|News||. . . .||Arts||. . . .||Calendars||. . . .||Letters||. . . .||Links||. . . .||Deadlines||. . . .||Archive|
News in brief
$200,000 gift to endow scholarship
Intercollegiate Athletics column
Bird's eye view
Institute earns $1.2 million contract
Service has answers for seniors
Microcomputer Order Center
Computer systems consolidate
Keystone 21 seeks proposals
|Penn State news bureau|
James Pawelczyk, assistant professor in the College of Health
and Human Development, right, and Chris Minson, rear, a doctoral student
in kinesiology doing ground-based research related to Pawelczyk's microgravity
studies, demonstrated research related to some of the experiments Pawelczyk
will conduct aboard the Neurolab Space Shuttle mission as a payload specialist.
Bill Farquhar, a doctoral student in kinesiology volunteered as a test subject
for the demonstration. Pawelczyk will spend much of his time between now
and the target launch date of April 2, 1998, at the Johnson Space Center
in Houston, but will return to University Park as often as possible.
Photo: Greg Grieco
Back to top of page
The University is adopting new internal budget strategies that link income more directly with program costs and may expand its differential tuition program to better reflect differences in program costs.
"Even with the good news about the state appropriation for 1997-98, (a 3 percent boost in funding) our appropriation over the last six years in total has lagged behind inflation," said Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer.
"At the same time, our costs continue to rise and funding for grants for education and research is increasingly competitive. We are concerned about keeping a Penn State education affordable to families of average means, and we do not want these fiscal challenges to limit academic quality or the educational experiences of Penn State students."
The Budget Strategies Committee of the University Planning Council, which was established in 1995 to strengthen Penn State's planning and budget process and guide its academic mission, has been studying Penn State data and data from other Big Ten universities to develop new budget strategies in light of the fiscal challenges projected for the next five years.
"Cost centers as the basis of budgeting and differential tuition are two strategies that show promise," Schultz said.
In academic cost centers, a direct relationship is established between available funds and income generated. The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Pennsylvania College of Technology already operate as separate cost centers and the Commonwealth Educational System has been operating on a modified cost center basis since 1984.
The University Planning Council has endorsed and the president has approved
the idea of associating income more directly with academic program activity
as practiced in the CES approach. "Cost centers will begin to operate
in the 1997-98 fiscal year for the following locations: University Park,
Commonwealth College, Erie, Harrisburg/
Schuylkill, Abington, Altoona, Berks/Lehigh Valley and Great Valley," Schultz said.
A group working on differential tuition has been looking at further differentiating the University's tuition structure, considering additional course fees for more costly programs and examining differential tuition policies used by peer institutions.
Penn State currently has different tuition rates for University Park and CES locations, undergraduate and graduate programs and resident and non-resident students. It also has tuition surcharges for upper division and graduate students in specific areas such as engineering and related programs.
Providing background on instructional costs, John A. Brighton, executive vice president and provost, explained to the board how costs vary by student level and academic program.
"In higher education, instructional costs are measured on a per-student basis and are determined by who teaches the classes, how many students they teach and what subjects they are teaching. A small section of advanced students taught by a senior professor in a laboratory or clinical setting is more expensive than a lower division lecture taught by a junior faculty member in a large classroom," Brighton said.
At all Penn State locations, the average class size decreases from lower division to upper division and graduate courses. Instructional costs also vary by program relating to such factors as accreditation standards, the need for expensive laboratory equipment and supervision requirements for clinical experiences.
"We believe that students at a public, land-grant university such as Penn State should have the opportunity to explore different majors. As such, we want to minimize any tuition differentials that may affect student's academic choices," said Brighton. "At the same time, we recognize that there are differences in instructional costs and have concluded that Penn State should further differentiate its tuition rate schedule."
The Board of Trustees will consider a recommendation on differential tuition to be implemented over several years at its next meeting, July 13.
Back to top of page
The Board of Trustees on May 16 approved an interim maintenance and operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
The interim budget was approved for the period beginning July 1 at the level of the adjusted 1996-97 total operating budget of $1,698,653,000 for all divisions, including The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and all auxiliary enterprises.
"The University has adopted an interim budget so that the University has an approved fiscal operating plan from July 1 until the new 1997-98 budget is approved at the July Board of Trustees meeting," said Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer.
The board took no action on changes in tuition, salaries and wages, employee benefits or other necessary expense increases.
