Category Archives: Don’t Use

President’s Response: Revisions to Penn State Policy SY 45, Use of Unmanned Aircraft (“UA”)

DATE: July 10, 2018

FROM: Eric J. Barron

TO: Michael Bérubé

I have reviewed the Advisory and Consultative report, Revisions to Penn State Policy SY 45, Use of Unmanned Aircraft (“UA”), which was passed by the University Faculty Senate on January 23, 2018. I concur with the following report. By copy of this memo, I am asking that Neil Sharkey, Vice President for Research, implement the recommendation.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this item.

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

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

April 24, 2018 Record

T H E   S E N A T E   R E C O R D

Volume 51—–April  24, 2018—–Number 6

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 April 24, 2018
    2. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks
    3. Appendices
      1. Attendance

FINAL AGENDA FOR APRIL 24, 2018

 

      1. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
        Minutes of the March 13, 2018, Meeting in The Senate Record 51:5
      2. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
        Senate Curriculum Report of April 10, 2018
        http://senate.psu.edu/curriculum/senate-curriculum-reports/
      3. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting of April 10, 2018
      4. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
      5. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
      6. COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
      7. FORENSIC BUSINESS
      8. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
        Committees and Rules
        Revisions to Bylaws: Article I-Officers, Section 1 (introduced at the March 13, 2018 meeting)
        Revisions to Constitution; Article II-Membership, Section 5(c) (introduced at the March 13, 2018 meeting)
      9. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
        Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
        Aligning Policies to Promote Student Academic Recovery and Success: Changes to Policies 47-80 Repeating Courses; 51-50 Cumulative Grade Point Average; 54-00 Academic Progress; 54-20 Academic Warning; 54-40 Academic Suspension; 54-50 Academic Dismissal; 54-90 Academic Renewal; 58-20 Persons to Whom Policy is Applicable; 58-50 Conditions for Re-enrollment as a Degree Candidate; New Policies: 51-70 Recovery Points; 58-80 Re-enrollment From Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal
        Committees and Rules
        Revisions to Constitution; Article II – Membership, Section 1
        Revisions to Bylaws; Article II – Senate Council, Section 3
        Revisions to Bylaws; Article X – Amendments
        Revisions to Standing Rules; Article I, Section 12 and Article II, Sections 1 and 6
        Revision to Standing Rules; Article II – Curricular Affairs, Section 6-c
      10. ADVISORYADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
        Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
        Late Fees Assessed to Undergraduate Students
        Committee on Committees and Rules
        Recommendation for Standardized Support for Senate Officers
        Faculty Affairs
        Revision of AC-80 “Private Consulting Practice”
        Faculty Affairs and Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity
        Retiring AC-24 “Professional Dual Titles for Research Rank Faculty”
        Revision to AC-21 “Definition of Academic Ranks”
      11. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
        Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
        Annual Report on the High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in Credit Courses*, Appendix O
        Educational Equity and Campus Environment
        The Red Folder Initiative
        Inclusion of the All-In Video & World-In-Conversation in Classroom Settings*, Appendix Q
        Faculty Benefits
        International Emergency Medical Insurance*, Appendix R
        2018 Report on Faculty Salaries in 2016-2017*, Appendix S
        Global Programs
        Supporting International Students and Scholars at Penn State University*, Appendix T
        Outreach
        Penn State World Campus
        Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity
        Course Buyout Policies*, Appendix V
        Senate Council
        Annual Report from the Dean of the Graduate School
      12. Report of Senate Elections*, Appendix X
      13. Senate Council
        Senate Committee on Committees and Rules
        Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
        Standing Joint Committee on Tenure
        University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee
        Faculty Advisory Committee to the President
        Senate Secretary for 2018-2019
        Senate Chair-Elect for 2018-2019
      14. COMMENTS BY OUTGOING CHAIR WOESSNER
      15. SEATING OF NEW OFFICERS
      16. COMMENTS BY INCOMING CHAIR BERUBE
      17. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
      18. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
      19. ADJOURNMENT

The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate building with Matthew Woessner, Chair, presiding.

Chair Woessner: I expect it’s going to be a long and substantive meeting. But I think we will get started very close to being on time so that we can get out of here at a normal hour.


MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING

Chair Woessner: The minutes of the March 13, 2018 Senate Report providing a full transcript of the proceedings of the meeting were sent to the University archives, and posted to the Faculty Senate website. Are there any corrections or additions to these minutes?

Unidentified Senator: I approve.

[LAUGHTER]

Chair Woessner: Is there a second?

Unidentified Senator: Second.

Chair Woessner: All in favor of accepting minutes?

All Senators: Aye.

Chair Woessner: All opposed? OK. Motion carries. The ayes have it. Motion carries. The Minutes of the meeting will be approved.


COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE

Chair Woessner: The Senate Curriculum Report of April 10, 2018 is posted on the University Faculty Senate website.


REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL

Chair Woessner: Item C, Report to Senate Council. Minutes of the April 10, 2018, Senate Council Meeting could be found at the end of your agenda, including the minutes and our topics that were discussed with the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President at the April 10 meeting.


ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

Chair Woessner: Item D, Announcements by the Chair. It is with some sadness that I share with you the passing of Jean Landa Pytel, former Assistant Dean for Student Services and Global Programs, and Associate Professor of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics. Jean was on the Senate for 24 years, and she served as an Officer from 2009 to 2013. She was Chair of the Faculty Senate in 2010 and 2011. Jean was a strong advocate for international travel for students, and was a major force for creating the Senate Committee on Global Programs. During the time in the Senate, Jean chaired several committees, including CC&R, Student Life, Faculty Benefits, and Libraries.

We have also lost another member of our Faculty Senate family. Amy Dietz served the Senate for eight years. She served on the Faculty Benefits Committee for six years, and her second year on CC&R. Amy was a Penn State graduate with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Penn State. And most recently, she served as an Assistant Teaching Professor of Labor and Employment Relations for the College of Liberal Arts. I had the pleasure of working with Amy on both Faculty Benefits and CC&R.

They will both be very much missed by this august body. Please observe a moment of silence in the remembrance our Senate colleagues.

I am pleased to invite Kevin Harwell, the Chair of the Senate Committee of Student Life to introduce the John White Fellowship recipients. Kevin.

Kevin Harwell, University Libraries: Thank you, Chair Woessner. Each year, the Senate Committee on Student Life recognizes outstanding undergraduate students who are graduating Summa cum Laude and who plan to enroll in graduate study. The John White Graduate Fellowship is one of the oldest continuing fellowships at Penn State. The award was established in 1902 by James Gilbert White to honor his father, Reverend John W. White of Milroy, Pennsylvania.

Joining me on this year’s review committee were Dawn Blasko, Executive Director, University Faculty Senate Office, and Martha Levine, Penn State College of Medicine. This year, six students were chosen to receive a John White Graduate Fellowship. Each student will receive a $900 dollar award. I am pleased to introduce five of the fellowship recipients. As I say your name, please join me at the podium. Senators, please hold your applause until all recipients are introduced.

Hannah Kohler will graduate as a Shreyer Honors Scholar with a B.S. Degree in Secondary Education, with the English/Communications Teaching Option; and Minors in Educational Policy Studies and English. Hannah will serve as the College of Education Student Marshall. She will pursue a Master’s Degree in English Education at the University College London’s Institute of Education. Hannah is especially interested in literacy that can be gained by resources in the public sphere. She has interned with a non-profit theatre company serving the diverse population of York, PA. This company brings theatre education and authentic learning opportunities to children of all ages and backgrounds. Hannah completed her student teaching with the State College High School and the Delta Program. Among other honors, she has received the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. Hannah volunteers with the College of Education Student Council, and as an ESL Spanish tutor with the Volunteers in Public Schools Program.

Nathan Lis will graduate with a B.S. Degree in Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, and Minors in Geographic Information Science, and Piano Performance. Nathan plans to pursue an M.S., and possibly a Ph.D. in Meteorology with a focus in severe weather forecasting and research. He is specifically interested in studying the dynamics of severe thunderstorms and tornado-genesis. Nathan hopes to work for the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or in academia studying severe convective weather and tornadoes to help improve the forecast accuracy and lead time for severe weather and flash flood warnings. Nathan has participated in the REU Program at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma; and has conducted research with several Penn State professors. Nathan has volunteered for the Penn State Office of Emergency Management. Among other honors, Nathan has received the Werner A. Baum Endowment Scholarship from the American Meteorological Society.

Natalie Morrissey will graduate as a Shreyer Honors Scholar with a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Minor in Economics. Natalie will pursue a J.D. Degree at Harvard Law School. She hopes to integrate her interests in engineering and communication to pursue a career as a patent attorney. Natalie is particularly interested in a patent prosecution role, perhaps using her organic chemistry knowledge to understand novel pharmaceutical products or her passion for sustainability to patent renewable technologies. After practicing as a patent attorney for several years, she hopes to transition to a career in legal academia. Natalie has worked for Penn State Learning in a Guided Study Group for Organic Chemistry, participated in undergraduate chemical engineering research, and served as the Community Service Chair for Penn State’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Additionally, she has completed two process engineering internships at Shell and Dow Chemical and studied abroad at the National University of Singapore. Among other honors, Natalie has received the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Scholarship.

Alexander Smith will graduate as a Shreyer Honors Scholar with a B.S. Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He will pursue a Ph.D. in Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology at the University of Pennsylvania. In graduate school, Alexander hopes to leverage his skills in microbiology and genetics to solve problems of a more clinically-relevant, translational nature. He is particularly interested in transitioning into virology and to study HIV. After obtaining his Ph.D., Alexander hopes to move into the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry to further develop life-saving therapies and vaccines. In addition to his research at Penn State, he has had research experiences with Duke University and University College Dublin. Alexander was also a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and volunteered at Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania. Among other honors, he has received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and the Erickson Discovery Grant.

Matthew Allan will graduate with a B.S. Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Minor in Statistics. Matthew plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Computational and Systems Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In particular, he plans to study how cells use networks of genes and proteins to perform tasks required for life, and how these networks malfunction during times of disease. Matthew has worked as a Quality Control Intern at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Rensselaer, New York. He has had research experiences in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Penn State, and as a DAAD RISE Research Scholar in Jülich, Germany. Matthew has been a Learning Assistant for two courses at Penn State, and has co-authored two papers. Among other honors, he has received the Ronald Venezie Scholarship and the DAAD RISE Scholarship.

A sixth recipient, who is unable to join us today, is Alexandra Alfonso Castro, who will graduate as a Schreyer Honors Scholar with a B.S. Degree in Chemistry, and Minors in Biology and Civic and Community Engagement. After shadowing an emergency physician, Alexandra decided that she wants to become a physician, and will enroll in medical school for the fall 2018 term, having already been accepted into three schools. She has completed an internship at the Analytical Service Department at Lord Corporation in Erie, PA. She has had research experiences at Penn State Behrend; Rangos Research Center in Pittsburgh, PA; and the University of Puerto Rico. Alexandra has also had five shadowing experiences. Among other honors, Alexandra has received the T. Reed Ferguson Award. She has also volunteered at many sites in Erie, PA, including Lakeland Area Hospice; The Upper Room Homeless Shelter; and St. Vincent Hospital. Please join me in congratulating these outstanding students.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Woessner: I would now like to offer special recognition to five elected Faculty Senators who are leaving the Senate with a distinguished record of service of at least eight years. As they come forward, I will present them with a certificate signed by President Barron and myself, acknowledging their dedicated service to the Senate. Please come forward when I read your name. I ask that you to hold your applause until all five have been introduced.

Mark Casteel, Senator from York, served as a senator from 2002 to 2018. Served as Secretary of University Faculty Senate from 2006 to 2007. And served as the Chair of the Committee on Committees and Rules, Intercollegiate Athletics, ARSSA, Committee on Information Systems, and Libraries. Mark, thank you for your exceptional Senate service.

You can applaud. It’s time.

[APPLAUSE]

Peter Dendle, Senator from Mont Alto, served as a Senator from 2010 to 2018. He served on Faculty Affairs, and was Vice Chair of Libraries, Information Sciences, and Technology Committee. Is Peter here? Well, thank you for your service.

Terry Harrison, Senator from Business Administration, served as a Senator from 2003 to 2006, and again from 2010 to 2018. He served as Vice Chair of Outreach and Intercollegiate Athletics, and also served on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. Terry, thank you for your service.

[APPLAUSE]

Erica Smithwick, Senator from Earth and Mineral Sciences, served as a Senator from 2010 to 2018. She served as the Vice Chair of Faculty Benefits and Undergraduate Education. And, I served as Vice Chair of Faculty Benefits and that is a hard duty. So thank you, Erica, for your service.

[APPLAUSE]

And finally, Jim Strauss, Senator from Science, served as a Senator from 2002 to 2018. Jim has served as Secretary of the Senate from 2014 to 2015, Chair-Elect from 2015 to 2016, Chair of the Senate from 2016 to 2017, and most recently, as Immediate Past Chair from 2017 to 2018. He has served on CC&R, FAC, Senate Council, ARSSA, Undergraduate Education, and the Committee on External Matters. This year, Jim served as the newly created Chair of the Council of Past Chairs, where on November 28, 2017, he presided over the first special meeting of the council. I should say, thank you, Jim, for your wonderful service.

[APPLAUSE]

So even though I’ve added 25 seconds to this meeting, I want to give one of special round of applause for all five of you for your special service and your time in the Senate.

[APPLAUSE]

Thank you all.

I would like to acknowledge the Senate Officers for their contributions over the past year. Chair-Elect Michael Bérubé and I have worked together in one capacity or another in common cause since I first joined the Senate in 2013. Your combination of intellect, strategic thinking, and good humor has been a huge asset to the Senate. And it has been a pleasure working with you in the last year.

Secretary Annie Taylor. We’ve had an opportunity of working together when we were both elected Senate Officers in 2016. Having won a third term, she will continue to work in my last year as Immediate Past Chair. And Annie has an extraordinary knowledge of Senate procedure. No one has a better eye for detail. But as importantly, she has a kind and positive demeanor that has helped me smile through the most challenging moments in the Senate, and I very much appreciate it.

And Immediate Past Chair, Jim Strauss, with a long and distinguished record of service in the Senate, as I just mentioned in the awarding of the certificate. But he has a devotion to the Senate, and his ideals, his passion, for shared governance are an inspiration.

I congratulate all of you on the time that you’ve spent as Senate Officers, and thank you for your service to the Senate.

[APPLAUSE]

I would like to offer a special thanks to our Parliamentarian, Beth Seymour, who has, with confidence, faced the complexities of parliamentary maneuvering, who has been a great comfort to those of us by making it comprehensible. And she has been an amazing leader, not merely as Parliamentarian, but as the Chair of Undergraduate Education. And I have come to rely on Beth for both knowledge, inspiration, and confidence. So thank you, Beth.

[APPLAUSE]

I would like to offer my thanks to Senator Carey Eckhardt, our liaison to the Graduate Council. Everyone who knows Carey appreciates her thoughtful counsel, and her attention to detail. And I am very grateful for her insights that she offered as we forge a closer relationship with Graduate Council. Thank you, Carey.

[APPLAUSE]

Now I would like to recognize this year’s leadership of the Senate Standing Committees and special committees. So if all the Chairs and Vice Chairs could stand for just a moment. One of the challenges of serving as Chair of the Senate is trying to maintain a working knowledge of every issue on topics that impact this vast and sprawling empire that is Penn State. And I knew that this would be difficult. But, because I have Chairs and Vice Chairs with a specialized knowledge in all these areas of governance, I knew that there was always people I could count on to ask questions, and to lead the Senate in areas which are beyond my area of expertise. So these are the people who make the Senate work effectively, and whose expertise helps us craft a mission and move forward. And I wanted to offer a special thanks and congratulations to the Chairs and Vice Chairs for the excellent work they’ve done in the last year. So, thank you very much.

[APPLAUSE]

Now I would like to ask those who are leaving in the Senate, if they would please rise. Anyone leaving the Senate? Okay. I was going to say or turn over. Thank you for your service to the Senate, and your role in shared governance. For those who are retiring from the University on June 30, best wishes for a long and healthy retirement. And for all of you who served in the Senate, and as you close out your Senate careers, at least for this chapter, thank you. And we appreciate your time and service.

[APPLAUSE]

I want to acknowledge Lee Fessler and Jon Leslie of the Media Technology Services for their work on MediaSite, and for providing technology support for the Senate meetings. I also want to recognize Dave Test and other staff from Teaching and Learning with Technology who have provided support with the clickers.

[APPLAUSE]

I’d like to offer a special thanks to our new Executive Director, Dawn Blasko, for a very successful year. Her long devotion to the Senate and shared governance makes this University a better place. And we appreciate the time and devotion she’s shown to our work in making the meeting run so smoothly for the past year. Thank you, Dawn.

[APPLAUSE]

I want to acknowledge the Senate staff whose dedication to the Senate is unquestionable. This body couldn’t function without the work of the staff, and they do it so seamlessly- it appears easy. Now, these meetings are extremely complex, and they manage to cover every detail to make it run smoothly. But they do more than that. In the last year, we had the meeting of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Conference held here at State College; something we hadn’t had in many years. And, the conference went very well. We have an avalanche of Senate petitions that comes in on a daily basis, and they are all handled relatively smoothly. And the staff has organized my chaotic Senate calendar as I run back and forth between Harrisburg and State College. And without the Senate staff, this would be impossible. And we wanted to offer our heartfelt appreciation to Paula, Anna, Kadi, Allison, Patti, Kathe, Joy, and Michael. Thank you so much for the work you’ve done for the Senate in the last year.

[APPLAUSE]

As a political science professor, I have the unfortunate habit of looking at everything through the lens of politics and history. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Consequently, more than a decade ago, before it was fashionable to embrace interdisciplinary curriculum, I created a course, Political Science 433, titled The Foundations of The Early American Republic that examined the rise and fall of democratic experiments in the ancient and the early modern world. Tracing their impact on contemporary American political institutions, this course is meant to give students perspective they otherwise wouldn’t have. The objective of the course is to give students that sense of what the Founding Fathers knew when they crafted the American Constitution.

In my opening lecture in this course, I dramatically remind students that, in time, all republics die. While democratic experiments may last for 500, or even 1,000 years, republics inevitably succumb to the weathering forces of anarchy or tyranny. Accordingly, the fragile balance of power that preserves liberty and self-government must be maintained by each successive generation. But rather than taking a fatalistic view of history, my introduction during lecture is meant to remind students of the vital role that they play in the longevity of free government.

Whatever their country of origin, I argue that an educated citizenry has a duty to nurture and strengthen democratic traditions in the hopes that freedom will endure for one more generation. Those of us who live in a free country are given the precious gift of this by the generations which came before us, and we have a responsibility to the generations which follow to protect those traditions for the future. While disputes over economic power are, thankfully, not a matter of life and death, there are important parallels in the responsibility that faculties share in preserving higher education’s democratic traditions. In an environment where the drive for efficiency and cost cutting can crowd out competing priorities, many institutions are inexorably drawn to a hierarchical or corporate model of governance where the power is concentrated in the hands of a few decision-makers.

