SENATE Reports from the Annual Meeting April 17, 1996

From the Chair: Saying 'Yes' to Service

At the outset of my tenure as Chair of the Faculty Senate, I had the opportunity, by tradition, to address the graduates, families, and friends assembled for the University's 239th Commencement.

I pointed with Penn pride to the legacy of Ben Franklin. From the Charter for a modest educational initiative in 1740 to a vital and vibrant University (the nation's first) with four undergraduate schools and a dozen graduate and professional schools whose 2,000 standing faculty, an enrollment of 18,000 students, and an associated staff of 7,000 sum to a veritable Athenian city-state on the western bank of the Schuylkill.

For the past year, I have had the privilege of representing the 2,000 standing faculty. I have learned a great deal and am more impressed than ever.

Our mission is teaching, research, and service. I would like to comment for a few moments on service to the University via the Faculty Senate.

My first task was to recruit a Past Chair, as Barbara Lowery had joined the administration. One phone call to David Hildebrand found a committed member of the faculty willing to serve.

This commitment was soon replicated as I phoned colleagues for constituency representation on the Senate Executive Committee, Senate committee memberships, and committee chairs. Would you believe 17 phone calls before I encountered a "no"?

The level of commitment was probably best demonstrated to me as I attended weekly or bi-weekly meetings of Senate committees. I witnessed sincere and dedicated service by faculty colleagues throughout the University. Thanks to Senate committee members and the committee chairs, David Brownlee, Robert Giegengack, Robert Hornik, James Laing, Bridget Murnaghan, Martin Pring, and Susan Watkins. I salute you, one and all.

The agenda for our annual meeting of the Faculty Senate allocates 5 minutes for the chair's report--an impossible constraint for such a full year. Much of our work will be reported by the committee chairs later on the agenda. Our detailed actions have been reported regularly to the University community in Almanac, mainly reporting presentations and discussion of committee reports. I must confess that at times I became so absorbed by the conviction of my colleagues' discourse on issues in SEC that I became lax in my duties as chair.

The President and Provost participated in portions of most of our meetings to present topics, discuss, and answer questions.

Although this is a chair's report, it reflects the contributions of David Hildebrand as Past Chair and Peter Kuriloff as Chair-elect. My profound thanks to each for their counsel and friendship. Much of the planning of the work of the Faculty Senate is accomplished by a quartet of individuals in which we are joined by Carolyn Burdon, the executive assistant to the Faculty Senate Chair, the institutional memory, and staff resource. Much thanks and appreciation, Carolyn.

In summary, the 1995-96 academic year has been an exciting one at Penn. Change is underway and more is contemplated. The Senate Executive Committee and the other Faculty Senate committees have played a significant role in this process. It has been a privilege to serve as your chair.

And now it is my pleasure to introduce President Rodin for her report.

William Kissick, Chair

Also from the Faculty Senate Annual Meeting:
Provost's Report.
Senate Chair-Elect Report.
Senate Annual Meeting Synopsis.


Volume 42 Number 29
April 23, 1996

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