T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D
Volume 38-----October 26, 2004-----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, 2004-2005.
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
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory and forensic body to the Chair for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.
Reports that have appeared in the Agenda for the meeting are not included in The Senate Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting, or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript and tape of the meeting is on file. Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary, University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Final Agenda for October 26, 2004 Pages ii-iii
II. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks Pages 1-23
A. Attendance Appendix I
A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING Page 1
Minutes of the September 14, 2004, meeting in The Senate Record 38:1
B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE Pages 1-2
Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of October 12, 2004
C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meeting of October 12, 2004 Page 2
D. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR Pages 2-3
E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY Pages 3-12
F. FORENSIC BUSINESS Page 12
G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS Page 12
H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Proposal for Revising Senate Policy 47-45 Pages 12-13
Committees and Rules
I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Health Plan Issues and Changes Page 22
Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Implementation Page 22
of the Health and Activity (GHA) Requirement
University Budget and Planning Page 22
K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS Page 22
L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD Pages 22-23
M. ADJOURNMENT Page 23
NOTE: The next regular meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on
Tuesday, December 7, 2004, at 1:30 P.M. in room 112 Kern Graduate
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, October 26, 2004, at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium, Olmsted Building, Penn State Harrisburg with Kim C. Steiner, Chair, presiding. There were 155 Senators who signed the attendance sheet and/or were noted as having attended the meeting.
Chair Steiner: I would like to remind
you all if you have cell phones or pagers, please take a moment and turn them
off. Today is a historic event because it is only the third time since 1980
that the Senate, as a body, has met at a location away from
Office and I wish to extend our appreciation to Madlyn Hanes and the staff and
faculty of the
like to once again thank Provost and Dean of the
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item A is minutes of the preceding meeting. The September 14, 2004, Senate Record, providing a transcription of the proceedings, was sent to all University Libraries and is posted on the Faculty Senate Web site. Are there any additions or corrections to this document? May I hear a motion to accept?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Steiner: Seconded?
Chair Steiner: All in favor of accepting the minutes of September 14, 2004, say, “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, “Nay.” The ayes have it and the motion carries. The minutes of the September 14, 2004, meeting have been approved.
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item B, Communication to the Senate: The Senate Curriculum Report of October 12, 2004, is posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site.
We have also been informed that the President has directed the implementation of two Legislative Reports approved at the September 14, 2004, meeting. The first is “Proposal for Revising Senate Policy 42-98 (Armed Services)” and the second is “Proposal for Revising Senate Policy 56-70 (Leave of Absence).”
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item C, Report of Senate Council, meeting of October 12. The minutes from that meeting are enclosed in today’s Agenda.
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item D. I just have a few comments today. In my remarks on September 14, I mentioned pending appointments of two special Senate subcommittees. Both of those committees have been created and charged.
The first is a special subcommittee of Faculty Affairs to assess the role of teaching evidence in Promotion and Tenure decisions. Art Miller will chair this subcommittee and Ingrid Blood will serve as Vice-Chair. This subcommittee is charged with asking whether the evidence in Promotion & Tenure dossiers, with particular interest in the teaching evidence, is adequate for making rigorous and fair judgments that appropriately balance all three criteria in the final decision.
special subcommittee is a joint Senate and Administrative Committee that was
charged by Provost Erickson and myself to develop a solution to curricular
drift and related issues that have arisen following the 1997 University
reorganization. The committee will be co-chaired by Rob Pangborn and John
Nichols. The committee consists of 13 members: eight are currently elected
members of the Senate; two are appointed members; and four are former Senate
chairs. Seven represent
The charges and membership for both committees are posted on the University Faculty Senate Web site.
Speaking of Web sites, the new Faculty Senate Web site, which is under development by the Faculty Senate staff, should be up within a couple of weeks. Take a moment to search for it; say three weeks from now. Please take time to look at it. I think you will be impressed. We are trying to transform the Web site into a truly useful source of information for all University faculty.
The Faculty Advisory Committee to the President met on October 12, 2004. The topics of that meeting are listed in the minutes of Senate Council, which are included in today’s Agenda.
officers visited Berks and
Finally, I have been asked to remind you again that the Senate is moving toward complete implementation of a one in 25 faculty representation ratio by the 2008-2009 year. The deans have been asked to submit implementation plans to the Senate Election Commission by October 20, 2004. To date, we have heard from 17 units and we still have five outstanding. I would like to encourage the remaining deans to respond to this request as soon as possible. If there are any questions, contact the Senate Office.
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item E, Comments by the President of the University. President Spanier is with us today. I am pleased to invite him to come forward to make some remarks.
