Category Archives: Don’t Use

October 23, 2018 Record

T H E   S E N A T E   R E C O R D

Volume 52—–October 23, 2018—–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.

The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is on file in the University Archives and is posted online at http://www.senate.psu.edu/senators under “Publications.”

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 insufficient, 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. Every Senate meeting is webcast via MediaSite. All Senate meetings are digitally audio recorded and on file in the Senate office. Transcriptions of portions of the Senate meeting are available upon request.

Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Dawn Blasko, Executive Director, Office of the University Faculty Senate.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Final Agenda for October 23, 2018
  2. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
  3. Appendices
    1. Attendance

FINAL AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 23, 2018


The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate building with Michael Bérubé, Chair, presiding.

Chair Bérubé: I’d like to call this plenary session of the University Faculty Senate to order.


MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

Chair Bérubé: We begin with the Minutes of the Preceding Meeting. The September 18, 2018, Senate Record providing a full transcription of proceedings of the meeting was sent to the University Archives and is posted on the Faculty Senate website. Are there any corrections or additions to these minutes? All in favor?

Senators: Aye.

Chair Bérubé: All opposed? Okay, Minutes of the Preceding Meeting have been approved.


COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

Chair Bérubé: Item B, Communications to the Senate. The Senate Curriculum Report of October 9, 2018, is also posted on the Faculty Senate website.


REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL

Chair Bérubé: Moving to C, Report of Senate Council. Minutes from the October 9, 2018, Senate Council meeting can be found at the end of your agenda. Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed by the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President at their October 9th meeting.

I just want to ad lib here that anyone can bring concern to the Faculty Advisory Committee, to the President, myself, the other officers, the elected members, if you want to bring something to their attention via us, please feel free.


ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

Chair Bérubé: Item D, Announcements by the Chair. That would be me. I will keep my remarks very brief. I just have a few informational items this time around to start us off.

The first, over the summer, Vice Provost Bieschke and I appointed the members of a joint committee to review the “Consensual Relationships” Provision of Policy AD85, which addresses sexual and/or gender-based harassment and misconduct. You would think among all these horrors that that would be an oasis of calm. It is not.

That committee is co-chaired by Faculty Senate Secretary, Ann Taylor, and Suzanne Adair, Associate Vice Provost for Affirmative Action. It also includes staff representation in the person of Jeannine Hanes, Chair of the Staff Advisory Council.

I don’t think I need to explain how important this one is. I charged the committee in July. The charge reads as follows: “Review the adequacy of the consensual relationships clause in AD85 in the light of recent on and off-campus controversies regarding consensual relationships and power imbalances, including but not limited to potential Title IX issues. Consider adding to the cautionary language of the policy. [As you see right now, it says strongly discouraged.] Consider adding to the cautionary language of the policy a reminder that relationships that initially seem consensual to both parties may later be construed by one of the parties to the relationship as subtly coercive, exploitative, or predatory, particularly when they involve power imbalances.” That’s the whole charge.

The committee will very likely conclude its work this semester and prepare a Legislative Report for our consideration early next semester, so please put that on your radar. The new policy will be detached from AD85 and will become its own standalone policy on consensual relationships. OK, that’s a big one.

Second, informational things. I am pleased to announce that Rick Robinett has agreed to continue serving as the Faculty Senate representative to the Project LionPATH Governance Committee. For this I think he deserves our profound gratitude. And of course, if you have any continuing issues with LionPATH, now you know where to go.

Third, at the request of Athletic Director, Sandy Barber, I want to bring to your attention a new initiative called Happy Valley Hospitality, the aim of which is to promote positivity on game day and every day. This means, among other things, treating the fans of visiting teams with graciousness, respect, and good cheer.

For all of you hockey fans in the Senate, I am reassured that the student section in the Pegula Ice Arena will continue to be allowed to point out that every goal given up by the visiting team’s goaltender is, indeed, all his fault. We will simply do so in the spirit of constructive criticism. Seriously, do spread the word to your students, and perhaps to any of your colleagues who might get a bit too caught up in the excitement of intercollegiate athletic competition.

Fourth, at the request of Kimberlee MacMullan, Director of the Penn State Small Business Development Center, I want to call your attention Global Entrepreneurship Week. This is SBDC’s 10th anniversary hosting this event. It runs from November 7 through November 15. Global Entrepreneurship week includes panels, guest speakers, and master classes related to entrepreneurship. These speakers include faculty members, Penn State alumni, and entrepreneurs, and the schedule is available right there. Again, please let your students know about this event and encourage them to attend.

Fifth, I want to remind committee chairs that once again we have a very tight turnaround time on submitting reports for consideration at the next Senate Council meeting. That deadline is this Friday, October 26.

We will get a respite next time around. It will be the usual 10 days in December, and then in late January, it will be another tight three-day turnaround. Sorry for the compression.

And, last but not least, my predecessor, Matthew Woessner, and I would like to hold a Senate Leadership Workshop in December for anyone considering running for the position of Faculty Senate Chair. It seems to us suboptimal that people aren’t aware of the duties of the Chair until they take office as Chair-elect. Then They they’re given a copy of this document that informs them of the 34 duties of the Faculty Senate Chair. The Chair-elect only has 16, and the Immediate Past Chair 12.

This would be a brief informational presentation in which people who are considering running for this office could ask questions and explore their options. The workshop would be held on the afternoon of Monday, December 3, the day before our next Senate Plenary, in order to allow people from Commonwealth Campuses to attend in person. And the workshop would conclude with an aerial tour of the University Park Campus in the Senate Chair’s private helicopter [LAUGHTER], which is just one of the things you will learn about the Office of the Chair. Write to me if you’re interested so we have some idea of how many people to expect. That’s it.


COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

Chair Bérubé: Item E, Comments by the President of the University. President Barron was called away on a late-breaking and unavoidable conflict.


COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST

Chair Bérubé: Item F. I will turn to comments by the Executive Vice President and Provost. It is my pleasure to recognize Provost Jones for some brief comments. And following his comments and a few questions, Provost Jones will also present the Strategic Planning Report. Nick?

Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost: Thank you. I’ll just touch on a couple of issues, then maybe pause for questions, and then do the presentation on Strategic Plan implementation. I want to begin with our regular phishing lesson, phishing with a P-H. Phishing attacks, as I think most of you know, are by far the most common first step in an information security breach. This is not only for institutions like Penn State, but for individuals who are victims of cybercrime.

Phishing attacks can steal your credentials, put malware on your system, or get you to do something the attacker wants. Penn State averages about 100 staff and faculty compromised accounts per month and the same for students. The Penn State Office of Information Security works hard to detect and stop most of these compromises before any damage is done. We are transitioning, I think as all of you are aware, to Office 365, and that has some protections that are very effective. However, you must be the last line of defense for your account.

One of those attributes is Safe Links. I just wanted to mention that because I know there’s been some concern expressed about Safe Links and how well it works. Where you see Safe Links is if you get an email that contains a URL, and if you roll your mouse over the URL, or your pointer over the URL, you will see, instead of the URL, something that says Safe Links.

And embedded in it is the URL. This is a Microsoft tool that, when you click on that link, very quickly goes and checks the safety and security of the site before it provides you access. If it is determined to not be a safe site, it will flag it and give you the option of continuing. This, I know, has been a bit of a frustration and an annoyance. It’s a relatively new tool; so, it is still evolving and Microsoft will be rolling out some updates fairly soon. But it works because those URLs are often the sources of many of these phishing attacks.

Here’s some data. Last month we had an undetected failure of the Safe Links system. It wasn’t working for a whole month. The links were modified, but Safe Links did not check for malicious content on those sites. During that week, we had 152 compromised accounts. And, if you do the math from what I said a few moments ago, we usually average about 50 a week. So, Safe Links, as frustrating as it may be, is probably a relatively small price to pay for the protection that it offers and Microsoft will be continuing to improve it.

We did a self-phishing exercise last year, I think as most of you are aware. We are planning on doing a self-phishing campaign every semester just to keep people on their toes. There’s a lot of turnover in the institution, many new students coming, new faculty and staff. So, it’s important that we keep people vigilant.

Our fake phishes are usually not as tricky as the ones that real attackers use because we can’t use real company names or logos because of copyright laws. But we did do one of these phishing exercises last week, actually. I hope you know that we did-because we did.

Eleven percent of recipients clicked on the link on the fake phish. So that’s actually not a great number, but it’s also not a terrible number. It’s not inconsistent with what we saw last year. We think it’s going to take a few years to drive that number a little bit lower. But for the 89 percent of you who didn’t, we appreciate your vigilance. And whether or not you did click, we hope you will take advantage of the training that we offer at phishing.psu.edu.

It is really important. And, I’ve said this before. I know not only for the risk associated with compromising your Penn State account, but if you have personal accounts, you also can be personally compromised as well. So please pay attention to those phishing scams, and some of them are very good.

At the last Senate meeting, the President was asked a question about a survey that was reported in a journal article that had come out earlier that day. And I think our response, because we weren’t quite ready for that and it had come out earlier that day, was probably less fulsome than it should have been. And for that we apologize. I think we made it clear what our position was as an institution relative to sexual harassment. But we weren’t able to really speak in a significant way to what is going on at the College of Medicine, and in particular, what has been going on at the College of Medicine since that survey was conducted and identified that there were some issues that needed to be addressed.

So, we did reach out to the college to get some feedback from them, and I just wanted to share with you. I won’t take too much time, but just some of the things that are going on, so you are aware, that when we do these surveys and they bring us information that we don’t necessarily like, we do act. And I give all credit to the leadership of the College of Medicine for taking initiatives in this area.

So first, there is a new dedicated Title IX Coordinator. That individual is integrated into all new student orientations, has revamped training for all students, and incorporated the Bystander Intervention Curriculum. And now there is increased training to reach faculty clinical directives and all new and existing employees at the College of Medicine.

Second, in December of 2016 the college established the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment, or ORLE. That office is charged with ensuring that the learning environment and the educational programs are conducive to the ongoing development of explicit and appropriate professional behaviors in its learners, faculty, and staff at all locations, and is one in which all individuals are treated with respect.

Third, establish means for students to report sexual harassment and mistreatment. Specific questions about any type of mistreatment have been inserted into all course evaluations, all clerkship evaluations, and the student curriculum management system. There’s also a mistreatment reporting form on the ORLE website, as well as the opportunity for direct contact and individual meetings with the director of the program.

Fourth, there is now a clearly established ORLE process for mistreatment intervention. Sexual harassment concerns are directed to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and all Title IX guidelines are followed.

Fifth, an office for student mental health and counseling was established in November, 2016. Won’t go into the details. I think you probably have a pretty good sense of what that does.

Sixth, metrics to evaluate the overall medical student learning environment have been established using the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduate Questionnaire. And just to give you a snapshot of that, in the May, 2018 survey– that’s this year– 37 percent of Penn State College of Medicine respondents indicated that they had experienced any type of mistreatment behaviors.

The national average is 42.1 percent, and the Penn State College of Medicine responses represented a 21 percent decrease from the prior year. So, hopefully, that is an indication that some of the efforts that are being made are having an impact. There are nine survey questions specific to sexual harassment, and the average response was 96 percent never experienced. So positive news.

And then finally, number seven, a series of faculty scripts, or scripts for faculty, has been developed based on the most common types of mistreatment and sexual harassment concerns. And these contain practical suggestions as to ways to avoid committing, or perceptions of committing mistreatment or any form of sexual harassment.

That’s a lot of material, I know, that I just basically shared with you. But I did want to assure this body that that is a concern that we take very seriously; not only at the institutional level but at the individual unit level. And, I think the college has really stepped up to be responsive. And, so whoever– I think it was you asked the question– I hope that is helpful, and I apologize for not sharing it sooner.

So, with that, maybe I can just pause for questions, if there are any, before I proceed to do the Strategic Plan implementation.

Rosemarie Petrilla, Hazleton: Thank you. Petrilla from Hazleton. Provost Jones, I’ve heard that there is going to be a climate survey or plans to do a climate survey. Will that be institutional-wide or will that be at the unit? And, do you have a timeline for that?

Provost Jones: Sure. Happy to share what I know about that, and I think Marcus– where are you, Marcus? Marcus Whitehurst is in the audience and can help me out if necessary. So, we have been doing climate surveys across the University. They have tended to be done at the unit level, which presents some challenges because often the units would contract with different entities to perform these surveys. So, the results were of, obviously, utility to the unit, but not necessarily of– we weren’t able to extract the full utility of the survey by being able to compare it with other units across the University or with other institutions more broadly.

So, we formed a University Climate Study Working Group, which met for the first time in September. And they were charged by Vice Provosts Whitehurst and Kennedy-Phillips. They will oversee the development and deployment of a University-wide climate survey that hopefully will be designed to reflect the individual characteristics and uniqueness’s of units across the institution.

The working group will create prioritized goals for the project, choose an instrument– hopefully one that is common among many of our peer institutions– and then recommend approaches for communications and action plan creation.

The working group includes 15 faculty, staff, and students from across the institution. And the University will administer a community- and University-wide survey, likely during the spring of 2020. All community members will be invited to participate in the survey. And then we will get back to each unit with the results that pertain to that individual unit and work with them to help them develop an action plan around two or three of the priority areas that emerge from the survey and will provide support in implementing that.

I do think this is probably a better way for us to be approaching this issue rather than actually spending a lot of money doing all of these as a bunch of individual units. And of course, some units haven’t done them, so this way we make sure that everybody participates.

Marcus, did I capture most of it there? Yeah, thanks. OK, thank you.

Chair Bérubé: Any other questions? OK. In that case, we can now move to the Strategic Planning Report sponsored by the Senate Committee on University Planning.


Special Informational Report: Strategic Planning Implementation Update

Provost Jones: Thank you very much. OK. So, my presentation today and our, I hope, subsequent conversation will focus on the ongoing implementation of our University-wide Strategic Plan. We last discussed this together, I think, in December of 2017, so I have a lot of new information to share. I’ll begin by providing a refresher overview of the strategic planning process and key points. Then I’ll cover several topics, including how the University’s fundraising campaign is supporting the plan and vice versa, information about some new and exciting signature initiatives that support the plan implementation, the Strategic Plan RFP process and the funded projects that have emerged from it, and finally, a quick look at some of the next steps. Then happy to take any questions and comments that you may have.

As you know, Penn State operates nominally on a five-year strategic planning cycle with three primary components; integrated planning, unit level planning, and University level planning. Contributions from stakeholders across the University, including faculty, of course, were integral to developing our plan for 2016 through 2020 titled ‘Our Commitment to Impact.’

Penn State’s plan was focused on the strategic plans developed in 48 academic and administrative units across the University, and you can find the full text of the University-wide plan and a wealth of related information online at strategicplan.psu.edu.

The current University’s fundraising campaign identifies three imperatives inspired by the Strategic Plan; open doors, create transformative experiences, and impact the world. For the first time in Penn State’s history, we connected, intimately, our fundraising campaign directly to the goals of the University-wide Strategic Plan. In addition, University Development has been working with the Strategic Plan committees to identify philanthropic opportunities to support their initiatives.

The campaign’s success so far suggests that this approach is resonating with donors. As of September 30, 2018, the Greater Penn State Campaign has raised more than $819 million dollars, putting us more than halfway towards our cumulative goal of $1.6 billion dollars. And you can see the breakdown there under the various categories.

We are now well into the implementation phase of our five-year Strategic Plan with committees focused on specific thematic priorities and supporting elements in the plan. Steering committees include faculty, staff, students, and administrators, and they are the driving force behind plan implementation. Each steering committee recommends goals, initiatives, metrics as appropriate, to support them to their respective executive committees. Those executive committees comprise unit leaders from across the University. They direct and oversee the steering committee’s work, prioritize their recommendations, and identify resources to support those initiatives.

The Executive Committees report to the Oversight Committee, which I chair. This group ultimately is responsible for decision making relative to plan implementation, including decisions to fund initiatives and for regular progress reporting to the Faculty Senate, President Barron, the Board of Trustees, and the University community. We have nearly 200 committee members from across the University who are lending their talent and expertise in critical areas to support plan implementation.

The committee’s membership reflects the shared governance model under which Penn State operates. People engaged in this process are shown on the slide. I won’t read them all. But I will say, personally, that I am thrilled that so many people from such diverse constituencies across Penn State have been involved in this process, including six faculty senators. And on behalf of the University, I thank you and everyone else here who has been involved in implementation directly or indirectly for your commitment and service.

Before I share information about several exciting and, I think, meaningful initiatives, I do want to reemphasize the plan’s five thematic priorities, which are central to our implementation efforts. These are; advancing the arts and humanities, driving digital innovation, enhancing health, stewarding our planet’s resources, and transforming education. You’ll soon see how these priorities are coming to life through impactful initiatives and projects.

I’m often asked what implementing the plan looks like in real life and in real time, what is happening at Penn State that reflects the content of our strategic plan and showcases our commitment to executing it. On any given day you can read Penn State Today to find examples of initiatives and projects related to the plan’s foundations, thematic priorities, and supporting elements. Most of these projects are not coming out of the committees tasked with implementing the Strategic Plan, and that is actually great news. The Strategic Plan is built on existing areas of strength and activity. So, we can take Penn State to the next level in these identified areas. How are we doing that? Well, we have several- what I like to call- signature initiatives; high profile endeavors that will have tremendous impacts and support our strategic goals and priorities. One I’d like to spotlight is the new Penn State Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse, which I mentioned at the last Senate meeting.

Pennsylvania is only one of many US states affected by the growing opioid epidemic. However, Pennsylvania has one of the highest overdose death rates in the country. This new Consortium will draw on the expertise of researchers, educators, and practitioners from across Penn State to combat the opioid crisis through data-driven, evidence-based innovation. Housed in Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute, the group plans to develop and implement effective programs, policies, and practices aimed at preventing and treating addiction and its spillover effects on children, families, and communities.

We expect the Consortium’s work to have significant impacts not only in Pennsylvania, but also beyond. So, to make sure that it does, we plan to hire 12 new tenure track faculty members over four years to support it across the University. One thing I will just add here, the nature of the thematic priorities are such, that when they were developed initially about five years ago, I don’t think anybody, including me, envisioned that a consortium to combat substance abuse would emerge from that thematic priority.

It was something that was out there and was developing across the Commonwealth, but we didn’t see it, and I venture if we had tried to be more specific, would not have necessarily identified it as an area that we should target. But the structure of the theme focused on enhancing health gave us the opportunity to respond when this need really presented itself.

Another signature initiative is one I’m sure will resonate strongly among all our faculty. It’s called One Penn State 2025. Some of you may have heard President Barron talk about this at the last Board of Trustees meeting. We continue to position Penn State in the transformation of higher education. In turn, One Penn State 2025 is a vision for an ambitious rethinking of some of our most fundamental approaches to how we structure learning and how we operate to support student success.

Its evolution depends on substantial partnership and our ability to find and direct resources towards an evolved, transformative approach to higher education. This visionary initiative for Penn State has several guiding principles.

As an institution, we will be more integrated, flexible, and responsive. We will offer seamless online access to curricula with process at all campuses. We will function optimally 24/7, 365. And we will serve the needs of people where they are. We will strengthen preexisting commitments and we will be a more diverse and inclusive University. You’ll learn much more about One Penn State 2025 as the initiative moves forward, and I hope this group will be fully engaged in that implementation.

In addition to these two signature initiatives, we have several others that align with and support Strategic Plan priorities that are in progress or have occurred. Related to driving digital innovation, we’ve executed University-wide launches of Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. Also, our Reimagining IT initiative will engender lasting impacts for Penn State and the use of information technology and related services.

As part of our focus on stewarding the planet’s resources, Penn State continues to advance its energy University initiative. Through a comprehensive University-wide approach, additional investment, and deeper collaboration with industry, Penn State is positioning itself as the go-to institution regarding energy, energy policy, and law, to name a few.

To support advancing the arts and humanities, major projects include plans for a cultural arts district and enhancements at the Arboretum here in University Park.

Beyond these signature initiatives, we have a formal request for proposal process through which our strategic plan committees can receive ideas for initiatives that support the plan, assess their value, recommend them for further consideration, and ultimately identify funding mechanisms for them. The RFP process is open to current faculty, staff, and students, the rolling submission process is ongoing, and committee review and award announcements occur twice a year.

The first round of submissions in fall 2017, which we’ve called Cycle One, included 64 proposals across thematic and supporting areas. During Cycle Two in spring of 2018, we received 75 proposals. The number of intriguing proposals made it difficult for our committee members to decide which initiatives to pursue and fund.

As you might expect, I consider that to be a pretty good problem to have. Ultimately 22 proposals were selected for funding, 12 from Cycle One and 10 from Cycle Two. In the recently concluded Cycle Three, we received 58 proposals for review and consideration. The announcement on funding decisions for those is expected by December.

The Strategic Plan website includes summaries of the 22 projects funded thus far. Each initiative is categorized by the plan thematic priority or supporting element that it supports. For example, plans include, in supporting of advancing the arts and humanities, a public humanities initiative. In support of driving digital innovation, a project focused on experiential digital global engagement at the Commonwealth Campuses. And, in support of enhancing health, the creation of an integrated data system solution for health equity.

Meanwhile, in support of stewarding our planet’s resources, we have an intriguing effort supported by the United Nations to create more energy efficient buildings. And, focusing once again on transforming education, we have an effort that will expand sustainable food systems learning across the Commonwealth Campuses.

Other initiatives selected for funding relate to the three core supporting elements of our Strategic Plan. For example, in support of organizational processes, one project will develop an inventory of existing services and talent for process improvement. In support of constituent outreach and engagement, we are exploring further opportunities to more effectively translate Penn State’s accomplishments to the constituencies we have committed to serve. And with infrastructure and support, we are prioritizing investment in our people. All these new strategic initiatives across Penn State may be funded in a variety of ways, including combinations of University investment, unit investment, philanthropy, and grants.

