THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
THE SENATE RECORD
Volume 39 ----- January 31, 2006 -----Number 4
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, 2005-2006.
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 January 31, 2006
II. Minutes and Summary of Remarks
a. Attendance Appendix I
b. Corrected Copy Appendix II, Revision of Policy HR23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations
FINAL AGENDA FOR JANUARY 31, 2006
A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the December 6, 2005, Meeting in the Senate Record 39:2
B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs
Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of January 17, 2006
C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
F. FORENSIC BUSINESS
G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Committees on Committees and Rules
Revisions to Standing Rules, Article II, Section (k), Senate Committee on Research
Revision of Policy 14-10, Limitation to Enrollment as a Nondegree Student
Revision of Policy 32-40, Assignment of Advisers
I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Revision of Policy HR23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations
J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Report on Research and Graduate Education, 2006
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Annual Report on the Reserved Spaces Program
University Faculty Census Report for 2006-2007
Policy HR40 Evaluation of Faculty Performance
Grade Distribution Report
Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit, 2004-2005
K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Myers: The Tuesday, January 31, University Faculty Senate meeting is called to order. The December 6, 2005, 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?
Senator: So moved.
Chair Myers: Second?
Chair Myers: All in favor of accepting the minutes of December 6, 2005, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay. Ayes have it. The motion carries. The minutes of the December 6, 2005, meeting have been approved.
Out of courtesy to our presenters, please turn off your cell phones and pagers at this time.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
The Senate Curriculum Report of January 17, 2006, is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Enclosed in today's agenda are the minutes from the January 17 meeting of Senate Council.
COMMENTS BY THE CHAIR
I think we had a nice lunch today, and we had a really excellent turn out. Those of you who were not able to be there, I am sorry you missed it. There are a couple of things that we would like to do right now during my comments.
Feel free to complete the peach colored survey, and near the end of my comments, we will collect those. If anyone would like a copy of the questions, or would like to keep it, or use it to email me thoughts, or to write on today, please raise your hand, and we will give you a copy of the questions that were at the lunch table. If you could do that while you hear a few of the announcements I have, I would appreciate it.
I refer you to the minutes of Senate Council at the end of your agenda for the topics that were discussed at the January 17 meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President.
Provost Erickson has forwarded the 2006-2007 through 2008-2009 draft Strategic Plan for comment. The Officers, Senate Councilors, and members of the Senate Committee on University Planning will review the document and provide feedback. Time will be allotted at the February 28 Council meeting to discuss the Strategic Plan. So, if you have any thoughts about that, you will want to get them to your Council representative.
The Senate Officers will begin University Park college visits on February 7 when we visit the Graduate School and the College of Education. On February 12, we will visit the College of Engineering and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the Division of Undergraduate Studies on February 21. Please encourage your colleagues and students to attend those meetings.
A PowerPoint presentation of major construction projects at University Park can be viewed on the Senate Web site at the University Planning committee link. Please send any questions you have on construction projects to University Planning Chair John Boehmer or Vice Chair Brian Tormey. They will follow-up on your questions with Associate Vice President for the Physical Plant Ford Stryker at the March or April University Planning committee meetings.
If the University Planning committee believes there are questions that warrant discussion with the full Senate, they will bring the matter to the floor. This is a little bit different for those of you who are looking forward in the spring sometime to the end of the Senate meeting with a PowerPoint presentation of University construction projects, you are not going to get it, unless you go to the University Planning Web site and have significant questions for the committee and they decide to bring that report to the Senate for discussion.
I would like to encourage faculty, student, and administrative support for the annual dance marathon taking place in Rec Hall on February 17 through 19. I understand this might be the last event in Rec Hall, so if you are sentimental about it, you need to get there.
Penn State students have raised more than $30 million for the Four Diamonds fund to help fight pediatric cancer since 1976; it is an amazing effort. The dance marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. If you have never attended this event, you should try to pay a visit.
The students have another important activity planned for this spring semester that I encourage you to support. On Tuesday, March 14, which coincides with our next Senate meeting, many students will visit the capital to speak with legislators about increased funding support for the University. This does not mean there is increased funding support, it means they are going to speak to them about increasing the funding support. This event demonstrates their important engagement in civic activities, and I encourage you to support students who request a class absence to travel to Harrisburg for that activity.
Vice Presidents Pangborn and Romano met this morning with the Senate Committee on University Planning to discuss revisions to the University calendar and obtain input and feedback. This committee has advisory and consultative responsibility on setting the University calendar. The Officers and committee leadership will debrief on that discussion Thursday, February 2. If you have any thoughts about the calendar, you can send them to University Planning Chair John Boehmer or Vice Chair Brian Tormey.
We understand that the Curricular Transition Committee, a special committee that was appointed at the recent reorganization, chaired by Bill Mahar and Roger Egolf, is preparing a final report. The Officers are discussing strategies for sharing this report with the Senate and administration.
We received correspondence from President Spanier regarding the December 6 Advisory and Consultative report from the Faculty Affairs committee. He approved the revisions to HR76, Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, and he has asked the Associate Vice President for Human Resources to make the changes in the University policy.
At this time, if you are not done with the evaluation forms for the lunch, then you can obviously continue and turn them in as you leave. If you are done, pass those to the aisle, and we will collect those and have them out of the way.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
President Spanier is with us today. I am pleased to invite him to come forward to make some remarks.
President Spanier: Good afternoon everyone. I want to give you an update on a few things and then we will have some time for questions.
As you know, we have several dean searches underway. We are just about at the end of the Schreyer Honors College search. Finalists have been interviewed, we have received feedback, and we are just on the verge of a selection for that search.
With the Smeal College of Business, that search committee has been busy, and they are close to identifying finalists. It still has a ways to go, but they are getting close.
In the College of Heath and Human Development and Information Sciences and Technology, candidates are under review, and we suspect we would be at the point of having interviews in March. That is probably going to be the most likely timing for public interviews on those two deanships.
The search has just been launched or is about to be launched for the Vice Provost for Information Technology search. The search for the dean of Medicine, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, and Chief Executive Officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is well under way. In fact, when I leave this meeting, I will be heading down to Hershey for another meeting of that search committee. We hope during the month of February that we will be in the process of interviewing finalists for that position. So they are all moving along, pretty much, on schedule.
The governor’s budget message will occur a week from tomorrow, Wednesday of next week. Most of you who have been around a while know that is always done on the first Tuesday of February, but this year, because of the Super Bowl, and the expectation that there will be a big parade in Pittsburgh on Tuesday of next week, the budget message has been postponed a day. Do not let anybody ever say that this administration does not have its priorities in order.
