Meeting Minutes

Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid



March 12, 2019

Members present: Mary Beth Williams, Timothy Lawlor, Katherine Garren, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Allen Larson, Maura Shea, Jake Springer, Clark Brigger, Wei-Fan Chen, Tracy Fausnight, Melissa Kunes, Deirdre Folkers 

Members absent Edward Glantz, Richard (Scott) Young, Mark Horn, Keith Nelson

  1. Report from Officers and Chairs
  2. Discussion and approval of minutes of the January meeting – minutes were approved
  3. Old Business
    1. Reports on plenary session agenda: advising forensic report; registration policy legislative report; informational reports on dual enrolled students and on senate scholarships.
    2. We agreed that we should ask what the plan to implement assessment is in regards to advising.
      We also agreed that ARSSA should continue discussion of the registration of overload credits for students below a certain GPA this and next year.

    3. Continue discussion of policies on grades (see meeting folder)
    4. We voted to have a draft report reviewed in April, with plans to write a report for next September.

  4. New Business
    1. Prior learning draft legislation (See meeting folder)
    2. The committee voted to move this report forward.

    3. draft report on high school students enrolled non-degree in credit courses (see meeting folder)
    4. We discussed the question of why the newest cohort had so many students receive grades that were below a D.  In previous years there were very few, and it’s unclear if this is a blip or a new trend.

    5. update on PHEAA aid for online/hybrid courses (Melissa)
    6. H2, H5, H7 to describe hybrid courses.  H2 represents those that are at least 25% online, but less than 50%.  H5 are courses that are at least 50%, and H7 are those that are at least 75%.   The state uses online learning as a way to reduce grant funding.

    7. update on recommendations made on late fees (MBW)
    8. This is an ongoing issue, and there seems to be a contradiction between ARSSA benchmarking and the administrations benchmarking. The committee also noted that it may be unusual that billing is tied to course registration and this may cause students to put off paying tuition.

  5. Supporting documents posted in the Meeting Information March folder
    back to top

    January 29, 2019

    Members present: Mary Beth Williams, Timothy Lawlor, Katherine Garren, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Allen Larson, Maura Shea, Jake Springer, Richard (Scott) Young, Clark Brigger, Wei-Fan Chen, Tracy Fausnight, Melissa Kunes, Deirdre Folkers, Mark Horn 

    Members absent Edward Glantz, Keith Nelson

      1. Report from Officers and Chairs- Memorial for Mary Miles
      2. Discussion and approval of minutes of the December meeting- Approved
      3. Old Business
        1. Report on plenary session agenda : advising legislative report.  (see meeting folder for the final report approved by Senate Council, with minor edits by Senate Chair Berube); draft forensic report on academic advising.Significant changes have been suggested for our advising policy.  At the January 2019 there will be a forensic discussion answering the question: “How can we improve and expand academic advising so that it meets the goals of the Advising Report—and the needs of all Penn State students?”  The committee voted to move forward a forensic report to seek input from the senate body to answer this question.  This report is pending approval of the legislative report on Advising changes, to be voted on at the January 29, 2019 meeting.
        2. Registration policies discussion, continued (see meeting folder for draft legislation, and note from Scott Young on policy changes)
        3. Continue discuss of policies on grades (see meeting folder)The committee continued a discussion about potential changes to registration policies, specifically how many credits should be permitted in one semester and what requirements should be needed to take a number over a critical number?  We discussed impressions from the SGA, which had a wide range of opinions.

          We also discussed whether or not there should be a limiting GPA for taking an overload of credits.  The committee agreed that a provision that limits the allowed credits at 30 made sense.  We felt that it eliminated possible fraud and would prevent ‘course holding.’  We also agreed that students under a GPA of 2.0 can not take more than 19 credits.  We decided that we would recommend students above a 2.5 GPA should be discouraged from taking over 19 credits but if they do they should seek consultation with an advisor.

          Senator Young volunteered to revise the draft to include the pieces we agreed on and would include a limiting GPA which we will discuss again at the next meeting to decide whether or not to keep it.

