Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment #1
Faculty Senate Minutes
October 21, 2003

TO: Joel Piperberg, Chair, Faculty Senate
FROM: Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department
DATE: October 20, 2003
RE: Reconsideration of and withdrawal from the Faculty Senate Teaching Award

The Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department has decided, without dissent, that its faculty members will not permit their names to be considered for the Faculty Senate Teaching Award nor will they accept this award, if granted. The Department has taken this action because it believes the following:

  1. This award has the potential to create division within the faculty and to damage morale. As a department, we value the collaborative environment that we have created and will not participate in an award that may erode this viable work context. Experience tells us that the identification of one faculty member as superior leads to backbiting, lobbying and vendettas that undermine collegiality.

  2. As professionals whose lines of inquiry focus on teaching, we are very conscious of the difficulty in defining "effective" or "outstanding" teaching. Therefore, we believe that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to identify objectively and fairly the one person in a school who merits the award.

  3. It is unethical for our faculty to participate in an award that fosters competition and values extrinsic motivation. Since our programs espouse collaboration and intrinsic motivation to achieve academic excellence, faculty participation in the award is tantamount to academic dishonesty. We strongly believe that we must model what we want our students to learn.

  4. The award encourages faculty to "exploit a professional relationship for personal gain or advantage," a clear violation of Pennsylvania's Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators. The code states, "in this Commonwealth, a Code of Professional Practice and Conduct (Code) for certificated educators is required by statute and violation of specified sections of the Code may constitute a basis for public or private reprimand . . . .The Professional Standards and Practices Commission (PSPC) was charged by the act of December 12, 1973 (P. L. 397, No. 141) (24 P. S. ' ' 12-1251 - 12-1268), known as the Teacher Certification Law, with adopting a Code by July 1, 1991. See 24 P. S. ' 12-1255(a)(10)" (PA Dept. of Education, 2003). As licensed educators, we vehemently object to Faculty Senate's action that places us in direct conflict with state law.

As a Department intimately involved in the pursuit of teaching excellence, we request that Faculty Senate reconsider its decision to establish a teaching award on the Millersville University campus.

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2003). Pennsylvania's Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators. Retrieved October 20, 2003, from|5474|

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