, senior scientist, and librarian for 62 candidates were forwarded by the deans to the University Committee.  The University Committee recommended 59 faculty members for promotion, and the President approved promotion for all 59 candidates.

PROMOTION TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, AND ASSOCIATE LIBRARIAN

Dossiers for promotion to the rank of associate professor, senior research associate, and associate librarian for 76 candidates were forwarded by the deans to the University Committee.  The University Committee recommended 72 faculty members for promotion and the President approved promotion for all 72 candidates.

TENURE PROGSSION THROUGH SEVEN YEARS: 1992 + 1993 + 1994

Following the tenure and promotion charts for 2000-2001 are a chart and graph presenting a three-year composite for faculty entering the tenure ranks in 1992, 1993, and 1994, showing how many of each cohort were retained and tenured by their eighth year at Penn State.  The charts show that, on the average, 51% of the entering group as a whole ended up receiving tenure.  That does not mean that 51% of the group being considered for tenure in their decision year received tenure; it means that for our three most recent cohorts 51% of all faculty who began with us in provisional status remained with us and were granted tenure at the end of seven years or earlier.  The percentage for women faculty members was 40%, and for minorities, 43%. These data describe what has happened in terms of promotion and tenure; the data do not explain why individual decisions were made or why differences exist in the promotion and tenure profiles of various demographic groups.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS

Susan M. Abmayr

Syed S. Andaleeb

Kultegin Aydin

Melvin Blumberg

Clay Calvert

Richard A. Carlson

Lynn A. Carpenter

Roy B. Clariana

Cheng Dong

James M. Donovan

Charles R. Enis

Jacqueline P. Esposito

Dorothy H. Evensen

Mary I. Frecker

Margaret B. Goldman, Vice-Chair

David J. Green

Janis E. Jacobs

W. Larry Kenney

Sallie M. McCorkle

Howard P. Medoff

Katherine C. Pearson

Andrew B. Romberger

Robert Secor

Kim C. Steiner

Mila C. Su

Joan S. Thomson

Vasundara V. Varadan, Chair

 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT LIFE

 

Interim Expulsion

 

(Informational)

INTRODUCTION

Recent cases involving sexual assault on female students reported by the Daily Collegian and other media sources have raised concern over the University’s policies dealing with students charged with such crimes.  Some groups and individuals have asked whether existing procedures are strong enough to ensure students’ safety.   Student Life was charged to review existing University policies to see if they are in general sufficient to protect students from the threat posed by the presence on Penn State campuses of individuals charged with serious crimes.

INTERIM EXPULSION

The Penn State disciplinary procedure[1] provides students accused with misconduct with due process, which includes an opportunity to explain one's own actions and present evidence of one's innocence. Typically, Judicial Affairs staff will respond to charges by holding a Disciplinary Conference, at which point the majority of cases are resolved.  It does not normally file formal charges prior to this Disciplinary Conference, except when there is reasonable cause to believe that the student is an immediate threat to the safety of himself/herself or other persons or property or is an immediate threat to disrupt essential campus operations.

 

In such cases, the Director of Judicial Affairs (or another University Official designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs) may impose interim expulsion.  This removes the student from campus immediately, pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.  Permission to be on campus for a specific period of time or purpose must be granted in writing by the Judicial Affairs Director (or Campus Executive Officer at other location.)  Any such student who returns to campus without permission may then face indefinite or permanent expulsion.

 

In the interest of ensuring immediate safety to the community, that is, the University does have the right to order a student summarily removed from campus without giving him or her the right to due process.[2]  However, the University is then normally obligated to provide the student with a hearing within five business days of the notice of interim expulsion.  (An exception would occur if a student were already incarcerated for criminal charges and so would be unable to appear for a hearing until release.)

 

In some cases disciplinary hearings have to be postponed for long periods of time, for a number of valid reasons.  As noted above, a student may be incarcerated and unable to appear.  Or a victim may not initially agree to come forward and testify.  In many cases, police officials (who often are important witnesses) may not agree to participate in a University proceeding prior to criminal proceedings, in fear of jeopardizing their investigation.  Thus the University may not yet have appropriate evidence needed to proceed. 

 

In cases such as these, the University needs to have compelling evidence that an accused student is responsible for the alleged misconduct and is in fact a danger to the community, especially in cases in which the accused may lose his/her status as a student.  When such students maintain their innocence, imposing interim expulsion without a timely hearing risks depriving them of due process.  Thus the policy cannot be used indiscriminately whenever a student is charged with a serious crime.

CONCLUSIONS

The University's Interim Expulsion policy seems adequate to protect students against sexual predators.  In October, an intoxicated student who entered several women's dormitory rooms and fondled them was immediately imprisoned and given interim expulsion.  One must keep in mind, however, that such a policy does not give Judicial Affairs unlimited rights to ban any accused student from campus.  Also decisions about expulsion are ultimately made by Hearing Boards, not by Judicial Affairs personnel, and only after giving students a chance to present their side of the case in confidence.  

