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Coverage of University Council's April Meeting

May 3, 2011, Volume 57, No. 32

Last Wednesday’s Council meeting was the final one for the semester. The meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of Dr. Henry Teune, professor of political science, who passed away April 12 (Almanac April 19, 2011).

President Amy Gutmann announced that Penn received an anonymous $15 million gift to renovate the ARCH building. (click here for story)

The chairs of the Council Committees each gave a brief summary of their final reports (see the supplement to this issue, PDF)

Michael Topp, chair of the Committee on Academic and Related Affairs, recommended that enhancements be made to the statistical tracking of undergraduates involved in research, a review of  academic integrity training, a review of the Athletics and the Penn Library’s budgetary constraints and upgrades or alternatives to the course support software Blackboard. It was also recommended that Penn Transit service be extended to Penn Park.

Chair of the Committee on Campus and Community Life, Philip Nichols, noted that they met with directors from many cultural centers and recommended that a survey be conducted to determine the constraints of an increase in the student population, particularly of non-degree students.

Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Equity, Nancy Tkacs, mentioned that one of the Committee’s focuses has been on climate assessment and that work is ongoing on Penn’s new diversity website.

Michael McGarvey, who chaired the Committee on Facilities, spoke about the need for repairs and renovations to Guardian Drive and the need for more lactation spaces on campus.

David Pope, chair of the Committee on Personnel Benefits, noted their recommendations that were implemented regarding benefits during open enrollment. He also noted that the fairness of the tuition benefit should be addressed.

Chair of the Committee on Committees, Camille Charles, noted that it was the first year Committees operated under the new system developed to increase the committees’ productivity and streamline the process by which recommendations are responded to.

Steering Committee Chair Robert Hornik took suggestions for additional focus issues for next year.

In closing, the President and Provost thanked the committee members, chairs and everyone for their participation this year.


Almanac - May 3, 2011, Volume 57, No. 32