Meeting Minutes

Educational Equity and Campus Environment



September 18, 2018

Members Present:

Borja Gutierrez (Chair), Alicia Decker (Vice-Chair), Mathias Hanses, Diego Santos (undergrad student rep), Kimberly Blockette, Marcus Whitehurst, Carmen Vanderhoof (grad student rep), Derek Fox, Diandra Prescod, Dajiang Liu

Members Absent:

Ninive Robles-Flores, N. Christopher Giebink, Cynthia Young




Minutes approved unanimously by voice vote.


  1. Report from Officers and Chairs Meeting
    1. More data exists than the university can proffer so requests for data much be very specific.
    2. Senate Chair Michael Berube wants all committee reports ready by February so they can be presented in March.
  2. Review of Committee Priority Form
    1. Gutierrez provided background information on each of the four high priority tasks for the year. A-1 considers the “one-link” syllabus for required University info. A-2 considers the possibility of commissioning role plays for addressing climate questions on campus. A-3 involves drafting an informational report on equity for learning support for the Commonwealth Campuses as compared to UP. A-4 considers expanding the educational equity report that was presented at the last Senate meeting.
    2. Decker and Gutierrez will work on Priority A-1 and Priority A-2. Fox, Vanderhoof, and Liu will work on Priority A-3. Fox will serve as point person. Blockette, Santos, Hanses, and Prescod will work on Priority A-4, with Blockette serving as point person.
    3. Chair Berube may task us with a fifth charge that examines the recent NEJM report about sexual harassment of medical students at PSU. He may also decide to create an ad hoc committee that investigates the matter in conjunction with the EECE. We will await the Chair’s decision before proceeding.


  1. Update on the Red Folder Initiative: The folders have been printed and now need to be distributed. Gutierrez will ask CAPS to present an informational report to Senate.
  2. Update on the Tenure and Equity Report: Cynthia Young sent an email to Gutierrez and Decker outlining the challenges their committee has faced as they have tried to access relevant data. If the Provost will not authorize the release of this crucial data, the committee may be forced to disband.


  1. Comments from Vice Provost for Educational Equity
    1. Michael Adewumi, Vice Provost for Global Programs, accepted a new position in Chicago. A national search for his replacement will soon be underway.
    2. The search for a new Dean of Liberal Arts is in its second round. Searches for a new Dean of Dickinson Law School and a new Dean of Arts and Architecture will start soon.
    3. Two Chancellor searches are underway at Penn State Schuylkill and Penn State York.
    4. Educational Equity is working on several projects this year and could use EECE support: (1) consider creating an Equity Action Resource Team for faculty searches, (2) planning a climate survey for 2019 on diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University, (3) promoting the new “Addressing Hate or Bias Toolkit” website, (4) consider partnering with Ann Clements and Nicolas Rolands on creating classroom-ready materials on diversity and inclusion for use at first-year seminar and engagement events.
  2. Discussion on Priority A-1: Should we legislate that faculty include University-required statements in their syllabi (e.g. student disability resources, reporting educational bias, and counseling services) versus simply including a link to the material? Members voted that we should draft language for a Legislative Report.
  3. Discussion on Priority A-2: We will wait until we have all seen “Results Will Vary” before we decide if it aligns with our goals. Members will be sent a link to this performance. Someone from the performance team will come to our October 23rd meeting to answer our questions. We can then decide if we need to do more. Are there other models that we can consider or perhaps we should ramp up this performance and pair it with other resources on campus? VP Whitehurst noted that NYU and Indiana have similar programs.
  4. Discussion on Priority A-4: Gutierrez provided additional information about the educational equity report from last year. We need to consider whether we need to expand this report and/or create a yearly or bi-yearly report that looks at Diversity and Inclusion at all Campuses.
  5. Fox asked for additional information on Priority A-3. This will be discussed at the next meeting. Dawn Blasko will be able to help the committee formulate research questions.
  6. Gutierrez will follow up with both research teams (e.g., A-3 and A-4). Decker will find out which sub-committees our absent members want to participate in.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:21am.

Alicia C. Decker

April 24, 2018

Members Present:

Asad Azemi (Chair), Julia Bryan (Co-Chair) (Zoom), Dwight Davis, Alex Shockley (undergrad student rep), Marcus Whitehurst (Vice Provost)

Members Absent:  

Alicia Dexter, Timothy Lawlor, Grant Littke, Denise Bortree, N Christopher Giebink, Tom Hogan, Bing Pan, Cynthia Young

Meeting was called to order at 8:35 AM

I. Review of the Agenda

II. Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes (3/13/18)

Minutes approved unanimously by voice vote

III. Announcements from the Chair

  1. Report from Officers and Chairs’ Meeting
    Azemi presented a summary report from the Officers and Chairs Meeting.
  2. Tenure and Equity CommitteeAzemi presented a summary of he tenure and equity activities since Young was absent due to surgery.  He indicated that the report would be ready sometime in September due to the lateness of obtaining the requested data.  He indicated that the data, from the last two years, shows a large percentage of male and female leave Penn State before the second year review and this is very much the same across the genders and races.  More data is needed to make a definitive statement

IV. Comments from the Vice Provost for Educational Equity

Vice Provost talked about some of the on-going and finalized searches

V. Old Business

  1. Review of informational reports for April meeting
    Majority of the meeting was focused on reviewing the two informational reports that the committee was expected to have in the Senate Meeting.  The update about the Red Folder report is included in the minutes.  The report about All-In includes data and the significance of these data were discussed and the possibility of continuing the same study for next year was mentioned.  The data shows the opportunity that different Penn State students have regarding taking diversity and inclusion courses.

VI. New Business


VII. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM

Appendix: Red folder initiative (updated presentation) was provided.

March 13, 2018

Members Present:

Asad Azemi (Chair), Alicia Dexter, , Dwight Davis, Timothy Lawlor, Grant Littke, Bing Pan, Alex Shockley (undergrad student rep), Marcus Whitehurst (Vice Provost), Tom Hogan (Zoom)

Members Absent:  

Julia Bryan, Denise Bortree, Alicia Dexter, N Christopher Giebink,


Sonia Deluca Fernandez (Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Ben Locke (Senior Director for Counseling and Psychological Services), Melissa Wright (Chair, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies),  Andrew Sandoval-Strauss (Chair, Latinx Studies), On-cho Ng (Chair, Asian and Asian-American Studies), and Dr. Bob Edwards (Chair, Comparative Literature).

Meeting was called to order at 8:40AM

I. Review of the Agenda

II. Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes (1/23/18)

Dwight made a motion to approve. Lawlor seconded. Meetings are approved.

