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THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D

Volume 39 ----- April 25, 2006 -----Number 6

The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University, 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 and consultative, and forensic body for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS


I. Final Agenda for March 14, 2006

II. Minutes and Summary of Remarks

III. Appendices

a. Attendance

b. Corrected Copy, Disciplinary Communities

FINAL AGENDA FOR APRIL 25, 2006

A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

Minutes of the January 31, 2006, Meeting in The Senate Record 39:5
[http://www.senate.psu.edu/record/index.html]

B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs

Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of April 11, 2006
[www.senate.psu.edu/curriculum_resources/bluesheet/bluex.html]

C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL

D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

F. FORENSIC BUSINESS

Faculty Affairs

Fixed-Term Faculty—A Review of University Policies for
Appointment, Position Title, Promotion, Retention, and Advancement

Undergraduate Education

First-Year Seminar: An Overview of Issues

G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

Committee on Committees and Rules

Revision of Standing Rules Article I, Section 11, (d) Voting in Senate Election

Faculty Affairs and Undergraduate Education

New Senate Policy 20-00, Resolution of Classroom Problems

I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

Intra-University Relations

Disciplinary Communities

K. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid

Annual Report on High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses

Curricular Affairs

Implementation of Uniformity of Course Abbreviations’ Legislation

Faculty Affairs

Faculty Tenure-Flow Rate

Faculty Benefits

Employee Health Care Benefits Update

Report of Senate Elections

Senate Council

Senate Committee on Committees and Rules

University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee

Standing Joint Committee on Tenure

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty Advisory Committee to the President

Senate Secretary for 2006-2007

Senate Chair-Elect for 2006-2007

Comments by Outgoing Chair Myers

Comments by Incoming Chair Floros

Seating of the New Officers

L. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

M. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY


MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

Chair Myers: The March 14, 2006, Senate Record 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?

Senator: So moved.

Chair Myers: Second?

Senator: Second.

Chair Myers: All in favor of accepting the minutes of March 14, 2006, please say aye.

Senators: Aye

Chair Myers: Opposed, nay. The ayes have it. This motion carries, and 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 April 11, 2006, is posted on the University Faculty Senate's Web site.

I also want to call your attention to the communication about the progress being made by the Uniform Course Abbreviation subcommittee. You will learn more today in a report given by subcommittee Chair Lee Kump.

I also want to let you know that about 70 proposals have made their way into the new electronic Course Consultation and Submission System this semester.


REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL

The minutes of the Senate Council meeting held on April 11 appear as an attachment in today’s Agenda.


ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

At the end of each academic year, a number of Senators complete their terms of office. I will read their names and ask you to join me in thanking them for their service. The list is quite lengthy, so no matter how stellar you might feel a person is, I will ask that you hold your applause until the end. Also, at the end, I am going to ask that all these Senators stand:

Peter Rebane, Penn State Abington

College of Agricultural Sciences: Guy Barbato and James Hilton

Penn State Altoona: Roselyn Costantino and Brian Tormey

College of Arts and Architecture: Donald Kunze and Kristin Sommese

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College: Paul Becker and Patience Simmonds

Penn State Berks: Mohamad Ansari and Stamatis Zervanos

The Smeal College of Business: Terry Harrison and John Spychalski

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: Chris Bise and Alan Scaroni

College of Education : Ladi Semali

College of Engineering : Arthur Miller, Timothy Simpson, and Edward Smith

Penn State Harrisburg: Melvin Blumberg

College of Health and Human Development: John Challis, Martha Conklin, David Cranage, and Marie Kamp

College of the Liberal Arts: Nancy Love

University Libraries: Debora Cheney

College of Medicine : Craig Meyers and Alexandros Vgontzas

The Eberly College of Science: Milton Cole, Edward Formanek, and Stephen Schaeffer

University College: Kay Wijekumar, Beaver; Alan Horwitz, Delaware County; James May, DuBois; Andrzej Gapinski, Fayette; Renee Borromeo, Mont Alto; Michael McGinnis, New Kensington; John Urenko and Anita Vickers, Schuylkill; and David Barnes, Worthington Scranton.

Retired Senator Robert Heinsohn

Would all of you please stand, and let us thank you for your service.

At this time, we have special recognition to seven members of this group who are leaving us with particularly distinguished records of service. As each comes forward, I will present him with a certificate signed by President Spanier and myself acknowledging their dedicated service to the Senate. Together these individuals have 128 years of service.

Would Chris Bise please come forward?

Chris has been an Earth and Mineral Sciences Senator for fourteen years. He served as Senate Chair in 2003-2004 and as Senate Secretary in 1999-2000. He also served as Chair and Vice-Chair of Curricular Affairs and Chair of both the Libraries and Outreach committees. Chris served as a member on the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President and the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.

Thank you, Chris.

I would like to ask Melvin Blumberg to come forward.

Mel has been a Harrisburg Faculty Senator for ten years. He served as Senate Secretary in 2002-2003. This year Mel chaired the Intra-University Relations Committee, and he was Vice-Chair of CC&R in 2004-2005. Mel was a member of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, Faculty Advisory Committee to the President, and the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.

Thank you, Mel.

Donald Kunze,please come forward.

Don has served as an Arts and Architecture Senator for eight years. He served two years as Vice-Chair of the Outreach Committee.

Thank you, Don.

I would like to ask Arthur Millerto come forward.

Art has been an Engineering Senator for 24 years. He served as Chair and Vice-Chair of Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and was Chair and Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Education. Art chaired the Special Subcommittee to Assess the Nature of Evidence Used for Promotion and Tenure Decisions. He also served on the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.

Thank you, Art.

Peter Rebane,please come forward.

Peter has been an Abington Faculty Senator for29years. He has served on Senate Council for eleven years –very quietly– and was a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President and Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. Peter was Chair and Vice-Chair of the Academic and Athletics Committee and was also Vice-Chair of CC&R.

Thank you, Peter.

I would now like to ask Alan Scaroni to come forward.

Alan has been an Earth and Mineral Sciences Senator for 25 years. He served on Senate Council for five years and was Vice-Chair of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Thank you, Alan.

I would like to ask Brian Tormey to come forward.

Brian has been an Altoona Faculty Senator for 20 years. He served on Senate Council for nine years and this year he was Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on University Planning.

Thank you, Brian.

Each year the Senate Committee on Student Life recognizes outstanding undergraduate students who are graduating with highest distinction and will enroll in graduate study.  This year there are two recipients of the John W. White Graduate Fellowship.  Each student will receive a $2,000 award.  The John White Fellowship is one of the oldest and most enduring fellowships at Penn State.  The award was established in 1902 by James Gilbert White to honor his father, Rev. John W. White of Milroy, Pennsylvania.

Our first recipient is Christopher Urban . 

Christopher is graduating in May with a BS in biology – option in genetics and developmental biology and minors in neuroscience and astrobiology. He is a Schreyer’s Honors Scholar and has won many national and Penn State awards and scholarships. He is the president of the Penn State Astronomy Club and captain of the intramural volleyball team. Christopher will be attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the fall.

The second recipient is ­­­­­ Elisabeth Donaldson.

Elisabeth will be graduating with a degree in bio-behavioral health and a minor in health policy and administration. She will start her master’s of health science degree at the John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health this fall. Since 2003 she has been active in the HIV/AIDS Risk Reduction Advisory Council and last year was an intern with the Dauphin County Health Improvement Partnership. She is a volunteer in a teen pregnancy class and is a member of Penn State’s ballet club and cello choir.

I would like to take a minute to ask the Senate Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs and standing subcommittee Chairs to stand so that we can thank them all for the tremendous amount of work that they have invested. I have heard from all of them that it was rewarding and well worth the time and extra effort. Thank you for all of your service.

I would like to recognize the Senate Office staff at this time. If you would not mind stepping into the aisle: Patty, Sherry, Anna, Kadi, and Emily. Thank you very much for all that you do.

David Tandberg, would you please stand? I would like to thank you for your contributions as the Ostar Fellow this year behind the scenes, doing all kinds of little projects.

George Franz, thank you for your parliamentary guidance.

To Graham Spanier, Rodney Erickson, Blannie Bowen, John Romano, Terrell Jones, Jan Jacobs, Rob Pangborn, Jeremy Cohen, Eva Pell, Regina Younken, Billie Willits, Craig Weidemen, Gary Miller, Gary Schultz, Vickie Triponi, Dick Althouse, Mike Doris, Louise Sandemeyer, and many others in administrative positions, I want to thank you for your quick and full responses to every request that I have made for the Senate this year. I mean that. I have learned that the investment of that administrative group in Penn State and the University Faculty Senate is obvious and a key to making the University even better.

I would like to thank the Officers.

Kim Steiner, would you please stand? I will get to retire with you shortly, but I would like to thank you for all of your consultative guidance over the year.

I would like to thank Joanna Floros, Dawn Blasko, and Susan Youtz for their readiness to collaborate and explore how the Senate can best serve the interests of the University. I will have a few additional, special, thanks for you three at the end of the meeting and an opportunity to share more reflections at that time.

I also want to acknowledge the Media Technology staff, Ralph Homan and Jeff Jenkins, hiding out in the glass booth, for their work on Mediasite Live and doing technology trouble-shooting for the Senate meetings.

Now we have a few slides. Prior to each Senate meeting, this room, and many rooms like it, looks like these pictures. A very special thanks to the custodial staff who arrive when class ends at 12:30 to make this room presentable for our meeting.

Life is indeed full of serendipity and circles. In the late 1960’s and 70’s, I was making anti-littering signs to post in my high school hallways; my high school clubs were walking highways to fill bags with litter. The national campaign at that time against littering had seeped into my conscience much more effectively than the attempts to move to the metric system.

As you can see from these pictures, I personally was taken aback by the litter left by students in University classrooms. Some students seem to be confused about whether they are in class or at the movie theater.

I know it is not the responsibility of us as faculty to police or clean up the classrooms, however, at the very core of the idea of education is civic responsibility and societal improvement. So I appreciate any faculty who might want to recycle that old message against littering in your classrooms. Be assured that any lectures you give taking a stand against littering will not be considered as exceeding your academic freedom.

The Office of Affirmative Action has concluded its investigation into the complaint filed by Jennifer Harris against Rene Portland, and the President has imposed sanctions for her violation of our University policy against discrimination. I would like to thank Ken Lehrman, as the Director of the Affirmative Action Office, for the countless hours he spent to ensure due process in a full investigation of the charges. We have, I believe, reaffirmed our University’s commitment to equality. It is now time for all parties to accept the results of the investigation and the President’s sanctions and realize that strength and quality in our classrooms, in our society, on our athletic fields, arises out of difference and not conformity.

