Meeting Minutes

Faculty Affairs


October 17, 2017

Members Present:  Kathy Bieschke, Renee Bishop-Pierce, Richard Brown, Michael Bruno, William Butler, Peter Dendle, Wendell Franklin, Julie Gallagher, Edward Glantz, Leland Glenna, Terrence Guay, Kathryn Jablokow, Rosemary Jolly (Vice Chair), Maureen Jones, Matthew Jordan, Lisa Kitko, Angela Linse, Michael Lobaugh, Yvonne Love, Rajen Mookerjee, Eric Novotny, David Passmore, Mark Patzkowsky, Nicholas Rowland (Chair), Amit Sharma, Alok Sinha, Patricia Silveyra

Members absent:  Betty Harper, Marc McDill, John Nousek, Stephen Snyder

Chair Rowland called the Joint Meeting to order at 8:30am.

  1. Change to clean-up AC-21, re: including standing FT faculty. After discussion, the report was indorsed by both committees.
  2. Change to expand AC-21, re: provision of multi-year contracts. After discussion, the report was indorsed by both committees.

9:30 am the Joint Meeting concludes, the groups split, and Chair Rowland delivers comments.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from Sept 12 unanimously approved. Minor revision: Angela Linse was not in attendance.

In “Report from Officers and Chairs Meeting” Chair Rowland reported:

  • Committee on Undergraduate Education is considering the implications of expanding focus to become the Committee on Education, which would include various forms of graduate education in addition to undergraduate education.
  • Intra-University Relations Committee is doing a survey of the implementation of changes to HR/AC-21 regarding the creation of promotion committees for fixed-term faculty members in order to report back how units are implementing those changes.
  • Faculty Benefits Committee delving deeper into the guidelines associated with Recreation Hall and other facilities.
  • Committee on Committees & Rules considering whether or not a chair should be re-electable, possibly with a Vice Chair (i.e., on a political ticket), and then serve for multiple, consecutive Chairships.

Program Proposal Request (i.e., Radiation Oncology Program Proposal) was reviewed in advance (last week); vote was unanimous on-line; there were no further points of interested discussed at this time.

9:50 am Assemble Subcommittees and Subcommittee Meetings

Items discussed include:

  • The delay in funding for the university from the state was discussed.
    • A desire was expressed for the “pain” ensuing from late and/or no funding form the State to be equally distributed among UC and Commonwealth campuses.
    • Angela Linse discussed a possible surcharge on tuition in the Spring. However, it is understood that there is usually a delay in State release of funding and this creates tension, especially on the Commonwealth campuses. (It should be noted in this regard that President Barron noted in the subsequent Senate meeting on Tuesday 17 that every effort would always be made to keep all campuses open and that if Penn State were not to receive its State allotment, it would be the first land grant university in the US not to do so.)
  • Faculty Development
    • Senator Gallagher noted that there was currently no elected official serving at the University. Temple and Pitt have no explicit policy in this regard. It may, thus, be an opportune time to pass a report prohibiting the hire of state and federal representatives to, for example, teach.
    • It was proposed that certain passages needed to be revised and/or struck in order for the guidelines for political activities on campus (AD-92) to be brought into line with faculty constitutional rights, such as freedom of expression.
  • Faculty Rights and Privacy
    • Renee Bishop of reported back on the initiation of an “early warning system” for administrators who need support/improvement.
    • U Michigan ranks every administrator and makes the ranking public.
    • AD 14 could be used as a tool. There is a concern that there be an efficient early warning system that is non-stigmatizing but also doesn’t enable troublemakers to force reviews.
    • Rutgers has a 25% or 2/3 no confidence initiation of review.
    • It was pointed out that some 5- year administration terms are complicated and require time for the admin leader to grow into the position. The goal is to set up a review system that does not penalize first-time administrators but provides for a system of constructive criticism.
    • Angela Linse mentioned the investigation of AD14 Administrative Review Policy and noted the precedent of “grandfathering in” administrators hired under circumstances prior to AD 14’s subsequent iterations.
  • Promotion, tenure and Leaves
    • Their report to clean-up AC-21, re: including standing FT faculty, was, after discussion, indorsed by both committees.
    • Their report to expand AC-21, re: provision of multi-year contracts, was, after discussion, indorsed by both committees.
    • The committee is working on making the Promotion and Tenure Report a mandated report for Faculty Affairs by penning a change to the Standing Rules that would need to be indorsed by the Committee on Committees and Rules before reaching Senate Council.

Chair Rowland adjourned at 10:30am.
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September 12, 2017

Members Present: Kathy Bieschke, Renee Bishop-Pierce, Richard Brown, Peter Dendle, Julie Gallagher, Edward Glantz, Leland Glenna, Terrence Guay, Rosemary Jolly (Vice Chair), Maureen Jones, Matthew Jordan, Lisa Kitko, Angela Linse, Michael Lobaugh, Yvonne Love, Rajen Mookerjee, John Nousek, David Passmore, Mark Patzkowsky, Nicholas Rowland (Chair), Amit Sharma, Alok Sinha, Patricia Silveyra

Members Absent: Michael Bruno, William Butler, Wendell Franklin, Betty Harper, Kathryn Jablokow, Marc McDill, Eric Novotny, Stephen Snyder.