      4. New Business
        1. draft report on reserved spaces
          Yearly report.  This is a monitoring process for the senate.  The committee had no suggestions for changes to this report.  The committee voted to move this informational report forward.
        2. draft report on scholarships
          Mandated annual report.  This report includes recipient information and where the awards have come from.  The committee voted to move this informational report.
        3. update on recommendations made on late fees
        4. Prior learning draft legislation

    Supporting documents posted in the Meeting Information January folder

    back to top

    December 4, 2018

    Members present: Mary Beth Williams, Timothy Lawlor, Deirdre Folkers, Katherine Garren, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Allen Larson, Maura Shea, Jake Springer, Richard (Scott) Young, Melissa Kunes, Clark Brigger

    Members absent Edward Glantz, Mark Horn, Wei-Fan Chen, Tracy Fausnight

          1. Report from Officers and Chairs:  Chair Williams briefed the committee on the officers and chairs committee.  There is a change from the ‘Committee on Undergraduate Education’ to ‘Committee on Education.’
          2. Discussion and approval of minutes of the October meeting:  Motion to approve – second; the ayes have it.
          3. Old Business
              1. Report on plenary session agenda
              2. Draft reports on academic advising from UAC – David Smith will be attending

            David Smith visited the committee to discuss a draft of the changes to our policy on academic advising.  There was some discussion about a ratio of advisee to student ratio.  This is left flexible for each unit.  Ratios should reflect a commitment to resources for quality advising.  A common theme was that advising may look different at different ‘enrollment units,’ otherwise known as academic units.

            Student senator Jake Springer was concerned that student’s voices were not being reflected in the legislation.  Chair Williams suggested that the legislation should include wording that requires assessment from student input.

            Some concerns were voiced about how assessment of academic advising will happen?

            In summary, this is the first of several changes – the next step will be implementation.  It will be an evolving piece of legislation.

            The committee voted to move the report forward, the vote was 12 ayes and one abstain.

            1. Registration policies discussion, continued (with early draft of report language)

    The committee discussed an early draft of revisions to 34-20.  Some members thought that the policy should require a discussion with an advisor and their advisor’s permission to take more than 19 credits.   Our student senator felt this would be an onerous obstacle during scheduling.

    Most members approved of the requirement of a 2.5 GPA for taking more than 19 credits.

    Much time was spent discussing what the right policy mostly surrounding the questions of what the requirements should in the policy to allow students to take more than 19 credits.

    Data shows that there is a 25% failure rate for students who take more than 19 credits and have a 2.6 GPA or less.  

        1. New Business
          1. Discussion of policies on grades , 47-60 (15 min)

    Students going on warning suspension is 2.0.  Our grading scheme does not have a C-  so that students near warning are either getting a 2.0 or 1.0 but not a 1.67 (for a C-) for example.

    Supporting documents posted in the Meeting Information December 18 folder
    back to top

    October 23, 2018

    Members present: Mary Beth Williams, Timothy Lawlor, Wei-Fan Chen, Tracy Fausnight, Diedre Folkers, Katherine Garren, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Allen Larson, Maura Shea, Jake Springer, Richard (Scott) Young

    Members absent Edward Glantz, Mark Horn, Melissa Kunes, Tracy Fausnight, Clark Brigger

        1. Report from Officers and Chairs: Chair Williams briefly reviewed announcements from the Officer and Chair’s meeting.
        2. Discussion and approval of minutes of the September meeting. Previous meeting minutes were approved.
        3. Old Business
          1. Report on plenary session agenda
          2. Registration policies discussion, continued – framing questions
        4. New Business

    A report about Veteran credits (PLA report) was moved forward, with perhaps a bit of electronic discussion before Friday, when it has to reach Senate Council.

    A Discussion of a report and recommendations from the Academic Integrity Task Force was discussed. A central office is suggested for Academic Integrity issues, initiated by the Provost. There was some doubt in the committee that this could be possible. Senator Folkers a campus Assistant Director of Academic Affairs is involved in these cases on her campus. She believes that campuses are handling it appropriately, and that the spirit of AI is being adhered too. She speculated that it may be diluted if centralized.

    Other’s thought that centralizing AI issues would be a change that is efficient and more consistent.

    Senator Nelson wondered about policies for World Campus. These are not ‘owned’ by WC.
    The discussion continued about the current rules for AI, and the importance of reporting. 

    Discussion of a draft of policy changes in academic advising Policy 32.00 etc.

    Discussion included a concern about the increase advising work load that this will result in for faculty. Some thought that the tone of this new policy draft is punitive.  It was noted that there is a way to connect grade books in Canvas to Starfish, so that any student below a certain bar will automatically get a red flag in starfish.

    The committee did acknowledge the value of inputting information into starfish.  Student senator Jake Springer suggested during the meeting that we should allow students a way to easily request a change in advisor.