The University's final 1997-98 total operating budget will be submitted for approval at the July 11 Board of Trustees meeting, which will be held at the Berks Campus.
Back to top of page
This is an artist's conception of the New Research Center
at University Park.
The facility is expected to cost $14.7 million, and will be constructed in 1997-98.
By Lisa M. Rosellini
Beginning this summer and on into the year 2001, the sound of earth moving and the buzz of power equipment will be audible at Penn State locations across the state as a result of a recently unveiled five-year, $476 million construction plan.
In an effort to meet Penn State's most pressing academic needs, University officials on May 14 mapped out a long-range construction plan that is expected to have a profound impact on educational programs at a number of campuses. A plan of this nature was not possible in past years because of the unpredictable disbursement of funding from the state. But in March, the governor announced the release of $200 million in badly needed capital construction funds over the next five years.
Funded by the state's commitment and $276 million in University money, the multi-million dollar improvements range from a $14.7 million New Research Center at University Park, to more than $11.4 million in infrastructure upgrades for telecommunication needs over the next five years, to a 165-unit complex to house students and their families at Penn State Harrisburg.
In total for fiscal year 1997-98, more than $130 million will be spent on construction projects, the largest capital construction initiative in the University's history; in fiscal year 1998-99, about $82 million will be spent on capital improvements, followed by an estimated $118.4 million in building upgrades and construction into the millennium; and in the year 2000 to 2001, nearly $47 million in construction and renovations are planned.
The news of the five-year plan has been greeted with enthusiasm. In the Eberly College of Science, several laboratories are being renovated and a new chemistry building, expected to cost nearly $60 million by the time it's completed, is slated to go up in the year 2000 on the University Park campus. The design of the chemistry building will be paid for with $8.75 million in state funds, while the estimated $24.6 million construction costs related to phase I of the project will be funded with $19.6 million from the state and $5 million from University coffers. In addition, in the year 2001, Chandlee Laboratory at University Park, currently used by the chemistry department, will be renovated through a $10.2 million project and used by the College of the Liberal Arts.
"The new chemistry building is sorely needed. We have a general infrastructure problem that exists with many of our buildings which are heavily used," Norman Freed, associate dean in the Eberly College of Science, said. "We have been lacking a state-of-the-art chemistry building that would allow our students to truly experience research on the scale that they should be experiencing here at a major research university like Penn State and we want to make sure we are well-positioned to meet the needs of future students."
Freed explained that not only are the labs used by those students majoring in the sciences -- a number that has continued to climb, mostly because of increased interest in health professions -- but also by students in nearly every major.
"While roughly three-quarters of our students majoring in the life sciences have extremely lab-intensive programs, we also provide service instruction at the undergraduate level. About 75 percent of student credit hours that we provide are actually offered to students outside of our college," Freed said referring to the University's general education requirements. "We are primarily a service college in our instruction at the undergraduate level and chemistry is the most heavily impacted department."
Also benefiting from renovations over the five-year period will be Sackett and the Engineering buildings, Burrowes Building and Borland Laboratory on the University Park campus. Renovations to Weaver and Patterson buildings have already begun. A new forestry building at a cost of $12 million is scheduled for the year 2002, replacing Ferguson Building which will receive a facelift at a later date and be used for other purposes.
At Penn State Harrisburg, a new $17.3 million library will grace the grounds sometime in fiscal year 1998-99. The projected 115,000-square-foot facility has already been designed. Also at Harrisburg, a study is under way to replace outdated housing units that during the 1950s were used as an Air Force base. More than $16 million has been designated for this project.
"We anticipate that the new library can serve nearly 1.5 million potential users and will enable our students, faculty and staff to perform research and scholarly activities at a much higher level," said James South, associate vice provost at Penn State Harrisburg. "But despite these large monetary projects, we are equally happy with the funding we also received for two smaller projects that will greatly improve our infrastructure." South was referring to the $1.1 million heating system project and the $3.5 million electrical distribution project that will upgrade aging systems at the campus.
In the year 2000-01, Penn State York is also slated to build a library and general classroom building. Nearly $12 million has been earmarked for that project, which will replace the existing library facility built in the 1970s to serve about 400 students -- a far cry from York's 2,100 enrollment figure. In addition, the general classroom building to be constructed will contain a 650-seat auditorium and technological capabilities.