Chair Rowland called the meeting to order at 8.40am.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from April 25 unanimously approved (Moved Jeff Nosak; seconded Lisa Kitko)

Chair Rowland discussed Officers and Chairs meeting; began with the charge to jointly review and revise the draft 2016-7 report on “Provision of Multi-year contracts for Fixed-term faculty” with IRC. FA to take the lead on this report. At stake is who gets multi-year contracts.  Also discussed were the financial implications of putting this policy together when ‘soft money’ is part of the budget for these salaries.

Next, when members of the Senate are specifically voting for officers of the Senate, senators should expect a report that will considering absolving administrative members of the Senate from their right to vote specifically during officer elections. There was some discussion as to whether this would be unnecessarily changing an otherwise useful process, but it was agreed that this was not the case in the specific context of voting for officers.

Next, the question of where funding is supposed to come from for the promotions resulting from the ‘upward mobility’ path for fixed term faculty was raised. This is supposed to come from Colleges, but FA seeks clarification of what will happen if a particular college, campus, or unit is unable financially to comply with the new legislation.

Finally, there was much discussion over the need for changes to the current family travel policy in place.  Concerns were expressed over the limits (or lack thereof) faculty responsibility for students 24/7; and the limitations on freedom of movement of faculty members’ families.

The charges for the year, divided here according to subcommittee responsibility, are:

Faculty Development (Fac Dev), chaired by Julie Gallagher

A2) Consider writing an advisory/consultative report that recommends establishing a policy prohibiting state or federal legislators from working as paid university employees.

B2) Write an advisory consultative report recommending revisions to Policy AD92 POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES.

Faculty Rights and Privacy Issues (FRPI), chaired by Renee Bishop-Pierce

A3) Consider drafting an advisory/consultative report recommending a mechanism whereby faculty can call for an early AD14 review of a university administrator.

B1) Prepare an advisory/consultative report on the forthcoming “Addressing Allegations of Faculty Misconduct” policy recently drafted by the Office of the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs. This report is not yet available for circulation.

B3) In consultation with Global Programs, draft an advisory consultative report recommending changes to the family travel policy. Follow-up on Faculty Affairs Spring of 2017 letter to Global Programs. [Global Programs will take the lead on this report.]

Promotion, Tenure, Absences and Leaves (PTAL), chaired by Yvonne Love

A1) Jointly with IRC, review and revise the draft 2016-17 report on “Provision of Multi-year Contracts for Fixed-term Faculty.” Be certain to make exceptions for research or clinical faculty as appropriate. [FA will take the lead on this report.]

Relevant Documents:

  • OLD IRC Multi-yearFTContracts2017.docx – Page 46 Rank and Title Chart.pdf – Page 50
  • Charting Proposed Relationship between Rank and Minimum Contract Length for Fixed-Term Faculty.docx – Page 51
  • DRAFT Multi-Year Contracts.docx – Page 52

A4) Jointly with IRC, commission a Promotion Flow Report that tracks the progress of fixed-term faculty as they move through the new promotion process. [This charge will fall primarily to the Faculty Affairs Committee.]

A5) Jointly with IRC, write an informational report exploring the reasons why a relatively low proportion of faculty from the Commonwealth Campuses are promoted to the rank of Full Professor. [IRC will take the lead on this report.]

Division into subcommittees took place during and after the meeting, which was adjourned at approximately 10.35am.

Subcommittee Roster:

FRPI:
Renee Bishop-Pierce – reb20@psu.edu (Chair)
Terrence Guay – trg12@psu.edu
Kathryn Jablokow – kwl3@psu.edu
Eric Novotny – ecn1@psu.edu
Amit Sharma – aus22@psu.edu
Alok Sinha – axs22@psu.edu

FACDEV:
Julie Gallagher – jag63@psu.edu (Chair)
Richard Brown – rsb24@psu.edu
William Butler – web15@psu.edu
Wendell Franklin – wbf112@psu.edu
Marc McDill – mem14@psu.edu
David Passmore – dlp@psu.edu

PTAL:
Yvonne Love – ymm1@psu.edu (Chair)
Kathy Bieschke – kxb11@psu.edu
Michael Bruno – mab47@psu.edu
Peter Dendle – pjd11@psu.edu
Leland Glenna – llg13@psu.edu
Edward Glantz – ejg8@psu.edu
Maureen Jones – mmc105@psu.edu
Matthew Jordan – mfj3@psu.edu
Lisa Kitko – lah150@psu.edu
Michael Lobaugh – mjl19@psu.edu
John Nousek – jan2@psu.edu
Mark Patzkowsky – mep12@psu.edu
Rajen Mookerjee – rxm24@psu.edu
Patricia Silveyra – pzs13@psu.edu
Stephen Snyder – sjs29@psu.edu

The committee also considered three requests for program and/or minor closures:

  1. Closure of Penn State Erie, Behrend College — Associate in Engineering Technology in Plastics Engineering Technology; unanimous vote in favor of closing.
  2. Closure of College of Education — Teaching and Learning Online Minor; unanimous vote in favor of closing.
  3. Closure of College of Arts and Architecture — Dance Minor; unanimous vote in favor of closing.

In closing, the group was split on whether or not to hold these programs accountable for the questionable format and presentation of closure materials, which were not well organized. The committee agreed that it would be unfair to hold individual programs or minors accountable for what appears to be a systematic problem. There is, therefore, a request forthcoming from FA for VP Pangbourn to ensure the proper, consistent procedures and paperwork are followed in each case and submitted in proper form to FA.

