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November 11, 1997

Volume 44, Number 12

Trustees: 'Yes' to Trammell Crow Contract

At the stated meeting of the full board Friday, November 7, the University trustees passed unanimously the resolution of the Budget and Finance Committee to approve the agreement with Trammell Crow Company which will outsource Penn's facilities and real estate management by March. (Please click here for the text of the resolution.)

At the meeting, President Rodin said in her opening report to the trustees, concerning the Budget and Finance Committee action, "This was not an easy decision to make, but I am extremely confident that it is in the long-term best interest of the University. I look forward--as I know John Fry does--to working with all members of the University community in implementing this decision and making the transition to Trammell Crow's management of University facilities as smooth as possible."

After the vote of the full board, the chairman, Dr. Roy Vagelos, gave a brief statement:

We, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, strongly support the Administration's strategic plan to focus on the University's core responsibilities of teaching and research as expressed in the Agenda for Excellence.

We commend the Administration for taking steps to operate the University effectively and efficiently and urge it to continue to do so.

Earlier in the week, at a Special Meeting of the University Council on Wednesday, members had passed a resolution calling upon the trustees to withhold "approval of the proposed outsourcing of facilities management at this time." (For a transcription of the Special Meeting, which addressed issues in consultation as well as the specific proposal on outsourcing, please click here.)

President Rodin also reported on the beginning of a campus dialogue on alcohol awareness and on the opening of the IAST, with thanks to Roy and Diana Vagelos for their leadership in creating it. "IAST will stand as a monument to your vision of Penn's future in the world of research and education," she said.

Dr. Rodin formally nominated and introduced Peter C. Erichsen as Vice President and General Counsel of the University and the Health System (Almanac November 4), adding to the previously-published biographical information that he has coordinated the selection and confirmation of federal judges and supervised the Presidential appointments process, including the 1996-97 Cabinet transition, and that from 1993-1996 Mr. Erichsen was deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice. His election was approved.

Provost Stanley Chodorow, addressing his last full board meeting as he prepares to leave the University December 31, expressed appreciation to President Rodin, EVP John Fry, the Deans and Vice Provosts and to the trustees for "an experience I hope to carry into my future career." Dr. Vagelos extended his thanks to the Provost, and Dr. Rodin said that while there will be more occasions before Dr. Chodorow leaves, she wished to add her appreciation for his "wonderful, lasting achievements" for Penn. Later Dr. Gloria Chisum, reporting on behalf of Dr. Donald Langenberg for the Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, praised his initiative to increase the graduation rate of Penn undergraduates (Almanac October 28).

Neighborhood Initiatives: Dr. Vagelos also reported on the establishment of a new Trustee Committee on Neighborhood Initiatives, whose first chairman is the Hon. Gilbert F. Casellas, L "77, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., and a lecturer in the Law School, 1985-89 and 1992-93.

Later, after voting a suspension of rules to allow for election to the Executive Committee other than in the spring, the trustees elected to the Executive Committee both Mr. Casellas and Dr. Harold J. Levine, Gr. '66, H '96, who is the Harry C. Wiess Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton.


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