THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D
Volume 39 ----- March 14, 2006 -----Number 5
The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University, 2005-2006.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is distributed to all University Libraries and is posted on the Web at http:// www.senate.psu.edu under “Publications.” Copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, Senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory/ consultative, and forensic body for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.
Reports that have appeared in the Agenda for the meeting are not included in The Senate Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting, or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript and tape of the meeting is on file. Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary, University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Final Agenda for March 14, 2006
II. Minutes and Summary of Remarks
a. Attendance Appendix I
b. Corrected Copy Appendix II, Establishment of a New Senate Standing Committee
Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment
FINAL AGENDA FOR MARCH 14, 2006
A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the January 31, 2006, Meeting in The Senate Record 39:4
B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs
Senate Curriculum Report of February 28, 2006
Communication from Chair, Senate Committee on
University Planning regarding the University Calendar
Elections Commission Revised Census
C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
F. FORENSIC BUSINESS
G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
H. SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL REPORT
A Brief History of the "Sexual Orientation" Addition to
Penn State University's Non-Discrimination Policy
I. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Committees on Committees and Rules
Establishment of New Senate Standing Committee:
Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment,
Article II, Section 6, (e)
J. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Revision of Policy HR21, Definition of Academic Ranks
K. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Committees and Rules
Nominating Report for 2006-2007
Senate Council Nominating Committee Report for 2006-2007
Chair-Elect, Secretary, Faculty Advisory Committee
to the President
Implementation of the Course Submission and
Interim Report of the Special Subcommittee to Assess
the Nature of Evidence Used for Promotion and Tenure Decisions
Faculty Salaries, Academic Year 2005-2006 Salary Tables
Summary of Spring 2006 Officers' Visits to University Park Units
Roster of Senators by Voting Units for 2006-2007
L. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
M. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITYN. ADJOURNMENT
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Myers: The January 31, 2006, Senate Record, providing a full transcription of the proceedings, was sent to all University Libraries and is posted on the Faculty Senate Web site. I have one correction. On page 19, Senator Hasan’s comment is corrected to read, “The second comment is regarding a simple matter of permutation and combination.” Are there any additional corrections or additions to this document?
May I hear a motion to accept?
Senator: So moved.
Chair Myers: Is there a second?
Chair Myers: All in favor of accepting the minutes of January 31, 2006, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
The ayes have it and the motion is carried. The minutes have been approved.
Out of courtesy to our presenters, please turn off your cell phones and pagers at this time.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
The Senate Curriculum Report of February 28, 2006, is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site.
Appendix B in your Agenda is a letter from John Boehmer, Chair of the University Planning Committee, to Vice Presidents Pangborn and Romano. The letter follows up on Drs. Pangborn and Romano’s meeting with the University Planning Committee to discuss a revised University calendar that is expected to go into effect for the 2007-2008 academic year.
Appendix C in today’s agenda is a revised faculty census report with Senate seats by unit for the coming academic year. A few updates and corrections have been made to this document as well as to appendix M, Roster of Senators by Voting Unit, and both have been reposted to the Senate Web site.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Enclosed in today's agenda are the minutes from the February 28 meeting of Senate Council.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
I refer you to the minutes of Senate Council at the end of your agenda. Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed at the February 28 meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President.
We received correspondence from President Spanier regarding the January 31 Advisory and Consultative report from the Faculty Affairs committee. He approved the revisions to HR23, Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations, and has asked the Associate Vice President for Human Resources to make these changes in University policy.
The Senate Officers received the final report from the Curriculum Transition Committee, co-chaired by Bill Mahar and Roger Egolf. A report-out meeting will soon be scheduled with the committee co-chairs, Provost Erickson, and Vice Presidents Pangborn and Romano to discuss the recommendations and plans for referring the report to the appropriate Senate committees, most likely Curricular Affairs.
The Web site for the Committee Preference Form will be sent to 2006-2007 Senators tomorrow. We request that you complete this on-line form by March 29. I also want to encourage Senators to indicate their interest in serving as a committee chair or vice-chair. The Preference Form is a very important activity, and I appreciate all the leadership that is expressed in the preferences you indicate. Please be sure to get that form in.
There has been quite a bit of press recently suggesting that the University is undercutting its commitment to its policies on non-discrimination and intolerance as a consequence of its legal brief filed in the Jennifer Harris law suit. Senate Officers and Senate Council have been briefed on multiple occasions on this concern, and from these discussions, I have unequivocal confidence that the University administration fully supports AD29, Statement on Intolerance, and AD42 on Non-Discrimination and Harassment. In fact, because the University argues that adherence to University policies is a condition of employment outside of any contract for services, it can enforce administrative policies as conditions of employment even if they become effective or change after the date of employment.