As we move forward with our implementation efforts, people often ask how our unit and University plans are integrated. Unit plans preceded the development of the University plan by a full year, giving units the freedom to capitalize on their strengths and move nimbly and strategically over time. However, these units do not exist in a vacuum unaffected by University priorities. The unit plans published in 2014 reflect many University priorities, and unit executives regularly report on their progress, including how their approaches and overall progress supports the University’s goals.

In May of 2017, each budget unit was asked to report on its progress toward the goals outlined in its current strategic plan that covers the academic years 2014-2015 through 2018-2019. Units reported on their progress related to University goals as well as to their unique, specific goals at the unit level.

The progress demonstrated across units, including our many colleges and campuses, is substantial with some common themes and areas of focus. These include introduction of new majors, critical faculty hires, new co-curricular opportunities and research centers, new and renovated facilities to meet changing needs, regional collaborations, programs to support entrepreneurship among faculty and students, and increased numbers of online educational offerings. Since then, unit progress reports have been submitted for a second year, and a Unit Planning Advisory Group was created.

While developing our Strategic Plan was a University-wide effort, implementing it has been as well. I have met with many Penn State leaders, including members of the Senate, to explain what is needed throughout the multi-year planning process. Moving forward, we are focused on realizing the desired impacts of our strategic planning efforts while still allowing time to assess unit level and University level progress.

We’ve built a lot of momentum, creating vital space for a guided, smart evolution of the strategic planning process at Penn State. Essential to all of this will be ongoing conversations and engagement with the Senate and the Board of Trustees.

To conclude, let’s take a quick look at our plan implementation timeline. I noted earlier that we’re wrapping up Cycle Three. The Oversight Committee will meet next month for proposal recommendations and funding decisions are expected in December, as I indicated. Early next year we enter our RFP Cycle Four and, through 2020, we will develop and implement additional signature initiatives across the thematic areas.

Development of an institutional strategic plan evaluation framework is planned, and budget executives will receive continuing feedback on their plan implementation efforts.

With that, I thank you for your time today and for your continued interest and engagement in our Strategic Plan implementation efforts, and I welcome any questions or comments you may have. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Galen Grimes, Greater Allegheny: Grimes, Greater Allegheny. One quick question. If you could refer back to slide number seven, the new Consortium to combat opioid, the opioid crisis; that seems like a research and educational program. My question is recently on the radio, I heard that a lot of universities and colleges around the country have started programs where they’re training support personnel in how to recognize drug overdoses and how to administer NARCAN, the overdose drug. And, they’ve been stocking supplies of it at the university so that it’s within easy reach. Are there any plans to do that here at Penn State?

Provost Jones: Well, that’s kind of specific.

Chair Bérubé: And where is it, for reference?

Provost Jones: I could say that I’ll get back to you in a month like I did on the other issue. But I think that’s a great comment, Galen. I’ll certainly share that with the director of the consortium.

You know, if we think about a unique structure as one University with 24 locations, it does give us touch points at a lot of locations in the Commonwealth, and further, with Ag Extension having a presence in every one of our counties, even more touch points. How we could integrate that kind of response infrastructure to take advantage of that distribution, I think, is an interesting question. And it’s certainly something that, while I don’t think the Consortium will actually do it, they could think about it, think about how we could leverage the assets that we have as a University and come up with recommendations as to how that might be possibly implemented.

I think a lot of that is out there already among first responder units. But is there a complementary role that the University could play both through the campuses and through extension, I think, is a good question. I’m happy to pass that along. Thank you.

Ray Najjar, Earth and Mineral Sciences: Hi. I’m Ray Najjar from the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science. And I’m wondering, with the thematic priority of stewardship of our planet’s resources, if we can be doing a better job at the University in terms of reducing our single use plastic. It’s like so many events I go to at the University, I’m bombarded with plastic that I will only use once.

And we just had this amazing exhibit and series called Plastic Entanglements. And maybe that’s inspired something across the University that will take a while for us to see. But I haven’t really seen much evidence of us responding to this what I think is really a crisis. We’re talking about more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. And, something’s wrong there. And, we have an opportunity to educate our students and our communities about how to do things sustainably, and it doesn’t seem like we’re rising to the task.

[APPLAUSE]

Provost Jones: Thank you. I think that’s a great comment. I go to a lot of events, too. I actually worry about the cheese, actually. But your point is very well taken. There is a lot of waste that we generate, plastic being among it. I think we have actually been moving in this area with some deliberateness but the pace probably could be kicked up a little bit.

I will say that in the context of the Strategic Plan, we did hire a year and a half ago, a new Chief Sustainability Officer for the University. We’re not the only university to have a Chief Sustainability Officer, but we’re one of a handful of universities that does. And, Paul Shrivastava is charged with not only overseeing the efforts of the Sustainability Institute– which was deliberately set up to sort of span both the academic enterprise and the operational enterprise of the University, so he oversees that– but also to challenge us and push us and drive us in everything we do relative to contemporary sustainability thinking.

I believe that this is actually one of the things that is on Paul’s to-do list. I will tell him that it came up in the meeting with gusto from the Senate. And it is certainly something that I would be willing to support. And I think I can speak for David Gray, too, as Senior Vice President for Finance and Business who oversees the Auxiliary Operations, that I’m sure this is something that he would strongly embrace as well. So, I think it’s a great suggestion. And, honestly, we appreciate being pushed on issues like that.

Chair Bérubé: I have a PS before we recognize the next speaker. One thing is that the Plastic Entanglements exhibit actually began in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. It was a post-doctoral fellow, Heather Davis, who worked together with the Palmer Art Museum, the lesson of which is, when these RFPs come out, think creatively. Think broadly. It’s not only a question of stewardship. It cuts across every domain of our existence.

The other more immediate news for the Senate, Paul Shrivastava will be coming in January, sponsored by the Committee on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. And we have appointed a member of the University Planning Committee, Kent Vrana, as a liaison between us and their Committee on Carbon Reduction. So, we are on it. And I just wish I didn’t have this. Yeah.

Keith Nelson, Liberal Arts: Nelson, Liberal Arts. One thing, I think the exhibit is brilliant. I’ve taken my classes there to think about creativity.

Chair Bérubé: Professor Nelson, could you hold the mic–

Keith Nelson: Oh, yeah. It’s really a wonderful exhibit. I absolutely agree with the comment. And you may be doing this in some ways, Nick, but how about biodiversity on campus? I haven’t heard anybody really talking about that–biodiversity on ag lands.

I would like to see some inquiry into what’s really going on there. We have students and faculty who could look at that. And I’d like to know whether glyphosate ground up, other substances, could be controlled more than they are now. So, I haven’t seen any mention of that. I think it would be a good direction.

Provost Jones: OK. I can certainly pass that on to the Stewarding Resources Team as well as the dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. But if you wouldn’t mind, if you could just jot down some of your thoughts in an email to me, that would be helpful just to sort of focus them on what you’re thinking about. That would be very helpful if you wouldn’t mind doing it.

Keith Nelson: I think there’s some good people in biology and forensics and so forth as well.

Provost Jones: Great. Thank you.

Chair Bérubé : Any other questions?

Provost Jones: Just to close.

Chair Bérubé: One other question. Rose.

Provost Jones: Rose.

Chair Bérubé: With one second left on the clock.

Rosemary Jolly, Liberal Arts: Rosemary Jolly, Liberal Arts. I just wanted to ask a question about the– is it specifically for opioids, or is it general substance abuse?

Provost Jones: It’s general substance abuse. But a focus is going to be on the opioid epidemic because that’s the big one that we’re confronting.

Rosemary Jolly: Yeah. And, so, my question is that we already know a lot about these issues. But it’s the ability to actually implement them in the current state network of laws and environments and policies. So, I’m just wondering to what extent A, that this institute is going to add new knowledge in terms of research. So, you know, lying at the back of this question is ‘what is the criteria for granting the originality of the research that comes out of it.’ And, second of all, is it going to assist– and this is related to the earlier questioning and implementing things we already know, like you just have to give people test strips for the purity of Fentanyl to save huge amounts of lives. So those are the two pieces that I have; one already been mentioned, one I have not. Thank you.

Provost Jones: So, we’re a Land Grant University. We have a mission that focuses us on research, teaching, and service. I anticipate there will be a service component, which will be us getting the best minds together that we can to think about how we can creatively implement evidence, data-driven research, and discovery. So, there will be an implementation piece for sure.

But we are a research University. And our key play is the opportunity to think about challenges and problems in different ways and in ways that others haven’t thought about before, and in particular, to leverage the diversity and strength that exists across the institution in many disciplines to tackle some of the really hard questions of why is it difficult to implement approach ‘X’ or methodology ‘Y’?

There are often deep research questions associated with that. It’s not just a matter of doing the work and saying, well, all you need to do is this or that, and then throw it up over the transom and expect it to work. There are often all kinds of impediments, plus innovation and creativity needed, in order to get those interventions to work.

I really believe that that is a unique strength of this institution- our ability to get people from many different perspectives and backgrounds in the same room around a table, talking about those challenges and framing them as research questions that we can then attack, and come up with recommendations that will make implementations more effective. So, I think it’s one of the great strengths of this University, and this is a perfect case for us to leverage it, I think.

Chair Bérubé: Thank you, Nick.

Provost Jones: RFP round four coming up. We need people to be thinking, putting on your caps, and coming up with great ideas because at the end of the day, we will continue to develop some of these large-scale signature initiatives. But a lot of the really exciting work that is going on is because people in offices and laboratories around the University are stepping up and engaging with the implementation of the plan. That is where we’re going to make the difference. So, I invite and, in fact, challenge you to come forward with the best proposals you can think of. So, thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Bérubé: I was going to put in a pitch for that, too, if I may editorialize for just a moment. One of the things I learned in the Academic Leadership Program last year is that most of our Big 10 peers do not do strategic planning this way. It’s pretty much responsibility-centered management all the time; which means, basically, that the numbers drive the decision.

When I asked Provost Jones why we’re doing things differently, he basically said this allows for intellectually substantive and even creative decision making, where we go to the faculty and ask for ideas. So seriously, whether it’s biodiversity, whether it’s plastic, whether it’s anything you have in mind, next round is January 31. Look for what committee will give you early feedback on a short proposal because that’s also a voluntary thing. That only, I think, appeared in round three.

So, this really is a grassroots initiative. This is asking the faculty, “give me your best shot.” So please, the next one is January 31.


FORENSIC BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: We have no Forensic Business.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: We have no Unfinished Business, which allowed me to make two minutes of remarks.


LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

Chair Bérubé: Item I. Legislative Reports. We have five today. We start with a Legislative Report from the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and can be found in Appendix C. It is titled, for short, Language on Unconditionally Enrolled Students. Committee Chair Mary Beth Williams will present the report and stand for questions.


Updating Language on Conditionally Enrolled Students – Changes to Senate Policies 02-50 Degree Seeking Provisional Student; 05-82 Minimum Entrance Requirements for Admission to Associate Degree Programs; 67-10 Division I – Athletic Competition (University Park); and 67-30 Division III and PSUAC – Athletic Competition (non-University Park)

Mary Beth Williams, University Park: Thank you. This is a follow-up report to a report that we submitted last year in December to update language in a number of policies to reflect that our provisionally enrolled students we now refer to as degree seeking students in DUS with conditions.

Although we updated a number of policies last year, I missed a couple. The Faculty Senate office kindly found those this summer. And this report corrects my error from last year and makes those final revisions to our policy.

Chair Bérubé: Any questions? This report is brought to the floor by committee and needs no second. Are we ready to vote? OK. Should we start the clock? To accept the motion, press A, and to reject it, press B. Senators joining the meeting via Mediasite, you know the drill. You can cast your vote on polleverywhere.com.

Anna Butler, Senate Office Staff: Poll Everywhere, I have six accept.

Paula Brown, Faculty Senate Administrative Coordinator: In house we have 138 accepts, one reject, three not counted.

Chair Bérubé: It wasn’t unanimous. OK, motion carries.


Chair Berube: Our second Legislative Report comes from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules. It is titled “Revisions to Standing Rules, Article IV, Amendments,” and is found in Appendix D. This is the thing we mentioned last September that allows CC&R to make non-substantive changes to reports involving name changes, like from eLion to LionPATH and things like that. Committee Chair Keith Shapiro will present the report and stand for questions.


Revisions to Standing Rules; Article IV – Amendments

Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture: This report provides two important safeguards. One is that any of these changes would require a two-thirds vote from the Senate Council, and there’s a five-day objection rule, so that after the Senate meeting—so, if we were to find anything that happened here objectionable– we could bring it back to Senate Council and to the Senate floor.

Chair Bérubé: Are there any questions, substantive or non-substantive? Great. Are we ready to vote? Senators by Mediasite, cast your vote on polleverywhere.com. To accept this motion, press A, and to reject it, press B.

Anna Butler: Poll Everywhere I have nine accept.

Paula Brown: In house, 135 accept, six reject, two not counted.

Chair Bérubé: And the motion carries.


Chair Berube:  Legislative Report number three is also from CC&R, it is titled “Revisions to Standing Rules, Article III, Other Functions of the Senate” and it is found in Appendix E. It would create the Office of the Senate Historian. Any questions?


Revisions to Standing Rules: Article III – Other Functions of the Senate

Keith Shapiro: Roger Egolf has spearheaded this. If there any questions, we can address them to him. No other questions?

Chair Bérubé: Other questions? Yeah, this is housekeeping business. So sure. The report is brought to the floor by committee, needs no second. Are we ready to vote? We obviously are. And Mediasite folks, Poll Everywhere. To accept the motion, press A. To reject it, press B.

Anna Butler: Poll Everywhere, I have 12 accept.

Paula Brown: In house, 131 accept, seven reject, one not counted.

Chair Bérubé: Motion carries.


Chair Berube: Report number four from CC&R is Revisions to Standing Rules, Article II, Senate Committee Structure, Section 6(h). The report can be found in Appendix F and it has to do with strengthening faculty representation on Intercollegiate Athletics.


Revisions to Standing Rules; Article II – Senate Committee Structure,
Section 6(h) Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics

Keith Shapiro: This would ensure that there’s adequate experience on the committee, and also ensure that they can call meetings in the summertime since there’s a lot of things that happen over the summer.

Chair Bérubé: Are there any questions? Yes. Nick.

John Nichols, Past Chair: Nichols, Past chair. Until recently I was the Senate’s representative to the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, which is a national consortium of senates concerned to protect the academic integrity in college sports and student athlete well-being. I also was one of the longest serving non-administrative members of the Athletics Committee.

In other words, there’s a lot of things in the world I know absolutely nothing about, but the governance of Intercollegiate Athletics is not one of them. When I completed my term as chair of this body, I warned the Senate and I warned the Board of Trustees that Penn State’s success at the intersection of academics and athletics paradoxically made it vulnerable. In quoting my own comments to the Board in 2002, I said, “Under the mantle of live by the sword, die by the sword, a major athletics scandal would be far more devastating for Penn State than for some of its peers which have become inured with repeated scandals.”

The responses to that warning range from disinterest to displeasure, and unfortunately, no action. Many years later and one horrible scandal later, I’m back in the Senate to renew that warning, to raise a red flag. The governance of Intercollegiate Athletics at Penn State is in disrepair. The Senate currently is not fulfilling its responsibilities of shared governance of Athletics, and reform of existing policies and structures is badly needed.

The Legislative Proposal before you, although it hints about the depth of the problem, as you can see, it offers virtually no remedy. I fear that the Senate’s passage of this report will lull it into the incorrect belief that it fixes the problem. It doesn’t come anyplace close. This is not a criticism on any individual or individuals. These are problems of governance structures, policies, and practices; problems that, if they go unresolved, will place the University and its excellent Athletic programs at unnecessary risk.

I have no horse in this race. And the retirement side of me said, why even bother coming to the Senate today? But on the other hand, I have great allegiance for the Senate and for the principle of shared governance and its excellent Athletics program. And, therefore, I feel obligated to come before you to renew my warning. And, if the problem is not attended to, in the near future, we face unnecessary risk.

Perhaps a first step to tackle this problem would be the appointment of an extra senatorial group or study group of experts to examine the issues and report back with recommendations to the Senate. There is no downside in doing that. The status quo, however, would be troubling.

I’ve written a long white paper detailing the reasons for my conclusions. Be happy to share it with anybody in the Senate. And, also, with the permission of the Senate, I will post it or a link on the Senate blog. Thank you, Chair.

Keith Shapiro: I completely understand John’s point. I don’t have the kind of background you have on that. Do you believe that this report would somehow jeopardize those things that you are suggesting that we do?

John Nichols: There’s nothing specifically wrong with the report.

[INAUDIBLE]

Keith Shapiro: I understand.

Chair Bérubé: I have a threefold response. The first is that, of course, you’re right. And I can just assure that passage of this report, if it passes, will not lull us into complacency. We will not think that we’re done, now we’re done with our oversight of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The second thing is that I have full faith and confidence in Chair, Mark Stevens, and Vice-Chair, Terry Blakney. And the third is that we actually did ask this committee to look into the three smaller scandals that have happened in more recent years involving abusive coaches in women’s hockey, in gymnastics, and in swimming, and to make sure that Sandy Barber would come here and give us an Informational Report and take questions to make sure that our student athletes have the proper reporting procedures when that happens.

These were, like I say, smaller scandals. They involved player complaints. They didn’t involve horrible things like Maryland. But we are continuing our oversight. We take this very seriously. Thank you. Questions.

Jake Springer, Education: Jake Springer, College of Education and Senator. So, the report, the changes to report, don’t affect student senators at all, I understand. But I’m curious why they don’t affect student senators at all. So, if you’re going to raise the qualifications for faculty senators, why are the qualifications for student senators not also raised?

Chair Bérubé: It’s longer time of service. Right?

Keith Shapiro: Yeah. That’s all it is. It’s longer time of service. Senate appointments on the committee many will be a minimum of two years, unless impractical due to needs of balanced committee membership or the Senators being unable to fulfill the duties of their elected term. So, it’s really just ensuring that there is people long enough time on the committee to really learn how to do it.

Chair Bérubé: It’s a steep learning curve. And, that’s one of the difficulties that Nick pointed out. That also, Intercollegiate Athletics has a really extensive compliance apparatus. They have to keep track of every development in the NCAA involving representation of athletes, involving pay for play question, involving something we just heard about an hour or so ago about casinos in Philadelphia allowing betting on collegiate sports events. It’s a lot to keep track of, that’s all. It’s not a question of raising the qualifications. It’s a question of raising the experience pool on the committee.

Keith Shapiro: And once you gain that experience, you’re going to want to take advantage of it for at least a year.

Chair Bérubé: Also, that’s the reason for the summer meetings. Jim.

Jim Strauss, College of Science: Jim Strauss, College of Science, Past Chair of the Faculty Senate. Let me just give everybody a little bit of perspective on the current legislation, how it came to be, and sort of where we’re at with everything.

When I was chair, there was actually a revision going on for the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. And this came basically for review by CC&R after they were finished. At that point in time, CC&R was actually quite concerned in that the revisions that were being proposed actually reduced Senate oversight in key areas that we have oversight for, which is basically progress to degree, grade review, and student welfare and well-being.

CC&R, at the time, basically turned down that proposal, made some suggestions that the committee could then reconsider in terms of restructuring itself. Those were actually continued under Matt Woessner’s chair-ship last year. It took a little while and you’re seeing those renderings now. For what it’s also worth, I currently sit on the committee, but I’m not a Chair, not a Vice Chair.

What I can report, from the couple meetings that I’ve attended, is there’s actually excellent dialogue between the faculty committee membership and athletics- people from all different levels of positions in athletics. It is a really great committee to be on for that reason.

I do think we have to realize that the scope of our committee is really limited in terms of what we look at, which is really progress towards degree, student grades, and student welfare kinds of issues. And as has been indicated, there are really big outside issues with the NCAA and things like sports gambling being legalized, and even scarier things in terms of court cases that are currently being heard that would allow for the paying of student athletes. And those are going to be beyond the control of this committee if they happen or not. But I stand in support of the current restructure and the legislation that’s before the Senate. Thank you.

Chair Bérubé: Any other questions or comments? OK. The report is brought to the floor by committee, needs no second. Are we ready to vote? Mediasite? Poll Everywhere. To accept the motion, press A. To reject it, press B.

Anna Butler: Poll Everywhere, I have 11 accept and three reject.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 112 accept, 23 reject, two not counted.

Chair Bérubé: Motion carries.


Chair Berube: Our final Legislative Report is also from CC&R. It is entitled “Revisions to Bylaws, Article VII, Delegation of Authority, Section 1” and can be found in Appendix G. This is the provision that elected faculty governance organizations elect their own Chairs. Keith.


Revisions to Bylaws: Article VII – Delegation of Authority, Section 1

Keith Shapiro: Yeah, this is, I think, a very interesting piece of legislation related to the delegation of authority. Its main job is to strengthen the faculty role in shared governance. And I would encourage you to read it thoroughly.

Chair Bérubé: Are there any questions? Seeing none. Yes, I want to just reiterate that. Please look this over. In one sense it’s just another piece of housekeeping, where we move something that was in a Senate document called ‘Guidelines’ which will now be called ‘Recommendations and Requirements’, in other words, like serving suggestions. And we move it instead into Bylaws, where we stipulate that the elected faculty bodies elect their own chairs.


ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

Chair Bérubé: So, for Item J, Advisory/Consultative Reports, we have a change to our agenda today.

