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Attendance:
A. Benharbit, L. Berkowitz, M. Casteel, P. Catina, H. Darling, R. Farrell, D. Folkers, C. Gaston, S. Gill, S. Gladfelter, F. Haag, H. Hartman, A. Hasan, C. Heydl-Cortinez, M. Hoch, K. Ishida, M. Jarrett, E. Jenkins, A. Kara, K. Knapp, O. Kucukemiroglu, D. Latzko, K. Magni, M. Marcus, J. Nesbitt, L. Newcomer, S. Pane, S. Shah, A. Siddiqui, N. Sloboda, S. Staton-Taiwo, J. St. Clair-Christman, S. Stelly, J. Sutton, K. Swalgin, D. Van de Streek, E. Wenk, M. Wertheimer (Hazleton), V. White, S. Christ, J. Rodney, J. McCormick, F. Miller, S. Staffer, and S. Simonds.

  1. Approval of the minutes from the August 31, 2006, Senate meeting:

    Minutes approved without alteration. S. Gladfelter moved, L. Berkowitz seconded.

  2. Communications from administration, faculty, and committees
    1. Announcements from the Campus Chancellor, Dr. Joel Rodney:
      1. Dr. Rodney reported that there is no word on the budget yet, but he will alert the campus when the information is received.
      2. Dr. Rodney also reported that the United Way Campaign is currently under way. Last year, Penn State York was the leading contributor among educational institutions, and he hopes we can continue to lead in this area.
    2. Announcements from the DAA, Dr. Joe McCormick
      1. Congratulations to our own Deirdre Folkers on being selected as one of ten Assessment Academy Fellows at the University. For those wishing to know more about this activity, see: http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/Programs/AssessmentAcademy/
      2. Thanks to all members of the faculty who made entries to the Online Progress Report (OPR) system for week four. Week seven for OPR entries will begin on Sunday, October 15.
      3. There is currently one search committee in operation: A chemistry search committee, chaired by Karl Knapp. That committee has eighteen applications in its possession. This search is for a tenure track position for the 2007 - 2008 academic year. Next Thursday, October 12, a search committee for a tenure track position in Communication Arts and Sciences will be charged.
      4. The local Promotion and Tenure Committee, chaired by Cecilia Heydl-Cortinez, is currently at work on seven dossiers. In addition to Heydl-Cortinez, the other members of the local P & T Committee are Leonard Berkowitz and Abul Hasan.
      5. The Engineering Technology faculty is currently at work in preparation of a visit by members of the Accreditation Board in Engineering and Technology (ABET) team. This team of visitors will take a very close look at three our our engineering technology programs: Electrical Engineering Technology (2EET), Mechanical Engineering Technology (2MET), and Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (4EMET). This team will be on campus from Sunday, October 8 through the afternoon of Tuesday, October 10. Thanks to the members of the Engineering Technology faculty who have worked over the past eighteen months on the self-study report that is the basis of the ABET visit.
      6. Within the next two weeks the DAA will meet with all junior faculty members to get a sense of how the semester is unfolding. An e-mail announcement of this event is forthcoming.
    3. Announcements from University Senators.
      1. A. Hasan announced the formation of a new University Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, of which he is a member.  The duties of the committee have been included below.
      2. “The Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, in conjunction with other Senate Committees and other bodies outside of the University Faculty Senate (e.g., Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity), will recommend policy and advise the University on activities to improve the campus environment and educational equity across the entire University at all of its campuses. The Committee will initiate joint explorations and investigations with other Senate standing committees to ensure diversity and equity issues are integrated throughout Senate deliberations.

        ”It shall be the Senate advisory body to the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. The purview of the Committee shall include but not be limited to recruitment efforts, admissions policy, housing practices, curriculum review and development, graduation demographics, student life issues and outreach as they relate to matters of equity and diversity. The Committee will not only participate in the current strategic planning activities for the University but will also develop and maintain an action plan for the University Faculty Senate specifically addressing the challenges as outlined in the University’s diversity strategic plans.”

      3. L. Berkowitz called attention to “Time to Choose” (benefits election), which begins soon. Plan A has been eliminated and changes to the dental plan are under consideration.
      4. M. Casteel noted that the FAC meets Tuesday 10/10 with President Spanier. The reorganization and governance issues currently facing the University College are on the agenda.
    4. Announcements from Faculty.
      1. Faculty/Staff Party (potluck) chez Berkowitz, Saturday, October 28 at about 6:00 p.m. $6/person for beer/wine, etc. An official invitation is forthcoming; this is an adults-only event.
      2. Service Project at Our Daily Bread: date has been changed from October 7 to October 14, 2006. (J. Nesbitt forgot to announce this on behalf of A. Fetterman.)
    5. Announcements from Staff.