    One committee member thought some language was still too vague, such as found on page 6:

    “5. Ensure that students are aware of appropriate University procedures and policies along with helping them to understand their purpose and rationale.”

    The committee will likely continue to discuss this revision in December. 

    The committee continued a discussion regarding credit overloads can we make a policy?

    The committee reviewed a student credit overload study that pointed toward an overload creating difficulties for specific groups of students (e.g.; those with less than 2.5 GPA, those taking more than 30 credits)

    Local internal processes are allowed to made by individual units. Senator Young suggested not being too inflexible in policy, and to have an option for the very few, very unique students to take higher credit loads.

    back to top

    September 18, 2018

    Members Present: Mary Beth Williams (via Zoom), Timothy Lawlor, Clark Brigger, Wei-Fan Chen, Tracy Fausnight, Diedre Folkers, Katherine Garren, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Allen Larson, Maura Shea, Jake Springer, Richard (Scott) Young

    Members Absent:  Edward Glantz, Mark Horn, Melissa Kunes, Keith Nelson

        1. Introduction of members
        2. Welcome from Mary Beth Williams (chair) and Timothy Lawlor (Vice-Chair)

    Chair Williams discussed the current agenda following brief introductions.

    Legislative report was added to the agenda late to update for policy on conditional admission status language.

        1. Discussion and approval of minutes of the April 2018 meeting.
        2. Old business – draft of legislative report updating language on conditionally enrolled students, titled as follows:

    STUDENT AID – 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).

    A motion was made to submit this report for the October plenary meeting.  The motion was seconded, and approved by all members.

        1. Discussion of Committee Priority Form
          1. Curricular Affairs, Retention and Transfer subcommittee – Jake Springer volunteered to serve on this subcommittee
          2. Articulation Agreement subcommittee – Wei-Fan Chen volunteered to serve on this subcommittee, chaired by Vice-Chair Lawlor

    Discussion of priority list:  Advising practices 32-00 changes are being drafted by Undergraduate Education, and we will consider it later.  We plan to discuss the advising relationship and possible changes to the policy we might like to see.

    The committee discussed priority item A2 – Exceptions to degree requirements.  Policy 82-60 addresses general education requirements for substitutions.  The committee focused on what this policy means for students who change colleges.  Members should plan to review the memo from Maggie Slattery – and look at these policies.   A question to be considered is, should general education substitution courses follow the 80% rule or something similar?

    Chair Williams posed the hypothetical question about internal course substitutions:  In psu general education, if a student is in a college substitutes English 144 (as a fictitious example) in place of English 15, does that substitution carry with them if they change colleges?  In other words, if they took a GWS course in one college, does it count for a specific course that also happens to be a GWS in another college?  The committee generally thought that it can replace a general education course of the same designation but not a specific program requirement.

    Chair Williams concluded that we would pull data and compose some recommendations in October.

    The committee also discussed priority A3 on policies 34-00   Registration policies as these relate to students with academic difficulty who are credit overloaded. The committee discussed potential student registration issues – particularly in regard to policies 34-00.  Members should review this policy – specifically the policy about students taking overloads only after consultation with an advisor.  This language may be problematic.  The committee discussed the question, what are the outcomes for overload students?  Some students are scheduling extreme overloads.

    It was noted that for students who are taking any overload (19.1+ credits) with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and below, or are taking 24+ credits during semesters 1-3 or 5 (this is probably campus change/transfer students) AND have a cumulative GPA< 3.0, and for students taking 30+ credits, there were a significant number of students who failed to complete many of the credits and/or achieved a poor term GPA.

    The committee discussed the issue of overloads and if there is a need to limit or restrict the number of credits a student can schedule after the first day of classes when they can now add without consulting an advisor or some other entity.  The policy is vague and there are negative student outcomes. Members should review late add info on board effect.

        1. Other agenda items that we should consider?

    James Jaap brought up the issue of late fees and our recommendations that were not implemented.  Senate chairs asked us to monitor the impact of late fees on students and produce an informational report.  The committee will ask the Bursar to provide an update of this data near the end of the fall semester.

    Student senator Jake Stringer indicated that SGA is interested in providing more info for students to plan what courses would be good for them e.g.; syllabus and textbook price/or at least text book choice.

    Supporting documents are posted in the Meeting Information 12 Sept 18 folder
    back to top

    April 24, 2018

    Members Present: 

    Clark Brigger, Victoria Braithwaite, Wei-fan Chen, Melissa Kunes, Harold Hayford, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Jake Springer, Maura Shea, Mary Beth Williams. Steven Andelin, Douglas Wolfe

    Members Absent: 

    Victoria Braithwaite, Wei-fan Chen, Darryl Thomas, Shuang Shen


    The minutes of the March 3, 2018 meeting were approved.