In this issue, there is a key legal difference between a condition of employment and an employment contract. I am sure that the University intends to fully investigate and act accordingly with the findings on any complaints that our non-discrimination policies have been violated. The results of these investigations by the office of Affirmative Actions and subsequent personnel actions are private matters between the employee and the University, although an investigation report can become public through the legal discovery processes in connected court cases.
At the January 31 meeting of the Senate, we held the first luncheon bringing together faculty Senators by disciplinary interests. We had 145 elected Senators in attendance with a roughly 80 percent response rate amongst the faculty Senators. In the survey that we took at the beginning of that Senate meeting, 84 percent of the 130 Senators who completed that survey indicated their desire to lunch again with their Senate colleagues. Forty-one percent of those who would like to lunch again, would like to sit at the same table, 14 percent would like to select their own table, and 43 percent would like to see the tables remixed and be told to sit somewhere else.
We are still waiting for the bill on the event, and if it looks like the cost was reasonable, even though it means giving up Commonwealth Caucus cake, we will attempt to schedule this luncheon format at least once a semester in the future.
The University Commissions for Women; Racial and Ethnic Diversity; and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity are all seeking self nominations for new members. I encourage you to consider applying to become members of one of these commissions, or encouraging your faculty colleagues who you know will provide a valuable service to the University on one of the commissions. The applications are online at the Web site for the Office of Educational Equity (www.equity.psu.edu). CORED and LGBTE have deadlines of March 31, 2006, for applications of membership, while the Commission for Women deadline is April 28, 2006.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITYPresident Spanier is with us today. I am pleased to invite him to come forward to make some remarks.
President Spanier: Thank you very much, and good afternoon everyone. When I met with you last time, I encouraged you to show up at the dance marathon. A few of you did; I stayed up all night waiting for the rest of you. I think everyone knows what a spectacular event it was this year, raising over $4.2 million for the Four Diamonds Fund which supports pediatric cancer treatment and research at the Hershey Medical Center. I am very proud of what our students have been doing over the years, and again this year, with the dance marathon. Congratulations to them. That is the really good news.
More challenging news concerns Penn State’s continuing efforts to receive increased appropriations from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As I reported to you last time, the governor had proposed for Penn State a 3.3 percent overall increase in our appropriation. But that included no increase at all for the cooperative extension service and for agricultural research programs. It is the third year in a row that this governor has recommended no increase in those budgets. That has resulted in a loss of over 150 positions, and were his budget to be upheld by the legislature this year, we would lose another 54 positions. That is the estimate for what we would lose. I know many of you are in departments where you occasionally lose a position and it is very traumatic. Imagine being part of a unit which is seeing a decline of that kind year in and year out. So I took a very strong position on those issues during my appropriations hearings the week before last in the House of Representatives and the Senate. I felt a certain amount of sympathy with those groups for our situation, and we are going to continue to push on that very hard. I am hopeful that we can receive at least the same level of appropriation that we have seen in our general education budget, which is four percent.
Even at those levels, however, we still have a significant amount of belt tightening that we are going through at Penn State. The belt tightening is for a lot of reasons that all of you understand. It has to do with the dramatically increasing costs of employee benefits, which we have tried to keep up with, but which continue to see double digit increases every year. Fuel and utility bills go up due to world economics. We do operate about 1,400 buildings on our 24 campuses and other sites, so that is a big ticket item. Insurance of all kinds has gone up for the University as there are all these catastrophes around the country. A certain part of that risk pool for insurance is spread out in many different ways and it comes back to affect us at the University.
We have tried not to be in the same kind of cycle that you see at many public universities where one year they get a nice pay raise, the next year they don’t have any raise. Penn State has been very steady, trying to keep up with inflation, even, during a six year period, trying to be ahead of inflation to get us up in the marketplace to a competitive level where we wanted to be. Keeping up with salaries is a big ticket item for us. So while we probably are not going to see as big a salary increase this year as we have in recent years, it will still be half-decent, but the salary increases are very directly a trade-off, frankly, with the size of the tuition increase.
So those are some of the key variables in the budget that we are trying to balance going forward. We are not very optimistic about getting much more money from the state in this particular cycle. I think our best shot is with the extension and agricultural research budgets, but neither of those have the possibility of off-setting the income side with tuition because there are no tuition paying students in those units. How that turns out directly affects those units. There is no off-setting income source.
It comes at the same time the federal government is cutting back on their support in areas like agricultural research and cooperative extension. The counties are the only part of that three-part partnership that are trying very hard to keep up with their share and, of course, they are strapped as well.
