T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D
Volume 50—–January 24, 2017—–Number 4
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 CONTENT
FINAL AGENDA FOR JANUARY 24, 2017
- MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the December 6, 2016, Meeting in The Senate Record 50:3
- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Curriculum Report of January 10, 2017
- REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meeting January 10, 2017
- ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
- COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
- COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
- FORENSIC BUSINESS
Outreach – Faculty Preparation for Online Teaching
Student Life – Counseling and Psycololgical Services for Students
Faculty Affairs – Recommendation for Standardizing Fixed Term Titles Across Units
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Committees and Rules
Establishment of the Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment
Revisions to Senate Bylaws Article II Section I
Revisions to Senate Standing Rules Article I Section 11
Revisions to Senate Standing Rules Article I Section 12
- ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Educational Equity and Campus Environment
Addressing Issues of Classroom Climate and Bias in the Classroom
The Senate Committee on Faculty Fenefits, the Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits, and the Health Care Advisory Committee: Coordination of Duties
Recommendations for Third Party Administrator (TPA) Choice for Penn State Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage
Disciplinary Communities Revisited
Equivalence of Courses Across the University
- INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Program Goals for Global Penn State; Student Participation, Diversity, and Comparison to Peer Institutions
Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid
Annual Report on the Reserved Spaces Program
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and Educational Equity and Campus Environment
Penn State Veterans – Historical Perspectives
Update on Assessment and Accreditation
University Faculty Census Report 2017-2018
Report on the Penn State Facilities and Administration Rate
Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit 2015-2016
- NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
- COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with James A. Strauss, Chair, presiding.
Chair Strauss: Good afternoon, and welcome to our first meeting of 2017. To start things off, it’s my great pleasure to introduce a former student of mine, Austin Sommerer, who is the overall chair of Dance Marathon, and Austin will talk a little bit about his role in Dance Marathon. So Austin, take it away.
[Austin Sommerer, Executive Director of THON 2017, presented an overview of THON’s history, its accomplishments, and strategic plan.]
Chair Strauss: OK, realizing that we have a very full agenda, I do have a couple of quick thoughts to offer you. The first thought, as I woke up this morning, fully intending on putting on my solar-powered dress watch, which had given up the ghost, apparently, because our days are so short and I haven’t seen the sun in about three weeks, I think. So we’re relying on the old Timex Ironman Triathlon for timing today.
First note, I’m very pleased to report that President Barron accepted our advisory and consultative report on a smoke-free Penn State, and as recommended, the task force is now established and charged. I will put in as a footnote, unfortunately our Faculty Senate delegate from University Park– and we have a delegate also from the campuses– but our University Park delegate had to unexpectedly resign due to health issues. So it’s my request that if anybody from University Park Faculty Senate would like to serve on this very important committee, please send me an email, email@example.com, and you will be strongly considered. Probably the first email I get, gets the shot.
The second item is, I really wish to thank our Senate chairs and Senate committee members for their extraordinary hard work to deliver many meaningful reports for today’s meeting. Reviewing today’s agenda, you can see how Faculty Senate is a major communication nexus for important information discussions, legislation, and administrative recommendations at our institution. And each one of you is taking a meaningful part in this process. Thank you very much. The only way we’re having a full agenda is you folks are working really hard.
I’m going to offer a few meeting highlights to just sort of keep your interest this afternoon and keep you in your chair and listen to these, because they’re really great. We have a forensic report from Student Life and Benjamin Locke on CAPS and student mental health services. And I’ll just point out, this has been a long-standing interest and concern Faculty Senate has had for a number of years. We’re bringing that today for you.
We have a forensic report from Faculty Affairs seeking your input and review on proposed fixed-term faculty titles. And again, it’s meant to be a discussion. It’s not final legislation. We also have legislation today that will formally establish our Joint Standing Committee on General Education.
We have an advisory/consultative report from ARSSA on scholarship endowments. This is the first report I can ever recall of this magnitude at Faculty Senate discussing this item. If you look at the accounting, and a lot of us don’t want to, but it reveals we’ve got a $500 million scholarship endowment that pays out about $37 million each year to our students. This is great.
What I will say, though, is when you divide what is seemingly a very large number by 90,000 students, you find out that the average support per student might only be less than $500. So there’s probably more work to be done there. But listen to this report. It’s very good.
We also have an advisory/consultative report on third-party medical choices offered by Faculty Benefits. Given the observation that we have growing health care networks that involve our Hershey enterprise, Mount Nittany Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital, the idea is that we may be able to offer our employees real discounted services, which is going to, over time, save our insurance system money, which would be a great thing. You’ll hear about that today.
We have an informational report from Global Programs, benchmarking our offerings in that area with similar peer institutions. All right, so thank you for your hard work and your attention to our meeting agenda. We will now proceed.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Strauss: Item A, Minutes of the Preceding Meeting. The December 6 Senate Record, providing full transcription of our proceedings, was sent to the University Archives and is posted on our Senate website. Are there any corrections or additions to these minutes?
Unidentified Senator: Move they be accepted.
Unidentified Senator: Second.
Chair Strauss: And we have a motion and a second. All in favor of accepting the minutes, please say aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Motion carries. The minutes have been approved.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Chair Strauss: Item B, Communications to the Senate. The Senate Curriculum Report of January 10, 2017 is posted on the Faculty Senate website.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Chair Strauss: Item C, Report from Senate Council. The minutes from the January 10 Senate Council meeting can be found at the end of your agenda. The Faculty Advisory Committee to the President did not meet, but we plan to meet soon in February.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Strauss: Item D, Announcements by the Chair. I just gave you some. I will remind everyone in here, however, that please do not use video streaming during the meeting, because of the large amount of bandwidth service it requires. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
A joyous announcement. I note that Senator Carey Eckhardt has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal Chair in Literary Theory and Comparative Criticism. The chair is a gift from the estate of Mary Jean and Frank Smeal, Class of 1942, intended to support a senior literary scholar in Comparative Literature of English. Congratulations, Carey.
A somewhat sad note, but it’s good when people move on to bigger and better things. I note in our own Senate office, Cortney Smith, who is our Curriculum Recorder, will be leaving the Senate effective July– or excuse me, January 31st. She’s accepted a position in the Registrar’s office. We congratulate her and wish her the very best in her new position, but we will miss her and her role in the Senate administrative offices. So thank you very much, Cortney, for your service.
The Senate officers visited the College of Arts and Architecture yesterday. We had a great meeting. We intend to visit the Libraries on the 27th of January, the Schreyer Honors College on January 30, Information Sciences and Technology on February 6, Agricultural Sciences on February 17, and we’ll round this out with the Smeal College of Business on February 20. So we’re going to be busy over the next month.
Senators in these units are reminded to encourage their colleagues and their students to please participate in these informational gathering settings. We had really great student, faculty and staff, and administrative turn-out yesterday. We had very, very productive discussions. These meetings are important.
OK, all units have been contacted by the Senate office regarding the election of senators for next year. The names of newly-elected senators and alternates are due in the Senate office no later than January 30. For all Senators using Mediasite, please use the Ask a Question box to submit a question.
As a reminder, Senators joining today’s meeting by Mediasite, we are using the voting system at polleverywhere.com/facultysenate. Instructions for using this voting system are posted on the Senate website. Please log into polleverywhere.com/facultysenate now.
I’m very pleased that President Barron is here for our meeting, and we ask you for comments for the good of the group. President Barron.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
President Eric Barron: Well, thank you. It’s good to be here. You know, so I wander around the countryside and I tell all the potential donors that this is an absolutely great university, but we can be even stronger. And there’s a lot of data that support just how good we are, and how well we rank, and all those efforts that we’ve put forth, and room to grow.
Turns out that at the recent Board of Trustees meeting, we had a two-hour discussion and presentation about a Chronicle of Higher Education article on the decade ahead and the seismic shifts transforming the future of higher education. And I like the report from the Chronicle, because it was a very succinct focus on many of the challenges that we’re facing.
And the interesting thing about it is that it says that what we’re trying to do strategically and what we’re trying to do philanthropically– that I always thought was driven by the desire to be even greater than we are– is a perfectly good description of what we need to do to manage the seismic shifts that are happening in higher education, according to this article. So I thought I would give you some of the statistics and what I’m interpreting as the significance, and I’ll try to do this reasonably quickly.
So topic one of the report was the students of the future, and it focused on a growing mismatch between a supply of students and the demand for students. That high school students will be increasingly financially challenged, minority, and from southern and southwestern states. The Northeast is expected to have a 1% per year decline in high school graduates. We will lose about 66,000 students in that period of time.
New Jersey will have the greatest loss, but significant losses in the state of Pennsylvania, unless there is growth that migrates in. The growth in the Northeast is urban, lower income, first in family, minority. The South has a large Hispanic population, and the greatest growth is in the state of Texas, but the South is expected to add about 180,000 students.
Something that was fascinating to me was that if you go back a decade, 2000, really a decade and a half, there were four states in which the average income of a high school graduate family was under $40,000 a year. And today, two years ago actually, it’s 21 states, for which more than 50% of the high school population is coming from a family that has below $40,000 in income. And basically this is the entire southern part of the nation, all the way over and including California, with the exception of Illinois, which is also on this list.
It’s like someone drew a line, and below that line is where all the population growth is, and below that line we have more than 50% of the students that are from families below $40,000 in income. What does this mean for the future of Penn State University? Well, a couple of things that it means is, we’re going to have heavy competition for students.
The Commonwealth Campuses, if you realize that students often go to universities within 200 miles of where they live, you’re going to see a strong flavor of demographics. Penn State’s strength, I think, is that we’re one university, and I think that will allow us to play a very different role. But we can expect there to be quite a bit of competition for students as our region loses in population, and we’re going to be recruiting out-of-state with many of those students that are need-based and minority.
In my mind, this tells us that this whole focus on Open D.O.O.R. and making sure that a need-based student gets their degree, graduates, and has that same Penn State experience–it doesn’t take six years, because they’re working too many jobs–becomes even more and more important. It also tells me that if we aren’t an inclusive university, that increasingly we will pay a price as we go forward, considering what those demographics suggest.
OK, the second category that the report had is the financial future. And they cited Moody’s, Bain & Company, and Parthenon-EY, and each and every one of those groups cites hundreds of colleges that are at financial risk, with Bain & Company saying one-third of all colleges and universities are unsustainable in their current mode, and the other third is at serious risk. Parthenon: 800 colleges are critical because of small size.
Forty percent of colleges in the United States are under 1,000 students. 40% of them are under 5,000 students. If you think about that demographic pattern of a 200-mile bullseye and demographic changes, you can imagine the risk that is occurring for those colleges and universities.
The small colleges are shedding the most enrollment because of that, so they’re at the most risk. Almost all the colleges that have closed, about 72 in the last decade, were smaller colleges. That tells us that as a state flagship, or if you’re a wealthy private, you’re still in a robust position, but you’re going to have to compete ever more for those students.
One other element they had is, the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education predicts that in the next three decades, 16 states will stop funding public higher education altogether. Their prediction is that Colorado will be the first state to completely defund public higher education. They’re very close. But sad for us, Pennsylvania is on their list, that the trend suggests that that might happen. And in fact, we have an individual that appears to be gearing up for a run for governor who believes that state-relateds should get zero.
There is one other interesting thing. If I take the lowest quartile and highest quartile of students based on family income, the sticker price that they’re paying for tuition, the difference between these are only $800, with the lowest quartile for income being $800 less. This, in my mind, suggests that quality is still the key arbitrator on where a student selects to go. That you’re going to go to the highest ranked college that you can, and you’re going to keep your fingers crossed that you can afford to go through it, if you’re a need-based student.
OK, so what does this mean for Penn State? Well, so far, we have a high, strong enrollment and some signs of tuition resiliency, that when we increase tuition, it does not seem to result in a decline in applications. We can expect this competitive position in terms of enrollment to intensify. It will probably create challenges for our Commonwealth Campuses.
It’s probably going to create challenges for out-of-state students, which are many universities’ bread and butter, because of the large segment of those that will be financially challenged. It says to me that if we focused on open doors and were successful in retaining a student that we might have lost, we can think of that as increased revenue for the University. Pennsylvania, as I said, is clearly at risk.
And that report doesn’t mention the fact that all of these flagships across the country are feeling financial stress because of an aging physical plant. Penn State has more than 65% of its buildings at University Park that have gone 25 years without major renovation. Forty percent have gone 50 years. For Commonwealth Campuses, that is 20% that are older than 50 years, and 55% older than 25 years. So this presents a lot of challenges between the enrollment side of things and physical plant.
He had a category on rethinking the faculty, and the focus of this is that the faculty are aging. The number of professors 65 and up has doubled since 2000, and at least 25% of tenured and tenure-track professors are approaching 70 in the US. Not making any value judgment there, but the view is that– truly, I’m not making any value judgment on that topic– but the view is that this quite naturally limits your ability to bring in new faculty in innovative areas. You can’t just make up the dollars to be hiring.
One response to the budget stress and many other factors, is to hire part-time and non-tenure track faculty. And the perceptions of enrollment risk are exacerbating this issue. If you see that your college is at risk because of enrollment and financial pressure, you’re not going to make that long-term commitment that’s so incredibly important in a university. So the number that was cited was that today less than one-third of faculty are tenured. In 1969 that number was 80% of the faculty were tenured or tenure-track. You can see how profoundly our profession has changed.
There’s also quite a bit of focus in there in terms of the role of part-time faculty, and whether or not they are as involved in departmental and university service and shared governance. So in many colleges and university, the burden of shared governance and service is changing, and there’s quite a bit of evidence that if the faculty are not full-time– not necessarily tenure-track, but if not full-time– that it’s associated with decreased student success.
There’s also quite a bit of discussion about new models and new modes for faculty. If a university can afford the transition, this is mission faculty teaching or research with scholarship included in it, a trend towards having preceptors in addition to faculty and TAs, and coupling faculty with instructional designers, which the report suggests is the hottest job in higher education, with more than 2,400 instructional designers joining universities in the last decade. This also tells us that as we move towards new models, it becomes important to think of how you resource those particular elements of the staff.
Well, Penn State is doing better than the average. We have nearly 6,200 full-time faculty. Forty seven percent are tenured or tenure-track. If I looked at one semester, we do have a number of adjuncts that teach a course, but it’s– in this semester that I looked at it– it was about 6% of the credit hours. So clearly this is still an institution that is fighting those national trends by making sure that we have a full-time commitment to our faculty, even though we have many that I would view as mission-oriented.
What do you do? How do you innovate under these circumstances? The Voluntary Retirement Program was one step that’s being used for renewal, but also to do some cost savings. This defines the importance of a commitment to full-time faculty.
It also defines the importance, in my view– and I presented this to the Council on Philanthropy– on how important those endowed chairs, and endowments for faculty, and young career professorships are to making sure that this is an institution that always continues to innovate, and that we can support investments like digital innovation that allow us to do advances in teaching and learning.
There was one more topic, which was the future of learning. It was a description of how rapid automation is influencing the economy. And the suggestion was that in this transformation, that college education was more important than ever. And the data suggest that now the wage differential between a high school student graduate is at its highest point that was measured.
