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

Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee

Wednesday, March 7, 2001

1. Chair's Report. Professor Larry Gross proposed a change in the Faculty Senate Rules that would allow for replacement of At-large SEC members who do not attend meetings in the first year of their term. A ballot will be sent to the standing faculty accompanied by a pro and con statement.

The Chair noted that there are two April University Council meetings, one of which was first considered as optional. Council committees are ready to report in April and the pattern of using the optional Council meeting should be made a default rather than an exception.

2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget and Capital Council. Professor Phoebe Leboy stated that during the past month, the Academic Planning and Budget Committee reviewed the report of the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (discussed by SEC earlier in the month), heard a report from Deputy Provost Peter Conn on Disability Services, and devoted a meeting to reviewing the status of the Graduate School of Fine Arts with Dean Gary Hack.

The Capital Council met and reviewed plans for design and construction of the David S. Pottruck Health and Fitness Center. It also considered plans for several classroom renovations in Williams Hall and the McNeil Building, and a proposal to improve the appearance of the Locust Walk bridge over 38th Street.

3. Nominees for Various Committee Vacancies from the Senate Committee on Committees. SEC considered the proposed nominees. A ballot will be sent to SEC members.

4. Recommendations of 1999-2000 Council Committee on International Programs. Professor Eric Weinberg reviewed two areas covered by last year's recommendations. First, the Office of International Programs (OIP) needs additional space to continue to serve as a central location for counseling, the Study Abroad program, and home for international students. Second, affordable short-term housing is needed for visiting scholars who are at Penn for one week to three months. Several SEC members stated that short-term affordable housing is less available and that collaborative research opportunities with experts had been lost as a result.

Deputy Provost Peter Conn stated that these issues are taken seriously and efforts are underway to find larger space for OIP. He noted that International Programs and collaborations are among the University's Academic Priorities. Regarding short-term housing for international scholars, Deputy Provost Conn explained that Penn has housing problems in general. There is higher demand for student housing on campus, a need for major renovation of the high rises, many graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will be displaced, and there is a priority for freshman to have on-campus housing.

The Chair called upon SEC members to attend the March 28 University Council meeting to express their concerns raised on these issues.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 26, March 20, 2001