Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

The following agenda is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules. Any member of the standing faculty may attend SEC meetings and observe. Questions may be directed to Patrick Walsh, 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, November 29, 2017


Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Santosh Venkatesh updated SEC members on the status of the Teach-In, which will be held at various venues on campus between March 19-22, 2018. A website will be launched in January and more detailed event information will be provided at SEC’s next meeting.

Past-Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past Chair Laura Perna reported on the work of the Capital Council and the Academic Planning and Budget Committee. She also informed the group of the upcoming meeting of the Campaign for Community Steering Committee (to be held December 7).  

Update from the Department of Public Safety.  Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush reported on the outcomes of spring 2018 Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community.  “Identified Off-Campus Groups” have been asked to register their social occasions with the Vice Provost for University Life so that University officials can be made aware of the event. Event registration of this nature was implemented for all on-campus groups (including Greek organizations) in 1997 following a Task Force designed to address alcohol use at student gatherings. As of fall 2017 off-campus groups must register their parties as well.  Registered parties that serve alcohol must contract with official event security personnel and TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS)-trained bartenders. Non-compliant student groups are asked to attend an educational session explaining the safety-related importance of registering their events with the University. A working group will soon convene to determine whether punitive sanctions should be implemented. The Task Force’s work has contributed to minimizing student-on-student violence in the residential areas near campus and improving relations with neighborhood residents. Students also appear to be more cooperative when Penn Police or official Event Observers knock on doors during parties.  Vice President Rush then discussed other matters related to the work of the Department. Since its implementation in 2015, the HELP Line has contributed to several saved lives. She encouraged faculty members seeking to assist students to contact the HELP Line (215) 898-HELP or CAPS directly (215) 898-7021, both are available 24/7. All these services work in tandem with Student Intervention Services (a division of the Department of Public Safety).

Moderated Discussion. Professor Venkatesh engaged SEC members in a discussion on a number of pre-identified topics, including implicit bias training for faculty and staff, mentorship of junior faculty, and effects of proposed changes in federal tax legislation on graduate students, the endowment, and charitable giving. Time will be devoted in future meetings to address these and other topics of interest to SEC members.