THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D
Volume 32-----SEPTEMBER 14, 1999-----Number 7
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 1999-00.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, Birch Cottage, University Park, PA 16802 (Telephone 814-863-0221). The Record is distributed to all Libraries across the Penn State system, and is posted on the Web athttp://www.psu.edu/ufs 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 which have appeared in the Agenda of the Meeting are not included in The Record unless they have been changed substantially during the Meeting or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussion are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript and tape of the meeting is on file.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Final Agenda for September 14, 1999
A. Summary of Agenda Actions
B. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
II. Enumeration of Documents
A. Documents Distributed Prior to September 14, 1999
Door Handout - Senate Committee on Computing
and Information Systems - Issue of Student Computer
III. Tentative Agenda for October 26, 1999
FINAL AGENDA FOR SEPTEMBER 14, 1999
A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING -
B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE - Senate Curriculum Report
C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meeting of August 24, 1999
D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR -
E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY -
F. FORENSIC BUSINESS -
Computing and Information Systems
G. UNFINISHED LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS -
H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS -
I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS -
J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS -
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid
K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS -
L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY -
M. ADJOURNMENT -
SUMMARY OF AGENDA ACTIONS
The Senate passed one Legislative Report:
Undergraduate Education - "Revision of Senate Policy 44-25: Conflict in Final Examinations." This report changes the criteria within the definition of an overload conflict during the final exam period. (See Record, page(s) 25-26 and Agenda Appendix "D.")
The Senate heard one Forensic Session:
Computing and Information Systems - "Issue of Student Computer Ownership." The Forensic Session was held to engender the reaction of the Senate to the "Advisory Committee Report on the Issue of Student Computer Ownership" of May 19. 1999. The Computing and Information Systems Committee will respond to the report with the thoughts of the Senate and will not bring the report back to Senate floor. (See Record, page(s) 15-25, Agenda Appendix "C," and Door Handout Record Appendix III.)
The Senate received two Informational Reports:
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid - "Awards and Scholarships." This report compares the total amount awarded and the number of awards from 1998-99 through 1999-00. (See Record, page(s) 26-27 and Agenda Appendix "E.")
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid - "Summary of Petitions for Waiver of the Ten Credit Limit for Nondegree Conditional Students." This report compares the number of petitions submitted, granted and denied between the time periods of 8/1/97 - 7/31/98 and 8/1/98 - 7/31/99. (See Record, page(s) 27 and Agenda Appendix "F.")
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, September 14, 1999, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Building with Murry R. Nelson, Chair, presiding. One hundred and eighty-six Senators signed the roster.
Chair Nelson: It is time to begin. I want to welcome you to the first Senate meeting of the 1999/2000 academic year. I hope it will be a good year, we'll see. We have a reasonably limited Agenda today and hope that we can move through it in the appropriate manner it deserves.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Moving to the minutes of the preceding meeting, The Senate Record, providing a full transcription of the proceedings of the April 27, 1999 meeting, was sent to all University Libraries and posted on the Faculty Senate web page. Are there any corrections or additions to this document? All those in favor of accepting the minutes, please signify by saying, "aye."
Chair Nelson: Opposed? The minutes are accepted. Thank you.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
You have received the Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheet) for August 31, 1999. This document is posted on the University Faculty Senate's web page.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Also, you should have received the Report of the Senate Council for the meeting of August 24, 1999. This is an attachment in The Senate Agenda for today’s meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Nelson: I refer you to my remarks to Senate Council contained in the minutes attached to today's Agenda. This is now Announcements By The Chair which will be longer than usual today. I apologize in advance. You can just kind of curl up and do what I do. This is the part of the Agenda where I'm supposed to offer pithy remarks. As I said at most meetings I will try to confine these to alerts for you, comments on actions, that the officers and I may have taken since the previous meeting, and other brief and, I hope, very clever comments. It seems unlikely. Most of the time my remarks are scripted, and you can see the stuff that is put together for me so I don't make a complete fool of myself and I have the opportunity to accept them as is, or embellish them or reject them. It is unlikely that I will ever do the latter. The people in the Senate Office work very hard, for little acclaim, and their years of experience are really the glue that makes the Senate operate so smoothly and successfully. Since they work so hard to put the Agenda together and give me some remarks that make sense, I'm going to stick with them most of the time. It is also hard for me to accept, however, almost anything without some embellishment, but I may surprise both you and myself by doing so at some point. I want to recognize my excellent predecessor, Len Berkowitz, whom I've relied upon and who gained a great deal by relying upon the Senate staff for direction. And using him as a mentor I've, sorry Len, I know you don't want to take any credit at all or blame using him I can only hope to approach his leadership over the past year.
Since our last meeting of the 1998-99 academic year, the officers and I have been very busy during the summer meeting with: The Senate Committee on Committees and Rules to staff committees; having charge meetings for committee chairs and vice chairs; Board of Trustee meetings; meeting with various administrators regarding the myriad committees on which I serve by virtue of my position in the Senate; Faculty Advisory Committee meetings and other meetings; and many of which I cannot immediately recall.
I pledged last spring when I spoke to you, to stay awake during these meetings, (always a challenge for me, we'll see if standing up makes any difference) as well as to refrain from doing a New York Times crossword puzzle during the meetings. It's much more difficult when I'm speaking so I'm just going to have to put that aside. So you will have my almost totally undivided attention. I hope that I will often have yours since it is up to you folks to make sure that I keep the Senate moving in the direction that WE want it to go. During the time that I have been an officer of this body, I have become impressed by the commitment of each Senator that I've worked with, and their commitment to doing the Senate's and the university's work. The more time that I spend in this body, the more I realize how hard-working so many of you are and how vital you are to the continued success of this university, and I thank you for that. I have been in the Senate for almost 20 of my 25 years at Penn State, and I am deeply honored to have received the trust that you have placed in me. I hope you don't feel that it's misplaced. I have been pleased and a bit surprised during the time that I have been an officer, to find how excellent many of the administrators at this university are. But it will be important that you make sure that I do not become too complacent in this role because of spending so much time meeting with these folks. Sometimes they may get out of touch with the faculty on a day-to-day basis and, if I am not sufficiently able to remind them of that, it will be up to you to help me remain vigilant. We are fortunate to have such a strong supporter in President Spanier, who never misses an opportunity at a trustee meeting to praise the quality and efforts of the faculty. Nevertheless, you and I must not take such administration kudos for granted.
During my years at this university, the students, the faculty and the reputation of Penn State have continued to improve. I am not trying to create a direct relationship with this; I am just fortunate to be a part of it. Much of our overall success comes from this hard working Faculty Senate striving together with an administration committed to excellence. I thank you for allowing me to lead the Senate during this year (into the Millenium, as it were) as we continue to work together for the betterment of our university. I hope we will have a prosperous and rewarding year. Now on to more important business.
The Faculty Advisory Committee to the President met on Tuesday, May 18, and Tuesday, August 3, and discussed the following agenda items. On May 18, we discussed: Budget Update; Parking and Transportation; the Grand Destiny Campaign; Search Updates; Faculty Raises; a College of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Structure Update; and Student Purchase of Computers. On August 3, we addressed the 2000-01 Budget Scenario; State of the University Address by President Spanier; Student Computer Purchase Recommendations; International Teaching Assistant Language Proficiency; Domestic Partners Benefits Update and the NCAA Representative Update. Here I wrote the next FAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 14. That's today and we had it this morning and I'd like to tell you what we discussed this morning but I don't have it in front of me. Do you have something right there Cara, that I can say? We talked about some issues at Hershey Medical Center; again a Domestic Partners Benefits Update; and the Budget Proposal for 2000-01. We talked about the position of Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School; positioning Penn State for the next Academy of Science departmental rankings and a number of curricular issues and finally the question of printing or not continuing to print the University Bulletin. If anyone might have any items to be included on the FAC agenda, please contact any of the Senate Officers or one of the three elected FAC members: Peter Deines, Linda Miller or Gordon De Jong.
The Senate Officers met with John Brighton and Rodney Erickson for the debriefing meeting following the spring visits to the units at University Park. This year's fall visits to locations other than University Park are now set. The first visit is scheduled for September 20 and 21. Those visits are to Penn State Fayette on September 20, and Penn State McKeesport and Penn State New Kensington on September 21. All of the fall visits are posted on the Senate's web page.
