Penn State University Home  

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

T H E   S E N A T E   R E C O R D

 

Volume 40 ----- April 24, 2007 ----- Number 6

 

The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University, 2006-2007.

 

The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is distributed to all University Libraries and is posted on the Web at http://www.senate.psu.edu under “Publications.” Copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.

 

Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.

 

When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, Senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory/consultative, and forensic body for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.

 

Reports that have appeared in the Agenda for the meeting are not included in The Senate Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript and tape of the meeting is on file. Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary, University Faculty Senate.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

                                          I.      Final Agenda for April 24, 2007                                                                                         

                                       II.      Minutes and Summary of Remarks                                                                         

                                     III.      Attendance                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                          

                       

                                                            FINAL AGENDA FOR APRIL 24, 2007

 

             A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING                                                                                                                               

                    Minutes of the March 20, 2007, Meeting in The Senate Record 40:5

              [www.senate.psu.edu/record/index.html]

 

            B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE                                                                       

                  Senate Curriculum Report of April 10, 2007                                                                    

                  [www.senate.psu.edu/curriculum_resources/bluesheet/bluex.html]

                 

                  Update on the Implementation of the Uniformity of Course Abbreviations

 

            C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting of April 10, 2007                                                             

 

            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                                                                       

 

 J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

 

            Research

 

                 Annual Report on Research and Graduate Education                                               

 

            University Planning

 

                 Energy and the Environment at Penn State                                                   

 

            Undergraduate Education

 

               Grade Distribution Report                                                                                       

 

            Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid

 

                 Annual Report on High School Students                                                                  

            Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses (Report appears on the Senate Web site at

                   http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2006-2007/apr24-07agn/appe.pdf)

 

            Faculty Benefits

 

                 Report on Retirement Options                                                                               

 

            Senate Council

 

                 Summary of Spring 2007 Officers’ Visits to University Park Units           

 

            Student Life

 

                 Penn State’s Student Activity Fee                                                                        

 

            Report of Senate Elections                                                                                     

                 Senate Council

                 Senate Committee on Committees and Rules

                 University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee

                 Standing Joint Committee on Tenure

                 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

                 Faculty Advisory Committee to the President

                 Senate Secretary for 2007-2008

                 Senate Chair-Elect for 2007-2008

 

            Seating of the New Officers                                                                                   

 

            Comments by Incoming Chair-Elect Blasko                                                            

 

K.        NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

 

L.         COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY


 

The University Faculty Senate

Tuesday, April 24, 2007, at 1:30 p.m.

 

The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, April 24, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with Dawn Blasko, Chair-Elect, presiding.

 

MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Before we begin today’s meeting, I ask that you join me in a moment of silence to remember the 32 Virginia Tech faculty and students who lost their lives last week. In the lobby there are tables with paper and pens where you may write a note to our faculty governance counterparts at Virginia Tech.  Your notes will be sent along with a letter to Kerry Reddington, President of Virginia Tech’s Faculty Senate. 

 

As you may have noticed Senate Chair Joanna Floros isn’t able to be here today due to a family medical emergency.

 

MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  The March 20, 2007, Senate Record, providing a full transcription of the proceedings, was sent to all University Libraries and is posted on the Faculty Senate Web site.  Are there any corrections or additions to this document?

 

Seeing none, may I hear a motion to accept?

 

Senators:  So moved.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Second?

 

Senators:  Second.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  All in favor of accepting the minutes of March 20, 2007, please say aye.

 

Senators:  Aye.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Opposed say nay.  Ayes have it, motion carried.  The minutes of the March 20, 2007, meeting have been approved.

 

COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

 

Senate Curriculum Report of April 10, 2007.  This document is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site.  Appendix B provides an update on the implementation of the Uniformity of Course Abbreviations.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lee Kump, Chair of the Uniformity of Course Abbreviations Committee and ask him to stand and be recognized for his many efforts in implementing this legislation.

 

REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting of April 10, 2007

 

At the end of the Senate agenda are the minutes from the April 10 meeting of Senate Council.  Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed by the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President at the April 10 meeting.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Out of courtesy to our presenters, please turn off your cell phones and pagers at this time.  Thank you.

 

I would like to ask Dale Holen, Chair of the Student Life Committee, to come forward and introduce the John W. White Fellowship recipients. 

 

Dale Holen, University College, Worthington Scranton:  One of the real pleasures of serving on the Student Life Committee is having the opportunity to interview the candidates for the John W. White Graduate Fellowship.  These are outstanding undergraduate students who are graduating with highest distinction and will enroll in graduate study.  This year there are four recipients of the John W. White Graduate Fellowship. Each student will receive a $1,000 award. 

 

The John White Fellowship is one of the oldest and most enduring fellowships at Penn State.  The award was established in 1902 by James Gilbert White to honor his father, Rev. John W. White of Milroy, Pennsylvania.  In addition to myself, serving on this year’s review committee were Alexandros Vgontzas from the College of Medicine, Bénédicte Monicat from the College of the Liberal Arts, and Tim Frazier, graduate student in Geography.  There are also those individuals who work behind the scenes to make sure that the work gets done, so I would like to thank Anna Butler for her efforts.

 

Our first 2007 Fellowship recipient is Kate Brizzi.

 

Kate will graduate as a Schreyer Scholar with a B.S. in Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering option.  Kate has been accepted to several medical schools and plans to pursue a joint M.D. / Master of Public Health degree.  She is interested in working in the interface of health and human rights, specifically through research into infectious diseases.  Kate has been involved with the dance marathon and is a Pennsylvania Literacy Corps volunteer.

 

The second recipient is Rachel Evans.

