THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
THE SENATE RECORD
Volume 39-----September 13, 2005-----Number 1
The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University, 2005-2006.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is distributed to all libraries across the Penn State system, and is posted on the Web at http://www.senate.psu.edu/ under “Publications.” Copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, Senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory and 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 September 13, 2005
II. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
Minutes of the April 26, 2005, Meeting in The Senate Record 38:6
Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of August 30, 2005
Joint Committee on Curricular Integrity
Promotion and Tenure Transition Committee
Committee on Committees and Rules
Revisions to Standing Rules Article III, Sections 10 and 11
(Council of Past Senate Chairs)
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
NOTE: The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Graduate Building.
The University Faculty Senate
Tuesday, September 13, 2005, at 1:30 PM
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, September 13, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with Jamie M. Myers, Chair, presiding. There were 200 Senators who signed the roster.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
The April 26, 2005, Senate Record, providing a full transcription of the proceedings, was sent to all University Libraries and is posted on the Faculty Senate Web site. Are there any corrections or additions to this document? Seeing none, may I hear a motion to accept?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Myers: Second?
Chair Myers: All in favor of accepting the minutes of April 26, 2005, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay. Thank you. Ayes have it. Motion carried. And I have got my first motion under my belt.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Chair Myers: The Senate Curriculum Report of August 30, 2005, is posted on the University Faculty Senate's Web page. In the Senate Curriculum Report we will now be publishing in a prominent location all new programs (these are majors, options, and minors); all program phase-outs for majors and minors; and the discontinuation or moving of degree programs among colleges and campuses of the University. This is the Senate’s effort to bring greater visibility to significant curricular changes.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Chair Myers: Enclosed in today's agenda are the minutes from the August 23rd meeting of Senate Council. I bring that to your attention.
COMMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Myers: Out of courtesy to our presenters, please turn off the rings, beeps, and songs on your cell phones and pagers at this time.
Before we begin the meeting I want to take a moment to introduce the officers of the Senate:
Chair-elect Joanna Floros, College of Medicine; Immediate past chair Kim Steiner, Agriculture; our returning Secretary, Dawn Blasko; and the Senate is led by the Senate Executive Secretary, Susan Youtz.
I also extend my deepest thanks to our Senate colleagues who agreed to serve as standing Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs. I would like all the Chairs and Vice-Chairs to stand for a brief thank you for their service. Now I refer everyone to the Senate Web site where you can find their emails and you can send them all your important ideas. I mean that seriously.
I refer you to the minutes of Senate Council at the end of your agenda. Included in the minutes are topics that have been discussed at the recent Faculty Advisory Committee to the President meeting as well as reports from the April 26 Senate meeting that have been approved for implementation by the President.
The Senate Officers met with the members of the Educational Policy Committee of the Board of Trustees at the September board meeting. We had an excellent discussion about some of the many issues facing our University. This historic first meeting between the Board of Trustees and the Senate Leadership was prompted by Past Chair Kim Steiner’s annual Faculty Senate report at the May board meeting. I want to thank Kim for initiating what may become an annual venue in the years to come.
The Senate Officers will visit the following campuses during the fall semester: Altoona, Dickinson School of Law, Fayette, Hazleton, College of Medicine, Penn College, Wilkes-Barre, and Worthington Scranton.
Although Lehigh Valley and Schuylkill are not part of this year’s visit rotation, at Provost Erickson’s suggestion, we are also visiting these campuses to discuss the recent reorganization. All the dates for these visits are on the Web site. If you are from those locations, please, let’s drum up people to come to those meetings, students and faculty, so we can have a very productive conversation when we visit.
I want to introduce a new staff member in the Senate Office. Emily Moiles, will you please stand? Emily began working as a staff assistant in the Senate Office on August 15. She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Religion with a minor in Art History. For the past year, Emily worked as a receptionist at the Milwaukee Art Museum and as a lab assistant in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Emily is serving in the Senate Office as a receptionist; working with Senate Committee leadership; processing travel expenses; and handling a wide variety of other responsibilities. Welcome, Emily.
Others here today from the Senate Office, would you please step out or rise when I call your name: Patty Poorman; Sherry Walk, the University Curriculum Coordinator; Kadi Corter; and Anna Butler. Thank you. I encourage you to call or email the Senate Staff anytime you need information or help with something.
I also want to introduce David Tandberg. David, would you please stand? David is a doctoral student in the College of Education in the Higher Education Administration program. We are pleased that David will be the Ostar Fellow this year in faculty governance. You will see David at many committee meetings and he will join us on campus and college visits and we know he will contribute a great deal to our year, as well as learning a lot himself. Welcome to the Senate, David.
At this meeting, we are piloting the use of Media Site Live that will allow us to have a password protected site for Senators who are unable to attend a Senate meeting to view all or part of the meeting from their desktop computers. Senate meetings will also be electronically archived and viewable by Senators. I know you did not have a chance to check your hair before you came in, but I think you might be so low in the screen that it will not matter. We have learned about this new technology from Media and Technology Support Services and also by viewing live and on-demand presentations from the Libraries and IST Web sites. We welcome your feedback on this new technology.
In some Constitutions, pages 33-40 are missing. So if you happen to have one of those, please contact the Senate Office and they will get you a complete copy.
With those announcements completed, I turn to some very brief remarks about our year ahead. I do not need to list the many challenges we face as we strive to strengthen the largest single, yet geographically distributed, university in the nation. Anthropologists have helped us understand how human cultures are constructed through everyday interaction and communication, thus our strength and quality as an academic culture must rely on strategic structures that connect us on a regular basis within time and space, as well as across time and space. As we plan and initiate new structures to more fully achieve our missions, we must also identify and maintain those current ways of being that support our existing high level of quality. I am reminded of the University landscaper who traversed campus looking for the dirt pathways created by students and faculty cutting across the lawns between buildings and whenever finding one well trodden, he called in the crew to lay a new walkway edged with flowers. This is a very different response from putting up a chain fence to detour walkers onto the already paved geometric grid. So too, throughout our University we have abundant examples of supportive cultural practices that can be highlighted and extended to strengthen our collective future.
I hope in our year in this Senate, in our classrooms and our labs, communities, and our spaces of creativity, are all marked by the fundamental resonance between inquiry and democracy. Both of these activities engage collaboration and seek difference as the generative basis for knowing, and both construct an inter-subjectivity that does not pretend to be a final solution, but only a question along a continuing pathway of human imagination. As Joseph Campell said, “What we seek is not the meaning of life, but the experience of being alive.” May we have a Senate year full of life as we debate and resolve the small steps that are part of our ongoing progress.
We turn now to our very full agenda, and I hope each of you can participate in the entire meeting as we take up key issues on curriculum, promotion and tenure, and health care benefits. Unfortunately, the Student Affairs report on promoting student learning has been withdrawn from today’s agenda.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Myers: It is now time for comments from the President of the University. President Spanier is with us today. I am pleased to invite him to come forward to make some remarks.
President Spanier: Thank you very much. Hello to you folks on the Web there. I know there are thousands of you tuned in.
Let me say, first of all, I continue to be so grateful for and impressed by the great work that this Senate is doing. For a few of you, it is just coming up for a meeting every so often, but for scores of you, with your involvement in the community, our committees and leadership, the Senate, great work is being done and we are very privileged at Penn State to have the quality of faculty governance system that we do. I am incredibly optimistic about so many things going on at Penn State right now and I hope that you saw that reflected in my State of the University address. It is a very positive and very exciting time even while, of course, we have a number of challenges ahead of us. Some of you heard me a few years ago talk about the definition of University Presidency. It is like being the captain of the ship where everybody mutinies but nobody jumps ship. And there are some days that do feel like that but most of the time, it is just remarkable to look out and see all the great things that are happening and all the progress at Penn State, so I am very upbeat.
