THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
THE SENATE RECORD
Volume 38-----April 26, 2005-----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, 2004-2005.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is distributed to all libraries across Penn State and is posted on the Web at http:// www.senate.psu.edu/ at “Publications and Resources.” Print copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory, and forensic body to the Chair for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.
Reports that have appeared in the Agenda for the meeting are not included in The Senate Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting, or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript and tape of the meeting is on file. Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary, University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Final Agenda for April 26, 2005
II. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
A. Attendance - Appendix I
B. Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid: Proposal for Revising Senate Policies Pertaining to Re-enrollment, Reinstatement, and Academic Renewal - Appendix II
C. Curricular Affairs: Uniformity of Course Abbreviations within Disciplines - Appendix III
D. Faculty Affairs: Revision to Policy HR-76 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities - Appendix IV
FINAL AGENDA FOR APRIL 26, 2005
A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the March 15, 2005, Meeting in The Senate Record 38:5
B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of April 12, 2005
C. REPORT OF SENATE CONCIL– Meeting of April 12, 2005
D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
F. FORENSIC BUSINESS
HR-23 Standards for Dismissal of Tenured Faculty for
G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Proposal for Revising Senate Policies Pertaining to
Corrected Copy - Re-enrollment, Reinstatement, and Academic Renewal
Committee and Rules
Proposal to Revise Faculty Senate Standing Rules
Pertaining to Standing Committees
Corrected Copy - Uniformity of Course Abbreviations within Disciplines
I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Computing and Information Systems
Penn State Web Presence
Corrected Copy - Revision to Policy HR-76 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Status of Campus Construction Projects
Textbook Selection Practices
Grade Distribution Report
Faculty Tenure-Flow Rates
Faculty Benefits Programs, Academic Year 2004-2005
Report of Senate Elections
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 2005-2006
Senate Chair-Elect for 2005-2006
Comments by Outgoing Chair Steiner
Seating of the New Officers
Comments by Incoming Chair Myers
K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD
OF THE UNIVERSITY
NOTE: The next regular meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on Tuesday,
September 13, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Graduate Building.
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with Kim C. Steiner, Chair, presiding. There were 203 senators who signed the attendance sheet and/or were noted as having attended the meeting.
Chair Steiner: The President is not here yet, but I am sure he will be here before we are finished with the preliminaries. We have done really well with cell phones this year. Please take a moment to think whether you have a cell phone and whether it is turned on, and turn it off. I believe I have not yet heard a cell phone ring.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Steiner: The March 15, 2005, 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?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Steiner: All in favor of accepting the minutes of March 15, 2005, please say, “aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, nay?” The ayes have it. The motion carries, the minutes have been approved.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item B, Communications to the Senate, the Senate Curriculum Report, of April 12, 2005, is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item C is the report of Senate Council. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting of April 12 appear as an attachment in today’s Agenda.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item D is announcements by the Chair. 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 $2000 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, Reverend John W. White of Milroy, Pennsylvania. I was just thinking, little did they know that 103 years later we would still be talking about that.
Our first recipient, Holly L. Hantz, is unable to be with us today because she has an exam. She has her priorities in the right place. Holly will graduate as a Schreyer Honors College Scholar with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences in the College of Health and Human Development. Holly has conducted research in the Nutrition and Cancer Lab under the supervision of Keith Martin. Her particular interest is the role of nutrition in cancer prevention. Holly has been accepted to University of California at Berkeley where she will enroll in the Ph.D. program in Nutritional Sciences. She has been president of the Health and Human Development Student Council this year and has volunteered with THON and served as a nutrition peer educator.
The second recipient is here and I would like to ask Katharine Brock to please stand. Katherine Brock will graduate as a Schreyer Honors College Scholar with a B.S. in Science, Life Science Option in the Eberly College of Science and with minors in Biology, Sociology and Dance. Her honors thesis research has been supervised by Roger Finke in the Department of Sociology. Katharine will be attending medical school in the fall at either Northwestern or Vanderbilt University. Ninety-nine percent Northwestern, right? She plans to pursue a career in pediatric oncology. Katherine has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, the Second Mile, THON, and Centre Volunteers in Medicine. We offer our warm congratulations to both of these young persons for winning this prestigious award. (applause) I have already invited her to stay and watch the rest of our exciting Agenda, but I think she is going to slip away shortly.
At the end of each academic year, a number of senators complete their terms of office, and I now have the sad duty of reading the names of those Senators who will not be returning.
College of Agricultural Sciences:
Kenneth B. Kephart
College of Arts and Architecture:
Richard R. Kennedy
Smeal College of Business:
Peter B. Everett
Peter D. Georgopulos, Delaware County
Nancy J. Wyatt, Delaware County
Kevin R. Maxwell, Fayette
Joy M. Perrine, Shenango
David W. Russell, York
College of Communications:
Ronald V. Bettig
The Dickinson School of Law:
Harvey A. Feldman
College of Earth & Mineral Sciences:
Digby D. McDonald
College of Education:
Kyle L. Peck
Roger L. Geiger
College of Engineering:
Wayne R. Curtis
Thomas E. Boothby
Deborah A. Levin
College of Health and Human Development:
Robert L. Burgess
Gary J. Fosmire
Judith E. Hupcey
College of the Liberal Arts:
Barton W. Browning
Michael H. Bernhard
Richard A. Carlson
John W. Moore
Michael M. Naydan
College of Medicine:
Paul J. Eslinger
Richard B. Tensar
Paula J. Romano
Lisa M. Shantz
Eberly College of Science:
James L. Mcdonel
James A. Strauss
Leonid V. Berlyand
B. Frank Pugh
Ex Officio Senator:
Douglas A. Anderson
Cheryl L. Achterberg
Diane M. Disney
Lindsay E. Loveless, Commonwealth College
Zachary R. Gates, Dickinson School of Law
Sara M. Yerger, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences
Whitney M. Frumen, College of Health & Human Development
Ashley E. Harris, College of the Liberal Arts
Dara E. Leto, Eberly College of Science
We appreciate all that you have contributed to the Senate and we will miss each one of you. Let us show our thanks to these senators for their good work. (applause) That seemed like a long list, but actually I checked and we do not have an unusual number of senators leaving the Senate this year.
Now I have special recognition to give to five members of this group who are leaving us with particularly distinguished records of service. As each comes forward, I will present him or her with a certificate signed by President Spanier and me acknowledging their dedicated service to the Senate. Together these five individuals have 59 years of combined service to the Senate.
Would Barton W. Browning please come forward? Barton is a Liberal Arts Senator, and he has served on the Senate for fifteen years. Between 1993 and 1996, Barton was an Officer of the Senate, and he served as Chair in 1994-1995. While a Senate Officer, he also served on the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President, Senate Council, and the Committee on Committees and Rules. He has been an elected member of the Committee on Committees and Rules, as well as a committee member of Faculty Benefits and Curricular Affairs. Barton served as Vice-Chair and then as Chair of the Academic and Physical Planning Committee in the 1990s. Most recently, he chaired the General Education Committee to review the Health and Physical Activity Requirement. Thank you, Barton. (applause)
I would now like to ask Gary J. Fosmire to come forward. Is he here? If not we will see that he receives this certificate. I would like to read his citation. Gary is a Health and Human Development Senator, and he has served on the Senate for sixteen years. Gary served as Vice-Chair of the Student Life Committee in 1989-1990 and then two years as Chair from 1993-1993. Gary was an elected member of Senate Council in 1990-1991. He also served as a committee member on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid; Undergraduate Education; and for eight years on Curricular Affairs. Thanks, Gary wherever you are this afternoon. (applause)
Will Peter D. Georgopulos please come forward? I know he is here today because I saw him earlier. Peter is a Penn State Delaware County Senator and he has served on the Senate for ten years. Peter was a member of Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid for four years, and he served as Chair of the committee in 2000-2001. He also served on the Undergraduate Education Committee for five years, and this year served on the Computing and Information Systems Committee. Peter, thank you very much. (applause)
Will John W. Moore come forward? John is a Liberal Arts Senator and has served on the Senate for ten years. Between 2000-2004 John was an Officer of the Senate, and served as Chair in 2002-2003. He set an example for saying things in a very eloquent way, which I cannot match, John, but I try. John is a Shakespearean scholar so he is used to that. While a Senate Officer, he also served on the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President, Senate Council, and the Committee on Committees and Rules. John served one year as Chair of the Libraries Committee and two years as Chair of Undergraduate Education. He served as Vice-Chair of the General Education Implementation Committee in 1998-1999; and in 2003-2004 he chaired the Intercultural/International Competence Committee to revise the GI requirement. Last month John was awarded the McKay Donkin Award. John, thank you very much. (applause)
Will Nancy J. Wyatt please come forward? Nancy is a Penn State Delaware County Senator, and she has served on the Senate for eight years. Nancy served for five years on the Senate Committee for Committees and Rules, one year as Vice-Chair, and two years as Chair. Nancy has also served on Computing and Information Systems and Outreach Activities Committees. Nancy, thank you. (applause).
Thanks again to these five senators.
I have just a few more announcements. As you may have heard, the first day of classes this Fall Semester will be a real Tuesday and not a virtual Friday. I have been asked to make this announcement as part of a campaign to reeducate the faculty about the days of the week. The Tuesday of Thanksgiving week will follow a Friday schedule to balance the semester. This decision was made by the President following a recommendation by the University Planning Committee and discussion within the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President.
I want to say just a couple things about the proposed campus reorganization, because I know this is a very important topic for many senators and the faculties that you all represent. I asked the President to cover this in his remarks today, because I thought his description, on top of that of Provost Erickson’s which many of us have heard, would help to round out our understanding of this issue.
As you may know, I have solicited input on the restructuring from each of our standing committees, including advisory votes from five committees. I have also invited the chairs of all campus and college faculty organizations to send written comment on the plan to me or to counselors on behalf of their faculties. This commentary will be provided to Council, and Council will conduct its own advisory vote on the reorganization a week from today, as we do for all such plans under the Senate Constitution.
I want to offer my own brief thought on this. The commentary I have received so far falls into three categories. I mention this because I think it is helpful for us to keep these categories distinct as we continue to think about this issue. I am not going to really offer any comment on the categories but just list them. The first category of commentary I received is criticism of the process by which the plan was developed, and whether or not there was appropriate faculty involvement. The second category I received, and I have to say a very small category, is criticism of the plan itself. The third category of issues is concerns about the implications of the plan for Promotion & Tenure processes, tenure homes, and various curricular issues. As we go forward and think about this issue I think it is really helpful to keep these categories distinct.
In the third category, we have a process for faculty consultation under way. I expect that Jamie will move soon to charge the transition committees that will work out the details of Promotion & Tenure and curricular issues. We have drafted the charges for those committees and the membership is nearly finalized. If you have concerns about the way Promotion & Tenure and curricular matters are going to work under the new structure, and this is the bulk of the concerns that I have heard so far, then please stay tuned. We have a process in place to work these matters and we intend to continue to seek out faculty input until we have resolved the issues to our collective, if not unanimous, satisfaction.
The Promotion & Tenure recommendations of that transition committee will be submitted to Faculty Affairs, and eventually to the entire Senate, if there are implications for changes in HR-23 and the administrative guidelines for HR-23.
The transition committee on curricular issues will submit its recommendations to the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs, and again there may be Legislative or Advisory/Consultative reports to come before the whole Senate. That is the process and I am certain probably most of you already know that, but I wanted to make sure everybody is on the same page.
The very last thing I have to say is that some of you may have noticed that you did not receive an invitation to the reception that is normally held after the last Senate meeting of the year. That is because we are not going to have one this spring. We expect this is going be a fairly lengthy meeting this afternoon and we felt the best thing to do, in fact it may be a better idea, is to have the reception at the first meeting in the fall. At that time we will be looking forward instead of looking back.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Steiner: Agenda item E is comments by the President of the University. President Spanier is with us today and I would like to invite him to come forward and make a few remarks.
