THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
THE SENATE RECORD
Volume 39-----October 25, 2005-----Number 2
The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University, 2005-2006.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is distributed to all libraries across the Penn State system and is posted on the Web at http://www.senate.psu.edu under “Publications.” Copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, Senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory and forensic body to the Chair for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.
Reports that have appeared in the Agenda for the meeting are not included in The Senate Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript of the meeting is on file. Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary, University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Final Agenda for October 25, 2005
II. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
B. New Policy (HR-70) for Dismissal of Tenure or Tenure Eligible Faculty Members
FINAL AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 25, 2005
A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the September 13, 2005, Meeting in The Senate Record 39:1
B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs
Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of October 11, 2005
800-level Graduate Courses
C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meeting of October 11, 2005
D. COMMENTS BY THE CHAIR
E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
F. FORENSIC BUSINESS
G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL REPORT
Senate Committee on University Planning:
University Budget and Planning Presentation by Executive Vice President and Provost
H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Revision of Senate Policy 67-00, Athletic Competition, Section 2, Eligibility of Athletes
Revision of Policies 51-50, 60-00, and 60-10: Cumulative Grade-Point Averages, Completing More
Than One Undergraduate Major Program (Sequential or Concurrent Majors), and Concurrent Majors Program
I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
New Policy (HR-70) for Dismissal of Tenure or
Tenure Eligible Faculty Members
J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Promoting Student Learning:
The Emerging Role of Student Affairs at Penn State
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Report on Faculty Senate Scholarship Awards to Undergraduates
Equity in Faculty Development Funding
Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits
Annual Report of Academic Eligibility and Athletic Scholarships
Penn State World Campus Update
K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
NOTE: The next regular meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Myers: The September 13, 2005, Senate Record, providing a full transcription of the proceedings, was sent to all University Libraries and is posted on the Faculty Senate Web site. Are there any corrections or additions to this document? May I hear a motion to accept?
Senator: So moved.
Chair Myers: Second?
Chair Myers: All in favor of accepting the minutes of September 13, 2005, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay. Motion carried. The minutes of the September 13, 2005, meeting have been approved.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Chair Myers: The Senate Curriculum Report of October 11, 2005, is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site. We have an additional communication to the Senate from the Graduate School Associate Dean Regina Vasilatos-Younken concerning 800-level graduate courses. This document is appendix B in your agenda.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Chair Myers: Enclosed in today's agenda are the minutes of the Senate Council meeting of October 11.
COMMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Myers: As everyone knows, Jan Jacobs passed away on September 16. Jan served as an appointed and ex officio member of the Senate from 2000 to 2005. She was a valuable member of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education and a valuable colleague to many of us. She was a good person to work with and I appreciated all that she gave to the University. She will be missed. I would like to ask for a moment of silence in her memory. Thank you.
We have another full agenda with significant reports to the very end. I’m going to attempt to keep the meeting on some type of a schedule so we can be finished around 3:30. Out of courtesy to our presenters, please turn off the ringers, beeps, and songs on your cell phones at this time. The snow is changing over to rain so you do not have to feel nervous about the drives that are ahead of you.
As with our first Senate meeting, we are again using Media Site Live. We are developing guidelines for accessing the live broadcast with a password as well as procedures to allow Senators to vote on-line from a remote desk-top. Meetings will be archived for full University access. You will be hearing more about this new technology as we work out the bugs. One of the bugs from the last meeting was that when you have the handheld microphones, we sometimes did not pick up your voice. So if you could, when making your comments or questions, please wait for that microphone and be sure to speak into it.
I refer you to the minutes of Senate Council at the end of your agenda. Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed at the October 3rd meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President.
I have received several emails and phone messages expressing great concern about the recent discrimination allegations against women's basketball coach Rene Portland. The Faculty Senate is committed to the University's anti-discrimination policy and will maintain a close watch on matters that devalue this principle. I am at this time confident that the University is vigorously pursuing an investigation into the current allegation through the Office of Affirmative Action, directed by Ken Lehrman. This investigation will accord due process to all involved individuals and focus on detailing specific allegations with all available witnesses. The Office of Affirmative Action will not release information about the investigation until it is concluded, so I ask that interested individuals be patient with a potential lack of University updates on the investigation. I encourage all individuals with direct knowledge or experience with the matters to contact the Office of Affirmative Action and participate in the investigation.
Our campus visits are almost finished. On November 1, we will visit the Pennsylvania College of Technology and will then debrief our visits with the Provost on November 22. Dawn Blasko will give the Fall Campus visit report at the December 6 Senate meeting.
We have some special guests from Japan with us today. They are from Hiroshima and Nagoya Universities and are visiting Penn State to learn about our academic and administrative processes for reviewing and approving curriculum. Please welcome Naoyuki Ogata, Akihiro Asonuma, and Masataka Murasawa. Professor Asonuma is a visiting scholar in Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and Professor Murasawa is a visiting scholar at George Washington University.
Also, today we are pleased to have with us several graduate students from the Higher Education Student Association and three undergraduate students enrolled in a College of Agricultural Sciences Leadership Development course. We are pleased to have you attending this Senate meeting. Could you stand please?
