Faculty Senate discusses global citizenship and other topics at March meeting

March 15, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The University Faculty Senate covered a range of topics during its meeting on Tuesday (March 13), including Penn State’s current operating budget, a WorkLion update, changes to the bylaws, and nominees for upcoming senate elections.

In 2017 the Senate Committee on Global Programs was charged with identifying ways that Penn State might define “global citizenship” and “global competency” for the purposes of assessment, concepts included in the University’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

The committee recommended that the University administration incorporate in the strategic plan definitions of global awareness, global literacy, global competency, intercultural competency, and global citizenry in assessing progress; and endorse a framework for conceptualizing global and intercultural competency that can be tailored to particular disciplinary needs, as well as the proposition that there are multiple pathways to global citizenship. Senators approved the recommendation, which will be forwarded to University President Eric Barron for review.

In addition, the Faculty Senate:

— Received a detailed overview from Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones of Penn State’s 2017-18 operating budget, a total of $5.676 billion; and a look ahead to the University’s 2018-2019 state appropriation request.

— Heard an annual informational report on Faculty Senate Scholarships awarded to undergraduates: 244 student recipients received $258,566 in fiscal year 2016-17, University-wide, with the majority of recipients from Pennsylvania (201) and with at least one recipient enrolled in each academic college. Senators also recognized Anna Griswold, assistant vice president for Undergraduate Education and executive director for Student Aid, who presented the report and who is retiring with 27 years of service to Penn State.

— Heard an update on the University’s human resources (HR) and payroll system, WorkLion, and information about faculty-specific transactions in WorkLion, including the HR knowledge base, HR inquiry management tools, WorkDay, and the Learning Resource Network.

— Received a recommendation from the Committees and Rules Committee to approve changes to the bylaws concerning officer election, moving away from the current rotating system and adopting an independent election of the vice-chair and chair, and also permitting the chair holder to stand for reelection. The vote will be presented at the April senate meeting.

— Received an advisory report from the Faculty Benefits Committee on the changes made to recreational facilities memberships for faculty at University Park. Senators approved the formation of a task force to more fully delve into the issues and concerns and expand the exploration to the other Penn State campuses.

— In unfinished business from its Jan. 23 meeting, approved changes to the bylaws to allow members of a senate committee to formally share their concerns or objections about decisions made by the committee as a whole. Committee members will have the option of writing a minority opinion and having it submitted along with the decision of the majority, allowing the full Senate to better understand the nature of committee recommendations.

— Voted to endorse revisions to policy RP06, Disclosure and Management of Significant Financial Interests, the purpose of which is to maintain the objectivity and integrity of research at Penn State and to ensure transparency in relationships with outside entities and individuals as they relate to the academic and scholarly mission of the University.

—  Approved a recommendation that the Facilities Planning Advisory Board, originally formed to facilitate the input of faculty in the planning process for University facilities, be dissolved; and concurrently to add a faculty representative as a voting member to the Project Decision Review Board, with the faculty representative reporting to the University Planning Committee as an ex-officio member.

— Received an interim report monitoring the progress of the implementation of AC-21, which defines academic ranks, across University units. AC-21 was updated in July 2017 with further revisions made in December 2017. Significant progress has been made in implementing unit changes, with nearly 100 percent of units having started the process and in varying stages of completion.

— Received a joint informational report from the committees on Intra-University Relations and Faculty Affairs, charged in 2017 to explore a disparity between the number of promotions to the rank of professor at University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses.

In addition, the senate approved nominations for upcoming elections for Faculty Senate leadership positions and committees for 2018-19; were presented with the roster of senators by voting units for 2018-19; received informational summaries of child care services and related research, education and service activities associated with child care centers at Penn State campuses; and also on augmented, virtual, and mixed-reality technologies across the University.

The University Faculty Senate will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting at 1:30 p.m. April 24 in 112 Kern Building at University Park.

The full agenda for the March 13 meeting is available on the Faculty Senate website. Meetings also are livestreamed and archived via Mediasite.

Last Updated March 15, 2018