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T H E   S E N A T E   R E C O R D


Volume 38-----February 1, 2005-----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, 2004-2005.


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 libraries across Penn State and is posted on the Web at at “Publications and Resources.” Print 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 forensic body to the Chair 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.




I.          Final Agenda for February 1, 2005                                                             Pages ii-iii


II.         Minutes and Summaries of Remarks                                                         Pages 1-22


III.       Appendices

                  A.  Corrected Copy—Senate Committee on Undergraduate               Appendix I

                        Education, Revision of Policies 51-50 and 60-00

                  B.   Attendance                                                                                  Appendix II





A.        MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING                                              Page 1


            Minutes of the December 7, 2004, meeting in The Senate Record 38:3



B.         COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE                                                   Page 1


            Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs


                  Senate Curriculum Report of January 18, 2005



                  Implementation of Revised Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements


                  Implementation of United States Cultures and International

                  Cultures Requirement


            Senate Calendar for 2005-2006


C.        REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting of January 18, 2005               Page 1


D.        ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR                                                  Pages 1-3


E.         COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY                Pages 3-9




                  Undergraduate Education                                                                 Pages 10-20


                        Special Forensic Session on the General Education Health

                        and Physical Activity Requirement (GHA)


G.        UNFINISHED BUSINESS                                                                          Page 20




                  Committees and Rules                                                                             Page 20


                        Revision to Standing Rules Article I, Section 11 (b, d, e)


                  Undergraduate Education                                                                 Pages 20-21


                        Revision of Policies 51-50 and 60-00


I.          ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS                                                Page 21




                  Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid


                        Financial Aid Report                                                                         Page 21


                        Reserved Spaces Program                                                         Pages 21-22


                  Elections Commission


                        University Faculty Census Report for 2005-2006                              Page 22


K.        NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS                                                               Page 22


L.         COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE                           Page 22



M.        ADJOURNMENT                                                                                        Page 22


NOTE:       The next regular meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on

                  Tuesday, March 15, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building.



            The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with Kim C. Steiner, Chair, presiding. There were 226 senators who signed the attendance sheet and/or were noted as having attended the meeting.


            Chair Steiner: We have a short meeting today, I think, so life looks pretty good right now. I want to remind you to please turn off you cell phones and pagers.






            Chair Steiner: The first agenda item is minutes of the preceding meeting. The December 7, 2004, Senate Record, containing 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? May I have a motion to accept?


            Senators: So moved.


            Chair Steiner: Seconded?


            Chair Steiner: All in favor of accepting the minutes of December 7, 2004, please say, “aye.”


            Senators: Aye.


            Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion carries; the minutes have been approved.






            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item B, Communication to the Senate: the Senate Curriculum Report of January 18, 2005, is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web page.


            The Senate calendar for the next academic year has been prepared and is included near the front of the Agenda. Also near the front of the Agenda is a memo from Doug Brown, Chair of Curricular Affairs, describing the implementation of the revised Bachelor of Arts Degree requirements, and another memo from Doug describing the implementation of the new United States Cultures and International Cultures requirement.






            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item C is the report from Senate Council. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting of January 18 are included in today’s Agenda.






            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item D is announcements by the Chair, and I have just a few comments.


            As I am sure you know, at its January meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding approved just the week before by the Dickinson Board of Governors. This Memorandum of Understanding sets the University on a course toward a dual-campus law school. You may share with me some sense of satisfaction in the outcome represented by these votes; satisfaction on behalf of the University, President Spanier, Provost Erickson, and Vice President Schultz. I think they deserve congratulations for successfully resolving this extremely difficult issue.


            The Senate, of course, was not involved in these negotiations. I have given Council a complete description of our activities in this matter, and you can read that account in the November 23 Council minutes. The short description of those activities is that we were actively preparing to develop a Senate position addressing faculty issues in the event that negotiations with the Board of Governors failed. The other officers and I met with the Dickinson faculty in Carlisle on November 10, at a time when dissolution of the merger seemed to be a very real possibility, even a likelihood. The one message I heard most clearly at that meeting was the Dickinson faculty’s unequivocal desire to remain affiliated with Penn State. I am sure we all share some relief on behalf of our Dickinson colleagues that their future as part of the Penn State family appears to be no long in doubt.


            As most of you know, it has been many years since our students were required to have an advisor’s signature for registration. In fact, an advisor’s signature is still required for very little that a typical student does at this University. Self-advising has become increasingly common and in fact increasingly easy. Students can easily register for courses and get answers to most of their questions by logging into eLion, which, by the way, is a Penn State program developed here at Penn State and which, I understand, is one of the very best of its kind in the nation. However, during our annual visits, the officers have heard from many students and faculty members who think that some form of mandatory advising is needed to bring students and their advisors back together, perhaps to reestablish the idea with both faculty and students that advising is a responsibility and not an imposition. I raised this idea in the Senate Newsletter last week and apparently it touched a minor nerve. Many, many faculty members and quite a few deans have sent me their thoughts on the subject. If you have an opinion, please let me know. I am collecting these e-mails, and they will help us in deciding whether to continue pursuing this matter.


            We are all painfully aware that diminishing state support has shifted more and more of the financial burden of higher education to students. This was the subject of one of President Spanier’s special addresses to the Senate last year. Many of us were the first persons in our families to attend college. We know the transformative power of education, and we know how important it is for young men and women to have access to our universities. That is why I asked Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid Committee to sponsor today’s report on financial aid and the costs of a university degree, and the sobering implications of these data for questions of affordability and access to higher education.


            The Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG) is working with student organizations from other Commonwealth universities to organize a rally calling for increased state support of higher education. This rally will be held on the steps of the Capital Building rotunda on Tuesday, March 15. The students are asking for our help. The rally begins at 1:00 and our March Senate meeting begins just 30 minutes later. I strongly encourage everyone in this room to attend the Senate meeting on March 15, but if you have to miss the Senate meeting, then showing up to support our students would be a good thing, too. I think we should applaud the CCSG students for their leadership on this important issue. (applause)


            On the Senate home page you will find a link to a preliminary report entitled, “Academic Integrity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Principles, Rules, and Best Practices” by the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. Past Senate Chair John Nichols is our representative to this group (in fact, I think he was one of the founding members of the group) and he attended a meeting at Vanderbilt University on January 7 and 8 where the new principles were drafted. John Nichols and Martin Pietrucha, Chair of Intercollegiate Athletics, presented this draft for discussion at the committee meeting this morning, and John will be taking the Penn State message back to this group before it finalizes the document later the spring.


            I am sure that President Spanier will bring this up as well, but I would like to personally encourage your support of the 33rd Annual Dance Marathon, which will occur in two and one-half weeks. I must admit that I personally have never been to THON, but my wife and I pledge to each student who asks, and every year several students manage to find our neighborhood somehow. Over its history, this even has raised more than $40 million for the Four Diamonds Fund, which assists cancer patients at the Penn State Children’s Hospital. It is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.


            I want to remind you again that the Nominating Committee of Council, chaired by Chris Bise, and the Committee on Committees and Rules (CC&R) Nominating Committee, seek nominations for the Officers of the Senate, which is the responsibility of the Council Nominating Committee; and for members of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President; and three extra-Senatorial Committees. Those nominations are the responsibility of CC&R Nominating Committee. This process is still open; I think probably for another two weeks or so, so please talk with your unit colleagues and caucus members to identify senators and faculty members to nominate for these positions.


            Finally, my last remark: I regret to pass on the message that Candace Spigelman, a faculty member at Penn State Berks, passed away unexpectedly on December 17. Candace had been a senator since 2003 and served on the Undergraduate Education Committee and the Writing Subcommittee.






            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item E is comments by the President of the University. President Spanier is with us today and I would like to invite him to come up and make a few comments.


            President Spanier: Thank you very much. I will begin by commenting on the Dance Marathon, which is coming up very quickly. Let me do a show of hands. How many of you have been to THON? That is fabulous. For those of you who have not visited Dance Marathon, in recent years since it has been in Rec Hall, I really do encourage you to stop by and take a look at it any time of the day or night on Dance Marathon weekend. I try to spend as much time there as possible myself and it is a very, very impressive event. The logistics of it, the volunteer effort—about ten thousand students volunteer in one way or another. The amount of money they raise, and just the spirit behind it is quite remarkable. As you may know, the students from Dance Marathon have provided the lead gift for the new children’s hospital at the Medical Center in Hershey, a gift of $10 million dollars. A couple of years back, they pledged $5 million dollars for pediatric cancer research, and they have been raising the last few years about $3.5 million a year in conjunction with that event. So they really do deserve all of our support.


            Well in the news, the governor announced that he would be delaying slightly the release of the State budget, of his budget proposal, because he plans to be in Philadelphia that day to celebrate the Eagle’s Super Bowl win. So the budget release has been delayed until a week from Wednesday. I do not think with that extra day’s delay the news will be any different for us then it would have been on the prior day, but we are very hopeful that higher education will be treated a little better this year than the State has been able to do for us in recent years.


