Council Reports from the Meeting of April 24, 1996

At the final spring meeting of the University Council, the President and Provost led off with substantive reports--the President's (below) on several subjects, the Provost's primarily on the ending of negotiations with the military that sought to alter the relationship with the ROTC. Some comment, and a summary of other Council presentations, the conclusion of Dr. Chodorow's remarks (which includes a Q&A with Dr. Chodorow and Dr. Larry Gross on ROTC).

President's Report: A Trip to Asia . . . Superstore at Home

Good afternoon.

I bring you greetings from South Korea and Hong Kong, which I briefly visited in a whirlwind week away from campus at the end of March on behalf of the University.

The objective of the trip was to strengthen Penn's ties with our great number of Asian alumni, parents, and prospective students.

If I needed further evidence that Penn is becoming an international university, this trip supplied it.

I was taken aback by the number of alumni from all of Penn's schools and classes dating back four decades. We have some 1,000 alumni in Hong Kong and Korea alone and I had the opportunity to meet with about a quarter of them. I was pleased to learn that our alumni groups in Korea and Hong Kong are among the most active anywhere in the world.

I was also struck by the many parents of current studentsI met with about 30 families. I also met a number of applicants who live in Southeast Asia, who, at the time of my visit, were anxiously waiting to hear from our admissions office.

I hope my meetings with them helped achieve one particularly significant purpose of my tripattracting the very best undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from Southeast Asia.

I visited Asian universities where Penn already has strong relationships. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with government officials and business leaders, which helped increase Penn's visibilty in parts of the world where our reputation is strong, but could be stronger.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to highlight all of the good things about Penn and to discuss the role of Penn as a leader in the information age. My gracious hosts received me as an emissary from a university they knew to be exceptional. And I hope that after our meetings they came away with a real appreciation for the excellence of education and research that we offer at Penn.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore: Back on the home front, we are very excited about the new Barnes & Noble "Superstore" to be built here at Penn.

The addition of the superstore to our campus will dramatically enhance the quality of life here. As we move forward to implement our Agenda for Excellence, we are deeply aware that enhancing the quality of life for our students is an integral part of our mission.

And in this venture, we all gain. We will have an exciting new bookstore with countless opportunities for an enriched intellectual and cultural life outside the classroom.

Progress on the Agenda for Excellence: Before the semester closes, I would like to update you on the progress of the Agenda for Excellence.

Executive Vice President John Fry, Provost Chodorow, and I are currently reviewing the strategic plan of each of our major administrative units, and I will be meeting individually with each of the administrative officers to discuss them.

Then, a month from now, each of the schools is due to submit its new or revised strategic plan, building on the framework established in the Agenda for Excellence published last fall.

Over the summer, these school plans will be synthesized with the original Agenda for Excellence to form a comprehensive University strategic plan.

The draft plan will then be reviewed by the Academic Planning and Budget Committee early in the fall, published in Almanac, and presented to the Trustees for final approval at their October meeting.

New Student, Staff, and Faculty Senate Appointments: In the past few weeks, a number of organizations on campus have been making important appointments for the 1996-97 academic year. I congratulate all of the new appointees and welcome those who will be joining us on Council.

I would like to extend special congratulations to Tal Golomb, the new chair of the Undergraduate Assembly, and Alex Welte, the new chair of GAPSA.

My thanks to Lance Rogers, out-going chair of the UA, and to Victor Prince, out-going chair of GAPSA for their work and dedication to the student body and to this Council.

Special congratulations to Peter Kuriloff, the new chair of the Faculty Senate for 1996-97, and to Vivian Seltzer, as the new chair-elect. My thanks to out-going past chair David Hildebrand, who is parting our company after four years as a chair of the Faculty Senate, and to Bill Kissick, the new past chair.

My congratulations to Karen Wheeler, who will be joining us again in the fall as chairperson of the A-3 Assembly, and to Marie Witt, the new chairperson of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly. My thanks to out-going chairperson Ira Winston for his thoughtful dedication this year.

Conclusion: In concluding my report, I would like to thank all the members of the 1995-96 University Council for a stimulating and productive year of discussion and useful advice.

This is an exciting time of year at Penn. I hope you all enjoy it and have a wonderful summer.

--Judith Rodin


Volume 42 Number 30
April 30, 1996

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