Minutes of Senate Council (August 23, 2016)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

Members Present: Ansari, S. Snyder (for M. Aynardi), C. Eckhardt, S. Geisinger, G. Grimes, N. Jones, B. Le, J. Myers, J. Miles, S. Nelatury, J. Nousek, N. Rowland, E. Seymour, R. Shannon, A. Sharma, E. Smithwick, J. Strauss, B. Szczygiel, A. Taylor, M. Wilson, M. Woessner, D. Wolfe

Guests/Others: R. Becker, Bowen, P. Brown, D. Hagen, Z. Iqbal, M. Hanes, P. Hoppes, R. Pangborn, F. Preciado, S. Sigurdsson, C. Weidemann , M. Whitehurst

Absent:  R. Bascom, K. Jablokow, E. Knodt, R. Jolly


Chair Strauss called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF April 5 and June 28, 2016

The minutes of the April 5, 2016 and June 28, 2016, meetings were approved.


Chair Strauss welcomed all continuing members and special guests.  He discussed the opportunities and duties of Senate Councilors and encouraged them to communicate with their units and caucus members regarding Senate Council actions and discussions.

He introduced the three Administrative Fellows for 2016-17.  Zaryab Iqbal, Associate professor of political science, College of the Liberal Arts, is being mentored by Nick Jones, Clarabelle Lin, Marketing director, Penn State World Campus, is being mentored by Craig Weidemann, and Felisa Preciado, Clinical associate professor of supply chain management in the Smeal College of Business, is being mentored by Madlyn Hanes.  Felisa is a member of the Senate.

The Faculty Advisory Committee to the President me Auditor General Audit of Penn State, McQueary Whistleblowers Trial Date Set, Impact of latest Paterno allegations and who (PSU or Insurance) pays victim claims, PSU Budget Update, Implementation of New Commonwealth Campus Budget Model, Enrollment Update and implications for dorms, classes, and space, International Student tuition rates and scheduling issues, Upcoming 5 year Health Insurance Contract, Potential impact of Smoke-Free Penn State, Gender Neutral Bathroom Policy; short and long-term plans, Morgan Center move from MBNA to Greenberg Bldg., Update Searches – Dean, Penn State Law, Dean, Dickinson Law, CISO, Vice President for Information Technology, Updates on Canvas, Admissions and LionPath, WorkLion, Strategic Plan

Executive Vice President and Provost Jones discussed the recently announced audit of the university by the Pennsylvania Auditor General, the university budget and General Salary Increase program for this year, the student convocation held on Saturday August 20, and the status of searches for the Chief Information Security Officer, the Chief Information Officer, deans of Penn State Law and Dickinson Law, He pointed out the difficulties encountered with LionPath, and the recent problems with Web Access and the telephone system.  He responded to questions from Councilors regarding rollout of IT systems, and the new Data Center as well as issues with the LionPATH user interface and access to student records

Vice President Rob Pangborn discussed the status of enrollment.  Over 133,000 applications were received for fall admission; 3,000 more than for 2015.  Baccalaureate accepts at University Park are 8,843, about 250 higher than for 2015.  For Commonwealth Campuses, accepts are 8,735, u 473 compared to 2015.  Graduate applications are 9.5% higher than in 2015.

Vice Provost Blannie Bowen reported 125 new faculty attended the new faculty orientation session held recently.

Vice Provost Marcus Whitehurst pointed out President Barron’s Year of Inclusion and a panel discussion by legal scholars on First Amendment rights and diversity/inclusivity.  The session will be held in late October.  He will look into providing the session on Mediasite.

Vice Provost/Vice President Craig Weidemann introduced Jennifer Sparrow and Terry O’Heron from Information Technology Services, who provided a chronology of the events that arose on August 22, affecting access to Canvas and ANGEL.

Vice President Madlyn Hanes welcomed her Fellow, Felicia Preciado.

The Senate officers and Executive Director had no comments.

There were no Councilor comments.


The P-4 proposal from Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, to close the Bachelor of Arts in Science was approved on an Eckhardt/Wilson motion.  Vice President Pangborn will be notified of Senate Council’s action;


Chair Strauss introduced Regis Becker, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, who provided an update on compliance training.  The ultimate intent is to have a single training module that covers all or nearly all of the general (non-research) compliance trainings.


Senate Council Liaison Sigurdsson had no comments.



Educational Equity and Campus Environment:  Student Diversity Panel.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Grimes/Wolfe motion.  Twenty-five minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.

Faculty Benefits and Student Life–Changes to smoking policy.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Szczygiel/Smithwick motion.  Fifteen minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion

Undergraduate Education–Starfish Demonstration.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Grimes/Wilson motion.  Ten minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion

Senator Larry Backer–Changes to HR-80.  Fifteen minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion on a Nousek/Brunsden motion.  On a Szczygiel/Wilson motion, Council voted to request a 2-page Executive Summary of the background document and that two questions be submitted for the forensic.



ARSSA–Changes to 54-10 and 54-20.  This report was placed on the Agenda on a Wilson/Szczygiel motion.



Senate Council–Spring Visits.  This report was placed on the, Agenda on an

Eckhardt/Brunsden motion.  Five minutes was allocated for questions.

University Planning– Construction Report This report was placed on the Agenda on an Eckhardt/Rowland motion.  Ten minutes was allocated for presentation and discussion.



Chair Strauss thanked Council members for their attendance and participation.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

Daniel R. Hagen
Executive Director