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Council 2008-2009 Year-End Reports
May 5, 2009, Volume 55, No. 32

Download the Supplement containing the 2008-2009 Year-End Reports.

Personnel Benefits Committee

The Personnel Benefits Committee issued an interim report prior to the April Council meeting since they still have more Committee meetings yet to be held. The final report of the Committee will be published in Almanac this fall after it is released.

Committee on Personal Benefits Members 2008-2009

Chair: Ingrid Waldron (SAS); Faculty: Erling Boe (GSE), Howard Goldfine (Medicine), David Pope (SEAS), Gerald Porter (SAS), Kent Smetters (Wharton), Mark Tykocinski (Medicine), Barbara Wall (Nursing); Staff: Valerie Dorn (SEAS), Victoria Mulhern (Medicine), Lynn Rotoli (Facilities), Kelly Dewees (VPUL), Peter Rockett (SEAS), Linda Satchell (Secretary’s Office).

Meanwhile, their interim report, along with the other committees’ final reports are on the Univeristy Council website: www.upenn.edu/secretary/council/committees.html.

Committee on Committees Report on the
Functioning of Council Committees During Academic Year 2008-2009

Mechanism of Evaluation

Each faculty member on the Committee on Committees was assigned to review a Council committee. Each review consisted of in-person, phone, or email interviews with the committee chair and staff support person, using the questions below. Other University constituencies were asked to provide information on committee performance via their members who serve on the committees. All committee members then reported their findings to the Committee on Committees in March for discussion. This report provides an overview of the general findings, as well as specific comments on the functioning of each committee. However, Steering is advised to look at the individual committee reports to gain a complete view of how the committees are performing.

Questions Posed to Each Committee Chair

1. Was the committee’s specific charge for this year clear and appropriate?

2. What changes, if any, do you think need to be made in the committee’s general charge?

3. What issues were addressed this year?

4. How many times did the full committee meet? If subcommittees were created, how many were created, how often did they meet, and what was their purpose?

5. Based on the charges for this year, and the discussion to date, what do you see as issues emerging for consideration next year?

6. Which members would you recommend to serve on the committee next year? If you have been Chair for two or more years, who would you recommend as the Chairperson?

7.  Is the membership of the committee well suited to the committee’s charge? (Expertise, representation of interests, etc.)

8. Who has the committee consulted or met with during the past year?

9. What problems did the committee encounter, e.g., access to necessary resources?

10. What recommendations would you make going forward?

11. Is there any question that should have been asked that was not included?

The University Council Committee on Academic & Related Affairs (CARA)

General Comments:
The committee requested feedback after the reports are read and reviewed. This was a common comment by all U.C. Committees. The Faculty Senate Tri-Chairs recommended that the Faculty Senate Chair will follow up with the President and Provost at their summer Consultation meeting to discuss the end-of-the-year-reports and any actions that have occurred as a result of the reports. The Faculty Senate Chair will update the U.C. Committee Chairs with feedback at the fall orientation luncheon meeting for the U.C. Committee Chairs.

The 15 general charges may be too many to handle efficiently. However the committee suggested that internationalization needs more exploration. 

The U.C. Committee on Committees recommended that there be a regular cycle of the charges to explore: Library, Athletics, Bookstore, Admissions, etc. The committee also recommended that the U.C. CARA Chair be reminded at the orientation meeting that the larger issues should be broken down into subcommittees. 

The University Council Committee on Campus & Community Life

General Comments:
The U.C. Committee on Committees recommended that the Faculty Senate Tri-Chairs explain some of the indirect outcomes from the committee recommendations at the orientation meeting at the beginning of the year.

The University Council Committee on Diversity and Equity

General Comments:
The U.C. Diversity and Equity committee was originally two separate committees that were recently joined into one committee.  The committee gathered a list of all diversity organizations and worked on the development of a diversity website for the past two years.  Oversight and maintenance of the website is under discussion. 

The committee reported that no major problems were encountered.  The committee felt that they should have been consulted prior to the climate survey and the committee also would like a more detailed discussion of how their work will be made known to the general University community. 

Joint meetings with the U.C. Diversity and Equity committee and the Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity, and Equity have started.

References to graduate students and undergraduate students will be differentiated in the future because they have different needs. 
In terms of issues emerging next year, the diversity website should be well on its way to operationalization, and the committee thinks that there should be more transparency and early departmental input on “target of opportunity” possibilities. 

The University Council Committee on Facilities

General Comments:
The Committee on Facilities expressed interest, as did the other U.C. committees, in learning who reads their report and where the committee recommendations go. The Committee noted that constituencies other than the Schools and the Central Administration do not have a voice in the planning process.

The Committee would like to be formed in April and the charges for the next year discussed. Except for the undergraduate representative, all other members will be present on campus for much of the five months before October, the traditional beginning of the Committee’s activities. Thus, some work could get accomplished during the summer hiatus.

The University Council Committee on Personnel Benefits

General comments:
The committee felt that their specific charges were clear and appropriate. 

They discussed:

• health and welfare initiatives for active employees for fiscal year 2010

• changes made in the retiree medical plan for calendar year 2010

• adoption benefits

• changes in group life insurance

• developing proposals for changes in the tuition assistance program for employees

• experience thus far with Aetna Health Connections Plan to better manage chronic health conditions

• Caremark prescription drug benefit utilization and Extra Health-Care Card

• how the University will implement the federal mental-health parity law which was passed last year.

Committee on Committees Members 2008-2009

Chair: Harvey Rubin (Medicine); Staff Members: Brenda Brand (Secretary’s Office), Susan White (Faculty Senate); Faculty: Sherrill Adams (Dental), Eric Bradlow (Wharton), Larry Gladney (SAS), Lawrence Levin (Dental), Reed Pyeritz (Medicine), Therese Richmond (Nursing); Graduate Student: Alejandro Hagan (SP2); Undergraduate Student: Andrew Schlossberg (SAS); Staff: Laurie McCall (Student Performing Arts), Loretta Hauber (Weingarten).


Almanac - May 5, 2009, Volume 55, No. 32