I will make two brief comments about the status of Senate special committee work on University Curriculum and Faculty Issues. The final reports of the P&T Transition Committee and the Curricular Integrity committee are posted on the Senate Web site. I want to publicly acknowledge George Franz, Rob Pangborn and John Nichols for their leadership on these two important committees. The Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs has received the P&T Transition Committee special report and is charged with submitting an advisory and consultative report with revisions to HR-23. The Curricular Integrity report provides advice to the Senate on many issues; each issue needs to be referred to the appropriate Senate committee; thus, several Senate committees will be charged to collaborate with appropriate administrative groups over the next few months to develop appropriate policies and procedures. Senate committees will bring forward to the full Senate any necessary reports on new policy and procedure. For example, the Intra-University Relations committee has been charged with developing recommendations for building University-wide disciplinary communities. I will provide a fuller report on the distribution of the Curricular Integrity report’s suggestions at the December Senate meeting when we have more time.
Finally, the Curriculum Transition Committee will begin meeting later this week and over the next three months to prepare advice to the Senate on revisions to the Senate Guide to Curricular Procedures.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Myers: President Spanier is with us today. I am pleased to invite him to come forward to make some remarks. In order to stay on schedule I was going to cancel your remarks, but I decided we’d better go ahead.
President Spanier: What a wonderful introduction. It is one of the best ever. I will be very brief. The reason Jamie was hoping to finish at 3:30 p.m. is because of his commitment to have all of you home by 7:00 p.m. so you can watch To the Best of My Knowledge live. Tonight, the topic is memory. It should be a very interesting discussion on memory. If you have any questions, and can remember them, call in. For those of you at some distance, it is on not only on WPSU FM and television, but also on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. So everyone in Pennsylvania can tune in.
At 1:00 p.m., I gave the welcoming address for the International Workshop on Climatologists who are gathered from around the world here at Penn State to talk about climate and meteorology, and in introducing me, the chair, Paul Knight, had mentioned that I often speak about campus climate. It is an international audience, so they did not quite get it. You folks got it at least. He did report that he had already done some research and only seven times in history has it snowed in October in central Pennsylvania, which is an interesting tidbit. The other factoid that goes with that is that on the seven occasions that it did snow in October, the annual winter snow fall averaged 70 inches compared to the normal 48. So get those shovels out and snow blowers tuned up. Right now, we are protecting certain areas of campus because there is a lot of heavy snow on some of the limbs. A few have come down already, so be careful when you are out there on the walk ways.
Rod Erickson has just returned from a whirl-wind tour of Australia, where he was part of a delegation of academic leaders from the United States looking at Australian universities and exchanging information, and he will be up to give a report. He is going to talk in a little more detail about some of the late-breaking, evolving issues surrounding budget and enrollments, but let me just say that this is something that is very much at the top of our list of concerns right now at the University for a variety of reasons which he will describe. We are in a situation where our enrollments are down this Fall. In some cases for good reasons and some not. Of course, that has consequences on the budget side. There is no cause for panic around the University but we will be doing some belt-tightening that we will want to be getting ready for in anticipation for next year.
It also will have the consequence, that and some other factors, for slowing down some of our capital construction. Nothing is being removed from the list but some things might need to slide for a few months or maybe for a year. Nevertheless, we are still doing quite a bit of capital construction and all of the projects that are currently under design will move ahead.
On November 9, we are having an interesting group of people on campus. I had mentioned before that we are moving ahead with preparing a new program and putting together curriculum in security and information analysis. This is being done under the leadership of Dean Jim Thomas, but it is a multidisciplinary program that will cut across a number of areas of the University. We have assembled about a dozen national leaders from business and industry and government to come and help us talk about a program like this, helping us to design it from the ground up. That occurs on November 9. This spring we will hope to go through an accelerated process to get that all in place so that we can begin that program next Fall.
Let me finally point out something that is probably obvious to all of you. Life does seem to be a little better when you are winning. My travels around the country are just so much more enjoyable now, when people can come and talk about all the wins. But while the attention is on football, I do want to point out that something rather unprecedented has happened at this point in the Fall Season, we have already won three Big Ten titles in Men’s soccer, Women’s soccer, and Women’s field hockey. We are on the verge of winning a Big Ten title in Women’s volleyball, and if we should complete the season in football as we hope, that would be five Big Ten championships in a fall season. I do not think that has ever happened before. We have our folks checking on that. But it is quite an amazing thing. For you volleyball fans, 7:30 p.m. Friday night you can see the Homecoming Parade and come right over to Rec Hall. We want to fill the place up as we play Wisconsin, which is probably the number two team, the one team that might challenge us at this point for the Big Ten championship. If you are at another campus and can not get there, that match is being carried nationally on CSTV, the College Sport Television Network. Steve Jones and I are doing the play-by-play in color, so tune in and feel free to send me an email on how I did.
That concludes my brief report and now I will be happy to take your questions.
Dennis Gouran, Liberal Arts: Since Study Day was implemented several years ago, it has been my impression that it is a day in which the least amount of studying in the academic year goes on. I am wondering it if we can not start calling that day what it actually is which is a student holiday or long weekend, rather than persisting in the notion that this is a day that students need to get caught up and to refresh their intellectual interest because I do not see that happening.
President Spanier: My observation is that we can call it anything we want and the students will still call it Fall Break. That is probably how it is being viewed. We called it Study Day at the time at which we actually decreased it from two days to one, so it is now a three-day weekend. It was, up until last year, a four-day weekend. I think it is working a little better this way and gave us the additional flexibility with the Fall calendar. Some of you may recall that when it was two days, some students were declaring that it might as well just be a whole week. Of course, they needed the whole week to study and get caught up. We could call it whatever we wanted, I guess, but it is just a subtle way of trying to send a message and say why we have that day; to give people an opportunity to get caught up. It sounds like a good topic for the Senate. We do have a committee that talks about these things, so go ahead. I do not think we would put up a fight on it. We noticed that the campus was kind of empty, but they may have been studying at home.