President Spanier: Thank you and good afternoon everyone. I do consider the great accomplishment of my first ten years to be getting us to all define Tuesday as Tuesday. I also want to add my thanks to those of you who have served so many years and are retiring from the Senate. Bart, I am remembering that you had something to do with the search that ended in my being hired as President? I did not know that was your first year on the Senate. John Moore discovered a very significant short-coming in my education – namely that I did not speak Latin fluently. So now he has gotten to the point that when I do the Liberal Arts Commencement he transliterates the Latin for me.
Speaking of commencement, I want to make my annual pitch. I would like all of you to think about attending a commencement or two. I attend ten, so I know what I am talking about. Our turnout for commencements is not as great as I think it should be. It is really the highlight of the year. It is the culmination of everything for our students and their families. I wish we could see more faculty members coming to commencement. If you would just come I think you would enjoy it. We have gotten them down to pretty short ceremonies these days. We really thank and honor the faculty who are there. If it is not in your plans, think about coming. I recognize a lot of you here are the regulars who do go. So come and bring a colleague. It is a rewarding experience.
We just went through our Middle States Accreditation process. This is a very important thing that happens in the life of a university every ten years. It is not widely noticed by the faculty because we usually have a steering committee that works very carefully with the accreditation process. This year it was lead by Robert Secor. It was the last thing he was involved in before his retirement. We will not get the official report until it goes through the whole process. I do want to point out one thing. A very strong message came out of the final briefings from the team that was here. If there was one thing they really gushed about, it was the Faculty Senate. Most of you do not realize how unusual our Faculty Senate is because of the history of the quality of people in leadership positions. This Faculty Senate actually does something. You have real committees that make a difference. You actually have ownership of the curriculum. You handle a lot of the administrative chores surrounding curricular activity. There is regular and widespread consultation between the Faculty Senate leadership and the University administration. It seems more or less to click on all cylinders. That is very unusual in higher education today. They all took note of it not only from their own personal experiences at their own universities, but from their understanding of visits that they have made to other universities. It is good to hear from outsiders about things like that, the things that we feel positively about. Also to get that kind of recognition and I did want to mention that to all of you. We do expect to be accredited based on what we heard from the final interviews.
I want to now have any reorganization discussion that we might have. I do not have much of a report to give because we have given it already and we have the extensive document that I think you all have read and digested. Many of you have been involved in discussions. Today I think many of you had discussions with John Romano and others met with Rodney Erickson. Let me say from my perspective, given that we are undertaking something that is a significant and important change and has a lot of moving parts to it, is pretty complicated and I think so far so good. There is still a little bit left ahead of us. It is in that third category that Kim mentioned. Namely it is the implementation issues, particularly those that would be of special concern to the Faculty Senate. They surround curricular coherence and integration, Promotion and Tenure, and those kinds of issues. They all still have to go through a process of discussion and implementation. I believe we will be able to move ahead with the rest in an orderly fashion. So with those few words of introduction let me open it up to any questions on that or other topics.
Dennis Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts: As a person who is going to vote on the reorganization next Tuesday, I feel as if I am experiencing something of a time warp to be voting on a rather massive reorganization for which the details were all released to the press on March 22. Could you apprise us of what particular exigency warranted that kind of discussion before those who were supposed to be discussing and voting on this had the opportunity to do so?
President Spanier: I am not sure what vote you are speaking of?
Chair Steiner: The advisory vote by Senate Council.
President Spanier: Right. Go back to the two formal presentations of last year. One on the changing demographics of Pennsylvania and its impact on higher education and the other presentation that related to financing of higher education, particularly the increasing privatization of public higher education and the declining state support. We have been thinking very hard and worrying a lot about the long-term stability and welfare of this institution. We think there are some significant challenges ahead for us. The demographics and the finances are such that we have particular concern about the increase in our tuition and the declining number of college bound high school graduates. This is an especially profound issue in the regions that we draw from for many of our campuses.
Our principal motivation in this reorganization was to try to do everything we could to ensure the viability of each and every one of our campuses. In my opinion, as least as long as I am President of Penn State, I do not even want to talk about ever closing a campus. It is not going to work. It is not the right option for us. First of all I do not think it will ever happen. The politics in Pennsylvania are such that we will never actually be allowed to close a campus short of some terrible emergency. Of course, it is in the best interest of the University Park campus to have all of our campuses be very viable.
Here you get in to a very significant array of decisions having to deal with enrollments; budgets and the curriculum; movement between campuses; cooperation by campuses including University Park; the welfare of the faculty; and the enthusiasm by which the faculty and staff bring to their positions. We felt all of the different parts of our reorganization were important. Increasing the stature of each and every campus; doing everything possible to ensure financial ability; giving them more autonomy and independence to be successful, but on the same hand looking at certain function that are very important across the University. We may not have been clicking as well as we could on all cylinders; where we needed a little more discipline in the system in areas like continuing education, development, and university relations; where through a different level of cooperation we might be able to do a better job for everyone.
The things that I just told you are really more at that ten thousand foot level, but those are some of the key motivations for us to look at the whole picture. For the last year the Provost and I principally have been taking all the different options from an administrative standpoint of what might work best. We evolved the plan that we did. Because of all of the complexities we just did not see any other option other than to write up a very comprehensive paper and put it all out there at once. We did not release it first to the media. Our first obligation was to share it with the members of the Board of Trustees. Then it immediately was posted on the Web site for faculty and staff to read. Of course, the media gets it immediately that way as well. We tried to do it in a sensitive and orderly way as possible knowing the paper properly covered ninety percent of the issues, but that certain things like what it means for the routing of Promotion and Tenure and who decides what and so on. Those things ultimately are under the purview of the Faculty Senate and the administration then after that for implementation. We still have a little way to go to get it all done, but we think we are on the right track.
Chair Steiner: Any other questions?
Michael Bernhard, College of the Liberal Arts: I wanted to raise some questions concerning the merger of the Child Development Lab and Bennett Family Center and what that means for the quality of child care for faculty at University Park. Four concerns have come up. First, what is the timetable for development of a new center to replace the lost slots that will develop with the merger? Second, what is the plan to assure that the new center is of equal or higher quality to the excellent child care that is provided by the present two? Third, can the administration assure us that there will be no short-term lose of high quality on campus child care slots before the new center is built? Fourth, can the administration assure us that no irrevocable decisions will be made during the summer when the Senate is not in session, the faculty will be dispersed, and attention will be turned elsewhere? Thank you.
President Spanier: Our best estimate is there will be no changes for three years from the current situation. Why is that? We have not selected an architect for the new Health and Human Development Building. We have critical space shortage problems at a lot of our colleges. One of them is the College of Health and Human Development. If you are standing on the steps of Old Main on your left you have the Henderson Human Development Building. You have the old historic part of the building and then you have an ugly bridge that does not lead to anywhere easily, but connects a new wing to the building, but then connects to another new wing, and then connects yet to another new wing. We have space problems and functionality problems. We have an ambitious plan to do something architecturally wonderful in the tradition of the old historic part of the Henderson Human Development Building. It will go all the way down to College Avenue. It will change some things. Presently there is a playground on College Avenue, which is not a good place for it. There will not be a road there with lots or parking coming back because that is going to be filled in with a building and will abut the HUB lawn.
First, one of the things that is happening is that whole building is going to change. It is not realistic and there is no a good reason to continue to operate a child development laboratory in the south end of that building. What we plan to do is consolidate the Bennett Day Care Center with the Child Development Laboratory. It will take three years because it takes one year of architectural planning and then you need to go through the construction process. In addition, there are so many things going on in that building that the construction of that building will be staged over a period of time. Our best estimate is we will not get to the south end of the building for three years. If there is a cash flow issue it could be as late as four years, but three is our best estimate. You do not have to worry about the Senate not being in session this summer. Nothing is going to happen for quite a long time.
Secondly, all of the children and I mean absolutely every child that is currently enrolled in either location, will be accommodated up until the time they go to kindergarten. No current child will be affected by anything we do. It may not be well understood, but the Bennett Day Care Center and the Child Development Laboratories in Human Development are actually part of one in the same operation. It is all under the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. It is under the same leadership. They are operating at two different sites with two different staffs. The theoretical underpinnings by which those programs operate are the same. There will be some consolidation of the spaces. The Bennett Day Care Center is currently approved for quite a number of additional spaces then we are now using. Some of the successor children will be integrated into that one facility. There is a committee now working on what the precise numbers will be. Regardless of that, we think this will happen in a very orderly fashion and there will be no surprises for anyone.
We are committed to meeting the child care needs on this campus for the faculty and staff. Yesterday, I received a petition in the mail or electronically and I have received communications from quite a number of people that I feel reflect some misinformation. This is one of these things I worry about because there is a lot of emotion and bad information that is floating around out there. Really, it is not warranted. In 1995 when I became President, we said we are going to deal with child care on this campus. Since then we have built the Discovery Child Development Center. Only about five percent of day care centers in this nation are accredited at the highest level for child care. That is now one of them; of course, the Bennett and Human Development Centers are also. We built the Discovery Center. They worked through some bugs, they are up and running, and doing very well. We have most of the spots filled here on campus in the day care centers. Several of the students enrolled in those centers are not students of faculty and staff. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there about waiting lists and how many hundreds of children have unmet day care. Actually, we have to call parents to fill the spots each year. We find for lots of reasons some of them are no longer interested. The demand is not quite as high as the survey does show. Nevertheless, in the long range plan from the Discovery Center, then the Bennett Center we said back then if we needed yet another day care center on campus we will build one. The best site we thought would be on the west campus where things would be growing and in and out would be easier. We will do that; we will shortly be going out with a RFP to day care providers to see if their belief is there is enough demand, and that they can sustain that. I am not saying there will be one. We have some skepticism about need based upon a process we are in middle of right now. We are calling every last person that is on the so called waiting list and finding out that it may not be what people think it is. Nevertheless, we will follow through that process and see where we end up. This is a topic to which we have very strong commitments. We will do what we believe is the right thing to do and we have plenty of time to do it in an orderly way. There will probably be no decisions made for another year because it is that far off until we have to take the next steps. We will go out with this RFP relatively soon and see what the professionals in the business outside of Penn State think might be the needs. I hope I covered the four questions or did I miss something.
Michael Bernhard: inaudible
President Spanier: No slots will be temporarily reduced if you are talking about the next three years. At the end of that time when they are ready to demolish the building and students are integrated then we do not know what the situation will be. There could be a reduction of some number of slots because we do not want to decrease the quality of care at the Bennett Center by artificially overloading it, but if there is a decrease of slots it would be rather modest and it would be related to the information we have about the need in the community. At the same time there is another part to this. We actually have a professional in Human Resources who has taken on the task of working with day care providers in the community to upgrade the quality of care in the community. We are also surveying day care centers in the community. We want to know who is expanding, moving, closing and is anyone building a new one. We need to be aware of the overall market place and what is affordable to different families. We will be guided in large part by what we hear from the professionals that work in this area.
Chair Steiner: Any other questions?
Steven Thomas, Graduate Student Association: I am wondering when you are talking about day care how much of that extends to graduate students with families or even adult learners?
President Spanier: It includes anyone in the Penn State family that has day care needs. A particular concern to our students is what the cost is. I should say it is a concern by everybody. There we get into other kinds of issues. I think there was a time in history where student government allocated some of its fees to cover the cost of day care. Billie, do they still do that?
Billie Willits, Associate Vice President for Human Resources: I believe $70,000.
