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THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

The University Faculty Senate

 

AGENDA

 

Tuesday, October 28, 2003, 1:30 p.m.

112 Kern Graduate Building

 

[In the case of severe weather conditions or other emergencies, please call the Senate Office at (814) 863-0221 to determine if a Senate meeting

has been postponed or canceled.  This may be done after business office hours by calling the Senate Office number and a voice mail message

can be heard concerning the status of any meeting.]

 

A.  MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

 

      Minutes of the September 16, 2003 Meeting in The Senate Record 37:1

      [www.psu.edu/ufs/recordx.html]

 

B.     COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

 

Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of October 14, 2003                                              Appendix A        

      [www.psu.edu/ufs/bluex.html]                                                                                             

 

C.     REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meeting of October 14, 2003

 

D.     ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

 

E.  COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

     

F.      FORENSIC BUSINESS

 

G.     UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

H.     LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

 

I.        ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

 

Senate Self Study Committee

 

Final Report:  Restructuring and Improving the Operation                                Appendix B

and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate (corrected copy)

 

J.       INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

 

Faculty Benefits

 

      Employee Benefits Update for 2004:  2004 Health Plans                                 Appendix C

 

University Planning

 

      Presentation by Rodney A. Erickson, Executive Vice President                       Appendix D

      and Provost

 

 

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 9, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Graduate Building.

 

 

Appendix A


  University Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-4613
Telephone: (814) 863-0221
Fax: (814) 863-6012
URL: www.psu.edu/ufs/

Date: October 15, 2003

To: Christopher J. Bise, Chair, University Faculty Senate

From: Shelley M. Stoffels, Chair, Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs


The Senate Curriculum Report dated October 14, 2003, 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 13, 2003.

The Senate Curriculum Report is available on the web. It can be accessed at http://www.psu.edu/ufs/bluex.html.

Appendix B

SENATE SELF STUDY COMMITTEE

Final Report, October 28, 2003

Executive Summary

(Advisory/Consultative)

 

The Senate Self-Study Committee was charged by Senate Chair John Nichols in October to make recommendations to improve Senate organization and procedures and to suggest "ways the Senate can do a better job and seeks ways to give faculty at large a greater sense of ownership in what the Senate does."  The Committee has reviewed various governance documents of other universities, consulted broadly across the university, given two interim reports to the Senate, conducted one forensic session last April and now submits a report with a set of 11 recommendations to carry out its mandate.

 

Unlike most Senate Committee reports, this one asks for agreement to a series of recommendations that will then be implemented by the Committee on Committees and Rules returning to the Senate with a series of legislative reports for Senate approval of specific changes.  Thus, the report lays out a two-step process. If the Senate agrees to the recommendations set forth in this report and approves them, the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules will then be charged to submit various pieces of legislation for Senate approval to revise the Senate Constitution, By-laws and Standing Rules to bring them into conformity with the wishes of the Senate.

 

Fundamental to the thinking of the Self Study Committee were several principles and goals:

§         The Senate is more than a legislative body; it is what allows Penn State to function as one University, geographically dispersed.

§         Senate structures should reflect the current administrative structures of the university and the collective wisdom of Senators needs to be brought to bear on reports more effectively than currently is the practice.

§         Procedures need to be reformed to allow the Senate to focus on what is important and central to the needs of the faculty.

§         We should attempt to bring greater integration of the faculty governance structures throughout the University.

§         We need to use technology more effectively in carrying out our mission.

 

Recommendations.   The Self Study Committee proposes three recommendations (1, 1a, 2, 3) that stand-alone and will be addressed and voted on separately (numbers refer to the recommendations in the body of the report):

 

Recommendation 1. Create a smaller, more efficient Senate by changing the representation ratio to one Senator for each thirty (30) members of the electorate.  The current ratio is one senator for each twenty (20) members of the electorate.  This will reduce the size of the Senate by 1/3.  Recommendation 1a. changes the student representation to ten percent of the elected faculty Senators to bring it into conformity with administrative representation..  Currently, student representation is 9%. 

 

Recommendation 2. Reduce the term of elected faculty Senators from 4 years to 3 years and,

Recommendation 3. Phase in the new representation ratio and term lengths over a three-year period.


The Self Study Committee makes five recommendations that are inter-related and will be discussed individually, but voted on as a group:

 

Recommendation 4. Strengthen the role of Senate Council in providing leadership on significant University issues.  Council’s current membership will be maintained but it will have expanded and strengthened duties and responsibilities. Under this new structure, Senate Council would represent the geographic and academic diversity of the University and would be charged with addressing the issues and needs of a geographically distributed University.  To accomplish this, Senate Council would be strengthened and its authority expanded by having it retain all of its current responsibilities, except that the agenda-setting and most nominating responsibilities would be given to other Senate groups.  Council would also be given the added responsibility of staffing committees and interpreting Senate legislation, currently under the Committee on Committees and Rules, which is eliminated in this proposal.  These added duties support the central role of the Council in setting the direction of Senate work.

 

Recommendation 5.  To provide a more effective mechanism to bring reports of substance to the Senate, establish two Steering Committees -- Undergraduate Education and Academic Resources.  These two Steering Committees would replace the current ad hoc Officers and Chairs with formal groups that would have the authority to recommend policy and agenda items, address issues and concerns that cut across committee boundaries, provide better coordination of committee activities under their purview, and provide better "vetting" of committee reports by determining the appropriateness and readiness of committee reports for the Senate agenda.

 

Recommendations 6. Restructure Senate committees so that they reflect the current administrative structure of the University, reflect the current direction of University initiatives and are clustered under the two new Steering Committees.

 

Recommendation 7. Establish a free standing, elected Nominating Committee so that the current ad hoc approach to nominating slates of candidates for various offices and University committees can have more continuity and be more proactive in recruiting quality candidates.

 

Recommendation 8. Establish an Executive Committee to provide better coordination among committees and other instrumentalities of the Senate and the administration.  This Committee would determine the order of business for Senate meetings.

 

The Self Study Committee is also making three more recommendations that are procedural in nature and will be addressed and voted on separately:

 

Recommendation 9 proposes to continue to work with the Graduate Council to promote a more integrated and mutually beneficial working relationship between Graduate Council and the Senate. 

 

Recommendation 10 is a series of suggestions to reduce the number of Senate meetings and for changes in the way mandated and informational reports are handled. 

 

Recommendation 11 makes a number of suggestions to the Senate Officers and Executive Secretary on ways to more effectively use technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness of communication within the Senate and within the larger university.


 


SENATE SELF STUDY COMMITTEE

Final Report: Restructuring and Improving the Operation and Procedures

of the University Faculty Senate

 

(Advisory/Consultative)

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

October 2001 marked the 80th anniversary of the first Senate meeting at Penn State.  Taking note of that anniversary, then Senate Chair John Nichols, observed that it had been a decade since the Senate last undertook a self-examination, appointed a Senate Self-Study Committee to "examine how the body can be strengthened and updated".  He gave the Committee two charges:

 

§         First, and most important, I would like you to do some ‘blue sky’ thinking about how the Senate can do a better job and seek ways to give the faculty at large a greater sense of ownership in what the Senate does....

 

§         Second, I would like you to make some specific recommendations about how to improve Senate organization and procedures.  This should include (but not be limited to) consideration of revamping the standing committees of the Senate....