Spanier: Thank you everyone for being here today. Thanks, Madlyn, for your
hospitality. What a great lunch. I have to tell you all a story. You probably
do not know this but back in my youth (25 years ago) the University appointed a
three person committee from
I want to say a word about the Dickinson School of Law. I know a lot of you are curious about what is going on there and when you find out let me know. No, I am just kidding. I do want to say that this is a very difficult situation for the University right now. It is probably my greatest challenge and the thing I am spending the largest share of my time on. I want to be candid with everyone in the Senate and say that it is not a good situation. That relationship is not functioning very well right now, and I think there is a very good likelihood that there will be a disaffiliation between the Dickinson School of Law and The Pennsylvania State University. There are a lot of things that would have to happen before that would be the case, and it is not certain that will be the outcome; however, it is a possibility you should know about. I think these discussions will be on an accelerated time frame and we will have some sense of what is going to happen within a matter of weeks if not, at the very least, within a few months. I do not know if I can say much more about that today, but I am being candid with you. It is a very significant issue for the University right now, for a lot of reasons, and we could get into it if we had the time and if it was something that would be comfortable to talk about in a public setting.
Later in the Senate Agenda there is a
nice report from the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education. The report is
titled, “Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Implementation of the
Health and Activity (GHA) Requirement.” The conclusion of the report says, “…the
committee has concluded that the current Health and Physical Activity Requirement
is being delivered or implemented as legislated by the Senate.” Well, I would
hope so. It further states, “We also find that the problems listed above will
need continuing attention. Finally, we recommend that the Senate should
re-examine both the function and the implementation of this requirement after a
further five-year interval.” I think the report is very good because they
apparently did what they were asked to do and studied the situation. I do not
want to put words in the mouths of the writers of the report, who basically
said it is okay; it is working alright. There are a few issues around here, and
one of the issues is that the requirement as it is structured at
Indeed the Provost, the Dean of the College of Health and Human Development, others, and I are having continuing conversations about this requirement, the implementation of it, and what it all means. This subject came up eight to nine years ago, when we were going through the restructuring of the curriculum at the University. Those of you who were around then know that I had some misgivings about the existing requirement of giving academic credit for physical activity courses. Particularly at a University where most of our students are now so active physically that we are needing to build and expand fitness centers. I think the requirements that were put into place at that time, were a very significant step forward. I am very pleased with what happened then. However, I somewhat lost the larger debate about the need to give academic credit as part of our basic requirements for golf, racquetball, whatever might be the case. I really believe it is great for a university to offer those courses and have them as free electives. However, I am still a little uncomfortable with the idea that it is part of our basic General Education curriculum. I think there might be some other approaches that we could take. This would not resolve in any consequences for faculty who might be teaching in that area. I certainly do believe in the health of our students, faculty, and employees. That is really not the issue here. I knew it was on the Agenda, I just wanted to say that for me and some of the rest of us in the administration, it still does continue to be the issue. We will continue with discussions of that topic, and it may or may not result in something else the Senate would need to take up. It is still out there as a topic in some of our minds.
This was the first year that I did
not get a bunch of student mail about the fall break, which was great. I only
heard from a couple of students who said, “I wish the break was longer.” This
was the first year I received more mail from faculty than I did from students,
including a couple of you in this room who said, “I do not believe in the fall
break; we should get rid of it. I want the students in my classroom.” I am
overstating it a little bit, but that was the heart of the message. I think we
have been around the block on this issue quite a lot, and I think we are not
likely to entertain further changes in the calendar at this point. Whether we
need to or not, it seems that every couple of years we change the calendar. I
would like to have it stay in place for awhile. Most of our students feel the
fall break is pretty good. You all know we do not call it fall break; we call
it the study day. The complaint from some of the faculty was they are not studying
here on campus. “They must be studying in
Why did I bring this all up now? It is not because I want to raise the issue of that one day off, but I want to raise a corollary issue. If the faculty feel so strongly about the integrity of the academic calendar, and believe me, I do feel very strongly about the integrity of the academic calendar; I would like to ask for your cooperation around Thanksgiving of not canceling classes at times when the calendar says we should be offering classes. You know a lot of this is in the hands of the faculty to manage. It is one thing to be concerned about a day that we have all already agreed—I mean the overlying majority agreed—is not a day of classes. That is a different deal than a day that the calendar says should be classes. I know a lot of students come in and tell you their stories and you grant enough exceptions that you finally get to the point that you say, what the heck. Looks like two-thirds of the students are not going to be here—I am just going to cancel classes. You all somewhat do have the ability to influence that. I know it is hard if three of your colleagues down the hall have decided to cancel. I hope that you as a representative of you colleagues, will talk about this issue and protect the calendar in that way. I know it sounds like I am preaching on some of these issues today, but I did want to mention that because some of you have written me.
