Senate Record - October 24, 2006

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THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

T H E†† S E N A T E†† R E C O R D

 

Volume 40 ----- October 24, 2006 -----Number 2

 

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 ďPublications.Ē 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 and 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 October 24, 2006††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

II.                 Minutes and Summary of Remarks††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††† Attendance†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 


 

FINAL AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 24, 2006

 

A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING††

Minutes of the September 12, 2006, Meeting in The Senate Record
40:1 [www.senate.psu.edu/record/index.html]
††

B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE   

Senate Curriculum Report of October 10, 2006 and Update on the   
Implementation of Uniform Course Abbreviation Legislation     
[www.senate.psu.edu/curriculum_resources/bluesheet/bluex.html]    

C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting of October 10, 2006

D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR†††

E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY††


F. FORENSIC BUSINESS

G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL REPORT                
University Budget and Planning Report - [Report withdrawn]   
Presentation by Executive Vice President and
   
Provost Rodney A. Erickson 
                

H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

Committees and Rules

Revision to the Constitution, Article II, Section 1 (Membership)     

Research 

Integration of Strategic Research Institutes with the Colleges

I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid 

Report on Access and Affordability at Penn State

J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid 

Report on Faculty Senate Scholarships Awarded to Undergraduates   

Intercollegiate Athletics

Academic Eligibility and Athletic Scholarships for 2005-2006 
NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Annual Report
Overview of Issues Related to the Administrative
Responsibilities for Intercollegiate Athletics within the University   

Outreach

The Effectiveness of Online Education   

 Student Life

New Student Government Report – [Report withdrawn]

K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS    

L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY   


 

The University Faculty Senate

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, at 1:30 PM

 

The UniversityFaculty Senate met on Tuesday, October 24, 2006, at 1:30 p.m.

in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with Joanna Floros, Chair, presiding.

 

 

MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

 

 

Chair Floros:The April 25, 2006, Senate Record was not approved at the last meeting because of an attribution concern.

 

Professor Robert Speel of Penn State Erie has asked to have a notation appear in the April 25,2006,

Senate Record to reflect that he is not the author of the e-mail quote attributed to him by Harrisburg Senator Winston Richards at the April 25, 2006, Senate meeting during the discussion of the Disciplinary Communities report.

 

May I hear a motion to accept the minutes of April 25 and September 12, 2006, please say aye.

 

Senators:Aye.

 

Chair Floros:Opposed say nay.Ayes have it, motion carried.

 

The minutes of the April 25 and September 12, 2006, meeting have been approved.

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

 

Senate Curriculum Report of October 10, 2006.This document is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site: http://senate.psu.edu.

 

Also included in the Communication to the Senate, Appendix A, is a copy of the letter sent to Deans, ACUE members, Chancellors, and DAAs with an update on the implementation of the Uniform Course Abbreviation legislation.On the back of the letter is a status sheet giving an overview of where we stand consolidating disciplinary abbreviations.We have made good progress but have more to do.There are 22 disciplinary areas where work is in progress and ten that are unresponsive (borrowing Lee Kumpís phrase).Please urge your colleagues to move forward and submit the expedited proposals by the deadline of December 15, 2006.

 

 

 

REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL Ė Meeting of October 10, 2006

 

Enclosed in todayís agenda are the minutes from the October 10 meeting of Senate Council.I refer you to the minutes of Senate Council at the end of your agenda.Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed by the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President at the October 10 meeting.At the October 10 Senate Council meeting a special presentation on Penn Stateís Pandemic Response Plan was given by the director of University Health Services, Dr. Margaret Spear.The pandemic discussion document may be found on the Senate Council

Web site: http:senate.psu.edu/aboutsenate/committees/SC/SC.html.

 

 

COMMENTS BY THE CHAIR

 

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

 

The Senate officers have completed our fall visits to campuses and will debrief Provost Erickson and Vice President Romano on December 4.

 

Penn State will host the annual CIC Faculty Governance meeting on November 3 and 4.We are expecting 25 to 30 participants representing all CIC institutions.Libraries Dean Nancy Eaton, and Provost Erickson will be heading up a panel discussion on Scholarly Communications.Also, Kim Steiner, Chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities; Blannie Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; and Peter Deines, the University Ombudsman, will facilitate a discussion on grievance procedures.