Donald Gogniat, campus executive officer at Penn State York, said the classroom building and library will help the commuter campus fulfill its obligation to the community, which deeded 33 acres to the campus for $1 on the condition that some improvement to the grounds be made that benefited the York region. To date, the campus has created a park, and installed tennis courts and a soccer field.
At Penn State Berks, phase one and two of a residence hall project and the expansion of the dining facility have garnered a total of $13.2 million; the third phase of a residence hall construction project at Penn State Erie will receive $6.4 million, while a $25 million graduate student housing project at University Park is on the books for 1999.
Most of the projects in the five-year plan have already been approved by the Board of Trustees, some are even ready to go to bid for construction, such as the Leonhard Building and new research center at University Park and the nearly $23.3 million HUB/Robeson project.
President Graham B. Spanier stressed that despite the large number of projects funded by this capital plan, there are still construction projects awaiting funding. So far, the state Legislature has approved $363 million worth of capital building projects, but funds for those projects have not been released. The Legislature is currently reviewing Penn State's capital budget request of $98 million.
Back to top of page
President of Penn State's Board of Trustees, H. Jesse Arnelle, attorney and senior partner of Arnelle, Hastie, McGee, Willis and Greene of San Francisco, has received the 1997 Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
The award, which is granted each year to one trustee from a public institution and one from a private institution, is sponsored by TIAA-CREF to recognize the service and accomplishments of volunteer leaders. Arnelle received a certificate and a $10,000 unrestricted grant to Penn State in his name at the association's National Conference on Trusteeship in San Diego in April.
"It is with deep respect and admiration that I nominate H. Jesse Arnelle for the award," wrote University President Graham B. Spanier. "Jesse is a true servant and leader. He, in my judgment, has set a standard of excellence and leadership for Penn State's board by making difficult decisions in which honesty, collegiality and integrity were his hallmarks."
Accepting the award, Arnelle said, "What I cherish most about receiving this Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship is the aspect of service. I am a firm believer in service -- service to your to family, community and business endeavors, and perhaps more important, service to your fellow man. I believe that service is my privilege. We are the stewards of institutions across the nation and our collective goal is to provide the thousands of young men and women in our care with the opportunity to enrich their minds, broaden their horizons and help them realize their dreams."
Arnelle was first elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees by the alumni in 1969 and has been reelected for eight successive three-year terms. He was elected chairman in 1996, becoming the first African American to serve in that post.
Early in his tenure, Arnelle was instrumental in developing the committee structure that makes Penn State's board participatory and active, a structure that has been cited as a model for public institutions. He is co-founder of the Renaissance Fund, which has provided more than $2 million in scholarships for more than 1,500 of the brightest and neediest students.
A champion of diversity, affirmative action and civil rights causes, Arnelle has met often with students and faculty and staff over issues of racial climate and supported programs and funding that brought about increases in minority student enrollment in the 1980s. He was a leader in both the divestment of University funds in South Africa in 1987 and reinvestment after the change in leadership in 1994.
More recently, Arnelle helped bring about a redesign of the 22-campus system and was instrumental in the merger between Penn State and The Dickinson School of Law and the merger of the Geisinger Foundation and Penn State's Hershey Medical Center's clinical enterprises to form the Penn State Geisinger Health System, both of which take effect July 1.
A 1955 graduate of Penn State in political science, Arnelle was both an All-American in basketball and All-American honorable mention in football. He graduated from The Dickinson School of Law in 1962 and recently received an honorary doctorate of law from Dickinson. He served in the Peace Corps in Turkey, India and Washington D.C. and was later admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania and California Supreme Courts.
Back to top of page
The fieldhouse of the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex on
the University Park campus is going
to be torn down to make way for the new Louis E. Lasch Football Building, which will be
adjacent to the outdoor practice fields and close to Holuba Hall.
Photo: Greg Grieco
As part of the five-year capital spending program announced on May 13, the University is moving ahead with the development of several construction projects for intercollegiate athletics this year that will be paid for with University funds and private gifts.
In order to ensure that these projects are completed in a time frame consistent with athletic needs, the Board of Trustees on May 16 approved the appointment of architects who will design and oversee the projects.
"Intercollegiate Athletics recently completed a master plan to identify deficiencies in their competition facilities and identified three areas of need -- the indoor track, the Louis E. Lasch Football Building and the locker facilities for other sports," said Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer.
