T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D
Volume 50—–December 6, 2016—–Number 3
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. Daniel R. Hagen, Executive Director, Office of the University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FINAL AGENDA FOR DECEMBER 6, 2016
- MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the October 18, 2016, Meeting in The Senate Record 50:2
- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Curriculum Report of November 15, 2016
- REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting November 15, 2016
- ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
- COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
- COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
- FORENSIC BUSINESS
Global Programs – Embedded Study Abroad Courses: planning, resources, challenges, implementation
Faculty Affairs – AD88
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
LionPATH Resolution – (Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture)
- LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and,Student Aid and Undergraduate Education
Revisions to Senate Policy 48-40 and 48-50
Committee on Committees and Rules
Revisions to Senate Standing Rules Article II Section 6(o) Committee on University Planning
- ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS – None
- INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Special committee on University Governance
Follow-Up Report and Recommendations for Improving Governance and Communications and Furthering the Academic Mission at Penn State
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid
Articulation Agreement Review
Scholarship Report 2015-16
Submission of Curricular Proposals
Educational Equity and Campus Environment
Millennium Scholars Program
Third Party Administrative Services for Penn State’s Medical and Prescription Drug Plan
Penn State Employee Health and Wellness Center
Report on Childcare at Penn State University
Drug Testing Program for Penn State’s Defense Related Research Units, Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) and Electro-Optics Center (EOC)
New Member Reports (not presented at meeting)
- NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
- COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with James A. Strauss, Chair, presiding.
Chair Strauss, Faculty Senate Chair: I would like to call our December meeting to order and to open us up, we will have the Essence of Joy gospel choir perform a couple numbers.
Anthony Leach, Professor of Music: That was [INAUDIBLE] arranged by Victor Johnson, they sang in Swahili. We were saying, “We dance, we sing, we are glad”. In 1991, I returned to Penn State to start a Ph.D. and early in that fall semester I received a call from the President of the Forum on Black Affairs about the annual MLK banquet. And she asked me, “Would I do the music?” I said, “Sure, but I don’t have a choir”, but I said, “I’ll invite singers from the choir that were in the School of Music.” That choir was the first edition of Essence of Joy. In ’94, I accepted a faculty appointment, and we became Music ’93. And we are now, of course, in our 26th year and I’m almost out the door.
We sing sacred and secular music from the African and African-American choral traditions. The choir is an audition ensemble, of course. And we have been blessed to travel out of the country any number of times since 2001. We’ll end this current academic year with travel to Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City. I have a group of students that are going to introduce the next piece to you that will be sung in a combination of Haitian French and regular French. Thank you so much for the invitation to share at this final meeting for this semester. Thank you very much.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very, very much for a really wonderful, wonderful performance. I heard these folks actually at a Diversity in Arts dinner that I attended back in October. And I knew we had to have them. One of the quotes that was given that night that I just think embodies what this group is all about is that, “inclusion is diversity in action”. And I think they just embody that whole statement. And thank you very, very much for enlightening our meeting with that. We should almost end the meeting at this point and let everybody go. I don’t see anyone seconding that motion. Actually, the chair can’t make the motion.
I’ll start the meeting out saying I’d like to wish all of the University Faculty Senate members a warm welcome and season’s greetings. I’ll try to keep my comments brief, as we’ve got a very full agenda and I encourage others to please be considerate and do the same. There are some important things for me to point out. As you know, one of our strategic planning goals discussed back in September was improved communications. And I’d like to briefly discuss some of the progress along that theme that I think we’ve made.
Our Faculty Advisory Committee to the President was able to meet with President Barron just last week. We had an excellent and productive discussion. We thank both President Barron and Provost Nick Jones for their time and perspective. The discussion points in that meeting included further discussion of a smoke free campus, the Clery Report, the All In commitment, general salary increases for faculty, the common hour, employee tuition discounts, the confluence of degrees and courses across our larger University, and forwarding human rights post-election.
I’m also very pleased to report that President Barron accepted our advisory and consultative report on smoke free Penn State and a task force is being formed, as we requested, to further explore the implementation issues potentially with this new policy. Many thanks for the hard work by our Faculty Benefits Committee chaired by Renee Borromeo and our Student Life Committee co-chaired by Mary Miles and Alex Shockley. Their work to organize the forensic and then bring this report very quickly to Faculty Senate for a vote really made this happen.
At our last meeting, I also noted that we had a few communication glitches for our new and revised AD and HR policies, but since that mention I’m very pleased to report that Tom Poole has been very proactive in sending me policy revisions, which in turn I’ve been forwarding to the particular committees that have standing in these respective areas. Thanks very much to Tom, for his cooperation on this. In turn, our committees have reviewed many of these revisions and turned them around very quickly. Some really were very minor revisions. We are still in the process of reviewing HR80 and AD92, and I note that in today’s meeting we’ve got a forensic on AD88.
Other important things– Keefe Manning, where is Keefe? There he is. He is the current chair of our Undergraduate Education Committee, and I am sorry to say, actually, our outgoing chair now because he has accepted a new position as Associate Dean in our Schreyer Honors College and will be leaving the Senate at the end of December. I’ll make note that Keefe has served the Senate for over six years. He currently chairs the Undergraduate Education Committee, and I’d like everybody to please thank Keefe for his service and wish him very well.
Another fun thing I get to do– certificate presentation. I’d like to offer a very special recognition to a very special senator who is near and dear to my heart who is leaving Senate with a highly distinguished record of service. Could Pat Hinchey please come forward? As Pat walks down here, she’s served on our Senate for eight and a half years, as a member of ARSSA, Student Life, Curricular Affairs, and currently Faculty Affairs. She served as both chair and vice chair for Committee on Committees and Rules. She is also an alternate for Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, and the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure. Pat, thanks very much for your service and dedication to Senate, and you will be missed. Thanks. I note that Pat’s certificate is signed by both President Barron, and as a bonus, myself. So that will be cherished for a very long time, I’m sure.
Lastly, it might be too obvious to acknowledge the accomplishments of multiple nationally ranked Penn State athletic teams, including women’s volleyball, women’s lacrosse, and women’s soccer. I also note, for the very first time both our men’s and women’s ice hockey teams are ranked. The men’s team is currently number three. Did I miss anyone? I was given this hat as an honorary coach during what I consider to be the turnaround game of the season, the Minnesota game.
I can tell you a long story about this hat, and the T-shirt, and all the gyrations I go through when we’ve been down at halftime. And I’m like, where’s the t-shirt and the hat? I’m not wearing it, that’s probably why I put them on. And then all of a sudden, the team turns it around. And as you know, if you’re a sports fan, it’s things like that, even though I’m a scientist, that you just have to accept the way the universe works.
Our football team had an unexpected performance, winning our last nine games, culminating this past weekend to win the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis. Boy, that second quarter was dire, but I don’t know. So I’d like to issue my personal congratulations to Coach Franklin and the players for an outstanding season, but more importantly for leading what I consider to be– because I sort of had an inside view– a real first rate football program that’s foundationed in really quality values.
We at Penn State, I think, take the term “student-athlete” very seriously. And we’ve got the statistics to sort of back that. I note our football team had an 89% graduation rate. If you take a look at how they organized their pre-game beyond the X’s and O’s, and the film clip reviews, and the main game strategies, Coach Franklin emphasizes to his players the importance of having positive relationships with friends and family close to you.
And he makes a big point of this too, of the utmost importance, treating women with respect. And I’m going to quote him, “Like they’re your mother or sister.” And that is a very powerful reminder that is repeated to these players. And I just– I think these messages are just wonderful. Equally powerful is that when players are dismissed for meals prior to the game, they are dismissed by grade point average rank. So the highest ranking grade point averages get their meals and eat first. And again that’s a great reminder and a powerful reinforcement. And I think that’s why we’re doing things right here at Penn State.
Lastly, I’d like to propose that the Chair of Faculty Senate, that would be me, really I think I should attend the Rose Bowl on a fact finding mission. Where’s Blannie Bowen? I would think certainly the Big Ten Academic Alliance must have some sort of a budget to help me with that. And I promise to promptly return findings back to report to you folks in January. Great, make that happen!
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Strauss: OK, more serious things– minutes of the preceding meeting. The October 18, 2016 Senate Record provides a full transcript of the proceedings. It was sent to the University Archives. It is posted on our Senate website. Are there any corrections or additions to these minutes?
Senators: So moved. Move to second.
Chair Strauss: Seconded. All in favor of accepting the minutes?
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Motion carries.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Chair Strauss: The Senate Curriculum Report of November 15, 2016 is posted on our University Faculty Senate website. Senate Council approved the Senate calendar for 2017-2018. The calendar is also included on the Senate meeting agenda as Appendix B.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Chair Strauss: Item C, Report of Senate Council. Minutes from the November 15th Senate Council meeting can be found at the end of your agenda. Need I say more?
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Strauss: Item D, other announcements by the Chair, if I haven’t spoken enough already.
I’ll remind everyone, due to the limited wireless bandwidth within the auditorium, I ask that all attendees to limit their use of smartphones, tablets, and so on, so that the very critical functions of Mediasite and Poll Everywhere have sufficient service for the meeting. Please don’t use video streaming during the meeting because of the large bandwidth for the service that it requires. Thanks very much for your cooperation.
Last acknowledgment. Several senators have served the Senate this semester in an alternate role for elected senators who are temporarily unable to fulfill their Senate duties due to a sabbatical or other kinds of complications. I ask those that have served in an alternate capacity to please stand. Is there anybody here? Thank you very much for your service. Please join me in thanking those important [INAUDIBLE].
This upcoming semester, the Senate officers will be visiting six units at University Park. They include Arts and Architecture, the Libraries, Schreyer Honors College, Information Sciences and Technology, the Smeal College of Business, and Agricultural Sciences. Senators in those units are asked to encourage their colleagues and students to participate in these very important information gathering sessions. We then prepare a report that is then shared with the administration.
Each of your units will be contacted by the Senate office regarding the election of senators for the next year. If your unit is electing one or more senators, please help identify worthy and committed candidates for election. As you know, Senate elections must be contested. And it’s important that all units have alternatives available should a vacancy arise during the year. We had to use a lot of alternates this year. So please try to follow through and get us some good leaders.
All Senators using Mediasite today, please use the Ask a Question box to send a message to indicate that you’ve successfully connected to the live feed so we may add your name to the attendance sheet. As a reminder for senators joining us in today’s meeting via Mediasite, we are using the voting system at polleverywhere.com/facultysenate. Instructions for using this are posted on the Senate website. Please log in to the pollyeverywhere.com/facultysenate now if you have not already done so.
We’re very honored to have Ira Lubert and Mark Dambly with us today. Ira Lubert serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Penn State University. He was appointed to the board effective January 2015 to fill an unexpired business and industry term. He’s also served as the Vice Chairman of the board before being elected as Chairman effective July 2016. He previously served on our board from 1997 through 2000, and from 2007 through 2013. Ira is a 1973 graduate of Penn State and the chairman and co-founder of Independence Capital Partners and Lubert Alder Partners, LP.
Mark Dambly is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Ed Rendell effective October 2010. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in real estate and insurance from Penn State. He is president of Penrose Properties, LLC, a Philadelphia-based real estate group. Chairman Lubert will deliver some remarks for our Senate. Thank you, Ira.
Ira Lubert, Chairman, Board of Trustees: Thank you very much for the kind introduction and good afternoon, Everybody. I really appreciate your inviting me and Mark here today. Let me begin by– I know you’ve been introduced to Mark. Why don’t you stand up and just let everybody see you. For the past few years, one of the board’s central goals has been greater engagement with the University community. The trustees have a wide range of backgrounds, from business, to education, to agriculture, to government service. As such, we recognize the need to listen and learn from the University’s core constituents.