One other topic, and then I will
open it up for questions. I hope being here on a campus other than
Right now, we have some emerging
challenges on a number of our campuses. Those challenges are going to affect us
all. I mean they have to do with things I have been talking about in previous
remarks. Last year, I talked about the changing demographics of
Those are just a few thoughts I wanted to share with you. I will now be happy to take your questions.
Terry Engelder, Earth & Mineral Sciences: This addresses the comments that the President made about the academic calendar. I teach a large general education class and it is becoming more and more common that I will get an e-mail from a number of students saying, “Professor, you are the only one that offers a final exam during the final exam period. Can I take that final exam a week early?” I received such an e-mail just last week and I found out who the teachers were for this student in other classes. Indeed, they confirmed they were not offering final exams. I then went to Jan Jacob’s office and asked if this is a general trend across the campus. The answer came back that less than half of all the classes taught actually offer final exams. This is a trend that I found rather surprising and my colleagues do also. In terms of maintaining the integrity of the academic calendar, it strikes me that there are an increasing number of students who think the semester ends with the last week of classes. Would you care to comment on this?
President Spanier: Sure. One of our local historians, Jan, or someone, will correct me if I do not have this right. It seems to me the Senate policy says, and I think it is a great Senate policy, that it not mandate that everyone have a final exam. I think there are many kinds of classes. I could think of a whole bunch where a final exam really does not make sense. In some fields, that is really not how that particular class works or the way you are teaching your course. I think you need to have a rule like that because we are going to see increasing variability in how the academic calendars are constructed in the first place. I do not mean the basic resident instruction academic calendar, but things I have talked about in other contexts: the growing trend toward blended learning; the merger of resident instruction and distance education; the concept that we will see more and more people taking some of their classes through the World Campus and some classes through resident instruction; classes being developed where you just come at the beginning of the semester for a few days, and then it is online after that. We need to maintain a policy like that so we have flexibility. But for a basic resident instruction calendar the rules say, again correct me if I am not right about this, if you have a final exam it should be during finals week. The last week of classes is for the last week of classes. I think where we go wrong is a comprehensive exam being given on the last day of classes. There could be a rare exception where you have to do it that way and, of course, for some faculty, their last exam is not a comprehensive exam, it is really over the last third of the class and I do not know, maybe that is okay. Is that okay? Okay, if it is 20 percent of the class then it is okay. My point is, there may be legitimate reasons why some faculty are not having final exams, but I think it is unfortunate when they are doing away with the whole final exam period and moving it to the last week of classes. That in turn shortens the calendar. I would say to you, stick with it and point out to your colleagues that they are in violation of the policy.
Feldman, Dickinson: I am on the faculty from the Dickinson School of Law.
Dr. Spanier, I think you were still in
President Spanier: Sure.
Feldman: Throughout the summer leading up to the meeting of our Board of
Governors, there were repeated reassurances by you and the Provost and the Dean
that no matter what the outcome of the vote on August 13, 2004, the Dickinson
School of Law was The Pennsylvania State University’s law school and that the
University would support us even if that meant we would remain in Carlisle. At
the Board of Governors meeting, one of the governors reporting to speak for you
said you and he had agreed on a solution that might be called the “Carlisle First
Solution,” and that the idea of a campus in State College would be revisited
Spanier: The announcement at that time was not about disaffiliation, but
only that yet another option had emerged that we thought would be very fruitful
to explore. Indeed that option only emerged in recent weeks. So that is what is
new. I am quite capable of speaking for myself, and so anyone who would stand
up in a meeting and claim to be speaking for me should know better. You said I
had two months to disassociate myself from those remarks. I have done so on
numerous occasions. If they have not reached you, I am sorry, but I now
disassociate myself from those remarks that were alleged to be made on my
behalf. In fact, communications were sent before those remarks were given, in
writing, by me and by our Provost to the relevant people on the Board and to
the Board of Governors explaining precisely what
What has happened over the last year
Kane, Dickinson: I am also from the
President Spanier: Could I just say one other thing?
Eileen Kane: Yes, President Spanier.