We, to tell you the truth, have no idea what will be included in that budget for higher education. As I have described to you on previous occasions, we had very active discussions with the governor making our best case. Our highest priority this year was for a significant increase in the appropriations to Penn State so that we could have a tuition freeze on 20 of our campuses.
I know the governor liked that idea, but I am not optimistic that we will get what we asked for. He could surprise me greatly and prove me wrong, but we will see what happens. I believe there will be an increase in there for higher education. My best guess is that it will not be quite at the level we asked for. If that is the case, we will be quickly back at the drawing board making plans for our budget that will begin July 1.
I am very pleased with the progress that is occurring with our law school. An architect is busy at work on plans for the new buildings at Carlisle and University Park that will be associated with the law school. We are in the very final stages of fund raising for the building at Carlisle, and where that number comes in will determine the size and scope of that project.
Meanwhile, the plans for the deployment of law school programs on the University Park campus continue to move along very quickly. We will have a small beginning first-year law class here on the University Park campus this coming fall. The law school headquarters are currently, and temporarily, located in the Beam Building, which was the home for much of the College of Business, which, of course, has its new home. So they are located there, and there will also be some cadre of second and third-year law students who will move here so they can take some of their classes on this campus as appropriate. We will have a contingent of law school faculty resident here on this campus beginning in the fall. Everything that is happening there has been very positive, and I thank all of you who have been involved in that, including many of our administrators and faculty members in other colleges of the University who are involved in partnering with the law school.
You heard Jamie mention discussions about the calendar. I had a report that there was an excellent meeting this morning with the Faculty Senate Committee on University Planning about some of the evolving ideas with the calendar. John Romano and Rob Pangborn are working on that. I expect that we are going to be very close to announcing the changes in the calendar. It would not affect next year, but the following year, we want to make the announcements so that people have ample time for any of the adjustments that will be made in the calendar. So we will be moving ahead on that rather quickly.
I also want to put in a plug for the dance marathon. We anticipate that this will be the last year that the dance marathon will be in Rec Hall. Some of you were here when it used to be in the White Building not that many years ago. It outgrew the White Building and went to Rec Hall, and now it is outgrowing Rec Hall and will move to the Bryce Jordan Center. We had wonderful cooperation actually from the Big Ten and the Intercollegiate Athletics folks on making adjustments to allow that to be possible. Everyone will give and take a little bit, so that it fits in there and works well, and more and more people can come and be a part of it. I think it is an exciting development.
Meanwhile, this year, it will be in Rec Hall on February 17. Can I see a show of hands, how many of you have ever shown up for some part of it? Okay, that is wonderful to see that half of you have your hands up. You know what it is like. I really would encourage all of you. Those of you who had your hands up, please come back. Those who did not have their hands up, stop by and see it if you can. I know if you are at a campus other than University Park it might be a trip. It would be a worthwhile trip, actually. But if you can not, they are putting it on the web now and you can watch it and you can be a part of it that way. I hope everybody contributes a little bit as well. It is great. It is the largest student-run philanthropy in the United States. We raised over $4 million last year. It is one of the great things that happens at Penn State.
With that plug, let me open it up for your questions and comments.
Dennis Gouran, Liberal Arts: I have a two part question. Part one, could you bring us up to date or give us a report on the status of the inquiry into the alleged violations of students’ academic freedom? Part two is, could you share with us your understanding of what those who are concerned about this have in mind when they use the term “violation of academic freedom?” Their understanding and my understanding of those violations are some what less than congruent.
President Spanier: The last thing I would try to do is to speak for those who are using some of those terms and to try and interpret what they mean because I am not sure either. In terms of where things stand right now, there have been a couple of hearings. The last one was in Philadelphia. Frankly, I am not sure whether there will be any other hearings. There was supposed to be another one. It may or may not occur. I do not know. It is hard to imagine that anything else would be said on the subject that has not been said at one of the earlier hearings. The committee has the right to continue to have such discussions.
My impression is that the committee itself is very divided, not only about the subject matter, but about whether they should be having the hearings at all or whether there is a need for any further hearings. What the legislature did last year was really pass a resolution saying it is okay to have a hearing, but there is no legislation, as far as I know, that is actively and seriously being considered and that is likely to pass that would come from this. I could be proven wrong, but I think the hearings have occurred. There might be another one, and there has been a discussion about it, and I would hope that is that. I have said myself many times that I do not think this needs to be a matter for legislative involvement or for legislation or for oversight from our state government. It is a higher education matter. We have an excellent system of checks and balances through our Faculty Senate and through our administrative structure in the University, and I think we within academe understand the nuance of these issues as well as anybody and can take it from here.
Chair Myers: If you could please share your name and discipline.
Hamid Al-Mondhiry, College of Medicine: As you well know, there is a grave concern about selecting our dean. All the faculty are talking about it, and this is the hottest topic.
My question to you, you were quoted as saying we will have a dean by July and not an acting dean. Is this period of time between now and a couple of months later enough to select a dean? I am asking the question because it is on our minds. I sat on a committee to select a chair of a department, and it took us three years. Maybe we had some problems, but I thought the dean would be an even bigger issue. Please enlighten me.
President Spanier: Medicine does sometime take three years to select a department head. We have a few departments elsewhere in the University that take three years just to select a faculty member. I will not mention any departments by name, but I could mention ten right now.
Because of the concern that you have expressed, and that I know others feel, I have felt that it is very important to have the selection process on a fast track; the fastest track possible without unduly rushing it. What we set out to do and what we put into motion in November was a fast track process.
We do not do this much at Penn State, but in this particular search, we engaged a search consultant company that specializes in positions like this and really has their finger on the market place out there. They have brought to us, at this point, I think we have seen over 20 names of candidates who are interested, who have remarkable credentials, and all of whom would be considered potential candidates. Some of what I am saying was summarized in a memorandum to everyone at Hershey from Craig Killmyer, the chair of the search advisory team, so it might be repetitive for a few of you.
At our last search committee meeting, earlier this month, we narrowed that pool down to about ten. During the month of January, interviews have been conducted with these ten individuals, along with a couple of others who have come into the pool along the way since then. At our search committee meeting tonight, we would hope to narrow that number down to a smaller group of finalists and use the month of February to have a broader group of individuals quietly and confidentially interview these individuals to narrow the pool down to a leading candidate or a couple of leading candidates.
