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THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

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.

 

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.psu.edu/ufs under “Publications.” Copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.

 

Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.

 

When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory and forensic body to the Chair for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.

 

Reports 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

III.             Appendices

                        A.  Attendance                                                                                   Appendix I

 

 

FINAL AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 26, 2004

 

A.        MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING                                                    Page 1

 

            Minutes of the September 14, 2004, meeting in The Senate Record 38:1

            http://www.psu.edu/ufs/record/index.html

 

B.         COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE                                                    Pages 1-2

 

            Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of October 12, 2004

            http://www.psu.edu/ufs/bluesheet/bluex.html

 

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

                        (Grading System for M.D. Candidates)

 

                  Committees and Rules

 

                        Amendment to Constitution, Article II, Section 5(c)                          Pages 13-14

                        (Student Representation)

 

                        Revision to Bylaws, Article III, Section 7 (Senate Absences)            Pages 14-15

 

                  Undergraduate Education

 

                        Proposal for Changes to the Bachelor of Arts Degree                       Pages 15-16

                        Requirements

 

I.          ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

 

                  Faculty Affairs

 

                        Evaluating Faculty Performances for Promotion and Tenure               Pages 16-22

 

J.          INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

 

                  Faculty Benefits

 

                        Health Plan Issues and Changes                                                               Page 22

 

                  Undergraduate Education

 

                        Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Implementation              Page 22

                        of the Health and Activity (GHA) Requirement

 

                  University Planning

 

                        University Budget and Planning                                                                Page 22

 

K.        NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS                                                                     Page 22

 

L.         COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD             Pages 22-23

            OF THE UNIVERSITY

 

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

                  Building

 

.


            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 University Park. This Senate meeting at Penn State Harrisburg is a reminder to all of us of the breadth, depth, and geographic diversity of this University. I am curious; please raise your hand if you have not been to this campus before. It is amazing to see that half of the room raised their hands.

 

            The Senate Office and I wish to extend our appreciation to Madlyn Hanes and the staff and faculty of the Capital College and Penn State Harrisburg for their most gracious hospitality in hosting the Faculty Senate. I especially want to acknowledge Panna Idowu, the Marketing Manager at Penn State Harrisburg and from the Senate Office Patty Poorman and Cherry Lee Fisher for their many extra efforts in coordinating this meeting.

 

            I would like to once again thank Provost and Dean of the Capital College, Madlyn Hanes. Thanks to Madlyn and thanks to everyone at Penn State Harrisburg for the kindnesses that you have shown us all.

 

MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

 

            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.”

 

            Senators: Aye.

 

            Chair Steiner: Opposed, “Nay.” The ayes have it and the motion carries. The minutes of the September 14, 2004, meeting have been approved.

 

COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

 

            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).”

 

REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL

 

            Chair Steiner: Agenda Item C, Report of Senate Council, meeting of October 12. The minutes from that meeting are enclosed in today’s Agenda.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

 

            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.

 

            The second 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 University Park colleges and five represent non-University Park campuses and colleges. I think we have succeeded not only in appointing a strong committee, but also one that has extraordinary balance.

 

            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.

 

            The Senate officers visited Berks and Lehigh Valley campuses on September 27 and 28. We are continuing our fall campus visits and will be going to York and Mont Alto tomorrow, Behrend on November 3, and Shenango and Beaver on November 17 and 18.

 

            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.

 

COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

 

            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.

 

            President 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 University Park to come to this campus to study it and make recommendations about its future. I cannot remember who the other two people were and I cannot remember what we recommended, but it is probably in a file somewhere. At the time I was an Associate Dean for Resident Instruction in what is now the College of Health and Human Development. I hope I said something good in that report and that is the reason this place is so great now, but I have no idea what we did. I can attest to the fact that 25 years ago when I visited, it was basically one (I do not want to say dilapidated) building, but it was one very basic building that just looked pretty much like an air force barracks. It is really fantastic what this campus has evolved to. I am not totally surprised, but a little bit surprised by how many hands went up in answer to the question whether you have been here before. I think one of the challenges we have at Penn State, is for faculty on all of our campuses to appreciate all the great things going on at other campuses. While this is a great campus, we have a whole bunch of other very impressive campuses around the University and I will talk about that a little at the end of my remarks. Thanks very much for having us here and I am glad you were all able to make it.

 

            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 Penn State is not very similar to requirements that exist at other universities like ours. I just want to say, the part about waiting five years to talk about it again, I am uncomfortable with.