Winston Richards, Harrisburg: We recently made national news with regard to nuclear safety. The sense that we get is that one can walk in, pick up a rod, put it in one’s pocket, and walk away. Would you please comment?
President Spanier: I would be happy to. I have followed that story very closely because the senior investigative correspondent for ABC news who did that hour-long story is my best friend. We grew up together and we are still very close and he only informed me shortly before it aired that we would be one of the schools featured. I thought, overall, it was a good story because it highlighted some issues for the twenty-five universities in the country that do have research reactors on their campuses. Penn State’s nuclear reactor, as some of you may know, was the first commissioned nuclear reactor in the United States. We have a very long history and as near as I can tell, we have the strongest safety program and the greatest degree of security. How many of you here have ever toured the facility? That is quite amazing that so many of you have, as have a lot of our students and school children in the area. We operate that facility with the idea that it should be accessible, it should be open, and it serves an educational purpose. The level at which we operate and the amount of material and the grade of the material is such that, frankly, it does not pose a significant safety hazard. We have multiple layers of security and control, most of which we intentionally do not talk about publicly. I can assure all of you that our particular facility is very safe, good security, does not pose a safety problem. We review it all the time. We operate under the strictest of rules put forth by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Thank you, but do not worry about it.
Am I missing anyone? Other topics? You really do want to be out at 3:30. Thank you very much.
Chair Myers: Thank you, President Spanier. I might add that on To the Best of My Knowledge, our own Senate Secretary will be serving as one of the guests. If you do manage to get home and tune in, you will get to see Dawn Blasko.As we begin our discussion of reports, I remind you to please stand and identify yourself and the unit you represent.
SPECIAL INFORMATIONAL REPORT
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING
University Budget and Planning, Appendix C. Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson presented this report. The slide presentation is posted on the Senate Web site at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2005-2006/oct25-05agn/appc.pdf.
Chair Myers: We have a Legislative report from the Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. This report is Appendix D entitled Revision of Senate Policy 67-00, Athletic Competition, Section 2, Eligibility of Athletes. Chair Paul Tikalsky is here.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS
Revision of Senate Policy 67-00, Athletic Competition, Section 2, Eligibility of Athletes
Paul J. Tikalsky, Chair Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics
Paul Tikalsky: I do not have any bad financial news, so maybe we can get through this. This report is a proposed change for the 67-00 policy. The 67-00 policy lays out the eligibility for students in college athletics throughout Penn State. Penn State essentially has one Division 1 program. We also have three Division 3 campuses, and we also have fourteen or more campuses which compete in intercollegiate athletics without NCAA rules. That’s primarily the Penn State University Athletic Conference. The current 67-00 rule outlines a certain level of progress toward degree that must be made in order to maintain eligibility. This level, without scholarship athletes and those who have the academic support of the centers here at University Park, provide a much higher level than the Big Ten eligibility requirements for progress towards graduation. The Big Ten levels are much higher than Division 1 NCAA athletics. As a policy, Penn State has held our Penn State University Athletic Conference, which are non-NCAA athletes, and our Division 3 school athletes to the same Penn State standard which is above the Big Ten standard, which is above the NCAA Division 1 standard. This change in policy essentially requires that all of our Division 3 schools and the athletes in the Penn State University Athletic Conference comply with the NCAA Division 1 requirement for progress toward graduation, which is 12 credits per semester that they’re in school in order to stay eligible. The proposed change is a table change which does not affect scholarship athletes at University Park. There are no scholarship athletes outside of University Park and there are no standards for progress toward graduation for Division 3 athletes either. We are proposing that we hold all of our Division 3 athletes and all of our Penn State University Athletic Conference athletes to the NCAA Division 1 standard for progress towards graduation.
Chair Myers: Any questions or discussion? This report comes from a committee and has already been moved and seconded.
Chair Myers: As many as are in favor of the legislation, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed nay. The ayes have it and the motion passes. Thank you Chair Tikalsky. The recommendations will be sent to President Spanier for implementation.
The second Legislative report comes from the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education. This report appears on today’s agenda as Appendix E entitled Revision of Policies 51-50, 60-00, and 60-10: Cumulative Grade-Point Averages, Completing More Than One Undergraduate Major Program (Sequential or Concurrent Majors), and Concurrent Majors Program. Chair Art Miller is here to answer your questions.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Revision of Policies 51-50, 60-00, and 60-10: Cumulative Grade-Point Averages, Completing More Than One Undergraduate Major Program
(Sequential or Concurrent Majors), and Concurrent Majors Program
Arthur Miller, Chair, Committee on Undergraduate Education
Arthur Miller: The purpose of this legislation is to clear up an issue that we did not pass in the Spring. What it is saying is that all students that are at Penn State in an associate degree program or baccalaureate degree program with either a sequential or concurrent degree that all the courses taken at Penn State would count towards their GPA. The only thing that would be an exception to that would be the associate degree 800 level classes. That’s trying to clear up something that we passed last Spring to make it all inclusive.
Chair Myers: Questions or discussion? This report comes from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. As many as are in favor of the legislation, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed nay. The ayes have it and the motion passes. Thank you Chair Miller. The recommendations will be sent to President Spanier for implementation.
