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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, May 11, 2005

Chair’s Report. Noting that he was keeping his remarks brief due to the full agenda, Faculty Senate Chair Charles Mooney encouraged SEC to review the new Faculty Senate website and  learn more regarding Faculty Senate service and how to get involved (www.upenn.edu/faculty_senate/).

Past Chair’s Report on Academic Planning and Budget and Capital Council. Past Chair Lance Donaldson-Evans updated the Executive Committee on the work of both Academic Planning and Budget and Capital Council.

Review of Revisions to the Procedure Governing Sanctions Taken Against Members of the Faculty (Handbook II.E.16). Mark Tykocinski, chair, Senate Committee on Administration, continued his presentation of the Committee’s revision to the “Just Cause” Procedures. With the acknowledgment that the revised draft would need to next go to the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, the committee reviewed the following points: (1) Elimination of the formation of a Just Cause Panel and create a panel with past members of Senate and School Committees on Academic Freedom and Responsibility and, if necessary, past members of the Senate Executive Committee; (2) The Composition of the Hearing Board; (3) Selection of the Hearing Board, which would entail having the Faculty Senate Chair select board in consultation with Chair-elect and Past Chair of the Faculty Senate; (4) Presidential role in sanctions; and (5) Elimination of the rigid time requirements.

Senate Rule Changes and General Charges for Standing Committees. The Committee approved the proposed standing charges for all Senate Standing Committees and also approved the proposed modifications of the Senate Rules, which will be presented to SEC in final form next fall.

Proposals for Modification of the Research track, and revised Handbook language to the Extension of the Probationary Periods that Apply to Granting of Tenure or Promotion to Associate Professor. Arthur Rubenstein, EVP for the UPHS and Dean, SOM, and Alan Wasserstein, Vice Dean for Medical Faculty Affairs, presented the School of Medicine’s proposal. The proposed modifications of the Research track include (1) Promotion to associate professor rank may be on the basis of collaborative or independent investigation of high quality. Collaborative contributions should be recognized as distinctive, original, and expert by extramural reviewers. Promotion to full professor rank will continue to require independent investigation, which may be in addition to collaborative research; (2) The probationary period for promotion to associate professor rank will be extended from seven to ten years. The Senate Executive Committee approved these proposals.

Discussion on University Retiree Task Force Report. At SEC’s request, Olivia Mitchell, chair of the Retiree Task Force, along with Gerald Porter, professor & Task Force member, Interim Provost Peter Conn, Associate Provost Janice Bellace, and Elenita V. Bader, executive director of HR Benefits, met with the Committee to discuss its approach and methodology behind its recommendations published in the Report of Retiree Benefits Task Force. Professor Mitchell explained the background of the Committee’s work, including its charge, review of peer universities’ benefit plans, and the market forces that compelled the University to review its tax-deferred Retirement Plan and the medical plans offered to retired staff and faculty. The Executive Committee was reminded that this report stands as only recommendations to the Trustees, and nothing is considered final.

New Business. Senate Chair Charles Mooney thanked SEC for its hard work over the past year, and turned the meeting over to the new Senate Chair, Neville Strumpf.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 33, May 24, 2005


May 24, 2005
Volume 51 Number 33


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