Meeting Minutes

Intra-University Relations



September 18, 2018

Present: Petrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), Eberly, Kirby, Koudela, Liu, Maurer, McKinney, Nelson, Sanders, Subramanian,  Volk-Chewing, , Zack Robinson, Constantinus Van Der Wegen,

Excused: Boyer, Kahl, McDade, Pierce, Skladany, Janelle Larson

Absent: Madlyn Hayes, Grad Council Comm on Programs and Courses Representative, UG Student UP, UG Student LOTUP,

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    1. A number of committee members were excused due to phone link technical issues
    2. Chair Petrilla discussed the topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening.
  2. Introductions of Committee Members
    1. Those present introduced themselves
  3. Approval of the Minutes April 23, 2018
    1. Minutes approved without correction
  4. Old Business
    1. None
  5. New Business
    1. Discussion of the Committee’s Priorities, Reports, and Timeline
      1. A1 Draft new advisor/consultative report on AC21 and multi-year contracts
        1. Faculty Affairs will take lead & consult IRC
        2. Language changes made
        3. Discussion of 5 versus 2-3 year ensued weighing: respect for those who have committed time and effort to the unit/discipline vs shorter term to begin and prove utility of multi-year contracts before moving to higher 5 year level.
      2. A2 Draft informational report on the disparity between UP and campuses with regard to promotion to full professor
        1. IRC will take lead & have Faculty Affairs members on subcommittee
          1. FA member is Julie Gallagher ( who Chair Petrilla will contact.
        2. Discrepancy noted on previous review; though there was a belief that this difference may be changing with time.
        3. The committee decided to ask to obtain data over a longer period of time to determine if there is a trend in the disparity narrowing or widening between the two groups.
        4. There may be an issue with lack of standardization between units, and individual unit standards need to be investigated.
        5. Data to be collected about obstacles and interests in promotion by the individual faculty (survey?)
        6. Sub-committee started: Maurer, McKinney, Volk Chewing
      3. A3 Investigate whether Nursing is requiring all faculty to obtain PhDs and a promotion path for FT faculty.
        1. IRC will take lead & consult with Faculty Affairs
        2. The history of the Nursing College development and loss of Associate program were reviewed
        3. The policy must be investigated first regarding those instructors and faculty to which this pertains. Those who do not pursue their terminal degree will no longer teach in the didactic part of the curriculum and can only participate in the clinic.
        4. Chair Petrilla and Chair of FA to discuss with Dean of Nursing College Dr. Beischke in order to assist in determining a path to promotion for FT nursing faculty.
      4. A4 Review findings of Values and Cultural Survey
        1. Draft informational report if needed
        2. Committee to receive final results of survey and review for next meeting
      5. A5 Draft informational report on equity for learning support for CWC compared to UP
        1. Educational Equity will take lead with IRC consult; no sub-committee needed
      6. A6 Consider expanding the educational equity report and include more indicators to better understand academic component across Penn State
        1. Educational Equity will take lead with IRC consult; no sub-committee needed
      7. B1 Monitor creation of promotion flow report
        1. With Faculty Affairs
        2. Will need FT data to develop report
      8. B2 Monitor transparency of non-tenure tract promotion and maintain due process & maintain NTT representation on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
        1. Consult with Faculty Affairs for report in December
        2. There is no NTT representation on FR&R
          1. This may require constitutional change
      9. Consider updating SRTE questions and more broadly consider function of SRTE with eye toward promotion/tenure
        1. Need to review current list of 171 (?) questions and process for evaluation before discussion of updating/eliminating some questions and whether some should be standard for all units
    2. Assigning Priority Subcommittee
      1. Discussed per above
  1. Comments and Recommendations for the Good or the Order
    1. None
  2.  Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote
    2. Next IRC Meeting October 23, 2018. Reports due to Chair by October 9, 2018.

