Report on the Board of Trustees Meeting

AlvindeLevie4PSUBoardOfTrustees

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I would like to take this opportunity to report on my first meeting as a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

During the public session, several matters were discussed:
  1. The return to on-campus learning;
  2. An expansion project at the Hershey Medical Center to provide private acute care patient rooms;
  3. The replacement of Erie Hall at Penn State’s Erie Campus;
  4. The renovation and expansion of the PAW Center at Penn State’s Dubois Campus;
  5. The operating budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year;
  6. A request for an increase in tuition; and
  7. A proposal regarding the revocation of university awards or distinctions.
The materials regarding the request for a tuition increase can be found online from the Penn State University Budget Office.

Let me explain my votes:
  1. I voted for the replacement of Erie Hall on the Erie Campus. The building being replaced is costly to maintain, is beyond its life expectancy, and does not provide appropriate services for our students at the Erie Campus. There has been a strong increase in applications for the Erie Campus, and its future is bright;
  2. I also voted for the renovation and expansion of the PAW Center at our Dubois Campus for similar reasons that I voted for the replacement of Erie Hall;
  3. Although I was in favor of merit raises for faculty and staff, I voted against the overall budget, a 2.5% increase in tuition for in-state students and a 2.75% increase in tuition for out-of-state students; and
  4. I voted against the proposal regarding the revocation of university awards or distinctions, which gave unbridled discretion to the Penn State President. My vote expressed my belief the Board of Trustees as a whole would be better served maintaining the right, conferred by the Bylaws, to withdraw honors bestowed by the Board of Trustees.
As I promised during my campaign, I will regularly report to the Penn State Alumni and the entire Penn State community regarding Board meetings. This was my first Board meeting. I worked so hard in preparation for it and look forward to serving the Penn State community.
 
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BobPSU92

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Thank you, Alvin.

It has been discussed elsewhere to some extent, but I am curious about the motivation and timing concerning the revocation proposal. Why at all and why now? Is something brewing?
 
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NittPicker

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Even though this message board consists of only a fractional percentage of the alumni base, it's nice to see a trustee using all possible forums to disseminate information. I agree with your votes and the logic behind them. Barron beat the drum about reducing tuition but as we all suspected, nothing ever came of it.

However, my concern about campus construction is the self dealing. Businesses owned by trustees or their family members should be barred from construction projects. Apparently conflicts of interest by board members are ignored.
 

PSU4U

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Even though this message board consists of only a fractional percentage of the alumni base, it's nice to see a trustee using all possible forums to disseminate information. I agree with your votes and the logic behind them. Barron beat the drum about reducing tuition but as we all suspected, nothing ever came of it.

However, my concern about campus construction is the self dealing. Businesses owned by trustees or their family members should be barred from construction projects. Apparently conflicts of interest by board members are ignored.
It's incestuous.
 

PSU4U

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Aug 6, 2019
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I would like to take this opportunity to report on my first meeting as a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

During the public session, several matters were discussed:
  1. The return to on-campus learning;
  2. An expansion project at the Hershey Medical Center to provide private acute care patient rooms;
  3. The replacement of Erie Hall at Penn State’s Erie Campus;
  4. The renovation and expansion of the PAW Center at Penn State’s Dubois Campus;
  5. The operating budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year;
  6. A request for an increase in tuition; and
  7. A proposal regarding the revocation of university awards or distinctions.
The materials regarding the request for a tuition increase can be found online from the Penn State University Budget Office.

