T H E S E N A T E R E C O R D
Volume 50—–September 6, 2016—–Number 1
The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (telephone 814-863-0221). The Senate Record is on file in the University Archives and is posted online at http://senate.psu.edu/senators/ under “Publications.”
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem insufficient, senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate’s function as a legislative, advisory and forensic body to the Chair for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.
Reports that have appeared in the Agenda for the meeting are not included in The Senate Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting, or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. Every Senate meeting is webcast via MediaSite. All Senate meetings are digitally audio taped and on file in the Senate office. Transcriptions of portions of the Senate meeting are available upon request.
Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Daniel R. Hagen, Executive Director, Office of the University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FINAL AGENDA FOR SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
- MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Minutes of the April 19, 2016, Meeting in The Senate Record 49:6
- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Senate Curriculum Report of August 23, 2016
Seating Chart for 2016-2017
- REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL – Meetings of June 28 and August 23, 2016
- ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
- COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
- COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
- FORENSIC BUSINESS
Educational Equity and Campus Environment – Student Diversity Panel
Faculty Benefits and Student Life – Changes to the Smoking Policy: A Tobacco-Free University?
Undergraduate Education – Starfish Demonstration
Proposed changes to HR 80 (submitted by Senator Larry Backer)
- UNFINISHED BUSINESS
- LEGISLATIVE REPORTS
Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid
Revisions to Senate Policy 54-10 and 54-20: Good Standing and Academic Warning
- ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
- INFORMATIONAL REPORTS
Report on Spring 2016 College Visits
Faculty Senate – Construction Report
- NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
- COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 Kern Graduate Building with James A. Strauss, Chair, presiding.
Chair Strauss: I would like to bring our afternoon plenary session meeting to order. We will begin our meeting with a quick presentation from the Penn State Glee Club.
The Glee Club: [SINGING] From the heights of Nittany Mountain where our legend has begun, we’ll shout the highest praises of the victories we have won. From 1855 our [INAUDIBLE] has grown. From all the glory [INAUDIBLE] college home.
Reese Wamsley: Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Reese Wamsley. I’m a fifth year architectural engineering student from Nashville, Tennessee. And this is part of the Penn State Glee Club. The Glee Club is the oldest student organization on campus. We are 127 years old, turning 128 in December.
So what you see before you is a very small portion of the much larger Glee Club, which is about 55 members. And we come from all across the different disciplines that we have at Penn State and different years. So we’re going to– when I say what applies to you, raise your hand. So freshmen? OK. We usually have freshmen. Oh, we do have a freshman. Right there. Raise your hand. So sophomores? Juniors? Seniors? Graduate students? College of Engineering? College of Earth and Mineral Sciences? Health and Human Development? Communications? Science? There we go. And we also have, with the 55 other– we have several others. So that’s us. Yes. Thank you.
Christopher Kiver: So we’re going to sing for you now– you all know the Alma Mater. But we’re going to sing our second Alma Mater, which is called “The Blue and White.” Apparently this melody came from a hymn tune and has been used by many other colleges. Any Cornell grads here? Yes. You’ll recognize this tune, but don’t sing the Cornell words, OK? This is called “The Blue and White.”
The Glee Club: [Singing “The Blue and White”]
Thank you. Thank you. So we’ve had one rehearsal this year. So it’s not too bad. And for how many of you is your first Glee Club performance? So it was great to have these new guys with us. One very quick thing before we sing our last piece for you– the Glee Club, since 1889, has undertaken an annual tour. In 1889, they went to Philipsburg, Bellefonte, Boalsburg; got as far as Philadelphia. And in May, just a few months ago, we went to Iceland, and we had nine days. It is a truly beautiful country, and we were able to have some exchanges with some high school and community choirs in Iceland, and got to see some of the beautiful countryside, and learn a little bit more about the Icelandic culture.
And basically, the guys have to pay for that largely themselves, although we’re able to use some endowment funds that we have to help finance those trips. So really, the Glee Club provides these men with a great range of opportunities. I did serve on the Faculty Senate a few years ago, and I still have fond memories of how exciting that was.
So what we’re going to do, just to peak the meeting at this point– I need you to join in. We’re going to sing “Fight On, State.” but there’s some clapping that you have to do. And so what you have to do– you go to your left first, and then to your right when they clap, OK? I am going to turn around and check that you’re all doing it, and we just keep going until you’ve all got the hang of it.
So thank you for listening to us. It’s a great idea to have the students come and perform for you. And here is “Fight On, State.”
The Glee Club: [Singing] Fight on, State. Fight on, State. Strike your gaze and win. Victory we predict for thee. Forever true to you, dear old White and Blue. Onward State. Onward State. Roar, lions, roar. We’ll hit that line, roll up the score, fight on to victory ever more. Fight on, on, on, on, on. Fight on, on, Penn State. Fight on, State. Fight on, State. Strike your gaze, and win. Victory we predict for thee. Forever true to you, dear old White and Blue. Onward State. Onward State. Roar, lions, roar. We’ll hit that line, roll up the score, fight on to victory ever more. Fight on, on, on, on, on. Fight on, on, Penn State. Fight on. Fight on Penn State.
Chair Strauss: Galen said do that at the beginning of every meeting, and in fact, we have a plan to do just that– not with this group, but with a different student group at the beginning of each meeting.
Chair Strauss: So good afternoon, everyone. Galen Grimes’ suggestion was that we should do that at the beginning of every meeting. And in fact, that’s exactly what we intend to do this year. Student Life has been charged with identifying a different student organization that will present very quickly what they do, what they’re all about, at the beginning of every meeting.
Over the summer, I happened to know a student who was in the Glee Club. So I had an inside connection getting this scheduled. But from here on out, it will be up to Student Life to do that. Based on your response, I should probably consider adjourning the meeting right now. We’ll just be done with everything. We’ll go out on a high note. Everything will be great that way. Can folks hear me?
Is that better? Yeah. OK.
So good afternoon. I thought we would start our meeting perhaps a little bit differently than what we usually do, hence the choir or the Glee Club. But I also have a few slides that I would like to show you about what we’re going to be up to this upcoming year.
It’s apparently the only technology issue we’ve had at Penn State the past couple weeks.
So welcome to Senate. I’d like to introduce a few of the officers. I actually have pictures of– this is from our first Board of Trustees meeting in May, where myself, Matt Woessner, who’s our chair elect; Ann Taylor, who’s our secretary.
Chair Strauss: Well, I am.
We’re all in attendance. Our other Senate officer, Mohamed Ansari, who is our past chair. Oh, there’s Mohamad in the back. And our new parliamentarian is Beth Seymour from Penn State Altoona, who will be helping us out with the rules.
So, what I thought is sort of talk today is strategic planning. I sat down, I thought– actually not sat down– I was doing this on my run over the last several months. What would I do in my first meeting? So I figured we needed a strategic plan. And I think inherent in any strategic plan is the idea that no one chair who is here for a year can implement this plan. So this is really an ongoing process that the Senate is going to need to think about for the next several years.
A good example of this would be General Education, on which a lot of work was done under the chairmanship of Jonna Kulikowich and continued under Mohamad Ansari, and continued this year under me, and I’m sure next year with Matt Woessner, continued under his good leadership as well. So the first component of the strategic plan is, in fact, students. I spoke with a number of past chairs about what they might do if they had to do it all over again. And a number of them said they wanted to get students more involved in our meetings.
But many of them didn’t really know how to do that. It seemed to me, to invite them, as we just did at the opening– as we’ll continue to do in the opening. You’ll see them involved in a forensic today. So you’re going to see students far more involved, I think, than what we’ve seen in previous meetings. It’s just a slide from freshman convocation, and the idea that once here, we try to get students in class. And once we get them in class, we try to get them organized. There’s a nice student organization right there, making the Penn State letters.
This Saturday’s football game– and more important on their organization– is this picture here, which is the Student Caucus of Faculty Senate. I actually took this picture this morning at that meeting. We want to hear from you folks. I would tell all committee chairs that you have students as members of your committees, and please listen to their conversation and their directions. It doesn’t mean we have to always follow what you say, but we need to listen to you folks.
So we’re going to feature students in our meetings. We’re also going to have students participating in the leadership of Faculty Senate. In fact, Alex Shockley, who you can see here pictured– there’s Alex– is our co-chair for Student Life, which seemed to make a lot of sense to me. We’ll see how that works this year. But I wanted to really have students involved. And likewise, we need to consider students’ interactions.
Scholarships– if we want to get students to this delightful endpoint, which is graduation, we need to come up with ways of funding that– and that’s scholarships. And we have charged ARSSA this year to actually take a look at what is our scholarship situation. How much money do we have? How many scholarships are available? How does that benchmark with peer institutions? And how can we coordinate that with our upcoming capital campaign, to make sure that this is up front and center of something that Penn State needs to do moving forward?
Space– and there’s a lot of different conversation to be had on this. One of the more important ones that we have charged is our LIST committee– Libraries Information Systems, and Technology. And we’d like them to specifically look at our library. So here’s the library in the day– nice picture. Here’s the library at night from the opposite view. You can see it’s all lit up. And then if you take a closer look– this is probably difficult to see– but basically every carrel here at the end of the stacks is occupied by a student.
And if you walk down those lines and lines of books, you find students at the end. And then if you walk down there– it may be hard to see in this photo– but basically, there’s a student that’s occupying every one of these available spaces at night. If you haven’t hung out in the library much, you know that by 7:30, 8 o’clock at night, most of the available seats are actually tied up.
If you go into the science wing, which I sometimes hang out in, it’s much the same story. We’ve got lots of space that’s being occupied by bound science journals, many of which can be electronically accessed. And then when you get to the end where we’ve got some tables, you can see the smiling faces of various students. These are some of my Bio 472 students, studying like they should be. And if you look at where the computers are, there are students in front of every computer.
The technology revolution is alive and well in our students, and they access books and other information, not through traditional go hunt and find it. They hunt and find it via their phones and via computers. And we need to try to free up some of this space for them to better utilize. We’re spending a lot of space up, just keeping books warm and dry, which I’m all for. But there may be better places to put those in the future.
So LIST is going to look at this. This is one of their major charges. Here’s the Knowledge Commons of the library, which I think is probably more in keeping with where the library needs to go.
Assessment is another major long term strategic goal that we need to consider. Middle States evaluation said that this is one of the things Penn State had to do the next time they come around. Lance Kennedy-Philips was basically hired to make sure that this happens here. And he is our Vice Provost for Planning and Assessment.
A good place that we can start here as Faculty Senators and be helpful is through our Undergraduate Education Committee. They’re actually charged to take a look at syllabi. And if you want to assess anything, you really have to decide what students need to learn about. And that means that your syllabi basically need learning goals. And here’s some of the ones from my Bio 472 course in Physiology– you don’t need to read all these. And here are our learning objectives.
And these are things that all of us can do, I think, really quite easily. And it’s going to make Lance’s job a lot easier in terms of having assessment ready to go here at Penn State. I think this is something we can all get behind.
Benefits– faculty benefits is an ongoing area that Faculty Senate has been involved with for many, many years. A couple things come to mind on this slide. First, at the bottom of this slide, you can see the PPO Savings Plan; the PPO Blue Plan. And what we’re going to do is what we used to do, and we’re going to invite Susan Basso in in October, to explain the differences of these plans, so that faculty, when Time to Choose comes in November, can make informed decisions.
Longer term, we are in contract negotiations for the next five-year contract for our health care provider. And we really have three committees that we are involved with– Faculty Benefits, JCIB, and the President’s Commission on Health Care that’s going to be looking at these. One of the things we need to make sure is that all three of these committees are communicating with each other and communicating with us about what’s going on with these plans.
Thirdly, if you look at the picture here– this is a picture of the front of Hershey Medical Center. I have asked Faculty Benefits to explore whether or not we can potentially have cost savings in our plan by better utilization of Hershey physicians and Hershey services.
Curriculum is another longer term area that Faculty Senate needs to be concerned with. As you all are very familiar with, General Education has been ongoing for the last several years. What I did over the summer was basically recharge the Special Committee on General Education to make sure it was compliant with our legislation by membership. And as soon as the Committee on Committee and Rules makes that into final rule-making, that committee will become the Joint Standing Committee that all of you voted for and approved in our April meeting. So we’ve been working on that.
Communications is something that all of us need to do a better job on, and that goes as Faculty Senators, as committees, as administrators. One of the interesting things that we now have is this new software program called BoardEffect. I’m sure a lot of you are just learning this and how this works. One of the nice things about BoardEffect is you can actually look up who are the Senate officers. And not only do you see names, but you actually see pictures of their smiling faces– hopefully they’re smiling. And we, as humans, are a lot better at facial recognition than we are name recognition.
Likewise, you can do the same thing for our Faculty Senate staff. These pictures are going to be smaller, the way they project. But you can figure out who Dan Hagen is by picture, or Paula Brown, who makes my life easier every day. You can also hit on these pictures. Sorry, Bob, but I knew you’d be a good sport about this. This is noteworthy because this is one of the few times you actually see Bob wearing a tie.
But at any rate, you can look up Faculty Senators. You can find their email addresses, what college they’re from, committee affiliations, things like that. This is going to help us internally communicate a lot better, I think, in the long run. This has also been mentioned, but we would like to re-emphasize the important role that Senate Council representatives play in the communication process. In particular, by them communicating things that Senate Council is working on, that Faculty Senate is working on, back to their particular academic units. And that’s been going on with some Senate Council members, but certainly not all, and certainly not very efficiently. So we’re going to try to work to improve that this year.
The infamous Senate Blue Book– this is basically a book that contains our constitution, as well as our Standing Rules and how we operate. It has lists of all the different committee members, descriptions of the committee members. I will simply say, because I know a lot of you folks don’t have this, it is my goal to make sure that every Faculty Senator has this year. We’re going to make that happen.
I’d like to talk a little bit about diversity. This is actually a diversity fly fishing course that I’ve been affiliated with for the last 15 years, which is very fun. That’s actually probably the most famous Penn State fly-fisherman– that’s Joe Humphreys there in the center, if any of you folks know who he is.
What I will say about diversity is we legislate a lot of things in Faculty Senate about best practices. What I’d really like to do this year is demonstrate some of the good things Penn State is actually doing along the lines of diversity this year. And we will see that in every one of our meetings this year, and we’ll see that today in a forensic discussion that Rob Loeb is going to be leading.
I’d like to talk about title very briefly. Last year, we really had landmark legislation describing in detail a uniform fixed term promotion track of three different levels across our institution that was passed by Faculty Senate, approved by President Barron. The next step in this is really this– what are we going to call these folks? There are all kinds of different titles circulating around our University, but they’re not uniform. We have tasked Faculty Affairs to try to develop a uniform title that better describes fixed term positions and what they mean professionally. Other universities do this. We can do this too.
Last and certainly not least, I’d like to talk briefly about technology. This wasn’t on my initial plan, but apparently there were a few issues with LionPATH, so I thought they ought to be on my plan now. What I will simply say is that the beginning of last week, I had a very good exchange with Michael Busges from Information Technology Services. And we both agreed that there are issues that need to be worked out.
We’re going to task a small Senate subcommittee that’s going to correctly funnel those issues to the right person or unit that can solve those. LionPATH is complex, and these are not all the same problems. And he is well aware that the LionPATH interface is somewhat primitive when you look at it, when you use it. That will take a little bit longer to address, but they’re going to have substantive changes in place by January, they feel, with that. So the main point is we are working on this, and we’re also flexible. I had hoped not to have to talk about this too much.
Of interest, these are some of the early first digital computers on the planet. One is Colossus, that was a code breaker computer for the Brits in World War II. This is ENIAC– University of Pennsylvania– sounds like us, but I guess it isn’t. And by the description, this same computer was actually used for our telephone system until about two weeks ago. Is that right?
