PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Faculty Senate 101: An Introduction

The Penn State Faculty Senate held its first meeting of the year on Tuesday, August 31.

Unfortunately, this statement doesn’t mean much to the large majority of Penn State students–mainly because most students are too busy with classes, friends, and clubs to pay too much attention.

A very powerful University legislative body, the Faculty Senate represents virtually everyone at Penn State–55,000 full-time faculty and the students at all campuses, including specialty campuses like Great Valley, Hershey College of Medicine, and Dickinson School of Law. There are 232 elected faculty members on the Senate for this year, 22 appointed Senior Administrators, and 26 students who represent each academic unit.

This group of roughly 250 people is responsible for drafting and passing all academic policies at Penn State, including adding new majors or minors, changing prerequisites, and approving all course proposals. The Faculty Senate is led by this year’s Chair Elect, Dr. Jean Landa Pytel, an Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the College of Engineering.

Wil Santivasi, a senior majoring in Pre-Medicine, is the Eberly College of Science Student Senator and a member of the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs (SCCA), one of the 15 Senate Committees.  In an interview, he stated that the August 31 meeting was “a good first meeting…Chair Pytel laid the groundwork for what promises to be a productive year.” He later spoke of the Committees, all of which, “[were] charged with exciting initiatives that will come to fruition in the future.”

When asked her thoughts on the meeting’s success, Chair Pytel stated that, “The meeting went very well and we accomplished all that we sought to do.”

The Senate plans to address many issues related to students this year, including academic freedom, the IT fee, grading policies, campus housing, and access to student policy for all students.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 19.

About the Author


More by Catherine

UPUA Supports Michigan Student Body President

At their weekly meeting, the University Park Undergraduate Association passed legislation to officially support Chris Armstrong, the Student Body President of the University of Michigan who is under attack from an Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, Andrew Shirvell.

Students March Against Sexual Assault

Borough Council, UPUA Discuss Student Representation


Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Student Body President Cody Heaton Welcomes Class of 2022 At Convocation

UPUA President Cody Heaton welcomed the incoming Class of 2022 Saturday evening with an inspiring speech.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Penn State Officially Welcomes Class Of 2022 At Convocation

The Class of 2022 joined the Penn State family Saturday evening at Convocation.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend