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THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

The University Faculty Senate

 

AGENDA

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2001, 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 April 24, 2001, Meeting in The Senate Record 34:7

     Minutes of September 11, 2001, Meeting in The Senate Record 35:1

 

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

                                                                        of August 28, 2001 and October 9, 2001

C.  REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meetings of August 21, 2001 and October 2, 2001

D.  ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR -

E.  COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY -

 

F.      FORENSIC BUSINESS –

 

Senate Council

 

      Joint Committee to Review the University Calendar – Initial Findings

 

G.  UNFINISHED BUSINESS -

 

H.     LEGISLATIVE REPORTS –

 

I.        ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS -

 

J.       INFORMATIONAL REPORTS –

 

      University Planning

 

Budget; Strategic Planning (new approach); and Budget Planning,

Rodney A. Erickson, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University

 

      Senate Council

 

            Status Report on the College of Medicine and the Milton S. Hershey

            Medical Center, Darrell G. Kirch, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs

            and Dean                                                                                                                     

 

      Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits

 

            Annual Report

 

      Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid

 

            Summary of Petitions for Waiver of the Twelve-Credit Limit

            for Non-degree Conditional Students

 

            Awards and Scholarships

     

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,

           December 4, 2001, 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:   October 3, 2001

 

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

 

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

 

The Senate Curriculum Report, dated October 9, 2001, 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 November 8, 2001.

 

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).  Since the Report is available on the web, printed copies are not distributed to the University community.  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.

 

Publication of the 2002-2004 Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin
Work is currently underway for the next paper publication of the Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin. The cut-off date for changes to the Bulletin is February 15, 2002. Curricular changes that are to appear in the 2002-2004 Bulletin must be through the approval process (academic and administrative) by February 15, 2002. Proposals that need to go through both the academic approval process and the administrative approval process should have been submitted to the Senate Office by September 24, 2001. Other changes need to be submitted by the November 5, 2001, deadline.


JOINT COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR

Initial Findings

(Forensic)

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.

 

When the Senate last conducted a comprehensive review of the university calendar (presented in “The Bennett Report” 1985), there was considerable divergence of faculty opinion regarding the optimum semester timetable.  At that time more faculty supported the idea of a “14-week semester” with extended class periods than any of the other alternatives discussed, including the present 15-week semester.

 

To facilitate discussion, the Calendar Committee has operated on the assumption that alternatives to the present calendar should be considered.  We have also assumed that a new survey of faculty opinion would reveal a diverse range of opinion, similar to the Bennett survey, and therefore is impractical, particularly since the charge included the expectation that recommendations on calendar be brought forward in the fall.  The intent of this report is to share with the Senate as a whole the findings of our investigation of the calendars of comparable institutions as well as to suggest alternative calendar configurations that Penn State might consider.  We hope that the discussion not only will express the opinions of our academic community regarding possible changes in the calendar but also will provide suggestions for improving on the alternatives we have proposed.

 

Foundations:

 

In the course of our deliberations, the Calendar Committee quickly reached consensus on several principles brought forward by its members:

 

·        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 principles above are open to discussion; however since they arise from pro and con comments regarding the present calendar and from various practical considerations of scheduling, they constitute the framework against which our committee has tested various calendar configurations.

 

The committee conducted benchmarking to examine the calendars of comparable institutions both within the Commonwealth and around the country.   According to the academic calendars posted on their websites, Temple and Pitt schedule classes using the following arrangement of instructional days:

 

Institution                               Fall                  Spring Total

 

Temple University                     70                        70                  140  + final examinations

Univ. of Pittsburgh                    71                        69                  140  + final examinations

Penn State                              74                        75                  149  + final examinations

 

Fall 2001                                             Temple                        Pitt                  Penn State

 

First Day of Fall Classes                       8/27                             8/27                 8/21

Labor Day Holiday                               9/3                               9/3                   9/3

Semester Break                                    N/A                             N/A                 10/8-9

Thanksgiving                                         11/22-25                      11/21-25          11/22-25

Study Days                                           12/6-7                          N/A                 N/A

Classes End                                          12/8                             12/7                 12/7

Final Exams                                          12/10-15                      varies               12/10-14

 

Spring 2002                                        Temple                        Pitt                  Penn State

 

First Day of Spring Classes                   1/22                             1/7                   1/7

MLK Holiday                                       --                                 1/21                 N/A

Spring Break                                        3/11-15                        3/4-8                3/4-8

Classes End                                          5/6                               4/19                 4/26

Study Day                                            5/7                               N/A                 N/A

Final Exams                                          5/8-14                          varies               4/29-5/3

 

Current “Big Ten” comparisons appear in Table 1.  During the past academic year the University of Michigan, in its own calendar study, compiled national comparative data on instructional days (Table 2).  Current practices at Penn State, including the use of final exam days, were examined as well.  The analysis of this information led the committee to 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.

·        It would be possible to maintain the total number of instructional minutes in a shortened semester by lengthening class minutes (e.g., to 55/80 minutes), though a lengthened class day complicates the scheduling of facilities.

·        Considerable precedent at other institutions and residual support at Penn State exist for shortening the semester to 14-weeks of “instructional days.”

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

 

Possible Calendar Configurations:

 

The Calendar Committee has discussed several alternative configurations for the Penn State academic calendar.  Among the possibilities not advanced are models including asymmetrical semesters, usually scheduling a significantly shorter fall semester always beginning after Labor Day and ending before the December holiday season.  Another modification discussed would be to shorten the final examination period, possibly to as few as two days to accommodate only those courses needing extended-period or common exams; however there are scheduling problems at all locations as well as the potential for dramatically increasing conflicting exams for students.  We offer the following four configurations as the most likely alternatives for our consideration:

 

1.  A 15-week instructional semester, plus 5 days of final exams.

 

This alternative maintains the status quo.   Depending on the particular year, classes begin during the third or fourth week of August and continue until early December, followed by a week of final exams.  While some modification of the Fall Break and Thanksgiving recess may be possible, the other issues prompting the review of the calendar will remain unresolved.     