The Senate received several memos from President Spanier over the summer regarding his action on reports passed by the Senate during the past Senate year. This is from the March 2, 1999 meeting, and the report is entitled "Addition to Administrative Guidelines for HR-23 - Withdrawal of Promotion Dossier." President Spanier accepted this report and referred it to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, for implementation. From the March 30, 1999, Senate meeting, he approved implementation for the following Advisory/Consultative reports. First, "Inclusion of Electronic Publications in the Promotion and Tenure Dossier" (which was referred to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for further handling) and second, "Recommendation for Employee Contributions to Health Care Plans" (this was referred to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources for further handling). Also from the March 30 Senate meeting, the President accepts and expresses his appreciation for the resolution presented by the Libraries Committee regarding "Resolution Supporting the Efforts of President Spanier and the University Libraries in SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)."
Dr. Spanier accepted and expressed his appreciation for the "Resolution for Provost John A. Brighton" and the "Resolution in Support of the Grand Destiny: The Penn State Campaign," at the April 27, 1999 Senate meeting.
Also from the April 27 Senate meeting, the President concurred with the Advisory/Consultative report entitled "Revision of Policy HR-13: Recommended Procedure for Hiring New Faculty." This item is being referred to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for implementation.
In regard to the Faculty Salary report, Dr. Spanier fully supports the spirit of that report and is committed to making sure that Penn State addresses inequities and inappropriate compression to the extent possible, given the constraints we work under. Chair Nelson detailed each recommendation for Senate Council from Dr. Spanier. Recommendation #1 - "Rather than accept the Senate's recommendation that the plan be renewed for another three years, we plan to make use of funds to address issues of inequity and compression as we seek to continue to make progress in these area." Recommendations #2 & #3 - "I will support the Faculty Senate in this desire to study these issues, and I am asking the Office of the Provost to work with the Faculty Senate to support such studies where they can be productive." Recommendations #4 & #5 - "To be realistic, we are not likely to have the resources to make wholesale readjustments of faculty salaries in particular locations or disciplines, even if that were warranted. What we can do, however, is, in addition to addressing instances of inequity and compression on a case by case basis, is to recognize individual achievement wherever it is found and to reward that achievement as best we can, with the available resources." Recommendation #6 - "Differences in the budgeting formula for University Park colleges and colleges and campuses at other locations have no impact on the percentage raise pool available for faculty. The average percentage raise is consistent for all units in the university."
Finally, the following is the President's reply to the Senate's recommendations regarding probably the most important issue we always face, and that is parking and transportation. In general, the President is supportive of the Senate's recommendations and has decided in particular to adopt the recommended approach to parking fees. But if the report were to be accepted in full, many in the university administration believe that some of the recommendations would detract from our ability to improve the overall transit and parking situation on campus. Thus, the President has made the following comments on each recommendation. 1) "Central funding will be provided beginning next fiscal year, totaling $235,000 annually, to replace the anticipated loss of parking spaces due to construction and expansion of new academic buildings. By year seven of the plan, cumulative annual funding will reach $1.65 million to pay for the 1,700 replacement parking spaces." 2) "We cannot accept the recommendation from the Senate proposing that parking fees not be utilized to support transit activities. Transit services are directly related to the overall strategy of the TDM plan by providing alternatives to parking in the core of the campus. Since the establishment of the commuter parking lot, east of the Jordan Center, the Parking Office has been providing bus service to those who choose to use it to connect with central campus. Currently, more than 2,800 faculty, staff and students take advantage of the commuter lot and its associated bus services. We hope more will consider this option." 3) "Capital and maintenance costs associated with event parking and all event parking activities are fully funded through event parking revenues and not from vehicle registration fees. In other words, users of the event lot pay for the lot via an event-parking fee. Given that this is the current practice by which event parking is handled, this recommendation is accepted and the practice should continue." 4) "When there are event activities sponsored by a university unit, expenses are deducted from the gross receipts prior to any sharing of net revenue. We are satisfied that this is a sound business practice, representing a collaborative effort on the part of both the university event sponsor and parking. Therefore, the current practice should continue." 5) "The recommendation that parking options be developed in order to better provide for faculty and staff who are occasional users of the parking system is accepted and will be sent to the Assistant Vice President for Business Services, Betty Roberts."
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Nelson: We move next to comments by the president of the university. President Spanier is here today and does have comments.
Graham B. Spanier, President: Thank you very much. I'd like to begin by reading some memos Murry has sent me.
President Spanier: Just kidding. Seriously I would like to officially and publicly welcome Murry to his role as president of the Senate. He doesn't seem very new in the role to me, because he's already been chairing meetings for several months that we've been having on Senate and university related business. And we have exchanged lots of correspondence. Murry will indeed be representing you very well this year.
The academic year is off to a very good start, I think. We're very pleased with what's happened across the university in terms of our enrollments and enrollment management. A couple of things I'd like to point out are that we are very, very close to where we have wanted to be university-wide at University Park and at other campuses throughout the system, in terms of our enrollment management activities. John Romano and his folks deserve a lot of credit in what is really the most complex enrollment management situation in higher education, I suspect. Indeed having the enrollments at the University Park campus level out this year, we felt that we wanted to slow down the growth here and to hold it in check, and we have indeed been able to do that. And I think that will give us an opportunity to kind of catch our breath, catch up, and make some improvements in our academic offerings and in what we do at University Park. And at the same time we have moderated the overall growth of Penn State enrollments across the system. Much of the growth we expect (when the official numbers come in will indeed show that we have increased) upper division enrollments on our other campuses. That has been a goal of ours with very modest increases in enrollments of new freshman students. If those students flow through the system in the way we think they will, this will give Penn State the kind of balance that we really have been looking for. I hope on each of your campuses you're pleased with the new crop of students. They by all appearances are perhaps the best qualified group of students we've ever had coming to Penn State.
We have had a number of events to which new faculty have been invited and I've gotten to know many of those new faculty through orientations and picnics and meetings. And I'm extremely impressed with the caliber of the new faculty who we have attracted to the university. I think that bodes well for us in the future.
The Grand Destiny Campaign is going along very well. Within the next few months we will probably reach the two-thirds goal. With about two-thirds of the billion dollar goal having been reached, that will absolutely occur this year. And one of the things I want to say to this group here is that the scope of donations and pledges, and commitments from faculty and staff are already exceeding the expectations we had in that area. We've been exceeding our expectations really, in all categories of giving, but it's very gratifying to see that employees of the university are participating in the campaign at the level they are, and I thank all of you who fall into that category.
You've heard a little bit, and probably read a little bit, and will read more about our budget proposal to the governor and the legislature for this coming year. There was a good story about it I think, in the Harrisburg Patriot this morning. I've only seen one news story that I think did not cover it particularly well. It was I think in Saturday's issue of the Centre Daily Times. It was a misleading lead in the story and the headline then repeated the mistake. Really what the reporter did was pick up on a comment from Paul Tufano, who represents the governor at our Board of Trustees meeting. But the story did not then capture my response to his comment. He was suggesting that it was presumptuous of us to ask for an 11.5 percent increase, or something like that. I don't want anyone here to be left with the impression that we are actually asking for that much money. We are not. I know you would all support us in our efforts to ask for that much money, but indeed what we're really asking for is a base budget increase of four percent. That's to keep up with salary increases, health care benefit increases which we expect to go up at least eight percent, information technology, library materials, and deferred maintenance. All of the costs of just keeping up, sort of running in place, is going to take us about four percent. But then all of the new initiatives which are designed to benefit the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, collectively add in almost another four percent. So it's really about eight percent that we're asking for. How was it that somebody in the audience came up with a higher number? Well, that I suspect, is related to folding in money that we already have on a permanent basis. You can be tricked into looking at the numbers in this way if you don't know how the state of Pennsylvania does its budgeting. So what they often do is, the first year they give you money they put it in your budget as a new line item, and it looks kind of temporary for a year and the legislature the next year has to fold that in. So the only way you could describe it, assuming we got every penny we asked for, as an 11.5 percent increase. It would be an 11.5 increase over the budget two years ago, not the budget one year ago. If you follow what I'm saying. I did explain that at the meeting, and if you read that report you might have been a little confused about it. We have never gotten everything we've asked for and because of that, because there are dollars to be folded in from the year before and because of a number of other variables that affect our budget right now, we do expect it to be a very difficult budget year this coming year. And we're going to make the strongest case we possibly can with the governor and with the legislature, to have Penn State treated fairly. We are very mindful by the way, of this continuing inequity that I think many of you know about. Right now we're receiving about $3,200 per student at Penn State if you averaged it out across all of our students, all of our campuses that is, the per capita amount of appropriation we receive. That compares to about $4,600 per student within the state system of higher education, about $4,800 at the University of Pittsburgh; about $5,800 at Temple University and an even higher number at Lincoln. There's a very great inequity there and we're just to receive the average of what the other institutions in Pennsylvania receive. It would be quite an influx of dollars that would help us meet almost all of the critical needs that we have at Penn State. That is a problem we have to continue to work on. Those are a few things about some issues that are usually of interest. I know that because of the Agenda today we have some time scheduled to take questions, so I want to leave as much of my time as I can, to see what you'd like to have me talk about today.