Submitted by Rosemary J. Jolly
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April 25, 2017

Members Present:

Michael Berube (C); Renee Bishop-Pierce; Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen; Michael Bruno; Delia Conti; Ann Copeland; Peter Dendle; Ed Glantz; N. (Chris) Giebink; Terrence Guay; Lisa Kitko; Rosemany Jolly; Bonnie Leventhal; Angela Linse; Michael Lobaugh; Carolyn Mahan; John Nousek; Mark Patzkowsky; Geoff Scott; Amit Sharma; Jane Wilburne 

Members Absent:

Marcia DiStaso; Sharon Holt; Marc McDill; Barrie Litzky; David Passmore; Betty Harper; Rajen Mookerjee; Steve Snyder; Bonj Szczygiel (VC)

Chair Berube called the meeting to order at 8:35.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Minutes from Mar. 21 meeting have been unanimously approved.

NEW BUSINESS 

Report from April 24 Officers & Chairs meeting

Chair Berube sent an email to Jim Strauss and Matthew Woessner expressing our concerns about the tenure flow report and indicating our belief that a Special Senate Committee should be established to review gender disparities in the tenure process. More broadly, we feel the need for “best practices” guidelines for the review and mentoring of junior faculty.

OLD BUSINESS:

AD 47: Suggested revision conforms policy to AAUP ethics statement but changes “professors” to “faculty” in order to include FT faculty. Tim Balliett will discuss this with us after the break.

AD 92 (Political Campaigns Activities): We have not received word from General Counsel regarding adopting of all or some of Faculty Affairs’s suggestions. This remains in limbo.

HR80 (Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting): There are still some lingering questions that were sent back to Old Main regarding possible penalties for non-compliance. They feel this is done.

HR21: when does it begin?

Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen reported HR21 was approved by Old Main. Different colleges will use different strategies for promoting people to second and upper ranks. Some are moving quickly.  Multiyear contracts are still not fixed; IRC will have this on their agenda next year. There are financial  implications. Provost Jones put some money in place in for 3 year contracts. There is some concern that as we provide advancement for fixed term faculty to build careers, that we will justify reducing the number of tenure positions because we are treating fixed term faculty better. Vice-Provost Bowen says it is important to keep the Tenure Flow report and create a Promotions report. He also reported that Madlyn Hanes has said that faculty on campuses who get an advance in rank will also get a raise and multi-year contracts.

Committee remained in full session throughout rest of meeting. 

Update on B1: Global Programs family travel policy for study abroad courses 

Gary Langsdale, University Risk Officer, and Natasha Adams, International Risk Manager in the Office of Global Programs, came to respond to the committee’s letter of April 7, 2017 expressing our fear that the new policy would have a chilling effect on study abroad. He explained that the administration had never codified certain issues concerning International Travel and at the time of the terrorist attacks in Northern Europe, there were concerns about our travel programs from the perspective of who is on a given trip (community members, family members, etc.). At one Commonwealth Campus there was a tendency to use a travel agent that would fill out a Penn State sponsored trip with community members to have the same experience as students, leaving the agency with another group to deal with in case of emergency. This caused a re-examination of all non-students on study abroad courses.

Meetings between Global Travel, the Provost, and campus leaders affirmed the need for the Travel Safety Network so that the University would know at any given time who is where, and the need for a travel policy focused on students.

The idea of accompanying family being a distraction in the case of an emergency elicited many comments from Faculty Affairs. The language in the policy about spouses requesting permission has been changed to may “not automatically” be granted. There is a real concern that this language – and policy that spouses may not be granted permission to travel – will be a disincentive, just at the time we are hoping to expand Global Programs for the majority of students.

There is also a feeling that it is asking too much of untrained faculty to manage students as well as teach; it would be better to have a trained professional along to serve as a resource while the faculty member serves as the academic leader.

Langsdale insists that we have robust international insurance in the case of an emergency or evacuation. Students and faculty do go through training, but when in crisis they may forget about training. It is better to direct people to call Global Assurance staff (24/7) who will get in touch with hospitals that are first world trained and have English speakers. He will take our concerns back to policy makers as they continue to discuss this in Risk Management.

AD47: General Standards of Professional Ethics

Tim Balliett, University Ethics Officer in the Office of Ethics and Compliance, joined us to say that the policy hadn’t been updated since 1986 and it has now been updated to match the current AAUP Statement of Ethics. The language within this policy has been changed from “Professors” to “Faculty” to be all inclusive.

Chair Berube stressed that the upshot of working with the Senate leadership this past year is that everything will now be run by Faculty Affairs or other Senate committees as it is rewritten. With Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen’s retirement, Faculty Affairs will need to be consulted early on as it serves as proxy for the faculty.

Next year’s priority form:

Tenure Flow report (Faculty Affairs and Educational Equity).

Task Force on Visiting Scholars needs to have representation from Faculty Affairs.

Angela Linse believes we should revisit the SRTE questions since they haven’t been revised since 1984 and we originally created them.

 Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am. 

Submitted by Annie Copeland.