Along these lines, earlier today Mark, President Barron and I had the pleasure of attending the art and light class taught by Chris Staley, Distinguished Professor of Ceramics and Penn State Laureate for 2012, Stephen Carpenter, Professor of Art Education and African Studies. I graduated from Penn State, as he said earlier, in 1973 with a degree in Food Service and Housing Administration. And this was my first art class ever. And I can honestly say that I’m glad that we weren’t being graded today. It was incredibly interesting and exciting to see the passion of the professors and the enthusiasm of the students. And I hope we’ll have more opportunities to do the same thing in the future.
Mark and I also recently met with student leaders, administrators, and Evan Pugh University professors. These conversations are enlightening, and as I said, intended to give us a better understanding of our University. Although we’ve been involved with Penn State for many years, we’re looking for new ways to expand our knowledge of academics and university life. Today, we are here primarily to introduce ourselves and give you a few brief highlights from the board itself.
First, the board’s standing orders dictate a once per semester meeting with the President, Provost, Vice President for Administration, Chair and Vice Chair of the Board, and the Chair and Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, and the Secretary of the Senate. The first meeting Mark I attended was in September. And I look forward to the next one in the spring.
We’ve also taken steps to better integrate faculty and student expertise into the governance functions and committees. In addition, we’ve made some changes at board meetings. I’m trying to keep my remarks at meetings brief so we have time to feature student and faculty speakers. In September, we invited two Penn State student athletes who competed in the Rio Olympics; wrestler Frank Molinaro and swimmer Shane Ryan, who competed for Ireland. Both had inspiring words about the thrill of the Olympics as well as their experience as student athletes here at Penn State.
Then in November, we highlighted student service and engagement with sophomore Neha Gupta, who won the 2014 International Children’s Peace Prize and founded a charity in that area. Empower Orphans is the name. And then we had Austin Sommerer, the 2017 Thon Director, also spoke. Hearing their stories made me wonder what I spent all my time at Penn State doing in college. Penn State has incredible students and faculty.
At our next board meeting we look forward to featuring two faculty members who are involved with military students and families. In the future we plan to showcase academic award winners, research leaders, and others. The board also benefits from the regular input of an academic trustee, who is currently Dr. David Han from the College of Medicine. He is continuing his three year term, which ends June 2018.
David and other faculty representatives have contributed enormously to our meetings and they have enlightened the board on critical academic issues. We recognize how busy faculty members are with academic responsibilities, so we especially appreciate their willingness to add this additional responsibility and burden to them. Thank you to everyone here who has actively worked with the board through representation on committees and other activities. Your efforts are greatly appreciated and very valuable to our board.
As we move forward, I want to emphasize that the board is committed to Penn State’s land grant mission and to supporting the work of President Barron, the administration, the faculty, and the students. Personally, I’m excited about the new ideas and progress on access and affordability. This remains our number one priority.
As a lifelong business person, I’m also intrigued by the possibilities of the Invent Penn State initiative, as it expands across our state. Finally, the board is continuing to work on strengthening our relationship with Pennsylvania legislators. As Pennsylvania business leaders and citizens, we’re working to emphasize our common goals of creating an educated citizenry, promoting workforce and economic development, and continuing Penn State’s land grant mission.
We are committed to cooperation for the benefit of everyone in the state. I’d like to add that I’m optimistic about Penn State’s future. As Mark and I saw today in the art and light class, Penn State has wonderful teachers, intelligent hardworking students, and an outstanding staff to keep the operation running. I’m proud to be a Penn State alumnus and here to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees. I hope we have more chances to interact with you in the future, both formally and informally. Thank you for your time and your attention. Thank you.
Mark Dambly, Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees: Thank you, thank you for inviting us. Ira and I have enjoyed our time on campus the last day and a half. And we’re always energized by the students and faculty that we have the opportunity to interact with. And under Ira’s leadership, we’ve recommitted everyone on the board to that mission of the University, and particularly the interaction with the students and the faculty.
I’d like to let you know that you’ve got a great advocate in David Han as a board member. Dave’s been a tremendous advocate for you all, the Faculty Senate, and is regularly in touch with Ira and myself, and others in leadership about the issues in front of you. And so you’ve got a great, great leader there. One of the things that David’s been spearheading, which we expect to come out of the Governance Committee at the meeting in February, is authorization for Ira as the Chair to add to membership of all of our committees, members of the Faculty Senate, as is done with the student representatives in the September meeting. That’s our intention in February to advance that goal.
David was very instrumental in doing that. And so we look forward to your involvement as Chair of the Finance Committee. Previous to being vice chair, I had the pleasure of having faculty representation on it. And we really find that both the students and the faculty bring an appropriate, important perspective to our mission as the fiduciary leaders of the University. So we’re excited about it. Hopefully, you’re excited about it, and we look forward to your participation.
And there’s one other thing I just wanted to mention as a sidebar. As Ira had mentioned, we met with the Student Leadership Roundtable this morning at breakfast, and there was a conversation about inclusion and diversity. And that’s another one of– in addition to affordability and access, inclusion and diversity is on our agenda and our forefront. And we were presented the opportunity in the September meeting to view a video put forth by that group, which was very, very powerful.
And one of the things that the kids said this morning was we’re kind of preaching to the choir around the table this morning about folks being able to be or being informed of the importance of this. And one of the ideas which came out of one of the student leaders was potentially at the beginning of each semester at the first class, the faculty could show that video, it would be very, very powerful in trying to deliver that message of its importance. So on behalf of Ira and myself, I’m not sure if we’re out of bounds by asking you to consider that, that’s your jurisdiction and prerogative to do as you wish in your classroom, as you know. But if you would give some consideration to that, I think it would be well received by the students and important. I know as a parent, I’ve instilled that in my children. So I just ask you to have that consideration. So thank you for your time. We enjoy working for you. Thanks.
Chair Strauss: Are there any questions for either Ira or Mark? OK. Thank you very much for your comments. Much appreciated. And we very much appreciate the inclusion on all of your committees that you folks are currently considering. Thanks very much.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Strauss: Item E, comments by the President of the University. President Barron, you’ve got the podium. Thank you very much.
President Barron: Thank you. It is good to be with you again. I thought I would just touch on two topics: update on our fundraising and update on All In. As you know, the fundraising goals for the University are tightly tied to the University’s Strategic Plan. And in fact, our view is to always have the fundraising tied to the strategic planning of the University. And the concept that is there, although I suspect many of you know this already, is that this is a great University. It doesn’t matter how you look at it.
You can look at record applications; 133,000 plus last year. You can look at the rank of the University. You can look at our ranks for veterans, being number one in online delivery of baccalaureate degrees two years in a row; the research productivity. If you take away our funds that were there because of the recession, we just hit an all-time record of research expenditures in this institution.
That’s a profound statement about the activities of our faculty, because we know that both federal and state funding for research has declined each year for the last four years. Many universities are buying up that number so that their research productivity doesn’t appear to go down, even though their external grants are not as strong. And your University is not, and yet here we are, hitting a record, which is exciting.
Student success rate in terms of graduation, corporate recruiting; Alumni Society just got listed as the most powerful network organization coming out of a university; and it goes on and on. We are a great University. There’s just no two ways about it. But we are Penn Staters, we are not satisfied. We are always working to improve. And so, really, part of the goal of the strategic plan and the capital campaign is, how do you take a great University and make it even stronger or make it even greater?
And this gives us our– well, we believe we know the answer. And that is to live this land grant mission that we love, but live it for the 21st century. And this yields our name for the campaign that we think will stick, which is A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence. If you remember, there are three major categories. The first one is to change the financial equation for our students.
And the simple fact of the matter is that this is a laser-like focus on what is causing the cost of the degree to be too high for students. We have a great graduation rate, far better than anybody anticipates, based on the students that come in our door in terms of their financial capability, first-in-family, and even grade point. And they graduate much higher than predicted.
But if we look, if you are a need-based student, you are working too many jobs, you do not take a full load, you drop classes more frequently, you do not do as well because of the job, and you end up paying more for a Penn State degree and getting less of an experience. Okay, so laser-like focus on fixing that through innovative programs that aren’t just talking about a $190 tuition increase. They’re talking about not spending $17,000 for a fifth year, and heaven forbid, a sixth year.
The second major box is to have transformative experiences for our students. We know from all sorts of information that if our students are engaged, they do much better. They have a better peer group, they’re happier, they have better grades, have better resumes, and end up doing better when they go out into the marketplace. We also know that a student who is doing worthwhile things, particularly with faculty, that those students, regardless of their age and financial capability, are happier for the rest of their lives. That’s a result of a Gallup Study with Purdue.
So we know that what you do is much more than deliver content. A lot of places can deliver content. Universities have to deliver transformative experiences. And we put global experiences– big world out there. You need to step out of your comfort zone.
We put digital innovation, which will continue to explode, on that list. We put arts and the humanities, in terms of their role in quality of life and solutions to social problems, on that list as critical transformative experiences for students. And the third bucket that we put on this list is that as a land grant for the 21st century, we need to work on issues that have impacted society. Food, water, and energy security– abundant, affordable, safe. Health– moving towards population health and predictive health by taking all the environmental data and genetic data and all the other wealth of information to predict health outcomes, instead of just working to react to them, and a lot more that is in that space.
And then having Penn State as an economic driver, and working to take a top research university and making sure that we’re getting our ideas into the marketplace. A lot of topics within that space. There’s a sense of urgency in this. That’s why it’s a five-year campaign, not a 10-year campaign, which is becoming typical. I don’t want to say I want to solve energy security and wait 10 years in order to say that we have an impact. We want to have this sense that this is important to do now.
If you think of food security, do you want to wait a decade before you’re starting to address that problem? Well, you get the idea. So this campaign is more about the sense of urgency and being strategic than it is just about getting a big number. So many institutions are looking at the big number. We have taken each one of those topics and assigned a goal to them. So I’m just going to go through the things that we’ve been working on to successfully launch this campaign.
I’m sure you read the announcement that we hired a new VP for Advancement and Alumni Relations, Rich Bundy. His father was the Blue Band director for a long period of time, and he was the principal fundraiser at the University of Vermont, and had experience at multiple universities, including starting his development role at Penn State.
We have a prospectus with those ideas fleshed out in more detail that has been presented to 22 different focus groups across the country. And the input of those focus groups has been used to improve the prospectus, and we see very clearly from the input that our donors are very engaged and very excited about this thematic approach that has been described. We have done a wealth assessment to make sure that we’re going to hit our goals.
We’ve set targets for the themes, $500 million for the Open Doors theme, $225 million for Transformative Experiences, $475 million for the Impact Areas. Those were built on the proposed fund raising from colleges and campuses, and then assessed as whether or not we were capable of doing it. So that sets a goal for those targets, but you can well imagine that we will raise money on lots of different topics.
So we’ll brag about the degree to which we are impacting access and affordability for students, but we will always have that other number that’s there. But we don’t want to get lost in that big number. We want to get lost in the notion that we’re going to do things that are strategic and impactful for the University. We have a staffing plan that’s been approved to take those areas where we have promise, and begin to add to what we’re doing, to just give you an idea.
Penn State now has a parents’ philanthropy group that we did not have before. And we just had our first significant win. We’ve actually had multiple wins, but we have an anonymous $1 million gift from a parent of one of our students, and that $1 million is dedicated to supporting global programs and study abroad activities of our students. So this is a big and exciting step, fits within the themes, and a parent of one of our students has provided that as a gift. And obviously, I guess they don’t want their name to be associated with it while their student is currently enrolled.
We have now set up a matching program– we haven’t named it yet– for the Open Doors topics. Some are Pass Program, Raise Me, all of these different projects that we have. So we have a matching program that is being set up so that when we have a donor that gives us money, we can do early activation right away, provide those dollars, so that we get it going before the five year pledge is completed. And the minute a donor says we can go, we will launch that scholarship for students to help them reach success at Penn State.
