Meeting Minutes

Intra-University Relations


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

April 25, 2017

Attended:  R. Petrilla, J. Cusumano, H. Aurand, R. Subramanian, J. Boyle, M. Healy, N. Rowland, F. Ruggiero, W. Lasher, R. Egolf,  R. Shurgalla, W. Wenner,  J. Wagner

Absent:  D. Thomas, C. Brown, H. Lopez, S. MacMillian, F. Harte, N. Zomorodi, B. Wiens-Tuers N. Welsh, A. Novikov, J. Babu

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    Chair Egolf reported that he will be chairing another committee next academic year.  He will report the agenda items to the new Faculty Senate Chair based upon today’s discussion.
  2. Approval of Minutes of the March 21, 2017 IRC Committee meeting. Minutes approved
  3. Advisory/Consultative Report and how to proceed.Chair Egolf reported that the Senate Council sent back the Advisory/Consultative Report for the second time.  Nick Rowlands was present at the meeting stating the majority of the members voted against the proposal.  The council’s concerns were related to awarding multi-year contracts without promotion solely based on years of service.  Also, any new policy going forward should not be written to fix the back log.The discussion related to moving forward is to separate the issue of Mult-Year contract with and without promotion in separate reports possibly.  Work on the report over the summer so report is ready in early fall.
  4. Discussion of Nancy Welsh’s data on distribution of faculty by gender for an informational report for next year.
    Chair Egolf thanked Nancy for her work on this informational report and urged the committee to continue working on an informational report for next year.
  5. Discussion of possible topics for next year’s charges.
    • Fixed-term Multi-Year Contract Advisory Report.
    • Informational Report on The Distribution of Faculty by Gender
    • IRC’s ongoing role in monitoring status of FT promotion
    • Informational report on best practices in writing fixed-term contracts
  6. New Business: None
  7. Adjournment:  Meeting adjourned 10:55 AM

Respectfully Submitted by,
Rosemarie Petrilla
Vice-Chair IRC
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March 14, 2017 (Rescheduled for March 21, 2017)

Attended: Petrilla, J. Cusumano, H. Aurand, R. Subramian, J. Boyle, M. Healy, N. Rowland, F. Ruggiero, W. Lasher, R. Egolf, N. Welsh, R. Shurgalla, A. Novikov, J. Bogash

Absent: D. Thomas, C. Brown, H. Lopez, S. MacMillian, F. Harte, N. Zomorodi, W. Wenner, B. Wiens-Tuers, J. Wagner

  1. Announcements by the Chair:
    Chair Egolf reported to the committee that the Report on Fixed-Term Contracts has been sent back due to a lack of consultation. Dr. Bowen and Dr. Hanes to attend today’s meeting to discuss. Senate leadership feels strongly that we should move forward.
  2. Approval of Minutes of the January 24th IRC Committee meeting:
    Minutes
  3. Discussion on Fixed –Term Contracts with Kari Allatt (representing Susan Basso from Human Resources) – 8:45 AM (for 30 to 45 minutes):
    Kari Allatt expressed interest in hearing from the IRC members about their concerns as well as their understanding of what should be included in Fixed-Term Contracts. She reported that there are many versions across the University and HR would like to unify language regarding consistency and components of the contracts. The contracts should be clear and include the terms and conditions for each individual employee. The discussion included the role of the contract and employee evaluations. Members indicated that the committee has learned not all units perform annual reviews.Further discussion about budgetary models and the influence on awarding multi-year contracts. Members indicated that there is often times a reduction from multi-year to one-year contracts without warning and without explanation. Kari Allatt indicated that there is talk about granting up to three-year contracts using temporary funds.
  4. Discussion of the rejection of the Fixed-Term Multiyear Contract Advisory/Consultative Report:
    Dr. Bowen, Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and Dr. Hanes, Vice President of the CWC met with the group to discuss their concerns with the Advisory/Consultative Report. Dr. Hanes indicated that she had been unaware of some the issues surrounding promotion of FT faculty. She expressed some of the budgetary challenges with awarding multi-year contracts for the campuses. Dr. Hanes announced that three-year contracts are an option now under the temporary budget.   Dr. Hanes expressed concern about awarding five-year multiyear contracts after 10 years of service.   She felt administrators, due to the budget model, would be apprehensive to commit to five years, thus leading to an adverse response of not renewing the faculty member’s contract. Dr. Bowen felt strongly that multiyear contracts be awarded for consecutive years of service, rather awarded only with promotion. Based on the discussion the committee made several minor changes to the wording of the report.
  5. Old Business
    None
  6. New Business
    None

