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Attendance:
A. Benharbit, L. Berkowitz, M. Casteel, H. Darling, R. Dovey, B. Farrell, A. Fetterman, D. Folkers, C. Gaston, S. Gladfelter, F. Haag, H. Hartman, A. Hasan, K. Ishida, M. Jarrett, A. Landis, D. Latzko, K. Magni, J. Nesbitt, L. Newcomer, S. Pane, S. Shah, N. Sloboda, S. Staton-Taiwo, J. St. Clair-Christman, S. Stelly, K. Stupski, K. Swalgin, D. Van de Streek, S. Christ,  J. McCormick, S. Shaffer, W. Vangreen, and J.  McLucas (SGA).

  1. Approval of the minutes from the October 5, 2006, Senate meeting:

    The minutes were approved without amendment. M. Casteel moved, B. Farrell seconded.

  2. Communications from administration, faculty, and committees:
    1. Announcements from the DAA, Dr. Joe McCormick:
      1. The DAA announced that the Faculty Activity Report form for calendar year 2006 is now available to the faculty (@http://far.campuses.psu.edu ). The FAR should be completed by Monday, 22 January; however, every member of the faculty should make an effort to log in to the FAR site by Friday, 15 December to assure that there are no log-in problems.
      2. Faculty in various disciplines should be aware that planning meetings for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years will be held in January 2007. All disciplines that plan to have disciplinary planning meetings before the larger schedule planning meetings are held should give thought to the course offerings for the 2007-08 academic year and for summer 2008, especially if a different set of course offerings is contemplated than what will be offered in summer 2007.
      3. The salary compensation for full-time faculty in summer 2007 will be 8% of the annual salary so long as the course enrolls a minimum of eleven (11) students. Pro-rata salaries can be negotiated with the DAA for courses with enrollments below eleven.
      4. To date, the three search committees have generated short lists. Campus visits will begin in January 2007.
        1. Chemistry: a four-person short list
        2. Communication Arts & Sciences: a seven-person short list
        3. History: a thirteen-person short list
      5. At the meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee this Thursday, 14 December, the DAA will present a faculty hiring plan similar to that historically submitted to the former Commonwealth College.
    2. Announcements from University Senators.
      1. L. Berkowitz sent out a summary of the University Senate’s latest meeting via e-mail. Highlights include the following: Dr. Spanier announced that applications are running 12% ahead of last year, a record year itself. He also noted that there are three layers of spam protection on PSU e-mail, and Len has asked Joel to make sure that our spam protection is optimal. Two important reports were made to the Senate: one on Student Service Enhancements at Commonwealth Campuses and one on the Senate Officers’ visits to the campuses.
      2. M. Casteel announced that the Undergraduate Education Committee has approved and forwarded a report that moves to rescind the 1st-year seminar as a graduation requirement. The committee suggests that FYS be made an option: each campus will determine whether to require it. He also noted that last year’s report on disciplinary communities (approved by Senate and President Spanier) has been forwarded to the Administrative Council on Undergraduate Education (ACUE) and they have responded. The Intra-University Relations Committee (IRC) will probably be charged to look at ACUE’s recommendations and forge a response.
      3. A. Hasan reported that the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment is considering a faculty scholarship to encourage equity among students (i.e. a minority scholarship). The committee continues to consider possible SRTE questions that address classroom climate in terms of student development. A pilot survey will be done at various campuses and he will be seeking feedback from us on the draft.
    3. Announcements from Faculty.
      1. C. Gaston elaborated on the spam problem, noting that the latest Eudora is quite effective and that Joe Royer can assist with spam filters.
      2. H. Darling announced that the Strategic Planning Committee will meet once more this semester, having met four times already. They are now working to determine the objectives of our strategic plan that are of most immediate importance. Issues of administrative efficiency, program mix, and teaching support are currently at the top of the list.
    4. Announcements from Staff.
      1. A. Fetterman announced a January 20 bus trip to the African-American Museum in Baltimore, co-sponsored by SGA and the Diversity Committee.
      2. K. Swalgin announced that the Badminton Club is now active on Sundays from 10-1.
    5. Announcements from Student Government representatives (J. McLucas).
      1. J.McLucas thanked Dr. Rodney for recognizing SGA’s work at the Advisory Board meeting. SGA is designing a website, which will probably be up in the spring sometime. They are also looking for a database.