 

One may with reason argue about the use of University policies in particular cases, and about the decisions reached by individual Hearing Boards, just as one may disagree with decisions reached in criminal cases by judges and juries.  The Student Life Committee finds no pressing need to revise the overall policy governing such situations.  However, we do believe that this policy should be more widely publicized and understood.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT LIFE

William W. Asbury

Arthur W. Carter

Mackenzie L. De Vos

Bill Ellis (Chair)

Andrzej J. Gapinski

Wallace H. Greene

Nichola Gutgold (Vice-chair)

Karen Johnson

Jeffrey S. Mayer

Nicholas J. Pazdziorko

Irwin Richman

Robyn A. Ricketts

Jose A. Ventura

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT LIFE

Student Perceptions of Safety

(Informational)

INTRODUCTION

 

A feeling of safety among students is an important factor in maintaining a positive student environment.  At Penn State, a variety of initiatives have been taken to create a safe campus environment, including installing more blue light boxes, lights on walkways, and sprinkler systems in dormitories.  However, if student perceptions of safety are not positive, then these safety initiatives are not worthwhile.  Do students feel safe at Penn State?  Yes, according to student perceptions and crime statistics.  But why do students feel safe?  The committee consulted two sources:  the students themselves and police crime reports. 

 

Student perceptions were collected through existing Penn State Pulse surveys (the 1995 “Safety” survey and specific safety questions from the 1998 “Diversity Climate” survey, the 1999 “Student Satisfaction” survey, the 2000 “Guns and Other Weapons on Campus” survey, and the 2000 “Women and Personal Safety” survey[3]), informal surveys conducted by the committee Spring 2000 and Spring 2001, student focus group meetings conducted by the University Student Government, and informal conversations with parents and students during the 2000 Faculty in the Residence Halls for Students in Transition (FIRST) program activities at University Park. Most of the student information came from University Park, with three other campuses represented, including Lehigh Valley, Berks, and Hazleton.  When asked “What does ‘safe’ mean to you?” the consensus of student responses to these surveys defined safety as “bodily and material protection.”

 

In order to show relative safety from crime on Penn State campuses, the committee collected statistics for murder/homicide, forcible sex offenses, aggravated assault, and burglary/robbery/motor vehicle theft for Big Ten main campuses, small population schools, and Pennsylvania main campuses.  The data are for crimes on campuses that were reported to the police and do not include off-campus incidents involving students.  Data was obtained from Penn State's "Crime Statistics and Cleary Act Information: Annual Security Reports,"[4] from the US Department of Education's "OPE Campus Security Statistics Website,"[5] and from the annual Crime in the United States:  Uniform Crime Reports.[6]  These data are used to understand why students feel safe at Penn State.

STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF SAFETY

Several formal University surveys have investigated student perceptions of and concerns about safety.    In April 1998 a Pulse “Diversity Climate” Survey (N = 778)[7] investigated students’ perceptions of the climate of diversity on six campuses.  However, question # 20 asked, “Since the academic year began last August, how often have you personally been threatened or physically assaulted?” 

Figure 1:  Percent of students threatened or physically assaulted.

 

Zero

1 or more times

Altoona (N = 105)

99%

1%

Behrend (N = 104)

99%

1%

Berks (N = 58)

98%

2%

Delaware (N = 109)

98%

2%

Abington  (N = 41)

100%

--

University Park (N = 357)

97%

3%

 

Question # 22 asked, “Since the academic year began last August, how often have you personally had your property stolen, damaged or defaced?”

 

Figure 2:  Percentage of students having damaged, defaced, or stolen property.

 

Zero

1 or more times

Altoona (N = 105)

99%

1%

Behrend (N = 104)

98%

2%

Berks (N = 58)

100%

--

Delaware (N = 109)

99%

1%

Abington (N = 41)

98%

3%

University Park (N = 357)

97%

3%

 

These data suggest that there are few safety breaches at Penn State.

 

In a September 1999 Student Experience and Satisfaction Survey (N = 5,770),[8] 70% of students expressed satisfaction with the quality of “The ‘safety and security’ at your campus location” (68% University Park N = 900; 70% all other campuses).  A January 2000 Pulse “Guns and Weapons on Campus” Survey (N = 774)[9] explored how weapons affected students’ perceptions of safety.   The majority agreed that the University provides a “reasonable level of security”:  73% agreed, 19% agreed somewhat, and only 7 % did not agree.  More students felt safer "on campus"[10] (90%) than they feel in their home community (80%). Few students think that guns are a problem on campus (4%).  These data suggest that guns and weapons on campus do not alter students’ perception of safety.