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned 10:55 AM

Respectfully Submitted by,
Rosemarie Petrilla, Vice-Chair IRC

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January 24, 2017

Attended: Petrilla, J. Cusumano, H. Aurand, R. Subramian, J. Boyle, M. Healy, N. Rowland, J. Wagner, F. Ruggiero, W. Wenner, W. Lasher, R. Egolf, N. Welsh, B. Wiens-Tuers, R. Shurgalla

Absent: D. Thomas, C. Brown, H. Lopez, S. MacMillian, F. Harte, N. Zomorodi, A. Novikov, Jogesh Babu

  1. Announcements by the Chair
    Chair Egolf reminded the committee that the “Disciplinary Communities Revisited” and “Equivalence of Courses” Advisory and Consultative Reports are on the agenda for today. At the Office and Chairs committee Chair Egolf reported that a discussion to move the report on Standardizing Fixed-Term Titles to Forensic Business to allow for input and discussion instead of going forth with the Advisory and Consultative Report for this senate meeting.
  2. Chair Egolf asked for approval of the Minutes for December 6, 2016 for the IRC Committee
    So approved with exception of two corrections to the attendance record.
  3. Short Discussion about the reports we have on the plenary agenda today.
    Chair Egolf reminded the committee that the “Disciplinary Communities Revisited” and “Equivalence of Courses” Advisory and Consultative Reports are on the agenda for today. At the Office and Chairs committee Chair Egolf reported that a discussion to move the report on Standardizing Fixed-Term Titles to Forensic Business to allow for input and discussion instead of going forth with the Advisory and Consultative Report for this senate meeting.
  4. Discussion of the draft of the Fixed-Term Multiyear Contract Advisory/Consultative Report.
    Vice-Chair Petrilla and Nicholas Rowlands opened the discussion regarding multi-year contracts. A discussion took place regarding the recommendations and comments forwarded from Faculty Affairs. Concerns regarding budget, faculty who received external funding, units being responsible for determining scholarship, and the implementation of the new contractual arrangements.The committee agreed to identify a list of questions that will probably be of concern so IRC is in a position to respond.
  5. A short look at the other charges we have for this year and where we stand.
    The majority of the charges have been addressed or waiting on other committees to consult with IRC. Charges B1 and B2 can be addressed through other avenues.
  6. Old Business: None
  7. New Business
    Chair Egolf will look into inviting VP of Human Resources Susan Basso to the next IRC meeting to discuss what should go into a fixed-term contract.
  8. Adjournment
    Meeting adjourned 10:30
  9. Respectfully Submitted by,
    Rosemarie Petrilla, Vice-Chair IRCback to top

December 6, 2016

Attended: Petrilla, J. Cusamano, H. Aurand, R. Subramian, J. Boyle, M. Healy, N. Rowland, A. Novikov, J. Wagner, F. Ruggiero, W. Wenner, W. Lasher, R. Egolf, J. Bogash, N. Welsh

Absent: B. Wiens-Tuers, D. Thomas, C. Brown, H. Lopez, S. MacMillian, F. Harte, N. Zomorodi

  1. Announcements by the Chair:
    Chair Egolf reported that Jim Strauss at office and chairs meeting held a discussion about some units at University Park were not accepting credits from the campuses. IRC was charged to write an Advisory & Consultative Report to essentially restate the policy and ask the administration to enforce/implement the policy. Chair Egolf will submit to the committee for approval to submit for January Meeting.
  2. Chair Egolf asked for approval of the Minutes for October 18, 2016 for the IRC Committee:
    So approved.
  3. FA for fixed-term titles discussion: A discussion regarding the recommendations for titles from Faculty Affairs was discussed for IRC’s input. Comments noted that the law school and other units may have exceptions where they may teach and also do research. These changes in title are not congruent with Med School titles. Currently the Med School does not distinguish among titles i.e. research vs. clinician, etc.
  4. Disciplinary Communities Report:  Chair Egolf led a discussion regarding the lack of implementation in 2006. Middle States recognized need for collaboration if we are truly are one University geographically dispersed. Budget and lack of administrative support to push initiative. Why now? How often? The University now needs to answer to Middle States. Harshening William Lasher recommended using stronger language and offered to edit current statement in Advisory and Consultative Report. Chair Egolf stated he would circulate report for approval.
  5. Multi-year Fixed Term Faculty:  Vice-Chair Petrilla and Nicholas Rowlands opened the discussion regarding multi-year contracts. The committee decided to include the importance of retaining qualified fixed-term faculty as it relates to improved opportunities for engaged scholarship and facilitate longer relationships     with students leading to more competitive letters of recommendation. Also, emphasizing the stability of fixed-term faculty and how it will improve continuity of the curriculum.The committee agreed to moving to one advisory report and voting separately on the recommendations. Promotion after eligible after five years, with a three year contract, a salary increase, and annual merit raise. At ten years, awarding a five year contact. Secondly, awarding a three multi-year contract at seven years and a five year at ten years without a salary increase. It was also discussed adding an additional clause that states twelve months’ notice if contract is not to be renewed specifying that the administration could replace that position for a two-year period. Once revisions were made, Petrilla and Rowlands will circulate to sub-committee members for approval and then to the rest of the committee. Finally, if this advisory and consultative report was approved by the senate and president, IRC should track the progress of the implementation of this policy.

