Board of Trustees actions: July 14, 2006

July 20, 2006

Penn State's Board of Trustees met on July 14 at the Hyatt Philadelphia. The following items were presented to the board for action or informational purposes:

Penn State Board of Trustees meets; President Spanier's remarks
Penn State's Board of Trustees held its regular, bi-monthly meeting July 14 at the Hyatt Philadelphia. In his opening remarks to the board, President Graham B. Spanier talked about the University's ties to the City of Brotherly Love, noting that Penn State actually was born in the city through the efforts of the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture. One of the Philadelphia Society's most distinguished members, Frederick O. Watts, was elected the first chair of the college's Board of Trustees. Today, Penn State Abington, Penn State Delaware County and Penn State Great Valley enroll a total of more than 6,000 students each year. These three campuses alone contribute nearly $270 million annually to the economy of the city of Philadelphia and the nearby counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester. Including the impact of those three campuses, Penn State has an overall annual economic impact of about $350 million in this region, according to a recent study. Some 64,000 Penn State alumni live in Philadelphia and the four surrounding counties -- one in four of all Penn State alumni who reside in Pennsylvania. Montgomery County itself has the second-highest number of Penn Staters of any county in the commonwealth, with more than 19,000 alumni.
Read the full text of the president's remarks at

Penn State sets $3.2 billion operating budget for 2006-07
Penn State's overall operating budget will rise modestly to $3.2 billion in 2006-07 under a plan designed to support the high quality of the educational experience for students while significantly moderating tuition increases. Excluding Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the budget reflects growth below the benchmark Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) inflation rate of 5.0 percent for this year - due in large part to a boost in state appropriation and the continuation of cost-savings initiatives totaling nearly $15 million in reductions for 2006-07. "All colleges and universities in this country are facing sharply increased costs to their operations," said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier. "This budget reflects our very best efforts to tighten our belts in the face of those increasing costs while still maintaining the quality that is critical for the success of our University." In this year's budget, funds have been allocated for a select group of strategic investments and to provide for escalating health care and other insurance costs as well as modest salary adjustments for faculty and staff. The budget also includes funds for rapidly increasing fuel and utilities costs, maintenance and operation of new and newly remodeled facilities, the University's capital improvement programs, and for need-based student aid.
Read the full story at online.
The full Penn State budget may be accessed at online.

Penn State tuition increase lowest in recent history
Due to a higher-than-expected state appropriation and continued cost-cutting measures, Penn State will raise its 2006-07 tuition rate by 2.9 percent for both resident and non-resident students at its 19 primarily undergraduate campuses -- an effort to promote access to a Penn State education around the commonwealth where nearly half of the University's students are enrolled. The rate increase will be 5.6 percent for in-state, lower division undergraduate students at the University Park campus. "This year, we will see the smallest increase in tuition that we have had in recent history," said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier. This new rate translates into an additional $143 to $149 per semester for full-time students at statewide campus locations, and $311 for students at University Park. The benchmark tuition for out-of-state, lower-division undergraduate students will increase by 4.4 percent. This rate is based on a formula approved by the board in 2002 that sets the dollar-figure tuition increase for out-of-state students at 1.5 times the increase for in-state students, reflecting more appropriately the increases in the actual costs of instruction.
Read the full story at online.
A complete listing of Penn State's tuition rate schedules and fees may be accessed at online.