III. Announcements from the Chair

  1. Report from Officers and Chairs’ Meeting
    1. Curricular Affairs – new bulletin is out
    2. UE – SRTE Report is being reviewed
    3. University Planning – annual construction report
    4. IA – consideration number of credits student athletes can take on world campus
    5. Research – transparency on consulting policies that exist
    6. Under new business, we will be assessing the late fee report. The draft will be published on Board Effect for our review.
    7. The Tenure report is now delayed to possibly September. Cause: format errors between two systems
  2. Tenure and Equity Committee (Cynthia)
    1. Committee is now meeting monthly. Discussion is on developing a survey to assess the climate on the various campuses
    2. The data for the last 20 years has been assessed; the largest finding is that if women make it to 20 year review, their review will be the same as men. However, it is much less frequent for women to reach that point.
    3. Moving forward to next year, looking to solutions of the findings thus far and how we combat that

IV. Comments from Vice Provost for Educational Equity

  1. Updates from AVP for Education Equity (Dr. Sonia Deluca Fernandez) – This committee (Survey Committee) was appointed by the Provost and their report is due in June. 20 individuals serves on the committee. The survey coordination hopes to enhance the survey development and engagement process. A number of surveys go out on campus, but there lacks consistency and reliability. The provost made 5 charges – review and describe landscape at the University, develop a calendar, university policy, best practices, and structure and governance
  2. The group divided into 4 subcommittees. The link for a survey on survey will be provided. Please take it if you engage in large scale surveys frequently.
  3. Defining large-scale surveys: all Penn State affiliates, 5,000 or more of UP individuals, 25% of faculty, staff, students at a single campus, etc.
  4. Chair Azemi asked a question on how the committee relates to the develop and purpose of surveys. A: That it what the committee is charged to do. They are seeing how surveys are being determined to be developed and how all of that can be consolidated/developed
  5. The group is also completing benchmarking to see how survey administration occurs at other universities, however Penn State has a different structure than a number of other universities
  6. Whitehurst made the recommendation to take the presentation to Academic Leadership Council
  7. There are also exclusions to the surveys to be considered: SRTEs, alumni & development surveys, gov. required surveys, etc.
  8. Contact information: Adam Christensen and Betty Harper

V. Old Business

  1. Review of information reports for April meeting
  2. World In Conversations
    1. Received update on information reports submitted by each campus – substantial information came from each campus regarding their initiatives and programs that they lead regarding diversity and inclusion.
  3. Resources available to faculty helping with student that require mental health support.
    1. Ben Locke joined us to discuss the Red Folder Initiative and its progress
    2. Locke – CAPS is working continuously on growing their services. They are diversifying their services to be able to reach more students. Further, they are looking on how to obtain visa sponsorship to recruit individuals that speak other languages for international students. Ben provided a card with the crisis services number (card includes the number for CAPS, Penn State Crisis Line, national crisis text line, and Penn State Police). There have been two active saves using the text line. For the campuses, the call line clarifies what campus they are at and can provide the local services for them. CAPS is beginning to explore more telehealth services for opportunities for students at the commonwealth. Further, they are looking at a service that provides support for native languages. Students can attend workshops as well. CAPS is recognizing that not all students need counseling, so they are trying to be out and about to offer opportunities for students to personally handle their mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
      1. Question: What is the outreach to Faculty? A: Departments can reach out to CAPS for a presentation. Currently CAPS presents to 16-17,000 individuals each year regarding their services
    3. Red Folder Update – It is an online resource for faculty and staff to refer students for its services. The overall project is fairly straight forward. The physical folder is meant to be simple, whereas the online website will provide more detail on services and what to do.
  4. Five department heads were invited by Cynthia Young to join us for the conversation on diversity and inclusion within the classroom: Dr. Melissa Wright (Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies), Dr. Andrew Sandoval-Strauss (Latinx Studies), Dr. On-cho Ng (Asian and Asian-American Studies), Dr. Bill Dewey (African American Studies), and Dr. Bob Edwards (Comparative Literature). The question being asked is this – how are the courses offered at the campuses enhancing the understanding of diversity and inclusion?
    1. Melissa Wright – Faculty come from various departments and their curriculum is very focuses on diversity. They look at gender, sexual, intersexual, history related, etc. topics. Any semester, there will be 750-1250 students in their own classes (not including cross-classes). A number of developments have been made each year – certifications and courses specifically. There is no issue with enrollment in classes (they have not plateaued as they have created new courses). Being their third year, there has never been any collaboration with World in Conversation before. The department has a variety of interactions and workshops that are being offered for individuals, so collaboration is ongoing. So they are small in terms of faculty, but large in number of engagements. The largest enrollment they have go up to 50, but by design, the courses have modest enrollment to sustain learning and dialogue.
      1. Question: How do you assess those students that engage in the department? A: The department has interviews with students, intro surveys, exit surveys, workshops/trainings that discuss their education, etc.
    2. On-cho Ng – This is a relatively new program, but have grown fairly rapidly. Essentially four languages are run – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Hindi. Korean has grown rapidly. The national trend has shown a decline in languages, however Penn State is doing fairly well compared to other places. For content courses, 23 are offered a year (12 are general education), so approximately 1000 enrollments throughout the year. Because they are newer, he admits that they have not been as involved in promoting the diversity and inclusion piece externally, however due to active enrollments, he believes that they are doing an effective job. The current question is how to continue to sustain success and how to continue to expand? Recently won the best academic journal with only 8 issues published. The department is looking to do a better job to advertise their engagement events (currently working on a promo video for Chinese studies specifically). The department has never collaborated with World in Conversation before.
      1. Same question as above. A: The assessments are through the languages. You have to assess in order to see if they are learning.
    3. Bob Edwards – The academic objectives and priorities drive the department. Diversity and inclusion are intrinsic to what the department does. Global media, ethics, and human rights are a few of the examples that they target specifically relating to D&I. Arabic and middle eastern studies, women studies, African American studies, etc. are all departments and programs that cross into their department. The faculty is diverse in demographics and experiences that offer better knowledge to students. Diversity ratios are very good (graduate – 2:1 for female to male, undergrad – 2:1 for non-domestic to domestic (essentially white males). There are approximately 35 undergraduate courses offered relating to D&I – Gen Ed, specific area courses, and topic courses. The department offers a number of engagement opportunities for students: lunches, workshops, and programs, are at the forefront. The group has not worked with World in Conversation before.
      1. For assessment, there is an assessment course (Comp Lit 010). It is an introductory course to the major.
    4. Andrew Sandoval-Strauss – The Latinx identity can now be considered as a hybrid, so there is consistent development. Often times stereotypes develop quickly for latinx individuals, so there is often discussions on identity within the department. A number of courses are on the origins of the indigenous people of the various countries and their histories. There have been 3 or 4 classes per year in the department, but next year there should be 10 a year. Latinx 100 is a Gen Ed, the remainder are US listed courses, although Andrew is pushing for more to be included in Gen Ed. There is about 35-60 students enrolled each year, looking to double next year. The department does put on programs, speakers, and events for engagement with students. They often partner with other departments and units with the programs they offer. They have not collaborated with World in Conversation before.
      1. Assessment – Currently they do not have assessments in place for the department.

VI. New Business

Late fees assessed to undergraduate students informational report – ARSSA & EECE

VII. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 10:52AM

January 23, 2018

Members Present: Azad Azemi (Chair), Julia Bryan (Vice Chair), Dwight Davis, Timothy Lawlor, Grant Littke, Bing Pan, Alex Shockley (undergrad student rep), Marcus Whitehurst (Vice Provost).

Members Absent:  Denise Bortree, Alicia Dexter, N Christopher Giebink, Tom Hogan (conference call), Cynthia Young.

Guests: Diego Sanchez (student)

    1. Review of the Agenda

Azemi: Called the meeting to order at 8:40 am. Reviewed the agenda.

    1. Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes (12/05/17)

Azemi: Reviewed previous minutes.
Davis: Motion to approve
Shockley: Seconded

Minutes approved unanimously by voice vote.