 

Two informal surveys (see Appendix A) were conducted by the Student Life Committee to test and reinforce these findings.  A small-scale survey conducted in Spring 2000 (N=36) found that a majority of 83% responded that they feel safe (21 of the 25 women and 9 of the 11 men), 11% said it depends (2 women and 2 men), and only 5.5% said they do not feel safe (2 women).  Of the respondents who suggested ways the University can make the campus safer, nearly 42% mentioned the need for more lights on campus; 25% said there were no remaining safety issues the University needs to address, and another 5.5% left the question blank.

 

A larger survey conducted in Spring 2001 at University Park and three other campuses (N = 362) confirmed that a majority of 93% responded that they feel safe.  When asked why they felt safe, the most common reason given was "campus location."  Students at other campuses seemed to feel somewhat more secure than at University Park, where 89% of respondents felt safe and 11% did not feel safe, suggesting a minor campus location effect (See Figure 3).

Reason for feeling of safety:

All campuses:

University Park only:

    Campus location

64.6 %

51.5 %

    Outdoor lighting

46.9 %

44.9 %

    Self defense

35.6 %

33.5 %

    Blue-light call boxes

30.6 %

31.1 %

    Law enforcement

30.1 %

26.3 %

    Campus culture

20.2 %

20.9 %

    Public relations

14.4 %

14.3 %

    Safety information

11.0 %

13.7 %

 

Figure 3: Results of Spring 2001 survey: reasons for feeling safe.

 

Other top reasons for respondents’ feelings of safety include outdoor lighting, self-defense, and blue-light call boxes.  Of those who identified “other” reasons for feeling safe, the most cited reasons were staying in a group (not walking alone at night), having never felt threatened, taking precautions and staying away from dangerous situations, and simply choosing not to be afraid as a positive act of will.  One person cited published crime statistics as a reason for feeling safe.

 

CRIME STATISTICS AT OTHER UNIVERSITIES

 

Although students may feel safe at Penn State, this feeling of security does not ensure safety.   To determine if students actually are safe at Penn State, a comparison of crime statistics was performed among three groups of Universities: 1) Big Ten Main campuses, 2) small population schools, and 3) Pennsylvania main campuses.  The results are shown in Figures 4-6.  In comparing Big Ten main campuses, we found that Penn State consistently has a lower crime rate than other campuses.  Similarly, Penn State has lower crime rates when compared to other Pennsylvania main campuses.  In some years, some of the reporting smaller Penn State campuses show greater crime rates than others, but these data are difficult to translate into relative frequencies because of the smaller student population involved.  As Figure 6 shows, the actual numbers of cases is modest and not consistently out of line with the total number of cases reported at comparable small campuses.  Further, as noted above, student surveys show that students at other campuses actually do feel a little safer than at University Park.

 

Overall, these data suggest that crime rates at Penn State are minimal compared within the three groups of schools.  Therefore, perceptions of safety among Penn State students appear justified, despite the potential for crime at any large university or campus location.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Despite the encouraging nature of the data reported above, some surveys indicate that safety concerns remain among the students at Penn State and that these concerns are more prominent among female students and students of color.  In March 1995, a Pulse “Safety” Survey (N = 241)[11] investigated student perceptions about safety at night.  At this time, many students did express concern for their safety walking to or from campus (35.3%), being in a student parking area after dark (23.6%), walking on campus after dark (22.4%), or walking to or from the library (20.3%).  Most students (65.8%) were not aware of the designated walking areas on campus where additional lighting has been provided.  Of those who were aware, significantly more on-campus students (41.3%) knew about the designated walking areas than did off-campus students (22.5%). The two most frequently made recommendations of actions the University could take to make the campus safer were to improve lighting (33.7%) and to increase visibility of the police presence (20.4%).

 

Significantly more female students than male students reported feeling concerned about safety after dark when walking on campus from bus transportation (23.1% women, 6.4% men), walking to or from the library (38.5% women, 4% men), walking to and from campus locations generally (55.8% women, 17.7% men), though more men were concerned for personal safety being in classroom buildings after dark (5.6% women, 16.2% men).  Similarly, in the January 2000 Pulse “Guns and Weapons on Campus” Survey, fewer women than men said they felt safe, and fewer minority than non-minority students said they felt safe:  94% men, 85% women, 90% non-minority, and 84% minority.

 

An April 2000 Pulse survey on “Women and Personal Safety” (N = 533)[12] asked women students about their feeling of being safe on and off campus,[13] about their awareness and usage of safety services, and about specific experiences when they felt their safety was threatened.  Most women felt safer on campus (64%) than off campus (46%).  Still, one fourth (28%) experienced at least one incident since the beginning of the school year that made them concerned for their safety.  Students reported having personally been sexually assaulted (4%), threatened with email (6%), stalked (14%), physically assaulted by a date (5%), physically assaulted by a stranger (1%), sexually harassed by a peer (15%), or sexually harassed by a member of the faculty or staff (3%). Of the respondents, 39% said they knew students who had been sexually assaulted at Penn State.