 

The Senate has received a proposal for the establishment of a new School of International Affairs and four Senate committees: Faculty Affairs, Intra-University Relations, Research, and University Planning reviewed this proposal at their meetings this morning.Senate Council will take action on this proposal at the November 21 meeting.

 

Although the Senate is a faculty-driven body of governance, we believe that the Senate functions at its best when there is administrative input.To this end, we have requested the presence and participation of senior administrators in most of our standing committees.I want to remind all senior administrators that we value your input and encourage you to please attend and participate in Senate committee deliberations.If you canít attend a Senate meeting, please ask another administrator in your office to attend.I want to believe that reports coming to Senate Council and the full Senate are the result of genuine debate where all relevant faculty and administrative points of view are discussed.

 

On September 22, Jeremy Cohen, Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, and I co-charged a work group to examine the academic issues associated with online courses and programs.Senate Chair-Elect Dawn Blasko and ACUE Chair Dave Christiansen agreed to co-chair this work group.Also serving are Greg Ziegler, Chris Falzone, Nancy Herron, and Jack Selzer.This is a fast-track work group and they will make their recommendations to Jeremy and me by the end of November.

 

Because of questions raised over the last two months concerning student representation on the Senate, at its meeting this morning, the Committee on Committees and Rules has approved the following interpretation:

 

Based on the Senate Constitution Article 11, Section 5 and Electoral procedures approved by the Elections Commission, the student Senators elected in spring 2006 representing each of the 11 colleges and DUS at University Park are the duly elected student senators and their terms will end following the April 2007 meeting of the Senate.

 

Any procedures and elections for college student representatives developed by the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) during the current academic year must be approved by the Senate Elections Commission and will take effect for the 2007-2008 Senate year.

 

The officially recognized University Park student government is now UPUA.Consequently, under Article 11, Section 5, (c), (3) UPUA shall determine the one constitutionally-mandated University Park student government representative for the December 5, 2006, Senate meeting.The Standing Rules specify student representation on two standing committees.Consequently, UPUA shall determine University Park student representation on the Senate Committees on Student Life and Undergraduate Education for the remainder of the Senate year.

 

 

COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

 

President Spanier is with us today, and I am pleased to ask him to come forward and make his comments.

 

President Spanier:Thank you and good afternoon everyone.Let me begin by telling you that within a few days we will have our official enrollment totals for this fall, and they will end up being pretty much along the lines of what we were expecting as classes began to unfold.We will almost certainly have a record number of students on this campus.It probably will end up around 42,000 students, maybe a few more, pretty much at the upper limit of what we expect to happen at this campus going forward.We also had within that group the largest freshman class in Penn State history.We also had a significant increase over the previous year in the number of students at our campuses collectively around the state.This is a good enrollment situation for us as we closed out last year.If Iím recollecting the number correctly, we ended up last year with what is probably an all time record number of applications in higher education; 94,536 is the number I remember. I might be off a couple; that was a hugh level of interest in Penn State.I want to give you an amazing number.It is early in the cycle, but we already have thousands of applications in for next summer and fallís entering class, and I can tell you the flow of applications for this coming year is up 24 percent over last year.We are not exactly sure what is happening, but surely it is due to the phenomenal teaching that all of you are doing. The word has to be out there about the quality of the faculty at this University.I do believe that is part of it, and of course there are other things I think we are doing well also.That is a great success for everyone. That number, as I say, is early and could continue to vary, but it seems unlikely at this point that last year was a fluke and that number will just level off or diminish.This must be causing major headaches for our admissions folks who have to figure out who to admit from within that group and how many of them are likely to accept our offer.We want to urge you to continue to be flexible in your departments, colleges, campuses by accommodating whoever does arrive. Remember we still have a very big busy spring semester ahead of us because the students who were freshman with us in the fall will still be here and everyone else will be with us in the spring. We need to continue to work hard on their behalf to find spots for all of them in our classes.