This seemingly irresistible force can drain the strength and vitality from institutions like the Senate that embrace shared governance. But for nearly a century, the Penn State University Faculty Senate has worked to preserve the power, prestige, and influence of the faculty. And that as Senators, and this includes students, faculty, and administrators, we must be the guardians of this tradition. It is not merely enough to slow the decline of shared governance. We have a responsibility to enhance the influence of the Senate, and to assert our primacy over education policy.

Broadening the reach of the Senate requires a combination of cultural and institutional change. In recent years, we’ve seen the outlines of a cultural shift when the Senate has become more inquisitive, more vigilant, and more assertive. Additionally, we’ve also enhanced the structures of the Senate through reform to be more inclusive of fixed term faculty, to promote transparency on the committees, and to protect the integrity of our electoral process. This reform agenda will continue into next year when the Committee on Committees and Rules will lay before the Senate historic legislation that will, for the first time, permit Senate Council to convene itself in response to a crisis, even over the objection of the Senate Chair.

Taken together, these reforms tend to promote deliberative decision making rather than mere efficiency, and they make the Senate a more effective and powerful institution. I believe that, together, we have placed the Senate on a stronger footing to serve the institution, and preserve the traditions of shared governance for our time and the generations which will follow. So as we begin this final meeting of 2017-2018, I want to express my gratitude to all of you for the hard work that you’ve done to make this year a success. The Senate plays a positive role in the life of the University because of your sacrifices. Your time, your passion, and your commitment are remarkable. And I’m exceedingly grateful for the efforts that you’ve put forth for the Senate in the last year. So to all of you, thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

We are pleased to welcome Mark Dambly and Matthew Schuyler with us today. Mark is the Chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Ed Rendell, effective October 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Real Estate and Insurance from Penn State, and he is president of the Pennrose Properties, LLC, a Philadelphia-based real estate group. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Crozer-Keystone Health System, and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Matthew Schuyler is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. He was elected to the Board of Trustees, effective July 2015, as an at-large trustee. The Chief Human Resources Officer for Hilton Worldwide, earned his Bachelors in Accounting from Penn State in 1987, and an MBA in organized behavioral and resources management from the University of Michigan in 1995. His Penn State volunteer service includes membership on the Board of Visitors for the Smeal College of Business, the College of Information and Technology, and the school of Hospitality Management Advisory Board. He has been a member of the National Academy of Human Resources at Penn State. And, the Penn State Alumni Association honored him with an Alumni Fellow Award in 2013.

So, Chairman Dambly will deliver remarks, and stand for questions. Chairman Dambly.

[APPLAUSE]

Mark Dambly, Chair, Penn State Board of Trustees: Thank you, Matt. Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. And every time I have the opportunity to be in the company of our students, I’m always in awe. It is wonderful to hear of the successes that they’re achieving and they’re just amazing students that all of you are helping to educate here at the University. So Matt and I have made it a point in our leadership to spend a lot more time with our students, which I’ll talk a little bit about in a minute. Well, good afternoon, and thank you for inviting me here today. To begin, I’d like to ask Matt to rise and be recognized. Matthew.

[APPLAUSE]

Matt seemed to have a lot more accomplishments than I did, so appreciate that. Matt and I began our leadership positions in July of this last year. And we’re very, very, very pleased to have the opportunity to be here. For those of you who have been here before, I was actually here, I think, last year with Chairman Lubert, and enjoyed that opportunity.

Let me start by mentioning that when Matt and I took on our new roles, we shared several leadership principles with the Board that I wanted to share with you today. Among them were exercising our unwavering commitment to the University in pursuit of its visions and goals; forging a strong relationship with the President and his administrative leadership team; and promoting a culture of mutual respect on our Board. In addition, we are committing to aligning the Board’s focus and activities in pursuit of supporting access and affordability, excellence, community engagement, and inclusiveness.

Matt and I believe it’s critically important that we never lose the sole focus of why we’re here, and we’re here for our students first and foremost. Matt and I want to ensure that there is an appropriate alignment with our students. And to do so, we have implemented a few steps. First, we’ve expanded our meeting time with student leaders so we can learn more about their priorities and those of our students. Second, we are designating additional time to spend time with students in various settings. And lastly, we’re making a concerted effort to meet with a wider variety of students on University Park and our Commonwealth Campuses.

Matt and I try at each cycle of the Board meetings to meet with different leadership groups within the student focus, and we are always, always amazed at their depth of knowledge of issues, and really, how important it is for us to spend more time aligning our interests with theirs. We scheduled time during our professional development retreat in January to meet with some students whose journeys are ones that we, quite frankly, needed to hear. It was important for the Board to hear firsthand about the sacrifices students and families make not just to go to college, but to go to Penn State.

Many of these hard-working individuals are first generation students, and many of them are going to school supporting their families and working multiple jobs. As we listened to their stories, and I think Matt and David Han, who is here with us today, will agree, we enhanced our already deep commitment to the importance of access and affordability. This also gives a renewed commitment to supporting President Barron in his pursuit of this focus. I will tell you, it was really, really moving at our January retreat in Philadelphia. We had four students who came and spoke to us from different parts of the state and different backgrounds. One of the young ladies literally is living in a car with her father so she can afford to go to school. The sacrifices that they’re making to attend our University are really amazing to me.

And we were fortunate enough to come away from that, and the Board has established a new scholarship fund particularly for those students at risk. And so, we renewed our pursuit of assistance. As I reflect on the challenging journeys of our students, we need to be sure that our governance of the University stays true to our goals of access and affordability. We cannot get sidetracked with extraneous distractions. We’re committed to ensuring that we provide our students with a solid foundation of education, service, and learning opportunities.

Matt and I are also committed to staying focused on the importance of our Commonwealth Campuses for our land grant mission. They are critical to providing access to a quality education and economic development opportunities. One only needs to look at the Invent Penn State celebrations at our various campuses to see high quality innovation, entrepreneurship, as well as community engagement in action. I also should mention that I continue to be inspired by the interplay between our campuses and our communities. They are strong bridges, and the role campuses play is significant and impactful.

In March, I was honored to be part of a panel discussion with our Campus Advisory Board Chairs. It was helpful to exchange ideas. We discussed the priorities and efforts of our advisory boards. And it was clear that the volunteer service they provide is very much appreciated. A few years ago when Chair Lubert and I spoke before this group, we mentioned the change that we had to the Board meetings that allowed us to feature faculty and students. Matt and I have continued that practice, highlighting students and faculty in opening remarks in our Dr. Barron’s President’s Report. It’s great, Matt, to see that you did the same here. It’s really wonderful to, again, hear from our students and hear from our faculty, and to hear those experiences. These meetings can be a little mundane and boring, and so it’s always nice to spice them up a little bit and hear from our students and faculty.

Recent meetings have featured faculty who competed and won second in a NASA competition, faculty who are using technology to enhance teaching in classroom space. And students who had a learning opportunity at the Super Bowl. Being from Philadelphia, I’m particularly appreciative of that Super Bowl victory. We continue to be inspired by what all of you do day in and day out to support our students in their learning environments. The Board also benefits from regular input of our Academic Trustee, who is currently Dr. David Han. So David, please rise. And a round of applause to Dave. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

David, as you know, is from the College of Medicine. He’s been Chair of the Governance of Long Range Planning Committee, and his leadership of that group has been outstanding. It’s been really, really great to have David and that perspective of faculty member in a leadership position, particularly in an area of importance of governance. If not the most, it is one of the most important committees that we have. And there’s a lot of very, very serious businesses taking place there. And David represent your interests well, and that of the University as an enterprise. So, thank you, David, for your service on the Board. We’re very much appreciative of it. David and faculty representatives to our standing committees have contributed enormously to our meetings. And they’ve enlightened the Board on critical academic issues. You’re on Finance, right, Matt?

Chair Woessner: This year, yeah.

Mark Dambly: Yeah. So Matt’s been great to participate. Just like students and faculty, the Board- we are a diverse group. We could be more diverse, and we’re working on that, but we’re diverse in thought. But we’re no longer students, and none of us are faculty at the University other than David. And it was really under Ira’s leadership where we put students and faculty onto standing committees. It’s been really, really helpful to us. Again, we can all talk amongst ourselves and make these decisions and think we’re doing the right things, but to have the input of the faculty and students has been really, really helpful to us. And we think leading to better governance for the enterprise.

Another priority for Matt and I is to improve communication with our administration, as well as within our Board. Matt and I do biweekly email communications to our trustees, and we hold regular conference call briefings open to all trustees on the off months. In addition, we have a roundtable discussion with groups of trustees during each meeting cycle. And each semester, we meet with the Faculty Senate Leaders Administration. And this meeting will be happening next Thursday, so we look forward to that.

Finally, several weeks ago, Matt and I came to University Park to meet with President’s Council. It was an excellent opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas, including many focused on the caliber of our faculty in supporting the Penn State’s mission. The end of the academic year is now in sight. Let me close by not only thanking you for the opportunity to be with you today, but also thanking you for all you do for advancing the University’s mission.

So, thank you all very much for having Matt and I. We appreciate it. And we really are thankful for the quality of faculty that we have at the University. We’re very, very supportive of it. We continue to support that in our meetings with Nick, who is also very supportive of you, and the President. Matt and I would be happy to stand for any questions or comments you may have. So, thank you.

Chair Woessner: Comments or questions for Chair Dambly?

Mark Dambly: I came all the way from Philly. I can’t solicit a couple questions? Here we go.

Chair Woessner: If you wait for the microphone, we’ll get a person down here. And remember to stand. And if you would say your name and your unit.

John Liechty, Smeal/Eberly: I hope I can remember my name. Sufficient to say it. My name is John Liechty. I have a joint appointment in Smeal and Eberly. I guess my question has to do with your perspective from the Trustee level looking down at the entire enterprise. I look at it from, obviously, foot soldier in the weeds. I think about incentive structures, and the type of rewards we get as faculty, students, et cetera, staff, to tackle problems that might be fairly large-scale. It might be high risk. Of importance to society, but not necessarily rewarded locally by the local department chairs, or even deans.

And so I’m wondering if, in the Board of Trustees deliberations, there’s a number of things you can think of. We have a wonderful medical school. I sit on the Benefits Committee. We had an interesting conversation today about how the medical school works, how the medical profession works, how Aetna works, and making sure that we negotiate the rates that we have, and the lack of transparency, data quality or product quality, and lack of competitive structures that exist for us to try to, as consumers, put pressure where our dollars go, would be one example of a fairly complicated, important social problem that, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have a very reasonable– I mean, we have the market solution. And if you look at the growth of the health care cost in America, that’s not, in my estimation, a good solution.

But we have an opportunity to potentially tackle something of that nature. But with the people in the room that I was sitting with, and that Benefits Committee, I did not feel we had the right incentive structures, or, I’m not sure exactly how to say it, but the right forum to potentially try to tackle something like that. So that’s an illustration of impacts that I think an institution like Penn State could have on society which are challenging for thought leaders to try to step into and help make happen. So any thoughts you have about how Penn State, as a higher level, could think about those type of ideas, could try to think about incentive structures or rewards. Because, at the end of the day, I’ve got five boys to put through college, and I can’t afford to go off and save the world if I can’t pay for their tuition, even with Penn State’s discount. Thank you.

Mark Dambly: For a real estate guy from Philly, that’s a pretty deep question. But I will say to you, Matt’s and my leadership style is that, first and foremost, we are very supportive of President Barron and President’s Council and his administration, and we have the utmost trust in their judgment. We are very empowering to our committees and our committee Chairs, and we asked them at the beginning of our tenure to set out their priorities and objectives for the year. And we manage with those committee Chairs those objectives and the progress on them throughout the year.

We formed two task forces. One was an affordability task force, which Matt is heading up, Access and Affordability Task Force. And a real estate task force where we’re getting pretty granular in terms of the operations. We’re not personally, but we’re engaging in a process to dig a little bit deeper into the operations and functionality of the University as an enterprise. And on the real estate side, the same thing. We own billions of square feet of real estate, and hundreds and thousands of acres.

It’s a balance for a business person like myself and Matt to come to the table and look for incentives and for metrics by which we would measure in the private industry how we would deal for health care. And I’ll let Matt talk a little bit about health care since he’s Chief Human Resource Executive for Hilton Worldwide. But we’re challenged because we would do things a little bit differently in the private sector than you would do in the public sector at a public institution. We’ve worked very closely with President Barron in terms of his goals and objectives in trying to establish metrics by which he can be measured, and then his folks can be measured. Mary in HR, and David in Finance, and the physical plant. So in each of those units, we are setting those metrics by which they can be measured.

We don’t get much beyond that, to be honest with you. We’re a fiduciary board. Our most important job is to hire the president, to align ourselves with a strategic plan, to manage risk. And, I think, to set goals and objectives, and to manage the Board as best you can, to manage a board of 35 folks. So that’s kind of how we operate. And I think we do aspire to be the best. And I’ll tell you, the messages that Matt and I send when we talk about affordability– and I know there’s been some discussions at the faculty level on it. We’ve talked to the President’s Council at length about it. Our number one goal is to maintain the quality of our faculty, maintain the quality of our students, and to maintain the quality of our physical plant.

There are different ways to do that. There are different ways to do that more efficiently, maybe, than what we’re doing now. That’s what we’re looking to do, and to challenge Eric,with his staff, to do that. But for us, we’re just not going to get our fingers into it. That would get really messy. And I’ve got a family and a couple of businesses to run, and Matt’s got five children. So we think it’s not appropriate for us to dig that deep. But we are focused on being thought leaders. We’re focused on setting examples, and establishing metrics and goals by which we can be measured in a positive way against our peers. So I don’t know if that helps you.

Chair Woessner: Well, I want to make sure we have room for other questions as well.

Mark Dambly: You have a comment? I’m happy. You have a comment?

John Liechty: [INAUDIBLE] You know, I’m eminently practical and a minimalist when it comes to many things in my life. And so I understand where your perspective is coming from. Maybe the follow-on suggestion or thought would be that the metrics which are being considered could be broadened to consider impacts in the broader. You have to run the ship. You have to pay your bills. You have to have the students. We charge them a lot of money. We make a lot of money. And we want to see that we’re doing impact.

Mark Dambly: So it’s more the social and impacts, and more of the community-based impacts versus fiscal?

John Liechty: Any strategic plan looks at where your competitive advantages are, where your strengths are. We have deep strengths in engineering. We have deep strength in medical science. We have very good professional schools. And then we ask ourselves, conditional on that, where can we put some additional resources to make a distinctive contribution? And so, I value the mission of the University to educate. I think that’s extremely important. I value the research mission that we have. And I don’t pay attention to everything, so I’m sure there are points that Professor Jones could point out to me and say, you didn’t see this public impact, you didn’t see that public impact. And I’m not ostriching the head, I’m just doing my job.

But I think that would be a nice thing for us to think about. And it would take some leadership, I think, even at the very top. You obviously don’t have to set the policy and follow it through and run the whole thing. But if you don’t have that as part of your metrics that you’re considering and asking the leadership team for, then I am pretty sure that the ideas that are floating through the University that could make a difference will have limited chance to come to the top.

Mark Dambly: That’s fair enough. Fair enough.

Chair Woessner: Thank you. Other questions or comments? I see one in the back.

Jake Springer, Student Center for College Education: Thank you for coming. So, I know that the Board has worked with access and affordability. It does have a student senator on the Board. But what are you doing to understand the problems that diverse communities are having, especially diverse student communities? For example, under-represented in communities having extended graduation rate and dropout rate much higher than their white counterparts. How are you utilizing Outreach and things like that to understand what they’re going through, and then react in a proper manner?

Mark Dambly: Well, I know that we have had a number of presentations in our both Outreach Committee and our Academic Affairs Committee. And, Matt, I don’t know if you have any additional knowledge on it. I know it’s a focus, certainly, of the President. It is in his goals and objectives. It is one of the goals and objectives, and one of the areas in which we do measure him by, and therefore, it cascades down through the rest of his administration. So it’s a focus. And I can tell you we’ve had a number of presentations on it. We’re certainly committed to it.

I think we have work to do with it, to be honest with you. And there’s so many things to work on. I don’t think that we’ve lost sight on it. But if you have suggestions on areas in which we should focus more or less, and how we could be more focused and be more results-oriented, Matt and-or myself would be happy to have a conversation with you, or whomever else you think would be helpful to do so. But it’s on our radar screen, and we are focused on it. Nick, did we have two or three? I think we had a couple of presentations in either Academic Affairs or Outreach on that. And I think we had a video presentation on it. And so, we’re aware.

Chair Woessner: Other questions or comments? Very good.

Mark Dambly: Thank you all for everything you do. And thanks for having Matt and I. Thank you very much.

[APPLAUSE]


COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

Chair Woessner: Item E, Comments by the President of the University. President Barron is unable to be with us today.


COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST

Chair Woessner: Item F, Comments By The Executive Vice President And Provost. It is my pleasure to recognize Provost Jones for his remarks and questions. Provost Jones.

Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost: Thank you, Mr. Chair. As was just indicated, the President actually is in Illinois today leading a conference on Greek Life. This is something that has been talked about for about a year and a bit, and that conference is taking place as we speak, which is why he’s not here. And apologies from him. I’ve got a lot of things to cover, so I’m going to do them very briefly, just to give you these quick updates. And I know there’s a busy schedule ahead, so I’m mindful of that.

Searches, update on searches. The College of the Liberal Arts search. We did do what we had planned to do earlier if we ran into a hiccup, and that is retain the services of a search firm. We were not satisfied with the breadth and depth of the pool of candidates, and so a search firm has been retained. They will be here on campus next week meeting with folks to discuss the parameters of the search. And we are going back to work in that search. Susan Welch has graciously agreed to extend her tenure as dean until December 31, 2018 at 11:59 PM, but no more. So we are anxious to get Susan’s successor in place. And if we are not successful by then, I hope we will be, we will appoint an interim at that time. So that search is going along with a little hiccup along the way.

Health and Human Development dean search is proceeding very well. We have three finalist candidates that we have scheduled in to interview on campus over the course of the next month. A robust pool. We’re excited about the quality, and we hope that our next of HHD is among that group. Leading into and over the summer, we will be launching searches for the dean of the College of Arts and Architecture to replace Barbara Korner. And also for Dickinson Law to replace Gary Gildin, both of whom will be stepping down at the end of next academic year. We have also searches underway for chancellors at both the York campus. We’re in the final stages of that search, and the Schuylkill campus. We’ll start in the very near future.

Fundraising campaign. Some of you may have participated in the event last Friday where it was announced we are now past $600 million dollars in fundraising so far toward our goal of $1.5 billion dollars. So we’ve less than a billion dollars to raise. And hopefully that’ll provide some incentive to you if you’re feeling generous. But we’re making really great progress. The messages in the campaign, I think, are resonating well with donors. And there’s a lot of excitement afoot.