Perhaps there are some signs of momentum building. New commitments are up 40% compared to last year, and alumni giving is up 80% compared to last year. The goal that we have that’s sitting there on the table is a working goal that is approximately what the working goal was for the 7-1/2 year For the Future Campaign. So even though I told you specific numbers, that if you add them up and divide by 5, is perhaps not as big as you initially thought it might be. Actually, the working goal that is sitting there is a significantly higher fund raising rate than the last campaign.
Now that’s Topic One. I’ll try to be a little bit briefer with Topic Two, which is “All In.” And this is focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion. I would tell you that its primary focus is on the climate and environment within Penn State. And it’s founded on this notion of what “We Are” means, which is the topic of a video, but stems from football and Wally Triplett with, “We play all or we play none. We are Penn State”.
And so it focuses on this and it focuses on the notion that regardless of what you think you see, this is an institution that if you’re a student here, you got here because of your brains and hard work. Period. And therefore, you should look at each and every person that’s at this institution as somebody who has brought considerable value and that we should be keenly interested in learning and understanding more about that particular individual.
So this is focused on this notion of “We Are,” you know, we are all in, and inclusion and diversity. A calendar, many, many different events, many people, student groups volunteering to put things on the calendar in order to have it be a part of the “All In” program. A lot of special activities– we had a fascinating session with four legal scholars, talking about the intersection between hate speech and free speech and how a university can handle this. And as a matter of fact, I think the University administration got good guidance on how it is that we should act in such cases.
More to come. Capstone that’s being planned– we’re going to put an RFP out for the design of a structure that will end up to be a capstone. And the idea is that it will be covered or there will be some place for words being provided by any student, group, faculty member, you name it, on diversity and inclusion, and the group that will look at those and decide which ones become a part of that physical structure, as well as recording the whole set of them, for the library.
But there’s one thing that I am concerned about in all this process. And what I’m concerned about is that everybody will look at this and say, well, I might as well be perfectly blunt. They’ll look at it and say, “This is a PR campaign.” You’ve got all these things going on in the world, and you’re waving a flag that says, “Look, we’re inclusive.”
And so it’s very important to me– well, I will say that this notion of climate environment has to be a cornerstone of being a more diverse and inclusive University. I don’t think you attract faculty, I don’t think you attract students, if you aren’t demonstrating what that environment is like. But I think we have to make sure that we go beyond that perspective to something that’s broader and is tangible and lasting.
So we’re starting to see these emerge. And sometimes they’re rather interesting. And I’ll just give you a couple of examples. But we’re in the process of starting to consciously accumulate these and think about them so that it can be also an outcome.
So for example, HR is hiring a senior director for talent and diversity and inclusion. I believe as part of a recommendation from the faculty there is an Equity Action Resource Team of 100 volunteers to support search committees, specific fund raising initiatives, like support of the Millennium Scholars Program, that takes a diverse student population from the beginning to focus on enabling them to go get a PhD.
There’s quite a few others. Some might be a surprise. We will pilot, next year, food services that support the diet of Muslim and Jewish students. It’s not something we’ve done before, but it’s a message, and in terms of the commitment of the University to being inclusive. And so we’ll see how it works, and whether or not that it’s successful.
Well, a number of other things that we are addressing, a team that actually meets frequently to look at the Moving Forward report that has come from the Faculty Senate. So I want everybody to be consciously thinking about the fact that, OK, there’s a message there, in terms of All In. But if we make the mistake of thinking that this is a message that’s intended to wave a flag on what our values are, as opposed to tangible impact on this University, I think we’ll have missed a great opportunity.
So two updates on two topics, and as usual, I’m willing to answer questions on any topic. Thank you.
Michael Bérubé, Liberal Arts: I don’t have a question. In the spirit of your remarks, I’d just like to thank you publicly for signing the letter extending support of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, and therefore used in support of [INAUDIBLE] students. Thank you.
Eric Barron: Yeah, my pleasure. Couldn’t help myself. I saw it and signed it, and then I thought, “Oh, probably should have gotten a little more input on that from a few people around campus,” but I have been supportive of this as a president for a long time, not just at Penn State.
Chair Strauss: Other questions for President Barron?
Eric Barron: Making my life easy. Thank you very much for your attention, I appreciate it.
COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
Chair Strauss: Item F. I invite comments by our Executive Vice President and Provost, Nick Jones.
Nicholas Jones, Provost: Thank you very much. Just want to begin with my usual meander down Acronym Row, starting with CISO. Some of you are aware of some of this already, and I apologize if I’m repeating for some of you. We did successfully conclude the search for a Chief Information Security Officer. Don Welsh, from the University of Michigan, started work at Penn State yesterday, in fact. So we’re thrilled to have him and I think he’ll be a great addition to our team.
We also successfully concluded the search for a Vice President for Information Technology/ Chief Information Officer. Mike Cubitt from Case Western was recruited, and will start here at Penn State on January 2nd, and we’re very much looking forward to Mike’s arrival. And I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to introduce both of those individuals to you, and hopefully you, too, will share the excitement that we do at their potential to lead our institution forward in this very important area.
The Voluntary Retirement Program– just want to say a couple of words about that. In all, we had 587 people across the University sign up. I’d mentioned this last time, I think, what the total headcount was. Now we’re actually in the more interesting and more challenging part of the process. And that is figuring out how to move forward and replace the key people and positions that we lost among those 587.
We’ve challenged the deans, the chancellors, and in fact many across the University in leadership to think very strategically about reinvestment in these positions. And I can tell you that I’ve gotten the first round of that in from, certainly from all the deans. And the ones that I’m focused on are the faculty reinvestments. And have to just share with you that I’m really, very excited at what I see the units doing, in terms of their re-reinvestment, seizing opportunities to realign priorities and make what are potentially some pretty exciting hires, I think, in new and emerging areas.
So a lot of hard work to be done yet on the VRP, but I think all in all we will make this a great success, and ultimately there are opportunities for the University to have some savings, and then further reinvest that in important programs around the University. Last acronym, I promise—FLSA, Fair Labor Standards Act. Many of you may have– there was an announcement a couple of days ago, but many of you would have followed this.
The new Fair Labor Standards Act regulations were to go into effect on December 1, and they moved the salary threshold for being an exempt employee from order $23,000 up to order $47,000 a year. And we had a lot of people in that $23,000 to $47,000 space.
HR and others really rolled up their sleeves and took a good hard look at all of the positions in there, and made some decisions in advance about how we would manage the workforce in that space. Some people would transition from being exempt to non-exempt. Others would remain as exempt employees, and have their salaries raised to the threshold. Then just a week before the week of Thanksgiving, a judge in Texas basically imposed an injunction that prevented the new regulation from going into action.
And so we scrambled. We all scrambled here. All of our peer institutions scrambled, and in fact, businesses across the nation scrambled to see how they would react. We had a lot of conversation internally. We had a lot of communication with our peer institutions, and where we ended up in that, just so you know, was we had actually sent out communications to individuals indicating that their salaries would be increased.
And these were people– I can look you all in the eye and tell you that there were very few people among those whose salaries we didn’t feel should have been increased. So these were people who probably were being paid lower than they should have been paid, and FLSA really was the catalyst for us to increase their salaries.
So we continued our commitment to invest in those individuals. The one thing that we tabled was the conversion of exempt employees to non-exempt who were in that range. So that we’ve put a hold on until there is a little bit more clarity, but all of the folks to whom we made a commitment to increase salary, we continued through with that. So I just wanted to explain where we ended up with that process. It was a tough one, and I think in the end, many of our peer institutions did about the same thing that we did. In fact, a few varied, some had changes or holds imposed on them by their legislatures. But many, many institutions reacted ultimately the way we did and took the same position.
Just a few updates on dean searches– the Dean for the Shreyer Honors College search is well underway. It’s chaired by Marie Hardin from the College of Communications. The Dean of the Penn State Law search is continuing, and in fact, we sent out an announcement today. We will have two candidates in for campus visits next week. So we’re getting two candidates in before the holidays, so that one is actually progressing very well.
Gary Gilden, who’s been serving as the Interim Dean of Dickinson Law; his appointment to be Dean of Dickinson Law was approved by the Board of Trustees at the last meeting. We made a decision internally. Eric and I had quite a bit of discussion about this, about the merits of being at the beginning phase of a campaign, trying to get this newly formed school, Dickinson Law, off and running. We felt that in the best interest of the school, we should appoint Gary as the dean, not the interim dean.
And because we are obligated to do national searches for all deans’ positions, we are going to do that. We’ve just deferred it to 2018-2019. So that’s a couple of years from now, and Gary will serve as dean for the next couple of years. And I think he’ll do an extraordinary job.
In October of 2013, I stood here for the first time and delivered to the Senate my first budget address on behalf of the University. And if I may say so myself, I thought it was pretty well done. The reason I can say that is that I was prepared for that budget presentation extraordinarily well. And I want to take a moment to acknowledge one person who will be leaving at the end of this month, who actually made me look really good then, and has made me look really good ever since. And that is Rachel Smith, our University Budget Officer.
And I tricked her into coming to the Senate meeting, and so she is sitting at the back. And I’m going to make her stand up. Rachel, please. So Rachel has done an extraordinary job as the University Budget Officer and has served Penn State for many– I won’t say how many– but many, many, many years. And so she will be a great loss to the institution.
We have a search underway to replace her, but I just did want to take this moment, even though on a day-to-day basis you, the University Faculty Senate, do not interact with Rachel, I just wanted to recognize her because her work, in so many situations, has just been amazingly important to this institution. So thank you, Rachel, and we hope you have a fabulous retirement.
I think also I’ll just mention we’ll be probably mentioning additional individuals as we roll into the spring, in part because of the Voluntary Retirement Program. We are going to be losing a lot of people who, like Rachel, have contributed immensely to this University. And we want to take the opportunity to acknowledge them to all of you. So with that, I’ll stop, and I’m happy to take any questions if there are any.
Chair Strauss: Questions for Provost Jones? Oh, Larry Backer?
Larry Backer, Penn State Law: Thank you so, so much for, as usual, a very enlightening statement that we all and I certainly appreciate. Just a tiny question– you spoke about the loss of, what was it, 587 people. I’m assuming many of them were tenured. You also spoke about challenging our managers to new and exciting things.
Nicholas Jones: Opportunities.
Larry Backer: Opportunity, that word. Yes, opportunities. But I’m wondering when all of these opportunities are done, and when we’re done counting, to what extent, if any, and I know that the answer will be very good, to what extent, if any, will there be an aggregate or specific reduction of tenure lines among those– I keep forgetting, I’m not a mathematician– the several hundred retirements that were taken?
Nicholas Jones: Yeah, well actually, that is a great question, Larry. And thank you for asking it. We will be able to present more detailed information to you when the dust is all settled from this process. But when I talk about strategic realignment, that can be used to describe a host of different approaches by deans and other budget executives.
One of the things we’re looking for the deans to do is to look for opportunities to make investments where they feel they are necessary in tenured or tenure track positions. And the freeing up of these permanent resources is enabling them to do that. Some of the deans, I will say, have been amazingly entrepreneurial and creative in the way they have done this. And in fact, one college I just reviewed is replacing 17 retiring positions with 20, and providing resources back to Old Main as part of the process.
And many of those replacement positions, some of the additional replacement positions, are tenured lines. So we’re actually hoping that when we come out of this process, we will see additional investment in tenure track positions.
Chair Strauss: Any further questions for Provost Jones? OK, thank you very much.
Nicholas Jones: Thank you, All.
Chair Strauss: We’re only five minutes behind my best case scenario of where I thought we would be in the meeting, so we’re making good progress. As we move into the forensic and informational report segments of today’s agenda, I’d like to remind all the presenters to please try to adhere to the time allotted.