    1. Announcements from the Chair
        1. Report from Officers and Chairs’ Meeting

      Azemi: The senate recommended multi-year contracts for fixed term faculty to administration but it was denied. Admin. did not provide an alternative. One reason given is that permanent money is not available for fixed term faculty. Funding is for a maximum of 2 years and at the discretion of colleges’ administration.

      Azemi: Changes being considered in the leadership structure of the senate (i.e., chairs and chair-elects). Typically, there is no renewal for chair-elect position after one year. One year not enough for continuity. The desire is for continuation in terms of chair positions. Consideration of a vice-chair instead of a chair-elect with just a chair and vice-chair positions. This will be brought to floor for discussion and vote later this year.

      Davis: Understands the idea of chair having additional time. The problem is that with he chair-elect, the person has a year to learn the system and think about issues they want to address. With the rotating vice chair, if the vice chair does not run for chair, and the chair does two terms, then there is no secession. Need 2/3 votes to pass.

      Azemi: A policy discussed is one that would not allow athletes to take online courses to justify their full time status. This is a state mandate.

      Also, the COCR is working on graduate student administration can be involved in the senate format. Changes will be made so that they can come in as members.

      Faculty Affairs is also looking at why the rate of full professors is much higher at UP then other campuses. Further, AD92 is being considered – the aim is to make sure that university resources are not being used for political campaigns.

      Also, there will be a survey of faculty to determine how more collaboration can take place between UP and other campuses.

        1. Review of Committee Priority Form

      Azemi: Today, we need help from Dr. Whitehurst to send questions to campuses concerning the All In video and similar initiatives. We want to come up with questions today.

    2. Comments from Vice Provost for Educational Equity
    3. Old Business
      1. “All In” Video informational report
      2. World In Conversations

We addressed IV and V simultaneously.

Azemi – stated that he received permission from the chair to combine the World in Conversations and All In Video reports.

Whitehurst: A couple of questions were captured in the previous minutes.

Azemi: Asked Whitehurst about contacts for the survey on All In video and similar initiatives.

Whitehurst: The contact would be Andrea Dowhower ( Asst. VP for Student Affairs. She meets with DSAs at all the campuses.

Young: Read the previous questions:

Are you aware that there is a university All In video? Have you seen it? How have you utilized it for any kinds of discussions or dialogues?

Shockley: We want to know what is working or not working

Azemi: Suggested another question: Are you familiar with the WIC? How do you see it and how can it be used?

Azemi: Suggested another question could be: What are you doing in terms of diversity? The campuses are doing a lot. If you just focus on All In videos, it may seem they are not doing much.

Davis: Says he suspects that most campuses probably have major categories and sub-categories of initiatives. Better to ask what major initiatives are you using for diversity. What are your major initiatives at your campuses involving diversity?

Whitehurst: Suggested that we avoid receiving a laundry list of programs and dinners. We may want to focus on academic based initiatives.

Shockley: Agreed that we should see what campuses are doing for students in class and on campus for inclusiveness. What major academic initiatives do you have for diversity and inclusiveness?What programs and forums are you using to provide resources for students to address diversity in the classroom?

Lawlor: Asked who will we send the survey of questions to.

Whitehurst: Suggested we use Andrea Dowhower as our contact.

Azemi: Agreed.

Lawlor: Mentioned he had done something similar and emailed the DAAs as a point of contact.

Young: Recommended we take a step back and delve into what we mean by academic. Questioned whether WIC meets with academic programs and indicated he was not clear whether it has an academic focus.

Whitehurst: Indicated that WIC happens in SOC 119. For classes to participate in WIC, faculty initiate that.

Bryan: Mentioned she was worried that we may be taking it too wide. Wonder if chair may think our focus is too wide.

Azemi: Said he was not worried about that, but rather that it may be too wide to finish in March.

Suggested we shoot for April.

Lawlor: Commented that Azemi may want to check with the chair to see if he is fine with it.

Azemi: Asked for the questions we have currently.

Are you aware that there is a university All In video? Have you seen it?Have you utilized it? If so how?Are you using any programs and forums to provide resources for students to address diversity in the classroom? If so, what?

Discussed who we would send the questions to. Agreed we send to DAAs at campuses and at UP, maybe Kathy Bieschke.

Whitehurst. Suggested we ask Kathy Bieschke. The report can record that sent it to all 20 DAAs and the number we heard from.

Azemi: Asked about the timeline.

Whitehurst: Queried whether it may be better to speak to Madeline Haynes, rather than Kathy.

Whitehurst: WIC is happening at UP. There may be just as good initiatives at other campuses. Are there other similar initiatives that are just as good or best practices that we are aware of?

Azemi: Suggested that if there’s a link for everything happening at UP, then maybe the other campuses need to have a link for All In video.

Whitehurst and Lawlor cautioned us to focus on one thing.

Bryan: Clarified the three survey questions and the focus of report.

Lawlor: Suggested we mention the Educational Equity website which has tons of info.

Whitehurst: He took us to the website:

Under the About tab, go to All In accomplishments, and there is a list of things that have been accomplished in the first year.

Azemi: Suggested we include this link in the survey. Asked whether there is a point person for diversity at each campus.

Whitehurst: This All-In initiative is unique because before we have not covered diversity in the classroom.

Azemi: Asked whether we need a point person at every university to coordinate diversity from an academic focus.

Whitehurst: Indicated that there are difficulties in creating a new position and that this academic focus would have to be an add on to someone’s job.

Littke: Shared that people at campuses are overwhelmed and they don’t have the resources so designating someone as a point person on this matter does not serve the students well.

Young: Stated that people are doing diversity on these campuses in African American and Women and Gender studies. Suggested one of the things we point out is that there is not enough engagement with people who do this diversity work everyday and who could assess whether these dialogues are doing what they are supposed to do. One problem with WIC is that it has no connection or conversations to faculty doing this diversity work. There is a need to look at classes that are already addressing diversity or examine ways in which we can integrate this work or conversations. Suggested that there may be a need to make suggestions for how WIC could make linkages to academic programs already doing diversity.

Davis: Questioned what’s the appropriate forum for this conversation about how we as a university structure and coordinate the education of our students around these issues. Perhaps there may be a mismatch with some structures in some places for diversity, then WIC is not structured to anything of the other diversity work that’s going on. Suggested that we need to figure out who should be sitting around the table in conversation about how we coordinate these diversity programs for students.

Young: Stated that we have the Diversity and IL requirements. Suggested we discuss ways that students can leverage WIC and other programs to fulfill the Diversity and IL requirements.

Davis: Suggested that an end piece would be some attempt to look at what resources and personnel are doing these kinds of diversity programs. Emphasized the need to ask the question how might we better coordinate these resources and programs into something cohesive that may better serve our students.

Whitehurst: Mentioned that it would be best to do a report that aligns with the strategic goals and outcomes. Agreed that Cynthia’s point is very important. Aligns with what Middle States is asking us to do in terms of learning outcomes. Suggested we consider whether WIC is aligning students with additional resources and additional courses they can take after they leave WIC.

Suggested that this a conversation we can have with Sam and Laurie so as to make WIC stronger.

Cynthia: Pointed out that right now the website suggests we may not be thinking about resources as academic, but more in terms of wrongdoing.