AC21 promotions and titles for fixed term faculty. We’ve had a very busy year, as most of you in the room know, there has been much activity. And I spoke to Kathy before the meeting. It is our intention in the fall to provide a more quantitative report, but I will just say that I think a lot of energy and effort has gone into that process this year. And we’re thankful for all of your cooperation and collaboration. And again, I think we’re on a path to a really good outcome with the implementation of AC21.

In a break from tradition, I’m going to say very little about LionPATH and WorkLion. They both continue to be works-in-progress. We know we’ve got a ways to go in both. So I’ll leave those for now. But I will just remind everybody that we are beginning work this summer in the deployment of SIMBA, the System for Integrated Management Business and Accounting. That is the replacement for ISIS.

And I think I’ve shared it with this group, but if I didn’t, I’ll say it now. I asked Michael Busges for his assessment of disruptiveness for enterprise transitions. LionPATH, on a scale of ten—ten, okay, 11. WorkLion, on a scale of ten, probably more like five. So smaller in scope. Some bumps, but not, maybe, quite as impactful. I asked him for his projection on SIMBA, eight. So it’s got to be more impactful than WorkLion because it reaches every corner of the institution, but probably less disruptive than LionPATH. So just be aware that that’s what we have coming over the next couple of years.

Been doing my campus visits this spring. I’m done with most of them. I have Altoona this week. And Abington and Fayette had to be rescheduled because of uncooperative weather. But unfortunately, probably won’t get to all of the campuses this year before the students are gone. But they’ve been extraordinary visits. I’ve had lots of people accompanying me on each visit, and I think it’s been very worthwhile experiences for them also to get a sense of the campuses.

Strategic Plan implementation. And actually, this is an opportunity to address perhaps the question that was raised earlier for the Board Chair. There are two key activities that are underway. One is the Request for Proposal process. We’ve gone through two cycles this year. The Implementation Oversight Committee met last week, and basically tentatively approved the ten winners of the second round, if you will. There were a couple of other projects identified that, actually, we sent elsewhere to be funded because they were great ideas, but didn’t need to draw on the RFP funds. So we will be getting those announcements out very soon. So that makes 22 proposals between greater than zero, but up to $250,000 dollars that we’ve funded over the course of the past year.

So if you have ideas about areas that the institution should be looking at, this is a place to go for funding to do pilot work, seed work, and begin to build an initiative. I think the one that you identified aligns very nicely with our enhanced health theme and a case can be made that this is an area where we might want to be doing some exploratory work. So I would welcome your proposal in round three, which is going live soon, and will be due in the fall.

At the institution level, we’re looking at a number of significant investments across the institution. Again, I’ll pick on health as an example. We are putting together an initiative to tackle the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. And we believe that, with the breadth and depth of expertise we have across our institution as well as our geographic spread, both through Ag Extension presence and all of our counties and our campus distribution, we are uniquely positioned as an institution to tackle this problem in ways that few other institutions can even imagine. So we’re excited to see that get launched. And I think that’s another example of a very impactful initiative for the University.

Just to hit it off in the questions, I’ll bring it up now. And I guess I’ll give this one a name, ‘Nannygate’. And this refers to the issue around campus rec activities that has shown up in the media over the last several days. Mea culpa, I found out about it, really, yesterday evening at the Commonwealth Campus Senate Caucus, and have scrambled around this morning to find out a little bit more about what is going on.

I would like to be able to read you a University statement on this issue. I don’t have one, but I have a draft statement. So if I may, I will read it because the fact that it’s a draft statement means, unfortunately, it’s not out. And it actually explains what is truly happening. That said, I don’t think this was managed, communicated, handled in the right way, and we will be taking a look at that. But I can understand that there is broad concern on this issue.

So here is the statement. And it’s a draft, so don’t quote me on it. “We, too, want students to enjoy the outdoors and remain safe while doing so, which is why we have evaluated these affiliated student groups for risk activities. However, in addition to the inherent risks found in many of these student activities that occur without fully trained guides or leaders, the behaviors of some students on unsupervised trips have become a concern. These concerns have, at times, included the misuse of alcohol in the context of already risky activities. This mix of activities is obviously dangerous. To address these concerns, the groups are being disbanded in their current high risk model, and are actually being reorganized to provide more oversight of activities by trained and professional staff. We have been discussing concerns with group leaders for more than ten months, and focusing on how to help the clubs reach national standards for their activities with regard to safety. The realignment for these clubs actually arose from the students themselves, who expressed concern, and a student-led discussion of risk levels within their activities. Outdoor activities will continue in a reconfigured form that focuses more on safety.”

So the good news is, despite what is in the media, it’s not our intention to stop our students from going on hikes. But there is some work to be done because, as this statement notes, some of the activities have a higher level of risk already. And if you combine those with other risky activities, they really are a cause for concern. But again, mea culpa, I don’t think we handled this issue, as an institution, in the way that we should have. And so, we’re going to do our best to put the toothpaste back in the tube on this one. So bear with us over the next few days as we clarify the situation.

I’d like to finish just on a positive note. And it’s mainly driven by the fact that I will be speaking at a small event tonight. We have a program here at Penn State called the Humphrey Fellows Program. It’s hosted in the College of Education. Some of you may be aware of it. Penn State was one of the original 13 universities across the nation that participates in the Humphrey Fellows Program. The number of participating institutions has expanded greatly from the original 13 to 15. So it is still a very select program.

What this program does is brings in mid-career professionals, generally in education, from countries around the world; Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Middle East, for advanced study, professional training, and work-related experiences. I had the pleasure this year of being an informal mentor to one of the Fellows from Ecuador. And I can tell you, it was a great experience for me also, to learn from her, as well as giving her an opportunity to learn from me, and, more broadly, from Penn State. So I just want to finish on that because I think it’s one of the many, many, many ways that are often below the radar screen that you might not necessarily see that Penn State is having a significant global impact. You all, as faculty of this institution, should be very proud. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments for Provost Jones? Oh, there’s a question across.

Mohamad Ansari, Berks: Ansari, Berks. Good afternoon, Provost Jones. How are you?

Provost Jones: Good, thank you.

Mohamad Ansari: I know that you’re not going to like this question, but I have to ask. It’s about LionPATH. Two things. First, the interface. Are we going to have a user face, a new one, for this LionPATH soon?

Provost Jones: Yes. We have a group that is working on that. It’s complicated, but we’re working on it on two fronts. One, better organization of tasks, and better consideration of workflow that make it more intuitive. But also, just generally an improved user interface. There is a group that is working on that largely in response that we’ve received from this group, and other faculty and staff groups.

Mohamad Ansari: Thank you. Secondly, when our students drop a course before the late drop, their names still show as enrolled students in our rosters. Can that change, please? Because we have to go to Canvas to see who are the current students, but the LionPATH still shows those as current students. And this is what I have talked to my campus Registrar. And actually, he told me to bring this to your attention. Maybe you don’t know, I don’t know.

Provost Jones: In the Faculty Senate meeting.

Mohamad Ansari: Well, that’s true.

Provost Jones: That’s a good place to do it, yes. OK.

Mohamad Ansari: When I was Senate Chair, I had access to you. But now I am a peon. So the only place that I can talk to you is at the Faculty Senate.

Provost Jones: Right. So it appears you still have access.

Mohamad Ansari: Well, that’s good. You heard him, right?

Provost Jones: I will take that request back to the LionPATH team. And I am sure there is something that can be done. I don’t know what it is, but I understand the concern. And I’ll take it back to the LionPATH team.

Mohamad Ansari: Thank you so much.

Provost Jones: You’re welcome.

Mohamad Ansari: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Chair Woessner: Other questions for the Provost? Very good.

Provost Jones: OK. Thank you all for a great year.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Woessner: Before we begin our Legislative agenda, I would like to welcome Michael Verderame, Senior Associate Dean for the Graduate School at Penn State who will be presenting the Annual Report of the Graduate School. Vice Provost Jean Younken was originally scheduled to offer the report, but had a schedule conflict at the last minute. You will note that this report is sponsored by Senate Council, and is listed on the Informational Reports on the agenda. However, Senate Council approved moving it earlier into the meeting. Dr. Verderame, you have the floor.


Annual Report from the Dean of the Graduate School

Michael Verderame, Senior Associate Dean for the Graduate School: Thank you, Mr. Chair. It’s a pleasure to be here today. I bring greetings and apologies from Vice Provost Younken. She’s at an important event going on in Harrisburg today. And I’m happy to bring this update on her behalf. At the Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity this morning, I did provide an end of the year specific update that highlighted a few of the regular things that happen every year, including the number of NSF awards that our incoming students have received, which has gone up dramatically this year. The fact that we have two students headed to Lindau, Germany for the annual Nobel Prize Winners Meeting, and the awards ceremony tomorrow, that will be hosted by the President, honoring and recognizing graduate student accomplishments.

What I’d like to do today, however, it’s apparently coming, is present you with a little bit of a higher overview in the few minutes that I have of what’s going on in the Graduate School, some of the things that we’re thinking about. And I’ll start, and hopefully it’ll eventually show up, with some leadership changes in the Graduate School. So JeanYounken, of course, is the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and Dean of the Graduate School. I have the honor of serving as the Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate School. But there have been a number of additions and changes in the last year that I want to highlight. First would be Dr. Stephanie Danette Preston. Stephanie earned her biology degree from Xavier, a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Xavier, and then a PhD from Penn State here in the College of Education in Curriculum Instruction and Science Education. She joined the Graduate School. OK, that’s going to be really boring if that’s the only one we get. There we go. We’ve got the next slide. Ah, there we go.

So here’s the outline. I want to talk a little bit about the administrators. I want to give you an overview of our portfolio at this point. Just a word or two about long-term enrollment trends and application trends that we’re keeping an eye on. And then just a few words about some major projects that are underway. So here is the leadership. Stephanie at the bottom there. So, Stephanie joined the Graduate School in 2013 as the Director of Educational Equity. And in July of 2017, I’m pleased to say she was appointed as Assistant Dean for Graduate Educational Equity. And she oversees our continuing efforts to improve the diversity of our graduate student population here at Penn State.

Second on that list is William Clark. Bill received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science here at the College of Liberal Arts. Went on for a Master of Arts in Political Science at Drew University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. He went on to spend 26 years at Louisiana State University in their political science department, the last five as Chair of that department. And we brought Bill here in October to be the Associate Dean for Program Review. His major focus going forward will be to establish a robust review process for our graduate programs, looking at quality measures, tying in together with the learning outcomes assessment work in Lance Kennedy-Phillips’ office. And basically, making sure that we continually review our programs to look for those that are strong, and for those that might need some help in improving, and how we can continue to present the best educational program offerings we can for our graduate students.

And then finally, on the list third there, Sarah Ades. Sarah did her bachelor’s degree at Yale University in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Went on to MIT for a PhD in Biology. Joined the Eberly College of Science faculty in 2002. And Sarah recently joined us, actually, back in February as the Associate Dean for Graduate Student Affairs. Her primary role is a critical one- she serves as the ombudsperson for all our graduate students across the University. For those problems that can’t be solved at the local level, or are complex, Sarah will join with the leaders in the college and the graduate program to address whatever problems come up and solve them. In addition to that, she also has responsibility for developing our graduate professional development portfolio going forward. And so, those are some of the changes in the Graduate School leadership in the last year, actually.

So I just wanted to spend a few minutes giving you a broad overview of the programming that the Graduate School currently offers. I’ll start with, we offer 195 major fields of study. Everything from accounting to workforce development and education. Within those 195 graduate majors, we offer 305 different degree programs. You can see the breakdown there. Ninety-three PhD programs, 112 research masters, small number of professional doctoral degrees, and 92 professional master’s degrees. And I’ll have more to say about professional degrees in a few minutes.

The work continues. The Joint Curricular Committee of the Graduate Council last month approved another PhD program, this one in epidemiology from the College of Medicine. And at its meeting next week, we’ll consider six additional degrees, including four new professional master’s degrees. So the programming for the Graduate School continues to expand. So perhaps not surprisingly, that increase in the number of degree programs is part of a long trend. And so, not surprisingly, the number of graduate students at the University also continues to increase. And so, over the last five years, we’ve had about a 20 percent increase.

I present this to you, though, to actually give you a peek under the hood. If you break that down into the four main categories we typically speak about, you can see at the bottom in the light blue the number of professional doctoral students, with a few programs, few students relatively constant. Above that in yellow are the research master’s degree programs. Again, over five years, not much change. Above that in dark blue, the research doctoral degrees. And again, not much change. And so, in fact, all of that change I showed you on the previous slide is coming from the growth in students enrolling in professional master’s programs. And although not shown here, I can tell you that that’s obviously a trend that’s been going on for some time. And we anticipate that to continue going forward. There’s no question that professional master’s degrees at the graduate level have been, and will continue to be, a strong trend.

The other reason I mention this to you is that, particularly for professional master’s degree programs offered on the World Campus, these can be a source of revenue for colleges. And that’s important, particularly at a time of challenging state budgets, and challenging research funding. Many colleges are using a portion of that revenue to help continue to support their PhD program, to provide the kinds of stipends and support packages that are necessary to recruit the very best students to our programs here at the University. And so, it’s been an important source for them going forward.

I want to just take a minute, then, to talk about application trends. The line is in the other direction. Now, I’m first to acknowledge, as a good, card-carrying scientist, that’s a three year trend. I’m not going to get too excited about it just yet. But it does represent about a 7 percent decrease. And again, I’d like to give you a peek under the hood at that. In red are applications from international students. In blue, from domestic students. You can see quite clearly that the domestic line is pretty flat, as it has been for some time. But the decrease is completely from international students, and it represents about a 7 percent decrease in applications over just two years.

This is not unique to Penn State. In fact, I was just reading yesterday about overall there’s been about a 3 percent decline in enrollments. Michael’s nodding his head, confirming across the country. We do not yet have our final enrollment figures for the fall, so I can’t give you any assessment of whether that’s true for us or not. At the moment, you can see that despite the decline, we receive over 8,000 applications from international students. And so, I think it’s fair to say at the moment there’s not a major concern. But certainly if this trend continues, at some point down the road, one might ask, does this impact the quality of students we’re able to recruit from the international pool? And something obviously we’re going to be continuing to watch going forward. We did look at the breakdown a little bit. And so far, about half of this decrease is actually from one country, and that’s India. And so, whether there’s something significant there going on for us, we need to look into it a little further. But we’re obviously going to continue to watch that going forward.

So I want to close just by, maybe, recounting a few minutes about two major projects that have been going on in the Graduate School this year. The first is Starfish Graduate Advising. So our Graduate faculty provide outstanding advice to our students, but they’ve done so for many years without the support of any kind of system that would help organize, provide meeting access, keep records for them, and help them organize those records in any kind of way. I’m sure many of you are familiar with both the processes that had existed at the undergraduate level, and now that Starfish is in place, for undergraduates, how that supports it. And so, the dean charged a task force this year to look at how we might be able to use Starfish at the graduate level, recognizing that it’s a very different setting, of course. And the task force is busy finalizing its recommendations. I can give you a preview. I think there’s, really, at the end of the day, probably three recommendations that will come forward. The first is that we believe, based on our conversations with both the LionPATH development office, as well as the Starfish folks, that Starfish should provide some rather nice tools to support graduate program heads and college administrators in seeing trends across their entire population rather easily. In contrast to now, where you would have to go in LionPATH, have specific queries constructed. You should be able to pull out information much more easily in Starfish to look at specific trends. And so, we think that will be a significant improvement for those folks. And then, we believe that, again, based on our conversations, we should be able to implement a function that will support doctoral committee work as they help advise their students through the committee process. And so, we’re looking forward to that. That will be a little more complex to implement, but we think that that is something we’ll be able to do.

And then finally, just a word on Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program Task Force. I guess I get to mention the magic word LionPATH. The implementation of LionPATH revealed some challenges with our Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate degree programs. And Provost Jones charged the task force to look not just at the problems that were revealed, but across the board. And that group is busy polishing its report in anticipation of submitting that to the provost hopefully by the end of the month. And with that, I know it’s a busy schedule, but I’m happy to take any questions if there’s time. Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Time has expired, but if there’s any urgent questions, we’ll go from here. And remember to give your name and your unit, please.

Kevin Reuning, Graduate School: Hi. Kevin Reuning. I’m the student representative from the Graduate School, so the graduate student representative. I’d like to ask how the Graduate School perceives the response to graduate unionization. Over the last few months, I’ve seen the Graduate School act as fearmongerers, making absurd claims about what graduate unionization would mean. Before going into these claims, I want everyone to realize that over 30 graduate unions exist in the United States, many for decades, and at many public universities just like Penn State.

Despite this, the Graduate School has claimed that unionization would imperil international student visas, even though Penn State’s own legal services have said this is not the case. The Grad School has claimed that unionization could prevent grad assistants from attending conferences, even though we cannot find a single case of this. The Graduate School has claimed that getting rid of a union in Pennsylvania is, quote, “nearly impossible”, even though dozens have been de-certified in just the last few years. Given all this, I want to know if you think that the Graduate School has lived up to Penn State’s values of ethics. Thank you.

Michael Verderame: The Graduate School has taken tremendous pains to make sure that every notification that’s put out has been clear and factually based, and stands by those recommendations. In many cases, the answer has been, we don’t know, because we don’t know until there is a collective bargaining agreement. The concerns are the concerns of the Graduate School.

Chair Woessner: One more question.

Michael Krajsa, Lehigh Valley: What are the four new professional master’s degree under consideration?

Michael Verderame: There’s one in real estate, one in corporate finance. And I’m sorry, the other two escaped my notice.

Michael Krajsa: All right. It doesn’t surprise me. I’m a business professor. It doesn’t surprise me that they are trending up. Two suggestions. One, in these new masters– because the skills for the 21st century are going to change in five years. You get an MBA eight years ago, you’re obsolete already. Are you trying to make any provisions in the array of professional master’s degrees so if I enter one, I can pick and choose X amount of courses from some of these other masters, and make something that I need, rather than just keep me in a silo?

Michael Verderame: We have not at the graduate school talked about anything like that. Although, I participated in a task force with the Provost on a different topic earlier this year. And one of the things we talked about in great detail in that is, going forward, how do we structure the University in a way that provides the kind of flexibility that people need? That report’s in the Provost’s hands at this point.

Michael Krajsa: And to grow our master’s program. I taught in another institution, and seniors who had above a 3.8 average in their senior year were allowed to take two master’s courses paying undergraduate tuition without taking any of the GREs and everything else, so that way they can already say, I’m a master’s candidate, and they already get their feet wet. Are you considering anything like that to grow that?

Michael Verderame: We don’t need to consider it. We already allow it. So seniors in the Schreyer Honors College are allowed to take graduate level courses. Seniors not in the Honors College with a 3.5 GPA are allowed to, with permission of their department head in the Graduate School. So we provide the opportunity for undergraduate students here to take graduate courses already as a senior.

Michael Krajsa: That message doesn’t get down to of the Commonwealth campuses.

Michael Verderame: I’d be happy, if you want to MXV8. Feel free to email me. I’ll get you all the information you need.

