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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, February 9, 2005

Chair’s Report. Professor Mooney updated the committee on the University Council Steering Committee’s approval of the Proposed Changes to Senate Rules and Council Bylaws. The Senate Committee on the Faculty has approved these proposed changes also.

SEC was next updated on the work of the Senate Standing Committees.  Professor Mooney explained that standing charges have been drafted for all committees to clarify the responsibility and roles of each committee.  These general charges will be vetted through the Senate Committees and then presented to SEC.

Professor Mooney informed SEC that planning is underway for the Fall Symposium on Integrating Knowledge Across Disciplines.

Past Chair’s Report on Academic Planning and Budget and Capital Council. Past Chair Lance Donaldson-Evans updated SEC on the work of both AP&B and Capital Council.

Update from Lee Stetson, Dean of Admissions with William Schilling, Director of Student Financial Aid. Lee Stetson, along with Bill Schilling, updated SEC on the early applicant pool and the admission’s process.  Dean Stetson noted that this is the strongest applicant pool academically and that minority applicants and admit rates are steadily increasing.

With regard to recruitment, Dean Stetson highlighted Penn’s outreach program “Exploring College Options”, in collaboration with Duke, Georgetown and Harvard. This program has been so successful that Harvard actually asked to join the group, which used to be just the three universities.

SEC Members discussed the selection process of Penn students and the weight of the SAT scores. Dean Stetson commented that while SAT scores do weigh heavily in the selection of students, Admissions looks at all variables, not just numbers and test scores.

Discussion turned to socioeconomic outreach and financial aid. William Schilling, discussed the profile of the aid applicant pool and Penn’s efforts to reach out to underprivileged families and explain financial aid resources. SEC strongly encouraged Dean Stetson to revisit programs that brought talented “small town” students to Penn, even if their scores did not exactly reach Penn standards. SEC asked about merit financial aid and scholarships. Both Dean Stetson and William Schilling explained that all financial aid is need-based, not merit. This is the policy of all eight Ivy League schools.

Election of Committee on Committees. SEC selected its slate for the 2005-06 Committee on Committees.

Social Responsibility Advisory Committee Update.Past Faculty Senate Chair Mitch Marcus has agreed to serve on the Trustee Social Responsibility Advisory Committee.

Faculty Club Name Change.Elsa Ramsden, president, Faculty Club Board of Governors, contacted the Office of the Secretary to inquire about a possible name change for the Faculty Club in order to make the name more inclusive and reflect properly those who belong to the club. SEC was in favor of this proposal.

Presidential Search Committee Proposal. Professor Mooney updated SEC on the work of the Council Steering Committee to develop a proposal that would include staff representation on future presidential searches. SEC approved a possible revision to the Handbook with regard to the search committee’s composition, but would not endorse an option that would reduce faculty numbers on the committee.

New Business.SEC Members inquired about the travel office’s revised policy on personal meals and expenses while traveling. Professor Mooney stated that he would look into it and report back to SEC.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 21, February 15, 2005


February 15, 2005
Volume 51 Number 21


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