 

Rachel will graduate as a Schreyer Scholar with a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management, a B.A. in Comparative Literature, and a minor in French.  She will be attending Harvard Law School and plans to practice in the area of environmental law.  Rachel did her internship with the Environmental Protection Agency and Cooperative Extension.  She volunteers with the State College food bank and Habitat for Humanity.

 

The third recipient is Craig Schwartz.

 

Craig will graduate as a Schreyer Scholar with a B.S. in Meteorology and a Bachelor of Music in Composition.  Craig will continue his studies in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma while remaining an active musician and composer.  He wants to use music to improve science literacy.  Craig has been president of the student-run campus weather service.

 

The fourth recipient is John Waldeisen.

 

John will graduate as a Schreyer Scholar with a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics and minors in Bioengineering and Economics.  John will study Biomedical Engineering at University of California Berkeley. He has been active with Coaches vs. Cancer and has helped raised $75,000. I have to admit these are very brief descriptions of these students that really don’t do them justice.  Their academic achievements are overwhelming and we have every reason to be extremely proud of them, so please join me in congratulating them.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  At the end of each academic year, a number of senators complete their terms of office.  I will read their names and ask you to join me in thanking them for their service.

 

Binh Le, Penn State Abington

College of Agricultural Sciences:  Thomas Bruening, Diana Cox-Foster, Gregory Roth, and Richard Yahner

Penn State Altoona:  Sylvester Osagie

College of Arts and Architecture:  Christine Gorby and Katsu Muramoto

Smeal College of Business:  Susan Xu

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences:  Terry Engelder

College of Education:  Beverly Vandiver

College of Engineering:  Nadine Smith and Robert Voigt

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College:  Victoria Kazmerski

Penn State Harrisburg:  James Ruiz and Matthew Wilson

College of Health and Human Development:  Kathryn Dansky, Thomas Frank, Karthik Namasivayam, and Careen Yarnal

College of the Liberal Arts:  Bénédicte Monicat and Iyunolu Osagie

College of Medicine:  Barry Dworkin, Ira Ropson and Harjit Singh

Military Sciences:  John Kilgallon

The Eberly College of Science:  Paul Babitzke, Craig Cameron, Qiang Du and Bing Li

University College:  George Franz, Delaware County; Fred Adams, Fayette; Michelle Kline, Lehigh Valley; James Donovan, Mont Alto; John Urenko, Schuylkill; Parminder Parmar, Worthington Scranton.

 

I would also like to read the names of the student senators, many of whom will not be returning.  Katie McNiff,  Perry Bindelglass, Sari Santoso, Elizabeth Rodgers, Christopher Hanson, Christopher Engelhardt, Damir Amonov, George Khoury, Leslie Stahl, Michael Anderson, Laura Nolan, Eric Wertz, Amanda King, Jeffrey Dew, Jim Kimmel, Paul Fogle, Resham Patel, Anthony Zmoda, Adam Seitz, Matthew Mobilio, Kaushik Chatterjee, Leah Liu, Meliss Franklin,  and Ricardo Torres.

 

The following ex-officio and appointed senators will not be returning to the Senate; Stephen McCarthy, Gary Miller, James Thomas, and Vicky Triponey. 

 

We appreciate all that you have contributed to the Senate, and we will miss each one of you.  Let’s show our thanks to these senators for their good work.

 

At this time, we have special recognition to three members of this group who are leaving us with particularly distinguished records of service.  As each comes forward, I will present them with a certificate signed by President Spanier and Joanna Floros acknowledging their dedicated service to the Senate.

 

Would Gregory Roth please come forward?

 

Greg has served eight years as a College of Agricultural Sciences senator.  He is currently serving as vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Outreach.  We would like to thank Greg for his service, and we will mail his certificate to him.

 

I would also like to acknowledge Tom Frank who could not be with us today.  Tom has served as a Health and Human Development senator for eight years, and served as vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits for the past three years.  We would like to thank Tom for his service, and we will also mail his certificate to him.

 

I would like to ask George Franz to please come forward.

 

George Franz has served as a Delaware County senator for 34 years, and the Senate Parliamentarian for 14 years.  He will retire from Penn State at the end of June.  With us today, and we hope it is a surprise to George are his wife Kammy, and his staff assistant Jeanette Rieck.  George’s Chancellor, Sophia Wisniewska, was also scheduled to be here but had a family emergency. 

 

Without objection I would like to present to the Senate for its consideration the following resolution.  George W. Franz, Director of Academic Affairs, Penn State Delaware County, Associate Professor of History and American Studies.

 

WHEREAS, George Franz has had a distinguished career at Penn State since joining the Delaware County campus faulty in 1968, and

 

WHEREAS, George Franz is a Martin Van Buren scholar who has published and presented many papers on the American Revolution and Pennsylvania’s early days, and

 

WHEREAS, George Franz has served with distinction as Director of Academic Affairs at the Delaware County Campus since 1997, and

 

WHEREAS, George Franz has served the University Faculty Senate as a Delaware County campus Senator for 34 years, making him the longest serving senator in the history of the Senate, and

 

WHEREAS, George Frank’s vita constitutes a compendium of University service, reflecting his leadership as an elected officer of the University Faculty Senate from 1978-1982; his service to 43 University and Senate Committees; his participation on 34 college, department and campus committees, and

 

WHEREAS, George Franz has spent thousands of hours in meetings and driven thousands of miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (with occasional stops at the Lancaster Outlets), and

 

WHEREAS, George Franz has been the recipient of awards for excellence in teaching and advising and for his contributions to the welfare of the University faculty, and

 

WHEREAS, George Franz in his 14 years as Senate Parliamentarian has brought order to Senate meetings, and

 

WHEREAS, through his knowledge of parliamentary process he has guided many Senate chairs through such parliamentary minefields as assessing the relevance of an amendment, fielding multiple points of order and calls for Division of the Assembly, and skillfully dodging substitute motions, while still retaining his unique sense of humor, and

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University Faculty Senate of the Pennsylvania State University on this 24th day of April 2007 expresses its deepest gratitude and appreciation to George Franz for his many contributions on behalf of the University and its faculty.  The Senate offers its fondest best wishes to him as he turns his attention to his family, community, and a happy and productive retirement.  I would like to ask the Senate for a vote of affirmation on the resolution.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  All those in favor of affirming the resolution, please say aye.