I would like to share one brief thought now before our various schedules require early departures from the meeting. This little blue book right here gives us tremendous opportunity and responsibility to govern this University. A constitution requires each of us to lead in our units, our Senate committees, and here in this larger forum. If we choose a spectator role in our University, we will contribute to a governance hole and a set of practices that progressively marginalizes our involvement as a Senate in key decisions.

I realize that your service and governance is time consuming and not always apparently rewarded; the concept of service itself includes the lack of any tangible reward. So if I have accomplished just one thing this year, I hope it is a strengthened belief in each of you that you can make a difference in your college and our University through your Senate activities. Please be proactive and use the power given to the Faculty Senate in this Constitution.

COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

President Spanier is with us today, and I would like to invite him to come forward and make a few remarks.

President Spanier: Thank you, Jamie, and congratulations to you on a great year as Chair of the Faculty Senate.

We have done a lot of things this year at Penn State, but I think I am most proud of the person who we have hired to be the new Senior Vice President for Health Affairs of Penn State, Dean of the of College of Medicine, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Following a national search which I commented on in earlier sessions, we were able to conclude this search and hire the person who, we believe, was the top individual in the United States for this position. Dr. Harold Paz, as young as he is, a lot younger than I am actually, is nevertheless one of the most senior people in academic medicine in this country. Because he became a dean at a pretty young age, he comes to us with ten years of experience in that position at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University. He has been active in the Association of Academic Medical Colleges; he is a well-know educator and an outstanding physician, one of the leading people in his area of specialization. He has a big job ahead of him here at Penn State.

He started work yesterday, and he is spending his second day here on this campus in part because later this afternoon we are going to have the formal signing of a new agreement with the Mount Nittany Medical Center and Penn State’s College of Medicine. So some great things are ahead for us there.

I wanted to begin my report by yielding a couple of minutes of my time to introduce you to Dr. Paz and have him come up and say a brief word or two.

Harold Paz, Medicine: Thank you very much, Graham, for those kind words. I have to say that it is truly an honor and a privilege to join Penn State. You know that this is a superb research University, and I cherish the values that this institution has in academic excellence and the traditions that go with being a fine university.

I believe that we have tremendous opportunity on the Hershey campus. As you all know, the College of Medicine and the academic Medical Center at Hershey are outstanding institutions; together in the missions of education, research, and patient care, they do a superb job. The institution is nationally respected, and I look forward to working with our entire faculty on the campus to continue to move Penn State Hershey in terms of its national prominence and service in education, research, and patient care.

I also see a larger responsibility, and that is the responsibility to this University and to all of you, to work collaboratively to transform American medicine, healthcare, research, and education and to look for the synergies that exist across Penn State campuses as they meld and come together with our Hershey campus; to look for opportunities to distinguish Penn State as not only a national but international leader in all the respective areas of medical practice and healthcare.

I just left the Chamber of Commerce meeting on the other side of campus. I was talking with its members and employers, and I do not have to tell any of you the tremendous challenges that this nation faces in terms of education, research, both biomedical and translational, and patient care. We have huge challenges in health status for those that we serve in terms of the uninsured, in making sure that research discoveries and work that goes on here are transformed into treatments and cures for those that we serve.

Our population is rapidly aging; one out of every five of us will be over the age of 65 by the year 2025. This is a huge challenge in terms of cost, access to care, and quality of care. I believe strongly that Penn State can play an enormous roll at the national and international level in being a leader. I look forward to being part of this team, part of the faculty, working with President Spanier, and everyone down on the Hershey campus to make those things happen.

Thank you for this warm welcome. I am thrilled and delighted to be here on my second day. I look forward to having a chance to meet with you again in the future very soon. Thank you again.

President Spanier: Thank you. I have a few updates:

We are now getting very close to the beginning of our summer session and, of course, next fall. Our enrollment picture looks pretty good from a number of different standpoints. At this moment, we have 13,000 paid accepts across the University. Those are students who we offered admission to. They accepted and sent their deposits in and are pretending like they are coming. Just about all of them will; we may see a bit of drop-off over the summer.

On the University Park campus, we already have 7,000 paid accepts. We will have a few more sending deposits in and a few more dropping out, so we will probably end up with about 7,000 new freshmen starting at this campus. If my latest numbers are right, we are up about 1,000 paid accepts collectively at our other campuses. This is a very positive sign for us, and we hope you will all work hard at converting those last undecided students into paid accepts and getting them into the pipeline.

One interesting statistic is that our paid accepts from African American students is up 24 percent. It is quite remarkable. We have seen double digit increases in the number of underrepresented students for quite some years now, but I am not sure that we have ever been as high as 24 percent in any one year. That speaks volumes to all of your efforts to continue to enhance diversity at this campus. I think it is a good thing for us.

This is the last week of classes, and as is often the case in the last week of classes, there is a lot of jockeying among students for who will be able to reserve the steps of Old Main for their protest. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now. There is one everyday at the University. I just arrived back from a meeting in Washington, but I think if my memory is right, today is the day where we have a combined rally of the Eco-Action Organization and Kyoto Now campaign.

This creates an opportunity to update you all a little bit on what all the University is doing in this area, which I think is pretty impressive and which I have not shared in any of my remarks recently at the Senate.

The protection of our environment has become a very high priority at Penn State. We do believe that we can be part of the solution here, and I want to commend the staff in the Physical Plant of the University who have organized themselves around this concept of energy savings and environmental stewardship. I have been very impressed by what they are doing, and they are really committed to doing more. Their general goals focusing on our environmental strategy involve leadership and best management practices; environmentally responsible purchasing policies; efficient use and conservation of energy, water, and other resources; minimizing solid waste production; minimizing hazardous waste and toxic materials on campus; environmentally responsible campus design and planning principles; transportation improvements; and regulatory compliance.

Our current plan has us achieving approximately an 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. This is aggressive and requires support from the entire community. One of Penn State’s challenges with setting a goal is that we are growing. We have new buildings coming on line; in the last six year or so, we have added eight million square feet of space at this University. One of the things that student groups sometimes say that they want a reduction to a particular level at an earlier point, but that does not take into account that the University is getting bigger and doing more things.

Nevertheless, we are continuing with our plan to purchase renewable energy credits. This is being done in combination with the state’s mandated renewable energy portfolio standard. That will get our total renewable percentage to 22 percent by 2012, and that is using funds that are already committed. We are continuing with our guaranteed energy savings projects, commissioning and recommissioning initiatives, and plans for an aggressive awareness campaign. Approximately 30 percent of our energy usage is under the direct control of the building occupants. It is not something that we are doing out of a central physical plant or a power plant facility; it is under the control of the occupants of the building.

We are continuing to partner with research units on new technologies such as carbon sequestration and bio-digesters. We are continuing with our initiative to reduce overall petroleum consumption by reducing our overall service fleet, converting our diesel vehicles to bio-diesel and converting some of our service vehicles to alternative fuels.

I mentioned that we have added approximately eight million square feet of space since 1999, so these challenges are especially great for us when we talk about reductions. Of course, we have plans to add a very large research facility, the new Life Sciences and Materials building complex, a new Health Services building, a new Law School building, and, of course, we are working on an overall energy master plan which will facilitate these things for us.

Again, I commend any of you here who are involved in advising us in those areas. All good ideas are welcome and kudos to our folks in the physical plant for what they are doing.

Another issue that has popped up recently involves a piece of artwork. What I want to say is very simple: this administration does not condone censorship of any work of art. Once you cross that line, it starts getting messy. We are not going to cross that line here. Yes, there may be miscommunications and misunderstandings; different art galleries have different rules about who can put what up when under what circumstances. However, it is one thing to have a set of rules and quite another when the content of a work of art becomes the relevant factor. We are not going to allow that to happen here. The piece of artwork that was in question for the last few days is going to go up. I am not sure the timing; that will be up to the student. However, the gallery space is available. It might be now, it might be this fall. However, that offer has been extended to the student, and we will stand behind that.

Commencement is coming up soon. I look around the room here and realize that many of you are the folks who show up at commencement, however many of your colleagues do not. I would like to make my annual pitch for you to grab a colleague or two and bring them to the commencement ceremonies for your college or unit. It sends an important message to the students and to their families. We love to have faculty members there. It is one of the best times of the year. If you have not done that lately, come to the commencement and see what a great event that is. We want you there.

At 7:00 p.m. tonight on public broadcasting and on the Pennsylvania Cable Network, To the Best of My Knowledge is on. Our topic focuses on my career as a stand-up comic. I have accumulated a lot of material over the last couple of decades, and it is all going to come out before I am done. That is the topic of our television show tonight. The show following that will be on the topic of alternative treatments for cancer. I invite you to tune in.

Now, let’s see what questions you have.

Chair Myers: Are there any questions for the president? I would remind you to please stand, share your name and discipline.

Jean Landa Pytel, Engineering: Could you please explain a little bit about this agreement that is being signed between Hershey and Mount Nittany Medical Center? I do not quite understand what it is and how it is connected to what we are doing.

President Spanier: I will just give you the brief version.

The Mount Nittany Medical Center, formerly known as Centre Community Hospital, is the principle facility serving a huge number of Penn State employees and their families, and, of course, it is the principle facility in the Centre region.

We have been working collaboratively with them in some modest ways over the years. What we are proposing to do now is to take that to a whole new level of cooperation. It will involve a number of things: medical students and residents from our medical school coming here to Centre County and working with physicians and spending some time at the hospital; a greater number of physicians in this area becoming adjunct or faculty members related to the medical school; our medical school will help in hiring people in certain areas of specialization who may not otherwise have wanted to set up a practice in this area; we already have a strong and growing partnership with Centre Medical and Surgical Associates; we have the Penn State Cancer Center, which very prominently involves some of the physicians here in Centre county; we will be partnering with them in the future if there are certain facilities that we both might be able to take advantage of; referrals of patients here or consulting on cases with faculty members and some specialty areas at Hershey, opening up those lines of communication; and generally, I would say, having a greater presence of the College of Medicine here in Centre county and at University Park.

Hal Paz has three titles, right? One of those titles is a University-wide title: Senior Vice President for Health Affairs. One of our objectives in that role is to get a broader array of faculty members, where ever they are located, to work collaboratively together. This will be seen most prominently in the area of research collaboration, and we will very soon have Hershey faculty members, who are working in laboratories here on this campus as we open up our next Life Sciences building and renovate Chandley Hall.