We had, by my own observation and all reports, the best beginning of the academic year activities and scenario that we have ever had at Penn State. Folks in undergraduate education and folks in student affairs, our housing and the food services staff on all of our campuses everywhere around Penn State, here and at other locations, we have heard excellent reports about the quality of the move in process, the beginning of the year experience, getting students registered and all of that. We still have a few loose ends from students who are not quite fully in the system yet but it has been a very positive start for the 2005-2006 academic year.
Most of you were either at my State of the University address or saw it from another location. We had one of the largest turn outs we have ever had here on this campus and from reports that are coming in from many of the campuses around the state, so I do appreciate that very much. I think that sends a good signal as well.
I want to mention something about the response to Hurricane Katrina. Some of you followed this closely but I am not sure everybody is quite aware of how a national disaster like that can reach all the way into a place like Penn State, and actually there are a lot of people within the Penn State community that have had to put in a lot of extra hours working over Labor Day weekend to deal with our part of that. We had well over one-hundred inquiries from students who are attending, or about to attend, universities in New Orleans who now asked if they could attend Penn State. Of course, this happened just as our classes were underway so we were in something of a rush to see how we could best accommodate those folks. And to do it by, say, last Friday two weeks into the semester, where it would be possible to still get enrolled and not to have lost so much ground that the faculty member would be uncomfortable getting them up to speed. So, we fielded those inquiries. We processed admission. I do not have the latest count, but it was at least a couple dozen students who ended up here. Many of them, of course, explored other universities. These are by and large not students from New Orleans. They are students from Pennsylvania or neighboring states who wanted to know if Penn State could accommodate them and we will do the best we can. In all cases, we have not wanted to steal students from any other university, so our first approach with the students is to encourage them to reenroll in their university at the appropriate point. How it all settles down in the end will be dealt with on a case by case basis, of course, because what the student and their families want to do is what we would put first.
At the same time, we have tried to be very flexible in the Bursar’s Office and student aid in making accommodations for students in terms of late fees and making sure that nobody was prevented from attending Penn State in a circumstance like this. We had about 20 of our students who basically unpacked their bags, were about to start classes at Penn State, and were called up by the National Guard and are now in New Orleans dealing with that aspect. Our physical plant responded. There was a need for trucks and we had volunteers from the Physical Plant and sent some of our vehicles down there so we have helped in that way as well with logistics. Our Student Affairs staff has been working overtime mobilizing to deal with the group of students and others who actually are from New Orleans and were enrolled here. The largest number of those students are actually graduate students and some of them have been telling their stories. There has been a little media coverage of that.
I saw on my blackberry, an email just came in but the type was so tiny I could not read it. If my squinting told me right, I think there is an event at the Pasquirella Spiritual Center, maybe tomorrow. Does somebody have the specifics on that? It just was announced in the last half hour where the University community or University Park is being urged to come forward and have something there. Do you know Jeremy?
It will probably be in the paper tomorrow morning. It might be on the Web today. That is another thing that is happening. We have staff physicians, ambulances, and people at Hershey have extended themselves and have offered or are on their way down there to help out as well. So I feel very good about the University’s response in that regard. We have had a tremendous amount of generosity at Beaver stadium and in other venues with fundraising. A lot of our student organizations are raising funds and I think that will continue for a period of time.
At the Board of Trustees Meeting on Friday, we received the Board approval for our appropriation request. This is the first step in what will be nearly a year long process going to the state level, the Governor, department of education, then something will be included in the Governor’s budget which gets released in the first week of February and through the legislative session and culminating with some decision of ours on what the University budget will be at the next July Trustee’s meeting when it is approved for the next fiscal year. The principal feature of this year’s request is to literally freeze tuition at 20 Penn State campuses, all campuses other than University Park that have undergraduate students. This is something that the governor has indicated in concept he would like to be supportive of. I was very encouraged by his enthusiasm for the concept. Of course I could not hold him to any promises about it because it is very early in the process. We will have to see what the state revenues are like and what other problems he is facing in the state budget. But I do hope that those of you on the campuses will at least use this objective, this goal, this hope, on our part to attract students to Penn State because you can promise them that our highest priority is holding tuition down. Now we are similarly going to try to hold tuition down at University Park to one of the lowest increases that we have seen in a decade, but we could not bring the number down to zero here because it would have required a huge sum that is unrealistic to expect from the State but this is part of our effort to enhance the circumstances of many of our campuses across the State which are facing demographic and economic challenges, and we think we are priced higher than any of us would like to have us be. For students to know that is what we are trying to do could be very helpful. The response from our student leaders has been phenomenal to this. I got a kick out of one quote from the coverage. It was the President of CCSG. I do not see her here right now. I was going to give her an opportunity to remedy the message in her quote. She said, “I was so overwhelmed with happiness with the President’s budget proposal that I almost wanted to give him a hug.” I do not know what the ‘almost’ thing is about but I never quite get the hug. I will ask her about that when I see her.
That is where we are headed with the budget, and we are going to be working very hard in Harrisburg with support from our students to see how close we can get to that. I mentioned the enrollment and budget challenges that we have at our campuses. Those are very real. John Romano has a tremendous responsibility ahead of him, so please be nice to him and help him out with this because getting from there to hear will not be easy but we do have great hope for our campuses, as we always have. In my State of the University address, one of the things I wanted to draw attention to, and I see it is on your agenda for a pretty healthy discussion today is the whole situation with health benefits at Penn State.
Penn State has always been one of the leaders in providing good health benefits and striving to get good quality medical care to our faculty and staff. If anything in recent years, we have made it better and better. We have brought graduate students in on it. We have put everything into the budget every year that we have had to put in to keep that at the level it is. But we are now facing projections that are just unbelievable in terms of continuing increase and the cost of healthcare and we have got to do some things that emphasize wellness and health and prevention and some other things because we are self insured. I mentioned this and I saw a lot of people in the audience who were like ‘Oh, I did not realize!’ People just do not seem to realize because when you get your thing in the mail that’s from Health America or Aetna you think OK, they are just paying my bills. No. We are paying the all the bills. Penn State is. They are just processing the paperwork for us. They are sort of a service provider in between. Now I am making a bit of a generalization, there are certain things out there where it is done a little differently but we have rapidly escalating healthcare costs and we have to look at some new models of how we get that done because it is going to be hundreds of millions of dollars real fast and it will just cause a lot of other problems for this University. We are not unique in any way; we are just being upfront about it and saying “Let’s start talking about this right now.” At the Medical Center, and Darryl you are going to speak about this right? Darrell will tell you what they have done there. They are further down the road on this. This is an important area of activity for the Faculty Senate this year. Your benefits committee, I can not remember the exact title.
George Franz: Faculty Benefits.
President Spanier: The Benefits Committee. Yeah. It is going to be brought right into this discussion. Are you still the chairman of that committee?
George Franz: It is a joint committee.
President Spanier: OK, well George was on that committee for the last sixty or seventy years and he is one of the experts on this. Some of the rest of you have been involved too and that is going to be a continuing area of discussion and no, do not read into what I am saying that we are going to do away with health benefits or leave all of you stranded. That is not where we are heading. We expect to put more and more money into our health benefit package every year. We just hope it does not have to be fifteen or sixteen percent a year every year which is the way it’s been going. Because that’s now this year on a projected two-hundred million dollar base and so if we continue to have those kinds of increases, we’ll find another way to deal with it, but where are we going to get that money from? I can do a lot of things but I can not print money. Today’s discussion is an important part of that.