So we are better off on the appropriation side than we have been in recent years, where we took those five cuts, but it is very tight. This is compounded by some interesting trends on the enrollment side.
Tuition is the single largest source of income for the University. So whatever happens on the enrollment side impacts us. There is an interesting phenomenon that has evolved in the last year or so that I am sure many of you are very happy to see happening, but it does affect the bottom line. This interesting trend is that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students graduating in precisely four years who in the past were taking four and a half or five years. With students graduating a little more quickly, probably because our tuition is so high, their parents have caught on and said, “Why am I going to pay for you to go another semester to Penn State, when, if you just took another course or two right now, you could graduate on time?” Or for whatever other reasons; the job market picking up again and good job alternatives out there. Students are graduating a little more quickly, and it means that we are not able to collect that extra semester of tuition.
You put all of those variables together and that is why there is a two percent budget cut for virtually every unit across the University, except for our College of Medicine, which operates more or less on its own. That means that some of you are experiencing in your departments a degree of belt tightening, or perhaps postponement in some new positions or even the loss of a position. We hope that is a rather temporary phenomenon, and one thing that gives us some optimism is the evolving enrollment situation for this coming summer and fall.
It is really quite remarkable when you look at it. I give credit to a lot of people around the University who are paying attention to this right now. The consequence is that our applications across Penn State are up 12 percent this year compared to what they were last year. Last year was the second largest number of applications in Penn State’s history. The year before was the largest. We are up 12 percent, up 8,000 or 9,000 applications, from where we were at this time a year ago. The paid accepts are up even higher. These are folks who have sent their deposit in and said, “I am coming.” Now, we do lose a few of them over the summer when a few of them decide that they are not coming, but the flow of paid accepts has been so fast and so substantial that we have essentially closed admission to the University Park campus. We are done. We can not take any more students. Unless there is good evidence that you are likely to end up receiving a Nobel Prize, we would probably not accept your application this late in the cycle for the University Park campus. Some of our other campuses are getting close, and I think that all but four of our campuses are ahead right now of where they were last year. So you look at the picture collectively on the enrollment side and it looks pretty good.
We are going to be graduating 200 and some students less than we graduated last year. Part of the phenomenon for this year, and the two percent cut for next year, is that we graduated such a huge pool of students last year that no matter how many new freshmen we were able to admit, it was not enough from a cohort flow standpoint to keep the numbers quite up to the level that we needed.
This is a very good sign in terms of the turnaround in admissions enrollments. As I like to say, Penn State is the most popular University in the United States. I am pretty sure when all is said and done with this year’s numbers, we will have received over 90,000 applications for admission to Penn State. That is pretty remarkable. I am pretty sure it has not happened with any other university in the country ever. We would have to do a little study to check that out, but it is a pretty phenomenal increase.
So I ask you all to get ready for next fall because some of you will have an extra student or two or twenty in your classes, and you need to be patient and just sort of suck it up and say, “This is for the good of the University. Good things will happen because of it.” Of course, we will have to add some sections in certain classes where we really do need them with just 20 or 25 students in there. But overall, that is a good thing to have happen for all of us.
I am very pleased that we have been able to appoint our top choice, and we think the top candidate in the United States, to become the new Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the College of Medicine, and Chief Executive Officers of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. His name is Harold Paz. He has been the dean of the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, which is located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and has academic partnerships with Rutgers and Princeton. He has been dean there for ten years. He has done remarkable things. He is going to join us this coming month, so we will have a very brief transition time. He really is a star and we are very happy that he will be joining us thanks to a couple of you in this room who served on the search committee for that position. Dr. Paz will be confirmed on Friday officially at the Penn State Board of Trustee’s meeting, which is going to be in Pittsburgh this week.
We are not yet in the position to announce it, but we hope to have wrapped up the search for a new dean of the Smeal College of Business by the end of the week. We are not 100 percent of the way there, but we absolutely do expect to be by the end of the week. So that will come to closure very quickly.
We are moving a little further behind schedule for searches for new deans of the College of Health and Human Development and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. That is a little bit of a status report on the dean searches.
Perhaps within 24 hours or so, we will announce officially what is going to be happening with the University calendar. That announcement will go out, and I think the majority of you will be very happy with the outcome, particularly those of you who are very strongly committed to giving our students their money’s worth. For that high tuition that they are paying, we want to give them the best possible education with a good number of hours in the classroom, and at the same time a healthy balance of vacation time.