This search is a little more complicated because we have a board of directors of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and ultimately it requires the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University. There is a broader array of constituencies. The search committee has really given up a lot of their time and energy and meeting into the evenings working on this. It would be my goal, it is a goal, not a commitment, it would be my goal to have the search actually completed in time for approval at the March Board of Trustees meeting. If we can not do that, then the May meeting at the latest, but we actually could possibly have this done as early as March. We are hoping that the new person could start on July 1.
Our current CEO does not begin his new career until July 1, so we have some degree of continuity until that point, and no, I do not think we want a period of an acting CEO if we do not have to have one. There is a lot at stake in Hershey, a lot of things that need to be decided in any given period of time, a lot of change occurring. We are spending a lot of time on that, and I am spending quite a lot of my time at Hershey just trying to keep my finger on the pulse and make sure I can communicate to the new leadership incoming what some of the issues are and the things that will need to be tended to. Did I leave any parts out?
I think that we will be able to do it. If we identify somebody this spring, then the next question is how soon could they get here and actually start, assuming they aren’t here already? Everybody has different circumstances. That is hard to predict right now, or if we made an offer to someone, how long do they need to think that through?
Is that it? Well, then I am leaving for Hershey. I was asking Joanna if she needed a ride there because she is on the search committee.
Chair Myers: Thank you.
I am sure everyone is anxious for this agenda that we have to bite into today. As we begin discussion of reports, I remind you to stand and wait for the microphone, identify yourself, your discipline, and the unit you represent.
The first report today is legislative and comes from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules. This report appears in the agenda as appendix B entitled, “Revisions to Standing Rules, Article II, Section (k) Senate Committee on Research.” Committee Chair Pamela Hufnagel will present this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES
Revisions to Standing Rules, Article II, Section (k) Senate Committee on Research
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair Committees and Rules
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Penn State DuBois: Good afternoon. The Senate Self Study Committee report recommended strengthening the working relationship between the Senate and the Graduate Council. This report formalizes one way to do that, namely by having six members of the Graduate Council Committee on Research serve on the Senate Committee on Research; this is a net gain of five.
This arrangement has been implemented this year on a trail basis and has been working well. I hope you will support this proposal. Do you have any questions?
Eric D. Feigleson, Astronomy, Eberly College of Science: Are you disbanding the committee on the Graduate Council side of things?
Pamela Hufnagel: No, their committee still exists. What they did is reorganize so that they have two subcommittees. One subcommittee will be the members who go to the Senate committee, the other subcommittee of the Graduate Council will work on the Graduate Research Fair.
Eric Feigleson: I guess my question is why not? I am not well informed in this, I am not trying to say something that I know about, but if you identified that you have two committees, part of the same superstructure, the Graduate Council is part of the Senate, that are very closely allied and you want to merge them, why do not you merge them? I am sorry. I do not mean to intrude in your affairs.
Pamela Hufnagel: We have been working on this for two years, and one of the initial efforts was in fact to merge them. It just was not working out too well. The Graduate Council wants to keep theirs and the Senate wants ours. We did attempt to have a joint committee, and there really was no structure for the Senate to have a committee like that, so this seems to be the best solution.
Mark Kester, College of Medicine: I am chair of Senate Committee on Research. It is working, and the reason it is working is that it allows the Council Committee on Graduate Research to synergize with us in terms of their research agendas, but still continue their main mission of running the Graduate Research Fair. Also, the Graduate Council members are not voting members of the Senate, so we still have to keep their entity intact.
Pamela Hufnagel: Thank you.
Chair Myers: Thank you. Are there other comments or questions? Seeing none from either side of the room, this report comes from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote?
All those in favor of this revision, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay. The ayes have it and the motion passes. Thank you, Chair Hufnagel.
Our next legislative report comes from the Committee on Undergraduate Education. This report appears in today’s agenda as appendix C entitled “Revision of Policy 14-10, Limitation to Enrollment as a Nondegree Student.” Committee Chair Art Miller will present this report
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Revision of Policy 14-10, Limitation to Enrollment as a Nondegree Student
Arthur C. Miller, Chair Undergraduate Education
Arthur C. Miller, Engineering: Thank you. Senate Policy 14-10 establishes limits for enrollment for nondegree conditional students and for students who once had degree status and then changed to nondegree regular status.
There is no policy for students who start their enrollment at the University in nondegree regular status. What we had implemented is that it would be the same as a nondegree conditional student would be 40 credits. However, we got into a broad discussion about if a student is not performing satisfactorily and after 40 credits they want to go into a degree program, they are not allowed to do that if they have not obtained that 2.0 average. There is a difference between greater than a 2.0 average and a 2.0 average. Our committee debated that the spirit of the grade point should be that you are reducing your grade point deficiencies, which means you would have to have greater than a 2.0. A 2.0 average says that you could literally be in the system forever, and never really eliminate any of the deficiencies; therefore, you would never really be going on towards degree status. I know ARSSA had some problems with this, so I open it up as the way we have presented it here from Undergraduate Education.
Chair Myers: Comments or questions?
Catherine Harmonosky, Engineering: I am the chair of the Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid committee. The way that our committee was looking at this proposed legislation, which we did review at our December meeting, was looking at it beside some other policies that regulate dropping students for unsatisfactory scholarship, in particular, Policies 54-54 and 54-52, one of which dealt with baccalaureate degree students and other associate degree students. In those policies, it indicates that a student may be dropped for grade point deficiencies. However, there is another sentence in those policies that states, “This schedule of actions [meaning the drop actions] shall not apply to a baccalaureate degree candidate [or an associate degree candidate, in the other policy] who has earned a 2.0 average or better in the semester under question.” So we felt as though Policy 14-10 should be consistent with this policy which also relates to students being dropped for unsatisfactory scholarship. I suppose we are presenting an amendment to the rule.
Chair Myers: I think you are moving an amendment that the reading would be “a 2.0 or greater.” What are the specific words that you are moving?
Harmonosky: Under 1.0, that last sentence that begins with “however,” we would move that the words “more than” be struck and the words “or higher” be added as follows: “However, if the student has earned a 2.0 or higher average in the most recent semester this action does not apply.” We would also then make that change in 3.0, and there it would be the second sentence from the bottom, which also starts “however,” and would read the same way. “However if the student has earned [strike out the “more than”] a 2.0 or higher average in the most recent semester this action does not apply.”
Chair Myers: A motion has been made to delete in two cases “more than,” and insert “or higher” so that the document in those two places reads, “a 2.0 or higher average.” Is there a second for the motion?