    Chair Mary Beth Williams thanked the committee for its service throughout the past year.


        1. Advisory/Consultative Report on Late Fees Assessed to Undergraduate Students (on today’s plenary agenda). Chair Williams announced that the executive administration attending the most recent Senate Council meeting did not agree with the committee’s suggestion to limit the late fee to a maximum amount of $200 and felt that the fee amount should remain as a percentage of the amount owed.  The Provost indicated that the university has been utilizing this collection of late fees as a revenue stream since its inception in Fall 2016.  Senate Council proposed that ARSSA report on late fee annually.
        2. Legislative Report on Aligning Policies to Promote Student Academic Recovery and Success. Williams updated the committee on two meetings attended last Friday with parties concerned about the report content.  Williams and Beth Seymour (Chair of Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education) first met with a group of PSU Athletics Department at BJC.  The Athletic Department is concerned about the possible effect of suspending after two semesters would have on first-year students athletes who begin attending early during the summer who are academically underperforming.  The Athletics Department felt that this would jeopardize a claim that student athletes are guaranteed a full year on campus.  Williams and Seymour reminded the department that this report includes provisions for an expedited exceptions petitions that could accommodate these students.At a second meeting with the Vice-President for Commonwealth Campuses, Williams and Seymour learned of concerns that the World Campus concerning the reports effect part-time students with lower income who are experiencing academic problems.   Williams proposed that the report be amended to make provisions that academic suspension be deferred at the end of the student’s second semester for first year students who completed seven or fewer credits in at least one of the semesters.  Melissa Kunes suggested this would conform to policies concerning student aid eligibility (students are evaluated one a year according to academic success criteria that are required to be stricter than those in current university policy).  Following lively discussion and phone consultation with Undergraduate Education, the committee approved the proposed amendment to the report.
        3. Annual Report on High School Students Enrolled Nondegree in credit Courses (on today’s plenary agenda.) No discussion.
        4. Draft Report on Alignment of Major and General Education Program Years (with the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education). This report is intended to be placed on agenda the for the September 2018 plenary meeting.  Maura Shea indicated that wording in 2nd page to be somewhat confusing and vague.  Committee members were encouraged to review the document and suggest specific changes.
        5. Review of Miscellaneous 2017/2018 Committee Charges to be address in 2018/2019.
          1. Address Widespread Concerns with CollegeNET (to be done in consultation/collaboration with Senate Committee on University Planning). An administrative classroom scheduling advisory group has been formed to address the problem.  This group will be focusing primarily on the University Park campus.
          2. Grade Distribution Report (to be done in consultation with Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education).


        1. Proposed New Committee Items for 2018/2019
          1. Report on Scholarship Eligibility Status for World Campus Students.
          2. Report on Status of Student Registration of Overload Scheduls.
        2. Any Other Suggestions? – None.

    The Meeting was adjourned at 10:32 AM.

    Harold Hayford
    back to top

    March 13, 2018

    Members Present:

    Steven Andelin, Clark Brigger, Anna Griswold, Harold Hayford, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Jake Springer, Shuang Shen, Maura Shea, Darryl Thomas, Mary Beth Williams, Douglas Wolfe.

    Members Absent: Victoria Braithwaite, Wei-fan Chen.


    Chair Mary Beth Williams indicated that a presentation by guest speaker, Dr. John Hinshaw, President of the Pennsylvania Division of the American Association of University Professors AAUP, on the pros and cons of unionization took place the previous evening.  Williams recognized fellow committee member and soon-to-be retiree, Anna Griswold, who provided 27 years of service to the university.  Today’s meeting would be Griswold’s last.  Williams introduced Melissa Kunes, Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Education and Executive Director for Student Aid, who replaces Griswold (Kunes attended the meeting remotely via phone.)

    Clark Brigger announced that the LionPATH governance committee is requesting to have ARSSA members and other select groups provide input on perceived functionality/interfacing issues, as well as usage needs regarding LionPATH.  The governance committee proposes to then use this feedback to assist in development of action plans.  Brigger mentioned that the other select groups could be from faculty senate (including students), but he was not certain how invitation to meetings would disseminate to other non-senate faculty and staff groups.   Brigger indicated he would send out a doodle poll to determine committee availability.

    Approval of Minutes

    The minutes of the January 23, 2018 meeting were approved.

