SENATE From the Senate Office

The following statement is published in accordance with the Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Senate Chair John Keene or Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303, 898-6943 or

Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee

Wednesday, January 20, 1999

1. Chair's Report.

a. Actions of University Council January 13, 1999. The Chair summarized University Council's discussion and acceptance of SEC's Consultation Policy (previously approved by SEC and published in Almanac December 8, 1998), and thanked Professor Howard Lesnick for his fine work. He emphasized the importance of this step in creating a framework for discussion in the University community and in establishing the principle that faculty have a special responsibility in the shared governance of the University. The Chair assured SEC that the Senate leadership would follow through to insure that the policy is embraced by the administration.

The University Council also adopted a policy on closed circuit television monitoring on campus (Almanac January 19, 1999). The policy was developed jointly by the Committee on Open Expression, chaired by Professor Dennis Culhane, and the Council Committee on Safety and Security, chaired by Professor Sean Kennedy. Professor Keene acknowledged Professor Culhane's and Kennedy's important contributions.

University Council also endorsed a structure and procedure for employee charitable giving next year at Penn (Almanac January 19, 1999).

b. Faculty Club Move. The Chair described two draft agreements currently under negotation, a Faculty Club Transfer Agreement and a Management and Operations Agreement.

Discussion centered upon language in the Transfer Agreement that created a four-step termination procedure. First, if, in any succeeding fiscal year, there is a 20% decline in membership, gross revenue, or food orders from inflation-adjusted figures for 1998-1999, the University would be authorized to commence the termination procedure for the Faculty Club. (The "20%" replaces the word "significantly" in earlier drafts.) Second, the Faculty Club would have one year to rebuild its operations. If the Club were unable to do so, the University would then move to the third step, the appointment of a committee comprised of three each from the Faculty Club Board, the Faculty Senate, and the administration, which would review and comment on the appropriateness of termination. The committee would not have the power to veto termination of the Faculty Club's use of space in the Inn at Penn. A decision would be required within sixty days, after which the trustees of the University would make the final determination. The Chair stated that, under the draft agreement, the University could also close the Faculty Club if the University changes the function of the Inn at Penn. He pointed out that the operator of the Inn at Penn is not a party to the two agreements even though they impose obligations on it. The draft agreements affirm that both the University and the Faculty Club Board acknowledge the importance of having a thriving Faculty Club on campus.

A SEC member noted that there is normally a dip in participation in any new arrangement like this one, and that a 20% dip in any one of the three categories listed is a narrow margin that might be exceeded next year. Discussion centered on: the University has the right to close the Club while the faculty have no voice in food quality, service, or maintenance; the Faculty Club Board has responsibility for Club membership, programs and events, but limited responsibility for day-to-day operations; there is no Faculty Club bar; there is no provision for keeping some rooms in the Inn available for last minute reservations for faculty use; the administration should agree to find a new home for the Faculty Club should it fail; and, concern over possible loss of Faculty Club staff, with whom many faculty and staff have enjoyed a special relationship.

Discussion continued with a suggestion that SEC state that it strongly believes the University of Pennsylvania should have a Faculty Club. Other SEC members recommended raising the 20% to 30% or replacing the percentage figure with "substantial or significant." At the end of the discussion it was moved and seconded that

"The Senate Executive Committee recommends to the Faculty Club Board that the Faculty Club be given three years within which to establish itself at the Inn at Penn, and that the evaluation of its performance be based on the experience in the fourth fiscal year after the move. At that time, if the gross revenues, number of members, or food orders were more than 20% below the inflation adjusted figures for 1998-1999, the University could then begin the four-step termination procedure contained in the present draft Transfer Agreement."

The motion was adopted by an overwhelming majority.

2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget Committee and on Capital Council. The Past Chair reported that the committee heard a report from Undergraduate Admissions Dean Lee Stetson. Capital Council has not met since the last SEC meeting.

3. Faculty Senate Committee on Committees. SEC appointed seven members to the committee. The Senate Chair and Chair-elect serve as ex officio members.

4. University Council Committee on Committees. The five required faculty were selected. The Senate Chair-elect serves as an ex officio member. The Chair, Past Chair and Chair-elect were authorized to add faculty to the list, should any of those selected decline.

5. Dental School Proposal on Clinical Faculty. SEC members from the Dental School apprised the committee that a proposal is under discussion in the Dental School that would allow appointment of full-time faculty in the clinical track at all sites of faculty practice.

6. Faculty Gifts for Undergraduate Scholarship Funds. The Chair-elect briefly described a proposal under discussion by faculty and the Development Office that would involve the entire faculty. It was agreed that the faculty working on this would be invited to SEC for a full discussion and for possible action by SEC.

7. Development for Graduate Financial Aid. It was moved and adopted that SEC invite a member of the Development Office to meet with SEC to discuss how faculty could assist in effort.

8. Faculty Club Employees. Several SEC members expressed concerns regarding the Faculty Club employees when the Club is transferred to the Inn at Penn later this year. The Chair agreed to obtain information on this subject and to place it on the agenda for the next SEC meeting.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 18, January 26, 1999