Just a few other things that I have mentioned briefly which will very much be on our agenda this year. First of all, the developments with our Law School. We are full speed ahead now on our plan to have two campuses of the Dickinson School of Law. We have appointed one of the internationally known architecture firms on Friday to have the contract for the new facility at Carlisle and here. We are just about done with the fundraising for the Carlisle part of this. All of our solicitations are out. Within a few days, certainly by the end of the month, we’ll have all the replies from everybody. We’ll know what the scope of the construction down there will be. But we are talking about something in the neighborhood of a one-hundred million dollar investment in facilities, but more importantly than the facility is the programmatic side of this, where there will be a tremendous amount of increased collaboration between the Law School and other academic units both in Carlisle and at University Park. We have a dean who’s very oriented to reaching out in that way. Some new faculty will be hired and we are very excited about what’s going to be happening in that regard.
At the same time, we announced that we would like to start a new School of International Affairs at Penn State. Now, international programs really permeate the entire University at this point. We are looking for a nationally eminent focus of activity which should probably be initially at the master’s level and extending to doctoral education at some point. So it’s more of a graduate, professional kind of focus. There might be some undergraduate enrichment opportunities. We have asked the dean of the Law School to take the lead administratively in the development of a proposal and I mention this to the Senate in part because it will all come to the Senate, of course, for curricular approval and we want to get that moving along in an accelerated way. It will be highly interdisciplinary and will involve faculty from many different colleges. So we are very excited about that possibility.
This university is becoming more and more an international university and I expect that our profile in that regard will continue to increase. We are looking both at international programs, the diffusion of international activities in all of our degree programs in general education. We will look at things we can do along the way to enhance our office of international programs. Look at their mission. Schreyer Honor’s College is heavily involved in the international approaches as it is and that will continue and expand. The international theme is one that I will increasingly be talking about and promoting at this University across all of our colleges and campus. I think it’s very important for our future.
I mentioned the development of the new major. We do not have the final title yet. ‘The Security and Information Insurance’ Something along those lines. Administratively, again, that we will ask Jim Thomas, the dean of the School of Information Sciences and Technology to help us launch that program and to move the curricular proposal along. But that again will need to be a very multi-disciplinary program, involving several of our colleges and that’s something that will work its way through the Senate Curriculum Committee this year as well.
So those are a few of the things I wanted to highlight in my report and now I’d be happy to take your questions.
Chair Myers: I want to ask if there are questions for President Spanier, and remind people to please wait on the microphone because that way your voice is recorded for transcription, even though many of us can speak loud enough without it.
John Hannan, Engineering: President Spanier, you just mentioned this new program in Security Information. I assume the process of designing it and developing is already sort of been initiated, and I am wondering why the college of engineering and the department of computer science has no involvement in this. Why the people with the most expertise in security have not been asked to participate in the involvement with this new degree program.
President Spanier: Well, I do not think anybody’s been asked yet. What my intent was to put it out there as a new initiative which the process of that will start. We are looking now at early November when, what I hope to do, is bring in a group of twelve to fifteen of the leading experts in the country in government and industry, to begin to advise us on what a major like that would look like in terms of hiring our graduates and all. The only thing that we have done at this point is to ask the dean to come up with a concept paper that I could use in inviting people and promote it. We’ll put it out there pretty widely saying ‘here’s kind of what we are thinking about.’ Without trying to lock us into any particular curriculum until we test it. What we are following is the same model that we followed when we created the School of Information Sciences and Technology. Rather than have it be a typical bottom up curricular design or a completely top down curricular design, try to do both at the same time, get them in the middle. So we have started with the development of the concept paper. We haven’t even shown it to anyone yet. I think Jim Thomas and Rod Erickson are the only ones who’ve looked at it and we were looking at changes as recently as a few days ago. I am sure that there will be some units in engineering, computer science, and computer engineering will be a likely candidate who will be asked to be at the table as we evolve that.
Chair Myer: Any additional questions? Seeing none, thank you President Spanier.
President Spanier: Thank you very much.
Chair Meyer: I apologize. I am not too familiar with this script business up here that I have been reading and I moved a page too fast to recognize George Franz our Parliamentarian.
Chair Myers: We have two forensic reports in our agenda. The first one is from the Joint Committee on Curricular Integrity and appears as Appendix B entitled Preliminary Report, August 2005. Committee co-chairs John Nichols and Rob Pangborn will introduce the report and respond to your questions. You will see that there are questions at the end of the report that will guide our discussion. I ask you to direct your comments to those questions. Some members of the committee are here today and will be given the privilege of the floor if they wish to address the Senate.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON CURRICULAR INTEGRITY
Preliminary Report, August 2005
John Nichols and Robert Pangborn, Committee Co-chairs
Before we begin, let me make a few brief comments about the work of this committee. The charge grew out of the Senate Officers’ visits to campuses and colleges where students and faculty expressed confusion about a complex university curriculum that at times seemed diverging and competitive. Based on your comments today, the committee will revise and finalize its report for a meeting scheduled with the Committee Leadership, the Senate Officers, Provost Erickson and Vice-Presidents Jacobs and Romano. At that meeting near the end of September, the governance leaders will determine the appropriate Senate and Administrative committees to be charged with designing curricular policies and procedures based on the report’s recommendations. Senate Council has allocated 30 minutes for this discussion. Rob wants to begin with the introduction.
Robert Pangborn: Thank you, Chair Myers. I think Jamie has set the stage very well and we are here mainly to listen to you. I would, however, like to thank the other members of the committee. It was a very diverse committee, a tough committee to work with. I was not actually sure that we would ever come together but it came together well in the end. We do appreciate the hard work of those faculty and administrators who did serve on the committee. We also appreciate all the good insights provided by many people, faculty, students, and other administrators, with whom we consulted during the course of our discussions. We also reviewed a lot of documents and a lot of data as indicated in the report. I think we would be remiss if we did not recognize the efforts of Jim Wager and the Registrar’s Office and the folks in the Senate Office: Susan Youtz, Sherry Walk, and Patty Poorman in particular who helped us with those data.
As Chair Myers indicated, we would like to frame this discussion by the questions that appear at the end of Appendix B, but I would just say that the topic of curricular integrity is frequently described in a lot of different terms, which we heard during our various consultations. Things like curricular drift, program proliferation, curricular coherence and alignment, coarse portability, student mobility, disciplinary unity, and faculty coordination, all of these things get wrapped up into the depth and breadth of the issue globally described as curricular integrity. Through the ten recommendations that we have advanced for your consideration, we have tried to look at three principle areas. Those issues pertaining to curricular programs, those issues pertaining to courses, and those issues related to faculty coordination and the development of faculty community. With that as an introduction, Nick and I are interested in hearing your perspectives and we will be going back and working to integrate those into our final report.
Chair Myers: As you prepare to ask a question or make a comment, I would like to ask you to be patient and try to ask your questions around the ideas that have been expressed. So who would like to begin?
Zachary Irwin, Behrend: I do not know if this really is consistent with the questions at the end of the draft, but on page thirteen there is a list of what I presume are criteria that would be the basis of discussion. Now, of course, one assumes always there is good will on the part of people discussing the future of programs, but my concern really is the matter about the potential for program duplication. Arguably, there is a great deal outside of University Park which potentially duplicates programs here. My question really is, if there is no order or priority among these, who is to say that the potential for duplication could not really trump any of the other criteria which might fall in favor of the program being preserved at one of the other locations?