Those are about ten things that I just mentioned. I do not have all of the nuances off of the top of my head, but that gives you a flavor for it. Is there anything significant that I left out?

Catherine Dansky, Health and Human Development: As a follow-up to that question, how will the partnership affect Penn State’s relationship with the Geisinger health plan?

President Spanier: I do not think it affects it one way or the other. It is something positive and forward-looking that we are doing with the Mount Nittany Medical Center. All of the physicians in the area, regardless of where they have their access and where they are affiliated, have access to the Mount Nittany Medical Center. The Mount Nittany Medical Center serves all the patients and the physicians in the region, but this is not a partnership arrangement with the Geisinger Health Center. They tend to be independent and are doing things on their own.

We, right now, do not have a significant involvement with the Geisinger health plan, if that is what you are asking about specifically. Our current health care contracts, the third party vendors which we use, are now up for renewal and discussion. I think today will be the first meeting of the initial briefing about the next era with the Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits. Within the next few months, we will outline a plan for our health care coverage that people will sign up for in November, December, or the beginning in January. We are still working through that right now.

I got off easy today.

Chair Myers: Thank you, President Spanier.


FORENSIC BUSINESS

The Faculty Affairs committee is sponsoring a forensic session entitled, “Fixed-Term Faculty—A Review of University Policies for Appointment, Position Titles, Promotion, Retention, and Advancement.” This can be found in appendix B in your Agenda.

Committee Chair Mohamad Ansari and committee member Larry Backer will introduce this report.

You will see there are four questions on page four of the report.

Senate Council has allotted twenty minutes for this discussion.

COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Fixed-Term Faculty—A review of University Policies for Appointment, Position Titles, Promotion, Retention, and Advancement
Mohamad A. Ansari, Chair Faculty Affairs
Larry C. Backer, member Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Mohamad Ansari, Berks: Thank you Chair Myers, and good afternoon everyone.

The committee was charged back in October to write this report on fixed-term faculty members, including the multi-year faculty members within the University. Subsequently, the committee has been engaged in studying and debating these issues, both within the established practices at various units in the University and in peer universities.

The committee decided that the best approach is to bring a forensic report before the Senate to receive additional input and guidance from the Senators for next year’s Faculty Affairs committee to possibly write an advisory and consultative report with respect to revision of HR21.

Senator Backer is a member of the subcommittee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, and he is the principle author of this report. I am very happy he is here to help us answer questions. Thank you.

Chair Myers: The floor is open for questions and comments on this report.

Anne Hester, Hazleton: First, I want to say thank you for allowing a full document on fixed-term faculty, because fixed-term faculty members have been trying for two years to keep raising the issue, and I want to say thank you for this.

I do, however, want to make some comments about the report itself and encourage the next committee to look at what are some negative attitudes built in through the document. I will refer to a few of those.

Under recommendation number one on page six of this appendix, it talks about ways to define balancing the needs of the new programs and so forth by hiring or not hiring fixed-term faculty to maintain the academic environment and its standards. I read into that some possible negativity in the fact that fixed-term are perhaps pulling down standards by what we contribute to the University.

On page eight, in the last sentence of the first paragraph, it says “in many cases these faculty have contributed significantly but too often they are undervalued and under-committed to the University and have an overall negative effect.”

In the middle of the next paragraph, it says “in some units the turn-over and degree of commitment of faculty hired off the tenured track are perceived to have an adverse effect on continuity for students, courses, and curriculum.” Perhaps there are folks within this system that have some negative effect. I would venture to say there are probably tenure-track faculty that have a negative effect as well. I would encourage you to look at some of the attitudes that we are trying to change in the University. Maybe we can have a both/and rather than an either/or.

Mohamad Ansari: What you are referring to is not this year’s committee’s work. This is from January 2001, when that Faculty Affairs committee brought an advisory report to the Senate. We have decided to just bring the Senate up-to-date on the activities with respect to these issues that we are considering. By no means, does this appendix reflect the views of this year’s committee. This is just meant to be information for the Senators to know how many reports have been circulated on these issues. I wish you had been there five years ago to share your concerns, which I also share. However, it has nothing to do with this year’s committee and this forensic report.

Anthony Ambrose, Medicine: An exit interview is a valuable management tool. It affords the employer the opportunity to identify issues which need serious attention. At Penn State, when a faculty member departs, he or she is offered an exit interview if he or she is a tenure-track employee.

In 2002, I stood here to speak against this policy. Was the University not interested in the comments of fixed-term faculty who are going elsewhere? A lot of the attention of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities is directed toward tenure-related issues, yet more than a third of the issues you discuss the entire faculty, including fixed-term.

On September 14, 2004, I stood here and urged defeat of a proposal to limit membership on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities to tenured faculty. However, the proposal passed, 98-78, by a called show of hands. That is about 56 percent, remember that number please.

As a fixed-term faculty member, I have little or no opportunity for redress should, for example, my chair decides to do something outrageous. Let’s say that he decides to withhold my paycheck for a month. I can ask for assistance from the faculty ombudsman, but my chair has a lot more options, one of which is to simply let me go. He can decide to not renew my contract. The fact that I might be able to do a grievance through HR76 becomes immaterial because I am no longer an employee.

The second-class status of fixed-term faculty at Penn State is not a small matter, not a little glitch that requires a little tweaking. It is a very substantial problem, as the Senate Officers learned during the campus and college visits this past year.

I applaud Faculty Affairs for taking on this challenge, and to ensure fairness, I hope those tasked with doing the work will include enough fixed-term faculty to reflect the reality of the University. As noted in appendix I of today’s agenda, only 57 percent of us are tenured or on tenure-track; 43 percent of us are other.

Finally, I challenge this body, this University Faculty Senate, to embrace firmly and justly its responsibility to represent the interests of the entire faculty and not just the 57 percent of us who are tenured. Thank you.

Chair Myers: Are there any additional comments? Faculty Affairs is seeking some sense of the Senate on the questions on page four. You might look at those questions briefly before we end this forensic debate. Do you have any thoughts that you would like to share with the committee?

Gary Catchen, Engineering: My comment is a very simple one. Basically, the report outlines various problems associated with fixed-term faculty members as opposed to tenure-track or tenured faculty members. Perhaps what the Senate could or should do in this context, and this action would go against a nation-wide trend, is to say to the central administration that the University should have a commitment to increasing the number of tenure lines and thereby decreasing the number of fixed-term appointments. The economics are very clear. The reason that fixed-term appointments have grown nation-wide is that, in general, it is not a career track, per se, because they feel they do not have an academic rank. Likewise, the salaries tend to be lower. That makes large programs, such as English, more cost-effective to operate. I think the solution to improving life for everyone is to have more tenure lines and less fixed-term appointments.

Mila Su, Altoona: I brought this up when the Commonwealth Caucus met earlier today, and I would like to suggest that as the subcommittee and the committee reviews this, would it be more effective to have a new HR policy that just focuses on fixed-term faculty issues? To flush out from where it is buried in the numerous policies that Mohamad mentioned at the meeting. I just want to put that on the table for consideration.

Chair Myers: In terms of question two, are there any opinions on whether the University should have one set of policies governing fixed-term no matter which unit they are in? Right now, it varies across units.

Mohamad Ansari: I want to mention that, for example, at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, they are proposing a new rank, professor of practice. At Smeal College of Business, they are hiring faculty members with the rank clinical professors. There are different ranks and titles already in place within the University and also at the peer universities. Duke University, for the past 10 years, has adopted the new title of professor of practice, at assistant, associate and professor. I might add that 10 percent of the faculty is hired with that rank and they have terminal degrees. They are engaged in both teaching and research.

For the achievement of the mission of the University with respect to teaching, service, and scholarship, I definitely disagree with decreasing the number of fixed-term faculty because they play an enormous roll here and 48 percent is the number that I have of the fixed-term faculty members. I also looked at the credit hours that are being offered for various courses. At the 200 level, over 25 percent were taught by the fixed-term faculty members.

We worked very hard on these questions, and the Senate leadership has been involved in guiding us. Next year’s committee would like to know what the Senate feels with respect to these four questions. If you do not have anything to add today, I would encourage you to send your comments to next year’s committee.

Chair Myers: Thank you for that report.

We have a second forensic report sponsored by the Undergraduate Education committee entitled, “First-Year Seminar: an Overview of Issues,” which appears in appendix C in your Agenda.

Committee Chair Art Miller and subcommittee Chair David Salvia will introduce this report.

Issues for Senate discussion can be found on page three of this report.

Senate Council has allotted twenty minutes for discussion.

COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
First-Year Seminar: an Overview of Issues
Arthur C. Miller, Chair Undergraduate Education
David A. Salvia, Subcommittee Chair

Arthur Miller, Engineering: The Undergraduate Education committee has been tasked with determining whether the First-Year Seminar has been globally implemented in the way that was consistent with the original legislation that was passed in 1997. We have wrestled with this in our committee for the past two years. Jan Jacobs had a report that came out prior to that. So for the last three years, it has been under discussion.

What we would like to do today is get input from the Faculty Senate rather than just keep it within the committees.

Chair Myers: Thank you. So maybe you were all waiting to discuss First-Year Seminar.

Jean Landa Pytel, Engineering: I would like to speak to maintaining the First-Year Seminar requirement. It has been our experience that it has worked very well. I understand that needs and goals of various campuses and academic units may not be the same. So I would suggest that in keeping the First-Year Seminars that the campuses and academic units be allowed to define their own goals and objectives and propose ways of delivering them in such a way that would meet those goals and not necessarily requiring that they all be identical.

I think that the students appreciate it. It gives them an opportunity to try different things that they may not otherwise have. It is a great seller for families and attracting students to come to Penn State. Families value the opportunity that students have to meet in small classes and interact with a faculty member or someone from the college. It helps with the transition from being a high school student to being a University student. I see it as part of orienting students to become good University students.

Peter Rebane, Abington: When this issue was debated in 1997, I voted against it. Not because I did not believe in easing students into a college environment but for a variety of reasons which, over the years, I suspected would lead to difficulty.

We passed this, in a sense, in a passion. There were several controversies. Should it be an introduction to college life, i.e. where is the library? When should I study? Who are the best professors? In other words, how does one adjust to university life?

But the Senate at that time also insisted that these First-Year Seminars should have academic content. Then it became a question of how many credits should it be. Should it be one, two, three, or the beast, as Art called it, three plus one?