Lastly, as some of you know, my big passion in life– well, I’ve got a lot of passions in life– but one of my big passions is actually fly fishing. And to the person who’s not very well introduced to fly fishing, you think, well, you go out and you throw some flies around. If they’re biting, you get them and if they’re not, you don’t. And it’s all kind of up to luck. And a good fly fisherman will tell you it’s not really a lucky thing or not. It’s all about making thoughtful selections and thoughtful presentations, and thinking your way through the situation, as illustrated here. This will be the only big fish picture I’ll show, I promise. But that’s what you can catch with these.
This is great, right? You use fluorescent things in the bitter cold of winter, and you can catch really wonderful fish like that– to be let go too, unharmed, I might add. So I’m going to conclude this quick presentation with some of our thoughtful selections for Faculty Senate. And I’m just going to basically say that I can get up here and tell you what we ought to do, and nothing is going to happen unless we get you folks on board. And it’s not going to happen unless I’ve got really skilled chairs for each one of our committees. So I thought very quickly we would introduce each one of our chairs.
And I apologize. I pulled the picture off of BoardEffect. So if it wasn’t that great– yeah, I know. I’m sorry. Well, we’ll get a better picture for you, Michel.
So for our ARSSA committee, the ever-capable hands of Michel Haigh will be running that. And Michel’s been really busy this summer. We actually have a legislative item that we’re going to be voting on from this committee already. For Committee on Committees and Rules– Dawn Blasko is our chair for that committee. For Curricular Affairs, Michelle Duffey. For EECE, Rob Loeb. We’ll be hearing from Rob and a really cool student panel later on in the meeting today. For Faculty Affairs, Michael Bérubé.
For Faculty Benefits, Renee Borromeo. For Global Programs, Michael Krajsa. For Intercollegiate Athletics, Jonna Kulikowich. For Intra University Relations, Roger Egolf. For Libraries Information Systems and Technology, Bill Butler. For Outreach, Beth Seymour. You can get a better picture too, Beth.
For Research, Andrew Schultz. For Student Life, we have two co-chairs. One is a student– that’s Alex Shockley; the other is Mary Miles. For Undergraduate Education, Keefe Manning. And last and certainly not least, for University Planning, Laura Pauley.
So these are the folks that are going to help us move forward this year. And we ought to give them all a round of applause. Thanks very much.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Strauss: Onto the script– that was all off script by the way. So minutes of preceding meeting– the April 19, 2016 Senate Record provides a full transcription of the proceedings and was sent to the university archives. And it is posted on the Faculty Senate website. Are there any corrections or additions to these minutes?
Senator: So moved
Chair Strauss: Is there a second?
Chair Strauss: All in favor accepting the minutes, please say aye.
Any opposed? Motion carries. Minutes have been approved.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
The Senate Curriculum Report of August 23, 2016 is posted on the University Faculty Senate website.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Item C, Report of Senate Council: The minutes from the June 28 and August 23, 2016 Senate Council meetings can be found at the end of our agenda. Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed by the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President that met on August 23rd.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Strauss: I’m asked to please tell everyone that due to the limited bandwidth that we have in the auditorium, I would ask all attendees to limit their use of smartphones, tablets, and so on, so that critical functions of MediaSite Live and Poll Everywhere have sufficient wireless bandwidth service for the meeting. It says in bold face, please do not use video streaming during the meeting because of the large amount of bandwidth that that takes. Thanks very much for your cooperation.
I should probably ask before I– is Tram Turner here? No. And how about John Bagby? OK.
So I’ll ad lib this just a little bit, and say that we have certificates of appreciation to present to Senators John Bagby and Tram Turner for their service. They basically have retired from Faculty Senate. Both of these folks were very important in my life here as Faculty Senate. Tram Turner was actually one of the first persons that embraced me and some of my comments. He invited me to attend Commonwealth Caucus meetings, where I learned a lot. So I really owe Tram Turner an awful lot of gratitude for shuffling me through Senate and introducing me to important people that he knew.
John Bagby– I’ll simply say John Bagby is a very wonderful, creative person. I’ve got to tell this anecdote, that at our last Committee on Committee and Rules meeting, he did a presentation at the end that could just basically best be described as interpretive dance.
And if you know John, that kind of makes sense. But he added a lot of life to the party and a lot of very good insight for the things that we did. And we’ll make sure that both of them get their certificates.
Next, I am very pleased to introduce the 2016-2017 Administrative Fellows. Zaryab Iqbal. Is she here? Yes, all the way in the back. She is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts. She’s actually being mentored this year by Provost Jones.
Clarabelle Lin? Is Clarabelle here? Clarabelle is in the back as well. She’s a Marketing Director for Penn State World Campus. She’s being mentored by Craig Weidemann.
Felisa Preciado. She’s a Clinical Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Smeal College of Business. She’s being mentored by Madlyn Hanes. Thanks very much.
Faculty Senate welcomes all of you folks, and we thank you very much for participating in our plenary meetings and some of our fall visits this year. Let’s give them a round of applause. Thank you.
Last and certainly not least, I wish to introduce to you two new members of our Senate staff. Patti Hoppes, there in the back, who joined our Senate office in May. And Paula Brown, who is manning the podium there. Both of these folks are absolutely wonderful to work with and have made my life immensely that much better. They’re kind. They’re courteous. They always have smiles on their face. They handle drama really well. We had a little drama lately. But I’m really, really happy to have both of you helping me out this year. Thanks very much.
This fall, Senate officers will visit seven Commonwealth Campuses. They include Lehigh Valley and Berks on September 19th, York and Mont Alto campuses on September 22nd, Erie-Behrend on October 5th, and Shenango and Beaver on October 6th. The report on the officers visits’ will be presented to the Senate in January and we look forward to those visits.
All senators that may be dialing in remotely using MediaSite, please use the ‘Ask the Question’ box to send message that you have successfully connected to the live feed, so that we may add your name to the attendance sheet. As a reminder to senators that joined today via MediaSite, we’re using the voting system at Poll Everywhere.com/facultysenate. Instructions for using the voting system are posted on the Senate website.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Unfortunately President Barron is unable to be with us today. We look forward to him being with us on October 18th. Next, I’m very pleased to recognize Provost Nick Jones for his comments. Nick?
COMMENTS BY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
Provost Jones: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You may have thought that that actually wasn’t ENIAC. It was indeed a picture of the Penn State phone system up until a week ago, just re-labeled. Second, Jim actually asked me whether I would be interested in singing my provost remarks. But I declined and I think everybody will benefit as a result.
I’ve got a number of things I want to go through fairly quickly. Most of them could explode to take up the entire meeting. So, I’m going to be brief, but I am very happy to take questions at the end as long as I am tolerated.
First, strategic plan implementation– you knew that I will be talking about this. We had a very productive session at the Academic Leadership Council retreat, held at the Berks campus in August. We have put together a structure for strategic plan implementation that follows pretty closely the themes and foundations and supporting strategies that were outlined in the strategic plan itself. I can tell you– I won’t talk about the fundraising campaign, because Eric, I’m sure will address that in October– but just as there is strong alignment between the strategic plan and the fund raising campaign, you will see, obviously, tight alignment between the implementation strategy for the plan as well.
We are going to be putting up a website. It will be live very soon. But I will just say that the philosophy of implementation is to really take advantage of everything that we learned during the planning process itself. And that was that broad and deep engagement across the University with many, many constituencies, I think ultimately led to the development of a very successful strategic plan– a very positive and forward-looking strategic plan for the University. And we’re going to keep that spirit alive through the implementation process. And you will see with the implementation structure that we’re proposing how we intend to do that.
University budget– I will be talking about the budget in detail at the next meeting. But I did want to tell you, in contrast to last year, the budget for the University was approved at the July Board of Trustees meeting. So we actually have a budget this year. We’re not having to wait until March or April as we did last year. I think most of you are aware that that budget included a reasonably modest tuition increase for Pennsylvania undergraduates. The aggregate across all of our campuses was just under 1.8% for PA residents and close to 3.2% for non-PA residents– so a modest increase.
Built into the budget proposal was a General Salary Increase program. We are working through the implementation of that process now. It’s a little late because the board approval didn’t come until July. But you’ll all be pleased to know, if you haven’t heard already, that the GSI’s are retroactive to July 1. So when they are paid out, you will be paid back to the July 1 date. Overall it was a 2% GSI. The board approved what we requested then. We thought that was a good compromise, and we could make the budget work with those tuition increases that I described.
LionPATH– Let me start with the good news. The second cycle of LionPATH has begun. As of September 1, we’re into the new admission cycle. We have matriculated successfully this year’s class. And now we’re looking to matriculate the class of 2021 and that process has begun.
There have been a lot of challenges with the implementation of LionPATH. I will say right up front, at the risk of sounding defensive but not being actually– just being forthcoming– many of the challenges that have been attributed to LionPATH actually haven’t been LionPATH. So most of you were aware last Monday morning, we had a lot of challenges for students and faculty trying to access systems that were behind web access. This was broadly attributed to LionPATH, but it was a web access issue.
And it turns out that our web access system looked a little bit like the ENIAC as well. So that was a problem honestly that we probably should have taken action on sooner. But with everybody—a big class, new systems, more behind web access than we had before– it just basically brought the system to its knees. And we’ve effected a short-term fix for that that really has relieved a lot of the excess issues. And we will be working on a longer term correction as well.
We did have problems with the phones over the summer. Some of you may get alerts like I do. I actually get alerts from every campus. So I had some pretty interesting days. I was getting texts constantly. Phones were down, phones were up. Then they were down again. It was very frustrating and this was really exacerbated as people navigated the new LionPATH system, in particular when parents– or I should say authorized payers– became involved with the system, trying to pay their bill and running into challenges. And so they were calling and not getting through, and we had big, big queues.
So in all seriousness, we do have some challenges with our internal phone system. It is a home-grown system. And it basically just could not handle the load. We always have problems this time of year as it turns out, but not as bad as we did this year. So that is something that we will be paying a lot of attention to.
That said, we had challenges with the implementation of LionPATH, as many of you are aware. We had challenges with identity provisioning. We had a lot of challenges with transfer credits. That was a known issue going in when we selected the platform. But I think the magnitude of it probably became a bit of a challenge.
We know that a lot of parents had challenges accessing billing for a variety of reasons. We lined all of those issues up. Probably the biggest problem we had was that people had pop up blockers turned on, and frankly, I don’t blame them. And that, unfortunately– the core billing window, for those of you who are parents or authorized payers know– that was the core mechanism for payment. And so if your pop up window didn’t show up, then you didn’t know what to do next.
But I will say– oh, and as Jim mentioned in his remarks, the interface leaves a lot to be desired. And we’re very aware of that. And frankly, I would probably take a mea culpa on that one. We really focused on the back end of LionPATH to ensure that we had an effective, functional, 21st century system. And we kind of kicked the interface issues down the road a little bit, in part because we knew that the provider was going to be coming out with improved interfaces. But we didn’t really realize just how much of a negative impact that would project to many of our users– students in particular.
And so we’re actually working very hard on a fix for that, and should have a much improved interface rolled out in time for the spring semester– is the plan. Related to LionPATH was classroom scheduling. We’ve talked about that many times. I’ve addressed it in my remarks. It continues to be a challenge for us here at University Park, in particular. Mostly at the campuses, it’s been reasonably straightforward, I think.
The biggest challenges that we’re facing here can be attributed to nonstandard classes. This is something that we’re going to have to take a look at. Large and larger classes and availability to the size classroom that is necessary, particularly with a large freshman class, it turns out– and then I would say, one thing that we didn’t really realize until we imported everything into the new CollegeNET system, was that we had a set of rather disparate and conflicting data on classroom capacity and resources in multiple databases. And when that was all imported, we had a little bit of a challenge getting that all resolved.
I think a lot of people perceive that we were downgrading the capacity of our classrooms. We actually weren’t. What we realized, in some cases, we had people going out and actually physically visiting classrooms and counting seats, because the data that we had was so poor. Again, to be expected when you transition to a big new enterprise system– these are bumps– some of them big– but they are bumps in the road, and we will work through them all.
And we’re continuing to work on improvements in terms of how the algorithm works so that it can be more effective. The transition to Canvas as the LMS I think is going quite well. Students and faculty both seem to appreciate the new tool in particular. I can say that probably the group that the transition is hardest on is freshmen. And I know that because I have one here, and boy, do I get an earful from her about the fact that she has to learn both Canvas and ANGEL– thank you. See, I’m trying to transition. So Canvas and ANGEL, and that was I think something that we probably under-anticipated a little bit. But again, we couldn’t transition everything at once. And so some of our students have to bear with it. My other daughter, who was transitioning to Canvas from Angel is very happy about the direction that it’s going. So I think by and large, that transition is going well.
Let me mention the Travel Safety Network. We’ve talked about that a number of times here. And actually since we last spoke about it, and almost since the last full Senate meeting, we have experienced challenges in Turkey, Italy– the earthquake,– Paris, Brussels. We had a student in Israel who got very ill. But the fact that she was enrolled in the insurance program and through the TSN, meant that we could actually fly her mother out to help her and bring her back once she was stable. So a lot of good things happening with the Travel Safety Network– and bottom line was that when many of these severe challenges erupted– Turkey was a good example– within 24 hours, we had been able to make contact with the people who had registered. And there were a few people who had not, and that took several more days for us to track them down and ascertain their status, and be ready to offer help. So, I think most of you have been aware who have tried to use it, when we first introduced it, again, the interface was probably a little bit clunky. But we now have a frequent TSN user program. So once you’ve entered your core data, you don’t need to enter it again. You just need to enter your new itinerary information. But this seems to be going out quite well.
The Voluntary Retirement Program was announced last week. Letters went out to eligible participants. This really represents a great opportunity for the University to strategically realign our workforce. It was offered to staff and faculty. It was offered to people who are actually already eligible for retirement, but have chosen yet, for whatever reason, to not retire. And this is an incentive program that is quite generous, and represents on the part of the University, a rather significant upfront investment for what we anticipate will be the potential for significant long-term re-investments in faculty and staff as appropriate. Happy to take questions on that at the end, but I think it really does represent an important opportunity for the University. One of the challenges is, when you establish a program like this, the line has to be drawn somewhere. And there always are going to be people to the left of the line as well as people to the right of the line. And generally the people to the left of the line, i.e., not eligible, but who were interested in retiring, will tend to not be happy.
The challenge is, in order to accommodate individuals, if you move the line slightly to the left– there’s always going to be somebody to the left of the line. And then you move it to the left again, and you just keep on going. So it is quite a difficult process to determine exactly where the line should be drawn. But once it is drawn, it has to be drawn crisply and firmly. And we understand that that creates some angst and certainly some disappointment among folks.
Just a couple of updates– the search for the Vice President for IT Chief Information Officer is going well. We’re down to a short list now, and we anticipate bringing finalist candidates to campus for interviews very soon. The search for the Chief Information Security Officer– I can’t remember if I reported last time– we were actually unsuccessful in landing one of the finalists. We extended offers to two people, but were not able to get either one. So we restarted that search and are prescreening candidates again as we speak.
We have a new Interim Dean of the Schreyer Honor College. Kathy Bieschke stepped in for us when Chris Brady stepped down at the end of the spring semester. So we appreciate her service, and we will be doing a search for the permanent dean starting very soon. Penn State Law Dean search continues using a search firm. We were unsuccessful in the spring of recruiting a candidate. So we hope the search firm will help us this round. And the Dickinson Law process for permanent dean will be under way very soon. So I think I’ll stop there, and I’m happy to take questions.
