PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Faculty Senate Critical of Penn State’s Handling of Health Care Task Force

Penn State’s handling of its controversial health care program is under fire again.

The Penn State Faculty Senate approved a motion Tuesday afternoon that criticizes both university administrators and the senate’s leadership in a dispute over how the Wellness Task Force was established.

The task force was set up after widespread opposition forced the university to sideline its new wellness program last fall. Faculty members and staff objected to being asked to take a survey, which asked for information about personal health records. Those who refused would have to pay an additional $100 per month for health care. There were also widespread concerns about privacy and how that health information would be protected.

As a result, university president Rodney Erickson appointed members to a Wellness Task Force last year to review the health care program. The senate publicly took issue with that process Tuesday saying the administration and senate leaders should have allowed the senate to select members for the task force based on a vote by the senate.

The motion approved says, “Having failed to consult with the senate or senate council, before conceding to President Erickson’s rejection of selection by plebiscite, the chair may have substantially weakened the integrity and legitimacy of the senate as a democratic and representative institution.”

The measure says the senate’s leadership “ignored the expressed will of the senate, concerning the selection of faculty delegates to the wellness task force. That action raises concerns about the effective commitment of senate leaders and the university’s senior administrators to transparency and respect for shared governance.”

Matthew Woessner, the senator representing the Harrisburg campus, sponsored the motion. Before the vote he said the intent was not to question the integrity of Erickson or the senate leadership, but to make clear the senate was entitled to be consulted.

In other news, Erickson says the growing student demand for mental health services on campus is currently a high priority.

Jim Strouse, senator with the college of sciences, asked about the program, which direcators say is understaffed, underfinanced, and lacks sufficient space.

“It’s very much on the agenda. It’s something that we’re looking at in the next few weeks,” says Erickson.

The level of demand for student services has “skyrocketed in recent years,” Erickson says. To address the spike, he says the university added additional staff and needs to add more.

Additionally, he says the university needs to strike a balance between services offered on campus and services offered within the broader State College community.

“I assure you that this has not slipped through the cracks,” Erickson says.

Additionally, in response to a faculty member’s question, Erickson said the administration has no interest in changing the university’s policy for weapons on campus.

Currently, weapons are not allowed on campus. Those who have firearms for target shooting or hunting are required to secure them with university law enforcement while on campus.

“We really have no plans to change that. I certainly hope elected officials don’t go about changing that process,” Erickson says.

About the Author

StateCollege.com

Posts from our partner website StateCollege.com.

Comments

More by StateCollege.com

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro Sets Closing Date

Owner Bernd Brandstatter announced in March that restaurant would be closing between June and August, but the final day of business has been moved up.

Former Penn State Football Player Denies Burglary, Assault Accusations

Spats Cafe Collaboration With Allen Street Grill Set For Grand Opening

Athletics

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

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.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Send this to a friend