            I have been out of town the last few days. I also noticed in the news there was a scathing indictment of my presidency by a sports columnist, who often writes very strong and unfriendly things. It was read to me over the phone, while I was out of town. So I am going to have to go back and reread it. I understand the cause of his denouncing me was my answer to a member of the Board of Trustees, in a public session, about what I thought about the arms race in intercollegiate athletics, the great spending that is taking place at some universities nationally. Among the things I said, was that it was our philosophy at Penn State to pay everyone a fair salary, but I did have some level of discomfort with paying coaches $2 million. (applause) I did not go so far as to say we would never consider doing that, or that we were opposed to market forces, or that we wanted to be subject to anti-trust legislation about salary caps, or anything like that; but I simply said that it was within my value system at Penn State for people to be paid fairly and generously. We hope to avoid that kind of scenario in athletics. I thought it was a pretty reasonable answer and think he reproduced that particular quote, but then really took off on me. I understand that has been the subject of a lot of sport talk shows as well. If they try to drum me out, I hope I will have some support from the faculty. It is the only group I can think of that might support me on this one.


            I also want to thank the Faculty Senate leadership. We have been speaking to them at every one of our meetings, giving updates on the situation with the Dickinson School of Law. I am very pleased that almost all the stars have aligned at this point: the Board of Governors of the Law School, the Board of Trustees of the University, and the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority, which is involved because they are the entity that would be a conduit for matching money that would come from the governor for refurbishment of the facilities in Carlisle. We are still in discussions with the governor, bringing his part of it to closure. Meanwhile, one of the reasons I was out of town is that I have started the process for privately raising the $10 million that we hope to raise as part of that matching plan.


            I want to thank all of you, on behalf of all of your colleagues around the University for your role in making such a smooth transition in our new I.D. system. Moving to I.D. numbers away from social security numbers is part of our process to provide a little more protection to faculty, staff and students, and insulate ourselves a little better against identity theft and some of the other things that are out there. It was amazing how compliant the faculty were in getting their grades in very early. So I am thinking every year we should invent some crisis, which requires everybody to get their grades in a very timely way because we had wonderful turnaround this year.


            I want to raise just two issues briefly. We continue to struggle a bit at Penn State on the question of whether or not to cancel classes on Martin Luther King’s birthday. As you know, that is a federal holiday. It is always celebrated officially on a Monday. So like certain other federal holidays, it creates that three day weekend somewhat early in the spring semester. Many universities have gone to canceling classes; in fact, a majority of institutions in the Big Ten do that. We are among those universities that have not done that, because we have really struggled with this philosophical issue. We know from other experiences with the so called fall break, the “study day,” whatever you want to call those breaks we occasionally have during the year that fall on Mondays. We know from prior experience, that this creates a three day weekend and virtually all of the students leave campus.


            I do not think there is another university that has done as much programming around Martin Luther King Day as Penn State has. We have lots of seminars; we encourage faculty members; when appropriate, to integrate into their classroom experience discussions that are relevant. Our Undergraduate Student Government has created this marvelous day of service, where students go into the community and do some very positive things. On that Monday evening, we have always brought in a distinguished speaker to Eisenhower Auditorium, and have had really excellent programs and speakers over the years. So we now have a tradeoff if we cancel classes, we would lose a lot of our students that day and it would mean cutting back on the programming that we do. So we have to this point leaned towards continuing to have classes on that day, but I think we have now reached a turning point. So I want to advise you today, that we are seriously considering starting next year not holding classes on that day. It is very hard to explain the philosophy as I just have to you, in a matter of a few words, to thousands of people who really are unable to have the chance to think through the issues as we would in the academic side of the University, and to our new students who come each year. So admittedly it is something symbolic.


            It is a federal holiday; of course, at Penn State as at other universities we celebrate some federal holidays in terms of canceling classes, and others we do not. We have classes on Columbus Day, Veterans Day, on what is now called Presidents’ Day, and then we do not have classes on certain other federal holidays. So it is not as if it is a zero or 100 percent thing, but we seriously considering that possibility, and I expect we are likely to go ahead and do that starting next year. I wanted to mention it here, because many of you have written me in the past whenever we cancelled any day of classes, for any reason. Some of you have this wonderful value system where every day of class is important, and you want to get that extra hour of chemistry in for your students, or physics, or sociology, whatever it might be. So I understand the issues on all sides of it. Believe me, we have talked about it quite a bit. If you have some thoughts on it, feel free to send them along, but I wanted to let you know how we are leaning on that right now. We do not need any petitions or lobbying, believe me we understand all sides of the issues. We have really been thinking it through in various significant ways, but I thought I would give you some early feedback on that. We would expect to make an announcement yet this spring, so people have plenty of time to plan accordingly.


            The last thing I want to bring you up-to-date on a little bit, when we have had a few minutes to think about something other than the Law School, is probably the topic that we have spent the single most amount of time on within a small group in the University administration thinking about this year. It is hard to believe, but I have been president for ten years now, and having been at Penn State earlier in my career, I have a pretty good feel for the evolution in different eras of some of the organizational issues at the University. I think Penn State has made very good decisions each time we tinkered with the organization of the University—to try to be able to click on all cylinders; be efficient; recognize that we are not as well funded as other institutions; paying attention to student demands and demographics. We have had a series of discussions with the deans and within Old Main. We have spent a lot of time thinking about a broad range of organizational issues within Penn State. Nothing has been decided yet; we are still very much collecting the issues and trying to think through them, but I wanted to just give you a preview today of what some of the topics and issues are that we are looking at.


            Our goal by the March Board of Trustees meeting is to have figured it all out, and to make some announcements about changes in all different areas of the University that will look forward for the next ten years or beyond, and to think about how we might function a little better. It is a good thing for a University to do, and as complex as we are, and given the challenges for us that are out there, I think these are things that are worth talking about. Certainly, from time to time we take a fresh look at the overall academic support services at the University, and that is an area that we will look at. We are very mindful of the important and growing role of continuing education in this state for adult learners, and the importance for Penn State to pay attention to that changing demographic, and the needs of adult learners. So we are looking at adult learners, part-time students, continuing education programs, and thinking about ways in which Penn State can organize itself better in that whole arena. I mean all of Penn State, campuses, our central support services, and the college activities at University Park. There is a parallel here with Student Affairs. Student Affairs is taking on increasing importance in colleges and universities today. I think we have been through a shift in eras. When many of us were in college, Student Affairs was being deemphasized. A lot of students did not think they needed it. The thought was we are adults now; we will take care of ourselves, and we don’t really need a lot of your attention and services. I think that has changed. Our students are coming to the University today really expecting more from the out of classroom experience, or from the connection between the out of classroom and the in-classroom experience. So we are looking at a lot of things relating to student affairs, and again, how we do that in the best way we can, recognizing that while we might have a complete array of support services here at University Park, we do not have quite the same array of support services at all of our campuses.


            In the area of University Relations (communication, public relations, publications, advertising), we are also looking at how we do business there. I hope you give me a little license for putting it this way. For protecting Penn State’s brand name; for getting our message out there in an increasingly competitive environment; for dealing with what we see as a tremendous proliferation of publications; and web sites of varying quality; to see if we can bring everything up to a certain level of quality and have necessary coordination in that area.


            We have been listening to your Faculty Senate leadership, which does this wonderful thing of going around and visiting campuses, and listening what the faculty has to say and giving us some feedback. Clearly what we are hearing from the campuses overlaps substantially with what we are feeling in the administration. That is, we have a certain degree of curricular drift we might call it, or a lack of curricular coherence that has developed, for some good reasons in many cases. There is a positive side to this; it is all not necessarily a negative side. We want to look at how we are doing business, how we are organized, and how the Senate gets involved in looking at the whole business of the curriculum.


            Penn State is one university, geographically dispersed. What some of the challenges are, in that regard, and how we are organized at the campuses administratively, is particularly an important issue, as I have spoken to the Senate about on other occasions. The challenges today and in the next decade are going to be different than what we experienced twenty years ago, or even ten years ago. You are all familiar with the unfavorable demographics for an institution like Penn State that we see ahead in Pennsylvania in the coming decade. We are always going to have an unlimited number of applications of highly qualified students to this campus, and to some of our other campuses. However, some of our campuses that draw from a more local or regional pool of students are in areas of the state where there is a significantly declining pool of college-bound high school graduates. The competition is increasing, and other schools are engaged in heavy tuition discounting, which we cannot do. So demographics are something we have to look at.