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March 14, 2017 (Rescheduled for March 21, 2017)

Members Present: Michael Bérubé (C); Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen; Delia Conti; Ann Copeland; Peter Dendle;  Ed Glantz; N. (Chris) Giebink; Terrence Guay; Lisa Kitko; Angela Linse; John Nousek; Mark Patzkowsky; Amit Sharma; Stephen Snyder; Bonj Szczygiel (VC); Rosemany Jolly; Bonnie Levinthal; Marcia DiStaso

Members Absent:  Renee Bishop-Pierce; Michael Bruno; Marcia DiStaso; Sharon Holt; Michael Lobaugh; Carolyn Mahan; Marc McDill; Geoff Scott; Jane Wilburne; Barrie Litzky; David Passmore; Betty Harper; Rajen Mookerjee

Chair Bérubé called the meeting to order at 8:35.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes from Jan 24th meeting have been unanimously approved.

NEW BUSINESS

    1. Report from March 20th Officers & Chairs meeting
      B1 Global Programs assumption should be family can travel unless there is cause for concern. Gary Langsdale (Risk Management Officer) will meet with Faculty Affairs on April 25.HR80 (Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting): Chair Bérubé suggests this has been a healthy process of communicating concerns from Committee which affected policy revision. Two question remain unresolved: 1. we question the presumption that inquiries about faculty activity outside the Appointment Period are appropriate, and 2. attendant penalties for non-compliance of the above. We will endorse the report at the April 25 Senate meeting if we receive an answer to these remaining questions.AD 92 (Political Campaigns Activities): have not received word from General Counsel regarding adopting of all or some of FacAff’s suggestions terminology/clarifying language. This may come before this group in April; awaiting guidance on further process as needed.

Committee remained in full session throughout rest of meeting.

  1. Reports in ProgressUpdate on A6—Intra-University Relations report on FT multi-year contracts.
    The report on multi-year contracts is currently being re-evaluated having been returned to IRC by Senate Council with recommendation that members consult with Vice Provost Blannie Bowen and Madlyn Hanes (VP Commonwealth Campuses). The issue was to more fully explore ‘unintended consequences’ of mandating multi-year contracts after a given number of years in service.Last year, this issue had been in shared purview of IRC and Faculty Affairs; is currently in the exclusive hands of IRC. Faculty Affairs may be asked to consult at some future date. It’s anticipated IRC will bring this forward in April meeting.Update on B1—Global Programs family travel policy for study abroad coursesThe charge handed to Faculty Affairs was to “consult with Global Programs” regarding its proposal to disallow family travel attendant with teaching-abroad roles, without prior approval. It is argued by this Committee that to place any sort of undue obstacle or hardship, such as of producing ‘evidence’ to justify family-accompanied travel when conducting study abroad courses, is counterintuitive to the sustainability of those programs. And, in fact, simply insulting to the faculty’s professional integrity.In fact, the provision assuming appropriateness of family travel should be considered as default, and the burden more appropriately should be placed on Global Programs to argue for those special situations where disallowance is prudent and logical.It is concluded by this Committee to be a huge encroachment on the independence of faculty. Has this been benchmarked? Several, perhaps unintended, consequences would be the dwindling number of faculty who want to conduct such courses. Another observation is the substantial increase of liability implied with regard to 24/7 supervision (“in loco parentis”) for which faculty are not trained.So, in prep for Gary Langsdale’s April visit, we will present a list of questions/concerns about this:

    • what role might local support could/should play in the restriction;
    • there is implied increased risk being placed upon faculty as well as a violation of faculty privacy/integrity;
    • this will have an adverse effect on # of people willing to teach entire semester absent family;
    • how does this fit with the President’s declaration for an increase of students having these experiences; and, the observation that the exemption request process may add time that faculty do not have
    • has there been a bench-marking process of other institutions? Can this really be considered ‘best practices’

    The “distraction” argument—when such distractions occur—should be handled locally in independent units rather than treated as an established fact endemic to all international travel. Chair Bérubé will pull together comments and send to Gary Langsdale and Jim Strauss, conveying an emphatic, unanimous and permanent objection from this Committee to this policy.

    Tenure Flow Report discussion:  the group found the numbers to be alarming with regard to gender disparities—those numbers have not been good, and are getting worse. After considerable discussion this Committee moved to request that a special Senate committee be established to review gender disparities in the tenure process and, more broadly, issue “best practices” guidelines for the review and mentoring of junior faculty.

    Special Committee on Engaged Scholarship
    Report was discussed and approved. We note, in particular, that the report does not imply to any degree that ‘engaged scholarship’ should become a 4th level of performance evaluation for tenure. 

    Break 10:15 – 10:30

    Discuss afternoon vote on advisory/consultative report A2—Recommend a uniform Fixed-Term Rank title structure for continuity and use across all Penn State campuses and units

    Discuss A5—Angela Linse’s report on SRTE effectiveness should have a product that is ‘published’ and disseminated to all heads for use in P&T committees. There was an expressed desire to have this report disseminated in some fashion, proactively, to unit heads and members of P&T committees.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am.

Submitted by Bonj Szczygiel, Vice-Chair

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January 24, 2017

Members Present: Michael Berube (C); Renee Bishop-Pierce; Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen; Michael Bruno; Delia Conti; Ann Copeland; Peter Dendle; Marcia DiStaso; Ed Glantz; N. (Chris) Giebink; Terrence Guay; Sharon Holt; Lisa Kitko; Angela Linse; Michael Lobaugh; Carolyn Mahan; Marc McDill; John Nousek; Mark Patzkowsky; Geoff Scott; Patricia Silveyra; Amit Sharma; Stephen Snyder; Bonj Szczygiel (VC); Jane Wilburne

Members Absent:  Rosemany Jolly; Barrie Litzky; David Passmore; Betty Harper; Rajen Mookerjee

Guests: Zaryab Iqbal (Admin. Assist., Provost Jones) 

Chair Berube called the meeting to order at 8:35.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes from December 6th meeting have been unanimously approved.

