April 2, 1998......Volume 27, Issue 26

News . . . . Arts . . . . Calendars . . . . Letters . . . . Links . . . . Deadlines . . . . Archive

Movies used to study behavior
Family pledges $5 million
Professor to teach from space
How many zeroes?!
Faculty/Staff Alerts
Penn Staters
Asian American Month
Forum speaker 
New at Penn State
Enforcing the rules
Let's go fly a kite
Penn State to hold CIC seminar
Student Affairs seeks AVP
Penn State news bureau

New at Penn State

Language requirement added
to Smeal College bachelor's degrees

Beginning this summer, all students intending to earn a bachelor's degree from The Smeal College of Business Administration will be required to achieve a proficiency equivalent to 12 credits in a foreign language. The move is expected to affect some 1,850 students embarking on business studies this year throughout the University system.

The change is part of the ongoing development of Smeal's new Curriculum for Undergraduate Business Education (CUBE) and is designed to better prepare graduates for global careers.

In an effort to "liberalize" business education in the Smeal College, students not only will be expected to have third-level proficiency in French, for example, but also will be expected to take courses in French history, literature, culture or civilization.

With the approval of a language requirement, Smeal joins a select group of American business colleges demanding this skill of their graduates. It is also the first time that all Penn State business students have had to fulfill such a requirement since 1953. Before that time, when the College of Business Administration was established, future managers undertook their studies in the College of the Liberal Arts' Department of Commerce and Finance. Foreign language was a degree requirement for a bachelor of the arts in commerce and finance.

In more recent years, only students planning to take one of Smeal's international business majors were required to be proficient in a foreign language. Approximately 550 Smeal undergraduates are international business majors.

University-wide, a new requirement regarding foreign language was approved last year by the Faculty Senate. Beginning with high school students in the class of 2001, all those wishing to attend Penn State must have at least two years of foreign language study under their belts. Currently, more than 90 percent of first-year Penn State students already meet this requirement.

Lehigh Valley classroom
now a wireless computer center

Penn State Lehigh Valley recently transformed a regular classroom into a wireless computer center called the Collaborative Classroom or CoLab. Currently, 11 instructors are using the $92,000 facility for various courses.

The lab, which holds a class of 24 with laptop computers that give students full access to the Internet, was partially funded with a $67,000 grant from the University's Committee on Instructional Facilities.

For more information on the CoLab, go to the Web at http://www.lv.psu.edu/jsn3/colab.

Back to top of page

Enforcing the rules

Robert Henry, community service officer at University Park, checks parking
permits in Parking Lot 83 North. Nearly 17,000 faculty, staff and student vehicles are
registered to park on the University Park campus.
Photo: Greg Grieco

Back to top of page


Delaware County appoints
academic affairs director

George W. Franz, associate professor of history and American studies at Penn State Delaware County, has been named director of academic affairs at the campus. Franz is replacing Madlyn Hanes, who accepted the position of campus executive officer at Penn State Great Valley.

Since joining the Penn State Delaware County faculty in 1968, Franz has received numerous awards including several University-wide awards: the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1990; the College of the Liberal Arts Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award in 1993; and the McKay Donkin Award in 1994.

During his 30-year tenure at Penn State, Franz has been extremely active in University governance. Except for a short hiatus while he was on sabbatical leave, he has been a University Faculty Senator since 1971. He was secretary of the Senate in 1978-79, chair elect, chair and past chair, 1979-82. He has served on the Faculty Advisory Committee to the president under the last four Penn State presidents.

Franz has served as chair of the Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits since 1986. He chaired the University Task Force on Health Benefits and Life Insurance in 1991-92, and he currently chairs the University Task Force on the Future of Benefits, which is expected to issue a report at the end of this academic year.

Franz also chaired the University Task Force that proposed the creation of the University Scholars Program, which recently evolved into the Schreyer Honors College.

He received his B.A. from Muhlenberg College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He is the author of two books and was also project director and editor of the Papers of Martin Van Buren, a 56-reel microfilm edition of the papers of the eighth president of the United States.