            We also have to face up to the continuing difficulty that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is having in funding us at the level we need to be funded. How we deal with that; how we set our tuition; how we keep the doors of opportunity open, and make the University affordable for our prospective students. So approaches to tuition need to be looked at. We are in a situation now where we have relatively high tuition at all of our campuses. We are the most expensive public university in America right now. We have a lot of people that look at Penn State and say, “well, it is still a bargain given what your earning potential is after you get a degree from Penn State.” Everybody knows you get a baccalaureate degree and you earn $1 million in your lifetime more than you would without the degree. We have some data that shows if it is a Penn State degree it is worth even more than that. A lot of students and their families are focused very much on paying that tuition bill right now. We have to be mindful of that as we look at some of these challenges.


            I mentioned the increasing competition we have from other colleges and universities. Pennsylvania right now is making it possible and encouraging community colleges to become more developed. So, while Pennsylvania has not had one of the stronger community college systems in the country, there has been more emphasis on that recently. By their tuition structure with contributions from their local governments, local schools, state support, and their own tuition income, they are able to operate very efficiently. We do have internal competition for students among Penn State campuses, and we want to pay some attention to that. I am not sure we are clicking on all cylinders, the way we approach some of those issues. I mentioned the disciplinary, functional cohesion across campuses. Of course, all of this has to be done in the context of balancing campus goals and University goals. So we have a pretty good feel for what some of the issues and challenges are. We have been informed by feedback that we have received from Faculty Senate leadership. The deans have participated in this discussion on some different occasions this year. We have had two all day retreats where we have talked about these issues, and we have made no decisions yet. Basically, we have given ourselves the month of February to now start working through these issues, and thinking about what changes we might make around the University to have this all fit together better. So I hope you do not read into my comments anything more than I mean for you to read into them. I am not here to announce that there is going to be some dire change in the University. I do not think we are going to do anything that should make anybody upset. I hope that we are going to do some things everybody could look at it and say that all makes sense given what is happening our there. So we will be back. When is the next Senate meeting?


            Chair Steiner: March 15.


            President Spanier: I do not know if we will be ready then, because I think we want to give our Board of Trustees the first shot at the discussion. I think that is a few days after March 15. So I do not know; it might be the following Faculty Senate meeting. Somewhere along the way, I will ask for at least one-half hour on the Agenda. I will give a whole presentation on what we are thinking; how we got from here to there; what all the different variables are; and what the specifics would be. We will also try to be mindful of any of the things we might be doing that would be important for the Senate to take up as well. We are talking mostly at this point about administrative structural things. Of course, anything that gets into the curriculum we would ask for support of, and maybe appoint a faculty committee to delve into some of those issues after we get the structural things looked at. So I hope that I did not confuse you too much, but if you start picking up rumors about it, or you hear things around the edges because we are going to involve more and more people in these discussions, we do not want you to think there is something afoot that you were totally unaware of. So, I am happy to open it up for questions and comments now.


            Tramble T. Turner, Abington: President Spanier, to ask you a question about some opportunities for Penn State, please bear with me while I read a brief excerpt from the January 19 Philadelphia Inquirer editorial, which you have seen. “Almost two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and more than half get too little physical activity. In 2001 the Surgeon General, David Satcher, declared obesity a serious public health problem.” Later in the editorial it reads, “Only one state, Illinois, requires daily physical education in school even though childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last thirty years.” The editorial goes on to state, “other mandates have crowded physical education out of the school day. That trend needs to be examined critically.” My question is, what opportunities you see in terms of this national health crisis for Penn State to take a national leadership role in terms of wellness, and how that might relate to our upcoming discussions of the General Health and Physical Activity (GHA) requirements?


            President Spanier: What an interesting way to pose that question. I think I have an idea where you are headed with that. I think that editorial sounds like it is focused on the K-12 system, and what they are doing with physical education and athletics in the public schools. I think it is unfortunate that those programs are being cut back in some schools. I also think it is unfortunate that they are cutting back the programs in art, music and some other areas as well. There are a lot of things in the K-12 educational system, like going to the cafeteria for lunch at a certain time, recess, and going to required assemblies; which we do not carry forward to the university. We assume that by the time people get to the university, they are able to construct a profile of their activities and experiences that do not have to come as a result of a mandate from the university. It is no secret that I am supportive of Penn State having in its curriculum, some requirement as part of the General Education curriculum that finds a way to promote life-long health and wellness, because I have been saying it for ten years and every two or three years it comes up here. I have never thought that we needed to be the last remaining institution in the country, which I think we might be. I do not mean at the moment, because there probably are a few still out there now, but we are among the last, and I am not sure we want to be the last, which actually requires students to take an activity course.


            The data I see, and I get the data regularly, is that Penn State has the largest intramural program in the country. The fitness passes that we sell at the fitness centers are unbelievable. I get complaints from students that the centers are so busy that they cannot get in there. I have to watch when I drive onto campus that I do not run over people jogging. This is a very fitness-oriented youth culture that we have right now.


            I think requiring them to take one credit of golf or racquetball is not the way to go with that. I think the change that we made when we last revised the General Education curriculum was a very good one. We allowed part of that requirement to be fulfilled with broader courses in nutrition, how the body works, or other things that seem a little more academic to me, and still promoted health and wellness. I do not happen to believe that we need the GHA requirement as it is constituted right now. I would like to see those courses taken out of General Education and put on an elective basis. You could still take them and have them count towards graduation maybe if you met all of your requirements; or, I would like to see those kinds of courses maybe administered on a self-support basis by our recreational folks, but I think given that we are trying so hard to keep the General Education credits within a certain zone, and not increase the number or credits for graduation, this is an area where maybe it is a time for a change. We cannot force everybody to be healthy, but I think we are doing a pretty good job without needing that requirement here at the University.


            I know you are going to talk about this more. By the way, we do not have any intention of taking any tenured faculty member where this is what they do, and saying we do not have that requirement anymore, so we are removing your tenure, or we are forcing you to do this or that. That is not going to happen. This should not be seen as a human resources or employment issue for tenured or tenure-track faculty members. We are very mindful of that. So if there is any reaction to that issue, I think I can give you some assurance that is not what that is about. In time there may be some retirements. There will be some turnover. Maybe a campus or college would choose to use that position differently if fewer of those courses were being taught. This is not a cost savings thing. There is no intention of removing lots of money from Health and Human Development or Kinesiology. For that matter, I think we have a fabulous department of Kinesiology. We do not plan on slashing the budget of that department because of this discussion either. I really hope you can look at it in the terms of academic merits of an issue like this.


            Chair Steiner: Any other questions for the president? Graham, I just have to tell you I have a son who lives in Philadelphia. All three of my boys are very avid sports fans and they read the sports page, first thing. He gets the online subscription to the Centre Daily Times, this particular boy. Well, Sunday I came home from a meeting, and discovered he had drafted a letter to the editor. My wife was talking to him on the phone and he was appalled that we would not spend $1 or $2 million to hire a football coach. My wife said, “Kim do you want to talk to him about this?” I said to her, “I do not really have an opinion about it. Just give him this message: When you write a letter to the editor, and I have written several of them, it is always better to hit the save button than the send button.” If you see a letter to the editor from someone named Steiner, I did not have anything to do with that.


            President Spanier: Well, I should not have brought that up, but it was on my mind.


            Chair Steiner: Any more comments or questions for the president? Graham, thank you very much.





            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item F is forensic business, and we have business under this Agenda item today. The Committee on Undergraduate Education is sponsoring a forensic session on the General Education Health and Physical Activity requirement as we were just talking about.


            Now, before I bring Art Miller up to introduce this discussion, I want to say a few words about how we got here, because I have heard some comments about this. Coming into the fall, we had an upcoming report from the Undergraduate Education Committee that had been drafted by a special ad hoc committee to look at the implementation of the Senate’s last legislation on the GHA requirement. That was the sub-committee that was chaired by Barton Browning and charged by Chris Bise. That sub-committee was just charged just to look at the implementation of that requirement. Just as we have been looking at the implementation of other General Education requirements from time to time, including most recently, the First-Year Seminar. This year we are looking at the Writing Across the Curriculum requirement, and I am sure we will be looking at other General Education requirements in the future.


            As Art and I looked at that report coming to the Senate, it was our collective opinion that this report dealt solely with the implementation of the requirement. It had nothing to do with the requirement itself, and that when we presented it on the floor of the Senate, that we should just talk about the implementation—that the requirement was not part of the charge; it should not be part of the final report, nor explicitly or even implicitly, part of the discussion. However, that said, coming into the fall, and coming into the presentation of that report, I knew that these events might lead us to the point that we are at right now, because I knew the discussion of the implementation of the GHA requirement might very well precipitate discussion about the requirement itself. I mean, people discuss what they want to discuss, and it seemed fairly natural that might come up. You may recall, however, that the delivery of the report in October at the Harrisburg meeting elicited barely a comment from the floor of the Senate. After the October meeting, Art and I looked each other in the eye and said, “Well, that is that. People are just not interested in discussing this issue.” However, in the weeks following the October meeting, I received requests from the Engineering Caucus and others calling for Senate action on the requirement itself. Now what I could tell from those requests was that the depth of feeling on the issue was substantial. What I did not know was how widespread that sentiment was, but it appeared then, having gotten those requests, that the only right thing to do was to ask the Undergraduate Education Committee to discuss whether this should come forward as a forensic issue. Of course they did discuss it and subsequently in due course, the Council discussed that question and here we are looking at a forensic debate.