Spanier: Regarding the comments that were made in that meeting: I just want
to be very clear. When you said I had two months to disassociate myself, I
think the way I would want to say that is, I would allow for the possibility of
a misunderstanding. I think that is the fairest way to talk about that. There
could have very well been a misunderstanding about what my position was. We
were in a difficult situation, as was the Board that day, and I think trying to
do their best. So I do not want that to be misinterpreted at all. I want say
there may have been a misunderstanding but I think
Kane: Thank you President Spanier. I would like to know if
Spanier: I am not prepared to address any of those questions except one
right now. What we are trying to do right now is to focus on the option that is
on the table. It is not really appropriate to start speculating about other
options or other possibilities until we know where that is headed. We do
believe that is the solution that would be in the best interest of the students
Tramble Turner, Abington: I have one question, given your comments on the health and activity requirement. Some years ago, the revision of the GHA requirements encouraged a shift to more academically content-focused courses. I believe the report shows a majority of courses are not practice centered. My question is, when you mentioned the great activity level among Penn State students versus national statistics on obesity in America, the declining health, and the morbidity rate of Americans compared to citizens of other industrialized countries, do we have data on the activity levels of Penn State graduates, in other words recent alumni and of current students, or is this anecdotal?
Spanier: Yes, we have some excellent data. In fact, it is quite remarkable.
We have what might be the largest intramural program in the
it was a very positive trend coming out of the last general education review
that now something like half of all the student credit hours are in these other
courses. I think that is fabulous and we want to see that continue. We want to
see students taking courses in nutrition, consequences of drug use,
cardiovascular health, and other things. We do have some very good data on it.
It is a basic academic question that academic administrators and faculty should
be asking. We only have so many credits for general education. We should be
questioning how they should be used. We only have so many credits that we want
a student to take to account for their baccalaureate degrees. What is the right
profile? We are not talking about something evil here; it is fine. For example,
you might argue if a student wants to take a credit of golf, let them take a
credit of golf. Let it count as a free elective and maybe they should pay extra
green fees or something to do that. Then it is not a basic part of the budget
Gates, Dickinson: Assurances have been made in the past two months that any
plans for disaffiliation were only in the stage of preliminary discussion. Yet
today, I heard completely opposite. That there was in fact a very good likelihood
that disaffiliation would occur. I have two questions. As a member of the
student bar association and the student senator from Penn State Dickinson, I
have been struck by the number of students who have come to me and to the
student bar association meetings to say they came to the Dickinson School of
Law because of their reliance on and recognition of the affiliation with The
Pennsylvania State University. Today I have heard from you that you want to do
what is best for the future graduates of the
President Spanier: Well let me go back to what I said earlier. That is, I was trying to be honest with this Faculty Senate and explaining that there was a good possibility that such a disaffiliation would occur. I do not want to go so far as to say it is likely or almost certain or whatever terms that you meant.
Zachary Gates: I was just reading your words.
Spanier: I understand. I think that is all still ahead of us. Those discussions
are ahead of us. It is a very awkward situation for our students because so
many of them did come to the
President Spanier: I think in certain ways it does come under that heading. Up to this point our consultation has been with Faculty Advisory Committee. We have discussed it at almost every meeting for months now, and will continue to do that. At the appropriate time we would, of course, come back to this group and inform you or consult with you or seek approval, if approval of something is appropriate. We are mindful of that. We will get the advice of your Senate leaders as to what parts of this apply in this situation, and what parts do not. We have not ignored faculty input of the Senate at this point. We have done it through the Faculty Advisory Committee.
Chair Steiner: Are there any other questions?
President Spanier: Thank you for making those comments. I hope so too. I think there are some good things that have existed and I hope will continue to under any scenario. I did not come here today to precisely predict an outcome but only to tell you all what I think you already know. If you read the papers, you know this is a very significant issue that is up for discussion right now. We have no predetermined idea that if there would be a disaffiliation, it would mean severing of joint programs or other areas of cooperation. I think we would like to build on the positive things that are out there.
Chair Steiner: Are there any other questions? President Spanier, thank you for meeting with us today.
As we begin our discussion of reports, I remind you to please stand, wait for the microphone, identify yourself, and the unit you represent.
Also there is a clipboard circulating today, please be certain to sign your name for this historic occasion.
Chair Steiner: Agenda Item H, Legislative Reports: we have four today. The first one is from the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix B entitled, “Proposal for Revising Senate Policy 47-45 (Grading System for M.D. Candidates).” Catherine Harmonosky, who is Vice-Chair, will present this report.
AND STUDENT AID
Proposal for Revising Senate Policy 47-45 (Grading System for M.D. Candidates)
Catherine Harmonosky, Vice-Chair Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Catherine Harmonosky: Thank you Chair Steiner. This is a proposal for a revision to Senate Policy 47-45, Grading System for M.D. Candidates. It is a proposal to add a Low Pass (LP) designation to the official University transcript for M.D. students when they are in their third and fourth years of clinical rotation. This will make the University transcript consistent with the grading they are currently doing on their clerkship evaluation form.
