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FC Minutes 1/17/19

Faculty Council Meeting Minutes January 17, 2019

Faculty Council Agenda & Meeting Minutes

  January 17, 2019

273 Chambers Bldg ~ 2:30-4:30pm


Attendees:  Drs. David Monk, ChanMin Kim, Richard Hazler, Frank Arbaugh, Scott Metzger, Uju Anya, Edward Fuller, Marsha Modeste, Hyung Joon Yoon, Diandra Prescod, and Samantha Koon (Undergrad. Rep.)

A quorum was reached to conduct official business.

  1. Minutes of the Preceding Meeting  -- December 13, 2018 – minutes unanimously approved

1.1.  Discussion was held about how much detail should go into the minutes and particularly the discussion of the Career Conference Template under the Dean’s Comments in the 12.13.18 minutes. This was a significant discussion with seriously different opinions related to an individual’s view that terms such as diversity, equity-minded, inclusive, and social justice may not have sufficiently agreed upon definitions across groups and may be too politically polarizing to be included in formal evaluations of faculty members. Several things came from the current discussion regarding the 12.13.18 minutes.

1.1.1.     Detailed comments have not been the model for Faculty Council, because like other meetings where honest and open opinions are essential to the work of the group, names and specifics are minimized to encourage participation and minimize concern about offering honest opinions.  The procedure for minutes will therefore remain the same.

1.1.2.   Key points were made that these terms and issues are not new to Penn State or the College of Education, but instead they have evolved over many years through Strategic Planning at all faculty and administrative levels. The terms and their use have been and continue to be a significant part of University and College policy and critical to civil campus behavior that respects the rights of all.

1.1.3.   The issues discussed arose from a request from the Dean for input, and not as Faculty Council decision-making. The Dean’s Office took all the input for consideration in the continuing development of this aspect of the Career Conference process and the College’s approach to the issues overall.

  1. Announcements by the Chair
  2. Communications to the Council

3.1.      Graduate Student Council Updates (Zoe Mandel)—no report

3.2     Undergraduate Student Council Updates (Samantha Koon)

3.2.3.     As requested by the faculty council following earlier general stated concerns, specific concerns were discussed by the Undergraduate Student Council in regards to SPLED 400.  Students don’t feel confident that the disability model prepares them for the classroom since it is only one week in length. They believe that the notes and videos are outdated and noted that inappropriate terms that are no longer used are used throughout the videos.

3.2.4.     Advising suggestions: Need more guidance on required paperwork including what to do and when to do it.

3.2.5.     Fran Arbaugh offered to relay the concerns to Alicia McDyre in the CIFE office.

3.2.6.     Request that updates of academic plans be placed online.

  1. Comments by the Dean of the College

4.1.  Mission Poster:  The College’s mission statement has been translated into multiple languages which have been depicted in a framed poster.  The poster will be hung in Chambers 228.

4.2.  Dean Search - The search firm, Storbeck and Pemetel, conducted two open forums for faculty and staff and one open forum for students in the College on January 10, 2019 to gather input regarding hopes and expectations for the appointment of the next dean of the College.  Meetings were also held with the existing administrative leadership teams for the College, other deans at Penn State, and the Provost.  The search firm is also conducting a survey of faculty and staff.  The position will be posted soon, probably early next week.  The firm welcomes input from faculty, staff, and students.

4.3.  Faculty Searches - Candidates are beginning to visit the College as part of the six searches that are in progress for tenure line faculty positions.  A number of searches for fixed term faculty members are also in progress.  The pools continue to look very strong and most of the candidates will be visiting after the new year.

4.4.  Chambers Building Renovations

4.4.1.     Science Education Wing: Located on the first floor of Chambers Building this new wing has opened to positive reviews.  The tunnel has been largely removed and the wing has a much more spacious feel to it.  Naming opportunities abound in the renovated space and we hope to find a donor who would be willing to name the entire wing.

4.4.2.     Chambers Administrative Side:  Planning continues for a renovation of the office side of Chambers Building and meetings have been scheduled for the faculty/staff Place Committee.  We anticipate giving the Place Committee one or more opportunities to meet with the architects during the spring semester.

4.5.  Guidance Document  - The College’s Equity team led by its co-chairs, Alicia Dowd and Elizabeth Smolcic, has been working on a document we’re calling a Guidance Document which is intended to help faculty and staff think about equity, diversity, and inclusion issues.  This is a work in progress and the plan is to make it available this spring and to gather feedback.  We’re talking about bringing it to the Faculty Council at a future meeting for discussion.

