Minutes of Senate Council (June 28, 2016)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

Members Present: Ansari, M. Aynardi, R. Bascom, C. Eckhardt, G. Grimes, N. Jones, B. Le, J. Myers, J. Miles, S. Nelatury, N. Rowland, E. Seymour, E. Smithwick, J. Strauss, B. Szczygiel, A. Taylor, M. Wilson, M. Woessner, D. Wolfe

Guests/Others: Brown, D. Hagen, M. Hanes, R. Pangborn, M. Whitehurst, K. Keiler (for J. Nousek), C. Yekel, C. Schmidt, S. Verti, D. Smith, J. Schulenberg, S. Sigurdsson, S. Basso, G. Stoner

Absent:  B. Bowen, V. Brunsden, S. Geisinger, K. Jablokow, P. Koch, J. Nousek, R. Shannon, C. Weidemann


Chair Strauss called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.


The minutes of the April 5, 2016, meeting will be considered at the August 23 meeting


Chair Strauss welcomed all new and continuing members and special guests.  He announced Beth Seymour has been appointed Senate Parliamentarian, and Steinn Sigurdsson is the Graduate Council liaison.  Due to calendar constraints of the Provost and Vice President Basso, the posted agenda was reorganized.

Executive Vice President and Provost Jones expressed optimism that the Commonwealth’s budget would be passed by the end of the week, and that Penn State would receive its appropriation.  Implementation of General Education is moving forward.  A director will be recruited.  The search for the Dean of Penn State Law will be re-opened.  An offer has been extended for the Chief Information Security Officer and the search for the Vice Provost for Information Technology will be launched with the aid of a search firm.  The search for Dean of the Schreyer Honors College will commence in the fall.  The strategic plan is being pursued and linkage to the capital campaign is being emphasized.

Vice President Madlyn Hanes reported successful completion of searches for chancellor s of the Beaver campus and Abington College.

Vice Provost Whitehurst had no comments.


Consideration of revisions of constitutions of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Penn State Beaver was deferred to the August 23 meeting.


Susan Basso, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer provided introductory comments and introduced Greg Stoner, Senior Director of Compensation and Benefits, who gave a presentation on health care and recommendations for changes in the plans for the 201-17 year.  The information presented is considered privileged; not for distribution beyond Senate Council.  The information will be presented at the October 18 Senate meeting.  Councilors provided some suggestions on the slides.

David Smith, Executive Director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and Janet Schulenberg, Academic Advising Manager, gave a presentation of Starfish, the new advising software.  The program is intended for use by both undergraduate and graduate advisors, and should improve the availability of advising records for all students to all advisors.

Clint Schmidt from the Office of Research Protections discussed proposed revisions to HR80.  The slide presentation will be provided to Senate Councilors.

Chair Strauss discussed the proposal by UPUA that the University Park campus should become smoke-free.  At this point,  he is considering scheduling a forensic session on the subject at the September 6 Senate plenary meeting.


There was no new business.


Chair Strauss thanked Council members for their attendance and participation and apologized for the length of the meeting.  The meeting was adjourned at 3:58 p.m.

Daniel R. Hagen
Executive Director