President Spanier: That is still just scratching the surface. The University subsidizes day care in a number of different ways. We are subsidizing to the tune of about $1,000,000 per year. Day care is expensive, but everyone thinks it should be free. We really devalue it and treat it as something optional. If we thought about subsidizing it further, the only place that money could come from is tuition of our undergraduate students because of the dilemma we are now facing. We are very sensitive to loading in other things that would raise the cost of tuition.
Laura Pauley, College of Engineering: I was just talking to a new mom this weekend. She put her name on the child care list in November 2003; five months before the child was born. Last month she received a call from the Penn State day care and she already had day care plans because the child was now one year old. She did not accept that opening. Because she did not accept that opening, I do not think that is an indication that we are providing day care to everyone who needs or wants it.
President Spanier: You get into timing issues when a child is ready for child care. If we kept 50 slots open so a child could start the day the parents wanted them to, financially it would not be very efficient. You always want to be full and as the next spot opens you move down the list. You are always going to have people on the waiting list who, when they are ready for day care, there may not be an opening. That is part of what we will find out when we go through the process in the coming weeks. Is there the kind of demand in the University community that would support another free-standing and accredited day care center? It will be an empirical question whether that is the right direction to go in. If the data show it; we will do it.
Michael Chorney, College of Medicine: I represent the members of the caucus as Council representative. They charged me with writing a few things, but I am buried under so much grant work that it will be the opening day of football season until I actually write them. I am taking this opportunity to make two comments. First, we unanimously felt that there were some problems with the process. Kim, you can put 15 check marks in the process box. Senators, you do not need to worry about sending any e-mails from the College of Medicine. On a very positive note, the College of Medicine stands firmly behind you, Provost Erickson, and others in supporting the restructuring.
The comment that I wanted to make was about Health Sciences. We found it very intriguing looking at the Health Sciences and potentially revamping through the task force. We felt it is a great opportunity and the College of Medicine Senators, as well as faculty, stand firmly behind that. Dr. Pell, if you take notice, we sometimes feel very mildly like we are the bridesmaid in some of the biology programs and interactions, as opposed to the bride. We would like, if the opportunity does open itself, whether it be for The Huck Institute for Life Sciences and other health programs, to firmly take a role in helping us to get back on track and build our funding. Thank you.
President Spanier: Thank you. That is a positive comment and I appreciate hearing it.
Chair Steiner: Ed Bittner do you still want to talk?
Edward Bittner, McKeesport: How do you envision the new reorganization plan to deal with faculty isolation out on the campuses? How does the new plan help?
President Spanier: Well it remains to be seen what kind of progress we can make in that. It has been a great concern of mine for years. Every year we really hammer the University Park based deans and department heads about this problem. Frankly, we have a tremendous amount of variability in departments. To what extent do they provide University-wide leadership for creating a community of people in a particular field or to what extentdo they actually foster isolation or allow the isolation to take place by not paying attention to it. We do have model departments that do a phenomenal job of recognizing this is one University geographically dispersed. To me it is a great shame when colleagues at Penn State have to go to professional meetings in San Francisco or Atlanta to meet someone from another campus. It really should not be that way. We have departments that put out newsletters that never mention others or put them in smaller typeface at the end. That is really outrageous. I think this is very important for us because it makes us a stronger University if we have that kind of communication and collaboration. Why shouldn’t people at every campus in a particular field receive a notice that a distinguished speaker is giving a seminar? Every department should be taking a look at who is in their newsletters, who gets them, and who is on the listserves. Distance does create certain barriers. You do not have to be a geographer or sociologist to recognize that. I am convinced there are some things we can and should be doing a better job at to pay attention to that.
For the campuses under the new structure again we have to get the right balance of autonomy so everyone who works at a campus feels they have something to contribute on our own, they can be an entrepreneur, but at the same time they are a part of something larger and there can be a benefit getting together on things. I am not saying that was absent before. I am just saying this is an opportunity to take a closer look at that. I know John Romano, who will oversee the new campus structure, is very sensitive to it. He has seen this from all sides. He has been an associate dean of a major college here at Penn State. He has been a campus executive officer for eight years He has overseen enrollment management forever and that is such a fundamental and complex part of this. I think he is the right guy at the right time to do this.
Winston Richards, Capital: In light of your earlier presentation on demographics and potential undergraduate enrollment. Can you address the implications of the enrollments at the Commonwealth campuses when University Park boasts to increase its undergraduate enrollments by approximately 2500 students this semester?
President Spanier: I am not certain that number is right. We continue to have a target number and have for many years, of about 6000 new freshmen admitted directly each year to this campus. It might be 5900; it might be 6300 another year. It just depends on how many are graduating and what the flows are. We are a little bit on the higher end of that range or will be for this coming fall. I do not think we have ever strayed much from 6000 give or take. That number settled down two years after the reorganization in the mid-1990’s. Coming out of that, I am going to give you a round number, about 1000 additional students collectively stayed on the other campuses for their junior and senior years who use to come to University Park campus. We have not fluctuated much since that point. I do not see that change going ahead. We admit more new freshman collectively at the other campuses than we do at University Park campus. So actually the enrollments at University Park this year overall are lower than they were last year. We said we do not want to be lower than 40,000 or 42,000 at this campus. This spring we are probably at 41,000 and in the fall we were at 41,200. We are just about where we want to be. When we begin admitting law students to this campus we will have 200-300 more in the early years. I expect when it settles down we will get a little closer to 42,000. If there are any enrollment changes that we would like to see that would be at the other campuses. We have about one-half of our campuses with what you might call excess capacity. This is room for lower and upper division students at other campuses.
Richard Barshinger, Worthington Scranton: Earlier you said no campus would be closed; that among other things, the political climate in the state of Pennsylvania would not support that. At the same time the political climate in the state of Pennsylvania continues to degrade our state support. This strikes me as a classical contradiction. Would you care to comment further. If no other comment than to agree that, yes, what a mystery.
President Spanier: It is not a mystery but it is a terrible contradiction. If we were a business or any other kind of institution in society we would approach it differently. The playing field just does not work that way in higher education. We are a state related institution as much as we lament the modest level of funding we receive from the state. It is now only eleven percent of our total budget. It is still $300 million plus a year. We have to be responsive to the politics in Harrisburg. All I am saying is it is very difficult anywhere to close a public university campus. I do not want to waste my time and energy trying to come up with a plan to do that when I do not think in the end it is really going to happen. So we could have all the consultation you all want in here about which campus it should be. Whoever the legislators are in the area of that campus are going to get real agitated.
This state runs differently than others. For us to get money as a state-related institution we need a two-thirds vote of the senate, house, and the support of the governor. So we can be held up in a minority party vote. Any one caucus of the four could stop something like this and the governor. We actually have five entities we would have to convince. I am just saying it is not worth investing our energy in trying to make Penn State a little more efficient by closing a campus or two or three.
Clearly if we had to reinvent the University from scratch at this moment we would not build the system the way it is. That is ancient history. So now you play the cards that are dealt to you. While I am President, I would rather channel my energies into making sure every campus remains viable; as viable as possible. I am talking about in terms of enrollment, budgets, quality of the faculty, and flow of students. We have become more competitive and look for revenue sources. This is why we better have our act together in marketing, advertising, and public relations. We need every leg up we can get, given our high tuition. Continuing education could be a better revenue source if we got our act together around all of the continuing education possibilities. We want to keep the best faculty at the campuses that we can. That is why we want to streamline Promotion and Tenure. Give all the best faculty an opportunity to be rewarded. These are the kinds of things we are thinking about. That is where I would rather put my energy.
Chair Steiner: Graham, thank you very much for your time.
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item F is Forensic Business. The Faculty Affairs Committee is sponsoring a forensic session on Policy HR-23 Standards for Dismissal of Tenured Faculty for “Adequate Cause.” This is Appendix B in your Agenda. Chair Tramble Turner and John Bagby, subcommittee chair, will introduce this report.
Policy HR-23 Standards for Dismissal of Tenured Faculty
for Adequate Cause
Tramble Turner, Chair, Committee on Faculty Affairs
Tramble Turner: Thank you Chair Steiner, good afternoon everyone. There have been remarks already about looking forward and looking back. The reports coming to you from Faculty Affairs today perhaps do both. This is a result of ongoing work by the entire committee of Faculty Affairs, but in particular the standing subcommittee on Faculty Rights and Privacy Issues, which John Bagby has chaired. He will be introducing the report in more detail. I would note that there is a relationship to what you see in Appendix G, that report in regards to looking back are to in fact, the dismissal of a Penn State faculty member. There has been a year of devoted effort from this particular subcommittee and I want to commend John Bagby and the members of his subcommittee. In looking forward, your considered comments today will be largely the basis for work within the committee on Faculty Affairs next year.
John Bagby: Thank you Tram. This is not an Advisory and Consultative report because Faculty Affairs has no well designed new standards for you today, sorry about that. It’s not an Informational report because we believe there is still considerable deliberation necessary, so even though I have stood up here and presented both Advisory and Consultative and Informational reports of highly controversial nature, today is my first chance to offer to you a Forensic that might also have some controversy attached. We believe that it’s Forensic because there is great promise that the Senate’s analysis and its comments, and its brainstorming here today might inform an ongoing effort that would lead to some revision that might be timeless and well balanced and susceptible to fair administration. So that’s the best I can do; to try to charge you to stay within the bounds.
Chair Steiner and I worked on some Forensic questions, so if you would look at Appendix B the first page is a number, the Forensic questions are at the top. We think these are some matters that deserve at least some of your time and attention. There may be others and certainly we do not want to pre-empt any other important issues that might come out of this, but this report is about legislative standards that relates to process but this is our primary focus here.
You will notice that we have 5 pages of fairly dense text; I thank you so much for your indulgence in the particular style this text assumes. Please note that on Page 8 is a comparative table of some schema that we have here in the first column under HR23 and from two expert commentators on Educational Law and Process. We are very fortunate that one of those commentators is an associate dean here in our College of Education, Robert Hendrickson, and I hope Robert is here today to provide some additional background if we need it.
Finally on Page 9 is the appendix to our Appendix B. This is really just a preliminary benchmarking of some institutional standards. One suggestion that we might follow is to work on more benchmarking, but the range of interesting benchmarks here if you take a little time to look at the University of Georgia, may inspire some feelings.
Finally, just a couple of main points, there is great deference that the courts give to hearing boards and it appears that great deference has not changed for many, many decades. In fact, the rule of hearing boards, like the ones we have here at Penn State, are given great deference unless there is a violation of some due process. We hope that this Forensic might give us the opportunity to discuss a couple of important things. It might allow us to develop even better mechanisms to identify and reach consensus on, and communicate to, all well meaning faculty and administrative hearing boards about what our expectations for our proper behavior is in the academy. Perhaps we could archive some of the incidents and these guidelines so that would provide even greater notes to well meaning actors here in the academy. We can’t avoid the problem that much of the misbehavior that we note here, particularly under the catch all of grave misconduct, that we are looking at most closely here today. All of that is distillation from many different sources, including very importantly, the First Amendment, Academic Freedom, perhaps developing Faculty Bill of Rights and many laws that prey upon the employment relationship and on the proper conduct of research. So with that as background, I don’t know how to run one of these, Chair Steiner. Are there any questions?
Chair Steiner: As John pointed out, we have four questions that we really want to focus on and I hope you read the report; it’s a very nicely done report. To my ear as a scientist, it looks like a very scholarly report in the legal realms; as well as I know what that is. They did a good job on it and this was a huge issue as you remember last spring. It was one thing we heard frequently on our visits to University Park colleges a year ago and the one thing that really resonated with me because we heard it several times and we heard it from people who have great seriousness of purpose. They were not sure whether there was a clear distinction between academic freedom and grave misconduct. They were truly puzzled as to how we make that distinction and those comments came from administrators as well as faculty. So here we are with a very well done report and we open it up for your discussion to help inform the Faculty Affairs Committee whether and how to go forward with this. Mila, you had your hand up first.