Then, if I remember correctly, the main quest for this particular seminar came from University Park, where students complained that they never had a chance to meet a full or associate professor in a small, intimate classroom setting. So we wrote in a clause that these should be taught by associate or full professors. I was skeptical about that.

And last, but not least, we at the non-University Park locations, who already had small classrooms with the intimate contact between professors and students, felt that if this was a problem at University Park those particular programs should be tailored. The cookie-cutter approach would not work.

So I voted against it. What we have had over the years, in spite of our best attempts, is a “let’s pass the legislation now and fix it later” attitude. We have band-aided this thing to death. I am very proud that the Senate, for the first time in my tenure, has finally had the guts to say “This was a bad policy, let’s repeal it and start building from the bottom to come up with something that really works. Let’s make up our minds. Shall it be an orientation to university life? Shall it be an introduction to a major? Shall it have academic content? Should it be applicable only to University Park? Should every unit be able to decide or offer it as an option? Let’s limit it to one credit, and if we really want associate or full professors to teach this, let’s have some deans and department heads enforce that particular policy.” I understand that we now have part-timers and teaching assistants teaching these First-Year Seminars exactly in the way that this legislation was supposed to do away with. I think there comes a time when we have to recognize that this was a bad piece of legislation the way it was written. Let’s repeal it, let’s get the committee to come up with something that the students like and that we can all live with honestly. Thank you.

Richard Englund, Behrend: In the last three days, I saw the exit interviews from the students in my program for December graduates and for the graduates from a few weeks yet. Exactly half of them, in my program, said that freshman seminar ranked in the worst three of the courses that they took at Penn State. So, at least from my students’ stand point, trash it.

Aaron Pincus, Liberal Arts: I am going to encourage us to continue to explore implementation of the policy. I have taught First-Year Seminar four times and will teach it again in the fall. I think it is possible to combine academic content with helping students transition into University life. I think it is one of the most rewarding undergraduate instructional opportunities that faculty have, but even more importantly, I think it is one of our best opportunities to impact students at a very critical time in their development if we commit to it. I read this report and agree that the implementation has been problematic, but I think we should encourage the committee to explore how to facilitate its implementation and improve it, perhaps revise the policy for clarity of expectations. However I would argue against repealing it.

Leonard Berkowitz, York: I would like to point out something that seems to be happening both here and in other discussions with this particular policy, and that is a very large disconnect between the usefulness of the First-Year Seminar at University Park and its programs and students and for those at other campuses. That is one of the problems with the policy, that I do not think is fixable.

However, if Jean is correct and it is very useful for the Engineering program, repealing the policy would in no way prevent Engineering from instituting a First-Year Seminar for Engineering students. As I recall, when we had the debate on this the first time around, Liberal Arts already had a very widely used First-Year Seminar, but it was on a voluntary basis; they said there was no need for them to make it mandatory because they already had 80 or 90 percent of their students taking it. But if that were not the case, it is certainly possible for any program to implement it, and I think that was an important part of what you pointed out in your report today. If it is not fixable as a University policy but it is useful for various programs or campuses in different ways, even a repeal of a policy will not undermine achieving those objectives.

Jean Landa Pytel, Engineering: On a slightly different note, I was wondering about the financial part of this. It is my understanding that all the units were given permanent monies to implement first-year seminars. Is that not correct? Not that I am for this, but if this is repealed, does the money go back? And what about the units that would want to keep it because we would like to keep the money too?

Arthur Miller: My perception is that the money would not be taken back.

Bonj Szczygiel, Arts and Architecture: Our department was one of the first ones to jump on the freshman seminar bandwagon, and we have had unqualified success. We have a very successful freshman seminar and, should the University mandate it be taken away, we would still offer it.

I would encourage greater flexibility as was suggested earlier; let the programs decide for themselves what works. I have a concern about DUS students coming into the campus and feeling pressure.

I also have a concern that not every incoming freshman is of the same ilk or age or maturity, so I would be for repealing it only if the answer to this question can be given: whether any of those reports that are listed in the Web pages indicate that freshman seminar positively impacts retention. I am wondering if you can speak to that.

Arthur Miller: Pat Terenzini came in and talked to the committee at one point. At University Park, retention is probably not an issue. Eric White, from DUS, maintains that you can not really separate out retention. Since they implemented the First-Year Seminar there has been no difference in retention with or without it.

At the Commonwealth campuses, I do not know. So retention may be an issue in whether the First-Year Seminar would keep those students there or not. But it is very difficult because there are a number of factors that go into retention.

David Salvia, Engineering: Are there any comments from the students?

Chair Myers: Are there any student Senators who have comments?

Ricardo Torres, Earth and Mineral Sciences: I liked the First-Year Seminar program because not all of the freshmen coming to Penn State are ready to be part of student life in a 40,000 student campus. The First-Year Seminar allowed us to be in a classroom setting where there were only 29 other kids or less. I wrote a 20-page paper in my first semester and, after that, English 15 seemed like a breeze.

Flexibility would be, I believe, the best way. Each unit should be able to identify what is best for its students and should ask its students what do you think will be best for you? DUS students would have a problem if First-Year Seminars were to be made major-specific. They really do not know what they want to do yet. Are you going to force them to take it junior year?

I would be for increasing flexibility, and for the programs where it does work, let us keep it. It is an amazing experience.

George Conway, Council of Commonwealth Student Government: I yield the floor to Mike Hines.

Chair Myers: I am sorry but we do not have a yield of the floor procedure. You need to ask permission of the Chair to speak to this issue before the meeting. I am going to grant you permission right now.

­­­­Michael Hines, Business: I appreciate that. Thank you again for talking Ricardo.

From what I have seen, about 50 percent of students hate it and 50 percent of the students love it. That is why I am not sure what to do in this situation. If 50 percent of the students hate it, I would hate to make a recommendation to force them to take it.

When I look at the perceived benefit of this, it would be amazing if it could be implemented correctly and in a way that students learn from it as well as make friends from it and understand how to become better citizens in life. That is one of the main purposes at Penn State to educate our students to become better people, and First-Year Seminar is a great building block to do that. I believe that starting from scratch might be a good idea, maybe keeping it implemented while changing it so that it does work in the future. Thank you.

Ashley Harris, Liberal Arts: There are two sides of this for me. I sit on the Undergraduate Education committee, so I have seen a lot of this debate, as well as Academic Assembly, which has worked on this in the past in terms of providing recommendations and what we thought was necessary.

But from a policy perspective, there were two real guidelines for the First-Year Seminars when this first came up. I believe one was faculty and the other was small class size, and in many of the requirements this either is not feasible or simply not happening. For that reason, I would encourage repealing it.

However, from a student perspective, I had a great First-Year Seminar experience. Mine was very similar to Ricardo’s. I wrote a huge research paper, I really thoroughly enjoyed it. The problem we see from students is the inconsistency. They take one class and they may enjoy it or they may not enjoy it. But they also see their friend who is taking a one-credit class that counts for the same requirement, and that is where you see student objections. That is where you see half of the students liking it and half of the students not liking it. That is a large problem.

I would suggest either stricter guidelines that are feasible, because if they are not feasible they are not going to be followed anyway, and making everything the same; students are not happy taking a class and having it be extremely challenging and then realizing afterwards that they could have taken another class that was not and that they may have enjoyed more.

One of the other big problems is advertising. I think that if you are going to keep it, then things need to change as far as letting the students know what they are going to take before they take it. People get into classes and it ends up being something completely different than what they thought they would be taking. So if it is kept, that needs to be a main focus of some of the changes.

Chair Myers: For everyone’s information, Senator Harris was the Chair of USG Academic Assembly this past year.

George Chriss, Science: I did have a good experience with my First-Year Seminar, and I like the idea. I am not sure if this body is going to vote to keep the policy but my personal sentiment is that the policy itself will not affect the student experience, it really is a departmental decision.

In terms of allowing flexibility, if there are success stories get those published and find out what works and communicate that to other first-year seminars. If there are problems then address them and work with first-year seminars on an individual basis.

Rasham Patel, Health and Human Development: I just wanted to share my personal experience with First-Year Seminar, which goes along the same lines as the other student Senators’ comments. I had a fabulous experience with my First-Year Seminar, and probably the most important part of it was the faculty member that lead the seminar is one that I would consider to be a strong mentor here at Penn State and has been involved in a variety of activities and has guided me through the process of succeeding at Penn State, which is what I hope to do.

However, I can not say that it was directly correlated to First-Year Seminar. This individual is also someone who had been engaged in the freshman orientation over the summer, which HHD does a fabulous job of conducting. I thought that was part of the freshman seminar, a vital orientation to Penn State and a chance to get to know a variety of faculty within the college.

He is also the advisor of a student organization that I am involved with. I have had a variety of ways of engaging with faculty members. However, I understand that many of my peers do not. They do not get involved with student organizations, they may not take advantage of the extra opportunities over the summer, research opportunities, or the ability to get involved with the Faculty Senate and Undergraduate Student Government.

That being said, there is value in an effective First-Year Seminar. I can not tell you or recommend across the board, because so many students have had different experiences with the seminars, but if there was some way to provide a first-year seminar that does include academic content, the ability to get involved with and understand Penn State as a large University, and also engage with faculty members while still affording flexibility, it would be a fabulous way of ensuring that all students here get that first step and the true ability to engage in the University and take advantage of everything it has to offer.

Chair Myers: Thank you. We have reached the time limit for this forensic discussion. I would encourage everyone to email additional comments they have on either of our forensic topics today to the committees. The new rosters will be posted near the end of May or you can email the officers and they will be sure to get the comments. Thank you to Art and David for this report.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
NONE

LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

We have a Legislative report from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules,and it appears on today’s agenda as Appendix D entitled “Revision of Standing Rules Article I, Section 11, (d), Voting in Senate Elections.”

Pam Hufnagel, chair of the committee, will present this report.

COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES
Revision of Standing Rules Article I, Section 11, (d), Voting in Senate Elections
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair Committees and Rules

Pamela Hufnagel, DuBois: Good afternoon. This is a fairly simple proposal. Currently, if your term on the Senate is ending, you are not entitled to vote in the following year’s elections. This is just proposing a revision so that the current members of the Senate will vote whether their term is expiring or not. Incoming members will vote once they are completely seated. The rationale is explained very well in the report. Do you have any questions?

Chair Myers: Any questions or comments on the report?

