Behrend Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
4:30 p.m. via Zoom
I. Call to Order – Lisa Jo Elliott, Faculty Senate Chair
A. Approval of minutes from December Faculty Senate Meeting
- Laurie Urraro
- Adam Simpson
II. College Updates (up to 5 minutes each)
A. Ralph Ford, Chancellor
- I sent out the announcement about the search committee for the vice-chancellor for research and graduate studies. We upgraded the title with vice-chancellor; we did the same for the academic side. Dr. Lynne Beaty is the chair as well as Dr. Greg Filbeck, co-chair. They are almost ready to start; the ad will be published soon.
- The search for vice-chancellor for academic affairs: We are still making plans for this search. Pam Silver is stepping down. She will become a faculty member again on July 1, 2023.
- State of College address: Last week of Feb., first week of March. Faculty should let me know what they would like the Chancellor to focus on. There will be a reception.
- Penn State Today: Announcements about changes to budgets. There is a budget shortfall. President Bendapudi is addressing the problem. Changes and adjustments are necessary for UP colleges. Commonwealth campus numbers in aggregate. Campuses essentially stay the same. The budget stays about the same. In part, the allocation will be driven by student credit hours, not exclusively. The model still needs refinement. Behrend did fine. Behrend will have to go down a bit, 1 to 2 percent. We need to focus on enrollment and students credit hours production as well as many other things we do well.
- News: We have a partnership with Eagles Nest in Erie. This is not a charter school, but part of Erie school district and they are growing. The school is run by Bishop Brock a community organizer. We are delivering outreach programming to students three days a week. All four schools can get involved. Melanie Hetzel-Riggin and Greg Filbeck are doing the coordinating and establishing connections.
- We are looking at the admission cycle: Students are making their choices over the next few months. We are doing well in terms of first choice applications. We are down in terms of yield now; yield fluctuates. We are doing better than most others campus. Faculty can help. Campus visits and open houses are important. Behrend does well being very welcoming. Let’s keep up the good work.
B. Pam Silver, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
We are redoing the vote for the vice-chair and secretary of the faculty council. There was a glitch in the vote. The problem was technology based.
C. Alicyn Rhoades, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
No new updates at this time.
D. Senators update
Matt Swinarski regularly updates the Modules for the University Faculty Senate section in the Behrend Faculty Senate page. This module contains information. Faculty members can asked to be added if they don’t have access.
Lisa Jo Elliott briefly shows the updates skimming through the Module.
The collaboration with India looks promising.
Other important points are the indigenous holdings attribution and the discussion on sabbaticals for non-tenure line faculty.
Lisa Jo Elliott thanks Matt Swinarski for his meticulous reporting.
III. Discussion of constitutional changes
During our last meeting we voted to support the first year seminar report. The report contained a recommendation to create a first-year seminar committee. Those discussions are starting at Faculty council meetings. Faculty can reach out to a member for feedback and ideas.
We discussed another possible committee that would discuss standing committee charges. There is frustration that people participate in the standing committees found problems, then they propose solutions, but then nothing happens.
By the end of Lisa Jo Elliott’s term it would be important to find a way to take important recommendations from the reports and act on them. We are limited by our Constitution, but we need to find solutions for this problem.
In the next meetings faculty will hear more about new committees.
IV. Informal Events for faculty
Events: Poll, would faculty attend more social events?
- Faculty express interest in the luncheon for teaching conversations (57% members voted for this event);
- Results of the vote also reveal that there is some interest in grant writing luncheons.
V. New Business
- Point 1 missed; Confidential comment box in the HSS office. Use the comment box
- Faculty members who are chairing committees. Lisa Jo Elliott will start asking for comments on work conducted by committees.
- Laurie Urraro: remind colleagues of the foreign languages week. This is an event to honor linguistic and cultural diversity.
- Luciana Aronne
- Emily Cassano