We have listened to everybody, and as you know, there are about 10,000 different opinions about the calendar. We have processed them all and have come up with the ideal solution. I just know it is going to work at least for another couple of years before members of the Senate rise again and say, “Wait a minute, can’t we change the calendar?” No, we want to stick with this for a while. We think we have looked at all the variables and have the right formula at this point. That will come out shortly.
For you basketball fans, there has been a great outcome with the men’s basketball team this year; a winning record and an invitation to the NIT. The first game is being hosted right here, on this campus, tonight at 8:00 p.m. So come if you are a basketball fan or if you just want to support the team.
And now I am happy to take your questions. Any topic, whatever you would like to talk about.
Chair Myers: Please stand and wait on the microphone and give your name, discipline, and unit.
Dennis S. Gouran, Communication Arts and Sciences and Labor Studies and Industrial Relations, Liberal Arts: And now that I have used up all of my time announcing my title, I will abbreviate my question.
I am among those who are pleased by the University’s decision to do something to improve the calendar. However, there is a related problem on which I would like to hear you speak, which is a faculty-induced elongation of announced breaks that go in two directions; prior to break and following break. I think that members of the faculty give encouragement by canceling classes both before and after breaks. I would like to know if the University has a policy for dealing with what I regard to be an act of professional irresponsibility on the part of faculty, and if it has a policy, is it ever enforced? What are the consequences if it is enforced?
President Spanier: The policy is execution, but we have been very lax in enforcing it. Given your passion, we might put you in charge of it.
No, seriously, what you are raising was a major concern on the table throughout the discussions. I hate to give out a little piecemeal part of this but can we give this out? We have had two problems; one, the so-called “fall study day” or fall break. It was two days at one point, plus the weekend, and faculty became co-conspirators with the students. Some of the stories I have heard have been horrendous. When you have your own children attending Penn State you find out what is really going on. Whoever said the students don’t run this University? The students are saying to their professors, “We’re not going to have class Monday, right?” and the professors say, “Well, I’ll be here if anyone is coming. Is anybody coming?” “No, we’re not coming.” “OK, I guess we’re not having class then.”
So we had problems with that. We tried to change it from a “fall break” to a “study day,” thinking if it was just one day, people would not head for Mexico, and that didn’t help either.
And then Thanksgiving has become a worse problem. We must have changed it six times over the last dozen years or so, trying to figure out do you end at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday or 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday or whatever. It always ends up with students taking the whole week off, in many cases, no matter what.
So what we have settled on is that we are doing away with the whole concept of any fall break. That one day is just too much of a problem. We tend to lose more than one day of instruction. On the other hand, what we are doing is taking the whole week of Thanksgiving off. I just do not want any of you thinking that the week before is now negotiable.
This is, frankly, a Faculty Senate matter. If you all collectively are going to let your colleagues get away with this-- we argue in forums like this about University standards, we save some of our most bitter arguments for what a syllabus is going to look like in a particular course or what the word is going to be in a course description, and then we have colleagues in our own department who cancel classes all over the place, and we do not say anything about it. It is their academic freedom to conduct their class as they want, or not conduct it at all. I think we have to exercise at the faculty level a little more collective discipline on that. We think the new calendar allows us to do that.
Now, at the same time, the fall calendar is actually going to be longer than it has been. It is going to parallel the spring semester in the number of days. That generosity during that Thanksgiving week really means getting started a little earlier, and that is just the trade-off that we had to do to make that work.
Delia B. Conti, Communications, McKeesport: I am from Penn State McKeesport, but we would like to change that. We have a little gift for you. We made you a tee-shirt.
President Spanier: What have you named your campus now? Just so I am informed if I am asked.
Delia Conti: Well, first of all, let me read the resolution because that sort of explains it.
President Spanier: That’s on the tee-shirt too?
Delia Conti: This was unanimously passed.
The Faculty Senate of the McKeesport Campus recommends that serious consideration be given to the renaming of the McKeesport campus. One possible name could be Penn State Greater Pittsburgh.
That is what we thought, so we put up here, Penn State Greater Pittsburgh. And we have been thinking about this for a while. We think it is a great idea, and we thought you could start off by wearing this around your house, doing chores. And then you could sort of walk around campus, and then we thought you could even wear this before the Appropriations Committee next year to lighten things up a little.
David Ambrocik is the University College Senator. He is from Texas. He is going to give this to you.
And that is it. All I have is a tee-shirt to consider the new name.
President Spanier: Anybody else have any tee-shirts with them? Well, this is great. I notice, though, that it is precisely John Romano’s size, so I am going to let John wear it around the house for a few days. Once he gets it broken in, he can pass it on to me.
You know, we are not adverse to change at this University. We are open to any proposals.