Philanthropy to Penn State surpasses $165 million for 2005-06
Penn State received $165.2 million in gifts from alumni and friends for the year ending June 30, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year, according to a report to the Board of Trustees by Arthur Nagle, chair of the National Council on Penn State Philanthropy, the University's top volunteer fund-raising advisory group. "Several unique factors may have combined to help produce the $35 million increase in receipts that we witnessed last year," he told the trustees. "World financial markets experienced robust growth for the first time in several years. In addition, the devastation from Hurricane Katrina led Congress to pass the Katrina Relief Act, which significantly increased the tax benefits from charitable giving." Nagle also reported that planning is under way for another University-wide capital campaign "that promises to have a greater long-term impact on Penn State than the Grand Destiny Campaign," a seven-year effort that ended June 30, 2003, and secured $1.37 billion for student financial aid, faculty endowments, program support, new and renovated facilities, and other purposes.
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Brady named dean of Schreyer Honors College
Christian M.M. Brady, director of Tulane University's Honors Program and associate professor of classical studies and Jewish studies, has been named dean of Penn State's Schreyer Honors College. Brady has directed Tulane's Honors Program since 2004 and previously was its associate director as well as director of the university's Jewish studies program. His appointment was approved by the University's Board of Trustees July 14 at its regular meeting in Philadelphia. "Christian Brady brings a unique blend of dynamic teaching, focused academic research and broad administrative leadership experience," said Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson. "We are pleased to welcome his perspective to the future direction of honors education at Penn State." Brady holds two advanced degrees from the University of Oxford, a graduate diploma in Jewish studies and a doctorate in Oriental studies with a concentration in ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature, the former obtained simultaneously while completing a master's degree in biblical and theological studies from Wheaton College. His baccalaureate degree, in Near Eastern studies and history, is from Cornell University.
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Penn State implements new program in security and risk analysis
Modern-day concerns over information security and analysis has led Penn State to develop a model program that will address the growing demand for specialists in security and intelligence. A new program in security and risk analysis, approved July 14 by the University's Board of Trustees, will integrate studies in the emerging realms of information security, intelligence analysis and cyber forensics. The program will strive to produce practical leadership skills essential in a variety of workplace settings that make up today's global digital economy. Society operates through a complex and pervasive web of information technology -- ranging from the Internet to cell phones to information systems throughout the nation's economy. This vast infrastructure holds data on everyone, and also holds countless clues to how individuals and organizations do, could or should interact with society, government and the economy. Penn State has recognized a void in higher education, which has not adequately addressed the unique, interdisciplinary training and education needed to prepare graduates for careers and leadership in the analysis and assurance associated with these critical infrastructures.
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University approves 'Fulfilling the Promise' strategic plan
To further the University's overall mission, members of Penn State's Board of Trustees voted July 14 to adopt "Fulfilling the Promise: The Penn State Strategic Plan, 2006-07 through 2008-09." The three-year plan -- an update to "Progress Amidst Challenge: The Penn State Strategic Plan 2003-2004 through 2005-2006" -- lists six strategic goals that build on the University's approach to strategic management, particularly in becoming even more financially cost-effective while attaining greater success in the University's threefold mission of teaching, research and service. Strategies include: improving student learning and outcomes while moderating tuition increases and aggressively reducing overhead and other costs; maintaining momentum in building a faculty of eminence and extending undergraduate and graduate program reviews, especially for degree programs not subject to accreditation; and pursuing avenues for existing or emerging research strength as well as a "Pennsylvania First" strategy to support research and technology transfer toward Pennsylvania economic development.
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Student activity fee profoundly impacts student experience at Penn State
Penn State's student activity fee has made significant student-life enhancements possible at all Penn State locations statewide, according to a report July 14 in Philadelphia to the University's Board of Trustees. The fee is responsible for funding diversity programs and initiatives, supporting various educational and entertainment programs, subsidizing recreational and fitness activities, and supporting programs and travel sponsored by student organizations. Now in its 10th year, the fee was established in fall 1996 to improve out-of-class experiences at all campuses. The program has always been guided by students, with allocation decisions being made at each campus by student-run committees. In 2005 alone, the University Park Allocation Committee (UPAC) was able to provide student activity fee funding for 140 requests, which supported 80 different student organizations and 11 different offices. An additional 100 requests were fulfilled for travel and operating expenses to benefit groups in their endeavors beyond the classroom. The fee finances major programs that are attended by thousands of students annually at University Park. In recent years, about 40 percent of the funds generated by the fee have been expended on programs designed to celebrate the diversity of the student body.