Mila Su, Altoona: We spend a lot of time with the promotion and tenure process. We are documented every two years on our progress, suggestions for continuation, improvement, etc. After tenure, there are letters and documentation that go along the way. We now have a seventh year plus ten year review that we all have to follow to make sure that we are not sleeping on the job. It seems to me, regarding process for this type of scenario, we also want to be diligent and cover in the same process the information that is displayed. So whatever context of that situation it is documented. So if a faculty member was misbehaving, there was a letter and an agreement, and discussion between the faculty member and administration. So the paperwork, as in our promotion and tenure and post tenure review, is molded in that same configuration. That’s what I would like to suggest, that is number four.
Chair Steiner: Thanks Mila.
Toni DuPont Morales, Harrisburg: My concern may be odd, but I am more concerned about the physical or mental incompetency, as determined be law or medical board, or three or more licensed physicians and reviewed by a committee of the faculty. We had a situation in which we had a faculty member whose entire life was teaching and she literally died in inches in the class room. There was no mechanism even though several of us who knew her, and even the students, were very disturbed about going to class. There was no mechanism to carefully and humanely say, there should be a better way to do this. That’s one of the things that I think we really do have to discuss given all of our ages. [laugh] I’m there. I can think of, we’ve had this discussion in small groups when we come up to the Senate, somebody who is so ill they really can’t breathe, can’t make it through an entire class, and yet is still teaching. Those are issues that are not arbitrary. They are not difficult to ascertain and if we can’t even begin there with some of the other issues, how are we going to do grave misconduct?
Chair Steiner: You’re not suggesting that that would be grounds for dismissal of a tenured faculty member?
Toni DuPont Morales: I don’t think it is grounds for dismissal for a tenured faculty member. What I am saying is, it’s a place to begin in movement about how we move somebody out of the University. That’s about retirement and we haven’t even addressed that, and then we’re going to jump over to something like this.
Chair Steiner: Thanks.
Alfred Mueller, Mont Alto: Again with a rhetorical observation for Chair Tramble Turner. Whenever we have a catch all category like grave misconduct, it may be worth our while to provide some types of examples or some tentative definition since we want to protect ourselves. We all know faculty stay, administrators come and go. While we may not attribute some unsavory motives to present administrators, we can never guarantee what the future will hold, and so if we get, someday, an administrator who wants to use the title grave misconduct as a weapon instead of a catch all category, it might be worth our while to plan for those future events. I would recommend at least an example, if not some type, of tentative definition toward that end.
Chair Steiner: Ok.
Tramble Turner: Thanks Al. Indeed you bring up an issue that had quite extended discussion, not only in the subcommittee, but in the full committee. I would simply note that as these discussions move forward, we had cases in the national news coverage in Colorado and at California University of Pennsylvania. In regards to that, in the question of what would council say about the level of specificity, we happen to have a faculty member who is also a lawyer and then we also have one of our retiring member faculty senators, Harvey Feldman, from the Law School, on the subcommittee. Given all that I, the non lawyer, would point out that in the coverage of those specific cases the point that received the most emphasis from faculty organizations was that there needs to be clear procedures that say “There is a group of peers, there is a group of faculty peers that must be part of the process”. I think we’ve done our best job to insure that in some of those leaders at some of those other institutions caution against creating very very long detailed lists of examples. Some surely but rather than a long detailed list ensuring instead that it would be consenus formed by faculty peers. That’s the best I can do right now but we will certainly return to that.
Chair Steiner: Ok. Peter Rebane was next.
Peter Rebane, Abington: I think the committee has done an excellent job in trying to unravel something that perhaps is unravelable. First of all I think criminal law which sometimes enters into this is very different from academic law, which is not the same. Secondly there is that very difficult balance between drawing up a prescription list and making a general statement, I was impressed by your your fertility argument that as soon you make specificity to it you run into problems. I don’t mean to be funny here but if you look at the Hendrickson Table for instance, it’s moral turpitude as solicitation of sexual activities in a restroom. Does that mean in a dining room that it’s all right? (laugh) Or Poskanzer who says sloppy and undocumented research, I think a lot of my colleagues do sloppy research but then again they think that mine is undocumented. So I think the committee has done an excellent job and I would however caution it for my part that we don’t get overly specific, that what may have been moral turpitude when I was hired many moons ago is not moral turpitude today.
Witness what happened to one our recent presidents and so that perhaps the committee would try to stay on the non legal, and it sure is dangerous to get lawyers involved in these things. On a non legal slope take into account that it is sometimes better perhaps to have generic wide spread terms. One of the problems is the committee reports much of our interpretation of these things are based on previous experiences. Now I could argue that since at Penn State we only had four or five cases, we lack experience, on the other hand that should be a sign that we have people who do not commit moral turpitude. So you can read it both ways and unfortunately until we have cases we don’t have precedent to go on and I think the committee has done a great job but I tend to err on the side of not making it case specific. Let’s leave room for future interpretations, we have to trust our colleagues and the faculty that sit on these boards that they are honest men and women who make rational passionate judgments in these particular things. I thank the committee for an excellent job.
Chair Steiner: Thank you, Peter. Any one else?
Bud Alcock, Abington: I guess my thought about this is it’s not the document or the rules that pertain to it so much as the spirit in which it’s acted on and I wonder if a statement dealing with the expectation of burden of proof, I’m not sure that is the right term, but that it should always err on the side of the faculty rather than on the side of the administration.
Melvin Blumberg, Harrisburg: Two questions, in the Hendrickson table, Excessive Absenteeism, is that defined anywhere? The second one would be, do we have job descriptions?
John Bagby: My reading is that Excessive Absenteeism is a standard that we have in force right now under HR23. Both Hendrickson and Poskanzer would likely be able to include absenteeism in some other categories, so there is considerable overlap. As to the nature of our contracts of employment, we all have somewhat different ones depending on the time we came here. There are many aspects that are similar. There are a number of Human Resource guidelines that would seem to apply to us all and as to whether that contract will control, or the employment policies will control, is an interesting question. My guess is that the contract will almost always be given great heed and I think we have very repleat contracts.
Melvin Blumberg: Is that what they mean by job description, the contract?
John Bagby: My guess is that if I were looking at HR23 and see failure to perform in relation to the functions required by the appointment, I believe that’s the place where the contract terms would probably be focused, most likely, not that it would not fall into other categories as well.
Chair Steiner: Any further comment, any other points of view on this issue? John, Tram, thanks a lot to you and your committee for putting this together.
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item H. The first Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix C, entitled, “Proposal for Revising Senate Policies Pertaining to Re-Enrollment, Reinstatement, and Academic Renewal.” Lynda Goldstein, Chair and Catherine M. Harmonosky, Vice Chair, of the committee will present this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING,
AND STUDENT AID
Proposal for Revising Senate Policies Pertaining to Re-enrollment, Reinstatement,
and Academic Renewal
Lynda R. Goldstein, Chair, Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Lynda Goldstein: Catherine chaired the subcommittee that worked on this proposal. Two years ago the committee was asked to review policies governing re-enrollment, reinstatement, and academic renewal. We produced several drafts in consolation with the Colleges of Engineering, Business, Commonwealth College, and DUS. In revising these interconnecting policies the committee had three concerns to balance. They are: that the University continue to provide automatic re-enrollment to eligible students; that students have a transparent and streamlined process for re-enrolling and related policies; and the colleges and DUS have the opportunity to provide academic advising to re-enrolling students whose individual circumstances may affect their degree progress before they register for classes in a program. The committee is aware of continuing concerns about ensuring academic advising in a timely fashion. We carefully considered some proposed amendments from the College of Engineering that have been circulating. After spirited discussion this morning the committee made two editing changes to further clarify Senate Policy 58-50 and if you indulge me we have them on the overhead. If you look at Page 3 you can see that our editing changes are indicated in bold face italics. We have added this statement where my index finger is, “re-enrollment is a two step process. The University approves re-enrollment. The college approves enrollment into an academic program.” The second editorial change is on the bottom of Page 3 and the whole paragraph reads, “If the student has enrolled at another college or university since last enrolling at Penn State, the Registrar will approve the re-enrollment request, but will automatically place a registration hold for review by the dean of the college if so requested by a college.” The committee believes that these editing changes meet the concerns particularly of the College of Engineering, while maintaining the committee’s commitment to balancing university, student, and college concerns.
Chair Steiner: Is there any discussion on this report?
Jean Landa Pytel, College of Engineering: I do thank the committee for considering some of the concerns that many of us in the colleges have, particularly those of us who deal with this issue on a daily basis. It is a strange kind of issue for many of you, my colleagues, because you never see it. You are being asked to vote on it, when all you get is the results back in your classrooms. You do not see any of this going on in the background. With the sole purpose of making sure the students are going where they need to be, properly well advised, before they make any untimely commitments that would cause them hardships. With this process that you have suggested here, I am a little befuddled about that, because currently nothing exists that separates re-enrollment in the University versus re-enrollment in an academic program. It is a little bit like the work you did with reinstatement and re-enrollment which is concurrent. So, nothing there exists.
The second question I have particular to this issue is how does that relate to the rest of the policy that is being suggested here? It makes the rest of it moot then.
Lynda Goldstein: Certainly for most students re-enrollment at the University is simultaneous with re-enrollment in a program. So if I am an English major and I am re-enrolling as an English major I re-enroll simultaneously, but we wanted to make it clear to students that with some programs, particularly controlled programs with a number of pre-requisites, that they know that they are being re-enrolled to the University, but that the academic program also has a signoff on the enrollment, and that is the moment at which they can, and should, be advised about any circumstances that may affect their ability to make degree progress.
Jean Landa Pytel: Well it seems then that this is the process you suggested and I understand the motive here, but it makes things even more complicated than more simple. I think that the distinction to the students would be difficult in many cases because there are many times when they are not listening. They just do not hear it. They just do not understand it. This is a nuance which is very, very specific to the University, perhaps to the college, and to the program. It is a nuance that is not universally understood or used by anyone, except in this particular case, and currently nothing exists to support that. You have put me in an awkward spot here, because it does not really address what I would like to have addressed; which concerns those of us that are dealing with it in terms of providing timely appropriate information to the students if the college so desires to do that. Then you have a separation of getting advising. You are not suggesting that DUS re-enrollment requests be given the same information – that the people that apply to DUS for re-enrollment are not going to get re-enrolled into the University until DUS approves. Is that the way the policy remains?
Lynda Goldstein: I do not believe that is the way the policy remains.
Jean Landa Pytel: Well then how do the other factors follow from this change that you have made? The policy here after you insert that statement in the front, which is fine.
Lynda Goldstein: The re-enrollment is a two step process statement.
Jean Landa Pytel: Correct. Then you are saying, if the student is requesting re-enrollment into the same program, or the student was not last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), for example, then re-enrollment request is immediately approved. If a student is requesting to re-enroll in DUS, for example, then re-enrollment is not immediately approved.
Lynda Goldstein: Re-enrollment may be immediately approved, if DUS asks the University to set it up that way.
Jean Landa Pytel: So then it does not follow. So you are basically separating out one administrative academic unit for involvement from the start and not the others.
Catherine Harmonosky: One of the things that we learned in respect to the DUS situation is that there is a limited amount of time in which students may remain as a DUS student. So if they are re-enrolling and their time has been already used up, that would be a problem. Hence, that additional category to first check the eligibility I suppose with respect to DUS.
Jean Landa Pytel: I would like to contend that is no different from a common year designation. When a student is asking to re-enroll into a common year designation, that it is the same thing. There is a time constraint on there as well. It is similar to DUS and that is not being precluded there.
