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October 17, 2006, Volume 53, No. 8

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 Sue White, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943, or by e-mail at senate@pobox.upenn.edu.

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Vincent Price sent regrets from Provost Ron Daniels who could not attend. Dr. Price reported on items that have been discussed in consultation: Temporary Exclusion Policy, recruiting a diverse faculty, and results from the Child Care Survey. Senate committees have met and are busy at work. Future SEC meeting topics were presented: 1) November featuring Barney Lentz, Director, Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and Associate Provost Andy Binns, and 2) December featuring Maureen Rush, Vice President, Division of Public Safety, with updates from the President and Provost. The Chair reminded SEC members to send their nominee for the Nominating Committee, which will be voted on at the November SEC meeting, to Sue White.

Past Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past Chair Neville Strumpf updated the Executive Committee on the work of Capital Council, a committee that approves expenditures equal to or greater than $500,000. Building renovations and expansions approved were: music building renovations and enhancements to the zebrafish facility in the School of Medicine.

Affirmative Action and Employment—Post Michigan. Wendy White, Senior Vice President, Office of the General Counsel, discussed affirmative action, explaining that the University must operate within very specific legal parameters, weighing risk vs. benefit. Affirmative action has two very different components:  1) Student Admissions Programs—the Michigan case allowed universities to take race into account with  specific restrictions, and as a result  Penn did not cancel any student admissions programs:  Admission Support Programs, Pipeline Programs, Academic Support Programs, and Scholarships for minorities. The second component: 2) Hiring and employment— Michigan did not address this, but legally in Pennsylvania “the hiring decision may not take race or gender into account,” and as a result the University must find new ways to hire. There are things the University can do to hire a diverse faculty:  make sure we are not discriminating, reward the diversity process, offer incentives to make searches diverse and reward those doing a good job.

Update from President Amy Gutmann. The President discussed the ongoing initiatives of the Penn Compact and the upcoming capital campaign. The capital campaign will be in the $3.5 billion range. Faculty recruitment and enhancing the environment at the University continues to be a priority, spending $54 million last year for faculty support. Faculty diversity is essential—plans this year for the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and the Target of Opportunity Committee to collaborate to further this goal with increased funding to help create new networks for searches and increase the pipeline for minority candidates. There will be a University-wide summit on diversity bringing national and international thought leaders to our campus to engage in robust discussions. This year Penn added a record-breaking $64 million for financial aid and created 187 new scholarships, and will continue to strive to increase the money for financial aid. Construction on new buildings and renovations on Penn’s campus will total $897 million, enhancing our excellent facilities.


Correction: In the September 27 Senate Executive Committee Actions (Almanac October 17, 2006) the Past-chair’s Report should have read “Faculty Senate Past Chair Neville Strumpf updated the Executive Committee on the work of Capital Council, a committee that approves expenditures equal to or greater than $500,000.


Almanac - October 17, 2006, Volume 53, No. 8