April 24, 2018

Present: Petrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), August, Aurand, Clifford, Dunn, Eberly, Koudela, Maurer, Pratt, Ruggerio, Sanders, Schmiedekamp, Shurgalla, Subramanian, Wagner

Absent: Brown, Cusumano, Elias, Funk, Kahl, Mahan, Shurgalla

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    1. Chair Petrilla discussed the topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening. In early April, there was a meeting between Senate Leadership and University Administration to discuss fixed-term multiyear contracts. The tone was generally more positive than earlier discussions/correspondence.
  2. Approval of the Minutes March 13, 2018
    1. Minutes approved
  3. Presentation by the University Survey Coordinating Committee (outline attached)
    1. Chair Petrilla presented the newest addition to the University Committee. It is felt that this will allow for anonymous input from students, decrease over-surveying, and provide a resource for those who are untrained in survey design.
    2. Some on committee felt this might add extra administrative hurdles to relatively common surveys.
  4. Review of 2017-2018 Priority Form
    1. A1 Multi-Year contracts- The two involved committees and Senate Leadership will continue to work with Administration to resolve issues. The committee felt that a 2-3 year contract was a possibility; to be discussed at Senate meeting.
      1. It was felt that there is clarity needs regarding the roles of “permanent” and “temporary” budget dollars.
    2. A2 Survey of Shared Governance perspectives- The return on the survey questions has been less than expected. The committee felt that this item was a low priority for future discussion
    3. A3 Full Professor discrepancy between UP and CC- Administration felt that results were in error and presented some other statistics the evening before. The committee awaits the institutional data and the Full Tenure Flow report in the coming year.
      1. It is felt that this may be an issue for future recruitment and faculty retention
    4. A4 Fixed term promotion survey- The return of survey results was below what can be expected or used to make conclusions. There does seem to be issues of CC faculty misunderstanding and/or not understanding the process, transparency of process, presentation of expectations to new faculty, and lack of mentorship at the local level.
    5. B1 Annual raise- The recent announcement of a 2.5% raise proposal was encouraging, but how it will be used at the local level still lacks transparency regarding whether it is “merit based” or more of a COLA adjustment.
    6. B2 Outreach to present at full Senate meeting today and discuss role in individual campuses curriculum at later date.
  5. Recommendations for 2018-2019 IRC priorities were discussed
    1. Continue work with Faculty Affairs regarding fixed term faculty multi-year contract issue
    2. Repeat the Tenure track v Fixed term report (last done 2014).
    3. Re-evaluate the promotion to full professor data by major discipline provided relevant data is obtained from the Planning office.
    4. Review the role of SRTE as a poor & flawed teaching assessment, as well as the need to remove their use in the promotion process
    5. Securing transparency of non-tenure tract promotion, and securing due process and representation of non-tenure track faculty on Faculty Rights and Responsibility Committee.
  6. New Business
    1. Chair Petrilla & Vice-Chair Palmer are expected to return next academic year and appreciate the member’s work over the past year.
  7.  Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote

March 13, 2018

Present: Petrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), August, Aurand, Clifford, Eberly, Kahl, Koudela, Mahan, Maurer, McDade, Pratt, Ruggerio, Schmiedekamp, Wagner

Excused: Saunders

Absent: Dunn, Elias, Funk, Maluwa, Shrugalla, Subramanian, Van Der Wegen

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    1. Chair Petrilla discussed the topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening, noting two reports from IRC for today’s Senate meeting.
  2. Approval of the Minutes April 25, 2017
    1. Minutes approved
  3. Discussion of subcommittee informational reports
    1. CWC Promotion to Full Professor Subcommittee
      1. The changing ratio of Tenured & Tenure track faculty to Fixed-term faculty is not unique to Penn State University. There was some discussion of the role of the geographic distribution of the campuses in this discussion.
      2. The report was reviewed with notation that there is a significant variability between units and campuses.
      3. The criteria for some units is different, and those considering application may be hampered by lack of mentoring from few tenured faculty. This may lead to decreased submissions to the University Promotion & Tenure Committee.
    2. Mid-year Survey of Progress Implementing AC-21
      1. The report was reviewed with input from members following their discussions with their faculty.
      2. There continues confusion of the process in many cases. Smaller units may not have a process for mentoring junior faculty. It was felt that there is little thought toward career planning for Fixed-term planning, at the same time that their prevalence within the institution continues to grow.
      3. There was also some discussion of the role for STRE and/or peer evaluations in the process of promotion.
  4. Update on Multi-Year Contracts
    1. Leadership of the Senate and two committees will be meeting with administration in early April to discuss the recent response by the President and possible ways to improve sense of stability for fixed-term faculty who currently rely on yearly contracts.
  5. New Business
    1. University Survey Coordinating Committee
      1. Chair Petrilla notified the committee that she will be leading the additional committee on University survey coordination.
    2. For next meeting
      1. Chair Petrilla suggested that the committee members consider areas for the committee to address in the next Academic year
  6.  Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote

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January 23, 2018

Present:bPetrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), Aurand, Clifford, Dunn, Eberle, Kahl, Kondela, Mahan, Maurer, McDade, Pratt, Ruggerio (by phone), Sanders, Schmiedekamp, Subramanian

Excused: Shurgalla, Wagner

Absent: August, Cusumano, Elias, Funk

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    1. Chair Petrilla discussed the topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening when the President’s letter of response to the recent Senate report on Multi-year contracts for fixed term faculty.
  2. Approval of the Minutes April 25, 2017
    1. Minutes approved
  3. Discussion of Committee Charges
    1. CWC Promotion to Full Professor Subcommittee
      1. The initial informational report was presented by Member Mahan for discussion along with the recent letter by Senate leadership.
      2. It was felt that a better measure of promotion to Professor might be done looking at cohorts of faculty within units in an effort to adjust for different disciplines and units.
      3. The role of pre-reviews with candidate permission driven by peers would lend itself to more transparency.
      4. The idea of using interviews with individuals who have gone through the process recently might also shed some light on issues for differences between commonwealth campuses and UP.
      5. There were some suggestion that some of the previously thought etiologies for disparity were less significant, and further issues might be addressed with further study.
    2. Midyear survey of progress implementing AC-21
      1. Results of the survey were reviewed, noting that it was difficult to make global statements regarding progress as response rate was quite low for both administration and faculty leadership.
      2. Some units seem ready to begin the initial process in the coming months, while others have yet to make appropriate changes in their bylaws/constitutions.
      3. Respondents note variation in criteria and levels of faculty involvement in design of the process.
      4. There also seems to be some financial resource issues and variation in promotion criteria which should be addressed within some units.
  4. New Business
    1. The discussion of Committee charges B1) review of annual merit raises and B2) drafting of an advisory/consultative report with Outreach requesting World Campus to provide information to faculty on online teaching.
    2. The first was felt to be a possible informational report with particular attention to the current use of two budgets as many faculty do not seem to understand the processes involved.
    3. The committee agreed that the second report would come primarily from Outreach, and we would play a supportive role.
  5. Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote

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December 5, 2017

Present:  Petrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), August, Aurand, Clifford, Dunn, Eberle, Kahl, Maurer, Ruggerio, Sanders, Schmiedekamp, Shurgalla, Subramanian