 

            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 Florida, Puerto Rico, or Cancun, because I do not see them studying here.” Well never mind that many of our campuses are commuter campuses and do not have residence halls. Of course, the students are not going to be there studying on that particular day. In our residential campuses, yes, I admit they look a little deserted. It does not mean that they were not studying—some were, and some were not.

 

            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 University Park reminds us all again that we are one University that is geographically dispersed. One of the great frustrations Rod Erickson, others in the administration, and I have is that we do not take full enough advantage of the structure that we have. We often get stuck in our silos. We do not realize that if you are a sociologist, physicist, chemist, historian, or a philosopher that you have colleagues on virtually every campus of this University. What a shame it is that when we go to some national meeting and bump into somebody and see Penn State and say, “Oh you are at…I am at such and such campus.” We really do not take advantage of those opportunities. Some of our departments based at University Park are very good at this. I very much regret others I consider to be rather negligent in maintaining close ties; open lines of communication; inviting to seminars; including in their newsletters; faculty who in some cases, literally are their faculty because they chose to have their tenure continued in that department; or faculty whose payroll and tenure may not be technically in that department but are genuine Penn State colleagues who are part of the same larger faculty. This is something that we hammer on the deans about quite a bit. We also hammer on the department heads whenever we can. As I said, some pay attention to it and others do not. I see that responsibility existing on both sides of the potential divide. Certainly people at University Park need to make an effort to reach out more, but people on the campuses should not be bashful either. If there is something going on at University Park that you want to be included in, a committee you want to be on, or you hear a speaker is coming and you want to send a car load of people to University Park, go ahead. Tell somebody; speak up; do it. Get connected in an appropriate way. Penn State will end up being stronger because of it.

 

            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 Pennsylvania and its impact on higher education. We talked about the privatization of American public universities. These are things that in some very direct and significant ways are going to affect Penn State in the years ahead. They are things we worry about. The more we all worry about these things collectively, as one University geographically dispersed, I think the better off we will all be.

 

            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.

 

            Harvey Feldman, Dickinson: I am on the faculty from the Dickinson School of Law. Dr. Spanier, I think you were still in Nebraska when I started quietly advocating for the merger with Penn State. I was probably the first person on our campus to endorse the merger. I was probably the first person on our campus to advocate relocation to State College. I think you know all of that and I hope you hear my question against that background.

 

            President Spanier: Sure.

 

            Harvey 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 after Carlisle was taken care of. You have had two months to disassociate yourself from those remarks and have not done so. Immediately before the vote the Provost stood up and said, “Irrespective of the outcome of the vote, the Dickinson School of Law was Penn States’s law school and we would be supported by the University.” Could you please tell us what changed? On September 14, 2004, you told this convocation that the faculty would be involved in any decision regarding the future of the Law School. Seventy-two hours later, without any consultation with the faculty, came this announcement about disaffiliation.

 

            President 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 Penn State’s position was. There was indeed an August 15 deadline for accepting that proposal and the Board did not do it. When it was alleged during the meeting that some new deal that had been struck, our Provost was very clear, and other Penn State representatives were clear what the consequence of the vote would mean.

 

            What has happened over the last year is that Penn State has put forward a series of proposals. All of them were designed to strengthen the Law School. All of them were based on the assumption that we would continue to be affiliated and based on our interest in doing what would ultimately be best for the future graduates of the Law School. Those proposals were turned down in sequence. Now there is another one that has emerged that we think has great promise and it is probably the most promising proposal on the table at this point. We would encourage further exploration of that proposal. We never started this process wanting to abandon the Law School or do anything other than support it as fully as possible. However, we find ourselves in the situation we find ourselves in now trying to do the best we can. As President Durden of Dickinson College pointed out in his remarks on October 15, of course the faculty will need to be involved in any discussions. We are not sure yet what those discussions need to be. As soon as we have a sense of direction and we hope we will soon, of course, faculty input will be very important. Right now we are really dealing with a larger set of governance issues that have to be dealt with by Penn State’s Board of Trustees, and by the Board of Governors of the Law School. That is where we are right now.

 

            Eileen Kane, Dickinson:  I am also from the Law School.

 

            President Spanier: Could I just say one other thing?

 

            Eileen Kane: Yes, President Spanier.

 

            President 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 Penn State’s position was pretty clear and should have been clear to everyone.