 

About a third of the respondents (32%) felt Penn State adequately educates women about personal safety, though more than half (57%) thought the FTCAP program was effective in preparing incoming students to avoid acquaintance rape and sexual assault.  A third or fewer students felt they were well informed about supportive services.  Only 12% of the respondents used the Escort Service (12%) or an on-campus emergency phone (2%).

 

Although the March 2001 SL Survey showed that the majority of students at Penn State campuses feel safe, it gave the minority an opportunity to express why they did not feel safe. Responses included poor campus lighting and a lack of blue-light call boxes, feelings of racism or sexism, and ineffective campus police.  When asked where they feel unsafe, virtually all responses included the parking lots and the campus after dark.  Finally, when asked what could be done to improve feelings of safety, a majority of responses included more lighting, more security guards or police, and more blue light call boxes.  Other responses included mandatory 24-hour dormitory lock-up, running buses at night for easier transportation, and more safety information and self-defense classes provided by the University.

 

The responses to these questions suggest that although Penn State has increased campus safety by increasing lighting and the number of call boxes on campus, there are students at Penn State, particularly women, who still do not feel safe.  Not only do students want more light and call boxes, they also want a more visible campus security staff to increase their perception of safety.  These results suggest that Penn State may still be able to improve campus and student safety.

CONCLUSIONS

The question posed for this report was “Do students feel safe at Penn State?”  The data analyzed in this report demonstrate that, yes, the majority of students do feel safe at Penn State.  As the committee talked with new students and their parents at University Park on August 19, 2000, a perception emerged of trust in a proactive University that tries to be ahead of problems.  Fire safety in residence halls is an example.  Students and parents seem confident in the University’s fire safety precautions and its plans to install sprinkler systems, which were a primary concern well before the January 2000 dormitory fire at Seton Hall University and the March 2000 fraternity fire at Bloomsburg University that raised public awareness of the need for sprinklers.  Another example of proactive safety planning are the recommendations of the interim report prepared by the Atherton Crossing Task Force at University Park in anticipation of safety issues from increasing numbers of students who cross North Atherton Street going to and from the West Campus.  This report, in fact, was not mandated in response to concerns but rather to see if there were any concerns. 

 

The bottom line: crime statistics demonstrate that students at Penn State are relatively safe, and surveys show that the great majority of students feel safe.  However, even though this feeling of relative safety seems justified, some concerns remain, and there is always a need for vigilance and improvement.  A female survey respondent from a focus group who feels safe on the University Park campus, wrote, “Just because I feel safe does not mean that this is a safe campus.  I hope you’re not just asking an isolated group of students if they feel safe.  We need to acknowledge that this campus is not safe for everyone, and we need to find out why so that we can work to improve it.  Please remember that this issue is far bigger than more lights & blue boxes.”  She also questioned whether there is any campus culture of caring and expressed a need “to improve relations among different groups on campus so the safety threat is removed.” 

 

In the spirit of helping students continue to be safe, not just feel safe, the University Student Government Senate is pressing for:

 

·        Research on safety issues in residence halls with the goal of implementing more effective safety education,

·        Safety education targeted toward men, not just women, to instill a sense of what is unacceptable behavior and how to control their actions.  

 

In addition, students tell us that continued efforts toward making safer campuses might include even more lights and blue-light emergency call boxes both on and off campuses.  In addition, the committee has been advised that students coming to University Park from other campuses need a safety orientation at their originating campus, not once they get to University Park, given the many points of entry. 

 

There are indeed dangers at Penn State campuses, as there are at other universities.  However, students seem justified in feeling relatively safe if they take the precautions the University recommends in publications such as Policies, Safety & U, a publication of Student Affairs, Finance and Business, and Human Resources.[14]  As one student summed it up, “’Safe’ means knowing that if I act sensibly, I will not be harmed (i.e., if I lock my door, no one will pick the lock, or if I walk around late with a friend, we’ll be okay).”

 

Figure 4:  Crime statistics from Big Ten Main Campuses.

 

Figure 5: Crime Statistics for Pennsylvania Main Campuses.

 

Figure 6:  Crime statistics from Small Population Schools in Pennsylvania.

