Minutes of Senate Council (October 4, 2016)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

Members Present: Ansari, M. Aynardi, R. Bascom, V. Brunsden, C. Eckhardt, S. Geisinger, G. Grimes, K. Jablokow, N. Jones, B. Le, J. Myers, S. Nelatury, J. Nousek, E. Seymour, R. Shannon, A. Sharma, E. Smithwick, J. Strauss, B. Szczygiel, M. Woessner, D. Wolfe

Guests/Others: Basso, B. Bowen, P. Brown, D. Hagen, Z. Iqbal, M. Hanes, P. Hufnagel, R. Pangborn, F. Preciado, S. Sigurdsson, G. Stoner, C. Weidemann , M. Whitehurst

Absent:  Jolly, E. Knodt, J. Miles, N. Rowland, A. Taylor, M. Wilson


CALL TO ORDER

Chair Strauss called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF AUGUST 23, 2016

The minutes of the August 23, 2016, meeting were approved on a Grimes/Eckhardt motion.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMARKS

Chair Strauss welcomed all members and special guests.  He stressed the importance of communication in Senate operations and with administration, reported on some of the activities he has participated in as Senate Chair, and mentioned that many university policies are being reviewed and will be reorganized into more categories in the future.

The Faculty Advisory Committee met this morning with Provost Jones and discussed the following topics: Commonwealth Faculty Senators and the Senate Budget, Transparent Faculty Senate Budget and an “Officer’s or Chair’s Budget”, The Conflict of Interest document: its scope, what it is intended to solve and its communication strategy, Senate-Old Main communication, The Code of Ethics document, Utilizing underused dormitory space at the campuses, Incentives for summer tuition to address access and affordability, Update on Searches–Dean, Penn State Law; Dean, Dickinson Law; CISO; Vice President for Information Technology;  and Updates—Canvas; Admissions and LionPath; WorkLion; and Strategic Plan.

Chair Strauss announced that there will be an FAC meeting and Senate Council meeting to be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones spoke about communication, the Voluntary Retirement Program, the impact of the Fair Labor Act on the University, and Work Lion.  He mentioned a new business information system is being planned, and reported on progress on implementation of the strategic plan and the status of searches for the Chief Information Officer, the Chief Information Security Officer, and deans of the law schools and Schreyer Honors College.

Vice Provost Blannie Bowen mentioned promotion and tenure workshops are underway for faculty and support staff.  Hershey is developing a system of three levels for fixed term faculty appointment.

Vice President Madlyn Hanes reported searches for Chancellors at Dubois and Wilkes Barre are underway.  Strategic plan workshops will be held to address the five themes in the plan.

Vice President Rob Pangborn mentioned the reporting of the official student count for fall semester will be delayed due to the new system for counting students associated with LionPATH.  This does not affect student rosters in classes.  Penn State is now a participant in a common application, which allows applicants to apply to multiple institutions simultaneously.

Vice Provost Marcus Whitehurst thanked Chair Strauss for including the student diversity panel in the September Senate meeting.  He also reported that he and President Barron met recently with four groups of students about impact, reminded Councilors of the All In event on October 6, and encouraged Councilors to attend the panel on First Amendment rights scheduled for October 27.

Vice President and Vice Provost Craig Weidemann reported the transition to Canvas is going well; challenges include sign-in of students at the Pollock Testing Center, some conversion issues, and Starfish transition with Canvas.

The Senate officers had no comments; councilors had no questions or comments.

ACTION ITEMS

Revisions to the Brandywine constitution.  On a Southwick/Aynardi motion, Senate Council voted to support this request.  The campus will be notified of Senate Council’s action.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

Pamela Hufnagel, University Faculty Ombudsperson, presented her annual report.  Councilors suggested changing the annual ‘survey’ instrument for unit ombudspersons to ‘report’, to increase response rate and to consider modifying the instrument so that ombudspersons who had no cases know to report that situation.

REPORT OF THE GRADUATE COUNCIL

Minutes from the September 14, 2016, Graduate Council meeting were not available on the Graduate School website.  Steinn Sigurdsson reported some unresolved issues in centralization of the Graduate School processes and an issue on accreditation of graduate faculty in one college.

AGENDA ITEMS FOR OCTOBER 18, 2016

Forensic Business:

Educational Equity and Campus Environment. Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity After discussion on a question about the category of this report—forensic vs. informational, This report was placed on the agenda on a Brunsden/Myers motion, after a question was added to the report.  Twenty minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Student Life. Student Presentation by the Presidents of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) and the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG).  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Le/Szczygiel motion.  Fifteen minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Legislative Reports

Committees and RulesEstablishment of the Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment. This report was placed on the Agenda on a Southwick/Brunsden motion.

Committees and RulesRevisions to Senate Standing Rules Article II Section 6 Committee on Research.  This report was placed on the Agenda on an Aynardi/Eckhardt motion. It was suggested that the rationale be added for including the Dean of the Graduate School on the committee.

Intercollegiate Athletics.  Revisions to Senate Policy 67-00, Athletic Competition.  This report was placed on the Agenda on an Eckhardt/Brunsden motion.

Undergraduate Education. Change to Senate Policy 43-00 (Syllabus).  This report was placed on the Agenda on an Aynardi/Szczygiel motion.

Advisory/Consultative Reports

Faculty Benefits and Student Life.  Smoking/Tobacco Use Policy. This report was placed on the Agenda on a Wolf/Nelatury motion.

Informational Reports

Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid Admissions Processes.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Grimes/Aynardi motion.  Five minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid. Raise.me  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Brunsden/Aynardi motion.  Five minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Committee on Committees and Rules.  Confirmation of Voting Rights for Fixed Term Faculty in Senate Elections.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Grimes/Szczygiel motion. Ten minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Faculty Benefits Health Plan Options for 2017: PPO Blue and PPO Savings.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Grimes/Aynardi motion. The slide set for the presentation will be placed in the Senate Agenda, and a link to the health care web site will be added to the report.  Thirty minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Intercollegiate Athletics Annual Report of Academic Eligibility and Athletic Scholarships for 2015-2016 This report was placed on the Agenda on a Szczygiel/Le motion.  Five minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits, and Faculty Benefits. 2015-2016 Annual Report on the Status of Benefit Changes This report was placed on the Agenda on an Eckhardt/Le motion.  Five minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Outreach.  Science-U and the Eberly College of Science Outreach Office.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Brunsden/Wolfe motion. Five minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

University Planning. 2016-2017 Operating Budget.  This report was placed on the Agenda on an Eckhardt/Brunsden motion. Fifteen minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.  The report will be presented during the Agenda item, Comments by the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Committee New Member Reports (submitted by Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid, Curricular Affairs, Educational Equity and Campus Environment, Faculty Affairs, Faculty Benefits, Intra-University Relations, Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology, Outreach, and Student Life) were approved on an Ansari/Aynardi motion.  The reports will be posted on the web only; there will be no presentation during the meeting.

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 18, 2016

The Agenda was approved on an Eckhardt/Szczygiel/motion.

NEW BUSINESS 

None

ADJOURNMENT

Chair Strauss thanked Council members for their attendance and participation, and for their support during his year as Chair of the Senate.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Daniel R. Hagen
Executive Director