Jo Anne Carrick, Shenango: I would like to comment because last year I was a new Senator and suddenly I got this voting right that I did not feel qualified to vote for. I knew no one, I did not know the process, I had never been at a Senate meeting. Now, a year later, I think I know better, and I was much more informed in making a decision and working with my faculty in sharing what I thought about the candidates. I am very much in favor of this change.

Chair Myers: Other questions or comments?

Ricardo Torres, Earth and Mineral Sciences : From the student’s perspective, being elected to the student Senator position, it is a pretty big deal up until the point where you get taught how to do this and actually receive an email saying, “Hey, you get to pick the new Officers.” It completely throws you in a tailspin. I agree very much with this procedure.

Pamela Hufnagel: Thank you.

Robin Bower, Beaver: I just want to reiterate what the prior speakers have said. Recently, we had discussion of the slate of candidates at the Commonwealth Caucus meeting prior to the last Senate meeting. I had to go and share the content of that discussion with the incoming Senator who really had no particular knowledge of any of the candidates, and I felt that was, to some extent, coercive on my part, although necessary. So I speak strongly in support of this recommended revision.

Chair Myers: This report has been brought to the floor by committee and needs no second. Are we ready to vote?

All those in favor of this legislation, please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers: Opposed nay. The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation. Thank you, Pam.

Our next item is a joint report from the Senate Committees on Faculty Affairs and Undergraduate Educationand appears on today’s agenda as Appendix E entitled “New Senate Policy 20-00, Resolution of Classroom Problems.”

The Senate has legislative authority for student policy. Following discussion on this report, you will be asked to vote on the establishment of this new Policy 20-00, which is a revision of a current policy. The Senate will then be asked to take a second vote recommending procedures for the implementation of Policy 20-00. This vote will be advisory and consultative to the President of the University.

Mohamad Ansari and Art Miller will present this report.

COMMITTEES ON FACULTY AFFAIRS AND UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
New Senate Policy 20-00, Resolution of Classroom Problems
Mohamad A. Ansari, Chair Faculty Affairs
Arthur C. Miller, Chair Undergraduate Education

Mohamad Ansari, Berks: You summed it up quite well, and I do not want to add to what you said, Jamie. I just want to stand here and acknowledge several people that helped Chair Miller, me, and the two committees draft this legislative and advisory and consultative report; Graduate School Associate Dean Younken has been very much involved in revising some of the recommended procedures that you see in this report; Vice President Pangborn; Associate Dean Jeremy Cohen; and, of course, Chair Myers who first sent Chair Miller and me the revision of the existing policy, which is a student policy of the Senate but it does not carry a number. I just wanted to acknowledge the work of all these individuals towards this report.

Chair Myers: Are there questions?

Peter Rebane, Abington : I will treat you gently, Mohamad, I promise. Let me ask you, on page two, where you have struck out the existing policy, are any of those particular misdemeanors covered in some other section? For instance, are early completion of semesters, scheduling comprehensive examinations during the last week, or absence during designated office hours covered in another policy? Because those are all struck out and there is no specific references to them in the new policy. I am reminded because there was a letter in today’s Daily Collegian where a writer chastised a professor for not permitting her to do something in the exam week, while another professor had gladly agreed to give final exams during the last week of classes, which seems to be quite contradictory. I was wondering if those problems are covered someplace else?

Mohamad Ansari: First of all, let me thank you for being gentle today. I appreciate that.

Second, these were examples, Peter. If you read the existing policy, which is online, these are examples of the issues that students might have outside of grade mitigation. I did not feel that we need to weaken the statement of the policy by just adding examples. However, beforehand, there were two examples, and we added the third one, which I can share with you. It says, “Failure of an instructor to enforce the code of conduct with respect to the student…” so we added that one when we sent it to ACUE. We incorporated the comments from ACUE, and we did not feel that the examples were necessary.

Arthur Miller, Engineering: Let me address that, too. Actually, it was a misnomer in the book. It is not really a policy, it was a procedure. Even though it said policy, it was never passed as a policy. Those were actually procedures that you were reading, and one of the problems was that when you went on the Web, it was very difficult to find. That was part of the impetus to make it a policy, and that is the reason why the recommended procedures are being recommended, because they are trying to follow those procedures that were actually in the first writing.

Chair Myers : Other questions or comments?

This report has been brought to the floor by committee and needs no second. First we will vote on the Resolution of Classroom Problems, Policy 20-00.

All those in favor of this legislation, please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers: Opposed nay. The ayes have it. The motion passes.

Now we will vote on the Recommended Procedures.

All those in favor of this legislation, please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers: Opposed nay. The ayes have it. The motion passes.

The Senate has approved the advisory and consultative section of this report.

The recommended procedures and implementation will be sent to President Spanier for his approval. Thank you, Chair Miller and Chair Ansari.

ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

The next report is Advisory and Consultative and comes from the Senate Committee on Intra-University Relations. It appears on today’s agenda as Appendix F entitled “Disciplinary Communities.”

Melvin Blumberg, chair of the committee, and committee member Amanda Maple will present this report.

COMMITTEE ON INTRA-UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
Disciplinary Communities
Melvin Blumberg, Chair Intra-University Relations
Amanda Maple, Committee Member

Melvin Blumberg, Harrisburg: This report suggests mechanisms for improved coordination across disciplines and across the University, particularly with respect to curricular integrity. With the Chair’s permission, we will try to answer your questions.

Zachary Irwin, Behrend: First of all, I commend you for what is obviously a complicated report that required a lot of effort. On page three, there is a question I have under rationale for the recommendations. It speaks about it being self-evident that if campuses and colleges are to be viable, courses and programs developed to serve regional market segments must be maintained and expanded, and certainly that is very true.

Some of my colleagues were a bit concerned to see not much follow-up in the rest of the report concerning that assertion. What I would like to offer for consideration, really as a friendly amendment, on page seven under recommendation two, and this regards programs, disciplinary communities, and so forth. It would be under C, and then bump up the other recommendations. “To recognize, develop, and consolidate the accomplishments of distinctive academic programs at all Penn State locations.”

Chair Myers: Could you read that one more time, please?

Zachary Irwin: “To recognize, develop, and consolidate the accomplishments of distinctive academic programs at all Penn State locations.”

Chair Myers: As a friendly amendment, then, this is being offered to the committee. Any member of the committee can stand up and object to that, depending on what you two decide here. If there is an objection to it as friendly, then it can be moved as an amendment.

Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: What, exactly, do you mean by consolidate?

Zachary Irwin: What I mean is many of these programs are growing and developing, and certainly they can stay where they are now. But by consolidate, I mean to develop in the fashion that they continue to. The reason that I mention “consolidate” was for our area, and I suspect for all of our locations, programs are going forward, they are growing. There is a process pretty much in place, along with that local market. When I speak of consolidation, I mean that the process should not stop. I am not suggesting that things stay exactly the same as they are now, but that the development continues.

Roger Egolf: I was just wondering because “consolidation” could mean combining of programs, which would be the exact opposite.

Zachary Irwin: Yes, and I did not intend it in that sense.

Roger Egolf: I have no objections.

Chair Myers : Are there any other committee members who want to comment on this friendly amendment?

I think they are nodding in acceptance to it as a friendly amendment.

Melvin Blumberg: Perhaps we should delete the word “to” to keep it consistent. So it reads, “recognize, develop, and consolidate the accomplishments of distinctive academic programs…”

Chair Myers : Let’s get a reading on it.

Amanda Maple : “Recognize, develop, and consolidate the accomplishments of distinctive academic programs at all Penn State locations.”

Chair Myers: Are there other comments or questions on the report?

Dennis Gouran, Liberal Arts: It is not clear to me from this report exactly what is supposed to be accomplished as a result of acceptance of these recommendations and their implementation. However, as I read the report, it strikes me that if they are accepted and implemented, a tremendous amount of work in the University is going to be devoted to the task of promoting community, and it is not clear to me how feasible that is likely to be or what demands are going to be placed on whom in order to achieve those objectives. So in a sense, this comes across as a noble scheme in which we are going to promote this sense of collegiality that I think underlies the advisory and consultative report, but no one seems to have given any consideration to how much this is going to cost, whose time it is going to take, and how much of our day-to-day work at the University is going to be devoted to the enterprise of promoting community rather than doing what we are supposed to do.

Melvin Blumberg : We have literally thousands of students within the University taking courses at campuses other than their own. As we said in the background part of this, over 3,400 approximately transfer from the campuses to University Park; over 1,000 transfer within the campuses; nearly 300 transfer from University Park to the campuses. In addition, over 50 percent of the students who graduated from University Park colleges in 2005 spent at least one semester, on average, at another campus. In other words, a lot of the students who go home for the summer take a course or two at another Penn State campus. The need here is beyond trying to just improve collegiality, although that is not a bad goal in and of itself. The major goal is to talk to each other and coordinate and improve coordination of our courses so that our students benefit, particularly when they take either general education or prerequisite courses for a major at another campus. It is not a simple question, and it is a question that really needs to be answered.

As far as the amount of work that is going to be involved, we left that open-ended. If you look at recommendation one on page seven, the deans at the colleges and the campus colleges and the University College establish and sustain these committees, then it is up to the committees how they organize and what the tasks that they have to carry out are. As far as cause, we are very fortunate in the Senate that we do not have to deal with that. That is the administration’s responsibility, so I am sure they will fund it liberally, should the Senate approve this. Cost is a factor, but one nice thing about the way we have written this is that it does not have to be implemented all at a single time. Just setting up a disciplinary listserv would be a big step forward.

Leonard Berkowitz, York : This is not substantive but editorial, and I will let you fix it. Recommendation one says that the provost’s office and the deans of each University Park college, campus college, University College, and so on. However, there are no deans at the campus colleges or University College. Those would be chancellors at the campus colleges. In other words, you need the appropriate language here.

Melvin Blumberg : Deans or persons who act as deans.

Leonard Berkowitz : I will not come near that one.

Chair Myers : Raise your hand if you are a dean.

Joseph Cecere, Harrisburg : I want to talk briefly about part F on page eight which talks about convening a University-wide meeting once per year. Who is going to be paying for that expense? For example, the College of Engineering is very good about having Engineering Technologies come on campus and have meetings yearly, but now if we implement this, is the college going to start looking to central administration for funds to support these initiatives?

Melvin Blumberg : As I understand the process that something like this follows, first it is approved by the Senate and then sent to the President. If the President approves it, he sends it to his staff to cost it out and figure out how to implement it. Is that correct?