Robert Pangborn: Let me point out first that the reference is being made to a committee or group which will have a couple of different charges; principle charges. One is to provide some strategic thinking in terms of the University Curriculum as a whole and the second is to provide good consultation early in the process as proposals are developed for new programs. It is not intended as a committee that makes a “Go-No Go” decision. It is intended as a committee to give good input. So if a proposal is coming forward that is very similar to existing programs, I think, a suggestion from that committee that collaboration be considered and that sufficient differentiation might be appropriate if the programs are truly to be two different programs. So I think this committee is going to be providing insight and input but not serve as a trump card on any of those criteria.
Chair Myers: Are there questions connected with that? A different question then. Go ahead.
Dennis Gouran, Liberal Arts: I am concerned about item four on page sixteen and the thinking of the committee about what can be done to create a condition in which this process of discipline-based development of new courses and alterations in existing courses can be participant-friendly as opposed to an adversarial kind of relationship. We, in my judgment, had a nightmarish situation when it came to getting things through the curriculum review process with general education reform and I can see this as being equally nightmarish. So I would like to see your committee address how we can show appropriate concern for having essentially similar versions of the curriculum everywhere it is offered but not in a way that leads to a kind of homogenization that is going to leave no one satisfied with what it is they are supposed to deliver.
Chair Myers: Are there any questions related to that comment?
Tramble Turner, Abington: On item C for the questions focusing on faculty communities, recommendation ten on page twenty-one calls for certain actions that may have implications for budgets at other locations. Specifically, I would like to suggest that your committee reconsider the implications for budget-driven or enrollment-driven budgets at other locations where the recommendation says costs to be shared by all units in recommendation ten. And with the goal of collegial collaboration, moving such meetings to other locations may in fact lessen involvement, perhaps lessen involvement from University Park faculty if the meetings are not here. Perhaps some of the models of annual meetings that were held here and there was some collaboration with University-wide faculty would be worth discussing.
John Nichols: Thanks, Tram. The comment is well taken.
Chair Myers: Comments related to that one?
Laurie Breakey, DuBois: At Curricular Affairs today, we had a very interesting question about number six, cross-listing courses. As we try to integrate existing courses with common abbreviations and numbers, how do we justify cross-listing courses?
Robert Pangborn: I think historically cross-listing has served a number of different purposes. One is to indicate the interests of various disciplines or units in that particular topical material and course. Another is to make it easier for students to register for those courses within a discipline that they are familiar with and comfortable with. For instance in Engineering, we often cross-list courses with other units, even other departments and other colleges, but our own students prefer to choose the Engineering version because it just makes them feel cozier somehow. So there are a variety of reasons for doing that. It’s not something that has a cost consequence to it. The revenues associated, or let’s say the credit for the credit hours generated, always flow with the instructor and they go the way the instructor of record is assigned, so it does not have a consequence that way.
Laurie Breakey, DuBois: There is some issue there… (inaudible)
John Nichols: It is still the same course, or it should be the same course. It is just listed under different department titles. So a student could use the same course, differently titled, to fulfill the requirements in either department. To me it is not an integration or a drift issue.
Chair Myers: Is there a comment or question related to this topic?
Richard Englund, Behrend: The same argument might be made that the students at location X would like to have the designator of X at the end of the same course because they would feel more comfortable and cozy about taking so-and-so major with the designation X because they are there.
Second comment, as we go into these disciplinary groups that we are going to evaluate courses and go through the homogenization process, which of those cross-listed majors do we pull into those committees? Curricular Affairs is a large and potentially unwieldy organization, and I see this as a growth process for committees and bureaucracies if we permit cross-listing to go on.
Robert Pangborn: Obviously you are asking questions that pertain very closely to the mission of the Curricular Affairs Committee and, in fact, recommendation six really picks up on something that the Senate has already approved in terms of legislation relating to curriculum. It is certainly something we will continue to discuss in our committee as well.
Chair Myers: We have about five hands up here. Let me start here, Laura.
Laura Pauley, Engineering: I am concerned when we have discussions among large groups of relevant faculty that we will never again see any changes in our curriculum or courses. I have seen in just one location a faculty that took us two years to make even a few small curriculum changes, and it was a very difficult process. If we include twice as many faculty from several different locations, I do not know how any change is going to happen again. I think we are going to freeze our courses and curriculum.
Chair Myers: Senator Rebane.
Peter Rebane, Abington: On number seven, you remember we went through this process of recertification of a variety of courses and in that certification process an individual faculty member was supposed to assign the duty of drawing up the perimeters of the course and what was expected of them. It ended up that a lot of courses were proposed by departments, especially up here, without any consultation they went into Curricular Affairs Committee. We subsequently found out that nobody had checked with us what was written into the requirements. I just want to point out that, if you look at number seven, while we all want to improve communication among faculty teaching prerequisite course, who is the one who is going to make sure that the courses are taught with consistency and rigor. If you look down that whole line, we might run into the same problem of who takes the initiative and who decides which course is appropriately rigorously enforced and follows the prerequisite courses. I could see this in Science and Math related courses where you do have prerequisite types in let’s say Calculus or Physics or so on. I would see this meeting quite a bit of resistance from people in Arts and Humanities where it is already a priori understood that individuals exercise a certain creative freedom and so on in creating their own courses and what they cover. So I was wondering, when you consider point number seven, that you give our past historical experience some consideration, also at the various disciplines that these things will be written about or approved. Thank you.
Chair Myers: Senator Becker.
Paul Becker, Behrend: I did have a concern about number six, the implementation. It is a very specific concern because of the disaster that happened at a college I used to teach at, where several hundred thousand dollars worth of state-of-the-art equipment was never used because a course number was changed. It was an idiotic situation but it could come up again. I would like to see some sort of appeal method where there’s an expedited process for unifying courses. We may discover they should not have been unified, that Chemistry at this campus can not teach the same course that Chemistry at Behrend can. So I would like to see a little more detail on who will be on the committees that make these decisions and that the default should be not to combine courses if there is a question because tiny differences can make a course impossible to teach at a location.
Chair Myers: Senator Tormey.
Brian Tormey, Altoona: My impression of this is that, and maybe my impression is incorrect, but I served on Curricular Affairs for a number of years to be at least aware of the fact that the design of courses and the proposal of courses is a faculty prerogative and that is where the faculty as a whole has representation across the University. What I am a little bit confused about, is the recommendation on page twelve to establish this as a new committee, kind of a super Curriculum Committee as a joint administrative Senate committee charged with the strategy and review process. My question is if, in fact, the curriculum is the purview of the faculty, why is not this committee actually charged, or the design of the committee something that should come forth from the Senate itself. Something perhaps that the Senate would create that would then involve administrative participation, as is the case with the current Curricular Affairs Committee. It seems to me that getting away from the basic fundamental issue of the faculty having the purview and responsibility for the committee.
Robert Pangborn: Let me just reiterate that this committee is not a formal part of the approval process. We are trying to emphasize that this committee is consultative in nature and that the purpose of the committee is to provide good insight, a very broad range of perspectives of the proposed program plans before that lengthy, detailed, and diligent process necessary to develop the curricular proposal. Once that’s done and it goes to the Senate, that’s when the curricular approval process begins, starting with the Senate and then moving, of course, to the final approval step in the Provost’s Office. What this committee is designed to do is to provide some upfront input and feedback on those plans so that a better proposal can result and eventually make its way through the Senate approval process. So it’s not usurping the Senate’s responsibility or role in the approval process, it’s simply supplementing it in a way that we think will be very proactive and productive in making sure that once the Senate approval based on curricular elements is completed, the proposal or plan will have a good chance of being implemented.