Proposed Revisions to Penn State Policy HR68, Postdoctoral Appointments- REPORT WITHDRAWN

The Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity has asked to withdraw the report from Appendix H, “Proposed Revisions to Penn State Policy HR 68, Post-doctoral Appointments.” They will be working on revisions before bringing the report back to the floor.

This is actually not an emergency. There are no state secrets. It has to do mainly with the five-year limitation on postdocs, how that would run afoul of some other units, and the question of whether they could enjoy any stoppages of that time for family life issues the way we have stoppages of the tenure clock. So that’s going back to the shop. RCSA will be working together with Neil Sharkey’s office, and we’ll bring it back when it’s ready.

We have an Advisory/Consultative Report from the Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity titled, “Revision of RAO 3, Eligibility to Serve as Principal Investigator.” This report can be found as Appendix I. Committee Chair, Janet Hughes, will present the report and respond to questions.


Revision of RA03 “Eligibility to Serve as Principal Investigator (PI)”

Janet Hughes, Liberal Arts: This is strictly housekeeping. When AC21 was revised, the titles in this particular report were obsolete. This doesn’t change anybody’s eligibility. It does not change any permissions. It simply changes the titles out for the new title and adds in a very small corollary that Hershey did not adopt all of AC21. That’s all it is. Any questions?

Chair Bérubé: Any questions? Report is brought to the floor by committee. Needs no second. Are we ready to vote? Senators by Mediasite, Poll Everywhere. To accept the motion, press A, and to reject it, press some other letter. No, press B. Just making sure people paying attention.

Anna Butler: Poll Everywhere, I have 10 accept and one reject.

Paula Brown: In house, 135 accept, three reject, one not counted.

Chair Bérubé: Motion carries. OK.


INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

Chair Bérubé: Informational Reports. We have three today. The first can be found in Appendix J. I mentioned this in September and here it is. It is sponsored by the External Matters Subcommittee of Senate Council, and it is titled, “Examples of Permissible and Prohibited Political Campaign Activity.” Can we put up the examples?

So, as you’ll recall, this followed from our discussions, our negotiations with the Office of General Counsel about AD92, the policy on political campaign activities that was first announced in the fall of 2016. All the people running for office have to leave now. [LAUGHTER}

In all seriousness, one of the questions we had, and that we had to work out over quite some time, is what constituted indirect participation in a political campaign- what constituted permissible things in the classroom as opposed to use of University facilities. And, as I announced September, although we came to substantial agreement on how to revise that policy so that it more accurately reflected the sometimes-nebulous nature of faculty work. Zahraa?

So, Assistant General Counsel, Zarhaa Zalzala, will take your questions and go over the examples of permissible and prohibited political campaign activity. We figured this would be a timely thing to do. There seems to be an election of some kind coming up. And the floor is open. Zahraa, do you want to make any remarks?


Examples of Permissible and Prohibited Political Campaign Activity

Zahraa Zalzala, Office of General Council: No, I mean, I don’t know if you guys have had a chance to read AD92, but just to give you some background, the University is obviously a tax-exempt institution. And, so, we have obligations under federal law to make sure that the University and its resources are not being used in any way to intervene in a political campaign in a candidate for public office.

Our policy is really just meant to make sure that we are consistent with our obligations and maintain our tax-exempt status. And, as Michael said, these illustrations are just intended to help provide additional guidance and they are pulled from IRS rulings and IRS guidance and facts matter. So really every bit of information up there is important to the analysis of determining whether or not it amounts to activity that’s permissible or prohibited under the policy and under the law. So, I don’t know if you guys had any questions.

Chair Bérubé: Roger, and then person in the yellow shirt.

Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: Egolf, Lehigh Valley. This semester one of our faculty members at our campus who’s a member of the American Geophysical Union got a grant to invite politicians– or actually, that’s what she decided to do– to our campus to talk about science policy and how the idea was to get politicians’ views on how science policy is developed both nationally, the federal government, and state-related science policy.

I was actually a member of the committee that she put together. She invited several politicians to come to the campus to speak, including Senator Casey, who had accepted, and some state representatives to speak. However, she had to cancel because the University said that since there was an election coming up and Senator Casey was running for re-election, that wasn’t allowed.

It wasn’t to talk about anything other than how science policy is done. And it looks to me like that is similar to the one permissible activity that’s shown in the report under– oh, where was it? Facilities. Like inviting a civil rights lawyer to speak. How is it different?

Zahraa Zalzala: I don’t know the facts of the particular situation that you’re discussing. If people are being invited in their professional capacity, or in their capacity as a legislator, it should not fall within this policy. There might be other reasons as to why it was canceled. But like I said, Facts Matters. And I was not involved in that decision.

Roger Egolf: OK. Because it was strictly– I think there may have been some concerns by some people that the politicians may have used the forum to speak on other things other what they were invited to, although this person could also, in this permissible act–

Zahraa Zalzala: Right, but if you read the complete example, it does say that the event has to be maintained as a non-political campaigning event. And so there may have been efforts there to either advise the candidates that maybe they weren’t willing to do. I don’t know. But without all the facts, it’s hard to be able to provide you with a complete answer.

Chair Bérubé: That’s actually one of the reasons I wanted to convene this. I think sometimes we’re too timid about what is permissible, although that is nebulous. It is permissible as long as a lawyer makes no reference to the election that’s, like, two weeks away. It’s hovering over Casey no matter what. But it should not have been prohibited on that basis, seriously.

Roger Egolf: OK. Thank you.

Chair Bérubé: Yeah, back here.

Tim Robicheaux, Liberal Arts: Tim Robicheaux, Liberal Arts. I’m looking at this. I teach a course on wrongful convictions, and I think a lot of people in here probably teach courses that are related to public policy in various ways, environmental science, et cetera. One of the only ways to prevent– there are several– but one of the main ways to prevent wrongful convictions is through legislation. And my students ask all the time, “What do we do?”

I regularly call out politicians by name in the class because it would be academically negligent to not do so. And I do so in a bipartisan manner. And I say to the students who ask, vote. When I read this, I get a little nervous about it. And, so, I have two questions.

One, because nothing is up here, what’s the consequence of something being determined as impermissible? And two, I really hope the University has our backs on the issue. So, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education gives Penn State a red light, and that’s scary to me.

I really hope the University has our backs on things that are ambiguous because again, if I go into class and say there is a politician who has done something, who has overseen an innocent person being executed, but I can’t tell you that politician’s name because they’re– that’s really problematic. And, it’s in the gray area. But it sounds like– I mean, again, this case that was brought up, and I know nothing about it other than what was just said– I think we should always err on the side of freedom of academic openness. And some of this stuff– I think the prohibited activities here are really blatant. But the gray area is not captured well in this. Or, at least, I’m maybe missing it.

Zahraa Zalzala: So just to kind of give you a point of clarification, the policy talks about advocating, intervening, participating, and/or opposing a candidate for political office. A politician is not always a candidate for public office. So, if you want to talk about people and their current status as a senator and legislator, if you want talk about their voting record whatever that may be, that’s different than advocating or opposing a candidate for office.

Public policy efforts are also not covered by this policy. So, to the extent that it’s related to the subject matter of course, we’re not trying to impose on your ability as an instructor to talk about those matters. Just like AC64 says don’t use classroom time to talk about controversial topics, if it’s completely unrelated to the course, we wouldn’t expect you to be able to bring that in any way.

But it really is a judgment call. I mean, you’re the professionals, and I think you guys would understand best or know best when is something relevant to the topic matter, when it’s not. And it’s gray intentionally, right? It’s the IRS Code. And it really just depends on every fact in the circumstances.

So, I don’t know if I can give you kind of a blanket rule one way or the other. But I think if it’s related to the subject matter of the course–

Tim Robicheaux: And then hypothetically, I would never do this, but if I go into my class and say don’t vote for that person unless you really like wrongful conviction– which again, I would not do– but what’s the consequence for someone who violates these rules?

Zahraa Zalzala: Probably the same consequence as for violating any other University policy. I mean, the problem is if we have a pattern that someone can point to, then we risk our tax-exempt status. But on a one-off basis, that would be kind of an employee HR issue to address.

Chair Bérubé: So twofold. I can’t give you a blanket answer to either, but I’ll give you a threadbare blanket that covers part of the bed. Going in and saying this politician by name has voted for these policies and has upheld these things that have led to wrongful convictions, wrongful imprisonment, and wrongful executions- totally legit. Following that with, and therefore vote for his opponent this Tuesday is not. The first thing is entirely within your area.

But the other thing, it’s not only directly relevant to your course. So again, if this comes up again and again in your course, that’s fine. If I’m teaching a course in the English department on speculative fiction, which only rhymes with wrongful conviction, has no other relation to it, and I keep bringing this up, then I’m in violation of the persistent intrusion of irrelevant material under AC64.

Gary Thomas, Medicine: My name is Gary Thomas. I’m a neurologist at Hershey Medical Center. And we do health policy courses. And I think separate from the University’s legal requirements, students want to be respected. And there are students who are Republicans and Democrats, liberal and conservative, religious and not. And if they go into a class, and they feel like whatever their view is or their perspective is isn’t being respected, or whatever you’re teaching is very heavy handed in any direction, they don’t feel comfortable.

So really, the biggest punishment is if you’re going to be a Poly Sci Major or Poly Sci Professor, your reputation and your greatness as a teacher is really about allowing people to see different sides of issues and understand both sides so they can make decisions themselves based on whatever their core values or beliefs or whatever is. And it’s not really about leaning in a direction. And, it’s almost great when the student doesn’t know, at the end of the semester, really what the professor would do.

Chair Bérubé: And under the examples of what would be permissible for a professor to say how he or she would be voting. But you do that at your peril for precisely the reason. Your question actually speaks more to AC 64 and academic freedom in the classroom. This is specifically about participation in campaigns. And one of the reasons I wanted to have this forum again is that I think sometimes when we bring this up, it leaks into all these other areas.

Now granted, in a Political Science class, in a Sociology class, in a Criminology class, that’s where the gray areas are, and that’s why we’ve had this discussion with General Counsel for the past year and a half. Sorry. Rose.

Rosemary Jolly: Rosemary Jolly, Liberal Arts. This does relate to potential leaking. But I just want to underwrite or underscore what Tim’s asking, whether this is the appropriate place to ask it or not. I teach a course in literature and human rights in a country which has seceded from many of the human rights conventions.

So, I present my facts. But we’re also in a political environment where it’s possible for somebody to say that I’m not teaching on my topic because they have a different political view, somebody in my class. That’s the environment that we’re working.

And I think this is where Tim’s question is coming from. If we are speaking appropriately and factually about what we’re teaching, does the University have our back? That’s the question. Thank you.

Chair Bérubé: Provost Jones?

Provost Jones: Yes.

[LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]

Chair Bérubé: I was going to say it, but it means more coming from him. Anything else? Oh, got two more. Carey and Jen.

Carey Eckhardt, Liberal Arts: Eckhardt, Liberal Arts. This is really just a very small request for clarification. Your examples here, there are some mentions of staff and so forth. They deal with faculty and people called a professor. A great deal of teaching is done by graduate students in various capacities. Just for clarification, do these same principles apply to them, or are they in a different situation?

Zahraa Zalzala: It would apply to them as well.

Carey Eckhardt: Thank you.

Jen Sliko, Harrisburg: Thanks. Hi. This is Jen Sliko from Penn State Harrisburg. This is also probably a minor clarification. But you had mentioned earlier that we can’t speak out specifically against candidates currently running for office, but that’s different from just a politician who might not be currently running for office.

And I’m speaking about this– I guess the point of view is I am a climate change scientist, and so the president of our country has spoken out against that rather vocally. And while he’s not currently running for office, I think a lot of my students might feel like he is. Can you define that a little more narrowly? And I don’t know if you can or not, but he probably will be running for office in another year or two. How does that work?

Zahraa Zalzala: I believe he’s announced his candidacy for 2020, but I think the term political candidate, even if someone has not politically announced but is being promoted as one, that could fall within this category. So at least with respect to our current president, I believe it’s assumed that he’s going to be running again as well.

Chair Bérubé: Right. I believe we had a question here at University Park about a local candidate wanted to have an event just before declaring. So, he wasn’t the candidate that day, but he was going to be a candidate the next day. So there, too, is one of the gray areas. Who counts as actually running for office? I think that person you mentioned, who shall remain nameless, has been running since his inauguration. So, it sort of goes without saying. Again, this is why the gray areas are gray.

All right, then. Thank you, Zahraa. Thank you for your time and for your expertise.

Zahraa Zalzala: And, to the extent that you guys have read through this and the policy and then the attached Ace memo, if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to our office. We’re always here to help.

Chair Bérubé: This started with– the easy stuff is, you know, don’t use letterhead don’t use University resources, don’t use your computer. Don’t use anything that is University property or University insignia’d to contribute to a campaign. That’s basic 501(c)(3) nonprofit stuff, although Zahraa informed me we’re not technically a 501(c)(3) or something else. We’re 501(c)(3)-esque. But it amounts to the same thing. And again, repeated violations will threaten our tax-exempt status and our existence as an institution.


Chair Berube: The second Informational Report, found in Appendix K, is the Annual Report of the Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. Last year’s FR&R Chair, Richard Robinett, will give the report, and we have allowed five minutes for presentation and discussion.


Annual Report for 2017-2018

Richard Robinett, Science: Well, first of all, I want to thank the Senate, who helps prepare this report. I stand up and answer questions if there are any, but they collect all the data. This is an annual report. This is usually about a page long, and it outlines some of the metrics that we see in the previous year in terms of how many petitions were submitted, what kinds, some of the resolutions.

And, so, you can read it yourself. And probably this could be posted on the website. But I think FR&R Past Chairs have liked to come up just to remind this body that this is one part of AC76 which, as I quote, “involves faculties rights and responsibilities that have not been successfully resolved through the normal channels of administrative responsibility procedures.” It’s a very long document that includes Ombuds people. And I wanted to give a shout-out to all the Ombuds people, both at every unit. Pam Hufnagel did a great job during her time, and Mohamad is here, I assume. I know he’s the current Ombuds person.

So, this committee is an important one. But it’s almost the last step in a long process of really, really, helpful people who can work with faculty if they have an issue in which they feel like they have, to quote again, “Substantial injustice resulting from a violation of three things” is all we’re allowed to look at, academic freedom, procedural fairness, or professional ethics.

I’d like to thank the committee last year, which was an awesome committee. It’s always six selected faculty and three elected administrators, chancellors, or deans. And I think they did a really good job last year. Any questions about the details of this year’s report? We good? OK.

Chair Bérubé: Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Bérubé: No. And, thank you again officially for chairing that committee last year. It is a vitally important committee for, again, obviously reasons.


Chair Berube:  The last Informational Report to be presented is from the Senate Committee on Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology, “Pattee Library Renovations and Courtyard Infill Project.” It is Appendix L. Ten minutes has been allocated for presentation and discussion. Roger, Chair of the LIST committee, will introduce our speaker, Rick Riccardo, Associate Director of Facilities.


Pattee Library Renovations and Courtyard Infill Project

Roger Egolf: Thank you. Yes, this report will be talking about the renovations that are currently underway at the Pattee Library. And it’ll be given by Richard Riccardo, who is the Associate Director of Facilities for the Libraries. So, thank you, Richard.

Chair Bérubé: Rick, thanks for joining us.

Richard Riccardo, Associate Director of Facilities for the Libraries: Again, thank you for inviting me today to speak about what we’re doing at the library. I’d like to suggest you sit back. You don’t have to vote on anything. Just enjoy the presentation. Today I’m going to talk about what we’re doing over at the library, which we affectionately refer to as Libraries 2020.

I’ll give you a little bit of background on what that represents as far as the title is concerned. It’s really not necessarily that we’re going to be finished with the renovation work in the building in the year 2020, but it’s really kind of representing the libraries of what we believe is going to be the future, and more knowledge centers. And we’re gearing up for our library of the future of the year 2020. Our project should be completed in the fall of 2019, so we’ve got a jump on it a little bit. OK.

Let me get to my papers here. As was mentioned earlier, as Pattee Library Renovation and Courtyard Infill Project at the University Park. In 2009 the University completed a multi-phase plan to transform portions of the Pattee Library facility into a collaborative Knowledge Commons. I’m sure many of you have been in the library and have witnessed the transformation of the building and the Knowledge Commons at First Floor West, in which it was, I believe, a kind of non-library space that actually turned into an academic hub for students.

That was the first phase. It was a very successful phase and was constructed in 2009. And again, the area that I’m referencing is West Pattee. And this is a representation of the Knowledge Commons that was completed at that time.

The project that we’re undertaking as what we’re calling Libraries 2020 is approximately now 29,000 square feet of work on the ground floor. Existing floor plan will be reconfigured to include Knowledge Commons theme renovation to approximately 17,000 square feet at the lower level. This will include flexible meeting spaces, seminar rooms, student group study rooms, and numerous informal gathering and reading areas.

The atrium lobby, if you all recall, there was an area within the library that was kind of an outdoor space. It was open all the way to the outside air. We’re actually infilling that project all the way down to ground floor. And the purpose behind the opportunity to infill that is twofold. One is to capture interior space of the library that’s under-utilized, but also really to clarify circulation through the building.

I’m sure many of you have been in the library where you come in on the Curtin Road entry, and you turn left or right, and you find yourself in several different areas that have third floors, but they’re not the same third floor, or the fourth floor. Or, you’re doing a lot of up and down on stairs and in elevators.

But what this project is intended to do is to begin to clarify a lot of the circulation problems in the building itself. So, what we decided to do was infill the atrium space with a two-story space which I’ll show you images of, and then also infilling two floors above that space so that we can clarify circulation for at least three levels of the building, and almost four levels of the building from Central and East. We’re still not there yet on West, but we’re working on that.

And again, the atrium level, we actually dug it down to ground level already. And what that will do is connect West with Central. We’re extending the entry at the mall side of the building so that it’s less covered as it is now, which really represented a fairly dark area. What we’re moving it out towards the mall area itself.

And again, this is an artist’s rendition of the space that we’re creating outside of the area. If you recall, the patio space that was next to what was McKinnon’s Café, generally, would fill up with water every winter and would be covered with trees, the leaves from the trees. And, it was a space that was, in some regards, under-utilized for both students and staff and faculty to enjoy an afternoon outside of the cafe.

What we’ve done to date on this area is we’ve actually bladed the ground back. We’ve done a lot of the rough grading in that area. And what we’re using it now, at the moment, is for a construction entry into the space. But this is really what we’re representing at the end of that time. We’re creating a green space out there that’s accessible no longer through steps, but a slightly graded walk that will lead you down into the entry. We’ve also sized that patio area outside for a tent area that could be used for marathon reads or could be a programmable space for the library.

We’re also creating, down on the lower level, a more collaborative type of student environment. But what we’re doing here is a lot different than what we’ve done before. We’re creating an environment where we’ve been referring to it as BYOD. We’ve beefed up the Wi-Fi in the lower levels. And we’ve really taken a lot of surveys in which students have asked, why do you need to provide a computer when we bring our own, or most of our own devices? So, in this one where- we decided to coin it as BYOD- “Bring Your Own Device”, and we’ll provide the tables and the connections for your devices to tie in.

On the other floors, as I represented, if you see in the center, the atrium space, what we’re creating is a two-story space from the ground to first. And it’s shown in this area, where this is a courtyard open space with seating and a grand stair. And on the upper level floors, on the second floor we’re creating an infill area for library learning, and we’ll eventually expand that out to the remainder of the floor. And as I said, on this slide, you’ll see– I’ll go back– we’re creating that link from central through the courtyard area into second floor.

On the third floor, this will be our digital scholarship. And again, we’re trying to take advantage of that infill area to create a much clearer path on to the third floor. And again, this will be digital scholarship, which will again expand out on to the floor. As you see on the slide to the left, this is the existing courtyard as it was. And the artist’s rendering on the right is what our projected plan is for it at completion. As you can see, it’s a two-story space in which it will connect from West to Central and then also, hopefully, to the upper levels.

What I also wanted to show you on the slides here is some of the work we have done in the library if you haven’t been in there. On the first floor, what we did to really create the ability to do what we’re doing is we took staff space on the first-floor level, which would be on our east side, and basically redeveloped our area behind the doors.

This was a staff area for our cataloging acquisition. And what we did is we moved the café from the lower level up to the first-floor level, and we have a Starbucks built in there. And with the Starbucks, we’ve also created the news area that we had on ground floor, and we put that in the staff area. The staff area we moved downstairs to the lower level, which was, at one point, our IT groups that were moved out the TSB. And we refurbished the space to make it more of a staff area for acquisitions and catalog.

I also have some images just to show you in real time where we are today. The work we did in 128 we actually did in the springtime in order to be able to hit the ground running once the board approved the project. And in the Atrium, itself, we’ve already begun to erect steel once we got the approval.

And our latest construction updates, we’re actually getting very close to topping out the structural framing in the atrium space itself. We hope to have that done by the end of October, beginning of November. And we are on track to pretty much beat the heck out of completing in 2019. The whole ground floor west right now has been completely gutted and we’re starting to do rough-ins.

So again, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to present today. If there’s any questions, I’m more than open to them.

Chair Bérubé: Are there questions? Thank you for your time and thank you for your work. I’m sorry, what? [INAUDIBLE] Where, where, where? I’m still not seeing. We’re not leaving till that person says what their question is.

Richard Riccardo: I will tell you our goal for this is to provide clarity in the library so that people, when they come in, know where to go, know where the services are. Along with the work that we’re doing now, we’re working very diligently to create a level of digital signage that will get people to where they need to be.

Chair Bérubé: And I’m just going to add, from a disability access perspective, I’m liking that ramp. Ready for the mic? The mic, the mic. Although you do project well.