Chair Steiner: Are there any questions? This report comes from a committee and has already been seconded. Are we ready to vote? As many as are in favor of this legislation, please say, “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed Nay? The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved the legislation entitled, “Proposal for Revising Senate Policy 47-45 (Grading System for M.D. Candidates).” It will be sent to President Spanier for implementation. Thank you, Catherine, and thanks to your committee.
The next Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix C entitled, “Amendment to Constitution, Article II, Section 5(c) (Student Representation).” Because this report proposes a change to the Senate Constitution, it appeared on the September agenda and has been tabled until this meeting. Pamela Hufnagel, Chair of the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules, will present this report.
Amendment to Constitution, Article II, Section 5(c) (Student Representation)
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair Senate Committee on Committees and Rules
Pamela Hufnagel: Thank you. You have seen this report before. It proposes to keep one elected student senator from each college or school and add one voting student senator from the Undergraduate Student Government Academic Assembly and one from the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments. We believe this will result in better communication between the Senate and the University at large.
Chair Steiner: Are there any questions?
Michael Hines, Berks: I would like to yield the floor to Jeff Markowitz.
Markowitz, Academic Affairs Director, Council of Commonwealth Council Student
Governments: I am one of the individuals from the organization that is getting
voting rights today. I would like to thank this body for everything they went
through to pass the legislation and get it written up. The students and I from
various academic colleges, the
Chair Steiner: Thank you. When I saw you stand up, I thought this was going down in flames suddenly. Are there any other questions?
Chair Steiner: The question is whether we know sure that the people who are voting are actually senators?
Brian Tormey: That is correct.
George Franz: I suppose we could do a role call, if anybody thinks they are sitting next to someone who is not a senator.
After a brief discussion by the Senate Officers, Chair Steiner suggested taking the vote and that only the elected, appointed, and ex-officio Senators vote. If anyone questions the legitimacy of the vote, then we will go to a roll call vote on motion.
Brian Tormey: That is fine.
Chair Steiner: Since this report comes from a committee, it has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote? As many as are in favor of this legislation, please say, “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, nay? The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved the legislation entitled, “Amendment to Constitution, Article II, Section 5(c) (Student Representation).” This report will be sent to the President for his approval. Thank you, Chair Hufnagel.
Our next Legislative Report comes from the same committee and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix D entitled, “Revision to Bylaws, Article III, Section 7 (Senate Absences).” Because this report proposes a change to the Senate Bylaws, it appeared on the September Agenda and has been tabled until this meeting. Pamela Hufnagel will present this report.
Revision to Bylaws, Article III, Section 7 (Senate Absences)
Pamela P. Hufnagel, Chair Senate Committee on Committees and Rules
Pamela Hufnagel: Thank you. This was presented at the September 14 meeting, but there was a suggestion on the floor that we add some wording. The wording has been added so it has been made very clear that we are talking about absences from the plenary meetings of the University Faculty Senate. Of course, we encourage the senators to go to their committee meetings. Units would still retain the right to excuse absences if they so desire. Basically, units are gaining more control over their senators. Are there any questions?
Chair Steiner: Any further discussion? The report has been brought to the floor from a committee; it has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote? As many as are in favor of this legislation, please say, “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved the legislation entitled, “Revision to Bylaws, Article III, Section 7 (Senate Absences).” The President will be informed of this change in the Senate Bylaws. Thank you, Pam.
Our last Legislative report is from the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education, and appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix E entitled, “Proposal for Changes to the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements.” Jack Selzer, Chair of the Subcommittee to review the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements will present this report.
Proposal for Changes to the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
Jack Selzer, Chair of the Subcommittee to Review the Bachelor of
Arts Degree Requirements
Jack Selzer: Thank you, Chair Steiner. Thank you for also encouraging me to present a 40 minute PowerPoint presentation about the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements. I think we will just open the floor for questions.
First, I do want to make two short comments. Believe it or not this legislation will not miraculously clear up every detail related to the Bachelor of Arts Degree. For instance, take the Letters, Arts and Sciences Degree, which is a generalist degree, leading to the Bachelor of Arts. What exactly does it mean to say that students in the Letters, Arts and Sciences Degree program cannot count Bachelor of Arts fields courses towards their majors? Another example: what are the implications of this proposed adjustment in Bachelor of Arts requirements for concurrent degrees? Issues like these will be resolved, as necessary, by the Curricular Affairs Committee. I would like to thank Doug Brown, Chair of the Curricular Affairs Committee, for encouraging us to bring this report forward based on that assumption.