Let me explain my votes:
  1. I voted for the replacement of Erie Hall on the Erie Campus. The building being replaced is costly to maintain, is beyond its life expectancy, and does not provide appropriate services for our students at the Erie Campus. There has been a strong increase in applications for the Erie Campus, and its future is bright;
  2. I also voted for the renovation and expansion of the PAW Center at our Dubois Campus for similar reasons that I voted for the replacement of Erie Hall;
  3. Although I was in favor of merit raises for faculty and staff, I voted against the overall budget, a 2.5% increase in tuition for in-state students and a 2.75% increase in tuition for out-of-state students; and
  4. I voted against the proposal regarding the revocation of university awards or distinctions, which gave unbridled discretion to the Penn State President. My vote expressed my belief the Board of Trustees as a whole would be better served maintaining the right, conferred by the Bylaws, to withdraw honors bestowed by the Board of Trustees.
As I promised during my campaign, I will regularly report to the Penn State Alumni and the entire Penn State community regarding Board meetings. This was my first Board meeting. I worked so hard in preparation for it and look forward to serving the Penn State community.
I would like to know the criteria for merit based raises.
 

Nitwit

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it's a great question...by what metrics has anyone at PSU been found to be deserving of a merit-based raise?
Well I suppose getting published or attracting grant funds, winning new contracts, pulling in contributions, increasing research projects, attracting more alumni volunteers towards student enrichment efforts, and recruiting distinguished professors would be a few of the merit worthy endeavors worthy of compensation. And with what’s happened during Covid I imagine performing certain technological advances to ensure the delivery of academic progress for 35,000 students remotely while maximizing the safety of the health issues is something which required a lot of planning, effort, and execution just as it has for most businesses across the country, perhaps even more so.

So what criteria is your business using to determine merit pay raises?
 
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Obliviax

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Well I suppose getting published or attracting grant funds, winning new contracts, pulling in contributions, increasing research projects, attracting more alumni volunteers towards student enrichment efforts, and recruiting distinguished professors would be a few of the merit worthy endeavors worthy of compensation. And with what’s happened during Covid I imagine performing certain technological advances to ensure the delivery of academic progress for 35,000 students remotely while maximizing the safety of the health issues is something which required a lot of planning, effort, and execution just as it has for most businesses across the country, perhaps even more so.

So what criteria is your business using to determine merit pay raises?
Awesome...lets also look at ridiculous increases in tuition, corrupted building policies with overinflated budgets, the promotion of worthless majors to get kids deeper into tuition debt and a plummeting national rating compared to peer group universities not to mention a demonstrable drop in reputation.

I am sure some are deserving of a raise. Other's CLEARLY, are not. So publish the metrics. It is the only open and transparent thing to do.
 

Nitwit

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Awesome...lets also look at ridiculous increases in tuition, corrupted building policies with overinflated budgets, the promotion of worthless majors to get kids deeper into tuition debt and a plummeting national rating compared to peer group universities not to mention a demonstrable drop in reputation.

I am sure some are deserving of a raise. Other's CLEARLY, are not. So publish the metrics. It is the only open and transparent thing to do.
The ridiculous tuition increase was 2.5%.
 
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Nitwit

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I don't know if you've seen what has been going on in the world and where PSU's tuition is in relation to other state schools.
State schools or state related schools? Apples and oranges. BTW, there was no increase in tuition for several years for instate students. “Our efforts to keep a Penn State education accessible and affordable have placed us among the top tier of public flagship universities for the smallest overall increase in in-state tuition over the last decade.”
 
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Obliviax

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State schools or state related schools? Apples and oranges. BTW, there was no increase in tuition for several years for instate students. “Our efforts to keep a Penn State education accessible and affordable have placed us among the top tier of public flagship universities for the smallest overall increase in in-state tuition over the last decade.”
noise for the uninformed.

PSU has made requirements much harder and are charging full boat to international students to increase income to cover their bloated budgets. So the combo of rising main campus students and rising tuition is a double blow that kills the basic tenet of a state school
 

PSU4U

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Well I suppose getting published or attracting grant funds, winning new contracts, pulling in contributions, increasing research projects, attracting more alumni volunteers towards student enrichment efforts, and recruiting distinguished professors would be a few of the merit worthy endeavors worthy of compensation. And with what’s happened during Covid I imagine performing certain technological advances to ensure the delivery of academic progress for 35,000 students remotely while maximizing the safety of the health issues is something which required a lot of planning, effort, and execution just as it has for most businesses across the country, perhaps even more so.