Michael Krajsa: Thank you.

Chair Woessner: And our time has expired. Thank you very much.

Michael Verderame: Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]


FORENSIC BUSINESS

Chair Woessner: Forensic Business, none.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Chair Woessner: Unfinished Business. The Senate Committee on Committees and Rules has two Legislative Reports that were introduced in the March 13 meeting, and will be discussed and voted on today. Our first Legislative Report can be found at Appendix B, and is titled “Revisions to Bylaws, Article I, Officers, Section 1”. Chair Vrana has asked me to remind members that there is a lengthy, frequently asked questions listed in the Senate Report that you’re welcome to reference. He and Victor Brunsden will answer questions and make the presentation.


Revisions to Bylaws: Article I-Officers, Section 1
(Introduced at the March 13, 2018 meeting)

Kent Vrana, College of Medicine: Thank you, Matthew. We have before you a committee report that’s been a year in the making. I’m not going to belabor the details of it, except to say that it is intended to allow senior leadership, the Chair, to stand for re-election for a maximum of two terms. And it modifies both what will now be called the Vice Chair position, which was the incoming Chair, or the Chair-Elect, and reduces the term of the secretary to two years.

The idea behind this is to make the Senate leadership a little more nimble. So someone is elected and then takes the seat right away, rather than waiting a year as the Chair-Elect. It also increases accessibility because some individuals may be reluctant to stand for election to the chair sequence because it’s a three year commitment. This allows folks to stand for Vice Chair for one year. And there is a term limit of one year for the Vice Chair. And then can run again for Chair, but does not automatically become the Immediate Past Chair. So that’s the essence. We’re prepared to take any questions you might have about this.

Mohamad Ansari: Ansari, Berks. Good afternoon, gentlemen. How are you?

Kent Vrana: Fine, thank you.

Mohamad Ansari: I want to congratulate you for this report. Many years ago, the Senate went through a self-study. I was the Chair of the committee, but unfortunately I forgot to take on this particular issue. Kent, you spoke to it, and what you said I have seen in practice as a member of the Senate Council Nominating Committee. I have been asking my friends, the colleagues from the Senate, to stand for election. And the majority of the times, they tell me it’s a three year commitment, and it’s too many years to commit to this leadership.

But many of those people that I’ve really tried to solicit names for nomination, they were ready to stand as Chair, not to begin one year of gathering experience at Chair-Elect, and then following to become a Chair. So I think if this legislation is passed, we can get more leaders coming to the table, and serve the Senate. So I want to thank you. And I hope that my colleagues will support this legislation. Thank you.

Kent Vrana: Thank you very much.

Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture: I also support this legislation. I think the University has changed dramatically over the last 20 years or so. And I think the ability of a Chair to be able to have two terms is really important because I think it takes about a year for that Chair to figure out how to do it. I’m not convinced that a year in training is really sufficient. I think that our Chairs generally learn to be Chairs by being Chairs. And, with that in mind, we have a good one, and an effective one. I think it would be in our interest to be able to re-elect that person if possible. Thank you.

Kent Vrana: Thank you for that. And I’ll just amplify that by pointing out that we’ve designed it so that there will be a re-election. Because if we have one that’s not optimal, we’ll have the opportunity to make a change.

Laura Pauley, Engineering: I am opposed to the proposed change in Senate leadership. I think that the position of Vice Chair will be very different from the current position of Chair-Elect. When I served as Secretary of the Faculty Senate, I observe the activities of Jim Strauss, who was Chair-Elect at that time. In officer visits to campuses and units, the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President, Board of Trustees, and other meetings, I saw Jim was taking notes of possible committee charge items for the following year.

Before Senate elections were completed, he was already talking with other senators about serving as committee Chair or Vice Chair. These preparations in the Chair-Elect to year allowed Jim to immediately serve effectively as Chair. A person serving as Vice Chair would not use that year to prepare for the Chair position. The current officer structure has an overlap of three officers to assure perpetual continuity [INAUDIBLE] across the years, not only between the two years that a particular person might serve as Senate Chair.

As a visual representation, I have prepared this model showing the overlap and strength of communication from one year to the next when three Senate officers have overlapping terms, and the Secretary at the top has a one year position and can be re-elected right there. Here’s a second model showing the proposed Senate officer structure. The difference between these two models is clear. And it’s also clear which model gives a stronger, long-term, explicit continuity.

[APPLAUSE]

Kent Vrana: Thank you very much. I truly am not worthy. I am not worthy. In fact, the loss of the Chair-Elect position was the major sticking point to this proposal. And we tried to cover that in a couple of different ways. And the first is that there are a set of requirements that you will find that individuals have to have served in leadership positions before they can stand for Chair. We have a nominating committee that will look for individuals who have that expertise. And then we as the body politic have the right to choose the person we think will serve in the job the best.

The only point of contention I would have with you is that the Vice Chair will serve the same role as the Chair-Elect does now. So they’ll serve the same function, and so will, in fact, serve as a Chair-Elect. But their term is limited to one year in order to have lots of Vice Chairs available to stand for election.

Laura Pauley: They won’t have the same eye and perspective as knowing that you’ll be moving into that Chair position the following year.

Kent Vrana: Point taken. But I would hope that the person who stands for election as Vice Chair would have that at least in the back of their mind. But there is no guarantee. Other questions?

Chair Woessner: Okay. Are we ready to vote? This report is brought to the floor by committee, and needs no second. Are there no questions? We will use clickers for today’s voting. The system provides a precise count of each vote. It also allows for confidential voting, and gives immediate results. Senators should have received their clickers before entering the auditorium. Please raise your hand if you don’t have a clicker, or if your clicker is not working. OK.

Senators joining by a MediaSite can cast their vote at PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. Should we unveil the prompt?

Paula Brown, Senate Admin Coordinator: I’ll get it right now.

Chair Woessner: Well, we picked it up and cleared the clickers. So we’re going to read it right now. So senators joining by MediaSite can cast their votes anywhere on PollEverywhere.com. Press A to accept, or B to reject. OK, we wait for our result on PollEverywhere.

Anna Butler, Senate Staff Assistant: On PollEverywhere, I have six accept, and two reject.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 66 accepts, 58 rejects.

Chair Woessner: So motion fails. Thank you, guys. We need two thirds majority on a change of Bylaws. OK.


Chair Woessner: Our second report can be found in Appendix C, “Revisions to the Constitution, Article II, Membership, Section 5(c). It was introduced at the March 13 Senate meeting, and will be discussed and voted on today. CC&R Chair, Kent Vrana, will present the report, and lead the discussion.


Revisions to Constitution; Article II – Membership, Section 5(c)
(Introduced at the March 13, 2018 meeting)

Kent Vrana: So just as a reminder, this was brought to us by the Graduate and Professional Student Association that noted that they did not have representation on the Senate, whereby two undergraduate student programs did. And so, this is a report to suggest legislative revision of the Constitution to allow them to have representation on the Senate.

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments? I see one up here.

Steinn Sigurdsson, Science: How does this fit in with the role of the Graduate Council as the representation for the graduate affairs, and delegated do so by the Senate?

Kent Vrana: So the association has different status than the council. And so, just as the undergraduates have two different organizations that they belong to, the graduates do, and professional students do, as well.

Steinn Sigurdsson: But the graduate students have representation on the Graduate Council, which is the Senate body that serves graduate affairs. So why should they have representation both in the Senate and in the Graduate Council?

Kent Vrana: Just as the senators have representation on the Senate, the individual units have representation, even though there’s a Senate Council. So it’s just direct involvement in the legislative body.

Chair Woessner: Other questions or comments? We ready to vote? OK. Senators joining by MediaSite, you may cast your vote at PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. We’ll wait for PollEverywhere. Oh, we lost it again?

It’s OK. It’s all right. We can do it again. Let’s do the clickers one more time. Senators joining by MediaSite, you can cast your votes on PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. Oh, wait. Error. OK, if we get caught in a bundle here, we’ll do it by hand. Try it again. OK. Waiting for PollEverywhere.

Anna Butler: I have seven accept and one reject.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 99 accept, 20 rejects.

Kent Vrana: Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. Thank you.


LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

Chair Woessner: Today we have six Legislative Reports. Our first report is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and Undergraduate Education can be found at Appendix D. The report involves aligning policies to promote students’ academic recovery and success. Now, I have a note here from Dawn that says, “I do not think we need to read the title of this one because it’s about 45 characters long.” So I’ll simply leave it for The Senate Record. Committee Chairs Mary Beth Williams and Beth Seymour will present the report and stand for questions.


Aligning Policies to Promote Student Academic Recovery and Success: Changes to Policies 47-80 Repeating Courses; 51-50 Cumulative Grade Point Average; 54-00 Academic Progress; 54-20 Academic Warning; 54-40 Academic Suspension; 54-50 Academic Dismissal; 54-90 Academic Renewal; 58-20 Persons to Whom Policy is Applicable; 58-50 Conditions for Re-enrollment as a Degree Candidate; New Policies: 51-70 Recovery Points; 58-80 Re-enrollment From Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal

Elizabeth Seymour, Altoona: Hi. I’m Beth Seymour, the Chair of Undergraduate Ed. This is Joyce Furfaro. She’s the Vice Chair of Undergraduate Ed. And Jake, I don’t remember your last name.

Jake Springer, Student Senator: Springer.

Elizabeth Seymour: Springer. And Jake Springer, he sits on ARSSA.

Mary Beth Williams, Science: So our committees bring this report to the floor today after months of work and conversation to emphasize our commitment to student success. Student success is our top priority, and it is examination of our data and our current policies that has led us to bring this to you today to consider. Penn State admits students who we believe will be successful, who have demonstrated academic achievement, and who deserve a chance at Penn State. And we’ve invested an enormous amount of resources to recruit them, to attract them, to bring them to Penn State.

Our goal here is to bring interventions for those students who are at the highest risk for failing out of our University because we do not have an alignment of our policies and practices to exert the interventions to help them to be successful.

Jake Springer: Just to echo on that, in my time in student government, I constantly hear the pleas for help of students that need intervention, and need guidance from people like their advisors, from faculty members. And this system sets up not only a way for them to be helped by their advisors in a more practical and reliable way, but also a way for them to help themselves in a way that they have consistently asked for before and during my time at Penn State. So I’m so excited to share this with you.

Elizabeth Seymour: I’m sorry about the technical difficulties. It seems to be our curse today. Anyway, one of the things that I think you see before you is a really complex set of policies that we’re trying to align. So I know it takes a little bit of time and patience to really understand what we’re trying to do. Also, we’re building on the revisioning in this space over the last four years. And some of the things that we saw with the prior policy wasn’t quite working the way I think we might have intended. And, I think we anticipated that, as we changed our system so much.

So some of the following issues that we’ve noticed when we looked at the research that’s been done, first year students who experience academic difficulty without interventions have very poor outcomes. As we admit students into the University, part of our goal, we would argue, is to help them when they start getting into difficulty. So some of the arguments you’re going to see before you are ways in which we can start a process of identifying students in difficulty, and reacting. A lack of individual consideration, fine detail in policy, fails to take into consideration individual student difficulties and recovery.

I don’t need to remind you, you are all Senators, you know this well. We are a large University with many disparate populations that have different types of needs. So whenever we write policy, it is difficult for us to write a policy that’s going to impact every student in the ideal way that we want it to. Because we have to write a policy, right? We have to have a uniform policy. So part of what you’ll see before you are moments in which we’re arguing that, through a petition process, students can petition their individual circumstances under certain conditions.

We also notice that, in our current policy, we had a lack of opportunity in the policies to support academic recovery other than renewal. And we try to address that. There is some confusion and ambiguity in the policies, and the implementation was delayed. It was delayed for the obvious LionPATH reason that will not be mentioned loudly, but just is there. Some portions of policy were not implemented. So for instance, course repeats already prohibited a repeat with a C or better. And also, we had other spaces where there were some petitions allowed that were not explicitly written in the petition process. So you’ll see some clarification before you addressing those concerns.

Overall, the recommendations in the report focus on a few areas. Let me move this. Opportunities for students to academically recover by using the most recent repeated course grades and calculation of grade point average. Early intervention. So we’re going to advocate for individualized student academic recovery plans. Some of these already exist across the University. I must give a shout out and kudos to some of my colleagues who have worked on this very diligently.

We want to see that expand to all units so that there are clear, articulate academic recovery plans. And we’ll be writing a report that will address this, bringing best practices from both the Commonwealth Campuses, several academic units at UP and the Morgan Center. And we’re also, within the Senate, going to be developing an enhanced, expedited petition process. And if you have any questions in that space when we get to it, Joyce is my expert.

Mary Beth Williams: So I wanted to use this slide not to scare you, but to express to you that this committee has taken a long and very thorough look at very large data sets to look at student flows and student outcomes across the institution. So using data provided by the Registrar’s office. This is an example of a single screenshot of data that simply follows a cohort of students on an individual basis to ask what happens to them if they experience difficulty in the first semester. In this chart, orange is bad. And we use visualization like this.

On your handout, you have a summary of some of the data on one of your sheets. It’s summary data that compiles across the entire institution, 90,000 students on all of our campuses, and outcomes over these four semesters. Because it is so complex, we use this visualization tool to dive in and ask questions about what happens to students as a function of campus, as a function of part time or full time enrollment, as a function of whether they’re first semester or first year or upper division students. And we looked at that carefully and deeply, and talked about impacts on students, to take a critical look at the data as a subcommittee, and as our committees. And this is where the recommendations are coming from.

Our current policies, as you know, exempt students in the first 18 credits from our academic standards practices. And so, a real hole in our policy is what happens to students in their first semester and first year. And so this is, again, on your handout. I want to highlight this table here because the proposed changes that we bring to you today are to address a gap in this policy that directly impacts this population. So this table shows you a population of students that began in summer 2017 across all campuses. There were 237 students at Penn State who earned a GPA last summer of less than 2.0. So it’s just a fraction of the students who began enrollment at that time.

Of those students, more than half of them did not return the next semester. So we lost 107 of them after one semester, largely part time enrollment in the summer. The ones who returned to the University in the fall semester who experienced academic difficulty in the summer, you’ll see a large percentage of them continued to experience academic difficulty. In our current policy, all of those students remain in good standing. Their average GPA at the end of the fall semester is 0.54. Of this population, the students who were able to recover in the subsequent semester and earn a semester GPA of more than 2.0 were 38. That includes student athletes which we’ll talk about more in just a moment. All the student athletes in this dataset are in this final number.

OK, so what we see is, then what happens, we follow them to this semester. The students are struggling. Look, 24 of them continued to be enrolled in good academic standing at Penn State. Continuing on, and their average GPA is now close to 0.2, right? Because our policy isn’t capturing them, because, for most of them, there are no interventions in place, they’re in a situation where their academic hole is so deep that it will take many semesters of B-work or better to bring their GPA above 2.0. That is, to graduate and to be successful. And at the same time, they’re of course paying tuition. We think that this needs to change.

Elizabeth Seymour: We did receive some concerns. And the top portion is a little piece of an email that we received from the HHD Caucus. And we’ve received concerns in multiple areas from multiple places about student athletes. We also received concerns for Penn State Athletics. It’s not that we’re not sensitive to the concerns of student athletes, but at least within the datasets we’ve been analyzing, because of the good work of the Morgan Center, those student athletes are okay. Part of what we’re trying to advocate here is that we need a policy that’s going to help us extend that good work out to the entire University.

Mary Beth Williams: And so, I’m going to pick up on the third line here on this slide. We have also had discussions with World Campus and others about the impacts of these proposed changes on part time students. Keep in mind that students on World Campus are much more likely to attend Penn State part time than are students at our residential campuses. We took a careful look at the data, at the impacts of changes in policy on part time students; to address the concern that perhaps they just have not had enough time to get their academic feet under them.

And as a result of looking at that data and additional discussions, our committees unanimously voted this morning to make this amendment to the document. And so, I’ll show this to you in the policy in just a moment. The recommended amendment, then, is to take into account that part time students need a little bit more time. And by part time, we’re really specifying less than seven credits.

Elizabeth Seymour: Seven or less.

Mary Beth Williams: I’m sorry, thank you for the correction. Seven or fewer credits in a semester. Because the typical academic load for a part time student on World Campus is four and a half credits. Is that right? Four and a half credits per semester. So we really want to capture the adult learner who is trying to return and be successful, and make sure they have sufficient time here. So our amendment as written is that suspension would be deferred at the end of the student’s second semester at Penn State if they completed seven or fewer credits in at least one of these semesters. So this applies only to first year students who we’ve identified as the gap in the current policy to give part time students a little bit more time so that they can be academically successful.

Elizabeth Seymour: So, just to quickly summarize again before we get on to the policy itself, we’re trying to provide opportunities for students to academically recover by using the most recent repeated course grades and calculation of grade point average. So that’s one of our major changes here. And you’ll see a lot of other minor changes in language. We’re trying to also change the tone. Our old policy, and I voted on it, had “fail” in it a lot, so we’re trying to change some of that much more Draconian sounding language to one that’s much more focused on trying to retain students and help them recover.

Also, we’re working robustly to try to provide better early intervention that’s going to include this warning piece that’s in the policy. But it also will include working to help develop with the Undergraduate Advising Council really good robust paths for units to help develop this. And the Senate is going to work to develop an enhanced expedited petition process.

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments? I see you in the back.

Elizabeth Seymour: So what we’re going to do right now, too, is to draw your attention to the change that’s not in your document, but that our committees voted on and passed, and put that up in front of you so that you can see it in the context of the policy.

Fred Aebli, Scranton: Are you familiar with what we’ve been doing at the Scranton campus with the Bridge Program? So is that what you were alluding to in that second bullet, I guess, as far as the support mechanism?

Mary Beth Williams: Yeah. So there are a number of support mechanisms to support students to be successful in the summer. I’ll say the summer admits, students are often given that extra time, are encouraged to take that extra time, to enable them to be successful. And so there are programs, whether it’s the PaSSS Program, there’s lots of programs that are aimed precisely to do that.

Fred Aebli: Because I know that we’ve been looking at the data, and it is working. So everything you’re saying, it is working. There’s another side that I have a question about, and I haven’t directed directly to them either. There’s still this catch-all where we’re playing catch up, in a way. Are you entertaining the notion at of creating a dialogue with secondary education? One of the things that we witnessed last year in a meeting with the superintendents from our region is, they were stunned. This is news to them that they’re coming in unprepared.

Now, they see certain data, of course. But they’re not seeing it at a really granular level that would make them help act on it. I mean, that may be well beyond the scope of your group, but that’s something that is not happening. And it’s never happened. Or, it’s not happening consistently.

Jake Springer: So as a hopeful high school teacher and superintendent, I love that idea. We haven’t thought about it, but that is somewhere that I could totally see this going in the future. And I would love to speak with you further about that. And I think it’s a great idea. So thank you for bringing it up.

Chair Woessner: Other questions or comments? In the back?

