Appendix T



New Member Information


Faculty Affairs Committee, Faculty Senate: Michael Bérubé, Chair – Bonj Szczygiel, Vice  Chair

Orientation Document Fall 2016

Welcome to the Faculty Affairs Committee! Faculty Affairs covers a great deal of ground, all of it of central importance to the work we do as faculty members at Penn State. So you will be engaged in critical discussions that affect a wide range of issues.

As you’ll find on the Senate webpage:

The Committee on Faculty Affairs shall advise the Senate on matters of policy concerning faculty affairs; on matters regarding the cultural, social, and material welfare of the faculty; and on matters affecting the educational environment in which the faculty works. Among the policy matters of concern to the Committee on Faculty Affairs are the following:

  1. faculty appointments
  2. policies on promotions in rank
  3. tenure
  4. policies on leaves including sabbatical leaves
  5. academic freedom
  6. rights and responsibilities including due process
  7. matters of faculty privacy
  8. affirmative action and equal opportunity
  9. faculty development
  10. faculty/student assessment outcomes issues
  11. issues that concern all faculty irrespective of the character of their appointment

We handle this potentially daunting workload by distributing our charges among three subcommittees: Faculty Development (FacDev); Faculty Rights and Privacy (FRPI); and Promotions, Tenure, and Leaves (PTAL). One of our first items of business this year will involve sorting ourselves into these subcommittees and naming chairs for each.

Please send Michael your preferences (first, second, third) by Friday, September 16.

The charges for each committee are generated by Senate Chair James Strauss, working with each committee chair. We then decide which charges are to be delegated to which subcommittee.

The committee includes, as its representative from central administration, Blannie Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Vice Provost Bowen is invaluable as a source of policy information and advice, as you’ll see for yourselves over the course of the year.


  • Michael Bérubé, Chair
  • Blannie Bowen
  • Michael Bruno
  • Delia Conti
  • Ann Copeland
  • Peter Dendle
  • Marcia DiStaso
  • Christopher Giebink
  • Edward Glantz
  • Terrence Guay
  • Betty Harper
  • Patricia Hinchey
  • Sharon Holt
  • Zaryab Iqbal
  • Rosemary Jolly
  • Lisa Kitko
  • Angela Linse
  • Barrie Litzky
  • Michael Lobaugh
  • Carolyn Mahan
  • Marc McDill
  • Rajen Mookerjee
  • John Nousek
  • David Passmore
  • Mark Patzkowsky
  • Geoff Scott
  • Amit Sharma
  • Patricia Silveyra
  • Stephen Snyder
  • Bonj Szczygiel, Vice-Chair
  • Jane Wilburne

As for policy: in recent years, this Committee has made major changes to the following:

  • AD14, the review process for administrators (providing post-review feedback to all members of the relevant unit);
  • AD77, the conflict of commitment policy (scaling back an overly broad definition of “conflict” that would have included coaching a youth soccer team or working at a church social);
  • HR 21, governing the definitions of academic ranks; to create Fixed-Term Review Committees, elected by and consisting of FT faculty members, to handle promotions within the FT ranks; we also created a third rank beyond that of Senior Instructor / Lecturer (we are asked to revisit this revision this year);
  • HR23, regarding promotion and tenure procedures (increasing the number of permissible stays of the tenure clock from one to two, and expanding the reasons for stays to include adoption and elder care); and,
  • HR25, regarding emeritus status (making FT faculty eligible for emeritus status).

This year the committee will begin with two issues in our Priority Form: one is to revisit HR21 (definition of academic ranks,; as accepted by President Barron April 4, 2016); and another to weigh in on AD88 (Code of Responsible Conduct; Please familiarize yourself with these immediately.

Some other policies potentially relevant to the scope of our committee are:

  • AD47 General Standards of Professional Ethics
  • AD83     Institutional Financial Conflict of Interest
  • AD85     Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Related Inappropriate Conduct
  • HR06     Types of Appointments (this policy is under review)
  • HR09     Reasonable Accommodation for University Employees
  • HR16     Leave of Absence without Salary (Other than for Active Military Service or Training)
  • HR17     Sabbatical Leave
  • HR40     Evaluation of Faculty Performance
  • HR64     Academic Freedom (it is worth memorizing this one)
  • HR70     Dismissal of Tenured or Tenure-Eligible Faculty Members
  • HR76     Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
  • HR91     Conflict of Interest

In addition, we are also routinely asked (in conjunction with the Curricular Affairs committee) to approve the renaming, consolidation, or closure of academic programs. These are usually pro forma affairs, even the closures; our most recent involved Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, which requested a P-4 closure of their Bachelor of Arts in Science while maintaining their Bachelor of Science in Science. (We approved of this.) We will circulate all such requests to you via BoardEffect, and ask for a simple yes/no vote within a week or so. Of course, if you have any comments on any of these proposals, they are always welcome.

Looking forward to a very productive year.