Chair Strauss: Please wait for questions until the microphone comes around to you. When you ask a question, we would like you to stand up and announce your name and the college or academic unit that you represent. Thank you.
Michael Bruno, Medicine: I am standing up. Hi, Provost Jones. This is Michael Bruno, College of Medicine. I was wondering if the early retirement thing is a response to declining enrollments, or is there some reason why the University needs to downsize faculty at this point.
Provost Jones: I think I wouldn’t characterize it that we’re looking to downsize faculty. We’re looking to create the opportunity to strategically realign our faculty. As you can imagine, I had many conversations with deans about how this would be implemented, what the consequences would be. And one of the reassurances I gave all of our deans was that it is important that we continue to have the commitment we have to serving, in particular, our students. And so this is not an attempt to downsize the faculty at all. It is an opportunity to strategically realign it, is how I would characterize it. College of Medicine is not part of it, as you know.
Tim Farley, Student Senator: Tim Farley, Smeal Student Senator. I just had a quick question. I know with LionPATH, a lot of the new roll outs, there’s been a lot of focus on that and some bumps in the road. But what learning opportunities do you think the administration has been able to take from that for future projects of similar scale?
Provost Jones: That is a great question, and thank you for asking that. I think if we’ve learned one thing, apart from getting out in front of these issues, trying to smoke out more in advance so they become non-issues before implementation. It’s communication. And I think we knew that going into this process. And so we made a big effort to be overly communicative.
But I think, upon reflection, we’re concerned that perhaps our communication strategy was a little– I guess I would describe it as– brittle. I’m an engineer, so that’s a good word for me. But it depended on certain things working very well, certain processes– when a communication was sent to this individual or this group of individuals, that there was an expectation that from that individual, it flowed out to another group, and then to a broader group. What we found was that there were some pieces of the network that were quite dark actually. Because somehow, the communication had never quite gotten there.
And so I think moving forward– and we’re certainly thinking about this as we move to implement WorkLion– we’ve got to redouble our efforts on communication, so everybody is reached, hopefully in multiple ways. I think we also learned things like emails and making sure that you’ve got websites that have every possible FAQ or piece of information that anybody would ever want– is not sufficient. I think there is opportunity for more boots on the ground, getting out and talking to individuals or to particular groups of individuals. We did a lot of that, but I think that we can do more, because it’s in those conversational environments that I think much more effective communication can take place. So I think, from my perspective, communication was the biggest thing.
Second thing– when you do something as large as LionPATH at an institution that is as large and complex and interconnected as Penn State, the unintended interactions that you might not have necessarily thought about robustly all need to be lined up and considered. And probably the best example I can give is that web access issue. That should not have happened. That absolutely should not have happened. We should have been out in front of that issue. We should have anticipated it, and we should have done the work on web access that needed to be done to minimize the likelihood that we would run into something like that.
So I think we really learned a big lesson on that. The angst and stress that was created last Monday with the rollout was really not necessary. And I think Monday would– two weeks ago– would have been a much better rollout of LionPATH had that not happened. I think everybody is stressed– and of course that had effects on Canvas and other platforms as well. So it was just, I think, paying a bit more attention to all of that interconnectedness of a big complex institution like this is something I certainly take away from the process.
Chair Strauss: Question in the back?
Mike Hickner, Earth and Mineral Sciences: Mike Hickner. I’m an EMS Faculty Senator. Are we going to go into an age where these IT problems keep coming around in a large institution like this? Or do we need more investment and expertise at Penn State in our IT infrastructure? Or is this the way the future’s going to be in terms of complex things happening, and we can’t anticipate them? Because I think there is some discussion, at least amongst my peers, that we’ve just not invested enough in IT, or not had the right people running the IT operation here. So some comments along those lines would be appreciated.
Provost Jones: Sure. Great question. No, that is not where we should be. No, that is not the future. That really was the past catching up with us. And we’re absolutely committed to really change this dramatically. In fact, probably the strongest tangible indicator I can provide is the fact that we’re not hiring a replacement Vice Provost for Information Technology. We are hiring a Vice President for IT, and for the first time at Penn State, a CIO.
And that really represents an elevation, in our view, of the seriousness and the importance and indeed the criticality of IT to everything that we do. We simply cannot be finding ourselves in the position that we found ourselves in over the last six months. And I think we should be in a better place. We’re not, but we are going to be. And of course to get there, there will be change. But we will end up in a better place for sure. So count on that.
Chair Strauss: Jamie Myers?
Jamie Myers, Education: Myers, Education. Hi, Provost. Now, on the early retirement, has there already been discussed a procedure through which your deans and unit heads will ask for replacements in a timely fashion so that students– critical needs for students– teaching and things, will be in place in a year, or is it going to be longer?
Provost Jones: Great question. Yes, we do have a process in place to do that. The way the program has been rolled out, by the end of September, we will know exactly– well, I should say almost exactly– who is going to take this. That’s the time by which people need to sign up, but they do have a period in which they can rescind. But we’ll have a pretty good idea at the end of September about who from the staff side is taking it, and who from the faculty side is taking it.
Once we know and each dean, chancellor, unit head, budget executive, knows, we will set up two meetings– one with the HR strategic partner and the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources to talk about the strategy for replacing the functionality that will be lost from departing staff. And then I will meet personally with the deans to talk about a faculty hiring plan. And our intention will be– this will be taking place in October. And so we anticipate that, for example, the faculty who sign up to leave at the end of the academic year– we’ll be able to begin the process of replacing them in this hiring cycle.
Now, we know it doesn’t always go perfectly so it may take two years to get some people in. But our commitment is to—‘replace’ is the wrong word– but to reload the units with the faculty that they perceive they need in fairly short order.
[Inaudible] Penn State, Brandywine: Question and a comment– question is, is that volunteer retirement a one-time deal or is it going to continue in the future? Comment is, I’m glad that you mentioned regarding the interface that you going to change, with LionPATH. But I can tell you from every meeting that I attended regarding LionPATH, this issue was brought up and it was just dismissed.
Provost Jones: Right. So we learned our lesson on that one. And we’re moving quickly to address it. The voluntary retirement program is a one-time thing. We’ve done them in the past, but we are not planning to do another one of these programs in the foreseeable future in the way that we’ve done this one. So this is it. You kind of can’t, because if everybody knows that they’re coming, then everybody just waits for the next one. So there are no plans to do another one of these in the future. This is it. It’s basically a one-shot deal. And again, it gives us this one opportunity to do a strategic realignment of workforce.
Oh, I’m sorry. I have a surprise. I’m going to introduce Regis Becker from the Office of Ethics and Compliance. Regis is just going to share what I think is some good news about compliance training. But it’s good news, believe me. So Regis?
Regis Becker: Thanks, Provost Jones. Thanks, Chairman Strauss. I know there’s been an increasing concern and frustration with compliance training. And I also know that you all know that higher education is increasingly becoming a regulated industry. We’ve got more and more mandates on us. So don’t blame the Provost. Don’t blame the President. They have been aggressive in asking us to try to consolidate this stuff– make it more amenable to you, make the technology better, and make it clearer to you. So that’s one of the reasons I asked for just a couple minutes today to go quickly through what the plan is for this academic year in compliance training, and we think it’s good news, but it is iterative. We’re going to make this better as we go along. This is the first step we think to making it a little better.
So we essentially have centrally four major mandatory compliance training programs, if you will– Clery Reporting Child Abuse, Title IX, sexual misconduct, which Dr. Barron mandated last year that we’re going to be launching, and then a consolidated course that we hope to build on for the future to make the other ones– I won’t say obsolete– but to minimize the number of courses you have to take, the number of hours you have to spend on compliance training every year.
So first, let me talk about what I’m calling the consolidators, or refresher courses this year. You’ve all taken Clery. You’ve all taken Reporting Child Abuse. This will go over the highlights of that. And what this essentially is, it’s less than one hour. It’s an expansion of Dr. Barron’s beginning of the semester letter on reporting. You’ve all seen the letter, and each semester we talk about what your obligations are for reporting, what the resources are, that the University has available for you. So we’re going to cover a lot of that as you see in these bullets.
And then we will be launching also this year a Title IX Sexual Misconduct Course that’s long overdue. And also it should be less than one hour. So what does the landscape look like? For new employees, we’re going to load them up. They’ll be taking three to five hours of compliance training to cover all the bases, while we have the leverage, while they still aren’t mad at us yet. They’ll take all these baseline courses. You can see the four up there– the new employee orientation, which is a version of the annual compliance training, Reporting Child Abuse, Clery, and then Title IX Sexual Misconduct.
So then ongoing, for this year, most of you– and you’ll see in a minute–we’ve broken up the faculty requirement– will take two courses. And we’re going to try to stage them in a way that’s convenient to you. The first is the annual compliance training, which is, again, expansion of Dr. Barron’s letter, and then the Title IX. And we’re hopeful that this year will be the only time you’ll have to take Title IX separately. It will be folded into the company consolidated course in the future.
And as you’ll see, we’d like to get more and more of these into a single course to minimize the amount of time you have to spend on it. And then special populations– obviously people that are campus security authorities will have to take Clery. Under the current system right now, that’s a legislative policy mandate from the University. And then also Reporting Child Abuse, which is a state-mandated report or requirement. Some of you will have to take that, but it will be a small group.
So here’s what it looks like in the aggregate for the faculty. About 90% of you will take the annual compliance consolidated course, and then at one time, and then the Title IX. And hopefully, again next year, it will just be the single course. But for this year, 90%, 89%, will take the two courses. A small sliver will have to take all four courses– less than 1% of the faculty have to take all four of the centrally issued courses. 6% will take Clery, three of them essentially Title IX Clery, and then the annual course. And 4% will take the Reporting Child Abuse annual compliance and Title IX.
So we’re trying to narrow it down, the amount of time you have to spend taking the compliance courses. And I’d like to propose for this year, that the timing look like this. For the bulk of you, the 90% that have to take the two courses, I’m proposing that we launch the first one in the next week or two and give you a deadline of Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll send you reminders after two or three weeks. We’ll send you a weekly reminder to take that course.
And then you get a break. We won’t issue the second one. And we haven’t decided which will be first– either Title IX or the annual compliance course. Then in mid-January, after we’re back from the break, issue the second course and ask you to complete that one by the Spring break. Again, we’d like to give you about four to six weeks on each of these.
What we’d also like to do is have all the courses that are required available in the Cornerstone System, which so far, is holding up all right. So if you want to take both in the first semester you can. But we thought we’d stage it for your convenience. We’d do one the first semester, one the second semester. We’ll be very clear about what’s required and when. You’ll be getting updates. We’ll have a communication plan. There will be a newsletter. We’ll make it as clear and simple as we can. And obviously, if you have any questions or concerns about this, please ask our office at any time. I don’t want to be presumptuous, Chairman, to have time for questions, but if there are, I’m happy to take any.
Chair Strauss: Any questions for Regis?
John Nousek, Science: Hi. John Nousek, College of Science. This is very trivial, but it may affect a great number of people. These reminders that you’re sending, I only recently discovered, have been transmitted into my spam folder. So it’s useless to send us messages that look like spam. So in the spirit of what Provost Jones said, check out some other mechanism other than relying on automation.
Regis Becker: Thank you. That’s a great suggestion. We’ll follow up on that. Appreciate it. Over here? Question?
Carolyn Mahan, Altoona: Carolyn Mahan, Penn State Altoona. Along that line, is there any way where we could have a website with your name and all your compliances, and if they’re due? Because if you add the research compliance on top of all these compliances, it’s hard to know which ones are due when and which ones I haven’t done and need to do. So it would be nice if there was one place on Canvas or somewhere where you could just check. I don’t know how hard that would be to do. But it would be helpful.
Regis Becker: No, that’s a great question. I should have mentioned also there are obviously other mandates from Research, or Environmental Health and Safety, Lab Safety– there are other courses that people will have to take at some point. These are the centrally controlled ones. But the Cornerstone System is designed to do exactly that. When it’s fully mature, and I think we’re about 18 or 24 months away from full maturation, you’ll be able to type in your name and you’ll see the list of all the courses that you’re required to take, what your status is and when they’re due. So that’s the whole point of the Cornerstone System. And again, it’s coming along nicely– not fully mature. But it should have good efficacy for this year. You should be able to go in there and see when this is due this year. Thank you.
Jenn Sliko, Harrisburg: Hi. I’m Jenn Sliko from Harrisburg. Regarding the folks that tend to work with children who are under the age of 18– a lot of us have already gone through our three background checks, fingerprints, et cetera. Where do we fit into your pie chart? Assuming we’re not up for our three year review, where would we fit into that pie chart?
Regis Becker: Right. The current state law says that people who have a routine interaction with minors, 17 and under, have to take the course annually. There is an exception for– I want to make sure I get this right– for the dual enrolled courses. So if you’re working routinely with youth, you have to take it annually. The rest of us have to take it every three years. And frankly, what I’d like to see is within that three year period, we can consolidate that into our course. I’d love to get this into one course.
Now, we have to work with the legislature and others– arm wrestle the law department et cetera to try to get these consolidated. But as of right now, if you do have routine interaction, it will be annual, otherwise every three years.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much.
Regis Becker: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Educational Equity and Campus Environment – Student Diversity Panel
Chair Strauss: As we move into the forensic and informational business segment of today’s agenda, I would like to remind our presenters to please try to adhere to the time allocated by Senate Council for their presentations and discussions. I’ll inform each presenter when there are five minutes remaining.
The first forensic business item appears in Appendix C in the agenda, and is from our Educational Equity and Campus Environment Committee, titled Student Diversity Panel. Committee chair Rob Loeb will make a few opening comments and lead the discussion. 25 minutes are allocated and we strongly encourage faculty interaction. Thank you.
Rob Loeb, Dubois: I am going to have our visitors grab some chairs from behind the tables and bring them up front. If you’ll come join me up here.
So today’s session, as you’ve I’m sure have seen in the agenda– I will make a very preliminary comment that this is part of the All In It Penn State– a commitment to diversity and inclusion initiative that we have. Although we are jumping the start a little bit, in a month on Thursday, October 6th, again, the All In It Penn State commitment to diversity and inclusion will launch its first event on the steps of Old Main Lawn at University Park, and which will be also sent out to the Commonwealth Campuses as well.
This initiative supports our commitment to a diverse climate, to bring a safe and open-minded environment at Penn State that is respectful of everyone, regardless of their background, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and economic status.
Today’s forensic session– I’m going to pose a question to our guests and ask them to systematically come to the microphone, and then give me a brief answer– to give us all a brief answer to the question– and then I look forward to very rich discussion thereafter. So as not to delay, the question is, can you briefly share some of your experiences with Penn State faculty and how faculty might have a greater impact on your success as a Penn State student? So I will start out from my far left and work our way across.
Steffen Blanco: Afternoon everyone. My name is Steffen Blanco and I’m a senior majoring in Economics and Criminology with minors in Business and Econ. First off, I’d like to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy schedule to listen to our various perspectives on our interaction with faculty and staff. Just to start forth, my experience here at Penn State with faculty and staff in regards to diversity and inclusion has been nothing short of positive. You’ve all been very supportive of our various student initiatives as well as collaborative with some various student groups, in regards to just coming up with some diversity initiatives and making the campus more inclusive.
Although there is some improvement to be made, one thing that I do suggest is that faculty and staff be more involved with some of the student organizations on campus, specifically the multicultural ones; whether it be attending their events or even advising some of these organizations. That kind of aspect is missing from a lot of these student organizations. So with that, thank you again.