John Nichols: Brian, the ultimate authority rests with Curricular Affairs either way you slice it. It still is the authority of Curricular Affairs. Right now, the way it works, a proposal will bubble up from the bottom. It’ll go through Curricular Affairs procedures, then it’s within the realm of possibilities that when it gets to the administrative review, which is sequential, in other words, afterwards, that there can be financial reasons, logistical reasons, or staffing reasons that it can not be fielded. So we go through the entire process only to have it not fielded at the other end. This would give that information at the front end so we do not go through an elongated process with nothing to show for it at the other end. But the bottom line is Curricular Affairs still retains all the authority it has.
Frederick Brown, Liberal Arts: In Appendix B on page nine, I could not help but be impressed with the fact that in the proliferation of courses and programs, for example, there are twelve programs with ‘psychology’ in the title. Now I have been on the Curricular Affairs committee of Liberal Arts, not University-wide or not the Senate, and there we are able to oversee what courses are being brought as new courses. My question is who would be doing the oversight of courses that have labels as psychology? The Psychology department? Or would the Engineering Department have oversight over those programs that have engineering in their titles? The issue is, too often I have seen courses that are much less than the scientific rigor that psychology brings to bear on psychological issues, so it’s a question of quality and who, in fact, is going to be the determiners of the quality of these programs in the courses.
Robert Pangborn: I think that was framed as a question, so I will try to answer it. The answer is pretty simple. It’s the faculty of the discipline. We know who those faculty are across the University, and they need to be involved in establishing the rigor and the appropriate content for the courses that are delivered in their discipline, whether it’s engineering, psychology, or another field.
Daniel Hagen, Agricultural Sciences: I have a brief statement to read from the caucus. Agricultural Sciences caucus expresses its objection to the absence in the report of any recommendation for the oversight of courses developed by one academic unit and subsequently offered by others, sometimes, without the knowledge of the originating unit and always without policy-directed responsibility for coordination. Thank you.
John Nichols: Would you share the wording of that with us and we’ll put it into the mix?
Robert Pangborn: I would say based on some of the feedback I have had recently, that is something we want to strengthen in the report and we will certainly address it.
Chair Myers: Any additional questions or comments?
Jim May, DuBois: I have a question that concerns how this might apply to the division head issue within the University College. Your points number seven and ten and a number of them speak of the importance of communication and it seems like the division heads might very well, in at least my department, English, be very important point persons in reaching the goals that you’ve put forward. Did your group discuss the relevance of division heads to achieving those objectives?
Robert Pangborn: I do not think we discussed that specifically. George Franz is on our committee as well as being on another transition committee that’s been discussing the issue of divisions and I presume also the leadership of those divisions. He may have some comments or it may come up actually in the subsequent discussion. I agree that that’s an important role and, however it’s defined, it’s going to be important in the coordination that eventually happens.
Ronald McCarty, Behrend: My question has to do with the nature of programs once we complete the course reconciliation and so forth. Last spring we talked about the idea of having separate programs that would choose courses from a common menu. From the integrity report I get the sense that the goal is to move towards unification of programs. My question is what would a program, say at Behrend, then be when this is completed? Would it be a separate entity from a similar program at University Park or would the non-University Park locations be offering University Park programs? Would locations have the option of having programs that are separate from or different from the University Park programs?
John Nichols: First of all Behrend and Capital were always set out as having their individual curricula and programs, and there’s nothing in our report that the committee is suggesting would change that. For other locations, the attempt to reconcile the first year so there could be a seamless change of assignment for somebody after the first two, three, four semesters, is what we are after. It wouldn’t be necessarily pulling from a pool but rather to try and reconcile the first two years so there could be this seamless transition. But it’s also important to understand, we are simply a think tank. When you talk about the goals, we are not representing the University goals. We just talked to a lot of people, discussed it among ourselves, looked at a lot of data, and are making our best recommendation to you, the Senate, and to the administration about how to proceed. It’s strictly a point of view. Ron, does that answer your question or do you have more?
Ronald McCarty, Behrend: A little bit, except what I am really trying to get at is in the end is the goal to have one set of programs that are located primarily here at University Park and the option is to offer them elsewhere? If that’s not the case, if there’s a program at Behrend, let’s say, and another location wants to offer a similar program, would they be offering the Behrend program or would they offer a program of their own? Who controls the program?
Robert Pangborn: If the question is do we want to go back to the old extended degree programs, then I think the answer is no.
Michael McGinnis, New Kensington: I think the most important comment made here is discipline across the University is, in some cases, University Park has the expertise and sometimes the expertise rests elsewhere.
Chair Myers: Additional comments or questions? Thank you Rob and John.
The second Forensic report is from the Promotion and Tenure Transition Committee and appears on today’s agenda as Appendix C entitled Preliminary Report, August 2005. Members of this committee are here today and will be given the privilege of the floor.
PROMOTION AND TENURE TRANSITION COMMITTEE
Preliminary Report, August 2005
George W. Franz, Committee Chair
The charge for this committee emerged from the July 1, 2005 reorganization that proposed an equitable number of promotion and tenure levels of review for all university faculty. The committee has deliberated extensively over the summer and is seeking your response to its proposals, as well as other models you might propose for Promotion and Tenure.
Committee chair George Franz will introduce the report and respond to your questions. There are five questions at the end of the report. Once the committee finalizes its report, the recommendations will be sent to the Faculty Affairs Committee for developing an advisory and consultative report to revise HR-23. Senate Council has allocated thirty minutes for this discussion.
George Franz: I’d like to open this forensic session with a few comments that will set the stage and explain the next steps the transition committee expects to take.
First I must admit this is something of a deja vu moment. Approximately 25 years ago, I stood in this same place presenting an amendment to the draft promotion and tenure policy that was to become HR-23. At the time, I was the representative of the Commonwealth Campus Senators. The amendment was dubbed the Franz Amendment and it was passed. It called for the current four levels of review by providing for an initial campus review. At the time in the debate, one senator from the College of Science spoke against the proposal and accused me of leading the university into a pagan Valhalla. I do hope that the current discussion does not give rise to similar complaints. The Promotion and Tenure Transition Committee is in reality a study group convened by the Chair of the Senate to provide a quick start to the process of proposing changes to HR-23, necessitated by the recent reorganization. Because any changes in HR-23 must be in place by early 2006 if they are to be implemented for the next review cycle, it was felt that some preliminary work needed to be done over the summer to prepare materials for review by the various standing committees that have oversight of these issues, particularly Faculty Affairs and Intra-University Relations. Consequently, the chairs of those two committees are members of the Transition Committee, and will be ready to provide leadership to their committees as they begin working on these topics in the coming months. Our intent has always been, and in fact, our charge specifically mandates, that any findings by the Transition Committee would go to the appropriate Senate Committee for review and submission to the Senate. While we will be submitting a report of our findings to the Senate, the Faculty Affairs committee will prepare a legislative report to bring before the Senate for a vote. We have met over the summer to review comments already submitted to the Senate in a variety of forms and to address specific issues given in our charge, which is printed in the first part of our report. Once we have concluded our report and drawn our conclusions, they will be submitted to the Senate Chair and the Provost and will be sent to the appropriate committees for review for the drafting of specific legislation. Once this forensic session is completed, the transition committee will review today’s discussion along with the comments already communicated to us since the start of the semester. As of today we have twenty-one pages of comments. We will then adjust our recommendations and submit a report early in October to Chair Myers, Provost Erickson, and to the appropriate Senate Committees.