 

Chair Nichols asked the committee to report to the Senate before the end of the 2002- 2003 academic year.  Unfortunately, the "blue skying" took much longer than expected, so we now appear before the Senate with our final recommendations

 

 

PROCESS

 

Since being appointed, the Committee has, on two occasions, solicited recommendations from a wide range of Faculty Senate constituencies.  A roster of the individuals and groups with whom the Self Study Committee has met appears in Appendix C.  Through the Chair of the Senate, we requested a self-examination report from every Senate committee.  The Committee reviewed the last two self-study reports and met with several members of the 1992 Senate Review Committee.  Representatives of the Committee have met with the Provost and the Dean of the Graduate School to discuss the relationship between Graduate Council and the Senate, and Committee members have also met with the Graduate Council to continue those discussions.  Finally, in an attempt to determine Senators’ view on proposals under review, the Senate held a Forensic Session on April 22, 2003.  Based on comments made at that meeting and subsequent communications to the Committee, the committee has substantially revised the earlier recommendations for this final report.

 

In addition, several members of the committee reviewed the literature on faculty governance and the Committee reviewed governance structures and documents from a number of other institutions, focusing especially within the CIC.  Committee members found the Ohio State Report from the Presidential Commission on University Governance (2001) especially useful.


 

PRINCIPLES

 

During committee deliberations, two overarching principles and several goals evolved that then allowed the committee to make recommendations regarding the structure and operation of the Senate.

 

 

Ø      The Senate is more than a legislative body.  It is the embodiment of the organizing principle of the University that we are one University, geographically dispersed.  The University Faculty Senate is the one place within Penn State where that principle functions effectively and is personified by the Senators when they attend our meetings.  This symbolic and "informal" function of the Senate needs to be retained and strengthened.  In fact, we believe it is, in many respects, the University Faculty Senate that allows Penn State to be one University, geographically dispersed.

 

Ø      In proposing changes to various Senate instrumentalities, the Committee’s goal was to make them more efficient and more congruent with the current administrative structure of the University.  Where new initiatives have caused new administrative structures to be created, a Senate oversight function was provided.  In addition, the Committee believes that there are more efficient structures for handling broad, general areas of concern to the Senate so that the collective wisdom of Senators can be brought to bear on reports before they reach the Senate floor.

 

GOALS

 

Ø      The Senate needs to reform its procedures so that it can focus on what is important and central to the needs of the faculty and to the academic endeavor.  A structure and procedure that are more responsive, efficient, and more meaningful to faculty are needed.

 

Ø      There should be greater integration of effort between the Graduate Council and the Senate so that there is one faculty voice in University governance.  The Committee knows of no other governance structure at a major research University where graduate education and research are handled separate from the recognized faculty governance structure.  The current arrangement, which is an historical artifact, diminishes the importance of graduate education and research within the faculty governance structure of the University.  While there are reasons to keep the current structure of Graduate Council, efforts should be made for more integration of the two structures as part of an evolutionary process.

 

Ø      Wherever possible, information technology should be used to enhance the operation of the Senate

 

Ø      While specific structural changes will be recommended, an evolutionary approach should be taken to changes in procedures and to the introduction of the use of information technology.

 

Ø      When procedural changes were identified that could be implemented immediately through the Senate, the Committee made recommendations and many of them have already been implemented.  For example, it was Committee discussions that resulted in the initiation of an electronic Senate Newsletter, the reduction in the number of Senate meetings during the Spring semester, the modification to procedures for Informational Reports enacted at the last Senate meeting, the greater use of information technology for such things as Senate elections and the increased use of the Senate website for the distribution of information.

 

A number of procedural changes have already been implemented by the Senate Office or through Senate legislation in response to Self Study Committee discussions.  Where Committee recommendations have already been implemented, these changes are so indicated in the body of the report.

 

 If approved, many of the recommendations dealing with structural change will need to be phased in over the next several years.  Consequently, rather than provide a massive document with every change in the By-laws and Standing Rules which would result in endless debates on exact wording, a two-step process is proposed.  If the Senate agrees to the recommendations set forth in this report and approves them, the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules will then be charged to submit for Senate approval, over a period of time, various pieces of legislation to revise the Senate By-laws and Standing Rules to bring them into conformity with the wishes of the Senate.  The Self Study Committee believes that it will take three years to fully implement some of the recommendations given in this report.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1.  Representation Ratio:  The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and present to the Senate for approval an amendment to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution to change the representation ratio to one Senator for each thirty (30) members of the electorate.

 

Recommendation 1a.  Student Representation: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall present to the Senate for approval an amendment to the Constitution, Article II, Section 5(c) to change student representation to ten percent of the elected faculty Senators. 

 

Rationale: The consensus among members of the Faculty Senate is that because of the number of elected senators, the Faculty Senate has become too large and unwieldy.  Some voting units have had trouble finding the required number of faculty to stand for election to the Faculty Senate.  Reluctantly elected senators are more likely to be absent from committee meetings and therefore have a negative impact on the ability of committees to attend to their assignments.  It was felt that fewer Senators would also simplify the logistics of organizing and holding Faculty Senate meetings.

 

The currently used ratio for elections to the Senate is a ratio of one Senator for every twenty (20) faculty members.  For 2003-2004 the total number of elected faculty Senators is 238.  This number of faculty in the Senate is large compared to other institutions.  In 2003-2004 the total number of elected, appointed, and student senators is 282.  For example, the University of Arizona has 61 in the Senate (faculty and students); UCLA has 150 faculty senators; University of Illinois has 250 (faculty and students); University of Minnesota has about 200 faculty senators; University of Washington has 180 and University of Wisconsin has 220 faculty senators.  The number of students and appointees were not specified in the latter three institutions.

 

In considering an acceptable ratio of elected Senators to the number of faculty in each academic voting unit, a number of factors were taken into account.  The main factor was the number of Senators needed to allow the Faculty Senate to effectively represent the geographically dispersed units of the University and, at the same time, allow the Senate to function efficiently.  Since most of the work of the Faculty Senate is done in committees, consideration was given to the number of Senators needed by each committee to effectively carry out their assignments and to conduct the business of the Faculty Senate as a whole.  Table 1 provides a comparison of the minimum number of elected senators that are currently appointed to each committee and the mandated minimum number of elected senators that would be appointed to certain committees that are being recommended under the proposed structure.

 

The recommended re-organization of Senate committees will result in fewer standing committees and therefore fewer Senators will be needed.  In addition, information technology is providing tools by which members of committees can communicate easily and effectively.  Therefore, there would be no need to have extra people on a committee to ensure a minimum number for a meaningful discussion about issues.  The guide used in selecting the ratio for the recommendation was that the Senate size needed to be a little larger than the total minimum number of Senators to be appointed to all the standing committees.

 

No change is being recommended in the proportion of appointed administrators to elected faculty Senators, which is currently 10%.  For student representation, we propose returning the percentage of students to 10% of elected faculty Senators.  Currently, student representation is mandated by unit and results in a representation of nine percent, or 22 student Senators.

Table 1.  A comparison of the minimum elected faculty Senators needed to staff current and proposed committees.

 

Current Committee

Minimum

Number of Elected

Faculty Senators (current Constitution)

Total # Elected Senators 03-04

Proposed      committees

Recommended

Minimum Number of Elected Faculty Senators

Senate Council

17

17

Senate Council

17

Committees and Rules

10

14

 

 

 

Nominating

8

Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid

10

11

Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid

10

Computing and Information Systems

8

11

Libraries and Information Systems

10

Libraries

6

12

Curricular Affairs

17

19

Curricular Affairs

17

Faculty Affairs

20

26

Faculty Affairs

12

Faculty Benefits

7

14

Academic and Resource Planning

12

University Planning

12

16

Intercollegiate Athletics

6

14

Intercollegiate Athletics

6

Intra-University Relations

17

18

 

 

Outreach Activities

7

13

Outreach and International Programs

10

Research

10

20

Research

10

Student Life

7

13

Student Affairs

8

Undergraduate Education

12

16

Undergraduate Education

12

 

 

 

Educational Equity and Campus Environment

8

Total

166

234

Total

140

 


 


Table 2 provides the number of Senators that would be elected from the different voting units for various ratios based on the number of faculty in the 2002-03 census.