Paul F. Clark, Liberal Arts: While some of our students seem to spend a lot of time figuring out how to skip classes, there are students here that are doing good things. I was particularly pleased to see a group of students outside the doors today handing out leaflets about sweatshops around the world. I think it is great that students are concerned about violations of basic human rights and labor rights, including child labor, physical punishment, and involuntary servitude that occur in some work places around the world that produce university apparel.
I was glad to hear that Penn State has chosen to join the Workers Rights Consortium as a means of addressing these problems. But I was disappointed to learn that we have not yet adopted the WRC Code of Conduct in the Designated Supplier Program, which are steps that would really assure that Penn State apparel was not made under sweatshop conditions. Georgetown, Duke, Wisconsin, and Indiana have all taken these steps, and I would hope that Penn State could be a leader on this issue, like these universities. Can you tell us if Penn State is considering taking these steps, and if so, when might a decision be made?
President Spanier: Penn State is a member of both the Fair Labor Association and the Workers Rights Consortium. We support both organizations. The former we have supported almost since its inception maybe a decade ago. And Penn State did something very unique for a period of years. It teamed with the International Youth Foundation in an initiative they had to reach out directly to the workers to deal with that. We used the resources of our consortium on children, youth, and families to participate in research projects to make a difference there. So I am not sure that there are any universities that have been more engaged in this topic than we have. In terms of the particular thing you are raising about a policy or proclamation of the Workers Rights Consortium, I am not up to date on that. I will ask our Assistant Vice President for Finance and Business, Daniel Sieminski, who is our liaison to those organizations and attends those meetings, to review that with us.
George S. Chriss, Undergraduate, Eberly College of Science: President Spanier, a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied students, have cause for concern over recent University court proceedings regarding policy AD20. The first part of the question is what message would you like to send to these students? And the second part is, what recourse do students have when accosted with discriminatory actions and speech?
President Spanier: I do not think I could say it any better than Jamie Myers did earlier. I think it is very unfortunate that the absolutely necessary aspects and words that have to be used in a legal brief to take a huge legal argument and boil it down to the essence was misinterpreted by some individuals, who rightly could not understand the nuances of the law and be aware of what legal briefs say and do.
But no one should be distracted by that, because our commitment to enforcing University policies is very strong. There are few things that I feel as passionately about as that. At the same time, there are issues of due process and confidentiality and the right way to enforce University policies. We have to let those play out. So I am studiously following the policies and procedures that I am charged with following in that regard. But everyone should be completely clear that we stand behind all of our policies that relate to non-discrimination, affirmative action, and related principles. That is just the way it is going to be.
Winston A. Richards, Harrisburg: Dr. Spanier, some of our faculty, who saw your excellent performance before the legislature under what appeared to be very trying circumstances, asked me to let you know how pleased they were with you, your performance, and to also tell you that with your style of leadership, Penn State is headed for greatness.
President Spanier: Well, thank you. That is very nice. I appreciate that.
Michael J. Chorney, College of Medicine: This question comes from the very highest level: My daughter, Penn State University, Class 2007. With increasing freshman coming on board next year, as well as future trends, what about on campus housing? What are your thoughts, and what are the views of the University on increasing that?
President Spanier: We have one of the two or three largest residence hall systems in the United States, so keep in mind we do house a lot of our students on this campus. It’s about a third of our students. We guarantee housing for all of our freshmen and, indeed, require it. And we make additional spaces available to upper classmen as best we can, but no one is guaranteed space.
Residence hall living has become very popular in the last decade or so. It went through an era where it wasn’t quite so popular. It is very popular now as we have introduced new food concepts and we have upgraded the residence halls and have built new residence halls around different living concepts, like having your own bathroom or just sharing one among a small number of people. The demand for our residence halls has been high for a number of years. While our tuition is high, the cost of our housing is very competitive compared to other universities. In fact, we’re on the lower end there for room and board.
The cost of building new housing is very steep. We operate residence halls on a complete self-support basis. We outlined years ago a plan for modestly increasing the number of housing spaces, but that will happen very gradually over time. In fact, what you see much more of going on right now is the refurbishing of a lot of our older residence halls that were built in the 50’s and 60’s. To refurbish a residence hall takes a year, so what we have to do on a rotating cycle is take a residence hall off line for a year while it is completely refurbished. That cuts down the number of rooms available, and by the time they are refurbished, you actually end up with fewer rooms in that residence hall, either because of the new concept that is being put in place or because of the new codes and wiring and heating/ventilation/air conditioning systems. You need more space for the wires and pipes and stuff like that. You can not quite end up with the same number of rooms.