            Before the decision to have a forensic session, I heard suggestions that the Senate leadership was colluding to silence any opposition to the GHA requirement, and after the decision was made I heard suggestions that we were colluding to do away with the GHA requirement. Now, the truth of the matter is, if I or anyone else in the Senate leadership tried to do either of those things, it would complicate my job, and I do not feel like making my job any more complicated than it is. It is easy to believe that special interests are behind decisions like this. That seems like a natural and simple explanation. But the real explanation is even simpler than that—even simple-minded. In my experience, and certainly while I have been Chair, decisions have been based on a basic notion of fairness to the competing interests within the Senate, and certainly there are competing interests within the Senate. I view my role in this job as being an agent for your will, really, an agent for the will of the Senate. If there is any leadership part to do this job, it is in bringing important issues to the attention of the Senate and its committees, and then in drawing out whatever it is that is the Senate’s will on the matter. So that is how we got to this point. I wanted to say those things for the benefit of people who might not understand. I was in the Commonwealth Caucus meeting this morning and I drafted these comment before that, but I felt there certainly were people who do not understand.


            With that, I would like to ask Committee Chair Art Miller to come forward and introduce the forensic discussion.





Special Forensic Session on the

General Education Health and Physical Activity Requirement (GHA)


Arthur C. Miller, Chair Undergraduate Education


            Art Miller: Thank you, Kim. At committee meetings we have been discussing this at the last couple of sessions we have had. What we wanted to do was get input from the Faculty Senate. I would like to pose two questions basically on the merit of keeping the GHA requirements and the merit of eliminating the requirements. What I would also like to do is stay away from any anecdotal comments. It is really looking at the merits both academically—whether we should have it or whether we should not have it. What we are going to do is go back to the Undergraduate Education Committee, and discuss further the input we get from the Faculty Senate today. Our next committee meeting on March 15 will have this item on the Agenda again.


            Chair Steiner: Thank you, Art. If you would all turn to Appendix C in the Agenda. There are two specific questions posed with some sub-questions under those. The questions are:

            What are the educational merits of maintaining the GHA requirements?

            What are the educational merits of eliminating the GHA requirements?

Then there are some guiding questions under each of those. Once I call on you, you can say just about anything you want. I hope people will confine their comments to those specific issues, because if we are going to be talking about a General Education requirement, whether it is GHA or something else, these to me and to Art and his committee are really the important questions we need to be asking.


            I want to remind you that a forensic session is for the purpose of exchanging ideas among senators; however, there is a provision in the By-Laws for non-senators to ask for the privilege of the floor. I have had two requests for that privilege, and I will be calling on those two non-senators sometime during the course of this discussion. Those are the only non-senators who are entitled to speak in this forensic discussion. Senate Council has set aside thirty minutes for this discussion.


            Nancy Wyatt, Commonwealth College: I want to read to you from a letter that was prepared by Cynthia Lightfoot, Head of Human Development and Family Studies. I will excerpt from the letter, “To move against retaining the GHA requirement at this time is to move against the steady stream of recent and productive scholarship. According to which, intellectual development and esthetic appreciation, the goals of General Education, are seen as the accomplishments of a mind embodied in physical movements, sensation, and ethic. Failing to educate students on the knowledge, habits, attitudes, and skills needed to live well, is a retrograde step in a climate that takes an increasingly holistic approach to students’ development. In addition, to endorse a philosophically defunct and theoretically indefensible dichotomy between mind and body, eliminating the GHA requirement would be irresponsible in light of national health trends. Finally, it should be recognized that eliminating the GHA requirement would have different repercussions for Commonwealth College campuses than the University Park campus. The delivery of GHA courses constitutes a significant portion of the workload for our Kinesiology faculty. Moreover, at commuter campuses, GHA courses play an instrumental role in campus community life and provide an introduction and means of entry into our athletic programs. Thank you.


            Chair Steiner: Thank you, Nancy. If anyone wants to pickup on Nancy’s comments, let it be noted that the last part of those comments is off topic for this discussion. Let us not let the discussion go astray.


            Robert Ricketts, College of Health and Human Development: A couple of comments from the Health and Human Development Caucus. One, obviously the importance of health and physical activity in today’s society is well documented, so I do not want to go on there. The Center for Disease Control report in 1996 certainly stated the importance of health and physical activity. This morning on the news—cancer, obesity—I think there were three separate reports on CNN regarding the importance health and physical activity. We just want to bring forth that report that we submitted in December 2003, that really looked at the GHA requirements and its implementation. Health and Human Development has fulfilled all of those requirements. We have knowledge-based courses; we have physical activity based courses; and the satisfaction level, the quality of course and quality of instruction, has exceeded the scores of the University at large. So Health and Human Development feels very comfortable that we have delivered a program that has met the needs of General Education. Now, personally speaking for myself, as far as the GHA requirement is concerned, if you look at the news, I do not know how many of you have seen the commercial where the person looks at the scale, 249 pounds, runs around the gym, looks at the scale again; 249 pounds and expecting to see it drop. There is a diet pill: $158 for a 30-day supply. We have unbelievable facilities on campus: fitness facilities, club sports, IM’s—but they are recreational in nature. I think the GHA requirement is educational by nature. We take students in both knowledge-based domains and again the physical activity domain and educate students as to the importance. In line with that, the other key thing I want to bring forth, if we just think we can meet it with the fitness facilities, I might add we have GA requirements. If the student goes to the museum and a theatre production, do we eliminate that requirement? So personally speaking, I think the GHA requirement needs to stay; it is an important part of the students’ curriculum, and it represents 1/15th of General Education and 1/40th of student’s overall course work at Penn State. In conclusion, if you have been following the news, a leading research institution in the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is considering mandating a physical activity program for their students and might include a swim test,  which we actually had back in 1977. Thank you.


            Cara-Lynne Schengrund, College of Medicine: This morning in the Faculty Benefits Committee, one of the items we discussed was an ongoing wellness program, and the fact that this University should be promoting wellness and the education needed for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you go back to President Spanier’s comments of a few minutes ago, he mentioned that in some K-12 institutions physical activity is mandated, but in many of these institutions, it is being eliminated as a cost saving measure for the taxpayer. So these students can go all the way through high school without having learned much at all about diet, about how to pursue a physically active lifestyle that is appropriate for their well-being. These are things they can pick up when they are in college. Just as we offer remedial math for those students who get through high school without learning math fundamentals, or we offer remedial English courses for those students who have not learned English, I think we owe it to the students to make sure they all have some idea what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you look at statistics from 1986-1996, there was a ten percent increase in the population in this country that was overweight and or obese. That is too short a time span to have it be due to a genetic trait being expressed. We also have students, youngsters 12 and 13 that are markedly obese, and we are seeing an increase in diabetes among students of this age. That is not necessarily genetics alone, but induced by the overweight. If you look at the DVD on the documentary named “Super Size Me,” in response to a lawsuit that was thrown out by a judge as being frivolous that was brought against McDonalds, the intro shows 20 or so diseases that are exacerbated by obesity. So if nothing else, we need to keep courses in that teach people about the need to remain physically fit, because as they age, these diseases become more exacerbated. Also, you all think about what you pay for your health insurance, which is how this came up in benefits in the first place. Okay, you increase the obese population, you increase the degree of illness, and you increase the expense it is going to cost you for your health insurance. So there are a number of reasons for keeping this, and it is all part of your education on how to lead a healthy life as you pass on through college and go on out in the world to live. Thank you.


            Joanna Floros, College of Medicine: I just wanted to make some comments from the points of view of health and economics. Quite a bit has been said, but I would like to give some data from some national studies. As we know more children are overweight in the country than ever before, and the rate of weight increase per unit time increases steadily since the 1970’s. Obesity-related diseases cost the United States economy more than $100 billion each year. Now the two together, inactivity and poor diet, cause at least 300,000 deaths per year in the United States. Only tobacco causes more preventable deaths than what I just noted. The other important point is about one-in-four children have not participated in any team sports. It seems that college may be the last station, if you will, or the last opportunity to expose, influence, impose, or introduce students to physical activities or even help them develop activity hobbies that will have an important impact on our nation’s health and economy. Thanks.