Embedded Study Abroad Courses, Planning, Resources, Challenges, and Implementation
Chair Strauss: I will inform each presenter when there are five minutes left. There are two forensic business items today. The first appears as Appendix C in the agenda. It is from Global Programs and is entitled, “Embedded Study Abroad Courses, Planning, Resources, Challenges, and Implementation.” Committee chair Mike Krajsa will make a few comments and lead the discussion.
Last week a Google form was sent to all senators asking that they submit questions either before today’s meeting or after today’s presentation to aid the committee in its deliberations on this very important subject. 15 minutes is allocated for the presentation and discussion. Mike?
Michael Krajsa, Lehigh Valley: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will have a 15 minute discussion on the challenges, needs, and opportunities that faculty encounter arranging, marketing and executing short term embedded study abroad courses. While our Senate committee continues to explore a number of issues to further facilitate these trips and address faculty concerns, the Office of Global Programs is making strides in providing resources to staff and to facilitate these trips from the Commonwealth Campuses in particular.
Because the Global Program’s office recognizes that these Commonwealths Campuses’ short term trips now account for over 40% of the University’s short term study abroads. More of this will be in our report in January. As the chairman mentioned, you received an e-mail and you’ll receive a second one with a Google form in which we ask you to give recommendations and suggestions on how we can improve resources for faculty and for students.
We have two presenters today. First and most importantly, we will hear from a student on his perspective. Nicholas Miller, here, is a student in Finance in the Smeal College of Business. He transferred to University Park in fall of 2015 from my campus, Penn State Lehigh Valley, and has an anticipated graduation of May 2017. Nick studied abroad on two embedded programs, one in spring of 2014, focused on Spanish language and international business in Peru, and again, a second program in spring of ’15 in the Netherlands, focused on global marketing.
Nick is an accomplished student, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, as you will soon learn. Nick’s personal and academic ambitions have been strongly shaped by his international experiences, and Nick will share the details of his Penn State embedded trips with you now.
Nicholas Miller, Student: Thank you, Mike. I appreciate the kind words. It’s an honor to be here to present to you guys and to talk about something that I’m very passionate about, and that is traveling and short term study abroad programs. And just as President Barron mentioned, you know, there’s a big benefit to the students going on abroad programs. And today I want to talk about just some of that stuff.
My freshman year I was working with Big Mike and Professor Chrysler. And we went to Peru together, and we were able to visit the AmCham, the US Embassy, and able to meet with local businesses. And part of that experience was to pop out of my shell, as Mike likes to say, and kind of build some self-confidence, and go step out of that usual day-to-day going to class, being able to work with the faculty members and other students, to go learn about a new culture. New ideas are brought about by that, and we can see different perspectives of how we think.
And part of that program, for me, was to kind of see the world as– globalization as a whole. And the next step was then to take the Netherlands trip, where we worked on global marketing as well, worked with local students, the University of Utrecht, and we were able to sit in on classes and learn about the academic benefits of these short term study abroads. And that’s the key here.
It’s not just a trip to go see sightseeing. It’s about the academic benefits of these programs. What do the students take away from that for their long term goals? After that trip, what do they see? Is that confidence? Is that global mindset? And that’s exactly what we were able to do on both trips. Everybody in that group was able to open up and see those different mindsets.
And part of that was just my transformation going from a freshman in college to being able to pop out of that shell again and look at these– you know, what can I accomplish in my time as a college student? So after that– some pictures from the programs. But after that, the personal impact. So it’s faculty mentoring. How are we going to connect with these faculty members?
And that’s one of the key things about these faculty-led programs, is that I’m able to have a mentor now, Professor Krajsa, that we went and experienced a new culture, new things, new business ideas. And now I’m able to discuss with Mike, hey, like, I’m working on this program where I have investments in Kenya. Any input on this?
After that, I completed six internships. I traveled to 37, 38 countries now, and completed two companies now, thanks to the Launch Box. We have Launch Box which Professor Krajsa heads, and started my own charity. And that charity is all about giving back to students so that they can too experience that popping out of the shell and gaining that self-confidence. Because when you walk into an interview, and you want to be able to look that person in the eyes and say, you know, “Hire me. I’m a hard worker.” That’s the confidence that you need to get that job.
And that’s why you go to college, to get that job. So that’s something that I took away from it, as many students do. Part of my charity, when I was traveling in Kenya this past April, I sponsored 47 students on a day trip to learn about their environment, learn about the tourist industry, and although they range in age from 7 to 18, it was a great time for me to grow as a person. And that was kind of what I’ve definitely taken away from these travel programs, is how do I keep growing, how do I keep competing in this global market?
Because when we’re competing, we’re competing against China and all these other educated societies. And so that’s exactly what I want to do, and part of the philanthropy that I used was to sponsor Penn State students to go on to study abroad. I just completed a foundation fundraiser to sponsor two students to go to Puerto Rico. And so I will be giving $500 scholarships to them so they, too, can take this away.
And part of that is to have the faculty members commit the time and see the results. And I hope that you can see that I referenced everything I’ve done in my college career back to that Peru trip, where I was able to build that self-confidence, where I was able to experience new things.
Part of that was that it’s not just the finance major or the business major that’s going to benefit from this. It’s also the nursing students; see different perspectives on that. It’s also that psychology major, the bio major. All these different trips have different aspects of faculty-led programs. Part of those programs like, the teacher is a business teacher or bio major. And they’re able to sit down and in a new place and work on new ideas with these students. And again, it’s that global mindset that lets us compete in a global market.
And one final thing is the new ideas with that. New ideas– I started two companies that, where I’m working on transactions in Kenya or China. I’m talking to my factories in Shanghai. Those new ideas spark new opportunities. And again, it comes back to, what are we doing after college? Getting that job, or we’re re-creating that job, that entrepreneurship. And those new ideas come from those business opportunities.
And I have to close with thanking the faculty members who don’t get compensated for their extra hard work for setting up these programs. But you know what they do? They do exactly what teachers are supposed to do, and that’s mentoring and growing students. And that’s why I have to thank Professor Chrysler and all the other faculty members that helped put together these programs. Thank you.
Michael Krajsa: Thank you, Nick. He had a tough decision the last month. He did an internship with a job offer from PNC, another one with JP Morgan this summer with a job offer, and he ended up going with IBM. So that’s Nick.
Next I want to introduce John Meckley. He’s an Associate Professor of Engineering and Chair of Plastics Engineering Technology at Penn State Behrend, where he’s taught full time since 1999. John first attended the Plastic International Program in 1989 as an undergraduate student, and he later returned to Penn State area after graduate studies, starting his career in industry.
He first led embedded programs as faculty in 2003, and has led programs on at least 10 occasions since. Talk about dedication. John believes strongly in the value of the program in demonstrating the importance of global competencies to his students, and in exposing the students to global industry practices and norms beyond the classroom. John, welcome.
John Meckley, Behrend: I want to thank you for having me speak today. He actually gave away my introduction. I always like to start this talk with a little saying that I stole from the Hair Club for Men. Not only am I a professor of my program, I’m also a graduate.
I came out of the second graduating class of our program, and it was the very first class that went on the international trip. And I’ve had a little bit of hand in each one of the trips since then. I think in the 26, 27 years that we’ve been doing these, I probably only missed four or five.
In the beginning, I was just kind of like the only person who could really read a map and move us around, and eventually it worked into a position where I started taking over the planning and the leading of these trips. And our program is a little bit different. Usually, the trip is in support of a class.
In our case, we’re really using our class to support our trip. We use it to kind of set the expectation. And you can imagine, over those 26 years, we have a lot of really good stories of things that have happened on these trips that we tell the students. We say, this is why we want you to do this, we want you to do that. We set up the expectation, then we go through a bunch of other things in terms of personal safety, and then we have some outside speakers coming in to kind of talk about what to expect when they’re over on the trip.
But really, what I look at, and basically the genesis for these trips was this was something to show the students that we just simply could not do in the classroom. So what I will do is, I’ll kind of use this year’s trip. We took 33 students over to Germany. The largest plastics show in the world occurs every three years in Dusseldorf, Germany. So that was the main thing, and to be honest, in the plastics industry, companies will work hard to develop and present new technology at the show.
So I see it as like one of the key things that we do. So we’ll spend a couple of days at the trade show. Also, we go to the manufacturers. When I look down at our lab, the majority of our machines that are down there are from Europe. So we will, depending upon which area of Europe we’re in, we’ll have some company that we’ll go through, and we get to see how those are built. And we show those to the students.
And also, I look at it as, it’s not just for the students, maybe a little selfishly. But it’s also for the faculty. It helps us to kind of stay, basically, up with what’s new in the technology. We also go to universities. Especially this year in Rosenheim, the university we went to, they also had a wood sciences program, and they were looking at putting wood filler, or fibers, inside of plastic polymers.
And it was actually kind of cool for the students. And although some of the questions our students bungled a little bit with the easy ones, but they did ask some really good questions about what research was going on. So it was good for them to see. And I find this very funny, or not so much anymore because I’m used to it now.
But it really used to strike me odd that when I look at most of the students that go on these trips, their international experience was going up beyond Niagara Falls into Canada. They generally have stayed in that tri-state region around Erie. And there are still a fair amount of these students that have never been on an airplane before. So this is actually very good for them.
And at alumni reunions, when we talk with our graduates, one of the first things they’ll tell us is that within the first year or two, a majority of them are starting to travel overseas, whether it’s going to China or whether it’s going to Europe. So having that passport, having that travel experience– I know it sounds funny for people that have actually traveled before, but the first time going through immigration, going through customs, and then stepping out into a place where they don’t speak the language, this is actually a very good experience for them.
And I would say the majority of our students are of European heritage. And when they look across the ocean, their most common comment is, wow, they’re a lot like me. That could not be further from the truth. And it is a little bit of a shock for them when they step out of the airplane and they see that they do more recycling, or they see the advertising, or they see the great public transportation.
So they get a chance to be able to experience something that is a lot different than what we do. Apparently I’m running out of time, which I kind of knew I would. I will tell you that these programs do take a lot of time. We’ve been doing these now for a long time, over 20 years.
Actually, we just came off our other trip at the end of October. We have already started putting together a plan for what we’re doing next October, and we will start doing the bulk of our planning through January and February, finishing up in the summer. But I will tell you that two weeks before the trip is primarily almost dedicated to basically finishing up any little loose ends that are left there.
But I will tell you that what we hear when we come back from the students, it makes it worth our time to put that together. But basically, I said this before, this is just simply stuff that we cannot teach in the classroom.
Michael Krajsa: Thank you. We just have time for like, one or two questions if you have something of either one of the presenters. Yes, no? All right. I think you see the value of it, both from a faculty member and from a student thing about these, as Nick puts it, popping out of their shell. And it’s something that it does proliferate throughout their education, especially if you can get them on a study abroad in their freshman year.
Please, when you get your e-mail when you get back home, from the Faculty Senate, please respond to the two questions in the Google form. We value your suggestions. Thank you all for your time.
Chair Strauss: Thank you, Mike, for a very enlightening report. Our second forensic discussion is going to be led by Michael Bérubé, the Chair of Faculty Affairs, and it is entitled AD88. Michael Bérubé and Tim Balliett, our University Ethics Officer, will lead the discussion. 15 minutes has been allotted for this presentation.
Michael Bérubé: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Can we also get AD88 up there? Is that possible? Sorry, the policy itself, so that people have some context. So while that’s going on, I’ll explain why we’re here and why we’re doing this forensic. Tim Balliett, the University Ethics Officer from the Office of Ethics and Compliance, came to us in August asking for faculty input on this policy. This, alone, is a good thing.
This is another case where we were bypassed or a policy got dropped on us. This was a new policy devised by Tim’s office, for which he wanted Faculty Affairs input. Now, I don’t think– this is the current policy.