 

Forcible Sex Offenses – Small Population Schools

 (Actual number of incidences)

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

Clarion University

0

2

1

4

Slippery Rock University

0

4

0

0

Lehigh University

5

3

3

1

Michigan – Flint

0

0

0

0

Minnesota – Duluth

2

0

1

0

Penn State – Harrisburg

1

0

0

0

Penn State – Abington

0

0

1

0

Penn State –

Altoona

0

1

0

1

Penn State – Behrend College

0

0

3

0

 

Aggravated Assault – Small Population Schools

(Actual number of incidences)

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

Clarion University

1

0

0

2

Slippery Rock University

2

0

1

0

Lehigh University

8

4

4

1

Michigan – Flint

1

0

0

0

Minnesota – Duluth

0

0

0

1

Penn State – Harrisburg

0

0

0

0

Penn State – Abington

0

0

0

1

Penn State –

Altoona

1

1

0

1

Penn State – Behrend College

0

0

1

3

 

Burglary/Robbery/Motor Vehicle Theft – Small Population Schools

(Actual number of incidences)

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

Clarion University

0

2

20

29

Slippery Rock University

3

3

1

3

Lehigh University

6

3

6

5

Michigan – Flint

3

10

0

14

Minnesota – Duluth

9

2

1

4

Penn State – Harrisburg

9

2

0

0

Penn State – Abington

1

6

1

7

Penn State –

Altoona

3

6

2

7

Penn State – Behrend College

3

1

0

0

 

Appendix A.  Student Life Safety Subcommittee Surveys

 

1.  Spring 2000 Informal Survey (N = 36)  A three-question survey was answered by students at two University Learning Center locations in Boucke Building, University Park, who were either waiting for a tutorial or were employed there.  There were 25 female respondents and 11 male; 30 identified themselves as undergraduates and 3 as graduate students. 

 

These were the questions: 

1.      Do you feel safe on campus? Y/N (Please explain.) 

2.      What does “safe” mean to you? 

3.      Are there any safety issues you would like for the University to address? (Please list.) 

2.  The Student Life Committee Spring 2001 Informal Survey (N = 362)  A five-question survey was distributed by members of the committee and by the University Student Government at six University Park locations (the Graduate Student Association office and five University Learning Centers) and three satellite campuses, including Berks, Lehigh Valley, and Hazleton.  There were 206 female and 161 male respondents who identified themselves by sex.  The numbers and percentages of respondents from each campus are shown in Figure 3.

 

Figure 3:  Breakdown of campus respondents in Spring 2001 survey.

 

Males

Females

Total

Percentage

University Park

79

88

167

46.1 %

Berks

41

56

97

27.0 %

Hazleton

28

49

77

21.3 %

Lehigh Valley

13

8

21

5.8 %

     Total

161

201

362

 

     Percentage

44.5 %

55.5 %

 

 

 

The following questions were asked: 

1.      Do you feel safe on campus? Y/N 

2.      If you answered yes to question #1, why do you feel safe?  Campus location?  Law enforcement?  Outdoor lighting?  Blue light “call boxes”?  Safety information, programs, and services?  Public relations (you feel safe because you read and hear that you are safe)?  A campus culture of caring?  Self defense (you can defend yourself)?  Other (please specify)? 

3.      If you answered no to question #1, why do you feel unsafe?

4.      If you answered no to question #1, where do you feel unsafe? 

5.      What could be done, in your opinion, to improve feelings of safety at your campus? 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT LIFE

 

William Asbury

Arthur Carter

Mackenzie De Vos

Bill Ellis (Chair)

Andrzej Gapinski

Wallace Greene

Nichola Gutgold (Vice-chair)

Karen Johnson

Jeffrey Mayer

Nicholas Pazdziorko

Irwin Richman

Robyn A. Ricketts

Jose A. Ventura

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

The University Faculty Senate

MINUTES OF SENATE COUNCIL

Tuesday, February 12, 2002     1:30 PM   102 Kern Graduate Building

 


MEMBERS PRESENT

C. D. Baggett

R. L. Burgess

W. R. Curtis

G. F. De Jong

R. Diehl

C. D. Eckhardt

D. S. Gouran

E. A. Hanley

D. E. Jago

S. A. Marsico

R. L. McCarty

L. Milakofsky

J. W. Moore

J. M. Myers

J. S. Nichols

P. P. Rebane

C. L. Schengrund

L. L. Snavely

S. W. Stace

B. B. Tormey

 

V. R. Price

S. C. Youtz

 

ACCOUNTED FOR

J. W. Bagby

W. T. DeCastro

R. A. Erickson

A. E. Leure-duPree

W. A. Richards

A. W. Scaroni

G. B. Spanier

 

GUESTS

J. Cahir

M. Dooris

B. Ellis

G. Franz

T. Jones

B. MacEwan

L. Pauley

J. Landa Pytel

J. Romano

R. Secor


Chair John Nichols called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM on Tuesday, February 12, 2002, in Room 102 Kern Graduate Building.  It was moved and seconded (Tormey/Snavley) that the minutes of the January 15, 2002 Senate Council meeting be approved as distributed.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMARKS

Dr. Nichols expressed concern about the length of selected informational reports at Senate meetings, and requested the cooperation of Committee Chairs in informing invited speakers of time parameters.  The document “Checklist for the Preparation of Reports” was distributed for Council Review.