Chair Myers: Hearing a second, we are going to discuss that amendment at this time. Would anyone like to speak to the amendment?
Arthur Miller: I think we talked about this quite a bit in the sense of really the spirit of the law that you would like to reduce your grade point deficiencies, and literally the only way you could do that is to have something greater than a 2.0. We were to look at Policy 14-10, but I would suggest that the other two policies ought to be looked at and maybe the changes go forward from there with the greater than a 2.0 rather than going back to a 2.0.
Jean Landa Pytel, Engineering: I would like to speak against the amendment. I deal with these kinds of issues regularly, and there is a difference between being dropped from degree status and trying to regain degree status. I think some of the other policies speak to the time in which you get dropped from degree status, and you are not going to be dropped from degree status if your GPA is 2.0 or higher in the last semester. However, this particular policy speaks to getting on the path of regaining degree status. A 2.0 keeps everything in the status quo, so if someone within 40 credits does not start to make progress towards reducing deficiency points, they will never get to where they want to go. I think that there has to be some measure of making progress, and I think the statement of greater than a 2.0 is appropriate in this particular case.
Chair Myers: Other positions on this amendment? Seeing none, we will proceed to vote. All those in favor of the amendment that would be to strike “more than” and insert “or higher” so that it reads “a 2.0 or higher average,” please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
Chair Myers: The nays have it. The amendment is defeated. We return now to discussion of the main motion here, as presented by the committee. Are there any other points of discussion on this?
Caroline D. Eckhardt, Liberal Arts: I would like to hear a rationale for the limit of the 40 credits, or whether we have another category that might be used by people who just want to keep taking courses, for example, retired people or other individuals who may not be intending to apply for degree status at all.
Arthur Miller: We discussed that. The 40 has always been there. There are a number of students, particularly adult students, who are taking a number of credits, more than 40 credits, who do not plan on ever earning a degree. That would be handled by a simple petition, and we have talked about it. It is not that difficult. It is very difficult to declare whether you are going to be a nondegree candidate, and you are just going to be a person sampling the program. I think it is easier to be handled by a petition. And you would be allowed to stay in the nondegree status passed the 40.
Chair Myers: Any other point of discussion?
This report comes to us from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. All those in favor of this revision to Policy 14-10, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
The ayes have it. The motion passes, and the legislation is approved. This legislation will be sent to President Spanier for implementation. Thank you, Chair Miller.
The next item also comes from the Committee on Undergraduate Education. This legislative report is appendix D entitled “Revision of Policy 32-40, Assignment of Advisers.”
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Revision of Policy 32-40, Assignment of Advisers
Arthur C. Miller, Chair Undergraduate Education
Arthur Miller: Senate Policy 32-40 establishes the advising responsibilities for degree candidates, provisional students, and nondegree students. For students who have never been in degree status, the policy states that nondegree students and nondegree conditional students who have never been in degree status at Penn State act as their own advisors. This has turned out to be troublesome with some of the students and what we have decided to do is to say that they should also be assigned an advisor. There was a comment from one of the colleges saying that the implementation of this, the identifying of these students, needs to be done at the time of the application and that needs to come out of ACUE so that the students would be identified and the colleges would know who they are.
Chair Myers: Any comments or discussion?
Seeing none, it appears we are ready to vote. This recommendation comes from a committee and is already moved and seconded. All those in favor of the revision to Policy 32-40, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
The ayes have it. The motion passes. This legislation as approved will be sent to President Spanier for implementation. Thank you, Chair Miller.
We have one advisory/consultative report coming from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs. This report appears on today’s agenda entitled “Revision of Policy HR23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations.” I do not want to say a lot commending all the work that has gone into this report because I want to wait until it is over.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Revision of Policy HR23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations
Mohamad A. Ansari, Chair Faculty Affairs
Cynthia A. Brewer, Chair Subcommittee on Promotion, Tenure, Appointments, and Leaves
[Revised Copy of Policy HR23]
Mohamad A. Ansari, Penn State Berks: Good afternoon and thank you, Chair Myers. The intention of this proposed revision is to streamline the promotion and tenure process for the faculty in the University College by recommending three levels of review and also by adding disciplinary representation to the first level of review.
This revision is based on a recommendation that was made by the Promotion and Tenure Transition committee which was brought in a forensic session to the Senate floor. As the Chair of the Faculty Affairs committee, I sent an email to all the faculty members of the 19 campuses and requested feedback. We discussed the feedback at the subcommittee but there was no single consensus that emerged from that. There were arguments for three levels of review and against, and keeping the four levels and also for the method of adoption of the process.
A week ago today, via an email I received, a serious reservation surfaced from a good friend of mine, Senator Berkowitz. In order for me to prevent policy writing on the Senate floor, with the consensus and approval of the subcommittee Chair and Vice Chair Brunsden, I took the recommendations and concerns that Senator Berkowitz had to the committee. He and I met and reached a consensus to preserve the original substance of the argument and also to retain the committee’s goal of treating all the units similarly and also making clarifications to speak to the committee’s intent. So what is before you is a substitute paragraph that the committee has approved unanimously and we are recommending that it be adopted as part of the P&T revision to HR23.
Subcommittee Chair Brewer and I would be happy to take questions.
Chair Myers: Do we have questions or comments?
Gary L. Catchen, Nuclear Engineering and Architectural Photography, Engineering: My first comment is purely editorial. The first line that is underlined and italicized, “for faculty” it should be “for faculty members.” Likewise, about two-thirds of the way down.
My substantive question is, should a similar set of rules exist for promotion as well as for tenure?
Cynthia A. Brewer: I believe this applies for tenure and full promotions.
Gary Catchen: It does not say promotion, it just says tenure. So that is why I asked the question. I think you need a paragraph like this, only rewritten for the purposes of promotion because the review procedure should be the same for both tenure and promotion.
Chair Myers: I think it is a nice point. I think what is happening is that there is a larger document in which this paragraph appears and to not produce too much paper the entire HR23 was not printed, but I think that if you looked at the entire document you would see that this paragraph specifies both promotion and tenure. I believe that’s the case, and I am getting several confirming nods from people who have looked at the whole document. Our apologies for not giving you the whole thing.
Gary Catchen: I read the original earlier and it mentioned candidates. Well, it is still incorrect because for promotion it is not a question of only the people on the review committees having tenure, it is a question of them being of equal or higher rank.
Cynthia Brewer: It says that elsewhere in the--
Gary Catchen: In the document. But if you’re making a change you have to make it so we can see it. Is that not true?