 

Our four Dean searches are well under way.One of them will be concluded very shortly and the others are into the process. We will continue to give you updates on the progress of those searches along the way.

 

A campus like this is very large and includes more than 50,000 people on campus on any given day, and tens of thousands more than that on a football weekend.It is like a small city in many respects and we do have our own special brand of issues and problems.Over the weekend, we had a very unfortunate violent suicide; I think most of you have probably read about it by now. I mention it now only to take an opportunity to commend our University police, our Student Affairs staff, and our staff at Housing and Residence Life, who did a phenomenal job. Many of these people were up around the clock as we had a bit of a stand-off that went throughout the night.We had to take care of our students and we had to take care of some public safety issues. We had to coordinate what we did with other law enforcement agencies and with family members of those involved. Our folks really stepped up and did a fabulous job and I am very grateful for the work they did.

 

The State of the University address that we did a little differently this year in September has now been downloaded and viewed by nearly 50,000 people.That is quite remarkable given that the fraction of that number saw or viewed the address previously in a more traditional format, so I think we will continue to use that format. I want to take this opportunity to thank many of you here who sent me emails afterwards and followed up with comments about the address.I think we will probably continue with doing things that way; the only difference will be for those of you that came to Eisenhower Auditorium expecting to get ice cream before the address. We canít transmit that ice cream to you via DVD, but if you bump into me on campus at some point and remind me that you are missing the ice cream, Iíll buy you an ice cream cone at the Creamery.

 

My television show, To the Best of My Knowledge, is on tonight at 7:00, and I would like to point out to you that the topic this week is todayís college students.Some of you have written me notes after my speech at the Chautauqua Institution this summer and suggested that it would be a good topic for a television show, so we have a couple of our students who are going to be on.It will be broadcast on WPSU TV, WPSU FM and the Pennsylvania Cable Network, for those of you who will be traveling back home and might want to tune in or call and ask these students a question.If you are out of touch with our students today, this would be a good time to tune in and see what some of them are all about.

 

I want to commend to you the Penn State adaptation of the Broadway musical, Urinetown which is now playing on campus.Its stars feature a whole bunch of our musical theatre students, so if you have a chance to see this at the playhouse you will be truly amazed at the quality displayed by the musical theatre students and how that program is evolved.Even if you saw it on Broadway, you should go see this production. It is a great musical and I am very proud that we are doing it here at Penn State.

 

Our Penn State womenís soccer team is to be commended for winning their ninth Big Ten title; that is quite an amazing feat.My understanding is that there has been only one other sports team in the history of the Big Ten Conference that has won that many conference championships in a row in any sport, and when we win it next year we will have that record, too. They are to be commended. I also mention to you that we have an undefeated, number two ranked womenís volleyball team. That is an amazing phenomenon to experience.They are out of town this weekend, but next weekend they will have home matches on Friday and Saturday night.That is a real treat if you can get out to the womenís volleyball games.

 

Finally, let me say that this Sunday morning daylight savings time ends, so change your clocks so you are not late to your classes Monday morning.With that I will open it up for your questions.

 

Chair Floros:Are there any questions for President Spanier?Please stand and wait for the microphone before you give your name and unit.

 

Robert Zambanini, Penn State Berks:Good afternoon, President Spanier.My name is Bob Zambanini, from Berks, where it doesnít snow in October.I believe when I first met you, you were playing the washboard, and I was asking you about the geographical center of the state.I have a question about the incident in the Miami vs. Florida International football game; it is a two-part question for you. First of all, what would be Penn Stateís response if it happened at a Penn State game, and secondly have you discussed the incident with coach Paterno?Thank you.

 

President Spanier:Let me say, first of all, that would be an excellent question for our athletic director who is going to be making a presentation here shortly.That is a very disturbing episode that we saw and that we occasionally see on the field in football and in some other sports at other universities.That would not come close to being typical behavior that we would see at Penn State; our football coach would not stand for that.He gets pretty excited if we have a player who goes into the end zones after scoring a touchdown and shows any level of excitement.We try to tone all of that down here because that is not the way we like to see the game played.There have been sanctions imposed locally at those universities for those players, and of course their conference commissioner and the NCAA have said that it is unacceptable.We would find that to be unacceptable here. Both Tim Curly and I would take a very strong position on sanctions and follow up if we ever saw anything like that.That is just very highly unlikely at Penn State, Iím glad to say.