Richard Singer, Altoona: I have two comments and a question for you guys. The first is, a couple of years ago when I was on the ARSSA Committee, we got rid of deficiency points for a reason. Bringing them back with another name here, I’m not sure is a great idea, unless of course LionPATH is going to calculate them for us automatically. Number two, when we talk about retaking courses and eliminating, I guess the worst grade, or is it just the first grade?

Mary Beth Williams: No. It’s talking about just taking the most recent grade. So if a student repeats it several times, it’s just the most recent.

Richard Singer: So my question is, what happens? Many students, by the way, if they don’t make it past a course here at Penn State, take it somewhere else in the summer. So what happens if they take it at another institution and don’t actually get a grade, number one? And number two, it seems to me that if you allow the students to engineer their GPA by taking the course again, that they are more likely to take a course that they might not pass in the first place because they know they have a second chance. And, I’m not sure that allowing that first grade to go off the GPA calculation is the right thing to do.

Mary Beth Williams: I will take the first one, and I’ll hand it to Beth for the second. So your first question was about transfer credit. And in transfer credit, credit comes in without a grade associated with it. So that would not be used in this policy- to replace a grade on the transcript. And the transcript of Penn State courses would remain as-is. But those kinds of details will also come through in the implementation of this policy as ACUE writes the AAPPM to deal with how we manage those.

Elizabeth Seymour: What’s the second one? I didn’t catch it.

Mary Beth Williams: That’s why I handed it to you.

Elizabeth Seymour: Richard, could you restate what your second point was? I was drifting.

Richard Singer: Yeah. As the students know that they no longer have to worry about the F that they get in Math 140 the first time when they shouldn’t have been taking it in the first place, they may be encouraged to take courses just to give it a shot because they know they can erase it later on. And I’m not sure that’s a good idea, to allow the first grade to disappear.

Elizabeth Seymour: It’s actually part of what we would anticipate being a positive, Richard, is that this would allow a student to stick in a course that they may be struggling with, and know that even if they failed, I’ll pick on Math 140, that there’s a utility to sticking with it sometimes so that you can go through the entire semester. And then if they come back and take it again and pass it with a C or a B, that actually having the second grade be the one that counts for the cumulative GPA, may embolden students to be a bit more riskier, and learn better in the process- because that’s part of what we’re here for. The first grade will stay on the transcript. And just so it’s clear, the first grade stays on the transcript. So as students apply to other graduate schools or go out on the job market, all grades appear on the transcript. Please take a look at your handout, too. This is not out of line with our peers.

Chair Woessner: I saw a question on the far side, here.

Mark Stephens, Medicine: Good afternoon. I’m Mark Stephens with the College of Medicine. I rise on behalf of the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. I do not have a wonderful model, I have merely my cell phone. Thank you for the hard work that you all have put into this. And thank you for the amended language. The committee would like to put forth a motion that this be returned to committee, not necessarily for content, but really for process. The report was shared in a rather compressed timeline, and the committee is not satisfied that all relevant stakeholders may have had the opportunity to thoroughly digest and respond. Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Is there a second?

Unidentified Senator: I second.

Chair Woessner: OK. We have a discussion, then, on the motion to return to committee. Turns out my receiver down.

Victor Brunsden, Altoona: Brunsden, Altoona. Mathematics, Faculty Athletics Representative for Division III. I would stand very much against returning this to committee. I think this policy needs to be passed. I do not see that there is any reason to return this to committee for process. Implementation is not up to the Senate, it is up to ACUE. These policies have been out of whack for quite some while, and we are losing students to the gaps that we have in our policies.

I think that it really does behoove us to move on this. Consultation for what? It is not as though this has not come to the Committee on Campus Athletics, which consists of myself, and the other Division III, and PSUAC Faculty Athletic Representatives. This is not a problem for student athletes. It is not a problem for the Division III and PSUAC student athletes, some of whom have been working under what amounts to this policy for years. There are conferences, in particular, at the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference that has more stringent GPA requirements for Division III athletes than the University does.

Both the Altoona and Behrend student athletes have been competing and completing their degrees very successfully for over 15 years under this policy. So I do not see that this presents the major difficulty that some seem to think it does. If you go back and look at this body’s report on intercollegiate athletics, which, I might say, focus specifically on the Division I student athletes here at University Park, this shows that there would only be about two students every year that might actually wind up suspended. Right now, they have resources available to them in the form of the Morgan Center that most students do not. In particular, vulnerable students who might be in World Campus or elsewhere don’t have access to these resources. And they are not being informed of the hole that they are potentially digging for themselves in a timely fashion with our current policy.

It would be remiss of us to craft our policies for over 80,000 students simply on the basis of that it might affect a population of less than 1 percent of the student body. That is not a good way to make educational policy. So this should not go back to committee. We should vote down this motion to send it back to committee, and then go on to vote these changes in.

Mohamad Ansari: Ansari, Berks. Thank you, Victor. I can’t say I can do better than what you did. I totally concur with you. And not from the standpoint of the technical recommendations, but from the standpoint of two committees of the Senate have worked extremely hard to bring this report to us. As Victor said, it is time for us to discuss and debate the recommendations. Sending it back to two committees is not going to change anything. We have done this before. This report is not ill prepared. This report is well prepared by two standing committees of the Senate. Two of the most important committees, I must say. All our committees are important, but there are some that are more important than the others. No, seriously-this is true. So I strongly recommend our colleagues to vote this motion down. And let’s get on to the business of approving that report. Thank you.

Kimberlyn Nelson, Science: Again, I’m all for, as Mary Beth knows, anything that prevents students from failing. But I do want to address this sort of facetious argument of putting policies in place for one percent of the student population. If you look at these numbers we’re being presented with, 237 students out of summer school first semester, that’s a pretty small percentage of students. So if you want to argue, let’s argue numbers to numbers. Because one of the problems I had is, often I got a percent for something, and absolute numbers for something else for which I had no context to provide a percent. So I don’t know what percent of students overall we’re handling. So I think it’s a little facetious to throw out athletes versus anybody else without any really solid percentage numbers of impact. Again, I think losing a single student is critical. Again, my thing is, the time frame in which we’ve had to digest the number of changes that are being implemented and the range of changes has been limited.

Chair Woessner: Just for clarification, you’re suggesting it go back to committee? You’re suggesting that the Senate vote in favor of sending back to committee?

Kimberlyn Nelson: That we need numbers to accurately compare apples to apples, and not apples to oranges.

Chair Woessner: I appreciate that. It’s just important at this stage that we focus on the debate about whether we should send it back to committee. And we’ll talk about the merits if this continues and doesn’t go back to committee.

Kimberlyn Nelson: [INAUDIBLE]

Unidentified Senator: Call the question?

Chair Woessner: I need to call on you before we can call the question. Is there a question back there?

George Samuel, Nursing: Samuel, College of Nursing. I’m standing in opposition of the motion to recommit this to the committee. Over the past year, I had the opportunity to serve as the University Park Undergraduate Association of student government as their Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. So I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of the student centers in this room, some that aren’t here today. But we have worked closely with both of these committees, the subcommittee, to make sure that the student voice is heard throughout this process.

During our General Assembly Meeting on March 21, University Park Undergraduate Association unanimously passed a resolution in support of these changes. And since it was one of our last meetings, we had a lot more students than usual come to that last meeting. And at the end of it, usually students trickle out, everyone’s got their Wednesday night business to take care of. But a lot of students stayed behind to talk to myself, Alex was VP at that point, Vansh, to express their gratitude for the Faculty Senate for taking a look at all these policies, and how they’re actually affecting students.

So many students shared their stories, which they didn’t have to do, about how they struggled their first year. And that compels me to share my story. So in my first semester here, I struggled. This was a terrible transition for me. I lost myself. I lost myself mentally. For weeks I would sit in my room trying to contemplate who I am at this University. And it’s a very overwhelming fact to have that going on in your head, and then still trying to figure out, all right, how am I going to pay attention to my academics?

At the end of the day, students are going to take care of their mental health and not their academics when it comes down to it. Well, for me. But giving them the opportunity to learn more about the interventions in place earlier in their academic career could significantly help them. In my first semester, I applied to transfer. I got in. And I was lucky enough to find in the University Park Undergraduate Association students who were committed to their academic success at the University who told me that advisors aren’t just there to help you with scheduling. They’re there to help you strategize how you’re attacking these courses, how you’re studying, how you’re managing your time, how you’re prioritizing. And that was something I didn’t understand as a freshman.

But with these recommendations being made today, any student and every student will be getting that early into their academic careers so they’re not digging themselves into a 0.5 or a 0.2 hole by the end of their second semester. So I stand in strong support of this. The University Park Undergraduate Association is in strong support of this. I want to thank everyone who put work into this. And please, please, please take into consideration those students who will be missed if we recommit this to committee. There are another batch of students that are coming to this University. We shouldn’t let them fall to the wayside. So, let’s please keep this conversation going. I love it, but commit to the students, please.

[APPLAUSE]

Chair Woessner: Any other comments on the motion?

Nicholas Rowland, Altoona: I just have a couple questions. The committees, were they asked to consult explicitly with Intercollegiate Athletics during the course of the charge?

Mary Beth Williams: I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

Nicholas Rowland: Sure. It’s no problem. I’m just trying to put this into some context. So if we’re saying that there was insufficient consultation, does that mean that during the charge of the committees, you were charged to consult in advance with Intercollegiate Athletics especially in the conduct of the report?

Mary Beth Williams: So I would have to review our charge, but our charge was to work together as joint committees to work on this policy.

Nicholas Rowland: OK, that makes sense. The report that we’re all reading now, did that come out later than it usually does? No?

Mary Beth Williams: I don’t believe so.

Nicholas Rowland: Oh, I didn’t think so either. Okay, then I encourage everyone to shoot this down, and let’s get back to the discussion.

Chair Woessner: Michael.

Unidentified Senator: No more questions?

Chair Woessner: We’ll do it by voice vote of objection as far as whether or not we should call the question. All in favor of voting on the motion, say aye.

All Senators: Aye.

Chair Woessner: All opposed? Okay, we’ll move on to voting on the motion. If you are in favor of accepting the motion to return it to committee, what do we do, press A?

Paula Brown: Yes.

Chair Woessner: We’re running on a MediaSite? What’s that?

Unidentified Senator: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Woessner: Oh, I know. That’s fine. Okay, so if you want to accept the motion and send it back to committee, press A. If you want to reject the motion and continue the discussion on the floor of the Senate, press B. So to accept the motion to return to committee press, A. To continue the discussion, press B.

Anna Butler: Okay, on PollEverywhere I have two accept and six reject.

Paula Brown: Okay, in house we have 19 accept, 95 rejects.

Chair Woessner: OK, so motion fails. It does not go back to committee, and we can resume the discussion on the legislation.

Rosemarie Petrilla, Hazelton: What does this mean to transfer students? I know the University, as they transfer into Penn State, Penn State does a recalculated GPA, and it counts all the attempts of all courses. So for instance, if they took a course and got an F or a D the first time and repeat the course, they count both attempts in the recalculated GPA.

Mary Beth Williams: Yeah, I think I’m confused by what you’re asking me.

Rosemarie Petrilla: So we’re allowing our own students to, if this goes through, we’re only going to count the second attempt, or not the first attempt in the cumulative GPA. But–

Mary Beth Williams: I think I understand what you’re saying. So regardless of what year they are in, if students in the proposed policy repeat a course, the current policy is, they cannot repeat if they’ve earned a C or better. So that part’s not implemented right now. We’re recommending that it be implemented. So if students who originally earned a D or an F repeat a course and earn a higher grade, the most recent grade would be counted in their cumulative GPA, but all of the grades that they earn would remain on the transcript.

Rosemarie Petrilla: Right. But if a student is transferring into Penn State, we’re not extending that same courtesy to them?

Mary Beth Williams: That’s because their grades do not transfer to Penn State. Transfer credit transfers as credit. It does not figure into the GPA.

Rosemarie Petrilla: But it does impact the decision. So when I make a decision about a student coming in, we have a minimum standard, and I use that recalculated GPA. So that may just be a program policy, but OK. Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Other questions? Hold on.

Renata Engel: Renata Engel, World Campus. I’d like to speak to the modification that’s made in the academic suspension. I’m in support of this because I believe it preserves the original intent of the policy to still notify students of when they are on academic warning. But it allows students across the University who might have that first semester where they’ve taken fewer credits. And so technically, they may not even be at that 18 credit spot yet that first semester, being a part time student.

And that’s true for World Campus students. It’s true for students regardless of the campus who start in the summer. It hits a lot of students. And I think this enables them to really get the same equitable affordance that students who would be getting full time credits earned in two semesters. So I think this is a good modification while preserving the original intent. Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Other questions or comments?

Keith Shapiro: I’d like to say that I support it. I’m looking at the academic warning statement here. And I think one of the things I think is most encouraging about it is that at that meeting where the student goes and talks to the advisor, this kind of gives guidance on what’s really supposed to happen in that meeting. It’s just not to get the hold off, it’s to fix the problem.

And I think sometimes the function of getting the hold off is the problem, but getting the student back on track academically. What’s wrong? What do they need to do? All the things you talked about gets a little bit missed. And this makes it very clear. A lot of faculty members, when they start doing advising, they don’t have a whole lot of experience. And there’s not a lot of training. And I think this makes it a little clearer what they’re supposed to do.

Kimberlyn Nelson: I’m just trying to contemplate this. And this is part of my problem. I’ve had six days to try to work my way through this entire document and run scenarios, and now we have another amendment to that. So does this now help our first semester students who are required to start in the summer? So that intention is to also cover the summer students so that they can actually have a full year here at Penn State before we suspend them?

Mary Beth Williams: That’s actually yes.

Kimberlyn Nelson: So that is now true?

Mary Beth Williams: Yeah, this amendment would give students who begin in the summer and take a fewer than seven credits. Seven or fewer.

Kimberlyn Nelson: Seven or fewer, yes.

Mary Beth Williams: Seven or fewer credits in the summer. They would not be eligible for suspension after their first full time semester. They would continue on warning if they continued to have academic difficulty.

Kimberlyn Nelson: Right. Because we were in the position of suspending a first year college student before they actually got a full year of college in the old policy.

Mary Beth Williams: That’s right. The amendment does not do that.

Laura Pauley: The one question I had was the change from a maximum of three times repeating a course to two times seems to be not as student friendly. And especially if the late drop is being counted. There’s a lot of pressure on that student which may be struggling to have the 2.0, a lot of pressure for that one opportunity to take the course.

Elizabeth Seymour: Yeah. I don’t know how many of you all remember the conversation on this exact policy four years ago when we voted on it the last time. But there was much discussion on exactly this point. While it hasn’t been implemented that long, one of the things that we do see across the University is a very uneven application of, currently it’s three attempts, but you can petition your academic unit head. And in many units what’s happening is, basically we have four attempts occurring.

Part of the concern there of having four attempts happening is a financial aid concern because financial aid only covers those first two attempts. So once you go to the third attempt and the fourth attempt, it is, in essence, biasing for those students that can afford to do that against those students that can’t afford to do that. So there’s an inequitability there. Moving it from the three to the two, with the two still having a petition to your academic unit, we anticipate many of those, if there is a good case to be made, will be approved for that third attempt. So part of this is an attempt to close a window on a fourth attempt.

Renee Borromeo, Mont Alto: I love the work, and I really am very much in support of the changes. There’s just one that has bothered me. And I realize this is something that was there before and you’re just suggesting that we implement more strongly, which is only being able to take a course if you’ve gotten below a C in it to repeat. And I advise students who need to get into high level graduate programming a GPA of 7.2 or higher to be even considered.

There are students who have gotten a C in a course who would love to take it again to try for a B or an A. And to me, it’s kind of discriminatory against our higher functioning students. I know we don’t have a lot of sympathy always for our students who come and say, “Oh, but I really need the A.” But sometimes they do really need the higher grade. And to me, if they’re willing to come back, retake the course, why would they not be afforded the same privilege that a student who got a D in a course would be?

Mary Beth Williams: I really appreciate this comment. This is something that the committees discussed. And you’ll see in that part of the legislation a recommendation that there is a process by which students can gain permission from their academic unit to repeat of course that they earned a C or higher in. And our thought was exactly that. It could be the pre-med student who needs to get a higher grade in organic chemistry, or it could be a College of Education student who needs their GPA at a certain point for a licensure. Same for nursing. So that’s exactly why we built the appeal in at that point. It would go to the unit. So it’s an academic decision by an academic unit.

Elizabeth Seymour: And if I could add just one thing in that space. One of the reasons that we’re recommending that we start implementing the policy that’s already in place, which is that you can’t repeat if you earn a C or better, is that it’s come to our attention from various colleagues of ours, both students and faculty, that students who earn an A in a class are repeating it to improve their GPA, particularly for some of our entrance to major controlled majors, right? And so, that’s why we’re recommending that that policy that already exists now be implemented. But we’ve given this path, which is already there, but we’re articulating a path for students to petition to their academic unit for exceptions.

Chair Woessner: In the back?

Richard Singer: Singer, Altoona. So when the advisor meets with the student to come back in, is the advisor then the ultimate responsibility of making that decision? In other words, can the advisor say yea or nay? I’ve been through about a half a dozen of these so far, and I can tell you from reading the plans, and what am I going to do now to get better, and everything, they say exactly what they think will get them back in again. And so, I’m not sure who has the ultimate authority or responsibility for saying yes or no for the re-enrollment.

Elizabeth Seymour: Richard, I understand what you’re asking, but I didn’t understand what it pertains to. Is it the petition process? Is it suspension?

Richard Singer: No. We have in the policy that you’re putting forth here the need for the student to meet with an advisor. And the advisor is supposed to review what the plan is such that the student will be successful the next time versus what’s happened in the past. And my question just relates to the fact that, is the advisor the one with the responsibility and the authority to say yes or no, or is there an appeal process beyond that? Because when you read the forms that come from the Registrar from the student trying to re-enroll, they all say exactly what they’re supposed to say, “OK? I’m really sorry, and I know I screwed up last time. And I’m really, really, really going to work hard this time.” That’s what they say, you know?

Mary Beth Williams: Yeah. No, I understand your question. So we talk a little bit in this policy about the academic policies for requirements for re-enrollment following suspension. Should this legislation be supported by Senate, it would go to ACUE for the implementation steps who has the authority. We envision that it would certainly involve the academic advisor who is having that individual conversation with the student, but that academic units would also be involved in the ultimate decision.

Richard Shurgalla, Health and Human Development: Do we have the resources in place from an advising perspective? That’s one of the questions that I’ve heard from several folks, especially in some of our Commonwealth Campuses, where they may not have the resources that we do here at University Park.

Mary Beth Williams: Where to start with that? There has been convened a committee of academic advisors that spans across all of our campuses to discuss how to implement the current policy, with the goal of bringing interventions together with tools like Starfish, to look for students who are experiencing difficulty, to set expectations, and to have these kinds of conversations already. They were part of the consultation for development of this legislation. And so I can tell you there are four units at University Park who have already implemented the processes to work with students who are at the highest risk here. My college is one of them. There are also multiple campuses who are already doing this. So it’s a question of sharing what we’re doing- doing some additional training. And that kind of best practice of sharing will come forward in an Advisory Consultative report that that group is helping us to write.

