SENATE: From the Senate Office

Election of SEC

At-large Members

No nominations were received by petition and the Senate Nominating Committee's nominees to serve as at-large members of the Senate Executive Committee are declared elected:

Erika Holzbaur
(associate professor animal biology)
to a 3-year term
Therese Richmond
(assistant professor clinician educator nursing)
to a 1-year term

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 Larry Gross or Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303, (215) 898-6943 or

Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee

Wednesday, November 8, 2000

1. Chair's Report. Faculty Senate Chair Larry Gross read a letter he sent Nobel Laureate Alan G. MacDiarmid on behalf of SEC. He extended SEC's unanimous expression of congratulations for the signal honor Professor MacDiarmid received and the well-deserved recognition of his important work. He also expressed SEC's gratitude for the reflected glory that Professor MacDiarmid's presence sheds on the entire University.

Last month a SEC member suggested TIAA-CREF contributions be credited to an individual's account the 15th of the month when market prices are low rather than the current practice of crediting them the 1st of the month when prices are high. It was reported that the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to promptly credit contributions to individual's retirement funds and not hold on to them. The University Council Committee on Personnel Benefits will look into the matter further. A SEC member inquired why participants in TIAA-CREF are required to have more than one account. The Chair reported that Human Resources has promised to publish answers clarifying the questions raised on this matter.

Professor Gross noted that the Senate Committee on Administration is reviewing a proposed revision of the Financial Disclosure and Conflict of Interest Policy for Research and Sponsored Projects.

Institutional Review Boards (IRB) are becoming increasingly elaborate under Federal pressures. This arises in medical research but creates unwarranted requirements for much social science research. There are plans to establish a separate IRB for social science research projects.

2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget Committee and on Capital Council. Past Chair Phoebe Leboy reported that Academic Planning and Budget devoted its last meeting to hearing about and discussing the progress of capital construction projects. The Capital Council scheduled for October was cancelled.

3. Election of Ninth Member of the Senate Nominating Committee. Nominations were made and the votes were taken. (At left).

4. Discussion on the Proposed Revised Policy and Procedures Relating to Copyrights and Commitment of Effort for Faculty. The Chair recalled that the matter has been on the table for several years. It arose particularly around issues relating to software and intellectual property and changes in Federal copyright law, in particular the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law put greater ownership in the hands of the corporations rather than in the hands of the creators of intellectual property. About five years ago a University task force worked on the issues and produced a report that concluded faculty own their creations. The report was thought to be at variance with University objectives and was set aside. A new Provost's faculty committee was established last year. A member of the previous task force, copyright expert Penn Law Professor Robert Gorman, was consulted on the current proposed changes to the Penn policy.

Professor Gross read a revision requested by the President concerning faculty petition regarding ownership. It raises the determining official for this action to the level of the Provost (V.E.1.c.).

Provost Barchi explained that the changes describe University ownership in exceptional cases: certain categories of sponsored research, works for hire, and use of substantial University resources. Further, the definitions are open to reinterpretation and adaptation. The Provost pointed out that a new part of the policy is commitment of effort with the core mission of the schools. Schools can add new core items and adjust existing core items. He said that any conflict of faculty work with the core school mission would be resolved by the school faculty and the dean. The provost emphasized that the academic missions are the province of the schools and their faculty. A SEC member asked whether a faculty member giving a guest lecture at another university would require permission of the dean. The Provost stated no but the dean's permission would be required to give a course while on leave at another university. SEC recommended a clarification by inserting "substantial" in section V.E.2. It was also suggested that "Faculty" be capitalized in the last sentence of the same section.

Discussion ensued on faculty access to avenues for appeal. It was recommended that a new section V.E.5 be added to read: "This policy does not preclude a faculty member's access to existing appeal mechanisms, such as the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, the Faculty Grievance Procedure, or the Provost."

These revisions were moved and seconded. SEC adopted the revisions without dissent with one abstention. (CLICK HERE).

5. Selection of Five Faculty to the University Council Committee on Committees. Nominations were made and a ballot was distributed.

6. Interim Report from 1999-2000 Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty. Professor Gross noted that Committee chair Ed Boe does an enormous amount of work on behalf of the committee and the Faculty Senate. He emphasized that substantial strides have been made in obtaining increasing amounts of data from the administration. Professor Boe began by announcing that a written draft report from the 1999-2000 committee would be available for SEC next month. He reviewed the outline of the committee's efforts each year and then presented an overview of the draft report.

Under the Faculty Senate Rules, formal notification to members may be accomplished by publication in Almanac.

The following is published under that rule:

 TO: Members of the Faculty Senate
 FROM: Larry Gross, Chair
 SUBJECT: Senate Nominating Committee

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Faculty Senate Bylaws, notice is given to the Senate Membership, i.e. the Standing Faculty and Standing Faculty-Clinician Educators, of the Senate Executive Committee's 9-member slate of nominees for the Nominating Committee for 2000-2001. The Nominating Committee nominates candidates for election to the Offices of the Faculty Senate, to the at-large and assistant professor positions on the Senate Executive Committe, and to the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty, the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, and the Senate Committee on Conduct. The nine nominees, all of whom have agreed to serve, are:

  • J. Scott Armstrong (prof marketing)
  • Haim Bau (prof mechanical engineering)
  • Julie Fairman (asst prof nursing)
  • Peter J. Freyd (prof mathematics)
  • John Sabini (prof psychology)
  • Kim Lane Scheppelle (prof law)
  • Irving Shapiro (prof biochemistry/dental)
  • Susan Weiss (prof microbiology/medicine)
  • Barbie Zelizer (assoc prof communication)

2. Pursuant to the Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition containing at least twenty-five valid names and the signed approval of the candidate. All such petitions must be received by Tuesday, November 28, 2000. If no additional nominations are received, the slate nominated by the Executive Committee will be declared elected. If additional nominations are received, a mail ballot will be distributed to the Faculty Senate membership. Please forward any nominations by petition via intramural mail to the Faculty Senate, Box 12 College Hall/6303. Please forward any questions to Larry Gross or to Carolyn Burdon by e-mail at or by telephone at (215) 898-6943.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 12, November 14, 2000

| FRONT PAGE | CONTENTS | JOB-OPS | CRIMESTATS | SENATE: Proposed Policy: Copyrights & Commitment of Effort for Faculty | PENN LAW: Sesquicentennial | BENCHMARKS: Law School History | PENNs WAY 2001: Week 2 | TALK ABOUT TEACHING ARCHIVE | BETWEEN ISSUES | NOVEMBER at PENN |