      2. SGA recently conducted a parking space raffle, and they have augmented the game room with a pool table and a plasma-screen TV. There had been some controversy about noise in the game room, but that has been addressed.
      3. J. McLucas and C. Bhushan met with ASI to discuss etiquette issues on campus and SGA is working on a plan of action (see minutes of 11/16/06).
      4. J. McLucas also reported on recent fundraising successes, commented on the proposal to eliminate FYS, and advocated improving IT in the classrooms.
    6. Announcements from Senate Chair, Deirdre Folkers.
      1. The Chair reminded everyone that the FAR is due earlier than usual. She recommended that faculty who are new to the FAR seek guidance from more experienced faculty on the subtleties of filling out this document.
      2. Senate meetings dates spring are listed below: All begin at 12:05 p.m. in ISTC 107. There will be no senate meeting at orientation.
        1. T 1/23
        2. T 2/20
        3. T 3/27
        4. R 4/26
      3. Another meeting of all committee chairs will be held prior to our January 23 meeting, at which time the chair would like to discuss reviving the 3-5 year faculty hiring plan.
  3. Unfinished Business:
    1. Resolution on Faculty Travel (David Latzko and Jane Sutton—Faculty Affairs)
      1. ORIGINAL: Given the continual erosion of support from the campus, college, and university for scholarly research even though research remains a requirement for faculty and support for research is a faculty recruitment tool, the Faculty Affairs Committee moves that the total budget to support faculty travel to conferences be increased by at least 20% at the beginning of fiscal year 2007-2008 and be increased 10% every year to ensure that all faculty have available to them $1800.
      2. L. Berkowitz suggested that the wording is problematic, though the intent is good. He proposed the following new language, which was accepted by Dr. Latzko as a friendly amendment:
        1. AMENDED VERSION: Given the continual erosion of support from the campus, college, and university for scholarly research even though research remains a requirement for faculty and support for research is a faculty recruitment tool, the Faculty Affairs Committee moves that the total budget to support faculty travel to conferences be increased to a level that would enable the campus to raise the maximum support available to tenure-line faculty back to its previous level of $1800 per year. We also recommend that the budget support appropriate scholarly travel for all other faculty.
      3. After some discussion detailing the steady decrease in funds available to faculty for travel and requests for information about the travel budget, the point was made that this resolution, while only a resolution, puts the weight of the senate behind one of the objectives in the Strategic Plan. The resolution was approved by acclamation.
  4. New Business:
    1. Campus Diversity Plan Mid-Year Review (S. Christ, speaking on behalf of A. Henne, Chair of the Diversity Committee)
      1. Each academic unit must do a mid-year review of the campus diversity plan as it fits into the University’s Framework for Diversity. The committee seeks input on the seven challenges we have before us. (For the purposes of brevity, only the names of the challenges and any significant comments are reported below. An electronic copy of S. Christ’s report is available from the Secretary of the Senate or Dr. Christ.)
        1. CHALLENGE 1: Developing a Shared and Inclusive Understanding of Diversity.
        2. CHALLENGE 2: Creating a Welcoming Campus Climate. J. McCormick addressed the issue of diversity in campus searches, noting the presence of diversity advocates on search committees (a Commonwealth College mandate).
        3. CHALLENGE 3: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body. J. McCormick noted that the definition of “diverse” used by the committee is broad; it includes gender, sexual orientation, adults/non-adults, veterans, and the physically challenged.
        4. CHALLENGE 4: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce. Our informal mentoring program was mentioned, and the DAA can provide more information to the Committee. M. Jarrett and L. Berkowitz suggested looking at the appropriate sections of HR-23.
        5. CHALLENGE 5: Developing a Curriculum that Fosters Intercultural and International Competencies.
        6. CHALLENGE 6: Diversifying University Leadership and Management. Those currently serving on committees that foster diversity were noted.
        7. CHALLENGE 7: Coordinating Organizational Change to Support Our Diversity Goals. D. Folkers suggested that the campus might need to reconsider the role of ESL in supporting our diversity goals.
  5. Forensic Business
  6. Adjournment: B. Farrell moved, A. Hasan seconded and the meeting adjourned at 1:04 p.m.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at 12:05p.m. in ISTC 107.


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