Lynda Goldstein: It is certainly not precluded if a college would like its common year students to be part of that category. They may ask that of the Registrar’s office; this longer clause. Colleges may request the Registrar’s office to automatically place a registration hold after the re-enrollment request has been approved to ensure the proper advising occurs. Any category of students might be included there, but the committee was very reluctant to universally legislate that all common year students would not be eligible for automatic re-enrollment.
Jean Landa Pytel: Why not? What if they already spent four semesters in a common year category, is that not the same as DUS? How is it different?
Lynda Goldstein: DUS is an opportunity for students to explore majors.
Jean Landa Pytel: A common year category is an opportunity for students to explore majors within a college. So I would like to make a motion for an amendment please. I would like for the sake of consistency and the students academic wellbeing, to move that item 58-50 Number 1, b, be amended as follows.
Chair Steiner: Jean, would you please point us to the page so we know where you are at.
Jean Landa Pytel: Page 3, Item 58-50, Number 1, (b) be amended as follows: “the student was not last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies or in a common year designation,” that these words be added.
Chair Steiner: So does everybody know where we are? We are just slightly below the middle of Page 3 of this report. It is Item 58-50, Number 1, (b) and Jean is suggesting that we add a few words at the end. Jean, please say it again.
Jean Landa Pytel: “the student was not last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies or in a common year designation.” The reason I am saying that is because students do not understand all of these little nuances. Many of them will not take action and it is very difficult and time consuming for colleges to put holds on everybody. Many students do not take action if there is a hold placed on their registration. They do not know what that means and they will not take action until after they have made commitments in housing, moving, and all sorts of commitments. Then they will be faced with the reality that what they really wanted to do, in some cases, would not be possible. We are not talking about a lot of students; I know that. Probably, by in large, ninety percent of the students who will request re-enrollment in a common year major will be approved immediately, but those students do not cause us the most problems. It is the other ten percent that cause a lot of problems for themselves primarily. We would like to stop that as soon as possible, and not let them get into that problem.
Chair Steiner: Jean, thank you. So we have a motion for an amendment and we do not have a second.
Jean Landa Pytel: Thank you yes, but I was told to do them one at a time.
Chair Steiner: If they are related they should be at the same time. Let me get some advice from the committee. Are they related issues?
Lynda Goldstein: Yes, they are.
Jean Landa Pytel: Item 58-50, Number 2, (b) would have the same addition in the clause.
Chair Steiner: So we have a motion and I assume a second to that motion. Brian, thank you. What I am going to ask is if there is any response to this from the committee, then we will open it up to general discussion from the floor.
John Moore, College of the Liberal Arts: I am a member of ARSSA. The committee was very sensitive to the concept that Jean’s pointing out here, that students are not familiar with a lot of arcane administrative rules. I just want to say that most of the members of ARSSA were not privy to the meaning of a lot of arcane rules either, such as the meaning of the term common year designation. We felt that a term like that would be befuddling, as it befuddled us, therefore, what we wanted to do was to say at the beginning of the whole document that re-enrollment was a two step process. If you are eligible, the University will readmit you, but we know you may have difficulty getting into certain courses or certain programs, so we will re-enroll you, there is no problem with that. However, to forestall the type of problem Jean just talked about we want to make sure you understand you have to consult with your department to make sure that the course you want is being offered the particular semester you are coming back and that you meet the requirements for that course. So by alerting students to the fact that they have to check with two agencies, in other words, you need two stamps in your booklet, as it were, one from the University and another one from the college. That is why we put in the statement that re-enrollment is a two step process. The University approves re-enrollment but the college or department also has some type of say. We thought it would be unnecessary to then add the provision common year all of the time throughout the legislation.
Dwight Davis, College of Medicine: I just want to make a comment for those of us who are not use to the terminology here. It is confusing. Jean makes what sounds to me like a very strong argument. I just have a point of clarity, and that is to have you define for those of us who do not know the language the term common year designation.
Lynda Goldstein: Think of it as students in a college in pre-major status the first two years. So you have freshman and sophomores admitted into a college in pre-major status, but they technically do not go into their major until their fourth semester.
Mark Casteel, York: It might be helpful if you explain to the senators what problem you are trying to fix, because I was chair of ARSSA last year and I know the problem. Jean has talked about an issue with students moving, changing their lives around, and then finding out I cannot do what I thought. So what are your trying to fix with the proposed legislation?
Lynda Goldstein: There are a couple of things. One is to do away with any sort of redundancy and streamline the process and other aspects of the policy do that. Another is to balance the re-enrollment as a welcome back to the University to the students. We want students to get the clear message that you are eligible to be back here and come on back. Balance that with the concerns of some colleges that have very complicated and complexly sequenced course work. Such that if a student re-enrolls at an inopportune moment, degree progress might be interrupted or a student may have taken courses elsewhere, and the transfer credits come in later or they come in at the same time, but people are not advised of that and students end up taking a course twice that they should not have, and all of those kinds of issues. So to balance, you are eligible to come back here with the very real need to provide timely academic advice particularly for complexly sequenced majors.
Catherine Harmonosky: I would like to add that current legislation does not have any real procedural opportunity for advising. Shall we say, there is no forced advising in the process. So the students could go through the current re-enrollment process without ever having any kind of advising session. So we were trying to interject that.
Chair Steiner: Jean, you are next.
Jean Landa Pytel: I would like to answer Dwight’s question. Every college has a common year designation in their registration that gives undergraduate degrees. There is the Commonwealth College’s common year designation, College of Engineering, College of Business, College of Science, and so on. Every college has a common year designation. By in large students are admitted into that common year designation, in most cases I would imagine, in the same manner they are admitted to DUS. Now students in DUS cannot stay in DUS. They will make their way to another college, but many times by the time they ask for re-enrollment they know darn well which college they want to go into. So to say that somehow the DUS students when asking for re-enrollment to DUS are different than the students who are coming to an academic unit asking for re-enrollment into common year major does not make much sense. That is not the reality of the situation. So that discrepancy does not make any sense. There is a time limit on the number of semesters a student can be in sort of a pre-major status or common year designation. If they are in any one college, there is a certain deadline by which they have to move into a major. For example, in the College of Engineering we receive students into majors from the common year designation and also from DUS, and DUS students actually have the advantage that they can go to just about any major in the college. For example, in the College of Business if you do not get admitted into the College of Business as a pre-major or common year designation the only other way you can get in is through DUS. So, that is happening all of the time. I really think the separation is very, very artificial and maybe even political.
Don Boland, Military Sciences: I am also a member of the committee. When the committee reviewed the wording this morning, what we wanted to do was make sure each college had the opportunity to put a vote on it, i.e. call it a hold. Those colleges who wanted to put a hold on it could do that through the wording the committee provided as you saw. So the question or concern I have is as we add more words what are we trying to solve? I think we already have it solved by saying the college can put a hold on it before they go into it.
Chair Steiner: Any further comments on the amendment?
Dwight Davis: One last question and then I will be quiet. If we add Jean’s wording, as I understand it, we still have the component of advising. So we are talking about an issue here simply being more inclusive in terms of that statement, but still having the protection for the student in terms of someone having some oversight and proper advising. Is that correct or not?
At least give me an explanation why you feel so strongly that you do not want to add two or three more words, and you still have the opportunity or the student has the opportunity for someone to sit and offer advice.
Lynda Goldstein: The colleges, as we have already written this, may request that certain groups be set aside, have a hold on their registration, come in and do academic advising. If we rewrite this so that if it states, if the student is requesting re-enrollment and the student was not last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies and common year designation, then re-enrollment request is immediately approved. If those students are not immediately approved, we are talking about requesting that all first and second year students in a common year designation have sort of mandatory advising. At the same time we are having discussions about where academic advising truly lies. Does is lie with the student? Is it a shared responsibility with the faculty? Are faculty going to sign off on freshman advising? This is an incredibly contentious issue in terms of academic advising for faculty advisors as well. Any college may ask that those students, if they think those students are in particular jeopardy, have a hold placed on their registration before they register for classes so they talk with an advisor. In many cases that is entirely appropriate, but it is not appropriate to set up a road block for most students most of the time who do not require it.
Roselyn Costantino, Altoona: Just two questions. How many students are we talking about? When a college decides that they want to put a hold, can this be a blanket hold or is it as Jean suggested, a case by case hold?
Lynda Goldstein: It can be fine tuned. It could be students who are requesting re-enrollment into a particular program. It could be students who are all common year, so it does not have to be all of our students. It can be fine tuned.
A Senator: How many students are we talking about?
James Wager, University Registrar: I do not have the exact number with me, but I think we are in the range of about 2000 students a year who go through the re-enrollment process.
Roger Egolf, Berks-Lehigh Valley: There are differences between DUS and common year. Someone who is in common year in a college has met the entrance requirements for that college. Some colleges require foreign language at the high school level or certain levels of math before being enrolled. A student who did not meet those in high school, and gets into DUS is not necessarily able to register into a certain college unless they have taken certain courses. So I do not think it is true that you can just read where it says DUS and say common year is synonymous. I just do not believe that is true.
The other point that the previous policy did not require a two step re-enrollment is not true. If you look at 58-50, Number 2, crossed out up above where is says, “if the program is controlled, approval or denial of the re-enrollment request shall be given to the dean of college,” so that existed before. That is not something new.
Lynda Goldstein: I do not think we intended to imply it is a new policy.
Roger Egolf: I believe that Jean said it was.
Lynda Goldstein: We simply wanted to clarify that to students right up front in a very simple statement.
Roger Egolf: I just wanted to clarify that Jean’s comment was not exactly right.
Chair Steiner: Any further comments?
Lee Coraor, College of Engineering: I have been listening to this discussion and a lot of things we talk about relate to how we handle things within the University. I have also been trying to think back many, many years to when I was a student and if I were re-enrolling. I think the process would be that I would be re-enrolling for, unless it is DUS, English or computer engineering, or something else. It makes me feel uncomfortable that we would send a student a letter to say yes you have been re-enrolled, but yet underneath they would not recognize that they were not being re-enrolled in a program that they were re-enrolling for. I think this policy, without what Jean said, is setting our students up for that kind of a disappointment because, yes, you are welcome back to Penn State, but there is this little asterisk of other things that they are not aware of that have to happen in order for them to be back in engineering or science or wherever.
Lynda Goldstein: By the two step process we are not implying they will get multiple letters.
Lee Coraor: They are going to get a letter that says you are re-enrolled. There maybe a hold on your registration, but you are re-enrolled. You are back in Penn State, but they will find out later that although they wanted computer engineering or English or physics that may not be the case.
Lynda Goldstein: They should find out simultaneously that you have been re-enrolled to the University and before enrolling into the program of your choice, you must meet with the designated faculty person before registering for classes.
Lee Coraor: We enroll in an academic program unless we are in DUS, but what we are saying is some of these students are in limbo because they are re-enrolled in Penn State but not yet in a program.
Christopher Lynch, College of Medicine: I am also on this committee. One of the people we heard from this morning was the Registrar’s office and there was some concern that adding this section about common year students might impact enrollment that was declining. We wanted to make certain that we told students who were admitted here before, who were in good standing, who left for a good cause, that they were welcome back to the University, that we want them back. We did not want someone else sending them a message that they were not welcome back. We want to welcome them back and worry about these other problems once they receive that message. That was one of our intentions.
John Spychalski, Smeal College of Business: I would like to report that the amendment that was proposed by Senator Pytel was circulated in advance, was reviewed by the Caucus and Smeal College of Business. The Smeal College of Business unanimously supports this amendment. Also in an ancillary way in terms of point of information, the Office of Undergraduate Programs in the Smeal College of Business also supports it.
Chair Steiner: Jim, did you have your hand up?
