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December 19, 2006, Volume 53, No. 16

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, December 13, 2006

Chair’s Report.
 Faculty Senate Chair Vincent Price reviewed Senate Committee activities stating that members can expect committee reports in the spring.  The Senate Committee on Faculty and the Administration (SCOA) will be bringing Faculty Senate Bylaw revisions to a meeting possibly in March or April.  The next SEC meeting in January will feature a presentation from John Zeller, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.

Past Chair’s Report.  Faculty Senate Past Chair Neville Strumpf updated the Executive Committee on the work of the Trustee Committee on Budget and Finance. Professor Strumpf reminded SEC members that a minor revision of the “Just Cause” Procedures will be presented at the January SEC meeting for a vote.

Senate Nominating Committee.  SEC voted for the 9th member of the Nominating Committee; choosing Sohrab Rabii or John Richetti in a runoff election.

Public Safety Update.  Maureen Rush, Vice President of Public Safety, presented an overview of public safety at the University of Pennsylvania. All aspects of the Department of Public Safety were outlined: the departments under the Office of the Vice President, the breakdown of Penn and University City constituencies, the interaction of federal, state, and local agencies, and all partners within the University community. The status of initiatives, goals, and funding of Operation SAFE were reviewed including an upgrade in both pedestrian and street lighting in order to enhance community safety and security at Penn and in University City. Select Department of Safety programs and initiatives such as fire and emergency services, the bicycle theft reduction project, and community outreach were discussed.

Updates on the University.  President Amy Gutmann presented critical issues for higher education to the Executive Committee. The implications of the Spellings Commission Report were discussed and the recommendations of the report that covered topics of student access to college, cost and affordability, financial aid, and institutional accountability. President Gutmann stressed the importance of financial aid and the high priority of the University of Pennsylvania to continue increasing financial aid based on need. President Gutmann discussed the importance of the removal of unnecessary barriers and economic constraints to increase access to American universities for international scholars. Provost Ron Daniels gave a brief report on the following priorities:  school-based mentoring programs, accommodating family demands, faculty recruitment and retention, internationalization, and trends for NIH funding.

Senate Nominating Committee.  SEC voted to select the chair of the Nominating Committee. Members added Sohrab Rabii, emeritus professor of electrical  and systems engineering, SEAS, winner of the runoff election, to their ballot prior to voting.

Almanac - December 19, 2006, Volume 53, No. 16