Minutes of Senate Council (October 3, 2017)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

Members Present: M. Ansari, M. Bérubé, V. Brunsden, C. Eckhardt, G. Grimes, N. Jones, L. Kitko, J. Nousek, J. Ozment, J. Plummer, N. Rowland, R. Shannon, R. Shurgalla, E. Smithwick, J. Strauss, M. Strickland, A. Taylor, R. Troester, W. Wenner, M. Woessner, D. Wolfe

Absent: R. Jolly, L. Posey, B. Szczygiel

Guests/Others:  Bieschke, D. Blasko, P. Brown, R. Engel, M. Hanes, R. Pangborn, E. Seymour, M. Whitehurst.


Chair Woessner called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.


The minutes of the August 22, 2017, meeting were approved.


Additional announcements by Chair Woessner:

  • The following topics were discussed at the Faculty Advisory Committee meeting:

Discuss the guidelines used to distribute the 2 percent raises authorized by the Board of Trustees? Most units report 1.0 – 1.25 percent for “successful contributors.” It does not appear that the median faculty received a 2 percent increase. Clarify the policy and the typical increase would enhance transparency and bolster confidence in the distribution of merit increases; discrepancy between rates of promotion to full professor between the campuses (20 percent) and UP (45 percent); getting accurate, timely student data from the University’s various systems (LionPATH, iTwo, local systems, etc.). To date, queries to multiple systems still return multiple results. You had shared that Michael Kubit was working on this issue. What progress has been made to date?  Planned tuition increases for deferred maintenance and building upgrades in face of unknown State Appropriations; financial connections between Athletics, Corporate and Media Contracts, and larger University needs; discussion of future needs and plans for the College of Engineering Infrastructure; Updates on Search, Admissions, Strategic Plan, LionPATH, WorkLion.
Chair Woessner announced that an FAC meeting and Senate Council meeting are scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

  • Executive Vice President and Provost Jones gave an update on searches and new hires. The Search for the new Dean for the College of Nursing is expected to conclude in December. Mary Lou Ortiz has been named the new University budget officer started October 1st. Suzanne C. Adair, Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Penn State, has been named Associate Vice President for Affirmative Action, effective November 1, after a national search.

Vice Presidents’ and Vice Provosts’ Comments

  • Kathy Bieschke discussed the new WorkLion Advisory committee who will be doing user testing on the 6th. She discussed how the retitling of Fixed Term Faculty is ongoing with most University Park colleges finished. A few are waiting until contract renewal to change titles. Units can request exceptions for developing the review committees the first time.
  • Madlyn Hanes, Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Executive Chancellor, announced that Richard Brazier is now Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research.
  • Rob Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education, discussed the process of developing a new bulletin which will have a new look and more user friendly interface.
  • Marcus Whitehurst announced that, President Barron has invited Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture to speak at Penn State on Wednesday, November 1st at 6:00 pm in Freeman Auditorium in the HUB.
  • Renata Engel, Interim Vice Provost for Online Education, discussed the Moving Wall Exhibition that will bring an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam War Memorial to Innovation Park.

Comments from Senate Officers

  • Immediate Past Chair, Jim Strauss, reminded the Council that the Senate Nominating process is beginning soon and that all members should begin to think of nominees.
  • Executive Director, Dawn Blasko, announced that BoardEffect groups have been developed for colleges and campus leadership. The Senate is sponsoring a campus leadership forum via Zoom on October 30th for faculty leaders at the 20 campuses to discuss and share ideas.


Revision of the Guidelines for Faculty Governance Organizations

  • Senate Council discussed the guidelines and unanimously approved them to be placed on the Senate website.

P4 Closure of Dance Minor

  • Senate Council unanimously approved the proposal.

P4 Closure of Teaching and Learning Online Minor

  • Senate Council unanimously approved the proposal.

P4 Associate in Engineering Technology in Plastics Engineering

  • Senate Council unanimously approved the proposal.

It was noted be Dr. Nicholas Rowland, Chair of Faculty Affairs, that the three proposals, although unanimously approved, were of poor quality in format and depth of content and it was suggested that they be improved in the future.  Judy Ozment discussed the issue of adding the P4 to curriculum.psu.edu


The 2016-17 University Faculty Ombudsperson Report was presented by Pamela Hufnagel and per her recommendation, Senate Council approved a motion to place the report on the Senate Agenda in order to highlight the important role of the Ombuds role across the University. Ten minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.


  • Chair Woessner announced that Graduate Council will have their next meeting on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.
  • Carrie Eckhardt reported that there was a great deal of discussion about the new graduate faculty categories.

AGENDA ITEMS FOR October 17, 2017





  • Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student aid – Update Senate Policies to Replace/Remove e-Lion/ISIS. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda.
  • Committees and Rules – Revisions to Bylaws; Article I – Officers, Section 1– Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda with slightly modified language to clarify intent.


  • Faculty Benefits – The Pennsylvania State University Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Task Force Report and Implementation Plan. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda.
  • Student Life – Endorsement of Deferred Rush for Fraternities and Sororities. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda.
  • University Planning – Dissolution of the Facilities Planning Advisory Board. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda.


  • Faculty Benefits – 2018 Medical and Prescription Drug Plan. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda. Twenty minutes were allocated for presentation and discussion.
  • Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology – Penn State University Press. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda. Ten minutes were allocated for presentation and discussion.
  • University Planning – Overview of the Facilities and Administrative Rate Distribution by Colleges, Administrative Units, and Commonwealth Campuses. Senate Council approved a motion to place this report on the Senate Agenda. Ten minutes were allocated for presentation and discussion.



Chair Woessner thanked Council members for their attendance and participation.  The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 pm.

Next meeting:  November 14, 2017

Dawn G. Blasko
Executive Director