 

Chair Floros:Any other questions?

 

Thomas Beebee, College of the Liberal Arts:President Spanier, in the packet for todayís Senate meeting is a long report on financial aid at Penn State.I was wondering if you read it and if you have any comments, or if you have anything to say about the financial aid situation at Penn State, particularly in view of these hordes of students who apparently want to come here.

 

President Spanier:I havenít read this particular report; I have been out of town.It was included in the Senate agenda, I gather?

 

Thomas Beebee:Yes.

 

President Spanier:I have not looked at that yet, and I donít know if there is any news. Is there anything new or different in that report?Yes, the trends continue. The trends have been very challenging for us, we give out a very substantial amount of financial aid at Penn State, but unfortunately a growing portion of it is in loans.Therefore, our students are graduating with an increasing level of debt.At this point in our history, we are able, sometimes with difficulty, but we are able to put a financial aid package together for every in-state student between grants, loans, scholarships, work-study, personal family finances.That is very important to us because we believe so strongly in keeping the doors of opportunity open to our students.I am not sure anymore if we can necessarily say that for all of our out-of-state students because the cost of out-of-state students is such that even with a full level of financial aid it may be difficult for them to put a package together.We do our best and are able to take care of most of the out-of-state students as well. The difficult part of it again is that they are graduating with debt that, on the average, is approaching $25,000 a year; is that pretty close to the number?So thatís something that we regret very much and is always on our minds as we go into the process of setting tuition each year.Some people look at a number like that and they say that so many of our graduates are going out there and getting great jobs, they will be able to pay that off quickly, and for the Penn State education that they get, it is not so bad.That might be true if you are graduating in Engineering and starting at $50,000 a year or more in salary, but for a lot of our students, they and their family see that number as pretty scary. It all depends on how you are looking at it.

 

A major theme of our fundraising efforts right now is scholarships.I am on the road the majority of my time now as we begin the process of getting ready for our next major capital fundraising campaign.Scholarship financial aid for students will continue to be a very significant part of what we are looking for in that campaign. That campaign will focus very much on Penn State students, so we do worry about the financial aid.The total amount of aid that we give out now from all of those sources I mentioned is several hundred million dollars.Is that right; I am remembering about five hundred and some million dollars?Almost seven hundred million dollars now? We still have unmet needs, so that tells you how big the scope of the problem is for us.

 

Chair Floros:†† Any other questions?

 

JoAnn Chirico, Penn State Beaver:This is a follow-up question to the last.I think it was only in the Post Gazette last weekend that there was an article about merit aid vs. need base aid, but I donít remember the numbers; I wasnít anticipating asking the question.It said something like 14 percent of Penn Stateís aid was now going to merit students in comparison to Pitt, which was something like seven percent.Because the whole article was in light of equity sorts of issues, I didnít think it looked particularly good, and especially no one like Anna was interviewed for the article that could shed more light on that.Is there a public perception about Penn Stateís concern for this issue that might be incorrect?

 

President Spanier:I think we have a pretty good balance at Penn State. Thereís been some other data published recently, some of you have seen it, itís a ranking of all of the major universities in the country and what percentage of their students are oversimplified poor students.Penn State is near the top nationally, so we do a very good job in keeping the doors of opportunity wide open for students, and putting financial aid packages together.Some of the universities that are wealthier than we are brag about all of the support they give to poor students; they have only a tiny percentage of their student bodies that are really poor enough to qualify for the aid that they give.Far and away the overwhelming preponderance of financial assistance that Penn State oversees is given on a need- based basis.Having said that, however, we do have some merit-based aid that we give for students in the Schreyers Honors College, and for students in some of the other academic colleges.To put it simply, when we ask donors for funds, we try to steer them as much as possible to need-based aid because that is where our need is greatest.That is the entire principle behind the trustee scholarship program, which we actually match internally. You have to understand that we have many donors who simply believe in merit-based aid.This is their own private philanthropy and what they would like to do with their funds is to support the most brilliant, high achieving students. We are very happy to accept funds that way as well.At Penn State somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 percent of our students receive some sort of financial assistance. There is a pretty good chance, probably four chances in five on the average, that students who are getting merit-based aid also have financial need, so it is not two mutually exclusive categories.We are out there welcoming merit-based aid as well, but the preponderance of our time is spent securing need-based aid, and I think we have a very good balance at Penn State.