Cynthia Brewer: That would mean more specificity applied to this. This is a general statement so they would be tenured faculty and elsewhere in the document it explains that they would be of equal or higher rank than the person being evaluated.
Gary Catchen: This paragraph pertains only to tenure. It says nothing about promotion.
George W. Franz: It does not have to.
Gary Catchen: Well, if you are changing the procedure, you need to change it in parallel for promotion too.
Cynthia Brewer: I believe this does that. There is a separate section in the existing HR23 that talks about the composition of the committee. At the beginning of this page, we do give the link for the full policy. We really did not want to repeat the whole thing here.
Gary Catchen: OK.
Chair Myers: Thank you. Other comments?
Leonard J. Berkowitz, Philosophy, Penn State York: I want to clarify three things just so they are on the record.
First, is it correct that the intention of the proposed changes is only to affect University College faculty so there is no change whatsoever for other faculty in the University by this change?
Mohamad Ansari: Absolutely.
Leonard Berkowitz: Second, in the changes proposed for the first level of review for University College faculty, the proposal says that the committee shall include at least two tenured faculty members from the candidate’s department, division, or discipline, and if too few appropriate faculty members exist at a particular campus, faculty members in the candidate’s discipline from other campuses shall serve, or, if necessary, faculty members from closely related disciplines shall serve. I infer from that that, for University College faculty, what you specifically mean is discipline and not department or division.
Mohamad Ansari: That is correct.
Leonard Berkowitz: And finally, in the last sentence it says the second level faculty review shall be conducted by tenured faculty in the candidate’s college and the corresponding administrative review by the dean of the candidate’s college. I take it that applies to all faculty at all locations.
Mohamad Ansari: You are correct.
Leonard Berkowitz: Thank you.
Chair Myers: Thank you.
Caroline D. Eckhardt, Comparative Literature, Liberal Arts: Unless I am misreading, it is possible that your recent changes introduced a slight awkwardness in language. When you get down to about line seven, it now says “This committee shall include.” You have taken out the word review, but you haven’t so far identified a committee, so somebody might say, “what committee?” Up at line two, would you want to say “shall be conducted by a committee of tenured faculty members?” It is just a grammatical reference so there is something to be an antecedent for this.
Chair Myers: Do you want to speak to this issue?
Robin Bower, Foreign Languages, Penn State Beaver: Because of the emendation that Senator Eckhardt pointed out actually refers to a different committee than the one that would be the antecedent of this committee, the same change has to be made in the underlined sentence, “The first level faculty review for faculty in the University College shall be conducted by a committee of tenured faculty members at the candidate’s campus whenever possible.”
Chair Myers: So for grammatical clarity, am I assuming that the addition is fine?
Cynthia Brewer: Yes.
Mohamad Ansari: At this point, I am so tired, I will take it.
Cynthia Brewer: I intended for this part to say “the faculty review committee” which would then clarify the whole business, but that got changed somewhere along the way.
James E. May, Penn State DuBois: I want to urge fellow Senators to vote against this recommendation.
We have talked about this before, and there have been a number of suggestions that did not seem to stick on the refrigerator wall. The way this is constructed is that the campus’ important review of a candidate now incorporates the disciplinary review of a candidate. The college review exists but without the same kind of rationale or evaluative purpose that the lower committee has.
What would happen, if you think about this, is that at a particular campus like mine, and again it only concerns these 14 campuses, you will have perhaps three members of your general faculty on the Promotion and Tenure committee and then you will have two who are peculiar to your discipline who are brought in, and in some cases brought in from other locations. This committee’s report is evaluating you from the campus’ perspective which is privileging the importance of service and teaching and it is evaluating you from the point of view of your discipline which is earnestly attempting to evaluate the quality of your research and publications. The principle areas of your promotion and tenure are being decided by one committee here all around.
Then we move up to a college committee which has in some sense the importance of representing the University College, but the University College, as we have seen in recent discussions, is becoming less important. The emphasis in the new organizational structure is on the campus, and in so far as there is a college, it is a college of faculty. At that level the disciplinary concern it seems would be more important and so one might well ask, why isn’t the disciplinary review occurring at the college level? Why does the disciplinary review get shifted down to the campus level when there is a great deal to deal with at the level of teaching and service?
We have had a recommendation from people here on the floor to suggest that the college be the place for the discipline review. That would allow the disciplinary review to receive more attention, to receive greater weight in some sense. As it stands now, the college review, which does not approach the candidate from the point of view of his or her discipline, does not have very much institutional importance. It is less of a check against the administrator of the college’s letter that comes immediately after that stage of the review, and the faculty, in that review it seems, as a result of the current structure, would have less say in determining who is and who is not recommended for promotion or tenure. Thank you.
Mohamad Ansari: There were three models that we discussed at the Transition committee. Model A was a campus discipline and model B was a college discipline. We have looked at all those arguments in favor and against which model particularly serves the University College faculty, and it is very important for the second and fourth year review process that the disciplinary representation be placed at the campus level so that so called strangers do not evaluate the faculty at the first level.
Our intention is basically to put the discipline at the campus level for equity and fairness in the process. What you are suggesting is putting it at the division level which we have discussed, and this was the best that we came up with.
Cynthia Brewer: If we put the disciplinary review only at the college level, the new person does not get the advice at two and four on the progression of publications and research. I feel like that is really an important part to have that guidance all the way through those three steps, so they are not surprised by expectation that is only given at the college and is the tenure review.
James May: Why isn’t there a disciplinary component at the college level?
Cynthia Brewer: There could be, I suppose, but it would only happen at the tenure review stage. I suppose we could add it to both levels, but in my college at University Park, the college level committee is a broad faculty committee, so I do not see a real problem with that.
Dushy Sathianathan, Engineering: I have expressed my point of view in the task force I was serving on before, but I want to make sure the members here understand what is proposed here.
Currently, we have a campus level review, a divisional or disciplinary review, and then a college level review. In the case of Engineering, for example, a faculty member going for promotion and tenure, whether as an assistant, associate, or full, you will have a campus level review, and then a disciplinary review where a committee or group of faculty in engineering would review that candidate and then move up. What is proposed here is that the disciplinary review from a system-wide perspective would be eliminated and minimum of two disciplinary representatives will be at the campus level.