It’s not a biggie, but there are three bullet points. It came out of that discussion of Faculty Affairs back in September. It was that my committee was concerned about two things. One was the sort of tonal disparity between incorporating the Penn State principles as a sort of aspirational context, and then the sort of “thou shalt nots” of the policy.
That, I think, is not a problem. The problem was the inherent tension in two of the three bullet points in the new policy, one of which had to do with upholding the values of academic freedom and freedom of expression, and the other of which had to do with upholding the values of a respectful workplace.
Tim was allocated about 10-15 minutes to come and talk to us. At the 45 minute point I turned to him said, “Welcome to Faculty Affairs”, because there really is a tension between these two things. And in fact, some of you may remember, long before I joined this body, back in 2004, there was a tenured faculty member who lost a job over that tension between academic freedom and a respectful workplace.
So we wanted to have this forensic as a sort of heads up, a consultation with the full Senate, as opposed to just Faculty Affairs. And we wanted to air out this possible tension in the policy. Is it clear without the text? One bullet point’s saying the values of academic freedom and freedom of expression, the other bullet point says upholding the values of a respectful workplace? OK.
So then what ensued was an e-mail exchange after the September meeting, between Tim and myself, in which I conveyed my committee’s conviction that if push came to shove, Faculty Affairs would prefer that academic freedom and freedom of expression take precedence over a respectful workplace. Tim replied in effect, this grows out of a concern among many staff, who have expressed their concern about disrespectful workplaces to his office.
At which point I went back to my committee and said, I don’t like either the optics or the substance of faculty fighting to treat staff badly. That’s not a hill I want to die on. And given that the tensions–. Scroll down a bit? Thank you. It’s in the next page. Here we are. Professional conduct– uphold academic freedom and freedom of expression. In accordance with the law and University policy, maintain a respectful workplace and educational environment in accordance with University policy.
As for possible conflicts between those two things in the classroom, Tim replied to me, and I think very convincingly, that the last couple of words, in accordance with University policy, cover the academic freedom issues involving conflicts in the classroom. So for me, the tension here is a little bit more vivid when it comes to dealing with staff than with the students. I think we have a number of provisions about dealing with students.
But nevertheless, if we go back to the original questions for the forensic– for me, the first question is a little bit more pressing. But that’s it. Floor is open for questions.
Larry Backer: Thank you so, so much for this somewhat curious document. I appreciate your work on it. I have a number of questions, but let me start with just one or two. The first question is a more global one. It’s not clear to me what the purpose or point of this is. If one reads this and gives meaning to its words, it is a very long two and something pages of declarations and affirmations that we will follow the law, and that we will follow our rules.
I had not thought it would be necessary, and indeed, it is somewhat confusing to look at a document that effectively says, I promise to follow the rules that we’re following, that we have an obligation to follow in the first place. So the redundancy is something that troubles me.
But then I thought, well, it can’t be redundant, because of course we don’t do redundancy here at Penn State. So this must mean something besides an affirmation that we will do what we’ve already affirmed to do by the very large host of HRs, ADs, RFs, and other acronyms that we have already bound ourselves to. So what is the value added here? What is this more than a mere declaration to do what we are already required to do?
And the only thing that I saw here, and maybe you can help me figure this out, is that we will now somehow convert what the document at one point characterizes as an aspiration. Oh, I forgot what you used. It’s aspirational something or other.
Oh, as aspirational in nature, something that’s aspirational in nature, and within 10 or 15 lines of that statement, then declare that indeed, the way in which we must now understand all of the various obligations that we have, both under national, local and regional law, and under our policies such as they are, wherever they are, that all of those things now must be interpreted in accordance with this aspirational policy, which if you then put together, suggests that indeed, if there is a purpose to this thing at all, it has to be to legislate the aspirational standards of Penn State, whatever this is.
I forget what we call it– the Penn State Values. Right? But if that’s what you’re doing, that’s not what you’re advertising that you’re doing, and I’m concerned that indeed, we are now beginning to do two things that should trouble us. One is to develop this process of redundancy in regulation, which creates traps for the unwary, as this will be, because one is going to have to try to figure out how one interprets this in light of the other rules that we have.
And the other thing is that it could, to some minds, begin to look like we are now stealth regulating aspirational standards in ways that provide our administrators with an extraordinary amount of discretion, both in interpreting principles that are very, very loosely and broadly defined, and to apply them through the AD policy, into the dozens of other policies, and state and national law, which we have already sworn to abide by.
So if you can help me, when I figure all of this, I go back to my question, which is what is the purpose of this? And if the purpose is something other than what I’ve suggested, it is not yet clear. And if it is what I’ve suggested, then perhaps we ought to think hard and long about the mania for regulating our regulations in a way that does not, at least to my mind, serve any useful purpose in terms of ordering, in a reasonable way, the working lives of either administrators, faculty, or staff at the University. Sorry it took so long. Thanks.
Tim Balliett, University Ethics Officer: Sure. I think you raise two very good questions, Larry. The first, in terms of what’s the overall purpose of the policy, it’s really two-fold. The first is, in order to be in compliance with federal regulations that require that organizations which receive funds have a clear code of conduct. And so that would be first.
Second is, given the plethora of policies that we have, to create a 30,000 foot level, if you will, summary of what the key duties, responsibilities that we have. Just for example, the professional conduct section that we propose adding– there are approximately 33 to 34 different policies regarding what constitutes professional conduct in the workplace and in the educational setting. It’s very challenging to navigate that.
So what we’ve done is very briefly summarize what’s the essence of that, and then with a cross-reference to our website, which lists those policies and what the key elements are. So those are the two central reasons for having this policy. We recognize that our policies and federal regulations are voluminous, so we wanted to have, if you will, a one stop shop of “What are my key obligations?”
Chair Strauss: We have time for just a question or two. Is there anyone else that would like to ask a question?
Rebecca Bascom, Hershey: So Moses did sort of a similar thing, that gave us some shalts and shalt nots a long time ago, and it’s been a benchmark to look at subsequent behavior. Is there a plan to create, as these are our new tablets, to then look at these other policies and say, OK, let’s realign these policies because they don’t fit, rather than have an individual faculty member do the hamster scurrying between the 30,000 view and all the others. So is that the idea? Which would be great– make our lives easier.
Tim Balliett: Right, so I don’t want to speak for Susan and HR, but HR is currently in the process of reorganizing, consolidating their policies, to make it easier to navigate. There’s discussion about whether certain policies which apply directly to faculty should be in a separate section so it’s easier to find, easier to navigate. And I’m currently, for example, looking at– we have over 13 to 15 conflict of interest policies that affect faculty. How can we consolidate that in conjunction with the Conflict of Interest Task Force that’s through Dr. Jones’ office?
So I see it as a first step to help faculty and staff navigate our policy system, currently. In terms of whether we look at them as tablets of “thou shalt nots,” we tried to state them in the affirmative. You know, for example, that we’re an academic institution. Our core value is discovery. So we uphold academic freedom and freedom of expression. We also have a value of respect.
So the way in which that is done, say, for example to students, there are those challenging times where we challenge students in the classroom on what their beliefs are, or what their knowledge is. And that’s a good thing. That’s what we do as an academic institution.
But we don’t berate students publicly for x, y or z reason in doing so. So that’s the inherent tension as I see it. And I don’t want to speak fully for the committee, that we saw. And so we were asking for kind of guidance of what would be helpful to navigate those very situational types of tensions.
Michael Bérubé: So in questional response to Larry’s question on that middle level about what all this is for, this has come before Faculty Affairs since, both with regard to HR80, which we’re still working on, and that’s the bear, and AD92, which many remember, dropped out of nowhere one day right before an election, and gave us guidelines about working on campaigns.
I have to say, Jim Strauss did an amazing job in the meeting with Tom Poole, Steve Dunham, and I think, Zazala. Communicating the need, for even when legal staff think they’re just getting in compliance with federal law, you need to consult with faculty, because faculty work is weird. It’s nebulous. It has these gray areas.
So we are getting back on AD92 and on HR80, but again, back to Larry’s question, one of the things we’re finding, and Rose Jolly on my committee proposed in the future that when new policies or revised policies come down, there be something like a cover sheet explaining what the problem is and what this is trying to solve. Because we would never have guessed that with AD92, the problem was not faculty members working on campaigns, the problem was the Romney-Ryan campaign coming by in 2012 and wanting to set up shop outside Beaver Stadium.
That’s very helpful. With HR80, it’s on one hand people setting up private companies, and on the other hand teaching at other institutions. If we have some context, and I quote Rose here, for why these policies come down, we won’t wind up trying to reverse engineer them in the dark. And I think the reason Tim came to our committee back in September was precisely to answer that question. And I’m glad he had a chance to answer it to the full Senate.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much. We are out of time. Any further questions that you have, you can e-mail them to Michael Bérubé. Thank you very much.
Chair Strauss: I’ll remind everyone that as usual, we are using clickers today for voting. Senators, you should have received a clicker upon entry. If it’s not working or you need one, please raise your hand. We have one unfinished business item. It is the resolution introduced as New Business in the October 18th meeting, by Senator Keith Shapiro of Arts and Architecture, and then seconded.
LionPATH Resolution (Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture)
The resolution appears as Appendix D of your agenda. By Senate rules, discussion and voting on the motion was postponed to today’s meeting. Keith, would you like to open the discussion for the motion?
Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture: Good afternoon. This morning, Past Chair Ansari met with student leadership. And in the discussion they reached consensus to modify the language of the resolution that I proposed at our last meeting. I think these modifications significantly clarify the resolution, and I concur with them, and I concur with your suggestions. Therefore, I wish to offer the amended resolution for consideration to the Faculty Senate.
Chair Strauss: And Paula, do we have the amended one or the– this is the amended version. I see no objections to accepting your amended version, so you may proceed. Any questions or discussion for Keith? Mohamad? You have a question?
Mohamad Ansari, Berks, Immediate Past Chair: Thank you. I speak so loudly. Ansari, Berks. On behalf of my colleagues at Berks, I would like to thank you for drafting this resolution. I believe the amended resolution that came up in our meeting this morning with students, in my opinion, speaks to a large number of frustrations and complaints that the Senate and the Senate offices have received from our colleagues, from academic administrators, students and staff.
I can share with you the latest e-mail that I have received from our campus registrar. It says, “I can’t determine the current enrollment in any classes, because LionPATH considers students who late drop the class as still enrolled.” So as a faculty, we have students who have late dropped, we still do not know who they are, and the class list shows the original class list.
So I respectfully seek your support for this resolution. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chair Strauss: Yes?
Barrie Litzky, Great Valley: Hi, Litzsky, Great Valley. It was just brought to my attention by administrators that they would still need access to ISIS, that the staff can’t access records in eLion, and that’s a student, you know, it’s student-focused only, and that the data has been converted from ISIS to LionPATH. So how will the staff be able to access data? Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Nick Jones would like to offer a comment? Sure.
Nicholas Jones: OK, so, big surprise– I have some comments. Challenges with the LionPATH student information system transition are acknowledged. And they are being worked on as they present themselves. This move has been a significant undertaking, and transition was not expected to be seamless.
Patience and commitment are necessary for its success, and we, the administration, most certainly apologize for any disruption and inconvenience that the transition has caused. The core business functions of the University have been successfully transitioned from the legacy, ISIS/eLion, Student Information System to LionPATH. These functions include admissions–we’re on the second round now– student registration, class scheduling, transcripts, advising, tuition billing, and financial aid processing.
A new central support unit has been created that will continuously work on system enhancements and optimization. An update to the student interface is scheduled to be implemented in the spring, and currently, student input, considerable student input, is being collected and incorporated into that interface. So I wrote this, prepared this for the last resolution, so I’ll just read what I had. It’s consistent with what is up here.
