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University Council’s April Meeting Coverage
April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31

Last Wednesday’s Council meeting, the final one of the semester, began and ended with thanks to those who have served this year. President Amy Gutmann thanked the chairs of the five standing committees who led the committees in fulfilling their charges.  She also extended thanks to the outgoing UA and GAPSA chairs, Wilson Tong and Andrew Rennekamp, respectively.

Dr. Gutmann also thanked Nancy McCue, chair of PPSA, for her role in the PennMOVES drive last spring for which she and others won a Models of Excellence Award. They collected tons of students’ unwanted possessions that would have been discarded and found community organizations that were grateful recipients. 

The president also thanked Dr. Larry Gladney for his three years of service as a tri-chair; Dr. Sherri Adams, this year’s Senate chair and chair of Steering and well as Dr. Harvey Rubin, incoming Senate chair. Dr. Gutmann thanked Dr. Paul Guyer who has served as moderator for the past three years and Mark Frazier Lloyd who completed 18 years as parliamentarian.

The chairs of the committees each gave a brief summary of what they focused on during the year. Chair of Academic Affairs Peter Decherney joked that his is the “committee on everything” having subsumed what had been six separate committees: Admissions and Financial Aid, Bookstore, International Programs, Libraries, Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, and Research. This year they discussed global initiatives, educational technology, student conduct and plagiarism software which will become part of Blackboard.

Chair of Campus Life Phil Nichols said that then his must be the “committee on everything else” since it too has subsumed what had been four committees on Communications, Community Relations, Quality of Student Life and Safety & Security. They explored economic inclusion, Student Health, CAPS, graduate housing, public safety and community service.

Diversity committee member Christa Heyward filled in for chair John Jackson who was away. She described their committees’ five recommendations. That committee had formerly been the committee on pluralism.

Facilities chair Dr. Walter Wales described how the closure of the South Street Bridge has had a negative impact on green space, pedestrians, and bicycle riders.

Personnel Benefits chair Dr. Ingrid Waldron explained that since their committee has two more meetings scheduled, her report was an interim report with a final to come in the early fall. She said the medical plans must conform to the Mental Health Parity Act but the guidelines have not yet been issued.

The year-end Committee reports, along with the report of the Committee on Committees are on the Council website, www.upenn.edu/secretary/council/committees.html and will be published in next week’s issue of Almanac.

Dr. Harvey Rubin explained that in July the tri-chairs will meet with the president and provost to review the reports.  At the Steering Committee’s April meeting, they compiled a list of focus issues to be considered for next year’s Council meetings; it will be fine tuned at their September meeting.


Almanac - April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31