 

Senators:  Aye.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  George will also receive a certificate for his 34 years of service to the University.

 

George Franz:  I am sure some of you are sitting out there thinking that I am truly insane, and you may be right, doing this for 34 years.  You need to understand that I was even nuttier when I first started in the Senate, because in 1971 we met every month even in the summer.  I may have taken Senate service to an extreme, but I do think it is important.  If we may take seriously our role in shared governance, then faculty needs to participate actively in the governance structures of their campus, college, and university.  Some of us need to do it over an extended period of time so that there is an institutional memory.  In my case it may have moved into dementia, but there needs to be some continuity among the faculty on the governance structures of the University.  Service on the University Faculty Senate is important because it is one of the few organizational units in the entire University that functions effectively across all locations, and it is in fact, what helps make us one University. University Libraries and Employee Benefits are units that I think help support this concept.  There are many units that pay lip service to being University-wide, and I think it is important to state that the unit with the greatest faculty voice and control over its structure and function, truly is University-wide and it has been that way for 30 some years.

 

I would be less than honest if I did not admit that I have sat through a number of boring Senate meetings, but that is the price you pay for letting faculty colleagues have access to the floor in a deliberative body.  However, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I want to emphasize what I have said at numerous new senator orientations, the important work of the Senate is done in committees.  I want to give one example from my experience. In the mid seventies, I served on the Undergraduate Education Committee and we went around talking to student groups in various colleges about their perception of the quality of their education and the experience at Penn State.  The better students across the University consistently complained about the lack of challenge and intellectual rigor of their classes.  In 1976, when I became chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee, we did a study of academic programming for superior students and found that while there were a few programs, most colleges and departments offered very little for superior students. The result was a committee report calling for a University-wide review of programming for academically superior students.  Since I chaired the committee calling for the study, I was named chair of the Task Force by President Oswald and Senate Chair Daubert.  The result was a report calling for the creation of the University Scholars Program, the predecessor of the Schreyer Honors College.  At that time, it was a very controversial report because many at Penn State thought that the honors programs had no place at a land grant University.

 

Having been at this University for 39 years, and having been fortunate to see many things from a University-wide perspective, let me say that is what makes this University work is the people, the staff, and the faculty.  Penn State is a very complex place and very bureaucratic.  In fact, I think we give bureaucracy lessons to the Pentagon.  It works because Penn State people make it work, and I thank all the very dedicated staff members that I worked with over the years in the Senate Office, the Office of Human Resources and in virtually every office that I ever contacted.  However, let me beat a dead horse one last time.  I think we lost something of the sense of family when we stopped publishing Intercom.  The Faculty Staff newsletter doesn’t cut it.  We really don’t have a mechanism for informing the broader University community at all locations about the people that make this a great University.  We need to do something different to make sure that we recognize that it is the quality and commitment of our people that makes this place work, and makes Penn State a great place to be a student, a staff member, or a faculty member.

 

Chair-Elect Blasko: Thank you George.  At this point I would like to recognize the Senate committee chairs and vice-chairs.  Will you all please stand.  This group of individuals has provided leadership to the Senate this year, and will you please join me in thanking them.  I would like to thank all the senators for their willingness to serve our University and for their hard work in the committees they served, and for providing their valuable expertise for the Senate body to successfully complete its work.  The Senate officers and I are grateful to all of you, the faculty and administrators, as well as the Senate office staff, with a special thanks to the Executive Secretary Dr. Susan Youtz, and her assistant Patty Poorman. 

 

The First-Year Seminar Committee was constituted and charged on April 5, 2007. Past Senate Chair Kim Steiner and Patti Mills the Associate Dean at Altoona are serving as co-chairs of that committee.  In fall 2006 a report from the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine was issued.  The report is entitled Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Sciences and Engineering.  In response to this report, Senate Chair Joanna Floros appointed a special committee, co-chaired by Renee Diehl and Dennis Thomson to assess the status of tenured and tenure-track women faculty in Science and Engineering at Penn State.  The committee was charged on April 21, 2007, and will report out at the end of March 2008. 

 

President Spanier has accepted the recommended revisions to HR-10; distinguished professorships passed at the March 20, 2007, Senate meeting, and have asked the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Human Resources to work together in revising the policy.  We also received communication from the President on the status of the Advisory and Consultative report on HR-21 passed at the last Senate meeting. 

 

President Spanier has accepted a portion of the report and has directed that HR-21 be modified to incorporate the rank of “professor of practice,” which will be available to Deans and Chancellors to use in a narrowly defined manner.  Quoting President Spanier, “Professor of Practice should be reserved as a title bestowed on those individuals who are non-tenure track faculty, hired by the University to engage in teaching, research, and service, but who may not have terminal degrees, or may not have had the traditional academic background that is typical of faculty, as they move through the professorial ranks.”  The President has not accepted the remainder of the report, and it will be directed to Faculty Affairs for further consideration.  President Spanier’s letter will also be posted to the Faculty Affairs Web site.