NEW BUSINESS

    1. Report from January 23rd Officers & Chairs meeting
      Chair Berube mentioned that Roger Egolf (chair, Intra-University Relations) brought up the issue of inappropriate HR 40 reviews (post-tenure reviews) of FT faculty being conducted on one of the campuses—something that may be brought to this Committee’s attention. Then touched on each of below topics briefly.
      [Committee remained in full session throughout the meeting]
    2. Reports in Progress
        • HR21 (Policy on Definition of Academic Ranks)(Fac Aff priority A2)—discussion began on the scheduled Forensic Session to take place this afternoon regarding FacAff’s Recommendation for a uniform Fixed-Term Rank title structure for continuity and use across all Penn State campuses and units. Liberal Arts Caucus has proposed a change to the current breakdown of rank/titles which will be presented at the forensic session this afternoon (it was then previewed by the Committee). The Committee recognizes there will not be unanimity. Phase-in will allow greater flexibility in its adoption. Snyder commented on those atypical titles/positions; bottom line, there is no intent to strip people of titles in rare or anomalous situations.Scott asked where standing appointments fall within the term of this discussion? Linse pointed out “Standing appointment” and “Fixed Term” are also budgetary terms.Holt indicated that this might affect many people, but not all. So it needs to be recognized on the floor that special circumstances MAY exist and can get ‘dispensation’ for those faculty that don’t fall into one of the categories. Bowen pointed out most of the standing appointments are covered in HR23—those individuals’ promotions go through the University Tenure Committee. We have very few standing faculty who are not tenured, and they are clustered primarily in research positions.The term “Clinical” is reportedly raising some concern among Carlisle law faculty. But the big picture is that we’re not voting today; this is a forensic—the goal is to hear concerns from the Senate floor.
        • AD 92 (Political Campaign Activities)discussion continued regarding further revisions. Frist discussed at length at the Dec 6th mtg; and appended with a memo from Chair Berube (dated Oct. 26, 2016)Berube reviewed the many new revisions, strike by strike (as reviewed by Larry Backer, Matthew Woessner & Berube). The committee did not have many objections to the wording; and were satisfied with the explanations given. It may come back to Committee if General Counsel has concerns.

      Comments from Committee to be brought back:

          • Faculty need guidance on what is acceptable and what is not (to use PSU resources? or one’s private e-mail, etc.); faculty should be given as much latitude as possible, unless the case is clearly over the line.
          • Are politicians allowed to campaign at tail gate gatherings?

Chair Berube will relay these questions to Chair Strauss and Matthew Woessner.

    1. A6—Brief discussion of Intra-University Relations’ report on multi-year contracts for fixed-term faculty. This is not our report, so we are not asked to vote on it; discussion is solely for purposes of consultation.
      IRC proposes a plan for awarding multi-year contracts that does not go through the FT promotion process the Senate created last year. Three-year contracts would be awarded after five years of service, five-year contracts after nine years.The committee is divided on this question. Some members argue that if long-serving FT faculty can’t get tenure, they should at least get multi-year contracts. Otherwise the University runs the risk of operating a revolving door on hires. Others argue that the IRC proposal creates “perverse incentives” for administrators to fire FT faculty before they become eligible for multi-year contracts. This concern was especially strong with regard to five-year contracts, which, unlike three-year contracts, cannot be funded out of temporary funds.Bowen felt that multi-year contracts should be based on merit and review rather than years of service, using the promotion procedures created by the Senate and agreed to by the President and Provost. The IRC proposal, he argues, “waters down” that process by offering multi-year contracts without the more rigorous review involved in evaluating FT faculty for promotion.

Break 10:25 – 10:35

    1. Distribute and discuss A5—Angela Linse’s report on SRTE effectiveness
      The intent is for this informational report to be on record as a Senate document, thereby requiring all parties to be held to its standards and interpretations. It was commented that SRTEs are only one part of the dossier reviewed by any review committee. SRTEs are not an assessment of student learning; rather, they are measures of student perceptions of classroom experience. Therefore, it is simply data collection that can use as a piece of the whole for evaluating faculty.

 

  1. Upcoming Preliminary plans for A3—Revisions to HR80, “Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting” Chair Berube shared communications between himself and Geoff Scott and reviewed, point by point, suggested changes in wording. In particular there now exists an appeal process; wording introduced regarding the 40 hour rule that would control University creep beyond the appointment period; clarity and simplification of communication has been adopted, etc. This Committee was asked to review it in the next few weeks, and send any additional comments to Chair Berube. But, as presented today, Committee was uniformly in support of submitting it for further consideration.To avoid the problem of “reverse engineering in the dark”—i.e., trying to figure out what problem a revised policy is trying to address and why—we will ask, beginning next year, that revised policies come to us with a cover sheet explaining what the revisions are intended to do and why. It was enormously helpful, for instance, to learn that AD92 was being issued not because of any faculty activity around the 2016 election but because the University needed a policy for how to handle campaign visits, beginning with a stop by the Romney/Ryan campaign in 2012.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am. Submitted by Bonj Szczygiel, Vice-Chair

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December 6, 2016

Members present: Michael Bérubé (C); Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen; Michael Bruno; Delia Conti; Ann Copeland; Peter Dendle; Marcia DiStaso; N. (Christopher) Giebink; Terrence Guay; Patricia Hinchey; Sharon Holt; Lisa Kitko; Angela Linse; Michael Lobaugh; Carolyn Mahan; Rajen Mookerjee; Mark Patzkowsky; Geoff Scott; Patricia Silveyra; Amit Sharma; Stephen Snyder; Bonj Szczygiel (VC); Jane Wilburne

Members absent: Ed Glantz; Rosemany Jolly; Barrie Litzky; Marc McDill; John Nousek; David Passmore

Guest: Zaryab Iqbal, (Admin. Assist., Provost Jones)

Chair Bérubé called the meeting to order at 8:35.  

