Faculty Senate Minutes (04/28/2021)

Call to Order

In attendance:
Members: Albert Lozano-Nieto, Brian Reese, Christyne Berzsenyi, Dale Jones, David Neilson, David Chin, Dimitrios Bolkas, Dudley Snyder, Heather Paris, Janine Becker, Jeffrey Chiampi, Jennie Knies, Jonathan Pineno, Kaci Grabowski, Luciana Caporaletti, Melisa Littleton, Natalya Vodopyanova, Timothy Sichler, Violet Mager, Wanda Ochei, Wei-Fen Chen, Willie Ofosu.
Invited guests: Gail Stevens.

Welcome and Announcements

  • Albert Lozano (Chairperson) stated that Senate elections are completed.

Approval of Minutes

  • Dale Jones (Chancellor) mentioned that the minutes from April 2, 2021 stated that Sandy Race is currently handling the duties of two positions. Jones stated that some of her duties have been redistributed and she is receiving assistance. Lozano stated that the published version of the minutes will contain this clarification. Minutes from April 2, 2021 meeting approved. First motion made by Melisa Littleton. Second motion made by Christyne Berzsenyi. All in favor.

Discussion of Committee Reports

  • Berzsenyi stated that Dimitrios Bolkas will hold the position of UCFC Representative for the next four years and Timothy Sichler will hold the position for the next two years. Berzsenyi encouraged Faculty to provide workload information in their FAR. Berzsenyi stated that the UCFC would be reviewing procedures regarding awards.

Summary of AY 2020-2021 Faculty Senate Committees

  • Bolkas (Academic Affairs Committee) stated that the Committee administered a survey in Fall 2020 to faculty and used the results to plan activities for the academic year. Bolkas stated that presentations included Online Advising, Online Teaching, Spring Semester Preparation, Emotional Support for Faculty, Impact of COVID on Faculty, General Advising, and Technologies in Teaching.
  • Jennie Knies (Library Committee) stated that the committee hosted the Celebration of Scholarship online in Spring 2021. Knies stated that COVID has impacted the Libraries’ ability to provide reference materials. Knies stated that the library will be open Summer 2021.
  • Jeffrey Chiampi (COVID-19 Committee) stated that the COVID issues the committee addressed were small and were satisfactorily remedied.
  • Tim Sichler (Scholarly Activities Committee) stated that the committee distributed the Scholarly Activities Funding in fall 2020 and assisted the Library with Celebration of Scholarship in Spring 2021.
  • Lozano stated that changes at University Park have delayed progress in the ratification of the local Senate constitution.
  • David Chin (DEI Committee) stated the Committee has met eight times during the year. The Committee established a Standing Committee within the local Senate. The Committee has decided to model itself after a similar body at Penn State Hazleton that is campus-wide. The committee has performed a campus-wide survey with the intent to establish action items. The committee has developed an action plan, which is to be integrated into the Campus Strategic Plan. The committee has established a DEI award to be presented at Celebration of Scholarship. The committee has scheduled a speaker for fall 2021. The committee has established a Diversity Dialogue Series. The committee has completed all action items that were developed at the beginning of the academic year.

Old Business

  • Lozano stated that some campus members will need support upon returning to campus in fall 2021. Lozano stated that faculty deserve to be informed of summer 2021 course scheduling decisions. Lozano stated that faculty positions should be replaced, although not necessarily with an identical position.
  • Jones stated the University is planning to return to in-person learning in fall 2021. Faculty who believe they have health conditions that preclude returning are being provided a mechanism to request to continue teaching remotely.
  • Jones stated that May 3, 2021 would be the decision date for Summer I 2021 courses.
  • Jones stated that he would submit a request to fill the Faculty Administrative Support Assistant position in late summer.
  • Jones stated that Dr. Bob Faux and Dr. Steve Putzel would be retiring on June 30, 2021, and the campus intends to replace the positions (in disciplines to be determined later).
  • Berzsenyi asked Jones if there was any progress on developing new majors or programs. Jones stated that the University gave a presentation regarding the topic to the Campus Advisory Board and that they understood this is a difficult progress. Jones stated that the process may start this summer. Lozano stated that starting a new program that exists within the University must have approval by the College it is contained in.

Comments from Chancellor Jones and Discussion

  • Jones stated that Jennifer Adamski has been hired as Registrar and will start May 24, 2021. Jones stated that Jeff Gable will remain as the Interim Registrar until June 11, 2021. Jones stated that an offer has been accepted for the vacant Criminal Justice position and expects the same for the vacant RHS position in the immediate future.
  • Jones stated the Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony would be held April 29, 2021. Jones stated that Commencement would be held May 8, 2021.
  • Jones stated that Lorrie Deffley will chair the Campus DEI Council.
  • Jones stated that during summer 2021 the campus will install new outdoor lighting and install new water lines, and is considering repairing steps in the parking lot behind the Science Building. Jones stated that upgrading restroom venting in the Tech Center will occur summer 2022.
  • Jones stated that the Campus Strategic Plan has entered the implementation phase. Jones stated that Caroline Chronowski will be the Implementation Czar. Jones stated he is seeking three campus members to work on the Implementation Team.
  • Wanda Ochei stated that the campus in the process of hiring a Campus Nurse.
  • David Chin asked whether the University would have a COVID vaccination requirement. Jones stated that there has been no discussion at the administrative level regarding the matter. Lozano asked that this issue be brought to the University Faculty Senate. Bolkas stated that international students may not have access to the vaccine.

Comments for the Good of the Order

  • Lozano stated that the new Executive Committee takes office April 30, 2021.


  • Motion by David Chin. All in favor.