The existing indoor track, in the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex fieldhouse, does not meet the standard for NCAA tournament competition and the structure would require a substantial investment to stabilize it and correct an existing liability caused by sliding snow.
The new facility to be located near the outdoor track on Porter Road will have at least a 220-meter track with spectator seating and amenities. It also will have support spaces such as locker rooms, a training room, a weight training room and storage and will serve both the new indoor and the existing outdoor tracks.
The existing fieldhouse of the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex will be demolished to make way for the new Louis E. Lasch Football Building to be located adjacent to the outdoor practice fields and close to Holuba Hall. The building will include locker facilities, equipment room, coaches' offices, a training and rehab area, meeting rooms, academic support areas, a team lounge, video rooms and storage. Additional parking will be provided at both the north and south sides of the new facility.
Part of the remaining Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex will be renovated with the new construction and a new public entrance for visitors will be located on the south side of the building.
The existing Lasch Building, formerly called East Area Locker Room, will be renovated to provide a multi-sport activity building and include locker rooms, a weight training room, training and rehab rooms, academic support areas, equipment storage and an athlete's lounge for several women's and men's sports.
This renovation will not only meet the needs of several sports, it will aid in meeting gender equity issues required by Title IX.
The board approved the appointment of Hoffman-Popovich of Boalsburg and NBBJ of Columbus, Ohio, to design and oversee construction for the indoor track, and L.D. Astorino from Pittsburgh and HOK from Kansas City, Mo., to design and oversee construction of the new and renovated football training facilities.
The board also approved the appointment of Susan Maxman Architects of Philadelphia to design and oversee construction of two residence halls at the Berks Campus, which also are part of the 1997-98 Capital plan and will be constructed with University funds.
Back to top of page
Penn State's merger with The Dickinson School of Law is on track and expected to begin as scheduled on July 1. On that date, the law school will officially be known as The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, its employees will be on Penn State's payroll and the transition period in the governance of the law school will begin.
John Brighton, executive vice president and provost, told the Board of Trustees May 16 that the University has identified at least 36 different functional areas for integration with Dickinson and that a high-speed communications link between the two institutions will be installed in early June.
"Dickinson will then have full data capacity to integrate with Penn State's administrative computer systems," Brighton said. "We believe that by next year, the registration, billing, student aid and admissions systems will be up and running at Dickinson."
On Jan. 17, nearly 30 years after the possibility of an alliance was first considered, Penn State's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a merger with the 163-year old law school. The law school's board had previously approved the merger, and so the vote of Penn State's trustees was the final action needed.
During a three-year transition period that begins July 1, Dickinson's board of trustees will be augmented by the addition of H. Jesse Arnelle, president of Penn State's board, and two senior Penn State administrators. During the first stage of the merger, this augmented board will oversee Dickinson's operations. After the merger is complete, it will become an advisory board.
Brighton said that Peter Glenn, dean of the law school, is a "tremendous leader," and that Penn State is delighted with the intensity of the cooperative efforts between Penn State and Dickinson.
Brighton also updated the board on other on-going University activities, including those of the University Planning Council, the Center for Quality Improvement, the Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning, the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, the IDP Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and the University Faculty Senate's Special Committee on General Education. He also reviewed issues related to faculty promotion and tenure.
Back to top of page
The Board of Trustees on May 16 approved the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) plan to purchase five properties near the University Park Airport. The purchases are funded principally by the FAA.
The plan creates the necessary "runway protection zones" around the airport and also helps protect its close neighbors in line with the runway from excessive noise and other annoyances associated with arriving and departing planes.
The board also approved a lease that will allow the construction of a large aircraft hangar and office space for an aviation business relocating to the airport. It will include an aircraft charter service, a corporate jet aircraft refurbishing service, a jet aircraft maintenance service and a flight school.
Robert C. Finley, assistant to the associate senior vice president for business and finance, told the board that the University's purpose in purchasing the properties is twofold. The first is to ensure sufficient unobstructed airspace exists around the airport for approaches and takeoffs by aircraft, and the second is to ensure that compatible land uses -- such as light industrial development -- are closest to the airport.
"The airport wants to be the best good neighbor it can be," Finley said. "With these properties becoming available, we have an opportunity to do this right, and that's what we're going to do."
The property purchases are in accordance with the airport's master plan, which includes a main runway extension project begun last fall. The extension project is part of a long-range improvement plan designed to meet the existing and growing demand for air service to and from central Pennsylvania.
