THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
THE SENATE RECORD
Volume 37-----OCTOBER 28, 2003-----Number 2
The Senate Record is the official publication of the University Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University, as provided for in Article I, Section 9 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, and contained in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate, The Pennsylvania State University, 2003-2004.
The publication is issued by the Senate Office, 101 Kern Graduate Building, University Park, PA 16802 (Telephone 814-863-0221). The Record is distributed to all libraries across the Penn State system, and is posted on the Web at http://www.psu.edu/ufs under "publications." Copies are made available to faculty and other University personnel on request.
Except for items specified in the applicable Standing Rules, decisions on the responsibility for inclusion of matters in the publication are those of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate.
When existing communication channels seem inappropriate, senators are encouraged to submit brief letters relevant to the Senate's function as a legislative, advisory and forensic body to the Chair for possible inclusion in The Senate Record.
Reports that have appeared in the Agenda of the meeting are not included in The Record unless they have been changed substantially during the meeting or are considered to be of major importance. Remarks and discussions are abbreviated in most instances. A complete transcript and tape of the meeting is on file. Individuals with questions may contact Dr. Susan C. Youtz, Executive Secretary, or the University Faculty Senate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|I. Final Agenda for October 28, 2003|
|A. Summary of Agenda Actions|
|B. Minutes and Summaries of Remarks|
|II. Enumeration of Documents|
A. Corrected Copy, Senate Self-Study
FINAL AGENDA FOR OCTOBER 28, 2003
|A. MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING|
|Minutes of the September 16, 2003 Meeting in The Senate Record
|B. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE|
|Senate Curriculum Report (Blue Sheets) of October 14, 2003
|C. REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL - Meeting of October 14, 2003|
|D. COMMENTS BY CHAIR CHRISTOPHER J. BISE|
|E. COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY|
|F. FORENSIC BUSINESS|
|G. UNFINISHED BUSINESS|
|H. LEGISLATIVE REPORTS|
|I. ADVISORY/CONSULTATIVE REPORTS|
|Senate Self-Study Committee|
|Final Report: Restructuring and Improving
and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate
|J. INFORMATIONAL REPORTS|
|Presentation by Rodney A. Erickson|
|Executive Vice President and Provost|
|Employee Benefits Update for 2004:|
|2004 Health Plans|
|K. NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS|
|L. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNIVERSITY|
The Senate voted on one Advisory/Consultative Report and heard two Informational Reports.
Rodney A. Erickson, Executive Vice President and Provost, Budget Presentation. Dr. Erickson gave a brief summary of the University’s 2003-2004 operating budget, including budget priorities, cost drivers, cost savings, income enhancement efforts, and state appropriation. The 2004-2005 budget plan and appropriation request was also summarized. (Informational Report) (See Senate Record, Page 3 and Agenda Appendix "D.")
Employee Benefits, Health Plan Update for 2004. This report focused on rate information and expected double digit increases to employee’s contributions to health plans. Changes to long-term disability and the dental/vision plans were also presented. (Informational Report) (See Senate Record, Page 3 and Agenda Appendix "C.")
Senate Self-Study Final Report: Restructuring and Improving the Operation and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate. (Advisory/Consultative Report) (See Senate Record, Pages3-26 and Agenda Appendix "B.") Following are highlights from the recommendations:
1. Change the Senate representation ratio to one senator for every 25 members
of the electorate.
2. Change student Senate representations to 10 percent of the elected faculty senators.
3. Phase-in the new representation ratio over a four-year period.
4 . Promote greater integration and improved communication between Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate.
The University Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, October 28, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 Kern Graduate Building with Christopher J. Bise, Chair, presiding. There were 203 senators who signed the roster.
Chair Bise: Welcome to the second meeting of this academic
year of the University Faculty Senate.
MINUTES OF THE PRECEDING MEETING
Chair Bise:We will begin our meeting today with Agenda Item A, minutes of the preceding meeting. The September 16, 2003 Senate Record, providing a full transcription of the proceedings, was sent to all University Libraries and is posted on the Faculty Senate web page. Are there any corrections or additions to this document? May I hear a motion to accept?
Chair Bise: Second?
Chair Bise: All in favor of accepting the minutes of September 16, 2003, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed, say, “Nay.”
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the motion carries. The minutes of the September 16, 2003, meeting have been approved.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE SENATE
Agenda item B, Communications to the Senate. The Senate Curriculum Report, the blue sheets, of October 14, 2003. This document is posted on the University Faculty Senate’s web page.
REPORT OF SENATE COUNCIL
Agenda item C, Report of Senate Council. There was a meeting on October 14, 2003. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting held on October 14 appear as an attachment for today’s meeting.
COMMENTS BY THE CHAIR
Agenda item D, Announcements by the Chair. Out of courtesy to our presenters, please turn off your cell phones and pagers at this time. Thank you.
I would like to ask Anna Butler, a new Senate Office staff member to stand.
Anna has recently been hired to fill a vacant staff assistant position in the
Senate Office. She is a recent graduate of South Hills School of Business &
Technology, and has completed an internship in the office of Civil and Environmental
Engineering. Please welcome Anna to the Senate office.
A committee has been formed to review the health and physical activity general education requirement. Barton Browning will serve as chair of this committee. I will refer you once again to the minutes of Senate Council at the end of your agenda. Included in the minutes are topics that were discussed by the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President at its meeting on October 14. From the September 16 meeting, the report from the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs entitled “Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness, SRTE Procedures was approved for implementation by the President. The President has asked the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to implement the recommendations in the promotion and tenure process and documents as indicated.
COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Agenda item E, Comments by the President of the University. Unfortunately, President Spanier is returning from the AAU meetings in Oregon and will not be with us today. As we begin our discussion of reports, I will remind you to please stand and identify yourself and the unit you represent before addressing the Senate.
Chair Bise: Without objection, and as a courtesy to Executive Vice President Provost, Rodney Erickson, and Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Billie Willits, I recommend a change in the agenda to move section J, Informational Reports, to this point in the meeting. Are there any objections?
Hearing none, the first informational report is a summary of the University’s 2003-2004 Operating Budget presented by Executive Vice President and Provost, Rodney Erickson. Senate Council has allotted twelve minutes for the presentation and five minutes for the discussion of this report. If we run out of time, Provost Erickson will be available to answer your questions after the meeting formally adjourns.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNIVERSITY PLANNING
2003-3004 Operating Budget and Budget Planning for 2004-2005. Dr. Erickson shared highlights about Penn State's current operating budget and summarized next year's budget plan and appropriation request to the Commonwealth. This presentation can be viewed at the following web site: http://www.psu.edu/oldmain/prov/speeches/faculty%20senate%20october%202003.htm.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY BENEFITS
Employee Benefits Update for 2004: 2004 Health Plans. Dr. Billie Willits, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, presented this report.
SENATE SELF-STUDY COMMITTEE
Final Report: Restructuring and Improving the Operation
and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate
George Franz, Chair, Senate Self-Study Committee
Dennis Gouran, Parliamentarian for Senate Self-Study Committee
Chair Bise: We now return to Agenda Item I, Advisory and Consultative Reports. We have an Advisory and Consultative Report from the Senate Self-Study Committee. It appears on today’s agenda as Appendix B and is entitled, “Final Report: Restructuring and Improving the Operation and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate.” Self-Study Committee members not on the Senate have the privilege of the floor. George Franz, chair of the Senate Self-Study Committee, will introduce this report, and I have asked Dennis Gouran, Liberal Arts Senator, to serve as the parliamentarian during the self-study discussion and vote.
