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December 21, 2010, Volume 57, 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 15, 2010

Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair Bob Hornik reported that the Founder’s Day Symposium, Human Rights: Contested Practices and Principles is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Wu and Chen Auditorium in Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut St. He stated that the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (SCESF) is moving forward with a draft of the 2009-2010 Economic Status of the Faculty Report. Dr. Hornik reported that the January 26 SEC meeting will have a conversation format and will focus on the recently published Progress Report on Minority Equity (Almanac December 7, 2010).

Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past-Chair Harvey Rubin reported that the Academic Planning and Budget Committee heard an update from H. Carton Rogers, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries. 

Ballot for the Patent Policy Appeals Board: SEC members voted for the 2010-2011 Patent Policy Appeals Board.

Update on the Penn Division of Public Safety: Maureen Rush, Vice President for Public Safety, updated SEC on the Division of Public Safety (DPS) which is comprised of 176 personnel who are responsible for enhancing the quality of life, safety and security of Penn and the surrounding community. VP Rush explained the Penn Police Department patrol zone jurisdiction, extends from 30th Street to 43rd Street (east to west) and Market Street to Baltimore Avenue (north to south). She reviewed crime statistics from 1996 to 2009 noting that “crimes against persons” are down and “crimes against property” are up, which is mostly comprised of unattended theft. She explained “crime mapping” which provides a spatial depiction of incidents of crime and is a valuable tool in identifying consistently problematic locations. VP Rush reported that the Division of Public Safety and the Philadelphia Police Department, maintain a strong collaborative partnership, and share tactical, strategic and investigative information on a daily basis. She noted that Penn is fortunate to have outstanding security technology such as: CCTV cameras and emergency blue light phones throughout campus; and the UPennAlert Emergency Notification System which can quickly notify the Penn community of an emergency via personal electronic devices or the siren and public address system. She proudly announced that DPS has been ranked number one for safety in the Higher Education sector by Security magazine for the past four years. SEC members inquired about safety initiatives for Penn Park, statistics for sex crime reporting, and the dangerous pedestrian street crossing on 33rd Street.

Update from the Vice Provost for Education: Andy Binns, Vice Provost for Education, updated SEC on his portfolio which encompasses both undergraduate education and graduate and professional education.  He explained that he works in collaboration with: the Council of Deans, Council of Undergraduate Deans, Council of Graduate Deans, Graduate Council of the Faculties, and the Faculty Advisory Council for Academic Access and Support. He stated that he also works closely with:  the Office of Student Conduct, Civic House, Weiss Tech House, Kelly Writers House, Arts, Research and Culture House, College Houses, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the Graduate Student Center, Vice Provost for University Life, and the Office of International Programs. He discussed the Academic Theme Year which spotlights a series of events around a theme and added that the 2010-2011 academic year has been devoted to an exploration of water. He updated SEC on the Ben Franklin Scholars Program, the Center for Teaching and Learning which is currently looking at teaching assistant instruction, family friendly policies, Fontaine Fellows, the Leadership Alliance, and improving access to undergraduate students for research opportunities. He noted that the Middle States Accreditation and Assessment planning will start soon and will require much involvement from the faculty. He added that he is looking closely at the state and federal definition of mandated credit hours. SEC members discussed minority issues for undergraduate and graduate students, the composition of the Center for Teaching and Learning, review of the new PhD tuition policy, and faculty concerns with BlackBoard.


Almanac - December 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 16