Faculty Senate Minutes (03/03/2021)

Call to Order

In attendance:
Members: Albert Lozano-Nieto, Anatoli Ivanov, Anson Carter, Brian Reese, Cameron Nielsen, Cristina Orozco, Dale Jones, David Neilson, David Chin, Dimitrios Bolkas, Dudley Snyder, Heather Paris, Janine Becker, Jeffrey Chiampi, Jennie Knies, Jeremy Olson, Jonathan Pineno, Kaci Grabowski, Luciana Caporaletti, Melisa Littleton, Natalya Vodopyanova, Stephanie Gresh, Steven Putzel, Theresa Clemente, Violet Mager, Wanda Ochei, Wei-Fen Chen.
Via phone:  570-574-7495.
Invited guests: Gail Stevens, Maureen Ciliberto.

Welcome and Announcements

  • Albert Lozano (Chairperson) stated that Campus IT has meet with University Park IT regarding the upcoming migration from Box software to OneDrive software. Lozano shared a weblink containing information regarding the migration. Lozano stated that campus IT will be having events in Spring 2021 where they will distribute information regarding the migration.
  • Lozano reminded members that Senate elections would be in April 2021 and emphasized the importance of participation.
  • Anson Carter (Secretary) stated that the Senate Constitution was approved locally in Spring 2020 and is currently with the University Faculty Senate Constitution Committee awaiting approval and that ratification delays were due to UFS procedure. Lozano stated that the Senate will continue to use the current Constitution.
  • Wei-Fen Chen stated that UFS would like campus input regarding the alternative grading system being used during the COVID pandemic. Chen requested that members email him comments before March 15, 2021.

Approval of Minutes

  • Minutes from February 3, 2021 meeting approved.  First motion made by Jeremy Olson.  Second motion made by Dudley Snyder. All in favor.

Discussion of Committee Reports

  • Lozano stated that the Academic Affairs Committee has been hosting effective events and encouraged participation.

Old Business

  • Lozano reiterated the importance of transparency related to summer course scheduling, specifically course selection and faculty assignment. Lozano stated that the Campus Bookstore and the DLC have requested course information from faculty who are unable to comply. Lozano requested that administration survey faculty about their Summer 2021 teaching preferences.  
  • Lozano stressed that the Campus should coordinate with Worthington and Hazleton on inclement weather decisions. Lozano stated that current inclement weather notifications are unclear, and that the Senate was willing to review their wording.
  • Lozano reiterated the need for the Faculty Staff Assistant position to be filled and that the Senate would consider passing a resolution to provide support for administration to fill it.
  • Snyder suggested that class cancellations be substituted with remote sessions. Lozano stated University policy prohibits this.

New Business


Comments from Chancellor Jones and discussion

  • Jones stated that Summer course offering decisions are based on student needs, budget, faculty desires, and University College guidance. Jones stated Summer 2021 course decisions are behind schedule due to COVID. Jones stated the University plans to offer as many in-person courses as possible in Summer 2021 and that Fall 2021 is expected to offer a maximum number of in-person courses. Jones stated the University budget models are in the process of being changed and would take six to twelve months. Jones stated that Ann Brennan (Assistant CAO) and the Registrar are communicating with Faculty regarding Summer course scheduling and decisions would be made two weeks prior to the start of the term. Jones stated the minimum number of students required to run a course would be fewer than fifteen. Lozano asked if the schedule will be determined by March 17. Jones confirmed but was not aware when faculty would be notified.
  • Jones stated that inclement weather decisions were based on weather forecasts, weather conditions, road conditions, status of maintenance crews, and COVID factors. Jones stated that the University has instructed campuses not to close or appear closed. Jones stated that the inclement weather notifications have been inconsistent across campuses and that University guidance regarding them arrived late. Jones stated that safety will remain the primary consideration, notifications will be sent by 6:00 AM, website announcements will be more detailed, and faculty have the discretion to make their own decisions regarding cancellation.  
  • Jones stated that administration will make its third request to fill the vacant Faculty Staff Assistant position prior to the next academic year and would consider the Senate submitting a resolution supporting the action.
  • Jones stated that Jeff Gable has started as the Campus Interim Registrar.
  • Jones stated that campus visits will commence on March 1, 2021.
  • Jones stated that PCard limits are re-instated but approvals above $200 require administrative approval.
  • Jones stated that the Academic Achievement Awards ceremony would be held April 29, 2021.
  • Jones stated that Commencement would be held May 8, 2021 and that the ceremony is expected to be held on campus, in-person, outdoors, and with limited attendance.    
  • Lozano suggested that the Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony and Commencement have a remote viewing option. Jones affirmed that this was the intention.

Comments for the Good of the Order

  • Wanda Ochei thanked members for cooperation with the Campus student COVID testing program and that all students tested negative. Lozano asked if students that are randomly tested are required to stay home until they receive a negative test. Ochei stated they are not. 


  • Motion by Olson. All in favor.