 

2.  A 15-week semester, including final exams and all forms of final assessment.

           

This alternative maintains the current class duration (e.g. 50 or 75 minutes) for the 15- week semester, but does not include a separate final examination week.  This recommendation can provide flexibility for various types of instruction and assessment:  activities that can occur throughout the duration of the semester (such as group projects or research papers) as well as those (such as comprehensive exams) which occur at the end of the semester, perhaps using more than one class meeting for long exams.  This calendar would have the net effect of shortening the semester by a week, allowing classes to start later in the fall and to begin later in the spring (assuming the current semester end-dates).  A post-Labor Day start would be possible in some years, and additional time could be available for expanded orientation activities for freshmen.  To implement this plan requires the revision of Senate policy 44-20 regarding final exam days.  The 40% of classes at University Park which schedule final exam periods would need to schedule exams during class periods or alter their methods of final assessment.  Common exam periods and alternate rooms (for exam seating configurations) would be difficult, if not impossible, to schedule.  The last days of the 15th week will likely be “exam heavy” and using time during the final week for assessment activities will shorten the traditional “instructional” time.

 

3.  A 14-week instructional semester (extended class times), plus 5 days of final exams.

 

As with Alternative 2, this schedule has the net effect of shortening the semester by a week, but it maintains a separate final exam period.  The “Bennett Report” offered a similar scenario as part of its survey of faculty opinion, and while at that time no alternative received a clear majority of opinion, more faculty supported an extended-period 14-week semester than any other alternative schedule.  The number of instructional minutes would remain unchanged, as would the ability to schedule final examination periods.  However, the re-engineering of daily classroom schedules to accommodate 55/80-minute class sessions will not be an easy task at University Park and at other locations.  Additional minutes may be found at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.   Changing the passing time between classes (to increase class minutes) may not be practical since many faculty feel that the time between classes is compressed to the limit now.   Students are often reluctant to schedule classes that meet very early or very late in the day.  At some locations where a full schedule of evening classes begins immediately after the last “day” period ends, there may not be adequate flex time available to extend the day without postponing evening classes to start/end times that will discourage students from enrolling.

 

4.  A 14-week instructional semester (established class times), plus 5 days of final exams.

 

This schedule is similar to Alternative 3, but because the current schedule of class times is maintained, it has the effect of reducing the number of instructional minutes in order to shorten the semester by one week.  Other institutions, such as Temple and Pitt, use such a schedule, and this type of semester still offers at least 69 days of instruction in the fall semester, comparable to the schedule at the University of Michigan.  However, we recognize the concern that current courses would need modification to fit this shortened schedule.

 

Fall Break/ Spring Break

 

The Calendar Committee did not consider a recommendation to change Penn State’s traditional Spring Break.  However, our charge prompted considerable discussion regarding the current Fall Break and the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.  It is widely held that these recesses during the fall semester provide the occasion for informal extension of the breaks due to student absences in spite of the University's efforts to discourage the practice. 

 

The University established a mid-semester Fall Break in 1999, responding to student concerns and recognizing that similar practices at other institutions were found to have academic value.  One way to consolidate the interruptions of the semester and to provide a week-long break parallel (in length) to Spring Break is to combine Fall Break with Thanksgiving recess, offering students and faculty a class-free week late in the fall semester (typically the 12th week).  Although the break would occur past the mid-point of the semester, such a configuration would still provide time for “catch up” and “stress relief” prior to the end-of- semester-activities while minimizing the temptation to cancel/cut classes adjacent to the two partial-week breaks we now have.  This redefinition of Fall Break could be included with any of the four semester configurations described above.

 

Summer Session Final Exams:

 

Alternatives 1, 3 and 4 for the semester calendar maintain the current policy of designated time for instruction and separate time for final exams or other final assessment activities (see Senate Policy 44-20).  Currently the University Park summer sessions do not designate a specific, separate final exam period, while summer sessions at other university locations may do so.   We suggest that if our practice is to keep final exams separate from instructional days, this practice should be applied consistently for the summer sessions as well. 

 

Conclusion:

 

This report reflects the thinking of the Calendar Committee to this point in time.  We look forward to using the information gained during the discussion prompted by this report to frame a recommendation to be forwarded to the Senate Committee on University Planning and Undergraduate Education for appropriate action.

 

JOINT COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR

 

Anthony Baratta

George Bugyi

John Cahir

Peter Emigh

Donald Leslie

James Smith, Chair

Jane Sutton

Josh Troxell

James Wager

 

2001-2002

Big Ten Calendar Summary

Instructional Days

 

 

Universities on the Semester System

 

Fall Semester

Instruction

 

Fall Semester

Exams

 

Spring Semester

Instruction

 

Spring Semester

Exams

 

       Total

Inst Days

 

       Total

Inst + Exams

Illinois

72

6

72

6

144

156

Indiana

72

5

74

5

146

156

Iowa

75

5

74

5

149

159

Michigan

69

6

68

6

137

149

Michigan State*

71

5

71

5

142

152

Minnesota

72

6

74

6

146

158

Penn State

75

5

75

5

150

160

Purdue

73

6

75

6

148

160

Wisconsin

72

6

74

6

146

158

 

 

 

Universities on the Quarter System

 

1st Quarter

Instruction

 

1st Quarter

Exams

 

2nd Quarter

Instruction

 

2nd Quarter

Exams

 

3rd Quarter

Instruction

 

3rd Quarter

Exams

 

Total

Inst Days

 

Total

Inst + Exams

Northwestern

53

6

50

6

49

6

152

170

Ohio State

50

4

49

4

49

4

148

160

 

 

*Spring 2001 figures; Spring 2002 not available

 

University of Michigan Calendar Survey

 

INSTITUTION

TERM TYPE

FALL

SPRING

Total Days

 

ARIZONA

SEM.

74

75

149

 

BRANDEIS

SEM.

65

65

130

 

CARNEGIE-MELLON

SEM.