The bottom line is that housing will continue to be tight on this campus for a period of time. All of our freshmen will be accommodated, and a good portion of the upperclassmen who wish to be in the residence halls. But the demand is going to outstrip the supply for University housing on this campus and on a few of our other campuses, probably for some years to come. We need to do as good a job as we can letting students know, if they are upperclassmen, that they need to think ahead about the possibility that they won’t get a residence hall space, so they can begin thinking about where, off campus, they want to live.
The good news is that there is an abundance of housing off campus that developers in this community have done very well for themselves in anticipating our housing needs, and putting up lots of new spaces that are out there. Frankly, there may be a bit of an oversupply, but I think that could be to the advantage of our students. If there is an over supply maybe the cost of renting some of those units can come down. That is the mode that we are in right now.
The next big housing project that will come on line is actually a replacement for the old run down graduate housing facilities. We will have more residence halls for graduate students over there across University Drive. So that will not benefit those undergraduate upperclassmen, but we are going to continue working on it.
One of the residence halls that will come back on line this coming fall is the North Halls complex. It was in our long range plan, still is in our long range plan, to take Beam Hall, which for years housed a lot of the College of Business, to get that back into use for residence halls. But again, that is going to be delayed a while because we have a lot of existing academic needs for that space in there, and until we find space for those projects, we can’t turn Beam Hall back into residence halls. There are a lot of dominoes involved in that.
Thank you very much, everybody.
Chair Myers: Thank you President Spanier. As we begin the discussion of reports, I remind you to please stand, identify yourself and your discipline, no matter how long it takes, and the unit you represent.
SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL REPORT
Don Rung, Past Senate Chair and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, will present a special informational report providing a brief overview and history of the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy. This report appears as Appendix D in your Senate Agenda.
A Brief Overview and History of the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy
Donald Rung, Past Senate Chair and Professor Emeritus
Donald Rung: Thank you, Jamie. I won’t read the report, assuming you can all read it. I do have a couple of comments however to add to it.
In the recent discussion of the sexual orientation clause of the University’s non-discrimination statement, various comments were made about the history of this policy. I thought it would be useful to recount the actual events that led to the inclusion of this phrase.
Perhaps some of the confusion arises from the inclusion of such a phrase in the policies and rules for students, under the section policy statement on intolerance. This policy statement predates the 1991 action of the Senate and Trustees on this matter.
When the Senate was asked by President Thomas to advise him on the inclusion of the phrase “sexual orientation” in the corporate statement on non-discrimination, a special committee was formed, and I was chair of it. This was a major effort on the part of the University Faculty Senate and resulted in a recommendation to the President to include such a phrase in the non-discrimination statement. So the University Trustees in May 1991, did add this phrase to the official corporate statement on non-discrimination.
I end by quoting from our committee report: “According to University counsel, the legal implications of specifically including sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause in the Board of Trustees, lies in the acceptance on the part of the corporation of liability for any violation of rights of the protected category on the part of the University or its functionaries.” This is a fairly heavy-weight statement.
Thank you for the opportunity to address the Senate on this matter.
Chair Myers: Are there any questions or comments? Thank you, Don.
Our first report today is Legislative, coming from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules. This report appears in today’s Agenda as Appendix E entitled, “Establishment of New Senate Standing Committee: Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, Article II, Section 6, (e).”
Committee Chair Pam Hufnagel and committee member Harjit Singh will present this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES
Establishment of New Senate Standing Committee: Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, Article II, Section 6, (e)
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair Committees and Rules
Pamela P. Hufnagel, DuBois: Good afternoon everybody. This is Harjit Singh, the primary author of this report. The Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment was first proposed by the Senate Self Study Committee in 2003 as part of a plan to restructure Senate committees under two steering committees. The steering committees were defeated and without any real discussion this committee faded into oblivion. However, CC&R believes that a committee on educational equity and campus environment has merit, hence today’s proposal. This proposal has been endorsed by Terrell Jones, Vice Provost for Educational Equity.
While we were sitting here, waiting our turn, Harjit noticed that the committee has two different names in the report. That’s a typo that was not noticed before. On page two of the report, in the first full paragraph, it is referred to as a Committee on Educational Equity and Diversity. That is maybe the generic name, but it is really called the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment.
Chair Myers: Any questions or comments?
Peter Rebane, History, Abington: One circumstance that often leads to unfounded speculation about what an organization does, or rather what it does not do, is the lack of open, accurate information about the activities of such a body. Thus, I believe that a Senate committee such as this, which deals with crucial and often sensitive issues, should allay any such rumors by reporting their activities to the Senate and to the community at large on a regular basis. We have a number of committees on the Senate who do produce mandated annual reports; therefore, I propose an amendment to this legislation by inserting after the words “mandated reports” which currently reads “none,” the sentence, “the committee shall report to the Senate at least annually.”