 


Table 2.  Number of senators to be elected under various ratio scenarios by voting unit

 

Recommendation 2.  Term Length:  The normal term of elected faculty Senators shall be three (3) years.  The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and present to the Senate for approval an amendment to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution to carry out this recommendation.

Rationale:  It appears that many faculty members consider a four-year Senate term a daunting commitment.  In addition, it would be in the University’s best interest to provide more frequent opportunities for faculty members to become involved in faculty governance without sacrificing significant experience. 

 

 

Recommendation 3.  Phase-In of New Ratio and Term Length:  Beginning with the elections in Spring 2004, the number of Senators to be elected for a new 3-year term would be one-third (1/3) of the total number of Senators for each voting unit, based on the new representation ratio.  The Committee on Committees and Rules shall establish procedures for implementing this conversion beginning with the Spring 2004 Senate election cycle.

 

Rationale: In order to allow currently elected Senators to complete the term for which they were elected and to implement the recommendations for a different representation ratio and term length, a 3-year phase-in period is recommended, beginning with the elections for the 2004-2005 Senate year. 

 

 

Recommendation 4.  Maintain Senate Council with its current membership but reframe its duties and responsibilities: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules to implement the changes in Senate Council’s duties as outlined below.

 

Rationale:  In several meetings with former and current Senate chairs and committee chairs, the Senate Self Study Committee heard frustration expressed about the perception of Senate Council serving as a gatekeeper and changing report content with some efforts directed at keeping reports from the floor of the Senate.  There was also considerable discussion about the need for Senate Council to be more proactive in discussing issues affecting the larger University community as well as communicating these issues to College/Campus constituencies.  Further, there was sentiment expressed that Committees should have greater decision-making authority, such as posting mandated/informational reports on the Committee’s web space or referring a mandated report to the Executive Committee (see Recommendation 6) for further discussion or placement on the Senate Agenda.

 

The main function of the present Senate Council is to set the agendas for the Senate meetings.  It has thus been perceived as a filter through which reports must pass before they can be brought to the Senate floor.  A significant body, with experienced representatives from every unit, Senate Council constantly rubs against the limitation of its agenda-setting function by attempting to veer into issues of content of the reports brought before it, only to have to be reined in by the Senate Chair, or by members of the Council themselves.  The Senate Self Study Committee has addressed this inherent problem by assigning to an Executive Committee (see Recommendation 6) the mechanical task of setting the agenda (placement, length of time, etc.)  Items for the agenda would come and be vetted for appropriateness from Senate Council and two new Steering Committees, the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Steering Committee on Academic Resources.

 

It was evident from the Forensic Session that Senators believe that there is a need to continue to have at the core of the Senate structure a group that represents the geographic and academic diversity of the University.  Consequently, the Self Study Committee proposes maintaining the current Senate Council with its current membership to serve this function.  Under this structure, minus its agenda-setting responsibilities, the Committee proposes strengthening Senate Council to address the issues and needs of a geographically distributed University, which was formerly done by the now-eliminated Intra-University Relations Committee. Given its University-wide perspective, we propose expanding the authority of Senate Council by eliminating the Committee on Committees and Rules and having Senate Council responsible for the staffing of committees and interpreting Senate legislation.

 

In consultation with the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Steering Committee on Academic Resources, the Senate Council will review and advise the President and Executive Vice President and Provost on the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of organizational units. Senate Council may initiate discussion items that interest its membership for the good of the whole and recommend items for further committee or Senate deliberation.

 

We would also charge members of Senate Council to be more aggressive in communicating actively with faculty in the units they represent.  Furthermore, as currently occurs in many units, we urge that Councilors become a part of the faculty governance structure of their campus/college so that Faculty Senate issues are more intimately woven into the unit (campus and college) level faculty governance structures of the University.  The election process for Senate Council will remain the same.  We also propose that the elected Chair of the Faculty Senate chair Senate Council.


Recommendation 5.  Establish a Steering Committee on Undergraduate Education and a Steering Committee on Academic Resources:  The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules to establish the two new Steering Committees explained below.

 

Rationale:  The two new Steering Committees will be small working groups consisting of the chairs of the various standing committees.  As such, they replace the informal group of Officers and Chairs that have traditionally met the night before each Senate meeting, with formal groups that have the ability to recommend policy and agenda items.  They will also be able to address issues and concerns that cross committee boundaries.  It is expected that this new structure and reconfiguration of duties will strengthen coordination among related committees, eliminate duplication of effort, and allow for more meaningful reports being brought to the Senate for consideration and decisions. 

 

The two Steering Committees will each meet a minimum of six times during the Senate year and will fulfill the following functions:  The Steering Committees will consider University and committee issues, review reports and make recommendations on Senate Agenda items to the Executive Committee (see recommendation 6).  The Steering Committees will have delegated authority from the Executive Committees to make the determination on the appropriateness and readiness of a report. 

The Senate Chair shall appoint the chairs and vice chairs of the standing committees, as well as the chairs of the two Steering Committees, with the advice and consent of the reconfigured Senate Council.  The two Steering Committee chairs will serve on the Executive Committee. 

 

The Steering Committees will be constructed as follows:

 

Undergraduate Education: This Steering Committee will be comprised of the chairs of five standing committees, the Senate officers, and vice-provosts representing the Provost.

 

1.  Undergraduate Education

2.  Curricular Affairs

3.  Student Affairs

4.  Intercollegiate Athletics

5.  Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid

Senate Officers

Vice-provosts representing the Provost: e.g., Undergraduate Education and Enrollment Management.


Academic Resources: This Steering Committee will be comprised of the chairs of six standing committees, the Senate officers, and vice-provosts representing the Provost.

 

1.  Faculty Affairs

2.  Academic and Resource Planning

3.  Outreach and International Programming

4.  Libraries and Information Systems

5.  Educational Equity and Campus Environment

6.  Research

Senate Officers

Vice-provosts representing the Provost: e.g., Academic Affairs and Educational Equity.


Recommendation 6.
  Restructuring Senate Committees:  The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules to implement the following changes to committee and subcommittee membership and committee duties.

 

Rationale appears in the following committee narrative. 

 

Steering Committee on Undergraduate Education:

 

Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid: This committee will retain the duties that currently exist.  The Retention and Transfer subcommittee will be moved from Curricular Affairs to ARSSA, thereby more appropriately aligning the duties of the Retention and Transfer subcommittee.

 

Committee on Curricular Affairs:  This committee will retain the duties and similar membership that currently exist.  The standing subcommittees: Bachelor of Arts; General Education; Intercultural and International Competence; and Writing will continue with their existing duties.  The Retention and Transfer subcommittee will be made a subcommittee of Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid.

 

Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics:  This committee will continue to have similar duties and responsibilities.

 

Committee on Student Affairs:  The change in the name of this committee is proposed to align with the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs.  The 2001-02 Student Life Committee recommended the establishment of two standing subcommittees: Student Rights and Responsibilities and Student Experiences.  

