Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast


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

Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee
Wednesday, December 12, 2001

1. Chair's Report. Professor David Hackney stated that a Provost's committee is nearing completion of a study on the cost of research at the University. The Faculty Senate Committee on Administration and the University Council Committee on Research will review the report. The Senate Executive Committee will also review it. The Teaching Evaluation Committee report will be completed later this month and will come to the Faculty Senate for comment.

2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget Committee and Capital Council. Professor Gerald Porter reported that there have been four meetings of the Academic Planning and Budget Committee since October 30, 2001. At these meetings the committee discussed the external reviews for the Wharton and Annenberg Schools, Safety and Security Issues Concerning Penn Undergraduate and Graduate Students Abroad, the Gender Equity Report and the Administration's Response, a draft Report from the Committee to Assess the Evaluation of Teaching, and a presentation on the Cost of Research.

Capital Council. Professor Porter reported that Capital Council has met several times and considered projects such as the refacing of the garage wall next to the University Museum and the relocation of the sewer lines under the old Convention Center. In addition, there was a review of a proposed lease for off-campus space.

3. Report of the Committee on Gender Equity. Co-chair Barbara Lowery presented the report (Almanac Supplement December 4, 2001) noting that the University Council Steering Committee had commissioned the study, one-half of the members were appointed by the Faculty Senate, one-half by the Provost and the study had taken two years. Professor Lowery drew attention to the President and Provost's reply (Almanac Supplement December 4, 2001) to the report and their commitment to move forward on improving the problems raised by the report. It was noted that the ten senior women who departed the School of Arts and Sciences did not retire but went to other universities. Penn's hires of new senior faculty are overwhelmingly male. Thus, we have a pattern of losing senior women and replacing them with senior men, contributing to the declining proportion of women as rank increases. Co-chair Phoebe Leboy fielded questions from Senate Executive Committee members. She noted that review of the Exit Questionnaire distributed by the Faculty Senate Office to resigning faculty has had a poor response rate. Women expressed more dissatisfaction than men but an equal number of men and women leave Penn to join their spouse at another university. Professor Leboy emphasized that the Clinician Educator workload is incompatible with normal family life. Due to the financial situation in the Health System, this is difficult to change. It has the effect of disadvantaging women more than men, since women are more likely to have primary child care responsibilities. In response to a SEC member's question, Professor Lowery stated that the Provost does have a fund for deans to respond to outside offers. Most deans do not use it. There are rules that instruct search committees to receive instructions and suggestions for conducting searches that will yield women and minority candidates. However, the committees rarely avail themselves of this resource.

SEC members thanked Professors Leboy and Lowery and the Gender Equity Committee members for their hard work.

Professor Stephen Burbank, chair, Senate Committee on the Faculty, drew attention to a case challenging affirmative action at the University of Michigan. The case is now in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and will probably move to the U. S. Supreme Court. He hoped that the University of Pennsylvania would play a major role in support of affirmative action as it did in the Bakke Case.

4. Nominating of Senate Nominating Committee. SEC elected eight faculty, who are not currently SEC members, to serve on the Nominating Committee as well as one member who is now on SEC. (See below).

5. University Investments and the Endowment in the Economic Slowdown. Vice President for Finance & Treasurer Craig Carnaroli, Chief Investment Officer Landis Zimmerman, and Associate Vice President for Finance & Treasury Management Lucy Momjian gave an overview.

For fiscal 2001 ended June 30, the AIF outperformed its composite benchmark by 13.4%, returning a positive 6.0% versus a loss of 7.4% for our benchmark portfolio. For comparison, over the same period a hypothetical portfolio consisting of 70% in the S&P 500 and 30% in the Lehman Govt/Credit index would have lost 7.0%. Penn's global equity portfolio contributed the bulk of this outperformance, returning 8.4% versus losses of 14.9% for the S&P 500 and 15.4% for the Wilshire 5000. This outperformance resulted largely from the portfolio's bias toward "value" stocks and under-exposure to technology, media and telecommunications.

Penn's performance in fiscal 2001 was well into the top quartile of our peers. The median return among 32 endowments over $1 billion was a loss of 2.4%, and any endowment returning more than a loss of 0.1% was in the top quartile.

Mr. Carnaroli's office undertook a review of the effect of economic downturns on the University's finances. Recessions will not significantly impact tuition but could slightly increase demand for financial aid. Applications for early adminssion are up for the year, in spite of the slowing economy. During recessions there is some exposure in state grants being frozen, but not cut, exposure in property insurance and in the Health System's costs incurred due to unreimbursed claims, indigent care and managed care. Due to the lower investment returns on the endowment, there will be slower growth in endowment income available for operating expenses. Although approximately 16% of Penn alumni live in the New York area, they represent a disproportionately large share of development funds raised by the University.

6. Annual Giving Trends. Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Virginia Clark gave a brief overview. Responding to the Senate Chair, Ms. Clark said an economic slowdown has negligible affect on annual giving. In crisis, giving drops but rebounds in a year to higher levels. Over the last 40 years giving has increased each year with the exception of 1987. Last year saw the highest level of giving. A significant number of alumni donors are from the New York City area and time will tell how the September 11 tragedy affects giving by these alumni.

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: David Hackney, 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 2001-2002. 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 Committee, 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:

  • David B. Brownlee (Professor, History of Art)
  • Irma Elo (Assistant Professor, Sociology)
  • Susan Gennaro (Professor, Nursing)
  • Judy Meinkoth (Associate Professor, Pharmacology)
  • Harvey Rubin (Professor, Medicine)
  • Julius Shanenson (Professor, Mathematics)
  • Vaclav Vitek (Professor, Materials Science & Engineering)
  • Scott Weinstein (Professor, Philosophy)
  • Irene Wong (Associate Professor, Social Work)

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, January 15, 2002. [The deadline has been extended two weeks due to the holidays.] 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 David Hackney or to Carolyn Burdon by e-mail at or by telephone at (215) 898-6943.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 16, December 18, 2001


December 18, 2001
Volume 48 Number 16

Philadelphia Police/FBI Investigation of Terrorism includes interviews of some students; Penn offers resources to students who want them.
A look back at this week in Penn's history, a stroll through Almanac's of the past.
Penn's Way Campaign is at the mid-point with more weekly prizes as well as the grand prize to be drawn.
Winter Break Safety: special safety checks are available from December22 through January 6.
The founding curator of the Burrison Art Gallery which bears his name, dies at the age of 92.
Another Penn Woman who made her mark some 40 years ago is remembered.
Some Penn researchers' findings could yield embryonic stem cells while others analyze predictors of future arthritis in dogs.

January AT PENN brings the celebration of Chinese New Year and many MLK events throughout the month.