Chair Myers: A motion is made. Is there a second?
Brian Tormey: Second.
Chair Myers: We are now going to discuss the motion to add the phrase, “this committee shall report at least annually.” Is there any discussion on this amendment?
I think we are ready to vote. All those in favor say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
Chair Myers: The ayes have it, and the motion passes. Let’s move on to the main committee motion. Are there any additional points for discussion or questions?
Richard B. Englund, Mechanical Technology, Penn State Behrend: I am not one-hundred percent certain that I understand the thrust of the committee proposed. How broad-based is this intended to be? And is it appropriate that there is no representation or no thought given to religious equity and environment? These speak strongly to the needs of today, but they do not speak strongly to the needs of what we saw 50 or 100 years ago, and they may or may not speak strongly to the needs of 10 years from now. So I ask those questions, and offer it as a consideration that the committee might want to broaden the representation on the committee. I’m not sure how to accomplish that. I give it as a problem with no solution.
Harjit Singh, College of Medicine: I think that is a very good point, but I think that if you have a diverse enough membership on the committee that should be included. We also include many different representatives from different commissions, so that should also help cover that. The question would then come up, which representatives are you going to include in that? We have many different religions on this campus. Which representatives are you going to invite to participate on the committee directly as opposed to going through their representative on the committee or people that they know in these commissions? I think it is a good point, but that may make it a very large committee. I think we should leave the wording as it is, and if it becomes an issue, then maybe try to correct it. I think as it stands it will work.
Chair Myers: Any additional questions or comments?
This report comes from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote? As many as are in favor of the establishment of this new committee, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
The ayes have it and the motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation. Thank you Chair Hufnagel and Senator Singh.
We have one Advisory and Consultative report and it comes from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs. This report appears on today’s agenda as Appendix F entitled, “Revision of Policy HR21, Definition of Academic Ranks.”
Committee Chair Mohamad Ansari and committee member Larry Backer will present this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Revision of Policy HR21, Definition of Academic Ranks
Mohamad A. Ansari, Chair Faculty Affairs
Mohamad A. Ansari, Mathematics, Berks: Good afternoon everyone, and thank you Chair Myers.
This proposed revision to HR21 is in response to a request by the University Libraries to revise the definition of Academic Ranks of Assistant Librarian and Associate Librarian, as noted in items five, seven, and nine of the academic ranks section of this report.
This recommended new language has emerged from a promotion and tenure task force that was appointed by Dean Nancy Eaton in 2004, and it has been ratified by the Libraries Faculty Organization. While the committee believes that the entire document of HR21 needs to be revised, the charge of this committee was specific to this issue. We think that this revision is the first step in the right direction.
I received a quote from Mahatma Ghandi yesterday: “A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal .” Thank you.
Chair Myers: Any questions or comments?
This report comes directly from a committee and has been moved and seconded. As many as are in favor of this revision to HR21, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.
The ayes have it, and the motion passes. The Senate has approved this advisory/consultative report, and it will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation.
COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES
Nominating Report for 2006-2007, Appendix G. Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair, Senate Committee on Committees and Rules presented the slate of nominations for Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, and University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. The floor was opened for additional nominations for these positions. There were no nominations made from the floor, and the slate was accepted.
SENATE COUNCIL NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT FOR 2006-2007
Nominating Report for 2006-2007, Appendix H. Kim C. Steiner, Past Chair, presented the slate of nominations for the positions of Chair-Elect, Secretary and the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President. The floor was opened for additional nominations for these positions. There were no nominations made from the floor, and the slate was accepted.
Implementation of the Course Submission and Consultation System, Appendix I. The Senate has developed an electronic curriculum submission process that will facilitate University-wide consultation on course proposals and turn a paper process for submission and review into an electronic one. Christopher J. Falzone and Terence N. O’Heron presented the report.
Interim Report of the Special Subcommittee to Assess the Nature of Evidence Used for Promotion and Tenure Decisions, Appendix J. Subcommittee Chair Arthur C. Miller and Zachary T. Irwin gave this report from the Special Subcommittee to assess the nature of evidence used for promotion and tenure decisions. This report details many suggestions that may become recommendations in a future Faculty Affairs committee report.
Faculty Salaries, Academic Year 2005-2006, Appendix K. This annual report focuses on comparisons internally among units at Penn State and externally among peer institutions. Vice Chair Thomas A. Frank stood for questions.