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College of Education building research programs for better teachers
Penn State's College of Education is building on its longstanding commitment to excellence in its professional-preparation programs to become increasingly active in research efforts designed to improve practice in many parts of the field. The most recent U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings include six of the college's graduate degree programs among the top 10 nationally, showing a continual rise in the rankings. And strong rankings are attracting quality students and faculty. "With 872 full-time graduate students, we are one of Penn State's largest graduate programs, with many of these students pursuing doctoral degrees," said David H. Monk, dean of the College of Education, in a report to the Board of Trustees July 14. This focus on building a strong research faculty has resulted in the college receiving increasingly large numbers of research dollars. During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, education faculty received more than $21 million in research funding awards. The college recently won a five-year, $34 million contract from the U.S. Department of Education to run the Mid-Atlantic Regional Education Laboratory.
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Alumni Association outlines strategic initiatives in support of alumni, Penn State
The Penn State Alumni Association reported on its strategic goals, accomplishments, membership growth and continued service to the University in a presentation to the Penn State Board of Trustees July 14. Alumni Association President Lewis H. Gold, a 1959 Penn State liberal arts graduate, outlined the Alumni Association's agenda and impressive results of last year. Topping the list of accomplishments was the Alumni Association's new designation as the largest alumni association in the country in life members. "A year ago, we attained a long-sought goal to become the number one alumni association in life members. We learned in February that the 2005 life member total of 82,658 moved us ahead of Stanford and the University of Illinois into the number one spot," Gold said. "I'm thrilled to announce that we have completed another very good year on July 1, increasing our life member total by more than 4,000 to 87,043." The Alumni Association strives to connect alumni to the University and to each other, provide valuable benefits to members and support the University's mission of teaching, research and service.
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Trustees approve Penn State Erie lecture hall plans, DuBois property purchase
Penn State's Board of Trustees July 14 approved the final plans to add a two-floor lecture hall to the Research and Economic Development Center (REDC) at Penn State Erie. The new lecture hall plans call for a two-floor facility adjacent to the REDC building on Jordan Road. The design by Weber Murphy Fox of Erie will be carefully integrated into the sloping site near the woods to the east, explained Gary C. Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer of the University. The main level of the lecture hall will be accessed from the central corridor of the existing REDC building. It will include the entry foyer, pre-function mezzanine and 200-seat lecture hall. Doors at the top of the lecture hall will open to an outdoor patio. Additionally, the board approved the purchase of a 0.22 acre property adjacent to the Penn State DuBois campus, which the University intends to use for campus development.
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Trustees approve measures for buildings at Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton
Penn State's Board of Trustees July 14 took steps to create new academic facilities at the University's Northeast campuses. A proposed new academic commons building at Penn State Wilkes-Barre will house a new library, lecture hall and classrooms while freeing up space for student services, according to preliminary plans approved by the board. Additionally, the trustees approved the appointment of an architect for a new business classroom building at Penn State Worthington Scranton. The new, 21,700-gross-square-foot building at Wilkes-Barre will house a new library, replacing the undersized facilities of the existing Nesbitt Library, which will in turn be renovated for student services, currently located in a cramped space of the Hayfield House. The new building will be centrally located between Nesbitt Library and Hayfield House. At Worthington Scranton, a new classroom building will address a need for additional classroom space that dates back to the late 1990s, due to a surge in enrollment at that time and the recent need to accommodate new academic offerings. The bachelor's degree in business administration will be the keystone program of the proposed new facility.
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Eckel, Peechatka re-elected to Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center board
Keith W. Eckel and Walter N. Peechatka, both members of Penn State's Board of Trustees, were each re-elected July 14 to serve an additional one-year term as a director of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center of The Dickinson School of Law. The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center was established in 1998, following the 1997 merger of The Dickinson School of Law with Penn State. It is designed to provide the highest-quality educational programs, information and materials to those involved or interested in the agricultural industry. The center is a collaboration between the law school and the University's College of Agricultural Sciences, and is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The center's board of directors is composed of various state government officials, members of the University's Board of Trustees who serve by virtue of election, and the vice president for Outreach and Cooperative Extension at Penn State. In addition, the state secretary of agriculture appoints five representatives from the fields of production agriculture, agribusiness and agricultural law.
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Changes approved for undergraduate, graduate programs
Several changes have been approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees for a number of undergraduate and graduate academic programs.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009