Back to top of page


Education and Cultural Studies:Toward a Performative Practice, edited by Henry A. Giroux, Waterbury chair of secondary education in the College of Education, along with Patrick Shannon, professor of language and literacy education, has been published by Routledge, New York and London.

In this collection of essays, the editors bring together the areas of critical education and cultural studies to demonstrate how a critical understanding of culture and education can implement broad political change. In their collective rejection of romantic utopianism, they take a practical view of the current climate, teaching us how we can begin to translate -- and perhaps even transform -- the vexing social problems that confront us daily.

Janice Light, an associate professor of communication disorders in the College of Health and Human Development, has co-authored a book with Cathy Binger titled Building Communicative Competence with Individuals Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication

This strategic resource offers goal-setting, teaching and coaching methods for professionals and communication partners of people who depend on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The book was published by Paul H. Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, 1998.

Murray R. Nelson, professor of education in the College of Education, has written Children and Social Studies: Creative Teaching in the Elementary Classroom, (third edition) published by Harcourt, Brace and Co. (1998). The book is a comprehensive look at school-related social studies education and teaching, and covers such issues as teaching strategies, social studies in the school curriculum and community resources.

Paul A. Orlov, associate professor of English at Penn State Delaware County, is author of a book on Theodore Dreiser and his most famous novel, An American Tragedy: Perils of the Self Seeking "Success." In this book, published by Associated University Presses for the Bucknell University Press, Orlov uses both intensive analysis of the novel's vast text and the application of various concepts from philosophy as well as sociology to offer a very new reading of An American Tragedy (first published in 1925). Orlov's study of the work creates a detailed, radically new view of the crucial issue of moral responsibility for the novel's protagonist -- as this scholarly volume argues, controversially, that the novelist's implicit philosophy on the human condition in modern America is essentially anti-naturalistic.

Ian Osborn, consulting psychiatrist with the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, has written a book, Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, to be published April 2 by Pantheon Books Division of Random House Inc.

Taking Wing, Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight is the title of a new book published by Simon & Schuster. Its author, Pat Shipman, adjunct associate professor of anthropology, describes the heated scientific debate over the origin and evolution of flight in birds, beginning with the discovery of the first feathered fossil of Archaeopteryx lithographica -- one of the most famous fossils ever discovered. This discovery rocked the world in 1861 with its strong support for Darwin's then-new theory of evolution. Shipman reviews more than 130 years of theory and controversy over this species.

Shipman's earlier popular science books include Wisdom of the Bones, which she co-authored with her husband, Alan Walker, distinguished professor of anthropology and biology at Penn State. Shipman's popular science books also include The Evolution of Racism, published in 1994 by Simon & Schuster, and The Neandertals: Changing the Image of Mankind, written with Erik Trinkaus and published in 1993 by Knopf.

Donald J. Willower, distinguished professor of education, is senior author of Values and Valuation in the Practice of Educational Administration, published by Corwin Press. Co-author is Joseph Licata, a professor at Oklahoma State University who received his Ph.D. from Penn State in 1975.

The authors note that moral choices can be made quickly when one option clearly is more principled than its competitors, but their focus is on concrete choices about competing goods, the lessor of evils, or alternative desirable futures. They contend that valuation, or the reflective analysis of alternatives and their consequences, is facilitated by understanding individual and social behavior and beliefs. They argue that inquiry and explanation are critical to ethical decision making. This naturalistic view of ethics contrasts sharply with neo-Marxist, subjectivistic, positivistic, and post modern approaches. Naturalistic ethics, by situating moral choice in the relevant contexts and being open to reflective analysis, provides a way of making informed moral judgments in administration and everyday life.