 

Chair Floros:Ray Bryer, an officer of the Student Labor Action Project and member of United Students Against Sweatshops, has asked for the opportunity to ask President Spanier a question.The Senate Officers support his request.Ray, would you please stand, wait for the microphone and ask Dr. Spanier your question.

 

Racquel Scianna:I am speaking on behalf of Ray.President Spanier, I represent a growing student organization at Penn State called United Students Against Sweatshops.We are part of a national movement that is working to ensure that overseas factories producing university licensed apparel respect the basic rights of workers.We believe that a great University like Penn State should be a leader in this area, and ask that our University join other great universities, like the Universities of Wisconsin, Iowa, Berkley, Indiana, Duke, Georgetown, UCLA, Cornell, and Columbia and consider adopting a designated supplier program.Other Big Ten universities have set up student faculty administration advisory committees on labor standards and human rights.Sir, are you willing to open such a dialogue with us and other members of the University community?

 

President Spanier:Well, letís see.How many of you were in my office recently?Just the two of you, and none of you here.And how many of you read my most recent letter to your organization about this?You all have?I think you know pretty much where I stand right now; let me just clarify a couple of things.I just returned one hour ago from Washington D.C. from the Association of American Universities Presidentsí meeting where I think all of the presidents of the institutions you mentioned were represented, and I think, first of al, you have a bit of a misconception about those schools having signed on to the designated supplier program; I donít think that is accurate.Several institutions, including Penn State, are very much in a wait and see mode about that.

 

On September 29, a group issued a statement representing a designated suppliers approach with a list of suggestions and compromises from an earlier memorandum that they had issued on the subject.I have read that document and find that it is a step in the right direction, but there are still many unanswered questions, not the least of which is a major anti-trust issue.In fact, that memorandum concludes saying that all of the things weíve said here would require the Department of Justice issuing an anti-trust opinion which would allow us to do the things that we are proposing.Until such time as that occurs, I think it would be very risky for Penn State or other institutions to sign on to a program that has uncertain legality, at least according to U.S. laws.There are other problems with that proposal that need to be sorted out.

 

Penn State has been a leader in dealing with responsibility in this area.Our Assistant Vice President for Finance and Business, Dan Sieminski, oversees our records there, and we have a member of the staff who attends essentially every meeting in the country, regardless of whether itís the WRC or the FLA or the DSP programs looking at this.There are, in fact, three meetings coming up in the coming weeks at the national level where Penn State would be represented in those discussions.So I know thatís kind of a long answer, but what I would say is that we are very much monitoring this discussion.I really donít expect that anything would change much during this academic year.I think I said in my last letter on this, that we would probably wait until the summer to see if any of this has been sorted out, and then regroup to see where we want to go from there.It is very much on our radar screen, and we are very concerned as are all the other universities that you mentioned, and others that you didnít mention, that apparel that is manufactured that has Penn State logos and insignia on it, be done in the most responsible way with the benefit of the workers producing that apparel in mind.

 

Chair Floros: Any other questions. Thank you President Spanier.

 

President Spanier:Thank you very much.

 

Chair Floros: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 Ė NONE

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS Ė NONE

 

SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL REPORT

 

Provost Erickson had a family emergency and is not able to be with us today.His presentation can be viewed at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2006-2007/oct24-06agn/appb_budget.pdf

 

LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

 

We have a Legislative report from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules.This report appears on todayís agenda as Appendix C entitled Revision to the Constitution, Article II, Section 1 (Membership).Committee Chair Deidre Jago will present this report and respond to questions.

