Faculty Senate Minutes (04/02/2021)

Call to Order

In attendance:
Members: Albert Lozano-Nieto, Anatoli Ivanov, Anson Carter, Cameron Nielsen, Christyne Berzsenyi, Dale Jones, Dimitrios Bolkas, Dudley Snyder, Heather Paris, Janine Becker, Jeffrey Chiampi, Jeremy Olson, Kaci Grabowski, Luciana Caporaletti, Melisa Littleton, Salvatore Marsico, Stephanie Gresh, Steven Putzel, Violet Mager, Wanda Ochei, Wei-Fen Chen.
Via phone:  724-467-9422, 908-230-7651.
Invited guests: Gail Stevens.

Welcome and Announcements

  • Albert Lozano (Chairperson) stated that Senate nominations would be closed April 5, 2021 and that elections would be held from April 12, 2021 to April 15, 2021.
  • Wei-Fen Chen stated that at the April 2021 University Faculty Senate meeting there is an intention to move that the University not use an alternative grading system beginning Summer 2021.
  • Janine Becker stated that the campus has a goal of 115 new freshman in Fall 2021. Becker stated that the campus is currently up 48 percent in campus applications and up 43 percent in offers for fall 2021 compared to fall 2020.  Becker stated that the campus has three fewer deposits currently for fall 2021 then at this time last year. Lozano asked how the campus compared with the other Commonwealth Campuses. Becker stated that since fall 2020 the campus has been in the top five in percent increase in applications and near the bottom in percent increase in deposits.
  • Kaci Grabowski read an email previously sent from the SGA President to Lozano in which he requested that faculty do not assign work during University Wellness Days. Lozano reiterated that faculty should not assign work during these days.

Approval of Minutes

  • Minutes from March 3, 2021 meeting approved. First motion made by Jeremy Olson. Second motion made by Christyne Berzsenyi. All in favor.

Discussion of Committee Reports

  • Lozano reminded members that the campus Celebration of Scholarship would be held soon.

Old Business

  • Dale Jones (Chancellor) indicated that the University intended to operate normally beginning Fall 2021.
  • Jones stated campus commencement would be held indoors in May 2021.
  • Jones stated the RHS faculty, Criminal Justice faculty, and Registrar searches are currently under way. Jones stated the goal is to hire a Registrar as soon as possible.
  • Jones stated he would submit a request to hire an Administrative Support Assistant in Summer 2021. He stated he was pessimistic about the response. Lozano asked if OVPCC is aware that Sandy Race is currently handling the workload of two positions due this vacancy. Jones stated he did not know. Lozano offered faculty assistance regarding the request. Later on, Jones stated that the workload for Sandy Race had been re-distributed among different positions since the beginning of the academic year.

New Business

  • Lozano stated that he believes when a faculty member leaves, the position should be filled and filled with equal rank although not necessarily within the same discipline. Jones stated he agreed.
  • Jones reiterated that the University intended to operate normally beginning Fall 2021. Jones stated that faculty who did not want to return to campus would have the opportunity to apply for the ability to teach remotely.

Comments from Chancellor Jones and Discussion

  • Berzsenyi asked if the campus was in the process of creating new majors. Jones stated the campus was not. Jones stated the University would be giving a presentation to the Campus Advisory Board related to the creation of new majors.
  • Jones reviewed existing protocols involving campus employees experiencing COVID symptoms. Jones reviewed existing protocols involving disinfecting campus facilities. Lozano stated that campus members should be informed when someone is diagnosed with COVID and the infected member be allowed to remain anonymous. Jones stated that Occupational Services performs contact tracing when a campus member is diagnosed with COVID. Wanda Ochei stated that a COVID contact is defined as being in the presence (without masks, within six feet, for more than fifteen minutes) of an individual who has tested positive. Ochei stated that the University contacts individuals who have had a COVID contact.  

Comments for the Good of the Order

  • Jones thanked members for their handling of the COVID pandemic.


  • Motion by Anson Carter (Secretary).  All in favor.