Chair Woessner: Are we ready to vote? OK. So this report is brought to the floor by committee, needs no second. Senators joining by MediaSite, you may cast your votes at PollAnywhere.com. Press A to accept, or B to reject. Now we’ll wait for PollEverywhere.

Anna Butler: PollEverywhere, I have five accept and two reject.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 100 accept, 18 reject.

Chair Woessner: Good. Thank you. Kent, would you like to come up for a while? We’ve got a few reports to go over.


Chair Woessner:  Our second Legislative Report can be found at Appendix E. It is titled, “Revision to the Constitution Article II, Membership, Section 1.” Committee Chair, Kent Vrana, will present the report. And because it’s a change to the Constitution, it will be voted on in the September 18 meeting.


Revisions to Constitution; Article II – Membership, Section 1

Kent Vrana: Thank you very much, Matthew. This Legislative Report on revisions to the Bylaws in Appendix E refers to simply trying to align the new vernacular for ranks and titles in the Constitution. Sorry, I said Bylaws- in the Constitution.

Chair Woessner: If there are no questions for clarification, we’ll move on to our next report for presentation.


Chair Woessner: Our third Legislative Report can be found in Appendix F. It is titled, “Revisions to the Bylaws, Article II, Senate Council, Section 3.”


Revisions to Bylaws; Article II – Senate Council, Section 3

Kent Vrana: And this is a change to the Bylaws, allowing for the Senate Council to call itself into special session on a two-thirds vote without the approval of the Senate Chair.


Chair Woessner: And if we move on, our fourth Legislative Report can be found at Appendix G. It is titled, “Revisions to the Bylaws, Article X, Amendments.”


Revisions to Bylaws; Article X – Amendments

Kent Vrana: In this case in Appendix G, we’re proposing revisions to the Bylaws that would permit CC&R to make non-substantive editorial changes without going through the normal legislative process of reporting it to the Senate, waiting a month, and then having to vote. The short form version of this is simply that the CC&R would make the suggestion to Senate Council. If they made a two-thirds vote that the changes were minor, they were just technical terms, that then the Senate Council would approve it by a two-thirds vote. It would be communicated to you all. And then what would happen is, any single Senator who wished could then send it back to committee.


Chair Woessner: Our fifth Legislative Report can be found at Appendix H. It is titled, “Revisions to the Standing Rules, Article I, Section 12, and Article II, Section 1 and 6.”


Revisions to Standing Rules; Article I, Section 12 & Article II, Sections 1 and 6

Kent Vrana: Which is withdrawn administratively.

Chair Woessner: Which is officially administratively withdrawn in light of the vote on the Bylaws earlier today.


Chair Woessner: Our sixth and final Legislative Report can be found at Appendix I. It is titled, “Revisions to the Standing Rules, Article I, Section 12, and Article II, Sections 1 and 2.” Because this legislation also involves Standing Rules, it can be presented and discussed. It cannot be voted on today. [Edit: Revision to Standing Rules; Article II – Curricular Affairs, Section 6-c]


Revision to Standing Rules; Article II – Curricular Affairs, Section 6-c

Kent Vrana: So, Appendix I is a change to the Standing Rules. We were approached by Curricular Affairs. Their workload has expanded so much that they’ve asked permission to name two Vice Chairs with discrete domains of responsibility.

Chair Woessner: I’d like a correct here, because I think my script is off. This is Standing Rules, so we’re going to go forward on a vote. [Edit: Revision to Standing Rules; Article II – Curricular Affairs, Section 6-c]

Kent Vrana: So we will vote on that today. Questions?

Chair Woessner: Are we ready to vote? Okay. This report is brought to the floor by committee, and needs no second. Senators joining by MediaSite, you may cast your vote at PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. If you have a broken clicker, just raise your hand. We have a couple of them out there. The technology is wonderful when it works. One back here. And we will wait for PollEverywhere.

Anna Butler: In PollEverywhere, I have three accept and one reject.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 96 accept, no reject. One vote not counted.

Kent Vrana: Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. Thank you.


ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS

Chair Woessner: We have five Advisory/Consultative Reports today. The first is from the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid, and Educational Equity and Campus Environment. It appears in your agenda in Appendix J. Late fees assessment to undergraduate students. Committee Chairs Mary Beth Williams and Asad Azemi will present the report, and respond to questions.


Late Fees Assessed to Undergraduate Students

Mary Beth Williams: Thank you, Mr. Chair. In response to comments from several faculty and students that were submitted to us, this is an Advisory/Consultative Report from our committees jointly to describe and recommend changes to the University late fee policy for students with delinquent Bursar accounts. I want to say a special thank you to the LionPATH development and maintenance office who provided the datasets for this, and to the offices of the Bursar and Student Aid for helping to write and edit this report. We couldn’t have done it without them.

In this report, you’ll see in the data for the fall 2017 semester that there were more than $3 million dollars in late fees assessed to students who had overdue accounts with the University. And that these fees disproportionately impacted our students with financial need. Some of them had assessed fees in excess of $1,000 dollars in the fall semester alone. I want to say personally that I did not want to bring this report. This report breaks my heart. This is not when I want to see Penn State doing. So I’m sorry to even bring this to you today.

Based on the data in our benchmarking, our committees are making three recommendations. And the first is to have a maximum cap per student, per semester of $200 dollar for a late fee. That we postpone the first billing date until after the regular drop/add period, which ensures sufficient time for external funding sources to be brought into the University and applied to student accounts so they’re posted. And we’re also recommending that we increase the flexibility of the installment plan. So instead of three payments, students can pay their bills in four to five installments. Waive the enrollment fee for students with high financial need, and automatically enroll students who have very high financial need.

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments? Are we ready to vote? Okay. This report is brought to the floor by committee and needs no second. Senators joining by MediaSite, you may cast your votes on PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. And now we’ll wait for PollEverwhere.

Anna Butler: In PollEverywhere, I have three accept and one project.

Paula Brown: In house we have 91 accept, nine rejects.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. Thank you, Mary Beth and Asad for all your work this year.


Chair Woessner: The next Advisory/Consultative Report is from the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules appears on Appendix K. Recommendations for Standardized Support for Senate Officers. Committee Chair, Kent Vrana will present the report, and respond to questions.


Recommendation for Standardized Support for Senate Officers

Kent Vrana: I swear this is the last one. This is a pretty straightforward Advisory/Consultative report. We’re recommending to senior administration that in order to support our colleagues in standing for office that we standardize the release time and support they receive. Especially for those who are contemplating the three year term of service that comes with serving as Chair-Elect, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair. And so, we’ve recommended in this report a series of guidelines for release time to be provided to those individuals.

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments? Are we ready to vote? Okay. The report is brought to the floor by committee and needs no second. Senators joining by MediaSite, you can cast your votes at PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. Okay, we’ll wait for MediaSite.

Anna Butler: From PollEverywhere, I have three accept and one reject.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 89 accept, four rejects.

Kent Vrana: Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. And I appreciate all your hard work, Kent. You’ve probably been one of the most active CC&R Chairs we’ve had for quite some time.


Chair Woessner:  In the next report from the Senate Committee on Faculty and Affairs, appears as Appendix L. It is titled, “Revisions to AC80, Private Consulting Practices.” Clint Schmidt and Nicholas Rowland will present the report and respond to questions.


Revision of AC-80 “Private Consulting Practice”

Nicholas Rowland: Hello, everyone. So I come to you today with something of a shared governance success story between the Office of Research Protections and the Senate. This is Clint Schmidt. He’s the Director of the Conflict of Interest Program in the Office of Research Protections. It’s his first time here at the Senate, so let’s all be nice to him. Some background on what we’re going to talk about today. In 2016/2017, the Senate held a pretty lively forensic meeting on AC80. At the time, that was HR80. And we made a bunch of suggested revisions to the policy, many of which have been taken up and adopted in the new document before us today on the floor. The policy received majority support in both Faculty Affairs and Research, Scholarship, and Creative Accomplishments committees. So, Clint, would you like to walk us through a few changes?

Clint Schmidt, Director of the Conflict of Interest Program, Office of Research Protections: Sure. I’m just going to go over a couple of brief points about the changes we made. One important point is that we benchmarked heavily with peer institutions, and we also got a lot of input from various different parts of the University. We wanted to make sure we’re doing the right thing for Penn State’s faculty. And the long and short of it is that we wanted to make the policy easier to follow, easier to understand. And we wanted to be able to apply it more consistently. It’s been around since the 1970s, but has not been consistently enforced or applied.

So the goal is to do that more readily, but we want to make it more flexible for everyone. And some of the key points we got from the Senate committees were to have a reasonableness standard for department heads or others who are providing approval for outside activities, and to have an explicit appeals process. And another key point we did was, the current policy requires prior approval for all outside activities related to one’s area of expertise at the University. But with the revisions to the policy, they’re only required in a few specific types of circumstances, such as exceeding monthly time, limitations, or guidelines, and starting some other excessive, time consuming activities, like starting a business. A lot of straightforward consulting activities and similar things can be done without seeking prior approval. So we really did try to make that more flexible, and limit the requirements.

And then the last point I’ll make is that the name is being proposed to change to Outside Business Activities instead of Private Consulting because the scope always has intended to apply to a wide range of things, not just consulting, per se.

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments? I see a question here. Carey?

Carey Eckhardt, Liberal Arts: I wanted to thank you for that detail and the completeness in the report. I’d just mention something, which is probably unnecessary, and I’d mention it in Senate Council just for the record. I’m assuming that the time that a faculty member might spend managing their own personal assets, or the assets of family members, such as an elderly parent we’re responsible for and so forth, that does not count as, what would the new title be, Outside Business Activities, and does not need to be reported. Correct?

Clint Schmidt: That’s correct.

Carey Eckhardt: Thank you.

Chair Woessner: Other questions or comments? Are we ready to vote? The report is brought to the floor by committee, needs no second. Senators joining by MediaSite, you may cast your vote at PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. And we’ll wait for PollEverywhere.

Anna Butler: PollEverywhere, I have four accept.

Paula Brown: In house, we had 87 accept, three reject.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. Thank you, Clint and Nicholas.


Chair Woessner:  The next Advisory/Consultative Report on the agenda is from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs and Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, and appears as Appendix M. It is titled, “Retiring AC24, Professional Dual Titles for Research Faculty.” Committee Chair, Nicholas Rowland, will present the report, and respond to questions.


Retiring AC-24 “Professional Dual Titles for Research Rank Faculty”

Nicholas Rowland: So a lot’s happened in the last 24-hours with regard to this policy, and also my thinking about this. So I’ve just prepared some remarks here. So,after some significant consultation and correspondence with faculty members, especially University Faculty Senators, caucusing with the units they have been tasked with representing, I realized that I had a somewhat narrow view of the issues at play with dual titles. AC24’s original purpose was, this is quoting from the policy, “provide recognition and credit to research faculty who profess in academic programs administered within the colleges.” Thus, a faculty member in a research position, for example in our old titling, like someone who would have the title of Research Scientist, could, through a process outlined in AC24, be granted a second, or what we called a dual title. For example the title of Professor of Psychology to be applied when the faculty member was professing. And that constitutes teaching, advising, dealing with graduate students, serving on doctoral committees, and so on and so forth. Stuff we’re all familiar with.

The problem this solves, though, to some extent no longer exists. And the reason is that professor, which indicates one who professes, is integrated into ranks for research faculty, namely assistant research professor, associate research professor, and just research professor. That said, my previous thinking, which is apparent in the report before you, was that the relationship between title and rank contained in AC21, this is the definition of academic ranks, implies that faculty members adopt one title. This is in the report if you’ve read it closely.

It turns out, through ample discussion over the last 24-hours, that there’s actually more room for that than I had previously thought, that being these dual titles. It’s some innovative thinking earlier today from Kathy Bieschke who, I think, along with others, helped us figure this out in what I think is a new, at least new to me, but totally legitimate reading of AC21. Kathy also reached out to Human Resources, and it turns out there might be another way to deal with some of these issues. So the possibility for dual titles appears in current AC21, although this is going to need further specification. This is not a simple, fresh out of the box, easy to use solution. But I do think that dual titles could be permissible.

So if you go to the section on promotion procedures, I want you to listen to this closely because it surely did not occur to me when I first read it, but now I see it. Fixed term ranks with an ‘S’ at the end. Titles, also with an ‘S’ at the end, should follow the guidelines set forth above for teaching, research, and clinical faculty, as well as librarians. Units should have clear rationales for the different ranks and titles, notice those are both explicitly plural, they choose to use, and their expectations for faculty achieve these various ranks. So closely read and with some imagination, notice that the titles are always presented in the plural. Units should have clear rationales for titles they choose. So HR confirms that dual titles, at least as consistent with AC21, ought to be possible. But again, there are all sorts of details that are going to have to be worked out.

In recognition of that, and of how important dual titles are for many of our faculty here at Penn State, it is still time to retire AC24. What it was designed for is no longer necessary in the context of these new titles, but I want to let everybody know that this is in our charges for next year, which we worked on today, that we’ll be working diligently, especially for our research faculty, and anyone else who needs a dual title, I suppose, to rustle some way to recognize and honor the hard work of faculty that contribute to multiple elements of the University mission through the use of titles. So that’s where we are now. Like I said, a lot has changed. But I still do firmly think that AC24 is done.

Chair Woessner: Questions or comments?

John Nousek, Science: It was a wonderful presentation, but it’s unclear to me at this moment in time, what is accepting and what does rejecting mean? Because to some extent, you’ve put forward a thing saying that we’re not going to exactly do what it says. So please, could you explain what pressing ‘A’and what pressing ‘B’ means?

Chair Woessner: Okay, so in this instance, the report recommends retiring AC24. So if we vote in favor of it, we would vote to endorse eliminating the policy. A vote against it would be to say that we should not endorse eliminating the policy. So a vote for A would be to endorse eliminating the policy. A vote for B would be to leave the status quo.

John Nousek: Okay, that’s clear enough. But then you also said a reconsideration next year was going to happen. How does that relate? If you want the reconsideration, do you vote one way or the other? Or is the reconsideration going to happen regardless of the outcome of the vote?

Nicholas Rowland: Kathy, do you want to step in on that one? Let’s get a microphone for you. There are some good technical reasons per response to John’s question.

Kathy Bieschke, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs: Dual titles are possible right now. Faculty can get a secondary title as an assistant, associate, or teaching professor. So there’s no need to have a separate policy when the titles can be awarded currently. So this process is no longer necessary because we have a process to award and recognize teaching in the title of professors using the secondary title mechanism. And that is available through our HR procedures. So this process is not necessary. We already have a process in place for accommodating secondary titles, such as Teaching Professor.

Nicholas Rowland: Also, for sake of clarity, even though online you’ll see that this is an active policy– Kathy? Sorry.

Kathy Bieschke: Oh, sorry.

Nicholas Rowland: Online, it does indicate this is an active policy, but it’s not as active as it might appear.

Kathy Bieschke: The Graduate School is currently not doing this policy. This policy was put in place at a time when Professor did not appear in the research track. So it was Senior Scientist, Research Scientist, et cetera. So for those people who wanted to profess, be a teacher, they had to go through the Graduate School, get approval. It was quite a robust procedure at that time. Now you can teach a course if you’re a member of the graduate faculty. You don’t need to go through that procedure. And in addition, as even explicated in AC21, even though the titles suggest you do primarily one thing, it doesn’t actually rule out you doing other kinds of activities.

However, if you really want your teaching recognized through a secondary title, that option is available to you. And you can seek that title, or your unit can award it to you, if you prefer. And then you can reflect both of those in your title.

Chair Woessner: Michael, come back to Rose. Rose, I think you had your hand up first. Go ahead.

Rosemary Jolly, Liberal Arts: I think people might be feeling somewhat mystified about all of this. So I’m just going to give a two sentence background. The mystification is, well, why are we doing this? It’s because when we moved to be enabling our non-tenure track faculty to progress through the ranks with the new titles, some of those faculty felt restricted by those titles to the extent that they aren’t only primarily teaching, or primarily research, right? They do both of those things. And you’re probably wondering, why the heck are we worried about AC24, then? The concern from this group of folks, which is considerable, is that if we got rid of AC24, they would not be able to have a dual title which would express the fact that they do both teaching and research.

We are trying to reassure folks that getting rid of AC24, which is, in any event, an obsolete legislation because it relates to the titles that we had prior to changing the titles to ones which would enable progression through the ranks for non-tenure, that getting rid of that would disable a double identification. What we’re trying to reassure people is that that is not disabled, that we have heard vociferous concerns about this, and that we understand those concerns. And those concerns are not only taken care of in the letter of the law in AC21, but that Faculty Affairs will go ahead and ensure in follow up that it is, in fact, enabled as a practice in AC21. Does that make sense of why we’re at this junction? Does that help? Good.

Chair Woessner: Roger?

Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: I’m totally in support of this. What I don’t remember in the discussion on AC21, which was a dual report between Faculty Affairs and IRC, that we ever thought those S’s actually meant for both titles for the same person. And I totally support putting that specifically in the legislation, but that’s, to me, a really curious reading of the legislation where we’d never considered those words meant that.

Nicholas Rowland: It’s funny how necessity works sometimes. To be perfectly honest, when this group of faculty members first engaged me over this topic, I didn’t see it as a legitimate concern right away. I don’t know why it wasn’t clicking, exactly. But at any rate, I see how valuable dual titles are. And suddenly, when you need to find something right there, I found that. And it actually makes a lot of sense in this specific context. I just never thought it through that way before. Because I think some of it in the past was sort of one rank, one title. But it turns out, by our own language, which may or may not have meant that at the time– every once in a while you read something that you wrote awhile back, and it’s more flexible than you imagined.

Chair Woessner: Other comments or questions?

Ann Taylor, Earth and Mineral Science: Can I go?

Chair Woessner: Oh, of course.

Ann Taylor: Thank you. Taylor, Earth and Mineral Science. This is so great, and makes me very happy that it’s such an easy thing to fix, that initial concern about the dual title. So we’ve heard it now, and obviously it’ll be in the Senate’s minutes. But is there an easy way we could make sure this is communicated accurately? I’m thinking like, I want to make sure, Mike. I know I had colleagues in my college concerned about this.

Chair Woessner: We’ll get a microphone so those online

Kathy Bieschki: Tineke and I will work together to make sure that the HRSPs, the Human Resources Strategic Partners, in the academic units, are aware that this is an option for people who may want another way to acknowledge the different ways they contribute. And we may need to get into the weeds a little bit, but it’s an option right now. And if we have to add more process to that, we will. So we will take responsibility for that.

Nicholas Rowland: Shared governance.

Chair Woessner: Other questions or comments?

Nicholas Rowland: It happens. We’ve seen it.

Unidentified Senator: Call the question.