I would like to take a few minutes to describe how I would like to see the conduct of the discussions and voting on the reports recommendations. First, I desire clarity and understanding of the recommendations. Realize that after we discuss and vote on each recommendation, CC&R will then be charged with creating the language for implementation. Although the Self-Study Committee has met with numerous groups during the past two years, I want to be sure that senators fully understand the implications of the recommendations. Second, I recognize that some recommendations can stand on their own while others are closely intertwined. As a result, I would like to follow the advice of Senate Council and the Self-Study Committee on how the recommendations are grouped for subsequent action. I propose that recommendations 1, 1A, 2, and 3 be addressed as stand-alone recommendations and should be discussed and voted on separately. I propose that since Recommendations 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are so closely related, that they should be discussed and voted on as a package. Finally, since Recommendations 9, 10, and 11 are procedural in nature, I propose that they should be discussed and voted on separately.
This arrangement will divide the recommendation of the report into 8 separate discussions and votes. Do I hear a motion from the floor to divide the discussions and voting into the arrangements that I have just proposed?
Peter Deines, Earth and Mineral Sciences: I make a motion to divide the discussions and voting into the arrangements that you have just proposed.
Chair Bise: Is there a second?
Chair Bise: Any further discussion? All in favor of the motion to divide the report, signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed, say "Nay."
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the motion carries. With this in mind, I now call upon Committee Chair Franz to present the report.
George Franz: Since much of what appears in this report has come before the Senate previously, I have little in the way of introductory comments other than to highlight a few points and make general comments to frame the discussion today.
First, we listened to what you told us at the April Forensic Session, and I think we have responded to the concerns expressed at that meeting, especially as it relates to providing for a structure that reflects the geographic distribution of the University. Consequently, the section dealing with Senate Council has been changed significantly. The result is an improved recommendation that significantly enhances the authority and responsibility of the new Council and gives the non-University Park locations assurance that their concerns and views will be heard and addressed.
Second, I want to emphasize again, as I did in April, this is not a budget driven report. The charge was not to find a way to cut expenses. The charge from Chair Nichols was to make recommendations that would improve the Senate, not reduce the budget. While some of our recommendations may result in some cost efficiencies and some savings, that was never one of the criteria used in making decisions.
Third, I want to emphasize that this report is the product of considerable thought and consultation. I hope that is evident not only from the report itself, but also from the list of individuals and groups consulted in Appendix C of our report. I also hope it is self-evident from the actual make up of the Self-Study Committee itself. Chair Nichols did a good job, I think, of appointing a committee that reflected the various constituencies of the Senate, was committed to the Senate and was not a group that would simply “pop in, pop off, and pop out.”
The eight members of the Self-Study Committee have over 122 years of combined Senate service. Between them, the members of the Self-Study Committee have served on virtually every committee in the Senate and, in many instances, have chaired those committees. Several of us have also served on a number of committees that no longer exist. Three members are past chairs of the Senate. The committee also represents the geographic distribution of the University with 3 members coming from non-University Park locations.
Finally, in the opinion of the Self-Study Committee, what does this report do? If approved and implemented as recommended, we believe that the results will be the following:
A strengthened and more effective faculty governance structure over what we currently have.
A more agile and responsive Senate that will be more able to address the real concerns of the faculty, rather than a Senate that appears to be too large to respond in a timely way and too preoccupied with reports for the sake of issuing a report. In this case, we believe smaller is better, as long as all locations are adequately represented. What is proposed is a smaller, leaner organization because the current size is often intimidating for some.
A second result will be an improved procedure for the preparation of legislation so that the role of Senate committees is strengthened.
Third, a strengthened Senate Council that will be empowered to provide leadership on significant University issues.
Finally, with the changes suggested in procedures and communications mechanisms, a Senate that is at the center of shared governance rather than off to the side; a Senate that truly reflects the interests and concerns of the faculty of the University. With that, the only other thing I would like to do is to point out who the other members of the committee are, because I would like a number of targets rather than a single target: Mark Casteel, Harvey Manbeck, John Nichols, Jean Landa Pytel, Robert Secor, Valerie Stratton, and Susan Youtz. I believe they are all in the audience and I would hope they would defend the report as needed. With that, I think we are prepared to begin.
Chair Bise: Thank you very much, George. We will begin with Recommendation 1.
Leonard Berkowitz, Commonwealth College: I would like to amend the recommendation and then if there is a second to the amendment, speak to that amendment. I would like to amend Recommendation 1, which currently asks us to change the representation ratio to one senator for each 30 members of the electorate from the current number of 1 to 20. The amendment will change it to one senator for each 25 members of the electorate.
Chair Bise: We have a motion on the floor; is there a second?
Chair Bise: It has been moved and seconded. We are now open for discussion on the amendment.
Leonard Berkowitz: Thank you. Many of us have had the opportunity to compare our senate to other senates around the CIC and around the country. One thing that our University agreed on is the Senate at this University is uniquely effective, much more so than many, many other university senates around the country. With that in mind, I think we need to be very careful about making radical changes particularly in terms of representation.
The Self-Study Committee has argued that there is some evidence that the Senate has become too large and in fact, the major argument for this is the few units that have some difficulty finding enough members of those units to serve the senators. That provides some reason to reduce the size of the Senate. However, changing it by one-third is a very radical change, and it is a radical change that may undermine the effectiveness we have. Let us turn to Page 3 of the report and look at the specifics given by the Self-Study Committee. At the bottom of that page, the Self-Study Committee has provided us comparisons with six other universities. What I would like to know is how many other university senates among that group intend to function as a single senate representing over 5,000 faculties, 84,000 students, in over 20 locations? Of the six universities in the senates cited, three have 200 plus senate members. If we reduce the size, we will be right in the middle of that group; that is, there will be three with fewer and three with more.
On the other hand, if we reduce the ratio to one to 30, we will be among the smallest senates of that group, despite having one of the most complex and difficult jobs. Even more important is the purpose of having the size that we do. That is to make sure we get full representation in all of the places that we need it, and the most important place is not here, but rather in our committees. While the Self-Study Committee has done a good job of making sure there would be minimally enough members on each of the committees, providing everyone shows up to every meeting, I think that is a little worrisome. I think we need to go slightly beyond that. First of all, a single voice is too easily dismissed. More than one voice to voice an opinion might be needed. More important than that, there are occasions when one person or another cannot make a meeting. If there is only a single person or two, voicing some of these important constituent voices, then that voice may not be heard at all. I think that the one to 25 represents a good compromise between the current position and what is being proposed by the Self-Study Committee.
Chair Bise: Is there any further discussion?
Paul Tikalsky, Engineering: I am speaking for the Caucus in this statement. The College of Engineering Caucus is fully supportive of the Advisory and Consultative Report, “Restructuring and Improving the Operation and Procedures of the University Faculty Senate.” The recommendations in this report address the relevant issues and have taken into account the wishes of the Faculty Senate, as expressed during the Forensic Session, held last spring. The various recommendations have been widely circulated and there has been ample opportunity for discussion.
Although we think that the initially proposed ratio of one senator for every 35 faculty members would have enabled the Faculty Senate to act even more efficiently, we fully support the recommended representation ratio of one senator for every 30 faculty members in a voting unit. Reducing the size of the Faculty Senate in this way affects all voting units fairly and proportionately. It will enhance the operation of the Senate and make it easier for units to find and elect willing faculty members to serve on the Faculty Senate. The reorganized committee structure will eliminate redundancies in committee charges and responsibilities and enhance the Senate’s ability to respond to important and emerging issues of interest.
The recommendation to have Senate Council be responsible for staffing committees and recommending constitutional changes makes a lot of sense, since Senate Council will have representation from all voting units. In fact, we are optimistic that through its broad representation, Senate Council will help develop a broader leadership pool and appropriate representation on various committees. Along the same lines, a standing Nominating Committee will help in the effort to find nominees for the various elected positions from a broader base of Senators and faculty.
The Engineering Caucus urges the Senate to work hard on Recommendation 9. We feel strongly that a great deal of redundancy can be eliminated by a better relationship between Senate and Grad Council.
In closing, the College of Engineering Senate Caucus urges the members of the Faculty Senate to approve all the recommendations presented in this report. Thank you.
