SENATE From the Senate Office
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee
Wednesday, March 6, 1996
- Academic Planning and Budget Committee and Capital
Council. Past Senate Chair David Hildebrand reported that following
years of planning by a Medical School Committee Chaired by Professor
Perry Molinoff the Capital Council approved construction of the
Biological Research Building II. BRBII will be financed entirely by the
Penn Health System. It will substantially increase faculty laboratory
space and bring together departments that were scattered.
The Academic Planning and Budget Committee has reviewed plans from
the Medical School, Graduate School of Education, and the Nursing
School. The Medical School has improved its standing considerably. For
example, it has had the greatest increase in NIH funding of any of the
medical schools in the country. It is wrestling with the major changes
that are occuring and will continue to occur in clinical care and
medical education. Its clinical facilities are being expanded at sites
throughout the region. A major reevaluation of its curriculum is
underway. Competition for admission is extremely strong; yields are
quite high. The school is financially solid, though concerned about all
the changes in prospect.
The Graduate School of Education has established areas of strength,
particularly in literacy training and in city schools' educational
issues. It is necessarily much smaller than many of its competitors, but
doing well where it chooses to concentrate. Its financial situation is
at least adequate and has improved recently.
The School of Nursing is consistently ranked within the top three
in the country. Its research efforts are widely recognized and its
graduates are widely sought after. Its financial situation is adequate
with financial aid a major problem. The school hopes to increase the
size of its faculty considerably in part to help in its increasing
- Mandated Guidelines on Postdoctoral Fellows and Research
Associates. (Almanac July 18, 1995). Committee on
Administration Chair David Brownlee brought SEC a unanimous
recommendation for adoption of the draft guidelines. Acting Vice Provost
for Research Ralph Amado explained that the document had been under
development for several years in the University Council Committee on
Research and reviewed by the University General Counsel. Several
concerns were raised and are reflected in the following motion. It was
moved and adopted that: "The Senate Executive Committee applauds the
Draft Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates, dated
February 13, 1996. SEC recommends that the Vice Provost for Research in
consultation with the University General Counsel working with individual
schools develop a policy consistent with this document, applicable to
specific school needs. It is important in particular that issues of data
ownership, benefits, grievance procedures and stipend level be further
considered. SEC requests that the Vice Provost for Research bring a new
operating document responding to school needs to the Senate Executive
Committee for review in one year."
- Committee Nominations for 1996-97. Senate Committee on
Committees Chair Peter Kuriloff presented nominations for a range of
committees to which SEC annually makes appointments including the Senate
committees on Administration, Faculty, Publication Policy for Almanac,
Students and Educational Policy, Academic Planning and Budget, Committee
on Open Expression, Committee on Research, Faculty Grievance Commission,
Research Foundation, and Faculty Liaisons to Trustee Committees. SEC
made additional nominations. A mail ballot will be circulated to SEC
members and appointments will then be made.
- Proposal on Faculty Maternity Leave and Extending the
Tenure Probationary Period. Committee on the Faculty Chair Sheila
Murnaghan described the proposal (see the
proposal). The proposal was enthusiastically adopted.
- Informal discussion with the President and Provost.
Provost Chodorow stated that he had met with students and worked out the
remaining problems in the Judicial Charter (Almanac March
5, 1996). The revised charter will now go to the schools for
discussion and adoption. A SEC member urged that faculty attend their
school meetings and participate in this important decision. Concern was
expressed on how and who will be involved in modifications of the
charter. The Provost pointed out that the charter is school-based and
would be modified in the schools. SEC members raised other issues
ranging from concern about the status of financial aid and need-blind
admissions, to the need for communicating widely the impending change
from employer paid to employee cost-shared retiree health benefits on
July 1, 1996, and the need for involving the community in discussions on
plans for the new College House System.
- University Council Agenda for March 20, 1996. The
agenda was reviewed (see the agenda) and SEC
members were urged to attend.
- Almanac/Compass Merger. Committee Chair Martin Pring
presented the report (see the report). The
following motion was moved and adopted: "The Senate Executive Committee
in approving the Report of the Senate Committee on Publication Policy
for Almanac, dated February 28, 1996 reaffirms its belief in the
importance of Almanac's editorial independence."
March 19, 1996
Volume 42 Number 24
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