Scott Young, ROTC, University Park: I’m Captain Young. I’m the military representative for the ROTC department. I was just saying that as it currently stands, it reminds me of the Pentagon. So, I appreciate the level of effort to de-confuse so you can move around.

Richard Riccardo: I will say I’ve been lost in that building before.

Chair Bérubé: Thanks so much. OK, thank you.

Richard Riccardo: Outstanding. Thank you.


NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: New Legislative Business. Is there any new business? None.


COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

Chair Bérubé: Comments and Recommendations for the Good of the University. Are there any such comments? None.


ADJOURNMENT

Chair Bérubé: May I have a motion to adjourn? All in favor please say aye.

Senators: Aye.

Chair Bérubé : Motion carries. The Senate is adjourned until Tuesday, December 4, 2018.


ATTENDANCE

The following Senators were noted as having attended the 10/23/2018 Senate Meeting.

  • Abel, Jonathan
  • Acharya, Vinita
  • Adewumi, Michael
  • Andreae, Michael
  • Aurand, Harold
  • Bartolacci, Michael
  • Belanger, Jonna
  • Berg, Arthur
  • Bérubé, Michael
  • Bieschke, Kathleen
  • Bishop-Pierce, Renee
  • Blakney, Terry
  • Blanford, Justine
  • Blockett, Kimberly
  • Borromeo, Renee
  • Boyer, Elizabeth
  • Breakey, Laurie
  • Brunsden, Victor
  • Bryan, Julia
  • Burke, Alexis
  • Butler, William
  • Bynum, Amber
  • Casper, Gretchen
  • Chen, Wei-Fan
  • Clark, Mary Beth
  • Clements, Ann
  • Coduti, Wendy
  • Connolly-Ahern, Colleen
  • Conti, Delia
  • Costanzo, Denise
  • Davis, Dwight
  • Decker, Alicia
  • Duffey, Michele
  • Eberle, Peter
  • Eckhardt, Caroline
  • Egolf, Roger
  • Elias, Ryan
  • Engel, Renata
  • Evans, Edward
  • Fairbank, James
  • Farmer, Susan Beth
  • Fausnight, Tracy
  • Folkers, Deirdre
  • Forster, Peter
  • Freiberg, Andrew
  • French, Kirk
  • Furfaro, Joyce
  • Fusco, David
  • Gallagher, Julie
  • Giebink, Noel Christopher
  • Glantz, Edward
  • Grimes, Galen
  • Guay, Terrence
  • Gutierrez, Borja
  • Hairston, Synthea
  • Handley, Meredith
  • Hanes, Madlyn
  • Hodgdon, Kathleen
  • Hosseinpour, Helia
  • Hughes, Janet
  • Jaap, James
  • Jablokow, Kathryn
  • Jolly, Rosemary
  • Jones, Maureen
  • Jones, Nicholas
  • Jordan, Matthew
  • Kaag, Matthew
  • Kagan, Mikhail
  • Kahl, David
  • Kakuturu, Sai
  • Kalisperis, Loukas
  • Katz, Spencer
  • Keiler, Kenneth
  • Kennedy-Phillips, Lance
  • Kenyon, William
  • King, Brian
  • King, Elizabeth
  • Kirby, Joshua
  • Kitko, Lisa
  • Koudela, Kevin
  • Krajsa, Michael
  • Kubat, Robert
  • LaJeunesse, Todd
  • Laman, Jeffrey
  • Lang, Teresa
  • Larson, Allen
  • Lawlor, Timothy
  • Le, Binh
  • Levine, Martha
  • Linehan, Peter
  • Lobaugh, Michael
  • Love, Yvonne
  • Marko, Frantisek
  • Masters, Katherine
  • Mathews, Jonathan
  • Maurer, Clifford
  • McKay, Zachary
  • McKinney, Karyn
  • Melton, Robert
  • Messner, John
  • Mishler, Adeline
  • Mocioiu, Irina
  • Monk, David
  • Moore, Jacob
  • Mulder, Kathleen
  • Najjar, Raymond
  • Nasir, Rafay
  • Nelson, Keith
  • Nelson, Kimberlyn
  • Nesbitt, Jennifer
  • Noce, Kathleen
  • Nousek, John
  • Ofosu, Willie
  • Ozment, Judith
  • Pallikere, Avinash
  • Pangborn, Robert
  • Pauley, Laura
  • Pawloski, Barry
  • Petrilla, Rosemarie
  • Phillips, Kathleen
  • Pierce, Mari Beth
  • Plummer, Julia
  • Posey, Lisa
  • Prabhu, Vansh
  • Prescod, Diandra
  • Pyeatt, Nicholas
  • Reichard, Karl
  • Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline
  • Rhen, Linda
  • Rinehart, Peter
  • Robertson, Gavin
  • Robicheaux, Timothy
  • Robinett, Richard
  • Robinson, Brandi
  • Robinson, Zachary
  • Robles-Flores, Ninive
  • Ropson, Ira
  • Rowland, Nicholas
  • Ruggiero, Francesca
  • Saltz, Ira
  • Sarabok, Thomas
  • Saunders, Brian
  • Scott, Geoffrey
  • Seymour, Elizabeth
  • Shannon, Robert
  • Shapiro, Keith
  • Sharkey, Neil
  • Sharma, Amit
  • Shea, Maura
  • Shearer, Gregory
  • Sigurdsson, Steinn
  • Silverberg, Lee
  • Sinha, Alok
  • Skladany, Martin
  • Sliko, Jennifer
  • Smith, David
  • Smith, Harold
  • Snyder, Melissa
  • Snyder, Stephen
  • Specht, Charles
  • Springer, Jake
  • Stine, Michele
  • Strauss, James
  • Szczygiel, Bonj
  • Tavangarian, Fariborz
  • Thomas, Gary
  • Thomchick, Evelyn
  • Thompson, Paul
  • Townsend, Sarah
  • Troester, Rodney
  • Truica, Cristina
  • Tyworth, Michael
  • Van Hook, Stephen
  • Vanderhoof, Carmen
  • Vasilatos-Younken, Regina
  • Volk Chewning, Lisa
  • Vollero, Mary
  • Vrana, Kent
  • Wagner, Johanna
  • Warren, James
  • Whitehurst, Marcus
  • Williams, Mary Beth
  • Woessner, Matthew
  • Wood, Chelsey
  • Young, Cynthia
  • Young, Richard
  • Zambanini, Robert
  • Zorn, Christopher

Elected             157
Students            18
Ex Officio             5
Appointed           8
Total                 188

September 18, 2018 Record

T H E   S E N A T E   R E C O R D

Volume 52—–September 18, 2018—–Number 1

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.

The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is on file in the University Archives and is posted online at http://www.senate.psu.edu/senators under “Publications.”

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 insufficient, 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. Every Senate meeting is webcast via MediaSite. All Senate meetings are digitally audio recorded and on file in the Senate office. Transcriptions of portions of the Senate meeting are available upon request.

Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Dawn Blasko, Executive Director, Office of the University Faculty Senate.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Final Agenda for September 18, 2018
  2. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
  3. Appendices
    1. Attendance

FINAL AGENDA FOR SEPTEMBER 18, 2018


The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate building with Michael Bérubé, Chair, presiding.

DUE TO AUDIO-TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY, THERE ARE MANY ‘INAUDIBLE’ MOMENTS WITHIN THIS TEXT.

Chair Bérubé: Hello everyone, and welcome to the first plenary meeting of the University Faculty Senate for 2018-2019. Thank you all for accommodating the shift in time from 1:30 to 1 o’clock. Good to see so many people were aware of it.

I have to start off with a few unscripted apologies. For everyone trying to join remotely by way of Zoom; that didn’t work. Apparently, Zoom Incorporated was unaware that we hold 15 meetings for our 15 committees and would not authorize us holding more than one.

That will never happen again. But I apologize for it happening the first time. One good thing that has come out of that is that I’ve now had an impromptu conversation with Libraries, Information Science, and Technology Chair, Roger Egolf, about possibly doing an Informational or Advisory/Consultative Report about our communication technologies.

[LAUGHTER]

True. All right.


MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

Chair Bérubé: We will start with the Minutes of the Preceding Meeting. The April 24, 2018 Senate Record, providing a full transcript of the proceedings of the meeting, was sent to the University Archives and is posted on the University Faculty Senate website. Are there any corrections or additions?

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: Sorry?

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: I love this. Great. It has been moved and seconded. All in favor?

Senators: Aye.

Chair Bérubé: All opposed?


COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

Chair Bérubé: Next, Communications to the Senate– the Senate Curriculum Records of June 26, 2018 and August 28, 2018 are also posted on the Senate website. This year, the Senate Curricular Affairs Committee had a special summer meeting to expedite approval of Gen Ed Recertification and the offerings of inter-domain and linked courses.

This was a massive work. They approved a remarkable 425 courses and 14 programs. The reports are posted on the University Faculty Senate website. I just want to thank Curricular Affairs for all their work.

[APPLAUSE]

And I also want to thank Provost Jones, who paid for that meeting.

[LAUGHTER]

That was a chunk of change.


REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL

Chair Bérubé: Report of Senate Council. Minutes from the August 28, 2018 Senate Council meeting can be found at the end of your agenda. Included are the minutes. In the minutes are topics that were discussed by the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President at their April 28 meeting.


ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

Chair Bérubé: Moving on. D, Announcements by the Chair– this would be me. I promise you that, in future plenaries, I will keep my remarks under five minutes. This is an exception because I have a few important reports to make.

So last April, when Matthew handed me the reins and the gavel in what was mostly a peaceful transfer of power, I made some brief remarks, during which I referenced a Chronicle of Higher Education article on the sorry state of many faculty senates in American higher education. I need the headline. No, the other way.

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: Right, that. Because it was 5:30 in the afternoon when that happened, only about 15 people heard my remarks. But I want to thank them all for staying. This is the article I mentioned. I urge all of you to read it, because if you do, I think you’ll have a little greater appreciation of what we have managed to do in this body over the past few years.

There are plenty of faculty senates out there that are rudderless and plenty of faculty senators at other institutions who worry that they are ineffectual. I’m very happy to report that, at Penn State, we don’t have that problem. Last year, for example, we worked on two critically important University policies. And I want to report back to you on them in order to close the loop, largely because, on one of them, no one knows what went on. It was all in private meetings.

The first of these is Policy AC80, Private Consulting Practice, Outside Business Activities, and Private Consulting. Many of you will recall that our contract for this was Clint Schmidt, Director of the Conflict of Interest Program in the Office of Research Protections, housed in the Office of the Vice President for Research, Neil Sharkey. Those of you who are returning from last year will remember that we pretty much put the bow on this in April. And yet, there were a few threads left lying around that Vice Provost Cathy Bieschke and I wrapped up in a meeting last month.

Now, if you’re in the humanities as I am– my degree is in English– you might think this policy won’t pertain to you. At first, I thought it was directed only at STEM faculty, who are always off patenting things and creating new startup companies and consulting with major corporations. But actually, AC80, pertains also to anyone who might be offered a short term visiting scholar gig at another university, as has happened to me twice– for six weeks at Cornell University in the summer of 2013 and for four weeks at Cornell College in Iowa in the summer of 2011. For some reason, I’m really popular at places called Cornell.

AC80 does not prohibit such activities. It merely requires me to report them to my department head. Now, in some cases, your activities in private consulting will require approval. And in some cases, cases involving potential conflict of interest with your responsibilities as a Penn State faculty member, they will be prohibited. When the policy was revised two years ago, almost to the day, Clint Schmidt and his office understood the new policy as a liberalization of the old policies, permitting a greater variety of activities and streamlining the process for prior written approval.

But when it came to Senate, we read it over and came to the conclusion that there were some gray areas that needed clarification. We worried that some language in the policy might be read as giving Penn State jurisdiction over our every waking hour and parts of our REM sleep as well. That was an overreaction. But we were doing our due diligence. And most important to my mind, we pointed out that there was no appeals process built into the policy. If you thought your activities were ‘X’ but your department head determined they were ‘Y’, where do you go to resolve this disagreement? Do you go to the next highest administrative level? That seemed to us to be suboptimal, since you’re putting one administrator in the position of potentially contradicting or undermining another administrator.

So we suggested a horizontal appeal system, whereby disputes would be resolved by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, which includes representatives from both faculty and administration. I’m happy to report that, working together with Clint Schmidt’s office, we hammered out these differences with care and thoughtfulness. And the result, we think, is a much better policy.

We worked on this for two years not because we were delaying, but because this one is really hard. You get this policy wrong, bad things will happen, sometimes even to good people. And it is now the work of many hands.

The other policy was AD92, Political Campaign Activities. This is the one I don’t know that everyone knows about. It came from the Office of the General Counsel. The timing was unfortunate. It was announced a few weeks before the election of 2016, in which apparently some things happened. And it came as a surprise to many faculty.

The policy states, “It is the University’s policy that it and its employees and representatives, when acting in their official capacities for the University, may not directly or indirectly participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elected public office.”

Well, first of all, we want to know what constitutes indirect participation in a campaign. Now, in 2008, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my old haunt, announced a policy forbidding political bumper stickers on the cars in faculty parking lots. Seriously. Apparently, some local wing-nuts had the ear of UIUC administrators and were able to convince them to enact this ban, presumably on the grounds that professors are all flaming liberals and their bumper stickers have magical powers to indoctrinate students.

The policy lasted all of 15 minutes after being reported on in Inside Higher Ed, whereupon it was immediately ridiculed out of existence. We know that AD92 isn’t anything like the Illinois policy. But still, we want to know. Would this policy prevent faculty from canvassing door to door for a candidate? Would it prevent us from discussing the election in a political science classroom? Would it prevent a unit from showing a film on climate change?

Now, most of the policy was and is boilerplate and would have pertained to any nonprofit institution. Don’t use university resources, letterhead, email, computers if you are working for a campaign or an elected official. If you are involved in a campaign, make it as clear as you can that you are acting as a private citizen and not a representative of Penn State. Basic, right?

But Senate leadership asked for a meeting with General Counsel and staff so that we could talk through the gray areas. At first, they were puzzled and wondered what part of compliance with federal law we were objecting to. But we convinced them that the gray areas really are gray.

We’re not wage employees. Nobody knows when a professor is off the clock. And what if a campaign or an elected official solicits your expert advice because of your scholarly expertise? Part of your authority as an expert, after all, would derive from the fact that you are a professor at Penn State.

And then there was some ambiguity about what it means to use University resources. The policy forbids the use of University facilities for any political event. And the term “political event” includes any event that has the purpose or primary effect of promoting the election of a particular political candidate.

Well, we argued it’s one thing if an event has the purpose of promoting somebody’s election, but who determines if the event has a primary effect of doing so? That clause, I argued, opens the door to all kinds of mischief, whereby someone could complain about events devoted to the subject of climate change. So here, too, consultation with Faculty Senate produced a better policy, one tailored more specifically to the realities of our workplace and one that emphatically reaffirms the principles of academic freedom enunciated in policy AC64, which I strongly recommend you consult.

Scroll down on that a bit. I just want to point out one thing that pertains to what we’re doing right now, as related to the University. This is new. Not every faculty handbook has this. We are protected by the principles of academic freedom and teaching, research, and in extramural speech, but also to abide by the regulations. Right here. “Faculty members are free to speak and write on governance issues of their respective departments, et cetera, and are free to speak and write in all matters related to their professional duties without institutional discipline or restraint.” That’s like right now. That’s in response to a really perverse Supreme Court decision, Garcetti v. Ceballos, which said that public employees do not have First Amendment protection for things they say in the course of their duties. That also pertains to us. This covers us. Thanks to whoever put that in there.

Now, I don’t have time to go into the grainy details of these discussions. But I do want to make two important announcements about AD92, because we are about to head into what could be a consequential election cycle this fall. One, in response to our request for further guidance, the Office of the General Counsel has given us a series of examples of permitted and prohibited political campaign activities. That’s available also on the Senate website.

Two, in our October meeting, Assistant General Counsel, Zahraa Zalzala, will join us to discuss this policy and take your questions. Between now and then, I urge you to read this document. Distribute it widely in your college or campus. Reread AC64 on academic freedom, and bring your concerns and questions in October.

Those are just two examples of how the Faculty Senate has strengthened the practice of shared governance at Penn State, but they are important ones. I look forward to working with all of you over the coming year and continuing the critical work we are doing in the Faculty Senate. And now I turn to Comments by the President of the University to President Barron to make some comments and stand for a few questions. President Barron.


COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

Eric Barron, President, Penn State University: Thank you. Good to see you. And let me start with a compliment. It seems like we had a year of breaking records. And if you read the news wires yesterday, you saw that we broke a big one in terms of our research expenditures, which went to almost $927 million dollars. That is a remarkable 7 percent increase; increase in almost every category; significant increase in federal support; all those things that you want for a successful research enterprise in a university. An incredible number of proposals that were submitted by the faculty. And clearly, we hope, in terms of the administration, that we enable you.

But the success here is your ability to compete against your peers for dollars. And I just want to make sure I say thank you for all of that tremendous effort. It’s something I love to brag about, along with many other things.

Well, this is an interesting statement up here. You may or may not know, we’ve had some consultants that have been busily benchmarking us against lots of other universities with the idea of where we might gain additional revenues, where it is we might make some savings. Just how do we compare with our peers? And we know we have worked to be an efficient university over a considerable period of time. Lots of targeted effort, some less targeted efforts, but we’ve been doing it for years, always tuning Penn State to try to save a dollar.

Well, what was an interesting statement from the consultants was they said, with Penn State’s academic rankings, history as an online pioneer, the strength of its brand, the fact that we are a financially stable University, the fact that we have technological capabilities and are growing in what we’re doing, and our efforts to tackle costs over the last decade, means that we’re in a place that’s different than a lot of universities. And they went so far to say that Penn State was in a position unlike others to really take on some of the innovative challenges for the future.

Now, this is interesting. One, because we’ve been working at it for a while, this very same topic. And two, our Board is keenly interested in seeing us have a vision and a plan that takes us into the next decades as a leader. And as you can imagine, everybody in the external world is asking, “What will universities be like?”

So it turns out, and I enjoyed putting this on the screen– we’ve been working at this for a little while– two years to think about what this future might be like. October 2016, I set up a task force for the future of online learning and the role of the World Campus. And the reasoning there was relatively simple. We had a growth rate of between 8 percent and 11 percent, 12 percent a year. Was it going to keep going like that? What were the implications, if you go five or 10 years out, to having that type of growth rate in terms of the weight of the whole University? I literally had someone approach me to take on the online education of a country, and that we would be the provider. And it raises the questions of whether or not you’re interested in volume or whether or not you’re interested in quality that drives a growth that makes the University more successful in terms of access and in terms of affordability.

Well, the task force gathered input from more than 600 academic leaders, faculty, students, and staff. And they expanded this role to really what was the future of a digital education. And, in the spring and coming into the summer, they finalized a report on five guiding principles that were associated with how they saw One Penn State in 2025. That’s very important here. We live this message of One Penn State.

I don’t know whether you remember when the middle states came in to do their accreditation. Some of the people that were on the team said, “You’re not One Penn State.” Every campus should be separately accredited. And at the end of their visit, they said, in fact, you are One Penn State. And we’re quite impressed. And we had a lot of glowing statements that were made about what we were doing.

Well, the team, in getting all that input, had a number of things in the vision– to be more integrated and flexible and responsive as an institution, have the access to curriculum processes across the campus be seamless, a University that functions 24/7, 365, serving the needs of people where they are, a higher level and strengthening of already existing commitments in this process, and to be more diverse and inclusive.

And they came up with the five governing principles that I alluded. And perhaps you saw the presentation that I gave to the Board on Friday on this very topic. And if that’s true, I’m repeating. And I’m only going to say a sentence or two about each one of these.

Seamless Student Experience– the way I like to say it and the way I heard it is– can we take all of these things that are transactional and require a lot of effort from bursar and registration and all of those different elements and have them integrated and seamless and less time consuming so that the transactional part about being a student is minimized, so that you can maximize the opportunity for education? That’s the first one of these.

What I like about each one of them is you are already working on all of these different elements. And so there’s progress in having some of these teams working together to say, “Okay, how can we minimize that transactional component of being a student at Penn State?”

Achieve Curricular Coherence. I have to tell you, one of the things that I’m incredibly proud of is the fact that I can host, at my house, math faculty from all across Commonwealth that are all sitting there, working together, in order to ensure that there is coherence in the curricula. This takes us up to another level in terms of making sure that everything we’re doing from degrees and course offering have all those necessary components that we can build upon them across every single entry point into this University, somehow without subtracting from the individualistic gifts that a faculty member provides to a student.

The third one, Design Relevant and Responsive Programs– and again, in each one of these categories, work is already being done in this by different departments and by different faculty. But we’re coming into this world of stacked credentials, where we’re coming into this world where you learn as you go, and the rate at which you complete a class might– so all these different avenues go under this notion of relevant and responsive programs.

Engage Learners Throughout Their Lifetime. In some ways, this is my favorite, I have to say. And I will tell you, I cannot go to any university in the country without people talking about lifelong learning and about the notion that if you have access to high quality online education while you’re a residential student, you are much more likely to take an online course in the future and much more likely to be a completer and to be successful.

We’re always thinking in terms of this notion of engaging learners throughout their lifetime and lifetime learning. I said it on Friday a little differently, and that is we would like Penn State to be your University for life. Part of the power in this is if you remove a lot of those transactional elements, and you have a portal. You can imagine a Penn State in which I don’t have to reapply. I don’t have to give up my email. I don’t have to give up my student number. I’ve heard some people say, does that mean I can keep my student ID? The picture might become a little dated.

