The following statement is published in accordance with the Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion between the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Senate Chair William Kissick or Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, 15 College Hall/6303, 898-6943 or email@example.com.
The president noted with regret that some in Arts and Sciences have misread the plan as a threat to the well-being of that school. The president noted that one major component of the plan is fund-raising at a level almost to that of another development campaign, and that Arts and Sciences has the opportunity to improve its financial status with some good ideas.
The committee spent two meetings discussing the plan of the Engineering School. The plan is to make the special areas of strength of the school clearly at or near the top and to develop some of the core areas of engineering to keep them competitive.
The committee heard from the dean of the Medical School on that school's plans. The medical complex is in the middle of a substantial shift to a more inclusive health system approach, which has implications for staffing and for curriculum. There has been considerable growth in the number of clinician educators--practicing physicians with offices at Penn and substantial teaching duties along with clinical practices--and clinical associates--physicians located elsewhere who also do some educational work. Also, the school is beginning the process of a major revamping of its curriculum.
Capital Council approved completion of the ResNet program, wiring the various student housing units for computing networks, cable TV, and so on. The Council also approved the final phase of the Franklin Field renovation which included moving the University Archives within the complex.
Extended discussion followed that included: (1) whether teaching foreign languages presents a unique need and whether that differs from special teaching needs in other courses; (2) protection of the concept of tenure and of the standing of the standing faculty; (3) concern that such proposals may be economically driven; (4) the suggestion to reallocate resources to hire additional standing faculty to teach these courses and to change expectations; (5) concern about exploitation of language lecturers and increasing student contact with non-faculty; (6) how, where, and in which languages to draw the line between language lecturers teaching only introductory and intermediate level courses and standing faculty teaching the upper level literature courses; and (7) whether language teaching specialists or standing faculty are better at teaching the introductory and intermediate level courses. It was also suggested that the language departments be polled.
SEC referred the matter back to the Senate Committee on the Faculty to: (a) determine the numbers of courses taught by language lecturers; (b) determine the total number of courses taught by non-standing faculty upon completion of degree work; (c) provide reasons why language teaching is appropriate for these lecturers; (d) see how other universities handle this issue; (e) learn what other approaches were considered by SAS; and (f) present alternative solutions to the SAS proposal under consideration.
February 13, 1996
Volume 42 Number 20
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