Second, this report reflects the insights and efforts of many individuals and groups. The Bachelor of Arts Subcommittee and Undergraduate Education Committee members are acknowledged at the end of the report. I would also like to acknowledge the suggestions of many others. I had the good fortune of meeting with the Commonwealth Caucus, Liberal Arts Caucus, the Senate Leadership, and other groups including the members of the Curricular Affairs Committee along the way. All of these individuals contributed ideas and insights. I am standing here as the Chair of the Bachelor of Arts Subcommittee, but believe me this was a large-scale collaborative effort. I would like to thank my many colleagues for their attention and effort.
Chair Steiner: Any questions or comments? Let us have a discussion on this proposal. Come on, this is like twenty percent of all of our graduates I think. This looks easy Jack. You must have done your homework.
The report comes from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote? As many as are in favor of this legislation, please say, “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed say nay. The ayes have it. The motion passes. The Senate has approved the legislation entitled, “Proposal for Changes to the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements.” This will be sent to President Spanier for implementation. Thank you, Chair Selzer.
We have one Advisory and Consultative Report today, Agenda Item I, and it comes from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs. It appears on today’s Agenda as Appendix F and is entitled, “Evaluating Faculty Performance for Promotion and Tenure.” Committee Chair, Tramble Turner, will present this report.
Evaluating Faculty Performance for Promotion and Tenure
Tramble Turner, Chair Faculty Affairs
Turner: Thank you Kim. A brief background on the origins of this report. It
comes from work by last year’s Committee on Faculty Affairs and was generated
by discussions in the
Chair Steiner: The report is fairly straightforward and we open it for discussion.
Peter Rebane, Abington: Tram, I would like you to explain several things to me. First of all, Recommendation Number 1 states, “Each college shall develop a set of descriptors….” In the background we are dealing with four descriptors (excellent, very good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory). Does the report suggest that perhaps a college could have eight descriptors with different names? If you have 11 or 12 colleges in other locations which use different terms to describe the word “excellent” (my English may not be the best) such as “super,” “cool,” or “real.” How would this simplify the process across the University to evaluate an individual’s performance?
Secondly, in Recommendation Number 2 it reads, “Dossiers from each college shall clearly” (I never heard a University document explain anything clearly) explain what is meant by each descriptor in its descriptor set. How do ten colleges evaluating a performance using different terms, describe the terms (excellent, very good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory) or some of them which they may choose?
Last but not least, I am puzzled by the statement, “It is the responsibility of each review committee and each administrative reviewer up to the level of the dean to apply the college descriptors in evaluating performance…” There is no mention of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. I assume, maybe incorrectly as I have assumed incorrectly before, that the University Promotion and Tenure Committee also has to read these descriptors when they put their implementation on the person’s Promotion and Tenure process. I personally see great difficulty with reducing performance to a certain set of descriptors. Also, knowing my colleagues, every college is likely to use different words for different performances. Then to get those colleges to agree on what “cool” means seems to be an impossible task. I really seriously question, although I understand your intention, that this legislation would make it easier for the various review committees to evaluate faculty performance. I think this is going to be a long, drawn out, waste of time process and when it comes down to the everyday nitty gritty, having sat on every level of a University committee, to sort these things out. I understand the purpose, but I quite frankly suggest that the committee rework this; that this proposal be voted down. I see this creating more problems in the long run than the flaws that are in the present system. Thank you.
Smith, Abington: Tram, I hate to join the chorus of
Turner: I had hoped to address the questions individually as they came up.
We should be able to deal with everything that was raised and I hope indeed
Michael will speak if I miss a few points. In the initial background, perhaps I
went through it too quickly. The concern last year, and indeed Peter Rebane you
are right, it was a long, long drawn out process in the
Going to the second questioner,
because I believe Al had one key point, the phrasing of “appropriate college
faculty organization.” Especially since the reorganization of
I will try to go through the others and be quicker. Both the former member of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, my colleague Jim Smith, and James Donovan brought up concerns, questions of, “If it is working fine in Promotion and Tenure, why change it?” At least within the discussions of Faculty Affairs that was not what was reported. Teaching and teaching alone of the three cells, has always been the place where there are set descriptors which are defined. The other two cells have varying terminology by college, then presented to University Promotion and Tenure Committee members, at least as I understand it, with the need to rely on: A.) What are in the specific college guidelines? and B.) What are in the individual letters? The college guidelines would seem to address most of the other questions that have come up. Again those guidelines would need to be revised in consultation with the local Faculty Senate, the college caucus or the otherwise designated faculty organization. At present, all Promotion and Tenure dossiers must contain the college guidelines. At present, the college guidelines need not say anything about these descriptors and the nomenclature. While I appreciate the injection of humor, “cool” seems unlikely to be a proposed descriptor. However, were it to be, that college would have that term clearly defined with the approval of the faculty. Why have varying descriptors; why not total uniformity? This was much discussed, because a college like Arts and Architecture mainly is looking at a faculty who has somewhat different missions and a much higher percentage of reviews on creativity rather than research. It is solely up to the college.