Halting the implementation of LionPATH for at least one semester is not feasible. Neither is what is being proposed here. All business functions have been fully and permanently transitioned forward from ISIS to LionPATH. ISIS/eLion has been decommissioned and is no longer operational. Retrofitting business processes, re-converting student data, while ensuring that Penn State remains compliant with federal law, is not practically possible, nor in the interests of Penn State, given the considerable progress that has been made in the transition.
I reiterate, we regret how challenging this transition has been. But this is a large, large project, and there have been challenges along the way. And we certainly acknowledge that. But from my perspective, we have turned the corner and we are heading in a very positive direction. And I think going backwards is not a good idea for the University. Well, we can’t, but even if we could, I think it’s not a good idea.
Chair Strauss: Other questions or discussion– hang on. Larry, with due respect, I want to try to involve some other folks, if that’s OK.
Elizabeth King, Earth and Mineral Sciences: Hi. King, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. We’re particularly worried in my unit– I’m in the Dutton Institute– and we have a lot of World Campus students, and our enrollments have declined a lot. So while a lot of these things are successful, on I guess on one hand, a lot of the resident students are held captive here. So they’re going to enroll. They’re going to find a way to get into their classes.
A lot of our World Campus students who are having trouble registering can go to any other program very, very easily, especially our new students. So we’re seeing lower numbers across our classes. And we hear that that’s at Commonwealth Campuses as well. So I’m just wondering, when they’re assessing the World Campus numbers, how that’s going to look for somebody like my supervisor, who’s very worried about our lower numbers.
Chair Strauss: Other comments? Yes.
Kimberly Blockett, Brandywine: Hi. Blockett, Brandywine. This is more in response to Dr. Jones’ remarks. Dr. Jones, I just want to say, everything that you said, accepted. I just want to implore you to please reconsider using the word “successful.” I’m sorry, it was not successful. And also, it feels just slightly condescending when we hear that, well, it was expected that the transition would be somewhat inconvenient. There would be problems. I think everyone understands that. No one expected it to be flawless and seamless.
But what we’re facing is much larger than I think anyone expected. So just an acknowledgment of that, and then maybe some real talk about what’s going to happen moving forward, and how this can very logistically be dealt with, as opposed to the larger sort of way up here discussion. What would be really helpful, I think, is a reach out to folks who are in the trenches dealing with the real day-to-day problems.
We’re not functioning as a University, because this is not a very successful transition. We’re simply not functioning, and we’re hurting. And we just need to know what’s going to happen moving forward. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much. Other questions for the good of the order? Larry, you want to–
Larry Backer: [INAUDIBLE].
Chair Strauss: No, I just wanted to make sure we gave a chance for some other folks to offer comment. OK.
Peter Dendle, Mont Alto: Peter Dendle, Mont Alto. I guess there’s no question that there’s been a lot of frustrations across the system. Provost Jones apologized for this at the beginning of the year, sort of unsolicited, I think. I can’t imagine that too many of our difficulties are not either coming on his radar, or on the radar of those others taking care of this implementation.
As of the Commonwealth Caucus just a couple hours ago, it was clear that people in the room who were prepared to vote for or not vote for this resolution really had no idea of the situation itself, had not really consulted with IT or the records office. We wanted to make a symbolic statement of anger. And I think that’s OK.
But when we cross the line into trying to micromanage, or trying to give concrete directives to other units or departments, either that are outside of our purview or expertise, or not having really looked into the matter or consulted so that we know what we’re talking about in the first place, I think we lose credibility. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Anyone else like to weigh in? Yes.
Asad Azemi, Brandywine: Azemi, Brandywine. I quite understand why we cannot go back to eLion, because ISIS has been decommissioned. But there are areas that could have been left alone for the sake of helping the faculty who are advising. For instance, the Bulletin could have been left alone with a note there that things are not going to be updated, or to update, go back and use the LionPATH.
So I think there are some areas that you may want to look into. If possible, not be decommissioned immediately, so that people can go back for reference until the whole thing is worked out.
Chair Strauss: Sure. Go ahead, Nick.
Nicholas Jones: To the earlier comment, I apologize to all if I sounded condescending. I didn’t mean to. In fact, all I was trying to do was acknowledge that the challenges have been many and considerable. And yes, we expected some, but they’ve been bigger than we anticipated. There’s no question, and I’m not trying to sugarcoat that at all.
To the suggestion that we not decommission some parts– it’s done. We’ve gone through the full rolling cycle of converting and then decommissioning and making LionPATH the system of record. Now all focus and all attention is on ensuring that we restore, as quickly as we possibly can, the full functionality that you all came to expect from eLion/ISIS. That’s really where our focus is right now.
And I do honestly and sincerely believe, and hopefully you know me well enough by now to know that I wouldn’t say this if it were not true, I really do believe that we have turned a corner. Many of the challenges that we’ve had, the expected ones and the unexpected ones, the issues have been resolved, largely resolved. There are still others out there that we know are frustrating people, but we are making extraordinary progress.
And I think a year from now, as we’ve gone through another full cycle of this, this is all going to be in the past, not a good past to remember, but a challenge. But in terms of other things that we cannot decommission now, we’re kind of past that point at this point.
Chair Strauss: Dwight, and then we’ll take Carrie and then Mary Beth.
Dwight Davis, Medicine: Davis, from Hershey. I just wonder, in light of the realities of the situation that we face with LionPATH, and the comments made about what is possible and what is not possible, I’m not sure that I understand what voting on this statement truly means now, as a statement from Faculty Senate. So I just want to raise my concern now, that we understand, if you will, what I’m going to call the realities of a tremendously difficult situation that we’re facing, trying to take care of us students.
Chair Strauss: OK. Carrie?
Caroline Eckhardt, Liberal Arts: Eckhardt, Liberal Arts. I fully understand that we can’t go backwards. I’m wondering whether there are ways in which we could maybe slide sideways a little bit, or something like that. And one of those sideways that I’m thinking of is that, there seem to have been, lately, an extraordinary burden on staff who are checking people for graduation by running hundreds and hundreds of pages on paper, all degree audits and things like that, that they were not prepared to do, because they were already maxed out at this time in the semester.
If there would be some gesture of appreciation for the staff that might be possible, maybe even a communication from your office, I think that would be a welcome acknowledgment that they’re staying late, they’re putting other things aside, that they are really stressed out trying to meet the current needs. The other is kind of a question, and this relates to the relationship between LionPATH and the Bulletin. I think a lot of us were rather taken by surprise when the course descriptions from the Bulletin seemed to suddenly have gone away, or whatever.
If the Bulletin could temporarily come back the way it had been for reference, that would be appreciated. There are rumors and problems circulating now. I’ve heard, I don’t know whether it’s correct or not, that the 20 word descriptions for courses are somehow gone, or we’re not going to have them anymore, or things of that sort. I think tensions are high enough that if that particular aspect could be slowed down or if we could in parallel have the old Bulletin for another couple of months, even at the same time as maybe some of it is in LionPATH, that would ease up another set of tensions.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much. Mary Beth?
Mary Beth Williams, Science: Thank you. Williams, Science. I wanted to address a concern that we have in the College of Science about validating graduation requirements for our students coming up. In the winter, of course, we have many fewer students graduating. And so we’re learning how to use the new system. While we’re working with these new degree audits in the spring, it’s a much bigger issue. We have many more students graduating.
And I’m not sure that you all know, and I want to thank Rob Pangborn for letting us know yesterday that eLion for advisors, is still available using the old archived data. So we can still pull up degree audits that are accurate as of August. What that means is our staff, yes, they have to do it by hand. They have to do it by hand.
But they can pull up old audits against new audits, and validate them. It’s work, for sure. But at least we have this backstop as a mechanism to validate the data now. So thank you for hearing me on that one, and for doing something about it.
Chair Strauss: And does this continue for spring? It will. Great. Apologize, I’m probably out of order. All the way back.
William Kenyon, Arts and Architecture: Kenyon, Arts and Architecture. I’m concerned. I want to reflect on one of Provost Jones’ comments about eventually reaching full functionality. I’m not sure that LionPATH ever will be able to do that. I sit on Curricular Affairs, and there’s a number of issues that we’ve been faced with, where we keep on being told, “Oh, LionPATH can’t do that.” One example was late drop credits. LionPATH was incapable of handling late drop credits, so we, as a faculty, are having to completely change how we deal with that and go a different route.
I recently found out, and I know we don’t have a clear answer on this yet, but the way my particular degree is structured may not be able to be handled by LionPATH. We’re having to change numbering, and LionPATH can’t handle things like prerequisites the way we used to do them. So we continually hear about the fact that LionPATH can’t do what eLion and ISIS could do, and technically, that software is very much older.
And so I’m concerned that we’re not really going to get to a full functionality, or we’re being told by the software that we have to change what we do every day in a classroom. And that’s unfortunate. And I don’t know where– if there’s no way to go back, is there a place to go beyond LionPATH? And that’s kind of the final paragraph here of the proposal, is creating a system of looking forward to see if there’s another solution to this, because there’s only so much I think that some professors are going to put up with, letting the software drive what we do. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Are there further questions? I do want to try to draw discussion to a close, and maybe vote. But we’ll take your question. Just mindful of time for some of the other presentations we have yet this afternoon.
Themis Matsoukas, Engineering: Matsoukas, Engineering. I work very closely with staff, and I felt the brunt of the change. It is very, very unpleasant. But asking our staff to go back to eLion for a semester would be even worse. So I agree with the last part of the resolution That it has to be accountability on how those things change. I urge you to reconsider the statement regarding going back to eLion.
Chair Strauss: Mohamad?
Mohamad Ansari: Mr. Chairman, having heard explanations by our provost and the rest of our colleagues, I would like to propose an amendment to this resolution, if I may. So I move to strike the first resolution part, which reads, “therefore be it resolved the University Faculty Senate finds this situation to be unreasonable, and urge effective immediately that partial functionality be returned to eLion to mitigate the current noted shortcomings, and supplement the primary operation of LionPATH System until effective functionality of LionPATH is established.”
So I move to strike the first part of the resolution, and therefore, we will have only one resolution, which is “be it further resolved.” That’s a motion, Mr. Chairman, for your consideration. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Just let me coordinate with Paula to make sure I understand. Mohamad, if I understand, so you want the entire “therefore, be it resolved,” the first one, entirely stricken?
Mohamad Ansari: Yes, Sir, that’s correct.
Chair Strauss: So we would need a second– so that’s been seconded. Parliamentarian, before we proceed, we probably need to have a discussion and vote on that before I go and black something out that– why don’t we try this.
Caroline Eckhardt: Eckhardt, Liberal Arts. Thank you, [INAUDIBLE]. Since it’s only one item, let’s take out “further”. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: OK — we need to call action. We do a voice vote. Are we ready to? Are folks OK with a voice vote try to see where we’re at? OK, so all in favor of the amended amended resolution as you see before you, please say “aye.”
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? We’re making progress. This is great. Look at that. That’s high tech. Any further discussion, or are we ready to vote on what we have before us here? We can use the– do folks want to do a voice vote for– OK.
All in favor of voice voting for the amend– I want to make sure we at least have all in favor of voice voting for the amended.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? OK, we’ll do a voice vote, the old fashioned way. So all in favor of the amended resolution, please respond by stating “aye.”
Chair Strauss: Any opposed?
Chair Strauss: My ears say the “ayes” have it. Parliamentarian? Motion carries. Thank you very much for a productive discussion. Thank you, Keith.
Chair Strauss: OK, Item I, Legislative Reports– please be reminded that Parliamentary procedure requires all motions be submitted to the chair in writing. If needed, Senate staff can provide you with paper and pencil.