[LAUGHTER]

But the idea here is that we’re your University for life. Whatever you need as you’re going through your life and changing jobs, either for fun or for work or for whatever else, Penn State’s there. We already accepted you as an undergraduate. Why shouldn’t we have you take that next undergraduate class?

And you might start to imagine discount models, package deals for alumni, but a way in which this University starts to serve our population. Because once a Penn Stater, always a Penn Stater. This means when you graduate, that’s not an end point. Right now, it’s an endpoint. People come up to me all the time and say, your most profound impact on the economy is called commencement. Okay? So why should that be an endpoint in this world when we know it really isn’t?

And the last part of what’s on this list is, again, focusing on the Highest Level of Efficiency with University Resources. But in fact, each one of these elements promotes efficient and effective use of University resources if it works. This is a vision.

One of the things that I emphasized to the Board of Trustees is our success in this depends on the continued effort that you put into advancing the curricular success and minimizing the transactional part and maximizing the educational part and maximizing the opportunities that are presented by a digital revolution that still has a long way to go.

And the other thing that I’ve said is that this has to have resources to match with it, if it’s going to be successful. And multiple times, I have heard now, from the Board, that cost savings that we accomplish, they believe should be reinvested into topics like this. And that’s a good story after many, many years of cutting and that tuition increases too high.

That’s not to say we won’t still be fighting over those tuition increases. I’m certain that we will, because we don’t want them to be too high. But I think this is a partnership. And I think it goes directly to this shared governance partnership that you were mentioning in terms of its potential.

Well, I said this in public and to the Board and a considerable amount of discussion. And I’m quite thrilled by the report that has come out. I know Renata may be better at answering some of the questions related to this than I am. But I just want you to know that I’m very excited about the progress on these topics.

I know there’s a lot of hard work that is there yet to do, but I’m going to do my best that I can to aid people that are looking at this and making sure that they’re successful. And with that, I will conclude. And I will happily take questions. And as you know, I’m happy to take a question on any topic.

Chair Bérubé: Of course. All the way in the back– Mike.

Mike Krajsa, Lehigh Valley: Thank you, President Barron. Number four is also my favorite one, but for a different reason. I have the privilege of running Lehigh Valley LaunchBox. And, in that time, we funded a 14 and 15-year-old who spent a month at MIT’S Entrepreneurship Camp. We also funded the youngest one, a nine-year-old, Kedar, whom you met in Harrisburg and who is going to be speaking at the 10th anniversary of Global Entrepreneurship Week, who won Microsoft’s Paradigm Challenge in California last year.

So I like that you want a continuous [INAUDIBLE] graduation. But what are we doing as [INAUDIBLE] using, Invent Penn State? And number four, to capture all these smart nine, 14, and 15-year-olds around the world through World Campus by getting them into our courses at some discount or something and begin to tap into that knowledge at an early age. Two of these kids are home schooled.

President Barron: My belief is this opens a pretty wide door for Penn State as being your University for life with lots of different entry points that may occur. And in the entrepreneurial space, why not? And of course, the LaunchBoxes are in that category anyway, because they’re open to community and alumni and faculty and staff and student.

I just did 30 minutes on a TV show on the venture capital now starting to come into this program. And we’re seeing a growing investment and excitement about what’s going on. And people are extremely excited about the fact that it’s not restrictive. It is a lifelong learning opportunity there, through the LaunchBox. And reaching people that are younger, I’m game to see this as part of this. This is just the vision. A lot of implementation work in there, to be able to pull that off.

Chair Bérubé: Right here.

Spencer Katz, College of Medicine: I’m a Student Senator. I’d like to ask about an article that came out in the New England Journal of Medicine last week, just brought to my attention today. And it’s called “Ending Sexual Harassment in Academic Medicine.”

It presented survey data from a report that came out in July about, in particular, sexual harassment among female medical students at Penn State University and University of Texas. And the article makes it clear that this is a nationwide issue among medical schools. But considering that we are one of the two institutions that are mentioned by name, I was wondering if there’s any sort of plan at the leadership level to respond to this and address this issue.

President Barron: Jean, do you want to comment on that? Do you want to comment on that?

Chair Bérubé: While the mic is getting to Jean, I can say that this was already brought to my attention. And I’ve sent it over to Alicia Decker and Borja Gutierrez of the Education Equity and Campus Environment Committee. We are on it.

Regina Vasilatos-Younken (Jean), Dean, Graduate School: Yeah, so a few things– this is a very important report. I will tell you that the pre-print that was made public, because that is a pre-print. [INAUDIBLE]

President Barron: I think you just have to speak loud, more loudly.

Jean: OK. How’s that?

President Barron: Better.

Regina Vasilatos-Younken: The institutions that contributed data were not given the pre-print to review before that came out to the public. The data that were reported for Penn State is, number one, a little conflated. So for example, it was listed as medical students in the figure. And, in fact, it includes graduate students at the College of Medicine and medical students. They misunderstood how the data were shared with them. That doesn’t, certainly, minimize the significance of it. But, I do say that because there is a significant national conversation around medical education and even female physicians and female medical students. In the data that was sent in or shared, was part of a climate survey that was conducted here at Penn State. It is in the public domain by location. And I can only speak to graduate education here. So keeping in mind that what was reported in that report– and it’s been corrected, so the final report that comes out should label it correctly. But if you look at graduate students at other locations that are graduate students alone, the results vary significantly from that merged data at the College of Medicine all the way from the Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies. For those of you that are not as familiar with that special mission campus, it’s all graduate education, no undergrad, or maybe a few IUG students that go there for classes. But it’s all professional master’s students. And the category that was mostly cited in that academies report especially were verbal diminishing of women’s legitimacy in medical education. At Great Valley with graduate programs, the report was zero percent for that.

So there is great heterogeneity when you start looking within Penn State by location. At University Park, the numbers for graduate students were merged with law students at Penn State Law. Again, it is not clean data. I will only say we’re a big institution. There was definitely a concern about some of the verbal statements that are made. But I will just tell you that the data is not pure in terms of whether we’re looking at some campuses, medical and grad or medical or law and grad or pure graduate students. But there is great diversity across the responses.

Ira Ropson, College of Medicine: Ira Robson at Penn State Hershey Med Center. I don’t think that’s really the answer to the question, because the fact is–

[APPLAUSE]

I don’t care which students they are. That number is ridiculously high. And there has to be a plan to deal with it.

Chair Bérubé: Any further questions? By the way, I have not given EECE a charge. I just sent this along to Alicia and to Borja so that they were aware of it. And we’ll work on what a Senate response should be. I don’t know what that would be yet.

President Barron: Do you want to comment on that?

Chair Bérubé: Provost Jones.

Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost: –one thing to Jean’s comments. The reason why Penn State and Texas were identified in that study was that we are two institutions who had done a survey and I think this goes, in part, to your question. We were two institutions who had done surveys to try to better understand the scope of this issue. And we were two institutions that shared out, made our data available for the report.

So I can’t run through a list of specifics of what we are doing. But believe me, we did the study. And we’re on it because we think it’s important. But we were singled out not as bad actors, but because we are ahead of everybody else in asking the difficult questions, determining what the responses are, and then taking action.

Chair Bérubé: Thank you.

Josh Kirby, College of Education: Hi. Different topic– my name is Josh Kirby, from the College of Education. I work with the Learning, Design, and Technology Program. We are particularly excited about principles two and three. Because we are a technology program, we are trying to educate teachers– those in higher-Ed, those working in instructional design– to be ahead of the curve so that they can integrate learning technologies at a faster pace.

And this is a three way charge that includes us, as faculty, but also for the Provost and for you, sir. And that is that our curriculum process needs a way to be responsive to changing technology. So whether we are allowed to have greater breadth for certain types of courses so that we can update them without having to go through an 18-month long review or if we can find ways that a little bit more self-governance in that curriculum process will allow us to be responsive to those changing trends.

And we know that we’re feeling the pressure economically and that smaller institutions with a lower tuition price are able to respond to technology infusion faster than we can. And that pressure is starting to come out in our enrollment numbers. So it’s a real process for all of us. And I think that we can work together on that.

President Barron: Yeah. I completely agree. And I think part of our issue is we’ve got a lot going on. And we have to find a way to invest more in making it successful. We have to.

And this is part of this strategic planning exercise. And it is part of the reason why I asked last year for innovation dollars to be an explicit part of the budget that the Trustees approve and that we want that number to grow. We’re just not going to be able to pull this off by always looking to save and not investing in some of these areas. It’s a challenge, but that’s what we have to do. Thank you for saying that.

Chair Bérubé: Thank you, President Barron.

President Barron: Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Bérubé: It is now my pleasure to recognize Provost Jones for his comments. Provost Jones.


COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST

Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost: Thank you very much. I have a lot of material here. I’m going to just touch on a lot of topics to give you the best update I can. But there’s obviously much more I could say about many of these.

First, let me give an update on our searches. We have several underway right now– first, Dean for the College of the Liberal Arts. That search committee is chaired by Marie Hardin, Dean of the Bellisario College of Communications.

We are anticipating that, by October 1, the committee will have reviewed all of the applicants and will have named those with whom they will conduct a preliminary interview. So that process is going along very well. I spoke to Marie this morning and she is happy with the progress they have made.

Dean of Dickinson Law in Carlisle, that search is chaired by Susan Welch. And by mid-October, the committee will have reviewed all their applicants and have named those with whom they will conduct preliminary interviews also. So that, too, is moving along well.

The Dean for the College of Arts and Architecture; that search committee is chaired by Hari Osofsky, the Dean of Penn State Law. We have identified a search firm to partner with us in that process and are just ironing out the contractual details. But we will be getting that one up and moving very quickly.

And then I will mention– I don’t usually mention specifically unless asked– we are also doing a search for Vice President for Human Resources. That’s under David Gray’s leadership. We’ve retained a company named Koya Leadership Partners. And they have that process well underway. We’re hoping to get interviews scheduled during the fall and the late fall and, hopefully, an appointment for that critical role early in the new year.

And last but not least, and I saved this one for last for a reason, we will be beginning, very soon, a search for Vice Provost for Global Programs. We’ll be naming the search committee soon. And the reason we’re doing that, as many of you are aware, is that Michael Adewumi has announced that he will be leaving us and joining the Institute for International Education in Chicago starting in January. And I wanted to take this opportunity in front of the Senate to recognize Michael, who is sitting here, and thank him for his many years of service to Penn State.

[APPLAUSE]

Thank you, Michael.

Just a few comments on the implementation of AC21. I think I’m just going to give a very high level view, nothing broken down by campus or rank, although, of course, we have data from which this bird’s eye view is determined. We’re having great success with this. I think we should all feel very pleased about the progress we’ve made. There’s a lot to be done yet. But this is where we are so far.

One hundred eighty-four non-tenure track faculty members have been promoted over the course of the past year. Of the 184, 40, or 22 percent, were promoted to assistant X professor, where X is teaching, research, clinical. Ninety-four, or 51 percent, were promoted to associate X professor. And 50, or 27 percent, were promoted to X professor.

Of the 184 total, 150, or 81 percent, hold a multi-year contract. And 34, 19 percent, hold a one year contract. Of the 150 who hold a multi-year contract, 35, or 23 percent, hold two-year contracts. And 115, or 77 percent, hold contracts of three years or more.

Please note that some of these contracts were actually in place prior to the promotion taking place. Not everybody received a new contract on promotion. But even allowing for that, these are really great numbers, I think. We are not done. There is more work to be done on this as we go through this year.

And we will be able to present more detailed data to you at some point in the future, respecting, of course, the fact that the more disaggregated we become, the less confidential it becomes. We have to be a little bit careful about that. But, all in all, to Michael’s comments before, just a great example of shared governance and action, I think, where we’re really partnering to make this a great success and a leadership opportunity for the University.

I want to just slip into opine mode for a moment and opine about rankings. Penn State, in US News & World Report, as I think most of you are aware, usually hovers around 50 in US News & World Report. There was a moment, in 2014, or the 2014 rankings, which came out just a few months after my arrival, where the ranking went up to 37. And I would note that this year, as most of you are aware, right after Michael assumed the chair of the Senate, it went from 52 to 59.

[LAUGHTER]

Sorry.

Chair Bérubé: We have an incomplete data set on that.

Provost Jones: I can’t miss an opportunity for it. Anyway, I actually bring that up on purpose, because, of course, it had nothing to do with Michael. And it had nothing to do with me. These rankings are machines of their own. They are somewhat opaque, although among them US News & World Report is one of the algorithms that is easiest to interpret. But we did fall this year from 52 to 59, which I know caused some consternation.

And I just want to speak to that for a moment and the Wall Street Journal ranking, which came out about the same time. We know that this year, US News & World Report introduced a new component into their rankings, which they called a social mobility factor. And that was really to address the effectiveness of institutions in promoting the process of social mobility upward. That was about five- percent of the ranking. That five- percent was pulled first from a couple of areas where Penn State did reasonably well. So that was one impact.

But you would think, given our institution, our focus, and our unique structure, which really promotes social mobility, that the addition of such a factor would benefit the University and our ranking would improve. This is not the case with the ranking. And the challenge is and the problem is that we are one University geographically distributed.

The way we promote social mobility very effectively is through our unique structure. There are no other institutions in the US News & World Report rankings that are structured the way that we are. And so when a ranking like this is introduced, it is somewhat, I would say, incapable of capturing the way students flow through our University.

Many start at one campus then transition, after a couple of years, to University Park or to another campus. This is a very important part of the way we do business. And US News & World Report is really challenged to capture that aspect. And so, as a result, we didn’t do well in that new consideration as we might have. So that, as you can imagine, that is quite frustrating.

Second, Wall Street Journal rankings came out around the same time. We were ranked around 100. There, we actually did a little better than we’ve done in past years. That process is almost completely opaque. We don’t provide any data to Wall Street Journal. They develop their own ranking using data sources that they can access publicly. Again, it is difficult for us to know exactly what they are using or what data sets they draw from. And also, they have an algorithm to which we are not privy, except in very coarse terms. We don’t quite know how they pull their ranking together. That one is a little frustrating to us.

And there are other rankings like that- that are constructed without any input from us. We don’t live and die by rankings. We do, as an institution, what we think is right. And the rankings follow.

That said, we’re not completely naive that rankings are not important, because they are. And so one of the changes I’ll share with you that we are implementing and have been over the course of the past year is all rankings material that is submitted– and we don’t have any control over, of course, what is not submitted– runs through Lance Kennedy-Phillip’s office, the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of Planning and Assessment. And Lance’s team does a review of everything that goes out just to make sure that it’s consistent.

And if you’ve been reading the newspapers about institutions like Temple, correct, which is important as well. I just wanted to mention the rankings. We’re actually feeling pretty good about the vector that the University is on, even though this recent US News & World Report ranking is, perhaps, a little frustrating.

Eric got to talk about One Penn State 2025 vision, which aligns with the transforming education theme of the strategic plan. I want to just give you a preview of something that we are going to announce next week about which we are very excited. And I wanted to share that with you first. And this comes under the enhancing health umbrella.

And it is the launch of the Penn State Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse. And I have alluded to this in prior meetings. But we are ready to announce a consortium. And I’ll just read a couple of paragraphs that you will read yourselves next week.

“In its role as the Commonwealth’s Land Grant University, Penn State is consolidating its resources to address the opioid crisis and the larger problem of substance abuse in Pennsylvania and beyond via its Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse. It will be led by interim director, Stephanie Lanza, Professor of Biobehavioral Health.

The consortium will draw on the expertise of researchers, educators, and practitioners from Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth to develop and implement effective programs, policies, and practices aimed at preventing and treating addiction and its spillover effects on children, families, and communities.

We’ll be hiring a number of new faculty to support this consortium. And a national search for the consortium director is going to be launched, permanent director, is launched immediately. There is an advisory board comprised of representatives from 12 colleges, campuses, and offices across Penn State. And they will guide the consortium’s activities. They will provide seed grants and also are planning to sponsor a national conference envisioning a future free from addiction.

Research programs and practice to prevent substance abuse to be held in April of 2019. Its home will be in the Social Science Research Institute, one of our seven cross-university research institutes. That is overseen by Neil Sharkey’s Office of the Vice President for Research.”

This is a really exciting development for the University, I think. We are thrilled to have Stephanie at the helm as we kick it off. A lot of people across the University played a big effort in pulling this together, chief among them Nan Crouter, as former dean of College of Health and Human Development, and Kathy Drager, the current interim dean, Craig Hillemeier, other deans involved, campus chancellors, Neil’s office, obviously. So I thank all of them for their efforts. And this is really something that you should all be excited about and proud of.

Next, let me turn to admissions. And I’m going to be very brief. There’s not much to say about admissions. We’re at a critical time point, where we’re close to census at the beginning of October or so. The numbers are all settling down. It’s a little premature to talk pre-census numbers at this point, while we’re trying to finalize those. And of course, we are very early in this year’s admissions cycle. The numbers are small and hard to extrapolate from.

So really not much to say other than this year you may have noticed that, for the first time, Penn State is using the Common App as well as the Coalition App and, of course, the direct application process to Penn State. We’re anticipating that our use of the Common App will drive additional applications to the institution.

A couple of other comments about the Strategic Plan that I should share. The Academic Leadership Council met on August 13 and discussed, in general terms, where we are in strategic plan implementation and what the future may look like. And we’ll be getting some more information out about this soon.

Two things, mainly, are important. One, there is a misalignment between unit level plan implementation periods and the institution plan. They are off by one year, with the unit plans finishing earlier. We’re going to align those time periods. All the unit plans will basically be extended a year so that they are align with the institutional plan, number one.

Number two, we’ve started the process of thinking about what will the next strategic planning process look like. And we could do, A- nothing and just keep going with the same plan; B- start all over with a blank sheet of paper and identify new areas of priority for the University; or C- something in between, which capitalizes on the work that has been done in the existing plan, but looks to do a robust assessment and some course corrections in order to do better.

And that’s where we’ve sort of ended up. We will be recommending, broadly, including to the Board of Trustees, that that is the approach that we take. The things that we have identified and achieved in the current Strategic Plan are worth continuing, because many of them have very long runways in order to be transformative. As you heard from the President, 2025 is a ways out well beyond the strategic plan period. So stay tuned for more on that.

Just a quick update, too– in the latest round of the request for proposal process, I’m happy to share we got 58 proposals in this round. What is interesting this time is we got a lot in Transforming Ed, as we usually do– about 20. But in Arts and humanities- we had nine, Enhancing Health- eight, Driving Digital Innovations- seven, Stewarding Resources- four, Outreach and Communication- four, Infrastructure and Support- four, and Organizational Processes- two. That’s a much better distribution across those different areas than we saw in the first two. Clearly, the word is getting out. People are rolling up their sleeves and submitting great proposals. So that review processes is underway.

Just a couple of quick updates on IT related matters– three. First, we, and I think I’ve shared some of this with you before, we are consolidating firewalls across the University. We had order of 170 firewalls spread across the institution. That actually creates, ironically, security vulnerabilities for the institution, rather than additional security. And so we’re consolidating all of those firewall for the entire University behind two firewalls. We’re going to get rid of basically 168 firewalls. I suspect some of them we’ll have to go after in person. But basically rationalizing that whole process, putting two big, institutional firewalls in place that will be aggressively and actively managed and provide better protection. It’s a great success story. And that’s underway, led by Don Welch, the CISO.

We’re also doing an institution-wide roll-out of Office 365. I talked about that before. We are well along in that process, probably two-thirds or 60 percent at least of the way through that, by and large going smoothly. A few bumps, a few challenges, but I can tell you, the opportunity that this presents to offload the routine processing of email by the University and basically leaving it to Microsoft to handle it there, in the Cloud and with their servers, is a big step for us and very important.

In addition, third thing, you will be hearing, over the course of the next year, a lot of conversation about what Michael Kubit, our Vice President for IT and CIO, is calling Reimagining IT. And the goals for this fairly major effort are to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness of IT delivery, improve security further– very important– improve support for both specialized and commodity IT across the University, retain and vastly improve the career tracks for IT employees, and create capacity to support innovation- most important, probably, of that list. You’ll be hearing a whole lot more about this.

I know my remarks are long. I won’t say anything else at this point. But stay tuned and, please, engage as the opportunities present themselves to influence our thinking and the development and rollout of this initiative.

Just a couple of quick comments on LionPATH. We have had some pretty good success with LionPATH enhancements over the summer. We’ve completed development efforts in support of early action for Undergraduate Admissions. Continuing efforts in support of early awarding of financial aid are underway. And new aid summary page design was approved and has moved to development. So that’s all going well.

There’s a new transfer credit tool. I think most of you in the room are aware that transfer of credit was an area of some angst as we did the transition to LionPATH. That’s being released on both public and internal LionPATH sites. It allows a user to search two ways to see how courses taken at other institutions will transfer to Penn State and to search by Penn State courses and view equivalents at other institution. And the uptake on that tool has been pretty much overwhelming. We’ve had tens of thousands of uses of that within a month of it going live, a bunch of improvements for faculty advisors and students in the user interface that I think have been very positive.

And I have to share this with you to give you plenty of warning. We are planning for a LionPATH upgrade in 2019, July, in fact. So mark your calendars.

This is something we really need to do, because the version that we currently have, supplied by Oracle, is basically timing out. And we need to keep up with technology. We know what happens when we don’t. I know I’ve stood before you and said this before. I think it will be a relatively benign upgrade.

[LAUGHTER]

But it really will just address minor issues of functionality, but keep us current with the Oracle product. SIMBA, the business information system, started in June. And I’m very pleased to report that, as of September, it is on time and on budget. It’s a two and a bit year process. The team is all fully in place now and getting all of their configurations sorted out and so on. There will be a Faculty Advisory Committee including Senate representation. We’re putting that together now. So that is going to be an important group to advise the forward progress on this effort.