Minutes from October 18th meeting unanimously approved  

NEW BUSINESS

        1. Report from Dec. 5th Officers & Chairs meeting (Bérubé )
          • HR 80 (Outside Business and Private Consulting)—Chair Bérubé explained that the previous meeting’s discussion regarding the bypassing of FacAff for review of HR 80 (prior to Council review) was an unintentional error. Draft report submitted to Chair Strauss was returned for further discussion at today’s meeting with goal of giving recommendations greater specificity.
          • AD 92 (Political Campaign Activities)—[see Oct. 26, 2016 memo posted in BrdEffect for full description of meeting] Meeting with Senate executive officers, Bérubé , and members of University legal counsel.Chair Bérubé reported one component of AD92 (political campaign involvement) has been resolved (will post to BrdEffect memo of explanation) Summarized: What was it trying to fix? PSU has no policy on dissemination of political campaign support. In particular the notion of “indirect” contributions to political campaigns needed to be clarified. Legal counsel explained it as a direct reflecting of terminology used in federal law. Discussion ensued regarding political discussions in the classroom, in which students may respond/interpret as endorsement of a candidate. This discussion resulted in a Section D re-write to clarify: ‘policy is not intended to limit public partisan statements made by University . . .’ New language to this effect was inserted in the revised document thereby nullifying need to be addressed at this meeting.
          • HR 64 (Academic Freedom, as related to AD 92)—noted issues re: academic freedom will be coming up. “No faculty member may claim as a right the privilege of discussion in the classroom controversial topics outside or unrelated to his/her own field of study. The faculty member is normally bound not to take advantage of his/her position by introducing into the classroom provocative discussions of irrelevant subjects not within the field of his/her study”Open discussion from committee recommended inserting modifier “persistently” to clarify nature of objectionable classroom discussions. Was moved to submit the modification in wording to Chair Strauss as a report, suggesting change to existing policy.
        2. Floor discussion
          • Discuss and vote on recommendation for revisions to HR21 a uniform Fixed-Term Rank/Title structure for continuity and use across all Penn State campuses and units
            HR21 (FT rank/titles issue) (FACDEV, Chair Hinchey)
            Hinchey began discussion of draft report, addressing specific questions:
            Definition of ‘clinical faculty’? Was suggested this be left to respective departments and units to determine.Issue of grandfathering titles? It was deemed best to wait for discussion on Senate floor to gauge an appropriate response.Why six columns (terminology for those possessing a terminal degree, and those not)? The need to address the issue of terminal degrees was strongly felt—recognizing that this may offer assurance to those FT faculty who do not hold terminal degrees. Was anticipated this issue may generate significant discussion during Senate floor debate.Snyder suggest this be re-packaged as a direct revision of HR 21; to wit, need to include the current language, and show changes being proposed.Final agreement on the ‘packaging’ of the new language—proposed changes to be submitted within the context of current HR 21. It was also decided to submit with supporting documents—while they may be redundant, their inclusion makes for a more comprehensive recommendation.Ultimately, this is recognized as being a very controversial proposal; not everyone will be happy with the new titles.Moved and seconded to 1. Place within current HR21 context, and 2. Presented to Council’s agenda on Dec. 16th with anticipation of getting to Senate floor.

Break (10:00–10:15) 

        • Discuss revisions to HR80, Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting
          HR 80 (Private Consulting Practice, with proposed re-title “Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting”) (joint FRPI, Chair Jolly and PTAL, Chair Snyder)There is a concern that the lack of an appeal process much be addressed, to be adjudicated by Faculty Rights & Responsibilities committee. Question remaining is faculty seeking teaching opportunity at other Universities for income (not to hone skills). Comment from Scott: distinguish between appointment period and a non-appointment period. Ambiguity still exists. It was suggested that Scott and Bérubé collaborate on a re-write distinguishing the two categories of appointment and non-appointment; and the appeals process. The goal would be to explicitly argue that there should be no restrictions on non-appointment period activities. This would hopefully give guidance to University legal counsel of what would be palatable from a faculty perspective.Additionally, since it will be proposed that the appeal process involve Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee (a committee with vertical composition – admin and faculty sit on it alike); they will be consulted. This is the task being undertaken prior to Fac. Aff’s January meeting.
      1. Given Fac Aff had requested the Linse report on SRTE, it will be submitted as advisory and consultative for Council review this spring semester.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am.
Submitted by Bonj Szczygiel, Vice-Chair

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October 18, 2016

Members present: Michael Berube (C); Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen; Michael Brunno; Delia Conti; Ann Copeland; Peter Dendle; Marcia DiStaso; Ed Glantz; Terrence Guay; Patricia Hinchey; Sharon Holt; Rosemany Jolly; Lisa Kitko; Carolyn Mahan; Rajen Mookerjee; David Passmore; Mark Patzkowsky; Geoff Scott; Patricia Silveyra; Stephen Snyder; Bonj Szczygiel (VC); Jane Wilburne; Angela Linse; Michael Lobaugh