 

Committee on Undergraduate Education:  This committee will continue to have similar membership and duties.  A standing subcommittee on Academic Standards will continue reviewing student petitions for exceptions to University Policy.  A standing subcommittee on Undergraduate Policy will have responsibility for revisions in Academic Policies and Procedures for Undergraduate Students.

 

Steering Committee on Academic Resources:

 

Committee on Academic and Resource Planning: This new committee combines the current Committee on University Planning and Committee on Faculty Benefits.  It will be comprised of three subcommittees: Faculty Benefits, Academic Planning, and Physical Planning.  The Self Study Committee believes that, given that these functions all report to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, the Senate is better served having a unified committee where these inter-related issues can be addressed in a coherent fashion.  The proposed standing sub committees will allow for appropriate faculty review and consultation of vitally important specific areas, such as benefits.

 

Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment: This new standing committee acknowledges the importance of Penn State’s efforts to promote diversity and creates a formalized Senate advisory committee to the Vice Provost for Educational Equity.

 

Committee on Faculty Affairs: This committee will continue to have the same duties that currently exist.  The three current standing subcommittees (Faculty Development; Faculty Rights and Privacy Issues; and Promotion, Tenure, Appointments and Leaves) will continue with their existing duties.

 

Committee on Libraries and Information Systems:  This new committee represents a consolidation of the former Committee on Libraries and the Committee on Computing and Information Systems.  In addition to having responsibilities for the pre-existing computing and library concerns, the new committee will also be responsible for such issues as courseware, media services, and electronic classrooms.

 

Committee on Outreach and International Programming:  This new committee expands the duties of the former Committee on Outreach Activities to include International Programming, an area that currently does not have appropriate Senate oversight.

 

Committee on Research:  This committee will continue to have the duties and functions that currently exist. 

 

RESTRUCTURING OTHER SENATE FUNCTIONS
 

Recommendation 7.  Establish a freestanding elected Nominating Committee with the following duties, membership, and election: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules to establish a Nominating Committee as explained below.

Rationale:  Committees and Rules and Senate Council currently conduct the nominating process for Senate Officers and special committees.  There is a critical need to establish continuity and on-going efforts to work for diverse slates and recruit the best possible candidates.  Consequently, we propose the creation of a standing Nominating Committee that would be more proactive in this regard.

 

Duties:  The Nominating Committee will develop slates of nominees for Senate Officers, the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee, Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, and the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President.

 

Membership:  Eight elected members and the immediate past chair of the Senate who will serve as Chair of the committee.  At least three elected members must be from University Park and three elected members must be from locations other than University Park.

 

Election: Senate Council will develop the slate of nominees for the Nominating Committee with additional nominations from the Senate floor.  Nominees will be elected senators.  The slate should have broad representation of all units of the University.  Members will serve a two-year term.  The committee shall be elected by the Senate.

 

Recommendation 8.  Establish an Executive Committee with the following membership: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules to establish an Executive Committee as explained below.

 

Rationale: In order to provide for coordination of the newly created Steering Committees, and to carry out other mandated Senate functions, the Committee proposes the creation of an Executive Committee that, among other duties, will determine the Senate Agenda.  To provide for coordination of the newly created Steering Committees and other instrumentalities of the Senate and to carry out the agenda-setting function, the Self Study Committee proposes the creation of an Executive Committee.  An Executive Committee can also assist committees in setting long-term agendas, provide for better coordination and integration of effort and eliminate the need for the creation of ad hoc committees and task forces.  In the past, these specially created one-time groups have disrupted the normal flow of business in standing committees or have undercut the authority of Senate committees.  An Executive Committee will also provide for a more unified approach for addressing issues of Senate concern and will assist in developing faculty leadership.

 

The membership of the Executive Committee is proposed as follows:

 

1.      Senate Officers [4] (Chair, Chair-elect, Secretary, Immediate Past Chair)

2.      Provost

3.      Steering Committee Chairs [2]

4.      Faculty Member At-Large [1]  

5.      Executive Secretary of the Faculty Senate

 

 **At least one member of the Executive Committee must be from a location other

     than University Park.

 

 

Note:  Faculty Advisory Committee to the President

 

After reviewing the comments at the Forensic Session and following further discussions with past members of FAC, the Committee concluded that no changes should be made in the structure or function of FAC.

 

 

Recommendation 9.  Relationship Between the Faculty Senate and Graduate Council:  Continue discussions between the Committee on Committees and Rules and Graduate Council on ways to promote a more integrated and mutually beneficial working relationship between Graduate Council and the Senate.   

 

Rationale:  The formal relationship between the Senate and Graduate Council is as follows:  Graduate Council has delegated authority from the Senate on Graduate School matters, subject to review by the Senate.  The Dean of the Graduate School is an ex officio member of the Senate and is required to present an annual report to the Senate.  One student elected to represent the Graduate School is a member of the Senate with full rights and responsibilities.  The Senate has the responsibility to provide for liaison with Graduate Council (see Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, Bylaws, Article VII, Section 2).

 

However, the Self Study Committee has concluded that, although Graduate Council is formally an entity of the Senate, in actual practice the two bodies largely operate separately.  There is insufficient communication and coordination between them on matters of mutual interest.  For example, Graduate Council had little say regarding the recent Senate recommendations on the calendar revision and intellectual property policy, both of which have major implications for graduate education.  Further, the committee structure of the two bodies significantly overlaps, resulting in inefficiency and duplication of effort.  In sum, the existing relationship weakens faculty governance and unnecessarily divides decision making on academic policy.  The goal should be that, at some time in the future, the interests of graduate education can be more effectively integrated into the faculty governance structure of the University.

Recommendation 10.  Meetings of the Senate and New Approaches to Handling Informational and Mandated Reports:  The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules to carry out the following changes.  Where appropriate, the Senate Officers and the Executive Secretary shall revise procedures to implement the following suggestions.

Rationale: During 2002-2003 the University Faculty Senate met seven times during the academic year, three times in the fall semester and four times in the spring semester, down from eight meetings a year in the early 1990s and monthly meetings (12 times a year) in the 1980s.  Discussions with former Senate leaders suggest that the Senate could effectively conduct its business in six meetings per year if the meeting structure were modified and if the procedures for handling informational and mandated reports were modified.  Also, reducing the number of Senate meetings from seven to six per year would significantly reduce the operational costs for running the Senate.  This change in the number of Senate meetings was implemented for the 2003-2004 year. 

 

Most former Senate leaders interviewed thought Senate business could be conducted effectively with some modifications to the meeting format.  They suggested that oral reports for many informational reports were not necessary and consumed considerable Senate meeting time.  They suggested that oral reports could be distributed in written form in hard copy and web format without any loss of effectiveness.  Committee discussion concluded that most informational reports could be handled in written form only, but that some critical informational reports are worthy of Senate floor time.  These changes were legislated by the Senate at the March 25, 2003 meeting. 

 

The Committee consensus was that the two proposed Steering Committees and the proposed Executive Committee could identify those informational reports and issues that require presentation and discussion on the Senate floor.  Similarly, former Senate leaders suggested, and the committee concurs, that many of the mandated annual reports from Senate Committees could be handled in a manner similar to the way the Senate Curricular reports are now handled.  That is, the Senate Curriculum Reports are currently posted on the web and the Senate office sends an e-mail announcement to all senators with an invitation for senators to comment to the Senate Office on the report content.

