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Faculty Council Minutes for September 12, 2013

Faculty Council Minutes for September 12, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013
221 Chambers Building
Time: 2:30 – 4:30pm

Attending: Dr.’s Bernie Badiali, Bill Carlson, Ed Fuller, Scott Metzger, Dana Mitra, David Monk, Julia Plummer, David Post, Rayne Sperling, Jeanine Staples, Priya Sharma, Pamela Wolfe, Heather Zimmerman

Quorum reached.

1. Approval of April 18, 2013 minutes – approved.

2. Communications to the Council

2.1. Ballots for elections

2.1.1. Technology – See 3.2.1.

2.1.2. Curricular Affairs – See 3.2.3.

2.1.3. Faculty, Staff and Student Concerns – See 3.2.2.

3. Reports of the Executive Committee (members include FC Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Immediate Past-Chair, Chairs of Standing Committees)

3.1. FC Chair Dana Mitra

3.1.1. Welcomed all new members.

3.1.2. By-law finalization; none of the changes to our by-laws since 2005 have been officially approved by the University Faculty Senate. Any by-law change must be approved and have a reason for the change. Dana will work with Karen Mogle to identify these changes since 2005 for subsequent submission to senate.

3.2. Standing Committees – committees were defined and expectations explained to those in attendance.

3.2.1. Technology – Priya Sharma elected chair.

3.2.2. Faculty, Staff and Students Concerns – Pam Wolfe elected chair.

3.2.3. Curricular Affairs – Rayne Sperling elected chair.

3.2.4. Graduate Studies and Research Policy – David Post was elected chair.

3.3. Ad Hoc Committees

3.3.1. Academic Integrity – The question to be looked at pertained to what are the syllabus requirements and what is faculty responsibility around academic integrity? We wondered if there was a University policy addressing this topic and we looked at what HHD already sends out to its faculty. Attached to the minutes is a listing of what we thought would be helpful to our faculty. It addresses some of the things syllabi should contain. Things like the Disabilities Act, attendance requirements, course examinations, descriptions of assignments, contact information, accessibility and availability, rescheduling of course time, expected workload for course, final examination policy, final exam conflict policy, 10% rule for final assessments, FERPA requirements and confidentiality of student records, resolution of classroom problems, basis for grading and grade mediation. Scott Metzger agreed to receive any suggestions from members of the Council. Once members of the Council have the opportunity to make comments, a revised draft will be sent to members with the idea that it should be circulated within the departments for further comment and refinement. The feedback that is received will be reviewed at the next Faculty Council meeting. This document would be most helpful to new faculty members and to serve as a reminder to other faculty. It was stated an undergraduate policy and procedure link should be included. A question was asked if there should be language to include diversity.

4. Announcements by the FC Chair

4.1. Potential town hall topics of interest – It was suggested that Mandatory Reporter Training could be an engaging and appropriate topic for a town hall. The suggestion was made to invite Regis Becker to present at this town hall. Later discussion recommended that a town hall on the Wellness Initiative take precedence.

5. Comments from Dean David Monk

5.1. We have 15 new tenure line faculty colleagues who joined us this fall. In addition, we have 2 new FTM colleagues and several FT1’s. Also, we have new staff joining us. This is creating an influx of new talent to the College.

5.2. For 2013-14, we will be launching 7 new tenure line searches. Of these searches, several are continuations from last year and 2 are co-funded positions with CYFC.

5.3. Dr. Kathy Bieschke was named our new department head In Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education. Dr. Stephanie Knight was named our new Associate Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Education.

5.4. Construction update – The CEDAR renovations are now complete and we are planning for an open house sometime in October. The Math Education Lab renovation is well underway and is expected to be completed by the end of October. The feasibility study for renovations to our Language Literature Lab should be back soon. And, I want to thank all Chambers occupants for their patience during the first two weeks of the semester dealing with the drilling noises.

5.5. The University received flat funding this year in state appropriations. The University will be looking at 1% recycling. There will be a GSI in October of this year.

5.6. The University has hired Dr. Nick Jones as its new executive vice president and provost. A new president could be named before the end of the calendar year.

5.7. There has been a lot of discussion occurring around the University about the wellness Initiative. Jerry Henry will be holding informational session for College employees to update them on open enrollment and the wellness initiative.

5.8. The University is creating a taskforce to look at the childcare transfer on campus. No transfer of operation will occur this academic year.

5.9. The College’s strategic plan is due at the end of the academic year. I anticipate Faculty Council being involved in the development of the plan.

5.10. The new College web site is being developed. Suzanne Wayne is spearheading this effort.

5.11. Penn State Education is now available and it recognizes the College of Education’s 90th anniversary. This magazine is no longer distributed to faculty and staff in print form but is shared electronically. Print copies are available if you would like a copy. You can also find it online.

5.12. The Waterbury Summit was held in August and it brought good visibility to our STEM Education efforts.

5.13. The College will be hosting an Education and Civil Rights conference on June 6-7, 2014. Dr. Erika Frankenberger is taking the lead in organizing this conference.

5.14. On October 21-22, 2013, we will be holding a mini-0conference on the Learning Sciences in collaboration with our Taiwanese partnership.

5.15. A new co-hort of Humphrey Fellows has arrived.

5.16. We have reached close to $31M in commitments towards a goal of $29M with still a year to go in the campaign. The current market value of the College’s endowed funds is $37M. In the past year, faculty and staff have contributed over $800K in payroll deductions to our campaign, a truly remarkable and amazing figure.

5.17. The annual College-wide faculty and staff meeting will be held on September 19th at the Nittany Lion Inn.

5.18. We are currently looking for a spring 2014 commencement speaker if anyone has any ideas.

6. News from the Faculty Senate

6.1. Bill Carlsen reported out:

6.1.1. There is a change in Senate meetings. Reports will now go straight to the web as opposed to having them read during the Faculty Senate meetings.

6.1.2. There was much discussion about the wellness initiative. Much of the discussion centered on the privacy concerns. Bill informed Faculty Council that during the Senate meeting, both David Gray and Susan Basso seemed contrite on the way the initiative was rolled out and said that in the future, any changes in benefits would involve more consultation. Much discussion ensued within our own Faculty Council about the wellness initiative. It was motioned that a subcommittee be formed to plan a town hall on the subject in which faculty and staff could communicate their concerns about this issue with Scott Metzger as chair. The motion passed.

7. Forensic Business (Issues of Concern that a Council member would like to bring before Council)

7.1. Promotion and Tenure by-laws – tabled until next meeting.

7.2. Penn State Wellness initiative – See 6.1.2 above.

7.3. Outsourcing of Penn State’s childcare centers – Heather Zimmerman passed around a handout (attached). The University is taking the stance that it will no longer manage childcare centers on campus. It wants to outsource Bennett Daycare Center to Hildebrant, much like it has done with the Hort Woods Center. The University, under this plan, would terminate all PSU employees at both Centers. Any decision on this has now been delayed to at least 2014 by the University. The University is planning on creating a task force to review this issue. It is felt by employees in the College that any change in how the centers operate would affect faculty, staff, and students within the college. It was asked that Faculty Council form an ad hoc committee to determine what we as a College want our relationship to be going forward with the University daycares. A motion was made to pass such a committee. The motion passed.

8. Comments and Recommendations for the good of the College