Dr. Nichols provided a brief overview of meetings by Senate Officers involving diversity issues.  Meetings have occurred with Drs. Jones and Poole as well as meetings with Gye’Nyme Curriculum Committee students, Academic Assembly, and the Commonwealth College Student Government, etc. Chair Nichols informed Council that he would provide a detailed report on diversity progress at the end of the year.

In 1998, the Senate passed legislation creating a University Ombudsman.  Dr. David “Duff” Gold has served in this role for the last four years and his term expires in 2002.  Councilors were asked to submit nominations to Dr. Youtz, and the election would occur in March at Senate Council meeting.  

 Dr. Nichols announced that the Faculty Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 19 and that the topics discussed will be announced at the February 26 Senate meeting.  The next FAC meeting is scheduled for March 12.  If Senators have topics they would like discussed, contact one of the Senate Officers or Gordon De Jong, Betz Hanley, or Peter Rebane.

The Senate Officers visited the College of Health and Human Development on February 11.  The next visit is scheduled for February 19 to the College of the Liberal Arts.  Dates for remaining visits may be found on the Senate’s web page.  

The Senate received feedback from the President regarding the two legislative reports that the Senate passed at the December 4, 2001 meeting.  Both reports were sponsored by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education and are titled (1) “Revision of Senate Policy 47-20: Basis for Grades” (2) and “New Senate Policy 43-00: Syllabus.  The President approved the reports and forwarded them to the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education for implementation.  The effective date is Summer 2002.

The Senate Self-Study Committee has meetings scheduled for February 18 and February 25.  The committee is talking with past Senate Chairs and past chairs of Undergraduate Education Committees.  Please continue to submit ideas and recommendations to George Franz, the chair of the committee.

Provost Erickson was out of town on business. 

Dr. Nichols called on Immediate past-chair Schengrund to provide an update from the Nominating Committee that met earlier in the day.  Dr. Schengrund noted that the nominees for chair-elect and secretary have given their consent to stand for election.  The Nominating Committee continues to seek consent from the list of candidates suggested for Faculty Advisory Committee and Committees and Rules.  The following list represents the second round of nominations:

Chair-elect:  Christopher Bise, Deidre Jago, Jamie Myers

Secretary:  Melvin Blumberg, Salvatore Marsico

Faculty Advisory Committee:  Mark Casteel, Wayne Curtis, Terry Engelder

Committees and Rules:  Deborah Atwater, Theresa Balog, Melvin Blumberg, Michael Cardamone, J. Christopher Carey, Lynn Carpenter, Peter Deines, Jacqueline Esposito, Dorothy Evensen, Andrzej Gapinski, David Gilmour, Margaret Goldman, Pamela Hufnagel, Winston Richards, Irwin Richman, Andrew Romberger, Dennis Scanlon, Stephen Smith, Gregory Ziegler.

REPORT OF THE GRADUATE COUNCIL

Dr. Caroline Eckhardt, the liaison to the Graduate Council, reported on the Graduate Council meeting of January 16, 2002.  Dr. Eckhardt noted that both the Senate and Graduate Council were interested in further study of post-doctorates at Penn State.  Dr. Stephen Smith is chairing the Graduate Council committee and Dr. Renee Diehl is reviewing the March 2000 Senate committee recommendations on post doctorates.  The minutes of the meeting are attached to these minutes. 

AGENDA ITEMS FOR FEBRUARY 26, 2002

Legislative Reports

Committees and Rules – “Revision of Bylaws, Article III, new Section 7 – Election to the Senate – Excessive Absences.”  The report was placed on the agenda on a McCarty/Tormey motion.  Dr. Pytel made introductory comments about the proposal and was asked to define unexcused/excused absences and to clarify Senator absence due to a sabbatical.  It was recommended that health-related concerns be integrated in the proposal.  Minor editorial changes were recommended, including the suggestion that Sections 5, 6, and 7 in the Bylaws be included in the rationale to assist in the understanding of the proposed legislation.  This report will not be voted on at the February Senate meeting, but will remain on the table for one month and be acted on at the March Senate meeting.

Advisory/Consultative Reports

University Planning/Undergraduate Education – “University Calendar.”  The report was placed on the agenda on a Snavely/McCarty motion.

Regarding this report, Dr. Nichols said that he wants to achieve the following four goals at the February 26 Senate meeting: 1) to ensure that the Senate had the opportunity to vote on the recommendations of the Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar (the Smith Committee) which have been presented to the Senate after extensive study and discussion; 2) because many of the Smith Committee recommendations are conceptually inter-related, to vote on all of them at once; 3) to present the Senate with a clear, straight-forward question and avoid parliamentary confusion; 4) to give full voice to all points of views and constituencies.  Chair Nichols said that the Administration had committed to continued Senate participation in advising the President either on implementation of these recommendations or in devising an alternative plan.  In either case, the Senate Committee on University Planning will continue work with the Administration on calendar matters.