The airport serves as a gateway for Penn State and other major employers in the region. With nearly 200,000 passengers a year, it is the seventh busiest airport out of 16 scheduled service airports in the Commonwealth.
Consistent with FAA requirements, all purchase prices have been approved by the FAA. The project is funded 90 percent by the FAA, 5 percent by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and 5 percent from the passenger facilities charge that airline passengers pay when they buy an airline ticket.
The airport's $18 million runway extension project includes the lengthening of the runway from its current 5,000 feet to an ultimate length of 6,700 feet, as well as other supporting infrastructure improvements.
The airport hosts 54,000 takeoffs and landings a year. Three airlines using the airport have nearly 40 regularly scheduled daily flights to and from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Detroit.
In addition to serving area businesses and travelers, the airport is home to many aviation-related services. It is used by various law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services and air freight carriers. It also will be home to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 112th Air Traffic Control Flight sometime in late 1998.
The airport tenants and visitors to the University Park Airport generate significant economic benefits on an annual basis, providing approximately 139 jobs and $12 million in payroll. Also, a recent report estimated the impact of direct spending and secondary visitor-related spending at $68 million.
Back to top of page
Alumni and delegates of agricultural and industrial societies elected four new members and re-elected three incumbents to serve on the Board of Trustees in elections held May 15 at the University Park campus. All will serve a three-year term beginning July 1.
Joining the board as new members elected by the alumni are David R. Jones, 1954 graduate, assistant managing editor of The New York Times, and Anne Riley, 1964 and 1975 graduate, teacher at State College Area High School.
Re-elected to the board by the alumni is Ben Novak, 1965 graduate, senior partner and founder in the law firm of Novak, Stover & Furst, State College, and a trustee since 1988. Marian U. Coppersmith, also an alumni trustee incumbent, chose not to seek re-election.
Joining the board as a new member elected by the agricultural society delegates is Carl T. Shaffer, vice president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau board of directors.
Re-elected by the agricultural societies' delegates is Obie Snider, 1950 graduate, owner of Singing Brook Farms, Bedford, and a trustee since 1979.
Joining the board as a new member elected by the industrial societies' delegates is Ira M. Lubert, 1973 graduate, managing director of Technology Leaders L.P., Wayne.
Re-elected by the industrial society delegates is Edward R. Hintz, 1959 graduate, president of Hintz, Holman and Hecksher, Inc., of New York City and a trustee since 1994.
Back to top of page
President Graham B. Spanier testified recently at a Pennsylvania
Liquor Control Board hearing at
the Penn State Conference Center Hotel. The PLCB's board of senators questioned Spanier about alcohol
use at Penn State and what the town and the University are doing to monitor underage drinking.
Photo: Greg Grieco
Maureen Gaffney, chair of the Commission for the Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse, told the Board of Trustees on May 16 that collaboration will play an important role in further reducing student substance abuse and called for University leadership to use its influence in addressing the problem.
Gaffney, campus health services and counseling director at Penn State Hazleton, and fellow commission members Susan Kennedy, associate director of University Health Services, and Judith Vicary, associate professor of biobehavioral health, reviewed the commission's 1996-97 activities for the trustees.
"Collaboration and leadership across the University will help us formulate initiatives that foster an academic and work environment that values healthy lifestyle choices," said Gaffney.
In his State of the University Address this year, President Graham B. Spanier identified alcohol-related behaviors among the most serious problems facing higher education.
The commission is an interdisciplinary advisory group that consists of faculty, staff, student and community representatives from all campus locations. Its goals are to increase the commitment from University leaders; decrease the number of students experiencing problems related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; decrease student use of these substances and increase faculty, staff, student, alumni and community involvement.
This winter, the commission sent a Core Alcohol and Drug Survey to all faculty and staff at all campus locations and a series of regional meetings and presentations were held throughout the Commonwealth Educational System.
The commission collaborated with various departments and organizations both on campus and off to coordinate the communication and implementation of intervention efforts. A few commission members also joined the Greek Task Force, which is developing new alcohol policies for the Greek community.
Among its current projects is a freshman seminar on life skills and making healthy choices to be presented during Freshman Testing, Counseling and Advising Programs this summer. Other prevention programs include late-night activities at the HUB, a University Health Services Web site, anti-alcohol abuse messages on University scoreboards at Beaver Stadium and The Bryce Jordan Center, and cooperation between the commission, the State College Tavern Owners and Downtown State College associations.