Azemi: Maybe next year we could consider that for our report..At this time we have resources but no one is in charge of coordinating. We don’t seem to have a website showing all diversity courses offered.

Young: Agreed with Dwight’s suggestion about the need for a dialogue around aligning or connecting diversity resources and what would a productive relationship look like.

Azemi: Griffin & Hutchins, & Meece, 2011 Added and whether we need someone to coordinate or handle diversity in terms of academics.

Whitehurst: Courses around diversity can be found in UG. We are not at a person yet but trying to negotiate a relationship.

Davis: Indicated that WIC is a piece that is working as a component for the students. In addition, there are formalized courses that address some of the issues that WIC does not. Suggested that we are trying to have a process or forum or educational experiences that have some goal at the end that is coordinated. Seems that all of the academic based activities are not coordinated.

Azemi: Suggested that the new Gen Ed does that.

Davis: Questioned whether WIC is part of Gen Ed.

Davis: Replied that WIC seemed to last for 90 mins.

Whitehurst: Suggested that we may want to have a second conversation with Sam Richards to see how he can better link it to other academic offerings.

Young: Stated that in her role as Head of African American Studies, she would like to try to link WIC better with other depts. like Women Studies, Latino studies, Middle Eastern studies, etc. Agreed that Sam should be a part of the conversation, but that before we ask him more we may need to talk to the relevant professors about the different courses. Seems like this kind of engagement is not happening right now at UP.

Shockley: Emphasized that we should go back to the original question of what’s currently happening around academics and diversity. Then we can focus our report around that.

Young. Suggested regarding the dialogues that we nvite persons from the various departments here. Following that, we can address in our report what’s going on in WIC and the other departments.

Davis: Suggested that if we had a forum with 4 or 5 people who are working in these areas: African American studies, Women studies, etc., coming out of this conversation, this group may take the next step and ask how might we link what we are doing so that we have a more significant goal for students. Emphasized that’s assuming we can get past the politics so that we can ask the question how might these diversity courses/initiatives be interrelated.

Azemi: Agreed the suggestions. Indicated we have time for inviting the department heads and then Sam.

Shockley: Recommended department heads to start and then Sam.

Azemi: Proposed we give them a focus.

Young: Offered to write the questions.

Whitehurst: Suggested that we take a quick look at all the diversity courses. Type in US IL courses at Penn State. Some may read some of the course descriptions and not know how they relate to diversity.

    1. Tenure and Equity Committee

Young: Update from Cynthia. Indicated that the committee met and broke down into Quantitative and Qualitative subcommittees. The committee is trying to find where the gender, race, and sexuality disparities are. A meeting next week to come up with objectives. Committee will try to analyze the data, and look at the barriers.

Littke: Asked whether the committee looking at LGBTQ categories.

Young. Indicated that it’s hard to get to that, but the committee is having active conversations.

Young left at 10:03 a.m.

    1. Resources available to faculty helping with student that require mental health support.
    2. New Business
      1. Priority A2: Resources available to faculty helping with student that require mental health support.

Shockley/Azemi: Shared that CAPS is to create a Red folder that would available to every faculty member. It would be general enough so that users can identify appropriate resources easily. They will create website with folders broken down per topic. A consultant will come in to talk about this in our next meeting and we are going to have the informational report ready for Senate meeting on April.

Whitehurst left at 10:05.

Azemi: To wrap up, wanted to know what will we have prepared for March.

Suggested we push the All in and WIC report to April and move the student mental health resources to March. We could have a short presentation about Red folder.

Azemi will get in touch with student affairs coordinators.

Alex will share with Julia so we can share with rest of the committee and add what needs to be added.

      1. Mid-Year Report

Azemi: One report.  B1) Asked whether we should push B1 priority to next year unless Tim wants to champion it.

Lawlor: Agreed to look at it.

Azemi: Asked how does UP and campuses learning resources support compare.

Lawlor: There is a different structure at each campus.

Azemi: Need to find out what campuses have for learning support. We need to point out that many students transfer to UP, and upon doing so their GPA falls.

Davis: Perhaps we could we come up with a simple survey for the right persons and ask them what are the key learning resources.

Azemi: We need to find out how much money each campus is spending on learning support

Pan: We need to examine the budget items.

Azemi: Suggested we can look at it in terms of equity for resources.

Davis: Asked who would be the owners of this information and whether we can ask how much money is being spent on student learning support.

Bryan: Questioned what are we really getting when we ask that.

Davis: Stated he is not sure that a dollar figure will get at it.

    1. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 10:17 a.m.

Preparer: Julia Green Bryan
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December 5, 2017

Members Present: Azad Azemi (Chair), Julia Bryan (Co-chair), Dwight Davis, Tom Hogan (conference call), Timothy Lawlor, Grant Littke, Alex Shockley (undergrad student rep), Marcus Whitehurst (Vice Provost), Cynthia Young.

Members Absent:  Denise Bortree, Alicia Dexter, N Christopher Giebink.

Guests: Sam Richards.

Review of the Agenda
Azemi: Called the meeting to order. Reviewed the agenda.

Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes

Azemi: Reviewed previous minutes.

Dwight Davis: Motion to approve

Timothy Lawlor: Seconded

Minutes approved unanimously by voice vote.


Announcements from the Chair:  Report from Officers and Chairs’ Meeting

Azemi: Discussed a number of priorities of various senate committees including the Committee on Committee and Rules (COCR) work on changing the election rules for chair of the senate, and the Faculty Affairs committee work on multi-year contracts for fixed term faculty. He noted that Senate will oversee Residential and World campus.

Review of Committee Priority Form

The committee reviewed the priorities set for this year and discussed the timelines to finish them.

Tenure and Equity Committee

Cynthia Young and Asad Azemi will be representing the EECE committee in the Tenure and Equity Committee; Cynthia Young is the co-chair of this committee.

AD02A Supplemental Policy for Speeches, Rallies, and Demonstrations

Azemi: Updated us on AD02A which administration has approved

Comments from Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Dr. Marcus Whitehurst

Whitehurst: Updated us on a number of key issues such as:

      • Search for new Dean of Nursing – 3 invited for interviews
      • Searches for Dean of HHD and Dean of Liberal Arts to be conducted in the Spring
      • Impending search for Chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg
      • Relationship statement and signing ceremony being implemented for the fraternities: Some resistance from fraternities to various aspects of the signing statement. Monitors will be allowed into fraternities to monitor common areas.

Davis: question about the university time spent on significant problems related to fraternities and their potential harm to students. Asked whether there is a period of time and line in sand at which the administration would be willing to sanction/withdraw support from the fraternities.

Whitehurst: January 8, 2018 is the deadline for those who miss today’s (12/5/17) signing, then recognition will be removed in terms of relationship with university. Administration is using a step by step approach. He noted that many of the fraternities are doing some wonderful things.

Young: Question about the 14 suspensions.

Whitehurst: Noted that the 14 suspensions are all linked to recent events. Fraternities will now have to register social events with alcohol. Has been found that some events reported as non-alcohol events did have alcohol.

Old Business

“All In” Video informational report.

Azemi: The informational report was returned. They don’t want any recommendations included but would like the reported reworded so it is just information. The report has mostly a UP focus which needs to be expanded to other campuses. We can go in two directions: Make some changes and state our charge or we can expand and work with other campuses to see how things are being done around their intent to use the video. We can survey the chairs of faculty senate at the campuses to see what is being done with the video. Recommended the latter option.

