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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, April 13, 2005

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Charles Mooney informed the Executive Committee that the School of Medicine’s research faculty track proposal would be coming to SEC in May, rather than in April as he mentioned last month. Also on May’s SEC agenda would be the Senate Committee Rule Changes.

Professor Mooney updated SEC on the Retiree Benefits Task Force Report, which was published in Almanac March 15, 2005. The Senate Chairs will be asking for an extension of the “For Comment” period, which is due to expire on April 15. The Senate Chairs also encouraged SEC members to contact the interim provost to voice their concern over the report, and to extend the “For Comment” period. Professor Mooney also stated that he would send a note to the president and provost as well.

Senate Committee on the Faculty Report on School of Nursing Academic Tracks. Senate Committee Chair Don Voet briefly introduced the School of Nursing’s Proposed Policy for Teaching Appointments and turned the presentation over to Afaf Meleis, Dean of the School of Nursing. Dean Meleis provided background information to the Committee on why these faculty appointments were necessary for  the School of Nursing’s academic mission, and they would serve as a mechanism for rewarding dedicated academic support staff and associated faculty. Dean Meleis explained that the School would like to create a Practice Faculty track, which would not exceed 20 percent of the standing faculty. This appointment would provide strong clinical education for the School’s students. The Committee then reviewed the appointment, reappointment and promotion process for the Practice Professorship. The other proposed track is within the academic support staff category. The School would like to create a mechanism to reward and retain full- and part-time lecturers. Proposed tracks included Senior Lecturers and Advanced Senior Lecturers. SEC also discussed the promotion and reappointment process for the lecturers.

SEC voted to approve the teaching appointments.

USCAR Follow Up. Senate Chair Mooney presented the revised University Council Resolution on USCAR that the Council Committee approved last week.  The Committee acknowledged the hard work of both the students who created the proposal and the Pluralism Committee, who reviewed the proposal for University Council. SEC recommended that the resolution be edited to state that SEC may, from time to time, request information from Schools on their continuing efforts to meet the goals of the USCAR proposal. The Resolution was approved.

Senate Committee on Administration: Reports on Revisions to the Policy on Extension of Probationary Periods and Revisions to the Procedure Governing Sanctions Taken Against Members of the Faculty. Mark Tykocinski, Chair of the Senate Committee on Administration (SCA), presented the revisions to the Handbook Policy on the Extension of Probationary Periods and the Procedures Governing Sanctions Taken Against Members of the Faculty (“Just Cause”).

Professor Tykocinski reminded SEC that the probationary period policy went before the Executive Committee last May, and SEC recommended that SCA further review the policy and address issues of adoption and domestic partnership. After a discussion to ensure that all possible parties were adequately covered by the policy, and that the policy was consistent with other policies, SEC approved the revision and recommended that SCA review any other related policy in the Handbook to make sure they are all consistent.

The “Just Cause” policy was then discussed. It was made clear that this policy was only up for discussion, not approval and that it would be sent to SEC again in May for further review. It was also recommended that the Academic Freedom Committee should review the policy in the fall before final approval by SEC.

The Senate Chairs discussed the background for their decision to revise the policy. SEC was informed that this grievance mechanism was actually applied for the first time, and the time lines were unworkable. Therefore, the Senate Chairs charged SCA with the redrafting of the policy. SCA then approached the General Counsel and enlisted their expertise with drafting a revised policy, which SCA then reviewed and approved.

Professor Tykocinski then reviewed the substantive changes within the policy, and SEC agreed that it would further review the draft and continue their discussions at the May meeting.

Senate Committee on Committees Election.SEC was presented with their annual ballot to elect committee members for the 2005-06 Senate Committees.

New Business.The Senate Chair briefly discussed, again, the Retiree Benefits Task Force Report, and the agreed upon next steps.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 29, April 19, 2005


April 19, 2005
Volume 51 Number 29


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