John D. Kissick, College of Arts and Architecture: President Spanier, I'd like if I may, a minute to read just a summary of your remarks at the State of the University Address. And in particular your comments on faculty loyalty. Don't you think it's a bit inconsistent for a university administration to say on one hand that we should be all bleeding blue and white at Penn State? While on the other hand, making very clear to our administrators and everybody here, that if any of us want a big increase on the fair market level, we're expected to go out and find another job. Do you think that actually endears the institution to the faculty member? And second, I was curious, was your intention then to make this impression, well then most faculty are obsolete?
President Spanier: I'm not sure I understand all the nuances of your question. But I wonder if you've misread some aspects of the speech. Are you saying that you have the impression that I'm encouraging faculty to go out and look for jobs, or bring back competing job offers?
John D. Kissick: What I'm saying, is from the State of the University Address, that the impression that was given seemed to me, one of good riddance. Where it seems like we're told day in and day out, that peers want fair market value. That the expectation is...does that mean all faculty know this, that you have to go and get another job and then come back and...
President Spanier: Well I don't know who would tell you to go out and look for jobs if you want a fair pay increase. I abhor that practice. I do not support it. I think that is a colossal waste of the energies of the university; of faculty members. And it's a very dishonest practice to go to another university on a job interview if you are doing so only for the purpose of bringing back a written offer with a different salary number. My preferred approach to dealing with salary equity issues really relates to the Faculty Senate report you heard earlier, and the exchange in writing that we had on that. We have fallen behind a little bit at Penn State in the last few years. Not in relation to inflation, we've actually done very well in relation to inflation. But because of the even more significant salary increases at peer institutions, our relative ranking has fallen behind. We really are concerned about that and we've made faculty salary increases a very high priority. It's the single largest item in our budget request for this coming year, as it has been in each of the years I have been here. What we want to do is to get as much money as possible into faculty salaries. This is something I've commented on to our trustees at every point and they have been very supportive. The right way to deal with the reward system and salary inequities is to get as much money as we can into the pool and to assign some component of that pool for satisfactory service. Because everybody who's doing their job well ought to have an increase to keep up with inflation. But to also have a significant part of that pool related to merit. If somebody is so meritorious that they really deserve to have a higher salary and we are not paying them what the market forces would suggest, our department heads and our deans simply must do the best job they can to meet those needs. Going out and bringing back competing offers is really not a good way of dealing with that system. In the same token, we are going to lose some faculty every year. We're going to bring in some new faculty every year. Many of us in this room, including me, have moved for professional reasons. And if we have a good opportunity which will enhance our professional development, and it's not something that would work in the context of our current situation, of course we're going to look at that kind of thing. Personally, I would never, ever, ever go out on a job interview and consider a position that I had no interest in nor was not really serious about exploring. I am aware, and I will acknowledge this, that there are faculty at the university who do that from time to time. And also many of us have colleagues who we know have done it, and have ended up getting a salary increase because of it. I just don't like the practice myself and I wish we could treat all of our faculty well enough that no one would feel that's what they had to do to get the recognition they deserve. So I hope I wasn't sending inconsistent messages in that regard. The example I gave in my speech of that one encounter, which is not an isolated encounter, but the encounter with one faculty member who the dean asked me to speak with and who I tried very hard to persuade to stay was just a very revealing...it was a poignant encounter for me. Because here was someone who had been treated very, very well, I mean extremely well at every turn. Had received merit increases well above average every year, and was still leaving and not expressing any sentiments about leaving here. It was all about the national ranking system of departments, and where this person might find a little more prestige. The last thing I'll say about my remarks, is that I really meant it when I said in there, that I hoped that the speech would help us begin a dialogue about these issues in the community. This was not like some other State of the University Addresses I've given, where I had specific new programs and plans to implement. But I think these are issues that really do merit discussion, and they merit discussion at the departmental and the college level. And to follow up on my remarks, we now have had a meeting with all the department heads at the university, and all of the deans talking about these issues, and have asked them [department heads and deans] to go back and have similar discussions at the unit level. And I think that can only benefit the system that we have.
Patricia A. Book, Outreach and Cooperative Extension: Just two quick questions. I hesitate to ask the first one, because it will show the fact that I haven't been reading the newspaper or other things I should be reading. But could you just comment briefly on what the new initiatives are in the state budget, and if work force development is one? And secondly, what kind of feedback have you had on the courageous binge beer ads?
President Spanier: Beyond the four percent that we're asking to kind of stay even, the next four percent in the initiative category covers work force development and economic development issues. That's an $8 million package under the making life better concept, and includes a range of things. Part of it is for the Pennsylvania College of Technology to enhance their programs and to deploy more of Penn College programs in cooperation with other Penn State campuses. There is a whole set of variables that build on things we're doing now in the area of technology transfer research. Included in that category is continuing funding for the initiatives that we launched earlier in the life sciences; in material science; environmental science; and information technology and children, youth and families. Also in the budget, is a $2.5 million enhancement for agricultural research and cooperative extension. That's the second year of the two-year plan. The first year was funded this past year and is in the budget now. And then there is a $2 million initiative for cultural development to support the fine and performing arts, the humanities. Principally these are initiatives in the humanities and in the School of Arts and Architecture. This is an area that has really been neglected in the state for a number of years right now. There's been such an intense focus on the economic development initiatives, that people are simply not remembering that the university has very important commitments in the area of human development and cultural development and we're wanting to put that message out this year and see if we can attract some funds for it.
And about the binge drinking advertising campaign. It's been quite amazing. In the first day after the ad we had 11,000 hits on the web page from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. From the ad where it said "here's the web site for more information," that's a very phenomenal response. We also found, and this was kind of interesting, something that you don't see happen very often with an advertising campaign, is that the campaign itself, and the ad itself, then became news stories. So in addition to the impact, however people might have received it from the ad, there was a tremendous amount of discussion about the fact that the campaign was occurring, interesting debates, academic and sociological, about what kinds of ads work with different audiences and different markets. And then the transfer of that newspaper ad into other media. So that other higher education colleagues and I were interviewed on dozens of radio and television stations, and all of the networks throughout the country, and the value of the visibility from the follow up discussions about it far exceeded the cost of the original advertising campaign. So at 4:00 p.m. today I have an interview with the people from National Public Radio, not our local affiliate on this. And my other colleagues around the country continue to have those same experiences. So I'm very pleased with how it's turned out and I give a lot of credit to Steve McCarthy who many of you may not know, who is here, who really handled all of the logistics and the advertising and the media relations for this.
Charles F. Gunderman, DuBois Campus: I'd like to go back to the previous colleague here who wondered about the State of the University Address and you expressed a great deal of, to me, emphasis on loyalty to the university and some devotion etc. So I'd like to refer to the Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits on salaries particularly items four and five which dealt specifically with the faculty at locations other than University Park. I've been in the Senate for many years and each year a new president has come in and I've seen three of them and they have always said that salaries are very important. If you look at the reports and you saw salary compression of those loyal faculty who have spent 15, 20, 30 years who are still significantly behind, I think you need to look a little more at the Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits report and find some way to properly reward those people and bring them up. For faculty who have been there that long and who are making as much as incoming faculty, something is wrong with the way we get rewarded. I would hope that you would go back and reevaluate your decision for items four and five and find some way to bring those loyal faculty up to where they belong.
President Spanier: Well, I'm not sure what you would have me do that we're not doing now. I can't print money...
Charles F. Gunderman: One of the suggestions that I would give to you. Since most of the salaries are based on a percentage basis, two percent of nothing isn't a whole heck of a lot, all right. So instead of giving a percentage why don't you give those people a flat figure and then add the percentage onto that. Because percentages, if you look at it, it just keeps going up this way. Two percent goes this way, and I think you understand.
