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SENATE From the Senate Office

The following is published in accordance with the Faculty 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 Kristine Kelly, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by e-mail at kellyke@pobox.upenn.edu.

Senate Executive Committee Actions

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Chair’s Report: Dr. Donaldson-Evans, sitting in for Dr. Mooney, provided the following follow-up on the issue of financial aid that was discussed previously in SEC: Upon checking with the financial aid office, it was determined that, contrary to what was previously presented in SEC, financial aid is centrally administered, not administered in individual schools. He also reported that although aid was not available for foreign students in the past, some foreign students now do receive aid.  This is important because they are not eligible for federal aid.

Dr. Donaldson-Evans provided an update on the reforms that are planned for SEC and other committees. The Senate Chairs are presently talking with current and past chairs to create basic charges for all committees.

Past Chair’s Report on Academic Planning and Budget Committee and Capital Council: Dr. Donaldson-Evans reported that he recently learned the Pennsylvania Visitors Center was not promoting Annenberg Center events because they were seen as competition to the Kimmel Center.

Dr. Donaldson-Evans reported that there was discussion of two new masters programs, one in science education, and one in applied positive psychology. Also, he reported that Dr. JoAnn McCarthy was appointed as Assistant Provost for International Affairs.

Omar H. Blaik, Senior Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate Services: Omar H. Blaik, Senior Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate Services spoke to SEC. He described the plans for campus growth over the next few decades. He broke his discussions into three land areas.  The first two areas fall within the recently acquired post office lands. The second portion, south of Walnut, is the area that is expected to be used for growth of the University of Pennsylvania. It includes empty lands that in the near-term will be used for athletic fields. Eventually, other facilities can be moved to this land after consideration of the impact of moving it out of the core. To the Southeast, a third area for growth is the piece of land previously owned by the city, where the convention center stands. They have hired an architect, Raphael Vignoni to design the new buildings on that site, which will include a Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care Center. In the future, there is a potential plan to tear down Penn Tower and make a new walkway that will pass the museum to the hospital.

Mr. Blaik also discussed the University of Pennsylvania’s involvement in the Schuylkill River Development Authority. This organization represents the interests of all those who own land on either side of the river.

Privacy Liaison: Dr. Donaldson-Evans informed SEC that the tri-chairs were asked to designate a faculty member to serve as a privacy liaison for the Faculty Senate. Anita Allen-Castellitto (Law) has agreed to serve.

Discussion of Penn Compact: Chair-Elect Neville Strumpf opened this discussion by reminding SEC of the three principles of Penn Compact.

Discussion of the Penn Compact led to further discussion on how to move forward on various new initiatives at Penn. There was concern about the issue of admitting students from the “same old pool.” The suggestion was made to put together a committee to look at “out-of-the-box thinking” on how to bring new types of students, from different socioeconomic backgrounds to Penn. People on the committee should be those who understand education and sociology.

There was a discussion about the fact that integration of knowledge across disciplines and schools will require an understanding of how finances are laid out. It is possible that financial arrangements may inhibit joint teaching. Dr. Donaldson-Evans expressed his opinion that Dr. Gutmann is aware of these problems, and yet determined to move forward.

There was a universal feeling that benchmarks were needed to determine whether progress was being made in all areas addressed by the Penn Compact. It was also felt that before moving forward, there needed to be a better understanding of what would need to be given up to attain the goals, and what opportunities might be bypassed, in other words what would be the trade-offs. The members of SEC felt unsure of how Dr. Gutmann wanted faculty to partner with her.

Discussion of Faculty-Sponsored Symposium on Integrating Knowledge Across Disciplines Schools: Dr. Neville Strumpf discussed the planning of a faculty-sponsored symposium on integrating knowledge across disciplines and schools. She reported that the President and Provost were enthusiastic about this idea, and felt that they could find money to support the program. She asked for volunteers for a small subcommittee to discuss this.

Issues for Consultation with President and Provost: SEC asked that the Senate Chairs discuss the incident where a Penn student was allegedly accosted by campus police and placed on the ground possibly using excessive force. The student has alleged that he did not have an opportunity to identify himself.

New Business: There was no new business.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 16, January 11, 2005


January 11, 2005
Volume 51 Number 16


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