Minutes of Senate Council (November 13, 2018)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

Members Present: Ansari, J. Belanger, M. Bérubé, C. Eckhardt, J. Hughes, N. Jones, J. Nousek, J. Ozment, B. King, R. Petrilla, J. Plummer, L. Posey, N. Rowland, E. Seymour, R. Shannon, A. Sinha, B. Szczygiel, A. Taylor, P. Thompson, J. Warren, M. Woessner

Absent: R. Jolly, W. Wenner

Guests/Others: K. Bieschke, V. Brunsden, D. Blasko, P. Brown, R. Engel, M. Hanes, R. Pangborn, M. Whitehurst


CALL TO ORDER

Chair Bérubé called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 9, 2018

The minutes of the October 9, 2018, meeting were approved.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMARKS

Chair Bérubé reported that the Faculty Advisory Committee meeting was rescheduled for December 3.

Provost Jones discussed the Board of Trustee’s interactions with the faculty. The Academic affairs committee hosted an open meeting about the implementation of Penn State 2025. Led by Renata Engle. At the afternoon meeting, President Barron provided an excellent report on the strengths of the 19 campuses and their importance to Penn State.   He also discussed a $3.4 billion capital improvement program. We will need to use the space we have more wisely.

COMMENTS BY VICE PRESIDENTS/VICE PROVOSTS

Kathy Bieschke, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, gave an update on key administrative searches. The search for a new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, is down to four candidates. The Dickinson Law search is in progress, and the search for a new Dean of Arts and Architecture is ongoing. The search for the Vice Provost for Global Programs is getting started. She is also searching for an Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs – Faculty Development.

The call for Administrative Fellows is open. This is a great way to explore the administrative side of the University.

Madlyn Hanes, Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Executive Chancellor, also discussed ongoing searches. The searches for Chancellors of Brandywine and Schuylkill are ongoing. The search for the Associate VP and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs continues. She also commented on the report to the Board of Trustees that celebrated the importance and accomplishments of the commonwealth campuses.

Rob Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education, gave an update on applications and admissions. As of October 31st, there were 54,000 applications submitted; twice as many as the previous year, mostly because of the common app. Paid accepts are expected to be earlier and financial aid decisions will also be able to go out earlier. Applications from International students are up 155%.

Renata Engel, Vice Provost for Online Education, discussed the importance of the quality of the content of online courses, and this often includes the support of instructional designers for online and resident courses. She is concerned over the high costs of text books and is examining ways to make course content more affordable such as using and developing open access books and journals.

ACTION ITEMS

The 2019-2020 Senate Calendar was reviewed and approved unanimously. It will be posted on the Senate website.

The University Faculty Senate has a consultative and advisory role on the academic impact of proposals that involve the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of academic organizational units. The Senate Council acts for the whole Senate in this matter. There were two proposals submitted for consultation.

Council reviewed a proposal from the College of Engineering at University Park to dissolve the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department and create two new separate departments; Nuclear Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The Senate Committees on Curricular and Faculty Affairs reviewed the proposal and saw no major concerns. Councilor Eckhardt moved and Councilor Ozment seconded the motion to vote on Option 1 “The (proposed action) be implemented as described in the documents we received.” The vote was unanimous in favor.

A revised proposal to change the Program in Public Policy in the College of Liberal Arts to the School of Public Policy was submitted and reviewed. It has also been reviewed by both Curricular Affairs and Faculty Affairs and no concerns were raised. Councilor Eckhardt moved and Councilor Ozment seconded a motion to vote on Option 1 “The (proposed action) be implemented as described in the documents we received.” The vote was unanimously in favor.

REPORT OF GRADUATE COUNCIL FOR SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

There was no report. Graduate Council will have their next meeting of this academic year on Wednesday, December 13, 2018.

SENATE AGENDA ITEMS FOR DECEMBER 4, 2018

LEGISLATIVE REPORTS

Senate Committees on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and Undergraduate Education. Changes to Senate Policy 42-98: Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. The report was placed on the agenda by a Szczygiel/Ansari motion.

Senate Committee on Committees and Rules. Revision to Standing Rules; Article II – Senate Committee proposed a report titled, “       Structure, Section 6(n) Committee on Undergraduate Education.” The report was placed on the agenda by a Szczygiel/Ansari motion.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The Senate Special Centennial Committee proposed the report titled, “Centennial Committee Progress Report.” This report was placed on the agenda by a Nousek/Ozment motion. Five minutes were allocated for presentation and discussion.

Senate Committee on Faculty Benefits and Joint Committee on Insurance and Benefits, “2017-2018 Annual Report on the Status of Benefit Changes.” This report was placed on the agenda by an Eckhardt/Petrilla motion. Twenty minutes were allocated for presentation and discussion.

Senate Committee Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology, “Reimagining Information Technology.”  This report was placed on the agenda by a Brunsden/Ozment motion. Twenty minutes were allocated for presentation and discussion.

Senate Committee Undergraduate Education. “Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit 2017-2018.”  This report was placed on the agenda by an Eckhardt/Nousek motion. The report will be presented on the Senate website only.

Senate Committee on University Planning will sponsor a report titled “2018-19 Approved University Operating budget.” This report was placed on the agenda by an Ozment/Nousek motion and will be presented by Provost Jones. Council reordered the agenda to move it to the top of the agenda during the provost’s remarks.

The Agenda for the December 4, 2018 Senate meeting was approved unanimously.

Chair Bérubé thanked Council members for their attendance and participation.  The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 pm.

Dawn G. Blasko, Executive Director