Chair Myers : Advisory and Consultative reports, if passed, are sent to the President for implementation and then he refers it to the appropriate University offices for implementation. He can accept any part that he so desires, and he can reject parts.

Caroline Eckhardt, Liberal Arts : I am still not quite sure what a discipline is, although I thank you for the effort to define it in the quotation. I do not know whether you are thinking of, for example, all of English as one discipline. That would be fields of study from medieval to post-modern and creative writing and composition and rhetoric, in which case, recommendation two that refers to many of the following procedures might be appropriate. Or are you thinking of much more focused and smaller fields of study? For example, Japanese, for which to try to do many of the following would be incredible overkill. It is not quite clear who is going to decide.

Therefore, I wonder if you would take as a friendly amendment in recommendation two the insertion of the words “if appropriate:” “To utilize the following procedures, if appropriate, to construct and sustain…” so that if we are indeed going to have this process, and I share some of the concerns about where funding will come from and the amount of time it involves, that the level of activity expected of the individual disciplinary communities will really depend on what kinds of things they are. That is going to be highly variable.

Amanda Maple: That is fine with me.

Chair Myers: There is an offering here of a friendly amendment to add “if appropriate.” If a member of the committee wishes to object, they may stand and do so.

Melvin Blumberg: We do not want to do anything inappropriate.

Richard Englund, Behrend: It seems to me that in 1997, somebody brought before this body legislation about first-year seminars and it was a great idea – maybe. And this seems like a great idea – maybe. I would like to advertise or suggest that this be entered into very slowly, very carefully, on a trial balloon basis, one disciplinary community at a time. If it works, expand it. If it does not work, find the handle and flush it.

Melvin Blumberg: We have a problem within the University that has to be resolved; this problem of thousands of students who are literally moving between campuses and taking courses at multiple campuses. Whether or not this is the correct solution, I do not know, but it was the best we could come up with at the time.

Richard Englund: My concern is that this goes far beyond the lower level, lower division courses that are often transferred, because I do not see in here specifics that state that is the goal. If the goal is to make Chem 12 the same everywhere it is taught, that makes sense to me. It is a well known course, or should be a well known course, and one location should be able to depend on another to deliver that course according to the standard.

I will pick on Capital, if we are trying to make Mechanical Engineering Technology at Capital and Mechanical Engineering Technology at Behrend easily transferable and the same disciplinary community with different thrusts of the major and, to the best of my knowledge, we have transferred one student in 19 years between those two programs. Yes, we have transferred people at the two-year level, but not beyond that. I am not really confident about where this is headed. So yes, I understand if you are looking for commonly transferred courses, this may not be the best method. It may be a Curricular Affairs issue.

Larry Backer, Law: I think this is a marvelous proposal, but I think that the comments that were just raised may be something you want to consider. There is complexity, there will be a tremendous number of implementation issues which we are probably not aware of, and I would like to offer, hopefully, a friendly amendment to this thing.

It would be in recommendation one, the third line, the sentence that begins, “to accomplish this administrators will,” and after the word “will”, and I wrote this very quickly, so you can turn it into English if you want, add, “implement a pilot study of methods for accomplishing this objective. To that end, the University will identify a select number of disciplines. With respect to those disciplines, administrators will in consultation with…” whomever, do whatever they want. And then come back to us.

Melvin Blumberg: Could you say that again please?

Larry Backer: “administrators will implement a pilot study of methods for accomplishing this objective. To that end, the University will identify a select number of disciplines. With respect to these disciplines, administrators will…” and then do all of the things that will have to be done.

Melvin Blumberg : We will need to hear that one more time.

Larry Backer: “administrators will” and then add the following: “implement a pilot study of methods for accomplishing this objective, or “these objectives,” I do not know how many there are. To that end, the University will identify a select number of disciplines. With respect to those disciplines, administrators will…” do what administrators must.

Melvin Blumberg : I think what you are saying, in legal terms, is that we should pilot this.

Larry Backer : Yes. We get paid by the word.

Melvin Blumberg: Got it.

Chair Myers: You need to address what you are going to do with this.

Melvin Blumberg : Time for a caucus.

Chair Myers : While you are contemplating that, I do not believe there is anything in recommendation one that says that every discipline in the University must, at the same time, begin to organize itself on a University-wide basis. If the Senate passes this advisory and consultative report, the administration could implement one discipline at a time with their own sense of how to move into this. Often, they will implement things based on the Senate Record and the discussion of the Senators about something.

Have you made a decision on this?

Melvin Blumberg : I would like to deal with the Senator from Behrend’s concern.

Chair Myers : I am sorry; you will have to ask Senator Englund. Are you asking him a question?

Melvin Blumberg : You mentioned a pilot. Would this deal with the concern you raised?

Richard Englund: I am looking to move gently into this rather than do the whole thing, so a pilot study is probably the right thing to start with.

Chair Myers: I see some more hands. Let’s see what these comments are about.

Mila Su, Altoona: Even though I understand my colleagues’ concern, let us not lose track that the disciplinary units affect University College, and they are coming out with a promotion and tenure format that, if we do this slowly, is going to severely affect them. And yes, I understand regarding the overall process of students transferring from location to location that this is important, but we have a group of faculty that are going to be severely affected by moving slowly. So please keep that in mind.

Peter Rebane, Abington: I find myself in a curious position of agreeing with the esteemed Senator Gouran from Liberal Arts. That is, I do not know what this is leading to. This is a good example, the best example, of taking a well meaning proposal and then trying to amend it on the Senator floor. It becomes more and more complicated. I bet half of us do not really know what the proposed amendments on the floor actually mean in this circumstance, and I do not want to end up with another first-year seminar type of fiasco.

When I read recommendation one, “to accomplish this, administrators will,” to use Senator Eckhardt’s words, should it be “will” or “ought?” “In consultation with the faculty,” what does that mean? “Identify new and continuing disciplinary community leaders.” I do not know how you define disciplinary community leaders on a campus. These teams will organize themselves and with the support of the respective college deans collaboratively plan ongoing activities for the University-wide disciplinary committees. This really bothers me. This seems to suggest a tremendous amount of work, tremendous amount of travel, and I think it really impinges on certain aspects of academic freedom in setting up courses. I would suggest that this particular report is incomplete, that it needs considerable work, and that instead of trying to amend it to bits, that we vote to send it back to committee.

Chair Myers: Are you making a motion?

Peter Rebane: If you get the ruling from the parliamentarian, I would like to make a motion in this case to send this back to committee for further consideration and refinement. I do not think that we are capable of voting on this.

Chair Myers : Are you moving to send this back to committee?

Peter Rebane : Yes sir.

Chair Myers : Thank you. Is there a second for that motion?

Senator : Second.

Chair Myers: We are going to discuss the motion on sending this back to committee.

I apologize. We have to take care of this friendly amendment. The parliamentarian is going to rule.

George Franz : No, I am not ruling. You are going to rule.

Chair Myers : You are advising me. Thank you.

I am going to say this. The committee was struggling with Senator Backer’s friendly amendment. I felt that your friendly amendment would substantially change the intent of recommendation one. This other motion was made before we got to that, so we are just going to ignore that for the time being.

We have a motion on the floor that we have to debate. My apologies for you not getting to formalize your friendly amendment before moving on.

Are there any comments on the motion?

Dennis Gouran : When this body refers legislative and other kinds of reports back to committee, in my years on the Senate, it always does so with no specification of what the committee is supposed to do when the report goes back to it. It seems to me that we are in the same position again of saying we do not like what is before us but we do not know what needs to be done about it, so hand it back to the committee and let them do something. Now, I am opposed to this and also opposed to the notion that we ought to pilot this, because pilots tend to result in outcomes that lead to a rationalization that the original thinking was correct in the first place.

I think we are in a position where we ought to say yes or no on this. If it is yes, then let the administration worry about implementation. If it is no, then if the committee wants to go back and come up with another concept of addressing the problem that this is ostensibly concerned with primarily, then it is up the committee to do that.

Mohamad Ansari, Berks : With all due respect to you Peter, for whom I have utmost respect, I rise in support of this report. Knowing what this committee, and especially Chair Blumberg, have been doing and the hours of time and energy that has been put into this report is totally commendable. I think the report is extremely comprehensive and maybe a little bit difficult to understand because the issue itself is very comprehensive and difficult to understand. So I rise in support of the report from your committee Chair Blumberg, and I respectfully oppose the motion to send this back to the committee. Thank you.

Leonard Berkowitz: It seems to me all the comments I heard do not support the idea that this is somehow incomplete. The concerns people have are either addressed by making this a pilot project, and we can vote that up or down, or by rejecting it all together if you do not think it is a good idea. But I have not heard enough here that tells me that there are things that are unclear, that there are things that need to be fixed. There are concerns that we have but no concerns that can be fixed by sending it back to committee, so I urge us to continue our debate on this at this point.

Matthew Wilson, Harrisburg: One concern that I have, and one thing that can be fixed, is in recommendation two.

Chair Myers: Senator Wilson, can you speak to whether or not the motion of sending it back…

Matthew Wilson: Yes, I would be in favor of sending it back because of recommendation two C, which is, “assess periodically all courses at all locations.” The discussion that we have heard so far is about transferability of courses at the first and second year, and I think that injunction puts too much of a burden onto all of the faculty to be assessing periodically all courses at all locations.

Melvin Blumberg: If I could respond, Mr. Chair? I would invite the Senator to read the first sentence in that paragraph. We are not mandating all of these, we are merely suggesting that the disciplinary communities utilize many of the following. They will choose which ones they use.

Winston Richards, Harrisburg: What I have to say is somewhat mixed. First of all, I congratulate my colleagues on the excellent work that as gone into this report. I recognize in this report some contributions I made while on the Intra-University Committee two years ago, when Professor Richards chaired that committee. As a matter of fact, I find little with which to disagree. My position will be not to send it back to committee.

However, I will be remiss if I did not report on an email that I received from one of our colleagues at my campus. I am going to read this email because this adds something to the discussion.

“Hi Senators. For those of you who are currently in the University Senate, please vote no on the report which I understand will be considered on Tuesday. This report will, according to Robert Speel at Penn State Erie, require disciplinary committees to meet as a group once a year, will require us to set course objectives and expected learner outcomes for every course, which will continuously be reviewed; periodically require us on a regular basis to review all course transfer agreements from other institutions; and require us to file an annual report on all of this. We note that this involves a document that comes out of something called the Senate Committee on Intra-University Relations. Personally, I am disgusted with Penn State’s continual addition of bureaucratic, time-consuming mountains of efforts and stupid paperwork designed to take care of mole hills of virtually non-existent problems. These great cures, like the prefix issue, create more problems than they resolve, and the people who make these decisions have no understanding whatsoever of the impact those decisions have on particular programs.”