71

72.5

146.5

 

CASE WESTERN

SEM.

70

70

140

 

CATHOLIC  UA

SEM.

70

70

140

 

COLORADO

SEM.

75

75

150

 

DUKE

SEM.

70

70

140

 

EMORY

SEM.

69

69

138

 

FLORIDA

SEM.

82.5

85

167.5

INCLUDES 6 DAYS OF EXAMS

HARVARD

SEM.

63

62

125

 

ILLINOIS

SEM.

72

72

144

 

IOWA

SEM.

76

74

150

 

IOWA STATE

SEM.

74

74

148

 

KANSAS

SEM.

75

75

150

 

MARYLAND

SEM.

72

72

144

 

MICHIGAN

SEM.

69

69

138

 

MICHIGAN ST.

SEM.

72

74

146

 

MINNESOTA

SEM.

70

74

144

 

MISSOURI

SEM.

75

77

152

 

MIT

SEM.

65

65

130

 

NEBRASKA

SEM.

74

74

148

 

PENN ST.

SEM.

74

75

149

 

PITT

SEM.

72

72

144

 

RICE

SEM.

70

67

137

 

ROCHESTER

SEM.

69

71

140

 

SUNY-BUFFALO

SEM.

83

84

167

 

TULANE

SEM.

68

71

139

 

UC BERKLEY

SEM.

71

75

146

 

UNC

SEM.

74

75

149

 

USC

SEM.

72

72

144

 

VANDERBILT

SEM.

70

70

140

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERM TYPE

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

CHICAGO

QUART.

53

53

54

160

STANFORD

QUART.

51

47

46

144

UC DAVIS

QUART.

49

48

?

?

UCLA

QUART.

?

?

?

146

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Except as noted exams and other non-instructional days are not included in these figures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE COUNCIL

Status Report on the College of Medicine and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

(Informational)

 

In recent years, the components of Penn State located on the Hershey campus have experienced significant challenges.  National trends regarding the organization and financing of health care, combined with an unsuccessful attempt to merge The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center with another health system, have put the Penn State clinical enterprise under great stress.  Other challenges have included falling national interest in applying to medical school, and an emerging widespread shortage of nursing personnel.

 

The effects of and responses to these challenges will be discussed.  An assessment will be given of recent accomplishments by the College of Medicine and Medical Center in their academic, research, clinical care, and service missions.  Most importantly, information regarding the future strategic directions of the Hershey campus, and the potential for productive collaborations with other Penn State campuses, will be discussed.

 

SENATE COUNCIL

John W. Bagby

Connie D. Baggett

Robert L. Burgess

Alison Carr-Chellman

Wayne R. Curtis

W. Travis DeCastro

Gordon F. De Jong

Caroline D. Eckhardt

Rodney A. Erickson

Dennis S. Gouran

Elizabeth A. Hanley

Deidre E. Jago

Peter C. Jurs

Alphonse E. Leure-duPree

Salvatore A. Marsico

Ronald L. McCarty

Louis Milakofsky

John W. Moore

John S. Nichols, Chair

P. Peter Rebane

Winston A. Richards

Alan W. Scaroni

Cara-Lynne Schengrund

Loanne L. Snavely

Graham B. Spanier

Steven W. Stace

Brian B. Tormey

JOINT COMMITTEE ON INSURANCE AND BENEFITS

 

Annual Report

 

(Informational)

 

The Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits met on November 14, 2000, January 29, 2001, March 22, 2001, May 14, 2001 and August 21, 2001.  This report is a summary of the issues reviewed and discussed and the actions recommended by the Committee in the following areas:

 

 

Health Plan Issues and Changes

 

Penn State remains committed to providing faculty and staff with a choice among high quality health care plans.  Continually escalating health care costs remain a significant challenge in meeting that objective.  In all instances, negotiations between health plans and health care providers have resulted in premiums increases.  In some situations, Penn State’s benefit programs have been affected by provider and/or health plan decisions to withdraw from participation in specific areas.

 

As of January 1, 2001, additional HMO options were extended to faculty and staff residing in certain counties.  Residents of Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties were given the opportunity to enroll in the New Alliance HMO.  Lehigh and Northampton County residents had the opportunity to select Keystone Health Plan Central HMO.  While New Alliance was offered as an alternative plan, contracting difficulties between Aetna US Healthcare and Lehigh Valley providers required the University to offer a substitute to the Aetna HMO in that area.

 

The announcement of the unwinding of the merger that formed the Penn State Geisinger Health System generated concern among Committee members.  Although there is no direct responsibility for benefits provided to Hershey Medical Center employees, there was concern regarding the continuing availability of Geisinger health plans and physicians.  The Committee was updated, as appropriate, on those matters within their purview.

 

As evidenced by the 2001 health plan premiums, medical plan costs have continued to escalate, driven primarily by rapidly increasing costs for prescription drugs and for new medical technology and treatment methods.   Rising prescription costs were cited by all University health plan sponsors and administrators as the primary reason for premium increases.  Those increased costs are dramatically illustrated by the premium increases for 2001, a trend that benefit industry experts expect will continue for the near future.

 

Prescription Drug Programs and Trends

 

Given the focus on the increasing cost of prescription drugs, the Committee discussed and reviewed the prescription drug benefits available to Penn State faculty and staff.  Each of the University-sponsored health care plans utilizes a Pharmacy Benefit Manger, such as Caremark.  While the drug formularies will vary from one managed care plan to another, each places restrictions on the pharmaceuticals available and most mandate generic drugs when available.

 

Additionally, the Committee requested and received a cost comparison of maintenance prescription drugs from commercial pharmacy outlets and the Penn State Maintenance Prescription Drug Plan (MPDP).  While the overall cost difference between commercial pharmacies and the MPDP plan has narrowed, the MPDP program continues to offer distinct advantages to faculty and staff, primarily from a cash flow standpoint.  The MPDP program does not include a deductible and requires the participant to pay only the 20% cost of the prescription.  Drugs purchased under the major medical portion of Plan A or the Healthpass PPO require full payment by the participant, who is later reimbursed for 80% of the cost.