Council recommended that the five recommendations be placed on a coversheet and that the report be fully paginated.  At the Senate meeting, Drs. Baratta and Pauley will respond to questions.    

Informational Reports

Faculty Affairs – “Promotion and Tenure Summary for 2000-01.”  The report was placed on the agenda on a Snavely/McCarty motion. Dr. Michael Dooris answered questions and was asked to have Dr. Robert Secor provide two or three additional interpretive sentences on the Tenure Progression Through Seven Years tables. 

Student Life – “Interim Expulsion.”  The report was placed on the agenda on a McCarty/Tormey motion.  Dr. Bill Ellis presented the report and was asked to make a number of editorial and content changes.  Dr. Ellis was also asked to invite a representative from the Office of Judicial Affairs to the Senate meeting. 

Student Life – “Student Perceptions of Safety.”  The report was placed on the agenda on a McCarty/Tormey motion.  Dr. Ellis noted that the report has been more than two years in preparation.  Questions were asked about how institutional size affects the reporting of data and how the data are used.  Dr. Ellis was asked to include, in the introduction, a statement that differentiates between large and small universities, and to consider the effect of the “shock value” when dealing with small numbers. 

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA FOR FEBRUARY 26, 2002

On a Baggett/Tormey motion, the Senate Agenda was approved for February 26, 2002.

ACTION ITEMS -- None. 

NEW BUSINESS

Dr. Myers expressed concern about increasingly complex, data-based reports and how Senate Council analysis and discussion of report readiness can best be reflected in a final determination for agenda placement.  Specifically, Dr. Myers asked could Council vote on portions of items under discussion, followed by an overall vote at the conclusion of discussion?

Dr. Gouran commented on the need to revise the guidelines on the “Checklist for the Preparation of Reports.”  In response to a request from Chair Nichols, Dr. Gouran offered to review the document and make editorial and content recommendations. 

ADJOURNMENT

Senate Chair Nichols thanked Council for their attention to their duties and adjourned the meeting at 3:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan C. Youtz

Executive Secretary

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

The University Faculty Senate

101 Kern Graduate Building

University Park, PA  16802

(814) 863-0221 – phone   (814) 863-6012 – fax

Date:   February 7, 2002

To:      Members, Senate Council

From:  Caroline D. Eckhardt, Senate Liaison to the Graduate Council

Re:      Minutes of the Graduate Council Meeting of January 16, 2002

            The Graduate Council, chaired by Dean Eva Pell, met on Wednesday, January 16, 2002, at 3:30 PM in Room 102 Kern Graduate Building.  This summary concentrates on items that may be of particular interest to Senators.  Complete minutes are available from Mary Hosband in the Graduate School (meh1@psu.edu). 

Communications and Remarks

Dean Pell reported that the National Science Foundation rankings in Science and engineering have been released.  Penn State ranked 14th in R&D expenditures in 1999 and rose to rank 11th (over MIT, Cornell, and Texas A&M) in the 2000 report.  Penn State is only about $3 M behind Penn in this year's ranking.  However, Penn State dropped from 3rd to 4th this year in industrial sponsored research; we are $200,000 below Georgia Tech, which is now 3rd.  Duke is ahead of everyone else because they include clinical research trials in their industry-sponsored research.  Aside from overall institutional rankings, NSF ranks seven fields and 20 sub-fields.  Penn State ranked in the top 10 in a number of the fields, including 3rd in engineering; within engineering, Penn State ranked 3rd in chemical engineering, 4th in mechanical engineering, and 5th in electrical engineering.  Penn State continues to rank 1st in materials research, 5th in chemistry, 8th in agriculture, 3rd in psychology, and 10th in sociology.  Penn State is very good in multiple categories and in this respect is much more diverse than many other institutions.

Dean Pell also reported that Gary Weber and Robert Killoren are co-chairing a committee to review the University's conflict of interest policy; Regina Vasilatos-Younken is representing the Graduate School.  There is concern that the role of graduate students is not covered in the policy when they are involved in research with faculty-based companies.

Reports of Standing Committees

(a) David Spector, Co-Chair, Committee on Graduate Research, discussed plans for the Graduate Exhibition.  Drawing upon collaboration between the Graduate School and the Graduate School Alumni Society (GSAS), GSAS is working with students in the College of Communications to target the community in order to publicize the Exhibition, and GSAS will be hosting a spring recognition dinner to recognize previous winners of the exhibition, including the winners of the very first exhibition.

(b) Stephen Smith, Chair, Committee on Graduate Student and Faculty Issues, reported on Committee discussion of the position of post-doctorates at the University.  Dean Pell indicated that Renee Diehl (administrative fellow in her office) is currently reviewing the recommendations from the ad hoc committee report (appointed a few years ago).  Currently, post-docs do not fall under the aegis of the Graduate School, nor do they clearly fall under the aegis of the Faculty Senate.  Many of the issues of graduate students also appeal to post-docs.