Professor Robert Speel of Penn State Erie has asked to have the April 25, 2006, Senate Record reflect that he is not the author of the e-mail quote (see the paragraph directly above this statement) attributed to him by Harrisburg Senator Winston Richards at the April 25, 2006 Senate meeting.

Clearly, my colleague did not realize that the person who was chairing this committee was one of their colleagues and certainly knew something of the problems that we face as faculty members. But I would be remiss if I did not read this into the discussion. Thank you.

James May, DuBois: It has not come up yet what the basic purpose of this recommendation is. The recommendation is dealing with the fact that we have lost a disciplinary divisional structure in a 14 campus unit. The folks from Erie are understandably concerned that something will be created which will be adverse to their needs. However, this committee has two fundamental problems; one was the lack of any kind of disciplinary or divisional coherence for scholars spread across the state, and recommendation one simply amounts to saying that these people ought to have some kind of an organization that is division or disciplinary, which may not otherwise exist. So there is a genuine hole that is being filled by this recommendation.

The second problem was the matter of curriculum drift. Of course, it is understandable that even before they began to discuss it, somebody from Erie would get up and say, wait a second, we are not concerned about disciplinary drift. We have got our courses with different course numbers which suit folks at our location. There is nothing that this committee could have done that would have met those kinds of objections.

Nonetheless, this piece of legislation suits people from my unit, University College, who, if you will remember, two months ago lost their disciplinary tenure review, which was decided to be unnecessary in the process or too expensive. Now it seems like we might lose any kind of institutional mechanism to think of ourselves as a faculty unit. As Professor Su mentioned, we are going to need this kind of structure all the more because we have made those changes, and we need them soon.

It seems to me that since it is a recommendation to the administration to do as they please, they will no doubt take Erie in mind and make sure nothing is done to the Erie campus which is terribly unsuited to it.

Chair Myers: Do we need to speak more to the motion to send this back? Remember, if I happen to call on you and you call the question, that is how it is done.

Richard Englund : Once again, I will reluctantly speak to this. There have been at least three things mentioned here that this is supposed to cover; one is the transferability of courses, two is the curricular drift, and three is promotion and tenure in the University College.

These do not seem to me to be the same issue, and so I will say that I think this should be sent back to the committee with the recommendation that it be split into three completely separate items. Is that possible? If it is possible, then I would ask that we vote to send it back with that being the recommendation that it be split into at least three. If we need disciplinary communities or whatever for P&T, then that is a fairly immediate need and it needs to come forward. The transferability at lower division courses needs to come through at some point in time. But let us not try to muddy the waters by combining all of these in what apparently is not practical at this stage.

Joseph J. Cecere, Harrisburg: I call the question.

Chair Myers : The question has been called. Is there a second?

Senator: Second.

Chair Myers : The motion is to send this report back to the committee. Oh, I am sorry. The motion is to end debate. You can decide that we need to talk more. All those in favor of ending the debate, please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers : Opposed, nay. The debate is ended. Now we are back to the main motion, which is the committee report. Oh, I am sorry. I am going to sleep up here. I apologize. Now to the main motion to send it back to the committee. All those in favor, say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.

Senators : Nay.

Chair Myers : The nays have it. There is a procedure if someone wants to call a division of the house.

Senator : I call a division of the house.

Chair Myers: Thank you. Please, it is important that when you raise your hand, you keep them up until we wave your section down because we are not very fast at counting. I guess we will have you stand, as it might be easier to count.

All those in favor of sending this back to committee please stand.

All those voting against the motion, please stand.

The motion is defeated.

We are going to continue to consider the passage of this advisory and consultative report. Senator Backer, I wonder what you might be going to say.

Larry Backer: You do not want to know. With a better understanding of the nature of the friendliness of the procedures here, and the temper of those who interpret it, I will now move what had been a friendly amendment into just a plain old one, the character of which you can decide for yourself.

Chair Myers: A motion has been made to add to recommendation one, after “administrators will,” the following words: “implement a pilot study of methods for accomplishing these objectives. To that end, the administration will select a number of disciplines. With respect to those disciplines, administrators will, in consultation with the faculty…” Is there a second?

Senator: Second.

Chair Myers: The motion has been made and seconded. We will now discuss the motion.

Paul Becker, Behrend: I am opposed to this motion. I would like to see a pilot study. I would love to see a pilot study. I would have loved to have seen a pilot study of the reorganization that abolished a lot of the administrative structure. But there is now a large hole with 14 campuses that really do not have any way to communicate or funding for communication. Something needs to be done. A pilot study is not going to do it. I am not sure the current proposal is great, but a pilot study is not going to help things.

Leonard Berkowitz: While it is true that this will not fix it, it does not need to. The University College can and has already moved to fill that hole on a temporary basis and looked to see what we want to do in the future.

While I have the microphone, let me correct some terminology. I have heard speaker after speaker talk about students transferring from campus to campus within Penn State. That is not how it works. Students do not need to transfer from one campus to another, they can change locations. When they are in Penn State, they are in Penn State. Similarly, I have heard other speakers talking about transferring courses. You do not transfer courses. If a student takes Chemistry 12, she has credit for Chemistry 12, no matter what location she took it at. That is an important distinction.

Dhushy Sathianathan, Engineering : I am speaking in opposition to the modification that was proposed just now. I think that the process needs to move forward in terms of reorganization, and this is an important step forward. I do not think a pilot study is feasible. I think the second sentence simply implies that administration in consultation with the faculty will identify the process and lead us to accomplish it. I think that the administrators and the faculty should be given the necessary latitude to implement a process that is appropriate.

Michael Cardamone,Schuylkill: I am not supporting this amendment, and the reason is that the amendment mandates an action on the part of the administration which it is free to do if the amendment does not pass anyway. I think that on that basis, I will not be supporting this amendment.

Tramble Turner, Abington: I move to call the question.

Chair Myers: Is there a second?

Senator: Second.

Chair Myers: Thank you. The question to end debate has been called. We are going to vote on that. All those in favor of ending debate, please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers : Opposed, nay. We are now going to vote on the amendment. Would you like me to read it again?

Senators: No.

Chair Myers: All those in favor of the amendment, please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.

Senators: Nay.

Chair Myers: We are back to the advisory and consultative report. Are there any comments or questions about the report?

Laurie Breakey, DuBois : As chair of the Curricular Affairs committee and a member of the Course Abbreviation Subcommittee, I think that we need to keep the momentum going. We have some people learning about the new Penn State, and I think that we need to keep this moving forward. I think that if we vote this down, we lose momentum. So I am in support of moving forward.

Kim Steiner, Agriculture: I am going to speak in favor of the recommendation for this reason. I am not sure that this is a perfect system. I do not think it is the one I would have designed. Probably it is not the one the committee would design if it were sent back to them a second time. I do not see this as a very onerous recommendation.

If it is implemented by the administration then I think what is going to happen is that these disciplinary communities will be created, but if you will notice, they have a lot of responsibility but very little actual authority. I think that in those disciplines where the communities are working, that the communities will continue, and in the disciplines where it does not work, they will probably falter and eventually die. If it proves that it is desirable to have these across the University, then I think the administration and the Senate will find ways to resurrect those that have died.

We are really setting into motion an organic process. It is not an administrative structure, but a process, and I think that whether it succeeds or fails will prove its own merit and things will come out all right in the long run.

Mila Su: I just want to comment that with the discussion that has occurred today, Dr. Romano has remained in this building. He has heard all of the concerns; he is going to keep them in mind.

I was going to make a recommendation, but I think that it is really not necessary because the concerns will be expressed by a variety of different people at a variety of different levels to make sure that the concerns regarding the non-promotion and tenure issues will be covered.

Laura Pauley, Engineering: We have had numerous discussions of what the discipline community is, and in my mind, the definition that is most important is what our national accreditation says is the disciplinary faculty, and they accredit each program in engineering on each location. The faculty at University Park are responsible for the course content, the course objectives, course outcomes, the assessment of those courses at the upper level at our location, and the courses being taught at Behrend have other faculty who are responsible for that course content, that assessment, and a separate accreditation. I am concerned that the disciplinary community that our accreditation board has defined is being jeopardized by this recommendation.

Caroline Eckhardt: I am also still confused over “disciplinary community.” Are you thinking of 15 or 20 of these things, or 200 or 300 of these things?

Melvin Blumberg : There is a potential of about 250. We give a definition of what our discipline is and also disciplinary community in here. Essentially, a discipline is what we and our academic supervisor agree it is. On page two, it is defined as, “primary field of study in which a faculty member engages, most often identified with the person’s position title.”

Caroline Eckhardt: I think if we are talking about a recommendation that deans are responsible for starting 250 different groups, I am opposed.

Melvin Blumberg: No, that is a possibility. I do not expect 250. But that is roughly the number of disciplines that we are talking about. A lot of those are specialized programs at one campus.

Dennis Gouran : I am getting mixed signals in this report. We are told on one hand that there is a specific problem or possibly two problems that this was designed to fix. As the discussion unfolds, there are all these other considerations that seem to have crept into the discussion.

From my point of view, if there are specific problems in need of remedy, then the fundamental question is, is this the appropriate mechanism for addressing those problems? We should not get caught up in a discussion of whether it is not some of the other things that are built into the proposal would be nice to have and if they prove five, ten, 15, 20 years from now not to have been any good, well that is the price you pay for trial and error learning.

If we do have specific problems, the question in my mind is, is this the fix? I have not heard anything that makes it clear that it will be. It is all too nebulous and embedded in a set of other professional and personal considerations that I do not think should enter into the discussion.

Thomas Beebee, Liberal Arts: I do not know what my disciplines are anymore. I will be voting against this for some of the reasons Professor Gouran and Professor Englund mentioned. Several separate problems are mentioned in this report. I think they should be addressed separately.

What this proposes to do is to create a whole bureaucratic structure, somewhat nebulous, let’s call it the “Shadow Senate.” A whole other structure where people are devoting time and sending emails back and forth, creating that to deal with separate issues. I think the separate problems should be dealt with separately. I am not sure why Curricular Affairs should not deal with the problem of curricular drift, for example.