Chair Bise: Thank you. Are there any further discussions on this amendment?
Tramble Turner, Abington: I would like to first to commend all of the individuals involved in reflecting the comments made in the Forensic, and I am hopeful that today’s discussion will indeed be a discussion. In that spirit, I commend the Engineering Caucus for having such an articulate statement. However, I would raise questions of concern about the language of appropriate and fair representation. There may well be good reasons for very large colleges and residents at University Park not to recognize that the change to 1 to 35, perhaps even 1 to 25, may put at risk representation from a number of other colleges within the University. I am sure others have more to say on it, but I will raise that issue.
Chair Bise: Are there any further discussions on this amendment?
Dennis Shea, Health and Human Development: I rise to represent the views of the Faculty Benefits Committee on Recommendation 1. In the views of the Committee, the reduced number of senators will seriously hinder the ability of the Senate to represent the entire faculty on the increasingly complex issues of salary, health benefits, retirement benefits, and other areas that concern faculty. To paraphrase one committee member, the purpose of this body is representation, not efficiency. The most efficient senates are rarely the most representative, or indeed, the best in any sense of that word. We strongly recommend that the senate adopt the amendment.
Chair Bise: Are there any further discussions on this amendment?
Gordon De Jong, Liberal Arts: I think the issue is efficiency. Many of our committees are in the 20 to 25 member range. That is not a committee; that is a class. If you are interested in having an effective senate, I think the issue is that the recommendations of the Committee are very fair on that issue. It invites non-participation when you get to that size and you know it.
Chair Bise: Are there any further discussions on this amendment?
Travis DeCastro, Arts and Architecture: In our Caucus, we could not come up with a unified statement. The issues were so broad as we examined everything, that the number of voices that we came up with disagreed with each other. I, personally, prefer the 1 to 25 if we are going to do a scale back. Having served on three committees on the senate so far, I believe that there is some inefficiencies in size, but some of the rationales used are not necessarily the ones that I would use to create a more efficient sense of government. So, I would personally favor the 1 to 25.
Jean Landa Pytel, Engineering: Let me give you a little bit of additional rationale for the recommendation. We had numerous representatives in our discussions tell us that they had a very difficult time filling the slate of nominees while getting enough faculties who were interested in serving on the Senate and participating. So the rationale here was to try to limit the number for the reason of not needing quite as many people to run, and perhaps then enabling those who are really interested and committed to give them a fair chance to participate and do the job of the committees. How many do we really need to run the Senate effectively? That was the issue. If we look at the number of people that are necessary to participate in a committee and go from there, this is one of the ways that we came up with the number. In response to my colleagues' comparisons with other institutions, those numbers include students, and our numbers here in recommending the size of the committees and going from there and the size of the senate do not include administrators and students who will be additional members of the various committees. They are not included in this number.
George Franz: I would only add one comment in opposition to the amendment, and that is that there are voting units in this current Senate that do not have full compliments of senators because they have not been able to get a sufficient number of people to run for their unit.
Nancy Wyatt, Delaware: I thought it was the purpose of parliamentary procedure not to reflect the will of a majority, but to protect the rights of a minority.
Howard Sachs, Harrisburg: I am probably one of very few members of the Senate to have served on two university senates and to have sat in on the meetings of the third CIC Institution. That gives me a little bit of reflective power. I also come from a unit that has not had trouble getting representatives to the Senate. Indeed, every time we have had an election, there has been a dynamic election to elect representatives to the Senate, despite having to drive two hours each way. By contrast, I would tell you that another University body mentioned in this report, always has trouble getting a smaller number of representatives from the College. I think the 1 to 25 is a reasonable number. I think those units that have not been able to fill all of those seats have an issue at the unit level and not at the Senate level. I am strongly in favor of the 1 to 25.
Anthony Ambrose, Medicine: This is a bit redundant, but I think if the College of Medicine is authorized to send 30 people and only sends 25, that is their business and not the business of the Senate as a whole. If Abington has six and wants to continue to send six, then I think that is fair. You saw the shortfall in the College of Medicine. Part of the reason that it is hard to fill their slots is that the doctors are working hard. They are trying to make up for the shortfall.
Cynthia Mara, Harrisburg: It does seem that the smaller units are more negatively affected by the decrease in representation than the larger units. I think that speaks to what the person back here was saying. By decreasing representation, it is proportionate, but it is almost disproportionate if it comes down to just one person from a particular place. So, it is the smaller units that are more negatively affected by decreasing representation.
Peter Rebane, Abington: I wish 20 people would make a class; I usually have 40. Democracy is not always efficient. That is one of the strengths of it. I would like to point out, especially for our student representatives in our audience, that you should take heed on Recommendation 1 because it affects Recommendation 1A. We fought for many years to have student representation from many geographic locations in the University. If you, indeed, cut the representation ration to 1 to 30, a number of locations will lose their student senators on this body. Something in a student-centered University, as our president calls it, I would really feel is a step backward. I will support the amendment to reduce the ratio only to 1 to 25 because it will enable our student senators at the non University Park locations to keep their seats. So, in essence, Recommendation 1 will also determine what happens in Recommendation 1A. I would like for the whole body here, and especially the student senators, to consider the consequences and vote for the amendment of the ration of 1 to 25. Thank you.
Chair Bise: Are there any further discussions on this amendment?
Scott Rhoads, Agriculture: I would like to say that I am a student senator here and I represent 1,529 students in the College of Agriculture. I am not here to represent faculty, but I am in support of the amendment designating the 1 to 25 ratio because if we went to 1 to 30, even though we would have ten percent on there, we would still lose senators. Like you had stated earlier, you want to make sure that all locations are adequately represented, and who is to say that one college is not allowed to have a representative and another college is. I am in support of the amendment of 1 to 25. Thank you.
Robert Secor, Provost Office: I just want to address the student issue. The percentage of students would actually go up from nine percent to ten percent if this were to pass. The way the students would be chosen would be different. You would have student organizations who are choosing representatives. So, you would have a Commonwealth Caucus choosing representatives, or you would have different bodies choosing representatives. From the student point-of-view, there will be a choice of representatives rather than making sure that every unit has a representative, gains and losses. But in terms of numbers of representatives the student representation actually goes up and the choice of representation remains with the student body who could choose a representative from every location if it chose to do so.
Rodney Horton, Capitol College: I urge the Senate to vote in favor of the amendment. I was in caucus early today and we supported this amendment because it would benefit the students. I urge all of the students to be voting in favor of this. I fear Recommendation 1A because instead of electing our congressmen and our United States Senators, why not send special interests and advocacy groups to elect our congressmen and our United States Senators. Thank you, and moreover, I do not want CCSG to send me to the Faculty Senate. I want SGA of Harrisburg to send me to the Faculty Senate. I urge an affirmative vote for the amendment. Thank you.
Chair Bise: Let us keep discussion on the amendment.
Jim May, DuBois Campus of the Commonwealth College: I have a couple of different points that I wanted to make. With regard to numbers, the Commonwealth College has asked our University Park brethren to understand that if the University Senate were to meet some place like Philadelphia, they would also like to see a large number of representatives. The size of the Faculty Senate encourages inclusion of oddball types, as opposed to student government types. I think this is an important consideration. Certain kinds of people always seek out positions of administration and leadership.