Respectfully Submitted by,Rosemarie Petrilla, Vice-Chair IRC 

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October 18, 2016

Members Present: N. Welsh, H. Aurand, F. Ruggiero, J. Wagner, R. Subramanian, R. Shurgalla, M. Healy, J. Cusumano, W. Wenner, J, Babu, B. Wiens-Tuers, R. Egolf, R. Petrilla, A. Schmiedekamp, W. Lasher, C. Brown, N. Rowland

Members Absent:  R. Funk, D. Thomas, F. Harte, J. Boyle, H. Lopez, S. McMillan, A. Novikov, N. Zomorodi.

  1. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIRChair Egolf informed the committee that students who have taken courses at the campuses are finding they are not accepted by University Park in several majors. The three major in which this has occurred are Administration of Justice, Metrology, and Business. Chair Egolf and W. Lasher will work on a report regarding this matter.
  2. APPROVAL OF MINUTESThe minutes for the September 6, 2016 were approved unanimously.
  3. Associate Vice Provost Barbara Masi attended the IRC meeting to update the members on the Disciplinary Communities Report, Assessment and the development of Learning Objectives. She discussed the role Middle States played in the initiate of the University’s move to unify learning objectives across units within discipline. The goal is to ensure that getting a degree at a campus is the same degree from University Park.The group had a long discussion about the transferability of courses, including the recent approval of the 80% and 20% rule.   A discussion regarding learning vs. programmatic objectives clarifying nomenclature for assessment. The committee discussed how curricular drift has occurred over the years and how some objectives have not been updated since the initial proposal to curricular affairs.The value of learning communities was discussed and how the University stopped supporting widespread discipline meetings. Some units such as Mathematics and English continue to meet regularly. These units have more cohesiveness and continuity as a result of the ability to collaborate.   Chair Egolf will be working on a document regarding this topic and transferability of credits.Associate Vice Provost Barbara Masi discussed the process and outlined the expectations for the units to engage in the new assessment process.
  4. OLD BUSINESS:
    N. Wagner updated the group on the Charge B3, stating that they would like to include faculty of color. The goals are to get the data by December and have a report by January.R. Petrilla reported on charge A2 the group was reviewing minutes from IRC and FA minutes regarding the issue. A report was not generated, not all people weighed in. The report will probably not be ready until January.
  5. NEW BUSINESS
  6. ADJOURNMENT
    The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 AM.

Minutes taken by Rosemarie Petrilla

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September 6, 2016

Members Present: Zomorodi, N. Welsh, K. Wenner, F. Ruggiero, J. Wagner, R. Subramanian, R. Shurgalls, M. Healy, J. Boyle, J, Babu, H. Aurand, B. Wiens-Tuers, R. Egolf, R. Petrilla, A. Schmiedekamp, W. Lasher, C. Brown.

Members Absent:  R. Funk, D. Thomas, F. Harte, J. Cusumano, H. Lopez, S. McMillan, A. Novikov, N. Rowland.

  1. ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE CHAIR

Chair Egolf announced that Barbra Masi, Associate Vice Provost for Learning Outcomes Assessment will be attend IRC’s next meeting.

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

The minutes for the April 19, 2016 were approved unanimously.

*DISCUSSION OF COMMITTEE CHARGES AND ASSIGNMENTS OF SUBCOMMITTEES:

Chair Egolf led the discussion of the committee charges and members were organized    into subgroups for each of the charges.  A list of subgroup members were added to the original IRC Committee Priority Form, which is included at the end of the minutes.

  1. OLD BUSINESS

Petrilla asked if Chair Egolf for an update regarding the implementation of the promotion for FT1 faculty.  At the end of last academic year, concern was raised by Deans regarding the implementation of the committee structure consisting of all FT1 faculty.  Chair Egolf reported that has been resolved, and the plan is to move forward with promotion.

  1. NEW BUSINESS

During the discussion of A5 charge a suggestion was made to include a section in the syllabus for students on how to report bias.  Also, R. Petrilla will post data gathered from Alex Yin and post on Board Effect for IRC Members for future discussions.

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 AM.

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  • Adjournment
    1. Motion for adjournment made and seconded. Meeting adjourned following unanimous vote