And then finally, finally, truly finally, WorkLion– it’s been a challenging rollout of WorkLion, probably more challenging than we thought it seemed like it was being, back in the January, February time frame. We had a lot of activity over the summer, a big focus on the 4500 plus graduate student appointments that we needed to process.

And it turned out that WorkLion just didn’t work as well as we had envisioned for on-boarding large numbers of students at a single time. It’s one thing to on-board staff or faculty continuously over the course of the year. But that big influx of graduate students was really, really a struggle.

There have been some other roll-outs of adjusted processes and so on over the course of the summer. And we did get through the graduate student appointment process. Just some challenges that are being faced– last minute submissions from units continue to be a challenge and exacerbate the backlog that the Shared Services Center has. We’re working on that. And we need your cooperation and units to help make that happen.

There’s a couple of integrations with existing processes that have not worked as well as anticipated. Those need to be addressed, specifically I-9 processing and the central person registry. And there are some limitations within Neocase, which is the WorkLion portal that have produced a lot of challenges. And so we’re currently looking at that to see if we can make changes to Neocase or if we have to think differently. And it may be that some of what we now do in Neocase will actually be ported to the WorkDay functionality, rather than using that separate application.

General salary increases– even in a year where we had to do them retroactively to July 1 seemed to, by and large, go smoothly. That is something I usually hear about fairly quickly if things were messed up. But it seems that just a great effort to make that work correctly.

And the challenge ahead is Open Enrollment. That is just around the corner for benefits. And so the team is focused on, again, making that process as smooth as possible. That was a very lengthy update. I apologize. But I will stop and be happy to take questions if there are any.

Chair Bérubé: There’s a great deal going on. Thank you. Are there questions for Provost Jones?

Provost Jones: Aside from former deans.

Daniel Larson, Science: Is this on? Nick, if you’re talking about rankings, I think, one, you ought to include– well, there are a few that you could include of world university rankings. The Times’ higher education world university rankings puts Penn State at 77 in 2018. And what I go around saying, and I’m very confident in this, is that Penn State is one of the 100 best universities in the world.

Provost Jones: Right. Yes, thank you, Dan. I should have mentioned that one for context as well. I focused on the two that just came out and were a little quirky. But you’re right. Obviously, that’s a ranking that we like.

But it shows you how crazy and variable the methodologies are. Because in one like that, which we think does a reasonable job of capturing what the institution is about and weights things that we think are important, we do well. But in some of these other ones over which we have a little bit less control, not as well as we would like.

Chair Bérubé: Michael.

Michael Krajsa, Lehigh Valley: I’ve been asked by our faculty and staff and, also, in the caucus regarding WorkLion. Three things– one, we’ve traditionally got summer contracts. We didn’t get them. We didn’t know they were not coming, because I guess we were just put in there.

Number two, when I go in and look at my pay, it’s still all lumped together. I can’t tell what is my ongoing salary, what I get from World Campus. It’s not delineated. When I talk to HR, they could go into some backdoor and look at that. But it wasn’t very visible.

And the third and probably the most important thing, this August we had about 20 staff and adjunct faculty that we could not get into the system and on-board. And classes started. They didn’t have an email. They didn’t have Canvas. We had to MacGuyver things on our campus. Students missed some additional classes. And I just want to know, is that being looked at and addressed so when we do on-boarding of new faculty and staff come January that we’re not going to run into that?

Provost Jones: Yeah. Let me start at the back. Yes, absolutely. We know we had a few challenges there and some issues that some of them have been addressed already and resolved. Others are works in progress. I’m not sure about the salary differentiation issue. But I can certainly make some inquiries about that for you.

And the summer contracts, this is a notification issue, is it, that the contract is in place but you just were not informed?

Michael Krajsa: [INAUDIBLE]

Provost Jones: Yeah.

Michael Krajsa: In the past, we got written ones.

Provost Jones: Yeah. That’s a glitch thing that we can certainly address to make sure that’s smoother in the future.

Chair Bérubé: Right here.

Ray Najjar, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Department: I’m Ray Najjar, from the Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Department. And this is the first semester I’ve taken a deep dive into [INAUDIBLE] all [INAUDIBLE] ability to handle equations. And for a university where STEM education [INAUDIBLE] I’ve been [INAUDIBLE] go in the details [INAUDIBLE] to get help both here, from Canvas support, off-site. And there’s a big problem, particularly with backwards compatibility with quizzes and things that are made in Canvas that have equations.

Provost Jones: Is that where the issue is, that you’re having trouble importing prior materials and having the equations convert correctly? Or is it just a more fundamental problem with the way you are perceiving that it treats equations in general?

Ray Najjar: It’s a few issues. One is that I had a course from last semester from another instructor. I imported all of the quizzes. I want to make modest changes to the quizzes. And I basically can’t. In many cases, if I touch any aspect of the quiz, the whole thing gets corrupted.

And I have other problems, too. For example, there’s a feature called Quiz Statistics, where you can look at how the whole class is doing on a particular quiz question. And you can’t actually see the equations in that. I can’t teach science without equations. And I suspect that others may have this problem, too.

Provost Jones: Right. That would be a challenge in a field like yours. Let me see if I can get somebody from the team to reach out to you and help you with some of those challenges that–

Ray Najjar: Well, I’ve reached out. We’re at this point where it– I’ve reached out. We’ll wait for the next version of quizzes to come along, quiz next or something like that. I’ve had a suggestion. Well, why don’t you take a picture of the equation and insert that? I mean, this is the kind of help I’m getting from Canvas. These are nice people. But I think that they don’t have the resources to handle things, to me. And that’s just fundamental aspects of assessment [INAUDIBLE] math and science, which is the ability to use equations in a crisp and efficient way.

Provost Jones: Yeah. Let me look into that. Frankly, I’m surprised. This is the first I’m hearing of this. And Canvas is being used in STEM classes all over the University and has for– that’s why I think we probably need to understand exactly what the challenges are you’re facing. And hopefully, we can come up with a solution for you. But I’m surprised that you’re having the experience that you are. But we’ll look into it.

Ray Najjar: It could be me.

Provost Jones: Could be.

Chair Bérubé: Keith, Matt.

Ray Najjar: It has been before.

Provost Jones: Well, actually it is you. We know it is you. It’s just what’s causing it.

Chair Bérubé: Keith.

Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture: Shapiro, Arts and Architecture. I’d like to add we’re having trouble adding images in any kind of way to Canvas. I’m sorry. [INAUDIBLE] this separate piece of software to work outside of Canvas in order to be able to work with images and add comments to them and those sorts of things.

I’ve done the same exact thing. And I’ve had about the same response on it. So I figured I’d let you know, because you may want to look at Canvas as being– because we were talking about maybe eliminating some of those home grown pieces of software that we’re spending a lot of money to develop or built in-house and with the hope of being able to use this Canvas product in order to do those things globally. And a lot of us are finding it is not working.

Provost Jones: This makes no sense to me, that a contemporary system like this could not handle equations and images. That’s a problem. We’ll get to the bottom of this.

Chair Bérubé: It’s only [INAUDIBLE]. Otherwise, we’re good. Matt.

[LAUGHTER]

Matt Jordan, Bellisario College of Communication: Hi. Matt Jordan, Bellisario College of Communication. So I’m doing my duty as a faculty rep in bringing a question to you from a colleague of mine who reads the fine print. And he wanted me to ask a series of questions about the new 0.052 surcharge to all TIAA-CREF accounts that was announced in May and is scheduled to go into effect at the end of the month.

And this is an additional fee that will cost us thousands of dollars over time. This new fee line supplements the investment expense fee already charged by TIAA. In some cases, such as if one chooses low expense index funds, it more than doubles the fees.

The first question is– and there’s a series of these– what is the justification of a second line bill item that is here to forward not been needed? Who generated the surcharge fee? And where does the extra revenue from it flow, into PSU or TIAA-CREF’s margins? Second, given that the so-called record keeping fees and investment management fees decline substantially when an employee retires, why does this surcharge remain the same as long as the account exists, even after retirement and/or the death of an employee?

Third, these combined TIAA fees, which eliminated the advantage incurred through an R3 Plan when combined, are trending higher at a moment when fees of all types imposed by retirement account management companies like Fidelity, which just announced it is waiving all fees on index funds, is actually decreasing. So the question is, will PSU use institutional leverage to push back against TIAA-CREF and/or allow other competitors who offer a lower fee structure per industry trends to compete for our retirement accounts?

Provost Jones: I can answer all of the first questions together and say, I don’t know.

[LAUGHTER]

And then that last question, I can respond. We will look into this and ensure that an explanation is either available or provided. I’m sure it’s available and needs to be provided and explained. And you’re right that we are not TIAA-CREF. We are an institution that works with TIAA-CREF. And they provide support for our retirement plans.

Do we do we have some influence as a partner with them? Yes. Do we have influence over an issue like this? That I’m not sure. But I can certainly inquire with our retirement folks.

Chair Bérubé: And we’ve also brought this to the attention of Faculty Benefits Chair, Ira Saltz, who will be keeping us apprised as well.

Provost Jones: And could you, what you just read, could you email that to me? Because I kind of forgot some of what you said.

Chair Bérubé: It was kind of detailed.

Provost Jones: Thank you.

Chair Bérubé: One more question, right here. Michele.

Michele Duffey, College of Health and Human Development: Hi, Duffey, HHD. I just want to express a couple of concerns on behalf of our college and WorkDay. There’s a lot of concern in our college on the well-being of the staff who are dealing with the copious workday issues. [INAUDIBLE] issues that have to do with payroll.

[INAUDIBLE] what is [INAUDIBLE] grad, undergrad or student workers incorrect pay that might be too much or too little, an instance of somebody being paid three times in one month or [INAUDIBLE] month and then needing to pay that back, but being taxed on that triple. Two people not [INAUDIBLE] pay right. When, again, being nine months into this, might we expect some sort of correction and expect to not have to have the conversation about whether we’ve been paid and been paid correctly?

Provost Jones: Yeah. I’ll certainly pass this along. My sense is that the payroll errors, they’re not nonexistent. But they’re relatively few in number. But if it affects you, it is serious and annoying and frustrating. I take these concerns very seriously.

We need to understand what is causing those types of problems. We can dig into this and try to figure it out. And I can ask folks to look at HHD in particular about payroll. But we are well aware of the challenges that this is producing for a lot of our staff. And we are sensitive that– all I can probably do is assure you that we are working very hard, in particularly with the shared services operation, to try to get them to get ahead of this backlog and make some changes.

I had some specific conversations just last week, actually, about the possibility of things like smartphones. Because right now, evidently, if you pull up a form to enter something, if you enter somebody’s name or ID, you would think that a lot of the fields in that form would pre-populate because it’s one person. You shouldn’t have to type it all in every time.

But there are annoying things like that are not being, have not been properly implemented or not turned on. And we’re paying attention to try to get as many of those kinds of silly issues out of the way. But we are very much aware of the stress that it’s causing for our staff. And we’re sensitive to that. But thank you for emphasizing it.

Chair Bérubé: Thank you, Provost Jones.

Provost Jones: Thank you all very much.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Bérubé: I just want to say the only reason I didn’t say anything about the joint overhaul of AC21 for our fixed term faculty in my opening remarks about shared governance is I didn’t know, until now, how successful the implementation has been so far. That’s very, very encouraging, especially the news about multi-year contracts is especially encouraging. And talking about the work of many hands, this has been going on for about three, four years now. So thank you.


COMMENTS BY THE ACADEMIC TRUSTEE

Chair Bérubé: I am now pleased to welcome our fellow senator and Academic Trustee, David Han, Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in the College of Medicine. Dr. Han has agreed to offer some remarks and takes some questions about how he sees the University’s prospects from the perspective of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Han.

David Han, College of Medicine: Thank you, Michael. David Han from the College of Medicine. I am now in my fourth year as the Academic Trustee and it’s hard to believe that it’s already been four years.

First of all, I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve in this role. I also want to take a moment to thank Michael for inviting me to spend a few minutes on the Senate agenda today. In my first three years on the Board, I’ve worked with three separate Board chairs. And I know that each of them has truly appreciated the opportunity to speak here, before the Faculty Senate.

So I do want to start by saying that my comments here are not meant in any way to be some kind of replacement, but really represent an additional opportunity to increase the communication between the Board and the Faculty Senate. Which, as some of you may recall, was the charge of the Faculty Senate Special Committee on University Governance to examine, identify, and recommend ways to improve and enhance interactions, including the flow of information between the Board and its constituent groups– students, alumni, staff, faculty, and administration.

I had the opportunity to serve on that committee. And I know that I would say and I think that the others on the committee would agree that much of the heavy lifting was really done by past Senate Chair, John Nichols, who chaired that committee both in 2012 and 2013, when the original report was submitted, and then again in 2016, when the special committee was reconvened to review what really had happened in the three years since the original report. And I think that the Senate really does owe a deep debt of gratitude to John for his incredible work with these reports.

Do I have slide control here? So I’d like to just first start with a very brief overview of the composition of the board. There are 36 voting members and two non-voting members. They are President Eric Barron and Governor Tom Wolf.

The 36 voting members include three ex-officio members from Harrisburg, the Secretaries of the Department of Agriculture, Education, and Conservation and Natural Resources. And so, going clockwise around the diagram, the governor appoints six members. There are nine elected by the alumni, six from agricultural societies, and six representing business and industry.

These last two groups, the three at-large that are selected by the Board and the three additional seats for a faculty member, a student member, and the immediate past president of the Alumni Association, these six were all created in 2015. Board members serve three year terms with a 12 year term limit, except for the student, who serves a two year term, and the past president of the Alumni Association, who also serves a two year term, which aligns with their terms of service.

And the Board, like many organizations that I’m sure many of you belong to, is organized into committees. And there are seven main working committees with some smaller subcommittees, such as the Subcommittee on Architect and Engineer Selection. But it’s these seven committees where most of the work of the Board is done. And these committees are Academic Affairs and Student Life, Audit and Risk, Compensation, Finance, Business, and Capital Planning; Governance and Long Range Planning, Legal and Compliance, and Outreach Development and Community Relations.

And so I’d like to circle back to the Special Committee on the University Governance Report, which I’ll simply refer to as the SCUG report. And I think I’ve tried to frame my role on the Board using the SCUG report to provide some guiding principles. So first, what is the role of the Academic Trustee? Well, it’s probably easier to start with what the Academic Trustee is not. I am not a source of tickets for sporting events or concerts.

[LAUGHTER]

I am not an ombudsman for a dispute with your department chair, fellow faculty member, or unhappy student. I cannot arrange for your friend’s charity to be advertised on the Jumbo Tron at the football game. These are all real conversations that I’ve had to have.

What the Academic Trustee is, however, is a voting member of the Board, just like any other voting member of the Board, with the same rights and responsibilities, which includes declaring and managing conflicts of interest. And I say that because perhaps one of the biggest hurdles to overcome has been the perception that an employee of an organization should not serve on the governing board of the organization.

And in some cases, that may very well be true. But I think part of managing that perceived conflict of interest is to be clear that the role of the Academic Trustee is not to serve as the voice of the faculty, but rather to provide a perspective of the faculty all the while remaining steadfast and aligned with the goals and the priorities of the institution.

So with that said, I’d like to circle back to one of the SCUG Report’s recommendations, which has been the authorization of faculty and student participation in the committee process. And so, as you can see, we now have a great team with Faculty Senate members serving on each committee, except for compensation.

Parenthetically, I would just comment that this change had not yet been implemented when SCUG 2 was released in 2016. But I assured John Nichols that it would, and quite frankly, I’m glad it did, because I really didn’t want to let John down.

Finally, a process change was made which now requires a meeting among the leaders of the Faculty Senate, administration, and Board leadership– meaning the chair, the chair elect, and the secretary of the faculty senate, the President, the Provost, and the vice president for administration, and the chair and the vice chair of the Board of Trustees. These meetings now must occur at least once per semester. I’ve been asked to sit in on a few of these meetings, including one that we just had last week, before the Board of Trustees meeting. And I think they’ve been quite useful. What we spent some time talking about last week was shared governance. And perhaps that timing couldn’t have been better given what we just heard about One Penn State 2025. While there certainly will be some challenges, there will certainly also be some opportunities to apply our shared governance model.

So in conclusion, I think that while we’ve accomplished much, that many challenges still remain. I put shared governance in quotes, because I think that one of the challenges is that many of us have different definitions of shared governance. And getting folks into a working alignment is certainly going to have its bumps along the way. That’s all I have. And I would certainly be happy to entertain any questions.

Chair Bérubé: Questions for Trustee Han? Mike.

Michael Krajsa: Krajsa, Lehigh Valley, again. Thank you for this information. I think it’s good. And thank you for the extra time you’ve put in in serving the Faculty Senate’s way of thinking.

With the advent of PSU 2025– and I realize we’re a land grant University, and we have six members from agriculture. And I’m not even remotely implying that we should diminutize that number of Board members in agriculture. But as we move into Invent Penn State and more technology and everything as outlined by the President and the Provost, has there been discussion at the Board level about getting more representation of innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity amongst Board members– not necessarily adding them, but just doing that over the next period of time so we bring to the fold that type of thinking?

David Han: Yeah, sure. That’s a great question. Thank you for that. Governance of the University and structure of the Board has been a topic that’s been discussed in many places– Board meetings, Harrisburg, Faculty Senate, and SCUG. And one of the recommendations, actually, that did come through SCUG was to look at the qualifications of members as they come to the Board. And it’s always generally been accepted that one of the strengths of this University Board of Trustees are the different ways that people come to the Board, whether it’s through agriculture, business and industry, so on and so forth.

To specifically answer your question, one of the things that the Governance of Long Range Planning Committee did- start to work through, and is continuing to work through, and has already delivered a work product on- is a skill set inventory. Looking at an assessment from within the Board in terms of what kinds of areas would be targeted as these new members come on board.

And I think part of that process includes the establishment in 2015 not just of bringing faculty and codifying the student seat on the Board, but also adding to three at-large, which allows the Board to have an opportunity to identify needs in their gap analysis and then try to fill them through the at large process.

Chair Bérubé: Right here, Victor.

Victor Brunsden, Altoona: Brunsden, Altoona. Thank you, David. This has been really useful. And thank you for agreeing to represent the faculty on the Board. I’m a little troubled by [INAUDIBLE] Board of Trustees recently passed legislation which empowers committee chairs to discipline Board members if it is the opinion of the chair that the member has violated the, quote, “Expectations of Membership” [INAUDIBLE] and Long Range Planning Committee [INAUDIBLE] questions about this policy.

And essentially because once a chair has [INAUDIBLE] has violated rules, there’s no provision for appeal. There’s a sanction that [INAUDIBLE] Hello. Is this working better? OK, good.

Chair Bérubé: It catches every word, now.

Victor Brunsden: Yeah. You may live to regret that.

[LAUGHTER]

There was a proposed correction from one of the trustees who proposed adding some language, which was, quote, “a Board member accused of violating the expectations of membership may appeal the chair’s findings, including the specified sanction, to the full Committee on Governance and Long Range Planning.” However, this was something that you opposed.

I’m just a little curious as to how you square that with what you’ve just said in bringing the shared governance and the style of governance that the Faculty Senate is very much for, where we do consciously build in appeals processes. What was your thinking in denying that on the Board of Trustees?

David Han: Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think that there’s a certain level of detail that we could certainly go into. I’m happy to do that. And I’ll try to do that to some degree right here and now.

So that process, as it went forward, involved writing expectations of membership. And part of that revolved around some bad behavior that I think I don’t really need to go into. But you could qualify it for what you want. And I think that the writing of the expectations of membership, which several people in this room had a fair amount of input into, was not accepted by everyone on the Board, but was passed with a fairly strong majority, as I recall, codifying what expectations were. And those were things along the lines of speak openly and freely. The University is a free marketplace of ideas and that it’s important that we treat each other with civility and respect. And it also carried with it some expectations that once a decision is made, to not subvert it and to publicly support it. And that’s part of the decision making process and a vote of the majority of the Board, which is currently how the University then decides to move forward.

The piece that may not be completely apparent is that the processes as it went through was designed to build coherence, alignment, and agreement around those expectations. And then, what were the consequences going to be? So it’s kind of like saying you can do this, but you can’t do that. But if you violate that, well, then nothing really changes.

And I think it’s important to understand that the second step, which was to codify the consequences, if you will, of violation of those expectations of membership, simply codified things that are already existent within the Bylaws and Standing Orders of the Board, which is that the chair of the Board appoints committees and appoints committee leadership at her or his discretion and that this simply was putting that into another context with regards to violation and expectations of membership.

There was a robust discussion around that. It occurred at both the committee level and then at the full Board level, which is, I think, what you’re alluding to in your comments. It’s all a matter of public record. So I’m perfectly happy to discuss any of that.

The challenge behind that, again, is that part of the process, in terms of dealing with consequences of violation of behavior, did add another layer of– I won’t call it appeal, but another level of eyes to look at it, which went beyond the chair and the vice chair of the Board, but then extended to the chair and the vice chair of the Governance Committee. And part of the discussion that did occur at the committee level, but not within the entire Board, was that that was already an extension beyond what already existed within practice of the Board. And that was felt to provide and address some of the concerns that you raised, which is why I was comfortable, after a robust discussion at the committee level; supporting what was brought through after really quite a bit of time, reflection, and effort to develop those recommendations and bring them forward to the Board at the meeting last week.

Chair Bérubé: Thank you. Thank you so much, Dr. Han.