            Christopher Bise, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences: Thank you, Kim. Thank you very much for providing the background in this issue. Last year when I charged that committee it was one of my agenda items, basically because I served on a committee looking at General Education ten years ago. If you recall, we dropped the whole General Education requirement by one credit. That one credit was taken from the combination of the health and physical activity from four to three credits. We looked at combining this area such that you could take three credits and a health education course. So I figured, just like any other General Education area should be examined to see how well it is addressing the issues brought by the Senate, that this would be the one issue I would like to look at this year, much like we looked at First-Year Seminars, and so forth. What drove that was every night you go home, you watch the TV, you read the newspapers, and they talk about as you are hearing now, health and wellness, onset of juvenile diabetes, and so forth being a problem. The Center for Disease Control says that physical activity among Pennsylvanians of all age groups under 65 has decreased over the past ten years. In fact, if you look at leisure activities among all age groups under 65, you find it is 25 percent or less who spent any form of leisure activity within a month prior to the survey. So I thought this was a timely issue to take a look at, and see how well it was being addressed. I was not asked by anybody to bring it up; I had an interest in it admittedly, and to see how well things were. I think the question now we have to ask is, how is health education valued by the Penn State community? Now the one complaint I hear is about the 1.5 credits making it difficult for students. I think that is easily fixed, if that is the only major complaint in this area. I do think it is an issue we should take a look at, especially when you consider 25 percent or less of all age groups under 65 in Pennsylvania perform any activity over the past month. I know over the past month, I consider myself part of that group. I have been sitting patiently by the telephone, waiting for the call to fill in for Terrell Owens this weekend in Jacksonville. It is disheartening to know that my dreams of Super Bowl glory have been dashed, but I do not consider any form of physical activity even at this low amount to be a waste of time. I think that is the question you have to ask: how is health education valued by the community? Thanks.


            Chair Steiner: I do not want to interrupt anybody, their train of thought, what they want to say next, but there are six bullets under these two questions, and we talked about one bullet so far. So let us think about what else needs to be said.


            Jean Landa Pytel, College of Engineering: The arguments we have been hearing so far sort of assume that if you do not think that General Education should include Health and Physical Activity, you are anti-activity. That sort of seems to be the message I am getting here. Well, I think that is a little simplistic. Many of us, I imagine probably every one of us, values physical activity, understands the need for physical activity; we understand the health issues and all of that. That is not necessarily it. The question here is, is this the only way to deliver that message, to deliver that education, through General Education as a required kind of item? I would argue that it is not. Let me ask the question: do you know, in spite of our requirement, that our students who graduated having taken physical activity as part of their General Education are healthier than the general population? Are they? We do not know that, Okay. I mean we do our best. Part of the education that our students get occurs outside the classroom. Not all have to be within required courses. Just because it is not, does not mean it is less important. It is just a different way of delivering the education. Going back to an argument that was presented about providing remediation at the University level, well, look at the remedial courses. They cannot be used to meet degree requirements, okay. That is what remediation is. It is not meeting degree requirements of the baccalaureate or associate degree level. My contention is, some of my colleagues’ contention is, that we value physical activity; we would like our students to continue participating, but we feel given the pressures of delivering academic kind of programs and courses, that we would rather use those three credits for other purposes. We feel that there are many competing topics for General Education. For example, we have not kept up with a lot of things. Look at technology. All our lives are touched by it. Do we have a General Education item on technology, and how it affects us all in our daily living? We have not. General Education we do our best with it, but it cannot be everything for everybody. We have to make some decisions, and we would like to propose that we perhaps take a look at that requirement, and think perhaps we can reduce the credit load for our students or substitute something else for that, but does that really have to be as part of General Education? Can it not just be part of the opportunity, those kind of courses can they not just be part of the offerings that our students can take on their own?


            Peter Rebane, Abington: I will try to stick to the bullets, Kim. It is true, as the President said, we have a tremendous voluntary recreation program, and people are involved in all kinds of sports. Unfortunately, it is those people who do not take part that perhaps we can motivate by having this requirement and reaching them. I look at the other bullets here. What are the educational benefits of this particular physical education requirement? Well I am not so sure how I can measure what a couple of courses on drugs, health, reproduction, and so on will do for a student five or ten years down the line. However, neither can I measure what a student who sits in my class in Western Civilization really benefits from it, if they sit there and do not learn anything from it.


            Turning to the second page, there is an interesting question. It reads, “Justification for eliminating the GHA requirement must be predicated on the argument that there are better uses for these three credits in our curricula.” I would like somebody to stand up and tell me what three credits are better. Three credits in arts, three credits in electrical engineering, three credits in the use of Windows? I really do not know. Dr. Pytel raised the issue about we should have some more knowledge of technology. Well, there will be those who argue that if you sit in front of the computer you are less mobile, less active, more susceptible to heart attacks, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and other things. I guess I would rather see my child be forced to take some kind of program on drugs, health, and so on. So unless I am convinced that there are three other credits that are a better substitute for the GHA requirement, I think that this is a better choice than either dropping the three credits and then having a poor students graduate, albeit in better psychological shape with three credits less, or with some other course we dream up. I strongly urge we look at those issues before we eventually decide on it. Thank you.


            Chair Steiner: Thank you, Peter. I am going to take a diversion now and call on John Pfau, instructor in Kinesiology, who has asked for the privilege of the floor. John, do you still wish to make a comment?


            John Pfau, College of Health & Human Development: John Pfau, Kinesiology instructor, life long mover, and program director for the Kinesiology Physical Activity Program that delivers approximately 50 percent of the credits for the GHA program. I would like to make it very clear before I begin my remarks, that we do not have a physical education requirement. We have a Health Science and Physical Activity requirement. It is a selective requirement. A student can fulfill their three credits of GHA by selecting courses that suit them, whether they be activity or theory-only courses. So I would just like to make that clear before I begin.


            So you know who I am. Who am I representing today besides myself? I am representing a very large group of people. All of those faculty members, who have devoted part of their professional lives since 1919, teaching educationally-oriented physical activity experiences here on this campus. The John Lucas’s, the Janet Atwood’s, the Jim Thompson’s, the Joe Harvey’s, and many, many more. Health Science and Physical Activity has had a very glorious past. Penn State has had a history of including physical activity in its General Education requirements, but a very wise philosophy professor at this University taught me that honoring tradition without merit is fools play. So I would like to speak to the issues of the merit of the program.


            What are the merits of General Education, the GHA requirement? Merits having worth: educational, of or about learning. The requirement that was designed and passed in this room back in 1999 was designed to give students various gateways into the world of health and wellness. Our courses have merit. This group of scholars certified them as having merit. Along with that change in the requirement when we went from one credit of health and three required credits of physical education to three credits of Health Science and Physical Activity, there was a very, very strenuous review process. All of our courses were rewritten; they had to meet certain criteria, and this body certified that criteria.


            The General Education Bulletin reminds us that the purpose of General Education is to encourage students to experiment, explore, to take academic risk, to discover things they did not know, and to learn how to do things they had not done before. It is very hard to meet those goals by moving three credits back into a majors program. Do we deliver the programs that we said we were going to deliver? Yes, we do. Bob mentioned our SRTE ratings of 6.0 on a 7 point scale. A cynic in the room might think we pandered the students with easy classes. We do not, and that would be really underestimating the quality of our faculty, and the quality of the Penn State student.


            Research, you have heard some data here today. The active and physically fit not only have better organic functioning, they live longer and enjoy better health. College students who are engaged in fitness and activity programs are happier, more opportunistic, more self-confident, less hostile, less anxious, have higher self-confidence, sleep better, can concentrate longer, and are more physiologically resilient. We can produce the data to backup those statements.


            John Pfau: What are the educational merits of eliminating the GHA requirement? I have a little trouble in even saying that. I saw a great movie when I was a kid. It had to do with Bernadette of Lourdes, and I think Loretta Young played the part. As the movie ended and the picture faded to black, there was a voiceover and it said, “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible.” I think what we are talking about today is a little bit of that kind of situation. I believe in General Education. I believe that human beings are more than bundles of cognitive mathematical intelligences running around the world. For me there is no argument to eliminate the requirement, but I might be biased. Some voices on campus would have us leave things to chance. I think the things that this requirement represents are too important to be left to chance. We do, as Bob mentioned, have very good recreational facilities, but they are recreational. Kinesiologists manipulate physical activity experiences to create certain end-states. In this case, they are educational end-states. I do not see anyone suggesting that our libraries, museums, and concert halls be used to fulfill the humanities requirements, just leaving it to chance.


            Chair Steiner: John, I think we have probably reached the limit.


            John Pfau: Can I just wrap this up in one final comment?


            Chair Steiner: Yes, you can.


            John Pfau: I have great faith in this body to make the right decision, and if we do choose to move forward with this requirement, I would ask that you invite us in. Please stop talking about us and start talking to us. We are not perfect. Help us make things better and deliver the kind of program that you want us to deliver. Thank you.


