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Faculty Council Minutes for October 17, 2013

Faculty Council Minutes for October 17, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013
221 Chambers Building
Time: 2:30 – 4:30pm

Attending: Dr.’s Bill Carlsen, Roy Clariana, Ed Fuller, Scott Metzger, Dana Mitra, David Monk, Julia Plummer, Priya Sharma, Rayne Sperling, Jeanine Staples, and Heather Zimmerman

Quorum reached.

1. Approval of September 12, 2013 minutes – tabled until next meeting.

2. Announcements by the Chair

2.1. Appointment of Distinguished Professors – College currently has 3 with 2 openings. Self-nominations are welcome as well as nominations from others. The committee to review the nominations with the dean should have a representative selected by the Faculty Council. This member does not need to be a Faculty Council member, nor does the person need to be a full professor. The committee to review the nominations includes the other distinguished professors in the College and the chaired professorships in the College.

2.2. Plea was made from the Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee for representation.

3. Communications to the Council

3.1. None.

3.2. Standing Committees

3.2.1. Technology – Priya Sharma, chair – no report.

3.2.2. Faculty, Staff and Students Concerns – Pam Wolfe, chair –no report.

3.2.3. Curricular Affairs – Rayne Sperling, chair – Meet and discussed ways to increase communication across levels of the process and discussed process improvements. Currently we have 19-0 curriculum proposals working their way through the system.

3.2.4. Graduate Studies and Research Policy – David Post, chair – Student RIG fund review of applications with 5 recommended. Reward size is capped at $600.

3.3. Ad Hoc Committees

3.3.1. Academic Integrity – Shared a draft at the last meeting. It was discovered that the 10% rule is enforced for both grad and undergrads. A motion was made and accepted to formally share the document with faculty. The document will be placed on the Faculty Council web page and will be sent to all faculty to be used as a quick guide to assist them. A discussion ensued on how the document will be kept up-to-date as processes and policies change at Penn State. It was decided that the document should be reviewed on an annual basis and it would be the responsibility of the incoming chair to keep the document up-to-date. DA date will be placed on the top of the document to indicate when last updated. Motion made and properly moved on this procedure.

3.3.2. Childcare Issues – On October 1, President Erickson announced who would be on the University Task Force to examine the daycare issue at Penn state University Park. Dr. Jackie Edmondson has been appointed to chair this task force that will include 13 addition University community members including a graduate student, 2) At this point we are no longer sure whether an ad hoc committee from the College is needed. Many of the concerns expressed within the College are to be addressed by the University task force. There will be a report made at our next meeting to determine if the College ad hoc committee is needed.

4. Comments from Dean David Monk

4.1. The Alumni Fellows’ visits have just completed and a banquet was held last evening. Gay Krause and Cheryl Allen were honored as Alumni Fellows from the College of Education.

4.2. We currently have 8 faculty searches ongoing with one search committee still needing to be charged.

4.3. Construction update: Math Education Lab is scheduled to be completed at the end of the month. We have begun designing a renovation of the Language Literature Lab. The CEDAR open house has occurred. And, we have the Social Studies Lab on our list as next in line for a major renovation.

4.4. Research Incentive Fund (RIF) review – we are building up a balance. Money coming in will be a smaller amount since some large grants have finished up. This fund is being used to support new positions in the area of research infrastructure support. These positions should provide more support for PI’s. This is the second year in which we are providing resources to the departments. Some RIF monies are used for start-up for faculty members. The College adds quite a bit of additional monies from other sources for faculty start-up.

4.5. Our spring commencement speaker will be Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy who heads the education unit at NFS. Dr. Ferriri-Mundy is a mathematics education faculty member at Michigan State.

4.6. We are being asked to write a one-page statement about the College for the incoming President. We can have links within the statement. We need to develop a narrative telling our story. I hope to present a draft to the FC at its November meeting.

4.7. AERA conference will be in Philadelphia this year. We want to make it easy for faculty and students to attend and we are looking at some sort of collective transportation arrangement to increase our participation. The College will be holding a reception at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Saturday evening of the conference.

5. News from the Faculty Senate

5.1. Bill Carlsen reported out:

5.1.1. Senate to meet next week, childcare motion is on the agenda. Once the motion is received by the Senate and introduced to the floor, the motion becomes the property of the Senate and the Senate at that point can make changes in its wording. Part of the wording calls on the University to recommit childcare as part of its core mission. I plan on proposing suggested changes to this language.

5.1.2. General Education is on agenda. There is really no academic leader for general education at Penn state.

5.1.3. There will be a report on the engaged scholarship initiative at Penn state. Engaged scholarship is defined as academic activity that takes place outside of the classroom.

5.1.4. The healthcare issue will be discussed. There is some resentment building because people to serve on the health care task force have yet to be identified by University administration.

6. Unfinished Legislative Business

6.1. Survey of the College – Ed Fuller – Conversation on whether this is a useful idea occurred. Focused on shared governance within the College. Shared governance requires a huge time commitment from faculty. Would this survey be useful? It was felt that such a survey would need to have a specific purpose in mind. Should a survey suggest different governing models? One of the issues from last year was the trouble Faculty Council had with getting a quorum for its meetings. A discussion ensured as to whether or not to take the survey idea back to the departments to ascertain whether or not it was something they wanted. There is a desire to see an increase in the level of faculty participation in the work of the Council.

6.2. Report from Town Hall meeting on Healthcare Concerns – Scott Metzger – Not a large turnout for the town hall. We believe the turnout would have been larger had Penn State not backed off the wellness surcharge. Access with medical providers is an issue, specifically access to Geisinger doctors and facilities. The College has developed a statement of principles that should be shared with the University Healthcare Taskforce once it is named. A side note coming out of the town hall was staff concerns are broader than just the wellness initiative with all of the changes happening within the College along the lines of staffing.

6.3. Jerry Henry has held three Open Enrollment information sessions for College employees. Faculty Council has requested another session be held during the open enrollment period.

7. New Legislative Business

7.1. Bylaw changes – Dana Mitra – There have been a series of past bylaw changes that have not worked their way through the system over the years. These changes need to go to the Senate for review and approval.

7.2. Several issues surfaced that could have implications for additional bylaw changes: (1) According to the existing bylaws the Faculty Council needs representation from both graduate and undergraduate students. Some discussion followed about whether this is wise. (2) The current bylaws do not specify that each department needs to be represented on the College P&T committee. Dean Monk clarified that the College P&T committee is not intended to be a representative committee of the departments. 3) The current bylaws stipulated that the elective year of a Faculty Council member begins after the April meeting of Faculty Council. This means we need to have members chosen before the end of the academic year and this has been problematic

7.3. Possible Future Town Hall Topics of Interest – Dana Mitra – None presented at this time.

8. Comments and Recommendations for the good of the College - Next meeting will be November 21, 2013