So if I am a DAA at a particular campus, you would have multiple tenure committees serving different disciplines at a particular campus. So if I am a DAA, you will have very complex tasks of managing several promotion and tenure committees, and in this particular case there will be a group of local campus faculty and a minimum of two disciplinary faculty in that committee. What I see is that the idea of reducing the number of levels of review is a good idea, as long as we follow process and procedures. I am not sure that going from three levels to four levels is an issue, as far as the processes are concerned. What I am concerned about is the integrity of the promotion and tenure process in the University College. Just like we were talking about curricular integrity, this is, in my view, going in the reverse direction on the promotion and tenure integrity for faculty in University College, specifically related to disciplinary integrity across the system. We may have faculty at different campuses with different level of gauges used to measure for promotion and tenure, and we may revisit this issue a few years from now and talk about Promotion and Tenure integrity in the University College. That is my concern.
Mohamad Ansari: You and I served on the Transition committee since July, and we have been in discussions all along about whether we have three levels of review or four levels of review. For fairness, and if you read the President’s white paper, he says that the current practice at University College is unwieldy and it needs to be streamlined. I think what we are proposing is for the benefit for the faculty at the University College, and as I said, in the comments that I have received, if this three level review was so bad, then I should have had a consensus emerging saying we need to keep four levels. I did not have that consensus.
M. Abul Hasan, Physics, Penn StateYork: I have two comments to make. First is about this document itself. I have just heard that there is a stress on discipline in terms of selection of the committee members. But as I read it, I do not get that sense. If I read the bold line, “this committee shall include at least two tenured faculty members from the candidate’s department, division, or discipline.” Now, in the division there are members from other departments, and if the members are from other departments and they are selected, you do not even move to the second line which is, “if too few appropriate faculty members exist at the particular campus, faculty members in the candidate’s discipline from other campuses shall serve or if necessary faculty members from the closely related disciplines shall serve.” So what it is implying is, if you go to the second line among the two lines I have read, that it ensures disciplinary representation, but if you have too few faculty members, you would stick with the first line and perhaps select members from the division, which would not insure disciplinary representation. That is one comment.
Mohamad Ansari: Let me respond to that before you move on. The way that this insertion was put in, basically, was to cover all colleges across the University before this substitute paragraph came into being. The intention was that the department speaks to the colleges in University Park, and the division speaks to the stand alone colleges as their first level of review. Therefore in this insertion that you just referred to, only the discipline refers to University College faculty and not the division or the department. That is what the committee’s intention is to convey.
M. Abul Hasan: That may be the intent, but that is not what is in the language that you have written there.
Cynthia Brewer: Can I also respond? My subcommittee’s intention was to allow the University College campuses the flexibility of perhaps instituting a different divisional structure. Some of them are large enough that they could have divisions like the stand alone, single campus colleges. My group was trying to write a policy that was general enough that HR23 could stand as a general policy for quite a while, regardless of how the University College campuses configured themselves. They may choose to have a divisional structure that then could be accommodated in this wording.
M. Abul Hasan: Thank you. The second comment is regarding a simple matter of permutation and combination. If you have disciplinary review committees at the college level you will have a lesser number of committees over all than if it is at the starting point on campuses.
There are 14 campuses, and if there are two or three campuses where people, for instance from physics, are going up for promotion, and there are two or three from chemistry and some from perhaps biology, each campus will have two or three committees and divided into as many different campuses that you have where physics, chemistry, and biology people are going up for promotion and tenure. Whereas at the college level, if there are many different physics faculty that are coming up to the college level, you will need only one physics review committee for that discipline. Just looking at the logistics and permutation, to me, it looks like it would be a savings of manpower and time of the faculty to have the discipline review at the college level.
Mohamad Ansari: Actually, it is quite the opposite because if you have the discipline at the college level, and Vice President Romano can attest to that because we met with the senior leadership of the University, and they saw the three models that the Transition committee was suggesting, and their recommendation was that discipline at the first level gives less headaches than discipline at the college level.
Cynthia Brewer: Also, I do not think we should put administrative ease ahead of providing good mentoring for people who are going through two and four year review and who are being evaluated for tenure. I think with modern technology we can pull people in with disciplinary participation in these committees and that it is more important to have effective evaluation.
M. Abul Hasan: I think the statement of the Vice President is correct. It will be less of a headache at the college level, for sure. But that does not answer my question about the permutation of committees that you will have at the campus level. It will definitely be larger.
Mohamad Ansari: We are proposing a policy. We are not proposing implementation. I think the implementation is two-fold; the administrative guidelines that the Vice Provost is responsible for and also the local constitution of each campus, or maybe as a whole, University College can address that. Adding a third element to it, Mel Blumberg, chair of IRC, his charge has been from day one to develop a structure for the disciplinary community and also how to implement. I can not tell you what he is going to propose, although I have seen it. I assure you that those questions that you have regarding implementation will be answered with utmost satisfaction. That is my opinion because I have seen it.
Richard N. Barshinger, Mathematics, Penn State Worthington Scranton: Memories are short. The older I get, the shorter my short term memory is. I would like to respond to everything that has been said so far, because I have, in fact, made recommendations and comments about everything that has been said so far.
The questioning of multiple committees at the campus level in fact already exists. If a person comes up for promotion at a campus in the past and there are not three members from the person’s discipline or discipline-related or higher rank than the individual, the DAA or CAO at the campus has been obligated in the past to search around the system for suitable faculty members to form a three-member committee. I, in fact, have served on such. I served on a committee once, myself being from Scranton, and the committee was, I think, at DuBois. So this has already been done.
As to the comments about disciplinary committees at the college level, in fact, that was a recommendation that I myself made on the floor of the Senate here back in September, as one of the possible models for a University College Promotion and Tenure process. That did not go very far. At the Faculty Affairs committee meeting before the October Senate meeting, I, in fact, made a recommendation to the subcommittee in P&T within Faculty Affairs for having discipline members at both the campus level and the college level. The college level idea did not go very far.
My concern, however, is not in any one of those directions. My concern, at this point, is the number of discipline members who will evaluate the individual. In the past, at all kinds of different levels, there have been at least three, or more, generally five people, within the discipline that have evaluated an individual. Within the Commonwealth College, if the person were in mathematics at the division level, the evaluation would be by five people. If a person is coming up for promotion within the College of Science and still has their tenure location in the College of Science, but is at a campus and there are still a few individuals who held the possibly of coming up for promotion to full professor. The second evaluation, the first being at the campus, the second evaluation is by a College of Science mathematics committee composed of three individuals from non-University Park locations.
My concern is seeing in this recommendation the word “two.” Two represents, in my estimation, a retrogression in terms of disciplinary input into the tenure and promotion process, no matter how it is ultimately constructed.