Shockley: Asked whether we want do an assessment.

Azemi – Suggested we examine what happens at each campus.

Young: Questioned what the senate wants us to do about the charge.

Azemi: Harrisburg is using the video but is not included in the report.

Young: They asked us to say how the video could be used more effectively. Now they want us to say how it is being used.

Azemi: This opens up an opportunity for us. We can provide info that indicates what parts are missing.

Whitehurst: Asked what approach we plan to use to do outreach to the campuses.
Suggested we reach out to the Directors of Student Affairs (DSAs) to ask what conversations or events they have with the video.

Suggested questions:  Are you aware that there is a university All In video? Have you seen it?  How have you utilized it for any kinds of discussions or dialogues?

Azemi: Will formalize questions and send to Directors of Student Affairs. Would it go through your office (to Whitehurst)?

Whitehurst: Andrea Dowhower, Assistant DSA, may be a good point of contact –

Whitehurst left at 9:42 a.m. for another meeting.

New Business

Priority B2: How to make the World In Conversations widely available to incoming students

At 9:42 a.m. Sam Richards, the Director of Development of World in Conversation (WIC), spoke to the committee. He has taught SOC 119, Race and Ethnic Relations since 1991. WIC uses undergrad students as TAs to facilitate discussion groups around race relations. Student facilitators receive training as they are co-facilitating. World in Convo is based in College of Liberal Arts.

Over 3000 Race Relations conversations or dialogues take place all over the university. In 2002, they began partnering colleges and courses across the university. WIC do all the First year seminars across colleges. Approx. 7500 students went through last year, 3000 dialogues, 100 people work for WIC.

WIC used to have dialogues at the Commonwealth campuses, but they could not sustain the program. One year WIC had 1600 students at Commonwealth campuses.

Now with technology they may be able to it again, but would need funding for it.

Young: Noted that in Women Studies and African American Studies (AAS), they have tools for getting students beyond the right answers that may be useful to WIC.

Richards: I would welcome you to come over and talk with us

Hogan: Shared that he does action research using performing arts to promote equity and diversity. Said he would welcome the opportunity for more conversation with WIC.

Hogan left at 10:00 am

Davis: For a 90-min one-time conversations – as you look at your invitation list by discipline, what can you tell us?

Richards: We partner with colleges. Last year, we had 1600 Business students, 900 engineering, 800 from Eberly.

Davis: Asked whether there were disciplines where this form of conversation is not occurring as much as we would like it to.

Richards: Noted that the idea is that this is what Gen Ed is for, so engineering won’t have to teach this (race and ethnic relations). We realize that people are not having these Socratic based conversations. You are not being asked what you think. We are filling in an empty slot where students are not having these convos.

Davis: Asked what is the impact of these convos on students from year 1 to year 3 and what’s difference about the way they look at the world.

Richards: Noted that we don’t change our thinking through if-then statements, it is often a moment in time. Nine years ago, the World in Conversations program was going to be shut down. A student did focus groups of students who had been through the program and found something striking – the acts that were sparked from the convos were amazing.

Grant Littke left at 10:10

Azemi: Indicated that what we need in our report is why the WIC program is important. Asked Davis to take the lead on this. Told Sam that EECE will need more information on what you have done and what you are doing now. Including the budget.

Davis: Agreed he would begin by putting down some random thoughts.

Young: Offered to send the WIC link to Davis.

Davis: Shared that one of his random thoughts is that one of our responsibilities is to create a citizen with the ability to think broadly about different views.

Richards: – Agreed and noted that the idea is that that is the goal of Gen Ed, but the courses are often large survey courses.

Azemi: Reminded Sam that we are looking for history and what you have done to help draft our report. We need an intro about why this is important.

Azemi thanked Sam Richards for coming and he left.

Young: Indicated that it is problematic that World in Convo has no relationships with other departments that are also doing this work. They are doing this program through just the Deans and may not know what’s going on in various departments. Part of what the informational report shoudl talk about oi a model for linking departments who are doing this work.

Azemi: Noted the need to consider how we can change the model from solely Deans’ connection to include departments’ connections.

Shockley: Highlighted the student aspect and the incredible impact of WIC on students. Noted he would like all students to have some part of this.

Young: Emphasized the importance of WIC interfacing with departments. Noted that these conversations may be happening in some courses in Gen Ed. We need to know what is happening in depts.

Bryan: This is an opportunity for collaboration and exchange of information given importance of what WIC, AAS, and other departments are all doing

Priority A2: Resources available to faculty helping with student that require mental health support.

Shockley: He spoke to Dr. Locke about mental health resources. He is willing to start a working group next semester. Resources will be on a website for students, faculty, and staff.

AD02A Supplemental Policy for Speeches, Rallies, and Demonstrations

Azemi commented on this earlier.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:31.

Preparer: Julia Green Bryan
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October 17, 2017

Members Present:  Azad Azemi (Chair), Julia Bryan (Co-chair), Denise Bortree (conference call), Dwight Davis, Alicia Dexter, N Christopher Giebink, Tom Hogan, Timothy Lawlor, Grant Littke, Aex Shockley (undergrad student rep), Marcus Whitehurst (Vice Provost), Cynthia Young.

Members Absent:  Gilbert Ambler, Michelle Houck, Bing Pan, Ketul Patel, Eileen Williams.

Guests: None.

        1. Review of the Agenda

Azemi: Called the meeting to order. Introductions were made. Reviewed the agenda.

        1. Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes

Azemi: Reviewed the September 12, 2017 minutes.
Alex Shockley: Motion to approve
Dwight Davis: Seconded
Minutes approved unanimously by voice vote.

        1. Announcements from the Chair
          1. Report from Officers and Chairs’ Meeting

Azemi: Mentioned the Senate’s discussion of Faculty Benefits and the child care report they are working on. Curriculum affairs is working on letter designations for minors.

An important consideration this year is the way Senate is structured. They are looking at several models regarding Chair/Chair-Elect or Chair/Vice Chair (one ticket) to create continuity. In terms of Graduate Education, Senate making effort to change undergrad education to education in general so as to include grad education and make it clear that Senate has oversight of both. Regarding fixed term titles and promotions, it should have started July 2017, but the problem is implementation. Not many colleges have started implementation. Promotion committees will look at fixed terms, mostly assistants. There was discussion of pricing for prescription medication and CVS Care Merck and how it would work with our consistent structure. No-one seems to know much about the program.

Azemi: To questions from Hogan and Lawlor, mentioned that this health insurance agreement is shorter than the previous and Aetna chosen because it has wider hospital coverage especially in the west of the State and they have a deeper discount.

          1. Report from the Alumni Council Executive Board Meeting

Azemi: Invited to Tom Hogan to give report.

Hogan: Hogan indicated that he is the chair of committee celebrating academic achievement. President Barron spoke to the Board about the importance of transformative education and out of classroom experiences to augment in-class experiences. The president spoke about rewarding faculty members who are innovative and creative and providing the opportunity to use funds to create pilots. There was also a lot of discussion about the issue of the First Amendment and freedom of speech and how the University will deal with that as a land grant institution and at the same time, balance the needs of minority students and faculty. President really supports transformative education and how we can connect other initiatives, e.g., economic development, to what we do and our students.