A great deal of emphasis on cognitive, critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal and interpersonal skills, even with the notion that the whole role of an internship is to evaluate an employee before you hire them. And we’re seeing more and more companies that will not hire someone if they haven’t seen them in an internship role. And the whole reason for that is to see how they interact with other people, not just what their skill set is.
So what their skill set is is incredibly important. Their knowledge base they have is incredibly important. But in addition to that, they’re saying that those experiences that develop as student soft skills become increasingly important. There was a comment that students aren’t learning how to fail and readjust.
When you’re living with mom and dad, you live by your syllabus. This is what you’re doing Monday after school. This is what you’re doing Tuesday after school. Wednesday is music lesson. Thursday is hockey. And they come to college and they live by virtue of a syllabus. And this notion of doing things that are experiential and failing and having to pivot is becoming increasingly important.
A lot of discussion about data analytics in the classroom, and how important it is not waiting for a midterm. Of course, this is something that you work at pretty hard, but their suggestion is the same thing will go into assessing applications. We’ll just know everything about the student from social media, to what it is that they’ve done in the classroom, and many other things about them as we mine data.
There’s even a suggestion that, you want to come to Penn State? Please take this MOOC first, so we can see how you will perform when you come in. Their suggestion is that there is a digital revolution that’s going on that will cross many, many different paths.
There is also the focus on competency-based or badge-based degrees, and Universities for Life, where they see more and more stacked degrees. More and more cases where someone comes in and says, you know, I don’t really understand this. I think I’ll take a class. And they just add these and stack them on their degree as they need them for their jobs.
Well, this is quite a change in the educational environment. When you think, and you can think about this in terms of Penn State, the suggestion is we have to be more and more transformative, and provide more and more experiences for our students. More and more engaged learning activity. Something important to the Senate, and something important to me.
That these transformative experiences from digital innovation, arts and humanities, invent Penn State, and entrepreneurial activities are all experiential. And they also, many of them, offer an opportunity not to learn by syllabus, but to be able to even fail. So in some ways– well, on the teamwork side, in terms of the impact on the world in many cases.
So in many different ways, all those drivers, from the demographics, and the characteristics of the student of the future, and the financial issues and pressures that are there, and what’s happening to the faculty, and what’s happening in terms of the expectations for the student of the future, all go directly, I think, to a lot of the strategic areas from Open D.O.O.R. to transformative experiences, to impact the world. So that is a good thing, that we may be able to argue in the case in philanthropy, that we’re doing this because we’re trying to make Penn State greater. And we’re doing this because the seismic shifts in education over the next decade make it essential that we do it.
We have one problem. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in charge of a university of 1,000 or 3,000 without a big endowment. But we clearly have the potential, like any other university, to feel more financial strains. And the question becomes, how do you innovate? How do you add those faculty? How do you add the transformative experiences? How do you make the investment to have a need-based student to be able to graduate and succeed without paying more? That it’s difficult to do that in the midst of the financial challenges that we face.
It’s one reason why philanthropy becomes incredibly important, but it’s one reason why we have to be very thoughtful about what we do as a university. I hope that that quick summary of what other folks are looking at as the challenges in higher education– and if you can kind of map that in your own mind with many of the things that were going on on the campus– I hope that was at least a little bit interesting, and I’m happy to answer questions, and on any topic, as usual.
Chair Strauss: Questions for President Barron?
Mohamad Ansari, Berks: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Thank you so much for the information. As always, very enlightening. I was wondering if you could elaborate on the potential correlation between the Voluntary Retirement Plan and a possible tuition freeze for 2018.
President Barron: OK, so this is a giant challenge. So what gets wrapped into this challenge? A number of people that want the tuition increases to be as low as possible, OK? And we have some board members who this is a key element and they want it to be zero.
Two, an expectation from the budget deficit that’s being talked about in Harrisburg, of a deficit for the current year and a bigger deficit for– that wasn’t solved in the last budget cycle, and a bigger deficit– that to think that we’ll get the same amount of funding as last year is a good, reasonably optimistic position to take, rather than to think that we might get increases.
Three, that we have considerable financial pressures. That if we do nothing but faculty raises, increases in health insurance, an increase in state mandated retirement, and a few other things, we have to find $60 or $70 million no matter what happens in order to achieve those. And that’s with a modest investment in innovation of about $10 million.
And I would say– and your faculty Board member can add to this– I would say an increasing concern on the behalf of the Board that taking care of our physical plant is a can that’s been kicked too far down the road already. And in order to do that, in order to address that, requires significant new resources, maybe on the order of $10, $12 to $30 million a year should be invested in that. And so a 1% tuition increase is $12 million.
So there you have extraordinary pressure on the revenue side of it– state potentially is zero, us trying to hold the line on tuition, and what I just gave you as a list of multiple things that tell you that we need to find $100 million a year or more. And we might be able to find ways to save 30 to 40, but we don’t have ways to save $100 million. And so this is a challenge. It’s a tightrope. Thank you for the question. It’s one of the things I worry about the most.
Chair Strauss: Question there.
Julia Bryan, Education: President Barron, would you share the name of the article with us?
President Barron: It is, yes, it was a Chronicle of Higher Education report, and it’s called “2026- The Decade Ahead: The Seismic Shifts Transforming the Future of Higher Education.” There are some things that I might have added in there, like the physical plant. But if you want a succinct summary of trends, with a fair amount of data that goes with it, it’s a good report.
Chair Strauss: What I will do, Dan, maybe we can coordinate and we’ll just send that link to all our faculty Senators. OK, excellent. Yes, Rosemary.
Rosemary Jolly, Liberal Arts: Rosemary Jolly, University Park. I just wanted to ask about this tension that I think a lot of us face, especially when we’re teaching large Gen-Ed courses as I do, between the students’ self-identification as a consumer who has paid a very good tuition– in terms of a very good tuition, not morally, but in terms of money– and the idea of a relative inflation in marks that goes along with that, and the kind of naiveté or horror and shock that one sometimes gets in the students around critical thinking.
In other words, they seem to be starkly surprised that the expectation is not just that they repeat to me and then they get a high mark. And I have to say one does feel pressure teaching in this particular system, as opposed to the last system that I taught in, around the tension between the notion of the student as a consumer and the notion of the student as somebody you’re trying to introduce to critical thinking, as opposed to robotic reproduction. Thank you.
President Barron: Yeah, that’s a challenging question as well. Obviously, and I’ve just looked at the last three years, and I think there’s a hundredth of a point increase in grades in each one of those years, and maybe a couple of other years that’s just slightly bigger, so that’s certainly a factor. There’s no doubt in my mind that this notion of consumerism in terms of a student is a driver, and my bet is for a few years longer it’s going to continue.
Partly that’s a cost factor. Partly that’s because of this generation. We haven’t quite gotten to the point where we’re going to build lazy rivers for people to float on as they go to classes, as some universities might have done, but there is this kind of focus on consumerism that is profound.
But we’re delivering quality, and we have a faculty that, I think, has a pulse on what it is that employers are interested in and what it means to be a scholar, and I would suggest that we don’t veer too much from that. And I think the data is very clear that employers are looking for those critical thinking skills. They’re looking for those experiential things that aren’t just in a classroom. And I would rather be known for that, and attract the consumer that knows a good product if they see one.
Chair Strauss: I know that we have a question on Mediasite.
Anna Butler, Faculty Senate Staff: Yes, this question is from Asad Azemi from Penn State Brandywine. Mr. President, you mentioned a number of important challenges, such as transformative experiences for students. Are there any specific plans to tackle or address those challenges?
President Barron: Well, so they are. It’s kind of interesting. If you asked me what I would really love to do, I would want a kitty of $2,000 for every single student. And somewhere in their time here, they could use that to go study abroad. Or they could use it to work one-on-one with a faculty member to address an experience that they have, of any type and form. Or they could use it to take on the role of an internship that’s unpaid, because otherwise they have to get a summer job.
But if it was something in social work or something in education, where you didn’t have the opportunity, or nursing, you didn’t have the opportunity to be paid, they could still have those as opportunities. And that you could use it once, but we would guarantee that every student would be able to have such an engaged experience. So the way I figure it is, some students wouldn’t take advantage of it, but I need about $25 million a year in order to pull that off. It’s a 2% tuition increase.
I think in many ways it would be transformative. There are many, many other cases where you could pick a different model and still have quite a bit of money that you needed to pull it off. It’s expensive. There’s a reason why so few students, even though the number looks big, but as a percentage, so few students study abroad. It’s because this is a population of students we have that don’t have the resources.
So would you raise tuition, if you could take care of the other things, 2%, in order to have such a transformative experience? So this requires dollars. So we’re in a game of balancing it. And this last cycle we said, OK, we’ve got to cover health care, we have no choice but to cover the increase in state retirement, and we need to have a raise. And we put in a small amount of money for innovation, and that basically took up all the revenue changes that we came up with.
So we’re having to make decisions to balance these things. That’s part of the reason why the end part of this dataset is, how do you innovate? How do you do those things that you see coming when you have tight budgets?
And I’d love it if the state had even kept up with inflation since 1998. That’s a billion and a half dollars that would have been in the pocket of Penn State, just by keeping up with inflation since 1998. It’s a big number. But these are the stresses we have to deal with, so we have to make choices. It’s a good question.
Anna Butler: This question is from Rajen Mookerjee from Penn State Beaver. How much is administrative hires contributing to financial problems for universities, and specifically at PSU, and how much is administrative growth contributing to cost increases at PSU?
President Barron: So I always smile when people talk about administrative bloat, because it sounds good politically. If you go back and look, you can identify exactly where the staffing growth has been in a university, and the number one area– and the provost has a nice report on that for Penn State– is in the IT areas, which is, of course, driven by all of the things that are changing how we work.
And so there’s some there in compliance. Who knows whether we’ll be a beneficiary of the 75% reduction in regulations that are proposed by our new president. Maybe that’ll save us some money there. But it isn’t a growth in what you would call administrative positions.
I got a huge amount– I probably shouldn’t say this– but I got a huge amount of credit in the State of Florida, because I changed the title of all the IT people. And they looked at it and said, “Oh, my goodness, your administrative personnel dropped by 6 and 1/2% or something like that. You’re the only university in the country whose administration dropped at such a high percentage level.”
And people were patting me on the back, that I was getting rid of administrative bloat, but the simple fact of the matter is I changed the title of the people that were IT professionals. So I think people have watched the non-faculty part of personnel grow, and they haven’t looked at what that means, subsetting it by the type of job they have, and they assume that this is a large number of administrators and managers, and it isn’t.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much for your presence. Thank you very much.
President Barron: My pleasure, thank you.
COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
Chair Strauss: Next, we have a few comments from our Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones.
Provost Nicholas Jones: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just wanted to see if there are any more questions that you’d rather direct at Eric than me. [LAUGHTER] I’m just going to run through very quickly a few announcements. I know it’s a long and busy meeting. But I want to do some introductions also.
First, I think most of you are probably aware that we have appointed a new dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs, Hari Osofsky, who was the Robins Kaplan Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota. She was also the faculty director of the Energy Transition Lab there, and director of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology. I think she’s a great fit for Penn State. We’re thrilled that she will be joining us in July.
And not a big surprise, she will have a joint appointment in the Geography Department, because she also has a PhD in geography. So I think just a great addition for Penn State. I can’t introduce her in person, but there are two people I can introduce in person. And you’ve heard me talk about the searches for some time, and so it’s a pleasure to do this. And I want to give them time for just one paragraph statement each. But you should know these faces, because they are important to you.
First is Michael Kubit. I announced his hiring at the last meeting, but I wanted to bring him here in person. Michael is our new Vice President for Information Technology and CIO. So, Michael.
Michael Kubit, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO : Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks, Nick. I’m really happy to be here at Penn State, and certainly appreciate the opportunity to come and address all of you this afternoon. First and foremost, I think it’s important for me to say philosophically as an IT professional, our job as IT professionals is to support the work that you all do as faculty and to support the work of our students.
So part of my job as the senior IT professional here at Penn State is, how do we align this organization to support the core mission of Penn State, right, teaching, learning and service? So there’s really four objectives that I have in moving through the position. First is creating a shared vision for what IT could look like across Penn State University. Second is to create a culture of service. We are here to serve the needs of faculty and students first and foremost.
Optimize, basically, our investment in technology, and help position technology as a strategic asset for Penn State. So really in starting that process, I’m on a sort of listening and discovery tour. I’ll be giving updates in sort of a 30 and 60 and 90-day interval. But I look forward to meeting many of you. I look forward to working with all of you, and appreciate the opportunity today. Thank you.
Provost Jones: Thanks, Mike. Also here is Don Welch, who is our new chief information security officer. This too, as I think you’re all aware, is a critical appointment for us, and we’re thrilled to have Don with us. Don?
Donald Welch, Chief Information Security Officer: Thank you. Clearly the work of a research university is really important. It’s very important that we do it as safely as possible, but we want to make sure that we don’t impede the mission of the University– the teaching and the research that we’re going to be doing. And I look at the effort that you put in to helping to secure our infrastructure as a limited resource, that we have to have a strategy.
We want to minimize the impact on you while we maximize our ability to stay safe. And I’ll be working with you. I’ll be doing a new policy. I’ll be back before you as we flesh that out during the winter and the spring. And look forward to meeting many of you and working with you in this process.
Provost Jones: Thanks, Don. Just some other quick announcements. Where we are in searches. The search for the new dean of the Schreyer Honors College: Marie Hardin, dean of the College of Communication, is chairing the committee. They are already up and running, and over the next two weeks, actually, will conduct the confidential airport interviews with a small group of applicants, about eight, to narrow that down to finalists.
We have appointed a search committee for the dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. That search committee is chaired by Rick Roush from Ag. I’ll be charging that committee next Tuesday. We’ve also appointed the search committee, chaired by Chuck Whiteman, for the dean of the College of Engineering, and I’ll also charge that search committee next Tuesday. So those are up and running.
And we have also appointed a search committee for the Senate executive director to replace Dan Hagen, and Carey Eckhardt has agreed to be the chair of that. It has nothing to do with that other chair that she got. But thank you, Carey, for your willingness to serve in that role.
Just a couple of other quick things. The regional forums for our strategic plan implementation are underway. We had the first one yesterday at the Greater Allegheny campus. I have heard that it was standing-room only, which is just fabulous. This one was focused on stewarding resources.
We have four more coming, at Behrend, Berks, Harrisburg, and Brandywine. And please take the message back to your colleagues and encourage participation. We really need it, and I think everybody was just on Cloud Nine yesterday after the one at Greater Allegheny. Everybody feels it was a great success.
And then finally, I will say that I’m beginning my spring campus visits. Had the pleasure of doing the first one last week to Mont Alto. Had a terrific afternoon there, and look forward to seeing many of you at your campuses when I do my quick swing-by, so looking forward to it. And I guess I will stop there, but happy to take questions–
Chair Strauss: Any questions for Provost Jones? Seeing none, thank you very much.
Chair Strauss: A number of you have actually contacted me regarding engaged scholarship and if we were doing anything about that. And quietly we have actually had a special committee charged for engaged scholarship that is chaired by Nick Rowland. Nick, would you come up and just give a few words about what your committee is up to, so everyone is informed.
