Faculty Senate holds final meeting of 2011-12

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s University Faculty Senate on Tuesday (April 24) held its final meeting of 2011-12. The Senate announced election results, passed several pieces of legislation and received numerous informational reports.

Daniel Hagen, professor of animal science, concluded his term as Senate chair and Larry Backer, professor of law, will serve as Senate chair for 2012-13. Brenton Yarnal, professor of geography, was elected chair-elect and Pamela Hufnagel, assistant professor of education at Penn State DuBois, was re-elected secretary.

Additionally, Jeffrey Laman, professor of civil engineering, was elected to the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President. For other election results, see http://senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appn.pdf.

In legislation, Senators voted to revise two Senate policies on Intercollegiate Athletics. Policy 67-00’s section on athlete eligibility was revised to reflect current language, legislation and practices. The revisions differentiate among Division I, Division III and Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC). Among them, Division I student-athletes may not use World Campus credits to fulfill minimum credit requirements, while Division III may use up to three credits of World Campus credits. They also reflect NCAA Division I policy and current University Park practice regarding non-degree seeking graduate students who have remaining athletic eligibility. Read the full revisions at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appc.pdf.

The Senate also added a new subsection to 67-00’s section on athletic scheduling. The subsection formalizes guidelines that have long been in place in Intercollegiate Athletics for scheduling of team practices to ensure minimum conflict with student-athlete class schedules. The full revisions to the policy can be viewed at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appd.pdf.

Senators approved revisions to Senate policies on Advanced Placement, College Level Examination and International Baccalaureate programs. The revisions correct language to clarify that credits from the programs are earned regardless of the student’s program of study; that students may take a course for which they have already earned credit, though it cannot be used to meet additional degree requirements; and that procedural issues of when credits first appear on a transcript should not appear in the policy. Read the revisions at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appb.pdf.

The Senate policy on syllabi was revised to require syllabi to include information on procedures related to academic adjustments identified by the Office of Disability Services. It also was updated to note syllabi may be provided in paper or electronic form. The revised policy, to be implemented pending development of procedures, is at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appe.pdf.

Senators approved an advisory and consultative report revising the human resources policy on voluntary phased retirement. The revised policy allows that if at the end of the phased retirement period the participant is eligible to retire with health benefits, the phased retirement may be extended with the dean or chancellor’s approval. The revision can be viewed at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appf.pdf.

Numerous informational reports were presented to the Senate:

- Henry Foley, vice president for research, gave a presentation on the 2011 decision to no longer mandate University ownership of intellectual property resulting from industry-sponsored research. Foley outlined the rationale for such a momentous shift, noting that the value of research and interactions with industrial professionals and potential to spur innovation and development are greater than the limited revenues the University may receive from intellectual property. He said it also will help create a culture of entrepreneurship at Penn State.

Foley discussed a seven-point plan for the reinvigoration of intellectual property practices, entrepreneurship and sponsored research. For Foley’s full presentation, go to http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appm.pdf.

-The Senate Task Force on Internships submitted an extensive report on patterns of undergraduate participation in internships and the supporting infrastructure throughout the University. Read the report at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/apph.pdf.

- Ford Stryker, associate vice president for physical plant, presented an update on the status of construction projects as well as background on decision criteria for constructing the reviewed projects. Stryker’s full report is at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appg.pdf.

- The Committee on Faculty Affairs gave a report on a survey of the use of professors of practice, fixed-term faculty with distinguished records whose credentialing has occurred in large part outside the normal academic process. The position was first introduced at Penn State in 2007, and the report found the rank is being used in moderation, especially in relation to other fixed-term faculty. Read the report at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appi.pdf.

- The Committee on Outreach presented three reports. An update on implementation of recommendations for documenting and disseminating outreach and engaged scholarship provided a report of progress since 2008 when the recommendations were first made. For background and the progress update go to http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appj.pdf.

A report on World Campus provided an outline of its program proposal and review process, from how program ideas originate through to culminating steps. Read the overview at http://www.senate.psu.edu/agenda/2011-2012/apr2012/appk.pdf.

The Senate received a report on the major changes to Cooperative Extension’s administrative and program delivery structures. The full report can be found at http://extension.psu.edu/about.

The next meeting of the Faculty Senate will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 in 112 Kern Graduate Building.

Last Updated April 29, 2013