            Chair Steiner: Okay, let’s go to the back row.


            Robert Zambanini, Berks: I am a rather new senator. I would like to give you a younger perspective on things here. I was listening and trying to come up with some counterpoints to the bullet items as you requested. I have six of them. First, I think we all know it is going to help if the requirement is kept. So I do not explain anything further on that. Secondly, it also educates on the physical side. For example, martial arts is an art. We learn more about it. I am getting a little bit of a belly, so if I take the right kind of class maybe I can find out the right way to get rid of it. Thirdly, it gives diversity. It is a different kind of class. It is not like a usual class where you walk into a classroom. You can actually put on hiking equipment, go travel 30 miles, and climb a cliff. It is different. It is a different type of education. We are saying, “Maybe we do not need this.” Why not get rid of a humanity requirement? Do you know what I mean? If we are going to get rid of a gym requirement, I do not see the point. Fourth, it is fun. The students like it. I have only been advising for two years. They all like it. Every student I have advised says, “Yeah, I took that one class. It was really fun. I am looking forward to part two.” Fifth, it is flexible. It gives the students flexibility. Let us say a student has 11 credits. They need to do really well in two of them, their entry to major requirements, they need one more credit. What better way to give them a little sense of relaxation then to take the extra credit as gym? Lastly, there is a bullet item about what are the benefits of removing the requirement. It sounds like, with all due respect to senator Pytel, we need the three credits to use elsewhere, as if to say we do not have time for it. Maybe that is why America is so obese. We just do not have time for the gym requirement and physical activities. Fine; I wonder if we are still going to think that when we are on our death beds, and we could have had another year or two if we would have taken better care of ourselves. Thank you.


            Chair Steiner: Thank you Robert. Professor Singh, you are next.


            Harjit Sigh, College of Medicine: We have been talking a lot about the pop literature and pop news about obesity, studies, popular news, popular literature about obesity and things like that. I am one of the few people in this room in the unique position that I treat it everyday. I spend hours everyday treating people who decided not to exercise, who decided smoking was okay. I will spend three and four hours trying to get blood flow back to their dead legs. So I see it down in the trenches, as it were. I think President Spanier’s comment and the comment over here are kind of reflective of what we are missing. He said, “There are a lot of people everywhere going out, working out, gym passes are real high. etc.” And we have the comment here, “We could use those credits for something like technology.” That is going to be the exact problem if you get rid of this requirement. All students are going to look at this over time—maybe not right away, but over time and say, “Gee, if the administration does not support the utility of physical fitness and learning about yourself, nutrition and things like that, then it cannot be that important to us. Also, by the way, I have a final, so I might as well blow off going to the gym any way.” I think what you are doing is you are going to reverse something, even thought it is small, it still is in the back of all of the students minds that this is still important. Then I do not have to work as hard 30 years from now trying to save their leg, arm, or trying to get them out of a stroke or something like that. Thank you.


            Chair Steiner: Thank you. Okay, Tram, I think you have had your hand up the longest. Let us all think about whether we are going in new directions with our discussion.


            Tramble Turner: Given the Chair’s emphasis on the desire to identify the will of the Senate; I would note that the will of the Senate was expressed in that compromise when we went from four to three credits. I also would like to pick up on Jean Landa Pytel’s comments. She raised a very, very important issue: that, in fact, those of us—I served along with Chris Bise—those of us who spent 22 months on the revision of General Education, among other measures, met with students not once, not for one month, but often. There were surveys that another former senator, John Cahir, mailed out to alumni. That is part of why the whole process took 22 months. Jean Landa Pytel raised the question, “Do we know what has been the outcome of these courses?” It is a great, valid question, and it is increasingly being asked in all areas. It has become a part of Middle States Accreditation. In her field, engineering, one of the great innovations in ABET accreditation is more emphasis on outcomes. I humbly submit that probably Undergraduate Education has jumped ahead of the game. There has been no survey of outcomes. Art, perhaps in the ongoing discussions, your committee could take up the question of doing an alumni survey, since we have had these requirements in place for quite awhile. We will have more evidence in terms of asking or answering the question, “What is the merit of keeping the requirement?” You will have more feedback. I do think it is incredibly important to note that various units in the University have unusual pressures. Engineering to keep certification—engineering at Penn State always historically being the one of the best in the country—does indeed have unique pressures on the degree requirements for their majors. However, that is not true University-wide, and this body represents the University-wide needs. Thank you.


            Art Miller: Let me say, I do not think the Undergraduate Education Committee is jumping the gun. What we are trying to do is get input so we can go back and better discussion.


            Leonard Berkowitz, Commonwealth College: I am not a new senator. I have three quick points. Kim, you have asked us to focus on the academic merits of this requirement. They are stated very nicely on page three on what we adopted for General Education. This requirement focuses on the theory and practice of life-span wellness and fitness activities, and on the knowledge, attitudes, habits, and skills needed to live well. That is about as good a set of academic and educational merits as I can think of. Second, we debated this area in detail when we debated General Education. This, in fact, was probably the single most debated subject when we took up General Education this last time. We focused one whole day on that issue, and we came to a decision, this was the decision. Third, I am sorry to see President Spanier has left; perhaps, Rod, you can carry this message back to him: he is wrong. We cannot be the last university in America to require an activity course, because Penn State does not require an activity course. That was the change we made. So we decided it, we debated it, let us continue it. Thank you.


            Chair Steiner: Thank you, Len. Barton Browning, you are next.


            Barton Browning, College of the Liberal Arts: I have a slightly different take, and that involves the designation for the course as activity courses, health and activity courses. Well, the courses we have are not merely activity courses. These are courses where students actually learn skills. Sometimes coming from their backgrounds, they would never have a chance to learn to ski, to golf, to fly fish, to do yoga. These are real opportunities for students that they might not be afforded otherwise. One of the problems, I think, in looking at the physical activity, physical skills part of the requirement, is that people question whether physical activities are worth academic credits. I think we might want to look at another part of our General Education requirements, the General Arts requirements. As you know in the General Arts requirements, you may take either a course on theater history, art history or you may, in fact, take a course in painting, in drawing and other physical activities, physical skills that you learn through that requirement. So if we are being consistent, across General Education, I think the GHA requirement certainly has as much place as the GA requirement.


            Chair Steiner: Thanks, Barton. Ingrid, I have you next on the list.


            Ingrid Blood, College of Health and Human Development: If you limit your definition of physical and health science, you are not really seeing the scope of what is being offered. We are offering courses that not only look at immediate gratification, but long term consequences. For example, I am in a department where we are now offering, “How to Prevent Hearing Loss,” and “How to Prevent Voice Disorders,” and the students are generalizing, too. What they will do for an occupation, and how will they vote in the elections that are coming up? Many of them are having families that will need to worry about hearing impairment. So it is the long term consequences, in terms of decision making, consumerism, and not just whether or not they are having a physical activity.


            Chair Steiner. Thank you, Ingrid. Howard Sachs, in the back.


            Howard Sachs, Capital College: Two very brief comments. First of all, I am a father of an alum in the Computer Science program, a real techno-geek, who probably would have never even thought about physical activity when he was a Computer Science major. He took a course in fencing; he took a course in self-directed jogging, bicycling and I guarantee you that what he learned in those courses probably is important academically, because now he is a computer game programmer. He probably learned more about the human body and the function of muscles and nerves by taking those courses.


            My second comment is, I do not want to see this degenerate into what occurred at another institution that I worked at: a full employment discussion. I would like to suggest that there are other courses that perhaps could be double counted. I teach two GN courses. One of them is Human Anatomy the other is Human Physiology. I think I could conduct a reasonably persuasive argument that those courses could not only count for GN but for GHA. So I would like to see us keep an open mind about where this is going, and not try to kick it out to try to save credits. Thanks.


            Chair Steiner: Thanks, Howard. I have some other people that have raised their hand. Dennis you are next and we are going to have to think about our time limit pretty soon.


            Dennis Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts: Such spirited defense in the face of a non-assault is rare, it seems to me in the annals of this body. We have heard one person speak in favor of the possibility of either revising or eliminating that.


            Chair Steiner: I am still trying to get a sense of where this discussion is going, Dennis.


            Dennis Gouran: Unless there are a lot of people who are opposed to the existing requirement in General Education, who are not representative of this body, it seems to me that the Committee on Undergraduate Education has gotten its answer. I do not know if we need to prolong the discussion. (applause)


            Chair Steiner: Let me ask this, does anyone else want to speak in the face of that? Speak now or forever hold your peace. We will not be coming back to this for another two years. Thanks, Art.










            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item H. The first Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee on Committee and Rules and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix D, entitled, “Revision to Standing Rules Article I, Section 11 (b, d, e,).” Pam Hufnagel, Chair of the committee will present the report.





