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SENATE From the Senate Office

February 21, 2012, Volume 58, No. 23

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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

Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair-Elect Susan Margulies reported that she will be the acting chair for this meeting due to Chair Camille Charles absence. She stated that the March SEC meeting will be held in the Meyerson Conference Room on the 2nd floor of the Van Pelt Library and will feature a conversation with Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives. She reported that the Deans discussed progress reports on their school diversity plans in early February and will continue to finalize their plans during the spring. Dr. Margulies explained that Vice Provost for Faculty Lynn Lees sent a memo to Deans and Department Chairs clarifying issues that have arisen through the application of the policy on the Extension of the Probationary Periods that Apply to Granting of Tenure or Promotion to Associate Professor. She reported that the 2010-2011 Economic Status of the Faculty Report will be published in the February 28 issue of Almanac

Senate Committee on Committees: Chair Tobias Wolff asked SEC members to solicit nominations from their colleagues by circulating a document describing the various committees that his committee is charged to populate. He noted that faculty nominations should be sent to the Office of the Faculty Senate. 

Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past Chair Bob Hornik reported that there will be an announcement very soon concerning the tuition levels for the coming year.

Communications Overview: Telling the Penn Story in an Era of Media Fragmentation: Stephen J. MacCarthy, Vice President for University Communications, provided SEC members with a snapshot of Penn’s communications dynamic. He reported that Penn stories get more media coverage than most people realize. He explained that his office is utilizing traditional methods and social media tools such as Twitter and YouTube to communicate the achievements and accomplishments at Penn. He updated SEC on Penn News Today, an electronic daily newsletter that features five stories on the Penn community. He explained that he started this at his previous position at Penn State University and it continues to be a successful communications tool with 600,000 subscribers there. He has been introducing this slowly to the Penn community and will be adding students and alumni to the mailing list soon. He asked SEC members if they would be interested in receiving Penn News Today with an introduction note to faculty and an option to “unsubscribe.” After a robust discussion, SEC members expressed no objections to receiving Penn News Today.

 Discussion of Penn Connects 2.0–Draft Final Report: Vice President for the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services Anne Papageorge and Principal Planner Mark Kocent, updated SEC on Penn Connects Plan 2.0 a renewed vision which builds upon the principles established in Penn Connect 1.0. These principles include: to focus the academic mission in the core campus, develop vibrant living and activity spaces that support the learning environment, to encourage connections within and beyond campus, and to employ University sustainability goals. Ms. Papageorge explained that Penn Connects 2.0 is a phase 2 five-year horizon from 2011-2015 composed of priority new development projects as well as major renovation initiatives. She highlighted specific numerous new construction projects and +$5 million renovations, some of which included: Golkin Hall, Singh Center for Nanotechnology, Student Study Lounge at Franklin Field, ARCH, New College House on Hill Square, Penn Park, and Shoemaker Green. Ms. Papageorge reviewed plans for the Gray’s Ferry redevelopment now called “South Bank.” She explained that the planning and design principles for South Bank encourage phased development for innovative tech transfer, flex-use, office storage, and open space.   

SEC members’ discussion focused on the following topics: details on the new College House; traffic flow in areas around the hospital and 33rd Street; bicycle parking pathways and storage at 30th Street Station; challenges of funding for building renovations; conversion of the LUCY transit to gas-free transit; status of renovations for the David Rittenhouse Laboratory (DRL) and Guardian Drive; and an update on city projects nearby campus.


Almanac - February 21, 2012, Volume 58, No. 23