John Gilbert: Hi. My name’s John Gilbert. I’m a senior, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Sexuality and Gender Studies. Thank you all for having us be a part of this conversation. It’s really important to all of us. I’ve also had a wonderful experience with the faculty and staff here at Penn State. I’ve had some really excellent instructors who have gone above and beyond to really make the classroom a very safe and inclusive space, who have incorporated programs like growing conversation and straight talks into their classrooms to really expand the knowledge in the room.
However, not all my experiences have been perfect. One of the things I’ve noticed since freshman year, is that students naturally tend to group with people who they feel most comfortable with in the classroom. And if they don’t have somebody they feel comfortable with, they tend to isolate themselves. A very visible example of this is some international students– due to language barriers and cultural barriers– feel more comfortable being around people like them. This leads to a lot of people’s voice not being heard in the classroom, which can be a problem for everyone in the classroom because they’re not getting exposure to these diverse ways of thinking and problem solving, which I think are really skills that we all need to be successful students and eventually employees.
So I’m heavily involved in the LGBTQ community. So a large broad way I think we need to work on is making the classroom a space that each student has a voice and they feel comfortable using that. So an example that I have from my perspective is, as you introduced your course and yourself at the beginning of the semester, you can also introduce your preferred gender pronoun. So for example, “My name is Mr. Gilbert. I’ll be teaching your course this semester. You can call me John, and my preferred gender pronoun is he, him, and his” And that three second little addition signals to any student in that room who might be either trans or gender nonconforming, that’s going to be a safe space for them to be in. That’s really going to create a better learning environment for everyone. Thank you.
Jorge Zurita-Coronado: Hello, everyone. My name is Jorge Zurita-Coronado. I am a junior majoring in Political Science. Like my two friends over here, I have had a well relationship with many faculty and staff members. Every single faculty and staff member that I have met it has been professional, well-informed in their subject, and I’ve looked up to many of them.
With that being said, there is always room for improvement. And we shouldn’t shy away from the conversations that we have right now. It’s always important to have these conversations, but conversations will not change everything. We also must take action. And some of the action I would say is, in the global connective world that we live in, a part of higher education should be educating students that come here to Penn State about all the different people that they will meet in the world. Importantly here at Penn State, but also importantly in their future professional career– as surprising as it might seem, some people don’t know how to interact with people that look different than them or might see things differently than they do. So I think a big part of higher education should be educating our students about diversity inclusion, other multicultural groups, other under-represented groups across the world.
I would also urge Faculty Senate to make it a requirement for all faculty to insert in their syllabi how to report bias here on campus. You would be surprised to know that not many people know how to report a bias if they’re a victim of bias or see bias on their campus. I think it would be important, especially for first-year students to know how to report a bias when they see one, and what to do, and what office to go to. I think a great way to do that would be to make it a requirement for all faculty to have a report bias section in their syllabi. Thank you.
Jazmaine Brown: Hi everyone. My name is Jazmaine. I am a senior in and a Communications major here. Like everyone else has said, this has been an amazing experience. I love Penn State. Faculty and staff have been amazing. Actually as an example, last summer, unfortunately my mother passed away. And I considered dropping out because I was really upset. And if it wasn’t for the academic advisor and the coaching of this Senate, I probably would have dropped out. I’m in my senior year, so it’s like you have to finish. This is what you wanted. So I’m really grateful there are not many other institutions that I’ve visited that have that kind of impact and want you to succeed. It’s not just a business, you guys actually care.
But with that said, as far as diversity, I think there are some issues. I know where I live, the other day I was coming back into my house, and this individual proceeded to call me the “n word”. Not to be mean, I think he saw it on TV. He thought it was funny. It wasn’t funny. So I kind of brushed it off. So I think maybe a suggestion I would have is– I know it’s a requirement for freshmen to have a freshman seminar kind of thing.
So if there’s a way we could incorporate maybe a required diversity class in place for that seminar, I think that could help. Because like my friends have said, some people just don’t know that it’s not OK to say certain things. And I guess the best way to help people is through education.
Rabiyatu Jalloh: Hello my name is Rabiyatu Jalloh. I’m majoring in Secondary Education, Social Studies, and African-American studies. I’m a junior, and so far my interactions with faculty– I’m going to go off the end of what my colleagues are saying here– it has been mixed. Interactions with faculty– some faculty that I have are amazing, and then some faculty that I have are not really aware of the issues or the things that I’m dealing with. And I just want to be transparent and say that because we all just want to be better.
One bad experience that I had with faculty that really stood out to me is the fact that one of my professors thought that I was very aggressive in the way that I speak. And I don’t know why she would say this to me. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that from a professor. I don’t know. I feel like it’s just them pushing on their perceived notions of what black women are onto me and are not trying to understand my way of communicating with people.
And I feel like the reason why that happens is that a lot of faculty have a lack of cultural competency. They don’t understand how other people from different walks of life interact with people. And honestly, I feel like that’s a really big problem here dealing with faculty. And I took some notes, sorry.
Yeah. And one way I think that that can be dealt with and done better is having required cultural competency trainings with all faculty members and students. And in these cultural competency trainings, going in-depth about the experiences of different marginalized and oppressed groups in the world. A lot of professors don’t know what is going on with different groups. And I think that a lot of you all have PhDs but I would just expect people to know, but they don’t, because everybody stays within their own discipline and focuses on that. So I feel like it’d be really beneficial for them to know the students that are coming in to their classrooms.
For example, I’m from the city. I’ve always lived in the city. And obviously, school districts in cities don’t get as much funding as our school districts in suburban neighborhoods because of property taxes, the way education is funded– I’m pretty sure everybody knows how that works. And I’m not coming in with as much capital as my peers. Every high school math teacher that I had left– were either laid off or left the school district. So there was never really consistency in that part of my education. And a lot of professors perceive that as I’m not putting in work, but I honestly just do not have not the capital that my classmates are coming in with– the consistency of having a really good education– I don’t have that. That’s something that people don’t know that students like me may be coming in with.
Another example– this summer, I took summer classes. And if you’ve been following anything about what’s going on– a lot of police brutality going on in the world. And me as a black woman, I often fear for my life every single moment that I’m here. And having to still take classes, take tests, complete homework assignments when I’m not feeling as– sorry to cry– like I’m not feeling as– I’m worrying about what’s going on in the world. I’m worrying about my family. I’m worrying about when I go back to my home, to where I come from, the things that I will have to deal with. So just professors also being aware of things like that– but the main thing that I want to stress is not put it in the freshman seminar, but have its own class, where every group that has been oppressed or every group that is being marginalized, is being allocated the time to explain the extent and the damage that we are carrying around as students of color. So thank you.
Cameron Spiller: Good afternoon. My name is Cameron Spiller. I’m an Economics major, a senior here. My experience with the faculty has been rather positive, especially in the administration– per se Dr. Marcus Whitehurst, President Barron. When it comes to making initiatives to make people that are of color feel more accepted and safe on campus– for example, President Barron’s support of the die-ins that happened a couple years ago after Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin were murdered. And then last year we went to Flint, Michigan after we figured out that most of their water was poisoned. And it was from support of the administration and staff here.
I agree with my colleagues that we do need to better train the staff and the students here at Penn State about diversity and inclusivity. We have taken the initiative on the Clery Act and implemented things like SAVE, where freshmen are forced to sit there and watch documents, and also take quizzes on safety precautions and what it means to rape someone, and what consent means.
Students and faculty also need to know how to interact with students of different colors and diversity. Also I think we need to start recruiting more inner city students and bringing them here to this University to diversify this campus, more than just the 4% black that we have now, and smaller amounts of other. So thank you.
Brian Davis: Good afternoon. My name is Brian Davis. I’m a junior here. I’m triple majoring in Sociology, Criminology, and African-American Studies. And I also have two minors in International Studies and Civic and Community Engagement. I’ve had quite an experience here, with the faculty here who have supported so many initiatives, such as the Penn State Treasurer with the help of our Vice Provost, Dr. Marcus Whitehurst. This is a resource guide for first year students of color because of my first year experience, and I didn’t really know about the resources here. So I created a book to alleviate that experience for incoming freshmen as well as transfer students.
I also, like what Cameron Spiller talked about– the Flint water crisis initiative that we created– we had a lot of support from the faculty and staff in taking 5,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan and handing that water out to undocumented families. I would say a way that faculty could help better the student experience is, definitely be more engaged and more involved. We only have a few faculty and staff that are actively engaged in the community, and we need more support– and also more financial support as well.
I also want to talk about holding all of you accountable as well. Because I know a lot of times when I talk to a lot of faculty and staff members, they are advocating for us in these meetings, but nothing is being done. And I feel like sometimes when we have these conversations, these conversations just prolong the situation. So what can we do to establish the conversation that things can actually get done? So what I want to express to you all is, can we create a monthly progress report on what you all are doing to ensure that this campus is being more diverse, more inclusive of all people that it encompasses?
Also, like they all mentioned, professors need diversity training as well. And we also have to, not only– I love what they said about putting it in the first year seminars– but it needs to be a course required at every step of the way in college. Because we can’t just assume that after they take this class as a freshman and they pass a class, that they are culturally competent and they understand what has affected certain people or differ microagressions and stuff like that.
And I also would like to mention as well that I’ve had a lot of support from the faculty in doing study abroad. I’ve studied abroad three times and I’ve had a lot of support from our faculty and staff here.
Maria Walls: Good afternoon. My name is Maria Walls and I am a senior studying Rehabilitation and Human Services in the College of Education. I apologize. I have some notes. My experience with the Penn State faculty is from the eyes of a student with a disability. And I’ve been fortunate enough that the majority of the experiences that I have had with Penn State faculty– they have been receptive, understanding, and flexible with me and my disability accommodations, which is great.
And I believe these positive interactions are a result of improvements in the diversity and inclusion training on campus, which is fantastic. And in addition, I feel that it’s critical that faculty put an emphasis on creating an accepting and understanding learning environment for students who have disabilities. I think this stems from the first day of classes when professors go over their syllabus and talk about accommodations that they will accept. I think it’s incredibly important that professors expand upon that, and add some additional comments saying that they are willing to do as much as they can for these students– want these students to be in the classroom.
Because students with disabilities still face barriers in completing post-secondary education. This is due to stigmas, deficits in resources, support. And it’s critical that we improve the high dropout rate for students with disabilities in post-secondary education. So all in all, I just think it’s vital that faculty be as integrative and accepting as possible in order to better support these students and their academic experience.
Robert Loeb: Thank you all for your statements. Now, as part of my promise–
Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Michael?
I think we need to have you recorded.
Right behind you.
Michael Bérubé, Liberal Arts: Now it’s official. Thank you all for being such eloquent spokespeople. And thank you for spending your time with us. I am also very pleased, as a person who works in disability– albeit in the humanities– to see disability as a matter of diversity. It is often under-thought in that respect. And one of the things I’ve learned over the course of the last 15 years here, first of all, the campus is infinitely more physically accessible than it was when I came in 2001 and this is a positive thing.
And yet there’s still some of my colleagues– not too many of them, diminishing number each year, but still some– who think the federal law stops at their classroom door, and that they don’t need to provide reasonable accommodation. The law is reasonable accommodation but not undue hardship. And I realized at one point that my own final exams– because we’re in the humanities, this involves two hours of scribbling furiously at the end of the year– you always see people’s best work as a result. But it was severely setting at a discount the student who came to me, who talked about her arthritis, the student who had carpal tunnel syndrome, the student with mild dyslexia, the student with a mild learning disability.
And I thought for this, a reasonable accommodation is as simple as a take-home exam. It doesn’t have to involve a lot of accommodations from disability services. A lot of times it doesn’t involve necessarily technology. It can just involve understanding and meeting people within a reasonable accommodation, even sometimes before they request it. So thank you for your remarks.
Robert Loeb: Dwight Davis?
Dwight Davis, Medicine: Dwight Davis, College of Medicine. First, we deeply appreciate your coming and visiting with us today, and providing a little bit better insight from a student’s perspective about this environment that we are trying our best to create at the University. So my question is, help us understand what forums you have found as students for student to student and student to faculty interchanges to talk about some of the issues that you’ve brought forward. And probably more importantly, how can we advocate for enhancement of those opportunities for you, to help us better understand you as students from very diverse places, but also to have the USA student community understand each other as well?
Brian Davis: So once again, my name is Brian Davis. I think these conversations occur in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Multicultural Resource Center as well as with the Vice Provost of Education Equity. But I also feel like in order to start changing things, first we have to listen to what we need to change. But it’s going to take some sacrifice out of all of your days. After 5 o’clock, that’s when the students meet. That’s when we hold our general body meetings. That’s the only time we have. So if you all really want to help change the situation, you all have to make the sacrifice, because we make this sacrifice out of our class to do different initiatives.
It’s not our job to try to change things here. But we want to change it because we all love Penn State, and we want this experience to be great for everyone. So I think that’s the first step in trying to make that sacrifice, and also reaching out to different student organizations when they meet, and when we can talk about these different conversations.
Cameron Spiller: You asked where do these conversations usually happen and where do we go for refuge. The PRCC, like Brian mentioned, is really one of those places that we continue to go to. And it’s more than just a safe place to speak and to share comments about topics that are going on around the world. They provide countless amounts of events for us. They have speakers come that relate to us, that can help us understand more a scope with the world of how things happen, or how things are happening in the world.
Also they have activities for us and workshops. We go on retreats. They teach us about diversity and stereotypes, and how stereotypes can be good and bad. They provide a lot of good training to even us students regarding diversity. So increasing the funding in the PRCC and expanding that program so that it can touch more students of color would be a great first step. I believe it’s something that can be done almost immediately. So yes, that’s where I would start.
Rabiyatu Jalloh: For me, I would like to jump on that bandwagon. The PRCC is so– I cannot stress how much they have helped in my continuing to be a student here– just the safe space, that the staff members are great. And they just do a wonderful job of bringing different speakers and broadening everybody’s horizons on topics of diversity and inclusion. Another office that I think that will really benefit is the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Education. Dean Schmidt– she does excellent, excellent work in trying to bring conversations of diversity and inclusion to the education profession.
And one thing that I think that faculty could do is just honestly bring it up in your classes. Like did you hear about what’s going on in Louisiana right now and how there’s flooding? How does that relate to what happened in New Orleans when the Hurricane Katrina happened? How does that relate to class, to race, to gender? What implications– what is going on there? Why are we not hearing about these issues? Things like that, bringing it up in your classes, even if it’s just for 10 minutes– even if your discipline has nothing to do with issues that are related to diversity and inclusion–
And I will also just stress just making sure that when you hear something, you say something. If you hear one of your colleagues say a remark that is culturally insensitive or that’s rude or just shouldn’t be said, make sure you call them out on it. Because at the end of the day, I may not have access to the same spaces that a lot of you do. But at the end the day, if we are making sure that we are checking our privileges and we’re educating those around us, I feel like that’s one simple thing that we can do every day.
I’m not a part of the LGBTQ community, but when I hear transphobic or homophobic statements, I will tell that person that it was transphobic and that was homophobic and that’s not all right. Just a simple thing that I can do with my privilege– and I feel like everybody could do the same. So yeah.
Jazmaine Brown: Yeah. I’m Jasmine. To answer your question– what forums and everything– I take a different approach. So since we’re being equal and everything– I fit into many categories. I am an African-American. I am disabled, and I happen to be gay. But who cares? So what I started– like seriously. That’s the biggest issue.
But one of the things that has found for me is I’m a professional YouTuber. And what that means is I make videos a few times a week, and people watch them. And I am blessed that I get paid to do this. And I have started– like this summer, I traveled on YouTube’s dime, thank God, and I’ve been able to go around and speak on these issues. Because I feel like I don’t want to just make it part of the classroom. It needs to be a global type of situation.
