Faculty Senate Minutes (10/19/2016)

Call to Order

  • Marshall Davis at 12:15p.m. A quorum was present.
  • Attendance: Marshall Davis, Marissa Duffy, Tim Sichler, Melisa Naylor, Willie Ofosu, Bob Faux, Tom Knapp, Jennie Knies, Ellen Gregorio, Wei-Fan Chen, Frouke de Quillettes, Rick Dierenfeldt, Gatinet Gawo, Violet Mager, Renee Rosier, Charles Davis, David Chin, Fred Stefon, Megan Mac Gregor, Anson Carter, Walteen Truely, Lynda Goldstein, Garrett Huck, Margie Esopi, Esra Tekdal Yilmaz, and Christyne Berzsenyi, Gary Beisel, Caroline Chronowski, John Weber, Dudley Snyder, Terry Clemente.


  • The first Scholarly Lecture Series presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26th, 12:15–1:15 pm in S101. Dr. David Chin will be speaking on “Book Proposal and Selections from My Chinese Name; A Work of Creative Non-Fiction”.
  • The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Family Weekend will be held from October 28–30. Events include the Zombie 5K Benefitting THON, an Alumni Basketball Tournament, and a Parent’s Legacy Breakfast with the Nittany Lion. Dr. Davis will donate $5 to THON if a faculty member participating in the 5K finishes before him. Marshall Davis suggested that, in the future, faculty could be formally invited to participate.

Review and Approval of Minutes from September, 2016

  • Marshall Davis requested that the minutes be reviewed. In the future, minutes will be emailed to faculty before the meeting in order to save time during the meeting. A motion was made to approve the minutes from the September 21, 2016 meeting by Renee Rosier and seconded by Jennie Knies. Motion passed.

Chancellor’s Report (Dr. Charles Davis)

  • Dr. Davis reported that a letter was sent to faculty with their salary adjustment for this year, and the salary change will be applied to the October paycheck, retroactive until July.
  • A campus financial report is upcoming. Enrollment information is vital to this report, and it has been delayed due to the LionPATH transition. As a result, the census date is later. An internal estimate indicates that enrollment is flat or down slightly.
  • One employee has taken early retirement that was offered this year.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act, under The U.S. Department of Labor, has increased the salary threshold used to determine who is an exempt employee. It has set a minimum of $917 per month for staff employees. Overtime compensation is required for non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours per week. Some employees listed as exempt will move to non-exempt. Penn State has been following and anticipating possible changes since a proposed rule was released in July 2015. Information will be provided to all affected employees and their supervisors in early November. 
  • Since the kickoff of the Capital Campaign, there have been positive results from donors.
  • The RSVP deadline for Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s 100 Year Gala is today. If interested in attending, please contact Rachel Rybicki.

Director of Academic Affair’s Report (Dr. Albert Lozano)

  • The Office of Planning and Assessment will be on campus on Monday, October 31st to hold a workshop for discipline co-ordinators and other faculty on assessment of learning outcomes.
  • The search for an Assistant Professor of Surveying Engineering has begun.  The campus community will be informed of the dates for the on-campus interviews and will be invited to meet the candidates.
  • The Academic Affairs office is investigating the possibility of offering a Minor in Game Development. To evaluate the feasibility of the minor, there are conversations with faculty who will teach specific courses. More information will be provided at the next meeting.

Committee Reports

Academic Affairs Committee

  • At the October 17th meeting, the committee discussed ideas for the support of student-athletes by adopting a Consistent Grade Point Policy. The committee encourages all faculty to make accommodations for student athletes. Student-athletes should be given equal opportunity to earn all points available in a course, not just be given a chance to earn additional points at the end of a course. The following comments were offered by faculty at large: it is complicated matter, consistency is an important issue, technology focused courses may be difficult to make up, the student-athlete has responsibility for making up missed work, all students should receive the same opportunities to make up missed work.
  • Guidelines for faculty being promoted to Senior Instructor will be discussed with Ad Hoc Committee.

Faculty Affairs Committee

  • The Faculty Collaborative Lunch was successful, and plans are being made for a Faculty and Art Exhibition for Spring 2017.

Library Committee

  • At the September 30th meeting, the committee was informed that the Media Commons, with three Mac computers and accessories, are moving to the Library in October. The green screen will stay in the Technology Center.
  • The Library will have limited weekend hours on specific Sundays. Please check the schedule.
  • The furniture project is moving forward, with an expert coming to campus on October 26th to make recommendations.
  • Faculty are encouraged to volunteer for the Celebration of Scholarship Committee. One more member is needed, as well as judges on the day of the event. Anyone interested can contact Jennie Knies at [email protected]. The event format may change in how the material is presented based on the most practical way to display posters. With faculty approval, students may be able to fulfill Honors course requirements or course assignments by participating in the Celebration of Scholarship poster event.  

Scholarly Activities Committee

  • The first Scholarly Lecture Series presentation will be Wednesday, October 26th, 12:15–1:15 pm  in S101. David Chin will be speaking on “Book Proposal and Selections from My Chinese Name; A Work of Creative Non-Fiction”.
  • SAC proposals are due by midnight on Sunday, October 23, 2016 through online submission.

Student Activities Committee

  • No Report

Invited Reports

  • Caroline Chronowski — Records management is everyone’s responsibility. Faculty should review and organize records, identifying what is and what isn’t a University Record. Consult AD53 at https://guru.psu.edu/policies/AD53.html#A, which covers privacy and the protection of an individual's personal information. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is not permitted. An AD53 exemption is required if social security number information is necessary.
  • Gary Beisel — If faculty have files with PII, shredding services are available in Hayfield House. This new method is a cost-saving, safe, and secure way to shred documents.
  • Faculty records, including syllabi or other documents with historic significance, may be a part of the Campus and University Archives. Contact Jennie Knies for more information.

Other Business

  • The Budget Report was given by Provost Jones, and his comments can be found at: https://senate.psu.edu/senators/agendas-records/october-18-2016-record/…;
  •  The Smoking Policy is a work in progress. The committee is reviewing policies at other universities. Since the policies are different, further research is needed.
  • A new health service, Quest, is available for laboratory work. Charges for lab work are substantially less than what is currently available. The Wilkes-Barre area does not have a site, but Willie will continue to inquire about this possibility.
  • University Faculty Senator, Wei-Fan Chen reported:
    • The Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid (ARSSA) committee of the University Senate met on Oct 18, 2016.
    •  The articulation agreement information report was reviewed, discussed and approved.
    •  The 800-level courses in undergraduate degree programs were reviewed and discussed.
    • Two student senators raised concerns about current Policy AD 47-80 on repeating courses, particularly on the issue of calculating GPAs for repeating courses. They proposed that the committee review the current Big-10 schools’ policies on the same issue in December meeting.

New Business


Old Business

  • Changes to the revised Senate constitution was forwarded to University Park. We should have feedback by the beginning of the year.

Comments for the Good of the Order

  • Third Thursday Tailgate will be held on October 20th at 12:00 noon in the courtyard parking area of Hayfield.
  • Faculty Senate and Executive Committee Spring 2017 meeting dates are available on the Faculty Senate webpage.


  • A motion was made to adjourn by Willie Ofosu and seconded by Christyne Berzsenyi. Motion passed. The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 pm.