Guest: Zaryab Iqbal, (Admin. Assist., Provost Jones)

Members absent: N. Christopher Giebink; Barrie Litzky; John Nousek; Marc McDill; Amit Sharma

Chair Berube called the meeting to order at 8:35. After presenting the array of topics to be covered, he suggested the meeting be comprised of open floor discussion, rather than break-out sessions, given topical over-laps; there was unanimous agreement to this.
Full Committee discussions

      1. AD 88 (Code of Responsible Conduct) (FRPI, Chair Jolly)Forensic presentation is scheduled for December mtg. It was noted the discussion needs to be mindful of staff and students who may be in more vulnerable positions to experience abuse. Was suggested this tension is not necessarily fixable by better language; one’s exercising academic freedom can be another’s objectionable irritant.  Discussion regarding the lack of geographical information for reported abuses led to observation that policy should not be implemented if it were regarding a few disgruntled people. Was noted AD88 is not going to solve all potential problems; but there is value in having forensic discussion in Dec. mtg.
      2. HR 80 (Private Consulting Practice, with proposed re-title “Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting”) (new, joint issue FRPI/PTAL, Chairs Jolly/Snyder)Chair Berube had previously suggested this issue, raised on Senate floor as Backer forensic, be taken up by this Committee. He additionally noted that this might be similar to AD88 in that improved terminology may not be enough to clarify/improve their efforts.Geoff Scott lead discussion regarding significant ambiguities that should be questioned: such as, how to define entrepreneurial activities; and identification of and respect for faculty privacy—of particular concern was an overall impression HR80 presents an attempt to regulate activities beyond the scope of University employment]. Other observations:  It’s not a typical employer/employee relationship;  concern that this further restricts outside activities, such as teaching outside the University; and lack of appeal process. Scott felt there are enough ambiguities within this report that Senate should indeed look at it carefully.Concern was expressed over what seemed to be an example of University Administration introducing new policy relevant to Senate interest without consultation. Noted that if Senate was informed in advance nature of the problem/issue being addressed by changes, it would improve overall communication. Jolly reported her meeting with Neil Sharkey was revelatory in that the intent seemed to be to reign in unusually egregious cases.Needed, at a minimum, is an appeals policy—with written objections containing explanations. Possibly an ad hoc Committee review OR, send it to Faculty Rights & Responsibilities. The latter is preferred given these are elected individuals; would automatically include representation from executive branch and would obviate need to convene/formulate a new committee.Conclusion: HR80 revision, as stands, is too broad and ambiguous, to be accepted. Additionally, this document does not represent a joint governance system.**Geoff Scott has agreed to document his observations for Committee review
      3. HR21 (FT rank/titles issue) (FACDEV, Chair Hinchey)One option is to review current EMS procedures (guidelines for FT review)  and to perhaps incorporate that  terminology. Senate Secretary Taylor has made that document available on Canvas.Sub-committee chair Pat Hinchey and members continue to work on a recommendation for a uniform Fixed-Term Rank/Title structure for continuity and use across all Penn State campuses and units. Should changes be made, it was observed HR21 will need to be updated.Hinchey handed out two documents, both summaries of an informal FT faculty poll (approx. 100 respondents).  In particular, she observed one concern brought forward was the title ‘instructor’ or ‘lecturer’ would not allow professional development, were perceived to stymie job advancement in respective disciplinary fields.Overarching concern is consensus is NOT possible. Chair Berube agreed, and suggested it was our role to present recommendations to bring to the floor in order to begin the conversation. Perhaps our recommended ranks be put up to a vote, allowing a 3-5 year implementation strategy. [Pat supported 5 yrs. to give someone time to get the terminal degree]Predominant question: how to provide flexibility to different disciplinary cultures, while also recognizing we are one University with many campuses.Vice Provost Bowen voiced opinion that we should simplify the problem by adopting current rank designations in HR21, and apply individual titles appropriate to disciplinary cultures, as defined by independent units. Rank and title would then be tied together. How to deal with the current outliers from that approach? Make the change when contracts are renegotiated (rather than an implementation period).**Chair Berube agreed to work with Hinchey in the preparation in the preparation of a report be prepared for discussion at our Dec. meeting; with intent to go to the floor in Jan. Suggested ‘instructor’; ‘senior instructor’ etc. be used for those without terminal degree. Those with terminal degree: assist; assoc; and full, etc.; with an implementation period of 3 (or 5) years. Document also needs to be cognizant of the danger of ‘mission creep’ (e.g. FT faculty of teaching with 20-years experience should not be expected to start a research agenda) as well as address any ideas about a  60, 30, 10 FT standard.
      4. Meeting was adjourned 10:30, with FACDEV sub-committee remaining to continue the FT rank/title issue discussion

Submitted by Bonj Szczygiel, Vice-Chair

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September 6, 2016

Members Present: Michael Berube (C); Vice-Provost Blannie Bowen; Michael Brunno; Delia Conti; Ann Copeland; Peter Dendle; Marcia DiStaso; N. Christopher Giebink; Ed Glantz; Terrence Guay; Patricia Hinchey; Sharon Holt; Zaryab Iqbal; Rosemany Jolly; Lisa Kitko; Barrie Litzky; Carolyn Mahan; Rajen Mookerjee; John Nousek; David Passmore; Mark Patzkowsky

Members Absent: Marc McDill; Angela Linse; Michael Lobaugh; Amit Sharma

Chair Berube called the meeting to order at 8:35am.

