Call to Order
Members: Dimitrios Bolkas, Luciana Caporaletti, Anson Carter, Wei-Fan Chen, Jeffrey Chiampi, David Chin, Theresa Clemente, Robert Faux, Lynda Goldstein, Justin Goldston, Anatoli Ivanov, Jennie Knies, Melisa Littleton, Albert Lozano, Violet Mager, Salvatore Marsico, Cameron Nielsen, Willie Ofosu, Jeremy Olson, Jonathan Pineno, Steven Putzel, Timothy Sichler, Lorna Chin, Maureen Ciliberto, Brian Reese, Dale Jones, Wanda Ochei, Janine Becker, Kaci Grabowski.
Invited guests: Margie Esopi, Stephanie Andaloro, Suzanne Attanasio.
Welcome and Announcements
- Albert Lozano (Chairperson) welcomed the student representatives (Kaci Grabowski and Ben Cebula) to the Wilkes Barre Faculty Senate. Grabowski introduced herself.
- Lozano acknowledged the success of current COVID-19 practices and expressed the importance of continuing these practices. Lozano expressed concern that some students were unmasking in groups while outdoors, especially after leaving buildings. Lozano proposed that University Police Services should have a presence on outdoor areas of the campus in order to gently notify students of the need for universal masking. Lozano stated that using this community approach to policing may increase the connection between Police Services and students. Lozano also proposed that Police Services could provide nominal vouchers for the campus cafeteria or bookstore when they observe groups of students all of them wearing masks in the proper way while outdoors.
- Campus Nurse Suzanne Attanasio expressed that faculty should refer students with COVID-19 concerns to either her or Wanda Ochei. Attanasio also acknowledged that campus surveillance testing has begun, and faculty will be notified of positive results.
- Lozano informed that there is a University a new policy in place (AD 101) stating faculty, staff, and students shall comply with University COVID-19 procedures.
- Lozano informed that Luciana Caporaletti has been appointed Parliamentarian.
- Lozano informed that the University Faculty Senate will be visiting campus September 24th (via Zoom).
Approval of Minutes from August 19, 2020 Meeting
- Minutes from August 19, 2020 approved. First motion made by Willie Ofosu. Second motion made by Jeffrey Chiampi (Chairperson-Elect). All in favor.
Discussion of Committee Reports
- Lozano mentioned that his goal is for the committees to submit written reports prior to the Senate meetings and spend Senate time holding discussions. To this effect, he received a report from the COVID-19 ad hoc committee and the report from the April 2020 meeting of the University College Faculty Council.
- Jeff Chiampi, chair of the COVID-19 ad hoc committee and faculty representative to the Campus COVID task force, clarified some items on the report attached to the agenda.
- No reports from other committees.
- Lozano reiterated his concern over the vacant Faculty Administrative Support Assistant position and lack of communication from administration related to redistribution of that position’s duties. Several faculty members provided examples of how that lack of administrative support has a negative impact on their courses and therefore on the students at the campus.
- Salvatore Marsico suggested a document be drafted to address the situation to administration.
- Marsico reiterated his concern that classrooms obtain signage with 911 building identification numbers. Chiampi informed that the process has started.
- Lozano informed that there is little information available concerning campus professional development funding. He reminded that professional development is an area in which faculty are yearly evaluated. Dimitrios Bolkas and Jeremy Olson expressed the importance of obtaining this information.
- Lozano relayed concerns from faculty that they felt pressured to choose in-person teaching. Lozano expressed his concerns that these faculty members are teaching-line faculty and therefore they do not have the protection afforded to tenure-line faculty.
- Lynda Goldstein stated that all faculty received their desired teaching mode and that concerned faculty should contact her directly.
Remarks from Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer
- Jones informed that the Advisory Board is considering creating an Enrollment Committee.
- Jones stated that the Faculty Administrative Support Assistant is currently the highest priority related to staff and that redistribution of that position’s duties is underway.
- Jones stated that all campus members (including campus police) should encourage mask wearing.
- Jones stated that he has sent charges to the Wilkes Barre Faculty Senate standing committees.
- Lozano requested that Jones inform faculty of the redistribution of tasks (see above).
Comments for the Good of the Order
- David Chin requested that the DEI Committee be established as a standing committee.
- Chin requested that administration provide the DEI Committee with copies of University diversity surveys.
- Jones informed that the frozen status of P-cards is determined by the University.
- Jones informed that faculty would receive professional development funding. Goldstein informed that she requested no cuts to this funding.
- First motion by Chiampi, second motion by Anson Carter (Secretary). All in favor.