Faculty Senate Minutes from 2/29/2016

Call to Order

  • 12:14 PM


  • On behalf of Walteen Truely, Christyne Berzsenyi urges everyone to participate in NSO. Potential impact on enrollment of programs.


  • Minutes from January 2016 meeting approved

Chancellor’s Report (in absentia)

  • All of you received the communication from Provost Jones and Vice President Gray regarding the budget stalemate in Harrisburg. Penn State University, along with the other state related institutions, have yet to receive any appropriation from the Commonwealth. While efforts to advocate for an appropriation continue, the University has begun planning for the possibility that the University may complete its year without ever receiving an appropriation. To that end, the campus has been asked to evaluate its budgets for this year and next and to plan for the possibility of a rescission to the University in order to help it deal with any revenue shortfall. The campus has also been asked to immediately begin to curb spending where possible without shortchanging those activities deemed necessary and appropriate. I have met with Kim Bogdan, campus FO, and we have reviewed our budget to determine where and how the campus might meet the need for a rescission should this become necessary either this year and/or next. As many of you know, approximately 80% of the campus budget is tied up in our human resources. I can report to you however, that due to efficient management of the campus budget, we are in a position to meet a reasonably targeted amount without its impacting employment of faculty or staff at this time. As to tacking and curbing operations, we will move forward cautiously with all expenditures. This review is being done by the University as a whole. For example, many meetings and programs held at University Park are being cancelled or are occurring using technology versus travel. Some campus visits that were scheduled by University Park support personnel are being delayed, rescheduled, or cancelled. On this campus, we will scrutinize all expenditures. However those which are deemed essential to the well-being of the campus, students, faculty, and staff will be supported. Let us all understand this budgetary situation is not “operation as usual” for the state. It is unprecedented in the history of the Commonwealth. Let us also hope for a timely resolution. Yet I know that this campus, by pulling together, can and will do all possible to insure the brand of Penn State continues to mean a quality education for our students, world class research to advance our professions, and a high level of service to Northeastern Pennsylvania. I will be glad to discuss any concerns you may have individually or as a group about the finances of the campus and its ability to respond to the requests and/or plans of the University.

DAA’s Report

  • The University is facing a possible financial crisis if legislation does not pass. Senior Leadership at University Park asked each unit to develop a plan in case funding does not come through. Our campus can sustain what has been asked without any lay-offs. First measure we are taking are cutting back on expenses and a hold on travel. However, faculty members in tenure track are approved for their travels. If/when legislation is passed Penn State is expecting an increase.
  • Faculty Search: Jonathan Pineno has verbally accepted the position of Instructor of Music and Arts

Committee Reports

Academic Affairs

  • Thank you to Dr. Lozano for attending the last meeting regarding the issues ACC discussed in January. The committee would like to extend another invite to Dr. Lozano to attend to April meeting. An invite to Walteen Truely has also been extended and she has accepted to discuss practices currently in place for both NSO and transfer students.
  • The committee suggests the following faculty members be a part of the Marketing/Admissions Ad-Hoc Committee: Bill Bachman, Frank Derby, Marshall Davis, and John Weber

Student Affairs Committee

  • Penn State Reads program. Wanda Ochei suggestion. Initiative by UPark and other campuses to encourage a unified, collective experience for freshman. Students read a book and discussions are incorporated into FYE and other courses that are relevant to the topic of the book. Discussion on the topic: Dr. Lozano – the program wasn’t successful with previous attempts to implement it in the past. Students feel participation will be low, no one will read. Melisa – students don’t prepare for class, don’t expect students to do additional reading. Dr. Lozano and Wanda will get more information about the program and its effectiveness. Possibly have a pilot of the program in Fall 2017 if the feedback suggests that it is beneficial and applies to the course objectives and there is a high participation rate.
  • Student Apathy. Students expressed a concern about overall student apathy.
    • Students want to find ways to increase enthusiasm
    • Students want faculty and staff to help with student engagement in and out of the classroom
    • Possibly create a survey to get feedback from students about why they are not involved with campus activities and participation in the classroom is low
    • Social media is a preferred way of interacting
    • Suggested event reminders in class – teacher or senators can make announcements
    • Invite faculty to attend SGA meetings during next faculty senate meeting

Faculty Affairs Committee

  • No Report

Library Committee

  • Weeding Project – over 800 books weeded through
  • New 3D printer for students
  • Celebration of Scholarship deadline is March 16th
  • GET IT DONE – Very successful this semester

University Senators

  • The State has yet to allocate funds to PSU and Agricultural Sciences
  • Canvas.psu.edu is being launched in various stages.
  • LionPath is set to go live in stages.
  • Collegenet — a classroom scheduling system is being implemented
  • WorkLion — replacing the current payroll system
  • General Education courses are owned by the University (see Appendix B)

Faculty Benefits Report

  • Health care advisory committee is looking at the various cost drivers of the PSU health plan and prescription plan. It is likely that 2017 will bring changes to the design of both plans. The University is looking at balancing the PSU and employee contributions regarding premiums, copays, deductibles for the health plan and prescription plan. The Highmark contract ends in 2016 and the University will be seeking bids from third party administrators to manage the health and prescription plans. Note: The maintenance drug plan will also change with the upcoming 2017 plan.

Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics

  • One full class day absence is counted if student athletes are absent from classes beginning prior to 12:00 pm.
  • One half class day absence is counted if student athletes are absent from Monday, Wednesday or Friday classes beginning between 12:00 pm and 2:15 p.m.
  • One half class day absence is counted if student athletes are absent from Tuesday or Thursday classes beginning between 12:00 pm and 2:50 p.m.
  • No absence is counted when student-athlete absences begin Monday, Wednesday or Friday after 2:15 p.m.
  • No absence is counted when student-athlete absences begin Tuesday or Thursday after 2:50 p.m.
  • No absence is counted for absences due to championship competitions.

University Faculty Council

  • No Report

Election Committee

  • Call for nominations

Old Business

  • None

New Business

  • Ad-Hoc Marketing/Admissions Committee appointed members: Bill Bachman, Marshall Davis, John Weber, and Frank Derby

Comments for the Good of the Order:

  • Wanda Ochei announced the due date extension for student awards to March 4th. Please e-mail Michelle Yaple.


  • 12:58 pm