Board of Trustees actions: Jan. 21, 2005

January 27, 2005

Penn State's Board of Trustees met on Friday, Jan. 21, 2005, on Penn State's University Park campus. 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 Jan. 21 on the University Park campus. In his opening remarks to the board, President Graham B. Spanier highlighted the current rate of applications to the University, up 4.7 percent over this time last year -- a year that saw the second-highest total number of applications in Penn State history. He also discussed the successful conversion to a new identification system at Penn State that eliminates the use of Social Security numbers as identifiers, the upcoming slate of celebrations in observance of the University's sesquicentennial, and efforts on campus to provide relief in the aftermath of the devastating tsunamis in south Asia. Current research going on at Penn State also was detailed.
Read the full text of the president's remarks at

Greek Pride initiative seeks a return to glory for fraternities, sororities
With approximately 4,000 students comprising the 88 chapters of fraternities and sororities at Penn State, Greek life is a significant factor in the lives of many students and is interwoven into the fabric of the University experience and its overall image. Approximately 12 percent of Penn State students are actively involved in Greek life at the University, making it one of the largest Greek systems in the nation. While these students give back to the University and the community through various outreach and service projects -- the most noteworthy being Dance Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy in the county -- a disengagement between the University, Greek alumni and current fraternity and sorority members has contributed to Greek organizations losing sight of the core values and greater purposes upon which they were founded. A comprehensive effort to change attitudes about fraternities and sororities by identifying and expanding the positives of the Greek experience, a University-wide initiative dubbed "Greek Pride: A Return to Glory," is under way.
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Commonwealth College provides 'near home' experience for first-generation students
Penn State currently offers more than 13,000 Pennsylvanians a chance to earn college degrees near home and an excellent learning experience for many first-generation students thanks to the University's network of a dozen Commonwealth College campuses. Diane M. Disney, dean of the Commonwealth College, presented Penn State's Board of Trustees Jan. 21 with an overview of the college's audiences and services, special challenges and responses to those challenges, and thoughts on future directions. The Commonwealth College consists of 12 of the University's 24 campuses: Beaver, Delaware County, DuBois, Fayette, Hazleton, McKeesport, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton and York. The college is Penn State's largest academic unit, with more than 13,000 students and 2,700 faculty and staff at these campus locations. The Commonwealth College now offers 16 baccalaureate degrees, 14 associate degrees and 16 undergraduate minors, collectively. Several campuses also offer a master's degree in education.
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Eaton discusses developments, challenges at University Libraries
While electronic delivery of information is widely available to faculty, students and staff, the virtual library is not making the physical library irrelevant, according to Nancy L. Eaton, dean of University Libraries. "We continue to make progress on replacing or renovating dated library buildings, as user surveys provide strong evidence that library users still want up-to-date, comfortable physical libraries," Eaton told Penn State's Board of Trustees Jan. 21 during an informational report. Despite electronic delivery of information, University Libraries, which comprises 36 libraries at 24 locations throughout the commonwealth, adds nearly 120,000 volumes each year systemwide. Of the $16 million spent annually on new materials, it spends 25 percent on electronic information and 75 percent for traditional formats such as paper and microforms. While there is a strong commitment to purchasing printed materials, electronic books, also known as e-books, have made their way into the University Libraries catalog. Eaton said more than 57,500 have been made available to library patrons during the past two years.
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Trustees approve upgrades, two-campus plan for Dickinson School of Law
Penn State's Board of Trustees on Jan. 21 approved a memorandum of understanding with its Dickinson School of Law that will provide for the extensive renovation and expansion of the law school's Carlisle campus and expansion of the law degree program to the University Park campus. The University has committed $10 million toward the estimated $40 million renovation and expansion of Trickett Hall in Carlisle. The governor has pledged matching funds for the project up to $25 million, with the remaining funds to come from fund raising. "Our plan is for two high-quality interactive campuses designed, administered and supported financially in a manner intended to strengthen the heritage and educational programs of the law school," said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier. "This is a positive development in our efforts to provide the highest quality of legal education."
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Plans for new baseball park presented to Board of Trustees
The Penn State baseball team -- along with a minor league baseball team -- will have a new, 6,000-seat home completed in 2006, according to plans announced to the University's Board of Trustees on Jan. 21. The new ballpark will be constructed east of Porter Road, near Beaver Stadium and The Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions will play their home slate at the planned facility from March through May and a minor league baseball team to be located in State College will play its home schedule there from June to August, allowing both groups to pool their resources and provide a new venue for Penn State and the Centre Region. The ballpark will be oriented to the east, offering excellent views of Mount Nittany. The design of the facility will complement the nearby Jordan Center, Beaver Stadium and Multisport Indoor Facility to further the concept of an "athletic village" on the eastern end of campus. With a variety of seating options ranging from suites to informal seating on a grass berm, the ballpark will include offices for Penn State coaches and minor league administrators, along with clubhouses for Penn State, the minor league team and a visiting team.
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Architects appointed for graduate housing, Altoona arts center addition
The Penn State Board of trustees on Jan. 21 approved the appointment of Noelker and Hull Associates of Chambersburg, Pa., and CBT of Boston to develop plans for a new housing complex to replace the existing housing at University Park's Graduate Circle Apartments. Additionally, the board approved the appointment of Perfido Weiskopf Architects of Pittsburgh to design an addition to the Community Arts Center at Penn State Altoona.
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Board hears report on refinement to West Campus master plan
The Penn State Board of Trustees on Jan. 21 heard an informational report on refinements to the University Park West Campus master plan, at the heart of which is a new concept for commuter parking on West Campus. The new concept for commuter parking west of North Atherton Street includes new surface spaces and the potential for a three-level deck. When all phases are completed, the facility could accommodate up to 649 vehicles. The first phase of the project could potentially accommodate 375 parking spaces, including 243 surface spots and 132 spaces on a one-level deck, one which would be designed to add up to two more levels in the future.
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Board sets dates for election of Trustees, announces 2006 schedule of six regular meetings
The Penn State Board of Trustees on Jan. 21 approved Thursday, May 12, as the date for the delegate election of agricultural trustees and for the counting of ballots in the alumni election of board members. The board also designated Friday, May 13, as the date of the election of business and industry trustees. Of the board's 32 members, six trustees are elected by delegates from organized agricultural societies within the commonwealth. Six additional trustees representing business and industry endeavors are elected by the Board of Trustees following a review of nominations by the selection group on board membership for business and industry trustees. The term of service for these trustees is three years, and two terms from each category expire each year.
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Penn State Board of Trustees re-elects Baldwin as chair, Broadhurst as vice chair
Cynthia A. Baldwin, judge in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and James S. Broadhurst, chairman and chief executive officer of Eat'n Park Hospitality Group Inc., were re-elected chair and vice chair, respectively, of Penn State's Board of Trustees on Jan. 21. Baldwin, the first African-American female judge elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, broke ground at Penn State last year in becoming the first African-American woman to preside over the University's governing body. Broadhurst was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998 to fill an unexpired term as a business and industry trustee, and was elected for successive terms. He was elected president of Eat'n Park Hospitality Group in 1975 and nine years later became chairman and chief executive officer of the company.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009