President Spanier: Well, let me tell you what we do. We take all of the available salary dollars we have, and by college or campus, we return to the campus or to the college the full share of available salary dollars. We only send some very general guidelines. First of all, we insist that all the salary money be given out for salary increases. This past year, we actually encouraged the units if they could manage it internally, to reallocate even more of their internal funds into salaries if they could, because it was such a high priority and we were determined not to fall any further behind. We include in the allocations, specifically, a pool of funds to deal with market, equity and compression issues. We ask for a report on how they dealt with those issues and we forward to them, not only the relevant Senate recommendation on looking at the lower third of employees under their jurisdiction but ask them to specifically look employee-by-employee at that group to see if some special adjustment might be necessary. And then there is a reporting system back up through the system to review the extent to which that's occurred. Now, we don't centrally make an individual judgment on any faculty member. We simply review the judgements made by the department heads and the deans, campus executive officers along the way. So they are provided resources for addressing those issues and there is some level of accountability for it. One thing that was difficult, I think, about that last set of Senate recommendations, is that we also have to keep in mind that in the upper third of the pay scale are people who are in the upper third usually for a good reason and many of these people continue to deserve merit increases that are beyond the average. And what we haven't gone so far as to do is to literally take money away from some category of employees and separate it from the pool and say, "this must be used strictly to compensate those who are in the lower third or fourth or whatever it might be, of the salary pool." So we've provided that kind of guidance. Everyone when they get the guidelines at the departmental and college level is familiar with the Senate's recommendations. We have a system of accountability in place for it, but what we do not do centrally is tell people they must award a certain salary increase to a particular person because of their longevity or what their salary situation is. That's not a very good answer to your question. It's more of a mechanical answer but that is what we do. And the only thing I can do is to continue in assembling the university budget each year to look for yet more funds to deal even better with those salary compression issues. And absolutely I would acknowledge that that has to be related in some way to loyalty. Any employee who feels that they are not being properly rewarded or compensated is not going to be as loyal as someone who is all of the things being equal. So I'm sensitive to the point you make.
Jamie M. Myers, College of Education: Just a follow up real quickly on that. I don't think all of us in here are from the lower third in terms of salary arguments. Or even middle third or even upper third. I would think we're mixed. I think we're all some of each. And as a body representing faculty, we suggested that we're basically saying that some of us should sacrifice some of our salary so that we might bring up wholesale some of the salaries at these other locations and other colleges. So in a sense, we're the ones receiving the salary and we've said, "hey look, maybe we should do something wholesale one time, two times, whatever, to try to alleviate some of those."
President Spanier: Well, we've had follow up discussion on that concept with deans and department heads, and that sentiment does not appear to be as widely shared as your remarks would just suggest. Now I don't know exactly who to believe. Maybe we absolutely need to survey all 4,500 faculty members and ask them if those in the upper third are or should be willing to sacrifice a certain percentage of their increase for those who are not. In my long experience as an administrator I guess I should say that I have found that what is in the best interest of the university, everything considered, is to do as much as we can to have a significant merit component in the salary increases. We are a merit based enterprise. There are very few things that are as merit based as a university gets. We evaluate, we study, and we have committees and we decide on the merits of things every day in all that we do. Our actions with our students are to give grades out and to come up with some sort of a ranking scheme in each of our classes--how to reward the students through a marking system. It's just in the system, and I'm not sure we've devised anything better yet then to continue to reserve a significant portion of that pool for merit. I will point out that before I became president it was all defined as merit in a typical year. In almost every year it was all merit, and we did modify that system my first year here to say that every employee who is doing reasonably well deserves at least some level of a salary increase and let's assume everybody should get some portion and let's reserve just a part of that for merit. So we did make that shift but we still try to keep a pretty good chunk of it in that merit pool. Now I know there are differences of opinion about it.
Kevin Berland, Shenango Campus: I'd like to differ with you with respect in the issue of Penn State being a merit based system in terms of salary. You cannot be both a market based salary system and a merit based salary system. This means that there are different standards for each discipline and I would like to renew my annual call for a serious scholarly, rigorous, economic based review of the so called "market system" when determining faculty salaries by disciplines. None of which has every happened to the best of my knowledge. Basically, what I've been saying to you is that within each discipline the merit system works fairly well. But from discipline to discipline it's irrelevant in some areas, which are determined primarily by so called "market considerations," and this is particularly true temporally, as well. Somebody who has been hired 15 years ago, their merit is economically determined differently from someone who's hired two years ago because of where they start. We get back to the compression factor. I would like also to bring up my annual request that we reexamine the idea of having a base salary across the disciplines before you start doing the merit calculations as they do in some of our sister institutions across the commonwealth and across the country. This might actually solve the inequity involved in determining merit completely differently, from discipline to discipline.
President Spanier: Well there's no question that there are variations from one field to another. But I'm not sure I agree with you that merit and market are unrelated within a given field, they probably are or should be related. But, yes, we have a system where there are wide variations from one discipline to another. We did, by the way, institute a base salary last year, or the year before, because we discovered particularly at many of our campuses, that people were being employed in full-time positions below a certain level, and we just felt that was completely unacceptable. So Joe Strasser and I and some others talked about that, and I don't think there's anybody working below whatever that threshold is. Of course having said that there are a lot of people who would argue for yet a higher threshold, and then we're right back into the same discussion. So I do understand your point and again all I can say is, I would love to have millions and millions of more salary dollars to hand out at Penn State. There are institutions that perhaps in the overall scheme of things are not really as good as we are. And there are faculties at other institutions that are not as good as our faculty, where the salaries are higher. And it is a goal of ours to be as competitive as we can and to raise all of our salaries up and we will continue to work at that.
Philip A. Klein, College of the Liberal Arts: I want to talk about that possibility of more money. I've always heard that administrators go to Harrisburg and point out to the legislators that the per capita per student contribution from the state is lower at Penn State than any other state university and never any explanation from Harrisburg about why that's appropriate. They have no more demands on Pennsylvania than people in other states have on their legislatures, and somehow the implication is that it's okay to give less per student at Penn State than any other university. And I'd like to know why?
President Spanier: I think I can explain it. It's a combination of things. First of all, there is no time in modern history in Pennsylvania, where there has been an inclination to fund public higher education at a level that is anywhere near what we see in the states where we have peer institutions. It has just not been as high a priority. Now that tends to be true historically in the Northeastern part of the United States generally. So a lot of the states that are in the same boat that we are, in terms of public institution, high tuition, low state appropriation, happen to be in this part of the country. As you start moving toward the mid-West and the West it's a totally different scenario. Or even as you move South from here. So it's historical, it's undoubtedly related in my opinion, to the long history in the Northeastern part of the United States, and certainly in Pennsylvania to the very strong tradition of private higher education. We have more than 100 private institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania. Those institutions believe Penn State gets far too much state money and is not sure why the state is supporting us at all. Of course the state is sending to each of those institutions $1,000 per student for any student that qualifies for something called an institutional assistance grant.
Philip A. Klein: I always thought Mississippi was...
President Spanier: No, actually Mississippi is much higher than we are...
Philip A. Klein: It's kind of eastern...
President Spanier: We ranked 47th among the 50 states in the per capita appropriation for public higher education. And remember Penn State is at the low end within that 47th ranking. However, Pennsylvania ranks second in the United States in its per capita appropriation for private higher education.
Philip A. Klein: So it's not...
President Spanier: Well it's I think a part of a long standing tradition that higher education is not a right, it's a privilege. It goes back I'm sure if you go back more than 100 years when it was a very select proportion of citizens who had the privilege of going to a university or a college, and affording a higher education and that concept has just continued for a very long time. Now I'll give you one other variable. You'll recall that the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University were completely private institutions up until about 1968 about 30 years ago...
Philip A. Klein: I remember...
President Spanier: A few of us would remember that. Now what happened then? Those institutions were having some enrollment difficulties. They were in serious financial difficulty, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided to put them and Penn State and Lincoln into a special category called state related. This meant that we were eligible to receive state funds, but not required to do so, and we were a non-preferred appropriation. Still today we need two-thirds vote of the Senate, two-thirds vote of the House, and the support of the governor to receive any dollars at all and they can only take up our budget after the rest of the university budget has been dealt with. Well what's happened since 1968? Not only did Temple and Pitt all of a sudden have this phenomenal entitlement to public funds, but it appears to me, from the best of my calculations, (although I've never checked with an historian behind the scenes but I think I've got to be right), that the amount of money that the state decided to give Temple and Pitt at the time, was equivalent to the per capita appropriation Penn State was receiving. So they took the number of students at Penn State and divided that up by our appropriation and then they gave Temple and Pitt an equivalent amount. Now what's happened since 1968? Temple's enrollments today are about 20 percent lower than they were in 1968. The University of Pittsburgh lost about 20 percent of its enrollment and is now gradually working its way back up to just about where they were. Penn State in 1968 had how many students--maybe 40,000 system-wide. We're over 80,000 now. Yet we have never gotten any extra dollars for any of the extra students almost every year since, (I'm oversimplifying this a little bit because there are a few little twists and turns). But generally speaking, if you go back over that 20 year period, Penn State's appropriation has increased a certain percentage each year, and Temple and Pitt have gotten the same percentage each year, irrespective of the fact that we were being asked to open up new campuses, expand what we're doing; take more students at University Park. People all around the state are demanding more academic programs and more access to Penn State. So that's why our per capita amount has shrunk and continues to. So that's not even all the variables, but those are three big ones right there, that explain this inequity.