So what I do is– it’s obvious that I’m in a chair. It’s obvious that I’m black. It’s not obvious that I’m gay. What I do is I literally just live my life. And if you have questions about it, I am more than happy to answer. Because I feel like the way to break down these microaggressions and stereotypes is hopefully just to be you, and people hopefully accept it.
But as far as faculty, I’ve had teachers allow me to speak in their class. Another professor– his name is Tim Robicheaux. He’s in Criminology. I took a course with him in the spring. He’s allowed me to go into his other classes, speak. I have the whole class period to talk about my experiences, diversity. And he’s going to let me do it again this fall. It’s just a great way to teach people things and get people to subscribe to my channel. So yes.
Jorge Zurita-Coronado: Jorge again. I think we all have a responsibility and the opportunity to create a diverse and inclusive campus. And it’s from the Board of Trustees down to every single student. I think as my friends have said, that when you do see something that is inappropriate, it’s your responsibility to say something and call them out on that. Because I think little things like that can have a big impact. Hopefully that person understands that maybe next time, I won’t say that or next time, I’ll express myself in a different way. But I feel like we have the opportunity and responsibility to create a diverse campus.
John Gilbert: I would echo everything that’s been said. We have a lot of really great University offices that we can all take advantage of. And besides the ones mentioned, there’s the LGBTQ Student Resource Center. There’s the Women’s Resource Center. A lot of these are housed in Boucke. They all have staff that are very willing to come to classrooms and talk about this kind of stuff. I’m part of the Straight Talks program, which is panels of students coming to classes, sharing experiences, and answering questions. So you can do things through peer education or you can do it through faculty members coming to classes as well.
Steffen Blanco: Just to echo my colleague’s remarks– just working alongside with students– amongst the crowd right now, there are a lot of student senators voicing their opinions of their various academic colleges. Listen to them. I implore you to ask them what’s going on within not even just within the academic college, but the greater Penn State community as well, as the students have a lot to offer when it comes to just the opinions and the things that are happening around Penn State’s campus. Even within the Commonwealth Campuses, there are a lot of students of color there that don’t really have a place to call home like the Paul Robeson Cultural Center or don’t feel as safe– don’t have an environment to feel safe in. Maybe working with your academic units and making sure that there is a place within each of the Commonwealth Campuses that students can go to.
Because if it’s just within University Park, it’s not encompassing all of the Penn State campuses. So with that, just working alongside with students and making sure that there’s a safe place for everyone here at Penn State. Because we’re all Penn State. We’re all one big happy family. So yeah.
Robert Loeb: Other questions? Don’t be shy. I’ve never known my dear colleagues to be shy about any particular issue.
Bonj Szczygiel, College of Arts and Architecture: Szczygiel, Arts and Architecture. Thank you so much for coming. It’s delightful to have you here and thank you, Chair Strauss, for making this possible. I’m intrigued by one of the students’ comments about recruitment efforts. And I’m a little familiar with what we do in our own college, but I was wondering if Provost Jones or– I don’t know who else is here who could talk more specifically about the wonderful things that Penn State is doing to increase diversity on our campuses.
Chair Strauss: If I might comment very quickly, because that’s a really involved question. But we’ve actually scheduled Marcus Whitehurst, our Vice President for Educational Equity, to actually give a presentation on some of those very things in our October meeting. So that might be a more appropriate way where we can get into a much longer conversation about things.
Robert Loeb: I will trust– if you don’t mind, I’ll defer that question to the next meeting and ask Dr. Whitehurst if he could make sure that he includes that in his presentation– that would be great. I would also point out that Educational Equity and Campus Environment will be highlighting some rather cutting edge recruitment programs in future meetings. So you’ll get not only a summary in Dr. Whitehurst’s presentation, but a little more in detailed presentation later.
Julia Bryan, Education: Thank you so much. I wanted to ask, because all of you said you have these wonderful experiences at Penn State. And so I wanted to find out when you are in a classroom, how do you recognize that you feel safe in that classroom and that your professor is committed to diversity and cultural competence, and is open to talking about it, in spite of whether they’re doing science or engineering or education? And how do you know when it’s a no no– like this is not the place where I can shed a few tears or be real transparent, or even share some of the struggles I’m facing? So what’s the difference? How do you know? Because all I hear is we’re doing a wonderful job. And hey, I want to get out there with you and hear the real deal.
Maria Walls: I think that’s a wonderful question. My experience is– so I have an invisible physical disability. And it is just difficult for me to even go to class, but to sit upright for 45 minutes to an hour and a half in class can be extremely difficult. So what helps for me is when I deliver my accommodations to my professors, they say, a lot of times I’m going to be slouching. I’m going to be closing my eyes. I might be walking around the back of the classroom. I might be going in and out of the classroom, eating, drinking.
And the experiences that I have that have been positive are professors just ignore anything that I’m doing.
Anything that’s a little weird or off, they ignore it. And I think that that is the best for me because the lack of acknowledgement makes me feel like I am free to be myself and free to be as equal as anybody else even with my accommodations. So I always appreciate that and say, just don’t acknowledge me. The negative experiences that I’ve had would be professors saying to me later on, you’re being a distraction, or you’re just causing more issues for yourself. You are digging yourself into a hole by allowing yourself to enable what you’re doing.
And while I have not had that happen more than two times, I think it’s something that is difficult for me. And I know that other students have dealt with that as well. So having open and honest conversations at the beginning of the semester has been helpful for me in that way. Hopefully that answered your question.
Robert Loeb: I think we have time for one more of our guests to speak, and I see Rob’s hand is up. So go ahead.
Rabiyatu Jalloh: For me– I remember this one particular class. It was an education class, and a lot of education classes, in my opinion– this could be wrong. I’m still a junior so maybe when I get up it will get better. They talk a lot about suburban education. They really don’t talk about like urban education experiences and stuff like that. So a lot of the times when the teacher openly welcomes my experiences into the classrooms, when I talk about the things that I have gone through and not dismissing it.
Because a lot of times what professors will do is they would dismiss you and be like, oh, research says this and research says that and try to shut you down. And I don’t know. I am of the opinion– but like I said, I’m still in undergrad so maybe this will change– that it should be a combination of experience and research. Like I’m African. If I go to South America and I study Brazilian culture, I feel like I would never truly be able to understand what it’s like to be Brazilian because I’m not Brazilian. So if I’m telling you about my experiences in a certain education system and you’re telling me that research says this and that, then it’s just like you’re dismissing me.
And some professors, what they will do, is that when I start to challenge them, they will try to call on everybody else first before they call on me. Because they’re like, oh, I don’t want to deal with a dissenting opinion and stuff like that. So I had one professor, Dr. [INAUDIBLE] and she always would try to call on me and try to get my experience in. So the mix– because a lot of them had similar experiences, a lot of them grew up in similar school districts, and I was the only one that wasn’t. So she would always try to get my opinion into the classroom. And she actually asked me for some type of readings that are regarding diversity and inclusion, and she asked if she could put it on her syllabus so that she could educate her future students more about the issues that I am dealing with. So that’s one thing that– that’s one positive experience that has happened for me, where a professor openly welcomed my experiences instead of trying to shut me down with research or not try to deal with a dissenting opinion in the room.
Jazmaine Brown: I was going to say to answer your question, I haven’t had a bad experience ever. And I don’t know if that, just because I’m lucky or blessed or anything, but I haven’t really had a bad experience with a professor or whoever saying I can’t do this, or I can’t do that. They’ve actually just come up to me and asked me, do you need help or whatever. But as far as your question is, when is it not appropriate and when it is– I live under the notion it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. So I do and say what I want, and then I’m like, whoops, I’m sorry. But I’m really not. But I should say I’m sorry. So I think it depends on who you are. But for me personally, I really don’t care, and if I have to say something, I just say it.
Robert Loeb: Thank you all. Please join me in thanking our speakers today.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much for the panel, for taking time out of your day to enlighten us with your experiences here at Penn State.
Faculty Benefits – Changes to the Smoking Policy: A Tobacco-Free University?
Our next forensic business appears in Appendix D in the agenda. It is co-sponsored by Faculty Benefits and Student Life. It is titled, Changes to the Smoking Policy. Renee Borromeo, Mary Miles, and Alex Shockley will stand for presentation and questions. 15 minutes is allotted for this presentation.
Renee Borromeo, Mont Alto: Good afternoon. We’ll keep our remarks very brief here so we can get some audience participation. I’m Renee Borromeo. I’m the chair of the Faculty Benefits Committee. And we were introduced to this idea after the Student Senate here on University Park proposed the idea of looking into the possibility of a smoke free, tobacco free campus, and thinking of, in larger terms, the University. So I’d like to let Alex Shockley talk to the body about how this all started, and then Mary Miles will continue on. And we’ll go right into questions. Thank you.
Alex Shockley, Student Senator: Good afternoon, everyone. My name’s Alex Shockley. I’m this year’s Speaker of the Assembly for the University Park Undergraduate Association. That’s the undergraduate student government here at Penn State. I also get the chance to serve as a co-chair of Student Life this year. Thank you so much, Chairman Strauss, for that opportunity.
But to jump in– so smoke free, tobacco free has been a conversation around Penn State for I want to say, the last 15 years. So the USG, which was Undergraduate Student Government here at Penn State, actually ran a survey back in 2001 to start it and really evaluate whether or not this would be something Penn State was ready for. Other Big 10 institutions were already moving towards this. And at the time, from the evaluations of the survey, Penn State was not ready.
So last year it’s been brought to our attention again, heavily. There was a conversation in 2007, but last year is when administration and students really came to the student government and said, ‘Hey, we’re ready to move forward with this’. So a lot of you are probably familiar with Emily Miller. She was the former UPUA rep to Faculty Senate. She was in Faculty Senate all four years here at her time. She was very involved. So she really put a lot of work in on this smoke free report that the Undergraduate Student government did.
And I’m going to provide a little bit of statistics just from what we gathered from that report, and then if you have questions, I’d be happy to answer them. But the beginning of the report focused on the current smoking policy, which is policy AD32. Basically, it restricts smoking around entrances to buildings, windows, anywhere that academic research or classroom space may be going on, or anywhere there’s an entrance to a building. Smoking is limited to about 30 feet outside of the area. Everywhere else on campus is allowed to smoke.
Then we looked at the Big 10 institutions to compare benchmarking. We found that nine out of the 14 Big 10 schools are either tobacco free or smoke free completely. So nine out of 14. So if we decided this, we would be 10, which we’re kind of behind in the Big 10. Then following that, and looking at the policies and implementations of those universities, the University Park Undergraduate Association provided 16 recommendations to the University about how a rollout may look.
So we followed very closely to the University of Michigan. They actually had, what we saw, to be the best approach. I’ve had the chance to speak to their director of their policy. Their implementation was very smooth. They’re constantly reevaluating it, constantly making changes to how they can better it. And we’re also looking at Ohio State– also who actually went completely tobacco free.
With the other 16 recommendations, we also recommended that the University create a task force for this so we can get all of the right bodies in the room at the same time. So we have faculty and staff, we have students, we have the administration, individuals from Hershey, so we all are making sure that we’re making the best approach to this for a large university. With the Commonwealth, we have other campuses– so UPUA passed this on behalf of University Park, following that, CCSG actually passed a resolution in support of ours, but ensuring that under the task force, it was looked at for the Commonwealth Campuses to see what the best approach would be for that also.
But in discussion, we would like a university-wide effort, not just University Park-specific. So that’s why we’re here today.
Mary Miles, Liberal Arts: Thank you, Alex. I’m Mary Miles, the co-chair with Alex. And we have some specific questions in our report, if we could draw those forward. But the general big picture here is that conversations about smoking and a smoke free campus are being undertaken by the students and by the administration. And so our project today is considering and thinking about how the Faculty Senate as a whole wants to position itself and wants to contribute and participate in these discussions. What would Faculty Senate participation in these discussions look like in your view?
And so I thought we would actually do a slightly unorthodox jump into the middle there. It’s not up there. Question number two– we would say, what is the role or how should the Faculty Senate engage with student organizations and administration to address and overcome challenges resulting from implementing a tobacco free policy? How should we engage?
Unknown Senator: I’m sorry. This is very typical of me. I’m not going to answer your question. I just want to understand how staff are involved in this. I’m very concerned that we’re going to be making a decision that is going to affect staff. I’d also like to point out that our campus is very unlike some of the other campuses geographically. You have to go very, very far to get off campus to smoke. I myself am not a smoker and have never smoked, but that’s really beside the point.
So those are my two questions. I don’t even want to talk about how we’re going to be involved until I understand how staff, many of whom smoke, may be involved in this decision, or are involved, or should be involved in this decision. The second one is just, I understand the benchmarks, but campus geographies vary. Thank you.
Mary Miles: There actually have been discussions with the staff. I want to get the name correct– council– I’m looking towards Damon– a Staff Council. And they have been open to the idea of going forward with conversations, perhaps establishing a task force. And so I think perhaps a big goal for Faculty Senate would be to just make sure that we liaised with them, that we talk with them, that we do not end up working in opposition– that we join and understand where they’re coming from as well. But there has been discussion with staff.
Joseph Enama, Medicine: Hi. Joe Enama, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. So I read through this report and I think that there are some statistics on here that are a little bit confusing. For example, if you look at point number two– up there, point number three– it says 45% of students were in favor of a smoke free campus. So what about the other 55%? So that’s one question I have.
The second question I have is if you go farther down, they talk about that in spring of 2007, they said 65% of the students who participate support a campus wide ban on smoking. So it seems like there’s– the students themselves have different views of this. I want to get your thoughts on that.
Alex Shockley: Yeah. I’ll make a few comments, and then I’m sure some UPUA representation in the room would like to comment. So the survey that we conducted broke it down a lot into more barriers. So there was another question before that one actually asking if they would support increased restrictions on smoking on campus. So I think with the design of the survey, is that possibly people were looking at that first and saying, OK, increase restrictions, and then OK, a complete ban on smoking.
I had a meeting with Director LaSalle, who is the Director of Health and Wellness here at Penn State. And the UHS actually conducted a survey, second semester towards the end of last year in April I believe, looking at how many students of the population actually do smoke on campus. And I have the specifics but that would take a minute to pull up. But I do know that of the approximately 1,700 people that took the survey, only 1.5% of the students smoked daily. They asked a follow up question– how many students here at Penn State do you think smoke daily? And I think the numbers were in the 20%– of students thought that– I’m trying to remember– like the majority of students here at Penn State do smoke daily.
So I think that the alarm of the lack of understanding of how many people actually do smoke here at Penn State and on campus is kind of a factor to play. And there are different variables that’s going to alter a perspective.
They would have said increased restrictions on smoke free or tobacco free.
Robert Loeb: Question in the back?
Matthew Kaag, Medicine: Hi. Matt Kaag, College of Medicine. Sorry, I’ve trapped myself in here. I’m from the College of Medicine. First, as a cancer surgeon who treats smoking-related cancers, I can do nothing but applaud what you’re doing here. I think you guys have put a lot of work into this. And I think, in my personal opinion, if we’re going to be number 10 out of 14, we’re running a little behind.
My question for you is, what if any impact is this going to have on faculty and staff benefits? In other words, do we stand to benefit financially by going smoke-free as a campus, in terms of our health insurance and that sort of thing?
Renee Borromeo: I’ll just say a little bit toward that. Several years ago there was a $100 surcharge imposed upon people who would admit to being smokers. And there are very, very few people that are actually doing that. And this came up and as part of that discussion– that the punitive approach really didn’t work, and maybe this would be a better way to approach the smoking problem as more positive. We will help people smoke less or less often, if they are smokers, rather than trying to just charge people $100. It seemed like it made more sense. So I know that was part of where this came from. So I hope that answers.
