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SENATE From the Senate Chair
September 16, 2008 , Volume 55, No. 4

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 10, 2008

Welcome and Introductions. Faculty Senate Chair Sherri Adams welcomed the 2008-2009 Faculty Senate Executive Committee and brief introductions followed.

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Sherri Adams reported that Faculty Senate Tri-Chairs have been busy meeting and planning during the summer and are happy to report that all Senate committees are fully populated; committee chairs met this past week and are ready to begin their work after the approval of the Senate committee charges. Dr. Adams reported that this year SEC will hold two meetings in November and March featuring informal dialogues on topics of interest to the faculty.

Past Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past Chair Larry Gladney gave an overview to the Executive Committee on the work of the Academic Planning and Budget Committee and Capital Council.

Faculty Senate Committee Charges for 2008-09 Committees. SEC reviewed the proposed committee charges for all the Senate Standing Committees and the charges were unanimously approved. 

Updates on the University. Provost Ron Daniels discussed the annual Association of American Universities (AAU) Provosts Meeting that he recently attended with 60 leaders from public and private research universities. Perceptions, concerns, and challenges discussed at that meeting centered on resources, growth, and best practice initiatives. Provost Daniels outlined priorities for his office this year including: leadership workshops with department chairs, discussions with Deans on recruitment and retention of faculty, continuation of the successful bridge funding program, CTT improvements under the leadership of Mike Cleare, and the examination of support for students in graduate programs.  SEC questions focused on the expansion and support of international students and faculty, retirement incentives for faculty, and the economic impacts of loan-free aid. 

Setting Penn’s Agenda in Harrisburg and Washington: Establishing Credibility, Visibility, and Influence. Jeffrey Cooper, vice president for government and community affairs, briefed SEC members on the work of his office, which is the University’s primary liaison with federal, state, and local governments. At the local level, the Office of City and Community Relations (OCCR) interacts with local elected officials, local agencies, neighborhood and community organizations, and the Philadelphia school district. At the state level, the Office of Commonwealth Relations has staff in Harrisburg that advocates in support of policies consistent with the University’s mission and supports and manages the University’s annual Commonwealth appropriation. The goal of the Office of Federal Affairs is to monitor and impact federal policies regarding research, student aid, tax policy, and any other issues that pertain to the University. SEC questions focused on the effectiveness of staff in Harrisburg and Washington, possible local tensions, metrics used for assessment, and the coordination of information regarding all lobbying efforts at the University.



Almanac - September 16, 2008, Volume 55, No. 4