So what criteria is your business using to determine merit pay raises?
LOL in defense mode much, so lets see what it is exactly or do we have to give them the raise before we can see what's in it.
 
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Sullivan

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noise for the uninformed.

PSU has made requirements much harder and are charging full boat to international students to increase income to cover their bloated budgets. So the combo of rising main campus students and rising tuition is a double blow that kills the basic tenet of a state school

I'm not certain, but I thought international students paid the same tuition as out of state students?
 

PSU2UNC

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it's a great question...by what metrics has anyone at PSU been found to be deserving of a merit-based raise?
It is a good question, but I'm not sure if the snarky comment attached to it is real or not.

Many PSU faculty do amazing work and are almost certainly deserving of a merit based raise (as opposed to an across the board raise).

I cannot comment on how PSU does them, but at other institutions faculty evaluations are usually done based on: publications in the peer reviewed literature, number of success proposals funded/funding $$, number of graduate students supervised/number of completed theses/dissertations, participation on departmental committees and student feedback on teaching.

Hope that helps but would love to hear someone on the PSU faculty describe the process there.
 
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PSU2UNC

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Awesome...lets also look at ridiculous increases in tuition, corrupted building policies with overinflated budgets, the promotion of worthless majors to get kids deeper into tuition debt and a plummeting national rating compared to peer group universities not to mention a demonstrable drop in reputation.

I am sure some are deserving of a raise. Other's CLEARLY, are not. So publish the metrics. It is the only open and transparent thing to do.
This is a few years old but doubt things have changed:

See page 24.
 

Obliviax

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I'm not certain, but I thought international students paid the same tuition as out of state students?
I believe they are but are still less eligible for grants and whatever....at least that is the way it is in Ohio.

Two years ago, my neighbor's daughter could not get into Case' dental school despite having a pre-med 3.6 GPA at Miami and her father being a prominent dentist alum. It turns out that every single student that year was non-american. he got an appointment and asked why and was told that they could charge full boat with zero 'ships and grants which increased the school's income....so sorry!

Of course that was Case, Ohio and a private school so may not be consistent with PSU. However, the OOS tuition at PSU is staggering and my daughter won't consider it. She can go to Michigan or NW for the same price and much lower at tOSU (which is ranked higher) as an in-state.

 

Midnighter2

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I believe they are but are still less eligible for grants and whatever....at least that is the way it is in Ohio.

Two years ago, my neighbor's daughter could not get into Case' dental school despite having a pre-med 3.6 GPA at Miami and her father being a prominent dentist alum. It turns out that every single student that year was non-american. he got an appointment and asked why and was told that they could charge full boat with zero 'ships and grants which increased the school's income....so sorry!

Of course that was Case, Ohio and a private school so may not be consistent with PSU. However, the OOS tuition at PSU is staggering and my daughter won't consider it. She can go to Michigan or NW for the same price and much lower at tOSU (which is ranked higher) as an in-state.


Obliviax's daughter:

Nt2Z.gif
 
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Obliviax

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Obliviax's daughter:

Nt2Z.gif
LOL...my daughter is kind of "at risk". She lived in an orphanage for 14 months, as a seven month premie. Second, to that, she was born in an edge case month and we started her early (rather than waiting a year) because we are older parents and wanted to make sure we were healthy all the way through her schooling. (I regret that decision now) as a result, she is a wonderful girl but probably a year or two behind in maturity. So we are restricting school to a three-hour drive away. We are also considering a year away, like Peace Corp, but haven't fully decided yet.
 

Midnighter2

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LOL...my daughter is kind of "at risk". She lived in an orphanage for 14 months, as a seven month premie. Second, to that, she was born in an edge case month and we started her early (rather than waiting a year) because we are older parents and wanted to make sure we were healthy all the way through her schooling. (I regret that decision now) as a result, she is a wonderful girl but probably a year or two behind in maturity. So we are restricting school to a three-hour drive away. We are also considering a year away, like Peace Corp, but haven't fully decided yet.

