Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (PASEF) 2017–2018 Annual Report


PASEF’s members are senior (age 55 and over) and retired standing faculty at Penn. Its mission is to organize programs and activities for its members and encourage them to continue to remain active in the intellectual and social life of the University and to provide service to the University and the community. A major function of PASEF is to assist senior faculty in their transition to retirement by providing retirement planning seminars and information.

PASEF was founded in 2004, and its current membership numbers approximately 900 senior faculty and 600 retired faculty. The Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (ASEF–PSOM) is an analogous organization for faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine. The two organizations each have their own Council, but they regularly cooperate in planning joint programs and activities, most recently through a newly established joint Program Committee.

PASEF is a member organization of AROHE, the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education.


Governance and administration. PASEF operates under a set of bylaws and is governed by a Council which meets monthly during the academic year. The President, President-Elect, and Past President form the Steering Committee (Council members for 2017-2018 are listed in Appendix A).

PASEF receives an annual budget from the Provost and reports to Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen, who has been especially supportive. During the past year, excellent assistance has been provided by members of the Provost’s staff, including Jillian Powell, Julie Shuttleworth, and Kathy Swartz. We are also participating with the staff of the Provost’s Office on the redesign of our PASEF website.

Facilities. PASEF has an office in Duhring Wing, next to the office of the Faculty Senate. Staff support is provided by a half-time employee, the PASEF Coordinator, Sarah Barr. Through the efforts of Vice Provost Allen, PASEF has acquired a room adjacent to its current office which is now fully furnished and operational. Both the current office and the new space can accommodate meetings of small groups.

PASEF’s website is


PASEF and ASEF–PSOM provide resources and give presentations to aid senior faculty in planning their transition to retirement. During the past year four informational events were held, also receptions to recognize newly emeritus faculty.

Reception for newly emeritus faculty. Recently between 50 and 60 standing faculty have taken emeritus status each year, and PASEF and ASEF–PSOM have co-sponsored a reception in the Fall to honor the retirees.

This past year’s event in October 2017 was held at the Sweeten Center with Vice Provost Allen as the featured speaker. Attendance at the event was surprisingly low, due in large part to the fact that many AY 2017 retirees had already relocated. After discussions by both PASEF and ASEF Councils, a joint decision was made to shift the ceremony to the end of the spring semester 2018, initially as an experiment. Thus, a second retirement reception (with honorees’ photographs continually displayed on a large screen, and, again, with Vice Provost Allen as featured speaker) was held on May 16, 2018 (with much greater participation). If, as seems likely in view of the response to the spring ceremony, this scheduling turns out to be more popular, then the annual retirement reception for that year’s retirees will henceforth be held each May. The PASEF Council decided at its May 2018 meeting not to hold a retirees event in the fall.

Road to Retirement programs and Hitchhiker’s Guide. Each spring PASEF presents two Road to Retirement information programs and, with ASEF–PSOM, partners with Human Resources for a third presentation.

In March, a panel of senior and retired faculty spoke in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library about their retirement decisions and experiences in emeritus status. The session included a presentation on continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). PASEF proposes to hold a separate panel discussion on CCRCs in fall 2018.

In April, Hilary Lopez and Vicki Mulhern, University staff experts on retirement, discussed retirement options and the details of retiree benefits. Some 53 potential retirees attended the event (in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library), and many general and specific questions were addressed.

Representatives from Social Security and Medicare spoke in May at the event organized by Human Resources.

In January 2018 PASEF published the eleventh edition of its Hitchhiker’s Guide to Faculty Retirement under the able editorship of Martin Pring. Sections on financial planning for retirement, transition to emeritus status and retiree relations with the University are included, and the publication is available on the PASEF and ASEF–PSOM websites.

Activities and Events

Monthly lectures. PASEF sponsors lectures throughout the academic year. These are open to all members of the University community and span a wide range of topics of general interest. ASEF-PSOM also sponsors monthly lectures and two special lectures in fall and spring. This year PASEF’s Program Committee was jointly chaired by Paul Shaman and Jerry Porter. Further, a joint Program Committee for ASEF-PSOM and PASEF has also been established this year to coordinate the timing of joint events and lectures.

The PASEF Program Committee arranges eight monthly lectures and a featured lecture each semester. The Fall Lecture, given each year in October in conjunction with the 25-Year Club Dinner, was presented by Jane Golden, Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia (entitled “Public Art and Social Change”), and the Spring Lecture speaker was Kathleen Jamieson of the Annenberg School (How Russian Hackers and Trolls Exploited U.S. Media In 2016). In addition, the Library Committee (headed by Vivian Seltzer) arranged four lectures on a variety of topics.

Links to video recordings of some of the lectures are available on the PASEF website.

Outings. PASEF and ASEF-PSOM together organize two outings a year, one in the fall (organized by ASEF-PSOM), and another in the spring (organized by PASEF). In fall 2017 we visited the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, and in April there was a visit to the Michener Museum in Doylestown, where a guided tour took us through a special exhibit of works of the Wyeth family.