 

Again, in response to continued concerns expressed by faculty and staff, the Committee explored the turnaround time for new prescriptions and for refills through the MPDP program.   Response time has been affected by a significant turnover of pharmacy staff, including the retirement of the chief pharmacist in July.  A new chief pharmacist has been appointed and other staff positions filled. However, it is important to note that a shortage of licensed pharmacists is being felt throughout the industry.

 

In response to this nationwide shortage, many hospitals and pharmacies have implemented new technological assistance. Similarly, the University Health Services Pharmacy has installed automated prescription machinery.  The new equipment is capable of filling large numbers of prescriptions each hour.  This system is designed to improve prescription refill time, while enabling the pharmacy staff to counsel patients regarding their prescription needs.

 

It is expected that prescription drug costs will continue to escalate.  The aging of the baby-boomer population and ongoing pharmaceutical research for disease treatment are significant factors, as is direct marketing to consumers now being utilized by drug manufacturers.  The Employee Benefits Division will continue to closely monitor this increasingly important and costly aspect of the University benefits program.

 

Health Plan Initiatives

 

In conjunction with University benefits consultants, the Employee Benefits Division initiated a review of the current Healthpass PPO program and the feasibility of enhancing the program to include preventative care.  The Healthpass PPO was designed as a variation of a traditional hospital, surgical, major medical plan and, as such, excluded coverage for preventative care.  Preventative care is a primary feature of the HMOs and Point of Service (POS) plans that are available to most faculty and staff.

 

POS programs are designed to combine the preventative care features of HMOs with the freedom of choice that PPO participants enjoy.  Additionally, the Task Force wished to address the health plan needs of faculty on sabbatical outside of the coverage area as well as dependents residing outside the coverage area. At the recommendation of the Task Force, Point of Service plans were offered as a health plan option in January 1999.

 

While the POS programs provide both freedom of choice and preventative care,  the important issues of coverage for those residing outside of the coverage area have not been met.  Additionally, the cost of the POS programs continues to escalate at a much higher rate than other University health plans.

 

Given these considerations, the Employee Benefits Division, in conjunction with University benefits consultants, have proposed enhancements to the Healthpass PPO, including preventative care.  Both HealthAmerica and University benefits consultants have provided preliminary cost estimates for the proposed enhancements.  These changes are being reviewed further by University administration.

 

While immunizations are part of the preventative care program offered by HMOs, none currently provides routine immunizations for meningitis.  The committee requested that the Employee Benefits Division contact the health plan companies to inquire about their willingness to add this coverage and the approximate additional cost to do so.  The Employee Benefits Division has written to each of the HMO and POS plan providers to determine their willingness to include meningitis vaccinations and the approximate cost to do so.

 

Although meningitis immunizations are not commonly offered by health plans, an increasing number of colleges and universities are recommending the vaccination to students.  Penn State is benchmarking with the Big Ten universities to determine if the inoculations are required, the cost of the immunizations and whether or not they are covered by the university’s health plan.

 

Penn State’s HMOs currently provide meningitis vaccines to individuals considered to be at risk because of exposure to the disease or because of a physical condition.  Legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania State Senate that would mandate immunizations for college students.  Should this law be enacted, meningitis vaccinations would be included as part of the mandated inoculations that currently are covered by HMOs.

 

The Committee supports the efforts of the Employee Benefits Division to enhance the benefits programs in a manner that supports both the mission of the University and the diverse needs of the University community.  Recognizing the importance of quality benefit programs that are affordable to both faculty and staff and to Penn State, the committee will continue work closely with the Employee Benefits Division to monitor increasing costs and measure participant satisfaction.

 

Toward that goal, the Committee was asked to review a draft of an HMO Satisfaction Survey.  Comments and suggestions were made regarding items to be added or deleted.  Further, it was suggested that consideration be given to including all University health plans in the survey.  The results of the surveys will be instrumental in future benefit planning and coverage designs.

 

Web-Based Benefits Enrollment

 

The Joint Committee also reviewed the effectiveness and efficiencies of the web-based enrollment for benefits, discussing their observations and concerns.  Web-based enrollment for new Penn State faculty and staff became operational on May 1, 2000.  Use of web-based enrollment requires an Access Account from the Center for Academic Computing (CAC).  Staff members from the Employee Benefits Division are available to assist faculty and staff with the process.

 

The web-based process provides a fast and efficient system for enrollment, reducing the time required for participants to receive their health care ID cards.  The use of the web-based enrollment system for new faculty and staff continues to grow, supported by human resources representatives and University administration.  The Joint Committee endorsed the efforts of the Employee Benefits Division to increase utilization and expand the use of technology to other benefit areas.

 

The benefits open enrollment for 2001 also was web-based, improving both efficiency and accuracy, and further reducing costs associated with printing and forms handling.  Employee benefit plan choices, coverage descriptions, and provider directories all were accessible from the open enrollment web site.  The Employee Benefits Division reported that approximately 87% of changes and elections were done using the web-based system.

 

As part of the web-based enrollment program, faculty and staff were encouraged to complete a survey regarding their experience with the process.  While a few were firmly opposed to the new system, the vast majority of the comments were positive and offered important suggestions for improving the program.  The most frequent suggestion was that faculty and staff should be given the opportunity to make changes to dental and vision coverage and to their tax-deferred annuity program.  These functions currently are being reviewed by the Employee Benefits Division with the objective of including them in a third phase of web-based benefits processing.

 

Given the increased emphasis on web-based benefits information, Committee members reviewed the information currently available.  Several changes and/or improvements were suggested to improve communication and employee participation.

 

Flexible Benefits

 

Recognizing the tax savings potential of participation in flexible spending accounts and its importance in meeting the benefit needs of faculty and staff, the Committee recommended that the Employee Benefits Division expand the information on its web site to include more specific examples of expenses that are eligible for reimbursement.  Employee Benefits staff members currently reviewed and revised the flexible benefits information available on the Benefits web-site.  In addition to the information previously provided, including links to IRS publications, a separate question and answer feature was included.