Roger A. Egolf, Chemistry, Penn State Lehigh Valley: This policy will be an absolute nightmare to administer. This year, at Lehigh Valley, we have had ten people undergoing two, four, or six year reviews in nine different disciplines. None of those disciplines have any faculty at the associate degree level or higher at the campus. Under this policy, the campus committee would have had to have nine different versions of the campus committee with a total of 18 people from outside of the campus. Administering that would be a nightmare. I know that it has been mentioned not to worry so much about implementation, but you also have to worry about fairness. Say there are these ten people undergoing by nine different versions of a campus committee. Some get approved, some get turned down. I see the complaints: “Well you had a different campus committee than I did.” I see this as an absolute nightmare. Thank you.
Zachary T. Irwin, Political Science, Penn State Erie: I want to speak in favor of the motion simply because I think with the existing wording it is a difficult situation, and I think some of the objections that have been raised here today have already been discussed very thoroughly. With what is there, it is about as good as anyone can expect.
As far as the two members, it is at least two, and I think there is certainly ample room in this to augment that or to change it, but to get something better than this you are going to have to look very hard.
Melvin Blumberg, Management, Penn State Harrisburg: I stand in support of this also, and I would like to give some reason why. If I could quote from HR23 about the rationale for why we do P&T committees the way we do.
Over a lot of years, a lot of very bright people have put their minds to this, and here is a short paragraph from HR23. It says, “Initial peer review, for example, at the campus or departmental level, will focus on professional and scholarly judgments of the individual’s academic work within his or her discipline. Reviews at the college or University Libraries level will bring broader faculty and administrative judgments to bear and will also monitor general standards of quality, equity, and adequacy of procedures used. Review at the University level will involve similar, but less detailed, evaluations and, in addition, will provide an essential, all University perspective.”
So what the policy is saying is that there are two tests of an adequate promotion and tenure model. First there has to be a disciplinary review and then the policy must also provide equity and fairness across disciplines and colleges. When you ask where should the disciplinary review be, and if we say it should be other than at the very first level, we have a logical inconsistency because we have a P&T committee with no disciplinary representation on it, evaluating a person’s research and making evaluations which then goes to a disciplinary committee that is going to be evaluating the person’s research.
The disciplinary review some way, some how, and I think this is a good way to do it, has to be at the first level. Otherwise, we have a committee that is evaluating research that has no one representing the discipline on it.
In the second case, the higher committees at the college and University level are making sure that the disciplines evaluate fairly the people across disciplines. My discipline is not very easy and gives away tenure like jelly beans, and your discipline is not really strict and never gives anybody tenure.
Leonard Berkowitz: I urge my colleagues to vote for the proposal. I want to reply to two substantive objections that have been raised, because I think they are important for us to consider.
The first is the worry that this would force the first level committee to look at both research and teaching, as well as service, but that is precisely what happens for all other faculty in the University. That is what happens for departments, and that is what happens at campus colleges. So that puts us in line with the rest of the University which is what we were trying to accomplish.
The second is the claim that this would be a step backwards. This is not a step backwards. It is a step forwards in terms of disciplinary connections for most of us in the University College. Not all faculty in the University College are in divisions that are single disciplines. Most of us are in multi-disciplinary divisions. My own division consists of philosophy, history, fine arts, foreign languages, and communication arts and sciences. So as things stand now, which is being held as the best of all worlds, I may have nobody for my discipline. This guarantees me, too. That is a step forward.
Richard Barshinger: Senator Berkowitz makes a very good point. My previous comments probably came across as all negative. I myself will vote in favor of this proposal. I was party to it; I had input into it, and I generally agree with it. My concern remains, at least for my single discipline division or whatever it is called in mathematics, that the word “two” represents a reduction from five or three. For me, that personally would be a step backward, but that is my primary concern. Senate Berkowitz is quite correct and well spoken that in multi-disciplinary divisions as originally constituted in the Commonwealth College, this would be a step forward for a number of individuals.
Amir Khalilollahi, Engineering, Penn State Erie: The last sentence which says “review by the dean of the candidate’s college,” should it be also chancellors or no?
Mohamad Ansari: From the President’s white paper which says “chancellors who currently serve as deans of a stand alone college will continue to serve as a academic deans.” They do have jurisdictions over curricular matters and also the promotion and tenure process.
Roy B. Clariana, Education, Penn State Great Valley: Just a matter of clarification, where does the Great Valley campus fall into this? Is it a single campus or college? It is not a college; it is a school.
Mohamad Ansari: Well, you sent an email, and I thought that the Vice Provost and I responded that your campus, the way we see it, is part of a special mission campus in the same line with the Hershey Medical Center, College of Medicine and the Dickinson School of Law. And I do not think this affects that.
Chair Myers: Are there any final comments? Just for clarification, if you are recognized to stand to speak and you call the question then question is called. But if you just shout out a question from the floor, that really is not calling the question. You have to raise your hand and be recognized and then call a question. You do not need to do that, I think we are done discussing. I do not see anymore hands. Let’s proceed to a vote. Just to make sure that everyone is clear on this, we are adding the editorial addition of “a committee of” in two places. That is the only editorial addition that I hear.
Mohamad Ansari: And we take it as a friendly amendment.
Chair Myers: This again has been brought to us by a committee so it is moved and seconded. All those in favor of this revision to HR23 please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed nay.
Chair Myers: The ayes have it and the motion passes.
I really would like to take just a second to applaud the efforts of many people in this. Specifically, Cindy Brewer, Mohamad Ansari, Len Berkowitz, and Blannie Bowen and a few others had their hand in working out this wording. Thank you.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH
Report on Research and Graduate Education, 2006, appendix F. The presentation given by Eva Pell, Vice President of Research and Dean of the Graduate School, can be found on the Senate Committee on Research Web site.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID
Annual Report on the Reserved Spaces Program, appendix G. This report describes reserved spaces for admission of freshmen who have special needs or talents that can not be met at non-University Park locations and whose predicted GPAs are below those for regular undergraduate fall admissions to University Park.
University Faculty Census Report for 2006-2007, appendix H. Faculty census report for all Penn State locations.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Policy HR40 Evaluation of Faculty Performance
Ira J. Ropson, Subcommittee Chair Faculty Development
Ira J. Ropson, College of Medicine: This is solely an informational report. This is the first time that the extended tenure review has been examined in any way shape or form by the faculty. This is the first round of it. Some of the comments indicate that the faculty have some interests in changing this process, and that may well be another matter to take up at another time. This is an informational report only where we are trying to say this is what we have found out about the process so far.