Nicholas Rowland, Altoona: Thank you. I know we have a full agenda, so I’ll keep this brief. On behalf of the Special Committee on Engaged Scholarship, I wish to thank Senate Chair Strauss for this opportunity to bring you up to date on the nature and the purpose of our special committee.
As a reminder, in 2014 President Barron introduced imperatives shaping educational priorities for the university. Student engagement was one of these imperatives, and was defined as out-of-class activities that promote student success, and engaged scholarship is surely one of these pathways to student success.
In 2016 the Special Committee on Engaged Scholarship was reappointed by Chair Strauss to make recommendations that establish a university-wide framework for recognizing engaged scholarship. In addition, Chair Strauss charged the committee to seek consultation with the standing Senate committees on Undergraduate Education and Curricular Affairs before delivering an advisory and consultative report to Senate Council before the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.
To fulfill its charge, the committee is in the process of consulting with experts on engaged scholarship, reviewing relevant literature, and utilizing whenever possible the ample resources already prepared on this subject by the previous Special Committee on Engaged Scholarship, the University Faculty Senate more generally, the Engaged Scholarship Initiative, and the Council on Engaged Scholarship. It seems that few topics have so consistently drawn the attention of the Senate and the University over the past decade as engaged scholarship.
So the committee is currently considering the following. One, we’re reviewing various definitions of engaged scholarship and will propose one that is appropriate for Penn State as a whole. Two, we are establishing guidelines for the assessment of engaged scholarship at the undergraduate level. Three, we are developing common ways that students can document their work and demonstrate their learning.
And four, and possibly the most important, we endeavor to recommend a common way that our University can recognize student engaged scholarship, potentially using the logic of micro credentials replete with transcript and degree audit designation to acknowledge this important work. It is my view, in closing this up, that the current Special Committee on Engaged Scholarship is indebted to the sizable contribution of all the students, faculty, staff and administrators that precede it. Their vast preparatory work lays the foundation to establish such a framework for recognizing engaged scholarship.
Essentially, we now need only to identify the right combination of component parts that fits Penn State’s needs and structure just right. So our committee endeavors to return with a report on the Senate floor for all of you to review soon. And with that, on behalf of all the members of the special committee, I thank you for your time and attention on this matter.
Chair Strauss: Any questions for Nick? OK, thank you very much, Nick.
Chair Strauss: We will try to get through our agenda as efficiently as possible. We have three forensic business items for the agenda today. What I will say is that Michael Bérubé’s class schedule and the timing of our meeting isn’t advantageous, so I am suggesting, or actually requesting, that we actually schedule his forensic report last and reorder this. I see no objections, so we’ll proceed as I just described. OK, thank you very much.
Faculty Preparation for Online Teaching
So our first forensic discussion to be addressed is from Outreach and appears as Appendix C in our agenda. Committee chair Beth Seymour will lead the discussion, and we have allocated 10 minutes for the presentation and discussion.
Beth Seymour, Altoona: Actually, if I may, Renata Engel and Cathy Holsing will lead the discussion.
Renata Engel, World Campus: Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this topic. I’d just like to introduce this. The questions are behind me, but Cathy and I will draw out some of the highlights of the report without going into a presentation.
This report came about as a request from some associate deans who were primarily in the online learning space. We took it to the Online Coordinating Council. The Online Coordinating Council is comprised of leaders around the university who oversee either learning design or instructional design units at the university level, college, or campus level. That’s primarily the makeup of that group. And they took this on and prepared this background information, and then posed the questions.
Cathy Holsing is with me. She is the Director of Learning Design in the Fillippelli Institute in the College of the Liberal Arts. The highlights of the report really reflect some of the comments that we’ve been hearing for years, I think in the online learning space, that is that quality teaching, high quality is good quality. We know that.
But there are some unique considerations that go into play when faculty are asked to teach online courses, and this particular group takes a close look at what those elements are and they make recommendations as to how to proceed. So our information background talks a little bit about the quality and the resources that are actually spread around the university from individual units in the colleges or campuses, to institutional units like the Schreyer Institute or World Campus and the online learning support that they provide. So Cathy will highlight a few more before we open it up for questions.
Cathy Holsing, Director of Learning Design : Thank you, everyone, for having me. One of the other things that we’d like to bring to your attention in the report was the– what we’re finding, my colleagues and I from across the university, that increasingly we’re seeing that many academic units are requiring faculty that are going to be teaching online to have some kind of initial preparation for that role, often by enrolling in one or more of the courses that are offered online by the World Campus for faculty to learn about teaching online. We do find that that is more common with adjunct instructors, but it is becoming increasingly more prevalent across the university. Also, many of the colleges and academic units that I’m a part of, for example, provide their own kind of online faculty development, so that would be in addition to what’s provided by the World Campus. But that said, there is no university-wide training requirement for faculty to teach online.
Another trend that I would just highlight for you is that we are seeing that preparing faculty to teach online is evolving. When there were few faculty that had done that, or few that had experience in that role, the training that we provided was focused on just introducing people to best practices that, perhaps, they had not experienced before in their own learning environment. But now what we’re seeing is a trend to supporting faculty to become master teachers of online across their careers.
Beth Seymour: So now we’re going to open it up for the questions. So the first question is, how can the university assure high quality online teaching, and what do we mean by high quality online teaching? Or do we have other notions of quality unique to Penn State? Any comments? This is a forensic–
Sharon Holt, Abington: Ah, sorry. I’m Sharon Holt from Abington. This may be a bit backwards for a question, but I don’t know what low quality online teaching is. I don’t know what the baseline is, so it’s hard to assess high quality. Can somebody comment on that?
Cathy Holsing: Well, there is some research that’s been done on– and, in fact, Penn State is becoming a member of Quality Matters, which is an organization out of University of Maryland’s University College that has done research on high quality online courses. And I don’t know exactly how many items are in that list, but one of the things we’re going to be doing is looking at courses that are already developed at Penn State that are online, and having faculty and instructional designers take a look at those and kind of assess those courses.
But that really doesn’t address how it’s taught. A lot of that is addressing how it was designed. And I would be the first to say that an excellent instructor can make a poorly-designed course run very well. So there’s good questions about how that should be accomplished.
Renata Engel: I would just say in general I think we often think about high quality in a variety of ways. And whether it’s online or whether it’s residential, whether it’s in a field experience or whether it’s in a large lecture hall, whatever it happens to be, I think the overall learning experience is really the level to which a high quality, we would say, is able to hit the factors of engaging with the content, engaging with the faculty or the instructor, engaging with their peers. And I would say we’re probably seeing one more added to that list now, which is engagement with their community. And it goes back to some of the things that President Barron talked about with regard to student engagement.
Chair Strauss: So we have a question from Mediasite.
Anna Butler: This question is from Fred Aebli. And the question is, the president just noted that we are heading towards very competitive times. When moving to teach online, brand and quality become even more important, as students can move quickly across the landscape, going wherever they like. What is stopping us now from requiring mandatory consistent training for online education?
Beth Seymour: That’s actually a perfect segue to the next question. The next question focuses on training. Should there be university-wide specific training recommendation or requirements for all faculty who teach online? Should training be consistent across colleges, campuses, and programs? And should this training be ongoing or is one and done sufficient?
Chair Strauss: Dawn Blasko.
Dawn Blasko, Behrend: I would just like to start by saying that I think we can have some things that are unique to Penn State, that fit within our value structures. We did a value survey a little while ago about what really is important to Penn State, and I think that can then become part of what we want all of our faculty to be teaching, both in the classroom and online.
So that goes to my second part of question two. I think there should be university-wide recommendations for training opportunities for faculty, but I think they should be for resident and online. I think a great course is a great course, and great instructional designers and people trained in the area can support all faculty, and I hope we’re able to do that.
Chair Strauss: Any other questions from the audience, or comments about whether or not we should have required training or not?
Jennifer Sliko, Harrisburg: I just kind of wanted to echo Dawn’s comments. You had made the comment about how online teaching is a different way of teaching, and as an online instructor, I agree, but so is teaching a large lecture class. And I think as– most of us with terminal degrees, we typically don’t get a whole lot of teacher training in our process. So I agree that while maybe online teaching training is important, so is residential teaching training. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: We have time for about two more comments, so Roger and then Carey, did you have your hand up as well? Yeah, OK, so we’ll take Roger and Carey.
Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: Yes, last year there was an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about services that provide professional course takers that do entire courses for students. And Penn State was mentioned in a way that actually wasn’t so bad, in that one of the professional course takers that was interviewed says that he charged more for Penn State courses because there was far more work in order to complete a Penn State course and hide the fact that he was taking the course for a student. Now what I’m wondering is there any training– and I’m talking about training here– is there any training that’s given to online instructors on how to spot when this kind of academic dishonesty is happening, so we can keep our reputation up?
Renata Engel: There are probably several people in the room that can respond to that. I’m looking at Annie Taylor, who oversees the Dutton Institute, and Cathy Holsing. I think that instructors overall do get training, certainly from World Campus. The idea of providing those assignments that are not easy for people to cheat on. And actually the same thing happens in residence too, right?
We all know that there are some assignments that are more challenging from that standpoint and challenge the student. But should there be more? Should there be more support for faculty and instructors to do this? Yes, I think we can do some things in more coordinated ways and use some of those best practices to mitigate this. I do think it is something that instructors that are teaching in online environments pay very close attention to, and they work hard to make sure that students are in fact earning the grades that they’re receiving.
Roger Egolf: Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Carey, you have the last question.
Caroline Eckhardt, Liberal Arts: I think it’s really important to have opportunities for training, to help people understand how to teach online as well as residentially. I’d be a little hesitant to say, well, here is one university-wide specific training recommendation. I’d like to see us start with maybe making better known what we now have available and evaluating it. It might turn out that we already have in place, at least in some colleges and fields, very effective training opportunities. Maybe others that don’t have them need them.
But my own sense is just as teaching residentially can be quite different in different fields, different class size formats, and so forth, teaching online is probably not all one thing either. And so I guess that I’m a little hesitant to be overly standardized about it, though very enthusiastic about increasing the amount of support provided and our knowledge of where the support opportunities are.
Beth Seymour: I’d like to thank Renata Engel and Cathy Holsing for presenting this for us and being here. And I’d also like to thank the Senate for the very constructive feedback. We’ll take this up in Outreach and maybe proceed with other reports coming out of the committee. If you also have any other comments about the other questions we didn’t get to, feel free to send them to me, ems22.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much.
Counseling and Psychological Services for Students
Chair Strauss: Our next forensic discussion centers around Penn State CAPS and student mental health services. Leading our discussion will be Student Life co-chair Alex Shockley and Benjamin Locke, who is the director of our CAPS. Fifteen minutes has been allotted for the presentation and discussion.
Alex Shockley: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s my pleasure to introduce to you today Dr. Ben Locke, Senior Director of Counseling and Psychological Services for Penn State. He began his work with CAPS in 2003, working with research and technology. He has over 19 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings; my personal favorite being wilderness therapy programs.
He was named senior director of CAPS in August of 2016, and he’s been making great strides since then. Today he’s going to present on the center’s services, and following up his presentation, we’ll be fielding the two questions found above, and we’ll discuss those afterwards. So without further ado, Dr. Ben Locke.
Benjamin Locke: Thank you. It’s great to be with you all today. Well, while that’s coming up, so I wear two hats at Penn State University. One is I’m the senior director of Counseling and Psychological Services, and the other role is that I’m the executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, which is a national practice research–
Benjamin Locke: Like me to be closer? How about this? Is that better? OK, I like to make people happy.
So, I was saying what I do. One is the director of the counseling center, and the other is the executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, which is a national practice research network. We have about 420 member institutions. And so when I’m talking today, I’m talking both from the provision of direct services here at University Park, but also talking about national trends in terms of college student mental health.
What I’m going to present to you today is a very brief overview of mental health here at University Park primarily, and I presented this same presentation to the board of trustees, so it’s a quick overview. This is the scope of our challenge. We have a lot of campuses. We have almost 100,000 students across those campuses. And one university geographically distributed is an amazing concept, very difficult to carry out from a mental health service provision standpoint, given that each campus operates somewhat independently in terms of services.
A couple of quick reminders. Mental health is at the core of an enormous amount of lost life, disability, and lost productivity. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, funded by the Gates Foundation, found it’s about one-third– that mental health causes about one-third of all lost productivity compared to all health concerns. And in a nutshell, mental health concerns impact everybody on campus, no matter what your role. And mental health services are effective in helping both students and everybody else who’s affected, if they are available, but they do need to be available in order to be effective.
OK, so to give you a quick sense of how things have changed over the last 10 years, this is how institutional enrollment has changed here at University Park. It’s grown by about 9%, 9½%. This is how the number of students treated in the counseling center here at University Park has changed during the same period of time. So we’ve increased by about 50%. In terms of the number of appointments provided, about 60%.
These numbers were recently– well, last year–were replicated in a national survey that we did. In fact, the national average for increase in students served is 30%. So even campuses that are declining in their enrollment will see an increased utilization in counseling centers.
One of the questions that comes up is why? What’s going on? And one thing you will often hear people saying is, well, students must be sicker, that’s what’s going on. So this data is Penn State data. We have this replicated at the national level as well. And what this shows is the percentage of students with prior mental health treatment before coming to college– or I’m sorry, this is lifetime treatment history, so previous counseling, previous medications, previous hospitalization, and this is over six years.
And what you can see is that despite a 50% increase in students coming to the center, mental health treatment histories are essentially flat. So the idea that students are coming in with greater mental health treatment histories is actually inaccurate. Now what is happening– students acknowledging self-injury has been on the rise in counseling centers for the last six years. This middle grouping here is probably the most concerning one, which is an expression of having seriously considered suicide in your lifetime. And this is over the last six years.
And trends are important, in part by their actual numbers, but also in part of their context and relative to other trends. So given these flat trends over six years, that kind of a trend is a very concerning trend, right? Anybody not concerned by that trend? OK.
Benjamin Locke: That is a great question. 27% of students coming into counseling centers would say something other than never to that question. So lifetime prevalence. This is during the same period of time, but I have had thoughts in the last two weeks. OK, same kind of trend.
So how do you make sense of these trends? Well, there are lots and lots of theories being bounced around out there from social media, to text messaging, to helicopter parents, lack of coping, lack of resilience, all of these kinds of things. But very few of those are actually based on data. And one data point we know to be true is that there has been about a decade of massive investment in suicide prevention.
And this goes back to the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which was created in 2004, funded in 2005, and it has led to about half a billion dollars being spent in middle school, high school, and college to prevent suicide. Suicide’s a very low-end event. It is a very, very tragic event every time it occurs, but it’s also relatively rare.
And so these funds that have been invested on a massive national scale have led to a dramatic increase in the identification of people who might be at risk, and their referral to mental health services. And the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act has invested money in middle school, high school, and college; in tribes. And so students who are coming to college today will have already been exposed to these very large intervention efforts.
But the challenge here, of course, is if you are successful in these national efforts, then– well, if you’re successful, you would measure it by at least two things. One is, you should see a large increase in people being referred for mental health services, which we’re seeing. And number two, those new people coming in for services should reflect potential risk, which is also exactly what we’re seeing.