Back to top of page

Let's go fly a kite

Julia Schucker, a junior from Allentown, took advantage of a light wind and a
sunny day on the University Park campus to fly a kite in a field near Park Avenue. T
he warm day was one of the first signs of spring on the campus.
Photo: Greg Grieco

Back to top of page

Penn State to hold CIC seminar

Penn State will play host to a series of well-known speakers and guests who will take a closer look at "The University of the Future: Motivating Change," during a three-day Academic Leadership Program sponsored by the CIC, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The CIC is the academic arm of the Big Ten, plus the University of Chicago.

On April 16 through 18, The Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus will be the site of the third and final seminar that is part of this leadership initiative. The other two seminars dealt with leadership and human resources, and long-range planning and budgeting. Because academic administrators at CIC institutions have dual rolls, that of educational leader and as manager of a large complex organization, there are many challenging situations that require creative, workable solutions. Through the Academic Leadership Program, administrators and faculty leaders who have been identified as CIC Fellows can gain insight from others in similar situations and develop the leadership and management skills necessary to overcome obstacles.

In the upcoming seminar, the keynote address which has the same title as the event will be given by John V. Byrne, executive director, Kellogg Commission, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Some other topics to be covered in the three-day event are:

-- A panel discussion including Nancy Eaton, dean of the Libraries, and Sanford Thatcher, director of the Penn State Press, on "The Future of Scholarly Communication and its Implications for Tenure and Promotion Decisions;"

-- A talk by Richard P. Chait, professor in Harvard's Graduate School of Education, on "The Role of Faculty and the Nature of Academic Appointments in the Future University;"

-- A lecture by Mary Burgan, general secretary of the American Association of University Professors, on "The Now and Future Role of Tenure;"

-- A discussion with David K. Scott, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, on "Faculty Roles in the Future University;"

-- An address by President Graham B. Spanier on "The University of the Future: Challenges and Opportunities;"

-- "The Legal Landscape as Higher Education Enters the Future," by C. Kristina Gunsalas, associate provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Robert E. Rains, professor at The Dickinson School of Law; and

During the seminar, about 60 Fellows from CIC institutions and other academic leaders will descend on Penn State to address pressing issues of the future. Penn State currently has five members listed as Fellows in the CIC's Academic Leadership Program. They include: Michael J. Dooris, director of planning research and assessment, Center for Quality and Planning; Sarah G. Wayman Kalin, University Libraries; R. Scott Kretchmar, professor of kinesiology; Susan B. Shuman, Administrative Fellow in the Office of the President and senior research project manager, Continuing and Distance Education; and John W. Tippeconnic III, director of the American Indian Leadership Program and professor of education.

For more information about the seminar, call Robert Secor at (814) 863-7494.

Back to top of page

New assistant vice president
for student affairs being sought

A search committee has been formed by William W. Asbury, vice president for student affairs, to help identify a new assistant vice president for student affairs at University Park. The position became vacant with the departure of J. Thomas Eakin, who left to become vice president for student affairs at Bryant University in Rhode Island.

Edwin L. Herr, distinguished professor of education in the College of Education, will chair the committee. Others on the committee include Jill Bush, graduate student; Jaime Desmond, undergraduate student; Cecelia Eastman, staff assistant, Residence Life; Don M. Hahn, Novak, Stover & Furst; Charlene Harrison, director, Adult Learner Services; Sharlene Marbury, assistant director, Paul Robeson Cultural Center; Jean Landa Pytel, assistant dean, student services, College of Engineering; James Solava, undergraduate student; Margaret Spear, director, University Health Services; Blaine Steensland, director of student affairs at Penn State Berks; James Stewart, vice provost for educational equity.

Following a national search, the committee's first duty is to prepare a list of candidates for preliminary interviews to take place in May. Based on those interviews, top candidates will be interviewed by June. The target date for the position to be filled is Aug. 1.

Back to top of page


Vanpoolers (4) wanted from Philipsburg area to University Park. Work hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m -4:30 p.m. Call Stacie at (814) 865-3448 or (814) 342-7511.

Back to top of page

Back to Intercom home page

Digital Intercom is produced in the Office of University Relations at The Pennsylvania State University.
This page was created by Annemarie Mountz.
This page was updated by Chris Koleno.