Davis: What was Pres. Barron’s definition of transformative education?

Hogan: He talked about students who leave and create companies and jobs. what education they got that led them to create innovative solutions to social problems. What kinds of experiences are they getting to create innovative solutions to social problems. He paints a picture of the kind of student we want to develop.

Davis: What would teachers work on in this course that would be for the majority of the students be additive in the classroom?

Hogan. I asked that. What would it look like from a faculty member’s perspective? Think he is leaving that to us to configure.

Azemi: He inquired about the committee meeting about free speech.

Hogan: I convened a special committee meeting to talk about free speech and marginalized students. It is not a problem to be solved but to manage. Purpose was to start a dialogue. What should Penn State do if a controversial speaker like Richard Spencer, requests to speak through a student organization? President Barron asked what are the strategic options we have when someone like this makes a request. Freedom of speech is important, but protecting faculty and students outweighs that. What are the strategic options? What do other universities do?

Bryan: What is name of the committee?

Hogan: Joint Commission Chairs JCC

Shockley: State of Florida declared a state of emergency for the county because Richard Spencer is coming to UF. What are your thoughts?

Hogan: Richard Spencer and his group are very strategic about where they request to speak. Penn State fits their profile. We are trying to avoid a situation like UVA and to learn from it. Risk management is involved. There are plans to deal with the situation. All of us need to be a part of the solution. How do we protect freedom of speech and protect diversity and inclusion.

Young: Particular right wing people/groups are causing this. It is not the far left. We (African Studies) get the flyers and the anonymous notes questioning out legitimacy How can we be kept in loop? When do we get informed about when Richard Spencer is coming, and what the deliberative process is?

Hogan: We on JCC are sensitive to this. President has a number of strategic advisors and a strategic team. That’s what they are paid to do. We were not informed last time either. I will continue to push on that issue.

Whitehurst: There is a strategic communication protocol. Because of Charlottesville – we can argue because of imminent danger we can deny their request. Thus far we have not heard back from Richard Spencer. We do have a strategic communications team who will handle communications and determine location and emergency location in and out to the facility.

Bryan: Is he suing the University?

Whitehurst: He sued Auburn, UF, and UVA. President Barron says he expects to see a lawsuit in the long run.

Azemi: What is the long-term effect of allowing him here?

Hogan: The other side will argue what is the long term effect of not having civil discourse, of denying freedom of speech.

Azemi – Invited Vice Provost Whitehurst’s comments.

        1. Comments from Vice Provost for Educational Equity

Whitehurt: New Vice Provost of Affrimative Action, Suzanne Adaire, from November 1, 2017. Title IX will move back into her office.

President Barron has invited Dr. Lonny Bunch from the National Museum of African American Culture and History in DC to Penn State on Nov 1. He will talk about the history behind creating museum. 6:00 pm in Hub-Robeson Center.

Faculty forum– White supremacy at Penn State, what it is and how to fix it. Dr. Keith Gillyard, 10/23 at 6 pm, auditorium in Hub. Cynthia Young will be on the panel as well as the chair of Senate Matthew Woessner.

Affordability task force was created by the Trustees (composed of all trustees and Vice Provost of Finance David Gray) to look at the debt burden for students. Penn state tuition costs are close to some privates and leading among the Big 10.

Alicia: Won’t tuition go up if the budget is not passed by the state?

Shockley: President Barron sent email to parents. Student gov’t has been working on this since last year.

Student leaders did a video to release this week on social media.

Whitehurst: All leaders, deans, provosts were asked to determine how they would handle a 5% reduction to their budget if state budget not passed.

      • Old Business
        1.  “All In” Video informational or legislative report.


Azemi: We looked at the possibility of making the report advisory or forensic. The consensus at last night’s meeting was to stick with an informational report.

We need to consider who will be watching the All In video.

Both Julia Bryan and Alex Shockley have made drafts of the report.

Azemi: asked Bryan to talk about draft report

Alex: he created a draft report and talked to faculty about it. How can faculty get this going?

The informational report should talk about the importance of doing this.

Hogan: Faculty will need support and tools and training to talk about bias in the classroom. We can’t assume that faculty would be able to talk about bias in the classroom.

Shockley: The focus on faculty is not emphasized.

Hogan: The people who are leading follow up conversations to the video need to have certain skills. Those conversations can go astray very quickly. Training is needed.

Shockley: The video not as controversial as we think.

Whitehurst: Sam Richards, along with a team of facilitators, has agreed to serve as a support and resource if we choose to show the video to a class. They will serve as a resource for facilitated dialogue.

Young: If we are piloting it in the First-Year experience, there’s all sorts of people to facilitate the conversation afterwards. That’s how we did it with Gender Equity. We could tie the screening of the All In video to workshop with trained facilitator. Faculty should be trained and a quick here’s how you do it comes up.

Davis: I view this as an opportunity for an experience that most of us believe is important. I also understand or try to realize the discomfort of some of the faculty. I wonder if there is an opportunity for a feedback loop from faculty who do it as to how it came across, how it was received by students, and the kinds of issues that were raised. What might be something that we get back out of this concerning the experience that both our students and faculty have?

Azemi; any recommendations?

Whitehurs: Maybe we can have that conversation outside of this meeting. Suggested follow up with Sam Richards to see how he would support this if faculty were to do it. Recommended inviting Sam and Laura in to EECE.

Shockley: The meeting with Sam could happen and we can still have time to develop draft before Oct 27 deadline.

Bryan: We could use Google doc or Box to work on the draft.

Azemi: We have a deadline by Monday. Stated that he will put both reports in Board Effect.

Alicia: Asked the difference between informational and forensic report?

Azemi: Informational – no obligation to follow through. Forensic – the senate will vote on it.

      • New Business


        1. Priority B2: How to make the World in In Conversations widely available to incoming students

Shockley: Shared about similar requirements at various universities. University of Illinois has a similar requirement. PSU has a similar Gen Ed requirement. University of Iowa has a culture and diversity requirement. University of Nebraska Lincoln has Husker dialogues. They habe over 360 faculty and staff facilitate conversations on diversity. They developed playing cards; you go out with faculty or student leader and use these cards to facilitate dialogue. Noted that he could see a potential framework like this at Penn State. Given that the Student Safety report was not passed last year, something like this would be a different spin off rather than making it mandatory. I could see something along these lines as being more feasible.

Hogan: Asked about student the Safety report and it not being passed.

Shockely: Given the effort put into that report and that it was not passed, this may be a better alternative.

Azemi – we can recommend it as part of First Year seminar.

Alicia Dexter left at 9:40 to teach.

      1. Priority A2: Resources available to faculty helping with student that require mental health support

Shockley: He shared a packet of mental health resources for faculty from various universities – UC, Cal State resources

Whitehurst. Alex have you had a chance to sit down with Ben Locke? I think his office already has something.

Shockley: This would be a consolidation of resources.

Azemi: How can we make all of this information available/accessible to faculty and students? Do faculty need training to identify these students?

Lawlor: On our campus, we talk about this quite a bit. It would be helpful to have the information readily available.

Bryan: This is important. The anxiety level of students very high. These resources need to be a click away. We should consult with Ben Locke in CAPS.