The problem is the follow-through, right? So if you’re referred for a cancer screening, the vast majority of people referred for a cancer screening will be negative. But you would never judge the people seeking a cancer screening. Where is your cancer coping? What’s wrong with you?
You would cheer them on for coming in for their cancer screening, and if they needed treatment, you would then refer them to a specialist. And if there wasn’t a specialist available, you would make sure that that was addressed. That second part has not happened on the mental health side.
So to give you a sense of– this is University Park staffing. These are two lines that would indicate the recommended staffing ratios by IACS, International Association of Counseling Services, that accredits counseling centers. The bottom line is one staff member per 1,000– or per 1,500 students. The top one is one per 1,000. This is approximately where our current staffing lies in the counseling center.
This is a very normal, national trend where we’re running below this line. So what this produces is a challenge in terms of what kind of services are available. To understand mental health services, you need to understand the continuum of access to treatment.
And you can think about access as an emergency room. If you sprain your ankle badly, you go to the emergency room. They do an assessment of your ankle, they do an X-ray, they determine what’s wrong, they stabilize it, they put a cast on it, say, “Take it easy, here is some ice, here is an anti-inflammatory, now we want you to go follow up with your physician.” And when you follow up with your physician, they’re going to say, “You should probably get physical therapy for four to six weeks to make sure your ankle comes around.”
So the beginning is access. The end is treatment. And it’s the latter part that we’re struggling with in college counseling centers. This is our two pie charts reflecting clinical services at CAPS 10 years apart, OK? So the blue slice represents the total hours per year committed to rapid access services, right, which would be kind of that rapid assessment, stabilization service. And you can see that it’s essentially doubled over 10 years.
And again, this is proportion of total hours provided. So even though our services have grown over that same period, the proportion of hours devoted to rapid access has also grown faster than all services. This is also a national trend. We just completed a national study on this, and in the last six years nationally the average is about a 30% increase.
So our goal here in terms of next steps– I think this might even be my last slide– is that we’re pursuing a public health approach for mental health. And we’re doing that by working towards a student mental health fee that would supplement existing funding that is central in nature, and allow the increase of services here at University Park but also across the commonwealth and essentially widen the net, if you will, to be able to provide more treatment while also ensuring that we’re maintaining our rapid access services.
Public health is different from, let’s say, central funding. Is that five minutes left? Yes? All right. OK. So a public health approach is different than some approaches for mental health. When you have central funding only, it’s kind of a capitated amount. Here is your total dollar to cover everybody in the university. It’s very difficult to increase that, because in order to do that, you have to– to increase your slice of the pie, you have to take from somebody else’s slice of the pie.
Some colleges and universities have gone to charging health insurance, which is– well, may be an increasing challenge in the next administration. But even under the idea that everybody has health insurance, it doesn’t actually translate into mental health insurance and particularly when you have high co-pays. If you have a $3,000 deductible, very few students are going to say, yeah, I’ll happily spend $125 a month– or a week, I’m sorry– for my counseling, and then $150 or $200 a month for my psychiatry until I reach my deductible. They just won’t go to treatment.
And if you have a crisis or urgent situation, any amount of barrier will keep students from seeking care. We’ve actually had students refuse to go to the hospital over a taxi cab ride, or the cost of a taxi cab. We’ve had students refuse all kinds of services because there’s any cost or because their parents will find out that there is a cost, and their parents are part of the problem. So public health approach means that everybody contributes to the pot, and then we distribute those services as best we can to the entire population, partly because you don’t know when you will need services. You cannot accurately predict that.
And moving to a student mental health fee– I recently presented to the new University Park Student Fee Board and the Commonwealth Fee Board– will allow us to have much greater flexibility moving forward. And that flexibility is constrained by and determined by the stakeholders, who are the students and other members of the university.
If the stakeholders say, we’re really happy with the current wait for services, or the current amount of services, current number of students being seen, then that’s our mission to say, this is the priority of the university. If the stakeholders say, no, we really want you to move the ball to here, then that’s our job. So it’s flexible. As demand changes, you can adjust the fee over time and try to meet that demand.
We are currently completing an assessment at all of the campuses, which is a visit to try to determine what kind of services exist on the campus, but also in the broader community. And one of the things that we are aiming for here is a number of services that will be all students, all campuses. So one crisis telephone number, one pathway to access, text-based crisis support, web-based support, and possibly other delivery of services that are made possible through technology. But again, available to all students at all campuses, rather than on a per-campus basis. That will also happen, but part of the reason for a broader fee is to make that larger effort possible. I’m going to stop there.
Chair Strauss: Dwight?
Dwight Davis, Hershey: I appreciate the comments and the work that you and your staff are doing. Those of us who work at campuses with a smaller student to faculty ratio have the advantage of being able to see those students on a more regular basis, to help, if you will, identify early issues that students might be having and get them to you at a point where they’re not facing a crisis situation.
When you think about the university as a whole, that gets to be a little bit difficult in terms of the large number of students that we have in them, the type of contact they have with faculty. What can faculty do, that you can help faculty with, in terms of trying to unobtrusively identify students that may be having issues and problems early? That we can get them to you at a point earlier in this process with respect to the environment in which we live, where we have so many students and so few faculty members relatively speaking.
Benjamin Locke: Well, I think the most important thing that you can do is listen and pay attention, and if a student expresses concern, if you see something in a paper or a form of communication, is to not ignore it and invite that conversation. And one of the things that we’re trying to move towards is, from an all-student, all-campus perspective, is to create resources that both you, the faculty member, and the student can access quickly and easily without actually walking somewhere.
So if they appear to be struggling with some anxiety, the creation of resources online that you could point them to: “Hey, I noticed you said this, why don’t you check this out on the CAPS website?” And that would allow them to do an assessment, and maybe even begin their own kind of evaluation.
But whatever the level and scope of the concern, I think the first point is to pay attention when things come up. Make sure that you respond to the student in a direct and supportive way. And then our job is to try to make sure that the services are available to you in that moment, whether it’s on the phone or on a website or whatever, to kind of encourage the student in the moment where they’re willing to reach out.
One of the other things that I’m hoping we’ll be able to do is to provide some additional training for faculty, and some standardized resources that are available to all faculty with single points of entry. So if you have a concern, here is where you go to find it out and it’s not a long, point-and-click search to track things down. So I think we have some real work to do in that respect, but it’s on our radar. It’s on my radar.
Michael Straw, Liberal Arts: So recently you said that CAPS approached the Student Fee Board for a new form of funding and I was just wondering if this is your long-term solution for CAPS, extra funding, or if you have other forms of long-term solutions that you’re willing to pool from as well. Thank you.
Benjamin Locke: OK, thank you. So the question is, is the proposal of a fee a long-term solution? I think it is. I think it’s not the only solution, but I think right now it represents a really ideal solution. I think it’s a question of priorities, and at some point it may be that the university wants to support some of that fee and reduce that fee for students.
And I also think that there is a real advantage to having an annual conversation with stakeholders around the priorities of the fee and how it’s being used. And I do think it’s a very flexible funding mechanism. So I think there’s a lot of advantages there.
And I also see the advantages of trying to keep that fee down over the course of time, so that the university may choose to take on some of that fee at various points. But at least in the long-term short-term, I would see this as being a very good solution that would get us moving really quickly both on a per campus basis, but also on a university-wide level.
Anna Butler: Question is from Asad Azemi from Penn State Brandywine. Is there any study examining the possible correlation between students’ related mental health issues and a lack of study skills or general problem-solving skills?
Benjamin Locke: That’s a multi-part question. So I think our experience would be that students who are struggling with mental health concerns will then have difficulties focusing, difficulties prioritizing, difficulties organizing. And so that’s kind of the point of providing mental health services is to help those students be successful.
It is also, I think, true that if a student comes in unprepared for the challenges in front of them, they may then experience anxiety, they may then experience depression, because they can’t get into their major. And so maybe it’s a little bit of a chicken or egg discussion. But one thing we know to be true is that when students are very depressed, they’re unable to participate academically. And so addressing those underlying mental health concerns as soon as possible will lead them to be successful.
And one thing that’s really important to say is that we don’t want to just be working with students in crisis. Counseling grew out of developmental theory, and people encounter developmental crises all the time in their lives. If properly supported in that moment, they can make the right choice and move in the right direction. But if they’re not supported or guided or mentored, then they may sink at that moment. So some of mental health is normative developmental crises and we just need to be sure we’re attending and supporting those.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much, Ben, and thank you very much to Student Life for sponsoring this very important presentation and discussion. Thanks.
Benjamin Locke: Thanks.
Recommendation for Standardizing Fixed Term Titles Across Units
Chair Strauss: Our final forensic item is from Faculty Affairs. It appears as Appendix B in your agenda. It is a discussion of proposed fixed-term titles. Michael Bérubé will lead first a brief presentation on where we’re at from his committee, and then we’ll be fielding questions and comments after that presentation. Twenty minutes is allocated for the discussion. Michael?
Michael Bérubé: Thank you, Mr. Chair. First slide.
Yeah, we’re working on this right down to the wire here. And seriously, I can thank Chair Strauss also for working with me on the details and my committee over the weekend, and really, at some points, almost 24/7.
Those of you who’ve been around this body longer than I have know that we have been pushing this rock up this hill for a very long time. There is some possibility this year, I think, that we actually get to the top. But I want to say a few prefatory words.
First, the thing we’re proposing is not intended to cover 100% of everyone working at Penn State. It just can’t. There are a couple of anomalies here and there in certain colleges where certain people have certain titles for certain reasons that will never be duplicated again, and we are not going to strip people of titles in those circumstances.
The other thing that came up in my committee that I didn’t see coming is the fear that changes in titles would involve changes in job description. So that, if someone who was a lecturer then became an assistant professor of teaching, that this would entail more obligations. That is not what we intend, and the full report will say so in so many words. Changes in title are not changes in job description.
Finally, changes in title– of the proposed titles we’re going to show you today– are not definitive about what the job is. So for example, an associate teaching professor is not someone who can never do research on the side, any more than a lecturer can never lead class discussion. It is just an–
That went over big in the Poconos. No, seriously, this objection has been lodged all semester long, that these things are so normative as to be constraining, and they’re really not. They’re descriptions of people’s primary or their main job description. So we lead with the mess we inherit, and it’s a mess. Slide 2.
Other places have fixed this, and many of them– we, as always, benchmarked this thing like crazy, and when we did, we found that we were seriously behind a number of our peer institutions in coming up with standardized job titles with the fixed-term faculty. Remember that last year, we didn’t even push a rock up a mountain, we actually moved a mountain, and created fixed-term review committees in three levels of promotion.
Now at the time, we kicked the can down the road as to what people would be promoted into, what titles they would occupy. Now we’re at that part of the road. But those fixed-term review committees will actually be seated and actually begin reviewing people this year.
We thought, now let’s come up with a three-tiered structure that corresponds more or less to assistant/associate/full professor on the tenure-track, and promotes equity and unity for fixed-term faculty across units and campuses. Also, a question that was raised by Neil Sharkey’s office, I believe, that in some cases, people who are research professors but not allowed to be called research professors are actually set something at a discount when they apply for funding because of the title constraints imposed upon them. So there’s an equity issue there as well.
OK, now this is what we proposed up to this point, but this is not where we’re going to end up. You’ll see in a moment why this ran into a snag, but this is what got it out of committee. We– and I said this in August and I’ve been repeating it at every meeting since– there was no shooting for unanimity here. It would be great, but I just don’t see it. There’s no system that we’ve managed to come up with that made everybody happy.
And what we divided on in our first two meetings was the question of the value of terminal degrees. What we came up with, I think, is something that may put too much weight on them. And so we were going to come up with a secondary system that we’re not going to propose. But this was the first thing, where the terminal degree was all-determinative, all right?
So without terminal degree, teaching/clinical/research faculty, lecturer, senior lecturer, and master lecturer. As you might imagine, there was much discussion of the term “master.” I’m going to try to head that off right now, because my own suggestions last year– distinguished and university lecturer– were shot down for various good reasons. And there was also a contingent on my committee that suggested senior be the highest level, since it’s senior, but that would involve promoting any number of senior lecturers to master lecturer and making them reapply for titles they already have, so we didn’t want to do that.
And then with terminal degrees, then we get to the assistant teaching, associate teaching, teaching professor, assistant clinical, and assistant research professor. The clinical titles, I believe, are used by Smeal. Some question as to what College of Medicine wants to use. There’s also some division, I gather, between the law schools here and the law school in Carlisle. Details TBD.
Here’s what happened with our proposal. We went, like I say, we finally got it out of committee after much discussion, and Chair Strauss, Vice Provost Bowen, presented the Faculty Affairs recommendations to Academic Leadership Council, and their response, as I told my committee this morning, was the response of Jeffrey Jones in Amadeus– too many notes.
We’ve cleared up a lot, but there are still too many ranks, too many titles, and too much emphasis on terminal degrees. I happen to agree, like I said, it was the compromise that got it out of committee, but it is not a compromise that this body as a whole is beholden to. So here we are with a forensic session to discuss this. College caucuses discussed this issue last week. Do we have– do you have the new slide?
Chair Strauss: Yeah, next one. Next slide. This one?
Michael Bérubé: Oh, OK, no there’s one after this. OK, so the professor of practice title that was created 10 years ago, we’re not touching that. That remains in place for people with distinguished careers outside of academia. Degree holding is not a question, not an issue. There have only been 13 professors of practice in the last 10 years anyway, not a major category of employment.
We’ll allow colleges– obviously, we’re not going to run roughshod over what colleges determine to be terminal degrees. There’s also the question of what to do, as was brought up in the Liberal Arts Caucus with someone in my field who does not have a terminal degree in my field, but has a JD. We’ll leave that to colleges to determine, how to value that. And all current and new hires will have at minimum assistant teaching/clinical/research professor titles. Maintain the lecturer titles for people with non-terminal degrees, and allow lecturers to ascend to assistant and then associate teaching professor positions in a three-tier promotion system. Now do we have the extra slide?
So Angela Lindsay sent me this. Do you have the handout– people have the handout from Liberal Arts? Oh, ah, here we go. So this is a different way to visualize it. Never mind the tenure-track faculty– we don’t care about them. Teaching faculty without a terminal degree, on the right–
Teaching faculty without a terminal degree will be hired as a lecturer. They could be promoted to assistant or associate teaching professor by means of the promotion fixed-term review committees we created last year. People hired with a terminal degree would start out as assistant teaching/clinical/research professors with two more promotion opportunities, all the way up to full. This reserves the full professor category for people with terminal degrees, but still gives people who are now senior instructors an opportunity for a promotion to a third level associate X professor– teaching/research/clinical. Any questions?
Chair Strauss: Yeah, first question.
Andrew Schulz, Arts and Architecture: Hi Michael. Schulz, Arts and Architecture and also chair of the Research Committee, and so I come to you with both of those perspectives. We caucused in our college and also in the committee. And my question has to do with the compartmentalization into teaching, clinical and research.