Matthew Kaag: In terms of, will we see a change in university-wide insurance premium? Sometimes that’s offered to companies that can prove to an insurance company that they’re smoke free.
Renee Borromeo: I don’t know. Possibly– I don’t know. I think everything’s negotiated in terms of looking at our carriers. But I guess it couldn’t hurt us as I would say– I don’t know.
Sharon Holt, Abington: Thank you. I’m Sharon Holt from Abington. And I would just echo what my colleague said, that I think not smoking is a much smarter choice in life than smoking. On the other hand, I think we are an adult community. And I think this kind of a policy is a little more in loco parentis than is quite appropriate. And I just don’t see where it’s my job, as a history professor, to catch somebody smoking, and say, “Nanny nanny poo poo. You’re breaking the rule”. I don’t really want that enforcement job, even though I would prefer, for their sake that they not smoke.
Mary Miles: We’ve had feedback along those lines from our constituents and departments. And so I think it’s important for people to just continue to talk, and talk with your staff, talk with your fellow members of the department. Because it’s an issue where there are vastly different perspectives. And it’s going to be a challenge for all of us to come back in future sessions and get a coherent sort of position going.
Robert Loeb: Pat Hinchey had a question.
Patricia Hinchey, Worthington Scranton: I’m Pat Hinchey, Worthington Scranton. I applaud your efforts to involve the faculty. Certainly we represent divergent communities. Yeah, I would prefer everyone not smoke. But I’m not really comfortable standing as a representative of my campus for the reason that I think there are ramifications here that I don’t know about.
So for example, we’re dedicated to the needs of our community. Our community has a lot of unemployment, a lot of corporations leaving. We’ve done a lot retraining, reselling. So we have a lot of really middle aged adults, deeply entrenched in local culture that may be very different from that of a major research university on a main campus. If we say, yes, come, we’re going to advance your career. But oh, by the way, we’re not going to let you smoke while you’re here. I don’t know the ramifications of that, but I bet you there are some. So I don’t feel like I know enough or my expertise is deep enough to represent my campus. You might have to go there.
Timothy Lawlor, Brandywine: Lawlor, Brandywine. I’m not sure if this is leading to a question or not. I just wanted to address some of those comments though, about whether or not it’s going to cause students to not come to us. I think it was years ago at my campus at Brandywine, where you could smoke in the buildings. And then we pushed them outside. And I think there were probably the same questions of, well, maybe people aren’t going to come because now they have to go outside to smoke in the rain.
And as far as enforcement goes, and you’re saying you don’t want to have to enforce this– we already have that situation. Students aren’t 30 feet away from the building. So there’s already that enforcement issue. These comments are just based on what I just heard. Aside from that, I do want to applaud this, and I support it 100%. I feel like as an institution of higher education, we absolutely should be tobacco free just based on the health effects of smoking. Nearly 500 million deaths a year and 10% of those are due to secondhand smoke– people who don’t smoke. Sorry, I’m going on too long.
Renee Borromeo: Can I just say– we’re down to the one minute mark. And one of our questions was what next steps should we take? Where would you see us going from here? So if anyone could address that, I would really be interested in hearing that.
William Kenyon, Arts and Architecture: Kenyon, Arts and Architecture. Thank you for this. I very much applaud your efforts. One of the things that I think is going to be really a challenge in the next step is something that really came to the forefront for me, just within the past few weeks. I’ve been dealing with a situation in front of my lab where people tend to huddle right in the doorway. And I’m constantly the enforcer that asks them to please move away from the door so that it’s not a complete mess there and everything else. But last week, my wife and I were working in the Bryce Jordan Center, and one of the visiting crew started smoking. My wife mentioned, by the way, this is a nonsmoking area inside the building. And he verbally abused her. And this was reported up the chain and all sorts– and that may be dealt with.
But the point here is that we are currently being called upon to be the enforcers of a policy that’s full of holes and is inaccurately applied all over the place. So as we move forward, we need to understand that, yes, this is a volatile discussion, because I’ve certainly had some very hostile reactions from the people I’ve asked to move away from the door, which I’ve done. I’ve tried to be very nice about it. So obviously, this is going to be a contentious issue that we’re going to need to be careful to move through.
But we also need to move to a point where no longer are individuals called upon to be the enforcers, so that it’s clear the whole University lock stock barrel, done.
Chair Strauss: Being respectful of time, we’re out of time, but we will take two more questions to the point. Yes?
Rogerio Neves, Medicine: Neves, College of Medicine. Again, I applaud your efforts. And as a physician, it seems so obvious to me that a smoke-free environment is the way to go. But my question is, do you have an idea of the percentage of our population here at Penn State that actually smoke? Because you have a number of 45% of students at least surveyed that were in favor. But maybe we have only 20% of them that really smoke.
Mary Miles: I don’t think we know. Because we have on our health insurance, the question about– you can say you don’t want to answer the question, do you smoke or not. And you can say I’m a smoker, I’m not a smoker or I prefer not to answer the question. So I think our numbers are probably low. We look at faculty and staff– I don’t know in students.
Alex Shockley: So the last survey that was taken, like I said, through UHS was in April 2016. So I have the survey here and I would be happy to share that with Faculty Senate. But for smokers daily of the students that took it, it was 1.5% which was 26 students out of approximately, I think it’s 1,700 that took the survey.
Rogerio Neves: So this may help. If you’re talking 30 years ago, 50% of the population of students smoked. But now, 80% already don’t smoke. And you have 1.5% percent of students, I think it will be a lot easier to go and move ahead.
Chair Strauss: Thank you. Our final question here in the middle of this section.
Claudia Brown, Shenango: Hi. I’m Claudia Brown from Shenango and I teach Human Development and Family Studies. And in the course of teaching this, I work with people who are going to become counselors, including drug and alcohol counselors. And I’m very concerned about teaching them on one hand about the stigma of mental health and drug and alcohol abuse, and on the other hand telling them that they can’t smoke in this environment. Now, that doesn’t mean that I want to encourage them to smoke. But I think we really need to look at all of the angles of this. We can’t be teaching one thing and implementing another policy. It’s got to have integrity.
Mary Miles: And that’s perhaps ultimately what faculty do best, is look at things from different perspectives. So maybe that could be our role at this point– would you say– in moving forward?
Chair Strauss: Thank you. Thank you very much Renee, Mary, and Alex.
Very good conversation.
Undergraduate Education – Starfish Demonstration
Our next forensic business item was submitted by Undergraduate Education. It appears as Appendix E in the agenda. David Smith, the Executive Director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies, will give a quick demonstration of Starfish. 10 minutes is allotted for the presentation and discussion.
David Smith, Division of Undergraduate Studies: Thank you, Chair Strauss. I appreciate this opportunity to talk about Starfish today. And I think the one comment that I would like to start with is just how inspiring today’s meeting has been. The central focus throughout really has been about students. And as somebody who has worked in higher education for 20 years, it is the rare meeting where such a large assembly comes together and the focus is really around undergraduates and the teaching and the learning that that happens there.
So this is in that vein. Starfish is really in that vein of, how do we support our students? How do we move forward in providing students with information about where they’re at in their academic performance, their progress towards degree? Starfish was acquired, and we’re presently just past the implementation of it. It replaces the ISIS and eLION functionality that allowed for advising notes to be kept, and allowed for early progress reports to be completed. The decommissioning of ISIS– there were gaps, immediate gaps that had to be filled.
Starfish is an online vended product that allows for us to capture advising notes. We know that Penn State is an institution based on transition. The whole institution is based on movement– students starting at a campus, for instance, moving to another location, students starting in the Division of Undergraduate Studies. 25% start in the Division of Undergraduate Studies and will move to another unit. We need to understand where they’re at and how they’re making the decisions that they’re making. How do we document those decisions? How do we allow for the next person to understand that student?
We heard from a panel of students this afternoon. Their stories are real, and not every student wants to fully retell that story at each point along the line. And so I think what this is really going to allow for the first time is a platform where notes can be kept, regardless of where that student is and regardless of where the student moves through Penn State.
It’s a role and relationship system. So we spend a lot of time thinking about who are the different users of Starfish, and accordingly, what role should they have and what information should they then have access to? Instructors need to see things about students that are in their class, that are relevant to the students that are in their class. And academic advisor needs to see a bigger picture of that student experience and be able to interact with them. Academic leadership need to see different kinds of pieces of information.
So we’ve begun to configure these roles and accordingly, the kinds of information that students have– or that advisors and staff and faculty have access to.
There has been some conversation around early progress reporting, I know this weekend. We have started to deploy that– to roll out how faculty can begin to alert students to various problems. This is where I think we have great potential with Starfish– is how do we begin to let students know that there’s an issue? How do you begin to communicate? We’ve heard that today as well– a lot of conversation about the need to communicate, the ability to be effective in our communication, the ability for others to be aware that there may be a problem.
A student isn’t attending one class is a certain kind of problem. The student that’s not attending any of their classes, and the awareness that that’s happening, is a very different situation, and the kind of response and the kind of outreach that needs to occur I think looks different. So this is, at a very high level, the kinds of ways that we’re going to be able to work with and help students and build a network of communication that supports them.
So in that vein, there really are two steps to the early progress reporting, as we’re envisioning it using Starfish. We know that early on, there could be habits beginning to form that are not conducive to academic success. In the past, early progress reporting might happen late in the game. And at that point, coming up on the late drop deadline, perhaps the only option available at that point was to late drop that course. And that is not going to help students move forward and earn their degrees.
If we can identify that there’s an issue early on, begin some outreach in helping students understand what resources exist, or even reinforcing things that are really positive towards their success, I think we get to a better place with helping students be successful. And then, later in the semester, being able to– using more concrete information about performance in a class, issue a more comprehensive report on students. Again, that goes to the network of people that support that student.
This is a screenshot of what early progress reporting– the early indicator– would look like. One of the challenges that we face is a large institution. A large institution– some classes that are very large by design. And so we have to find ways that are effective, a happy medium between those large classes and smaller classes. And so a lot of what you see in Starfish, if you begin to interact with it, are things that we have configured. We’ve developed the configurations. We’ve developed what these questions are– keep up the good work, unsatisfactory progress.
We decided on that language, using input from faculty that were part of our implementation team this summer. These can be changed. We can come back and revisit this. And this is, I think, important to keep in mind– is that this is a learning process. We’re doing things differently and we need to assess it at some regular intervals to understand what’s working well, how do we tweak it, how do we improve it.
In addition to the radio boxes, instructors could also enter specific comments that they would want to have shared with their student about the lack of participation, the lack of attendance, et cetera. The other really important part of Starfish, again, is the advising capabilities. And so on this screen, we see the way in which we can begin to track a student’s experience as they move through the University. They came to orientation. We understand what the conversations were at orientation. We understand what happens at their next advising appointment. The next advisor might be in a different college. They understand what the decisions were, what the issues were. And this is a really important thing.
We have new policies that have been implemented in the last year. There’s a restriction on the number of times you can attempt a course. You’re allowed three attempts. There’s been a process developed to understand– ask for an exception. And so with something like Starfish, the person that has to make a decision about whether that fourth attempt will be allowed, could go back in and understand what has been said to the student. How did they get to this point where they need to ask for the seventh attempt on, say, Math 140? And you have more information on which to make those decisions.
To date, we’ve seen some very good usage of Starfish. I can observe flags being raised. I can see instructors raising attendance concerns. I can see advisers reaching out to those students and there being conversations, and the flag being lowered. And that information going back to the instructor, that this issue has been resolved. This was the problem. And so we’re facilitating better communication that is in support of our students.
So as of the end of August, 65,000 advising notes have been entered into the system about our students– where they’re doing well, the decisions that they’re making. And again, I think this is a really positive direction that we’re moving in as an institution. It also allows for much more effective assessment of our programs.
One of the things that the Faculty Senate policy is clear on in terms of advising is that there has to be assessment of advising programs. It does allow us to begin to look at why were advising appointments scheduled. What kind of information can we begin to see? Why are students coming to see their advisor? What are the questions? What are the issues? And I think this is going to be really beneficial to us and to the individual programs that provided advising to students across Penn State.
Again, it’s been a broad implementation. We’ve been involving advisors, faculty members. We have addressed the three key gaps that were there– scheduling, the EPR, the advising notes. We still are looking at how to best integrate Starfish with the LMS, with Canvas. And so there are many other pieces to this that we need to think through and get developed. And so there’s more to come in that sense. I think I’ll stop there and take questions if there are questions from folks in the room.
Lori Bechtel-Wherry, Altoona: Lori Bechtel-Wherry, Penn State Altoona. Thank you, David, for that overview. I think Starfish has a lot of great potential and capabilities, and I think likely, it’s like some of the other programs that we’ve rolled out. There need to be some tweaks. Certainly, I think all of us would agree that feedback is important for students, and early feedback to them and helping them at every step along the way.
This weekend, a set of messages went out to several students of faculty members at Penn State Altoona, particularly in math and the sciences. And what was problematic for that, and in fact our listserv kind of lit up, was that those faculty had no knowledge that message was coming out, and did not know what the message was going to say. And their name was at the bottom of that message. And they were upset. I understand that. I wouldn’t want a message going out under my name that I had not known was going out, I had not read, and had not approved.
And I think I heard you say and read some emails over the weekend, that there was a committee of faculty that helped craft those. But I would suggest that maybe there be room for some tweaking of those, so that the faculty members could use their own voice in a sense, or have different standards. There were some language in there about, I believe you’re making progress, I believe, I believe, with a faculty member’s name. And so that can send a very different message to a student than what that faculty member would have said.
So I think that this can be fixed and tweaked, but I would urge you to think about that. Thank you.
David Smith: So I appreciate that, and I do acknowledge that there were those messages sent out. There was some pretty loaded, if you will, language that came with the package. And so when we moved from the test environment into the actual production environment, one of those messages didn’t get transferred over correctly. So instead of the message, the text, that we had written– our faculty had written, we had vetted, and I said, ‘Yes, this is what we ought to be using’– the pre-loaded one was still there. That was on us.
As soon as we became aware of that issue, we went back in and we were able to correct that. The challenge that we faced was in test, you can test. When you get to production, you’re in live data, and so again, there weren’t enough checks in place to verify that all the configurations were accurately put in there.
Chair Strauss: We’re trying to be mindful of time. Question?
Tim Farley, Student Senator: Tim Farley, Smeal Student Senator. I just had a quick question. I think one of the areas that this could really benefit students is those large class formats. And so I’m curious if faculty are the ones driving this. Has there been any thought into TAs being able to have some of this functionality so they could give more individualized comments? Because if you have a 700 student class or 1,400 in your total section, they can’t provide some of that. So I just wasn’t sure if that was noted in there.
David Smith: So one of the roles that has been configured as a teaching assistant role, so that at that more local level, the individual that has more knowledge about a student’s performance could be involved in raising the flags.
Chair Strauss: We’ll take one more question. Laura?
Laura Pauley, Engineering: Laura Pauley, Engineering. Will Starfish be the location for petition documentation and submitting petitions, and degree audit? Or is that LionPATH?
David Smith: Degree audit is really a part of LionPATH. That is where that information resides. No, but that’s where it’s built and will be at. Starfish has the ability to have different kinds of roles. And so there are ways– there are things that we could think about. We’d have to create roles and a way to put that petition information there. One of things we have to be mindful of is who then has access to that. Because oftentimes in a petition, there are pieces of information that students don’t want anyone and everyone that encounters them to know about– details, personal details.
So I think we have to think through what that role would look like and what access — who would have access to that. But I think certainly there are ways to use Starfish in the review of petitions, separate from the actual petition itself. As somebody that’s reviewing a petition, if I can see the history of the student, the decisions, how those decisions were made– did they follow advice? Did they get wrong advice? What happened? You get a better picture and I think you can bring a better understanding to how to resolve that exception that a student is asking for at that point in time.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much, David.