Whitehurst: Shockley this is a great idea. Ben Locke needs to be in on this. Well Check was just adopted by CAPS. Deals with anxiety and children in the classroom and providing resources for students in the classroom. Important to have these resources a click away. What kind of report would you want?

Vice Provost Whitehurst left at 10:00 am.

Azemi: All of these are information reports. Brief. We can include links with our recommendations.

A3: Consult with committee on tenure. Equitable support on commonwealth resources

Azemi: Last priority in our form. Very limited resources exist for students on the commonwealth campuses. When students come to UP, they see a dip in their GPA.

Lawlor: I can share 2 or 3 Inter-relations IRC reports I worked on. Reasons for GPA drop for transfer students – partly environment related and related to continuity in advising. It is only in IST that you don’t see a dip in grades. I will dig those files out.

Bryan: IST seems to be very hands on for advising.

Azemi: Any other things? Let’s review.

I will start the folder on Box and put the All In video and report drafts on there so we can all add language. Shockley will email Sam Richards to see if he has any feedback.

Tim can you upload reports for A3?

Shockley will upload mental health report to Board Effect. He will also contact Ben and invite Azemi and Bryan to meeting.

Azemi: Will check to see if we can keep 504 Agricultural Sciences conference room. Bryan mentioned checking into use of College of Education Dean’s conference room as a possibility.

      • Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 10:10.

Julia Bryan.
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September 12, 2017

Members Present: Azad Azemi (Chair), Julia Bryan (Co-chair), Dwight Davis, Alicia Dexter, Timothy Lawlor, Grant Littke, Bing Pan, Alex Shockley (undergrad student rep), Marcus Whitehurst (Vice Provost), Cynthia Young.

Members Absent: Gilbert Ambler, Denise Bortree, Carina Curtis, N Christopher Giebink, Ketul Patel.

Guests: None.

I. Review of the Agenda

Azemi: Called the meeting to order. Introductions were made. Reviewed the agenda.

II. Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes

Azemi: Reviewed the April 25, 2017 minutes.
Motion to accept – Davis
Seconded – Lawlor
Minutes approved unanimously by voice vote.

III.       Announcements from the Chair

a. Report from Officers and Chairs’ Meeting

Azemi: The Officers and Chairs meeting discussed a number of topics including LionPath, new faculty benefits, Rec Hall closing and charging faculty for recreational facilities, World campus and future of online teaching, and SRTE’s.
Informational report will be done about shared governance and how campuses feel about shared governance. Provost Nick Jones does not want faculty to be over surveyed.
Number of full-time faculty at campuses are below UP’s, 46%-20% full time faculty.
Libraries will address charges about Digital Archives.
There were also various charges re. videoconferencing.

b. Review of Committee Priority Form

Azemi: EECE has three high priorities and we need to decide which one we will work on for the October meeting. Faculty Senate chair suggested we work with JCC to come up with strategic approach to free speech. Need someone to go to meeting. Neither chair (Azemi) or co-chair could attend but Azemi would teleconference into JCC meeting on Friday September 15, 2017. President Barron has asked for a strategy on free speech.

Lawlor: Could we invite someone from JCC to talk with us.

Azemi: Once we know the charge, we can invite someone from JCC

Azemi: Let us examine the charges on priority form.

i.   A1. A report on ways the “All In” video could be more effectively used in the college   classroom. Consider the utility of showing the video at either first year orientation, or other venues. Consult with the leadership of UPUA as appropriate.

Shockley:  Three of the priorities A1, A2, and B2, all came from student government.

Student government’s aim is to create inclusive environments. Ideally, they wanted the video played in all classrooms at the beginning of semester. This didn’t happen. Use of All In video.

Lawlor: It would have been great to play at Convocation

Whitehurst: Has anyone see the video? Maybe we can look at it next meeting.

Davis: Is there a link that can be shared? We can watch before next meeting.

Azemi – After the All In video is shown is a discussion wanted?

Shockley:  Discussion would be great but not required.

Young: Could be offered to students as an assignment for first week.

Whitehurst: It may require some conversation afterwards. Showing it at convocation may be tricky. May be better in the classroom or to have students look at it.

Azemi – We need to look at pushbacks from faculty. Can it be a part of first year seminar? But we don’t have that at all campuses. We must address “Where do we see it?”

Davis: Where is its place in our instructional format? How do people view themselves and their surroundings? Question of infringement on rights. A segment of faculty may have negative views. How would this play out with segments of our students and faculty?

Azemi: Also, some faculty have no training. Are and should faculty be trained to have these discussions?

Davis: Have we had discussion at the university level?

Whitehurst: Mentioned his awareness of challenge. The suggestion about the video came from students. The first thing maybe we can do an informational report to present to faculty.

Young: We must be careful not to conflate the video with saying this is a majority thing. This is a video of students sharing experiences of what it is like as a diverse student at Penn State and while people may not like their experiences, it is their experiences.

Azemi: This may create problems with faculty.

Young:  We do this all the time, in our syllabi, include comments on sexual bias, etc.

Azemi: We need to ask is it effective? Including these comments in the syllabus.

Shockley: The concern is resistance. Faculty may feel uncomfortable facilitating this discussion. Promoting the video is not as difficult as the discussion piece.

Lawlor:  Can we move this to an advisory report? The committee feels this is more important than information.

Bryan: We seemed concern about unintended consequences. These are difficult conversations to have even when you are trained to have them. We need to look outside the box and find/create spaces for students to have this discussion. We can assuming our university is representative of the wider society in range of views.

Young:  Suggested faculty meeting screenings so faculty could see the video at their meetings and have discussions about how they could use it, when and where.

Littke: We need a discussion with impact that isn’t repeated endlessly.

Davis:  This is an opportunity for context. Could we show the video in faculty senate and think about in what context we might want to have some kind of discussion about it?

We would get a spectrum of views from our peers and also from students.

From that forum that may be a lead to how we as a university may want to utilize it and in what forums. Some faculty may even want it yet not have ability to facilitate conversation and unintended consequences.

Whitehurst: I like Grant’s suggestion of first year seminar as a starting point.

Navigating the video may require some sophistication. We should see it first.

Whitehurst said he would send the video link to us.

Azemi: First year seminar faculty can show in class, but then need to have a backup, such as discussions/break out groups.

Dexter: Maybe those who teach these topics (e.g., African studies) can lead a town hall. But that would only be a few of us.

Littke and Whitehurst had to leave for other meetings.

At this point, we watched the video.

Bryan: The video seems tame, perhaps to us.

Shockley: There’s also a second video.

Azemi: What’s the goal?

Shockley: To show we are all in as Penn State, followed by a discussion. To demonstrate we have an inclusive classroom and climate.

Lawlor: Students could student leadership on this.

Shockley: We do every day

Davis: This is where we are trying to move toward, the desire to work every day toward inclusivity

Azemi: I saw at the last meeting at senate last year when worked on safety committee to add a course, it was voted down.

Indicated his hope the report will be revisited. The safety committee’s proposal could address the current Greek situation. To put video in freshman seminar, we would need an argument that it requires an educational component – the moment it is put in freshman seminar, that it is what we are saying. Then we need to have all arguments to support it.