    OLd Business

    Mandated Report on Senate Scholarships (Informational, Final). The report is on today’s plenary agenda and Senate Council has allocated Griswold five minutes for presentation.  There was discussion concerning how future reports should account for World Campus scholarship recipients.  It was decided that the committee would need to explore relevant data as well as any pertinent policy differences applying to World Campus students (e.g., Determine the minimum course credit-load for WC students qualify as full-time if the number of credits is less than 12 for this cohort; and 2. Determine when WC reports student headcounts for credit hours; etc.)   The committee would need to get this information before the next scholarship cycle begins (November 18, 2018) for next year’s report on the previous 2017-2018 scholarship award cycle.


    Late Fees Report (Advisory/Consultative, Draft).   The Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment is looking at this issue currently.  Chair Williams indicated that she would try to get that committee’s input and send out another draft version in the near future.  This report is important to rollout, because college affordability is a primary issue for the university. Of great concern is that the late fee total receipts from all university location presently exceeds $3,000,000.

    Prior to implementation of LionPATH, any student who was in SCHED status (enrolled, but tuition unpaid) could potentially decide to stop attending classes and walking away without paying a tuition bill and not be subject to the payment of any late fees.  Presently, LionPATH now requires students to have any financial holds removed prior to being able to register a schedule, so those students with no immediate access to funds for tuition payment are now subject to a late fee assessment.   Those students are offered an option that allows for avoiding late fee assessment, if payment of outstanding tuition is made in three payments of one/third of the amount owed (1st payment made immediately).

    Late fees may be waived by The Office of the Bursar on the basis of two scenarios:  1. The student is granted a “one-time courtesy” (committee members were not clear which conditions would qualify a student for this type of waiver), and 2.  The non-payment was the result of internal administrative circumstances due to no fault of the student.  Although there are write-offs for students who are simply unable to pay the total bill in full, for those who are assessed the late fee, there are penalty fees that apply that can accrue at an interest rate of up to 19%.

    Of significant concern:  1. Students were largely not aware that this new procedure was in effect, and 2. Students who already have high levels of debt find themselves in far worse scenario due to the assessment of the late fees and penalties.  Lastly, it is not clear what is currently being done with the monies collected from these late fees and penalties.

    Kunes indicated that the university has been benchmarking with other universities that assess students a late fee.  She recommended consideration of the procedure utilized by Indiana University where assessment of the late fee is postponed until after the passing of the drop/add period.  Indiana has indicated that adoption of this policy as reduced the number of contacts students must make and reduced the number of late fee assessments in general.  It was pointed out that some institutions, such as West Virginia University structure the late fee as a % of the student’s outstanding balance, not to exceed a certain amount.  Another recommendation was to modify the currently used option but allow students to pay an increased number of smaller payments that would be more manageable.  Griswold iterated that their needs to be a separation of the academic vs financial implications for a student, in that they should be able to complete a current semester, but not permitted to continue further, or obtain an official transcript needed to transfer to another institution.  Jake Springer shared that it is a common student perception that PSU appears to pale in relation to other universities in meeting student’s financial needs.  Presently Griswold and Kunes are actively working in the Office of Financial Aid on the assessment of the overall typical level of student financial need, university-wide.

    Student Academic Recovery (Legislative, Draft)Brief discussion was made concerning the change of the maximum allowable number of attempts to succeed at any one course.  It was questioned if attempts made by students who utilize a regular drop at the beginning of the semester, a late drop prior to the end of the twelfth week are counted toward the limits.  It was agreed that student advising and counseling should be a key factor in determining a best remedy.

    High School Nondegree Report (Informational, Final)   Brigger provided background for this annual report, indicating that students are eligible to take non-degree courses at local PSU campuses while in high school.  The program has in the past demonstrated the capability of generating a high yield of students who ultimately enroll at PSU as undergraduates.  In 2009, there were significant grant monies provided by the state for this program and yield was quite high.  Since the funding level for these state grants has been depleted, there has been a significant decline in the number of students taking advantage.  The report was unanimously approved for Senate Council submission.  (Afterwards, Brigger offered, “Should students be able to take these courses for free in summer?”)

    Due to insufficient time, discussion on Alignment of Major and General Education Program Years was postponed.

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:43 AM.

    Harold Hayford

    back to top

    January 23, 2018

    Members Present:

    Clark Brigger, Victoria Braithwaite, Wei-fan Chen, Anna Griswold, Harold Hayford, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Jake Springer, Shuang Shen, Maura Shea, Darryl Thomas, Mary Beth Williams.