Summary of Spring 2006 Officers’ Visits to University Park Units, Appendix L. The Senate Officers visited the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and the Graduate School. This report summarizes the meetings with students, faculty, and unit administrators.
Roster of Senators by Voting Units for 2006-2007, Appendix M. This annual report gives the names of new, continuing, ex officio, and appointed Senators.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Myers: We have received a request from graduate student Eric Patridge to make comments for the good of the University.
Eric V. Patridge, Eberly College of Science: I would first like to thank the Faculty Senate Council for providing me with the opportunity to address you.
In light of the Special Informational Report presented today, I would also like to express how glad I am that Faculty Senate shared a part in adding “sexual orientation” to the non-discrimination policy.
It is because of this policy that I have become a leader during my time as a doctoral student at University Park, which has afforded me the opportunity to work alongside students, staff, faculty, and administration.
During the last two years, I have served as the co-director for the Coalition of LGBTA Graduate Students. I also currently serve on the Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity.
I am here today to serve as a liaison to you, representing students, staff, faculty, and administrators who are currently living in a climate of fear. Many of these people identify with the LGBT community, though many of our allies also feel there is a threatening climate. I am here today because many of them feel that they are being silenced and that their employment or academic environment would be threatened if they were to represent themselves.
This climate has persisted for some time and affects many marginalized groups. As I’m sure you are aware, this climate has recently been highlighted for the larger community because of the University’s Motion to Dismiss in the Harris v Portland, Curley, and The Pennsylvania State Universitylawsuit.
To be fair to the University, I would like to add that there are many closed-door meetings that are happening in response to recent, questionable decisions, but these conversations haven’t happened in the open where everyone can have a shared sense of reality. I fully comprehend the importance of respecting due process with regards to internal investigations and lawsuits; however this does not detract from the importance of holding conversations in the open so that people who need to hear these conversations can have a shared sense of reality.
Beyond this, many people find that the closed-door conversations are lacking. From personal experience, if you have had the privilege of being included in these conversations, you are likely to hear that the Non-Discrimination policy is not a contract, but a policy that Penn State voluntarily implemented. And you are also likely to hear that because it is a policy, the University has more ability to enforce it with regards to it being a condition of employment. To this, I acknowledge a policy is more likely to be effective than a contract, but these arguments are just semantics that distinguish contracts from policies.
However, these semantic distinctions obscure the larger ethical point, and the administration is facing a crisis of confidence and legitimacy because of its unwillingness to frankly and publicly address the question of its commitment to protecting its marginalized groups.
Because of my experiences, the experiences of my peers, and the experiences of Penn State student-athletes – both those who recently appeared on ESPN and the many more who have not yet gone public – I question the willingness and ability of the University to effectively enforce these policies, and as a result I question the University’s true commitment to its non-discrimination policy.
I question the internal services that Penn State currently provides for individuals to report discrimination. Many people in the community find them unsupportive, partisan, and manipulative.
I also question the lack of protocol for addressing populations within the Penn State community who persistently live in a climate of fear. Closed-door meetings with student and faculty leaders do nothing to improve the widespread perception that Penn State has a nondiscrimination policy solely for public relations purposes.
We have been told that our views are the result of angry misinterpretations in an aggressive move to shift focus -- away from what? There is a distinction between what is legally or financially preferable, and what is ethically required. This disparity needs to be addressed.
I urge the Faculty Senate, a deliberative body that is actually able to influence the administration, to remember that there are still many things left unsaid and many topics that need to be discussed. As an academic institution, we must first question ourselves and whether this is an ethical institution before we can claim to be an institution that teaches ethics.
Again, I thank you for your time, and for supporting the new Committee put forth today by the Committee on Committees and Rules, and I urge you to continue to support and develop open forums for conversation and debate, for the good of the University. Thank you.
Chair Myers: Thank you Mr. Patridge. Are there any additional comments for the good of the University?
Richard N. Barshinger, Mathematics, Penn State Worthington Scranton: The University Promotion and Tenure Review committee met for the first time yesterday morning in the current Promotion and Tenure cycle. We reviewed 27 of 182 dossiers for this year. The reason I talk about the University P&T committee is that there has been a slate of candidates put before you for this year’s election by the Senate. I ask you only that you might review the current constitution of the committee looking at its geographic makeup and also its disciplinary makeup and how that might influence your vote in the election that will be ongoing very shortly.
Chair Myers: May I have a motion to adjourn?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Myers: All in favor, say aye?
Chair Myers: Motion carries. The March 14, 2006, meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
The Senate is adjourned until April 25, 2006, when we will meeting in room 112 of the Kern Graduate Building.