Philip A. Klein: It makes being the land grant university relatively meaningless.
President Spanier: Well, you've got a point. And you know, we could very well reach a point in our history... You know some of us and I put myself at the top of the list, are so committed to the concept of access and to land grant university that it's the last thing we would ever want to do. But if the citizens of this state don't recognize our special mission, and understand that we should have the highest appropriation because of all the outreach services that we're providing, because of the research, the technology transfer, the way in which we bend over backwards to support the citizens of the state. I don't know how we can do it. It's unfair to do it on the backs of student tuition. We should not be advancing business and industry in Pennsylvania off of an undergraduate student's tuition. The state, if it wants those services from us and wants us to continue to do those things, ought to be willing to put that kind of support in. And I just don't feel we've gotten enough of it. And that's why I'm not ashamed at all to ask for an eight percent increase.
Philip A. Klein: You shouldn't be.
President Spanier: Well, thank you...
Chair Nelson: We're having way too much fun, but I think we have time for one more question.
Jacob De Rooy, Penn State Harrisburg: In some organizations the most overpaid employees are the most loyal. But more seriously, and not trivial at all, is the mechanics by which these decisions are made. For example, in my college, we are told a certain percentage was to be allocated to all faculty members--two percent or whatever it is--for those who perform the standard way. Another percentage came from the president, another percentage came from reallocation within the college. This suggests to me that there were multiple decision makers. And yet, all faculty at the university only report, and make their case annually to their department heads. So I'm wondering exactly where the decisions are made? If in fact, we have multiple decision makers...
President Spanier: No, I don't think so. Any money that I have any control over I allocate to the deans and the deans to the department heads. We don't get involved in any individual decisions. So this year we took funds that we had available, put them into salaries. We took the university designated salary increase, put it into salaries. We asked the deans if they had the ability to do so, to take yet additional funds and put it into salaries. As near as I can tell, in virtually every case, the decision about an individual faculty member is really in the hands of the department head, with some level of review in the deans office. And it may differ from college to college how involved the dean would get in that review. But I think it's principally the department chairs and department heads who have that responsibility, and again, there may be variations. I think there may be a few departments that enlist the help of faculty or senior faculty or others just to weigh in on it in some way. All we do in our office is tend to look at aggregate data. Let me ask Bob Secor. If a number comes through and somebody is shown like a zero percent increase you would look at that and you would go back to the department or the dean and say, "hey I want a justification for why this is zero." Or if somebody is having their salary doubled--no we didn't double anybody's salary--if it was something that was kind of off the charts then we ask for an explanation because we just want to make sure that the checks and balances are in place. Do you want to add anything?
Robert Secor, Vice Provost: That's exactly right. A zero percent raise has to be justified or a raise above eight or ten percent has to be discussed with us. But otherwise, the deans or department heads are responsible.
President Spanier: So there seems to be a lot of interest in salaries and if you have any more questions about it or comments, by all means, feel free to talk to Bob Secor.
Chair Nelson: Or you can email President Spanier as many of you probably already do, and he replies within an hour. Thank you.
Chair Nelson: Next up we have Forensic Business and today we do have a forensic session which I will limit to just under half an hour once we begin. This is from Computing and Information Systems. Terry Peavler is here, and will lead it and will make some comments before he does. I would like to give you a couple of comments myself. First, this is a report that was generated by the Provost's formation of a committee on Student Ownership of Computers. That committee which was a special committee, and was chaired by Renata Engel, who I see is here, and a number of other members of the committee are here and will have the privilege of commenting if necessary to questions that may arise even if they aren't Senate members. That committee consulted with a number of groups including Terry's committee, though he was not the chair last year, he was on that committee. They also consulted with a number of other groups in the Penn State system--Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid, Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education, Senate Committee on Student Life. And taking all that into account they came up with a report which was given to the Provost and because of some misunderstandings regarding the agreements that the Senate had made with the Provost, we are now in a position where we would like to both have this forensic for the Provost's benefit, even though the Provost is not here. As you may see, he is in California; it was not by his choice that he's not here. But we would like to get whatever issues seem important aired and in order that whatever we encourage of students regarding ownership of computers can be put into publications and available to prospective students for next year's material. That's why we are doing things in the way we are. This forensic will be first commented upon by Terry regarding his committee.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Issue of Student Computer Ownership
Terry J. Peavler, Chair, Senate Committee on Computing and Information Systems
Terry J. Peavler, College of the Liberal Arts: Thank you, Murry. The Senate Committee met on this proposal. You have a handout you received at the door. We endorse the proposal. We have expressed specific concerns. We hope that it moves towards implementation. We assume there will be an implementation committee and our primary goal now is to make sure that they consider the major issues. We have bulleted concerns that we have identified. There are others, I am sure. An overarching problem or concern that has come up in almost every discussion is cost to the students. And I'm absolutely convinced of this that there is not a single faculty member or administrator or staff member who would want to have a proposal go through and acted upon if it meant that a single, and I mean one single student, who has the qualifications and the desire to attend Penn State, would be unable to attend because of this. That, we cannot allow to happen, and I don't think it will happen, and I don't think anyone will allow that to happen. So with that framework, what we would like to have are additional concerns, things that you wish to comment upon, so that we can try to move this forward.
Chair Nelson: Before we begin, let me just remind you that as we begin our discussion of reports, to please stand and identify yourself, and the unit you represent before addressing the Senate.
Dwight Davis, College of Medicine: I applaud your concept and philosophy of moving ahead to allow students in a formal fashion, to become more adapted and trained and educated in information technology. I clearly see that as something very important. My question is, what assurances do we have from you about the other issues that you raised and they relate primarily to developing the proper infrastructure that will allow this to actually occur within a relatively short time frame? We're going to give the students a year by which they're expected to show up with computers on campus. In that interim what can you tell me today about what will be done different that will allow them to be able to do all the things that they should be able to do with those computers once they come? And also, about how they all go about repairs and things of that sort. So if you could address these questions within the time frame?
Terry J. Peavler: That is a really big issue. The real concern here, I think is going to be how is this implemented and when. I don't know what the implementation mechanism is going to be. The Center for Academic Computing was well represented on this committee. Russell Vaught was with us this morning, and they are concerned but there doesn't seem to be any sense that they will be unable to meet demand. I think the larger concern is not the global one, in terms of support, but different locations and the levels of support at some campuses. As we pointed out, some campuses have disproportionately large numbers of freshmen. They will have a lot of students arriving with computers. Will they be prepared? But really what we are endorsing here is the philosophy, but I think the implementation will have to be extremely, carefully planned, and I think we have the capacity to do that. We would not have endorsed it if we thought it was impossible but we know there are some difficult issues to be resolved.
Michael E. Broyles, College of Arts and Architecture: We have a college committee that has put together a response to this. I have it here, it's about a page long. What I would like permission to do would be rather than read the whole thing, simply summarize it and leave this for the Record. The College of Arts and Architecture shares the desire for Penn State students to be computer literate that forms the basis of the Student Computer Ownership proposal; but we are concerned that the proposal does not address the technology component of professional programs at all.
In brief, we see two levels of computing access and literacy that should be recognized and addressed. One is represented in the proposal, and will solve the needs of many but not all units campus-wide: technology access that provides students a vehicle to enhance learning through basic computing, including access to the web, email, and word processing. But there is also a second level of computing access and literacy found in many programs: that is education in more advanced technology explorations, necessary for professional education in a wide range of majors. This second need is not addressed at all in the proposal. And, in fact, we fear that the current way that many units satisfy that high-end technology need (i.e., through a computing surcharge that provides students access to constantly updated hardware and software) will actually be threatened through the student ownership proposal. Indeed, we argue, it will be difficult for a land grant institution to justify the expectation of computer ownership, PLUS fees for high-end technology provided by individual units. Yet if we expect student ownership alone to solve professional education needs, some serious problems arise: First it is unrealistic for units to expect students to bring to campus computers that will allow them to conduct the high-end design technology explorations that some programs require (3-D modeling, animation, etc.). Second, it is unrealistic to expect the computers that students bring in first year to be useful for those kinds of explorations over the course of five years (when the typical useful time span of a computer is now between two and three years).
In sum, we are in full agreement with the proposal that all Penn State students have access to computing and educational experiences in computing; but we do not necessarily feel that promoting student computer ownership is an appropriate "one size fits all" solution. We hope that "access" is the operative word in the proposal, and that individual units will have the freedom to ensure access to computers in the way that will best serve their students.