Eh, sounds like you have it figured out. Peace Corps is cool - colleague's daughter did it in Peru for a couple years. She ended up marrying a Peruvian guy and getting a job at CitiBank in NYC (ha!).
 

Big 0

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I believe they are but are still less eligible for grants and whatever....at least that is the way it is in Ohio.

Two years ago, my neighbor's daughter could not get into Case' dental school despite having a pre-med 3.6 GPA at Miami and her father being a prominent dentist alum. It turns out that every single student that year was non-american. he got an appointment and asked why and was told that they could charge full boat with zero 'ships and grants which increased the school's income....so sorry!

Of course that was Case, Ohio and a private school so may not be consistent with PSU. However, the OOS tuition at PSU is staggering and my daughter won't consider it. She can go to Michigan or NW for the same price and much lower at tOSU (which is ranked higher) as an in-state.

IIRC, duhO$U had three levels of tuition when my daughter attended there. In-state, out-of-state and foreign. Of course most of the foreign students were wealthy kids from China driving around campus in their Ferraris, Lambo’s, McClarens and the like. I know someone in the finance administration at a state university in Ohio and their aim was to get as many foreign students enrolled as possible because of the big pay day they provide. That university had 13% of their overall student population from China before the pandemic.
 

Obliviax

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Eh, sounds like you have it figured out. Peace Corps is cool - colleague's daughter did it in Peru for a couple years. She ended up marrying a Peruvian guy and getting a job at CitiBank in NYC (ha!).
Thanks but, ha!, with kids it is never "figured out." Each day is new and different. She's come a long way in the last six months so am hopeful. Or, I may join the peace corps for a year and leave her home.
 

PSU4U

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IIRC, duhO$U had three levels of tuition when my daughter attended there. In-state, out-of-state and foreign. Of course most of the foreign students were wealthy kids from China driving around campus in their Ferraris, Lambo’s, McClarens and the like. I know someone in the finance administration at a state university in Ohio and their aim was to get as many foreign students enrolled as possible because of the big pay day they provide. That university had 13% of their overall student population from China before the pandemic.
Don't forget the Saudi's lots and lots of them. They're all at PS too.
 

Obliviax

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IIRC, duhO$U had three levels of tuition when my daughter attended there. In-state, out-of-state and foreign. Of course most of the foreign students were wealthy kids from China driving around campus in their Ferraris, Lambo’s, McClarens and the like. I know someone in the finance administration at a state university in Ohio and their aim was to get as many foreign students enrolled as possible because of the big pay day they provide. That university had 13% of their overall student population from China before the pandemic.
Thanks...the foreign stuff kind of dried up last year and we'll see what happens in 2022. May be a great year to get into a USA school. Due to "strife" they are being discouraged in using standardized testing. yet, grade at individual schools have zero consistency. Even activities are limited due to COVID (most sports were kaput along with group events like cheer, dance, drama, debate, etc. even volunteer work was cut. my daughter did 20 hours a week at the hospital but the program was cut when COVID hit. I have no idea how colleges are going to decide who gets in and who doesn't. Maybe I should start a thread asking.
 

manatree

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May 29, 2001
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LOL...my daughter is kind of "at risk". She lived in an orphanage for 14 months, as a seven month premie. Second, to that, she was born in an edge case month and we started her early (rather than waiting a year) because we are older parents and wanted to make sure we were healthy all the way through her schooling. (I regret that decision now) as a result, she is a wonderful girl but probably a year or two behind in maturity. So we are restricting school to a three-hour drive away. We are also considering a year away, like Peace Corp, but haven't fully decided yet.