4.6.  Staff Advisory Council - An ad hoc planning committee has begun to work on the design for a College of Education Staff Advisory Council.  A number of colleges have councils like this and we are learning more about these existing examples.  The plan is to have the design finalized before the end of the semester.

4.7.  Research Incentive Funds (RIF) Update - We have received our allocation of RIF from the central administration in the amount of $133,481 which represents a slight decrease from the previous year.  We’re in the process of revising the chart that we’ve been posting to demonstrate how these resources are utilized.  The reality is that the RIF resources do not cover the full costs of programs like the Research Incentive Grants (RIG’s), faculty start up packages, operations costs for our Office of Research, the PI incentives that we provide, and the resources we put back into the departments to support research.  We’re working on a revised version of the table that is posted and plan to share this at the next Faculty Council meeting.

4.8.  Summits - As mentioned at previous meetings, plans are continuing to be made for the Restorative Justice Summit in late March and the Waterbury Summit (focused on the Learning Sciences) for May or June.

4.9.  Website Redesign - The RFP for the redesign of the College’s website has been distributed and the steering committee is reviewing the bids that have been submitted.  We’re hoping to finalize the contract and to begin work within the next month.

4.10. MLK Banquet - The College had good representation at the Dr. Martin Luther King banquet on Tuesday evening.  We reserved three tables and offered tickets to faculty, staff, and students who have been actively involved in related issues.  The banquet has outgrown the Penn Stater and was held at the BJC and attracted approximately 1,000 participants.  It was a very impressive and inspiring event.

4.11.  Fixed-Term Faculty Promotion Reviews - The Faculty Council and the College-level fixed term faculty promotion review committee have been very helpful in streamlining the guidelines for our fixed term faculty promotion reviews. (handout shared)

4.12.  Commencement Speaker - As mentioned previously, Pedro Rivera, PA Secretary of Education, has agreed to be our commencement speaker in the spring.  Suggestions for future speakers are always welcome.

5.     Reports of Standing Committees

5.1.     Faculty, Staff, Student Concerns (Marsha Modeste)

5.1.1.     Faculty committee members identified:  Alex List (EPCSE), Tanner Vea (LPS), Royel Johnson (EPS), James Yao (CI)

5.1.2.     Staff person needs to be identified.

5.2.     Curricular Affairs  (Uju Anya) – no report

5.3.     Graduate Studies and Research Policy (Scott Metzger)

5.3.1.     Meeting scheduled for January 28 to review the student dissertation research initiation grants.

5.4.     Technology (Hyung Joon Yoon)

5.4.1.     Committee meeting to be scheduled.  Three agenda items to be discussed:  1) Fund from Carrara Education Technology Center; 2) Professional Development for Faculty, Students, and Staff; and 3) Organizational Assessment Focusing on Technology.

5.4.2.     Technology fees money are no longer available – committee will look for other funds

6.     Reports of Special and Ad-Hoc Commitees

7.     News from the University Graduate Council (Scott Metzger)

7.1.  Proposed revision to doctoral committee policy.

7.1.1.     Council Discussing: Moving away from annual meeting requirement and instead will ask for annual progress evaluation; no master form required, units can have their own form; also, noted that template shared was only an example, not required format.

7.1.2.  Graduate Research Exhibition – March 22-24, 2019. Added a Design category – scholarly activity in the creation of something.

8.     News from the Faculty Senate (Diandra Prescod)

8.1.  Last Senate meeting held December 4, 2018 – complete record of meeting can be found at:  

8.2.  LionPath upgrade in May or June.

8.3.  Discussion about sexual harrassment claims at Hershey Medical School. New dedicated Title IX Coordinator hired.  Office for a Respectful Learning Environment has been created. Course evaluations will have questions regarding appropriateness of relationships. Matrix to evaluate overall experience.

8.4.  President Barron spoke about diversity across all Penn State campuses. He’s looking at what other campuses are doing.

8.5.  Changes to Senate policy 42-98 presented.  Changes presented to provide consistency in how military veteran, and active duty members bring in their credits.

8.6.  University fund raising goal is $1.6 billion.  Currently raised $819 million.

9.     Unfinished Legislative Business

9.1.  Fixed-Term Faculty Revisions to Faculty Review Process  (handout of revised process distributed)  Moved to approve and 2nd, -- motion unanimously approved.

10.  New Legislative Business

11.  Forensic Business

11.1.      Consensual Relationship Restrictions

11.1.1.  Short discussion held. Dean Monk shared that the current policy is being looked into at the University level.

12.  Comments and recommendations for the good of the College


Next Faculty Council Meeting:

2/21/19, 2:30-4:30 PM, 228 Chambers