Our college has a concern that doesn't seem to be addressed here at all. While we support the basic idea for students to have computers, there are departments, and I'm sure we are not unique. Where there are a number of specialized computer needs--various areas of sciences, engineering, architecture. And for these to meet these computer needs there is a surcharge. First of all we feel it would be impossible to require students to have these type of high-end work-stations that these programs need. But students need access to these work-stations, whatever that might be. And we are concerned, that once a requirement or as this is worded a strong recommendation is put into effect, especially at a land grant institution such as this there will be pressure to lessen or reduce the surcharge. Our programs could not survive without this, and so we feel that this is not a complete separate issue and should be considered at least in tandem with this particular issue.
Terry J. Peavler: Thank you. And that's an important point. We also discussed students with disabilities and faculty with disabilities and special requirements there. One of the theories behind the recommendation is that students will rely less on labs. Data indicate that that is not the case. Students go to labs more if they own their own computers. While we are hoping and what the plan endorses is that those higher-end needs will be more widely available perhaps with less reliance on surcharge. I certainly can't imagine any scenario in which we would say, "well, gee we're going to do away with that software over in architecture because we just can't afford that package." I mean, the hope would be that that would be more readily available, more accessible in the labs. So our committee is very much aware of your concern on that.
P. Peter Rebane, Penn State Abington: I wonder if you could elaborate a little bit about the first bullet in the handout. Maybe I'm reading this wrong. It says significant numbers of faculty must be encouraged/required to integrate the technology into their classes--which is questionable enough--to ensure that students receive a direct benefit from their investment. Are you telling us that we're telling students that the computers they invest a lot of money in and then faculty must integrate technology in the classroom so that the student's purchase of a computer will pay off? If you look back on the educational implications and it would seem to me that when you talk about investments for students and you talk about the faculty who must be encouraged or required to do this. There are many locations where it's very difficult even today with the voluntary integration, of getting any kind of technical support that stays on the campus, probably because of the salary they are paid. And I can speak from Abington at the number of turnovers we have had in our computer labs. And while I receive very nice multi-page handouts or print outs from the computer center up here that lists all kinds of hands on seminars which are held, usually when I have class, or at 9:00 at night or Fridays. It makes it very difficult to partake in all of these benefits and I'm just wondering if anybody has looked at the faculty end of this? Because down at Abington, for instance, it's going take a lot of money, a lot of expertise to higher people, to train the faculty to use the computers if they choose to, to provide a fair investment for the students. And I must be honest with you, I really don't like the statement that significant numbers of faculty must be encouraged/required to integrate technology. I find that somewhat I guess a little bit offensive.
Terry J. Peavler: Well, I personally will apologize to you for the wording because that's not the committee's wording, that is mine. I'm going on bullets that we came up with. Our concern in this committee is the following: if we are going to strongly recommend that all first year students show up here with computers of a particular configuration and they come in and all they're ever asked to do is email or occasionally access a web site, they I think, will have some very legitimate complaints. We want the implementation to integrate wherever possible early and often computer technology into the classrooms and we need to have mechanisms to do that as pointed out in bullet number two--faculty have to be rewarded for doing that. It can't be added to their already heavy burden. So that wording is mine, that is not the committees, but mine and I thought I was trying to make a point and I accept your objection.
Tramble T. Turner, Penn State Abington: I acknowledge your address of the faculty concerns. We know that the report does take up some student concerns. Specifically, I commend the committee for noting that, on page five, students in general oppose the recommendation for a requirement. And that students, indeed, expressed concerns about the impact on access, on financial hardship or with the perception during admission for recruiting about whether or not they should choose Penn State. Regarding the mention today of the land grant university mission focusing on access both from the colleagues at Abington College and then today at the caucus of non-UP Senators, there was great concern brought up in that regard. Specifically to try to get some more information I'd ask you if you would address the paragraph on page three. No other Big Ten university has such a requirement, but your committee noted that Michigan State did have a discussion on this issue. My two questions are was it a Faculty Senate that voted against the proposal? And the second question is where you say, "they cited that more specifics were needed." What were some of the specifics that they used?
Terry J. Peavler: Not to get myself off of any hooks, I'm on enough. This is not my committee. I was not on the committee. The Centre Daily Times this morning said this was a Faculty Senate report that we are discussing. It is not. This is a special committee to the Provost. Is there someone on that committee who is able to answer that?
Renata S. Engel, College of Engineering: I was the chair of the committee that worked on this last year, and I'm also a Faculty Senator so let me just respond to that. The background information that we had on Michigan State was that they were looking at it. I do not believe it was a Faculty Senate committee that looked at it. It was very much like our committee was. It was an appointed committee. Specifics were with regard to details about how it would be implemented and our report was an advisory report to the Provost and President that was to look at the issue of computer ownership. We were not to specifically outline implementation details. But let that go to the next stage. So in many ways our committee was not exactly like what the other committees were at other universities. Just some information. A lot of other universities that do have a formal requirement that actually was passed down without any faculty input at all. It was a decision that was made at a very high level and the implementation was put in place. So at Penn State here we have actually had a lot of time to talk about this and meet with a lot of people. And a couple of other universities around the country have done this same thing. I've talked to a lot of people before they go to an implementation. So that's really where we stood with this. So the specifics were really, what they were lacking with implementation specifics, but we were not actually expected to put implementation into place, but make a recommendation on what issues would need to be addressed for implementation. And many of your comments that you're raising here are exactly those sorts of things that we put out in the report.
Linda K. Trevino, Smeal College of Business Administration: I wanted to piggyback on this issue that was raised about the first two bullet points in the handout. It just seems to me that you might be putting the cart before the horse a little bit. If we're concerned that students aren't being required to use it then why are we recommending that they have it? Maybe we should do a little bit of study first to find out if a student's first year, second year in the general education courses they're required to take--are they being expected to use computers beyond the kinds of minimal applications that you referred to a minute ago? If not, then maybe we shouldn't make this kind of statement. It just doesn't make sense to me to encourage or require or reward faculty for something that they haven't decided is a necessary part of what they're doing already. I mean, I think faculty know how to teach whatever it is they're teaching, and there are some areas where technology makes a difference, and there are other areas where I think technology is somewhat irrelevant.
Terry J. Peavler: Can I comment on that part first? I agree, I didn't mean to imply that everybody has to incorporate technology into the classroom. That was not the intent of the committee, nor mine. We have beat this around a great deal. There is a lot of technology teaching going on in this university. An awful lot we wouldn't be at this stage if there weren't. There is no need for every class to be a technology class, however, those students--you can look at it from either way and we have. We can say, "okay let's wait until we have more classes that are technology." Well how do we offer those classes unless the students have the technology? I mean we have to move ahead on both fronts simultaneously. Our concern was simply in the average curriculum of an undergraduate in my college would probably be one of the lowest tech in some ways--liberal arts. Are computers widely enough used that it is really an asset to the students? My own freshman seminar will require computers. If they don't have it they simply can't take the seminar. They don't have to own it but they have to have access. So I really think that at some point we need to just move ahead with this and we can't wait until we have all the courses in place to do it. And we can't wait until every student has a computer and then do the faculty development. We have to do both simultaneously.
Robert Secor: I want to support this proposal. And maybe we are looking at it from the wrong end. I think the point is that we are educating our students. We are educating them for life, we're educating them for the work force. And an educated student should not be graduating from this university without easy use of computer and everything that they would do in relating to each other in relating to their professions. I think as faculty we would want them to be able to use a computer. Therefore you would want to encourage working in the workforce. I would question whether there really is an issue at this moment as to whether the computers are being used or not. And I would suggest that there is no semester right now where any student is not better off with a computer at home to contact their professor, to email, when they're not available. For finding research on the web, for communication with other classmates about what happened in the classroom. I think it's just a tool that we use easily and not being able to have it by not knowing how to type, not knowing how to communicate and I think we ought to just try to find a way to integrate a very important educational tool throughout this university and as you said if students don't have ready access and we don't feel they do, then professors cannot make use of it in an easy way in their class, and try to make that more possible.
Terry J. Peavler: I believe Russ said this morning at our committee 93 percent of the access accounts are activated. Is that correct? Ninety-seven percent of the students are using their access accounts. That's quite a few.
Jean Landa Pytel, College of Engineering: One of the issues that hasn't been brought up yet is the issue of technical support. And I would like to raise that issue and perhaps suggest that we move deliberation of the computer ownership recommendation to become the top number one priority. Because we cannot even begin to discuss the requirement, or the highly recommendation without having technical support for the people that will then be owning and coming in with that kind of expectation, because that will lead to chaos. And I think from what I understand in the past any other institutions who require, the whole success of that requirement hinges on adequate technical, appropriate support and timing in there, too.