 

A presentation of spring 2007 major construction projects at Penn State can be viewed on the University Planning Web site. 

 

COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  I would like to invite President Spanier to come forward to make some remarks.

 

President Spanier:  Thank you.  I thought I did some weird things, but George you take the cake.  It has been a great pleasure for me to work with George for 12 years in his University Senate leadership roles, and I think he has spanned five University presidents. He has reformed all the others and is still working on me.  George is one of those people who, early on in my first year as President, demonstrated to me what is possible for a Faculty Senate to do in collaborating with University administration on a range of issues, and George was on that leadership group who helped us work through a lot of changes in the University.  This Senate over the time he has been involved has really been a model nationally of what faculty can do and what a model of shared governance can be by all working together. I would like to join with your colleagues here and thank you for your great service.

 

This has been a very difficult week for all of American higher education because of the circumstances at Virginia Tech. We have expressed our condolences in many ways, and Penn State has extended its helping hand by being supportive and helpful in any way that we can.  I am the chair-elect of the Association of American Universities, and in Washington on Sunday we had discussions about things that could happen at the national level, to have all of us be better prepared and more responsive.  Perhaps this involves changing some Federal legislation and taking a fresh look at what we all know as the Buckley Amendment, what information a University is allowed to share with parents of an 18 or 19 year old. This also involves actions a University can take when it sees certain issues coming up, issues of communication and cooperation with those who should be involved.  There may be some issues surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act, which need to have a fresh look in this regard. All of this is going to be examined at the national level and AAU and other higher education advocacy organizations will be involved in that effort. 

 

At Penn State we have done a number of things. Various groups have convened to take a fresh look at our policies and procedures, and a general view of where we are. I shared this in an email that I sent out about Penn State, and some of you may have seen an op-ed piece published in the Harrisburg Patriot News.  I give a general reflection in two areas about which changed over the last decade for us in higher education as we deal with different crises.  We have them often, and most of them do not make it into the papers. Two of the areas I talk about are the changing landscape of the media, and what the media is and isn’t, and how they respond and the pressures they put on all of us in circumstances like this. It also reviews the growing attention to issues of safety and security that exists on campuses like Penn State, and is something that we pay more attention to over time. In that piece I mention some of the areas that Penn State pays attention to.  We are probably as well prepared as any University in the country, but this does not mean we have all the answers to deal with every issue as it comes up.  If any of you would like to view that second op-ed piece, I think on the newswire you received the first statement that I wrote, and the op-ed piece is available on line. You can email me or anyone in public information can share it with you. 

 

On a positive note, we are really pleased that we hit the jackpot in our opinion on the hiring of a new Penn State head woman’s basketball coach, Coquese Washington.  She is a rising star in women’s basketball nationally, and we were very pleased to have her interested in Penn State.We think this is going to be great for women’s athletics and for Penn State sports.  Please welcome her to Penn State when you see her; she is a remarkable human being in many respects.

 

There is not much new to report in Harrisburg; we are still working on our appropriation. What is occupying a fair amount of our attention is the Right-To-Know legislation.  The Right-To-Know law is something that would not be good for a University like ours; they are generally designed for state agencies where it is appropriate for all of their business to be in public, and where they are entirely funded by taxpayer dollars.  For a University that raises a couple hundred million dollars a year from donors who expect a certain degree of privacy; for faculty members who operate in a very competitive market place who are involved in developing intellectual property that may be licensed along the way; for faculty members who are engaged in industry sponsored research. I can go down the list of different things that I think anyone in this room would agree you would not want to have to disclose; the contents of your email, contents of private correspondence, and letters of recommendation for certain people.

 

 Legislation is allowed to look backward into things that you wrote or communications that you made before you knew there was going to be such a law.  I would just caution you, before you jump to a conclusion that total transparency and the Right-To-Know is great in all circumstances, to think about being in a position to disclose everything such as classroom notes, or notes of meeting that you attend.  What would be included is evolving, and a lot of negotiations behind the scenes are what is excluded. The list of things that is being discussed is growing, but frankly we would not like to be included at all.  Most of what people want to know about Penn State we disclose already, and we will give honest answers to the media and about 99 percent of anything they would ask about. There is a lot of potential for mischief making with the Right-To-Know legislation, as some versions of it out there in Harrisburg now exists.  Part of the problem is that you are shooting at a moving target because it is evolving, and there are different versions of the legislation that are out there. 

 

May 1 is the official deadline for students who have already been admitted into the University to tell us if they are actually coming and sending in a deposit.  We are pretty much where we expected to be in that respect; we are up at campuses around the state by 300 or so students.  We are down, as planned to reach an area of stability at the University Park campus, and we will probably end up close to the target we had planned for ourselves. We also have around 1,400 students who have confirmed that they want to remain on the waiting list, and we will turn to that list if needed.

 

Our capital campaign is in the leadership gift phase.  It is going to be focused on making Penn State the top student-centered University in the country. We have made some very good progress in that goal. I am not sure it’s been widely reported yet, but over the weekend we had the latest significant announcement in the campaign which is a $20 million gift from Lloyd and Dotty Huck to support the Life Sciences at Penn State.  The Huck’s have contributed more than $40 million to Penn State. Generosity like this is quite remarkable and we are very grateful for it. We hope there will be a number of other such gifts as we move ahead in the campaign.

 

Commencement is about three and one-half weeks away and I do want to urge all of you to attend your college and campus ceremonies.  Some of you are amazing, you are always there and never miss, and then there are a few of you that I just don’t see at commencement.  I guess you figure you put your time in at the Faculty Senate meeting, and I would love to see more of our faculty attend commencement. It is about the happiest day of the year and it shows why we are here, and what it has been all about.  If you are one of those people who attend regularly, grab one of your colleagues and make them attend with you and take them to lunch.