      From Suzanne Shaffer, professional development opportunities (flyer forthcoming):

      1. Maryellen Weimer, author of Learner-Centered Teaching, Monday, October 23 from 12-1:30 p.m. in PAC 114.
      2. Schreyer Institute lunchtime series, “Academic Integrity” (Polycom), Tuesday, November 14 from 12-1:30 p.m. in MCB 31B. Lunch provided.
      3. Various workshops on instructional technology to be held through semester.
      4. ANGEL interface will switch May 19, 2007.

      From Sharon Christ, admissions events and staffing announcements

      1. Women's Fair, October 7-8, Penn State York information table.
      2. Information Sessions, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., the first Saturday of every month in the Admissions Office.
      3. High school visits and college fairs have been scheduled. The schedule has gone out on email and anybody interested in joining the admissions staff at these events simply need to let them know
      4. Penn State Day/Open House, October 28, 2006, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; opening session in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center.
    6. Announcements from Senate Chair, Deirdre Folkers.
      1. The Senate Committee Chairs met in September and the chairs were charged to address two issues currently facing the campus:
        1. Fragmentation among the faculty.
        2. Declining levels of preparedness among entering students at Penn State York.

      The chair’s remarks generated discussion from the floor regarding causes of and solutions to the problem of student preparation levels. Admissions standards at Penn State York have not changed, though grade inflation at high schools could affect the number of students able to gain admission. A possible increase in late registrations was also noted. Drs. McCormick and Rodney mentioned the “Education Summit” for York County, which will be held at the Fairgrounds on October 26-27, as one opportunity to interact with York County educators regarding this issue. Other indicators of concern about preparing students for college come from the York County Alliance for Learning, YorkCounts, and alliances with staff at the newly reopened William Penn High School.

  3. New Business:
    1. Report from the Strategic Planning Committee (Harriet Darling): the Committee met on September 28; this meeting was facilitated by D. Nugent and B. Sherlock (UP), who guided the committee toward an action plan. The committee has determined the current status of all strategies named in the plan. At the next meeting (October 17), committee members will each be assigned responsibility for part of the action plan.
    2. Report from the University College Faculty Council (Jane Sutton): Minutes from the most recent Faculty Council meeting (October 3) were distributed. This meeting focused on three agenda items: a set of questions to which Dr. J. Romano responded, budget matters, and ideas about reorganization. Dr. Sutton emphasized the degree to which budget issues drive the administration of the University College. Regarding UC organizational structures, Dr. Sutton stated that Dr. Romano remains very interested in rebuilding connections amongst faculty at the various campus locations. However, Dr. Romano may envision a system like the old CES, except that P&T would be handled by the UC. A CES-like system may be difficult to implement because the campuses have changed so much in the intervening years. Debate also continues about disciplinary and/or divisional structures. A brief discussion about leadership, governance, and administrative structure on the council ensued.
    3. Penn State York Student Retention (Sharon Christ): Dr. Christ presented information she and F. Miller had collated regarding our retention rates (contact Dr. Christ for a copy). Although we have lost students between fall 2005 and fall 2006,, our retention rates have improved over time. Dr. Christ then presented data based on responses to admissions staff telephone calls to students who have not returned (see below). Of the 26.7 percent of students who indicated that they had transferred to another college, some these students were dual enrollment high school students who elected to pursue their undergraduate degrees at other colleges.

      Retention Phone Calls - here spring 2006 not here fall 2006 (as of 10/5/06)
      Number of respondents % of total n=183

      Left message; no return call

      82

      44.8

      Transferred to another school

      49

      26.7

      Failed spring 06

      8

        4.4

      High school student-no plans

      2

        1.1

      Owes $ for fall 05

      18

        9.8

      Moved

      2

        1.1

      Personal/family

      4

        2.2

      Completed requirements

      4

        2.2

      Leave of Absence

      6

        3.3

      Other

      8

        4.4

      Following Dr. Christ’s presentation, there was a brief discussion of the role and utility of OPRs in student retention, the dual-enrollment program, and the implications of the SAT Writing test on future admissions. The Senate Chair and Dr. Christ agreed to meet and discuss a structure through which the faculty could continue to discuss enrollment and student preparation issues facing the campus.

    4. Classroom Etiquette Forum: Faculty and students have reported an increase in inappropriate behavior among students, both within and outside the classroom. Discussion ensued, and the following points were made: a standardized policy on student behavior is unlikely to fly; faculty may want to consider addressing classroom etiquette on the syllabus; new populations of students need to be trained, in some cases, in classroom etiquette; and repeated disruptive behavior should be reported to the Disciplinary Committee (led by Scott Simonds).

      N. Sloboda asked whether a faculty member who has a stated etiquette policy is allowed to dismiss a student violating that policy. Dr. McCormick will check the policy and report back to the faculty. H. Darling noted that these etiquette issues are not unrelated to the retention and preparedness issues discussed earlier. There seems to be consensus that the faculty need to develop ways to address changing student needs and expectations in order to maintain high standards in the classroom.
  4. Adjournment: L. Berkowitz moved, M. Casteel seconded and the meeting adjourned at 1:25 p.m.

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, November 9, 2006, at 12:05p.m. in ISTC 107.


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