Peter Rebane raised the question about how can you have them clearly explain, with our apologies to the current Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, this history goes back to Robert Secor, a former Chair of the Senate, -as he emphasized in a number of Promotion and Tenure workshops, ultimately the wording of the individual letters themselves should clearly explain how they evaluate the candidate. If you have a question about descriptors, any individual including the Promotion and Tenure Committee should be able to go back to the college guidelines. That is, currently the case in terms of one and one cell only, teaching. This was an effort to say, “It might encourage everyone, especially at the P & T level, the Provost level, to have the ability to reference a common set of descriptors within a college. That is my first shot at responding to your questions. Michael, would you please join me at the podium.
Michael Cardamone, Vice-Chair: Just to amplify some of Tram’s statements: in response to Senator Rebane’s objection that a college could decide to have six to ten or 150 different descriptors; it is a theoretical possibility. If a college wanted to do that, in this proposed legislation they are able to do so. I doubt if that would occur, because it will make it more difficult for the members of that college to do a reasonable assessment of the performance of the members who are undergoing assessment.
In terms of our rationale, this came to us after a discussion for several years at Arts and Architecture, which did define a set of descriptors to be used in all cells of their evaluation process. In fact, I believe that was with the approval of the Vice Provost’s office. These descriptors were not the same descriptors as were called for in the 1985 legislation of the Senate. I am referring to the four descriptors involved in the teaching aspect. Some colleges have decided and have been using that same set of four descriptors, which is only called for in the teaching cell, to apply to all cells in their evaluations. In fact, what we have now is a broad distribution of implementation. The only thing that is required is the descriptors for the teaching evaluation. We thought it would be somewhat more uniform to apply them to all cells. Although we did not want to go to the extent of trying to impose one set for the entire University.
Chair Steiner: Thank you Michael.
Dennis Gouran, College of the Liberal Arts: Could you share with us a little more of the committee’s thinking as to what is supposed to happen as consequence of passage of this report. It almost sounds as if the logic is, because we do not have uniformity we therefore need it. This is circular as I see it. Is something supposed to happen? Are there going to be fairer decisions? Are there going to be fewer law suits? Are there going to be fewer cases to the Faculty Right & Responsibilities Committee? I am not quite sure what is supposed to happen as a result of this report.
Turner: Thank you, Dennis. Procedurally, what would first happen is some
piece of communication, probably from the Provost’s office, would go to the various
deans calling for action on developing the descriptors. I would imagine at most
units that would engage a conversation between the officers of the faculty
organization (a parentheses listing them all could be supplied) with that
Caroline Eckhardt, College of the Liberal Arts: I have a different kind of concern, and this is that if there are common descriptors and fairly few of them, that a reading of a dossier might get reduced to giving a score. Somebody out of the three cells got two very good’s and one excellent, then they would be okay. However, if somebody else got two of this and two of that and maybe they are not okay. I think I would prefer to have the current, more variable system, where I hope what people read what is in the dossier, that they read the nuances in the letters and recommendations, all along the way rather than being tempted just to assign scores to the particular descriptors.
Chair Steiner: Spoken like a faculty member from the Department of English.
Tramble Turner: Comparative Literature, actually. Thank you very much, Carey. It would seem that would echo some of the sentiments I was trying to summarize from former Vice Provost Secor. However, never serving on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, I will ask Michael to perhaps expand to that.
Cardamone: I have served on Promotion and Tenure Committees as well as
various departmental and college level committees, and I have seen a great deal
of variation. For instance, in the
Chair Steiner: Is there anything else to add to this discussion? Anyone have a point that has not been raised?
Tramble Turner: I would note that going back to Al’s comment, editorially as an amendment, after the wording “appropriate college faculty organization,” we will add in parentheses the list of faculty senate, caucus of the college, etc.
Chair Steiner: Can we make that a friendly amendment? Okay good. So what we have is the proposal as laid out in the report, with the small parenthetical explanation that Tram just suggested. The report has been brought to the floor from a committee and has already been moved and seconded. Are we ready to vote? As may as are in favor of this proposal, please say “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Opposed say “Nay.”
Chair Steiner: The vote is so close that we are going to have to count hands. As many as are in favor of this legislation, please raise your right hand. As many as are opposed to the motion, please raise your right hand. The motion has failed to pass by a 71-56 vote. The Senate has rejected the proposal entitled, “Evaluating Faculty Performance for Promotion and Tenure.”