 

            Eileen Kane: Thank you President Spanier. I would like to know if Penn State will seek a disaffiliation with the Law School whether or not the affiliation talks with Dickinson College bare any fruit. In other words, can the Law School rely on your assurances that we might remain part of Penn State if the talks with Dickinson College do not proceed? Secondly, there is a lot at stake here. Professor Feldman and I are representing the faculty and we have a student representative. As you can imagine, people’s careers, jobs, and futures are at stake. This is true for faculty, staff, and students. Can you give us any reassurances about what will happen with our relationship with Penn State if re-affiliation talks do not bear any fruit? Secondly, is Penn State over the long haul committed to staying in legal education and are there then plans for Penn State to start its own law school? Thank you.

 

            President 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 in the Law School, of the Carlisle community, of the Dickinson School of Law, of Dickinson College, and of The Pennsylvania State University right now. I can tell you that this institution has a history of whenever there are administrative structural alignments, of any kind, we try to be completely fair to faculty and staff in the process. We do not expect there to be any significant negative consequences for anyone. We would work very hard to make sure that does not happen.

 

            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?

 

            President Spanier: Yes, we have some excellent data. In fact, it is quite remarkable. We have what might be the largest intramural program in the United States. We have huge numbers that I do not have off the top of my head. Just at University Park, something like 22,000 students per year are involved in intramural programs. The number of students purchasing a fitness pass for the fitness centers has been increasing dramatically. There are lines to get into the White Building fitness center. We have been so overwhelmed with the interest on the part of our students of staying fit that at the November Board of Trustees meeting, we will be proposing, showing a design, and asking for approval to build a new fitness center. It will be a major addition to Rec Hall. It will be a beautiful structure overlooking the golf courses across North Atherton. It will be designed in a way that is compatible in look with the IST building. It will be mostly a glass front and a lit up structure, which aesthetically will be positive. This will accommodate thousands more students each day in fitness activities. We have to do that because of the tremendous surge of interest in fitness. So signing up for a credit of golf or a credit of jogging is not really necessary, if what we are interested in is student’s fitness.

However, 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 for the College of Health and Human Development or one of the campuses. So we may want to do that, but do we want it to be part of the basic general education requirement. I know there is divided thinking about this, because we have seen it over the years in Senate reports and feedback from faculty. Just standing up here and raising this issue will produce at least 20 e-mails from people who really believe in that requirement. I am not saying this to reopen a debate, because I think it will work its way through and we will have an opportunity to debate this issue.

 

            Zachary 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 Law School, and in about six or seven months that will be me. Given your comments today, what comfort can current and prospective students take in the seemingly certain disaffiliation with The Pennsylvania State University; particularly given the silence towards Dickinson School of Law students demonstrated by you up to this point? Secondly, what should I tell an employer when I go into an interview and I have to spend half of my time explaining what my degree may mean six months from now or six years from now? I am at a disadvantage when I have to spend the bulk of my interview trying to explain something which has not been explained to me.

 

            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.

 

            President 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 Law School because Penn State’s name was attached. I regret that there has not over the last seven or eight years been more of an integration with Penn State. Nevertheless, all of the students who have graduated with a Penn State diploma and all of those who will graduate with a Penn State diploma, we will always consider to be Penn State graduates and graduates of the Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University. It is not going to change anyone’s alumni status. That is not something we want to do. We want everybody to try to land on their feet here. But you have to understand something; this is perhaps the only issue. I have very broad responsibilities as President of Penn State: twenty-four campuses; a budget that is approaching three billion dollars 36,000 employees; 84,000 students; 1400 buildings. I have very broad responsibilities delegated to me by the Board of Trustees, but there is really only one thing allegedly under my purview or it appears to be under my purview that I do not have complete control over. The agreement has certain oversight and rights to some of the questions that underlie the situation that we are in right now. If it were just up to me, there would have been another scenario, and we would not be here talking about this today. We have a Board of Governors consisting of 35 attorneys who have some very strong opinions about the situation, and that is what I am having to negotiate. That is what I am having to deal with. I received the video tape that you sent and I watched it. I have read all of the e-mails from the students. I know exactly how difficult this situation is for the students and faculty. It is very clear. I have also heard from scores of alumni of the Law School who are deeply divided about these issues. I have spoken to members of the Board of Governors who are deeply divided about these issues. I have also spoken to politicians who are deeply divided about these issues. I am just trying to make some lemonade out of lemons here. I think whether it is the faculty or the students, or the staff, or any of us who are tangentially around it, we could all agree that this is a very difficult situation. We all have to do the best we can. I only want to give this group an honest heads up that such discussions that could lead to disaffiliation are under way or are soon to be under way, and that is certainly a possibility. It is one that in my opinion, perhaps would be the best outcome with everything considered.