 

Additionally, Committee members were advised that the Office of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Controller’s office, would implement the direct deposit of flexible benefit reimbursement checks.  Direct deposits of reimbursements to participants began May 1, 2001 and are made to the same bank account as is their University pay, eliminating the current delays caused by mailing these checks to the participant’s home.  As a result of this improved efficiency, flexible benefits deposits are now made once each week rather than twice a month.  Participants receive e-mail notification of the deposit.

 

Retirement and Annuities

 

Important changes to the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) were authorized by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and approved by the Governor.  These changes increase the multiplier in the retirement formula from 2% to 2.5%.  Additionally, employee contributions will increase from 5% to 6.25%.  The increased multiplier affects those who retire after July 1, 2001.  The increased contribution will take effect January 1, 2002.

 

The Committee reviewed the potential effect on retirements as a result of the changes in the law.  As no early retirement incentive or “window” was included in the legislation, it is expected that the changes will not prompt a larger number of employees to retire than usual.

 

Joint Committee members also reviewed the Supplemental Retirement Annuities (SRA) program.  SRAs are available from five companies.  Unlike other benefit plans, SRAs may begin at any time during the year.  Contribution amounts and investments may be changed as often as the participant desires.  Maximum contribution amounts are subject to IRS maximums.  Also discussed was the periodic process where each of the companies providing SRA services to Penn State is reviewed and evaluated.

 

Post-Doctoral Benefits

 

Effective July 1, 2000, post-doctoral scholars and fellows have their health plan costs automatically deducted from their stipend payments.  In addition to the efficiency provided by automatic deduction, the funds are deducted untaxed through the contribution conversion provisions of the flexible benefits program.

 

Other improvements to post-graduate coverage were added.  Individuals were given the opportunity to participate in dental, vision and life insurance programs effective September 1, 2000.  The cost for these programs also is deducted, untaxed, from the monthly stipend payments.

Retiree Benefit Issues

 

HMO availability issues also surfaced for University retirees.  Geisinger elected to discontinue Geisinger Gold, their Medicare Risk HMO in Centre County effective December 31, 2000.  Working with HealthAmerica, the Employee Benefits Division was

able to secure alternative HMO coverage for many University retirees enrolled in Geisinger Gold.  Those affected by the Geisinger decision who were unable to secure coverage with HealthAmerica were enrolled in the University Medicare Supplement.  The Committee learned that future availability of Medicare HMOs will continue to be tenuous.  The Employee Benefits Division was encouraged to continue its efforts to provide retirees with viable coverage options.

 

The Joint Committee reviewed the possibility of extending dental and vision coverage to benefits eligible retirees of Penn State.  The findings and recommendations of the 1998 Task Force on the Future of Benefits were reviewed.  Although the Task Force determined that a viable market for this program was not available, the Committee asked that the Employee Benefits Division revisit the issue.

 

The rates for retirees provided by the University’s dental plan provider continue to be significantly higher than for active employees and present a cost that would not be practical or sustainable by retirees or the University.  However, National Vision Administrators (NVA) proposed a vision discount program, called Opti-Vision, as an alternative for retirees.  Unlike the vision plan for active employees, no reimbursement is provided and the cost per month ($0.40) is significantly less than the rates for active employees.  The Opti-Vision program will be offered to Penn State retirees effective January 1, 2002.

 

While not specifically a retiree benefit, the Joint Committee again reviewed long-term care coverage as a benefit option for Penn State faculty and staff.  Long-term care plans also were reviewed by the Task Force on the Future of Benefits in 1998, which recommended further study of these plans.

 

The Committee’s concerns regarding high cost and market volatility remain.  These plans are available on an individual basis from companies such as TIAA-CREF and as such are available to all Penn State faculty and staff.  While individual interest in this coverage remains, the Committee has not seen the type of broad based interest by employees that would warrant a group benefit offering.  The Employee Benefits Division and the Joint Committee will continue to monitor the market and will revisit these plans should significant changes occur.

 

Task Force Report Update

 

The Committee reviewed the status of the recommendations made by the Task Force on the Future of Benefits.  While many of the recommendations have been implemented others have been implemented in part but may require further refinement.

 

The dental program as administered by United Concordia Companies, Inc. (UCCI) includes a network of participating providers.  Those who use UCCI providers have noted and commented on the savings being realized.  However, the Committee believes that Penn State should continue to review program costs and features that are offered by other dental plan providers and networks.

 

JOINT COMMITTEE ON INSURANCE AND BENEFITS

Kenneth S. Babe

Bill Ellis

George W. Franz, Chair

Nancy J. Hensal

Michael G. Klein

Joan M. Lakoski

Patricia (Trish) J. Long

Leonard J. Berkowitz

Patience Simmonds

Billie S. Willits

 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS,

SCHEDULING AND STUDENT AID

 

Summary of Petitions for Waiver of the Twelve-Credit Limit

for Non-degree Conditional Students

 

(Informational)

 

 

            Students who have been dropped for poor scholarship are commonly called non-degree conditional students.  These students are limited to twelve (12) credits per semester/session while working to improve their cumulative average for reinstatement to degree candidacy.  Exceptions to the twelve-credit limitation may be requested of the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid.  Exceptions might include: difficulty scheduling courses to stay in sequence for the student’s program; or, the student has shown evidence of improved academic performance.