Membership initiatives. The Membership Committee, chaired by Anita Summers, presented several recommendations, which were approved by the Council. These include organization of special events such as attendance at concerts, which has been extremely popular and successful; reserving a table at the University Club where members can meet for lunch and conversation on a regular schedule, which has not, thus far, attracted a sufficient clientele; a second annual cultural outing in the fall (yet to be implemented); and additional planning for retirement presentations, including a special session devoted to CCRCs (the first of which is planned for fall 2018).

Community Involvement. Following up on an enthusiastic presentation by members of the Council concerning community involvement initiatives at the final meeting of the PASEF Council in May 2017, Ira Harkavy, the Director of Penn’s Netter Center, was invited to attend the PASEF Council’s September 2017 meeting. Members of the ASEF-PSOM Council also attended.

He described to us the various community-based initiatives in which the Center and members of the Penn faculty are currently involved. As a result of that meeting and the discussions that followed, a PASEF ad-hoc committee on community involvement, chaired by Joan Goodman, was established. The committee made regular presentations to subsequent PASEF Council meetings during the year, including results from its survey of member interest. In March 2018 it was proposed and accepted that the ad-hoc committee should become a standing committee, requiring a change to the PASEF by-laws. A resolution to that effect was passed at the May 2018 meeting.

Speakers Bureau. With encouragement and funding from Vice Provost Allen, PASEF launched its Speakers Bureau in the spring of 2016. This work was spearheaded by Jack Nagel as initial chair of the Speakers Bureau Committee; Roger Allen has since taken over as coordinator of the bureau’s activities. The Bureau enables community groups, including retirement communities, civic and religious organizations and high schools, to identify and invite PASEF members to speak to audiences in the Philadelphia area. The current roster of speakers numbers 25 and includes both senior and retired Penn faculty from Schools across the University. Information about the Bureau and the speakers and their topics is available on the PASEF website at

Faculty Senate and University Council

For the last 10 years, PASEF has sent a non-voting representative to the Senate Executive Committee (SEC). After discussions last year, the Senate leadership granted PASEF non-voting membership on four Senate Committees, starting in 2016–2017. The committees are the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Administration; the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission; the Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy; and the Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity, and Equity. PASEF also has a member on the University Council’s Committee on Personnel Benefits.

PASEF Annual Election

Gino Segrè chaired the AY2017-2018 PASEF Nominating Committee. The Committee’s proposed slate was approved by email voting following the March Council meeting.

James Ferguson was elected President-Elect, Paul Shaman Secretary, and Martin Pring the SEC Representative. New at-large Council members who will serve three-year terms are Marc Dichter, Joretha Bourjolly and Jorge Santiago-Avriles.

—Roger Allen, PASEF President (2017–2018)

Appendix A: PASEF Council Members, 2017-2018

Roger M.A. Allen, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (SAS). President; Co-Chair, Speakers Bureau Committee

David Balamuth, Professor Emeritus, Physics and Astronomy (SAS), Representative to the University Council Committee on Personnel Benefits

Janet Deatrick, Professor Emerita, Family and Community Health (Nursing), at-large member

Lois Evans, Professor Emerita, Family and Community Health (Nursing), President-Elect

Murray Gerstenhaber, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics (SAS), at-large member

Joan F. Goodman, Professor Emerita, Literacy, Culture, and International Education (GSE), Chair, Ad-hoc Committee on Community Involvement

Howard I. Hurtig, Professor Emeritus, Neurology (PSOM), Secretary

John C. Keene, Professor Emeritus, City and Regional Planning (Design), Representative to the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity, and Equity

Walter Licht, Professor of History (SAS), at-large member

Ann Mayer, Associate Professor, Legal Studies and Business Ethics (Wharton), at-large member

Marshall W. Meyer, Professor Emeritus, Management (Wharton), Representative to the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty and the Administration

Jack H. Nagel, Professor Emeritus, Political Science (SAS), Co-Chair, Speakers Bureau Committee

Gerald J. Porter, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics (SAS), Co-Chair, Program Committee

Martin Pring, Professor Emeritus, Physiology (PSOM), Representative to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee; Editor, Hitchhiker’s Guide to Retirement

Gino C. Segrè, Professor Emeritus, Physics and Astronomy (SAS), Representative to the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission

Vivian C. Seltzer, Professor Emerita, Human Development and Behavior (SPP), Chair, Library Committee

Paul Shaman, Professor Emeritus, Statistics (Wharton), Past-President and Co-Chair, Program Committee

Anita A. Summers, Professor Emerita, Business Economics and Public Policy (Wharton), Chair. Membership Committee; Representative to Faculty Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy

Past Presidents: Rob Roy MacGregor, Benjamin S. P. Shen, Neville E. Strumpf, Vivian Seltzer, Roger Allen, Ross A. Webber, Jack Nagel, Anita Summers