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Trustees’ Stated Meeting Coverage
September 25, 2007, Volume 54, No. 5

At last Thursday’s Stated Meeting of the Executive Committee of the University’s Trustees, President Amy Gutmann began her report by saying, “we’ve got momentum on fundamentals.” She then noted that Penn is about to launch the biggest development Campaign in its history next month; the landscape of the campus has been significantly transformed since her arrival in 2004, with many new buildings built and others in progress or in the planning stages. She also noted the substantial growth of Penn’s endowment in the past three years; more than 65% (click here). President Gutmann also noted academic aspects of the momentum: the increase in undergraduate applicants and in their average SAT scores, as well as the 500 additional faculty appointed in the past three years, including the five PIK (Penn Integrating Knowledge) Professors who are now on board (Almanac January 30, 2007). She touched on one of Penn’s many global initiatives: the Penn Partnership in Botswana which she visited this summer; and one of the many local ones: the new Sayre Health Center which has new quarters which opened earlier this month (Almanac September 11, 2007).

Provost Ron Daniels reported that the relationship in Botswana is developing, with several of Penn’s schools involved. He mentioned that eight students from the developing world were admitted this fall as the first group of Penn World Scholars (Almanac April 18, 2006). They hail from Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Latvia, Pakistan, Palestine, and South Africa. The Law School has three new senior faculty members bringing the total to 45.

EVP Craig Carnaroli gave a brief financial report; the unaudited results for the 12 months ending June 30, 2007, show the Consolidated University with total net assets increased $1.39 billion to $8.714 billion. He attributed the growth to investments and operating revenue that increased by $324.2 million to $4.757 billion. He said Penn would continue to monitor the situation with sponsored research which has seen a decline in governmental support.

Dr. Gail Morrison, vice dean of education in the School of Medicine, gave the Penn Medicine Report in Dean Rubenstein’s absence. She noted the progress that has been made toward Penn Medicine’s Strategic Plan from five years ago: new buildings, such as the Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM) are under construction; applicants for the medical school’s newest class exceeded 6,400 and 224 were accepted.

The Trustees passed four resolutions:

• to authorize campus electrical infrastructure upgrades phase II ($5.68 million);

• to authorize the design of Penn Park, the new urban park, fields and walkways  on the newly acquired 14 acres south of Walnut Street and the re-conception of an additional 10 acres of land to the immediate south ($3.68 million);

• to authorize the purchase of 3928 Spruce Street, a semi-detached building adjacent to campus ($1.45 million); and

• to authorize the renewal of lease space to be occupied by School of Medicine Treatment Research Center at 3900 Chestnut Street ($1.18 million).

Almanac - September 25, 2007, Volume 54, No. 5