Chair Woessner: What’s that? Call the question. Are we ready to vote? Okay. This report is brought to the floor by committee, and needs no second. Senators joining by MediaSite, you may cast your vote now on PollEverywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. And again, as a reminder, if we accept the motion, we are recommending the retirement of this policy. Waiting for MediaSite.

Anna Butler: OK, on PollEverywhere, I have three accept, and one reject.

Chair Woessner: Wait. We don’t have a microphone yet.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 86 accept, six reject.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. Thank you, Nicholas.

Just as a quick update, this is from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a four year effort to organize 3,800 graduate assistants in the union at Penn State University has failed, with the majority of those casting ballots on three campuses rejecting the idea. Leaders said that 1,438 graduates voted against the proposal, 950 in favor. So that’s just the latest update on the graduate student unionization.


Chair Woessner:  The next Advisory/Consultant Report on the agenda is from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs and Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, and appears as Appendix N. It is titled, “Revisions to AC21, Definitions of Academic Rank.” Committee Chair, Nicholas Rowland, will present the report, and respond to questions.


Revision to AC-21 “Definition of Academic Ranks”

Nicholas Rowland: This is really straight forward. So now that we just agreed to sunset AC24, this just strikes a line from AC21 referencing AC24.

Chair Woessner: Are there questions or comments? I’m sure we can have a long and robust discussion on this, come on. OK, are we ready to vote? Voice vote. All in favor of accepting? Well, no, we can’t do that because we have people online. We have to be fair to them. So to senators joining by MediaSite, you can cast your votes anywhere on PollAnywhere.com. To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B. I’ll try to talk fast to make up for the time. We’ll wait for PollEverywhere.

Anna Butler: On PollEverywhere, I have two accept and one reject.

Paula Brown: In house, we have 79 accept, one reject.

Chair Woessner: Motion carries. Thank you, Nicholas.


INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

Chair Woessner: Informational Reports. On April 10, the Council members voted to place the following seven Informational Reports on the Senate agenda, and online on the website: ‘Annual Report for High School Students Enrolled in Non-degree Credit Courses’ (Appendix O), ‘Inclusion in All-In Video Enrolled in Conversations in the Classroom Setting’ (Appendix Q), ‘The International Emergency Medical Insurance’ (Appendix R), the ‘2018 Report on Faculty Salaries in 2016-2017’ (Appendix S) with additional tables available in Box, and ‘Supporting International Students and Scholars at Penn State University (Appendix T), and a report on ‘Course Buyouts’ (Appendix V). These reports will not be discussed at today’s meeting. If you have questions or comments about the information reports, you can email senate@psu.edu. Your questions will be forwarded to the appropriate committee or Chairs for response. The remaining Informational Reports on the Senate agenda will be discussed today.


Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid

Annual Report for High School Students Enrolled in Non-degree Credit Courses’*, (Appendix O)


Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment

 ‘Inclusion in All-In Video Enrolled in Conversations in the Classroom Setting’*,  (Appendix Q)


Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits

‘The International Emergency Medical Insurance’*,  (Appendix R)
‘2018 Report on Faculty Salaries in 2016-2017’*,  (Appendix S) with additional tables available in Box


Senate Committee on Global Programs

‘Supporting International Students and Scholars at Penn State University’*,  (Appendix T)


Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity

‘Course Buyouts’*,  (Appendix V).


Chair Woessner: The first Informational Report we’ll be presented today is from the Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment that appears as Appendix P. Alex Shockley from UPUA, and Kate Staley and Elizabeth Toepfer from Counseling and Psychological Services will be presenting the report, and responding to questions. Ten minutes has been allocated for this presentation and discussion.


The Red Folder Initiative

Asad Azemi: To start, the report presents an overview of the Red Folder Initiative at Penn State, which is a program seen at a number of institutions across the country. Red Folder provides reference information and resources for faculty and staff when they encounter a student who may seem distressed or in need of mental health support. A short PowerPoint presentation now will start.

Katharine Staley, Assistant Director of Outreach and Community Education at CAPS: Hello, everybody. I’m Kate Staley. I’m Assistant Director of Outreach and Community Education at CAPS. And we’re going to tell you about an initiative that was kind of a joint initiative between UPUA, Alex Shockley, and George Samuel, and Counseling and Psych. Services, and myself in particular, and Elizabeth Toepfer, who’s an assistant director of the Commonwealth Campuses. And of course, Ben Locke, the Director of CAPS, is fully on board with this.

So, the Red Folder. So it’s a concrete and concise mechanism for helping faculty and staff best support students who present as distressed. We get lots and lots of questions coming into CAPS over time about how to help students who are distressed. And a lot more faculty are distressed by distressed students. And so, this is an idea of kind of helping them. It has been implemented at a lot of different universities. Much more out west, actually, but University of Wisconsin is one of them as well in terms of the Big Ten. It’s going to be easy to access. It’s going to go out in a phased rollout. Liz is actually going to cover more of the timeline.

But initially, it’s actually a concrete red folder that actually sits on your desk so that you can easily pull it out when you have a distressed student in front of you, and/or somebody comes to you and says, I felt like one of the students in my class was really distressed, and you’re the department chair, or kind of a liaison. And so, you can easily pull it out. One of the phased parts is that it’s actually going to appear eventually as a red folder icon on your desktop in a computer version as well. But that’s going to be, as Liz will describe, a little bit further down the line.

But it’s easy to move through. It’s designed to be that way to determine the best course of action in terms of helping. And it also provides resources and tips and strategies for helping students, as well as identifies the main resources on campus for where you might send a student. From CAPS, obviously, but other places as well, depending upon the presenting concern. So we hope that it’s well-received, and wanted to share where we are with it right now, and kind of give you an update on it. So there are a number of red folders, as I said. And there is no copyright on them. People kind of borrow and share among the different universities. And so, we looked at the ones that were kind of out there, and chose the one that we thought resonated the most with us in terms of the concerns that we are aware of on this campus.

And so, there’s an organizing construct for most of the red folders, and we chose the one that’s “Recognize, Respond, and Refer.” So the idea of, you’re going to recognize some distress, either because a student presents in front of you, or because a faculty member, a staff member, comes to you describing a distressed student. And we’re going to show you some indicators that we have for distress in different scenarios, academic safety, risk, general mental health. Then responding. A decision tree, as well as some recommendations and tips for how to respond, and things to think about. And then refer, the idea of a referral of a resource list.

So to give you an example, we just got it this morning. This is the most rough draft you can from graphics. It’s going to look different. We’re not that pleased with the colors here, and kind of the readability. But the idea is that this is one of the first pages of the red folder. As I said, it’s just a real, red folder. But the idea of recognize indicators of distress, respond appropriately, and then refer appropriately. So that’s kind of the idea of a little bit of a graphic in terms of how it will work.

So in spring of 2018, Liz and I, Alex and George pretty much sat in a room and went through different red folders, and decided how to move forward with it, and develop the content, primarily. The graphics aren’t that sophisticated. It’s pretty obvious and pretty similar across different people’s and different universities’ red folders. So it was really just choosing the one that seemed most pleasing, and then developing the content that was obviously pertinent to this campus. And eventually, as Liz will say, to the Commonwealth Campuses, because we’re going to roll it out across the entire University.

And then we were obviously creating a mock up, which I just showed you one page of, to present to you today. And then, our anticipation is that we’ll finish the actual concrete red folder in terms of the graphics and the content, and roll it out in late May, early June across the summer to faculty and staff at our campus. So Liz will take over.

Elizabeth Toepfer, CAPS Assistant Director of Commonwealth Campuses: We wanted to give you an idea of the timeline. And one thing to say is, we have identified topics that we want to have in it. It’s certainly going to depend on the campus that this red folder is in, some of the information is clearly going to vary depending on the resources. But what we’re looking towards for the rollout for University Park is to be able to really put something together that will be consistent across all campuses and major categories. And so, what we wanted to do is give you a brief idea of what some of the other content is going to be.

When we’re talking about recognizing distressed students, we really want people to have a good list of some of the major things that you want to look for a distressed student. We want to highlight various areas. An example of this is the academic area. And I’m sure all of you know this from students that you’ve see who are stressed and having difficulty is looking for decline in quality of work, missing many classes and assignments, classroom disruptions, where a student may come to office hours and talk more about personal issues than private. Some of the things also that you might see are going to be also related to some things that you may see in class, but also may see in your office hours.

And so, examples of this would be physical issues. You may see bizarre behavior in class. Sometimes students will come to class, for example, intoxicated. I’m not going go through all of these, but these are some of the things that we really want to have a list of so that you can all really kind of get a sense of when you see a range of different things going on with students, you can put the pieces together and say, hey, this is a student that may need some extra help. Some indicators also, for example, psychological, people who may be actually having emotional responses that you may not be expected. Also, sometimes people can be particularly aggressive, or verbally having a hard time in classes.

And then, also, clearly when there’s a safety risk, there are things that you want to be aware of. And when we talk about the response, there are different levels of how we’re going to recommend that you respond to that. But clearly, a safety risk would be if you hear about stalking or harassing behaviors, or perhaps if there’s hostility in the classroom. So these are just some examples that, once we get the folder out, will give you an idea of what to look for. And I do know that many of you know this already, but the goal of this is to be able to have this in a concise area so that, then, you can feel like you have a good resource.

Now, the recommendations as you look at this will be laid out in a tree format. And so, depending on what you’re seeing in the student, and I’ll hand that over to you, Kate, what you see in the student, there may be recommendations. Clearly, for the highest level risk, safety is first. But as you kind of work through what the issue is with the student, it may be that you’re going to move towards a more active stance. But we’re going to also have in that folder some recommendations about things you might do for yourself in terms of stances you may take. So an example of that might be staying calm, seeking consultation, using active listening, asking direct questions, and giving concrete help. And so, we’re going to give some recommendations about how to talk to the student. But once you have an idea about what’s going on for the student, there will also be recommendations for who to contact for help. And that’s Kate, if you want to walk through the decision tree.

Katharine Staley: And we put the recommendations, in part, just to go back to that for one second, for this, they asked directly. One of the things that we often get asked is, I had a kind of funny feeling. I saw something in a paper that was written, or a student came in they talked in a way that made me think that maybe they were thinking about hurting themselves or killing themselves. And obviously, that would naturally cause you and anybody a certain amount of consternation and stress. And do I do this? And people worry.

And so one of the things we really wanted to show with this is the idea of asking directly to a student, what you’re saying kind of makes me worried and concerned about you. Are you having thoughts about hurting or killing yourself? And that that does not, in fact, make a student think about those things if they are not already thinking about them. And so, trying to bring people to a place in which you feel like you are empowered and have a sense of urgency about how to help students, as well as kind of a guide for doing it. So that’s kind of the idea behind some of these.

So then we created a decision tree. This is not the real graphic, this is just my version of it. But the idea of if a student is a danger to himself, what do you do? Yes, there’s a definite sense of, if it’s an imminent danger, I’m not sure. So you might consult. No, I’m not concerned, but there are some places you might refer them for financial resources or other things on campus. And then another not sure. If a student is not right in front of you, but a faculty member has come and said, I’m concerned about somebody. And then I will hand it back to you.

Elizabeth Toepfer: The timeline for this is that, during the summer, we will be printing up, I guess, 10,000 red folders. And thanks to UPUA and GPSA, the funding will be provided for that. And so, I think that’s really something to acknowledge. And that the delivery of the hard copy folders will be over to the University Park faculty will be this summer, and ready for the fall semester. In fall 2018, we’re hoping to have a press release communicating about this as a new resource, and that there will be a development of a PDF version of the red folder. And that will be, then, a desktop version pushed out to all the UP campus computers.

In spring 2019, we want to roll this out. And in collaboration, I am the liaison with the counseling centers across the Commonwealth. And so, I will be talking with counseling centers and Student Affairs folks at the Commonwealth to help to get each of these folders in place for each of the Commonwealth campuses. So the goal of that is to start that in spring 2019. And over summer 2019, to actually get the hard copy version. So it would be a year from this summer. And then we would work to develop a PDF version for each campus.

Chair Woessner: Our time is well over, so we’ve got to finish it up.

Elizabeth Toepfer: OK. We also wanted to show you, this is an example of a final version that Berkeley has. I should put that back up so people can look. Anybody?? And I also want to thank the students in this room that made it happen because they were the driving force. Alex and George were the driving force to say this is something that’s really important.

Chair Woessner: Our time has expired, but I know this is an important topic. So, Rose, did you want to ask a question?

Rosemary Jolly: I just wanted to ask two very quick questions. The first is, how do you deal with the fact that many students who are in trouble may express hostility towards the person who’s pointing out that they have trouble? And second of all, that can actually take place within the context of a gender dynamic? I.e., I teach 109 students literature and human rights. And often what is a very personal problem with them, learned behavior from their father or something, will play out against me. So I think that we need to be really, really careful about what that aggression means towards an instructor, and contextualizing that. And then the second point I wanted to make is, I frequently referred somebody to counseling services, and they have been unable, although they’ve done so in other ways, to tell me that the person’s already in care. So it’s very frustrating if we can’t find out that the person is already in care. The first is the bigger issue, I think. Thank you.

Elizabeth Toepfer: Do you want to do it, or move on?

Chair Woessner: If you could, quickly, sure.

Elizabeth Toepfer: I would say for the first issue, and I think what you’re naming, is something that is very difficult. That there are students who, you may see an issue, and they may not want to take you up on the idea that, oh, they may need some help. I think there are a variety of strategies to deal with that. And one thing that we try to do at CAPS–

Rosemary Jolly: And they also start stalking you after.

Elizabeth Toepfer: And that, yes. And so one thing I would say is, we encourage people, when they are they’re dealing with students like that, is to consult with us at CAPS to be able to come up with a strategy. And that if there’s stalking or harassment involved, then we also would want to have other parts of the University involved as well. Yeah, absolutely.

Katharine Staley: The other second part, the one thing you can kind of do–

Chair Woessner: If you could use the microphone, because they can’t hear you online.

Katharine Staley: Sorry. You can send them to the behavior threat management team. And that is a care system that kind of manages students who are overtly showing hostility, harassment, stalking. In terms of the confidentiality issue, that’s a tension that we are happy to talk about each and every time. But ultimately, both ethically, legally, and from the idea of student protection, we must protect their names, and the kind of disposition that happens.

Chair Woessner: OK, our time has expired. Thank you, Alex, Kate, and Elizabeth.

Katharine Staley: All right. Thank you.


Chair Woessner: The next Informational Report that will be presented is also from the Senate Committee on Outreach that appears in Appendix U. Renata Engel, Interim Vice Provost of Online Education, will present the report. Ten minutes have been allocated for the presentation and discussion.


Penn State World Campus

Renata Engel, Interim Vice Provost of Online Education: All right, great. Thank you. And I appreciate the time to give this update and this informational report. It is a subset of what’s in the full report, and I encourage you to look at the full report. Of course, none of this could be possible without the two decades of work from thousands of faculty, staff, and administrators who really brought the World Campus to where it is today, which is a true success story for Penn State.

So when we think about what happened, the University decided to bring distance education into the mainstream of the University. They did so without the knowledge of what all of these wonderful technological advances would be, and how pervasive they would be. And yet, they chose to create a virtual campus. And they did it with the idea that it would be academically and administratively integrated into the University. And so from the start, with five programs and ten faculty and 41 students, it grew. And it grew to the point where last year there were over 150 programs delivered by more than 1,300 faculty to over 18,000 students. And I’m really happy to report that, on our 20th anniversary this year, we actually hit the 20,000 student enrollment mark in a given year just this past year.

So what does it mean to be academically and administratively integrated into the University? And this chart is not one I will go through in great detail. In fact, I’m not going to go through it in detail at all except for three points. And I’ll describe those a little bit more. But what this really shows is the number of functions that it takes to really operate and run as an online entity, and all of the parts of the University that contribute to that. And you can see it’s vast, and it is definitely integrated.

I am going to highlight just three, though. Instruction is one of them. And the reason I want to highlight instruction is because it’s the one we get so many questions about. And where does the instructional responsibility sit? Squarely in the academic unit. The hiring, the appointments for teaching, and the evaluation of teaching are the responsibility of the academic unit. This is extraordinarily important and valuable for the University because it is viewed very favorably by our accrediting bodies. But it also enables us to respond favorably to questions on national surveys, which actually support our national rankings. But when we are asked by an instructor, either inside or outside the University, who might be interested in teaching a course online at World Campus, we direct them to the academic unit.

The second piece I’d like to comment on is the market research because it is a place where there is a shared responsibility. It begins with the faculty, the academic unit, looking at the particular elements of what they believe the program that they would like to offer. And World Campus takes the primary responsibility for looking at the audience. And how big as that audience? Is that audience growing or shrinking? And how will we distinguish that particular program from all the others that may be in the market? Remember that the institutional investment that the University makes in putting a program online requires that we ensure that it is financially viable.

The third piece I want to comment on is student affairs. And the reason I want to comment on student affairs is because we’ve had different elements of it throughout the years since the beginning of World Campus, but it’s only been recently that we’ve stood up a World Campus student affairs unit. And we’ve been able to, as a result of that, expand our career services support. We’ve been able to look at global programs. We’ve been able to actually expand the mental health counseling for students, and actually have a place for that. And that’s really an important element for World Campus.

So let’s talk a little bit about, then, why this integration works. It works because we put the student at the center, and all that support is around the student. And we believe that it is the combination of that educational experience, the academic support, and the student support services that actually provide us a way to make for the best contemporary education for the distance learner.

But I want to share with you a few numbers. So let’s take a look at the numbers. This is the growth that we have seen over, really, more than a decade. We will add probably another 1,000 undergraduate students next year, as we’ve done in the past, and probably another 500 students for graduate education. We also, because we have seats available in some of our courses, are able to open those seats to resident students. And last year, 8,000 residential students enrolled in some World Campus courses, helping them continue to make progress toward the completion of their degrees.

But who are these students? Well, they’re primarily adult learners. Both the undergraduate and graduate, average age of World Campus students are in their 30s. They have multiple responsibilities. They are parents. They are raising families. They might have responsibilities, full time job. They certainly have, in some cases, military. And if you’ll look, our 19 percent military population is actually something we’re quite proud of. And all Penn State aspects should be really proud of that feature.

Let’s take a look at just some of these programs. So when I look at these numbers here, this is really a list of all of the colleges that offer courses. And the numbers you see to the right are the course enrollments. Not the headcount, but the course enrollments. And what it really shows you is how much dispersed is the activity for the programs that we have. You will see some interesting things, some interesting numbers. Very large enrollments in the College of the Liberal Arts. We also see, in some sense, large enrollments in colleges like the Eberly College of Science. And in part, that’s because of the general education portfolio that they provide. Health and human development, arts and architectural, liberal arts, College of Science all contribute enormously to our ability to offer any degrees at the undergraduate level because of their involvement in general education.

And then you look at some other interesting things. The very large number for the University College really comes from this very strong undergraduate portfolio for the business portfolio they have. And of course, Great Valley has a very strong graduate program. And the very last line, the intercollege programs, is really reflective of the online Masters of Business Administration. So you see a lot of interesting things when you look at that data. But this is the most interesting thing, I think. Just look at those happy faces. These are students that graduate. And this year, we will have over 3,300 students that graduate with degrees from Penn State as a result of making them available online. And that’s extraordinary, and something that Penn State really should be proud of.