On the other hand, the Senate has been distinguished by a group of more philosophical kinds of people who are not prone to following the lines. I think that we would be losing their voices, which are an important voice in our consideration. This is particularly true if the Senate were to take a position which was against his administrative stand. The very size of the Faculty Senate encourages people to vote "no" on issues where they are pressured to vote "yes" because there are many people standing up. That is, of course, the idea behind the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to get a lot of hands on there. Although often we are always in sync, there are going to be times when the faculty government’s position is contra-University Administrative position. With regard to the efficiency argument, it is true that if you have a smaller number, you can more efficiently go to a place, but the selection of where to go has everything to do with the input of all the people present. My experience on three committees, Faculty Benefits, Libraries, and the Student Life Committees, is that we have needed the size of our committee in order to have all the different disciplines and locations represented. Even on the committees on which I have served, we have not heard from certain kinds of people in certain disciplines and locations. This is, no doubt, to the determent of that committee activity. The decision of where to go, in order to be efficiently made, needs to include many people. After that decision is made, probably a few people could take care of the mechanics of it. But, it seems to me that we are often called upon to make these kinds of large visionary decisions about where to go.
It is felt that many people are not prone to come to Senate meetings, and I suspect that one cause is that, in fact, the Senate is not empowered to make certain kinds of decisions that faculty members wish it did make. If you wanted to see more people come to the Senate, the faculty would be more powerful. More matters would be determined by faculty governance. In reducing the size of the Faculty Senate, it inevitably weakens the faculty and reduces its rule in government.
Chair Bise: Are there any additional comments that we have not heard yet?
Daniel Brinker, Arts and Architecture: Having previously served on one of the other faculty senates, I was a little baffled by this argument of staffing the committees. I think some of the committees are too large. At one of the other Big Ten Universities where I taught and sat on the senate for five years, there was not an expectation that every senator was on a committee all the time. I think that may be a tactic to be taken. I think the larger body is an appropriate thing. Perhaps the committees can be made smaller. Some of them, of course, require broad representation and cannot be reduced, but I do not know that I had an expectation that automatically I would be on a committee. So maybe that is something that can be investigated. I strongly support keeping the ratio at least at 1 to 25.
Chair Bise: You have the amendment before you and you have heard the discussions. All in favor of the amendment to Recommendation 1, which changes the ratio from 1 to 30 to 1 to 25, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the motion carries. Now we have an amendment to Recommendation 1. Are there any further discussions on Recommendation 1?
Robert Heinsohn, Representing Retired Faculty: Two years ago, this body and the president thereafter made it possible for two senators to be elected to represent retirees. I noticed in Recommendation 1 and the rationale that follows, nothing is said about this. Is this an oversight and can be corrected by an editorial change? If they are going to be eliminated, I will make an amendment to reinstate them.
George Franz: There is no intention in the report to eliminate the retired senators.
Robert Heinsohn: Thank you.
Chair Bise: Are there any further discussions?
George Franz: That raised an interesting point. If it is not raised in the report, it means that we are not proposing any change in it.
Chair Bise: You have the recommendation before you and you have heard the discussions. All in favor of Recommendation 1 with the amendment, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the motion carries. Recommendation 1A, George?
George Franz: I do not have any more to add. I can tell you that given some of the discussion that has already been raised, the discussion that we had with Senate leaders in the past, and I think this would have been the Senate leaders from two years ago, was that they did not like the current structure representation and, in fact, wanted the representation to be reflected of the student government organizations. That may not be how the current student leaders feel. But, we had a combined letter of academic assembly USG/CCG indicating that they felt student representation should come from those types of organizations. The recommendation makes no pre-supposition. If this is to pass, I think what would happen is that Committees and Rules would go to those student organizations and solicit input as to how the student representation should occur.
Chair Bise: We are now open for discussion. Seeing none, you have the recommendation before you and you have heard no discussions. All in favor of Recommendation 1A, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the motion carries. Recommendation 2, George?
George Franz: I have nothing additional to add. I think the rationale for Recommendation 2 is self-evident.
Chair Bise: Is there any discussion?
Travis DeCastro: While I think that three years is great for a returning senator, I think four years, the wrap-up speed, the learning curve is substantial enough for a new senator in this Senate to understand truly what the issues are and how the Senate works. I do not think three years is enough if you are just beginning your Senate term.
Chair Bise: Are there any other comments?
Cara-Lynne Schengrund, Medicine: It seems to me that it was not too many years ago that there was a stipulation put in for Committee and Committees and Rules when they were staffing Faculty Senate Committees that the appointments be made for two years. It was much more logical to have a rotating term of two years so that you had staggered terms where half would go off in 2003, the other half would go off in 2004. What do you do with a third-year person? I think the Senate should decide whether we want two-year appointments by Committee on Committees and Rules, which they said they did a few years back, or do they want one-year terms? In that case, I would not necessarily be on the same committee this year that I was on last year, because I would have rotated off and hoped to get on the one that I really preferred. It does take a year on a committee to really learn what you are doing, and in the second year, you are much more functional. Are we going to stick to two-year appointments? Are we going to keep the committees and try to keep them running smoothly, or are we going back to one-year appointments? If we are going to keep the two-year rule, I would say to vote against this particular recommendation. Thank you.
Chair Bise: Is there any other discussion?
Jean Landa Pytel, Engineering: Having served on Committees and Committees and Rules, it has been the practice that many of the senators, if they so wish, usually stay on the same committees for three years. So it has been an option. If that is two years being the minimum, with the third year being optional, I think it would not be against the rationale for this particular recommendation. One of the other reasons that we made this proposal is because four years is a big chunk of commitment. We have found that in our conversations with various members of the community that to make the initial commitment for four years was a little daunting. Trying to preserve the experiential aspect of some sort of a term without making it discouraging for some, we came up with a compromise of the three years.
Chair Bise: Is there any additional discussion?
Peter Rebane: I am going to go back to the point that Carolyn raised. I think that to some degree, the vote on this hinges on the committee appointments. I would like to speak in favor of retaining the current four-year term and against Recommendation 2. Not only will it create problems for the committee appointments, but I think that we could solve the problem of the lack of candidates for senator offices by removing some other barriers, like the requirement that there should be two candidates for every particular vacancy. People can always resign if they find four years to be too daunting. I have been on practically committee that everyone has mentioned here. I have been on the Senate for 26 years. People can always resign. Indeed, sometimes when people resign, it has been easier to find replacements for one or two-year terms and get people interested in the work. If I may philosophize for one second, I believe that the real issue behind the lack of what the report calls a commitment of faculty-to-Senate service is not necessarily the length of the term or service, but a perception that service on the Senate is really under-valued in the University’s reward system. I think that is where the real problem lies, not in the length of the term. I would suggest that we keep the current term at four years and defeat this particular recommendation. Thank you.
Chair Bise: Is there anyone else for discussion?
Jean Landa Pytel: I would like to clarify my comments. I was not talking about the length of terms in terms that it is too long once they get into it. Anyone can resign at any time. The issue was finding faculty to commit to stand for election for a three-year term versus a four-year term. That was the point and the rationale. I would urge my colleagues to vote for the recommendation.
George Franz: I just want to clarify that the current rules allow for an appointment to committees for elected faculty senators are normally tenable for two years. Student and administrative positions are tenable for 1 year. You cannot serve more than six years on a committee at any one time. I think the logic of the Self-Study Committee was that what we were hearing from people about trying to encourage people to run for the senate was when you told them that you were making a four-year commitment, many people felt that was too long of a commitment. We were proposing to cut it down. I think what happens once people get on the senate and they find the work meaningful, they tend to get re-elected. So, I think, over the course of time, the sequencing of people on committees will solve the problem because there will be a continuation of people on for two years or four years or six years.
Roger Egolf, Berks-Lehigh Valley: With a three-year term rather than a four-year term, you are going to have to find 33 percent more candidates each year overall, throughout the system. It may be easier to get a candidate to run for three rather than four years, but I do not know if it would be 33 percent easier.
George Franz: We have a smaller Senate, so it would be fewer people that would be running.
Anthony Ambrose, Medicine: With respect, I do challenge Dr. Pytel. Do you have data about your contention between the three and four-year terms? It sounds like it is an opinion, but I do not see the data. One of my concerns is that one of the criticisms of the House of Representatives is that the terms are so short that they spend half of their time running for election. In jurisdictions where there is competition, that is a waste of time. I suggest that we keep it at four years.
