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Attendance:
R. Bartell, L. Berkowtiz, M. Jarrett, F. Haag, A. Henne, L. Newcomer, B. Farrell, S. Stelly, D. Latzko, F. Lugemwa, D. Folkers, M. T. Eicker, E. Jenkins, J. St. Clair-Christman, H. Darling, S. Shaffer, E. Wenk, L. Newcomer, J. Nesbitt, J. Yu, M. Casteel, K. Knapp, S. Christ, H. Hartman, C. Heydl-Cortinez, K. Magni, C. Gaston, P. Catina, S. Staton-Taiwo, J. Rodney, T. Getz, A. Fetterman, A. Hasan, J. McCormick, N. Sloboda, E. Wenk, C. Creagh, A. Landis, K. Swalgin, A. Kara, A. Siddiqui, R. Chitalia, S. Ruch, J. Rodney, and D. Baughman

  1. Minutes
    1. Minutes from the January 9 meeting were approved without comment.
  2. Communications from administration, faculty, and committees
    1. Chancellor, Dr. Joel Rodney
      1. indicated that, due to the current economic crisis, Commonwealth supported universities, including Penn State, will be called upon to give back additional funds to the state; noted central administration had pledged to cover additional give-backs but expressed concern about the impact of additional cuts on the 2009-10 budget; anticipated a reduction in the operating budget of the University as a whole.
      2. announced that the immediate impact of future give-backs on the campus would be a freeze on select hires; announced the formation of a task force to assess which new hires are essential to operations during the coming academic year.
        1. Dr. Jarrett questioned the utility of this ad hoc committee being comprised of the senate chair, chair-elect, and chair of the Curricular Affairs Committee; suggested that individuals involved in the searches should be part of the decision-making process, too; discussion ensued about how best to structure the ad hoc committee and about the ways in which searches would be funded.
      3. predicted increases to the state budget deficit that made forecasting difficult and called for uniformly conservative budget decisions.
      4. reported a new initiative to support students attending community colleges and state-owned colleges, an initiative that excludes Penn State; called for mobilization of families and supporters of Penn State to push for revision of this initiative.
        1. Ed Jenkins asked about having Brenda Stine distribute contact information for legislators; Dr. Rodney responded that Penn State protocols called for contact to be made to legislators only in unofficial (non-University) capacities.
      5. shared information about the development of a new partnership with HAAC Lancaster to support a 2+2 HDFS program.
      6. announced growth in enrollments from India; predicted increased numbers of students coming to the campus from other nations.
    2. Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Joe McCormick
      1. announced that the Advisory Board and Pullo Grant guidelines would go out by the close of the business day, February 3.
      2. shared that a status report on the First Year Engagement (FYE) plan would be sent to University Park by the close of the business day, February 3.
      3. noted that Engineering, Biology, CAS, and English searches were ongoing; stated that, to date, Chancellor Rodney had not given word that these searches should be postponed or cancelled.
      4. pointed out that during the fourth week of the semester faculty should make OPR entries on or before 11:50 p.m., February 9.
    3. University Senators
      1. Dr. Leonard Berkowitz noted he had already sent out a summary detailing University Senate business.
      2. Dr. Mark Casteel shared that the provost said he would reconsider the addition of residence facilities on campuses without them.
      3. Dr. Abul Hasan announced that he is a member of the inter-university relations committee; indicated that work was ongoing on two issues: 1.) uniformity of fixed term faculty designations; 2.) completion and standard implementation of AD-14 reviews on all campuses.
    4. Faculty Council Representative, Dr. Abdul Siddiqu
      1. Dr. Abdul Siddiqui made no comments.
    5. Announcements from Faculty
      1. No faculty members had business to share with the Senate.
    6. Announcements from Staff
      1. Sue Ruch, the new campus financial officer, was warmly welcomed by the Senate Chair, Dr. Bob Farrell.
      2. Suzanne Shaffer shared the progress of the Digital Commons initiative; noted that two faculty members currently participating in the pilot of the Digital Commons project had successfully incorporated digital video projects into their courses while working with our UP Digital Commons representative, Matt Frank, to prepare students; reported that the logistics are in place for students to check out camera equipment from the library and to reserve lab time to edit videos; invited faculty with an interest in using digital video in fall 2009 courses to contact her as soon as possible to start the process.
      3. Senate Chair, Dr. Bob Farrell, acting on behalf of Loren Brewster, announced an upcoming meeting on IPAS to be held at noon in the Conference Center on February 25.
    7. Student Government representatives
      1. Student Senate Chair Rohan Chitalia expressed widespread concern about increases in fees and tuition; proclaimed that students would participate in a rally at the rotunda in Harrisburg in order to meet with legislators; stated that the event would be held at noon on March 20; called for all faculty to support the event; circulated a signature sheet to document faculty support.
    8. Senate Chair, Dr. Bob Farrell
      1. announced that he planned to defer formation of an ad hoc promotion and tenure review committee due to delays in the transition to independent college status and the significant work entailed by the AD-14 review.
        1. Dr. Jarrett expressed concern about waiting to work on promotion and tenure issues; Dr. Bob Farrell responded that the delay would only be for one month, at most
    9. Chair-Elect, Dr. Jennifer Nesbitt
      1. reminded faculty, on behalf of Frank Miller, to remain in close contact with students on snow days.
    10. Senate Committee Chairs
      1. Stuart Stelly, chair of Academic and Student Issues, noted that the committee had recently reviewed a status report on FYE planning developed by the FYE ad hoc committee; remarked that discussion was ongoing about the possible replacement of frakturs for the Teaching and Advising Awards.
        1. Dr. Hasan asked about the deadline for finalization of the FYE plan; asked why the FYE ad hoc report had not been made available to the Senate; Dr. McCormick responded that he had worked with the chair in developing the report; Dr. Farrell stated that the report was not an action plan but merely an update on planning progress.
      2. Dr. David Latzko, chair of the Faculty Affair Committee, indicated that the committee had not recently conducted any business.
      3. Art Henne, chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee, indicated that the committee would soon meet; announced that this Friday, February 6, at noon in the Community Room, there would be the first of a series of diversity related events.
      4. Harley Hartman, chair of the Teaching Learning and Technology Committee , reported that the committee had not yet met this semester; asked all those interested in classroom technology reform to contact his committee.
      5. Peter Catina, chair of the Curricular Affairs Committee, announced that a committee meeting was imminent to address pressing concerns related to new hires.
  3. Unfinished Business
    1. No unfinished business was addressed by the Senate.
  4. New Business
    1. No new business was initiated by the Senate.
  5. Forensic Business: Reports from Standing Committees
    1. For the good of the order, Dr. Mark Casteel urged faculty to work together and to be civil during challenging times.
  6. Adjournment
    1. Motion to adjourn was approved at 1:07 p.m.