Board of Trustees actions: Sept. 19, 2003

Penn State's Board of Trustees met on Friday, Sept. 19, 2003, on Penn State's University Park campus. The following items were presented to the Board for action or informational purposes:

Spanier reports on demographic trends facing Penn State, commonwealth
In his morning remarks to the University's Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19), Penn State President Graham B. Spanier discussed a range of demographic trends facing Pennsylvania, including the shrinking pool of in-state high school graduates, the growing gender gap in higher education and the state's current "brain drain." The fundamental message: it is vital that the University prepare now for changes that will comprise the mosaic of Penn State classrooms in the future. "In order to respond to these challenges, we need to not only look at historical patterns, but also projections for the future that will show us what we can expect," said Spanier.
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Trustees approve 2004-05 appropriation request
Penn State will be asking the state to restore its appropriation for 2004-05 to the level of funding received by the University three years ago - a proposal that would increase tuition for Pennsylvania residents by less than half the increase required in 2003-04. The University's Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19) approved a request that would increase the state's appropriation to Penn State by $28.3 million over the current year's estimated level of state funding - an amount equivalent to what the University received in 2001-02. An additional increase of $10 million in base support for the College of Medicine at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is included in the request.
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Board approves 2004-05 capital budget request
Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19) authorized the University to request just over $100 million from the Pennsylvania Legislature to fund capital budget projects in fiscal 2004-05. Penn State's capital budget funds new construction and renovation projects at all 24 Penn State locations across the commonwealth. The fiscal 2004-05 request includes $93.25 million for new projects and $7.085 million for original equipment - a total of $100.335 million. The capital budget request is an integral component of Penn State's five-year capital planning process and consists of those projects for which the University is seeking authorization for subsequent funding by the governor.
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University utilizes alumni to enhance student experience
Penn State's Alumni Association, the largest dues-paying alumni association in the country, has a long history of working in collaboration with the units of the University, including the Division of Student Affairs, to enhance the Penn State experience. In a report to the Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19), Vicky Triponey, vice president for student affairs, said that this partnership has a long and rich history. "We are very proud of the many collaborative initiatives that allow our alumni to connect with current students in efforts to enrich their educational endeavors and build a greater sense of community," she said.
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College of Earth and Mineral Sciences works toward student-centered goals
A comprehensive orientation program, building renovations and a focus on student services all are part of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' effort to make Penn State a more student-centered University, the Board of Trustees learned at its meeting today (Sept. 19). The College's orientation program has been successful in making new students feel welcome from day one. Renovations to Deike Building are intended to further the sense of community established at orientation. In addition, an initiative to relocate classrooms to bring students into departments and make faculty members more accessible to students should help perpetuate the notion of a student-centered college.
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Training, support resources available to graduate teaching assistants
Penn State provides a wide variety of successful teacher training and support initiatives for graduate teaching assistants, who are key members of the academic community, including extensive language assessment and teaching training for international teaching assistants (ITAs). In a report today (Sept. 19), the University's Board of Trustees learned about the role of graduate teaching assistants and their preparation for the classroom. The University enrolls more than 10,000 graduate students systemwide; approximately half are full-time students. Of these full-time students, 77 percent are funded, mostly through assistantships -- research or teaching.
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Plans for Blue Band and Hazleton campus building, Erie lease pass Board
The long-standing traditions of musical excellence at Penn State athletics events and academic excellence in the Commonwealth College were boosted by actions taken by the University's Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19). Trustees approved final plans for a permanent home for the Penn State Blue Band on the University Park campus and sketch/preliminary plans for a teaching/learning resource center at the Penn State Hazleton campus. Trustees also approved the leasing of nearly 25.1 acres of land at Penn State Erie to the Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation for use in Phase IV of the Knowledge Park.
For artists' renderings of the Blue Band and Hazleton facilities, visit
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Trustees assign names to 24 residence halls, four campus streets
Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19) approved names for the 24 buildings in two new student housing complexes . The seven buildings of the Eastview Terrace undergraduate complex, when completed next summer, will boast the names of deceased distinguished members of the Penn State faculty. The 17 buildings of the White Course Apartments graduate complex, which has been open for a year, are named for former Penn State administrators. The trustees also approved names for three new campus streets -- White Course Drive, West Campus Drive and Duff Drive -- and the name Eisenhower Road for the improved campus connector street that runs alongside Eisenhower Auditorium and the MBNA Career Services Center.
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Nagle to head newly created National Council on Penn State Philanthropy
In the wake of the most successful fund-raising effort in its history, Penn State has created a new volunteer organization to sustain the momentum generated by the Grand Destiny campaign -- concluded June 30 after raising $1.37 billion in private gifts over seven years -- and to provide volunteer leadership in support of the University's philanthropic goals over the next four years. President Graham B. Spanier announced the establishment of the National Council on Penn State Philanthropy at the Board of Trustees meeting today (Sept. 19). Chairing the council will be Arthur J. Nagle, a 1961 graduate of the College of the Liberal Arts and managing director of Vestar Capital Partners in New York.
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Reinvigorated spirit highlights transition year for Alumni Association
In a year marked by transition, the Penn State Alumni Association, while continuing its offering of programs and services to alumni, has reinvigorated its service to the University and to Penn State students. In an informational report to the Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19), Richard Dugan, immediate past president of the Alumni Association, discussed the association's recent initiatives. "In this year of transition, it would have been easy for us to become complacent, and our programs stagnant," Dugan said, citing the arrival of a new association president in Marianne Alexander and executive director in Roger Williams. "But rather, our ambitious efforts pushed us to new highs in our support of the University, our aid to students, our information to alumni and our creation of partnerships."
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President Spanier updates Board on happenings at Penn State
In his regular remarks to the Board of Trustees today (Sept. 19) on the state of the University, President Graham B. Spanier cited a smooth and record-breaking start to the 2003 fall semester. Enrollment appears poised to reach a new record high, and the class that entered the University this semester was selected from the largest applicant pool in Penn State's history -- 86,000. Spanier also highlighed a faculty member's contribution to the restoration of power to New York during this summer's northeastern blackout, Penn State's continuing role as a national center for defense and anti-terrorism research, and another stellar graduation performance by Penn State student-athletes.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009