We do have emerging and ongoing opportunities and challenges. And I’m going to finish up my remarks to you today with just this slide. So the opportunities still are out there. There are still opportunities to bring the disciplines that we have at Penn State, and the strength and expertise, to large numbers of students. We continue to bring in new students to the University. And we continue to advance the technologies and the use of technologies that really shape what that online education should be for this University.

We do have continued challenges. Addressing students’ scalability issues, addressing transfer credits, ensuring that we are able to address federal and state regulations are really important things that we have to be mindful of as we continue to go forward. But our success in the future will really much be dependent on the path we’ve already charted, and the success we’ve had here. So I will conclude that, and open it up for questions. And I believe I still have time.

Chair Woessner: You have two minutes.

Renata Engel: Good.

Chair Woessner: So, well done. Mark that.

Martha Strickland, Harrisburg: Hi. Martha Strickland. Thanks, Renata. In your checklist, there’s a line missing that becomes a major issue on our campus, and that is the cost. Who gets the cost? Who gets whatever the students are paying? Where does that money go? So if you could give us a little bit of an idea of that.

Renata Engel: Sure. And there’s some information in the report. So what I’ll summarize here, but please look at the report. So the tuition does come into the World Campus to disperse, and the revenue is dispersed based on revenue sharing models that are really in place for the program. Revenue sharing is based on whether it’s undergraduate or graduate, and the level of responsibility that World Campus takes on, say, for things like instructional design. So it varies, that revenue sharing. But that’s all predetermined how that happens. And so, that’s where the revenue goes, and that’s how it is determined.

The report includes the overall total of revenue that has been brought in. And that has, over the past three years, has increased about 25 percent. Our enrollments have increased over that same period of time of about 23 percent. The difference there is really the tuition increase. But the dispersion to the colleges and the campuses, the academic units, has gone to about 26 percent. So that is really getting dispersed there in that way. World Campus also, over the past probably five years, has had more responsibility to disperse money to general support. So graduate school, undergraduate, office of admissions, risk management, the libraries. We also take a portion of the World Campus part and make sure that that money gets to support there. So there’s more details there. If you have follow-up questions, I’ll be happy to answer.

Chair Woessner: Thank you. Our time has expired, but we appreciate your presentation.

Renata Engel: Thanks.

Chair Woessner: So thank you very much.

[APPLAUSE]


REPORT OF SENATE ELECTIONS

Chair Woessner: Next, I draw your attention to the Report of Senate Elections in Appendix X of your agenda. Thank you for all those who stood for election in this year’s election. And I would also like to thank those of you for participating in the election. In contrast to the voter turnout in the US presidential elections, which is about 56 percent of eligible voters, our Senate elections had 75 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.


SENATE COUNCIL

Report of Senate Elections*, Appendix X . Listing of the 2018-2019 Senate election results.


COMMENTS BY OUTGOING CHAIR WOESSNER

Chair Woessner: Comments by the Outgoing Chair. This will only take 45 minutes, no more. Reviving an old Senate tradition, Michael Bérubé and I have agreed to exchange gifts. So let me give Michael his gift. So if you open yours now, and then we have a picture of it for everyone. I might need a pocket knife for this.

Michael Bérubé: [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Woessner: [LAUGHS]

Michael Bérubé: So, completely different attitudes towards the central nervous system, here.

Chair Woessner: OK, well you’ve got to show them what– because the mug itself is of some significance. And we’ll show a picture of it here. On the first side is a picture of the happy warriors on one of our Senate visits. And on the reverse is a quote from one of my favorite literary figures. This is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. It’s a story of the decline of shared governance. And the heroic draft horse, Boxer, his two sayings were, I will work harder, and Napoleon is always right.

Michael Bérubé: That does not end well.

Chair Woessner: And I will point out that the key to being a good Senate Chair is to embrace one of those slogans, and not the other. And I will leave you to decide which is which. Is this even legal in here?

Michael Bérubé: Why’d you give me a mug? I was trying to give it [INAUDIBLE]

Chair Woessner: OK. [LAUGHS]

Michael Bérubé: I tried to get a Penn State jersey with number 52 because he is the 52nd Senate Chair. And now you cannot get numbers on anything.

Chair Woessner: Oh, wow. Hmm.

Elizabeth Seymour: We need a report.

Chair Woessner: We need a report. Advisory Consultative.

Michael Bérubé: [INAUDIBLE] This is up to you.

Elizabeth Seymour: It’s inspirational, I think.

Chair Woessner: Over the last year, I have benefited from the hard work and sound counsel of so many of my colleagues. The Senate Officers, the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the committees, our Parliamentarian. And even before I joined the Senate, I benefited from the support of dear colleagues. Jeremy Plant who, when I first came out of graduate school and started my first position at Penn State Harrisburg, taught me the fine art of diplomacy. It didn’t always take. Jim Ruiz has been my friend for 15 years, and partner during the Take Care of Your Health Battle. He has since retired. We still miss him. Larry Backer, my friend and counselor, who helped me establish my credentials as a Senate moderate. His vigilance is a model for faculty everywhere. Mohamed Ansari, the lion of the Senate. He’s been a good friend, and a thoughtful advisor. And there’s no one more passionate about faculty governance, and about the prerogatives of the Senate. And most especially, my wife, April, and my children, Isaac and Rachel; I appreciate your support, and your patience for my long absences and frequent trips around the Commonwealth. I will be home for dinner tomorrow, but I warn you that I might be on a Senate-related conference call. So you’ll have to put up with me a little bit longer. Your love and support gave me the opportunity to serve as my colleagues over the last five years.

And as we near the conclusion of the final Senate meeting of the year, I wanted to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve as Chair from 2017 to 2018 academic year. As much as I love conducting research, and I love working in the classroom, my time in the Senate leadership has been a pleasure. Every moment of this job has been fantastic. And this opportunity to serve in this capacity has been the highlight of my academic career. So thank you, all.

[APPLAUSE] 


SEATING OF THE NEW OFFICERS

Chair Woessner: Seating of New Officers. Now we turn to the seating of two Officers. Nicholas Rowland, you may take Michael’s seat. And Michael, you should come up here at the podium. So, please join me. Annie, you can stay where you are. I don’t think you’re ever moving. Please join me in congratulating our new officers in their post.

[APPLAUSE]

And Michael, I am pleased to present you with this gavel. And please join me in welcoming our new Faculty Senate Chair.

[APPLAUSE]


COMMENTS BY INCOMING CHAIR BÉRUBÉ

Michael Bérubé, 2018-2019 Faculty Senate Chair: Let’s go ahead. That’s all right, unless this is out of order. And thank you to all 15 of you for staying. I will, of course, keep my remarks brief. But before I begin, I, too, would like to say my own word of thanks to the Senate staff. Anna, Kadi, Allison, Kathy, Joy, Michael, and the folks I’ve gotten to know personally, and have been showing me the ropes, Patti and Paula. This place would not work without you. Thank you for everything you do.

Thanks also to Dawn Blasko who has shown in her first year as our new Executive Director that, although Dan Hagen was a hard act to follow, she’s been more than up to the task. She’s been a wonderful guide to the intricacies of the Senate. And of course, Parliamentarian Beth Seymour. So whip smart, and so wise in the ways of Robert’s rules in the ways of science. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming year.

As for this past year, well, it’s been a trip. Many trips, in fact. Most of the Senate doesn’t know this, but the officers didn’t do any campus or college visits in the fall. We visit every campus and every college at UP over a three year period. So we packed them all into the spring, and just completed our visit to Hershey last week. Which means we’ve spent a lot of time together in fleet cars over the past three months. And I think now we have managed to use up every single available reference to the Simpsons. Matthew was actually much more adept at this than I am, as well as my somewhat gratuitous reference during the Hershey trip to Schneider, the building superintendent from the ’70s sitcom, One Day at a Time, which Annie Taylor immediately understood. In other words, we’re a pretty harmonious group. Annie and Jim Strauss, Immediate past chair, thank you for all your work over the past year.

And Matthew. What can I say? I can start by saying what I said at our first lunch with President Barron, Provost Jones, and Messrs. Dambly and Schuyler, when I described you as the Wally Schirra of the Faculty Senate. And because Matthew is every bit as much of a space geek as I am, he immediately got that reference. Wally Schirra, for those of you who don’t know, is perhaps the least well known of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, but arguably the best pilot. He was certainly the most efficient, completing six orbits while using less fuel than John Glenn and Scott Carpenter had consumed in their three orbit flights.

And while Glenn named his spacecraft Friendship 7, trying to ramp down the Cold War antagonism with the Soviets, and Carpenter named his ship the more poetic Aurora 7, Schirra dubbed his craft the Sigma 7 because he was a geek, and because he believed he had the solution. Matthew has offered an amazing number of solutions this year, all of them designed to make the Senate more efficient, and therefore more effective. And more effective because more independent. He has strengthened our already productive working relationships with Old Main and with the Board of Trustees. And he’s given me a firm foundation to work from. And for that, I am more grateful than I can say.

Now, let me be honest about something we don’t always want to acknowledge. This, actually, should be required reading, especially for 150 people who are not here. There are lots of colleges and universities where faculty senates don’t have very good reputations, either among administrators or among faculty. At many institutions, the idea of shared governance has withered away, and faculty are consulted only in the sense that they are belatedly informed about what is going to be done to them.

Matthew and I got our start in this body during the ‘Take Care of your Health Wellness Program’ debacle of 2013, a debacle that could easily have been avoided if only we had consulted the faculty experts among our colleagues who study wellness programs. In response to that crisis, Provost Jones made an eloquent presentation in an emergency Senate meeting in which he pledged to work with us to restore shared governance at Penn State. Provost Jones has more than made good on that promise. He hasn’t always agreed with us, nor has President Barron, but our disagreements have been respectful, and based on mutual trust. And there have been far more agreements than disagreements in the past five years. We are most certainly headed in the right direction, and I’ll do my best to keep us on track.

As for me, I have tried in my 30-year career to be a diligent student of the history and parameters of academic freedom. Nothing matters more to me than that, whether a Senate Chair or as ordinary professor, because academic freedom is not just the heart of the enterprise, it is the raison d’etre for everything we do. And it’s not just about us, Okay? Beyond the University, academic freedom is one of the cornerstones of a free and open society. It is not always well understood. It is not the same thing as freedom of speech. And it does not mean we can say or do whatever we want. But it does mean that we are supposed to use our expertise as scholars to pursue the truth, and enhance the common good. And that includes serving the common good of the institutions that employ us. If academic freedom is somewhat mysterious, like the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, than shared governance as an aspect of academic freedom is like the Holy Spirit, easily the most elusive concept in the whole apparatus. I went to a Jesuit high school. I studied theology for four years. I know the doctrinal history of the Church. I still don’t know what the hell the Holy Spirit is.

Likewise, a lot of people understand why we need academic freedom for research and teaching. Though, as I have ruefully remarked in the past, those people tend not to be among our political enemies who would like to be able to fire us at will. There is a pretty strong overlap, you’ll find, between people who understand the need for academic freedom, and people who own more than one PBS tote bag. But even in that demographic, very few people can tell you why you need academic freedom for shared governance, and vice versa.

But now for the good news. I am ending on the good news. In recent years, this body has had substantial, constructive, and sometimes even decisive input into important University policies. Our policies on conflict of commitment and on outside business practice, as we just heard, policies where there can be confusion and gray areas galore were revised within Senate consultation. I can now say the same about our policy on participation in political campaigns. And again, an area where faculty speech is sometimes controversial, usually when it is extramural speech, and we believe we are speaking as private citizens rather than as representatives for the University.

And of course, nearest to my heart, we have created a promotion and review process for our fixed-term faculty who participate in shared governance along the tenure line faculty, and need greater recognition and reward for the invaluable work they do. It is like nothing else in American higher education, and I hope it serves as a model for our peer institutions. So finally, thank you all for your time and services. And whether or not you voted for me, for your support for this body, and your dedication to shared governance at Penn State. I am honored to be your chair for 2018-2019, and I will do everything I can to live up to the honor. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]


NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

Chair Bérubé: Now I get to close the meeting. New Legislative Business. Is there any new business? Oh, they printed out my remarks.


COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY

Chair Bérubé: That means, are there any additional comments for the good of the University? Good, because I just made some.


ADJOURNMENT

Chair Bérubé: May I have a motion to adjourn?

Unidentified Senators: Motion

Chair Bérubé: All in favor, please say aye.

All Senators: Aye.

Chair Bérubé: Motion carries. That was easy.


The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be held on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 1:00 p.m., Room 112 Kern Graduate Building.


ATTENDANCE

The following Senators were noted as having attended the April 24, 2018 Senate Meeting.

      • Adewumi, Michael
      • Aebli, Fred
      • Andelin, Steven
      • Andreae, Michael
      • Ansari, Mohamad
      • Aurand, Harold
      • Azemi, Asad
      • Bartolacci, Michael
      • Beahm, Mary
      • Belanger, Jonna
      • Bérubé, Michael
      • Bieschke, Kathleen
      • Bishop-Pierce, Renee
      • Blakney, Terry
      • Borromeo, Renee
      • Breakey, Laurie
      • Bridges, K. Robert
      • Brigger, Clark
      • Brown, Richard
      • Brunsden, Victor
      • Butler, William
      • Casteel, Mark
      • Chen, Wei-Fan
      • Cios, Theodore
      • Clark, Mary Beth
      • Cockroft, Kevin
      • Connolly-Ahern, Colleen
      • Conti, Delia
      • Davis, Dwight
      • Decker, Alicia
      • DeFranco, Joanna
      • Dendle, Peter
      • Duffey, Michele
      • Duschl, Richard
      • Eberle, Peter
      • Eckert, Jill
      • Eckhardt, Caroline
      • Eden, Timothy
      • Egolf, Roger
      • Enama, Joseph
      • Engel, Renata
      • Freiberg, Andrew
      • Furfaro, Joyce
      • Gallagher, Julie
      • Galvo, Lemuel
      • Golden, Lonnie
      • Grimes, Galen
      • Guay, Terrence
      • Han, David
      • Hanes, Madlyn
      • Hardin, Marie
      • Harrison, Terry
      • Harwell, Kevin
      • Hayford, Harold
      • Hughes, Janet
      • Jaap, James
      • Jablokow, Kathryn
      • Jett, Dennis
      • Jolly, Rosemary
      • Jones, Maureen
      • Jones, Nicholas
      • Jordan, Matthew
      • Kaag, Matthew
      • Kahl, David
      • Kalavar, Jyotsna
      • Kalisperis, Loukas
      • Keiler, Kenneth
      • Kennedy-Phillips, Lance
      • King, Brian
      • King, Elizabeth
      • Kitko, Lisa
      • Korner, Barbara
      • Koudela, Kevin
      • Krajsa, Michael
      • Krasilnikov, Andrey
      • Kunes, Melissa
      • LaJeunesse, Todd
      • Lang, Teresa
      • Levine, Martha
      • Liechty, John
      • Linehan, Peter
      • Linn, Suzanna
      • Lobaugh, Michael
      • Love, Yvonne
      • Mangel, Lisa
      • Marko, Frantisek
      • Maurer, Clifford
      • McDill, Marc
      • McKinney, Laura
      • Melton, Robert
      • Messner, John
      • Miller, Charles
      • Mookerjee, Rajen
      • Nelatury, Sudarshan
      • Nelson, Kimberlyn
      • Neves, Rogerio
      • Nousek, John
      • Novotny, Eric
      • Ofosu, Willie
      • Ozment, Judith
      • Palmer, Timothy
      • Pan, Bing
      • Patzkowsky, Mark
      • Pauley, Laura
      • Pearson, Nicholas
      • Perkins, Daniel
      • Petrilla, Rosemarie
      • Pierce, Mari Beth
      • Plummer, Julia
      • Poole, Thomas
      • Prabhu, Vansh
      • Pratt, Carla
      • Regan, John
      • Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline
      • Reuning, Kevin
      • Rinehart, Peter
      • Robertson, Gavin
      • Robicheaux, Timothy
      • Robinett, Richard
      • Ropson, Ira
      • Rothrock, Angela
      • Rothrock, Ling
      • Rowland, Nicholas
      • Ruggiero, Francesca
      • Safran, Janina
      • Saltz, Ira
      • Samuel, George
      • Sarabok, Thomas
      • Saunders, Brian
      • Schmiedekamp, Ann
      • Scott, Geoffrey
      • Seymour, Elizabeth
      • Shannon, Robert
      • Shapiro, Keith
      • Sharkey, Neil
      • Sharma, Amit
      • Shea, Maura
      • Shockley, Alex
      • Shurgalla, Richard
      • Sigurdsson, Steinn
      • Singer, Richard
      • Sinha, Alok
      • Sliko, Jennifer
      • Smithwick, Erica
      • Snyder, Melissa
      • Snyder, Stephen
      • Springer, Jake
      • Stephens, Mark
      • Stifter, Cynthia
      • Stine, Michele
      • Strauss, James
      • Strickland, Martha
      • Subramanian, Rajarajan
      • Suliman, Samia
      • Sutton, Jane
      • Swope, Kayley
      • Szczygiel, Bonj
      • Taylor, Ann
      • Thomchick, Evelyn
      • Thompson, Paul
      • Truica, Cristina
      • Van der wegen, Constantinus
      • Vollero, Mary
      • Vrana, Kent
      • Wang, Ming
      • Warren, James
      • Wenner, William
      • Whitehurst, Marcus
      • Williams, Mary Beth
      • Wilson, Matthew
      • Woessner, Matthew
      • Wolfe, Douglas
        • Wood, Chelsey
      • Elected   146
      • Students   13            
      • Ex Officio   3      
      • Appointed   11
      • Total   173  

President’s Response: Endorsement of Deferred Rush for Fraternities and Sororities

DATE:    November 17, 2017

FROM:    Eric J. Barron

TO:          Matthew Woessner

I have reviewed the Advisory and Consultative report, Endorsement of Deferred Rush for Fraternities and Sororities, which was passed by the University Faculty Senate on October 17, 2017 and concur with the recommendation. I am forwarding this endorsement to Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs for his records.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this item.

cc:        Kathy Bieschke
Dawn Blasko
Nicholas P. Jones
Damon Sims (w/enclosure)

President’s Response: The Pennsylvania State University Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Task Force Report and Implementation Plan

DATE:    November 17, 2017

FROM:    Eric J. Barron

TO:          Matthew Woessner

I have reviewed the Advisory and Consultative report, The Pennsylvania State University Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Task Force Report and Implementation Plan, which was passed by the University Faculty Senate on October 17, 2017 and concur with the recommendation. I am forwarding this endorsement to Tom Poole, Vice President for Administration for his records.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this item.

cc:        Kathy Bieschke
            Dawn Blasko
            Nicholas P. Jones
            Tom Poole (w/enclosure)