Coraor reviews 2009-10 Faculty Senate work

May 14, 2010

University Park, Pa. — Outgoing Faculty Senate leadership provided Penn State's Board of Trustees an overview of the Senate's work for the 2009-10 academic year, including review of course program proposals, cost-saving measures and numerous advisory and legislative reports.

Lee Coraor, immediate past chair of the University Faculty Senate said one of the Senate's most time-consuming tasks is the review and approval of all course and program proposals, which includes the creation, change or elimination of all course and degree programs. With about 850 reviewed by the Senate this past year, Coraor said the move to an online process has greatly increased the efficiency of the reviews.

In support of "Priorities for Excellence," the University's five-year strategic plan, the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs prepared an advisory and consultative report to President Graham Spanier outlining guidelines for the preparation of workload policies. The report addresses one of the plan's strategies for improving instructional productivity, which calls for all academic units to develop transparent faculty workload policies.

"The president has accepted this report with some changes and units are now developing or have already developed workload policies," Coraor, associate professor of computer science and engineering, said.

The Senate Committee on Outreach issued an advisory report to the president on adult learners, noting trends in adult student enrollment and making recommendations for removing barriers. Some of those include identifying best practices and degree programs of greatest interest to the adult learner population, as well as better publicizing academic opportunities.

Student senators spearheaded several legislative reports from Committees on Undergraduate Education and Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid, Coraor noted. Among these were a new provision to allow student senators to designate an alternate representative in their absences; the elimination of "Withdraw Pass," "No Grade" and "Fail" options for late dropped courses, in favor of an automatic "Late Drop No Grade" designation; and the extension of course add time for an additional eight hours at the end of the regular course add/drop period.

Coraor said each academic unit and campus has implemented a First-Year Engagement program to tailor the first-year experience to specific needs and strengths.

He also said the Senate has implemented cost savings measures totaling nearly $100,000.

Looking ahead to 2010-11, Coraor said the Senate expects to take up legislation on changing the foreign language admissions requirement and amending textbook selection policies.

  • Lee Coraor

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010