While most of our work deals specifically with HR-23, much of our preliminary discussions have, of necessity, taken on a wider stance about the nature of the University, the structures necessary to foster a stronger one university geographically dispersed, and structures that would encourage greater curricular cohesion and integrity; another topic for discussion at today’s meeting, which we have just ended. Consequently we have some thoughts to provide to the Intra-University Relations Committee on what we think the appropriate discipline structure might be for the University College and for the Commonwealth Campuses. The format for today’s discussion revolves around the five questions given in our report. The first question is, I think, quite straightforward. Where in the review process should the prospective of the discipline be required to provide the fairest and the most effective and informed review? We are suggesting that it be at the first level of review and we invite your comments. We’d like to go through the five questions in order. I would like comments about the first question.
Mark Casteel, York: George, you and I have talked about this issue, so I know what your response will be, but actually I have two comments. At the first Campus Senate Meeting of the York Campus, we discussed the issue of levels of review and my faculty, the majority of whom when we just took a straw poll, it was 15 to 5 with a number of abstentions, noted that they did not think you had adequately provided evidence showing that three levels would be fairer than four. Given the lack of information we have about what would constitute a discipline level review or department level review, they thought four levels had been working just fine and so, in lieu of not knowing what the alternative might be and the lack of any data you provided, we are not convinced by your argument favoring three rather than four.
Let me say my other point just real quick, then you can respond to the first. They also recognize a logistical problem with having a combined disciplinary campus level review if the argument was to have the first level. For instance, in any given year you might have a faulty member from Psychology, Political Science, and Biology, let’s say, coming up. If for instance you had two disciplinary members of the committee plus three campus members, then basically your local campus would really have three versions of it. Two Biology, three campus members, two Psychology faculty, three campus members, and what ever the other discipline I chose, I do not even remember what the example was, but again you have different iterations of the local committee. And if I was the local campus member on one of those committees, I’d have a very hard time writing three different letters with three different five-member committees. Comments?
George Franz: I think there are logistical problems with whatever we do. I think there are logistical problems with what we currently do with four levels.
Mark Casteel, York: What about the lack of data?
George Franz: You are right. What we have gotten is anecdotal information. That information is a combination of reports from Senate Secretaries over the last three or four years, reporting on comments given to them by faculty as they have visited campuses, and that is a topic that has consistently come up. There were a number of communications to the Senate in response to the reorganization document and they were aired at the main meeting of Council. There was some support for the four levels of review; there was some support for three levels of review. In the responses that we have gotten since the charge to the committee there has been very little support for four levels of review. In fact, as far as I know, the York vote is the only vote that I am aware of where the faculty at a campus went on record in favor of keeping four levels of review; or at least it’s been communicated to us. Now that may come up in today’s discussion.
Michael McGinnis, New Kensington: We had a similar meeting at New Kensington. After a lot of discussion, we did like the idea of four levels, but assuming it’s going to be three levels, we felt that we could make the local committee work if you had two or three people from the local committee and then you have to add two or more people for a psychologist and then for another applicant who happens to be in Engineering, add two or three people. We decided we could make that work, no problem. Having subroutines of committees at the local campus in order to insure disciplinary review, I think is doable.
Richard Barshinger, Worthington Scranton: Yesterday at Scranton, I sat in on a distance feed emanating from 111 Old Main, the University College Offices here at University Park, Promotion and Tenure Workshop. At some point during that workshop, either John Romano or Blannie Bowen, or both, said that whatever the Promotion and Tenure Process will be there will be division disciplinary input though we do not know how to do it yet. I'd like to comment in two ways. I'd like to make an observation about current and recent practice and then speculation of how to do it.
Current practice is this in a college at University Park. For instance, Eberyly College of Science. There are three levels of review: local, regional, and global. The local review is at, for instance, the math department level. Math department is the discipline. But the members of the math department meet in the commons room, they have lunch together, sometimes they pick one another’s children up at school. There are some commonalities with a campus review, as I hope I observe clearly. At the college review, in the Eberly College of Science, the college review consists of Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and a few others. That regional review sounds very much like a divisional review in the former Commonwealth College. And then the global review is, of course, the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.
Recent experience in the Commonwealth College has an anomalous committee or had an anomalous committee. The college committee itself, a national review interspersed among local, regional, and global. That leads to my speculation of how disciplinary and divisional input could be accomplished with a three-part review within the University College.
The first review would be local campus. A basic small campus committee that remains constant for all cases at that campus in a particular year augmented on a case-by-case basis with one or more discipline members, not necessarily from the same campus. Of course, we know from past experience that when someone goes up for promotion to full professor, a so called local campus committee may consist of three individuals who are not at that campus. Before the reorganization in 1997, I served on such a committee. The three of us who were evaluating a person for promotion to full professor, none of us were at the campus for that individual. In fact, none of us were in a discipline even closely allied to that individual, unless you can interpret mathematics as a quasi- or pseudo-philosophy. Nonetheless, we evaluated the person favorably and ultimately the person did receive promotion to full Professor of Philosophy.
At the regional review within the University College, perhaps we could have a number of college divisional committees, each meeting appropriate to the mix of disciplines in that particular division, the results of which would then go to the Dean of that college. Any division head for such a division, might be an ex-officio, voting or non-voting, member of that committee. In doing things that way, we would still have three levels of review, local, regional, and global, and we would have one University College divisionally distributed, divisionally dispersed.
George Franz: Could you write that up and send it to me?
Richard Barshinger: It’s being transcribed.
George Franz: It’s going to take them a while to do that. I’d prefer an email tonight.
Peter Rebane, Abington: George, I raised this question at the Caucus and I’d like to ask that you give this issue some thought. I do not think we are in Valhalla yet, although we are approaching the ninth circle of Dante’s Inferno. I think there is a division of interest here, I hate to say, between my colleagues in the University College and the free-standing colleges. We at Abington have operated, I think, quite well with an initial review committee based on divisions, being an historian in the Arts and Humanities, a college reviewer in the University P and T. I wonder if there is any way that we do not move into a cookie-cutter mold, perhaps drawn up at University Park, where things are relatively easy, that may not fit all locations. Indeed, a similar form of review may not fit the free standing colleges and the University College. And I am wondering if there any way to find out if the faculty of a free standing college such as Abington, Altoona, and Berks, could have a vote to see whether they are more comfortable with members in their division, that is the division would be the discipline, people who they work with for years and so on, who they trust to have some insight in the value and the efficaciousness of the work, or would they be more happy with a discipline committee that consisted of people in their specific discipline, i.e. history, but that may be drawn from Beaver, University Park, Harrisburg and so on. I think at Abington, we are more comfortable with a discipline committee that is made up of people in our geographic location rather necessarily than people who are in exactly the same discipline but in various locations around the state. So would you consider this because we have often in this body and this University had an urgency to pass things saying, “Let’s pass it now, and let’s fix the problems later.” HR-23 is too much of an important document for all of our daily lives to rush into judgment on this and I think perhaps some more investigation would be warranted into the fact whether we could not have different definitions of the word ‘discipline’ depending on a particular location. Thank you.