University efforts already are paying off. The percentage of undergraduates who binge on alcohol dropped at Penn State this year, according to a Penn State Pulse survey administered by the Student Affairs Office in February. The survey found that 43 percent of men and 46 percent of women had binged on alcohol, as opposed to 51 percent of men and 54 percent of women surveyed last year.
The University's efforts also are being recognized nationally. Gaffney reported the commission's three-year strategic plan has been identified as one of the best practices in alcohol abuse prevention and will be published as part of a 1997 national resource book, Promising Practices: Campus Alcohol Strategies.
Back to top of page
Faculty and students are moving beyond their traditional classroom roles and exploring active and collaborative approaches to learning in classrooms without walls.
On May 16, John Harwood, director of Education Technology Services, gave the Board of Trustees an overview of how faculty and students are using information technology to strengthen teaching and learning.
Drawing on the University's computing resources and the World Wide Web, initiatives such as "Project Vision" at six Commonwealth Campuses are joining faculty, staff and information resources from across the globe to create effective communities of teachers and students.
Project Vision students at Penn State Altoona, Berks, Delaware County, McKeesport, York and Mont Alto communicate with one another by laptop computers. Faculty report having better and more interaction with their residential and distance Project Vision students and say that technology has enabled them to change the focus of their classes from lectures to learning.
At University Park, Paul Sokol's Physics 201 class meets not in a lecture hall, but a computer lab where students working in groups of three use computer simulations to learn the principles of inertia and motion -- learning physics by doing physics.
Faculty are transforming themselves from lecturers bound in physical space to mentors encouraging student collaboration in cyberspace. Students play a more active role in seeking information and evaluating possible solutions instead of memorizing facts and figures.
"Technology is the great enabler, but behind the technology lies the vision and the will to change," Harwood said. "Technology has already had significant impact on both graduate and undergraduate education, changing the way students and faculty interact with each other and with the course material."
A few examples:
* An estimated 98 percent of Penn State students use e-mail. While faculty still hold office hours, technology has significantly extended their availability to students.
* About 5,000 students participated in news or bulletin board discussion groups on course topics while another 2,000 students in the Commonwealth Educational System are using computer conferencing to exchange ideas from a distance.
* Faculty at all Penn State locations are enriching their courses with Web images, sound, movie clips, data and simulations. Alistair Fraser, professor of meteorology, uses the Web to teach numerical models for predicting climate change; Lyle Long, associate professor of aeronautical engineering, uses it to demonstrate concepts of flight; and Mary Ann Lyman-Hager, director of instructional technology, uses it to teach French.
According to a November 1996 survey by the Office of Student Affairs, 54 percent of student respondents said the use of computers in Penn State classes should be increased -- 85 percent thought that computing would either be very important or extremely important to their post-graduate careers.
Harwood predicted that within five years students will take entire courses electronically, with most residential courses including a significant electronic dimension: electronic textbooks, Web tutoring, Web display of student projects.
In a virtual future where classrooms don't necessarily have walls, Penn State and other members of the Big Ten Consortium for Institutional Cooperation will likely exchange students and courses.
Back to top of page
On May 16, the Board of Trustees took the following action on graduate and undergraduate programs.
2-Agricultural Business Major: Addition of New Options
The options, to be available at both the University Park and Berks Campuses, are consistent with both University and College of Agricultural Sciences initiatives as agricultural business is being increasing viewed as an integrated activity beyond farm production activities. As such, the value of food manufacturing engineering and landscape contracting is a growing dimension of the agricultural economy in Pennsylvania and across the nation. For the Food Science Option, 36 credits are required. For the Horticulture Option, 33 credits are required.
Major in Materials Science and Engineering: Change in Name from Option in Polymer Science to Option in Polymer Science and Engineering
This name change reflects the increased stress on engineering and the related manufacturing technology of polymer materials. In fact, the current program already includes a significant amount of what is often called engineering, but the title of the present option does not reflect this.