Young:  Think we are making a bigger thing of the video than needed. The main message is what President Baron says, that we need to respect each other and make our community inclusive. We may be over thinking it. The video says here’s what inclusivity is. It says we have a lot of work to do in a very mild way. Based on the video, there’s no need for discussion. We may be overthinking it.

Bryan: It’s very mild. We could pilot test by showing faculty senate.

Young: President Baron is on there. Vetted. Here’s the message we want to send as a university.

Azemi: We need to determine how to use it effectively.

Cynthia: The video can’t be used if people don’t see it.

Azemi: It’s not as drastic as we thought. What’s the message we want to see?  It shows the diversity or make up of the university environment.

Shockley: In classroom settings, how do you make sure students don’t see it five times? Agreed we should show the video at faculty senate. Suggested that maybe we present this as an advisory report and ask for feedback.

Azemi: we need some solutions. The suggestions are 1) First year seminar and convocations, 2) Do not want to show 2 or 3 times, 3) If follow up conversation is needed, then experts needed.

Young: first year experience should have follow up mechanism in place, for example, different workshops (already in place), journals assigned. The video wasn’t on the list of resources for the

Shockley: Let’s not stay focused on UP – this is just as or more important at campuses.

Azemi – Indicated this is a fourth solution. 4) Make sure the video is included on the first year seminar list of resources. 5) For commonwealth campuses – show at Convocation.

Lawlor: Could have different videos playing on screens in public spaces.

Shockley: We have shown it in the Hub. We are trying to show it in the classroom.

Lawlor: On commonwealth campuses, public and classroom spaces not so separate.

Azemi – So some suggestions are to have clips displayed at commonwealth campuses and in academic buildings, to have a workshop added to first year experience linked to All In video.

Could the workshops be taped (short videos) so others outside UP can watch?

Young: We could use Zoom.

Azemi: After last year’s experience on the safety committee, let’s cover all the bases. Let’s do our homework.

Young:  How do we revive safety proposal from last year?

Azemi: the vote was very close.

Bryan: We can take back up the safety report.

Azemi: the Greek issue came up after the proposal was voted down. It was if you are a student in a Greek society, you take 2 specific Gen Ed courses

ii.    A2. Jointly with Student Life, draft an informational report that outlines the resources available to faculty, helping them to identify students that may require mental health support. Discuss the best practices to disseminate the information to faculty. Include a discussion of how the willingness to seek-out mental health support varies among under-represented groups at Penn State. [EECE will take the lead on this report.]

We briefly examined charge A2.

Azemi: Cynthia and Alex, would you proceed on charge A2 for next meeting?

Young:  This is an impetus. Faculty don’t know where students with mental health should go.

Shockley: Highlighted a resource in California schools. We could make this resource available through a link, perhaps on CANVAS.

III.    A3. Consult with the Special Committee on Gender Disparities on report that outlines the unique challenges female faculty confront in securing promotion and tenure at Penn State. Working with the SCGD, identify best practices employed by other institutions to help female faculty secure tenure. Consider conducting focus groups or survey exit interviews as needed. [Special Committee on Gender Disparities will take the lead on this report.]

Azemi: A special Committee on Tenure and Equity will take the lead on A3 – the committee not convened yet

iv.    B1. A report on how to make the World in Conversations presentations widely available to incoming students.

B1) Consider drafting an informational report about equity for learning support for the Commonwealth Campuses as compared to University Park.

Azemi: GPAs drop when students move from campuses to UP.

Lawlor: Offered to dig out the last report on this issue.

v.    B2. A report on how to make the World in Conversations presentations widely available to incoming students.

We did not discuss charge B2.

Concerning charge A1, Julia, Alicia, & Azemi will take the lead on the A1 informational report. The deadline is Oct 27 for this report to Faculty Senate in time for the Dec meeting.

IV. Comments from Vice Provost for Educational Equity
None. Had to leave for another meeting.

V. Old Business: None.

VI. New Business: None.

VII.     Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00

Preparer’s name: Julia Bryan.
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Old Business: Diversity in Administration (Blockett and Ingram).

Blockett: Handout of draft of Outline as well as three documents showing data from three University Offices. Report of Marcus Whitehurst to be posted on Committee Angel site. Review of Diversity in Administrative positions. Review of Diversity Strategic Plan shows decreasing diversity among Administrators.

Finke: Representation in Assistant Professor rank is low.

Turner: Reviewed types of reports that can be given by Committee. Alternatively, can have a forensic session, would this be useful approach?

Ingram: What would be questions asked in the forensic session?

Turner: Questions to get a sense of unanticipated concerns.

Loeb: Forensic session needs to have generation of data.

Turner: Data we have is valid.

Whitehurst: Yes. Good to bring new Associate Vice Provost for Planning to EECE for data revision. Lance C. Kennedy-Phillips, Associate Vice Provost for Planning and Assessment.

Blockett: Data shows low diversity in Administrators.

Turner: Barron summary of data questions trends in improvement of diversity.

Whitehurst: Women 25% of Full Professors, Barron want to see improvement in mentoring.

Blockett: Diversity definition not accepted across University.

Whitehurst: Barron charged Vice Provost to prepare a statement (copy shared, see Appendix 1) which is going to be introduced to Senate by Larry Backer.

Turner: How involved is the Affirmative Action Office? Assured AAO office involved. Better to define “inclusive” more broadly (i.e. veterans. etc.) within protected categories.

Blockett: Previously “diversity” defined by units.

Whitehurst: Yes, transition now to one statement. Each unit works with statement for their situations.

Blockett: No “diversity” definition.

Whitehurst: Definition was not included in order to make the statement more concise.

Turner: Senators in plenary session may question need for Statement in order to lead to significant discussion.

Wager: Statement intended to be made public and distributed to units?

Whitehurst: Yes, one statement for University.

Davis: Could units have same University Statement but differences in how to define diversity?

Whitehurst: Yes, focus of units may differ.

Davis: Direction for units in diversity planning not given, Statement given to work from.

Whitehurst: Demographics for campuses to be considered in planning.

Blockett: What is the focus of the report?

Turner: Recommendations in addition to statistics. Alternatively report starting points for future reports.

King: Does forensic session follow up with a report?

Turner: Report prior to forensic session.

Whitehurst: Recommendations from an actionable point of view. Administrative leadership recommendations to President; while faculty recommendations to Deans.

Turner: Broad distribution to ACUE and CADS for faculty report.

Introductions of Committee Members: Members introduced themselves.

Turner: Reviewed history of the “We Are Penn State” in regard to diversity and football team.

Whitehurst: “We Are” statute research revealed related to cheerleaders.

Turner: Not simple path we are embarking on. Geographic diversity, presented by Barron, is new perspective. Barron is signaling a reassessment of values. Important to note diversity differences among counties of Pennsylvania. Recognizing AAO categories is important thread to pursue. Inquired perspectives on Barron’s economic diversity issue.

Blockett: Has Barron responded to Diversity Plans?

Whitehurst: Yes, also Provost and Vice Provost for Educational Equity met with unit leaders to make sure fully integrated into diversity strategic plans in unit strategic plans.

Turner: Reviewed the charge of the Committee. Larry Backer, Chair of Joint Diversity Task may speak to Educational Equity and Campus Environment Committee. Explore planning for national conference for diversity. Diversity as core value.

Adjournment (10:37 AM) Unanimous.

Minutes submitted by

Robert Loeb, Committee Vice Chair

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