 

            A summary of the actions of these petitions follows:

 

            For the Period                 Submitted          Granted         Denied

           

            08-01-99 - 08-31-00            29                    26                 3

            09-01-00 – 07-31-01           13                    10                 3

 

            A detailed breakdown by college, unit or location is attached for your information.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING AND STUDENT AID

Deborah Atwater

Edward W. Bittner

Ingrid M. Blood

Kevin R. Cheesebrough

JoAnn Chirico, Chair

Peter Deines

Anna Griswold

Geoffrey J. Harford

Chau-Luen Li

Annette K. McGregor, V-Chair

Katherine Neimeister

Victor Nistor

Martin T. Pietrucha

P. Peter Rebane

John J. Romano

J. James Wager

 

Summary of 12-Credit Limit Petitions

 

       

1999-2000                 2000-01

College or Unit                         Approved   Denied       Approved   Denied

 

Agricultural Sciences                                         5                 1               1

 

Abington                                                          1                                  2                 1

 

Beaver                                                                                                 1

 

Berks Lehigh                                                    6                 1               2

 

Eberly College of Science                                 1

 

Engineering                                                       1

 

Health & Human Development              2                                  3

 

Liberal Arts                                                      0                                                         2

 

Penn State Harrisburg                                       2

 

Registrar’s Office                                              3

 

Scranton                                                           3

 

Smeal College of Business Adm.                       2                 1               1

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING

AND STUDENT AID

 

Awards and Scholarships

 

(Informational)

           

            This committee is charged with selecting the recipients of those awards and scholarships that come under the jurisdiction of the University Faculty Senate.  Awards were made based on the following guidelines:

 

1.      Scholarship and need were the primary criteria.

 

2.      In the selection of recipients, the committee follows the

donor’s specifications as approved by the Board of Trustees.

 

3.      Awards were made beginning with those students with the

highest cumulative grade point average and most substantial

need.

 

            The following is a summary of the committee’s work.  It should be noted that the committee awarded all available funds.  A list of the students receiving awards is on file in the Senate Office.

 

Senate Committee on Admissions, Records,

Scheduling and Student Aid Committee

Deborah F. Atwater, V-Chair

Edward W. Bittner

Ingrid M. Blood

Kevin R. Cheesebrough

JoAnn Chirico, Chair

Peter Deines

Anna Griswold

Geoffrey J. Harford

Chau-Luen Li

Annette K. McGregor

Katherine Neimeister

Victor Nistor

Martin T. Pietrucha

P. Peter Rebane

John J. Romano

K.    James Wager

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

The University Faculty Senate

MINUTES OF SENATE COUNCIL

Tuesday, October 2, 2001     1:30 PM   102 Kern Graduate Building


MEMBERS PRESENT

J. W. Bagby

C. D. Baggett

A. Carr-Chellman

W. R. Curtis

W. T. DeCastro

C. D. Eckhardt

R. A. Erickson

D. S. Gouran

E. A. Hanley

D. E. Jago

P. C. Jurs

A. E. Leure-duPree

R. L. McCarty

L. Milakofsky

J. W. Moore

J. S. Nichols

P. P. Rebane

A. W. Scaroni

C. L. Schengrund

L. L. Snavely

S. W. Stace

 

B. S. Hockenberry

V. R. Price

S. C. Youtz

 

ACCOUNTED FOR

R. L. Burgess

G. F. De Jong

S. A. Marsico

G. B. Spanier

B. B. Tormey

 

GUESTS

A. Baratta

G. Bugyi

G. Franz

T. Jones

B. MacEwan

J. Romano

R. Secor


 

Chair John Nichols called the meeting to order at 1:35 PM on Tuesday, October 2, 2001, in Room 102 Kern Graduate Building.  It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the meeting of August 21, 2001 be approved as distributed.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMARKS

 

The Faculty Advisory Committee met this morning and discussed the following topics:  Update on dean searches; comments (positive) on the “gathering” in front of Old Main after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001; status of international students if and when the USA is involved in war; and differential tuition revisited.  

 

The next meeting of FAC is scheduled for November 14, 2001.  If you have any items you want FAC to address, please contact one of the Senate Officers or one of the three elected members: Gordon De Jong, Elizabeth Hanley and Peter Rebane.

 

Dr. Nichols shared with Council his experiences on September 12, 2001 of attending several classes and speaking with faculty and students.  The following is an email that

Dr. Nichols sent to President Spanier summarizing his observations. 

 

 

President Spanier:

        This is to put on the record my brief oral report to you last Thursday and, in anticipation of possible questions at the Trustees meeting, to add a few details.

        Last Wednesday, I spent the better part of the day visiting classes and talking to faculty in order to assess the decision to keep the University open and how well the faculty responded to the extraordinary educational challenge.  The bottom line is that, from what I observed, the overwhelming majority of faculty supported the decision and responded in spectacular fashion.

        I estimate that I visited about 20 classes (some for just a few minutes, others for larger chunks of time) and talked to at least 25 faculty in three classroom buildings.  Very few classes were canceled.  Those instructors with whom I talked ranged from graduate assistants to senior professors.  The plurality of them devoted the beginning of their classes to open-end discussion of the horrible events of the previous day and then returned to the scheduled course content.  Many others either spent the entire class period discussing the events irrespective of their course content or adapted related subject matter -- sometimes in highly creative ways -- to help their students understand the implications of the crisis.

        For example, an instructor (in his first semester at Penn State and with only two years of teaching experience) of an introduction to ag economics had prepared some overheads showing the casualty counts at various turning points in American history (e.g., Pearl Harbor and the Vietnam War) and asked his students to use data handling principles he had previously taught them to gauge the magnitude and significance of Tuesday's attack.  In addition, he fielded questions on the economic implications (e.g. gas prices) of the specific attacks or of a potential war.  Many of the student comments and questions were entirely unrelated to ag economics, and the instructor later expressed considerable unease in dealing with some bellicose statements directed at ethnic groups.  But the instructor did his best to handle a situation that was largely outside of his teaching expertise.

        Another instructor, who not only modified her course in industry analysis on Wednesday, has since emailed me to say that she has re-geared her entire course for this semester in order to integrate important policy questions raised by recent events into her normal course content.

        I have collected a number of other examples of the variety of faculty responses, but the above should give you the flavor of what appears to be happening in Penn State classrooms in response to this difficult situation.  And, overall, it is an impressive story.  Like you, I initially received a few -- but very few -- critical emails or face-to-face comments.  But none of the instructors I talked to on Wednesday (or who have contacted me since) disputed your call on the Senate floor to undertake this difficult challenge, and many faculty and their students have been reinvigorated in the educational mission as a result of these circumstances.

