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Posted on September 2, 2010

Civility was the watchword at the Fall 2010 Faculty Convocation, where the newly elected president of the local Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) pledged to act in accordance with Cal U's core values.

"Civility requires that we express ourselves in ways that demonstrate a respect towards others," said Dr. Michael Slavin, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. "I promise to behave with civility, and I thank you for your trust."

Citing the high cost - both financial and personal - of faculty grievances, Slavin announced a plan to examine the evaluation process. By taking a proactive approach, he said, the association and the University may find a way to better resolve their differences.

Citing a prediction by University President Angelo Armenti, Jr., Slavin noted that a third party will address issues related to the new parking plan, which went into effect Aug. 30. Two hearings on the matter have been scheduled this fall.

After being introduced by Provost Geraldine Jones, President Armenti reviewed a handout showing that 147 faculty members have not registered for parking.

Of the 124 faculty who purchased parking permits, 96 were given spaces in their preferred parking area. An additional 91 faculty have registered and are on a waiting list.

"Spaces will become available, and the faculty has always had first preference," President Armenti said. "If you have not registered for parking, please do so."

Despite the region's economic challenges, enrollment at Cal U continues to grow. Figures from the first day of classes show the head count up by 365, or 4 percent, compared to first-day totals in 2009. Over the past six years, Cal U's total full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment has increased by 43 percent.

"We continue to be attracting bright, young students looking to move onto higher education, and you (faculty) play a very significant role in this," the President said.

About 1,600 students attended orientation Aug. 26-29, President Armenti reported. In addition to learning about University traditions and the Cal U for Life program, one orientation session focused on Cal U Fusion, a campus-wide mobile technology initiative that has begun to explore innovative ways to use handheld devices as tools for teaching and learning.

Cal U Fusion will be the topic of Mission Day on Oct. 6.

"Mobile technology is definitely going to transform higher education," said President Armenti, as he demonstrated a number of applications that might be used in the classroom.

"With Cal U Fusion we intend to bring 21st-century technology onto our campus and into our classrooms. Our students deserve nothing less - and participation by you, the faculty, is essential for this to succeed."

During her welcoming remarks, Provost Jones noted the retirement of five longtime faculty members who combined to give 150 years of service to Cal U students. The provost recognized retirees Edward Brown, Debra Clingerman, John Shimkanin, William Yahner and John Vargo.

Jones also named the current faculty members receiving promotions and introduced six new tenure-track faculty - Drs. Jason Kight, Cynthia Persinger, Anthony Rodi, Melissa Sovak, Christina Toras and Julie Warnick.

This year's Frederick Douglass Scholar is Michelle Torregano.