In our college, and from what I understand from the committee in other colleges, we have a lot of people who don’t fit neatly into those boxes, and they don’t just do research on the side. We bring them here actually specifically to teach and do research. These are often young leading figures in our emerging fields. They’re eligible for research awards and other kinds of incentives to help them do that work. So would we just simply get to do something different with those people, or what would your committee recommend in that sort of circumstance?
Michael Bérubé: I would not recommend creating whole new tiers of different names. I would like if colleges would pick one or the other– depending on what the faculty member considers their primary responsibility– teaching or research. For me, the teaching/research/clinical part of this equation is less important than the three tiers, right? It’s the vertical thing that matters, the assistant/associate/full, or the lecturer/assistant/associate, and “of x” is really secondary. And again, it’s not prescriptive. It doesn’t mean that if you choose the teaching of the research title you are forbidden from doing the rest of your job as a Penn State professor, FT or otherwise.
Michael Bérubé: Apparently not.
Andrew Schulz: I think the implication unintended becomes for those people who are often here for a year or two, they’re then identified in that sort of way. And so someone who might want to go off and get it a job at a research university is being described here as a teaching professor– and would that be an impediment for their kind of long-term career prospects? I don’t know. Just a kind of unintended consequence.
Michael Bérubé: It’s really up to them, I would think. I don’t see any problem with a college going through this process with deans, department heads, and fixed-term review committees reviewing two different people who do very similar jobs, but considering one an assistant teaching professor and one an assistant research professor. There’s no attempt here to avoid mixing the streams.
It’s not as if all the research professors would be in ARL. And it’s not as if all the clinical faculty– well, actually the clinical faculty is another issue, and again, I’ll defer to Smeal and the units that use “clinical” as a title. But the research/teaching option should be an option, and if a person thinks they’d be a better candidate or a better applicant for things as an assistant research professor, so be it.
Chair Strauss: OK, Chair recognizes Mohamad.
Mohamad Ansari: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon, Michael. How are you doing?
Michael Bérubé: OK, Mohamad.
Mohamad Ansari: With all the good work you did last year and also this year, you’ve done a great job. Your committee, I commend you for this comprehensive report.
Michael Bérubé: Thank you.
Mohamad Ansari: Given the monumental task before your committee to come up with a uniform title for all of our colleagues in the fixed-term, I think you have done a great job. And I wanted to support you and your committee for the new titles that you’re presenting.
I think the two-tier title system that you have presented for our colleagues without the terminal degree and those with terminal degrees, I think it’s fantastic. And I think that will probably solve the problem, and I hope that this report is a prelude to an upcoming advisory/consultative report, and I hope that the Senate will support that. So thank you very much for your efforts. We thank you.
Chair Strauss: Chair recognizes Rosemary.
Rosemary Jolly: Thanks. I can’t ever see anything in front of me or behind me. It’s a good qualification for speaking here. Can you put up the slide that I sent you for this?
Michael Bérubé: Well, this is the version of it.
Rosemary Jolly: Is that the version that you got? There’s–
Michael Bérubé: I ran it by Faculty Affairs. They couldn’t make heads or tails out of it. So Angela Linse fixed it.
Rosemary Jolly: Oh, OK.
Michael Bérubé: This is your proposal.
Rosemary Jolly: OK, I just want to point out that this slide that I’m going to go with, that Michael has, is exactly the same as the one that we handed out. I just want to say where this comes from. This comes from faculty of Arts Caucus that I’m speaking on behalf of. So there’s a number of us that are supporting this, which is a considerable simplification, if I might say, of what originally came out of Faculty Affairs.
And just to speak to some of the specifics that Mohamad is supporting. First of all, I think that this acknowledges the attainment of advanced degrees that recognizes some merit to the promotion process. It also maintains that excellence in achievement and teaching and service are valid additional means by which faculty without terminal degrees can access professorial titles.
It provides only exactly three ranks and two promotion opportunities for all non-tenure track faculty, so it’s in consistency with what we voted on earlier, which is only three promotion options. It requires– and this is important, compared to other proposals we may have come up with earlier– only one promotion committee, which is crucial, especially in smaller units and smaller colleges. And we may be able to implement it slightly quicker, because of its increased simplicity.
And paths for those with complicated degrees could be determined on a case-by-case basis, as Michael pointed out with departments and colleges. So I just wanted to point out where this last slide comes from, and the reason why we’re suggesting this particular rank. So it’s just to add to the details that Mohamad was talking to. Thanks so much. Is that clear, Michael? Does that–
Michael Bérubé: If I may just trope on that for a moment. One of the nice things about this proposal– this sort of counter-proposal from Liberal Arts, and a similar thing came out of Eberly College of Science– is that we get rid of the whole master/senior/lecturer morass of titles. We simply move people on to an assistant/associate/professor.
I assume that most senior lecturers now holding those titles of senior lecturer will be more pleased with the moving over to the title, assistant professor of teaching, or if they have terminal degrees, associate teaching professor. Not everyone, perhaps. The other nice thing, as you– you skipped over it, but it’s really important. Because Susan Welch said in so many words to us, and emphatically, she thought the original proposal with two different things– two different tracks, for non-degree holders and degree holders– meant two separate review committees, which would be more of a mess than I think we want to even contemplate.
Rosemary Jolly: Well, I did say we would only have one review committee, but yeah, we’re speaking to the same issue, so I’m not going to hold up time.
Chair Strauss: OK, President Barron, did I see you had a hand up?
President Barron: I like it.
Chair Strauss: Feels like I have– oh, you like it. That’s great. That is important.
President Barron: [INAUDIBLE]
[LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]
Chair Strauss: Go ahead, Ira.
Ira Ropson, Hershey: Well, for some of my sins, I’m also president of the Faculty Organization at Hershey. And right now, at least in terms of the clinical and MD doctors, virtually none of them are being hired on the tenure-track.
When you’re saying that you want to have uniform titles– what we have done and what we have decided, well, nearly 15 years ago now, was that we would have no differentiation between clinical clinicians and basic scientists in terms of their titles. If this goes forward and thus we will– in order to be consistent across the university– there will be quite a few unhappy people who are going to have the word “clinical” inserted into their title. And the way the question was phrased on the previous slide implied it was going to be throughout the university.
Michael Bérubé: Hm. OK, we’ll take that onboard. I might– what would their title now be that they would be upset to have clinical in it?
Michael Bérubé: Interesting. And it’s the same three tiers?
Michael Bérubé: OK, but not on the tenure-track. Because this came up last night as well in the chair’s meeting. There are a whole class, especially in the research wing of standing faculty, who are not tenure-track.
Chair Strauss: So we have about five– we have about five minutes left and I want to try to get as many comments as possible, so–
Michael Bérubé: We’ll take that onboard.
Chair Strauss: Keep your comments sort of brief. Recognize Jamie Myers in back.
Jamie Myers, Education: I support Senator Ropson’s comment, and I do believe units should have the ability to just use assistant/associate and professor (full), for both fixed-term and standing faculty.
Chair Strauss: OK, yes. In green jacket. I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.
Lisa Posey, Smeal College: It’s on? At Smeal, we use the clinical professor, but we don’t use clinician. We use instructor or lecturer. Is that OK to mix them? Because it doesn’t really apply to the business professors, so we have instructors for that top level or that first category, and then assistant, associate and clinical.
Michael Bérubé: That’s fine. In fact, we also punted on whether to get rid of– there was some pressure to either choose lecturer or instructor. Just go with one. HR-21 actually says already that they’re interchangeable. So you’re totally fine, I think.
Chair Strauss: Sure.
Unidentified Senator: I’m nervous. [INAUDIBLE] I wanted to support Dr. Thompson– or Ropson– on the comment, and just give an additional thing. When we were recruited, yes again, they said, fixed-term and tenure is the same. So right now, College of Medicine, we have less than 10% tenured, and things are changing. So for us, we are seeing that pretty much we feel that non-tenure track is becoming almost like second-class citizens.
Even some educational tools are being cut from those who receive their paycheck from the Hershey Medical Center non-tenure track, than the College of Medicine. So the only thing that we still have that makes us resemble academics and part of Penn State is our title. If it is changed, I think there’s a lot of people, and mostly 90%, we will have nothing anymore related to academics, because pretty much they are taking a lot from us, just being in there. So I would like, yeah, to reinforce that keeping just assistant, associate, and professor should be ideal.
Michael Bérubé: OK, so this is a two-person consensus. But if this is really the sense in the College of Medicine, that this suggestion that making people assistant clinical, associate clinical, clinical professor, would actually strip them of titles they already have and would actually do them harm, then I don’t see why my committee couldn’t come up with an asterisk here and say, as long as there’s a three-tiered structure with clear paths to promotion that makes sense, that are transparent and all, there is no distinction in the College of Medicine between tenure-track and tenure with these titles. But pretty much everywhere else, the non-tenure to the fixed-term faculty, provide a lecturer, assistant/associate without terminal degrees, assistant/associate/full with terminal degrees. But we will debate that.
Chair Strauss: We’ve got to wrap this up. I note we have a Mediasite question that’s been on hold for a little bit.
Anna Butler: Question from Tim Lawlor, from Penn State Brandywine. How will Fixed-Term I faculty who have already been here for a long time enter the title list?
Michael Bérubé: Depends on where they are. So this goes back to the debate we had last year. Fixed-term faculty who have been here for a long time, in a lot of places, were never given the chance to be promoted to a second tier at all. And now, of course, if they are lecturers without terminal degrees, they remain lecturers, but they have a chance for promotion that we created last year. If they are senior lecturers at this point, they enter the system as assistant teaching professors, with the opportunity for promotion to associate teaching professors.
Chair Strauss: I’ll take two more. I realize everybody wants to comment. But all the way in back. James?
Chair Strauss: OK, well–
James Jaap, Greater Allegheny: Jaap, Penn State Greater Allegheny. As a 20-year instructor at Penn State, I was promoted 11 years ago and have not had an opportunity to be promoted again. So I appreciate this and I’m looking forward to these changes. Thank you for your work.
Chair Strauss: Who had their hand up for a long time that I missed? Go right ahead.
Margaret Michels, Liberal Arts: I was just curious about what do these titles actually represent? One of the perennial concerns of fixed-term faculty is that they might not be any longer hired. So does this come with any more job certainty?
Michael Bérubé: Ahh. This is something we went over with Intra-University Relations last year. IRC will come forward with a proposal. They ran it by us, but it’s their proposal for conversion after a certain number of years– after five years to a three-year contract, after nine years to five.
We originally drafted our promotion plan with fixed-term review committees with IRC last year. Roger and I worked pretty much beyond 24/7. We actually broke the email system– that was us– trying to work something out, whereby the multi-year contracts would be folded into the promotion process.
For various reasons, IRC didn’t want to do that, so what we did this year was break it into two different things. We would handle the promotion with review committees that were already created. We would handle the terminology– cleaning out the basement– task. They would handle the granting of multi-year contracts provision. So we divvied it up in this way.
So for now this proposal about titles is irrespective of terms of contract. Though ideally, I really think in my ideal universe when you’re promoted to the next tier, you get a multi-year contract. But like I say, we couldn’t work that out last year, so now they’re two separate things, OK? But you’ll be hearing more about the latter in March.
Chair Strauss: We thank all of you for your comments. And Michael, we thank you for the hard work you and your committee have put forward. Thank you very much.
Chair Strauss: OK, Item H. Unfinished Business. As usual, we will be using our clickers for voting today. They look like this, if you’ve lost it. Senators should have received this before you entered the auditorium. Please raise your hand if you need a clicker.
We have one unfinished business item for today. A resolution introduced as new business at the December 6th meeting by Senator Judy Ozment of Abington. The motion was seconded and, after suspension of the rules, was discussed by Senate. The resolution appears as Appendix E in your agenda. The floor is open now for discussion of this resolution. Mohamad?
Mohamad Ansari: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In consideration of discussions that took place at the December 6 meeting, Senate officers have formed a substitute statement that I’m pleased to offer on behalf of my colleagues. This is going to be offered in the form of a substitute motion. “The University Faculty Senate of the Penn State University affirms its commitment to pluralism, inclusiveness, and equity as core values and declares we will vigorously defend these values against hatred and bigotry.” Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chair Strauss: Thank you. The motion is offered. It would need a–
Chair Strauss: It has a second. So if I understand this correctly, we now basically have two motions for Senate to consider– the original motion, which I will call Motion A, and the new motion sponsored by Mohamad, which I’ll call Motion B. We actually will offer debate and consideration for both of those. Do we have any comments from the floor? Judy?
Judy Ozment, Abington: Thank you. I appreciate the distillation of our original resolution, and consider what has been recommended as a substitute quite valuable. Our Senate at Penn State Abington voted in November to resolve this particular statement that was introduced in December. And many of our campus faculty are responding to our students.
Abington is maybe one of the first colleges and campuses of the university– maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know the details– that has a majority of students identify as students of color, persons of color. So we have a majority minority, and the dynamic on our campus was very sensitive as a result of the election. Now our election has become a thing of the past and we have a new president. And I think those things have toned down a little bit, but our concerns were for both sides of the election to be acting in a responsible and mature way.
So our intent was to ask that the University Faculty Senate come to an understanding and a statement similar to the one that we presented. I thank you for listening to me, those of you who were here. It was very late in the meeting last December. And I thank those of you who are here now to see and understand what we were trying to get at in November and December. But I do truly believe that what has been provided by the Senate leadership as a substantive, durable element of what we’re talking about. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: OK, thank you very much. Carey?
Carolyn Eckhardt: Eckhardt, Liberal Arts. I’d like to thank Judy for those comments. It really, I think, helped contextualize the motion that came forward last time. I nevertheless would like to speak in favor of version B, the one that Mohamad has just proposed. I think that this captures the essential and ongoing aspect of the earlier motion. I think it’s preferable, because the wording in the earlier motion said that the Senate spoke for the university. Actually, I think the Senate can speak only for the Senate.
Secondly, the term “refuge” in the earlier resolution, I think, is a problematic term. Refuge or sanctuary, those are terms that have taken on a specific set of connotations, including some legal aspects that I don’t really think we can act on. And also I think the substitute resolution really conveys the important values of our university culture, reiterates that we will stand by them, that we embrace diversity and our multicultural stakeholders, and that this statement is the one that we should endorse. Thank you.
Matthew Wilson, Harrisburg: Given what the speaker from Abington said, would you be willing to withdraw that resolution?
Beth Seymour: It’s actually unnecessary to withdraw it. It’s probably cleaner if we continue a discussion of it and then have a vote between the two, where A’s the first one, B’s the second one, we put that up for a vote. And then after that, whichever one succeeds, we then open a discussion on that motion and then call for a vote.
Senators: To answer that question–
Chair Strauss: Ready to proceed along the lines just discussed by our parliamentarian Beth Seymour?
Chair Strauss: OK.
Chair Strauss: Go ahead.
Sharon Holt, Abington: Thank you. I like this resolution. I think, as others have said, it does capture the ongoing situation. It does not capture the triggers. It has a vanilla, generic, yeah, we’re good people kind of quality to it. And it says absolutely nothing about the quality of public discourse and the degraded quality of public discourse that we inherited during the recent presidential election.