        Finally, I'd like to make a recommendation -- an obvious one but worth repeating.  Consistent with Penn State's effective early response to this national crisis, all our future decisions should be similarly predicated on the simple organizing principle that higher education is a powerful antidote to many of the serious problems that the world faces and, therefore, we should remain as true as possible to the core academic mission of the University despite considerable pressures to the contrary.  Closing classes or otherwise being sidetracked does not help.  Doing what we do normally does.  In other words, even those instructors who taught only their usual content last Wednesday made an important contribution in the long term.

        Best wishes, John

 

Dr. Nichols offered accolades in acknowledging four Senators for their achievements that were highlighted in a recent Intercom.  The senators are: Gordon De Jong, Lou Geschwindner, Larry Kenney, and Lou Milakofsky.  

 

Dr. Nichols announced that October 21, 2001 marks the 80th anniversary of the Penn State Faculty Senate.  In 1921, the Board of Trustees replaced the general meetings of the entire faculty (n=370) as the legislative body of the University with a new representative body that would operate more efficiently and effectively.

 

Provost Erickson provided an up-date on the Plan to Enhance Diversity and announced that unit progress reports are due December 13.  He also noted that the Africana Research Center has been established and that the African and African-American Studies Department is currently searching to fill three faculty positions.  An up-coming Academic Leadership Forum will focus on Building Diverse Communities.  An external team will be evaluating the structure of the Affirmative Action Office, as well as how hate crimes are reported. 

 

Enrollments for fall 2001 are stable with a slight increase of 250-300 students, making the total enrollment close to 82,000 students. Trends include increases in non-resident and full-time students. 

 

Three dean searches are currently underway: Behrend College, Dickinson School of Law, and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. 

 

Dr. Erickson closed his comments noting that the University is closely monitoring what is expected to be another difficult budget year for Penn State in Harrisburg.

 

Executive Secretary Youtz expressed her appreciation to the many Senators, faculty, and administrators who offered their well wishes on her appointment.  She also acknowledged the support of the Senate Officers and Senate Staff and also Dr. George Bugyi for his commitment in ensuring a smooth and seamless transition.     

 

REPORT OF THE GRADUATE COUNCIL

 

Professor Caroline Eckhardt, the Liaison to the Graduate Council, reported on the Graduate Council meeting of September 19, 2001.  The summary is attached to these minutes. 

 

AGENDA ITEMS FOR OCTOBER 23, 2001

 

Informational Reports

 

Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits – “Annual Report.”   Dr. Franz responded to questions on retiree (length of employment) benefit issues, including vision and dental care, prescription coverage and payment rates.  A question was raised about retiree representation on Senate committees such as Faculty Benefits/Faculty Affairs.  Dr. Bugyi noted that this legislative change is currently being considered by the Committee on Committees and Rules.  Drs. Franz and Willits will stand for questions with no formal presentation.  The report was placed on the agenda on a Jurs/Carr-Chellman motion.

 

Senate Council – “Status Report on the College of Medicine and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.”  Dr. Nichols noted that he invited Dean Kirch to give a report to the Senate after hearing him speak at a recent Board of Trustees meeting.  The report will be a 25-minute Power Point presentation followed by a brief question and answer period.  The report was passed on a Jurs/Carr-Chellman motion.

University Planning – “Visual Construction Report of Academic Buildings.”  Dr. Baratta indicated that Bill Anderson would give a 15-minute Power Point presentation.  An editorial change was recommended to remove the reference to “proposed” Life Sciences and Chemistry Buildings as construction is already underway.  The report was placed on the agenda on a Jurs/Carr-Chellman motion. 

 

University Planning – “Budget; Strategic Planning (new approach); and Budget Planning.”  Dr. Baratta indicated that a draft University budget has been submitted to the Commonwealth and that Dr. Erickson will give a 15-minute Power Point presentation focusing on changes in the strategic planning process and related budget issues.  Copies of Dr. Erickson’s presentation will be made available at the Senate meeting.  The report was passed on a Leuree-duPree/Carr-Chellman motion.

 

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 23, 2001

 

On a Jurs/Curtis motion, the Senate Agenda was approved for October 23. 

Chair Nichols recommended that the Free Speech Informational Report from the September 11 agenda be postponed to the December meeting and Bill Anderson’s construction report also be postponed to the December meeting.  Both of these recommendations were accepted following discussion on Carr-Chellman/Scaroni motions.  

 

Chair Nichols requested a motion to re-order the informational reports in the following order:  Budget/Strategic Planning; College of Medicine/Hershey; Insurance and Benefits; and concluding with two reports from Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid.  The re-ordering was passed on a Scaroni/Jurs motion.  Chair Nichols reminded Senate Council that a Forensic Session, held over from the abbreviated September 11 meeting, to review the University Calendar would also be conducted at the October 23 meeting.   

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

Chair Nichols asked Council to address proposed changes in the Wilkes-Barre Campus Constitution.  Secretary Deidre Jago reported to Council that these proposed changes adhere to the established criteria for constitutions and recommended that the changes be ratified.  Council voted to approve these changes on the recommendation of the subcommittee.  This was done on a Jurs/Carr-Chellman motion.

 

Dr. Nichols asked Council to address the proposal from the College of Medicine concerning a proposal to establish a Department of Dermatology in the College of Medicine.

 

On a Gouran/Jurs motion, the following was passed:

 

In accordance with our duties as prescribed in Bylaws, Article II,

Section 1(d), it is the advice of Senate Council that the proposal to

Establish a ‘Department of Dermatology’ in the College of Medicine

be implemented as described in the documents we have received. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

There was no New Business for the Council to consider.

 

ADJOURMENT

 

Senate Chair Nichols thanked Council for their attention to their duties and adjourned the meeting at 2:46 PM

 

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:   October 1, 2001

 

To:      University Faculty Senate

 

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

 

Re:      Minutes of the Graduate Council Meeting of September 19, 2001

 

 

 

            The Graduate Council, chaired by Dean Eva Pell, met on Wednesday, September 19, 2001, 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). 