    Members Absent:

    Steven Andelin, Douglas Wolfe.


    Chair Mary Beth Williams provided announcements from the Officers and Chairs Meeting. Williams predicted 1) the Revision of AC-21 Definition of Academic Ranks – Provision of

    Multi-Year Contracts 12/03/17 advisory/consultative report from the senate committees on Faculty Affairs and Intra-University Relations was only accepted in-part by President Barron, based on possible budgetary concerns, and 2) the ARSSA informational report, Update on LionPATH Implementation, would likely generate much discussion, possibly spirited, at today’s plenary meeting. Williams provided an update on the committee’s mid-year planning report.

    Approval of Minutes

    The minutes of the December 5, 2017 meeting were approved, with a minor correction that committee member Maura Shea was incorrectly recorded as absent.

    Old Business

    Mandated Report on Senate Scholarships (Draft Report) – There was discussion concerning the World Campus status in specifying the number of Penn State campuses as 19 vs. 18. Historically, the report has utilized World Campus as a separate campus in recording the percentage of university enrollment by the campus, but several committee members maintain that there are compelling factors that maintain the World Campus is more of a Delivery Unit than a true campus. Since there was no way to resolve this question without more data to consider, it was recommended that this determination become a discussion item for the 2018-18 ARSSA committee. The committee unanimously voted to approve and send the current version of the report to Senate Council for inclusion on the March senate agenda.

    New Business

    The committee received updates from on potential joint SCUE/ARSSA reports. The report on Aligning General Education and Program Year will be a legislative report initially written by SCUE and forwarded to ARSSA for sponsorship consideration (initially, ARSSA committee discussion did not find rationale making this a compelling issue). In addition, there is a planned joint subcommittee report with SCUE on student recovery relating to the policy on academic suspension (54-00).

    The committee received updates on the LionPATH capability for prerequisite checking. At present, it has been determined that there are issues in LionPATH programmed ability to distinguish between pre-requisites and courses that have program control status. Prerequisite checking is planned for all mathematics courses for Fall 2018.

    Due to time limitations, the issue student loan debt patterns was not discussed.

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:39AM
    Harold Hayford

    back to top

    December 5, 2017

    Members Present: Clark Brigger, Harold Hayford, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Jake Springer, Mary Beth Williams, Douglas Wolfe.

    Members Absent: Steven Andelin, Victoria Braithwaite, Wei-fan Chen, Anna Griswold, Shuang Shen, Maura Shea, Darryl Thomas.

    Guests:  Robert Pangborn, David Smith, Stephanie Szakal.

    Approval of Minutes

    The minutes of the October 17, 2017 meeting were approved.


    Chair Mary Beth Williams provided announcements from the Officers and Chairs Meeting.

    Old Business


    Old Business

        1. Update on LionPATH (draft report). David Smith, Leader, LionPATH Governance team and Stephanie Szakal, Director, LionPATH Development and Maintenance Organization (LDMO) provided a preview of the presentation for the Update on LionPATH report to be presented during the January plenary meeting of the senate. The report provides a historical overview on the initial implementation of LionPATH and the creation of the LionPATH Governance Team and LDMO after the completion of the first LionPATH project in January 2017. The report includes a prioritized list of the most problematic and time-consuming processes for LionPATH. The list was created in response to a survey sent to colleges and functional units at the request of the university Provost in September 2017 and is included as a report appendix. The report also includes extensive documentation of the workflow and structure of the governance and LDMO groups.Much of the discussion centered on the planned update/upgrade scheduled for a discrete period of April through July 2019. The planned update focuses on changing/improving processes and interfaces, and will be visible to staff as well as students. The upgrade will be done as a parallel process to real-time operations (which will continue using the present version of the program), thereby creating less disruptions of day-to-day university operations that rely on LionPATH. There will be a moratorium on new development of applications for the period immediately prior to, as well as during the upgrade period. This will allow the update to focus primarily on the Oracle programming upgrade to the software. One committee member inquired about costs associated with LionPATH. It was determined that the original LionPATH implementation cost approximately $63M + additional costs for various upgrades. The planned upgrade/update will be relatively minor involving 1 FTE for a developer and 6-8 weeks for implementation of the update. The original LionPATH training materials have reached end-of-life and will need to be replaced. Committee members requested that the presenters provide senators with an actual breakdown of all associated LionPATH costs as much as feasibly possible when the report is presented.
        2. Reserved Spaces Annual Report. Robert Pangborn provided the committee with a historical overview on situations which necessitate the need to provide some reserved spaces at university park for undergraduate students who need to be enrolled at University Park but initially gain admission at another location. Some causative factors being students who fall short of required admission criteria such as SAT scores, SI/EI predictors, high school grades, one member of a twin being accepted at UP but the other not, etc. The report shows the breakdown of number of reserved spaces utilized based on major categories such as Senate Approved (Arts&Arch Talent, EOP/CAMP, Veterans), Other Academic (ROTC Scholars, Admissions Review Committee), and Administrative (Athletes, Team Sports, Blue Band, Vice President & Dean) both by GPA category and also an annual comparison (Fall 2010 through Fall 2017).