Chair Bise: Are there any further comments? Seeing none, you have before you the recommendation and you have heard the discussions. All in favor of Recommendation 2, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The nays have it, and the motion is defeated.
Chair Bise: There is a call for division of the house. All in favor of Recommendation 2, please signify by raising your hand.
Chair Bise: All opposed, raise your hand. The nays have it, and the motion is defeated.
George Franz: I think the Recommendation 3 still has to allow for a phase in over four years, because of the change in ratio. So, given what you have done in Recommendation 2, I would propose, as a modified recommendation, the phase in of the new ratio. Beginning with the election of Spring 2004, the number of senators to be elected for a new four-year term would be based on the new representation ratio. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall establish procedures for implementing this conversion beginning with the Spring 2004 senate election cycle.
Chair Bise: Is there any discussion?
Leonard Berkowitz: I just want to clarify something. I did not hear you say within the new version that this would be a four-year phase in. You said that as you introduced it, but as you read it, I did not hear it.
George Franz: I am sorry; yes it would be a four-year phase in.
Leonard Berkowitz: I understand. Four year is fine.
George Franz: The committee will take this as a friendly amendment, and it is, therefore acceptable.
Chair Bise: Please clarify, George.
George Franz: Recommendation 3, phase in of the new ratio. Beginning with the election of Spring 2004, the number of senators to be elected for a new four-year term would be one-fourth of the total number of senators for each voting unit based on the new representation ratio. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall establish procedures for implementing this conversion beginning with the Spring or 2004 senate election cycle.
Chair Bise: You have the recommendation before you and you have heard the discussions. All in favor of Recommendation 3, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed, say, “Nay.”
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the motion carries. The package of Recommendations 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. George?
George Franz: I do not know that I have much more to say than what has been said previously in my introductory comments. What we have proposed here is what we believe to be a strengthened Senate Council that represents the geographic distribution of the University. I have heard comments that say that it has weakened it. I think that it has dramatically strengthened Senate Council. It gives it authority over University-wide issues. It takes away from Senate Council a minor housekeeping chore of where things appear on a Senate Agenda. I think the committee believes that it creates a better vetting procedure for getting better reports to the floor of the Senate where they will be reviewed by people who deal with the topics at hand on the Steering Committees. They are going to have to go through committees that are clustered around academic resources or clustered around undergraduate education. I believe it is extremely important that we create a nominating committee whose job it is during the year to find viable candidates, develop candidates, come up with a slate of candidates that represent the University in its diverse populations. I think the track record is that an Ad Hoc committee that meets twice in January and February is not effective in doing that. Therefore, it is the view of the Self-Study Committee by putting together this package of changes for Senate Council and Steering Committees that we, in fact, create a stronger governing structure.
Chair Bise: Thank you, George. We are now open for discussion on the package of 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Tramble Turner: There seem to be a number of very fine ideas in that set, including the idea of the Standing Nominating Committee. Therefore, I hope that CC&R will take up those issues. However, once grouped as a package, which I regret we did, and given the level of concern about geographic representation and unit representation on the Steering Committees, I feel that it is valid to vote down the package. I will defer other comments for colleagues.
Brian Tormey, Altoona: I feel that while the Committee has done an admirable job in its effort to reach various audiences on this particular issue, it has not consulted with Senate Council at all. I served in the senate for 17 years, eight of which have been on Council and four on CC&R. I found that both those bodies are the one place in the University Senate where the concerns of the University at large are first and foremost and never on the bottom of the pile of self interest or limited perspective. I feel that this change has emaciated Council from that overview perception of looking at the various legislative reports that come before it from the various committees. At times, I have felt sorry for some committee chairs, and, in fact, for some committees that have felt that despite their best efforts, they somehow fell short as far as Council was concerned. Council was acting somewhat high and mighty. Unfortunately, I believe that many times there is a perception of limited perspective. We are all aware of the fact that all of the Senate Committees do not represent all units’ interests. Inevitably, some units’ interests may, in fact, get overlooked by posed legislative activity. Council is one place that helps to assure that this does not take place and that the good of the University as a whole is paramount. I feel that, despite some of its good parts, this recommendation must, in fact, be voted down. I have full confidence in CC&R to fix the problem because that committee has historically taken the University at large as its fundamental purpose, in terms of preservation for the good of all.
Chair Bise: Thank you, Brian. Is there anyone else?
Joan Thomson, Agriculture: I think it would be very helpful for a number of us if there was a chart or something provided that laid out what the appropriate tasks or functions of each of these committees might be, such as the Senate Council, the two new established committees, and the unit that sets the agenda for the meeting. Right now, it is all co-mingled within written paragraphs. If these could be bulleted items, then we would see with much greater clarity where there is potential for overlap or non-overlap. Where are these issues from a University-wide committee going to be discussed? Therefore, will the commitment be maintained to participate in those committees and not in the others? Right now, it is confusing to the neophyte reading this, but probably not to those of you who have been integral to the discussion.
Jim Smith, Abington: Having been on both sides of the Senate Council table, the side with the officers and the side with the councilors and having been a committee chair bringing reports to Senate Council, including the Calendar Committee Report, I do not want my colleagues in the room to be mislead by something that, if I were being truly uncharitable, I would characterize as a spin on what is happening to Senate Council in the revised version of this report. If, in fact, Senate Council were to be truly strengthened, as has been suggested, I would argue that instead of taking various functions away from Council, that Council should keep all of the functions that it currently has, including agenda setting, review of constitutions, review of programmatic changes, and possibly add a few other powers to Council, such as a specific charge to look after the interests of the entire University from that perspective that my colleague, Professor Tormey, mentioned earlier. Senate Council is currently the only body in elected faculty governance that has elected representation from each and every academic unit.
George Franz: Jim, I think that is what we are proposing in this. With the exception of setting the agenda, what we have done is kept all of the current functions of Senate Council with Senate Council. We have added to Senate Council the responsibility to choose committees and we say that they are to be given the authority to address the University-wide issues that are currently a part of CC&R’s charge. The only thing that I think we have taken away from them is the agenda setting, and in that case, what we have done is made a choice between whether it is better to have the vetting process for looking at reports coming to the Senate, to be looked at by people who are elected by geography, or are they looked at by people who deal with the subject matter of the reports? We opted to have the people who deal with those reports by subject matter rather that by geography. That is the difference in the past structure and the proposed structure.
Brian Curran, Arts and Architecture: I stand to raise a couple of points that have not been brought up, although I share my colleague's concern about the weakening of Council. That is a valid issue. First is the structure of the Steering Committees. The division of the committees into these two units, although it has a nice order to it, I guess I wonder what the consequences are. As someone who has been attending the Officers and Chairs Meetings for a while, I actually find it useful to find out what is going on with the entire Senate as a chair and not necessarily just one half of which the re-structured version of my committee, which is Libraries, is opposed to this, which I want to address in a minute, would be involved with. Particularly as I look at something like undergraduate education that some people in information services might be interested in that sort of issue. I think this structure is something that I would be interested to hear the rationale about, and so I just wanted to raise that as a concern.
My second concern deals with the merging of committees that is happening in the same structure. I noticed that there are many committees that are being merged and a few new committees are being formed here. I am going to limit my comments to the issue involving the consolidation of Libraries and Information Services. My committee has been wrestling with the implications of this section, which is in Section 6 of the group, over a couple of meetings, especially the section on Page 10-11, where our consolidation is mentioned, at the bottom of Page 10 and up to Page 11. We note that in the little section dealing with our consolidation, in contrast to the clear statement above on Page 10, at the beginning of our Steering Committee section, regarding the rationale for, and structural composition for this new committee on academic and resource planning, which also strikes me as a somewhat interesting construction of a committee, but that is not really my prerogative. We have a setup of three sub-committees that are marked out here with very clear responsibilities. I noticed that in the proposal for merging Libraries with Information Services there are no details as to structure, and a very minimal discussion of mission, other than a re-statement of the already-existing mission and then a reference to course media services and classrooms. This lack of detail concerned us in my committee and lead to all kinds of interesting speculation, but I guess what we would like to ask for, as a point of clarification, is exactly what was the thinking, in this proposal, of the structure that this would take? I would imagine with two sub-committees, the proposed level is ten people. I was just wondering what you were thinking about in terms of having that organized? That also brought up a concern about Libraries being addressed, but I will leave that.