 

1.  Communications and Announcements

 

In reviewing the Graduate Convocation held on August 19, Dean Pell noted that her keynote address focused on the topic of academic integrity (it is available at http://www.research.psu.edu/no/convocation01.shtml).

 

Dean Pell also announced that the President will be presenting a proposal to the Board of Trustees at their September meeting to add coverage for spouses and dependents to the health insurance package provided graduate students, at an estimated annual cost to the University of $4M.

 

2.  Reports of Standing Committees

 

As it is early in the year, most committee reports focused on indicating the year’s upcoming topics.

 

            A.  Susan McHale, chair of the Committee on Committees and Procedures, presented nominations for the Council’s standing committees, which were approved as recommended. 

 

            B.  Susan McHale, chair of the Committee on Academic Standards, reported that the Committee’s upcoming agenda includes a review of the statement and guidelines on post-baccalaureate credit certificate programs and a review and possible revision of the Graduate Bulletin appendices to ensure that policies are clear and consistent.

 

            C.  Ronald Porter, chair of the Committee on Fellowships and Awards, reported that their fellowships process worked well last year and all of the allocated fellowships have been awarded with the exception of a few last minute withdrawals by students.

 

            D.  Mary Beth Oliver, co-chair of the Committee on Graduate Research, reported that the Committee’s topics include nominations for the Faculty Scholar Medal Selection Panels, and planning for the next Graduate Exhibition, whose dates have been set for Friday, April 5, 2002 (performance option) and Sunday, April 7, 2002 (poster session).

 

            E.   Stephen Smith, chair of the Committee on Graduate Student and Faculty Issues, reported that its agenda items this year will include planning a workshop with the Office for Regulatory Compliance and having Penn State designated as a possible testing site for GREs.

 

3.  Special Reports

 

            A.  A report on the Graduate Program in Integrative Biosciences, established in 1995, was presented by Richard Frisque, co-chair, Integrative Biosciences Graduate Program and  Professor of Molecular Virology.  He distributed information on the organization of the program, recruitment activities, enrollments and demographics, professional development and training of students, financial support for students, and retention issues.  Nine options are available in the program; the program is interdisciplinary and students are encouraged to have dual-mentors.

 

            Responding to questions about student recruitment, Dr. Frisque noted that students were initially recruited into other academic homes and approximately half of them stayed in those programs, while about half moved to IBIOS; most students now are admitted directly to the IBIOS program.  Further, it was noted that the hope had been that the IBIOS program would attract better students and from better schools, but the admissions credentials of IBIOS students are not higher than those of students coming into other graduate programs (in the sciences) and, in general, these students come from less than top-tier schools.  Dr. Frisque responded that the program is looking at different kinds of students, most IBIOS students are attracted by the interdisciplinary nature of the program and its flexibility.  He added that the students admitted have strong credentials, i.e., 1900 GRE scores, 3.5 GPAs, and that some students chose not to come to Penn State because of factors including health insurance and the financial packages offered.

 

            Responding to questions about the internship component and student-mentor relationships, Dr. Frisque responded that not all students are taking full advantage of this aspect -- the internship opportunity looks attractive to students when they apply, but some prefer just to do their coursework and graduate, and some mentors have also resisted the internship opportunities.  He would like to see more students taking internships.   Moreover, there is still some concern that the dual-mentorship component of the program has not been as successful as intended; the program will be encouraging students toward dual-mentors.

 

            Dean Pell noted that one expectation of the academic deans had been that the IBOS program would lead to more submissions of training grants and faculty should be encouraged to submit proposals.  Dr. Frisque noted that this has been discussed in the program.

 

            B.  A presentation on Copyright, Licensing, and Scholarly Communications was given by Bonnie MacEwan, Assistant Dean for Collections, University Libraries.  The report included information on costs of traditional resources, paper versus electronic versions, and the need to balance the Libraries’ budget.  The cost of traditional resources is growing quickly and most libraries are not able to keep up with the increases.  She discussed the importance of web sites as scholarly portals, electronic access to journals, improved search capabilities of text, potential cost savings associated with electronic journal projects, and the declining market for monographs. 

 

            Assistant Dean MacEwan also reported on some of the University Libraries’ responses to changes including their effort to provide journals on-line.  There is a struggle to find both human and financial resources to do this.  She discussed the negotiation processes with such journals as Science and Nature for on-line access to electronic journals, indicating that one issue the publishers consider is the loss of revenue from individual subscribers at Penn State if the journals are available on-line.  She reminded Council that Penn State is defined as one entity for copyright purposes and that many documents are available through the interlibrary loan service.

 

            A copy of the full presentation is available from Mary Hosband (meh1@psu.edu).

 

22THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 INTER-OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE

 

Date:       October 2, 2001

 

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, OCTOBER 22, 2001                          7:00 PM

 

                  Officers' and Chairs' Meeting                                  Faculty/Staff Club, NLI

 

8:00 PM

 

Commonwealth Caucus                                             Board Room 2, NLI

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2001                          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,

OCTOBER 23, 2001, it the Fireside 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:                                                               October 3, 2001

 

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, OCTOBER 22, 2001

 

8:00 PM – BOARD ROOM 2, NLI

GUEST SPEAKERS:  JAMES SMITH AND ANTHONY BARATTA – UNIVERSITY CALENDAR – SEE APPENDIX “B” OF THE SENATE AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 23, 2001

 

TUESDAY, October 23, 2001 -- 11:00 AM --

Alumni lounge, nli

 

     The Caucus will meet at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, October 23, 2001, 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 on Senate Agenda for 10/23/01

 

        Budget Report by Provost Erickson

        Status Report on the College of Medicine by Dean Kirch

        Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits by George Franz

 

Reports from Committee Chairs

 

Other Items of Concern/New Business

 

                           Adjournment and Lunch