David Smith: Thank you, Chairman.
Chair Strauss: I appreciate the questions.
Proposed changes to HR 80 (submitted by Senator Larry Backer)
Senator Larry Backer submitted the fourth and final forensic business item, entitled “Proposed Changes to HR80”, which appears as Appendix F in our agenda. 10 minutes is allocated for this presentation.
Larry Backer, Penn State Law: Good very late afternoon, folks. The last thing on earth you’re going to want to do is listen to me now, and listen to me on a topic that is both extraordinarily complex and yet very simple, and yet it also implicates a lot of issues that go beyond this very technical provision. I thought about a million different ways of presenting this. None of them are adequate in the three seconds that I have to present them. The document is itself an extraordinary piece of Baroque– I don’t know what to call it– writing, that I might be tempted to use in a class. And I’ve decided it’s 4 o’clock, and I’ve decided to be less indirect than I should be because I have very little time. And I apologize for annoying people who spend a lot of time working and reworking something from every perspective– high theory, great principle, policy, and even the nuts and bolts of actually creating the provisions that make this thing work in accordance with its own objectives– is so lacking, that what you are winding up with is an extraordinary piece of documentation that effectively allows administrators to assert discretion in almost uncontrolled ways.
I can just suggest to you very briefly– and what I wanted to do was two things. Three things actually– one, present the problem to you. Most of you don’t know about HR80. Or most of you do. I was caught by surprise sort of. The second is to suggest the big items that ought to be of concern if we are concerned about these things. And it may well be that my colleagues on the Senate are not, and that’s fine. But this is what you’re buying.
And then the third is to get a sense from the Senate about their reaction to this, and hopefully whether or to what extent it may behoove the Senate to look at this perhaps from scratch. All right. The big picture issues– just a couple of them.
In a sense, what we have here is an effort, or what looks like an effort, and all I can do is look at the words. I’m not going to look at the intention– no doubt, very good. I can see that– no doubt very good– about people who absolutely, positively believe that they will apply this in just the right and kind way. I note in passing that when the American government took that position in a recent case, our Supreme Court Chief Justice in May of this year, suggested that the pleadings of a state that indeed they promise to use badly drafted legislation reasonably, is of absolutely no value or weight in either applying it or deciding whether the statute is good or not. We can’t deal with that.
So one of the things that we’re looking at, when we’re looking at these framework issues, is what exactly is being covered. And frankly, all of your working and non-working lives, depending on how you are applying this– and there’s a discretion to do this– can be to some extent and sometimes a large extent managed, regulated, and with respect to which you must seek approval and guidance– both with respect to the character of what it is you’re doing, whether or not you need approval beforehand, whether or not you need approval if your timekeeping generates enough time to trigger approvals. And a system that– assuming that you go over a fairly complex timekeeping and time triggering approval system, actually vests ultimately the decision to go over this. And only one person at the University, our Provost, in language that suggests that he would need some kind of divine reason to make this to provide the exception.
It would be worth our while to consider the significant principles behind this. To what extent– which is why I put the thing in red. There is no question here about the University’s right in law to do this. American labor law moves us very closely to a substantial amount of control that a university can assert against its employees– substantial control. The question is whether indeed we think it ought to, especially with respect to those matters in that time when we are not working for the University. The answer may be yes. Tell us what to do, and we promise to ask permission for everything. And that may be something we want to do, but it may be something we want to think about.
If that wasn’t the intent, then we have to rework the language. I have no idea what the intent was except for what’s written here, which is belied by the document itself and its provisions. The second thing, of course, is that the provisions themselves that are meant to create the system are themselves, as I have suggested, ambiguous.
And then the third– and again, I’m boring you to death– and it is complex– the thing that perhaps is the most troubling for me– it may not be troubling for you. A lot of people like this I guess– is that the way HR80 is crafted, it bests discretion, unlimited discretion– discretion with respect to which there is no abuse– unlimited discretion on the part of department heads or deans to make every decision at every level of the policy to effectively crafted as an instrument to suit their own view from deciding what– the language here. I’m a lawyer. I love playing with language. I’m sorry. What your general area of expertise is– to the application of the meaning of outside business activities, which effectively, if you read this very broadly, can include everything– to the three category processes the approval, disapproval the [INAUDIBLE] and the like.
All of this it is given to the senior administrators in your unit. There’s no appeal. There’s no direction. There’s no nothing. So an administrator can both determine what your general area of expertise is. What’s mine? I suspect that my view of what it is and my dean’s view may be different. My dean may have a view of it today which may be different tomorrow and the day after. That general area of expertise is his or hers to make. They’re the ones who decide whether your activity fits into category one, category two, or category three.
And of course, the most interesting part of this thing is the way in which teaching, even teaching outside of during the nine month period in which you work, counts for teaching within the period as well. It triggers all kinds of limitations. Some of them are ludicrous, and again, there is no time to go through the countless examples that you can give of the kind of discretionary space for very bad decisions that this kind of thing can create.
None of this may affect you now. Some of it may affect some of you maybe a little some time. The grand issue– to what extent are you comfortable ceding this sort of discretionary authority over your non-working lives, which are now viewed as working lives? To what extent do you want to cede an uncontrolled discretion over these to someone for whom you work? Your employer or some manager within your employer or institution– and then the second is the document itself as a piece of documentation does not come anywhere close to meeting or to effectively meeting its objectives, whatever it may be.
And so that’s my perspective. I bring it to your attention. I’m hoping that there is enough sentiment of concern to perhaps– it may be too late. This thing has been written to a substantially finished point. But even if it is, this may be something that I’m hoping that we will perhaps look at and perhaps consider, and use it if, for no other reason, than to think about the problems of bad drafting.
I’m sorry. Again, I apologize for those who spend a tremendous amount of time and who believe that they have drafted something that is brilliant. And maybe you have. It’s possible that I’m completely wrong. I usually am. But whether or to what extent the actual exercise of drafting these regulations were becoming more and more governmental in the extraordinary number of inter-meshing regulations that increasingly are used to manage this machine? To what extent do we need to refine our capabilities for actually intelligently writing these things in a way that makes sense?
And then to what extent should the faculty itself be involved in discussing the overarching principles that are meant to give this thing a life? So for example, something simple like HR80 might have been created for two very simple reasons. One, we don’t like the idea of engineers and scientists going off and making their own companies and then running off and not being available. And two, we don’t like the idea of some faculty member going off and getting tenure in three places simultaneously. God knows how they can do it, but they did it, and we don’t like it.
Great, great objectives– but when you read HR80, that is a marginal part of what this thing winds up creating. This is like those old tuna nets that pick up everything in the sea, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a couple of tuna, which is what you wanted in the first place. But instead, you’ve spent a kajillion amount of your time creating this machine that actually works for everything but this. And that kind of inability to both permit engagement with the overarching principle that drives this regulatory thrust and the ability to actually intelligently draft provisions that effectively meet it, are things that are missing here.
And I talk way too much, and that’s all I have. Questions or comments or reactions?
Jamie Myers: Myers, Education. My knees are giving out on me, sorry. Thank you, Larry, for pointing out the ambiguities and lack of defined process in this HR80 revision. HR policies– quite a few of them, just as a matter of regular process, run through Senate committees and come through to the floor in the form of Advisory and Consultative reports, in which then we recommend to the President changes to that HR policy.
I don’t think HR80 came through the Senate as an Advisory and Consultative report. And I think that HR policies and the whole set of policies are in the process of being re-numbered or re-identified. And so I think that you bringing this to our attention, at this time, Larry, is important. Because I think this HR policy should go through a Senate committee. I think perhaps Faculty Affairs is the appropriate one. And I think it should come back to us in a marked up form as an Advisory and Consultative Report to the president.
But to go one step further, I think we have to look at all the HR policies, and just figure out which Senate committees should provide the president consultation on those policies. Thank you.
Michael Bérubé: Bérubé, Liberal Arts—Chair, Faculty Affairs. I’m only laughing because I was going to get up and volunteer. Faculty Affairs doesn’t have enough to do this year. And we were wondering what we were going to the barren months of January, February, and March.
Larry Backer: I thought that was a problem.
Michael Bérubé: I have to say, the precedent for this seemed to me, on one hand, to be AD-77, which was written so broadly as to cover working with Girl Scouts and working church socials. But there was a two week period for comment. I wasn’t around for it, but we got an email on June 30 asking for comments by July 15, which is not no consultation, be clearly not adequate consultation. And so I speak for Faculty Affairs when I say, we are ready, willing, and able to take this one on this year. It’s given to us and if that’s procedurally kosher.
Larry Backer: All right. Thank you.
And just a very brief comment– with respect to consultation, I remember a long time ago when I started working with the European Union, there was a constitutional requirement that the European Council wait to consult the European Parliament before it passed any legislation. And what they would do is they would send the matter– the regulation to the European Parliament, and sit and wait. And as soon as the telex came over with the consultation, they would say, yes, thank you. We’ve now got the consultation. The motion has passed. Thank you very much.
And so there is consultation and there is consultation. And one of the things that we can do better is not just go through the forms of consultation but to make them to work hard to make them more effective.
Nancy Welsh, Dickinson Law: Nancy Welsh, Dickinson Law. So this is really along the same lines, and that is just a question in general– when the HRs are being revised, what is the procedure, in general, for determining whether there will be significant consultation, how much consultation? I don’t know the answer to that. And what I wondered I saw this was how this had come to be and to what extent we were or were supposed to be involved.
Larry Backer: That’s a great question.
Chair Strauss: John?
John Nousek: Hi. John Nousek, College of Science. I was a member of Michael Bérubé’s committee of Faculty Affairs. And we considered today a presentation, I believe it was on HR88– I’m sorry, AD88. Thank you very much.
And the meta issue here is very similar to the one that you’re talking about. When I asked my question, I raised many criticisms that are analogous to the criticisms that you have raised, my answer was, there are forces at work that are coming and auditing us, and we have to present a conclusive, very detailed, very structured, very automated– I’m exaggerating what we were told, but I’m capturing the flavor of it– and what we’re giving to you is so much better than what will be imposed on us by state legislatures or other bodies– federal, you name it– that we’re better off accepting this then creating our own because by creating our own, it’s a lesser of two evils.
Now, I think there’s a serious problem here. Because trying to address every case by huge number of minutia is not the way to go about a University and the way we’ve done our business historically. And it is better– there’s a reason why the writers of our constitution chose to have a rather modest document that set up structures for which people made decisions, rather than trying to commit everything to stone by writing it down. And I think this is, if you want to say the meta thing of all your long and learned discourse, I think at the core, that was the problem. And that’s going to be the problem– not just of HR80 and AD88 and whatever alphabet soup of things we have to deal with.
Because we had the ludicrous situation of a two page document being accompanied by four pages of references to all the other places and all the other rules that we were expected to learn and abate.
Larry Backer: Right. And you’re absolutely right. And I sympathize with you more than you can imagine. But I should also note that we live– and this is the sad irony– we live in our outside world in a vastly complicated administrative state, in which the reams of regulations that downstream from the very laconic constitution essentially manages most of our lives, from birth to death and probably beyond if they could figure out how to get jurisdiction.
The problem for us is exactly the one you talk about, but it’s what I call the problem of principled coherence. And that is, we don’t reference the principles that are in superior documents in order to cabin, constrain, and guide the necessary increasingly governmental-like web of regulations that continue to be necessary in order to manage a large– what was it– a $4 billion ship like this. I am the last person on Earth to suggest that we should do away with these regulatory things. There are too many pressures at every level of our social organization that points us in the direction of greater reliance on these regulatory systems.
The problem is that if you’re going to do this, you can’t be half—- I can’t say that, sorry. If you’re going to do this, you can’t leave this to the amateurs. And unfortunately, it’s no longer– if you’re going to create a quasi-governmental institution, which is what we’re doing– a quasi-regulatory mini state– you cannot continue to rely on methodologies of, oh shucks, folks will do it and things will work out. Part of the problem is the lack of expertise in training and part of it is the lack of clarity in actually putting together a complex weave of regulation from high principle down to the nitty gritty. And that is something that I have heard no one speak to because it is boring. It’s probably boring for me to say all of these multi-syllabic words one after another for five minutes. But it’s got to be done.
Chair Strauss: Our last question from Shapiro?
Keith Shapiro, Arts and Architecture: Shapiro, Arts and Architecture– given that, how do we write this thing or revise it so that it doesn’t require a lawyer to explain it to us afterwards?
Larry Backer: Well, that’s fairly simple. You start with the major objectives, and then you keep in mind the principals about how it is you think this University ought to relate to its faculty. And then you use those as load stars to develop simple and concise, effective statements of regulation, targeting those things that you think go beyond the bounds.
The problem with this HR80 is not only is it fumbling on that, but they want it to be efficient because at the same time, they wanted to use this– this my sense. And again, all I have is this document. As I’m reading the document, I go, oh my god, this is effectively one of those giant buyer cards. Because in addition to doing this regulatory stuff in which they put this extraordinary discretion in administrators, we’re also going to use this as a large vacuum cleaner to suck up data. For what purposes, we don’t know. They’re going to share it with everyone but us, but they’re going to be sucking up this data as well.
And that adds a layer of clunkiness to this thing that effectively makes you read this and say, “Well, OK, so which part am I looking at this? Am I looking at the data gathering part? Am I looking at the regulatory part? Am I looking at this as a principal’s part?” I have no clue. And when you put it all together, it just falls apart. Or actually, it doesn’t fall apart. It just might get easier for people to say, you can’t do this.
Chair Strauss: Thank you very much. We are way out of time. Thank you very much, Larry, for your presentation.
Chair Strauss: We have none.
Chair Strauss: We have a new legislative report. Please be reminded parliamentary procedure requires that all motions be submitted to the chair in writing. If needed, the Senate staff can provide you with paper and pencil. We will use clickers as usual for voting today. This system provides a very precise count for each vote taken and also allows for confidential voting and gives immediate results.
Senators should have received a clicker when they entered the auditorium. Please raise your hand if you need a clicker.
Revisions to Senate Policy 54-10 and 54-20: Good Standing and Academic Warning
The first legislative report is from Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid. It appears as Appendix G. Committee chair of ARSSA, Michel Haigh, will respond to questions.
Michel Haigh, College of Communications: That’s probably the greatest challenge at 4:20– is trying to get your clicker to work. OK. So I’ll make my presentation brief. Basically in September 2014, the Senate approved changes to Faculty Senate policy 54-00 to break it up into 54-10 and 54-20. And then of course, as Senate policy is, it was sent to ACUE to develop implementation procedures.
And then they figured out that they couldn’t implement this because it actually violated Faculty Senate policy 67-00, which talks about NCAA and requirements for eligibility. So over the summer, we worked with Dr. Pangborn to fine tune a little bit of the language. And that’s what you see before you today, with the bold and the striking.
And I hate to put Dr. Pangborn on the spot, but if you have a question, I’ll probably defer to him because he has more history with this policy than I do.
Chair Strauss: Are there any questions or comments? Seeing none, are we ready to vote?
The report is being brought to the floor by committee. It needs no second. If you are a senator joined by MediaSite, you may cast your vote on Poll Everywhere.com
To accept the motion, press A. To reject the motion, press B.
Anna Butler, Faculty Senate Staff: In Poll Everywhere, I have seven accept.
Chair Strauss: Motion carries. Thank you very much, Michelle, for the hard work that you and your committee did over the summer– consultation with Rob Pangborn.
Trust me, folks, we’ve had important discussions today. We’re trying to work through the agenda. I anticipate we can probably be through fairly quickly.
ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE REPORTS
Chair Strauss: There are none.