Our next report comes from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs. The report is Appendix F entitled New Policy (HR-70) for Dismissal of Tenured or Tenure Eligible Faculty Members. A door hand-out was also provided with revisions made by the committee. Chair Mohamad Ansari and P&T subcommittee chair Cindy Brewer who is also a member of the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities subcommittee, and Larry Backer are here to answer questions on this report.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Mohamad Ansari: Thank you Chair Myers, and good afternoon. I guess everybody has saved their questions for us. Having said that, this report is formulated based on recommendations made by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure and existing language in HR-23, sections 4.9 to 4.11. If I could draw your attention to the following key items in the report, the sections following the initial dismissal process are based on the language in HR-23, sections 4.9-4.11 and sections 2 through 12 which follow the committee procedure rules, are based on recommendations made by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. In this report, the committee makes two recommendations: one is the implementation of this new policy as HR-70, and the second is to revise HR-23 to bring it into conformity with the new policy HR-70. The door hand-out that you received this afternoon comes from the event that happened last night. At 6:00 p.m. I went to the meeting and the bombshell was that the legal counsel has certain recommendations that my committee is supposed to consider. I have to bring you up to date, that this preliminary report from my committee had gone to the University legal counsel and the committee incorporated many of the suggestions. There were suggestions that were substantive and we discussed it further. We had an issue with respect to item E, which is the burden of proof, and I presented to the committee three options. They voted 18 to 2 to adopt the section E that you see currently in this policy. The other suggestions that were not adopted I took to the committee this morning and this door hand-out is basically speaking to that.
If I could just say a few words about how we approached this. The first one the “out of time” phrase was in our report but on October 11, Senate Council suggested that we take it out and I took it out. Then last night, the University legal counsel wanted it to be put back in and that was a friendly amendment this morning, there was no discussion and it was put back in. The scope is revised to delete the sentence that starts with “This policy also describes the procedures…” by replacing the sentence starting with “Cases of substantive dispute...” This is the language as it appears in HR-23 and the committee approved this unanimously. There are others that have been approved and there were two items that the committee unanimously voted no on. At this time, I would like to acknowledge on behalf of the Committee the work of last year’s Committee on Faculty Affairs, especially the work of Professor Berkowitz, who drafted the first version of this document; the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure; Vice Provost Bowen; and University Legal Counsel Kathleen Allen for their recommendation. Thank you.
Chair Myers: Are there any questions on the policy or the revisions or any discussion?
Mila Su, Altoona: Regarding the reinsertion of the quote “out of time” statement, I would hope that legal counsel can provide a definition within their interpretation of what “out of time” means because one of the concerns that I raised at Senate Council was that we may have an understanding of what “out of time” means right now. Someone else may come in five years down the road with a different interpretation of what “out of time” is. I would like to request consideration that if you include that phrase, that some kind of parameter is included so that people can interpret what that means. Thank you.
Mohamad Ansari: Thank you Mila. If you look at the third line, it really relates to the definition of “out of time,” which says a professional appointment period with less advance notice than is specified in HR-23 section 4.8, the faculty member shall be accorded due process. The committee believes that the definition is there and it is placed in the scope.
Brian Tormey, Altoona: First, I want to commend the committee on their work. This report offers a great deal of improvement in the middle and end game part of the process. But I would like to strengthen the committee’s perspective a little bit more, and I offer this amendment: In the "steps," number three, the third sentence, which was part of your revision included in the hand-out, I would add this statement following the introductory phrase “The appropriate ombudsman shall be present” I would offer the amendment inclusion, specifically, “as an objective informational resource to the committee,” and let the sentence continue from there. What this does is clarify the role of the ombudsman as a committee resource throughout the entire process from the earliest stages up to this point. That is an invaluable resource for the committee to have. Secondly, it substantiates the potential value of utilizing the ombudsman to both parties, administrative as well as faculty, and I think those things need to be emphasized because if you look at Duff Gold’s report to Senate Council there are needs earlier in the process. This would also help motivate the Senate to take into consideration those needs as well, which I am sure we are thinking about at this point, given Duff Gold’s report.
Chair Myers: An amendment has been made to add the phrase in initiation of dismissal process A, step three, to read “the appropriate ombudsman shall be present.” The addition is “as an objective informational resource to the committee at the meeting unless the faculty,” and the sentence continues from there. That is the amendment. Is there a second?
Chair Myers: Motion has been seconded. We are going to discuss the addition of those words. Is there any discussion on those words in that addition in that sentence?
Leonard Berkowitz, York: I want to clarify something. If I understand the placement of this, there is no committee it is resourced to, it is a resource to the administration and to the faculty member. So if I understand the correct version of this would be “the appropriate ombudsman shall be present as an objective informational resource,” and that would be the end of it. Is that correct? It makes no sense to add “to the committee” at this point.
Chair Myers: I think that is an astute observation.
Brian Tormey: I would stand with that correction. That is fine with me because it does nothing elsewhere.
Chair Myers: I think the amendment has received a friendly change. Is that OK with the seconder? So it is “as an objective informational resource.” Scratch “to the committee.” Any other discussion on this addition? We are going to vote just on the amendment. All those in favor of adding this phrase to the sentence, please say aye.
Chair Myers: Those opposed say nay.
Chair Myers: The ayes have it. The amendment passes and that phrase is added. Questions or discussion on other points?
Gary Catchen, Engineering: I have a, hopefully, trivial change to suggest. The first sentence says “The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.” That is a document published by the American Association of University Professors and should be cited as such.