Like father, like daughter? ;)
 

PSU4U

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I don't know if you've seen what has been going on in the world and where PSU's tuition is in relation to other state schools.
They always have their blinders on to the bigger truths. They love spouting ridiculous and meaningless figures for argument sake. Their position in the light of day just doesn't hold up. The truth getting out is their biggest fear. They love feeding BS while going on with doing what they have always done. They love the game of three card monte. Then when they run out of excuses they go on attack.
 
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Obliviax

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They always have their blinders on to the bigger truths. They love spouting ridiculous and meaningless figures for argument sake. Their position in the light of day just doesn't hold up. The truth getting out is their biggest fear. They love feeding BS while going on with doing what they have always done. They love the game of three card monte. Then when they run out of excuses they on attack.
just gotta be smart....there are other options. PSu games will still be on TV. Time to find another house to flip
 

Nitwit

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noise for the uninformed.

PSU has made requirements much harder and are charging full boat to international students to increase income to cover their bloated budgets. So the combo of rising main campus students and rising tuition is a double blow that kills the basic tenet of a state school
Have you checked the percentage of international students elsewhere? Michigan, for example, who we attempt to emulate.
 

PSU4U

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noise for the uninformed.

PSU has made requirements much harder and are charging full boat to international students to increase income to cover their bloated budgets. So the combo of rising main campus students and rising tuition is a double blow that kills the basic tenet of a state school
Penn State is one of the biggest state bureaucracies in the country. They are a model of Central Planning.
 
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psu00

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Have you checked the percentage of international students elsewhere? Michigan, for example, who we attempt to emulate.
Just looked up a few universities for comparison (too lazy to look up more).

Percent of international students (undergrad and grad)-

Penn State- 16%

Iowa- 9%
Ohio State- 11%
Michigan State- 12%
Indiana- 13%
Michigan- 15%

Florida State- 5%
North Carolina- 6%
Florida- 8%
Texas- 10%
Virginia- 10%
Oregon- 11%
UCLA- 16%
Washington- 17%
USC- 24%
 

PSU2UNC

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Feb 9, 2016
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Awesome...lets also look at ridiculous increases in tuition, corrupted building policies with overinflated budgets, the promotion of worthless majors to get kids deeper into tuition debt and a plummeting national rating compared to peer group universities not to mention a demonstrable drop in reputation.

I am sure some are deserving of a raise. Other's CLEARLY, are not. So publish the metrics. It is the only open and transparent thing to do.
This is a few years old but doubt things have changed:

See page 24.
 
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Nitwit

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Just looked up a few universities for comparison (too lazy to look up more).

Percent of international students (undergrad and grad)-

Penn State- 16%

Iowa- 9%
Ohio State- 11%
Michigan State- 12%
Indiana- 13%
Michigan- 15%

Florida State- 5%
North Carolina- 6%
Florida- 8%
Texas- 10%
Virginia- 10%
Oregon- 11%
UCLA- 16%
Washington- 17%
USC- 24%
Try percentage of undergrad. We were discussing undergrad admissions.
 
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Midnighter2

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Guy I know is basically an independent college advisor to wealthy Russian/Chinese folks looking to get their kids into American colleges. They all want Ivies and tend to like Northeast/Midwest/California schools best.
 
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HartfordLlion

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Well I suppose getting published or attracting grant funds, winning new contracts, pulling in contributions, increasing research projects, attracting more alumni volunteers towards student enrichment efforts, and recruiting distinguished professors would be a few of the merit worthy endeavors worthy of compensation. And with what’s happened during Covid I imagine performing certain technological advances to ensure the delivery of academic progress for 35,000 students remotely while maximizing the safety of the health issues is something which required a lot of planning, effort, and execution just as it has for most businesses across the country, perhaps even more so.

So what criteria is your business using to determine merit pay raises?

A lot of what you mentioned would be done in industry through cash awards not pay increases. There is a reason, pay increases are forever. Cash awards are incentives to keep doing what you are doing what you got the award. Merit pay increases usually have to do with continuous increases in job proficiency demonstrated over several years, increase in job responsibilities, and demonstrated job success over a number of years.