Revision to Standing Rules, Article I, Section 11, (b, d, e)


Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair Committee on Committees and Rules


            Pamela Hufnagel: Good afternoon. This revision will simply write into the Constitution the possibility for on-line voting. As you know, we have been voting on-line for a couple of years. The only changes here are: the ballots will be e-mailed to you (the ballot can still be mailed if that is a necessity); the number of tellers drops from five to three because all the tellers need to do in an electronic vote is to watch the results and say there they are. Are there any questions on this report?


            Chair Steiner: If there is no discussion, we are going to vote. This report has been brought to the floor by committee and does not need a second. All those in favor of this legislation, please say, “aye.”


            Senators: Aye.


            Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation. Thank you, Chair Hufnagel.


            Our next Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix E entitled, “Revision of Policies 51-50 and 60-00.”Art Miller, Chair, is back to present this report.





Revision of Policies 51-50 and 60-00


Arthur C. Miller, Chair Undergraduate Education


            Art Miller: What the policy addresses is students who were moving from an associate to a baccalaureate degree, and from a baccalaureate to an associate degree. Basically, their cumulative grade-point average (GPA) was starting anew as they would start that next degree. What was getting caught was if a student was doing a baccalaureate degree, and then re-enrolling in a sequential degree, the policy indicated that the cumulative grade-point would start with a new degree. What that means is, if you had an undergraduate degree with 120 credits, then you did a sequential degree and you only needed 15 credits to perform that, your cumulative grade point average for that second degree would be based upon those 15 credits. We thought that is not a very good indication of your overall GPA. What this legislation is saying is, those students who are getting an associate degree to an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree to a baccalaureate degree, their GPA will be computed using the grades earned in all courses take at the University. So that is the purpose of this legislation.


            Chair Steiner: Any discussion on this legislation?


            Art Miller. I have one editorial change where we said “second,” and it should be “subsequent.” You can actually get more than a second degree. You can have many degrees. So there is an editorial change that will change it from “second” to “subsequent.”


            Chair Steiner: Did everyone understand that editorial change? This report has been brought to the floor by the committee and does not need a second. Are we ready to vote? All those in favor of this legislation, please say, “aye.”


            Senators: Aye.


            Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation.







            Chair Steiner: That brings us to Agenda Item J, Informational Reports. We have three reports on today’s Agenda. The last report in the Agenda is the report entitled, “University Travel Task Force Report.” Unfortunately, Catherine Shannon, who is the lead person on this report, is ill with the flu, and we were asked to postpone this report until the March meeting.








            Financial Aid Report, Appendix F. This report was presented by Anna Griswold, Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Aid, and Donald E. Heller, Associate Professor and Senior Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. The report focused on the challenges facing students in financing an education here at Penn State and nationally. The URL address for this presentation is:


            Reserved Spaces Program, Appendix G. This yearly report provides data on the three categories of “reserved spaces” for eligible freshmen at the University Park Campus. Some examples of students participating in this program are ROTC scholarship students, Educational Opportunity/CAMP students, Approved Athletes, and Blue Bad members. In fall 2004, 248 of 340 allotted spaces were used.





            University Faculty Census Report for 2005-2006, Appendix H. Dawn Blasko, Chair of the Election Commission gave a summary of the report that lists the total Senate seats for 2005-2006. She commented that a revised census report would appear on the March 15 Senate Agenda.











            Chair Steiner: Are there any comments?






            Chair Steiner: May I have a motion to adjourn?


            Senators: So moved.


            Chair Steiner: All in favor, please say, “aye.”


            Senators: Aye.


            Chair Steiner: Motion carries. The February 1, 2005, meeting of the University Faculty Senate was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.


            Please note the next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be on March 15, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building.







Revision of Policies 51-50 and 60-00

Cumulative Grade-Point Averages and Completing More Than One Undergraduate Major Program (Sequential or Concurrent Majors)




Effective Following Implementation by the President




Policy 51-50 addresses the computation of a student’s cumulative grade-point average. The policy prior to 2000 reset the grade point-average to zero for students who moved from a baccalaureate to an associate degree program, but did not address those who moved from associate to baccalaureate program.  The legislation that was passed by the Senate in February 2000 intended that the Cumulative Grade-Point Average for the new or subsequent degrees would start anew (i.e., the GPA for both changes, an associate to baccalaureate degree and from a baccalaureate to an associate degree).


At that time, re-enrollment to baccalaureate programs was common for students who had completed an associate degree program, but, the sequential degree as we know it today (Policy 60-20, which was changed in 2002) was not available.  When Policy 60-20 was approved, there was never any intention that the Cumulative Grade-Point average for a subsequent baccalaureate degree or for a subsequent associate degree would start anew.  The intention of Policy 51-50.2 was that the Cumulative Grade-Point average would start anew for students who re-enroll in a baccalaureate program after completing a Penn State associate degree program or vice versa.


Therefore, to make clear the intent of Policy 51-50, 51.50.3 has been changed to “a student who is completing more than one undergraduate major program, either a sequential or concurrent degree, (baccalaureate to baccalaureate or associate to associate) the GPA will be computed using the grades earned in all courses taken at the University.”



The way the current Policy 51-20.2 is stated, a student could manipulate a concurrent program by graduating and then immediately re-enrolling for a sequential degree program with only a few courses remaining for the sequential major.  The student can then get an unrealistic GPA for the sequential major that is based only on a few courses.  That is a misinterpretation of the intent of Policy 61-20. 



Senate Policies 51-50 and 60-00 should be revised as follows:


51-50 Cumulative Grade-Point Average


A student's cumulative grade-point average is the weighted mean value of all grade points (see Section 51-30) earned either by enrollment or examinations in courses at the University, except for the following: (Note: the words student and undergraduate student are used to designate a baccalaureate or associate degree candidate, a provisional student, or a nondegree student.)


  1. a baccalaureate degree candidate who has completed 800-level courses-- cumulative grade-point average will be based on all courses completed, other than 800-level;
  2. a baccalaureate degree or an associate degree graduate who is re-enrolled to a sequential degree program in accordance with Section 60-20-cumulative grade-point average for this program will be computed using only the grades earned in courses taken after re-enrollment to the second degree program;

2.   a student who has been approved for academic renewal—cumulative grade-point average will be computed in accordance with Senate Policy 58-60.  (Note: A student who is changing from a baccalaureate degree program to an associate degree program, may petition for a special case of academic renewal without four years in absentia from the university. 

  1. (now #2) a student who has been approved for academic renewal-cumulative grade-point average will be computed in accordance with Senate Policy 58-60.

3.   The cumulative GPA for a baccalaureate degree graduate who is re-enrolling in an associate degree program or an associate degree graduate who is re-enrolling in a baccalaureate degree program will be computed using only the grades earned in courses taken after re-enrollment.  The cumulative GPA for a student who is completing more than one undergraduate major program, either a sequential or concurrent degree, (baccalaureate to baccalaureate or associate to associate) will be computed using the grades earned in all courses taken at the university. 


*(Moved to #2) Note: A student who is changing from a baccalaureate degree program to an associate degree program, may petition for a special case of academic renewal without four years in absentia from the university.



60-00 Completing More Than One Undergraduate Major Program (Concurrent Majors and Sequential Majors)(Sequential or Concurrent Majors)


At the baccalaureate or associate degree level, students may be approved for admission to more than one major under the Concurrent Majors Program or the Sequential Majors Sequential or Concurrent Majors Program.  A Sequential Majors Program is one in which a student has graduated and then re-enrolls for another major.  A Concurrent Majors Program is one in which students take courses to concurrently meet the requirements of at least two majors, with graduation for all majors in the program occurring during the same semester. A Sequential Majors Program is one in which a student has graduated and then re-enrolls for another major.


Any student requesting more than one major program shall, for each major, meet the same acceptance standards and graduation requirements as met by all other students. Colleges and departments may identify and should publish any combinations of majors that would not be approved for more than one major program. In general, an undergraduate student may not combine a general major with a departmental major within the same college.


60-10: Concurrent Majors Program


  1. A candidate receiving approval may complete more than one major concurrently. The majors must be all at the baccalaureate level or all at the associate degree level.
  2. Approval for admission to each major must be obtained from the colleges and departments offering the majors. The approval document should include the list of courses that will satisfy the requirements for each of the majors.
  3. Whenever possible and with approval from the departments and colleges involved, courses may be used to meet the requirements of more than one major.
  4. Each major for which the candidate has been approved will be listed on the candidate’s degree audit and transcript at the time of admission to that major. A separate Degree Audit will be generated for each major. For the purpose of enrollment and record keeping, each major will be treated equally.
  5. Upon the completion of the Concurrent Majors Program, a candidate shall receive a diploma for each major.
  6. A Concurrent Majors Program may be listed and described in official University publications if entrance and graduation requirements have been identified and approved by the academic units involved.
  7. At the time of entry to major, not more than one of the candidate’s majors may be under administrative enrollment control.
  8. Exceptions to any part of the policy require the approval of all deans and departments involved.