Chair Myers: We will get that cited in the Senate Web site. It is not part of what we are voting on.
Gary Catchen: It just makes me feel good because I pay the dues to the association.
Chair Myers: It is not part of the discussion but we will get that in there.
Peter Rebane, Abington: Since the door hand-out, according to your statement, contains changes suggested by University legal counsel, I would like to have some explanation why the words “will respond” become “may respond,” and why we changed “unless the faculty member waives” and we strike “in writing” the right to have an ombudsman present. My reason for asking this is that many subsequent disputes over cases like this come about because of "he said, she said." If you have it in writing, there is proof that a person took some action or declined to take some action and I was curious why we weaken the evidence, if you want to call it that, in this instance.
Mohamad Ansari: The first time this came to me, I made the revisions which I thought were editorial in nature and I sent it to my committee. We didn’t discuss it any further until last night and Chair Myers had a good suggestion and said take it to your committee and have them vote on it. This is basically a procedural change that we made this morning and I have no other explanation except to tell you that the committee accepted it.
Peter Rebane: I don’t have a problem with the first revision “may respond in writing,” but I would like to object to crossing out the words “unless the faculty member waives in writing the right to have the ombudsman present” I think that we have included the ombudsman as a step to guarantee certain rights and privileges and so on, and I think that if a faculty member waives that right, I would like to see in subsequent negotiations to have that waiver in writing so that there’s no question that there was some deliberate oversight or sliding. I don’t know how the chair would rule, but I would move that the revision not be accepted, that the phrase still say “Unless the faculty member waives in writing to have the ombudsman present.” I don’t know how we would proceed with that.
Chair Myers: I would proceed as an amendment. The amendment has been moved to return the phrase “in writing” since the Faculty Affairs committee brought it to us without that. We need a second for that.
Chair Myers: It has been moved and seconded to restore the phrase “in writing” in that sentence. A discussion on this amendment.
Mark Casteel: As I understand Peter’s question, it was at the urging of legal counsel to strike that part and Peter asked for the justification of counsel and he did not get an answer to his question. I would appreciate an answer. What was the counsel’s recommendation for striking that “in writing” part?
Mohamad Ansari: The Counsel did not provide a rationale for their recommendations, if that’s what you’re asking. I received these recommendations for revision last night at the direction of Chair Myers, and he suggested that I take it to my committee. I did not incorporate these revisions the first time. I took it to my committee and we were supposed to vote on every single item and that is exactly what we did this morning. I had no rationale for this. Again, I might add, the committee is happy to accept the motion that Peter has suggested.
Chair Myers: Any other questions or discussion? We will vote on that amendment. All those in favor of restoring the phrase “in writing” say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed nay. Motion passes and that is amended. Are there any other points for discussion or question?
Robert Hunter, Eberly College of Science: In looking at the section on adequate cause, I see under number three moral turpitude. In light of four, which is grave misconduct, what in the world did the committee have in mind for moral turpitude? Could this include blasphemy or heresy or what?
Mohamad Ansari: We would be happy to change it to allegations, instead of alleged misconduct.
Robert Hunter: I would suggest that you strike number three in its entirety. I make an amendment to that effect.
Chair Myers: We are on Adequate Cause, that part of the document, and a motion has been made to strike small Roman numeral three, moral turpitude. Is that correct?
Robert Hunter: That is correct. It sounds rather medieval to me.
Chair Myers: Is there a second for that?
Chair Myers: I hear a second. Discussion on this motion to strike moral turpitude.
Leonard Berkowitz, York: You raise an important issue but as I recall, what we have here is something that the committee did not change. This is current language in HR-23 and I would be reluctant to start making substantive changes in what we have which is essentially a procedures document without full consideration by either the committee or counsel before we get a chance to do it. I still think that if you are right and this needs to be changed, it should be done after such consideration. Let’s pass this improvement in procedures first.
Robert Hunter: If it is to be done, it were well it were done quickly and now. We are not asking for wholesale revision, we are simply asking that this item three be struck in light of the fact that any reasonable item would be covered under item four.
John Tierney, Delaware County: I do not know if I am speaking out of line here but I seem to remember the discussion in the committee on moral turpitude was concerning an issue about this institution hiring a professor who was later found to have committed murders, and that was the beginning and the end of the discussion so that is why I believe we left it in there.
Mohamad Ansari: As Leonard said, this committee this year was not charged to define moral turpitude or grave misconduct. There was a report from the Faculty Affairs committee last year, presented April 28, 2005, which addressed that. Our committee was charged to outline operating procedures for a Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. We did not discuss what constitutes moral turpitude. I have a list here which is two pages long that I can show what constitutes moral turpitude, but that was the not the charge of the committee to define these catch-all phrases for this report.
Chair Myers: Are there other comments on this?
Victor Brunsden, Altoona: I think we should leave it in, to take it out it skews this policy. This is the phrasing taken essentially from HR-23 which states that a faculty member may be dismissed for any one of these four reasons. Since this is lifted from HR-23 and it is supposed to be consistent with it, I find it problematic if we introduce this sort of inconsistency between these two policies right now. HR-23 says moral turpitude, HR-70 does not, which one do you believe? They both carry the status of policies. This was a huge discussion in Faculty Affairs last year and while I find the phrase rather objectionable myself, I would rather see it left in there for the sake of consistency because it requires a much larger effort than simply deleting this phrase from this one policy right now.
Chair Myers: Are there other points of view on this?
Robert Hunter: You want consistency in spite of the fact that it is wrong. This is crazy. I move the question.