Excused: Mahan, McDade, Wagner

Absent:  Brown, Cusumano, Funk, Pratt

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    1. Chair Petrilla discussed the topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening.
  2. Approval of the Minutes September 12, 2017
    1. Minutes approved
  3. Approval of the Minutes October 17, 2017
    1. Minutes approved with correction of Maurer being absent from the meeting
  4. Discussion of Committee Charges: A2) Shared Governance
    1. It was hoped that the recent Ethics survey distributed to the faculty would aid the development of a survey regarding shared governance within the units. However, the results of the survey were not completely available for discussion at this meeting; and were tabled until the results can also be presented to administrative personnel.
  5. Discussion of Committee Charges: A3) CWC Promotion to Full Professor
    1. Data continues to be gathered as the Time in Rank Report is not yet complete. While not ready for distribution the report includes information on the faculty as a whole with differences between UP & CC, Minority & Non-minority, male & female
  6. Discussion of Committee Charges: Multi-Year Contract for Fixed-Term Faculty A/C Report
    1. The most recent changes made for the presentation at Faculty Senate later that day were discussed; including the addition of language for standing non-tenured faculty. There was some concern express by faculty with 5-year contracts that this language might be used to reduce the time of their contracts.
    2. There is new emphasis on the rational for the changes; ie. transparency and improved communication between faculty and administration.
      1. It was noted that transparency is a priority for many other institutions similar to Penn State University.
    3. The recent input from faculty that stability regarding time was a greater personal concern than title was noted. The committee felt that this may be a transition in education that both administration and faculty will need to address for the future.
    4. While understanding the budget implications in many cases, the committee felt that there might be some administrative resistance to 5 year contracts which may have been paid through permanent funds.
      1. The issue of contracts from permanent funds versus other funds may need to be addressed at an institutional level by Faculty Affairs, as the origin of the system was unknown by the committee and it may be less efficient in the changing educational climate.
      2. It was also noted that with the President’s signature there may be changes regarding changes in the length of contracts from the current recommendations of 3 or 5 years.
  7. Discussion of Committee Charges: A) Mid-Year Survey of progress implementing AC-21
    1. A survey was designed and distributed to academic and administrative leaders at the various units with the help of Dawn Blasko. There was some concern by faculty that unit confidentiality might be an issue, but the committee assured them that the information received would only be distributed in aggregate form.
    2. Some members of the committee felt that some units were waiting for instruction from UP before submission to their individual unit constitutions.
    3. It was felt that the Thanksgiving Holiday may have affected return of the survey as there were only five answers returned from academic governance leaders and none from administrative leaders as of this meeting. The chair emphasized to the member of the committee that they should contact their individual unit representatives to complete and return the survey as soon as possible.
    4. A reminder was sent the week of 12/4/17
  8. New Business
    1. It is likely that in future years the Faculty Affairs and Intra-University Relations committees will include a yearly report on Fixed term promotion and contracts along with the current yearly Promotion and Tenure report
  9. Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote

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October 17, 2017

Present:   Petrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), August, Aurand, Brown, Clifford, Dunn, Cusumano, Eberly, Funk, Kahl, Mahan, Maurer, Pratt, Ruggiero, Saunders, Schmiedekamp, Subramanian, Wagner

Excused:  Elias

Absent:  Representative from Graduate Council Committee on Programs and courses

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    1. Chair Petrilla & Roland briefly addressed topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening prior to proceeding with discussion of AC-21
    2. There was discussion of Standing Fixed Term faculty who were accidentally excluded from the text. They’re positions may be budgeted from permanent funds, but they remain without participation under old wording.
      1. The idea of changing the wording to include this group was put forward and passed
    3. The idea of Multi-Year Contracts being exclusionary of the promotion process was discussed. There was discussion of the Multi-Year Contracts being based on merit with 3- or 5-year contract via temporary money was discussed. The motion to make appropriate changes in the language was put forward and passed by the group.
  2. Approval of the Minutes September 12, 2017
    1. Minutes not approved, will approve for next meeting
  3. Discussion of Committee Charges
    1. The working groups divided to discuss their plans
  4. Old Business
    1. Review of “Provision of Multi-Year Contracts for Fixed-term Faculty” was discussed during joint meeting (see above). There was discussion of compiling information from the Big-10 Conference schools to establish possible benchmarks.
    2. The perceptions of shared governance practices work group discussed the items that should be included in a survey. Specific issues concepts to be addressed include:
      1. Protection of anonymity
      2. Communication & transparency
      3. Free speech
      4. Inclusion
      5. Voting rights
      6. Role of Adjunct faculty
      7. Faculty hiring
      8. Student admissions
      9. Leadership
      10. The survey is currently being designed with plans for discussion at next IUR meeting.
    3. Working group regarding variation in promotion to the rank of Full Professor between Commonwealth Campuses and UP met to discuss information on promotion rates. This is focused on information from OPA data related to promotion rates as related to discipline, unit, and time in rank. There was also information gather from informal interviews with faculty discussing assistance and obstacles to promotion to highest level.
    4. The working group for assessing campus/college status with regard to AC-21 met to discuss the areas and questions to be provided to both faculty and administrative representatives of each individual unit. The primary areas of interest include the process for developing the Fixed Term Promotions Committee/process, expectations of the faculty applying for promotion, and guidelines for promotion at the individual campuses/colleges.A survey will be developed and distributed with the help of Faculty Senate administration. The answers will then be collated for presentation at the December 2017 Faculty Senate Meeting.
  5. New Business
    1. None
  6. Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote

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September 12, 2017

Present: Petrilla (chair), Palmer (vice-chair), August, Aurand, Clifford, Dunn, Cusumano, Eberle, Funk, Kahl, Mahan, Maurer, Pratt, Ruggerio, Sanders, Schmiedekamp, Shurgalla, Subramanian, Wagner

Absent: Lobo, Maluwa, McDade

    1. Announcements by the Chair
      1. Chair Petrilla discussed the topics addressed at the leadership meeting the previous evening.
    2. Approval of the Minutes April 25, 2017
      1. Minutes approved
    3. New Business- Discussion of Committee Charges
      1. Provision of Multi-year Contracts for Fixed-term Faculty
        1. Faculty Affairs will be taking the lead on this with IUR supporting their effort. Current goal may be for report as soon as possible; possibly October meeting.
      2. Informational report on perceptions of shared governance practices at both University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses
        1. This will require two surveys: one of faculty and another of administrators to compare their perceptions and define differences or areas of conflict. The goal would be to improve shared governance at the individual campuses/colleges, and possibly identify best practices. Altoona campus is currently doing this on a local level.
      3. Report on reasons for relatively low representation of Commonwealth Campus faculty to Full Professor
        1. Senate Leadership charged IRC (lead) jointly with Faculty Affairs to survey the campus faculty & administration regarding reasons behind relative difference between UP and CC (46% vs 21%) in Full Professor faculty.
        2. Dr. Mahan is currently working at Altoona to address this issue at a local level and volunteered to work on this within IRC.
        3. The idea that this topic may be associated with variations in hiring practices between campuses/colleges was discussed.
      4. Mid-year progress report on status of fixed-term promotions committees
        1. The committee will survey individual campuses regarding their development of committee membership, development, rubric development for promotion compared to Tenure Committee, timeline for implementation, and number of faculty expected to apply for promotion.
        2. Chair Petrilla & Vice-chair Palmer will develop survey questions for committee members to use when appropriate resources at individual campuses have been identified.
        3. The issue of connection for promotion in non-tenure track and fixed-term faculty contracts was discussed. There may be some conflict of interest issues to be considered. In general the committee felt that the connection of fixed term contracts with title present many complications that would need to be addressed.
      5. Merit raises as related to equity across Commonwealth Campuses
        1. The distribution of 2% merit raises appears to have some variability among campuses & colleges. The Senate Leadership & Chair Petrilla is working to define the parameters outlined by the Provost to the individual Campus/College units. Then variability between the individual campus/college may be based on variability by local administration to those parameters.
        2. There was discussion regarding hiring policy variation between campuses/colleges. This topic was identified by Senate leadership as a possible area of concern as there appears to be some variation. Chair Petrilla has reviewed the University Policy, and committee will consider survey of variable practices within the institution.
      6. Advisory/Consultative report requesting the World Campus presentation to faculty (in conjunction with Outreach)
        1. It was felt that this might better be an informational report regarding how commonwealth campuses can take advantage of teaching on-line. The issues of current options and campus/instructor reimbursement need to be addressed.
    4. Old Business
      1. The committee reviewed various issues that arose with earlier rendition of the Provision of Multi-Year Contracts for Fixed Term Faculty. Two addition items were developed to provide definition of length of contract and faculty feedback regarding the reasons multi-year contracts are not offered.
      2. Issues involving Human Resource consultation were discussed, as well as connection of promotion to the contracts with complications that might ensue.
    5. Adjournment
      1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote

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