James Smith, Abington: I try to see things as simply as humanly possible. I have been around the Senate too long. There is something about this discussion that bothers me. One of which being I find myself on Jean Pytel’s side, which is not an ordinary occurrence. I could not resist, I am sorry even though the hour is late. My issue is, I go back to the question my colleague Dwight Davis asks before, “what is the difference, why are we going through this?” Well, a syndic might look at the situation and say get the $20. enrollment fee as fast as you can, lock it up, and then let the student worry about fulfilling his/her academic progress or academic goals however the time will allow. At Abington, we have a very novel way of doing re-enrollment. Re-enrollment comes through one office for the college and when a student seeks re-enrollment the person who receives that request seeks out one of three division heads who oversees the programs in which the student is seeking re-enrollment. So we have a two step process that happens all at once. I know that we are a nice little simple organization that can do things like that. I think it is only fair to the student, whether a consumer or a student, to have full disclosure at the time of plunking down even the modest $20. fee for re-enrollment whether you are re-enrolling to the University in all of its largeness or a specific targeted program that you are seeking to pursue. I support this amendment.
Chair Steiner: I wonder if we have gotten enough clarification on this issue, and can move toward a vote on the amendment. All those in favor of the amendment that was offered by Jean Pytel and it would modify the wording on 58-50 Number 1, (b), on Page 3 and Number 2, (b), at the top of Page 4 to add at the end of the sentence, “Division of Undergraduate Studies, or in common year designation.” All those in favor of this legislation, please say, “aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “Nay?” The ayes have it. The amendment passes. Now let us move to discussion of the motion that is on the floor and hopefully to resolution before to long.
Tramble Turner, Abington: Turn to Page 2, 58-20, Number 3. I was speaking to the head of our advising center and she asked me to raise a question. Perhaps you have other information that would be applicable. Point Number 3, covers a degree candidate who voluntarily changed to a nondegree student. The concern she was raising is that many of us over the years have seen some students who manage to stay in degree status, but have excessive number of credit hour accumulated. In other words, back to some of the concern about progress toward degrees. Is there any means by which, in this legislation, advising in that regard, would take place? This seems to leave a loophole open for the students who are in nondegree status and have accumulated a high number of credit hours.
Lynda Goldstein: To my knowledge, I cannot think of a particular place in this legislation where we deal with that particular student.
Chair Steiner: Are we ready to vote on this proposal? All those in favor of these changes to these policies suggested by ARSSA, please say “aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The motion passes. The report has been accepted as amended and we move on. Thank you, Lynda.
The next Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix D entitled, “Proposal to Revise Faculty Senate Standing Rules Pertaining to Standing Committees.” Pam Hufnagel, Chair of the committee will present the report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES
Proposal to Revise Faculty Senate Standing Rules Pertaining to Standing Committees
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair, Committee on Committees and Rules
Pamela Hufnagel: Last fall Chair Steiner asked all of the Senate Standing Committees to look at their duties, their membership, and their reports. This process discovered that committees were mandated to retain linkages or have connections with other University committees that no longer exist, have administrators on their committees whose titles have changed, and all sorts of things. What you see in this report is primarily the result of what we received from the committees. What we are trying to do is align duties with actual practices, update the relationships between committees, reflect current titles of administrators, and so forth. I would like to mention that there are three committees that we have omitted from this report. They are Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid; Undergraduate Education; and University Planning. With the pending reorganization, there will be some administrative changes that we are not prepared to deal with at this time. Also, if approved, some of these committees will undergo a little editorial change during the summer to reflect the new college names i.e., Berks- Lehigh Valley will be split. Finally, I would like to mention that we ran these changes past the committee chairs and they approved. Are there any questions?
Chair Steiner: Questions or discussions for Pam on this proposal?
Peter Rebane, Abington: I am just curious on several places you have the word University Faculty crossed out and left the word Senate? I am curious why the change?
Pam Hufnagel: This is just a wording simplification that usually occurs in a sentence where it was already called the University Faculty Senate and later it seemed redundant.
Chair Steiner: Any other questions or comments on this proposal? 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.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation. Thank you, Pam.
Our last Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix E entitled, “Uniformity of Course Abbreviations within Disciplines.” Doug Brown, committee Chair, will present this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON CURRICULAR AFFAIRS
Uniformity of Course Abbreviations within Disciplines
Douglas K. Brown, Chair, Committee on Curricular Affairs
Douglas Brown: First we have a couple of wording changes from our meeting this morning. They are both under the heading Principles of Implementation on Pages 2 and 3. The first one occurs in number 2. We have inserted the word “faculty.” The sentence will now read, “To reconcile existing courses, special faculty subcommittees of SCCA will be formed that will have appropriate disciplinary and location representation to reconcile existing courses.” The second change is number 3 on Page 3. We are inserting the words “a timetable and” after the word develop. The sentence will now read, “The SCCA will develop a timetable and an expedited process for. . . .” We also want to strike the phrase, “changing course abbreviations within programs affected by,” and insert implementing. This sentence will now read, “The SCCA will develop a timetable and expedited process for implementing this legislation.” The purpose behind that was to address some concerns that have risen.
The expedited process should not only take care of simple bookkeeping in terms of numbers and abbreviations, but if there are slight changes to course descriptions, reconcile pre-requisites, and titles, they would also be handled on an expedited process. So with those changes in mind, I would like to give you a brief history of the reason for this legislation. We would like to catch up with principles that have been in place since the last reorganization before the next one occurs. In particular the idea that courses belong to the University and are under the aegis of disciplines, rather than locations or particular units. For that reason, location specific designators no longer make sense. In the past three or four years, the Committee on Curricular Affairs has been actively discouraging the creation of any new location specific designations, although some have been suggested. In fact they have been actively discouraging the continuation of location specific abbreviations where they occur primarily at Behrend and Capital. However, in the process as courses have tried to arise through the process, even before coming to Curricular Affairs, there have been holds on the process, delays in the consultative process, and some proposals have been withdrawn by offering units until these issues were resolved. The main motivation behind this legislation is to achieve clarity in that process and some definition to the process. Some of the other gains or benefits to this are: beginning to foster dialogue among disciplinary units across locations that to some extent have been eroded since the last reorganization; that it may allow us to think more deeply about our curriculum in terms of courses that may appear to be similar – are these courses really similar in sense of the ephemeral 80-20 rule; perhaps even think about our degrees somewhat more deeply – do courses really belong in those degree listings; should we be refining those degree listings somewhat.
What this legislation is not intended to do is force uniformity among degrees. That is a concern that has been raised in a number of settings. This is not meant to deny the possibility or the desirability of uniqueness of degree offerings, whether at locations or even within locations. I think that covers the purpose.
Chair Steiner: Thank you, Doug. Discussion on this proposal?
Dwight Davis: I want to be sure that I understand this issue about location and course development. Are you saying that if a particular location wants to develop a new course specifically designed for a population, in a given region that may not apply to the rest of the University, that this proposal would not be a problem?
Douglas Brown: I do not believe that would be a problem. If the course fits into a particular discipline and we have agreed on the abbreviation, that course would go through and be assigned an abbreviation within that discipline.
Chair Steiner: Any further questions?
Richard Carlson, College of the Liberal Arts: I have been the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the University Park Psychology Department for ten years and our curriculum coordinator for the past 16-17 years. I have spent a lot of time dealing with the issues that are caused by the multiple designations and multiple abbreviations. I have also consulted with my colleagues at different locations in the curricular process. We all feel honored to have psychology picked out as the example today. First let me say, I appreciate the responsiveness to some of the concerns that I had raised at some length to Doug. However, I am still concerned that this legislation itself does not really address the fact that the course abbreviations are the tip of the iceberg of the differences among curricula and how courses fit into programs and so on. Secondly, while I think the revision to the proposed implementation acknowledges that, there is a broader issue than just expedited process for changing course abbreviations. I am still concerned what we are seeing here is not specific enough to address the multiplicity of issues here. They are the sort of mutual constraints that are difficult to resolve in consultation i.e., different prerequisites based on the goals of the program, on the capacities of the location, and so on. I have a problem with the legislation as it stands revised.
Matthew Wilson, Capital College: I would like to respond to that last observation. I think this is just one part or a larger ongoing process. I think the Curricular Integration Subcommittee is also going to play into this. I think this is just step one, and there are going to be more steps to follow.
Chair Steiner: Any other questions?
Laura Pauley, College of Engineering: The quotes from particular people, some that are no longer here at Penn State, and particular committees are just opinions, and they are not reasons for moving forward. The Senate has never voted on these as policies and this would be the vote on those policies. We should not feel that we need to move in a certain direction to continue on an agreed upon path, because we have not agreed upon anything. This is just the first step. I am concerned with the statement, “all faculty members, regardless of their location or academic home, will be considered a part of the University faculty in their discipline. In the context of the curriculum this implies that the discipline faculty in the different colleges” and so on. That is one opinion. The other opinion is that the department or location who originated that course has primary responsibility. That is the question we are asking now and there are faculty who have various opinions, but I think the stronger opinion is supported by our national accreditation board. What does the national accreditation board consider the faculty making curriculum decision, making course content decisions? That is the opinion I am most interested in and most concerned about, because I am in engineering and we go through thorough accreditation and assessment. This is not only of our curriculum and what courses we choose, but the content of those courses in great detail, and how the students are learning and what activities are in the courses. By saying all faculty in a particular discipline across the University are going to make those decisions greatly limits any development, growth, or improvement of our curriculum at a particular location. The accreditation board reviews particular locations independently. The University Park location and my department, Mechanical Engineering, is reviewed, assessed, and accredited separately from that at Behrend College; and to say that we are all one faculty goes against what our national accreditation board has stated.
Douglas Brown: To some extent the first part of your comments are exactly the reason for us bringing this legislation forward. There are pen dents that are stated in multiple documents that courses are no longer owned by a unit or location, and that has been causing some blockade in the curricular process. In fact the practice is that faculty members in the discipline are all faculty members in the discipline. As long as a dean decides that a faculty member has the appropriate credentials to teach an upper division course at their location, current practice is that happens so that the faculty are all acting as the faculty in the discipline. In the curricular proposal process all faculty in the discipline who have taught courses and certainly identified as teaching courses become involved in the consultative process.
Laura Pauley: Consultative only means that those groups have been informed and that their input has been requested. It does not say they have approved those changes to a course or curriculum.
Douglas Brown: Certainly and define the ultimate arbitrator of that is the Committee on Curricular Affairs. They weigh in whether the consultative processes has been broadly vetted, whether concerns are justified and legitimate or not, and then decide on whether the proposals are approved or not. I think that process would be greatly enhanced by having these dialogues early and often and even involving all the faculty in the discipline in the process of changing proposals.
Chair Steiner: Any further comments?
Ronald McCarty, Behrend College: I would agree with what was just said. I think part of the problem is the terminology. We may all be part of the same discipline, but we are not all part of the same program. It is difficult for me to see how you can run a program if you do not have control of the curriculum, if you do not have designation, a set of courses that you can control for that program. For example, our computer science program at Behrend is a different program than the Computer Science program or IST program here, or the computer program at Harrisburg. For all of us to draw our courses from the same pool will probably create accreditation and other kinds of problems.
Douglas Brown: In fact many of us do draw all our courses from the same pool. Then I would say that probably the view of Curricular Affairs would be that those who are most vested in the consultative process are those that are using those courses in their programs rather than in fundamental ways.
Chair Steiner: Any further questions?
Jean Landa Pytel: I was just wondering in view of the concerns, is there anyway that the programmatic integrity could be protected to avoid the chance of a program being held hostage, because someone in another program that may be in a similar discipline does not like what one program is doing? It is sort of suspicious, but I feel that is an underlying concern that is being presented here.
Douglas Brown: I think in a normal course of events that is one of the roles of Curricular Affairs. When program changes are brought forward, particularly when course changes are brought forward, I see the role of Curricular Affairs in this transitional process of making certain things are not compromised as reconciliation of particular courses takes place. Also, built into this first step in implementation is finding out where we have disciplines and where we have different disciplines.
