Minutes of Senate Council (October 9, 2018)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 – 1:30 p.m.

102 Kern Graduate Building

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

Absent: Bieschke, D. Blasko, P. Brown, R. Engel, M. Hanes, R. Karpyn, R. Pangborn, E. Seymour

Guests/Others: J. Belanger, V. Brunsden, R. Jolly, B. King, M. Whitehurst


Chair Bérubé called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, in 102 Kern Graduate Building.


The minutes of the August 28, 2018, meeting were approved.


Chair Bérubé reported that the following topics were discussed at the Faculty Advisory Committee meeting:

  • Lobbying efforts to defray the costs of the police presence necessary on football weekends.
  • How do we plan to track the activities of rogue fraternities?
  • Can we expand our new policies on FT faculty, to cover part-time FT2 faculty?
  • Update on the roll-out plans for a University-wide Culture/Climate survey.
  • Update/summary on the “phishing experiment” and any report if similar experiments are being planned for the future.
  • The links between the President’s Commissions (working groups on LGBT issues and so on) and University Faculty Senate.
  • Explore policies that address bullying at Penn State and the possibility of an anti-bullying policy at Penn State.
  • Explore distribution and equity of student mental health care services across the Commonwealth Campuses.

Provost Jones provided information on efforts to prevent Phishing at Penn State. As far as the future goes we are planning on a “continuing education and awareness program for anti-phishing.  It will include fake-phish exercises every semester, web resources, and in person training.” Education efforts will be extended to students.

There is a LionPATH update coming in July 2019. A faculty advisor survey will be conducted. SIMBA is entering a new phase, and it is within budget and progressing well. WorkLion issues are being shared with Mary Beahm.  The RFP process for grants aligned with the strategic plan has concluded and 20 awards have been funded for 4 million dollars. The plan will continue to be sharpened and tightened at the University and unit level. The University is announcing a new Consortium to Combat Opiate Addiction.

The Senate is reviewing and providing consultation on the Academic Integrity Task Force Report Recommendations and revisions to policy regarding 3rd Party Content with Penn State Courses.


Kathy Bieschke, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, gave an update on key administrative searches. The search for a new Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts is ongoing. 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 of Global Programs is getting started.

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 discussed ongoing searches for chancellors. The committee for the Chancellor of Brandywine was charged at the end of the month, and a search for the Chancellor of Schuylkill is in the interview phase. Pingjuan Werner is serving as the Interim Associate VP and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs until a new search is concluded. The search committee is currently conducting Skype interviews. There was a ribbon cutting for the Scranton Launch Box.

Rob Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education, gave an update on applications and admissions. Applications are up 26% mostly because of the new Common app, although yield from the app is expected to be lower. Overall undergraduate enrollment is predicted to be up 1.3 % and grad 3.9 percent.

Renata Engel, Vice Provost for Online Education, noted that PSU World Campus continues growth although it is slowing as the portfolio of programs is completed. Currently they have a head count of 21,300 students. A number of new student organizations are being started to engage students in the education process and develop future networks.


A Unit Constitution revision from the College of Education presented by the Unit Constitution Subcommittee was approved. The Dean and faculty leadership of the College of Education will be notified of Senate Council’s action.

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.

A proposal to Change the Program in Public Policy in the College of the Liberal Arts to the School of Public Policy was submitted and reviewed. The proposal was reviewed and approved by Provost Jones. It has also been reviewed by both Curricular Affairs and Faculty Affairs

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs, Michelle Duffey provided the following comments after consultation with her committee:

The position of SCCA was generally in support as there were not specific curricular changes that would warrant a review by SCCA. Members encourage the proposers to make sure consultation is complete and wide-spread to be certain there is not curricular duplication in the creation of the School.”

Chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs, John Nousek, reported that the committee response was #5.  We do not yet have adequate information to evaluate the (proposed action) and therefore request the following clarification before completing our evaluation.

The proposal will be brought back for the next meeting with additional information.

We had a second proposal for Council to consider from the College of Engineering. However, it was received too late for the two committees to adequately review it and provide their consultation at this meeting. It will be reviewed and discussed at their October 23rd Senate meeting and then come to the November 13, 2018 Senate Council Meeting.



Leland Glenna is our new Graduate Council representative. Graduate Council will have their next meeting of this academic year on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.



There was one forensic report from the Committee on Committees and Rules to discuss the leadership changes proposed at the April meeting. After discussion, the committee decided that the report was not ready for the agenda. Council sent the report back to CC&R because Council felt that it was an attempt at a redo that could set a bad precedent if something does not go the way the leadership wanted.


Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid and Undergraduate Education, report addressing multiple issues entitled “Updating Language on Conditionally Enrolled Students – Changes to Senate Policies 02-50 Degree Seeking Provisional Student; 05-82 Minimum Entrance Requirements for Admission to Associate Degree Programs; 67-10 Division I – Athletic Competition (University Park); and 67-30 Division III and PSUAC – Athletic Competition (non-University Park)” was placed on the agenda on an Eckhardt/Szczygiel motion.

Senate Committee on Committees and Rules, Revisions to Standing Rules; Article IV – Amendments. The report was placed on the agenda by a Szczygiel/Ansari motion.

Senate Committee on Committees and Rules, Revisions to Standing Rules: Article III – Other Functions of the Senate. The report was placed on the agenda by AN Ansari/Ozment motion.

Senate Committee on Committees and Rules, Revisions to Standing Rules; Article II – Senate Committee Structure, Section 6(h). This report was placed on the agenda by an Eckhardt/Nousek motion.

Senate Committee on Committees and Rules, Delegation of Authority, Section 1. This report was placed on the agenda by a Petrilla/Nousek motion.


Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, Revisions to Penn State Policy HR68, Postdoctoral Appointments. This report was placed on the agenda by a Posey/Sinha motion.

Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, Revision of RA03, Eligibility to Serve as Principal Investigator (PI). This report was placed on the agenda by an Ozment/Eckhardt motion.


The first report comes from the External Matters Subcommittee of Senate Council, Examples of Permissible and Prohibited Political Campaign Activity. The report was placed on the agenda on an Ansari/Ozment Motion. Fifteen minutes was allotted for presentation and discussion.

Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, Annual Report for 2017-2018. The report was placed on the agenda by a Nousek/Hughes motion. Five minutes was allotted for presentation and discussion.

Senate Committee on Libraries, Information Systems, and Technology, Pattee Library Renovations and Courtyard Infill Project. This report was placed the agenda by a Petrilla/Ozment motion. Ten minutes was allotted for presentation and discussion.

The final report was sponsored by the Senate Committee on University Planning, “Strategic Planning Implementation Update.” The report will be presented by Provost Jones. The report was placed on the agenda by an Ozment/Eckhardt motion. A motion to reorder the agenda was approved. Provost Jones will present this report as part of the Provost’s Comments at the beginning of the Senate agenda.

The Agenda for the October 23, 2018 Senate meeting was approved unanimously.

Chair Bérubé thanked Council members for their attendance and participation.  The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 pm.

Dawn G. Blasko,
Executive Director