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SENATE From the Chair

On Resource Allocation and Academic Priorities

The report of the Subcommittee on Cost Containment of the Senate Committee on Administration appears in this issue of Almanac as a self-contained insert. The main objective of the report, historical in design, is to provide a context for an open dialogue between the faculty and the administration--a suggested starting point for more informed decisions about allocation and management of Penn's resources assuring the long-term health and growth of the University.

It should be noted that the subcommittee members who produced this report are also the Faculty Senate's representatives to the University's Cost Containment Committee, which has representation from the faculty and the administration and is chaired by the executive vice president of the University. This committee has had three productive meetings this academic year, and has scheduled future meetings. We anticipate that these forthcoming meetings will serve well as the vehicle to discuss findings and recommendations of our subcommittee's report. We view the University Committee on Cost Containment as a forum for faculty to learn about the constraints under which strategic fiscal decisions are made and one where the administration has an opportunity to learn more about the faculty's vision of the academic mission and about their concerns.

We are assured by both administrative representatives on the University Cost Containment Committee and by its chair that it is of paramount concern to them that the committee identify ways for the faculty and administration to work more collaboratively on resource allocation decisions which impact University-wide priorities. We also urge the committee to continue to follow a process that will promote academic goals and insure academic integrity as it engages in decision making to assure University operation on a sound fiscal base.

The leadership and members of the Faculty Senate as well as everyone involved in the process itself are hopeful that the hard work of the University Committee will bring significant headway toward resolving the issues cited in the Faculty Senate's subcommittee report.

--Vivian C. Seltzer, Chair of the Faculty Senate

Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, March 24, 1998, Volume 44, Number 26