That brings us to Agenda Item J, Informational Reports. We have three Informational Reports on today’s Agenda.
Health Plan Issues and Changes, Appendix G. Billie Willits, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Karen Volmar, Manager of the Employee Benefits Division, stood for questions about changes in the health care plan.
Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Implementation of the Health and Activity (GHA) Requirement, Appendix H. Arthur Miller, Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee and Barton Browning, Ad Hoc Committee Chair, responded to questions. The report presents enrollment data for practice and knowledge-focused GHA courses, student credit hour generation, and SRTE comparative data for GHA courses.
Budget and Planning,
Chair Steiner: Are there any comments?
Chair Steiner: That is up to the next Senate leadership. We are meeting here because the Provost said he would pay for it, and he thought it was a good idea. He has not shared with me but I am sure it is a net cost. I am certain budgetary considerations will enter into it as well. It was a successful meeting and I am really glad we came.
Chair Steiner: May I have a motion to adjourn?
Senators: So moved.
Chair Steiner: All in favor, please say, “Aye.”
Chair Steiner: Motion carries. The October 26, 2004, meeting of the University Faculty Senate was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.
The Senate is adjourned until
December 7, 2004, when we will meet in room 112 of the
Abdalla, Charles Engelder, Terry
Adams, Fred Erickson, Rodney
Alcock, James Farmer, Edgar
Ambrose, Anthony Feldman, Harvey
Berkowitz, Leonard Floros, Joanna
Bise, Christopher Frank, Thomas
Bittner, Edward Franz, George
Blasko, Dawn Freedman, Debra
Blumberg, Melvin Gates, Zachary
Boehmer, John Georgopulos, Peter
Boland, Donald Glumac, Thomas
Boothby, Thomas Goldstein, Lynda
Bowen, Blannie Gouran, Dennis
Bower, Robin Griswold, Anna
Brewer, Cynthia Hagen, Daniel
Bridges, K. Robert Hanes, Madlyn
Brinker, Daniel Hannan, John
Brittingham-Brant, Margaret Harmonosky, Catherine
Brockman, William Harris, Ashley
Brunsden, Victor Hellmann, John
Cardamone, Michael Hester, Anne
Carpenter, Lynn Hilton, James
Casteel, Mark Hines, Michael
Cecere, Joseph Holcomb, E. Jay
Chorney, Michael Holen, Dale
Clark, Paul Horwitz, Alan
Cohen, Jeremy Hufnagel, Pamela
Conti, Delia Hupcey, Judith
Coraor, Lee Irwin, Zachary
Cranage, David Jacobs, Janis
Davis, Dwight Jago, Deidre
Disney, Diane Johnson, John
Donovan, James Johnson, Ernest
DuPont-Morales, M. Toni Kane, Eileen
Eckhardt, Caroline Kephart, Kenneth
Egolf, Roger Kester, Mark
Elder, James Koul, Ravinder
Kunze, Donald Shuler, Patrick
Lau, Andrew Simmonds, Patience
Le, Binh Singh, Harjit
Lynch, Christopher Smith, James
MacCarthy, Stephen Sommese, Kristin
Mara, Cynthia Spanier, Graham
Marker, Anthony Spector, David
Marsico, Salvatore Steiner, Kim
Mason, John Strauss, James
McCarty, Ronald Su, Mila
McCune, Alexis Tellep, Andrew
McGinnis, Michael Tempelman, Arkady
Mengisteab, Kidane Thomas, Steven
Miller, Arthur Troester, Rodney
Mueller, Alfred Turner, Tramble
Myers, Jamie Urenko, John
Namasivayam, Karthik Vary, Thomas
Neiderer, Catherine Vickers, Anita
Osa, Justina Wager, J. James
Osagie, Iyunolu Wagner, Kristy
Osagie, Sylvester Wake,
Pangborn, Robert Weidemann, Craig
Peck, Kyle White, Eric
Pietrucha, Martin Wiens-Tuers, Barbara
Pytel, Jean Landa Willits, Billie
Rebane, P. Peter Wilson, Matthew
Richards, David Wrzos, Helena
Richards, Winston Wyatt,
Ricketts, Robert Yahner, Richard
Romano, John Yerger, Sara
Romberger, Andrew Youmans, Charles
Ropson, Ira Zambanini, Robert
Russell, David Zervanos, Stamatis
Sachs, Howard Ziegler, Gregory
Salvia, A. David
Sandmeyer, Louise Total Elected: 138
Scaduto, Russell Total Ex Officio: 6
Scaroni, Alan Total Appointed: 16
Schmiedekamp, Ann TOTAL ATTENDING: 155