George Franz: I think how the actual structure would be laid out would be something that Committees and Rules would work out with the two existing committees right now, with Libraries and Information Systems. We had a fairly long and expensive email from Dean Eaton about a year ago indicating what she thought. She wanted a separate committee, but then went on to say that if you put them together, this is how I think you should do it. I think we would go back to that in Committees and Rules. The committees where we have gotten specific in terms of talking about specific sub-committees, I think, are only those committees where they already have existing sub-committees. That may not be true, but I think it is true. I think you have a valid point. When we were doing the Self-Study Report, the sense was that if you accept the concept that there is a synergism that can exist between Libraries and Information Systems, and you accept that recommendation, then Committees and Rules can work with the people on those committees to lay out what the specifics are for that committee.
Mila Su, Altoona: I think there are many issues within this block and people have many various concerns, but regarding my colleague, Dr. Smith’s comment regarding Senate Council representation, I would like to second his concerns because when you create a hierarchy and you now have a separate committee called the Executive Committee, and now you have individuals, such as the Provost, who have voting rights to setting the agenda, when that was never part of the criteria within Senate Council according to the bylaws of our little Senate handbook. The President, Executive Vice President, and Provost may attend Senate Council Meetings at their own discretion. It does not say anything about them voting on the agenda.
George Franz: The Provost does vote at Senate Council.
Mila Su: O. K. However, I think that there is something to be said about possibly having a sub-agenda committee or something and keep it within Council because I think Council really does provide a purpose of having an all encompassing representative vote.
Jean Landa Pytel: Senate Council is being charged with vetting or judging whether a report is ready for presentation. Members of Senate Council have assumed higher authority in some cases of trying to discuss the merits, pros and cons, of various reports that come to Senate Council, contrary to their assignments. That is where we decided to make the recommendation that another group that is probably more familiar with content and where these reports are coming from, would be in a better position to judge about the readiness of a report for presentation. Once a report is assumed to be ready for Council, then it goes on the agenda. The terminology of agenda-setting is a little misleading as far as the Senate Council is concerned. Thank you.
Travis DeCastro: Actually Jean, those were some of my favorite discussions when I was on Council. I know we have had this information for about six months. It came out in April and we have had time to look at it and structurally looking at it, it is a very beautiful document. It balances itself. There are many interesting and good things about it. I have several reservations in terms of the ability to politically stack some of these committees, politically stack the nominations committees. Structure influences behavior, someone said that. My concern is that it establishes the possibility for a stronger good old boy network than has ever existed before, not that we want that. I do not see any safeguard that would actually prevent that. Even though we have had it six months and I confess to being slower than others, I am not sure that I have digested this well enough to be able to vote on it today. I do not know how anyone else feels about this. Our caucus talked about it and we talked about it and we talked about it again and we still have questions that we cannot answer. When you only meet for an hour, there is only so much information you can get down on a piece of paper and then by the time we get there, we have forgotten half of the questions we thought of any way. I do not know if it is possible to postpone this, but it would certainly put my mind at ease.
Ryan Fortese, DUS Student Senator: I think there are many good recommendations in this and there is obviously much feedback from the faculty about different aspects of it. I think that if we were to vote on it as a block, it would be denied because of people’s opinions about different things. I would like to make a motion to divide the question.
George Franz: We have already divided all of the recommendations, and we all voted to do it this way. The items just cannot be easily separated. It is up or down on the package. They are all intertwined as I said earlier.
Brian Curran: I just want to stand in support of what Travis just suggested. Is there any way that we can think creatively about this rather than to vote the whole thing down, which could very well happen? In fact, if that is the floor situation, I would strongly recommend doing that because although I find much to admire in the effort of this, I just think it is much too confusing and we have not absorbed it. I would even go as far as to say that it would be irresponsible for me, personally, and I would suggest for many people here, to vote for something that I do not understand. With that said, is there any way we could avoid something like that and perhaps ask to see it at a later date or after more consultation? I know that my committee on Libraries was not consulted in any extensive way on changes that affect us.
George Franz: I believe that the Senate Committee on Libraries was consulted. I can provide you with emails from the former Chair and from the Dean of Libraries and from the Chair of Computer and Information Services. Every committee chair for two years has been asked to communicate to the Self-Study Committee on this report.
Brian Tormey, Altoona: I do not think that there is value in postponement. So, I would suggest to Travis, or anyone else who is considering that issue, that the Senate needs to reach a decision on this. We do not need to worry because, as I suggested, CC&R will pick up the pieces as they are delegated to do for this body, to make the rules and to implement proposed changes, and they would come back before the Senate again. This is not the end of the world. This is only another issue that the Senate is facing. The other statement that I would like to support Travis on is the fact that when you look at the structure, there is no precautionary measure to avoid vested interests to allow issues to arise to the Senate Agenda. We have steering committees that are based by committee chairs. So, it does set up a potential for a good old boy type of network, or politicking at its worst. Our present structure with the Senate representing the entire University is far better. It does not have that vested interest nature to it at all.
Cara-Lynne Schengrund: As a past Senate Chair who has attended enumerable Senate Council Meetings and enumerable meetings of the chairs on the evening before the Senate Meeting, I found that I learned a lot. I will also state that it is inefficient, but democracy, by its nature, is inefficient. At the Senate Council Meeting, what you learn when people discuss those reports and when they do go over the edge and they are not just discussing whether they are actually ready, but they occasionally get into content and everyone moans and says, “This is not what Senate Council is supposed to do.” You also learn what people are thinking from the comments that are made.
As someone who writes grants to keep their salary in this institution being paid, I have also found that if I have someone that does not work in my direct field read the grant proposal, when I actually get it written in time to do this, they come back with fresh ideas. They question things that I never thought about, because I assume that because I already knew that, everyone that would read my grant would know it. That may be what you see happening when you have the smaller committees comprised of the chairs of the particular committees that fall in that half of the Senate reading the reports. The loss of the chairs meeting the night before prevents, as someone said earlier, cross-fertilization between the committee chairs. As a committee chair, when you go to those meetings, which I have also done, I have been on both sides, you sit there and you hear what their committees are doing and you take that back and you can prevent unnecessary duplication, you can set up collaborations, and you can make that part of the Senate work more efficiently. While there are times when we seem to move a little slowly, and we may not seem as efficient as we should be, people have a say. People’s voices are heard, and then regardless of how the vote comes out, they are much more inclined to be happy with the results because they have had input. If you take away input, people become less happy as a result. I see this consolidation and this effort to streamline as, perhaps, being able to resolve in less equitable representation across the board. It might be more efficient, but I am not sure that we would want to make changes only for the sake of efficiency. Therefore, I would urge people to vote against this particular block. Thank you.
Winston Richards, Harrisburg: Professor Schengrund has expressed some of the ideas that I would have liked to present to you. She has expressed them adequately. So I also propose that we do not go with this recommendation.
Dennis Shea: While there are many good recommendations in this package, the Faculty Benefits Committee believes that the re-structuring of the Senate seriously threatens the ability of the Senate to represent faculty on important benefits issues. The Faculty Benefits Committee has a long history of shedding light on critical issues of salary and equities, and pension and benefit problems. The committee has rarely lacked a purpose or a worthwhile project in any Senate session. The combination of changes means that the size of the Faculty Benefits Sub-Committee would be reduced in total from its current 14 faculty members perhaps by as much as 50 percent or more. As one of three sub-committees of the Academic Resources and Planning Committee, the future Faculty Benefits Sub-Committee might consist of just five to six faculty members. This creates 12two important problems.