David Han: Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]


FORENSIC BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: Moving right along, we have no Forensic Business.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: Unfinished Business– the Senate Committee on Committee and Rules has three Legislative Reports that were introduced at the April 24 meeting that will be discussed and voted on today. Thankfully, they’re pretty pro forma.


Revisions to Constitution; Article II-Membership, Section 1
Introduced at the April 24, 2018 meeting)

Chair Bérubé: Our first Legislative Report can be found as Appendix C, titled ‘Revisions to Constitution Article II Membership, Section 1’. CC&R Chair, Keith Shapiro and past chair, Kent Vrana will present the reports and stand for questions. Keith and Kent.

Kent Vrana, College of Medicine: So on behalf of this year’s CC&R, I stand before you just to clear up three loose ends from last year. Keith and I talked at length about having visual aids. But for the life of me, I couldn’t find a bag of LEGO pieces to use.

In Appendix C, we have a change to the Constitution, which speaks to the changes in AC21. It cleans up the language and simplifies the reference to what is a faculty member.

Chair Bérubé: That’s it?

Kent Vrana: That’s it.

Chair Bérubé: OK. The important thing is that we don’t have to enumerate all the ranks. We just say, by reference to AC21, it’s really a cosmetic change. This report is brought to the floor by committee and needs no second. Are there any questions? Seeing none, are we ready to vote?

We will use clickers for voting today for the first time. This system provides a precise count of each vote taken. It also allows for confidential [INAUDIBLE] clicker before entering the auditorium. Raise your hand if you need a clicker.

Down here. Carey Eckhardt, down here. Oh, and also there. I guess this is time for the chair to remind late arrivals that they can pick up a clicker on the way in, unless the box was removed. Great.

Senators joining the meeting by Mediasite, you may cast your vote on polleverywhere.com. Are we ready? And we’re on the clock. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. You know. OK. Waiting on Poll Everywhere. Anna, are we good?

Anna Butler, Faculty Senate Staff: Poll Everywhere, I have eight accept.

Chair Bérubé: Paula?

Paula Brown, Faculty Senate Administrative Coordinator: OK. In house, we have 129 accept, two reject, and three not counted.

Chair Bérubé: Fabulous. The motion carries.


Revisions to Bylaws; Article II-Senate Council, Section 3
(Introduced at the April 24, 2018 meeting)

Chair Bérubé: Our second report can be found in Appendix D, ‘Revision to Bylaws, Article II, Senate Council, Section 3’. Keith and Kent.

Kent Vrana: So in Appendix D, we describe changes to the Bylaws that provide a provision by which the Senate Council can call itself into special session by a two-thirds vote. This doesn’t exist now, and provides a mechanism to have a special meeting when the council chair chooses not to.

Chair Bérubé: Yeah, this one is a bit more substantive. If there is a rogue chair or if the course of the year I get drunk on power, the Senate Council can call itself into session and call me to account. This is a serious thing, though.

This report is brought to the floor by a committee and needs no second. Are there any comments or questions? Are we are ready to vote? Senators joining by Mediasite, you may cast your vote on polleverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject it, press B. Anna, how are we doing?

Anna Butler: On Poll Everywhere, I have 11 accept.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 132 accept, 2 reject, 2 not counted.

Chair Bérubé: Almost the exact same result. The motion carries.


Revisions to Bylaws; Article X-Amendments
(Introduced at the April 24, 2018 meeting)

Chair Bérubé: Our third report can be found in Appendix E, ‘Revisions to Bylaws, Article X, Amendments’. Keith and Kent.

Kent Vrana: So Appendix E is a bit more substantive. And the idea is to reduce the burden, the paperwork burden and the burden of this meeting on the Senate, changes to the Bylaws that are non-substantive and editorial in nature. An example might be the simplification of AC21 reference that we just passed, can be sent directly from CC&R to the Senate for approval by a two-thirds vote.

If it’s not approved, it goes back to committee for normal channels. If it is approved, it is then provided as a communication to the Senate in the next agenda. And if no one has a question about it, it is then passed into the bylaws. The individuals in the Senate, anyone within five days after the Senate meeting that wishes to bring it back to committee, can do so. So it’s a simple means of reducing the amount of time we have to put minor changes before you.

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: I think so. It’s a little streamlining.

Kent Vrana: Or if we change a software package and for whatever reason that was in the Bylaws, which can easily be changed.

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

[LAUGHTER]

Kent Vrana: Fine.

Chair Bérubé: That’s part of our Penn State 3030 plan.

[LAUGHTER]

We just wanted to be a little ahead of the curve. Right. Are there any other comments or questions? Are we ready to vote? Senators joining the meeting by Mediasite, you know the drill. You may cast your vote on polleverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject it, B.

Anna Butler: On Poll Everywhere, I have 11 accept.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 127 accept, nine reject, one not counted.

Chair Bérubé: OK. A little more opposition on that one. But the motion carries. OK. Thank you so much.

Kent Vrana: Thank you all.

Chair Bérubé: Item J, Advisory/Consultative Reports. We have one Advisory/Consultative Report from the Committee on Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology. Sorry?

Elizabeth Seymour, Faculty Senate Parliamentarian: [INAUDIBLE]


LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

Chair Bérubé: Yes. Sorry, today Legislative Reports. Thank you. I have a Parliamentarian. We have one Legislative Report from the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and Undergraduate Education. It is titled Aligning Requirements, Changes to Senate Policies 82-20, General Requirements [INAUDIBLE] and this report can be found in Appendix F. Committee chairs Mary Beth Williams and Beth Seymour will present the report and stand for questions. Mary Beth and Beth.


Aligning Requirements: Changes to Senate Policy 82-20 – General Requirements

Elizabeth Seymour, Altoona: Well, I am Beth. But this is not Mary Beth.

[LAUGHTER]

This is Tim Lawlor. He’s the vice chair of ARSSA.

Chair Bérubé: ARSSA’s going off script here. OK.

Beth Seymour: In front of you, you have some revisions to a policy on aligning requirements. This is a fairly simple change that has actually a rather dramatic impact on our students. Currently, the University requirements, the dates for University requirements, occur when a student enters the University. But, the dates for major requirements usually occur when they enter the major.

So they’re at a step that causes, like I said, a lot of confusion for our students and our advisors. This policy change would bring those into alignment for the time when a student enters the University. So both the University requirements and major program requirements would occur, for a student, at the same time.

The reason it’s important is for clarity for the students. There is a mechanism in place if programs have to change requirements. There are mechanisms in which they can work that out. But as a general philosophy, I think our policy should reflect the most common occurrence and not be written for the most exceptional occurrence.

Chair Bérubé: Are there any questions? Seeing none, are we ready to vote? The report is brought to the floor by committee. It needs no second. OK. Senators joining the meeting by Mediasite, polleverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject it, press B.

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: Can we redo it again?

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: Do we have anything from Mediasite and Poll Everywhere? So should we re-vote?

Faculty Senate Member: Yes.

Chair Bérubé: OK. Same drill. To accept, press A more emphatically. And to reject, press B.

Anna Butler: On Poll Everywhere, I have an 11 accept and one reject.

Paula Brown: In-house, we have 125 accept, seven reject, two not counted.

Chair Bérubé: Once again, the motion carries. Thank you so much.


ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

Chair Bérubé: Now we have Agenda Item J, one Advisory/Consultative Report from the Senate Committee on Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology. Title proposed changes to the University Faculty Senate website, Appendix G. Committee Chair, Roger Egolf, will present the report and respond to questions. Roger.


Proposed Changes to the University Faculty Senate Website

Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: Yes. This report simply suggests a number of changes that the committee feels are appropriate to improve the usefulness of the Faculty Senate website, both to Senators and to other members of the University community. These fall on changes in layout, in navigation, and in content.

I’ve been recently told that the IT office has actually agreed to give the Faculty Senate a little more support and help in doing these sorts of things, among other things that uses IT resources. Some of these changes have actually already been implemented even before the report has come along. But it’s still a good idea to pass this, to show the will of the Senate in making these sorts of improvements. I’ll take any questions anybody has.

Chair Bérubé: I’ll just add that the Senate website is huge. And right now, it’s not terribly navigable and this will help fix that. Seeing no questions, the report is brought to the floor by the committee. It needs no second. Are we ready to vote? Senators joined by Mediasite, polleverywhere.com. Everywhere else– to accept the motion, press A. To reject it, press B.

Anna Butler: From Poll Everywhere, I have 13 accept.

Paula Brown: In-house, we have 130 accepts, one reject, three not counted.

Chair Bérubé: The motion carries. Thank you so much, Roger. OK. We’re done with clickers.


INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

Chair Bérubé: Item K, Informational Reports– we have three Informational Reports. The first can be found in Appendix H.

The report is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology and is titled “Analytics and Business Intelligence Strategy at Penn State”. Fifteen minutes has been allotted for this report. Roger Egolf will introduce our speaker, Jon Crutchfield, Senior Director for Business Intelligence, who will present the report and stand for questions.


Analytics and Business Intelligence Strategy at Penn State

Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: Yes. Thank you for listening to me again. I am here simply to introduce Jon Crutchfield, who is the University’s new Senior Director for Business Intelligence. This is part of Michael Kubit’s initiatives of modernizing the University’s IT infrastructure.

Jon Crutchfield, Senior Director for Business Intelligence: Thank you, Roger. And thank you, everyone, for allowing me to present this informational report. The Analytics and BI Steering Committee has really been spearheading this effort. And that is co-chaired by Michael Kubit and Lance Kennedy-Phillips. And they are dedicated to improving how the University recognizes, manages, and uses data as a strategic asset.

As we’ve heard, lots of strategic initiatives and mission and goals that we need to achieve. And while data isn’t the answer, data is really critical to delivering the decisions and the information we need to make those decisions. We are trying to create a data culture, but not at the expense of human interpretation.

I want to be very clear that we need the people in this room, the people around the University to bring their experience and wisdom to help understand what the data is and to help make the actual decisions that improve the teaching and learning research and outreach missions of the University. The answer isn’t in the data. The data can help inform the decisions.

Penn State generates an enormous amount of data. The scope of the challenge of managing that information and turning it into useful information to help decision makers is significant. Too much data is currently stored in formats that don’t lend themselves to analysis. They’re isolated in systems that are inaccessible to many of the people who need it. It is disconnected from other related data.

At the same time, we are sending too much information in too many formats around the University, which creates a lack of transparency and a lack of control. These environments combine to create extra risk of data exposure and fundamentally prevents the University from developing the necessary insights to support our strategic initiatives and institutional goals.

Work started on this long before I started at the University. Full disclosure, I’ve been here about seven months. We’re in the early stages of these efforts. We will continue assessments to identify areas where we are strong and build on those and identify areas where we have opportunity to improve. We are working on all the issues that you see on the screen concurrently because they are all interrelated. Unfortunately, none of them have an easy or quick fix.

The strategy has to start with governance. Governance is what informs all our efforts that we have to put forth towards getting the right people in the right roles, getting the right processes in place and making them easy and transparent, and building the right technology environments. As we move forward, we will involve the entire University community.

As I said, we are in the early stages of efforts. And we will only engage more and more with the University community’s faculty, staff, students, and even, to some degree, the external community. I want to be clear that governance is not a project. There is no ‘done’. We don’t deliver a project and then walk away. Governance is a framework that has to be put into place in such a way that it evolves with the University’s needs. And data governance needs to be coherent with other governance around campus across the University.

We are working at automating reports when we can, reducing time to deliver reports that are requested. And we are really working towards adding more capability for self-service so that people can get the information right at the moment of need. Our ultimate long term goal is to make it easier for you to find the information you need.

The Analytics and Business Intelligence Steering Committee charged that data governance working group with working towards a data dictionary that will help us clarify terms like student FTE, which has multiple definitions, meanings, uses, and nuances. The data dictionary will include things like an actual English definition, where do the sources of information come that build that term, the logic used to drive or calculate any values, allow the values, et cetera.

We will address data elements that are inconsistent across systems. We recognize that we have the same data element showing up in multiple places, not always termed the same way, not always with the same data values. We are working towards a culture of consistency and transparency related to data and the processes that handle that data.

We are building towards this ecosystem you see described here. Progress has already started. Progress is difficult. It’s going to take a lot of effort by a lot of people. I lead the business intelligence team. And while we own certain components of this, like the iTwo Institutional Insight platform, if you’re familiar with that, we can’t do it alone. Nor can IT do it alone.

This is really not a technology project, even though technology is a critical component and is necessary to move forward. We will take incremental steps while building towards this large interconnected system, rather than trying to build it all at once. We believe this way we can be incremental value sooner, partner with groups around campus to leverage what they are already doing well, build on that, and learn and adapt along the way.

As you can imagine, this is a field, data and analytics, which is evolving rapidly. So we don’t want to make a three year decision now and regret it. Similar to data governance, there will never be a point where this is a done system, fully delivered, and we walk away for three years. This system will continue to evolve, because we will continually add new data sources, new data types. And our analytical needs as a University will require new tools and methods.

Here’s a rough timeline. This is an aggressive timeline with much difficult work to do. As I said, even though this is a technology related effort, it is a change management effort that will require significant work, especially on the people on the process side. Our goal is to make it easier, one day, for every student, faculty, and staff member to quickly find the information they need to make informed decisions. Thank you. Any questions?

Chair Bérubé: I think we have to take that in for a moment. OK, seeing no questions. Thank you so much.

Jon Crutchfield: Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Bérubé: Second Informational Report is found in Appendix I. It’s from the Senate Committee on Student Life and is titled Student Time Management Resources. We’ve already had one meta-moment in this first plenary, where we had a measure brought in about non-substantive editorial changes with a typo in it. Now we have a time management report that was postponed from April.

Chair of Student Life– through no fault of our own– the chair of Student Life, Martha Levine and Mark Stephens, Chair of Athletics, Intercollegiate Athletics will be presenting the report and responding to questions. We’ve allocated 10 minutes for a presentation and discussion.


Student Time Management Resources

Martha Levine, College of Medicine: So we, the Student Life Committee, had worked last year to put together a report about time management. It was requested by the University Park Undergraduate Association to identify available resources and benchmark them against other top 10 academic institutions. In particular, we wanted to work to see what was being offered to student athletes, because, clearly, there were a lot more very organized tools that were being offered and to see if there could be any kind of bridge to offer similar services to other students.

So Dr. Stephens was very gracious to reach out to Russ Mushinsky to get information. Do you want to go over any of the timelines that you got or PowerPoints?

Mark Stephens, College of Medicine: Thanks. All, really, I want to say, Russ was back here earlier. And Russ Mushinsky and the Morgan Academic Center have an impressive team available. We looked at all the other big 10 institutions for purposes of comparability. And the report has a number of the things that are available to the student athletes, in particular, in the context of time management. Respecting everybody’s time, I’d be happy to take questions. But the information is available.

Martha Levine: So just briefly, all of this is in the report, comparing what we offer here to other top 10 universities. What I found, when we were looking at it, is certainly ours is very easy to manage so that if you type in time management, you pop up with a lot of really great links, which was not true for some of the universities. So that was really great.

We have two time management resources, one through Penn State Learning and one through DUS Study Skills and Time Management. The only observation that have been made in the report by our committee was that a lot of the links on that line are to the Oregon State. If you click on a link, you get this really great resource. But it has a logo of Oregon State. So if there’s any way that we could repurpose this and put Penn State somewhere on there, it might be really cool. But overall, just a lot of impressive resources and then, with the addition of a lot of the appendices, different, other ways to incorporate a lot of what’s being offered to the student athletes. We’re happy to take any questions.

Chair Bérubé: Are there questions? Thank you, Martha and Mark. And thanks for your patience.

[APPLAUSE]


Chair Bérubé: The next and the final Informational Report to be presented is from the Senate Committee on University Planning. It is titled ‘The 2017-2018 Campus Planning and Capital Construction Report’. It appears as Appendix J. And we have allocated 15 minutes for presentation and discussion. Our speaker today is Bill Sitzabee, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Planning. Bill, welcome.


2017-2018 Campus Planning and Capital Construction

Bill Sitzabee, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Planning: Good afternoon, and thank you for the opportunity to provide a brief update on the Penn State Physical Plant. I’d like to take a focus on two primary areas this afternoon– one on the overview of campus planning and also an update on the construction capital plan.

When it comes to guiding campus development, Penn State has had a long history of campus planning to inform investment decisions going back as far as 1937 to the Charles Klauder initial campus master plan that was put forth. Charles Klauder, for those that don’t know, had laid out the campus plans for Princeton, Brown, Penn, and several other high level universities.

The campus master plan focuses on six areas. These six areas you’ll see up on the screen. And I’ll walk through each one of those briefly. Consideration for spatial organizational of facilities and land use begins at the master planning level. These master plans set the framework for campus and pending capital projects. By strategically integrating new and expanding facilities into campus frameworks, we’re able to accommodate growth while preserving and enhancing public spaces and campus landscapes that make our campuses so special.

Many studies have indicated that prospective students base their choice on institution, in large part, on appearance of the campus buildings and the grounds. Its character is the first impression of the campus aesthetics and is critical to creating a positive impression. The campus character should foster a welcoming environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

The quality of the campus landscape buildings and facilities contribute to fostering lasting relationships between our students and the University. These students become alumni and alumni become significant supporters of the University.

It also enhances the student academic experience by providing wonderful places to study, relax, recreate, and live. Vibrant student centered campuses which include a wide variety of outdoor gathering spaces and unique destinations to enhance student academic experience are critical. It can be educational and interactive, while also being aesthetically pleasing. We promote the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the campus environment with every investment in facilities and grounds.

Planning design and operational decisions are tied to our goal of advancing a sustainable campus. Penn State has identified several goals, two of which I’ll show here– 35 percent of greenhouse gas reduction by the year 2020 and a lofty 20 percent energy consumption reduction by the year 2024. To help meet these goals, we’re investing in solar and other alternatives, carefully implementing modifications to buildings and systems, and developing informed designs that balance building to meet energy demands.

Multimodal transportation guides safe and efficient and effective movement of a people and vehicles across campus. An important aspect of campus planning is a continued effort to improve campus circulation with true multimodal approaches. Anyone who’s been on campus can see now even skateboards are a prime way of moving around.

In addition to the aspects of campus planning is our community integration. Our campuses are important features within their communities. And therefore, campuses are developed in function with consideration of regional and local goals.

Master plans are a living document that illustrate long term opportunities for campus development. While the last campus wide update to the University Park Master Plan was in 2007, it has been updated through integration of college and unit level master plans since that time. Examples include the College of Arts and Architecture Master Plan and the Eberly College of Science Master Plan.

These plans, approved by the Facility Resources Committee, guide and inform decisions within a framework that is flexible enough to adjust to institutional priorities and changes. Similarly, the Commonwealth campuses develop master plans to guide investment tied to strategic goals. Master plans completed in the last several years include Behrend, Abington, Harrisburg, Brandywine, and Berks.

Before discussing the next capital plan, I’d like to take just a brief moment to highlight how we wrapped up in the last capital plan. This is a summary of the current capital plan that ended in July, which has come to a close. As you can see, the total plan was first envisioned at a $2.74 billion dollar investment. By 2017, that figure had rose to $3.3 billion dollars. The majority of the plan was focused on capital renewal of existing facilities. And that focus continues today. By the close of the plan, we had wrapped up over 800 individual projects for capital construction.

Moving onto the new capital plan- the one that started in this July- the basic strategic philosophy of the capital plan has several key elements. A heavy focus on addressing significant backlog of deferred maintenance is the most significant. Other factors that drive priorities include functional obsolescence, program impact, accreditation requirements, and more.

With far more need than resources, it’s a difficult job prioritizing these major investments. Two-thirds of the plan is focused on renewing existing investments, with an allowance for some program growth and an eye towards delivering whole building and whole system renewals. Various building systems age differently. For example, roofs and mechanical systems age differently.

As such, we have devoted capital to cycling through $5 and $10 million dollar level investments as a more holistic approach to extending the useful life of our existing facilities. The 75 percent, 25 percent balance of investment between University Park and the Commonwealth campuses is based on a facility age profile and the conditioned state of the facilities.

The last bullet refers to allowances in the plan for strategic changes in the environment and unforeseen or emerging requirements. The capital commitment, overall, has been approved at $4.8 billion dollars. And this will carry a $2.2 billion dollar borrowing authority requirement. The downward pressure this places on the University’s credit rating is significant, but needs to be balanced across the strategic need to maintain our facilities and assets across the portfolio.

A breakdown between the University’s fiscal responsibilities are listed above, here. And you can see a significant portion is towards Penn State Health, but also a significant portion towards education in general, at a little over $2 billion dollars of investment.

Why were these priorities and strategies developed as outlined? Probably the most pressing consideration on the decision is to invest in is the age of our facilities and the condition that they are in today. With 65 percent of University Park facilities being greater than 25 years old, the Commonwealth campuses fare a little better. But still, 55 percent of those facilities are greater than 25 years old. A significant challenge for University Park, and to a lesser extent the Commonwealth campuses, is the number of facilities that are over 50 years old.

And that age profile is since the last time these buildings have experienced any sort of major renewal. At University Park, that number is over 41 percent of our facilities are greater than 50 years old. The challenge has only increased with the passage of time, confronting us with complex decisions regarding how to renovate or demolish and possibly start anew.

Deferred maintenance is a critical component we consider when establishing capital priorities, the significant piece, I might add. Shown here is a culmination of some high level things to keep in mind. A backlog of $1.6 billion dollars in aggregate on a physical plant that’s valued at approximately $7.5 billion dollars leverages us at over 20 percent and just creates an unnecessary risk profile.

Priorities are determined based on deferred maintenance, functional obsolescence, and program impact, as I mentioned earlier. For example, we benefited from a generous gift towards the renovation of Willard. This building was running with a risky deferred maintenance per square foot ratio of a little over– I forget what the number was, $210 dollars or something like that per square foot– where our target is $80 dollars. So we were able to line up a generous gift from Mr. Bellisario and help with that priority.