 

In addition to thanking George, I also want to thank Joanna Floros for all her great work last year.  She has been a very dedicated and passionate leader of the Faculty Senate and I think this has been a very meaningful experience for her. I know we will have our chance to express our appreciation to her along the way.  A warm welcome to Dawn who has been in the wings warming up for this and we are very much looking forward to working with her as well. 

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Please stand, wait for the microphone and give your name and unit.

 

Mary Beth Clark, College of Health and Human Development:  I read your article in The Patriot News.  In your article you mentioned that you have 50 well-trained armed security guards on this campus, as well as armed security guards in the Harrisburg campus.  Will there be an initiative to implement having armed security guards on campuses University-wide?  I know at Hershey several University colleagues of mine have discussed this issue because our security guards are not armed and frankly that is a concern.

 

President Spanier:  Some of our campuses have armed police and some don’t.  It varies by the culture of the campus, what they have decided and wanted along the way, and what their proximity is to highly train armed police in neighboring communities with whom they have mutual aid agreements.  It has to do with qualifications and all of our armed police must have college degrees. They have to go through the state police training as a “licensed” public safety officer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We expect an additional layer of training to be able to deal with specialized populations, mostly college students.  It is really about the training, the resources for any of our police to be armed at other campuses, and the campus has to be willing to reallocate its budget resources because those at that level of training are paid more than others. More than anything it has to do with what the campus wants, the local culture, the relationship they have with neighboring police units.  Yes, it is possible for campuses that do not have that and it is something that we review from time to time.

 

Paul Babitzke, Eberly College of Science: My comments and issues deal with the recycling of the budget.  Our mission in the Eberly College of Science is being severely compromised both at the academic and research levels.  In my department, which is Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, we have lost 25 percent of our office staff. Forty percent of our business staff as a consequence, in which all ordering now falls into the laps of individual labs. I estimated that the cost of my lab alone for ordering supplies is about $10,000 worth of grant support per year.  If you multiply that by the 35 academic active research labs in the department, that comes out to $350,000 clearly far higher than the cost of some staff support help. All of this ordering is through the purchasing card which was originally a great and convenient way to eliminate the need for petty cash.  It now has become an extreme financial burden on every lab that uses it. Finally, I support a law school on campus, but I think every academic unit has suffered as a consequence. Bringing in a law school would use new money, and I wonder what has happened to the $1.4 billion from the Grand Destiny, and why that couldn’t be used to support a law school.

 

President Spanier:  With regard to the budget of your academic department, I think it would be very useful for you to invite the Dean in for a discussion, because there are no departments in your college that have had their budget cut.  What you are seeing is a reallocation where the money may actually be coming back in a different way, and some things may be shifting from one category to another.  We provide centrally to all units all the money for salary increases, cost of faculty and staff benefit increases, and promotional increases.  There is a recycling target that every unit has, and it averages about one percent a year but a departmental budget will generally increase three or four percent a year, because of the money coming in for other categories.  The College of Science actually has been a very significant beneficiary of millions of dollars of other funds, and has been one of the principle beneficiaries in the new positions, that have been created for the Life Sciences and some of the other multi-disciplinary initiatives.  I can speak with some certainty that in the college as a whole, the budget has continued to increase and they benefited from some of these investments.

 

It is not difficult to imagine that in some categories of the budget, funds have been moved to other places to support personnel, or to put their emphasis on investing in new faculty as opposed to supplies or other things. I don’t want to say much more about that, because I don’t know the specifics or the dollars and cents in your department, but I certainly know the overall college budget and that is in pretty good shape.  A lot of faculty are not involved in the budgetary decisions. It is not so much that the department is running a deficit from where it was, but they measure the deficit in relation to where they want the department to be, or what the department is not capable of, and that is an area where we all feel that we are falling behind.  We have the potential to be doing a lot better than we are, but the resources are constrained to get there.  I feel good about where we are, everything considered, even if I were to acknowledge that the feeling may be different in one department compared to another.

 

In terms of the purchasing card, that has been a great thing to many in the University because is provides the ability to go out and buy some items that there are funds for that you really need.  The purchasing card has saved us a lot of money and has created a lot of efficiency. I am not sure of the particular use of that card that is troublesome for you.  My advice for you is don’t use the card at all, or explore with the administrators in your unit what may be dysfunctional about the purchasing card for a particular set of uses that you may have.

 

In terms of the law school, it is a unit on campus that predominately is supported by the tuition of the law students.  It is the only unit at Penn State that does not have in-state and out-of-state tuition. In effect, they charge everyone what we would think of as out-of-state tuition.  The increase of students that will come into the law school, because of the dual campuses of the law school, will pay the bills for the increased operating cost of the law school.  For us the great advantage of having this law school is a growing set of partnerships, and a number of potential partnerships that are being discussed between the law school and other academic units. In the Colleges of Information Sciences and Technology,

Communications, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, and Business, discussions are underway about those collaborative arrangements.  I think for many faculties on campus this is a very positive thing, and we are not really docking anyone’s budget because of the law school.  The main investment that the University made in the law school is facilities and that is being paid separately through ways in which we manage our capital construction.