And our purpose at Abington, as Judy tried to say, was to say, “Hey, we think public discourse has been degraded. And we here at your university do not accept this as the nature of public discourse on our campus. We reject it, as we said in the third paragraph of the resolution. We reject those elements of public discourse.” Now it is fine if people want to go vanilla, I mean, that doesn’t surprise me. But I think there’s something really being lost here.
Chair Strauss: Thank you. Further comments? Yes.
Richard Singer, Altoona: Singer, Altoona. The terms reaffirming, affirming, and talking about things that used to be to me implies that we no longer had a commitment to pluralism, inclusiveness, and equity, and I don’t think that’s true. And therefore, since I believe those things are true, I don’t understand why we need to reaffirm it. And also–
Chair Strauss: I don’t know that it actually says reaffirm, however.
Richard Singer: Well, the other one does.
Chair Strauss: But there are two.
Richard Singer: Yeah, well, this one’s affirming it. Affirming it and reaffirming it implies that we didn’t affirm it in the past, OK? The last paragraph here is, we reaffirm our commitment. I mean, that’s kind of meaningless to me, because if we have the commitment, we have it. And we could affirm and reaffirm for every public activity that goes on in the news from here to eternity. So I don’t have any heartburn with saying what we feel here, but I don’t believe that anybody at the university needs to reaffirm something that already exists.
Chair Strauss: Other comments? Yes, all the way in back.
Julia Bryan: Reaffirming is like renewing vows, all right? Didn’t mean that you didn’t have them before, all right? You’re emphasizing, re-emphasizing, this is who we are. So I beg to disagree.
Chair Strauss: Further comments on the two motions in front of us? OK, seeing none.
Senators: Call the question.
Chair Strauss: OK, so call the question. What we will do procedurally is we will– go ahead.
Beth Seymour: We need to vote on the call the question first.
Chair Strauss: OK. So it’s been pointed out by our parliamentarian we first must vote on the call the question, so all in favor of calling the question please say aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? OK, and now we will individually do an up-down vote on each one, deciding which one goes forward.
Beth Seymour: Right, do them both together. Doing–
OK, OK so all right, so we will do one vote. If you like–
Chair Strauss: You want to do– yeah, so I think the easiest way to do this is we will do one vote. If you like the original motion that was introduced at the December meeting, you can vote for A. If you like the substitute motion which was just introduced today, you can vote B with your clicker. And we’ll find out which one moves forward.
John Nousek, Science: Point of order. This wording about accepting the original motion. This is not actually to accept the original motion or the revised motion. There will a second vote about whether it’s accepted.
Chair Strauss: That is correct.
Senators: This is only to winnow the–
Chair Strauss: Which one moves forward, yes. So if you would like the original motion made in December to move forward, you will vote A with your clicker. If you would like the substitute motion introduced today to move forward, you will vote B with your clicker. We’re ready to vote?
Chair Strauss: Oh–
Unidentified Senator: Point of order. Point of order.
Chair Strauss: Wait, now I’m–
Beth Seymour: A substitute motion.
Chair Strauss: There we go. OK.
Senators: Point of order.
Chair Strauss: Sure.
Rodney Troester, Behrend: Don’t we have two votes on the original motion?
Beth Seymour: No.
Rodney Troester: We can have two motions on the floor at the same time?
Chair Strauss: Yes.
Senators: I beg to differ.
Chair Strauss: Our parliamentarian knows the rules quite well. I defer to her expertise in this matter. OK, we’re ready to vote? Let the voting commence. And how about from Poll Everywhere? What are we-
Anna Butler: I have eight A and seven B.
Chair Strauss: OK so the substitute motion, Item B, will be moving forward. We now open the floor for discussion on Item B, the substitute motion.
Senators: Call the question.
Chair Strauss: That has to be seconded.
Chair Strauss: OK, all in favor of calling the question.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Thank you. Now we do a vote to accept this or reject this. If you accept the motion, you will press A. If you reject the motion, you will press B.
Anna Butler: I ask you to bear with me a couple of seconds. I have to change these on the fly as we’re doing this. So I want to make sure that they have the right information on Poll Everywhere. OK, so on Poll Everywhere, I have 13 accept and four reject.
Chair Strauss: OK, substitute motion carries. At this point in time, I would like to thank all involved, including Abington, including the folks who stayed late December 6th to discuss things, including Senate Council and including the Senate officers who tried to craft a substitute motion for today. Thanks to everybody.
Chair Strauss: OK, Item I, Legislative Reports. Please be reminded parliamentary procedure requires all motions to be submitted to the chair in writing. If needed, we can provide you with paper and pencil. We have four legislative reports from Committees and Rules. They appear as Appendices F, G, H and I in our agenda. Committee chair Dawn Blasko will introduce the reports and respond to questions that you might have. The first of these reports appears as Appendix F.
Establishment of the Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment
Dawn Blasko: OK, our first report was to establish the Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment. Can you hear me? OK, our first report was to establish the Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment. Some small changes in the title were needed for that, so we pulled it from the last meeting.
However, in the meantime, we thought it might save us all time if we did two things at once. So not only will we be establishing the Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment, we’ll also be placing it directly in the Standing Rules. So the committee voted this morning to approve a substitute report. So we’ll be voting on this new report, which has just a few changes.
One of the things you could notice is it’s now placing it in its position in the Standing Rules. So if you scroll down, keep going, this is the new information, keep going. OK, see right now, it’s being placed as number 11, before the Council of Past Senate Chairs, which now becomes 12. So we’re actually placing it directly within the Standing Rules, which then saves us some time.
The other change we have– if you go up just a little bit, OK, far enough– is that the member of Graduate Council will be elected by its members. Before it was appointed; now we’re suggesting elected. So we have these two changes, so this is the report that we’d like to vote on today. Does anybody have any questions?
Chair Strauss: This report is brought to the floor by committee. It needs no second. Are we ready to vote? Seeing no questions or comments. OK, to accept the motion, please press A. To reject the motion, you may press B.
Anna Butler: In Poll Everywhere, I have 11 accept.
Chair Strauss: OK, the motion carries. Thank you very much. Our next report from CC&R appears as Appendix G. This report pertains to a change in the bylaws, Article II, Section 1 of our bylaws. The report can be discussed at this meeting, but adoption of the amendment, which requires a 2/3 vote, cannot occur until our next Senate meeting, which is scheduled for March 14. If there is no further discuss– well, any discussion on the report?
Revisions to Senate Bylaws Article II Section 1
Dawn Blasko: I mean, very briefly, if you want me to say very briefly, this is about asking Senate councilors to represent their units. And the point of this report is to add language to make it more clear that one of the roles of a Senate councilor is to establish two-way, clear communication with their academic unit, make sure they’re reporting back to their academic leaders, and their faculty governance leaders.
Chair Strauss: OK, any further discussion? OK, good. Seeing no further discussion, voting on this change will occur at our March meeting. The next report from CC&R appears as Appendix H.
Revisions to Senate Standing Rules Article I Section 11
Dawn Blasko: OK, this report is talking about the way that the Senate election results are sent to the tellers, who are responsible for certifying the results, then the Senate chair and the chair of the Committee on Committee and Rules. What we’re doing here is we’re saying that the results of the election will be reported to the executive director of the Senate office, and then they will immediately inform the Senate officers, candidates, and chair of the Committee on Committee and Rules, and the full Senate then will be notified of the results in a timely fashion. So instead of waiting until the next meeting, we are getting a little updated here, and we’re going to announce the results right away.
Chair Strauss: The report is brought to the floor again by committee. It needs no second. Any discussion? We are ready to vote. All in favor, please press A. Reject the motion, you may press B.
Anna Butler: In Poll Everywhere, I have eight accept.
Chair Strauss: The motion carries. Our final report from CC&R appears as Appendix I.
Revisions to Senate Standing Rules Article I Section 12
Dawn Blasko: This report is intended to help make the process of CC&R a little more transparent. The way it currently works is at the last meeting of the year, the Committee on Committee and Rules meets half of their time with the old membership, adjourns, then reconvenes with the new membership and elects their chair and vice chair for the year. What this means is the new Senate chair, vice chair, and officers have not fully been announced and included. And so the idea here would be there would be a separate meeting. The last meeting of the year would conclude that CC&R, and then there would be a separate meeting a week later, which would be used to elect the chair and vice chair. It was awkward, take my word for it.
Chair Strauss: OK, any discussion? Seeing none, let’s vote. So all in favor of the motion, please press A. Reject, you can press B.
Anna Butler: In Poll Everywhere, I have 11 accept.
Chair Strauss: OK, thank you very much, Dawn, for very clear descriptions of our voting items. Thanks very much.
ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Chair Strauss: We’re getting there folks. Item J, Advisory and Consultative Reports. There are six advisory/consultative reports on today’s agenda. The first is from Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid. It is found as Appendix J. Michel Haigh, the committee chair, will introduce the report and say a few words.
Michel Haigh, Communications: The Admissions, Records, and Scheduling and Student Aid committee was charged to provide an advisory/consultative report that provided an inventory of our current scholarship endowment and yearly payout. We were also asked to benchmark peer institutions for comparison, and determine what proportion of past capital campaigns was devoted to scholarships. Anna Griswold, the assistant vice president for Undergraduate Education and executive director for Student Aid, will provide a brief overview of the findings.
Anna Griswold, Office of Student Aid: Thank you, Michel. OK, so the importance of endowment scholarships at Penn State, I think, is best thought about in the context of the overall financing that is available to Penn State undergraduates. In other words, how do our students pay the cost of attendance at Penn State?
Last year, 63,913 undergraduates received a total of $1 billion from all funding sources tracked through the Office of Student Aid. Not included in this figure are students who received veteran’s benefits, or students who received third-party payments to cover the cost of their tuition. Federal and state student aid funding comprises 66% of all financial assistance. These funding sources have not kept pace with increases in the cost of tuition and other education costs at Penn State and at many of our peer institutions across the country.
Penn State’s own funding, in the total available to undergraduates, represents 17% of the aid. As noted here, 62% of all the financial aid is in the form of education loans. Primarily these are federal student loans. Grants represent 25%, and they include programs such as the Federal Pell Grant Program and the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. These are need-based programs.
Primarily eligibility is determined based on a need analysis formula that is federally driven. Thirteen percent of all funding is in the form of scholarships, and less than 1% is from Federal Work Study Program funding. So basically where the money comes from and in what forms– is it available to students?– is what we’re showing here.
As a public land grant institution, Penn State’s entry into private philanthropy is relatively recent compared to many private colleges and universities that are heavily dependent on tuition revenue historically. As state support in Pennsylvania began to decline over the past two decades and tuition has necessarily increased, it has become essential for the university to seek private support.
So looking historically at where we’ve been with philanthropy at Penn State, 1922 is actually our first fundraising campaign, at which point we raised $1.7 million. It was some 60 years later before the next campaign occurred, and that was from 1984 to 1990, and that was called the Campaign for Penn State. Raised $352 million in that campaign.
Penn State has had two really major campaigns between 1996 and 2014, including the Grand Destiny Campaign that raised more than a billion dollars, and For the Future, the Campaign for Penn State Students, the more recent campaign, that raised more than $2 billion. And this table shows the portion of funds raised that are for scholarships for students.
In addition to Penn State’s success with fundraising for student scholarships, University’s own commitment to funding– I’m sorry, I cut you off, there you go– Penn State’s own commitment to funding has grown over the years too. So this graph shows growth both in our endowed scholarships to students– this is the spending of scholarships to students– and from endowed and annual gifts. Thirty three point nine million increased to 48.3 million over the period of For the Future campaign from 2007 to 2014.
And then the blue bar of this graph shows Penn State’s increased commitment to student assistance for this same period, which was 59.5 million in 2007 and 112.8 million in 2014. And the green line is simply to show the trajectory of tuition increases during this period of time. We’ve realized about $13,000 for in-state resident tuition first-year students in 2007 and in the vicinity of $17,000 in 2014.
So the next thing that ARSSA looked at was to compare our endowments with some of our peer institutions. So we took a look at most of the Big 10 universities who participated in our survey, and it shows here that these are the scholarships that are awarded from endowments at each of the institutions listed here. And we compared the amount spent in scholarships from endowments at those institutions to enrollments. Available scholarships per student show simply the relationship of scholarship funds to student enrollment. So obviously the size of our enrollment and the size of our endowment is an ongoing challenge for us.
Michel Haigh: Thanks, Anna. So based on the information provided in the report, ARSSA developed the following recommendations. And once again, this is just an advisory/consultative report, so this is our recommendations that, as we move toward the next campaign, what percent would be based toward supporting student scholarships? So can we approve them as a whole, Jim, or do we have to go one by one?
OK, so the first recommendation was, ARSSA recommends the university continue with the fundraising strategies for student scholarship support comparable to the success of the last two campaigns. ARSSA recommends university continue to increase the percentage of students receiving endowed scholarships without diluting the overall size of the award, because we don’t want the number of awards to go down. In the past two campaigns raised scholarship funds represented roughly 24% and 25%, respectively, of the total endowment for each campaign, so ARSSA recommends the university set as a goal for the next campaign the portion of scholarship fundraising to be at least 25%. Are there any questions?
Dwight Davis: Davis, from Hershey. Just a point of clarification for Point 3. Who formally sets those goals?
Michel Haigh: The president does.
Dwight Davis: OK, so is there an issue with us setting that for the president, or recommending to the president what that should be?
Michel Haigh: The provost is shaking his head no, that there isn’t. But ARSSA thought to be on the safe side, we should recommend saying at least, compared to what the past campaigns had been, without saying 50– increase by 50%.
Chair Strauss: Dawn Blasko.
Dawn Blasko: Yes, do you mind if the provost answers–
Chair Strauss: No, absolutely not.
Nicholas Jones: I think it’s already done. And I don’t quite remember the numbers, but I think that recommendation is already met, because one of the three pillars of the fundraising campaign is Open D.O.O.R., focused on access and affordability. So I think we’re already there, but I just don’t quite remember the numbers off-hand.
Dawn Blasko: OK, so maybe the– it’s on? Can hear me? OK, maybe this is irrelevant then, but I was just going to encourage you to be ambitious and never settle for the same. But since this is an important issue, at least go 30%.
Chair Strauss: OK, any other comments on– Mary Beth.
Mary Beth Williams, Science: Thank you. Williams, Science. I don’t know if this came up in your discussions, or Anna, if you can provide a little bit more context. My understanding is a lot of the endowments that we have are in the Trustee Merit Scholarships, which as you know, are only designated for students who are Pell eligible.
There are a very large number of students at Penn State who have financial need, indicated by their FAFSA score, who however, are not Pell eligible and therefore not eligible for those scholarships. I don’t know if you could talk about that a little bit please.
Michel Haigh: And there’s an appendix that talked specifically about that. Is it Appendix– it was an appendix in our report that talked about this with the trustees.
Anna Griswold: The Trustee Scholarship. I do understand, though, the question about the determination of the requirement for that scholarship, that it would go to students who are Pell eligible. Pell is a proxy, if you will, for our lowest income students at Penn State. And we frequently hear from middle-income families, “We make too much money to qualify for any federal grants, but not enough money to pay the cost.” And we fully understand that, and have as much concern for middle-income students as we do for low-income students.