 

Because this legislative report is a proposed amendment to the Constitution, it will be discussed today and then tabled until the December 5 Senate meeting.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES

Revision to the Constitution, Article II, Section 1 Membership, Appendix C

Deidre E. Jago, Chair

 

Chair Jago:Thank you Joanna.Appendix C lists the request, the legislative item that the Committee on Committees Rules has requested to be made.The simple change is that the parenthetical phrase is being eliminated.There are four voting units that will be mostly affected by this: Business, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Health and Human Development, and Science.Those are the four units that we have identified.We think that this will probably enable the colleges to more uniformly identify their voting constituents or the representatives who are going to be considered for faculty representation.Do you have any questions about what this means to you?

 

Gary Catchen, Engineering:I donít have any question concerning the content, but I have a comment concerning the word faculty as it is used here.The word faculty is singular, and in this text it is used as plural, it is not correct. I think it should be corrected.

 

Chair Jago: Are you looking on Page 2?

 

Gary Catchen:No, I am thinking of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.Because you are amending it, why not amend the grammatical errors in it at the same time.

 

Chair Jago:Ok but on page two under the recommendation thatís where faculty is showing up wrong.

 

Gary Catchen:Thatís ok; I am just pointing out that the Article II, as it stands has these errors in it, and we should correct them, being the people in the business of correcting errors.

 

Chair Jago:We will make that change.

 

Gary Catchen:Thank you.

 

Chair Jago:Anyone else?Again, this will be voted on next month

 

Inaudible:This is in terms of representation; itís also in terms of being a candidate for being on the Senate as well.Does it go both ways?

 

Chair Jago:Yes.

 

Chair Floros:Thank you Chair Jago.

 

ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

 

We have two Advisory and Consultative reports today.

 

The first report comes from the Senate Committee on Research and appears on todayís Agenda as Appendix E entitled Integration of Strategic Research Institutes within the Colleges.Committee Chair Mark Kester will present this report.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH

Integration of Strategic Research Institutes within the Colleges

 

Mark Kester, College of Medicine:The Senate Committee on Research has been meeting for the last two years and looking at the Strategic Research Institutes that are under the Office of Senior Vice President for Research, Dr. Eva Pell.These include the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Materials Research Institute, Penn State Institutes of the Environment, Social Science Research Institute, as well as the Institute for Arts and Humanities.For the most part, the Senate Committee on Research believes that the Strategic Research Institutes serve an intellectual and educational resources for the entire University.Moreover, they provide the infrastructure necessary for major grants and major educational research initiatives. However, the Senate Committee on Research decided that all of the institutes could do more outreach to colleges, campuses, and interconnected groups of faculty members. We put together three groups of recommendations, one asking the Senior Vice President for Research to clarify the mission of the Strategic Research Institutes towards outreach to the colleges, campuses, and groups of faculty members.The second group of recommendations basically asks the directors of the Strategic Research Institutes to disseminate information to faculty that outreach opportunities are important to their mission and will benefit the entire University, as well as the colleges and campuses. The third recommendation asks for the possibility of an Institute Day where the Strategic Research Institutes can begin to advertise their message of inclusiveness toward the colleges and campuses across the entire Penn State community.Iím open for questions.

 

Chair Floros: Questions for Mark?I see none.This report has been brought to the floor by the Committee and needs no second.Are we ready to vote?All those in favor of this report please say aye.

 

Senators:Aye.

 

Chair Floros:Opposed say Nay.†† The ayes have it and the motion carries.The Senate has approved this Advisory and Consultative Report. It will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation.Thank you.

 

The second report comes from the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid, and appears on todayís Agenda as Appendix D entitled Report on Access and Affordability at Penn State.

 

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

Access and Affordability at Penn State

 

This is a very important report and has been in the making for almost two years.I urge you to read it carefully and discuss the contents with your colleagues.As Penn Stateís tuition has risen, more and more students and their families experience financial distress.Last year 80 percent of Penn Stateís undergraduates received some type of financial assistance.

 

Committee Chair Catherine Harmonosky, subcommittee Chair Milton Cole, and subcommittee member Anna Griswold will present this report.