Chair Myers: Are there other point of view on this?
Chair Myers: I realize that, but I never recognized him. No other different points of view?
Peter Rebane: I was hired under these terms, and I always wondered what it meant; it certainly has changed over the 39 years that I have been here. If we start changing those particular statements as much as people like and we are not really involved in revising HR-23, I think that is a whole different question. While we might find them offensive, I might also question what is the meaning of grave conduct or lack of competence? Certainly we may look around here and wonder about that issue. So instead of engaging in a philosophical debate over what philosophical and relativistic terms mean at this juncture, I would rather vote on the proposal as it stands, which gives us a much clearer procedure to avoid legalistic and other complications. Those who would like to discuss such issues as point one through four, the Senate Office might very happily take your name and appoint you to a special committee to discuss the definition of these terms. I urge you to defeat that amendment and vote on the report as it stands. Thank you.
Chair Myers: Seeing no more discussion on the amendment, all of those in favor of the amendment to strike moral turpitude say aye.
Chair Myers: Those opposed say nay.
Chair Myers: The nays have it. The amendment fails. Are there other points of discussion on the policy? Those in favor of the policy, say aye.
Chair Myers: Opposed, nay. It passes. The report will be sent to President Spanier for his approval and implementation.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT LIFE
Promoting Student Learning: The Emerging Role of Student Affairs at Penn State, Appendix G. Vicky Triponey, Vice President for Student Affairs, shared several strategies to improve student services and promote student engagement as part of the informational report. The following is a summary of the questions asked by Senators after the presentation.
There was a question concerning the percentage of students who did not know a faculty or staff member well enough to ask for a letter of recommendation, it would be more significant if the data presented was for seniors or classes only. There was a concern that first semester freshman were not yet at the point in their development that they would have any meaningful contact with faculty. There was a question on whether some of the proposals by the committee should be handled solely by the athletics program. Serious concerns were raised by a Senator concerning grade inflation and the low number of hours students reported spending on study. Questions were asked about the types of drug and alcohol counseling that is offered to students.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON
ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID
Report on Faculty Senate Scholarship Awards to Undergraduates, Appendix H. This report shows the distribution of scholarships across campuses, colleges and classes.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Equity in Faculty Development Funding , Appendix I. This informational report examines questions from the 2004 University Faculty Staff survey that addressed faculty development. From this analysis, the Faculty Affairs committee offers four areas for further evaluation.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON INSURANCE AND BENEFITS
Annual Report, Appendix J. The Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits presented its annual report focusing on health-care rates and plan changes, wellness initiatives, retiree health plans, prescription drug coverage, and TIAA-CREF plan revisions.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS
Annual Report of Academic Eligibility and Athletic Scholarships 2004-2005, Appendix R. Scott Kretchmar, Penn State's NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative, presented data on academic eligibility and athletic scholarships awarded in 2004-2005. The report also included an overview of academic performance of student-athletes and graduation rates.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON OUTREACH
Penn State World Campus Update, Appendix L. Peter Rubba, senior director of the World Campus, presented this report focusing on enrollments, programs offered, enrollment projections and the distribution of faculty teaching in undergraduate and graduate programs in 2005-2006. The following is a summary of the questions asked by Senators after the presentation.
Dr. Rubba was asked to comment on the number of enrollments and how the world campus was measuring quality of education, including student satisfaction and learning. A Senator asked if the World Campus would provide information about this to the Senate in the future. There was a question on faculty enrollment in World Campus courses and whether the tuition discount applied. One Senator raised concerns over the graduation rates of the associate degree and baccalaureate degree programs, given the slower pace for World Campus students. There were also comments on student concerns over tuition for World Campus courses.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
Chair Myers: May I have a motion to adjourn? All in favor please say aye.
Please note the October 25, 2005, University Faculty Senate meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m. The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be on December 6, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
New Policy (HR-70) for Dismissal of Tenured or Tenure Eligible Faculty Members
(Advisory and Consultative)
Implementation: Upon approval by the President
BACKGROUND and RATIONALE:
Academic freedom and tenure are the bedrock of modern American higher education. The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure provides the framework within which the privileges and obligations of academic freedom and tenure may be exercised by individuals and institutions alike. Tenure is a means to freedom of teaching and research and economic security. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society.
But the privileges of academic freedom and tenure also carry great responsibility. Moreover, neither tenure nor academic freedom can serve as an absolute guarantee of employment in the face of actual threats to the financial viability of the institution or against valid and bona fide institutional determinations to end support for particular academic programs.
Currently HR23 guarantees the right of faculty to hearings by a Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. However, the specific operating procedures of the committee and the definitions of key terms are not included in the policy. In fact, HR23 states, “The Committee shall be authorized to establish its own operating procedures...”
On the basis of recommendations made by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, this Committee has drafted a comprehensive policy which sets forth procedures to be used in connection with the dismissal of tenured or tenure eligible faculty members on grounds of adequate cause, financial exigency and program elimination, or revision. These procedures include pre-hearing before the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, as well as those procedures to be used in the conduct of hearing before the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure.
This policy is intended to comprehensively supplement and expand the more general provisions of HR23, including, without limitation, HR23 Parts IV-9 through IV-11. As a consequence, several of the provisions of HR23 will become redundant or express in general terms policies and procedures treated specifically and in detail in the new HR70.
Therefore, the Committee recommends:
1. That the Office of Human Resources shall implement this policy as a new Policy HR70; and
2. That HR23 shall be revised for conformity to the new HR70, including the elimination of redundant or general provisions now treated in HR70.