Terry J. Peavler: That's our fourth bullet and these bullets are not hierarchical they are simply issues of concern. We spent half of our committee meeting discussing the issue of support and could it be done. Not only can it be done at University Park, but can it be done at every location that will be affected by this?
Jean Landa Pytel: I just want to add on terms of the financial side. Apparently, there is some way for students who wish to incorporate a computer into their financial need that could be addressed. Is there some...?
Terry J. Peavler: Yes.
Jean Landa Pytel: I think Anna Griswold mentioned something...
Terry J. Peavler: Yes.
Jean Landa Pytel: So I think that we as faculty also in the meantime, perhaps have some sort of responsibility to make sure that our students are aware that they have to ask for it.
Denise Potosky, Penn State Great Valley: My comment pertains specifically to the way the recommendation was phrased and while I support computer ownership and personal access... I'm looking at page two, the bolded section, "Therefore we strongly recommend that beginning in the Fall 2000, all full-time incoming students own a personal computer or have immediate access." I would recommend that immediate access not mention employers. So, that students do not run and take personal school-related access on employers computers without their permission.
Terry J. Peavler: This is not a Senate report and it has already been filed. So we can't really change it.
Gerhard F. Strasser, College of the Liberal Arts: I would like to address my fear, attitude among friends, and admit if I'd called irritated and wanted a person in here to do that because of qualifications then I would be at one point torn between computers. And I have to say that regardless of location, information that's available on the web is at this point so self-explanatory, I may say, that course plan approvals are indeed well tried out and accessible and could be accessed from anywhere without any support from anyone. It took me one Saturday and I worked hard, but ultimately it was exhilarating. It was another freshman seminar that I was required to do, and it worked. It is a new tool and I would like to support that regardless, because I didn't need any support for that. This is something that is needed and quite timely.
Terry J. Peavler: Thank you.
Sabih I. Hayek, College of Engineering: Some must have misread your report. The report says that 86 percent of the students already own a personal computer or they have one at home. We are passing them up for 14 percent. That's really a small number when we recommend one for all. Fourteen percent, that's a small number. Keep that in mind.
Charles F. Gunderman: Having spoken to some of the student government leadership at my campus, they are opposed to ownership. In discussing the issues with them one point was how do we go about acquiring one and what would the cost be? My question is, has the committee looked at any way of mass supplying computers to incoming freshmen? I want to say similar to what we're now doing with the software. Providing computers so that they all have a computer that works with a program in the engineering college or the arts or whatever at a reasonable price?
Terry J. Peavler: That is in the original report. The Provost's report. We discussed it this morning. I think that's a given. That the university does everything it can to get optimal pricing. We already do that. That's in place through the Microcomputer Order Center now and while the vendors are limited that's being done already. And I think that Russell said this morning it's unlikely we'll be able to leverage much more out of DELL because we have their profit margin pretty narrow on these already. That is recommended. That's one of the many issues the implementation committee needs to address. Where do they get these computers? And can we help them get them at a discount and help them with the financial aid package?
Todd D. Ellis, Student Senator, College of Science: I have to say in the current form I personally have been kind of happy with the way this has been set up as a strong recommendation and not a requirement. And I think that in the form that it's been laid out in here I have to support the way it's laid out because a lot of the structure is supporting people who are going to need aid to get these computers, seems to be in place at least in thought if not in implementation. But it seems like what can't be there in implementation will be in the near future. The other question that I have to raise and I wonder if this has been raised elsewhere. You mentioned that 86 percent of people have their own computers already. Is there any recommendation on how we might make sure that they meet certain components to bring it up to a minimum configuration. Are we going to be able to obtain those at some kind of discount for people who might meet a financial need?
Terry J. Peavler: One of our bullets is on obsolescence. This is a great concern and it's one that will have to be addressed though not immediately. Because obviously the way that computers are changing a junior or senior, third or fourth year student is going to be sitting there with a computer that may not run the software he just got for free from Microsoft. This is a concern. The current reality of upgrading computers is that nobody does it any more. It's cheaper to replace computers than it is to upgrade them in most instances. This again is something that I think that the implementation committee has to be sensitive to and it is the issue that we have least dealt with. I don't know if it will be a major one or not down the line. But I would predict that it will be. We will have the minimum configurations out there as to what we think people need. But upgrading is not often very realistic any more except if all you need is a hard drive or some RAM.
Anthony J. Baratta, College of Engineering: A question that bothers me is that somewhere there is a recommendation this be implemented Fall of 2000 and the budget year for this year has already started. Which means that putting in place the support services, training, etc., really probably is not in the budget to do this. And as a result I suspect that this will be one of these ones where you take that extra 10 percent after you've already got 150 percent to get it done. I'm just concerned that we really should put in the implementation plan this year, and fund it starting next year then have it phased in 2001. So that we'll have the support people in place, we'll have the faculty trained to start using this. Rather than try to get it in within the same year.
Terry J. Peavler: I don't know how implementation is going to occur. My speculation is, my belief is, because I don't see how else it can occur, that when the implementation committee starts looking at all of these issues they're going to decide that maybe this can be done at this location--maybe University Park is ready to go. Maybe we can do it there. But it may not be ready at Abington for another year or two. The dollars may not be there. I mean it's not something that we can just go out and do all at once. It says implementation Fall of 2000 but I don't think realistically we can expect it to be complete by the Fall of 2000 and everything is in place. That's not going to happen.
Peter Deines, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: I'd like to go back to this question of fall semester. In this case not so much from the student point of view but from the faculty point of view. You made a connection between bullet one and obsolescence. If you're worried about the students' computers getting obsolescent, the faculty computers will get obsolescent as well. If you think it through, if you think in terms of routine replacement of all the computers for the faculty, has some thought been given to this? How we would like to achieve this?
Terry J. Peavler: Well, one of our bullets is on the whole cost. Because if this were a legislative report we would cost it out as you very well know, and we would have a report on that. Right now we do not have those answers and I would not even begin to speculate on those. One of the things that this does, is that it pressures the university in a way to come up with more adequate support, more complete support for technology including the purchase of hardware and software and all of those things. Because if we're going to do it we do have to go the whole way.
JoAnn Chirico, Beaver Campus: A lot of us I think are very justifiably concerned with students on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum who can't afford computers on their own. But I think what you need to say is that unless we do something really proactive to get computers into the hands of those kids and support them financially for doing it, they're all going to fall further behind. If we don't do something like this we're going to exacerbate that gap. So I think this really can be seen as a kind of purchase plan. To help students get the technology that they need and those lower students they are the ones that need our help. The other ones are going to get them regardless. These students need something like this to help them get it.
Chair Nelson: We're going to limit this to one or two more comments.
Keith K. Burkhart, College of Medicine: Is some rental plans being now looked into as far as leasing?
Terry J. Peavler: I'm sure that leases will be looked into. They always are when we get into these mass things. I don't think anybody has looked into the purchase or the lease. It's simply we have a lot of leverage here. We have a lot of clout, we have a lot of students and we will be able to find attractive deals. I think leasing is a very realistic possibility for some students.
John J. Cahir, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education: I really want to say how really proud I am that Penn State is in a position to be able to do this. Many universities might like to do this but would not have the infrastructure in place to actually make the classrooms we already have. There's a certain amount of risk but I think Old Main decided that we were in a position to make this move. I think that the point about helping the low-income students which we have around 8,000--one thought was there would be a concern that in some curricula the students would weigh in and say, "well what am I supposed to do with my computer." We are surveying that and looking to see. Clearly there is no need for computer use in every course, but we would want to be sure the variety in the curricula where there was no computer use at all. So we are looking at that and there is a small fund for the General Education Implementation program. And it's possible that if someone made proposals to give this computer use in the general education courses that those might be especially effective.
Chair Nelson: Let me say that all of your comments will be compiled through the Senate Record. That is we will send that to Provost Erickson. If you were not able to speak this afternoon, that is you were not recognized you certainly may email him because it will be his decision on how to handle this report. And he now has the report and he will have the record of what transpired here if you wish to add to that I encourage you to do so. I want to thank Terry very much for leading this, and Renata, thank you for having other committee members from your committee here.
UNFINISHED LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Revision of Senate Policy 44-25: Conflict in Final Examinations
Jamie M. Myers, Chair, Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education
Jamie M. Myers: Thank you, Chair Murry. I'd be willing to answer any questions about this report on changing the definition of an overload conflict.