Students will have a choice of two "study tracks." The first will emphasize the traditional science and engineering part of the subject. The second study track will emphasize polymer engineering and related technologies. These students will take an overview course on general polymer processing together with more specialized courses in molding, extrusion and product design. Although the hands-on experience is not offered at the University Park campus, students will obtain this experience through an agreement with the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Major in Architectural Engineering: Changes in Options
Environmental Option: Drop of Option
Lighting/Electrical Option: New Option
Mechanical Option: New Option
For many years, the Major in Architectural Engineering (AE) has operated with three options--Construction, Environmental, and Structural. In recent years graduates from the Environmental Option have evolved into two distinct specialized areas, namely Building Mechanical Systems and Building Lighting and Electrical Systems. Both of these focus areas have operated within the Environmental Option; and through the selection of electives, students have referred to these specialization areas and generally have not have used the "Environmental" label. As the demand for graduates in these areas is very strong, the proposed offerings are a logical approach to the curriculum. For both the Lighting/Electrical Option and the Mechanical Option, 42 credits are required.
Major in 2-Human Development and Family Studies: Changes in Options
Adult Development and Aging Services Option: Change in Name from Adult Development and Aging Option
Children, Youth, and Family Services Option: Change in Name from Child and Youth Services Option
Family Services Option: Drop of Option
These changes within the associate degree make it compatible with the recent revision to the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) baccalaureate degree program. The current three options will be combined in a manner that maintains the integrity of the degree and at the same time provides more flexibility for students, a better planning guide for academic advisors and administrators, and maximum transferability to the HDFS baccalaureate degree.
Master of Science Degree Program in Nursing,
Change in Program
A proposal to change requirements for the Master of Science degree program in Nursing in the College of Health and Human Development was approved by the Graduate Council at its meeting on April 16, 1997.
The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty established new guidelines and program standards for nurse practitioner education. Therefore in order to meet the new national guidelines, the School of Nursing reorganized and renumbered the Family Nurse Practitioner support and specialty courses in order to clarify that the contact and experiences in this track are different from the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner track. In addition, the proposal from the School of Nursing entails a change from six tracks in the programs to four tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Older Adult Health Nursing, and Community Health Nursing. The two tracks (child and adolescent and older adult health) being discontinued do not have sufficient student demand.
College of Engineering: New Program
Master of Engineering Degree Program in Architectural Engineering,
A proposal to offer the Master of Engineering degree program in Architectural Engineering in the College of Engineering was approved by the Graduate Council at its meeting on April 16, 1997.
The Department of Architectural Engineering currently offers the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy. However, the needs of students who have goals of practice rather than research have not been met by the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. The Department notes that "there continues to be a strong need and interest in graduate study as a way to enhance the student's preparation for professional practice; and is convinced that the Master of Engineering program will best serve students from four-year engineering programs who feel that further preparation for professional practice is needed." It is anticipated that up to 50 graduate students will be attracted to the Master of Engineering degree program per year.
A proposal to offer the Master of Science degree program in Computer Science at Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College was approved by the Graduate Council at its meeting on April 16, 1997.
The new program in Computer Science is professionally oriented and designed to prepare students in areas including software engineering, systems programming and artificial intelligence. Graduates of the program will be prepared for employment in industry and government. Students will gain experience with tools and techniques for development of scientific and engineering applications, system software, safety or security critical systems, and developing distributed applications. The master's degree in computer science will also benefit existing programs at Penn State Harrisburg with many of the new computer courses being appropriate and useful for graduate students in programs such as electrical engineering and information systems.
Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Clinical Epidemiology, Health Services Research and Health Informatics are recognized academic disciplines that are essential in biomedical public health and clinical research, and are becoming increasingly important in the education of clinical practitioners and researchers. Moreover, a strong academic program in these health evaluative sciences will significantly contribute to the success of any academic health care system competing within the challenges of the managed care environment.
This academic department will position future efforts in epidemiology, biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, health services research and health informatics within a much broader institutional contact than the current Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology. This expansion in scope from a Center to a broader academic department is needed to meet the strategic goals of the College of Medicine in its education and research mission. This proposal has been favorably reviewed by the University Faculty Senate Council.
The Department of German and the Department of Slavic and East European Languages have experienced declining enrollments over a period of time. The enrollments have stabilized and it is felt that by combining German and Slavic into one department, it will create a setting in which instruction and research in these important languages and cultures can continue to enrich the instruction and research in these important languages and cultures can continue to enrich the University as well as providing for efficient and high quality administrative support and faculty governance. This has been favorably by the University Faculty Senate Council.
Back to top of page
Back to Intercom home page