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October 11, 2011, Volume 58, No. 07

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 email at senate@pobox.upenn.edu

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair Camille Charles reported that Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President will be coming to the November SEC meeting. She asked SEC members to forward questions they would like Mr. Carnaroli to address to the Office of the Faculty Senate: senate@pobox.upenn.edu. Dr. Charles also asked SEC members to forward nominations for a research faculty representative on University Council. 

Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past Chair Bob Hornik reported that the Academic Planning & Budget Committee discussed a new degree program in the School of Dental Medicine and the proposed changes to the academic calendar that will start in 2013.
Ballots for the 2011-2012 Nominating Committee: SEC members voted for the 2011-2012 Nominating Committee membership.

Discussion of the Penn Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence: Lynn Lees, Vice Provost for Faculty and Joann Mitchell, Vice President for Institutional Affairs, updated SEC on the details of Penn’s Diversity Action Plan noting that this initiative will be a continuous work-in-progress. Vice Provost Lynn Lees reviewed the scope of programs that are in place and will continue such as: pipeline programs, dual career funding, mentoring, development programs, and the Penn Fellows. She outlined programs that will expand including: the Faculty Opportunity Fund, Family-friendly policies, Childcare programs, Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellows, and Mentoring and leadership programs. 

Vice Provost Lynn Lees outlined the new initiatives of the Diversity Action Plan: 

• Faculty Climate Survey due to rollout this fall  

• Diversity website under development and brochure due to come out shortly

• Presidential Term Professorships 

• Central funds of 50 million dollars with matching funds from the Schools

• Eminence and Innovation Fund

• Dissertation Fellowships

• Graduate Fellows

• Partnerships with minority-serving and women’s institutions

• Diversity Action Plans from each school

• Diversity Search Advisors

She explained that the Diversity Search Advisors will have an active involvement in the search process, be appointed by the Dean and trained by the School or Provost, and they will be given release time or compensation for service. Dr. Lees reported that assistance will be offered to Schools including:  guidelines for school plans, pool data and outreach resources, orientation information for Diversity Search Advisors, and matching funds for hiring from the Faculty Opportunity Fund and Dual Career Funding.  Dr. Lees urged faculty to become involved in this process by volunteering to work on their School plans, serving on search committees, helping to recruit and mentor new faculty and recommending possible partnership activities. Due to time constraints SEC members had a short discussion and suggested that more time be given to this topic at the November meeting.

Discussion with the Provost: Provost Vincent Price updated SEC on agenda items for the Office of the Provost. He reported that the Penn Action Plan for Diversity and Excellence is front and center on his agenda and he is meeting with deans frequently to discuss their progress. He reminded SEC members that Penn is planning for the upcoming Middle States Accreditation Review scheduled for 2014 and the focus will be on undergraduate education, in particular undergraduate research. He urged SEC members with an interest in this to contact Vice Provost for Education, Andy Binns as he is in the process of assembling planning committees. Dr. Price reported that the research enterprise has many external pressures and the faculty can expect new Conflict of Interest policies. Dr. Price announced the appointment of Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, PIK Professor for the newly created position of Vice Provost for Global Initiatives. He reported that there are searches underway for the directors of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology and the Institute of Contemporary Art. 

SEC members’ discussion focused on the following concerns: changes to the academic calendar, faculty involvement in school diversity plans, the accountability of the Diversity Action Plan, and the importance of faculty shared-governance.

Almanac - October 11, 2011, Volume 58, No. 07