Peter Rebane, Abington: I did not want to get involved in the HR23 dispute because English is my fourth language, and it turned out to be a discussion on grammar, I think.
When this legislation HR40 came on the floor, if I remember correctly, I voted against it; the reason being that I was not quite convinced that it was going to be carried out equitably. As a lawyer wannabe once upon a time, or a historian of law anyway, I know that there is nothing worse than a law that is inequitably or not uniformly applied.
I believe that I was the first one, chronologically speaking, that underwent an HR40 five years ago. Being at a location other than University Park, it turned out to be what we call an extensive March 15 review, where I had to assemble five years of SRTEs and all kinds of other such things. It turned out to be, in my opinion, not developmental as many people thought but a sort of rite of passage.
It is quite obvious from the data that the committee has collected that this process is not working. It is not achieving what it was suppose to, namely to encourage faculty every five years, who had not been promoted, by the way, to increase their productivity or to increase their skills in the classroom. Indeed, I understand that at some units this has never been held, and some units are starting it this year, while I was told I am up for a second set of reviews under HR40. So I would very strongly urge that this is one of these laws that makes many people scoff at the Senate’s activity and the purpose of some of the things that we pass. If we want to continue this HR40, and I am ready to do a very unusual step in my 30 years in the Senate, and that is to call for a motion to rescind HR40 all together.
If we do not want to do that, then I think we ought to make sure, or the President’s or the Provost’s office ought to make sure, that every unit starts to enforce this starting tomorrow because it is not fair and not equitable and in the smaller units, HR40 is more rigorously enforced than in the larger colleges at University Park. The reason is, deans and chancellors are aware that they have to follow the rules. They know their faculty, and they know who is up. We are much more visible than up here, and a pat on the back saying, “Hey you are doing great,” is apparently more common up here.
So I may want to knock on the consciences of the President, the Provost, the Vice Presidents, the deans, and the department chairs -- those who have consciences. Well, nothing in life is certain except April 15. I would encourage the Senate leadership and the administration to pursue and to enforce these procedures, because otherwise there really is no point to this. I hope that five years from now, when I will be vacationing someplace else, I will not read another report on the Penn State Senate Web site saying that this has not been enforced. I really mean this. I have been in this body a long time. I have been frustrated many times by passing legislation after much debate that subsequently is not enforced. This is a clear example of this, and I think this body ought to take its own legislation seriously. Thank you for the time.
Robert J. Heinsohn, Retired Senator: One of the virtues of retirement is that you are exempt from annual reviews, post-annual reviews; however, there is apt to be a daily review by your spouse.
I have been in this Senate for several decades, well over 30 years. I am familiar with the Senate’s deliberations that led to the creation of post-tenure reviews, extended reviews. Fifteen years ago there was concern across the nation that the performance of faculty needed to be reviewed on a periodic basis both before and after receiving tenure.
The University created the post-tenure reviews to preempt the state legislature from writing a review procedure and forcing us to implement it. The report reveals a situation that is both serious and embarrassing to the University. It is clear that we have a situation in which the post-tenure reviews are confusing and inconsistent. The report reveals redundancy between post-tenure review and annual reviews. Individuals who have been at the University for considerable time know well that some department heads and deans do not conduct annual reviews or post-tenure reviews on a consistent basis or even implement anything. This should not be allowed to stand. When annual reviews are not conducted, appropriate administrative action needs to be taken to ensure compliance.
The last observation on page six of the questionnaire underscores a fundamental weakness. Annual reviews and post-tenure reviews are virtually indistinguishable. Since there is redundancy, I suggest the University retain only the traditional annual review and that HR40 simply be renamed “annual review-post-tenure review.” We need one review, not two.
We have implemented annual reviews for many decades. They are effective and achieve what the post-tenure review seeks to achieve. There is no reason why the University should feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about our annual reviews and should take a courageous position with the public and the legislature that our annual reviews achieve the objectives of the post-tenure review.
Zachary Irwin, Penn State Erie: At the risk of being a “me too-ist,” I simply want to reinforce that the annual review seems to have no problems in purpose, content, procedure, fairness, or any of these things. I wonder how hard it would be to revise HR40, or whatever HR legislation, to make one committee and one procedure do both reviews rather than the way we are doing it now, because, apparently, the two do not seem to have a whole lot in common. The fact that there are annual reviews that are not conducted everywhere I think is kind of scandalous. I can not see how there can be any equity in some of these questions without it.
Ira Ropson: As a committee, we were actually eager to attack this issue. But as I said, this was an informational report and was intended for getting it out to the faculty. It was not intended to say that things are going well, because the honest opinion of the committee is that it is clear things are not going well with this review. There either has to be better procedures in place that make this a truly developmental process where you are looking at where have you been over the last five years. Where would you like to be in five years? What techniques, what methods, what research would you like to be able to do? That could make it a meaningful process. But for what it has done so far, for the most part, there are exceptions where it did work correctly, it has been a super annual review which had very little to do with the development of the faculty.
Blannie Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs: I just wanted to say that before starting this position a year and a half ago, I did not think that the extended reviews were optional. Being the department head in agricultural sciences we did not have any choice but to do these, and to my surprise, I learned, as we started doing this survey, that things were not working. We have started work with one college where they are starting to work on implementing the extended review, and we are selecting some new deans and hopefully those individuals will read this report. If not, I will help to pass it along, because the equity issue is something I take very seriously. We will try to do whatever we can to make sure.
Ira Ropson: Certainly the College of Medicine responded to the survey by saying, “We need to get our act together.”
Blannie Bowen: And thank you for starting to do so.
Victor W. Brunsden, Mathematics, Penn State Altoona: As a member of the subcommittee that put this report together, I saw a lot of the responses to the survey. It was very clear that there were some faculty at some units that found this post-tenure review to be of great worth. It was developmental; there were several responses that indicated that this gave them a lot. So there are clearly some best practices out there somewhere. It is not clear either where or what those best practices are. So while there could be some value in this as it is currently implemented, it is amazingly inconsistent --and I mean amazingly inconsistent-- and for the vast majority of faculty, duplicative of their last five years’ annual reviews.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Grade Distribution Report, appendix J. This is a detailed review of grade distribution data for baccalaureate students for each spring semester from 1975-2005.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit, 2004-2005, appendix K. This report presents data on student petitions in 2004-2005.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Myers: May I have a motion to adjourn?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Myers: All in favor, say aye.
Chair Myers: Motion carries.
The Senate is adjourned until January 31, 2006, when we will meet in room 112 of the Kern Graduate Building.