 

Catherine Harmonsky, ARSSA:Milton Cole is not a senator this year, and he has a class right now, and the reason why the reports were switched is we were waiting for him to come, so we will continue without him.Iíll just make a few opening remarks.There are three other members of the subcommittee that are here today and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.The report that you have in front of you on Access and Affordability at Penn State, as Chair Floros mentioned has been two years in the making and is a combination of the work of several groups.I would like to acknowledge and thank Lynda Goldstein, who was the chair of the 2004-2005 ARSSA committee. She raised the awareness of this issue within our committee. Subsequently, in September 2005, a subcommittee was appointed comprised of Milton Cole, Frederick Brown, Anna Griswold, and Randall Deike.They gathered and analyzed the data from Penn State and other institutions in an iterative manner with the subcommittee and the full committee both last year and this year, then we developed the final report that you have.

 

We feel that the report contains important information regarding trends, both in tuition and sources for aid here at Penn State as well as other institutions, to give us a little broader perspective of the issue.We hope that this report can be used as a constructive element in efforts to focus some attention on getting more aid for our students in terms of need-based aid as President Spanier was mentioning.We hope this can contribute to the efforts to get funding for these types of scholarships.We hope this report will ensure that Penn State, as the Commonwealthís land-grant institution, will remain accessible to all of the children of the Commonwealth who are academically eligible.Finally, the Committee would like to thank Senate Council for the feedback which has made this a stronger report.With that, I will be pleased to respond to questions.The other members of the subcommittee will also help answer those questions, as needed.

 

Chair Floros:Thank you; any questions?

 

John Selzer, College of the Liberal Arts:Thank you for this fine report; it is very informative.Is there a difference in the debt that graduating seniors have incurred between University Park graduates and non University Park colleges?Is there really a substantial difference?

 

Catherine Harmonosky:With respect to the debt, I canít recall if we broke that out or if that was University-wide.I think Anna Griswold can help with that.

 

Anna Griswold:I do not have current information about average debt at the campuses.We did pull that several years ago.There were some differences but not significant,when you consider that there are a higher percentage of some of our immediate students located at the campuses.What we do know across all students with average debt, and our most recent data shows average debt across all graduating students that borrowed is right around $23,000.For students with the lowest income though, that averages $28,000.My guess is if we ran those numbers we would see on average somewhat higher than the average for the total population of all students.But again, lower income students are graduating with higher debt than our middle income and higher income students who hover closer to the average.

 

Catherine Harmonosky:Let me just also add something which was in the report; this is in addition to any loans that parents might secure.That is only the student loan information that you were just given, and in addition, many times parents incur loans on their own.

 

Chair Floros:Senator Berkowitz.

 

Leonard Berkowitz, Penn State York:I have nothing but praise for the report and the recommendations.I do have a question that perhaps you have an answer to, or perhaps you do not.On Page 19 of the report, in a section entitled Trends in Student Persistence to Graduation, you point out something that weíve seen for quite a while and that is for students beginning at University Park, the five-year graduation rate is much higher than for those who begin at other campuses, in particular 83 percent vs. 48 percent graduated somewhere at Penn State.What I would like to ask is, do you have information about those who graduated somewhere else because so many of the students who begin at other campuses never plan to finish at Penn State, and information in reports like this make it look like thereís a problem when there isnít one. It would be very useful to have information that includes those people who went on as they planned from the beginning and graduated somewhere else within those five years.

 

Catherine Harmonosky:Right, I think Randall Deike has some information regarding that question.

 

Randall Deike:We subscribe to a service through the National Student Clearinghouse that allows us to actually track students who leave Penn State.Where do they enroll and how many of them graduate?We havenít updated this information in the last two years.The last time we looked, students who began at a campus other than University Park, left the University, enrolled somewhere and graduated somewhere else, there was an additional about 23 or 24 percent of those students who actually graduated.When you look at graduation rates in higher education, roughly 50 percent becomes 73 or 74 percent, when you look across higher education.That is something we want to update.

 

Catherine Harmonosky:Thank you.

 

Gary Catchen, College of Engineering:This really is an excellent report.I want to commend you and the committee.Professor Berkowitz makes a good point.Perhaps this information could be incorporated in a foot note to the table so that we have a realistic view of the attrition rate.