 

What happened to the $1.4 billion in the Grand Destiny campaign?  What most people do not realize is we are not like Harvard; we are better than Harvard in many ways.  Harvard has about a $30 billion endowment, and we think about $10 billion of that, is unrestricted.  Back in the old days, the way people donated money to Universities was that they wrote a check to the University, and said we believe in you and here is our check, do something good with it. Over 99 percent of Penn State’s $1.5 billion endowment is restricted.  When the Huck’s donated their money they said this is for the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. All gifts are restricted and some of them are too restricted. We have to get more money into need-based scholarships and we have to get away from this usual mode of thinking. People with scholarships say they are giving us $100,000 and they want that scholarship to be for a brilliant 3.8 or above student. They have to be from Lackawanna County; they have to be someone who played soccer in high school; who is in a fraternity; and who is left-handed.  Most of the scholarships we get are very narrowly defined because the people are trying to replicate themselves.  Most all of our gifts are restricted and therefore it’s all sitting in the bank and the only gifts that we use for the law school are the gifts that come into the law school.  We just announced $19 million of new gifts, a $15 million and a $4 million commitment for the law school.  A good share of that will be put toward the building and renovations in Carlisle. 

 

Mike Anderson, Division of Undergraduate Studies:  I attended a Rally for Change today at Old Main. I was also a student who walked from the capitol at Harrisburg all the way to Old Main to protest tuition and one of the big pushes there was for a transparent budget. I am also an executive ticket candidate for UPUA. We always get the question at the debates on how are we going to lower tuition, and the common answer seems to be open the budget.  We feel the way for this administration to get more appropriations is to open the budget, and when people give money they like to see how it is being spent.  If you feel like there was a real push from students for a more transparent budget, how would this change your opinion and how do you see the budget going, if at all?  Do you feel that opening the budget, while it may pose other problems, will increase the appropriations and therefore lower tuition?

 

President Spanier:  I thought it was great that there were a number of students in the middle of things today and they were concerned about this.  We are never going to be able to lower tuition, because at Penn State there are two principle sources of funds for educational mission, tuition and legislative appropriation.  There has been one year in the last 20 where legislative appropriation has even kept up with inflation, let alone paid for any of the new bills, or the super inflationary costs, that we have at the University.  We would like to keep tuition increases as low as possible, but we are never going to able to lower tuition unless we are prepared to stop giving faculty raises for two or three years, and that is done at some Universities but we don’t buy that philosophy here.  Penn State’s budget is as open and user friendly in its openness, as any University that I know of.  Forget Right-To-Know, you can go to the Penn State homepage and go to the link for our budget.  What we have on there is the equivalent of 5,000 printed pages of budget information.  If you want to know what the departmental allotment is for any department on campus you can find it on the Web.  If you want to find out what Assistant Professors in the College of Education make, compared to Associate Professors in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, you can go and find out, we do not put the name right behind them, but they are there.  A lot of what we hear about not being available is truly available.  We get 1,600 hits a day on that Web site with people looking at the budget, and we get several million hits a year with people looking at that budget and accountability Web site.  It is hard to imagine what other kind of additional transparency people would want to know to see how the University budget is actually dispersed and managed. 

 

I don’t really think that tuition is any higher or lower because of matters of transparency. If people were thinking that they could see a particular purchasing voucher in a department, and see what amount of money that department spent, then go on the Web to see if it is less money, then would that prove they are not managing their money, and that could lower tuition? You can check for money not being spent properly, but we have professionals in purchasing who would do that, and do it well.  You can look at someone’s travel voucher and see that person stayed in a hotel room for $240.00, when I checked and there was a room available for $189.00 down the street, so that is money not well spent.  What they may not know is that is where the convention was taking place, and there is a reason they are all staying in that hotel.

 

 I don’t minimize for a moment the importance of trying to keep our tuition down, but I would say to all of you that this is a major issue hanging over our heads every time we make a budget decision at the University.  The single biggest trade off that we will make in the coming weeks, once we get more information where the legislature is going to end up is how big faculty and staff raises can be in relation to our efforts to keep tuition down below certain numbers.  Those are the two biggest items, and we don’t have control over a lot of other items, like what the increasing cost of health benefits may be, or what the State Employee Retirement System says we have to kick into your retirement benefits, or the utility bill that we get, or overtime pay for snow shoveling.  There are very few things in that budget that we actually have control over, and I hope this is helpful to you and good luck in your campaign.

 

JoAnn Chirico, Penn State Beaver:  Could you reconcile for me your comments of the last University Faculty Senate meeting, where you appeared to give the Senate an invitation to give you tools to create a more equitable situation for a large number of fixed-term faculty, and your action which created a situation which would reward a very small number of those faculty. 

 

President Spanier:  I only realized after the Senate meeting that the question that was asked of me had something to do with that piece of legislation.  We have a set of issues at this University, as do all Universities, about fixed-term faculty members. Penn State is ahead of most Universities in keeping our numbers of tenured or tenure-track faculty up. We have found that the growth in the number of this type of faculty is more than the other type of faculty, and we are trying hard to stay away from moving in that direction.  As long as we are going to have such faculty, we are going to have to look for ways to help them feel like they belong. We want to reward them whether it is with appropriate salary increases, or to use the system that we did not put into place until a number of years ago where instructors can become senior instructors, and lecturers can become senior lecturers. We have mechanisms like that and that was something I strongly supported.

 

When I got your recommendation on this particular approach of Professor of Practice, we realized that there were some issues and in some ways I found that a different issue than the one related to the issue that you are raising.  What we learned is there are a lot of different interpretations about what Professor of Practice meant.  Some people saw it the way you are describing, which is a promotional opportunity to reward fixed-term, or adjunct faculty members who have been doing a great job for years and now need to have something bigger and better. What people thought Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Practice meant were found to have different interpretations.