Evelynn Ellis reported that the Graduate School Visitation Day has been re-scheduled for April 13 and is geared toward undergraduate students who are juniors or younger.  Students will be brought in from Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and select areas in New York City.  As students' areas of interest are identified, she will be contacting appropriate academic programs.

(c) Mark Wardell, Chair, Committee on Programs and Courses, presented for Council consideration a proposal for a new Master of Science in Industrial Health and Safety.  When this item had been discussed in December, concerns had been raised about need for (1) course material on emergency management issues and the legal aspects of health and safety; (2) a letter of support from the Psychology graduate program, which includes industrial organizational psychology; and (3) benchmarking data re programs at other Pennsylvania institutions.  The proposers provided responses to (1) and (3), but the letter was not yet been received from Psychology. Graduate Council unanimously approved the proposed program with the provision that a letter of support be obtained from Psychology before the proposal goes forward.

Graduate Council adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

INTER-OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE

 

Date:       February 15, 2002

From:      Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary

To:          All Senators and Committee Personnel

 

     Please note the scheduled time and location of your committee.  If you are unable to attend, notify the Senate Office prior to Senate Day -- if possible.

    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2002                    7:00 PM

Officers' and Chairs' Meeting                                 Penn State Room, NLI

                                                                                 8:00 PM

 

    Commonwealth Caucus                                         Faculty Staff Club, NLI

 

     TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2002                    7:30 AM

     Intercollegiate Athletics                                         330 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center

                                                                                 8:00 AM

     Faculty Affairs                                                       106 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center

     Outreach Activities                                                502 Keller Building

     Student Life                                                          301 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center

                                                                                 8:30 AM

     Admissions, Records, Scheduling and

Student Aid                                                      203 Shields Building

   Curricular Affairs                                                    102 Kern Building

   Committees and Rules                                            16 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center

 

     Intra-University Relations                                      233 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center

     Research                                                               327 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center 

Undergraduate Education                                      Penn State Room, NLI

     University Planning                                                322 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center

                                                                                 9:00 AM

     Faculty Benefits                                                     101-A Kern Building

     Libraries                                                               E510 Paterno Library

                                                                                 9:30 AM

     Computing and Information Systems                      201 Kern Building

                                                                                 1:30 PM

     University Faculty Senate                                        112 Kern Building

There will be a Commonwealth Caucus meeting at 11:00 AM on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2002, it the Alumni Lounge of the NLI.  At approximately 12:00 Noon, a buffet luncheon will be served.

The Pennsylvania State University

The University Faculty Senate

101 Kern Building (814) 863-0221

Fax:  (814) 863-6012

 

Date:   February 15, 2002

To:       Commonwealth Caucus Senators (This includes all elected Senators from Campuses, Colleges, and Locations Other Than University Park)

From:   Salvatore Marsico and Irwin Richman

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2002

8:00 PM – FACULTY/STAFF CLUB, NLI

GUEST SPEAKER:  ROBERT SECOR, VICE PROVOST FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2002 -- 11:00 AM --

ALUMNI LOUNGE, NLI

 

     The Caucus will meet at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, February 26, 2002, in the Alumni Lounge of the NLI.  A buffet luncheon will be served at noon.

     The tentative Agenda includes:

Call to Order

Announcements and Reports from co-chairs of the caucus

        (Richman & Marsico)

Reports from Committee Chairs

Election for Caucus Co-chairs

Other Items of Concern/New Business



[1] This section is based on PSU Office of Judicial Affairs,  “Procedures for the Discipline System”  (2000)  Available:  http://www.sa.psu.edu/ja/theprocedures.shtml

[2] Ibid., VIII. Disciplinary Sanctions for Violation of Regulations, section g.  The legal precedent on which this policy is based is Gross v. Lopez 419 US 565 (1975).

 

[3] Another safety question has been placed on an upcoming “Class of 2000 Fourth Year” survey:  “While at Penn State, how many specific incidents occurred which caused you to be concerned about your personal safety?”

[4] Available: http://www.psu.edu/dept/police/CrimeStats.htm

[5] Available: http://ope.ed.gov/security/

[6] Available: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm

[7] Available:  http://www.sa.psu.edu/sara/pulse/dc98.shtml

[8] Available:  http://www.sa.psu.edu/sara/satisfaction

[9] Available: http://www.sa.psu.edu/sara/pulse/guns_68.shtml

[10] The campus in question appears to be University Park (“on campus” is sometimes contrasted with “in State College area”). 

[11] Available: http://www.sa.psu.edu/sara/pulse/safe.shtml

[12] Available: http://www.sa.psu.edu/sara/pulse/women_safety_71.shtml

[13] Again, the “campus” appears to be University Park only.

[14] Available: http://www.psu.edu/dept/police/cover.pdf