 

By reducing the number of Senate meetings and by eliminating many of the informational and mandated reports from the Senate meetings, the Senate will have the opportunity to focus discussions and make recommendations on the more important academic issues.  By focusing on critical issues in the Senate meetings, the University community’s perception of the Senate may also improve.  The suggested changes will convey to the University community and the general public the sense that the Senate is focusing on issues critical to the welfare of the University and higher education at Penn State.

 

Many have suggested that most Senate meetings are too long and that the inflexible order of business for Senate meetings negatively impacts Senate meeting effectiveness and outside perceptions of the Senate.  For example, many senators leave the meeting before adjournment and many important issues are discussed after senators have already left the meeting.  Thus, the committee consensus is that shorter meetings, with a goal of completing each meeting by no later than 4:00 p.m., are desirable.  The committee consensus is that the chair and Executive Committee should determine the order of business for each Senate meeting with the more important issues coming sooner, rather than later on the agenda.  

 

The agenda for the first Senate meeting of the academic year is often sparse since the new Senate committees are just getting organized and are establishing their agendas for the year.  Agenda items for this meeting are often limited to a few carry over items from the prior year and informational reports.  In such events, the committee consensus is that the Senate chair and Executive Committee should have the flexibility to use the first Senate meeting date each academic year for extended Senate Committee meetings in lieu of a regular Senate meeting.

 

Suggested Procedural Changes:

 

  1. The proposed Executive Committee has the option to place particularly important informational reports onto the Senate Meeting Agenda for an oral report and discussion on the floor of the Senate.

 

  1. Most mandated Senate reports from committees shall not be presented orally on   the floor of the Senate.  Instead, most mandated Senate committee reports shall only be distributed to Senators as written reports over the web and in hard copy format.  The proposed Executive Committee has the option to place particularly important mandated reports onto the Senate Meeting Agenda for an oral report and discussion on the floor of the Senate

 

3.   The proposed Executive Committee shall establish the Order of Business for the Agenda for each University Faculty Senate meeting.

 

  1. The proposed Executive Committee shall decide if the first Senate meeting date each academic year will be used for a regular Senate meeting or for Extended Senate Committee meetings.

 

  1. The proposed Executive Committee shall endeavor to establish a meeting Agenda such that Senate meetings conclude by 4:00 p.m.

Recommendation 11.  Senate Communications:  The Senate Officers and Executive Secretary shall institute changes in Senate and Senate Office communication to carry out the following changes in procedure.

Rationale:  Because the University Faculty Senate has been granted the authority to deal with educational issues within the University, potential changes to policy issues under consideration need to be widely shared with the entire faculty.  As such, communication of Senate activities to the entire faculty body is crucial.  It is also important for a geographically dispersed faculty to have an effective means of communicating with the Senate.  Therefore, open and effective communication should be a primary goal of the Senate.  To this end, new modes and methods of communication should be implemented to ensure the bi-directional and timely exchange of information.  The Senate Newsletter is one example of a new technique that has been implemented to distribute information about Senate activities, and it has been favorably received.  The Senate web site also includes links to important Penn State publications and reports, thereby facilitating information dispersal.  Although these recent changes and additions have been helpful, more can be done, especially in terms of improving methods for faculty, departments, and colleges to communicate more directly with the Senate.

1. Suggested change in procedure: Senate Councilors and/or Senators should meet with their respective caucuses and the respective Deans at least once per semester to provide for a feedback loop between colleges and the Senate.

Rationale: One of the key goals of the Senate reorganization should be to increase communication between Senate as a whole and the senators and the colleges/units they represent. If the Senate is to be viewed as proactive and responsive, then timely communication with each of the various colleges is critical.

2. Suggested change in procedure: The Senate web site should be expanded to include links to more documents and information, including committee reports. Ideally, the Senate web site should include all published reports coming from the Senate and its committees. (already implemented)

Rationale: Easy access to Senate documents will facilitate information exchange.

3. Suggested change in procedure: The Senate Newsletter should be designed to include a series of hot button items highlighted in each issue. These hot button items could include issues either currently under discussion or more forensic items that request information feedback.

Rationale: The purpose of this recommendation is simply to increase the accessibility of information about important Senate activities.

4. Suggested change in procedure: Committee chairs should be encouraged (when appropriate) to use the course management system, ANGEL, as a means of facilitating committee discussion.

Rationale: Using ANGEL may allow committees to be more efficient, because members would not be required to meet in the same physical location to get work done. Additionally, one of the attractive components of ANGEL is the ability to archive a conversation, which leads to a copy of a discussion that can be saved for future use.

5. Suggested change in procedure: A Senate intranet should be considered to provide a forum for the discussion of confidential issues.

Rationale: Access to a Penn State intranet requires both a valid email account as well as an active password, and an intranet can be limited to only individuals who are faculty senators. This limited access would provide the confidentiality necessary for the discussion of sensitive issues.

CONCLUSION

The Committee believes that the structural changes proposed in this report will make for a more efficient Senate that will be able to respond to the demands of the academic environment that we face.  At the same time, if the procedural changes recommended are implemented, we believe that the University Faculty Senate will be seen as the voice of the faculty addressing the real needs and issues facing the University, rather than simply a conduit for the transmission of reports.

 

By streamlining structure and procedures, it is our hope that the Senate will be more responsive to the needs of the University.  At the same time, it is important that the Senate and its actions become more central to the governance structures of the various colleges and a more intimate part of the life of each individual faculty member.  We believe that many of the changes that have been proposed in this report will, over time, begin "to give the faculty at large a greater sense of the ownership in what the Senate does...."

 

We realize that these structural and procedural changes will not, in and of themselves, bring about a new millennium of faculty governance at Penn State.  However, we believe that they will provide for a more unified and proactive structure for addressing the real and important issues facing the University and will strengthen the faculty’s role in shared governance.

 

 

SENATE SELF STUDY COMMITTEE

Mark A. Casteel

George W. Franz, Chair

Harvey B. Manbeck

John W. Moore (2001-2002)

John S. Nichols

Jean Landa Pytel

Robert Secor

Valerie N. Stratton

Susan C. Youtz

 

 

**************************************************

Appendix A-Organizational Chart

 

Appendix B-Demographic summary of Senate

 

Appendix C-Roster of individuals and groups consulted

 

 

9/29/03


Appendix A

 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

UNIVERSITY FACULTY SENATE

Proposed Organization Chart



 

Appendix B

 

2002-2003 University Faculty and Senate Demographics

 

Age

Range

 

0-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70+

Univ. Faculty

129 (3%)

1059 (24%)

1439 (32%)

1314 (29%)

499 (11%)

38 (1%)

Senate

 

--

14 (6%)

92 (40%)

90 (39%)

33 (14%)

--

*Percentages do not equal 100% due to rounding.

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

White

Asian

Hispanic

Black

Other

Univ. Faculty

3845 (86%)

412 (9%)

76 (2%)

139 (3%)

--

Senate*

88%

4%

2%

5%

1%

*Note numerical data suppressed to protect the confidentiality of individual senators

 

 

Gender

 

Males

Females

 

Univ. Faculty

2979 (67%)

1499 (33%)

 

Senate

170 (74%)

59 (26%)

 

 

 

Rank

Title

 

Univ. Faculty

Senate

Professor

 

878

 

78

Assoc. Professor

843

 

98

Asst. Professor

1038

 

33

Sr. Lecturer

 

52

 

1

Lecturer

 

310

 

4

Sr. Instructor

 

40

 

2

Instructor

 

577

 

7

Research Assoc.

236

 

1

Librarian

 

11

 

--

Assoc. Librarian

47

 

4

Assist. Librarian

57

 

1

Other, e.g, Sr. Scientist, Sr. Res Assoc,

Sr. Res. Asst., Research Asst.

