The Penn State Faculty Senate voted to revise policies related to Intercollegiate Athletics at yesterday’s final meeting of the semester, but not without discussion.
The revisions — which address undergraduate student-athlete full-time enrollment, graduate student-athlete enrollment and how each status impacts a student-athlete’s ability to participate in intercollegiate athletics — were made to Senate Policy.
Jeffrey Laman, chair of Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, told the senators that the rationales behind the revisions were to ensure that practice guidelines were consistent and uniform across all Penn State campuses.
The proposed changes stipulate that team practice times must be arranged prior to student-athlete class preferential scheduling, Laman said.
Vice Chair of Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics Linda C. Strauss said these proposed changes were made to “protect” the student-athletes so coaches can’t have practices scheduled that conflict with times where a majority of courses are taught.
David Salvia, chair of Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid, said having times listed when there can’t be practices scheduled was not needed, since the time periods for classes at all Penn State campuses may not be the same.
Despite a motion made that would send the proposed revisions back to the committee to fix concerned items, the revisions passed with a vote count of 141 to 10.
Also relating to athletics were proposed revisions for Senate Policy 67-00, section two, subsections one and six.
These revisions created certain status conditions needed in order for student-athletes to be eligible for practice, Laman said. But the conditions depend on whether the intercollegiate athletics is a NCAA Division 1, Division 3 or Penn State University Athletic Conference team, Laman said.
What drew discussion was that World Campus courses may not be used to establish the minimum requirements for full-time status for Division 1 student-athletes, Laman said.
One senator asked why there were requirements for how to receive credits, adding that Penn State is offering courses that are the same no matter where they’re delivered from.
Despite concerns, these revisions passed by the Senate with a vote of 156 to 13.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson addressed the senators reiterating that deposits for the 2012-2013 academic school year were on track.
Erickson also told the faculty senators that he would be spending a lot of his time interacting with members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in Harrisburg to discuss how tax revenues have increased in the state and proposed appropriation cuts.
At the end of the meeting, reports were made on the 2012-2013 Senate elections and Faculty Senate Outgoing Chair Daniel Hagen addressed the senators before Hagen’s scaffold was used by Faculty Senate Chair-elect Larry Backer.
Backer said his reflections on his past year as a member of the Senate Council were “formed in the crucible of a crisis far from over.”
Though Backer addressed the lack of communication between administrators, the Penn State Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate, he said a core council of the Senate needs to be ready to review the Senate’s functions to ensure it is functioning well for the university.