Faculty Senate Minutes (08/18/2021)

Call to Order

In attendance:
Members: Albert Lozano-Nieto, Brian Reese, Cameron Nielsen, Dale Jones, David Chin, Dimitrios Bolkas, Dudley Snyder, Heather Paris, Irina Navrotskaya, Janine Becker, Jeffrey Chiampi, Jennie Knies, Jeremy Olson, Jonathan Pineno, Luciana Caporaletti, Lynda Goldstein, Maureen Ciliberto, Sagar Deshpande, Stephanie Gresh, Theresa Clemente, Timothy Sichler, Violet Mager, Wanda Ochei, Wei-Fen Chen, Willie Ofosu.
Invited guests: Sean McHale.

Welcome and Announcements

  • Jeffrey Chiampi (chairperson) stated that the local Senate Constitution is still in the ratification process and that the Senate will follow the Constitution as currently submitted to University Park.
  • Chiampi encouraged members to stay up-to-date on University COVID policies, including the indoor masking requirement.
  • Chiampi asked members to inform him of agenda requests prior to Senate meetings.

Approval of Minutes

  • Minutes from the April 28, 2021 meeting approved. First motion made by Jeremy Olson. Second motion made by Dudley Snyder. All in favor.

Remarks from Chancellor Jones

  • Dale Jones (chancellor) stated that Kendra Babcock has accepted the position of Administrative Assistant to Academic Affairs starting August 30, 2021. Jones stated that she will be assisting faculty and that her specific duties are TBD.  
  • Jones stated that new search committees are being formed for non-tenure positions in Chemistry and Surveying Engineering.
  • Jones stated that the Campus Advisory Board has been advised by Dr David Callejo on the addition of new academic programs. Callejo recommended the Campus pursue a shared program with Penn State Schuylkill and Hazelton in Health Policy and Administration. Jones stated that the proposal deadline for new programs is January 28, 2022.
  • Jones stated that faculty would be notified by the first week of classes about their professional development funds and should expect no changes.


  • Chiampi stated that the ad-hoc COVID committee would continue working through this academic year.  Discussion confirmed that the DEI committee is now a standing committee. Chiampi stated that the ad-hoc Constitution Committee would be reactivated at the appropriate time. Chiampi asked Anson Carter (secretary) and Albert Lozano to monitor the constitution’s status in the meantime.  
  • Chiampi encouraged members to identify their committee choices through the previously administered electronic survey.
  • Jonathan Pineno volunteered for the faculty position on the Student Activities and Student Facilities Committee.

Old Business

  • Chiampi asked Jones if the addition of the Administrative Assistant to Academic Affairs position results in the faculty support equivalent to that of the previous faculty support position. Jones said he believes the new position coupled with Sandra Race will be able to do so. Chiampi requested that the Executive Committee have input into the distribution of faculty support duties and that the distribution be communicated to faculty.  
  • Chiampi asked Jones for a timeline on the open Chemistry and Surveying Engineering positions. Jones stated that this timeline would be similar to previous faculty searches. Dimitrios Bolkas (chairperson-elect) asked Jones why the new Surveying Engineering position will be non-tenure track, since the previous position was tenure track. Jones stated that administration would follow up with an answer at a later time.
  • Chiampi stated that he would like to see Administration put together a multi-year plan for submitting proposals for new programs.

New Business

  • Chiampi reminded members that their 2022 Summer course preferences have been solicited by the Registrar and that she will likely speak to the Senate in September or October.  
  • Chiampi reminded members that professional development funds will be distributed soon.

Open Discussion

  • Carter stated that the current working version of the constitution would be uploaded to the Campus website in the coming days.
  • Lozano asked how students would be supported if faculty are forced to isolate due to COVID and teach via Zoom. Lozano asked how information would be relayed to students under this scenario. Chiampi recommended that specific campus locations be allocated for using Zoom under this scenario. Olson asked if students can borrow laptops from the campus. Brian Reese stated that there is a limited number available. Chiampi stated that policies pertaining to faculty being forced to stay home differ between University Park and the Wilkes-Barre campus.
  • Luciana Caporaletti asked Sean McHale what the Science Building’s “roof fall protection” was. McHale stated that it was to protect personnel located on the roof. Caporaletti asked McHale if there were plans to improve climate control in the Science Building. McHale stated that the cooling system has been fixed.
  • David Chin asked if faculty would have the same resources available as the previous year in the event they are forced to teach remotely. McHale stated that he believed this would be the case. Chiampi and Chin mentioned that some remote teaching resources have already been reallocated. Chiampi stated that he would ask the campus COVID committee to investigate.
  • Lozano reminded members that the University Faculty Senate gave a vote of no-confidence on August 13, 2021 regarding the University’s Fall 2021 COVID measures. Lozano stated that local campus members of the UFS should be providing more information on their individual votes. Chiampi asked Willie Ofosu to email him this information. [Ofosu provided this information in the September meeting.]
  • Olson asked McHale whether masks are required in office space and private spaces. McHale said that they are not.
  • Chin asked if there were COVID guidelines regarding holding class outdoors. McHale said there are not.
  • Bolkas asked how questions about long-term COVID vaccine efficacy would be handled. McHale stated that it was likely the University would likely follow CDC guidelines.

Comments for the Good of the Order

  • None.


  • First motion by Bolkas. Second motion by Olson. All in favor.