P. Peter Rebane: Jamie, would you tell me your definition. It says in which case your conflict exam would be scheduled on a different day. Are you implying that that should be within the regular final examination period? Or does it mean that somebody could ask for something to be done that week or any parameters to that particular request?
Jamie M. Myers: Thank you. The legislation does not change any of the current parameters. It's my understanding that students are asked to meet a deadline in terms of filing for a conflict exam a couple weeks ahead of that final exam week. And then department heads are notified, faculty are notified and then the student and the faculty negotiate an alternative time. That time may be outside of the final exam week as far as I know. There's nothing in the past legislation or nothing new or changed in this current revision that would change that process of setting an alternative time.
Margaret M. Lyday, College of the Liberal Arts: In this change did you survey all locations to make sure that we have no late evening exam periods?
Jamie M. Myers: Well I can't directly answer that question. This issue was discussed and recommended last year in the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education, and came to us in this form and we decided that it seemed fairly simple and clear-cut to move forward. Is there anyone aware of final exams scheduled in the evening at locations anywhere in the Penn State System.
Jamie M. Myers: Okay. This does not necessarily change the overload conflict definition because if there are three consecutive exam periods and if they're scheduled in the evening that would be considered one of the exam periods. And if there are two more back-to-back one on either side of it or two on either side of it--back-to-back--then that's an overload situation. Although, I mean it should still work.
Chair Nelson: Other comments or questions? I assume then that we're ready for a vote. All those in favor of the recommendation, please signify by saying, "aye."
Chair Nelson: Any opposed, "nay"? Thank you.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING & STUDENT AID
Awards and Scholarships
JoAnn Chirico, Chair, Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling & Student Aid
JoAnn Chirico: These are traditional and mandated reports, fairly self-explanatory. Are there questions? I must say that this Awards and Scholarships report, was the most fun I've had being at Penn State, getting to give away this money.
Chair Nelson: Questions for JoAnn or comments?
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING & STUDENT AID
Summary of Petitions for Waiver of the Ten Credit Limit for Nondegree Conditional Students
JoAnn Chirico, Chair, Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling & Student Aid
JoAnn Chirico: Are there any questions?
Chair Nelson: Questions or comments on this? Okay, seeing none, JoAnn you're free now.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
May I have a motion to adjourn? The September 14, 1999 meeting of the University Faculty Senate adjourned at 3:16 PM.
DOCUMENTS DISTRIBUTED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 14, 1999
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid -Awards and Scholarships (Informational)
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid - Summary of Petitions for Waiver of the Ten Credit Limit for Nondegree Conditional Students (Informational)
Computing and Information Systems - Issue of Student Computer Ownership (Forensic)
Curricular Affairs - Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of August 31, 1999
Undergraduate Education - Revision of Senate Policy 44-25: Conflict in Final Examinations (Legislative)
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Issue of Student Computer Ownership
The Senate Committee on Computing and Information Systems endorses the principle behind Provost Brighton’s Advisory Committee Report on the Issue of Student Computer Ownership, and recommends that the University move toward implementation. The Committee on C&IS urges the implementation committee to address the following critical issues:
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Thomas W. Abendroth
J. Gary Augustson
Joseph E. Borzellino
Fred G. Fedok
Terry P. Harrison
Pamela P. Hufnagel
Carly M. Lipsitz
Ronald L. McCarty
Terry J. Peavler, Chair
Semyon Slobounov, Vice-Chair
John B. Urenko
Roger P. Ware
THE FOLLOWING SENATORS WERE IN ATTENDANCE AT THE
SEPTEMBER 14, 1999 SENATE MEETING
Achterberg, Cheryl L.
Alexander, Shelton S.
Althouse, P. Richard
Andaleeb, Syed Saad
Bagby, John W.
Baggett, Connie D.
Baratta, Anthony J.
Barbato, Guy F.
Bardi, John F.
Beaupied, Aida M.
Berkowitz, Leonard J.
Bise, Christopher J.
Blood, Ingrid M.
Book, Patricia A.
Borzellino, Joseph E.
Bridges, K. Robert
Browning, Barton W.
Broyles, Michael E.
Burkhart, Keith K.
Cahir, John J.
Caldwell, Linda L.
Calvin, Dennis D.
Campbell, William J.
Cardamone, Michael J.
Carpenter, Lynn A.
Casteel, Mark A.
Cecere, Joseph J.
Carr-Chellman, Alison A.
Christy, David P.
Clariana, Roy B.
Coraor, Lee D.
Crane, Robert G.
Crowe, Mary Beth
Curtis, Wayne R.
DeCastro, W. Travis
De Jong, Gordon F.
Dempsey, Richard F.
Diehl, Renee D.
Donovan, James M.
Drafall, Lynn Ellen
Eckhardt, Caroline D.
Elder, James T.
Ellis, Todd D.
Engel, Renata S.
Englund, Richard B.
Fahnline, Donald E.
Foti, Veronique M.
Frank, William M.
Franz, George W.
Fullerton, Erika R.
Galligan, M. Margaret
Georgopulos, Peter D.
Geschwindner, Louis F.
Goldman, Margaret B.
Goldschmidt, Arthur E.
Gouran, Dennis S.
Green, David J.
Gunderman, Charles F.
Hampp, Timothy J.
Hanley, Elizabeth A.
Harmonosky, Catherine M.
Harrison, Terry P.
Harwood, John T.
Hatcher, Lisa C.
Hayek, Sabih I.
Hewitt, Julia C.
Hill, Charles W.
Hock, Winand K.
Holt, Frieda M.
Hunt, Brandon B.
Hurson, Ali R.
Irwin, Zachary T.
Jackson, Thomas N.
Jago, Deidre E.
Johnson, Ernest W.
Jones, W. Terrell
Jurs, Peter C.
Kenney, W. Larry
Kissick, John D.
Klein, Philip A.
Kunze, Donald E.
Lesieutre, George A.
Lilley, John M.
Lippert, John R.
Lipsitz, Carly M.
Lukezic, Felix L.
Lyday, Margaret M.
Marshall, J. Daniel
Marsico, Salvatore A.
Mayer, Jeffrey S.
McCarty, Ronald L.
McCorkle, Sallie M.
McGregor, Annette K.
Minard, Robert D.
Moore, John W.
Myers, David J.
Myers, Jamie M.
Nath, Richard F.
Navin, Michael J.
Nelson, Murry R.
Nichols, John S.
Ovaert, Timothy C.
Ozment, Judy P.
Pangborn, Robert N.
Paster, Amy L.
Patterson, Henry O.
Pauley, Laura L.
Peavler, Terry J.
Pees, Richard C.
Phillips, Allen T.
Power, Barbara L.
Pytel, Jean Landa
Rebane, P. Peter
Richards, David R.
Richards, Winston A.
Rogers, Gary W.
Romano, John J.
Romberger, Andrew B.
Romero, Victor C.
Roth, David E.
Sandmeyer, Louise E.
Scanlon, Dennis C.
Scaroni, Alan W.
Schuelein, Derek R.
Seybert, Thomas A.
Sharp, Jeffrey M.
Shea, Dennis G.
Smith, Carol A.
Smith, James F.
Smith, Sandra R.
Snavely, Loanne L.
Spanier, Graham B.
Stace, Stephen W.
Stoffels, Shelley M.
Strasser, Gerhard F.
Strasser, Joseph C.
Stratton, Valerie N.
Sutton, Jane S.
Thomson, Joan S.
Tormey, Brian B.
Trevino, Linda Klebe
Turner, Tramble T.
Urenko, John B.
Varadan, Vasundara V.
Ventura, Jose A.
Vickers, Anita M.
Wager, J. James
Walters, Robert A.
Wanner, Adrian J.
Ware, Roger P.
White, Eric R.
Willits, Billie S.
Wyatt, Nancy J.
Ziegenfus, Theodore T.
FROM SENATE OFFICE
Bugyi, George J.
Campbell, M. Lori
Hockenberry, Betsy S.
Price, Vickie R.
Simpson, Linda A.
Walk, Sherry F.
170 Total Elected
4 Total Ex Officio
12 Total Appointed
186 Total Attending
TENTATIVE AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 26, 1999
Student Life - Revision of University Policy on Academic Integrity (Senate Policy 49-20 and ACUE Procedure G-9) (Legislative)
Faculty Benefits - Recommendation Regarding Surcharges in the Penn State Dental Plan (Advisory/Consultative)
Senate Council - Academic Health Centers (Informational)
Undergraduate Education - Summary of Petitions by College, Unit or Location (Informational)
University Planning - Construction Programs Status Report (Informational)
University Planning - Budget Report, Process and Outcome for the Academic Year 1999/2000 and Budget Planning for the Academic Year 2000/2001 (Informational)