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:27AM.

    Harold Hayford
    back to top


    October 17, 2017

    Members Present:

    Mary Beth Williams, James Jaap, Steven Andelin, Maura Sheen, Wei Fan-Chen, Douglas Wolfe, Jake Springer, Clark Brigger

    Members Absent:

    Robert Kubat, Anna Griswold, Charles Abdalla, Shuang Shen, Darryl Thomas, Harold Hayford, Victoria Braithwaite


    The minutes of the September 12, 2017 minutes were approved.


    Brief report from Chairs and Officers meeting.




    Charge A1, concerning the new university bulletin, was addressed. The committee heard a brief presentation that detailed the vendor, updates, and rollout of a new University Bulletin for Penn State. ARSSA was charged with sponsoring a bill approving the new University Bulletin alongside an informational presentation for Faculty Senate. It was decided that, if passed, Committee Member Kubat would be giving the presentation at the December meeting together with the Bulletin committee chair Alan Rieck. The new interface was discussed as well as the timeline for the rollout, which would be in the 2018-2019 school year. The new bulletin will continually be updated and much more user-friendly. Any interested party is encouraged to experiment with current bulletins by the same vendor, such as the University of California – Berkeley. Will continue to be updated, as the Bulletin should currently be. The motion to put it to the floor was approved.

    Charge A2, requested by ACUE, was the alignment of Faculty Senate policy 83-80 (2), (3) and 58-50 (1). 83-80 applies to whenever a person hits 60 credits, and states that the last 60 credits of a graduate’s degree must have been earned in the five years previous to graduation. The proposed change is to 58-50 (1), which could newly require any student applying for re-enrollment to the university, not a specific program, to have been a student within the past five years. It was discussed whether academic programs truly change within five years, and if any student applying for re-enrollment would still be fit. An example of taking a higher-level mathematics course after five or more years away from lower mathematics courses was presented. The committee did not see inconsistency between the two policies, as many potential problems are by specific college and program, not the university in general which is the focus of 58-50 (1). A motion passed to put the policy under review but signal we are not in favor of only adding the requested line. Chair Williams was charged by the committee to work on edits and sending out successive drafts to the committee for review up to the December meeting.

    Charge A3 was to change “provisional” to “conditional student” in Faculty Senate policies 02-50 and 12-00. It was made known that Lionpath required this to be changed to “DUS with conditions”. A provisional student is one that may have been admitted without the traditional qualifications. The committee recognized that there are many policies that use “provisional” which must also be revised. The question was raised as to whether this sort of task should this be under the role of an office or a committee? Another question was raised as to any Federal Aid legislation mentioning provisional students and conditional students. Chair Williams was requested to attain any federal language concerning provisional and conditional to make sure there would be no problems. “DUS Students with Conditions” vs “Conditional students”. Chair Williams was also charged with finding where provisional is in the legislation, and making the changes without showing all specific policies to the committee in the hopes of saving time.

    Charge A4 was to discuss Faculty Senate Policy 82-20 concerning General Education requirements and major requirements are made when that student enters the major. This policy makes general education, which are also entrance to major requirements, fluid for current students attempting entrance into a program. Discussion concerning certain colleges began, such as the College of Education’s specific situation with state certification requirements. Committee member Shea mentioned how the College of Communications previously “grandfathered” students into the program when they changed the Entrance to Major requirements, and did not institute them until a new class had entered the university. Discussion was also had as to whether this is a large problem and if it should just be waived by deans in a case-by-case basis. Benchmarked schools are mixed, largely on the side of fluid general education requirements. Questions were raised as to if any student has been denied due to this issue, and what kind of changes have been made in colleges throughout the year. Questions concerning the possibility for other campuses to offer these changed courses in such short notice were also raised. The committee was split on the pros and cons. Two other committees (Committee on Curricular Affairs, Committee on Undergraduate Education) are looking at it. ARSSA was tasked with summarizing our discussion and having the other two committees look at it.