 

388

 

--

Total

 

4477

 

229

 

 

Appointment Type

Senate

 

Standing

94%

Fixed-Term Multi

3%

Fixed-Term One

3%

University

 

Standing

 65%

Fixed-Term Multi

11%

Fixed-Term One

24%

 

Data provided by Penn State Office of Human Resources                                                                           

9/29/03



Appendix C

 

University Faculty Senate

Senate Self Study Committee

 

Overview of Committee Consultations

 

University Faculty Senate Chairs

1.      Leonard Berkowitz, 1998-99

2.      Louis Geschwinder, 1997-98

3.      Scott Kretchmar, 1996-97

4.      John Moore, 2002-03

5.      Murry Nelson, 1999-00

6.      John S. Nichols, 2001-02

7.      Cara Lynne Schengrund, 2000-01

 

Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education, Chairs

  1. Jamie Myers
  2. Laura Pauley

 

1991 Senate Self Study committee members

  1. Thomas Daubert
  2. Robert Heinsohn
  3. Donald Rung

 

Additional Consultations

  1. Executive Secretary Emeritus George Bugyi
  2. Combined meeting, April 22, 2002 with Senate Officers and Committee chairs.
  3. Meeting August 27, 2002 G. Franz and R. Secor met with Rodney Erickson and Eva Pell to discuss greater integration between the Senate and the Graduate School
  4. Dennis Gouran (Liberal Arts senator)
  5. Nancy Eaton (Dean, University Libraries)
  6. Bridget VanOsten, USG Senate President, Rubina Javeri, USG President, Josh Troxell, USG Academic Assembly President, Jennifer Tingo, USG Academic Assembly VP
  7. Graduate Council
  8. More than 30 emails from Senators and Senate Committee chairs

 

Document Reviews and CIC/Pennsylvania Senate Consultations

1.      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Firth Senate Review Commission

2.      Ohio State University: Report from the Presidential Commission on University Governance

3.      University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin-Madison Senates

4.      Temple University and University of Pittsburgh Faculty Senates

Appendix C

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY BENEFITS

Employee Benefits Update For 2004
2004 Health Plans

(Informational)

Recent/Current Issues: The University is facing many of the same challenges in health plan cost increases as last year. The health care and health insurance industries continue to be in a state of flux. The composition of provider networks continues to change and insurance companies are fluctuating in pricing, as well as plan design and geographical coverage. Additionally, the Pennsylvania medical malpractice crisis and sharp increases in pharmacy costs are contributing to higher than expected increases. Most employers are responding to increasing health costs by eliminating coverages, modifying plan designs to decrease coverages and shifting more of the cost to their employees and retirees.

Plan Design: There will be a number of minor plan design modifications in 2004. Given the benchmarking findings discussed last year and the need to keep premium increases as reasonable as possible, HMO and POS plans will continue to require a $10.00 co-payment for primary care doctors’ office visits and will require a $15.00 co-payment for specialist office visits. This will increase the cost for specialist office visits from $10.00 to $15.00. Additionally, in response to data indicating that the University population experiences an unusually high utilization of radiology services, the HMO and POS plans will be adding a $15.00 co-payment for some radiology services. This co-payment will apply to such services as MRI, CAT scans and x-rays, but not such preventive services as mammograms. The co-payment does not apply to radiology services that coincide with another co-paid situation, such as an emergency room visit.

Funding Changes: The University has also determined to self insure the HealthAMerica HMO product. Currently Plan A and HealthPass products also are self insured by the University. This change will assist the University in realizing some cost avoidance and allow the University to mitigate this year’s high premium increases with minimal plan design changes.

Rate Increases: Increases to the employee contribution for health plans will be in the double digits. The increase is due primarily to rising health care and pharmacy costs. The HMO increase also still incorporates the phase in of increased employee contributions, as recommended by the Task Force on the Future of Benefits. The seven year phase in targets employer/employee cost sharing of 80%/20% for employees and 70%/30% for covered dependents (which blended equals a 74%/26% cost share). During the 2004 benefit year, the Plan A Indemnity plan, Healthpass PPO plan and POS plans will be at the targeted cost sharing amounts. HMO plans will be in the fifth year of the seven year phase-in, with cost sharing at approximately 85%/15% for employees and 82%/18% blended for employees with covered dependents.

Full rate information for other plans is being finalized and will be presented at the Faculty Senate meeting on October 28, 2003.

Future/Projected Issues: Benefit rate increases and the phase in will continue beyond 2004. The Office of Human Resources also will continue to evaluate alternative plan designs to optimize the benefits offered to University Faculty and staff. More significant redesigns in 2005 may include consolidation of Plan A and HealthPass PPO into another plan design that provides in-network coverage and opportunity to go out-of-network, as is currently the case with the PPO, POS and Plan A. Also, consolidation of the smaller carriers into a state-wide carrier, for the purpose of improving coverage and stabilizing cost, is being explored.

OTHER BENEFITS CHANGES

Long Term Disability: As previously announced, TIAA-CREF has sold its group plan business, including PSU’s Long Term Disability Plan, to The Standard, effective June 30, 2003. The Standard has agreed to honor the current plan design and has assumed full responsibility now for the administration of the plan. The Standard also is able to offer a travel assistance program with the LTD coverage which would assist employees traveling in the US and abroad with coordination of emergency medical care and medical evacuations. This travel assistance already is available to those in the Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment plan, but this addition will provide another option.

Dental/Vision Plans: Dental and Vision enrollments will be moved to an "open enrollment" platform beginning January 1, 2004. Faculty and Staff who have not previously chosen dental and vision coverage will be able to enroll in coverage only during the annual Time to Choose but will experience no waiting periods for coverage. Currently faculty and staff may enroll at any time during the year, but must wait for certain coverages to take effect. For example, the dental plan imposed a two-year waiting period on major services and the vision plan imposed a one-year waiting period for eyeglass or contact coverage. Beginning January 1st all individuals current in a waiting period will be able access the full benefits under each plan. This limits new plan enrollments outside of Time to Choose to faculty and staff with "life event" changes, due to marriage or birth or adoption of a child. This change will not alter the cost of dental or vision coverage, but will allow for enrollments which better meet faculty and staff expectations and needs. It also simplifies the benefits plans by making the dental and vision plan enrollments and "life event" changes consistent with the health plans.


INFORMATION SERVICES

All information regarding employee benefits is available on the Employee Benefits Division’s website which is continuously updated based on faculty and staff feedback.

Employees will receive the "2004 Open Enrollment" information through the following:

· "Intercom" articles
· Benefits Open Houses
· Letter to all faculty and staff
· Employee Benefits Division’s website: www.ohr.psu.edu/benefits.