George Franz: That’s fine. I think Mohamad can do that in Faculty Affairs if he wants to run a referendum. I do think, however, you are asking a question to number three and I will get to that, but I think you have a good point. The charge of the committee was to first have it come up with a structure for University College, and then secondly whether there were issues for stand-alone colleges. One of the arguments against the structure in what was Commonwealth College was that the divisional reviews did not provide appropriate discipline evaluation and that was one of the reasons they were “unfair.” If that is true for Commonwealth College, then it appears to be true for some of the stand alone colleges. But that depends on how you interpret your division. It is clear that some units of the University have interdisciplinary divisions that appeared to be working quite well. Capital, Berhend, I would even argue that the College of Engineering has an interdisciplinary division for the engineering faculty at the campus. We do not get a lot of complaints from those units of “I do not have an appropriate discipline review when I go up for an evaluation.” I do not know if that is because we have gotten rid of all the malcontents or whether they have been doing it for forty or fifty years and they are used to it or it’s something that they have grown up with and they are comfortable with that. I think at Capital part of the explanation is that they hired people who were committed to an interdisciplinary way of looking at a discipline. That does not appear to have been the case for the hires in Commonwealth College. So I agree with you, but on the other hand, we are getting comments from faculty in Commonwealth College that are saying “we did not have the appropriate discipline review,” and by discipline review they mean somebody in their specific discipline. If Faculty Affairs wants to run a referendum, I think that’s great for them to do that.
John Tierney, Delaware County: I’d like to preface what I am going to say, that George had no influence in anything that we had to do out of the two forensic sessions we had on this meeting and we had a sort of alternate proposal for a three level P&T review. And the first level was a discipline level review and the rationale was that it insures all levels benefit from a qualified assessment of the candidate’s knowledge of the discipline. It insures all candidates are reviewed by colleagues in the discipline and it does not make the discipline review a minority of a larger committee. We then propose that would move on to a campus college level review and the rationale here is this level would go to benefit the perspective of persons outside the discipline to consider the candidate’s contribution to the overall unit assessing the performance in light of the supporting resources and expectations. We figure that this would be a better way to go. It would then move onto the University committee.
George Franz: In other words, the proposal from Delaware is there be a discipline review first, a campus/college level review second, and then a University level.
Jim Smith, Abington: For more than eight years, I have been a division head at our reorganized college and George was not it closer to 30 years ago for the Franz Amendment? Like 1975-76?
George Franz: You lose track of time when you are having fun.
Jim Smith, Abington: I know. Having served, I think virtually, on every conceivable Promotion and Tenure Committee available at the University over a long time and serving on virtually every level of departmental extended degree style committee, I have to say that at least from our perspective at Abington or my perspective in the division that I serve at Abington, we patterned our activities very closely on what I learned about Berhend and Capital as a Senate Officer, and University citizen for a long time, and when we hired faculty for the division over the past nine years, we hired them in to a division. They were disciplinary faculty, they were management types and Sociologists and Justice faculty and other people that we hired. We hired them with a disciplinary background, but they knew that when they were brought on board they were going to be serving an interdisciplinary division and a college that was offering both disciplinary based and interdisciplinary degrees. When they engaged HR-23 processes, they met a division committee and a division head, they met a college committee and the dean, and then they met the university committee. And those of us who are familiar with that process know that the disciplinary influence is not only at the first level of review, or even the second level of review. In fact, it comes in at the third or fourth level of review, depending on which path one has taken in the process in the form of the nationally recognized scholars that are recruited to review the work of our faculty in an inter-disciplinary division at Abington. Teaching discipline based as well as some interdisciplinary courses. So I wanted to steer back a little bit to the point that Pete Rebane made earlier, I hope in the interests of serving the reorganization and a reorganized college and its HR-23 pathway, in the interests of serving them well, that we do not force a reorganization or a reinterpretation on systems at Erie, at Harrisburg, at Altoona, at Berks, and at Abington, that for either more than forty years or for the past eight years have been working successfully.
Chair Myers: Do you want to have other questions addressed? Do you want to go to the other questions?
George Franz: The second question follows from the first. How many colleagues in a discipline are required to have a fair and informed review from a disciplinary perspective? Is it one, two, three, or more?
Mila Su, Altoona: Not wanting to commit to any kind of number, I would want to comment that there would be a difference in a promotion to full review because of the subject expertise versus promotion and tenure review.
Roselyn Costantino, Altoona: I just wanted to mention something that was brought to my attention as I was thinking of coming up for promotion and that is that each committee does get comments from outside readers that are specifically in the person’s discipline, if I am not mistaken. And that is one place that there’s feedback so that even if you are not familiar what journals publish in or whether a book is more important than conference papers that are published etcetera, etcetera. That feedback should be coming from experts on the outside. That has nothing to do with how I feel about which way we should go, but I just thought that nobody’s mentioned that. I wanted to put that into the mix.
George Franz: That’s true, but that’s only at the sixth year and the Penn State promotion process is a mentoring process and a developmental process and if you are expecting to provide feedback at the second and fourth year on discipline-related topics and there aren’t discipline specific people on the committee I think some of the mentoring is difficult to do.
Chair Myers: We have about five minutes in the allotted time, so we may need to address the other questions.
Brian Tormey, Altoona: I would like to respond to my colleague Jim Smith’s comments. I think to some degree, and I would agree with what you just said, George, that it really depends upon the discipline that’s involved. In disciplines outside University Park where there are a significant number of people that have pretty closely allied interests then I would agree with Jim there’s no issue involved. But where there are a minority of one or two at some of these locations, then those people do different things. That’s why they were hired to begin with and it’s important that we provide a fair evaluation of them. Thank you.
George Franz: The next question is what constitutes a discipline community and how do we provide effective mentoring? Can an inter-disciplinary unit such as Humanities or Social Sciences or Arts, provide an appropriate disciplinary review? If I use myself as an example, if I were going up for promotion or tenure review, does the faculty of this university accept the fact that colleagues in the humanities can provide a fair and informed view of my work, or must my disciplinary review be by historians or must that review be by American historians, or does that review need to be by social historians of Eighteenth-century America?
Jim May, DuBois: This is where I want to come back to the idea of the division heads. It seems to me that the mentoring function during the P&T process, as you just mentioned George, is extraordinarily important. We are just not evaluating people, we are sort of helping to produce good professors, and the division head has the important role of connecting a faculty member with other members on the same faculty at other locations perhaps. The division head ensures other kinds of things that involve mentoring. Potentially advice about who we might send that paper to, to have somebody vet it or look at it. It seems to me the division evaluation that we mentioned early has recommended this sort of mentoring as one of its first advantages besides several others. It protects faculty against the administration of the local campus that might need to increase the number of students in classes or to put pressure on them for increasing GPA structure, something of that sort. It protects an individual faculty member against others within the same campus who are in the same discipline and might be irritated that that new faculty member has stolen their students out of calculus or some other courses. So for a variety of reasons, the divisional leader protects individual faculty members and increases their mastery as professors. It’s sometimes said that the division structure does not work within the University College so well outside of English and Math, you’ve mentioned this before. But it seems to me part of the problem is that English, for instance, always had an associate chair and then had a division head and so it had this down, it knew essentially what it was doing. In some of the newer divisions, you have division head who haven’t had these jobs very long, nobody had it before them, and so it hasn’t had enough chance to develop itself and succeed. It is not the faculty in those divisions. Thank you.
George Franz: The only thing I would say in response is that we are working under the assumption that there is going to be some type of structure to provide some kind of discipline oversight, whether it is the current division structure or whether it is something else, we have always worked from the assumption there will be somebody that is there connected to the discipline or the division that will be the one requesting the external letters, providing some type of mentoring. I think that is what we say in our document, that it is one of the assumptions we are working under.
Well can I go on and hope that if you have other comments about whether you like inter-disciplinary review you will send me an email. It is GWF1.
The fourth question is either an example of the committee gone wild and going far beyond its charge or example of committee attempting to address the fundamental issues behind a recent reorganization and thinking outside the current bureaucratic structure.
