New Era Settlement: $2.4 Million

Penn has settled with the New Era Bankruptcy trustee, agreeing to return to the trustee matching contributions received from New Era in excess of funds deposited, Provost Stanley Chodorow announced last week at the University Council. In recognition of Penn's taking the lead and its efforts to persuade other institutions to settle as well, the trustee has agreed to discount this sum by $200,000, Dr. Chodorow added. The total to be returned comes to about $2.4 million.

Dr. Chodorow said the settlement negotiated by legal counsel for the University has been many months in the making, and that negotiations with the trustee have been cooperative. Under the settlement, the trustee gives Penn full and complete release from any future liability from the bankruptcy estate.

Penn had a limited involvement in the activities of New Era, Vice President for Development Virginia Clark told alumni last spring (Almanac May 25, 1995) when New Era's "New Concepts Philanthropy Fund" was exposed in the press as an alleged Ponzi scheme, where the capital of new investors is used to pay apparent earnings to earlier ones. At the time New Era filed for bankruptcy, Penn had $1.55 million awaiting matching and is not considered one of the larger creditors.

Council Representation: To Committees

Also at Council on Wednesday, the question of representation brought to the floor by Steering in response to a request of the United Minorities Council, was assigned for joint study by the Committee on Pluralism and the Committee on Student Affairs.

Undergrad Tuition/Fees 1996-97: $21,130

Following the Trustees' Executive Committee vote of March 5, the University announced that full-time tuition and fees at Penn next year will be $21,130--an increase from the current $19,898--but there will be no increase in fees for on-campus living and dining services, which average $6,966.

An increase of $150 in the annual student technology fee -- the first increase since the fee was begun in 1989-- brings the total combined increase in all fees, tuition, room and board to 4.6%. The technology fee covers the costs of providing students with computer labs, e-mail, and access to the Internet.

The total undergraduate charges amount to $28,096 for a student who lives in a double-occupancy residence hall and eats 15 meals per week in a campus dining hall.

"The University made it a priority to keep the rate of tuition increase as low as possible for students and their families," said President Judith Rodin. "We are doing everything we can to hold down the cost of a Penn education."

Stephen T. Golding, Vice President for Finance, cited the need to prepare Penn students for the next century and "a more interactive global society," as the basis for increasing the technology fee for the first time in seven years.

Graduate Tuition: Graduate tuition for the coming year will increase to $21,992 from $20,846, a 5.5% increase, the University also announced.


March 26, 1996
Volume 42 Number 25

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