News in Brief

A Challenge to the Ratings?

A new book on ratings, which challenges the use of peer voting systems such as those mixed with hard data in the National Research Council studies, shows Penn would move from 14th place to 7th among private research universities under the authors' largely quantitative criteria (such as federal grants for research, number of articles in scholarly journals and in sets of journals treated as most-prestigious, and awards in the arts and humanities).

The Rise of American Research Universities: Elites and Challengers in the Postwar Era (Johns Hopkins University Press) by Hugh Davis Graham of Vanderbilt and Nancy Diamond of the University of Maryland/Baltimore County, is reviewed in The New York Times March 19 by Karen W. Arenson. The study covering the 25-year period 1965-1990 gives Stanford first place and Princeton second. At third in a three-way tie are Chicago, Harvard and Yale. Columbia is sixth, Duke and Penn tie for seventh, and Brandeis and Johns Hopkins tie for ninth. The study also ranks public institutions, with U.C. Berkeley as number one, followed by U.C. Santa Barbara, SUNY Stony Brook, Michigan, Wisconsin at Madison, Illinois-Urbana, Indiana, U.C. San Diego, and Colorado.

Leaving in April: David Morse

David Morse, the associate vice president for policy planning who shaped Penn's first major federal relations program and led it over the past 14 years, will leave the University late in April to join the Pew Charitable Trusts. ( See story in this issue.)

Changing the PennCard

By fall the University will introduce a new multifunction "smart" PennCard, in partnership with PNC BankCorp., MBNA America Bank N.A., and the Penn Student Federal Credit Union.

To prepare for the changeover, an oversight committee is being formed ( see story in this issue). Any school or center that has a stake in the use of PennCard's magnetic stripe is particularly asked to contact planners ( see story in this issue).

Tuition/Fee Increases

Undergraduate tuition and fee increases of 5.3%--the lowest at Penn in 29 years--were voted at the March 14 meeting of the Trustees Executive Committee, bringing the combination of tuition and fees from FY1997's $21,130 to $22,250 for FY1998.

Along with 2% increases in residential charges (from $4,342 to $4,428) and in the 15-meal dining plan (from 2,624 to $2,676), the overall cost increase for room and board is 4.5% (from $28,096 to $29,354).

President Judith Rodin said Penn will maintain the need-blind admissions policy.

Graduate tuition and fees will also increase 5.3%, from $21,992 to $23,158.

NCAA Team Open Interviews: April 2

Members of the campus community will have an opportunity to interact with members of the peer review team as part of the NCAA Athletics Certification, according to Stephen T. Golding, vice president for finance and chair of the NCAA Certification Committee at Penn.

The team will be on campus April 1-4. The open interview has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 2, from 4:30-5 p.m. in Suite 200 of Houston Hall. It is open to all members of the campus community. Copies of the final self-study report, with its appendices, are available for inspection at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. The study without the appendices ( Almanac December 10, 1996), is on the web at


Volume 43 Number 27
March 25, 1997

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