In response to the University’s need to cut some administrative costs, the post card reminder of Time to Choose information will not be sent to faculty and staff. Additionally, after making Time to Choose changes, faculty and staff will receive an email confirmation of their changes and directions to the Employee Self Service System to review their benefit choices. Repetitive paper confirmation statements no longer will be sent. The Time to Choose enrollment system also has been revised and will be housed in the Employee Self Service System. It is our hope that faculty and staff will find the revised system easier to use and enjoy the ability to view their benefit information at any time during the year.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY BENEFITS
Keith K. Burkhart
Gary L. Catchen, Vice-Chair
Michael Dooris
Thomas A. Frank
Robert J. Heinsohn
Deidre E. Jago
Amir Khalilollahi
Cynthia M. Mara
Salvatore A. Marsico
Benedicte Monicat
Gregory W. Roth
Cara-Lynne Schengrund
Dennis G. Shea, Chair
Harjit Singh
Marley W. Watkins
Billie S. Willits

Appendix D

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING

Presentation to the University Faculty Senate
on October 28, 2003
by Rodney A. Erickson, Executive Vice President and Provost

(Informational)

Dr. Rodney A. Erickson, Executive Vice President and Provost, will present a brief summary of the University’s 2003-04 Operating Budget, including budget priorities, cost drivers, cost savings and income enhancement efforts, and state appropriation. He will also summarize the University’s budget plan and appropriation request to the Commonwealth for 2004-05.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING
P. Richard Althouse
Edward W. Bittner
John P. Boehmer, Vice-Chair
Dan T. Brinker
M. Toni DuPont-Morales
David S. Gilmour
Daniel R. Hagen, Chair
Judith E. Hupcey
Kenneth B. Kephart
Rodney Kirsch
Sukyoung Lee
Joy M. Perrine
Scott Rhoads
Paula J. Romano
Louise E. Sandmeyer
Gary C. Schultz
Timothy W. Simpson
Edward C. Smith
Leigh C. St Clair
John M. Stevens
Paul J. Tikalsky
Brian B. Tormey
Stacy Wessel


  University Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-4613
Telephone: (814) 863-0221
Fax: (814) 863-6012
URL: www.psu.edu/ufs/

 

MINUTES OF SENATE COUNCIL

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

 

Members Present:  C. D. Baggett, C. Bise, R. Burgess, W. Curtis, P. Deines, J. Esposito, D. Evensen, T. Glumac, D. Gouran, P. Jurs, A. Leure-duPree, R. McCarty, L. Milakofsky, J. Moore, J. Myers, J. Landa Pytel, P.Rebane, H. Sachs, A. Scaroni, J. Smith, K. Sommese, G. Spanier, J. Spychalski, K. Steiner, M. Su

 

Members Absent/Accounted For: J. Jacobs, H. Manbeck, G. Spanier

 

Guests/ Others:  C. Brewer, D. Christy, R. Coward, G. Franz, D. Hagen, T. Jones, S. McCorkle, J. Olian, L. Pauley, P. Poorman, E. Reutzel, J. Romano, R. Secor, D. Shea, S. Stoffels, S. Youtz

 

 

CALL TO ORDER


Chair Christopher J. Bise called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 2, 2003


The minutes of the September 2, 2003, meeting were approved as presented. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMARKS

Announcements by Chair Bise:

·        The Faculty Advisory Committee met on October 14.  The following topics were discussed:  ITA Language Proficiency, Enrollment Update, USG Course Evaluation Plans, GI Course Designation, Continuing Education Task Force, Online Course Sharing Progress, and the Senate Self Study Report.

·        The next meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President is scheduled for November 25. Any items for discussion at FAC may be submitted to a Senate Officer or one of the three elected members: Wayne Curtis, Harvey Manbeck, Peter Rebane.

·        The Senate Officers will visit Schuylkill on October16th and Harrisburg on the 17th.  They will visit McKeesport and New Kensington on the 29th and 30th of October and then Great Valley, Abington, and Delaware County November 3rd through the 5th.

·        Kim Steiner, Jamie Myers, and Susan Youtz will visit Columbus, Ohio on October 31 and November 1 for a CIC Faculty Governance Meeting.

·        Laura Pauley, chair of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education, and Chris Bise will soon be charging a committee chaired by Barton Browning to review the Health and Activity General Education Requirement.

 

Provost Erickson announced that there has been no movement on Penn State receiving its 2003-2004 appropriation from Harrisburg and that the University may find it necessary to borrow money to pay salaries and fulfill other financial commitments. Dr. Erickson noted that the University’s 2004-2005 proposed budget has been sent to Harrisburg.

 

Commenting on enrollments, Provost Erickson indicated that the University anticipates relatively flat enrollments with approximately 84,000 students. He said there were some enrollment declines at the campuses with fewer provisional enrollments and smaller numbers of students enrolling in associate degree programs. Overall, baccalaureate enrollments are up University-wide.

 

Dr. Erickson announced that the final guidelines for the 2004-2009 Framework to Foster Diversity have been sent to all budget executives and that unit reports are due February 16, 2004.

REPORT OF THE GRADUATE COUNCIL

Peter Deines had no additional comments to make about the September 17, 2003, Graduate Council meeting.
 

AGENDA ITEMS FOR OCTOBER 28, 2003


Forensic Business

none


Legislative Reports

none

 

Advisory and Consultative

Senate Self Study Final Report:  Restructuring and Improving the Operation and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate--This report was placed on the Agenda on an Esposito/Sachs motion.  Chair Bise informed Council members that he received the following communication from Thomas Glumac and Tramble Turner, the co-chairs of the Commonwealth Caucus:    

The Commonwealth Caucus asks the Senate chair to delay scheduling voting on the changes proposed by the Senate Self Study Committee until after the October 28 [Senate] meeting.

Chair Bise requested Council members to take this communication into consideration during their deliberations on the readiness of the Self Study report for placement on the Senate Agenda. Following is a summary of Councilors’ comments on the Self Study report: 

1.      Create a one-two page Executive Summary or Preamble to the Self Study report that explicitly describes the recommendations upon which the Senate will be voting. 

2.      Self Study Committee Chair Franz was asked to clarify in his opening comments that nine of the 11 recommendations will be referred to the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules for implementation and the drafting of legislation for amendments to the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules.  The legislative proposals from Committees and Rules will come to Senate Council and then to the full Senate for debate and vote.

3.      Commonwealth Caucus members may wish to motion to postpone a vote on the report at the October 28 Senate meeting.

4.      A Campus College Councilor made an appeal to delay the vote in order that the report could be fully reviewed and discussed by Caucus members. Another Councilor asked if one group of Senators deserves more time to review the report than another group, noting the report is “not a secret document.”  It was observed that this request by the Commonwealth Caucus is beyond the authority of Senate Council.  A  Councilor  disagreed with the latter statement and urged Council members to take action on the Commonwealth Caucus request.

5.      Committee Chair Franz was asked why the Self Study Report is Advisory and Consultative rather than Legislative.  Dr. Franz noted that any changes to the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rule are always advisory and consultative to the President of the University.

6.      A Council member noted that the Self Study report provides only structural changes and does not facilitate a more proactive governance organization.

7.      It was observed that an amendment on the floor of the Senate could change the term limits or representation ratio.

8.      The Senate Chair was urged to encourage Senators to focus their comments on the recommendations during the floor debate.

The Self Study Report was unanimously approved (with no abstentions or dissenting votes) by Senate Council for the October 28 Senate Agenda.
  

Informational Reports

 

Faculty Benefits--Employee Benefits Update for 2004:  2004 Health Plans.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Pytel/Burgess motion. Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Dr. Billie Willits will make a five to seven minute Power Point presentation. 

 

University Planning--Budget Presentation by Rodney Erickson.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Jurs/Gouran motion. Provost Erickson will make a 10-12 minute Power Point presentation.

 

University Planning--Status of Construction.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Spychalski/Jurs motion.  The motion was defeated following discussion about the expected length of the October 28 Senate meeting with the Self Study report. On an alternate Curtis/McCarty motion, the report was placed on the December 9 Senate Agenda.  Associate Vice President for Physical Plant, William Anderson and Steven Maruszewski, Director of Design and Construction, will give a 10-minute Power Point presentation

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 28, 2003

The Agenda was approved on a McCarty/Scaroni motion.