This HR Policy is written to define the conditions and procedures under which tenured faculty members or tenure eligible faculty members against whom “out of time” dismissal is sought may be dismissed from the University on grounds of adequate cause, financial exigency and program elimination, or revision.
In the event that the University Administration seeks to dismiss a tenured faculty member for adequate cause, or seeks to dismiss a tenure eligible faculty member during the provisional appointment period with less advance notice than that specified in HR23 Section IV.8, the faculty member shall be accorded due process, as is required by applicable law as specified in this HR70 Policy, including an opportunity for a hearing before the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, prior to termination. Cases of substantive dispute involving the termination of a tenured appointment for reasons of financial exigency or program elimination or revision also shall be considered at a hearing by the Committee.
A tenured or tenure eligible faculty member may be dismissed for adequate cause as determined in accordance with this policy. Adequate cause shall mean any one of the following: (i) lack of competence or failure to perform in relation to the functions required by the appointment, (ii) excessive absenteeism, (iii) moral turpitude, or (iv) grave misconduct. Dismissal for adequate cause will not be used to restrain or otherwise affect faculty members in the exercise of their individual or collective academic freedom or in contravention of other legal rights accorded to individuals by law or practice. Standards of notice as specified in HR23 Section IV.8 are not required in cases of dismissal for adequate cause.
INITIATION OF DISMISSAL PROCESS:
A. The Steps that shall be Followed to Initiate the Dismissal Process:
B. Process After Initial Meeting: The purpose of the meeting(s) and responses listed above is to provide both parties with an understanding of the other party’s position, as well as an opportunity to settle the matter without formal action.
C. Referral to Standing Joint Committee on Tenure: If both the Dean and the Executive Vice President and Provost concur that the disciplinary sanction of termination for adequate cause is warranted under the circumstances, the matter will be referred to the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. The Dean will promptly advise the faculty member of that determination in writing by letter addressed to the affected faculty member and the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. The Dean’s letter shall set forth the specific basis for seeking adequate cause termination and the specific conduct which serves as the basis for the termination. Such written notification will advise the faculty member that the matter will be referred to the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, unless the faculty member requests the opportunity to resign in lieu of termination.
D. Suspension Pending Ruling by Standing Joint Committee on Tenure: Ordinarily, the affected faculty member shall not be suspended prior to a final decision by the President. Suspension of the faculty member prior to a final decision by the President is justified only if there is reason to believe that material harm to the University, its faculty, staff, or students will occur or be threatened by the faculty member's continued active status during the proceedings. The suspension decision shall be made by the appropriate Dean with the concurrence of the Executive Vice President and Provost. The suspended faculty member shall be informed of the reasons warranting his or her suspension and may make a written objection to the suspension to the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. Any such suspension shall be with full pay and benefits.
E. Burden of Proof: The burden of proof that adequate cause exists for the dismissal of the faculty member, or that substantial grounds exists justifying dismissal for financial exigency and program elimination, or revision, rests with the University and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.
STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE ON TENURE:
The Standing Joint Committee on Tenure acts solely in an advisory capacity to the President on matters pertinent to the dismissal of tenured or tenure eligible faculty. It holds hearings to receive evidence and adjudicate the matter and to provide the President with a reasoned opinion and recommendation for action with respect to the request to dismiss a faculty member. The Standing Joint Committee on Tenure shall exercise its obligations in accordance with the procedural rules described in this HR-70.
The Standing Joint Committee on Tenure shall consist of five members: two members selected by the administration, and three tenured faculty members selected by the elected faculty members of the University Senate. The Chair will be chosen by the committee from the elected tenured faculty members.
1. Preliminary Evaluation. The Standing Joint Committee on Tenure will first evaluate whether or not the charges of misconduct described in the Dean’s letter, if true, constitute adequate cause for dismissal. If the Committee rules that the charges, takenas true, do not constitute adequate cause for dismissal, the Committee will issue a pre-hearing report, recommending to the President that no further proceedings occur. If the President agrees with the Committee’s pre-hearing report, he or she will terminate the dismissal process. However, should the President disagree with this initial determination, he or she shall so notify the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure and the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure shall, promptly upon receipt of this notice, conduct the hearing described below.
Should the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure rule that the charges may, if proven, constitute adequate cause for dismissal, the hearing will be conducted and all parties will be notified in writing.
2. Commencement of Hearing. The faculty member against whom dismissal is sought shall have the opportunity to be heard and present his/her own defense before the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. The Standing Joint Committee on Tenure shall convene a hearing within sixty (60) days, if reasonably possible, after the date of the Dean’s letter referring the matter to the Committee. The hearing shall be limited to the matters described in the letter relating to the grounds on which termination of the faculty member is sought. Except in extenuating circumstances and subject to the concurrence of both parties, all members of the Committee must be present when the Committee meets at the hearing, including any continuance of the hearing, and during all deliberations of the Committee in connection with the hearing.
3. Persons Present. The persons entitled to be present at the hearing shall include:
Other persons may be present at the discretion of the Committee. Witnesses, if any, may not be present during any portion of the hearing other than during the time they are providing testimony to the Committee, absent a compelling reason noted in writing by the Committee.