 

            Nancy Wyatt, Delaware County: I read from the University Faculty Senate Constitution that “it is our requirement that we act as advisory and consultative body to the President on issues of the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of organizational units and areas of instruction or research.” Do you consider the situation with Dickinson to come under that heading, and if so, what consultation are you doing with the University Faculty Senate on this issue, sir?

 

            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?

 

            Howard Sachs, Harrisburg: President Spanier, this is addressed to you but also to our colleagues at the Law School. Prior to the affiliation of the Law School with The Pennsylvania State University, this campus had an affiliation with the Law School in concurrent degrees. I think both parties have profited very much in line with what you have stated about interaction with colleagues at other campuses. As with you, I would not want to speak for all of my colleagues, but I know I speak for at least some who say no matter what the outcome, we have valued that association and hope it will continue.

 

            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.

 

FORENSIC BUSINESS

None.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None.

 

LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

 

 

            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.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING,

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.”

 

            Senators: 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.

 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES

 

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.

 

            Jeff 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 non-University Park locations, and the USG, we thank you.

 

            Chair Steiner: Thank you. When I saw you stand up, I thought this was going down in flames suddenly. Are there any other questions?

 

            Brian Tormey, Altoona: This is a constitutional question, and we are not in our usual site for Senate meetings where we have individuals identified by their seat location. This question is addressed to George Franz. Since this is a constitutional question, how can we be assured that we have a two-thirds vote of senators present?

 

            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.”

 

            Senators: 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.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AND RULES

 

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.”

 

            Senators: 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.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

 

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.”

 

            Senators: 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.

 

ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

 

            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.

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY AFFAIRS

 

Evaluating Faculty Performance for Promotion and Tenure

 

Tramble Turner, Chair Faculty Affairs

 

            Tramble 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 College of Arts and Architecture, which thought to create parallel wording in the three cells for the Promotion and Tenure dossiers. Last year the subcommittee that dealt with this issue was chaired by Michael Cardamone, who again chaired the subcommittee which brought this to our full committee. He is a former member of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. Sallie McCorkle who was last year’s Chair of Faculty Affairs helped lead us to this point. At Senate Council, the update was to list implementation upon approval by the President. At that point, of course, this would supersede any existing legislation. That is the background. I stand for questions.

 

            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.

 

            Alfred Mueller, Mont Alto: Tram, in Recommendation Number 1, I noticed descriptors have to be developed in consultation with the faculty and must be approved by the appropriate organization. My problem with such a general description is that unfortunately, many times we have born the brunt of things that have been decided from above and live in an edict culture. This especially is true in the Commonwealth College and the unit colleges and so forth. We feel we do not get consulted enough, and where the term “appropriate college faculty organization” may need more definition. I am a little uncomfortable with the generic nature of Recommendation Number 1 and would really appreciate more specifics as to what “the appropriate college faculty organization,” and to what “consultation with the faculty” would necessarily entail. I agree with Peter, and unfortunately, due to the generic nature of this proposal, I cannot comfortably support it.

 

            James Donovan, Mont Alto: I wish to speak against this proposal because I think it introduces an unnecessarily complex system for descriptors. I do not understand why we cannot have a universal set of descriptors for the whole University. It is so much simpler. For example, I am on the Promotion and Tenure Committee at my campus. At Mont Alto we have individuals who are both in the Commonwealth College and also in University Park based colleges. Under this system each college would have its own set of descriptors. That means we are going to have to deal with a different set of descriptors meaning different things for different colleagues. That will be a major headache. Thank you.

 

            Jim Smith, Abington: Tram, I hate to join the chorus of non-University Park faculty speaking regarding this proposal. However, I am a firm believer in “if it is not broken, do not fix it.” Having sat on a lot of committees and made a lot of reviews, I really never found problems with terminology prior to reaching a decision or a recommendation. Would you or Mike care to speak about your rationale? You simply say members of the committee think this is a good idea, but there is no real indication what is wrong with the relatively unmanaged system we now have.

 

            Tramble 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 College of Arts and Architecture. This led to a discussion by Faculty Affairs that lasted two academic years. That brings us to this point in time. That is one item. All or most of the questions go to the key term of “definitions.” So let me go to the questions in order and look at the definition of terms.