Report on Spring 2016 College Visits
Chair Strauss: The first informational report is the report on the Spring College Visits. It is submitted by Senate Council and appears as Appendix H. Laura Pauley, who was last year’s Senate Secretary, will stand for any questions that you might have on this report. Five minutes is allocated for the discussion. Are there any questions for Laura?
I see none. Thank you very much.
Faculty Senate Construction Report
The second and final informational report is from University Planning and appears in Appendix I. Ford Stryker, the Associate Vice President for Physical Plant, will present the report. 10 minutes is allocated. And I’ll remind everyone that this report is not being posted online. It is here so folks can actually see it, and it literally represents spending in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. So I think it should actually direct our full and undivided attention. So thank you very much, Ford.
Ford Stryker: Oh, great. I’ll make this real quick, because I know it’s late. And I want to thank everybody for still being here, so it’s amazing you’re still hanging in there.
So what I’m going to do is– I’ve got like 10 minutes– so I’m going to zoom through a number of construction projects. And you’re going to have to forgive me because I’m going to read this just to make sure I don’t forget anything. But I’ll try to keep it as lively as I can. Anyway, there’s 13 active projects and four completed projects. And this is just a sampling of the construction at both University Park and the Commonwealth.
At the Senate’s request, on each of the slides, I’ve indicated the source of funds for the projects. If you have any questions about that, feel free to ask when we get done. So I’m going to begin with the Kostos Building, which is a 1970s era building located in the core of Penn State Hazleton campus. The laboratories and classrooms in the building did not meet the needs of the students and faculty, and the restrooms were not ADA compliant.
The full renovation will improve functionality and energy efficiency in the entire facility to renew the building systems. The new entrance into the campus– the central promenade– is included. In this construction photo, the red arrow indicates the brick masonry is being removed for the new main entrance.
University Park–The Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department has outgrown its antiquated facilities at University Park. The existing historical front portion of the Ag Engineering building will be protected while the remainder will be demolished, to make way for a two story addition, housing modern laboratories and instructional space. So moving to Harrisburg, over the past few years Penn State Harrisburg has experienced a substantial increase in its student population. In order to address this increase, the new student enrichment center will provide additional student support spaces in the academic core of campus.
This approximately 70,000 square foot building houses a new auditorium, food services, a convenience store, offices to support student lounges, lounge spaces, and a spiritual center. That’s the completed building. OK. So moving on to York, the Ruhl Student Center and Multi-Purpose Building is centrally located in the Penn State York campus. This is a rendering of the new recreation and exercise facility. Upgrades to the existing game room and gymnasium are part of the renovation. A new group fitness room for classes, such as yoga and spinning, will be included in the new building. The project is 90% complete and on schedule for September opening.
The Adler Athletic Complex is in the center of the Altoona Campus. It was built in 1970 when the student population was about 30% of what it is today. In addition to the increase in enrollment, student use of the facility has increased significantly. The complex is now used for intramural and recreation sports, weightlifting, and fitness, Division III NCAA men’s and women’s athletics, student events such as concerts, graduation, etc. In this rendering of the southeast corner of the building, the entrance is here, the new weights and fitness room is here, and a new classroom and office addition can be seen further back.
The project will also include a new gymnasium, spinning room, new locker rooms, and offices and player meeting rooms. Installation of site utilities is underway and the new entrance is here.
Before 2012, there were no access controls in any University Park recreation facilities, such as Rec Hall, IM Building, White Building, or McCoy Natatorium. Phase One of access modifications completed in 2013 including installation of access control and monitoring equipment in these facilities. Phase Two will include installation of access control infrastructure and address ADA considerations. Enhancements to the main entrances of the White Building as shown in this rendering including ramps and automatic door openers. The interior is being upgraded with new turnstiles requiring a card swipe– a new space for support staff to monitor access into the buildings recreation spaces.
At McCoy Natatorium, an elevator tower will be added next to the main entrance as illustrated in this architect’s rendering, in addition to access control. Rec Hall is a large and complex facility, and I’ll briefly describe the final access modifications to be completed in the areas marked A, B, and C in this aerial. The ground floor pass through, A, between Atherton Street and the Burrowes entrances will be maintained. There’s an open pass through without security access restrictions.
Physical turnstiles and the staff control desk are being installed at the top of the stairs leading to the second floor, and at the southeast entry marked as B. A new control point will be added at the northeast corner of the areas marked C. Two phases of the Intramural Building expansion have been completed over the past few years. The next and final phase of the expansion on the north side of the building is shown in a rendering. Most of this work is being funded by student facility fees.
The new indoor turf field will occupy the majority of the 36,400 square foot addition. Other areas included in Phase 3 include multi-purpose room, squash courts, club sports spaces, and support space. Site work for Phase 3 is underway. The new energy efficient University Park Data Center supports high density research computing, resilient administrative computing, and business continuity functions for Hershey Medical Center. The Data Center is designed for future expansion. This is a single person entry into one of the many security control measures included in the Data Center security system. Here are some of the white space server racks in a temperature controlled environment.
This is Steidle Building at University Park. It’s located in the historic core of campus. In order to maximize this site to its highest and best use, the 1931 portion of Steidle was removed as shown here and demolished. In the interior, the remaining structure was infilled. The infill portion of the building is highlighted. The renovation of Steidle completed in July presents unique opportunities to advance Penn State’s national contribution to materials science and engineering research. This is a four story atrium between the existing portion, and the addition brings natural light into the building interior. Graduate students are moved in and are starting their work in the second floor materials science lab.
Moving to Whitmore– Whitmore Lab houses chemistry labs for undergraduate, introductory, and advanced studies and has not been materially changed since it was built in 1953. If anybody’s been there, it looks the same. In fact, parents would come back and say it didn’t change. Anyway, building systems have been upgraded and the original inefficient single pane windows were replaced to improve energy efficiency. Exterior doors and decorative spandrels were restored. So this is one of the new modern labs for undergraduate chemistry. And this is a newly reconfigured organic chemistry lab on the second floor.
The completed Morgan Academic Center is ready to open its doors to receive our 800-plus student athletes. This was the former Greenberg Ice Arena. The project consolidates the Morgan Academic Support Center into one location previously housed at four locations around campus.
So this is a view looking down at the new student athletes’ lounge and reading room. A new large classroom divides into two smaller classrooms for needed flexibility. So I’m going to shift to southeastern Pennsylvania. The University made a strategic decision to add on campus living facilities on Brandywine and Abington campuses in the competitive southeastern Pennsylvania market. At Brandywine, the first step is a 256-bed residence hall cited as illustrated on this campus map.
An on-campus student residence community requires a variety of on-campus resources to thrive or remain healthy. In order to support all students of Penn State Brandywine, the University is also building a new 30,000 square foot student union. The master plan for the Brandywine Campus identifies this area for future expansion of housing facilities.
This is an architect’s rendering of the new residence hall at Brandywine. The facility will feature a public lobby, great room. Other common spaces will include a multi-purpose room and meeting and study rooms. This photo was taken from a vantage point similar to the rendering. Foundation installation is 95% complete and work has started on the stair tower and elevator shaft. So this is the architect’s rendering of the student union. And the new facility will provide full dining services and seating space for the book store and post office– space for the student organization, student affairs, and administrative offices. The building foundation is complete and steel erection is about 90% complete.
So moving on to Abington– construction of 402-bed student apartment style complexes is under way on a University owned parcel about a half a mile from the campus. A shuttle will transport students to and from campus at frequent intervals. The site is off campus with dining options nearby, and each apartment will be equipped with a kitchen.
The five-story building is designed with apartment suites that will hold four to six students with a bathroom for every four students. Study lounges in the laundry are located in the knuckle of the south wing. Exterior masonry walls are being installed, along with concrete plank flooring. Construction activities include an interior wall layout and ongoing site utility installation.
OK. So I’m coming back to University Park now.
Some of you may remember these. The 23 residence halls in Pollock and East Halls were opened between 1960 and 1966, and they’ve been the engine that drives the revenue for Housing and Food Services with about 6,900 beds. None of these buildings have received comprehensive renovation since opening, and they no longer can compete with housing options available to other University Park students. A phased comprehensive renewal of three buildings per year is planned over the next nine years. Three new residence halls will be built to offset bed losses during these renovations.
The first new residence hall is located in the center of the North Hall’s complex- as shown on this slide. Site improvements result in a loss of approximately 70 parking spaces, which will be absorbed by existing parking nearby and nearby structures. This is a rendering of the new 310-bed residence hall in North Halls. It’s named Robinson Hall after Sarah Robinson, the first music instructor hired at the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania in 1871.
OK. This impressive underground storm water detention structure will collect water runoff from North Halls and from the Ag Engineering project. The detention structure will consist of 280 linear feet of 60 inch diameter concrete pipe, capped on both ends by storage vaults. East Hall’s renovation Phase 1A includes the second new residence hall and renovations of Stuart Hall.
Findlay Dining Commons – renovation is underway as well. About half of Findlay Commons is being renovated to reflect the latest trends in food preparation, presentation, and dining experience. This is what the north side of the building will look like. A key change will be the addition of a new grand stair and elevator that will connect the first and second floors. The entire building will receive new sprinkler systems, and aging and inefficient building systems are being replaced.
OK. So this is an artist’s rendering of what Stuart Hall will look like after the renovation. It features a new glass curtain wall that will bring natural daylight into the core of the building. Improved student social and service spaces are being included in the project. However, the start of the renovation has been delayed until January to accommodate a larger than anticipated freshman class this fall. This is a rendering of the new residence hall from Findlay Dining Commons. It’s named Earl Hall after the 29th Governor of Pennsylvania. The new residence hall includes 336 beds, most in double rooms, and also features a similar glass curtain wall for natural daylight, as planned for Stuart Hall. Work scheduled for completion next summer. So this concludes my report. I’m not sure if there’s any time for questions.
Chair Strauss: Any questions for Ford? Thanks very much for a great report. I’m glad I stayed.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
Chair Strauss: Are there any new legislative items? I see none.
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY
Do we have any comments or recommendations for the good of the University from those remaining? I see none.
Chair Strauss: May I have a motion to adjourn? Second? We are adjourned.
The following Senators were noted as having attended the September 6, 2016 Senate Meeting.
- Abdalla, Charles
- Adair, James
- Adewumi, Michael
- Aebli, Fred
- Ambler, Gilbert
- Ansari, Mohamad
- Aurand, Harold
- Aynardi, Martha
- Azemi, Asad
- Backer, Larry
- Banyaga, Augustin
- Barlow, Jesse
- Barney, Paul
- Bascom, Rebecca
- Basso, Susan McGarry
- Baumer, Eric
- Bechtel-Wherry, Lori
- Bérubé, Michael
- Blakney, Terry
- Blasko, Dawn
- Blockett, Kimberly
- Borromeo, Renee
- Bowen, Blannie
- Boyle, James
- Brennan, Mark
- Brentner, Kenneth
- Bridges, K. Robert
- Brigger, Clark
- Brown, Claudia
- Brown, Raymonde
- Brown, Richard
- Bruno, Michael
- Brunsden, Victor
- Bryan, Julia
- Butler, William
- Caldwell, Linda
- Casper, Gretchen
- Casteel, Mark
- Chen, Wei-Fan
- Clark, Mary Beth
- Clements, Ann
- Connolly-Ahern, Colleen
- Conti, Delia
- Copeland, Ann
- Davis, Dwight
- Dendle, Peter
- Dietz, Amy
- DiStaso, Marcia
- Duffey, Michele
- Duschl, Richard
- Eberle, Peter
- Eckhardt, Caroline
- Egolf, Roger
- Ellsworth, Maura
- Enama, Joseph
- Farley, Timothy
- Finke, Erinn
- Freiberg, Andrew
- Funk, Raymond
- Furfaro, Joyce
- Geisinger, Samantha
- Geller, Andrew
- Giebink, Noel Christopher
- Goranson, Morgon
- Grimes, Galen
- Griswold, Anna
- Guay, Terrence
- Haigh, Michel
- Han, David
- Hanes, Madlyn
- Harrison, Terry
- Harte, Federico
- Harwell, Kevin
- Hayford, Harold
- Healy, Michael
- Hickner, Michael
- High, Kane
- Hinchey, Patricia
- Hodgdon, Kathleen
- Holt, Sharon
- Horn, Mark
- Hristov, Alex
- Hufnagel, Pamela
- Hughes, Janet
- Jaap, James
- Jablokow, Kathryn
- Jolly, Rosemary
- Jones, Nicholas
- Jones, Raymond
- Jurs, Peter
- Kaag, Matthew
- Kalavar, Jyotsna
- Kass, Lawrence
- Keiler, Kenneth
- Kelly, William
- Kennedy-Phillips, Lance
- Kenyon, William
- King, Elizabeth
- Kitko, Lisa
- Korner, Barbara
- Krajsa, Michael
- Krasilnikov, Andrey
- Kreager, Derek
- Kubat, Robert
- Kulikowich, Jonna
- LaJeunesse, Todd
- Lasher, William
- Lawlor, Timothy
- Le, Binh
- Lee, Barrett
- Levine, Martha
- Lichvar, Shawn
- Linn, Suzanna
- Litzky, Barrie
- Lobaugh, Michael
- Loeb, Robert
- Luke, Nancy
- Mahan, Carolyn
- Malchow, John
- Malek, Adam
- Mangel, Lisa
- Manning, Keefe
- Marko, Frantisek
- Matsoukas, Themis
- Mazzucato, Anna
- Melton, Robert
- Messner, John
- Miles, James
- Miles, Mary
- Mott, Fynn
- Myers, Jamie
- Nasereddin, Mahdi
- Nelatury, Sudarshan
- Nelson, Kimberlyn
- Neves, Rogerio
- Nousek, John
- Ofosu, Willie
- Ozment, Judith
- Palmer, Timothy
- Pangborn, Robert
- Pannaman, Joshua
- Passmore, David
- Patzkowsky, Mark
- Pauley, Laura
- Pearson, Nicholas
- Petrilla, Rosemarie
- Pierce, Mari Beth
- Plummer, Julia
- Poole, Thomas
- Posey, Lisa
- Potochny, John
- Prabhu, Vansh
- Preciado, Felisa
- Radhakrishna, Rama
- Radovic, Ljubisa
- Ranjbar, Azita
- Ricketts, Robert
- Robertson, Gavin
- Robinett, Richard
- Robzen, Jeff
- Ropson, Ira
- Rothrock, Ling
- Ruggiero, Francesca
- Safran, Janina
- Samuel, George
- Scheel, Lydia
- Schmiedekamp, Ann
- Schulz, Andrew
- Scott, Geoffrey
- Seymour, Elizabeth
- Shannon, Robert
- Shapiro, Keith
- Sharkey, Neil
- Sharma, Amit
- Shockley, Alex
- Shurgalla, Richard
- Silveyra, Patricia
- Sims, Damon
- Singer, Richard
- Sinha, Alok
- Sliko, Jennifer
- Smith, David
- Smithwick, Erica
- Snyder, Stephen
- Strauss, James
- Subramanian, Rajarajan
- Suliman, Samia
- Szczygiel, Bonj
- Taylor, Ann
- Thomas, Darryl
- Trauth, Eileen
- Troester, Rodney
- Truica, Cristina
- Vrana, Kent
- Wagner, Johanna
- Walker, Eric
- Wang, Ming
- Webster, Nicole
- Weidemann, Craig
- Welsh, Nancy
- Wenner, William
- Whitehurst, Marcus
- Wilburne, Jane
- Williams, Mary Beth
- Wilson, Matthew
- Woessner, Matthew
- Wolfe, Douglas
- Young, Richard
- Zomorodi, Naseem
Ex Officio 5