4. Presiding Official. The Committee Chair shall conduct the hearing and the subsequent deliberations of the Committee.
5. Pre-hearing Submissions. The administration and the faculty member shall each submit to the Committee and to the other party the following items:
6. Conduct of Hearing. Only sworn or affirmed witness testimony may be accepted at the hearing. Formal rules of evidence do not apply, but irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded at the discretion of the Committee. Hearsay evidence may be introduced with caution, at the discretion of the Committee, but the hearsay nature of such evidence shall be taken into account by the Committee in determining the weight to be assigned to it. The Committee may rely on its legal advisor in making any determinations on the admissibility of evidence. The Committee Chair may modify these evidentiary guidelines and the procedures for the conduct of the hearing in the interest of conducting the proceedings in a fair and timely manner.
7. Hearing Schedule. After consultation with the parties, a date and time for the initial hearing and any subsequent hearings shall be determined by the Committee. Normally, the hearing shall be concluded in two days or less, except in extenuating circumstances as determined by the Committee. The parties shall present their respective positions and testimony from relevant witnesses in a concise, clear and focused manner, with due regard to completion of the hearing in an efficient, fair, and timely manner.
8. Presentation of Evidence. The parties are entitled to representation of counsel of their choosing at the hearing, and are entitled to cross-examine the other party's witnesses. The parties are entitled to offer their own witnesses and exhibits. The faculty member shall have the opportunity to be heard by the Committee to present his/her own position, but may not be compelled to give testimony if he/she chooses not to testify. In a hearing on charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of faculty members and other scholars from this or other institutions. The Committee shall determine, in its sole discretion, the means by which this testimony may be obtained, mindful of the need to provide all of the parties with the opportunity to obtain relevant information from such witnesses.
9. Stenographic or Other Recording. A stenographic or other recording of the proceedings shall be made. The Committee Chair or the Committee legal advisor shall arrange for the presence of the reporter or recorder. The full stenographic record of the hearing or a complete copy of the recording shall be provided to all parties promptly upon completion of the hearing, unless a party waives, in writing, the right to receive the transcript
10. Ex-Parte Communications Prohibited. Any communication, direct or indirect, between parties and Committee members shall be prohibited, unless all parties are given notice and an opportunity to participate. No notice may be taken by the Committee of written materials unless all parties are given an opportunity to review or contest the materials, except written advice or opinions from the Committee legal advisor.
11. Confidentiality. The hearing shall not be open to the public, and the proceedings, reports, recommendations and other work product of the Committee in relation to dismissal shall be kept strictly confidential by the Committee members and all participants, except to the extent required by law or by court order.
12. Committee Recommendations. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee shall close the record and meet in executive session, along with the Committee's legal advisor, in order to deliberate. There shall be no post-hearing submissions by either party, unless directed by the Committee. The Committee shall issue a report on the hearing to the President, with a copy to the faculty member and the appropriate Dean, within 30 days from the date of completion of the hearing, unless extenuating circumstances require otherwise. The report shall set forth the Committee's findings based on the evidence presented at the hearing and its recommendation with respect to termination for adequate cause. Where the conclusion of the Committee is not unanimous, the report must fairly reflect the minority views expressed by the members. Dissenting or concurring opinions may be included at the request of any committee member.
13. Final Decision by President. The President shall be the final decision-maker in all cases considered by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. The President shall notify the faculty member, the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, and the appropriate Dean of his or her decision in writing. Once the President has made a final determination as to whether adequate cause for termination exists, the matter shall be closed and not subject to further review.
FINANCIAL EXIGENCY AND PROGRAM ELIMINATION OR REVISION:
A tenured or tenure eligible appointment may be terminated for demonstrated financial exigency and may seek review of this termination by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure under the “Committee Procedural Rules” described in this HR70. Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide. If a tenured appointment is terminated because of financial exigency, the released faculty member's position shall not be filled by a new appointee within a period of three years from the date of actual termination unless the released faculty member first has been offered and has not accepted reappointment.
A tenured or tenure eligible appointment may also be terminated on the basis of program elimination or revision. Elimination on this ground may be effected only in the most extreme cases where the University demonstrates that for compelling reasons and after due academic consideration, including consultation with an appropriate Faculty Senate body, elimination or substantial revision of the program in which the faculty member's normal range of duties falls is necessary. Careful advance program and academic personnel planning, with phased adjustments over time, should operate to limit the necessity of terminating a tenured appointment in these circumstances. In the case of program elimination or substantial revision affecting a tenured faculty member's appointment, a good faith effort shall be made to continue the faculty member concerned in a comparable capacity with the University in any of its campuses, based upon the individual's competencies and the capabilities of the University.
A tenured faculty member terminated for reasons of program elimination or revision shall receive one year's notification prior to the date of the impending termination and may seek review of this termination by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure under the “Committee Procedural Rules” described in this HR70. If a tenured appointment is terminated because of elimination or substantial revision, the released faculty member's position shall not be filled by a new appointee within a period of three years from the date of actual termination unless the released faculty member first has been offered and has not accepted reappointment.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS
Mohamad A. Ansari, Chair
Larry C. Backer
Connie D. Baggett
Richard N. Barshinger
Thomas O. Beebee
Thomas W. Benson
Blannie E. Bowen
Cynthia A. Brewer
William S. Brockman
Victor W. Brunsden, Vice-Chair
Craig E. Cameron
Roy B. Clariana
Mary Beth Clark
Renata S. Engel
Zachary T. Irwin
Herberta M. Lundegren
Matthew P. McAllister
Martin T. Pietrucha
Winston A. Richards
Ira J. Ropson
Ladislaus M. Semali
James F. Smith
Hong (Susan) Xu