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:46 a.m.

    Jake Springer
    back to top

    September 12, 2017

    Members Present: Steven Andelin, Victoria Braithwaite, Clark Brigger, Wei-fan Chen, Anna Griswold, Harold Hayford, James Jaap, Robert Kubat, Maura Shea, Jake Springer, Mary Beth Williams, Douglas Wolfe

    Members Absent: Shuang Shen, Darryl Thomas

    Guests: None.


    The minutes of the April 25, 2017 minutes were approved.


    Chair Mary Beth Williams welcomed everyone to the committee and members introduced themselves.




    The committee discussed committee charges for the 2017-18 Academic Year.  Charge A1 is a recommendation coming from ACUE requesting that the committee consider the alignment of general education and major requirements with the year the student enters the university.   The recommendation is in response to consequences from the implementation of LionPATH.  Students now can request entrance to major at a point when they satisfy all the requirements for a chosen major, and this can vary among students.  Problems have arisen concerning majors with enrollment controls and majors that have undergone recent curricular changes.   At present, if a program has undergone enrollment control changes or curricular changes, students cannot be grandfathered into an older version of the major since the student had not completed the entrance to major process.  Academic planning for students enrolled in DUS may become rather complex for students wishing to enroll in majors with enrollment controls.  Chair Williams will pull discussion on this item from ongoing ACUE meetings and it was agreed that this issue should remain at the top of the committee charge list.

    Committee charge A2 is a request to prepare an informational report entitled “Progress Report on LionPATH.”  The report should highlight areas of improvement, as well as issues of ongoing concern.  Clark Brigger reminded the committee that there exists an Office of LionPATH Development and Maintenance (LPDM) which is housed under the Office of the University Registrar.   He suggested that the report be prepared in part by that office.  In order to lend credibility to the endeavor, Robert Kubat suggested that this report be a shared venture by a joint group consisting of members of the LPDM and also personnel from a governance committee under Senior Vice President David Grey of the University Office of Finance and Business.

    Committee charge A3 concerns a committee review of all senate policies and removal of any references to e-Lion or ISIS.  Chair Williams performed a search of senate policies and found only one reference (in 48-39.)  In this instance, it was proposed that the removal of the clause making reference to e-Lion was sufficient for revision and the committee concurred.   The committee decided that policies found in subsequent searches could be remediated and voted on by email.  The committee will prepare a legislative report on these affected policies and include references to LionPATH where appropriate.

    Policy 54-40 on academic suspension is under consideration again this year (charge A4.)   There is concern with the need for consideration of whether an exception may be granted by permitting the dean of the college to waive one term of suspension when warranted.  In addition, there are issues related to the timing of grade reporting that affect when the students at risk of having their GPA fall below 2.0 to officially become “suspended”.  In some cases, semesters may pass before the affected students are even made aware that they are suspended.  The assignment of NG (no grade) or DF (deferred grade) pose additional problems affecting the status of student at risk of suspension.  It was also revealed that there is no actual senate policy that advises on the timeframe for submission of student grades by faculty (AAPPM policy G-1 specifies procedures for grade reporting.)  It was proposed that ARSSA consider 1) drafting an advisory policy on the timeframe for grade submissions, and 2) the formation of a subcommittee to examine the academic suspension issue.  It was recommended that David Smith, Associate Dean for Advising and Executive Director of DUS be invited as a resource person.   Chair Williams will send an email soliciting names of those wishing to serve on this subcommittee.

    Charge A5, concerns the issue of students petitioning for retroactive registration in a course.  The committee is planning to jointly draft legislation with the Committee on Undergraduate Education that would place limitations on the number of classes and/or semesters for which a student can make such a petition.  There are numerous liability considerations relating to the practice of students not officially registering or auditing a course, but just physically attending the class.  These include risks related to disease exposure, fire safety, classroom space, etc.

    Due to lack of time, committee charges A6 (freshman grade forgiveness policy under 47-80) and A7 (revisions to 02-50 concerning degree-seeking provisional students) were deferred until the October meeting of the standing committee, as was an additional request to look at 58-50 (Conditions for Re-enrollment as a Degree Seeking Candidate) to align with 83-80 (Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition).  The committee briefly discussed the timeline and point persons for the committee’s four mandated reports.

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:33AM.

    Harold Hayford