Revisions to Senate Policy 48-40 and 48-50
The first legislative report is from Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid, and Undergraduate Education, it appears as Appendix E. Committee Chair Michel Haigh will introduce the report and respond to questions that you might have. Michel?
Michel Haigh, Communications: So basically, we’re looking at 48-40 and 48-50, and slightly rewording the policies to clear up some confusion. And this came at the request of Bob Kubat, the University Registrar. And so you’ll see that, basically, if an instructor does not submit a grade for a student by the grade reporting deadline, and a deferred grade was not requested and approved, then an NG appears on the student’s transcript.
Currently, the policy states that the grade reporting is at the end date of the course. But you all know that we also have the final exam period. So when you look at the stricken language, you’ll know that it’s basically just saying, grade reporting deadline, rather than end date of the course, as it appears in the schedule of courses. So that language is being updated to better reflect when the grade reporting deadline starts. Are there any questions?
Chair Strauss: This report is being brought to the floor by a committee. It needs no second. Are we ready to vote? I see no questions. Senators joined via Mediasite, you may cast your vote on polleverywhere.com. To accept the motion, please press A. To reject, please press B.
Anna, how are we doing on Poll Everywhere?
Anna Butler, Senate Staff: On Poll Everywhere, I have 9 accept.
Revisions to Senate Standing Rules Article II Section 6(o) Committee on University Planning
Chair Strauss: Motion carries. Thank you very much, Michel, for your hard work. The second and final legislative report is from Committee on Committees and Rules, and appears as Appendix F in your agenda. Committee Chair, Dawn Blasko, will introduce the report and respond to questions.
Dawn Blasko, Behrend: The Senate Committee on University Planning reviewed their bylaws and their mandated reports and decided that the annual report is a– do we have it on here? I guess we don’t. OK. So that instead of an annual report, they only needed a biannual report.
And so they also added some information, including safety security of persons, buildings, and other facilities. So the changes they needed to make. Does anybody have any questions?
Chair Strauss: The report is brought to the floor by committee. It needs no second. Do we have any questions on the report? Are we ready to vote? OK.
Senators joined via Mediasite, you may cast your vote on polleverywhere.com. To accept the motion, please press A. To reject, please press B.
Anna Butler: On Poll Everywhere I have 9 accept.
Chair Strauss: The motion carries. Thank you very much.
ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Chair Strauss: Advisory Item J, Advisory and Consultative Reports, there are none.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE
Follow-Up Report and Recommendation for Improving Governance and Communications and Furthering the Academic Mission at Penn State
Follow-Up Report and Recommendations for Improving Governance and Communications and Furthering the Academic Mission at Penn State. Appendix G.
John Nichols, chair of the Special Committee, introduced the report. Mohamad Ansari, Berks, Immediate Past Chair, acknowledged the work of the Special Committee, then moved to suspend the rules to enable the Senate to entertain a motion to endorse the report. The motion to suspend was seconded and passed unanimously. Mohamad Ansari then moved to endorse the report. The motion to endorse was seconded and passed. Chair Strauss thanked Nichols for his service.
Articulation Agreement Review
ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT STUDENT AID
Articulation Agreement Review, Appendix H . Articulation agreements were reviewed by the committee and the current listing was presented by committee chair Michel Haigh.
Scholarship Report 2015-16
Scholarship Report 2015-2016, Appendix I. Review of the distribution of scholarship funds within a three-year period presented by Michel Haigh.
Submission of Curricular Proposals
Submission of Curricular Proposals, Appendix J. Michele Duffey presented a brief report on the undergraduate curricular pathway, to highlight curricular resources, and to suggest best practices for successfully navigating the curricular review process.
Millennium Scholars Program
EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT
Millennium Scholars Program, Appendix K. Introduction, program description, and program outcomes, presented by Committee chair Rob Loeb.
Third Party Administrative Services for Penn State’s Medical and Prescription Drug Plan
Third Party Administrative Services for Penn State’s Medical and Prescription Drug Plan, Appendix L. Renee Borromeo, Faculty Benefits Chair, presented this report.
Penn State Employee Health and Wellness Center
Penn State Employee Health and Wellness Center, Appendix M. Paula Milone-Nuzzo, Dean of the School of Nursing, Kevin Black, Vice Dean for Penn State College of Medicine (via telephone), Susan Basso, Vice President for Human Resources, and Greg Stoner, Senior Director of Compensation and Benefits, presented the report.
Report on Childcare at Penn State University
Report on Childcare at Penn State University, Appendix N. Erica Smithwick, Committee Vice-Chair, gave a summary of child care services (availability, cost, University contributions) and research, education, and service activities associated with child care centers at the university.
Drug Testing Program for Penn State’s Defense Related Research Units, Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) and Electro-Optics Center (EOC)
Drug Testing Program for Penn State’s Defense Related Research Units, Applied Research Laboratory(ARL) and Electro-Optics Center (EOC), Appendix O. Kathleen Hodgdon presented an overview of the updated drug testing program in effect at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Electro-Optics Center (EOC).
New Member Reports (not presented at meeting)
New Member Information, Appendix P
New Member Information, Appendix Q
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
Chair Strauss: Item L– new legislative business. Is there any new business for us to– Judy?
Judith Ozment, Abington: I would just start this statement with something said at our September meeting, during the student diversity panel. Penn State student, Rabiyatu Jalloh, concluded by saying, “I may not have access to the same space that a lot of you do. But at the end of the day, if we are making sure that we are checking our privileges and we’re educating those around us, I feel that’s one simple thing we can do every day.” Her words inspired us.
Today I stand representing my fellow faculty senators from Penn State Abington, and my colleagues from Penn State Abington Faculty Senate to bring a resolution to the floor of the University Faculty Senate. The following was approved by our Abington College Faculty Senate on November 17, 2016.
Be it resolved that we, the faculty of Penn State Abington, hereby declare that our college has been, and will continue to be, a refuge of justice for and acceptance of students, employees and community members of all backgrounds, beliefs and orientations. We reject the divisive, racist, sexist, and bigoted language and policies expressed during the recent presidential election campaign, and the violence and hate crimes carried out since that time.
We reaffirm our commitment to pluralism, inclusivity, and equity as core values of our institution, and declare that we will vigorously defend these values against hatred and bigotry coming from inside or outside of our community. We believe that there is an urgent need for the Senate, as a body, to say such things out loud, right now. Therefore, we are asking that the University’s Faculty Senate find it appropriate to suspend the rules of order and approve a similar resolution.
Chair Strauss: Oh, you have the second one up.
Judith Ozment: This is assuming you suspend the rules. This is the resolution. The resolution, the projection on the wall, is only different from what I just read by the very first line where I’ve replaced what I read with, “we, the University Faculty Senate of Penn State, hereby declare that our University….”
Chair Strauss: OK, so the first item then, is to vote on the suspension of the rules. We did a quick count, and I believe we have a quorum. Is that correct, Dan?
Judith Ozment: We could clicker the quorum question.
Chair Strauss: Seems to be. Who in the room is not a voting member of Senate?
Judith Ozment: Jim, we could clicker the quorum question, and then we’d know how many are here.
Chair Strauss: We can do a voice vote on this. So we need clickers to figure out the for– . So what we’ll try to do is do a clicker vote on this to figure out if we indeed do have a quorum. And before we get ahead of ourselves, what I will say is this. If we don’t, we can still accept the resolution. It would simply be voted upon in our next meeting by our regular rules.
Judith Ozment. Yes, thank you.
Unidentified Senator: So to clarify, this is just a clicker presence rather than an actual vote, right?
Chair Strauss: Well, we can actually just do the vote, and we’ll see how many we have.
Unidentified Senator: I just wanted to make sure that we knew what we were doing.
Chair Strauss: OK. So if you’re voting A, you are–
Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: Does somebody have to call for a quorum count? If nobody calls for a quorum count, don’t you just assume there’s a quorum?
Chair Strauss: We’ll know from the counting.
Roger Egolf: You wouldn’t have to. You could do a voice count. If nobody calls for a quorum, we can do a voice vote.
Chair Strauss: Because I’ve actually already mentioned, I think I would be in trouble if I did that. So I’m trying to follow the rules as my parliamentarian has recommended to me. The vote right now is simply to suspend the rules so that we could then, if we have a quorum, then we could vote on this immediately. If we do not, we can still accept the resolution. We just have to wait until January meeting to vote on it and discuss it.
OK, so you are pressing A to suspend the rules. You press B if you do not wish to suspend the rules.
It is not debatable. That is correct. OK, and we’ve also have polleverywhere.com, if anyone is still on there.
Judith Ozment: Everyone from Abington is.
Chair Strauss: I recognize the meeting has gone on, but we knew it was going to be long, and there’s a weather issue.
Anna Butler: On Poll Everywhere I have three accept and one reject.
Chair Strauss: Three accepts– that puts us up to 45.
Elizabeth Seymour, Altoona, Parliamentarian: We both have quorum and we’ve suspended the rules.
Chair Strauss: So the motion has carried. We have a quorum, and because we have a quorum, we have voted to suspend the rules.
Elizabeth Seymour: The quorum count is 50. The vote percentage needed to suspend the rules is 2/3.
Unidentified Senator: 2/3 of us voted?
Elizabeth Seymour: Yes.
Chair Strauss: OK, so the resolution is then introduced, and it is essentially live and open for discussion. Can we project the–
Judith Ozment: Note that that resolution has to have a second.
Chair Strauss: Yes. Well, if we can project that so we can get a second, and then– Rosemary?
Rosemary Jolly, Liberal Arts: Hi, Jim. So Rosemary Jolly, I’m at Liberal Arts. I just have a question. I’m not against this, so please don’t read me as against this. I have a technical kind– well, it’s not technical. It’s really a strategic question. With the move for sanctuary around universities across the US, where the Senate feels– or not feels. That’s not the right word. Whether the Senate judges that by passing this we are putting our weight behind or not behind, the president, in terms of asking for the University to be a refuge.
So I completely understand that the words refuge and sanctuary are separate, different words, OK? But I just want to point out that we do have a movement afoot from the UPUA, if I am correct, to call upon the president to make the University a sanctuary. So I guess what I’m asking is, I need to understand better not what this means, but what the implications of doing it are, in terms of that. Is that question clear? Yeah.
Chair Strauss: Sorry, it went on long enough I’m not sure what the main thrust of it–
Rosemary Jolly: Oh, you’re always so flattering, Jim. OK so here–
Chair Strauss: I just want to make sure that everybody understands.
Rosemary Jolly: I want to understand if this carries any implications because of the relationship of refuge to the notion of sanctuary, in terms of putting pressure on the institution and the president, most particularly, to underwrite the University as a sanctuary. Because I think when we vote on something like this, we need to know not only what we’re voting on, but what its implications are.
Chair Strauss: Yeah, so I will try to speak to that as best I can. First off, with the way that this is worded, it is my understanding that we can speak as the Faculty Senate body, but we cannot actually speak for the University itself. And if there are any administrators in the room that want to– I see a couple of them nodding their head.
So I do think that that is an issue with the first paragraph in the resolution, because it says, we the University Faculty Senate of Penn State. We can say that. We can have an opinion as a Faculty Senate. We cannot physically declare our University to be or not be anything. That is my understanding. So I think that is problematic in this.
We could strike potentially the declare of the University, continue to be a refuge, and just say– we could say, we the Faculty Senate support acceptance of students, employees, etc. That we could say as a Faculty Senate. And some further discussion will go to Carrie first, and then Alex.
Caroline Eckhardt: Eckhardt, Liberal Arts. And I would ask also that you not think that I am opposed to this in spirit. But I don’t think that this is the appropriate way for us to act on it. It is going on 10 to five. We’ve established that yes, we have a quorum, but kind of looking around the room, I see a lot of people absent. I know you cannot see people who are absent.
But anyway, I see the absence of a lot of people who I think would like to weigh in on this. I’m also very uneasy at our trying to do an edit on the floor.