 

            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 Penn State, the Faculty Senate has been very attentive to the fact that all units designate their faculty organization as a Faculty Senate. Some are caucuses; I believe that is true in the College of Health and Human Development, some are bodies of the whole, some, as at Abington College are Faculty Senate organizations. Each time we do legislation it seems there is an effort to find wording that reflects that. I believe, and the Executive Secretary can correct me if I am incorrect, I believe what we were doing in this wording was following the model of past wording to condense the reference instead of listing them all out. If editorially you would prefer to see a parenthesis where we list all of them that is not a problem at all. It simply involves more paper. Interestingly enough no one brought up any of these comments at Senate Council, which offers an opportunity to do this type of editing work. Indeed, that is the intention, that the “appropriate college faculty organization” simply means we have a lot of nomenclatures, but it is the mandatory requirement for consultation. That indeed had been where the focus for the Faculty Affairs Committee and, I believe, but I cannot speak for Council, has put its emphasis on the consultation not the nomenclature.

 

            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.

 

            Tramble 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 administrator. Using Abington College as a model it would go to the Faculty Affairs Committee. We do have representatives here from Arts & Architecture; they might be willing to speak as to how they handled it. After the faculty organization makes its recommendation to the administration, the administration accepts it or asks for a refinement. Then it would go into place. More specifically, back to your question, “is there any point to doing this?” Sandy Smith, Chair of Faculty Rights & Responsibilities, might more directly respond, but having been at a workshop with her recently I would say, if you have procedural variances, in other words, you have common language and it is mandated, it will be in the teaching cell, but if you do not have common language in two other cells, you might be exposing the unit to a bit more vulnerability. I will end it here.

 

            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.

 

            Michael 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 Capital College they use a uniform set of descriptors in all cells; but because of the previous legislation, the descriptors that are used are those that are applicable to the teaching cell and have been imposed on the other cells. This is one method. In other colleges, there is a great deal of variability that exists. It would probably make the work of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, I would not say easier, but a lot more precise, if there were a set of descriptors for each individual college that would be defined and that the Promotion and Tenure Committee members could then understand exactly what was meant by those descriptors. It is not just giving a score and I do not think anyone would think of it in that manner. I do not think it would help to make the process more precise.

 

            Dan Brinker, College of Arts and Architecture: We do have this; in fact, we have seven descriptors that are used. What is really nice about it is it does create uniformity across all three cells. I find that someone who is going through an evaluation process to make it much easier for me to know how I am being evaluated. It isn’t just a score, but it is the letters that get pushed up. So when one of them says excellent, and another says okay, and a third says appropriate or adequate, that is very confusing. As someone who is being evaluated, it is comforting to me to know that there is that consistency across those cells. I think it is a very simple thing because it is saying the colleges and units do this for themselves. It is not imposing anything, saying you should make it even. I think this is a fine idea. Although I will say a lot of faculty in Arts and Architecture really debated this when it came down the pike, it has worked out quite well. The descriptors range from poor to excellent. It is a list that is too long for me to remember. I am a theater major. It does use the four that are described here and adds a couple more. As a matter of fact, I believe they are on the lower end.

 

            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.”

 

            Senators: Aye.

 

            Chair Steiner: Opposed say “Nay.”

 

            Senators: 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.

 

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

 

FACULTY BENEFITS

 

            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.

 

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

 

            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.

 

UNIVERSITY PLANNING

 

            University Budget and Planning, Appendix I. Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney A. Erickson presented a brief summary of the University’s 2004-2005 Operating Budget. He also summarized the budget plan and appropriation request for 2005-2006.

 

NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

None.

 

 

COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

 

            Chair Steiner: Are there any comments?

 

            Winston Richards, Harrisburg: This visit to Penn State Harrisburg has been so successful. I was wondering, if it would be appropriate, to suggest that the Senate consider meeting at Penn State Harrisburg once every year or once every two years.

 

            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.

 

ADJOURMENT

 

            Chair Steiner: May I have a motion to adjourn?

 

            Senators: So moved.

 

            Chair Steiner: All in favor, please say, “Aye.”

 

            Senators: 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 Kern Graduate Building.

 

 


The following Senators signed the Attendance Sheet and/or were noted as having attended the October, 26, 2004 Senate Meeting

                 Abdalla, Charles                                                                 Engelder, Terry

                 Adams, Fred                                                                      Erickson, Rodney

                 Alcock, James                                                                    Farmer, Edgar

                 Ambrose, Anthony                                                             Feldman, Harvey

                 Atwater, Deborah                                                               Fernandez-Jimenez, Juan

                 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

                 Brown, Douglas                                                                  Harwood, John

                 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, Gary                                                                        Tormey, Brian

                 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, Warren

                 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, Nancy

                 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

                 Selzer, John

                 Shantz, Lisa