You’ll see, up on that list, is just a small sliver of some of the high risk facilities that we have. For example, Henning comes in at $284 dollars a square foot of backlog. The good news is Henning is in design and is well on its way to be renovated in this coming plan. I’ll skip through that typo so nobody sees it.

[LAUGHTER]

Several major considerations impact the priorities of the capital plan. One is core densification with support and service functions moving towards the perimeter, one of the major guiding principles in our campus master plan. Major renewals of significant campus buildings requires thoughtfully working through the project needs guided by unit level and college level master plans. The philosophy of the major renewal program is addressing the worst buildings first, over lined with the program impact.

We are aware of significant needs we are currently experiencing in the College of Engineering. Hammond and the engineering units continue to age and decline and present an increasingly negative impression of the college and detrimentally impact the hiring and retention of faculty and the recruitment of students.

But the various departments of the College of Engineering are housed in over 49 facilities across the campus. It is important to understand the full scope and need. So we are currently completing a unit level master plan for the College of Engineering to help shape the final decisions about how we look at that master plan.

Another example is Intercollegiate Athletics, who are in the process of finalizing their master plan at will. There are many individual buildings that are included in the next five year capital plan. And I don’t want to get into the approximately 1,000 different discussions that we could have over each project. But shown here are some of the major renewal projects that we will invest in in this plan. There is also $473 million dollars-worth of program level and system level investments, which are the smaller projects that probably impact each more individually. As I mentioned earlier, the previous capital plan completed over 860 projects with a $3.3 billion dollar investment. So with increasing that investment to a little over $4.8 billion dollars, we can only imagine how many projects total.

Shown here are the links to the current construction status. I believe on there is an update of the campus plan, the capital plan. We are in the process of finalizing the funding sources for many of those projects. So if you go into the hyperlink, you’ll see that the actual plan that’s laid out there is still the 2014-2018. And we hope to have those posted within the next several weeks.

So with that, I know I’m last on deck and we’re way over. But I tried to take a 45-minute presentation and carve it down to about 10 minutes. So I’m happy to take any questions.

Chair Bérubé: Yes?

William Kenyon, College of Arts and Architecture: Kenyon, Arts and Architecture. I’m just curious about how everything gets prioritized when you are delving into these sorts of plans. One example, and I’m not trying to come here to cry about budget issues, but for example, Schwab Auditorium got a brand new set of lighting equipment this year. And it’s used twice a year by a student group, whereas the equipment in the Playhouse and the Pavilion Theaters were purchased in 1965. And those are used on a daily basis. So it just seems weird when an academic use dates back so far and then this secondary use is something that’s given a lot of priority when it comes to capital expenditures on infrastructure in the buildings.

Bill Sitzabee: So let me let me address it this way. I’m not familiar with the specific details of Schwab Auditorium. But I will say that, in the plan, there are several different buckets. Education, in general, doesn’t compete with our auxiliaries in business.

So many of those facilities that support a self-supporting unit, those units have to build their own capital reserve and execute those projects independent of E&G. So I’m looking at a holistic plan that’s roughly $5 billion dollars. But within that, you have subsets of groups that have different access to the different funds. I can look into the Schwab Auditorium and find out more about that. But I’m assuming that that’s a self-supported situation.

Chair Bérubé: Professor Kenyon is in the school of theater. And he specializes in lighting. So he’s a person to ask about this. Here, Joyce.

Joyce Furfaro, University Park: Joyce Furfaro, Psychology at University Park. I sometimes teach a class, Health Psychology, which is a lot about stress and coping and its relationship to disease, especially heart disease. And talking about the aesthetics of the University campus and so forth, I have concerns about the fountain that’s gone away from in front of the Arts Building, by the forum. So I did some digging and found that Samuel Nisley Whitman actually funded that, originally. And in the 1914 La Vie, he’s called ‘Whit’. “He came to us from Steelton High with a renowned reputation for borrowing apples and other edibles from farms in his vicinity. So we allowed him to transfer his abilities to our local districts. And he has made an able leader on foraging expeditions.

He spent the greater part of his sophomore vacation in the Bellefonte Hospital. And we know he does not regret it. In fact, he has to make repeated trips there to see if the place still exists. Be aware of the coy ways of nurses, Whit.” So he enjoyed his time here. And he found relaxing things to do.

And with the increase in stress in our life today and the increased numbers of students with anxiety, I used to send my students in Health Psychology to that spot to practice mindfulness, give that a try, and then write about how difficult that is to just forget about the past, forget about the future, and just be in the now. And it was a great place. I’ve never walked past there and not see students relaxing there.

And I’m just hoping– I have, actually, more. But I’m going to keep it shorter about the– George Tsutakawa, who actually designed it, he designed over 70 such sculptures. I’m just really hoping we can get it back somewhere so that we can continue to take advantage of a wonderful gift to this University that is counter to a lot of what goes on here in terms of the stress and anxiety that we see. Thank you.

Bill Sitzabee: Sure, sure. Thank you.

Chair Bérubé: We have time for one more. Professor Kirby.

Josh Kirby, College of Education: Kirby from the College of Education. We are undergoing a lot of different discussions about planning and space renovation. And one of the concerns that has been brought to the faculty is that open office plans are considered an innovative use of space. And the discussion has not gone away that faculty offices could be reduced or eliminated completely and that the space itself will be considered more for transient use as opposed to permanent use. And we know that there’s lots of research now that’s emerging about open offices and not having the permanent space. We’re just wondering, is this the driving force behind this discussion coming from a definition of innovative use that’s being driven by any of your groups? Or is this more of a smaller scale concern that you could recommend that we go to a specific leader, who might be driving that discussion?

Bill Sitzabee: Sure. Let me try to address this. And maybe Nick might want to jump in. At the end of the day, it’s not us that are driving that decision. I will tell you, from a facility’s perspective, designing and building facilities that have flexibility into them into the future, it’s not uncommon in my business to build a lab. And three years later, we destruct it and build a new one on the orders of millions of dollars.

And with the challenges that we have in terms of the amount of backlog and everything, it’s really important that we’re focused those dollars very carefully. So we look very thoughtfully into flexible of the future use of a facility. So the upfront look of how that’s used is often how we do things. We build at an institutional level, which means we build good bones so that when we have to, we can tear things down and build them back more efficiently.

But the pedagogy that goes behind the open office and the active learning environment, it’s out there. There’s a lot of different views on that. I’ve taught myself. I’ve been in the classroom. I’ve done a lot of work in a faculty office myself. And I think it’s really a little bit of everything.

I think some faculty absolutely love it. I get a lot of good feedback. Some, especially in the sciences, in the lab areas, they are very appreciative of it. And some folks just want that quiet space where they can sit and write and read. But when we think about the future of spaces and when I talk to faculty at large, the days of personal libraries in an office that has to be 10 times the size that it needs to be because we’re moving to a digital environment, we have to be cognizant of that. Most of the younger, millennial faculty like smaller swap spaces. They don’t want to feel like they’re tied to an office. And so it’s really one of those things I would push back on the faculty to say, engage your faculty across the entire spectrum to see what they need and want. The specific driver to education is coming from within the leadership of the College of Education. I’m certainly supportive of it. And I think there’s a lot of flexibility in how that works. There’s new active learning classrooms in that building that are very, very well-received. And it follows a similar model. Does that answer your question?

Josh Kirby: Yeah. We’re [INAUDIBLE].

Bill Sitzabee: Yeah. But it’s not me trying to say we need to go to all open environments. My preference is to go to the most flexible type of construction that will take us into the future. It happens to be that modular systems furniture works very well. It is how the corporate world is doing it. And I know we’re not exactly the same.

Chair Bérubé: OK. And also stay in touch with the Committee of University Planning, perhaps. Thank you again, Bill.

Bill Sitzabee: Thank you. I appreciate your time.

[APPLAUSE]


NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: Agenda item L, New Legislative Business. Is there any new business? No.


COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

Chair Bérubé: Item N, Comments and Recommendations for the Good of the University. Are there any additional comments for the good of the University? None.


ADJOURNMENT

Chair Bérubé: In that case, may have a motion to adjourn?

Faculty Senate Member: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Bérubé: All in favor, please say aye.

All Senators: Aye.

Chair Bérubé: Motion carried. See you all in October, October 23.


ATTENDANCE

The following Senators were noted as having attended the 9/18/2018 Senate Meeting.

  • Acharya, Vinita
  • Adewumi, Michael
  • Aebli, Fred
  • Ansari, Mohamad
  • Aurand, Harold
  • Barron, Eric
  • Bartolacci, Michael
  • Belanger, Jonna
  • Berg, Arthur
  • Bérubé, Michael
  • Bieschke, Kathleen
  • Bishop-Pierce, Renee
  • Blakney, Terry
  • Blanford, Justine
  • Blockett, Kimberly
  • Blood, Ingrid
  • Borromeo, Renee
  • Boyer, Elizabeth
  • Breakey, Laurie
  • Brennan, Mark
  • Brigger, Clark
  • Brunsden, Victor
  • Bryan, Julia
  • Burke, Alexis
  • Butler, William
  • Bynum, Amber
  • Casper, Gretchen
  • Chen, Wei-Fan
  • Clark, Mary Beth
  • Cockroft, Kevin
  • Coduti, Wendy
  • Conti, Delia
  • Costanzo, Denise
  • Davis, Dwight
  • Decker, Alicia
  • DeFranco, Joanna
  • Duffey, Michele
  • Eberle, Peter
  • Eckhardt, Caroline
  • Eden, Timothy
  • Egolf, Roger
  • Elias, Ryan
  • Enama, Joseph
  • Engel, Renata
  • Evans, Edward
  • Fairbank, James
  • Farmer, Susan Beth
  • Fausnight, Tracy
  • Folkers, Deirdre
  • Forster, Peter
  • Fox, Derek
  • Freiberg, Andrew
  • French, Kirk
  • Furfaro, Joyce
  • Fusco, David
  • Gallagher, Julie
  • Glantz, Edward
  • Glenna, Leland
  • Grimes, Galen
  • Guay, Terrence
  • Gutierrez, Borja
  • Hairston, Synthea
  • Han, David
  • Handley, Meredith
  • Hanes, Madlyn
  • Hanses, Mathias
  • Hayford, Harold
  • Horn, Mark
  • Hosseinpour, Helia
  • Hughes, Janet
  • Jaap, James
  • Jablokow, Kathryn
  • Jones, Maureen
  • Jones, Nicholas
  • Jordan, Matthew
  • Kaag, Matthew
  • Kagan, Mikhail
  • Kahl, David
  • Kakuturu, Sai
  • Kalisperis, Loukas
  • Katz, Spencer
  • Keiler, Kenneth
  • Kennedy-Phillips, Lance
  • Kenyon, William
  • King, Brian
  • King, Elizabeth
  • Kirby, Joshua
  • Krajsa, Michael
  • Kubat, Robert
  • Laman, Jeffrey
  • Lang, Teresa
  • Larson, Allen
  • Larson, Daniel
  • Lawlor, Timothy
  • Le, Binh
  • Levine, Martha
  • Linehan, Peter
  • Liu, Dajiang
  • Liu, Xin
  • Lobaugh, Michael
  • Love, Yvonne
  • Lowden, Max
  • Mangel, Lisa
  • Marko, Frantisek
  • Masters, Katherine
  • Maurer, Clifford
  • McDill, Marc
  • McKay, Zachary
  • McKinney, Karyn
  • Melton, Robert
  • Messner, John
  • Miles, Mary
  • Mishler, Adeline
  • Mocioiu, Irina
  • Mookerjee, Rajen
  • Moore, Jacob
  • Mulder, Kathleen
  • Najjar, Raymond
  • Nasir, Rafay
  • Nelson, Kimberlyn
  • Nesbitt, Jennifer
  • Novotny, Eric
  • Ofosu, Willie
  • Ozment, Judith
  • Pallikere, Avinash
  • Palmer, Timothy
  • Pauley, Laura
  • Pawloski, Barry
  • Perkins, Daniel
  • Phillips, Kathleen
  • Pierce, Mari Beth
  • Plummer, Julia
  • Posey, Lisa
  • Prabhu, Vansh
  • Prescod, Diandra
  • Pyeatt, Nicholas
  • Reichard, Karl
  • Rhen, Linda
  • Rinehart, Peter
  • Robinett, Richard
  • Robinson, Brandi
  • Robinson, Zachary
  • Robles-Flores, Ninive
  • Ropson, Ira
  • Rowland, Nicholas
  • Ruggiero, Francesca
  • Saltz, Ira
  • Santos, Diego
  • Sarabok, Thomas
  • Saunders, Brian
  • Scott, Geoffrey
  • Seymour, Elizabeth
  • Shannon, Robert
  • Shapiro, Keith
  • Sharkey, Neil
  • Sharma, Amit
  • Shea, Maura
  • Sigurdsson, Steinn
  • Silverberg, Lee
  • Sinha, Alok
  • Skladany, Martin
  • Sliko, Jennifer
  • Smith, David
  • Smith, Harold
  • Snyder, Stephen
  • Springer, Jake
  • Sprow Forte, Karin
  • Stephens, Mark
  • Stifter, Cynthia
  • Stine, Michele
  • Strauss, James
  • Subramanian, Rajarajan
  • Suliman, Samia
  • Szczygiel, Bonj
  • Tavangarian, Fariborz
  • Taylor, Ann
  • Thomas, Gary
  • Thomchick, Evelyn
  • Thompson, Paul
  • Townsend, Sarah
  • Truica, Cristina
  • Tyworth, Michael
  • Van der wegen, Constantinus
  • Vanderhoof, Carmen
  • Volk Chewning, Lisa
  • Vrana, Kent
  • Wagner, Johanna
  • Wang, Ming
  • Warren, James
  • Wenner, William
  • Westhoff, Mikaela
  • Whitehurst, Marcus
  • Woessner, Matthew
  • Wood, Chelsey
  • Young, Richard
  • Zambanini, Robert

 

Elected             163
Students             21
Ex Officio             5
Appointed            7
Total                 196

Michael Bérubé’s Opening Remarks-September 18, 2018

Last April, when Matthew handed me the reins, and the gavel, in what was mostly a peaceful transfer of power, I made some brief remarks, during which I referenced a Chronicle of Higher Education article on the sorry state of many faculty senates in American higher education. Because it was 5:30 in the afternoon, only about fifteen people heard my remarks, though I want to thank Provost Jones personally for sticking it out to the bitter end. This is the article I mentioned. I urge all of you to read it, because if you do, I think you’ll have greater appreciation of what we have managed to do in this body over the past few years. There are plenty of Faculty Senates around the country that are rudderless, and plenty of faculty senators at other institutions who worry that they are ineffectual. I am very happy to report that at Penn State, we don’t have that problem.

Last year we worked on two critically important university policies, and I want to report back to you on them in order to close the loop. In both cases, our input was substantial. The first of these is policy AC80, “Private Consulting Practice.” Many of you will recall that our contact for this was Clint Schmidt, Director of the Conflict of Interest Program in the Office for Research Protections, housed in the office of the Vice President for Research, Neil Sharkey. Now, if you’re in the humanities, as I am (my degree is in English), you might think that this policy doesn’t pertain to you. At first, I thought it was directed only at those STEM faculty who are always off patenting things and creating new startup companies or consulting with major corporations. Actually, AC80 pertains also to anyone who might be offered a short-term visiting scholar gig at another university, as has happened to me twice—for six weeks at Cornell University in the summer of 2013, and for four weeks at Cornell College in Iowa in the summer of 2011. (For some reason I am really popular at places called Cornell.) AC80 does not prohibit such activities; it merely requires me to report them to my department head. In some cases, your activities in private consulting will require approval; and in some cases, cases involving conflict of interest with your responsibilities as a Penn State faculty member, they will be prohibited.

When the policy was revised two years ago, Clint Schmidt and his office understood the new policy as a liberalization of the old policy—permitting a greater variety of activities, and streamlining the process for prior written approval. But when it came to Senate, we read it over and came to the conclusion that there were grey areas that needed further clarification; we worried that some language in the policy might be read as giving Penn State jurisdiction over every waking hour of a professor’s life and some of our REM sleep as well. That was an overreaction, but we were doing our due diligence—and most important, to my mind, we objected that there was no appeals process built into the policy. If you thought your activities were X, but your department head determined that they were Y, where do you go to resolve the disagreement? Do you go to the next highest administrative level? That seemed to us to be suboptimal, since you’re putting one administrator in the position of potentially contradicting or undermining another administrator. We suggested instead a horizontal appeal system, whereby disputes would be resolved by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, which includes representatives from both faculty and administration. I am happy to report that, working together with Clint Schmidt’s office, we hammered out these differences with care and thoughtfulness, and the result, we think, is a much better policy. We worked on this for two years, and it is the work of many hands.

The other policy was AD92, “Political Campaign Activities,” and it came from the office of the general counsel. The timing was unfortunate—it was announced a few weeks before the election of 2016, and came as a surprise to many faculty. The policy states: “It is the University’s policy that it, and its employees and representatives, when acting in their official capacities for the University, may not, directly or indirectly, participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office.” Well, first of all, we wanted to know, what constitutes indirect participation or intervention in a campaign?

In 2008, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced a policy forbidding political bumper stickers on the cars in faculty parking lots. Seriously. Apparently, some local wingnuts had the ear of UIUC administrators, and were able to convince them to enact this ban, presumably on the grounds that professors are all flaming liberals and their bumper stickers have magical powers to indoctrinate students. The policy lasted all of fifteen minutes after being reported on in Inside Higher Ed, whereupon it was immediately ridiculed out of existence. We didn’t think that AD92 was anything like the Illinois policy, but still, we wanted to know: would policy AD92 prevent faculty from canvassing door-to-door for a candidate? Would it prevent us from discussing the election in a political science classroom? Would it prevent a unit from showing a film on climate change?

Now, most of the policy was boilerplate, and would pertain to any nonprofit institution. Don’t use University resources—letterhead, email, computers—if you are working for a campaign or for an elected official. If you are involved in a campaign, make it as clear as possible that you are acting as a private citizen and not as a representative of the university. Basic, right? But the Senate leadership asked for a meeting with the general counsel and his staff so that we could talk through the gray areas. At first, they were puzzled, and wondered what part of compliance with federal law we were objecting to. But we convinced them that the gray areas are gray. We’re not wage employees; nobody knows when a professor is off the clock. And though you may be thinking you’re acting as a private citizen, what if a campaign or an elected official solicits your advice because of your scholarly expertise? Part of your authority as an expert, after all, would derive from the fact that you are a professor at Penn State.

And then there is some ambiguity about what it means to use University resources. The policy forbids the use of University facilities for any political event, and the term “political event” “includes any event that has the purpose or primary effect of promoting the election of a particular political candidate.” Well, we argued, it’s one thing if an event has the purpose of promoting somebody’s election. But who determines if the event has the “primary effect” of doing so? That clause, I argued, opens the door to all kinds of mischief, whereby someone could complain about events devoted to the subject of climate change. Here, too, consultation with the Faculty Senate produced a better policy, one tailored more specifically to the realities of our workplace, and one that emphatically reaffirms the principles of academic freedom enunciated in policy AC64 (which I strongly recommend you revisit).

Now, I don’t have time to go into the grainy details of our discussions, but I do want to make two important announcements, because we are about to head into what could be a consequential election cycle this fall. One: in response to our request for further guidance, the office of the general counsel has given us a series of examples of permitted and prohibited political campaign activities. That is available on the Senate website at http://senate.psu.edu/faculty/examples-of-permissible-and-prohibited-political-campaign-activity/. Two: in our October meeting, assistant general counsel Zahraa Zalzala will join us to discuss this policy and take your questions. Between now and then, I urge you to read this document, distribute it widely in your college or campus, reread AC64, and bring your questions and concerns in October.

Those are just two examples of how the Senate has strengthened the practice of shared governance at Penn State, but they are important ones. I look forward to working with all of you over the coming year and continuing the critical work we are doing in Faculty Senate.

President’s Response: Retiring AC-24 “Professional Dual Titles for Research Rank Faculty”

DATE:    June 15, 2018

FROM:    Eric J. Barron

TO:          Michael Bérubé

I have reviewed the Advisory and Consultative report, Retiring AC-24 Professional Dual Titles for Research Rank Faculty, which was passed by the University Faculty Senate on April 24, 2018, and concur with the following report.  By copy of this memo, I am asking that Kathleen J. Bieschke, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, implement the recommendation.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this item.

 

cc:  Kathleen J. Bieschke
Dawn Blasko
Nicholas P. Jones

President’s Response: Late Fees Assessed to Undergraduate Students

DATE:    July 16, 2018

FROM:    Eric J. Barron

TO:          Michael Bérubé

I have reviewed the Advisory and Consultative report, Late Fees Assessed to Undergraduate Students, which was passed by the University Faculty Senate on April 24, 2018. I concur with the following report, which includes the following recommendations beginning this coming fall semester:

(1) postponing the first bill date for a semester until after the regular drop/add period of that term, and;

(2) implementing an optional four-installment payment plan to distribute the bill payment across the first four months of the fall and spring terms.

Owing to the shorter length of the summer session, the payment plan for that term will remain at the current three installment schedule.  Any action on the final recommendation to place a cap on the maximum late fee that can be incurred by any student will be deferred until the impact of the above changes in payment can be evaluated.

By copy of this memo, I am asking that Robert Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education, implement the recommendations.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this item.

cc:  Kathleen J. Bieschke
Dawn Blasko
Nicholas P. Jones
Robert N. Pangborn