Chair Strauss: I agree.
Caroline Eckhardt: I had the immediate same concern about the relationship between the word “refuge,” and the word “sanctuary.” We, ourselves, might take a certain phrase out, but we have not had time to look at the particular wording together to discuss it with all the people who might like to weigh in. And I would much prefer to see us bring this up again in January. Maybe we could put it at the beginning of a meeting, which would require maybe rearranging the agenda, if that’s the right–
Chair Strauss: It would be under–
Caroline Eckhardt: It would be.
Chair Strauss: –new legislation. So it would be towards the beginning.
Caroline Eckhardt: I’d much prefer to have it be at the beginning of a meeting where we could have the full attention of the full Senate.
Chair Strauss: OK, so it’s Alex, and then Michael in back. But I called on Alex, first.
Alex Shockley, Health and Human Development: Alex Shockley, College of HHD Student Senator. I also serve as the Speaker of the Assembly for UPUA. So in regards to the concern of refuge versus sanctuary, there was a misquote in the Daily Collegian, which has happened twice now. But they actually stated that UPUA supported becoming a sanctuary campus, which is not true. There is a petition going around that supports that.
UPUA wants to abide by federal law, and technically becoming a sanctuary campus is against federal law, currently. So we supported President Barron’s statement of supporting DACA students. So that’s the stance we took.
Now, in regards to this, speaking on behalf of kind of students at Penn State, and University Park specifically, there’s been a lot of talk within the student body following the elections of course, and a lot of students weren’t happy. The issue with that that we see, UPUA represents all students. And everyone has an equal opinion. And we advocate for diversity inclusion every day, and that has been shown this year, especially.
However, when it comes to looking specifically at a presidential election, we have steered away from taking a specific stance on that election. Because it has to be recognized that a lot of students did also support President-elect Trump, which we have to recognize that that is completely OK, too, that it is their choice.
And although some of us may see him as making racist comments, or sexist or bigoted language, we have to be inclusive of all students, and moving forward, seeing how we can create the campus to create an environment that fosters conversation in a safe and inclusive way. So kind of just a stance on the student body that we kind of discussed previously over the past month.
Chair Strauss: Michael.
Michael Krajsa: Krajsa from Lehigh Valley. I like what Abington did and the comments made here, but just because of the time and some of the word-smithing that we would need to do, I move to table it.
Chair Strauss: We have a motion to table, and we had a second.
Unidentified Senators: [INAUDIBLE].
Chair Strauss: Well, technically, Senate Council sets the meeting agenda. My read would be it would be Senate Council would have to bring it off the table.
Jamie Myers, Education: Myers, Education. So you’re saying Senate Council could vote to bring it off the table and then put it on the agenda? That doesn’t sound right.
Michael Krajsa: My understanding is a motion to table is not discussable. Just a vote, yes or no.
Chair Strauss: It is.
Elizabeth Seymour: It goes away until we vote to bring it off the table.
Chair Strauss: We the Senate–
Michael Krajsa: You can put it on the agenda for next time, you know, there’s a table motion. What is the sense of the Senate?
Chair Strauss: So it may require– if we vote, just so everybody understands, if we vote to table, it goes out there and basically sits in nebula land until it is brought back. There are– if you could let me finish, please. There are a couple of options in terms of bringing it back, one of which would actually rest with Abington.
And actually, any senator has the right to petition Senate for forensic discussion given seven days notice. That is in our rules. It is unclear to me whether or not I would have to reread our rules, whether or not Senate Council could bring this item off the table. I do not believe that they can. I believe only the main Senate body can do that, because we took that action. That’s the world as I see it at this point.
Michael Krajsa: I’d be happy to make the motion at the next meeting to bring it off the table, to put it back in front of here, give him a chance to wordsmith some of these changes.
Unidentified Senator: Can I have just a clarification? So if we vote not to table it, can they then just go ahead and put it on the agenda for the next meeting? Because otherwise, we delay it a cycle. If we table it, and they take it off next time, then we put it on to–
Chair Strauss: Yes, but we’ve had a motion to table and a second–
Michael Krajsa: I’ll withdraw if you do that.
Chair Strauss: Pardon me?
Michael Krajsa: I’ll withdraw the motion if you do that.
Elizabeth Seymour: Is that your second withdraw?
Chair Strauss: OK, so we essentially then, because it’s been withdrawn– I’m sorry, I’m trying to explain so everybody feels included on this– we’re back to the motion that this essentially be brought in as new business for the next– where we have a motion actually to discuss.
Or we can vote on– there’s a number of things. We can cease discussion and then take votes to accept as is or not, or–
Unidentified Senator: We could postpone to a certain time.
Chair Strauss: Jamie?
Jamie Myers: I believe it makes sense to move that this go on to our next meeting’s new business.
Chair Strauss: Agreed.
Jamie Myers: Is there a second?
Chair Strauss: But procedurally, we’re a couple steps ahead–
Jamie Myers: I’ve just made that motion.
Chair Strauss: OK, but the active one was one of discussion during the suspension of the rules. So we have to get out of discussion first, and then we can take that. Yeah.
Jamie Myers: I’m sorry, I forgot to say, “question.”
Chair Strauss: OK, so we’re calling the question– that’s what we’re working on right now. So we had suspended the rules to actually vote on this being accepted as is. So this vote right now would simply be to vote on the resolution as it was presented. Are we in agreement? Matthew, we’re in agreement? Judy?
Judith Ozment: I’d like to request that we put this on next month’s agenda with some consideration of Senate Council and others, due to the fact that many people who might want to weigh in on the language have not had a chance yet to hear about it, or know about it. So if there’s a way I can modify my request to this body, it would be to bring the resolution without an insistence that it be voted on today.
Chair Strauss: So procedurally, then we ought to call it a question. Yeah.
Unidentified Senator: So we can’t have a new motion while we’ve got a call to question. So the question is on the motion. We could vote down the call to question.
Chair Strauss: We’ll do a voice vote on this.
Unidentified Senator: But this is a motion to call the question, which means if we call the question, we vote on the original motion, up or down. If we don’t want to do that, you vote down the call to question.
Chair Strauss: OK. All in favor of calling the question, say aye.
Chair Strauss: All opposed?
Chair Strauss: The nays have it. Now Judy can–
Judith Ozment: I am asking that we take this motion up in the January meeting.
Chair Strauss: OK. We don’t have to vote. It’s moved and seconded, and it will be on our agenda by rule.
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Any additional comments, motions, for the good?
All in favor of a motion to adjourn, second? All in favor, please say aye.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much for your patience, folks, and have a happy holiday season. Senate is adjourned until January 24th, 2017.
The following Senators were noted as having attended the December 6, 2016 Senate Meeting.
- Adair, James
- Adewumi, Michael
- Aebli, Fred
- Ahr, Andrew
- Andelin, Steven
- Ansari, Mohamad
- Aurand, Harold
- Aynardi, Martha
- Azemi, Asad
- Backer, Larry
- Banyaga, Augustin
- Barlow, Jesse
- Barney, Paul
- Bartell, Paul
- Bartolacci, Michael
- Bascom, Rebecca
- Basso, Susan McGarry
- Baumer, Eric
- Bechtel-Wherry, Lori
- Bérubé, Michael
- Blakney, Terry
- Blasko, Dawn
- Blockett, Kimberly
- Boehmer, John
- Borromeo, Renee
- Bowen, Blannie
- Boyle, James
- Brennan, Mark
- Brentner, Kenneth
- Bridges, K. Robert
- Brigger, Clark
- Brown, Claudia
- Brown, Raymonde
- Bruno, Michael
- Brunsden, Victor
- Butler, William
- Caldwell, Linda
- Casper, Gretchen
- Casteel, Mark
- Chen, Wei-Fan
- Clark, Mary Beth
- Clements, Ann
- Connolly-Ahern, Colleen
- Conti, Delia
- Copeland, Ann
- Davis, Dwight
- Dendle, Peter
- DiStaso, Marcia
- Douds, Anne
- Duffey, Michele
- Duschl, Richard
- Eberle, Peter
- Eckert, Jill
- Eckhardt, Caroline
- Eggebeen, David
- Egolf, Roger
- Ellsworth, Maura
- Enama, Joseph
- Farley, Timothy
- Finke, Erinn
- Freiberg, Andrew
- Funk, Raymond
- Furfaro, Joyce
- Geisinger, Samantha
- Geller, Andrew
- Giebink, Noel Christopher
- Glantz, Edward
- Goranson, Morgon
- Grimes, Galen
- Griswold, Anna
- Haigh, Michel
- Han, David
- Hanes, Madlyn
- Harrison, Terry
- Harwell, Kevin
- Hayford, Harold
- Healy, Michael
- High, Kane
- Hinchey, Patricia
- Hodgdon, Kathleen
- Horn, Mark
- Hristov, Alex
- Hufnagel, Pamela
- Hughes, Janet
- Jaap, James
- Jolly, Rosemary
- Jones, Nicholas
- Jones, Raymond
- Jurs, Peter
- Kalapos, Paul
- Kalavar, Jyotsna
- Kass, Lawrence
- Keiler, Kenneth
- Kelley, Claire
- Kelly, William
- Kenyon, William
- King, Elizabeth
- Kitko, Lisa
- Krajsa, Michael
- Krasilnikov, Andrey
- Kulikowich, Jonna
- LaJeunesse, Todd
- Lasher, William
- Lawlor, Timothy
- Le, Binh
- Levine, Martha
- Linn, Suzanna
- Litzky, Barrie
- Lobaugh, Michael
- Loeb, Robert
- Mangel, Lisa
- Manning, Keefe
- Marko, Frantisek
- Matsoukas, Themis
- Mazzucato, Anna
- Melton, Robert
- Messner, John
- Miles, James
- Miles, Mary
- Mookerjee, Rajen
- Myers, Jamie
- Nasereddin, Mahdi
- Nelatury, Sudarshan
- Nelson, Kimberlyn
- Neves, Rogerio
- Novikov, Alexei
- Ofosu, Willie
- Ozment, Judith
- Palmer, Timothy
- Pangborn, Robert
- Pannaman, Joshua
- Patzkowsky, Mark
- Pauley, Laura
- Pearson, Nicholas
- Petrilla, Rosemarie
- Pierce, Mari Beth
- Plummer, Julia
- Poole, Thomas
- Posey, Lisa
- Potochny, John
- Prabhu, Vansh
- Preciado, Felisa
- Radhakrishna, Rama
- Reuning, Kevin
- Robertson, Gavin
- Robinett, Richard
- Ropson, Ira
- Rothrock, Ling
- Rowland, Nicholas
- Ruggiero, Francesca
- Safran, Janina
- Samuel, George
- Schulz, Andrew
- Schwab, Jacqueline
- Scott, Geoffrey
- Seymour, Elizabeth
- Shannon, Robert
- Shapiro, Keith
- Sharma, Amit
- Shockley, Alex
- Shurgalla, Richard
- Sigurdsson, Steinn
- Silveyra, Patricia
- Singer, Richard
- Sliko, Jennifer
- Smith, David
- Smithwick, Erica
- Snyder, Stephen
- Song, Jim
- Strauss, James
- Straw, Michael
- Subramanian, Rajarajan
- Suliman, Samia
- Sutton, Jane
- Szczygiel, Bonj
- Taylor, Ann
- Teye, Emmanuel
- Trauth, Eileen
- Troester, Rodney
- Truica, Cristina
- Vrana, Kent
- Wagner, Johanna
- Walker, Eric
- Wang, Ming
- Weber, Fredric
- Welsh, Nancy
- Whitehurst, Marcus
- Wilburne, Jane
- Williams, Mary Beth
- Wilson, Matthew
- Woessner, Matthew
- Young, Richard
Ex Officio 3