 

We are also very concerned that there is a lot of anxiety because some of them thought that faculty on their campus who were supporting the change went right ahead and promoted everybody.  Some of the tenured and tenure-track faculty were saying that they worked all their life to get a doctorate or terminal degree, to be subjected to certain hiring and promotion and tenure standards, and now you are going to bring someone into the same zone I am in and it is a different deal.  We have had other colleges saying, “ no way,” we do not see putting anyone in that, and we decided if there is a Professor of Practice concept that makes sense, and the rationale for that which we think was reasonably clear was something that we would have done.  Setting it up as a parallel system to make it look, act, and feel like our typical professorial ranks was not intended by a lot of people, and even if it was intended by some, we just thought that was not a workable system for us.  I apologize if there was the perception that the comment I made was inconsistent, or if you went ahead and passed it because you thought that was what I was endorsing.  If I got your vote for that reason thank you, but I hope I explained it.

 

Mary Beth Clark:   I didn’t vote for the proposal because of your comments but had I known it was going to happen for legislation, I may have voted differently.

 

President Spanier:   This was a tough one for us, this is the first or second time in 12 years that I have sent something back and said “no” and we tried to write the letter in a very nice way.  We were saying “yes, but” as opposed to just no.  There was something good that came out of it and Rod and Blannie will work with the Deans and Chancellors to implement that in a way that is as positive as can be.  We do not want to close the door to future discussions about what we can do for our part-time and fixed-term faculty. 

 

Alexandros  , College of Medicine: I am a psychiatrist and yesterday while I was leaving the campus there were a lot of my colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry speaking about rumors that all the patient services are going to regroup out of the main campus to some undisclosed location.  Can you clarify those rumors about relocating?

 

President Spanier:  Are you saying that the medical center is relocating to an undisclosed location; do you mean that they won’t be able to find you?

 

Alexandros Vgontzas:  No, if I could phrase it better, the rumors are stating that we are moving somewhere, and it could be here in State College, York, or a private hospital.

 

President Spanier:  I am not aware that anything has been decided, but I do know there are serious space issues at Hershey, and as they build new facilities there are things that are moving around.  I had a tour of the construction that is underway, and the entire Department of Pharmacology will still be on campus, but you would have to change your parking space if you are in that department.  On two-thirds of the 365 days last year, the bed occupancy of the medical center was over 96 percent, and there are some days when it is over 100 percent, which you are not allowed to be.  The good news is that there are so many people coming to Hershey for the very high-level care that we are just booked solid, and we need more space for patient beds.  As we build the new cancer center, and the new children’s hospital that will eventually happen, and units that have the ability to be moved around to create those spaces are the most likely ones where that would happen. I don’t know how far along discussions might be on what units are in the pipe-line for move, or what the specific situation is for Psychiatry.

 

Alexandros Vgontzas:  The opinion of all the Department of Psychiatry is that we would like to stay within the campus because we believe the department is a necessary part of the clinical activities of a medical center.  I would not have a problem being moved within the campus, but we believe moving miles away from the campus would lead to marginalization and fracturing of the department, and that could negatively affect our academic mission.

 

President Spanier:  You heard rumors about moving to York? 

 

Alexandros Vgontzas:  As far south as York, or as far north as State College.

 

President Spanier:  This is a great place up here.

 

Ricardo Torres, University Park Undergraduate Association Representative: Due to the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, has the administration considered having the service of PSU text, or something similar to that, instead of students opting in they could opt out?  We feel the way it was managed at Virginia Tech that all students should carry their cell phones to classes. 

 

President Spanier:  Penn State was on the leading edge of adopting text messaging service, and I am told it has been used about 20 times.  It has turned out to be a marvelous tool, and almost all faculty and staff have cell phones.  Being the early adopter of such services, we made it voluntary, and 4,000 students signed up and they have received messages this year.   When the Curtain road water main broke, and we had to close down that part of campus we sent out a text message.  When there was a security emergency at the University Park airport and there were going to be delays, we also sent out a text message.  In the 48 hours after the Virginia Tech shooting, we went from 4,000 to 11,000 people voluntarily signing up for the service.  What we are going to do starting with the coming academic year is make it mandatory.  We are going to pay for the service for everyone being a subscriber, including faculty and staff, but you will get a message from your phone company verifying that you are willing to be on it.  You will have to press a “yes” or “no” button to say that I am willing to receive those emergency messages, and if they didn’t go through that process then spamming companies could take advantage of this and sign you up. We are redesigning the e-lion pages so that when you go on, you will get an initial screen to verify your emergency contact information and you state if it is correct or not.  The people need to be commended that are working on this because they are on the leading edge of making use of the technology that is out.

 

Dennis Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts:  Given what went on last week and what we have had to contend with, the grade distribution report was probably not on your most important reading list. But if you had a chance to look at it, are you at all concerned about the message that the extraordinarily high percentage of As and A minuses, and people showing up on the deans list is sending to people about the standards of the University?

 

President Spanier:  If our students are doing better because we are admitting more brilliant students than we did before and they are working harder, and under your truly expert teaching they are just performing really well, then I am not concerned.  If you are all going soft and just handing out As for the heck of it then I am concerned, and frankly I am not able to gauge where we are on that.  Certainly, nationally there has been an overall grade inflation, and we know that today’s students are in this consumer mode, where they will come in and argue you to death over a minus or a plus, because they feel that they deserve it and their whole life is at stake, based on the grade.  I don’t think at Penn State the change has been so dramatic that there is something wrong with our standards. 

 

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Thank you President Spanier. 

 

As we begin our discussion of reports, I remind you to please stand, wait for the microphone, and identify yourself and the unit you represent before addressing the Senate.

