Faculty Senate Minutes (10/22/2021)

Call to Order

In attendance:
Members: Albert Lozano-Nieto, Ann Brennan, Anson Carter, Brian Reese, Brystal Hardiman, Cameron Nielsen, Christyne Berzsenyi, Dale Jones, Dimitrios Bolkas, Dudley Snyder, Heather Paris, Jeffrey Chiampi, Jennie Knies, Jeremy Olson, Luciana Caporaletti, Lynda Goldstein, Maureen Ann Ciliberto, Melisa Littleton, Natalya Vodopyanova, Rebecca Sarver, Sagar Deshpande, Stephanie Gresh, Theresa Clemente, Violet Mager, Wanda Ochei.
Invited Guests: Jennifer Adamski.

Welcome and Announcements

  • Jeffery Chiampi (Chairperson) asked that Standing Committee comments be brief at the meeting and represent only information not contained in their previously submitted written reports.

Approval of Minutes

  • Minutes from September 15, 2021 meeting approved. First motion by Melisa Littleton. Second motion by Albert Lozano. All in favor.

Remarks from Chancellor Jones

  • Dale Jones (Chancellor) stated that Penn State Wilkes-Barre students who have never received a COVID test will receive interim suspension on October 25, 2021 managed by University Park and Wanda Ochei. Jones stated these students cannot attend classes and faculty will be notified of these students. Students receiving interim suspension can get a COVID test and will then be put on a behavior contract for testing compliance allowing them to attend classes. Jones stated it is expected that no students at the Wilkes-Barre campus will receive interim suspension.


  • Littleton reminded members that the Academic Affairs committee was sponsoring an advising workshop October 26, 2021.
  • Jeremy Olson stated he has volunteered as DEI committee chairperson. Olsen stated the committee is in the process of developing their charge.
  • Luciana Caporaletti stated Scholarly Activities committee will be sponsoring presentations in the Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2022.

Old Business

  • Jennifer Adamski (registrar) stated that the course schedule for each academic term is copied from the previous calendar year and modified as needed. Adamski stated that in August 2021 she solicited faculty for Summer 2022 teaching preferences, and that 13 Faculty made such a request. Adamski stated that diversity of courses, diversity of faculty, budget, historical course offerings, and anticipated enrollment numbers were all scheduling considerations. Adamski stated that at least fifteen students must enroll for a course to run. Adamski provided fourteen courses scheduled for Summer 2022 consisting mostly of ETM and GenEd (all Web-based). Lozano asked for a summary of courses that were not approved for Summer 2022. Adamski stated that of the 13 faculty who made a request, eight faculty were scheduled. Violet Mager stated that the fifteen-student minimum requirement was COVID-related and asked if this would be changed in the future. Ann Brennan stated that there are no plans to change the minimum. Lozano asked if the fifteen-student minimum is a University policy. Chiampi asked if the fifteen-student minimum was flexible. Brennan stated it was. Dimitrios Bolkas asked if pro-rating faculty compensation could be a means of running a course with less than the minimum. Brennan stated it could not. Lozano noted that Summer-term funding was previously a function of enrollment but is now predetermined. Lynda Goldstein reiterated this point. Bolkas asked when faculty would be notified whether their Summer courses would be removed from the schedule; Brennan replied that it would be two weeks prior to the start of the associated term. Adamski suggested faculty advise poorly performing students to register for summer course offerings. Lozano suggested that faculty who are denied summer courses be given an explanation from the appropriate decision makers.

New Business

  • Chiampi stated that the campus cafeteria has expanded their hours of operation. Chiampi stated that his intention prior to this change was to have the Senate pass a motion in support of the SGA’s desire for expanded hours.
  • Olson stated that each additional seat enrollment in a DLC course results in the creation of a new section leading to complications in Canvas, Lionpath, and textbook orders. Chiampi asked Tim Sichler and Dimitrios Bolkas (UCFC representatives) to pass this information on to the UCFC. Theresa Clemente stated that she has experienced issues similar to Olson’s. Olson and Clemente stated that the campus bookstore was aware of the issues and was attempting to fix them. Chiampi stated that he also has experienced similar issues. Bolkas stated that the information would be passed along to UCFC.
  • Chiampi stated students suspended for COVID policy violations are allowed to make up work after returning from suspension and that this leads to difficulties in proctoring, etc. Jones stated that Lorna Chin is leading a small pool of proctors that are available for assistance. Olson stated that he had ethical concerns because students suspended in other circumstances are not allowed to make up work. Ochei stated that ‘interim suspension’ is invoked when there is a situation when a campus member is considered a threat to the campus. Ochei stated that ‘expulsion’ is invoked when a student has not received a COVID test. Ochei stated faculty will receive letters informing them of any students facing COVID-related discipline. Chiampi asked if discipline would be invoked if a student accumulated three missed COVID tests. Ochei confirmed. Lozano stated that faculty who do not comply with COVID policies may face paid leave. Olson stated that he felt that COVID policies that rely on deterrence are ineffective. Goldstein stated that COVID policies are not meant to be punitive. Ochei stated that the campus model for COVID testing involves providing students with four tests at a time in an effort to expedite results.

Open Discussion

  • Brennan stated that October 2021 is Academic Integrity Month and that she previously distributed updated Academic Integrity Guidelines and that there is a new online reporting option. Brennan stated that workshops for these items are scheduled for October 29, 2021 and November 5, 2021. Brennan and Lozano stated that faculty should not attempt to handle suspected academic integrity violations on their own.
  • Jeremy Olson invited members to a workshop on relationship building on both November 10, 2021 and November 11, 2021 and that attendance to each is limited to 24.

Comments for the Good of the Order

  • None.


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