Chair Steiner: Anyone else?
Richard Carlson: Just very quickly, I want to say I am concerned about the view of this as the first step on a longer path, because before I take the first step on a journey I usually want to know where I am ending up.
Douglas Brown: Again to homogeneity of programs?
Richard Carlson: The rhetoric surrounding this?
Douglas Brown: Well, that is not the rhetoric surrounding this. I am afraid this came forward when other forces where at work, that mention we have “x” number of psychology degrees or “x” number of communication degrees, and we need to do something. Curricular Affairs is not the source of that, and it is not the intent of this legislation to kick the wheels on that particular process in motion. There are a number of representatives on Curricular Affairs from locations within and without University Park that have the same concerns in the winds of change that seem to be blowing around us right now. This was purely initially an attempt to bring clarity to the process so that proposals would be not held for the reasons contained in the legislation.
Chair Steiner: Any further discussion or are we ready to vote? The 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.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation. The recommendation will be sent to President Spanier for his approval. Doug, thank you for that report.
Chair Steiner: We have now come to Agenda Item I, Advisory/Consultative Reports. The first report comes from the Senate Committee on Computing and Information Systems, and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix F, entitled, “Penn State Web Presence.” Lee Coraor, Chair of the committee will present the report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Penn State Web Presence
Lee D. Coraor, Chair, Committee on Computing and Information Systems
Lee Coraor: As a brief introduction, last summer the Senate Officers charged the Committee on Computing and Information Systems to examine the state of Penn State’s Web Presence and report back to the Senate, which we are doing today with findings and recommendations. I think the original charge resulted from the Senate Office receiving a number of complaints and concerns both internally and externally from users of the Web. We discovered it is a large issue. The committee focused primarily on academic and student related information and Web sites. The committee believes very strongly that this is an important issue. To put it into context, in the past year we have heard about increasingly depressing demographics in the state of Pennsylvania, the declining number of students that we can potentially attract, and the increasing competition from other institutions. In terms of student recruiting, the Web is a primary resource and for an increasing number of students it is the only resource they use for information when selecting an institution of higher education. Our Web presence can have a large impact on our ability to recruit and service the needs of students. We have anecdotal evidence that the cost invested in developing and maintaining a coherent user friendly Web presence could more than pay for itself in terms of attracting new students. So please keep that in mind.
We did meet with representatives from various administrative offices i.e., the Graduate School, Undergraduate Education, DUS, and University Relations. We also have some input from Senators through e-mails from students and other users. In the course of our meetings it became clear, in some sense, that there is nobody at the helm of the Penn State Web presence. At the overall level, University Relations has the responsibility for a number of things, but by their own words their primary role is in terms of style, look, and things like the Penn State logo. The committee recognizes their role and we feel they are doing an excellent job. In particular, they have some new changes to the University regulations and they are also providing new templates to help in terms of style. However, in terms of content and navigability there is nobody at the helm, or I should say, there are multiple people grasping at the helm and pulling in different directions. This applies not only to administrative offices, but all the way down through academic departments. Particularly for students looking at Penn State, they see that first administrative look and I think they are being confused.
What ultimately should happen is communication and collaboration going on between people so we can present a coherent picture of one University, one entity – yes, there are many parts to that – but it is one University. What we heard is there are a number of people who go away with a picture of a University that is internally disconnected, fragmented, and confused. So we made recommendations. We do not feel they will solve all of the problems we have and we do not have the worst Web site in the galaxy, because everybody is struggling to handle this new technology. However, we see that there are some gaps and needs, so we have made some recommendations. The committee intends to come back to the issue every year for the next several years to see how we are doing and to provide feedback on this issue.
Chair Steiner: Lee, thank you for a great introduction and report. Is there any more discussion on this report?
Debora Cheney, University Libraries: This year I serve as the chair for the Commission for Adult Learners. On Page 3, (b), you have an emphasis on designing Web sites that are oriented towards target audience. I just want to let you know that the Commission for Adult Learners has done a number of surveys with adult learners. We do know that they use the Web site significantly as do traditional age students. Also, when we look at our Web site we are dramatically aware of the images of whom we think our students are. The images are not always who the students are and where growth may potentially be in the future. I hope you will pay attention to who our target audience is and make certain our Web site meets their needs as well as the traditional age student.
Rosalyn Constantino, Altoona: The idea of a target audience is something we talked a lot about. We found those of us who work on the Web and people on this committee who teach technology could not navigate the Web. We did not write a lot of details in this report, but that is one detail we felt very strongly about. I just want to reiterate what Lee said, as we are putting all of this money and energy into the probable reorganization of our University, this is the place to start in order to give a face to the public of what kind of institution we are. There are so many people here that have family and friends whose children are thinking about Penn State and you hear what they say. None of this is being made up and even though you may be doing a good job for adult learners, is that happening across the University. I have just one other point. We need resources in order for this to work. We have the best of intentions at our different locations or here in different departments, but the money needed has to come from somewhere to supply the type of training and support needed for the Web.
Mark Casteel, York: I am on the committee as well. I would like to speak directly to Number 2 that discusses the Web Advisory Group. When we listened to this anecdotal evidence, and it was anecdotal, one of the things I found most distressing was the inability or unwillingness of different units who deal directly with perspective students to work together. I find that untenable and so we are saying all those folks who deal directly with prospective students need to work together and come to some coherent sense of how we are going to present ourselves.
Matthew Wilson, Harrisburg: I am hearing that prospective students find our Web site incoherent and they are confused because we have lots and lots of different majors. It seems to me that this is something that could play to our strength. If we could have a Web site and I know English best of all, that would say we have three different English majors and here are the strengths of each of those English majors. If you are looking for a concentration in so and so you should look at Penn State Behrend. If you are looking to go on to Graduate School you should look at University Park. If you are looking for something else you should go to Capital. I do not think there is anything like that, in comparative terms on the Web, that would help students and us see our diversity as a good thing in terms of curriculum.
Chair Steiner: We are a very confusing institution and our Web space does not help people figure us out.
John Romano, Vice Provost and Dean Enrollment Management and Administration: I do think there is a great deal of diversity in the Web look that you find for Penn State University. I think there is a very impressive Web presence for the volume of prospective students that look at Penn State. Indeed some 75-80 percent of undergraduate students who apply to Penn State apply through the Web. We test it and it works. We get feedback and they like it. They understand it and it is working to our advantage. We keep modifying it because the Web keeps changing. Where we are confused is once you go one or two clicks outside of the main Web site, where prospective students look at the University, namely the Undergraduate Admissions office and the Student Aid office, you get lost. You get lost in departments. One click below the first department and you are not sure if you are at Penn State, Pitt, Temple or Missouri and that is a problem we need to fix. I am fully supportive of the need to bring coherence to our Web presence, but let us not confuse the tens of thousands of students using our Web and applying very effectively to Penn State and doing so with ease and confidence.
Eric Feigelson, Eberly College of Science: Is the structure of the University’s Web site clear? For example, whether it is www.psu.edu/ufs or www.ufs.psu.edu, is that choice and other structural issues clear to people?
Lee Coraor: I do not think so, but I am not certain how to answer that question.
Eric Feigelson: Does the Web have a hierarchy structure so that one could more or less guess at the Web site by knowing the hierarchy of it? For instance, www.(list nine colleges).psu.edu or www.(list 200 departments).psu.edu, and why is the Senate listed after the backslash? So there are certain structural issues that could help unit and Web managers to structure the Web site so it has certain logic that people can understand. Is there any logic to it?
Lee Coraor: If I understand what you are saying, and I am still not sure I do and I apologize for that, you are talking about navigability and I do not think a lot of people navigate the Web by typing in addresses, they are looking for links. I think most of the students are using links. That is the issue where there can be some room for improvement in terms of how those links operate.
Rosalyn Constantino: With all due respect Dr. Romano, I am an advisor and I advise students who do the two and two. They are in Altoona and are coming here. I have been here for 12 years and I know a lot of programs. Unfortunately, I still have difficulty when I am sitting with a student and they say, they would like to check out and see how this might work with me. Then I go on the Web to find out about departments and programs. I guess I would conjecture if tens of thousands of students are doing it that way, are we missing some? Are there students who cannot navigate and we do not know about them because they fall through the cracks? I can only say anecdotally that I have families that say to me, “I do not think they offer this at Penn State anymore.” I have to say I am sure they do, but we could not find it on the Web. There are problems and the committee spent a good part of this year identifying them and trying to come up with suggestions in how we might work together to resolve them.
Chair Steiner: Any fresh points of view about this report?
Rishi Das, Student Senator, School of Information Sciences and Technology: I use the Internet a lot. The Penn State Web site is very confusing. A lot of students have trouble going through it. I feel that you do not necessarily need to implement something such as this, but if all the departments followed AD-54 that would improve the Web. If AD-54 was first implemented by all departments, then that will improve the usability of the Penn State Web sites as a whole.
Lee Coraor: Yes it will, but AD-54 primarily deals with style issues. It does not deal with content and navigability. Originally in fact before we delved into this, it dealt with the placement of the logo and two other things and that was it.
Rishi Das: I feel you may not be able to constrain colleges, schools, and departments to what content to put on the Web because each college is different and has different view points. If you changed that policy to include more links, not necessarily just graphic design, and placement of those links that might help. It is a nice idea, but I think it might take awhile and you need to take baby steps instead of jumping head on.
Eileen Kane, Dickinson School of Law: This is a more general question, but I do think it bears on the usability of the Web site. How much effort has gone into developing, and I do not mean nice link trees going off the Web site, but visual materials? This is a visual age, it is not just a matter of links. Do we have – I apologize if these things exist and I just do not know – do we have a site map for the University? I am just proposing we could have one if we do not. Secondly, could we build a uniform domain name structure in the Web site? Also, a feature on the Web site that says, you are here, so people do not lose their way as they march through it.
Chair Steiner: That is a suggestion that we will get into the Record. Any further comments? 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.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this Advisory/Consultative report. The report will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation. Thank you, Lee.
The next Advisory and Consultative report comes from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affair and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix G, entitled, “Revision to Policy HR-76, Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.” Committee Chair Tramble Turner, along with Leonard Berkowitz and Michael Cardamone, will present this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Revision to Policy HR76 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Tramble Turner, Chair, Faculty Affairs; Michael J. Cardamone, Vice-Chair;
and Leonard Berkowitz, Committee Member
Tramble Turner: We have the three of us here because Michael Cardamone served on the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee this year and chaired the standing subcommittee of Faculty Affairs that primarily did the work on this report. Leonard Berkowitz, a former Chair, and also a member of the subcommittee, has done major work on helping to draft this legislation, and today at the meeting, filled in for Michael so he could visit with the Senate Committee on Committee and Rules. This report was fully discussed and changes were suggested within Faculty Affairs.
This is a report that is the out growth from a years work on situations surrounding the dismissal of a tenured faculty, but more generally, important issues that Senate leadership and our committee realize needed addressing. It has to do with the operating procedures for the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities committee and the functioning of the Ombudsman process within the University. With that as a general introduction, I will turn it over to Leonard because we have a friendly amendment that deals with Pages 2 and 8.
Leonard Berkowitz: Good afternoon. I am kind of embarrassed. After all of the contentious debate we have had, we ended up with this straightforward report and I am afraid all it does is make things clearer.
There are three major sets of recommendations we are putting before you to change in HR76. In the first part, we are revising the scope section. As we looked at HR76 and the rest of the HR policy, we discovered there was not a single place you could go in Penn State’s policy that gave you an idea of what you needed to do if there was some type of faculty dispute. We found that there were 14 different places to look. We decided to expand the scope section so it includes all of the appropriate references in one place. Some things get taken care of entirely here, but there is a reference to HR23 for things that need to be done by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, and RA10 for questions involving ethics related to research and other scholarly activities. You will find those points on Pages 3 and 4 of the report.