    1. Guest Tim Balliett, University Ethics Officer, presented the draft of proposed changes to be made to AD88 (Code of Responsible Conduct), which was prepared to be in compliance with federal requirements. The University Ethics Committee identified a common core of issues, then followed by emphasizing relevant existing University policy. Based on previous Senate comments, the Ethics Committee wanted to keep this separate from AD47, “General Standards of Professional Ethics” [faculty standards] which still need to be updated. Ethical communication needs to match compliance sections. Suggested changes are an effort to clarify existing language, not to create new policyDiscussion opened with concerns about the overly broad language. For example, under “Professional Conduct” the first bullet point (upholding academic freedom) and the third (maintaining a respectful workplace) could potentially be in conflict. It was suggested giving priority to the first bullet point by adopting a “first and foremost” format. Another suggestion was to emphasize the respectful workplace, and responsible conduct with placing these respective large-vision, aspirational statement as a header, then list the attendant policy #.Additionally there was felt by some to be incongruity of a list of aspirational statements (PSU ‘values’) followed by an extensive list of administrative policy —a “mixture of fish and fowl”Forensic session on Senate floor is scheduled to take place in October for further discussion.
    2. Minutes from the  April 19, 2016 meeting were unanimously approved
    3. Comments by the ChairChair Berube went over the orientation document and covered each of the charges listed on the priority form: what got done, what still needs to be done. HR21 represents enormous change as brought about by the Faculty Affairs Committee last year. There is still interest in having tenured faculty to serve on the Fixed Term (FT) review committees. VP Bowen reminded all present that President Barron had already approved Senate’s changes to HR21; and was communicated to the Deans and Chancellors to modify individual guidelines and practices. As a result, FT faculty can not vote on P/T tenure committees; the goal was therefore to create a parallel process for FT. As a result, tenure-line faculty cannot serve on the FT Review Committees. Currently the promotion process is not formally linked to, or lead to, multi-year contracts. Former Faculty Affairs committee member Nick Rowland is currently serving on IRC and will be working with Roger Egolf (IRC Chair) about the multi-year contract issue. This issue is anticipated to return to Faculty Affairs for further development/consideration this year.Open comments questioned the wisdom of not have any tenured member on FT review committee. VP Bowen stated that the Deans (or DAAs) now ultimately decide on promotions, and the only true change is the additional College-level review.Open discussion then went to the recently offered retirement package. Concerns were raised about the age differentiation between academic faculty and staff; but most pointedly to the fact that (again) HR policy is being made without Senate consultation. Rose Jolly is the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President representative, and she will air those concerns at their next meeting.Ended Chair comments with a reminder to send member subcommittee preferences (first, second, third) by Friday, September 16.
    4. Sub-committees convened (9:35-10:30)
    5. Full Committee meeting/Subcommittee reports
      1. Faculty Development (FACDEV)Patricia Hinchey (Chair) reported to committee that the group primarily discussed priority form A2—FT rank title issues. There was discussion regarding the tension between the desire to recommend FT1s faculty titles that reflect the significant role of FT1s in the university (that is, some form of professorships) and the fear that parallel titles might create still greater problems (that is,  if  FT titles sounded too much like those of tenure-line faculty—assistant, associate and so on—job responsibilities of the two appointments might become conflated). Committee members will conduct a survey of colleagues to get a better idea of prevailing sentiments.
      2. Faculty Rights and Privacy (FRPI) Rosemary Jolly (Chair) A4—AD88 (Code of Ethics) Faculty Rights and Privacy were concerned regarding the Code of Conduct Policy proposed that it was unclear that Academic Freedom should trump Civility.  In particular, student protests against such tasks as having to learn and be tested on evolution were raised as examples in which conflict arises and academic freedom needs to prevail.  The proposal was made to make the statement about academic freedom more robust by saying “First and foremost” before that statement.  There was a suggestion that a general statement on the role of the university as opposed to a corporate setting be included.  Finally, a big concern was that the code inter-relates with many other documents and that the FR&P was concerned that the document be reviewed with all of these attachments in mind.Key points for follow up: inter-relation with other Senate regulations; a general statement of the university as not having the same mission as a corporation and encouraging academic freedom of expression among all sectors of the university; the question of the impetus for wanting to ‘legislate’ conduct in the first place: what is the value added (even if it is de rigeur at other institutions).As far as the proposed AD 80 coming up: Rose promised to meet with VP Sharkey and has done so.  She will report back to the committee.
      3. Promotion, Tenure, Absences, & Leaves (PTAL) Stephen Snyder (Chair) had remote connection to the meeting, Michael Berube led discussion.A3—Implementation of Revised HR21, appears to be proceeding smoothly thanks to VP Bowen’s work over the summer. It was suggested that one way to monitor progress would be through flow report forms currently in place now. There is an anticipated large number of first time reviews to be conducted for those FT that have been here longer than the 5-year review period, but have been without benefit of previous review.A6—Multiyear contract guidelines for Fixed Term Faculty. Slow track vs fast track issues; multi-year contract should not be renewed without review (see notes from opening statement) depending on rate of development, may have to seek a joint meeting with IRC.

      Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am.
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