First, the future Senate would have enormous difficulty ensuring that the views of faculty at locations other than University Park are represented in Faculty Benefits. The salary and health benefits issues facing faculty at other locations differ from University Park in several key respects. A failure to have representation from many units within the sub-committee would compromise the ability of the sub-committee to address benefits issues. Faculty Benefits issues affect literally every faculty member, and the lack of representative views in the committee is a serious problem.
In addition, the Faculty Benefits Committee is increasingly faced with challenging and complex issues of changes in health benefits and medicare coverage, expanding long-term care coverage, federal legislation on pension benefits, and family and medical leave benefits, and domestic partner benefits, in addition to its primary responsibility of examining salaries. The future committee would not be able to address these issues adequately and maintain its responsibility on faculty salary reporting. The Faculty Senate must re-examine the requirement for the Faculty Benefits Committee to produce an annual report on faculty salaries if these changes are made. Current senators should consider that the changes proposed would likely mean that significant analysis of faculty salaries, health benefits, and retirement benefits by their own faculty colleagues could occur only every two to four years. To address these concerns, the current Faculty Benefits Committee suggests amendments to Recommendation 6, at some point, be made, making the Faculty Benefits Committee a separate standing committee that would be part of the Steering Committee on Academic Resources.
Chair Bise: Is that a motion?
Dennis Shea: If you are willing to accept it as a motion at this time, we would like to make it.
Chair Bise: You can make an amendment to the package.
Dennis Shea: Then we would like to make an amendment to Recommendation 6 that would make the Faculty Benefits Committee a separate standing committee that would be part of the Steering Committee on Academic Resources.
Chair Bise: So that will be an amendment to the package that contains Recommendation 6. Is there a second? Is there any further discussion on that amendment?
George Franz: You make a convincing point. I think the only reason that we thought that there was value in having Faculty Benefits as part of Academic Resources was that you would be reporting to the Senior Vice President, and by being in that committee, you might get better clout. I think you make a good point about getting outside resources. Our view was that if you needed that kind of expertise, you could add to the committee. It does not make any difference in terms of how we view the structure. We just thought that for you and the benefits people, it was better to be with the Senior Vice President, who has the money.
Chair Bise: So we have an amendment to the package. Is there any further discussion on the amendment? Hearing none, you have before you an amendment to the package of 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. All those in favor, please signify by saying “Aye.”
Senator: Could the amendment be restated?
Chair Bise: Could you please restate the amendment.
Dennis Shea: The amendment is to Recommendation 6 and would make the Faculty Benefits Committee a separate standing committee rather than a sub-committee that would be part of the Steering Committee on Academic Resources.
Chair Bise: That is the amendment on the floor. All in favor of the amendment, signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the amendment to the package is made. Are there any further discussions to the package?
Jean Landa Pytel: We have many people take pot shots at this particular recommendation and speak against it. Of course, as you might suspect, I am going to speak for it. One of the things that has concerned me about some of the things that I have heard here today is that there seems to be a resident fear of change. What we are recommending in this particular recommendation is change. Let us do things a little differently than we have done them before. I do not necessarily agree with the comment suggesting that this recommendation would enhance the good old boys network. The good old boys network is alive and well in the current structure. In this particular recommendation, for example with the Nominations Committee being a separate committee, the idea is to take out the nomination function from Senate Council and give it to an objective representative body to try to grow the leadership of this particular body. If you have looked at the past nominations and the various offices where the nominees come from, they tend to come from within Senate Council, who is the current nominating committee.
Chair Bise: Are there any new insights into this discussion?
Joan Thomson, Agriculture: For Amendment 8, with the establishment of the Executive Committee and its function to set the agenda for the Senate Meetings, how does an item get to the Executive Committee to be considered on or off the agenda?
George Franz: If Undergraduate Education issues a report, it goes to the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Education. If they approve the report, it is on the agenda. What the Executive Committee does is decide whether it goes on first, second, third, fourth, whether it gets ten minutes or an hour, or whether it only gets on the web site. That is not how it is done under the current Senate. That is what is proposed under this structure.
Joan Thomson: Why could it not be currently modified under the existing structure to do it in the way you are proposing it?
George Franz: It could, except that we think we are giving substantially new authority and responsibilities to Senate Council. By having it go through the Steering Committees that can address the issues by topic rather than by geographic distribution, you are going to get a better report.
Zachary Gates, Dickinson School of Law: Given the variety of concerns that have been raised on the floor of Faculty Senate today, as well as the number of concerns that I am sure are remaining within everybody’s minds, it is my recommendation that all the concerns be given in some form, such as by email, to the members of CC&R, then CC&R can go about revising this recommendation and bringing it back. For that reason, I request that my fellow senators vote against this recommendation, and for that reason, I move to bring this to a vote.
Chair Bise: We have a motion to bring this to a vote. Is there a second?
Chair Bise: You have the package of Recommendations 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 as amended before you and you have heard the discussions.
Chair Bise: So you moved to end the discussions?
Zachary Gates: Yes
Chair Bise: O. K. I misinterpreted what you said. We have a motion and a second to end discussion. All those in favor, signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: Now you have the package of Recommendations 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 as amended before you, and you have heard the discussions. All in favor of those recommendations as amended, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The nays have it and the motion is defeated.
Chair Bise: The next recommendation is Recommendation 9, and George Franz will continue with that recommendation.
George Franz: I do not have anything else to add other than what is in the report.
Chair Bise: Is there any discussion on Recommendation 9? Seeing none, you have the recommendation before you and you have heard no discussions. All in favor of Recommendation 9, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed, say, “Nay.”
Chair Bise: The ayes have it, and the motion carries. Recommendation 10.
Robert Heinsohn: I oppose Number 10 and really would like to insert something into the record. I oppose the chance that any informational or mandated report will appear on a web page without first being presented and defended on the Senate floor, be it for the shortest amount of time you care to name. I have been in the Senate for almost 30 years and have been chairman of several of the standing committees. Let me tell you what I expect will happen if reports automatically get put on a web page. I would sooner believe the good tooth fairy than believe a standing committee will spend the necessary time to review, write, and prepare reports if they anticipate that they are not going to be presented on the Senate floor. Since sometimes informational and mandated reports are often based on data and text prepared by the administration, reports not presented on the Senate floor will not receive the necessary committee’s scrutiny and, in essence, become pass-throughs for simply an informational point-of-view. As a result, the report that winds up on the web page will be inferior and the quality will suffer. I think for the best interest of the Senate, all reports should be presented on the floor, be it for the shortest amount of time you care to name. Thank you.
Chair Bise: Are there any further discussion on Recommendation 10?
Senator: Is that an amendment to Recommendation 10?
Chair Bise: Is that an amendment to Recommendation 10 or a recommendation to CC&R?
Robert Heinsohn: If it is for the good of the cause, I will make it an amendment.
Chair Bise: So make it an amendment.
Robert Heinsohn: I would like to make the amendment that in Recommendation 10, any and all reports that will appear in a web page must first be presented on the Senate floor.
Chair Bise: Second?
Chair Bise: You have heard the amendment, and you have heard the discussions. All in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, “Aye.”
Chair Bise: Opposed?
Chair Bise: The ayes have it and the amendment carries. Is there any further discussion on Recommendation 10?
Travis DeCastro: It seems to me like we are making a recommendation to CC&R, and when you read down through the rationale, it has got steering committees and executive committees. These are things that we just voted down. I think we should just pass on this one, vote it down and move on and just tell CC&R to make it simpler.
Chair Bise: Is there any further discussion?
Leonard Berkowitz: It is actually deeper than that. I do not see how this current recommendation makes any sense given what we have just done. You would have to revise it significantly. We cannot vote on doing something that we just voted not to do. We are assigning an executive committee to do something and we just voted not to have one.