 

ACTION ITEMS

1.  Smeal College of Business Administration Proposal to Phase Out 11 Majors.  The Senate Committees on Curricular Affairs and Undergraduate Education supported the proposal.  The Faculty Affairs Committee requested additional information from the College that was provided to the committee and Senate Council members.  Dean Judy Olian, Senior Associate Dean Edward Reutzel and Associate Dean David Christy provided an overview of the proposal and responded to Council members questions about the extent of faculty consultation and feedback about the proposal from other colleges.  Council members requested an up-date on how students in the majors that are being phased-out are identified and advised to ascertain they are fulfilling degree requirements on a timely basis.  Smeal College administrators noted that the College is committed to offering the “old curricula” through the 2004-2005 year. 
Additional questioned were asked regarding the timing for the American Academy of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation visit (December 2003) and the status of business logistics content (integrated into supply chain management and management information systems).  A councilor made an appeal to strengthen the guidelines that colleges use in developing proposals to reorganize or phase-out programs. Chair-elect Steiner noted that he is serving on an Administrative Council on Undergraduate Education (ACUE) committee to revise and up-date the policies (P-1, 3, 6) that provide guidance to administrators for program reorganization. On a Gouran/Jurs motion the following action was taken:

In accordance with our duties as prescribed in the Senate Bylaws, Article II, Section 1(d), it is the advice of Senate Council that the proposal from the Smeal College of Business Administration be implemented as described in the documents we have received. 

 

2.  Proposal to Disaggregate the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management to create a School of Hospitality Management and a Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management in the College of Health and Human Development.  The Senate Committees on Curricular Affairs, Faculty Affairs, and Undergraduate Education supported this proposal.  On a Spychalski/Gouran motion the following action was taken:

 

 In accordance with our duties as prescribed in the Senate Bylaws, Article II, Section 1(d), it is the advice of Senate Council that the proposal from the College of Health and Human Development be implemented as described in the documents we have received. 

 

Council members agreed that it did not seem necessary for Graduate Council to review this proposal.

 

3.  Revision of the Altoona College Constitution.  Secretary Myers provided a summary of the changes to the Altoona College Constitution.  On a Glumac/McCarty motion the constitutional amendments were approved.

 

4.  Revision of the DuBois Campus Constitution.  Secretary Myers provided a summary of changes to the DuBois Campus Constitution.  On a Pytel/Glumac motion the constitutional amendments were approved.

NEW BUSINESS

Secretary Myers asked Council members to reflect on the Self Study report’s proposed changes to Council.  He encouraged Committee Chair Franz to further develop in the Executive summary what the expanded role of Senate Council might be, including greater involvement in college governance.  The question was asked how the authority of the new Council will be exercised and how to give Council a more pivotal role. Dr. Myers also asked for discussion on the proposed Nominating Committee.  Two councilors noted that a freestanding nominating committee could enable a more focused yearlong, proactive effort to identify the best candidates for elected Senate positions.  A question was asked about who will vote for the nominating committee (Senate electorate) and who may be nominated to serve on the Nominating Committee (elected Senators).  This language will be clarified in the final report.   

ADJOURNMENT

Senate Chair Bise thanked Council members for their attendance and participation and accepted a Baggett/Burgess motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:25 p.m. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan C. Youtz
Executive Secretary


  University Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-4613
Telephone: (814) 863-0221
Fax: (814) 863-6012
URL: www.psu.edu/ufs/

 

DATE: September 29, 2003

TO: Senate Council Members

FROM: Peter Deines, Senate Liaison to the Graduate Council


The Graduate Council met on Wednesday, September 17 at 3:30 p.m. in Room 102 Kern Graduate Building, with Dean Eva Pell presiding.

Communications and Remarks of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

After welcoming returning and new Graduate Council members Dean Pell reported on the Graduate School’s welcoming activities for the incoming graduate students. The proportion of new international students in this year’s class is smaller than in previous years, reflecting a trend that is also observed at other CIC institutions. Dean Pell remarked that the possible multiple causes for this trend and the significance of the change for graduate studies at Penn State remain to be examined.


REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

1. Committee on Committees and Procedures: Carla Mulford . The appointments to the standing Graduate Council Committees have been completed and the roster was distributed.

2. Committee on Academic Standards: Richard Ready. Changes to the Articles of Authority, Bylaws and Standing Rules of the Graduate Council were presented and adopted. Issues that will be taken up by the committee will include the outside membership on doctoral committees, the distinction between academic and professional Master’s degrees, and the definition of residency in the context of online degrees.

3. Committee on Fellowships and Awards: Anil Kulkarni. No formal report

4. Committee on Graduate Research: Michael Verderame. No formal report. The Graduate Exhibition is planned for March 26 and March 28, 2004.

5. Committee on Graduate Student and Faculty Issues: Leslie MacRae. On October 15th a workshop on grant writing will be held, on February 4th, 2004, a workshop on résumé writing will be arranged in cooperation with Career Services. Information about these workshops, as well as the Graduate School Teaching Certificate requirements may be obtained from LeslieMcRea.

6. Committee on Programs and Courses: Mark Wardell. The proposed new option in Literature and Culture in the Ph.D. in German was presented and approved.

Reports of Special Committees: None

Graduate Student Association: No Report

Special Reports: None

Unfinished Business: None

New Business: None

Comments and Recommendations for the Good of the Graduate Community: None

There being no further discussion, Graduate Council adjourned at 3:55 p.m.


  University Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-4613
Telephone: (814) 863-0221
Fax: (814) 863-6012
URL: www.psu.edu/ufs/

Date: October 15, 2003

To: All Senators and Committee Members

 

From: Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary

 

 

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 27, 2003

7:00 p.m.
Officers and Chairs Meeting  
102 Kern Graduate Building
8:30 p.m.  
Commonwealth Caucus Meeting 
Faculty Staff Club, Nittany Lion Inn


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

7:30 a.m.
Intercollegiate Athletics 
233 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
8:00 a.m.
Faculty Affairs 129A HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
 
Outreach Activities 502 Keller Building
8:30 a.m.

Admissions, Records, Scheduling
and Student Aid

203 Shields Building
 
Committees and Rules  114 Kern Graduate Building
 
Curricular Affairs 102 Kern Graduate Building
 
Faculty Benefits 201 Kern Graduate Building
 
Intra-University Relations 325 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
 
Research 106 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
 
Student Life 107 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
 
Undergraduate Education 330 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
 
University Planning 327 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
9:00 a.m.
Computing and Information Systems 322 HUB/Robeson Cultural Center
 
Libraries 510A Paterno Library
1:30 p.m.
University Faculty Senate 112 Kern Graduate Building 


  University Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-4613

Telephone: (814) 863-0221
Fax: (814) 863-6012
URL: www.psu.edu/ufs/

Date: October 15, 2003

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

From: Thomas Glumac and Tramble T. Turner, Commonwealth Caucus Co-chairs

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2003--8:30 p.m.
FACULTY STAFF CLUB
NITTANY LION INN
Guest: Robert Secor, Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2003, 11:15 a.m.
ASSEMBLY ROOM
NITTANY LION INN
A buffet luncheon will be served in the Alumni Lobby at 12:15 p.m.

The Agenda includes:

I. Call to Order

II. Announcements and Reports from Co-chairs of the Caucus

III. Discussion of the Senate Self-Study Advisory/Consultative Report

IV. Reports from Committee Chairs

V. Other Items of Concern/New Business

VI. Adjournment and Lunch


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