 

Donald Rung, Retired Senator:Maybe I missed it in the report, is this for baccalaureate students or all students at Penn State?

 

Catherine Harmonosky: Itís for all undergraduate students.

 

Donald Rung:Does it include those students at the campuses, for example, that are in two year programs; is that correct?

 

Catherine Harmonosky:I believe it does.

 

Donald Rung:Yes, so therefore, the various statements about accumulated debt and success rates really have to be modified. I suggest that somehow you could either make notes about that or try to clarify it, because it is comparing apples and oranges.

 

Catherine Harmonosky:I think in terms of the loan debt information that we put in the report was a University-wide average, but we will mention it.

 

Anna Griswold:I think the loan debt information is for four-year degree students.Most of the data on the report is about financial aid to all students, associate degree and baccalaureate degree.The number of associate degree students, Randy, do you recall, enrolled?

 

Donald Rung:What I want to argue is that in your tables and in your information you should declare what the cohort is that you are talking about.

 

Catherine Harmonosky:Yes, good idea.

 

Jeffrey Dew, Graduate School Student: I think this is an extremely useful report, and I also think that the recommendations for increasing our fund raising for need-based scholarships are right on.I wonder what we do to help students as they come into Penn State.†† What do we do to help undergraduate students locate alternative sources of funding besides student loans? Do we do that at Penn State?Second, is there a program for the students who are leaving with an average of $25,000 in student loans, an outgoing financial counseling program here at Penn State to help them understand what they have taken on and what they need to do with that?

 

Catherine Harmonosky:Iím not sure of the answer to the second question; I think Anna would have an answer to that. Also with respect to how they would identify sources once they are here, I believe there is quite a bit of information on Web sites and in some cases individual colleges and departments can be helpful and aggressive in that way in terms of letting their students know what scholarships might be particular to their major. I think Anna has some additional information.

 

Anna Griswold:I might just add on our Web site for the Student Aid Office, there are links to major scholarship sites.In addition, outside scholarships, external to Penn State that we learn about in the office, if we know that they apply to a certain cohort of students, we try to identify those students and push that information to them.With respect to students who graduate with loan debt, we are actually required by law but for many more reasons than that, students do go through an exit interview process to talk about their responsibilities as a borrower.In addition, on the front end the first time a student borrows, they also go through an interview session to understand the nature of student loans.

 

Catherine Harmonosky:Thank you, are there any other questions?

 

Chair Floros:This report has been brought to the floor by committee and needs no second, so we are ready to vote.All those in favor of this report, please say aye.

 

Senators:Aye

 

Chair Floros:Opposed nay.The ayes have it.The motion passes.The Senate has approved this Advisory and Consultative report.The report will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation.Thank you Catherine, Anna, and other ARSSA members who contributed to this important report.

 

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

 

ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID

 

Report on Faculty Senate Scholarships Awarded to the Undergraduates Appendix F.Catherine Harmonosky, Chair of Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid presented a report on faculty Senate Scholarships Awarded to Undergraduates.

 

INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

 

Academic Eligibility and Athletic Scholarships for 2005-2006 Appendix G. Scott Kretchmar, NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative gave an annual report on academic eligibility.Graduation Success Rate (GSR) rankings, and overall academic performance of student athletes.

 

NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Annual Report Appendix G. Tim Curley, Penn Stateís Athletic Director, gave an overview of issues related to NCAA academic reform, academic success indicators of the Intercollegiate Athletic program, and challenges facing student athletes.

 

OUTREACH

 

The Effectiveness of Online Education Appendix I.This report prepared by Melody Thompson Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of Doctoral Studies, Adult Education Program gives an overview of the effectiveness of online education.

 

STUDENT LIFE

The New Student Government Report was withdrawn until the December Senate meeting.

 

NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

NONE

 

COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

 

Chair Floros: Are there any comments?

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Chair Floros:May I have a motion to adjourn?

 

Senators:So moved.

 

Chair Floros:All those in favor, please say Aye.

 

Senators:Aye.

 

Chair Floros:Motion carried.The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Graduate Building at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Graduate Building.