Chair Bise: We are still debating on it, so we can still vote on it.
George Franz: I am looking for the other members of the committee. It seems to me that given what has happened to 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, we should withdraw 10 and 11 until we can come back with modifications. Is that agreeable with everyone here who is on the committee? The committee will withdraw Recommendation 10 and 11.
Chair Bise: George, I would like to thank you for all your hard efforts and I would like to thank Dennis Gouran for graciously serving as parliamentarian during these discussions.
NEW LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
Chair Bise: Moving on to Agenda Item K, New legislative business, there are none. Agenda Item L, Comments and Recommendations for the good of the University, are there any comments?
Tramble Turner: Given the tenor of some of the comments and given that several units had senators who could not attend today, I would request that CC&R and the Senate Officers discuss the possibility of adding procedures for proxy representation. Also, in addition to considering proxies, have a discussion about Senate Council representation if a Senate Councilor has to be absent from a Council meeting. How could that be covered?
Chair Bise: Thank you. Are there any other comments?
Cynthia Mara, Capital College: With the proxy, the problem is that people who would be voting by proxy would not be here to be hearing the discussion, and often what I think changes based on the discussion. So I hope that whomever would be considering that would take that into account.
Jim May: We rushed through that Student 1A vote in such a way that not a single student spoke. (Muffled disagreement among the senators.) Between 1 and 1A there was not a student who expressed their opinion about that. (More muffled disagreement among the senators.) Prior to the vote on Recommendation 1, a number of students spoke. Subsequent to the vote on Recommendation 1, we did not hear from the students. I am not sure that the vote on Recommendation 1 impacts the students to a great extent. My simple comment for the good of the order is that I hope that if the students were aggrieved in some way, if the majority of the students were on the losing side of that vote, that they would somehow speak up and let people know that we voted in such a way that was against what they consider their interests.
Chair Bise: The students that I know in this group are not afraid to speak up. I assure you that I listen to them, and the comments that they were concerned about were addressed in Recommendation 1. Are there any other comments?
Peter Ricard, School of Information, Sciences, and Technology: In response to that, coming from a school that has only one faculty representative and only one student representative, I appreciate the ratio of 1 to 25, which allows us to maintain our representation as a student body, that I do not run the risk of losing the representation from my school. I appreciate all of the Faculty Senate as a whole supporting Recommendation 1 and 1A as a combination.
The October 28, 2003, meeting of the University Faculty Senate was adjourned at 3:43 p.m.
The next meeting of the University Faculty Senate will be on December 9, 2003.
SENATE SELF STUDY COMMITTEE
Changes in Final Report: Restructuring and Improving the
Procedures of the University Faculty Senate, Page 3 and Page 7.
For example, it was Committee discussions that resulted in the initiation of an electronic Senate Newsletter, the reduction in the number of Senate meetings during the Spring semester, the modification to procedures for Informational Reports enacted at the last Senate meeting, the greater use of information technology for such things as Senate elections and the increased use of the Senate web site for the distribution of information.
A number of procedural changes have already been implemented by the Senate Office or through Senate legislation in response to Self Study Committee discussions. Where Committee recommendations have already been implemented, these changes are so indicated in the body of the report.
If approved, many of the recommendations dealing with structural change will need to be phased in over the next several years. Consequently, rather than provide a massive document with every change in the By-laws and Standing Rules which would result in endless debates on exact wording, a two-step process is proposed. If the Senate agrees to the recommendations set forth in this report and approves them, the Senate Committee on Committees and Rules will then be charged to submit for Senate approval, over a period of time, various pieces of legislation to revise the Senate By-laws and Standing Rules to bring them into conformity with the wishes of the Senate. The Self Study Committee believes that it will take three years to fully implement some of the recommendations given in this report.
Recommendation 1. Representation Ratio: The Committee on Committees
and Rules shall prepare and present to the Senate for approval an amendment
to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution to change the representation ratio
to one Senator for each
thirty (30) twenty-five
(25) members of the electorate.
Recommendation 1a. Student Representation: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall present to the Senate for approval an amendment to the Constitution, Article II, Sect ion 5(c) to change student representation to ten percent of the elected faculty Senators.
Rationale: The consensus among members of the Faculty Senate is that because of the number of elected senators, the Faculty Senate has become too large and unwieldy. Some voting units have had trouble finding the required number of faculty to stand for election to the Faculty Senate. Reluctantly elected senators are more likely to be absent from committee meetings and therefore have a negative impact on the ability of committees to attend to their assignments. It was felt that fewer Senators would also simplify the logistics of organizing and holding Faculty Senate meetings.
The currently used ratio for elections to the Senate is a ratio of one senator for every twenty (20) faculty members. For 2003-2004, the total number of elected faculty senators is 238. This number of faculty in the Senate is large compared to other institutions. In 2003-2004 the total number of elected, appointed, and student senators is 282. For example, the University of Arizona has 61 in the Senate (faculty and students); UCLA has 150 faculty senators; University of Illinois has 250 (faculty and students); University of Minnesota has about 200 faculty senators. The number of students and appointees were not specified in the latter three institutions.
Recommendation 2. Term Length: The normal term of elected
faculty Senators shall be
three (3) four (4)
years. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and pre-sent
to the Senate for approval an amendment to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution
to carry out this recommendation.
Rationale: It appears that many faculty members consider a four-year Senate term a daunting commitment. In addition, it would be in the University’s best interest to provide more frequent opportunities for faculty members to become involved in faculty governance without sacrificing significant experience.
Recommendation 3. Phase-In of New Ratio and Term Length:
Beginning with the elections in Spring 2004, the number of Senators to be elected
new three (3) four (4)-year term
would be one-third (1/3) one-fourth (1/4) of
the total number of Senators for each voting unit, based on the new representation
ratio. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall establish procedures for
implementing this conversion beginning with the Spring 2004 Senate election
Rationale: In order to allow currently elected Senators to
complete the term for which they were elected and to implement the recommendations
for a different representation ratio and term length, a
four (4)-year phase-in period is recommended, beginning with the elections
for the 2004-2005 Senate year.
Recommendation 4. Maintain Senate Council with its current membership but reframe its duties and responsibilities: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall prepare and submit to the Senate for approval amendments to the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules to implement the changes in Senate Council’s duties as outlined below.
Rationale: In several meetings with former and current Senate chairs and committee chairs, the Senate Self Study Committee heard frustration expressed about the perception of Senate Council serving as a gatekeeper and changing report content with some efforts directed at keeping reports from the floor of the Senate. There was also considerable discussion about the need for Senate Council to be more proactive in discussing issues affecting the larger University community as well as communicating these issues to College/Campus constituencies. Further, there was sentiment expressed that Committees should have greater decision-making authority, such as posting mandated/informational reports on the Committee’s web space or referring a mandated report to the Executive Committee (see Recommendation 6) for further discussion or placement on the Senate Agenda.
The main function of the present Senate Council is to set the agendas for the Senate meetings. It has thus been perceived as a filter through which reports must pass before they can be brought to the Senate floor. A significant body, with experienced representatives from every unit, Senate Council constantly rubs against the limitation of its agenda-setting function by attempting to veer into issues of content of the reports brought before it, only to have to be reined in by the Senate Chair, or by members of the Council themselves. The Senate Self Study Committee has addressed this inherent problem by assigning to an Executive Committee (see Recommendation 6) the mechanical task of setting the agenda (placement, length of time, etc.) Items for the agenda would come and be vetted for appropriateness from Senate Council and two new Steering Committees, the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Steering Committee on Academic Resources.
THE FOLLOWING SENATORS WERE IN ATTENDANCE
AT THE OCTOBER 28, 2003 SENATE MEETING
Bridges, K. Robert
Pugh, B. Frank
De Jong, Gordon
DeCastro, W. Travis
Wager, J. James
Holcomb, E. Jay