60-20: Sequential Majors Program


  1. Upon completion of the requirements for one major graduation from a baccalaureate or associate degree major at the Pennsylvania State University and graduation, a candidate receiving approval for the second major may apply for re-enrollment (See Section 58-20) in another undergraduate baccalaureate degree major. after receiving a baccalaureate degree, or an associate degree major after receiving an associate degree.
  2. Approval for admission to the second major must be obtained from the college and department offering the major. The approval document should include the list of courses that will satisfy the requirements for the second major.  The student will have access to an adviser in the Sequential major. 
  3. Only the second major will be listed on the student’s degree audit.
  4. Restrictions may apply to admission to a sequential major that is under enrollment control. Such restrictions should be specified by the department and college that offer the major.
  5. Upon completion of the second major, a candidate shall receive a second diploma.
  6. Exceptions to any part of the policy require the approval of the dean and department offering the second major.




Cheryl L. Achterberg

Thomas E. Boothby

Robin Bower

Richard A. Carlson

James M. Donovan

Caroline D. Eckhardt

Gary J. Fosmire

Cheryl A. Gallagher

Janis E. Jacobs

Jeffrey B. Kranzel

Mark A. Levin

Nancy S. Love

Arthur C. Miller, Chair

Justin E. Patchcoski

Laura L. Pauley

A. David Salvia

Dhushy Sathianathan

John L. Selzer

Patience L. Simmonds

James A. Strauss

John B. Urenko

Beverly J. Vandiver

Eric R. White

Sara M. Yerger

Gregory R. Ziegler, Vice Chair




The following senators signed the attendance sheet and/or were noted as having attended the February 1, 2005 Senate meeting.

                 Abdalla, Charles                                                                 Carpenter, Lynn

                 Adams, Fred                                                                      Casteel, Mark

                 Alcock, James                                                                    Cecere, Joseph

                 Ambrose, Anthony                                                             Challis, John

                 Anderson, Douglas                                                             Cheney, Debora

                 Ansari, Mohamad                                                               Clark, Paul

                 Atchley, Anthony                                                                Cohen, Jeremy

                 Atwater, Deborah                                                               Cole, Milton

                 Bagby, John                                                                       Conklin, Martha

                 Baggett, Connie                                                                  Conti, Delia

                 Barnes, David                                                                     Coraor, Lee

                 Barshinger, Richard                                                            Costantino, Roselyn

                 Becker, Paul                                                                       Cox-Foster, Diana

                 Benson, Thomas                                                                 Cranage, David

                 Berkowitz, Leonard                                                            Curtis, Wayne

                 Berlyand, Leonid                                                                Dansky, Katherine

                 Bernhard, Michael                                                              Das, Rishi

                 Bettig, Ronald                                                                     Davis, Dwight

                 Bise, Christopher                                                                DeCastro, W. Travis

                 Bittner, Edward                                                                  Disney, Diane

                 Blasko, Dawn                                                                     Donovan, James

                 Blood, Ingrid                                                                      Du, Qiang

                 Blumberg, Melvin                                                               DuPont-Morales, M. Toni

                 Boehmer, John                                                                   Eckhardt, Caroline

                 Bowen, Blannie                                                                  Egolf, Roger

                 Bower, Robin                                                                     Elder, James

                 Breakey, Laurie                                                                  Engelder, Terry

                 Brewer, Cynthia                                                                 Erickson, Rodney

                 Bridges, K. Robert                                                             Evensen, Dorothy

                 Brinker, Daniel                                                                   Falzone, Christopher

                 Brittingham-Brant, Margaret                                               Farmer, Edgar

                 Brockman, William                                                             Feigelson, Eric

                 Brown, Douglas                                                                  Feldman, Harvey

                 Browne, Stephen                                                                Fernandez-Jimenez, Juan

                 Browning, Barton                                                               Floros, Joanna

                 Brunsden, Victor                                                                Formanek, Edward

                 Burgess, Robert                                                                  Fosmire, Gary

                 Cardamone, Michael                                                          Frank, Russell

                 Carlson, Richard                                                                 Frank, Thomas


                 Franz, George                                                                    Kump, Lee

                 Freedman, Debra                                                               Kunze, Donald

                 Gapinski, Andrzej                                                               Lau, Andrew

                 Gates, Zachary                                                                   Le, Binh

                 Geiger, Roger                                                                     Lee, Sukyoung

                 Georgopulos, Peter                                                             Levin, Deborah

                 Glumac, Thomas                                                                 Love, Nancy

                 Goldstein, Lynda                                                                Lundegren, Herberta

                 Gorby, Christine                                                                 Lynch, Christopher

                 Gouran, Dennis                                                                   MacCarthy, Stephen

                 Gregg, Kelly                                                                       Maksimchuk, Kenneth

                 Griswold, Anna                                                                  Mara, Cynthia

                 Hagen, Daniel                                                                     Marden, James

                 Hanes, Madlyn                                                                   Marker, Anthony

                 Hannan, John                                                                      Marsico, Salvatore

                 Harding, Andrea                                                                 Mason, John

                 Harmonosky, Catherine                                                      McCarty, Ronald

                 Harris, Ashley                                                                     McCorkle, Sallie

                 Harrison, Terry                                                                   McDonald, Anita

                 Heinsohn, Robert                                                                Mcdonel, James

                 Hellmann, John                                                                   Mengisteab, Kidane

                 Hester, Anne                                                                      Meyers, Craig

                 High, Kane                                                                         Miller, Arthur

                 Hines, Michael                                                                    Miller, Gary

                 Holcomb, E. Jay                                                                 Moore, John

                 Holen, Dale                                                                        Moses, Wilson

                 Horwitz, Alan                                                                     Mueller, Alfred

                 Hudson, Benjamin                                                              Myers, Jamie

                 Hufnagel, Pamela                                                                Namasivayam, Karthik

                 Irwin, Zachary                                                                    Neiderer, Catherine

                 Jacobs, Janis                                                                      Novack, Robert

                 Jago, Deidre                                                                       Osa, Justina

                 Johnson, John                                                                     Osagie, Iyunolu

                 Jones, W. Terrell                                                                Osagie, Sylvester

                 Jurs, Peter                                                                          Pangborn, Robert

                 Kamp, Marie                                                                      Patchcoski, Justin

                 Kane, Eileen                                                                       Pauley, Laura

                 Kennedy, Richard                                                               Peck, Kyle

                 Kephart, Kenneth                                                               Perrine, Joy

                 Kester, Mark                                                                     Pietrucha, Martin

                 Khalilollahi, Amir                                                                Puzycki, Joseph

                 Koul, Ravinder                                                                   Pytel, Jean Landa


                 Rannels, D. Eugene                                                             Turner, Tramble

                 Rebane, P. Peter                                                                Urenko, John

                 Richards, David                                                                  Vandiver, Beverly

                 Ricketts, Robert                                                                 Ventrella, Matthew

                 Romano, John                                                                    Vgontzas, Alexandros

                 Romberger, Andrew                                                           Vickers, Anita

                 Roth, Gregory                                                                    Wagner, Kristy

                 Russell, David                                                                     Weidemann, Craig

                 Sachs, Howard                                                                   Wheeler, Eileen

                 Salvia, A. David                                                                 Wiens-Tuers, Barbara

                 Sandmeyer, Louise                                                             Wijekumar, Kay

                 Scaduto, Russell                                                                 Willits, Billie

                 Scaroni, Alan                                                                      Wilson, Matthew

                 Schaeffer, Stephen                                                              Wrzos, Helena

                 Schengrund, Cara-Lynne                                                    Wyatt, Nancy

                 Schmiedekamp, Ann                                                           Yahner, Richard

                 Selzer, John                                                                        Yerger, Sara

                 Semali, Ladislaus                                                                Yoder, Edgar

                 Shantz, Lisa                                                                        Youmans, Charles

                 Simmonds, Patience                                                            Zambanini, Robert

                 Simpson, Timothy                                                               Zervanos, Stamatis

                 Singh, Harjit                                                                       Ziegler, Gregory

                 Sinha, Alok

                 Smith, James

                 Smith, Carol

                 Smith, Edward                                                                        Total Elected:   208

                 Sommese, Kristin                                                                Total Ex Officio:       3

                 Spanier, Graham                                                                Total Appointed:     15

                 Spector, David                                                                     Total Attending   226

                 Spychalski, John

                 Steiner, Kim

                 Stoffels, Shelley

                 Strauss, James

                 Su, Mila

                 Szczygiel, Bonj

                 Tellep, Andrew

                 Tempelman, Arkady

                 Thomas, Steven

                 Tikalsky, Paul

                 Tormey, Brian

                 Triponey, Vicky

                 Troester, Rodney