The second part is expanding the purpose section to emphasize the importance of attempting to resolve disputes informally before getting involved in some kind of formal process. That is the place where we have made a minor change in the report you have in front of you. Please turn to Page 8. This is the current version of HR76. Under guidelines for implementation which begins on Page 7, you will find a section on Ombudsman. It begins on Page 8 and goes on to several bullets on Page 9. Even though it is listed here under guidelines, if you look carefully it reads as if it is policy. An Ombudsman shall be appointed. We have been treating it as policy for many years. So it was suggested this morning, and we had no problem with the idea, of taking that section and placing it on Page 4 inside the policy. You will notice there is a section after Scope called Conciliation and a normal place for the Ombudsman policy would be to place it right after that. So that is what we are suggesting we do. Just take it as a whole, no change in content, no change of intention, no change of implementation, just move from under Guideline to inside the policy so everybody understands what has always been the case, it is policy.
Chair Steiner: Len, you are not just suggesting this; it is part of the motion correct?
Leonard Berkowitz: Yes, it is part of the motion. On Page 2, where the list of contents and bullets are listed it would now read: Purpose; Scope; Conciliation; Ombudsman.
The third and most substantive change is in the section on the operation of the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities; on Page 5 is where it takes place. HR76 has addressed two possible courses of action for many years. An informal review, and then after that, the informal review may result in an attempt to bring about a satisfactory settlement, or it says to establish a hearing board; but in practice that almost never happens. For many years what has happened is, if there cannot be a settlement, the informal review committee brings it to the full committee, they discuss it and make a recommendation from the full committee to the President. That is not in violation of practice, but it is also not reflected in the policy and it probably would not be a good idea to have a policy that does not explain clearly what the practice is. So we have simply included that on Page 5.
There are a few other places with minor editorial changes. We got rid of some repetitions and things like that, but that is the proposal.
Chair Steiner: Any discussion on this report? The report has been brought to floor by committee and needs no second. Are we ready to vote? All those in favor of this report, please say, “aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “nay?” The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved this Advisory/Consultative Report. The report will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation. Thank you Faculty Affairs Committee.
This brings us to Agenda Item J, Informational Reports.
Status of Campus Construction Projects, Appendix H. This report focused on the construction projects outside of University Park. The URL address for the report is http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/apr26-05agn/app_h.pdf.
Textbook Selection Practices, Appendix I. For two years the University Planning committee has studied the issues surrounding textbook pricing. This report presented the committee's findings and provided recommendations of best practices for faculty with implications for textbook publishers, booksellers, and students, as well as the larger University community.
Grade Distribution Report, Appendix J. This annual report reviews grade distribution data for baccalaureate students.
Faculty Tenure-Flow Rates, Appendix K. 2005 marked the eighth consecutive year in which Penn State has analyzed the rates at which its provisionally appointed faculty achieve tenure. The tabulations are shared annually with Penn State’s deans and with the Senate.
Faculty Benefits Programs, Academic Year 2004-2005, Appendix L. This report compared Penn State’s health care benefits program with those offered at 30 peer institutions. Billie Willits,
REPORT OF SENATE ELECTIONS
Dawn Blasko, Chair of the Elections Committee and Secretary of the Senate, announced the following election results.
Senate Council 2005-2006 Senate year:
P. Peter Rebane, Abington College
Mila Su, Altoona College
Daniel R. Hagen, College of Agricultural Sciences
Kristin Sommese, Arts and Architecture
Ronald McCarty, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Andrew Romberger, Berks-Lehigh Valley College
John Spychalski, Smeal College of Business
Matthew Wilson, Capital College
Thomas Glumac, Commonwealth College
Terry Engelder, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Dorothy Evensen, College of Education
Jean Landa Pytel, College of Engineering
Robert D. Ricketts, College of Health and Human Development
Dennis S. Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts
Michael J. Chorney, College of Medicine
Peter C. Jurs, Eberly College of Science
John W. Bagby, will represent University Libraries, Combined Departments of Military Science, College of Communications, School of Information Sciences and Technology, Dickinson School of Law, and the Great Valley Graduate Center
Committee on Committees and Rules (elected for two-year terms):
Robert Pangborn will complete Nancy Wyatt’s term. (one year)
Harjit Singh will complete Melvin Blumberg’s term. (one year)
University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee (elected for two-year terms):
Standing Joint Committee on Tenure:
Cara Lynne Schengrund for a three-year term
Gordon Blood for a one-year term
Constance Flanagan as an alternate for a three-year term
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
(All positions are for three-year terms):
Faculty from University Park:
John Moore, member
Ingrid Blood, first alternate
John Mitchell, second alternate
Faculty other than University Park:
Nancy Wyatt, member
Brian Tormey, alternate
Douglas Anderson, member
Madlyn Hanes, alternate
Faculty Advisory Committee to the President:
Secretary of the Senate:
Chair-Elect of the Senate:
COMMENTS BY OUTGOING CHAIR STEINER
Chair Steiner: We come now to my final words as Chair. I am tired and I am sure you are tired so I will be brief, however, I do have to give proper acknowledgment to the moment and to some of the people that made it possible for me to do this job.
First of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve in this role. I was talking recently with one of my sons about his career, and I told him that my own career has proceeded not so much by plan as by rule. My rule has been, “When confronted with a fork in the road, take the most challenging route and do not worry so much about where it is going to lead you,” and Rich Carlson has left so he will not catch the irony. The rule may not suit Rich or everyone, but I like the way it has worked for me. It may or may not lead you to high places, but it tends to guarantee that you will look back on the journey with some satisfaction. I never had a plan to become Chair of the Senate, but the offer to run was a challenge, and I am very happy that I took it. It has been a richly rewarding experience and I take great satisfaction having done it.
I must tell you that two years ago, the challenge of learning this job and doing it well seemed very great. What I did not appreciate at the time was that I would not be on my own in this role and that the Senate Office staff would be so enormously helpful. Patty Poorman, Sherry Walk, Anna Butler, Cherry Lee Fisher, and Kadi Corter are very competent at what they do, and they often go the extra mile to see that the job is done right. They are professionals in the very best sense of the word.
Then there is Susan Youtz. For the last 12 months, Susan and I have communicated daily: by phone or email or face to face; by day, in the evenings, and on weekends. I am sure that our e-mail exchanges back and forth have probably gone well beyond a thousand in number. I have benefited enormously from Susan’s experience, her sound judgment, and her wisdom, and I will tell you truly that the Senate is lucky to have her services. No one could do this job without an Executive Secretary, and I feel sure that no one could be a failure as Senate Chair as long as Susan Youtz is in that position. Susan, thank you.
There is another group of people who have greatly helped me to do my job better, and they are those of you who gave me the most grief this year. You know who you are, Len and others. Even though we disagreed at times, I would have been a poorer Chair if you were not there telling me what was not going right. You never gave this advice in a critical or ungenerous fashion, and even on the few occasions when I was not exactly gracious in my replies, I was always grateful for your interest and your efforts on behalf of the Senate.
Finally, I would like to thank George Franz, our Parliamentarian, and our other officers, Jamie and Dawn, whom I have enjoyed working with and whose advice was always welcome if not always heeded.
It is like a preface to a book, I want to share the credit, it is the proper thing to do, it is the right thing to do, but the errors are all mine. Thank you all for your help and thank you for this opportunity.
SEATING OF THE NEW OFFICERS
Chair Steiner: Now we turn to the seating of our new Officers. Dawn can stay exactly where she is, and if Jamie will come and stand beside me we can have Yana come forward and take Jamie’s seat.
Jamie, you are now the Chair of the 2005-2006 University Faculty Senate. I am please to present you with the gavel that will be used throughout your year to keep us in order. Now I told somebody the other day that a gavel is really not the proper implement for this job. The proper implement is one of those long bars that tightrope walkers use to keep their balance. I would like to give you several gifts. I want to hark back to my opening comments in September of last year, when I was anticipating a very long trip to Behrend College on November 3, the day after the national elections. I had predicted that there would be at least one of us who would be unhappy. I do not think I am revealing any secrets here to say Jamie was unhappy.
Incoming Chair Myers: In a state of disbelief.
Outgoing Chair Steiner: There was even some loose talk about moving to Canada and so on. Let me say first of all in you leadership role, you may find it helpful to keep people a little bit off balance. I am going to give you something that is not only a memento of our trip on November 3, but might help you do that. This is a bumper sticker and it says, “Working hard to make sure no child gets left behind. Teachers for George W. Bush.” Jamie is probably wondering how he is going to use this. I have three suggestions: put it on your office door to surprise and confuse your colleagues and students; if you use a notebook for the Board of Trustees meeting, you could paste it on the outside of the notebook to establish credibility with the Board; and failing all that, you can put it on your car bumper to use as camouflage when you drive out of state, particularly to the mid-west. I have one other gift because I know you are looking forward to the 2008 election. What I have is a hat that says, “Condoleeza Rice for President.” (applause)
Incoming Chair Myers: I do not exactly know what to do with these things. I just want to begin by saying what a pleasure it has been to work with Kim Steiner, Chris Bise, Dawn Blasko, and Susan Youtz. The trips we had were very important experiences.
Kim, there are a couple of things I think are very important about your tenure. I will try not to talk too long, but I am sure most of you have stayed this long wanting to hear a little bit. The attention to things that matter – I think that is one of the important things that you help us to think about. Let us focus on the things that matter to our everyday lives as faculty with students and get something done with those. Of course, as you have seen already that enormous wit and wisdom has been enjoyable.
Kim, I know you are tired and after the past few weeks I think I am tired already too. I have a couple of things for you to enjoy during your time of relaxation. First of all is this wonderful book, The Art of the Motorcycle. Kim is really a kind of a historian. As we would travel around he would talk about the history of things as well as the trees. Motorcycles are one of his favorites.
Outgoing Chair Steiner: I know that book and I do not have it. I am very happy to receive it, thank you.
Chair Myers: In addition, just so you can keep track of your time while you are enjoying that book, I have a key chain for your motorcycle. It says you have 1364 days, 2 hours, 21 minutes left in the Bush term.
COMMENTS BY INCOMING CHAIR MYERS
I have just a couple of ideas to share. I told a colleague I would keep it under ten words and I am already over. I wanted to share some ideas as we end this Senate year and look forward to next year. I think we have to do things to increase our share of governance with administrators at all levels and within our own Senate structures and procedures. We have to honor our sense of agency and our voice. Create opportunities to contribute. Also interact in ways that we believe will increase shared governance. Cynicism is a common feeling at the current time, but I do not believe we should become passive or remain silent. The reorganization proposals have generated a lot of energy. There was a lot last night at the Commonwealth Caucus. In a way, this can be a gift to increase our shared governance. I just hope that you all do not go to sleep over the summer. As we seek to expand communication it is very important to seek different ideas with the intention to collaborate through reflection on those ideas and critique those ideas. It is the essential dialogic basis of each of our disciplines and it is the basis of quality that will lead us forward as a University. So there are some ideas to mull over. I look forward to the fall agendas.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Myers: Are there any comments for the good of the University?
Ed Bittner: I would like to make a real quick one. I am not even going to stand up. Is there anyway possible with our schedule of six meetings to have two meetings in April? Spread them out some other way because there is way too much information in this meeting. Just look at how few people are here. Is there anyway possible that you could think of i.e., two in the fall, four in the winter, get rid of January, do something.
Chair Myers: Thank you. Certainly we will refer that thought on. Any other comments for the good of the University?
Chair Myers: May I have a motion to adjourn?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Myers: All in favor, please say, “aye.”
Chair Myers: Motion carries. The April 26, 2005, meeting of the University Faculty Senate has adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be on September 13, 2005