 

FORENSIC BUSINESS

NONE

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

NONE

 

LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

NONE

 

ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

NONE

 

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH

 

Report on Research and Graduate Education, 2007, Appendix C. The presentation given by Eva Pell, Senior Vice President of Research and Dean of the Graduate School is on the Senate Committee on Research Web site.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING

 

Energy and the Environment at Penn State, Appendix D.  Steven Maruszewski, Deputy Associate Vice President for Physical Plant presented Penn State’s plan to reduce its green house gas emissions and energy consumption.  The presentation is posted on the University Planning Web site.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

 

Grade Distribution Report, Appendix I.   Gregory Ziegler, Chair of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education presented this detailed review of grade distribution data for baccalaureate students for each spring semester from 1975-2005.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID

 

Annual Report of High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses, Appendix E.  The annual report on High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses can be found on the Senate Web site. http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2006-2007/apr24-07agn/appe.pdf

 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY BENEFITS

 

Report on Retirement Options, Appendix F.  This report will serve as a resource for retiring Penn State employees.

 

SENATE COUNCIL

Summary of Spring 2007 Officers’ Visits to University Park Units, Appendix G.  The Senate Officers visited the College of Communications, College of Health and Human Development, College of the Liberal Arts, Division of Undergraduate Studies, Eberly College of Science, and the Schreyer Honors College. This report summarizes the meetings with students, faculty, and unit administrators.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT LIFE

Penn State’s Student Activity Fee, Appendix H.  Dale Holen, Chair of the Senate Committee on Student Life presented this report and responded to questions.

REPORT OF SENATE ELECTIONS

Mark Casteel:  Thank you, Dawn.  I have a number of election results to report, but before I do, I would like to thank the nominating committees and the tellers who certified the recent elections.

The first is the election for Senate Council for the 2007-2008 Senate year:
            Ann Schmiedekamp, Penn State Abington
            Brian Tormey, Penn State Altoona
            Daniel Hagen, College of Agricultural Sciences
            Bonj Szczygiel, College of Arts and Architecture
            Zachary Irwin, Behrend College
            Andrew Romberger, Penn State Berks
            James Miles, Smeal College of Business
            John Hellmann, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
            Dorothy Evensen, College of Education
            Lynn Carpenter, College of Engineering
            Winston Richards, Penn State Harrisburg
            Gary Fosmire, Health and Human Development
            Dennis Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts
            Michael Chorney, College of Medicine
            James Strauss, Eberly College of Science
            Thomas Glumac, University College
            John W. Bagby, University Libraries, Combined Departments of Military Science, College of Communications, College of Information Sciences and Technology, Dickinson School of Law, and the Great Valley Graduate Center

Committee on Committees and Rules:

            Elected for two-year terms.
                        Leonard Berkowitz
                        Michael Cardamone
                        Mark Casteel
                        Jamie Myers
                        Tramble Turner

            Elected for a one-year term.
                        Gregory Ziegler

University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee:

Elected for two-year terms.
            Ali Kara          
            Cynthia Lightfoot
            Elizabeth Susman
            Edgar Yoder

Standing Joint Committee on Tenure

Elected for three-year terms.
            Linda Miller, member
            Jane Sutton, alternate

Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities:

Elected for three-year terms.
Faculty from University Park
           
Jamie Myers member
            Lynn Carpenter, alternate

Faculty other than University Park
            Tramble Turner, member
            Barbara Wiens-Tuers, alternate

Deans:  (three-year terms)
            Christian Brady, member
            Daniel Larson, alternate

Faculty Advisory Committee to the President:

            Leonard Berkowitz

Secretary of the Senate:

            Pamela Hufnagel

Chair-Elect of the Senate:

            Ingrid Blood

Thank you.  Congratulations to everyone.

COMMENTS BY OUTGOING CHAIR

Chair-Elect Blasko:  I know Yana is very disappointed not to be here today, and she had some closing comments to share with you.  The immediate Past-Chair of the Senate is always invited to make a presentation to the Board of Trustees at their May meeting.  Yana will be making her comments on May 18 and we will post her presentation to the Board of Trustees on the Senate Web site. 

SEATING OF NEW OFFICERS

Now we turn to the seating of our new officers.  Pam Hufnagel may take Mark’s seat, and Ingrid Blood please take my seat. I will reserve the majority of my remarks for the fall meeting, but I would like to say that one of my goals is to help improve shared governance across the University.  As you know, the Senate officers visit all of the campus and colleges over a three year cycle, but that is a long time for important issues to wait.  I will be writing to the faculty leaders of each college and campus this summer to explore ways to improve communications between the University Faculty Senate and local governance bodies.  I hope this would lead to regular forums where shared areas of interest and concern will be discussed.  Now that George is retiring, you’re probably all wondering who your new Parliamentarian will be, so I am pleased to announce that Jean Landa Pytel will serve as Parliamentarian for the next Senate year.  Jean is the Assistant Dean for Student Services and Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics.  Jean plans to spend her summer committing to memory the tenth edition of “Robert’s Rules of Orders.”

NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

NONE

COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

Are there any comments?

Michael Anderson: I would like to comment about shared governance and I want to make an announcement that shared governance also extends to students.  The UPUA is undergoing a constitutional amendment process and at the end of the process the Faculty Senate is able to appoint a person to a constitutional review board to check those processes.  I was wondering if that person has been appointed yet.

Chair-Elect Blasko:  I do not know the answer to that but we will find out for you.

ADJOURNMENT

May I have a motion to adjourn?

Senators:  So moved.

Chair-Elect Blasko:  All in favor please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair-Elect Blasko:  Motion carries.  The April 24, 2007, meeting was adjourned at 3:46 p.m.

The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will take place on Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in 112 Kern Graduate Building.