But when I also look at data– not a part of this report, but things like average loan debt of our students– even with eligibility for federal and state grants, our low-income students still borrow far more than our middle- and higher-income students at Penn State that we have data on who apply for financial aid. So I think one of the rationales for continuing to focus on the lowest income student is that their families lack the resources. Some middle-income families at least have some, and have a little bit greater ability to save and pay for college. Whether they do or not is sort of an issue of our times. But the Trustee Scholarship, which is a large endowment at Penn State, is targeted currently to students who are Pell Grant eligible.
Chair Strauss: OK, further discussion? OK, seeing none, are we ready to vote? I’d like to actually put a motion forward to recommend a voice vote to expedite us moving through these.
Senators: So moved.
Chair Strauss: OK, so all in favor of backing ARSSA’s three recommendations on this very important report please say aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Motion carries. I’d like to thank ARSSA, and Michel Haigh and Anna Griswold for a really, really great and very elucidating report on this important issue. Thank you very much.
Michel Haigh: Thank you, too.
Addressing Issues of Classroom Climate and Bias in the Classroom
Chair Strauss: Our next report is from Educational Equity and Campus Environment. It appears as Appendix K. Committee vice chair Julia Bryan will introduce the report. Julia?
Julia Bryan: Hi. Good afternoon, or good evening. I would like to introduce Laureen Teti, and she is from CORED, the president’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Diversity. Laureen?
Laureen Teti, CORED: Good afternoon. I want to thank you for the opportunity to present this report on classroom climate and implicit bias in the classroom. And I also want to thank Rob Loeb, the chair of the EECE committee, for his guidance and support throughout the process of preparing this report.
I want to give you a little bit of history here to start out. When CORED met with President Barron in spring of 2016 for our annual meeting, prior to the meeting he asked us to pull together what we thought were the five most important issues that Penn State should be looking at regarding diversity in the next five years. And in the meeting, he immediately gravitated towards this issue, the issue of implicit bias in the classroom as one that he felt was salient and something that we should be addressing. And he and Provost Jones both suggested that we, CORED, work with you, the Faculty Senate, to try to find a pathway forward to look at and address this issue.
So as you may be aware, implicit bias and stereotype threat in the classroom has a negative impact on both students and faculty. Students from underrepresented groups are more likely to perform poorly in classrooms where stereotype threat is present, and minority instructors’ teaching effectiveness can be greatly impaired if they feel discriminated against by students. Microagressions are the usual method of expressing implicit bias. They are often unintentional, but communicate negative messages to individuals based on their group membership.
So for a couple of examples, microaggressions between student-to-student could be if students are to form teams and they avoid asking underrepresented group members to be on a team. Or if they’re assigned to a team and a student from an underrepresented group is not really allowed to participate as fully, not given as many assignments in the group. For faculty or instructors, singling out students of a specific race, gender, or ethnic group to ask questions more so than students from other ethnic groups or genders is an example of microaggressions as well.
Stereotype threat has been studied for well over 20 years, and there are hundreds of articles documenting the effects of stereotype threat in the classroom. I think one of the most famous examples of stereotype threat is that with women and math. So for instance, women who are high achieving and who are actually quite good at math will often perform poorly in a classroom, and that’s because the threat in the air is that women are not good at math. And this can actually be very easily alleviated when women are told, for instance– if they’re going to take a test– in the past women have performed as well on this test as men. In those situations the stereotype threat has no impact on their performance.
So Penn State’s Office of Educational Equity has a website that anyone affiliated with the university can go to report an incident of bias. So that’s students, faculty, staff, even alumni and people who are not affiliated to Penn State can go to this website and report an incident. We were able to get access to the data from this website for the years 2013 through 2015, inclusive. During those three years, there were 90 reports of bias, 63 of which were at the University Park campus.
So you can see this isn’t an issue for any single location. It is across the campuses. And the largest group of reported perpetrators were faculty members: 27 of the reports were made about faculty. Now the reporting system doesn’t indicate whether these incidents of bias occurred in the classroom or not.
So we don’t have data compiled for 2016 yet, but we do know that there was a huge increase in reports in the weeks after the election. We were able to go back and look at the data for the one week immediately after the election, which showed in that one week 11 reports. So compared to an average of 30 per year, that’s saying to us that 2016 is going to be an exceptional year.
But we need to also be aware that there were many verbal reports; many students who went to the Multicultural Resource Center to report incidents that occurred with other students, occasionally with faculty. And what’s interesting is that these students were aware that they should go to the Multicultural Resource Center to make these reports, but a lot of them were not aware that the Report Bias website exists. However, the Report Bias website is kind of where our data is coming from, to know whether there’s a problem to address. So it’s a little bit of a problem. We can probably safely assume that the numbers on the Report Bias website are underreporting incidents of bias.
So moving forward and thinking about what to do, there are many resources that are already here at Penn State. We really don’t have to reinvent the wheel and go back and start from scratch. For instance, if it was considered that trainings would be effective, there are trainings available from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence that could be done at the department level or at the college level. I do believe there might be a cost associated with them.
Additionally, the Office of Affirmative Action– oh, there’s no cost. OK, sorry about that. I was mistaken. So there’s no cost associated with that one. There’s also no cost associated– Shirley Ann Jeffries, the coordinator for Diversity Education in the Office of Affirmative Action, also does workshops. And Melissa Walker, the associate director of Talent Search in the Office of Educational Equity does them. So there are some options here.
Now we only had one recommendation on this report, and that is that we asked the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence to place on their website a worksheet of best practices to reduce implicit bias in the classroom. And my understanding is that is actually already on their website, so we don’t need to move forward with that. But we are hoping that as CORED continues its collaboration with the Faculty Senate, that we will have additional reports in future years that can have more active recommendations. OK, I can take questions now.
Chair Strauss: Michael.
Michael Bérubé: Thank you. Bérubé, Liberal Arts. I have to confess I’m not happy to hear that the largest group of perpetrators of bias were faculty. Can’t say what all those 27 complaints were about, but in one way I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised also that the number of complaints of bias skyrocketed after the election. I went to a number of events after the election and found, on the one hand, students traumatized by the election, who felt very much jeopardized by it. And on the other side, Trump-supporting students who felt resentful that these students were being accommodated in ways that they were not.
I wondered as a result– and I don’t want to append this to your report, I’m just tossing this out there as something we might to think about in the future. From my discussions with colleagues in the wake of the election– and since the election actually did happen and the guy is now in office, this is not a dead issue– whether we need a sort of forum on the parameters of academic freedom in the classroom.
Because I think in some ways we can tend to be self-silencing and not realize we have more latitude than we do. And on the other side, we also have people who think academic freedom is a blank check to do whatever they want and overlook the rights and responsibilities of students. So some sort of forum that informed faculty about what the traditions of academic freedom in the classroom entail. And on the other hand, what the rights and responsibilities of students are as part of the freedom to learn, that is also part of academic freedom. That’s something I’d recommend.
Laureen Teti: Thank you, I think that’s an excellent recommendation.
Chair Strauss: Yes, up front.
Nancy Welsh, Dickinson Law: Nancy Welsh, Dickinson Law. I have laryngitis, so I apologize in advance. I’ve also been concerned about this issue, and I’ve also tried to look at what kinds of resources are available at Penn State. And there’s an organization called World in Conversation, which includes provision of facilitation regarding race and equity sorts of issues. I find myself wondering whether there are resources available within the university that we are underutilizing simply because we’re not aware of them. So I really just wonder what we have that we could use.
Laureen Teti: So that’s an important comment, and that is something that CORED has discussed that we wanted to try and move forward with World of Conversation. And then we were told that Sam Richards actually was doing one, and I think that it already occurred. I’m pretty sure that it already occurred. And so the fact that you’re not aware of it makes me wonder whether we need something that might get a little bit more advertising as well. Now one of the things that CORED has on its agenda– we were hoping to do it this year and now the speaker that we’ve been trying to get, Shaun Harper, is in the process of moving from University of Pennsylvania to University of Southern California– to have an educational forum to discuss some of these issues, and we were hoping that one.
We felt that it might not be possible to have one educational forum that kind of addresses issues for faculty as well as addressing issues for students. So the idea was, I think, that perhaps that he would be able to discuss some of these issues for students. We haven’t moved forward with other additional conversations about what to do regarding faculty.
Chair Strauss: OK, Rosemary in back. I’d ask if we could keep the comments–
Rosemary Jolly: Yes, I’ll be very brief.
Chair Strauss: Responses very brief.
Rosemary Jolly: My brief comment goes like this. I sometimes feel, from my experiences in South Africa and Canada, that in the US we focus so much on the notion of our vulnerable populations, which are definitely here being marginalized in various ways, and not enough attention gets paid to the relationship between power and whiteness and power and class. In other words, there’s a discussion about privilege that’s absolutely necessary if one is going to have those other discussions about racialization in the classroom.
And one of the first things I do is identify as a white South African and talk about what that means historically and how I might be at odds with that identification. But I think until we start talking about intergenerational inherited privilege and its association with whiteness and class, I’m not really sure that talking again and again on equity is going to help us. So I just want to offer that for what it’s worth. Thank you.
Chair Strauss: OK, additional comments people would like to offer? OK, well the issue at hand is actually recommending the advisory/consultative report that requests that Schreyer Institute post best practices to fostering a welcoming climate for diversity, which posting has actually already taken place. I am going to recommend just a very quick voice vote to conclude this important discussion. So all in favor of accepting this advisory and consultative report please respond aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Motion carries. Thank you very much. And thank you very much to CORED for helping our EECE committee out with this. Our next report is from Faculty Benefits. It appears as Appendix L. Committee chair Renee Borromeo will present the report. Renee?
The Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits, the Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits, and the Health Care Advisory Committee:
Coordination of Duties
Renee Borromeo, Mont Alto: And Jamie Myers will stand with me too for questions as the chair of JCIB. We do have three different committees within the university that are charged with exploring questions, concerns, and opportunities regarding benefits. Each committee has a slightly different membership and responsibility in helping to ensure adequate and affordable medical and prescriptive drug benefits to all PSU employees. The University Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits is the voice of the faculty on adequacy and attributes of total compensation and other conditions of faculty employment.
The Joint Commission on Insurance and Benefits is a representative community of all university constituencies. This committee serves an advisory role to the Office of Human Resources and other units in the formulation of policy affecting insurance and benefits. The Healthcare Advisory Committee was formed in 2014 upon the recommendation of the Healthcare Task Force. Its purpose is to provide a framework of strategies for keeping costs down for medical insurance, improving employee health, improving communication about healthcare and associated benefits within the university.
The chairs of JCIB and the Faculty Benefits Committee were added to this committee in 2015. Any of the three committees can originate and refer ideas. Shared membership of a few key individuals across the three committees provides transparency and many opportunities for consultation and action among all members.
And then we have three specific recommendations for the University Faculty Senate to consider. These are, Number 1. The chair of the University Faculty Benefits Committee and the chair of the Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits will continue to serve on the Healthcare Advisory Committee.
Number 2. Each October, the Committee on Faculty Benefits will sponsor an annual report from JCIB to provide a summary of benefit changes, changes under consideration, cost to the university and employee, and other issues discussed during the previous calendar year.
Number 3. Ad hoc committees regarding benefits, such as the steering committee recently created to evaluate and make recommendations regarding a new third-party administrator for healthcare and prescriptive drug benefits, will include representation from the three committees.
Chair Strauss: Any comments or questions for Renee and Jamie? OK, seeing none, I assume we are ready to vote. We can do a voice vote on this. All in favor of supporting the recommendations from Faculty Benefits as seen on the screen please reply aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Thank you very much. Don’t move, because you have got the next report. Our next report is also from Faculty Benefits. It appears as Appendix M. Renee will also respond to questions about this report. Thank you, Renee.
Recommendations for Third Party Administrator (TPA) Choice for Penn State Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage
Renee Borromeo: And I see Greg Stoner’s joining me. He is from the Office of– the benefits office, OHR. So he will be here also to help answer questions, if you have anything specific.
As requested, for the Request For Proposals, or RFP, process as it’s moving forward, it’s important that the steering committee considering the RFPs remain informed and mindful of both qualitative and quantitative measures in choosing one or more new TPAs. Health care costs continue to rise and it is essential that Penn State chooses to work with a TPA that is willing to consider all options in order to contain costs, while at the same time maintaining and improving quality health care for employees and families across the Commonwealth.
There were many specifics listed in the report, which I wasn’t really going to go through each of those. There are a lot of new and different models that are being suggested. Our recommendation, really, is that we work with a TPA who is looking at all these recommendations. And if you’d have specific questions on any of those, that’s why I asked Greg to be here. He’s more versed in those than I.
But I’ll go on to our general recommendations. The steering committee and senior administration should, 1. Consider new and innovative opportunities for the pricing and delivery of health care, including but not limited to those listed or described above or in the report. 2. Insist upon a TPA that is able to provide quality health care coverage to all Penn State employees across the Commonwealth with broad in-network access to physicians and facilities. 3. Remain committed to the guiding principles outlined in the principles for the design of Penn State health care plans advisory and consultative report that was endorsed by the Senate and accepted by the president in the spring of 2016. 4. Seek contractual agreements with TPAs to specify terms of commitment of no longer than five years in order to retain flexibility in administrative options in the context of a rapidly changing health care environment.
Chair Strauss: Questions for Renee? Seeing none, I will recommend a voice vote again for recommending the advisory/consultative report on this TPA topic from Renee’s committee. All in favor please say aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Thank you. And I’ll simply say that Renee and Jamie Myers, even myself to a certain degree, are working very hard to coordinate good work on these committees and make sure we’ve got really great benefits here for health care. Thank you very much.
Item 5. Our next report is from Intra-University Relations. It is found at Appendix N. Committee Chair Roger Egolf will present the report.
Disciplinary Communities Revisited
Roger Egolf, Lehigh Valley: Thank you. This report is entitled “Disciplinary Communities Revisited.” In the 2005/2006 year, Intra-University Relations wrote a report entitled “Disciplinary Communities,” which was accepted by the president and partially implemented; however, it never really went that far. Basically, units that were already functioning well with disciplinary communities continued to do so, and departments which were not previous to that report in large part did not change their ways substantially.
We decided to reissue this report with some changes and a few new recommendations due to the imperative of assessment within the university currently because of the Middle State’s accreditation review. It’s really important to keep this university on one page as one university geographically distributed. And disciplinary communities can be very critical to coming up with the learning objectives for courses that are taught across multiple campuses.
Without those learning objectives, it’s very hard to implement, for example, the 80/20 rule that was passed last academic year. It’s very difficult to do the proper assessment of the new General Education initiatives. So what we did was, we took a look at the old report and we cut out some things. There was some of that report that was well-implemented. For example, P&T– how to do P&T on the reorganized university, which had just been reorganized in 2005. That was pretty well carried out, so we really don’t have to look at that again.
And there was some text in there that actually talked about what various units were doing. It would have been nice to redo that entire exercise again, to look exactly what all units were doing right now. But I can tell you, I was on Intra-University Relations in that 2005/2006 year, and it took an entire year of very intense work to come up with that section.
