From the Senate Office: Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

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 Patrick Walsh, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by email at

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Jennifer Pinto-Martin reported that a “Your Big Wellness Idea” contest will be launched in the spring of 2019. All interested faculty are encouraged to help with the planning and the judging efforts. Dr. Pinto-Martin also reported that a mini Teach-In is still in the planning stages to be held in early April. More details to follow in January.

Past Chair’s Report. Past Chair Santosh Venkatesh described a “tuition block” for undergraduate tuition that was initiated in the current Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). The block involves the four undergraduate schools (Nursing, SAS, SEAS, Wharton) plus two schools that administer undergraduate majors (Annenberg and Design) and provides a flat rate of tuition remission to schools that is not tied directly to the number of courses taught or students being taught. A base tuition level was established for FY19, will grow each year based on a pre-determined parameter, and will be recalibrated every four years. Remaining schools will not be part of the block.

Update from the Office of the President. President Amy Gutmann shared a progress report on the Penn Compact 2022 across three focus areas: Inclusion, Innovation and Impact.

Update from the Office of the Executive Vice President. Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli was joined by Vice President for Facilities Anne Papageorge, University Architect Mark Kocent and Vice President for Budget and Management Analysis Trevor Lewis. Ms. Papageorge and Mr. Kocent briefed the committee on sustainability efforts being undertaken by Penn in the following areas: academics, utilities and operations, physical environment, waste minimization and recycling, purchasing practices, transportation, and outreach and engagement. Mr. Lewis provided a background briefing on Responsibility Center Management (RCM) at Penn. RCM is the managerial framework for Penn’s internal budgeting and financial reporting on Schools and Centers. The basis for external financial statements used by ratings agencies, resource providers and others is University-level Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). RCM was implemented at Penn in the 1970s as a way to control expenses and has since evolved to encourage revenue growth. Under RCM, the majority of direct revenue and expense is at the School and Center level, as are the alignment of authority and accountability. A key principle of RCM is transparency regarding sources and uses of institutional resources. RCM promotes the broadest possible stewardship of financial resources and encourages and rewards innovation and efficiency by Schools and Centers. Mr. Lewis then described RCM funding dynamics between Schools and Centers and the University’s Administrative Centers (including the President’s and Provost’s offices, Human Resources and others).