Board of Trustees actions: Nov. 14, 2003

Penn State's Board of Trustees met on Friday, Nov. 14, 2003, on Penn State's University Park campus. The following items were presented to the Board for action or informational purposes:

Penn State Board of Trustees meets today; President Spanier's remarks
Penn State's Board of Trustees is holding its regular, bi-monthly meeting today (Nov. 14) on the University Park campus . In his opening remarks to the board, President Graham B. Spanier highlighted the University's record-breaking enrollment numbers for this fall, and outlined a recent, revolutionary initiative with Napster that will provide students with a legal way to download music files -- become the first higher education instituion to launch a comprehensive alternative solution. Spanier also touched upon student and faculty accomplishments during the first few months of the semester, and discussed the recently announced senior class gift: enhancements to the plaza outside Willard Building along Pollock Road.
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Trustees approve 2004-05 room and board rates
Penn State expects to complete one of its most significant upgrades to housing facilities in recent years by fall 2004 -- and will do so at a minimal cost increase to the more than 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students who choose to take advantage of on-campus living options. The University's Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14) approved a modest increase of less than 5 percent to Penn State's average room and board rates effective for the 2004-05 academic year at all nine of the University's residential campuses, including University Park. The centerpiece of residential enhancements to come online next fall is the Eastview Terrace undergraduate housing complex, which will be the first major addition to undergraduate housing at University Park since the mid-1980s.
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Board approves landmark project to reshape portion of Atherton 'streetscape'
Penn State is proposing a property acquisition with a unique development concept that would reshape a portion of the North Atherton 'streetscape' into a thriving, attractive gateway to State College and the University Park campus. The University's Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14) approved a plan to purchase a five-lot parcel totaling 1.465 acres owned by H.O. Smith & Sons Inc. and located within the 100 block of North Atherton Street. The proposal includes the removal of four existing structures and the construction of two new buildings that will create an architecturally unified complex along North Atherton Street. They include a new University research building north of Railroad Avenue and a landmark mixed-use building south of Railroad Avenue.
View sketch plans at
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Environmental, community interests guide Circleville Farm sale planTrustees approve plans for new food science building, Creamery
In a move to better meet the education and outreach needs of the food processing and manufacturing industry statewide and nationally, Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14) approved sketch/preliminary plans for the new Food Science Building, including the new home of the Berkey Creamery, on the University Park campus. The 130,000-square-foot facility will replace the outdated Borland Laboratory, and will offer modern laboratory, classroom, pilot plant and office space to faculty, students and industrial partners, plus expanded production and service space for the ever-popular Creamery. The building will be located on the corner of Curtin Road and Bigler Road. For an artist's rendition of the building, go to
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Creating learning opportunities outside the classroom a Penn State priority
Student learning takes place in a wide variety of ways and in a range of activities, inside and outside of the classroom, and Penn State's task is to find ways to help students connect what they have read in a text or heard in a lecture with the real world in which they will find their places. "I believe very strongly that our job as educators does not end at the classroom door or when the bell rings at the end of class," Janis E. Jacobs, vice provost for undergraduate education and international programs, told the Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14).
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Penn State continues to meet enrollment plan objectives
Penn State continues to see an upward trend in enrollment, staying within its plan of controlled and modest growth, the University's Board of Trustees learned today (Nov. 14). Enrollment at the University's 24 locations reached a record 83,177 students this fall. Although this is a moderate increase of 139 from 2002-03, Penn State's total enrollment has increased 3 percent over the past five years, in accord with the University's goals. While enrollment at the University Park campus is up by 350 students, the effort to foster modest growth at other campus locations continues. With annual fluctuations being normal, enrollment trends over a 10-year period show an increase of 3,700 new students -- more than 12 percent -- at campus colleges.
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Penn State works to strengthen student aid; three in four receive support
With roughly three out of every four undergraduate Penn State students receiving some level of financial assistance, providing student aid continues to be vital in bolstering enrollments and making a Penn State education more affordable for both resident and non-resident student populations. Such was the focus of a report to the Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14), who learned that more than 50,000 undergraduate students -- about 77 percent of the undergraduate student body -- received some form of financial assistance during the 2002-03 school year. This percentage has been steadily rising. To keep up with these gradual increases, Penn State continues efforts to strengthen financial aid programs.
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Trustees updated on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
The Higher Education Act, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, was created in 1965 to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education to ensure that students would not be denied access to college because of insufficient family income, and to strengthen the educational resources of colleges and universities. A report to the Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14) discussed the reauthorization of the act, a process in which programs are evaluated for their effectiveness in reaching the goals of federal policy makers. During the past year, members of the Penn State community have participated in dozens of national association working groups and assisted in putting forward recommendations to Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. The reauthorization is scheduled for next year.
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Presidents Spanier, Thomas and Jordan endow Trustee Scholarship
Penn State President Graham Spanier has joined with his two immediate predecessors in creating a scholarship as part of a University-wide initiative to help keep a Penn State education accessible, the Board of Trustees learned today (Nov. 14). Spanier, and former Presidents Joab Thomas and Bryce Jordan, have contributed a $50,000 endowment for a Trustee Scholarship that will be awarded to students who have financial need. The Trustee Scholarship Program was launched last year. When fully endowed at $100 million, the program will increase the amount of privately funded endowed spending on scholarships, as opposed to loans, by 40 percent.
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Gayle, Jordan to receive honorary degrees at 2004 spring commencement
The Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14) approved the granting of the honorary doctorate of science to Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., and the honorary doctorate of humane letters to Vernon E. Jordan, J.D., at a May 2004 commencement ceremony. Gayle is the director of the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In this capacity, she is responsible for research, programs and policies related to HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis for the Foundation. Jordan, a lawyer specializing in general, corporate, legislative and international law, previously was president and CEO of the National Urban League.
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College streamlines hospitality, recreation management programs
Penn State's College of Health and Human Development will restructure the administration of two of its academic programs in an effort to streamline educational services and maximize the continued growth and development of these important areas of concentration. The University's Board of Trustees today (Nov. 14) approved the split of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management into two separate academic units: the School of Hospitality Management and the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management. This new structure was previously approved by the University's Faculty Senate Council.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009