We thought it was more important to move ahead, because of the necessity of really getting the learning objectives and the assessment done properly, so we took that out. We also took one piece of a recommendation, which is now Recommendation 3. It was part of the text of the report, but was not made as an actual recommendation. And this was the call for the disciplinary faculty meetings to be held at least once a year to share course program and advising information, pedagogical methods, classroom technology, and current research.
And without some type of meeting– and we said at that time we still agree that this does not necessarily mean that people have to get together in one place physically. This can be done by technology, although it is nice to get together, budget allowing. But the more important thing is this work actually gets done.
And we put another recommendation, that the administration report back to the Senate within two years on the progress that’s been made regarding the implementation of the recommendations, including a summary of how many disciplinary communities exist, how often they met, and how many courses have been reviewed by the communities. This reviewing, of course, is the really important imperative right now because of getting these learning objectives included in all the course proposals.
So I didn’t read everything in this report. The various recommendations are in front of you in the report, and we can even put them on the screen, and I’m happy to answer questions about any of them. There are quite a few little pieces within Recommendation 2. And to save some time, I’d rather just move on and answer any questions you might have.
Chair Strauss: Any questions for Roger? OK, yes.
Jennifer Sliko: Jen Sliko, Harrisburg. Excuse me. How do you foresee– so at some of the smaller campuses, some of the not so smaller campuses– a lot of times there’s usually only one faculty member in that discipline at that university or that campus. How do you foresee us including those individuals in these disciplinary communities? How are they going to be invited in? How are they going to participate in being an effective part of these communities? Thank you.
Roger Egolf: Well, if there are face-to-face meetings, they should get an invitation to attend. If there are meetings by technology, they should get invitations to attend by technology. They certainly can submit their recommendations electronically. Any course proposals that are being discussed about courses that their campus teaches within their discipline, it’s very important they participate.
Now I don’t foresee every course within the university needing to go through this. There are many courses that are upper-level courses and degree programs that exist at only one location that really aren’t applicable to other parts of the university. It would be nice if the disciplinary faculty across the university were involved in everything, but the reality is the important things are to look at the Gen Ed that’s taught all across the university, and the courses that are not Gen Ed but are foundational courses within degree programs that are taught everywhere– say, sophomore-level courses that aren’t Gen Ed– but are very important for completion of majors.
I’m a chemist, for example, of organic chemistry. I do want to put a pitch in that Chemistry has done a very good job at this. Chemistry– they were a department that did this before the original disciplinary communities report. They have a well-functioning listserv that asks for feedback on all course recommendations, including upper-level courses that aren’t taught at the campuses. We still get asked for our opinions as curriculum changes are made in the Chemistry major.
There are lots of other departments that do well at this. English, I think, is a good department, and Mathematics. And I almost hesitate to start naming, because there’s many very good departments out there that I may not even be aware of that are doing good jobs at this. But I can tell you, and I’m not going to name names. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to point fingers at departments that do not take disciplinary unity seriously. But I can tell you that we have good evidence that there are departments out there that really have not spoken to their faculty at the campuses since the 1997 reorganization.
Chair Strauss: Any further comments on this? OK, are we ready to vote? Recommending a voice vote. All in favor of the recommendations established by Roger’s committee please say aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Motion carries. Thank you very much. The final advisory/consultative report is Appendix O. Roger will also stand for this report. If you could give us an abbreviated summary, we would be appreciative.
Equivalence of Courses Across the University
Roger Egolf: Yes, very quickly. This report is entitled “Equivalence of Courses Across the University.” There already is policy, well-established policy, which I quote in this report that requires that units across the university accept courses taught at other locations. If it’s the same course, a course is a course across the university.
Lately, there have been reports in multiple colleges, multiple departments, of individual courses not being accepted by units at one location when the students have taken the course at another. Once again, I don’t want to point fingers at what locations or what departments. That is not important right now. The important thing is that we act as one university geographically distributed.
If there are problems with what is covered in a course at some locations, that would be something the disciplinary communities could also work on to make sure that that 80% rule that was passed last year is truly followed. And if there are problems and the course is not the same across the university, that needs to be fixed. But that does not mean that it should be a responsibility of a student who in good faith is taking a course at a campus, seeing that that’s what the course catalog requires, and then they get to another location and are told to retake that same course.
I also do want to mention it was brought up by one of our colleagues out here that the recommendation may not have been as clear as I should have written it. I said that we recommend that all units accept for credit toward graduation requirements all courses completed at other units and campuses of the university. I do not mean that if the course was audited, that we accept it for credit. I don’t mean that if it is a course that is not supposed to be counted for that particular major– that it’s the wrong course– I’m not saying that that should be counted. Remedial courses that aren’t supposed to count towards the major, I’m not suggesting that they all of a sudden because they were taking it in another location now get counted towards the credit, towards the major.
I simply mean that if that course is required for the major, and if the student took it at the campus that they are finishing at, it would count for the major. Then if it’s taken somewhere else, it also counts for the major. And also I do recognize that there is the rule that a program may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college where the program, the degree, is earned. I am not asking for that to be eliminated either.
The rule though does not specify what courses, except for the narrow exception of capstone courses, which can be required to be taken at a certain location. And I’m not asking that to be changed. I am just asking that the current policy as it exists in Senate policy 83-80 and policy P-11 be followed.
Chair Strauss: Any discussion on Roger’s committee’s recommendations? Seeing none, oh, sorry.
Themis Matsoukas. Engineering: Does this recommendation really have to be made? I mean, does it imply that it’s acceptable now to not accept a course?
Roger Egolf: Well, it’s happening.
Themis Matsoukas: It’s happening, but–
Roger Egolf: And it’s not only happening, but there are even departments that are actually listing on their websites that courses out of their campus– certain courses will not be accepted.
Themis Matsoukas: So how will this recommendation change things?
Roger Egolf: Well, the idea here is to bring this to the attention to the administration, which may not have realized that certain units were violating policy, and asking the senior administration to make sure that they are followed.
Themis Matsoukas: There is no remedy, then, for, violating the policy.
Roger Egolf: Well, the remedy is that the senior administration enforce the policy. And I don’t believe they’ve intentionally not enforced the policy. I just believe that things have fallen through the cracks.
Chair Strauss: Yeah, and if I could comment, part of the reason we brought this to Senate was to sort of underline that yes, we were serious last year about 80/20. We’re serious about confluence of courses and degrees across our large university that is geographically distributed. So we just wanted as a Senate to underline that point as well.
Roger Egolf: Not pointing fingers at anybody.
Chair Strauss: Mary Beth.
Mary Beth Williams: Roger, would it be possible to bring this report to ACUE, to the associate deans, and share the data with them to consider it? Because this is really an implementation problem of an existing policy. And, for example, I have not seen the data, and I think the associate deans really ought to see the data that you’re looking at before our Senate makes a recommendation to enforce a policy that already exists.
Roger Egolf: I don’t know. The Senate doesn’t generally have the authority to bring things to ACUE, do they? We can either pass recommendations in the administration. If they feel it should be taken to ACUE, we’d take it to ACUE and they could invite people from the Senate. I’d be perfectly willing to explain what we found if that is what the administration would like me to do. But I don’t think we as the Senate can just say we need to speak to ACUE, can we?
Chair Strauss: I’ll speak as chair, and I will simply say that ACUE is more than welcome to give Roger an invitation to appear at one of their meetings to present this. Nick.
Nicholas Jones: Just follow up on Mary Beth’s comment. When we become aware of standing institutional policy being not followed, we act.
Roger Egolf: And I fully believe that. I believe that there are a few things that are falling through the cracks in this big university that maybe you weren’t aware of.
Chair Strauss: In back.
Stephen Snyder, Berks: Snyder, Berks. How widespread is the problem? Do you have any kind of numbers? And my feeling is that if a department or a local faculty member has a problem with this, or advisors have a problem with this, or what have you, they take it to their dean or they take it to their chancellor and then those folks take it on up the chain.
Roger Egolf: Well, we found instances of at least four departments that had specific courses that they weren’t accepting from campuses. And I don’t want to point fingers publicly in this meeting and name them. I certainly can talk privately to the administration and explain what we found.
Chair Strauss: Further comments? Rosemary, briefly please.
Rosemary Jolly: I think that the problem with enforcing this is that one way of getting around it is for the campus that is trying to come up with the repeat requirement may substitute a different course name. So I think that this is going to require more due diligence than might seem the case. And the students will be on to that. So that’s just something to think about in terms of enforcement.
Chair Strauss: Other comments? Seeing none, are we ready to vote on Roger’s committee’s recommendations? OK, we’ll do a voice vote again. All in favor of endorsing Roger’s committee’s recommendations as seen in the legislation, please vote aye.
Chair Strauss: Any opposed? Motion carries. Thank you very much, Roger, for your good work.
Roger Egolf: Thank you.
Chair Strauss: Informational Reports.
Program Goals for Global Penn State; Student Participation, Diversity, and Comparison to Peer Institutions
Program Goals for Global Penn State; Student Participation, Diversity, and Comparison to Peer Institutions, Appendix P Committee Vice Chair Dennis Jett introduced Vice Provost Michal Adewumi, who presented the report with assistance from Brian Brubaker, Director of Education Abroad.
Annual Report on the Reserved Spaces Program
ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID
Annual Report on the Reserved Spaces Program, Appendix Q Reserved spaces.
Penn State Veterans – Historical Perspectives
ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID AND EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT
Penn State Veterans – Historical Perspectives, Appendix R Veterans Programs. Committee Chair Michel Haigh presented the report.
Update on Assessment and Accreditation
Update on Assessment and Accreditation, Appendix S Committee Chair Michelle Duffey introduced Vice Provost Lance Kennedy-Phillips who gave an update on the Middle States re-accreditation process. Barbara Masi spoke briefly on the status of the assessment process.
University Faculty Census Report 2017-2018
University Faculty Census Report 2017-2018, Appendix T
Report on the Penn State Facilities and Administration Rate
Report on the Penn State Facilities and Administration Rate, Appendix U Committee Chair Andrew Schultz presented the report.
Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit 2015-2016
Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit 2015-2016, Appendix V
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
Chair Strauss: New Legislative Business. Is there any new legislative business to offer? Seeing none.
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Chair Strauss: …and comments and recommendations for the good of the university. Are there any additional comments? May I have a—
Senators: Move to adjourn.
Chair Strauss: Motion for adjournment?
Thank you very much for your patience, folks. Motion carries. Senate is adjourned until March 14th.
The following Senators were noted as having attended the January 24, 2017 Senate Meeting.
- Abdalla, Charles
- Adewumi, Michael
- Aebli, Fred
- Andelin, Steven
- Ansari, Mohamad
- Aurand, Harold
- Aynardi, Martha
- Azemi, Asad
- Backer, Larry
- Barney, Paul
- Barron, Eric
- Bartell, Paul
- Bartolacci, Michael
- Bascom, Rebecca
- Bishop-Pierce, Renee
- Blakney, Terry
- Blasko, Dawn
- Blockett, Kimberly
- Boehmer, John
- Borromeo, Renee
- Bowen, Blannie
- Boyle, James
- Brennan, Mark
- Brentner, Kenneth
- Bridges, K. Robert
- Brigger, Clark
- Brown, Raymonde
- Brown, Richard
- Bruno, Michael
- Brunsden, Victor
- Bryan, Julia
- Butler, William
- Caldwell, Linda
- Chen, Wei-Fan
- Clark, Mary Beth
- Clements, Ann
- Cockroft, Kevin
- Connolly-Ahern, Colleen
- Conti, Delia
- Copeland, Ann
- Cusumano, Joseph
- Davis, Dwight
- Dendle, Peter
- Dietz, Amy
- DiStaso, Marcia
- Douds, Anne
- Duffey, Michele
- Eberle, Peter
- Eckert, Jill
- Eckhardt, Caroline
- Eggebeen, David
- Egolf, Roger
- Elias, Ryan
- Ellsworth, Maura
- Enama, Joseph
- Engel, Renata
- Farley, Timothy
- Franklin, Wendell
- Freiberg, Andrew
- Friedenberg, Marc
- Funk, Raymond
- Furfaro, Joyce
- Geisinger, Samantha
- Geller, Andrew
- Giebink, Noel Christopher
- Goranson, Morgon
- Grimes, Galen
- Griswold, Anna
- Haigh, Michel
- Han, David
- Hanes, Madlyn
- Harrison, Terry
- Harwell, Kevin
- Hayford, Harold
- Healy, Michael
- High, Kane
- Holt, Sharon
- Hufnagel, Pamela
- Hughes, Janet
- Jaap, James
- Jablokow, Kathryn
- Jett, Dennis
- Jolly, Rosemary
- Jones, Nichola
- Jones, Raymond
- Jurs, Peter
- Kaag, Matthew
- Kalavar, Jyotsna
- Kass, Lawrence
- Keiler, Kenneth
- Kelley, Claire
- Kelly, William
- Kennedy-Phillips, Lance
- Kenyon, William
- King, Elizabeth
- Korner, Barbara
- Krajsa, Michael
- Krasilnikov, Andrey
- Kreager, Derek
- Kubat, Robert
- Kulikowich, Jonna
- LaJeunesse, Todd
- Lang, Teresa
- Lasher, William
- Le, Binh
- Levine, Martha
- Linehan, Peter
- Lobaugh, Michael
- Loeb, Robert
- Luke, Nancy
- Mahan, Carolyn
- Malchow, John
- Mangel, Lisa
- Marko, Frantisek
- Matsoukas, Themis
- McDill, Marc
- Melton, Robert
- Messner, John
- Meyers, Craig
- Michels, Margaret
- Miles, James
- Miles, Mary
- Mookerjee, Rajen
- Myers, Jamie
- Nasereddin, Mahdi
- Nelson, Kimberlyn
- Neves, Rogerio
- Nousek, John
- Ofosu, Willie
- Ozment, Judith
- Palmer, Timothy
- Pangborn, Robert
- Passmore, David
- Patzkowsky, Mark
- Pauley, Laura
- Pearson, Nicholas
- Petrilla, Rosemarie
- Pierce, Mari Beth
- Plummer, Julia
- Poole, Thomas
- Posey, Lisa
- Potochny, John
- Prabhu, Vansh
- Preciado, Felisa
- Radovic, Ljubisa
- Regan, John
- Reuning, Kevin
- Ricketts, Robert
- Robinett, Richard
- Ropson, Ira
- Rothrock, Ling
- Rowland, Nicholas
- Ruggiero, Francesca
- Saltz, Ira
- Samuel, George
- Scheel, Lydia
- Schmiedekamp, Ann
- Schulz, Andrew
- Scott, Geoffrey
- Seymour, Elizabeth
- Shannon, Robert
- Shapiro, Keith
- Sharma, Amit
- Shockley, Alex
- Shurgalla, Richard
- Sigurdsson, Steinn
- Silveyra, Patricia
- Singer, Richard
- Sinha, Alok
- 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
- Welsh, Nancy
- Wenner, William
- Whitehurst, Marcus
- Wilburne, Jane
- Williams, Mary Beth
- Wilson, Matthew
- Woessner, Matthew
- Young, Richard
Ex Officio 5