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SENATE From the Senate Chair

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 Senate Chair Neville Strumpf at (215) 898-8802, or by e-mail at strumpf@nursing.upenn.edu.

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Neville Strumpf appealed to all Faculty Senate members to attend the May 3, 2006 University Council Meeting, as an important discussion and vote for the Proposed Changes to the Council Bylaws is on the agenda that day. The major change in the Council Bylaws is a reduction from 13 to 6 standing committees, a change believed to enhance flexibility and efficiency in the committee structure.  There is a consensus from Steering Committee of the University Council regarding the proposed changes. It is important to show up at the beginning of the meeting in order to have a quorum. The University Council meeting is May 3, 4–6 p.m. at Houston Hall in the Bodek Lounge.

Proposed Changes in the Senate Rules will be voted on at the next Faculty Senate Meeting in May. These changes have been agreed to in principle, however the drafted text found in Almanac April 11, 2006, will be voted on in May. 

Report on Freshman Class of 2010 from Dean of Admissions, Willis J. Stetson. The quality of students admitted to the University of Pennsylvania this spring is exceptional; 44% diverse minorities, International Students from 81 countries, prospective students from all regions of the U.S., all with an impressive academic profile. From the students’ view, Penn offers a wide variety of educational options, a high ranking in the media, outstanding and diverse faculty, and accessibility to a wide range of programs.  The new program for “families earning less than $50,000, providing full scholarships for students” is part of an ongoing effort to increase access for top students from economically disadvantaged families. 

Impact of Decreases in NIH funding and it’s Effects on the University. Dr. Steven Fluharty, Vice Provost for Research, outlined the challenges ahead for the University of Pennsylvania as current funding sources are shifting. This year and predictions for next year, show NIH funding declining, however in 2006 the actual decrease was lower than the decrease forecasted. Some positive indicators for the future include:  the NIH Roadmap where the pool of money is increasing, NSF funding possibly increasing in the future, and tapping other funding sources such as corporations and foundations. In conclusion, in order to maintain Penn’s position as a superior research University, Penn must recruit outstanding faculty, sustain funding appropriate to a world class research facility, apply for NIH Roadmap money, build on NSF centers, nurture partnerships with other universities, and improve foundation funding. A lively discussion ensured regarding the impact of changing priorities at NIH on junior faculty and the need for this matter to receive additional consideration.

Past Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past Chair Charles Mooney briefed the committee on recent meetings of the Academic Planning and Budget Committee. Discussions about the Faculty Database Phase II are on the horizon for next year.

Committee on Committees Ballot.  All Faculty Senate members voted from a ballot of names for specific 2006-2007 committees, as proposed by the 2006 Committee on Committees.



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 31, April 25, 2006


April 25, 2006
Volume 52 Number 31


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