The second reason, thank you Professor Steiner. He got up and said, “Well, you know, after all these things are created, they are not going to have much authority anyway.” If they do not have much authority, they are not going to solve the problem. I see a lot of effort for potentially very little result. Most of the parts of the brain that distinguish us from other animals are there to keep us from doing things. I think that we should be very cautious about creating more bureaucracy.

Brian Tormey, Altoona : I move the question.

Chair Myers : Is there a second?

Senator: Second.

Chair Myers : We will vote on ending discussion. All those in favor, say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers : Opposed, nay.

Now we will vote on the report. It comes from a committee and needs no second. It has two friendly amendments, would you like me to read those?

Senators : No.

Chair Myers: Thank you. All those in favor of this advisory and consultative report, please say Aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Myers: Opposed, nay.

Senators: Nay.

Chair Myers: The ayes have it.

The Senate has approved this Advisory and Consultative report. The report will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation.

Thank you, Chair Blumberg and Senator Maple. Thanks to all of you for expressing your different points of view, and I hope that all of them are considered as we attempt to connect ourselves in the University to a greater degree.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

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

Annual Report of High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses, Appendix G. The annual report on High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses compiled by Anne L. Rohrbach, Director Admissions Services and Evaluation.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON CURRICULAR AFFAIRS

Implementation of Uniformity of Course Abbreviations’ Legislation , Appendix H. This is an update on the 48 teams of faculty from across the University who are working to reconcile different abbreviations for courses within the same specific discipline.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS

Faculty Tenure-Flow Rates , Appendix I. This report provides data on the percentage of faculty who achieve tenure in the categories of male, female, minority, and non-minority.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY BENEFITS

Employee Health Care Benefits Update, Appendix J. Recommendations for employee health care benefit changes.

REPORT OF SENATE ELECTIONS

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

The first is the election for Senate Council for the 2006-2007 Senate year:

Tramble Turner, Penn State Abington

Mila Su, Penn State Altoona
Daniel Hagen, College of Agricultural Sciences
Bonj Szczygiel, College of Arts and Architecture

Ronald McCarty, Behrend College

Andrew Romberger, Penn State Berks

James Miles, Smeal College of Business

Terry Engelder, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

Dorothy Evensen, College of Education
Martin Pietrucha, College of Engineering

Winston Richards, Penn State Harrisburg

Gary Fosmire, Health and Human Development

Dennis S. Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts

Michael J. Chorney, College of Medicine

James Strauss, Eberly College of Science

Thomas Glumac, University College

John W. Bagby, University Libraries, Combined Departments of Military Science, College of Communications, College of Information Sciences and Technology, Dickinson School of Law, and the Great Valley Graduate Center

Donald Rung, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, has been elected to serve as a Senator for a four-year term representing the retired faculty. Professor Rung will serve on the Faculty Benefits Committee.

Peter Deines, Professor Emeritus of Geoscience, was elected by Senate Councilors to a 4-year term as University Ombudsman.

Committee on Committees and Rules :

Elected for two-year terms.

Laurie Breakey

Deidre Jago

Jean Landa Pytel

Robert Ricketts

University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee :

Elected for two-year terms.

Dorothy Evensen

Kevin Furlong

Stephen Turns

Standing Joint Committee on Tenure:

Adam Sorkin (three-year term)

Collins Airhihenbuwa (alternate, three-year term)

Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities :

Faculty from University Park :

William Kelly and Kim Steiner, members (three-year terms)

Iyunolu Osagie and Gita Talmage, alternates (three-year terms)

George Vogler, alternate (two-year term)

Faculty other than University Park :

Patricia Hinchey, alternate (one-year term)

Deans: (three-year terms)

Lori Bechtel, member

Robert Steele, alternate


Faculty Advisory Committee to the President :

Laura Pauley

Secretary of the Senate :

Mark Casteel

Chair-Elect of the Senate :

Dawn G. Blasko 

Thank you. Congratulations to everyone.

COMMENTS BY OUTGOING CHAIR

Chair Myers: I have very few comments as outgoing Chair. I want to thank all of you for a thoroughly enjoyable year as Chair. I decided that our University is so successful because it has so many dedicated faculty and administrators invested in their local communities.

To support us in these local communities, I believe that the central administration lives on the edge of creative anarchy. Likewise, Senators often discuss the line between autonomy and uniformity in proposing and voting on various legislative and advisory reports. I think that was witnessed today.

For me, this is a key characteristic of democratic life, depending fundamentally on individual possibility in the construction of the values of the group, and then dialectically relying on public forums to establish inter-subjectivity and directions for the future.

This year as Chair has only fed into my more secret and never to be claimed life as a philosopher. I would like to share some of the philosophies I have developed over the last few years in collaboration with the Officers.

To Kim Steiner, you have been a steady and valued advisor to me over the past few years, and your political position is an especially good complementary and contrary voice for an old socialist like myself. I wish you the best as you move from the pasture back into the woods, and of course, I expect to see you some as I move into the pasture myself.

To Susan Youtz, as Wallace Stagner advised me once about writing fiction, it is like keeping a host of oranges up in the air all at the same time, and since the Senate Office may sometimes feel like a work of fiction, thank you for keeping all the oranges up in the air.

I have for you a little book called Candide by Voltaire. I would like to read a short passage: “Master Pangloss taught the metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology. He could prove to admiration that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of all possible worlds, the Baron's castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and My Lady the best of all possible baronesses.

‘It is demonstrable,’ said he, ‘that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end.’”

I think that is a good thought to keep in mind in the Senate Office when all these things come in, that they are all created for the best end.

To Dawn Blasko, you went and did it. You signed up for another three years, and won the confidence of the Senate in the election. Your support for the unique strengths of faculty in every college in combination with your consistent collaboration with your own disciplinary faculty across campuses is a model for our future.

For you, and you may have already read it, I have On the Road by Jack Kerouac. And if I may, “The greatest ride in my life was about to come up, a truck, with a flatboard at the back, with about six or seven boys sprawled out on it, and the drivers, two young blond farmers from Minnesota, were picking up every single soul they found on that road--the most smiling, cheerful couple of handsome bumpkins you could ever wish to see, both wearing cotton shirts and overalls, nothing else; both thick-wristed and earnest, with broad howareyou smiles for anybody and anything that came across their path. I ran up, said ‘Is there room?’ They said, ‘Sure, hop on, 'sroom for everybody.’"

I do not know if our trips are exactly like that but there you go.

To Joanna, your keen sense of equity has framed our discussions and will guide you very well in the next year. I know that you are interested in the Dali Lama, and I do not know if this book will give you any comfort over the next year, but it is called The Little Zen Companion. I think, over the year, you might need some sayings like: It is not the same to talk of bulls as to be in the bull ring; or should you desire the great tranquility, prepare to sweat white beads; or even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.

And so may your year be full of those moments of light and soul.

I also have a bit of a decoration for you that you can use up here on the podium, so that you can feel at home with this rather cheap copy of a fresco in Santorini, Greece.

Now, I am pleased to present you with a gavel that you will beat people with over the year.

Joanna Floros, Medicine: Thank you. Do not go away; I have something here for you.

Jamie, I wanted to give you a Mediterranean cruise experience. However, with the limited state budget support and a $15 million University deficit, I could only afford the “Academic Package,” and here is how it goes:

Tonight, you go home, sit in a comfortable chair, and imagine a beautiful, luxurious cruise ship, the wind blowing through your hair, the sun is about to set, and the dolphins are frolicking in the water. Hold onto that thought, and then reach into this bag and pull out not one, not two, but six bottles of your favorite Greek drink.

When traveling around the campuses, you find out what people like, and this year we visited the College of Medicine, so I invited the Officers over for a Happy Hour. I knew Jamie’s favorite Greek drink was ouzo, so I introduced him to another type which some people think is of better quality. In the immortal words of one of my Irish landladies I had as a college student, when she was speaking about her husband, he developed a taste for the stuff. I supplied him through the year, and now I supply him for a few years since you can not buy this here.

The truth of the matter is everyone in Greece who has an orchard makes this, and everyone is better than everyone else’s, and I had all these bottles that I did not know what to do with.

Wait. We are not done yet. There are still more accoutrements of the experience: a Greek fisherman hat; a tee-shirt that says “Got Ouzo?” and there is this thing [inaudible]

Thank you Jamie.

COMMENTS BY THE INCOMING CHAIR

Chair Floros: Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for staying this late.

I am truly pleased to be here. It has been quite a long journey to move from that seat to here. This past year, I have covered nearly 10,000 miles in the name of my Senate duty; 5,000 of these I drove and nearly 5,000 I flew. The moral of the story is that things are not always what they seem.

This academic year has been challenging, exciting, and very interesting and perhaps a warm-up of what is ahead of me. Whatever is ahead, I am looking forward to it, especially since now I have mastered some of the Senate alphabet, like LOTUP, but most importantly, my enthusiasm stems from the opportunity to work with all of you, as we collectively and willingly give our precious time to serve our University with all of its complexities and challenges in the best way possible.

Thus far, I have been very impressed with the level of support that the Senate Office provides and their willingness to go the extra mile for a job well done. Thank you very much, and I look forward to the next year.

As I look ahead with the outstanding slate of Officers, congratulations Dawn, committee chairs, vice chairs, Senate committee members, liaisons, students, administrators, and staff, and all other special experts that will come our way as we identify a need and seek them out. I can not help but think what an exciting year this is going to be. Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and I look forward to this coming year.

It is very late in the afternoon and we will return to our Senate agenda.

NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
NONE

COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

Are there any comments?

Robert Zambanini, Berks: Chairs Floros, Myers, and Steiner, I just wanted to say that this is probably the first Senate meeting that I have stayed at until the end. One reason is that I have to wait for my ride, but even if I had driven myself, I would have stayed to the end out of respect to a Senator who is not going to be serving after this semester, who has been a great influence to me and who has been of great service to the Faculty Affairs committee.

Mohamad Ansari, I hope that there may someday be a young, would-be professor who will view me the same way that I am viewing and thanking you for all of your influence. Thank you.

Chair Floros: Are there any other comments?

SEATING OF NEW OFFICERS

Now we turn to the seating of our new officers. Mark Casteel may take Dawn’s seat, and Dawn please take my seat. Maybe you will have 20,000 miles to go.

ADJOURNMENT

May I have a motion to adjourn?

Senator: So moved.

Chair Floros: All in favor please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Floros: Motion carries.

The Senate is adjourned. Have a great summer everyone.

The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will take place on Tuesday, September 12, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. in 112 Kern Graduate Building.