If the goal of the reorganization is to bring more unity to the university, to make us more one University geographically dispersed, better able to deal with curricular integrity and program fragmentation, then perhaps we need to think of changes to HR-23 for the entire University and not just one or two units. Colleagues think of themselves as being part of a disciplinary community when they work together on program and curricular development. One of the best ways of forming an identity for a disciplinary community is to be a part of the process that determines the community, the hiring and promotion of members of that community. Consequently, this question asks whether we would not be more of a university if all of the members of the discipline, no matter their location, participated in the tenure and promotion process. In other words, departments divisions that have disciplinary colleagues in more than one location, would be required to have some type of geographical representation on their Promotion and Tenure committees. This means that the stand alone college would have to have disciplinary colleagues on their division review committees and University Park departments that had colleagues on the campuses would have to have representation on their committees. This is not that far fetched. It was the structure we had in place ten years ago and it is the structure some University Park departments have in place currently for part of their faculty. I ask for your comments and my guess is this where the pagan Valhalla references will come in.
Larry Backer, Dickinson School of Law: A question running maybe through all these are we assuming that the promotion and tenure standards across the University and across disciplines is the same or if when you deal with this University-wide disciplinary reviews that the promotion and tenure standards to the extent they differ between units will be respected as the review is made?
George Franz: No, that is correct. There is one HR-23 policy every college has their own criteria statement and candidates are evaluated on how they applied to those criteria and I believe the University Promotion and Tenure Committee when they look at cases it is how have the various committees adhered to the criteria as laid out in the college statement.
Larry Backer: So divisional review will not necessarily be uniform?
George Franz: Divisional review ought to reflect the criteria of the college in which the decision exists.
Dennis Gouran, Liberal Arts: In my opinion this does go beyond what this committee was charged to come up with which last May when we met to discuss reorganization and stress the importance of these two transition committees, the function of this particular committee was to identify means for conducting reviews for promotion and tenure within the newly created college and what is being suggested now seems to me to go far beyond that. If we use as a prototype the notion that the first level of review should be discipline-based at the location where that review is initiated then ideally, there would always be enough representatives at that location to constitute the committee that will conduct the first level of review. And what is being necessitated by the absence of that reality are measures that are next closest in approximation to that idealization. So I understand the necessity of that, but I do not understand how it would be in the best interests of the commonwealth college in so far as its promotion and tenure review process is concerned for the University to alter HR-23 in ways that would do something like make mandatory representation from different locations at all levels of the University. It seems to me that all of the other pieces are in place and this was the one the committee was supposed to address and if this comes back to this body in a way that I would have the opportunity to vote on it, I am going to announce my vote now, and it will be strongly against and I will speak out on another occasion. But I do think that the committee is really by exploring this, treading in water that it was never supposed to enter in the first place.
Richard Barshinger: I think the idea of fairness vis-à-vis divisional review is a bit of a red herring. Reviews vary at campuses, at departments, at divisions, at colleges, but they all come together at the University P&T level. Back in ‘94-‘95, again when I used the example of myself as one of a committee of three, as a local “campus” committee evaluating somebody who was not at any one of our three campuses in a discipline that was not any one of our three disciplines, I maintained even then that I could evaluate fairly anybody in any discipline for promotion to Full Professor partly based on the fact that we have external review letters from reputable people of the field. I have been a member of the University P&T committee for the past two years and will be a member of the next two years as well, based on your kind reelection this past spring. Over the past two years the University Promotion and Tenure Committee has evaluated more than three-hundred and forty dossiers. Prior to two years ago, the Provost and President typically reversed a number, two, three, four, of the University Promotion and Tenure Committees decisions. Not one of those three-hundred forty some recommendations over the past two year were reversed. I think that the university committee is doing something right and certainly not everybody who comes before the university committee is in a discipline that is one of our disciplines in a narrow sense and certainly not anyone who comes before the university committee has necessarily been uniformly evaluated or even fairly evaluated along the way.
Caroline Eckhardt, Liberal Arts: I would just like to support my colleague Dennis Gouran, in saying that I think this committee will have gone way, way beyond its charge if it intends to make recommendations that would change the nature of P&T at University Park. To do that, I think we would need a different committee and a different rationale than anything that we have heard today. Thank you.
George Franz: I agree with you, it would come from Faculty Affairs, it would not come from us.
Chair Myers: We have spun a little over the allotted time.
George Franz: If you have any more comments, send them to GWF1 or the list of the members of the committee are in the end of the report. Feel free to communicate with them, but do it quickly because we have to issue the report to the Chair of the Senate and to the Provost. Thank you.
Chair Myers: Thank you George. I hope most of you can stay as the agenda continues. If you need to stand up for a second while I read on just to stretch and then sit back down.
Chair Myers: We have a legislative report from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules. This report appears on today’s agenda as appendix D entitled Revisions to Standing Rules Article III, Sections 10 and 11 (Council of Past Senate Chairs). Committee chair Pamela Hufnagel will present this report. Raise your hand if you have any discussion here. Pam do you have anything to introduce? Go ahead.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES
Revisions to Standing Rules Article 111, Sections 10 and 11
(Council of Past Senate Chairs)
Pamela Hufnagel: Past Senate Chairs are often approached individually for their opinions or advice on issues facing the current Senate leadership and the Senate as a whole. This legislation would create a council of past Senate Chairs that could be called together to brain storm and offer their guidance collectively. The Council would have no legislative authority; it would serve only in an advisory and consultative capacity. It would be convened only at the request of the Senate Chair. This council would also provide continuing recognition for the contributions of the past Senate chairs.
Chair Myers: Do we have any discussion on this? This report comes from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote? All those in favor of the legislation please say ‘Aye.’
Chair Myers: Opposed Nay. The Ayes have it and the motion passes. The Senate has approved this legislation. Thank you Chair Hufnagel.
Pamela Hufnagel: Thank you Senate, and I would also like to recognize Mel Blumberg who was instrumental in preparing this report, former member of CC&R.
Chair Myers: We have no advisory and consultative reports. We have two informational reports on today’s agenda.
Chair Myers: The first informational report is presented by Darrell Kirch, Senior Vice-President for Health Affairs, Dean in the College of Medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This report is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits and appears on today’s agenda as Appendix E entitled Penn State ’s Strategic Response to the Challenge of Health in the 21 st Century. Faculty Benefits Committee Chair Cara-Lynne Schengrund is particularly interested in receiving your comments on this report for future committee deliberation and you can get her email address at the Senate Web site. Senate Council has allocated thirty minutes for the report and fifteen minutes for questions. Dean Kirch.
The following is a summary of the questions that were addressed to Dean Kirch. Senators raised concerns about whether reports of the program’s progress, set backs, and evolution would be made available to faculty and staff. There were also questions about how the program would affect the overall University budget, and how the program would affect employees in terms of financial incentives, healthcare reimbursement accounts, retirees, and chronic health conditions. Senators wanted clarification on what the program defined as healthy life styles and what the incentives for those choices might be. In light of the fact that health costs would increase and benefits would not, a senator asked how the plan would affect Penn State’s competitiveness in the job market, in terms of attracting and retaining high quality teaching staff.
FACULTY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, Annual Report for 2004-2005 (informational). This annual report provides a summary of the seven cases considered in the last academic year
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Myers: May I have a motion to adjourn? All in favor, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Motion carries. The Senate is adjourned until October 25, 2005. The September 13, 2005, meeting of the University Faculty Senate was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Please note the next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be on October 25, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 of the Kern Graduate Building.